Sunday, May 20, 2012

Anniversary 2012

X and I just got back from a weekend get-away up in Reno for our 3rd anniversary. Since it wasn't a milestone year, we thought we would just do something simple. More of a "back to the basics" kind of thing. And it actually ended up working out perfectly with a work-sponsored event as well. We had a great time, and here are some of the highlights from our trip:

Fortune cookie from P.F. Chang's
We started the first night off right at P.F. Chang's. The fortune cookie for X said that we would enjoy doing something different over the weekend. We weren't sure exactly what it was going to be, but we figured we'd know what it was when we saw it.

Saturday morning we woke up and headed over to the nearby "Trampoline Bounce House" where we thought it would be cool to dive into foam pits and run into the walls. Then we showed up and it was full of rowdy kids for birthday parties and such, so we decided against going in. We were probably a little too old in the first place.

We had lunch at an Indian buffet. Sadly it seems like nothing can compare to our favorite Indian restaurant up in Logan (Tandoori Oven), so we're going to have to make a special trip up to Logan next time we are in Salt Lake. Fortunately my little sister is still in school up there with her husband, so we can see them while we are up there and justify the trip.

After lunch we decided to let the food settle so we headed to the local fun park and did a round of mini golf.

X's Go Kart - "The Snail"

K.C.'s Go Kart - "Slick Trick"
We also did a round of Go Karts on the road and slick tracks. X's Go Kart was SO SLOW and I ended up lapping her twice. But I let her pass me in the end so she didn't feel as bad. The slick track was much better and she managed to stay in front of my pursuit the entire time.

We headed inside a nearby casino where we were surprised to find a "Cat Show" taking place. We laughed and mockingly said that it will be just like a Dog Show. We were right. I had no idea people actually professionally show their cats, but we saw a whole conference center full of them! We enjoyed watching some cat judging and walked through to see all the cats on display. As we were leaving we walked past the entrance where we noticed it said $5 entrance fee that we didn't see on the way in. Oops.

Then we headed to the indoor arcade in the same casino and had fun playing Dance Dance Revolution, Skee Ball, and ended up winning the jackpot on a couple of the ticket reward games. Maybe I should take up gambling since I'm so good at the gambling arcade games! We gave our tickets to a family with some small kids who needed a few extra to get a bigger prize.

After the arcade we went outside and X surprised me by saying she wanted to go on the Sky Coaster. Now this really shocked me because X is really afraid of heights. I knew this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something like this since she normally would not consider doing something like this. I told her that if we were going to do it she would have to pull the rip-cord since I wanted her to be able to say she did that too. She didn't want to agree to that at first, but she finally came around. Here's our video of the adventure:

If you can't see the video visit this link.

We met up with some good friends at Texas Roadhouse for dinner before we all headed over the local Minor League Baseball stadium. It was GE Night at the Aces game, and we had a good time cheering for the home team.

They had a special promotion called the "Gelato Lotto" where if the Aces won the game and had more than 7 runs everyone wins a free scoop of Gelato from the Atlantis Casino. They ended up winning 14-9, so we ran over to the casino and ate our HUGE scoops of gelato while we watched a couple of people lose over $2500 playing black jack. Good times!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Army Crawl

X taught our dog a new trick. It only took her 2 days to get it down!

P.S. We finally named her "Rhys" (Reese). It's Welsh for "Dragon"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Home Improvements

When we moved out to Nevada we knew that there were going to be some upgrades we were going to have to do pretty soon. Our couch was old and uncomfortable. Our kitchen table was small and only had 3 chairs. The fridge was not energy efficient at all. And our TV was small. But X was only at the house for a couple months before she left back for school, and I figured that everything still WORKED, so I could manage using it all still at least until she got back. Fast forward 9 months. X came back and was able to give her input on what kind of new furniture we could get, and now we’re ready to show it off!

This is our new dining room set. We specifically bought a counter-height table so we would be able to get extra chairs to put along the island bar. All eight chairs will fit around the table if we have enough company, and it makes for a perfect game-playing table for the game nights we've hosted at our house :)

This is our new living room furniture. We actually ended up (unknowingly) buying the same sofa & love seat that X's dad had in his old apartment. We were sure surprised when Carolyn walked in our house shortly after we had bought everything and said "These are our couches!". They are definitely MUCH more comfortable than the old blue couch. I would've love to say RIP blue couch and burned it out in the desert, but some guy offered to buy them for $80. Why not, right?

One of the benefits of being a GE employee is the ability to purchase GE appliances at the "employee" rate. The top is a french-door refrigerator, and the bottom is a pull-out freezer drawer. Its way more energy efficient than our old one (we were shocked at the savings on our new electric bill), and we also enjoy finally being able to use a water/ice dispenser.

We finally splurged and got a new TV! We held out for so long since we couldn't afford a new one as students, and we wanted to wait and see if the latest technology would come down in price. We decided to get a 3D TV, but we got one that uses the same kind of glasses as the theaters, instead of the $200/pair kind. Now we don't have to worry about having the neighbors and kids over to watch a movie! This also "forced" us to upgrade to a blu-ray player, and I decided that we would also get a 7.1 Surround Sound Home Theater system too while we were at it. I LOVE these new additions most of all :)

X has also done a lot of decorating in the house too. I'm grateful that she's able to do that, cause it isn't really my thing. She really seems to enjoy it though, so I'm glad she's found a new hobby to keep her happy. She has a real knack for buying cool creative things and pairing them together, and she has also made some neat things from ideas she found on Pinterest. Since it isn't really my thing, I'm not really up to posting about it. So I'm calling X out to post about all your new d├ęcor either here or on your own blog :)

Day by day our house feels cozier as we add new improvements!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Wow. I really waited too long on this one! At first I thought if I delayed writing about our house, people would be incentivized to come out and visit us to see if for themselves! And then we wanted to make all sorts of improvements so we waited and waited, and then 2 years later I decided I just need to get this done so we have some kind of record that we do indeed have a house!

This is Carson Valley - Can you see Lake Tahoe in the background?

So that is the area we live. Some people have told us it is a little bit country. We think it is a lotta bit country! People are VERY laid back out here and I still don’t think we are used to that. We do enjoy all the open space and outdoor activities available out here though. We can’t remember what rush-hour traffic is, and the starry nights are AMAZING. And the best part is that it feels like home for us.

Moving Day!

Have to add felt pads to the bottom of EVERYTHING to keep the hardwood floor looking nice

All the packing paper from the movers – unfortunately there isn’t a recycling program out here, but I like to use this paper as tinder for the wood-burning stove

Here's that fireplace. It keeps us roasty-toasty in the winters, and also helps reduce our gas bill!

The kitchen was remodeled in 2008. We’ve had to re-organize the kitchen twice now to make all our stuff fit and easier to access, but we both love how it looks.

The “Green Room”, as we call it, has become our office/craft room. There is enough room on the floor for a queen-sized blow-up mattress, and we’ve hosted several friends and family here.

The “Blue Room” is our guest bedroom. It also features a Crayola-colored ceiling fan for our guests' enjoyment.

Guest bathroom

The master bedroom is where it is all at! So far we've actually kept it pretty plain. We don't even have a TV! But X is working on new decorating ideas every day.

The master bathroom has slate floors – pretty nice, but FREEZING on January mornings in bare feet! Walk-in closet is in here – a little different – but at least our clothes get steam-cleaned on a daily basis!

The Laundry/Mud room with utility sink. Also acting as extra emergency storage.

We don’t have any A/C, but the house came with a window-mounted swamp cooler. We were a little nervous about this fact when we moved in, but the summers are so mild here that we haven’t had any problems! In fact, most days we just keep the blinds closed and turn on the ceiling fans and that has kept us cool enough!

And that’s it! Sorry it took so long to get this out there! Check back soon for a post on some of the improvements we’ve made since X returned.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our Baby

Towards the end of the year X and I decided that our house was a little too quiet. We decided that it was either time for a baby or a dog. We went with the dog. :)

Introducing: Name to be Determined!

This is our new 3-year-old Welsh Terrier. She’s a hypoallergenic dog (doesn’t shed much, like a poodle), and she is very well behaved… Unless you make her do something that she doesn’t want to do; then she gets a little, shall we say, “bitey”. She also doesn’t get along very well with other dogs, but we’re hoping to nip that problem (and the biting) pretty quickly. We’re still working on some dominance issues, but once we’re over that we feel pretty confident we’ll be able to socialize her just fine.

We actually ended up getting her from a posting we saw on craigslist. It all seemed a little sketchy – one of those “too good to be true” kinds of things, but so far she has been super fun and has filled in that gap that our house was missing. She’s completely house and kennel trained, and has no problem staying inside while we’re both at work during the week. She doesn’t seem to really chew on things, and since she doesn’t really shed she is allowed on the bed and on the couch (although she does get down and sleep in her kennel during the night).

We’re still working on a name (her previous owner called her “Lulu Bear”, or just “Lulu”), but our friends’ dog’s name is “Lula”, and we’d just prefer to change it anyways. Some names we are considering are “Toffee”, “Reese”, and “Pepsi” (LOL all food names). Leave a comment if you like any of those or have another suggestion!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Challenge is Over

Last year I blogged about the Cruise Lifestyle Challenge we were doing with my family and X's mom for a year. The challenge officially ended October 1st, and everyone had a good amount of success with completing their goals.

I ended up losing 55 of the 60 pounds I wanted to lose! Unfortunately I couldn't find a "before" picture (not sure if I even took one), so I figure an "after" picture won't be worth much without something to compare it to. Instead, here's a picture of 5 lbs. of fat, so you can just imagine what it looks like (and feels like) to lose 11 of these :)

I also successfully completed a year without sweets (minus the once-in-a-lifetime desserts I was able to try in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan). I had hoped it would be relatively easy to stay away from sweets after a whole year without them, but unfortunately Halloween proved this to be incorrect. At least I feel like I'm eating a lot LESS than I used to! Here's to keeping it all off - until the cruise at least!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza 2011

NOTE: For the most satisfying viewing pleasure, please read this blog directly from my website (not from Google Reader or another RSS feed). The before/after images won't work otherwise.

This year for Halloween we were in San Francisco for "Nevada Day", so we didn't have a lot of time to carve our pumpkins, but we still had a fun time picking them out at the local pumpkin farm and furiously trying to complete them before our trip. Here are our results! (Reminder: hover over the pictures to see the before/after images)

"Nightmare Before Christmas" Jack Skellington Pumpkin
"Despicable Me" Minion Pumpkin

Unfortunately when we got back from SF on Halloween Eve, our pumpkins were a little wrinkly, but nothing that a quick bleach bath couldn't fix!

While in SF, we went to a 49ers game, which was AWESOME! Check "Professional Football Game" off of my bucket list!

As a side note, if you have ever wanted to find out what it is like to eat a meal as a blind person, try out Opaque - Dining in the Dark. It is a "Blind Dining" experience where you basically get to eat a full 3-course meal in a pitch-black room! It was totally the most unique experience! They have locations in San Francisco, L.A., San Diego, NYC, and Dallas.