Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Home

Hello blogger readers!

I have some VERY exciting news to share with all of you. I have decided to register my own domain for Essence of Kate so my blog can now be found at:

I am in the process of making my page my own so please bear with me while I change stuff around. The content is the same (I promise), I just need to nail down the look I'm going for.

Thanks and see you over at!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Music of My Life - The World Spins Madly On

Music is a big part of my life - well HUGE actually. I love it and I feel like it really influences/accentuates/connects with me and whatever mood I'm in. A song can come on the radio when I'm having a great day and I will be on cloud nine. I'll sing and dance around and just live it up. There are other days when life doesn't seem so great and I'll hear a song that makes me realize I'm not alone and it will really pick up my spirits. I've also noticed that a song that sometimes makes me feel sad can other times make me feel completely content.

I have always wanted a soundtrack playing around in the background of my life, although as I write this sentence I realized I kind of already have that. I listen to music pretty much all day. I have my alarm clock set to a radio station, I then have another radio in my bathroom to play tunes while I get ready for work, I listen to the radio on my way to work, sometimes play my MP3 player on headphones while I'm at work, then listen to the radio on the way home, and play tunes on my computer all night unless I'm watching a movie or something.

I don't discriminate against music either. I love it all - from classical and orchestra to pop and rock and everything in between. I love finding new artists and songs that further add to my life :)

Due to all of this I have decided to incorporate a Music of My Life (MoML) series of posts. I will try to post one a week, but we shall see. :) Since I'm still new at this I'm going to try it out for a couple of weeks first before I firmly commit to it.

All that being said, today's/this week's song is: The World Spins Madly On by The Weepies. (If you click the link to their website and scroll to the bottom, The World Spins Madly On is #12 on their play list. You have to fast forward through the other songs to get to 12.) This is such a calm song (despite it's title!). I've been listening to it on repeat for the past half hour or so and it just seems to fit with the day. It's been such a nice afternoon with the warm weather and this song just reminds me of relaxing spring and summer nights on my parents' back porch.

The lyrics themselves are a bit depressing but the sound of the song is what I think is so mellow and calm.

Are you a fan of any particular kind of music, all kinds of music, none whatsoever?
If you have any songs you love I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dinner and a show...

Sorry about not writing yesterday - I had this great idea for a blog post but I lost track of time doing online blog research last night! Next thing I knew my night was gone and I needed to hit the hay. I stayed in CT one last night and drove back to NY this morning. What a long commute! ;)

Anywho - you're probably wondering about this post's title. Well! This evening I am having dinner with my good friends Emily and Jason! They are having me over for dinner (we try to swap back and forth every month or so) and I am PUMPED! I LOVE eating at their house because they are some of the best cooks I know! On top of that, they are also home owners knee deep in projects so I like to swap stories, hear about what they're doing, and get some new ideas!

The show part of the evening comes into play with their puppies! (Well, full grown dogs but I still call them puppies). I love getting my dog fix and watching them all play around. It's so fun and hysterical! I used to live with Emily when I first moved to the area and many nights our entertainment would be to watch her dog and our other roommate's dog run around chasing after toys. It sounds really strange, but it is such a good time!

On top of all that, since Em and Jason are such good people they are a foster home for dogs and currently have the most adorable dog staying with them. I was this close to adopting him but my life is too busy right now and I know I wouldn't be able to give him the type of commitment he deserves. I will, however, be sure to take lots of pictures to share with you guys!

I can't wait to come back and report on all the great food and fun we have! I also am excited to see how they feel about the Orange White Balsamic Vinegar I picked up for them this weekend. I know we're having salads on the side so maybe we'll even crack it open.

I have to rush off now because I need to grab a bottle of red wine and head on over! Have a great night and I'll be sure to post a full evening report (and my missing post from yesterday)!

When it comes to wine: are you more of a white, red, or other fan?
I am a white wine fan, hands down. It's so much sweeter - and I like sweet!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Weekend at (My Parents') Home

Today was a really great day. I slept in which felt amazing since my sleep tank has been running on empty for about two weeks now. Since I kind of slept through breakfast I started my day with lunch. That was OKAY with me considering my dad had just arrived home from the grocery store and included in his bag were bread and American cheese!!! ;)  Well you know I had to request a grilled cheese sandwich!! They are my favorite after all AND it is National Grilled Cheese Month to boot!


Well as soon as I started eating, one of my little friends came to visit.

Miss Samantha!
She doesn't like to stay put too long so the pictures are a little blurry but she is so adorable! I love her so much!

I thought she wanted to be my friend because she loves me too....but I can see (from the picture below) that she really just wanted some attention!

Tummy rubs

Not too long after this picture was taken her brother came to visit. I tried taking a picture of both of them but as you can see that didn't happen so successfully.
They think I have a treat...but nope

After I finished snapping photos and eating my oh-so-good sandwich my mom and I headed out to do a little shopping. Included in our stops were a place that specializes in gourmet cooking oils and balsamic vinegars (and OH MY GOODNESS are they delicious!); Bed, Bath and Beyond; and Lowe's. 

From the first stop (O'Live A Little) I picked up a bottle of this yummy stuff:

The card says it all

I didn't get anything from Bed, Bath and Beyond but at Lowe's, in honor of Earth Day they were giving out one million free tree saplings. Since my mom and I both picked up stuff we each got one! I'm psyched! They are white spruce trees that grow up to 45' tall by 15' wide. I'm thinking if I'm at my house long enough maybe one of them will become a future Christmas tree! How COOL would that be?!

I also picked up a wireless thermometer to put outside. My friends Emily and Jason have one almost identical to this and I think it's so cool! The little person on the side tells you how to dress based on the temperature outside.

My last fun 'Yes, I am a homeowner' goodies included brochures on sheds and patio stones. Woo Hoo! I'm sure I'll have a fun night sometime in the near future going through all the possibilities that lie ahead of me in those two pamphlets.

On the way home we needed to stop off at the Creamery to pick up some ice cream to go with the bunny cake tomorrow. Since the flavor I wanted doesn't come in a half gallon we got a quart of Cow Tippin (coffee and peanut butter ice cream with oreo pieces - YUM!!) and a quart of toasted almond (also YUM). Since we were already there I also got a small dish of Cow Tippin because it was SOO good last night!

Things were pretty low key for the rest of the evening. We had dinner and chatted for a while before heading out to the 8:00 Easter mass. It was such a great service! I love the candles and singing and everything about it. 

When we got home, the three of us finally dug into the desserts I bought Thursday night after the concert. They were just as good as I imagined they would be and I'm so happy I waited to share because my parents loved them too. :)

Now it is late and I'm getting sleepy so it's off to bed for this little camper. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter tomorrow! I'll be sure to stop in and tell you all about the Bunny Cake and delicious food! MMMmmm!

It's Earth Day!!!


I LOVE Earth Day. I think it totally rocks. Being the Earth Chick that I am, this is a day I love to celebrate. A few years back I had an Earth Day party and went all out - I had goody bags (reusable bags from a couple of local grocery stores with an Earth Day booklet inside that I created and put together), we played outside all day, and I made an Earth cake - no joke.

[I intended to include a couple of pictures of the cake BUT I seem to have moved them to my external hard drive. Since I am currently out of town, and therefore away from my external hard drive, I will update this post with pictures when I return]

I purposely chose chocolate cake to represent the dirt/earth and dyed the frosting blue and green. I even filled it with a mixture of frozen cool-whip and strawberries to represent the lava. I'm just good like that ;)

The year after I was one of the co-chairs for my company's Earth Day festivities. We had a farmers' market on site, a lunchtime bike ride through a nearby park, a bunch of renewable energy technology demonstrations, and our fleet of hybrid and plug in vehicles was showcased - it was the place to be that day.

This year was a bit more low key - or at least today was. Next week, however, there will be another Earth Day festival at work and I am completely pumped for that. I have already heard of a few vendors that will be there and I can't wait to check out all their goodies.

Even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary today, there were a couple of press-worthy events taking place that I read about and had to share:

Albany prepares to become one of the first US cities to build an electric car infrastructure. This is HUGE, not only for the future of electric vehicles but for the economy of New York as a whole. There are three articles that all talk about this but each gives a few details not found in the others. They can be found here, here and here.

For the downstate portion of New York:
New York City looking to bring the heat with solar panels on top of landfills (from the NY Daily News website)
Dramatically Cleaner Air Within Reach For New York City (from the Environmental Defense Fund's Energy Exchange blog)
These two kind of talk about the same thing but I thought it was worth sharing them both.

Now to leave on a fun note, I have heard "Green"-minded people sometimes referred to as granola crunchers. I'm not entirely sure where the term comes from but in the name of Earth Day and fellow granola crunchers out there I leave you with a recipe for my favorite granola recipe. :)

Cherry, Almond and Cinnamon Granola
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup good honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the oats, coconut, almonds, and cherries together in a large bowl. Pour the vegetable oil and honey over the oat mixture. Add the cinnamon, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated with the liquids. Pour onto a sheet pan (cookie sheet). Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown. (About 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.

The fun thing about this recipe is you can really swap in whatever kinds of dried fruit and nuts and spices you like. If you prefer dried blueberries, or a mix of berries, or pineapple, etc. then go for it! You could put in some vanilla or nutmeg. It's a super easy recipe so it is easy to play around with. 

Did you do anything exciting for Earth Day? Do you consider yourself to be a granola cruncher/Earth Chick, etc? Did any press-worthy events happen by you today?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wardrobe Issues, BBQ and Some Tunes

Does anyone remember my 'week ahead teaser' from Sunday night? I mentioned the band Thompson Square. (Love them!) Well here in the capital region, a local country radio station hosts a series of concerts called the Country 107.7's Rising Star Concert Series. On March 10th I saw Thompson Square and they ROCKED! Tonight I went to see James Wesely.

James Wesley's in the middle

He has such a good voice and it was a great concert! But before I get to that let me rewind.....<<

On my way home from work I reached a personal best. Lately with the insanely high gas prices I've been playing a little game with myself; I guess you could call it a goal or challenge. I kept striving to get over 400 miles per tank of gas before refilling. The past few tanks have been really close but I always have to fill up before I get there.

405.2! Eek!

Well today I did it!!! This was my dashboard shot right after I pulled in my driveway after work. My next trip out though I needed to fill up. The gas light hadn't come on yet but I knew it would be making an appearance very soon.

Hopefully this all make sense soon!
Once I got home I started organizing. I don't know where it came from but I had an overwhelming urge to just get things in order. I probably could have kept going all night if I didn't have plans already. One of the lucky winners of this mood was my collection of random recipes and Food sections of the newspaper. I sorted through them and gathered them all together to bring home (to my parent's house) this weekend. I want to take some time to make sense of it all - consolidate it into a binder and notebook. I'm hoping it will inspire me to actually consult my recipes more often, although cooking for one always stumps me, so who knows.

NY Maple Syrup for my parents and uncle. YUM!
Then I snapped a few shots to make up for my lack of photos yesterday. I didn't mention the NY Maple Syrup because it was a side note to my day but it's good stuff so I thought I'd throw it in. Who doesn't love maple syrup?!  ;)

Below are my Borders purchases from yesterday. The snacks cookbook has so many good recipes and it was only $3.99! I definitely hope to be scoping that out soon. I'm also pretty pumped about the one-day backyard projects because it looks like there are a lot of good ideas in there to get my creative juices flowing on my landscaping.

The cookbook and magazine I bought yesterday

After about an hour of buzzing around my house I decided I should probably get changed since I was still in my work clothes. I had the perfect outfit ready to go in my mind but, as often happens with me, I ran into a bit of a wardrobe snafu. I originally planned to wear the top half of my outfit that I wore to work and just switch out of work pants into brown leggings and a jean skirt. WELL. I apparently don't own brown leggings. This struck me as odd because I could have sworn I've worn them before. ..... Hmm...I'm going nuts. Awesome. :) This encounter did, however, make me realize that I think I've done this before and should probably go buy some brown leggings AND that I really need to organize my legging/tights drawer :-O

Yes those silvery things ARE leg warmers (and I do wear them)

I finally wound up wearing something totally different than what I had in mind, haha! Oh well. Maybe next time. By the time all of this worked out, Kevin and Amanda were at my house to head out to dinner and then the concert.

So excited for the fun night ahead!

Amanda heard about this BBQ place by my house called Rubbin Butts BBQ located in Schenectady. We were all really pumped because who doesn't love a good barbecue joint?! She got the pulled pork, Kevin got a half a rack of ribs and I got a grilled chicken breast. We all got sides of mac and cheese and I believe all had the same honey bbq sauce on our various meats.

Well, I'm sorry to report we overall gave it a 'take it or leave it' review. The chicken was alright, nothing that I couldn't make myself and the mac and cheese was kind of eh. The other two didn't seem overly enthused about their meals either and after talking about it, none of us are in a huge hurry to head back. Maybe I'll give it a shot again later but there are a lot of other places I want to try first.

After dinner we were off to the concert.

As I mentioned above; James Wesley had a GREAT voice and it was a really good concert. He was really funny (or at least I thought so) and I'm really looking forward to seeing what he comes out with in the future. I think he really has the potential to go far. Good luck to him!

After the show, the three of us headed over to my favorite bakery to pick up some goodies.

The yellow pastry is a lemon roll made with lemon sponge cake and filled with lemon creme and drizzled with chocolate.

The chocolate roll looking thing is a chocolate cannoli. I'm not entirely sure what it's made of but it tastes/looks like a chocolate wafer filled with a chocolate pudding type thing, dipped in chocolate, with chocolate sprinkles and drizzled with chocolate. It sounds like a chocolate overload but it isn't - it is just right and phenomenal! YUMMO!

The last one is a tricolored cookie/cake. I love these and this place makes the BEST I've ever had!

I am trying really hard to be a good daughter and bring them home to my parents tomorrow but staring at this picture while I'm typing is making that very difficult. Haha.

Once we finished our little treat trip we headed back to my place where my adorable little (kitty) niece was waiting for us.

Pickles! Love her!
She stayed at my place while we were at the concert since both her parents are heading out of town for Easter and she had to travel with them. I'm not normally a big cat person but she is a sweetie and isn't a mean snarly cat so we're friends. :)

That about wraps up my night! Have a great Friday and for everyone traveling this weekend - be safe! And watch out for all the candy - I had quite the sugar hangover after Halloween and let me tell you - it is NO fun. ;)

Is anyone doing anything exciting for Earth Day tomorrow? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Short and Sweet

My post tonight is going to be quick :)

Today's work day was normal although I learned I'm going to be acquiring some new tasks so I'm pretty excited about that since they seem to be right up my alley. After work I ran over to the mall to kill some time and grab dinner. I stopped into Boarder's and bought a cook book on the bargain book shelf for $4 and a magazine all about outdoor projects. Since this will be my first spring in my house I figured I should start to get landscaping ideas.

For dinner I went to Hana Express and got the Chicken Teriyaki dinner. I really just wanted the fried rice but I told myself I needed something more substantial than that. It was good but since I was craving the rice it tasted much better than the chicken. Oh well, I'll listen to my body next time.

After dinner I went to a CAYP (Capital Alliance of Young Professionals) networking social. I love going to these events and today's did not disappoint. I normally do a lot of networking and meet a bunch of people, however as soon as I walked in the door today one of my friends from college that I haven't seen in the LONGEST time was there with his wife and some co-workers. I wound up chatting with them the whole time which was great! I was so happy I ran into them - and there's always next month for networking. ;)

That pretty much wraps up my day so have a great night and I'll catch you on the flip side.  :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Dining Room Table

I'm sure you can guess the highlight of my day based on the title of this post. Yesterday I moved my kitchen table and chairs out of the dining room to make way for my dining room table! Well today it settled into its new home and I couldn't be happier! (On top of that, the new light fixture was installed! EEK!)

Table and new light fixture

View from the kitchen

Now this dining room table and I have a history. It was originally my parents dining room table and the one I remember using for all the holidays growing up. The fact that it is now living in my house is just even cooler for me! I can't wait to have an occasion to have people over and use it!

As soon as I bought my house my parents asked if I wanted it because we've had a new dining room table for years now and hadn't really been using this one. I jumped on the opportunity because I love recycling/reusing/re-purposing furniture. Not only does it mesh well with my Earth Chick-ness but I love furnishing my house with things that have a sentimental value to me. I also think that older things are made better, last longer, and have a TON of character. I'm sure as time goes on I will point out more things in my house that have been passed down to me. Another perk is that they sometimes also provide me with a project... ;)

In the case of my table that project will be reupholstering the chairs. I couldn't really tell you what the current fabric looks like other than to say it appears to be a cream base with some green and gold in it. After Easter I plan to visit one of my all time favorite stores (read between the lines: dangerous for me to shop in) Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts to poke around and get some inspiration. I'm also hoping to sew a runner for the table to give it a little extra pop/wow.

Current fabric (I decided to snap a shot)

In addition to all those other goodies for the day, as soon as the table was all in place I was about to say how now I need to find something to put on the table to decorate it when I remembered that ages ago I bought a 3 piece vase set thing. Well for the past few months it has been hanging out (still in the box!) on my book shelves in the living room so I promptly ran and grabbed it and stuck the box on the table. I can't wait to take them out of the box and do something creative with them. My table looks perfect, is in place, AND I didn't need to buy anything new to decorate it (such as candle sticks or a centerpiece). That rocks!

Special thanks to Dad and Uncle Bob for making the trip to bring it up to me and installing my light fixture (got it working on the FIRST try - way to go Dad)!

After that was all done I grabbed a quick dinner of leftover chili, threw in a load of laundry, made some popcorn and watched a movie on TV while putzing around online. That reminds me - quick recap of last night:

The Palace Theatre, after the show

IT. WAS. AWESOME! As soon as I got there I went up to the concession stand and bought myself a thing of popcorn (I had been thinking about it all day!!) and at the last minute decided to get some sour patch kids. My grand total: $4. So between the movie ($5) and my snacks/dinner - I spent a whopping $9. Can't beat it! The second I walked into the theatre I was in awe. I have been there before but to go to watch a movie was incredible. It is beautiful inside and made me wish all movie theaters were still like this. I think the surroundings just made the movie even more amazing for me. I'll have to hit up their next movie night. The movie itself was terrific and it struck a chord with me so much more now that I'm older. All in all it was a great, albeit late, night and I'm really happy I went.

What kinds of projects do you like to do? (If any at all)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie Monday!

Well! What a Monday! My day started off with another rainbow – woo hoo! Unfortunately I was running a little late so I didn’t snap a shot of it but it looked a lot like the one on Friday, it was just in a different spot (maybe because of the change in sunrise time?).  Such a nice little surprise to start the day/week  :)

Work was work – nothing much to note about there, other than to say I had another Chobani yogurt. Weee!! Today I tried Pomegranate and it was YUM! I really like that the flavors aren’t too over powering and that its actual fruit that I’m eating in with the yogurt. And speaking of fruit – I don’t know if it is the pears this year or me but I currently can’t get enough of them! They’re so sweet and delicious! I normally like pears but the ones I have had the past couple of days are just so good! I’m having a hard time pacing myself with the ones I just bought – I could easily wipe them out in one sitting.

At lunch I popped home quick grab some leftovers  for dinner (score one for planning ahead!) and move my kitchen table from my dining room back into my kitchen in preparation for my dining room table arrival tomorrow! SO excited!

It looks so empty right now

Hmm...need to paint that door too...haha!

Abby at Country Fest 2010
After work my friend Abby called to catch up about my vacation and her new job (!!!). I have been meaning to call her since I returned from the cruise but life keeps getting in the way! Eek. Thankfully she’s a very understanding friend. :)

Abby and I go way back to I think middle school (my memory is blanking right now!), if not middle school then definitely high school. I’m so happy we’ve stayed in touch through all the years and still make time to chat and see each other - although now when I visit her it will have the added benefit of being in sunny Florida!

Shortly I will be heading over to the Palace Theatre. I’m super excited about this because they show classic movies on the big screen for only $5!! Can you believe it?! I think that just rocks! I have wanted to go to one since I found out they did this but haven’t made my way over there until tonight (despite the fact that there have been many movies I wanted to see). So what movie am I seeing? The Ten Commandments (staring Charlton Heston and has the famous parting of the red sea scene). Probably not many people’s first choice BUT I love this movie! (Weird, I know, but I can’t help it!)

When my sister and I were younger we used to rent movies from the library and the ones we picked usually ended up being old movies. One of the ones we got was The Ten Commandments and, I don’t know why, but I thought it was such an awesome movie and have loved it ever since. I’m totally psyched about seeing it on the big screen.

That will pretty much wrap up my night since the movie is quite long and I’m sure I’ll be zonked by the time I get home. Hope everyone has a great night!

Are there any old (or any) movies that you like that are a little out of left field?

I like a bunch of them but I’ll save that for another post :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sweet Bean Chili to Power the Week Ahead

Good evening blog world!

How did the rest of everyone's weekends go? After wrapping up grocery shopping and my other errands the sun had gone in for the day and the rain and WIND were out so I didn't spend too much time outdoors. It was probably for the best though, I had a jam packed night of cooking ahead of me. I planned on making Sweet Bean Chili and cornbread for dinner because I knew it would give me a ton of left overs to last me through the busy week ahead.

Every year at my place of employment our Community Service Committee holds a Chili Cook Off. A bunch of employees volunteer to bring in a crock-pot of chili and at lunch everyone can go down and sample the all the different kinds. The money that is then raised goes to a predetermined charity (I believe it varies from year to year). Well I'm not usually a huge chili fan BUT I always go because it is for a good cause and I like samples. Through the Chili Cook Off I discovered this delicious dish I had for dinner tonight! :) 

All my ingredients ready to roll (minus the sweet tater)
 The recipe is as follows including my substitutions in parentheses:

Sweet Bean Chili
2-3 lbs ground beef, browned and drained (I used ground turkey instead of ground beef - I usually substitute in ground turkey because it's healthier and I don't notice a huge change in taste)
1 large can of baked beans - undrained (I use B&M - the best in my opinion!)
1 can corn - undrained (I had frozen corn on hand so I used that instead)
1 can white northern beans - undrained (I drained and rinsed them)
1 can yellow butter beans -  undrained (I drained and rinsed these too)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used just a little over 1 cup and its still very sweet)
1 cup sugar
1 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp dry mustard
1 onion sliced thin (I used a large sweet white onion)
You can also add bacon (I added about half a package of turkey bacon already cooked)

Mix all the ingredients together and bring to a boil. I let it all simmer for about 45 minutes because I wanted the onions to soften and the flavors to marry. I believe the last time I made this I did it in the crock pot. I didn't have the time today for that but it still came out just as good!

All done! It tastes better than it looks I guess...
After that was all done I cleaned up in the kitchen and then moved my cleaning operation into the living room to go through my newspaper stack and weekly ads. A pretty relaxing evening to get me ready for the busy week ahead.

I'm off to go wind down and get ready for bed. I hope you all have a great Monday and I'll catch up with you tomorrow night!

As a preview of this week I am going to leave you with a teaser: Thompson Square. Any ideas how they fit in? Leave a comment ;)

Two Types of Friends

Since the downstairs bathroom is now completed, I have a renewed desire to cross things off my 'house project to do list'. I have had the trim around the windows in the living room taped since last fall and decided yesterday was the perfect day to get that done.

Through owning my home I have realized I don't like doing projects alone. I like to chat with people while I work. Unfortunately I'm flying solo today so I settled on the next best thing ...

I spent the afternoon with my good Friends Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Joey, Pheobe and Ross. :)

I LOVE this show. When it first came out I never really watched it. It was only after I graduated college that I really got into it. My friend Amanda owns the entire set of DVDs and a while back she let me borrow them and work my way through all the seasons in order. Well after that I just fell in love with the show! I went on and bought my own set!

Watching the show now is so great because the characters are pretty much the same age as I am and seeing them go through life's up and downs (with a comedic twist of course) provides a kind of sentimental comfort. And the show is just hilarious so the fact that I laugh out loud throughout most of each episode doesn't hurt either. ;)

So with my Season 1 Disk 5 all prepped and ready in my DVD player I tackled the trim. It's kind of sad that I have to paint it because the color of the wood is just beautiful but it was a bit banged up when I moved in so it needed to be repaired with wood putty and the paint will cover that. I have also already painted the baseboard trim in most of my house so the windows need to match.

Wood color to start with
I forgot to take a before shot of the windows - although I'm sure I have one somewhere - so after I got a little into it I figured I should probably snap a shot before it was all done.
In progress

All done! Or at least all primed...

After I finished the window I still had some primer in my little hand held bucket thing so I decided to paint the door going from the living room to the kitchen. The other side of this door is already white so I wanted this side to match. You can see the wood putty on the bottom of the door below the door knob (The white stripe along one of the wood dividers is paint - again I started before taking a picture...haha ;) )
After being primed

By the time all of this was done - my hands were pretty much covered in paint (no idea how!) and it was time for me to go get ready for going out to spend some quality time with my real friends. It was Saturday night after all! :)

Brian and Wendy
Kevin and Amanda
Jessica (new friend to me) and Ian
And Amanda and I

We all met up at Wolff's Biergarten because a friend of ours was in town visiting and another was celebrating a birthday! Now, based on the name, you can probably assume what kind of beverage is mainly served. Well I am not a beer girl - not a huge fan of it at all but I figured since I was there I should try and give it another shot. When the waitress asked what I wanted I explained that I didn't know because I don't normally drink beer but rather cider so if she had anything that tasted similar to that I'd take it. She brought over two samples and I tried both - neither really struck me as "oooh wow! This is great!" so I just randomly picked one. I forget what kind she said, I think it began with an s and was a logger lager but here's a shot of the MASSIVE stein I received (and this isn't the biggest!).

What you see there is about all I drank of it. I think it was filled up to the line in the glass so I drank about an inch down. I was pretty pleased with myself, called it a night with the beer, and got water for the rest of the evening. In the future, I'll get a glass of wine or stick with good old H2O.

It was such a fun night and the Biergarten itself is such a fun place - you can throw the peanut shells on the floor and there's a fake tree in the back! It's especially fun in the warmer months because the front of the bar is essentially a garage door that opens out to a patio. The door wasn't open last night because it's still cold and it was raining, but I'm sure we'll head back when it's outdoor patio season :)

Now I'm off to do some grocery shopping and other errands and hopefully spend some time out in the sunshine today!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Free for all Friday

Happy Friday everyone! The work week is over and now the fun of the weekend begins! Woo hoo!

My morning started off terrifically when I came down stairs to find a rainbow across my living room!

On the carpet

I think you can see more colors in this one
I think this was reflecting off the medicine cabinet mirror in the bathroom onto the floor and TV. (If not then I have no clue where it came from). It put a nice little smile on my face while I ran into the kitchen to grab my breakfast and lunch for work.

Today was super sunny and, even though it wasn't really on the warm side, I still wanted to pop out of the office for a bit to soak up some Vitamin D and fresh air. I decided this would be a perfect opportunity to run to the library and pick up a few books I've wanted to check out (as if I don't already have enough of my own!) :)

And that's not all of them

When I got back I was doing a little reading on CNN to keep up with current events and I came across this article from "The Chart" blog. It's National DNA Day!!! How exciting is that! It's a day celebrating that which makes everything unique! "It's to commemorate the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in April 1953, and the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003." April is apparently a big month for genetics! Whoowee!

I toyed with the idea of talking a bit about the genome but I would have to reference my college Biology books...and since they are in my sister's room at our parents house due to her recent obsession with the Bodies Exhibit...I have decided against it :)

On my way inside the house after work I noticed my mystery flowers are starting to bloom and grow! (That makes me think of the Sound of Music .... edelweiss, edelweiss...") :)

They're pretty but I still have no idea...

There's a bunch of these but without flowers I just can't tell
I guess I'll need to wait a little longer for the second type to do something other than sprout green leaves. I'm intrigued to see what they become so I can learn how to take care of them. I also need to figure out how to move them since the second type in particular has germinated quite far away from my house. I do believe some landscaping research is in store for me this weekend.

In the meantime I have put on my Cookie Monster socks...

C is for cookie...
Grabbed the last of my Scrabble Junior Cheez-Its and some of my yummy iced tea from last night...

Why they are Scrabble Junior, I have no idea...

And my library books...

And I'm going to settle in and do some reading. I am really psyched about having this blog and really want to make it great so I'm making sure to do my due diligence. ;)  I hope I find some interesting tips and info - I'm really looking forward to reading these! (Especially the IT Girls book...I don't know if it's because it is pink or that it has the word 'moxie' in the title.)

Have a great Friday night!