Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baby Whispering

So, to sum it up, I just had four cocktails at The Ram.  For posterity's sake, we are going to keep the words short and the pictures plentiful.  I would like to note that, even slightly buzzed, I choose to buy beets, broccoli, cauliflower and cumin at Walmart, rather than junk food.  Going to dig into some baked veggies tonight or for breakfast.

So...what else to know about today.  Today was my final furniture delivery.  Toby, David and Jehsi assisted in the assembly of my new TV stand, and Ashley Furnitutre delivered and assembled the rest.  I LOVE IT ALL!  And really appreciate the assistance. 

This afternoon started by going to David's family's house for "the rehearsal dinner."  That equated to lots o' kids and lots o' ribs.  Of course, as natural when many children are around, I was referred to as the baby whisperer, I played duck duck goose, I got my hurr' did (hair done), and I made about ten baby friends.

and...without further ado...the photos!

 annnnd, if you were wondering.  Yes, these few drinks have caused my face to turn a ridiculous shade of spotted red and YES I DID WIN a free shirt on my way to the bathroom!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Around Town

Well I was disapointed I didn't get to go on any of my anticipated adventures today, but it was a busy, fun-filled day. 

The morning was slow-moving because we stayed up late socializing and watching The Dilemma.  We also had a couple drinks (but not many). I mixed my favorite $4.00 sweet red wine (Tisdale) with some 7-up for a nice wine spritzer.  We went to look for more Tisdale wine, but apparently Albertsons doesn't carry it, so I got some "Chill Out" instead.  It was $5.00 and not as good as the Tisdale!  I am going to have to find somewhere that carries it...or develop better taste in wine.

We finally got out of the house around 2:00 pm today, and headed to Men's Warehouse for David to get his final tux fitting for his brother's wedding tomorrow. I thought the lady assisting was super rude.  First they sort of just stared at us like we were supposed to know what was going on.  Sorry, it isn't every day we go to Men's Warehouse...why don't you help us out a little? Then she abandoned us at the last minute to help someone else, and we had to sit around for five or ten minutes.  I understand helping everyone, but it literally took 10 seconds to finish what we needed...definitely could have benefitted from some lessons on queuing!  After that, instead of ever saying "Sorry, just one more minute," or smiling reassuringly at us, she sent us on our way saying ,"Sorry there is only one of me."  I was irritated...

Then we went to the mall and looked for wedding dresses.  No, not the white kind...the kind for us to wear as guests!  I didn't find anything I liked and I definitely was not in the shopping mood, which was a bummer.  It would have been a good day to spend some money, with all of the Memorial Day specials.  I did get some pork street tacos from Taco Time, and per usual, they again only gave me a tiny half of a lime, even when I asked for extra.  Oh well!

We also went to Sephora, and I finally bought Bumble and Bumble hair (un)dressing creme.  I have been wanting to buy it for awhile (another one of those "investigated" purchases) and I finally decided to go for it.  I walked around the store a few times contemplating and finally just went for it, so I will let you know what I end up thinking about it!

After that, the three of us (Jehs, David and me) went to see the Hangover II at the Edwards 21 Theaters.  I am sure that theater is horrendously expensive for a normal showing, but it was only $7.50 for a matinee.  I didn't get any snacks, but it cost the others $11.25 for a normal size popcorn and a bottle of water! SUCH A RIP OFF!  I was impressed with the theater though...it was like a theme park.  Everything was decorated and it was huge.  It would have been preferrable if they scaled back the decorations though, so they didn't have to jack up concessions so much!

I liked The Hangover II.  It was as to be expected.  There were some parts that were hilarious, and of course, it was essentially a carbon copy of the first Hangover.  However, if you are looking for the same kind of humor, you will probably be satisfied.  I was also glad there were a few times I was surprised, so it was not completely predictable.  There were also some previews that looked great -- I want to see X Men! It comes out on Friday if anyone wants to go.
After that, we went to Chili's. Jehs and I had never been there, so that was fun to go somewhere new (okay, I may have been there before but it was a looonnng time ago, if so, and I don't remember so I am not counting it).  To start with, I tried to order a mojito.  Some worker came out, serious face on, and sat down to give me this big story of why they didn't have mint and couldn't make me a mojito.  Okkkkaaay, whatever buddy! Not a huge deal!  Apparently barely anyone orders mojitos (so they probably aren't that good anyway).  I settled on some cherry limeade drink and it was just alright. I spent most of the time fishing out the maraschino cherries to eat. It seemed really low on alcohol as well, but it did manage to turn my face red [of course] so there must have been something in it.

To eat, I ordered Margharita Grilled Chicken.  It was a little different than I expected (served on top of lots of beans and rice) but it was good and I am glad I ordered it.  I also have leftovers I am going to dig into in awhile.  In addition, the other dinner attendees were kind enough to share their fries/onion rings with me, so I got to chow down on those too (with plenty of ketchup, of course).  However, I did have to decline the cheeseburgers...eww.

Now we are home and all exhausted.  It is only 9:15 and I think I could fall asleep right now.  Jehsi is already napping on the floor.  We rented I am Number Four, but that might have to wait for another night...Has anyone seen it?

Sometime this week I would like to make it down to Idaho Indie Works.  It is a store that sells items made by local artists and I think it might make for some good gifts! Who has a birthday coming up?

and, by the way, here is the finished product of the end table.  Besides a missing end cap for one of the legs [not my fault], I would say it is a smashing success.  Thanks Mom and Dad --I love it! Tomorrow I will post pictures of my hopefully-newly-installed furniture.  Should be here by 12:30 they claim, but you never know with deliveries....

And here is a picture of what the aftermath looked like!  Don't worry.  Now it is clean :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Putting together furniture

I am about to attempt to put together this wonderful end table my Mom and Dad got for me

It is surprisingly VERY difficult to find white furniture, so this was an awesome find.  My bookshelf, desk, dressers, and TV stand are all white (which makes it sound like it is easy to find white furniture, but trust me, it wasn't), and I couldn't be happier.  I think it looks awesome.  My Mom ordered this end table from amazon for about $70 and she ordered it on Thursday and it arrived Saturday morning.  I think it is fascinating how fast something can ship.

I am going to assemble it while re-watching The Patriot.  I can't ever stay awake during movies.  In fact, I probably fall asleep in theaters about 35% of the time.  My fall-asleep rate is even higher at home.  My boyfriend is used to us renting movies and me being fast asleep by about halfway through.  We rented The Patriot (Mel Gibson verison) while he was in town, for only $2.11 for a week rental from Hastings.  He couldn't believe I had never seen it before.  There are a lot of movies I have never seen (Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, and, until I met Jake, Dumb and Dumber, to name a few) and The Patriot was one of them.  I really liked what I saw of it the first time around, but we started it after midnight and it didn't finish til 2:30 am, so of course I fell asleep.  We started it so late because of the slowest cashier EVER at Walmart, but it was still a fun adventure.

The movie is due tomorrow, so I am watching and enjoying it again today.

Green Bean Dream

There is a secret I need to let you all in on, and it is called "The most delicious snack in the whole word."

First, there are two things you should know about me: 

A) I LOVE PARMESAN CHEESE.  Like, I literally scoop it out with my hands and eat it plain, from the container.
B) I think of certain foods as means for eating my favorite foods. Ex: potatoes as a way to eat ketchup (another favorite food, but not as delicious by the spoonful and much harder to eat with your hands).  I don't really eat the potatoes because I want the potatoes, but I eat them because I want the ketchup.  Ask my roommates.  I am really that weird.

So this is about methods and means of eating parmesan cheese.  And in this case, that parmesan-cheese carrier would be green beans. 

The best part is, green beans are cheap and they are good for you!  You can buy bulk with twelve cans from Costco, and one can has about seventy calories.  It fills an entire bowl and keeps you pretty full.  Also, the most recent issue of Cosmo says green beans are full of silicon and a study has found people taking a silicon supplement had stronger and thicker hair after nine months...

Anyway, I take the green beans, drain them, and pour them in a bowl.  Sprinkle them with garlic salt (which can potentially slow the growth of tumors, among other things [the garlic part]).  BE CAREFUL not to add too much.  This happens to me about 30% of the time.  I obviously haven't caught on yet and it is awful when it happens.  I consider rinsing the beans off, but by the time I notice, they are already covered in cheese so I can't do that.  Instead I pick around for the best beans and end up just choking them all down.  TERRIBLE.

After that, sprinkle the beans with parmesan.  I love the kind from Costco, and of course I have to buy it in bulk! [thanks Chris for always sharing when I got desperate].  Mix everything together, and pop it in the microwave for 1 minute and fifteen seconds.  I always do it for a minute because my microwave has quick cook buttons for thirty seconds and one minute.  To be honest, I haven't taken the time to figure out how to do fifteen seconds (yes, I do realize I could just open the microwave but no!).  After a minute, I always wish I had cooked it a bit longer and I know if I did it for a minute thirty it would probably burn my mouth because I wouldn't be able to wait long enough.  So trust me -- a minute and fifteen.

Then, enjoy your tasty, amazing delicious snack.  If you are weird and not obsessed with parmesan, I am sure most other cheeses will suffice.

And if you were wondering -- yes I usually have this once per day (right Grandma!!?) and yes, this is my go-to-snack for three in the morning [have NOT been sleeping well lately!]

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Switching it up

It has already happened...I am switching my blog hosting site.  This is going to be the new one.  Easier to remember too, with all the aliteration (Blogging Boise Blogspot!).

I decided to change because I really don’t like how you can’t leave comments on Tumblr very easily.

As for the CD I referenced in my last post, my favorite song is currently “Hawaiian Air.”

For your listening pleasure, here is the youtube link: Hawaiian Air.  What do you think?  My summer CD last year was Robin Thicke, “Sex Therapy.”  I am still absolutely in love with this CD, and my favorite song is Make You Love Me.  While, so far, Friendly Fires sort of reminds me of the music you would listen to while shopping, I think I am going to like it.  We will see what I think when the sun is out!

I am going to try and go to bed, and hopefully sleep much better than I have been lately.  I am currently reading
It is not my very favorite book, but I do find some of the stories interesting.  I went for my first fiction book in awhile, and I chose this book because a) I start a new job soon so why not read about work and b) I like short stories because you can pick one up, finish it, and move onto something new.  However, that is a good and a bad thing.  It means some of the stories I really don't like, but at least they are over quickly!

Once I finish this book, I just got this book to read.
I am super excited because I LOVE memoirs.  I love that you can read and learn something at the same time, and get a glimpse into a different life you may never have otherwise.  Even better, I got it with a 50% coupon at Borders, so it was only $8.50.  Thanks Borders!

Up Next

Going to attempt to convince my roommates to go see "Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Made," at #001 The Flicks: Best Place to See an Indie Flick.
I feel like it will be easier to convince David, but they do sell beer and wine, so hopefully I can get both the roomies to go!  They get here tomorrow and I think David leaves around Friday, so let me know if you are interested in joining us!

#006 The Record Exchange: Best place to listen to an Iranian guitar player

Caveat: I am (obviously) still figuring this picture thing out!

So just to explain a bit before I embark on this blog thing…I thought that a good way to decide on some places to explore would be to consult “365 Things to Do in Boise” courtesy of Living Social.  Therefore, when you see the number next to my blog title, that will tell you which thing on the list I decided to check out! 

For my first blog adventure, I decided to go to the #006, The Record Exchange.  For future notice, the number part will be a link to the Living Social review, and the place name will have a link to a website for the place, if applicable.

Okay, now to adventures. 

I started off today by meeting my (new) good friend and her dad down at the Boise Market.  First of all, I LOVE how easy it is to park in Boise.  For those of you who have experienced Seattle, it can be really fun but I think the parking and the roads are horrendous.  I get so stressed out trying to figure out where to park, it can cost about $20, and to top it off, the homeless people make me nervous.  Honestly, it never feels that comfortable, especially if you are a woman (and I would be really uncomfortable solo!).  Boise is not like that at all, and I think it is safe to say it is one of the few cities that has a city vibe but also a small-town character.  Yes, there are homeless people, but I find them much less intimidating than Seattle's. 
Everything looks empty, even on a Saturday!
I parked in an almost empty, downtown parking garage (and there were plenty to choose from).  I think I parked there for about 2 hours, and it only cost $2.50.  In addition, I think the first hour is always free!
I didn’t really have much in mind for the Market, and my friend and I thought it lasted until 3:00 pm, but it turns out it only lasts until 1:30 pm.  The only things I was potentially interested in buying were fruits or vegetables, and I really wanted to find some beets.  As a side note, it is funny how many college kids (or people in general) have never had beets before!  I don't think we wandered near the fruits and vegetable area, because I didn’t see much besides lettuce and mushrooms.

However, it was still really fun.  I felt like we were at a Co-op version of Costco, with samples everywhere!  Our favorite places were the wine shops, and we sampled four or five different wineries.  My friend’s dad knew his wine, so it was fun to accompany him.  And of course, both of us got ID’ed at each stand.  But we got used to it and kept our IDs in our back pockets.  Overall, I think my favorite was a Reisling and my least favorite was a Merlot.  I still need to get used to the strong aftertaste.  I also got a lot of information on various tasting rooms, so Mom, if you ever come back, we can go wine tasting!  I think that sounds like a nice, inexpensive thing to do with friends/family. 

My favorite sample besides the wine was some pine nut/sunflower seed toffee.  It was really tasty and delicious.  We also tried things like blue cheese dressing (not blue-cheesy enough for me), sesame sauce (tasted too much like mayonnaise), maple balsamic sauce (good, but not different enough from balsamic…in the words of my mother, “I think I could make that”), sausage (not the biggest fan and don’t eat much meat anyway), and seasonings sprinkled over bread (delicious!).

After I left the Market, I decided to check out the Record Exchange in downtown Boise.  Thank goodness I have my smart phone (if you have an iPhone, download the free Mapquest App; I love it)!  It makes getting everywhere so much easier.  I also really like the streets in Boise.  They are nice and wide, and traffic is never too heavy.  When I drive in Seattle/Auburn, I always end up with a sore neck from gripping the wheel.  In Boise, it is never very stressful and if I get lost, I don’t even mind because I get to see a new part of the city and my GPS just starts “Recalculating!”
I usually hate music stores because I typically stand for everything they seem to be against (the real music stores, not the “big box” ones).  I shop at chain stores, I don’t think Walmart is evil, etc.  I typically feel out of place, so I was a little wary of going to the store.  To make the picture clearer, I was wearing Hollister, which is definitely not the typical attire in a place like that.  However, once I got there, I didn’t feel out of place at all!  Everyone was really friendly.
I do still feel really awkward taking pictures, so there are only a few sneaky shots from my iPhone.  I always feel like I am doing something wrong when I snap a photo.  I remember we tried to take pictures in Express once, and they said that wasn’t allowed.  I have no idea what is allowed or not in stores, so if anyone knows picture taking etiquette, please let me know!  I am not a big picture taker in general, so this will be an adjustment for me.  While taking the pictures, I am sure I looked more suspicious than if I would have just been outright about it, but oh well. 
For anyone who knows me, you will not be surprised to know I did a little research before I went to the store, and I had already decided what CD I wanted to buy.  I consulted my trusty arsenal of magazines, and had settled on either the Friendly Fires, Arctic Monkeys or Teddybears.  I don’t really know much about any of these bands (and had only heard of one) so I felt like they would likely be sufficiently “indie” enough to be sold at this store.  I was surprised to find the Record Exchange had all kinds of music, and not just obscure, alternative stuff.

I decided to buy the new Friendly Fires CD, “Pala.”  It was originally $9.99 and was on sale for $8.99.  It just got released May 16th, so I think it is awesome that is was already on sale and also very affordable.  Some might take it as a bad sign that it was already on sale, but I was excited.  J I was expecting to spend a lot more, and my bank account is much lower than it normally is, so I am a little more money conscious until I start work. 
 Elle magazine said, about the CD, “British indie-disco trio Friendly Fires recorded their deliciously catchy (and critically adored) self-titled debut in lead singer Ed Macfarlane’s basement.  On their sophomore effort, Pala (named aptly after Aldous Huxley’s 1962 novel island), the boys have polished their act, delivering heart thumping beats and Macfarlane’s baritone ear candy on dance tracks (like standout “Live those days tonight”) with impeccable smoothness. 

I loved Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and I also enjoy naming things after books/authors.  For example, my rat was named Herbert after H.G. Wells, after I read the War of the Worlds (which I am pretty sure I read in fourth grade [nerd]).  I also named my lizard Lucy, after a character in the Chronicles of Narnia.  So, even though I was making a music selection, I decided based on a literary connection.  Music has never been my thing anyway.
I haven’t had time to listen to the CD, but I will when I head to my friend’s for dinner.  It always takes me awhile to come up with my favorite songs, because I never like a song much the first time I hear it.  It has to have some familiarity before I actually want to tune it to a particular song.  I will let you know what I think of the album when I decide!
I was also really excited to see that the Record Exchange had a sale section, and in that sale section were tons of cards for $1.00!  Lately I have been really into sending cards, and $1.00 is a really good deal.  I am going to have to start buying my cards there.  I think I will be more likely to go to the Record Exchange for cards and not for music!  I bought a card for my Dad for Father’s Day.  Mom, I swear I got you a Mother’s Day card, but now I have to find it…

The Record Exchange also has a coffee bar, and I was excited because they had a specialty tea drink.  Not many places have cool tea drinks, so I love when they reach out to tea lovers as well.  I ordered the London Fog.  It was Earl Grey, steamed milk, honey, and vanilla.  It was really good, and $3.39 for a 16 ounce.  I tipped the extra $.61, which is an 18% tip!  I think my boyfriend would be impressed, because he knows I hate to tip (but somehow always seem to do it well anyway).  The drink was really good, but I would have liked a bit more vanilla.  It was very similar to what I made this morning at home (blackberry black tea, milk and honey).  I hadn’t thought of adding vanilla to tea, so I think I will try that more often.
I could write forever, but when I read blogs I know I hate long entries, and this one is already a novel.  I will leave you with one more funny thing.  At the Record Exchange, they had “Man Candles” for Father’s day.  The flavors they had were Fishing Dock, Pot Roast, and Football.  They literally all smelled exactly like they said, and it was gross and amazing at the same time.  I know my family will be excited…the website says it airs on Shark Tank this Friday! I am not sure if that means it already aired, but maybe you guys caught the episode/will catch the episode.  Sorry Dad, I don’t think I am going to get you that for Father’s Day, even if I know you would love a Poker Room candle (yes, they have that kind!).

Today for lunch I had ground turkey meatballs (turkey was buy one get one free at Albertson’s!) and yogurt sauce.  I don’t eat much meat, but these are delicious and packed with vegetables/herbs/spices.  I got the recipe from a blog called Orangette, but left out pine nuts because they were about $6 for half a cup. No thanks! Also, when I was making it, a few fell apart, and I thought that the crumbly bits were even better than the meatballs themselves.  If anyone else wants to make it, it might be even better as a stir fry (and easier).  Also, the recipe has golden raisins in it, and sounds weird, but they are DELICIOUS! I read the comments, and apparently a lot of people do it, and it is fairly common to put in spaghetti sauce...so good.