Monday, February 28, 2011


One of my favorite foods in the entire world is Clam Chowder. I think I could eat it every day. Well, yesterday there was a Chowder Cookoff in downtown Syracuse. It was part of the Annual Winterfest. They also have a Chili Cookoff, a Wing Walk and so many other great things going on. Alex and I headed downtown to try the Chowder.

Five local restaurants competed in the Cookoff. The judges tried the Chowder first, then the people got to take a turn. (For free!)

This was an interesting Corn Chowder from La Taqueira Mexican Grill. Not my favorite, but very tasty. I think I was just more in the mood for Clam Chowder, so maybe that swayed my judgement a bit...

This was a Clam Chowder from Peppino's. It was ok... not my favorite, but they had whole clams in it, so that was a big plus. My favorite chowder was from Syracuse Suds Factory. I ate it up so quickly I didn't get a picture. Unfortunately, we didn't get to try all of the Chowders because the other restaurants ran out... including the place that took Top Honors, Kitty Hoynes. I've had their Clam Chowder before and it really is quite good. Alex and I vowed to visit their restaurant soon. Very soon.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend Update

Meet my new computer. We went shopping yesterday and found this to be a great deal, so we bought it. I spent last evening and this morning setting it up. Sometimes a fresh start is nice, but it sure takes a lot of work! I still have much more to install. All of my fonts are gone, which makes me very sad. I have to re-create all my Photoshop actions. I have to re-set all of my favorite internet bookmarks, I have to find all my software, re-install iTunes, etc, etc. The first thing I did though, was create a recovery CD. Just in case...

Yesterday we also went to dinner with Kelsey. She had the weekend off from her job at Wegmans, so she spent some time with us. She said she's already getting letters from colleges! I can't believe how quickly time passes...

And what would a post be without a winter update? Yeah, we got more snow last night. But it's sunny and beautiful now. We're up past 160" of snow... and in the Top 10 snowiest winters now. I bet we break into the Top 5 before it's over...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Death of a Hard Drive

I have some sad news. My laptop has died. The error code tells us the hard drive is dead. We're debating on whether it would be better to buy a new hard drive or a new computer. What if there are more problems than just the hard drive. I'm thankful that I backed up all of my photos in December, so I didn't end up losing all that much. I've been lost this morning without my computer, and now I'm borrowing Alex's computer to post a blog... Hopefully we will figure out what do to and I'll be posting from my own computer again soon...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Alfred University

This past weekend, Eric had to go to Alfred University (near Buffalo) for a client shoot. It was pretty crappy out, they drove in this all the way there.

They made it safely. (This photo was actually taken the day after their arrival, it cleared up very nicely...)

Dave and Eric were setting up to shoot the outside of the facility.

This is the new performing arts building.

Looks very nice on the inside too!

After a very long day, Eric relaxed with his friend Stella...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Everything and the Bathroom Sink

With the 55 degree day on Friday, it kind of felt a little bit like Spring, so I had the urge to buy flowers for myself. Even though by the time I got the flowers the next day, it was 12 degrees and snowing sideways. Such is life in Syracuse.

I've been experimenting with my cookbooks, and using more recipes. I thought I'd try to make baked beans in the crock pot.

They looked, smelled and tasted great! Still a little work to do as far as the texture goes. Some of the beans weren't cooked as well as others. Next time I'll do it a little differently and I'm confident they'll be perfect.

Another thing I am currently attempting to cook is "Brunswick Stew". I don't know if anyone has ever had Brunswick Stew. My mom used to make this. It's a Southern recipe and apparently used to be cooked with squirrel meat. I opted to use the more modern version of the recipe, with chicken. It has a few more hours of cooking to go, but this is what it looks like so far. It smells amazing! If you're interested in the recipe click here. It's from the Colonial Williamsburg Cookbook. Oh, and I left the okra out... and thought I'd add carrots instead. I cooked everything as directed, (I also boiled the veggies and the potatoes for about 7-8 minutes to soften them more) then put everything in the crock pot to simmer for a few hours.

So we're getting ready to do a small bathroom renovation. For a very small bathroom. I hate how the junk under the sink is always a mess. Sure I could keep it cleaner, but I just don't feel like it. I dry my hair down here every morning so the upstairs bathroom can be freed up for others. So my hairdryer, etc is there. I can't wait to have some real storage.

It's amazing the sink even works anymore. It's pretty corroded! I hope the plumber doesn't have any problems replacing all of this.

This is our new vanity. We are so limited on space in there, it really had to be something simple. We only have 18" to play with. This fit our needs perfectly.

Eric has been away this weekend at Alfred University. He had to shoot an event and a theater for a client. Maybe he'll have some interesting pictures I can share with you all when he returns. He bought a fun new camera last week and I know he was looking forward to using it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Post About Nothing

This weekend was a quiet one. As a matter of fact, I didn't even leave the house today. I always love a weekend where I can stay home for a whole day.

Except for about a 20 minute period yesterday where we had white out conditions, the weekend was fairly mild and clear.

I think I even heard some dripping today, meaning the ice/snow on the roof is starting to melt!

Last night Eric and I had a wonderful dinner at Smokey Bones. It was such a perfect dinner. We thought it would be horribly crowded with a long wait. But it wasn't bad. We got to sit at the bar for a bit and enjoy a beverage, then we got a nice table by the window. It was a fun night!

And of course since it's almost Valentine's Day, I had to make something in the shape of a heart.
Yep, brownies. And yes, they're as delicious as they look!

Jenny didn't do much all weekend either. Here she is sleeping in comfort. Or pretending to sleep anyway. I'm pretty sure she's looking at me out of the corner of her eye.

Eric can always find something fun to do. I don't know why he's wearing headphones though, he got those nice speakers for Christmas!

I caught Alex watching TV. He wasn't amused. Is that a waffle on the tv?? Yum!

And it's only fair that I post a picture of myself. (With Jenny in the background.) Another thing I did this weekend was get highlights in my hair... it was getting a bit dark. And according to that Groundhog, Spring might be coming soon... so I needed a little pep! I hear it's going to be almost 50 degrees on Friday... maybe the Groundhog was right!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This Post Brought to you by the Letter "L"

We've all had a lot of snow this winter. Nobody has been left out. Even Oklahoma and Texas got a lot of snow! I feel fortunate that I live where I do because we have the country's best DPW crew. These photos were taken when Eric drove us to work the other morning. I thought I'd take some photos along the way... this was the "main" road in our neighborhood. Isn't it peaceful?

I love a fresh snowfall when the snow is still on the tree limbs.

Gold's Gym is almost buried.

Not even a snowbank 10' high will keep locals away from their hot dogs...

LeMoyne Manor is looking pretty. Look at those icicles!

And in other news, Alex received his Varsity Letter today! And a patch for the CNYCL League Championships. Spring Track starts in a few weeks... hopefully the brand-new track will be clear of snow by then...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Zoo in the Winter

Today we went to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo! They have half-price "Snow Leopard Days" during the months of January & February, so it's a great time to visit. Other than the fact that it's cold and snowy... (And yes, I'm well aware of the fact that Alex is wearing shorts...)

You can't really sit outside and have a picnic lunch. But there's a lot to see inside too.

One of Laura's favorite animals was the sea otter. He put on a show for them.

Another favorite was the lion. He really didn't notice us much though.

Alex was quite the tour guide. With all his years attending "Zoo Camp", he pretty much knew the place inside and out. This was in the toasty warm bird sanctuary. That was my favorite place.

The kids all loved the penguins.
I think the penguins liked Laura too.

Kelly also made a penguin friend.

We also saw a giant Tiger! He was examining the perimeter...

The elephant looked cold, and much to Kelly's dismay, didn't stay outside very long.

Alex was kind enough to give Kelly a piggy-back ride. Her little legs got tired easily.

This says it all... Kelly's favorite thing at the zoo? A John Deere Gator. You can take the kids out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the kids!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Camp Hayden

We're having some special visitors stay with us this weekend. They even brought donuts!

It's Laura and Kelly! Paula & Gary went to their snowmobile camp this weekend for an "adult" weekend, so we're watching the kids.

We immediately put them to work sorting all our change.

And Kelly held Jenny's bone full of peanut butter for her.

Then we went grocery shopping at Aldi. The girls were SO excited about getting to put the quarter in the grocery cart...

Kelly had it mastered, one handed even. While holding her candy in the other hand...

After all that work, they made their own lunch! They had little pizzas.

Then we finally got to relax and watch a movie. (Thank goodness for Netflix!)

Laura got comfy on the bean bag chair...

The afternoon Matinee was a fun Scooby Doo movie. After the movie, we're heading out to the bookstore. And then making cookies. I think we'll all be exhausted tonight!