Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day

Holidays are very important to me. My favorites are, in this order:
1. Christmas
2. Valentine's Day
3. Thanksgiving
4. Easter

My least favorite are:
1. Independence Day (I really don't like the smell of burnt firecrackers, or hearing them go off at 2am.)
2. New Year's Eve/Day (I'm not a night owl. Period.)
3. St. Patrick's Day (I don't really get the point of this one, other than green is seemingly important. I like green, but I'm not big on leprechauns or beer.)

So the fact that Valentine's Day was actually Valentine's Weekend was awesome. 
On Friday, my dad sent me a fish-shaped chocolate that said "You're a Keeper!" because that's what the doctor said when I was born. Yeah, my dad's awesome. Then John came home with my favorite Valentine candy ever - conversation hearts! Why are they my favorite? Um, you did know I was an English major, right? Yeah. So he put them on the counter, in the shape of a heart. 

Saturday afternoon was our "official" Valentine's Day. We both got dressed up and went to Shake's Frozen Custard for concretes (like a Dairy Queen "Blizzard"). I got cookie dough. John got fudge brownie. We were both really, really happy. Then we went to the Fayetteville Square and wandered around until dinner at Greenhouse Grille. My first Valentine's Day as a Peterson, and I must say I was pleased. 

John picked out this rose-shaped ring at Riff-Raff on the Square. It was their 2-year anniversary so we got it for 50% off! Score!

Me. I made the headband out of felt and fabric hearts.

The required iPhone/mirror picture. I was paying attention to my fingers, which always look weird.

John caught up on some reading at the Bookshop on Dickson.


We ended the weekend by getting up early on Sunday morning and making heart-shaped pancakes before church. John is really good at flipping pancakes, which is awesome because I am horrible at it. I think they turned out pretty well, but John and I both agreed that last week's chocolate chip waffles were better. Does anyone know the secret to fluffy pancakes? I would really like to know.

Then we hung out with friends at Wilson Park. It was the first nice day of the year, and we took a picnic of deli items from Ozark Natural Foods. They make amazing veggie burritos. Amazing. I also tried these snap pea crunchy things that were pureed peas reshaped into peas. It sounds weird, put they were pretty good. I'm really enjoying these new friendships that are developing in my fitness classes, Wednesday Bible study, Discovery group, and community group. I'm so extremely blessed to see God's grace firsthand, and I pray that I can be a good friend to those who extend their friendship to me.

Yay, Valentine's Day 2011!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

There's SNOW way it could get any whiter outside....

Snow Day #471

Okay, not really. But here's how it progressed:

John got up at 5:50am and started to get ready for work. He then remembered the weather forecast, looked outside, and saw this...
 Snow day!

So we proceeded to drink coffee in bed while reading the Bible, talking, and checking Twitter and Facebook for interesting snow-related commentary. Then we took more pictures of the snow.

For breakfast, we decided to break out the professional-grade waffle iron we received as a wedding present and make chocolate-chip waffles. They were spectacular. John and I were giddy.


Okay, to me, these poor cars look like little lost buffalo caught in a snowstorm. See their ears?

 The weather forecasters were having a very exciting time. How did they get into work this morning? Are their spouses upset that they can't stay home and have snowball fights with the kids? I wonder about these things.

Yeah...we're not going anywhere today.

John cleared a path down the landing of our apartments. He's a hard worker like that.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Day 1,2,3

So, it's been three days since the storm hit. We got about 4" of snow, but the big problem has been the sheets of ice underneath, and the consistent subfreezing temperatures (it was down to -7 last night). So even though it's been sunny, the roads are still frozen and the snow is still piled up around cars, buildings, and side streets. Here's what it looks like in Fayetteville:

This is the hill up to our apartment complex. The white part is the road...
A picture out of the passenger-side window, looking toward our apartment complex. 
Joyce Blvd. 
The expressway out of Fayetteville and toward I-540, taken around noon today.

It seems like everyone is stuck at home. I've been reading my Twitter feeds a lot lately, and tons of people are updating about their movie marathons, baking adventures, and other exasperated attempts to pass the time until the roads are clear. One person tweeted "eating leftovers is getting old. Commence cabin fever." And I just saw that Fayetteville Schools will be closed tomorrow, which means all the events I normally have set for Friday are cancelled as well. Dang it.

So what have I been doing to pass the time? Well, I have been trying out new things in the kitchen. I made Rotel sausage dip for John on Tuesday, since I found out over the holidays that it's one of his favorite snacks (very simple: 1 lb. cooked, drained, and chopped sausage mixed with 1 pkg. cream cheese and 1 can of Rotel). Tuesday night I made garlic chicken with cherry tomatoes and green beans. Very tasty. Wednesday I actually attempted a quiche!!! See...

For a first attempt it was quite tasty, and there was enough left over for breakfast this morning. Yum! I always thought it would be harder to make them, but it was super easy. I got the recipe from the Incredible Edible Egg website, and tweaked considerably for health reasons (used 3 eggs and 4 egg whites, lowfat mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup 2% milk + 1/2 cup water). For the filling I used spinach and shredded zucchini. 

As far as crafting goes, I was pretty lazy about it the first day, but last night I was hit with the desire to cut and sew, so I made this little guy:

I also started cutting out fabric for the black apple doll I wrote about earlier (the pattern is here, on Martha Stewart's website), and I hope I can finish that this week. 

Well, that's it for now. I'm going to head back to the kitchen and make some chocolate chip cookies for class tonight (Perspectives at Fayetteville). I hope everyone makes it there safely and we have a great class. It's week two...only 12 more to go!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day Preparations

So I'm sitting in bed right now, watching snow flurries pile up on the ground outside our apartment. Expectations range from 2" to 12", depending on who you ask or what tweet you happen to read. Right now there's about an inch or two, but it's coming down hard.

I am really excited about spending the day at home with John. In anticipation, I gladly accepted two bags of fabric scraps from my mother when we stopped by for a visit on Saturday. Plans include owls, dolls, and some fabric decorations for headbands and skirts. I got out the ironing board yesterday to lay out all the fabrics I really liked, and hopefully I'll get started organizing and storing all the scraps today.

I started making hearts with felt, then sewing a smaller fabric heart onto it. I think I'll use these for a headband.

In addition, I've also been working on my baking skills. Last night was small group, and we were to bring "a dish that begins with the first letter of your first name." So I brought pumpkin walnut bread using Krusteau Pumpkin Bread Mix, adding in walnuts and substituting applesauce for the 1/3 cup of oil the recipe suggested. It turned out really well.

I took the bread to small group, but managed to save John a couple of thick pieces for his breakfast this morning. It was a hit, so I'm thoroughly excited about adding the recipe to my collection. 

Today I'm going to try out a sausage dip recipe that John's mother told me about, and for dinner I hope to find a good salmon recipe (I have some in the freezer I've been thinking about). I hope I have all the ingredients, though, because there is no way I'm leaving the house today...