There has been a huge abundance of new restaurants popping up in DFW for the last few years. We absolutely love visiting new places and trying new flavors! HG Sply has been on my list for some time now, so I’m excited to say it was definitely worth the wait. What a beautiful patio, delicious food, and a fun atmosphere. And even better that we got to try it with some fantastic friends! It’s been a long stressful week, but all is forgotten now the weekend is here! What a lovely Friday night!

We don’t get to see everybody as often as we’d like, and there are definitely some much loved faces missing from this picture, but we still really enjoyed our evening!

We’ve been neglectful puppy owners. Though we celebrated both pupniversaries for Jabber and Cery with hugs and long walks, we kept forgetting to get them their annual pupcakes from Three Dog Bakery! Well, we were neglectful no more! We stopped by and got two pupcakes tonight to be enjoyed by two lucky puppies!

A Peanut Mutter Bar and a Dreamy Pupcake for my two lucky puppies!

Jabber’s well practiced at this ritual by now and promptly wolfed her cake down in approximately 2 licks and 3 bites.

However, this is Cery’s first pupniversary and first pupcake celebration. She has no idea what’s in store for her!

She licked her cake around the kitchen, she licked her cake into a corner, she licked her cake until it got wedged under the china cabinet, and she kept licking it until a light bulb went of in her puny brain that she could actually bite the cake. Needless to say, whether by lick or by bite, Cery loved her pupcake.

So happy to have two ridiculous puppies in our lives!

Our clinic is moving to a brand new shiny facility in December. Very exciting! But as we get ready for our big move, my two co-workers and I have been staying late to sort through almost 20 years of old paperwork, patient charts, and research files. Not so much fun. I promise I will be much more enthusiastic about our new building once the move is completed. Until then, I will just be anxious and work late. But do you know what makes working late slightly better (besides chocolate of course)? A good Pandora station! I’ve been listening to a lot of my Ellie Goulding station recently. I find it motivating, danceable, and fun.

Progress was made tonight. We have boxed up 100+ boxes for off site storage. Sad part? We’re probably only 40% done. Sigh. Work harder and longer tomorrow!

We don’t go to movies in the theatre very often. Actually come to think of it, we don’t really see that many movies at home either. For the time being, we can’t seem to sit still long enough to watch movies. However, a few weekends ago, we did find the time to watch the new Disney animated flick Big Hero 6.

picture courtesy of Disney

Now I normally love Disney movies. But I think the last couple Disney (and Disney collaborated) movies were a little disappointing. Very honestly, I found both Pixar’s Brave and Disney’s Frozen lacking. I realize Frozen is the top grossing animated movie in the history of ever, but I just didn’t like it. However, I did very much enjoy Big Hero 6. It didn’t have the intricacies and levels of a typical Pixar film, but it was adorable and well put together.

Just a fun little story about imagination, the power of science, being kind, and friendship. I would recommend this as a fun little break from your everyday routine.

It happens every year, I get to a point where nothing I write sounds interesting. The curse of NaBloPoMo writer’s block. I didn’t eat anything very interesting tonight, nothing spectacular happened to me today, the dogs are being boring, work was long but uneventful, and Andy’s not particularly entertaining tonight either.

So, here I sit staring at this laptop screen trying to fabricate something, anything that could pass as a post for tonight. In the background, we’re trying to suffer through the last season of How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM). And I think I’ve found my rant for the night! **Warning: to get this rant out correctly, there is going to be spoilers. Avoid reading the rest of this post if you’d actually like to torture yourself with the last two seasons of this show. Though I will suggest that there must be an easier and certainly faster way if you’re keen on torture than 48+ truly awful episodes.**

(picture courtesy of CBS)

Let me get this straight, I love the first three to four seasons of HIMYM. It’s funny, it’s clever, and it’s for the most part, entertaining! I find the characters charming and relatable. I love all the actors and actresses. And I would highly recommend watching the first few seasons.

The last two seasons, however, are horrendous. It has been an absolute chore to sit through these episodes. But we endured so we could finally get through the finale and be done with it. Having just watched the finale, I now hate everything about this show. The entire last season was centered around one single wedding weekend, in which the couple get a divorce in the second to last episode. 20 episodes about this momentous wedding and they get divorced in the end? Why would they waste my time like that!?!

It’s like the writers hadn’t ever watched any of their own previous episodes! The characters seemed to be strange exaggerations of their previous selves, the jokes fell flat, the plots were ridiculous, they kept bringing in weird references that have never been mentioned before on show (i.e. Weekend at Bernie’s, the Princess Bride…etc), and oh that’s right, THEY KILLED OFF THE MOTHER??? We suffered through nine seasons of this ridiculous show to have them kill the mother?!? So it should actually be called How I Met Your Mother but Totally Ended Up with the Chick I Dated at the Beginning of the Show Because The Writers Obviously Hate Their Viewers?? ARRRGGG!!! Anger. But yes, thank you for the inspiration so I can finish writing and go to bed. And also thank you HIMYM for ensuring that I will not be missing your show.

My work has been incredibly busy as of late. So, to combat the end of the evening, “I’m too tired to cook, let’s just eat something terribly unhealthy that we can pick up at a drive through window” issue, I spent all day today cooking various things that will get us through the week. Banana muffins for breakfast, a nice chickpea and butternut squash curry for lunches, a lovely hot Peruvian style arroz con pollo for a few dinners, and of course, I had to do a test run of my homemade pumpkin pie in anticipation of our upcoming Thanksgiving feast!

When I say homemade pumpkin pie, I do mean from an actual pumpkin. I’m just curious as to whether pie made from an actual pumpkin tastes any different than pie made from canned pumpkin. Only thing to do is to experiment!!

Got myself a nice pie pumpkin. And yes, be sure to get a pie or baking pumpkin. I don’t think decorative pumpkins are as tasty…

Use your handy dandy cleaver and rubber mallet to slice that sucker in half!

Remove all seeds and stringy pulpy stuff. Then sprinkle with a little salt. (My fingers may be permanently dyed orange from working with pumpkin and butternut squash today. I guess I’m well on my way to being an oompa loompa?)

Roast in the oven for 45 minutes at 400 degrees F. Roast pumpkin smells lovely, by the by.

Once cooled, puree the pumpkin flesh in a food processor until smooth. My little pumpkin ended up with 2 lbs of pumpkin puree. And since each pie only needs 1 lb of pumpkin puree, I can skip the pumpkin roasting step for my Thanksgiving pie!

Alton Brown’s original recipe calls for a gingersnap cookie crust, but I don’t like ginger. So, I substituted with a vanilla snap cookie crust instead. And in place of ground ginger, I used cinnamon. Still tastes good!

Add in the pumpkin pie filling (pumpkin puree + half & half + eggs + brown sugar), bake till the custard is set!

Top with some homemade whipped cream, and yum! I do actually like the real pumpkin version of pumpkin pie better. It is much more work, but I think it’s acceptable to put in a little more effort for the holidays. Even Andy, who doesn’t normally like pumpkin pie that much, enjoyed a slice of my pie. :)

If you’d like to try Alton Brown’s pumpkin pie recipe, you can find it here. Now our fridge is full, the kitchen’s clean, the dishwasher’s running, and I think I can call my Sunday cooking adventure a success!

Last weekend we decided to attend Fun Fun Fun Fest. It is a three day music festival in Austin. Though we could only attend on Saturday, we still got the chance to check out all sorts of music. Now to be fair, I’ve never considered myself a music festival kind of person. You’re supposed to stand outside ALL day (sometimes in really nasty weather), listening to bands that I’ve never heard of, breathing in large amounts of smoke (both legal and not so legal) and be forced to use port-a-potties? Not exactly my idea of fun. In fact, Andy usually goes with friends while I stay at home with a good book. But I thought I’d give it a chance this time.

I still have to say, I didn’t love it. The music was not my style, I’m just not cool enough for that kind of music I suppose. I am solidly a pop music kind of girl. But I have no problems with my love of pop music. In fact, I am thoroughly proud and secure in my lameness. I guess every once in a long while, my music tastes will cross with Andy’s, but it’s not very often. So here I am thrown into a world of artists that is very unfamiliar to me, and I’m trying to enjoy the experience to the best of my ability. But again, it’s really just not my cup of tea. For instance, we attended concerts by Gary Numan, Fred Armisen, MetzNasthe Pains of Being Pure at Heartthe Presets, Modest Mouse, Meat Puppets, Pizza Underground…etc, and though there were a few songs I enjoyed, all in all, I think I would honestly rather be at home jamming to Taylor Swift’s new album while dancing around my living room with my dogs. But at least now I can say I have attended Fun Fun Fun Fest once…and will send Andy with his friends again in the future. :)

Andy and me enjoying a beautiful fall day at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014

Ashley, Garrett, Andy, and Cathy waiting the next band to start.

Look! It’s a band (I think it’s the Pains of Being Pure at Heart) doing the music thing!

Me and Cathy as the sunsets over Austin. Getting chilly!

Hanging out with Puffs after calling it quits at the music festival.

Happy I got to spend a gorgeous Saturday with Andy and Cathy in Austin, but also happy to be home again!