Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anniversay...unofficially 6 years this weekend!

With our wedding last October 10th, we reset the clock (in some ways) to our anniversary. Granted we really have only had one anniversary as we met on a "leap day" during a leap year back on February 29, 2004. On a corner in Times Square...this was right after I met Deb for the first time...I'm behind the camera, of course. In the picture is Nikki, Kristin (who gets the credit of introducing us,, Krna (aka "boob," tying the knot later this year), Leslie (aka "douchebag," who when we got back to school I realized she sat right behind me in Hydrology! The rest there is history too...), and of course Mrs. Kadlec.

Fun times we had... forward 6 years and we await our first anniversary this October!

Friday, February 26, 2010

My Second Wilton's Cake Course

I finally have time to blog about my second Wilton Cake Course, it literally pains me to write about this, staring at cake pics, since I am on a liquid diet today after getting my wisdom teeth removed.

The course was titled "Flowers and Borders" and that pretty much sums up everything we did. We learned how to make Color Flow Icing and Royal Icing, which are pretty much the same thing except the Wilton Color Flow mix has something in it that makes the icing shiny when dried. The first class we made the blue birds that will go on the final cake using the color flow, unfortunately mine made it all the way to the final class and cracked as I took them off the wax paper, so no pics. The following class we worked on the royal icing flowers.

I ended up making most of them from home throughout the week since my icing had gotten too soft and I had to remix in some powdered sugar. Overall I think they turned out pretty good and I made at least one of every kind!

The last class, this past Tuesday, we had to bring in cake made with the special oval/egg shaped pans. I decided to go to my Ghirardelli cookbook and made the Devil's Food Cake and decided to make a peanut butter frosting for the filling. The Wilton buttercream taste is getting pretty old, so its fun to add in a little flavor in the cake.

In class we learned how to do roping and basketweaving (this makes me think of underwater basketweaving, hehe)
And Voila! I finished my cake IN class and was excited to come home take some pics and dive in! And it was YUMMY!

I have definitely enjoyed the classes so far, but with everything going on lately I really needed a break. Well, Wilton and my instructor Mandy read my mind! I guess Wilton is changing up how they plan to do the last two classes, since they both involve tiering and fondant hopefully they will just combine them! Because we don't know exactly what is going on yet, the class is taking the month of March off. So look forward to some non-cake baking to come, well once I can eat solids again!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

All inclusive post...Saturday was great!!

Saturday was a wonderful day for the Kadlec's...we had a blast bringing Roma to the dog park, brushing her teeth, and then giving her a bath. Those were good parts of the day, but her sleeping all day from being exhausted was great...followed up with a night reminiscent of our honeymoon (dinner at Melting Pot)!

We knew that Roma needed a bath and figured taking Roma to the local dog park was the best way to tire her out and get her dirtier for a bath. We did show up and see a dog rolling in the mud and I froze. Do I allow our dog, if she finds herself rolling in the mud, to get back into my car??? Foreshadowing, she didn't roll in it...we were all okay.

Roma met a couple of dogs at the park...Recon and Ginny were two that she seemed to get along with the most. The people there were also great...bringing water (and sharing with us "newbies" that didn't bring water...relying on the public water fountain). The big Bull Mastiffs were the only two "big" dogs that really intimidated her...all the others were all fair game and she had a blast...she was laying down in the backseat just trying to catch her breathe the entire way home.

When we got home, she was all tired and in the perfect "passive" state for a good teeth brushing and a bath. Both went well and she smelled great! Today she smells good...she's just not as fluffy and fresh smelling. No worries, I'm heading back with her on Saturday so she gets all tired so she's not up in Debbie's face this weekend. I'm excited!

Later that night Deb and I headed out for one of our first dates since Rome. We went to our favorite restaurant and our celebration spot, The Melting Pot. Nothing says romance like fondue...we love that place. You know you go somewhere often when they know what wine you like! (I guess we always have a lot to celebrate! This time was my new job...which is going awesome!!)

Deb's got some good posts coming, I'm sure...more baking and cakes!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Training Continues!

Roma continues to do well at training...she was ahead of the class as we had been teaching her "Down" all week. She did it awesome in class! From this we are moving onto "roll over" which she is starting to get the hand of (with our help a little).

This is Roma's best friend at class...Annie, a Golden Retriever - Australian Shepherd mix.

FYI, Kitty is still doing great...blogging about her scowling and growling is just not as entertaining...or perhaps it is? Oh well, you get more Roma today!

(We are heading to the dog park today...we'll see how Roma does with all sorts of other dogs! Then she gets her first bath!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

with a cream cheese icing!

A few weeks ago a friend of mine had a going away party as she had gotten a job at the National Weather Service in California, awesome! I decided to bring some cupcakes for dessert, which really just gave me an excuse to get out a recipe I had been wanting to make.

I used Epicurious' (from Bon Appetit) recipe for Chocolate Stout Cupcakes, but instead of Guinness I decided to use Young's Double Chocolate Stout (so Terence could drink the leftovers)! I later determined that there wasn't so much of a Stout taste in the cupcakes and this may have been due to the overwhelming chocolaty-ness.

Lots'o'butter, Paula Deen would approve!

This recipe filled my 5 Qt. KitchenAid mixer to the brim, or in cupcake terms it made about 4 dozen.

I then used Brown Eyed Baker's recipe for Cream Cheese frosting. I chose this recipe because I was looking for something a little fluffier and not so heavy since the cupcake flavor was so intense.

After the cupcakes were cooled to room temperature, I used my Wilton tips and bag to get them to look a little professional. I think I left the icing out too long because it was pretty soft and the design didn't hold that well.

I ended up throwing all the decorated cupcakes in the fridge to harden the icing up a bit, but I really don't prefer this as it tends to dry out the cake. I still haven't figured out how cake/cupcake shops can not refrigerate their cakes iced with cream cheese frosting, wouldn't it go bad!? If anyone has answers I would really appreciate the advice!

End result: Yummy! They were super moist, thanks to the beer, and had a very dark chocolate taste. The cream cheese frosting was eh, I think I will keep hunting for that ultimate fluffiness.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Running with Roma...

Well, today I had my first successful run with Roma! It's exciting since I love to run...I never thought I'd be able to run with a pup, but today she did so successfully. The first couple times were disasters...she was putting everything in her mouth...running left, right, left, right, trip me, left and on and on! was a mess. Kind of reminiscent of Phoebe running in "Friends." Making a reference to a 1990s TV show, but who cares!

Anyways, tonight was great. We ran just short of 4 miles, a good run for the both of us. I have been slacking since I ran the half marathon last month, so this was a nice stretch of the legs. I love to run and having a pup that can run with me is great. I know Deb is excited to run with her, too. Considering we don't often run together, we'll at least share the same running partner! Lord knows Roma needs the exercise to burn off all the puppy energy she has!!

I tested her speed briefly during a flat out sprint. As fast as I could run, she was still able to pull on the leash! During our walks I walk her, but during our runs...I hate to admit it, but she might be running me! :-)

Now all is well, she's tired and busy chewing on her bone. Perfect way to sit back and enjoy the Olympics! Go USA!!

(Oh, the reason why I never thought I'd run with a pup...well, I love PUGS! Pugs are built to sit and lay, not run and sprint!)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Learning with Roma, "Sit, Watch Me, Down, Leave it..." Pee in the house?

Roma is definitely a smart dog. No doubt about it. She knows when she's doing well, she knows when she's being a stubborn adolescent, and she certainly knows when she is in trouble or has done something bad...

Training at Petsmart started last Friday. In our first session, we basically held Roma back from being the pain in the a$$ dog. She was hyper and distracted.

We learned the "watch it" command and how to properly walk on the leash... Basically you get the dog to watch you, so that both are in sync with commands, listening, etc. She didn't do well there, but by the end of this week and last night's class, she was a pro. With the walking you have to continually stop if she's pulling you. We are walking her, not vice versa. This is hard for her at times, but this week she did really well. At times though, you have to give her some latitude especially when you come home from work and she's all amped to go to the bathroom!

Last night we reviewed our progress and showed off our command of "sit," which she does really well. We did the "watch it" really well for our trainer, too. She was impressed and proclaimed our smart dog. Then we showed that she could walk well on the leash, a complete 170 from last week. Not quite all the way perfect, hence, 170, but she did awesome. Then we showed off next week's command "down" which Debbie has been working with Roma on. She lunges down but still she's starting to understand what we want.

Lastly we touched on "leave it." Granted, this would have been useful on Wednesday night when she decided to start chewing gum. Not once, but twice. It was gross for her to put in her mouth, but even worse going digging in her mouth! Ewww!

Overall progress is there, but she's still being a pup. With her estimated age at 6 or so months, her behavior apparently is going to get worse before it gets better. This scares the both of us! Worse? How about we take her to the bathroom and bring her back in...10 minutes later, pee! Then 45 minutes later she decides "i'm going to pee again!" Yup, this was pushing us...and this was last night! After her great showing at Petsmart. Oh well, she'll get there.

Hopefully I don't expedite my hair going gray, I was saving that for the kids! How do I blame the kids if I'm gray by the time we are having them? Oye...puppies!!

Bonus photo...after all the rain the past two weeks, we have to keep toweling her off. She thinks it's a game...actually it's pretty cute and a lot of fun!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Back to Rome, to the Vatican, then home...sadness

All good things come to an end...and so brought the end to our 12 nights aboard the Carnival Dream through the Mediterranean. I always am sad to come back, but our vacation wasn't quite over yet! :-) We had another day to explore Rome and Vatican City! Just as we did previously, we took the train into Rome. That meant lugging all our bags to the station...

Sort of a fiasco when I said "let's get off here," referencing the Vatican stop. HA! We had to wait for a taxi...then it was an adventure finding the hotel...which had it's lobby on a second floor and a small little sign. I wouldn't recommend Hotel Sant' Angelo, it was dated and uncomfortable. We had an old school 13" TV that didn't even turn on. Ha! Oh well we opted to spend the majority of hotel funds the first night in Rome...which we definitely scored big on. Hotel Artemide was primo!

We did a tour of the Vatican, which was amazing. So many pieces of art, sculptures, and celebrities? Yup, we saw Vince Vaughn strolling through! It was too funny because I got him on video...promptly getting a "no pictures" from his body guard. As I am not a paparazzi, I simply was like, "come on, I'm on a tour!" I laughed!

But the best part was seeing the Sistine Chapel in person. OH MAN! I was in No words can describe such an intricate painting telling stories, beliefs, and more. It was something to see, I recommend it to everyone!! No pictures are allowed in there, so sorry...

Then we got to see St Peters Bascillica which blew my mind too! It was huge! So much to see, so much to take in...time never allows as much as you need.

We headed back to our hotel and changed for dinner...decided to go back to where we spent our first dinner in Rome, in Piazza Navona. Had dinner across the square from the first night...and it was amazing, again!

Deb even got the BEST hot chocolate she has ever had, I thought it was too much chocolate, but oh man, it was amazing, too!

The following morning, after a quick nap (so it felt) in the sub-par hotel, we headed to the airport. Our driver was arranged to be there bright and early at 430am...yikes!

We were exhausted after an amazing honeymoon...thanks for reading all the posts! It was fun thinking back on it...what a great way to spend our first two weeks of marriage!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Firenze (aka Florence), last port of call...bathroom fiasco(s)

I am going to try and be brief, quick, etc...we have so much going on now that blogging our honeymoon seems like old news and frankly, who cares anymore?! Actually, I know there a couple of you Kadlec blog readers that do read it (hello sister!).

Oh where do I start...we had a 7am to 7pm day in Livorno, a port city about an hour outside of Florence. We did the "Florence on your own" tour through Carnival. Based on readings before the trip this seemed like the most logical choice and most economical. Oye, it was...but with plenty of entertainment!

Not kidding...we get on the bus and someone says "can we stop for a bathroom before we get there?" Excuse my abbreviation, WTF! I was angry, but Debbie was furious...I mean, we are one of the youngest people on the cruise, and youngest on the bus. We knew well enough to go before we got off the ship 10 minutes earlier! Oye. So, 1/2 way to Florence we stopped at a gas station to let off the whining guests...95% of the bus got off. The fiasco of getting everyone situated, back on the bus, etc...yeah, fun stuff.

But we got there and holy crap, what an amazing city. I think Florence could be my favorite...we went to the Duomo and neighboring Gioto's Bell Tower. We climbed the bell tower as the line was shorter. We got up to the first platform and I think we both said "that wasn't so bad." Ha, that was the first of four! By the top we were a little pooped and tired. Luckily for us we prepared and our Nalgene full of water again was a Godsend. The view was amazing!!

Then we of course went to get some gelato. I mean, "why not?" We took the advice of our guide that gave us recommendations on the bus ride over. She was not wrong! We went there TWICE, once again before we headed back towards the bus!

We explored and went down to the Accademia to see where the "David" was. "WAS" because it was a Monday and in Italy the majority of all museums are closed on Mondays. Boo. We missed out a lot but made up for it elsewhere. That is a recreated version of the statue, to scale, etc.

Next we walked over to the Pontevecchio, which is a famous store-lined bridge. Debbie continued her shopping...window shopping, at least. We really didn't buy much... One thing we joked about throughout the honeymoon was "trusting" another couple, person, or whoever with our camera. Another couple was as reluctant as us, we all laughed about the topic, and they were gracious and snapped a beautiful shot of us on the bridge.

We wondered back through Florence searching for leather, a staple of the city. Eventually we did find some...I got myself a new briefcase (which I finally broke in this week, actually!!) and Debbie got herself an Italian handbag (it's red and I haven't seen another one even resembling it back in the states, which is pretty sweet! Ditto to my briefcase, it's embossed with TDK and all!)

We also hit St Croce beautiful outside and in...we toured the inside, too!

It was around here when we ran into Bob and Lisa and got to pull out the "EH! EH!" in the streets of Florence. They were caught off guard, but it was hilarious. So much fun.

After we got the gelato, best in Italy, again...we had to meet back up with our group. Let's guy lost his wife en route back to the bus...his comment "she has her passport and knows how to get back" and we LEFT! Not kidding!! Then, like clockwork, someone asked for a pit stop. This time Debbie yelled "come on, this is not included in the tour!" No need to say what happened but I swear we were going to have a rebellion against us "kids."

(Deb snapped a shot of the cranky, bathroom-loving folks!)

Oh well, Florence was a blast all the way around!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Forensic Engineering

Well, after an unfortunate and unplanned departure from my position in November, I am going back to work. Last week I accepted a job offer and will be joining as a Structural Engineer, working in Forensic Engineering. I don't need to go into too great of detail (as some things don't need to be blogged...because they could be boring to some), but I'll provide this summary as noted on the company website:

...engineers, environmental scientists, and business analysts use proven forensic techniques to probe and analyze construction accidents and disputes, residential and commercial problems, product failures, motor vehicle and marine accidents,and industrial fires and explosions of all kinds. Our job is to find out what happened and why, from the cause and origin through the extent of loss. In many cases, we can point the way toward a speedy disposition of the claim.

I may find myself going to court as an expert witness or such, plus an abundance of report writing, and communicating with lawyers, insurance companies, and more. It's going to be a big departure from the design roots I have been working in for the 6 1/2 years, but I'll call on my experience out in the field, performing inspections, and analysis of existing structures... I am excited for the possibilities, the responsibilities, and finding myself into a new field within structural engineering.

I love what I do, so there's no doubt I'm going to love this new adventure!

Sleeplessness, Yelling, and Chasing...Adventures with Roma (& Midnight)

As Debbie blogged this week, Midnight now has a playmate...Roma. The newest Kadlec! Granted she probably would have preferred a small little kitty rather than a clumsy, rambunctious canine!

Well, I don't need to go into detail about all the "gimme's" of having a puppy...the accidents (both #1 and #2...gross!), the whining, the jumping, the running around like a crazy woman (yes, woman...crazy men don't run...), chasing the cat, chewing on everything, eating two of her new toys within hours (so we've bought the better, pricier ones and she's doing okay with these), etc etc etc.

But it gets better. Yesterday morning...early 445AM, Midnight decides to wake me up with her lovely heaving. Yup, doing the stereotypical cat throw up thing. It woke me up because she sleeps under my arm at night and for some reason she kicked me jumping off. I go ahead and try and get her before the "stuff" comes up so I could throw her onto the bathroom tile, but no...she got one off before I got to her. Then it was a chain reaction of Debbie shooting up, "what's going on?" Then it was Roma who was inside her kennel in the other room starting to whimper and whine. Debbie went and took her out (earlier than normal of course) and I spent the next 15 minutes with a vomiting cat! I came out of the bathroom just as Debbie got back to our bedroom. In a comedic moment we had Midnight whining and meowing to get out of the bathroom (but not until she was done puking) and Roma whining because she had to go back into her kennel! We were doubt...but in that moment the two of us started 5AM because our animals our crying for us from both rooms! It ended up working out okay...but when I went to shower later that morning Midnight decided to leave me a present...treating our bath tub as her litter box! Oye!!

Today topped that whole today is my last weekday before I head back to work (I'll blog the details later today or this weekend), I was getting some housework done (i.e. vacuuming, showers, etc). As I was cleaning the carpet downstairs (thanks to the rain I tracked in two giant muddy footprints), Roma joined me running back and forth...she was doing the whole "puppy" thing. I opened the door slightly to shake out the downstairs carpet when she nudges the door with her nose and goes "bye bye!!!" Oh man, it was not pretty!! I went out barefoot chasing after a mini-greyhound! She is FAST!! She thought it was a game and started running left, right, left, hard cut to the right and around and around. It was like sprints for baseball all over again, it was rough! I started thinking of something Debbie once said when we talked about if Midnight ever got out (which she never would as she never goes too close to the door). Play with her, so I started doing stuff, kind of mocking/mimicking her. She started running towards me to get me and I pinned her down so hard! Yelled so loud! Scared the crap out of her! Grabbed her and stormed home...didn't put her down until I got upstairs and threw her in the guest bathroom!! She whined and whimpered for a while as I caught my breath and finished my cleaning up on the stairs. When I let her out she knew who was boss, she was still whining some! I had/have no sympathy here...I am still pissed at the little sh*t!

Anyways, doing a complete 180, we LOVE her! :-) She is a pup, and we are going to get her trained. Tonight she starts puppy we'll keep everyone up to date on her progress.

Oh and Midnight is holding her ground, she is laying some HARD hits into Roma's face. I mean she is constantly hissing and growling (as much as a cat can growl).

Soooo much fun over at the Kadlec's right now! So much that we are tired, losing our voices, and fatigued from the chasing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The New Kadlec pup


Terence and I have been looking for a dog for a while now, well after searching on we headed out to Buster's Friends, a rescue center in Highland Village. I have been searching for a big 'ole dog while Terence prefers the smaller dogs (aka: pugs). We originally went to look at Trixie, a Lab/Golden Retriever mix, and man she was huge! There was no way we could handle her in our apartment, but then we saw a little black lab...

She was so cute and the perfect combo size for what Terence and I wanted. First we did a kitty test at the center, and she passed! After accepting our application we were on our way with our new black pup. After spending our fair shares worth in Petsmart we headed home.

She's pretty playful still as a puppy, but thinks she is a lap dog of course! Terence took her to the vet today and they estimate she is a Lab/Terrier/possibly pug mix (ha! now Terence can saw I let him get a pug)! Whatever she is they expect her to still double in size, and at almost six months 17 lbs. she'll get just tall enough to scoop our dinners of the table :-) Yeah we learned that lesson quick!

We will get some more pics up later, poor pup is exhausting her new parents!

Oh and for those of you that are worried about our little kiddy she is holding her ground just fine. She definitely wins the staring contests and gets plenty curious with Roma for only the second day!

Also, Trixie unfortunately was not adopted this weekend, but we saw her in person and was a very sweet animal if anyone has some room for her!