Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stuffed Flank Steak

Last week I made this stuffed flank steak recipe that I found in an old H&G Grilling magazine from last year. It was yummy, the filling was a mixture of feta, spinach, and bacon, along with some spices. It looks kind of fancy but was not really difficult at all. I’ll definitely be making this again sometime soon, maybe when we have company. Frank has been working out at a crossfit gym off and on for about a year so now, and while he’s been doing those workouts we’ve been trying to eat as “paleo” as possible. Which is basically the caveman diet, where you just eat meats, fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. Nothing processed, little to no carbs, and no sugar. We all know I can’t follow those rules! I try to, for dinner at least. And this recipe proved to be a good paleo dinner for us. Not sure if feta cheese falls in the “do not eat” category, if it did then we may have cheated just a tad. Oh well, it was worth it!

yummy yummy

This past weekend was a busy one. We really did not get as much done with the house as we had planned. I have been painting door trim which proves to take a while, especially when you have 22 of them and they all need 2 coats. On Saturday Frank lead a missing-man formation flyover for a funeral  for a Tuskegee Airman who passed away. It was right over a church in downtown Montgomery, I could hear them flying from home that morning, but it was just far away enough that I couldn’t see it. Frank's squadron is the heritage squadron for the Tuskegee Airmen (Tuskegee Airmen History), so it was a pretty neat honor that they got to do this flyover. Here is a slideshow of the photos from the funeral- In photo 14- Frank's flying the jet 2nd from the left.

Saturday afternoon we went furniture shopping. We went to three stores but didn’t buy anything, we just can’t decide on what we want! Frank’s sister’s family is coming from MI to visit us in about a month, so we’ll definitely need furniture before then! It’s getting to the point where we will just have to throw down with something and go with it! Saturday night we went to our neighbors house from some home-cookin’. It was very good, as usual, and fun hanging out with all the neighbors.

Sunday we made it to a late morning Easter Mass and then did a little work on the house, not too much! Then that evening we met up with two other couples for our Easter Dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse. It was good to spend time with some other younger couples and get out of the house for a night. All in all- it was a relaxing weekend for the most part.

As of yesterday Frank is now an F-16 IP (instructor pilot). He’s the youngest pilot at their base who is certified to do what he’s doing, which is kinda neat. I know he is very relieved to be done with the instructor course (he’s been working on it since Dec.). It’s a huge weight off his shoulders. He’ll be leaving for Vegas this weekend for 2 weeks (for "work", of course!), and I’ll be out there the 2nd weekend of May for his sister's bachelorette party – fun! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

22 Doors

We painted 22 doors last weekend. It doesn’t seem like it would take a whole lot of time and effort to paint 22 doors at first. But we have found out that everything that we don’t think will take THAT long…will take that long…or longer. Probably a lot longer.

My old roommate Nichole came to visit us this past weekend from Tuscaloosa and helped out a ton. She got to our house on Fri. night just before a big storm system blew through. It was mostly north of us, so we didn’t really see much rain at all. We seem to have storms rolling through every couple of days lately- typical spring weather for the southeast!

During all these storms on Friday evening, Frank decided he was going to try and fix a clogged French drain in our backyard. It was a drain that was carrying water from one of the downspouts off the roof of the carport to the drainage ditch behind the fence in our backyard. We had noticed that after the last big storm, our carport had a few inches of water standing around and we were worried that it would flood enough to get into the house. While we were digging up the drain the tornado sirens started going off, and it was super windy. Frank called his friend to bring over a pressure washer to try and use that to force the blockage out of the drain tube. Ha. We are geniuses, let me tell ya. This was after we tried everything possible, so it was our last resort. Our friend makes it over with the pressure washer, and here we are in the midst of a severe weather warning with tornado sirens going off trying to clean out this drain. Our next-door neighbor, who’s basically our neighborhood mom, yelled at us saying “this is momma tellin’ you that you better get inside!” Frank waved around a pressure sprayer (which is pretty much a 3 foot metal pole), while standing in a big puddle of water, under a big tree, while it was lightening like crazy. Ok, ok, it sounds a lot worse than it actually was. The lightening was far away, and the “tornado warnings” in Alabama are more like Watches. It was just kind of funny at the time. Needless to say, the bad part of the storm ended up missing us and we didn't get much rain at all.

We found out had a broken drainage pipe that the previous owner tried to duct tape back together…yeeeahh. So the pressure sprayer didn’t work. We ended up digging up the whole pipe from the broken spot on and replacing it. At least we don’t have to worry about our house flooding anytime soon.

Other than the drainage issues, we just painted 22 doors and replaced just as many door knobs and door hardware. Yipee! Our doors look awesome now. It’s amazing what a coat or two of paint can do sometimes. This weekend we are going to concentrate on painting interior door and window trim.

This is only about half the doors we painted!

The past few days I’ve been doing a thorough cleaning of the kitchen cabinets, and finally unpacking some of the kitchen wedding gifts that we haven’t even taken out of the box yet. Frank has been studying hard for his pilot instructor course he’s going through right now at work. I think he as about 3 or 4 rides left before he is done with it. He’s hoping he’ll be done by the end of this month, but it could be sometime in May. We’ve also been watching a TON of hockey now that the playoffs are here. Might as well be the middle of football season in our household! The next few weeks/months we have a lot of stuff going on- weddings, parties, trips. Should be a fun & busy couple of months ahead of us.

Sometimes I forget how green it is here! I really noticed it when I first moved here, but I guess I’ve gotten used to it. While I was driving to work this morning it hit me again, though- it’s super green and there are trees everywhere! That’s one thing that I do not miss about Texas, lack of trees…and green-ness. I do miss my family, though!

My drive to work- it's all trees and green!
 This is my Friday since I'm off work on Good Friday. Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend. This will be the first holiday that Frank and I are celebrating by ourselves instead of traveling to see family.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Breaking and Entering

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

With all the added house expenses lately…we’ve been sucked dry. We’ve been discussing purchasing a truck, which would help us out immensely with the house projects. Unfortunately we couldn’t really find a way we could afford to buy one right now…so we just decided to break into one and steal it instead. 

Me stealing a truck in broad daylight in the airport parking lot. We figured if we were going to do it, we'd hit up someplace with a large selection. We preferred one that was Barney purple...

All joking aside- our friend generously lets us borrow his truck anytime we need it. This weekend, however, the keys were locked inside, so I had to break in the back window to get them out.

This was probably one of our more productive weekends. I could go on a long spiel about all the stuff we did…it is a looooonnnggg list. But I’ll spare the details. The two biggest jobs we accomplished this weekend were fixing electrical issues, and blowing insulation in our attic. The prepping of the attic took much longer than the time we spent actually blowing insulation. Did I mention the highs were in the high 80’s this weekend, and our attic had to be 100 degrees! YUCK! Nevertheless, Frank did a great job and spent hours fixing the wiring in our attic, and we both learned a lot about electricity. And we’re both alive! That’s probably the biggest success. I’ve really come a long way, I wouldn’t even touch electrical wires if the breaker was off, that’s how deathly afraid of electricity I was. Now I’m helping Frank with electrical problems and I feel like I’m actually learning something useful. Now that I understand it better, it doesn't freak me out as much.

It’s amazing what we have learned in just a few months. We’ve gone from being somewhat clueless about home repair, to actually kind of knowledgeable (about certain issues, at least). Of course we still have a lot more to learn! One other thing I have learned is when you are at Home Depot or Lowes and you have a somewhat in depth question about something home repair related, look for the oldest dude that works there and ask him. Not all of the time, but most of the time they are usually the only ones that know anything. 95% of the people that work there have probably never picked up a paint brush or power tool in their life. Google has also been a serious life saver. If we didn't have google, I'm not sure how anything would ever get done because we'd have no clue how to go about doing it.

Anywho- on to the insulation photos. That’s really all I took pictures of this weekend. I’m sure you would get bored looking at photos of me painting baseboards, spreading fertilizer around our yard, or Frank hanging light fixtures.

It's hot up here!

Frank blowing insulation

We rented this at Home Depot and it is highly recommended! We had absolutely no issues and we covered our 2400 sq. ft attic in about 1.5 hrs.

8 bags and the machine...we had to go back for 4 more bags.
And here's a random photo I took of Frank hooking up our new pool timer (old one broke).

 Also- we have rose bush in our backyard! I didn't even notice it until it started blooming. We have about 12 roses so far...pretty :)

We spent some time yesterday evening looking at dining room furniture at World Market. I am so ready to not have to eat on a camping chair with a plate in my lap! Haha. Hopefully we can buy some furniture soon...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Armed and ready for the weekly weekend booty kicking

Well…I didn’t get the laundry room painted, but the baseboards are caulked and the pool pump is working! So tempting to go swimming, but it’s still just a little too cold. I probably could have gotten more accomplished last weekend, but I spent some time hanging out with friends on Sat. night. So…the laundry room took the back burner :).

The other night we were watching TV and Frank pulled up my blog on his phone and started reading it to me…so irritating! It's like watching a video of yourself or hearing yourself talk. I hate hearing what I write, haha! He secretly likes my blog, I know it.

This week has been good- Frank got home from Vermont a day late on Wednesday, and it’s been really nice having him home. His first night back I made this really, really DELISH lemon chicken dish for dinner:

I had every intention of taking a picture of it before we started eating, but it smelled so good that it didn't least 2 seconds before we started digging in. So this photo is stolen from the website!

It makes me very happy that I can cook again. We still don't have all the kitchen stuff unpacked, but I have enough for the basics. This was super easy to make and very yummy. I used about 5 thin sliced chicken breasts and we had no leftovers! We’re a bunch of oinkers!

So, so glad it's Friday, even though that just means that we're about to get our booties kicked by the house this weekend. We have big plans for blowing insulation in the attic, along with some electrical work and a few other small jobs. Wish us luck...

Friday, April 1, 2011


I gave myself this evening to do things I keep putting off. One of those things is choosing photo's for a wedding album. I narrowed down our 2500+ photos to a little under 300. I figure that's a start! I am now uploading them online and it says I have 10 hours remaining! Guess my computer will be running all night! Another thing I worked on was making these super cute (if I do say so myself...) headbands for our baby niece:

Frank flew to Vermont today and will be doing some training there over the weekend. I'm not too envious that he's out of town because the high in Montgomery this weekend is close to 80 degrees...while in Vermont it will be in the low 40's. It does kind of make me sad that he had to leave for about 4 days so soon after coming home from Korea, but I know he'll be back before I know it.

This weekend I want to finish caulking baseboards in the entire house, and paint the laundry room. That's the minimum I want to get done! If I get really ambitious I want to try and figure out what's wrong with our pool pump. A couple of days ago the PSI went down to about half of what it normally is, and we can't figure out what's causing the low pressure. We've checked for leaks, clogged pipes/pump...nothing. We're kind of stumped. It might be time to call the professionals! I also might try and treat our lawn (or lack of it) with weed killer/fertilizer. That would be a first for me, so we'll see how it goes!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend :)