Tuesday, December 28, 2010

best of 2010.

It's that time of year again! Year end reviews and lists!

I don't know about you, but I was not too impressed with 2010. No extraordinary music or movies, no huge events in my personal life. The daily grind wasted this year away. I hope to change things up in 2011 - be more creative, take on more hobbies and activities, become a better runner. All good goals to aim for.

The Best of 2010
In my very opinionated fashion.

  1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
  2. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
  3. Minus the Bear - OMNI
  4. Phantogram - Eyelid Movies
  5. Yeasayer - Odd Blood
  6. Broken Bells - Broken Bells
  7. Vampire Weekend - Contra
  8. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
  9. The National - High Violet
  10. Beach House - Zebra
  1. Toy Story 3
  2. Going the Distance
  3. Hot Tub Time Machine
  4. Temple Grandin
  5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  1. Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield (1997)
  2. Eight White Nights by Andre Aciman (2010)
  3. Talking to Girls About Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield (2010)
  4. Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson (2010)
  5. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
Live Performances
(Ended up all being bands, saw a couple musicals that made me continue to hate musicals)
  1. Local Natives (Beachland Ballroom)
  2. Phantogram (Musica - Akron)
  3. Minus the Bear (House of Blues)
  4. Sufjan Stevens (Royal Oak Music Theatre - Royal Oak, MI)
  5. Aloha (Grog Shop)
and finally, my 10 favorite moments/adventures/experiences of 2010...
  • Spending my birthday/New Years in Chicago. Visiting Frank Lloyd Wright homes and churches, drooling over my favorite architect.
  • Getting hooked on Mad Men. Looooove.
  • Visiting Whole Foods and farmers' markets. Learning all about food, nutrition, and cooking in a technical sense.
  • Spending evenings in the Metroparks biking or running.
  • Fun summer/fall weddings with friends.
  • Traipsing around the art museum at 2am during the Summer Solstice Party.
  • Running the Cleveland Turkey Trot. Overcame body/leg issues to finish the race strong.
  • Experiencing Cleveland and learning how great it really is.
  • Welcoming my new nephew into the world.
  • Having my dad's bum heart fixed. One of the scariest things I've been through, but extremely thankful and happy all is well again.

here's to a happy and healthy new year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

christmas cookie?

When I think of Christmas, I think cookies. Every year, since I can remember, Christmas has always started with the cookie. My Grandmother would host cookie baking day for my sister and I, which happened to be my favorite day of winter break.

Ever since my Grandma passed, I have been deemed the baker of the family. I have taken it upon myself to provide the appropriate cookies every Christmas.

My Grandma's sugar cookie must always be made. I'm pretty sure these cookies are responsible for my obsession with baking:

Since it's me, and it's Christmas...you get these:

(A Christmas Story is the THE best Christmas movie)

With a 40+ hour work week, I only have so much time. Unfortunately, I couldn't make as many cookies as I would have liked. A classic Toll House chocolate chip cookie made the cut:

I did need to save time for a few homemade gifts. With six siblings (two brothers, one sister - all married), I decided to keep things simple with hand-crafted goods.

Hot chocolate mix (from Alton Brown):

Pumpkin bread and banana bread (baking as we speak):

After a week of preparing and baking, I'm whooped. Ready to relax and enjoy the holiday with my family and friends.

happy eats to all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

it's christmas time.

happy holidays!

The past week has been a whirlwind of Christmas festivities and such. Let's review, shall we?

Monday through Thursday consisted of a steady work, food, gym, relax schedule. Trying to keep myself busy in hopes of not falling into winter's laziness.

Friday was our holiday party at work. We do a whole middle of the day, hardly work kind of party. Lunch was at Marbella in Woodmere/Beachwood. I did not like. Service was awful - my order was wrong, the waitress ignored my boss 37 times and hit a coworker in the head with a plate. Ya know, regular stuff. But regardless, it was nice to relax and enjoy the company of my fellow workers.

I volunteered for United Way on Saturday. A few semi-family members and I wrapped gifts at the Great Lakes Mall. We managed to raise $163 and some change in just 5 hours. Go us! It was quite the interesting adventure. Lots of people watching resulted in our very own 12 days of Christmas:

12 Bieber haircuts
11 emo kids
10 fuzzy hats
9 drunken moonwalks
8 lazy husbands
7 douchy sweaters
6 abandoned children
5 missing limbs
4 men in shorts
3 of Kristin's daughters
2 lacy bra's
♪...and a box full of random underwear ♪

I think every good deed done should be rewarded in a little Michael Jackson The Experience. For those of you unaware of this awesome Wii game, go out and buy/rent it for the holidays. Super fun time. A great workout too! I was working up a sweat while playing and here it is 2 days later and I am still sore. You would never get me out of the house if I had this game.

Of course the weekend before Christmas was full of shopping. Everyone and their brother (hate that phrase btw) was out. Which is good I guess. Didn't see any riots though. Suppose that is good, too.

I have another busy week ahead of me. Lots of cookies to bake. A post to come about all the delights!

Have a beautiful week of family and fun. Remember, Christmas is the time to rejoice in the glories of Christ's birth and celebrate all the blessings of the Holy Spirit.

merry christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I love, love, loooove Minus the Bear. Tied for first as my favorite band (Death Cab for Cutie being the other) , I always make myself available for a little dance party party when they are in town.

After a crummy day (lack of sleep, not feeling right), I treated myself to MTB at the HOB last night. As usual, they rocked my socks off. Each and every time I see them live they sound better and better. Perfection.

happy ears!

Before the concert I made sure to spend some quality time at the gym. A hour-long elliptical session does a body good.

Quick stop at Heinen's then headed home to made a mighty fine dinner (if I do say so myself).

Spaghetti squash and semi-homemade sauce made with:
  • jar of roasted garlic sauce
  • can of chopped tomatoes
  • shredded carrots
  • diced green pepper
  • black beans
Holy new obsession. I'm okay with eating this all the time.

in other news...

Thanks to Unmiserable Cleveland, I will be seeing Billy Elliot at Playhouse Square tonight! I won tickets in her UC Turkey Trot contest.

I love being unmiserable in Cleveland!
happy weekend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

i love winter.

It really bothers me when people complain about Cleveland and its weather. You are fortunate to live in a place where you get all four seasons. It's a beautiful and exciting adventure. Your world is always changing, bringing you new and wonderful things.

Stop being so negative, embrace winter!

i ♥ winter because...

When snow falls the world turns quiet. There is a silence that winter has, you can't beat it.

Hot drinks. Hot chocolate, coffee, tea. Hanging out in a coffee shop with your hot beverage rules when it's cold outside.

Sleeping with lots and lots of blankets! I love me some warm blankies.

Cookies. Specifically Christmas Cookies! I make my grandmothers cookies only at Christmastime. love, love, love.

Attempting to ski. I'm not the greatest skier, but I manage. Learn if you don't know how, well worth it.

The whiteness of winter. It's almost as if you are living in a black and white world like Pleasantville.

Fireplaces. Enough said.

Reading books. Quoted from my bestest, "I love literature and it's a very literary season."

Spending lots of time in the kitchen whipping up warm meals. To be fair, cooking is my favorite part of any season.

Wrapping myself up in scarves. I love having my neck covered, makes me feel safe (I totally get that from my grandma).

The all around beauty of snow. At night when the street lights make the falling snow sparkle - it's hard to imagine anything more beautiful.

All the best holidays are during winter. Christmas with your family, New Years with your friends, Valentine's Day with your love, St. Patrick's Day (usually) with your...green beer?

Birthday celebrations. New Years Day is kind of the best birthday ever : )

The rare snow day. They are bound to happen sometime.

Spending those snow days sledding. You will never be too old to sled.

Rosy cheeks and noses. I love the way they look and feel.

I urge you to look to the bright side this winter season. There are so many wonderful things to do and see. Keep active and hopefully SAD won't get you down. Here are few things you can keep yourself busy with:

Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding at the Lake Metroparks.

Indians Snow Days at Progressive Field.

Visit A Christmas Story House in Tremont.

Learn to ski or snowboard at Alpine Valley or Boston Mills Brandywine.

See a play at Playhouse Square, watch a movie at Cedar Lee, eat some food at GLBC.

Grab winter by its snow balls and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

happy hanukkah.

Disclaimer - Please be aware that I generally tend to cook on the lighter side, but sometimes things need to be FRIED.

Happy Hanukkah! Happy Winter! Happy Christmastime!

When I stumbled across this recipe for pumpkin potato latkes, I knew I had to take part in Hanukkah this year. Pumpkin, fried potato...sold.

They were ah-may-zing.

It was only natural that I experimented with more latkes the next night, right? This time, sweet potato!

I added an extra egg to compensate for the lack of moisture (pumpkin) in the other recipe.

Hot sauce and applesauce for dipping (preferably combined) is delish.

in other news...

I finally have a new nephew! He was only a week late, but after thinking he was going to be early I felt like we were waiting for him forever!

Garrett Davis Marshall
December 4, 2010

: )