Thursday, November 6, 2008

just what the doctor ordered

tonight i ran myself a nice hot bath, poored a glass of cabernet sauvignon, and settled in with a good book. what more could you ask for?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We finally adopted a kitty last week. She has been hanging around the neighborhood for several months now, ever since her previous owners moved and left her behind. She is just the sweetest cat, and it didn't take long for us to fall in love with her and want to take her in. We took her to the vet to get her checked out and get shots and everything, and it looks like her previous owners had her declawed, but not fixed, and then left her. how awful!

this is seriously the friendliest car I have ever met. when she was living outside, she would run up and greet us at our cars whenever we pulled in the driveway. she follows us around everywhere and comes when we call her.

This is our first cat, and she's going to live at Darren's house for the time being, since that's where i'll be moving after the wedding. Here are a few pictures!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Little Leah

As part of a project I'm working on for the wedding, I've been collecting old pictures of me from throughout my childhood. Man I was a cute kid! haha! Here are some favorites.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

3 months later!

It's been 3 months since I last wrote here and so much has changed. first and foremost - I'm engaged! Darren proposed on March 22 and we are both so excited. yay :) we're planning a wedding for January 17 next year. it's so much to do but hopefully we won't get too stressed.
We went on our vacation to yellowstone last month and it was pretty great. i have about a million pictures to sort through. now i'm in California for work - for a launch. it's kinda neat to be out here, but I will say that it is far more work than vacation.

Friday, March 14, 2008

just another day at work

The picture's not the best, but this was my view Tuesday morning. And when I say morning, I mean early morning! My alarm was set for midnight, in order to be at work by about 1:30am, to see the launch at 2:30am. Not something I could do very often, but it was totally worth it. We were about 3.5 miles away, they don't really let you get any closer than that. It lights up the entire sky like it's the middle of the day, and the sound is just amazing. my pant legs were definitely vibrating. After it was over I decided to just stay at work, so I put in my 8 hours between 3 am and 11 am haha. It was crazy, and I was pretty delirious by the end of the day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Linguine with Bacon and Onions

A confession. I happen to be a *gasp* big Rachel Ray fan, even if at times she does seem overly... uhhh... "peppy". Well lately I've been secretly coveting a subscription to her magazine. But, being the thrify girl I am, I couldn't justify it to myself. So a few weekends ago I was garage saling in a rather well to do neighborhood and I was able to pick up a big stack of old issues for a dollar. Yay! I've put them all away in a cabinet, and I figure I'll pull out one each month and it'll be like having a subscription. It's not like it's a current events magazine, so it shouldn't matter if they're old or not. So here for your enjoyment is my first attempt at a recipe from my newly acquired "subscription".

Linguine with Bacon and Onions
1 pound linguine pasta
3/4 pound bacon, chopped
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 large egg yolks
parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

In boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water. At the same time, in a large deep skillet, cook the bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon, and discard all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat. Then add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium high heat, stirring, until softened. (I have to say, the smell of onions cooking in bacon grease is absolutely divine.)

Add the pasta cooking water and bring to a boil. Stir in the linguine and remove from heat. Stir in the egg yolks, one at a time.

Add the bacon, season with pepper and sprinkle with parmesan. Yum-o! I thought it was really good. Maybe a little too much onion, but Darren said he thought it was perfect and wouldn't do it with any less. I fed three people with it last night, and still have a couple portions left over for lunches this week.

Friday, February 29, 2008


It looks like I'm going to Yellowstone this spring! It's been kind of a quick decision, but today plane tickets were bought by myself and 5 friends to take a 12 day trip out west. We plan to hit up Grand Tetons National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and maybe if we're feeling adventurous (and the roads are open) Glacier National Park. Pretty exciting stuff.

Monday, February 25, 2008

3.3 miles

That's how far I ran on Saturday! Wow. Back in December I could only make it about half a mile. I've been kind of "training" to be able to run in a 5k. There's not really one anytime soon that I plan on doing, but there is one in November I'm looking forward to. This weekend was the first time I made it that far. (I actually went further, a 5k is only 3.1 miles. But I didn't know exactly where 3.1 miles was, so I went a little further just to make sure.) I'm fairly impressed with myself that I was able to get there in only about 2 months. *patting myself on the back*

It wasn't easy though. In fact, it was rather painful haha. I don't think my body was quite ready for it since my longest before then was only about two and a quarter. but still, i did it, and no one can take that away from me :)

one thing that i think seriously helped me was getting some good running shoes. it was painful paying so much for them, but they've made such a difference. I wouldn't quite call it "running on clouds" like i've heard from others, but it definitely took away a lot of the pain i was experiencing before.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Last Friday my friend James sent the following email:

North or South. It's a long weekend. We should do something about it. This means impromptu trip with minimal planning! Who's in?

1. Keys/Everglades
We leave tomorrow morning to spend the weekend in the Keys, stop by the Everglades, camp on a beach somewhere, maybe rent kayaks and paddle around the keys, drive all the way to Key West.

2. North to SNOW
Just start driving North in shifts. Leave as early as tonight and see how far we get. Find cheap campsites on the way. Eat at Waffle House at 3:00 AM. New York City? Bring your passports for Canadian excursion? Worst case scenario we end up in the Appalachians or DC or South Carolina.

We'll take my car. Don't pansy out. It'll be one of those trips we talk about years from now. Let's do something irrational, because there's no homework or practice, and we have the means to do it!

Wellllll.......... we decided to go North :) But me being the party pooper I am insisted that I was not going to just get in the car and drive for 18 hours to see snow. So we decided to go to Charleston for the weekend. It seemed like a nice place, plus it's about 6 hours away so that's a decent drive for a 3 day weekend. And it is a really nice city - the downtown area was beautiful to walk around. While we were there we toured Fort Sumter (where the Civil Way began) and the Charleston Tea Plantation (apparently the only place in the US where tea is grown). We also had a fantastic seafood dinner on a rooftop patio downtown. I guess the only question now is, where should we go next time??

Also, while we were there we got the chance to see some good friends of mine from high school and college who are living in the area. That was really great. I haven't seen them since they got married 2 years ago. Nikki was hugely pregnant, as you can see in the picture. She ended up having the baby just 2 days after this picture was taken! Too bad we missed the little guy...

(I look really short in this picture don't I??)

Friday, February 15, 2008

happy valentine's

darren took me out to dinner last night at this little european market place. they were doing a french themed evening - food, music, etc. it was in interesting mix of casual and fancy. there were 5 courses, but the main course (dinner) was a fancy sandwich. anyways, it was actually really yummy and i thought it was sweet of him to find this french themed evening for us. he's such a cutie :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

taxes done

i sat down and worked out my taxes yesterday. kind of a pain - but so good to have it done! and it's only the beginning of february. go me! i'm getting about $3500 back. it's high mainly because this is the first year i could actually itemize deductions and count my mortgage interest.

so what should i do with the money.....?? hmmm... i mean i guess it could just go into savings, i could forget i ever got it. or i could use it to finish funding my ROTH from last year, i guess that would be pretty responsible too. there's a couple of big purchases i'd like to make too, like a new washing machine, but... oh... i dont know. i'm torn between the desire to use it like found fun money and the desire to be responsible and do something "smart" with it. (sadly, there's no "put it towards the next vacation" option because there are really no trips on the radar anytime soon. darren and i had talked about going to yosemite in april, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.)

one other thing about taxes - i had to report my "free" tv as income from last year. it was valued at $1650, so it effectively increased my tax bill by $412 (or rather, reduced my refund by that amount.) so i guess it wasn't so free after all. but it's still a sweet tv. and even at 412 bucks, that's still tough to beat.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weekend Getaway

I'm going up to Maryland to visit my friend Laura this weekend. In fact, my flight leaves in approximately 3 hours. :) apparently it's 32 degrees and snowing there today. yikes! i guess that's not really that bad, but to this florida girl it sounds scary! i'm taking like 4 jackets and i plan on wearing them all at the same time haha. hopefully when i get back i'll have some fun pictures to post.

Friday, January 11, 2008

blue screen of death

so my computer decided to crap out today. it was freezing up and taking forever to do things, so i thought i'd restart it and maybe that would help, ya know, it seemed like a good idea at the time. well in the process of restarting it suddenly went to a blue page that said FATAL SYSTEM ERROR. THIS SYSTEM IS SHUT DOWN. Whoops. It was pretty intimidating. I had two IT people in my cube looking at it, shaking their heads and saying this is bad. so eventually they decided that the computer needed to be decrypted before they could try to fix it, and apparently this is a process that takes a looooong time. It's been going for about 5 hours now and it's only 52% done. Guess that one won't be fixed til Monday.

In the mean time, they've given me a loner computer, which is great, but there's not much I can do on it. I don't have any of my files or the programs I've been using. So basically I've been catching up on email, and ... well, there's not a whole lot I can do. what a friday...

so i've been thinking some more about what i want to do with this blog. one thing i think i'd like to add is more posts about foods, recipes, etc. I really enjoy some of the food blogs i've seen, so i think it'd be neat to do some of that here. Now I just need to remember to take pictures when I make something interesting. :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

The One Where Leah Gets a Cold

So do you remember the Friends episode where Phoebe gets a cold? It turns her into a really great singer, then she gets over the cold and tries to catch it again so she sing so well again. well that is totally me right now (well, kinda haha). i think i am getting a cold. i think. i'm not totally sure. but i'm getting all stuffed up and i can sing great. in my opinion at least :)

See first James was sick, then he gave it to Darren, and I think I'm next in line. Both of them have gotten pretty sick, to the point of having to take off of work. i really hope i dont get that bad. :-/ but i am pretty stuffy, and i've been coughing, my throat is a little sore... yeah... it's not looking good. but i sure can sing :)

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