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Accomplished!

12 Feb

I feel like I was super accomplished this weekend. Yesterday, I started the day by doing some work outside, cleaning up our patio.

Cy helped me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Later in the day, we look the kids to the park. We all had a lot of fun at the park. We went to a park that we’ve been to before, but haven’t been to in a while, so it was something new for the kids, plus it has nice walking trails for mom and dad. Sadie seemed really excited to be there – more so than she is at some other parks. We started calling her “Fun Sadie” because she almost seemed giddy there. She was running and playing like when she was a young pup. To be honest, sometimes she is miserable to take to the park because she would rather stand in one spot and eat rabbit turds all day than go on a walk, but this time she had a little more pep in her step. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cy had fun too because we let him off leash when there was no one around. He was running around like a mad man and had a total blast.

It’s too bad Sadie can’t go off leash also, but her recall (aka listening) skills are not the best. Cy, on the other hand, comes when called, even with distractions. This is mostly our fault for not giving Sadie as much training as we have given Cy, but the girl does have an extremely stubborn streak that seems to be inherent and nothing to do with training.

We went back to the same park again today and Cy had fun chasing a tennis ball and Sadie had fun stealing and hiding the ball from her brother. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yesterday, I also did step one for my DIY art project for our dining room.

Yes, I know it is “safety cone orange” and that’s just how I like it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ This place needs a pop of color!

The hubby and I just got back from an early Valentine’s dinner at Cucina Enoteca. Love that place! And love my sweetie. ๐Ÿ˜€

Snapshots From The Weekend

29 Jan

Hey y’all! How was your weekend?

Here are some snapshots from my weekend.

Yesterday, I did yoga for the first time since my surgery. I was a little wobbly on some of the moves, but overall it felt GREAT to be exercising again. My muscles thanked me. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a beautiful weekend here, so we took the kids to the park yesterday and today. We had some wicked Santa Ana winds on Friday (I’m talking shaking the whole house windy), but the one positive of Santa Ana winds is that they blow out all the clouds, so that means it’s super sunny.

I went to Micheal’s today to get some supplies for a little DIY art project for our dining room. I was inspired by this photo from Make Under My Life.

I’m going to do my prints in a bright orange though because I really need a pop of color in here. The inspiration photo also has felt flowers on it, but I’m going to do a stencil instead.

I’m going to recreate this circle print from the lamp onto my canvas.

Now I’m off to watch The Help.

Peace out!

Gettin’ My Organization On

22 Jan

Today we went to one of my favorite stores – The Container Store. I love this place! Every time I enter this store, it gives me hope that my life can actually be organized. Case in point, I found this handy dandy little thing to organize kitchen wraps (like aluminum foil and such).

Check out my handy work:

Before - what a mess!

After!

In a matter of two minutes, I organized these things that drive me crazy every time I open the pantry! ๐Ÿ˜€

My main reason for going to The Container Store was that I wanted to get something to organize my nail polish. My dream nail polish organization strategy would be to use a spice rack like the one below to display the nail polish, just like they do when you go to the salon to get a manicure. Genius idea, I know, but somehow I have yet to be able to convince the hubby to allow me to hang a spice rack in our closet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After looking at many options, I ended up with the container below, which I was happy with because of the little compartments within the box.

Before this, my nail polish was in serious need of some help. It was all shoved into a bag where I couldn’t see what I had. There were also nail polishes in there that I probably had in high school. That would mean they are like 12-15 years old. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Yikes!

I’m talking Caboodles nail polish old! I’m not sure if this is even still a brand!

Old School!

I’ve still got a long way to go before I am completely in organization heaven (don’t even think about looking in my garage), but today was a good start.

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Do you have any organization tips?

Santa Claus and Baby Carrots

17 Jan

Here’s a fun riddle for you: what do Santa Claus and baby carrots have in common? The answer: neither one is real. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is something I learned when I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a couple of years ago. (A book I highly recommend, by the way.) So, yes, apparently baby carrots are made from normal sized carrots that are whittled into “baby” size. Then they dip them in some kind of preservative to keep them fresh, since they don’t have the protective outer layer like normal carrots. YUCK! No wonder I never liked baby carrots. Why am I giving you a lesson in baby carrots, you ask? Well, because I got some real carrots in my CSA box this week, so I decided to cut them up and eat them with hummus for a snack, just like some people would do with baby carrots.

These were so good! Like something you would actually want to eat! Because let’s face it, baby carrots are pretty much just a tasteless vehicle to get the dip in your mouth, right?

Speaking of my CSA box, I made a yummy salad for dinner tonight that used three different items from the box. I’m so proud of myself. ๐Ÿ˜€ I found the idea on the For the Love of Food blog. The salad consists of arugula, squash, pomegranate seeds and lentils, plus a delicious dressing. The original recipe called for delicata squash, but I used butternut squash because that’s what I had on hand. I also used the pre-cooked steamed lentils from Trader Joe’s instead of dried ones because I’m lazy and impatient.

I was especially happy to find a use for a pomegranate because I’ve been getting a ton of them in my CSA box. Having farm fresh fruits and veggies has definitely been a learning experience, particularly with these pomegranates. Before this, I never knew how to remove the seeds from a pomegranate. The first time I tried to do it, it was a bloody juicy mess! It seriously looked like an episode of Dexter in my kitchen. Then I thought there must be a better way, so I found this video online from everyone’s favorite domestic diva, Martha Stewart.


Essentially, you just beat the shit out of the pomegranate until all the seeds fall out. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This method was easier (notice I said easier, not easy), but it was still kind of messy.

The best tip I’ve come up with so far is to use a deep bowl, so that the juice doesn’t fly three feet across your kitchen and onto your freshly painted wall. Not that this happened to me or anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then you get to use your pom seeds in a yummy salad, like so:

In other news, it’s a jungle out there, or a forest, or… something. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So here’s the deal, our house backs up to an avocado grove and behind that are the foothills of the Saddleback Mountains. That means wildlife! It’s pretty common for coyote sightings in our neighborhood, but last night was ridiculous! We have had a freaking owl hooting at night around here for the last couple of weeks, so last night it starts in around 10 PM and it seriously went on like all night. Then the coyotes started in with their howling too! Hubby and I both had to wear earplugs to get any sleep! Now I’m not a wildlife expert (shocking, I now), but I don’t think owls usually hoot for hours at a time. So this is either an owl on speed or there is no owl at all and one of our neighbors is screwing around.

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So anyone else ever had an “owl problem”? How did you handle it?

It’s My Birthday And I’ll Cook If I Want To

19 Dec

This past Friday was my birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚

This year, I decided to do something different than the usual go out to dinner thing to celebrate, so we took a cooking class. The hubby was a little unsure at first as to why I would want to spend my birthday cooking instead of letting someone else do the cooking for me, but I had been to this cooking class before on a work team building outing, so I knew it would be fun. It did not disappoint! It was fun and the food was delicious! We made:

Sweet potato biscuits with caramelized onion jam

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, which apparently I was too busy eating to take a picture of. And…

Pumpkin Souffle

The recipes were relatively easy too, which means I will totally be recreating this meal at home. YUM!!

In other WAY exciting news, the repairs are complete on our house and we got our furniture and appliances back from storage this weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€ Last night we sat on the couch in our living room and watched a movie for the first time in over a month! I never knew how much I missed you until I had you back, HDTV! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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How do you usually celebrate your birthday? Do you have any unique traditions?

WTF, December?

14 Dec

WTF, December? How can you be going by so quickly when I have so much to do?

Seriously, I know December is a busy month for everyone, but this year it seems especially CRA-ZY!! Besides the usual Christmas shopping, holiday parties and typical holiday mayhem, I’m also attending physical therapy three days a week and trying to get our house back in order after Watergate 2011. Oh yeah, and I also happen to have a little birthday coming up too. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I’m tempted to just give up on my to-do list and just drink wine and eat chocolate instead, but I’m slowly chipping away at it instead of giving up. This weekend I signed all my Christmas cards, on Monday I wrote my Christmas letter, and last night I addressed all the envelopes. Now I just need to stuff everything together and the cards will be on their way. However, this is by far the latest I’ve ever sent out my cards, so that goes to show how crazy this month is for me.

On the home front, all of our construction is FINALLY done! ๐Ÿ˜€ Now we just need to get our furniture and appliances moved back in and we will be all back to normal. This weekend we also went to check out possible new furniture. Now that I have my new and improved painted living room, I have to style it with new furnishings, no? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m really digging this couch from Ikea (it looks better in person, trust me).

But I’m a little worried about the quality/longevity of an Ikea couch. I’ve owned a few pieces of furniture from Ikea before and never had a problem, but this is a couch. You know, that thing you flop your tired butt down on at the end of the day. On the other hand, I do have two slobbering, shedding dogs that I will be sharing this couch with, so part of me says get something cheaper so I won’t be as devastated when one of them pukes on it. Because, let’s face it, in this house, that is inevitable. Sadie is totally a puker.

Sigh! I always think I like interior design, until I actually have to do it and make decisions. Then it becomes stressful. I totally freeze up and over analyze everything. I like the style of Ikea furniture, but I’m worried about the quality. On the other hand, I haven’t really been able to find that style of furniture elsewhere. Ahhh!!! And so it goes, on and on…

Now where is that wine and chocolate? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Do you get extra stressed in December? How do you handle it?

I’m Cleanin’ Out My Closet

4 Dec

Actually, it was my garage, but that’s not a song, so just go with it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This week we are FINALLY starting the repairs on our house – insulation, drywall and flooring this week, painting and baseboards next week. So on Saturday, we had to remove the last remaining semblance of a kitchen we have left in order to prepare for the work. The stove and dishwasher went into storage and the refrigerator moved to the garage.

That would be the hole where my stove used to be. Someone should really clean this place up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

However, since our garage was a total wreck, we had to clear some space to make room for the fridge. Admittedly, I’m not that good at maintaining a regular “spring cleaning” schedule, but when I do get started – look out! I’m a lean, mean gettin’ rid of machine! DVDs we haven’t watched in five years – buh bye. Ten-year-old TV, you may still work, but you old – see ya’ later. So we loaded up the car and we headed to Beverly Goodwill. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve now decided that I need to start shopping at Goodwill! In the bin that we loaded our stuff into, I saw two things I wanted – a Jillian Micheal’s workout DVD and a book that I’m currently reading on my Kindle. Who knew?!

While we were out and about, we ate at Boneheads.

I had grilled shrimp, with spicy mushroom topping, plus grilled zucchini and rice for sides. It was yummy! We used to eat here pretty frequently, but we kind of overdid it and I got sick of it, so we hadn’t been in a while.

After we ate, I went over to the Verizon store to get my phone fixed. It has been acting crazy for a couple of weeks. Turns out that the HTC Droid system saves every single thing you do on Facebook, so I had 45 MB of data stored on my phone from Facebook! Opps! The minute the guy cleared my phone, all the emails that I’ve been missing for the last two weeks starting blowing up my phone. Hooray for a working phone! ๐Ÿ˜€

In other less exciting disappointing news, our Iowa State Cyclones got a bid to the Pinstripe Bowl. The one bowl we didn’t want to go to. It’s in New York City in the middle of freaking winter! And NYC is freaking expensive this time of year! I guess we will be going with “Plan B” for the holidays this year. Stay tuned to find out what that is. ๐Ÿ˜‰