Weekending | The weekend of finances

Last night the Mr. said “weekends go by so fast.” #nokidding

On Friday night I killed my step goal with a run after work and then the Mr. and I shared a pizza (being in PJs by 7:15 p.m.). When I did not immediately jump into watching a movie hubs started taxes and I saw no reason to slow down the train. I ate all the popcorn he made that I said initially that I did not want, he finished around 11, we watched a Shark Tank, and called it a night.

Saturday brought with it cleaning (me), retirement work (hubs), and then a 4.5 hour walk through neighborhoods in our area. We stopped for ice cream during our walk and a cute boutique was having a sale and I grabbed some Rifle Paper Company cards for upcoming events worth much celebration (wedding and babies) and some stationary with a “T” (because it still is not getting old). After we dragged ourselves home and cleaned up I made homemade nachos. Y’all, if you’re ever in the position to get a piece of Le Creuset—the braiser is one of the only two pieces I’d whole-heartedly recommend (the other being a dutch oven because obvi). I used ground turkey instead of beef brisket and we inhaled them (our 20,000 steps may have contributed to how much we ate). I had grabbed “Everest” while running errands and we watched that—yikes. It was intense and sad. I was reading up on climbing Everest afterwards, and it posed a great question to me—a situation that is frequently being encountered is that people can (and do) hire Sherpas to do a TON of the work—setting the guide ropes, building their camp, etc. I read a quote that some people who climb do not even know how to set themselves onto the guide rope. My question is—is that even “climbing” Everest, if you do not know the basic fundamentals of climbing, or is just surviving a tough situation for a few weeks that you willing pay a lot of money to survive?

Daylight savings kicked our tails. When we woke up for church we both gruffly decided “NOPE.” I did our laundry (and a spot of online shopping), Joe did homework, and we took another walk (not quite as long). While walking we called our family members and close friends and struck out on most of our calls. I caught up with the bestie for a bit, we got home, finished up supper (Mississippi roast, minus the pepperchinis, oil, and buttermilk, and only using 2 tbsp. of butter + ½ cup of beef broth seasoned with cayenne), and then launched into a discussion of our savings plan (note to self-never start that conversation at bed time).

Advertisements

Weekending | March 7

Another weekend, come and gone. What happened:

Friday brought a run to the library and some stair climbing at the gym, before a supper of broccoli and lasagna. I fell asleep to the Incredibles, and was out for the night by 10:30 p.m.

Saturday morning the Mr. took in his car for an oil change while I introduced a new friend to Athens! She’s getting married next year and I took her to I Do, I Do, where I got my wedding dress, for her to try on dresses. There are few more enjoyable ways than I can think of, then spending a Saturday morning surrounded by beautiful wedding dresses! After a fun and happy 2.5 hours trying on dress after dress, we went to downtown Athens. We grabbed lunch at Trappeze (I missed you, Veggie Rubens) then walked into some different boutiques. Not shopping for the past couple months gave me a generous shopping budget, but there was NOTHING fun out. A J. Crew has since arrived in Athens (which is probably good for my wallet that it was not there while I was there) and I found a pair of work slacks, but that was about the extent of the finds. I tried on this lovely Lilly dress, but wasn’t in love-love.

We took a shopping break for Last Resort cake, hit up a few more shops, then headed back to Atlanta. I was still full from my Ruben so I had popcorn with hubby before again, falling asleep before 11.

Sunday morning I woke up with a headache (that led to a high level of irritability…sorry dear) and we tried to make it through church before I had to go. We grabbed a couple food items for the week, went home and Mr. made breakfast while I cleaned the floors (my head only hurt if I was sitting still…sinus pressure maybe?) and started laundry, then we went on a quarterly beer run to get some beers for our fridge. Thanks to a gift card and some sales we came home with WAY too much, and J had a lot of fun organizing what is now an entire beer fridge to his heart’s content. We went on a walk and talked houses for about an hour before heading home for J to do homework while I made his lunch and our dinner for the week.

Lunch-what I’m calling “engineer salad”–Black beans-asphalt; green bell pepper, yellow corn, red bell pepper-traffic lights…maybe I missed my calling as an elementary school teacher?

Dinner-chicken cordon blue. It was surprisingly easy to put together and J called it one of the fanciest meals he’d ever had…and tastiest, so that’s a win! I loosely followed this recipe, but omitted the butter and sprayed the cooking dish with cooking spray instead, added fresh cracked pepper to the flour, and added a ton of parsley to the breadcrumbs and dashed on top. I served it with lima beans and bread (we love our carbs). After dinner I worked on uploading some photos to my “website,” realized I thought I lost almost all my photos and realized I needed to double back them up (yikes!), and then after laying out clothes for Monday promptly fell asleep.

Weekending | The start to March

This weekend was another of those you blink and miss it weekends. On Friday I had some ramifications from throwing out my back and I found myself unable to move for most of the morning, having to use some sick time. When I got home from work I took myself on a long easy walk before meeting J at home for our usual Friday night pizza party. I played around with some cocktails—brandy and peach ice cream for J, muddled blueberries with vodka and limeoncello for me (note—it needed champagne). Saturday morning brought with it an early start as J was volunteering at our church and I was meeting with a friend regarding a photo project. After we wrapped up I completed our meal plan and went to the grocery store. I walked on the wild side and grabbed TWO red-boxes—The Martian and The Intern. I got home to a pitiful J who had spent 6 hours pulling up carpet, rendering himself exhausted. While he recuperated on the couch I prepared dinner—homemade black bean soup and mini quesadillas. We watched The Martian and I was let down, as I expected to be. I also REALLY enjoyed the book so I did not have too high of expectations. The movie was good, but do yourself a favor—read the book. I read it in about a day and a half.

Sunday brought with it church and a surprise date by the Mr. We went to a fun new restaurant before walking around Grant Park for a couple hours. We got home and J did homework while I meal prepped (veggie pitas for J’s lunch, lasagna for dinner) before heating up more soup and relaxing with The Intern. The Intern was full of clichés and nearly entirely improbable, but it was cute.

Weekending | February 20-22

Friday night started off with a visit to a new brewery we had not heard of-Eventide. They had one beer that I found acceptable (heavy on the chocolate and coffee) but since I was the acting DD I had a couple sips and then called it a night. Unfortunately J did not really care for any of the beers. We are always happy to cross a new place off the list and we were happy with the visit!

Saturday was a classic “DO ALL THE THINGS.” J’s Saturday was filled with an online defensive driving course (lower insurance!) and school work. I took off early to grocery shop, and then got home and cleaned the fridge, cleaned the apartment, ran, and then cleaned up myself in preparation for a game night. Our friends brought pizza and I made a strawberry-feta-spinach salad with a homemade pomegranate vinaigrette and a cheesecake ball to dip chocolate graham crackers, animal crackers, and strawberries in. I have a 5-section serving tray so I rounded it out with blackberries and all was devoured. We introduced our friends to one of our favorite games, Ticket to Ride, and one of our friends KILLED us. It was her first time playing and I think she got one of the highest scores we have ever witnessed.

On Sunday we dragged ourselves out of bed to church, to Trader Joe’s to pick up a birthday gift for the father-in-law, and then home.  I made us lunch (crust less quiche and grits), and then spent 2.5 hours in the kitchen prepping all the food for the week—I prepped beef and barley soup, spiralized sweet potatoes and baked chicken for this casserole, processed fruits and veggies, cooked green beans, and made lentils for my lunch. After that it was my turn for the online defensive driving and J got a haircut and did (more) homework. We gobbled up our soup at dinner, I aced my defensive driving test, and we went to bed way too late for a Sunday night.

Valentine’s Weekend 2016

On Friday night dear friends came over for dinner. We each made two appetizers (I made pigs in a blanket and spinach dip) and chased dinner with lava cakes. I used a recipe from Food Network (I always thought you had to have fancy ramekins to make lava cakes; instead I found the cheapest ceramic custard cups from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and they worked great) and they came out SO tasty. Word of caution-use more PAM than you think you need. 3 of the 4 stuck in the cup and did not plop out as beautifully as I would have wanted them too.

Saturday brought with it a slow start, meal planning, and a late breakfast prepared by J before I went to the grocery store. Roads and the grocery store were PACKED. At the grocery store when I was unloading my cart on the conveyer belt this older couple kept bumping and crowding me to the extent that I turned around to say, “you’re not getting out of here till I do. Please let me finish.” After getting home the Mr. and I unloaded groceries then I went to the gym before coming back home to blog before responding to pleas of “please start dinner!” Our “fancy-pants-day-early” Valentine’s dinner was shrimp and salmon Alfredo with roasted asparagus. The alfredo was SO tasty—the recipe called for no heavy cream or butter (though I did use 1.5 tbsp of butter instead of the EVOO it called for because we rarely use butter and well, butter makes it better).

IMG_1595

Sunday my favorite Z came over for breakfast (homemade waffles) before J and I went to church. We really enjoy Shark Tank so J was excited to find a restaurant that was featured on the show to go to for an inexpensive(ish) lunch—Tom Chee.

IMG_1597

To our disappointment, it was just okay. My sammie was pretty greasy and the soup was too sweet. Following lunch we ran to some stores, upgraded our bathroom decoration situation (photo), and found J some work shoes. We shopped around to a few stores and were able to find him Cole Hahn’s he wanted for a great price—worth the extra leg work! After we got home we relaxed a bit (Atlanta shopping is no joke) and then enjoyed the chicken and dumplings I started that morning in the crockpot. I neglected to double the dumpling recipe (major fail) but we’ll make it stretch a few days! Following dinner I packed our lunches, rebelled and neglected the dishes, and set up my new Fitbit to the T-family competition may (finally) commence.

IMG_3357 2

Lobster socks for Valentine’s Day…because he’s my lobster.

Five on Friday | February 12

Catching up!

My usual routine is to cook big on Sundays, coast the rest of the week. I changed my MO this week and did not cook on Sunday and instead cooked smaller meals throughout the week. Y’all. I was in kitchen every darn night for at least an hour and a half. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen (and the Mr. was home late every night) but still. I could have been…who am I kidding. This week it was fine. All my Atlanta near and dear were busy and I wasn’t in the mood to go out in the arctic chill.

Speaking of being in the kitchen the meals I made this week were:

*Tuna noodle salad (a T-family recipe that J really enjoys for lunch

IMG_1545

Or with dinner on leftover night

*Chicken picata that I served with lima beans, corn, roasted okra, and bread

*African peanut stew (I would have liked to lick my bowl).

IMG_1546

Cooking on Sunday for the T family did not happen because instead we were joining some friends at a Super Bowl party. The nibbles were A+++, the game meh, the commercials, snore. Except for the Heinz commercial with the Dachshund dressed up as hot dogs. I died.

I received business cards at work this week. I’ve never had business cards before and I am completely thrilled.

Driving, my commute in the morning takes less than 10 minutes (usually around 7). In the afternoon it can push 30-45 minutes. This week I had to be in extra early so J drove me two days and I drove the other, and now a parking pass is looking pretty enticing. Or it was until I had to drive white-knuckled home one evening. I missed my reading on the train time, zooming past traffic!

Ski Trip 1.0 Review

One fateful day a few months ago the hubs was talking to some friends about upcoming travel plans and they mentioned how they were going on a family ski trip out west, even though they never skied before. J’s ears perked up and said, well, Diana wants to learn to ski (she does? She does.) and y’all should probably get on skis before going west…let’s take a trip to go learn! Because I rarely say no to adventure I said yes to this and found my only clothing purchases in January being ski gear. To say that J was enthused would be a MAJOR understatement. He was off his rocker excited. Packed days in advance. Ready to go-go-go.

The couple we travelled with drove so J and I found ourselves backseat passengers for the duration of the trip. As we were loading our gear in the parking lot I realized I had forgotten my jacket, so J took care of darting up the stairs to grab it before departure (because apparently a jacket is necessary when hitting the slopes). The drive up was uneventful and we arrived late to the frozen mountain.

We were in a great rental right on the mountain, which had great views. Do you think that when people get either a mountain property they think to themselves, “yes! I can decorate with bear EVERYTHING now?” because every mountain property I’ve ever been in has been a little heavy on the kitschy mountain décor (the same though applies to beach properties and decorating with seashells). The kitchen was well stocked and we brought the bulk of food up with us (more on what we stopped for later) and did not eat out once (not including fast food in route there and back).

My dearest Mr. is not a morning person, but Friday morning he was rushing out the door to get to the slopes. We got to the ski resort, grabbed our pass and skis, and J took off for the slopes while the rest of us wen to ski school. I knew that J was comfortable on skis, but he’s a legitimate near expert on skis. He was zipping down black diamonds while I was eating snow on the ski yard. Anyways, back to ski school. Our ski instructor left a little desired when it came to communication, but fortunately J is an amazing teacher and was able to right that instructors wrongs.

I spent hours on the bunny slope killing my legs in those d&% ski boots till I decided it was near the end of the day and I was ready for a green. Guess what? I wasn’t. I still didn’t have turning down (no pun intended). I didn’t understand yet that you do not get hairpin stops in skis. Guess who lost her mind on the green slope? THIS GIRL. There were tears. There was cussing. It was bad y’all. But I got down, J still wanted to be married to me, and I was done. Fortunately our compadres were done as well so we chilled in the loge while J zipped down the slopes for another hour or so. It was decided in the slopes that the bottle of wine we brought for each night was not sufficient so additional librations were stopped for at the Food Lion on the way home.

That evening I cooked dinner (beef stroganoff) and we watched Jurassic World before an early bedtime. The next morning I woke up with not just bruises but WELTS wherever the boot had a buckle on my leg. We didn’t think that I’d be able to handle the pain of the boots on my legs another day so J and the husband of the other couple took off to go snowboard while the wife of the other couple and I spent the morning reading, napping, talking, and I took a walk. When the guys got home they got cleaned up and then we played games and they (the other couple) made supper.

The next morning we were awake bright and early to get home for a peaceful Sunday.

So I don’t forget…when skiing:

  • For the love, never, ever, EVER lean back. Stand straight or lean forward. It feels weird, but go with it—it will slow you down. Keep your knees bent too when leaning. But DO NOT LEAN BACK.
  • When you go to make the wedge/pizza/V/whatever you choose to call it…push your legs open and then point your ski tips. Your knees should be bent at this point too.
  • You don’t get hairpin stops on skis. Be okay with not being in charge.
  • Apparently when you turn, wedge, lean, turn your skis…I’ll keep working on that one.
  • When falling throw yourself to the side. Don’t fall backwards. You’ll keep moving. Trust me.
  • When getting back on skis, get on the downhill one first. And be perpendicular to the mountain.
  • Go with your best friend. It’s 1000x better that way. Bonus points if they happen to be a great teacher who looks hot on skis.

Speaking of the best friend tip, I have to brag on my J for a moment. Getting ready to go he insisted on getting the warmest clothing articles possible for me, and double checked my packing and dressing to make sure I was warm. He stayed with me on the bunny slope for nearly 2 hours, helping me get comfortable. Most notably, he was a SAINT to me while I was being a terror going down the slope. He made skiing the most positive experience possible, and for that reason I cannot wait to grow in my skills in this sport he enjoy so much.