Friday, January 11, 2013

Date 71 - Put On a Brave Face.

Date: Friday, January 4, 2013 
Type: At-Home, Easy
Cost: $
Planned By: Dani

Adam and I make a point to see most Disney and Pixar films. The newest movie to come out was Brave and we hadn't seen it yet. Our four year old niece really loves the movie so we figured we should watch it.

We rented it from Red Box for a dollar. The movie was really cute. I hadn't seen many previews so I didn't really know what to expect. It has a great story, and I was quite happy with our choice to watch it. It was also quite funny and definitely not just for children. My favorite characters were Merida's little brothers.. they were hilarious and adorable!
So to go along with the title I decided we had to do something brave together. I came up with a bunch of ideas like making a strange pizza, mixing food together in the blender, dying our hair. Yep. These were all really bad ideas. Then I came up with different types of popcorn. We have so much popcorn since we always buy a huge box at Sam's Club. Here are the different types we had and the different dips we decided to use:

Dips:BBQ Sauce
Peanut Butter
Chocolate Sauce
Strawberry Sauce

Garlic & Parmesan Cheese
Taco Seasoning
Mac n' Cheese Powder
Cinnamon, Sugar and Powdered Sugar
Chocolate Sauce, Marsh mellows and Chocolate Chips
I admit we weren't that brave. They were all actually pretty good. Not something I would eat regularly, but definitely OK and edible. The worst one was the taco seasoning.. actually that one was gross. Every time I ate a piece I coughed. The worst dip was BBQ sauce, but a close second was the Strawberry Sauce. Because we really love popcorn and we are so brave we still ended up finishing it all.
This was a really fun date. Doing something silly in the comfort of your own home with the one you love is always entertaining! Try it, I dare you.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Date 70 - See You Next Year.

Date: Monday, December 31, 2012
Type: City, Friends, Party
Cost: $$$
Planned By: Dani

Living downtown gives you many opportunities for celebrating New Year's Eve. I begged Alicia and her boyfriend Andrew to come visit us.. since they are very busy and we hardly ever see them. Being my persistent self, they agreed to come just three days prior to New Year's Eve.

YAYYYY! I made a reservation at the Corner Alley Bar & Grille for dinner. Adam and I really like this restaurant and have been there multiple times. Also it is one of the only places we know takes reservations and has decent prices. Alicia and I both started out with a Tartini. I thought it was gross. Its vodka with lemon juice and chunks of fruit. I got raspeberry and Alicia got strawberry. She liked hers, so maybe it was just me. Adam and Andrew got beer. Boring. We all really enjoyed our dinner. They gave Adam potato wedges instead of chips which was sad because that is our favorite thing they have. Luckily, they got mine right!
We decided to go to The Clevelander for their New Year's Eve party. They had a nice package containing an open bar, food buffet and party favors until midnight for $50. We thought it was a pretty good deal especially considering all the other bars downtown were charging more. We met Tegan and some other friends there. We played a couple games at our booth, danced and had a great time celebrating the new year together!

Date 69 - It's Christmas Time in the City!

Date: Saturday, December 22nd - Tuesday, December 25th
Type: Family, Home, Travel, Holiday
Cost: $$$
Planned By: Both

Yay.. it's finally Christmas! This was our 5th Christmas as a couple. Last year was our first as a married couple so we learned a lot and prepared a lot earlier this year!
Saturday, December 22nd:
Adam, Obi and I spent Saturday celebrating Christmas as a family. We slept in a little which was nice. After we woke up we started opening presents. Obi got to open his first since it was his first Christmas. He got a wand toy with a butterfly and bell, a mint chew toy, and ten plastic springs! He liked them all except the mint thing.. maybe he'll like it later. Adam and I made lists and I bought everything we really wanted. There weren't many surprises under our tree, but we got a lot of stuff. I got a new pearl necklace with matching earrings, new jeans, new brown flats, and Dunkin' Doughnuts mint mocha coffee. Adam got two new shirts, a fogless shower mirror, cologne, and a new alarm. We also got a few things for both of us: season 2 and 3 of Modern Family, a Chopstir, a baggie holder, a grocery bag one trip holder, and the Martini board game. We made out pretty well. Obi got one more big gift.. a cat tree! We were so excited to get this for him. We had some problems with it early on, but its it fine now. I was expecting him to immediately love it and play on it, but instead he fell off from a high level and didn't really like it after that. He's started to warm up to it and likes to climb it like a tree and runs up to the top to get toys. I hope he ends up loving it in the near future, though.
We decided to have a special Italian dinner for our Christmas. We made Olive Garden copy-cat Zuppa Toscana soup, Lasagna and Garlic Bread. It was our first time making the soup and lasagna and they both turned out surprisingly well! We also ate some of the cookies we made for dessert. After dinner we finished getting everything ready for the rest of the Christmas festivities. When that was finally over we snuggled up and watch Elf and enjoyed each others company for the rest of our little family's Christmas.
Sunday, December 23rd:
Got up and got ready for our trip to Conneaut. As soon as we were packed and ready to go we took quick family Christmas photos. I think they turned out pretty well. Our first stop was the big Neubauer Family Christmas party. We had lots of good food, Santa visited, watched all the kids open gifts, took family pictures, and played Bingo. We won lots of candy and some other fun things during Bingo so I'd have to say we left as winners.
Next, we went to my family's Feliz Navidad Fiesta. We had our first ever Mexican themed Christmas. Michelle made most of the food including: enchiladas, carnitas, rice, shrimp salad, and key lime pie. We contributed by bringing 7 layer taco dip, tequila, margarita mix and our margarita maker! Amanda made some delicious Sangria. It was a wonderful meal, and I hope we make it a tradition. Then we opened up gifts. We decided to do a gag gift secret santa this year which went off without a hitch. Everyone's gifts were really funny and it made for an entertaining first hour of gift opening. Then we went on to the real gifts. I got a new wallet, black flats, 1" hair curler, 1" hair straightener, style station, magnetic makeup board, a cute holder for our bathroom sink, tickets to see Stomp, four gourmet salsa's, tortilla chips, and a tortilla chip and salsa bowl. Adam got some money, a penguin pillow, the first season of Modern Family, the second season of How I Met Your Mother, Browns beer coozies, and a shot roulette game! We were very happy with all of our presents from my family. After present opening we watching some TV and played some games.
Monday, December 24th:
We spent most of the day at my mom's house relaxing. For dinner we went to my Uncle John's for our annual pizza dinner with my mom's side of the family. The pizza and other food was very good like usual. Then the whole family played a talking charades type game. It got everyone interacting and laughing together and was ultimately a good time!
Next, we went to Adam's parent's house to exchange gifts before our neice and nephew had to go to bed. They are really cute when opening presents and this year they both liked the ones we got them! I had to put together Madi's princess doll bed, which, I admit took me much longer than it should have.. but I blame the wine. Anyway, Adam and I got some wine slushie makers, modern cocktail mixers, grey good vodka (which we have never ever bought for ourselves), a travel bag for our margartia maker, a velata fondue set, a nice Under Armour OU polo for Adam, and a rolling laundry cart. We love everything we got and I was super excited for the Margarita Maker Travel Bag.. I'm going to bring that thing everywhere!! Afterwards we socialized for a bit longer then went to bed so Santa would come.
Tuesday, December 25th - Christmas:
We woke up and went over to Hayley's house to watch Madi and Jensen open all their presents from Santa. Every year they seem to be more excited about Santa, and I think its adorable. They must have been good kids this year because Santa treated them very well!
Next, we went over to my dad's side of the family for some gift exchanging and snacks. We had a great time talking to them and watching How to Train a Dragon. Although, we had to leave before the end so I think we'll have to rent it to finish it.
Last, we spent the rest of evening at Adam's parents for Christmas dinner. Debbie made ham, turkey and roast beef to have on sandwiches! It was really good, and all the side dishes and desserts were yummy, too! The last of the gift exchange happened after dinner. We hung out with the family for a couple more hours than decided it was time to go home.
It was nice to be back in Cleveland with baby, Obi, but we had a great time seeing all of our family while in Conneaut. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Date 68 - Cookie, Cookie, Cookie!!

Date: Sunday, December 16, 2012 (and many more days)
Type: At Home, Productive
Cost: $$$
Planned By: Dani

Adam and I decided to give out cookies to some people for Christmas this year. We aren't very talented bakers, but we figured we could try. So I found a bunch of different cookie recipes and I decided on nine different types to make. We had to make at least two dozen of each cookie, but some had more. 
Cookie #1: Chocolate Marshmallow Cookie
These one were my favorite to make. I got to use home made icing, a piping bag and a real icing tip. I felt like a real baker. They easily fell apart after a couple days though.
Cookie #2: Mocha Crinkles
These came out dry, but still pretty good.
Cookie #3: Cinnamon Swirl Cookies
These were a little difficult to prepare with the swirling, I was very happy with the way they turned out.. and they were one of the best tasting!
Cookie #4: Andes Mint Cookies
We had to attempt to make these twice. The first time Adam and I had a miscommunication and put in way to many ingredients. The second batch turned out great, but I think they needed more mint... like a whole Andes mint for each cookie instead of a half.
Cookie #5: Angelettis
These were surprisingly very easy to make. I thought they turned out cute, and I really like them because of the anise extract.
Cookie #6: Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
I dreaded making these. I was very unhappy when the recipe made like 50 or more cookies instead of the 24 I was expecting. They ended up being easier than I was expecting and it wasn't so bad.
Cookie #7: Peanut Butter Surprise
These were not fun to make. I did not like having to wrap the chocolate part around the peanut butter. I think they turned out pretty good though.
Cookie #8: Hot Chocolate Cookies
I love hot chocolate and I love these cookies. One problem I came across was too many chocolate chips. The recipe picture has now chocolate chips sticking out but were everywhere. They were more like a Hot Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Cookie #9: Pretzel Hugs
These were super easy and really tasty right out of the oven. They got a bit stale over time though.
So there you have it. We made nine types of cookies. Adam didn't help make the cookies as much as I thought he would, but he was the best taste-tester and recipe reader I could have asked for.