American advice needed...

Confession time...I haven't been very American lately. Instead, I've been keeping really busy at work (and gearing up for what is sure to be an awesome trip to Austin) so I thought I would get some help on #15 from my list 'Make an apple pie'...any tips? awesome recipe? apple suggestions? let me have 'em...if I'm going to go to the trouble of making a pie it better be the best pie ever. On a related note, apparently there is such a thing as Apple Pie gum!! Who knew?!? A friend left it in my purse by accident and I can't bring myself to try a piece but hey, if the real pie doesn't work out I can always use this as a back up.

Ps. I got my first piece of voting related mail today-woo hoo!! Super American :-)


Patriotic Moment...

You might think this is a picture from the fourth of July but no this is just my mom getting ready for a dinner party. When she themes she themes big...she's a very proud AmeriCanadian.


#16 Work on a farm

Ok so maybe 'work on a farm' is not exactly accurate but I did pick food in the fields for a few hours, it was super hot out AND I was dressed like a farmer sooo I'm gonna count it :-)

Looking legit in the field 

Another AmeriCanadian in the country...

Congrats Mom!



I can't believe its been 10 years.

 Ten years ago I was in high school and math class had just started when we found out the first tower had collapsed. The horror, devastation and impact it would have on the country didn't hit me until much later. I don't think I'll ever fully comprehend what it was like for the people affected and to this day I have trouble watching any footage from that day as I get so emotional. Time Magazine has a great interactive website with portraits of people affected by 9/11 and their stories...very moving. 

Today I am reminded how lucky I am and how grateful I am for the men and women who choose to serve their communities in the police and fire departments...I'm also very proud to be a niece of a fireman!


#34 Ride a Mechanical Bull

During my LA vacation the opportunity presented itself to check another item off the list...riding a mechanical bull. Initially we went inside for giant margaritas but were sucked in watching wasted people try to ride a bucking bull. Now THIS guy knew what he was doing:
My bull riding hero

Patriotic moment (on vacation)...

Guess what song I had stuck in my head for 24 hours after visiting the amazing Beverly Wilshire hotel?


The American list: #21-40

Thanks for all the great ideas...let me know if you think of any others to add:

21. Start a blog  (obvi this is already checked off)
22. Go on a shopping spree
23. Get a patriotic tattoo
24. Go to a football game
25. Tour the Budweiser plant
26. Join a kickball or softball team
27. Join the army (per Gabby's note- this is not recommended) 
28. Go to a Nascar race
29. Visit Mount Rushmore
30. Watch the Miss America pageant
31. Host an Oscar party
32. Get involved in a cause I believe in
33. Shop at Walmart
34. Ride a mechanical bull
35. Vote in a federal election
36. Meet a rockstar
37. Go to New Orleans for Mardis Gras
38. Drive across the country
39. Go to a drive-in movie
40. Serve on a jury


Classic American Eats: Denny's

The first time I went to Denny's I was 16 and was pretty excited...mainly due to the promise of mint chocolate chip milkshakes and knowing that the alternative involved my dad 'cooking'...the weather wasn't right for warming up the BBQ (where he excels). After taking a look at the menu, I decided I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and order something other than chicken caesar salad or chicken strips. It was a tough choice, everything was covered in delicious looking cheese and/or bacon (wasn't too worried about clogging my arteries at the time) and I kept getting distracted  by the pictures of milkshakes.

After much deliberation, I decided to stick with what I know and get the chicken strips (no need to get crazy when the strips were bound to be the best ever and noted as an American Dinner Classic). I was however, able to talk my brother into going with the special of the month: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and some kind of vegetable- I was hoping I could steal some of his mashed potatoes and gravy. The meal was fine (I've had better strips), but the best part was that my brother's cranberry sauce on the side was still in can form...ridges and all just cut in half and stuck in a bowl for presentation. My dad wisely decided that should be our first and last trip to Denny's.

Since that was so long ago, I figured probably go there again as it is "America's diner" and obviously as a new American I should check it out....and then I saw this article: Adventures in Gluttony. Denny's has come out with new dishes as part of their Lets Get Cheesy menu- including the star of the article: Mac 'n Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt. The creation involves a beef patty, topped with creamy mac 'n cheese, melted cheddar cheese (can't get enough cheese I guess) and a zesty Frisco sauce on grilled potato bread...side of fries included.  Now you can get all of this for only .............1690 calories!!! Ummm what?!?!? Now granted I love all things mac 'n cheese but this is a bit much even for me...I'll probably just eat half. Or if I'm feeling like watching my calories, I could just go for the Winner Winner Cheesy dinner for only 1520 calories or the Grand Slamwich with hash browns also for just 1520. I mean why bother with spreading out your calories in three meals throughout the day when you can get most of them in one meal! Great time saver Dennys...way to be ahead of the game. Despite their forward thinking in terms of time management, I think I'll pass- I've decided that IHOP is more my style. 


Balboa Island hearts America

I took last Friday off for a quick trip to SoCal to visit friends and get out of foggy SF 'summer' weather. On Saturday Ashley and I drove down to Balboa Island and got to see some super sized American pride...clocks, signs, flags, birdhouses, stickers...they managed to get a flag on almost everything! I can only imagine what the fourth of July is like down there:
My fav American decor