Thursday, April 30, 2009

oh tulips, how i love thee

tulips are by far one of my favorite flowers. they are only here for a little while each spring. they give me such joy. they come in such an array of colors and even shapes. the variegated colors are really quite spectacular. if i could, i'd plant a field of tulips just to take picnics there every spring. since that is not possible, i did a little walking around town and snapping away at some of the locals...

photos by moi

au revoir april

i can't believe this is the last day of april. where has the time gone?!

here is a brief rundown of my month:

april 4 & 5th - was spent in dc for the cherry blossom festival

april 9th - got laid off from job (more later as i have been trying to wrap my head around posting about this one)

april 16th - been at this blogging business for a month now (and loving it!! thank you to all of my readers, your sweet comments keep me going!!)

april 18th - i completed my first ever 5k (go me!)

april 21st - received complimentary annual press pass to rouxbe

april 22nd - celebrated earth day

april 25th - met dear friend rebecca in pittsburgh, pa for her birthday celebration

april 29th - celebrated obama's 100th day in office

yes, it was a busy month, with many ups and some downs. but i am ready to put a close on this month and get a fresh start with may.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

taking time for tea

tea, i love it! whites, greens, blacks, oolongs, rooibos, herbals, mates, you name them, i love them all. i love tea at any time of the day, morning, noon and night. i love what health benefits come along with tea, polyphenols for cancer prevention, good for lowering cholesterol and increasing your metabolism to name a few. i also love the process of making tea, it's simple, methodical and relaxing.

i thought i would share with you my tea ritual. this time i made teavana's jasmine dragon phoenix pearls scented green tea. if you like jasmine green tea, it is wonderful. the best part is that it can be infused a couple of times so you really get your monies worth.

measure out the tea

add hot water

wait for brewing (love watching the unfurling of the tea)

the teavana perfect tea maker sits right on top of my mug to dispense

aaahh, ready to enjoy

do you have a tea ritual? if so, please share.

photos by moi

happy 100th day

as i'm sure you all know, today is obama's 100th day in office. considering we are fresh out of an 8 year nightmare and we've only scratched the surface BUT we've come a long way baby!!

cheers to obama's 100th day in office!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the great morel hunters

last sunday, ryan and i took a trip to preston county, wv to meet our friend steve for some morel hunting fun. these mushrooms are technically called morchella but the locals call them morels. these little fungi may not be very attractive but they certainly are tasty! unfortunately, it was too hot and dry and we didn't find any. we still had a great time hiking around in nature.

we looked for our morels on a friend of steve's property. when we got there two dogs eagerly greeted us strangers. one of them decided to take the morel hunting challenge with us and took to the woods by our sides. he was our rent a dog. he was very cute and very happy to show us around his neck of the woods.

here are some of the photos i took of our journey:

photos by moi

happy birthday rebecca!!!

yesterday was my dear friend rebecca's birthday. saturday we met in pittsburgh, pa to hang out and celebrate. we met at p.f. changs at the waterfront in homestead, pa. after a lovely dinner, i convinced rebecca to let me take a picture of her kissing the horse's ass outside of the restaurant. thank you for letting me take my ridiculous picture and for letting me post it. :)

after dinner we walked around the waterfront shops and stopped in the venetian salon & spa for a mani/pedi for the birthday girl. this was my present to her. i didn't have enough money to get one myself but my dear boyfriend ryan got me one as well. so, we got to sit beside each other while getting our pedicures. it was heavenly!!

after our mani/pedi treatments, we decided to watch a movie, birthday girl's choice. she decided on monsters vs aliens in 3-d imax. i have seen 3-d movies before and i have seen movies on the imax screen, but the combination was killer! AND the movie was absolutely adorable.

all in all, we had a fantastic evening. too bad it went by so quickly.

happy birthday rebecca, i hope that you get everything you want, not only for your birthday, but in life!! you are my girl and i love ya!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

salty oatmeal cookies & much gratitude

i wanted to give a HUGE shout out to jennifer over at pink heels. her latest post is all about teaism's salty oatmeal cookies (and the recipe!!) so, get yourself to her blog and check it out!!!

i first heard about teaism from fellow blogger city girl's post here. being a tea girl (who does like coffee from time to time) i knew i had to check this out. i fell in love when i was in dc during the cherry blossom festival. the next time i go back to dc, teaism is definitely on my to do list.

thank you again jennifer & city girl for introducing me & sharing teaism and their beloved salty oatmeal cookies!! you girls rock!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

have i told you lately that i love rouxbe...

so yesterday was my lucky day. as you all know, i'm a fan of rouxbe. well yesterday i get a message that rouxbe was following my tweets on twitter. which, why it didn't even occur to me to look for rouxbe on twitter was just silly on my behalf. what was i thinking?! so, of course, i follow back. then i get a surprising direct message thanking me for posting about rouxbe AND wanted to know if i was interested in a press pass for full access to the site. DO I EVER!! :) i jumped on the opportunity. how lucky am i??

ryan was the one who originally found rouxbe. we are both pretty good cooks and we both like to experiment in the kitchen, so we are always looking for more ideas. i asked ryan last night where he found rouxbe and he said it was from lifehacker, which if you haven't check it out, it's a pretty good site too! (maybe i can get a job promoting these kick-ass websites since i'm unemployed huh?! how cool would that be!!)

anyways, just wanted to give a shout out to rouxbe one more time since they and their ceo joe girard (who was the one who contaced me) are so awesome!

i HEART rouxbe!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

rouxbe strikes again

tonight for dinner, chef ryan put his talents to work. we like to peruse rouxbe to get ideas for dinner from time to time as i've mentioned before. i'd like to share tonight's dinner creation with you. if you want to try it for yourself click here. i can attest that it is fabulous!!

meet the family

well, it's time i introduce the family. you've seen pictures of me and ryan before (and some of the fur babies) but this is ALL of the fur babies! together, ryan and i have 5 fur babies. i came into the relationship with 3 (2 cats and 1 dog) and he came into it with 2 (1 cat and 1 dog). luckily they all get along (most of the time). so, without further ado, let me introduce you to the family....

dooty is the love of my life! he is my 10 year old boy. he has been with me through thick and thin (literally and figuratively) . i don't know what i'd do without him!!

dooty listening to some fabulous tunes!

dooty helping me with my christmas cards last year

sanjay is my other baby boy. he is 3 years old. he is the player of the family. he plays fetch with these little pompoms we have, jumps 3/4 of the door frame, and sounds like a horse when he gallops through the house. no wonder he is so skinny!!

sanjay peeking through my spring bulbs while taking a break from eating

sanjay trying to take a nap but can't because his paparazzi (aka me) won't leave him alone

rawkus (ryan's spelling of ruckus) and clearly named that for a reason. this boy may look cute (which he is) but he is mean!! i mean MEAN, no kidding. we love him despite his assholish ways. rawkus is somewhere around 8 years old. ryan isn't for sure since rawkus was a stray when he saved him from the cruel outside world.

rawkus taking a nap with his (technically the dog's) piggy

rawkus lounging in a box (in a messy living room)

cadyn is my 9 year old miniature pincher/rat terrier. her breed is technically a "min pin rat." i got cadyn when she was able to fit in my hand she was so small. my ex-husband picked her out. after we separated i kept her because there was no way i would ever separate her and dooty. they are best buddies!

cadyn always tilts her head if you say "do you wanna"

cadyn doing one of her favorite things - hiking

lastly, we have sadeye (ryan's spelling for sadie) but pretty fitting since she's a 3/4 basset 1/4 beagle. she does have a little bit of sad eyes due to the saggy-ness of the basset. sadie (as i spell it) is 6 years old. she's quite the stubborn-headed girl most of the time but we love her anyways.

this is the best picture of sadie (and one of the last of her on the couch due to her stinky-ness - you know what they say about hounds)

sadie with her christmas bow

metropolitan monday

good afternoon fellow bloggers and blog readers. i don't know about your neck of the woods, but here it is rainy and windy. i know some people hate mondays and i'll admit, when i was working, mondays were a little tough. they are still tough for me, but in a different way now.

there was something that always made me look forward to mondays and always put a smile on my face. this is the metropolitan diary section of one of my favorite newspapers, the ny times. for those of you that have never read the metropolitan diary section, i highly recommend it. it gives the "only in ny" stories that you've always heard of. the short stories are even better if you've live there, lived there, or have at least some idea of your way around the big apple. even if you've never been to ny they are still enjoyable.

so take a well deserved break on this monday and head over to the metropolitan diary and have yourself a laugh.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

rouxbe cooking school

i've blogged before about trying recipes from rouxbe. we have been fans of rouxbe for sometime now. this evening as my boyfriend was looking around for dinner ideas, he ran across rouxbe cooking school, which you can get a free 30-day membership. there are plenty of lessons to go through and some still to come. just another reason to love rouxbe! i know a lot of you guys who read this love food and love to cook so i wanted to share.

tea with the yogi chat

this past week i had "tea with the yogi chat" online with the uncommon yogi. if you aren't familiar with her, please check out her blog here. it is by far one of the best yoga blogs out there. there are literally tons of yoga information plus much, much more on her blog. she plans on doing more chats online in the future so make sure you join the group to be invited to the next chat.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

run fatgirl run

well, i finished my first ever 5k today. i walked most of it (as you can tell by my time across the finish line). sure, i would have loved to have done better, but i am ok with my time considering i haven't been running at all recently and haven't been for several weeks now. when i passed by ryan (who was playing photographer this time) i told him i felt like that movie run fatboy run, except it was run fatgirl run in my case :) it's a pretty good movie if you haven't seen it.

there were several kiosks set up for the earth day 5k celebration that i got to peruse around before the race began. one of the kiosks was friends of the four-legged. there were some cute kitties up for adoption. but what surprised me was after i crossed the finish line, there was an owl there waiting for me. i know, you weren't expecting that, were you? rusty, the screech owl, was hit by a car and unfortunately lost an eye. but he was rescued and doctored up and taken in. let me tell you, he was SO cute. check him out, isn't he adorable?!

after the 5k, we headed into downtown for the chocolate lovers day. ah, instant gratification for completing the race. we walked around to the downtown morgantown businesses that were participating in the festivities until we got sick of eating chocolate.

later we came home and i enjoyed a nap. getting ready to head out and go to 123 pleasant st to watch some local bands preform radiohead's ok computer and pavement's slanted & enchanted.

photos by ryan

Thursday, April 16, 2009

finally, the post you've all been waiting for... our dc trip

i want to apologize that this post is so far behind. as you know from my previous post i've had a rough time recently. i have been keeping in good spirits but i'm now ready to get back into the full swing of things. i wanted to thank you all for your words of encouragement during this rough time. you all kept me smiling even when i was feeling down. thank you!!

ok, so now, what you've all been waiting for......

our trip to dc was fantastic (besides my poor boyfriend being sick as a dog on sunday and not getting to enjoy anything. luckily i didn't get sick until after we got back home). we had originally planned to go spend friday night with ryan's dad (who lives in the eastern panhandle of west virginia) and then go onto dc saturday morning. we found out that he already had plans and wouldn't be home. while dc is only about 3 hours away, i'd prefer to start my morning out there instead of driving 3 hours and then starting out the day. i booked a room at the wyndam garden hotel in gaithersburg, md and we spent friday night there. first thing saturday morning, we hopped on the metro at shady grove and rode it into dc. we were able to leave the car at the metro parking for free on the weekends.

we arrived at the dupont hotel before check in so we checked our luggage and headed down to the sakura matsuri japanese street festival.

from the festival we headed towards the tidal basin by way of the washington monument. along the way, we ran into a patch of cherry trees that were absolutely gorgeous. there were lots of people under and around the trees have a great time.

from the tidal basin, we walked over to the arthur m. sackler gallery specifically to see the exhibit the tale of shuten doji. we had a fun time playing around with the big mirror that was in the lobby of the museum as well. we rested a bit by the gardens of the smithsonian castle before heading back to the festival for some food.

just before we got our food, we ran into some impromptu entertainment. this is something i miss when i'm away from cities. it appeared that dad and his two kids were entertaining the crowds just as much as the festival with their drumming. the acoustics where they were at made it even more amazing.

after getting just enough food to tide us over a bit, we headed back to the hotel to officially check in. um, by the way, if you've never stayed in the dupont hotel and are going to dc, i highly recommend it!! the location is perfect and the heated floor in the bathroom is enough to keep me going back!

my sweet blogger buddy over at city girl lifestyle wrote about teaism in here blog here. being a lover of all things tea, i knew i had to check it out. i was definitely not disappointed! they had amazing food and amazing tea and the most amazing salty oatmeal cookie that i have ever put in my mouth! (yes, a bunch of amazings and all worth it). (if i would have been in dc longer, i would have tried every one of city girl's recommendations - thank you again).

after dinner and tea at teasim, we headed to one of my favorite spots in dc, kramerbooks & afterwords cafe. i am such a sucker for bookstores. (in fact, i used to work at one when i lived in virgina beach, va). i picked up a copy of french milk which i enjoyed very much. before heading back to the hotel, we noticed a store called sweet green across the street from kramerbooks. i wasn't quite sure what it was so we decided to head over and check it out. if you haven't been there, check it out, i recommend it highly. they have an amazing selection of salads to choose from and the most fantastic frozen yogurt! we got a large yogurt with mango, blueberries, and raspberries and shared it.

sunday morning i woke up excited because i was going to tranquil space to take a yoga class before we left for home. my boyfriend didn't wake up to such excitement as i did. the poor dear spent sunday in misery from a stomach virus. he went with me to afterwords cafe for brunch. any other day he would have loved it but, he was feeling so horrible that he went back to the hotel. he stayed at the hotel while i headed to tranquil space. when i walk in, my face just lit up because kimberly wilson was there. it was so good to see her again. i also got to meet her beau, tim and her beloved pug, louis. since i had only met her once before, i was honored that she remembered me and my name. (melita isn't exactly an easy name to remember for most). i was also honored that she let me be her guest so that i didn't have to pay for the yoga class i attended. she's such a sweet heart! i simply adore her!! the level 1 yoga class i attended was amazing. after yoga, i browsed around her boutique. i ended up with a tranquil space yoga t-shirt and a tranquilit men's t-shirt for my boyfriend. (i have so many pieces of the tranquilit line that i just had to share with ryan so he could experience it for himself - he was thrilled to get it and loves it).

after yoga, i decided as much as i'd love to stay and play some more in dc, it wasn't fair to ryan who wasn't feeling well. on my way back to the hotel, i ran across this tree branch (maybe vine??) that i just thought was very interesting. i just had to take a picture of it. look at the way it is intertwined with the iron fence. the place looked abandoned, but i'd live there (after it was fixed up a bit that is).

photos by moi

Monday, April 13, 2009

our non-traditional easter dinner

last night, ryan, rob and i had a very non-traditional easter dinner. it turned out fantastic!!

it consisted of cucumber sunomono salad, garlic-prosciutto baked brussels sprouts, pork with morel-calvados sauce, all of this followed up with watermelon for dessert. it was an amazing dinner.

i wanted to share with you a picture so your mouth would water when you read this post.

photo by moi

Sunday, April 12, 2009

my rather sucky week in review

hello all. sorry i haven't been keeping up with my posts regularly. i had a pretty tough week. here is how it goes from last weekend to now:

went to dc last weekend, had a fantastic time (will post about this soon) except for my boyfriend being so sick sunday he wasn't able to leave the hotel.

sunday night after we got home on sunday, my belly started cramping and i knew what was coming, the same think my boyfriend had, nasty stomach virus.

spend sunday night/monday morning in the bathroom and laying in the bathroom floor and hall in horrible pain.

spent monday, tuesday, and wednesday in bed (and bathroom still, ugh).

thursday - finally made it to work, was told i was laid off, effectively immediately!!

thursday night/friday morning - didn't sleep much due to too many thoughts running through my head about being laid off.

friday - trying to keep my spirits up, worked around the house and garden, getting ready for spring. also helped meredith, an older lady i help at least once a month with her bills, check book, etc.

saturday - was able to sleep in a little longer than friday morning. did more gardening, planted pansies and violas around our strawberry patch and planted some seeds.

today - catching up on reading blogs, hopefully doing a little blogging of my own, and who knows, probably some more gardening as i didn't get all of my pansies planted yesterday.

Friday, April 3, 2009

if you haven't had enough owls already...

my sweet friend amanda sent me a little spring package that included this little windup owl. isn't he cute??!! thanks amanda!!

i shall name him, mr. owl.