Archive for April 2012

Ready for a little outdoor R&R

I promised you pictures and at last I have them to share. We finished the back porch this weekend and it feels so good to cross that off my list. It took more trips than Keith would have liked to the neighborhood hardware store. After the organized circus that greeted us there Saturday, I'm not sure I have any more trips there in me, myself.

So without further adieu, here's what the back porch looks like for now.

I might add another plant or two. Perhaps, a hanging plant on the middle post. What do you think? Are we missing anything other than steaks on the grill and a cool drink in our hands?

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Let's be like rabbits

You are not going to believe this not in a million years, especially if you know Keith. I was a bit caught off guard myself. He has proposed we try to dramatically reduce the amount of meat we eat. Notice, he didn’t suggest we go full out vegetarian. But he is open to the idea of eating meat only once or twice a week for dinner.

Before Keith and I got married, I often ate dinners three or four nights a week that consisted of nothing but fruits and vegetables with a high-fiber carb on the side like quinoa. I also was going to the gym five days a week and was in the best shape of my life. Well, since moving in together and ultimately getting married, we both have let the ball drop on our fitness regimens. I no longer go to the gym 5 days a week and yoga a couple of times. Keith is no longer lifting weights and training for marathons. I know. I know. This is normal, but it’s gotta stop.

For one, I’m tired of battling my closet each morning. I’m tired of feeling just bleh. When Keith suggested an even healthier approach to meals, I knew he had reached that point with me. We put it on together, so it’s now time to take it off together. Just maybe I’ll finally break in those new running shoes I bought over a month ago.

Stay tuned. I hope to share some of the interesting vegetarian recipes we try and really enjoy. Not to mention, I’m sure there will be crazy adventures that we just have to share about the path to fitness.

Posted in , , | Leave a comment

The Bourbon Legend

Hi, I'm Keith and I'm a bourbon addict.  (I'm also Nicole's husband.) Not in the alcoholic sense (though sometimes I wonder), but in the same way that women are addicted to shoes.  I often buy bourbon weekly, even though I can't finish a bottle per week.  I've developed a pretty solid collection, but I never have enough.  Bourbon is special, you see.

Bourbon is the American spirit.  In fact, bourbon must be made in the United States.  It has to be made out of at least 51% corn and aged in new oak barrels.  There are several requirements for labeling, but those aren't particularly important for the discussion at hand.

The craft of bourbon making is what I find so interesting.  Though it has to be 51% corn, most bourbons use a higher percentage than that, and fill in the rest with rye and barley.  Some distilleries use wheat in lieu of rye, and some of micro-distilleries are using four different types of grain rather than the more traditionally three.  After distillation, master distillers have to decide how long they'll age their product and where in their warehouse to place the newly filled barrel.  Most major distilleries use 53 gallon barrels, but some of the smaller distilleries are experimenting with 5, 15, and 30 gallon barrels.

The point of the introduction is that there's almost an infinite variety of bourbon.  Distillers can manipulate the recipe, the percentage of grains in their recipe, the age of the bourbon, the location of the bourbon in their warehouse and the size of the barrel it ages in. (The still matters too, but that's a different discussion.) This leads me to desire an infinite amount of bourbon.

This is a picture of my bourbon shelf.  If you see a guy in a liquor store in SE Washington staring at the bourbon section, it very well could be me.

Leave a comment

Super Simple Granola

Oh, Monday. Never mind. I’m not ready for you. Can we try again tomorrow?

I found the weekend relaxing and refreshing. Keith on the other hand would describe his as fun, but exhausting. He made it back from Florida without any serious trouble.

Don’t know if you’ve checked out the Weather Channel or listed to ol’ Al Roker recently, but we’re getting fall-like weather here in DC. We were greeted by a chilling 48 degrees and a drizzle this morning. Bleh! Deciding what to wear was a little more challenging than I like on a Monday morning. Regardless, it was nice to know breakfast would be worth it once I got around.

Since we usually order Chinese takeout on Sundays, I don’t have to worry about dinner. Instead, I get a jump-start on the week ahead. Last night I was making a small batch of granola. I find it to be my breakfast staple and who knew it’s actually really easy to make? I use to buy it regularly out of the bulk bins at Whole Foods, but then I wanted to control what was going into or was not going into it.

Here’s my super simple approach to granola. (Details with quantities below.) I start with some thick cut oats, sliced almonds, agave nectar, coconut oil, and cinnamon. I’ve learned Bob’s Red Mill oats are the best for this. You could also substitute maple syrup or honey. Lastly, feel free to play around with the cinnamon. I’ve also played around with cinnamon and ground ginger with a pinch of nutmeg. Just find what works for you.

Dump your dry ingredients into the bowl and toss together. On the stove, melt the coconut oil and agave nectar together until it’s smooth. Pour this on the dry stuff and toss. You’ll then pour that out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. And seriously, don’t skip the parchment. I’ve learned the hard way. Then bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. You can toss every 5 minutes or so, but if you want those delicious clusters don’t touch it. Pull it out just when it starts to look golden. It will bake a tad more once you pull it out of the oven. Once cool dump into an airtight container.

I’ve found this recipe to be pretty flexible. Some mornings, I eat it like cereal topped with fresh berries and skim milk. Other days, I sprinkle it over Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries, which was this morning. Or you can enjoy it plain right out of the storage container for an on the go breakfast. I’m telling you it’s awesome! Not to mention, you can mix in dry fruit if you want like cranberries, currants, or raisins. You also have the option of topping it with fresh fruit, which is what I’ve been enjoying a lot lately.

Super Simple Granola

1 c. thick cut oats
1/2 c. sliced almonds (You could use pecans, walnuts, etc.)
1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil (When it melts it gives you more.)
1 T. agave nectar (You can use more to taste. You could also swap for honey, maple syrup, etc.)
1/2 t. cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, almonds, cinnamon and salt. Toss to combine.

3. Combine the coconut oil and agave nectar in a small saucepan and heat until melted. Continuously stir to combine.

4. Remove the oil mixture and carefully pour it over the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly to ensure all of the oats and nuts are evenly coated.

5. Spread the sticky oat mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Be sure to pat it down and keep it rather close together.

6. Place into your preheated oven and back for 15 to 20 minutes. You can stir every 5-7 minutes or leave it alone to get the clusters. If you leave it be, start checking on it at the 15 minute mark to see if it’s ready.

7. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, pour into an airtight container or large sealable plastic bag. If you want, you can now mix in dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, currents, apricots, etc.

8. Enjoy!

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Weekend Alone

Keith left crazy early this morning for his buddy’s bachelor party in Florida. It will be yet another golf filled weekend for him. At least, I’m hoping it’s just golf. 

Don’t worry about me all home alone because well I won’t be home alone Sammy will be here to keep me in line. Trust me. She runs a tight ship with early mornings and strict meal schedules. However, I’ve managed to sneak in a few other plans. Of course, with Sammy’s approval.

While Keith is off having a golf weekend, I guess you could say I’m going to have a bit of a girly yoga weekend. I’m planning to make it to yoga R&R tonight and to the traditional yoga on Sunday morning. I cannot wait! I’m also planning to meet up with Andrea for some shoe shopping and the Blossom Bake and Brew on Saturday. The rest of the time will be spent tidying up and recharging the battery for the next week.

Do you keep yourself super busy when you’re home alone? Any big plans for the weekend?

Posted in , , | Leave a comment

C-A-P-S Caps! Caps! Caps!

My first flight was from Kansas City to Chicago to Paris. Keith and I knew after almost six months that we were going to get married, so we moved in together. Why do I explain that Keith and I tend to just dive in head first?

Well Monday night, I went to my first NHL game. It would have made more sense to go to a regular season game, but not us. We went to game three of the playoffs to see the Washington Capitals vs. the Boston Bruins. This place was rowdy as Keith would say. It was so loud I think I kept saying “huh?” for the rest of the night. The game was close and quite exciting despite a Caps loss.

As we were walking home, I was telling Keith that I just wasn’t sure if I needed to go to another hockey game in the future. I found it rather classless. Maybe that’s because I don’t fully understand the sport. Or maybe it really is.

What do you think? Does hockey lack more class than say football or basketball – among the fans and the players?

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Sunday traditions

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a pleasant and relaxing weekend. We did. Keith was out early both Saturday and Sunday for golf at Hains Point. And when I say early, he was up before 6:30 am both days. Kind of crazy, if you ask me.

If not for Sammy, I would have slept much later than 8:30 am since I had the entire bed to myself during the morning. Instead, I was up early with her and quite productive. Our back deck/porch/balcony – we haven’t quite figured out how to label it – is coming together nicely. Once it’s finished I’ll be sure to share pictures. I also ran the usual errands and got a pretty mani/pedi.

With Keith’s early mornings and my running around the Hill, we were pretty much tuckered out come Sunday evening. This made our usual Sunday tradition of Chinese food that much more enjoyable. I wish I could say this was purely our tradition, but instead it’s something Keith introduced once we moved in together and it’s just stuck. He use to order Chinese takeout with his roommate back in LA (whose wedding is coming up). It was such a good little Sunday ritual it’s stuck. 

We can leave a clean kitchen in place one more day since I usually go on a weekend cleaning frenzy. And when football is on, who wants to be cooking when there is a game? I’ve also found it’s a nice way to just say good-bye to the weekend.

Do you have any Sunday traditions as you get ready for the week ahead?

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Head Start on the Weekend

Gone are the Thursday nights where we get a jump start on the weekend by going out on the town. We get a jump start still, just not what it once was. Keith and I have had exhausting weeks at work...but for different reasons. He's crazy busy. And well, I'm waiting for the busy rush to start that I keep hearing so much talk about.

Regardless, I was more than happy to finally see this after walking home from the metro. Don't ask me why, but I love this blue door. I had to use my persuasive speaking skills in order to get the handy man to paint the new door this blue. As you can see, mission accomplished.

Thursdays are exciting for me. Keith would describe me like a little girl on Christmas morning as I unpack my bimonthly box of fruits and vegetables. I can't help but get so excited over fresh from the farm products.  Let me give a shout to Washington's Green Grocer for making my life so much easier. Stay tuned...I plan to share some of my creations using these beauties.

The rest of the evening was spent with delivery pizza, pinning my little heart out, and bonding with my little sidekick, Sammy. Trust me; you'll be hearing more about her too. She's our little purr baby.

Yep, I think we've made a nice head start on the weekend. So, tell me....what do you have planned?

Posted in , , | Leave a comment

The Thrill of the Hunt

There is something about the thrill of the hunt that just excites me. You know the feeling of adrenaline that kicks in right before you zone in on the target...the excitement of taking your new prize home. Let me tell you it’s a thing of beauty that cannot be argued with.

Now before your imagination goes any further, I’m talking about shopping and finding just the right thing. Sometimes it’s a new pair of shoes. Others, it can be the perfect picture frame to hold that special moment. Or maybe, it’s the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. Regardless, that feeling of conquer is amazing!

Right now, I’m preparing for a big hunt to redo or finish some of the rooms in our apartment. We recently signed on for another year. And dare I say, I see this apartment being home for many more years to come?

Don’t you find a sigh of relief when you realize a place will be home for a little longer? It’s like I can now commence the search for all those items I had put off until I was certain. In case you’re curious, here’s what I need to find through trips to the Goodwill and vintage furniture stores, hours spent combing the Craigslist postings, and ventures to IKEA and Target.

  • Leather chair and ottoman (Yes, specifically leather. Something like this.)
  • Round side table
  • Floor lamp
  • Two bedroom lamps
  • Bench
  • Simple arm chair
  • Coffee table (Haven’t decided on the shape just quite yet.)
This is going to be such fun! Now to convince Keith to join in with enthusiasm. As I start to cement my thoughts, I’ll begin sharing my ideas and see what you think I may be missing.

So, do you enjoy the thrill of the hunt?

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Can you believe it?

Can you believe you can see this within a 30-minute drive of Capitol Hill?

Crazy, I know. Keith's parents were in town this weekend. And after many visits, we wanted something off the beaten path that they haven't already seen a gazillion times already. In comes Great Falls, Virginia. It had been on my to-do list for a while and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. 

As you can see from the pictures, it's quite beautiful. Had we planned better, we would have taken advantage of the picnic area. Regardless, it's worth the short trip from the District.

Posted in , | Leave a comment

April, really?

Can you believe we’ve already zipped through the first week of April already? I mean, I had just gotten use to writing February, then March whizzed by and now we’re making a dent in April. I guess my grandma was right when she tried to explain time moves faster as you age. You have to agree, it was very hard to believe when waiting for summer vacation.

With the notion that time flies as you age and the memory must too, I wanted to start documenting life’s little adventures…the bourbon I’m sampling, the chocolate I’m tasting, the sights I’m taking in or whatever else comes my way. So here it goes!

Leave a comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Powered by Blogger.


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by