Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sneak Attack!

Trying to figure out the camera on my Nexus 7

35 thoughts on 2012

I stole this from a friend of mine, I thought it was a great idea to answer the same questions at the beginning of each year...we'll see how it goes!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
2012 brought quite a few firsts for us: we 
got a dog (ok, technically we got the dog in the last week of 2011, but its still alive!), we bought a house, drove to Cape Cod & Florida...
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I always make resolutions...sometimes even in the middle of the year! I did keep my 2012 resolutions; I write them down and keep them in a drawer. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not exactly, my neighbors had a baby...
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.
5. What countries did you visit?
Oh! We went to Mexico, I almost forgot!  One of my resolutions is to leave North America in 2013.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn't have in 2012?
A serious salary raise. The lack of financial appreciation at my job is marring my happiness there. I would also like to have a larger savings account at the end of the year. I guess it goes hand in hand..
7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
April 25th - We closed on the house; November 10th - I chopped off all my hair and donated it! Thanksgiving 2012 - Our first Thanksgiving without the whole family; Maggie was here! (side note: we took an awesome bike ride too!)
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
This is a hard one! As mentioned before, we purchased a house! As a non-profit worker, this is a huge accomplishment. 
I've also become healthier and gained a TON of muscle mass. I can say that I've made some totally awesome, and I believe, long term friends. Bella is 80% my perfect dog, thanks to one of those friends, and getting better every day. I faced a fear of mine: biking in the city and now bike to work daily.
9. What was your biggest failure?
My biggest desire is to feel accomplished and appreciated at work, unfortunately, I still can't say that.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Short story, no. Long story, I was sick with god-only-knows-what the entire month of September, that was miserable. In October, Bella and I were attacked by a pit bull; neither of us were seriously injured, but it was REALLY scary and required a trip to the ER.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Uhm, aside from the house...
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I don't know and can't name all of the selfless individuals who give themselves to the causes they believe in every day. I'd also like to celebrate everyone who has made significant strides to better themselves. Taking that first step is hard, congratulations. 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Anyone who acts as if they deserve something appalls me. Anyone who preys upon another person's goodness, appalls me.
14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage! and probably beer/food.
15. What did you get really excited about?
Probably all of the same things I always get excited about; seeing friends, fireworks, live music, the theater...OH! I know, I think this was the first summer I had abs! yes multiple! they weren't large and there was only barely 4 of them...but ya gotta start somewhere, right?!
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
 Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me, Maybe"  
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I'm so thankful I have the time hop app so I can answer this question! I am happier, thinner and poorer...haahaa, 2 outta 3 aint bad.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Eating out, blogging, reading, traveling

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Making excuses, accepting excuses from others. Guilt trips.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I spent Christmas 2012 at my dad's house with the whole family. We ate too much, drank too much, went for walks in the snow, saw was great.
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I did not fall, but remained. 

22. What was your favorite TV program?
My guilty pleasure is TMZ by far. I try to watch The Good Wife. I still love CBS Sunday morning. In 2013 I'd like to try to finish watching Grey's Anatomy. 
23. What was the best book you read?
I'm currently reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, I like it a lot. I read The Hunger Games, that was a fun series. I also really liked Firefly Lane.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I just like music...I don't care too much about discovery. But, I would like to add more music into my life in 2013.
25. What did you want and get?

I checked out my 2012 resolutions for this answer. I gained muscle, and great friends, grew my savings account, learned how to ride a bike safely in the city, and maintained the happiness in my relationship. As for Christmas/Chanukah gifts, I got a bike, a tablet (Nexus7), a couple outfits and a bunch of odds and ends for the house.
26. What did you want and not get?
I wanted a major raise (10%), instead I got a title change and a 4% raise. 
27. What was your favorite film of 2012?
I don't watch many movies...Lincoln was good...
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 in 2012! My birthday was on a Tuesday, I don't think we did much. Nicole may have forgotten it. We hosted a big bar crawl the weekend before for Nicole's birthday...
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Wow, there isn't one thing I can think of which would have made my year better..not which I could control at least.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
HA! Fashion concept...uhm anything at Ann Taylor Loft. Is that a concept?
31. What kept you sane?
My dog. The gym. My great friends.
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
One? The presidential race, the whole thing.
33. Who did you miss?
My family! And my LI pals...
34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Its important to recognize that you can change your life at any time. ANY TIME!
35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Uh yeah...I'll never be able to answer this question, in any year, so I'm not going to bother now!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

NYE 2012 at Pumpkin

For whatever reason, disappointingly, I didn't photograph our new years eve.
But we did have a fantastic meal at Pumpkin.

First the oddities:
The place is small, very crowded and loud.
Cash only...but needed a deposit on a credit card.
They couldn't tell us anything about the menu, even the day before!

Now that that's out of the way on to the fantastic evening!

The service was superb, as was the meal.

Servers appeared calm and were clearly well informed; they could speak about the dishes with ease.
Even though we were told before we sat down (late) that we were allotted an hour and a half for our meal, we never felt rushed.

Our meal:
A miso, butternut squash soup
Quail (I will say that with the sour cherry sauce splashed on the plate, it looked as if they killed the poor little thing right there.)
Duck with pork belly
Beef Cheeks
Chocolate cake
Butterscotch pudding

As elementary as my listing of the menu looks, each dish was beautiful in appearance and taste.

We're looking forward to going back again!

Rancho la Puerta de los Caballitos

Found this post from May in my draft folder! The trip was amazing. The Ranch was out of this world...a million different exercise classes each day, fantastic food...I wish I had kept up with the blogging while we were there because now the memory is fuzzy. :(

Our 1st day in Mexico!
Woah its different from the states.
Everything is dusty.
The store fronts are small & most seem run down, but my aunt assures me, inside you find fantastic foods and crafts.
We get our visas, and stop by her home: "Ranchito de Mi Cabllios".
A beautiful wooden gate is slid aside to display a pebbled driveway which leads to a modest home.
This place is really about the horses. Along the drive way is a custom made fence with various apparatus for horses; areas to tie them to, rest their saddles, custom-made gates to walk through to pasture. There's even a specific bathing area for the horses tucked behind a small tack house.
As you pull up to the house you notice the dogs, 4 of them; Gabe, Sam, P and BC, and a cat, momma. They all run & jump & play together. BC & P have to be tied up; BC is a puppy & eats everything & P kills funny, she is one of the oldest members of this pack and can still catch & kill a chicken!
Momma is the leader of this pack & let's everyone know it. She does not play around with the dogs. She suns herself on a patio chair or on the car, but don't be fooled she's watching you & if you get too close or do something she doesn't like, she will definitely let you know!
So we meet all the animals & head inside to find our room & leave our bags.
Inside the house is all tile, keeps it nice & cool, there is large open, living room & kitchen area & off to your left is a hallway which leads back to two bedrooms and a bathroom. There are ceiling fans in each room to help circulate the cool air.
We drop our bags & head out for lunch. We stop at M and feast on Biera (a beef stew), Po (a pork stew with hominey), a beef torta & a taco.
They give you a condiment platter when you sit of chopped raw white onion, hot sauce, cilantro, Spanish oregano, chili flakes, & .
Everything was delicious! The Biera was deep in flavor, but had a very light broth. The sweet flavors of the cinnamon & nutmeg mixed with the meatyness of the beef & mild spicyness of the peppers creates this fantastically complex dance on your tastebuds. The poslito was salty with pork & hearty with hominey.