Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Puppy Love...








Usually Maddy's the rowdy one so it cracks me up that the two of her she's all calm and sweet, but he's all vicious like in his :)

Speaking of sweet...


I'm working my way through the spring and summer menu of a new cupcake place.  I feel it's a challenge I can succeed at, haha!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finally...

The past few days have been so great!  I feel like I've finally achieved the whole BALANCE THING.  It's something I always strive for, but most days it feels out of reach.  Lately though, it seems like so many good things are happening!  I know that feeling balanced won't last and eventually something will throw it out of whack, but it sure is nice to have it come around again :)

  • I've lost 28 lbs so far and got to wear a pair of pants yesterday that I haven't fit into in a year!
  • I've been trying to replace Maddy's favorite toy for months, but haven't had any luck.  The place I got it from no longer sells it (it's a small squeaker bone) and I've contacted several Etsy shops to see if someone can make it.  I've been turned down everytime though and told that the size of the bone is too small to add a squeaker.  I sort of gave up and had been buying her the smallest similar toys I could find and she liked them okay, but wasn't really attached to them like she was to her old one.  I decided to search again and the first etsy seller I contacted said she could do it!  I can't wait to get it!
  • We hired someone at work to take over the accounting so I'm no longer responsible for that work on top of my own.  It feels so freeing to only have to worry about my actual job now!
  • I've started taking the dogs to the park and going on walks with them.  They get their exercise and I don't feel guilty about not spending enough time with them each day.
  • I had an awesome date night Saturday and spent Sunday cleaning up and organizing my office.  If I can just stay on top of all my mail, then it should stay organized and save me so much time!
There's so many other good things going on that I almost don't want to publish this post because it doesn't really do justice to how good I'm feeling about life lately.  I just feel calmer, more at ease...I don't know how to explain it, but I'm just thankful that things are going so well.  I feel like I've been working hard and also getting time to play-going on walks, reading books, taking baths, discovering new cupcake places, great date nights...

Life is good!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The best cookies I've ever made...


These cookies are exactly what I think of when I'm wanting a good ol' fashioned chocolate chip cookie.  They have a little crunch around the edges, but are soft in the middle-perfect for me!

You need:
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 3/4 cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I really like Ghirardelli chocolate chips because they're so big)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chunks
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (I buy the ones already chopped up that you can use as toppings on sundaes.  I don't like big chunks of walnuts in my cookies so these work best for me)
Preheat your oven to 350.  Melt butter and add it to sugars.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Add each egg, stirring after each addition.  In a separate bowl, wisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add wet mixture to dry and stir until combined.  Add in chocolate chips and chunks.  Add in walnuts here if you want the whole batch to have them or bake up half the dough and then add them in-I do this when I'm bringing the cookies to someone else because not everyone likes nuts.  I sort of eyeball the walnuts and just add them until I get the consistency I'm going for.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown up.  Yields about 4 dozen cookies.

I use a silpat when baking these and they turn out AMAZING!  I highly recommend getting one-I think they run around $15.  Refrigerate dough in between baking batches.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'll be honest...

I'm not really feeling it today.  Whatever "it" is.  I woke up feeling kind of off and the rest of the day just followed suit.  I feel uncomfortable in my clothes (things I've worn a ton of times), for some reason I sort of ache even though it's not a getting sick kind of ache, my motivation is pretty much non-existent and I'm generally cranky.

We all have days like that and I usually pull out the things that turn my day around:
  • Read my favorite blogs that remind me to be grateful for what I have in life
  • Get lost in a book
  • Take a nap
  • Buy something pretty
  • Eat something yummy
  • Play with the dogs
  • Meet up with friends
There are so many things that can pull me out of a bad mood.  And if all else fails, well then I just rally and tell myself to get through the day and tomorrow will be better.  Even just making the decision to deal with whatever comes that day and not let my bad mood get the best of me can work, but today is not one of those days.

Today is the day that I give in.  I fully accept that I'm in a weird mood and probably won't accomplish anything substantial or productive.  I'm fully aware that this means tomorrow will be a pain because I have to make up for everything I didn't do today.  But I just don't care. 

Today is the day I wallow in self-pity that I dare be brought down by a bad mood.  Today I'm irritated that I'm trying to lose weight and I don't have the option to just drown my bad mood in a big 'ol plate of bbq chicken nachos. 

Today I believe tomorrow will be wonderful and that I'm allowed a bad day every once in awhile.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some favorites...

I come across so many wonderful ideas, recipes, tutorials, etc online that I think I'll start sharing some of my favorites more often.  These are all things that I've bookmarked to either try myself or that I'd like to purchase at some point.  I hope you get some inspiration too!


I think these butterflies are just adorable!  It seems like a pretty easy DIY project so one of these days I'm going to give it a try.  Although, I've also seen it done with hearts, so I'm torn on which shape to use!  You can find the tutorial here.



All these knits you can find on Etsy and all over blogs seriously make me ache to have my own little girl someday.  I only hope they're still in style by the time I have kids!  Right now, I just have to hope some of my friends have babies soon so I can spoil them. This particular shop is one of my favorites.


This lamp would look great in my office!  I would just need to switch out the pink for red and ta da!  You can find this tutorial here.


These pancakes seriously make my mouth water.  The syrupy icing slays me.  Recipe here.


I'm so intrigued by paper straws!  They're cute as can be, but do they get all soft and soggy when you drink with them?  I'm assuming not or else they probably wouldn't be as popular.  You can find these here.


The only reason I haven't made this popcorn is because I'm convinced I'll eat the entire batch in one sitting.  I'm holding out for a girls movie night when there are other people around to help me eat it!  You can find the recipe here.


A little inspiration for living a positive life.  Found here.


This is another DIY that I absolutely love!  At first I was thinking I would make it for above my mantle, but the tv is there now.  I'm waiting until I know where to put it, but it seems pretty simple!  Found here.


Yum.Amazing.Delicious.  I CANNOT WAIT to try this!!!  Recipe here.

That's all I've got today.  Hope you found something interesting!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just popping in...

The past few months I've been thinking about what I want this blog to eventually evolve into.  I read so many different types of blogs: Healthy blogs, Food blogs, Fashion blogs, Mommy Blogs, daily journal type blogs and lately I've been feeling like my own blog doesn't have much of an identity of it's own.  I'm not sure what I want this little space of mine on the internet to really focus on and that's meant that I haven't been blogging all that often.

Unfortunately, that also means I'm missing out on documenting things that I know I'll want to remember.  So that being said, I'm still not sure what I want this place to be, but I do know that I want to get back to blogging while I figure it out.  My hope is that it will naturally evolve into the perfect little reflection of me and what I'm trying to convey.

Some things I really want to get posted soon:

  • The best cookie recipe I've ever made.  Seriously.  I've already made it twice this month and have tons of cookies sitting on my counter just begging to be eaten.
  • A little blast from the past.  My parents have given me some things they've been saving for me like my baby book and things I've drawn or created.  I want to document those things so I don't forget anything.
  • I've been promising a wreath tutorial and still haven't posted one.  Must.get.this.done.
  • Some puppy pics and updates-I love my little ones.
  • Things I'm loving right now.  There are so many, such as cute paper straws I came across tonight :)

I'll be back tomorrow with some of my favorite things!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bookworm...

I've always loved to read, but lately I've been letting life get in the way and just haven't made it a priority.  I really missed getting lost in a good book though so I went online and reserved several books from my library.  


The Transformation of Things was pretty great.  It had a different story line than some of the usual books I read and there were some twists I wasn't expecting.  It's about a woman that has dreams that are of actual events.  She can dream about a friend of hers and see how they were feeling and what they were doing in a particular moment.  This one was hard to put down.


Little Earthquakes was a book I picked up because it's all about babies. :)  It follows 4 women through their different experiences with pregnancy and having a child.  I enjoyed it, but there wasn't much unexpected and it took me a little while to really get into the book enough to where I didn't want to put it down.


Occasionally I like to read books about happiness and/or getting the most out of your life.  I knew from the first chapter that this wasn't the book for me.  I didn't end up reading much further, but from what I gathered (keep in mind it was just the first chapter) doing more "ing" things like surfing, jumping on a trampoline, skiing, laughing, etc. bring more joy to your life and therefore increase happiness.  Essentially experiences are what bring that extra element of what you could be missing. I'm sure the book goes on to give much more information, but this one just didn't speak to me.


Heart of the Matter is the first book I read and I really liked it.  It's definitely not a fun, carefree kind of book, but I think that's one of the reasons I enjoyed it.  I don't want to give anything away, but it does cover some serious issues and had me questioning how I would handle being in the same position.


I just started reading Hope in a Jar this afternoon and I'm only one chapter in.  I let you know how it turns out!


There's Cake in my Future was absolutely the best book I've read lately!  I love the story line: It starts with a cake pull, which is where these little charms are hidden in a cake at a bridal party.  Each guest pulls a charm out of the cake and the charm represents something that will happen in their future.  For example, the baby carriage charm means babies in your future, the money bag charm means there will be a large sum of money coming your way, etc.  Well the bride to be rigged the cake so that each guest would get the charm she wanted them to have, but somehow they all ended up with different charms and the story follows three of the main girls as their futures comes true, whether for the good or not...I read this book in one afternoon because I just could not stop reading!

Do you have any good books you think I might like?

P.S. I know that some of your are still having trouble with my posts not showing up correctly in your readers.  Try deleting me completely and then adding me again with the new url.  Hope that helps!
 
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