Friday, July 31, 2009

UPDATED: So someone has the same blog title as me...

What the hell? And ALMOST the exact same URL. How did I find this out? I was writing a comment on one of The Bloggess' posts, and I put my website in wrong. I wrote lifeloveandwine instead of lifelovenwine. Yeah, I'm that on top of things today. So! The comment posts and it shows a link to a post titled "On the Road again..." and I'm all...what??? I don't remember writing that!!! But we are talking about me here so maybe I DID write that and forgot? So I click on the link and no! No I did not post that, someone else did on her own blog called Life, Love, and Wine and now I've commented on a popular blog impersonating her! Ah!

So I followed that up with a comment begging to have the previous comment removed because oh my god I'm so blonde and it's Friday and I haven't slept in 2 weeks (but that's another story) and I don't want to be an impersonator!

I am anxiously awaiting what will happen next. Can we say major Friday FAIL?

Also there was a post-it note on my phone from my boss this morning reminding me to forward my phone to voicemail at night because apparently I forgot ONCE so obviously I need a post-it because I must be so stupid. I hate post-its right now.

Can we say TGIF?

UPDATED TO ADD: So...both comments are there on the post. The one where I'm an accidental impersonator and the one where I'm all wait! That's not me! Delete! This is me! I love looking awesome. Oh well, at least now the internets know the real me!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

How do I still not have one of these?

Oh my god. I heard about this device months ago from not that you asked, and knew right then that I had to get me one of these.

Ladies, let me introduce you to the GoGirl.



What exactly is a GoGirl? It's a lovely silicon device that you can use to PEE STANDING UP. Yes, that's right. Why would you ever want one of these you ask? Well I can think of SEVERAL situations that I have been in during the past couple of years where I would have almost killed for a GoGirl. Well, maybe not that drastic, but still. For example, Geoff and I LOVE camping and I'm not talking about some comfy campground with actual bathrooms. No. I'm talking about middle of nowhere, deep woods of Vermont, no building or other people around for miles camping. This is all well and fine until it's time to pee. I HATE squatting. And depending on the terrain (I'm about to get a little graphic you may want to skip ahead) there can be some serious splatter and then I have pee on my shoes or even my pants. So hot. But with a GoGirl? I'll have better aim and less splash!

How about bar bathrooms ladies? Or most gross public bathrooms/porta-potties for that matter. Again, no more hovering over the seat and hoping for the best while your leg muscles get sore or your drunk self is swaying. GOGIRL! Its small and comes in a nice transportable carton that fits in your purse! Amazing right?

Road trips? Geoff and I were stuck in terrible traffic once and I HAD TO GO RIGHT THEN OH MY GOD IT CAN'T WAIT. I had to run from the car to some sparsely wooded empty parking lot with nothing to balance on and I can't quite explain the circumstances but I could hardly pee and I got some on my pant leg (what is wrong with me???). If I had a GoGirl? Life would have been so much better. And cleaner.

Got kids that you don't want sitting on public toilets? GoGirl. Are you a skier who doesn't want to leave the slopes to pee? GoGirl. Ever wanted to try to write your name in the snow like one of the guys? That's right. GoGirl.

I am so buying myself one (or more!) of these. Laugh if you want, but I'm pretty sure it'll revolutionize the way I live. You know you want one too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The day Erin came to town

(NOTE: All pictures in this post are several years old as I have no recent pics of my lovely lady and I together)

This is Erin (the one on the left). She is one of my BEST friends in the whole world. We met freshman year of college, and life hasn't been the same since.



I have wonderful memories with this girl, from coffee dates, to reading girly magazines, to bitching about how dumb men can be, to collapsing in laughter on the floor of the GAP. If there is one thing I can ALWAYS count on her for, it's a good laugh. I love it!



Until yesterday, I had not had girl time with Erin in YEARS. In fact, in the past two years I have hardly seen her at all. Something about her having to be in Montreal for grad school being sooooo important. Well, now she's moving to Texas with her fiance, so I knew I had to have this girl all to myself for at least one day of fun before she left for the south.

Erin came down yesterday around 1pm, and it was like no time had passed. I cannot even begin to tell you what a great day I had. We pretty much spent our time doing what we do best: eating and shopping...but not buying much because we're too damn broke. We also laughed and talked A LOT. We started the day on the East Side of Providence, where we visited the little shops and had a lunch of greasy deliciousness at Johnny Rockets. After a few hours of that we ventured downtown for a stroll along the rivers and more little shop visiting. We got some DELICIOUS margaritas at a little bar/coffee shop called Tazza. They were verrrry strong. Halfway through we were both swaying and giggling a bit too much. She sucked hers down like a champ, and I had to leave a bit in my glass to make sure that I could survive the rest of the day. I still ended up having the hiccups for almost an hour afterwards, causing her to oh so lovingly call me "Drunky".

From there we hit the mall. The GINORMOUS Providence Place mall with it's several floors of fun. We were there for 3.5 hours! I haven't shopped that much in ages. I was good and only bought some new lotion to replace the one I just ran out of and a new shirt for work. She was good too and only bought a bath ball thing from Lush. Lush is also where we were totally sold on buying some great, organic face masks only to find out they were sold out of the kind they recommended for us. Disappointment. We made ourselves feel better with more shopping and eating.

At about 7:30 Geoff called us to see if we wanted to meet up with him and his friend Peter at Trinity for beers and $1 wing night. Though we were exhausted from the hours of walking, talking, and trying on clothes, we agreed. It was a good time, but we were very happy when we finally made it back to the apartment at about 11pm. We recalled the days when we could stay up late without feeling like we'd been hit by a truck. Then we passed out and slept the night away. We finished our visit off with blueberry scones and coffee this morning, and I felt very teary eyed as I drove in to work this morning, wishing our visit could have been longer.

She's been gone for less than twelve hours, but I already miss her like crazy. I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard, almost unable to stop. It felt great.

Erin is one of a kind. Sweet, hilarious (I cannot stress that enough), smart, talented, and of course beautiful. I know she's a life-long friend, and I look forward to many more adventures together. Thanks for a great girls day, Erin! I needed it more than you know, and I can't wait for the next time. Look out world!



Love<3

Mmmmm...blueberry scones!

Geoff and I went to a farmer's market in Pawtucket on Sunday. My intention was only to get some corn and some peaches, but I was talked into buying some blueberries as well by a sweet old lady. That night I was pondering what to do with these berries. Back in Maine, blueberries grow small and sweet. Here they are much larger and juicier, but don't have as much flavor. The Maine ones I like on cereal or by themselves, these large ones not so much. I came across a recipe for blueberry scones on the Joy of Baking website, and at 9pm Sunday night, went about making my first ever scones. The recipe is below.

BLUEBERRY STREUSEL SCONES

Scone Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 T chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk or cream

(NOTES: I used salted butter as it's what I had on hand, and just left out the 1/8 tsp salt. I also used whole milk instead of cream and it worked fine.)

Streusel Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 T chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

(NOTES: Again, I had to use salted butter, and I added a little extra cinnamon and brown sugar to keep it as sweet as possible. It came out fine, but I'm sure the most desired effect would be achieved with unsalted butter)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

For the Scones: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.

(NOTES: I do not have a pastry blender so I used two knives. Being new to the baking scene I wasn't exactly sure what to do, but I basically used the knives to cut the butter into smaller chunks within the mixture while stirring it through. It worked fine so I guess I did ok!)

Gently fold in the blueberries. In a small measuring cup combine the cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into four pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or milk.

(NOTES: I found it a little difficult transferring the scones while keeping their shape. The dough was pretty sticky! Some turned out pretty...others were a little funny. I think with practice it will get better.)

For the Streusel Topping: In a small bowl mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until crumbly. Top each scone with a teaspoon or two of the streusel mixture. Cover and refrigerate any leftover streusel mixture.

Bake the scones until nicely browned, about 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. These are best eaten the day they are made but can be covered and stored for a few days.

Makes 8 scones


I had some trouble unsticking the scones from the paper as the blueberries had leaked and were sticky. They came out soooo delicious! Geoff and I split one when they came out of the oven, then refrigerated the rest for breakfast. They were soooo soft and delicious Monday morning, and only a little more chewy this morning when we finished them off. I think next time I will add more streusel to each scone as I like things sweet. Overall I call it a success! Please try these...they are actually pretty easy and so worth the little effort!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Bandit



Geoff and I adopted Bandit on December 1, 2006. While owning a dog is a lot more work and a lot more expensive than I ever thought, it is one of the best things we've ever done. Don't get me wrong, he's a HUGE pain in the ass every chance he gets. But he's adorable and overall a good boy. We love him to pieces.

Bandit is mostly Papillon, but we think he might have some other breed mixed in there as he is larger than most Papillons and has floppy ears. He has a great, fluffy tail that usually stands up when he walks...



...and he is one of the fastest dogs I've ever seen. Usually when running, he tucks his tail and bends his ears back for the greatest speed. None of the other dogs at the dog park can ever keep up. Other times he does more of a slow gallop with ears and tail up in the wind.



We call him all sorts of names including: B-Diddy, fluffball, muffinhead, puppy-pie, and so many more. It's amazing he knows what his actual name is. He loves food, and is afraid of cats (embarrassing right?). He loves ice cubes, but leaves them in the middle of the floor or on the couch to surprise people with later. He can sit, high-five, give ten, wave, shake, lay down, and roll over, but he has yet to master stay, come, or leave it which would probably be more handy. The little guy drives us crazy every day, but he also always makes us laugh. He's a great cuddler too.



We love you, Bandit!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mmmmm...Spicy, Buttery Shrimp!




Well, I have another recipe to share. I found this last summer (I forget where) and tried it then, and I am making it again tonight. Obviously it is not very healthy because of all the butter, but it is oh so delicious. I promise to post some of my healthier recipes soon!

This recipe is for a large group of people. I cut it in half and it lasts us a little while.

Ingredients:
5lb large shrimp, shelled
2lb butter
4T chopped parsley
4tsp cayenne pepper
4tsp black pepper
2T chopped rosemary leaves
2tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
5-10 cloves minced garlic
1 med. onion - minced
3 ribs celery - minced
6 oz beer - drink the rest

Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Melt a stick of butter in a skillet
-Saute garlic, onion, celery, parsley, rosemary, cayenne, and pepper for 3 minutes
-Melt the rest of the butter in a medium saucepan
-Add the beer to the butter
-Add the sauteed mixture, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice
-Lay shrimp in glass baking dishes and drown with mixture; if the shrimp is not submerged, add more butter (I know! Crazy!)

-Bake 15-20 minutes or until shrimp is pink

-Serve in deep bowls with handful of shrimp and lots of butter sauce

-Don't feel guilty about all the butter because dinner was just plain awesome


Enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Brothers

I have two younger brothers, Bobby and Grady. Bobby is 20, TALL, and a Marine. Grady is 13, getting tall, and your typical teenage, disinterested in anything but hunting/fishing/dirtbikes, boy. We don't see each other very often, nor do we talk on the phone much. This isn't for lack of love or trying on my part. Bobby is stationed anywhere from NC to Afghanistan and Grady is always too busy with friends to have time for his older sister. Talking on the phone is useless because all I get is "Yup, uh-huh, fine, ok...LOVE YOU I'M BUSY BYYYEEE." Sigh, boys.

Anyway, when I went home to Maine for the 4th of July weekend we miraculously all ended up at the same place at the same time for OMG almost a whole hour. My mother of course, demanded pictures.

While the boys were resistant, things started out well.


Of course, Grady refused to move so we all had to sit on him.

Still, everything was going well until Grammie tried to join the fun.

We got her to settle down though.



Geoff even stepped in front of the camera for a shot...so brave.
And things fall apart.
All in all it was a very nice visit with my boys, my mom, and Grammie. Hopefully mom will remember this before she tries to set up any future family photo shoots.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Looking for a good read...

Since graduating college last year, I have finally settled down and been able to return to one of my favorite hobbies: reading. It has been many years since I have had a lot of time to read for pleasure, and in the past month or two I have picked it up again. Because I have been out of the loop so long, however, I need your help. Please leave a comment with some of the books you have enjoyed and why. All suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weekend with mom

So this past weekend, Geoff went to a bachelor party in Atlantic City. As far as I can tell he had a great time. Since I don't really know many people here in RI, I was desperate to plan some visitors for myself that weekend. While the original plan was to have some girl friends down for a wild night on the town (because I'm so wild) I decided to have my mom come down instead. Now even though I moved down here almost a year ago, AND even though I'm less than three hours from her...she had not yet been down to visit (feel guilty yet mom?). We had a great time!

She arrived Friday night and we stayed up until midnight relaxing and talking. Very nice. The next morning we relaxed on the front porch with our coffees, then made scrambled eggs and english muffins for breakfast (NOTE: much of this post revolves around food...go figure). We then left the apartment to stroll the East Side of Providence. It's a cute little area of town and we had fun poking around the quirky little shops and ended up grabbing lunch at this little creperie that I keep meaning to go to. While my mom was good and had a wheat chicken ceasar wrap...I was bad and had a chocolate chip and banana crepe. Did I regret it? Hell no! Delish.

We then headed downtown where I showed her the GINORMOUS mall. It's about 4-6x the size of the one back home. Too bad I'm too broke to take advantage! After dizzying ourselves on the many escalators we headed back home and almost met certain death in the 15 minute drive. We ended up driving behind a shabby, unmarked moving truck with a car in the back of it. The back door to the truck was open, and the car did not appear to be restrained in any way. As we drove uphill behind the truck trash kept falling out in front of us and the car was bouncing and shaking inside the truck. We nervously laughed and joked about what might happen if the car were to fly out at us...but I'm pretty sure both of us were relatively sure these were our last moments. Thankfully, we survived ghetto truck and made it home to while away the afternoon reading on the porch. That night, we went to a local bar for some beers, the game, and fried food. Oh I was so bad this weekend...what's healthy food again? But I couldn't help it. Because fried calamari? Sooooo goooood. Then we headed home again for more talking until midnight.

Sunday we went out to breakfast then headed downtown again to see more of the city. We did the river walk, then hit up Westminster street...which was less than amazing as most of Providence is apparently CLOSED on Sundays. Lame. Still a nice walk though! We then took a nice drive to the country, then headed back home where I made a coconut pie before she left. I'll post the recipe for the pie soon...it came out more like a coconut custurd pie so I'm going to try some different variations first. Still yummy though!

Thanks for a great weekend mom!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mmmmm...cheese straws!

While surfing the internet a few weeks ago for something easy and yummy to make, I came across a recipe for cheese straws! These taste kind of like spicy Cheez-its, but are shaped like staws instead of crackers. I for one, am not a fan of Cheez-its, but I knew that Geoff would love them so I went for it anyway. Here is a link for the recipe:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/06/cheese-straws/

They actually came out really good, except I that I had to improvise and use a wine bottle for a rolling pin as I have not gotten around to buying one of those yet. I will also need a few more tries before I can get all of my straws to be the same width. So while I probably got a Fail for presentation...they sure were tasty! I added more red pepper flakes than the recipe calls for because we like to keep things spicy in our household! Try them and let me know what you think!

So, I'm entering the blog world

Hello readers (who are so far non-existent)! For months now I have been reading various blogs across the internet on my lunch break (New England is very rainy lately so there hasn't been much else to do). I decided...why not start my own? I can't promise that I will update consistantly, or that what I do post will be very interesting...but I'll do my best. Mostly this will be a space for me to share interesting things that I find, and to update my friends/family on my life in Rhode Island. I will probably also share new recipes that I try out, and who knows what else! Here goes nothing!