3.30.2012

Friday Letters

Dear fiancé - Thank you for watching ridiculous movies with me instead of researching for fantasy baseball. That makes me feel very loved.

Dear Huckleberry - I wish you would stop pooping in the neighbors yard. Although I'm secretly grateful it won't be me who accidentally steps in it, I am rather embarrassed walking over there with a shovel and plastic bag to conceal your stink twice a day.

Dear Costco - I love you. That is all.

Dear lost memory card - You were replaced. But I hope no one finds you and inserts you in a camera or computer to view the hundreds of photos you contain. That would be weird and creepy.

Dear delinquents who broke into my car - That was truly a waste of your time considering all that was in there was my yoga mat and some trash. Don't you know your suppose to break into nice looking cars for a better chance of obtaining valuables? Amateurs. 


Hope you have a lovely weekend!

3.29.2012

Puppy Growing Pains

Sometimes I think about getting another pup. A little brother or sister to keep Huckleberry company since Steven and I are out of the house 8 or more hours every week day. Dogs are pack animals. He would appreciate the company. However, having one puppy in my little lake home is crowded, I can't even imagine having two! But who knows...if me and Steven get a certain house {more on this later --much later}, then we'd have the land and space to accommodate another pup.

To be honest though, we got VERY lucky with Huckleberry. Sure, he can be a pain at times but he still is just a baby! Dogs don't  know what we expect of them as soon as they're brought home. They play with us like they would their other litter mates. Good behavior is something they have to learn --just like you and me. Unfortunately, many people who decide to purchase a dog don't have the time, patient, or even money necessary to raise them. And far too often, after their puppy fur sheds, their breathe starts smelling icky, and their roly-poly tummies disappear, people bring their dogs to a shelter or even worse, simply abandon them.

So before purchasing that adorable, wiggly, cuddly ball of fur. You should be aware of a couple things.

1) The puppy will poop on your carpet. Go ahead and cover every inch of your floors with absorbent puppy pads and newspapers. I gaurentee that your pup will find that one square inch you left uncovered {you know, that one in the corner behind the floor lamp that you thought there was no way your puppy could get to} and poop there. 

2) The puppy will eat your favorite pair of shoes or that Marc Jacobs purse you adore. Here's what I've learned --if it's on the ground, it's fair game. You simply cannot leave your shoes, purses, even underwear or anything else on the floor when your pup is around. He/she will pick it up, chew on it for .8 seconds, and, more than likely, completely destroy it. If you don't want it eaten, don't leave it lying around. **However, this does work in your favor while cooking. You don't have to clean up any kitchen spills. The pup will take care of that for you :).

3) The puppy WILL NOT always obey you. Just like humans, dogs go through a regression period. It will be as if everything you've taught them is simply forgotten. Usually, they haven't forgot (unless you aren't consistent in your training), but rather they are testing their boundaries just like a child would. This happens around 4-6 months old, which is the most common age that puppies are abandoned or taken to a shelter. At this time they are experiencing a new sense of confidence and independence. They are more curious and less scared when introduced to new things. Like the neighbors porch that your puppy never ventured onto before and is now looking in their windows (much to your embarrassment), or suddenly you discover your pup in the middle of the street with the cars whizzing by all around him (yeah, that happened). When you call him to come...he won't. When you chase after him...he runs. It's going to happen and you will be embarrassed, frustrated, scared for the pups life at times! No matter how well behaved your puppy seems to be they can never be completely trusted when this young. Be patient. He will make mistakes and if you're negligent (even slightly) it may cost his life.

4) The puppy is going to burn a hole in your pocket. The expense of having a dog doesn't stop with routine veterinary visits and puppy chow. Unexpected medical issues and accidents happen and they are never cheap. For instance, shortly after we brought Huck home, he got extremely ill with something similar to parvo. Basically he wouldn't eat or drink and was getting more dehydrated by the second. We thought we almost lost him. Or, back to the chewing issue, your pup may have an accident like eating his harness??? Don't believe me? Read this. It happens, folks. Also, Huck has a week stomach so he can't eat the cheap dog foods. We have to buy him the premium stuff and it is not cheap! On top of that, if you are a responsible dog owner, you'll probably get your dog fixed. Cha Ching. And maybe you'll even sign your dog up for training classes. Cha Ching. Or, if you're really crazy like me, you might take him to doggie daycare. Cha Ching. The list goes on my friends.

5) The puppy is going to love you unconditionally. Whoever came up with the cliche "dogs are man's best friend" didn't need a PHD to figure that out. The love they feel for you is instantaneous. They completely adore you and trust you from the moment you place them in your arms and allow them to nuzzle your neck. Be aware of that. Be thankful for that. Other than your spouse, I think a dog is the best companion you can ever have. 

and lastly,

6) The puppy NEEDS you. If you're going to take on the responsibility on being a dog owner, take it seriously. Research the best breed for you and your family, take the time to visit shelters nearby and puppy training facilities, add up the numbers to ensure that you have the financials necessary to take on the, oftentimes, unanticipated expense of being a dog owner, and most importantly give to the dog what it's given you --companionship, entertainment, and immeasurable amounts of love. After all, you have the luxury of given these free gifts in small doses or however you see fit, whereas, not knowing any better, your pup will give you all he has for as long as he's with you.
Via

3.28.2012

Some Button Swappage.

Hi friends! I think it's time for me to jump on the button swapping bandwagon. If you're interested {which I don't see why you wouldn't be considering Huckleberry [the cutest pup in the world!] is the star of my button} just add my button to your blog and either comment or email me saying that you did and I'll add yours to mine in return! Easy peasy. 

In other news, my memory card really truly did sprout legs and run away and I'm feeling rather distraught about it. 

That is all.

{Also, swap is a weird word. Just say it a few times out loud. Go ahead. See? It's weird, huh?}

3.27.2012

Wedding Update

I know I haven't talked about wedding planning much on this blog. Mostly because the planning process has been more stressful than I anticipated, but also because I don't really know what to do next planning wise. Since my mom and all of my bridesmaids live 3,000 miles away, I feel pretty alone and rather lost when it comes to the ins-and-outs of wedding preparation. I have a lot of idea, it's a matter of putting those ideas into motion I'm struggling with. 

So, I thought I'd open the doors to you for advice, encouragement, and possibly some DIY ideas and how to's :)

Here's what I have so far. Steven and I are getting married on November 10th in this barn. (You can see more photos of the barn/grounds in this post.) One of the best parts about this facility --other than the fact that it is absolutely gorgeous if I do say so myself :) --is that they provide all the food (at an extremely reasonable price!). Meaning a huge burden is lifted off my shoulders since I won't have to arrange the catering. P.S. All the food is organic and taken from their own gardens at the farm or purchased from local shops and farmers markets on the island. Also, I already have my wedding dress and veil {curtesy of indecisive brides who buy 2 or more dresses and then have to sell their unworn dresses ridiculously cheap on Craigslist --I love you}.

My mom's a superstar and made these tags for our wedding favors, which are going to be muslin or burlap bags filled with coffee beans. (Sorry about the photo quality --sent via cell phone.)
And we plan on doing a lot more DIY type decor for the wedding. Such as boutonnieres similar to this one. 
Because the wedding is in a barn, the feel I'm going for is rustic chic. My centerpieces are going to be an eclectic mixture of books, mason jars, and other miscellaneous mismatched jars, and dainty, simple flowers. The table numbers will be spelled out in Scrabble pieces. 

To view my other wedding inspirations check out my Pinterest wedding board here

Some things that I would love advice on are invitations (Should I try to make them myself? That seems like a HUGE ordeal. So, if not, what stores/websites would you suggest? And since my guest have to take a ferry to the wedding, does anyone know of a website where I could get a map drawn of the island to be sent with the invitations?), flowers (does anyone have advice or know how on making your own bouquets for the wedding party?), save the dates (they are an extra expense --is it necessary to send one to every guest invited? Would it be okay just to send it to those who may not be as much in the loop concerning the wedding details?). 

I know I have a lot more questions and concerns about the planning, but this is a good start. I think writing this all out was helpful in a way too. I now feel like I have more accomplished than I originally thought! Which is nice, really nice. Still, any thoughts would be much appreciated.

What was the best advice you received during your wedding planning? Or the worst? 

3.26.2012

Another Baked Oatmeal Recipe

You know that feeling of being absolutely certain you left something in a particular spot, but when you go to grab it it's no longer there?? I am experiencing that right now and unfortunately, the missing object is my camera's memory card. SAD! For someone who does not lose things, losing things is very frustrating. 

Other than my memory card growing two legs and wandering off {I sure hope he comes back before today's end} I had a great weekend! Filled with sunshine, friends, good food, and my man. Speaking of good food, I have another baked oatmeal recipe to share with you folks! Quite different from my first attempt at baked oatmeal seen here, but still very, very TASTY!

Strawberry Baked Oatmeal:
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups strawberries
1 tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar 
½ cup milk 
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup honey
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup old fashioned oats
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Layer the strawberries on the bottom of the pan. Melt the butter and pour evenly over the strawberries.In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, honey, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the oats, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and then pour the mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake uncovered for approximately 40 minutes.
I sprinkled more brown sugar on top right before I placed it in the oven. If you like walnuts, this recipe would be great with some chopped walnuts (or pecans??) on top as well! 
Hope you have a great start to your week! And if you see my memory card out and about, please tell him to come home :)

3.23.2012

My Week (pt. 3)

This past week...

1. I made some yummy pizza bubble bread and realized it was a HUGE mistake..because I've been munching on it all week!
2. Steven and I found a house we absolutely love. We hope to make it our home.
3. I learned that people in this world can be cruel and heartless (as evidenced in this post). And that makes me really sad.
4. I realized that forgetting to bring my cell phone to work makes me feel incomplete. And then I scolded myself for my silly first world issues. 
5. I began to feel the sting of Fantasy Baseball season. Just like Fantasy Football, I  know it will completely consume every free moment in my fiancé day...and I don't like it. Because I'm selfish, and apparently needy.
6. I learned that the .99 box of brownies doesn't taste as good as the $2.49 box of brownies. It really doesn't.
7. I learned (just this moment actually) that there is not a "cent" key on my computer. Didn't they use to have those?? Or am I imaging that? Does my phone have one? Rats, I can't check because I LEFT MY PHONE AT HOME! 
8. I decided that giving up coffee, or even simply cutting my coffee intake, is silly and absolutely ridiculous and I refuse to do it any longer. Long life coffee.
9. I realized that I have way more photos of my puppy than my fiancé. That's why I can always post new pictures of Huck but have to recycle pictures of me and Steven...
10. I decided that I'm going to work on reversing that.
Have a happy weekend, friends!
:)

3.22.2012

Animal Cruelty (Viewer Discretion is Advised! -- This Post is Hard to Stomach)


Today on my way to work I heard this horrific story about how a man brutally attacked his neighbor's dog with a hatchet.  Apparently, the man had had enough of the dog's barking and decided to take matters into his own hands. He lured the pup into his yard with dog treats laden with rat poison and then proceeded to beat the dog with the hatchet right in the head. Thankfully, another neighbor heard the dog's cries and immediately called 911. 

When the police arrived they found the dog tied up to a pole in the neighbor's garage. He was covered in blood. His skull was fractured in multiple places, he had a broken jaw and blood filled eyes. There was barbed wire tied around his neck. After they obtained a search warrant, they discovered further evidences of this man's cruelty --bloody and fur covered hammers, pliers, garbage bags, and other tools... 

Writing this post makes me feel physically ill. How could anyone be so cruel? I feel so sickened by this man's actions I could vomit. Right now it's hard for me not to cry while sitting here at my desk. 

Guess what, people! Dogs bark! Oh yeah, and did you know that baby's cry!!! And birds shit on your car! Sure, let's be honest --it can be annoying at times. Patience, understanding, reason, self-control, gentleness, DECENCY --these things are all virtues. We are not born with them. We have the right to get impatient, frustrated, even downright angry sometimes, but to go as far as to inhumanely brutalize a dog FOR BARKING is simply outrageous and completely unacceptable.

Does this man have a family? Children? Grandchildren? Animal cruelty has been proven to lead to attacks on humans. In my opinion, this man's $20,000 bail was not justice. Who's next when he has another outburst? What if it's a child?

And what makes my heart more heavy is that the attacked pup, Kona, is a Golden Retriever just like my Huck. Probably one of the most gentle, trusting breeds out there.

If you'd like to hear the story yourself you can find it here or simply google "neighbor attacking dog in Orting, Wa," the story is everywhere. 

I apologize for such a heavy post and I'm sorry if the content has upset you. Even if you aren't a huge animal lover like myself, I'm sure the sick feeling consuming me right now has made its way into the pit of your stomach too.

I'll leave you with photos of Huck to lift your spirits.
 Love my pup! And my mom's crazy pups too!
 Jackson
Maddie

3.21.2012

Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away


 I already told you it snowed this weekend. I am so sick of all this snowy, rainy, cold weather! Remind me why I moved to Seattle?!?! Oh yes, that boy Steven. Rats. 

When I'm upset I say things like rats.

Apparently Huck is sick of this weather too, so he decided to go stand in the fire pit and offer himself as a sacrifice to the snow gods. 
 Such a brave pup.
After he came to his senses he retrieved (you know, cause he's a retriever and all) his blankie out of his crate to warm himself up.
"Mama, will yous help me cover my tail?"

Hope you have a great Wednesday! And if there's sunshine in your neck of the woods, do a gal a favor and send it my way! Thanks :)

3.20.2012

Pizza Bubble Ring

This weekend I was Pinterest productive --meaning I actually tried doing one of the gazillion things I pin and hope to one day do. Pinterest can be overwhelming. So many good ideas, so little time! Anyways, here's the how to and how not to retell of my pizza bubble ring recipe experiment.
Here's what you'll be needing:
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cans Pillsbury flaky original biscuits
1 bag small slices pepperoni 
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
 grated Parmesan cheese


Directions:
1Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-cup fluted tube pan with No-Stick Cooking Spray. In small bowl, mix melted butter, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.2Separate 1 can of dough into 8 to10 biscuits; press or roll each into 3-inch rounds. Place 3 pepperoni slices in center of each biscuit round. Top each with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bring dough up around filling; press edge to seal and shape each into ball. Roll in butter mixture; place dough balls in pan.3Sprinkle dough balls with Parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining can of biscuits, placing balls over balls in pan. Pour remaining butter mixture over top.4Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Gently loosen bread from sides of pan. Place large heatproof plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Serve warm with warm pizza sauce or ranch dressing for dipping.
The recipe above is the one I followed from here, but let me go ahead and tell you how you can make this pizza bubble ring a hit on the first try. 

Ignore that recipe. Well, some of it at least.

3 slices of pepperoni? Let's go with..ehhh about 6. Or 8. Or as many as you can fit in those biscuits! Same goes for the cheese. It was good, don't get me wrong. And I definitely plan on making this again. But following the skimpy pepperoni and cheese portions given above leaves you with a lot of bread and not much else for your food pallet to indulge in. 

Luckily, I love bread. But next time I will be stuffin' those babies until they're about to pop!

Bon Appétit!

3.19.2012

At the Lake House

This past weekend was a dreary one. It rained, snowed, or hailed pretty much all weekend! Everyday was dark. Yet I managed to make the best of things whilst drinking hot coco, watching the Walking Dead season finale, trying out a new recipe, and doing some serious tidying up around mi casa! 
 Crisp Mountain Air candle --heavenly. 
 Nothing better than a good book and a rainy day.
 I love this canvas painting above my bed. Unfortunately it's not mine, it came with the rental.
I hope you all had a great weekend, rain or shine!

3.16.2012

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hey ya'll! I'm now also on BlogLovin!
I mean, it only took me about 6 months...
:)

My Week (pt. 2)

This past week...

1. I became sad...over wedding-ish things. And then I promptly got over it.
2. I really, really enjoyed hot yoga. I mean really enjoyed it for the first time.  
3. I went to bed early every. single. night. It was awesome.
4. I vacuumed my carpets and giggled endlessly while Huck tried to protect me from the vacuum cleaner. I'm pretty sure he thinks it's going to hurt me. He goes crazy barking at it and then pulls on my clothing and licks my hands with a concerned look on his face. So stinkin' cute!
5. I looked at homes online and thought about mine and Steven's future together. 
6. I made a lot of lists.
7. I learned that although money can't buy you happiness, it can buy you grocery --and that's basically the same thing.
8. I tried to take lots of pictures...and failed. 
9. I looked up recipes and got lots and lots of cooking ideas! Can't wait to state slaving away over the stove. But I do need those groceries first.
10. I did take this picture of Huck's crazy wet paw prints. He went swimming. {for the first time ever}
I hope you have a lovely weekend! :)

3.15.2012

Mt. Rainier

Washington may not have many sunny days to boast of, but it sure is pretty. Sometimes, you just have to get above the clouds in order to see it's beauty.

Also, it's hard to take pictures on an airplane.

Happy Thursday, folks! The weekend is almost here!

3.14.2012

On Planning A Wedding...Or Not

(Before your eyes travel any further down this page, know that this is a rant. You've been warned Read on at your own discretion.)

I know I haven't blogged about how my wedding plans are coming along in a while, and that's because, well...they aren't really coming along. I was excited about being engaged for about two weeks or so, and then family drama erupted and the post-engagement joys were squeezed right out of me. Every. Last. Drop. Honestly, when I sit down and try to accomplish anything concerning the wedding, I instantly feel overwhelmed. 

I'll tell you what I enjoy in life. 

I enjoy that first morning cup of coffee, the way the ducks glide seamlessly upon the lake, and my puppy's breathe warming my cheeks. I enjoy the flutter in my stomach when I know I'm about to see Steven and hearing him laugh. I love his deep, hearty laugh. I enjoy the sun on my face and sand beneath my feet. I enjoy good, intellectual conversation and the friends I encounter within the worn pages of reread books. I enjoy many simple things that I take for granted far too often. 

I'll tell you one thing that I do NOT enjoy. 
Pleasing people simply for the sake of pleasing people. No compromise. No argument that allows pent up emotions to escape. No rational explanation as to why things are how they are. Just pleasing people because they believe that it is your duty in life to make them happy.   

And truthfully, that's what I feel like my wedding planning process has become. I do not enjoy it; therefore, I avoid it. I know, not a very good coping mechanism. 

I'm just tried of people saying things like "It's your day! Just have fun with it. It's all about you!" Well, truthfully, it's not.

Maybe this is just emotionally draining on me because my family and friends aren't here to come to my rescue. I miss my girlfriends. A lot. I wish they could have been with me when I tried on wedding dresses and picked out my venue. Steven's been great, but let's face it --dudes are clueless when it comes to wedding planning. He just doesn't understand my anxiety surrounding the whole affair. 

So, today I'm simply going to enjoy this morning cup of joe and the feel of the keys underneath my fingertips. I'm going to work on perfecting sentences and formatting proposals. I'm going to forget my planning worries and think of the Oxford comma, the sun on my face, and the warmth of my puppy's breathe upon my cheek.

Tomorrow --I'll plan my wedding.



3.13.2012

Nom Noms

I'm pretty sure that I gain a few pounds every time I browse pinterest. It's a sweets addict's dream website. All the nom nom ideas...all the lust worthy food photography. OH, THE GLUTTONY! Not only do I love sweets, but I genuinely enjoy baking. If Steven and I could work out a system after we're married of him cooking dinner and me baking dessert --I'd be a happy wifey. And probably significantly larger...

Steven isn't a very big dessert person {which is so odd to me!}. That means oftentimes, when I do bake simply for the pleasure of it, I also usually eat the entire dish solo. Remember these cupcakes I made for my work's Christmas party? The dozen or so leftovers went straight to my waistline. And I enjoyed every. last. morsel. of it. 

Seriously Pinterest, you are ruining my life. And my figure. 

Here are just a few of the nom noms I've been wanting to recreate from pinterest. Maybe I should have a desserts party so I can indulge?
 S'mores Cookie Bars
 Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
 Tiramisu Cookies
 Passionfruit Mousse
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

You can check out my pinterest boards here
Have a great day, folks!

3.12.2012

Love, Huck (part 1)

Hi, I'm Huck. Otherwise known as:
Huckleberry
Huckster
Huckleman
Huckles 
Huckles - Chuckles
and Little Man

I don't mind all the names mom calls me --because she gives me treats.
And sometimes hotdogs.

Apparently, I have a grandma. I don't know what that is. But mom says she likes to hear stories about me, so I thought I'd tell grandma a thing or two about me myself...

So hey Grandma, I'm your grandpup. And I'm really strong.  So strong that I can pull a boat.
See?...
King of the boat.
 Well, I can't pull it very far because I'm still a kid, ya know? Mom calls me a baby. I'm not a baby. I just get tired sometimes and have to rest. 
 Oh, and grandma, I really like to chew rope. So if you have any extra laying around your doghouse you can send it over here. 
 And when you come to see me in June. You should bring me hotdogs.
Just a suggestion...
I hope you like me. Mom says you will. 
I'll write again soon.

Love,
Huck

PS. Don't forget the hotdogs.