Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy 4!

Happy birthday, Scouty! Today you are four! Or 28, but I prefer four. Let's stick with four.

Remember back when you were zero years old? Happy sigh...

I love this picture of Scouty! I fell in love with her right away after seeing this.

And here you are, chubby and fabulous and oh so grown-looking, four years later.

Sweet Diva

How on earth were we entertained before you came along?!

Monday, April 29, 2013

So It's Monday.

Blah for Monday. No happy thoughts for Monday. Except I had the best mocha ever this morning. And killed my to-do list today. And have dinner out tonight with my volunteer tech team. So it's shaping up to be quite a fun day.

And then I came back from doing the prayer requests to find this under my desk...
The mouse I don't care about, but the cat?! Come on people.
I have my suspicions for who's responsible, but in the meantime- there's a CAT under my desk. I  am so not a cat person, even if it's a fake cat. (I still keep thinking the thing's pawing at my leg.) Bring on the puppy party anytime!

This kid kills me. Melts my heart into a puddle of goo. Especially when I see her giggling and playing with my (HOT) hubby.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Birthday Shenanigans, Part Two

Last Sunday we skipped church (I was off) to head to Charlotte, where my brother lives. We got to meet up with him for lunch and then hung out for a bit at his (gorgeous) home. I am still bummed Carolyn, my sister-in-law, was out of town for work, so we didn't get to see her. Guess I'll settle for just Gabriel... sigh.

I love this picture CC took of Gabriel and me- I look tiny! I don't feel tiny but my brother is so tall and a big guy so I feel small compared to him.

After we spent time with Gabriel, we hit up IKEA who was OUT of catalogs until August. Boo. We usually grab a stack to bring home for friends. Oh well. We didn't really buy anything but I REALLY wanted the turquoise kitchen cart. If I could've just found a spot for it...

One thing we've been doing lately is checking out the highest-rated suggestions on Even in town, if we're looking for a new place to eat, we'll put our own city name in and see where we should go. We did this for Charlotte and came up with Midwood Smokehouse.

Friends, I cannot stress this enough. You NEED to eat there.

Bacon-wrapped jalapenos with Monterey Jack cheese
Seriously. NEED.

We continued drooling over Midwood Smokehouse while we hung out at our hotel (We recommend Hampton Inns- nice folks, clean hotel rooms, and free WAFFLES!).

"And in the morning, I'm having waffles!"
Monday after waffle time, we went on a mini-shopping spree for clothes at the Concord Mills outlet mall. We hit up the last day of several sales, used coupons, got great deals, and came home with a trunk full of new clothes. We have been needing new clothes for a while now, especially summer clothes, so this is a big awesome deal.

Starbucks was desperately needed after a six-hour shopping spree, but sadly we could not find the dang place. Seriously, what kind of directions are these? 'Park your car?' On The Border and Starbucks are NOT the same place.

What the what?!
On the way home, we picked up a very tired puppy. An adorable, tired puppy.

Tuesday was CC's actual day, so I 'surprised' him by putting up this banner we had around (he's not 40), which was awesome, except I ruined the surprise by posting it on Instagram first. Dang it!

Legos of course, and Scouty wanted to help open gifts.

We had a Groupon for free baseball game tickets, so we went with Brian and Krista, which was fun. It was even $1 hot dog night! Which was thrilling until we tasted the hot dogs. Sadness.

"Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the fair..."
Uneventful game, but still a good time
Don't we have cute friends? (You're part of that group so you better say yes!) Krista's birthday's Saturday so it was kind of neat to celebrate two birthday people at once.
Happy early birthday, Krista!
Some of our sweet friends organized a birthday dinner tonight and I can't wait! Hubby's been to this place a couple times and raved about it, but I haven't been yet. It's going to be fun!

What'd you do this week?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birthday Shenanigans, Part One

As you may know, Hubby's birthday was the other day. This past weekend we took a couple days off and had a mini-vacation. Which was awesome. It's been three days back to work and I'm still having CC withdrawals since we were together all weekend. Bliss.

We hung around and just relaxed since we had a wedding to go to Saturday night. A newish coworker of mine married his high school sweetheart, another coworker. I feel like I know them better than I actually do, because their story parallels ours so much. I have to remember not to turn stalkery and back off sometimes. Haha!

The wedding was beautiful and fast, and we hit up Chipotle after for dinner. In the meantime, my friend's cute six-year-old boy wanted to take our picture. Who would say no to that?!
Blurry hotties!
Except for it being uber blurry, I'm pretty sure he got the best picture of us ever. I mean, blurry me looks pretty hot, right? Haha!

Scout was finally able to get a haircut, which she absolutely loves. She seriously hasn't stopped grinning since last Friday when she got her Spa Day.

Fluffy Before Photo

Slimming After Photo (complete with hairbows AND a scarf)
Since we were hoping to leave town Sunday and Monday, Scout went to Grandma's. Who apparently lets her go joy-riding through the Petsmart parking lot on top of the cat.

Sunday morning we played hooky and skipped town to head to Charlotte. Charlotte is pretty cool. I'll blog about that part next, but this is us again and not so blurry. Such happy grins!

Grandma kept sending us photo updates so we'd know she was keeping our little girl alive. I love this shot, especially the angle. Mary (my aunt, aka Grandma) is not a shortie like me so she must've been contorted and bent over to snag this perspective. Very artsy, Mary!

And I have NO IDEA how this photo somehow ended up being the lock screen wallpaper for CC's phone. No clue. Usually he changes his wallpaper when a mysterious photo appears, but this one he's kept around. I wonder why.

Up next: our trip to Charlotte!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy 34!

Today is CC's 34th birthday!

To my favorite person on the planet, to my best friend, to the love of my life, to my first and last boyfriend, to the one person who knows me inside and out...

I love you! Happy birthday, Baby!

Friday, April 19, 2013

The One Thing I Can't Stand!

If there's one grotesque food I can't stand to eat, it's a banana. I know, they're healthy for you, fruity, blah, blah, blah. They're gross and slimy and gross and yellow. I have no idea what their being yellow has to do with it, but did I mention I find them revolting and gross?

But they're healthy for you. They help with leg cramps and potassium levels. Whatever.

Parks & Rec forced Ron Swanson to eat a banana last week. I found it hilarious and quite appropriate. Enjoy.

I mention this because I put on my big-girl panties and ate not one, but TWO, bananas this week. Not even as a burger topping! I'm so proud of myself. I am now good to go for another six months, I think.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

iPhone Photo Help, Please!

I'm sure you've noticed, but ever since a few software updates ago, all my iPhone photos seem to be VERY SMALL. I'm not sure what's going on since I've checked my settings and everything, but it's frustrating when all my bloggie photos are from my phone.

Has anyone encountered this issue and/or know how to fix it? They used to come out all big and fun and interesting- now they're tiny and low quality, it seems.

Thanks for any input!

Exhibit A (although this already seems to be mocking me since it's bigger than the past photos)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Little Levity Today

We're BIG Parks & Rec fans. We love it and laugh all the time about it. Quote it constantly. And on and on.

Today I found this video of Patton Oswalt (during filming for tomorrow's episode) improvising the plot to the next Star Wars movie for EIGHT minutes straight in one take. Hilarious and totally geeky. Watching the extras (especially that one guy that can't stop laughing) in the background is an extra-special treat. Enjoy!


 (No clue why the video is cut off on the right side. Sorry!)

PS- We're getting closer and closer to one of the most awesome weekends on record. I cannot wait!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


The Boston Marathon was bombed yesterday. I'm sure you know this by now, but I am just heartbroken.

I'm typically pretty shaken up when evil like this occurs, but I am feeling pretty attached to this particular situation. I'm not sure why. It could be that my boss' brother was running in it yesterday (he's okay), and until we heard from him it was a nerve-wracking afternoon. I'm sure that was the initial extra interest in the news yesterday.

I think it's actually because I like to think of myself as a runner. So I get afraid that it could've been me. Or could be me one day, hopefully, running in at least a half marathon if not a full one.

I guess I just assume that these people overcome with evil will want to target bigger or more important places, like DC or a plane, or something. I mean I know there were tons of people at the marathon, but they're not working on top-secret government anything, or doing anything remotely sketchy that anyone could argue against. Which ticks me off- completely, utterly, without-a-doubt innocent lives taken and harmed yesterday.

I can't imagine the woman who maybe was running her first marathon- finally having worked up to being able to do so, approaching the finish line, the exuberance, the excitement of having finally accomplished her goal, the friends and family cheering her on... and then that possibly being the last time she'll ever run, much less walk. Heartbreaking.

And so along with the rest of the country, I'm shocked and saddened and wondering and heartbroken.

And praying. Because the Lord knows our hurt and He hurts too. I can't even imagine how His heart's been breaking over this situation.

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Miscellany (AKA The Monday Photo Dump)

This past weekend was a fun time of avoiding the yellow pollen haze that's descended. Seriously, we're putting yellow footprints all over the Triangle whenever we leave the apartment!

Poor yellow car!
Last Friday morning, I hung out with this cutie pie and her mama.

That Look!
Friday night, Hubby and I went on what we call a 'money date.'

I 'heart' coffee. (Get it?)
It's where we act like grown-ups by getting coffee at a local coffee shop, take over a table, spread out laptops, papers, and the checkbook. We look super official and serious going over bills and expenses and figuring out our savings plan (Snowball: The Next Generation) now that we're out of debt.

And then when that's done, we go home and crash and eat mini Reese's cups to console ourselves and read magazines.

They're too small to be bad for you, right?
While reading said magazines, I realize several of my friends could be at this very moment choking on 'flexible metal mesh' in their breakfast biscuits so I text them RIGHT AWAY so they don't die.

What the what?! Metal with your cookie?
Which turns out to be quite fortuitous as the text I receive back says Jermaine was in the middle of eating one and will now become a vegan. Which is hilarious in and of itself, if you know him at all.

Saturday morning we took the hairy furball for her biweekly vet visit. Can you say 'high-maintenance diva?' I can.

So these will be happening tonight.

Along with this. Ina and Ree together in my kitchen for dinner? I'm going to be oh so happy tonight! (Don't look at MFP for the past month or the one coming up. Just sayin'- you won't be getting ideas from me!)

I've heard many times that dish detergent can get out stains. Even pizza sauce on a brand-new tablecloth put there by a three-year-old. I admit, not my smartest moment to even let that happen, but testing that theory anyway.

More grown-up moments brought to you by my silliness. Apparently, it's NOT a brilliant idea to wash a hot/cold bag in the washer. Unless you want to spontaneously mop the floor and clean BEHIND the machines. You can't tell but Hubby's actually back there cleaning for me. He's the best. And sadly, the washer does NOT remove the fried-chicken-smell from the hot/cold bag anyway. So no point. Except to mop the floor, apparently.

Sunday was church as usual. Lots of media and running around. A little financial freedom tip in the bulletin. This is what we're working toward one day- a second first house. I can't wait until we own a house again! Can you say PinterTesting all up in there?!

Lunch with these crazies. So fun!

And Sunday night we went for a walk. For exactly 1.40 miles one way. Because at the end of that is the nearest Starbucks. I think I may have missed the purpose of this workout but oh was it worth it!

And, in case you missed it, the pollen is dive-bombing cars this week. I literally saw a video on facebook today where someone had actually formed a giant ball of pollen and hurled it at a friend's car. I know crazy people.

This week will be wonderful and amazing. It's warm and sunny out (but not yet NC summer temps), it's a light workweek for me, my coworkers are getting married, AND I'm off this weekend! Woohoo!

Hubby's birthday is next week so this weekend we're getting out of Dodge and heading west. Not as far west as I'd like (I'm talking to you, Cali friends.), but west enough to some R & R and some outlet mall shopping and good eats.

I. Can't. Wait!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Eight On Ten

So this week I was actually reminded ON the tenth that it was Ten on Ten.

Well, sorry folks, I got eight. I do my best. This is only my second time ever getting anything on the tenth, so I'm pretty happy I got this much. Why does it seem like the tenth always falls on a Wednesday? Wednesdays are hard, yo.

Here we go... linking up here.

Spring means iced mochas return to my life. Happy happy!
Because Chipotle should ALWAYS go on your to-do list.
Wednesdays mean Coke Zero' clock happens often.
Brad's new album? So good!
Too pretty to be inside- three laps around the building were perfect!
Jeremy talking to the team. And I mean ALL the team. Hard to tell, but there's about 60 people onstage.
Home for a happy snack...
... and this sweet baby that seemed to miss me bunches.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shaggy Schnoodle!

Today is your lucky day! It's Gratuitous Schnoodle Picture Day!

In paying off the last bit of our debt last week, we had a heart-to-heart with Scouty that if we have to sacrifice, then so does she. To that end, the poor thing is ridiculously uncomfortable in her own fur, which she can't get rid of for another week (Grooming is expensive!) and of course it's finally warm and sunny outside.

We keep trying to keep the hair out of her eyes, but the poor thing just can't help herself. Extra baths since she's getting corn-chippy-smelling faster (Did you know Schnoodles smell like Fritos when they're dirty? You'd think that would be a good thing and you'd want to eat her, but no, it's a very strong corn chippy kind of smell and it's terrible!). We're all three counting down the days until her grooming appointment.

But sacrifices had to be made. Haha!

What? Who's there?!

Please stop singing, Mama! I'm giving you The Look but you can't see it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

PinterTesting Strawberry Edition

Last weekend I pinned a whole bunch of stuff on Pinterest- who am I kidding? I pin ALL THE THINGS all the time!

Anyway, what I should say is that last weekend I printed out several recipes I wanted to actually try- this being one of them (original link here). I'm so ready for summer and all the fresh produce that goes along with it. The strawberries are FINALLY looking good here AND they were on sale. I took it all as a sign and went for it.

The real issue with making this recipe is that you need a good solid three hours at home without needing your oven for any other purpose. For me, this is a hard thing to come by. So days passed until last night when I was finally able to rock this bad boy out.

The recipe itself isn't much to go on. Salt and pepper some halved strawberries and bake for three hours on 210 degrees. That's it. Well, there is a note that says they go really good with prawns (eeewwwww!!!) because of the seasoning. Well I wasn't doing that! So of course I decided I wanted them straight up, no seasoning.

I think this might have been where I went wrong. Of course, I didn't realize this until AFTER I'd 'dried' them out. I think I still could've done without the pepper, but I forgot that salting something pulls the moisture out of the food.

That would've been fabulous to remember before baking these since they came out pretty slimy and not very 'dried out.' I didn't feel like putting them back in the oven for another while, so I tried them and we tossed the rest. Hubby really didn't like them. I think I didn't need to halve most of the strawberries too since they were mostly pretty small already. Wondering if that would've helped too.

Overall, I'd like to try again with salt next time, but we were underwhelmed. The concept of making my own dried fruit for a healthy snack is very appealing. However, these did not live up to the pin's claims that they're 'better than Twizzlers!'

Monday, April 08, 2013

Chickpea Basil & Tomato Salad: PinterTested!

For Jessica's PinterTest Kitchen this month, I whipped up this yummy-looking summery salad yesterday to eat for lunches this week (original link here)!

I thought it looked cheap and easy, fast and delicious, so we headed off to Target to get the goods. Hubby swore we had the apple cider vinegar and the red wine vinegar so we didn't get those.

Turns out, he was right. While we did have them, this gave me pause but it smelled fine so I went ahead with it. If the recipe bombed though I was blaming this moment. (We almost never have anything expired in our kitchen, so this was a big deal.)

Twelve?! 2012?!
So making this is easy but there are a lot of little steps to it. Washing the produce and basil, chopping everything, measuring the rest, stirring, and oh yeah, the chilling in the fridge. Like I said, super easy but lots of little things, so it took me longer to make than I'd hoped. Still cheap and easy though.

The calories on the recipe said 245; not sure how she came up with that- MFP told me mine was 317. Bummer, but still reasonable. A 'pinch' of salt was not enough. I threw in wayyyy more and even put in some pepper. I will say I didn't have enough basil and I think I needed more. Also, because there's fresh garlic in this, it's wayyyyyyyyyyyy garlicky. You'll need some breath mints after, for SURE.

Overall, pretty good but a little bit boring. I'd say it works for a side, but since this is all I ate for lunch today, I was a little let down that it wasn't more exciting. I feel like it's missing that one ingredient, but I'm not sure what it is. It is pretty though and that made me happy!

Linking up with Jessica today! I've printed off some other pinned recipes so hopefully I can share those with you soon.