Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm back!!!!!

Let me list the reasons I've been out of touch.
1. Residency
2. I've been sleeping because of residency.
3. This past month I've been on nights and every moment not working, I'm usually sleeping.
(See a pattern here?)

I gave so many fun projects to share! I've developed a new addiction to Pinterest and have gotten tons of great DIY/decorating ideas. Andy has made me a killer shelf, so I can't wait to share photos. Tomorrow I will be yard saling and estate saling it up. Stay tuned for some before and after pics of my living room. I can't wait to start posting more regularly again.....but I'm back to the ICU after next week!!! Major bummer.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bookshelf Reconnaisance

Today, I spent most of the day cleaning and painting.  To tell you the truth, it felt kind of nice to do something creative.  I'm not particularly an artistic person, but today I was really proud of my work.  Andy and I bought a dingy, old bookshelf and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

  My upstairs hallway was looking pretty barren.  It didn't have any decorations other than a large mirror and looked pretty barren.

 Boring, bland hallway with nothing in it.  No character whatsoever.
Enter cool furniture.

Things to know before you repaint a crappy piece of furniture.
1.  Make sure to wash thoroughly with soap and water.
2.  Next, lightly sand with a small grain sandpaper.  You just want to slightly roughen it...not take chunks of paint off.
3.  After choosing your base color, paint all the boring stuff like the corners.  Make sure ot keep your brush strokes nice and even.  Also, feel free to use a roller to make for a super smooth look.  

I've been smitten with the whole bird/tree branch things that's going 
on now.  I found a beautiful turquoise color and just went with it.
I found an inspiration piece online and just free-handed from there
on out.  Check out the cute birds and owl on the sides.
I think the key to a great piece like this is to fill the shelves with things that you love.
I've got random wooden puzzles, a cute little elephant statue, a glass bottle
that caught my eye at an estate sale, and framed pictures.

Andy and I have just recently realize that we haven't personalized our home 
at all.  It's filled with cool artwork and structural interest, but we haven't interjected
any pictures of ourselves.  We bought a cool collage frame at a local store and put in
some sepia-toned pictures of our wedding; it will hang over the bookshelf.
I'm so excited that things are finally coming together.
The one thing I recommend when decorating your house is not to be afraid
of doing your own things.  Go to an estate or rummage sale, find a piece that needs
some TLC and get to it!!!  I like to find inspiration on Etsy and model my
pieces of furniture after things catch my eye.  I'm also hooked onto
HGTV's Design Star which is amazing.
The finished product!!  Technically, it's not finished.  We need to add our
collage pics, a cool rug and some new doors.

Your homework....go repaint some furniture.  Be bold!!

Next up......crappy old vanity.  Wait 'til you check out the crazy stripes
I'm painting....think green, purple, and royal blue!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What I've Been Up To

Brandywine Festival of the Arts
Courtney, Kelly and I all went to the festival located right here in Wilmington.  Overall there was amazing art, sculptures, jewelry, and pottery.  However, it was a little steep for our budget.  However, for those that can afford it, it's definitely beautiful local art.

JawBowl:  Touch football competition between the emergency department and surgery that has been ongoing for years.  ER red, surgery blue.  2011 Winner........ER!!

Renaissance Faire; Lancaster, PA
A medieval gathering of weirdos and cool people, namely me, Andy, Chesney and Mike. This is a huge shindig that is a permanent feature in the area.  Food, shows, etc..
   Throwing axes
 Throwing knives...check out that form.

 Muzzleloaders aimed at tiny little targets.

 The Medieval Parade

 Sweet weapons

 What if I had this in the ER?

 Comedy improv show where Andy was humped on stage.  Very funny.

Housewarming Party
 Kelly and I loving on Chase, one of the intern's dogs. 

Home Project:  Andy and I are a sucker for estate sales, home improvement and refinishing furniture.  Yesterday we found a local estate sale with really cool furniture.  We ended buying a lamp, table and a funky ceramic vase.  The lamp needed a new wire and there was a chipped off piece of ceramic from the vase.  I glued back on the vase piece, and Andy fixed my lamp cord for me.  We also went to another estate sale and estate store today.  So you know what that means?????  FURNITURE REFINISHING SUNDAY!!!  Woot woot!
I'm headed to the Durty, durty clown show; an artsy improv comedy show in Wilmington with friends.  I will be back tomorrow with recaps of my bomb diggity furniture skills.  Oh, by the way, I freakin' hate clowns, but if they're naked and cracking jokes it might not be so bad. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Tisket a Brisket

We had a celebratory smoked brisket dinner for Labor Day.  Andy's new smoker attachment has been working overtime and everyone has bee reaping the benefits.  I also made some awesome cupcakes for this shindig...lemon meringue cupcakes.  I'd been craving some lemon meringue pie, and when I stumbled on these, I knew it would be a winner.

Even I partook in the was awesome.  Andy marinated the meat and used a dry rub overnight.  This resulted in a crispy, smoky outer crust with a tender beef in the middle. 

The Smuttynose is just mediocre.  A little hoppy, slightly pumpkiny, but nothing special.

Onto the other star of the show...the lemon meringue cupcakes.  These are a recipe by Martha Stewart; both the cupcake and frosting are Martha Stewart.

I followed the recipe to the letter for the cupcake base and 7-minute frosting; however I did not make homemade lemon curd due to time constraints.  But I will tell you that jarred lemon curd from the store works very well.
This is the 7-minute frosting and it is delicious...tastes like marshmallow fluff.  Don't let this recipe intimidate's super easy and so delicious!

Check out those peaks!

After you frost with the lemon curd and frosting, get out your blow-torch and make that 
meringue shine!  I also added a raspberry for some color.

Now get out there and make these cupcakes!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beer Tasting

I have to say that it has been so nice to be on EMS this past week.  I went to the dispatch center, attended a meeting about policy and went to a bunch of ER lectures.  It's just been nice to be back "home" I guess I should say.  One thing I will comment on about the MICU is that I got a ton of procedures....I even got signed off on internal jugular lines.  (For non-medical people that read this...basically a large IV in your neck with multiple sites to deliver medications.)  However, one of my fellow EM colleagues pointed out that now I'll just get to discover complications on my own without a supervisor.  Too true.  This is great for me though, because when I'm in the ED and it's really busy, I don't have to worry about finding someone to supervise me while I do this procedure.

Okay, on to more interesting things, especially for my readers who don't care about IVs.  My mother-in law came to visit for this week, and we just so happened to get a cool smoker attachment for our baller grill...seriously this things is outta control.  Courtney also came over for dinner.  We had a big grilled feast along with a pumpkin beer tasting.  Courtney went to the awesome liquor store around here to gather as many pumpkin/Octoberfest beers she could find.

Salad, grilled bread, sweet potatoes, and portobella mushrooms. Andy made some killer ribs for the carnivores that he smoked on the new attachment.

And no, we didn't taste all of them.  As a matter of fact we had drank a couple Sam Adam's Octoberfest beers, and only tasted a few of these new ones.  We already knew the taste of Sam and Dogfish Head so there was no point in tasting those.

First up, Post Road Pumpkin Ale brewed by Brooklyn Brewery.  Delicious!  Very strong pumpkin/spicy aroma, but pleasantly surprising when you find out that it has very mild notes of pumpkin and nutmeg.  Based on aroma alone, I assumed that there would be a very strong flavor.  I have to say that this is a great, light pumpkin beer.  You could drink a few without becoming overwhelmed.

Meh.  Very much a hoppy IPA.  Great smell, but mediocre taste.  I would not buy this again.  When I drink a pumpkin ale, I do not want it to be super hoppy.  I just like a simple pumpkin flavor.  However, I am not totally dissing Harpoon, because their winter ale is the bomb.

Terrible.  Courtney and I couldn't even finish our tastes of it.  Looked like freakin' Robitussin in a beer bottle.  Good luck trying to enjoy this.  Nasty, nasty.  And it also has a clown on the front; I HATE CLOWNS.

Be on the lookout for more beer tasting posts because Courtney and I have to finish all of those.  Also, there will be more home renovation stuff coming soon.  We tackled the wallpapered bathroom and our guest room. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tea Parties

Breakfast this morning was nice because it's starting to get cooler around here which means one thing.....oatmeal for breakfast!  I realize that I can eat oats any time of the year, but I think they're much more appealing when it's cold outside.  During the warmer months I prefer cold overnight oats or smoothies. 
This morning's oats were a delicious combination of homemade coconut butter, dark chocolate chips, and cashew butter.  So freakin' good!  And very filling
Yesterday was an interesting day to say the least.  I came home from work to find my adorable 4-year-old neighbor hanging out with Andy in the backyard.  As usual, she was telling us all about her day.  She's pretty much 4 going on 25. Yesterday she mentioned that she would like to have a tea party...combined with the fact that I love tea and any excuse to use my teapots, I happily obliged.  I surprised her with a tea and various snacks.
This is a pot of Earl Grey tea with pistachios, driedapricots, chocolate covered graham crackers and chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe's.

We enjoyed our lovely high tea on my back patio.  She even lifted up her pinky while she drank tea and proclaimed,"Danielle, you make the best brownies and the best tea in the world!"  (I baked brownies last week and sent them over to her family.)  Needless to say, it was a fun afternoon event.

Dinner was also stellar last night.  I got the recipe here, at EatLiveRun.  Even for someone like me who normally detests salmon, I actually enjoy this.  However, Andy and I felt like it needed a little bit of sauce drizzles over top.  Maybe a yogurt dill sauce??

I'll be busy cleaning the house from top to bottom today.  Andy's mom is in to visit and we have an awesome dinner planned for her arrival.  Andy is making a brisket with his new smoker attachment for the grill!

Monday, August 29, 2011

What's For Dinner?

Any guesses?


1 bag tortilla
Large can of enchilada sauce
1/2 zucchini, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 chopped and seeded jalapenos
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 can black beans drained, rinsed
Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
1.  Sautee onions, zucchini, tomatoes, jalapenos and black beans with salt, pepper, garlic, cumin and cayenne.  I basically just added spice to taste.  
2.  Pour enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 pan to cover.
3.  Sprinkle cheese on center of tortilla and a large spoonful of filling.  Roll up enchilada and place seam side down in the enchilada sauce.
4.  Cover enchiladas with the rest of the enchilada sauce.
5.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle cheese over the top during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Andy's enchiladas are off to the side....the ones covered in bacon.

I served ours with saffron rice, sliced avocado, sliced green onions, plain Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro out of the garden.

The nice things about these enchiladas is that the filling options are endless.  If you're looking for extra protein, you could easily add chicken, shrimp or beef.  Also, another option would be to beef it up with more veggies...I was imagining a super veggie version with mushrooms, bell peppers and sweet potatoes.  However, I highly recommend the yogurt, cilantro and avocado.  It added a nice, cool balance to the spicy enchiladas.

It has been so nice to have a relatively normal schedule and to not be working like a maniac.  I worked at the 911 dispatch center today; it was definitely enlightening.  People call 9-1-1 for the most random sh*t.  Such as being sick earlier and feeling perfectly fine now, or just to call with random questions about nothing really related to emergencies.  Tomorrow I'll be heading out with the EMS crews in the ambulance, so I'm looking forward to a fun day!