Tuesday, March 29, 2011

an assortment of things

march 23: I'm not sure, but I think this MIGHT be a sign that we eat way too much pizza in the Dumas house. Ry was taking our pizza out of the oven on Wednesday night and set in on the oven and it cracked into pieces!! WHAT?! Not cool. That is one loved kitchen item, so it was a sad day in our house:

march 24: So this day's schedule looked like this. Alarm clock: 6am. Get Ry ready and off to work: 6:30. Get myself out the door and to work: 8am. Work until: 4:30 pm. Spring soccer meeting: 4:30 to 5:30. SWSAC advisor meeting: 5:30 to 6:15. Leave for Soccer game: 7pm. Soccer game: 8pm. Return home: 10 pm. YIPES...it was a long day. Clearly I needed a very delicious dinner to get through it....and peanut butter and fluff won, obvi. Just look at this gooey goodness:

march 25: I forgot to take a picture this day...but we made a scrumptious dinner. Black Bean tacos! YUM!! We put the filling in a soft taco with rice and put a little zesty ranch in there. YUM!

march 26: Ry was rather discouraged since it has been nearly impossible to get an ipad2 around here. He's wanted one so that he can do his reading for school on it, but we've been able to even come close to one. We went to the mall and popped in the apple store Saturday night and they informed us that they hadn't sold out until noon. This caused a bit of frustration since I could have gotten one during the day. But don't worry, we randomly decided to stop in at best buy because we had a $10 gift card and wanted to pick up a movie. At the front of the store there was a sign that said: We have ipad2s. WHAT?! We ran in and asked the first person we saw. She said to us, "who told you that??" We told her about the sign and she asked a fellow employee, who then asked another guy. This third employee brought us to a locked case and showed us that there were two 16 gig ipad2's left for the day. AWESOME!!! We didn't hesitate, we snatched one of those suckers right up. And let me tell you, it's really cool. I didn't think I'd be that impressed, but I am. My favorite app is the bible app - we're reading through the bible together it makes it so we can bookmark, highlight and write notes. SWEET! Anyways - look how happy he is:

march 27: Ryan had a genius idea before church the other day while I was on the computer: give Beans a mohawk. OH BOY. At first I was opposed, but darn it, it's SO PRECIOUS!! Every time he walks around the corner I can't help but giggle:

march 28: Ry's grad school started on Monday - he's taking business law. I'm so proud of my grad student! Look at him go:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

march 19: We decided it'd be great to make a pot of sauce this weekend and since we are on a bit of a saving kick (thank you grad school), we had to find a recipe that didn't use meat in it (please don't disown me, Lembo family). I found a recipe on foodnetwork. Ry also suggested I make meatballs so we could double up...spaghetti and meatballs one night, meatball subs another. I swear my husband is just a genius sometimes. I really don't know what I'd do without him. Because we had some turkey in the feezer, we decided on these turkey meatballs. They were delish...and the sauce is okay. It's no daddy lembo sauce, but I'll never achieve such greatness. Anyways here's the end product:

march 20: So every Saturday during tax season I've been trying to get Ry a little present. The season is long and tires him out, so I figure a little fun every week will help get him through. I've gotten things like coffee gift certificates, baked cookies, written love notes...blah blah blah. This week, though, I was really excited. Ry has wanted a mini basketball hoop for a long time and he just won't buy it for himself, so I finally had to. He LOVES it and plays against Beans every night. He always wins, but I think he has a slight advantage over our lovable pup. And, really, what makes a bedroom more romantic than a mini hoop??

march 21: whoops! completely spaced out on taking a picture this day and I even had something to take! I was home at lunch time when the UPS man was greeted by Beans barking like a wild animal. He threw a package on the porch, yelling, "UPS!", and ran away quickly. I don't blame him. I scooped it up and quickly opened it. What a fun surprise - a picnic in a backpack courtesy of my mom with a note saying, "thought this would be fun for after tax season!" We can't wait to use it. This isn't the exact one, but it's something similar:

march 22: We in the Dumas household are absolutely loving this whole being light outside at six pm when we get home from work thing. It means more time in the yard with our handsome pup. We took him out tonight to throw the frisbee around...Ry wanted me to include two pics. One that we think he looks adorable in, and the other that makes me pee my pants laughing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Beans wants to show you something"

march 16: It is never a good thing when you walk in the house to your husband saying, "hi hunnies, Beans has something to show you." You see, we had been leaving Beans out in the kitchen for the whole week while we were at work. We figured he'd been such a good pup with his short stints in the kitchen that he deserved whole days. I guess too much freedom is never a good thing for a ten month old puppy, which we often forget as our 52 pound monster looks nothing like a puppy anymore. Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, rounding the corner into the kitchen to see the kitchen rug TORN apart. Bummer. As I stood there in disbelief, ry also said, "a lot of it is missing," meaning it was digested by our cute little pup. And by digested, I mean partially digested and puked up at 3:45 the next morning. Poor little guy. Perhaps he learned his lesson:

march 17: so this is what tax season looks like: Monday morning - 6 am alarm clock. work all day. gym. come home. eat dinner. relax for a couple hours. sleep. This schedule remains the same through Thursday and by Thursday we are both exhausted from long weeks (Ry more so than mine) and cannot wait for Sunday. Needless to say, dinner usually consists of scraping something together at the last second and trying to keep our eyes open to make it through Grey's (luckily they've been all repeats, so it's to bed by 9 the past couple of weeks...except when I have soccer games that start at ELEVEN!) Anyways...here's a typical Thursday night meal... I'm not sure if this constitues winning or failing because the pizza bagels might be one of the world's greatest inventions, but should hardly constitute a decent meal:

march 18: Let me just say that I work with some pretty fantastic people. It's true. They're all really great. What a blessing to work with such amazing people and on Friday afternoon we all got to spend some quality time together pitching in to help with Tuition Freedom Day. We all sat around a table making little packets for student mailboxes. It was such a relaxing way to spend a Friday afternoon after a crazy week. We all just sat, laughed and enjoyed each others company:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


March 15: This picture contains two wonderful things that happened in my life yesterday. Frosty's and Jamie Dolan. I hadn't seen Dolan (also affectionately known as dolepipes) for some good quality time in I couldn't tell you how long and I promise to never go that long without dolepipes quality time again. You see, my friend Jamie happened to be with me as I went on the most craziest and transformative time in my life in San Francisco. That semester changed my life and there was a group of us called the safe space that walked through it and had our lives changed together. Dolan went to Gordon but I didn't meet her until we met at the Metro Hotel (with her awesome sister em dawg) to stay before we could get into the Urban House and start the most amazing semester of our lives. No words can actually describe everything that happened and how we changed, but it formed one of those kinds of friendships that will always be there. I love my dole pipes and am so blessed to have such a wonderful and amazing friend. She is one of the most caring, compassionate and loving people I've ever met. So dolepipes, thanks for the date last night. You're the best and I'm so thankful for you. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

a low key weekend.

march 10: The goose has landed! Hehe. That's the code we use when we send packages back and forth to Vermont...and this time the goose landed in Massachusetts! YAY! Lester (Ry's sister, Leslie) sent us a package and it was VERY exciting. There's nothing like getting real mail. Email just isn't the same as getting something in the real mail. And this was no exception. We got a box filled with books, thin mints, toll house cookie bars and home made cards! Look at these cards that Les made. They are works are of art!!

march 11: Remember how I said real mail was oh so exciting and fun? Well, the fun didn't stop on Friday. One of my favorite parts of the month is receiving my monthly installment of Everyday Food from Martha Stewart (my hero) and it always ends up surprising me whenever it comes! So, needless to say, I was so excited when I pulled my monthly Everyday food out of the mail box (though, there were not a ton of good recipes to pull out of this one).

march 12: I had a relaxing day full of random and planned visits from friends followed by a nice evening out with my husband. One of the activities of the day was taking Beans to the beach since it was absolutely gorgeous outside. HOWEVER, the second he came home he thought it best to jump, sand and all, right into the bed. Argh. Time to wash the sheets. So I threw them in, gave Beans a bath to get all the sand off of him, and went off to meet Ry. When we came home from our little date night we had to make the bed. Remember how I told you how hard it is to make the bed? Tonight was no different, except he really snuggled in:

march 13: One of the best parts of date night on Saturday night was that we had a groupon for The Upper Crust in Salem, right next to Ry's work. So the beauty of the groupon was that we could order a large enough pizza so that we didn't have to make dinner on Sunday when we're in between church and bible study! FANTASTIC! Leftover pizza is my favorite...especially leftover buffalo chicken pizza from the upper crust (by far the best pizza i've found on the north shore...though it's still no Mark's Pizza):

March 14: Oh. Boy. I was going to blog about one of our favorite meals and share the recipe that we made tonight, however today's dentist experience most definitely wins out. So I had to find a new dentist because of the switch to Ry's insurance when we got married (yes, it has been 1.5 years since I'd gone to the dentist). So I randomly picked one on the approved list. Bad decision. I pulled up to this old house with a sign that said "ring bell. walk in." So I followed the directions and walked in to what looked like someone's house. There was a door straight ahead that said "walk in," so in I walked. I was so confused. When I tell you it was straight from the seventies, I'm not lying. There the "receptionist" sat with her big hair behind STACKS of paper. No computer. Yipes. I should have turned and ran out, but I stayed, filled out my paperwork and went into the room. I think the equipment was just as much from the seventies as the wood paneling on the walls. They probably lost the cupboard door that was missing back in the seventies, too. Then the dentist was cleaning my teeth and telling me how nice my teeth were and how people like me keep him from getting his boat. Sorry, mister, but I'm sure you make plenty to have a boat, but I do not make enough to constantly pay for filling cavities. Anyways, he finished up by telling me that my husband married me because I had such nice teeth. Lovely. Thank you, sir. So out I go to pay my co-pay, which the "receptionist" had no idea how much I owed because her list was outdated and I ask if they take credit card. Of course not. Why would they accept such a modern way of payment? And who has cash or check on them these days?! NOT me. She handed me an envelope and sent me on my way telling me to send in a check. I'll be finding a new dentist for my next visit, sorry Dr. Skolnick...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

fine, you caught me, i love food.

march 7: So we usually make most of our meals from scratch. It's how we were both brought up. None of this sauce from a jar, soup from a can, microwavable nonsense. There is, however, one meal that we simply cannot give up that comes out of a box. This meal might even crack the top three meals list. Now that I have you all in suspense, I suppose I'll tell you what said meal is...GORDITAS!!!! Oh my gosh. We have to restrain ourselves from eating these too often. They're so good and so easy, but mostly just good. I can't help but pile my plate with gordita goodness every time we have them. This night, though, they were especially good since I was able to pile on a heaping portion of avocado. YUM:

march 8: This is for all of my Gordon friends. And yes, it's about food, but it's more about a memory or two. So today (like most days), all I wanted in life was a chocolate chip cookie. When I say chocolate chip cookies are my favorite in life, I'm not lying. I love a good chocolate chip cookie. There's something about the chewy, chocolatey goodness that makes me so happy. Milk, no milk, crispy, chewy, I'll take it. Anyways, I found myself at work on Tuesday really wanting a chocolate chip cookie, but not knowing what on earth to do about it. AND THEN I remembered I worked at Gordon. AND THEN I remembered how much I love Gordon cookies. These are not normal cookies. These are cookies baked to perfection. Perfect doneness around the edges, perfect un-doneness in the middle. I'd eat one every day if I wouldn't blow up to a size 40. Anyways - I ran over to Lane and low and behold, there it was...a chocolate chip cookie. And when I say it was cooked to perfection, I am not lying - amazing. I love Lane cookies.

march 9: Oh, what have we here? More food? Why, of course. But again, this isn't so much about the food as it is the experience. The Chipotle experience. So Chipotle has been in our neck of the woods for quite some time, and the extent of our Chipotle experience has included walking in, looking at the prices and walking out. We thought it was just another fast food place. BUT, our dear friends linds & warren and jake & erin have tried convincing us otherwise and we finally decided to try it out. I'm. In. Love. So much fresh and tasty goodness. Not to mention the fact that I'm already obsessed with burritos (another wonderful thing that my wonderful husband introduced to me). I LOVED IT. We probably won't join the cult like following and eat there multiple times a week, but we will add it to our list of approved eateries (food snobs, i know). Look at this thing...it was so good that I ate it all in one sitting. WHOOPS!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

a new addiction or two.

march 3: There's not much to say about this picture. Instead all it does is cause me to shake my head. We thought we had Beans trained up pretty well, in fact, I've been thinking that we will be able to let him be in the house by himself soon. He then, however, does things like this (frequently):

march 4: What a busy week for both of us. Seems like that's the story of our lives these days, but by Friday night we are spent. Earlier in the week my wonderful friend Linds sent a recipe for 15 minute creamy avocado pasta, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. You see, avacados are one of my newest addictions. I love them. In sandwiches, in guac, in salads...and now in a pasta sauce!

1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
1-2 garlic cloves, to taste
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, (probably optional)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
Please note: This dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce. Please serve immediately.

march 5: So the goal of the day was to get a lot accomplished, however many things happened to derail all of my plans. Such is life. One of the things on my list was to make pan seared salmon with avocado puree (darn that avocado addiction) for dinner. I just didn't have it in me, so when Ry suggested we go to Borders and then use our Groupon for Hale Street (another current addiction) that we had, I didn't even flinch. What a smart man he is. So off to Borders we went (it's closing and we thought we'd find some deals) and ended up walking out with a CS Lewis box set and an expansion pack for Catan (yet another addiction) and headed off to Hale Street. As we were walking down the street our good friend Lauren (featured in this post) stuck her head out her apartment window to say hi as we walked by. We said hi and continued on, only to find out that we had an hour and a half wait. Gross. We put our names in and went back to hang out with Lauren. I called over to check in our reservation a half hour later only to find that they had passed our name on the list. Bummer, off we went back to the restaurant in hopes of getting a table soon. A half hour passed and Ry had the GENIUS idea of ordering take out and going back to Lauren's to join in the Community (season 1) watching. Wow, I thought his idea of Borders and going out to dinner was fantastic, this idea was even more fantastic. So we ordered, using all $50 of our Groupon and headed back to Laur's for the rest of the evening. It was PERFECT. Not to mention, while waiting for our take out, the one and only J Hubbs walked in the door. What an unexpectedly great night.

march 6: So while we were hanging out with Lauren last night we noticed that she has a fantastic collection of tv shows on dvd. She has the Office, the OC (an old addiction of ours) and Glee. Lauren convinced us we would love Glee and that we should borrow it. We would have done so last night, but we got sucked in to the community marathon, which we were 100% okay with. Anyways, we were sitting around today needing a quiet and restful day, so we decided to take Lauren up on the borrowing Glee offer. One episode and we were hooked. We're currently sitting here watching episode #5. What a great Sunday afternoon :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

crock pot love and crying over spilled milk (plus espresso)

february 28: hello last day of February, so glad to finally see you. I think February is the worst month of the year. It's so cold and windy and yicky. Okay, I'm done complaining about the year's worst month. So life has been going at warp speed lately. My work has been rather busy and Ry's schedule is just nuts, as always during tax season and I have therefore fully embraced the crock pot. I broke it out again on Monday. It's hard timing it because we are gone much longer than eight hours so I usually throw it on at lunch time, which worked out perfect on Monday. I pre-chopped everything before leaving for work, which was great since I had one meeting run over and got pulled into another leaving me with only 15 minutes to put dinner together, let Beans out and grab lunch before flying back to Gordon. ANYWAYS, I picked out a corn chowder and took a shot at it. I wouldn't say it's the best chowder in the world...I think there is something to say for cooking the bacon (we used that instead of ham) and then sauteeing the onions int eh bacon grease and slow cooking it on the stove, adding things as needed. BUT all in all, the crock pot came to the rescue yet again:

march 1: Cue another insane day at work. So I had emailed my boss a question to which she replied: is anyone going to starbucks today? I said no, but quickly volunteered to stop in on my way back from lunch. I mean, who doesn't need an excuse to stop at Starbucks to get a SKVL (read: skinny vanilla latte - my current addiction)? I could use a SKVL just about any day these days. SO good. So I stopped, got our coffee and headed back to the office. There was no parking, of course, and I ended up having to park in the back of physical plant causing me to walk over an icy patch in which I imagined myself completely eating it and wiping out with our coffee. Don't worry, I made it across safely. So I headed into the building and up the stairs...and then it happened. My clumsy self caught the toe of my boot on the stair and flew forward. It was like life was in slow motion. One of the drinks went flying and the lid landed and the coffee sloshed everywhere and I didn't know which one had spilled. Then the smell hit my nostrils. It was my latte lying ALL over the stairs. Bummer. I was half relieved that Sandy's Americano stayed in tact, but I could have sat there and cried over my spilled latte. My friend compared it to holding a five dollar bill in your hand and lighting it on fire. I feel as though this is an accurate analogy. Here's the remainder of my latte spilled all over the side of my cup:

march 2: So I was walking into work this morning mourning the loss of my latte as I walked past the coffee stained stairs (I wiped as much of it up as I could, but figured physical plant would need to come through with a mop) and headed for my cube. As I turned the corner, the most welcomed sight I've ever seen greeted my eyes...an SKVL from Sandy (read: best boss ever!). It was FABULOUS: