Archive for the ‘Festivities’ Category

Countdown to Spring Clean!

Lately I haven’t been giving my house the attention it needs. Weekends are filled with working,  planning for Mexico, birthdays, working-out and some relaxing. Cleaning…has been put on the back burner to say the least.

In fact, my house feels like I have done a moderate job of straightening up for the last few months and I’m craving a DEEP CLEAN, however, have not felt motivated enough to start.

Since we’ve established I am a “list person” I scheduled a few organizatoinal projects for every weekend for the next 10 weekends. Leaving my house completely sanitized and freshened up by early April…just in time to enjoy spring (without the cleaning).

 

(source)

Here’s my list:

Weekend of 2/5: Office Closet

Weekend of 2/12: Hallway Closet

Weekend of 2/19: Bedroom Closet/Bathroom Closet

Weekend of 2/26: Downstairs closet

Weekend of 3/5: Kitchen cabinets

Weekend of 3/12: Laundry Room and pantry

Weekend of 3/19: Clean all window sills, fans, base boards, replace vents & light-bulbs. Clean Fridge, microwave and oven

Weekend of 3/26: Replace all sponges, wash all hand towels, napkins, bedding, dust vigorously, wipe down leather couches, repaint trim and walls where needed

Weekend of 4/1: Out of Town-buy new ‘Welcome Mat’

Week of 4/4-4/7: Clean and get things ready for out-of-town guests, clean up front porch and back, replace shower liners. Clean grill, set up new table umbrella and outside lights and lanterns.

Last night for dinner Chris and I decided to make Tacos. These tacos would have been stellar with all the yummy vegetables we cut up and sautéed but I ended up messing up the entire dinner, by mixing the entire Trader Joe’s taco spice packet into the meat. Apparently, you are only supposed to do half, unless you want some really spicy tacos. I couldn’t even get through 2 before my nose was running and my mouth burning! It was a big disappointment because they smelled oh so good… 🙂

I’m proud to say I left off the cheese and sour-cream.

Next time: I’ll only use half a packet.

Lastly, I have to give a big SHOUT-OUT to my older sister and dearest friend, Betsy! It’s her birthday and as much as it kills me when can’t be together for it, I am excited we get to see each other in about 2 short months!!!!

Happy Birthday Lady! XO

Blog Update: It’s practically done! We are just switching out 2 more things and then we’ll be good to go! Expect a Saturday post!!!!!

Hope you all have great weekends! It’s finally Friday, wahooo!

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Chris Turns the BIG 3-0!

Last Friday Chris went out-of-town for the Moscone Conference in San Francisco and unfortunately we were apart for his 30th birthday.  We agreed to celebrate this past Saturday and thankfully everything I had planned, turned out great! Let’s recap…

In true Claire fashion, if it were up to me, I would have invited all his friends from all walks of life to a HUGE surprise party to help ring in his “dirty thirty.” BUT…Chris has a different take on birthdays and prefers to not make a big deal out of them…crazy! I wanted to respect his wishes by keeping it down-played and so instead I planned a fun-filled day with just the two of us…and plenty of his favorite foods.

On Friday I made him some rice krispy treats…just to get things warmed up….

I’ve really missed being in the kitchen and my all tofu/salad/semi-vegan diet has kept “cooking” to a minimum, so I really enjoyed making these.

Saturday morning was Starbucks and Belgium waffles from scratch!

After lounging around the house after breakfast, it was time to go to Victory Lanes for some extreme go-karting! We had a blast and Chris was really appreciative of our Saturday adventure plans that I had made for us.

I was kinda obsessed with the fact we got to dress up in fire-resistant suits….

The entire time we were racing around the track I was laughing inside my helmet! Seriously if you have not tried this and live in Charlotte, go!

When we got back we had built up quite the appetite so I made him a big BLT sandwich…

and a tofu wrap for me.

I tried to stay away from the waffles (I just had a green smoothie) and the heavy lunch, because I knew I was going to ditch my dietary standards for the night at the steak house that evening. It was inevitable…I don’t have the strength to order fish or vegetarian when I’m eating at a nice restaurant. It feels like such a waste.

While I can say dairy is all but out of my diet and eating animal by-products have been limited to only about 2 times a week, deep down, I’m still a meat and potatoes girl…

You can take the meat out of the diet, but you can’t take the desire out of the gal.

I had a filet and mashed potatoes for dinner and enjoyed every last bite. Knowing that I would go back to eating a mostly plant-based diet the next day, I figure what’s the point in living longer if you can’t enjoy a nice piece of meat and meltly mashed potatoes every once in a while? Everything in moderation….

I also took a few bites of Chris’ brownie sundae for dessert…

Wow how I have missed butter and ice-cream! I bought a Carvel ice-cream cake, that I will let Chris tackle himself, and leave my bad habits at our dinner table on Saturday night.

Today is a long day filled with cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and I’m hoping to get a mani/pedi in! It’s a beautiful day outside so I’m thinking a gym session will get nixed for an outdoor activity with Daisy instead!

What are your plans on this warmer than usual Sunday?? Did you all have great weekends!?

Current Conditions  updated 11:52 AM ET
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Hi 64° | Lo 42°

Intermittent Clouds

ALSO! I got a sneak peek at the new blog layout and I’m so excited to share it with you guys! I have complete faith in the graphic designer who is working on it and I’m supposed to see some final options on Monday. We are shooting to implement the new design on February 1st and I can’t wait to see what you guys think!


A Celebratory Weekend

Saturday night I went uptown to Crave, a dessert bar, to help celebrate my friend’s Jane and Stephanie’s birthdays! There we feasted on some really great food, had laughs and caught up.

The menu had lots of great dishes and so we dove right in. First we ordered the crab cakes which were delicious, but then again I’ve never met a crab cake I didn’t like….

Chocolate cake was next up on the list, I chose not to eat it but heard it was awesome.

After gabbing and dancing the night away, the next morning I wanted to go to the gym but was still sore from upping my weight load at Group Power or dancing,  hard to tell. For breakfast I went with my usual but added a half bagel with cream cheese, YUM!

I just love this mixture, it’s a perfect combination: oats, yogurt and fruit. TRY THIS! You can add whatever fruit or yogurt flavor you wish. It reminds me of a parfait but healthier version and for some reason does not get old.

After breakfast it was time to meet my mom and sister for a bit of bridesmaid shopping. I loathe this process. I hate them all. I’m trying to walk the fine line between picking something the girls will really like AND trying to keep it affordable. The hunt continues…

After the errands we decided to head back to my mom’s house to make homemade pizzas. It was my step-dad’s birthday and so the agenda included dinner followed by  cake and a hilarious movie, Despicable Me.

Ta-da!!

Not the best looking pizza, but it was good. My sister did a great job baking and icing the cake…she is definitely the baker in the family.

I pretty much headed straight to bed when I got home in order to feel rested for the beginning of the week. BUT, then we got this SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!

Charlotte is officially having a snow-day today! I was surprised that my boss urged me to work from home but I am relishing every bit of it. Chris and I instantly knew we had to celebrate with this:

Hope every one is having a great Monday and for all you Charlotte readers, wa-whooo if you get to stay home like us!

How do you like to spend your snow-days??

The Tree vs. Me

Me and the Tree had quite the showdown.

To say that taking down a Christmas tree isn’t as fun as putting it up, is the understatement of the year…so far.

Everytime I thought I was done, I kept finding ANOTHER strand of lights that just happened to be so intertwined that I was literally thinking of just cutting the strand with scissors to be done with it!

What?…I can always just buy new $4 lights next year.

I didn’t give up. Eventually, I won (sans scissors) but there was major loss of limbs.

After all of the shredding and finger plucking I was ready for some food! A homemade pizza was sounding really good so I fell back on a great recipe I got from a friend earlier in the year, Buffalo-style Chicken Pizza.

With some shredded chicken breast, ranch, hot sauce and mozzarella cheese-this hit the spot. Full disclosure: I ate this while getting sucked into “The Craigslist Killer” on Lifetime. It was bad. I want my two hours of life back…

For the recipe, click here.

It wasn’t the greatest day yesterday, even aside from the tree fight. Being back at work was busy and hectic, wedding pressure is brewing and to top it off I haven’t been to the gym in days. My body has slept like a rock and it’s telling me that rest is what it needs at the moment. My early morning work-outs have been minimal but I’m going to Group Power tomorrow night, yay! One good thing that did come out of the day, came from trusty UPS…

My monitor for the office came!

I’m off to hook it up, but hope you guys had great Monday’s!

The Top of Twenty-Ten

2010 is officially ova…I promise you it is. I bid it farewell last night with friends and way too much champagne.

The night started off at Thomas Street Tavern for some dinner and drinks with friends we’ve had for YEARS, almost a decade actually and I can’t believe it’s been that long.

From there we left to go to a NYE party. The hosts did an amazing job! The party was complete with champagne flutes, appetizers, great company…and the coolest glasses you’ve ever seen.

It was just enough people to feel like a party and not so many that you couldn’t sit and talk with everyone there. Perfection!

Feeling a little under the weather dehydrated this morning, I didn’t have much time to recuperate. I had to be at work at 10:30….did I mention this job has to be temporary? I feel like I don’t have time for anything these days! After working Chris and I made some yummy tuna sandwiches and have pretty much spent the day relaxing and it has felt great.

Today I’ve had some time to reflect back on 2010 and what kind of year it was for me. In a word?…Amazing.

I put together a “Top of Twenty-Ten” list for one last farewell look at a year that had so many life-changing memories in it, I feel it will be a highlight for years to come.

1.) The question got popped…we finally got engaged 😉

2.) Took a tropical cruise with Chris…oh yea, and 30 of my relatives=awesome.

3.) Got Promoted! Woot! Woot!

4.) Witnessed one of my besties have a son and start a family…

5.)…and the other one get hitched!

6.) Finally saw a show at the Orange Peel, a venue I had been lusting after.

7.) Took one hell of a girls beach trip…

8.) Made it home to San Francisco to see my family for the holidays…how I MISS them!

9.) Became a first time aunt!! Who knew I could love a munchkin that much?

 

…and last but not least….

10.) Created a blog that continues to challenge me and provide satisfaction like nothing else….

Dine-in-Dash.

As we move on to 2011, it’s time to write down my resolutions and after much reflection, here is what I’ve come up with:

2011 Resolutions

  • Start saving 10% of our income towards buying a house
  • Take the GMAT
  • Run a 10k race
  • Run a Half Marathon
  • Get hitched!!
  • Make a budget
  • Watch TV less and read more
  • Eat more organically
  • Increase blog traffic
  • Keep STRESS at a LOW!

What were your favorite things about 2010 and what are your New Year Resolutions?

The Countdown Begins!

The countdown to what you ask?

1.) Christmas, obviously!

2.) Post holiday- get in wedding shape project

3.) A little blog revamp

It is once again Monday and what a weekend we had. Lately it seems like we have been squeezing everything into the weekends and I’ll be thankful for the quietness that comes with January and February. I, like most people, fully intend on hibernating in the coming months.

Working backwards, Friday was a blur. I vaguely remember eating my favorite breakfast treat along with some un-pictured Salsartia’s. The strong love I have for Mexican occasionally needs to be un-leashed.

Friday was a slew of pot-luck treats due to attending a phenomenal Christmas Party (thanks Shannon!) It was a great time and by far the best that I’ve been to this season.

Do you know how hard it is to get this big of a group to look and smile at the same time?

Saturday I woke up, looked outside and saw this special treat…

It’s not much snow, but it’s snow none the less. This prompted me to bake our breakfast! 🙂

I have been on quite the apple kick lately so I decided to try this recipe that I saw on Simply Recipes.

 Bisquick Apple Coffee Cake

Ingredients: (I halved everything so we only had 2 servings)

Cake:
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup of milk or water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 tart green apple, cored, peeled, sliced

Topping:
1/3 cup Bisquick mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease 8″ square pan or 9″ round pan. Mix cake ingredients. Spread cake batter in pan. Insert apple slices into the batter evenly throughout the cake.

Mix the topping ingredients of Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread topping mix over top of batter in pan. Add slices of butter all over the top.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, testing with a toothpick.

After delving into this, I tried to tackle some house-hold chores before our busy day and evening we had scheduled. We had my cousin’s graduation at UNCC at 3:00pm and directly following we had intended to go see the Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights. I say intended, because we didn’t end up being able to go. 😦

With my grandparents in town from GA for the graduation and our entire family being together for the first time since the cruise last January, I found it pretty impossible to bail on the family get-together. I felt bad that we had to cancel our plans, but with an uncle in and out of the hospital recently and my grandparents getting older, you can never take those moments for granted.

At the family get together we were able to see my cute little nephew. Chris wouldn’t put him down, and quite honestly it was one of the cutest sites I’ve ever seen.

I think he may be getting baby fever, hehe 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I also landed a holiday job. I know what you are thinking…WHEN am I going to have time to do that? My answer? I’ll figure it out. With the wedding, Christmas and expenses everytime I turn around, it will be beneficial for us, for the next few months.

Sunday I had to work from 9-1, I only had time to grab quick leftovers from Saturday morning.

Still good, albeit not as pretty.

When I got home I was starving AND tired. That combination warrants a good ol’ fashioned, PB&J. It was just what my stomach wanted.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning and finishing up laundry (Chris did help a bunch). For dinner, I was craving something healthy and colorful. Colorful=good nutrients my body was lacking! RED tomatoes, GREEN veggies, DARK olives and bright ORANGE salmon.

Baked Salmon with a Mediterranean-type salad. Tomatoes,  kalamata olives, basil, red wine vinegar and some chopped onion. DELISH.

As stated in the beginning of this post, I told you there was a countdown to Christmas, a new work-out regimen for the wedding as well as a blog revamp. Please take this survey so that I can better understand what it is you like about Dine-in-Dash. (It’s only 5 questions long and the answers are private!)

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BNEQP2CDW/ 

For the 2011, things will be changing on Dine-in-Dash. I want to make sure I change things for the better and not eliminate what readers might like the most. It would really help me out if you would click on the link to take the sruvey! Thanks!!

 Hope your weeks are slow and lazy, I know mine will not  be with retail during Christmas!! Yikes!

Chistmas Sugar High!

It’s almost Christmas!

I’m ready to have a few days off work and to be forced to stay home in my p.j.’s for a change. Nothing will be open so therefore Chris and I usually make a grand breakfast and watch movies on the couch all day.

Don’t ya just love traditions!?

I’ll spare you the picture of my weekly breakfast, I’m pretty sure all my readers have grown tired of seeing my apple cinnamon goodness shots.

We had our company Christmas Luncheon yesterday and the meal was surprisingly above average. I always find it so hard to get mass-produced meals to be quality, but this came pretty close.

Then came the onslaught of desserts…my company had a dessert contest so almost every one came armed with their favorite and I was eager to try as many as I could.

After all that snacking, I was completely stuffed and thankful that my new-found love for the gym was back-because I need to work some of this off!

Yesterday while I was shopping for our Christmas cards (don’t worry, they got sent out) I picked up a Women’s Daily magazine and was thoughtfully reminded of a blogger’s feature published in the mag for Egg Land’s live Well Challenge.

It’s hard to tell but that is Tina Haupert of Carrots ‘N’ Cake!

Dinner was super un-creative and quick. I was so tired yesterday due to the gym. All this working out again is going to take some getting used to. I was getting quite comfortable becoming a couch potato.

Chorizo and Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions (green, red, or yellow onions) optional
  • 1/4 lb of Mexican chorizo sausage, removed from sausage casing (I used turkey sausage)
  • 5 to 6 eggs
  • Salt
  • Tortillas – optional
  • Cilantro – optional
  • Directions:

    Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add the chopped onions (optional) and cook until softened. Once softened, move to the side of the pan and add break up bits of chorizo into the pan. Use a wooden spatula to break up the pieces of sausage. Add the raisins. Stir until the sausage is cooked through, though not necessarily browned. If you are not using lean chorizo, drain the excess fat from the pan before proceeding. If you are not using lean chorizo, you may want to cook the chorizo first, draining the excess fat, then remove to a plate while you cook the onions in the remaining

     Crack the eggs one at a time, into the pan. Break the yolks and stir the eggs into the sausage. Add a light sprinkling of salt. Stir constantly until the eggs begin to set, but are still moist. Remove from heat.

    Serve immediately with a side of warmed corn tortillas and cilantro as a garnish.

    GIVING BACK!!!!!!!!

    If anyone still has some holiday shopping to do, I have a stellar suggestion on where to buy that your friends & family are sure to love! Christmas has become beyond materialistic these days so I always love when I can find a company where it pays in more ways than one to shop with!

    Enter GreenHeart!

    Greenheart is Chicago’s premier eco-fair trade non-profit shop, carrying both fair trade and eco friendly products. Greenheart carries a variety of goods including recycled accessories and handbags, home goods, gourmet treats, cookbooks, glassware, jewelry, toys, personal care, organic cotton t-shirts and more. Greenheart believes consumers have the power to affect positive World change by supporting sustainable and fair business practices in their purchasing choices.