Not so impulsive, after all

I am pretty proud of the way Drew and I held back this past weekend. We went to a local furniture store to check out their selection of rocker-recliners because ours is really on its last legs. This particular store has a clearance center (mostly floor models, I imagine) so we went there first. They had some really nice pieces for sale, including some random odds and ends. We even saw some home theater chairs. Not exactly what we were looking for, but nevertheless… Unfortunately, we didn’t have any luck in the rocking chair department. Why are all of these recliners so huge and overstuffed? Blech. When we got our La-Z-Boy (nine or ten years ago), I thought it was enormous. These days it looks tiny compared to the ridiculously large stuff on sale.

We continued to browse around a bit and found a hutch that we loved and a couch that would have been perfect for our living room (especially now that we have the den and the living room is not taking so much abuse). We were probably about five minutes away from buying it when I mentioned that we really don’t need it. Sigh… a hard thing to admit because it was a great price and a lovely piece of furniture. But the truth is that there are other things we’re better off doing first (like paving the driveway). I also exercised some extreme self control in January when I saw a nearly $300 sewing machine on clearance for around $70. It was so, so tempting. But I held back and decided that I’d rather put the money toward a screen door so I can open up the front door in nice weather and let in the breeze.

Damn it. When did I become so responsible?

Steak salad with roasted onions and cauliflower

steak salad with roasted onions and cauliflowerI had originally planned this for tonight’s dinner, but decided to make it for lunch instead. I grilled a London Broil that had been marinating, and set it atop some salad greens with blue cheese crumbles. I also roasted some cauliflower (a la Dara) and onions to go with it. Quite a yummy lunch. And just because I love you all so much, here’s the marinade I use. It was Drew’s recipe, which was his mom’s, which was her friend Connie’s. I imagine it changed a little along the way, but I wanted to credit everyone!

Marinade for London Broil Steak
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
Worstershire sauce
A few garlic cloves, diced (this week I used jarred, minced garlic because I was lazy)

Combine all ingredients and pour over steak. Let the steak marinate for at least 24 hours. I’ve let it go two or three days. Grill on both sides, being careful not to overcook. Let steak rest for at least 10 minutes. Cut and serve.

Week’s Eats

mpm8.jpgI’ve been pretty lame with the menu plans, lately. Honestly, I’m just uninspired this time of year. I was recently telling a friend that nothing is really calling out to me, and cooking is more of a chore than anything else. I need to break out of my rut. Although, I’ve been reading over all my cookbooks and dreaming of all the fresh produce we’ll be getting this spring and summer. So many recipes to try! Alas, this week is pretty run-of-the-mill. Here you go:

Sunday: Eat out (Friendly’s)
Monday: Hawaiian pizza, oven fries, salad
Tuesday: Buffalo chicken salad
Wednesday: London broil, roasted cauliflower, salad
Thursday: White chili
Friday/Saturday: I’m not planning meals for these days because I will probably be heading up to/home from Massachusetts. My cousin’s baby’s birthday party is on Saturday, so we’ll be going to that, of course!

I’m hoping to start taking more food photos, so look forward to that soon (I hope!) For more recipe ideas, head over to Organizing Junkie.

Wake up with coffee & a meme

Apparently I’m the only person who calls it a “snowthrower.” But according to Andrew who left a comment in the previous post, the machines technically throw the snow, not blow it. So technically I am right. LOL! Anyway. Let’s stop talking about this. I honestly can’t believe I spent as much time on it as I did. And so, I bring you fluff (a.k.a. a meme I found on LiveJournal):

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant? A. McDonalds. I know it’s awful, but I love the Big Mac.

Q. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? A. Too many to list! Gigi’s, Double-O Grille, Terrapin, Starr Place… they’re all good.

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant? A. 15-20%

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? A. Pizza

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice? A. Chicken & broccoli

Q. What do you like to put on your toast? A. Butter, of course.

Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer? A. I find photo wallpaper really distracting — it’s just a shade of blue.

Q. How many televisions are in your house? A. Too many.

Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed? A. Right handed

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body? A. Two babies that wouldn’t co-operate with nature and had to be surgically removed.

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted? A. Noah.

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious? A. No.

Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? A. I’m not sure…

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? A. I’m happy with what I’ve got.

Q. What color do you think looks best on you? A. Black.

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake? A. I’m sure I have.

Q. Have you ever saved some one’s life? A. No

Q. Has someone ever saved yours? A. No

Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? A. Nah.

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000? A. No.

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000? A. Considering that at this point the only real reason I continue to blog is to make a pittance, and $50,000 would be several years’ worth of blogging income in one fell swoop? You bet!!!

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000? A. Nah.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? A. No.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000? A. No

Q: What is in your left pocket? A: My PJs don’t have pockets. Sorry!

Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie? A: Yes!

Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower? A: Stand.

Q: Could you live with roommates? A: I did for years.

Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own? A: One or two.

Q: Last time you had a run-in with the cops? A: That would be last October when I got pulled over.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? A: Do we ever really know?

Q: Last Friend you talked to? A: Drew.

Q: Last person who called you? Drew.

Q: Last person you saw? A: Noah

Q: Number? A: 7

Q: Season? A: Spring

Q: Missing someone? A: Yes

Q: Mood? A: Kind of cranky.

Q: Listening to? A: The fishtank and “Teletubbies” in the background.

Q: Watching? A: Nothing

Q: Worrying about? A: Oh you know… stuff.

Q: First place you went this morning? A: To get Noah out of bed before he woke up Jake.

Q: What can you not wait to do? A: Go to bed tonight. (You think I’m kidding?)

Q: What’s the last movie you saw? A: “Hostage”

Q: Do you smile often? A: Yes

Q: Are you a friendly person? A: Usually.

Which is it?

Though they are the same thing, it seems that “snowthrower” is the lesser recognized term for that wonderful machine that helps clear the white stuff from your driveway. A quick Google search turned up around 200,000 results for “snowthrower” and about 894,000 for “snowblower.” Interesting: Even when you use the keyword “snowblower” Sears seems to call the machines “Snow Throwers.” Lowes also seems to favor “Snow Thrower.” Toro, a manufacturer, uses both terms on its site, and so does Northern Tool. We could also get into whether or not one word or two is correct, but really — let’s not split hairs over this, right? So I am curious… what do you call it?

Snow Day

Cancellation notice sent from Jake’s school? Check.
Mini blueberry muffins made and then devoured by two hungry little guys? Check.
Lesson on using the snowthrower before hubby left for work? Check.

Now to just think of some activities to do today. My snow day idea stash is quickly running out. I do believe make-your-own-pizzas will be on the menu for tonight, or something equally hands-on. I also have a backup stash of videos and DVDs. While it would certainly be awesome to have a crazy home theatre, complete with tv lift cabinets for a flat screen, the boys really don’t care what they see Tweety Bird on, LOL…

They’re saying we could get up to a foot of snow by the time the storm is through. Blech. Don’t worry, though, I won’t bore you with another Deckwatch! I’m hoping I won’t have too much trouble handling the snowthrower. I’m a little nervous because I’ve never used it before, but I just can’t (er, rather, don’t want to) spend hours shovelling again. Drew gave me a quick lesson and it seems easy enough, so hopefully it will be!

Irritating snow aside, I’m relieved school was cancelled because Jake has had a cold and I kept him home on Tuesday, but he had a nagging cough the past two days (though much improved). Today he only starts coughing when he’s running around, so I am grateful that he’ll have an extra-long weekend to continue to rest. I’m sure he’ll be back to 100% on Monday!

Well, off to make a cup of vanilla spice coffee and watch the flakes fall. Think Spring!

Total Eclipse of the Heart Moon

eclipse.jpgIt didn’t dawn on me until late, but the lunar eclipse was a great chance to try out my zoom lens on my new camera! Luckily I realized this around 7:30, which gave me plenty of time to play around and take some practice shots. Sure, I could have been excersizing on some strength equipment, working off the chocolate chip cookies I’d scarfed down early, but instead I chose to freeze my little butt off outside! Actually, I didn’t even do that. I had a great view from my front steps so I just stepped outside every 15 minutes or so to check. Considering I didn’t even use a tripod, I think my first real attempts at moon phots came out decent. The last photo I took, just before 10, is pretty blurry, but there was no way I was getting a better shot at that point. The eclipse was very pretty and we were lucky to have clear skies. It was pretty remarkable how many more stars I could see when the moon was blocked out. (And we live in a very rural, very dark area to begin with! No streetlights on our road.) At any rate, I thought it was very cool and I’m glad I didn’t forget about it.

What’s New

  • I’ve been cleaning like a madwoman lately, and it feels so good! I’ve gone through a lot of old magazines and ripped out recipes or any articles I wanted to save and recycled the rest. Maybe I could convince Drew to do the same with his home-improvement magazines. I doubt we’ll ever need to install a tankless water heater – do we really need to keep the issue highlighting them?
  • I mailed in Jake’s registration for tee-ball and now I’m just waiting to get some kind of confirmation back. I had talked to someone before sending off the application and check, so we should be all set, but I’d really like to hear for sure.
  • Spring can tease us anytime now. I know we still have plenty of winter left, but would a couple nice days kill you, Mother Nature? Snow tomorrow. Blech.
  • I am really tired today. And a little punchy too. So don’t mess with me, LOL..
  • I just realized how early Easter is this year! Next to Thanksgiving, Easter is my favorite holiday. I’m keeping the boys’ Easter baskets way simple this year. They’re going to be spoiled by their grandparents, anyway. At Marshall’s over the weekend I found these beautifully painted bunny sugar cookies. They’ll each get a small basket with a layer of foil-wrapped chocolate eggs and jelly beans on the bottom, and the sugar cookie propped in the middle. Simple!
  • But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stockpile some Cabury eggs for myself, shh!

Spread the love

Since the bouquet Drew gave me for Valentine’s Day (the right-most photo here) was starting to look a little sad, I decided to split it up into a few mini-arrangements and spread them throughout the house. I do this a lot, but it never fails to amaze me how many different looks you can get from one bunch of flowers!

Amazing Sunday Brunch!

Yet again, I’ve let several days lapse here. I was plenty occupied all weekend, I guess and barely turned the computer on at all — something I really enjoyed. In fact, I had to force myself to get some blog writing done today. I just couldn’t get into it. At any rate…

We had a lovely weekend and a fantastic brunch on Sunday morning! We went to one of our favorite local restaurants, Double-O Grille in Rhinebeck. Turns out that Sunday was the first time they were offering a buffet, and we were really excited to be one of the first people to try it. Oh, my goodness was it amazing! The selections were delicious: smoked salmon, bagels, and cream cheese; scrambled eggs; French toast; Chicken Marsala; pasta; a variety of salads; different pastries… It all was so good and we were so full when we left that we joked about gaining about five pounds from that meal, LOL. But if you live in the mid-Hudson Valley or find yourself passing through, you’ve got to head over there for brunch. You will *not* be disappointed!