September 28, 2011

Apple Pie

Today is my husband's birthday.  We didn't do a whole lot, as he spent most of the day working.  He got his present early (I talked his family into pitching in for an iPad, which he adores), so no presents.  But I did hang the Happy Birthday banner I had made for a previous birthday, and lit candles, and cleaned.


For dinner, I brined some pork chops, a la Alton Brown minus the stuffing, which DS grilled when he got home.  Then he grilled some eggplant, because between the CSA and my garden, we have SO MUCH EGGPLANT.  It was pretty tasty.

The best apple pie EVER.

But the best part was dessert.  Which was an apple pie.  That I made.  From scratch.  Let me tell you something.  I can make a mean dessert.  Also, the Pioneer Woman knows a thing or two about recipes.  By which I mean, everything I've made of hers has knocked my socks off.  I told DS I was going to make him the best apple pie he'd ever had, which apparently he did not believe.  It is his favorite dessert, and he once knew a girl who knew her way around an apple pie.  I was not afraid.  He has conceded, whether truly or out of his love for me, I don't know.  But I do know that the noises he made while eating that pie were all good.

One happy dude.

September 14, 2011

Three Decades

I'm officially in my 30's.  Since leaving Madison, a lot of the people that we tend to hang around are still in their mid 20's, and I can see the fear in their eyes when I tell them how old I am now.  I kind of enjoy it.  Truly, being 30 is no different than being 29.  Except that I find myself terribly excited.  Wait, was I excited last year?  (checking...)  Nope, I didn't even get around to making a birthday post.  Shocking!

Gifts from my mom, so I can "party."
I'm tolding a woman's 30's are the best years of her life.  Something about being comfortable in your skin and the bedroom.  I don't know how much of a difference a year will really make on the latter, but I can tell you that I feel 100 times better in my skin than I did this time last year.  Have I mentioned that I've lost 18 lbs?  Bri has been keeping me on a pretty tight workout schedule.  I even wore a real bikini at the beach last weekend for the first time in years.  Aside from the sunburn, it was awesome.  I'm not saying there aren't still things that need work.  Just that for the first time in a long time, those things are not something I think about constantly.  I am content.

I spent my birthday lounging around the house reading, and then several hours of band practice.  Tonight the band has a show at Millcreek Tavern, and we're debuting two new songs.  Songs I helped write!  Bri surprised me with a homemade cake, which was so delicious.  It actually had 30 candles on it, and it looked like it was some castle torch.  I don't even remember the last time I had candles on a cake for my birthday, and it made my day.

Bri with my Birthday Cake/Torch
DS showered me with gifts this year.  I finally own Settlers of Catan, which makes me so happy, even if you do need three people to play it.  I have my first 3DS game, Ocarina of Time.  And best of all, a serger!  This last gift has inspired me to get back to sewing.  I dug out a skirt pattern I bought a year ago, along with some fabric I'd been hoarding, and got to work.  I've never made anything from a patter before, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  It fits and has a zipper and everything.  I didn't bother lining it, or using interfacing (I don't even know what it's for, stabilization I suppose).  I figure I can get into all that stuff later.

A horrible photo of the skirt I made.  The lumps are because I have shorts on under it.
This weekend DS and I will be attending the wedding of one of my favorite people, Luke.  Which means we're heading back to Madison for the third time this year.  The weather is supposed to be lovely, upper 60's, and I'm very excited.  The rest of this week should be lovely.

September 06, 2011

PA Renaissance Faire

Apparently, around these parts, the Renaissance Faire is a big deal.  I'm told it's famous.  Bri was very bothered I had never been to one at all before, much less PA's.  So we took advantage of the Labor Day 2-for-1 special and took the boys.

I've always wanted to go to one of these.  I wish I'd had a costume.  I wish I hadn't been so sunburnt that it hurt to wear clothes.  I am thankful for Lidocaine spray.

This place was huge, and completely full of actors in period costume walking around and manning booths and performing, so you really feel immersed in Elizabethan England.  Well, except for all the people like me, running around in modern clothes with a giant camera.  When I walked in, two of the actors welcoming people freaked out because I had a "hand cannon."

It was a rainy day, and we weren't there for very long.  DS and Bri had to work for a bit in the morning, and then we all had band practice in the evening.  This is really the kind of place you should experience all day.  There is a storyline that the events follow throughout the day, and as that's one of the few free things, it's probably better to soak it all up.  We thought we were going to see jousting, but it was just the pre-joust that set up the story for the 6pm "joust to the death."  Lame.  We did see the human chess game, which was amusing.  Probably the best part was the whip/comedy/variety show with Don Juan and Miguel.  Those guys were hilarious, and if you get a chance to see them or watch one of their dvds, I recommend it.

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September 04, 2011

At the Beach in Avalon

We spent the day in Avalon, NJ at the beach.  Bri's family rented a house for the week and was kind enough to let DS and I crash with them for the day.  This was mine and DS's first trip to the Jersey shore, and I have to say, it was rather pleasant.  Much nicer than expected a northern beach to be.

The day started off cloudy and a bit chilly for beach play.  We took our time getting into our bathing suits, first walking to the Paper Peddler to pick up a copy of A Feast for Crows for Dan.  He and DS have been going through the Song of Ice and Fire books together, and Dan didn't want DS to get ahead of him.  I was rather impressed with this tiny little bookstore.  It had a much better selection than I expected of a place so small in the middle of a tourist district.

Once the sun came out, we head to the beach and each read our books while sitting in the sun.  It was the perfect temperature for me, so that the sun warmed my skin, but I never felt hot or sweaty.  The boys convinced us to get into the ocean, which was definitely on the cold side.  However, once we got used to it, we had fun jumping around in the waves for a while.

I didn't have a camera, but here is a photo of where we were, taken by ONG.

When we got hungry, we went back to the house for lunch, then spent the rest of the afternoon by the house pool.  I have to say, if you have enough people you like that are willing to split the cost of one of these houses, it's a really nice time.  The house was fully furnished, complete with washer and dryer and 3 bathrooms, and easily held Bri's entire family.  Very relaxing.

We had dinner at Oceanside Seafood, which was decent and well priced.  There were much better rated seafood places we could have gone to, but they were also insanely expensive.  This was also when my sunburn decided to show up.  Normally I can tell when I'm getting too much sun, but this time the breeze and the temperatures tricked me.  So I will be sleeping with ice packs on my stomach tonight.  No joke.  It hurts to move.  Hell, it hurts not to move.  Still, it was worth it.

September 03, 2011

Fall Beginnings

Fall is my favorite season, followed very closely by winter.  In my head, all of the wonderful things these seasons bring start in September.  There are all the holidays, the decorations, the colors, the smells, the FOOD.  Also, my birthday.  You guys know how nuts I am about my birthday, and this year is a milestone.  I'll be 30.  Apparently that makes some people feel old, but I say, MORE CAKE.

On Sept 1, Thursday, Bri dragged me to a bikram yoga class.  We had got a set of five classes for $25 through Groupon in the spring, and they expire in Nov.  We figured it was about time we used them.  Especially now that we're working out so much, we actually feel in good enough shape to get through a whole yoga class.  You know how I am about heat; I hate it.  It makes me sick.  So probably bikram yoga was a bad idea, but I figured that I'd at least try it.  It was 107° in there, and I felt bad the second we walked in the studio.  The first 45 min were standing poses, and I kept falling out of them and then sitting on the floor waiting for them to get to the next one, trying not to cry.  It was entirely too hot for me.  The last 45 min were seated poses, and my head tended to be in the draft of the back door, which someone had cracked open.  That made things soooo much better, and I ended up really enjoying the second half.  It was hard work, but the kind of hard work that makes you feel good.  Instead of the kind of hard work that makes you want to run away in tears.  I have 4 more classes...

On Friday I did my first pull-up since elementary school.  So I guess all this exercise is working.

Today DS and I have been mostly relaxing.  But when our chef friend gets off work late tonight, he's picking us up and we're going to the beach.  We live super close to the beach, but in the entire year we've lived here, we've yet to go.  So Sunday, BEACH.

Then on Monday, we're going to the PA Renaissance Faire.  Apparently it's a big deal.  I'm so super excited.  I've always wanted to go to something like this.  Bri keeps exclaiming about how I'll eat an entire turkey leg, but I'm more excited about the costumes and the jousting.  Because I'm a nerd.  And it's awesome.

Hopefully we'll have some good pictures of that stuff for you.

Oh, and before I forget.  My band is playing a show on 9/14, which is doubling as my birthday party (and also our cellists', whose birthday is the 18th).  We're planning to debut 2 new songs, one of which was my idea.  It will be the first time we'll perform publicly with DS and I included in the whole show.  Plus, someone is making me cupcakes.

I told you this month was awesome.