Sunday, November 30, 2008

November has come and gone

Wow, I can't believe tomorrow is December 1st. Not only does that further reinforce that the holidays are coming, but it also means that the year is ending. On a slightly more positive note, November is over. You know what that means???

NaBloPoMo is officially over!!!!!!! I actually did it! I posted every single day for thirty days straight!!! For someone that just started blogging this past summer, I take that as a pretty impressive feat.

Whew. I'm tired of blogging. Most likely I'm going to take a few days off. I'll admit, some of my postings were complete crap. Yeah, I would sit at my computer and go, "well I have to post something!" I sincerely apologize, but now that I've accomplished such a feat there's no need to do it again.

Thanks everyone for not calling me out on my crappy posting days! It really meant a lot to me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thank you Mama T!

Last weekend the hubs and I went to visit his best friend. His best friend is slightly odd for a guy- he loves to cook! While I was copying some of his favorite recipes I asked him for a tremendous favor. For the past six years I have heard tales of the fantastic pumpkin role created by said friend's mother, Mama T, as we call her. Oddly enough, our friend didn't have his own mother's recipe in his recipe box. He called his mum and jotted down the recipe and was subsequently lectured about specific instructions (stressing to mix the eggs on high for five minutes, not low!). It was rather entertaining.

Monday night the hubs and I went to the grocery store armed with our recipe and purchased our ingredients. I'm not going to lie, I was really nervous about messing this pumpkin roll up. This thing is regarded with such fondness by my hubs that I was worried I was putting my cooking reputation on the line by attempting to compete with Mama T.

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I'm thrilled to report that the hubs loved the pumpkin roll. Loved may not be the quite way to put it. It's Saturday and the pumpkin roll is gone already. My brother-in-law got to eat two pieces and my hubs claimed the rest of it. FYI- it has a cream cheese icing and I can't stand cream cheese, so all I had was one small little bite, but that was my choice.

Today, while the hubs and I were preparing our grocery list we realized that we still have quite a bit of pumpkin left over. I mentioned that I might make a pumpkin spice cake, but the hubs quickly shot that down and said we should make another pumpkin roll for him to take into his office on Monday. That sounded reasonable enough. Then, after we went grocery shopping I realized we had enough cream cheese to make three pumpkin rolls.

The hubs response, "so, we can make another one tonight and then two more tomorrow. One of them should definitely make it into the office on Monday."

I kid you not, when he said that he really sounded like there was a slight chance he might eat all of them before Monday morning. I take this as positive sign that I didn't mess up his loved pumpkin roll. Thank goodness!!!

(I'm sorry, but I don't think I can share the recipe. I haven't asked yet and I don't want to anger Mama T. I'd like to get a few more recipes from her.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday recap

Here's my Christmas list for this year:

Hubs
Mom
Dad
Sister
Nephew
Future Brother-in-law
Brother
Grandma
Oma & Grandpa
Secret Santa #1
Secret Santa #2
Brother-in-law
Mother-in-law
Nana & Pap Pap
Jax
Jewels


We already know what we're getting our grandparents, it is just a matter of waiting until closer to Christmas to pick up their gifts. We're really looking forward to avoiding the mall for the next few weekends!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

T-minus 1 day

Thanksgiving is tomorrow!!! I can't wait. A whole day of parades, dog shows, football, turkey, pie, and possibly a little yard work. Okay, maybe that last part isn't on everyone's agenda, but our yard waste removal has a Friday morning pickup and we have a ton of leaves to rake up!

You know those scented candles that make your house smell fantastic? Yeah, we don't have any, but the pecan pie smell that is resonating from my oven smells much better than any candle. Hopefully, that doesn't clash with the pumpkin roll that is scheduled to be baked later.

(first Christmas present was pre-ordered earlier this afternoon via Amazon.com. One less store I have to trek to on Friday!!!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've created a monster

We're days away from Black Friday and I think I may have to commit my husband to some type of institution. I think I'm just bitter because "we" decided to postpone buying a DSLR camera in order to buy a tv.

Anyway, I just checked my e-mail and of course I have a new e-mail from the hubs and it's comparing tvs. Last night he kept interrupting me during How I Met Your Mother and Prison Break. Finally,I had to look at him and bark, "I'll look at tvs during the commercials!"

Here's how the tv research began in my mind. Our current tv is a whopping 26 inches, clearly not very big. I was under the impression that we would upgrade to a 32", 36", or maybe even a 40" flat screen. I swear the comparision shopping as gone as follows:

Hubs: A 36" Sharp Aquos is blah blah blah dollars.

Me: Okay, is that the tv you liked?

Hubs: Yeah, but then again for another $100 we could get the bigger 40".

Me: Okay, so which one do you want to get?

Tw0 days later:
Hubs: So, the 40" blah blah blah tv is blah blah blah dollars.

Me: Okay, is that the one we're getting?

Hubs: We could get that one or we could spend another $100 and get a bigger tv.


I'm at the point where I don't even know what is going on. I know we're getting an LCD tv. I'm 99% sure we're getting a 1080p tv. Now, I have no idea on the refresh rate, if it's 60hz or 120hz. My mind is cluttered between Samsung, Sharp and Sony. I better start hearing Nikon or Canon in here soon, otherwise I'm going to lose my mind.

Tonight, after dinner we're going back to Circuit City to look at tvs... again! I'm scared for when we decide to buy a new car in a few months. I can already see myself getting dragged around to various car dealership. If the hubs dares to interupt Grey's Anatomy, well, then we're going to have a serious problem.

The really "funny" part in all of this madness is that the hubs doesn't even watch that much tv!!! He'll catch an episode of SVU or House here and there, but he doesn't tune in to any series regularly. His PS2 is upstairs, so it won't even be benefiting from the new tv (although, the current living room tv will go upstairs and the former upstairs tv will go back to my brother-in-law). Yeah, the hubs and I watch our fair share of sporting events on tv, but we hardly ever have people over to catch the game.

I'm going to argue that if we spend this much money on a tv, then we should at least get new curtains and throw pillows. That way our living room will be that much more inviting and we can actually have friends over.

Monday, November 24, 2008

You're gonna need a bigger boat

Last year the hubs and I stayed home and prepared our own Thanksgiving dinner. This year my brother-in-law is joining us, so we've added another stomach to feed to our table. Unfortunately, we don't have a dining room table. Well, we do, but it's stored down in the basement.

Yeah, not having a dining room is really one of the things that bugs me the most about our duplex. Then, I have to remind myself that it's only a rental and hopefully we won't be renting for that much longer.

Oh well. The hubs and I decided to set up the table tonight and see how cramped we were going to be. Let's just say that our little pub table isn't going to cut it for Thanksgiving dinner. It could, but once you add the charger plates, small centerpiece, extra glasses, vegetable bowls, etc. the poor table is maxed out. Looks like I'm going to have to spend Wednesday evening pulling out our dining table and then reassembling it in our living room. Thank goodness it's an Ikea table and it'll take me mere minutes to put it back together. Dragging it out of the basement, well, that might take a bit more time.

I can't wait to use our china!!!

(I hope everyone knows where I snagged that title line.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lazy Sunday afternoon


Really, I want to come back as a spoiled dog in my next life.


Hopefully, when I do, I can get a mute button for my brother. Then again, maybe he'll get the memo and realize I'm not getting out of his chair.


(In case anyone actually wondered, the hubs and I traveled across the Potomac River to wild and wonderful West Virginia.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Country roads, take me home

The hubs and I are heading west this wonderful weekend to visit his best friend. Anyone want to take a wild guess where we are going????

(you might think this is a very annoying blog posting, but due to that stupid NaBloPoMo resolution I have to post something today. I am so ready for December to be here!!!)


Friday, November 21, 2008

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

We received our first real snow today in Towson. There were flurries last week, but the frosting today actually stuck around for a few minutes. I can't wait for a decent accumulation of snow. Bring on ski season!!!


(Mmmmmm, lick, lick, lick, lick....)


Thursday, November 20, 2008

No more dodgeball

I'm not sure if the hubs and I are going to be able to recover. Last night we lost our playoff game and now we are officially done with league sports for the rest of the year. Sure, we still have a charity football game in December, but that's just a weekend gig.

Dodgeball has been an absolute blast. The hubs and I joined a team in the hopes of meeting new people and having some fun. Okay, we didn't make as many friends as I would have liked, but the hubs summed it quite accurately, "I don't think anyone on any of the other teams likes me." Hmmmm, would you like someone if they could throw a 90mph fastball and they could throw a dodgeball nearly as hard? Nope, I would like the guy either. This is the guy that knocked someone unconscious in his high school gym class while playing dodgeball. He takes his dodgeball a little seriously.

Although, everyone on our team loves the hubs and his cannon. That could be because the hubs took on the role of enforcer for our team. Say if the oppossing team hit someone on our team in the head or with excessive force, well, then the hubs would take it upon himself to deliver a crushing blow to the oppossing team member. It's not a pretty system, but it worked for our team.

Anyway, last night our team entered the playoffs as the number eight seed. Of course that meant we had to play the number one team, who also happened to be undeated and beat the crap out of us earlier in the season. I must say, it was a pretty competitive game. We were tied for awhile and then a back and forth battle ensued for the lead. Unfortunately, we were out gunned last night and we lost. My personal favorite game was one in which the hubs and I were the last people on our team still alive and we took down the other team's strongest four members for a victory.

I'm really going to miss our competitive games. The hubs and I are jocks and we're both cool with that label. Now, we just need to find a winter league. I'm not really a broom hockey person, but if that's all that is avaible, then I might just have to expand my horizons. Our dodgeball teammates have invited us to join their softball and football teams next season, so at least we can look forward to those days.


video
This is from a game earlier in the season. The hubs is the guy across the court. I love his reaction when a ball goes flying by his head, "wait, did someone really just try to hit me?"
(I got hit with a dodgeball while filming. I really think my red hair is a target, I got hit more in the head this year than anyone else on our team. Even on the sidelines I get hit.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Target's Dollar Spot

Every year I swear I won't start thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but every year that fails and I get caught up in the Christmas spirit.

Today, I'm walking around Target, completely avoiding the Christmas section and BAM!!!! I find myself in the Dollar Spot (or whatever it's called) and there are the cutest little dog t-shirts. Hey, for $2.50 I thought this was the most adorable thing. Jewels will have to wait until December to officially wear this, but I couldn't wait to share its cuteness.

Seriously, how cute is that???

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Photo cards for 1 cent!!!

I received an e-mail from Snapfish with a cool deal on photo cards. Perfect for the holiday season.

Here's the e-mail:

Get your first set of 20 4" x 8" photo cards for just 20¢ -- that's only a penny each! Choose from over 100 holiday designs that are completely customizable.

Just use coupon CARD08 at checkout to save big on your season's greetings. Hurry, this offer ends November 23!*

So there you go. Holiday cards for one little penny each. I was hoping to make my own cards this year, but cards for only a penny might change my mind.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Welcome back Monday!

Since May the hubs and I have been a part of various softball leagues. We've gladly given up one day a week in order to have fun with the hubs' co-workers (there's nothing more entertaining than watching a 47 year old guy play softball for the first time). Unfortunately, last week we lost our playoff game and thus our 2008 softball season has come to a close.

Tear... (it's okay, we still have one more week of dodgeball, then a charity football game... after those are over then we'll be in withdrawal)

Anyway, while the hubs and I were grocery shopping yesterday he had an epiphany. At least that sounds like a nice way of saying the hubs stopped dead in his tracks and proclaimed, "I want cookie dough!"

My response, "oh, you want to make cookies?"

His reply, "No. I just want to eat cookie dough!"

Compromise, we make cookies and he gets to eat his fair share of dough. So we celebrated our first non-sports related Monday by making chocolate chip cookies.

The man knows how to work a mixer... swoon!!!
The cookie dough monster.
I prefer my cookies baked.
Cookies!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pottery Barn Lust

Grrrr. I swear that I won't start thinking about Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving has come and gone. I really feel that Thanksgiving gets the shaft in terms of seasonal decor and attention. Poor, poor, Thanksgiving.

Oh well. Anyway, in a moment of weakness I clicked on the Holiday Decor & Gifts tab at Pottery Barn. Shoot, crap, sigh.... yeah I want it all. That of course is a problem because the hubs and I are planning to go up to NY for a full week for Christmas. That means we won't have a tree or anything with fresh pine needles.

Now, this Peace Canvas is $80. I would think one could DIY something similar for much less than $80, right??? I'll have to see what I can come up with.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hello lover!

Guess what came in the mail?

A lovely coupon for 25% off at any fine Coach store. Hmmmm... decisions, decision, decisions. Do I buy something for myself or buy a gift for someone else for Christmas? That's a tough call.

This may take a few days to sort out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

T-minus two weeks

Two weeks from now I hope to be done with the vast majority of my Christmas shopping. Wait, what? Yes, two weeks from today is Black Friday!!! Of course in normal Black Friday tradition all of the shopping occurs in a caffeine-induced, hyper state very early in the morning. There's just something about waking up well before the crack of dawn, going shopping and walking back to your car, packages in tow, before the sun comes up!

The hubs and I are on the hunt for a new tv this year, so that's where we'll be spending the majority of our energy on Black Friday morning. After that we have a few things in mind, but we can't share since a few family members read this blog (hey! a comment here and there couldn't hurt people!!!).

I must admit, I didn't know about Black Friday until I met my hubs. I think my family usually spends the Friday after Thanksgiving in a turkey and mashed potato coma. The in-laws, on the other hand, start prepping before they even eat their Thanksgiving dinner.

The first year I went shopping with them I was completely overwhelmed. I remember walking into Macy's at 6am and then standing in line for 40 minutes. It was sheer craziness!!! But, well worth it. I bought my mom her Spode Christmas dishes at an insane price. My brother-in-law is one of those hard-core individuals who braves the cold and waits in line at Best Buy. Hopefully, this year he'll let us sneak in with him so we can hunt down our tv.

Thankfully, you don't need to run out and buy a newspaper (even though we do). You can check out all the fantastic deals from the safety of your own computer.

http://bfads.net/
Bookmark it! Check it often. I hope it's true and this is a leaked Best Buy ad.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yucky weather!

It is beyond gross outside here in the Baltimore area. It's cold, slightly windy and raining. Not pleasant at all!

To warm up, I'm going to have some hot tea and then look at pictures from sunnier days. Oh, I happen to have a few of Jax, the supermodel, strutting his newest Zooland look in the backyard.

He's visualizing his next move.

How's that? Does the light make my ears glow? Yes, fantastic!
People, why are my leaves cold? My leaves are supposed to be warmed before they are served to me. Where's my silver platter?

Jewels thinks Jax is crazy. She smacked some sense into him a few minutes later. Then, I actually was able to film Jax's attempt at redeeming his honor.

video

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baltimore Dollar Days

FYI for anyone in the greater Baltimore area. The weekend of December 6th and 7th is this year's annual Dollar Days. Here's the flyer for this year's event.

We went last year to the Science Center with some friends. We walked by the Aquarium, but the line was almost stretched across Pratt Street. If you want to go to the Aquarium, I'd suggest getting there bright and early.
Edit: the poster was too small to read. If you want to check out any of the information regarding this fantastic weekend event click here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Men...

The hubs and I have discussed upgrading our pathetic looking tv to a cool and sleeker flat screen tv. Right now we are the "proud" owners of a lovely 26" tv. Yeah, small by many standards. So this year we decided that on Black Friday we would brave the crowds and go after a new tv. That would be our big Christmas present to each other.

The tv really isn't that important to me. As long as it's a flat screen, then I don't really care about anything else. Yes, when the hubs and I went to Circuit City to scope out various sets I could see a difference between the 720p and 1080p. I personally would vote for a higher dpi and a smaller tv, you know that whole quality over quantity approach. At the end of the day, I'm not going to go crazy over a tv.

The hubs is taking point on this one and is doing the majority of the research. Of course he comes home tonight and when the tv topic comes up he raves about a 50" tv he found on sale.

I think my jaw hit the floor. Seriously? Fifty inches of television in our tiny 14' wide living room. Really, I think that's a bit of overkill. When we went and looked at tvs I was focusing on the 36-42" range. This massive beast that has caught my hubs' attention was not what I had in mind.

I should have known better. Note to self: never let the hubs have full control over an electronic device purchase. Unless of course he wants to buy me a fantastic camera. That type of over-the-top grandness I could appreciate.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Raking Leaves, Take Two

You know that expression, "a picture is worth a thousand words"????




I can sum up this picture with far fewer words. It goes like this, "Babe, it's your turn to rake leaves."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wedded Bliss

The hubs and I had a fantastic time yesterday at the wedding. Odd and crazy coincidence, but it turns out the hubs went to the same school as the groom's cousin. There was a mini high school reunion. Everything was absolutely wonderful and I'm pretty certain everyone had an incredible evening. The bride's dress was simply stunning and perfect for her petite frame (hey, she's proud to be 5 feet and 1 1/2 inches... that extra half inch is very important!).

In her spare time, besides planning a wedding and all, the bride is an event planner and no detail was overlooked. There were a million little touches that just made the day more personalized for the bride and groom (naming all of the wedding tables after their favorite Phillies players and the little softball chocolates are just a quick few) who met and fell in love while playing in a co-ed adult softball league. I can't wait to see all the bridal party pictures that were taken at a minor league baseball stadium.

The hubs and I.
The grad school gang. I really have no idea why everyone else slouched down. I'm a solid 5 inches taller than both of them and with the additional heels I had to slouch down to stay in the same picture frame.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Going to the chapel...

I don't think there could be a better wedding movie than what we watched this morning. "Father of the Bride" was playing and the hubs has a certain sweet spot for anything Steve Martin related. I love the movie because it shows just how crazy and silly planning a wedding can get and those are days I don't miss one bit!

Anyway, the hubs and I are off to Delaware today to attend the wedding of a very dear friend. It's also going to be a reunion of my favorite gals from grad school. Between the three of us I don't know how many trees we killed (printing articles, writing papers, grading speeches, etc.) or how much Starbucks we consumed. It was definitely more than I would like to confess to, especially the tree killing part.

I can't believe the three of us are married already. It definitely makes that one time a restaurant server left us his phone number an even funnier story to tell (not at today's wedding of course).

The three amigos in San Antonio for a conference. Oh yeah, nerds all the way!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Someone is not going to be happy

Sometime in the next few months the hubs and I hope to buy a new car. Buying a car can be an incredibly fun and exciting time, but I don't think that will be our case. The problem is we're both car people and we don't like the same type of cars.

My dream car right now is a Toyota Prius. Maybe that isn't your definition of sexy, but right now I want something that is extremely economical and environmentally friendly. The hubs, on the other hand, wants a Dodge Challenger. It's fast, powerful, strong and definitely a looker.

Let's compare those two cars:

Model Price Horsepower City MPG Highway MPG
Challenger SRT8 $42,245 425 14 22
Challenger RTj $32,480 372 16 25
Prius Touring $24,270 110 48 45

Clearly, there is bit of a difference between those two cars. I left in two different trim models on the Challenger just because the RT j package is more likely the one my husband would be able to convince me to get, but in reality he's going to want the massive SRT8.

My personal thought is that the Prius is 8k cheaper and will also save us money in the long run by using less gas. Math isn't one of my strongest points, but I'm pretty sure I can see how saving 8k could be very helpful to our bank account.

The hubs of course counters that the Prius won't be fun to drive. He knows I have a lead foot when it comes to maneuvering along a windy back road (what can I say? It's like driving up at my parents' house). Somehow I think he's on to something and a measly 110 hp isn't going to satisfy my Formula One driving style.

Sigh... I know once we start test driving we'll find something we both like, but that's one of the downsides of compromising. I'm afraid that we're both starting at two extreme anchor points and any steps taking towards finding a middle ground is going to leave both of us unsatisfied.

Can anyone recommend a quasi-fuel efficient car (to me that's above 30mpg on the highway) that yet is still fun to drive? Bonus points for anything under $32k (anything more than that and the hubs is going to be awfully cranky that he didn't get his beloved Challenger). There was a fantastic list in Car & Driver a few months ago detailing the top ten fuel efficient sports cars, but I'd rather hear from real people and not rely on Car & Driver.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sleepy Jewels

Jewels loves to sleep. She's energetic dog, but more than anything she likes to nap. Unfortunately, for her humans, she's very tiny and she likes to sleep in some pretty weird places.

Take for instance this scenario: I'm passing through the living room and I see Jax sleeping on the couch (well, he was until her heard the camera turn on). I go into the kitchen and don't see Jewels. When I'm coming back into the living room I notice that the white blanket on the couch is moving.

Normally, I would think there was only one dog on the couch.
Oh, there she is!


Over the years, we've found Jewels sleeping in a few odd places. Here's a look back at a few of those spots:.
Underneath the bathroom sink.
Underneath our bed.
Cramming her face into the couch.
In my closet. (She woke up after I got the camera, I really thought she escaped the apartment that day).

Yes, she actually climbed up inside the hub's hoodie to find a warm and dark place to nap.
Camped behind people's heads. (we have a ton of these pictures).
In between our pillows.
Again, nestled in our laundry.
Knocked out with the hubs on the couch. (Okay, that one is kind of normal, but still adorable)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The kitchen pantry

The wonderful Katie over at The Hyper Homemaker has organized a Fall Cleaning Challenge. Normally, I like to think of myself as keeping a clean household. Don't get me wrong, I definitely have my days where my house looks like a tornado swept through it, but overall I tend to keep things pretty clean. I certainly recognized the need to do some additional seasonal cleaning and prep for winter (every time I say that I immediately think of animals hording food, it's weird). Anyway, I was truly inspired by some of the before and after photos other bloggers shared of their kitchen pantries. Inspired enough to tackle my own pantry, which was pretty scary.

In my own world I'm a clean individual. Of course this is where my husband and I differ. He's organized and I'm clean. You would think that this would be a fantastic coupling to have, but it's not. The hubs will have everything stashed away, but is completely complacent with 2 inches of dust covering his dresser. Two inches is an obvious exaggeration, I would never let it get that bad. Me, on the other hand, I tend to be more disorganized, but clean. I can handle the bathroom shelves in a bit of disarray, but everything will be sparkling clean while it is in its crazy state.

I think the perfect example is our coffee table. We don't have a dining room (that's a whole different vent) and there are plenty of occasions when it's too hot in the kitchen to eat out there, so we have to eat dinner out in the living room and the coffee table doubles as a dining table. I hate it, but it's a part of our current lifestyle. Anyway, say I'm making dinner and I'll ask the hubs to clean off the coffee table so we can eat there. Well, he'll "clean off the table" according to his own definition of clean. He'll pile any paperwork (paper, odd mailings, magazines, etc) into neat little piles and create enough room for us to eat. Yeah, that doesn't cut it in my definition of clean. I would completely clear off the table, put away everything, and then wash off the table. Yes, I would wash off the table just to make a mess on it while eating.

Clearly, my husband and I have a differing of opinions on what constitutes clean and not clean. We've got the rest our lives to figure out and I'm confident it won't take us that long. Now, to get back on track and back to the Fall Cleanup Challenge here's a scary picture of our kitchen pantry. Basically, that long winded story about how my husband are neat and clean was all a lie. We fell into a trap and neither of us took the time nor energy to keep the pantry clean and neat.

Yeah, that's scary. I'll try to sum up for you. The top shelf is normally where we keep our ziploc bags and things of that nature. Then, our vegetable oil bottle was too tall for the baking shelf and thus the rest of the cooking oils started to migrate up to the top shelf. Not pretty. The second shelf housed our baking ingredients. It could be worse, but it wasn't very nice looking. I don't eve know how to describe the next two shelves. There are no words. Really, I have no idea what happened there. It's a mystery.


Here's the after shot. I know from the picture it doesn't look that much better, but trust me, it is. The more I thought about it, I realized that our shelves weren't organized in a sensible fashion. The hubs loves soup and he normally figures out what to make for dinner based on our side items. After being married for awhile, I started coming around to that manner of thinking myself. So I put those items on the second shelf and voila- they are at eye level. Plus, by moving the traditional baking items to the third level the vegetable oil bottle fit and now it didn't have to be separated from everything else. Crazy how that works. The bottom shelf is still a mess. We don't have anywhere else to put our formal silverware, so it's staying there. The six-pack of Carib is in there until my best friends from West Virginia come to visit, so it'll be there for awhile. I think I'm going to start hiding the junk food behind the potatoes. That might help cut down on our sugar intake because we'll think we're out of junk food, but then when we go to make our grocery list we'll see that we have some and we won't buy anymore.

Our pantry is really small. Thankfully, we're just two people and we tend to only buy what we need for specific meals. Maybe, just maybe I'll have enough confidence this weekend to tackle the refrigerator. Don't worry, there won't be any pictures of that scary beast!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock the vote!


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you know how to use a computer, then you must know that today is Election Day. It's not a question, but a statement.

Vote. Simple as that. I'm not urging you to vote for a particular party, candidate, issue, or whatever, but I just want you to vote. Make yourself count. Give your views a voice (odd statement- I admit that). Get your butt out to your polling place and vote. It takes mere minutes and yet the outcome could last a lifetime.

Vote. Then, go get free Starbucks, Krispy Kremes, or Ben & Jerry's. The sugar high will last you through the rest of the day. Go vote. It's that important.

Vote. I'll never ask you who you voted for or what issues you voted against. I won't even ask my husband those questions. Your vote is between you and the booth. You don't have to defend yourself to anyone, well, you will if you don't vote. You'll have to explain to people why you didn't think you mattered enough to take the time to vote. Just do it!

Vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

For all the dog lovers (okay, other pets as well)

Two weeks ago I noticed a post over on Urban Grace Interiors calling for anyone and everyone to e-mail a picture of their pet for a little contest. Bonus points were issued if your pet was pictured inside your home.

Well, I don't know if you have noticed, but I happen to have two cute Boston Terriers. You've heard of them, you know... Jax & Jewels, aka the name of my blog. I quickly flipped through their photo folders (Yes, Jax has his own folder and so does Jewels) and found a few interesting pictures. I went for the bonus points and narrowed my choices down to an indoor picture. Then I typed up a quick e-mail and let the pups work their magic.

A few days later I noticed that Erika had put together a slideshow of all the pictures she received. Cuteness overload! If you're a pet lover or if you have a beating heart, then I definitely suggest you click on this and watch the slideshow. It will without a doubt give you enough warm fuzzies to get you through the rest of your week.

Alright, this is where the bragging begins. Erika posted the winner's picture, Archie (FYI- soooooo cute!), and then a few honorable mention pictures. It just so happens that my very own little Jax was chosen as an honorable mention. So yes, in this post I'm AWing my dog (AW- it's a Nest and Knot lingo thing, Attention Wellyoucanfigureouttherestofit).

Click Here to see all the winners.

Don't worry, the hubs and I haven't let this go to Jax's head. He hasn't raised his sitting fee and he isn't refusing to drink tap water. He's not a diva. Now, Jewels on the other hand, is and will always be a diva. If she had any idea what was going on, well, she'd blame me for not selecting a better picture of her.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hiking recap

I think I've made it abundantly clear that I grew up in the woods, not only that, but I'm an outdoorsy type of gal. I love running around and soaking up as much Mother Nature as possible (of course while wearing sunscreen!). Lately, I've been a little homesick and my constant concrete and pavement surroundings have worn me down a bit. I like having a Trader Joe's only five minutes away, but sometimes one needs to get back to their roots in order to appreciate their current surroundings.

Yesterday, the hubs and I left our beltway confinement (we live within the 695 Beltway that surrounds Baltimore) and took a trip over to Gunpowder Falls. Hiking and enjoying the outdoors was just what I needed to kick out of my funky mood. The unseasonable warm temperature (75 degrees) definitely helped get us motivated to spend a few hours wandering around the woods.

It needs to be mentioned that my husband hates my camera. Well, he hates when I stop and take a picture of every single thing. In order to go hiking again in the future, I had to fight my inner urge to take my normal allotment of pictures. It was rough, but a sacrifice I'll make in the hopes of going hiking again.

One thing I wish I would have gotten a picture of... the snake my hubs stepped on and then ran away from when I declared "SNAKE!" It was rather funny. He was leading the way up a steep part of the trail, when he suddenly stopped. He said he heard a snake. Sure he did, he just happened to step on top of it and then stop on it! I looked down and sure enough, there was the snake, squirming underneath his boots. We both bolted, what can I say? The deer we saw later were much nicer (yes dad, we went hiking and saw a buck!).

Me: "Babe, we're going to cross a few streams. You might want to wear boots and not sneakers." (Thank goodness I'm a woman and I actually read the directions and see that there is water involved with our chosen trail.)

Okay, it's not every day you go hiking and you see a horse on the trail. Pretty cool.
FYI- I'm the red head on the right. Just in case you couldn't figure that one out.
Maybe showing things in color might work better, since it's fall and all.

The hubs, who is such a ham, well actually he's eating an orange.

Me: "Hey! I stopped to tie my shoe. Don't leave me out here!"

Please, I could do a cartwheel on this bad boy.
Alright, we made it back to the river. Sweet!
I have a sweet spot for all things yellow, especially leaves and flowers.
Super, duper, tall tree.
My favorite picture from the day.

Hey, if I find a somewhat level rock or tree stump, then I'm using the timer and taking our picture. It's better than my million self-portraits, my arm doesn't get as tired this way.