30 November 2014


Well. It came. This day is finally here.

I've been thinking to myself all day, "I'm 30." It's weird. I don't identify with it! I think instead of a mid-life crisis at 40 I'm going to freak out most about 30. Clearly.

I mean, you're supposed to have your life together at 30, which I totally do. That's not the problem. I've got the job and the husband and the house with the cat and the dog and the paid-off vehicles. It's picture-perfect.

I suppose for me this means that my youthful 20s are officially gone and for some reason I just feel old. Aches and pains and not being able to stay out past 10pm are funny in your 20s, but are just so REAL and not funny anymore when you're 30. I mean, for my birthday we're going to get me a new heating pad. Which I'm excited about. Is that really a problem though?

We're going to spend the day Christmas-fying, which I'm perfectly okay with.

I made a pumpkin spice latte and I've got a nut cup and I'm pretty content.
Just don't ask me how old I am.

29 November 2014

sugar overload

I have literally eaten nothing but sweets for the last 2 days. If I eat another bite of pie,  -- I don't even want to think about pie. Good thing it's all gone!
Except for a few nut cups and a piece of cake that are now in the freezer. This morning I made ham & eggs. Salty. Protein.

Today is small business saturday and there are a few cute little boutique stores down the road that I've been dying to check out and Chris' family gave him some cash yesterday...

I'll let you know how that goes.

28 November 2014

mostest hostess

Things I learned after hosting my first Thanksgiving/ Potlucksgiving/ #Tootsgiving (see Sue? I used it!)
  • Wear pearls, because hostesses wear pearls. Even if it's with cat socks and flip flops. Those don't show up in pictures. 
  • If you tell people to bring a lot of food, they will bring a LOT of food. It's better than not enough.
  • Additionally, even if you tell them not to worry about the gluten status because you've learned to adapt, they will make things GF. Stuffing, popovers, pie... even your sister's mother-in-law will make a GF cake. Because your family and extended family are awesome and you trust their GF knowledge when it comes to cross-contamination.
  • You will need more to-go containers than you think you need. Because you told people to bring a lot of food. Additionally, get some extra tupperware just for storing leftovers.
  • Those crock pot liners really are amazing. Buy them. Use them. They are wonderful. You can even take the leftovers straight out of the pot, and put the bag into a smaller container for storage. You just got double duty out of them. 
  • Also, a lot of things can be kept warm in a crock pot. Even if they are cooked in a different container, transfer to a crock pot set to warm or even turned off- those things are very insulated.
  • Fried turkeys are great, use a thermometer to confirm done-ness... but maybe put an extra 5 minutes on it just to make sure you're not questioning the salmonella status when you pull all the meat off the carcass and you can't tell if it's the marinade that's making things pink. Just saying I like to be paranoid.
  • Anyway, follow the rules when it comes to thawing, frying, and roasting birds. Butterball has a great how-to website!
  • Save the giblets for your dad, who will be pleasantly surprised to find them roasted alongside the bird when he goes to carve.
  • Figure out a way next year to spend less time in the kitchen, and more time socializing. Because man it is tiring, even with a potluck style event and a wonderful mother who helps you clean up.
It was a good day and I think people enjoyed themselves. Now... Christmas!

26 November 2014


This happened:
My super handy husband turned random cords tumbling out of the wall into a functional, pretty plug! In fact, it's prettier than any of the other plugs in the kitchen. This is way hotter than JJ Watt.

That functional plug led to this:
Power! Fully functioning badass microwave!

So this little guy will soon be craigslisted and I'll have gained some serious counter space.

25 November 2014

Doggie diaries

We normally don't put the dog in the cage when we leave. Which hasn't been a problem.

Tonight after work we ran to the grocery store, and came home to a [brand new!] box of tissues strewn everywhere, treats open, sunglasses broken, a banana peel on the floor (I keep telling Chris he needs to clean up after himself), and several puddles of pee. And that's just what we found. No telling what other random destruction we will come across.

Needless to say, I am not pleased.

That's a solid strike one, dog.


I've been juggling some ideas around in my head that involve making a little bit of extra cash. Mostly because I have no idea how we're going to pay for a wedding reception aka Reason to Wear that Dress.

While I generally have no problem working a few extra hours with a temp agency, or getting a holiday job, it would severely cut into already limited Toot Time.

I've been toying with the idea of trying out Etsy. Just to see what will come of it.
It would meet my flexibility needs, but not so sure the proceeds would be worth it. I suppose there is only one way to find out.

24 November 2014

doggie diaries

Bad habits:
  • She likes to sniff my butt. Not anyone else's. Mine. Weirdo.
  • It's very hard to keep the house/ floor clean, especially when it's rainy out. *eye twitch*. I think when it rains she may be a garage dog? The dog hair and the smell is another story. 
  • OH MY GOD THE DOG HAIR. I almost cried today because there was so much and I swept really well last week. It's like a never ending process of cleaning to keep my house from being overrun with dog. This clean freak is hardly able to handle it. We need to figure out a schedule or something. The Roomba is a very realistic topic of conversation right now.
  • Likes to bark at people walking by, but only when she's outside.
  • Started digging holes in the grass near the porch. I figured my tried-and-true cayenne pepper method will work. We'll see.

Good stuff:
  • She's getting better at learning her name and obeying commands.
  • Still a very well-behaved dog when it comes down to it.
  • It's pretty cute when I come home and she's all happy to see me and her tail [+ entire back end] wags like crazy.
  • Pumpkin is adjusting. She only hisses when they get really close, like within a foot of each other. They'll even eat at the same time and their bowls are nearby.
Speaking of Pumpkin, the other day I got a sympathy card from the vet. Apparently they thought Pumpkin died. When I called they were very apologetic and I was just like, "That's so sweet but bring her back to life! (in your system)"

23 November 2014

clubbin I mean crafts

Last night Jessica threw a craft party.
The idea: Bring a dish and a craft you've been meaning to try. So simple, so genius, so fun.

Ashley surprised me by making two totally steal-able wreaths. She says she's not crafty, but I think she found her crafting area of expertise, and definitely won craft night. P.S. Suze we all totally talked about you and how cool and pretty you are. Happy birthday!! Hope your ears were burning.

While Suze was probably out partying, Ash was wreathing away, and I took inspiration from this pin and made these gift tags:

They are for the 12 Days of Christmas for Hubs. I didn't have another craft to work on so I figured these would be really cute, and use up some scraps, and I was right. Ashley is trying the 12 Days this year for Collin, so I made her a set too. (The best part of Ashley doing it? We get to go shopping together! I'm seriously looking forward to that.)

I made a pumpkin swirled cheesecake that I thought was mediocre but it got positive reviews. I'll make it again for Thanksgiving. Ashley made a quinoa chocolate cake that I probably ate half of. Jen made some vegan pumpkin pudding that turned out HORRIBLE and she forbade anyone from trying it. Speaking of, Ash tried meatballs that turned into mush/stuck to the pan. That's what you get when you get a bunch of people trying new recipes. There were several other winners, though, including sausage bread, enchiladas, fruit balls, and sandwiches.

My fail? I tried making mashed potatoes in the crock pot, but after 3 hours, they were still rock hard. I left them going and when I came back from the party, they were soft but kind of burned. Fail. I'll stick to regular mashed potatoes, thanks.

We all had so much fun that a craft club was proposed. Sort of like a book club but we do this instead of read. Then we all laughed because those types of things start with the best of intentions but never work out.

16 November 2014

microwave yeah

So this afternoon we got a wild hair. I don't know what it is about Sunday afternoons that inspire us to randomly start projects.

The vent hood pictured above was non-functional. I'm sure at one point it was functional, since it was all hooked up, but the stovetop actually has one of those downdraft exhaust thingies-- which to me is super luxurious. You turn a knob to raise it. It's so powerful that the lowest setting coaxes the flames towards the back of the stove so that I have to reposition the pots and pans on the burners. Fancy. I did, however, miss the light. That also did not work. Completely non-functional vent hood. That I randomly would hit my head on.

We've talked about how some day when we remodel the kitchen, we'll put a microwave up there. This weekend microwaves were on sale at Home Depot. We came home with one. This happened next, after the requisite number of setbacks that come with each of our projects.

The fun(ny) part? It's not hooked up to a power source. The old hood was hard-wired and the microwave requires a plug. So even though we have 10 plugs in the kitchen, there are none up in that cabinet. Chris will have to install one before we can use it.

But doesn't it look pretty??? (Ignore the old cabinets, shitty countertops/ backsplash.) Instead feast your eyes on the top-notch stovetop and microwave! That matches the fridge and dishwasher! Craigslisting the old microwave = increased counter space! Baby steps, folks. Our dream kitchen is coming along one sale at a time. Now they need a sale on ovens.

Our 2nd wedding anniversary is coming up and we agreed this was a great gift, even though it's not traditional cotton. (No new sheets) I'll happily accept microwave!

Speaking of, our wedding reception date has been chosen: November 19th, 2016. Save the date?

turkey lurkey

Started planning Thanksgiving. Or shall I call it, "Potlucksgiving."
Still never got a really good reason why Chris insisted on hosting. We don't even have enough chairs. Totes going over to mom's next weekend while they're out of town and taking chairs + decorations like the grinch.

Overall, I think it will be ok. Even if we end up having to microwave the gravy or someone forgets the pie, it will be just fine. The really important thing is making sure we have the correct football channels.

I desperately (desperately, y'all) need more rugs. Or really, bigger rugs. There is one in front of the door but it's never really worked well. Add a dog with wet feet, and my floors are disgusting. So the rug-watch is on.

Also I need to go wash every blanket we have, and go buy designated dog blankets. I'm thinking the thrift store.

15 November 2014

dog parks

Okay, so dog parks. They are actually really cool!
I surprisingly loved watching all the dogs have so much fun, running around and sniffing each other. Every single dog looked like they were having a great time. Ours got nice and tuckered out.

If I was feeling social and not freezing my butt off (wet hair = not ideal), I would have even struck up conversations with some of the other humans. Maybe we can make some friends at the dog park!

So yes, I am now a fan of dog parks. If you would have told me a week ago that I'd be saying that, I would have known you were crazy.

It finally rained so now maybe my headache will subside. Fighting the urge to go lay in bed and call it a night.

rise n shine

This household got an early start this morning.

We were snuggled up all cozy in bed when we heard a noise just outside the window, which of course activated Chris into home security mode. Then, we heard Pumpkin come inside through the cat door and she ran into the bathroom- with something in her mouth.

It turned out to be a big fat mouse. We all chased it around the closet for a while, me with dishwashing gloves, Chris with a box, and Pumpkin in pure kitty stalker paradise. After we rearranged and nearly emptied the closet, Chris trapped it in the box. He wanted to kill it, but I convinced him to toss it over the neighbor's fence where it probably came from anyway. My reasoning? We live in the country-ish and there will always be mice. Besides if Pumpkin was able to get ahold of it, it's probably already been poisoned in some way.

So now I'm pretty much up. A nap will probably be a part of this afternoon. After we go to the dog park. Because now we are the kind of people who go to dog parks.

14 November 2014


I need an updated wardrobe. Badly. Yes, we are revisiting this topic. This time it has a resolution!

In a nutshell, reasons why I need an updated wardrobe.

1. My current clothing does not fit anymore. For now, the bottom line is that while it may be all about that bass*, this flat butt demands that I get new stuff.

2. Impending 30-ness demands that I look a bit more professional, which means slightly higher quality materials and craftsmanship. A wardrobe composed entirely of pilling $6 Ross finds 5 years ago does not scream successful. Or get you a promotion. Dress for the job you want, right?

3. I'm tired of looking and feeling like frump girl. My self-esteem is at a low and a large part of it has to do with how I look. Now that my other issues are starting to improve, I think this will go a long way.

4. Other justifications: Since I wore scrubs for years and I can currently wear scrubs at this job if I choose, I have spent a very limited amount of money on clothing in many, many years. In the long run, a couple hundred dollars spent now is WAY less than if I had been buying new clothes this whole time.

5. Other requirements:
-Tops had to fit without any gaping, bra straps, or cleavage showing. Especially when I bend over. While a plethora of adorable sleeveless tops were found, many just don't make the cut. I don't want to be forced to layer a cardigan over any item of clothing I wear to work.

-Pants had to fit in the waist and butt without bagging, and pant legs had to be straight- no flare or wide-leg or tapered ankle action. That last bit is surprisingly hard to find. Boot cut, anyone? Anyone?

-No dresses or skirts, heels or open-toes. I still work in a lab, and everything's gotta be covered. Yeah, I could probably get away with tights or leggings, but it's a grey area in the dress code and I'm not willing to mess with it. I also walk a LOT and quality cushioned flats are the way to go. No Payless here.

After perusing both Pinterest and my current wardrobe, here is my master list:

Tan pants x2
Assorted tops
Black, tan, blue, red flats
Accessories: Scarves, costume jewelry, etc.

Pants: Black x2, Blue, Other neutral
Tops: Striped, Patterned
Blouse: Feminine, Polka dot
Light sweaters: Neutral, Color
Collared button downs: White, Color
Cardigans: Black, Color, Mustard (I really want this)
Skinny belt

Most of these basic items are intended for layering to achieve a put-together effect. I already have plenty of random tops and under-utilized accessories, and plan to get a few more key items as I develop new outfits. [They have these great jewelry sales at work where every piece is $6 so I plan to get some there.] The main thing is I needed a few quality basic pieces to ground them all.

After a really good day of power-shopping, here is what I got!

Striped top, Feminine blouse, Patterned top

 Light neutral sweater(s) + Color
Fun fact: Mom likes gray- a lot. So apparently neutral = gray haha

 White collared button down
Never been a fan of these due to the gaping issues at the boob level buttons, 
but you can't argue it's a valuable basic layering tool.

Cardigans. Can you really ever have too many? 
Nope. Especially since some of my current ones are in bad shape and will soon hit the scrap fabric pile, or the trash.

Not pictured: Skinny black belt

I checked off quite a few items on the list. Nothing too exciting; just the basics.
I tried on MANY pants but none fit quite right. Women's sizes didn't go small enough, and junior's sizes were of low quality and were way too trendy. So I ordered some of my favorites from Old Navy.com because I know at least those fit. Two black, one blue.

The only items left on the list are another pair of pants, the polka dot blouse, a color button down, and the mustard cardigan. All things I can live without until I find the right item that speaks to me.

*My mom loves that song. I died when I found out. We jammed. Some guy in a minivan gave us the thumbs up.

P.S. H&M Is FANTASTIC for basic pieces. 

12 November 2014

Andromeda or Andy for short

So it's been a few days and I still have a dog.

Some things that have made me be like, "Eh."
- She has peed a couple of times because she is scared? Excited? So far just on tile and a rug, but I got some enzyme pee stuff to be prepared. It's not like I don't already have a bottle of that for the cat. Just in case. No pee in my damn house.
- She smells like a dog. I think a bath took care of most of it. Most of it.
- She keeps eating the cat food. Then when Pumpkin goes to eat she looks at me like, "The dog ate out of this." We are trying to train her not to do that, but in the meantime we're going through a lot of fancy feast. Pumpkin is still in no way pleased, but I'm surprised at how well she's adjusting. She keeps her distance, mostly in the places that the dog is not allowed to go. Doing a lot of observing. Some puffy hissing when Andy gets too close.
- I came home today and it SMELLED LIKE DOG in my house. SCREECH. Hold up.

I can handle dog hair, I can handle toys and a few paw prints and water bowl splashes. I can't handle a stinky dog house.

After washing/bleaching the bed & toys, vacuuming, febreezing, plugging in a scentsy, and cleaning up a lot, it smells much better in here. I think with a dog we just have to clean our floors more often and wash her bed frequently.

She has learned very quickly the off-limits areas like the bedrooms and the furniture. She even poops in only one area of the yard. She definitely needs training for commands like sit and stay and come and all that. I'm not sure she's learned her new name yet either. That will probably help.

Honestly, she's still sweet and I don't mind her. I give her some pets and she follows me around sometimes, especially when I'm cooking dinner, but we are all adjusting. Definitely no bonding for me yet.

11 November 2014

Laundry room- hanger storage!

Our laundry room is kind of a busy room in our house. Not only does the laundry get done there (derr), but we frequently use it as an entry to the house. Since it is such a narrow space, I need the use of that room to be streamlined and efficient. No messes or clutter.

When I do laundry, I fold/hang clothes straight out of the dryer. [The iron comes out only in dire circumstances.] For several months, I struggled to find an efficient way to manipulate the hangers.

I started out fighting a big tangled pile, then I tried hanging them on every available doorknob, hook, and pipe. Not only was it frustrating, but I constantly bumped into them, knocked them down when I opened doors, etc. Not exactly streamlined.

I'd considered several ideas, including installing tension rods, something retractable, heck- even something from the ceiling.

Suddenly it dawned on me that a towel rod mounted to the underside of the cabinet would work perfectly. My husband reminded me that there was an extra one for the guest bathroom still in the packaging that could easily be replaced some other day.

Since I've gotten so good at hanging towel rods, I literally had it up in about 5 minutes. TA-DA!

They are the perfect combination of accessible, yet out of the way. An 18-inch bar holds all of them with no problem. SO MUCH BETTER! Now I can stop bitching about it.

Ah, pretty.

P.S. If you do end up installing something to the underside of a cabinet (towel rod, paper towel holder, etc.), check the length of the screws vs the thickness of the cabinet bottom. Most screws that come with the installation kit are too long and will poke out on the other side. Not classy.

09 November 2014

there is a dog in my dining room

I am not a dog person. Growing up, we never had a dog. Our pets consisted of the occasional fish, a hamster, a cat that came-and-went, and, briefly, a mouse. My parents are not pet people. Currently they've reluctantly got a slightly feral cat that pretty much lives independently except for a bowl of wet food here and there. It wasn't until Pumpkin came along that I was really invited into the pet ownership world. Even though we've bonded and I love her dearly, she still gets a little needy for my tastes.

Chris has wanted a dog. He grew up with dogs. And cats- he's a regular pet-loving guy. Everyone gets a scratch on the head when he's around. Children included, haha.

So we now have a dog.
The story is a bit fateful. He has wanted this particular type of dog- a Belgian Malinois- since he's been home. With everything that we've had going on lately, it's been easy to keep the status quo and avoid getting a dog. Especially since they cost quite a bit. I've only had pets that were strays or very low-cost, so I'm reluctant to pay hundreds of dollars for an animal.

Friday night, we happened to have our old neighbors over for dinner. Casually in conversation, Elena mentioned that they got a new dog. A dog that they thought was a German Shepherd when they got it from the SPCA. When she said it turned out to be a Belgian Malinois (clearly mixed with something else, but clearly part Malinois), I told her that Chris was going to be SO jealous when we told him. He reacted about how I expected.

What I absolutely did NOT expect was for Mike to offer us the dog on the spot. Huh? Apparently this new dog wasn't fitting into their family how they expected. She wasn't a bad dog, they just wanted something a little different. Not many details and 24 hours later, I've been thrust into the world of dog ownership and she's been thrust into our family.

She is a sweet dog- a puppy, really. Around 10 months old, potty and crate trained, fixed, shots, etc. Full disclosure, she smells like a dog. A bath will be happening shortly. She does not lick or slobber or jump or bark- so far. She's still shy and getting used to us. Overall, I think she might be a good fit and we can slowly get used to each other. I've met too many dogs that are little shitheads, and that adds to why I do not particularly enjoy them. I definitely need a well-trained, well-behaved dog if this is going to happen.

I know there are different levels of dog people- from those that let their dogs have free reign and even sleep with them, to those that have strictly outside animals. From the moment Chris suggested a dog years ago, I originally insisted on a strictly outside dog. In an more realistic world, the dog will probably venture inside, but only on the tile and hardwood, and certainly not on furniture-- at least not without a blanket or something. Chris is much too protective of his beige microfiber couch to allow that anyway.

We will see what happens and how we all adjust. I really hope that this turns out to be a good fit for everyone.

P.S. Pumpkin is Pumpkin and is not enthusiastic about the new addition, and so far they've limited their interaction to mere observation. She spent most of the night peering around the corner checking her out.

P.P.S. I went SHOPPING yesterday! You can see the goods on the floor. More on that later.

07 November 2014

um, so...

We might get a dog.
And I'm probably hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year.

Two things that before today, I would have told you 100% are not happening. At least not any time soon for the dog part. And not this year for the Thanksgiving part.

So the dog. Our old neighbor friends apparently got a dog--- sorry, THE dog- that Chris has been badly wanting. It turns out she's not exactly a great fit for their family but would probably be a good fit in ours. And they seemed totally okay with "bringing her over tomorrow." Hm.

Did I also mention that we are getting another kitty? Chris's cat Tally will be living with us shortly. Poor Punk has no idea. Two middle-aged bitch-cats coexisting should be great fun. As long as no one pees anywhere they're not supposed to, I'm okay.

Also impending marital doom seems to be avoided by my agreement to have both families at our house for Thanksgiving. Plus Collin's.

Well. I'm genuinely pleased. Ashley you're required to bring those popovers, and I think we're frying at least one
pet turkey.

More wine?

06 November 2014

Strong motivation

The other night I had a dream that I was running away from something, or battling something, and I had to climb walls and jump and run in order to defeat whatever it was. The most prominent feeling of the dream was that I was strong. Not like adrenaline strong, but strong strong.

It's the first time that I've wanted to start working out in a longgg time. To feel strong. I can't bring myself to workout without proper motivation. I mean, this is hardly an exaggeration:

The last time that I tried to maintain a workout routine was just after Chris came home, but then I got the stomach flu and we just stopped working out after that. I mean, it got hot out and we had a ton going on in our lives. Then I started feeling really sick and anything above daily activities made me feel dizzy and weak.

I'm starting to feel better, and that dream made me want to be strong, so I brought up the idea of a workout routine again.

Evenings after work? It gets dark so early in the winter and I get home so late. I don't know if we'd be able to commit. We've made it work before though.

Mornings? I've always liked morning workouts but then I'd have to shower before work and I'm definitely a nighttime shower person. I don't have the time or patience for a blow dryer man. I could be down for a light yoga session or something that doesn't make me sweat too much. Which is meh.

There is the option to work out separately, which might end up happening since Chris gets a free gym at school and I have a free gym at work.

Whatever we end up doing, it will probably be sporadic because that's just how I roll, but anything is better than nothing, right?

05 November 2014


My phone is starting to die. Slow little malfunctions here and there... this is not good news. I don't like new phones.

Most notably is the clock problem. The time displayed on the phone will be anywhere from 1-4 minutes off, even though it's supposed to sync up to the network time. I kept thinking my car clock was wrong and I seriously changed it every day last week that I drove it. It wasn't until I checked my phone at 5:56, made a call, and when I hug up, it was 5:54 that I realized something was wrong with the phone.

Add problems with sending pictures, missed calls that don't ring, and random freezing, and things do not look well. I think I'm due for an upgrade soon, which kinda matters but not really because I don't like new phones. Merp.

03 November 2014


Hubs made dinner- bacon wrapped filet mignon, potatoes crusted with olive oil and cracked salt/pepper, and broccoli. It was ready when I got home, with a glass of wine. Damn, I love it when that happens.


So chia seeds are kinda of a thing. Well. They were trendy a few months ago. My boss told me they are supposed to help with inflammation.

At this point since I really have nothing to lose, I figure I'll give it a shot. Now, to find chia seeds that aren't a million bucks, and don't require trips to 10 different stores. Don't you love the exaggeration?

01 November 2014

Halloween 2014

Call me old, but I've never had so much fun staying home and handing out candy.

Even though Halloween fell on a Friday this year, we decided not to go out. Instead we put up a few decorations

(Our pumpkins did NOT make it. By Friday they were a disgusting combination of moldy and sludgy so they went in the trash)

got a ton of candy

and invited a few folks over just to hang out.

Chris donned some veg and hung out in the bushes.

All night long he startled trick-or-treaters. I say startled because there were a lot of younger kids and we didn't want to scare anyone and make them cry. You know. It was great fun.

We gave out almost all of the candy- there were a ton of trick-or-treaters. Of course I saved some for myself...

Now we gotta clean up the aftermath.

I wonder how hard it will be to clear those spiderwebs from the bushes??