Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Time!

Since we got back from New York,we scrambled to get the house decorated for Christmas, just in time for my family's visit to San Antonio. We're starting off with a visit from Jon and his girlfriend, Erin. Then Mom, Dad, Danny arrive the Tuesday before Christmas. Joe and Michelle then arrive on Christmas day and will stay to ring in the new year with us.

Our Babymoon

Neither Jason or I had ever been to New York City. So, after talking about making a trip up there for years, we decided it was now or never.

Here's a run down of our Babymoon to NYC:
1. Top of Empire State Building
2. Rockefeller Center- Tree
3. Times Square
4. 2 Broadway shows: Billy Elliot, and Finian's Rainbow
5. Walk along 5th Avenue
6. Metropolitian Museum of Art
7. Shopping in Soho
8. Carriage Ride in Central Park
9. Visits to East and West Villages + lots of yummy restaurants

Here's some things I learned when we went to the Empire State Building: You know the movie Sleepless in Seattle? Those elevator doors that close behind Meg Ryan when she rode up to the top, and back down with Tom Hanks, they have a picture of the Empire State Building on them. Those doors don't exist, the real elevator doors are plain. So if you are really excited to see those doors, you'll be disappointed. Also, the scene of the movie where they are at the top, didn't take place on top of the Empire State Building. You know how she buys her ticket and then rides 1 elevator up, and she's there? That doesn't happen, you have to go through a series of human corrals, and several elevators to get there- it takes at least 30-45 minutes of wait before you can get there on a non-busy day (never, ever go on a Sat or Sun) We went on a Friday, and it wasn't too bad.

We found that the subway was the easiest way to get around, and I'm so thankful to have a husband who is good at figuring things like that out. I was in charge of making sure we didn't get run over when he had to pull out the little map card and find our nearest entrance/ line to get somewhere. But, he got mad at me for being excited to have spotted a subway rat. What's more 'New York' than a subway rat- come on!

Jason's co-worker, Cory, gave us the most awesome email/ personal guide to New York. I will post it also. I think it should be shared with the world, as it helped us tremendously, and had a big part in our decision-making for the trip.

2009 has been a crazy year of traveling for us. Here's everywhere we have flown in the past year:
1. St. Louis, end of May
2. California Trip, end of June/ beginning of July
3. Portland for Joe's wedding, mid-July
4. Just Jason to Vegas for Dan's bachelor party, August
5. Philadelphia, end of Aug
6. St. Louis, September
7. Kansas City, October
8. St. Louis, November
9. Just Amanda to Chicago, November
10. New York City, December
This list does not include the 2 weekend trips to Austin. Now we are officially grounding ourselves. We even put our suitcases all the way up in the attic. I hope they grow cobwebs before I see them again.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

More than half-way

Time for a terribly overdue pregnancy update. At the end of October Jason and I went for the half-way ultrasound. Originally we weren't going to find out if it was a boy or girl. But, apparently, Jason was never on the same page as me. Because during the weeks approaching the appointment, he started trying to convince me that we should find out. Well, in the end, I couldn't take the suspense either. So we found out we're having a girl! It has been fun to know, and refer to the baby as a "she." Everything is going well, and she's growing and kicking around in there.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Visit to Chicago

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I made a quick trip up to Chicago for the weekend. My friend Liz, is also having a baby- she's a trimester ahead of me. So, this was our last chance to get together as two pregnant ladies. It was so wonderful to be with a friend who is in the same boat as me, as it gets so tiring watching everyone else drink alcohol by myself. So we had a fun, relaxing weekend together. I also got to see my friend Jenny P briefly, and had plenty of time to visit with my brother, Jon.

I have gotten so behind on my blogs, that Liz actually had her baby before I got this one posted. Margaret Jo was born on December 11th, 2009. Congratulations Liz and Aaron! I'll be cookin' up a little friend for Maggie Jo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Congrats Dan and Kathie!

And the second wedding in St.Louis was the wedding of Dan and Kathie. Dan is a college friend, and seemed like one of those guys who just would never be tamed. So, as they were wrapping up the wedding ceremony, I found myself in awe.... "Dan is actually married." It was one of those moments where you didn't actually give yourself time to think about it, and when it happened, you just couldn't believe it actually happened. They had the most elegant wedding, on a rare 70 degree and sunny November day.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Congrats Stacy and Joe!

Jason and I just got back from a long week and a half visit to St. Louis for 2 weddings, fun with friends, family and oh yeah, Jason worked. It was the 2nd Annual Slicehost Summit in St. Louis

So, wedding #1 was the union of Jason's 1st cousin Stacy to her love, Joe. Stacy is Brad's sister (whom you may remember from July's post "Brad and Jim sighting"). Stacy was just the cutest, happiest bride and I have to say, I loved her dress. It had these fun feathery ruffles that ran down the length of the skirt portion.

By the way, ever since the purchase of the fancy camera, Jason has taken over my role of family photographer. We bought a Nikon dSLR back when I constantly felt like barfing. At the time, figuring out how that thing works was just too much for me to handle. Now I feel like I could take on the instruction manual, but Jason has gotten so good at it, and is having way more fun than I ever did taking pictures. Jason posts his pictures on Flickr and you can see the full collection of all our recent photo-worthy events on his photo stream. My dropshots account has not seen new photos in quite some time.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Here's the thing...

I didn't realize how weird the whole belly-touching thing would be until I experienced it for myself. The thing I didn't know, is that even though I have a much rounder tummy now, that roundness is not a baby. The roundness all the stuff that used to be lower, that has now gotten pushed up by the new resident... who is located much farther down, like several inches below my belly-button. So, at this point, the whole belly touching thing is just weird because you're not touching the baby, you're touching my chunky belly! It's no different that asking to touch the belly of a friend who is not pregnant, but recently gained 10 pounds. It's no different than touching your own tummy. So please, let's save that for later.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Snoozer "J" pillow: A product review

I was told by several reliable sources, that a body pillow is a must-have item for pregnancy. I was very excited about this, because I had a beloved body pillow through college, and for several years afterward. When Jason and I decided to become roommates in 2004, I decided that since my pillow was looking a little decrepit, and I would exchange it for a brand new husband pillow. That has worked pretty well, because he's snuggly and works as a space heater. Well, after some online research, I decided that I would buy the goose-down "J" shaped Snoozer pillow. The day it arrived I donned it's pillow case, and laid down to run some snuggle tests. When Jason came in the room, he eyed the "J"pillow suspiciously, and then he looked down-right jealous. "What is that?" he inquires/ demands.

The pillow is awesome, and it does make side-sleeping very enticing. Now Jason tries steals the pillow, especially if I leave him alone in bed with it. I was awake enough the other morning to witness the pillow caper. It went down like this: Sleeping Jason will reach over and give the pillow a tug, then regardless of whether or not I am using the pillow, he throws his top leg upon it. This is not comfortable, it is a one-person pillow. I roll over the my other side for a little while.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Finally, Jenny visits San Antonio!

Last weekend my dear friend Jenny and her husband Derek finally made the long trek to San Antonio from Portland, OR. I have gotten to be a pro at taking our visitors on the downtown trip to walk along the Riverwalk, see the Alamo, and go on the riverboat tour. So, here we are on Day 1 of Jenny and Derek's visit, in front of said Alamo.

I was very excited that we all got to explore a new (to us) Texas Landmark- Gruene, Texas. Home of the Gristmill Restaurant, and the oldest music hall in Texas. We walked around this antique little town for a while after a big lunch of country-fried cookin.' I was told my belly looked very babylicious that day. So, Jason kept taking photos of it. At one point, I was being attacked by 'Jason the Paparazzi' taking photos of me and shouting directions on how to pose with my belly- Jason said "put your hand on it!" Apparently I did not do it right, and Derek shouted,"NO, like your loving it!" Here's what that looked like:

We had 3 days of beautiful, sunny 75 degrees days while Jenny and Derek were in town. Jenny and I wrapped up the weekend with a relaxing girls' day by the pool, and a group walk along the new Riverwalk extension. Then they headed back to Portland, where they can continue to be harassed by my brother Joe, Jenny's surrogate older brother.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wedding in Kansas City

Over the past weekend, Jason and I made a trek to yet another wedding. This one was the wedding of our friend Mark to Sarah. They had a beautiful fall wedding in Kansas City and we were so happy to get another dose of Midwest Autumn. The leaves were gorgeous. Mark and Jason are college friends. Mark is a very fun guy, and he's famous for his Michael Jackson "chair dance." Mark also moved out to San Diego (with Go) after college and that is where he met his lovely bride, Sarah. Now they live in Cincinnati.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Austin City Limits Mud Festival

Last year about this time, Jason and I made our first-ever trip to San Antonio to scope it out and see if we could actually live here. On that trip we also went to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, a 3 day multi-stage outdoor concert in Austin's Zilker Park. Knowing that outdoor concerts just aren't the same without beer, I decided it would still be worthwhile to go again this year.

Due to inclement weather (and no beer), this year's ACL gets mixed reviews from me. In order to solve the "dust-bowl" issue that brought down previous ACL festivals, a lot of money was spent on new grass for the park. When we arrived on Friday, I marveled at the beautiful plush grass that covered the park. Then on Saturday, it rained, the whole day. Then all the thousands of people walked all over the grass churning and stabbing the grass down into the wet ground. By Sunday, it was a massive mud pie. I'm talking squishy, can't walk in flip-flops without losing your flip-flops mud. On Sunday, we headed straight to safety of our backstage access at one of the venues, and after a few hours we decided to brave the mud and venture out for some of the other shows. After squishing around in the stinky, gooey mud for a little while, Jason let me play the "I'm pregnant" card and we left early. The best shows for me- Kings of Leon on Friday night, and Henry Butler under the covered stage on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Picking Apples with the Kappels

Jason and I made a trip back to STL the last weekend of September. Jason had to be there the week prior for work, so I decided to join him for the weekend. My most favorite day of the whole year is the day we go apple-picking at Eckerts Orchard. I was happy that we did not have to miss the 2009 apples. This year we went with our good friends Steve and Maria and their two adorable kids, Emma and Samuel. We picked Red and Golden Deliciouses. We had to give most of our apples up to Jason's parents before flying home, but I did wrap a few up in clothing and flew them back to San Antonio with us.

Monday, September 21, 2009

David Hasselhoff Update

Just wanted to give an update on the newest furry 4-legged member of our family. David Hasselhoff is a healthy little guy and now weighs over 5 lbs, and he has been a great addition to our home. I really enjoy having him around. Reasons we are glad we saved Hasselhoff from dire straits and brought him to live in our house:

1. He is so cute! Look at how handsome he is.
2. He is incredibly soft. You'll have to experience this for yourself, it's true.
3. He still has the cutest little squeak of a meow.
4. He purrs when he eats.
5. He does this funny thing where he carries his toys around from room to room, and up and down the stairs, even the long chase toys attached to a stick. For some reason he always puts the wire toy in the guest bathroom shower.
6. When I was trapped at home feeling like I was going to barf all day long, Hasselhoff kept me company and cheered me up with his cuteness. As I drifted in and out of consciousness dreading the moment I wake up and find I still feel like barfing, he was often curled up in a fluffy kitten ball next to me. He loves me because I saved his life, and follows me from room to room.

Now he does have a few bad habits, like pouncing on Tweed. They have to be separated at night. Tweed remains Queen of the Bed. He also is a terrible beggar when it comes to human food- he likes anything dairy, and eggs. He even antagonizes Angel and steals her dog food. And, he's messy in the litter box, I swear sometimes he's just playing in there.

Jason took this awesome photo with the new fancy camera, I think it was his first really good one. We have yet to capture Angel with the camera, she moves too quickly.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Turning the corner

I am finally starting to feel better. Nausea levels are down to a minimum. Food is not the enemy anymore. Still haven't gained an appetite, but hopefully that will come soon. I can't say I feel "good" yet, but I'm not miserable. I am happy to report that Jason did not file for divorce and cite "excessive complaining and crankiness." Although I would not have blamed him if he did.

A few things have perplexed me about pregnancy. The second I saw the 2 lines on the stick, our mailbox started getting flooded with baby catalogs and magazines. I had not yet told a close friend or family member the news, but somehow the commercial industry found out... did they dig through the trash? We bought the one pregnancy book that we thought would be most helpful (and got another one in the mail for free), and signed up for the emails, and I occasionally listen to the "pea in the podcast." But the amount of information that gets thrown in your face is overwhelming to say the least. If I read everything that got sent to me, that's all I'd be doing between now and April.

Pregnancy is the queen of Unsolicited Advice. No, strange lady, I will not be slathering Vaseline across my abdomen for the next 6 months. Can you imagine if you saw someone walking around with huge grease spots across her belly?

Once someone finds out you're pregnant, they won't talk to you about anything else. Now, this is not always the case, and I do like to talk about it to some extent, especially with friends who are going through the same thing. But, if the conversation heads in a different direction, there's no need to steer it back every 5 minutes.

Why is it that the only women who post information about breast-feeding on the internet are psycho-breast feeders? They are fans of breastfeeding until the child is well past baby-hood, and into childhood. They are advocates of "never putting an artificial nipple in your child's mouth" and endorse breast-feeding in public as much as possible. I haven't ever met PBFer in person, but I suspect they all live in California. Where are all the moderate and modest breast feeders? I know they're out there, I'm friends with them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Melitch got hitched

Jason and I had the honor of attended the wedding of our friends Mitch and Melissa on September 12th. They had a beautiful backyard wedding, which was temporarily moved indoor because of the rain. The low-key evening backyard wedding is my new favorite kind of wedding, and this one was gorgeous. Best of all- the wedding was in San Antonio- no airplane ride this time! Jason acted as head-photographer for the evening, as he continues to practice and learn our new fancy camera.
You can see all the photos on:

Congratulations Mitch and Melissa!

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Seats Baby

This is the biggest-ever announcement of Seatsleaf- Jason and I are having a baby! We got to see this little person for the first time last Monday. The baby looks pretty cute- We could see him/ her much better on the screen at the doctor's office, the picture doesn't do it justice. Our baby is due at the beginning of April.

You may have noticed Seatsleaf has really gone down the drain lately. Well, that's because I have had a bad case of baby-related nausea, which sucks every ounce of motivation I have to do anything. I have been miserable for a month now.

Luckily the past week has gotten a little better, and instead of being nauseous all day, I'm nauseous in the afternoon and evening, and the mornings feel pretty good. Eating has become an extremely frustrating experience, as I don't feel like eating anything, and I've pretty much stopped making dinners for Jason. I don't have an inkling of ideation about would I should make for food, and what I should do with myself. In addition to nausea, I have this disgusting chemical taste in my mouth which makes most things taste foul. Plus, lots of indigestion and heartburn. I have super-smell and foul smells send me into gagging fits. I can't brush my teeth without gagging myself. So, I can honestly say that pregnancy has been the worst experience of my life this far, and I really think that if all women experienced this, human population would decrease drastically with each generation and we'd eventually become extinct, because I cannot fathom anyone willing doing it again and again.

On a lighter note- today is Jason's and my 5 year anniversary. Happy anniversary hubby!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wedding in Philadelphia

Jason and I returned from our weekend trip to Philadelphia over the past weekend. Our year of weddings marches on, this was wedding #3- Go and Mary. Go is a friend from college. He swam on the SLU swim team with me, and was roommates with Jason (and Angel) post-college years. Go moved out to San Diego after he couldn't stand anymore of living with Jason, and that's where he met Mary. Jason and I went out to visit them summer of 2005 (or was it 2006?). This video clip shoes a little dance routine that the wedding party did. You hear me make reference to Go breaking his front tooth at the 2004 wedding of Maria and Steve, during a break-dancing back flip. Needless to say, this was a very fun wedding. They hired the most awesome Philly band- Jellyroll. The day after the wedding we walked around Philly, and visited the bell, and ate a Cheese steak.

The video would not upload, look for it on dropshots.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Texas is Hot

So, we've really gotten to the hottest point of the year here in San Antonio. We are told that it is not normally this hot, and that this year broke the 1998 record of days over 100 degrees. Also, there has not been much rain at all. Consequently, all the grass and plants are dying. One thing that took Jason and I by surprise is that when we turn on the faucets in our house, on cold, we get warm water. Back in St.Louis, I used to say I had a February Funk, due to it being the end of winter and being tired of being cooped up in the house all the time. I'm starting to feel that way about August here in Texas, but due to the heat. So, not much to say, other than "it's hot."

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Big Brother is Married!

Jason and I made a trip to Portland for the week of my brother's wedding, which was July 18th. I got to stay with my friend Jenny McC. and see her and her new husband Derek's home for the first time. Jenny was a great hostess and we had lots of fun hanging out together the week leading up to the wedding. Joe and Michelle's wedding was beautiful. I was the "Best Amanda" for their wedding and was much relieved when my Rehearsal Dinner slide show and wedding reception toast were both a big hit.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Everything is better with a kitten

Well, before we left for California, we dropped the kitten off at the vet, and he got fixed up, and his foster parents- Heather and Chuck took care of him until we got home. Once we did get him back, we instantly fell in love. I can't stress enough to you how cute this kitten is. He is so cute that it is distracting. He is extremely frisky and unless he's napping, there is the constant sound of kitten tumble as he rolls across the floor and pounces on everything real and imagined.

What did you name the little orange kitten? Well, the night we found him, we were with our friend Heather. The second we laid eyes on him, we wished we had not, because it was going to be a huge hassle to deal with this sick kitten. Jason suggested we named him "David Hasselhoff," and Heather agreed it was a good name. I really don't like the idea of naming pets people names, and I have a cousin in the family named David. But, I also didn't realize that at that moment, his name became official, because Jason was not open to changing it when I thought of a really awesome name for him-"Oats." So you can call him "David" or "the Hassel" or even "the Hoff." I like to call him by his full name "David Hasselhoff." He also goes by "The Kitten" and "Little Orange."

What do Angel (the dog) and Tweed (our grey cat) think of the kitten? At first Angel would try and follow him around constantly and try and be a part of the play, and as I mentioned- he is frisky. Eventually this wears her out and she lays down. She also likes to lick him. The kitten is fearless and after one day of hiding under furniture, he does not flinch when Angel comes by for a kitty lick. At first Tweed made funny wine/growl noises, but never got a puffy tail. For the most part they are getting along very well. However, sometimes Tweed does get annoyed when she's ready for some quiet time, and the kitten keeps pouncing on her tail, or is being generally rambunctious. Luckily Tweed is such a sweet kitty. During their first few days together the kitten would actually charge Tweed. I am hoping that having the companionship will be good for Tweed, especially when we go out of town.

So, he has definitely lived up to the name "the Hassel." It turned out that he gave Tweed his upper respiratory infection during their first encounter. This incubated while we were in California, and I noticed she was sick a day after we got back, so that meant an extra trip to the vet, 10 days of antibiotics for Tweed. Then, a few days later, we found out the kitten had a tapeworm! Another trip to the vet, more meds. So, we racked up a nice vet bill this month. But Little Orange already paid us back in full with cuteness.

If you want to see more of the kitten, please visit
His kittenhood will be well photographed.

Brad and Jim sighting

After Jason and I spent a few days in San Francisco, we headed up to the Napa Valley for one day of wine tasting fun. Then down to Livermore, CA for Jared's wedding, the drove down the Pacific Coast Highway for the better part of 2 days until we got to L.A. Highlights from the trip included riding bikes from Fishman's Wharf across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito to enjoy a late lunch/ early dinner right on the Bay, and back across on the Ferry. And the day driving around Napa tasting wine with Jason was also quite fun.

Another highlight was our Brad and Jim sighting. We drove down to L.A so that we could visit with Jason's cousin Brad and his partner Jim who recently moved from Saint Charles, MO to L.A. for Jim's job. We had a blast going out to "The Grove" with them. This is a dining/shopping area that TMZ frequents for celebrity sitings- so watch TMZ to see Jason and I, and gossip of our love affair with 2 gay men. Then we went out to West Hollywood for more fun times. I think we might have gotten Brad some job leads by making friends at the bar! Then we spend the 4th with Adrian and his wife and heir 2 adorable sons (and Brad and Jim too) on Redondo Beach for some awesome fireworks. On the 5th, we flew back home, where our pets greeted us with enthusiasm. See the complete photo album on

I inspired Brad to do a blog too when he moved- check it out:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I am 30

Running next to the grape fields in Napa- decided to run 3 on my 30th.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Scrappy Kitten

One thing Jason and I noticed right off the bat when we moved to San Antonio, is that there are a ton of stray animals. We think this is probably because of the warm climate, but also may be a lack of awareness regarding spaying and neutering. Anyway, it is really heart-wrenching for us to see all these homeless pets on a regular basis, and I knew this would eventually get us in trouble. I had a horrible experience witnessing a little kitten scrambling across a 6 lane highway a couple of weeks ago. That's right- A kitten on the highway- with cars zooming by at 65 MPH! I saw he made it to the shoulder. When I circled back around I said to myself, that if I see that kitten again- he's mine. Didn't see him and decided it's best not to get out of my car on the highway.

Last night Jason and I, and our neighborhood friend Heather were walking down our street on the way to the Alta Vista neighborhood Meet and Greet, when Heather pointed out a stray kitty that was laying in front of a house. This little guy was particularly pathetic- and seeing as all 3 of us have soft spots when it comes to cats, we just couldn't leave him there. I mean, come on, it's a kitten, it needs no further explanation. So we went back to our house with the kitten and put him in the guest house. He ate tuna and used the litter box- good sign! He's just skin and bones right now, and has an eye infection. I took him to our vet this morning to get him checked out, he's going to be much cuter once he's a little more healthy. Since our household has already met it's pet quota, and our Tweed seems to be accustomed to her 1 kitty in the house life-style (we don't want to upset the delicate balance). We're going to try and find him a happy home once he's been given the "thumbs-up" from our vet.

In other news- Jason and I are celebrating our 30th birthdays this week. And we're taking a vacation to California (San Francisco and L.A. and the coast in-between) to celebrate. This trip was planned around Slicehoster friend Jared's wedding in Livermore, CA on July 1st. We also get to visit cousin Brad and partner Jim in L.A., and Rackspace friend Adrian in L.A.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mom visit

Mom's 1st visit to San Antonio came and went. We accomplished our main mission- finding a "MOG" (mother of the groom) dress for my brother Joe's wedding, which is less than an month away. We took lots of shopping detours on the way and bought a few other fun things too. Mom and I had lots of fun on our pizza making day, which involved purchasing special mail-order pizza-dough-making flour a week prior to the visit. The pizza was quite tasty, but I think I might hold off on baking pizzas from scratch again until the heat of summer is over. We went out on the town a couple of nights, and she got to meet some of our fabulous San Antonio friends. Mom found her new vacation home to be cozy and cool, so I think she'll be back!

Here we are down at the Farmer's Market, checking out the brand-new Riverwalk extension.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Carriage House is complete- and we had a party!

As of last Friday the Carriage House is officially completed! We pasted the final inspections. So, Jason and I decided to have a big party and invited all our San Antonio friends. We had a mixture of Rackspace friends, and non-Rackspace friends, and the party was a raging success. Jason and I managed to make 60 hamburger patties from scratch the night before, and Jason manned the grill on Saturday. I think we had between 50 and 60 people- and the party lasted from 2 pm till 2 am. So our Carriage house is officially broken-in. A link to the final pictures and party pics will be posted soon! Next projects: Phase 2 - The Shed and Amanda's Quest to make this old house more energy efficient.

party pics:

The Carriage House will have it's first sleep-over guest as of tonight! My mom is on her way to San Antonio for the first time. We plan on shopping and cooking together, and other girly things.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Raleigh Maroon: A music review

Since moving to San Antonio, Jason and I have been enjoying/ stalking a local band called Raleigh Maroon. The core of the band is an in-love couple- Mitch and Melissa. Not only are these two easy on the eyes, but they write and compose beautiful music together. "Break Away" is my absolute favorite of their songs. They also do some pretty awesome covers. You can listen to a few samples if you become of fan of the band on Facebook, and then look in the "box" for the songs. But their myspace page is even better:
Sometimes you can find just the two of them serenading at the local pubs and restaurants in town. But what will really rock your socks off is the complete band with AJ on drums, Matt on base, and new addition- Nicholette on mandoline and back-up vocals. Be prepared for impromtu dancing at these gigs.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jason is funny- part one

My hubby sometimes says funny things that make me laugh. Last week we met a friend of a friend who is a Physics professor at a local college- and she and Jason talked because Jason likes Physics. Jason later told me that he found out that he could take some Physics classes at the college without having to be a full-time student. Now, you may or may not be aware of this, but Jason's lifelong career plan is to #1 Be able to retire by age 35 and then #2 Find a source of renewable energy and solve the energy crisis. Now that he is well on his way to goal #1, Jason wants to get a jump start on career goal #2. I replied to the Physics class proposal, "Ah, yes. Then you can solve the energy crisis."
Jason said, "Yes, step 1."
I chimed in, "Step 1, take physics classes. Step 2, have a great idea. Step 3, use great idea to solve energy crisis. Step 4, win a Nobel prize. Step 5, Put your Nobel prize on a shelf."
Jason: "I don't want to put up a new shelf."

We are now the proud owners of just one house

Our main objective for the trip back to St. Louis was achieved- we sold the house. I spent Wednesday afternoon at the house to complete the last of the throwing out the garbage and clean up. My friend Maria came over with a 2 year-old and a 3 month old to help me carry an old futon (this was Jason's original college apartment futon mattress that was later replaced by a new one- why we kept it for the past 7 years, I do not know) out to the dumpster. Then Jason and I went to the title company to sign papers. The moving truck should arrive some time in the next week, and then we will have all of our stuff in one home.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Back in the Lou

We arrived in St. Louis on Friday evening for a busy week. We had my friend and prior roommate's wedding in Cape G, MO on Saturday. Casey was a happy, beautiful bride. We were a bit confused when she and new husband, Justin, were introduced at the reception to the tune of "Highway to the Danger Zone." Then, on Sunday, we had the 5th annual barbecue at Cameron's house. Jason was in charge of the washer's tournament again this year and kept everyone in line. My favorite was hanging out with my two-year old friend, Emma K. Emma and I spied a bunny in the next yard. He wasn't moving and I asked her "What's he doing?" She replied, "He's just hangin' out." Which was true. My Mom and Dad drove down from Peoria to visit also, attending the barbeque and helping us with the packing process today. Since my brother Jon stole all my furniture for his new apartment in Chicago, we decided we'd like to stay in hotels when we visit St. Louis from here on out. This trip we are at the brand-new Moonrise hotel in the Loop- it's sweet!
After the dumpsters behind our house were too full for anymore of our house garbage, we headed over to Mom and Dad Seats' house for brother Kevin's 21st birthday. I saw Kevin drinking beer. I have to wake up early tomorrow to meet the movers at the house. Jason will not be waking up early- he took his brother to the Casinos.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Murad Oil Control Mattifier spf 15: A Product Review

I hate it when about 4 hours into my day my face needs to be squeegeed. And any makeup I may have put on is around my ankles. Well, like I've mentioned before, it's hot in Texas, and this has been happening to me a lot. I had found a product to control the oil, that I put on under the sunscreen lotion- but the spf lotion was too heavy. Then I found this combo product. I would like to have little higher spf, but this stuff does the trick. If you need a little extra control 6 to 8 hours into your day, touch-up with those oil blotting sheets, and you're good to go. I found it at Sephora.

Vaseline spf 15 lotion: A product review

I have been trying to be extra careful about sunscreen now that I live in hot, sunny Texas. Sometimes you don't want to use the greasy stuff that you usually put on for a day at the pool, when you're just showered and going out to do errands, work, etc. So I picked up a bottle of this Vaseline lotion. It is light, and has a lovely subtle floral scent. I spent a day out in the sun at the King William's fair during Fiesta, and did not get burned. Great every day lotion, or for anyday you're going to be in the sun and don't need a waterproof sunscreen. Scent is very light, so okay for guys too. I found it at Target.

Win Laudry Detergent: A Product Review

I saw this laundry detergent for sale in a Sports Authority. Maybe you have had the same experience as me. There has been recent development in the polyester fabric technology- and now you can find all sorts of fancy wicking workout clothes. "Great!" You think to yourself. No more sopping wet tee-shirts, you're going to look so fit and sleek in your new fitted workout tees. Only to find after a few wears and washes, you sort of stink. These clothes have a knack of holding onto body odor. So, this laundry detergent touts that it will rid your workout clothes of the stink. I pick up a bottle and head to the cashier. I ask her "Is this a total scam?" She didn't know how to respond and I head home with my laundry detergent and give it a try. IT WORKS!!!! Your clothes will smell so fresh and clean! I started using it on my sheets, and non-workout clothes. In fact- mix 1 part water and 1 part Win, and pour onto the armpit of any white shirts that may have the dreaded "butter-pit," and let rest for several hours- drastic reduction in butter-pit! I need to find this product in the economy size.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tiny Lizards

We recently discovered a new thing to love about our San Antonio home- there are cute, tiny lizards that live in our yard!!! One kind is a bright yellow-green and puffs out his pink throat bubble. The other is subdued green, and blends into the color of its surroundings. It is always a joy to spot one of these little critters... until today. Tweed was crying at the back door so I went to let her in. And, as she has been known to do at about a frequency of once every 1.5 years, she was at the door with a tail hanging out of her mouth. She went to put her present down on the ground to impress me with her critter-catching prowess- and it was a lizard, still alive, it scurried away. And she cornered it again, and it scurried again, and then got away for good. She was not happy with the results of her chase. Lizard 1, Tweed 0.

Here's Tweed attacking my paperwork as a try to work from home.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hi Tony!

I didn't want to leave you out, Tony- here's that funny picture we took. For your viewing pleasure- go see all the photos at:

Thanks for visiting us in San An- you're always welcome!

Monday, April 27, 2009

An Offer!

While Jason and I were down at the King William Festival on Saturday we got word from our real estate agent that we had an offer on our house in St. Louis! If all goes well, we'll close at the end of May- and then have all of our furniture in one place! We hope that the new owners love living in that house as much as we did for 4 and 1/2 years. House on Hartford- You were the best house a couple of newlyweds could have asked for. My favorite things- gardening in the yard, floating in the pool, walking over to the park, decorating for Christmas, spending time with friends and family, and mostly just hanging out and having lazy days as home with the Hubs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Indian-Style Crock Pot Curry

This is the last of the recipes that the PND girls requested. This one is from the Rachael Ray website. Again, I tweaked a few things to make it better. And Liz, I made this "as is" at my house, with the few dashes of hot sauce and all, and it still was pretty mild. This recipe is all about the extra toppings that go on at the end... so take the time to chop, slice, etc. Makes about 8 servings, delicious as leftovers. Prep time 30-45 minutes, cook time 3.5-4 hours. If you're having friends over and want extra- bump the chicken up to 2 lbs, and use more eggplant and sweet potato.

1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
2 T curry powder
1 t ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
few dashes hot sauce

1.5 lbs bone-in skinless chicken thighs (you may have to buy with skin, and then remove it- don't be intimidated, it's easy)
1 medium onion chopped
1 T tomato paste (buy a tube- it's so handy)
2-3 cloves garlic- through the press
1 green bell pepper- or which ever color looks good at the store
1 14 oz can chick peas
1 inch knob ginger- peel and grate with your microplane
1/2 large, or 1 small eggplant
2 smallish-medium sweet potatoes

White rice
1 lemon
3 scallions, sliced thin on the bias
1/2 c chopped cilantro
1 c chopped toasted peanuts
mango chutney
Naan or pita bread wedges

So, it's 2 in the afternoon- good time to start this meal. Put the coconut milk, curry, coriander, cumin, and hot sauce in the crock pot, and get it going- start on low.

Pull skin off your chicken if needed. Heat a couple of T's of veg.oil in a big non-stick skillet. Pat chicken dry, season with S&P. One the oil is ready to sizzle, put your chicken in and brown both sides of each piece- nice golden brown color. Move the chicken into the pot.

Now add your onion and green pep to the skillet, and saute until getting soft- ~6 minutes, add tomato paste- 1 minute, now garlic- 30 sec to 1 min. Scrape it all into your pot. Crank it up to high. Add the chickpeas too. And grate your ginger right into the pot.

Clean up, go do something else for 2 to 2.5 hours.

Now, add your sweet potato and eggplant. You could have put them in with the chicken and onion, but they will get mushy and disintegrate, but still taste good. Go do something else for an hour or so.

Now your sup has been cooking for 3 to 3.5 hours on high, time to get your rice going. Look and see, the meat should be falling of the bone by now, use a fork to pull out the bones. The meat will just fall apart when you give it a good stir. Chop your cilantro, scallions, chop (food processor mini if you have it) peanuts. Toast peanuts in a small sauce pan on the stove top until fragrant- 4-6 minutes, shaking the pan every minute or so. Slice lemon into wedges.

Your sweety is home! Now it's time for your delicious curry buffet- Put some rice in the bottom of your dish, Curry on top, and then the toppings- scallions, cilantro, peanuts, mango chutney. Lemons and Naan on the side.

This meal is great to make on a day you plan to spend at home, there's plenty of time to do other things- like make peanut butter cookies and see what's new on the Seatsleaf blog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wall color indecisiveness

For the past week, I have been going to the paint store every day, and I'm sick of it. It all started while D&D were in town. The guest house is now at the stage where the wall colors I chose are going up on the walls. I came home and saw that the guest bedroom had been painted. I wanted to be daring and had chosen a bright orange-pinky color. Well, it was perfect for a taco stand, but not good for a bedroom. So, Dolores and Dino helped- and instead of chosing from a tiny sample card, we went out for paint samples this time. I went with a bluish-green- lovely. Then, the bathroom was painted the color I had chosen for the bathroom and downstairs- a tannish-yellow. Well, there was nothing tan about it- it was bright yellow. Fine for the bathroom- but don't paint the downstairs that color! Went out for more paint samples, tried out 5 tans- and chose one. Then looked at the floor- it clashed- Wait, don't buy that paint color that I chose the replace the yellow! Went out for another paint sample- still don't like it. My contractor must think I am crazy. I have until Monday to pick the color.

Visit from D&D

Jason and I spent our Easter week with a visit from mom and dad Seats. It was their first visit to our new home in San Antonio, and they approved. My favorite day spent with Dino and Dolores was the first day they were in town. Jason had to work, so I took them on the San Antonio cheesy tourists' tour- A trip to the Alamo and the Riverwalk, including the tour-guided boat ride on the river (my second time!). When we sat down for lunch, we were approached by a Mariachi band. Any time this has happened to me previously, someone always shoos them away, and says "No, thanks." But this time when we were asked if we would like to be serenaded, Dolores replied "yes!" And I have to say, it was a beautiful song. So I have hereby instated a new rule- If approached by a Mariache band, you must always say "yes!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Amanda's Tweaked Hummus

My family and I are all huge fans of hummus. I tweaked the "Light Hummus" by America's Test Kitchen. My secret ingredient is pimento stuffed green olives and olive juice. Plus, Lontai family hummus requires a sprinkle of Hungarian Paprika on top.

1 15 oz can Chickpeas
2-3 T Tahini paste (usually found in the olive isle- sesame paste)
2-3 T good quality e.v. olive oil
2-3 T water
Juice of 1 lemon (~3 T)
1/2 large or 1 small garlic clove
2 T olive juice + extra on top
big pinch of kosher salt
pinch cayenne
Chopped olives

Process the chickpeas, tahini, EVOO, water, lemon juice, garlic, olive juice, salt, and cayenne in the food processer until you reach desired consistency. For thicker hummus use less liquids, for thinner more. Taste and adjust.
Stir in sliced olives, and extra on top for decoration, top with a drizzle of olive juice. And sprinkle paprika on top.

Serve with veggies- carrot, celery, bell pepper sticks, sugar snap peas, etc.

Also, use store bought pita chips or make your own:

Thin style pita breads, not the bready kind (I have yet to find in San Antonio)- try whole foods or the Jay's international foods on South Grand in St. Louis
kosher salt

Heat oven to 350. Tear up pita into chips and spread out on baking sheet. Spray EVOO on with a Misto oil sprayer or dab on with cooking brush (one side is fine) and then sprink kosher salt on top. Bake for ~6 minutes. I almost always burn 1 batch- keep your eye on then, once they get slightly brown or golden on the edges, take them out and they'll crisp up once they cool. You can also use garlic infused oil- yum.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Homemade Granola

Make your own granola- it's easy, and yummier and cheaper than anything you'll find in the store. Plus, you can say one of my all time favorite things to say, "There's nothing more granola, than making your own granola."

Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and Extra Ingredients --except dried fruit -- in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and any Flavoring indicated below to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Squish it down on the baking sheet with your spatula to form and even layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. (Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.)

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Extra Ingredients (see complete list below)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
3 Tbs. water
Flavoring (see below)

1. Classic Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dark or golden raisins
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
You can replace the 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 2 Tbs. each of maple syrup and molasses.

For the granola you had at my house- I put a few shakes of cinnamon in with the dry ingredients as well as with the wet/ heated ingredients. I also swapped out pecans for walnuts, and added banana chips. Buy unsweetened coconut and banana chips to make it lighter. My other favorite variation is dried cherries and almonds. Do head the advice and don't over bake the dried fruit- it bursts and then burns. After you try it out, if you find you are not getting enough clumps- bump up the wet ingredients next time.

PND Reunion 2009

Liz, Jenny, and Katy safely made their way to San Antonio for the weekend- and are hopefully all now safely back at their homes. We started off the weekend with a trip to the Alamo and walk on the Riverwalk. Plenty of time for relaxing by the pool. Eating, drinking, and being merry. And our all day winery trip on Saturday. The girls thought it was necessary to shop for cowboy boots before going home, but Katy was the only one to splurge on a pair. Revelations from the weekend: Babybell cheese- yummy with wine and crackers. Liz in a string bikini- a sight to behold. Katy's pantyliner armpit story- will make you laugh to yourself at odd times of day. Jenny is a fashion guru. Girls, I'll post my recipes that you wanted from the weekend- enjoy!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Tribute to Megan

I have 4 girlfriends from high school (Peoria Notre Dame)- Liz, Jenny, Katy, and Megan- and despite the fact that we live all over the country, we all try to get together once a year. This year the obvious choice for the destination was San Antonio. We got off to a sad start, because Megan had to cancel her trip last minute due to the stomach flu. So our get together this year was very sadly, minus one Megan. That gosh darn stomach flu!

Megan, we tried to think of what could be worse that not being able to come to our reunion due to the stomach flu. And here's what we came up with...
1. Death of a loved one
2. Death of a pet
3. Disfiguring injuries
4. Being wrongly accused of a crime and sent to jail
5. Being diagnosed with a fatal disease

That's all we could think of.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Guest Blogger

Jason said he will be my guest blogger on Seatsleaf when I hit my 100th blog- Jason, this is number 16!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Dip

Today I got in the pool for the first time. It was cold, but tolerable.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom and Danny!

Wishing you both a happy birthday! Danny- I can't believe you're 21! I wish I could be there to buy you a drink. Have a great one. Mom, I wish you and I were sitting on my Lanai, drinking Mojitos!

Our Crazy Brit

For the past week Jason and I have had the honor of entertaining our British friend, Paul, who was Jason's first Slicehost employee. It's nice having Paul around because he has a British accent, thereby making everything he says thoroughly entertaining. Plus, being British, he is the ultimate authority on what is rude, or not rude. So, if you're ever not sure what your rudeness status is at any given point in time, he will let you know. Last Saturday we went downtown for San Antonio's 2nd annual Luminaria festival. Here's Paul standing in front of the "Torch of Friendship" sculpture, which some San Antonians have dubbed the giant curly red pubic hair. Now, I can't see anything else when I look at it.

Baby Boys

Jason and I have decided that our friends' babies both passes their cuteness inspections with flying colors. Congratulations Mandy and Willy and Steve and Maria! Keep posting pictures so we can watch them grow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Updates

Jason and I were about to head off for a weekend getaway in Austin when he was struck down by the yucky flu. But, in other news, we will be heading back to St. Louis later this week in order to check out some new babies that have arrived since our departure in December. Two baby boys were born to friends of ours on the same day last week.

The guest house is underway! I have selected a contractor for the Carriage house remodel and they will be getting started on the work this week.

I found a job! I took a job with a company called the Therapy Team here in San Antonio, that is similar to the job I had back in St. Louis.

I've been having fun gardening and potting plants in our yard. I have a nice herb crop going that dad and I planted from seed when he visited. We got some beautiful painted pottery and planted tropical plants for the outdoor patio.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Two Cupids

Jason and I have met a few friends and neighbors in San Antonio. A couple from New Orleans that live one street over, Jennie and Hugh, host an annual Mardi Gras party. We were told to come in costume. Just in case you weren't sure if Jason is secure in his manhood, this definitely proves it to be so. Sheryl Crow's next big hit should be "Are you man enough to wear a pink tutu." Anyway, they crowned a new king and queen, and then we had a parade down the street, and into San Pedro park, and back again. Jason had a few too many Bloody Mary's and we had a lot of fun. View more pic's at the dropshots website (

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on getting the guest house project going. I will not go into details, but I hit a few snags in the pursuit of getting a building permit for the shed addition behind the guest house, and am just getting a remodel permit for the interior instead. I have spent more hours of my life down at the San Antonio Development and Business Services Office than I ever wanted, and it was extremely frustrating. I have made a little progress in the job search, and have an interview lined up on Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dad the Architect visits

I just put my Dad back on the plane to Peoria. He visited for an extended weekend trip. Behind our main house is a guest house, or the "Carriage House." It is currently uninhabitable. It needs walls, floors, plumbing, electric, and heating/ cooling work. I was told that there was a fire in the Carriage House in the 80's, and it has not been fixed or really lived in since. Anyway, I needed my dad to visit to help us draw up plans so that we could get this project started. So, Dad worked a lot during his visit, taking the measurements, drawing up the plans all day Saturday and Sunday. Then we started meeting with contractors and working on getting the building permit on Monday and today. I was exciting to get the project started and to have a better vision of what it will become. There's still a lot of things I need to do before the job will actually get started, so that's what I'll be doing for the next couple of weeks. It's going to be beautiful when it's all done- and I'm painting the guest bedroom pink!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jason's lost and found wallet

The past week has been consumed by Jason losing his wallet. It appears that about once a year, Jason casts his wallet upon the floor or ground somewhere, as an experiment to test the current state of kindness in humanity. Last year, during 2007 Christmas season, about when you start to feel like if you hear one more Christmas song on the radio while stuck in traffic going to the store you will freak, Jason lost his wallet. It was also around this time when I had been receiving a string of annoying phone solicitations, and was getting tired of it. Instead of politely declining, I had begun to deal with this by stating that the wrong number had been called. I know, rude. One afternoon when I had returned from work, and Jason was still at work, a man called us on the phone. He didn't quite know how to pronounce our name, and I told him he had the wrong number and hung up. He called again, and I repeated my previous actions. A few minutes later, an irritated man appeared on our front door step, and said he did call the right number, he was just trying to return my husband's wallet, which Jason had dropped on the sidewalk earlier that day. Never have I felt so bad, and so rude in my entire life. I actually couldn't pull myself together to speak to him. Called hubby, Jason didn't even know he had lost it. So, I baked the neighbor a tin of cookies and had Jason deliver them to him to say thank you.

Last Wednesday evening, Jason got out his wallet to have his gym card swiped when we got to the gym. The next morning, time for me to drop him off at work, and his wallet was missing. It was either at the gym, somewhere in between the gym and where we parked our car, in the car, or at our house. We looked everywhere, asked everyone. Called the credit card companies, no charges were made that were not made by us. I thought about the missing wallet all day for days. Finally, we gave up, and canceled the cards, ordered new ones. I was sad because I had just given Jason the new wallet as a congratulations present. We also decided to get Lifelock protection, and cancel unused, unnessessary credit cards. We went back to the gym last night, and as I was explaning that my husband does not have his gym card, he lost his wallet, the guy behind the desk said- "Oh, we have a wallet in our lost and found." Oh, it was Jason's wallet.

I can't wait for Jason to lose his wallet next year.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Joe and Michelle visit San Antonio

After Christmas, Jason and I made an uneventful 14 hour drive back to San Antonio with Angel, the dog, in the back seat. The only car ride she ever goes on is over to Mom and Dad Seats' house. So, I imagine she thought we got really lost. Angel likes the big yard at this house.

Our first visitors to San Antonio arrived last Wednesday, New Years Eve- my brother Joe and fiance Michelle. We've been having lots of fun with them. Here's a photo of the 4 of us on New Years Day at the Alamo, one of the few places open on New Year's Day.

We have made some major progress on the boxes and I'm learning my way around the new kitchen. It's funny how you can completely lose your groove when you're just not familiar with the location of everything. Nothing is automatic for me anymore.