Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We must have been living in our house for a year by now because we found ourselves giving candy to droves of children again! Last year we were watching the OU/K-state game in the only two chairs in the house on a 17" television with our new bed in the dining room. We had only been in our house for 3 days. A sign in our neighborhood stated that Trick-or-Treating would happen from 5-9pm that night. A little before 5pm we finished installing our new Texas porch lights, ready for scores of Trick-or-Treaters.

By 6:30 we were giving handfuls of candy to the few children that
had stopped by. We certainly didn't want to keep it and it looked as if we'd bought too much! Then at 7:00 they came from every direction and before 8pm we ran out of candy.

With children at the door.

I felt horrible.

Looking back, I doubt they even cared that much. They don't know us from the neighbors and they know there's more candy down the street. In the end it was a fun night (that may or may not have involved wine).

This year, I was going to be more than ready. I researched online what the 'healthiest' candy was. I decided York minis (50cals and dark chocolate), 3 Musketeers minis, and mini Snickers. 5 bags total. Mike dressed up as Walker Texas Ranger and I pulled out the Angel/Devil costume I'd gotten a few years ago. The kids started coming around 6:30. A few said we had the "good candy" (yay!) and a few of the little girls said they liked my costume! They were all super cute and we were happy to help them celebrate Halloween. Just before 8 we were down to 5 pieces of candy left (but Mike had stashed a reserve for himself). Then a few big groups of kids all came at once. We had to bust into the reserve, but we didn't run out. When they left, we blew out the candles in the pumpkins and turned off our Texas lights! Success!!

Here are the pumpkins we carved last week. LSU fleur de lis, upside down Longhorn, and OU!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Big Weekend for the Holtzes!

I know we've only been married not 5 months, but let me tell you what love is: Love is saying "ok" when your boyfriend asks you in February if he can sign up for a Half Ironman triathlon that will be held on your birthday!! My family knows that my birthday is quite an affair. This has been contained over the years. After all, once you turn 21, there isn't much to get excited about. But it seems to be spread out over the entire month and there were always a few (or more) parties.

There wasn't a party this year and Mike and I decided a long time ago we weren't into giving gifts. I got lots of lovely cards from friends and family and a few great gifts along the way and my birthday weekend was an absolute blast! We left for Austin on Saturday morning to get Mike checked in and drop off his bike. Let me tell you, these Ironman events are just that: EVENTS! There was staff everywhere and packet pick up consisted of at least 5 different stations. I was in awe. A lot of people, just like Mike, had trained very hard to accomplish this goal. There was definitely an energy at the expo hall!

After Mike got signed in, we met the Qualleys and Mongolian Grill. A favorite of all of ours. After lunch, we headed back to Ashley and Grant's house to get ready for the OU game that night! Grant's brother Duke came over with some ground Bison and we enjoyed Bison burgers along with an OU victory! Mike went to bed early while Ash, Grant and I stayed up to watch the end of the Dallas Stars hockey game and visit some more.

The next morning Mike left early, early while I slept in. It was my birthday after all!! :) Ashley took me to Kerbey Lane Cafe for a birthday breakfast consisting of Pumpkin Pancakes and Migas (mexican breakfast dish consisting of eggs and some other stuff and tortillas!) It was delicious! I even had a birthday mimosa! We talked and talked and talked! We both enjoyed some girl time on a Sunday morning.

By the time we got back, we only had time to run to the nursery with Grant to get some more plants for thier yard before we had to head to the expo hall and cheer on our (half) ironman!!

Mike showed up shortly after 3pm which is when he said we should arrive. (Remember, he started at 8:15!) I decided to go for a high five as he was finishing rather than a picture. Grant had his fancy camera and snapped a few shots as Mike came in. This was good because Mike didn't see my hand until the last minute and he didn't even know it was mine! He couldn't speak
for a good 10-15 min afterwards and even when he could he didn't want to say much!

We returned to the Qualleys' house where Mike showered
and we got packed up. We drove home and grabbed a burger on the way back to the house. I was very hungry and ate mine right away. When I was done, I looked at Mike and there was half a burger just sitting there and Mike was just looking at it, defeated. I'll never understand why the body rejects food after burning so many calories (Mike estimates 5800). He finally got it down and then it was time for bed!

I'm so proud of my husband!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall has fallen...

The weather has cooled down quite a bit here in South Texas. The Gulf moisture finally got shut off and humidity is low. Highs in the mid-80s and lows in the low-50s - I'm loving this weather!!

This has inspired things like baking granola, going to football games and enjoying hot drinks!

I found a recipe for granola bars in Food Network magazine over the summer. I've been meaning to make my own bars for years and this specific recipe for a few months now. I finally took the time. I wasn't sure what to expect because I couldn't fathom that making granola bars was as easy as the recipe said. If it was that easy, wouldn't everyone just make their own? (Ok, maybe not in a society where you can pay a bit more for pre-chopped veggies...) They filled the house with warm, autumn scents as they baked. I was patient to let them cool completely before gently cutting them into bars (they didn't come out as pretty as a pre-packaged bar). When I tasted one, I was shocked. They were AMAZING! They tasted just like Kashi granola bars....nay, BETTER! How did I make this?! Usually I'm underwhelmed with my own cooking because I'm critiquing it the whole time I eat it. Meanwhile Mike is like "THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN [insert store bought version]!!" But these were fantastic. Pretty much addicting. Today I bought ingredients to make the same kind, but with dark chocolate, as well as Pumpkin Spice granola bars.

Ever since we first moved into our house last fall, we've been threatening to go to an Alamo Heights football game. High school football is huge in Texas, of course, and Alamo Heights is our "home team". We went to the homecoming game a couple weeks ago. I went to a local boutique, "The Spotted Mule", to get us some Alamo Heights Mules spirit gear. We were able to walk to the stadium and the weather was fantastic. Let me tell you, I've been to plenty of high school football games during my times as a cheerleader. Granted that was for a very small school, but I swear this game was only slightly less of a production than an OU game. Wow. Three cheer squads, what seemed like 400 football players on the sideline, giant flags, a dynamic marching band complete with fuzzy hats and capes, even a group of guys similar to the OU Ruf/Neks (minus guns). I was in awe pretty much the whole time. I had a hard time focusing on the game because of all the other side shows. It was mind blowing. I couldn't wait for halftime! Sure enough, dance teams from both schools performed. The opposing team's dance team had ladders that they did a routine with. Alamo Heights' dance team did a clog (tap) routine which included having many men/male students carrying countless panels of flooring onto the field before they performed and then removing them afterward. A mom sitting near us told us they usually do a couple clog routines each season. In the end the right team won and we even had time for gelato on the way home! :)

Something I've enjoyed doing over the past couple months is using If you're not familiar with it, it's a website that can be used to access and/or post reviews about different businesses. The most obvious and popular use is for restaurant reviews. I love it because I can use it on my iPhone and find great local places near me when I'm out and about. I can also "check-in" wherever I am and the when I log on at the computer it will remind me to write a review. You may have noticed the Yelp box on the right side of my blog. There you can see some of my recent reviews. This resource has been very helpful since we're in a new city and don't know many people yet.

Through Yelp I kept hearing about a local coffee shop called "Olmos Perk" which is located in Olmos Park. (Think "Central Perk" from Friends!) Anyway, they make AMAZING oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and their Tiger Spice Chai is a force to be reckoned with. My first time there, the barista recommended that I get a hot drink next time since they do 'latte art'. I was excited to see this, but it was still hot as heck so I told him I'd have to wait until it cooled off outside. Last week Mike requested that we go there as he had a bit of work he needed to do and the coffee shop would provide a nice setting. When we got there I saw they had pumpkin spice lattes. PERFECT! It was cool enough for a hot drink and I could get a yummy fall drink. The picture even showed a pumpkin as the latte art! When I ordered my drink I requested the pumpkin art specifically (I think it's usually whatever the barista thinks of at that moment). As you can see, he did a great job! This place rocks!