Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Holy Guacamole WE OWN A HOUSE

C and I knew moving out here that we wanted to buy a home, and relatively soon. With the wedding coming up in October, it would be easier all around to have the house situation settled down before that got too close.

We'd been looking online quite a bit, and went out with a realtor the first weekend we were in Gilbert. By that Monday, we were making an offer - the house was one of many of the same floor plan for sale in the neighborhood, but it was ABSOLUTELY the nicest inside and we didn't want to lose out on it.

Part of our goal in life is to never have to move again after this - both of us have pretty strong "anti-schlep" policies about our lives, and moving is definitely the biggest schlep of them all. So, we were looking at houses that could house future potential children (no, not yet, no one freak out yet), and in the mean time all the family and friends that we have basically at once.

Well, today, just about one month later, we closed on that house! It's ours! We own it! Who let us grow up so fast?!? Aren't we still the 17 & 18 year olds we were when we first met (ok I guess being older than 17 & 18 has it's benefits)???

Hi hello this is us and our house!

We're moving in this weekend - the truck and movers are booked and C's storage units will be delivered! Granted, we will need to still buy some (ok maybe a lot) of furniture to fill the many new rooms we now have (including, as I described it to C, the "Christmas Tree Room").  But, we have a decent start considering we used to both have our own places.

So, now, as of May 27, 2015, we are home owners. We have a lovely (large) home in Gilbert, Arizona and everyone is invited to visit us whenever they want. So really, come to Gilbert, we would love to have you :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A New Experience: Cooking Dinner for Two

Add this to the list of new experiences when you live with your significant other: dinner for two.

Part of the reason I never really cooked for just me is that anything I made for dinner, I then had to eat for approximately the next million lunches and dinners because of leftovers. Now that there's a second person to help with the first serving that leaves just enough for me to eat the next day, especially since I'm working from home.

Someday, I'll get the timing down of cooking dinner for two people. It's a transition, going from either cooking for yourself, not cooking at all and going out somewhere, or having someone cook for you (thanks, mom and dad!) to cooking for not only yourself most nights, but also someone else!

So far I've been trying to start cooking when C leaves work, but more often than not it's been turning into me trying to keep food warm while he 1. drives home; and 2. gets changed and showers for the night.

Since we're both new to living with each other too, I made C come with me the first time we went grocery shopping so I could know what kinds of things he wanted (pasta sauce, bread, etc), and then have been trying to build from there.

Here's what we've been eating so far:

Steak, Potatoes & Asparagus

  • I bought some steak strips (much less daunting to cook than a whole steak for someone not used to it) and some Montreal-style seasoning and grilled these on the stove
  • These cheesy potatoes are my absolute favorite - my mom usually buys them at Costco which is obviously way too many potatoes for two people, but I've found them in "normal people" sized packages at the grocery stores here. 
  • Roasted asparagus in the oven with some olive oil and garlic salt (ok maybe a lot of garlic salt). I had to get creative with this when I was cooking the asparagus and crescent rolls at the same time, but they came out pretty nice. 
  • Crescent rolls (yes, from a package, but these are hard to beat!), and I have plans for this week for some nice garlic bread sticks instead of the crescent rolls. 
Kung Pao Chicken
  • Last time C and I went to Panda Express I asked why he didn't want us to buy some stuff to make this like we had with the Orange Chicken (yet to be eaten since it's a frozen dish) and he said it was too complicated with all the veggies to make at home. Little did he know I could get pretty similar veggies as a frozen bag! I bought a bottle of Panda Express Kung Pao Sauce and after grilling up some chicken on the stove, poured that over it with the veggies and some brown rice. 
Bacon-Sourdough Grilled Cheese
  • Do I really need to say more here? Well, I will. We've been buying the "fully cooked microwaveable" bacon, so we heated up some of those and put them between two slices of sourdough (a personal favorite) with cheddar cheese for a tasty tasty grilled cheese. 

Chicken Nachos

  • On my most recent grocery trip I found "fajita style" cuts of chicken - already cut into nice strips for me. Since cutting raw chicken is currently one of my worst nightmares, this was perfect. 
  • I also found this Ortega Fajita Skillet Sauce and thought that would add some nice flavor to some ordinarily plain chicken. After I grilled the chicken, I let it simmer in this sauce, and it was delicious! 
  • Plus all the other nacho fixins: chips (I like the scoops kind), shredded cheese, refried beans, olive slices, jalape├▒os (for the more adventurous of us aka not me), and we also added corn to these. 
That concludes this episode of "things Amanda can cook for the two of them" - keep checking back for more! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Two Weeks Together

Well, we’re here! We’ve made it through two weeks of living together, and are both enjoying Arizona so far. Our apartment is about a mile away from “downtown” Gilbert which is FULL of delicious restaurants. We’ve hit up a few so far and already have some favorites (Zinburger, I’m looking at you).

This weekend we’re both going away - I’m going to Ohio with my dad to visit my grandma and C is heading back to EP for the weekend. Unfortunately when we both get back, he turns around and leaves again on Monday for a business trip. It will be my first night in AZ myself.

I’ve been working remotely from our new apartment for the same company I’ve been at for almost 4 years now. I was lucky enough for them to allow me to stay on full time after I moved. C started his new job and is catching up on what he needs to know to master his new gig.

Because I’m working from home, I obviously don’t get out much. As a very social person, this is taking some getting used to - that and the stir-crazy feeling. I try to make a point to go outside the apartment a few times a day (to get the mail earlier, then for a walk around the apartment complex around lunch), but I’m still trying to figure out how to meet new people.

I got some babysitting jobs already lined up out here, the first one was last night. Two little boys as cute as could be! I’m excited for the opportunity to spend more time with kids again, and the chance to get out and interact with real live people who aren’t my fiance, our apartment building managers or the mail lady - not that there's anything wrong with any of those people.