fall preview

You would never guess it at 2 on Sunday afternoon but the mornings and evenings in Colorado have definitely turned cooler with a reminder that summer is almost gone and fall is upon us. I’m not sure if it’s the cooler weather or if I’m finally crawling my way out of the small apartment cooking doldrums but this household is finally eating meals that require more effort than spreading peanut butter on bread or throwing a frozen pizza into the oven. In the spirit of all things fall-like, these next 5 recipes are on my September menu must-haves.  I hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend, the start of football season, and the waning summer days!

1) Beer and Bacon Mac and Cheese

Seriously, all good things are topped with cheese.

  0.jpg     2) Crock Pot Pulled Chicken

I’m generally a big fan of pulled pork sandwiches to signify the opening of football season. Sub chicken for pork- an equally delicious way to celebrate my beloved Minnesota Vikes making their debut appearance next weekend!

bbq-chicken-9018.jpg   3) Chicken Tamale Pie

I’m a not-so-secret lover of tamales of all shapes and sizes.  If my husband liked them at all I would be at every roadside tamale stand this side of the Mississippi finding the best vendor.  This seems to be an easy disguise to still enjoy the same great flavor.

chickentamalepie1.jpg   4) Roasted Potatoes with Sausage, Apple, and Maple Mustard Glaze

Does this title scream fall to anyone else?  I actually cheated and already made this recipe (with a few substitutions of course) and it was amazing.  And fall-y. And easy!

maple_mustard_potato_bake_large.jpg   5)  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My mom and I took a cooking class together a couple of years ago and made the best chocolate chip pumpkin bars.  To me, the flavor of pumpkin and dark chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Can’t wait to try the cookie version!

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the current state of things

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our current state of life in 5 pictures…

 

 

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The washer machine chose to make this weekend the weekend where a sock would get stuck in the hose causing the whole thing pause right before the spin and drain cycle.

This equals a load (or two if you’re slow to catch on) sopping wet and unable to be dried any time this century.

And then, after my husband fixed the whole thing and I had the simple task of handing back screws, I might have dropped one and it can’t be found… anywhere.  I might have.

I’m so helpful.

P.S. When you live in an apartment the size of shoe box and your washer breaks, everything stored on top of and around washer must be removed.  Which makes the rest of the apartment an utter disaster.  Plus, how does a sock get through the washer drum into the hose in the first place?

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To further entice everyone to come visit us out in sunny Colorado, let me brag to you about our real tomatoes that we sell at our local Farmer’s Market.

 

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My mom made the our day a little bit brighter by scoring a fabulous deal on some sweet shoes for me and my sisters.  Unfortunately my sister-in-law was working this day but imagine 3 fabulous pairs together.

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Jenny and I planned on running a 10k at the end of summer together but since we neither trained or had the will power we ‘ran’ a 5k together instead.  Let me clarify, the 5k was to benefit me only. She totally would have dominated the 10k.  To make it better, I made my sister shuffle… with purpose… for the entire thing.

But we matched.. so that was cute. :)

surprise! we’re in Nebraska!

Cale’s dad turned 60 this year, so Cale’s siblings surprised him with a 60th birthday party.  They were able to gather all of ‘the kids’together on 1 weekend which was no small feat and took a 8 month advance warning.

Not only that but they were also able to gather all of my father in-law’s siblings and some of his close friends for an afternoon party at the park as well.  Cale and I claim absolutely no responsibility in pulling off any of the surprises and were able to go and enjoy all of the hard work that went into planning the entire weekend.

We were also able to see our nieces and nephews, some of which we had never met (!) and the rest we hadn’t seen in a year and half.

Terrible tragedy actually.

We came back home absolutely exhausted after countless games of freeze tag and playing princess.

Except I was never a princess.

I always had to be Sven.

The moose.

 

I played moose all weekend.

 

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rocky mountain weekend

My sister in-law’s family is part owners of a cabin in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.  There are about 10,000 reasons why I love the cabin but one of the best parts is that it is completely removed from the tourist area/ ski resort towns.

Don’t get me wrong, the tourist areas/ski towns probably make it into the top 3 of my most favorite places to go but you’re not exactly getting away from everything.

Back to the original story though, she (and my brother, I guess) gifted my dad a week of their allotted time as his Father’s Day present.  My dad nicely picked a weekend that we could all go.

We being all inclusive of everyone but my little brother.  We missed you, Corey!

Cale, Jason (my brother), our trusty dog-phew Henry, and I busted out of town after work on Friday and made it up in time to see the sun set over the mountains.

We had fabulous afternoon thunderstorms which the whole family used as nap time.  The amount of snacks that were brought for 7 people was unbelievable.  I seriously had to have gained 5 pounds because every time I moved from one chair to another I grabbed more food.

The guys + Katie tested their fishing skills and Katie stood up well for the girls by being the only person to catch a fish.

Oh, and I was also sore.  I tried racing the dog up a solitary hill and not only did I loose miserably, my thighs were sore for days.

Getting old. Darn it.

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Why am I the only who looks like taking a selfie is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done… ever?

 

it’s always sunny in santorini

Our last leg of our European adventure was Santorini (a small island of the coast of Greece).  I’ve wanted to visit Santorini for a long time but knew for sure I had to go after watching Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

 

True story.

 

So in true Cale and Megan fashion we decided to go for it without giving it much of a second thought.  After purchasing the tickets (and second thinking things) we realized lounging on the beach for 4 days would probably be what we were craving after scrambling around to catch all of the sights in Rome and Athens.

We stayed at a hotel right on Perissa beach, which is the black sand beach of Santorini (compared to the red or white sand beaches that exist elsewhere).  The most famous city, Oia, is where the iconic blue domed buildings are usually photographed although they also exist in other cities across the island.

This was also the only stop where we booked an activity before we left the states.  On the last day we took a catamaran tour around the island.  So much fun!  Although it was the most expensive part of the entire trip we would take the exact same catamaran tour again if we ever go back.

 

The weather was warm but not hot and the water was cold.  The surf on days 1-3 was quite high but it made for a beautiful couple of days of walking around and laying on the beach.  Of our entire trip to Europe this would be one stop that we would go back to just to relax.

And eat Greek food.

 

I’m telling you people, we couldn’t get enough.

 

That, in short, wraps up our dream vacation to Europe.  I told Cale I feel old now since that has been my dream vacation since… I don’t even know when, and now it’s over.  And I’m old.

 

Time to start dreaming our our next grand adventure….

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it’s all greek to me!

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 The second part of our European vacation was Athens.

We left Rome around 9 o’clock in the morning, had a layover in Serbia (!), and arrived in Athens around 4.  While we were brave enough to navigate the public transportation in Rome, Athens didn’t appear to be quite as straight forward.  Combined with some (unnecessary) concerns about safety and the fact that it was equal in price, we booked our transportation directly through our hotel.  Oh, and have a mentioned the fact that Greek is definitely not English?  And knowing what the Greek symbols are in math actually don’t help you out at all when trying to figure out signage or language.

I knew that subject was worthless.

Joking but not joking.  Calculators people

Oh, and sorry about that one long sentence up there.  Whew.

I have one thing to say about Athens.

Food.

Okay two.

Food. Acropolis.

yum, wow, yum, wow, yum, wow, yum, wow.

That is all you need to know about Athens. While we planned our trip to have 3 days per location, based on travel and flight times it ended up to be more like 3 days in Rome, 2 days in Athens, and 4 days in Santorini.  And that was almost perfect.

Athens as a city is not too spectacular.  Sorry, had to say it.  It’s modern-ish, clean-ish… you get the point.

But the food.  When we talk about the food we ate on the trip we talk about Athens.  Maybe not the most gorgeous to look at but amazing.

And then the Acropolis.  No words.  Really.

If you’ve never wanted to go to Athens I wouldn’t recommend it as a must see.  But if you’ve ever had any desire to see the Acropolis in person.  Go.  Totally worth it.  No regrets.

Since I can’t really describe the food, and anything we were to say about the Acropolis wouldn’t do it justice.. the pictures are below.  Not that the pictures really do it justice either but… better than words.  :)

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[unexpected] apartment life

In case you were wondering how apartment living was going….

3 months in to living in an apartment and more than ready to sign a contract on a house.

Let us first get to the unexpected benefits of apartment life…

Sinks drain slowly.  Don’t care.

Dishwasher has a wicked tilt from being installed incorrectly.  Don’t care.

Apartment is set at whatever temperature we want because heating and cooling bills are next to nothing. Don’t care.

Bathroom may not get cleaned that often. Don’t care.

No decoration.. anywhere really.. in the entire apartment. Don’t care.

Starbucks within walking distance.  Care. And it’s awesome! 

We really expected just to hop right back into apartment life without really having any growing.. I should say shrinking pains… which for the most part is true.  But let me tell you..

After getting used to a full sized kitchen and 3 bathrooms.  Whew.

I would say 80% of the time when once person is using the restroom the other person is outside of the door ready to use it as soon as the bathroom is open.  I honestly don’t remember this.  But when you had 2 open bathrooms at any time in the house you don’t ever have to worry about it.

Also, let’s talk about the kitchen for 2 clicks.

I have a total of 2 feet of counter space. TOTAL.  Not even exaggerating.  We are now used to hardly ever eating out and making almost everything at home.  I’m a pretty patient person but 2 feet of counter space when trying to have a cutting board for raw meat and separate cutting board for vegetables is next to impossible (don’t worry, I don’t use the same one- it just equals a ton of dishes).  Also, we seem to have a slight problem with bugs.  Spiders in particular.  Uggh!

Combine seeing spiders while trying to cook a dinner that includes meat and vegetables after a long day of work might result in a melt down.  Might.  Don’t ask Cale.

And not that we ever really watched a ton of T.V. but I’m really starting to miss the evening news and weather.

And the Bachelorette.

Honesty is the best policy my friends.

We are frantically house shopping house shopping with purpose.  Our plan is to build (we think) and be out of our apartment by next spring.

We decided this apartment is cultivating good habits of doing dishes and cleaning up immediately after dinner and we’re getting more together time than we ever thought possible.  Hey, when there’s only one room of your apartment you only have one choice!

 

rome wasn’t built in 3 days

But we only had 3 days to visit it!

 

For our 5th anniversary we decided to take a trip to Europe.  We had never been before and there were 3 specific places that I really wanted to see… Rome, Athens, and Santorini. We combined them into our dream vacation and had an amazing time.

Rome was the first stop on our journey.  I magically managed to get a nasty case of strep throat and a horrible cold the week before we left.  Which of course meant that Cale had the worst cold of his life for the first 3 days of vacation.  Day one happened to be a travel day which was great, but the cold medicine was in the checked baggage.

Wife fail.

His attitude was surprisingly upbeat (minus the part where there was a screaming, kicking child for an entire 9 hour overnight plane trip… can you say not ready for kids?? :) ) but combine a cold with a massive time change and I’m not exactly sure how he managed to stay awake.

The most amazing part of our Roman adventure was seeing the Colosseum (or maybe the fountains, so hard to choose) but Rome as a whole was an absolutely gorgeous city.

With amazing gelato.

And pasta.

And pizza.

We navigated through the Roman public transportation system and wandered through a large part of the city by foot.  We were warned by almost everyone about petty theft but never felt threatened in any way.  We would highly recommend Rome to anyone!

While the photos below are  a very brief snap shot… from top to bottom you have:

The City Skyline

St. Peter’s Basilica

Outside of the Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum

Trevi Fountain and

Us in Front of the Trevi Fountain

 

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tuesday thoughts

I seriously never understood as a child while adults said time went by so quickly.

Ohmygosh.  If time could stand still, or at least move at half the pace it is currently going the Schweitz house would be forever grateful.  But then some things that just happened seem like so long ago.

For instance, one year ago today I was sitting with my dad in the hospital as he was recovering from one of the most terrifying moments of my life.  A year later, he’s out running laps around the lake.  And as long as you don’t look down at the massive ankle scar you’d hardly know he ruptured his Achilles’.

We’re finding ourselves in late-June with nary a trip to our pool.

Nary is a great word and I shall use it more often.  Just channeling my inner Jane Austen.

I feel like we’ve almost recovered from our trip to Europe. So long yet only 3 weeks ago.

Back to the random thoughts of the week:

Crows or ravens.. ravens or crows.  Down here we call them BLACK BIRDS.  They are terrifying and while I thought they only feasted on dead animals, we grow them so big that I’ve witnessed live rabbit attacks… and  apparently human attacks too?

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Where does one find such a sign? Outside my Dr’s office!!!

The best and worst drink of my entire life.  How they ever thought I ordered my drink with 5 shots of espresso is beyond me but made the drive through western Nebraska exciting!

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Surprise first class upgrade to Montreal.  We didn’t even know what to do with ourselves.  Great vacation kick start!IMG_0893

 

Cooking in a kitchen this small has been………..                a special treat.

IMG_0774Our couch for the first 2 months of apartment life.  While we tried, we realized that having only one place for a person to sit wasn’t going to cut it.

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how to sell a house in 30 days- the sale

The sale of the house may have been the easiest part of the whole process.  We expected that it might take some time but I don’t think we were ready for how tense we would be as we were waiting to see if there was any interest.

Maybe 30 minutes after putting it up on Zillow we had our first phone call.  It was actually a realtor who was really demeaning… talk about frustrating!  And it was another blow to our lack of confidence that we had any idea what we were really doing.

At that point we also made the decision that we would work with a buyer’s realtor since we realized that anyone that was probably really serious about buying a house was most likely using a realtor.

We got more phone calls from realtors interested in representing us as sellers than people interested in buying.

In the end, due to scheduling we actually only showed our house to the couple who bought it.  They offered a lower price than we were willing to go the day after the showing.  After debating what we should respond with (counter offer vs. just saying the offer was too low) Cale called and said that since we were under no pressure to sell we weren’t really interested in their offer.

Their realtor called back within 5 minutes asking us if we’d take it off the market and not show it to any other interested parties if they offered us the asking price.

SOLD!  We were so surprised!  Their realtor ended up being extremely easy to work with basically telling us what paperwork we needed to get them by what day.  We gave the realtor our garage code to get in whenever they needed to for inspection, etc.

Almost exactly 30 days from listing our house we were at the title company signing the closing papers.

We had approximately 3 weeks from signing the contract to be out of our house and into our pint sized apartment.

A month and a half after moving we finally got a couch (sold our sectional when we moved) and are figuring out how to cook with 2 feet of counter space.  We’re planning on starting to look at houses to buy this fall but are ready for a relaxed summer by the apartment pool!

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One last picture inside our empty house!