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 ♥


After yesterday's eating extravaganza we enjoyed a relaxing day that included a glorious run through quite temperate weather and an exhibition of Zoolights at the National Zoo.
Happy Black Friday to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Father and son.

We are so grateful, for everything.
We miss and love our family in California and Arizona; Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Another long day has caught me ready for bed without having posted anything.

That's just kind of how this week has been what with regular life, days leading up to a holiday, and our visitors being here; it's kind of like a reverse vacation in that when I haven't been at work we've all been hanging out together and doing things {like going to Great Falls & the White House & eating out & etc.} which has been SO much fun but I've also not had time to do much else which is actually a pretty good thing.

And on that note, it's almost Wednesday?
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, November 19, 2012

So much to be thankful for!

The day got away from me! So let's expound on our specific thankful thoughts tomorrow.
Good Monday evening!
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Lots and lots of love, all around.
Good week to you all!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, November 17, 2012


We went to Great Falls in Virginia today. My lovely in-laws and my cousin John who rolled into the district via MegaBus at 4 AM today are with us and my brother-in-law joined us. It was a beautiful and sunny, though slightly cool, day and there were tons of families there who were obviously taking their holiday-greeting-card pictures.

Then I came home and slept for five hours. I was tired. Lets hope I can even fall asleep now that it's actually bed time!

Maybe tomorrow or the next day I'll pull up our pictures from when Mike and I went to Great Falls in September {or was it August?!} so that we can see how the leaves and trees have changed.
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, November 16, 2012

To the airport!

We're on our way to pick up a set of parents at the airport!
Let the holiday festivities begin!
And may the odds be evah in your favor!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Longish day; a poorly written haiku.

It is November.
This was a long but great day!
A pizza dinner?!

xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holy CSA bounty!!

xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A garland.

I crafted with some friends tonight; what a wonderful way to spend a Tuesday night! It also made me miss my San Jose friends; we'll have to make a crafting date this December when I'm in town?!
This garland is about half of what I'd like it to be in length but you can get the idea of it here; yea for fall!
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, November 12, 2012

We all say "Monday"!

For the first time in a long time I had today off in celebration of Veteran's Day. I actually spend some time doing work today but it was still lovely to be able to go to bed last night and not worry about waking up and getting lunch ready, etc. In other news...
I ran to the World War II Memorial today...many wreaths were out in honor of Veteran's Day.
1} We had spaghetti squash tonight!
I took the lazy way out and micro-zapped the thing. It's super easy; stab the gourd several times all around, about an inch deep. Six to seven minutes on high, flip it over, and five more minutes on high. When you're done, carefully {so much steam comes barreling out} cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and, using a fork, scrape out the flesh; it comes out in strings that resemble spaghetti {hence their name}. 
I used THIS recipe to doctor it all up and tossed in a can of drained garbanzo beans to add some protein.

2} I finally got the poor dog over to the dog park today. Every day we walk around our little block he makes a mad dash at the corner where we would cross to get to the park and I feel pangs of guilt each and every time.
Today was your day Guinness, today was your day.

3} I'm making some fall decorations tomorrow night, if all goes as planned..."yea!" for crafting!

4} It was a beautiful and almost balmy day here today. It's supposed to cool down drastically tomorrow but I thoroughly enjoyed what we had going on here.

5} I am going to go into the Holiday season with a positive outlook. It can be a hard time of year for me, especially as a teacher, because things get SO hectic and crazy. My professional life has slowed down a bit now and there aren't too many holiday obligations or deadlines I've got going on...I won;der what it'll be like?

What has your day brought for you? Did you have a day off? 
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Feels like a Saturday.

Technically I have tomorrow off of work though I have some stuff to work on from home.
Either way, I'm having a hard time shaking the feeling that it's still Saturday; it's not, right?
Either way, again, I'm really excited that the weather is so nice for the next day! It was quite lovely today too!
Good Saturday/Sunday to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Today the weather warmed up at bit, back to normal supposedly, and we enjoyed some underwhelming Saturday activities.
Mike had a soccer game; Guinness watched intently.
Mike's school had an international evening; the various cultural clubs had a cook-off and it was DELICIOUS. I was and remain quite full but very happy.
Good weekend to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, November 9, 2012

It's the best day of the week!

Whoever invented Fridays is a genius!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What's a cheese crisp?

The easiest and yummiest snack.
Mike introduced these to me and I'm pretty sure they're a Phoenix/Arizona/southwest United States thing.
I'll maybe update this with pictures later but for right now...

Preheat oven to 400.
Sprinkle shredded cheese on a tortilla that's on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle some garlic powder onto the cheesy tortilla.
Bake until golden, super bubbly, and crispy {hence the "cheese CRISP"}; 10 minutes, more-or-less.
Spread salsa over the finished product.

I use the Pioneer Woman's salsa recipe which is kinda my own now because I have it memorized and I make a few of my own tweaks; recipe at a later date.

Two to three cheese crisps with a side salad is one of my All Time Favorite dinners and I am very grateful to my husband for bringing them {and him} into my life.
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

With bated breath...

Our country awaits some Big News.
I'm not well-equipped to handle this anxiety so...
I eat casserole.
Happy Election Day to You!
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, November 5, 2012

Good. Great. Grand.

It was kind of a busy afternoon today and the past two hours of quiet time have felt almost like a Friday evening in their relaxing comparison to the pace of earlier in the day/week. But that's alright, let's think some good thoughts.
St. Francis : HELP US NOW.
1} A cinnamon scented broom makes your apartment smell GREAT all the time! 
Who knew?

2} Putting some autumnal ribbon on an un-cut pumpkin {& not carving it...} makes it last  well into Thanksgiving season and extends the decorating power of the average gourd! Maybe I'm envisioning some after-Thanksgiving-metallic silver and gold spray paint to take us through New Year's?
The water in the background is left over from last week's storm preparations, in case you noticed.

3} Fabric strips make me happy!
Gold door accents don't.
But what can you do {note: that's [unfortunately] not a question}.

4} Did these beautiful flowers really bloom HERE just a few months ago?
And how has it turned into THIS so quickly?
Mind you, that Wednesday-to-Thursday transition is potentially snowy.
Seriously - despite how when it's frigid it's hard to get up to run in the morning, the way weather works and the temperature ups and downs of any given year are beautiful things; how amazing that this just happens every single year!

5} We have some family coming here soon and we ourselves are flitting back to Pacific Standard time!

What YOU been up to? Are you ready for those, ahem, advertisements on the telly to let up? I had NO idea what watching TV near a swing state in an election year really means. 
Now I do. 
And I approve this blog post.
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dinner tonight, dinner tomorrow.

We made some easy-sloppy {from a can} enchiladas tonight. They were yummy and went very nicely with the football that had been on all day.
Since we had our extra hour, though, I tried to get ahead of things a bit. In our first CSA delivery I got a big bag of greens {chard, kale, etc.} as well as a large bunch of turnip greens. These poor verdant things had been languishing since then which is almost three weeks ago. Yikes.  Lucky for me these are some hardy leaves and they hold up quite well.

This last week I got a handful of sweet potatoes.

What to do?

Sweet potato and chard/greens gratin, that's what!

With some extra time and a dish that holds well overnight, I was able to get tomorrow night's dinner all ready to go, it just needs to be baked for a bit.
I LOVE when I can get things taken care of like this though it's certainly not as often as I'd like.

Did you have a nice weekend? I'm really saying a prayer and thinking some good thoughts for the folks up the east coast and being grateful for how we weathered the storm.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We all fall down!

Warning: this is kind of a gross post so skip it if you're not into that sort of thing =).

Once a year or so, as a runner, I hit the ground. Literally.
Yesterday morning was The Fall 2012.
Good thing I got it over with and can move on with life! Though there is some residual bruising and scraping that hurts like heck, I'm just glad that there's not any other, ahem, damage.
Some friends are coming to visit us later today and even though it's kind of frigid outside it 's a great Saturday!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hoo Hoo Hee Hee!

It's Friday!
Happy weekend ♥!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A month in pictures; October 2012.

I'm in the middle of some blog updates so pardon the messyness. 

A month! 
A month's worth of pictures! 
You are one Lucky Reader!
1. Chocolate Crisps?! 2. Gardenia. 3. Looking down. 4. 'Tis the season for Candy Corn! 5. Building. 6. Acorn Squash. 7. Tired. 8. Crafting. 9. Black and Orange. 10. Carmel Apple Candy Corn. 11. Seen on a street corner. 12. More Black and Orange. 13. Kitty Cat in the Sidewalk. 14. Couch dog. 15. Sky. 16. Georgetown Christmas. 17. IMPOUNDED. 18. Inspected! 19. Buckets of water. 20. Playtime. 21. Park day. 22. Bedside I. 23. Even MORE Black and Orange. 24. Leaves. 25. Bedside II. 26. Boo! 27. Carve it up! 28. Frankenstorm. 29. Sandy. 30. Chocolate Chip. 31. CSA.

It's almost the weekend but what a weird week for us. Good Thursday night to you!
xoxo, natty ♥