Spring Trip

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In IL visiting the siblings. We have great plans for my weekend. Of course some of our plans involve a bit of wine.

Everytime I come to visit we try to hit a new winery. This time we visited Star View Vineyards. They have beautiful grounds surrounding their events/tasting building. We tasted five of their sweet wines which were all quite tasty. We left with souvenir glasses and a bottle of wine for later.

While shopping in town we got more scrapbooking supplies. Beth and I have decided that our distant descendents will likely be putting the final touches on our wedding scrapbooks long after our deaths.

We also stopped by the international grocery to grab a sushi mat. I hope you’re looking forward to see photos from the sushi rolling tonight. I expect a delicious train wreck.

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After shopping we hung out at Rustle Hill Winery with a pitcher (or two) of their white sangria. Tom opted for a Gunslinger beer. After getting sufficiently spiffled we came home so Tom could catch up.

Beth and I slowed our boozing down with chocolate chip cheesecake dip, graham crackers and port. I made the sweet dessert dip earlier yesterday. It is so completely worth the 10 minutes it takes to put together. Want the recipe? Stay tuned.

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Hope your week is going just as well. We’ll be hitting the Giant City State Park trails midmorning and picnicking in the woods.

Gone Shopping

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After culling two big bags of clothing for Goodwill and one bag of uniforms to some coworkers I felt naked. Haha, okay, not really. I have plenty of clothes, but my blue jeans were almost all gone from my closet.
The other day I went shopping with one of my girlfriends and we came out on top!

Above: I bought three pair of jeans. They were all on sale, about $20 each, and from two different stores.
Two of the three pair are a Curvy Cut style of jeans. Which means they hug curves better and don’t have that awful gap above the butt. The only issue is that they are too long. Hemming jeans is an easy thing when you have an awesome friend (of a friend) who is willing to do it for free!!
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I also got a sweet bathing suit top to go with my plain black boy short trunks. This top has full coverage–larger chested ladies know the importance of that fact! Also a light amount of lining, cute cuts, colors and delicate scallops around the edges.

I have a triangle cut bikini set and although pretty, I don’t like the way a triangle cut top exposes the girls. My other suit top is maybe six years old, and even though I love it I realize it is time to wear something less ragged.

I got this top for $13 and it was once $28. This is exactly the type of money I want to pay for a suit. Can’t wait to go to the pool again!
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Thanks for all your help, Angie! She is a pro-shopper and is great at hunting down my particular taste in jeans and bathing suits!

Day 331: Coral Cactus

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While wandering the many aisles of Lowe’s looking for wire shelving, I found some freaky cacti. For some reason this coral cactus threw me for a loop. I was so shocked by its shape that I questioned it rhetorically out loud.

The helpful Lowe’s employee wanted to engage in my wonderment. He didn’t seem genuinely impressed by this wild plant. Come on, people, when did this plant make the evolutionary jump to being wibbly shaped?

Maybe one day the cactus council got together and heard the young rebellious cacti in their plea. The young and restless wanted to become weird, memorable and badass.
True story.

Kat’s V-Day 2013

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This Valentine’s Day went pretty well. I was very pleased that Kit and I decided to stay at home. I hate the stress of going out for a fancy dinner only to find every restaurant over-packed with other noisy people. Besides our food was better. First, we got semi-dressed up and were witnesses at a friend’s wedding. We had lunch with the happy couple and then went trudging to do the V-day shopping we should have done days before.
I was surprised how many men were snatching flowers with a desperate look in their eyes and how many folk there were in the grocery store.

Samplecards

This is a hugely popular DIY gift on Pinterest. The project is called 52 Things I Love About You. On each card I wrote something that I love about Kit. I copied some from another crafter, but I found that the ones that meant more were the personal ones. My Kit rarely wears pants. He is a shorts-man. Because of that fact I wanted him to wear shorts for our wedding. The phrase “Two Wild Banshees” is one of those things I catch him saying all the time.

cardsWhen Kit looked through the cards on Vday, he was chuckling and smiling all the way through. Because I wrote on the face of the cards, they can still be played with normally.

wineSupper started the only way it could; with wine. I bought a bottle of the same wine we had for our wedding (a peach chardonnay) and threw some frozen peaches into it. Perfecto.

kabobsHonestly, the first thing I did was begin marinating the shrimp and steak. The shrimp was medium, fully-cooked and frozen. I used a lemon ginger marinade that I should have started the night before, but the hours run away from me. The marinade for 1 pound of shrimp is:

  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/8 onion, chopped
  • 5/8 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro leaves (I used cubed bouillon style cilantro)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (dash)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (dash)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (dash)

I cubed up a steak and threw it into a gallon bag and tried to follow this steak marinade recipe: (I didn’t have W-sauce, oops!)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • dash of pepper

As you can see in the photo above, I skewered quartered small sweet onions, whole mushrooms (baby portabellas were on sale), whole grape tomatoes, and fat slices of red and green bell peppers. I baked these kabobs on a cookie sheet (I recommend putting aluminum foil on the trays to help with cleanup). Bake them for 10-12 minutes at 450F, flip them over and bake an additional 7-8 minutes. Thanks for the oven kabobs recipe, Sarra!

cccakeI made coca-cola cake for dessert. I failed to check my stock of butter and only had enough to make the cake and not the glaze that went on top. What makes coca-cola cake special or different from a regular chocolate cake? I honestly have no clue. Google is not helping a sister out either. It was a good recipe that I have to try again when I can do the glaze as well. I honestly love my mom’s recipe for crazy cake. This was more moist…almost like a light brownie.

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying our present that we gave to each other. Our Roku is so much better than jewelry I may never wear. Tons of Netflix TV shows at our fingertips. In one month, the Roku has already paid for itself several times over because we were frequent users of Redbox.

Day 253: Angel Tree

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This was the first Angel Tree that Kit and I have done together. I didn’t realize how mushy our insides were until we went shopping for a child that needed a coat.

The first time I looked at the Angel Tree, I had to (literally) fight back tears in the store because they all needed coats and mittens.

A few days later we came back and chose Jacob. He wanted Hunger Games books and anything with his favorite sports team on it.
They also had his clothing sizes on the card.

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Kit’s favorite color is orange so I wasn’t surprised a bit that he picked out a bright orange coat for our kid. “You even dress our imaginary child in orange!”
Yes, by the time we got to the first rack of coats he was ours. The orange one turned out to be the buffest and best one.

During most of the shopping trip we had cracking voices and moist eyes. Being the bleeding hearts we are, we spent $40 over our limit.

If we see any kid in our area wearing an orange coat we will likely burst into tears.
I hope you had a good Christmas, little Jacob!!

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Part of our December Adventivities.

Day 219: Winter Mugs

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So cute!
A Wal-Mart sighting of course. These little penguin cuties are just begging for some steaming hot chocolate to be poured into their brain pans.

In all honesty, I didn’t buy these. I am pretty particular about my mugs. They must have a certain handle (big) and I want to be able to drink out of any side without fear of kissing a beak or eyeball. Sounds creepy and I don’t want to do that to a penguin.

I have a mug from the Human Bodies exhibition I went to see and everytime I drink from it I am disappointed it doesn’t have a running or backflipping body on it. Perhaps that would be too much meat with morning coffee however.

Day 212: Mooses

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Everytime I see a moose I think of my kooky family.

There are tons of wedding photos from my brother’s wedding of people holding their hands up in the air.
Hands palm up with digits pointed skyward (imagine holding a tumbler glass).

Hands in this fashion represent the moose antlers. Don’t forget to shout “Mooses” similar to the way other people might shout “salud” or “cheers.”

Now you know where my mind immediately when I see any kind of moose.