Sunday, February 28, 2010

A little fresh air...

We ventured over to Shane and Amanda's today to watch the Canadians beat the US in Olympic hockey game. We had some tasty chili made by Shane and since it was sunny and relatively warm (around 60 degrees), Amanda and I grabbed our cameras.

{Warning: I might have a slight obsession with Cherry Blossoms forming...}
Though my obsession with this handsome fella takes precedence over all the Cherry Blossoms in the world!
We topped the night off with some delicious steaks and asparagus on the grill. I absolutely LOVE that grilling season has begun again!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Because of all the warm weather...

The trees are blooming...this makes me happy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kitchen dreams

I want this woman's kitchen...I want her cooking skills even more...but I'll settle for her kitchen!
I mean come on...look at all that counter space!!! Absolutely drool-worthy! It doesn't hurt that she's on a ranch and feeds tons of people everyday...not to mention all the pretty horses!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lucky #17....not

We've been having an awesome weather streak (by typing this, I'm sure I'll be jinxing the area!) with sunny skies and highs in the low to mid '50s. We've had a pretty mild winter so far...knock on wood, which is good with the whole dam breaking thing going on.

Tonight we went to the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey game (Rico's birthday present from Shane and Amanda - thanks guys!!). We didn't know until we got there that they're on a 16 game losing streak...tonight we hit was still fun and I think we're planning to go back next weekend. They're playing Portland and Portland games have a reputation for being very ... lively (read: violent, many brawls to be cheered on).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

I found a semi-healthy and delicious way to get Rico to eat his veggies, lol. We used turkey burger and low fat cheese. The recipe called for Rice-a-Roni so brown rice works well here too. We had a ton left over so we had this for lunch too.

We added the essential onion & garlic powders, black pepper, onions and some Italian bread crumbs so it ended up really well seasoned and moist (the diced tomatoes helped a lot since the turkey burger dries out really easily)!

I'm also working on depth of field in my photos so this was sort of a project. How do they look??

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fun but not so sunny Florida...

For a state named the Sunshine State, you would think there would be a law against cloudy days! But apparently not. We did get one good sunny day towards the end which made me a happy girl (to be honest, my idea of an ideal vacation would be laying by the pool reading a book for 6 days straight, working on my tan!).

We played tourist a little bit and ventured down Alligator Alley and went to an alligator farm. They took us on an air boat ride - a first for all four of us! It was really fun!
Not that you can tell from this picture, but this is a manatee...
Following the airboat ride, we went on a swamp buggy ride (yes, it included the requisite redneck southerner driving with the bit of chew in his jaw!). He drove us through the backwoods swamps, regailing us with the stories of his misadventures (apparently he once stayed 3 weeks in the swamp when his truck broke down - but he stayed because he didn't want to leave his truck behind!)
We drove cross state to Miami ...and China (my parents empty nest dog, aka: my new sister) had a blast!
We celebrated Valentine's Day by Rico and I going to the Calusa Nature Reserve & Planetarium. We thought it would be cool...but it wasn't, lol. They showed a slide show of the myths and legends of the stars. Most of them didn't end happily (not very romantic on V-Day). They did take us on a night hike through the woods and we got to pet a bobcat, which was cool. They then led us to a campfire but we left before they started singing Cume Ba Yah, lol!

Rico did a little bit of research and suggested we go eat at Longhorn Steakhouse and oh my goodness was it delicious! It was one of the best steaks I've had a long while. Mom and Bucky were suitably impressed as well so it must have been good! Our last night in Florida we went to Iguana Mia. We'd driven by multiple times and they were always packed so we tried them. They had the best tortilla chips! Mom also made pot roast while we were there and it turned out delicious (much better than my attempts so far!).

We left at o'dark thirty on Tuesday morning and didn't plan ahead...apparently gas stations in SW Florida aren't open that early in the morning. We stopped at 3 different gas stations - all had their pumps lit up and all took our cards but wouldn't pump gas (and of course no attendants that early). We sucked it up and returned the rental car on 1/4 of a tank ...unfortunately, Budget wanted over $7 a gallon for refilling it, grrr! We'll know next time though, won't we?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We're leaving on a jet plane...

We're down to the final hours before we head to the airport for Florida. I'm trying to speed this dragging day up a little so I figured I would update you guys on this past week.

Rico finally got his text book situation resolved (now that the quarter is half way over) - thanks alot Green River! So now, he can actually do his homework (which I'm sure he's over joyed about).

This past Saturday, I initiated a girls night. I invited a bunch of girls out for Mexican food and a sappy girlie movie. I was very pleasantly surprised that we were able to get 7 girls (6 of which have kids) all out at the same time. It was a lot of fun and we're planning to do it again sometime soon. Maybe next time we'll all get together at one of our houses and make a huge pot of spaghetti or something. Add some daiquiris or margaritas in there and we'll have a party!
Dear John was a tear jerker - but what else do you expect from Nicholas Sparks? It was actually one of my least favorite books by him but the movie turned out pretty good. Though it doesn't hurt that the lead actor is Channing Tatum, hehe!

I've checked the weather in Minnesota (our layover) and it seems to be cold but clear. So cross your fingers and toes that there's no freak snow storm or something trapping us BFE. I still don't understand why they're making us fly to MN then to FL... makes no sense when our flight back is through Atlanta. I would've much rather fly through southern states the whole way but no such luck.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recap: Rico's Birthday!

Thursday was Rico's 30th birthday. Thursday night we ate dinner at The Keg - a delicious steak dinner! To follow that up, on Saturday, I woke him up early and took him to a glass blowing class. This was by far, the coolest thing we've done!

The glory hole...
My turn:)After making our bowls, we went to make some pottery. Sorry - no pictures there. It wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Rico really enjoyed pottery class in high school but we went to Klay Krazy here in Auburn. Unfortunately, the women running the place didn't really know what they were doing. They had us watch a dvd on how to make a bowl and then sat us down at the wheel and told us to go at it. No real lesson, the wheels were unbalanced so even if we could make something, it would have ended up lopsided. Rico even got a slight discount on his session because he attempted to fix the wheel, something the ladies didn't even know how to do. We spent an hour with our hands in muddy clay and called it quits. Next time, we'll go to a more professional studio.

Following the failed pottery class, we went home, showered and cleaned up because Rico had another surprise coming up. He figured it out pretty quickly when we turned into Emerald Downs (which is where I work). A surprise party! I reserved the 6th floor suites for his party and invited 15 of his closest friends. We lounged around in the suites with its 9 tvs, great views and comfy leather couches. We dined on chicken skewers, beef & cheddar and pulled pork & slaw sliders, egg rolls & pot stickers and a Thai noodle salad. For dessert, we had an absolutely delicious ice cream cake from Cold Stone. Btw, this had to be one of the best ice cream cakes I've ever had! We definitely will be going back if we ever need one again.After dinner & cake & opening presents, most of us headed out to an old hang out of Rico's, Papa's Pub where we met up with a few more friends. Rico had a great time catching up with his old friends and new, along with a few (or rather a lot) of drinks. Let's just say the birthday boy was feeling it the next day! Lol, and that feeling is why we didn't go up to the gun range (which was the 2nd half of my "experience" birthday" plan). Oh well, maybe sometime soon!

But speaking of soon... 7 days til Florida!!!