lunch date

NYE

My New Year’s Eve started with the gym:

Per usual! Thankfully the gym wasn’t crowded! I did my body weight exercises, free weight routine, weight machines then finished up with the elliptical. I was feeling ok but a little on the run-down side. I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for summer…!

After the gym Michael’s mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan while we had a date! I had NO idea what our date was. Michael planned it all and it was a surprise. He just said we had to be ready to go at noon.

First stop: lunch! I had no idea where we were going and was pleasantly surprised when we went to Papa Haydn’s! One of my favorites. It was pretty busy but we got a table right away.

Michael got the Pale Ale on tap and I got this gorgeous looking Bloody Mary:

It was spicy! YUM! Lunch was slow, which was perfect! We had time to relax, didn’t feel rushed, could have ADULT CONVERSATION and enjoy each other’s company in a calm, quiet setting…can you tell we were ready for a date “night”? 😉

We both got the Croque Monsier except Michael got his with ham and I got the turkey. Instead of fries or a salad I asked for the seasonal vegetable because it turned out to be Brussels Sprouts and I love sprouts! They were really good, too. Of course, the fries at Papa Haydn’s are to die for, so really you can’t lose whatever you order. I’m super happy with my lunch.

We chatted about Vegas and planning a potential trip in 2017. We’ll see if it actually happens. We’ve been away from Logan overnight once and will be away from him overnight in January, but a whole weekend? I don’t know that I am ready for that quite yet. But it was fun to imagine a little vacation getaway. We both agreed that it would be nice to stay at The Venetian.

We hung out and finished our drinks and relaxed and then got dessert to go for later. As we left the restaurant it started to SNOW!!

The next stop was nearby in Sellwood, The Moreland Theater. We’ve never been to that theater and we’ve both been curious, so it was cool to finally check it out. It was built in 1926! It was really old and reminded me of that old fashioned theater we went to in LA. (I wish I could remember the name of it.)

We saw Rogue One. It was okay. I am not a Star Wars fan so it’s kind of lost on me. But I can see how fans would be excited about it. I told Michael that I just can’t get into movies or TV shows that have fake creatures and fake languages…and he countered with Game of Thrones, which I love. So, yeah, I really can’t explain why GOT is ok but Star Wars doesn’t do it for me.

After the movie we had one more surprise stop to make for our date.

A new phone!! A Christmas tradition we have is giving each other a card and in my card this year he said that I’d get the rest of my present on NYE. YAY! My phone (the iphone 5S) has been buggy for awhile and every other day a message pops up saying I am out of space on my phone–no matter how much I deleted off it! It is so nice to have an upgrade.

We went home and we had originally planned on making Cornish Game Hens for dinner but they weren’t defrosted! Even though we took them out of the freezer two days ago….sooo we put in a frozen lasagna. And opened a bottle of wine that was a gift from Michael’s sister:

Pretty fancy New Year’s, huh? 😉

Dessert was the Bourbon Ball we bought at Papa Haydn’s:

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day

Our tradition for New Year’s Day has always been snowshoeing on Mount Hood. I even did it last year when I was like 30 weeks pregnant (and my snow pants didn’t fit)! But this year we skipped it. Logan is too small right now to take him up there in the snow. Hopefully next year!

I was a little bummed about not snowshoeing. But I went swimming and was pleasantly surprised that the gym and pool was pretty much empty. I guess everyone else was nursing a hangover.

Sunday night we had some friends over for dinner. Michael made his mac n’ cheese:

Turned out great as usual! Our friends brought a delicious salad: spinach, blueberries, pine nuts and a homemade basil vinaigrette.

Comfort food + wine + good friends! We played Cards Against Humanity and talked into the evening. It was so good to have some adult time and catch up with friends. Being sick so much lately we’ve kind of been holed-up in our house.

It was a good New Year’s!

Shiny and Bright

Saturday I made it to the gym!!! After being snowed/iced in for two days I braved the drive and made it. My little car would not have made it out of our street –which was a sheet of ice–but the Subaru did great and once I got on the main streets it was clear.

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It felt SO good to get to the gym! I hadn’t been since Monday. I was also slightly sore still from Thursday’s at home workout. Squats and kettlebells ALWAYS get me.

At the gym I did some light body weight/ab stuff, went through a circuit of the weight machines and then did 27 minutes on the elliptical. It felt awesome!

Then home to clean up and get ready to go on a date. Michael’s mom and stepdad came over to spend some time with the little dude so we could go out to lunch and possibly get a Christmas tree.

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The roads were decent but sidewalks were super icy still. We ended up going to Lardo on SE Hawthorne for lunch. It’s been years since I’ve been there. The place was packed when we arrived. We ordered and then sat outside in the covered and heated patio area.

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We both got the Block 15 Sticky Hands IPA. For lunch Michael got the Grilled Mortadella:

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I got the Lardo Egg Sandwich, smoked pork belly with a runny egg and cheese. It came with a hash brown patty on the side.

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Michael got an order of their “dirty fries” –fries with cheese, pork pieces and pickled peppers on top. I nibbled on some. I didn’t love the fries. I did enjoy the pickled peppers, though!

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We talked about getting a Christmas tree. We both had concerns, obviously. Logan is almost 9 months old (on the 22nd!!) and he is an ACTIVE little boy already. He’s been crawling for two months, standing for a month and he’s already “cruising” (walking while he holds on to things like the coffee table). He also goes right for all the things he shouldn’t have and big, sparkling, blinky Christmas tree would be a bad idea.

We talked about getting a small tree and putting it on a table, that didn’t really seem feasible, because we a) don’t have a table that would work and b) he could probably pull that down too. I floated the idea of getting a tiny living tree (something I’ve always wanted to do) and putting it on this one tall side table we have in the living room. So we went to Lowe’s to check it out and found the small living trees.

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For about the same price as a large Christmas tree we got the living tree. It’s small and the needles are super spikey! That’s the only downside. But I like that we can plant it in the yard somewhere after Christmas and it doesn’t feel like such a waste.

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It’s okay, it does the trick. Next year we’ll go all out and it will be great! And Logan will be old enough to “get it”.

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Saturday night we were supposed to go to the Milwaukie Solstice Festival and then some friends were coming over for dinner but our friends were sick, I was still under the weather and we just didn’t feel like going back out. So Michael made dinner for us instead and we just chilled.

He made French Onion Soup!

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Here’s the recipe:

French Onion Soup

From: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/french_onion_soup

Ingredients

  • 6 large red or yellow onions (about 3 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced root to stem (see How to Slice an Onion), about 10 cups of sliced onions total
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock, chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock)
  • 1/2 cup of dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoons of fresh thyme (can also use a few sprigs of fresh thyme) OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 8 inch-thick slices of French bread or baguette
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere and a sprinkling of Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Caramelize the onions: In a 5 to 6 quart thick-bottomed pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and toss to coat with the olive oil.
  2. Cook the onions, stirring often, until they have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium high. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown, about 15 more minutes.
  4. Then sprinkle with sugar (to help with the caramelization) and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the onions are well browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more.
  6. Deglaze the pot with vermouth: Add the vermouth to the pot and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot, deglazing the pot as you go.
  7. Add stock and seasonings: Add the stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with more salt and add freshly ground black pepper. Discard the bay leaves. Add brandy if using.
  9. Toast French bread slices: While the soup is simmering, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
  10. Brush both sides of the French bread or baguette slices lightly with olive oil (you'll end up using about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil for this).
  11. Put in the oven and toast until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven.
  12. Turn the toasts over and sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese and Parmesan. Return to oven when it's close to serving time and bake until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
  13. Serve: To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and transfer one cheesy toast onto the top of each bowl of soup.
  14. Alternatively, you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51311

Dinner was great!

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We missed the Winter Solstice but we did manage to go to Peacock Lane this year!

I told Logan we were going to see sparkly Christmas lights. He giggled:

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We met up with a friend of mine who has a baby about 2.5 months younger than Logan. Peacock Lane was PACKED! You could barely walk there were so many people. But the babies loved the lights!

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I’m really looking forward to Christmas this weekend!