Lot 256

House Progress

Hey, hey, hey!  Check out Lot 256!

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We’ve had many sunny days in Western PA lately and the crews have been working hard on the outside of the townhouses.  As you can see, the brick work is pretty much finished.  I’m not sure when they will start on the cement board siding but it should be any day now.

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They’ve also been working on the inside!  We have plumbing, junction boxes, rough-ins for the pot lights and ceiling fans…

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Lots of duct work and our HVAC (that would be heating, ventilation and air conditioning) unit is installed.

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These French doors lead to…

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the stupidest deck ever built.  It’s 18 feet long…and 4 feet wide. 4 feet wide??  What’s the point of that?  Jerry has big plans to extend it to 10 feet.  Not sure when that will be.  At least I can grow some herbs.

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I feel like a total bratsicle complaining about this deck until I remembers how much we’re spending on this place.  Then I don’t feel so bad.  It would have been nice if we had the option to have them extend it.  But it has to be done by an outside contractor once we close.  Which is also really stupid.

Anyway, we have our pre-drywall meeting on Friday at 7:00 am.  Which means…we could be moving in before August 1!  That is pretty exciting!

Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend Wrap Up

This was probably one of the best Memorial Day weekends we’ve had in a long time.  The weather was absolutely perfect!  Mid-70s, low humidity, lots of sun…just stellar. 

Friday

Jerry and I started out the weekend with dinner on the patio.  Tilapia and steamed broccoli.  Sooooo delicious!!!  No, no it wasn’t.  It was fine. The tilapia was basil pesto I picked up at Costco and it was pretty tasty.  And the steamed broccoli was as good as steamed broccoli could be.  It was a beautiful night and we shoved that food in our faces as quickly as we could because….

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We knew we were going to Sincerely Yogurt after dinner. 

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When you haven’t had sugar in 30 days, you get really excited for frozen yogurt.  I don’t even really care about sugar all that much & I was excited.  You can imagine how Jerry was!  However, the cheesecake yogurt topped with cookie dough, Reese’s cups, hot fudge, salt caramel & chocolate sauce sat in his stomach like a stone and he was pretty sick the rest of the night.  We watched some Dexter and hit the hay early.

Saturday

We were up bright and early for an Estate Sale.  Note to self:  I hate Estate Sales. 

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Jerry bought a shoe shiner machine and we were outta there by 8:00.  Breakfast at Tonin’s diner and then off to the office park with Jacob.  I figured we could use a change of scenery and didn’t feel like dealing with North Park, so we walked the 1.6 mile loop around my office complex 2x.  It’s really beautiful there too…who needs the crowds?!

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When I returned home, I started making picnic food.  I pinned this recipe for Strawberry Mango salsa earlier in the week and just happened to have all of the stuff to make it.  Wow, was it good!  My mango was really ripe so it was a little softer than I would have liked, but it still tasted yummy. 

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These spicy peanut noodles are my new go to picnic salad.  I got so many compliments on them…and I used brown rice noodles so they were gluten free (win/win).  They weren’t as spicy as I would have liked but the heat increased after sitting a day in the fridge.

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I did not make the veggies burgers.  I bought some Dr. Prager’s Asian veggie burgers from the freezer case at Giant Eagle.  I figured I could throw em on the grill and they’d be a lot easier than homemade.  WRONG!  They turned to mush and were barely edible.  Learn from my mistake.  Don’t grill veggie burgers. 

But we had good times at the Harva-que!  It was so nice to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a while.

Sunday

Brunch at Eleven!  Might be my favorite brunch in the burgh. I got the asparagus, red pepper & goat cheese (egg white) omelet with burned well-done bacon and fingerling potatoes.  Those potatoes don’t look very appetizing, do they?  They were really good though.

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We had another picnic and I took my standard corn salad.  I also made turkey burgers and they fell apart on the grill.  I was 0-2 on healthy burgers this weekend.  But it was another beautiful day with great friends so who’s complaining?

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Monday

Jerry had a 7:40 tee time and when the alarm went off at 5:15 (what is wrong with us?!), I knew I wouldn’t be able go go back to sleep. So I sipped coffee on the patio and read a magazine while the world woke up.  It was peaceful and such a perfect start to the day. 

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More walks around the neighborhood (Jacob is getting me in great shape!).  I love this time of year.  Everything is super green and the spring flowers are so vibrant.  I am definitely loving living in the “country”. 

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We met a group of friends at Red Fin Blues for a late lunch.  Redfin’s has become one of our favorite summer spots. It sits right on the Allegheny River in Washington’s Landing.  They have great food (all you can eat crab legs!) and we love watching the boats come in.  Great way to spend a lazy afternoon.

(I did not take this amazing picture). 

Now it’s back to the grind…looking forward to more summer weekends!!

Favorites, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites #5

Here are some of the things I’ve been loving lately.

Engine 2 Brown Rice Tortillas

I have been avoiding wheat lately.  I had been saying that I was avoiding gluten, but really, it’s the wheat I’m trying to stay away from.

On a recent trip to Whole Foods, I found these Engine 2 Brown Rice Tortillas and decided to give them a shot. They are minimally processed and chock full of natural ingredients.  Which means they probably taste like cardboard.

I would like to introduce you to my latest obsession.  Obsession as in I’ve eaten this tortilla pizza 3 times this week.  It would have been 4 but Jerry wouldn’t let me.  He wanted sausage and peppers.  Feast your eyes on pizza perfection!

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All right, all right…it’s not pizza perfection.  But I’m striving for 6 pack flatter abs not pizza dough abs right now and this is seriously saving me from my pizza cravings.

Basic recipe:

1 tortilla (brown rice or whole grain) – 150 calories
1/2 cup marinara sauce (I used Simply Nature from Aldi…it’s my favorite!) – 40 calories
1/4 cup shredded parmesan – 70 calories
1/4 cup part skim mozzarella or 2% sharp cheddar – 70 calories

330 calories!  I added 1 T of bacon bits (Wellshire Farms are the best) to this one (35 cal) and cooked it in my toaster oven at 400 for 10 minutes.  You will be surprised how much the low fat cheese melts and does not taste like plastic.  The tortilla crust gets crispy but not dry and brittle.  Quick, easy and deeeelicious!

I cannot tell you how these tortillas taste in any other form. Wrap, quesadilla, tortilla chips?? I got nothin’. Just pizza. Always pizza.

Jujubes

These are not a Friday favorite.  These are an all-time favorite!  My favorite candy EVER!  I am not the only one who likes them because they still sell them everywhere.  I am, however, the only one I know who likes them.  Which doesn’t bother me in the slightest. More for Jujubes for me.

why yes, I was so excited about eating them that I took a picture and posted it on Instagram

Jacob the Great

We hit the jackpot when we adopted this guy last July.

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I just love him to pieces.  That is all.

Iced Green Tea

White Mangosteen Peach Green Tea

This Lipton Peach Green Tea is my new favorite beverage.  Water, water, and more water is the name of the game these days for me.  I’m trying to take in a 1 gallon per day (which is not tough for me…I’ve always been a big water drinker).  But man, ya need to switch it up every once in a while!  So I brew a big cup of green tea in the morning and pour it over ice at lunch time.  Repeat after lunch for a late day pick-me-up.  It’s so refreshing!  I can see this becoming a big staple in my house over the summer.

Alternative Work Schedule = Pool time! 

I am very fortunate to work for a company that offers flexible work time.  Beginning June 2, I start a 9/80 schedule.  My work day will increase by 1 hour and I will have every other Friday off.  It’s kind of like getting 26 extra vacation days per year.  Whhyyyyyyyyy haven’t I don’t this before?!?!

I currently work 7-4 and when we lived in the Southside, this afforded me a 30 minute commute each way.  Heading home @ 4:30 or 5:00 tacked 20-30 minutes on to that and I really didn’t want to get home so late.  But now that my commute is 10 minutes (if that).

So every other Friday, you will find me here.  The pool opens this weekend!

Happy Friday!

Cooking

tap, tap, tap…is this thing on?

Well, hello there.  I seemed to have drop off the face of the earth for a bit.  Truth is, things have been pretty boring around these parts.

But that’s about to change…Summer is unofficially here!  Tomorrow kicks of Memorial Day weekend and Jerry and I have filled our calendar with about a billion fun holiday activities.

Friday – Date Night! Walkin’ the hood with the Jake, grillin up some fish & dining on the patio.
Saturday – Estate sale & cookout
Sunday – Brunch at Eleven & another cookout
Monday – golf (for Jerry) and the true sign it’s Summer…Red Fin Blues

With all of this gallivanting, I’m trying to avoid gaining back the 6 lbs I just lost.  So I’m bringing lots of yummy, healthy food to the picnics.

For Saturday:

Thai Veggie Burgers from Oh She Glows

thaiveggieburger 2351   Thai Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Spicy Peanut Noodles from Table for Two

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And basic deviled eggs…because the host loves them!

Sunday:

Southwestern Corn Salad similar to Skinnytaste

And Chipolte Turkey Burgers similar to Pinch of Yum (I follow this basic recipe and add some peppers, corn and scallions)

Chipotle Turkey Burgers

I hope to be back with some house updates soon (we have brick!).  Happy Memorial Day to all!

Lot 256

House Progress

We have graduated from pictures of dirt…to pictures of boards.  Lots of framing being done at Lot 256!! 

I think it looks like we have an elevator going up!  I’m just trying to be artistic.  And failing miserably…

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We’ve got stairs!  2 sets of them!  The shot on the right is when you walk in the front door.  Stairs going up the 2nd floor and our rec room.  The garage is there in the back.

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And here we have the second floor.  This shot is the dining room, kitchen (and massive island!) and living room.  The French doors in the family room will lead to the deck. 

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Stairs leading the the second floor and what will be our powder room. 

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The guest room & office are on the left and our master bedroom on the right.  I had forgotten how big the master bedroom is!

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We walked through the other townhouses just to be nosey.  It was so fun to see how the are laid out. 

It’s getting very exciting to see it all come together! 

And just because he’s cute, here’s Jacob taking a dip at North Park.

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Have a great week!

Favorites

Friday Favorites #4

Here are some things I’m loving this week…

Old Navy

Shop n Save ran a promo a couple of weeks ago.  Save $5 on a $25 gift card for the Gap Brands (Gap, Banana, Old Navy, Athleta, Piperlime).  So I bought 2 (I should have bought 10).  And I had a coupon for Old Navy for $20 off a $50 purchase.  It was a no brainer to pick up some fun stuff for summer.

The bulk of my purchase consisted of these Doloman Sleeved Tees.  They are flowy, soft and great for spring.  I bought all 4 colors…chances are if you see me in 2014, you’ll see me in one of these tees. And they were on sale for $12.  Win-win

I also bought a cardigan (librarian fashonista for life!).  Grand total for 5 items = $43.94.  Yay me!

New neighbors

Jerry and I found out last week that there will be some familiar faces running around Cranberry in a month or so.  So excited that this family is coming to the neighborhood:

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Yep, Kevin, Katie and my two favorite munchkins are moving right down the road!!  They are literally across the street from our apartment and will be 10 minutes away once we move to Lot 256.  Party at Aunt Jenny’s house!!

Cheesecake Factory Skinnylicioius Tacos

Yes, yes…I’m still talking about tacos.  We attempted to stuff our faces with Gobbleritos on Tuesday at Mad Mex (well, I was going to have a salad…little Jenny Lamesauce) but the wait was 2+ hours with no guaranteed there would be any left.  The placed was insanely packed so we skipped the tryptophan coma and went to the Cheesecake Factory.

I’ve never been a big fan of the Cheesy Factory.  Their menu and portions are massive and while they have a lot of food to choose from, they don’t do any of it particularly well. But it’s great when you have a picky diverse group of people because there is something for everyone.  I know they have a skinnylicious menu and thought it would be perfect for the 2 members of the group desperately trying to shed their winter weight.

Well helllllloooooo Skinnylicious tacos!!!  I got shrimp, Jerry got chicken.  And they were delicious!  Who needs messy tacos smothered in cheese and sour cream (I do! I do!) when you have this yummy, healthy option? Seriously, they were really good.  So good that I went back to the CF for more tacos 2 days later.

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They come with picked vegetables that are tasty but you get a giant amount of them (shocker) and the vinegar is a bit much about half way through.  You can sub a Caesar or side salad and that’s what I did on round #2.

Red Envelope

I am not a particularly creative gift giver.  It’s not that I’m lazy when I give you a gift card for your birthday or Christmas…I just second guess most of my ideas and figure it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

My lovely friend, Chiquita, gave me these tea towels for my birthday (she comes up with the most original ideas…she needs to start a gift buying service!).  How perfect are these??

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I am in love with that fork, knife, spoon one.  I may frame it and put it in my kitchen.  And the est 2014 one is very special as it’s the year we move into Lot 256.  Jerry will never let me use it as a towel.  It will probably get framed too.

I saw on the box that they came from Red Envelope.  I had totally forgotten about this place!  I used to buy a lot of gifts from them, they really have a ton of great ideas. Sorry Chiquita, I’m starting my own gift buying service!

Chia Pudding

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I know.  It looks like vomit.  But it doesn’t taste like it.  Not that I’ve ever…

ANYWAY, slice up a banana, add 1 T chia seeds, 1/4 cup oats, and enough almond milk to cover.  Stir it up and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.   I added a T of almond butter and a drizzle of honey before eating.  So yummy!  I had it for breakfast and it really kept me full for most of the morning.  Those swollen little chia seeds can be an acquired taste…if you have texture issues, they’re a little strange.  But it’s a super healthy way to start, or end, the day!

Happy Friday everyone!