Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We spent the evening with Jeremy's family - ate some turkey, and stuffing, and pie, and veggies, and then I was full.

Should be a busy weekend with lots of friends in town - very fun! I don't have much to report on the wedding front, though I have been asked about 1000 times 'How wedding plans are going'...and I have no response. Uh, well I guess...nothing really to do. I am working on the cards of things to do, to go in the hotel bags. Uh yea, that's about it. We ordered our invitations - check! and booked the rehearsal dinner this past week - check! Next up, book the Honeymoon (achem...Jeremy). We have it narrowed down to Belize or Costa Rica, and let me tell you - that is some serious progress.

Punky hasn't been sleeping well lately, and therefore neither has her mother. This is not a little taste of motherhood, it is a full blown taste of motherhood. The puppy has sleeping issues, mom yawns all day because she didn't sleep either. I'm not sure what is up with her, but I'm hoping it ends soon. And that I get to go home from work soon (ON THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING - YES I AM WORKING) and take a nap. Gym, then nap. Stat.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crockpot adventures continue

This crockpot adventure is curtosy of Miss. Debra Fiterman. For Debra's birthday, she was the proud recipient of a crockpot and custom designed crockpot cookbook made by yours truly. On Sunday night, she tested out her skills with one of the recipes I suggested and voila!

Moroccan Slow-Cooker Stew

Weight Watchers points (if you care): 4

Ingredients

1 spray(s) cooking spray
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes* (or you can buy it at Trader Joes already peeled and cut up)
1 cup(s) carrot(s), baby
1 cup(s) canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup(s) vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
15 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp table salt
Instructions

Coat a small skillet with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes.


Place squash in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker (crockpot). Add sauteed onion and garlic, carrots, tomatoes, broth, cinnamon, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cover and turn on to low heat; simmer for 6 hours.

Add chickpeas and salt. Stir, cover and heat for an additional 5 minutes. Yields about 1 1/3 cups per serving.

It was FANTASTIC. The picture looks a bit gross but it was absolutely wonderful. She did a great job. Make this. And make it soon! Variation - skip the beans, add chicken for a change.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I've been tagged...

So our delicious crockpot dinner last night will have to wait until tomorrow. Contain your suspense.

Debra has tagged me in a grown-up game of tag/self esteem boost in one.


Here are the rules:

1) Write 3 things about myself I like
2) Tag 3 more people
3) Go on in peace

Hardest part for me? The going on in peace. I'm the girl who lies in shavasha at the end of yoga thinking about her grocery list. I don't do peaceful very well! Here goes:

1) I am motivated. Maybe a bit too motivated! I took every school class/project to the limit - think back to the volcano project which could have been a simple spewing volcano, which I made into a lean, mean, toy burning machine. My career is of great importance to me, as is finding a job which fits my personality and strengths. Working out - you may call me crazy, I call myself motivated! So it could be motivation driven by ADHD - but nonetheless, motivation!

2) I can get-er-done! I am a decision maker. I do not sit and dwell, consider every paint color for a wall for 6 years, wait to see what others will do, or wait to see if someone else will get something done. I do it. I seize opportunities and I get-er-done. Again, this may be attributed to my ADHD, or, as I like to think of it, I am a project 'completer'. If you want something done, and you don't want to question whether it will REALLY be done...give it to me. I promise, you won't think about it again. And I think that is pretty darn good.

3) I can be funny. Once in a while. Humor cures all wounds, and crosses all divides. If you don't know what to say, or don't know how to react, you usually can't go wrong by making someone laugh. Lighten the mood - keep people smiling! Do you remember superlatives in the yearbook? Well in middle school I was declared 'funniest' in the 6th grade year book. Let me tell you, to this day, that is one of most important things to me. Middle school, right? Who cares, funny means you tell potty jokes. Whatever, that means my potty jokes must have been pretty darn funny!


Now go on in peace. I'll try. Really. But I can't promise anything.

Now it's time for me to tag 3 others! None of you have blogs (I reccomend you change that), so just comment on mine - or email it - and tag 3 others.

Sara Bongers, Stacy Ta-ta's, Robyn, Liz Edlavitch....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lots of Progress!

Rehearsal dinner - CHECK!
Tux choice - CHECK!
Honeymoon progress - CHECK!

Rehearsal dinner: And I couldn't be more excited - we convinced them - fuddruckers!!!! They're shutting down the whole restaurant for us, veggie burgers, bison burgers, hamburgers, salads, shakes, malts, ice cream, FUN!!!! Seriously, this is SO us!

Tux choice: See photo. Yea!



Honeymoon Progress: So we've narrowed it down to Central America - likely either Costa Rica or Belize. Rain forest, monkeys, tropical weather, great food, relaxation.


Consider me one pretty darn content bride right now!!! Someone please let me know if there is something I should be doing right now because seriously, we don't have anything to do (wedding wise). People keep asking how preparations are going and I give my same stock response, "Well, ya know, I really think we're in the lull time right now. But ask me again in January!" So if there's something I should be doing...please clue me in!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where should we go for our honeymoon?



We are STUCK! Yes, Jeremy (a.k.a. travel guru) and Kara (one who likes to travel)...cannot figure out where to go. We have met with travel agents, researched for months, talked to people ...and we're stuck.

This is what we want:
-beautiful beach
-resort, either all inclusive but with restaurants not buffets, or a la carte, but with reasonably priced, good restaurants nearby
-Kara's preference - not a HUGE resort, something smaller - more personal
-WARM - and predictably warm in April
-option to take part in some activities from time to time (rain forest, boat rides etc...)
-UNIQUE
- Not ridiculously expensive (the hardest element)

HELP!!!!! Suggestions??? SOS - send help!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why must I always choose the road less traveled?

From a young age, my mom liked to say that I was not the type to choose the easy route. If there was a simple way, and a difficult, painstaking, annoyingly long way to do something, that's what I would choose. Now, that is not to say I am not decisive, I am VERY decisive, maybe too much so, but when it comes to the most mundane tasks, I find the challenging way to do it.

Example: 5th grade volcano project. Most students built a simple paper mache volcano that spewed smoke, and thus fulfilled the requirements. Me? No, no, no.
*First, I try to make it out of clay, causing my mom to make about 10 trips to the craft store for various types of clay. But, when that was finished, it did not work. *So, I moved on to foam. That was just not right either.
*Volcano #3 was made out of cardboard, nope, again, just not quite right.
*It was not until volcano #4 came along that I felt it looked just right. And when it was spewing to an extent which pleased me, it was still not enough. PEOPLE! I told my mom. I need people, running off the volcano away from the flowing magma! She reminded me that I had already fulfilled the requirements for the project and would get 100% simply because the volcano did what it was supposed to do, but that was just not good enough.

So, after a 10pm trip to target to find little people for my volcano, I brought out the hot glue gun and began to glue my victims to their place of demise. I thought it was a fantastic idea until I found myself screaming bloody murder at 11pm because I had hot glued my leg to the volcano along with one of the little people. I was now a victim of my own volcano. And what do I have to show for it? A giant scar on my right leg where skin once was until the fateful day when I had to be dislodged from my volcano.

And how does that story relate to the wedding? Well I will tell you right now with another example.

Example: TASK: make cards for the hotel gift bags for the out of towners.

So, I decided to buy heavy cardstock to print on, one side would have the text, and the other side would have our monogram. Well, for anyone who has ever had dumb ideas like me, cardstock does not print on home printers. Or really, even at Kinko’s. And once you find a place that can print on it, it does not look good. The cards came out too small, and off center so I decided to back them with a thin black paper as the border. Print on the heavy cardstock, and back it with the thin paper? Needless to say, I am starting over.

3 trips to paper depot for various supplies - $35.00
19 attempts to print these cards at home resulting in a broken printer - $150.00
2 trips to Kinko’s for printing assistance - $10.00
3 hours of work wasted as I tried to cut out the cards - $100.00
Realizing that there was a ridiculously simple way to complete this project which never even dawned on me? PRICELESS

And this is the life of Kara. Making projects a bit more difficult, one step at a time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Putting the cool back in the crockpot

Before we venture out into the unknown abyss of crockpot exploration, I will begin with our all time favorite (so far). So here it is...Salsa Chicken.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup (condensed)
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream



Directions

Add chicken to slow cooker.
Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
Pour salsa and soup over chicken.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. (or not - we always skip this step, but you could if you want.)

Serve with rice.

NOTES:
You may use half the packet of taco seasoning (I have started doing this to reduce sodium content myself)


So there it is. Recipe #1, and it is a great one! Sorry, I don't have a picture, next time, I will take them and post.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Singin' in the rain was a far better shower

hahah - wasn't that just a fantastic joke. Okay, lame, I know. Bridal showers, I don't really understand them, but have come to realize that they are necessary in that people like giving them, some enjoy attending them, and others dread them but expect them. Therefore, showers we will have. But here's a part of showers that I do like...my adorable Auntie is hosting one and doing the customized M and M's. yum and fun! Have I mentioned that my Mom has not showed any strong opinions related to the wedding, unless it relates to chocolate or dessert?! Finding a Blizzard man became an all consuming task, and customized chocolate just sent her into another orbit of bliss. The Goldman's and their chocolate. Now what would get me that excited? A life sized marshmallow in the shape of punky. mmmmmmmmmm

So, now I am fully stealing this idea, but I will give credit, where credit is due. Thanks to the book I am reading, Julie and Julie and Debra and Lindsay's friend Greta...we will now be doing a recipe review! Now, you may know that Jeremy and I have a great affinity towards the crock pot. Now hear me out, it is truly an invention for our generation. It is ridiculously easy, very hard to mess up. We are a generation that really does want to cook, take the time to make healthy meals etc...but we are BUSY! Perfect invention. Throw a bunch of stuff in, set the timer, come home to a beautiful meal! Presto!

So, stay tuned for some crockpot recipe reviews. And I do challenge you to try some yourself. Honestly, if Jeremy and I can do it - I promise you can too.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cow, Bird or vegetable

So we have a little less than 5 months until the wedding, which is fantastic!

We spent the week finalizing the wording for the invitation. Who knew there were such big differences in wording etc... Sorry everyone, but you will have to decide between the ambiguous, chicken, fillet or vegetarian for dinner because the timing on this one just won't work. The Westin doesn't want to talk menu until Jan 15. The invitations need to be ordered either yesterday or anytime in the future according to our invitation lady. So, needless to say, we will have to guess on entree choices and you will have to take a stab in the dark...sorry. I promise they won't be gross. And, we've made the bold decision not to do fish. Fish is terribly hard for a large group, it is either over-cooked or under-cooked and its stinky, so therefore, no fish. If you're super concerned, let me know, I'll bring you a can of bumblebee.

Jeremy suggested that we add a 4th option...'surprise'. I know my dad would like that option. He's the crazy who goes to an ice cream shop and says, "Surprise me".

So there it is....do you want cow, bird or vegetable!?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Invitation shopping...

Let me first start by saying, Natalie, if you are reading this - your Grandma is wonderful, but OH SO CONFUSING!

This weekend we went with my parents to pick out invitations for the wedding! Now Jeremy and I have very similar taste, and we did not presume that this would be a life altering decision, nor one which would cause heartache or struggle. And it wasn't. Well at least it wasn't between the two of us.

We sit down, she gives us a book (she being my grandma's best friend, and the owner of one of the Jewish invitation shops in town - and the previously mentioned 'Natalie's' Grandmother.). We look through three books, and find one we like very much.

Shirlee, the store owner:
"When is the wedding again?".
We respond, "April 4".
Shirlee: "OH MY GOODNESS WE HAVE TO GET GOING, You are very late on this"
Us: "Oh no, we thought we were okay - well fine then - we like this one, we want to change this and that, and the wording is just fine - obviously insert 'Kara Weinblatt and Jeremy Frank' instead of randoms listed here. But then it's great, lets order it.
Shirlee: "What's the rush? Take the book home, think about it, look at more books, take your time. They just take a few days to order. No big deal."
Us: "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" This is Kara, confused.


And this went on for quite some time, we asked for a form to fill out with what she wanted, apparently no such item exists. But she did show us some lovely Lucite picture frames and dancing wedding bears. Quite lovely. She is a wonderful lady, but wow, an experience. It is possible our invitations will not have the correct names on them, nor will they be the right color or style, but oh well. Hopefully they'll have the correct time and place and you'll know when to show up - though you won't know what you are showing up for.

On the bright side, we love them, think they are awesome - and hey, it only took us 15 minutes to pick them out. That has got to be some kind of record. Have I mentioned that I am a decision maker and not a dawdler. Which, come to think of it, has been my success, and more times than not...my demise!

Hope you all had a great Halloween!