Friday, December 23, 2011

Gearing up for Christmas!

We've been getting everything ready to celebrate Christmas this Sunday.  We finished our shopping last week Monday, so there was no last-minute scrambling for gifts.  I wrapped all of the presents and had so much glitter all over the floor and table, I could have "dressed" two strippers for a night of dancing! Wow, it totally looked like a glitter bomb exploded in the house! 

I didn't have to work at either job today, so I was able to do a little some desperately needed cleaning.  I put Max in his crate so I could vacuum the house.  He doesn't freak out about the vacuum, but he doesn't particularly like it either, so it's just easier to make sure he's in one place and I don't have to worry about scaring him.  

Yesterday, instead of going to Thursdays at the Cake, I went into Manhattan to see my friend Brittney.  She was in town for the night with her sister, Samantha and close friend Tami.  It was the first time I'd seen Britt since 2007.  We keep up on Facebook, but it's nice to get to see friends in person.  We had so much fun, a few cocktails, and got to see a few very cool things...  While I was waiting for Britt & co. to let me know where they were, I sat outside of Macy's in Herald Square to watch people for a little bit.  There was a guy dressed in full Edward Scissorhands Regalia.
See, late '80's movie Icon...Johnny Depp did it better!
For Real.  He was one of those people who dress up and then you pay them to take a picture with them.  His costume was great, but he was walking around pretending to cut the shrubberies and people's hair.  He scared the hell out of a couple of kids, which was funny/sad...Ahh, Christmas in New York!  
We met in Washington Square Park, which happens to be my favorite park in Manhattan.  We went to a pub to get a couple of cocktails and catch up.  Brittney and I only know each other because my brother, Justin, and her boyfriend, also named Justin, were in the same platoon in Iraq, and were both Killed in Action on March 5, 2007.  She is a lot of fun, and I am glad to know her, I just wish we had met under happier circumstances.  I loved meeting and becoming friends with Sam and Tami, too. We had a blast!
The Empire State Building from my seat in Herald Square

The Arch in Washington Square Park

Tami, Brittney, & Samantha, (the Blond-tourage) in front of the Flat Iron Building

Once we finished our cocktails, we walked back to the girls' hotel so they could get ready.  Britt knows a producer at ABC's world headquarters on the upper west side of Manhattan and had arranged to see the studio, and I got to tag along.  It was really cool, and we saw George Stephanopolous anchoring the ABC nightly news.  Very neat to get a private tour from an insider!  

Yep; That's George Stephanopolous...Anchoring the ABC News

Sam & Tami with George in the background

I missed the pic when he waved up at us!

Once we finished at ABC studios, we went for appetizers and another round of cocktails at Atlantic Grill with Kim, the producer from ABC.  We sat around visiting and had a great time.   Marc picked me up shortly thereafter and we went back home to this little guy! He's getting big, and is getting better and better with housebreaking.  Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself by saying that!

Just because Max is so darn cute!

Tonight for dinner, I made Nasi Goreng.  It's the Indonesian Rice dish that I have posted about before.  So delicious, and great as left-overs.  I always make a huge batch when I cook it so we can eat it for a few days.  Earlier this week, I was being experimental in the kitchen (gasp? me???) and came up with a recipe we will definitely be repeating.  I made cajun grilled center cut pork chops stuffed with whole wheat bread crumbs, sauteed shallots & garlic, bacon & butterkase cheese.  

SO GOOD!!! Make them!

I just cut a slit in each chop and stuffed them with the crumb mixture, used a toothpick to hold each chop closed then grilled them in my cast-iron grill pan.  They were FABULOUS!  I served them with steamed fresh asparagus and green beans.  Yum!

I hope everyone has a safe and Very Merry Christmas, and that you get to spend it with the ones you love!


Sunday, December 11, 2011


I can't believe it's already been a few weeks since I last blogged.  We've been adapting to our new schedule...The one where Maximus wakes us up around 7:30 am to go out to take care of business.  I haven't been up at 7:30 am on a consistent basis since high school or college; I'm sure of it! 
Max is doing well.  He had a vet appointment today, and he now weighs 34.5 pounds.  When we got him 4 weeks ago, he weighed 25.8 pounds.  He's a tank!! He's starting to learn his name and getting better about housebreaking.  We can't wait until he loses his little razor sharp baby teeth.  He likes to chew on us, and those little teeth hurt! He chews on rawhides a lot, and doesn't try to eat the furniture anymore, so that's a step in the right direction!

Marc gave me my Christmas present early this year.  I asked for a gym membership with personal trainer.  I am just sick of being out of shape and am ready to do something about it.  I want the trainer because it will keep me accountable.  I never miss appointments, so having the time set up in advance for me to go to the gym makes me keep going.  I've been going for 2 full weeks now, and it feels really good to use my muscles again.  It's been about 12 years since I was in decent shape, and I know it's going to be a long road, but at least I'm trying.  You may notice a change in our menus, as I will try to make our favorite dishes a little more healthy.  I've been making a lot of salads with baby spinach, pickled beets & a little bit of goat cheese with balsamic vinaigrette.  So delicious and healthy!

We finally had time today to get our Christmas decorations out of the attic.  We haven't even begun our shopping yet, but Marc will start it tomorrow.  I have an appointment at the gym, then have to work at the office in the afternoon.  I decorated the tree tonight and still have to get all the rest of the decorations up, but I did get a few pictures of the tree to put on here.  We're trying to configure the furniture so that Max can't get back to the tree to eat the ornaments.  He didn't seem too interested in it while I was decorating, so we're hoping that's a good sign...Lots of the ornaments are glass and I really don't want him to get back there.  
Oh, Christmas Tree...

The tree in the window

The "headdress" as my mom calls it!

Just need the nut crackers and Max's stocking

Watching football with Marc
Now we've got to get Max a Christmas stocking and get the living room cleaned up and all of the boxes that house the decorations back up in the attic.  Sometimes I wish it were ok to leave the Christmas decorations up until Easter....I love when the house is all festive!

Hope y'all are have a great week.