[And welcome to my little blog.]

I'm Amanda! So happy you are here. Grab a glass of wine, read along, and let's be friends.

Terrible realization about lemons

Sunday, October 31, 2010
So, I just had the most terrible thought about lemons the other night when I was whipping up one of my favorite alcholic beverages... vodka, water, and lemons.  When I bought these lemons yesterday, instead of putting them in those little plastic baggies I put the lemons directly in the cart, then directly into the fridge.  So I decided to wash one of the lemons off before plopping it in my drink.  While I was washing this lemon off and I realized "OH MY GOD, I'VE NEVER WASHED A LEMON BEFORE... and there are probably lots of people that have touched my lemons before I bought them... then I put them in my drinks without a second thought... OH MY GOD!" 

Then, I got to thinking that if I'm not washing my lemons, restaurants probably aren't either.  And even worse, most of the time a bartender will just grab out a lemon with their bare hands (that's been sitting out for hours) and put it in your drink.  Apparently people have actually studied this... here's an article about it.  Here's the full blown scientific study.  What they found was that 77% of the sampled lemons in the study had microbial growth caused by all sorts of bodily fluids.

Needless to say I probably won't be ordering these at my neighborhood bar without a little more scrutiny.  Am I the only one that was out of the loop, or are you guys all washing your lemons?  I'm so sorry to everyone who's ever enjoyed a vodka water at our home...

Halloween 1997 and 2010.

Happy Halloween everyone!  My dad dug out some old family videos a couple weeks ago, and I loved this video of us from Halloween.  I recorded it on my flip video camera while we were watching the home-movies so if you here some laughing in the background... that's my family (present day).

How cute is my little brother Zak?  Check it out:

Halloween - 1997 style from Amanda Kohler on Vimeo.

Here are some pictures from last night of a couple of our friends that dressed up.  Their costumes couldn't have been more perfect for them.  Robert was Stew from the Hangover and Nina was Snooki from Jersey Shore!

So here's a story for you... Last night, I completely embarrassed myself when I enthusiastically asked some random guy at the bar if he was dressed up like Malcom Gladwell.  For those of you that haven't heard of Malcom Gladwell, he is a New York Times writer and one of my favorite non-fiction authors (he wrote the books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers). 

Here's how our conversation went:
Me:  "Oh my gosh, are you dressed up like Malcom Gladwell!!  That's such an awesome costume, I LOVE Malcom Gladwell!!!"
Random guy at the bar: "Malcom who?"
Me:  "You mean you're not dressed up like Malcom Gladwell?!"
Random guy at the bar:  "Uh no... I'm not dressed up like anything"
ME:  ... Hysterical embarrassed laughing...

Luckily he had a pretty good sense of humor.  He even let me take his picture (see middle picture).  Common, you guys can totally see the resemblance, right?

It's game day!

Saturday, October 30, 2010
So I woke up at 8:30 this morning to Kevin jumping on the bed yelling "IT'S GAME DAY!!"  He then immediately blared this video on our computer.  I've cut the six minute video into about 40 seconds using the Flip video "magic movie" feature, but if you want to watch the whole think you can check it out here.

Nebraska Cornhuskers play Missouri Tigers.  Go Huskers!

Husker football from Amanda Kohler on Vimeo.

Everyone blog!

Friday, October 29, 2010
So this is officially my 50th blog post!  Whoot whoot!  I think everyone should have a blog, period.  Here are the top three reasons why:

  1. It's a great way to keep track of the stuff that you'd like to remember, but would otherwise forget.  How often do you take pictures of things that go on in your everyday life?  I know I didn't before this blog.  For example.... without this blog I never would have taken a video of Kevin snoring on the couch, or the pork chop dinner I made the other day, or the little pumpkins Kevin bought me just because he knew I'd like them.  AND, I just found this awesome website that automatically creates a book of all your blog posts with the click of a button.  Forget scrapbooking!  Just start blogging and then print off a book once or twice a year!
  2. Blogging is a great way to keep friends and family up to date on what you're up to and what you're thinking about.  For example.... in one of my posts I mentioned this cool kitchen knife.  A week later, my parents got it for me for my birthday!  And if you're into facebook you can have your blog posts immediately posted to facebook by signing up for Networked blogs.
  3. You start blogging because you want to write about the interesting things that happen to you.  But oddly enough it sometimes ends up working in reverse.  You do interesting things, so you can write about them on your blog.  In the end, your life is more interesting and so is your blog.  For example... I went to this free Jes Winters concert last night because I like local music, but I also thought it would be fun to write about.  I had an awesome time and I'll have fun posting about it too. 
Go to blogger.com and get one now.  It's free.  It's easy.  It's fun.  Send me the link!

Dinner for two at The Kohlers

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Kevin got back from his business trip to Oklahoma today, so it was definitely time for a home cooked meal.  We've been trying to support only natural local or organic animal products (meats, dairy, etc.) and since most restaurants haven't quite caught on to this yet, Kevin ate pretty much like a vegan on his business trip.

For dinner tonight I cooked pork chops from my new birthday cookbook (pg 173), rice pilaf, and asparagus. 

Oh, and here is a note my mom jotted in my birthday cookbook.  I think I have the sweetest mom in the world.

Etsy Love

So I am in love with Etsy....

If you have not yet had the pleasure of being introduced to Etsy, don't delay.  Leave this blog immediately and go there now!  I was trying to think of a way to describe the awesomeness of Etsy (yes awesomeness), and I was at a loss for words.   Thank you to the wonderful Wikipedia contributor who perfectly described Etsy:

"It's a craft cross between Amazon, EBay, and your Grandma's basement"  :)

Oh, and if you want to use a free program to make your very own custom collage (like the one above), check out PhotoScape.com.  Here's how you do it:

  1. Download PhotoScape for free here.
  2. Click "page"
  3. Select a collage type by clicking on a collage on the right
  4. Select folder and photo from the left-hand side of the page.
  5. Click and drag into the collage. 
  6. Save - and that's it!  Your very own custom collage
Here are some pictures.  Want more info?  Here's a quick video.

Jonah and his twin

Monday, October 25, 2010
How funny are these pictures of my little brother?  Yes, that's right.  Not son, not nephew... my little brother.  My parents had a little surprise baby in their 40's  :)  My dad does some photography on the side so he snapped two pictures of my little brother Jonah to test out the lighting in his studio.  I love the bed head!

Lie to Me - the best show on TV

So one of my goals is to start watching less TV and start reading more books, I mean who doesn't want to watch less television... BUT... I cannot give up this show.  The best part is its based on some interesting science about human facial expressions called the Facial Action Coding System.  It's so good it makes me look forward to Mondays.  :) 

Thrift store finds

Found a vintage Thermos pitcher this weekend at Thrift World for $2.98.  Is it just me or is this thing amazingly adorable?

Oh, and when I was trying to figure out exactly how old it was and I stumbled across an Etsy seller that listed the same one for $14, plus $7 shipping.  Look at some of the other cute things she has for sale:

After I snapped a photo of the pitcher, I couldn't resist taking a picture of the chest that it sat on.  It's my favorite vintage item.  It's a 70 year old cedar chest that my Grandma Tiffin got as a little girl.

Girls Night Out at Midtown Crossing

Sunday, October 24, 2010
Doesn't get much better than a night out with the ladies.  We went to Crave, a new restaurant that just opened up in Midtown Crossing, and had some delicious martinis.  Is it just me, or is Midtown Crossing freakin awesome? 

Oh, and I just learned that there is a free shuttle running on the weekends between Midtown Crossing and Downtown.  And then I found out there is a new restaurant opening in December called the Grey Plume that will feature local foods.  Midtown Crossing, you are making me very happy :)

Midtown Crossing

Me, Anita, and Amy at Crave.  Anita pegged it when she said it looks like we're on the Alice and Wonderland Throne!

The end of the night, trying to get into the Max.... what do you mean you close at 2:00 am?  Based on the spaced out look on my face, it was probably for the best that we went home. 

Game day! Kevin's 15 minutes of fame

Saturday, October 23, 2010
Ok so maybe it wasn't 15 minutes... more like 5 seconds... well let's be honest... probably closer to 3 seconds.  But, he still made it on national television!

Kevin went down with a couple friends to Stillwater Oklahoma to watch the Husker / Oklahoma State game.  He had to go to Oklahoma for work anyways, so of course that little weasel planned his trip to coincide with the game.

Can you spot him?

Here he is!

Whoot whoot Husker.  Huskers beat the Cowboys 51 to 41.

Best kid's halloween costume

October playlist

Friday, October 22, 2010
Thought I'd share with you guys some of the songs I've been listening to you lately.  Hope you enjoy.
Happy Friday :)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

And for my fellow blogging friends (Stacie and Steph!) if you want to create your own playlist, you can do it for free on playlist.com
  1. Click "Create Playlist"
  2. Search for the songs / artists you want to add, then just click the + button to add it to your playlist.
  3. Once you're done adding and arranging all the songs, click "Share My Playlist" at the top of the website.
  4. Select the options you'd like for the player, then click "Get Code"
  5. If you're using blogger you can create a new post, then click "Edit HTML" then paste the code.  Make sure you paste in the "Edit HTML" not in the "Compose" mode
  6. If you get some pesky error tellingy you that you need to close the tag, paste this </embed> at the end of the html.  Thank you yahoo answers.

Margarita night with Grandma and Grandpa Tiffin!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
A few years aago for Christmas my grandma gave me twelve coupons for margarita night at their house, and the margarita night tradition has carried on long after the coupons have been used up.  God, I hope Kevin and I are this cool when we're their age.  Heck, I hope we're still alive when at their age... my grandma just turned 81 (and she has her own facebook page!).  Here's a picture of my lovely grandparents on Kevin and I's wedding day:

Kevin and I have been working very hard to only eat all natural and organic foods (especially animal products.. meats, dairies, cheeses, etc.), so instead of having my grandparents try to accommodate us, we decided to invite them over for dinner at our place. 

Of course we had to carry on the margarita tradition, but just a few problems... no tequila, margarita mix, margarita glasses or even a blender.  Well, I guess that's not entirely true.  We do own a blender, but let's just say that I tried to blend up some chickpeas to make hummus a couple months ago, and after spending about 20 minutes trying to get the blender to do it, I discovered that mashing the chickpeas with my bare hands was more efficient.

So, it was off to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy a new blender.  Usually I make these type of purchases online, but having only realized our margarita predicament yesterday, there was definitely no time for that.  Luckily I found a great blog post on how to choose a blender.  I mean who would write a blog post about blenders... oh wait.. 

Here's our new Cuisinart SmartPower Deluxe Duet Blender and Food Processor conveniently purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond for only $99!

It blended the ice for the margaritas in about 5 seconds.  Incredible.  And actually, the picture above is really just half of it.  It came with a different attachment that goes on the motor that's a food processor.  Oh the possibilities!

Our most famous Omaha native

I read an interesting article on CNN by Ben Stein.  We all remember Ben Stein, right?

Bueller... Bueller....  my favorite movie of all times (well next to Good Will Hunting)

Funny enough I have actually met Warren Buffett.  I was president of the University of Nebraska investment club... (yes, I understand this is extremely dorky), and our club was we invited to hear him speak at Berkshire Hathaway.  He was honestly one of the most people I've ever listened to.  After his speech he took everyone out to lunch at one of his favorite restaurants: Gorat's, (and of course picked up the tab).  When lunch was over he took a picture with every single person that wanted to take a picture with him... over 50 people.  You'd think if you were one of the richest people in the world that you might be a little impatient, but he seemed very happy to take pictures with everyone, almost flattered by the attention.  Then after he was all done with pictures he got in his own car, just like any other normal person, and drove away.  Cool as a cucumber. 

Here is the 18 year-old version of myself holding one of the richest men in the world's wallet. 

Here's my favorite part of Ben Stein's article.  What would our world be like if all wealthy people had this type of attitude?
What about taxes? Buffett thinks that taxes should be raised on really rich Americans -- ones making $5 million a year, say, and especially ones making $1 billion a year.

"Why would we want to do that" I ask, "if we have a fiscal policy that is explicitly about running large deficits?"'

The three of us -- Buffett, my colleague Phil deMuth,and I -- talked for a long time about the size of the deficits relative to "normal peacetime" and World War II, when they were far higher than they are even now. Then Buffett sums up his feelings about it, saying his wish to raise taxes on the very rich is really about social justice more than about fiscal policy.

"I would give anyone an exemption from the higher rates if he had a son or grandson in Afghanistan," he said. "I meet a lot of people at these conferences of rich people, of billionaires," he said. "None of them have anyone in their family in combat."


Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I know what I'm going to do when Kevin's out of town this weekend... decorate a pumpkin!

Mambo No. Five!

Monday, October 18, 2010
One last post about my birthday.  This may be the most memorable birthday present I've ever received...   One of the directors in my department, a lovely gentleman by the name of Tad, wrote my co-worker Christina and I a song in honor of our birthday's.  Tad writes a song every week about Boulevard beer (yes you read that correctly... a song every week about beer!), and then a bunch of us co-workers (a.k.a. members of the Boulevard club) meet every Thursdays at Jazz to celebrate.  Here were his lyrics for our birthday song:

Bouley #5 (think Mambo #5 by Lou Bega)

One, two, three, four, five
Everybody in the car so come on let's ride
To the Jazz Kitchen 'round the corner
The boys say they want to drink some Porter
I must stay deep 'cause talk is cheap
I like Amanda, Christina, Kristin, and Malisa
And as I continue you know they're gettin' sweeter
So what can I do I really beg you Lord
To me drinkin' it's just like a sport
Anything fly it's all good let me dump it
Please send in the trumpet

Bouley #5!    
A little bit of Amanda, she's Kevin's wife,
Together they're just starting out in life.
A little bit of Christina, turning 25,
She's celebrating at Jazz on Boulevard night.
A little bit of both of them; it's their birthdays,
Together they light up on our Thursdays.

Jump up and down and move it all around
Shake your head to the sound put your ale on the table
Take two steps back toward the door if you're able
Bring it on back, take two steps to the table
Gulp your ale once and gulp your ale twice
And if it looks like this then you doin' it right

A little bit of Amanda, she's Kevin's wife,
Together they're just starting out in life.
A little bit of Christina, turning 25,
She's celebrating at Jazz on Boulevard night.
A little bit of both of them; it's their birthdays,
Together they light up on our Thursdays.

And of course I took a video! 

Mambo No. Five! from Amanda Kohler on Vimeo.

Here's a link to the video where you can actually hear Tad singing :)  click here!

Here were some of the members of the Boulevard club that were in attendance:

Clean closet

The bottom of my closet is always in a state of perpetual mess.  Even if I manage to organize and hang up all my clothes the floor always gets neglected.  Well after reading a blog post by Young House Love, I was inspired.  It look less than 15 minutes to straighten up, but it made such a difference.  My shoes are so much easier to find now... imagine that?  :)

Family dinner at The Nelson's - Birthday Style!

So maybe this Flip magic movie thing is just a tad addicting?  I took some video at our family birthday party tonight and here's the magic video that it created: 

For my birthday dinner my mom made an awesome meal from the Family Chef cook book she got me as one of my gifts.  I started reading it immediately and can already tell them I'm going to love it.  Isn't it perfect when you get presents that are complete surprises and are exactly what you want?  My grandparents got me a zester and a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond, and my parents got me The Family Chef cook book, a lemon squeezer, AND A GLOBAL KNIFE!  My mom has started reading my  blog and knew that I wanted one so my parents completely surprised me and got one.

I don't think there's a way to pose with a large knife
without looking creepy...

How cool does this thing look?  I used it to cut a lemon
 and it felt like slicing butter!

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