Saturday, February 4, 2012

the hunger games

I love books, and I don't think that is a secret.  Is it nerdy?  Maybe, but I have loved reading for as long as I can remember.  I love bookstores (I worked at Borders in college, before it closed), I love libraries, I love buying books and reading books.  I love the smell of the pages and the feel of  them.  And yes, I do usually buy a book because I like the way it looks, unless something has been recommended to me by a friend.

I like books so much I am in a book club!  This month it was my turn to choose the book and host and out little get together is coming up on Wednesday.  I'm very excited and working on getting the menu together but the best part is that the book we read was FANTASTIC!!!

This morning I was about a quarter of the way through the book.  I woke up and started reading and did not stop until I was finished.  I love when a book is so good that I cannot put it down.  If I didn't have to work tonight, I would have gone out and bought the second book and started reading that one too.  You better believe that is what I will be doing first thing tomorrow!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

tuesday night get together

This past Tuesday I headed out to the east side to meet up for dinner with the girls.  There was lots to catch up on, especially since I haven't logged into facebook in about a month so it seems like I am missing all the good stuff that is going on.

Just like usual we talked boys, work, weddings, babies, and lots of other stuff that just makes you feel better after you get to talk with the girls for two hours.  I thought the big news of the night was going to be whether or not Kristen was having a boy or a girl, but she didn't find out until yesterday.

At the beginning of June there is going to be a little baby boy that joins her family and we are all so excited for her.  I guess that means I have to start knitting something!

Monday, January 23, 2012

things i did this weekend

I feel like I haven't stopped since 2012 began!  It seems like there is always something to do, whether it is work, having fun, meeting up with friends, cleaning the house, knitting, or working on reading my next book club book.

So instead of a "real" post, I think I am just going to make a little list of the things that we did this weekend.

Friday night of course meant work, which was SUPER slow and that is an understatement.  The night felt like it went on forever because of the snowstorm.  No one was out, even though we live in Cleveland and it snows here all winter.

Saturday morning Ben went to the market to get some meats and cheeses and delicious bagels and bacon for breakfast.  After enjoying some bagels and coffee we ran lots of errands and then headed back to work which was much busier, which equals more fun and more money!

Sunday was the perfect day.  We went to church in the morning and then took a quick trip to Earth Fare which we just can't get enough of.  Then we headed to Tap House for brunch with some of my absolute favorites.  The bloody marys were delicious and the breakfast pizza Anthony had was way better than my omelet, so I know what I am getting next time we head up there.

We came home and I really wanted to use the new Kitchen Aid mixer that we got for Christmas and I had this desire to make homemade dog biscuits so I tried out this recipe and they were great.  (at least I think so because I did not try them but Breckyn seems to love them!)  It was a fun recipe and I am glad I got to use the mixer.  Plus I bought two new cookie cutters since I didn't have a dog bone cookie cutter and I had to use them since I went everywhere to find them.

I also made this to take over to my moms for dinner and it was a hit.  I altered it a little because I could not find peanut butter chips or regular rice crispies at Earth Fare, so I used a little extra peanut butter instead and puffed rice cereal.  It makes it a little bit harder to bite into, but it is great with a little bit of milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

I ended the night hanging out on the couch with Ben watching Chef Jonathon Sawyer from The Greenhouse Tavern cook up a few great meals on Iron Chef America.  Even though he did not win the battle, it was a great way to represent Cleveland and lots of fun to watch.

What a great weekend!  Let's hope this week is just as good!

Monday, January 16, 2012

closet clean out

Cleaning the Closet Clutter | Our Little Apartment

One of my favorite bloggers, Ashley at Our Little Apartment, is working on cleaning out her closets this month. She inspired me, and I'm sure many others, to clean up around the house.

Since I had today off, I started last night with the one linen closet we have.  Here is what it looked like before...

Pretty much a mess.  There were plenty of things that I didn't even know I had anymore and lots of things that I just don't need.  I realized that I have way to many sets of sheets for only one bed, and more towels than Ben and I could ever use in a month without doing any laundry.  I also apparently hoard liquid bath soap because I had 7 bottles of it for myself and 2 bottles for Ben.

I pretty much went shelf by shelf and decided what I was going to keep, what I was going to put somewhere else, what I was going to donate, and what was just plain garbage.  Here is what came out...

Oh yeah, I also had an empty curling iron box, a broken hair straightener, and a set of twin sheets that don't fit our bed.  There were also some old lotions that had glitter in them and why I had them I really have no idea.  A few things were thrown away but in the process I am donating two bags of towels and sheets to Purple Heart tomorrow.  This was another motivation for me.  Purple Heart is stopping at my house tomorrow to pick up any donations we had and now we have two bags to give!

Here is the finished, clean, organized closet...

I did go to Target and purchase three 6 quart clear containers to organize medicines, everyday things, and nail polishes and misc. items.  I can't believe how much room is actually in this closet.  It is so nice to see the back of it and to even see the floor.

Now, the hardest part is keeping it this clean.  That is the real challenge for me, so my goal is to keep this clean and once I can accomplish that, it's on to more closets!

Thanks for the inspiration Ashley!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

book club

Way back in September my very best friend finally moved back to Cleveland.  She had been living in Columbus since we had graduated college and I was so happy to have her back.

While living in Columbus she was part of a little book club that would read one book a month (some of the girls would read the book) and then get together to talk and have apps and wine.  She decided she wanted to bring the ida to Cleveland and have a book club here and I was SUPER excited.

I love, love, love to read.  My dream job would be to read books and write reviews on them.  If I could get paid to read, I can't imagine anything better.  Since that isn't happening anytime soon, I am part of a book club.

Our first book was Sarah's Key which I, and I think everyone else, really enjoyed.  We got together last night at Melissa's house and talked about the book, ate, drank, passed around baby Sophia, and talked about many non-book related topics as well.  It was a great time.  Before I knew it I looked up and it was 10 o'clock!

We decided this would be a monthly thing, and since Melissa chose the first book, she hosted.  I volunteered to host the second get together because I really wanted to read The Hunger Games and since I am hosting I get to pick the book.  One of the girls has already read it and said she liked it, so I think it will be a good pick.

Now I just better get reading so I can work on planning my menu for when I host in a month!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

yoga at force

So right before Christmas my mom asked if I wanted to do a yoga class with her.  Considering I don't do much physical activity and that is definitely not good for me, I thought yoga would be a great way to start out.  She was interested and she is crazy about working out and keeping to a schedule so she would be a great motivator for me.

Right after we had a conversation, there was a great deal on Fox 8's Website for 55% off of 10 yoga sessions at Force Indoor Sports in Rocky River!  What a deal right?  We signed up and we ready to start.

Of course, the holidays were right around the corner which made it difficult to start right away, so yesterday we went to our first class.  It was amazing!  We did the slow yoga class with an instructor whose name I cannot remember right now and I feel so bad because she was great.  She explained everything because neither of us were super familiar with yoga and there was one other newer girl in the class.

I really liked that the class was small, only 4 of us total, and it was a great pace and an awesome workout.  I can't wait to go back next Monday.  I'd love to go more than once a week but I'm starting out small and seeing how it goes.

Plus, Thursday I am going to be participating in my first Jazzercise class with my mom.  Yep, Jazzercise.  Yikes!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

holidays, hocking hills, and a little lack of blogging

So I'm a little late on the 2011 recap and the 2012 new year's resolution posts.  I also haven't posted anything in over two weeks!  Yikes!

With the holidays, then a short vacation, then the new year, I just haven't taken the time to sit down and spend time writing.  I know I need to get better at that.  Hmmmm...maybe a new year's resolution right there!  More for that later though.

Christmas flew by so quickly this year, as it usually does.  It was a wonderful holiday and I enjoyed every second of it.  Ben and I were able to spend all of Christmas Eve and Christmas day together which is exactly what I wanted.  We spent time with both of our families and enjoyed just being with everyone.  I am so thankful for the wonderful holiday we had.

On Tuesday after Christmas we took a little trip down to Hocking Hills with our friends Melissa and Anthony.  We spent 3 nights in a little cabin with Breckyn and had a great time.  We ate, we drank, we slept in, we hiked, we ate and drank more, we played Phase 10 too many times, and even exchanged some Christmas gifts.  It was a great little break from all of the holiday 'hustle and bustle.'

Ben and I spent New Year's Eve at work, which was better than spending money right?  That's what I am telling myself at least!  It was fun to be with our work friends, but after midnight I was able to go home and did so quickly.  Today we spent some time with my dad's family for the annual New Year's Day potluck lunch and now we have the rest of the evening to hang out and relax.  What could be better than that?

Since I did not take one single Christmas or New Year picture, I have lots of Hocking Hills pictures to share.  We didn't do very much, but we did got to Old Man's Cave which was beautiful.  I still have no idea how to put pictures into a collage, so unfortunately I will just be adding them one at a time and this will end up being an extremely long post.  Any help with this problem would be much appreciated!!

pierogies step one

working so hard

ready for cooking

ready for eating!

a cabin is not complete without a massage chair

very serious game of Connect 4

Melis and Anthony on our hike at Old Man's Cave

Breckyn, Ben and mysefl

some serious tree roots

Phase 10

a very serious game that is addicting