Monday, October 31, 2011

Brandon's Birthday

Since Brandon has been out in Virginia the past few years, it's been a while since he had a proper birthday party. On October 29 we decided to throw a birthday/Halloween party. We invited some friends over to celebrate - costumes encouraged! Knute and Nancy brought cake. Can't have a store-bought cake without a good cake fail:
Hey, they spelled my name right for once
Brandon re-wore a Popeye costume from last year. When he took me to the store to look at the Olive Oyl costume, I realized that I already had the outfit. I just added a felt collar and a yellow ribbon. The felt was adhesive and I attached the ribbon with double sided tape. Easy peasy.

We asked everyone to bring beer. I provided Chinese-style Turkey Meatballs and Pizza Bites. Both, we're recipes that I made for the first time and both were easy to prepare ahead of time. What luck! Forgot to take pictures of these, but seriously, they were a hit! The costume of the night was definitely Two Peas in a Pod:

Brandon and Mitra in a Pod
The rest of our guests:

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chicken & Dumpling Dinner

The Murphysboro Kiwanis Club and the Murphysboro Knights of Columbus would like to invite everyone to their 2nd Annual Chicken & Dumpling Dinner on November 5th, Saturday 11:00 - 7:00.  Dinner will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 606 Plum Street in Murphysboro. 

Tickets are $8.00 in advance for adults and children under 12 years are $4.00; (adults are $9.00 at door).  Carry-outs are welcome. 

Help us support the youth of our community in need and the world with The Kiwanis and Knights of Columbus "Karing For Kids" dinner. 

Please contact me for advance tickets to this event.  I will be happy to get them to you.  

Ginger Chicken and Broccoli

Last night's Birthday/Halloween party was a blast. Brandon and I were Popeye and Olive Oyl - pictures to come!

I'll admit, I haven't had much Chinese food living here. There is definitely some available (New Kahala, Great Wall) but really the only place I'd still like to try is Hunan. So, when I found a coupon for P.F. Chang's Home Menu frozen dinner I was pretty excited to try it. Btw, convenience foods, while not the best for you, really save the night when you come home from work and school and are starving at 8pm. Not to mention, the nearest PF Chang's is 80 miles away. When I went to the store, I had only two options, so I went with the Ginger Chicken and Broccoli flavor. When I emptied the bag into the pan I was a little confused:
I saw chicken, brocolli, red pepper and brown blocks? At first I thought they were tofu and that Brandon would never eat this! Then my brain kicked in and I realized it was frozen blocks of sauce. Here is the cooked meal:
P.F. Chang's Ginger Chicken
The chicken was tender, the vegetables were soft but not mushy and the sauce was very flavorful. My mistake was serving it with this:
Uncle Ben's Ready Rice
While I really love Uncle Ben's Spanish Rice, the Teriyaki Style was not good! The soy flavor was bitter and did not mesh well with the P.F. Chang's sauce. I was craving some white sticky rice instead, oh well. Brandon and I ate about two-thirds of the meal which left me some for lunch the next day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pretty Pictures

Per Brandon's Mom's request we had a family photo shoot last Sunday. Yes, girlfriends count! Don't we look cute:
Me and B
The weather was perfect (although the rain earlier gave us a scare). We took our pictures at Lake Murphysboro where the fall colors were out:
Our photographer was a Amanda Roberts, the mom of Knute and Nancy's granddaughter (pictured). 
Guess whose idea this pic was? Mine! Poor Nancy said she was sore the next day, but that it was worth it, hehe :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


So I came home to THIS on my doorstep:
It was a big box full of the new snack I've been wanting to try:
Halfpops are partially-popped popcorn kernels. The little crunchy pieces that are usually found at the bottom of the bag. In this case, they are all you get. Darius got me 16 bags of the White Cheddar flavor to try.
They are more airy than Corn Nuts but crunchier than regular popcorn. I love the cheesy flavor. There are 2 servings in a bag and about half-way through the bag you will start feeling full. I think the major problem with this snack is that with each kernel comes a thin piece of outer shell attached. You know those little pieces that get stuck in your throat and make you choke ... In this snack they are fairly easy to chew but still...they are not the most pleasant. I think if the company could get rid of those I'd be addicted.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Birthday Loot

I wanted to share the rest of my birthday loot with you:

The night before my birthday, Kristen sent me a big box filled with pasta goodness (noodles, garlic olive oil, pasta strainer and cookbook).
I have already used the strainer and it is so convenient! It rests on the lid of the pot so you don't have to get the big strainer dirty. Brandon got me cupcakes from Larry's:
The Hostess-style cupcake was my favorite!
He woke me up at the crack of dawn saying "it's time to get up, hurry" and "put on your glasses." He led me to the kitchen where he had a dozen cupcakes with 25 candles lit. It was bright! But, I loved it.Then we went out to breakfast (as opposed to dinner because Brandon had to work that night). We went to Harbaugh's Cafe a really sweet breakfast and lunch place in Carbondale (cash only). Then at work, I got:
A few days later Darius sent me these:
An entire box of popcorn snacks! I will give you my complete review next post :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Message

First of all thank you to everyone who made my 25th birthday special! With so many of my friends and family spread out around the country it was awesome to get all your birthday gifts and wishes. You will be seeing a recap of many of them very soon!

Unfortunately, I have a test this afternoon in Microbio on microbioal metabolism, the control of microbial growth and viruses, viroids and prions - fun stuff!

So, I will leave you with the scene I came home to one night last week:
What is THAT on my door?

Frogs like me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Update

Last Friday, Brandon took me to the Jerry Clover memorial fundraiser at the Murphysboro Elks Lodge. Jackson Junction played some rockin country tunes. (Living here has made me crazy for country!) Over $5,000 was raised for the family. I also bumped into my Anatomy teacher who said "you can't use this as blackmail" Darn. Hehe. My Saturday looked a lot like the one two weeks ago.
Murphysboro Soccer

SIU Football
We lost :( The weather was gorgeous :)

And random... Brandon was so excited to show me that he programed his radio to the only two stations he listens to... haha

Thursday, October 6, 2011

For me?!

Birthday fun has begun! When I came home last night I had a big box from Payless waiting for me. This was inside:

Red lining, yes please!
A giant tote perfect for everyday use and big enough to carry my laptop. Thank you Mom! Okay, so news to me, this bag is actually Silvia Tcherassi not Cristian Siriano... oops.

Then I found out that I won a giveaway on Eating Bird Food. I will now be the proud owner of new kitchen gadget, a microplane zester.

Today Brandon got me some:
Yay! Dreams do come true :)

PS: Know any good cures for post nasal drip? I'm dying here!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quote of the Day

The patient looks over at me and says, "Oh you're expecting"

... um WHAT???
No no no no. It's just my large scrub top billowing out thankyouverymuch!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Honda

Brandon bought a new car this weekend!
It's a 2007 Honda Accord EX in Charcoal. It comes with some bells and whistles like a GPS, sunroof and heated seats. Definitely an upgrade! Turns out the salesman knew me from taking care of his parents at the eye center so he gave Brandon a good deal. Now that's karma baby!

In other news, I managed to do something other than a ponytail:
So excited now that October is here. Birthday month! Brandon and I have decided to throw a Halloween party on his Bday. Get excited people!