Saturday, January 30, 2010


Melissa finished my tattoo today! It took 4 and 1/2 hours, making it a 8 hour total piece of art. It was worth every second. I'm so incredibly happy with how it came out and can't wait to see it healed. At the risk of being a Braggy McBraggerson, I think it's the most beautiful tattoo ever.

Apparently tomorrow, Dan and I are headed to Melissa and Scott's for what is being dubbed Family Art Sunday and we're all going to paint. It should be a fun day. Even though I usually just paint for my own enjoyment, it'll be awesome to get pointers from people as talented as Melissa and Dan.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"I would never do that"

I think we've all been in a situation where we've witnessed some questionable choices by parents. Maybe a parent overreacted with their discipline and spanked when you wouldn't (if you spank, I'm not judging one way or the other), or - more commonly - let a behavior go uncorrected. One time at the zoo, I saw a parent straddle their small child on the canopy on top of the stroller. I thought about saying something about the safety of the situation, but decided it wasn't my place. Sure enough, 4 minutes later, kiddo got wicked excited over a giraffe and down went both toddler and stroller. That was a moment when I thought "I would never do that." Last night, I had another of those moments.

After a delicious dinner of sushi and some sake (not on the meal plan, but I'm not one to turn down my husband for a dinner date), Dan and I headed to the mall. We made a pit stop, and when I left the ladies' room, I found Mr. Kingston trying repeatedly to stuff a $1 bill into a vending machine. As I was waiting, a family approached the restrooms. A little bitty girl was racing toward the men's room and her father scooped her up and took her in with him while the girl's mother took her older brother into the women's room.

Thanks to the vending machine being as equally stubborn as my husband and refusing to take his dollar, we were still outside when the little girl and her dad exited the restroom. The girl said, "Mama" and pointed to the ladies' room and then the father scooted her toward the ladies' room and said "yep, she's in there, go find your momma." Uh, what? I would never do that. The kid was like 18 months old, toddling off to find her mom alone (the restrooms at this mall don't have doors, just a twisted pathway in so you can't look into them), so I grabbed her hand and escorted her in and told her that we were going to wait for her mommy. She didn't resist me or even seem to acknowledge that I was completely unknown to her. It dawned on me in that moment that this father had just allowed a complete stranger (as friendly looking as I am) to take his child into a public restroom. WTF?! I would never do that.

I had to wait with the girl for about a minute for her mother to exit the stall with her brother and when she saw me there holding her daughter's hand, the look on her face was one of complete shock. She asked if the girl had wandered in alone and I replied, "not exactly" and walked out. She didn't thank me, but I have a feeling I'd be pretty speechless in a moment like that, too. Outside the restroom, I told Dan (who was STILL trying to feed his dollar into the machine - you have to admire his determination) that I would buy him a soda and we were leaving. He asked why, because he already had a dollar "invested" and I whispered, "because that father just let a complete stranger take his kid into a bathroom and the mom doesn't look too happy, so I'd prefer not to be here for that." Seriously, if Dan had done something like that, I'd be completely livid, and I had no desire to see whatever would ensue when Momma Bear confronted Daddy Dumb-Dumb.

I'm kind of still a little shocked, when I think about it. I feel thankful that I was there instead of some kid-diddling predator lurking in the second-to-last stall. At the same time, I wonder if I did the right thing or if I overreacted. But I feel confident that I would feel worse today if I'd watched a baby girl wander through that doorway alone. It's eerie to think that maybe the soda machine didn't take Dan's dollar right away for a reason - that I was supposed to be there. Okay, maybe that's going too far. Perhaps I'm way over-thinking all of it. But I do know for sure that never in a million years would I ever do that.

Any great moments in bad parenting you've witnessed?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweet Hearts

One thing on my agenda this weekend is to bake and decorate Valentine's Day cookies. Dan and I don't actually celebrate the holiday, but it does provide an excellent opportunity to hone my cookie decorating skills. Since I'm not a hearts-n-bows girl, I surfed Etsy and some of my favorite blogs for inspiration. Here are some of my favorite Valentine's Day sugar cookies from around the web.

These sweet little animals come with love from TS Cookies

I love that not only are these cookies from Crumbs not the typical red and pink, but the piping detail is awesome.

Though her shop on Etsy is currently down because Bridget is booked (hurray!), I always look to Bake at 350 for inspiration. I love her Love Stamps.

I also love this Sealed With a Kiss collection from A Dozen Eggs

So I've got a lot of cute inspiration, just have to figure out what I want to do. Anyone else have ideas for sweet but unexpected Valentine's Day cookies?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Car cake

Last night, I had the pleasure of not having to grocery shop alone. I can't stand going alone. Since he used to always work or attend school in the evening, I was left to do all the grocery shopping myself. Now that he's home in the evenings, he's joined me and it's a lot nicer. As a bonus, I have someone to carry groceries. In case I'd forgotten, I was reminded of his sweet tooth last night as I was in the baking product aisle. A sweet little conversation ensued:

Dan: Ooooh, cake mix is on sale!

Me: I have 4 boxes of cake mix at home

Dan: But you know what's good? Cherry chip cake with funfetti frosting

Me: Do you want me to make you a cake?

Dan: I like cake

Me: I know you do. If I make you a cake, you have to take it to work. We're not leaving a whole cake around for us to eat.

Dan: I won't leave it at home, but I'm not taking it to work.

Me: What are you going to do with it then?

Dan: Leave it in the car to eat when I'm hungry.

Me: Oh, really? How long are you going to leave it there?

Dan: Uh... a week

Needless to say, I did not buy or make a car cake last night.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meal Plan Monday Jan. 25

This week's meal plan is based around using the 8.5 tons of mozzarella I have left over from the jewelry party's pizzas. I way over-bought on everything but the crusts, so that's all I'll have to pick up. Thankfully it's low-fat cheese, so I'm not too worried about the detriment to our health. So this week's meal plan is as follows:

Monday: Mini Boboli pizzas and salad (chipping away at that cheese supply)
Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan and asparagus (more cheese gone)
Wednesday: Turkey Stuffed Peppers (this week is starting to look Italian-y)
Thursday: More Boboli pizza (hopefully, we'll be using the last of the cheese)
Friday: I'm hopefully meeting up with Mrs. ESPN for dinner and drinks, so Mr. K can fend for himself

Thursday used to be our traditional Wine and Office night, and we usually had pizza to go along with it. Then we got away from the pizza (we kept the wine and Office, of course) when we started trying to conserve cash. But this Thursday, it's coming back with mini Bobolis. Thankfully, I have a husband who loves pizza and doesn't mind a meal repeat. To keep me from being bored with pizza, I'm going to make an olive, feta, and basil pizza tonight and then I'll have a pepperoni, pepper, and mushroom pizza on Thursday. Yum!!

Our weekend in Tucson was fun. We weren't able to get there too early on Saturday because Dan was on call and had to do a job. But we were there in time for dinner and a night of Scattergories. It was a nice time, full of laughs, good steaks, and my mom's yummy ice box cake. Sunday, Dan had to leave early to do more on-call jobs, and I stayed to spend time with my parents and to see my cousin and her baby (briefly). Then we all met about halfway in Casa Grande to have dinner and watch the NFC championship game (darn Vikings! I was rooting for you, Brett).

Today marks one year since Dan asked me to marry him after making dinner together and while dancing in our pajamas in the living room. I'm reminded what a wonderful year 2009 was for us and how much 2010 and the many years ahead have in store for us. Happy "Yes" Anniversary to us!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Last night's Premier Designs jewelry party was a lot of fun! We had wine, delicious food, and most of my favorite girls from my office were able to make it, despite my "bad" directions and the never-ending rain. I totally wish I'd taken pictures because the food was awesome, if I do say so myself. I made a really tasty bacony (I used turkey), ranchy cheese ball, mini Boboli pizzas (the kalamata olive, feta and basil was the favorite), and apple streusel cheesecake bars. I had taken Paisley and Clover to Petsmart's day camp because Paisley isn't so friendly and Clover isn't house broken and I thought it'd be more enjoyable for everyone. As it turns out, the girls wanted to meet Paisley and Clover, so I texted Dan and he picked them up from Petsmart and brought them home. Paisley was great! No barking at all, she curled up and sat with my friend Laura, and she did her "You're on Fire!!" stop, drop, and roll trick. All in all, it was a fun evening!

Today, we're headed to Tucson to celebrate my dad's birthday. He's requested a game night, so it should be a fun family evening. It'll be nice to hang out with my parents and husband and be silly. After a long week, it sounds very refreshing. I have a cousin in town from Tulsa, and I believe plans are in the works to see her and her children, including her new baby, Aiden.

We've also made some new decisions. Ireland is being scrapped. For now. While in the midst of my excitement due to cheap air fare, I managed to forget some of our financial obligations. Whoops. Dan brought me back to Earth quickly with that one. We've had a number of discussions about our plans for the next year and decided that we'll plan a very exciting and fun 3 or 4-day weekend, probably to Napa Valley. It's less pricey and we won't have to account for Dan missing a whole week of work in our saving. We have a plan geared toward saving and paying things off and we'll be high-interest debt-free by about July. Our rent is going to go down even more when we resign our lease, so that will only help with our efforts. Basically, Paisley's hospitalization was a substantial set-back, and we've decided that there are things we want more than a pricey trip to Ireland that we feel would make us just as happy, particularly in the long-run. So I feel silly for getting all ahead of myself and practically choosing our Dublin hotel, but I'm excited about our current plan for better financial health.

What is everyone up to this weekend?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So I found my new project

I found a new party to plan! After my jewelry party on Friday, that is. My coworker is having a baby boy at the end of April. I'm so excited for her. It's going to be interesting because this is her first baby and I think she's a tad on the naive side. She's been fortunate enough to not have morning sickness, so I'm not sure she knows what she's in for. Not that I do, but ya know. The girl says she's going to "train" her baby to be on a schedule. So that's where I'm coming from in saying she's naive. Anyway, we're all very excited for her and I want to head up the shower planning. I looked at her registry, and she and her husband have picked out super cute monkey room decor. So I figured that'd be a cute theme to run with. Look at this cute coordinating stuff I found on Amazon!! Napkins, stickers, and plates, oh my!

Wilton even has a cute monkey cake pan - I think it's time to sign up for my class so I can practice.

I think it would all come together very nicely. I'm loving the color scheme, as it's not the typical baby shower blue.

And speaking of projects, I'm happy to report that Mr. Kingston is taking up painting again. He treated himself to some new art supplies at Michael's and is planning to use some of his old skateboards as canvases. I'm so glad that he finally has time to pursue his creative interests. He's so talented, but hasn't had the time or energy to draw or paint in quite a while. Quitting the second jab has had many benefits, and I think this is by far my personal favorite.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meal Plan Monday Jan. 18

In an effort to reduce the temptation to eat not-so-good choices and to streamline my grocery shopping, I'm instating Meal Plan Mondays. I'll be posting what we'll eat for dinners Monday through Friday. Maybe something I post will sound good and spark an idea for your own dinner plan. And if you have any suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them. Please feel free to share ideas or recipes.

So here's what we're eating this week:

Monday: Turkey kielbasa with sauerkraut, steamed broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Tuesday: Baked chicken with fresh green beans and wild brown rice
Wednesday: Broiled steak, sauteed asparagus, spinach salad
Thursday: Whole wheat spaghetti with fresh veggies (mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, squash)
Friday: Leftover spaghetti

Just as an FYI, my lunches generally consist of leftovers from the night before. On Thursday this week, I may not have leftovers, so I'll make a big spinach salad and have a sandwich or something. Breakfast is tricky - I crave carbs in the morning and I know it. I try to eat fat-free cottage cheese and fruit for a snack (when I'm being good, which I haven't lately). I have a huge tub of protein powder left from my boot camp days, so I'm going to have shakes this week for my early morning meal.

So hopefully this will help me not only stay accountable, but keep me from looking in the fridge and wondering what's for dinner. It's all been decided :) I promise not to beat myself up if I slip, but I have a goal of sticking to my meal plan and I don't want to let myself down. I need to remember that if I do slip early in the day, the rest of the day is not a waste. I didn't want to make a weight loss goal, but I'd love to get down a size or two, and I'm not going to forget that goal. Healthy consistent eating is the first step.

Anyone else care to share their meal plan? Leave a link in the comments. Have a great week!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tattoo Phase 1

Last night, our tattoo artist, Melissa, started on my large rib tattoo. Melissa and her boyfriend Scott (one of our groomsman) gave us each a tattoo session as a wedding gift, so this has been in the works for quite a while. The design is three gerber daisies connected through some scroll line work. Gerber daisies are my favorite flower and the first flowers Dan ever gave me (for my birthday). I always think of him when I see them. One of the daisies is purple because I had purple roses in my wedding bouquet. So it's not a blatant "I <3 Dan" tattoo, but it's symbolic to us. I sat for 3 and 1/2 hours and have about 2 and 1/2 more to finish the color and shading. Melissa started with the line work.
Some parts were far more painful than others, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared overall. When she finished the line work and I hadn't yet passed out (cuz I'm tough!) she started filling in the color. She finished the yellow and purple flowers. Once I heal, I'll go back in two weeks and she'll layer in more color in the purple daisy for more depth. Hopefully, I'll only need one more session and she'll be able to finish the pink flower, leaves, and grey shading.

I'm so excited - it's going to look awesome when it's finished. I already love it!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wow, 3 months!

Today marks 3 months of marriage for me and Dan. It's been a wonderful three months, and I can't decide if I feel like it's been that long or longer. Ah well. As long as they're happy months, right? We've done a lot in the last month: the gingerbread house contest, celebrated Christmas with our families, our New Year's Eve pot roast at home, and our weekend with the in-laws last week. Probably the busiest month of marriage we'll have in our first year.

We've made a couple decisions, too. We've decided to stay in the apartment and work toward saving for our trip to Ireland. Hopefully, we'll be going in October for our anniversary/Dan's birthday. Even with Paisley's recent medical bills and a couple other small set-backs, we decided that Ireland is important to us. We didn't take a honeymoon, so that's our big trip, the big reward for our first year of marriage. I'm actually really excited to start planning and have enlisted the help of some traveling friends to recommend places to go and things to see. If anyone has any advice on our Ireland trip, please feel free to share!

I'm excited for today - it's tattoo day! I'll be back with pictures later.

Happy Saturday, and welcome SITS Sharefest readers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

You can never have too many Apron Giveaways

I've posted about two previous apron giveaways, and now here's a third! Salt at Saltsays is giving away one of two super cute aprons (she's treating herself and keeping the other), and I hope I win one. I'd love to win anything because I never win, but these two aprons are absolutely adorable. So go check out her giveaway and her awesome blog - where you'll find great posts about everything from yoga and baking to Blythe dolls and the Ravens.

The week has been much better since Wednesday. I don't feel great - like I'm been fighting something - but I'm in a much better mood. I'm looking forward to the weekend. We have no plans other than my tattoo session, so I'm looking forward to relaxing. I'm a girl of few words today, but I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting it off my chest

I’m having one of those Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Days. It’s a culmination of the two previous days and a crappy slow commute this morning. Well, I suppose it’s not all that terrible – I didn’t get hurt or robbed or evicted or anything. I’m healthy, despite a slightly scratchy throat. I just feel blah. It’s the kind of day where I need to vent. Some things are just driving me nuts, and I’m not entirely sure why. They just are. So I’m going to get them off my chest, and then I’m going to remind myself of some things I love and wash my hands of my bad mood. Or try to, anyway.

What I Hate this week:

Talking About Weight
This irks me so much. My company had a mandatory furlough the first week of the year (except for finance people, i.e. me), so this is the first few days many people have been back in the office in three or so weeks. Everyone is talking about weight. How much they lost, how much they gained, blaming their holidays appetites and swearing by New Year’s Resolutions. I’m so exhausted by it. Can’t we talk about anything else? When did we all get so boring that the only way we can relate to other people is by bitching about our dress size? I seriously don’t care that Susie in GL lost three pounds. I swear I’m not bitter that I haven’t lost weight. I’m not exactly trying (though I have been successful in making better choices) – whether or not I should is not the debate here. Technically, since I don’t weigh myself, I wouldn’t know if I did anyway. All I’m saying is that I’m tired of hearing about it.

Know-it-All Coworkers.
Well, one in particular. I know she probably means well, but she doesn’t seem to know when her opinion isn’t needed. I’m incredibly frustrated with Clover and her stubborn attitude toward house breaking. I feel like I’m failing at this thing that should be so simple, or at least was the last time I had to do it. I don’t know what else to do and feel as though I’m being judged by her vet and trainer for having an almost-5-month-old puppy who still has daily accidents. Trust me, I’m not thrilled with it either! I’m also exhausted thanks to The Littlest Furball’s wake-up time, so I’m feeling all-over edgy. My coworker decided to put in her two cents about what I should do, claiming I should just leave her in the bathroom with a newspaper. Uh huh, sure. Sounds great. That’s why we got a dog: to leave it in the bathroom. And having a dog that pees on every newspaper it ever comes across (since that’s what you’re training it to do) sounds like a real fun time. She tells me she “crate trained” her dogs too, which as it turns out is pretty much the opposite of what actual crate training is. She also rubs her dogs' nose in their accidents. So not only is her bathroom idea stupid, she has no clue what she’s talking about. I’m amazed she has dogs and that they don’t crap all over her house. Then yesterday, I mentioned that I was going to make a delicious and protein filled chicken/black bean tamale casserole. I know that corn, tortillas, and cheese are not the greatest things in the world, but you know what? I could do a lot worse. And it’s homemade, which I feel beats restaurant choices any day. Anyway, she (who, by the way, is one of the weight-talkers above who has been scale-stagnant since I met her) starts in on the perils of cheese (at least I always buy low- or non- fat, thanks to my gall bladder) and carbs. But she’s the first one at my desk when I bring in cookies or brownies. Go figure.

My wardrobe
I’m tired of it. I want cute things to wear on both my body and my feet, but don’t feel confident enough in my fashion sense to branch out from my staples of boring shoes, dress pants and solid color tops and sweaters. I feel like the most boring dresser in the office. Every day, I feel like I’m choosing between the lesser of two ugly evils to wear. But as I said, I don’t feel confident walking into a store and picking out new things that will enhance my wardrobe and pump up my style quotient a few notches. Not to mention, new clothes cost money. Even though I’m a tight-wad when it comes to clothing, with Dan now down a job and us adjusting to our new combined income, I hardly find new clothes a responsible expenditure. Wow, I’m really growing up.

The “let’s fool the boys” Facebook Statuses
Starting sometime late last week, girls were posting bra colors as their status: "blue," "black," "hot pink polka dot." It was supposed to be a secret amongst the girls and baffling to the boys. Stumping the boys worked, but you’d be hard pressed to find a girl who could keep the joke secret that day. And why did we (I admit, I did, only I said my “color” was “edible”) do this? Some of us were led to believe that it was for breast cancer awareness. Others said the status trend was the work of an evil genius. Proving the latter, the next day’s instruction was to post how you wear your hair using provocative phrases (oooh, “on top,” so risqué). The last message I got told me to post my shoe size in inches with either a happy or smiley face. Dumb. Totally lame, and freaking stupid. And now they won’t stop. I’ve got friends trying to start their own cleverness. I liked Facebook better when you had to have a college email to sign up.

What I Love this week:

My food choices
Despite my supposedly horrible choice to include cheese and corn in my diet, I’m sticking to my resolution and I have made better choices this week. Less soda, less processed/convenient food, less sugar. More fruit, more water, more protein. I’m also taking longer walks with Clover and Paisley, sneaking in 10 or 15 more minutes of moving each time we go out. It's a start. I also heard about a 6 mile mud run in April, so I'm formulating a program to work toward the goal of completing it.

Friendships at work
I really do have some good buddies at work, and I’m being invited to do more and more outside the office. A couple girls invited me to go snow-boarding, and a larger group asked me to join them for happy hour. Even at the office though, some of these girls keep me sane. When I need to walk away from the computer for a bit, I can guarantee a visit with them will have me in better spirits when I return.

My tattoo
I’m super excited about getting my large tattoo this weekend. It’s what’s got me pushing through the week. I think it’s going to be beautiful, and although it will be painful, I’m looking forward to getting it done. It’s my first large piece designed just for me, rather than chosen from a wall (though Dan did design my paisley tattoo, it’s very small). I’m excited to be getting ink that will represent me and my husband.

Mr. Kingston
Of course I always love him, even when I’m having a terrible horrible no good very bad day. But he gave me some company this morning. Clover woke up at 4:45. I took her out and came back in and who was on the couch but Dan. Last night, tired and having just sprayed our soiled yet again, I told him that I felt like I was failing at house-breaking and that I was the only one who lost sleep because of our puppy. So this morning, he dragged himself out of bed to feel the pain with me. I honestly was just venting to him out of frustration that every morning I get up no matter when Clover does and take care of her while trying to get ready, while he sleeps blissfully until 6:45 and then is out the door in 10 minutes. I never intended or expected him to do such a thing as get up early with me, though. But it was nice to not be the only one awake and thinking about the big comfy bed on the other side of the bedroom door. I made us bowls of cereal and he turned on last night’s recorded episode of Teen Mom for me. We actually had ourselves a nice little time at 5:30am. Most meaningful of all, it showed me that he acknowledges and appreciates that I do sacrifice sleep to care for our pup.

Aaahhhh, that feels much better. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up and WWYD?

Dan (Mr. Kingston) and I spent this past weekend with his parents, brother, David, and our future sister-in-law Alex. On Friday night, we had dinner at the in-law's house. My in-laws have never met my future sister-in-law's parents so it was an evening of meet-and-greets. We ate dinner, drank wine, played darts and chatted. I think it went better than some of us younger people suspected.

On Saturday, we spent just about the whole day with David and my parents-in-law. Alex went out dress shopping with friends. I'm amazed at how much David and Alex got done in terms of wedding planning in just three days. They booked their venue, DJ, florist, photographer, and cake baker. They're (or maybe it's all Alex) incredible planners! Anyway, we started out hanging out at my father-in-law's favorite neighborhood bar, then ran some errands for our BBQ that evening. It was really nice to see so many of our friends. Everyone had a great time sitting around the fire outside and catching up. Our friends' little boy just loves Dan, and was glued to him all night. It's so cute seeing Dan have a little buddy and listening to him chat away.

Back at home on Sunday, I spent the afternoon napping with the dogs (they were so tired from their weekend of play). In the evening, we did a deep clean of our spare bedroom and mass throwing-out of crap we no longer need. Nothing too exciting, but it felt good to purge the apartment of useless junk. We watched our favorite shows on our favorite network, the Food Network. I'm such a junkie for shows like Challenge, Chopped, and Iron Chef. I really love the network's newest show, Worst Cooks in America (which makes even me look like a star chef). Oh, Food Network, I love you.

Speaking of Food Network, Aunt Becky posed a question yesterday regarding what she would do if she could just up and leave her life and do something else. After thinking about it, I decided that I would want to be a chef, or at least go to culinary school and be more skilled in my hobby. Yep, after years of having no interest in cooking, I suddenly wish I'd given it more thought. I haven't gotten really adventurous, but I like being creative in the kitchen. I think as I try more, I'll get more confident and try expanding my horizons even more. Or maybe I just have a dream of being on Chopped and experiencing the anticipation of opening the basket of mis-matched secret ingredients, thinking fast to figure out a dish to incorporate them skillfully, and waiting intensely as the judges taste and vote out the worst. I think I could be good at that.

So, since I thought it was such a good question and fun to think about, what would you do if you could go back and choose another career path? What passion has come about that you wish you could pursue?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Because I want $50

So, this is my third post today. You must be thinking I have too much time on my hands. That's actually not true. I'm waiting on my boss, and I ventured over to Mommy Wants Vodka, where Aunt Becky's having a "look at me, I'm a Business Person with a business credit card" $50 Amazon gift card giveaway. And I like Amazon, so I'm willing to work for it by answering 10 simple questions. And it comes with a button:

Let the interview begin:

1) Dave (Aunt Becky's husband) and I have a long-standing feud over cheese in a can. He thinks it’s food of The Gods while I think it’s probably Of The Devil. Ick. Devil

2) Is there any way you can think of to make the elder Gosselins go away? I AM ALL EARS.
If I knew, I'd be a millionaire

3) Who is your ridiculous “I can’t admit this to anyone in polite company lest I be banned from life” crush?
Kevin James

4) If you could f it all and pursue your dream (assuming, of course, you were going to be GOOD at it), what would that dream be?
Baking, decorating, and selling cookies and cakes

5) They say “living well is the best revenge.” I think they are wrong. Do you? Revenge against who? Who's they? Next question.

6) What is the most humiliation you’ve experienced in public that you’d be willing to admit to The Internet?
I fall a lot. Not as much as my sister in a stadium, but a lot. Other than that, I've been pretty fortunate.

7) Are you honest with The Internet? Like, if I came over to your house tonight (heh)(I’m coming over, yo)(heh) would I be surprised at who I found? Nope. I'm pretty open

8 ) If you could have one talent that you don’t currently possess, what would it be? I'd be happy with a normal tongue that I could stick out past my lips. Stupid stubby tongue. Also, muscial talent.

9) There’s not always room for Jello. Is there? No.

10) What’s your guiltiest of the guilty pleasures? Teen Mom on MTV

Aaaaand back to work...

Well that's one way to do it

Dan just sent me this cute picture of Clover sleeping halfway inside a pillow case. I just love it!

It's all about Love in 2010

So here it is: the big resolutions post. I’m sort of a week late, but whatever. As I said in a previous post, I usually don’t make resolutions, so simply writing them down and posting them here is a big step in itself. I’m sure y’all won’t be interested in a lot of this, so don’t feel bad. I believe that resolutions are for yourself and not anyone else. They’re for holding oneself accountable, and I have only me to let down. I also don’t look at them as pass/fail. Call it a cop out, but I believe that with self-improvement, every little bit counts.

Love My Body. I promise to show my body more love in 2010 by eating better, moving more, and making healthier choices. I'm exhausted hearing people obsess, talk about and fret over weight, so I personally refuse to make a weight loss goal – I’ve struggled with loving myself at any weight for about 3 years now, and I’m giving myself permission to fall in love with Brooke for who she is with the promise of taking better care of her. I think that with self-love will come a better physique as I make healthier choices consistently and see the benefits of those choices. Sure I’d love to go down a size or two, but my focus with this goal truly is self-acceptance and appreciation.

Love My Man. I admit I lose patience sometimes with everyone. The one person who never deserves it is my husband. He’s always patient and kind and I need to be more mindful of taking the same care with him. I’m not saying I’m a raging bitch all the time, but I have my moments. I resolve to take time to speak with love and compassion and to show Dan how much I appreciate and adore him. I promise to take greater pleasure in the time we spend together and appreciate the little things more.

Love My Mind. This May, I will finish my Master’s degree in Taxation, and I have the goal of going out with a bang and earning an A in my final course. I will also read more books and exercise my creativity in more arenas than I have in the past. I will have fun with cooking, baking, decorating, crafting, painting, and blogging, all of which will be good for my mind and my soul.

Love My Family. Sometimes I don’t call my family enough. As much as I love my sister, I don’t call her often, and I need to do that. She’s the only sister I’ll ever have, and our bond is important. I don’t talk to my dad all that much either - neither of us are really big phone people - althought I love him dearly. And come to think of it, my grandmas could use some more love to. I think I’m pretty lucky to still have both of my grandmothers alive at my age, especially considering their ages. I resolve to call them all at least once a week and engage in meaningful conversations. As far as my mom goes, we talk pretty often. I promise to continue to work on having more patience when we butt heads and to make sure she knows how much I appreciate our relationship.

Love My Wallet. One of my/our goals is to save money this year. We have so many dreams that I hate to see piddled away because I couldn’t control myself over a pair of shoes and a latte (or shoes and Scratchers for him). Okay, it’s not that bad, but you know what I mean. It’s so easy to think “it’s just a little thing” without realizing that there were 10 “little things” this month and they add up. Being better with money also ties into my other goals. By spending less money eating out and more time cooking at home with my husband, I can love my body, my man, and my wallet. With him now working only one job, saving money will be a new exercise in communication, thereby making us stronger. By saving money, we can afford the bigger things we want that will help us grow as a couple, such as a vacation, a home, and a family. I promise to be more mindful of my purchases, pay off debts, and to work with my husband to set us on a deliberate path that helps us achieve our goals.

Love My Job. Everyone has days when they’re just not in the mood or right frame of mind. Everyone has distractions. I resolve to work harder this year to decrease those days and distractions. Obviously, I’m at my job because I’m valued as an employee and I help the bottom line. Conversely, I have the benefit of a stable job with solid health care, a flexible and understanding boss who’s giving me more responsibility, and a graduate education that’s paid in full. I promise to add more value to my position and to the company and to look for ways to improve myself professionally in 2010.

Love My Pups. To Paisley and Clover I promise to show more patience, to take them to the dog park more often, and to make sure they’re as healthy and as happy as I am able to provide. They're such a joy to both of us, and - though they may be trying - we're lucky to have fairly well-behaved and sweet dogs that just love us to pieces right back.

So those are my goals and ambitions as we bust into this new decade. What are your resolutions?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Graduate

Cue the Pomp and Circumstance, folks, because Clover graduated from puppy school last night! She learned (or at least acknowledged having heard of) the commands for sit, lay down, come, stay, take it, leave it, and drop it. She passed her "final exam" and received a large Milkbone (which she shared with Paisley) and this lovely diploma.

And just for fun and comparison's sake, here's Clover's graduation photo:

And here's Paisley's:

I can't decide who looks more adorably clueless, but I'm so proud of my smart girls!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Etsy Love

I've been meaning to write this post for a week now, and I've finally gotten around to it. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I looooove Etsy. So when i was shopping for Christmas gifts, I turned to my favorite site for a couple things. I especially love working with sellers for custom stuff, and I hit the jackpot with these purchases.

First, a group of my Knottie friends (Salt included) decided to do a holiday recipe exchange. The rules were to send a favorite recipe and an accessory that went along with it. My exchange buddy was Carrie, a pink-loving bride with a 4-year-old son, Ben, who loves to bake with her. I couldn't decide on a favororite recipe so I gave three: Mrs. ESPN's kahlua cake , pumpkin cake, and the sugar cookie recipe I use. I sent a couple of cookie cutters for the sugar cookie recipe, but wanted to do something special, too. So I submitted an alchemy request for personalized recipe cards, and Sarah at dodelinedesign answered. I specifically wanted a certain template so that I could use print-it-yourself postcard paper I had left over from the wedding. Sarah more than delivered - I love the designs she came up with and they were super easy to use with my template. Here are the recipe cards she made for Carrie and Ben:

I also wanted to find some cool artwork for my sister and her boyfriend's home as a gift for them. They have a few black and white framed drawings, so I thought black and white photography would tie in well. I also wanted it to be something to remind them of home, since they're both from Tucson and I know they get homesick. So I found Liz at Its a Honu Day to design a letter photography piece. I found a quote about home, and the end result is really sweet, I think. I just wanted Megan and Daniel to remember that whether they're in Seattle or Tucson, they're home and they're loved by their families. I matted and framed it and I think they really liked it

So I just want to say a big "thank you" to Sarah and Liz for yet another great Etsy experience. Please check out their shops - you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Outdoor Boy Cookies

For Christmas, I gave everyone in the family Gift Certificates for cookies. No surprise (to me - my sister didn't realize the power of male sugar addiction), my sister's boyfriend sent me a note asking to cash in his gift. I didn't have any very "manly" cookie shapes, so Mr. K and I went shopping on Saturday and picked up some cute new cutters to try. I got a turtle, canoe, and a teepee/tent. I thought they were perfect for my sister's outdoorsy, adventuresome boyfriend. Just in case the canoe wasn't obvious, I put "S.S. Meadow" on the side. I think they came out really cute! Now I just have the tricky part - shipping them...

Happy Birthday, Paisley!!

Today, Puggle #1 turns 2! I'm excited for Paisley's birthday - I love birthdays! Today, after work, we'll go to the dog park. With Paisley's allergies, I'm hesitant to give any special treats, but she'll get loads of kisses and cuddles. It's hard to believe she was so tiny!

Update: The Party
We gave Paisley a party blower left over from Dan's birthday. We put peanut butter on it, of course.

She got to share a big pumpkin, doggie-chocolate, and peanut cookie with Clover. We didn't make it to the dog park because I got home a little late, but The Girls have been having fun playing since the time I got home. Happy Birthday, Pais!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Another apron giveaway!

Ann at AnnOnandOn visited me and alerted me to her handmade apron giveaway! It's so nice to have new blog visitors thanks to SITS. Ann's blog is super cute, and reminds me of my own in that it's a little of this and a little of that. We certainly share the craftiness, so her blog is a fun find. Go visit Ann and enter her apron giveaway. And stop by SITS if you haven't already and check it out.

It's also my sister's birthday today! Happy 25th Birthday, Mija! I miss you and hope to get to see you soon.

Tomorrow, I must return to work. Ugh. The last 10 days have gone by so fast. I'm so not ready. I just hope it'll be a quick week. It'll be busy, since it's close, but I hope it's not overly stressful or tedious. At least I know at the end of the week, we'll have visitors - my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law arrive Wednesday. Friday can't come soon enough. Have a great week!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Well hello, 2010!

So far, the year is off to a splendid start. We spent New Year's Eve at home, hanging out, drinking wine, eating good food, playing Super Mario Wii, and watching The Hangover. We watched the ball drop in Times Square and counted down aloud from 10 and clinked our glasses of cheap bubbly. We gave each other New Year's kisses, and then there was a round of kisses for our sleeping pups.

We spent Friday sleeping in, having In N Out (yum!), napping and then had dinner with our friends Jenn and Jim. Some more Super Mario Wii, and we called it a night. Today has been quiet. We ran errands and had lunch, then Mr. K went to Scott and Melissa's to get more color in his large rib piece. I couldn't muster the desire to drive an hour each way to watch him lay there getting worked on, so I baked cookies for my sister's boyfriend (I gave everyone in the family gift certificates for cookies and he cashed his in) and am now surfing the interwebs. Super exciting stuff.

I can't believe I have to go back to work on Monday - this week has gone by so fast. I didn't really do much, but I do feel refreshed. I didn't clean out my closet or get Clover fully house-broken (in my defense, she's super stubborn, I know she's smart enough to get it) or watch any movies on my list. But we got a new vacuum (yay, adulthood!) and I deep-cleaned the kitchen and bathrooms, put away Christmas decorations, dressed the bed in brand new sheets, and wrote my Christmas thank you notes. You win some, you lose some.

We're not done celebrating yet, though. Tomorrow is my sister's 25th birthday and Tuesday is Paisley's 2nd. I miss being able to celebrate with my sister, but we've been fortunate to spend each holiday together since she's been in Seattle. I'm glad that my parents made the trip to spend her birthday with her and I hope she has an awesome day! We'll have to think of something special for Paisley's birthday. Last year on her first birthday, she got an extra 30 minutes at the dog park, doggie ice cream, and a roll of toilet paper to shred to her heart's content.

I'm saving any resolutions I come up with for Kelly's Korner's Show Us Your Life post on the 8th. I usually don't make resolutions, but maybe that WILL be my resolution. I'll think of something. I know there are definitely ways in which I can improve as a daughter, sister, wife, friend, and employee.

How is everyone's New Year so far?