Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Carving our Pumpkins!

I love everything about Halloween!!! Halloween is my favorite holiday because it is fun to dress up, have an excuse to eat candy and make sweets, play dress up, and typically means cooler weather!!!

I bought our pumpkins at HEB a couple of weeks ago. We didn't want to carve them to early and have them rot out, so we waited until 2 nights ago. One day I'd like to go out to a farm and buy pumpkins from some type of pumpkin patch, but I don't' know where one is near Austin.

Abby's first experience with a pumpkin. She kept trying to eat the stump

Chewie and I before the festivities begin

Abby, Jim and Chewie

My very cool friend Angela bought me an Eagles Jack-o-lantern pack a couple years ago, so it was time to put it to good use. I have to say, those patterns are DAMN HARD. See all of those little lines right next to each other? Yeah... I said some cuss words that night while cutting my pumpkin up.

I love the way she is looking up at Jim

Here is my failed attempt at the Eagles mascot. You can kind of see it if you shut one eye and squint :) Once I took some photos, I knew I had to keep cutting and create something new.
Chewie and my final result

My pumpkin is on the right and Jim's is on the left. Jim's bat pumpkin came out pretty good! Mine was just so-so, but I still had a fun time!! :)

Chewie and the pumpkins

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lunch with the kids

I am so grateful that I live very close to where I work. It helps me in the mornings when I am running late, if I leave something at home I can get it within 10 minutes, and I can eat lunch at home and hang out with the kids.

I took these photos with an iPhone while at home during lunch with the pups

Chewie looks like a cartoon type figure with that huge smile on his face
Abby taking a break from chasing Chewie around the yard

Chewie resting on the couch

Dogs on alert!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Last Friday night we headed to Piranha Killer Sushi for dinner. We used a Groupon (paid $20 for $40 worth of food), so dinner was very reasonable. I love Groupon and the deals that it brings each day :) If you haven't heard about Groupon, then you need to go to and sign up for their daily alerts. Sure some of the deals aren't for me, but I love it when I can get discounted meals, massages, and salon experiences.

Back to the food... we started off our night with the Pork and Vegetable Dumplings with Spicy Orange Marmalade. We had 3 choices for the preparation of the dumpling... steamed, pan fried, or fried. We decided on pan fried, and it was a very good choice! The dumplings had a nice crust on the outside, and the insides were perfectly cooked! The spicy orange marmalade was quite tasty, not very spicy but it was a nice sauce for the dumplings.

Our first roll of the night was the Vietnamese Summer Roll. It has salmon, tuna, crab, greens, mango and asparagus wrapped with rice paper. This roll was very delicate and had a fresh taste. I didn't really taste the mango in the roll, but I did get a strong asparagus flavor. The roll was good, but it was exceptional with the spicy and sweet sauce that they were placed in.

Our next two rolls came out together, we ordered the Birthday Roll and the Volcano Roll. The Birthday Roll had shrimp tempura, eel, masago, scallions, cream cheese and it was topped with avocado. This was a compact tasty roll... it had a slightly salty flavor and had a little crunch from the shrimp tempura. This was my favorite roll of the night.

The Volcano Roll had charbroiled crawfish over a California Roll. I wasn't impressed with this roll... I was expecting some type of spicy flavor with the crawfish, but I found the sauce with it very mild. The description didn't say anything would be spicy but with a name like Volcano I just assumed it would be spicy. The crawfish was pretty fishy tasting which turned me off. Jim didn't seem to mind so he ate most of that roll, while I ate most of the Birthday Roll :)

We ended the night with a dessert, the cheese cake with a strawberry compote. I have to say this was a very good dessert. The cheese cake was fluffy, not to dense and had a hint of cinnamon.
I had one small complaint about the food.... there were no options for a spicy roll. I like a little heat with my sushi and I didn't get that with this meal. Next time I'll ask our waiter if they have any spicy rolls that aren't on the menu for us to try. Overall our dinner was delicious, service was prompt and the environment had an easy modern feel to it. We'll be back one day to try their happy hour specials!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beer Festival

I came across an article that talked about a Beer Festival that was going on near the house and knew that I found an activity that was suited for us! The Flying Saucer was hosting this festival where there were 60 beers on tap for you to try. To get in was free, but if you wanted to try the beer (and hello, that is why people went! :) ), you paid $12 which got you a tasting glass (which held about 3 oz filled to the top), and 12 different tastings. Most people filled the glass all the way to the top for you to enjoy. This was a really great way to try beers, and most were small breweries that you don't typically see on tap in bars/restaurants.

There were 2 tents on both sides of the festival filled with people ready to pour you a beer

Jim, Chris and Oz (Chris and Lindsay's dog). Had we known you could take dogs, we probably would have brought Chewie or Abby with us.

Jim and I

Nick alerted me to these two people and their butt cracks waving to the world! They sat like that for at least 10 minutes.... so I had to take a picture. Was it immature of me to do that? yes. Do I care? No. :) I have jeans that are low, but I'm pretty sure that I usually feel a breeze go across my butt crack when it accidentaly makes an appearance.

Jim trying out a beer

I took pictures like this for all of the tastings that I did. I mainly did it so I could remember which beers I tried, and for the most part I remember the beers that I liked and which I didn't like. I found out that I am not an IPA beer fan but I like most ale's and darker beers.

This was a nice light beer. I have no idea where I would find a 6 pack of this... perhaps Whole Foods?

Nick, Jim and I
The sun was beating down on us for most of the day, so we found some shade, sat down and chatted away. Sure the boys spent most of the time talking football, but it was still a fun day!

Not only were there great beers on tap to try, they also brought in 3 different food carts. One was a hot dog cart, one I can't remember, and then there was the Peached Tortillia. This is the food cart that I tried to go to a few weeks ago but couldn't since they were so busy. I was stoked to finally try their food. They had a limited menu for the event, but that didn't matter because they had what I wanted to try.
I ordered their BBQ Brisket taco and their Banh Mi Slider. The Brisket taco had a jalapeno slaw and a smoky roasted peach BBQ sauce. I really liked this taco... the meat was tender and I enjoyed the slaw. I had no idea it had a peach BBQ sauce on it because the slaw overpowered that flavor. I would have liked to taste a little more of the BBQ but I still really enjoyed the taco.
The Banh Mi slider was served on a sweet Hawaiian roll, with a Vietnamese braised pork belly, pickled daikon and carrot salad, sriracha may and cilantro. I thought the veggies on this sandwich were very good but the pork belly was lacking. The little pork belly chunks just couldn't compete with the other big flavors in this slider.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What was supposed to be a fun day....

ended up with Abby and I at the emergency vet. Abby and I headed down to Town Lake for a walk, a swim, and some butt sniffing. I wanted to get her around some other dogs so she became more comfortable around other dogs. She was prancing around while we walked to Auditorium shores, desperately trying to dive into the water. Once we got to the leash less area, we walked to the water and I let her go to play in the water. Another dog came along and they started to play friendly so I let them play for about 15 minutes. They chased each other around, they splashed and swam and basically had fun. I noticed at one point she was limping, but then promptly put her foot down and keep sniffing around. I put the leash back on her and was going to head further into the park when she stopped again to sniff her foot. I bent down to check, and found that she was bleeding. SHIT! I saw where she was cut, and it was up in her foot past her pads. I didn't want her walking in the dirt so I picked her up and carried her to the pavement. I wish I could have carried her further, but I didn't have the strength. Luckily we were only about 1.5 blocks to the car. I had a towel in the car, so I dried her off and then got a better look at her foot. Her foot had 2 different cuts, so I'm guessing that there was some type of glass in the water. Double SHIT!

Once we got home, I put her into my bathtub and cleaned her off and washed out her foot. She was such a great little girl, she only tried to get out of the tub once and let us mess with her foot to make sure there wasn't dirt in there. We wrapped up her foot and placed her on the couch. She took a nap as soon as she got onto the couch so I had a small hope that we wouldn't have to go to the vet. But as soon as she got up from the nap and put pressure on her foot, it started to bleed again.

That big boy is Theodore, sweet dog playing with Abby.

I was a little nervous at this point... Abby was eyeballing the kayak out in water like she was going to swim out to them. Thankfully she went back to playing with Theodore
After getting home from the vet. She had to be put under for the stitches. She was pretty loopy with glassy eyes for the rest of the night.
This morning she was still a little slow, but you could tell the light was back in her eyes. She is still gimpy, but that is to be expected. Her first act of our lunch time visit, was to sit in the sun and chew on a stick. After the stick, she took the opportunity to munch on Chewies neck while he was laying down :)
During our vet visit, she got weighed and surprisingly she now weighs 53 pounds. 53 POUNDS. No wonder I could only carry her so far when she hurt her foot! Tonight we will take off the bandage and make sure the stitches look okay. Poor girl!! She is so accident prone! We'll shower her with lots of love and make sure she heals properly!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chunky Chew

Last weekend I took Chewie out for a mini adventure... walk along the green belt then on to the Hope Farmers market. My goal is to one day take Abby and Chewie out at the same time but they (and I) are not ready for that adventure. Way more training must take place.

There wasn't much water in the creek, but Chewie ran around anyway. He loves to prance around in the water.

Chewie is not about the pictures while in the water, but I tried my best to get one of both of us while I was balancing on a rock in the middle of the creek

Look at that smile!

Loved the colors on this door at the Farmers Market

Chewie was the perfect gentleman while I was looking at the veggies. The Hope Farmers market isn't as big as the farmers markets on Saturday but they still have some good stuff

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Munchies

Most Sundays during Football season we have people over. We have the Direct TV football package which gives us all of the football games. Jim and his friends are HUGE football fans and even bigger fantasy football fans. We love having people over on Sundays and I love feeding those guys.

Last week I did something quick to feed the guys... used crescent rolls and filled them with various meats and veggies. I used turkey and pepper jack cheese for one of the sandwiches and roasted red bell peppers, banana peppers, and Havarti cheese in the other. They turned out soooo good! Once I rolled up the goodies in the middle, I baked it for about 15 minutes.

These little suckers were really good, and the best thing is that you can use anything you have in your fridge to make these sandwiches

Some of the cheese oozed out, but it was still tasty

The final product!

Austin City Limits Festival


Each year we debate on whether or not we want to go to ACL. The main issue that we have is that you buy your tickets before you know who is going to actually play at the 3 day concert. I'm sure, you know that they are going to get big names to play at the concert, but will it be a band that you like or want to see? In the past we have done 3 day passes and we have purchased day passes, just depending on what we have going on and when it is.

This year I waited to long to buy the tickets so I missed out on getting us 3 day passes, so I bought us Friday tickets. We like Friday because typically it is a slower day (I'm guessing people are working or making their way to Austin for the concert). This year it was busier than normal... perhaps the nice weather brought people out or the Phish fans (that are known for traveling to see them play). Either way, we still had a really good time.

We started out the day with Chris. Lindsay was meeting up with us later that day and we had friends coming throughout the day Jim checking out the schedule. We spent a few nights checking out the line up and listening to bands that we haven't heard of before to try to figure out who would be the show to watch.

Jim and I at the Donavan Frankenheimer show. This band was okay, not our favorite

Glad to see that I'm not the only one who loves to take self portrait shots :)

The crowd really started to pick up around 3pm. Once the crowds got this big, it felt like it was the 2nd day of the festival which is on Saturday

At one of the shows I had the pleasure of sitting behind this guy. I was amazed that he could sit in that chair... it looks like it is going straight up his ass and is totally uncomfortable!! I guess it is light weight to carry, but that is the only reason I can see to carry the chair around.

I'm not positive, but I believe this guy is a Phish fan. That is WAY to much tie dye all in one outfit

Port-a-potty... yeah that's right, I took a picture in one (before I used it)

The guitarist from Chief

For lunch I decided to eat at Aquarelle... this steak sandwich with french fries and some type of sauce was DELICIOUS! A friend of mine, Sarah, said that she got the same sandwich and loved it too! I highly doubt that I could go to Aquarelle to get this sandwich because they are a high end restaurant in Austin. If they ever add it to their menu, I'll be the first person to order one! :)

Lot's o' people

Lindsay and I at Spoon
John, Nick, Chris and Jim.
We ran into Nick, John and Magen once we set up our chairs at the Spoon stage. It was so odd to run into everybody since there were so many damn people at the festival

Jim and I at Spoon

I thought it was pretty cool that people could sit on the stage in the risers. I wasn't a big fan of Spoon... I thought they just sounded okay.
Sunsetting on the festival

Nice face dear
Lindsay, Chris, Nick, John and Jim
This balloon acted as a "night light" over the middle part of the festival. It was surprisingly bright

Close up of the "night light"
At Vampire Weekend... They were awesome!

Lindsay, Chris and Jim
Lindsay, Chris and I
These guys were using glowing hula hoops... very cool
Good Bye ACL! We had a grand time!