The day is upon me, I have entered my 40’s.
I’m not sad. I’m not depressed.
Instead of looking back, at all my accomplishments and mistakes, I choose to look to the future. To what’s next. In that spirit, I created a bucket list. But, I don’t really like the term bucket list. As in…..”all the things I want to do before I kick the bucket list”. That is depressing. So instead, I tried to come up with an alternate title. This appears to be unchartered territory. There is no existing synonym for “Bucket List.” The best I could come up with…..Life List.
I know you were expecting better. It’s a working title.
So, as of February 14, 2013……here is my Life List.
1. Fly First Class
2. Learn to Play the Guitar
3. Buy a Bottle of Dom Perignon to determine if it is worth the hefty price
4. Go Snuba Diving
5. Compete in the YMCA’s MTec Challenge
6. See Wicked on Broadway
7. Serve Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner some year at the homeless shelter
8. Decorate the White House for Christmas…..do you hear me Senator Alloway? Do you have any connections?
9. See the Aurora Borealis (aka Northern Lights)
10. See a Jimmy Buffett concert from the front row
11. Be a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day ballon carrier
12. Go to Puxatauney for the annual Ground Hog Day festivities
13. Experience Niagara Falls. Ride the Maid of the Mist, don a yellow rain slicker….
14. Gift someone a car complete with a huge, larger than life, bow….any takers?? Send requests my way.
15. Go thrifting at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena
16. Attend (and learn to spell) the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival
17. Pose for Playboy (this was just to see who, if anyone, is paying attentions…for obvious reasons this is never going to happen)
18. Go over the river and through the woods on a for real sleigh ride. I want to have hot chocolate, warm blankets and hot potatoes in my pockets.
19. Attend the Kentucky Derby solely for the fancy hats and mint juleps.
20. Go to Africa. See the Zebras. See the Elephants. See the flat topped Acacia Trees.
21. Become fluent in a language
22. Have a picnic (of Rice a Roni) under the Golden Gate Bridge and ride a streetcar.
23. Visit an active volcano overflowing with lava
I expect this list to change. It’s not complete. It may change and grow. Life is unpredictable.
Sometimes it’s amazing to sit back and let it carry you beyond your wildest imagination. Sometimes that can be better than any life list.
To your 10’s, to your 20’s, to your 30’s. to your 40’s…..wherever you may be.
We took a wonderful, awesome, super trip to Paris in early October.
It’s finally time to share our adventures.
This was our second trip to Paris. We were there for a ridiculous 72 hours in 2009 and vowed we would return.
We toured Versailles. It was beautiful. It was unbelievable. It was everything I expected. The property is massive, you could lose yourself, or at the very least your head, if you weren’t careful.
So, we rented a golf cart. This was one of the best ideas we had because it started raining, then pouring. And, we had our little golf cart for protection.
Every detail of Versailles was fit for a king. Gold, marble, priceless artwork…….even on the ceilings. Please, if you find yourself in Paris, don’t forget to look up. It’s amazing what you’ll find. When you step outside Versailles, you are entertained by equally amazing fountains, gardens and landscaping.
Aside from the main palace, there are 2 other palatial buildings on the property. Again, look at the marble! This is the Grand Trianon. Built as a private escape for the royal family. An escape from the public’s prying eye.
Marie Antoinette also commissioned a hamlet to be built. A place where she could collect eggs, raise animals and otherwise “play peasant.” Straight from a fairy tale……
Back in Paris, we visited Montmarte again. Mainly because we wanted to walk up all of the 225 steps to Sacre Coeur again. It really is a beautiful view of Paris from the top. It was a gloomy day. Our view wasn’t spectacular as it could have been, but we suffered through sunset while sharing a toast, together. You gotta love the lack of an open container law in Paris.
Montmarte was once a haven for struggling artists of all shapes and sizes. Trevor insisted we have an artist draw our portraits.
We hit all of the hot spots again (we bought a Paris Musuem pass, I highly recommend it)…….the Arc de Triomphe,
…the Orsay Musuem (can you believe that they almost tore this former train station down?!)….
….the churches like Notre Dame and …Sainte Chapelle……
(I still didn’t make it to the top of Notre Dame ‘cause that darn line was just too long.)
This is the pedestrian bridge outside of Notre Dame, Pont des Arts. It is a meeting place for lovers. (hence the 2 lovers seen above….) It is covered with padlocks. Love locks. Buy a lock. Place on bridge. Throw the key into the Seine. Your love will be eternal……or so the story goes. We didn’t buy a lock. We feel confident in our eternal love. (that and Trevor said it was a waste of money…..just kidding…..)
We boarded an open air bus and toured the city. Passing Napoleon’s Tomb (or should I say “complex”) and the Louvre.
We boarded a boat and watched the sights of Paris fall into darkness as the sun set.
We navigated our way on trains, planes and subway systems and lived to tell our tale. We ate great food, we sipped red wine. It was good. It was very good. (Minus that text about a small party in C-burg…..)
Until next time, Paris!!!
Pasta/ Vegetarian Dish
1. Asparagus and Double Smoked Bacon Popover (www.pinterest.com)
2. Vegan Stuffed Shells (www.allrecipes.com)
3. Green Alien Ravioli (Rachel Ray November 2010)
4. Christmas Pasta (Rachel Ray December 2012)
1. Crab-Corn Chowder (Johnnies)
2. Chicken Noodle Soup (Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2010)
3. French Onion Soup
4. B.L.T. Soup (www.pinterest.com)
Pork/The Other White Meat
1.Pork Tenderloin with Black Bean Chorizo Ragu (The Washington Post via Sheila)
3. Crockpot Breakfast Casserole (www.iowagirleats.com)
4. Ham Loaf (The Butcher Shoppe)
1. Pretzel Chicken (www.pinterest.com)
2. Firecracker Enchiladas (Rachel Ray August 2007)
3. Turkey Lasagna (www.pinterest.com)
4. Buffalo Chicken Chili (www.pinterest.com)
5. Monterey Chicken (www.pinterest.com)
6. Chicken Tortillas with Jalapeno Mayo (The Complete 15 Minute Gourmet)
7. Chicken in Parsley Pesto Broth (The Complete 15 Minute Gourmet)
8. Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce (www.thepioneerwoman.com)
1. Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions (www.smittenkitchen.com)
2. Tacos and Quesadillas
3. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
4. Sloppy Joes
1. Shrimp and Rice (Arroz Con Camarone)
2. Greek Snapper with Feta Cheese (The Complete 15 Minute Gourmet)
3. Open Face Crab Imperial Sandwiches
4. Fish and Chips (www.pinterest.com)
Honorable Mentions from last 30 for 30:
Tuscan Pasta with Tomato Basil Cream
Chunky Vegetable Soup
Schnitzel (great sauce)
Chicken in Riesling (but I will never again try to cut up a whole chicken myself)
Taco Stuffed Shells
I survived almost 3 entire days following Dr. Oz’ 3 day juice cleanse.
I had Juice smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Here are my thoughts and observations (for what it’s worth and in case you want to give it a try)……………….
The breakfast drink. Hands down my favorite. The raspberries and banana take over this drink and the result is sweet and pleasant. (I substituted wheat germ for flax seed and peanut butter for almond butter.)
The lunch drink. It’s a grainy, green drink. I omitted the celery, as other reviewers had recommended. And I absolutely detest kale, so I just skipped that ingredient. It’s not good, it’s not bad. I just drank it-very, very slowly. I used a blender to prepare all smoothies. An actual juicer might make the consistency of this drink a bit smoother.
The dinner drink. The first night I prepared as is, minus the detestable kale. For me, it was too much cayenne pepper. I scaled back the amount the next night. Again, not good, not bad. There was no way that I could have had this for dinner a third night in a row. (I cheated and had a homemade vegetable soup.)
I lasted exactly 2 1/2 days on this cleanse without a cheat. (I did eat a whole, non-pureed carrot on the 2 day but really, is that cheating?) By lunch on day 3 I couldn’t resist a toasty french roll. It had been sitting on the counter, just staring at me since the night before. And for dinner, I cheated and chewed my vegetables instead of sipping. 3 days was too much for me for my first juice cleanse. 2 days would have been perfect.
Weird Side Effects and Observations:
On day 1 I was actually cold. (I am never, ever cold.)
I felt less bloated, less Pillsbury Dough Boy. I did lose a few pounds. I expect them to come right back. I do think that this cleanse would be great prep for a wedding, prom or other event where you wanted to drop a few pounds quickly and temporarily.
It was very hard to cook for my family and not eat. I actually had to drink my smoothie in another room. (On Day 1, I made the rest of my family get take out. I didn’t want to tempt myself.)
I continued my normal exercise routine while juicing which was probably a mistake. On Day 1, I truthfully was not hungry. By Day 2, after running 3 miles and doing a tank top arm routine, I was hungry. My stomach was growling and I couldn’t stop thinking about food. If I had scaled back my cardio, I might not have been so ravenous…..do you know what that means?!
Overall, I was proud that I lasted 60 hours!! I would like to incorporate the smoothies into my weekly routine and I would try this cleanse again. It would be much more fun to try with a group of friends!! Any takers?
Haven’t been on Tumblr in forever.
I miss these daily, weekly, monthly chats with myself.
Thought that today would be a great day to weigh in……I’ve been wanting to try a juice fast/cleanse for awhile. Last week I found a 3 day juice cleanse, as recommended by the one, the only, Wizard of Dr. Oz. 3 days sounded perfect. 72 hours, that sounds even easier. I’ll be happy if I can handle one day of juicing. It’s not something that I’ve ever tried for more than one meal before. If day one goes well, I will forge ahead into day 2, and so on and so forth.
This cleanse isn’t necessarily about losing weight but about eliminating “harmful toxins, restoring your system, and reseting your body.”
The best part of this cleanse is that the plan is simple and most “ingredients” can be purchased at any grocery store.
So here goes day 1……
Yes, I’m still here. Guess I’ve been finding better things to do.
It’s taken me two months to get through one month of recipes. And the day I did, I floundered because I had no plan for the days that lie ahead.
I am addicted to my 30 for 30. Did I just say that? I am such a nerd.
I’m beginning to actually use pinterest for what is was intended. A way to
steal organize all of those wonderful ideas floating around in cyberspace. When I find a great recipe, I pin it. When I am ready to cook, there it is, waiting for me.
Am I smart…..or what?
Baked Ziti (www.thepioneerwoman.com)
Tuscan Pasta with Tomato Basil Cream (www.pinterest.com)
Open Face Cheese Sandwiches (my aunt ruth’s recipe….)
Vegan Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos (www.allrecipes.com)
Chicken Noodle (Cooking Light, January/February 2010)
Chunky Vegetable Soup (www.pinterest.com)
Pasta and Escarole Soup (Rachel Ray December 2012)
Pork Loin with Butternut Squash (www.myorganizednutshell.blogspot.com)
Pork with Bacon and Brown Sugar (my sister-in-law’s recipe)
Italian Style Cold Subs (‘cause I want, I need to take myself back to Italy)
Chicken in Riesling (www.epicurious.com)
Creamy Chicken Breasts (my friend esta’s recipe…..)
Butter Chicken (www.allrecipes.com)
Fried Chicken (Johnnie’s cheat and heat)
Turkey Breast (a trial run for Christmas Day with an easy to use product from Johnnies)
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken in Basil Cream (Roger Tappen Cookbook)
(when I first got married, I didn’t know how to cook anything….we had breaded chicken marinated with italian dressing all the time…..time for a flashback)
Brisket (Johnnies Cheat and Heat)
Beef Pad Thai (www.pinterest.com)
Taco Stuffed Shells (www.pinterest.com)
Grilled Pesto Shrimp (www.pinterest.com)
Tilapia Parmesan (www.allrecipes.com)
Pan Seared Scallops with Tomatoes and Pesto (www.myrecipes.com)
Honorable Mentions from the Month Before
Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Melt in Your Mouth Tarragon Chicken
Crock Pot Beef Tips
Cooler fall weather is settling in. Carved pumpkins and spooky skeletons are beginning to appear on front porches. Candy is on sale by the bagful. And the greatest of all…..it’s Octoberfest time of the year. (October also comes before November, which brings Thanksgiving. And November comes before December, which brings Christmas. Therefore, making this my favorite quarter of the year!!!!)
Though I can trace my family roots back to Germany on all 4 sides (or maybe it’s actually 3 since Trevor is technically my cousin), I cannot claim that my love of all things Octoberfest is because I was raised to practice and appreciate these German beginnings. Guten Tag means “hello”, but I can’t speak German. Lederhosen are leather breeches, but I don’t own any. I wasn’t taught how to polka…..wait, maybe that’s not German? But, I do love pork, sauerkraut and a hearty German brew. As I will not be traveling to Munich beer hall anytime soon, I thought that it would be fun to host an “Octoberfest Feast” for some friends.
Yet another excuse to stuff myself silly with brats and beer.
(They were delicious and a recipe is available upon request.)
Sandy brought the most amazing Pennsylvania Dutch Salad. I apologize for the less than high quality pix.
Kicking off the beer drinking season early each year, Hagerstown hosts an annual Augustoberfest. It’s basically a large gathering of rowdy people drinking beer and singing German drinking songs. (As we entered the tent, we encountered mothers, babies, grandfathers, teenagers, aunts, uncles, step mothers, second cousins twice removed……you get the idea. It was a party for the young, the old, and everyone in between.) It is truly the party of the year. This was my second year in attendance, and I can honestly say I will plan all festivities for the month of August 2013 around Augustoberfest. It truly is/was that good of a time. The band that returns every year is unbelievable and engages everyone in the audience. It is a 7+ member band. And they are all true musicians playing everything from bass and electric guitars to button boxes and keytars. Yeah, I bet you have to look that one up?!
“Bob” and I, Augustoberfest 2013!!
Yes, if you’re experienced, you get to drink beer out of really, really big glasses.
Actually, I guess they’re not glasses, they’re steins.
There’s enough sauerkraut, brats and schnitzel for everyone.
Ziggy Ziggy Ziggy Ziggy, Oi, Oi, Oi!!!
Field Hockey, it’s my daughter’s thing. Her latest past time, her current passion. She enjoys it and she is excelling in it.
This makes me happy.
Field Hockey has taken me to various exotic locations. Locations such as Boiling Springs, Central Dauphin (lower and east) and Waynesboro, PA. Sometimes early on a Saturday morning!! This summer, Liza had the opportunity to travel with the high school field hockey team to summer camp. All the way south to Duke University in North Carolina. There wasn’t enough room on the bus for her skinny butt, so I dusted off my passport, got any and all necessary vaccinations, and accompanied her on the voyage. We traveled with Liza’s friend and her mom, and after we dropped the girls off in their 100+ degree dorm room, we had a few “kid free” days to explore the city of Durham. (In an effort to protect the innocent friend’s mom from the possible exploitations of Tumblr, I will simply refer to her as “Gretchy.”)
Gretchy has a niece who is a senior at Duke. She was kind enough to make a list of “Must Do’s” for us while in Durham. I was impressed by the list. The restaurant recommendations were wonderfully sophisticated.
At that age, I had just discovered tuna salad and P.B.J.’s.
Like always, I took a picture of most everything that I did and ate. The food was truly amazing. I also got Gretchy hooked on Instagram.
Probably my favorite restaurant was the brunch that we had at The Washington Duke Inn. (WaDuke if you’re in the know….) We were able to dine on the terrace, overlooking the golf course, and the food was amazing. I can’t remember all of the fine details, but I remember the fresh squeezed orange juice, shrimp and corn chowder,quiche for moi and grits for Gretchy.
Just take a look at the treats I found at the dessert bar!!
Since we were down south, we took advantage of the abundance of b.b.q. and hush puppies. Specifically, Q-Shak was the place to be! Maybe this was my favorite…..the food was amazing. Brisket B.B.Q!! OK, I’m repeating myself. But, I think I left a little too full for comfort.
There is a cool downtown area called Brightleaf Square. Great for both dining and shopping. We snagged 99 cent margaritas, just ‘cause we could.
One of our favorite shopping spots, Morgan Imports, was in this area as well. Full of eclectic treats, both old and new.
We also hit up a French bistro on ninth street, Vin Rogue. It was a bit more hip and happening so I didn’t get a photo of one of the best Hanger Steaks (with bleu cheese butter and frites) that I ever had the pleasure of consuming!
Didn’t want to be too touristy and embarrass Gretchy!
On our last morning, we sampled the goods at Fosters. Kind of a combo gourmet market/cafe. The chef, Sarah Foster, is apparently one of the country’s most respected experts on simple, honest food prepared with local and seasonal ingredients. At one time, she worked alongside Martha Stewart as a chef for her catering business. I “could a, should a” tried the parfait like recommended but I didn’t. Next time…..
The campus of Duke itself was impressive. Full of dramatic Gothic architecture, a majestic chapel, blooming flower gardens and references to some guy named Krzyzewskiville. Seriously, before I stood in front of the sign, I had never heard of this guy, this “place”, this phenomenon.
Among other things, I guess I’m not a college sports fan.
Overall, Durham was a lovely place to visit. It would have been even better had the temperature been anything less than 100 degrees.
I love the month of October. Fall has arrived, apples are fresh and the smell of beer is in the air…..it’s Octoberfest time. I have grand plans to host a (small) Octoberfest beer sampling/dinner. Can’t wait. I found a couple of recipes, I hope they’re good. Time to break out the Lederhosen.
Here’s my meal plan for the month:
1. Pasta Alfredo
2. Penne Rustica (www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com)
3. Breakfast for Dinner (Overnight Asparagus Strata, www.allrecipes.com)
4. Grilled Pizza (before it gets too cold….)
4 Chicken Meals
1. Chicken in Riesling (www.epicurious.com)
2. Chicken Marinara (www.epicurious.com)
3. Creamy Chicken Breasts
4. Chicken Wings (Johnnies cHeat and serve)
5. Simply Great Chicken (www.foodforahungrysoul.blogspot.com)
6. Crockpot Chicken Tacos (www.iowagirleats.com)
7. Chicken in Crescent Rolls (my friend Esta’s recipe)
8. Melt in your Mouth Tarragon Crock Pot Chicken (Rachel Ray Everyday magazine, October 2011)
4 Soup Meals
1. Reuben Soup (www.allrecipes.com)
2. Bacon, Cheddar, Cauliflower Chowder (www.iowagirleats.com)
3. Italian Wedding Soup
4. Pork Stew (www.allrecipes.com)
4 Seafood Meals
1. Easy Shrimp Scampi (www.mrshappyhomemaker.com)
2. Fresh Tuna……..’cause there’s still some in our freezer.
3. Fish with a Fra Diavlo Sauce (www.allrecipes.com)
4. Crab Linguine with Lemon and Basil (www.annies-eats.com)
4 Beef Meals
1. Crock Pot Beef Tips (www.pinterest.com)
2. Sheperd’s Pie with an Attitude (www.foodforahungrysoul.blogspot.com)
3. Margarita Beef Kebabs (www.allrecipes.com)
4. Balsamic Glazed London Broil (www.allrecipes.com)
4 Pork Meals
1. Sausage and Quinoa One Pot Dinner
2. Pork Loin with Butternut Squash (crockpot meal, www.myorganizednutshell.blogspot.com)
3. Scalloped Potatoes with Ham (www.thepioneerwoman.com)
4. Beer Soaked Brats (www.epicurious.com)
These girls are amazing!!! Can’t believe I haven’t seen or heard them before.