Quick Update

No time to write but I wanted to update you and let you know that:

1) A lease was signed for a new apartment! Very exciting, but it was very unexpected and happened quickly. So this weekend is the final push for the big move.

And 2) Mouse poop. We have found mouse poop everywhere as we move things out. I would like to emphasize that this should not be interpreted as a reflection of my hygiene. There are just holes everywhere in this apartment. In cabinets, for heating pipes, under radiators, etc. That mouse (I like to tell myself it was only that ONE) was on my kitchen window sill, under my bed, in my spice drawer, everywhere. SO THANKFUL to be moving and to not know this until now. Yuck.

Okay, I have to go move some more boxes, but I'll be back soon!

Happy Halloween!!


Wicked Good Times

Hello again! Sorry I've been gone. I'm drowning in wedding planning stress & guilt. Please don't read that as progress; it's more of that hanging-over-your-head sensation where you feel guilty and overwhelmed by all that needs to be done, but never really make any progress. Yeah. That's where we're at.

Last weekend we set out to book the honeymoon. Dis-aster. We had plans and lofty goals and then they were all trampled on by our little friend, reality. So we are getting married on Saturday evening and were planning to leave Sunday for our honeymoon to maximize our time at our destination and account for traveling back to New England. Our plans may or may not have involved a little trip to a country we like to call, Costa Rica. However, to make a long story short our hopeful plans were thwarted by such details as a two hour post-reception drive to Orlando, an early morning flight Sunday, a full day of traveling both there and back, a 24-hour drive from Florida to Rhode Island, a rental car, a 4-hr drive out of the way from Orlando to Tampa and back through Orlando, and packing said rental car in between. So we're back at square one. Actually, it's a little worse. No one's stressed at square one, you're just uncertain. We're uncertain and stressed. Blah.

On a happier note I plan to figure out bridesmaids dresses this weekend. Finalize. Yes, it's less than 3 months away and I still haven't made the decision, but it's difficult. I'm not wearing the dress, I don't have to buy the dress, my girls may not like the style, and I don't like to make decisions. All of this has equated to another big wedding failure on my part! Ugh.

Rehearsal dinner, now that may be solved this weekend as well. Andrew's mom is headed to Tampa tonight to spend the weekend checking out the church, reception site, possible rehearsal dinner venues, meet the future in-laws, etc.

What else? We have invitations. Maybe a future apartment which will be incredibly wonderful. Hopefully. I always hate to say that when I know I could be looking back at this blog in 9 months cringing at my naivety because it actually turned out to be a terrible, horrible nightmare. Like mice or noisy neighbors or the fruition of my irrational fear of gas heating blowing up the apartment. It happens more than you'd believe up here. At least one a day Andrew insists.

Well the real intention of this update was to inform you of the wicked fun we're going to have this fall courtesy of Andrew's new employment. That's right, his connection to the happenings in and around Pawtucket are wicked awesome. I can say wicked, I've lived in New England for over a year. One of these is a Fall Foliage Train ride. The train will take us through Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, stopping at a Fall Bazaar with antique shopping, crafts, food and fun! We're pretty pumped.

We're also really excited about the restaurant tours/cooking lessons. Restaurants all over the state (we're a small state, don't make fun) offer evenings where they teach you how to prepare a meal and then feed it to you! We can't wait.

Okay, that's it for now. If any pictures turn out tomorrow you'll be the first to see them!! Enjoy your weekend!

Missin' you. No really, I miss writing.


Recipe of the Week

Meatball Casserole
from Taste of Home

2 Servings
Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min.

  • 3/4 cup uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons egg substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash salt
  • Dash garlic powder
  • 1/4 pound lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce or meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 cup 2% cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, egg substitute, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt and garlic powder. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well.
  2. Shape into 1/2-in. balls; place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until no longer pink.
  3. Drain pasta and meatballs. In a small bowl, combine meatballs with marinara sauce. Spoon half of mixture into a 1-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with half of the pasta, cottage cheese and mozzarella; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers.
  4. Cover and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

    Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals
453 calories
12 g fat (5 g saturated fat)
66 mg cholesterol
804 mg sodium
55 g carbohydrate
5 g fiber
30 g protein.

For shorter prep time purchase pre-made meatballs.

It's cold and it's fall so start breaking out those casserole recipes! They'll warm your bellies and your heart:D



Worst. Weekend. Ever.

I was excited and prepared Friday to come home and write a nice happy post. Unfortunately, that has been postponed for a bit while I address more pressing issues, like traumatic life experiences.

After work on Friday Andrew and I had an appointment to check out an apartment. We viewed an incredibly awesome loft apartment (if I can persuade you, maybe you can persuade Andrew) and then walked back to my apartment to make dinner before heading out for our marriage study.

We were pretty hungry so Andrew walked straight into the kitchen while I put my jacket on the coat rack. We were not in my apartment for more than 15 seconds when Andrew shouts and leaps back.

"Oh boy," I thought, "not another one of those creepy-hairy-crawly things again." He had just killed one of those a week ago, but didn't react like that.

As if he's just seen a ghost he turns to me and says, "A mouse just ran across your counter." I think I stopped breathing at this point and was near fainting. De ja vu of last year's mouse fiasco.

I had heard voices in my neighbor's apartment as we walked up the stairs a few minutes earlier so I promptly recruited help. My downstairs neighbor was in the upstairs apartment so they both came to our rescue. They both non-nonchalantly said, "Yea, that mouse ran across both our counters this week too."

Um, What?! That is NOT okay!
1. Mice should not be running around rampant inside our apartments.
2. If mice do happen to romp around inside they should NOT be on the counter! They live in little holes in base boards and wander around the FLOOR! How do they get onto counters?

One neighbor said, "I have traps downstairs. Let's just take care of this." The other neighbor said, "There are humane traps you know. I'm outta here." And just like that, he left.

Andrew and the neighbor spent the next five minutes trying to figure out how to set the traps. Then they put peanut butter on them. "Peanut butter? I thought you were supposed to put cheese out for them," I said (obviously educated by cartoons). While they talked about their strategy for placing the traps that little rodent ran across the counter again. Again!! Ugh. Without getting to eat dinner Andrew and I dashed out to our study hoping for the best.

I could barely concentrate at the study. Between dreaming about future apartment possibilities and panicking about the thoughts of a mouse in my apartment, I was useless. And to top it off we shared mouse stories at the end, including ones about mice chewing off their legs to get out of the trap. Needless to say, we arrived back to my apartment with a plethora of situations to return to. Dead mouse. Mouse feet in the trap. A mouse hobbling around with a trap on it's leg. You name it, I was anticipating it. What I didn't anticipate was what actually happened. We returned 3 hours later and I waited in the car while Andrew went in to remove the dead mouse. Andrew walked upstairs and reappeared a few minutes later. But instead of going to the trash can he walked towards my car and says, "No mouse."

Great. I walked into my apartment, uncomfortable in my own haven. I stood on a chair while Andrew removed items on the counter one by one to look for the mouse. Why does this seem necessary? As foolish as it felt, standing on the chair just made me feel safer.

Saturday Andrew checked the trap. "Um..." he said, while staring in the corner with a flashlight.

"Um, what?!" I shrieked back.

"Um, worst possible scenario. The trap is gone."

"Um, what?! Where is the trap?!"

"Don't know."

I start having visions of a mouse that got snapped in the trap and is hobbling around trying to get through a crack with a big piece of wood following behind. Andrew moves a dresser and sees the trap underneath. He slowly moves the dresser to reveal the trap in its entirety. Entirely empty! The mouse ate all the peanut butter and got away!

"We just fed a mouse!" I yelled. "We just fed him and let him get away!"

Round two. Andrew decides that we'll put less peanut butter on the trap and we'll put it back out. We proceed to spend the rest of the day Saturday around the apartment making phone calls, emailing people, working on wedding details, etc. Mind you, in my studio we were never more than 8 feet from the trap. About 7:30PM Andrew decides to check the trap again. He'd been peaking throughout the day for a mouse near the trap and nothing. In fact, there are two traps. One on the counter behind the microwave where he was hiding last night. He checked both throughout the day.

Trap behind the microwave: Untouched. Trap on the floor 8 feet from Andrew: licked clean. Twice now, we've fed the mouse and let him get away!! Third time is a charm, right? Wrong! Sunday check-up. Clean. Not an trace of peanut butter and he got away. Obviously those traps were useless.

I happened to run into my neighbor in the parking lot and asked if they caught the mouse or if their traps were being licked clean as well. "No, our traps are out and untouched, he assured me. Before I could even walk back up stairs he emerged and said, "Scratch that. We've been robbed." At this point it was not as much of a surprise and almost funny. We'd all been duped by a mouse!

I went out Sunday afternoon and bought new package of traps. A different type of trap. One that assured victory. We set them out and to my disappointed they weren't touched at all Sunday night. It turns out the neighbors downstairs finally caught him on their kitchen counter Sunday evening.

A sad ending compensated only by that fact that the mouse had to have eaten twice his weight in peanut butter those last two days. RIP little guy.


PS The traps are still out in case he had any siblings or offspring. I'm sure you'll hear about it if he did.


This year it's MY fault

It's definitely fall.

It's so crisp out. Morning. Day. Night. I turned the heat on in my car for the first time last night. It smelled like winter. I can't believe fall is here already and winter is just around the corner. In fact, fall has already peaked in some places! Wow.

Oh, and my apartment is freezing. Now I remember why I spend so much of the winter months under my down comforter, with my computer on my lap, and just my little fingers sticking out. It's pretty much impossible to do anything that requires exposing appendages to the frigid air, which eliminates basically everything except watching the tv burrito-style and washing dishes in hot water. And who wants to do that 24-7?

Well, unfortunately, this year, it's my fault that I'm so cold. My landlord converted the building's heat from oil that he paid for to gas that individual tenants pay for. Simple enough, right? Wrong. You've probably learned by now that nothing is simple with me 0:)

Well, since Andrew is now employed there is a little glimmer of hope that the January wedding will bring with it a sparkling, new, spacious apartment instead of cramming in my little studio. The only problem is that I will have to sublet my apartment. Well, as dreamers do, we starting searching around a little on Craigslist and some other cool mapping websites that utilize Craigslist data. I'm such a mapper, aren't I? Even at home I can't quit mapping. As could be expected we found one we liked. Then another. Then another. Unfortunately, they're all available now. Hmmmm...no predicament is too big to overcome! Maybe I'll just move now.

We thought we'd test the waters to see how easy or arduous it would be to sublet my apartment so that we were prepared. Always planning, aren't we? As much as people want to deny it, Providence is basically a college town, so renting at the start of a semester is ideal. But if I could sublet sooner...I'd just move into the new apartment sooner:) Well, we didn't realize the hot ticket we were sitting on. We had over a dozen responses of people interested in subletting the little studio! BUT I don't have anywhere to go and people want to move in ASAP. Talk about unnecessary stress to add to my life.

For now we're showing the studio and making regular appointments to check out other places as well. We haven't found anything perfect yet, but we know we'll probably have to compromise on a few things. For example, one apartment had a great kitchen, dining room, location, and washer and dryer, but not great bedrooms and a tiny, unattractive bathroom. Another had a great bathroom, great kitchen, but no closet space, tiny bedrooms, and a worse location. For now, we're still looking. There is always the option to hold out, save money, and hope for the pieces to fall into place in January. It's quite the juggle trying to get someone into your apartment and get into another one at exactly the same time! Wheew.

Anyway, all that to say, I've yet to set up a gas account in case I don't stay here too much longer. But at the same time, we've only looked at two apartments and neither were ideal. We'll see. In the mean time I'll keep my whining about freezing indoor temperatures to a minimum since it is my own fault. In fact, I'll probably brag this weekend about making my first fire of the season. I might even take a Christmas-card style picture of me sitting in front of it, in an ugly sweater, sipping hot cocoa. But don't get your hopes up.

I'll also keep you updated on the apartment hunt. The goal will be an apartment with decent size rooms (2--one for a guest bedroom. It'll have your name on it:)), an acceptable bathroom, and a better than average kitchen. A washer and dryer would be icing on the cake:D

That's it for now. Take care and stay warm!

Chillin' (literally),