Monday, December 31, 2012

2012; a Year in Review.

I'm enjoying some high-octane cough syrup and a Z-pack and thinking about the year behind us. I could drone on, I'm sure, but I'd like to list my top 12 2012 moments/events/things {a blurb for each month!}. 

I've also been thinking ahead. My poor 101 in 1'001 has been languishing since, oh, June {?}, I believe. In hindsight, maybe I should have thought a bit more before compiling that list. When I wrote it last December I full well knew that we were on the verge of some pretty hefty life changes {job quitting, moving across the country, living in a new city...} but I took none of that into consideration and came up with my 101 as if we were going to continue living and working in San Jose, CA.

With that being said, I'm giving myself a pass. This pass is a chance to re-write my list and start over with the caveat that I realistically consider what our life looks like now and will look like in the next 1,001 days {September 28, 2015 FYI}.

For today, and to spare you from volumes of blog-post reading, I'll stick with my 2012 Top 12.

In calendar order.


After driving home from an Arizona Christmas and New Years we spent our first month in our new apartment as husband and wife.
I celebrated a birthday. I started making wreaths. We cooked {tortilla soup!} and ate out and just enjoyed being together.


Our first Valentine's Day as a married couple saw us to the beach for a winter's day visit. I made heart decorations for our apartment using my mother-in-law's old sewing machine
We also ate crab, polenta, and celebrated Mardis Gras.


I enjoyed my last Spirit Week {check it out each day} at school, dressed to the nines to coordinate with the five themes, and it all culminated with making my first diaper cake for a coworker's baby shower {it was non-edible}. We celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a meaty and salty feast, went to Arizona to learn about hummingbirds and Spring Training, and then returned to California to get ready for Easter
Michael enjoyed a birthday.


I graded a lot, we celebrated several birthdays, enjoyed Easter egg coloring, visited the east coast {!}, and cooked a lot. 
We started enjoying some farmer's market finds and began to think about a cross-country move.


Michael decided where he'd like to go to school {and where we'd be living for the next two years!!!}: Washington, DC! 
I wrapped up my last school year, we celebrated several graduations, I made another diaper cake {still inedible!}, and we continued prepping for a Big Move.


We made the final preparations to move out of our apartment which included selling off all that we could and shipping the rest to DC. 
I began my last teaching stint with a summer school class, we CLEANED with the kind help of my mother, and got ready to say our goodbyes.


We celebrated my cousin John's graduation with a fun trip to San Diego before coming back to the Bay Area and officially setting sail. 
We camped for two nights, spent a night in Portland, Oregon, enjoyed a wonderful week in Home, Washington, and then trekked our way across the northern swath of our country to arrive at our new home in Washington, DC. The best part of our journey was being able to visit with dear friends along the way {St. Paul, Chicago, and Hershey : we ♥ you!}.


We got settled in DC. Mike began his career as a graduate student and I tried to get us moved into the amazing apartment that we now call home. 
I confirmed a job that would start in September.


We celebrated our first anniversary! Mike and I continued to get settled into our new city and got to know our neighborhood and new friends.
My mom visited us for two weeks in which she helped us SO much by cleaning and cooking for her two busy hosts. The Franciscan Monks blessed Guinness in honor of St. Francis and his feast day.


We drove up to New York to visit my cousin John at Elmira College; the leaves were beautiful the further north we got! The days got shorter and Hurricane Sandy brought several days of strong wind and rain to DC, though nothing like what New York and New Jersey saw. I signed us up for a CSA.
The Giants won the World Series!!!! And we hosted a fun pumpkin carving party that even included prizes. 


For such a short month we did quite a lot! We visited with friends, cooked a great deal of root vegetables {thanks CSA!} and enjoyed time at home. Family came into town for the week of Thanksgiving and we cooked {most of the meal} and hosted our first Thanksgiving!!! We all rolled ourselves to bed that night feeling very content and grateful for good food and even better family and friends.
I wrapped up my job and began to look ahead to teaching again; even though I thoroughly enjoyed my first few weeks without grading, in late September I started to think about how much I miss the daily engagement and interaction of being a teacher and that getting back into that classroom is where I'm drawn to.


I continued running and cooking in DC. I also continued looking for teaching opportunities that might crop up in the latter half of the 2012-2013 school year {few and far in between}. We went out with friends and enjoyed being in the city leading up to Christmas. The tragedy at Sandy Hook happened and I, as well as many others I imagine, am still working through it. I think with the holidays happening directly after the shootings, my mind was occupied and that the next few post-Christmas/New Years weeks and days will bring me some time to think this over.
We arranged for Guinness to have a helpful friend/guardian/apartment-sitter for our time away; the dog was unimpressed. I got to San Jose before Michael joined me and then we trekked to Gilbert, Arizona, to enjoy the rest of the holidays with family.

Dear 2013 : I am ready and excited for you and what you have to bring, both the good and bad since without darkness there cannot be light {but I'm mostly looking forward to the GOOD!}.

May you all out there know that I am sincerely thankful that you are in my life {even if you're an internet lurker and I don't know you [Hi!]} and I THANK you for being a part of my journey. A Happy and Healthy 2013 to each and every one of you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Things to do when ill.

I'm pretty lucky {in many ways!} and I don't get so sick very often. It's usually just a little sinus situation or maybe a small cold but it had been quite a while since I've been decommissioned like this.
It's a good thing, then, that I'm very fortunate enough to be visiting my lovely in-laws in Arizona and to have them taking care of me.
My mother-in-law was generous enough to take me to Wal-Mart to pick up a prescription. While we were there I saw a man wearing a bathrobe over his clothes and he was not being facetious.
I've been enjoying A LOT of couch time, tea, and broth. There's also some football and card gaming involved.
I think my favorite thing to do when sick is to nurse a mocktail of gatorade and sparkling water with an Oriental flavor ramen on the side but for some reason I've recently switched over to cold apple juice and we made a happy stop at Trader Joe's after our Wal-Mart experience to get me some of this magic juice. I also picked up some less-sodium-rich Annie Chuns noodle bowls to replace the Top Ramen.
What's your favorite feel-better technique? Have you been experiencing some winter woes yourself? If so, feel better {that's YOU Becs!}!!!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Still coughing and aching over here.
Let's rally for New Year's, ok?
And let's look at something pleasant to make us feel better.
Just look at that precious creature!!! He's being well taken care of by friends in DC and I miss him something FIERCE.
That's better.
Good weekend to you!

xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, December 28, 2012

Oh what a relief it is?

I am SO ready for this little coughing adventure to be over with.
Until tomorrow, over and out.
xoxo, natty ♥ 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New kicks.

Santa brought me something that I really needed!!!

Now if I can throw this horrible hacking cough that developed over La Navidad and I'll be getting back on the saddle!
Did anything nice come your way these past few days? Did you bestow lovely gifts upon your loved ones?
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Busy days.

It's been a few full days for us and I haven't posted much but that's the sign of a good time :) I'll be back in the saddle soon I'm sure but for now were gladly ensconced in Arizona after a wonderful time with my family in California. We miss them already and are looking ahead to our next visit.
Michael's family is also spoiling us and its going to be a wonderful time here.
Happy Boxing Day to you and let us enjoy these next few indulgent days before January brings some healthier dietary habits.
xoxo, natty ♥ 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, December 24, 2012

The other best day of the week.

If you know me then you know that I love the crossword and the Jumble puzzles.
I especially love Mondays because the latter is easy-peasy!

What's good about today for you? Are you getting ready for tonight or tomorrow? Or are you all set and just waiting for things to start? Perhaps you don't observe this holiday and are just enjoying some clear roads?
xoxo, natty ♥


A great Sunday night.
We celebrated Christmas early with some family here since we're heading down to Phoenix on DX-Day.
Then Michael got tired.
It was a fun night and we love our family so very much!
xoxo, natty ♥ 

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Today we drove my grandmother and some of her friends the 45-or-so-minutes to Carmel for a funeral.
It POURED rain on the ride over and I am forever grateful to my husband for braving the roads. When we pulled into the parking lot of the mission the skies miraculously cleared up and we were greeted with what you see above. 
Carmel is a beautiful place and the mix of eucalyptus, ocean, and just-rained was an intoxicating scent. I'm glad we got a chance to get in this little drive, even if it was harrowing and for a sad purpose.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good solstice to you!

The shortest day of the year brought us very brooding skies; what has it done for you?
It also brought some shopping and eating; what else is there to do this time of year?
xoxo, natty ♥ 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Running out of room everywhere!

I had lunch with friends today!
Mike got home today!
We had Indian food at our place for the first time since July tonight!
I guess I'm pretty easy to please. I'm also running out of storage on my phone? Oh well!!
xoxo, natty ♥ 

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market.

xoxo, natty ♥ 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Now that's what I call a vacation.

I've been home several days and I'm thoroughly enjoying some glorious downtime that has included both Monday AND Tuesday crossword puzzles as well as the Jumbles.
What do you do to enjoy some easy time off? Does it also involve newspaper puzzles or are you a bit more virtuous and do you get out and about?
xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sneaky sneaky.

I still haven't upped my Google/Blogger storage capacity but I HAVE figured out that I can post pictures straight from my phone to a blog post without being denied.

Score one for me.

Me & Bo.
In other news...

1} I'm safely ensconced in the Bay Area. On Saturday I flew Virgin America for the first time and it was a lovely flying experience. Granted, it wasn't a full flight so there was an empty seat next to me and I had an aisle seat {thanks sweetie!} but I legitimately loathe air travel and the extra space {non-airline-related} paired with my own personal TV that had lots of free things {Portlandia!} to watch {very-airline-related} made for a Happy Me.

2} I got to see some former coworkers today.

3} I got in a good five mile run today after a few days off for travel and overeating. I'll need to keep this up considering that the heavy holiday gastronomic indulgences haven't even really begun.

4} I'm home so there's a real live Christmas tree in the house! The smell is intoxicating! We ended up fir-less in DC and this tree has made my days since being home.


What's going on about town for you? Did you recently wrap up some Hanukkah? Perhaps you are paying homage to a Festivus pole? Whatever it may be, I wish you joy and peace in it all!

xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, December 17, 2012


Though I'm home in California and enjoying {very much} my time here, I'm still processing Friday's events.
I think that my friend Becs summed it up very well and I agree that quiet time and talking it through is valuable for everyone when it comes to trying to understand and come to terms with the violence we've been witness to since Friday.
I know that I value my loved ones and I'm grateful for their presences and our relationships and memories.
I also know that concrete answers don't come easily outside the realm of, say, a math or chemistry class, and I think that putting one's faith in the power{s} that be is the best that can be done.
And so we attempt to move on.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Back to California.

I'm here! It's great to be home ;) and I'll have more to report soon I'm sure.
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Couch time.

xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Storage upgrade?

Still no pictures!
But we're still baking around here and enjoying it a bit too much!
xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Indiscriminate # of days of cookies.

Since I'm going home to California this Saturday and I can't take my kitchen on the plane with me, I'm choosing to do all of my baking here.
  • I kicked it all off last weekend with Seasoned Oyster Crackers; not exactly a sweet treat but they count as a holiday thing.
  1. Ingredients: one bag of oyster crackers {12 oz} , one pack of powdered ranch dressing mix {1 oz}, 1/2 tsp dried dill weed, 1/4 tsp lemon pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 3.4 cup vegetable {or anything mild} oil.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 F.
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients except the crackers together and then fold in the oyster crackers until everything is well coated. I used whisk to do this.
  4. Spread crackers on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. I prefer the 20-minute option because the crackers get a bit crunchier.
Have you kicked off baking yet this season Reader? What are your favorite holiday treats? Any holiday traditions out there?
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, December 10, 2012

Storage Space.

I'm still without more storage for pictures for this old blog, but I'll hopefully get on that in the next few days...until then, some niceties?

1} Though still drizzly outside {see YESTERDAY}, it's up in the 60s today.
2} I've been trying to cook my way through our perishable pantry since...
3} we're going to be heading out West for quite a while very soon!!!
4} Back to #2; we've had SO much soup {several butternut squashes, watercress/pea soup, sunchoke soup} but I've also been stockpiling almost half of it in the freezer so that there can be some easy dinners in the future. The best thing about the squash soup, in my opinion, has been that I don't even have to follow a recipe, I just crockpot chopped up squash {& usually an onion or two} along with spices {salt, pepper, nutmeg, & minced garlic} and four to six cups of water, leave it on low all day, and then blend it using our immersion blender {wonderful wedding gift!}.
5} Did I mention that California and Arizona are in our very near future??!!! 

What's lovely in your neck of the woods today Reader? Any SNOW?!?!?!

xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, December 9, 2012


It is a drizzly and grey day in the District today, though not very cold, which is nice.
We're laying low and enjoying some down time and I hope that you are too!!!

xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas on Pennsylvania Avenue.

My brother-in-law oh-so-kindly wrangled some tickets for us to go to the Holiday Open House at The White House; thank you Brother0In-Law!!!
I'm a sucker for this kind of thing so I was pleased as punch to meander around and check out the holiday decor. The best part is that since it wasn't a normal White House Tour, pictures were allowed; yippee skippee!!
This is going to be a big photo dump since we're going out later tonight and whatnot but I will do a quick recap:
  • Each main room had a theme.
  • The overall theme this year is Joy To All.
  • Bo Obama hid an ornament in each main room and there is an accompanying checklist bookmark that comes with the program and according to the list, I only found 2/3 of the Bo ornaments {they're actually BoFlakes because each one was snowflake-themed}.
    We had a wonderful time and I'm so grateful for these boys willing to take me to enjoy the sights!
Let the pictures commence!
And you MUST be kidding me. I'm out of space AGAIN; thanks a lot Google.
You'll have to wait {with bated breath, I know}.
Until then, Happy Saturday!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, December 7, 2012


xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, December 6, 2012


If you're reading this I don't think you can tell but this blog is now private. Someone {Anonymous} seemed pretty angry at what I write about and I don't feel like dealing with THAT so I'm closing it down for a bit.
But oh well, it is the Internet, after all.
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Exactly what I was hoping would happen.

Our neighborhood is full of beautiful Victorian-era row houses. I really enjoy this architecture and am tickled pink that we actually live here {we also have victorian brick sidewalks on some blocks; so cool but easy to trip on...}.

There is one row house that's literally on the circle that we live near {DC has many large traffic circles [also known as roundabouts in some places] but not many are residential like ours is..we live a block off of the circle} that has three picture windows that face the traffic. 

When we arrived here in late July there was one item in each window; each pane had, from the inside of the residence, a fabric ice cream cone. Each was the same as the next and they were each about the size of a basketball. Think about those 1980s children's room-wall decorations, that's what these puffy fabric wall decorations look like. 

And I love it. I love it. This is kind of a painfully trendy and hip neighborhood {except for our building, or at least unit #202} and it makes me SO happy each time I walk past these window decorations because they are so earnest and they do not fit in with the yuppies every where around them.

Then August came and I'm pretty sure those ice cream cones turned into suns.

Then September began and the suns were replaced with...

Can you guess?

Apples, of course! Because it's Back-to-School-Time!

I realized that I should be chronicling these changes some time after the start of September but I felt to shy to whip out my phone and take a picture.

October brought about Jack-O-Lanterns, not to my surprise, but I still couldn't muster up the gumption to snap a shot.

Finally, I got my act together in November.
The Jack-O-Lanterns had turned back into pumpkins for Harvest Season!

I was worried that my neighbor would fall for the whole Black Friday = Christmas but she {I'm convinced it's a she} dutifully waited until December 1st to break out the holiday decor.
Not the best picture; they're wreathes with red bows.
Oh how I wish to one day meet this individual or at least see her {or him} leave the building so that I can have a face to match-up with what I'm imagining because I'm enamored of the idea of an older DC woman who maybe used to be a teacher and enjoys decorating for each season and gets dressed up each time she goes out.

I'm also really looking forward to six more months of varying window themes. I'll be sure to continue with my courage and take pictures each time.

Are there any interesting or quaint members of your local community? Is it appropriate to leave a plate of holiday cookies and a note of admiration on their porch this Christmas?
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, December 3, 2012


Today brought some freakishly warm temperatures of which I am most certainly NOT complaining.
I got this online, for free, legitimately, I swear. This is also really kind of cheesy but maybe I would love to do all fo these things and check them off the list???
Let's think about some other niceties.
1} There's a wedding coming up! Becs! & Josh! I can't come up with words to do this justice but suffice it to say, it's an overload of emotion for me as a happy friend.

2} Not to mention...Ellie! & Andrew! are celebrating their special union next year too and, again, I'm feeling SUCH love and happiness for these four wonderful individuals, I don't want to try and describe it because it would be inadequate.
But I'm full of love and I know they are too.
3} There are some poinsettia and a winter wreath outside of someone's {ours} front {& only} door!!!!

We don't have any natural lighting in the hall which is why these pictures never look that great but I must chronicle for myself here.

4} We received sunchokes in our CSA last week.
They look like scary pieces of ginger.

But when made into a creamy leek-sunchoke soup that is blended together, they taste like a more savory yet less-rich artichoke and it is a divine and decadent dish.
YUM and Woo Hoo to trying new things.

5} Did I mention how happy I am for the friends listed in #1 and #2 above? I really am.

What was your first weekend of Advent like? Are you planning any yule-time activities? I think we may forgo the tree since we're gone most of the month anyway, but I'm rooting for at least something small and piney. Wholefoods is selling ridiculously overpriced table-top live trees that might just be the ticket.
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A month in pictures; November 2012.

***Update: I don't think that this post was all-the-way finished when I hit "Publish" last night! Oops! Now it's ready! ***
Uh-Oh; the blog is STILL un-updated for fall-soon-to-be-winter 2012.
Oh well, I'm still writing.

Let's look at November, shall we?
1. All Saints. 2. Vote; By Mail! 3. Hugs. 4. Dinner ready to be baked. 5. Falling mercury. 6. Dinner after being baked. 7. Cheese crisper! 8. Library acquisition. 9. I wan't better kibble. 10. International eating. 11. Dog on lap. 12. Memorial. 13. Garland! 14. Fast for me. 15. Glandular. 16. Here we go to Baltimore!!! 17. Falls. 18. I got over 100! 19. I'm all cut up. 20. West Wing. 21. Oysters. 22. Trotters. 23. Bedside. 24. Sopa. 25. Skies. 26. More dinner ready to be crock-potted. 27. Salsita. 28. The Unbeatable Snake. 29. The Beets. 30. Snackers.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Because I know I'll forget if I don't write it down.

Last week Mike and I hosted our first Thanksgiving. I wrote about it HERE but I didn't talk too much about the menu because I'm not an expert home chef/photographer and there are restaurants and authentic food blogs for that kind of thing.
I can be sappy and I'd like to chronicle what we had that night. It was a special evening with special people. The food was not burned and no one {that we know of} got sick so let's remember the menu.


  • We went classy: softened cream cheese covered in red pepper jelly with Ritz {Trader Joe's brand, actually} crackers to eat it with. SO good.
  • There was also some swiss/gouda/white cheddar mix from our CSA that was eaten mid-day whilst we were cooking and watching football.
  • A friend brought over home-made eggrolls that so did not survive even ten minutes on our coffee table.

Side note: Mike's family eats Thanksgiving dinner earlier in the day. My family always makes it more of a European dinner sometimes daring to dip down into 8 PM eating times. We compromised {kind of out of necessity because running a turkey trot and then setting in for some cooking does not make for an early meal time} which was great because I DO NOT appreciate an overly indulgent meal right before bed time {for many reasons} and we ended up sitting down at around 7; enough time for seconds of dessert right before bed {despite what I said above about not enjoying late meals...}.

Our CSA had access to turkeys so we got one from there. It came from Joel Salatin's farm, if you know who he is. If not, don't worry about it. Just know that it was good. I brined it overnight and then loosely followed a Martha Stewart roasting recipe, though I did not stuff the bird or make her gravy.

I will say that though the brining was challenging because we don't own any large buckets {I placed the bird and its brine double-bagging-style into two oven baking bags [available in the aluminum foil area of the grocery store], tied it up, and placed the package in a large roasting pan in the refrigerator [to catch any leaks]} but it wasn't that much of a pain and I appreciate the results {fairly juicy and flavorful turkey}.

The roasting recipe includes soaking several pieces of cheesecloth in white wine and melted butter which was decadent but a} it helped keep the top of the bird moist {you drape it over Mr. Turkey for the first part of roasting} and b} you're supposed to go over-the-top on holidays, no?
I ripped off a piece of skin to taste-test it.
One other caveat; our bird was heirloomy in its turkiness {I actually just looked it up now...} and I think that paired with the brine, they may take a bit longer to cook than conventional fowl AND the extra salt almost cures the meat a bit so it takes on a pinkish hue which can be Very Alarming and Frustrating after four to five hours of cooking but do not make it cook for longer, it's just fine.

Brining recipe HERE.
Roasting suggestions HERE.
My Mother-in-law made her delicious gravy but I don't have the recipe right now...though I know where she lives.

The Main Courses
1. Turkey; see above.
2. Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin, though I used kale in place of Swiss chard. SO GOOD. Anything with this much Gruyére and Bechamel sauce can't be bad.
3. Turnip Gratin. SO GOOD. Again, anything with this much Gruyére and butter, even if it involves turnips, can't be bad.
4. My Mother-in-Law's Amish stuffing. SO GOOD. No recipe available though, like the gravy, I know where she lives. It involved bacon and sausage, another infallible combination.
5. Mashed taters. Yum!
6.  My Mother-in-Law's Mother's cranberry relish. SO GOOD.
7. My family's Ambrosia.
Not pictured: MIL's gravy {delish!} and Brother-in-Law's rolls {flaky and buttery!}.

To Imbibe
My in-laws spent several weeks in Italy in September, some of that time being in a villa that has its own wine cellar {poor things, they hated every minute of it} so they kindly sent ahead several bottles of red and white wine to us here in DC to save and enjoy together on Thanksgiving.

There aren't any pictures but here's what we had:

  • Mother-in-Law made two pecan pies to appease the troops; it's a favorite in these parts.
  • I made pumpkin cheesecake.
  • A friend brought over pumpkin bread.
  • Homemade whipped cream with a splash of vanilla.

The Depression Era Granny in me sometimes beats out the millennial-me-me-me Me and I ended up with two delicious dishes, though there were plenty of cold-salted turkey sandwiches and pie and cheesecake for breakfast.

1. Amish turkey noodle soup, thanks, again, to my multi-talented MIL. Yum. We ate it the night I made it and then I froze the left-overs in two batches so that's three whole dinners for you there {not counting the original turkey itself}.
2. Turkey and sweet potato Biryani. This was also quite tasty but not quite as plentiful as the soup and it gave us dinner, lunch, and a small dinner side the next night.

Also, we used our colorful wedding Fiesta Ware.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who showered us with love and bright eating pottery back when we were getting hitched.
I LOVE having generic yet incredibly aesthetically pleasing {to me, at least} plates that I can use for every ocasion. Again, Depression Era Granny in my {here-to-forth known as DEG} tells me that buying holiday-specific-things-that-are-supposed-to-be-useful {plates, for example} is a waste {she obviously hasn't been to Target recently}...was I REALLY born in the 1908s?

Woah. It was a glorious day and I'm so happy we hosted. I'm also so excited for future holidays together!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, November 30, 2012

Gross words.

I run through the Georgetown neighborhood every other day or so; it's one of my little routes.
On my way I love to look at the pretty houses, interesting people, and, for now, the gorgeous leaves.
There's something that catches my eye every time I see it and I smirk and laugh inwardly.
I understand that this establishment is making use of their neighborhood and their proximity and trying to make a connection to the renowned Georgetown University and neighborhood.

But, G-Land spells out "gland", does it not?

And that's not a word that any business, even a thyroid clinic, should think appropriate to place {in neon, no less} in their front window.
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have many vices, fairly innocuous ones {I must have a mid-morning snack and something warm to eat for dinner} but vices nonetheless.
Something I truly enjoy is an easy but engaging crossword puzzle. Something that is not quite back of People Magazine level but still challenges me- the solution? New York Times, edited by Will Shortz, Monday crossword puzzles! Entire books of them, actually. The puzzles increase in difficulty throughout the week starting with Monday and culminating with Sunday's behemoth and I can handily speed through a Monday or Tuesday but beyond there I can't move so quickly.
I got this anthology in April I believe and I'm still not quite half-way through it. Part of what makes my habit so indulgent is that since there are so many puzzles in any given book, I can skip ones I don't like! It's such a cheat but I love it because even though Mr. Shortz edits the puzzles, they're all by different people and some folks think way weird compared to me. It is kind of neat in a geeked-out sorta way to begin to notice different but subtle motifs between puzzles; some authors use really round-about {and annoying!} clues and others seem to be right on cue with how I think about things.
Do you have anything weird you kind of secretly enjoy to do??
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Me and my snake.

xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dinner; tomorrow!

Yippee skipee; I have things ready to go in the crock pot for tomorrow morning {take a guess as to what it might [hopefully] turn into}; gourmand I am NOT but when I get home from work tomorrow hungry and happy I WILL be!
How's your Tuesday Reader?
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, November 26, 2012


Here I am on the other side of Big Holiday #1 {unless you count Halloween, in which case I would now be on the back side of Big Holiday #2} and I'm trying to remember what I was doing a week ago because the past ten-or-so days have gonebysuperdeeduperfast.
Brought to you by the annals of holiday card rejects.
But let's take a few minutes to be thankful.

1} Our Phoenix parents and my San Jose cousin-who-lives-in-rural-New-York and my brother in law {and a friend or two} came to us for Thanksgiving. It was glorious to have a week with family to do fun DC things. Everyone but my cousin has spent a lot of time in the DIstrict {or lives here} so it was neat to not feel rushed to pack in a bunch of sites in a few days but also cool to see old things through the eyes of a new visitor. THANK YOU family for a fabulous week.

2} I {& Mike!} hosted our first Thanksgiving. I made/roasted my first Turkey. We used the plates and serving ware and glasses we got for our wedding. We gathered with people in our home. It felt So Good to do this, I cannot even begin to describe how warm it makes me feel, even several days out. We are extremely thankful for the grace of our families and friends and what we've been given in life. 

3} Said bird came out quite nicely if I may say so myself! And I DO say so! I brined the thing overnight which resulted in some nasty spilled turkey-salt-water in and around our fridge but turned out for the best after a lot of soaking-up and sanitizing. I coated our wannabe-national-bird with butter and white wine which is a practically fail-safe procedure when it comes to anything edible {or non}. I am grateful it came out as well as it did and especially grateful to my mother-in-law {& everyone else!} for the support in the whole roast-a-thon-2012.

4} It's cold here but I still don't feel like I'm freezing my buns off; this is A Good Thing considering we have an entire Winter ahead of us. I wonder if a bit of the old Minnesota hardiness rooted itself inside of me?

5} I worked some culinary magic {to me and my tastebuds, at least} tonight and turned left-over turkey and a surplus of sweet potatoes {un-cooked; due to random circumstances we started out with ALOT} and a delectable combination of spices and coconut cream into some turkey and sweet potato biryani. 
Yum...saffron and turmeric - oh my!
One can find the recipe HERE though I made a few tweaks here and there and could say a thing or two about what I would do differently about this recipe. I will say here, though, that biryani is usually waaaaay too spicy for this girl when it's in a restaurant and that making it at home and thus controlling the crushed red pepper was a delight.
Delicious dish.
All-in-all it was a Winner {winner-chicken-turkey-dinner!} in my book and I will keep this in mind for the next time we decide to have excess turkey languishing in our fridge {over-under for the FIFTH [for reals, yo, Turkey Day is late next year] [and why they gotta go and actually PUT black Friday on the calendar YO? Really.] Friday of November 2013?}.

On similar note, I also made slightly-Amish turkey noodle soup {many thanks again to my dear mother-in-law♥!} with the majority of the left-overs this past weekend. Read about it HERE.

6) My sweet husband. I won't get sappy and I'll leave it at that; he's my Thanksgiving turkey and my Christmas tree and my Chanukah menorah. And then some. I love you so so very much sweetie.

Next up on my sneaky little agenda; getting Mike to agree to an all-out Christmas-Winter decorating spree which would include a real tree; I know I'll have great success.

Did you re-purpose any of your left-overs from last week? Do you strategically not bring any home so as to avoid the dilemma of trying to use them up before they've turned?

And, I hope that you spent a relaxing and full weekend wherever you where and with whomever you shared it; I certainly did.
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It may not be Halloween anymore...

but someone was cold!

xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Let us make soup.

On Thanksgiving night, after the full-on eating died down a bit {but not completely}, I realized that something needed to be done with what was left of the poor bird.
My mother-in-law to the rescue! I asked her what to do and then sheepishly asked her to help me out do it for me.
She chopped up several onions and celery {& some carrots?}. Then she put everything {including the turkey remains} into a big pot, covered it with water, and let it simmer for the rest of the evening which turned out to be between two and four hours for us.
Then I refrigerated it and ignored it until today. Then:

  • I took out the, ahem, carcass, from the soup and removed all the extra shreds of turkey meat and got rid of the bones. I put the meat back into the soup.
  • I drained and added in a can of corn.
  • I cooked a pound of noodles {egg noodles would be best but I had some fusilli and penne laying around so in they went!} and added them in as well.
  • For good measure and because it seemed like the right thing to do, I squeezed in the juice of one lemon and some chopped-up parsley too.
  • I let the whole thing heat-up to a boil and then enjoyed THREE bowls. As if I hadn't had a chorizo-fried egg-avocado burger with fries at brunch this morning. As if.

Thank you SO much dear Mother-in-Law for this delightful up-cycling of Thursday's dinner left-overs!

Ugh...I'm out of data with my Google account? So I can't upload pictures. Hmpfh. I'll Deal with this somehow...but no pictures for now! ---> UPDATE: I figured it out; has anyone else out there with a blog had this issue? I really don't like how they store all the pictures I post in my Picasa account even though I have them all on my computer. Hmmm.

What are YOU doing with your left-overs? Do you do a traditional turkey dinner or go hog wild with a ham? Perhaps you break habit and go for Thanksgiving tacos?
xoxo, natty ♥