Pittsburgh, Weekend

Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday – Date Night with SOA

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My favorite kind of Friday night.  Jerry grilled up some flank steak and asparagus and I made my famous farro with sun-dried tomatoes. (Remember I said on Friday that I’m not particular about my meat?  I take it back.  I bought this flank steak from McGinnis Sisters and it was locally sourced.  It was, hands down, the best flank steak I’ve ever had!  We will be rethinking our meat consumption).  We binge-watched about 4 episodes of Sons of Anarchy and were in bed by 10:30.  It was a late night for us!!

Saturday – Shopping, Dinner and a Pens Win!

Jerry & I decided to hit an auction on Saturday morning in Troy Hill.  An antique store was being sold, along with all of the contents.  This was our first time attending one of these events and we couldn’t believe how many people showed up!

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There was a real auctioneer and everything…

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There was a ton of stuff for them to go through and people were bidding on one thing at time.  It was a huge bust for us.  So we left after 10 minutes. 

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Since it was still early and we were already out & about, we went to the Home & Office Consignment store in Bethel Park.  They have a ton of furniture and I ended up buying these two beauties. The chest of drawers may become my coffee bar in the new house.  Or it might be used somewhere else.  It’s solid wood and in decent shape and my plans are to sand it down and restain or paint it.  I’ve been stalking DIY blogs for the last few months and am feeling pretty excited for the challenge.  That chair is hideous but was only $8.  Jerry thinks I’m nuts and insists that it will look exactly like that when we move out of Lot 256 in 5-6 years.  Challenge accepted!  I can’t wait to start working on these two little treasures :).

We came home from shopping and I whipped up some leftovers for lunch.  Now, Jerry’s lunch is on the left (1 cup brown rice & 1 cup turkey taco mix) and mine is on the right (base of 2 cups spinach, 1/2 cup brown rice & 1 cup turkey taco mix).  Mine looks like so much more food!  Just an interesting observation.  This is so filling, btw.

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We met some friends at Ten Penny downtown for dinner and the Pens Game.  I forgot my phone (and camera) at home (whaaaaaaaa!) so no pictures of the food.  But I had the best blackened tuna of my life and would definitely go back there again. And the Pens won.  It was a great night!

Sunday – Horseback Riding & Mall Walking

Jerry planned my birthday surprise for this weekend and a few days before, I guessed what it was.  Horseback riding!  I love riding horses and in my youth, would spend a week at summer camp riding and caring for them.  Then I would come home and beg my parents for my own horse.  And they always said no.

So on Sunday we took a trip to the Rolling Hills Ranch in Bridgeville.  I broke out the Frye boots and used them as they were intended!

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It was a beautiful day and the place is just gorgeous.

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That is a big turkey on the right.  I’ve never seen one all puffed out like that!  We have tons of wild turkeys around Western PA.  One time I saw a big flock of them run across 279…it didn’t end well.

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My favorite dude out on the ranch.  Jerry riding a horse is the best thing ever. Especially when they run.  He bounces all over the place and giggles like a little kid.  I love it.

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My horse was named Wing-dwag, or Ween-dawg…something like that.  I just called him dawg.  He was a little on the ornery side…but that’s how I like em.  Spunky!

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It was a stellar day and I can’t wait to go back to the Ranch.  I need to buy a cowboy hat.

After our trail ride, we went to On The Border.  The Dirty 30 is the worst when you’re at a  Mexican restaurant.  Jerry and I told them we didn’t want any chips & salsa (whhaaaa!) and only looked at the Border Smart menu.  I got the chicken tacos and the lime chipotle rice and he got the chicken fajitas.  Honest, I didn’t really feel too deprived. Until I spotted the cheesy enchilada and queso at the next table. I had to sit on my hands to prevent a scene. 

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The rest of Sunday included a trip to the mall, running Jacob around the dog park and some cedar plank salmon.  We hit the hay after 2 more episodes of SOA (at the reasonable hour of 9:25) and now it’s time for Monday.  Bring it on!

Favorites

Friday Favorites #3

Here are some things I’m loving this week

Fabletics

I have been searching for new capris for a while.  I like the ones that hit mid calf, not below the knee.  I have a couple of those and they are so uncomfortable.  They bunch up behind my knees and annoy the heck out of me when I’m trying to exercise.  Then a couple of weeks ago I saw an ad on Facebook for Kate Hudson’s new athletic apparel company, Fabletics.  Of course I got sucked in because I adore her. And maybe if I buy some of her stuff, my butt will kinda end up looking like hers…it could happen.  As it turns out, the clothes on her site are super cute!  And the Lima Capris are exactly what I had been looking for. 

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You get 50% off your first outfit and I chose the Niche, along with the lima capris.  Four pieces for @ $60.  Not too shabby! And then I waited for Kate Hudson to personally deliver my new clothes to my apartment. 

I didn’t love the Zanzibar crop that came with the outfit, but the tank and the shirt were cute and the quality was great.  But those Lima Capris.  Ooooh those Lima Capris…they are my new best friend!  The fabric is a nice thick (but not too thick) material that totally sucks everything in and they fit like a dream.  My butt kinda looks like Kate Hudson’s!   Now I should mention that I haven’t been jaded by Lululemon or Athleta…my workout clothes come from Target or the clearance rack at Dick’s.  So I can’t really compare the Limas to the Wonderunders.  But these are hands down the best capris I’ve ever owned. 

This is a referral link for Fabletics but I honestly don’t care if you use it.  If you’re in the market for some new workout gear, check out my BFF Kate’s new gig.

Costco

It is a blessing and a curse that there is a Costco less than 2 miles from our apartment.  Our lack of storage and freezer space keeps my purchases in check (sort of) but it’s just so much cheaper to buy certain staples there instead of the grocery store.  6 tubes of toothpaste for $6.99?  2# of strawberries for $3.49? We buy all of paper products, meat and Jacob’s food at Costco.

My latest Costco favorites: 

Tableside Greek yogurt guacamole – huge chunks of avocado, creamified by greek yogurt.  There are onions, tomatoes and cilantro in there too.  It comes in individual serving packs. And it’s deeeeeelicious!

Mary’s Gone Crackers – Jerry thinks these taste like cardboard.  I love them. They’re not so tasty by themselves but they are perfect with hummus, salsa or the above reference guacamole.

Organic, cage-free eggs – We don’t get too serious about our meat.  I would love to buy all local, grass-fed, organic meat…but I don’t.  I do have a weird thing with eggs.  Must be cage-free, humane certified, organic.  I have no clue why, I’m just nuts about it.  And since I eat 2 hardboiled eggs 5 days a week for breakfast, I splurge.  Costco has a great price.

Pizza – Always Pizza. I’m obsessed with it ($2.11 for a giant slice!).  This picture was taken pre-Dirty30, of course.  And pretty much the reason I need the Dirty30 in the first place.

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Opa Dressing

I had a coupon for $2.00 of this new dressing brand and it was on sale for $3.99.  So I decided to try the Feta Dill.  I sliced up some cucumbers and started dunking.  And dunking. And dunking…I almost ate the whole jar. Not really but I had to force myself to put it away. It’s a pretty decent find at 50 calories per serving (note to self:  1 serving is 2 Tablespoons, not 2 cups)  You must like feta.  And you must LOVE dill.  But if you do, get this dressing/dip today.  It’s amazing.

 

It also comes in ranch, blue cheese and Caesar.  I’ll will be trying them all.

Happy Friday to all!

Cooking

Pinspired: Quinoa Salad with corn & scallions

Doesn’t this salad look amazing!?

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I have a horrible habit of looking at a recipe and making up my own concoction based on the picture.  Following recipes is not my forte.

I had some left over cooked quinoa in the fridge, along with some scallions and a zucchini that were nearing extinction.  My version turned out pretty well.  Here is what I used:

1 clove garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups cooked quinoa
salt and pepper, to taste
5-6 scallions (white and green parts), diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

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saute garlic, corn and zucchini in olive oil until soft and fragrant.  (about 4 minutes).  Add quinoa, salt and pepper and heat through (about 2 minutes).  Add scallions and parmesan cheese (cook for 1 minute).  Add lemon juice and serve!

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It was a quick and delicious side dish.  I served it with marinated tomatoes and a jelly donut.

No, no…that is actually a cheeseburger on a bagel thin with dill relish.  Bet I fooled ya though!

Lot 256

House Progress

Yes, those are walls and a roof! 

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front view (1st floor: entrance, rec room  2nd floor: living room  3rd floor:  guest room and office

back view (1st floor:  garage  2nd floor: family room – those French doors will lead out to the deck  3rd floor:  master bedroom and bathroom

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  Hellllloooooooo up there! I wish those were skylights.

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front and back view of the entire building.

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Now here is the sticky part.  Our townhouse is the end unit on the left.  The picture on the right is the other end unit.  Notice anything?  Yeah, we have 2 windows per floor and THEY HAVE FOUR!!  (yes, that would be yelling).  Jerry and I are very unhappy about this whole issue.  None of the models, including the ones we saw in DC had 2 windows in front.  In fact, we marveled over the amount of windows and how much natural light we would have. And how super awesome that would be! Now, if all of the units only had 2 windows, that would be fine. But we are paying the same base amount for our 2 window unit as they are paying for their 4 window unit.  And dammit, that’s not fair (stomping feet)!!  Fair is Fair! 

Supposedly they stagger the window configurations for the aesthetic value of the building as a whole.  I get it.  I’ll get a front shot of the entire building next week for a visual. But it’s still not fair.  Fortunately, we opted to have 2 windows added to the side of the building on the first and second floors.  This will give us more light.  And the builder agreed to credit the charge for these windows to even it out a bit.  That’s something, I guess.

Despite the window situation, I’m still geeked out about the place. Nerd Alert!

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Not sure how but we’re on track for our June 30th settlement date.  Come on Mother Nature…throw us a bone!

Favorites

Friday Favorites #2

Here are some things that I’m loving this week…

Fitbit Flex

Once upon a time I bought a Fitbit.  It was similar to the current Fitbit One and I loved it.  It encouraged me to take the long route and walk the stairs.  It sent me little messages and daily motivators.  I could sync it with My Fitness Pal and it would wirelessly upload to my computer so I could marvel at my progress. It was my fitness BFF.

Then I lost it. 

That sucker is so small!  I was constantly leaving it on my pants.  It would fall off during a workout.  I think I sent it through the wash.  It went to laundry heaven and is hanging out with all of those single socks I can’t find.  (I loved it so much I may, or may not, have purchased a second one on ebay.  I lost that one too…don’t tell Jerry).

I later bought another, cheaper pedometer (that I have also lost).  It was fine with counting my steps but it wasn’t the same.  No syncing. No fun messages. No banners telling me how awesome I was.  I just love Fitbit.

Then last month, while on a visit to Florida, I discovered a new Fitbit.  The Fitbit Flex.  It was a bracelet!  Someone much hipper than me (Grandma Fiorenzano, I’m looking at you!) had one and it worked the same as my beloved Fitbit One.  Surely I can manage to hold on to something I wore on my wrist!  After all, I haven’t lost the watch Jerry bought me 3 years ago. 

So I took my Best Buy gift cards and bought one!  And let me tell you…this thing is awesome! It syncs wirelessly with my phone and laptop.  It sends me alerts when I hit my step goal for the day.  Now my long walks with J-dawg get me a big Atta Girl!  I thrive on positive reinforcement. 

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And it tracks my sleep!  Yes, I get up at least once a night to pee.  This night it was at 1:32 am.  And I roll around a lot…especially between 12:11 am – 12:36 am. 

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The only downside is that it doesn’t display the steps on the face.  It has a little band at the top of the tracker that gives you a dot for every 2000 steps (your goal is 10,000/day, which is equal to 5 miles).  But the app on my phone gives you real-time stats and I have my phone on me 24/7.  So NBD.

Zoku Quick Pop Maker

I don’t actually have this yet.  We don’t have any freezer room at the moment.  But you can bet your bottom dollar it will be the first new purchase I make after the big move.  I LOVE popsicles!  And I like the idea of being able to make healthy ones.

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Vitacost

My go to store for vitamins.  But, they also carry all kinds of other healthy products.  You can’t beat their prices. Kind bars for $1.31 each (must buy a case).  Cheap chia seeds and coconut oil…if you’re into that kind of thing. Plus cleaning supplies, beauty products, even toilet paper!

I’ve been shopping at Vitacost for a couple of years.  You get 4% back on Ebates!  8% during special promotions.  Free shipping on orders over $49.  No, I’m not getting paid to say this.  I’m just a superfan.

New Library

Living on the Southside had a lot of perks.  One of my favorites was a newly remodeled branch of the Carnegie Library right on Carson Street.  As I’m always striving to read more, it’s nice not to have to buy the books.  I’m happy to report that Cranberry Township has a decent library.  And I currently have two books checked out…

This is where I leave you (an Amy Thomas recommendation)

The Bear

(you can’t Look Inside…I stole these pictures from Amazon’s website)

I will let you know how they are.

Binge Watching TV

I am ruined from all other forms of viewing television.  I thought the DVR had changed my life.  It is much more gratifying to watch a whole season of TV in a few days.  Patience is not a strong trait of mine.  Breaking Bad started the cycle and (as I mentioned before), the Walking Dead has taken over our evenings.  We’ve breezed through House of Cards, Mad Men, White Collar (Jerry) and Orange is the New Black.  Jerry is also watching The Shield and I’m along for the ride.  It’s in my top 5 favorite series of all time. Anything else we should be watching?  Please don’t say Game of Thrones. I tried. I don’t like it.

3 Day Weekends

No explanation needed.

And I hope yinz guys have a great one!!

Cooking

Embarrassingly Easy Stromboli

For our bowling extravaganza on Saturday, everyone brought some sort of appetizer or dessert in lieu of going out to a big dinner.  This is my favorite way to eat…dips, munchies and pretty much anything with cheese. 

My contribution was Stromboli.  I make this for pretty much any event where I won’t be able to keep something hot or cold.  This is delicious at room temperature, although I do love the ooey, gooey, melty cheese right out of the oven. 

It’s always a crowd pleaser and I’m always asked for the recipe.  Which is embarrassing because its so simple and I generally want to look like a culinary goddess.  I guess I could make my own dough, cure my own meat and age my own cheese.  Yeah, I think that’s a dumb idea too…

I made two versions. 

Turkey, roasted pepper & cheese
One tube pizza crust
One jar roasted red peppers
1/2 lb smoked turkey
1/2 lb cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar, colby or pepper jack)

Italian
One tube pizza dough
1/2 lb mozzarella
1/2 lb provolone
1/2 lb baked ham
1/2 lb pepperoni or salami
dried oregano or Italian seasoning.

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 Preheat oven to 400.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, parchment or silpat baking mat.  It helps to coat it with non-stick spray.  Pop open pizza crust and lay it flat on sheet.  Spread it out with your fingers.  Pinch together any tears in the dough.  

Layer your meat/cheeses: 
turkey/cheese/peppers
(sprinkle about 1T oregano over dough) Ham, provolone, pepperoni, mozzerella

You don’t have to follow this order but it’s how I always do it :).  Be sure to rinse and drain the peppers and dry very well between paper towels.  If the peppers aren’t dry, it’s a hot mess.

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 Roll em up!!  Start at the end closest to you and fold the two corners in .  Tuck and roll, tuck and roll, tuck and roll until you reach the end.  Make sure you pinch all of the dough together so everything is nice and tight. Adjust the stromboli so it’s seam side down on your baking sheet and cut 3-4 small slits in the top. 

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.  Check your progress.  Rotate baking sheet as needed.  (Mine took 30 minutes in an electric oven).  It’s done when it’s golden brown on top. Remove from oven and rest for 15 minutes.

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Tell Jerry he’s not allowed to sample it until it’s cooled.  Repeat 3 times.

Slice it up and serve immediately.  Or let it cool completely before transferring to an air tight container.

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 Ooooey, Goooey and YUMMY!

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