Monday, October 31, 2011

the weekend rundown - chateaubriand, cooking & catching up




This, ladies and gentlemen, is a Caramel Apple Pie,
with Breyer's Caramel Praline Crunch ice cream.

*pause to wipe drool from corners of mouth*

It was a fun weekend filled with some GOOOOOOOD eating.

Friday night, I had the honor of accompanying my friend Dana to her wine club's dinner at the country club.
Ahi tuna (my FAVE!), micro green salad with lobster and butternut squash ravioli, chateaubriand (I think I'm drooling again...), and chocolate raspberry torte...and of course, A LOT of fabulous wine.

Thanks for taking me as your date Dana!
I had a fantastic time eating, drinking and spending time with you! : )

Saturday was so yucky out that I couldn't bring myself to make the trip to Cardinal Point with Anthony. I'm sorry to have missed it this year, but he said it was freezing and only the boys were there that day anyways so I don't feel like I missed too much.
Instead, I stayed cozied up at home and went wild in the kitchen, making bbq in the crock pot, bbq sauce, stuffed shells, coleslaw, and the above mentioned pie.
Not only am I done cooking for the week, but I also got some freezer dinners out of all this!


Sunday the sunshine was back and we had an awesome afternoon hanging out at Merroir (the oyster bar at Ant's work) with Sara and Taylor Cockrell, and Sarah and Wyatt Holzbach.

Ant, Jo, Sarah, Sara, Wyatt, Taylor

We drank beers and shared bowls of steamed shrimp and enjoyed the beautiful fall afternoon.





Sarah


Sara

Wyatt (great pic taken by Sarah!)

It was so much fun and we're so grateful to have been able to spend some time with these wonderful friends who we have the hardest time getting together with- but when it works out, it's always fantastic and we so enjoyed catching up with them!





Ant

Sara

Taylor

Friday, October 28, 2011

Payback

Today I got a bit of payback.

Nothing serious, just experienced a few of those moments where you smile to yourself through your frustration and know don't even dare to whine that life's not fair because you know on some level,
you had this coming.

I cheated in college.
Calm down Mom, it wasn't on something that was graded.
JMU required all freshman to stop by the computer lab at some point during the year to complete a tutorial test on Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Just to make sure you knew how to use them all, you know, in case you needed them later on.

I never really learned to use Excel.
Other than as a spreadsheet to keep track of my guest lists and corresponding addresses of course.
I mean, I was an English major, what did I care about learning Excel?
So a friend of mine took that one for me so we could hurry up and get to lunch and be done with it.

And today, 9 years later, I stared at my computer screen for 5 hours learning to use Excel to complete a project
(while resisting the urge to rip out my eyeballs).

Life's good like that, huh?

I will say that thanks to my open office windows with the great breeze coming through and my Jack Johnson pandora station- I survived with eyeballs in tact and completed the project. Take that Excel.



Next up, it was a slow night at Trick Dog.

Oh, except for the party of 45 people who drank us
out of house and home.
I'm so spoiled at the bar. I have a great group of loyal locals that come in and I rarely have a slow night while often during the weeknights (the only time I work), the servers are dead. Most of the time I don't even have to work that hard for great money there (according to most people's standards anyways...it can be pretty darn difficult to smile at idiot drunks all night sometimes : )
just kidding, I really do love most of my bar regs)
So tonight I was working like crazy making drinks and washing zillions of glasses until well after 11 pm for the servers to make all the money off this big party,
the big party who was not tipping me.
Payback.
Payback for all the nights I chitchat and hang out with my fantastic tipper bar regulars and walk out
the door before 10 pm with easy money in my pocket.

Yes, tonight I got 47 lemon drop shots, complete with sugared rims,
of payback.


On a brighter note (well and kind of sad note too), I've put in my request at the bar to go down to one night a week. I've worked Tuesday and Thursday nights for a year and a half and I've loved it. It's fun and easy and I love both my co-workers and my patrons, but something's gotta give right now. I'm busier during the day than I used to be and am tired thinking about going to a second job, and I hardly see Anthony during the week.
Starting soon, I'll only be working Tuesday nights and maybe an occasional Thursday. I'm excited at the idea of the free night to spend with Ant, but a part of me is a tiny bit sad to give up some of my time at a place where I've spent so much time and
have so many great relationships.
Guess they'll all just have to stop in on Tuesdays from now on : )

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

My father-in-law, aka Father Christmas, is going to disown me for saying that.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas just as much as the next (normal non-Marchetti) person, but I LOVE fall!

I love the early blue sky- sun shining- light cool breeze stages, where you can wear jeans and long sleeves and flip flops. I'm still happy when it's a bit colder and it's time for light sweaters and favorite boots. 

I love the deep reds and oranges, my mums, pumpkins and pumpkin spice flavored and scented things, (I really really love pumpkin beer... I would drink it year round were it available to me) and hay bales and fire pits and changing leaves and apple recipes and oyster roasts.

I've been slow with getting my fall on this year, but here are a few of my favorite seasonal touches : )

my mums came back from last year and I LOVE them!

hand crafted by my oh-so-talented momma

homemade pumpkin cheesecake w/ginger snap crust

fiery fall sunsets

orange accents and pumpkin scented candles



adorable decor also by my momma

beautiful colors from my own backyard, brought in for decor

by my momma


classic favorites getting a fun seasonal touch

you know what to do with these...

bundling up fireside with friends

fire pits/fire places...instant coziness

I'm hoping to get a few more of my fall faves in...this is by no means my complete collection of favorites but as it's already the last week of October (sniff sniff),
I thought I should get it started : )

Fall Harvest

Late October and I'm still bringing in a pretty good
little harvest of tomatoes

Sweeeeeeeet.


(I have no idea WHY these are thriving, I haven't watered/weeded/staked/fertilized/NOTHING! this batch- I just stuck them in the ground in my weedy
herb garden and they've been loving life)

the weekend rundown - mellow, mussels & music

Ahhh. This weekend was JUST what we needed after the crazy busy month/2 months we've had.

It was pretty relaxing and slow paced, so I'll try not to bore you with every little detail : )


Here's the quick summary:
Friday night: great little date night at Town Bistro
Yummy food and cocktails, ran into lots of friends -
just a fun night out!

Saturday morning: strolled the Farmer's Market, picking up some fun seasonal produce, then spent a few hours getting "house things" done, including some much overdue yardwork. We don't mind a little house/yard work, it's such a satisfying feeling at the end of the day to know we were productive!



Saturday night we stayed in and alternated between cooking amazing foods and posting up by the firepit with wine while listening to music under the stars.

We started with mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce


 They were delicious!


Next came steaks with a sweet vermouth sauce,
crab cakes and sauteed asparagus.
It was all fantastic.


Sunday brought more feasting with a big breakfast, followed by lounging and magazine reading, then we hung out with some good friends over beers at the marina in the beautiful fall sunshine! Perfect end to a wonderfully relaxing weekend!
his & hers..perfect for fire pit nights!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

how was YOUR Monday night?

I can't get enough of these fall sunsets.

Especially on the water.


Ahhhh.


 Early work afternoon and great pilates class, followed by Sam Adams, sunset boat ride, and a little evening fishing with my husband.




THAT'S how you Monday.


(I even caught 2 rockfish and a little speckled trout!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the weekend rundown - Richmond, relatives & renewal

Another jam packed, family and fun filled weekend has come and gone!

We spent the weekend in Richmond with ALL of Ant's fam- ALL brothers + me and Kristin- for the first time ever. It was a full house!

Friday night was the annual Tommy Collins alumni party at Benedictine.



Saturday morning all 4 Marchetti brothers hit the field for the annual Alumni vs. current BHS players game. First time they've ever all played, great game- win by the alumni which was awesome because we had 3 on that team, but Caleb scored a goal so yay for a personal victory for him!


big brothers beating up on little brother
Afterwards, we hung out at the soccer tent by the field before the homecoming football game began
(Ant still doesn't get that it's weird to me that they can drink at high school sporting events... ahh private school : ) hah)
all the "Hanky family-tied" men



That evening, we all attended mass, followed by a vow renewal ceremony for Townley and Paul.


What a special moment! It was perfect.

the happy couple : )

Later we went home for a celebratory dinner party with
great food and wine

 Marchetti wine!





followed by firepit time

complete with fancy dessert : )



Sunday morning was family brunch to say goodbye to Ben, who headed back to Thailand yesterday.
It was so much fun having him home this past month
and a half and we'll miss him!

But this time it's nice to know he'll be back next summer for a bit : )