Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bad days

Friday was a bad day y'all. Real crappy. I am still dealing with the crappy-ness, it leaked into the weekend. I keep dwelling on the bad and getting down. And that is not how I roll. I'm a pretty positive person generally, you know, sunshine and rainbows. But dang, Friday... you threw me for a loop. You've gotten under my skin and I need to shake you.

I am a lucky lady and I feel so selfish when I throw pity parties for myself. Honestly, I need to build a bridge and get over Friday. Shit happens. And sometimes it really sucks. But you live and you learn and you know better next time. Life is too good to dwell on those little bad moments. Because that's all they are. Bad moments. There's nothing you can do to change them, so why focus on them? You learn what you can and move on. And you focus on the good, because there is so much of it. Like this wonderful weather. And sweaters. And braids in your hair. And a husband who loves you. And cats that are fat. And cuddles. And laughing. And loving. And home.

And, of course, raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Because no matter what life throws at you, there's always a song from the Sound of Music to make it better. If you're me anyways.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Motorcycle madness

Well y'all, we bought a motorcycle. For me. And it's damn sexy.

Meet the newest member of our family, yet to be named (any ideas? At the moment we're calling it the Bicycle, because we're extra clever and funny).

My commute to work is slightly ridiculous, 25 miles each way with lots of hills, and it is killing the Xterra. Since I began doing this drive daily, my AC has died, my radiator cracked, and the poor odometer is seeing way too many numbers. Not to mention the obscene amount of money spent on gas. So about a month or so ago, I decided to throw the idea of getting a motorcycle out there. They're fairly cheap, get amazing mpg, and fun. Both my husband and my boss immediately said, "you'll kill yourself" (which seems to be most peoples reaction, THANKS A BUNCH). But after some consideration, and my stubbornness, I stuck with the idea. Brendon got on board and we started doing some research.

PAUSE: I must mention how wonderfully supportive my husband has been. He has wanted a motorcycle forever (as all boys do) and I have to give him ridiculous props for not being a green eyed monster and being behind me the whole time with this. He has more faith in me than I do in myself. I can't wait until he gets a bike too and we can ride together!

SO, I signed up for the three day motorcycle safety class and figured I'd test it out and see if I liked it. And I did. Really, I don't think anyone drives a motorcycle and doesn't like it. So I got my license and we started shopping for a bike. Originally I wanted a regular style motorcycle. Not a Harley by any means, but just a plain and simple bike, which is what I learned to ride in the class. BUT, the first time I got on a sports bike I immediately changed my mind, it felt loads more natural. Instead of your feet being in front of you, like sitting in a recliner, they are under you, like riding a bicycle. I'm pretty tall and have some decently long legs, so sitting upright was more comfortable. I felt like I had more control. And they are lighter and easier to handle, for me anyway.

Thus began the great bike search. Little sports bikes are apparently a hot commodity these days. We were in the market for a 250cc Kawasaki Ninja. Apparently so was everyone else. We were obviously going the used route, because duh, it's cheaper and I'm not an experienced rider who needs anything fancy and new. These babies are hard to find (from a reputable source) and they sell super fast. We ended up finding ours from this super nice little dealer in Round Rock who had like, a ton. It was like a motorcycle ranch, out in this field. Pretty neat. I saw mine and it was love at first sight. We got a great deal and it's is in excellent shape; it's a 2009 with only 1,100 miles on it! And it's all black so that's cool too. It's beautiful.

I haven't driven it to work yet, and will probably give myself some time since that's a long drive and I'm still getting used to everything. Driving a motorcycle is completely different than a car. Lots of new habits to form. But damn y'all, it is so fun. I took it to get gas this morning and was basically laughing the whole way. SO MUCH FUN.

And for all the "OMG YOU'LL DIE"-ers out there, I have the safest helmet ever and a basically armored jacket and gloves. I feel like I should be jousting. And yes, motorcycle accidents happen, but I drive like an old lady compared to the majority of bikers (and drivers in general) out there, so I figure my odds are a little better. And BONUS, it gets about 65+ mpg. SIXTY-FIVE MILES PER GALLON. The Xterra gets like 15.

ALSO, to all you nay-sayers and negative nancies, you just make me want to drive this bad boy more. Every time someone said I couldn't or shouldn't do it, I became more positive and determined that I could and would. So thanks for the support motivation y'all. :)

Monday, September 24, 2012


I missed the first day of fall. It was Saturday and it blew by without any recognition from yours truly. Not that it really feels like fall. We've still been hitting the 90's, which is a lot of fun in a car that has working ac about half the time. But regardless, the first day of fall doesn't usually slip by me, as it is the official start to my favorite time of the year.

The past week has been a hectic whirlwind and most of it hasn't been much fun. Nothing went according to plan and I am tired and frustrated. I haven't seen Brendon for more than an hour or so in a few days. It's full on pharmacy school mode over here, which always sucks. I thought I would be tougher this time around, but it's still so hard. I miss my husband. Pharmacy school plus conflicting schedules equals no bueno. I've been a grumpy baby lately and I feel terrible about it. That is the worst way to handle things but I just want to stomp and pout and get what I want already. Because I'm obviously five years old.

BUT (silver lining, y'all) it is fall now. The best time of the year. Soon we'll be putting up Halloween decor, carving pumpkins, and baking loaves of banana bread (because it makes your house smell better than the fanciest fall scented candle). This week was just a rough week and all will be well soon enough. It is Monday after all, and this coming week will be better. I promise.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A post without pictures

I figured I ought to post a little bit about what's actually happening in my life, versus what I'm eating.

Fall is arriving! This weekend has been full of rain and cool weather and I've loved every minute. Unfortunately the cool weather brought a little something extra with it, Brendon caught a cold or something this week. That's not been fun. I'm crossing my fingers in hope that my immune system keeps me safe! I absolutely do not have time to be sick! And even though he's under the weather, school is in full swing again, stealing my husband away. I had my first night of falling asleep alone last week, and it was real lame. But, even if fall brings pharmacy school, it's still my favorite time of the year. This cooler weather has me all kinds of excited. I can't wait for the next few months and all the fun they bring! October, November, and December, how I love you!

First up is Halloween! Any ideas on what you're going to be? Brendon and I have our respective costumes settled and I've got to admit, they're pretty good. His is probably better than mine. They are a secret of course, but no hints like last year. You will all just have to wait and be surprised. Can't promise my costume will beat my crazy Marie Antoinette get up, but I'm still excited.

Fall is sewing season and I've got all kinds of projects lined up. I just finished Brendon's Halloween costume and I made a little blue dress for myself just for fun (I'm sure you'll see it here soon). Next, I've got my Halloween costume to make, plus a new dirndl for me and lederhosen for Brendon in time for Wurstfest. Oh and we need to learn to waltz so we can dance to polka music (Mom, teach us!). I'm nervous about Brendon's lederhosen, I'm venturing into uncharted territory with these and there will be a lot of improvising. Wish me luck. And Austinites, come to Wurstfest with us! I hear they have beer there.

So that's about it for recent and upcoming events. Mostly I just make a lot of coffee and Brendon is a smarty pants at school. Story of our lives.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homemade tomato pizza

I'm not a huge fan of pizza normally (unless it's Home Slice), but this bad boy was real good. And easy. As seems to be the trend lately, this recipe is from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. It's kind of like a hybrid margherita pizza, except with ricotta/Parmesan and oregano instead of mozzarella and basil. And no garlic. Soooo maybe the only thing they have in common are tomatoes. Whatever, it was good.

Here's whatcha need:

- 48 oz (or 3 pints) of cherry tomatoes
- 1 sliced big tomato, we used an heirloom (which are shaped so strangely but are yummy!)
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese
- 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- fresh oregano leaves

And the recipe called for actual pizza dough that you would roll out, but we improvised with a store bought pizza crust and it was dang good anyway.

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Mix up your cheeses and egg, then season the mixture with salt and pepper. Brush the crust with some olive oil, then spread the cheese mixture on top, leaving a 1 inch border. Separately toss the cherry tomatoes with about 2 tbs of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet. Put the pizza in the oven at the top third (we baked ours on a pizza pan) and the cherries at the bottom third for about 15 minutes until your cherries tomatoes have burst and your pizza is golden brown. The tomatoes will finish first, so you may need to leave in your pizza crust for a few more minutes. Keep an eye on it though, you don't want burnt crust!

Put your pizza crust on a cutting board. Toss the cherry tomatoes with your fresh tomato slices and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Then spread it on your pizza and top with oregano. Slice it all up and enjoy!

YUM! Fresh tomatoes are my favorite. This pizza will be made again, and soon. And can we take a moment to check out my hunk of a husband?

You make pizza cutting look good, Mr. Hogan.

Also, bonus for this awesome recipe, we used a smaller size pizza crust than the recipe called for (12" versus 16") so we had some extra roasted and sliced tomatoes left over. We saved that nonsense and are going to throw it on some pasta later in the week.

Pretty sure it's going to be amazing. And any meal that you can stretch into two (or three!) is always a winner in my book!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Instagram tends to be my go-to for social media these days. It's quick and easy and I'm lazy, whatever. For the longest time I decided to not really use it as a social platform, but just as a quick camera to make my iPhone pics look fancier than they are. But, I figure why not have another outlet to share useless tidbits of my life with wide world web. So here I am, my user name is mariebh. Feel free to follow and see lots of pictures of food, my cats, food, occasionally my face, and more food. But mostly food.

Happy Birthday AJ!

This weekend we celebrated this little, although becoming very big, guy's eleventh birthday down in New Braunfels. So strange, AJ was a wee three-year-old when I first met him! Soon he'll be taller than me!

We partied it up at Peter Piper Pizza, a venue I haven't been in since I was AJ's age. There was pizza, games, and about 300 kids, and we had a good time! Plus these lovely ladies came by to celebrate:

 Can you tell we're related? I think it's the awkwardness that gives my sister and I away.

That kid has loved SpongeBob for seriously, his entire life. SquarePants is like a part of the family.

We played lots of games, some people better than others. I was pretty terrible at everything.

I had heard if you scream at the games, your likelihood of winning goes up. Didn't work for me. Brendon, of course, won 100 tickets on his first try, without screaming.

This game was called "Pull My Finger", and yes, it did exactly what you think when you pulled it.

 Brendon had an unfair advantage of about 4 feet on these kids.

Saturday evening we got to watch AJ play his first game of the fall ball season! His team won! These kids were pretty good. We need to recruit some of them for our softball team. It was really awesome to see him play and a great way to wrap up our visit. Family time is good time!

And can we talk for a second about how great the weather was Saturday? It felt like fall! Almost cool enough in the morning and evening for a sweater. Hallelujah, my favorite season is arriving!! So many good things to look forward too!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hamilton Pool

It must be noted by all, that I am currently blogging about something other than food. Although on this day I did also bake some cookies.

After living in Austin for over a year, we finally ventured out into the hill country and visited Hamilton Pool. It's on those "Must do in Austin" lists and everyone always raves about it. And it was pretty cool! It's a long way out from the city, which I enjoyed. The drive there is beautiful, as it almost always is when you're driving in the hill country. We were a little disappointed in the water level (the waterfall was reduced to a trickle) but we should have known better because, duh it's summer in Texas. We've gotten significantly more rain this summer than last, but we are still in a big ol' drought. It was beautiful regardless, and the water felt great. I'm usually a baby when it comes to water, but I loved this little swimming hole!

That little low area in the ridge is where the waterfall usually is.

It was extra warm out that day, which is good because that water is chilly! Brendon said he felt like his hair was melting off, hence the towel getup. This place is not huge. It's pretty tiny actually. You kind of have to just claim your little towel space on the beach area. There were lots of people there, so we were right in the thick of it all. Not as bad as I thought, but it's definitely not a place to chill in the sun in peace.

Handsome husband of mine.

Everything was so green under the falls area (and everywhere really). So much life! After we got our fill of swimming in the pool, we hiked down a little trail to the Pedernales river. We went to Pedernales Falls state park last summer, and the river was basically nonexistent, so it was cool to see it (although a completely different portion, miles upstream) with some water in it!

It was a good day for green apparently.

If you're looking for a quieter place to hang out, this is it. We hiked over there just before the park closed and had the whole river to ourselves. It was so serene and the water was the perfect temperature. I could have stayed there for hours. Unfortunately a park ranger kicked us out.

It was a pretty cool little place. I highly recommend going (perhaps after a good bout of rain). There are so many beautiful places like this around Austin, we are so fortunate to live so close to it all. One more place that the Hogan's have explored!