Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beer Can Chicken

No secret I absolutely positively hate to cook.  Love to entertain, hate to cook every night.  When we lived in Hoover, we were busy running from dance to softball to lacrosse (2 daughters and a hubby!), football games, basketball games, dance competitions, etc.  By the time I walked in the door from work, I had to turn around and either get someone to practice or pick them up from somewhere. 

Since we moved to MD, I have cooked almost every single night which is a rarity for me. I've done a little menu planning (nothing major, more like walking into the grocery store with a well thought out list in my hand).  Other than Uncle Julio's last week, we've gotten Chinese food one or two nights and a pizza once.  Not bad considering we probably ate out 3 or 4 nights a week when we lived in Alabama due to our busy schedules. 

Last week I made "Beer Can Chicken."  And Cosmo and KJ lost their minds.  It was super easy and positively delicious.  They are still talking about it and last night I overheard KJ telling T:  "OMG!  Mom made this stuff the other night.  It was called Beer Can Chicken...."  Too funny. 

Disclaimer:  My recipe did not call for an actual can of beer and looked nothing like this.  I just think this photo is hilarious!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Chunkin'

We had such a great weekend!  Very "autumnal."  The weather was amazing -- lots of bright sunshine, temps in the mid-60's and lots of blue skies.  Cosmo was on a roll and cooked almost the entire weekend.  Saturday morning he and KJ made biscuits for breakfast.  That afternoon they made homemade white pizza.  Sunday morning he made us French toast.  Love a man who cooks! 

Thursday I didn't feel like cooking so KJ and I planned to meet Cosmo at Uncle Julio's, a Mexican restaurant we like which is close to Cosmo's office.  I wasn't paying attention when I entered it in my GPS and it felt like we were driving forever.  I actually said to KJ, "hmmm....I didn't remember it being this far."  Double-checked my Garmin and realized I hit the address for the Uncle Julio's in Fairfax, VA.  Fortunately, I was able to get off at the closest exit, turn around and found my way to the right Uncle Julio's in time for a yummy swirly margarita!  My fave! 

Saturday we went to a local orchard to get our pumpkin on and couldn't have picked a better day.  The weather was perfect and we had so much fun.  http://www.butlersorchard.com/  Lots of stuff to do -- we went on a hay ride, found our pumpkin (35 lbs!), pet some animals, slide, walked through the corn maze, etc.  Every year we went to a farm in Clanton http://www.alabamagrandolepumpkinpatch.com/ and going to the pumpkin patch is one of our favorite family traditions.  KJ's obviously too big for pony rides and face painting but this year was fun because she did a little Pumpkin Chunkin'!  It was AWESOME and her pumpkins went flying!!  They must have gone at least 100 yards. 

Saturday night we watched a bunch of scary movies -- the remake of the Amityville Horror (w/ Ryan Reynolds) and the remake of The Omen (w/ Liev Schriber).  I'm not a horror movie fan and had never seen either of those movies (originals or remakes).  Cosmo was out like a light on the couch and KJ and I were up until almost 1 AM watching scary movies.  She slept with the light on that night. 

Sunday KJ had her final rec league volleyball game.  It was one of those "play until you lose" kind of things.  (Un)fortunately they lost in their first round so it ended up being an early afternoon for us.  Since the weather was so good we did our outside Halloween decorations. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Restaurant Impossible

While Cosmo was in his corporate apartment he got hooked on the Food Network.  He likes watching shows like Chopped, Guys Grocery Games, Restaurant Stakeout, and Restaurant Impossible.  And now he's got me hooked.

I really like Restaurant Impossible.  I love how they come in, update the décor of the restaurant, give it a fresh new look and fix the menu. Sometimes it's hard to watch.  The other night we watched an episode that took place in PA.  The guy had ZERO restaurant experience and was losing money left and right.  It was a very emotional episode and I felt terrible for him.  However, the other day we watched an episode that took place in TN and the owner was an arrogant ass and the place was filthy.  Absolutely disgusting and food was being stored incorrectly.  I've worked in two hotels and fortunately both chefs have been insane when it comes to the cleanliness of their kitchen.  The episode that took place in St. Louis was also sad.  They had some employees steal from them and their finances where a disaster.  Interestingly, the common denominator in all these episodes was lack of leadership from the owners. 

Whether it's a restaurant, a shop or some type of service, being a small business owner is hard and takes a lot of time and dedication.   Looking back, Cosmo and I always laugh at how clueless he was when he first opened up the lax store.  We had no idea about scheduling employees, keeping track of stock, etc.  But, we started small, made improvements and just celebrated the 6th anniversary of the store. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Day Is It?

Is today one of those days?  You know.  #throwbackthursday #tbt or #transformationtuesday???  I know it's not #wordlesswednesday or #mancandymonday. 

In any event, it definitely felt like one of those #oldschool days in my house.  KJ was home sick today and we watched The Little Mermaid together.  Reminded me of when she was little and didn't feel well and we'd snuggle on the couch all day in our jammies.  She swears she had never seen The Little Mermaid and asked for the new limited edition blueray for her birthday.  I, of course, sang along to every song which made the movie that much more enjoyable. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013


We watch the show "American Pickers" and really enjoy the way haggle and barter with the people they come in contact with while they're out pickin'.  They also seem very knowledge about a lot of subjects -- vintage toys, motorcycles, automobiles, history, etc. 

I've started watching a show called "Picker Sisters" the last couple of days and while the "American Pickers" pick for items they personally like and items they think their customers may like, the "Picker Sisters" are looking specifically for vintage, rusted junk to re-purpose for their furniture store in Los Angeles.  I don't think these two are actual sisters.  I think they are friends and partners in their store. 

I also like the HGTV show "Junk Gypsies" based out of Texas.  These two are actually sisters and their parents and other family members help out, too.  They also designed the reception for Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert and the theme was kind of redneck rock 'n roll.  http://junkgypsyblog.com/


Friday, October 18, 2013

Couldn't be Happier!

Got a surprise call from my aunt and uncle late last night.  They were in DC visiting my cousin Al and wanted to come over this morning for a visit.  They brought bagels and donuts and we had a nice visit!  I hadn't seen them since Christmas last year.  This is exactly the kind of stuff we moved home for!  Cosmo and KJ are heading to VT this weekend for Alumni Weekend and a lacrosse memorial game for one of Cosmo's teammates/friend who passed away way too early.  They spent last night at my mother-in-laws and this morning they had breakfast with Lynn, Lisa and the twins before everyone headed out for the day. 

Last weekend KJ and Cosmo made a quick trip to Bham to take care of a few things at the store and at the house.  KJ had a good time catching up with friends over the weekend.  Friday she spent the night with Mo and Saturday night she spent the night w/ the Twins.  A bunch of them went to Sloss Furnace Saturday night and had a frightfully good time.  They had such a good time, KJ actually lost one of her shoes because she was running for her life and had to go back thru the Zombies and find her shoe! 

We were so, so worried about moving/relocating during her 8th grade year but in retrospect we made the right decision.  Last night, out of the blue, KJ said she misses her friends from Hoover but she really likes Maryland.  She said she loves our house and she loves always having something exciting to do.  She luvs, luvs, luvs her school but the only thing she'd change if she could is the start time.  She'd prefer school to start around noon.  That's my girl!!! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Go Pack Go!

Attended our first football game of the season this weekend and I have to say Ravens fans are insane!  They were really, really, really into the game!  The tailgating was big and the fans were in crazy get-ups (everything purple and black -- boas, sunglasses, camo pants, Mardi Gras beads, jerseys, etc.).  The rain held off for the game but poured during our tailgating festivities.  Good thing we were parked under an overpass and were able to keep dry!  Very different from tailgating in the Grove or the Quad at Alabama but it was still fun.  Just a little more urban. 

Saturday, Cosmo's b-day, we met TT in Baltimore for dinner at Cheesecake Factory and had a really nice, relaxing dinner.  It was great to catch up w/ TT and hear about his job.  Can't believe he's been w/ the Packers 10 years already.  Before we met up w/ TT we walked around the Inner Harbor and watched a really good street performer.  It was a lovely afternoon and we had a great time people watching. 

Friday was our 21st wedding Anniversary and we had a low key night.  I made one of our favorite pasta dishes and we had chocolate fondue for dessert.  Cosmo sent me the most beautiful arrangement of roses and surprised me in the morning with a B&N gift card.  He has never, ever in 21 years of marriage forgotten to send me flowers on our anniversary.  Sometimes it's roses, sometimes it's a fall arrangement, sometimes it's cut flowers.  This year's arrangement is a beautiful mixture of red, yellow and coral colored roses in a pretty copper flower bucket. 

In other, super exciting news, T is coming "home" for Thanksgiving!  We originally thought she needed to be on her floor until late Sunday night and return by Friday afternoon but that's not the case!  So we got her on some great flights and can't wait to see her!  Whoop!  Whoop! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Coming Along Nicely

Finally feeling like we've settled in and finally got around to taking some photos of our bedroom and KJ's room.  Our room is gigantic, almost a little too big. 

Here's a photo of KJ's room.  A little smaller than her room in B'ham and she didn't want to loft her bed so the desk part is in one of the guest rooms.  She said she's been sleeping better than she ever has but I think a large part of that is because we're upstairs with her.  She positively hated being the only one upstairs in the old house.  If T was out of town or at a sleep-over, KJ refused to sleep upstairs alone and would spend most nights on the couch.  And it got worse when T went off to college.  Even at a young age, I'm talking 2 and 3 years old, we'd find her asleep everywhere but her own bed.  She'd get out of her toddler bed and try to get in bed with T, we'd find her on the floor in T's bedroom and then T got smart and started to shut her door at night.  We'd find KJ curled up like a ball right outside T's door.  It was so pathetic!  Then KJ realized she could come downstairs to the master bedroom and she'd try to get in bed with us or we'd find her on the floor in our room with her favorite blankie.  

Started some of my Fall and Halloween decorating but I've got more I want to do.  It's raided the last couple of days so I haven't done anything outside.  I did, however, manage to get my table started. 

The water goblets are a new addition this year.  My mom picked them up for me at a garage sale.  

The sparkly pumpkins are in the living room and I have a few other things to go with them.  A purple sparkly skull for one. 


Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's In the Bag

Our week-long Annual Cos Family Extravaganza has begun!  Tomorrow is our 21st wedding Anniversary and our niece Britt's b-day, Saturday is Cosmo's b-day, Sunday is KJ's b-day, Monday is my Aunt's b-day and Tuesday is my mom's b-day.  Whew!  Cards, presents and fun galore! 

Sunday we have tickets to the Ravens vs. Packers game compliments of our friend who is part of the Packers front office.  We actually met him when we lived in Cincinnati and he played for the Bengals.  He then went on to play for the Seahawks and has been a part of the Packers program for several years now. 

Unfortunately, Clay Matthews, T's favorite player, has a bum thumb and we won't get to see him in action on Sunday but please enjoy the following:  http://youtu.be/NHfRR5c1yNo or http://youtu.be/NHfRR5c1yNo and on Ellen:  http://youtu.be/J77exWQX6vg

It is my understanding that if I'm to bring a bag into the stadium, it's got to be a clear bag.  Seriously??  I don't know if this is a NFL-wide thing or if this policy is specific to M&T Bank stadium.  In any event.  I'm not happy.  #1 I'm not thrilled about everyone being able to see everything I own -- my wallet, my car keys, personal items, etc.  In all honesty, I never have much cash in my purse and my wallet is actually worth more than the cash inside.  #2 if I decide not to bring a see-through bag then I'm forced to leave my belongings in the car.  Um, no.  #3 I can bring in a gallon-size Ziploc baggie.  Wow.  That's super classy.  #4, I have an expensive camera and some great lenses.  I'm not going to carry it around in a Ziploc baggie.  #5, I don't know about you but I always get stuck carrying everyone else's stuff.  It's not all going to fit in a stupid baggie.  #6, Ziploc baggies don't have handles.  What am I supposed to do with this Ziploc bag during the game?  Put it on the ground under my seat?  Is it just me or does this come across as not very female fan friendly? 

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Quickie

Had a nice quick visit w/ my parents this weekend.  They got here around 7 PM Saturday after going to Mr. B's football game and lunch.  After church Sunday we originally set our sights on Annapolis but detoured and made a stop in DC. 
It was an absolutely gorgeous day, unseasonably warm.  For obvious reasons, DC was not crowded and we had no problem driving around or finding parking.  We went to the WWII Memorial and wish we could have spent more time.  It was kind of a weird situation...it was barricaded but yet the park rangers were not stopping anyone from crossing the barricade.  As a matter of fact, they offered to help me climb over the fence and opened the barricades to help many of the veterans.  

How about these photos, huh??  Dang!  My camera takes amazing pictures!  Looks like a bunch of postcards!  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Has Anyone Seen . . . ???

Yay!!  Today I unpacked the very last box in our master bedroom!  I have a ton of shoes, a ton of clothes and a ton of pocketbooks (accessories are my weakness!) and I wanted to put everything away "right" not just put away.   Those last couple of boxes killed me.  I am so totally and completely "over" unpacking. 

However, we still have a few boxes to go through and I've got a couple things on my "must find" list:  we can't find any of our extension cords and I found two lamp shades but only one lamp, and, unfortunately, it's not the lamp base that goes with either of the shades. 

Next up, T's bedroom! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just a Bill

Ed & Gins are coming for a quick visit this weekend.  The weather is supposed to be pretty good (unseasonable warm, in the high 80's) and I would have loved to go into DC but with the shut down and now with today's incident on Capital Hill (I always think of "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock every time someone says "Capital Hill), that's not going to happen.  Maybe we'll go into Baltimore or Annapolis (I haven't been back to Annapolis since we left the first time!). 

There is a local Octoberfest on Saturday so we might be able to hit that depending on what time they get here.  I haven't done any of my Fall / Halloween decorating yet so maybe my mom can help me with that.  There's also a nice orchard nearby that is supposed to have a great pumpkin festival (as opposed to a Great Pumpkin festival a la The Peanuts).   http://www.butlersorchard.com/

I've had a touch of insomnia the last couple of days and end up watching mindless garbage on TV.  If I read, I can read all night and that's worse.  Mindless TV makes me drowsy and I end up falling asleep on the couch.  The last couple of nights I've watched a show called Life Below Zero on the National Geographic channel.  http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/life-below-zero/  This show is CRAZY!  I totally get folks wanting to living off the grid, etc. but I'm not a big red meat eater and don't think that I could survive.  Instead of seal meat or bear meat, I'd be craving a salad. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Shut Down

I hate to get political on my blog but this whole government shutdown is disgusting, disappointing and embarrassing. 

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