You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2011.

What a glorious long weekend.

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving eating some serious grub and loving on the special folks in your life.

We celebrate Thanksgiving with the ole ball n’ chain’s family at their lake house east of the city.

It is a wonderful tradition.

There is plenty of clinking of glasses:

Yes, that is my man with a serious moustachio- you know, for Movember.

There is a TON of food including three turkeys: one roasted, one smoked (my fave) and one fried.

There are group photos like this random gem:

There is a lot of love:

There is this guy:

And there is a whole new generation of cousins… pretty presh:

Thanks to Uncle Steve for capturing all of the fun moments.

In other news, we got our first official family pictures back from the fabulous Darrin Ballman.

We went to the Emery Theater for our session, and I’m in love with the location.

And there are seriously about 50 pics I would like to hang in our house. Here are two of my faves:

So much to be thankful for… my most amazing husband, our precious boy, my sisters and sisters-in-law, my brother and my brother-in-law, my parents and in-laws, extended family, friends, our jobs, our house, our health, my bloggy friends, bacon, and the list goes on and on…


I’m seriously getting pretty giddy about my little trip around the world. I spent some time over the weekend figuring out where I want to visit. Here is the tentative list.

Again, give me a shout out if I need to swap out one country for another.

These are listed in alphabetical order:

1. America

2. Armenia

3. Argentina

4. Australia

5. Austria

6. Bahamas

7. Barbados

8. Belarus

9. Belgium


11. Canada

12. Chile

13. China

14. Columbia

15. Croatia

16. Cuba

17. Czech Republic

18. Ecuador

19. Egypt

20. England

21. Equatorial Guinea

22. Ethiopia

23. Finland

24. France

25. Germany

26. Greece

27. Hungary

28. India

29. Ireland

30. Italy

31. Japan

32. Malta

33. Maldives

34. Mexico

35. Morocco

36. New Zealand

37. Nigeria

38. Norway

39. Portugal

40. Russia

41. Scotland

42. Spain

43. Sweden

44. Switzerland

45. Taiwan

46. Thailand

47. The Philippines

48. Trinidad and Tobago

49. Turkey

50. Venezuela

51. Vietnam

52. Wales

Some of these countries scare the dickens out of me. Like Equatorial Guinea?!?! I didn’t even know where that one was on the map… let alone what kind of food they make.

Thanks be for the internet and the Barnes and Noble down the street. Turns out that Equatorial Guinea is a teeny tiny country situated in the west central area of Africa. Their food sounds delish- grilled fish with avacado sauce. Sounds like a perfect meal to try in the summer time.

See?? This is going to be fun!

Can you do me a favor?

If you have a tried and true delicious recipe from any of these countries (but specifically from the more obscure countries), would you email it to me? Help a sister out!

I hope that you join me on this frightening and exciting culinary adventure.


I thrive on a plan.

I work out regularly… when I’m on a plan.

I eat healthy every day… when I plan my meals.

I have peace of mind… when I follow my plan.

I love a to-do list.

I love knowing where the minutes of my day will be spent.

I am married to the most adaptable man on the planet, so you can imagine my love of plans and his love of spontaneity can lead to conflict. But that is a story for another day.

Knowing this about myself, I thought I would challenge myself to do something new and fun with my blog for a year.

I’m taking a cue from our friend, Steve Fuller.

If you know Steve, you should be nervous that I’m following in his footsteps in any way.

He started with a tour of 52 churches in 52 weeks– all different faiths and denominations.

He is currently in the process of doing a Cincinnati Pub Crawl- 52 bars in each of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods.

Fun, interesting stuff.

So, here is my thought.

I think I want to try to cook or create 52 dishes from 52 countries. One recipe a week for a year- visiting each country in my kitchen. And then sharing my experience with you.

I’m starting to plan my visits, and I hope that I can coerce some people I know to do guest posts on their culture’s cuisine.

I’m tempted to start now because I’m anxious to sink my teeth (get it?) into the project, but I think I will start in the new year.

Here is what I am hoping to hear from you- where shall I visit in my culinary adventure?

Do you have a dish from a country that I MUST make?

I want to make my experience as authentic as possible- meaning no boxed pasta with Ragu dumped over the top to count as my Italian experience. I want to make the food of the people.

I know I’ll do classic dishes from places like:










Those seem like no brainers.

Where else shall I visit? Is there any sort of cuisine that you think I must explore?

I’m in the process of making my plan, and I can’t wait for your feedback.

Hope you are all having the most wonderful week!


Today I want to talk about my gals… whom I lurve.

Jenni, Anne, Molly, Alison and I have known each other since we were wee tots.

We have preschool pictures that include the 5 of us, so when I say we go back… I mean, way back.

And one glorious weekend a year, we hole ourselves up in a cottage away from husbands, babies, work and the world.

And we laugh and eat and drink and eat and talk and eat…

You get the idea.

This year, we laughed the hardest at this:

Sorry for the poor quality, but this is a picture I tried to take of a video made in 1994 of us girls (plus a few others). Yeah, we were recreating Eric Nies’ claim to fame, the MTV hit The Grind.

You can tell it was The Grind by our incredible graphics.

If you are in your thirties now, I’m sure you remember that gem of a show.

Seriously, I wish I had video of this video to share. It is so embarrassingly bad.

And great, at the same time.

And as Molly said… “no wonder here why none of us ended up with a teenage pregnancy.”

I can’t believe the boys didn’t go crazy over my oversized cactus t-shirt and mom jeans.

Or Anne’s XL Aztec sweater.

And the backwards hats?


Pretty sweet looks if you ask me.

And clearly, years later… some people don’t change.

Eric Nies would be proud.

We ventured out to visit our Amish friends.

Does this pic remind you of anything?

I like to think we are the female, Amish-visiting, minivan traveling Reservoir Dogs.

That’s a giant Slim Jim. It was Jenni’s souvenir for her husband.

What a thoughtful gal.

An impromptu concert?


Want to know what the Amish do really well?

Baked goods.

Specifically hot, buttery, salty giant pretzels.

We made scarves out of old t-shirts.

And had a craft-a-palooza.

Brad continues to be flabbergasted at the thought of girls wanting to get together to craft.

Apparently, most men don’t do crafts on guys weekends.


This girl is the slowest. wreath. maker. ever:


Please note: one wreath STILL unfinished.

We were wilderness girls… creating heat to stay warm.

We drank lots of Grey Goose and wine. It was the first trip that no one was pregnant, so we toasted our friendship properly.

This was Lola’s first girls’ weekend, and clearly she couldn’t hang.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have these friendships that have withstood the test of time, distance, busyness and life changes.

I’m already counting down the ┬ádays until I find myself bent over in laughter with my oldest and treasured gal pals.



PS. Trouser Snake

Life is more than a little hectic right now.

And my blogging seems to suffer most.

But I saw this thought on Seth Godin’s blog this morning, and I thought it to be quite share-worthy.

“Plans are great.

But missions are better. Missions survive when plans fail, and plans almost always fail.”

Hmmm…. words to live by.

Hope your week is off to a great start.



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