Sunday, October 28, 2012

Checking in

Our cruise was AMAZING! It was over before we were ready for it to end. Unfortunately I got sick on the second night. Luckily I managed to power through most of the stops until we got to Dubrovnik. Mama and Will ventured out on their own for that port while I slept in the cabin. I missed out on the shows that night too and the 70's dance the night before. But I got to see all of Greece! Another misfortune...somehow all our Mykonos pictures and a good chunk of Corfu pictures disappeared. I had all the pictures saved to my laptop and backed up onto a thumb drive and somehow they still managed to disappear! I know it was probably user error (aka my fault), but I'm going to blame the little computer gremlins. Thank goodness we still have a majority of our pictures though.

It's going to be awhile before I can go through my gajillion pictures from our trip plus Mama's gajillion pictures. Not to worry, I'll leave you with a little snippet to tide you over until I can get everything together.

Basilica di San Nicola
Basilica di San Nicola
Old Fortress of Corfu
Old Fortress of Corfu
The Acropolis
A view from the bottom of The Acropolis
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
Don't you worry. We saw tons more and I'll have much more to show and tell. AND since I missed Dubrovnik, Will will be making his debut post on Ech & Will letting you know all about his visit. Yay!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hooked On Our Games

So the friends we went to visit in Germany, they got us hooked on Family Feud on our iPods. At first we would team up and do the challenges together. But then, Will got all competitive and started challenging me for the daily high score. Too bad I keep beating him! Sucker.

It's good that we have a side game to play because we've been fighting over the PS3. This time he's been super into some basketball game. Which is stupid because his character is playing for the stupid Lakers at the moment. (GO BLAZERS!)

I've been playing Dishonored. It's amazing. It's a cross between the Elder Scrolls games and a darker version of the Fable games. Unlike Fable, the character's appearance and the outcome of your decisions aren't readily known to you. I guess I'll have to play the game from the start when I'm done and make different choices to see what changes in the storyline. If you've played the last installation of the Gears of War trilogy, you'll probably agree with me that the setting is similar. Instead of an invasion, the landscape was ravaged by the plague brought by rats. "Weepers" aka zombie-like humans appear throughout the maps. The whole climbing, sneaking, and jumping around movements remind me of Assassin's Creed. So..basically my favorite games came together to make a hybrid of sorts.

Wow, I really got sidetracked...anyway, we're both super into our games. He can only save (supposedly) after each game. I can save at anytime during my game. See how this could be a problem when we have time limits? Luckily we've been super mature and semi-reasonable about sharing play time. Not like the time I was playing Skyrim and he was playing some football game.

I know Jordan has talked about the difficulties of sharing the computer with her boyfriend before. Does anyone else have this problem? I actually don't know a lot of gamer couples in real life so it's hard to find people to commiserate with. The ones I do know, have their own consoles and tv's. We've been seriously thinking about adding a second tv and getting our games split between the PS3 and X360. We were joking about it before, but it might be a real discussion if we have the money for it after the gift giving season.



PS - We're giving away a month of 200x200 ad/button space over at
TheRandomWritingsofRachel

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oktoberfest

If you're looking for a post with lots of awesome pictures and beer recommendations, then you're in the wrong place.

Oktoberfest 2012
Entrace to the fest, as soon as you pass through the arch it's a mad house.
We got to our friends' house in Germany at 2:30ish in the morning. So we were definitely the late birds who didn't get to the fest until lunchtime. By then there were super long lines to get into the tents and no one in our group was really in the mood for that. Instead we had a family friendly day wandering around the fest and trying not to get trampled by the crowds.

Oktoberfest 2012
One of many beer "tents". Not so much a tent as a small building.
Oktoberfest
This "tent" had a tower and everything!
Oktoberfest 2012
Perfect day. Not too hot, not too cold.

Reminder: I'm short. Really short. I'm 5'0" and Will is 6'0"...leaning toward 6'1". So you would think he would take our iTouch and get great pictures right? No. So I got a lot of terrible pictures.

Oktoberfest 2012
I was trying to take a picture of the performers outside this tent...but of course these ladies walked right in.

After we wore ourselves out at the fest, we headed over to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. Us homesick Americans wanted to eat some American food. (Don't worry, we ate brats and kraut and pommes frites at the fest. Interesting fact: Their idea of ketchup is different than ours. Same general idea, but odd taste if you're expecting our version.)

pretty water bottle
My pretty water bottle and Will's Long Island Ice Tea
Our tips for future Oktoberfest goers:
--When they say get to a tent early, they mean like before 9 in the morning. If not, reserve your table.
--Bring lots of cash. None of the booths take card. I'm not sure about the tents since we didn't go in one. And everything is ridiculously expensive of course. 2.50 euros for 3 postcards. WHAT!?
--Dress up! Every other person is decked out in their cute traditional German outfits. I wish I had a dress and braids.
--Check the Toys R Us parking garage. Even though we got there late, but we still got a spot just a couple blocks away from the main entrance. There were plenty spaces still open too.
--Make sure everyone has cell phones. It's super easy to lose each other in the crowds.
--We overheard a group of guys who said they could skip the line at the Hofbrauhaus tent for 20 euros each.  I'm not sure if it was a real thing or if they were bribing a gatekeeper. We didn't see if they actually got in or not. But it's something worth investigating if you're impatient and desperate to get in.
--I can give you this, we like Spaten. Our landlord brought over a couple bottles with a dinner plate last year and it was pretty delicious and packed a nice buzz at the bottom.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recipe Swap

Want to swap fall/holiday recipes? Let's do it! I'll pair up bloggers, we'll all try out our new recipes, and write a post about it. I'll host a link up on November 17 so we can all check out each other's awesome baking/cooking skills. Spread the word!

Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm Surrounded by Small People

It always fascinates me when babies make the transition from baby to a little person. I especially get a kick out of my little sisters or my friend's children. I remember you in diapers and now you look like a mini adult. The illusion is shattered when they act their age and I'm reminded that I'm looking at a toddler/child and not in fact a small adult.

I think all the people in my life got together and said, "Hey let's surround Ech with babies." My Facebook is full of adorable babies and little people. Not that I'm complaining. I love a cute kid. I just want one for myself really badly, but it's just not time yet. It kind of hurts my ovaries to be surrounded by kids. I need to immediately babysit for someone so I can be reminded why it's not time yet. Play and give back, that's all we're ready for...for now.

Anyway, I'm so close to being done with family Christmas shopping. We only have the parents left. Win! Parents are always so hard to shop for. I always try to get wants, not needs for presents. Everyone 15 and under were super easy to keep in mind and slowly accumulate gifts.

Do you have kids to shop for? Check out Freckle Box. They have super cute personalized gifts. I bought my sisters activity books as a summer break present and they were floored that their names were in the books. I just used a Groupon from awhile ago to get more stuff, and as a thank you they sent me a 20% coupon for my friends. Anyone who reads my blog is a friend, so it's yours for the taking. It expires November 1, so you have a paycheck or two to browse and think about it.

http://frecklebox.refr.cc/P9CQMBH

In the meantime, I enjoy this cutie patootie we call niece. This is a picture from her first modeling job for Becky's Accessories.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday Thoughts v.10.3.12

[uno]
Have you seen how great the Ducks and Beavers are doing so far this season!? I'm stoked! Beyond stoked! I'm a Ducks fan through and through, but I'm also a big state of Oregon fan so I'm happy the Beavers are also doing well. If both teams keep playing the way they are, it's going to be a great Civil War game!
[due]
WHAT IS THIS!? Cass and I were trying to find hidden outlets in our kitchen and he accidentally found out that the bench seating at our dining room table have hidden storage compartments. What!? Of course now I'm trying to figure out what I can put in them. The smaller bench is now home to our Ziploc bags, foil, etc. The longer bench will probably be home to the dish towels and place mats.
bench seating
Surprise!
[tre]
I'm in nesting mode. Except instead of preparing for a baby, I'm preparing for Mama's visit! Soon this house will look amazing...and two minutes after that it'll be a disaster again.
[quattro]
I'm trying to brainstorm ideas for Will. He has yet to make an appearance on the blog and we both think it's time. Any ideas or questions for him?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm not bragging, I'm just stating the facts

I bought an ergonomic keyboard over the weekend to help save my wrists since I'm training to become an MT (medical transcriptionist). The space bar was especially stiff and was difficult to press sometimes. Will, being the sweetheart that he is, took it back before work to exchange it for me. I guess one of the ladies took it out, hooked it up, and tested it out. They asked him several times what was wrong with it because it worked fine. It's not that customer service was being rude or difficult, it's just that they needed to know why we were returning it and if they could resell it as is.

Here's the thing. I can get up to 90+ words per minute when I type. I average about 70-80's on a regular day when I'm not taking typing tests. It's painfully obvious when something is wrong with the keyboard when typing that fast. While Will was retelling the story about what happened at the store, I just sort of on the side made the comment, "I don't type at the same speed as a regular person so I noticed the space bar real quick." I think he was taking off his boots or something and he whipped his head up to give me a look like, "Whoa conceited much?" So I followed up with, "I'm not saying that to brag. It's just a fact."

Now I feel like my husband is silently judging me.

typing test
Proof.

PS- I'm still keeping myself pretty well motivated to keep up with studying! I'm big on procrastination when it comes to school so I'm really proud of myself for not letting that instinct get the best of me so far. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chore Tuesday

I noticed a trend in our productivity levels throughout the week.

Mondays are our trash days. As in, it's in the trash and we're just trying to get through the day. Usually we're both overly tired just because it's a Monday. Weird right? I'm a stay-at-home wife and I still get the case of the Mondays.

Tuesdays are the most productive days. I think we feel like we need to make up for doing nothing on Monday.

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are hit or miss. Usually the productivity slowly spirals down until it bottoms out on the weekends. As soon as the weekend hits, we get hit with lazy mode. That's why I'm always bragging about decluttering or cleaning up my mess of a house. We generally don't do any chores on the weekends. Unless we run out of socks or underwear, then we're forced to do laundry on Saturday nights.

So what did we get done this Tuesday?

1. Kitchen surface cleanse. The counters, cabinet doors, the hood over the stove, the oven door. It's all freshly wiped down and de-grimed. It's disgusting how much dust and gunk accumulate over the months.

2. First floor de-clutter. I have to admit, it's not completely uncluttered, but it's significantly less. Especially our shoe collection by the door. I weeded out all the summer sandals and non-every day shoes.

storage bin
Storage bin full things to go to the 2nd & 3rd floors.
3. Snack packs made. When I buy work snacks for Will (Cheez-It's, Oreos, etc), I package them up in snack bags and put them all in a big bowl for him to pick and choose from. It makes it so much easier when he's running late and it keeps him from rummaging through my groceries for his lunches.

4. Purse purge. Will uses my purse as his carry all. He throws in receipts, change, and whatever he doesn't want in his pockets into my bag. He does it as stealthily as possible like I'm not going to notice. Every once in a while I have to weed out all the unnecessary things.

5. Will's lunch packed. Since he forgot to grab bread, one of his sandwiches was made up of the butts of the loaf. To make up for it, I sliced up some smoked cheese for them. Hopefully it tastes good. He eats pretty much anything so I don't think he'll mind.

6. Bangs trimmed. Is this a chore? It feels like it to me, so I'm going to say it counts. I'm so terrible about keeping my bangs at a reasonable length. I really should make Will do it for me, but he's so scared to try.

7. Mail sent. We had a box and a letter going out today. I love sending mailbox love! (Jordan, I haven't forgotten you! I have your box started, I'm working on filling it.)

8. Gas coupons turned in. They expired in September so Will turned in the old ones and bought new ones. We didn't know they bought back the old ones so we were trying to time it right with the ones we had. I think we only turned in 20 or 30 liters. But hey, it's that much less money we're putting toward the new coupons.

9. Keyboard exchanged. Since I'm studying to become a medical transcriptionist, we invested in an ergonomic keyboard. It was great, except the space bar stuck if it wasn't hit in the right spot. And by hit, I mean hit. Hopefully this new one works. I need to get used to the new board before the tough lessons start.

10. Will's military paperwork done. Don't ask me what it was. All I know is that it was important and he booted me off the computer for two hours and my Nook wouldn't charge so I was not a happy camper.

Do you have a day of the week that's more productive than others?