Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Is here in CT. My sister and her biz are sponsors for this amazing show and charity. I love watching the show and always wondered what it took to "get one of these done".
I had the amazing opportunity (thanks to my sister and brother in law) of visiting the site as a VIP. All I can say is that is was WAY cool and amazing and awe inspiring and muddy. Here is the story as I know it.
It is all about timing; one month to draw the blue prints and get the specs for the house, 106 hours to build it, 1 day to move out, demolish and and cart away the debris. They had a VIP party for the sponsors with dinner and DJ and everything. We got there at about 6pm... well back up a minute. We had to park a few miles away at a parking lot, shuttle bus to the site which only takes you three blocks away from the actual house. We walked by all kinds of equipment, the design tent, lots of porto pottys and then to the actual house. We were in a tent across the street. The whole neighborhood is enveloped by this endeavor... all the neighbors are involved if only because huge trucks are parked on their lawn. When we arrived the foundation was already set and the floor was down; by the time we left about 4 hours later the whole first floor was up... walls and everything. They work so FAST. We didn't get to see any "celebrities" but we got to meet the builder/ saint and some producers.
Before we left we got some photo passes and got to cross the volunteer threshold and go onto the actual build site... so very cool. We talked to one guy that said that a house like this could actually take up to a year to build. All the inside stuff for the house was already on a truck waiting already mostly assembled. Can't even begin to imagine what it takes to be a project manager on the project like this. CRAZZYY.
So enjoy the pics and I will let you know when it airs.
Huge kudos and applause to all those involved especially my peeps; Robert Charles Photography: Susanna, Ed, Bob, Leah and everyone else. Thanks again for including us!


Hapy Father's Day

It's soggy and rainy and not such a splendid day today, but a good a day as any to honor our Fathers. Mine is my Mom. She has been there for me as a Mom, Dad, friend, travel companion, psychologist, cheerleader... you name it she has done it for me. So on this day (and every other day) I honor her! To the other Dad's in my life... the uncles, family friends and various people like teachers and bosses that have either knowingly or not gave me some nugget of advice and helped me along; today I honor you. AND to the Fathers in my life... I also honor you! Lots of honors being handed out today; I hope you all have a great day despite the sogginess... at least you don't have to mow today :)



Dinner and build a bear

On Sunday we had some friends over for dinner. I had some pineapple and pork and wasn't sure what I wanted to make, and came across this recipe.
Chili-rubbed pork kebabs with pineapple salsa. All I can say is yum yum yum. The salsa is almost spicier than the kebabs. Here is the recipe:
1 pineapple, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespons olive oil
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons chili powder
4- 6 ounce boneless pork loin chops, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used pork tenderloin)

Heat a grill to medium-high. Grill the pineapple slices for 2 minutes per side. Cut into small dice, discarding the pieces of core. In a bowl, combine the pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, pepper, 1 teaspoon of the oil, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Set aside. Combine the chili powder and the remaining teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Add the pork and the remaining tablespoon of oil and toss to coat. Thread the pork onto skewers. Grill the kebabs, turning ever 2 minutes, until cooked through, about 15 minutes total. Serve the kebabs alongside the pineapple salsa. Enjoy.
This was a delicious Summer dinner.
Yesterday I joined my mother, sister and the two youngest kids and our family friend and her daughter at build a bear. Never before had I witnessed such a thing. Crazy I tell you. The kids had a great time and we went out to eat at a new restaurant at the mall. We were all impressed. I had risotto and salad and although the risotto was a little oily the lunch was great. The kids got mac and cheese and pizza and the servings were huge.
Not much else to report these days. Just finished a great book... Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. Really great read and I recommend it to anyone. Unless of course your are afraid of the circus or elephants.



Summer is right around the corner

The days are getting long and hot, shorts and flip flops are the daily uniform.
Hubby is counting the days til school gets out. You can smell the charcoal and gardens in the air. Everyone is planning their getaways. Ahhh... the sounds and smells of Summer. Lovin' it!
Been kinda quiet round here... just the way I like it. No noise = no problems.
I've been visiting and getting together with folks and that is always fun. Lunch with Hana was soul soothing. Pizza with D,D,D and H was fun fun fun and fun! Spending the day running around with my sister and the kids to swim meets and soccer games and free ice cream was oh so tiring but oh so fun. Trip to Cabela's with Ed and Bridget was ... well... what can I say about Cabela's... hmmm. The company was great! :) Playdate with Leah is always just what I need even if I was a space cadet. The coffee date with my cousin and her kids was a blast. It never ceases to amaze me what an amazing family they are! The kids are adorable and my cousin is a sweetie. We don't get together often but when we do it is always a treat.
So... plans anyone... I know there was a bbq coming up either Fri night or Sat that I might crash... book-club ladies. I've been wanting to get out and see Ali and the kids... anyone else up for a visit?
The pic at the top is a gift that hubby brought home from his recent trip to Maryland... he was right... I have been crabby! The other pics are self explanatory!