Thursday, February 28, 2008

We're up to... nothing lately?

So, nothing new lately is happening around here. Kind of sad to report. Wedding errands & planning have finally consumed me (I held it off wonderfully for so long?) along with resume writing. I can customize a resume in about 41 mins now. It used to take me almost half a day. I'd sit and daydream and think of what they wanted to see. Now I just go for it.

We've been kind of cold-y around here too, lots of runny noses, sneezing and fevers. Nothing really down and out, but Airborne is my friend. Even though my friends' wife, who's a Dr. told me that they are a load of nothing and I was a sucker, I still don't think the extra vitamins can hurt.

Tennis is on a brief hiatus, Nick is still doing golf, the weather is in the high 70's lately, and I'm still heading to the gym 4 times a week. So, that about sums it up. Hopefully in the next post, we'll have something better. I should go outside and take some photos of our lovely green sunshine state.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Something to Do

I have joined a gym. This will give me something to do while I wait for HR managers in Phoenix to call me back. I'm excited to start, I have my official appt with the trainer tomorrow am. He'll take all of my measurements, height, weight and measure my body fat. I'm not really looking forward to that part of it, but its necessary I guess. I can also let him know what my goals are and he will tailor workout activities for me for the next 30 days. From taking classes to laps in the pool, he will spell out every workout from now until the end of March and every 30 days thereafter. I need that supervision for sure.

Its a great gym, a smaller gym that's not really a meat market, like the LA Fitness I belonged to in college. There's a pool, a sauna room, jacuzzi, spa and tanning beds in addition to all of the fitness equipment they offer. I forgot to check out the Kidz Zone, but I've heard they have a climbing rock wall and a dance pad game workout for kids too.
I'm glad to have something to do now, while I wait for the program management position I'm meant to have. To quote Elle Woods, 'Exercising releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy'. That's me!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Winged Do-Gooders

Valentines Day is a big day in our household. For me, its bigger than Christmas, (on the commercial, not spiritual side of course!). Getting the kids ready to take Valentines into class with heart treats and gifts for the teacher is always fun for me. I learned a hard lesson this year; 6th graders are 'over it'. That's less fun, isn't it? Anyway, Cupid sneaks into our house the night before and leaves gifts for all my little sweethearts. The night before Valentines Day, Mallory also popped out a loose tooth! It's not often I get to be.. I mean, we get visits from two winged fairy creatures in one night! Cupid and the Tooth Fairy came to visit Mallory with gifts and cash - her two favorite things. When I woke up to take the kids to school, they had already opened all of their valentines things and Mallory was putting her money in her secret hiding place that we all know about.

Craig and I also celebrated V-tine's day last weekend, since we aren't together during the week. We had plans for a night out for some great seafood, but after running wedding errands all day we were exhasuted. So, we settled in at home with some Chinese take-out, a few presents, some champagne and yummy desserts!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend update and B-Dizzle

This weekend was filled with wedding stuff, as the kids were with their dad for a few days. All of those preparations are coming along, but dealing with different vendors is frustrating at times. Why don't people call back? Hello, we have a pretty big contract with you for our wedding, call me back! I guess I'm pretty low on the pole compared to some of their other clients maybe? I don't know.

Friday was also B-Dizzle's birthday, that's our cocker spaniel Brittany. Normally I'm not the dog lady who celebrates pet birthdays with anything special, but she's 15 now. Who knows if she will have another one? She still scampers like a puppy sometimes, but has some crazy tumors on her hind quarters. We go to the vet this week. We all love her so much, it would be a big BUMMER to find out she has cancer or something like that. As Brittany gets older she becomes more cuddly with us. She used to cuddle as a puppy, then just wanted to chill beside us, now she's back to being with us on the couch and chillin' with the family. I wonder if that's a sign of things to come.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Our family is catholic, which means we have entered Lent, the 40 day season of soul searching and repentance. I've thought of lots of things about myself that could use some work~!

The kids are thrilled about this time because it also means no meat. They don't enjoy meat and this means that mom will stop forcing them to eat chicken or any beef dish for 40 days! The sky will fall if they eat a protein, right? Last night, we made grown-up macaroni and cheese and they loved it! Very hard to get an 8 and 11 year old to LOVE any foods, so this was a triumph! Here is the recipe I used from the Barefoot Contessa. Ina's recipes seem to be very rich, I couldn't do them all the time or I would be a bit round on the edges. I substituted the usuals; extra virgin olive oil, lowfat cheeses and milk and the recipe turned out beautifully.

Grown Up Mac and Cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

4 ounces thick-sliced bacon

Vegetable oil (EVOO)
Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan carefully from the oven - there will be hot grease in the pan! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes. Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Student of the Month!

In all of the weekend commotion, I forgot to mention that Mallory was named student of the month at school. I think they recognize one boy and one girl who have demonstrated the qualities it takes to be a leader, both academically and socially. So - Wonderful Job Mallory! You are a great little girl and we're always so proud of you!

For her efforts she gets a certificate from the school and a dinner out.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Big Phoenix Weekend

It was a huge weekend for us in Phoenix! With the Superbowl and the FBR Open in town, there were lots of events to participate in. Even though we didn't get our invitation to P.Diddy's party at Axis/Radius, we still had fun. A bunch of our friends volunteered to work events around the city and got in for free obviously. Maybe that would have been a good way to get into some of these things. Better than paying the $1200/ticket.
Saturday the kids went with their Grandma Johnston to the NFL Experience. Its a blocked off area in front of the stadium where they've got all kinds of football activities. From what I hear, Nick was an animal, participating in every event. He was throwing footballs and running passes. He even won a 40yrd dash (against 5 other girls!)

Craig and I went to the FBR Open on Saturday too. Despite serious parking/shuttle bus lines that took up to an hour and 40 minutes, we had a good day with Rob and Carmen. It was fun to see the players of the tour up close. They get mad and swear just like any other intense amatuer golfer. I didn't get to party at the Bird's Nest this year, but I hear the 80's cover band was kind of odd anyway. I actually can't imagine being there, it was soooo cold even during the early evening! Would have been great if Phil had won this year. He's one of my favorite players.