Saturday, January 31, 2009

Week at a glance

Little annoyances of the week:

  • My neighbor shoveling snow at 5 am and waking me up. This seems to happen frequently.
  • Walking to my office, passing electronic temperature signs reading "-11"...this also happens frequently.
  • Going to look at a cute apartment in a great neighborhood with Joe and realizing it won't work for us. Goodbye claw foot tub. Goodbye skylight.
  • When the person in the cubicle next to me hums or sings ALL. DAY. LONG.
  • Running to catch my train.
  • Running to catch my train and watching it as it pulls away from the station.
  • Losing my hat at the train station.

Highlights of the week:

  • My job and my first paycheck! Whoo hoo!
  • Finally putting money back into savings!
  • Eating Chipotle for the first time in over six months.
  • Knowing that there is a Starbucks right across the street from my office, however dangerous that might be.
  • Feeling good about abstaining from Starbucks.
  • Getting good feedback at work despite the fact that I'm still overwhelmed.
  • Really cherishing my time at home and with Joe.
  • Watching movies this weekend!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Six-month anniversary

Tomorrow Joe and I will have been married for six months. It's hard to believe it's already been half a year that I've been a wife and gone from Columbia. I do believe my exact words while we were brushing our teeth this morning was, "Six months down, forty years to go." I hope so!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby news

I got word tonight that my friends Micah and Kevin had their baby Larson Dean around 5:25 pm. (And they went to the hospital around 4:30. No time for anything!) He weighed 7lbs 11oz and was 20 inches long. Everyone is doing well.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Non-menu menu

I am not making a menu this week because if I did, I suspect it would look something like this:

Monday: peanut butter sandwich
Tuesday: cereal
Wednesday: piece of fruit and whatever else I can find
Thursday: bag of microwave popcorn
Friday: take-out

I will still be cooking but probably just on the weekends. And I think Joe will be cooking mostly during the week or we'll just be eating on our own, whatever we was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Three cheers for Joe

As I mentioned earlier, my husband sent me a beautiful bouquet of tulips to my office on my first day. He has been a huge help to me this week, too. Many of you probably know I am NOT a morning person. Joe has helped me by starting my car each morning, making my breakfast and making/packing my lunch. Those little things help me get out the door on time. And there's been dinner waiting for me each night when I get home, too. He's made all of this transition a little easier for me. I feel very lucky. And hopefully I find my groove soon with my new schedule!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The big day

I am so exhausted. First, I was too excited/nervous to sleep last night so I woke up at 2 am unable to go back to sleep. Second, my brain is not used of thinking so much. Here's how my day went. I started getting ready around 6 am. Left the house around 6:55 but not before I got my car stuck in the driveway and Joe had to push it out. (Did I mention this happened on Sunday, too?) I got to the train station about ten minutes later. I parked and waited amongst all the other commuters for another ten or so minutes. Then I boarded the train for the 30 minute ride. I got off downtown and walked a half a mile (while it was snowing - and right past the Sears Tower!) to my office building. My day was filled with orientation and back-to-back meetings. (The office was having inauguration festivities today but unfortunately I couldn't participate due to my meetings.) My new boss and coworker brought me flowers and chocolates for my first day and my husband sent me a bouquet as well. Even though it's so much easier than sitting in rush-hour traffic, I think the commute will be the hardest part for me. The train ride itself isn't that bad but it's all the waiting around before hand and getting to and from that make it a long, tedious process. Just something new for me to get used to but I'm sure I will soon enough. We ate frozen pizza tonight and I'm so tired that I think I may never cook during the week again. Did I mention how exhausted I am? Oh and I almost forgot the other exciting news. We got Joe a new (to us) car last night. Feels like a weight has been lifted from both of us just to be rid of his old car.

I work on the 31st floor of this building. How cool is that?

Joe insisted on taking my picture today. Kind of like the first day of school.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Tomorrow Obama and I both start our new jobs. Joe and I took the train downtown today from the stop I'll be taking every day so that I could get myself oriented before tomorrow morning. It was cold but not too far of a walk for me. I think I'm ready!

Menu Plan Monday

This week will be a week of experimenting for us. I have no idea what time I'll take the train home each night or if I'll feel like cooking once I get here. But here's our tentative menu.

Monday: Pork chops with sour cream dill sauce and rice
Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: dinner out with my new coworkers
Thursday: Double corn polenta
Friday: gnocchi with pesto sauce

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Out and about

On a whim, Joe and I decided that today was as good a day as any to take advantage of some of the fine theatre here. I wanted desperately to see Dirty Dancing but to no avail. Today was the final day of its run and no tickets were available. (Well, no tickets in our price range anyway.) Joe, on the other hand, was relieved. So we went to see the stage version of CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. It was very good and such a neat little theatre. And despite the cold frigid weather, I'm glad we went. Now if only I could get my feet to thaw out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Variety news

Somebody's getting a variety show! Read all about it here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thoughts from the employed

I don't know if I can truly express how happy I am about this job. The market has been so tough and in just a few short weeks I've seen the amount of available jobs dry up right before my eyes. It was truly a lesson in patience. I am so thankful! I've spent the morning figuring out my train pass/schedule and also train parking. There's a lot involved to become a commuter! After not working for six months a lot will soon be changing. (I'm not complaining.) Below are just a few:

  • My attire. Unfortunately for my husband, I haven't been dressing my best. Think sweat pants, pj pants, t-shirts, sweatshirts and Uggs or slippers with everything, 24-7. Oh, and I'll have to start wearing a bra. (TMI? Sorry!)

  • My Monday morning shopping routine. I love shopping on Monday, picking up everything we need for the week. And the stores are practically empty.

  • Doing random errands and being able to go to the mall or anywhere else I want to go.

  • Hanging out with the dogs. (Crumley is my homeboy.)

  • Getting the mail is usually the highlight of the day for me...I know it's sad.

  • Transportation. I am already used of using very little gas but I will soon be taking the train downtown every day.

  • My menu plans. I still want to cook but I'm not sure if it will be as routine as it has been.

  • Getting up early. I don't sleep all day but I usually get up around 8:00, sometimes 8:30.

  • Checking my email, Facebook and Perez Hilton 1,000 times a day. This will probaby be the hardest change of all! (Facebook Scrabble friends, please don't abandon me!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Fettuccine
Tuesday: Beef Tex-Mex Stir Fry
Wednesday: Black Bean & Corn Casserole
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Pizza

Black Beans and Corn Casserole
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
8 corn tortillas
4 cups grated Cheddar cheese
sour cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, salsa, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in beans and corn.

In a lightly sprayed or oiled 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish, spread one-third of the bean mixture evenly over the bottom of the dish. Lay 4 tortillas on top slightly overlapping. Add another one-third of the bean mixture and half of the cheese. Add 4 more tortillas, remaining bean mixture and top with remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbly, about 10 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares and serve with sour cream.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Movies and the Globes

It's the time of year when all the good movies get released and I'm in a rush to see them all...or as many as possible before the Academy Awards. We've seen some of the recent contenders: Rachel Getting Married, Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt, Frost/Nixon. So, yeah, I've seen some of the movies but there are still too many to see and too little time. Tonight is the Golden Globes. Even though it's not as prestigious as the Academy Awards, it might be my favorite awards show. It's a little more fun and laid back. So my afternoon will consist of watching the red carpet and then the show itself. Still on my list is: Revolutionary Road, The Reader, The Wrestler, Milk and Benjamin Button (maybe, I'm not thrilled at sitting in the theatre for three hours). We'll see how many I can fit in before February 22. Let me know if you've seen any contenders and what you think.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My snow dog

Crumley loves the snow and watching him play in it is so much fun. He likes to run and tumble and dive into it. Joe and I spent quite a while outside this morning just watching him and Iris play.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The best day ever!

Today my unemployment status ended. I have a job!! And it's even in my field. I'm rather excited if you can't tell. I start on January 20. Almost exactly six months to the day of leaving my job in Missouri and moving here. It's a happy New Year indeed!

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I'm dubbing yesterday as, "Cookbook Day" after I received two surprise cookbooks. First, my mother-in-law sent the new Barefoot Contessa book to me in the mail and then Alison gave me a Rachel Ray cookbook. What a coincidence, huh? I love thumbing through cookbooks and even read them in bed before falling asleep. I'm also quite fond of watching the Food Network. (I love Giada but don't have any of her books.) Who are your favorite chefs and do you have any favorite cookbooks that I should check out?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Pizza's in the oven

Alison (once again) hooked us up with tickets to see a play tonight. The timing was also great because Joe has class. The plan was to have dinner ready when Joe came home, we'd eat, I'd take him to class (we're sharing a car these days) and then I'd go meet Alison. I was making this. I have no idea what possessed me. It doesn't look like something I'd normally attempt but for some reason it sounded good - and unique. I put it in the oven and after 35 min it still wasn't done. After 45 min, I still had my doubts. And the shredded potatoes didn't look so crispy and great like Rachel's potatoes. In fact, they kind of looked green. Joe was being a good sport and so I served us both a piece and we sat down at the table. I took a bite. I hated it. And then Joe took a bite. And without saying much else we put our forks down and the pie went straight in the garbage. Thankfully there's still time for a frozen pizza and it's in the oven. Now I've made some things that we haven't been crazy about but I think this goes down in history as my very first inedible meal. Whew! Got that one out of the way.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Big shoes to fill

One of my initial concerns about getting married and moving to Chicago was The Bachelor. (Okay, so maybe that wasn't a deal-breaker.) But I had become quite accustomed to watching it with Taina and Rachel and was pretty sad about not getting to do that anymore. Joe stepped up to the plate and promised (along with his vows to love, honor and cherish) he'd be my new Bachelor-buddy. Well, I've kept him to his word. We watched the always-exciting premier last night. And, yes, he tried to leave the room a few times and made a little too much fun but I was glad to have the company. Now I just have to hear thoughts from the girls.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

If it seems like we have pizza every week that's because we do. Almost. It's my husband's favorite food, it's quick, it's easy and it tastes great. I guess pizza is a good standby for us each week. What about you? Does your weekly menu feature a "regular" meal?

Monday: Shredded beef tacos (Nichole's recipe)
Wednesday: Chili and cornbread
Thursday: Pizza
Friday: Baked fish and veggies

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