Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cupcakes and cat doors

As I said in my last post, Dan was working on making me some cupcakes Sunday evening. It was very sweet of him. He was inspired by the Food Network's Cupcake Wars episode where contestants had to use a savory and a sweet ingredient. Someone made a maple cupcake with maple cream cheese frosting and bacon on top. He found the recipe, went shopping for the ingredients we didn't have, and made them from scratch. He fried the bacon and sprinkled it on top of the icing (he bought canned) along with brown sugar. They were so delicious! He used some of my adorable Bake It Pretty cupcake liners and they looked really cute in my new cupcake tower.

Despite the adorable display, some people at work were a little freaked out by them, but the people who did have one loved them. Dan had made a list of who was allowed to have them - mostly people he's actually met. He awarded his favorites 2 cupcakes and explicitly said that some other people could have none. I told him it couldn't quite work that way, but his list was hilarious. I definitely realized who I talk about most at home and saw that Dan has his favorites.

My coworkers took me to lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant, and it was really nice to hang out with the girls. I'm so fortunate to have a great group of coworkers here. In the afternoon, they presented me with not one, but two desserts: a delicious cherry chip cake and a yummy layered pudding dessert. It wasn't the most productive day ever, but it was definitely special.

In the afternoon, I got an email from my mom about my sister's dog, Meadow. Megan had been out sunbathing and playing with Meadow when she took off running. Megan ran after her and searched for about an hour before calling her fiance and asking him to come join the search. They looked everywhere around their neighborhood and the nearby lake, asked people if they'd seen her, and gave their number. Not knowing where else to look, they headed home. Megan passed by the house across the street and saw this:

Megan figured out that Meadow had run after the neighbor's cat and followed it inside the house through the cat door, which you can see she is sitting only inches away from. Because Meadow doesn't have a cat or doggie door of her own, she couldn't figure out how to get back out of the house. The neighbors weren't home, and Meadow was scratching at the door to be let out. After Megan was unsuccessful in coaxing or pulling Meadow out the door, Daniel had to come and bribe her with treats. We're all glad she's safe and we have a funny story out of it, but she gave us a good scare for an hour. Oy, Meadow :)

Last night, we took it easy. Dan met me at the grocery store after work and bought ingredients for dinner. He made me a delicious pasta with Italian sausage and bell peppers. He bought me a nice bottle of wine, and we curled up on the couch and watched Last Comic Standing and Intervention (season premier! trainwreck!). It was a really awesome birthday, and I'm so thankful for all my wonderful friends and family for making it a great day!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brazilian BBQ Birthday

So far, my birthday weekend has been awesome!! There's been so much fun and happiness, I feel like the luckiest birthday girl in the world. Dan greeted me at home on Friday and said "it's your birthday weekend!" and gave me a glass of yummy white wine. He's so awesome.

Yesterday, my dear friend Rachel came up to spend the day. We had sushi for lunch then began our day of shopping in my neighborhood. We took a break and got pedicures (and watched soccer, of course), then headed to the mall for more shopping. It seems like everytime I am looking for something or actually want to treat myself to a gift, I can't find anything. So annoying, but I suppose it's better than finding a lot of things I want when I have no spending money, right?

After shopping, we came back to my apartment for some down time. We had a couple of hours before dinner, so we chilled on the couch with Dan (who'd been very bored while we were gone) until it was time to get ready. It was finally time to go and I was so excited to see my friends and have delicious Brazilian BBQ.

Now, I have to admit that I lied just a tad in my last post about my parents coming up on Sunday. My mom had texted Dan wanting to know my birthday dinner plans, and Dan invited them to come as a surprise. The only problem was that Dan wasn't sure where we were going or what time or anything. So of course because I'm a snoop, I essentially figured it out when Dan started asking. He's usually a "tell me when and where to show up" kind of guy, so asking specifics tipped me off. So when I showed up at the restaurant and my parents were there, I couldn't lie and let them think they'd surprised me, so I told them. My mom actually had an inkling that I knew because I was asking her what their plans were only a couple hours before. But it was still so awesome that they came up to celebrate my birthday with me.

Dinner was incredible. If you've never been for Brazilian BBQ, you start with a salad bar, and there are sometimes hot seafood entrees. Once you've finished with the salads, you put up a marker to let them know you're ready for the good stuff. And then... awesomeness happens. People come with meat on giant skewers and cut it off and onto your plate right in front of you. We had ham, turkey wrapped in bacon, sirloin, prime rib, garlic chicken, and these amazing sausages. I even tried a chicken heart - I don't recommend it. We ate a ton of food and talked and laughed until the place was empty. It was really a perfect birthday dinner.

We spent today doing a plumbing job at a friend's house. The friend is married to our mechanic (who is currently on a month-long motorcycle ride) who we pay in cigarettes, so when she asked for help with a slow sink, we were happy to help. She payed us in appetizers and Blue Moon, and then Dan and I stopped at his parents' house. On the way home, Dan took the long way home, on a mini-tour of Phoenix. It was really nice just driving around and spending time together.

Currently, Dan is making me a special treat. He's baking me maple cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting and bacon topping. We saw them on Cupcake Wars on the Food Network, and Dan decided to make them for me to take to work tomorrow. They'll look awesome on the cute pink cupcake tower my friend gave me for my birthday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Disaster Averted

Earlier this week, one of the admins at the office asked me to make a birthday cake for another admin. I was happy to be asked and easily agreed, then asked about what she had in mind. I should have known the trouble ahead when she essentially asked me for a remake of this disaster from my cake decorating class:

I baked the cakes Wednesday night so that I could chill them, which makes them easier to level and creates less crumbing. Stupid me, though, I decided to let them chill in their pans. I don't know if it's because I didn't grease my pan well enough or because of the temperature itself, but one broke when I tried to take it out of the pan. I tried to save, it, really I did. I wasted a bunch of buttercream frosting attempting to patch it up, but it just so obviously wasn't going to work.

Dan came to the rescue and went to the store to get new cake mixes and I started over again at 7:30 in the evening. He told me I promised a pink cherry chip cake, and I was going to deliver a pink cherry chip cake. It wasn't until almost 8:30 that I was able to take them out of the pans and let them cool before leveling and decorating. The lady at work has asked for pink icing with yellow borders (no garland, thank goodness) and yellow roses. I, however, overestimated how much icing I'd need to cover the cake and didn't set aside enough for roses. I was pretty flustered about my icing shortage and realizing that I'd have to write on a cake, but Dan was so sweet and encouraging. So the end product is this:

Not entirely awful, but I admit I'm a little disappointed that the roses didn't make it to the party. Still, I think the birthday girl will be excited to have a homemade cake baked and decorated just for her. And to lighten the mood in the midst of the cake breaking and the icing FAIL, my funny knottie friend wrote me the following song, to the tune of "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry:

"I broke a cake and I liiiiiiked iiiiittt, the taste of it's cherry chip-stick.

I broke a cake, just to try iiiiittt, I hope I can recreate iiiittt...

It broke so wrong , I have to do it right. Don't think I'm gonna sleep toooooniiiight"

And speaking of of birthdays, it's my birthday weekend!! My wonderful friend Rachel is coming up from Tucson to celebrate with me. We're going shopping and for pedicures tomorrow, just having a nice relaxing girls' day. Tomorrow night, a few friends are joining us for dinner at a Brazilian BBQ place I've been wanting to try. My parents are going to come Sunday to spend time with me. It'll be an awesome weekend, and I'm very excited.

Does anyone else have fun weekend plans?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WTF Wednesday: Don't roll your eyes at me!

Last night, Dan and I were chilling at home, cuddling our pups, and I was getting into that comfy mode where I might fall asleep on the couch when there was a knock on the door. I answered it and there was a girl with sparkles all over her face and tatas standing there. Pretty much, she looked like this, but with more cleavage and 1/2 ton of glitter on the upper portion of her body:

By the way, if you google "sparkles, chest" you get that guy from Twilight. Most pictures of what she really looks like are banned by the network, so you'll just have to imagine it yourself.

Anystripperdust, the girl proceeds to tell me she has a name and is doing something, but she told me so fast I couldn't tell you what it was. Then she pushed a pad of carbon copy forms at me and said she was taking down addresses so she could come back with coupons to Walgreens, Target, Walmart, etc. It seemed fishy, so I said I wasn't comfortable giving out my address. She told me they don't sell or share our information, "see, it says so right here." Um, okay. Still no. I told her politely that I wasn't interested and said "thanks anyway."

My emotastic sisterfriend rolled her eyes at me, told me in flat voice that she'd pray for me, and stomped away. Ooookay, then.

Here's what's wrong with this picture. First, dearie, you're already at my address. Just give me my coupons. What's with the song and dance and writing down my address and you coming back? Why are you wasting a trip?
Second, I get the emo thing. I was angsty too, once. Or 3,754 times. I wanted Jnco jeans and a black wardrobe and candy jewelry, too. Something about that would have totally freaked my parents out and gotten me shunned by my jock friends, though. Point is, I get it. But if you're going to come to people's doors, how's about a respectable outfit? The glitter all over your chest isn't helping your cause, either.
Lastly, thanks for the prayers, but no thanks. Considering the fact that I don't pray for myself, it's not really very meaningful for someone to say they'll do it for me, though I appreciate the sentiment. I get that people say that because they really are trying to be nice and will be thinking good things for me, but when you combine it with an eye roll and the tantrum-style feet stomping, I hardly doubt you're sincere. I have some issues with the "I'll pray for you" thing anyway. I think some people can be really condescending about it, or maybe I'm just paranoid they're getting all Judgey McJudgerson on me. Anyway, if you're going to say you'll pray for someone, at least do it in a manner that doesn't make me think you're actually thinking to yourself "eff you, lady!"
So if I burst into flames today, blame the emo chick with the coupons and glittery boobs.
*Sorry about the brick of text - I swear it doesn't look like that in editing, but I can't get it to publish the same way.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Row, row, row your boat not so gently 'round the lake...

This weekend for Father's Day, we decided to go boating on one of the lovely lakes here in Arizona. And when I say "boating" what I mean is "rowing." A few years ago, we took my dad kayaking for Father's Day. He liked it so much, he acquired a kayak and then a canoe of his own. Since then, it's kind of become our family tradition, though I think we missed last year. Two years ago, Paisley was only 5 months old and she went with us. This year, we have two active puggles to come along and it was quite the adventure.

My parents tow their kayak and canoe in a modified trailer that my dad also uses for hauling landscaping debris and anything else that won't fit under his truck's camper shell. For this lake trip, between the 4 humans and 3 dogs, we needed to take two cars. When we got to the lake, parking was sparse and we had to get parking passes. We discovered that only one lot allowed parking for both trucks with trailers and regular cars. Of course, that one lot was full. By the time we found parking for the Murano in the regular parking lot, smashed ourselves into the truck, drove to the lot for trailers and got it parked and the boats in the water, it was after noon and over 100 degrees.

While my mom and I were waiting for The Men to bring the boats and equipment down, we played fetch with the dogs at the small beach near the boat launch. My parents' lab, Emmy, looooves to fetch, and she also loves to swim, so it was perfect. As we were playing, Clover and Paisley got very interested in Emmy's fetching and started walking farther and farther out into the lake. And then, all of a sudden, Clover and Paisley both swam out after Emmy! Now, both our pups have been in the pool - we put them in to show them how to get out - but neither seemed to like it. We were completely amazed to see them both swim out into the lake over and over again. And I must say, they are both the cutest little swimmers I've seen in quite a while.

We finally got the boats ready and pushed off. Oy, that's when the fun began. We were in the canoe with P&C, and poor Dan felt every movement and had to shift his weight to compensate. And they weren't just moving a little, they were all over the place. They completely scratched up my poor bare legs. At one point, Clover decided she wanted to be in the kayak with Emmy and jumped ship, literally. Thankfully, we weren't moving too fast and Dan plucked her up out of the water and plopped her back in the boat. We rowed over to a nice shaded spot and got out and had some lunch, chatted, and played more fetch before rowing back. It was quite a bit of work for a short trip to the lake, but it was a fun day.

We didn't bring cameras on the water with us, because we all know my luck with electronics and water, but I did snap this one of Paisley and Clover asleep on the back seat on the way home.

We spent the rest of the weekend with my parents as well. We cooked dinner Saturday night and we spent yesterday making breakfast, playing Wii Golf, watching Date Night at the theater, practicing ganache (finally), and going out to dinner. It was a wonderful Father's Day weekend.

What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Dad

Today celebrates great men in our lives - our fathers. My dad is awesome. I'm truly lucky to be blessed with amazing parents. I think for most little girls, our daddies are our heroes, and mine most certainly is. He's patient, kind, funny, and genuine. He fought the monsters, brushed off scraped knees, bought us ponies, and wore the proudest smile possible whenever we accomplished something. He's truly a great man, and I'm so blessed to call him 'Dad.'

One of my earliest memories with my dad was playing baseball. He was the batter no matter who the pitcher was. When I was at bat, he'd try throw me a soft lob that I could still never hit. When I gave up, he'd toss the ball in the air and hit it as far as he could. When I was really little, we had a huge yard separated into three sections, and he could hit it from one end of the yard to the other. So anyway, he'd hit it and then I'd race around my bases as fast as I could while he ran for the ball. When he was at bat, he'd again hit it far and then he had to crawl around the bases while I went for the ball. He always let me win.

He also taught me to play poker. We had a bag of pennies and then a bag of macaroni that we played with. He taught me 5 card draw and 7 card stud. He played with me for what seemed like hours while I learned the hierarchy from a pair to a straight flush. We played WAR and Go Fish, too.

When I was about 9 or 10, my mom went on a trip for a work conference. While she was gone, my dad painted the living room yellow and let us eat whatever we wanted. We had Yellow Food Day, where we ate corn, macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs with yellow mustard. He also surprised my mom with the purchase of a pair of horses, Splinter and Jake. Dad grew up in Blackwood, New Jersey and had horses when he was young. He wanted that for us, too. He'd take us every day to our family friend's stable to feed the horses. He let us help brush and feed them. I don't remember how much we rode, but it was fun, as well as intimidating. Still, it was pretty cool to have horses.

When I was 11, I started synchronized swimming. Megan started the year after. For years, Dad attended every meet. He cheered and clapped, encouraged and congratulated. He and my mom came to every meet when we swam in high school, too, if I remember correctly. No matter what we tried, Megan and I were very fortunate to have incredibly supportive parents. If we wanted to try tennis, he bought rackets. He bought golf clubs, basketballs, and swim goggles.

My dad has moved my furniture at least 10 times, between moves in and out of dorms and apartments. Each time, he moves my bed, couch, and that awful heavy and awkward old TV stand up and down stairs. Each time, he does it gladly, and thanks ME for the opportunity to spend time with me.

I'm truly lucky that I have the parents I do. Spending this weekend with them reminded me of that. We went kayaking/canoeing, played Wii Golf, went to a movie and out for dinner. It was great to spend time with them. I think we'll all look back on this weekend with fond and funny memories for a long time.

Dad, I love you so much. Thank you for always being the greatest daddy a girl could ask for. I feel so blessed to have such a selfless, loving, and patient man as a father. Thanks for always having faith in me, and encouraging me to be the best woman I can be.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's happening again

I'm a little stressed out today. We seem to have gotten the electricity problem fixed yesterday, but when we got home last night, the temperature in the apartment just kept going up. Dan checked, and it was blowing warm air. Not hot, just not cool. When we went to bed (on the floor of the living room because it was actually cooler than the bedroom) it was 84 degrees. I woke up to 86 degrees. Let me tell you, I just do not feel right today. I didn't sleep at all, really, and neither did Dan. My fingers are like little sausages from the heat and water retention.

This is all way too reminiscent of last summer's A/C war with the complex. The only thing that's missing is a $300 electricity bill ::knocks on wood:: We have them coming to look at it today, and I'm sincerely hoping it just needs a recharge with new Freon. I really don't have the energy to go through another Summer of 2009. The dogs are excited though, as they got to go to PetsMart again today. Well, Clover was excited. Paisley didn't look too pleased.

Speaking of PetsMart, when you take them to Doggie Day Camp, they get this adorable Pawgress report. When we took them last Friday, they'd hung the girls' report too close to their crate and they ate some of it. But the gist of it was that Clover played all day, and Paisley watched. Typical. Yesterday's report for Clover said that she had fun racing around the room and was "too excited to rest." Such a great visual. She is such a spaz :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My uneventful week

I'm obviously at a loss for words lately. We haven't done much of anything out of the ordinary, nothing noteworthy is really going on. So here are some random musings:
  • I need to update my blog roll. I'm missing some of my new favorite blogs and others have new links. I'm just plain lazy.
  • We're having issues with our power going out repeatedly. I'm dreading a repeat of last summer's Air Conditioning debacle. I really don't have the energy to fight with them over proper repairs. They came in to "fix" it Friday and I'm making them come back today. Poor Dan has ended up showering in the dark pretty much every night for a week thanks to the awful timing of the outage. I'm also worried it'll go out during the day and we'll lose all our food. The dogs are happy though - I send them to PetsMart when people have to come in for repairs, so this is their second trip to Doggie Day Camp in 6 days. Okay, maybe that's noteworthy.

  • Though I've been productive this week, concentration and motivation are hard to come by. My tasks this week are tedious (audit data gathering, anyone?) It has been somewhat good for me though - there are a couple of things that weren't tied up by my coworker before he left on vacation, so I got to be the bright shiny star by fixing it all. Go me!

  • I'm not enthused with my father-in-law's behavior this past weekend. We went over there to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday and early Father's Day with them and he was kind of a jerk, as per usual. It gets very tiring. I guess we should just be happy he was in a decent mood this time.
  • Speaking of Father's Day, my parents are coming up for the weekend on Saturday. We're going canoeing at the lake and my mom is going to help me with ganache, since I didn't do it last weekend. I'm excited to spend time with them.

  • I think I need to break up with a friend and am not quite sure how to do it. She's been wearing on me for a while, but I guess I feel like I need justification for why if she asks, and I don't really have much. Hmmmm.

  • I turn 29 in 11 days. Weird.

  • I told you a coworker asked me to do cookies as like a real life order, right? There's actually a funny story to it. The coworker and I worked together as teenaged lifeguard back in the day. She was a huuuuge bitch and part of this clique at work. I, of course, wanted nothing to do with them, so I was an outcast. It was "unfair" that I got the good days off because I coached synchornized swimming at the pool, so they decided that was grounds to be assholes to me all summer. Pardon my french, y'all. Anyway, when this coworker and I recognized each other and put 2 and 2 together, it was a little awkward to say the least. So it was surprising that she asked me to make cookies for her brother's graduation from pharmacy school. But I think they came out nicely, don't you?

Anyway, that's my boring week so far. I'm really looking forward to the weekend. Anyone have any fun plans?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flossin' and ganache-in'

Holy moly! How is it Friday already?! This week has been crazy busy, and I've been stressed, which means I've been sleeping. A lot. Like, in bed by 9pm every night, and that's usually after I fall asleep on the couch around 8pm. Then Lovely Assistant Husband Dan wakes me up, I scowl at him and march to bed. It's fun. I do feel quite rested despite the stress.

This morning, I got to go a magical place called the dentist. They have shiny tools and miny water guns and ::ouch!!:: what the helllll? Okay, the dentist sucks. I hate the dentist. I mean, really? Who likes going to the dentist? No one. If you say you do, you're lying. Or Angelina Jolie/Octomom. She probably likes it. Weirdo. Anyway, I have a new reason to dislike my dentist, as kind as he is. I need crowns. Like 4 of them. And possibly root canals. Apparently, 4 of my fillings should have been determined by my previous dentist to be too big to be filled and I should have gotten crowns back then. Awesome. So I need 4 in the next couple years, and one he recommends I have done "sooner rather than later." They even made me sign something saying I understand that I've been advised to get a crown. This is serious. I didn't even get my first cavity until I was 18 and then I got 5 more in a row, and then haven't had any more for 5 years. So I have managed to forget the horror of having my teeth drilled and am not looking forward to being reintroduced to it. I'm scared, y'all.

Anyfloss, we don't have big plans this weekend. I need to work on the cookie order i have due a week from today, and I also have another big project. Another coworker asked me to make her wedding cake, folks. For a wedding a month from yesterday. Eeep! Thankfully, she's very laid back and it's a small wedding. She said to think of it as more of a birthday cake. Still, she wants chocolate ganache, which I haven't worked with before, so I need to practice with it. If anyone has tips to share, bring them on!

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Hoot of a Giveaway

My lovely bloggy buddy Salt is celebrating her 200th blog post today with an awesome giveaway. She's giving away this adorable owl necklace from Pinking Edge Designs.

Head on over to Salt Says... for rules and entry info. Congratulations to Salt on 200 awesome, unicorn magic-filled posts!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thermostat wars

If you haven't been reading long enough or if I haven't mentioned it enough, we live in Phoenix, Arizona. It's hot here. Super hot. As in, it was 82 degrees when I got in the car this morning... at 7am. And it's only early June. Temps hit 110 this weekend, and we'll likely stay within 10 degrees of that mark for the next 3 or 4 months.

As you can imagine, the electric company completely takes advantage of this and raises the electricity rates in the summer. Our bill almost doubled from May to June, in part because of higher temperatures, and in part because of the rate hike. Either way, summer is expensive.

And thus the war begins in the Kingston home. In the blue corner, standing 6'5" and sporting colorful skin and a goatee.... Dan Kingston! Fighting for low utility bills and the use of fans. In the red corner, measuring in at 5'5" and waving her hands dramatically in a futile attempt to cool herself.... Brooke Kingston! Arguing for higher bills if it means she doesn't feel like she's being cooked.

I get why my husband takes his stance and wants to keep bills low. Really I do. I remember last summer when our August bill was $360. I remember the fight with the complex about how there was no way there was nothing wrong with the AC unit and that a bill for a 1 bedroom apartment should ever be more than a car payment. I don't want to see our bills ever get that high. I also want to be able to sleep. And maybe, not wake up feeling like I'm going to burst into flames. It gets even worse when I have to start doing my hair. By the time I walk out the door, I feel all melty and disgusting. And remember, people, this is Arizona. "It's a dry heat." That's BS by the way - it doesn't matter when it's over 105 degrees - it's just plain hot. We don't even have to contend with humidity.

I'd always thought it was supposed to be the opposite way around. The wife is supposed to be constantly freezing while the husband throws blankets at her while he attemps to cool himself in his underwear while 6 or 7 fans are aimed directly at him. When the bill arrives, he's supposed to be shocked and baffled by the sticker price while icicles hang from his nose. Not in this castle. Dan seems perfectly content to sleep under a blanket while I sneak the thermostat down a degree at a time and wake up with my hair stuck to my face. Yuck. If I had my way, we'd live at 72 degrees constantly. I'll sign my paycheck and my life away to be comfy.

Thus, I propose a compromise to my dear husband. He will not longer touch the thermostat (like, ever), and I agree to keep it set to 75 when we're at home, and 80 during the day (for the dogs). I'll even buy him a Snuggie if he's still cold. That will avoid me waking up to a 77 degree apartment, and it's a meeting in the middle in terms of the bill. I want to be able to at least sleep in comfort. When we're in the living room, I can get by with fans. But please, sweet Dan, let me sleep comfortably.

Who controls the thermostat at your house?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day weekend

Hey there! Wow, hard to believe it's been a whole 5 days since I posted last. I guess that's what happens when people at work don't annoy me and I don't have a wedding to plan :)

We had a great Memorial Day weekend. Dan cleaned my car on Saturday and I took the pups to the dog park, read, cleaned, and napped. When he got home, Dan and I went to see our friends Jenn and Jim and to watch the UFC fights on pay-per-view. Not really my thing, but it was fun to get together with them. We also watched the movie Zombieland. Shocking, right? Me and scary movies generally don't mix. And when I say "scary movies," I include E.T., Jurassic Park, and the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Augustus Gloop getting sucked up the choclate river tube = terrifying). Yeah, I'm a wuss. But Zombieland was actually funny. I can handle gore without a problem, it's the suspense and jumpy moments I don't with well. This movie had few of those.

On Sunday, we hung out in the morning, ran a couple of errands, and went to lunch with friends at an Irish pub. After a few pitchers of Blue Moon (yum!) we headed home to pick up some movies (including Zombieland). As we'd been out late the night before with no chance to nap (and maybe I had an Irish Car Bomb, maybe) I was crashed out on the couch by 8:30. Yes, people, a a month before my 29th birthday, I'm officially declaring myself "Old."

Monday was a very relaxing day. Dan had to do a job he'd set up, and I lazed around with the pups, did some straightening up and surfed the interwebs. We took it easy when he got home and just enjoyed the extra day off. Very uneventful, but a great way to end the weekend, watching Intervention with my hubby.

Things have been going great with Clover, I must say. The trainer's suggestions have made her potty time much easier on us all. Instead of having to walk her for 20 or 30 minutes until she gave in and did her business, she now knows that when we go outside, there's only one thing we're therefore. It's a lot less stressful. I've been out of the house around 7 every morning, getting me to work nice and early so I can get out at 4 or 4:30 and not feel like I have no time to unwind at home before dinner and then bed. It's much better, all around.