30 March 2014

Wedding Photos

So you may have heard that EMSA and I got married last week. It's been posted dutifully on the various family blogs here and here. We had such a wonderful wedding day - everything went off without a hitch. Thank you to everyone who came to the reception and helped us celebrate the first day of the rest of our lives together. You all made us feel so loved. And to those of you who helped make it happen - we couldn't have done it without you. Particular thanks to my dear friend Desi, my wedding planning assistant, and to our totally kickass wedding photographers.

Speaking of photography, here is one of my absolute favorites (we got the CD of photos in the mail yesterday):

I'll be putting more photos up on our wedding blog/website in the near future. They are all SO GREAT! We have the rights to all the photos (there are tons!), so just let me know if you want any prints. Now back to my regularly scheduled life with my new husband. We are working on using as many of our awesome wedding gifts as possible. The stand mixer and immersion blender both had their turn yesterday. Today, who knows?

01 January 2014

Bonne annee!

Meilleurs vœux pour le Nouvel An!

EMSA and I have had a lovely holiday season here in the frigid north (yes, really - the highs the last two days have not gotten above ZERO). We spent Christmas Eve with his family, enjoying a lovely meal, traditional gift opening and viewing of two Christmas movie classics in the background - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and my new favorite, Elf. Even if you don't like Will Ferrell, I can almost guarantee that you'll like this movie:

My mom can attest to the greatest of this movie. Hilarious and so darn full of holiday cheer!

On Christmas Day, my mom's side of the family once more gathered at the party room at my grandparents' apartment building. The puzzle occupied most of my time. It's a traditional part of our family Christmas experience!

Searching for edge pieces.

Starting to come together...

The finished product. We finished well before 8pm this year!

It was nice to see that side of the family as always, and some of them had already received the wedding invites that I mailed the day before Christmas Eve. Who know the US Post Office was capable of such efficiency? (Side note to the Florida contingent - I mailed yours to Michigan as I didn't have the Florida address). There was lots of discussion about the wedding, which is less than 12 weeks away!

Yesterday, I carried on my mom's NYE tradition and had a small get together at our house. As always, we may have overdone on the food:

Mom got me some excellent hats and noisemakers for Christmas, deployed to excellent use:


I also took her recommendation on the "champagne" aka Spanish sparkling white wine:

We need more champagne flutes. I didn't think it was possible that we needed any more glassware, but there you have it. Good thing we have wedding registries to add to. It was an excellent party and I think a good time was had by all - good food, Rock Band, and watching the ball drop with friends. Who can ask for more? There were even Cheetos, my ultimate guilty pleasure snack food. YUM!

Today I spent doing very traditional things with mom - brunch and a movie. I highly recommend American Hustle, in case you are wondering. I don't do resolutions because they are ultimately doomed to fail, but I can say that I am very excited for everything that 2014 is going to bring.Wedding! Reception(s)! Honeymoon! All very good things.

Ok, I take it back - I resolve only to spend a bunch more time with cats on my lap, if that's even possible.

Day 1: Mission Accomplished

06 December 2013

Feta Spinach Tarts

First things first - my Xanga blog is really, officially no more. I have transferred "the archives" over to WordPress and you can find it here:

A Traveler at Home on Wordpress

Re-reading some of those old posts has been entertaining, at least for me. For example: this is the first post that mentions EMSA, posted almost six years ago - it'll be six years for us on December 18th. Apparently I liked that he's tall. Still true. :-)

B) You may have heard that it snowed here in Minneapolis/St. Paul. You may have also heard that it's cold. Remember all that whining I did about cold back in the beginning of November? My complaints were premature.

Yep. Feels Like -17. Tomorrow: High temp of ZERO. Yikes. Winter is no longer coming, winter is HERE.

III) Because of all this cold, Andy and I are feeling a bit like hibernating, so we wanted to find something to make for dinner that required the oven. We turned to our new cookbook which we bought on a whim at Barnes & Noble in the bargain section. Today's adventure: Feta Spinach Tarts.

Cheese and Bread
Our appetizer course.

Tarts Baking
Tarts in the oven.

Tarts Cooling
Cooling down. Pretty nice looking, right? Getting them out of the tart pans on onto a plate was... less successful:

Tarts on a Plate
Exhibit A, on the left. Oh well, they were still delicious.

If we make them again, which we probably will, I'll make sure to put them on the food blog. Also, please note the exceptionally nice tart pans getting their first use. Thanks, Dad.

02 December 2013

Tour of the Pacific Northwest: Portland

Yes, I know it's December and blogging is no longer required. But what can I say - Jimi and my family have inspired me. Plus I realized that I never finished my travelogue of our Pacific Northwest trip. Huge oversight. The story continues...

As with the Vancouver-Seattle train ride, the Seattle-Portland trip took place in the evening. We pulled into Portland around 8pm or so and took the light rail and then the tram (yes, two kinds of rail based public transportation. Andy was in train-nerd heaven) to get to our riverfront hotel. In addition to lots (and lots) of public transportation that is super efficient, Portland also has a thriving biking culture (2nd only to Minneapolis, I hear) and lots of excellent beer. It's like it was tailor made for Andy and I. And now, some photo highlights. Warning - my Portland photos are somewhat uninspiring:

Our Amtrak train.

Beer at what ended up being our favorite beer place.

Warning: Don't ride your bicycle on the tram and/or light rail tracks.

The "Portlandia" building.

My best shot (of many) of the riverfront 4th of July fireworks.

We had a great time - I am so glad we finally got around to taking this trip. The cats missed us, of course, and thank you to our loyal cat watchers, who were a well oiled team - Mom, Brad, and Lois. We couldn't have left our dear cats in better hands.

30 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 2013: A Retrospective

And here we are again at the end of our month-long blogging adventure. Did everyone have fun? I know I did. I will be going with my traditional wrap up post, links to my favorite posts over the years

NaBloPoMo 2013
Answers, Part One
Answers, Part Two
Rock Band with the P-Ster
Thanksgiving Wrap-up

NaBloPoMo 2012
Pannekoekun Huis
70 Years!
1996 Ford Taurus
New House: Part 6A

NaBloPoMo 2011
Day 1: Leaves!
Calvin the Video Star
Cat Ownership 2.0
Dance Your Cares Away

NaBloPoMo 2010:
Turkey Day
Stuffed Squash
Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
Beauty of Fall

NaBloPoMo 2009:
Turkey Day, Part 2
Old Friends
Day 5 - A YouTube Clip
Moon in the Morning

NaBloPoMo 2008:
Pasta Carbonara
A Day in the Life
Yes We Did
88 Years Young

NaBloPoMo 2007:
Les Aventures de Domo Kun
Sunday in France
A 10 Hour Day
A Month of Posts - Day 1 - The blog post that started it all.

Wow, this is/was year SEVEN? Craziness... That's way longer than either of these two wieners has been alive!
Cats: Excellent leg warmers.