Oscar

So I've been messing around with photoshop. I'm not sure if I like the after more or not, but I am liking what I've been able to figure out with photoshop so far. So either way it's something I worked on. Thoughts?

Before

After

Kimi - Belly

I think Niko is ready to make his appearance. (37 weeks)

Niko needed - Ellie stands in

Photobucket

This is very yummy! It's a Bertolli frozen skillet dinner. Chicken Alla Vodka & Farfalle!

One pan, two bowls, two forks, and a big spoon for stirring and distributing to the bowls. TA DA!

Also if you go here and sign up for their emails (which you can then cancel) you can get a $2.00 off coupon for Bertolli's new oven bakes. They are usually $9.99 at Acme and this week they are $6.49 at Wegman's with your shopper's club card.

My job

tech - I'm outside (number here) and I'm just wondering why I'm here?

Me - Well did you look at the machine?

tech - No not yet, I'm still outside.

Me - Is the machine up and running like it should be?

tech - I don't know.

Me - Why don't you go look at the machine and fix whatever is wrong with it? Do not leave until money is coming out, and by money coming out I mean making successful withdrawals.

tech - OK that sounds like a plan!

::smacks forehead::


tech2 - This machine isn't performing it's functions properly, what should I do about it?

Me - Fix it?

tech2 - How should I go about doing that?

Me - ::hangs head in shame:: I don't know I'm not at the machine, what do you think needs to be done?

This conversation continues this way with me asking him questions until he eventually figures it out himself. I used the same technique I used when I worked in daycare and I knew the little kids would figure out the answer, they just needed to be led to it. I think some days I would rather deal with three year olds.

9. Finishing the floor

Yesterday the H ripped up the very last of the peach carpet downstairs. We plan on putting in the rest of the "hardwood" floor down through-out the week.

After the floor gets put down in the front room, the downstairs for the most part will be complete. I've conceded defeat on the ugly kitchen. Maybe my next home will have a very lovely kitchen. Bart is already planning what that kitchen will look like.

Oscar meets Einstein and a horse named Kate.

Nothing says hello quite like a butt sniff.



Oscar looking freaky

Oscar meets Kate the horse

Einstein meets Kate the horse.

Oscar goes for a second horse sniff

Einstein sitting pretty

Happy Spring?

Well it is officially the very first day of Spring. Well it's snowing outside. Big cold flakes of frozen water. That is all.

60. To read or not to read

I just finished the third book in the shopaholic series. I keep hoping that something will change or that one of the books will make some sort of correlation to the movie, but I am continuously disappointed.

The first book in the series, "Confessions of a Shopaholic" was indeed a cute story and was a fun easy read. I had only seen the trailer for the movie, but from that small glimpse I was very confused how the movie was made after the book I just read.

So on I continued to the second book in the series, "Shopaholic takes Manhattan". OK I began to see some similarities as in the fact that the movie takes place in Manhattan. The only problem is that Becky (the main character) doesn't start out in NYC and only ends up there at the very end of the book.

Again on I continued to the third book in the five book series so far, "Shopaholic Ties the Knot". Well you can only guess what happens in this book. So therefor the entire ending of the book was given away in the title. Mind you that yes some strange yet unrealistic things did happen in the book to get there, but it still left very little to the imagination.

I liked the first book because even though it was high unlikely to happen to me, I could honestly understand that someone could in fact get themselves into the situation Becky was in and successfully get out of it. However as the series continues so do the outrageous circumstances that the main character finds herself in. As with the outlandish problems there is an equally outlandish way that she fixes all of the problems that have come her way.

They were all very easy reads, but I'm still on the fence about whether or not I will finish up the series. My crazy side is telling me to finish them because I started them, but my more practical side is telling me to read something I'll probably actually enjoy.

Also the movie doesn't match the books hardly at all.

80. New hair

So last night I got a whole new hair color! I'm now a red head. Not a carrot top red head of course but a very classy strawberry blonde/auburn. I also let Stephanie cut my hair as well. This was a big deal for me since I only let one person cut my hair.

I feel as though fifty pounds have been taken off of my head. It's a nice feeling. I have A.L.O.T of hair and the added weight gives me a very tender scalp.

Not only does my hair look great, but it was so much cheaper then going to a salon! She works at a salon in Haddenfield but had off yesterday so she did my hair at home. She did cop out on the full out blow dry, but it was 90% dry. I couldn't really blame her because it took about three hours total to dye, cut, and blow dry. I will post pictures later!

38. Learn to cook things

So last night I made dinner. I made a healthy potato soup (well healthy until I added the bacon) with apples and cheese. I heard of the recipe before from a co-worker and decided to try it out.

I sauteed, chopped, peeled, cubed, stirred, and blended my way to dinner. I was trying extremely hard to not make a mess. I was successful until the very end when I needed to use the blender.

This soup really sticks to the ribs. I'm guessing it was super yummy because the H practically licked his bowl and took left overs for lunch today!

Ingredients
1/4 cup sliced leeks (whites only)
4 large Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and quartered
2cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups fat-free evaporated milk
6 small potatoes, peeled and sliced
4 ounces brie cheese, cut into small cubes

Directions
Add the leeks and quartered apples. Saute over medium heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth, salt and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and set the mixture aside.

While the broth mixture is cooking, combine the evaporated milk and potatoes in a separate saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Pour the potato mixture into the soup pot. Stir to mix evenly.

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth, adding the pieces of brie cheese while pureeing. Return the pureed batch to the soup pot and heat until warmed through. Ladle into individual bowls. Serve immediately.

I did do some things a little differently. I added chives to the leeks and apples while they were cooking. I also added some more chives while the potatoes were cooking. I also cooked the potatoes with the condensed milk and some sour cream. I also threw in the brie pieces to melt them before I put the soup into the blender. After everything was done we both added salt to our bowls. I also threw in some bacon. Because honestly what doesn't go with bacon and what doesn't bacon make better?

Nutritional AnalysisCalories - 378 Cholesterol - 25 mgProtein - 18 gSodium - 514 mgCarbohydrate 65 g Fiber - 6 gTotal fat - 6 g Potassium - 1,091 mgSaturated fat - 4 g Calcium - 438 mg

I work in a circus

Happy St. Patrick's day to all of my blog readers.

So I'm sitting at my desk wondering if the clocks around here are all broken, because the day is dragging on soooo slowly. Then out of nowhere my cube is commandeered! Two people walk in dressed like big green Mardi Gras floats with bells and a big plastic black pot. At this point I can't help but wonder if they are getting paid for this? I got an official TD scratch off ticket. Which I had to scratch off right then and there while they watched. Let's ignore the fact that I was on the phone. I won five WOW! stickers. (WOW! stickers are stickers that we get for doing good things at work. We can trade them in for prizes. It's exactly like the reward system that elementary school teachers use. Only I can't sit at the teacher's desk for a day or get a homework pass.)

So these two woman who dressed like leprechauns are getting paid for essentially disrupting the working environment of an entire building? ::shakes head:: How does one advertise for that job? Say you aren't WOW! enough and you get fired, what do you put on your resume? I mean here I sit doing actual work and they get to run around the building playing leprechaun. That some how just doesn't seem kosher. What do these WOW! department people do in the off time?

OK that is my rambling for today.

Day 1 - 5k training

So I decided to ease myself into the 5k by doing the couch to 5k program found here.

So for day one this week the goal was to do a 5 minute warm-up walk. Then you alternate 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes.

So I set up my Ipod with a compilation of songs that made into one continuous song and sliced in a count down at all the appropriate intervals. I will upload my week 1 compilation later on today. In case anyone else wants to start getting in shape.

So the whole family puts on their exercise clothes and heads outside for some exercise. Well one of us got lazy and refused to move any faster the a light stroll. Yeah that's right the four legged pooch that gets super excited when you say walk decided 15 minutes into that he wasn't running anymore. You know there is a problem when you have to give your dog a pep talk while running. ::hangs head in shame::

So we have off today and will go back out tomorrow to do this same routine again. I'm hoping that this will help all of us. I officially have the laziest dog E.V.E.R!

Paws and feet 5k

So I just finished signing up myself and Oscar for the paws and feet 5k. It is to benefit the AWA.

So if anyone would like to donate to our save the doggy cause please click the following link.

Our goal is to run the entire thing, but we'll see. I of course haven't let in the lazy dog to this plan. I'm sure he'll be OK with it. So our goal is $500.00 so anything at all is appriciated!!!
This of course is something off of the 101 list and it's also an amazing cause.

Spring is running for cover

On Sunday when I took Oscar outside in the back yard for some impromptu play time we both noticed something strange and different. For one it was sunny and warm. Considering a week before we were being slammed with snow this caught me off guard. Secondly there was daffodils peaking out from underneath some leaves. This is quintessential first signs that Spring is coming. I got very excited when I saw them. I called Oscar over and showed him, however he wasn't nearly as excited as I was.

So all weekend it was sunny, breezy, and warm. The flowers were coming out of hiding and I didn't need sixteen layers of clothes to go outside. Combine all of that with the fact that it is now light outside until seven and it makes for some very happy thoughts.

So I get up today and get dressed and then proceed to take Oscar outside. Business as normal so to say. Well I did not put a coat on and it is freaking cold out and dark. Where did the Spring go? So according to the local forecast for this week it is going to continue to be cold and un-Spring like for the rest of the week.

I'll just have to keep my happy Spring thoughts in my head for awhile longer. Damn you Mother Nature and your tempting weather!!!

*As a complete side note I would like everyone to know that I spelled quintessential correctly but had an incredibly hard time with impromptu. It took three tries just to get spell check to figure out what I was trying to say.*

Snow!

So about a week ago we have a huge major snow storm! For NJ that's about a foot. It started snowing Sunday night, and when I woke up on Monday it was still snowing. So I of course bundled myself up and took Oscar outside for some snow fun! (I got to work from home that day as well) I love snow so much!





Oscar trying to figure out what all the cold wet white stuff is.

The hubby scaring off the snow monster

Oscar going to go chase the hubby

And finally an Oscar playing in the snow video!

video

Ireland Day 4

On the fourth day in Dublin we were determined to find Dublin Castle. You'd think that a castle would stand out in a city. Well not this castle. As it turns out we circled Dublin castle numerous times while in Dublin city. Go figure. They hid it very well. We were also determined to locate St. Patrick's Cathedral. Which just so happened to be near Dublin castle.

Dublin Castle Church

Myself and a knight's clothing

The view into the courtyard

An inner part of the castle

This is the desk where the Queen sat

This is a kick ass hallway in the castle

Apparently back in ye olde Dublin times a woman was not permitted to the party without an escort. However all the women still had to get dressed and primped as if they were going to the ball. So this is the room that the women waited in to be picked up by a man. If no man came for you, then you had to sit in this room all night.

What castle is complete without a throne room?

This is the room that the Ireland president is sworn into office in. The last two presidents of Ireland have been female.

This is St. Pat's cathedral. We finally found it!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I got this recipe from my friend Kristen's blog. It's always a crowd pleaser!

2 lb of cooked chicken, shredded
2 packs of cream cheese, softened
16 oz of blue cheese
2/3 of a bottle of Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce

1. I usually trim the chicken and then boil it until cooked through.
2. Put the chicken in a food processor to shred.
3. Add softened cream cheese and blue cheese dressing.
4. Add hot sauce (to taste).

*You can heat it up if you like. I have yet to serve it hot, and also have yet to get any complaints*

Cream Cheese frosting

This works great with the Guinness cupcakes!

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 c. powdered sugar

-In bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.
-slowly add sugar, then vanilla and lemon juice.
-Add water 1/2 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency has been reached.
-When cupcakes are completely cooled, frost and serve.

Guinness Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Guinness Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 c. Guinness Extra Stout
1 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. preferably Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 Tbsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c. sour cream

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans.
-Bring stout and butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
-Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth.
-Cool slightly.
-Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend.
-Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
-Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine.
-Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed.
-Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
-Divide batter equally among prepared cups.
-Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean. It took me a little less than 25 minutes. Just keep an eye.
-Transfer cupcakes to rack; cool 5 minutes.
-Take cupcakes out of pan and place on rack to cool completely.

It makes 24 cupcakes total. No pictures though because they all got eaten very quickly!

Ireland - Day 3

So on the third day they rested. LOL I don't think so! On the third day we went to the Guinness factory. The Guinness factory was insane amounts of fun. The pictures will tell the story. We also went to the old Jameson Distillery too.

The first signs that we were at Guinness

An important Guinness building

A big Guinness gate and me

So close!

The original lease that Aurthur Guinness signed for 9 pounds a year.


They have a big beer wall, that looks like Guinness pouring

The Author Guinness diary the day he made Guinness first

Me in the faux Author Guinness chair

They gave you a taste of the freshest batch of Guinness that the factory has!

What the factory is doing right now!

So we got to take a lesson in pouring the perfect pint. According the to the Irish people there is a right and a wrong way to pour a Guinness pint. Kristen and I passed with flying colors and got a certificate to prove it!


You need to pour it part way and then let it rest. This is my resting Guinness.

Our perfectly poured Guinness'

Kristen drinking her beer

Me and my beer

Kristen drinking

Getting artsy with my Guinness

So then we left Guinness and got caught in a protest with cops on police. The police were on the protesters side. I have no idea what they were protesting. It wasn't a very effective protest.

So fish and chips is HUGE is Ireland. I assumed it was fish sticks and french fries. I was wrong...

Next to Jameson!

This is Smithie. They actually stuffed the original cat that ate all the rats out of the grain room. That poor cat.

Whiskey barrels

I got picked to do a blind whiskey tasting

Jameson sign after the whiskey tasting (I may have walked out with the Jameson glass they gave me a Jameson and coke in)

Me tipsy in a barrel

After this we realize that we are exhausted and tipsy. So we decided to hit up a Domino's pizza. So at the Dominoes is where I found this gem of a picture!

And then we found an insane amount of empty kegs behind a pub.

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