Friday, September 3, 2010

Long Weekend

I realized that this weekend is a long weekend because all my blogger friends are rejoicing.

Every weekend for me is a three-day weekend (until I convince Chris to let me work on Natalie's working Fridays) but these next two weeks are really long weekends... not only do I have Friday off, I get two Mondays off in a row (one for Labor Day and one because Abby and her 'rents are going on a beach trip). Luckily I have plans for both of these weekends, otherwise I think I'd go stark raving mad missing my pumpkin. :) This weekend involves lots of downtime after a really busy Summer and an especially busy August, then a picnic on Monday, and next weekend involves a camping/canoeing trip on the Shenandoah. Yay! I haven't seen "my river" for a few years now and I'm soo excited. Plus, I didn't get to do any camping this spring or summer, and I missed my annual camping trip with friends. I thought I didn't miss it, but I thought wrong - I walked down the camping aisle at WalMart with my dad today and wanted to drive straight home, pack up my truck, and spend the weekend in a tent.

My old phone - the one I just got working on Wednesday - was driving me NUTS (apparently I've become more accustomed to my Samsung than I'd like to admit), so today I caved and went and bought a new phone. I've been usingTracfone ever since I got my first phone, but today I made the switch to Straight Talk, which I feel secure about since it is, after all, owned by Tracfone. I got the Samsung T104G and a month's "All You Need" plan for starters. If I need to upgrade to an unlimited plan, well, it's still cheaper than the average contract phone. I love having video and the MP3 player... quite an upgrade from my cheapo old Samsung! I AM hoping that my old phone springs back to life enough to pull everything off of it, but so far, no luck.
So, last night Maggie and I had so much fun. :) We started off the night at our regular booth at Ruby Tuesday, with a round of Watermelon Spritzers, made perfectly (shaken, not stirred, lol). It's become a little bit of a joke with Maggie and I that we care who the bartender is - neither of us drink, but the bartender is responsible for making all the specialty fruited iced teas/zero proof beverages, and some of them make them better than others.
After dinner, we headed over to Ross, where I was determined to find some cute shoes. I need a pair of sturdy cute shoes, but I have wide feet (I'm practically a hobbit!) which makes it nearly impossible to find cute shoes unless I order them in a size which makes them look like a small pair of boats. I thought I might have scored because the larger size rack was full, but I tried on shoes for about 15 minutes and no luck.

So we proceeded to Catos, tried some clothes on, didn't like any of them, and wandered over to the shoe section... where I found the most awesome. pair. of shoes.

Seriously. Awesome.
Ok, just look already.

Aren't they seriously awesome?!? I've been wanting a pair of sturdy but cute shoes lately, and these definitely fit the bill. Just a little more edgy than my normal style, but sooo fun. And sooo comfy - they were actually comfier than the flip-flops I was wearing that night, so I wore them out of the store and when we got home after going to Wal-Mart, my feet were still happy. Peep-toe, but not so much I have to stress over my ugly toes. And a nice heel! High, which makes my back happy (am I the only one who has way better posture on heels?) but very solid.

After doing a big cleanout of my closet this week, I'm remembering (again!) that it's better to have a few things you really love and feel good about than a bunch of things you feel so-so about. These shoes definitely fall into the first category, along with my favorite silver pumps, and my adorable gladiator sandals I found for a steal ($12) AND in a wide-width and are sooo comfy. And my studded black tank-top. Oh yes, and this purse that I bought on vacation. :)

Isn't it cute? I saw the zipper rosette and flipped with happiness (I'm a little obsessed with zippers lately. Zippers and owls). I also lovelovelove the double handles. It's a little small for everyday use - I practically shop for handbags in the luggage department, lol - but it's a piece that has lots of good memories attaches to it (bought it while shopping with my best friend and her sister and Khy) and makes me happy every time I see it.

My dad and I went to the local WalMart today to pick up some things we needed, and while

I wandered the produce section in search of garlic, lemons, and green cabbage, I ran across some fresh artichokes and knew I absolutely had to have them. I've been craving them ever since I read an article in one of Chris' foodie magazines about artichokes with lemon-garlic aioli. I bought two, brought them home, pulled up a recipe for aioli, and got busy.

If you've never cooked an artichoke, there are some good directions here. I'm a bit lazy, so I usually just chop off the stem until the artichoke will sit upright, stick it in a pot with an inch of so of water, bring it to a boil, and keep adding water as it steams off. When I can pull a leaf out easily, I declare it done.

Well, the aioli flopped. Completely. Maggie even went at it and tried to render it into something edible, and even she couldn't do anything with it. Then I tried to make some garlic butter using the same garlic we'd used for the aioli, and that was inedible, too - I think maybe the garlic was bitter? In the end I melted some butter with a dash of smoked paprika and everybody loved it. I consider it a small victory that the kids cluster around me excitedly to eat artichoke. :)

Two artichokes don't go very far among seven people, though (Anna is the lone holdout in not liking artichoke) so I ended up scrambling some eggs for an egg and goat cheese burrito for my dinner. I also sliced up some peaches I got last night and threw them into a sort of makeshift cobbler, which I'm about to rescue from the oven and share. :)

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