Thursday, January 31, 2013

Learning to Trust.....Your Dog.

[who me?]

Okay, all you dog owners out there, I need advice.  When did you start leaving your puppy alone for any length of time?  Henry is 9 months (and ahem, a hair away from 100lbs) and we can barely leave him alone for 5 minutes.  We currently have him gated in the kitchen/family room (where he is never left unsupervised), but really want to start giving him more freedom.  He doesn't gnaw on the legs of the couch or tables (so far), but we're worried about pillows and the couch.  He can destroy a squeaky toy in under 2 minutes, it's pretty epic.  He is also tall enough to reach EVERYTHING.  Towels on top of the fridge?  NO PROBLEM.   He can also reach anything on the counters or kitchen island, and frequently counter surfs for whatever he can find.  Paper towels, magazines, mail of any kind - he doesn't discriminate. 

So, do we just bite the bullet and try to trust him, hoping for the best?  We were thinking of trying to leave him alone for 10 mins, and if he's good just keep increasing the time gradually.  I would like him to eventually be out of his crate during the day while we're at work, but I don't want to be constantly worried.  We've heard people say their pups calmed down at 2 years old, do we have to wait another year before he can be left out of the crate?  I guess it's a case by case basis because we have friends whose puppy could be left out of the crate at 6 months and was perfect.  I think we just have a high maintenance pup.   He did graduate from puppy class and then intermediate class from PetSmart (and promptly ate his certificate the next day) so he's not a total hellion  he does know some commands.  We're still working on "off" though.

We had friends whose lab puppy ate the entire back of their sectional, so that is definitely in the back of our minds.  I'd love to hear your experience with trusting your puppy. Did he or she destroy anything major? 


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Valentine's for Him

Valentine's is approaching quickly, I can't believe January went by so fast!  It's always so hard to find good valentine's day gifts for guys.  I see those whiskey stones EVERYWHERE, but I bought those for Tim about 3 years ago before they were even cool.  What now?!  

Here's a few things I picked out that he might like
(in all seriousness I will not be buying him a $185 blueprint of our dog's breed.)
shark socks because we love Shark Week (who doesn't?!) / case for his new kindle fire / the Wombats on vinyl /  blueprint of our dog's breed (they have a bloodhound print!)/ beer making kit
Do you exchange gifts for Valentine's Day?  If so, what are you getting your Valentine?

Monday, January 28, 2013

BlogShop comes to Philly!

BlogShop is coming to Philly, which is SO exciting that they are finally coming to my city. I just wish I had an extra $772.71 lying around. Oh, and also a MAC. Unfortunately I just have a PC ::hangs head in shame::

Have you ever gone to BlogShop or another blogging conference? Did you think it was worth it? I would love to go to something like this - maybe next year! A girl can dream :)


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I got "m'aam-ed"..

[I mean, I sorta look like I know what I'm doing here, right? (humor me)]

After a 2 year break from snowboarding I am getting back on my board this Friday.  And by "back on my board" I mean I have only snowboarded about 10 times total.  Actually that estimate MIGHT be high.  Let's say 8.  I'm a little nervous and in need of a helmet this time around.  Yes, I boarded without one before... I know, I know, not cool.   So after work tonight I stopped over to a ski shop that sells discount tickets to pick up the tickets and check out helmets.  I already felt a little frumpy in my giant puffer jacket, but I walked up the stairs and a skinny hipster guy, who couldn't have been more than 23 years old, "m'aamed" me.  "What can I help you with today, m'aam?"  Then to make matters worse he told me all the "good quality helmets" would be b/t $100-150.  I was hoping to spend about $50-75.     So then I felt old AND cheap, super.  

I'm scouring the internet for cheap, but good, helmets now to see if there's a retail shop I can pick one up at since now I'm too late even for 2 day shipping.

Do you ski or snowboard?  Tim started skiiing when he was 3 years old (!) and switched to snowboarding in the 5th grade.  I'm convinced if I had started younger I would have no fear, but since I started in my twenties I'm a nervous nelly for sure.  Wish me luck!  If I can make it off the lift without taking out any small children I will call it a win.  With the bitter cold weather that we've had lately my friend and I have already made a backup plan of hanging in the lounge or going to a bar, while the boys do their thing,  if it gets to be too much.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Free Glasses? Yes, Please!

[note: i was compensated for this post with free product, however all opinions are mine alone.]

[yes, i cut off my head.  still learning how to use my tripod.  note my not at all obvious remote in hand]

I have been wearing glasses since about 5th grade.  It used to just be that I needed them for distance, so I would wear them for driving or in school.  But as I've gotten older my eyes have gotten worse and I find that I'm wearing my glasses 90% of the time these days.  I have never had much luck with contacts, they always irritate my eyes,  but I have never really minded wearing glasses either.  I would always get so excited to pick out a new pair every two years.  Yes, I'm a dork.  So when Firmoo approached me with the opportunity to try their glasses for free of course I said yes!  

I chose this pair, and the whole process was super easy.  I picked the pair I liked (geek chic!), entered my information including prescription (which I used my contacts prescription accidentally, oops!  turned out okay though - they must be pretty close because I can't tell the difference) and they arrived fairly quickly.  They even came with a case and cloth to clean them as if I'd gotten them like usual through my optometrist.  This pair is slightly bigger than the glasses that I normally wear and a more neutral color too.   I thought it'd be great to have a backup pair but I find myself reaching for these more than my old glasses.  They are kind of my favorite right now.   
[the wind had picked up here..ha]

Firmoo is offering free glasses to my readers through their First Pair Free program.  If you're interested (which, c'mon free glasses? who isn't interested?) check out their site here.  


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Car Troubles..

[ happier times...aka the first day i got my car 2 years ago. i pose awkwardly, i'm aware.]

As if this hasn't been a long enough week with all the projects that are going on at work, my check engine light came on Wednesday night on my way home.  The symbol lit up and I had no idea what it meant.

::calls husband::
Tim:  Hello? What's wrong?
(note to self: should prob call more on my way home when everything is fine?)
Me: A light came on in my dashboard!  I'm not sure what it means!!
Tim:  What does it look like?
Me:  Uhh a faucet?? I have no idea.
Tim:  Well, drive home and I'll look at it.
Me:  Shouldn't I pull over and read the manual??
Tim: On the turnpike and then have to merge back on??
Me:  I'm 45 minutes from home!! I don't know, I don't want to BLOW UP!
Tim: ....
::both say goodbye and hang up::

Well, I pulled over to read my manual before merging onto a slower part of the turnpike to realize it's my check engine light (important to note: it did not SAY 'check engine', just a symbol. yes, i am clueless.)

Turns out my "evaporative leak detective pump" was shot.  I am pretty sure evaporative is not a real word.    I felt a little like that Dane Cook skit where the mechanic says,
"Yeah we had to replace the roof on your car, it was starting to peel back. It resented the rest of the car, so we replaced that. Also, there was a tiny unicorn in your exhaust and he was jumping and poking holes in your exhaust, and he was sh*tting in your filters as well. So we had to get that out of there.”

Granted the mechanic is someone that Tim has been going to for years and is always super honest, but still.  I totally feel like a unicorn was sh*tting in my air filter.  We literally just had my car at the mechanic a month ago too for a minor accident related to hitting a curb.  And by minor I mean expensive, considering I needed front brakes and a tire too.    So, apparently we need this new pump now and my car was due for inspection in February so we had them do that too.  Welp, I need rear brakes and roters now + transmission fluid this time.   YEAH.

So, I'm looking forward to the weekend and hopefully not needing anything else for my car for the entire rest of this year. Hear that, MAZDA?  I thought so.  

Happy (almost) Friday!


Sunday, January 13, 2013


[this picture is completely unrelated, except for the fact that i am, in fact, in our dining room]

Tonight I was sitting at our dining room table (I need an office!) doing some work so my day isn't absolutely awful tomorrow, and listening to some Spotify.  Apparently I must have typed "recreate junior year of college" into Spotify when I created the account months ago because it started playing tons of Straylight Run, Brand New, Something Corporate, and even the Starting Line (!).  Total flashback.  I have always been obsessed with music and really into lyrics.  Sometimes a song can just so vividly transport you back in time.  I love that about music.   I wish it was still cool to post lyrics on AIM... I mean, what!

It's definitely a reminder that I need to get back into discovering new music though.  My favorite bands as of late are Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, Owen, Kevin Devine, Bright Eyes (always.  favorite band since as long as I can remember), etc.  Now, tell me what other indie bands I should be listening to.....GO!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Being an Aunt.

Now that I'm an aunt I feel I have a certain responsibility to my niece.  I need to teach her important things like how to fist bump, how to handle these curls she will inevitably inherit, and also how to not squint like crazy when someone is taking your picture with a flash. 

[we are not falling over]


Monday, January 7, 2013

My Best Friend's Wedding..

I mentioned here that my best friend , Melissa, got engaged over Christmas (to my husband's best friend!  yes, I know it's awesome), but I might not have mentioned that she plans to get married in May of THIS year.  It's a tight time table but she's really flexible and relaxed on most things, and she has her very capable matron of honor (that's ME!) to help plan it all.  I mean, I totally immersed myself in the planning for our wedding last year.   I scoured wedding blogs of all kinds on a daily basis.  I read wedding books and took copious notes.   I researched, researched, and researched some more.  I pinned anything and everything that matched my style.  I even blogged about it over here every week. 

We actually have a few friends who are engaged that frequently ask me for wedding advice.  From where to get save the dates (we got ours here), to what site is best for creating a wedding website (I recommend this one, it's free!), and where to get bridesmaids dresses (this is the site I used, we got a discount for having more than 4 bridesmaids).  Our wedding was even featured on Style Me Pretty thanks to our very talented photographers.  

Can you tell I love planning weddings?  I think I could talk about weddings all day.  I started a pinterest board, and we have a joint board we're pinning to as well.  Melissa has been totally on top of emailing vendors and will be booking her venue tomorrow.  I lent her a few wedding books, including Handmade Weddings, which was my favorite by far.  She even got her dress today, and it's gorgeous!

Anyone else love weddings?  Or am I the only crazy wedding planning junkie?  I may be posting planning updates from time to time...



Sunday, January 6, 2013

5 Years.. it silly to still celebrate your dating anniversary?  We still do.  Yesterday marked 5 years since Tim & I became "official".  We had a party at our friend's house last night, so we'll be celebrating later this week by going out to dinner.  Here's to my better half, the guy who always makes dinner, shovels the snow, picks up the dog poop, and generally takes care of me and our "kids" (Henry & Poppy).  Happy (dating) Anniversay, Babe.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Coconut Oil..

I've been hearing lately how amazing coconut oil is for skin and hair so I thought I'd see if all the hype was true.  I went over to Wegman's on my lunch break today and picked up a jar of Virgin Coconut Oil (unrefined).  I must have looked suspicious with my toothpaste, Baby lips lip gloss, and coconut oil because the cashier definitely asked me what I planned to do with the coconut oil!  She seemed super intrigued that I was going to use it on my face and hair. 

I haven't quite gotten to the hair part, but I did use it to wash my face last night and take off my eyeliner/mascara, and then again this morning.  I was kind of shocked that it took my eye makeup off super easily and didn't burn my eyes or anything.  Has the day finally come where I'm no longer a slave to Neutrogena makeup wipes??   Anyways, I ran warm water over the jar until the oil melted a bit (it's a solid lump before that) and slather it on my face.  Then I went about brushing my teeth before washing it off with warm water.  I have to say my face feels and smells amazing.  Here's hoping it doesn't cause breakouts, but if it keeps me super moisturized in winter like it's supposed to then I'll definitely keep it up. 

Do you use coconut oil?  Does this make me a hippie?  Stay tuned, hopefully it's the miracle product everyone says it is!


P.S.- Speaking of coconut, that coconut mocha donut shop K-cup in the background? SO GOOD!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Weekly Series (ahem, monthly?): 7 Months

[yes, that's "Love it or List it" in the background.]

Age: 7 months  (I'm behind, he's almost 8 months now)

Weight: 90lbs (!!!!)

Likes:  SNOW, so much love for the snow.  Still loving the cat when she bats you in the face through the baby gate.  Your friend Martin, a huge fluffy black puppy, at your Petsmart training class.  Squeaky toys, all day every day.  Rawhides.  Peanut butter.  Baby carrots, you can't get enough and definitely wag like you think you're sneaking it.

Dislikes:  Your gentle leader harness, you've developed an intense dislike for it.  Still not believing you're not allowed on the couch, so you hate being corrected for jumping up.  Your muddy feet being wiped.

Henry has gotten SO huge since my last update, he's gained 33 lbs since my last series post.  He's definitely not gaining 5lbs a week like he was in the beginning, so we're not sure if he's just hit a slow period or maybe he won't hit the full 140lbs that he could max out at.  He's still got several months until he's a year and some monster paws so we know he's still got some growing to do.  The bigger he gets the more he slobbers it seems, the other day I found a piece of food/spit stuck on the wall about 6 feet up, picture Beethoven-esque shaking.  Oh the horror.  Good thing we love him because he can be a bit of a handful. 

Oh, you need a comparison pic?  I thought so.  Here you go.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cheers to 2013

I love the fresh clean start of a new year.  I am a list maker by nature, so resolutions and goals for the new year are always my favorite. 

Fitness & Nutrition.  There are big things that I always resolve to do each year, like taking better care of myself with what I'm putting into my body and working harder on becoming fit through consistent exercise.  As I'm getting older (I'll be 30 in April, eeek!) I realize more and more that I can't just eat junk like I could when I was younger. 

 Organization.  I would love to start a cleaning schedule in our house.  I feel like my cleaning routine is so haphazard.  If I could do certain chores on certain days every week I think it would definitely be easier to keep the house clean.  Also keeping our dining room table and kitchen island free of clutter is high on my priority list, a cluttered house makes me feel like things are chaotic. 

Spending vs. Saving.  I am a spender, shopper, and just a general waster sometimes.  I will admit this.  I just love to shop.  But this year I want to make a conscious effort to value quality over quantity.  We want to really boost our savings account and save for some big purchases we need (or want) to make.  A car for Tim, he is long overdue for a new car.  We're hoping his 1999 Subaru can hold out for 6 more months or so. Renovating our flooded basement, we got money from the insurance company - but only for the very basic so may need to kick in some extra (hopefully not). Installing pergo wood floors throughout our first floor, this is a want, certainly, not a need.  But, would it make our lives a ton easier with the dog? YES.   Tim's cousin's destination wedding, we really want to go but need to see how the year goes. 

 Patience.  Something I severely lack.  I need to really work on being more patient, with the dog, with Tim, and just patient in general.  I am always in a rush to get things done.   I blame the fast paced work environment at my company, but I know this is something I personally should work on. 

Build my Blog.  I really want to work harder on my blog in the new year.  I love sharing bits of pieces of our life here, if for nothing else than as a diary to look back on.  This past year went by so fast it's nice to go back and read my posts on it.  I want to post consistently, work on the quality of my pictures, and create recurring series that inspire me. 

Cheers to 2013!  What are your resolutions?