Sunday, July 31, 2011

Probably going to need more hangers...

As I typically do right around this time of year, I ordered my 'early birthday present' Old Navy purchase. 25% coupon code + $20 rewards card + a couple items marked down = over $115 saved! (See honey, look how much money I'm saving...)

I got two more pairs of khakis (loved the green pair I bought a month or two ago, so I'm looking to replace some of my older ones), four dresses, two of the cotton jersey roll-over skirts (SO comfy) and a few tops. Was looking to replace my green and white tankini because I realized at the beach that it just didn't seem to fit right anymore - especially the bottom, which just looked...lumpy. But I didn't see anything I liked. Maybe another time.

Vacation #1 Recap!!

I love the '#1' part in the title, because it means there's a #2 :-D

So, we got up at 5am last Saturday, got dressed and loaded up the car, and were on the road by 6am. It didn't help - there were a couple minor incidents starting north of Richmond and it just kept compounding on itself, and we didn't get to Jockeys Ridge for lunch until nearly 1pm. Had Carolina BBQ (pulled pork, hush puppies, baked beans and potato salad) at Sooeys and then headed over to the outlets for a while, where we ran into Carly and Eric and Cassy at Payless! I grabbed a few things for our kitchen at the kitchen store, and a pair of silver hoop earrings (less than $9!) at Van Heusen.

We left Nags Head at 3:30 and got to the realtors at 4, but we had to wait for our house for nearly an hour. Finally got into the house at 5, unloaded the car, and went to the grocery store (a zoo, as always). Made burgers for dinner (yum) and started working on the puzzle (Van Gogh's 'Cafe Terrace'). M and I took a walk on the beach that night.

Sunday we drove up to Kitty Hawk for the traditional stop at Captain Franks - had my usual corn dog and hush puppies. We then all caravan'd over to Sunsations; Mike got a bathing suit and we got a pop-up shade tent. Both of these facts would be slightly ironic (?) later. Katherine and I also stopped into Rita's for gelatis, and we all went into Try My Nuts for a bit before heading back to our place and suiting up for the beach. It was too windy to set our tent up, but we had the others' beach umbrellas (we are buying one of these). Hit the waves with the boards, during which time Matt experienced a wardrobe malfunction when his decades-old bathing suit split pretty much clear up the leg (previously mentioned irony #1, because we had JUST been at Sunsations). He went out later in the day to get a new one (and the angels sang). Randi made us a yummy pork chop dinner before heading out. We took a flashlight out on the beach that night to check out all the crabs. Mike and Katherine got engaged! We had celebratory pina coladas!

Monday during the day was pretty much just beach, boarding, bocce, puzzle, and reading, I think. We managed to get the tent up, and it was good. Until the wind came back up while we were eating lunch; that combined with the tide loosening one of the stakes, and the center support snapped clean in half - irony #2. As I mentioned before, we're buying one of those beach umbrella things. It was also the only night we grilled out, because of the bugs. Carly and Eric came over after dinner and we all played Power Grid (M won, I got second).

Tuesday - It had rained Monday night and Tuesday was actually a pretty reasonable day temperature-wise, so M and I went for a nice (flat!) 14 mi bike ride in the morning. Hit the beach for a while, but the water was cold, so I don't think we did much in the water. More reading and puzzle (I ultimately finished three books and started a fourth, for a total of nearly 900 pages for the week). Tuesday night was seafood night at the Smiths' sound-side house, so we all headed over there for the traditional giganto pile of crabs, shrimp and clams. Eric also tried his hand at frying soft-shell crabs, which was an interesting change of pace. We hung out on the deck for a while; the guys played some lawn bocce and got eaten alive by bugs, and then we all piled into the hot tub for an hour or so. Rounded out the night with some drinking before heading home.

Wednesday - Mike and Katherine headed out early that morning, after I woke up at 7:50am to help them take some engagement pictures out on the beach. The rest of us had more beach, boarding, bocce, puzzle, reading (sensing a theme?) I think today was the day we saw fins and high-tailed it out of the ocean. We watched from the shore for a while and think it was probably two dolphins instead, but I wasn't going to wait around in the water to find out! We went to The Froggy Dog for karaoke that night. Matt did 'Piano Man' and 'Fly Me To The Moon'; Carly did 'Dancing Queen'; Michelle did 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy' and 'Don't Stop Believing'.

Thursday - jellyfish day, ugh. There were hundreds of them washing up all over the shore and in the water. We did finally brave a path to swim for a bit, because the water was SO nice, but we mostly just read on the beach for the entire day. M and I went out to stargaze and drink wine on the beach that night, which was awesome (yay google sky app!)

Friday - jellyfish were mostly gone (but the water was COLD). Still did the usual stuff - boarding/swimming, two games of bocce (Eric and I won one, Matt and Eric won the other - poor Carly). Matt built a small sand castle. Cassy hated the sand but enjoyed the water. Carly aged 3-5 years worrying about Cassy being swept out to sea. M and I went to dinner at Tale of the Whale that night - had a delicious fried calamari appetizer, bowls of crab bisque, salads, bread, whole lobster for me and ribeye + fried shrimp for M. I also had a chocolate martini, which Matt always uses as an opportunity to remind me that it's not really a martini. I got a pretty pink ring in the lobby gift shop. I also finished the puzzle late Friday night.

Saturday - packed up the house, checked out, and headed over to the Smiths' for a couple hours (their rental was Sunday to Sunday). Cary make us pancakes and then Silverthorns and Nusbaums played Acquire. I thought I totally had the win but Eric managed to squeak past me by about $1000 to leave me in second place for the second time that week, grrr. We headed out around noon, stopped in Nags Head for pizza and garlic knots at New York Pizza Pub and then hit the road for good around 2pm. Overall I think traffic was a little better (though 95 was kind of a beast, as usual) and we ended up back at our place about 7:45pm. Did a little unpacking and ordered chinese food for dinner, and watched the previous week's Daily Show and Colbert Report episodes on the DVR.

Today is laundry, laundry, laundry. Balanced the checkbook and watered the plants. I've got a double yoga class from 4-7pm (Flow 2 + Yin) and then probably more laundry and TV. It was a nice, relaxing vacation, and I am looking forward to #2 in only 108 days!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coupons

I picked up a prescription today, and my CVS Extracare card spit out like 7 coupons. Since I had a half hour to kill before yoga class (had blocked off an hour for my haircut but it only took about 25 minutes) I browsed around the store for a while.

I got two 'funky' nail polishes that were buy one get one 50% off, two Aussie hair products (3-minute miracle and leave-in conditioner), cotton balls, Goetzes caramel creams (to share with Carly, because she had no idea what I was talking about), and a Burts Bees acai replenishing lip balm (YUM) - all for less than $7. CVS lets you stack coupons, so I used the '$2 off two hair products' + $2 Extracare bucks + 30% off your entire order. WIN! I had one for $2 off an Almay Color cosmetic but didn't see anything I liked.

So now I have shimmery blue toenails and soft hair that is 7" shorter than before. They also used these awesome thinning shears in the midsection so it lies much better too.

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We're taking four Let's Dish meals to the beach (burgers, balsamic chicken, pork tenderloin, and flank steak). Plus seafood night, dinner at Tale of the Whale, and a Randi-dinner, we are set there! Should make grocery shopping for breakfast/lunch and snacks much simpler.

We'll be rolling into Nags Head in like 12 hours!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

$XYXYX

Matt got his annual raise today and now his salary is a palindrome :-D

Not closing on Friday, but almost certainly in August. Waiting for the revised contract.

Two more work days until vacation! We're still taking off Friday. I'm going to Let's Dish (we're taking a cooler of food with us to the beach), then lunch at Olive Garden, then getting my hair cut, then a yoga class. Can't wait!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Scratch

Cooking, that is. At least side dishes. I had previously been making a lot of frozen veggies to go along with our Let's Dish meals (steamed broccoli and steamed green beans with almonds were our two favorites). It was easy to throw a package in the microwave while I was cooking something else.

A few months ago I tried a delivery from South Mountain Veggies with a Groupon, and we really liked it. We're getting weekly deliveries of fresh, local, organically grown produce now - it's been delicious, but typically requires a lot more work than just tossing something into the microwave!

So I've had to get a little more creative than our previous repertoire. Some things are easy enough - simple pan-saute on zucchini and summer squash, toss some blanched green beans with lemon and olive oil, sliced tomato with salt and pepper, yummy salads.

This week's bag was sweet corn (yum), blueberries (yum), lettuce (salad!), carrots, new potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, and white peaches (tried them, tasty, but I still like nectarines better). I've currently got the corn boiling, and am making smashed new potatoes - not to be confused with mashed potatoes! You boil the potatoes, then smash them with a glass. Drizzle with olive oil (the original recipe said 1Tbsp per side, but that seemed like a LOT of oil - I used about a half tsp per side per potato). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs (I used garlic powder, parsley and thyme) and bake in a screaming hot oven (450-475) for about 20 minutes.

I made maple dill carrots last week which were very yummy and I'd do again!

My tomato plant has about 8 little tomatoes, and the first one is finally starting to look a little more yellow than green. The basil and parsley seem to be doing well, and I think there might be some kind of wild berries (raspberries?) growing on our road so I think I'll have to check that out.

Update: I just looked this morning and I think they're currants. I have no idea what to do with a currant. Boo.

OBX is soooo close...

Sorry, I got a little distracted there for a while :-) Buy hey, July!!

In just under exactly two weeks, we'll be in the Outer Banks!!

We're still hoping for a July 22nd close on the condo. We did the individual FHA certification for our unit, but the buyer ended up having some trouble getting a lender to accept it. In the meantime we fretted (probably unnecessarily) about our appraisal after we learned that a) a unit in our building closed in a short sale at $120K and b) another unit in our neighborhood, priced at $170K, initially appraised for only $135K. Turns out that they contested that appraisal, and waited until another unit sold for $153K, to have theirs appraised. It just closed at the list price, so now we have two decent comps going forward for ours. Just hoping that the buyer's financing gets put together quickly and we can move forward as originally planned. I did sell ETFs/mutual funds to cover the rest of our closing costs, because we need enough time for trades to clear, and then move the money from ING to BoA, and then actually go and get a cashier's check for closing.

June 3rd-July 2nd: 18 yoga classes; average cost of $4.63 per class and a running total of 56 classes on the first half of my current pass.

What else, what else. I started BodyCombat (cardio kickboxing) classes back in mid-May. Have really enjoyed going to those, and it's a GREAT calorie burn (550-600 cals average for a 1-hour class). Have been adding in some interval training on the elliptical machine. Loving the full ashtanga primary practice that Flow has been doing once or twice a month.

**Matt reminded me that I had forgotten the 100 pushups and 200 situps training plans. I'm already done with week one! I might try the pullups and squats plans after I'm done with the pushups and situps plans.**

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We went to Coastal Flats last night (first time for me and M). I was so excited that they have the same lobster bisque as Sweetwater, but EVERY NIGHT. Yum! I also got a pretty tasty lobster roll. Not the same as the Cabby Shack up in MA, but still decent. We watched Clash of the Titans with Jim after dinner. I slept in today and then went to yoga. Playing tennis with C&E tomorrow afternoon, and then Emily's coming over for thai food takeout and maybe a bit of mild debauchery? Em's also coming to yoga class with me Monday night! Tuesday I'm going to The (new) Melting Pot with Carly - yummm.

Got some chai chilling in the freezer that's probably ready, and maybe some TV.