oktoberfest in september

Monday, September 23, 2013

Has anyone else updated their iPhone to the iOS7 system? (Nerd alert!) It's rare I really even notice when my phone upgrades, but I feel like I just got a new phone - so fancy. Anyway, 99.9% of the pictures I use on this blog are from my iPhone and I just went to my photos for the first time to pick some riveting content for this post and the photos are now categorized in a super cool/confusing way.

Moving right along...

Mom is home from the hospital after her knee replacement surgery and is doing so well. While in the hospital, I happened to be in the room when a nurse came in to change her bandages so I got to see her battle wounds. (WARNING: This photo is pretty gross.)

My dad was such a gem and bought her beautiful flowers... but guess which ones are from him? Hint: not the huge ones. One of his random work customers sent those to my mom - holy gorgeousness.

Anyway, she's now home from Piedmont Hospital (they treated her so well!) and shuffling around the house like a pro with her fancy new walker. Rico even gets to take a spin thanks to her tricked out accessories.

Last week, I saw on Twitter that Der Biergarten was hosting an Oktoberfest kickoff on Saturday (which was still September, but whatever). We rallied the troops and all headed down there on Saturday afternoon to partake in German techno line dancing, cheering while standing on tables, playing Jenga and Apples to Apples, eating yummy food, drinking lots of beer (not so much for me, not a big beer gal) and having an amazing time. We ended up staying for over 4 hours!

On Sunday, I attended my first baby shower for a friend. One of the Dirty Dozen member's wife (say that 10 times fast) is pregnant with their first kid and I went to go help celebrate the impending arrival of their baby boy. It was so weird that I was at a baby shower, but even more weird that it's not that weird. (I have a feeling that only makes sense in my head.) I just feel like we're all still babies and I should be attending a Teen Mom baby shower. Regardless, Alicia looked gorgeous and (obviously) can't wait for little Carter to get here!

Since I don't have any more pictures, I'll end this post with some advice. If anyone is looking for a good baby shower gift (because we all know I'm not a baby pro), I heard a Target gift card is the way to go. They'll get plenty of clothes, and I'm not buying them a stroller - so how about some extra money for a diaper run... or a wine run. Alicia and Robbie agreed!

holler at you later, summer

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We (kind of) said bye to summer last weekend with some cooler weather. We also said goodbye to Adam's ratchet toenail (didn't see that one coming, did ya?). Yeah, the one we went to Urgent Care for back in JANUARY? It came back with a very infectious vengance and we had to go to the podiatrist to get it taken care of. Because I love all sorts of gross, medical stuff - I had to accompany him in case something happened to watch for my own amusement. I went with my little brother to get something similar fixed on his foot years ago and it was the sickest, most awesome thing I've ever witnessed - but Mitchell was also in tons of pain post-treatment and literally sat around and screamed for days. (Drama queen, much?)

Both the nurse and doctor were female and gave Adam lots of hell for waiting until it was that infected to come in and get it taken care of. The treatment was much less bloody and gory than Mitchell's (to my disappointment), but Adam has been in zero pain since it happened. So I guess she did an awesome job! We both loved the doctor and wish she wasn't a foot specialist so we could see her normally. Highly recommend Allied Ankle and Foot Care, specifically Dr. Ross.

Bravest little kid in the office.

This past weekend, Adam's family participated in the MS150 while we hung back and watched the dogs. Last year, Adam and I volunteered at the race, but decided to sit out this year. And what a weekend we chose! It was perfect weather to take advantage of the Baker's amazing screened in porch!

Adam and I kicked the weekend off by having lunch together on Friday. (Look at what adults we are! Having lunch together on a work day.) As if the great lunch wasn't enough, we also grilled out to celebrate Adam being named Top 10 in the region for the month of August! Top 10 out of 146 people is not too shabby, especially since August was his first full month working at Enterprise. I am so proud of him.

College football started (in case anyone missed the 10,000 reminders on Facebook), so we spent Saturday lounging on the porch with the TV.

Aimee and Alysa joined us later in the afternoon and distracted me from actually watching football. Thanks, team.

Today was my mom's long-awaited knee cap replacement surgery! She's been waiting/planning this for a long time and we were all excited she finally went through with it.

Here she is with her new bionic legs! Ok, not really - but I did clearly miss my calling as a PowerPoint photoshopper.

The surgery took about two hours, and then we had to wait an additional two hours for her to "recover". When the doctor came out to tell us everything went great we updated the fam. Here's my favorite reaction...

Dad: "Hey mom, Karen's out of surgery. Doctor said everything went great, but we can't see her for another couple of hours."
Mamabear: "Well, I'm sure the doctor would have told you if she died."
Good point, mabear.

Dad and I left her to sleep about an hour ago. So far no pain, but she's still numb. They already have one of her legs hooked up to a machine that's bending it - and then they'll probably get her up to start walking tonight. Crazy!

And of course, I've kept up my Dine Out-palooza (even my dad participated!).

Dine Out

Monday, September 9, 2013

September is Hunger Action Month, which mean our whole organization goes ga ga for orange. Our official Go Orange day was on Sunday, and along with many other orange initiatives, many television networks changed their logo to orange for the day (including one of my faves - Bravo). Dine Out for No Kid Hungry is also during the month of September. This is where thousands of restaurants across the country run promotions where a portion of the money goes back to No Kid Hungry. To kick start our weekend, Allison and I ran to a couple participating restaurants to thank them for their participating.

Ted's Montana Grill is one of our biggest Dine Out supporters, and their R&D chef, Chris Raucci, is so awesome! He's always down to help out Share Our Strength in any way possible. 

On Friday night, Adam and I decided to use one of our gift cards and have date night! We love a good date night, and having a gift card to splurge at BLT Steak sounded like a great idea to us. They're also a Dine Out restaurant, so win-win-win. The food was amazing and I could definitely eat there once a week if I had the means. The sides were some of the best I've had... we split grilled asparagus (always a must for me), macaroni and cheese with bacon and truffle oil (hello, heaven) and parmesan gnocchi (carb-o-rama). YUM.

Since we were already Downtown, we decided to stop by Cafe Intermezzo for a drink to top off the night. We haven't been since they moved locations, and since it was so nice outside we were able to people watch from a table on the patio.

Check out this handsome date! (I've resorted to sneak attack pictures, since he hates posing for them.)

On Saturday, we lounged for a bit pretty much all day until I insisted we get up and do something. Adam made me a badass headboard for our guest room, but in true Baker fashion we hadn't got around to staining it. So, that was Saturday's project!

We painted the headboard a color called Reflection, which is what we thought we used in the guest bathroom until I made Adam do a quick touch up in the guest bathroom and it dried a completely different color. (Whoops. Wonder how long it will take for us to fix that?)

Then we sanded it and wiped it down with black tea (hey, not our idea but I guess it works?). And this morning, I "painted" on a mixture of steel wool and vinegar. We're still not done, but here's a progress picture.

Saturday night we had grown up plans - and by grown up plans I mean we made plans two weeks in advance. Crazy, huh? Anyway, we went out to dinner with Dominica, Erik and Dominica's parents - fun little triple date! They told us stories of this place Moderna that was a delicious mexican restaurant that turns into a Miami Vice club after 10pm. Oh, were they right! Food was good and the people watching got real good (especially when we realized our waitress was actually a transvestite). Sadly, I got no pictures of the night, but it was so fun!

On Sunday, Adam finally took me to the gun range. We've been talking about going for a long time, and I finally decided we had to do it. We have two guns in the house and I think it's probably smart if I know how to use them, if the situation arises. I was fine until we had to put on the "ears and eyes" (read: big earmuff things and protective glasses) and walked into the actual shooting range. It was so loud and the tension is really high in there, and I think I also felt pretty claustrophobic with the "eyes and ears" on. Adam later said he could tell I got really freaked out and was so proud of me for sticking it out. (In reality, I'm way too stubborn to let myself back out of something just because I'm scared.)

A helpful young man came over and showed me how to hold the gun properly...for a girl. (By the way, he looked super familiar, but I didn't feel like trying to do the six degrees of separation with earmuffs on and shots firing in the background.) The first gun I shot was a 22 and it was my jam. I felt totally comfortable with it, even though I don't even think I got a bullet on the target for the first couple rounds. Then, Adam brought out his 9mm (yeah, like the rap songs). This is the gun that is in our house that I would actually have to use if someone came into the house. After shooting it the first time, I just about lost it. It was a lot more powerful than my good ole 22! I kept having to take deep breaths and I was sweating... and then Adam would come up behind me and say "calm down, you're shaking." I finally talked myself into it and got a couple shots in before I handed that bad boy over to Adam.

Either way, Adam took a picture of me and I look like a badass, even if I definitely wasn't one.

After all that, I really needed a drink. Instead, we went over to Erik's to watch the Falcons lose. Then we came home and decided to have that necessary drink and watch Orange is the New Black. (Does anyone else watch that show? Adam and I love it!)

Today, Allison and I went to Quality Wine & Spirits Annual Trade Show. It's basically the one time a year the distributor showcases all of their suppliers (wine and booze, holla!). Since they're one of our sponsors, we were able to attend. We weren't quite sure who we would run into, but the moment we walked in I saw Randall from my stomping ground - Marietta Wine Market.

We thought it would be hard spotting chefs without their "gear" on, but we had no trouble finding Ryan Smith. He used to be the chef at Empire State South, but just resigned to open Staplehouse in early 2014. The story behind Staplehouse is pretty amazing, and I recommend everyone go check it out... Team Hidi.

Ok, I'm sick of typing and Orange is the New Black is on. Peace out!

the end of summer

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Since work slowed down, last week was time for me to kick start my social life (ha!). But really, I was able to participate in PPSC last Tuesday for the first time in a couple months and it was so fun to hang out with some of my favorite ladies! This month, Jillian hosted us at Madewell, where she works, and we had a fun little dress up party. 

A new company, Peach Dish, is launching and sent me one of their packages last week to try out. The package was mailed directly to my house, and included a recipe for a dinner for two along with all of the ingredients. No menu planning on my end? My kind of cooking!

Mediterranean chicken, bread and asparagus - it was all very yummy!

Kelly, Vann and I had been trying to plan a rendezvous for quite some time, and decided there was no better way to kick off Labor Day weekend than to be together! To make matters 10x better, it was DRAGONCON in Atlanta last weekend. None of us had ever been to this nerd fest, but my boss wrote this blog and insisted we go down there and people watch. Oh my gosh - talk about a new tradition! 

My boos! Harry and Lloyd

The Dude!

Sharknado - one of the most creative costumes we saw.

After people watching/drinking rum buckets at the Hyatt for awhile, we headed over to Trader Vic's for Mai Tais and then settled in at Metro Cafe Diner. I don't spend much any time in Downtown Atlanta, so I honestly felt like I was in a completely new city. The Diner also doubles as a karaoke bar... Ever seen Belle from Beauty in the Beast do Gangnam Style? I did! DragonCon karaoke is so much better than regular karaoke.

After that amazing night, I didn't think Labor Day Weekend could get much better. Well, of course we had some other fun plans for the last weekend of summer. I redeemed a gift card at Renew Day Spa for a facial on Saturday morning... and that is about all I did on Saturday. Party time!

However, Sunday was a different story. A group of us decided to go to the Braves vs. Marlins game - despite the reports for lots of rain. When we pulled up to the tailgate, it was pouring rain. After a drink or two in the car, it slowed to a drizzle and we all braved the "storm" to enjoy the fresh air. 

Adam was being a sourpuss about pictures (shocker!), and would only smile when I wasn't looking. Isn't he funny?

Sunday also marked September 1 - the beginning of Hunger Action Month! I celebrated by using my handy dandy No Kid Hungry thermos.

While tailgating, we decided we were all going to cookout together on Monday. Of course, the only people who actually showed up were Madi, Evan and my parents. Nice little triple date! Haha. The only picture I took during our little cookout was of the AMAZING S'mores Bars I made. Holy cow, they were yummy and super easy to make.

And that is how we wrapped up our Labor Day Weekend! Another busy one in the books, but enjoyed every minute.