Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tomorrow marks the beginning of me working in a new position with new hours. For the past 6 months I have been working from 6am to 3pm. Crazy, I know. But necessary for the work I did with our East coast clients. Well, I thankfully received a promotion. My first real promotion, actually. And not only will I be doing work I enjoy and went to school for, but I will be working from 8-5. Like a normal person. And Peter and I will be able to carpool. Yeah, I will miss getting off at 3 and having more time to run errands and relax. But I will not miss crawling out of my warm bed at 4:40 every morning and getting ready in the cold dark while Peter quietly continues to snooze. Not worth it. Not at all.
Friday and Saturday were spent in Portland--such a fun city! We went to the World Forestry Center (which is not nearly as boring as it sounds) and walked through the famous Rose Garden. Although there was obviously a lack of roses this time of year, the scenery and view of the sity was amazing. We had lunch at Elephant Deli, a upscale deli with so many wonderful choices. I decided I could eat here everyday if I had the chance. If ever in Portland, you must check it out. We continued the day by walking and shopping our way through Pioneer Courthouse Square. We were lucky to have dry weather--cold and overcast, but dry. Perfect.
Saturday was spent at the Portland Saturday market. An amazing street fair with local artisans, right along the river. The people, food, and handmade goods were so eclectic. I loved it. I walked away with a handmade ceramic spoonrest.
The 13 hour drive with 6 other people was a challenge, I will be honest. Although we all love each other, by about the 6th hour, we were all irritated. No one could say or do anything right. My plan to take a few dramamines and sleep the majority of the way was successful, although sleeping for 13 straight hours in a car is pretty impossible. But we made it, and I had a great time. I would love to go back to the city with Peter. Maybe in the summer. It is a beautiful place with old buildings, bridges, interesting people, and great shopping. A perfect combination.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I have been trying to fill these built-ins with white serving pieces. I still want to paint or stain the shelves in the future, but want them to look cute in the meantime. Many of these pieces were a birthday gift from Peter's parents and my sister-in law--Thank you! They look fabulous, kick start my collection, and will be great additions to my table.
I was quite shocked when I opened this gift from my husband (and parents). Truthfully, I was expecting a bike basket and the fourth Twilight book. The book I received (thank goodness, because I was going through withdrawals) but this was a complete surprise....
A KitchenAid mixer! I have been wanting one forever and have been frequently stealing my moms. I have mentioned to Peter that I love the Martha Stewart blue color mixer and he surprised me with it! Of course, in true Toni fashion, I screamed and clapped my hands really fast as soon as I ripped off the paper--I love it!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Now the Hawaiian Chair is a little pricey, I know that. But I am moving to a new office soon, and this chair would just really make the transition that much better. So maybe it could be a combined birthday and Christmas gift.
Or...if you are watching those pennies a little more carefully, I would also love to receive one of these. The red color please, so it can double as a monk outfit for next Halloween.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I love this show. I love, pretty much all, Bravo reality shows, but this one takes the cake. It combines drama, competition, interesting personalities, and food--all the necessary components for an amazing hour of television. I am super excited for season 5 to start tonight!
Will Chef Tom be as brutally honest as ever? Will Padma continue to wear completely ridiculous outfits and pretend to know a ton about food? Will the contestants have to prepare an entire 5 course meal using only canned food? Will Stephanie come back as a guest judge? More importantly, will Sam or Ilan come back??
Ahh!! I cant wait for it to start!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Spending time with these people...
-Finding creative ways to light the bbq...umm, excuse me sir, do you have a cigarrette we can borrow?
-The strange, confused (high?) woman who had her eye on my purse, demanded a piece of bread, settled for a cookie and then placed it on the ground a few feet later. Only to pick it back up again and take a bite. Only to place it on the ground a few feet later...
-The USC lifer who wore maroon velour pants (what is it with ladies in velour at sporting events?), made her own necklaces, covered her eyes on every play, and high fived with everyone in site (including Jill and Peter)
-The USC victory!
Friday, November 7, 2008
I grew up watching my grandpa sell these every year. For Pop, buddy poppy time was a season of the year, we all knew when it was coming and knew he would be out in the community every day. He was a very active member in his local VFW, serving as President for many years. I have so so many memories of being with him at VFW events, he was a dedicated military man and a dedicated VFW member. He was also the most sweet and gentle man with white hair and a deep love for his family.
So today, when I walked up to Vons and saw those sweet men with their white hair and pin-covered VFW hats, I felt the lump in my throat and new I would have to stop on my way out. And I did. And I told them my grandpa sold these for many years and he was very, very dear to me and I miss him very much. And then I walked out to my car and called my mom and texted my brother to tell them it was buddy poppy time. And closed the door and cried.
So if you see these sweet men with white hair and pin-covered hats, please consider stopping by. You could drop in fifty cents and they would love you.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I found it. Not sure how "antique" it is. But is the perfect size, shape, and finish. Needless to say, it was a successful lunch hour.
Piece by piece, the room is coming along!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
November....in no particular order
Finishing the ceiling/walls of guest bedroom (maybe this week!)
Trying new soup recipes
Reading third Twilight book (thanks Jill!)
Twilight movie (ahhh...Edward Cullen)
Thanksgiving in Vancouver/Portland
Carrie Underwood concert
Sean and Allie's wedding!
USC game with friendsMaking my Christmas list
Deciding what colors to decorate my Christmas tree (last year was red and gold)
Pumpkin anything (pie, muffins, bread, cake, coffee…)
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I saw these pumpkin muffins on her site a couple weeks ago and thought they looked scrumptious. And then she made them too, and I know I just had too. The recipe was simple (I used pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, instead of all the individual spices) and added the optional streusal topping. Except I didnt have any nuts, so I used oats instead and it worked great. So, thanks Sharon for the inspiration!
I also made a Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf this week. It was also very good. I dont have any pictures but here is the recipe. I added more lemon zest and juice for a stronger lemon flavor. The addition of plain yogurt makes it super moist and keeps the butter consumption a little lower, which is always good. No matter what Paula or Ina say...
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heavily grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.|
|2.||Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.|
|3.||In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.|
|4.||Mix lemon juice and yogurt together and add alternately with the sifted flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until just blended. Stir in lemon rind and poppy seeds. Pour mixture into prepared pans and smooth tops.|
|5.||Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 minutes or until browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 15 minutes before turning out of pans.|