Monday, July 23, 2012

Wedding fun

This past weekend one of the guys from Paul's class at UAB got married in Asheville, NC. Congrats to Mark and Emily!

Brittany and Brant, who we became great friends with in Birmingham, came to stay with us and then we drove up to Asheville together.

The drive itself is beautiful, but Asheville is too! It's an interesting town, to say the least. We enjoyed people watching as we drove around the city to kill some time before going into the church - you never know what you'll see in Asheville. Plus, evidently there are a lot of really good vegetarian and vegan restaurants there! We will have to make another trip back so we can actually spend some time in the city and explore all the culture it has.

Brant, Brittany, me, and Paul. 
Brittany and I had very similar dresses! It was unplanned but so funny! 

Brittany, Ellen (chief resident at UAB), and me.

Evidently photobooths are the new thing at weddings! We had fun with it! 

This was our little group! 
back row: Paul, Kyle, Brant
front row: me, Ellen, Brittany

I love weddings! They're so much fun. Mark and Emily both looked wonderful, and the wedding was beautiful. We had a great time reuniting with our Birmingham friends, and can't wait for the next reunion!

On a side note, we learned about the "freegan" movement that is forming and spreading in Asheville. Basically, 1 - don't buy anything, 2 - don't support conventional economy, 3 - don't work. To read more about this deplorable fascinating movement, check this out: Freegan Info

God Bless

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ducks and Projects

The Reid's live next to a big pond in their neighborhood, so there are always ducks and geese around the house. We've even named a few of them! I don't mind the ducks too much, they're kinda cute, but can also be kinda annoying. But I really don't like the geese. I don't know why, but I just don't.

This is Francis

Some of the ducks have become bold, though. They are coming further into the yard, and even into the garage. That alone wouldn't be that bad, but they are coming in while we are in there, and then eating the cat's food.
These two are the worst - and they always come together. 

Sneaky, sneaky...

Paul's new friend!

This past week, Paul and I also began working on refinishing some of our furniture. We have a matching bedroom set for our master bedroom, but not a matching set for any guest bedroom, and instead of buying a whole new set of furniture, I was able to convince Paul to try to refurbish what we did have. We started with one of the beds that we had, and really liked how it turned out. I wasn't able to get any pictures of it though, yet. The dresser, which Paul had found at an estate sale last summer before moving, was in good condition and wasn't too hard to refinish.
These are the drawers. They were sanded, primed, painted, and got new hardware. 

This is the dresser minus the drawers before we started. It was pretty, but I just wanted something different...for the new house...that we don't have yet...but will hopefully get soon...hopefully...

Sanded, primed, and painted. 

It isn't quite finished yet. We painted everything white and will finish it by putting a glaze on top. The glaze will have a hint of brown in it, which when rubbed slightly off, will settle into the nooks and crannies and will give the aged appearance. I'll take a picture of it when's it's all the way done. So far it looks good. The new hardware looks great, too!

It was a long, strenuous project, but I still enjoyed it. I think it would be fun to keep going to estate sales and yard sales and finding old treasures just waiting for a face lift. 

God Bless

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Grilled Pizza

Evidently, grilling pizza is the "new thing" in the culinary world, and household kitchens coming to a home near you.

Who knew?!

While in Charleston last week, my mom and her neighbor, who are both excellent cooks and real foodies, kept talking about grilling pizza and how good it was and how easy it was.

Well, I decided I wanted to cook dinner for "the house" and invited Anna and Kevin to come too, so I could try my hand at grilling pizza.

So here's how it went down:

1. I planned out the menu - two pizzas: one would be a caprese (tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil), and the other would be a grilled veggie with a pesto sauce (both of which I found on Pinterest)

2. Went shopping at Trader Joes - LOVE Joe! (Thanks Laurie!) and got all that I needed, including two bags of pre-made pizza dough.

3. Planned for dinner to be ready at 6:30, so I started prepping at 5:00. An hour and a half early is good for me, usually I'm a last minute chef, which doesn't usually turn out too good. I cut up the tomatoes and mozzarella for the caprese and set them aside.

4. Started by grilling peppers, zucchini, and summer squash on the grill - in the rain.

5. Made a homemade pesto with fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest, and EVOO

6. Rolled out the pizza dough in a little corn meal on the counter, and formed two nice...uh, shapes - not really circles, not really rectangles, not really anything. 

7. Grill the dough first, one side at a time. Well, in my lack of grill knowledge, I put one pizza on the bottom rack and one pizza on the top rack. The one on the bottom did great! The one of the top, not so much. Paul and his brother tried to save it for me, but it was just a mess. It wouldn't cook - obviously now I know that the top rack is used for warming, not actually grilling. They did the best they could, and about half of the dough survived. After grilling both sides, take it off and assemble with all the toppings. 
For the caprese - dough, mozzarella, tomato, basil. 
For the veggie - dough, pesto, mozzarella, grilled yellow and red pepper, grilled zucchini and summer squash, and sauteed mushrooms (in pan on stove in butter and Marsala cooking wine).

8. Due to grill issues, dinner was finally serve at 7:30. An hour late - so me.

9. Add some grilled pineapple and a salad for a well rounded plate.

Honestly, despite the setbacks and the time delays, the pizzas turned out good. I think the veggie-pesto one was amazing. Like always, this was a learning experience for me, and my family was so sweet to wait patiently and endure through with me. Now that I know what I'm doing, and could better plan and prepare, I think next time it would go much smoother. And, yes, there will be a next time!

Like me family says, "it's a Bob Ross kinda thing - you can add what you want" - so who knows what the next pizza will be!

God Bless

Saturday, July 7, 2012

visiting Charleston

After moving to Greenville, Paul and I decided we needed a vacation. So we drove to Charleston to spend a few days at the condo relaxing and a few days with my parents, and then my sister and Henry at their place.

It was wonderful. Utterly, wonderful.

Paul and I visited one of "our spots" - the Pitt Street Bridge where he proposed. We walked for a little while and then took out the camera and new tripod so we could experiment taking evening pictures.

Paul took this picture. He's getting good with the camera!

My parents bought a juicer! Probably one of the coolest gadgets out there! They make two juices for lunch every day now (I know... so healthy I LOVE it!). One is a green juice and one is a fruit juice.  Surprisingly filling and amazingly delicious!

Green - spinach, kale, carrots, pineapple, apple, and lemon zest
Fruit - peach, watermelon, raspberry, blueberry, pineapple, and lime zest

I made these very patriotic rice krispie sparklers - thank you Pinterest - to celebrate the 4th of July. We also had BBQ pork, quinoa salad, cole slaw, and an assortment of chips and fruit.

LOVED spending time with Henry. He ADORES his Papa. I love this picture. Henry, who is usually cruising anywhere and everywhere and getting into everything now that he can walk, is sitting criss-cross with his hands in his lap just staring up in amazement at my Dad. It's so cute!

14 months!! I think he looks just like Mera did when she was little.

My mom made some baked oatmeal breakfast muffins - SO good! Gotta get this recipe and post it. It was certainly a keeper. And when you put Greek yogurt and fresh berries on top - to die for!

We had a great week! Like always, it was too short though. Hopefully now that we are back in SC we can go visit more often. The drive is easy and it's well worth every minute.

God Bless