Birthday Bucketlist: Try a new Food

Quiche

Okay, is it fair to put a quiche in here as “try a new food”? I mean, I have tried everything used in the quiche I’ve tried lately, just never together and never as a quiche. Like the ham and Swiss or the spinach and mushroom. I’ve decided though, a quiche itself was new for me. And it was A-Ma-ZING! A local bakery offers a quiche of the day which comes with a hot fluffy crescent roll and a “taste of fall salad.” I may or may not have had the quiche special twice in one week. If you are ever in the Decatur area, find All Wright Bakery during the week before 2 p.m. and try their Quiche Special!

swiss-chard-quicheThis is not my exact dish, but it is exactly what my mushroom and swiss quiche looked like when I picked it up.
 

Gyro

For the record (and in displaying my southern ignorance in all its glory).. I learned after eating this that it was pronounced “euro” NOT guy-roe. HA. Regardless, I love them. A new restaurant has opened up one street over from where I work. I have never tried Greek food and this was a great first impression. A gyro consists of meat that is roasted over a vertical spit. I could actually see this in the restaurant I visited. I found that interesting and cool enough. I went pretty basic with the first visit, just to be on the safe side. I did not want to end up hating it and have to buy lunch twice. Everything was great. I even loved the sauce they provide, even though I ate it with the fries and it might have possibly been intended for the gyro.

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52313383eca59.preview-300This is the Gyro Uno location in Decatur, AL now!

Rabbit

I saved this one for last because I didn’t want to scare you away. Ha. Man of the House is very self sufficient and likes to use a pellet gun to shoot rabbits, dove, etc. (He also hunts, fishes, and bowfishes.) I made the mistake of letting him know that I had NEVER eaten rabbit. I’m not sure it had ever became an option during my childhood? We always had deer meat, or venison, plus store bought chicken and our own beef and pork. I wasn’t sure how I felt about eating an animal close enough to the ground to be similar to the rodent family. Okay, kidding, I do not consider rabbits a part of the rodent family, but still. We have cooked rabbit for dinner as of last night. I had printed 4 different recipe choices so that we could decide what we really preferred. Man of the House wanted Rabbit Stew, but I just couldn’t go for stringy rabbit the first time. We used a recipe that had the fewest ingredients. 1 whole rabbit, 1/3 cup of honey, mustard, salt, pepper, butter. (I substituted the butter with Coconut Oil so that it wouldn’t be so greasy.) We added extras of both the honey and mustard until the sauce tasted how we wanted. It baked for an hour at 350 degrees. I’ll admit, I was too much of a chicken to try one of the thighs. But I did eat a piece of the tenderloin and it was alright. Not my favorite dish ever, just reminded me of dark meat chicken. It just felt so thick trying to chew it up, or maybe that was me being paranoid. Either way, I definitely tried a new food with this dish! And can attest to the fact that if something gets real crazy here in America, I will not starve. Unless the rabbits are all gone. Not sure where I could go from there. Ha!

First Ever Rabbit REcipe

So, I am just trucking right along marking things off of my Birthday Bucket List. Yay me!

How about you? Are you getting some yearly Bucket List things done now that we are a quarter of a way into 2014? Are you trying new foods as well? Share them with me so that I can try them as well if I have yet to do so!

The Golden Birthday

My Man of the House is turning 25 this March! (Next week, actually.) I am one of those people that gets excited about birthdays for other people, well mainly just people I really care about. I want to make them exciting and a big deal. That’s just me. That’s why I have made a big deal out of all of our daughter’s birthdays and she’s only 3. Ha! I may be setting some future fella’ up for high standards in the future, what can I say, that’s my job. (;

I do not like the thought of being older and less able to do things for myself, etc. Who does like the thought of that? I’m the kind of person that just doesn’t dwell on it. 25 isn’t as “exciting” as 21, but it is still a birthday milestone. Man of the House is taking it harder than I expected anyone to take turning 25. So, I decided to make it an exciting week. Yes, week. A year ago we did the Love Languages test and believe it or not his strongest love language is receiving gifts. I would’ve never thought that about him because in almost 5 years he has never let on that those things mean something important to him. Add all of that together and I have formulated a plan for his birthday next week. (Keep in mind, there will be no 25th birthday PARTY celebration. He would kill me. I’ve planned little things from our daughter and me that he isn’t really expecting.)

SUNDAY: A tradition in his family is that the Sunday closest to your birthday, you pick out the entire menu and his mother cooks it for Sunday dinner at her house. Everyone comes over and eats with you, etc. Its mainly just immediate family: his parents, 3 siblings, they’re children and spouses BUT they’re immediate family is not small, so it’s like a little celebration for you that day. There is even cake and singing.

MONDAY: This is his actual birthday. He will wake up to 25 balloons that have 25 reasons why I love him wrote on them, a special “My Dad” project from Khloe (her answers are HILARIOUS), and for Dinner we will be having Chicken Salad. May sound weird, but I eventually got it out of him a while back what his all time favorite meal is. So why not have your all time favorite meal on your birthday?!

TUESDAY: I will leave him a birthday card to find when he is up getting ready for work signed/colored by Khloe and me. He’s been wanting a new pair of boots for a while, so I created a gift certificate from a template off line for $$ towards a new pair of boots. That will be in the card when he opens it. Plus that night my grandparents invited us over for dinner already a few weeks ago. Now that they realize its the day after his birthday, they are cooking steaks and getting him a cheesecake since he doesn’t like cake. Score! (;

WEDNESDAY: I am going to leave a basket with some of his favorite things for him to find when he gets home from work. Things like twizzlers, starbursts, beef jerky, and a box of Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies. Plus whatever I find in the store while I’m getting the candy.

THURSDAY: I stole an idea from Find Joy in the Journey ( http://shannonbrown.typepad.com/life_in_general/lets-go-on-a-date.html ) I have created a basket of 12 envelopes filled with monthly dates for a year starting in April. And a few of them I have already bought tickets for (Hello, Groupon!). Woo hoo.

FRIDAY: That morning I am going to leave him a letter laying on his work clothes for him to read on the ride to work. I want to tell him why I’ve been celebrating his birthday all week, how thankful I am for him, and that I hope I get to see his next 25 birthdays, etc. Because it is Friday, and I am sure he will be glad to reach Friday after working all week AND I will probably be glad to have finally given him everything without getting so excited and giving it all to him early (HA!), I am going to buy him/us a 6 pack of beer and hope it’s warm enough for sitting on the back patio and relaxing. If not, the couch and living room and some DVR will work well enough. (:

Now, let the planning and purchasing begin!

A Frozen Birthday Party

frozenFrozen_castposter

On New Year’s Eve, we took our daughter to the movie theater for the first time! We were a little nervous. It was going to go one of two ways: really great or really terrible. Thankfully, it went really great! She loved the movie and we really enjoyed it too. Our daughter’s birthday was coming up in February, so I had thought, “how cute would it be to have her birthday party in the Frozen theme?!” She had gotten some Frozen dolls and toys for Christmas even before we watched the movie and loved them all. This would be cute with Elsa and Anna Balloons, etc.

Wrong.

Guess what? Disney or whoever is in control of decorated party supplies STILL has yet to release official Frozen party decor. Ugh.

But I made it work! I spent hours on the internet and learned that I am not alone in wanting to plan a Frozen themed party! So I gathered different ideas that I liked and created my own version.

Below you can see where every little girl got to go home with a princess crown, and could be Elsa or Anna (our daughter’s favorite is Elsa).

frozen crowns

But of course, there were quite a few little boys that were coming and I didn’t want to leave them out! So they all got to wear reindeer antlers and be Sven the Reindeer from the movie! Both the crowns and antlers were tied around the kids’ heads with matching ribbons.

frozen svenThis link is where I found the inspiration and templates for the crowns and antlers. http://www.sisterssuitcaseblog.com/2013/12/disney-frozen-party-ideas.html The materials I used were craft foam from Wal-Mart, brown felt to attach to the foam (because that was the one color craft foam that Wal-Mart didn’t have), and thin ribbon.

We also had a craft area where the kids could color pictures of Elsa and Anna, make a door hanger with the Frozen characters, and glue together their own Olaf snowman to take home.Olaf

When it came to other decor, I mainly just decorated the tables and left it at that. I mean, children in attendance were mainly under the age of 5 with the exception of maybe 3 others. They did not care what the place looked like. We did silver, blue, and white balloons. 3 on each table attached to a metallic blue/silver weight. Then I used decorative diamonds, and silver and blue star confetti around the centerpieces. Here are two views of it:

frozen decor frozen table decor

Looked festive without going over board for a three year old’s party. I can get a little excited with the party planning ideas, but I am still realistic with what is REALLY necessary. My next concern was food. Food is the main reason most people end up enjoying or coming to the party. Ha! So I wanted kid friendly, Frozen themed, and enough for adults as well. Whew. I really managed a little of both. We had the common party things like meat and cheese tray, bags of chips, a tray of sliced strawberries/oranges/apples, and animal crackers. Then we had a table with sugar cookies with blue icing, a tray with marshmallows and pretzel sticks with vanilla icing and blue sprinkles, blue jello, blue cupcakes, and blue lemonade. (We also offered bottled water and juice drinks). Last year I totally went over board with the quantity of food.. and we took A LOT of it back home with us. This year, I bought just enough and the only thing extra we took home were some animal crackers, chips, and a few cupcakes. Woohoo!

Frozen cupcakesOh yeah, on the food table there was fake snow everywhere. (:

Frozen foodHere was some of the blue/Frozen themed food!

I got there early to decorate, so when our daughter came in and saw it she was in awe. Which made me happy. She told us “dis was the best party! I can go to the ball now!” (Apparently that had something to do with the fact that Elsa and Anna were princesses?) Whatever, as long as she had fun.

Have you thrown or considered throwing a Frozen party? How did it turn out, or what are you considering to make it more fun? (Hope the official supplies are released when you decide to throw a party in the future!)

Snowmageddon 2014 in Alabama

Okay, so I have always thought, “I like to get snow every now and then.” Correction: I like the thought of getting snow and I like it when it snows ONE inch, then melts by the next day. When we REALLY get snow, I’ve learned that I actually hate it. I hate having to drive in it. As southerners, we just aren’t accustomed to these weather conditions. Other than play in our yards, we do not know how to function in winter storms, and that was proven as a fact last week when it snowed on February 11th and 13th in North Alabama.

Honestly, we all thought that the 11th was bad when it snowed maybe 1.5″, but at least it had melted by noon.

snow2-11-14

khloe snow angel

As you can tell there wasn’t even enough snow to cover the ground when our daughter wanted to make a snow angel. We had so much fun, though! It was too powdery for a snowman, but we used the snow on our cars and patio table to make snow balls and had a snow ball fight. By mid-day it was all gone, and we were looking at normal Alabama winter conditions.

Tuesday brought cold, cold, COLD rain in the early morning. By noon, however, it had turned to sleet. I left work early that day just to avoid icy roads and crazy drivers. I pulled in my driveway around 3 p.m. as it started to snow. When it started snowing, it literally NEVER STOPPED until after 11 p.m. I was a little disappointed at first. The ground was so wet from all of the rain, that nothing was sticking. But as the temperature dropped, things started to change. The first picture is when it finally started to stick to the leaves and grass around 3:45.

sticking2-12-14This second picture was around 5 p.m.! That’s how much snow we had gotten total the day before!

5pm 2-11-14

Here we are at 9 p.m. As you can see, snow was still coming down hard. It continued for another TWO HOURS. I seriously don’t remember getting this much snow in North Alabama. I’ve heard stories, but I was either too little to remember or not born yet. That’s how often it happens. My sidewalk is almost invisible! Our driveway had already been that way for a while.

9pm 2-12-14

I also got to mark something off of my 24 Before 24! Making homemade ice cream! When I put that on the list, I thought this would enable me to make an excuse for purchasing an ice cream maker this summer! Well, we made SNOW CREAM! We didn’t have any condensed milk, so we made do with a bowl of snow from our patio table, milk, sugar and vanilla flavoring. Then we crushed up some Butterfingers and added them, making it like a Blizzard! (:

snow cream

We spent Thursday morning taking turns between playing in the snow, breakfast break, and warm up breaks.

Below is what too much snow can do on a poor pine tree that isn’t accustomed to 4-6″ of snow!

fallen tree

My daughter thought the snow was so amazing. (:

snow driveway

Below is my sad attempt at a snow angel. Ha!

snow angel

Of course, later in the morning I had to drag myself to work. I hate driving in icy conditions, and when 6 inches of snow has fell, even with roads grated, people lose their common sense. (Then again, people tend to do that when it sprinkles in July. They suddenly forget how to drive.) But it was definitely worth a few hours of fun with my family!! My daughter sometimes runs to the door and says, “No! We’ll never get to see the snow again!” I promise her there might be more next winter, but I am silently thinking, I don’t want anymore like that for a year or two! Ha!

24 Before 24

So a week ago I found myself on the blog The Duchess of Plumewood. I love her stuff! She does this Birthday Bucket List. For example: I will be 24 this year, so I would make a list of 24 things to do before I turn 24. And the lists increases for each year. I love the idea! I’ve gathered some inspiration from her and thought of things that fit my life. Here is what made the cut:

1.      Go hiking

2.      Write one handwritten letter a month

3.      Learn how use a sewing machine

4.      Take blog followers to over 50

5.      Make homemade ice cream

6.      Watch a play

7.      Start a diary

8.      Try a new food

9.      Do a cleanse

10.  Make a KIVA loan

11.  Read 24 books

12.  Become CPR Certified

13.  Write myself a letter to be opened in 10 years… and a letter to Santa

14.  Take my Mom to dinner

15.  Learn to drive a manual car

16.  Wake up before 6AM every day for 2 weeks

17.  Skydive for my birthday

18.  Take a Dance Class

19.  make dinner every night for a week with my crock-pot

20.  make 5 things off Pinterest

21.  get a new tattoo

22.  Mark 10 things off of my 2014 Family Bucket List

23.  Learn to make homemade biscuits

24.  Make a 25 before 25

Some of these things I am already working on..

like the reading part. I can’t wait to see if I can get them all completed by October!

Do you want to do this as well? Head on over to duchessofplumewood.blogspot.com/

where I found my inspiration!