happy halloween!

sayonara sandy


the hurrication is over.

we were lucky here in DC. absolutely nothing happened. a few trees fell, but that happens every time it rains around here.  basically it rained for 3 days straight and got pretty windy for a few of the hours in the middle.  i was convinced the giant tree outside of our living room was going to crash through the window with every gust, but it didn't.  dang these trees can really bend a lot and not break!  my theory is that the derecho we had a couple months ago took all the weak trees out in advance.

we didn't even lose power, which i have to admit was disappointing.  it's nice to be forced to entertain yourself sometimes.  we had bored games, candles, and alcohol at the ready, but were never given the excuse to party.  i know, first world problems.

taking the girls out proved to be interesting.  we nerded out and wore bike helmets to go outside (the tree!) and would try to rush the girls into going to the bathroom.  belle didn't like the rain so she would run out and run right back in, but honey badger bella could care less as the storm brought so many smells! and she had terrible cabin fever!  standing under a giant swaying maple tree in 60 mph winds is kinda freaky, so do your business and get inside! i love my crazy nugget.

since power gives you internet, eric spent the free days writing away, so i made cookies, meatloaf, and other foods for when the power never went out, worked, caught up on my stories, started a new book, played with the girls, cleaned, napped and did everything else i could think of while slowly going out of my mind!  two days of not being able to leave the house is a long time.

as we all know, NYC and other parts of the northeast weren't as fortunate, but hopefully they'll get back up and running as quickly as possible.  my friends in the city are already bored, and it doesn't look like they're getting power back anytime soon.  at least it's cool out.

photos: the most important staple in any emergency situation and some fallen trees for your viewing pleasure.

there's a car under there

hurricane sandy


sandy is coming and people are really freaking out.  we weren't taking this seriously, but then remembered that the last time there was a storm the power was out for days, and you really couldn't even call that a storm.

they're preemptively cutting down trees, people are buying up all of the water and canned food in the grocery stores, home depot is selling lots of sand bags, the government is closing, and our parents are calling to make sure we have a plan.  it's like we're going to have a hurricane or something.

so we got out camping gear out of storage.  we're ready with camp stoves, lanterns, and huge containers of water.  we also got extra dog food and cash, just in case.  i'll take any excuse to get out of work and snuggle up with my girls all day.  we even have spiced apple cider to keep us warm :)

it looks like for 2012 DC is going to have more than 1 "apocalypse"... stay tuned for updates on this madness...



halloween is almost here! eric went with a hilarious shocked face, and i went with a design.  
even though i'm no great jack o'lantern master, i decided i was capable of carving this cool stamp design.  so i stamped it into a circle, taped it to the pumpkin, and got going.
with the pattern started on the pumpkin, we made a lid and cleaned it out.  bella likes to help - pumpkin is her favorite holiday treat - but you have to keep her away from the knife.
yum, raw pumpkin seeds!
one of the best parts of making jack o'lanterns is roasting the tasty seeds.  it's so satisfying to get glowing faces and a delicious treat that makes the house smell amazing.
obviously the stamp was way too detailed.  still i think it came out looking pretty cool!

fall colors


we are having the most amazing leaf colors right now, so today the trees deserve their own post.  eric and i have taken the girls on some bike rides around the neighborhood over the last few days to get some pretty pictures.  these pictures have not had the saturation adjusted, i promise, the leaves are seriously this cool looking!

roasted broccoli


i feel obligated to post this recipe because it's the best broccoli i've ever had.  roasting veggies gives you more crunch, flavor, and nutritiousness!

Roasted Broccoli:
  • fresh broccoli
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • garlic, chopped
  • red pepper flakes
  • sunflower seeds (poor man's pine nuts!)
  • goat cheese
Mix everything up except the goat cheese.  Coat the broccoli and bake at 400 for ~15 minutes (depending on how you like it).  Serve with sprinkled goat cheese on top.  So easy, SO TASTY.
washed and ready
served with the amazing greek style turkey meatloaf

pot roast


i did a pot roast in the le creuset instead of a crock pot for the first time.  it came out really well and it was really nice to be able to do everything in one pan.  served with mashed red potatoes and steamed green beans, i'm pretty sure it's what i would request if i had to choose a last meal. recipe below.
Slow Cooked Pot Roast:
  • pot roast - leaner meat will be less delicious, because it has less fat :). i say if you're going to eat a bunch of red meat get the marbled one with a slab of fat on one side.  guaranteed to fall apart.
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • an onion (chopped)
  • herbs of your choosing
  • salt and pepper
  • red wine, worcestershire sauce, beef broth, or water (or even beer)
1. Marinade your meat overnight in oil, garlic, and seasonings.  If you don't have time to do this, add your garlic and seasonings when you add the onion.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

4. Get your pan super hot and heat the oil.  Quickly sear all surfaces of the roast like the picture below.
5. Remove from heat. With the roast sitting fat side up (so it can drip down while cooking), throw in the onion, enough liquid to cover the bottom of the pan about an inch, and then season the top with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Put a lid on it, and stick it in the oven.

6. Start checking on it after and hour or so to make sure there is still liquid in the pan.  If the liquid dries up, just add some water.  Make sure you keep enough liquid that there is about an inch in the pan.

7. You will know the roast is finished when you test it with a fork and it becomes difficult to pick up a piece as it will just fall apart.  Just leave it in there until this happens.  It could take 3 or 4 hours, and is worth the wait.

8. Once done, remove roast from the pot, leaving the liquid.  It's time to make the gravy.

Gravy is easy to make (brown easier than white) and tastes so much better than gravy from the store, which I didn't even know existed until college.

Brown Gravy:
  • pot roast drippings leftover in the pan
  • 1 tbs. white flour
  • about 1 cup of water
1. Mix your flour and water.  I have this handy shaker cup from tupperware that does a great job.  You have to mix well or the flour will clump.

2. Bring the drippings to a boil.  Slowly pour in the flour/water mixture while stirring constantly.
3. Continue to stir.  The gravy will come back to a boil and will thicken.  Once you are happy with the consistency  remove from heat so it doesn't continue to thicken.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper (salt it up!) and enjoy.  The tupperware is also great for storing and pouring the gravy later :)



fall is here, winter is coming, and winter here is depressing.  it gets dark early and is mostly just cold and wet.  no beautiful evergreens or mountains, no snow to play in, and no vitamin d.  in an effort to hold off SAD as long as possible, we have rearranged our living room to feel less claustrophobic.

it all started with the photo wall.  it's been less than impressive since we put it up.  once we started adding pictures and moving them around, somehow we just ended up moving everything.  i love our new living room so much.  it's the little things :)

before and after wall.

living room before.

and after.

breakfast by the window is the best.

virgin freefest


the virgin freefest is an all day music festival at merriweather.  richard branson hosts, a bunch of bands perform, and people can wander around and check out different booths, eat and drink, and hang out.

branson didn't parachute in like he has in years past, but there were some great overall highlights: ben folds, zz top, and tie-dyed shirts! (that's not the name of a band, there were really more tie-died shirts in one place than i've ever seen, and i was a child of the early 90s) i had no idea there were this many neo-hippies on the east coast :)

calling 911


it feels like i call 911 more often than most people i know.  it's always been that way, it's like i'm always in the wrong place at the wrong time.  or maybe i'm just quick to grab my phone when something goes down, even if it's just a bunch of cows out in the middle of the highway.

a couple of months ago, i called when a woman fainted at eastern market.  last week there was a wreck outside of our house.  and today i witnessed a hilarious fight!

after a lovely bike ride into work i was sitting at my desk, checking my email, and drinking my saxby's latte.  i then began hearing profanities coming from the alley outside my open window and looked out to see two guys yelling at each other.  obviously i thought to grab my phone and video the whole thing and, as it progressed into a full on punching fight, my coworker started yelling in her british accent "you two better knock it off or we're calling the cops!"  and call them we did!

the altercation progressed into kicking a car, throwing trash, and shooting glass cleaner at each other.  should i be keeping glass cleaner in my trunk to fend off attackers?!

i'm telling you, there's not much better entertainment than two grown men going at each other so early on a wednesday morning.  if this is how your days starts, i don't even want to know how the rest of it goes.

the cops showed up after these guys had driven off somewhere else to continue their disagreement.  but i had everything on video!

please enjoy this still.  i won't post the entire video since it's now been submitted as evidence? ha! gotta love this town.

colorado weekend


we went to colorado for what felt like 5 minutes over the weekend and had a great time seeing eric's family though the visit was way to quick! 

saturday morning we had brunch and went ring shopping in boulder, and then spent the afternoon and evening in denver at a good friend of eric's wedding.  it was a beautiful day full of friends and family and i only wish we could have stayed longer!

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