Saturday, May 30

Weighty Souvenir

After our week in Italy, Husby and I constantly crave Italian. Normally, we eat pasta or some form of Italian at least twice a week. But now?

We actually walked 29 blocks to shop at our local Italian gourmet grocer. We could have taken a cab, but then we would have gained 5 pounds just by walking inside the store.

To our delight we found the freshiest basil imaginable and impossibly succulent sun-ripened cherry tomatoes. Our Italian evening began with a little basil, ricotta and tomato hors d'oeuvres, wetting our appetite. A nice bottle of Tuscan red flowing, we finished by gorging on pappardelle pasta served with a homemade pesto sauce. The recipe was a souvenir from Lake Como.

Five pounds later (remember the 5 we saved from walking?), we're watching television and decide that in order to keep our waistbands in place, maybe we should eat salad the next night. A nice pasta salad, of course.

H.I.T. Arsenal Recipe #8: Como Pesto Pappardelle

1 package pappardelle noodles
25-30 Fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesean/Romano cheese, grated

Directions:
1. Boil water and salt in a large pot. Water should be salted well.
2. Meanwhile in a food processor, puree fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and cheese, adding more olive oil, as necessary. Mixture should be slightly thick.
3. Finish cooking pasta, according to directions. Combine drained noodles and pesto in pot. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, May 28

Flash Happy Husby

During our vacation, Husby captured every. single. moment. on our camera.

Snap. Flash. Snap. Flash.

That was all I heard day in and day out. The grand total from our trip?

808 photos.

Guess who gets to go through them all? Yep, me! Can you tell how thrilled I am? Seriously though, my favorite photo is from our trip to the Vatican. I managed to commandeer the camera from Husby for all of 5 minutes. In that time, we were headed to the Sistine Chapel. In order to preserve the artwork, no photos or talking is allowed inside. Husby and I managed to break both rules.

I think we might be going to hell.

Our tour guide explained that some guards will turn a blind eye to taking photos and some guards won’t, so if we saw other people taking pictures we should make a run for it too. As she said this, I could see Husby frown as he realized he gave up the camera too soon. Victory!

Upon entering the chapel, I hear a familiar sound:

Snap. Flash. Snap. Flash.

Throwing the lens cap to Husby, I made a mad dash to the middle of the chapel to grab a shot of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.

[H.I.T. takes her first picture. Getting ready to shoot number two…]

Husby, a little tepid: Ummm...hun? Maybe you shouldn’t take that one. There’s a guard coming over…

H.I.T., confident in her ability to pull this off: I’ll just be one second…Snap. [no flash inside the chapel]

Guard, using the universal language of hand gestures: No photos allowed!

H.I.T., continuing the conversation using hand gestures: I’m so sorry. I didn’t know! My camera is now off.

[I grab Husby and we quickly walk away before he decides to kick us out of the Vatican (the normal punishment for taking photos inside the Sistine Chapel).]

H.I.T., smug: Ha! I knew I could get it.

Husby, clearly deflated: Can I have the camera back now? Please?

Despite all the photos I deleted along the way, Husby managed to capture the highlights of our Italian vacation. Here is a sampling of some of our favorites:






Wednesday, May 27

The One With the Sign

At the Milan airport:

H.I.T.: I can’t stand the MC Hammer pants trend.

Husby: Huh?

H.I.T.: Over there [I slyly point]. They are hideously unflattering - even on someone as thin as her.

[Husby begins signing]

H.I.T.: Huh?

Husby: Too legit to quit.

H.I.T.: Hey! Hey!


Photo from here.

Tuesday, May 26

We’re Baaaaaaaack!

After an 8 hour flight in a coach seat that had a broken recline button, Husby and I are finally home. You’ll never guess what we came home to…

As usual, we went to our mailbox to gather a week’s worth of crap and bills. We look down at the pile and are a little confused by an envelope. It's from the U.S. Post Office. On the back of the envelope is a printed generic apology for this late piece of mail. We open it up. Low and behold, we are staring at an RSVP from our wedding!

Two years later.

Yes. The post office lost this piece of mail for two years. Forget that I was a crazy mess wondering why persona non grata failed to RSVP. What’s it to them? Forget that this envelope wasn’t just lost in the mail…it was left at the bottom of some mailbox, or slid underneath some machine and was only found when Mr. John Doe decided it was time to spring clean everything. I mean, two years?!

The eerie part though?

That it was delivered exactly two years after our wedding.

Is the post office trying to send us some other worldly message? Or maybe it’s some divine intervention? It took us a while to uncover the secret meaning behind that late piece of mail. We decided it was sent as a reminder of the vows we took two years earlier on that special day.

It’s so easy to take marriage and love for granted. When you fall into a routine, things begin to slip. Love remains, but real life takes precedence. Laundry over cuddling, groceries over flowers, work over dates. The list is endless.

But thanks to the U.S. Post Office, Husby and I will have a little more time for love and a little less time for real life.

Friday, May 15

Roman Holiday

I may have mentioned it once or twice…Husby and I are going on vacation to Italy! We're in Rome for 4 days and then heading over to Lake Como for the remainder of our trip.

Husby has a hard time getting a week off from work, so we always try to plan a weeklong vacation in conjunction with a long weekend. Since our anniversary happens to fall one week away from Memorial Day, we usually plan a trip then. We forgo presents and instead go out to a really nice dinner or do something really amazing at one point during our vacation – such as a romantic dinner on the beach, etc.

To top it all off, my birthday is a week after Memorial Day so my birthday present is normally picked up while on vacation. This year, I’m being given a shopping spree in Rome. I’m beyond excited. If you know any small boutiques I should definitely wander into, please let me know.

We leave this evening which means that there will be no posts until after Memorial Day. If we get a rainy day, I might write up a quick post to tell you how things are going, but for my sanity’s sake let’s assume the weather is going to be high 70s and sunny the entire time.

So until then, I will leave you with two things.

As of yesterday, I’ve surpassed 100 posts and 100 followers. Woohoo! When I get back, I will be doing a favorite things giveaway. Not to brag, but I like some pretty cool things, so you might want to check back daily so you can enter.

On May 19, 2007, Husby and I exchanged vows in New York City. We danced the night away at a classic venue, celebrating with our dearest family and friends. In honor of our second anniversary, here is a picture from our wedding.


Image of Italy from here.

Thursday, May 14

Plumber's As$

I have a serious case of plumber’s ass. bad luck. plumbing problems.

Exhibit A: During our last trip to Miami on the day Husby left, our toilet began gurgling (yes, gurgling). Moments later, sewer water began filling into the toilet, causing it to spill over onto the floor. To make matters worse, the bathtub and both sinks began spouting sewer drainage as well.

Exhibit B: While cleaning up after dinner one night this winter, the hose on our kitchen faucet suddenly detached, causing a stream of water to shoot straight up through the kitchen and into our dining room. I was soaked along with our curtains, carpet, and anything else that got in the way.

Exhibit C: The bottled water shower.

Exhibit D: Yesterday, after putting my breakfast dishes away, I ran out for about half-an-hour to run a couple of errands. When I returned, we had water on our kitchen counters, underneath our sink and coming up from underneath our wooden floor boards. The maintenance man wasn’t available until two hours later. Luckily at this point, I’m fully knowledgeable on how to turn off water.

I must have really pissed off the plumbing gods at one point in my life.

Wednesday, May 13

Queen Bee

Last week, I was honored with the Queen of All Things Awe-summm Award by both Simply Me and The Luckiest Mrs! It's no Queen of the Cyber Universe, but it'll definitely do. Actually, since I'm Queen, can't I just re-name the award? Hmmm...

Simply Me is just too funny. I read her for laughs all the time and you should too. The Luckiest Mrs. just might be the luckiest gal I know (have you seen how young her mom looks?!?) In all seriousness though, both of these women are fabulous blog friends and I can't thank them enough for passing this on to me.

So, my Queen duties include:
1. List 7 things that make me awe-summm.
2. Pass the award onto 7 bloggers that I love (I'm passing it onto 14 since I'm Queen and can do what I want I was tagged twice).
3. Tag those bloggers to let them know they are now Queens too (and link back to the Queen who tagged you).


7 Things That Make Me Awe-summm:

1. I can get ready to go out in under 10 minutes if necessary.
2. I have danced on a table during brunch (yes, brunch).
3. I can easily drink 2L of beer.
4. I can also eat an entire tray of homemade cookies in one sitting.
5. My dramatics (ahem, sunglasses - I will share with you all later, I pinky swear).
6. I've gone "dark" to watch an entire season of 24 in one day.
7. Despite all the lemons I've been given, I can make some pretty sweet lemonade.

Allow me to introduce the new Queens of All Things Awe-summm:

Lucky in Love
Adorably Distracted
Legallyblondemel
JLC
Nessa
Semi-Slacker Mom
Polka Dotted Owl
Trixie
Heather
Kaitlin
Scandalous Housewife
Krystyn
Chatham
D.A.R.

Tuesday, May 12

The One With the Slap

At a restaurant for our good friends’ 30th birthdays:


Husby: Hey! Long time.

Guy Friend: Good to see you guys!

[The men proceed to hug. As Guy friend walks away, Husby slaps his ass.]

H.I.T.: What the fnxk?!?!

Husby: What?

H.I.T.: Did you just slap his ass?!?!?!

Husby: What?

H.I.T.: Why?

Husby: Football - good luck pats, birthday party - hello pats, same thing.

H.I.T.: Men.

Monday, May 11

New Beginnings

Our two year anniversary is fast approaching and with an upcoming trip to Italy, Husby and I realized we have more to look forward to than dwelling on what happened last week.

So on Friday night we picked up a gorgeous rib-eye, decanted a chic wine and said a toast to new beginnings:

Looking forward to all that’s bright in life
and leaving the darkness behind.

H.I.T. Arsenal Recipe #7: Pan-Seared Rib-Eye for Two
This recipe is from The Date Night Cookbook by Meredith Phillips ©2008.

1 (12-16 oz) rib-eye steak, Prime of Choice grade
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
¾ cup low-sodium beef broth
3 TBS unsalted butter, chilled

Directions:
1. Set a cast-iron or heavy skillet over high heat. Generously season the steak with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, add the steak and reduce heat to medium-high. To create a nice sear, do not move the steak. Let it cook until nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Flip once and continue cooking another 4-5 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes.*
2. While the meat is resting, add the beef broth to the hot skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Lower the heat and simmer until broth has reduced to ¼ cup.
3. Remove the pan from heat and add the butter, gently swirling in the pan to create a silky, shiny sauce.
4. Slice the rib-eye against the grain and drizzle with pan sauce. Serve with potato of choice. Enjoy!
*Alternatively, cook the steaks in a pre-heated, heavy, oven-safe pan under the broiler, or grill outside.

Thursday, May 7

The Aftermath

After our trying ordeal at the hospital, Husby, our families and I are now all healthy and working towards recovery.

As it is not my story alone to share, I will not be posting about the past day’s events. What happened is known only among family, and as you might recall, we have real-life friends who read this blog.

We thank you for all your support and prayers and apologize for not sharing further. I hope you understand.

Thank you again.

Wednesday, May 6

Emergency

Hi All,

Husby and I spent the day at the hospital yesterday. Needless to say, we are mentally and physically exhausted. I'll try to be back tomorrow.

Best,
a H.I.T.

Monday, May 4

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Ever since I was little, I’ve loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

When I was little, my mom would make them loaded with jelly. By the time lunch rolled around, the jelly soaked through some of the bread, making it soggy. I hated when that happened. As a consequence, I perfected the art of making my PB&J sandwiches early on.

In college, I always kept the ingredients close by for late night studying. Once I began working, I kept a jar of peanut butter at my desk at all times, and a jar of jelly with a loaf of bread in the fridge. You never knew when you’d have to work through lunch, which was more often than not.

But now, all this is changing, thanks to peanut allergies.

Whatever their cause, peanut allergies have interrupted not only the lives of those they infect, but also the lives of many people around them. At my last workplace, one young woman had an air-born allergy to peanuts.

I had to say goodbye to my creamy, nutty friend.

The one who kept me sane all those times my clients/bosses screamed at me to do something faster than humanly possible. The one who satiated my appetite during all-night cram sessions for finals. The one who introduced me to my first best friend, who was also eating a PB&J sandwich for lunch.

It just didn’t seem right to abandon my old friend, but for the sake of someone’s life, it was deemed not only necessary, but important.

It makes me wonder if one day I’ll have the opportunity to make my own child their first PB&J sandwich without the threat of harming someone else, or if I will once again have to say goodbye to my old friend.

Until then, I’m enjoying as many PB&J sandwiches for lunch as possible. Who knows, maybe I’ll grow tired them? At least then it’ll be easier to say goodbye to an old friend.

Friday, May 1

Crazy Hat Day

Ever since I was little, I’ve been obsessed with hats. If I ever ran off in a department store, my mom knew she could find me trying on the biggest, boldest hat I could find.

Despite this love, I never actually wear them.

I’ve never really had a reason to. I used to wear them when I was little on Easter, but people don’t really wear hats on Easter anymore. I’ve never been invited to a proper English wedding, and I’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby; both events that require stylish hats.

To remedy this, Husby and I planned on throwing a Crazy Hat Party in honor of the Kentucky Derby. You might recall our discussion about this here. Then, life happened. We went to Germany, we planned our vacation to Italy and time got the best of us.

So while we might not be entertaining this Derby Day, we will certainly be toasting the races with the Classic Mint Julep – crazy hats optional.

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