Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oh, goodness

Tomorrow, after work, I will be doing this:

Okay, I probably won't look like that doing it, but I will be attempting it! I'm going to an aerial silk class with a couple of girls that I work with. I've loved seeing it in the Cirque du Soleil shows, but who knew I would have a chance to try it out?! I'll let you know how it goes...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Big Weekend, Continued

Today was another big day. After 8 weeks of intensive training, our little Jax graduated from puppy class!
She can now sit on command, lay down, stay (sometimes), sit when greeting strangers (sometimes), shake (it's so cute!) and walk nicely on a leash (for her Dad, at least). I know we have a ways to go to continue training her, but I am proud of our little girl and how much she's learned for only being 5 months old.

(Our attempt at a class photo - notice she is the biggest one by far with two shitzus and a toy yorkie in the mix)

Big weekend!

We had a busy weekend, starting with a lovely (long over due) dinner date on Friday night, followed by the (disappointing) Magic game. Then, after running some errands on Saturday morning, we headed over to my mother-in-law's house to see if Jax was a water dog. We're heading up to my parents' lake house in a couple weeks, so we wanted to "test the water" (pardon the pun) to see if Jax likes swimming. And the verdict is...

video

She does! (Sort of.) She jumped in all by herself the first time, and a couple times after, but I don't know if she totally loved it. She was more interested in exploring a new yard and eating the little citrus fruit that had fallen off the trees.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Leaping Lizards!

A recent development in the yard is a swarm of "June bugs" appearing at dusk each night. I have never seen such a thing before, but R swears it's normal. What seems like thousands of little buzzing, flying beetles come out and swarm around the grass right when it's getting dark. I think it's gross and a little bit creepy.
Well, Jax absolutely loves it and has become quite the bug hunter for these little beetles. In fact, she chases them around the yard, leaping through the air to catch them, so much that we have likened it to the Planet Earth video of the flat belly lizards eating flies by the river. If you haven't watched the Planet Earth series, I highly recommend it. And, since I can't take a video of the real thing outside when it's so dark out, here is a visual for you:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Love your Mother

In honor of Earth Day yesterday, our office building had some "green" representatives stop by to demonstrate different services they offered. One of them was giving away free cacti and succulent plants, which I gladly accepted. Now I have a little green for my cube. Good thing it doesn't require natural light (florescent bulbs are just fine) and only needs to be watered once a month!

No wonder

I've been feeling a little under the weather the past couple of days. At first I was worried it might be a cold. Then I saw this...

Gotta love allergy season!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Eat your veggies!

I go through spurts of craving lots of veggies (as opposed to those other spurts of wanting all things bad for me) and since we had asparagus left in the fridge from Easter weekend, I wanted to find a recipe to use it up. I tried out this new one for "Mock Risotto" from Food Network last night and it was yum! I added shrimp to mine, but I am sure it would be tasty with chicken or other forms of protein, too. Maybe even edamame instead of the green peas.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups instant brown rice
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese, plus more for passing, if desired
  • 1/4 cup minced chives or scallion greens

Directions
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until soft and just beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add rice and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove cover and spread asparagus and bell pepper on top of the simmering rice—do not stir into the rice mixture. Replace cover and continue simmering, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the asparagus is bright green but still crisp, about 5 minutes.
Add peas and cream cheese; stir until the mixture is creamy and the cheese is incorporated. Return to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup Asiago (or Parmesan). Serve topped with chives (or scallions) and additional grated cheese.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Blessings

Happy Easter! What a wonderful day, and perfect chance to reflect on the blessings in life. Christ is risen and offers eternal life, which in itself is the most amazing gift. On top of that, I have a wonderful family who granted us the gift of their company for Easter weekend. Add that to my wonderful husband and loving pup, every one's health and happiness, and I am quite blessed.

We had a great visit with the family over the last few days. To keep the words brief, here is a recap in photos (the ones I have, at least...Mom had the most on her camera).
Yummy grilled dinner with everyone on Friday night. The weather was gorgeous! (However, my ankles are pretty itchy from all the bug bites...how did they find me amidst all the citronella?!)
Scenic boat tour through Winter Park on Saturday. Even as a local, I was pretty impressed with the ride!
This is Mr. Rogers' house (or at least he lived there for a few years while a student at Rollins College). Yes, the Mr. Rogers. Nice.

Enjoying some new varietals at the Wine Room. I tried port and ice wine for the first time...waaaay too sweet for me.

Our delicious Easter "linner" (lunch and dinner) after getting home from church this morning.

Our family portrait, out in the backyard.

And, after all the company was gone and the house was tidy, there was nothing left to do but nap. What a great weekend!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

Since I probably won't be able to post tomorrow, an early Happy Easter from our house. Have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mixology

Bracketology may be over for the season but mixology is good all year round. And while the Arnold Palmer Invitational (formerly Bay Hill) was last weekend, that doesn't mean I can't share my new favorite adult beverage...what we have fondly nicknamed the "Dirty Arnie". I'm sure Mr. Palmer wouldn't appreciate his namesake drink, an equal mix of sweet tea and lemonade, being twisted in such a manner but I know you'll love it.


It starts with some Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, which we discovered in SC during our wedding week. Mix in some lemonade (I like Crystal Light since it's calorie-friendly) and voila! A delicious, refreshing drink perfect for warm weather and all the other golf tournaments of the season. Perhaps I will enjoy a glass while watching the Masters with my family this weekend.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bracketology

Right before the deadline, I entered my office tournament for the NCAA Men's Basketball bracket. I haven't really followed college b-ball since UGA hasn't been that great but I wanted to take a shot at it since it's always the girl that doesn't know much that ends up winning the whole thing.
Out of the possible 62 correct picks for the whole tournament, I currently have 42 correct putting me at 41st overall. Not too great, but not too bad considering I took all of 5 minutes to select my picks. And I did happen to pick UNC in the finals, which are tonight, so that has to count for something, right?
Oh, and the person currently in 1st is a guy that probably does know a thing or two about b-ball. Oh, well. Maybe next year!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Countdown to company

My family is visiting in t-minus 4 days and I couldn't be more excited. Today was the last big push to get yard work and house work done before the final cleaning on Wednesday. I think the house is looking good and I can't wait to show off our new updates! You'll have to stay tuned to learn about Extreme Home Makeover, Part 2, though, because I've wanted to keep it a surprise for our guests.