Five Things Friday

It’s Friday!  Bang the drums!

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After a long, but productive week, I am ready to do a little R&R over the weekend!

Five Things Friday

1.  I’m reading and reading and reading away at Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell for my book club that meets next week on Tuesday, and I’m only on page 208 of 503!!!!  I’m really getting into it now; not John Green/dystopian/YA love drama “into it,” but considering that there were MANY times that I thought I was going to just completely skip the book and hope my book clubbers would be distracted by my wit and charm, not that bad!  I’m not sure how I’m going to proceed because I KNOW that I won’t be able to finish it before book club.

Let me know!

2.  We have a friend coming into town for the weekend.  He’s one of Dan’s friends from The Era That Shall Not Be Remembered – AKA before me met me.  Actually, Chris and Dan taught together at the school where Dan and I met 5 years ago.  Chris is a huge New York Jets fan and they’re playing against the Jaguars this Sunday, so what else would be a better excuse to come visit your Floridian friends?  I’m not necessarily a fan of either team, but let’s hope that we see some good football!

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3.  I absolutely have been LOVING this season of American Horror Story!  Last year, I insisted that Dan and I only watch our DVR’d episodes when the sun was still up because otherwise I would become so stressed and creeped out that I couldn’t fall asleep.  This year, I’ve been ok up until this week’s episode.  The opening scenes featured a brutal shooting of a bell-ringing, red bucket wielding Santa Claus.  The absolute CREEPER of a man that shot the faux Santa then broke into a neighboring house PRETENDING TO BE SANTA! and had one of the most disturbing hostage scenes I’ve seen in quite some time.  I HAD to have Dan turn it off.  I just couldn’t sit in my living room that’s filled with holiday decorations, twinkle lights, and watch as a family be terrorized.  Hopefully the rest of the episode will not be like that, but I just couldn’t take it.  If you’re not a fan of the show, please don’t let my mini fit stop you from watching, but don’t take my word for it: 13 Reasons Why American Horror Story Doesn’t Suck This Season.

4.  Girls Night tonight!

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5.  With all the stuff that I gotta do about #1-4, I don’t have time for a fifth thing!  Enjoy the weekend!

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips

Tomorrow is probably the biggest test of my Adulthood License.  Sure, owning a home and maintaining a marriage are tough, but this is cooking for people who didn’t give birth to you or agree to love you through “sadness, disease, and for poorer.”  These are the times I wish I could be that brooding teenager who criticized all the menu options on the Thanksgiving menu, but had absolutely no part in the preparation.

Thankfully I’m still in the generation where I am progressive enough to Google the mess out of “Thanksgiving cooking for dummies,”

and SMART enough to call my mom to walk me through it.

So before I make my 28th phone call about mashed potatoes, here are some important things that I’ve learned while trying to be a World Wide Web Suez Chef.

1.  9 Unforgivable Things You Should Never Do to a Turkey

2.  After seeing Steps 5-7 of “Making Turkey Stock,” I’m incredibly thankful that I do not have to make it.

5. Then pour off all of the grease from the pan.

7.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the brown crusty bits.

I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m supposed to have Dan do as Captain of the Clean Up Squad.  WTH?????

3.  If you’ve got a die-hard football fan in the house, maybe you should go the “How to Eat Thanksgiving While Watching Football” route.

Making every signature Thanksgiving dish as a finger food might not be a bad idea, except that it’s 100Xs more difficult and time consuming to make these fingertip-poppin’ versions.

Stuffing in the form of Corn Dog Stuffing Muffins.

4.  And in the end, remember the reason for the season: being thankful!  Appreciate the “15 Best Moments of Thanksgiving”

13. Laying a huge dollop of whipped cream on a slice of pie.

Parent Palooza 2012 and Energy Bars

For the past two weekends, our house has been Point B Destination for both sets of our parents.  It’s nothing new for Dan (new starts = new name) and I to have long distance rendezvous with either set of our parents, most set in our home state of Michigan or our former Alaskan home, St. Paul Island.  This fall after the Great Ferrari SouthEast Migration of 2012, it was decided that the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting of the Detroit Lions would be excuse enough to invite all four parents to see our new home, ALL.AT.THE.SAME.TIME.

You know what it’s like, the 30 minutes after you binge on Halloween candy and your arms are so shaky from the sugar coursing through your veins?

Yea, that’s what it’s kinda like, but in your head, to have not one, but two mothers inquiring about your life, and a dad-ly duo inspecting the foundation of your newly purchased home.  We love our parents, of course, and it was our idea to invite them, but perhaps dividing and conquering will be our next strategy.

Keep in mind, the only other person that we have ever hosted was Dan’s sister Jeannie, a completely different and reduced stress situation.  You feel a bit more responsible when it’s your house and not the apartment building.  If there’s something out of place, it’s your fault because it’s YOUR house.  These are the issues that I mentally create and deal with on my own, and one of the reasons why my husband feels sorry for me.

Anyways, it was a great time no matter how much pre-anxiety I caused myself.  Everyone thought our home was beautiful and were very proud of us for all that we’ve accomplished.  Thankfully there’s a lot to do in Jacksonville and the surrounding area that there was not enough time for me to over-complicate my life with worry.  One of the best thing that we did was go to St. Augustine.  It’s our go-to destination, after the beach, when trying to find something different to do, like shop for new sunglasses:

Sunday’s NFL game was really the highlight of the weekend, as far as activities go, and we were treated with about a half-and-half Detroit Lion/Jacksonville Jaguars fan base in the stands.

The Lion handled the Jags, 31-14.

No matter how many activities and calories we tried to jam pack into the weekend, the prize for the most attention and topic of conversation has to go to our Ms. Congeniality, Sophie.  I’d say that she won everyone over as their favorite (next to Dan’s Michigan dog, Sally) pet:

Monday morning, all of our parents headed off for their respective destinations: Dan’s parents to Michigan, and mine to their friends’ home in the Orlando area.  Monday through Thursday’s pace was trudge-like because there was even more excitement packed into the upcoming weekend: Dan off to Manly Man Camp Where We Don’t Use Napkins or Plumbing, and I had four glorious days filled with home improvement projects that only a dad could conquer and decorating decisions you need your mother to help you make.  Among the projects that Dad helped us with were:

  • Hanging blinds in the kitchen
  • Adding additional shelves above the washer and dryer
  • Adding a threshold cover between the hallway and bathroom door
  • Hanging a shelf over the back of the pantry door for additional storage space
  • Updating my jewelry storage

My favorite part of my new cabinet is that my dad put chicken cage wire on the back so I can hang my “dangly” earrings.  Nice touch!

And don’t think that my mom and I didn’t tear it up in the kitchen!  We made chicken and vegetable soup, shrimp scampi, and a batch of Peanut Butter Energy Bars!

It was a very easy recipe to follow, and very easily adaptable to whatever you have in the cupboard.  Instead of peanuts or sunflower seeds, we used almond slivers.

The best part was patting the mixture into the 9X13″ pan because you get a good coating of the sweet and salty on my hands.  Never one to let anything go to waste, I also licked the bowl clean.