Monday, April 29, 2013

Wicked Weekend

J and I took a serious break from home improvements to head up to Kalamazoo for a long weekend of relaxing, family and a chance to see Wicked again!  We found out in December that we had tickets and I have seriously been looking forward to it since!  Wicked is J's favorite musical, although his list of attended musicals is pretty small.  It has quickly moved up my list, too!!

It was a seriously amazing show.  The girl who played Glinda was amazing.  She was better than the one we saw in Dallas - she was funny and played the part so well!  The guy who played Fiyero was definitely memorable, which I wouldn't say about the guy we saw in Dallas, and we had a great Elphaba!

Before the show started

After the show, we headed to one of my aunt & uncle's favorite restaurants in Kalamazoo, Martini's.  They have great drinks and even better food!

Can't beat their cosmo!

Roasted garlic and cauliflower alfredo - AMAZING!
It was such a fun weekend and it just makes me look forward to more family time this summer as everyone starts heading back to the lake on the weekends!!!

Coming soon - kitchen remodel & Wine Wednesday!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A state of chaos

This is the current state of my living and dining room... yes, that's the refrigerator in the dining room.

Most people would be going crazy, living in this situation, BUT I'm keeping my cool and being very patient because all of this means that soon enough, our kitchen will be DONE!  J and I did a lot of work this weekend and it is going to be so worth it in a couple of days - I'M SURE OF IT!!!

Our counter tops are getting installed today - once that's done, our kitchen will be back to normal, minus some little things like baseboard on the walls.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wine Wednesday

Last week's Wine Wednesday post was A guide to Wine Wednesday - well, it's time for the first official post!

A couple weeks ago, J was out of town visiting his grandparents in Phoenix, so I had a sleepover with a friend and we got take out sushi, watched girly movies and drank wine.

Oliver White Sangria (year unknown)
  • Type of wine - Sangria, which is a wine punch, typically served with fruit - we had mango in ours
  • Where to Buy & Price - Oliver is a local winery for us.  I have found their wines at Sam's and Walmart in other states, but I'm not sure about this one specifically.  You can purchase it on Oliver's Website for $7.50 per bottle - note, the glass of wine in the picture is half a bottle
  • Smell - I smelled peaches (before I put the mango in) and red apples - it smells very fruity!
  • What You'll Taste - SWEET!!!  That was the first thing I thought - sweet.  I also tasted honey along with the various fruits.
  • Intensity & Sweetness - I put these together because the intensity is in the sweetness and it is VERY intense.  I started to get a stomach ache by the time I was almost done with the glass and I was so excited to get to the point that I was able to eat the mango and get a little bit of tart flavor as a sweet relief.  It really tasted more like grape juice with some extra flavors and was the sweetest sangria I've ever tasted.
I probably wouldn't buy this again.  It's not that it was bad - I really like most of the wines that Oliver puts out - there are just other sweet Oliver wines that I can buy if that's what I'm in the mood for, that won't make me feel like I've just drank a whole bunch of sugar water.


    Monday, April 15, 2013

    I love getting dirty!!!

    J is in the midst of working on our kitchen and so in order to stay out of his way (until he asks me for help), I decided I would spend my time outside this weekend.  It's finally warm and I think spring is officially here, so hopefully there won't be anymore hard freezes to ruin my weekend work.

    I spent my entire Saturday digging out the ridiculously overgrown butterfly bush that was dying last year and that I cut down to a bunch of stumps.  I'm sure that at one time, the butterfly bush was wonderful - I am a HUGE fan of butterfly bushes, but no one took care of ours, so I'm pretty sure it sat in the back for 10 years before we bought the house, and just got out of control.  It took me about 3 hours of digging to get the roots out.  Here's what's left of it... in our fire pit...

    I was sure that I wouldn't be able to move today, but miraculously I woke up and felt pretty good, so I decided to head out and get some stuff to plant.  On Saturday, I went to the store and while I was there, found great bulbs.  I ended up getting one for a peony bush (state flower of Indiana) and one for an elephant ear plant that will be used to spruce up our front porch.  I planted them today but don't have pictures of those to show you... they just look like dirt right now.

    I also went to Lowe's and got some plants.  A couple for the back where I ripped out the butterfly bush and a couple for the front of the house.  Almost all the plants I got are perennials, but I did end up getting some annuals for my flower pot tower.  The perennials are supposed to get bigger (obviously) and the ones in the back are supposed to spread out, so I started with just a few to see how they filled in and I'll get more if I need to.

    Here's what I added to the front:

    I know - it doesn't look like much right now... just wait
    And here is the back:

    I also got some Lemon Grass seed that I planted in the back.  I have a few more packets that I'm going to plant around our deck.  Lemon Grass is as low maintenance as it gets, it smells great and it keep mosquitoes and wasps away, which is great with our new deck and our fire pit out back.  Again - no pictures of this... it's just dirt for now.

    I'm really looking forward to stuff popping up - I'm so impatient with things like this.  Luckily, I do have another project to tackle next week while J continues on the floor - I have to get rid of this guy

    If he starts to grow again, his vines will take over the world - we used to have vines all over (and under) our deck and up the side of the house - we finally got rid of them and I'm determined to keep them away.
    What did you do this weekend??

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Look What I Got!!!

    It's official - I can get on a plane and leave the country. I got my passport!!!

    I'm pretty sure this is the last of the name changing that has to be done, too - kind of sad that my maiden name is officially gone.  We refinanced our house recently, so my maiden name isn't even on our mortgage anymore.  Weird...

    MORE IMPORTANTLY - 2 months from now, I'll be in GREECE!!!

    Happy Friday!!!

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    Wine Wednesday - A Guide

    I am ready to start drinking wine so that I can share my favorites with you!  This week, I wanted to share the parts of Wine Wednesday that you can expect to see each week.

    • Name and Year - I have no idea whether it matters what year it is, but I'm committed to getting to the bottom of that for you!  I promise a comparison of two different years of the same wine soon - we'll learn together
    • Type of Wine - I'm going to jump out of my comfort zone and try some new types of wine!!
    • Where to Buy - I'm not sure how often I'll be able to supply this to you - but I'll do my best!
    • Price
    • Smell - I'm sometimes really turned off by the smell of wine, but love the taste of it; or sometimes I love how the wine smells but then I taste it and then I'm disappointed
    • What You'll Taste - If you sat next to me and drank the wine, there's a good possibility that you would taste something different than I do - but I'm hoping you'll leave me a comment and let me know when that happens!
    • Intensity - I'm not exactly sure what this means yet - it's probably different for every wine, but you know how sometimes you take a drink of wine and you feel like your eyes bug out and the only thing you can say is "WHOA" - I guess that's what fits here.
    • Sweetness - I'm definitely a fan of sweeter wine in the summer, but lately my taste has been moving away from sweet and more to the smooth wines.  I'll use a 0-5 rating scale for this... I don't like scales that give the option for a true middle.
    • Pairing - There are some wines that I just cannot drink without food.  There are some wines that I could drink a whole bottle of - for dinner.  If I drink wine with something and love it, I'll definitely let you know!

    Alright - bring on the wine... I really hope you'll join me along the way!!


    Wednesday, April 03, 2013

    New Idea - Wine Wednesday

    I used to have a weekly post called Wedding Wednesday - that was when I was planning my wedding (and for about a year afterward), and now that we've been married for almost two years, and I don't have anyone in my life who is currently planning a wedding, I've kind of lost interest in weddings.  Sure, I still DVR "Say Yes to the Dress", but who doesn't  :)

    You may remember that J and I bottled our own wine before our wedding... wine that was intended for our friends and family to drink the week before the wedding.  Everyone loved it, and we actually still have a bottle of each wine that we haven't opened yet.

    SO, rather than continuing Wedding Wednesday, I think I'm going to start a new weekly post - WINE WEDNESDAY!!!  We love wine and I'm sure some of you out there love wine, so I'll do it for you - DRINK MORE WINE FOR THE PEOPLE READING MY BLOG!!!

    I'm very excited to start this new weekly post, and I hope we can find some great new wines together!!!

    Monday, April 01, 2013

    So we meet again - Half Marathon Training

    Last May, I ran a half marathon - my goal was to finish, and I did... feeling better than I thought I would and in a fast time, too!  I ran my half marathon in 2:18:18 - that's at 10:34 pace... and as I struggled through a hip injury and dealt with an upswing in temperature the week of the race, I was very pleased with my first half and who can beat a finishers medal?

    I never liked running - as a volleyball and basketball player, running was punishment and I don't think I ever ran more than 3 miles at one time - EVER.  J ran in college - he ran cross country and track and was a good runner in college.  Although I can't say I now LOVE to run, but he taught me how to run, progress and be successful - people who aren't runners try to run too hard, feel like crap, and give up... I'm getting better at not doing that.

    SO, today starts my training for my NEXT half marathon.  It's on September 28th so I basically have 6 months to get ready... 2 month less than my last training - but as long as I can keep my hip healthy, I should be ready to go!  J has created a training schedule for me - I'm running 3 times a week and never on consecutive days.  In between, I'll do some other things - Pilates, eliptical, walking, swimming - or just take the day off when I want.

    More to come... let's get this party started!!!