17 March 2013

Pot of gold.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, folks! To celebrate, Hillary invited some of us over for a Irish potluck, and, as expected, it was delicious and fun. I even had my first Guinness (on its own) and my second ever Irish Car Bomb - I made Brad and me mini ones to kick off the celebration. Anyway, my point being, who knew Guinness was so delicious? It is officially my new favorite. Also my favorite are these peeps, who I hope to spend many more St. Patrick's Days with!

For the potluck, I made the cabbage. Sauerkraut, via a jar (I put it in a super cute Pyrex and heated it up!), and creamed cabbage, which I made (and also served in another cute Pyrex). I don't make much cabbage, but I really should - this recipe was super easy and super delicious. Just steamed cabbage, really, mixed with cream and caraway seeds.

Molly brought a cheesy appetizer, Ceile made the potatoes, and Hillary made the corned beef. It smelled darn good but I resisted grabbing a huge hunk and stuffing it in my face... and was mostly satisfied with my slices of veggie corned beef.

And, of course, there was delicious honey cake (Hillary, the cake queen of course).

Brad gives St. Patrick's Day a big thumbs up.

And now I must pass out from food and Guinness happy belly syndrome.

10 March 2013

Pictures of you.

A recent conversation with Sara has prompted a long overdue confession. I am an organized person. I have lists, calendars, reminders, schedules. Minus my laundry issues, I am a neat and tidy person and while I like organized "displays," I hate random clutter (don't even get me started on virtual clutter!). Alas, in hidden, dark corners, I am a total slob. Open my dresser drawers and you will discover a giant ball of clothes. Peek in either of our spare bedroom closets and you'll find various piles of wrapping paper, art from previous homes, a giant TV, tools all over the floor - total chaos. Glimpse into any of our built-in linen cabinets and you'll find more of the same. A lot of these jumbles were created when we moved in and didn't have a home for everything - stuff just got stuck places. I think it's high time to get the dark corners of my life under control. Also, while our house in general is in pretty good shape, there are still a ton of projects we want to tackle, and we've done NONE of them this year. I'm happy to report that we are getting back in the swing of things (perhaps the hints of spring have gotten us inspired) and had a very productive weekend, which was kicked into gear after an awesome antiquing outing with Hillary.

We went to the antique mall shortly after Christmas and it was kind of a bust, so our expectations were in check. We were happy, however, to discover a handful of new booths and a ton of new stuff. We both came home with some good loot, and I even scored some less common Pyrex in perfect condition, for $8!

Tweet tweet!

This dish not only inspired a mish-mash potato bake for dinner...

But I reassessed my Pyrex cabinet and reorganized some things. It's looking nice and neat now.

The big antiques score, though, was this little coffee table that I haven't found a home for yet but I'm madly in love with.

I like the yellow, but it would make more sense with our stuff if we were to paint it black - so that'll probably happen. Eventually.

Between the mess in the closet, the ceiling fan that may be the ugliest fan ever hung on a ceiling, and the leaning tower of Pisa book shelf in our "Winter Room," we started to tackle that room this morning. Here's a before -

The after isn't quite ready yet, but I am happy to report that that book shelf, which made me scowl every time I looked at it, is down and ready for the trash. Woo!

The most exciting progress I have to report, though, is a good start to my photo wall that I've been planning for ages and started putting together last week. I just started hanging stuff, and then switching it around, then adding more... Not the most logical way to go about it, but I'm pretty happy with the end result. This hallway has annoyed me forever, and now it really feels lived in. And it makes me happy to see so many smiling faces every time I pass by.

Creeper George.

We've got our beach, me on Lake Michigan when I was six, my mom's mom on the water in the '40s, and my dad's parents posing with the Florida surf in the '70s. Just love it. My favorite photo ended up getting its own wall -

That's my grandma Choppy - probably in the '60s - in a ruffle bikini, working in her garden (on the table we have a cocktail and some smokes - classic!). I inherited a lot of my grandparents' photos, including some pretty random ones (they were in the grocery biz, so there are lots of store events, including visits from Mr. Peanut [who I have many memories of meeting] and Aunt Jemima) and some pretty awesome ones, like this.

Oh, and we booked our fall vacation! Back to Vancouver, this trip making time for a few days on Vancouver Island. CAN'T WAIT! I can almost taste the oysters now..... Happy weekend, everyone!

04 March 2013

Wicked games.

Hey, guess who's alive?! Me! Finally! I kind of feel like I've been sick since the new year, with the worst of it hitting me two weeks ago, when I feel like I fell completely off the face of the earth. Alas, I finally feel human again. And while I'm hesitant to pick my running schedule back up just yet (that seems to have been the trigger [at least in my association] with round two of my sickness), I'm back to most things full force. Except writing. So here I am now, hoping to make up for lost time.

This past weekend was the first weekend in three weeks that we (well, I) actually got out and did stuff (and were pretty productive around the house, too), and it felt SO NICE. Saturday we did a little shopping (Brad's first visit to Sawyer Garden Center) and tried out a restaurant that's been on our radar for three years now (Soe Cafe = yum city!), and Sunday I started working on the beach/family/friend photo wall collage I've been planning for at least a year. But best of all was seeing some good friends when we kicked off the weekend with game night at Hillary and Troy's house.

I picked up Apples to Apples (even for a not-that-into-games person like me, this game is super duper fun) from Target, selected a mix and match six pack of Michigan beers, and off we went. Liz took home the first win, with Hillary taking round two. Most fun with this game is trying to play to each person's sensibilities and guess how they will respond - often unpredictable (unless I'm the judge and then it's a pretty safe bet that I'm going to pick Bates Motel), always fun. And perhaps just as hilarious is each person's winning cards, which, according to Hillary, is a magic 8 ball view into your true self...

While Ceile spent much of the evening with just the "Miserable" card, her true personality took over eventually and she snagged "Glorious" and "Popular," too.

Nothing says Brad like "Graceful" and "Meek."

Hillary was on a roll with "Saucy" and "Spicy" and "Magical," but things took a turn with "Twisted," "Manly," and "Dead." Hmm.

Heck yeah I'm fuzzy!