Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall Nesting on Tap for the Weekend

We are expecting some wonderful weather in our corner of the world this weekend and I simply can't wait!  While we have a To Do list of house stuff (the usual weekend cleaning & laundry + some more stuff from the recent move), I am going to nest as often as possible!

I have several recipes to make, beginning tonite, with a maple pork, apple & carrot number.  Found it in one of my emails today and knew I had all the ingredients for this quick dinner.  It will be perfect for the time I have after working out.  This should pair beautifully with our Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider.

Tomorrow, we will make pizzas with some wheat crusts to which we will add turkey pepperoni, onion, tomato, and Italian 5-cheese blend.  I think this will go perfectly with our Round Barn Redel Doux red wine.

And Sunday, after the annual Breast Cancer Tea, I am going to make Baked Chicken & Acorn Squash.  With this, we can enjoy any remaining Cider or open a bottle of Oliver.  I bought a new Oliver White Sangria...that's the one we'll try.

I bought 2 more small pie pumpkins for display today, so this weekend I am going to clean all of them (mixture of bleach & soapy water).  Still going to add more to my Sincere Pumpkin Patch.  I found a great display on Better Homes & Gardens in a bird bath, so I simply have to buy a nice big pumpkin for ours ~~ and this display can be seen from our bedroom!!! 

We are also going to walk, at least, one of the trails surrounding our new community early Saturday morning.  I can't wait to see more of the gorgeous nature among the Dunes. 

Hope to get some photos, which I will post soon, along with some Chris has already taken of our neighborhood deer who greet us on our walks...and some wild turkeys!!!

I want to spend as much time at home this weekend ~ just soaking it all up.  My soul will thank me for it...this I know!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Flavors of Fall

So, I like to try craft beers and ciders....and even more so when they are flavored for fall!!! 

We bought a sample pack of Blue Moon beers recently, which included
Caramel Apple Spiced Ale

Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Unfortunately, neither of us liked either flavor.  Good thing there are only 3 of each ~ we'll have to flip a coin for who finishes which flavor! 

We LOVE Woodchuck ciders! 
The Limited Release Fall became our favorite last year, after always drinking Amber.  (I stocked up one trip to Meijer ~~ bought seven 6-packs one morning before work!!!) 

This year, I found out they have a Private Reserve Pumpkin Cider.  

I knew from speaking with an employee at a local liquor store that very few are made and they sell out quickly.  So, I called the other day and they were already sold out at one location, but might get more on a delivery that day.  I called their other location and had a 6-pack put aside!  I visited the closer location, anyway, to see if they got some on their shipment, which they did, so I bought a 6-pack there instead (don't worry, I called the other place to let them know).  We tried the cider last nite, after an invigorating walk along the beach, and it did not disappoint.  Very pumpkin-y!  We still think Fall is our favorite flavor, tho, so I will pick up a 6-pack of that soon.

While talking with the employee, I said we hadn't found a pumpkin beer that we liked and mentioned our recent sample of Blue Moon.  He suggested a brew from a local brewery, Crown Brewery, in Crown Point.  So, I bought a bottle of that, too (it is larger than a beer bottle, but smaller than a wine bottle...I don't know the actual name of the bottle type).  I am looking forward to giving this one a try and letting him know what we think (about the beer and the cider).

We need to sit outside at our firepit and enjoy some wine/cider/beer VERY soon....I think it will be Saturday before we walk to the beach to watch the full moon.  The fall days are so limited, so we must take advantage at any opportunity.


Autumn's Arrival

I would love to recreate this in our front yard some day!!!

Fall's arrival was ushered in this past Saturday with a bit of fanfare in our "cottage in the woods"!

I began the day by digging into my Brach's Autumn Mix!  YUM!  I do not allow myself to indulge in candy corn until the first official day of fall ~~ might sound crazy, but it is part of my tradition.

We visited our local apple orchard in the morning.  Sampled some delish cider, enjoyed a pumpkin cappuccino and walked the HUGE (& beautiful) barn to check out all of the wares.  I had already purchased a mix of cider & pumpkin donuts a couple weeks previous, and since Chris isn't really a fan, I didn't buy more this trip.  We also went by the pumpkin and gourds to get an idea of their selection and pricing.  They do have the biggest and best looking ones I have seen so far, but we are going to check out a couple farmer's markets (offering 3 for $10) to see how they compare.

I prepared a super scrumptious homemade chicken potpie (well, I make up the inside ingredients).  It is a recipe from a high school friend.  It makes so much that I froze some to make later.  For dessert, we enjoyed pumpkin cheesecake!!

We were still pretty exhausted from our week of moving (I will detail that more in another post) and while we had planned to head out to watch UFC with friends, we crashed in bed while watching a movie.  

I have started my pumpkin & gourd collection for the season.  I have 3 small orange pumpkins and a couple green gourds.  They are currently gracing the railroad ties among the landscaping along our driveway.  Once we get several more, I will put up my "Welcome Great Pumpkin" sign that Chris so lovingly made for me a few years ago.  I also found a couple wood boxes in a closet in the garage.  I pulled one out yesterday to set on our deck where I placed a plant, a fake pumpkin and the cobs of my (eaten in about 2 days) Indian corn.  We also have our metal pumpkins with orange candles on either side of our front door. 

It's beginning to look alot like Fall, everywhere you go!!!!

Happy Mabon to All! 

The Harvest Moon is this Saturday and our plan is to walk to the beach with some wine and bask in her moonlight...perhaps we will see the infamous Diana of the Dunes come to take a dip in (the oh-so-chilly) Lake Michigan!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Signed, Sealed & (almost) Delivered

It is 100% official: we no longer own our home!  With a few properly placed signatures last evening, we have turned over Harvest Moon House to her new owners.  When we leave for the last time on Tuesday, September 18th, this chapter (close to 11 years) of our life will be closed. 

We get the keys to our rental house on Sunday (not Saturday as promised...).  We will clean on that day and have the UHaul rented for Monday.  Our bedding should be there Wednesday!  So, I am looking forward to our first nite's sleep in our bedroom on our new mattress & box spring and waking up Thursday morning beneath the light of the skylight.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Let's Go Crazy!!!!

His Purple Greatness, Prince, The Artist

I couldn't believe my ears earlier this week when I heard that he was on tour and coming to Chicago THIS month!!!  I just knew I had to get tickets!  I have regretted not seeing him 8 years ago when he came to the Chicagoland area!  I heard the news on the radio while driving to work, so I called Chris to have him check it out online.  And what made the event even better is that it will be at the United Center (a much closer venue than his last tour)!! 

 I made notes on my calendar for when tickets went on sale!  I checked for pre-sale offers.  I got online a day before the tix went on sale to the general public, but could only find 300-level seats (the highest/most far away).  So...I got us some tix (200-level, first row) on StubHub!!!  I know I paid more than I would have had I been able to buy them directly from Ticketmaster, but that wasn't happening and I was not about to let this opportunity pass me by!

After selling out, wouldn't you know, they add a 2nd show for the next day?!?  So, I might have been able to buy my seats at a more reasonable price by going to the 2nd show...but who would have thought they would do this!  (I actually HATE it when they do that b/c so many of us run out to get tix believing that it is the one & only chance ~~ then the late-to-the-party peeps get a better deal!  GRRR!!  I also hate that so many people buy the tix with the sole intention of re-selling them on ebay or StubHub to make a profit!!!  It is legalized scalping!  Leave the tix for those of us who are truly interested in the event and so that we can pay the real price!!!) 

HOWEVER, I am not going to let any of that spoil my excitement at seeing his Great Purpleness!!! 

I am going to find the perfect purple accessories to wear with my zebra print top (bottoms still undecided at this point) and be ready to rock out to this Rock God!

This is my 20th anniversary gift from my honey (our anniversary is in November).  It was going to be a new tattoo, but this experience is once-in-a-lifetime and I am jumping on it!

Lenny & Prince in less than one year = a RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY Jennifer!!

Without going into detail b/c it makes me both super sad and very pissed, the show was an utter disappointment......

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Move Prepping

This isn't a pic of our place, but it pretty much sums up how we have been living for the past couple weeks and for the next two.  UGH!! 

We have been slowly (yet not as diligently as Chris would like) packing up our belongings.  Over the weekend, I packed up a couple boxes of my clothes from my dresser.  (Fingers crossed that I won't need any socks....or I am going to have to make sure Chris doesn't pack away all of his so we can both wear them!!!) 

We will pack this weekend, too, but there are some things that will just have to wait until the nite before/morning of our haul.  I don't foresee too much of a mad-scramble to get the last of it wrangled and in one of our cars or the moving truck.  The great thing about a local move is that we don't have to make sure everything is packed perfectly or that it has to fit in the truck all at once!  (THAT, my blog friends, is way more nerve-wracking....and will be done for the, eventual, Colorado move!)

We are still waiting on the soon-to-be-former tenants to move out of our rental!  Not gonna lie, I am concerned!  I sent an email to our (future) landlord in response to her notifying me that yesterday's closing date was postponed.  We have a contract with her (and paid her all monies up front a month ago) to move in on September 15th.  Also said that we close on our house the 11th and must be out within a week....NO wiggle room.  I said that I hoped the tenants were making some kind of arrangements ...b/c we are NOT getting a storage facility or a hotel (this I didn't add, but believe me, it is what Chris and I both feel!). 

The other downer here is that there are things the landlord wants to address with the house before we move in.  Let me tell you that Chris and I are gonna be super peeved if the ceiling fan for the main room that was suggested/practically promised when we gave her over $4000 isn't installed!!!  PLUS, I know she wanted to paint the laundry room floor and the stairs from the main part of the house to the garage below.  My opinion, she needs to go in there right now and have the ceiling fan installed...regardless of the inconvenience to the tenants.  IF they leave by the 11th, it gives our landlord 3 days to do what she wants/needs to.....anything less than that, I don't know.  I did tell her that we would be cleaning on the 15th and moving everything over on the 16th and that, if needed, she could work on stuff during that time.  Won't be ideal...and I don't see any painting being done....but I REALLY want the fan and there is some repair to the outside (front) of the house that should get done. 

I am doing my best to remain calm & confident. 

To that end, Chris ordered our new mattress and box spring yesterday with a tentative delivery date of September 19th.  We are gonna sleep like a king & queen soon!!!  We will need to buy some new sheets, too, as we are getting a pillow-top which is a bit deeper than other mattresses. 

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