Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another productive weekend.

So I think I'm spending too much time with my dog.  Right now I'm at home all day and Pepper and I spend the entire time together.  We're pretty much like best friends now.
 
 

This is pepper on my leg, my leg isn't as big as it seems in the photo...don't judge me.
 
Enough about my strange relationship with my dog.  Here's a picture of our front door.  It and the shutters have needed a touch up since we moved in 3 years ago, and finally this weekend they got it. 
 
We ran to Lowes to pick out a color and magically we pointed at the same color.  It took us less than 30 seconds to pick a color, that has to be a record.  The truly weird part is that it's called Mark Twain Brick Gray.  What is that?  Since when does Mark Twain remind you of gray?  Whatever happened to Slate, or rock?

Since Adam HAD to buy the paint sprayer I'm going to make sure he uses it.  Here he is spraying the shutters with Mark Twain.
 
 
So something that you should learn from us...wasps like to live behind shutters.  Another lesson, is that even though the wasps are dead behind the first shutter doesn't mean they are behind the shutters that you have to be on a ladder to get to.   Lets just say Adam almost fell off the ladder as I was screaming "wasps! wasps!".  I try to be as helpful as possible.  Luckily Ant and Roach spray kills wasps, because that's the only bug spray we had and it may have come with the house. 
 While Adam painted the door Pepper stood guard.

And finally the finished product.
 
We do good work....I say we because I painted the part next to the door.  Hey I can be helpful.  So hopefully it will stop raining today and we can get the shutters out of my dinning room and back onto the house, yeah!
 
 
Have a great week.
God Bless
-R
 
 

 



Saturday, September 21, 2013

The worst question ever asked.

Every year in September my place of work has Town Hall meetings where the CEO comes to town and gives a talk and at the end he will answer any questions from the crowd.  Most of the questions are related to business or finance , but every year there is that one person who has to ask a stupid question.  People have asked him about his coffee habits and once what kind of hair products he used but none of these are as horrible/ stupid as the question I was asked today.

I was at the mall this morning.  It was a really nice time to be there only the big clothing stores were open so it was basically just me and the mall walkers.  Everything was quiet and peaceful and on top of the lovely atmosphere I had coupons to 3 different stores.  So I stopped by Carson's to buy a gift, and then I stopped by CJ Banks because I had a 40% off coupon (you can't pass that up).  It's not usually a store I shop in but I had noticed some pretty sweaters so I stopped by.  I was innocently looking at a jacket when it happened...an obnoxious sales women came up when she asked me when I was due.  In shock I answered "hmmm?".  And instead of picking up on the fact that she had just insulted my because I am not pregnant she said "well you're pregnant right?"  As I write this I can think of a thousand snarky remarks that I should have said.  But I was still in shock and just said "no", and the sales lady continued to tell me how I carry all my weight in my stomach and therefore look pregnant.  Now if you're like me you're ready to slap this lady.  But you have to know that she is at least 65.  So I felt like I couldn't scream or be rude to her.  Then she continues to talk about how heavy I am and how there was a lady at her church who was just as heavy and she also asked that lady if she was pregnant and she was shocked when the lady was rude to her.  She told me it was ok though because lots of women carry excess weight in their belly.  It was the worst conversation I've ever had with a person.

This has not really been my year.  Kids keep calling me ma'am, I've found my first gray hairs, I am on leave for depression, and now I'm heavy enough that people think I look pregnant.  Let's just say I'm never going to eat again.

Ok so that's not true.  I just needed to vent.  If you can imagine I came home and climbed back into bed with Adam and had a good cry.  Adam had some choice words he told me I should have used.  And then I had to convince him to not go beat up an old lady. 

Why do I tell you this?  So many reasons :)  First of all don't ask anyone if they're pregnant...ever.  Second if someone is overweight they don't want to talk about it.  Why is it that since I've gained weight that's all anyone wants to talk about?  My family is particularly bad on this subject.  I looked in the mirror this morning I know how I look so why is my weight the only thing anyone notices.  Maybe that's why I love blogging.  No one can see me and therefore they can see who I really am and not just what I look like.  Ok and there is one more reason for this story.  I wanted the world to know, I'm over it. So one rude women insulted me, I'm not going to let it ruin my life.  Let's just have a good laugh about it and move on.

So tell me what's the worst question you were asked?  And how did you get over it?

God Bless
-R



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I ate Wednesday #2

Welcome to another WIAW post.  


Today's post is a little backwards, Dinner, lunch than breakfast.   I love these posts, seeing what everyone else has been eating always inspires me.  Something else that inspires me?...sales.  I'm trying to schedule our meals around what's on sale at the grocery sale.  So when I saw baby back ribs on sale, I couldn't resist. 

Dinner


Of course we've never made ribs before so it was an adventure.  We had some amazing BBQ sauce from Ribfest, so I knew I wanted to use that along with a dry rub.  So I looked up dry rub recipes. 
I found a recipe here.  I mixed it up, and applied it to my ribs and let it set in the fridge until we could figure out how to cook ribs.  Which ended up being a couple of days.
 

Adam then suggested we try the ribs in the crockpot.  Sounded easy enough to me.   Because I didn't want to clean the crockpot... I used a crockpot liner (best invention ever).


I did some internet research and found you can do ribs in the crockpot fairly easily.  So I placed these in the pot meaty side toward the outside and covered it Cowboys bbq sauce.  I set the crockpot on low for 6 hours.  At exactly 6 hours I checked them and they fell off the bone.  That's a perfect rib.  When Adam got home the whole house smelled delicious. mmm barbeque.  I had my ribs with my homegrown squash, and cooked up some green beans for Adam. 

I don't have any pictures of the ribs on our plates because they were devoured much too quickly :) We will definitely be adding this to our recipe repertoire.



Lunch
Adam and I have been on a Caesar salad kick.  So after ordering them out a couple of times I decided it was time to find a Caesar dressing we liked.  I found the Kraft  Caesar dressing is very good. 

So I made this salad.  I wanted chicken, but was too lazy to grill some up so I got a rotisserie chicken. It was freaking wonderful :)





Breakfast
Another great meal I made this week is Oatmeal banana pancakes.  I found the recipe here.  I woke up one morning and had to have pancakes.  These just hit the spot, they were totally GF and would have been vegan had I had vegan chocolate but instead I had a Hershey bar that was chopped up in these.  
 

I doubled the recipe and got 5 large pancakes.  Adam and I both enjoyed these.  It's a great way to use up old bananas, and I'm hoping it's a recipe that I can make up ahead of time and freeze so when we want pancakes we can thaw them.

What have you been eating?

God Bless
--R

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My ABCs

I love silly surveys.  So here is a little bit about me and Adam

Rachel
A. Age: 29
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you hate: Cleaning bathrooms...ick.
D. Dogs: I love dogs, especially pepper!
E. Essential start to your day: Quiet time, not a people person first thing in the morning.
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or silver: Silver
H. Height: 5' 9"
I. Instruments you play:  Back in the day I played the clarinet...but I haven't touched it in 10 years.
J. Job title:  Senior Technical Processing Expert (sounds exciting doesn't it?)
K. Kids: Husband and dog...oh did you mean children...maybe someday.
L. Live:  Indiana
M. Mom’s name: Paula
N. Nicknames: I don't do nicknames...don't call me Rach
O. Overnight hospital stays: Nope, I'm really not a hospital person.
P. Pet peeve: right now...women wearing see through white pants and shirts.  Ladies we can see your underwear, come on!
Q. Quote from a movie:
Greatest..........Rant..............EVER

R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: One older sister, one older brother-in-law
T. Time you wake up: 6: 30 or 7am
U. Underwear: yes
V. Vegetables you dislike: Brussels sprouts, I want to like them, I just don't.
W. What makes you run late: My husband
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Only teeth
Y. Yummy food you make: Chicken Tacos, Homemade Chex Mix
Z. Zoo- favorite animal:  I love the big cats, leopards, tigers, lions.  I just want to hold them and squish them and call them George.

Adam
A. Age: 29
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you hate: dishes
D. Dogs: I like 'em
E. Essential start to your day: peeing
F. Favorite color: Blue
G. Gold or silver: Silver
H. Height: 5' 7"
I. Instruments you play:  Played the viola in High school.
J. Job title:  Securities Consultant
K. Kids: sticky
L. Live:  Indiana
M. Mom’s name: Mary Jo 
N. Nicknames: Gimpy
O. Overnight hospital stays: When he broke his leg in a car accident. This is also how he got his nickname.
P. Pet peeve: stupid drivers
Q. Quote from a movie:
Now you will receive us.

 
 R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: One older brother, one older sister-in-law
T. Time you wake up: 8:30, 11am on the weekend
U. Underwear: restrictive
V. Vegetables you dislike: All
W. What makes you run late: sleep
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Leg, Teeth
Y. Yummy food you make: The best eggs over medium.
Z. Zoo- favorite animal:  Cheetah

Bonus Points if you can name the movies our quotes came from.

I hope you have a great week.

God Bless
-R

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What did you do on Saturday?

Saturday was one productive day.

Friday night I was totally pooped and went to bed at 8:30...I remember that bedtime as a child and thinking it was awful.  On Friday I crawled to bed at that time.  I don't know what could have possibly have made me that tired, must have been a little sick.  I woke up at 6:30 on Saturday raring to go.  I'm a morning person.  And by that I don't mean I like having conversations with people in the morning, as any of my past roommates can attest.  I like mornings because I naturally wake up early 7ish on most days and I have my alone time.  Like Saturday, I got up fed Pepper, made tea, and got out a blanket I started crocheting last year.  I got a whole row done....it's a really wide blanket for Adam and I to use together on the couch.  I'll post about it someday when I get it done (hopefully this year).  That's what I love about mornings, in the quiet I always manage to get the most done.  Since Adam doesn't like to wake up early he would rather wake up at 11am (he's a night person), I had time to start organizing the garage this morning.  I was prepping for the day because Adam and I had agreed to paint all the doors in our house.  We've lived in this house 3 years and when we moved in we hung new doors and they haven't been painted yet!!! I was tired of it.  Plus Adam had just bought a power sprayer so I decided he should put it to good use.  After the garage was cleaned up I worked on my sewing machine table.  I've had this sewing machine for a year...maybe two and I had it mostly painted in green and then I decided I hated the color, so I painted part of it silver, and hated it.  So then I painted it dark blue and it was ok.  Then we got free samples of a light blue from Valspar called Dazzle and that's the color I finally liked.  It's good to know that after I painted it 4 times it was the free paint that I decided to like.  So here it is after 2 years I can finally use my sewing machine.  I painted the hinges and metal design white.   
This sewing machine was a cheap find at Salvation Army.  Adam had the sewing machine tuned up when we bought it's  just been sitting on the floor waiting for me to use it since then.  I have a t-shirt quilt started from 5 years ago just waiting to be sewn together.  Look for that in a post someday. 
 
So while I was painting this bad boy, Adam had finally woke up and was out front working on a contraption to help us paint the doors.  Adam is an inventive person.  This is his creation. 
 
 The dowel-rods make it adjustable for the different sized doors which was really helpful.  This is set up for the door to sit in the middle and be held on the sides by the screws covered with a plastic cap.  It took some adjustments but we got it to work.   
 
Adam sprayed all doors front and back, and once they were dry I rolled the sides.  The doors look so much better with a white coat.
Here's most of the doors  drying.  The ones on the far left are dry and waiting for me to get the sides done.
But as I said I'm a morning person.  By the time 3:00pm rolls around Adam is just getting into the swing of things, and I'm ready for a nap.  So this is what the rest of the afternoon looked like from my point of view.
 
 Adam would paint the front of a door while I read my favorite magazine. 
Then I would help him move the supporting bracket from the back to the front.  So he could paint the back of the door. 


Then I would go back to reading and watching him paint :)
 
I didn't really enjoy reading all about Halloween (I know I am one of the few that don't like this holiday), but it was better than spray painting.  Adam did a great job.  He finished 12 doors and two sets of double closet doors.  And as I write this up he's outside in the dark wearing a head lamp drying the last couple of doors with a heat gun.  That's right ladies he really is that awesome and he's all mine :)
 
I hope your Saturday was as productive as ours.  I will try to leave you with a smile.  So you can either picture Adam completely covered in paint overspray or you can check this out...
 
 
This is what used to be a sweet potato. Friday night I cleaned the pantry out. ha!
 
 
God Bless
 
-R
 
 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Traverse City Post #2

This is the second post on our Traverse City vacation.  In the first post I outlined all the fun ways we kept busy.  If you missed it, you can find it here. 

In this post I will share all the food we found :)  Remember we weren't reimbursed for anything so all opinions are our own.

Day #1
We only had time for dinner when we showed up so after realizing a lot of the restaurants were closed we decided to order a pizza from That's a Pizza


Dinner: We ordered a deep dish, parmesan and garlic crust with bacon and sausage.  It was pretty good.  We saved a couple of pieces in the fridge for leftovers.


Rating
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 3 stars
Food: 3 1/2 stars

That's a Pizza = We loved it enough to eat it twice in a week.








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Day #2
Breakfast: We researched some of the best restaurants in town and came upon Rounds. 

 If we lived in Traverse City we would get breakfast here all the time.  We give it 5 stars without a doubt.  The waitress was incredible, I don't know if we've ever been served that efficiently and she was so kind.  Adam ordered an omelet covered with sausage gravy and it came with pancakes.  He loved the omelet so much, he was still raving about the leftovers the next day.  I ordered blueberry pancakes.  They were so big, I could only eat half of them, and they were just as good warmed up the next morning.



Rating
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 4 stars
Food: 3 1/2 stars

Rounds =we would eat here once a week if we could










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Lunch:  Once I saw the Grand Traverse Pie Company I knew we had to try it. 



I was dreaming of homemade pies.  This restaurant is basically a Panera with pie.  Adam ordered half a Cesar salad with chicken and half a chicken focaccia sandwich.  The chicken was forgotten on his salad, but he thought the sandwich was good.  I ordered half the Cesar salad, and half the Asparagus Lorraine Quiche.  I was underwhelmed by the food.  A couple of pieces of romaine lettuce does not a Cesar salad make.  The Quiche had a strange flavor that I didn't care for.  For dessert we had a piece of Blueberry crumble and a piece of Strawberry Rhubarb crumble.  They were both ok.  But Adam and I went to a fish fry at a church last summer with homemade pies that totally put this place to shame.  For being a Pie Company there pies were only ok, not what we had expected.

Rating
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 2 stars
Food: 2 1/2 stars

Grand Traverse Pie Company = not worth your time





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Dinner: We wanted to have a quick dinner so we ran across the road to Don's Drive In...talk about a dive. 
 This restaurant has oldies paraphernalia on the wall, but it was dirty and the service was terrible.  The food is basic; hamburgers and shakes, which is fine.  The waitress forgot our milkshakes and when I asked for them she said "sure".  We paid $23 for a burger, a grilled cheese, fries and two shakes.  It wasn't worth $10.  We won't be going back and we wouldn't suggest it for anyone else. 


Rating
Atmosphere: 2 stars
Service: 1 star
Food: 2 1/2 stars  

Don's Drive In = Avoid this restaurant.










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Day #2
Breakfast:  We planned on eating our breakfast leftovers from yesterday but I still wanted some fresh coffee.  So we walked across the road to Crow about it Coffee Shop
This cute little coffee shop is just what I was looking for.  I ordered coffee and Adam ordered hot chocolate.  I had the pumpkin French toast muffin, and Adam had the blueberry muffin, along with our leftovers from Day #1.  The coffee was good, Adam's hot chocolate was great and the muffins were pretty good.  We're going back on Day #3 for root beer and they have a mug I have to buy


Rating
Atmosphere: 4 stars
Service: 3 stars
Food: 3 1/2 stars  

Crow about it Coffee Shop = A nice coffee shop







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Lunch:  Underground Cheesecake
 



At the underground cheesecake we decided just to get cheesecake and not to do lunch.  We left with 4 pieces; Oh My, Turtle Sundae, Strawberry, and Black on Bottom.  They were all very good.  I was surprised that the strawberry one was my favorite, it was so creamy.

Ratings
Atmosphere: 2 stars
Service: 3 stars
Food: 3 1/2 stars  

Underground Cheesecake = A nice place to get dessert to go.










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So we ended up at Xylo Bistro for a late lunch. 



Let me tell you, if you're in Traverse City, you need to try this place.  The service was impeccable and the food was wonderful.  Adam tried the French dip and I tried the house Turkey sandwich.  Yes I thought the Turkey sandwich was wonderful there was greens on it, red onion, some sort of sauce and a cranberry compote.  It was the best sandwich I have ever had bar none.  I can't believe that's true and it didn't even have bacon on it...ha!                  
                                                          Ratings
Atmosphere: 4 stars
Service: 4 stars
Food: 3 1/2 stars  (Adam gave it 3, I gave it 4)

Xylo Bistro = I can't wait to go back to this restaurant.







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Dinner
At the Turtle Creek Casino there are 3 restaurants and a coffee shop.  We tried the Deli, looking for casual dining.  It was another dive.  Just greasy pizza and bad milk shakes.  Makes me think we should have tried the buffet. 

Ratings
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 2 stars
Food: 2 stars  

DELI = A waste of time.





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Day 4
Breakfast
Omelette Shoppe where omelets are king.  
 



 



I think they were short staffed this morning because the hostess was also clearing tables.  So the service started off a bit slow, but our waitress was very good.  Adam had another omelet with sausage gravy and hash browns.  He loved it.  I had a broccoli and cheese quiche with fresh fruit on the side.  It was very good.  We also shared a cinnamon roll and it was amazing.  I mean after the first bite we both closed our eyes and groaned, "mmmmm!".  We considered buying a dozen when we walked out.

Ratings
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 3 stars
Food: 3 stars  
Cinnamon Roll: 5 stars

Omelette Shoppe = We would go back here again.

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Lunch
Spaghetti Jim's for lunch. 

 



I read about this little restaurant in a Traverse City magazine.  The article was about their fresh pasta so I couldn't wait to try it out.  This is a little hole in the wall place.  And when they say little restaurant they weren't kidding.  There's only room for about 10 people and you're sitting next to the kitchen and you can see what's going on because there are only half walls.  It has the feeling of being in a family's kitchen.  It's very quaint.  Adam tried the Panini with prosciutto, mozz cheese, and roasted red pepper.  His plate was completely cleaned.  I had the spaghetti and meatballs.  well it was only one very large meatball.  This dish was pretty good, nothing to write home about.  We also tried their cannoli.  They had a chocolate and a raspberry one.  The chocolate one was not good, the raspberry was exceptional.  The raspberries were terrific.

Ratings
Atmosphere: 2 stars
Service: 3 stars
Food: 3 stars  
Raspberry Cannoli: 4 stars

Spaghetti Jim's = A quaint place to get lunch




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Day 5
Breakfast
We experienced the best food today.  Chez Peres/ Patisserie Amie is a French restaurant that won't disappoint. 
 










The waitress was very kind and explained the French specials without being condescending at all.  Because of her kindness Adam and I ended up getting exactly what we wanted.  Adam tried the crepes one apricot and one strawberry.  The strawberry tasted exactly like my mother's jam and that is the highest compliment possible.  They were topped with Cr√®me Fraise which we've decided is wonderful.  I had croissants dipped in beignet batter and fried then covered in powered sugar.  They were fantastic.  We've rarely had food this good and service to match. 



Ratings
Atmosphere: 4 stars
Service: 5 stars
Food: 5 stars  


Chez Peres/ Patisserie Amie =  You'd be a fool to skip this restaurant. 







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Dinner
I read about the Blue Tractor in the guide books. 


We saved this gem for last and we should have went sooner.  It looks like a typical bbq place, but the food is outstanding.  Adam had the pulled pork on a pretzel roll.  You can win Adam's heart with any kind of pretzel bread :)  His sandwich was too big to finish he boxed up half of it.  I had the bbq pulled pork mac and cheese with gruyere.  It was amazing, but the serving size was ridiculous.  I took an entire box home, it was enough to serve 4 people comfortably.  We also tried the bacon cornbread (how could we not) and it was just as good as you want it to be.  Don't miss it. 












 Ratings
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 3 stars
Food: 4 stars  


 Blue Tractor = A great bbq place with huge portions.







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Dessert
Because we hadn't had enough to eat, ha! Adam decided he "needed" ice cream.  So we stopped at Moomers.  

 
 
 
 

Adam had a scoop of cupcake, and a scoop of cow tracks.  I had a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of raspberry cheese cake.  We were both pleased with our ice cream.  I'm a huge fan of waffle cones :)






Ratings
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 3 stars
Food: 3 stars  


 Moomers = A nice place to get ice cream.