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Archive for November 2013

It’s Officially Christmas Over Here

Posted on November 30, 2013 by under Shopping, Tips.    

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My super awesome husband helped me assemble and decorate our new Christmas tree. That’s after I registered my new tree on the NationalTree.com of course. 😉

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Here’s what the new tree looked like before we added trimmings. Brian and I agreed that this is the most beautiful Christmas tree we have ever owned. I searched everywhere for a 9-foot tall, slim tree that’s got character. I finally found one that I liked at HomeDecorators.com. I never knew about that store until my search for the perfect Christmas tree began. Now I’m hooked.

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Anyway, I love that my new tree already has pinecones and berries and has a snowy look to it because then I don’t have to buy as many ornaments.

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This is a photo of Brian trying to figure out if there’s enough room between the top of the tree and the ceiling for my new Kurt Adler 20-Light gold rattan star tree topper. It’s a $30 tree topper that I got on Amazon for just $14. I love, love, love Amazon!

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This is our tree after we added some ornaments. I found rattan stars that match my tree topper perfectly at Pier 1. I only got 10 of them and now wish that I would have gotten some more. Brian and I decided that it’s probably for the best as we wanted to keep this tree minimalistic.

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Here’s a closer look at our tree.

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The balls are not really ornaments. They are rattan vine glitter sphere decorations (also from Pier 1). Most people put them in a bowl or basket. The burlap eucalyptus leaf branches are another one of my improvisations. I think most of the time you’ll see these in tall vases. I had a vision of a natural-looking, woodsy, minimalist Christmas tree and I thought these decorations, though not really sold as Christmas tree ornaments, would look great in my tree.

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The rest of my vision involved a burlap Christmas tree skirt and burlap ribbon. The tree skirt was perfect except for a small gash. I can’t tell if I got a defective item or if Brian damaged it while he was trying to open the package. He has this thing about using his knife to open packages and he’s not always the most gentle with it. I don’t ever return stuff so I guess I’m keeping it. I’m not happy about the tear, though.

As far as the ribbon, well, I miscalculated and ran out. I thought 10 yards would be enough. Wrong. I ordered some more ribbon, which should arrive in a couple of days because I caved and signed up for Amazon Prime. As much as I order from Amazon, you’d think I’d have a Prime membership already. I’m too cheap for that, though. I usually just take advantage of the free super saver shipping. However, running out of burlap ribbon in the middle of trimming the tree constituted an emergency. LOL.

Anyway, stay tuned because I’ll be taking a picture of the completed tree as soon as the additional burlap arrives. Check back soon.

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Birthday Scrabble

Posted on November 29, 2013 by under Family, Games.    

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Jenni celebrated her birthday at John Barleycorn’s last week. It was a subdued birthday party. We just hung out and played some Scrabble. It was the first time I’d ever played Scrabble at a bar before. I don’t generally hang out at bars, but if they offered Scrabble I’d probably visit more frequently. LOL.

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Farewell Dinner at Longhorn

Posted on November 27, 2013 by under Family, Food and Drink.    

Brian’s parents treated us to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse on Sunday night. It actually should have been the other way around but they insisted.

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Brian and I had never been to Longhorn before. This was our first trip. They were off to a rocky start when they asked us to wait to be seated when there were several vacant tables throughout the restaurant. I’m not sure what was going on there.

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We had some of their pretzels with the beer infused cheese dip while we waited for our entrees. It was pretty good. What I liked most about them is that they were super salty so I didn’t need to salt them.

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I can’t remember what this salad is called. It had apple chips and bacon and a tangy dressing. It was decent, but I don’t think Brian liked it.

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I took a picture of the bread because I take pictures of everything, specially if it’s a restaurant that I’ve never tried before.

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We should have stopped at the salads. Alas, eating healthy was not meant to be.

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Brian and I decided to keep the calories and cost down by sharing an entree.

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He had the filet and the baked potato while I had the lobster and shrimp mac and cheese portion of the entree. I had a bite Brian’s steak which I thought was good, but he was unimpressed.

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LongHorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

The food was just okay over all. If we’d been there before, I don’t think I would have picked it. It’s just not the kind of restaurant that I would go out of my way to dine at. I do think it’s better than Outback, but I wouldn’t eat at Outback either. LOL.

At least our server Damian was great. He was friendly and attentive. His service elevated our dining experience. If we ever go back, I’m asking for his section.

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Leftover Stew

Posted on November 27, 2013 by under Food and Drink.    

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One of the dinners Donna made while she and David were staying with us was beef stew. She made a ton so we had plenty of leftovers. I was starving after I got home from my Sunday morning workout with Val so I rummaged through the fridge and decided to heat up some of the left over beef stew. While I was rummaging through the fridge I also found our leftover shrimp so I went ahead and tossed it in there. Voila! Leftover stew. It was actually really good. I wouldn’t mind having it again.

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Catching Fire

Posted on November 26, 2013 by under Movies, Zumba.    

Saturday was busier than usual. Started out with my last Saturday Zumba class of the year at Evergreen Recreation Center. After that it was off to Chipotle for a quick lunch before our dental appointment.

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We arrived at the dental office early hoping that they could get us in earlier than our scheduled appointment. No such luck. Instead we ended up going to Pier 1 to pass the time. But it worked out because I got to pick up some new Christmas decorations.

Lucky for us the dentist was running on schedule so we were both able to get out of there shortly after two o’clock, which meant I was able to make it to the Zumbathon at Bishop Carroll High School on time. That was a lot of fun.

After that Brian and I had to shower and get ready quickly so we could head to Cheddar’s and put our group on the waiting list. They don’t take reservations or call ahead. They are strictly first come, first served. The hostess I spoke with on the phone on Friday night was pretty adamant about that. LOL.

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We had to wait at the bar for our table because of the 40-minute wait. And, Cheddar’s isn’t able to accommodate large groups so we were actually seated in three different booths. Thankfully, the booths were pretty close to one another so at least we weren’t in opposite sides of the restaurant.

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I took some pictures while we were waiting because that’s what I do.

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I had two of these yummy concoctions that night.

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Booth number one…

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Booth number two…

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Cheddars on Urbanspoon

Cheddar’s does pretty well for a restaurant that just serves okay food. I think the one thing they’ve got going for them is their proximity to the movie theater. I bet they do extremely well whenever there’s a big movie out.

Their croissants are pretty good too. Brian and I always order some when we’re there. So there is that. The food prices are pretty reasonable also so you can’t really go wrong there. It’s an easy choice for a pre-movie dinner. I just wouldn’t recommend them for large groups like ours. We had a total of 17 people that night at the restaurant, with 16 going to the movie.

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The movie was great. I definitely felt my two Maui margaritas during a couple of parts, but I managed to stay awake.

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I think everyone enjoyed the movie and had a great time. Thanks to Andrea and Carla for hatching the plan to go to the movies together.

We’ll definitely need to do this again soon!

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