Saturday, October 24, 2009

CPA Banquet

Last Friday we went to the Indiana CPA Society annual banquet and awards ceremony.  This was my third time - I was there in 2004 for Manchester's 3rd place finish in the case study competition, 2007 when Brent passed the exam, and was finally attending for passing the exam myself.  I was the big nerd who brought her parents along.  Brent really thought I was ridiculous.  But hey, since they paid for my college, the least I can do is to invite them to a dinner, dorky or not.  I appreciated them hanging in there through the awards ceremony, packed full of accounting humor.  Or attempts at it...CPAs don't get paid the big bucks to be stand-up comedians.

Here's the only picture of the evening since I forgot to charge the camera battery....

It was a nice night of celebrating a big accomplishment and seeing old Manchester friends!  And, most importantly, was an excuse to buy a new dress.  :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Friend Fun/Fabulous Freezer Fare

Hello friends!  I've been pretty neglectful of the old blog recently.  That's primarily from lack of time, but not having much time because of work and school also means that I don't have a heck of a lot to say.  At least not anything you'd want to read about...Snoozefest.

We have had some fun over the last several weekends that mainly revolves around the football teams in our lives.  One is doing great (Go Colts!) and the other one is not being mentioned around our house at this time. 

Here are some pics from the Notre Dame game...

Lindsay, Craig, Lana, Justin, and us

Dog the Bounty Hunter.  It seemed like a good idea to pose with him at the time, but in hindsight, he was pretty sweaty and kinda scary. 

Sunday Night Football with the Sinders' -


Brent and Sir Charles

Here's our little terrier-ist this fall...trying not to "fall" off the couch!

I'm still on that kick to make freezer meals on the weekends and did lasagna, burritos, chili, and bow-tie pasta this weekend.  I think I have enough for about ten meals.  I cannot say enough how handy these things are - it's great to come home from work and be able to workout while your meal cooks with no prep needed.  Here's a recipe for Chicken and Bows - we had half tonight and will enjoy the other half next week.  It is healthy and tasty!

Chicken and Bows - variation of a Taste of Home recipe

1 package (16 ounces) bow tie pasta
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (I used 2 cans of Swanson chicken breast)
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 cup chopped celery (my addition because I had some in the fridge)
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) 98% fat-free condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups frozen peas
1-1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook chicken and red pepper in butter over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. (I did this even though the chicken is pre-cooked, but it's probably better to saute red pepper and celery first and add the chicken after a few minutes.)  Stir in the soup, peas, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat.  Serve half of the mixture immediately.  Cool remaining mixture; transfer to a freezer container. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to an ungreased shallow 3-qt. microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until heated through, stirring once. (I'm probably going to heat on the stove.) Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

Come One, Come All - Be a Loser!
Last but not least, I would like to announce a call-out for Biggest Loser - Fall 2009 Edition.  There's a little group of us that usually gets this going in January, but I want to start now because, well...I need to.  My pants are tight and there is a pair of Citizens jeans calling my name at Von Maur.

Here's how it works: we will pick a weigh-in day that everyone agrees to and start this week.  Next week, you weigh in on your honor and then email the entire group to report your loss.  We never divulge actual weight (unless you really want to for some reason) but you do keep track of your percent lost yourself, just like on the show.  We've tried different incentives - cash, a group trip if you meet your goal, etc...but I don't know what we'll do this year.  Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you want in on the fun!  All you have to do is think of a realistic weight loss goal and make sure you have a scale (and eat right and workout - that's the hard part, right?)! 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Touring and Learning - continued

Sorry for the blog tease earlier in the week.  This is the real post - the second and final.  Thanks for suffering through more of our vacations pictures!

Day 5 - We took a lazy day on Sunday after leaving Eugene and leisurely made our way up the Oregon coast. Our first stop was a few more wineries in the Wilamette Valley - LaVelle Vineyards and Sweet Cheeks Winery. These were my two favorite wineries of the trip, and we were given a little tour of Sweet Cheeks because they weren't busy.

 Yes, please.

Sea lions!


Heceta Head Lighthouse

We stayed in Newport at Nye Beach that night at the Sylvia Beach Hotel. We found this in the 1,000 Places to Visit book and also read about it online. It is the book lovers' paradise - no tvs or phones, only common areas filled with books and board games. Each room is named after an author - we stayed in the F. Scott Fitzgerald room on the 3rd floor. A restaurant in the basement, called Table of Content, served a big breakfast each morning. It sounds pretty cool, right? That's what we I thought...but honestly, it was just a little weird.

There were two big cats who lived in the inn, and the first thing you noticed upon walking in the front door was the smell of their kitty litter setting in the corner of the "lobby". (Not that I don't like cats, Emily! :) Just wouldn't put their litter by the front door of my business.) The rooms themselves were kind of dirty, and walking by the common bathrooms while people were showering just made me feel like I was in a college dorm again...with weird strangers.

The most hilarious thing about this experience was Brent's reaction. He was pretty hesitant about the no TV/no phone thing (especially since it was the first Sunday of NFL games), but it was around the time I made him do a jigsaw puzzle with me all evening that he was really suffering. And while we were doing said puzzle, these really weird people sat down at the table with us and asked a million questions, and made weird comments like "We're staying in the Charles Manson room". It was also during this time that a woman corrected me on the identification of a bug - I guess they are not called Giant Mosquitoes, but rather should be properly identified as Crane Flies.

What, we're leaving so soon??? 

 After we left the next morning, I realized that the guests of the inn were all 50-60 year-old women, Brent, and that German exchange student we ate breakfast with who had just hitch-hiked his way across Canada. An interesting experience to say the least, but one we probably won't do again. We like our Hiltons...ya always know what you're gonna get.

I digress.

Day 6 - The Oregon Coast and Astoria.  We had about 200 more miles to go before we made it all the way up the coast, so it was another day filled with driving and stopping, driving and stopping.  We hit the Tilamook Cheese Factory and took in some sites in Astoria, the oldest town in the west.  Or something like that...I'm too lazy tonight to look it up. 

I like cheese.

Cannon Beach

A house in Astoria - the name is escaping me right now.  It was the home of a successful merchant...he made his money in the import/export business.  And his name wasn't Art Van de Lay.

Bridge from Astoria to Washington.  It's the longest bridge in North America...or something like that.  At this point in the trip we were maybe just touring and not learning... 
We stayed in the cutest B&B in St. Helens, Oregon on Monday night.  It's called the Nob Hill Riverview B&B, and there are only three rooms.  We were the only guests and stayed upstairs in the Paris Apartment.  So nice...we loved this place.  The owner made us a yummy breakfast and served us these delightful little bear claws and sticky buns from Damma's Pastry Shop.  They were so good we drove over there and bought more on our way out of town.

Day 7 - Mt. Hood and Portland.  This was our last day of the trip and we really couldn't decide what to do.  We ended up briefly stopping at the Public Gardens in Portland and then driving an hour out to Mt. Hood for some hiking.  I'll confess - I wasn't a very good hiking sport.  I just wasn't into it...and needless to say we didn't last very long.  After another stop at a winery we went back to our hotel to just relax and pack for our flight home.

Mount Hood
Thanks for touring and learning with us!  If you ever get the chance to go to Washington/Oregon, do it!  Gorgeous.