Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gift Ideas for Men

1. Nike+ SportWatch - This watch tracks time, distance, pace, and calories burned.
3. The Men Who Built America DVD - K seemed to be interested in this when it was on TV, but didn't catch the entire series. 
4. Dropcam - K wants this to check on the dogs and for security.

Friday, December 6, 2013


I'm back!!

I don't have a real ply good reason for a two month break. Maybe just life?

K had his 4th surgery in November. So far, so good. No signs of an infection!! He just ditched his crutches this week .

We celebrate our two year wedding anniversary this weekend. I think we are going to Detroit. We will probably hit up the casino and Texas de Brazil. We had talked about going to Florida, but we weren't sure what to do with the dogs. We don't have a fenced in yard and my mom fell while she was watching them the day of K's surgery. We have a huge hill in our yard and Reagan accidentally pulled her down. I felt terrible!

We plan on moving this Spring, so we'll probably go somewhere after that. That way K is walking a little better too. A few things that are important for a new house in my mind: a fenced in yard, at least two bathrooms, and a big kitchen. K is mostly looking for a pole barn. There have been some interesting houses that meet all these criteria, both good and bad. I hate to fall in love with anything yet since we definitely are not moving till Spring.

I will be updating more and have some cute pictures of a puppy (my sister's) to post!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shutdown blues

So, without saying too much, my job is affected by the government shutdown. As in I only get a partial paycheck and possibly no paycheck in two weeks. Coupled with the fact that K is still on crutches and has his next surgery scheduled for November 5, it's been extra fun! 

I told myself I would workout more and deep clean the house. Neither of which has happened. I'm pretty sure this shutdown is going through the weekend, so I should probably buckle down. 

I happier news, I made a delicious crock pot roast beef tonight. I decided to try cooking the potatoes (for mashed potatoes) with the beef. I peeled them and put them in the crock pot for the last hour on high. I think they needed a little bit longer, but it seemed to work fairly well. The roast beef was made from this recipe: other than I didn't use ranch mix since I forgot to get dill weed for the DIY mix. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I am on vacation from work this week. I have some use or lose vacation time that I needed to use. I haven't done anything too exciting. I have enjoyed sleeping in a little and being able to take a long lunch.

Yesterday I went to lunch with my sister. We got sushi at Yoko.
After that we went to Anderson's. I got my favorite brats from House of Meats, spinach and feta chicken brats.

I don't have any big plans for the rest of my vacation. I am going to the farmer's market on Saturday and babysitting some of the nephews and niece that night.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Free fun

While I did spend some money today I also got a few free surprises. This morning I went to breakfast with K and my stepson, C. Later we went to Petsmart and Best Buy. Petsmart had 15% off with a coupon. We got C speakers at Best Buy. 

Then my mom picked me up and we went to one of the best stores ever, Costco. I got a glorious Sherpa throw, a cardigan, frozen vegetables, and chicken ravioli. So random and yet so wonderful. Plus, tons of FREE samples. 

After that I headed to Verizon because my iPhone 5 cord wasn't working. There appeared to be a little hole in the plastic right near the end that plugs into the phone. On the way I got a free car wash at a new car wash that just opened today.  Luckily Verizon swapped my cord out for a new one. Free surprise number 3.  I thought I'd have to buy one. Well, Verizon was right next to a Starbucks and I remembered I had a free drink from my gold card. (Which I will lose because I'd have to get about 15 stars in the next month not to). 

Then I stopped at Old Navy. Nothing free there, but they did have buy one get one half off tops. I got twos sweaters and two tank tops. This is one of the sweaters: 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pool time

This weekend Toledo Unleashed group had a fundraiser at a pool. Toledo Unleashed has been trying to get an off leash dog park in Toledo for many years. They finally have a location and are pretty close to starting construction. I believe they just need approval from city council. The best part is the location is about a mile from our house! 

Reagan and Angel had a blast. At first they ran all over meeting the other dogs and hopping in the shallow end. 
As more and more dogs showed up we retreated to the deeper end. It was much less crowded down there. Both dogs took a couple minutes to decide it was okay to get in the deep end. Angel never jumped, she basically laid down and slid in. Reagan jumped in every time. She could almost jump out to where we throw the toys ( my mom came to help). 
I'm so glad we went and I look forward to the dog park. I will definitely be volunteering during the building process. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

House Dreaming

K has been home from the hospital for almost a week. He has not really walked around too much. With the temporary replacement he cannot put any weight on his right leg. He is also having some muscle spasms, especially when he is trying to sleep. Hopefully he only needs to have one spacer put in and the infection is gone after 8 weeks.

I actually lost 2.2 pounds this week! I think most of it was going up and down the stairs all day. I am also more active in general. I am the only one who can take out the doors or do anything around the house right now. I want to try to keep this level of activity up after K gets better.

I have been watching a lot of House Hunters on HGTV. Last night they featured a couple looking for a house in the Toledo area and tonight there was a couple looking for a house in my sister's Chicago neighborhood. I always start searching on Trulia, Zillow, and after watching the show. I think it is so interesting to look at what type of house you can get for your money. I really enjoy looking at houses over a million dollars. I can dream, can't I?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hip replacement paperweight

 This post of supposed to publish 8/23. I think I just forgot to hit publish, oops! 

K went today for his pre-op. His surgery is Tuesday! It would be impossible for me not to be nervous about any surgery, but I'm trying to remember this is going to be the beginning of the end of this horrible ordeal. I've mentioned it before, and I'm not going into too many details for various reasons, however his hip was supposed to be fixed last January. He called me between pre-op appointments and told me they are going to let him keep his old hip replacement. What a great paperweight.

I was traveling again for work this week. It was not a fun trip. One of those ones where something went wrong everyday. Most of it involving driving and cars. All I have to say is Enterprise made everything right and Illinois tollways need to except credit. And whoever came up with those unattended coin baskets is an idiot. I have an Ipass (electronic pass for paying tolls) and the instructions say not to use it on any other cars besides the one you register it for. According to the very rude woman working at toll plaza 21, "everyone else uses it on rental cars." Aside from technically not being able to use my Ipass in another vehicle, the only other problem is that it's better if I have receipts to be reimbursed for work. Oh well, I'm back home now and getting some cleaning done before we head to Cleveland next week. 

One thing I do when I travel is get food from salad bars at grocery stores. Some grocery stores have really good salad bars! Whole Foods is probably the best and most expensive. However, some bigger Kroger's  and Pick N Save/Copp's have pretty good salad bars too. It's usually better to go at lunch since most of them do not fair well throughout the day. 

This was one from Schnucks. It was good other than I made the mistake of getting fat free ranch dressing. I'm much better buying a bottle of dressing I actually know I like. 

There was also a Red Mango yogurt where I was traveling. I'm a big fan of Red Mango. With all the local froyo shops opening up it's hard to know if one will be good. So when I'm traveling it's nice to see a Red Mango since they are a pretty consistent brand.

I've also been hitting up Target to check out the clearance clothing. If you haven't been to Target in the last couple days, you should check it out. It seems as though half their clothing is on clearance. 

I think I might even head there today since we need paper towels and a few other little things. 


K's surgery went well. He had a lot of pain, which is to be expected when you have an infected hip replacement pulled out. He is home now and cannot bear any weight on his right leg until after his next surgery in November.

The only problem with this has been that our house has tons of stairs. You have to walk up cements steps just to get the front door. He has been staying upstairs for now since the bathroom is up there. Angel already jumped on him once so we are trying to keep them downstairs till he is a little stronger.

We also had the fun of paying $200 dollars for one of his medicines since there is no generic offered. FUN FUN FUN. We also still have a pending charge from Hertz on our account for $200. When you rent a car there they hold $200 no matter what (even if you use a credit card). I had no problem with this as long as the charge was canceled. They are supposed to take the pending charge off within 1-2 business days (though I've gotten answers that varied) of when you drop the car back off. Well, it has been a week and a half since we dropped the car off and they haven't canceled the charge. When I call Hertz pushes the blame to Citi and vice versa. I was also told to call corporate, but they closed for the weekend about 20 minutes before I was told that. Moral of the story, I will not be renting from Hertz for personal reasons again. I don't use them for work very often either because they are usually fairly expensive.

Anyways, I am happy K made it through his surgery, even if it has been pretty stressful. My eating habits and exercise have definitely suffered. I have been able to walk the dogs with my mom quite a few times. Plus, I think I am focused more on helping K than eating because I'm bored.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Staying on Track

I've been a huge ball of stress for the last couple days. K's hip/leg is getting worse. Also, he goes to Cleveland on Friday for some pre-op testing and it is just making the surgery seem so real. Don't get me wrong, I want this surgery to happen so bad, but the idea of him going into surgery is never appealing. I'm starting to worry about stupid stuff like who is taking care of the dogs and will I have time to clean the entire house. 

I ate horribly yesterday. Well, not Five Guys or Pizza Hut horribly, just Panera with bread and a cookie horribly. One day is not going to kill me and I was doing better today. The am in trouble if I have more than one "cheat" day in a row. I also did not go to the gym yesterday as it was my planned rest day. Today I've already walked the dogs with my sister and I plan to go to the gym later. I also grilled some chicken and vegetable for dinner. 

The burgers were for K.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


It was a pretty quiet weekend around here. I went to the gym everyday, we cooked on the grill, and I got some cleaning and laundry done.

I've been using my fitness pal off and on for about three months. I buckled down in this month and I think right now I've logged entries for 25 days straight. My name is Ekaty84 on there if you somehow read this and want to add me as a friend. I had previously considered going back to Weight Watchers. Instead, I gave MFP a try. I'm not completely sure about focusing on calories, but for right now it's working. I have a lot of weight to lose (again :( sadly) so I think starting off watching calories is not going to hurt me.

K's surgery is in a couple weeks. Between anxiety, staying at the hospital, and driving back and forth to Cleveland I am sure my fitness and diet will suffer. I want to be proactive and try to really think about my food choices. I know it's going to be really hard to make it to the gym and that's okay. I think I may try to walk around the hospital campus to get in some physical activity. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I'm traveling for work this week. Right now I'm sitting in my hotel room trying to fall asleep since I have an early flight. Chances are I'll probably just be really tired for my flight. Luckily, I used my miles to upgrade my seat. I was elbowed all the way here and I wanted more space on the way back.

I haven't flown first class since high school. I went to Spain with the Spanish Club. The travel agency tried to change the dates of our trip, but the contract said they could not change dates so few days prior to the trip. We ended up being the only school on the trip and the had to buy some of us first class tickets to fit us on the return flight. Luckily I was in the last half of the alphabet so I got to ride first class for an 8 + hour flight. 

Well, I should try to get some sleep! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

My first link-up

I'm on my lunch break from work. 

I decided to do this link up that I saw on a couple blogs I read.

List 20 random facts about yourself.

1. If I am wearing flip flops I always take them off to drive.

2. I hate yellow mustard.

3. I have a tons of nicknames for my dogs, but none for my husband.

4.  I like to watch the Price is Right, mostly because it reminds me of my grandma.

5. I have white coat syndrome. Meaning my blood pressure gets high only at the doctors office.

6. I once rear ended someone and never told anyone about it. Till now. We were going fairly slow and the car in front of the vehicle I hit stopped quickly. He had no damage and I only damaged my license plate because I hit his trailer hitch. I told my dad a car must have hit me in a parking lot .

7. I hate cleaning. I like my house to be clean, I just don't like being the one to make it that way.

8. I encourage other people to get married at the courthouse. It was so easy and stress-free.

9. I like cats, but I cannot stand cleaning out a litter box. I technically have a cat, Estella, that lives at my mom's house.

10. I want to visit Ireland because my name is Erin.

11. Every time I travel I check beforehand to see if there is a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant near my hotel. I hate most buffets, but love Sweet Tomatoes.

12. I walk around when I'm talking on the phone. Even during work I find myself getting up and walking around.

13. Sometimes when I'm bored I go to Target and walk around. Sometimes I don't even buy anything.

14. I used to listen to country music. Now I can barely stand most of it.

15. I often clip coupons and never use them. I usually remember as I am leaving the grocery store.

16. I've wanted a tattoo since I was 18. I doubt I will get one at this point.

17. I would never change my middle or first name.

18. I have never rode in a limousine. I've only been a party bus.

19. I used to work in a planting house cooler. I graded beef.

20. Our basement creeps me out. I once saw a wolf spider down there and wouldn't do laundry for a week.

Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

1. Cutting my fingers in the garbage disposal. Have you seen those things? They could do some real damage.

2. Falling on ice. I am clumsy. I always do the "packing house shuffle" on ice to avoid falling.

3. Spiders. They are creepy and sneaky.

Describe your relationship with your spouse.

We joke around a lot. We both watch out for each other. I do not know what I would do without him. We are both pretty stubborn. My favorite part of the day is falling asleep with him next to me.

List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

1. Things get better.

2. Learn to study now, it will make college easier.

3. Don't spend every paycheck.

4. Take better care of your vehicle.

5. Be nice to your mom. ( I was never super mean, we just became closer after high school.)

6. Play a sport.

7. Stop eating crap!

8. Get a better job. You can make more than minimum wage.

9. Stop worrying about how other people judge you.

10. Stop thinking your dad honor his word. (Sorry, but I wish I would've realized this a lot sooner!)

What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

1. Family

2. Friends

3. Exercise

4. Music

5.  A good deal


Thursday, August 1, 2013


I realized I've been blogging less and less. I'm not sure if anyone actually reads this, but it is helpful for myself. 

That being said, one of my goals in August is to blog at least three times a week. 

My other goals for August: 

-get down to less than 1 diet soda per day by the end of the month
-read at least two books (I'm thinking at least one will be Orange is the New Black) 
-walk/jog at least 30 miles 
-lose at least 3 percent of body weight
-reorganize my office
-get to bed by 11:30 on week nights 

Friday, June 28, 2013


Oh it has been a week. I hate to complain, but sorry, I'm going to.

We found a bat in our house. We have been sleeping downstairs because it was in the 90's and it is cooler down there. The bat was in our freaking bedroom. K thought it went into the attic so he made sure the attic door was closed. The latch was broke and he had to screw it shut. The next night I see the freaking bat flying around. Luckily we had the glass paneled doors that lead upstairs closed. That means it was sitting in our room all day. YUCK. I am still in the process of cleaning EVERYTHING that was in there.

I do not mind bats, they do wonderful things like eat bugs. However, I would much prefer to watch them from a distance especially due to rabies. Only a small percentage of bats have rabies, but most humans get rabies through bat bites. Luckily, K got the bat out without any incident.  Now we have to have someone come in and make sure they are all out of the attic and the house is sealed so they cannot return.

Then last night Reagan vomited. No big deal at first. I just made sure to watch her. Then she started breathing heavy when she was just sitting down. We took her to the emergency vet and they gave her a shot of antinausea medicine since all other vitals were fine. Overnight she puked more and had really bad diarrhea (sorry if that's TMI). We took her to our normal vet right when they opened. She has been there all day for observation and tests. It is so hard to see her in pain, especially when she cannot say what is wrong.

There was also some issues with the bank that I won't go into too much. Basically an ATM ate my card and the customer service rep I talked to skipped a few steps when ordering the new one. So, I have a new card that I cannot use.

Hopefully this weekend goes a little better.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Local/National News

If you have been watching the news at all lately you have probably heard about missing baby Elaina. If you have not heard, she is a 15 month baby that is missing. She is missing from her home in Toledo, the city where I live. She is specfically from East Toledo, where my husband grew up. My husband does not know anyone involved.

The whole thing is so sad. The mom is in jail right now for child endangerment. The news says that she knew Elaina was injured but did not seek medical treatment. I really hope baby Elaina is still alive somewhere, but it has been over 20 days since she went missing.

On a more positive note, my step sister celebrated her 30th birthday this weekend. Her husband threw a party for her at his moms' house. They have a great background including a in ground pool.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sister's move

I spent the weekend helping my sister and her boyfriend move into a new place. They have about three times more space and it's really close to our house. I'm exciting to go on walks and have a carpool buddy for shopping.

Yesterday I took the dogs to JCPEnney because they had a "free" photo shoot for dogs. It was funny to see them walk through the store. I kept thinking they would knock over a display of dinnerware or something.

Tonight I helped my sister move some more stuff. I was about 88 today so afterwards headed to our mom's house to swim in the pool. They just opened it yesterday. I was a little chilly, but it felt good after moving stuff out of a 3rd floor apartment with the AC off.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lunch Break

I'm writing this on my lunch break today. I had some peach salsa with tortilla chips and cucumber slices. I'll probably snack on more during the day, but I need to go to the grocery store so it's slim pickings around here.

K said last week that he wants to go somewhere before his surgery since he won't be able to walk too much for the 6-8 weeks he has an antibiotic spacer. We'd probably just go somewhere for a long weekend. I was trying to think of somewhere he would not have to walk too much. He has a lot of pain from the infection and walking a lot makes it much worse.

I would love to go somewhere I have never been. However, I keep coming up with ideas that are places I have been. I really think he would like Washington D.C. or Denver. I think DC would be too much walking though.  I also thought about Vegas, but we're not that big into drinking and we have a casino here if we wanted to gamble. K has never been there though and I think we could find other things to do besides drink. I would also like to go to Seattle or Portland, but I'm not sure if they are good cities for his limited mobility. We may just end up going to Florida, which is perfectly fine with me. We could easily rent a car and spend time hanging out on the beach. Plus, the flights are usually pretty cheap.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Since I've Been Gone

It's been over a week since I last posted. One of the main reasons is that I am really trying to focus on eating healthier and exercising more. I am using the my fitness pal app on my iphone to track everything.

It has been working great! The only problem I had at first was that I was weighing myself all the time. No matter what weight I have been I have always fluctuated during the day. Seeing a pound swing during the day was messing with my head. I decided I am just going to weigh myself once a week at the same time.

I had considered joining Weight Watchers again. I had done well in the past with them, but I had left after a major plateau. Looking back I realized it was right around the time they realized their new points plus program. I think I ate to much zero point fruit. Don't get me wrong I think WW is great for the accountability alone. However, I am going to try it on my own for a while and see how if I can be accountable to myself.

The other reason I have not been blogging much is because I went crazy adding new blogs to my reader. Every day I had way to many blogs to read. I am now figuring out the ones I really want to read and I might add the others to a separate list to browse when I have time.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful weekend! K and I are going to try to go see a movie and tomorrow I'm going with my sister and my dogs to Toledo MetroBarks.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Random Facts

I had a great weekend including a night at my brother-in-law and sister in laws' house Sunday and Monday night at my mom's.

I then had to travel for work. I planned on blogging from the hotel, but the wifi sucked! I ended up just going to Super Target (why doesn't Toledo have one?!?!?!) and exercising.

So, here are ten random facts about me:

1. I always have to sleep with at least a sheet over me. I usually prefer if it covers my feet too except during the summer and then it can just cover the middle of my body.

2. I like to drink pickle juice. I really love pickles too.

3. I used to have a sheep named Beatrice. I showed her at fair and won Grand Champion in Internediate showmanship. I took her home after fair and she had twin lambs the next year.

4.  I usually just wear gym clothes all day since I work from home.

5. My favorite color is green and you would be able to tell that easily from my wardrobe and house. Well, more the items in my house than the house.

6. I don't have a gallbladder anymore. Gallstones are painful!

7. My mom is a fraternal twin and I really hope I have twins too!

8. I rarely wear makeup. I bought some for my birthday and I have barely used it.

9. When I drink water I hold it in my mouth for a little bit before I swallow it.

10. I cannot chew gum without blowing bubbles. I also tend to swallow gum that has a fruity flavor.

I'm pretty random in general.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Banana PB Smoothie

My thoughts are with those in Oklahoma. You can find ways to help here.

I tend to get on smoothie kicks. I would probably make smoothies all the time if I didn't have to clean out the damn blender. Today's smoothie was bananas, pb2, almond milk, and ice.

Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie
-two frozen bananas
-two tbsp PB2
-one cup almond milk
-3 ice cubes

You can use more or less ice cubes depending on your thickness preferences.

I am finally getting my wisdom tooth out tomorrow. So, it may be a smoothie type day tomorrow as well. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bark in the Park

For the second year in a row I attended the Bark in the Park event put on by the Toledo Area Humane Society. My mom and I took Reagan and Angel to the event.

The event was centered around a walk around the business complex where the humane society is located. They also have vendors with tables set up throughout the event. The vendors included doggy daycare, an emergency vet hospital, vet clinics, pet stores, and colleges offering vet tech degrees. They also had a radio station there and Wendy's was there passing out vanilla frostys.

We all had a good time, especially the dogs. There were so many dogs there. I think I saw almost every breed of dog from teacup Chihuahuas to Irish Wolfhounds. My dogs really enjoyed interacting with other dogs and they also loved the kiddie pools set up throughout the event.

Last year I attended this event along with two other local dog events: the Metrobarks event and the Mutt Strut event. They are great ways to get exercise and social interaction for my dogs.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day weekend

The big surprise for Mother's Day was that my sister came home from Chicago! Here are some photos from the weekend, even though they are not in order. 

We got froyo at Apricoto
We made funny faces at breakfast. 

Hope and I got my mom plates. 

Lisa made a photo of herself the background on my phone. 

My mom's cat, Taz, ruined the scrabble game with her tail.
We went to the sand dunes to visit a bench honoring my grandma. We called her Bama. She was just about the most wonderful person ever.
I brought Reagan and Angel to the sand dunes.
It was really nice to get to spend time with my sisters and my mom. Lisa is graduating college next weekend and I am not going to the ceremony. So it makes me even more happy I got to see her this week.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I've Haven't Been Everywhere

Every time I hear the Johnny Cash song "I've Been Everywhere" I always try to figure out which places I have been. I looked up the lyrics and just typed up the places. The green colors are places I have visited. I thought I had been to more, but I think this is still pretty good considering some of the obscure places in the song.  -->

La Paloma
Santa Fe
Glen Rock
Black Rock
Little Rock
Spirit Lake
Grand Lake
Devil's Lake
Crater Lake
Costa Rica
Fond du Lac
El Dorado
Kansas City
Sioux City
Cedar City
Dodge City

Workout Music

My music choices are always rather random. I pretty much always workout with music, unless I'm watching a movie or TV at the gym or with someone else. Most of the time I just shuffle through all my music. Here are some of the songs I like to listen to:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Trying to be hopeful

So, today was K's appointment at Cleveland Clinic. We have answers. We also have two surgery dates.

First, he got a x-ray and then he had an orthopedic appointment. The first woman, I think she was a nurse or intern Dr., took his history and asked about what was going on now. Then a fellow (I think?) came in and pretty quickly told us the best option would be to take out his hardware, put a temporary replacement with a antibiotic spacer in for 6-8 weeks, and then put in new hardware once they were sure all the infection was gone. Another doctor came in to confirm this is what needed to be done.

It wasn't what we wanted to hear. I think we had both hoped they could just remove the infection, but from the x-rays the last doctor could tell the infection had effected the hardware. August 27th is the date of the new surgery. The second surgery is scheduled for November 5th.

I'm sad he has to go through two more surgeries, but I'm hopeful this will be it for a while. I'm also hopeful that he will have the recovery he was promised after the intial surgery.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Reagan!

Reagan turned one year old yesterday. Yes, I did celebrate my dog's birthday. My dogs are definitely part of my family and their birthdays are a good excuse to get them some new toys.
Reagan loves sitting on the stairs and taunting Angel.
She also likes to peek her head through this opening and the cat door to the basement. 
I did make Reagan a dog "cake." I probably will not do this every year. However, it was really easy to make. I found a recipe on pinterest here. I already had everything on hand, I just had to grab some cream cheese to use as frosting.

Reagan and Angel enjoying the cake. 

Reagan and Angel both got a toy. They got Kong Wubbas. I love these toys because they last so long. Angel loves to pull the stuffing out of every single toy and while she has destroyed one Kong Wubba it took her over a year. I bought one for each for them since Angel would steal Reagan's and they had a deal at Meijers. It was buy one Kong toy, get the second for $2.

I also took the dogs for a walk at the park. My mom, sister, and my sister's boyfriend joined us. The park was busy, but not too crowded. The Metroparks were something I really missed when I moved away from the Toledo area. There are many large parks, even within the city. All the parks are clean, natural, and have well marked trails. My favorite park is Oak Openings, but I also enjoy Swan Creek and Side Cut. If you are ever in the Toledo area I encourage you to visit one of these parks.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Movie and Meals

I am finally getting around to watching Silver Linings Playbook tonight. I meant to watch it in theaters and never got around to it. I decided to rent it from Redbox. The nice thing about movies coming out on a Tuesday is that not too many people are renting movies on a Tuesday night. I had no problem picking it up at the closest Redbox.

We've been on a horrible kick lately of eating out so I make sure to meal plan this week. I tend to switch things around a little but the tentative plan is:

Tuesday- Skinny Taste Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday- Spaghetti with whole wheat noodles
Thursday- Chili
Friday- Quick Skillet Steak with Onions (and mushrooms for K)
Saturday- Greek Salad with Chicken
Sunday-  Chicken Cordon Bleu

I'm using quite a few Skinny Taste recipes. That is my go to website for recipes that are healthier and still appealing to K. I have yet to try one of her recipes that I disliked.

Hope everyone else is enjoying their week!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I talked about my DIY/pinterest project about a week ago. Below is the wreath I made.

The actual "pin" on Pinterest did not work. It seems this happens a lot and I usually try to unpin pins that lead nowhere. Luckily this pin still had the name of the website in the picture, Shanty 2 Chic. The post with the project can be found here.

The project was fairly easy. I used much more hot glue than I expected. I wanted to make sure everything was securely attached to the grapevine wreath. Also, when you are wrapping the jute around the MDF letter there really is no science to it. You just have to wrap it around your letter the best way possible and use as much glue as you need.

Below is another pinterest project I completed a while ago.

I couldn't even find the pin I used for this one. There are numerous ones on Pinterest. I used a frame from Hobby Lobby that was already painted. I got a piece of sheet metal from Home Depot and cut it to fit in my frame. I put cardboard behind the frame and used adhesive (super 77) to attach the metal to the cardboard. I used the same adhesive to attach the fabric over the metal and cardboard. The magnets are some that my sister had given me, I did not make them.

I think I'm going to try more Pinterest after these two were pretty successful.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


My birthday was on Thursday. I turned 29. Last year of my twenties! K and I went to lunch on my birthday. Then my mom and her boyfriend came over for a little bit that night. Friday I had lunch with my sister. K and I went out to dinner that night too. We had Brazilian food for the first time. We both really enjoyed the food, especially the fried bananas. Tonight we're going over to my mom's house for dinner. We're having soup (chicken noodle and pizza) and salad.

I've had a really nice birthday weekend so far. I took Wednesday through Friday off work. I did not do too much, but it was nice to just relax!

My mom got me some Fiesta plates and bowls. We have cheap casual dinnerware from Target and I was looking for something a little better. After doing some research I decided I wanted to start getting Fiesta. I love the mix of colors and most of the reviews were very good. Plus, they make all kinds of assecories and its easy to add items without having to buy an entire set of dishes. I've already been on Macy's website looking at pieces many time, scoping out my next purchase.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Animal Science

I have not talked about my job much on here. It was not completely on purpose. However, I probably won't discuss it too much on here. I like my job, but I'd rather just keep it at that. I've heard too many horror stories about blogging or other social media ruining someone's career.

I will say I work in the Agriculture field. I do not deal directly with animals or crops on a daily basis.

I originally wanted to be a large animal veterinarian. I went to Ohio State University (go bucks!) and studied Animal Sciences. After a 8:30 calculus class I quickly decided I could not make it through all the perquisites, highly selective admission to veterinary college, and the four plus more years of college. I decided to stick with Animal Sciences and ended up minoring in Agricultural Education.
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Why did I decide on being a large animal veterinarian in the first place? I was raised on a farm. My dad farmed row crops but we always had horses, sheep, and goats around. In third grade I was given a choice, I could continue with Girl Scouts or join 4-H. It was an easy choice for me. I had loved animals from an early age. 4-H it was.

If you've never heard of 4-h before describes it. "Since its humble beginnings more than 100 years ago, 4-H has grown to become the nation’s largest youth development organization. The 4-H idea is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills they need to be proactive forces in their communities’ and develop ideas for a more innovative economy." 

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Through 4-H I raised pigs, rabbits, sheep, and chickens over the years. I also took on photography, cooking, leadership, and gardening projects. I was even a camp counselor for several years.

When I entered high school I joined FFA. Previously known as Future Farmers of America, "FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education ("
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Through FFA I not only showed animals, I also learned a multitude of life skills. I competed in a competitions including job interview, parliamentary procedure, public speaking, livestock judging, forestry, and many more. Additionally, I was a chapter officer, committee member, event organizer, and worked through my senior year as part of my agribusiness class. I also attended numerous leadership events and conventions.

While I definitely enjoyed college MUCH more than high school, FFA was definitely the best part of my high school experience. I would recommend either of these programs to any parent for their child. These programs are not just for farm kids. There are many projects and opportunities for anyone in both 4-H and FFA.

Was anyone reading this part of a club such as 4-H or FFA? 

Monday, April 15, 2013


I am deeply saddened watching the news. The marathon is a wonderful event that should focus on the achievements of thousands.

My thoughts are with everyone affected by the horrible events in Boston today.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


So, here in Ohio I'm not sure if Mother Nature has figured out that it's spring. It has been cold and rainy all week. It was supposed to be in the 60's today. Instead I think we had two hours this afternoon in the low 50's. I like living in a state that actually has seasoned, but by this time of year I'm ready for some nice weather!

I walked Angel and Reagan at the park with my mom. Angel decided to jump into a flooded area and take a little swim. I cannot wait to take her to try out dock diving this summer. I also went to my mom's house and helped her walk her dogs. She has two dogs, Molly and Isabelle. Molly is a chow and lab mix. Isabelle is a lab and boxer mix.

I also went and bought supplies to make a wreath I saw on pinterest. I'll post pictures when I'm done. Well, only if it does well haha. Most of the DIY projects I have tried from pinterest have actually turned out well. The fact that I choose the easy ones might and I've only made about two help. I'll try to take pictures of them all and do a collective post on my pinterest success.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dog Anxiety?

My dogs have been extra clingy today.
Reagan sitting next to me.

 Angel "helping" me put on shoes.

I could barely get my shoes on this morning. Angel is usually worse than Reagan. I was thinking about getting Angel a Thundershirt. If you've never heard of them, basically they use constant pressure to lessen anxiety.
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I'm worried about how it will fit and if it will actually work. I spend enough money at Petsmart that hopefully they will let me at least try it on her. Hopefully I'll be able to update soon and let you know if it fits.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's was pretty busy today. I need to go during the week next time. It was hard to browse when you could barely make it down the aisles. Here is what I ended up getting:

Pretzel thins, dog treats, laughing cow, feta cheese, English muffins, better n' peanut butter, pomegranate white tea, and pistachio nutmeats.

We also stopped at Whole Foods (aka whole paycheck) and I picked up this popcorn. I love popcorn but hate the hulls, so we'll see how this is. 


How is everyone's weekend going? Mine is going well. I walked the dogs yesterday with my mom and sister. I also met up with a friend for ice cream or actually frozen yogurt.

The weather has been fairly nice this weekend, though not in the 60's as the news had originally predicted.

Today I'm thinking about heading to Ann Arbor to go to Trader Joe's. I wish they had a location here in Toledo! They have so many unique items and the prices are not nearly as bad as Whole Foods.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Game of Things

How was your Easter?

Mine was nice. We went to my mom's house for dinner. There was all kinds of delicious food including a spiral cut ham from Costco. After dinner we all played The Game of Things.
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To play the game one person reads a category off a card, such as "Things that you would ask a psychic." Everyone, besides the card reader, writes down their answer on a strip of paper. The card reader then reads each answer and you go around trying to guess who wrote the answer. Some of the answers get pretty interesting.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Not so wise

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

Years ago I was told by my dentist to have my wisdom teeth taken out. At the time I was still covered under my mom's dental insurance but she was changing jobs and we decided to wait till the transition was complete. Well, I never scheduled anything. Now I have a horribly painful tooth with an infection.

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I have been to the dentist and was given antibiotics. I have also scheduled an appointment to have the tooth removed. In the mean time I am finding out that an infection can be pretty painful. The worst part is that it gets worse when I workout. I think the increased blood flow heads right for the infection!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!!!

I made these cupcakes for Easter at my mom's house.
I hope everyone has a nice relaxing Sunday.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Traveling Tips

I've traveled off and on for my job in the last 6 years. At different points of time I stayed in Omaha for 7 weeks, Chicago for a month, and Sioux City, IA for 3 weeks. Right now I travel about once a month. Over the years I have found many helpful strategies and tricks to ease travel woes.

1. Always sign up for the frequent customer cards. 
  Hotels, airlines, and rental car companies often offer these types of cards. I do not always travel with the same brands because I have to pick the best option for price and location. I still manage to earn quite a few points. So even if you do not travel very often it's still worth it. Plus, many of these programs have points that never expire as long as you use your card every so often.
   The hotels seem to have the best programs. I tend to favor Priority Club and Hilton Honors. The frequent flyer programs seem to the longest to earn anything. With the price of flights, I'll take a free flight even if it does take 5 years to earn it! There can also be tiny perks for joining these programs, such as free bottled water at a hotel or a free upgrade on your rental car.

2. Carry-on is not always the best option. 
 If I'm only going to be gone for a day or two I will try to carry-on. If it's much longer than that I usually check a bag. For me, it's not worth lugging a carry-on bag through the airport. Plus, I hate fighting for a spot in the overhead compartment. Not to mention you cannot bring liquids over 3 ounces through security. Also, if you're on a smaller plane they usually have you "gate check" your bag anyways so you do not save any time.
 Paying an extra $50 round trip for a checked bag is not very fun either. If I'm traveling with others, especially my husband, I try to combine our stuff into one suitcase. I've heard some airlines are getting rid of the fees for the first bag anyways.

3. Spend the money on high quality luggage. 
 Whatever method you travel your luggage is going to go through a lot. High quality luggage can be expensive, but it's totally worth it. Macy's often has sales on nicer luggage and I'm a big fan of my Ogio carry-on.  I often check my Ogio bag and you can hardly tell it's been used at all. Plus, they have unique patterns, making it very easy to recognize your own bag.

4. You can eat healthy on the road. 
There are many way to eat healthy on the road. You can bring snacks from home such as granola bars, fruit, and cereal. If you are flying cannot take liquids, but if you are driving a cooler is also a great way to bring healthy food. Even if you are flying, you can also bring an empty water bottle with a filter such as a Bobble or Brita.
  I also like to find a local grocery store once a get to my destination. This is a great way to get beverages, fruit, vegetables, and other food. It's hard to avoid restaurants completely when traveling, however doing a little grocery shopping can be both healthy and save some money.

5. Use traveler websites. 
 I always check out Trip Advisor and Yelp before traveling. These sites are very helpful for finding the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Even I do not get to choose my hotel I still check it out because often times other travelers leave tips and advise.

6. Download travel apps.
If you have smartphone there are endless travel apps out there. When flying I find the Kayak app to be very helpful. You can put your flight into the app and easily track the status. I find this extremely helpful when I have a layover. Once my first flight lands I can quickly check if my next flight is on time and what get it leaves from.
 I also have several hotel and airline apps on my phone. Additionally, trip advisor and yelp have their own apps. Many of these apps use GPS to help locate nearby businesses.

7. Ask the front desk at the hotel. 
 Most of the time the hotel staff lives locally. They can give you advice on restaurants and attractions or just give you directions. We've all experienced some grumpy front desk staff, but most of them will try to help you find something nearby. They may also give you advice on areas to avoid.

8. Have fun!
 Whether you are traveling for leisure or business get out and have fun. Go out and enjoy the area or spend a nice relaxing night in the hotel. Whatever you choose take time to enjoy your travels!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


These are fairly typical poses for my dogs. Reagan is searching the ceiling for lights/shadows and Angel is watching the window for squirrels or guests.

How I met my husband.

I have a confession to make. When people ask how I met my husband sometimes I hesitate to answer. We met on I'm not really embarrassed about it and I tell most people. I think I just remember a time when there was a real stigma to online dating. That really is not the case anymore. I guess in this day and age this is pretty common. Truthfully, I hesitate more with older people who have not been able to get on the internet all (or almost all) their life.
I had just moved back to Ohio after living away for school for five years and away for work for four years. I had a few friends from high school and college back home, but not very many. I had almost completely given up drinking due to the empty calories, so I was not going to go out bar hopping. On top of all of that I actually had regular hours at work and I had time to date. When I lived in Wisconsin for four years this was not the case. I worked six days a week starting at 4:15 AM and at times I had to work up to twelve hours a day.

At first I was against online dating. Then I started hearing success stories. One of my best friends even met her husband online. I decided to give it a try. Since I'm cheap and I was not sure about the whole thing, I decided to try the free dating websites first. I do not recommend this! My above mentioned friend met her husband on a free site. I think she is in the minority. I soon found out it is well worth it to pay for a site like The paid site members seem to be those that are really looking for a committed relationship. The free sites tended to be a larger number of men (and sometimes women) not looking for a relationship or anything resembling one. Not to say members on free sites are all bad, but I think most people end up moving on to the paid sites as I did.

Of course, as I think everyone is aware, you want to meet your date in a public location. My husband and I met at Texas Roadhouse. We talked for a while on, then texted, and then talked on the phone before meeting.

I would recommend online dating to anyone now. It's hard to meet people in this day and age. Plus, it's much better to meet someone online who you knows shares similar interests rather than meeting a random man at a bar.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rainy Days

Well hello there. This is usually how I see Angel. She has NO concept of personal space. Well, she thinks everywhere is HER personal space.

I just got off work and was realizing I need to blog. We've had some yucky weather here lately. This included rain, sleet, snow, and more rain. I think this weather made its way across the country. I'm getting tired of having to change my pants every time I go outside because the bottom 5 inches are wet. I am ready for Spring!

I ordered a dress from Old Navy that reminds me of Spring. For me Old Navy can be hit or miss. I do like to shop there for basics and casual clothes occasionally.

Hopefully this weather warms up a little. Until then I'm going to the library to pick up a few good books.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crossfit for a Change?

I need a change in my exercise routine. A drastic change. My body definitely does not do well doing the same exercises all the time.

I was thinking about trying Crossfit. It seems most people either love it or hate it. I've researched it some and I think I may be on the love it side of the debate. I know it it a big fad right now, but I really think the ideas and principles behind it are sound. Never heard of Crossfit or interested in learning more? Click here.

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Anyone out there have an opinion of Crossfit?

Friday, February 15, 2013


I was just reading about the Carnival cruise ship Triumph this morning. I also saw some news coverage yesterday. If you haven't heard, there was an engine fire on board causing many problems with the ship. The story is here.

I saw some comments on Facebook this morning regarding the incident. Several people were saying there were worse problems in the world than being on a broken cruise ship. I do agree, but I can't imagine being stuck on a cruise ship with no way off, no running water, no power, or no warm food. Especially when you thought you were going to be enjoying a wonderful vacation.

I've never been on a cruise. After all the problems with cruise ships lately, I don't think I'll be signing up for one any time soon.

Friday, February 8, 2013


I am not a breakfast fan. My main problem is I hate eggs. I do not mind a good omelet or deviled eggs every once in a while but I cannot stand eggs with nothing else mixed into them. I know there are many other breakfast foods. I enjoy bacon, toast, and oatmeal. I'll eat some fruit. I'd much rather have a big salad at lunch or a healthy dinner.

Today I had some oatmeal. It wasn't anything great, I much prefer a breakfast cookie Fitnessista style. Here's an ugly picture of breakfast.

I'm meeting up with K for lunch. We were talking about going to get BBQ at Deet's BBQ. K wanted to go there the other night and we ended getting Mexican instead. I'm much more excited about BBQ than any breakfast. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Could you live without cable?

Still working on unpacking here. I also have limited Internet. I'm using my husband's mifi. We're supposed to get Internet next week. I wasn't in too much of a hurry knowing we had the mifi to fall back on. Cable and Internet are so expensive, a few days not paying for it seems nice!

When I lived alone I didn't have cable for a while. It really didn't bother me at all. With Netflix, YouTube, etc.. I'd be happy without a TV. I think my husband does not feel the same! He likes coming home from work and watching a little TV before bed.

I m happy to get HBO free for 3 months. We switched cable providers when we moved so we got a couple deals with new service. I'm also happy we're getting DVR. Our old provider was more expensive so I opted to not even have a cable box. We'll be paying the same amount now for DVr, more channels, and two cable boxes.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Moving on

I haven't posted at all in the last couple days because I've been so busy moving. I decided not to take time off work to move, so between working, packing, and moving I've had zero free time. I'm not going to go into the details of why were are moving. I do want to say be very cautious about rent to own houses. We are moving into a different rental house and saving for a down payment on a house.

My eating has been slightly unhealthy during the moving phase. I packed up all our food, plates, and silverware so we've been eating. The nice thing is I think I've gotten in a little extra exercise with all the packing and moving.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Facebook Friend or Foe?

This morning I saw someone make a very rude comment about a photo of a girl. I am friends with this girl only because we went to high school together, I do not know her very well at all. It still made me sad to see someone be so rude to her.

It seems as though many people have no regard for what they put on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. The comment I saw seemed to come out of nowhere. Many times I see people arguing about specific status updates or photos.

I have been on Facebook since college. I was a big fan when I lived in Wisconsin by myself. It gave me a chance to catch up with family and friends. Now I mostly use it to combat boredom. I think there are many people who use it for wonderful reasons, such as sharing photos with friends and family. Unfortunately, a few people ruin everyone else's experience. I can deal with those that want to give a play by play of their lives. It's very easy to hide them from my feed. I have a lot more trouble tolerating the completely malicious people.

Has anyone had a bad Facebook experience?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chocolate Rules My Life

The irony of this post is that I'm not a huge fan of the food chocolate. Some, okay most, people may think I'm crazy. I have never been a fan. As a kid I would gladly trade my chocolate Halloween candy for starburst or Jolly Ranchers. The only exception is chocolate with peanut butter. I think is only due to my great love for peanut butter.

The chocolate that rules my life comes in the form of two chocolate Labrador Retrievers. I have mentioned them before and I'm sure I will mention them many times in the future. Angel is our oldest, she was my present to my husband for Christmas in 2011. We got Reagan last year around the Fourth of July.

Angel is a big baby, even at a year old. She gets excited very easily. She loves going to the park for walks and watching for squirrels. She does not like to be disturbed in her sleep and is very stubborn. She learns new things very quickly and does very well recognizing voice commands such as "heel."

 Reagan was a little fuzz ball as a baby. She is sweet and easy going. She loves meeting people and sleeping. She also loves swimming and water in general. She lets Angel push her around a little, but also knows how to let her know when enough is enough.

Reagan and Angel at Halloween.

 I love them both so much. It's so funny how different their personalities are. My husband occasionally talks about adopting another dog. I think for right now two chocolates are perfect for us!