Weekend Projects + Super Salads

Well, this has certainly been quite a weekend. Not only have Jay and I managed to have a ton of fun, both Friday and Saturday, but we’ve also been pretty productive around the house, too.

This weekend, we were actually supposed to be away in Wildwood but we had a few changes in plans and didn’t wind up going. So we figured we should take advantage of our free time this weekend, since we don’t really have one now until October maybe? My goodness.

So one of our Jay’s projects this weekend? Pressure washing the pool area.

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Believe it or not, Jay used the pressure washer to spell “Hi” in that photo above.

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Just check out the difference…isn’t that crazy? It looks sooooo much better now!

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The pressure washing actually took place yesterday, but I managed to keep myself busy. I managed to squeeze in a great walk, did some cleaning, a little baking, and also did a little tending to the garden.

Unfortunately, we’ve got bad news on that front. Remember a couple weeks ago when I said we had a ton of green tomatoes just waiting to turn? Well, they’re slowly turning…but then something is eating them.

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I found a ton of half eaten tomatoes on the ground of the garden, and three out of the four plants have clearly had the tops eaten off of them. Damn deer.

I’ve been tossing the rotten ones into our fire pit for whenever we have our next bonfire. Winking smile

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Thankfully, the whole garden isn’t at a loss, and I was still able to manage to find a few winners.

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Oh, and we finally realized the pepper plants we have are red…the key is to pick them when they just start to turn and then let them fully ripen(?) on the counter inside. They are so sweet and so good.

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Another thing with the garden? My basil plant is OUT OF CONTROL.

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Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it. There’s no way I’m going to be able to use it all up, so if anyone local wants some, I’ll gladly send you along with a big bunch!

Today’s projects were tackled both inside and outside. I wound up getting the urge to clean our basement. Sadly, I can’t even remember the last time I really bothered to clean it…it was BAD.

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Now things are lookin’ (and smelling) nice and clean, and the bar is ready to be used. Who wants to come and join us for a drink? Winking smile

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While I worked outside, Jay continued working on our back deck demo.

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We’ve still got a ways to go, but we still have about three more weeks until our new siding comes, so we have some time.

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Eventually, it was time to get to work on some dinner.

Oh, that’s right…this is supposed to be somewhat of a food blog.

Earlier today I took care of the grocery shopping and wound up picking up a couple of london broil’s (buy 1 get 1 free at Price Chopper!). One went into the freezer and one got a little marinade treatment, courtesy of hubby. I’d been looking forward to some steak ALL day…I don’t know what my deal was, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

Maybe it’s because I knew I wanted to do this with it?

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I opted to serve my steak on top of a huge, veggie-filled salad, complete with romaine, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, grilled corn on the cob (cooked on the grill while the steak cooked), red peppers, beets, red onion, and feta cheese.

You guys. This salad…it was sooooo good.

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Exactly what I was in the mood for.

On the side, I served up the last of our naan bread; a perfect accompaniment.

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Now Jay and I ready to relax and lay low for the rest of the evening…it’s been a busy day, and busy (but awesome) weekend.

Hope everyone else had just as awesome of a weekend themselves! Smile

2012 Summer Yard Olympics

Let me tell ya…I have some fun and creative friends!

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Early yesterday evening, Jay and I headed over to our friends Brook & Andrea’s house for a fun day of games, food, drinks, and celebrating (in addition to the summer games, we were also celebrating Brook’s recent birthday).

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They even had prizes. So cute!!

By the time we arrived, there were already some snacks and beverages out, which I enjoyed a little bit of.

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That orange pitcher there is filled with Andrea’s famous “Summer Beer.” I can’t remember exactly what it is, but I think there’s at least beer, some sort of liquor, and maybe Sprite? Whatever it is…it’s always good.

Also good? This incredible champagne sangria. Yes…champagne sangria.

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Made with raspberry filled ice cubes, which melted into lots of yummy raspberries. Such a good idea!

I was also really excited to finally be able to meet Brook and Andrea’s newest addition to the family. Meet Sydney!

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It’s she a cutie?!? She was so good all day, and basically roamed and ran around the yard as we all played. She almost made me want my own puppy for about .5 seconds, and then I came to my senses. Winking smile

Once a few more people arrived, we all got geared up to begin our Summer Yard Olympics. Now when I said I had some fun and creative friends, I really wasn’t kidding!

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We had five different games to play: beer pong, washer toss, horse balls, corn hole, and beersbee, and each one was set up with an instruction board on how to play.

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We even had our own “Olympic torches” throughout the playing field.

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My first game I had to play was washer toss, and I can say with 100% certainty that I would be okay if I never, ever play that game again. Ughh, it was so frustrating! Luckily, I had Mal over with me to keep me sane.

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My second game was horse balls, which has long been a favorite of mine. Me and my partner won that one – WOOP!

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Another game that wasn’t my favorite? Beersbee. Basically, you have to always be holding a beer/beverage, and have to throw the frisbee to the other person. If the other person drops it, you get a point. If you knock off the water bottle from the pole, you get 3 points. And if you put down your drink at any time, your opponent gets 3 points.

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I’m thinking the main reason this game wasn’t my favorite was because it was pitch black when I played. Not exactly easy for frisbee catching! Yet somehow, I still won. Another WOOP!

As the evening went on, we all continued playing our games.

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And they still continued well after dark. A little extra challenge, if you will.

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Eventually, everyone finished up and the scoreboard was filled in. Check out #6 there! Four 10’s and a stinkin’ 4 thanks to that darn washer toss. Not too shabby!

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As Andrea tallied up the scores, everyone went ahead and had some dinner. I didn’t realize it was almost 9pm by this point, and I was hungry. I made a plate with two mini hot dogs, homemade potato salad, and some french fries.

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As we were eating, the medal ceremony took place – yes we even had homemade medals!

Here’s our version of the Olympic podium of winners…

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Check out who got the gold, baby! Even though it was really Andrea who scored perfect 10’s across the board, she gave up her winning status, putting me with the gold, Mal with the silver, and Sarah with the bronze.

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Love these girls!

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I had to give Jay a little bit of a hard time about our differences in medals.

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Don’t worry babe – bronze is still something to be proud of! Winking smile

The boys.

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Toward the end of the evening, I ended up sitting near the desserts and, well, let’s just say that that did not go well. Rice krispy treats, some of the most incredible chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had (in the blue bowl – Monica, I think these would have ended your hunt for the best chocolate chip), more cookie bars, and my contribution – Triple Chip Blondies.

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I don’t even know how many I had. You know how it goes – a small one here, start talking to a friend. A small one there, then you need another. Ooof.

Luckily, I didn’t feel like too much of a slug, since all of us girls went inside later in the evening and started bustin’ a move to our favorite game. Eventually, it was time to head back home, but man, did we have a good time! Smile