My first attempt at slow cooker-ing

Update at bottom!

I got a slow cooker for Christmas!!

Yes, that was two months ago, and yes, it’s been living in my trunk because I wasn’t sure where to put it. My roommate very sweetly opened a space in the pantry so that it will have a home.

Real Simple magazine did a whole slow cooker set in the February magazine, so I clipped the recipe to my Evernote account and hit the grocery store after choir rehearsal.

Here’s the recipe.

Here’s the before picture:

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This is raw chicken, leeks, new potatoes (!), salt and white wine.

By tomorrow evening, hopefully it will be a delicious compilation of flavors. I’ll take the chicken out, add cream and tarragon, and mash some of the potatoes before serving.

Ooh I can’t wait!

I suppose it means I’m an adult being excited about a slow cooker. If it tastes good, I won’t care 🙂

*Update: The slow cooker is making my kitchen smell yummy, but I can’t see into it to check if the meat is done and the instructions say not to lift the lid because you release heat and make your food take longer to cook so I’ll have to be patient.

*Update: The slow cooker chicken was different than I’m used to, but was moist and tasted a little of leeks. Turns out I rather like leeks.
Overall it was yummy and I will for sure make slow cooker meals again! Plus it makes the house smell great.

I think I did the sauce wrong though. It wasn’t as thick as the picture in the magazine.


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Shall I redecorate the whole house?

I don’t really decorate. I’ve got hand-me-down furniture that I am emotionally attached to, and I have two roommates with different decorating ideas (one more opinionated than the other) so mostly I just let other people deal with it, and I’m happy with the results.

We have a nice place, if a bit disjointed.

I also don’t decorate my boyfriend’s house. He has his own style and colors he likes, and I think it’s really important for people to have their own space. Especially since there’s a good chance we’ll eventually live together, and when that happens I’m sure I’ll want to decorate.

But… on Friday night he was having people over and asked me to stop at the store on my way home from work and pick up some twinkly lights for the patio. So I stopped at Home Goods, which does not have twinkly lights, it turns out, and instead I bought a cool metal candle holder. And some candles on sale.

I found a really cool octopus serving platter, which I think *someone* might love, but alas I did not buy it.

See?

Seafood tray?

Then I went to Target and bought a red and white patterned serving tray, two boxes of twinkly lights, one box of fancy hanging lights that match the candle holder, some light clips, seat cushions (!) and do you see where this is going?

I decorated the patio!

It turned out really pretty, and of course the party was fun. It had been a long time since I sat around a fire pit talking. It was nice, and not too cold out.

I’m sure we’ll be doing it again.

Behold, the patio!

Twinkly patio!

Body pump = pain

Oh my lord people, what was I thinking??

After weeks of being so busy I didn’t work out, or go to the gym, or even pretend to lift anything resembling a free weight, I thought I could keep up with a Body Pump class using the same amount of weight I had been before…

I did keep up. Yay, me! But I should have done, like, 10 lbs on my squats instead of 20. I know better now.

Holy crap.

BodyPump Group class

BodyPump Group class

After BodyPump last week I was sore for four days. Two of those days I had to slide down the chair just to sit down. And I needed a hand, or a good grip on the furniture, to get myself back upright again. Hoo boy.

I should have lowered my squat/leg weight. Why didn’t I???

Well, because I kept all the other weights at the higher number and that seemed to be fine. I was pretty sore in my arms and chest, but nothing like my legs suffered.

Actually, BodyPump and BodyCombat are my two favorite classes at 24 Hour Fitness. They are both a really intense workout, but you can tailor them to your fitness level. Yoga is like that, too, but I never feel like I got a great workout after yoga. It’s a great stretch, and sometimes I’m sore for a day or so after, but it doesn’t have the same intensity.

Always a glutton for pain (it’s a good sore, really) I went back for another round.

We’ll see if I can get myself out of bed today…

Blog: The Nice Thing About Strangers

Not that I *need* another blog to add to my Google Reader — the thing is already at like, 100 posts a day from all the blogs I subscribe to — but this one is pretty cool.

The Nice Thing About Strangers has a good mix of cool people-focused travel photos, inspiring or interesting quotes, and very well-written stories about strangers.

Via

If you don’t believe me, here’s an excerpt:

He stood up when the little old lady came through the doors, since there were no available seats in this section of the U-Bahn. It was not a crowded mid-day, not a rush hour, but so many were sitting with newspapers covering their faces, like shy movie extras. The non-descript Austrian businessman set himself apart by his politeness.

Yet, the old woman didn’t see him rise, didn’t notice him clearing a place. She was deep in discussion with her pint-sized dog. …”

Good stuff.

One of my favorite things to do is wander around, sit outside and people watch. I come up with back stories for people who look interesting, and sometimes my fictional entertainment makes me like the stranger all the more. So of course I get a kick out of reading about other strangers and their stories.

Also, with the exception of Colorado, these are not places I’ve ever been 🙂

How to know someone loves you

You know someone loves you when…

You are blogging on your computer while they are doing a half hour of work after dinner and they change the music to country, look at you and smile big because they know you love it. And then they don’t complain while you sing along to every single song and drink the last glass of wine.

And they don’t change the channel even when the twangiest of twangy songs comes on, and they actually TURN UP the volume when “Storm Warning” comes on because they know you like to dance in your chair to it.

Yup, I’m loved 🙂

Courtesy of Raw Rip