Fall Fun

One of our nearby bowling alleys offers dollar games (as well as dollar shoe rentals, hot dogs and even beers) anytime the Arizona Cardinals are playing. We took advantage of this special this past Sunday when my mom was in town:

Mom/Mom-in-Law ready to bowl:


Here I am, so sad to be leaving just one pin:


Max and his textbook form:


We brought along the high speed camera I surprised Max with over the summer- this is it shooting 300 frames a second, watching the pins fall:
video

And another of me, shot by my hubby (excited to get a strike at the end!):
video

Max is the only person I know who owns his own bowling ball and shoes:

I must say, it makes me envious to see his clean, shiny shoes when I'm lacing up my rentals, so I have added bowling shoes to my Christmas wish list ; )

Speaking of Christmas, it's never to early to start planning, and Max and I recently realized that we have no ornaments for our future first Christmas tree! To get ready, my mom and I stocked up on red and silver ornaments (Max chose the colors) and also popped on over to Michael's for some clear glass ornaments and feathers to replicate an idea I saw online:

So pretty! Thanks, mom!

Also, for our first Christmas as husband and wife, we wanted cutesy matching stockings:


And by "we" I mean "me" but Max is a good sport ; ) Now it's just so hard to wait until after Thanksgiving to actually put everything up!



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Wedding Photos!

Our photographer from our wedding recently posted a few of our pictures on her facebook account: Karen Tamaki Photography. Here's the link:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=329289&id=294530005563&op=6

If you look closely, her profile picture should be of a couple you might know ; )
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So Happy Together...

On November 14th 2007, Max and I went on our first date at a little sushi place in Campbell, California, and our lives would never be the same : ) One year later on November 14th, 2008, Max surprised me in my classroom by entering with beautiful red roses and proposing during our weekly spelling test (and then promptly whisking me away to celebrate with a dive trip to Cancun!). Now, two years later, as husband and wife, we find ourselves in a new city, in a new state, sharing a name and living in our first house together! Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with happiness that I ask Max how we got here, to which he replies: One day at a time : )

So I found the perfect wine to toast to these past 731 days, and to many, many more:
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10 Minutes to Dessert!

I know what you're thinking - I, too, was skeptical when I saw the time stamp on this recipe. After all, those "30 Minute Meals" of Rachel Ray's take me at least an hour an a half (I know this because I can replay the episode where she makes the same dish on DVR and still have time to watch the Evening News before I'm finished). This time prediction, however, is actually somewhat accurate and who doesn't love pumpkin anything in November? Here's the recipe if you have an extra 600 seconds to spare:

Pumpkin Mousse


Ingredients:
1 (4 oz.) carton whipped cream cheese
cinnamon
spoonful brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup cool whip
6 individual graham cracker tart shells

Additional whipped topping and ground cinnamon

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese with brown sugar and dash of cinnamon. Blend in pumpkin. Fold in whipped topping. Fill tart shells with mixture, then garnish with additional whipped topping and sprinkle with cinnamon. Store in the refrigerator.

*The fact that these are mini, individual-sized pies is my favorite part! They are just too cute and so much fun to make (and eat). Enjoy!
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But I'm Used to Being First!

I attended my very first painting class (ever) earlier this week at one of our nearby community colleges. I've always wanted to take an art class so I was super excited and of course arrived early. As I watched the instructor pick up the role sheet, I instinctively got ready to raise my hand and say "here" since I'm used to being the first person called from an alphabetical listing. Once in a while, someone beats me, but "Baldini" is pretty darn close to the beginning. So the instructor called out the first name, then the next, and the next after that... and that's when I realized that "Klein" (officially and legally my new name after I visited the Social Security office the day after we got back from the honeymoon - yes, I was excited about this, too) starts with a K, which is the 11th letter of the alphabet. If you factor in how few X, Y and Z last names there are, I'm really towards the end of those lists now!
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Orange You Glad?

When we moved in, Max and I were super excited to spot a "Lime Tree" in the far corner of our backyard:



The limes were really hard, however, and not so tasty.

Fast forward to November, the perfect dining alfresco weather here in Phoenix. Max and I were lunching at our new backyard table this weekend when we looked out at our "Lime Tree" to spot... an orange!



I was so excited that I picked it on the spot, even though it probably wasn't ready. We had had suspicions about our tree being a faux lime after one of Max's coworkers said that there are lots of orange trees around here, and that they're usually ripe around Christmastime. That leaves us plenty of time to look for recipes with oranges : )
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Halloween Spook-tacular!

One of Max's coworkers has been putting on a free Haunted House in his backyard on Halloween night for twenty-something years. Naturally, Max wanted to go and see what is was all about, which is how I found myself holding up a mannequin of a dead Prom Queen Saturday afternoon while Max secured her to a line that would let her fly over the prom "stage" in a recreation of the movie Carrie (just one of several horror movies that would be reenacted). Later that night, we helped out by actually playing roles. You might already know about Max's love of fire (he's the one you'll find on the 4th of July hanging off of a boat to light a barge full of fireworks that's floating in the lake). Just to confirm, this is him on a normal night, just wondering if those new eco-friendly packing peanut substitutes are flammable (they are):



And this is Max adding his favorite element to his Freddy Kreuger routine:



I haven't seen Nightmare on Elm Street, but I don't think that Freddy had a flame thrower. I had the less fire-y job of hiding in the trees between Max and the Hannibal Lecter scene and jumping out to scare people as they passed. Though I thought this was quite mean at first, I got over it when I realized how fun it was to startle people (hey - they were in a Haunted House for a reason, right?). And don't worry about the trick-or-treaters we missed at our house...



...we're just hoping that all the candy wasn't snatched just by one person!
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