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New Year’s Eve Reflections

31 Dec

The time is here!  Yes, time for the big parties, gorgeous dresses, bubbling champagne, and that romantic kiss when the ball drops.  Wait, that is not my life but the movies sure do make it look good.

I have always had high expectations for New Year’s Eve because I have always compared life to the movies (I know it’s stupid but I am learning).  Anyways, I always felt a little let down when the ball dropped on #NYE because aside from the horn blowers and pots and pans, there are no fireworks-it’s really just another night.  People ask what your resolution will be and you say the same thing you said last year, knowing that you’re not going to stick with it–again.  My other favorite is when people say they are done with the drama of the previous year.  Hellooo, you don’t have to wait all year to change your life.  Wow-I am starting to sound like an old person!

Seriously–why not change your life on any day of the week?  In all honesty, January is a cold, miserable month and probably harder to stick to the positive lifestyle during that time.  Why not make a resolution when Spring rolls around?  It will probably be easier to stick with.

We build this one night up and many people feel let down when nothing happens. Well, unless your best friend vomits all over your floor, but that’s another posting all together 🙂

My point is-whether you head to Times Square, stay at your local watering hole, dine at a fancy restaurant, or order takeout in your sweatpants-spend it the way you want to spend it!  You will enjoy yourself so much more.  Hate to be cliché, but that really is what it is all about.

And as for those pesky resolutions-don’t even stress, they’re not all that they are cracked up to be.

Hope you have a Happy New Year and may your 2013 bring many new adventures!

Cheers, T

Save Time with Dinner

27 Dec

Wow, where did Christmas go?  I hope you and your family were able to relax and spend time together.  It seems like we spend the whole month shopping, baking, decorating, wrapping, visiting, and with the blink of an eye it’s over.  As we do every year, Nathan and I went to NJ to spend time with my family and it was wonderful to see everyone.  I have to admit I am like a child at the holidays and was excited that Santa was, as he is every year,  so good to us.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s back to the grind and back to the routine.  It occurred to me this morning, as I was getting ready for the first day back to work that I need to think of something to make for dinner.  Ugghh-I feel like that is a never ending saga: what are we going to eat?  I know, I know- #1stWorldProblems.  Seriously though, our work schedules and traffic filled commutes are so crazy that a lot of times we get home from an 11 or 12 hour work day and the last thing I want to think about is what am I going to make.  Of course with making the dinner comes the clean up, doing any other chores that have been neglected, get work bag re-packed, and of course try to spend some quality time together.  Before I know it, the evening news is long over and its 9:45pm.

Since this blog is about newlywed life and all that comes with it, I thought I would share some ways you can save time with dinner.

1. Make enough food for two meals.  This will allow you at least one night of leftovers, which means at least one night of not cooking!

2.  Take food out for dinner in the morning.   This morning I  took frozen Italian Sausage out for dinner, so when I walk in the door tonight and Nathan asks, “What’s for Dinner?” he knows and with any luck he has already started cooking the pasta to go with it. 

3. Cook Together.  Use this time to start talking about your day.

4. Clean as you cook.   If you clean the mess as you cook, you will have nothing to do after eating, except put your plates in the dishwasher and enjoy the rest of your night.

Cheers, Tara

Growing By 2 Feet

12 Nov

Steelers Fan Due 5/26/13

Nathan and I are very excited to announce that we are expecting our first baby on May 26, 2013!

I am very excited that I am no longer keeping a huge secret and can share this wonderful news with everyone.  I can now be the honest blogger I was born to be!  The 1st trimester is coming to an end, and so far everything is A-OK with both baby and myself.  That leads me into this blog post where I thought I would begin to share this journey and answer as many questions as possible at one time.

The last 12 weeks have been an adjustment, but I’m sure it is nothing compared to our exciting journey ahead of us.  While we do not know what we are having yet, nor do I want to find out, Nathan tells everyone that I am growing a man!  Time will tell, but I am fairly confident that it is not a man, but a baby.  On a serious note, we are fine with a boy or a girl (fingers crossed) as long as the baby is healthy.

Luckily, I have not been sick,  although I will say nausea is not a fun time either, but better than vomit I suppose. Mainly, I have been exhausted–I am talking 11-12 hours of sleep per day exhausted.  For those of you soon-to-be-pregnant newlyweds, this is very common, yet no one seems to mention it until you can barely keep your head up.   Now you know. 🙂

Cravings? Grilled cheese, pancakes, waffles…lets just say carbs in general. Seriously though-I could eat pancakes for every meal, which is crazy because normally breakfast food is my least favorite food on the planet.

I have learned that I cannot go to the grocery store by myself because I no longer care to have self-control.  If I see something and it looks good, I buy it!  I come home with at least two different kinds of chips, ice cream, candy, cookies, brownies-a complete 180 from only eating Special K chips! So, yes, I do have an appetite and I can only hope that I will be lucky in the weight gain. Yes, I know I can go to the gym, but like I said I am tired and pregnant.

That’s all for now, but don’t you worry I still have 6 months of pregnancy blogging ahead of me:)

Cheers, T

Have a Better Weekend – Together

5 Nov

If these days, your weekends are all about errands and catching up on sleep (or worse, work), it’s time to make some changes to your Saturday and Sunday lineups. Don’t get us wrong, sleeping in and hitting up the grocery store can still be on the agenda, but so should some couple time — the kind where you’re awake and not shopping for TP. To get you started, here are some tips for making the most of your weekend.

Start It Off Right

Try making Saturdays and Sundays special by coming up with a weekend morning ritual. Whether it’s eating pancakes in bed, walking the dog or just reading the paper over a cup of coffee together, establishing a morning routine starts your weekend off on a special note and makes couple time a priority.

Try Something New

Make a point to do something different every weekend, whether it’s trying a new restaurant or changing up the Mad Men reruns for Boardwalk Empire. Taking time to brainstorm with your partner and move out of your humdrum routine will bring you closer — and who knows, you might have some fun too? Need help getting started? Here are a few activities to try: Take cooking lessons; go see your favorite football team play live or watch them at a bar, instead of watching from your couch again; go for a hike; take dancing lessons together; see a play.

Make Time for Each Other

With baby showers, work conferences or deadlines, yoga classes, yard work and football games, it’s not always easy to make spending quality time with your partner a weekend priority. Work out a plan ahead of time, so you aren’t too tired or busy for a romantic date or just some cuddling on the couch.

Remember the Little Things

During the week, it may be hard to find time to kiss your partner goodbye, let alone go out of your way to do something thoughtful or romantic. So on your days off, it’s important to make the extra effort every once in a while. Maybe one Saturday, surprise your partner with breakfast in bed or offer to finally put up those shelves she’s been bugging you about. Or, take your mate to that movie he’s been dying to see (even if you have no interest in watching Mark Wahlberg solve a murder mystery). Trust us, the little compromises and extra effort won’t go unrewarded, and they’ll make your weekend (and week) go a lot smoother.

 

Samantha Leal, TheNest, Dec 15, 2010

 

 

Halloween Costumes for Couples

16 Oct

Halloween will be here before we know it, so here are some fun costume ideas for couples!

1. Barbie and Ken-For those of you that like to be really crafty, this is the perfect costume for you.  Make sure you have 2 boxes big enough to fit over your bodies and cut a rectangle in the front of each, this will be your window.  Spray paint the box pink and be sure to write MATTEL on the front. Mark one box as BARBIE and one as KEN.   Both of you should get really dressed up and just put the box on.   Side thought-if you want to go as Malibu Barbie, you can just wear your bathing suit:)

2. Biker couple-Easy and cheap to create this costume. Pull out your leather jacket, or pants if you have them, and make sure to tie a bandana around your head. DONE!

3. Bonnie and Clyde-If you have to dress up for work everyday, you could transform one of your suits.  Head to Target to buy a few plastic guns and a fedora, and you’re set. Guys, don’t forget to wear the suspenders like every good gangster does.

4. Danny Zuko and Sandy from Grease-Again if you have a leather jacket, or pants-wear them! By the end of the night, the whole party will be signing, “Greased Lightning” 

5. Joe Dirt and Brandy-Guys LOVE Joe Dirt, and you can find the mullet wig at any costume shop. Ladies, this is actually a comfortable costume for us-cutoff jean shorts!

6. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head- If you are done with the barely there outfits, this is for you! Buy the t-shirt and throw on some jeans. Voila!

7. Police Officer and Convict- You can try to make these costumes, but we recommend going to the store and buying them. The fun part of this costume is that either of you can be the cop or convict:)

8. Nun and Priest –  We think the pregnant nun is funnier.

9. Sonny and Cher-Head to any vintage shop to find bell bottoms and a flowery shirt.  Make sure you find a long black wig for Cher and pick up a mustache at Spencer’s Stores for Sonny.

10. Spartan Cheerleaders-Never goes out of style!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Cheers, E & T

Because I’m An Adult Now

9 Oct

So, I have been doing the adult thing for quite some time now.  You know the laundry, marriage,  grocery store, cooking, homeowner, cleaning, bringing your own card to the party-not just signing onto Mom’s.  But this past month I have realized it has reached a whole new level.

It all started with the President of our condo pleading for people to get involved and bring ideas forward.  Nathan and I have owned our condo for almost 3 years and have never volunteered, or even met a neighbor until 6 months ago.  I should clarify, when I mean meet a neighbor, I mean to actually know their name and have their phone number.  So yes, I am one of those people who have not been involved in the community but yet complain about the activities planned, which quite frankly are geared toward older residents.  But not this month…this past month I answered the pleading and decided to volunteer.  I sat through the entire board meeting where people complained about everything under the sun and suggested my idea.  What was my grand idea you want to know?  Very simple–TRICK OR TREATING in the building!  Did they like the idea? Yes! So, this year I am in charge of organizing our building’s trick or treaters from 6:30-8pm on Halloween.

Now, another realization of adulthood that I came to this month is the fact that I will be attending Homecoming to speak at Career Day.  Whoa, I know-my thoughts exactly!  I am not just returning to visit my favorite local watering holes, or to participate in a keg race against another sorority.  This year I will actually be an adult and will speak to students to stress the importance of grades, and internships. To top that off, I will be attending a sit down luncheon with faculty and advisers. Not sure where the time went or when I officially became an adult, but it is happening people!

So, what is the point to all of this besides me rambling?  Well, if you have recently realized that the fun of drinking is starting to wear off because it takes your body all weekend long to recover-know that you are not alone.  We are getting older and need to start doing other things such as volunteering, shopping at  Bed, Bath and Beyond on a Saturday, or throwing a crafting party(which Elise and I did-another post on that later).

George Burns was once quoted as saying, “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”  I must have subconsciously tried to keep myself young  this weekend after buying a filing cabinet because I ended up eating half of the bag of candy that I bought for the trick or treaters! So, it all works out-enough said:)

Cheers, T

Birthday Dinner!

26 Sep

A couple of weeks ago my handsome hubby turned thirty-two and I decided to surprise him with a delicious birthday dinner to start off his birthday weekend! I ended up making filet mignon, pan-seared scallops with bacon and spinach, twice baked potatoes and asparagus.

I had never attempted to make filet mignon before and was pretty nervous about screwing it up, so I followed this recipe. I used the pan-searing technique and  a meat thermometer to make sure that my filets were cooked to the perfect medium rare. I even attempted to make the Cabernet wine sauce. The sauce didn’t turn out that great…womp.womp.womp. I think I may have accidentally let the wine cook down to much. oops.

Sorry for the terrible cell phone pictures.

I found the recipe for scallops via a friend on Pinterest. It was actually a pretty easy and very tasty recipe. I followed it directly for the most part. I did use turkey bacon since that was what I already had. The scallops were really good, but this was my second oops because they were a little bit undercooked. They weren’t raw by any means, but they could have used another minute or so in the skillet.

I didn’t use recipes for the twice baked potatoes or asparagus. I just made them how I usually do. I actually started the potatoes first. I rinsed each of them off, poked a couple of holes in the tops of each with a fork and baked them in the oven on 375 degrees until they were soft to the touch. Depending on the size of the potato it could be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or more. I believe mine took about an hour. Once I took them out  of the oven I sat them on the counter to cool while I prepped and cooked the rest of the meal.

Once I was ready to come back to the potatoes I cut them in half (long ways) and scooped the insides out and placed them in my kitchen-aid bowl. Make sure to keep as many of the potato skins in tact as possible, so you have enough to scoop the potato mixture back into. I added a little milk, butter, salt and pepper to the potato mixture and blended until smooth. Once everything was mixed I filled each of the potato skins and placed them on a baking sheet. I placed them back in the oven to heat up for about 20-25 minutes on 350 degrees. The last five or so minutes is when you can add cheese, to the top if you choose. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the process since I was trying to make sure everything was done close to or right when Joe got home. Who wants to eat a cold birthday dinner?

I drizzled the asparagus with EVOO, pepper and a little salt and placed on a baking sheet in the already heated oven for 10-12 minutes. Joe and I like our asparagus crunchy and not soggy. 🙂

Before Joe got home I had a few minutes to decorate a little bit. I wrapped streamers in his favorite colors around the banisters and hung a Happy Birthday banner over the sofa. He was definitely surprised when he walked in!

All in all dinner turned out delicious and Joe really liked it, which made me very happy. Not to mention I had a blast cooking for him. He even commented about how perfectly medium rare the filet was. yey! I think Chef Ramsey would have been proud! lol.

We ended up just eating dinner, drinking a little wine and lounging on the couch. We watched a few episodes of American Picker and fell asleep early. I think it was the perfect way to spend the night before his birthday, especially since we had a jam-packed full day ahead of us on Saturday!

 

I still have more to post from Joe’s birthday weekend and from our anniversary this past weekend, so please be patient with me while I get caught up. Here’s to celebrating many, many, many more birthdays together with my handsome man! )

Try your hand at any difficult recipes lately? Surprise your significant other on their birthday?

 

Cheers! E

 

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