Sunday, May 30, 2010

3 day weekend

The new pool at our apartment complex finally opened up on Friday, as most everyone who knows me already knows, since I have been so excited about it. Daniel & I have been looking forward to this for a very long time now; we have lived here for 5 years already. Even though we move out in July, we are really going to take advantage of this pool. The pool is like going to the spa! It's salt-water! There is a new awesome 2 level clubhouse, which contains a starbucks drink machine, lounging areas with beautiful decor and furniture, huge televisions, pool tables, an awesome kitchen and bar, as well as plenty of tables for eating/entertaining. There is a full fitness center, too. And, the bathrooms are gorgeous!

Outside there are a few really nice big grills for residents to use. I mean, why own all this stuff when you can rent and have awesome amenities..these are resort style! Our property management really loves its residents..and this new clubhouse and pool shows it. It is simply amazing.

On Friday after work, I spent some time out there, checking things out. And then yesterday afternoon (after an early morning yard sale) I showed Daniel around, and then we swam in the pool for a bit. My dad brought my nephews down and we ate dinner-we grilled on our foreman at the apartment-and I took the boys swimming (next time I will have to grill on the real grill by the pool).

A little later, my dad, nephews and I went to a Richmond Flying Squirrels Baseball game. My dad had been looking forward to it for months. Since the team started in February, he has been talking about going to a game. The last actual baseball game he went to was back in 95 or 96, to a Baltimore Orioles game with me, my brother, and my oldest this game was a long time coming for him. Joseph went to a Richmond Braves game a couple of years ago, so he was excited about this, and Adam had never been to a baseball game so it was totally new for him.

Everybody had a lot of fun. The Squirrels won, 7-3. There were over 9,300 people in attendance last night, and after the game, there was a fireworks show. The boys and my dad really enjoyed it. Joseph kept talking about how great it was on the walk back to the car, and on the drive back to my apartment. My dad had a smile on his face during the entire game. Adam thought it was cool, too. I took a ton of photos during the game, and I tried to sneak some of my dad and the boys. I ended up getting a couple good ones especially during the fireworks show; I don't think they knew I was taking pictures of them.

Today was an enjoyable lazy day. I slept in late, got up and took a really long shower. Then I went to the pool to lay out in the sun, along with my new Real Simple magazine. I swam for a while, too. And then sat out in the sun some more, gave myself a mani/pedi, and kept on reading/relaxing. It was so nice..and I really need to work on my tan. I want to have some color before July gets here (our FL trip)!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Yesterday I came home from work and Daniel was making homemade peanut butter cups.

I'm not really too much of a fan of peanut butter, but I tried one and it was pretty good. He also made some with cookie dough (instead of pb), and a couple with bacon (ewww!).

For dinner I made maple-ginger glazed chicken, with a side of steamed rice & veggies, and some of my homemade wheels & cheese. It came out great & Daniel said it looked and tasted like a fancy meal at a fancy restaurant. He said the chicken was great-sweet but also spicy. A good combination. Another recipe for my future cookbook!

Did I mention the cookbook? I was thinking a while back that if I can write a novel in 30 days (a pretty cheesy one, IMO), I should be able to write a cookbook, too. I don't think I will give myself a deadline like the nanowrimo project, but I will give myself some sort of time frame to have it finished, once I actually start on it. Goals.. I have been taking a lot of photos of things we've been making lately, so maybe I could use those in the book, rather than making all that stuff all over again (or I could do it again and just carefully plan it while we make each meal). It would be really cool to bind it and give it as a gift to people.

A friend/coworker of mine is moving into her very own apartment-I was thinking of putting together some recipes for her in a little tin or flip book, so she will have some inspiration to make things or just some really good solid recipes on hand to always count on.

Looking through grocery receipts, it's amazing how much money you can save by buying all of your ingredients and making things at home. People spend way too much money at restaurants & fast food. I honestly don't remember the last time Daniel and I went out together, just the two of us, to a restaurant. We enjoy our "dates" so much more at home with food we've made. We know what's in it, too. There are no critical violation stamps in our kitchen!

Our new pool & clubhouse opens up tomorrow at our apartment complex. I am so excited about it..I am going to be out there every single day..until we move. Once we move, I'll be at that pool every day too, since it's practically in my new back yard. :D

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yes I'm movin'..I'm really movin'..

Our lease for our apartment is up at the end of July..we have until June 1 to let our leasing office know of our plans.

Luckily, I was able to find a similar place still relatively close to work, in an area we both really like and feel safe in. The best part is that they are owned and operated by the same company that owns our current instead of waiting for our lease to end this summer, we just need to give them 30 days notice and we can transfer on over to the new place.

The new place is townhouse-style. It's less square footage than the current place, but it has an upstairs level. No one will be above or below us! And, if we get an end unit, we'll still have a whole side of our own and wouldn't really need to worry if we have noisy neighbors (which I don't think will be a problem based on the type of community this is). Anyway, the smaller space won't be an issue at all because I already toured their model apartment and already made plans on where to put all of our furniture and things. The space will definitely be used. Currently, we have a lot of empty space we don't really use, like our living room has an empty area in it, and so does our we have a good chunk of unusable space right now. With the new place, we'll be able to utilize all of the space there, and it will be nice and cozy.

It has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, which are upstairs. On the main level is the living room and kitchen/nook area. We have a private front door and back door, and we can even set up patio furniture in the back if we wanted to..I am thinking a small picnic table would be perfect, maybe one with pockets on the side so I can grow some herbs (or I can get a hanger for the railing out back and grow them there).

We're allowed to paint inside, so we might paint an accent wall or two. I am excited about that, because plain colored walls are so boring.

The kitchen is fully updated, there's a full size washer/dryer, and plenty of room for me to place my pyrex cabinet. There's no pantry, but tons of cabinet space compared to our current place, so we could designate the bigger cabinet to the pantry.

I played around with a little floor plan and put the screenshot of it on my flickr page. We'd be saving over $100 a month at this new place, so that's a definite plus. It's time to move on..we've been at our current place for 5 years now. As sad as I am to leave it, it's time to move on.

So last night when I got home, we started on the living room boxing things up. I decided that I want to get a head start on all of it, and that we're not packing anything we don't want to take with us to the new place. So, I already have 2 boxes of yardsale stuff again, and Daniel has some other things to list on ebay to sell. Hopefully our current place will let us have a yard sale out front (there is a big area which looks perfect for it). If not, we'll have to do something else for that.

Tonight I am going to start packing up the kitchen (things we won't need until after the move).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fried Chicken

A couple of days ago, Daniel had a bad day at work, so I decided to make a really nice dinner for him..but I also decided to try something new at the same time. Thankfully, I had already sort of planned ahead to make this..

I decided to make fried chicken, Pioneer Woman style. I followed everything by the book and it came out perfectly.

It was really easy to make, too. I used my cast iron dutch oven to fry it in..and lots of pyrex to prep. He liked it a lot..he even took leftovers to work and his coworkers were all impressed.

Oil heating up..

Chicken soaked in buttermilk (during the day while at work)

Mixing the breading ingredients..

Coating the chicken with the breading mixture..

Fryin' it up! Cool! It looks good already..I was impressed.

Cheesy au gratin potatoes..

A big plate of some homemade fried chicken. Cool!

I'm so awesome..

What Daniel came home to, ready just in time..should have probably added something green though.

The best dishes to ever have to wash..pyrex! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Dad

My dad is turning 60 on Monday (May 10th).

It seems like just yesterday we were all (all 6 of, mom, my 2 sisters, and my brother & I) packed into that red maverick our family had, driving to Missouri for my grandparent's 40th wedding anniversary.

Last June was my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. Now my dad is turning 60.

Time flies.

Favorite memories of my dad through the years:

taking hikes all over Virginia, visiting historic battlefields and walking through the woods, taking in the history of our land.

fishing at his friend's pond, and camping there. setting off fireworks when we were there during 4th of July. canoeing there on the pond. fishing at smith mountain lake, us riding on my grandpa's boat and tractor.

trying to set off Billy's rocket in the front yard at didn't work but it was fun trying to get it to work.

playing baseball in the front yard at home. we had a makeshift baseball diamond in the front yard..with all of the bases and the home plate, too.

planting everything in the garden..playing in the dirt, tilling the soil, picking the veggies and flowers that we grew.

riding bikes..learning how to ride for the first time at smith mountain lake, where my mom's parents lived. and then riding in the neighborhood near our house..doing all sorts of bike tricks. parking near a bike trail and then riding the bike through the trail, all the way to carl's ice cream in downtown fredericksburg. then riding back to the trail and then back to the car.

learning to tie my shoes. my dad taught me how to do that. i also remember how to double knot-he took the time to show me that, and i remember the exact moment. he also taught me how to walk straight, instead of pigeon-toed. instead of making fun of me, he used to have me practice walking straight while we walked up and down the driveway.

the bus stop. when he was on late shift (going into work later in the morning), he would walk with us down to the bus stop, when we were kids. he'd hang out with us (me and my brother) down there until the bus got us. even on the cold mornings.

playing games..whether it be shooting hoops, playing catch/baseball/tee-ball, chess, monopoly.. he was so competitive at monopoly, which was funny because he wasn't really competitive at any of the other games.

my dad always mowing the grass... i remember waking up to the sound of the lawn mower on hot summer saturdays, and the smell of fresh cut grass.

bird houses. he always had birdhouses up at home, and birdseed out for the birds. at smith mountain lake, he always put up a purple martin house, and would check with my mom's parents to see how the birds were doing.

his grocery list when i lived at home was always so simple, but he always wrote it down..bananas, OJ, 100% whole wheat bread..

dancing to the beach boys at my wedding, one of his favorite bands.

there are so many other things i could list here. i may add to this throughout the rest of the week and the weekend. i have tons of good memories about him, and i hope to make even more. my great grandpa on my dad's side lived to be over 100. if that's any sign about our family, then i hope my dad does the same.