Monday, May 31, 2010

Carolyn's Squash Souffle

I find it interesting that no one thinks it's odd that I take pictures of food. Most people don't know I blog and yet they think it's perfectly normal to take pictures of my meals. I wonder what they think I do with all those pictures.

Sometimes, I am so excited to try a dish that I forget to take a picture before I dig in. Then I'm left with a less than appetizing proof of deliciousness, like this:


That is what was left of my squash souffle. It came highly recommended by Jamie and I thought I'd kick off the unofficial start of summer with some summer squash.

Ugh, summer.

Carolyn's Squash Souffle

2lbs yellow squash, sliced
1 mid onion, chopped
1 green pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 C Parm cheese, grated

Cook squash, onion, and green pepper in salted water until tender. Drain well! Beat eggs, then blend in mayo and cheese Add egg mixture to the squash mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes in 1.5 quart casserole dish sprayed with Pam. A little red pepper may be used.

Oh... red pepper. I used regular black pepper and... Well, it wasn't bad but it didn't really add anything to the dish.

For this dish, I finally got to use my small, cheesy motel print casserole dish!




Next time, I think I will try it with some zucchinis. Oooh, zucchinis... It's the only good thing about summer.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Now I Like Yellow

I usually have the TV on while I'm online. One day, I happened to look up to see this commercial:



That's when I knew I wanted a yellow, gray, and white room. Sprint has really embraced this color. I'd embed more videos but they're commercials and who really wants to sit around and watch a commercial just to admire the colors?

Oh, what the hey.



Michael likes this commercial because of the "Eat it Yoshi!" part.


One I read a blog where the blogger chose this color for her room and she apologized for going with a color scheme that's so trendy- you know, trendy in a bad way. Is it trendy? Do I care? No, but I do worry if I'll get sick of it since I've never been the biggest fan of yellow in the past. I guess if I paint the walls gray/white I can just switch out the yellow stuff if I tire of the color.


The internet is full of yellow and gray room and I like just about every single one of them.


I told Michael of my plans and he happened to mention it to his mom, who has been on a very generous housewarming gift buying frenzy for the some months now. Next thing I know we're a proud owner of some deep, dark mustard yellow sheets. "But... You said you wanted yellow and you like mustard yellow," said Michael. I don't like mustard yellow, I have a mustard yellow cardigan that I loved. There's a difference.


So, I think I found some bedding that I like (from Target, of course).

First we have the Mandala Blush Bedding Collection from DwellStudio for Target.


Then we have the Mandala Bedding, also from DwellStudio for Target.


I think I like this one better but, I don't know, the first one just seems more... interesting.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Kink

Good news!

The seller's bank has accepted our offer!!!

Bad news!

They won't agree to pay for our closing cost!!!

Our closing cost is huge. I knew closing costs were expensive but, my goodness, I didn't think it would be this expensive.

Here's where it gets hard. Yes, technically, we can still afford to buy the house but it would totally wipe out all of our savings. Do I want to buy a house without any emergency fund? Uh, no. Michael did point out that if don't buy this house we won't get the $8,000 credit. True, true. However, the thought of going without any back up cash until we file our 2010 tax return is very, very scary. What if the roof leaks? What if we get into a car accident? What if the water heater breaks? What if one of us looses our jobs? It's a short sale so we're buying the house as is. What if we pay $400 for an inspection and it turns up some stuff that we don't have the money to pay for?

Maybe I should talk to our bank and see if we can reduce our down payment by... I would feel comfortable with a $5,000 emergency fund, maybe even $3,000. Maybe I should withdraw money from my IRA?

We got some thinking to do. I need to find out what our options are. Oh, to make matters worse, our Realtor is in England due to a family emergency. Her sub is on vacation. So, right now, we're dealing with a lady who really has no idea about who we are or our situation. Fun!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Free Food

Do you like free food?

Check out:

http://www.getspicychicken.com/

Chic-Fil-A is coming out with a new sandwich, the spicy chicken, and, if you go to that site you can get a free sandwich from May 31st to June 5th. It will officially hit the menu on June 7th
.



Now, the Chick-Fil-A at my mall must have been a test store because they've had this on the menu for months. They even have the breakfast version! It's good. It's not mind blowing good (a bit too salty) but it's one of the better things on the menu. I recommend it. I think I'll order it tomorrow!

Oh wait, I can't because it's Sunday! This always happens.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bookmark Clean Out

Reading through the mountain of paperwork sent by the bank. I am tempted to just go on good faith, I mean, it is called a Good Faith Estimate. Of course, I am not going to do that. I'm going to do the right thing and read every.single.word.

The locked in interest rate is lower than what I thought it would be. I'm very happy with it, so happy I want to needle point it and hang it somewhere. Now, fingers crossed that we get that house...

While I continue reading my papers... Oh, who am I kidding, I'm just going to read the new Sookie book. So, while I read the new Sookie Stackhouse book, here are some posts you can read.

10 Things Your Mechanic Won't Tell You- I'm always paranoid that a mechanic will rip me off. It' seems like everyone knows someone who has been screwed by a mechanic. I wonder what percentage of the mechanics really are shady.

Go Ahead and Cancel Your Credit Card- Well, it makes me feel better about those credit cards I canceled. I can't believe I used to have a Victoria Secret card! Oh, and I had a Lord and Taylor card because I was forced to get one. I applied for a job there once and, since all employees are required to pay using their Lord and Taylor card, you had to fill out a credit card application with your job application. Well, maybe you didn't have to but I was young and didn't read things like I should have. That whole experience was weird. They didn't even interview me and I get a phone call a few days later informing me of my first training day. Umm... No thank you... I found another job... That lady was pissed but it's not my fault. I didn't even accept the job, I just filled out an application.

Naan Recipe- Naan! I still want to try making my own but the weather's been quite chilly lately and I was afraid it would be too cold for the dough to rise properly. My one and only experience with yeast was when I was in middle school and it was not awesome.

Marinated Fish Taco- I thought the whole concept of a fish taco was pretty gross but changed my mind when I had a bite of Heidi's. It was good! Not, you know, good enough for me to ever try it again, but I think I'd like to give it another shot.

Grey Cookies... Earl Grey Cookies- Well, the green tea cookies were a success. These look really cool but I don't know that I'd want to bake 66 cookies, that's a lot of cookies.

On the Street... How to Wear a Cape p.2 Milano- Okay, this lady looks polished and sophisticated with a freaking cardigan tied around her neck like a scarf. Not that I would try that look but, we all know that if I did, it would look absolutely ridiculous. So what is it? How come it looks good on her and would look laughable on me?

Senators: Lift Ban on Gays Donating Blood- Whoa, whoa, whoa... Wait now... Gays can't donate blood? WTF?!

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs Keynes Rap Anthem

Keynes is kind of cute... 'cept for the mustache. Click here for the lyrics.



It Takes me back to my econ classes. Speaking of which, my favorite Econ professor was Dr. Smith who loved econ yet named his son Kevin. Well, either way, I guess his son got stuck with a famous person's name.

My Chicken Piccata- I'm not rally a big fan of capers but I love lemon flavored entrees.

How to Ladder Stitch- Oh... So that's how they do it. I want to sew something now.

Flying Ducks- NES Style- Michael totally reneged on his deal to keep his man crap down in the basement. It's cute how he thinks he has a say... No, I take that back, it's not cute, it's annoying. Maybe he'll feel better about the basement if I make this for him.

The Best Cookies Ever- Screw all these froo froo tea flavored cookies, nothing beats chocolate.

Omelet Rice (Omurice)- Oooh! My mom used to make these for us! They are so good. I think I'll make it the next time I'm off.

Broiled Cod with Lemon and Thyme- Again, I am a big fan of lemon flavored entrees. I also like white fish. Mayonnaise on the other hand... I might still give this a try.

Snow- At first I was all, "Awww! So cute!!!" Then, I realized that they were going to melt and I got very sad.

Guacamole Omelet with Salsa- Ooh, very intrigued.

April Credit Card Bill

This is my April's credit card bill:

4.11: $21.34 at Shell Oil
4.13: $12.60 at the place of my employment
4.17: $25.50 at Shell Oil
4.22: $21.09 at Shell Oil
4.26: $32.10 at Akira Sushi
4.27: $23.88 at Shell Oil
4.29: $15.81 at My Thai
5.03: $66.07 at Akira Sushi

Total: 246.69

Not bad. I spent a lot of money on sushi last month but Daria was in town, I haven't seen her in over a year, and I won't be seeing her anytime soon. So, I treated her, and her BF, to an early birthday lunch.

It kills me that I sped like $120 a month on gas! Thank goodness I have a fuel efficient car. I'm scared of how much more I'll have to spend if I move to Leesburg. Maybe it's time to consider other options?

Monday, May 17, 2010

My House is Going to Look so Bad Ass Now!

Okay, so you know how I went to Airmont and such and you know how it kind of blew? Well, on the way back I stopped over at Blue Ridge Hospice Thrift Store in Purcellville.

I've been on a hunt for a 60/70 decorating book for some time now and I knew, I just knew, that I would find one at the Blue Ridge because they have the most awesome book selection, ever! And...

BAM!


A decorating book from 1969!!!

I have gone over this book so much that rooms like these:


seem completely normal.

Oh, and I don't have a scanner so I took pictures of the pictures so please excuse the light glare and the weird angles.

One thing I learned from this book, in the late 60's/early 70's, people really liked their upholstery to match the curtains, and the walls, and the table clothes, and the lampshades...


They like it so much the book even has a section on putting matching fabric on the ceiling.


Do those towels match the rug?


They were also big on creating architectural details.


Especially architectural details that involve fabrics that match the wall, the couch, the... well, you get the idea.

This is my favorite room.


Not favorite as in I'd like to recreate it but, I don't know, I just really like it.

Owls! I love this poster!


I really like the chair.


I don't know what those kinds of chairs are called but I really like them.


There were a bunch of chairs like these at the one of the thrift stores Jamie and I went to in Richmond. I just didn't think I'd like chairs with backs that low but now I really wish I picked some up. Oh well.

These chairs are also cool.


Oh, and how awesome is that glass table?! Hmm... On second thought, I don't know that I'd want a mirrored dining room table. I can't imagine reflection of people chewing their food would be that appetizing.

Speaking of spiffy chairs, I also really like these (the dining room chairs):


Excuse the weird angle, in real life, the gazebo like thing isn't slanted. But, see what I'm saying about their love for architectural details?

There were lots of things in that book that I really liked, this chandelier for example:


So sparkly!

I'm not a fan of the brown room but I like the furniture.


I also like the striped rug.

I've always wanted a window seat. I always thought I needed a low window but this looks nice (I also really like the daybed!). I love window seats. Okay, I know it's not really a window seat but it kind of is.


Wait, why don't I have a window seat now? My bedroom window is big and low enough that I can totally put like an Ikea bench underneath it and make a window seat.

Hmmm... It's probably not long enough... Eh, too much time and effort to do it now. Besides, my window faces the street, the view sucks, and I always keep the blinds down for privacy. But, it's something to keep in mind for my house.

I also have a soft spot for velvet Victorian-ish sofas.


My mom has one of those sofas. Well, it's shaped kind of like that yellow sofa but has a wooden frame, like this:


It's pink, velvet, and oh my goodness, it's so fantastic! My mom graciously said I could take any of her sofas but when I told her I wanted the pink one she said no. It's not like it's being used or anything, just collecting dust in the guest bedroom.

I can't wait to show the book to Michael and get his reaction. I have a feeling it won't be too favorable.

Oh! I also found a Sears Christmas catalog from 1979!


I haven't really had chance to look it over so no pictures yet.

I also found some really cool old books.


I think I'm going to start collecting those. Is it dumb to use books as decoration? I'll read them... eventually.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Exploring Loudoun: Airmont, Philomont, Bluemont, and Round Hill

I've lived in Loudoun County most of my life and yet I've never really strayed past Leesburg. And, I'm willing to bet that 90% of Eastern Loudouners have never ventured past Leesburg. Why would we? There's no Target, no Starbucks. There's no... Well, we don't really know what it doesn't have because, to most of us, it doesn't really even exist. It could be Kansas for all we care. It's so rural... it doesn't even have a Walmart. I know! Really, it doesn't!


According to Wikipedia there are sixty seven towns and cities in this county and I've only been to 17 of those towns. And, out of those 17, four were in the past two years when I got into thrifting and antiquing. The other three I've only driven through when I was lost. Well, now that I have a GPS (thank you Jamie!) I decided to set a new goal: visit every town/city in Loudoun County.

I have decided to go alphabetically, start with Airmont and hit up Bluemont, Philomont, and Round Hill since they're nearby. If you refer to the map above you can see the Philomont, Bluemont, and Round Hill in a V-formation near the Western boarder. Airmont is between Philomont and Bluemont.

The drive to Airmont was very scenic.


The Loudoun I'm familiar with is full of houses, lots and lots of houses, packed tightly together with very little (if any) yard space. But, all you have to do is drive out west for about twenty minutes and boom!


It's just open land.

According to it's Wiki page there's nothing really going on in Airmont.


This line cracked me up:

In its short life the post office greatly helped the small village grow, reaching a population of 25 by 1908, prompting the establishment of a school the following year.

Oooh, a population of twenty-five! Why do you need a school for a village of twenty-five? Judging by the area, I think the population peaked at twenty-five.

Here's Airmont to the right.


And here's Airmont to the left.


The page did, however, say that there was a general store there so that was my destination. Oh a country general store! I've always had this romanticized notion of a country general store. I imagined something from like Little House in the Prairie. Of course, I wasn't really expecting something like that. I assumed this general store would either be super gourmet and upscale, since rural places always seems to house some random over-priced store, or super sketch.

Yeah, obviously this general store wasn't going to be selling $15 jars of mustard made from white wine from the local winery (Loudoun County does, by the way, have several vineyards and winery).


No wooden floors. No barrels of grains in the back, or bolts of fabric. No large wooden counter with a display of penny candy. Clearly, this place was not the country general store of my dreams.


Actually, it wasn't even really a general store, more of a mercado.


How very strange! I didn't think the area was big enough to support any kind of local economy, let alone one that is so specialized.

I didn't want to leave without a souvenir so I bought a bottle of hot sauce for Michael.


That boy loves his hot sauce.

So, how would I rate Airmont? Well, if you love scenic drives and mercados, Airmont is the place for you. If not, then I say skip.

Back on the road, headed towards Philomont!


As I approached Philomont the houses started to get bigger and bigger. They went from mansions with 3+ car garages to mansions with 3+ car garages and a stable.


Interesting fact: According to Wikipedia, Robert Duvall bought a horse farm near the Philomont General Store. Apparently, he's had Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash (!!!) over in his place!!! Johnny Cash!!!


Johnny Cash!!! I'm visiting a place that Johnny Cash visited!!! He might've even visited the Philomont General Store!!!

Johnny Cash!!! Can you tell I'm a fan? I think this calls for the appropriate Driving to Philomont Music:



I was pretty excited to visit the Philomont General store, not because of Johnny Cash (though, that is very cool) but because their website and the video made it sound very interesting.

It certainly looked awesome.


It was a very old timey place, which was exciting, but the service, not so much. The lady was quite rude, bummer. The video makes their deli sound very good and I was excited to try their pulled BBQ sandwich.


Unfortunately, it was not so delicious. The first bite was good but the subsequent bites proved the BBQ too be a wee bit too sweet and way too salty.

I did pick up a Thank You for the GPS gift for Jamie.


Not because she's a Civil War fan but because she used to collect chapsticks. According to the label, it's the authentic formula used by Confederate soldiers. Thank you Jamie!

So, how do I rate Philomont? Well, if you love scenic drives and Robert Duvall, by all means, check it out. The general store was cool but the service sucked and it seems like the general store is all it has going for the place so, pass.

Back on the road, headed to Bluemont!


Now, Bluemont does have a general store but, I didn't go inside. I know it's wrong to judge a book by its cover but it just didn't look too promising from the outside.


There was an interesting looking retail outlet with an antique store.


However, the sign said the antique store specialized in hardware, which I'm not into. I passed.

After Bluemont I headed to Round Hill. An interesting fact: According to Wikipedia, Lydon LaRouche lives in Round Hill!

I don't have pictures of Round Hill because by then I got tired of taking pictures of trees and general stores. According to its website there are several businesses in town, including an antique store, but I didn't really see them and, at that point, I didn't really even care enough to try to find them. Round Hill is surprisingly suburban, and by that, I mean most of the houses are very new looking, very generic looking, and kind of tightly packed together. What's the point of living in bum fuck if you're not going to have some land? I'm guessing Round Hill is for people who can't afford Purcellville.

So, that part of Loudoun County wasn't the bundle of awesomeness that I was hoping for. However, on my way back, I did have to drive through Purcellville and, while there, I decided to stop over at my favorite thrift store. Oh... and what I found there... Oh my goodness, it totally made my day!