Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy (October) Weekend!

I can't believe tomorrow is already October! But I am super excited. I love fall. And I'm ready to embrace it. I'm cleaning and cooking tonight and then we have both sets of in laws coming over tomorrow for a BBQ/games shindig. It can get pretty crazy when the Boehmes and the Kanes get together. I'm so glad I love my family. :)

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything exciting? Any fun fall festivities? (say that ten times fast)


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Life Without a Phone

As I shared here, my phone screen pooped out over Labor Day weekend. I could still answer phone calls (it was just like the old days where you didn't know who was calling), play my music (thank goodness the week before I had decided to shuffle all... which also included all my Christmas music), and I even figured out how to check my voicemail! It wasn't unusable, just more difficult. And no texting or facebook. :( Whaaaa.

With that said, you can bet I am super anxious for the new iPhone to come out! They are supposed to announce on October 4th, and hopefully I'll be able to buy soon after. Very soon after.

Oh, and did I mention that my lovely husband lost his phone about a month ago? No? Well, he did. It's definitely been an interesting month rocking one phone between the two of us.

At first I was not too bummed about not having a phone. I thought it would be a good exercise in unplugging and getting away from the gadgets for a while. But now, I'm over it. I want a working phone!

Thankfully, my friend Kim lent me her old hot pink Motorola Slvr (we just switched out the SIM card from my screen-less iPhone) and it works fine. We can get texts, voicemail and even call out. But it's still just one phone between the two of us. And Z loves using the pink phone. :)

Anyways, I'm very excited for the new iPhone to come out. Z tried to convert me to the Samsung Galaxy SII (the phone he's getting on Sunday) but I won't do it! MAC FOR LIFE!!!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Paris: Day 3

Finally! Day three in Paris! Probably one of our more low key days on the trip, but still fun. We started out at Notre Dame after getting a large cappuccino and pastries (pain au chocolat for me, of course). We got there right at opening time and there were no lines. It was also free to get in! Notre Dame was very different than the churches we saw in London. For one, it was Catholic, which automatically gave it a more serious, solemn feel. Another difference was the style - very Gothic architecture and very dark inside. It also had the most amazing stained glass - huge round windows on either side of the altar. Everyone was very quiet inside and I was frustrated with some groups of tourists that didn't respect that about the church.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall + Mom

Happy First Day of Fall! And also, Happy Birthday to my lovely Mother!

We just spent a year's worth of summer down in Arizona so now I am ready for fall. So ready. Bring it on! Bring on the colored leaves, the crisp mornings, the pumpkin spice lattes, the boots and jackets and mittens, and most importantly, the football!

Speaking of football... my baby brother's German Football Team (the Unicorns) has their semi-final game on Saturday, and if they win - on to the German Super Bowl!!! How awesome would that be?! Supremely awesome.

Are you excited for fall? Wishing for more sun or excited to curl up with some hot cocoa on the couch?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Last week I made Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars to take in to work for the big tax deadline. Let's just say, they were gone before lunch. :) Here's the recipe I got from the trusty Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.

// 375 degrees // 15-20 minutes // makes 60 cookies (depending on how big you slice them)

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 12-ounce package semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix butter and shortening on medium-high for 30 seconds.

Add sugars and baking soda.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Mix in as much flour as you can. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press dough into an un-greased 15x10x1 baking pan (I just used a cookie sheet).

Bake @ 375 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Mmmmmhmmmm. I used a pizza cutter to slice up the bars and it worked amazingly. Look at those perfectly cut cookie squares.

I probably could have cut them a bit smaller, but like I said, they were gone before lunch. Yum!

New Chairs (kind of)

We don't really use Craigslist a lot. I know it can be a good way to score some cheap finds, but I guess I just get a little lazy. But... in the past month, we got two new (to us) chairs off of Craigslist.

First the husband needed a new chair for his office - a more comfortable one that could support his back during the long hours of studying. So he picked up this handsome office chair (we'll call him Otto. Otto the office chair.) for $60.

Not a bad deal considering the price of new chairs (in the hundreds) these days. It's really comfortable and sturdy. Plus, it's leather (fancy)!

I got myself a new chair too. Actually, it's a very old chair, but it's got nice curves and since I've always wanted a wing back, I just couldn't pass it up. I got this lovely lady (I just named her Winifred, Winnie for short) from a nice Indian family in downtown Bellevue for only 25 bones. Yes, I might have gone in to their apartment without a working phone (don't tell my mother), but everything worked out OK!

She's pretty sturdy (less so than the leather office chair) but I like her lines, and hopefully one day I'll be brave enough to do some re-upholstering. We'll see. For now, the color is pretty good though. I can make it work. She's only got a couple of awkward spots and scratches, but it's not too bad. 

Overall both chairs are just what we were looking for. Another successful Craigslist shopping trip!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bookcase Gussy Up

My lovely husband has a unique hoarding gene for books. He loves to read, which is great. Read on, man. But, he also loves to keep every single book he reads. No matter what it is. Of course, we have to keep the Harry Potter series - I get that. But, the $4 fantasy/science fiction books he buys on Amazon that aren't even pretty to look at? That I don't get. He says he might read them again. Someday.

Anyways, long story long, we need more book storage. So I went down to Ikea and picked up a cheap-o bookcase for $25. Not particularly pretty, but not ugly. Just basic. And that meant I could do something to spruce it up. So before we put the whole thing together, I went on down to T-ville, aka Target, and picked up some wrapping paper for about $3 in a pretty pattern. 

Before using the 50 nails they give you to attach the back piece to the bookcase, I took some double sided tape and attached the wallpaper to the backing.

I rolled out the paper to see how much I would need.

Applied the double stick tape to the front side of the backing. I used it fairly generously, but it was only wrapping paper so it was pretty thin. Not a lot needed to keep it to stay. Plus, once we nailed it on it had extra staying power.

I turned the wrapping paper good side down, as well as the backing, then applied the double stick tape to the back side of the backing. Then I just folded over the excess wrapping paper so it pulled snug against the front of the backing (kind of like wrapping a present).

Then, the husband and I had a contest to see who could nail in the most mini nails first (I think I won). I really like the end result! It's like a surprise pop of color!

Isn't it fun? It would be so easy to do with any kind of fun wrapping paper, or even wallpaper (although it might be a little more expensive). You could even use some fabric to add some texture too. I'd like to paint the bookshelf white, but that might be a little bit down the road. For now, it's just the added color we needed to spice up the office.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Leaves, They are a Changin'

Did everyone have a good weekend? Doesn't it feel like fall? I love it. I went out Friday after work and got some new boots. I think I wore them all weekend. Love love love that I can wear boots again! Oh, and I also brought out the Uggs. It's getting a little chilly out there!

We had a fun weekend - family dinner on Friday night (always loud and crazy - in a good way), haircut and date night Saturday, church and lots of sewing Sunday! The hubs took me out to this Indian food restaurant called Naan N Curry and then to see the movie Drive (with Ryan Gosling). It was good and different, but definitely a lot more graphic than I thought it would be. Lots of blood.

I had a little fight with my sewing machine while trying to make some pillowcases yesterday, but we worked it out. More on that later this week, as well as how to make pillows!

Oh! And we also got Direct TV installed yesterday. Husband is happy to have his NFL Sunday Ticket, and I'm happy I could watch the Emmy's with DVR(!) last night. Now I can start watching HGTV again! DVR is so nice.

Hope ya'll have a great week! Can't wait to share some more projects if I can stop being lazy and go through the pics. :)


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Paris: Day 2

It's another long one! Get ready... We reserved all of day two for the Louvre, and it almost took us the whole day to get through half of it. The Louvre is huge! It used to be the main palace during Napoleon's time. I don't really get the pyramids, but I guess it is kind of cool. There is an inverted pyramid inside too.

We went in through the side entrance to avoid the long lines in front. It was a breeze! The best bet for what we wanted to see in Paris was the Paris Museum Pass. We paid 50 Euro each for the pass and it got us to the beginning of the lines for most museums, plus Versailles too! For what we wanted to do and see in Paris, it was awesome. Plus it saved a bunch of time. Score!

Once we got through security and grabbed a map, we went straight for the holy grail. That's right - the Mona Lisa! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crepe Addicts

After being in Paris for 5 days, we became addicted to crepes. Ah-ddicted. Paris definitely had the best food out of the three places we went to. Every morning I would have a Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissant), every afternoon we'd get Nutella crepes, and most nights we'd get gelato. (I might have gained 10 pounds on the trip... but I'm pretty sure all the walking cancelled it out - at least that's what I tell myself).

Anyways... We've made crepes many a time since we've been back. Breakfast crepes. Dessert crepes. Next up - Dinner crepes. They are sooooo flipping tasty. Mmmmmhmmmm.

At first, we thought we would have to buy a special crepe-making machine, but then I found this recipe from a blog I love called Vanilla & Lace (which is also where I found this little tutorial).

The recipe makes about 10 crepes, so if it's just the two of us, we usually make a half batch (turns out to be about two each because I usually biff up the first one).

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, melted

mushroom/cheese (mozzarella)/onion/sausage
nutella (my favorite!)
nutella and banana
(the possibilities are endless!)

*Blend all ingredients. I just used the kitchen aid and mixed it real well

*Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (we usually skip this step... too impatient) :)
*Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high. Smear a little butter over the surface of the pan
*Lift the pan from the stove and pour in 1/4 cup of batter (or 1/3 cup if you want a big one!)
*Rotate the pan until the batter spreads in to a thin layer
*Cook until lightly brown on the edges and almost dry on top

*Flip over and cook until lightly brown
*Repeat, coating the pan with butter each time

My first attempt was not very good...

But then I got the hang of it.

I hope you like them as much as we do!


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