Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ho Ho Ho!

I just wanted to tell everyone Merry Christmas and all that Jazz! I feel fortunate to have such a great family and wish I could spend the holidays with all of you. Here's to a healthy and happy new year! Wishing you all the best! Much LOVE!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Uproar on the Lakeshore

The first weekend in November Connie and I made a trip to the windy city to watch the National Flat track roller derby championships. First we noticed it was 40 degrees there, but then we started drinking and it turned into a really fun weekend.

For the most part is was a lot of this... watching teams from all over the country compete for the title. No Connie did not skate in this event- it was for flat track not banked track teams. Denver ended up victorious. They beat Olympia, Washington by one point. A very exciting ending to a lot of blow-out matches.

It was a really really nice venue. And if you happen to be in Chicago you can catch Connie skating here on December 11th for a Red Bull event.

I took these photos on my walk to the train. I journeyed up to Lake Bluff on Saturday to say hi to Uncle and Aunt Jeanette, the Freeds, and Karla. It was a really nice afternoon. Made me wish I lived to closer to the fam as well as have the opportunity to use a train. Trains are so easy.

More photos of the city- we wandered looking for deep dish pizza.

And of course it took a couple tries but we managed to find time to find the latest local brewpub in Logan's Square Revolution Brewing. The beer was great- atmosphere was chill and the waitress was a great sport to put up with a bunch of crazy derby girls.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weekend Trip to New Hampshire and Maine

We took a long weekend trip to New Hampshire and Maine. Flying into New Hampshire we visited a long time friend that I hadn't seen in over 3 years who now has two cute, hysterical boys. We then drove up to Portland, Maine to enjoy it's "best foodie small town" status and visit a colleague that had just moved up there. The highlight was probably the gorgeous bike around Peaks Island. I had a feeling I would fall in love with Maine and am hopefully going to be able to get back up there again sometime soon to do some more exploring.

See my facebook photo albums here and here  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Birthday Weekend

I had a really great birthday weekend. 
It started off with me playing an extra in a friends indie-movie. On the way there I passed this building which I really love. 

On my birthday I made Memphis style ribs. They took a long time but tasted even sweeter as we watched the Phillies victory. 

The next day Mom and Eleanor came to visit. We went to the Wharton Escherick Museum in Valley Forge. It is one of the coolest small museums and the weather was absolutely beautiful. 

Afterwards we had lunch in Phoenixville, a cute little town. We at at the Iron Hill Brewery which was pretty good. 

Then we went to our favorite store: Terrain. They were having a fall apple festival. 

We had a disappointing dinner but the atmosphere and company were great. 

Sunday we didn't do much but did watch the Phillies win again.
Cole Hamels is so dreamy. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Getting Serious - rebate breeds ambition

So around mid-summer I got pretty excited about making home-made ice cream.  I made a batch or two with a friend and starting shopping around for an ice cream machine. I found out about this one through a Williams-Sonoma eblast which was 20% off with a $25 rebate. 
I got the rebate just in time to start the 6 week cooking class I'm taking through the restaurant school at Walnut Hill College and bought this knife caddy.

More on home-made ice cream flavors coming soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fun Philly Weekend

Though we had some threats of hurricane Earl the weekend weather could not have been anymore beautiful. We started out the weekend with some intense Philadelphia Live Arts/Philly Fringe performances including a one man Beckett performance, a acrobatic-furituristic dance piece, a and comic submarine play. Sarah saw 7 performances total, while I passed on the ones I could live without seeing and got a lot of work done in the basement. We still had time to also take tour of the Philadelphia Brewing Company brewery with a friend that was in town to see some shows. This took us outside of our normal city confines and got to seem some new architecture. 

A building I saw a few weeks ago that I thought was really beautiful. On the PBC tour I learned it was once a brewery. Or at least it looks exactly like a picture I saw of old breweries in Philly. 
Multi-million dollar home in a neighborhood that's part old school row homes, part urban jungle (chickens and junk yards), part new green housing projects. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lady Gaga Concert

Last night Ken and I went to the Lady Gaga concert here in Phoenix. As I expected, full of energy and excitment! Arizona doesn't need to be so worried about the "illegal aliens" here, but they need to be more concerned about the "little monsters" that live here and came out last night.
I have never seen such a large crowd expressing their individuality. Scary in some ways, but mainly very intriguing. And everyone was smiling and having a great time. Part of the fun was getting there early and looking at everyone's "costumes." As you can see, I didn't really didn't go crazy, although the headband and earrings were from 1993, when I bought them to wear to Jessica's bat mitzvah party. First Madonna - twenty years later - Lady Gaga - guess I'll save them and who knows who'll carry on the legacy twenty years from now. Oh god, that will make me a seventy year old at a concert. Hope they have matching support stockings by then!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Apple Heaven

There is a new (only authentic) Apple Store opening in Philly today at 5 p.m. directly across the street from my office. There is already a line of nerds because they're giving away free t-shirts to the first 100 people. I think I can wait until Monday on my lunch break when there isn't a crowd. It will be very distracting though to see the Apple logo every time I walk out of my office. They had the whole building wrapped in black so no one could see what it would look like until this morning. Looks pretty awesome though I must admit. Much better than the old bank that was out of business with crusty punks and their dogs playing broken guitars in front of it. An Apple store and American Apparel right next to each other? Philly my actually be becoming a real city.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Crabfest 2010

This year was the 5th year I've hosted a Crabfeast. The first in my tiny two bedroom apartment on South Street, the second as a joint party with a fellow Marylander and the past 3 at my house. That's right that means I've been there two full years. Special guests included Eleanor, my cousin Chris and his wife Susan and my friend Fiona, who has always wanted to come but spent the last 4 years in Scotland. Since a lot of guests end up only eating one or two crabs (or none at all) I usually have to make a lot of other food. I did my now fail-proof beer-can chicken, burgers, dogs, shrimp, and corn. All that grilling kind of burned me out so I couldn't go full steam on the crab eating. Somehow we're never able to finish eating a bushel (about 85 crabs) and I either have to crack them all the next day or trash them. It was still a fun time had by all. Brick was a big hit and the massive clean up was postponed the next morning by Chris treating us all to brunch at Jose Garces' Tinto.

Jessica designed the flyer and invite.

Lake Tahoe

Wonderful time in Lake Tahoe. Beautiful weather. Enjoyed seeing the athletes/celebs at the golf tournament. Crowd favorite was Oscar de la Hoya (1st picture).

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Santa Fe Fourth of July

Over the Fourth of July Connie and I travelled back to Santa Fe for a friend's wedding.
After a rainstorm on the drive up from Albuquerque we caught a couple amazing rainbows.

Of course right after landing in ABQ on Friday, Connie had already scheduled to tour a small brewery 40 miles outside of town. This is the very small Rio Grande Brewery. Here we got to try Green Chile Beer.

Although the College looked pretty sad- it was obvious, Santa Fe, the city had been spending a lot of money on beautification and tourism. This is the new railyard area. They've built restaurants, stores, farmer's market, park, and even trains to take people through and out of town.

We also toured the Santa Fe Brewing Company again. We were here once before on the way to Kyler's wedding. But this time we had a more discerning eye on their systems and beers. Research. But we also ran into some old friends from school and it was good to catch up.

It was quite green.

And of course we had to take some pictures of our favorite attraction.

Overall it was a great trip. The wedding was beautiful. It was really fun to see old friends. Thank you Santa Fe for a great fourth.

In brewing news, we are thinking up some beers to submit to a competition this fall. We also have arranged with two of our good friends and fellow brewers to start working together on forming the LA RIVER BREWING COMPANY. We'll send out highlights as things start to fall into place.

Love ya,
Jess and Connie

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Fun

Where are all the fun summer pics y'all? I know I'm not the only one doing anything this summer. Santa Fe? Old Faithful? Fourth of July? Sardinia pics are coming very soon. As you can see, I learned how to make pasta.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chico/Tahoe/Reno Photos

I told myself I had to get these up before I went on my next trip.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Los Angeles Photos

So I've spent a small part of every night narrowing down my massive photo pool from the last trip. I have thus completed a photo album for flickr but have only gotten to the photos of Los Angeles thus far. Others will soon follow.
See the LA Flickr set here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

90% Sure

Sarah and I have been discussing adopting a dog for a long time. After baby sitting Carl we knew that it is something we would like to take a crack at down the line.
It seems we are finally on the same page and have found a little (okay medium sized) creature that can use our unconditional love. His name is SlickRick though we might call him Brick (like the Paul Newman character from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - even though I really like his given name). He is a 4 year old, 40 lb. pit terrier mix that was found as a stray. He has been with a great foster mom for 3 months. He is fully healthy, neutered, microchipped, house trained, crate trained, leash trained, doesn't bark in the house and sleeps through the night. We are working out the final details like how and when we will get him (probably after we come back from vacation after the 4th of July and he will visit for a week in June) but we are about 90% sure we are ready for a dog and 110% sure that he's the one.
Let me know your dog thoughts. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Almost close

I'm so close to finishing my counter top. I was able to tile this weekend but not grout. Hoping to do that tonight.
Also I was sick of the graveyard of vacuum cleaners I was starting to have in my basement of cheap broken vacuums and hand me downs so I caved in and went out and bought a nice new one.
New Bissell allergy vacuum.
Counter top phase 4.
Stick on mastich. no puddy and drying necessary. This was a big time saver.

Laying the individual tiles took about 5 hours. You can see through the window that it has gone from day to dusk.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Midway Update

I added tomato plants, onions and a blueberry bush yesterday but the back yard is not photo worthy yet. 
I've also completed the counter top construction. Now on to finishing it, tile work, electrical outlets, cabinets, and so on.