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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chicago Street Style

A few weeks ago while visiting Chicago, I was doing a bit of shopping at Zara. We don’t have these stores in Cincinnati so I was excited to pick up a few basics. After trying on about 4 turtle necks with incredibly tight necks and COMPLETELY messing up my hair, I was stopped by Amy Creyer of the Chicago Street Style Blog.

She was incredibly nice and took a few shots of me on the street. She posted this a few days ago and I feel incredibly flattered to be mentioned on her wonderful blog! I really love Street Style blogs and Amy does such a great job of capturing personal style.

As a disclaimer, I AM a scientist but I do NOT actually work in a lab - slight miscommunication there:)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trip to Chicago

A few weeks ago, Brent, Pierre and I took a road trip up to Chicago to see Kelly, Nic and Stacey. It was such a blast and fantastic to see my closest friends and family.

It was a late night upon our arrival on Friday but we stayed up most of the night catching up. Here is me, Kelly, and Nic in their darling apartment in Greektown.

I believe in this picture, we are looking through a Walt Disney World Souvenir Book. From our expressions I have concluded that I am delving into some random and useless factoid and Kelly is deeply contemplating the new information.

The next day we took the metro down town and made a stop in the Hershey Store...
Because there is nothing for comparison in this picture, you might not be able to tell that these are GIGANTIC Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Check out the lower right hand corner "2-8oz cups"!

More of the HUGE-sized candy... yum!

We then got to meet up with STACEY whom I miss so much and every time I see her I feel like I can't get out all of the exciting things that I want to say before it's time to leave again. Nic's mother and brother also met up with us and it is always a pleasure to see Nic's wonderful family! We all had some delicious tapas at this restaurant which I sadly do not remember the name of!
Though I don't remember the name, the food and sangria was fantastic. I think I was enjoying a stimulus overload with such a fun group of people.

Nic, Brent, and Stacey. Stacey looks really happy... must have been that darn tricky bathroom door!

After lunch, a few of us took a trip to the huge Disney store. Awesome.

And for dinner we decided on this cheesy deep dish pizza. Chicago has ruined me when it comes to pizza... deep dish is ridiculously good.

Somehow I managed to get myself to a ballet class at the Joffrey Ballet Studio downtown on Sunday morning. It was a great class and the studios were all windows looking out onto the city.

To top it off, on the ride home we hit the 140,000 mile mark!

In other news, I survived a camping trip this past weekend (pictures hopefully to come later). C.B. had his first vet visit today and seems to be doing just fine. And my parents are coming in less that THREE DAYS!! So excited to see them:)

Hope everyone is having a delightful week!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Say Hello to C.B.

C.B. (Chocolate Bear) is the newest addition to the family and he couldn't be more darling! I saw a picture of C.B. on and there was something special in his big brown eyes, it reminded me of how I felt when I first saw Pierre - I just knew.

On Saturday, I packed up some supplies and Pierre and I took a road trip out to Clinton County Human Society to meet the little guy. The kind volunteers there took be back to a private room where C.B. was playing. He was dirty. He smelled like a garbage can. He was missing most of his front teeth. It was love at first site! After getting acquainted, I took Pierre inside to make sure the boys got along and the rest is history.

C.B. was especially fond of a little skunk squeaky toy and kept falling asleep on it!

C.B. is a 6 year old Toy Poodle weighing in at a whopping 5 pounds. He was rescued from a puppy mill where they used him as a breeder for most of his life. I don't know exactly what conditions were like for C.B. (he didn't even have a name when the shelter rescued him) and I frankly would rather not know.

Despite his horrific past, he is the sweetest and most well behaved little guy. He hasn't had a single accident, can you believe it?! I don't know if he can bark or make noise, I haven't heard a peep yet. He has never been on a leash before but has already made so much progress.

And of course, Pierre was a bit jealous in the beginning but he has been such a wonderful buddy to C.B. by engaging him and encouraging him to play. The two of them are ADORABLE when they play fight.... it looks like teddy bears hugging each other. Surprisingly, it isn't much more work to have 2 dogs... though it will cost more when it comes to grooming every once in a while.

Click Here for a link to a youtube video of Pierre and CB playing

Anyway, I was nervous to adopt on older dog but I am so happy I decided to open my heart to C.B. If you are thinking about getting a pet of any kind, I cannot recommend enough. The site allows you to pull from all shelters/rescues in the area but you can refine the search to find a pet that will work for you and your family. Not only does it help the person doing the searching but it helps the animal in finding its forever home by ensuring that certain needs are met (example: if a pet can't live with small children/other dogs/ other cats, etc).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A few things to look forward to:

Aside from the usual autumn-time excitement that I enjoy every year (fall foliage, pumpkin everything, approaching holidays, etc..) there are a few items that I'm patiently awaiting this season:

A Very She and Him Christmas Album
You can preview the first track (Christmas Waltz) on the website. I have already pre-ordered the CD and I am really looking forward to hearing M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel cover my favorite holiday songs.

She and Him Volume I and II are a music necessity for me. These albums are the perfect solution when I'm feeling down and need a pick me up. Zooey's voice is enchanting and there is a genuine honesty about the presentation of the songs.

The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick

I have such a blast listening to the Nerdist Podcast and often find myself laughing out loud in the middle of a quiet office at work... embarassing but fun. Not only do they manage to interview ALL of my favorites (some examples: Joel McHale and Community et al, Rob Zombie, THE MUPPETS!, Zooey Deschanel, Tom Lennon, MST3K/Rifftrax guys, John Hamm... the list goes on) but the episodes with only the hosts are fantastic as well.

The show keeps me interested for a couple of different reasons. First and foremost, the hosts (Chris, Jonah and Matt) are hilarious but they are down to earth and listening to them chat is like sitting in on a conversation with some good friends. Secondly, their guests are usually really amazing and have so many wonderful things to say. Not only is it funny but there are also some truly inspirational episodes (Tom Wilson and Rainn Wilson episodes for me in particular... weird... same last name - never noticed that before).

All that being said, I am planning on pre-ordering this book (out on November 1). Sometimes I have too many projects, thoughts, inspirations, and ideas but I don't know how to harness them into a finished thing. From what I've read, this book focuses on just that - using your inner nerd qualities to funnel your energy into something positive.

A visit from my parents!!

I am lucky enough to get an early holiday visit from my mom and dad all the way from New Mexico!! They will only be here for 3 days but I couldn't be more excited to see them. They will be staying at the lovely Clifton House which is always stocked with Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownies and wine:)

Well, wish me luck, I'm off an a camping adventure for the weekend at the Red River Gorge. I'm a bit nervous as I am NOT the camping type. I'm giving it a try though... my fiance loves the wilderness and all:) Despite my lack camping skills, it should be a fun time. Brent and I and the doggies (yes... there are two now... expect a post on that later) are meeting some friends and the weather should be a tad chilly but sunny and dry. We checked the fall foliage maps and right now eastern Kentucky is "near peak" which means the autumn colors should be brilliant:

... I've never been to the gorge before. Brent claims it's absolutely gorge-ous though:) Personally I'm looking forward to some relaxation by the fire and some nice long hikes (also smores...)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Home Brew - Honey Brown Ale

I've finally gotten to brew my own beer! My partner in crime, Rob has brewed a few batches of different beers including an Oktoberfest that I had the privilege of trying and was delicious. This batch is a Honey Brown Ale, a first for us both.

Warning: this is NOT a how-to.... this process was complicated and I am by no means an expert (Rob was definitely running the show). I just wanted to share some pictures and part of the process - enjoy!

Honey mixture

Grains, spices, flavorings, and whatnots.

The above spices plopped into a huge bucket of water.

The same water after simmering for a few minutes... mmm beer tea

After boiling for quite a while, you have to rapidly cool the mixture.

Rob doing a fine job of transferring the mixture into the clear glass container. By this point the yeast has been added.

Here it is fully transferred where it will sit for about 2 weeks before you can bottle.

The next day, look at all of the activity!

The yeasties are doing their little jobs. A few days later Rob transferred the bath to a similar glass container for a cleaner brew.

And the finished product...
About 2 weeks later we finished up the process and bottled! I wasn't able to get many pictures of this process because I was knee deep in beer while working away - it was blast! After bottling, it is recommended to wait an additional two weeks before drinking... stay tuned:)