Monday, October 31, 2011

Call me Betty. Betty Crocker, that is!

Call me Betty. Or, Betty Crocker :)

As many past roommates know, I don't cook... or cook very often. If it can't be done in the microwave, or boiled on the stove very quickly, it's just not for me to eat by my own efforts.

Well, to celebrate my new couches, and that I finally have enough supplies in my kitchen TO cook something, I thought I would invite people over for dinner on Sunday! 

This meant I had to spend time thinking about what to make, finding recipes, making a grocery list, buying the food, and then the actual cooking process! Oh my word - so much work! But, it was a success!

And, I just had to celebrate 
and post this for my posterity :)

I was introduced to "Dinner in a Pumpkin" last year by my home teacher, Kaleb. I thought it was the coolest Fall tradition ever, so I have adopted it as my own as well. That was on the menu. Then, just in case my attempts at this failed, I decided to make a pumpkin chili and cornbread! I also made a chocolate pudding pie. (not pictured, but I did take a picture of another dessert I made!)

Because of time constraints, I made the chili on Saturday as well as the cornbread because I knew I could just reheat them before dinner the next day. It was the perfect cooking weather  (overcast, cold, rainy... the kind of weather where you dread going outside). So, I got in the mood by turning a DVR'd "Ellen" on in the background and faced the challenge in the kitchen.  Ellen made me laugh and not think about how much I don't enjoy cooking!

Gutting a pumpkin is not my most favorite thing to do, but I succeeded. I followed the directions to the "T", but the rice and cabbage never cooked in the end and the pumpkin bottom started to burn in the stove so I took it out on time. Now that I think about it, the same thing happened last year when the rice didn't cook. Maybe next year I'll remember and put in rice that's already been cooked! 
The chili and the cornbread got good reviews (and I have to say I will def make both again!)... and people didn't say anything negative about the extra "crunch" when they ate the dinner in the pumpkin with the uncooked rice! (I had warned them ahead of time as well :)

But, the evening was a success and now I can rest my desire to cook for another couple of months... or maybe a year! :)
 Cornbread... so yummy!
 Dinner in a pumpkin & pumpkin chili
This is the yummy dessert I made (but not for the dinner)
Chocolate cake with marshmallows & cherry pie filling
Definitely will make again!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's official! I am finally an adult!

My brother declared it official yesterday. 

It's only taken me 31 years and 2 months. 

I am an adult!

And, are you wondering what makes it official? Well, I moved in to my own apartment 2 months ago. That wasn't part of my original plan, but became a necessity as events unfolded quite rapidly at the beginning of the summer. 

As soon as I returned from being on Nantucket for a month and officially moved in, I quickly realized I was not prepared for this step in my life. I didn't own silverware, matching plates, a table or furniture, or anything that was required to cook anything besides pasta. I've always had roommates that already had everything so I never had the need to buy it.

This is a picture of what it did look like. Thanks to time in Boston, I had my free blue recliner that my mom and I dragged a few blocks home  after finding it on the sidewalk when we were out for a walk. The TV is on loan from my mom. The Italian end tables were purchases dating back from my days at the Kennedy School! This Fellow from Italy brought them over and quickly realized he would not be taking them back! (They are heavy!)

So, needless to say, if I had anyone over, one of us would be sitting on the floor.

Well, after moving in, I immediately went out and bought some of the essentials and over the past two months have been filling in the gaps. Two months ago I also went and purchased my first set of REAL COUCHES. They weren't used or hand-me-downs, and I got a GREAT price on them. The only thing is that they took two months to arrive!

And, yes, THIS is what my brother said made me an "OFFICIAL" adult.

My couches arrived this week! 
And, I LOVE them! 

I was pretty picky on what I wanted. I knew I wanted a chair and a half with an ottoman, but they're not easy to find. I knew I also wanted another couch to match, but wasn't sure whether to go for a 2 or 3 seater. I must have sat on a hundred different ones, and dragged my mom to ten different stores until I found exactly what I wanted. And, was even able to get them for less than the already discounted price! They've got the right amount of "sinking in" when you sit on them and the pillow top for the arm rests. 

The ottoman is still on back order... but I can't ask for too much at one time :)

Anyway, they arrived this week and my apartment is FINALLY coming together. I found a nice dining table on craig's list and ordered a runner/tablecloths for it as well. I updated the pictures in some of my frames and my brother came by to help me hang them yesterday. He was disappointed that my TV was still from the 90s, but that didn't seem to affect my "adult" status.

 Still have the TV on loan, but at least I organized that area a little better!
 I walked in today, and looked around, and my apartment finally started to feel like my real home! 

Living on my own has been an adjustment. There are pluses and minuses to it, as with anything. However, one of the things I love the most is that everything is MINE. I can decorate how I want, put pictures of my family/friends, Jesus Christ and the temple, etc., wherever I want. AND, I am the only one making the messes and cleaning up after only my mess! I also love that I have my own garage parking space!

So, now that I am officially an adult, does that mean I have to act more responsible too? If so,  I will decline the adult status. I am not ready to take that step yet!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fun times with the Huber Family!

General Conference weekend is always GREAT!

Hearing counsel and advice from our prophet and other church leaders helps me to re-focus myself, my priorities and where I spend my time!

But this weekend was extra special because Bekah and I got to spend part of it with Tami and her family!

They recently moved to a town outside of DC and Baltimore. It was a very pretty drive out there and I was tempted to stop at one of the many fruit and produce farms I passed along the way... but it was raining... like it has been every day since the beginning of December!

Sad to say I had not seen Tami since BYU, never met her husband, and therefore, definitely had never met her beautiful girls - A. & K.! They are very entertaining! The little girl I nanny for is definitely not a "girly-girl" so it was fun to be around two very sweet girls who reminded me of when I was little... pick high-heeled dress up shoes, princess wands and dresses!
Bekah's taking a picture at the same time on her computer, and that was more attractive than my camera, so. K. was looking in the other direction! But the girls had put on pretty dresses for dinner and they looked awesome! Note: they each have a wand as well!

We all watched the 2nd session of conference together and I was very impressed by how well her girls kept busy coloring some children's General Conference activity pages, while accurately recognizing some of the speakers when they came on the screen! They also seriously impressed me by their cleaning up and listening skills! I could have these girls give some kids I know some lessons in how to do this!

We had a yummy, yummy dinner and then were entertained more by the girls! We tried taking pictures, but as you can see there were some "candid" moments! Some of the pictures were taken by the girls, and you never knew which direction the camera would be facing when the camera went "click!" Thank goodness for digital cameras and the ability to delete ones that didn't quite work out!
Bekah got a little cut off in this one!

One of my favorites of Bekah.
A. was taking the picture at the time :)
A. taking our picture again.
My head got slightly chopped off :)
Tami and Bekah
A. taking our picture. This one worked!
It was such a fun time! I am so glad they moved closer to us and that we'll get to see each other more often! Oh - and we didn't get to play cornhole because it was raining. I don't even know what that game is, but I'm excited to learn! We did have yummy homemade ice cream and apple pie though :)