Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Thanks for the past year. You are amazing and I am lucky to have you in my life. No matter what we may have to put up with in the next few months, we have each other and that makes me the happiest girl in the world!

I love you!

(Readers-if you didn't catch it-Marvin and I celebrated our 1 yr. anniversary yesterday)

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm not dead....

I am a horrible blogger I know. No excuses really, just tired, stressed and busy as all get out. Went to Seattle (great food and good fun), headed to Portland for Thanksgiving (Amelie you are adorable, Pascal your restaurant is amazing and thank you Carrie, Phil, Tyler & Zach for the great Thanksgiving dinner!). Now I am just trying to not pull out all my hair as I try to end a super tough campaign and move without knowing where to. Sounds like fun huh?
I will try to get some more details about my recent trips on soon I promise. For now though hope all is well with you and peace out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Congrats Mom!

A big congrats goes out to my mom who just got a new job! Way to go!
I am proud of you and I know you will be great.

November Birthday Post

As I look out at my calendar I see many November birthdays. However, as I have been a slacker lately I thought I would just send out a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to everyone in November now so that I when I forget to send a card it isn't too late, except for one. (Cop-out....yep)
So here we go...
Last week (11-2): HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURA! Hope you are enjoying Boston.
Today (11-10): HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE GARY! See you at Christmas.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELISSA! See you in a few weeks!
Tomorrow (11-11): HAPPY BIRTHDAY TYLER CRAVEN! I know your mom reads this so hopefully she can pass along the wishes. See you in a few weeks.
Wednesday (11-12): HAPPY BIRTHDAY STACY! I know you have been having a rough year or so but hang in there things can only continue to get better! And give your little Alyssa a HAPPY BIRTHDAY at the end of the month too!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote or don't bitch

I had to vote absentee a few weeks ago and I did it. So I am giving myself and everyone else who voted absentee a sticker today.

Now for all you who are able to vote in person, get your little behinds to the polls so you can get yourself one of these:



As for the title of this post...
In the last presidential election I chose to exercise my right NOT to vote to the dismay of many of my friends and family. But every time I criticized the current administration I was reminded that I did nothing to stop him from taking office. So to earn the right to bitch about the president (and we all know that we will want and need to no matter who takes office) get out and vote! Exercise your right to bitch!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

In honor of the spooky day here are a few quotes from Randy (Jamie Kennedy's character):

"There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie.
For instance, number one: you can never have sex.
Big No No! Big No No! Sex equals death, okay?
Number two: you can never drink of do drugs.
The sin factor! It's a sin. It's an extension of number one.
And number three: never, ever, ever under any circumstances say, "I'll be right back". Because you won't be back."
-Randy, Scream

"There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel.
Number one: the body count is always bigger.
Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate-more blood, more gore-*carnage candy*.
And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead."
-Randy, Scream 2

Wishing you a happy and haunted Halloween!

5 Friends

You are supposed to send this to five friends but I thought it was too important for just five so I am giving it to everyone I know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX40RsSLwF4

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Halloween Week!

Well folks it is here again, my second favorite holiday of the year. (St. Patrick's Day still takes the cake) Well this year I bought a new costume. I am going to be a Kandy Korn Witch which you can purchase at buycostumes.com.


Basically I am going to freeze my tush off but look super cute. The price you pay for Halloween fun. But now I want to know what you all are going to be. Razzle, dazzle me people!

And for the record, Halloween candy doesn't have any fat in it right?????

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Kitchen Toy

So what's a girl to do when her blender sucks and her awesome red food processor decides it does not like to make pureed soups?
Why buy a new kitchen toy of course!


Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender with Whisk & Chopper Attachment

It is the coolest thing ever. I got mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond because I had a gift card there. However I have seen it cheaper elsewhere.

I made 3 different soups with it and the clean up is quick and easy. I haven't tried the whisk or chopper portion but if the blender is any indication they should work great. The only bad thing was they did not have it in red, only brushed stainless steel. But it still looks nice on my counter.

I just love a new toy!

Sweet Treats

As most of you may know I love anything sweet. And with the Weight Watchers diet I have been trying to limit my intake of sweet treats. But with Skinny Cow products I have been able to have my sandwich, cone, or ice cream delight and eat it too!


The cones are 3pts. on Weight Watchers (my favorite is the caramel).


The sandwiches are 2pts. on Weight Watchers.

If any of you are on Weight Watchers or are looking for a low-fat treat give Skinny Cow a chance. They are tasty and satisfying. And since they have them in Montana, I am sure you will find them in a grocery store near you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The end of Vegas

It was an amazing trip and I hope that Marvin enjoyed his birthday surprise. (Love you baby)
We unfortunately had to leave on Sunday morning at like 4:30am, which in Vegas sucks.
But it is one of those places that gets in your blood. So much excitement and glitter.
So if your looking for a celebration place, a place to pretend your life doesn't exist, or just a place to to live large...Vegas is the place.
Even though I wish I was on the next plane with reservations at the next best restaurants, reality has set in and it seems that $12 million does not raise itself.
So keep your fingers crossed and hope that the trips to Seattle and Portland can keep me occupied.

Peace.

The finale

On Saturday we got up, gambled a little, ate brunch at a deli and basically just toured the wonderland of Vegas. (see below)


Me playing the best game ever...Wheel of Fortune!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We also stopped off at a place in our hotel called Isla something or another. (I know great help huh?) I had some awesome queso and a yummy mojito. Oh and on the video poker at the bar I won $120. The only thing I won all weekend. Yeah!
Needless to say we cashed out and got ready for the mack daddy of dinners. So here we go...


Saturday, October 11th Dinner

Guy Savoy at Caesar's Palace

Before I begin this review I need to say that I am in love with this place. If I could afford to eat there every weekend I would. It was pricey, but I would pay it again and again to have that fine of a dining experience. The only (and I mean only) thing that was wrong, was that I was way too full to eat every bite of everything! Frustrating but not such a horrible problem to have.
So service...untouchable.
I fully expected to have a little snobbery going on amongst the servers but I was mistaken.
From the hostess, to the sommelier, to our French waiter, to the bread cart server, to the petit fore server, to the lady that opened the bathroom door-absolutely down to earth and fantastic.
I love food, but some of the fancy French terminology is lost on me. All of the servers explained the dishes and wines in technical and proper terms then in a regular Joe sort of way. I could go on and on, but lets just sum it up by saying it was the best service I have ever received.
Atmosphere: clean cut, dark wood, beautiful view and a purse stool! I know this might not seem very important to the fellas out there, but a purse stool at your table is awesome for the ladies. It was a comfortable environment that made you feel incredibly special.
Food: I called and made the reservation letting the reservationist know that I did not eat red or pork. The server straight away asked about dietary restrictions and allergies. There was no problem substituting dishes in any of the tasting menus.
We both ordered the Prestige Tasting Menu with the wine pairings.
I must now apologize for my lack of detail and proper labeling.
I have no idea what the wines were named and frankly all I wanted to do was concentrate on tasting and experiencing. But here is what I do have:

Champagne: the sommelier has a cart of champagne of which he was pouring six champagnes that you rarely, if ever, see by the glass. I had a 1999 'smokin' champagne and Marvin had a Krug that was too die for.
*Note-these glasses of champagne are not included in your tasting and wine pairing menu and can be pretty pricey. Mine was $59 and his was $75. Worth every penny though.

Olive crostini-Amuse
Eggplant soup with lemon confit, croutons and basil powder served in a wonderful dish, which hid a tuna tartare underneath it. The soup was creamy and combination of the basil powder (which you added yourself as it was part of the presentation) and the lemon confit was killer.
Oysters in Ice Gelee-I do not like shellfish. But I thought if I was going to try them this was the place. Unfortunately, I did not care for them. The taste was really fishy, which of course is what is supposed to make oysters tasty. I only ate one of the three and the server asked if I wanted something else instead. I refused, stating that I had had a feeling I wouldn't care for them but wanted to give them a try. See me here:


I then had the most delicious chestnut soup with porcini mushrooms. I have not had too much experience with chestnuts, but I am now a chestnut lover. It was amazing.
Marvin did have the colors of caviar for this course. He had strong reservations going in, but after the presentation and tasting, had only glowing things to say.


Next was Crispy Sea Bass with Delicate Spices. Two small pieces of flaky and mild fish. The crispy portion was actually sea bass skin. It freaked me out a bit but I did try it and it was tasty.
Neither of us were interested in the foie-gras. So the substitution was a Dover sole dish. Again, the fish could not be matched. By this time I was getting rather full, but the dish was awesome.
We moved on to the Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup with Toasted Mushroom Brioche and Black Truffle Butter. Decadent, velvety, rich and scrumptious. The brioche was flaky and the shaved black truffle and Parmesan cheese was just topping on the cake.
Did I mention that with every course we were not only given very generous tastings of wine, that changed with the substitutions, but also a piece of bread to pair with each new course? Well, we were and it rocked!
Back to the meal.
Next was Poussin Roasted a la Broche (on the bone), Chantrelles, Arugula and Potato Galette. I asked to have the bone removed before presenting and there was no problem. I was bursting at the seams, but the chicken was moist and delicious.
And with my stomach stretched to the max, cam e the glorious cheese cart. After explaining in detail every cheese on the cart at my request (not only to learn about them to make a decision, but to try to buy some time to get hungry again), we each chose 5 cheeses. I stuck with mostly goat cheeses, which were fresh and creamy. Unfortunately, I had to leave some of each on the plate because my eye caught the dessert cart.
First came the Summer Melon dish. [see video] Small shaped melons on top of what looked like a trivet over a bowl. Then came the spectacular presentation. Hot chamomile tea was poured into the bowl through the holes surrounding the melon hitting what we later found out was dry ice. The steam came up and the aroma of the tea was tantalizing as we ate the melon. It was an excellent palate cleanser and light enough to move to the chocolate course.

video


Next was Chocolate Fondat, Crunchy Praline, Chicory Cream. Yummy. I could have lifted the gorgeous plate and drank the chicory cream.
And just when you think it might be over...nope, here comes the petit fore cart.
I ordered a hot tea that came in a great yellow ceramic teakettle and Marvin got a cappuccino. The cart was full of small, dangerously sweet bites of mouth-watering goodness. We each took six at the cajoling of our server and were not disappointed.

The reviews I read prior to choosing this restaurant said one thing I want to echo as loud as possible. Expensive? YES. Value for the food, service, atmosphere and experience? ABSOLUTELY!
Go to Guy Savoy if you are looking for a beautiful and fantastic evening and want to be treated like a king and queen.

Believe it or not we kept eating on Friday...

We went to see La Reve at the Wynn on Friday night. It was a water show and it amazed me how they could accomplish so much with just stage movement and water. I did the VIP thing for Marvin's birthday so we had a TV screen with before show footage and under water footage during the show. It was very cool. But what also came with the package was an entire bottle of champagne. Don't do this if you are planning on going to dinner after the show to do a tasting menu. Either go to dinner before and use the champagne as dessert or starve yourself the rest of the day so your stomach can handle how much you will need to ingest.

Friday, October 10th Dinner

Tableau at The Wynn

Service: spot on. The timing between the dishes was perfect and are server was very attentive.
Atmosphere: French but not pretentious. We sat in the main dining area near a window which overlooked the pool.
I chose this restaurant over others at Wynn because it had a vegetarian tasting menu and no substitutions were needed. It was great.

Vegetarian Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings
Course 1: Heirloom Tomato and Roast Beet Salad
With hearts of palm, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and micro herbs.
I am not a huge fan of either tomatoes or beets. But the sea salt was wonderful and I cleaned my plate. Perhaps I am a new beet lover.
Course 2: Grilled Asparagus Salad
With seasonal greens, avocado and Sonoma goat cheese, dressed with a white balsamic dressing.
The goat cheese was by far my favorite part. It was fresh and tangy.
Course 3: Chickpea fries
This glorious dish was pureed chickpeas, dusted with chickpea flour and deep-fried.
I almost asked them to stop the tasting and just bring me a full plate of these.
Course 4: A fettuccini dish with chantrelle mushrooms, yellow beets and light oil.
I wanted to finish it, I even tried deep breaths to help make room, but I just couldn't.
It was a light pasta dish and well made.
Course 5: Cheese
We were served what I believe was a triple cream Brie with a side of currant jam.
I like strong cheese, but I could only take about three bites of this one.
It was too much for me.
Course 6: Dessert Tasting
Banana Bread Pudding
Strawberry Milkshake-creamy and delectable
Poppy seed berry shortcake-I almost ordered a full size one to go for a midnight snack.

And because it was Marvin's birthday we got extra chocolate mousse cup.
They gave these amazing chocolate caramels as a take home treat.

It was a good experience overall. There are other restaurants at the Wynn I would like to try so I probably won't go back anytime soon. But I would recommend for anyone looking for a vegetarian option.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Review of Mesa Grill

I had made reservations to eat at Bobby Flay's restaurant because we love spice and I love the Food Network.

Friday, October 10th Lunch

Mesa Grill at Caesar's Palace

Service: Quick and efficient but nothing too extraordinary.
Atmosphere: kind of loud with the casino in the background but good enough for lunch.

I started with a bowl of Roasted Corn Soup with Smoked Tomato Salsa. I could have licked the bowl. Actually, I kind of did with the jalapeno bread they gave me. It was creamy and delicious.
Next I tried the Cornmeal Crusted Chile Relleno filled with roasted eggplant, manchego cheese with a sweet red pepper sauce and balsamic vinegar. I felt that the cornmeal crust could have had a lot more seasoning. I was fully intending to need a water refill but was sorely disappointed in the spice level. The chile was as fresh as they get and the manchego was gooey goodness.
I washed that all down with a Widow Mojito, which seemed to be dark rum and cola instead of white rum and seltzer. It hit the spot.
For dessert we got the sampler which included:
Warm Cornbread Pudding with pear-apple compote, pear butter sauce and ginger- molasses ice cream (my favorite part since Marvin ate all of the pudding).
Profiteroles with cornflake crunch vanilla ice cream and a warm Mexican chocolate sauce.
Warm Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche and toasted pecan ice cream. The cake was extremely rich but excellent.
Marvin did have a margarita and an apple martini (which was rimmed with cinnamon sugar) and was happy with his cocktails.

I would go back if only for the soup. When compared to the other restaurants we ate at it was not so impressive, but for a lunch place it suited the bill.

Review of Bouchon Bistro

We woke up early to our dismay so decided to head to the Venetian based on some reviews I had read.

Friday, October 10th Breakfast

Bouchon Bistro at the Venetian

Service: impeccable
Atmosphere: classic and sunny. We sat inside because there was a chill in the air, but it had wonderful light.

We started with the Chocolate Almond Croissant after reading a review counting the many delicious ways it satisfied. And the only word that comes close is WOW! Flaky, chocolate goodness.
Marvin ordered Les Oeufs (2 eggs scrambled, some potato croquettes, bacon and brioche toast with what he called the best jam ever). He also tried the regular coffee but it was way too strong so exchanged it for an Illy latte that was very smooth.
I dined on the special, Florentine Quiche. Fluffy and there is no comparison, the best quiche I have ever eaten. There was a salad on the side but I didn't touch it. Unfortunately I am not a huge breakfast person so I got full quickly and couldn't finish.

I would not only recommend this place for breakfast, I would insist on it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Review of Michael Mina

Below is the review for our dinner at Michael Mina.

Thursday, October 9th Dinner-Michael Mina at the Bellagio

Service: friendly but not overbearing
Atmosphere: modern but comfortable
Only issue: tables were too close together and there were quite a few people there. The servers often had a hard difficulty reaching us after others were seated next to us.

Cookbook Tasting with Premium Wine Tasting:
**Note: I really enjoyed all of my food in Las Vegas. That being said, the reviews I am submitting lack the exact names of some of the dishes and most of the wines. I would apologize but I am still too full and happy.

Amuse: Butternut squash soup
Creamy deliciousness with a gorgeous color.
I could have eaten an entire pot of this soup.

Bread: Black pepper and red plum roll
Peppery in the front and sweet in the back.
Served with the most airy and delicious whipped butter.


Course 1: Tartare of Ahi Tuna
-with sesame oil, toasted pine nuts, garlic and chiffonade of mint, with a quail egg perched on top and toast wedges on the side
Combined by the server at the table after presentation.
I don't usually do raw fish but I had about half of it. The mint really helped. Marvin, who had the same thing said the tuna was fabulous.
Wine served: a German Riesling

Course 2: The tasting menu called for Lobster Pot Pie and I substituted a Salad with Ricotta Salata dressed with a red wine vinaigrette
Marvin did have the pot pie and said the best part was the pearl onions. His only compliant was for the dish was he wished there was more.
The salad was the least favorite of my dishes. The lettuce was mostly of the weed variety. However, the ricotta was salty and yummy.
Wine served: a white Burgundy from new oak

Course 3: Miso-Glazed Black Cod
-in a Shitake consomme with shrimp and scallop raviolini.
The fish melted in my mouth like butter. The broth was seasoned perfectly and while not a fan of shellfish, I could have eaten an entire plate of the raviolini. They were homemade and laced with ginger. A very satisfying dish.
Wine served: served with a very mild sake and I believe the sommelier used the term "droplets" when describing it.

Course 4: The menu called for a beef dish but I substituted their take on fish and chips. Or as they call it "Chips on fish".
It was a John Dory fish with thinly sliced potato circles, salted and browned to ridiculous perfection.
It was placed upon an onion sauce with a side of tartar sauce. I did not use the tartar sauce at all, nor do I think it was necessary.
This was by far my favorite dish. It is on the regular menu and if I go back I would seriously consider just ordering it on it's own.
Wine served: a red from Washington, perhaps called Sorello

Course 5: Tasting of Michael Mina Desserts:
Mini Root Beer Float, Butternut Squash Cake, Chocolate Pot De Creme
They were all very good. The root beer float was made with a root beer sorbet and the maple cream that accompanied the squash cake was excellent.
Wine served: port

A final treat of ice cream bon bons-one orange and one mint.

Overall I would recommend Michael Mina to anyone wishing to find a decent tasting menu at the lower end of the cost scale. I did not call ahead for any of my substitutions and they were very accommodating since Marvin wanted to have the regular tasting menu. The only thing they didn't do that the other restaurants did was to give me different wines when I substituted dishes. It wasn't a huge deal, but would have been a nice touch.

More reviews to come...

Las Vegas


So the super secret birthday trip was to Las Vegas. I was able to keep the secret all the way until we entered the airport in Bozeman. We hopped the inaugural flight from Allegient Air to Las Vegas complete with Elvis, a Las Vegas Showgirl and free champagne. It was the most fun I have had on a flight in a long time.


Elvis on the plane.

We checked into Treasure Island (now called TI) and I was thoroughly impressed with the remodel. The rooms were well done and comfortable and most importantly the walls were thick enough. Remember Las Vegas never sleeps but I at least try. We were starving and headed to Kahunaville (a bar/restaurant at the hotel) and had the only so-so meal we had all weekend. We gambled a bit then went back to the room to get ready for delicious meal numero uno.

We headed to Michael Mina in the Bellagio. We stopped first at this bakery next store to drool over the chocolate fountain in a glass case. I will be posting the review of the restaurant in a separate post because it warrants it.

All and all I think Marvin was very surprised and happy to get out of town for a while. And as usual, Vegas never disappoints. And the economy? What crisis? Vegas was packed and the money was flowing. I of course was thrilled and have already been checking flights to go back before we ship out of here in December.

Viva Las Vegas Baby!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Super Top Secret Birthday Trip

Tomorrow Marvin and I leave on his Super Top Secret Birthday Trip. Actually not so top secret since everyone but him knows. Needless to say I hope that it will provide me with tons of things to post on my blog here.
Sorry Marvin no clues!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Suey and Laura!

As usual slacking on the cards. So a shout out to my favorite twins Suey and Laura! Happy Birthday girls. Since you are both busy moms I hope you find a little "me time" to relax and celebrate the awesomeness that is you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'd like to thank....

And the loser of 10.6lbs. is........Jackie!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd like to thank the Friday 12:15pm Weight Watchers meeting for supporting me, JJ for suggesting Weight Watchers in the first place, Marvin for putting up with my incessant point counting, my mom for all the cards and encouraging words, my dad for the cutest pink food scale, amazon.com for all the great used cookbooks, Western Bagel Co. for their awesome 1 point bagels, Laughing Cow of course, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches (2 points) and Skinny Dippers (1 point), the genius who invented 100 calorie packs, the 35 extra points you get each week that allows me to have a drink at my favorite wine bar in Bozeman, treadmills with tvs attached that allow me to workout while watching the food network, and last but certainly not least, the motivation to fit into killer expensive jeans when I take Marvin on his super secret birthday adventure.

I still have 4 more lbs. until my 10% mark but I am more motivated than ever to kick ass and lose it. Keep me in your thoughts.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Laughing Cow how I love you so...


For those of you that have never had the distinct pleasure of unwrapping these little wedges of heaven let me tell you how much they rock.
For 1 point (on Weight Watchers Flex Plan) you can have a creamy (sorry Grace) wedge of mild Swiss cheese which makes you feel like you are sneaking something deliciously wicked. I pair mine up with brown rice crackers and a snack star is born.
For those of you that have witnessed this taste sensation, you can buy 4 wheels at Costco and it will save you a bundle of cash.
My stomach is growling...gotta go.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thank You

photo courtesy of amazon.com

I received this cookbook in the mail yesterday from a mysterious giver. I thought maybe I had signed up for something and forgot but nope...it was a gift. Unfortunately there was no name attached so I don't know who to thank. And since this is my most public forum I thought here would be the best way to thank them!
Oddly, I had just ordered and received 5 WW cookbooks. And guess what? I did not have this one!
So thank you fairy godmother or godfather for the gift. I will certainly be trying it out as soon as possible.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Confession...I killed 20 bess


Oh I know they look harmless, and they are quickly dying off (I do love honey), but they have no place in my apartment. Today I came home and there were 20 bees hovering inside my sliding glass door. (I know that I do tend to exaggerate a bit (keep your mouth shut Grace!) but I physically counted 20 bees) I was like WTF! I had contacted my landlord and told him I was noticing some bees inside and it had been pretty cool here in Montana so I did not have any windows open. But there they were, mysteriously appearing and freaking me out.
So what is a girl to do...call her mom. Those back in Ohio are well aware of the September bee infestation. Trying to find a home for the winter and all. She tells me put some pop out in a bottle or can and they will fly in there and not be able to get out. (It works at picnics you know...as soon as you set your drink down the bees are all over it!) I take that into consideration as I speed down my mountain to the local hardware store to find the most deadly spray known to man to take the suckers out. I leave with Raid Flying Insect spray. The guy at the store said it kills on contact and has a fresh outdoor poison scent.
Well I put two diet cokes out and no luck. (It was a good idea mom. I guess the bees in Montana would have rather had a micro-brewed beer) I shuffled the blinds around and opened the door hoping to wake them up and shoo them out into nature...their home! Again no love.
So it was time. I had the "you are an adult, you can kill the bees" talk with myself. I found some rubber gloves under the sink and pulled the blinds apart. Half a can of spray later, a graveyard of bees and about 2inches of leftover poison sat at the bottom of my sliding glass door.
The whole living room reeks of "outdoor scent" and I washed my hair twice and I swear it still smells like Raid. The maintenance guys are coming tomorrow so hopefully when I come home tomorrow night there will not be an angry mob of bees waiting to take their revenge.


Friday, September 12, 2008

*WARNING* The following video is not for young viewers




Here is a side of the Republican vice presidential candidate the campaign has not touched on.
It is disturbing and in my humble opinion inhumane. I have been supporting Defenders of the Wildlife for years and they are one of the most respected wildlife non-profits. Please heed the video's message.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NEWSFLASH FOR ALL HELENA REALTORS

When you come through my condo either to view and take pictures or show it to your clients, do NOT let me repeat that...do NOT touch my shit.
If you open blinds, windows, cupboards, etc...close them!
Is this so difficult to understand...don't you all take an oath or something.
I do not want to come home from a brutal two days in the car to open blinds.
So here me now:
I am being extremely cooperative since the landlord sprung the "we are going to sell the condo" bombshell. But I will not hesitate to use all of my legal rights to kick your asses if I feel at all unsafe or if you go through my stuff.

You dig?????

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Why are there no good movies?

Ok. So tonight Marvin and I went to the movies. We have been wanting to go for a few weeks now and the chilly, rainy weather made it the perfect date option tonight. But alas, when we brought up the movie showtimes we were sorely disappointed in the selection. After much debate and trailer watching we chose Bangkok Dangerous with Nicholas Cage because it seemed like the least likely to make me want to poke my eyes out. Without telling you the story line (what little there was) or the ending (which actually made me say "are you freakin' kidding me?") I can say without a doubt that I wasted an hour and forty minutes of my life. The only good part was being with Marvin and splurging some points on some popcorn. It was so bad that we actually stayed and watched another film so that I wouldn't go home angry. Babylon A.D. was the flick. It's shining light was Vin Diesel and the fact that I left the theater less unhappy than before. Not a horrible movie, but definitely a renter.
Where have all the good movies gone? I remember a time when I could go to the theater on a Saturday and there were three good movies I could see in a row and then go back on Sunday and see three more. Now I'm lucky to see a preview that even slightly tantalizes my movie senses. As you can tell this upsets me. So if anyone out there has an in in Hollywood please send them a message for me, "Start making decent movies with endings that make sense!". Seriously. There are endings, like in Primal Fear, where you sit dumbfounded but get why it had to be that way. Then there are endings like in No Country for Old Men, where you throw crap at the TV because it is so ridiculous and there is no rhyme or reason to the senseless killing. (Now don't go getting upset with me about knocking the movie around. I know it was a Cohen brothers flick and they had a thousand little nuances and points. I just wanted a decent ending!!!!!!!!)
Ok enough of the complaining. So everyone out there in blog land please pray to the little movie Buddhas that they get there act together in the bizarre movie world.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Privacy

Ok. So one last post before I climb under my alternative down comforter. Yes folks that is right...it is September 3rd and it is cold enough to warrant the comforter.
But onto the reason for this last minute addition.
I started the blog thinking that in order to protect the innocent and shield the guilty (past and present) from themselves, I would use people's initials. Well it is grating on my nerves. I know, small thing but it is. So from now on I will be using folks real first names. Don't worry I won't be posting last names, SSN, email addresses, shoe sizes etc...
If you decide that you do not want your name to be published on Kung Fu Girl let me know and I will revert to using your initials. I am fairly reasonable but you might catch some flack for it:)
Well friends, family and foes...I hope that the next set of posts is not so few and far between.
Till then....

Miami In July

So as you know I headed with MS to South Florida to meet the family and spend some time in South Beach. The trip was excellent minus the blistering heat and humidity. The family was amazing. So welcoming and friendly. I am a lucky girl to have found not only an awesome guy, but one who has a fantastic family that he loves dearly. So here is a brief pictorial run down of the trip with some commentary along the way.


At Vita's (MS's aunt) and his nephew Sebastian's birthday bash. The family is Cuban so it seems that all their parties have music. So here is some guitar-playing, singing in Spanish fun.

Sebastian getting down at the party. (That is MS's sister right behind him)

Uncle Marvin

Us on the patio at his aunt's condo in South Beach that we stayed at. It was awesome, right across from the beach. The beach we went to for a few hours and fried ourselves to death. However, MS did get me to go in the ocean past my ankles. We used noodles and all. For those who don't know, I have quite a fear of the ocean having almost drowned many years ago in a riptide. But I think I made great progress that day in South Beach.

A gorgeous and tasty plate at Nobu. If you get to South Beach go to Nobu. We of course went during the week and during the off season so we got in with no problem (they don't take reservations). The service was awesome (which it sounds like is an anomaly in South Beach). The food was spectacular. I don't care for sushi on a normal basis, but I ate my fair share that night. Cheap? Not on your life! But well worth the price and the experience. I hear that it is also the place to see stars although none showed their faces that night.

Outside of Nobu and Ago is this great bar called SkyBar. Here is me trying to climb onto the canopy bed, that was to be our "table" at SkyBar, in a very short dress that I had to buy in FL because nothing I own is trendy enough to wear out in South Beach. Talk about freakin' cool! We had great drinks and even though I got eaten alive by mosquitoes, it was totally worth it!

Marvin smoking a cigar at the SkyBar embracing his Cuban roots.

The Miami skyline from the water on the Star's Island cruise we took.

The Star's Island cruise is just that, a cruise around Star's Island. This is an island that is ridiculous. The houses are beyond what anyone who doesn't have 12 kids would ever need. All the stars live on the island. Dr. Phil, Gloria Estefan (I am pretty sure I totally murdered her name), P.Diddy aka Puff Daddy aka Diddy aka Sean Combs, the guy that invented Viagra and lots more. I have countless pics of houses on the island of which I don't remember which one belonged to any of them. I am a disappointment I know. But the above house, which is super cool looking, was in an Usher video at one time or another.



Although brief, I hope this tour through our Miami trip was fulfilling. If you would please exit to the left of the ship that will conclude our voyage.
And this last picture is for you Grace...long live the pirate tour ship!


Yellowstone-GIG Girls Weekend

Here are some photos of the GIG girls weekend in Yellowstone that happened in July. It was great fun, even if MW had us running ragged over what the trail guides called "easy-moderate". I firmly believe that those folks who pen the trail guides in Montana are on crack.


MW/me/AET/JJ



Buffalo aka Bison
And of course a little cute baby! They look weird because they were shedding their winter coats.

Buffalo Soldier in the road

JJ/AET/me
Please note that I am wearing flip flops on a trail. I had a wicked ingrown toenail that was not having hiking boots for one more second. The Monday following I had to go to the doctor and have it cut off (half of the toenail that is). Oh and did I mention that after that I couldn't wear closed-toe shoes for a week...and I was leaving the following day for Miami to meet the parents!

MW and I on the trail...I believe it was the "easy-moderate" with "slight rises" and was only supposed to be 3 miles long that turned into 8 miles with about a thousand switchbacks...crack I say!

Beautiful...Gorgeous...Wish you were here...
A waterfall at the start of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.

For those that don't know, Yellowstone is a thermal area. And if I remember my facts, it basically sits on huge volcano. This is one of the countless areas where steam and boiling water is seen.

This picture was taken by MW. I have zero idea what it is. All I can defer is that it is in a thermal area and is a kick-ass picture. Nice photo-taking skillz.



Now you have it. The condensed, super-mini version of the trip. But one final picture must be shown. I don't think she thought I'd post it, but here it is AET! Goodluck this year at school!





Worst Blogger Ever

I admit it...I am the worst blogger ever. Here I sit wondering where I went wrong...did I take too many trips in a row? did I take too many pictures to sort through? Why me I cry!!!!!!!!
OK enough drama. Life since my last post has been at best, a crazy roller coaster.
And now I sit reading my friend M's blog which is always funny, inspiring and frequent. So I am going to attempt to try and redeem myself by posting some pics and a few choice words about my trips leading up to what in the world is going on today.
So I hope you enjoy the following posts. I apologize for their delinquency and hope that all my adoring (you are adoring right????) readers forgive me.

And Katie-you can always give me a call or text me and I'll call you back. Sorry I haven't sent your package yet...tomorrow hopefully.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don't shoot me just yet!

I know I am in blogger jail because my lack of time and creativity has been lagging. But I promise that this week I will be making up for it with details of my vacations and the fabulous food we ate. In the meantime keep the faith and since I forgot cards again....Happy Belated Birthday to Kristy & Grace!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Don't ever go to Florida in July

Hey all. Well I made it to Florida but only after three planes, a delay, a nineteen-seater plane and lost luggage. The longest day of travel ever. But don't worry the hot, balmy weather of Miami was still there to strangle us when we got off the plane at 11:15pm. Mind you, we woke up in Bozeman at the Hilton at 4:45am and there was no hot water (not a good start). So mentally I was freaking out because I was going to have to meet MS's mom and sister with greasy hair and travel funk. Awesome.
But the family is awesome. Very sweet and welcoming and glad that we were finally here.
So far we have been to Sawgrass Mills outlet/shopping mecca (where I found Dansko shoes marked down from $125 to $26!!!!!!). Ate a Peruvian restaurant. Met almost all of the friends. Almost bought Manolo Blahnik $495 shoes....seriously if you have never had the pleasure of sliding these little slices of heaven on your feet you must. They are the most unbelievable feeling sandals I have ever had the divine pleasure of placing on my feet. Even you Grace would love these heels. But the snobs at Neiman Marcus don't take Visa, only American Express. So between me and MS's friend, they lost over $1,500 that day.
We also headed to his aunt's house today for a co-birthday party for his nephew and his aunt. So I had the pleasure to meet his extended family. They sing, talk loud (in Spanish) and laugh like no one's watching. I had a great time and I promise I will include photos in a future post. I just wanted to to get something on the blog for all of you who are at my throat to blog-up!
Well off to dinner with more of the friends so wish me luck!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

AET Birthday Post

Last Wednesday my crazy social-working ex-GIGster friend AET (initials used to protect the guilty) had a birthday party. Actually it was more of a bar/restaurant hopping excursion. Here is AET at the beginning of the night have a French Martini at The Quarry Bar (I will be posting about the bar separately).


We had a few drinks then headed to Lucca's, an tiny Italian restaurant that we (MS & I) believe is the best place to eat in Helena. So here is AET in the middle of the birthday partying. Loosened up a bit huh AET?


So lets recap a little. A few cocktails at Quarry including a birthday shot from our favorite bartender and waitress, Prosecco and two bottles of wine at dinner...yep everyone is getting a little tipsy. Off we go back to The Quarry Bar (which if you haven't guessed yet is the best place to get a cocktail in Helena). That is when the trouble begins. I have to go pick up our friend MW at the airport at 11pm so I order a ginger ale (which is hand made, yummy). But as I look over at the rest of the group, which includes MS, JJr and our boss MVG, I see lots of martinis, some beers and shots heading to the table. This cannot end well. So this is AET during the final act of her 25th birthday celebration.


The time comes for me to head to the airport and I ask MS for his keys. Of course he is unable to locate them at this time and starts to freak out. So I look at MVG and he hands me his. We all make plans to meet back at the bar or at a different place. I pick up MW and we are chatting about 50 miles a minute and then (oh this is good) the car locks up, it is completely out of gas. I am able to somehow get it into a bank parking lot before it dies it's dramatic death. Seriously MVG, who gives there car to someone when it is driving on fumes!!!!!

Well we call the group and it seems that AET has had her fill of libations (feel free to read into the underlying situation) and they are attempting to get her back to the Hampton (her sensational home for the past 3 mos.). So Meegan and I wait in the parking lot for over an hour for someone to come pick us up and take us to the gas station so we can buy the little red plastic gas can and revive the car enough for MVG to drive it to the airport in the morning. Now come to find out all, MVG had bought the rental car fuel option so was drving on fumes for a reason. Although frankly, when I was hanging out in the parking lot at midnight in a dress and high heels I could have given a rat's ass!

So the curtain closed on the night with AET passed out in bed, MVG making sure she didn't die, me driving JJr. to another bar, and MW, MS and myself heading home for some chex mix and plenty of water. Oh did I mention that the girls (AET, JJr., MW and myself) were heading to Yellowstone National Park the next morning? Yeah, the youngsters were definitely feeling some pain:)

Happy Birthday AET and we will already miss you horribly since you have went away. I hope this post did your celebration justice!

Delinquency

Sorry folks. It has been a busy couple of weeks. But don't worry, as I sit in the airport and await the next adventure I am going to try to make it up to you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My parents love me.

My mom, dad, brother and sister-in-law and the all important cutest niece ever Gracie came to visit in June. We had a great time and as always, it was great to see everyone. I would have posted pictures but my dear sweet boyfriend has not yet gotten me the pictures. Let me caveat that with the fact that I took no pictures so I am completely dependent on his picture taking skills.

So on Monday I came home to find a box at my door. Inside was a thank you package from my Mom & Dad and of course all my mail. But the package housed two of my favorite things in the universe.

My Dad's Chex Mix (It rocks Dad!)
My Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies (you always make them better than me!)

Heaven on earth I tell ya! Kinda glad that whole diet thing didn't work out. Now we only usually get the Chex Mix at Christmas when my Dad makes huge batches because all of us kids eat like 4 bags ourselves. So I am very touched that he made it "off season". And the cookies...well yummy! I have the same recipe that my Mom has but mine never turn out quite as tasty.

So thank you folks. And don't worry, I am sharing with MS and the office team.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Death of the Sonoma Diet


Let us all take a moment and mourn the passing of the Sonoma Diet.

It lasted a good 4 1/2 days before the time came for it to move on to a world that didn't involve me. I followed the diet as best I could (minus the banana and m & m sleep study day) and I was starving the whole time. The headaches (mine came in the form of migraines) plagued me and I generally felt lousy. Let me say though that I wouldn't totally wipe this diet off the menu (pun intended) for those who love salty, savory foods. I'm just a sweets person, natural and processed alike.

So while conversing with my co-workers, AET mentioned that perhaps this wasn't the diet for me. And the newest member of our team, JJr. piped up and started talking about joining Weight Watchers and thought it would be great if we could do it together. I thought what better than a "diet partner" and a plan that is really teaching you to make better choices and control your portion size rather than forbiding you from having all the foods you love.

Now I know there are some readers who either have or our currently doing Weight Watchers with much success and I would love to hear any and all suggestions, tips, recipes (I love recipes), etc... that you might be able to bring to the table.

JJr. and I will be beginning our Weight Watchers quest the first week in August after I return from my Florida trip to meet MS's family.

I'm not going to lie, I felt like a bit of a failure on Friday when I decided to quit the diet. But after contemplating the decision over the weekend and drinking my Canadian beer I realized that the chances are better at succeeding by not only having a partner but by following an eating plan that allows me to still have the things that I love, just in moderation. So thank you JJr. for agreeing to take this journey with me.

I need to mention that although MS will not be going to the meetings and such, he will by default be on the diet whenever we eat together. And he is fully supportive of the decision and that is why I love him:)

So rest in peace Sonoma diet and watch out Weight Watchers I'm coming to get ya!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Card Queen

I like to think that I am a pretty good card giver. I rarely forget a birthday, anniversary or milestone. I also fancy myself someone who chooses funny and person-specific cards.
All that being said, I have been slacking lately. If you are one of the cards that I have forgotten or sent very late, I apologize. I don't know what happened to my memory but if I don't write it down in about 6 places you can pretty much guarantee I'm forgetting it.
What brings this up right now? Well there are two cards in the past month that I have forgotten and I wanted to take this opportunity to give the recipients their due.

First, my brother Scott.
CONGRATS!
I am so proud of you for sticking to it and passing your paramedic test.
And good luck with your applications to fire academy and finding the perfect job.
Even though for the record, I am super nervous about you fighting fires.
But I wish you only the best.
Love you!

Second, my godchild Katie.
CONGRATS!
You worked hard and showed them what you could do.
Congrats on making the cheerleading competition squad.
I knew you could do it!
Good luck this year at your new school.

So I vow to try to stay up on all the cards. If your birthday is at the end of the month and you get a card the first week, it's only because I was thinking about it and knew if I didn't do it then it wasn't going to happen.

Oh and I LOVE TO GET CARDS TOO!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sleep Deprived

I made it out alive. The sleep study was bizarre and in 7-10 days I should know what sort of freaky sleeper I am. First there was paper work, then came the "hook-ups" (see pic below), then the lady snoring like a trucker next door and finally lights out. The lights went out at 10pm, I estimate I fell asleep at 11:30pm then clearly remember waking up at least 4 times throughout the night. Then at about 5:30am this morning a voice awakened me and after a brief vitals check the tech came in with the lights blaring and took all the little wires off me. I should have taken a picture of the after because my hair could have raised the dead. They put all this conductive goop on my head to hold the electrodes (spelling?). It took me 3 washes to get it all out.
Needless to say the so called sleep I got was probably the best example of how awful I sleep most of the time. So I came home and crashed for another 4hrs. interrupted several times by my inability to fall and stay asleep. So now I am overtired and starving. The going back to bed ruined any chance of breakfast so in 4 minutes I am eating lunch.
Enjoy the picture people and no laughing!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

To eat or not to eat....that is the question.

Tonight I am headed to the sleep clinic where I will be attached to tons of wires and machines and they will attempt to figure out why I haven't had a good night's rest since my freshman year in high school. (I wish that was an exaggeration.) I'm a bit nervous, but I would love to wake up feeling refreshed sometime this decade.
So I'm talking to my mom (who just got a brand spankin' new knee today) and she said something to the effect of: maybe you really shouldn't have stopped the sugar since you are doing the sleep study. Basically you are not supposed to make any drastic changes that could affect your regular sleep pattern. And going off sugar cold turkey is certainly drastically changing my body (headaches, salivating over every chocolate related item including those awful tasting Vita Chew things...you get the point).
So I debated, wrestled with my inner self, cursed the sugar gods and goddesses and decided Dr. Mom was right. It was probably not the brightest idea given the circumstances.
But I was doing so well.....so proud of myself.
Now I bet ya'll are thinking that I went out and ate Dairy Cream out of ice cream and shoveled chocolate cake into my mouth to make up for the lost sugar days. Shame on you!
I actually ate 1 small banana and half a regular size package of M & M's Dark. So I think I did pretty darn well. It did help curb my headache and will hopefully allow my body to relax into it's normal fitful sleeping mode.
Wish me luck. Oh and I've decided to count puppies instead of sheep because they are by far the cuter of the two.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dinner was a bust...

Sorry folks I have no recipes for you. The chicken was too strong and made MS's tummy hurt and I didn't even finish mine. The vegetable dish was too lemony even though it was covered in delicious goat cheese.
But tomorrow is another day and another set of recipes. I figure if I can make it through two more days I can do the whole thing.
Although I have to say it is crossing my mind to go to bed now (8:45pm) just so that my mouth stops watering at the thought of ice cream.

Day One of the "Diet"

So it is the afternoon of day one in my personal hell...
Woke up this morning with a wicked headache which I am attributing to my total lack of sugar yesterday.
Had Cheerios with fat-free milk for breakfast. Pretty good except whenever I eat breakfast I am starving all day long. And with only two snacks per day this is not a good thing.
Made lunch for the girls at the office today, Greek Salad with Chicken. Pretty good but not a fan of the dressing. Too much red wine vinegar. But it did have fresh oregano and mint which gave it a pop in your mouth as you ate it.
But right now is the worse (4pm MST). I almost always have a sweet snack right about now. I ate my allotted cheese stick for a snack but I am literally sitting on my hands and sucking down water like its nobody's business trying to not reach into my desk and snag the Quaker Rice Cakes with Chocolate Drizzle that are flashing my name in neon lights.
If I can just make it till six...dinner time. Garlic and Mint Chicken with Broccoli and Roasted Pine Nuts with Goat Cheese. If it is good I will post the recipe. If not I will cry in my unsweetened iced tea.

For all the Villains in the House


I bought this book several years ago at one of those crazy card/Jesus action figure shops in Portland, OR. But you can get your very own copy at Amazon.com.
It is a very funny, slightly demented read. Well worth an hour of your time.
There are tips for Home Design, Health, Work, Social Life and Travel all from the point of view of a Villain. There is even a quiz at the beginning called, "Are You Satisfied with Your Evil Existence." And I know at least one of you is already a villain or seriously considering the dark side.
That brings me to my current situation. It is no secret that I am unhappy in my current job. And it often feels like I am a villain, taking money from little old ladies and all. But how does one look for another job when the last 5 years have spent perfecting my villainous ways?
Do not fear...the book has a section that tells you how to take your villain experiences and translate them for your resume:
"Resume Builders:

Experience----Becomes
Planning a bank heist----Project management skills
Raising an army of the dead----Knowledgeable in training co-workers
Destroying the world----Highly skilled in downsizing
Escaping from jail----Ability to dispense with unwanted situations
Blocking out the sun----Deflected illumination on company practices
Poisoning the king---- Assisted in transition of former management
Selling your soul----Strong financial sense"

The last one is a personal favorite. And of course after the resumes have gone out there are the interviews. So taken from the "Top Ten Interview Questions and How to Respond" are some of my favorites:
" Why do you want to work here? Be honest: Tell them "money, power, and the chance to crush my enemies." They'll like that.
What are your strengths? You undoubtedly have several, so start with your genius, move on to your physical prowess, and end with your ability to make people's heads explode.
What are your weaknesses? "I'm a workaholic" is always a safe response. Make sure you don't mention your fatal flaw, be it the holy cross or Rice Krispies. They'll just use it against you later.
What do you think you could bring to this job? Sometimes cliches don't work. Rather than saying, "Solid work ethics and a willingness to get a job done!" try "Death, destruction, and lots of pointy weapons." "

Maybe being a villain isn't so bad after all...

(All quotes came from "A Villain's Guide to Better Living" by Neil Zawacki with illustrations by Bill Brown both copyrighted in 2004.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Iced Tea

There is no air conditioning in my apartment. And today was hot. Normally I would just eat some ice cream, grab a fountain drink or knock back a couple of beers. But remember the diet...
Well you are allowed to have tea and coffee on the diet (no sugar of course). So I thought what would cool me down better than some iced tea. But not just any tea would do, I wanted something to trick my taste buds into thinking they were actually getting a treat.
So I rifled through the cupboards and found Lipton, chamomile, lemon-ginger then the winner...Chai Spice Decaf. I boiled 4 cups of water and poured it over 4 tea bags and let them steep for 5 minutes. After allowing the brew to cool completely, I filled a glass with as much ice as it could hold and 3 chopped mint leaves (mint is one of the most versatile herbs there is).
It is tasty, refreshing and has convinced by mind for tonight that it doesn't need that Drumstick in the freezer:)

Crying in My Food

So I've started the Sonoma Diet a Mediterranean/Napa Valley kind of diet that doesn't skimp on flavor. I detest the word diet in itself. But as of late I am feeling a bit sluggish and my pants a bit too tight! So I thought why not give this a try. I love food bottom line. So any diet that says no more carbs, no more sweets, no more wine, etc... is not for me. The first 10 days of the diet are the hardest because you cut out almost all sugar (refined and natural). Of course this is where the weight just peels off you (I'll hold my opinion until I see for myself). So I have scoured the two cookbooks and read over the meal plans and have set the stage for Wave 1.
Officially the diet starts tomorrow although I did have one of the meals for dinner tonight as a preview. Went to Safeway and spent a fortune on produce (why is it so darn expensive to eat healthy???). Came home and went to prepping (they say that the best way to eat right is to be prepared). This is where the crying came in...


The dreaded red onion. I hate onions. I mean my mom even had to make a separate potato salad for me without onion for picnics. But on this new diet they are prevalent in a ton of recipes. And since red onions are usually sweeter, I decided to take a chance and try them again.
So I start the process of slicing the onion (For those that don't know I am taking an online Gourmet Cooking and Catering class so I actually know the correct culinary way to slice an onion) then BAM! here come the tears. I thought I was going to scratch my eyes out. I searched my brain for all those hints and tips I have read in countless magazines and seen on my favorite Food Network programs. But nothing. I drew a huge blank. So I cried.

The onion is cut and packed away for future uses. But if anyone has a trick for the next time I have to tackle this detestable vegetable I would greatly appreciate it.

So wish me luck tomorrow and keep your fingers crossed that I don't completely go postal for some chocolate about 2pm.

Monday, July 7, 2008

O Canada



So being who I am and all, I spent the 4th of July in Canada. Calgary (pronounced Cal-gary (like the man's name) to be exact. We originally just wanted to get out of town and some people we ran into told us Calgary was a great place to go. So we loaded up the SUV (gotta love gas guzzling rental cars) and headed to the border. After a very unpleasant border crossing experience (why do they have to be so mean?), we made our way in kilometers to the hotel.

After a quick trip to the mall (you'll see why below) we headed to dinner at Bolero, a Brazilian steakhouse. I see the question marks on your faces, why would I be going anywhere near a steakhouse? Well I thought it would be a nice treat for MS (the boyfriend). So in this super cool dark dining room the feasting of meats began. I ordered chicken and vegetables but MS got the whole nine yards. For those of you that don't know: At Bolero the customer is in charge of the timing on our wide selection of churrasco(skewers) to be brought to your table by our Gaucho Chefs. Green means go and Red means stop. (from opentable.com) It is a very interesting way to eat and from what I heard (or didn't hear because his mouth was always full) it was fantastic.

Friday was the day to end all days...The Calgary Stampede. While we did not plan our trip solely around the Stampede, it was certainly a highlight. What is the Stampede you ask? Well it is 10 days of rodeoing, chuck wagon races, pancake breakfasts, livestock and horse shows, country music concerts and of course lots of rides and fair food. The entire city of Calgary "goes country" for these 10 days and that meant what for us? You guessed right, it was time to cowgirl & cowboy up! (Reference above trip to the mall)


So we got dolled up in our country best and hit the scene. Yes people, that is MS with a western shirt and hat...oh yeah and take a gander at the belt buckle!


Such a good sport and see, I finally got my cowboy:)

We saw the rodeo, ate some awful fair food, drank Bud Light (seriously I go to Canada dying for some decent beer and what are they serving....Bud Light!), danced to some country music (I tried to teach MS the two-step but it was like the blind leading the blind) and ended the day with some chuck wagon racing. It was a long day, but fun and certainly different than anything I've been to in the states.

And for the record, the generous and kind Canadians sang our (USA) national anthem prior to theirs in respect of our Independence Day. It was very touching and appreciated by all the Americans in the crowd.

Saturday we shopped (of course MS found 3 shirts I found nada), MS had his first ice cold Canadian (Molson Canadian) and raved at how yummy it was, we went up the Calgary tower which is 525 ft. off the ground and similar to the Space Needle in Seattle and finally ended the day at Bonterra Trattoria, an adorable Italian joint with a killer patio. I died and went to heaven with the butternut squash ravioli served in brown butter, cranberries and vanilla oil. While MS had the Ciopinno special which is an Italian seafood dish. And from the way he was licking the bowl, I would say it was very tasty. The best of course was dessert where we shared a flight of Vin Santo and I devoured a flourless chocolate torte and MS tried his hand at cleaning a creme brulee ramekin. All in all, a flawless dinner only interrupted by the mosquitoes who thought my legs were mighty tasty.

So thank you MS for a fabulous getaway. You are too good to me!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Look

As you may have noticed, my blog has a new look. Thank you to Michelle who did a bang-up job creating the perfect combination of color and style for my header!

Depression Cookies


So last night I decided to take a trip down memory lane and satisfy my chocolate fix all in one. When I was a kid my mom used to make us these great cookies that she called Depression Cookies. I have no idea where the name came from but if I had to guess I would say that these were cheaper to make then the packaged cookies were to buy. Regardless of why they are named as such, they are delicious!

How do you make these fantastic sounding historical pieces of my chocolate addiction? If you can make a PB & J sandwich then you are ahead of the game. There are two ingredients, graham crackers and frosting (flavor of your choice). Simply put, you break the graham crackers in half and slather on as much, or as little, of your favorite frosting. I use prepared frosting which suits my crazy lifestyle, but you could of course make yours from scratch. One can of frosting usually will allow you to make the entire box of graham crackers.

Simple, sweet and oh so scrumptious! Thank you mom for bringing these into the kitchen!

Monday, June 30, 2008

So it begins...


Well folks, I've done it. I have joined the land of the bloggers. My dear friend Michelle has inspired me with her forever fabulous blog So Wonderful, So Marvelous.
After reading and laughing and occasionally crying, I realized that I too can contribute my words of wisdom, my rants and ravings and most importantly my hopes and dreams. WOW! I never knew just how corny I could be.

The hardest part of the whole thing was deciding on the title. Basically you are given a chance to pronounce to the world who you are, what you stand for or what you strive to be. I have to give the shout out again to my amiga Michelle who sent me this spectacular bottle of wine for my birthday in April. Kung Fu Girl Riesling does more than just look smashing on my wine rack. It signifies where I have been and where I am hopefully going.

For those of you in the know, it is no surprise why the Kung Fu part would appeal to me, scrappy as I am and all. But the "in disguise" part is the true key to this blog. There is a lot about life I have learned and a lot more I struggle to know.

I feel like I just wrote my thesis statement.

So beware of the ninjas and thanks for supporting this Kung Fu Girl!