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October 31, 2009

Halloween Weekend

Despite the fact that I hate Halloween, I decided to try and embrace the Fall spirit this weekend and take some pictures...here are a few of my favorites.

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I love carving pumpkins, it is one of the few aspect of Halloween I really enjoy. For weeks I keep being like "we should buy pumpkins!"- but for some reason or another we never have. Finally, on Halloween itself, we went to the-store-that-shall-not-be-named to buy candy and I was resolute that "we are buying pumpkins."

Well guess what. They had no pumpkins. ON HALLOWEEN! I hate Walmart, er, the store-that-shall-not-be-named.

On the way home we hit up a local pumpkin patch that had magically disappeared, but it it's place were numerous dumpsters full of pumpkins for anybody brave enough to dig through them. I found these two little gems on top and saved them from what would surely be a terrible pumpkin rotting death. They are now sitting on our fireplace.

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Let me give you an example of why I love my husband so much. While driving away from the pumpkin patch garbage bins we had this conversation:

Me: I love these pumpkins. What are we going to name them?

Dan: We have to name the pumpkins?

Me: Pumpkins are like babies, they have to have names once they come into your life.

Dan: How about Kobe.

Me: We are not naming our pumpkins after a rapist.

Dan: (rolls his eyes and thinks for a moment) Fine. How about a compromise. Lamar and Khloe.

Me: TOTAL DEAL!

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Some Fall foliage.

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Kadira and Dan's shadow.

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All Dan wanted in a dog was somebody to play Frisbee with. For the last two months I have had to endure practice Frisbee in the house, but they finally moved their little game outside. Kadira doesn't catch it every time- but she sure does try.

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I have no idea what these things are. A fruit perhaps? But they are everywhere at our local park- and one kind citizen decided to shove them in the top of every giant anthill. I don't really think it stopped the ants from exiting, but it is extremely humerus and a very valiant effort.

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Bridge to the dog park.

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Toby enjoying some sunshine.

Halloween night itself was kind of a bust. We stayed at the house to hand out candy and only got 4 or 5 groups- half of which contained adults who expected candy too. Slowly it turned into more of a teenage crowd so we turned off of our lights. Shortly thereafter Kadira started going berserk...but we ignored her because she had kind of been going crazy with all the commotion all night. We should have listened. Some kids knocked over our mailbox which made me resolute that NEXT YEAR WE ARE NOT HANDING OUT HALLOWEEN CANDY AT ALL UNGRATEFUL DEVIL CHILDREN.

Now into my favorite season of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Finally.

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Sunday Post

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Head on over to Seven Dames a Week to read my post {UnTiTleD} because sometimes others say it better then I ever could.

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October 30, 2009

Halloween Weekend Links

I apologize that that weekend links are coming so late in the day- and that there are not a ton. I blame this hectic week and the traveling. But the ones I do link are certainly quality!

-I really enjoyed Rachel's feature on lamps with black shades. I need to change out the lamps in our bedroom, and I think I might go with something like what she featured! (Girl Learning Along the Way).

-This Halloween decorated cookies make my stomach growl. (Sweetopia).

-So Ivanka Trump got married last weekend, and personally I have a secret love affair with Ivanka Trump because I think she's kind of the ideal women. Beautiful, smart, classy...nothing like her father. But the reason for this link is because DEAR GOD HER WEDDING DRESS WAS BEAUTIFUL. (People).

-Beautiful wedding photos and one hell of a ring, not to mention a very unique location. Creative weddings make me giddy. (Susan Stripling Photography).

-This dog duvet is amazing. You literally stuff it with old clothes, a fabulous idea and will surely be our next purchase once Kadira wears out her current doggie duvet. (Dooce).

I swear, I don't plan on Taylor Swift being the subject of the Video of the Week for what seems like every week...but this one was just too funny to pass up. Plus I love Ellen's Halloween costume.




HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY!!!
(and remember to email me if you want to be a part of the recipe exchange below- deadline is Sunday!)

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Recipe Exchange

I was invited to take part in a recipe exchange, and since I know some of you are awesome cooks I wanted to see if any of you wanted to participate? It is all done via email and is extremely easy. If you are interested email me at duolynoted@gmail.com with your name and your email address. You should get about 15 recipes back!

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October 28, 2009

Whew!

AND I'M BACK.

I am so tired I did not get up until 10:30 (uh, ish). And I still don't have my luggage (because I jumped on an earlier flight). And I have a travel zit on my chin the size of Texas (its super cute, I named it Betty).

But all in all it was a great trip. I jump at the chance to do any kind of recruiting for my former law school. I love meeting all the people at these events and I especially love talking to people who are really excited about law school and have lots of good questions. Plus the traveling was all very badass. The bus had cable and internet. Then, when I got to my hotel room it was a suite with two bedrooms, two TV's, and a kitchen. Despite my exhaustion I forced myself to stay up way too late and watch Wanda Sykes HBO special just so I could ENJOY having such a fabulous room all to myself.

I need to find a job that lets me travel like this.

Huge thank you goes out to all of you who commented on my travel question. It was awesome to get all of your answers, and really interesting. For the most part people seemed to be of the consensus that they traveled for comfort, but not in sweats. It was fun to read what specific outfits people had for travel. However, I was really surprised, because I thought I'd get at least a couple people who said that they always dress up despite their final destination. I have had so many conversations with people who say traveling on airplanes is a great networking opportunity. I am with the rest of you though, I travel for comfort- so much so that even though my first flight to San Antonio was on an hour I still dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt and ended up changing in the airport bathroom before getting a cab to the event...which for the record...was incredibly difficult and the worst idea of my life. But that is how much I value flying comfortably.

I'll try to get up Weekend Links later today! I am 400 posts behind on my google reader so I have to catch up a little. Check back later!


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Flying in Style or Comfort?

As this blog is being posted, I am likely hyperventilating in an airplane seat on my way to San Antonio, TX. Today is going to be a long day- up at 5 AM, work, then a long ride to Lubbock, TX where I wont get into until 1 AM. So to keep me entertained throughout the day I am hoping that I can get some reader participation on a very fun, lively, and shall I say controversial topic?

So here is what I want to know: When you fly, how do you dress? Do you dress up or do you wear comfy clothes? Also, depending on what you answer, I am curious to know whether you judge those who dress the opposite. Those of you who get dressed up to fly, do you judge people flying in sweats? Sweat pants fliers, do you judge those flying in suites?

Be respectful, but I love this topic and am dying to hear what people think. Please humor me as all comments get sent to my blackberry and will keep me entertained throughout the day. I will hopefully weigh in on this topic later tonight!

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October 27, 2009

Oprah Show Airs!

Yesterday Oprah aired her fabulous episode in Dallas, TX that I was lucky enough to be in the audience for (see corresponding post HERE). The irony of the whole show was twofold. First, the five + hours I spent standing in a restricted space comprised approximately 25 minutes of the show. Second, the giant pink hat women who I cursed the entire taping turned out to be a great point of reference for spotting Dan and I in the crowd.

I think it goes without saying that my husband was pretty awesome for going to the taping with me. I mean lets not go too crazy, in return I am being forced to watch the Laker game tonight, but I still give him mad props because there is a difference between waking up at 3 AM to go see Oprah and sitting on our couch cheering on the Lakers. (I have decided that I can now be a fan since the Kardashians have permanent seats in the audience. This means I will spend the entire game trying to see what they are wearing.)

But I digress.

The point of this whole post is that DESPITE the fact that my husband doesn't like Oprah and DESPITE the fact that he did not want to be on camera at all- he got the most face time out of either of us.


Doesn't he just look absolutely miserable??? Look how happy all the women around him are. Actually, all the men in this still shot have the same "I hate my life expression." But you know what they say, happy wife: happy life. And Dan had a very good life for a good four days before my Oprah glow wore off I went back to saying things like "Get me out of this state."

Speaking of the state of Texas, I am spending the next couple days traveling around doing some recruitment for my alma mater. I'm pretty excited, but also terrified to fly (as per my usual), so lets all have some collective positive thoughts that my plane doesn't crash. We all know how I obsess about these things, and my first flight is at 8 AM which means I can't have a drink beforehand to calm my nerves. (or can I? Hmmm...) I am going to try and blog from the road, but I'll definitely be on Twitter so make sure you follow me @duolynoted.

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October 26, 2009

FCE: Chicken Cacciatore

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My friend Crissy suggested that I try this dish, and since she also suggested salsa chicken (one of my favorite FCE), I knew I had to give it a try. Despite the fact that I did everything in my power this week to ruin said dish, it came out really well! Although I would suggest sticking to the recipe as opposed to going rouge like me.

INGREDIENTS:
-2 pounds chicken breasts and thighs, skinned (I only used chicken breast...and I think I only used 1.5 pounds.)
-1/4 cup flour
-1 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. black pepper
-2 tbsp. olive oil
-3/4 cup picante sauce
-1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
-1/4 cup dry red wine (I did not know what dry red wine was, but after doing some research, it is apparently when your wine has a dry level of sugar (below 1 gram per liter) SOURCE. I still have no idea what that means so I just used some pino noir and we were all good.)
-8 oz. halved mushrooms (I cut them a little finer then halves...and later regretted it.)
-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used like 7, I love garlic.)
-1 tbsp. crushed oregano leaves
-1 small green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips (Okay, here was a big mistake. I generally don't like strips of peppers, so I chopped them because I do like chopped peppers. It still tasted fine but I later realized that the strips would have gone much better with the dish. Next time.)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Coat chicken in combined flour, salt, and pepper. (Crissy's Tip: Make sure the chicken is dry when you coat it so the coating sticks better-lightly press a paper towel on it to remove excess moisture)

2. Cook chicken in the 2 tbs of oil in large, deep skillet until lightly browned on both sides (about 8 minutes). Drain.

3. Add remaining ingredients except pepper strips. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Stir in pepper strips. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until chick is tender and sauce is thickened.

5. Serve with Pasta!

The result was awesome! However, to further illustrate what a cooking spaz I am, I have a confession. I forgot to turn on the burner and literally "cooked" the chicken for 40 minutes without heat. It wasn't until I thought it was ready that I tasted it and was like "this is not warm at all..." and then realized my mistake. DORK. So we ate dinner really late last night due to my unfortunate burner incident.

***In other news I posted a guest post on my study abroad experience over on Michelle's blog Things I Said and Meant to Say. Head on over there and check it out!

***Also, I promised my Mom that I would post this clip. Let me preface this with the fact that I SWEAR I do not watch Wendy Williams...but I do watch that version of the Soup with Danielle Fishel (what is it called again?) and they showed this clip and I about died.



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October 25, 2009

Sunday Post

Head on over to Seven Dames a Week to read my post "Halloween Revisions"...because I am old and grumpy and hate Halloween.

On an unrelated note, I had some punctuation problems when writing this post. English majors, please instruct me on the proper way to punctuate this sentence:

1. I don't watch scary movies because I will forever have terrifying dreams about being buried in a hole and starved for my skin (we all know where that dream comes from...).

2. I don't watch scary movies because I will forever have terrifying dreams about being buried in a hole and starved for my skin (we all know where that dream comes from...)

3. I don't watch scary movies because I will forever have terrifying dreams about being buried in a hole and starved for my skin. (we all know where that dream comes from...)

4. Other.

(but don't suggest taking out the parenthesis because I love parenthesis with all of my heart and will never stop using them...nor will I stop using the "..." to make my point. English rules be damned.)

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October 23, 2009

Fat Witch and Weekend Links


It is no secret in this house that I have an affinity for eating chocolate for breakfast...specifically brownies. So when I bounded dragged myself down the stairs this morning I was so excited when I saw this little nugget of goodness by the coffee maker left for me by my fabulous husband.


Upon further inspection my first thought was what every girl would think..."Is he calling me a fat witch???"


But then I realized that it was the fat witch who made the brownie rather then a commentary on what I look like in the morning. I devoured it immediately...but then wondered if it was poisoned...I mean it was made by a witch.

As promised, here are your Weekend Links I am loving...

-I have not been able to figure out how to do rounded edges in photoshop until now. Thank you Pioneer Woman!

-For all you chocolate lovers out there, check out this root beer bunt cake over at Playing House. Mmmmm.

-More chocolate related posts (I must have been PMSing this past week because I am literally weeding through tons of posts that are all about chocolate). Check out this great (and hysterical) cake recipe over on EAD Living.

-Speaking of chocolate- chocolate meets fashion- YUM! (CoCoPerez). Also, check out what I am considering buying as my new running shoe. Also, which one of these dresses from the Hollywood Style Awards would you wear? My vote is for Selena's I think...Kim's being a close second.

-Uh. Here's another one. Sweetopia.

-EVERYTHING about this wedding is unique and uh, interesting (including the celebrity appearance!). Plus the photos are amazing. (Apetura Photography).

-Ya know how everybody says the first year of marriage is the hardest? And you before you get married you are like "nooo...we LIVED TOGETHER. Marriage is not going to be that different." But then it IS and you are like "What happened?" Well the Overflowing Brain wrote a hysterical commentary on this very phenomenon over at Daisy, JD.

-All my lawyer friends need to go HERE and check out this order. Terrifying. I can't decide whether this judge is awesome or just mean. (Young Lawyer).

-If you like yorkies, or puppies in general, check this out. (Cute Overload).

Okay, so I had a huge moral dilemma picking the video of the week. I wanted to pick THIS ONE by Sarah Silverman but I thought it might offend some people so instead I am just going to link it and preface it with statement if you have a sense of humor and can handle a minute amount of vulgarity you should watch it- if not you can pass and watch the REAL video of the week which is TOTAL OFFENSE FREE and is hysterical and cute.



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The Notebook Corporation


Over on Seven Dames a Week Maggie just posted a great piece on some fun websites, one of which is Notebook Corporation where you can get a variety of fun notebooks. I really, really want this one and if purchased I fully intend on taking it to every single meeting I ever go to. When lawyers make helpful comments I will add their name, but when people start being annoying I will make very dramatic cross outs and hold up the cover so they get my point.

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October 22, 2009

Two Very Important Questions

First, when shopping and trying on clothes, what is the proper protocol for what to do with the clothes when you are finished? Are you supposed to leave the clothes in the dressing room or put them back outside? I know some places (like for example, Old Navy) WANT you to leave the clothes with the attendants so they can put them back properly. But what about department stores where there isn't always an attendant and the clothes sometimes start piling up? Would the retail associates prefer to put them back themselves so they can ensure they are put back in their proper place? Or is it rude to just leave you clothes in the dressing room assuming someone will put them away for you?

Second, is it tacky to put a "no solicitations" sign on your front door? Our front door can look like a decorated Christmas tree in a day with the amount of crap people put on it. Do these signs even work?

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October 21, 2009

Why Women Always Win...

...in the art of verbal warfare.



1. Talk louder then your opponent
2. Never stop talking. Ever.
3. Label your opponent with a nickname and just keep saying it over and over again

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Wednesday Ramblings

First: HALF MARATHON TRAINING

I promised to post my half marathon training program, and I have officially decided to use Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training Novice. I found it online a few weeks ago, and my decision was solidified when my friend Steph told me she had used the same program to train for her half marathon. On my cross days (like today) I think I am going to have to do a lot of biking because I have concerns about my knees and tendons holding up.

I am still a couple weeks out before I have to officially start so I am spending this time trying to build my endurance. I am going to try to not run on the treadmill very much because I am already noticing I am having a problem with pace. For example, on Sunday I went on a 2.5 mile run with Dan and was running 9 minute miles and almost died. Yesterday I ran 3 miles on my own at the track and ran 11 min. miles which is way too slow and not as challenging. So I need to focus on 10 min miles and regulating my own pace.

Second, THE WEATHER

Conversation I had with my husband about a year ago:

Melissa: "I would like us to consider moving to Seattle. I love Seattle."

Dan: "I don't think I could live in Seattle. There is way too much rain."

It is raining AGAIN today in Dallas. I would bet it has rained more here then in Seattle over the past 3 months. @#$@#$#!#!#@$@!

Third, BUGS

Kadia is a total bug killer, and for better or for worse she has also killed a lot of hornets. However, her M.O. is not helpful. Like this morning when she got a hold of a beetle and I was dancing around her screaming "Kill it! OMG KILL IT!" but she just kept spitting it out, watching it crawl over her paw, re-eating it, spitting it out, watching it, eating it.

I had to kill it myself.

Fourth, RIHANNA'S NEW SINGLE

Rihanna is my girl crush. I don't want to date her so much as be her best friend and have her teach me how to rock a girl-hawk and be a total and complete badass. Her last album, Good Girl Gone Bad, will forever be cited as one of my favorite albums.

So obviously I have been really excited about her new album coming out next month. Yesterday she dropped her new single Russian Roulette, and it...uh...kind of makes me want to jump off a cliff. It is so depressing and quite frankly kind of awful. It makes me really wonder who in her camp thought it would be a good idea for her to release a single like this given what she just went through with Chris Brown. What the hell is going on here?

Which leads me to wonder if I have to manage everybody's music career's myself. First, I would have Rihanna release an empowerment single, not a single of her killing herself because she's in a bad relationship. Second, I would explain to Justin Timberlake that he sucks at acting and needs to get back in the studio. Third, I would have released Kim Zolciak's "Tardy For The Party" months ago on itunes when we first heard it and promoted the hell out of it on commercial breaks of Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Fifth, HALLOWEEN COSTUMES

Speaking of Kim Zolciak, how great would it be to dress up as her for Halloween?? I would get a super tacky blond wig and constantly have a cigarette and a glass of chardonnay in my hand. Dan can be Big Poppa and just hand me tons of money all night.

This is my backup plan because initially I wanted Dan and I to dress up as Jon and Kate Gosslin, but apparently everybody is being that for Halloween this year. Just like everybody stole my Sarah Palin idea last year....

Sorry to hit you with a wall of text- to make you feel better here is a picture from the balloon festival that I forgot to blog about!



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October 20, 2009

Attacked

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Remember my beautiful fireplace? It no longer looks like this anymore...

A little over a week ago I was laying on the couch watching Oprah with Toby when from behind the television a wasp dropped down from the window blinds. I, in accordance with my Melissaphobic self, had a mild panic attack and locked myself in a room upstairs until Dan came home to kill it. I have killed cockroaches and moths and giant spiders by myself in the house, but I draw the line at wasps/bees/hornets what have you. No way, no how. I am not going near them.

Then, this weekend Dan and I were once again in the living room when we see a hornet skimming the air all the way up to the highest window in our house. I locked myself in the bedroom and yelled to Dan that if he wanted to see me for the rest of the weekend he would figure out a way to lure the hornet down and kill it in the most painful manner possible.

About a half hour later I am on the phone and Dan storms in with no shirt gasping for breath. I am like "What the hell is wrong with you?" and he is like "They are everywhere. Like eight hornets all of a sudden decided to attack me. I am going for bug spray."

The next thing I know Dan is running around the house spraying deathly bug spray everywhere. At one point he busts into the room I am hiding in, slams open the window, and is scaling the roof of our house up to the chimney to spray bug spray down it. Pretty sure we can never use our chimney again. Good news, fairly certain Dan killed all the hornets.

When I was informed that the coast was clear I came downstairs to assess the damage. After careful analysis we decided that the hornets had to be coming in from a nest in the fireplace. This meant we had to put something over the beautiful fireplace to stop them from coming in. It now looks like this:


When we were done I looked at it in disgust, but Dan was like "I think it looks kind of good!" At which point I had to walk away because living in a house is way more work then I ever expected.

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October 18, 2009

FCE: Chicken Enchiladas

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When Dan and I first started dating I was terrified that he would find out I could not cook. We started, as most people do, by going out to eat a lot. But at some point as poor law students we had to cook dinner for each other...so when my turn came I did the unthinkable.

Well actually, no. I think I cooked spaghetti first. The easiest thing in the world...

But on my second cooking attempt I got a bit ambitious. Looking back I have to admire my courage, but surely it was dumb to try and pull off a recipe I had never made before for somebody I was trying to impress. Nonetheless, I made these chicken enchiladas and I am not kidding you, they are the best chicken enchiladas in the entire world.

I have not made that recipe since that fateful day, for no other reason then I forgot about it. Recently I had a major enchilada craving and dug around until I found it. The original recipe is on Epicurious, but I have made some changes (here I am going rouge again...). Below is my Sarah Palin-esque version.

INGREDIENTS:
-1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 9 medium flour tortillas
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 medium-size green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
-1/2 + teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 + teaspoon dried basil
-3 10-ounce cans purchased Old El Paso enchilada sauce
-3 boiled chicken breasts, shredded
-4 cups packed grated Monterey Jack and Colby cheese
-Sour cream (optional, but obviously highly recommended.)

DIRECTIONS

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Place chicken breasts in pot and boil until cooked (15-20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken). Take the chicken out and shred/cut into small pieces.

-Heat 1/3 cup vegetable oil in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs (or a fork...as I had to), add 1 tortilla and cook until softened, turning once, about 15 seconds for each side. Transfer tortilla to paper towels and drain well. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

-Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in heavy large skillet. Add onion, pepper, oregano and basil. Salt to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes.

-Lightly oil 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into the bottom of the dish.

-Place scant 1/4 cup chicken in center of 1 tortilla. Sprinkle with 1 generous spoonful of onion mixture (about 2-3 tablespoons). Set aside 1/2 cup cheese for topping. Spoon 2 generous tablespoons cheese atop chicken. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, chicken, onion mixture and cheese.

-Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with reserved rest of the cheese.

-Bake enchiladas, until sauce bubbles and cheese melts, about 35 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream.

And the result? Is AMAZING and so delicious. Plus you can heat it up for days and the tortillas never get soggy. You must try this! Must! Must! Must!

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Sunday Post


Whoo Hoo! Head on over to Seven Dames a Week and read my newest post on the Barefoot Burglar. Fascinating stuff!

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October 16, 2009

Security System

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I'm going to preface this post with an apology for rambling. I am not feeling awesome and I am having problems writing coherent sentences.

I have complained before about the Morning Routine in this household (but wow, looking back on that post I must have been seriously PMSing while writing it). The start to this morning was no different then a typical day. Dan wakes up at 4 AM, dogs bark, I wake up, want to kill myself, I go back to sleep. I hear the garage door go up and down which means that Dan has taken Kadira on a walk. I then hear sirens, I think "I hope everything is okay," but we live next to a busy street so hearing sirens is not that ALARMING (hahahahaha). I fall back asleep.

Dan comes in to tell me goodbye and I am OUT. He is trying to have a conversation with me I'm like "What? Huh? Who?" (head falls back into pillow).

He then calls me later this morning. I answer "What? Huh? Who?"

He responds "ARE YOU SERIOUSLY STILL SLEEPING?"

"No!" I lie say.

"So Kadira got a short walk this morning."

"Why? Is she okay?"

So this morning Dan was walking Kadira at around 4:30 when he hears sirens and a giant police SUV with headlights comes around the corner. The pull alongside Dan and ask whether he has seen a man in a hooded sweater who looks just like him. Dan is kind of like "huh?" but says no and the cop tells him he might want to go home because a group of people tried to break open the ATM down the street and one of them got away and they were sending out the canine unit (Kadira was thrilled).

So they come home and Dan says that literally something went down behind our house because dogs were barking and there was police and Kadira went nuts.

Okay, this story would probably be way better if I hadn't slept through it.

Which brings me to my next point- Dan and I are currently in a battle over which is better security: Owning a German Shepard or having an alarm system. My vote is for both, but Dan says that owning a German Shepard is all we need- thoughts?

In other news Kadira graduates from puppy school on Saturday. She has got SO MUCH BETTER in the last few weeks its unbelievable. I think in part due to the puppy school but mostly due to the fact that we bought a water bottle. I do not know why we didn't think of it sooner because it has changed our lives. Every time Kadira jumps on us we spray her in the face with the water bottle. They key is to put it on a midst setting instead of a stream setting. She does not like the water bottle at all (for obvious reasons). So if we leave it unattended it is likely to go up missing and die. This is the last one that she killed by puncturing it with her teeth.


So we have to be a little more vigilant in where we leave the water bottle.

I don't have a ton of links for my Weekend Links this week, so I am going to hold off and combine them with next week.

Have a great weekend everybody!



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October 15, 2009

Texas Half

So, tonight is the last night of my creative writing class. When starting this class I made a promise to myself that I could not go onto the next class unless I found a job. The classes are kind of expensive, I really should not have even signed up for the first one, but I was desperate to get out of the house.... so I did. But here it is, six weeks later and I still don't have a job, so I am not going to take the next class.

BUT NEVER FEAR! I have devised something else to keep me busy.

You may remember that after Bloomday last year I vowed to never run again. EVER! Okay not really, I said I would run 5K's but that was it. But time has passed and I realized that I really liked TRAINING for the 12K. I follow a lot of blogs where the writers have just finished the Chicago Marathon and it made me really want to start running again.

So I did some research and have decided to run the Texas Half in January. It is probably dumb to start training for a half marathon during the holidays, but whatever. Yesterday I joined a gym and I have my little running graph and put it on the fridge to stare at me.

I think training for this is going to be a whole new experience. Mentally I have always been scared of running and I needed to complete my first race to change my perspective. For example, yesterday I started my training with a three mile run. When training for Bloomsday, I started out with one mile. ONE MILE? One mile seems like nothing to me now. And the difference certainly isn't in my physical condition (because I am so out of shape right now!), but rather getting over the mental block of the number. Now, a long run seems like 8 or 9 miles as opposed to 3 or 4.

So we shall see, but I am PUTTING IT OUT THERE because that is what all running books say you have to do in order to actually run these things. So there it is.

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October 13, 2009

Over the Top Award!


CJR over at Girl v The World (also check out her new blog Busy Bookworm Reviews!) bestowed upon Duoly Noted the Over The Top Award. The rules to accept the award is to answer the following questions and nominate six other bloggers below...

  1. Where is your cell phone: Charging, because my charger died a couple weeks ago and I have been two lazy to buy a new one so I have to charge it on Dan's during the day....hence also why I never hear my phone.
  2. Your hair: A curly mess from yesterday, in a ponytail, because I haven't taken a shower (but in fairness it is 7AM and I'm contemplating going to the gym).
  3. Your mother: is far away and my shopping buddy
  4. Your father: is so far away too, and always makes me laugh
  5. Your favorite food: My Mom's homemade chicken noodle soup
  6. Your dream from last night: I had a dream that I was covered in ants who were climbing in from the open window and I jumped out of bed and started beating the sheets with my fist before I realized it was a dream.
  7. Your favorite drink: wine and coffee (duh).
  8. Your dream/goal: There are lots, but as long as I wake up not dreading the day I am on the right track.
  9. What room are you in: office AKA dining room
  10. What is your hobby: I need to get a hobby...one that lasts for more then a week... I am kind of fickle. I get really into something, complete it, and then need a change.
  11. What is your fear: never paying off my student loans (amen sister!)
  12. Where do you want to be in 6 years: In Boise, a successful attorney, financially secure, and in a custom designed house.
  13. Where were you last night: Walking the dogs and at the at the house- oh the crazy life I lead...
  14. Something you are not: Patient. Ever.
  15. Muffins: Are good if they also involve chocolate. No chocolate? Eh, not so much.
  16. Wish list items: Uh, I need a new wardrobe. Badly.
  17. Where did you grow up: Idaho
  18. Last thing you did: Make coffee
  19. What are you wearing: sweatpants, a kennel club shirt, and glasses. It is super hot.
  20. Your TV: Is not an HD flat screen, which I reminded of every day by Dan.
  21. Your pets: Two dogs who are all the children I ever want
  22. Your friends: Supportive
  23. Your life: Blessed, but right now kind of boring.
  24. Your mood: Stable, for the moment. You can thank the coffee.
  25. Missing someone: My family and friends
  26. Vehicle: Pontiac Grand Am with a drivers side window that wont roll down but it IS the color red and it does have a spoiler...so I am content.
  27. Something you're not wearing: Shorts, I think that season has passed.
  28. Your favorite store: Macys, primarily for the brand International Concepts (INC) which has single handily consumed my entire wardrobe.
  29. Your favorite color: Uh, red. Redredrederedred.
  30. When's the last time you laughed: Well, since I haven't actually opened my mouth this morning probably last night.
  31. When's the last time you cried: Monday, seeing Oprah. (tear).
  32. Your best friend: Amazing
  33. One place you go over and over: WALMART! BLAH! I HATE GOING TO WALMART!
  34. One person who emails me regularly: I am really lucky because all my friends are super good at emailing.
  35. Favorite place to eat: While I'd normally say sushi, it probably would be the Spaghetti Factory which should NOT be confused with Spaghetti Warehouse because they are totally different (Spaghetti Warehouse does not have Mizithra).
Here are my 6 choices for this lovely award:

Jen- Side Order of Life
Cait- Gallavant
Tinkler- Unshelved Insights
Ashley- Rainy City Style
Michelle- Things I Said and Meant To Say
Maureen- Things Tony Says and Does (since the Photography Blog might not cater to this kind of post).

Enjoy!
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October 12, 2009

Oprah Adventure Success

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This post took me awhile because Oprah made me die. Both figuratively and literally. Figuratively because "I died" when I saw her in the Rachel Zoe context. Literally, because oh my god I am fairly certain terrorist suspects are treated better then the physical pain I endured to see this woman.

I'll start at the beginning, roughly 3:40 AM when the alarm went off and I heard the drip drip drop of raindrops on our roof. I immediately was disappointed. But who was I to be so confident it would not rain? I lucked out with a rainless wedding, there was no way I could luck out for a rainless Oprah show taping too. I stubbornly took a shower and straightened my hair anyways. I did use waterproof mascara.

I decided against bringing the SLR camera because I was worried it would get hurt in the shuffle and damaged from the rain. This turned out to be a good decision, although I'm a little bummed at the quality of my photos since the SLR spoils me.

We hit the road at 5:30, and by "we" I mean Dan and I. Yes, how great is my husband? I can't get him to sit through an Oprah show with me at home, but he was willing to get up at the crack of dawn to keep me company in line. I owe him big and told him that I would watch the entire Lakers season (Secret Confession: I would probably have to do this anyways, its just that now I have to do it with a better attitude).

After driving downtown, we took the Dart into the fairgrounds because we had strategically devised through our excellent investigative techniques (cough driving down to the fair and asking people the day before) that the gates AND parking opened at 7AM. In hopes to beat those who had to park their car we left our car and took public transportation.

The line was not too bad at 6:30...but there were three other entrances so I was initially concerned about where we would be in line when all three entrances merged. For some reason I was under the assumption that when you're dealing with Oprah fans there would be some level of order, but I was wrong. When they opened the doors at 7 AM, I am not kidding you, it was like a frenzied panic of people RACING to get to the main stage unlike anything I had ever been a part of before.

I am not a sprinter people, and about halfway I thought I was going to DIE but Dan kept yelling "HOW BAD DO YOU WANT TO SEE OPRAH! NO STOPPING!" and I was like "AHHHH I WANT TO SEE OPRAH" and thanks to my "coach" we beat everybody from our gate (roughly 50 people) and were in the front of the line with only a few from other lines in front of us.


By around 7:30 we were shuttled into the main stage area and we managed to get spots literally in the center of the stage with 2 people in front of us. However, had I known that we were going to have to stand by the people we did for the next 4 hours I would have gladly moved back a little because they were obnoxious. Poor Dan was sandwiched between two very large overzealous women for most of the day. And oh the cowboy hats, SO RUDE! Those things are huge and WE CAN'T SEE OVER THEM! (see picture below.) This is not a rodeo people, this is Oprah.


Then came three hours of stage check. First the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, which was a trip because I totally watch(ed) their show on CMT and the really evil couches were there yelling at them just like they do in the show.



Ali was dancing with them...kind of...which we first thought she was merely doing a stand-in for Oprah but later in the show...well, I'll get to that.

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Then Martina McBride came out and practiced her performance, which I was soon to learn would be the first of three times I would hear her performance that day. She was wearing a super cute long, gray sweater and her hair looked awesome. She did, however, need to eat a sandwich as her legs were probably about the size of my lower forearms.

Then there was lots of stage hullabaloo and my lower back started to hurt and my chest was still burning from my impromptu sprint I did not train for. People started getting really annoying and smelly and were WAY too invasive in my personal space bubble. Someone passed out/had a heart attack...and I really started to wonder if I was going to make it much longer with out stomping on the foot of the women in back of me who thought it would be a good idea to wear a huge styrofoam cowboy hat that caused so much static electricity the back of my hair was standing straight up.

That's when I saw it. From behind the curtain just peeking out were two red Kenmore washer and driers, my dream. I manically clawed at Dan's arm and said "Do you think they are for us???" "No I don't think they are for us, there are too many people here." Dan said, but it was too late. I was already daydreaming about doing laundry with pretty appliances of wonder and glory. Keep reading.


Then Sally Lou, Oprah's audience supervisor came out, and she was cute as a button until she started listening to all the people's crazy stories and let people throw things on stage. At some point I was holding a pickle in a bag with everybody screaming "GIVE IT TO SALLY!" so I of course handed it to Dan and he practically threw it on stage because at the time we thought it was a bag of pee. Sally, for some reason, was very excited about the pickle, which was...I am not kidding you...chicken flavored and made by a women who was just released from prison. At some point the crazy pickle making women got a hold of the mike and would not stop screaming "OPRAHHHHOPRAHHHH" at a decibel that probably fooled the entire region into the thinking a tornado was approaching.

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But it was all worth it because when Oprah came out in her Stetson cowboy hat and her cute yellow sweater my eyes welled up with tears of joy. Dan flashed me an angry look as he whispered "you didn't even cry at our WEDDING!"

THEN out came NATE AND GAIL!!! I mean SERIOUSLY the entire gang was there! How lucky was I? Ali, Nate, Gail AND Oprah! I was in heaven.

They did some state fair bake/cook off and the winners proceeded to get my Kenmore washer and driers. I kept waiting for Oprah to say "AND THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE GETS WASHERS AND DRIERS!"... but she didn't. Since when does Oprah give away stuff to her guests and not the audience?

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When Martina McBride came back out on stage I had to do a double take because her cute outfit from earlier had been changed into some quasi-slutty bedazzled thing with a shear back. I mean not that she can't pull it off, but I personally preferred the Mom sweater to the Britney wannabe get-up. Hence time #2 we heard Martina's performance.

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I kept telling Dan how we had to watch Oprah sing along because that is my favorite part of all of Oprah's shows where she features a musical guest. You Oprah fans know what I am talking about, how Oprah always sings along to all of her guest's songs with such enthusiasm and somehow seems to know all the worlds but never quite the melody? Well, we figured out that she just reads the lyrics off the teleprompter - which is ingenious and I am so happy I got to watch Oprah lip sync in person.

Then there was some mix up with the audio and we had to listen to Martina sing for a third time. Don't get me wrong, I really like Martina McBride but consequently I had "This One's For the Girls" stuck in my head for the next 8 hours.

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Finally, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders came out and did their little dance with Ali. I have two comments on this.

1. Ali rocked that uniform like nobody's business. I hate her.

2. One of the girls on the left side of the stage if you are facing it had a MAJOR wardrobe malfunction. Dan and I are currently betting on how they are going to remedy it when they show it on television.

Then Oprah thanked everybody for coming and all I could think of was "Seriously? Where is my washer and drier???"

I'm kidding.

At the end of the day I am super excited to check "Attend a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show" off my life list (especially since it has been on it since the 7th grade). The show is supposed to air next week, so definitely watch and look for me standing right in front of the women with the ridiculous pink styrofoam cowboy hat.

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