Friday, April 30, 2010

The Kentucky Derby

I know very little about horse racing. My experience with the sport consists of nothing more than watching the big three races (Belmont, Kentucky, and Preakness-- aren't you impressed that I can name all three?) from the comfort of my living room each year, and one episode of Undercover Boss when the featured organization happened to be Churchill Downs. Basically, my experience is limited.

But, that doesn't put a damper on my desire to host a Kentucky Derby party.

Every.Single Year.

For the record, we have never hosted a Kentucky Derby party. But mark my words, someday I will start the planning process more than one hour before the race earlier, and it will be a grand old time. Someday.

But for now, I will have a virtual party on my blog filled with all of the flashiness of the day.

Mint Julep, anyone? I've never had one. Are they even good?

Huge hats in the grandstands. Hats would be required at the party of course.

Fun whimsical stationery. Again, the bigger the hat, the better!

Love it all. Have a great weekend! And cheers to fast horses!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday: April 23rd

Thanks as always to Lauren over at the little things we do and her creative genius for another great Fill in the Blank Friday!

Here are this week's answers:

1.  If I could medal in an Olympic event it would be swimming. I was a swimmer in high school and would have swam in college if I hadn't torn my rotator cuff during my senior year. I love watching the sport in the Olympics.

2.  If I was stranded on a deserted island I'd take a laptop with my wifi card and running shoes.      

3.  Getting stuck in an elevator with wayyy too many people in it is my most irrational fear. It there were only one or two people, I would probably be fine.

4.  I'd rather be deaf, than blind. I'd miss sight more than sound.

5.  I am thankful that winter is behind us. I would live in an world that only had summer and autumn and be a happy camper.  

6.  I should really be working right now, but its 4PM on a Friday and my brain is pretty much shot for the week. 

7.  One of my favorite things in all the world is the extra five minutes I get each morning after my alarm goes off. MrMarried (without fail) will says to me everyone morning, "Wanna snuggle?" It's some of the best five minutes all day.

Have a great weekend!

PS. Immediately after I posted this, I realized that it was an old Fill in the Blank Friday that Lauren had posted on February 19, 2010. I have no idea why I thought that it was this week's questions, but I like my answers, so I'm going to stick with 'em. Enjoy and sorry for the mix up. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Delicious Dinners: Fusilli Pizza

I've written about it before, and I'll write about it again... After working a full day, I'm continuously challenged with getting a meal on the table on week nights before 8PM. Fear not, my friends, there is good news. I'm up for the challenge, and this recipe kicks butt in the following departments:

1. Doesn't have a million ingredients that I've never heard of and therefore usually skip... oops
2. Fast, and super easy to make
3. Something MrMarried can help with-- huge bonus if I'm running late and can call to ask him to get things moving

All pluses in my book!

This recipe comes from, who I must say, has some tasty dishes in their archives! So, what am I waiting for? Let's get to the recipe.


Makes: 4 Servings... Finally (!) a recipe that I don't have to do math and halve everything
Prep time: 20 Minutes... Finally (!) a dinner that I can whip together after just walking in the door!

Butter, for greasing
14 oz tomatoes, peeled and chopped-- I used canned tomatoes, and it was delicious
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Pinch of dried oregano-- I love oregano, so I interpreted a pinch as a generous pinch and used 2 or 3 pinches
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
12 ounces Fusilli or other short pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese- eyeball it
3 1/2 ounces mozzarella cheese- eyeball it
Optional- 1 pound Ground Turkey or Ground Beef-- The original recipe doesn't call for the meat, but MrMarried tends to get too hungry later in the evening if he only eats pasta for dinner without an additional protein. I like my pasta with meat in it, so we both win. 

**Optional 1st Step if you are using ground beef/turkey: Brown the meat, drain any fat, and set aside.** 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

2.Process the tomatoes to a purée in a food processor or blender.

3. Heat the olive oil in a low skillet pan. Add the puréed tomatoes and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Stir in the oregano and basil and remove from the heat.

4. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, return to the pan, and pour the tomato sauce over. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and toss well to mix.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish, top with the diced mozzarella, and drizzle with oil.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the mozzarella starts to melt. Serve immediately straight from the dish.

Enjoy! We really loved this dish and there was plenty left over for me to take to work the next day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Gorgeous South

My gosh, the south is so gorgeous. During our recent trip to New Orleans-- details to follow-- MrMarried and I took a swamp boat tour in bayou country of southern Louisiana. What a beautiful part of the country.

There is just nothing that I've seen in the north that looks anything like this. It was so peaceful to ride around in our boat and explore. And our boat guide was HILARIOUS. So that always helps...!

More to come from the New Orleans trip!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Sister's Keeper

I'm a bit behind the ball okay, okay more like five years behind the ball on My Sister's Keeper but I've had other books I wanted to get through first, and somehow I kept putting the book to the bottom of the stack. I finally put my nose to the grindstone, and finished My Sister's Keeper this weekend.


What a story.

I cried almost the whole way through the book. And I was on a plane. With strangers. Who thought I was nuts for being fine one minute and crying the next. The story took me back to when my dad was sick, and I just couldn't help but connect with the family and the story.

I haven't yet seen the movie, but I've heard that they changed the ending. Should I see it?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Phoenix Recap

So this is what it feels like to enjoy your job!

I stared my new job just over two weeks ago, and have been loving my time in my new role. Before I even signed the papers, I knew about an upcoming Phoenix trip and that I seat on a plane, but that's about all I knew.

The schedule was to fly in Wednesday night, meet all day Thursday, meet Friday morning, and then fly out late afternoon on Friday. Well, that was the plan.. but the old saying "If you want to see God laugh... make a plan" rang true for this trip.

Here are some trip highlights:

I arrived in Phoenix Wednesday night as planned, picked up my luggage and headed to the the rental car counter. After signing the agreements, I went to the designated car rental stall to see my wonderful rental car...

Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with minivans, but I wasn't feeling the little red Mazda whatever it was on this trip. Driving back and forth from the hotel to the office doesn't require a car that size, and isn't half the fun of getting a rental car the chance to driving something fun?

Trudging back over the rental counter, I politely asked to exchange the car and Hertz came through for me with a little Mazda 3. Much better for my needs on this particular trip, and cute too!

The hotel was lovely, as far as business hotels go, and being my first say at a Hilton Garden Inn, I was pleasantly surprised. Paris and her old daddy-o run a nice business class hotel chain. Here were my diggs for two nights. I was loving the palm trees out front. You don't see those much in the north. Ever.

So... on to the part where the good Lord laughed at my so called "plans" to be home with my husband on Friday night. I was supposed to leave Phoenix around 3PM Pacific to head home getting me back around 10PM on the east coast. I woke up to an e-mail on Friday morning telling me that my flight had been delayed to 4PM Pacific which was no big deal. That e-mail was followed up by two more e-mails telling me the flight was delayed until 6PM, and finally the last e-mail updated the departure to 7:30PM.

Do the math, my friends. Four-ish hours in the air + a three hour time difference = Me landing at 2:30AM and a very, very groggy MrMarried having to be my shuttle service.

But... Friday was not wasted. Not even a little bit. My colleague brought his wife to Phoenix for a little long weekend after our meeting was over. They were staying at the Four Seasons, and being the wonderful people that they are, they invited me to come spend the day with them at the pool. Awesome. I was so excited to bond with my colleague's wife. She rocks.

We lunched and soaked up some sun poolside and had a blast.

Spicy Chicken Quesadilla Poolside. Delicious and it looks like art!

The Four Seasons Scottsdale. Not a bad place to be flight delayed, eh?

Not too bad for a first business trip with a new company. Happy travels if you have any upcoming excursions!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I've Been a Terrible Blogger

Friends, over the past week, I've been guilty of serious Twitter and blog neglect, and I feel as though I'm been missing out. The slacker trend stops today and I promise to get my butt back in gear.

I thought I'd do a quick update post to A) get myself back on track and B) update you on the hilariousness that has been the last week of my life. So here we go.

The New Job
The job is great, and I'm adjusting, meeting new people, and learning the business as fast as I can. My boss (who is an enormous big wig in the company) works out of our west coast office, so I have a day-to-day boss here in PA and he is hilarious. Not hilarious in a "I'd-love-to-see-this-dude-do-stand-up" kind of way. But more of a "did-that-just-come-out-of-your-mouth/let-me-pick my-chin- up-off-my-desk" kind of way.  Here is a quick summary of some of the ridiculousness that has occurred thus far.

Monday (my first day): Pennsylvania Bossman tells me that his 20 year old son is a pothead. Not like he smokes from time to time. But more like pot is the only thing that his son does. Ever. Great first day conversation, right?

Tuesday: Bossman tells me that he has to pay his ex-wife $4K a month in child support, and "I should aim to never have an ex." Yup. I'm on it, dude. I am planning to be married to the same man forever.

I will spare you the rest of the week's gory details, but needless to say, there were many other awkward funny conversations that I never thought I would have with a boss during my first week.

I love the position though and I'm delighted to be working where I am.

Cell Phones in the Pond. No Bueno.
Just call DH and I "Mr. and Mrs. Landscaper". We've taken on a major landscaping project on the hillside that is in our backyard. The hillside has been neglected and has gotten overgrown, so we are attempting to tame the jungle that is has become. On Saturday, we were working on the hillside and had our cell phones on a plastic lawn chair that was near our little koi pond, and the wind kicked up and dumped the chair and both of our cell phones into the pond.

In case you didn't know, when cell phones decide to go swimming it's no bueno. I knew what had happened and ran to rescue my lifeline to the outside world and addiction affectionately known as the crackberry cell phone and started the drying process. Did you know plain, uncooked rice does wonders on a wet cell phone? Pull the battery, dry it off as best as you can with a towel, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and put the phone into a bowl of rice. After about 4 hours in the rice, my brand new, company paid for (aka I would have been up a creek without a paddle) blackberry was as good as new.

DH's phone wasn't as lucky. The good news is that he was ready for a new phone anyway. He got a Droid this morning and has been texting me ALL day about the latest apps that he can't wait to download.

***Side note: Dear Wonderful Husband... if you are reading this, I have to work. I'm sorry I can't text back and forth about apps. xoxox, me***

Easter at the In-Laws
To keep your sanity, I have one word for you: Wine. Lots and lots of wine.

Have a great start to your week. I'll be in Phoenix for a business trip this Wednesday-Friday... so keep your eyes peeled for a new blog category. MissMarried on the road featuring me writing from 37F in the back of a 757 on a cross country flight.