Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last Paris post...I promise.

Last one I swear. And to keep you from throwing your computers at me, I will keep to one line captions of each photo.

The worst "salad" ever. Still have no idea what the white stuff is.

Dog food served for the EF Paris finale dinner. I refused to touch it.

Our lovely pals, Ryan and Kristan. I think we should go visit them.

Back the hotel, the cool kids club.

The bottle of wine that Tim drank all by himself.

Next day:
Super pissed at the airport. They wouldn't let us get in line. We BARELY made the flight.

Our anniversary gift to ourselves, an upgrade to leg room! Best money spent all trip!

Happy to be leaving Paris and eating my granola bar!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Eric Ripert is French. Oops.

This show makes me hungry, even if I am eating while I watch it (which is way more often that should be). And it makes me want to cook delicious food all of time. I would cook for other people all the time if I could cook awesome food like this.

Thank you Steffan for not winning. You are a giant tool. Carla, you should have won, but thats what you get for listening to Casey. Hosea, sorry kiddo, but you probably shouldn't have won just for skirting by every week.

Padma is hot.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Count Me Interviewed!

This wonderful woman interviewed me quite some time ago, and I wanted to do justice to her questions, but I best get crackin! But I should post the rules of this before i go on and forget!

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

If you had a million dollars to give to any charity what charity would it be?  And why?
To be honest, I have never really thought much about it. I have always thought that when I was in that position I would want to help people in my life that I knew and loved that needed that sort of financial help. It's how my father lives his life, everyone he helps, he expects them to pass it on when they are capable to. But, if i actually had to pick a charity, I would love to pick a No Kill animal shelter and support them. It might sound like a hippy answer, but its realistic for me. Although, Alzheimer's research would not be far behind. It kills me to see families have to go through that.

If you could go back in time and be there for one historic event what would it be?  Why?
I have been thinking about this one, and its been killer. Picking an era might be easier, even a decade, but an actual event, is so difficult. Without being able to change the outcome of events, I don't really know what good being able to see an event would do. Although, I think the event at the Tower of Babel would be quite fascinating.

If you had a day to do whatever you wanted what would you do?  Money is not an object.
Ok, some might kill me for this answer. But if money was no object for one day and one day only, I would go crazy with the plastic surgeon. I can always find ways to spend a day on a beach or picnicking or hanging out with my family. Even traveling isn't too hard to do, and only one day in even the best location isn't long lasting. So I would have to pick one day of very expensive maintenance on myself. Not even really modifying anything, just sucking a lot of bad stuff out and tightening!

Tell us about your hero?
So cliche, but very true. My father. I cant even begin to list the ways that he should be admired. His attitudes towards people, life, and relationships is just amazing. And the fact that others recognize that and want to be like him, after barely knowing him, I feel very very lucky to have him as a father and hope to be only half as awesome as he is some day.

Are you technical or creative?
Aw man. I know this might sound like a cop out, but I am totally both with a leaning towards technical. I am super anal/organizational. Everything must be done in a very precise way, in the right order, to perfection. Everything is very methodical with incredible attention to detail. BUT. In the same manner, the ways i go about doing this are usually not the way others would do them, and rather creative. I love to think outside the box for the tasks I end up doing, and adding my own personal flare to things.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Goodbye...I'll miss you.

Ok, so if I make it a post, then its official and I can't back down. I've never given up anything for lent before, and to be honest, I'm really doing it so I can blame lent when I get angry or annoyed that I'm trying to be healthy, so sadly, it's not even for the right reasons. But I have to start somewhere!

I am giving up two things for Lent, with two exceptions:

NO CHOCOLATE! This will be insane. I love my chocolate.

Exception: Spring Break in Disney. I'm sorry, but I will cry if I can't have a chocolate dessert in France at Epcot.

NO SODA. I gave up soda totally for four years, and recently took it up again, which was a stupid, stupid decision, I hope this one can last longer than the 40 days.

Exception: Without chocolate, I need a replacement weekend treat, and rootbeer floats might have to become said replacement, I don't know if I will need this exception, but I am glad to know that its there, just in case.

Wish me luck!!! I will surely need it (especially since I just realized this means no more granola bars or hot chocolate....)

Saturday Morning Photo Shoot!

Our Saturday mornings are usually spent with my parents, but with them out of town, there was a family photo shoot! Here's my favorites!

Nessa gets ready for her closeups...

Nessa's favorite activity is staring out the window...

And she hates when I interrupt it...

Tim checks out his best shots...

I have such awesomely bad morning weekend hair...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Only men can do what?!

This was what I did during the service on Sunday. At the crazy sexist church. They fully believe and support the notion that only men can become pastors within the church.

I am so NOT a feminist, and honestly, men are probably more suited to be pastors, but that does NOT mean that there aren't women out there that would do just as good of a job and sometimes better at teaching in the church setting.

Girls are just as good as boys! Deal.

Album Cover Fun.

Third post of the day, but I actually like how this turned out....

Step One: 
- Go to Wikipedia. Hit "random."
-The first random article you get is the name of your band.

Step Two:
*Go to Quoations Page and select "random quotations."
*The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album

Step Three:
-Go to Flickr and click on "explore the last seven days."
-The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Step Four:
*Use Photoshop or the like to put it all together

White Paris.

Our last full day in Paris started with a big white bang. It had snowed for a good portion of the night, and was still snowing by the time that we headed out for the day. Of course Kristan and Ryan, being from Cali, were thrilled with this precipitation situation.
After a mishap of going the wrong direction on the metro, we made it to the right stop and walked up the only hill in Paris to make it to the bottom of Sacre Cour. With the snow and steep stairs, we decided to take the Funicular up to the top.
We took a few pictures against the church and made the slow wander around until we came across the artist's district. Not many people, but on the outskirts was the Dali Museum, our first stop for the day. Tim is a huge Dali fan, so he was super looking forward to it, and even I, who is less interested in the artist, thought it was pretty cool. It was a lot bigger than I expected, and had a lot of his earlier works, which I found i liked a lot more than his older more famous pieces. But it was artwork, sculpture, displays, art in every single medium possible. Sadly, we found the gift shop closed. Boo.

We parted ways with Ryan and Kristan, went inside the Sacre Cour and checked out the area pretty quickly. By this point, the snow had made everything wet, so not only were we cold, we were slush filled! But Tim drug us to the Luxembourg Jardin, which had been on my list to see, just not if it was this cold.

Once out of the metro, we walked the wrong direction for quite some time, but finally made it to the park. It was HUGE. Way bigger than I had expected, its a famous park that has a ton of famous statues and sculptures spread throughout. My goal was to see the Medici Fountain. We trekked through the gardens, my sniffles worsening, and by the time we found, I was miserable. But the Fountain was pretty sweet, much larger than I had expected.
I had had it, being the huge brat that I am, as we exited the park and wandered around trying to make up our decision, I threw a Anti-Paris tempertantrum. I must say, it was some of my best work, despite the fact that Tim just laughed at me through the whole thing. I hated being cold, wet, and I hated everything French including the people, and i was hungry and all I wanted was to go to a restaurant where the waiter wouldn't be rude, I knew how to order, what i was ordering, and that it would be good. I wanted Paris without the Parisians!

We eventually came across a mall, and inside this mall was a little cafe thing, so we thought we would take a peek at the rest of the mall, and right across from the Irish Pub!!!! Yay. Menu in English, with Irish waitresses. And REALLY good food. It was the happiest meal! We even found nothing wrong with being charged literally (no exaggeration) 6 dollars a piece for a bottle of diet coke! Mmm...the price you pay for relaxation!
After our meal was when we caught up with Ryan and Kristan at the Lourve. For more on that "lovely" experience, check it out here: Not Loving the Lourve.

Monday, February 23, 2009

24 Hour Getaway

This weekend was a spur of the moment set of events. Last week was rough on my parents for some church reasons, so they left town Friday night and headed up north to Bloomington/Edina, while Tim and I were stuck down here due to the fact that I had a game on Saturday afternoon.

So after the game, which of COURSE, went into overtime, we hopped in our lovely little Civic and headed up to join them. It was a good time. We had been worried the weather would keep us in CF, but we made it in time to eat at our traditional joint of Fuddrucker's. It's a family favorite! And after a few rousing rounds of UNO at the hotel with SNL in the background (Christopher totally cheated!) we hit the hay for a busy Sunday.

Breakfast at the hotel, then we attended Evergreen Church, the church that we have always attended when we are in the area for at least the past decade. I have always enjoyed it more than usual churches, it always goes by fast without me getting too bored. Musics decent, talks are good, UNTIL THIS WEEK. Long story short, this church openly admits to only allowing men to be pastors. And while I am nowhere near being a feminist, I am not ok with this. I have a hard time now, respecting anything that comes out of their mouths knowing that in their heads, I am not as good as they are simply because i have boobs. Not kosher.

But then came the mall! I hit the jackpot this weekend. I got sweet stuff for spring break, and a few practical things too:
Teavana Joli mug (see below)

Roxy tank top at Quiksilver

Satay Spice Kit at Williams and Sonoma

Puma kicks to replace my shredded North Face ones (see below!)

Pasta and Tomato Sauce of glory at Harry & David

Swiss Army GPS case

Plain tee at Gap

2 American Eagle Tanks, same tank, two colors (see below!)

And while its nice to get material things, this weekend in particular was nice to just get out of town, away from certain stresses and monotony, and to hang out with the family. No stress, just laughter and trying not to run the wheelchair into too many clothing racks....minus the sexist church ;)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Road Trip Wishes. And Gasoline Dreams.

A good friend of mine is planning a road trip this summer. Full scale, across the country, taking their time.... just hearing a tiny bit about it makes me want to get up and do the same. Not that I'm not happy here, but it would be just that much more amazing to pack up the car, and start driving. All summer, top down, constantly flipping through the cd case, trying to find the best mix, eating only fresh fruit from road side stands and ice cream.

We would see everything. World's largest frying pan (Brandon, IA) to the Creation Museum (Kentucky) to the Execution museum (Texas) to VooDoo Doughnuts (Portland, Oregon). Maybe some regular places in there too. Mormon Central in Utah (less than normal, but still), Vegas, Alcatraz, Nashville, Hershey Pennsylvania!

Fourth of July in Boston, a weekend eating lobster on Cape Cod. Blueberry picking in Maine! Escaping from hillbillys in Carolina. Rodeo in Texas. Area 51, alien hunting in Roswell, NM.

I am just salivating at the thought of getting to do all this stuff. All with the sun on my back and the wind in my hair.

Let's just go on vacation. The whole nation. For one month. Let's see what happens. Who's with me?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not Loving the Lourve...

I have totally been procrastinating my last and final day in Paris, aka the last in a long series of trip posts. And I plan on continuing such procrastination since it was the longest day and most eventful day on the planet!

BUT. I will at least go into the afternoon. Well, part of it at least. It involves one location. The Lourve. The most overrated museum in the galaxy. Seriously. From earlier events in the day, by the time we got to the Lourve around 3 in the afternoon, I was a very unhappy camper, and totally expecting to be perked up by the most famous art museum I know. We walked into the courtyard from a side entrance, and the first words out of Tim's mouth were, "The Land at Disney World is more impressive." Totally true. And I feel this picture shows my sentiments...

Old buildings that surround a medium sized glass triangle. Big whup. Although I was surprised, and even more disappointed to find out that the glass pyramid is actually the entrance. If it were an art sculpture that isn't practical, it might be a bit cooler. But no.

We make it in, rather quickly actually, so that was a definite plus. We figure out how to get to the Mona Lisa, where we were meeting Ryan and Kristan. I think its interesting that instead of signs to the famous pieces, they just have pictures of the art with arrows pointing the right way. Smart, really. But we kept on walking endless hallways of old art until we got to the Mona Lisa, where we took the obligatory pictures.

We found a bench and waited for our lovely pals, who found us super quick and were as unenthused as we were. But being in the Lourve, we figured we had to see at least part of it.

Ryan was interested in the Egyptian stuff, so we headed there. I must admit, once we got there it was cool. Not the actual artifacts, but the rooms. It used to be a palace, so the moldings and paintings of each room were totally different, but very fascinating to look at....for 30 seconds per room.

The Egyptian section was huge, but we made it through, and made it to the basement, where they have the old Moat to the palace. I really liked that part. Back up to exit, where I took a picture of Venus de Milo's (aka Aphrodite's) butt. Everyone takes the picture from the front! I went against the grain...

We also found a boy who finally got sick of Afflack commercials...

We searched the million different gift shops in the middle of the Museum, and still found nothing for the people we wanted to get things for. I LOVE art museum gift shops, I really do. I usually could spend hours there, but the ones there were really disappointing. The only cool part was they had a separate gift shop for kid stuff only. Still found nothing. BUT! We did find the one and only Starbucks of the WHOLE trip. If we werent on our way to dinner and the line wasnt 20 people long, I would have indulged in its awesomeness (yes, I like my corporate latte, sue me).

And was the icing on the cake of an awful EF experience...but more on that later :)

Voted off the Island....

Tonight, while I am working my fourth to last UNI womens game of the season, my tivo will be groaning under the weight of tonight's awesomeness.

For my viewing pleasure this evening....

Survivor: Pretty Boy Probst is my personal favorite reality show host. Dont know how, dont know why, he just has a tender spot in my heart. And I like his necklace.
But its a good show! Even Tim likes it, which is saying something. Maybe it has to do with scantily clad women and the whole man versus nature vibe. Yeah, thats probably it.

David Borneaz. Not as a lovetorn demon (Oh well, I can't win them all) but still something just as aggressive, plus hilarious, an FBI agent. The writers of this show know how to work a story arc, AND juggle about 8 different main characters. Plus, the introduction of Sweets a few seasons ago (Sam Weir on Freaks/Geeks) adds a ton. Roll this up in a tortilla of gruesome corpses, and you have Bones!

Going along with gruesome is CSI. I don't really have much to say, its just one of those shows that you watch just because they are a million seasons in and they STILL think of new ways to kill strippers....
Sidenote, the original CSI is the only one worth watching though, none of that spinoff jazz. Boo Horatio!

Burn Notice is the show that my parents got me turned on to. On USA, it keeps with their notion of Characters Welcome. And its true here. Michael Weston, and his friend Sam are true characters. Fiona has her moments in blowing stuff up, but really? Could she eat something? A cheeseburger? A bucket of lard? ANYTHING? A lovely bitter spy comedy, with lots of cartons of yogurt...

All topped off with a bowl of banana nut cheerios! mmm....

Funny Reading....

This was on my dear friend Meg's blog this morning. If you've ever lived in a big city, when you read this, you will read, laugh, point at the screen, and go, I KNOW THAT GUY!

So so true....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Top Chef Tastebuds!

Last Thursday night, I decided I was sick of simple meals and take out sandwiches. With Valentines so close, I figured it was about time to break out the Top Chef cookbook and go all out, see how close I get my food, to the awesome food of the Bravo Network delicious tv show.

I decided to at least stick with something that I recognized a vast majority of the ingredients and ended up picking Turkey & Pork Meatball with Orecchiette Pasta & Pesto. That link is the actual recipe, but the picture is pretty different. Mine turned out more like this .

I ended up having to hit up HyVee first (silly Fareway didn't have Creme Fraise) but then it was back to the kitchen to get it all started!

It was surprisingly easy, with exception of having to peel ten cloves of garlic. But I got it done, although, I should have made the mental connection that ten cloves of garlic, is a LOT of garlic. The meatballs and the pesto sauce were both super strong. The pesto sauce was so strong, that you would put a baby drop of it on your tongue, and it physically hurt. Tim of course could handle it no problem.

Sadly, there was so much garlic, that even the next day we had to leave all the windows open to air out the strong smell. Oops. I learned my lesson on that one. Less garlic! It looked so yummy too! By the end, the sauce and the meatballs and the pasta looked yummy, but I couldn't handle it, so I just put a small amount of the meat on plain pasta. The veggie mix that was supposed to go on it looked horrible though. Plus, we don't even like cauliflower that much, so I just tossed it down the disposal. Sorry children in Africa, even you wouldn't have liked it.

After the pasta sensation, we took a break, and Matt came over for part two of Top Chef Glory, Molten Chocolate Cake with Rasberry Puree and Creme. It turned out AMAZING. Both boys had two helpings, and Matt even took some home. It really was yummy, I ended up using blackberries instead of rasberries, but it worked out just fine, and the creme was a great consistency. The only issue was that I didnt have the right baking dishes, so I used a cupcake pan. Well, this was fine, until I realized I had no way to get molten chocolate out of the tins. I tried to flip it onto a cookie sheet, but yeah...not so hot. A few turned out in great shape, but most were all globbed and broken, but didnt hurt the taste! I would do it all over again if I had to!

I. Am master chef. Tom Collichio, eat your heart out! :)