Thursday, January 31, 2013

the time i got a new library card.

We have lived in our new town since last summer but just now got a library card.  Not sure why, perhaps laziness, but there were several books I wanted and some shows that we don't get on Netflix, so I decided it was time to make our way over.

The 30 minutes we were there have been the best 30 minutes of this week!  It's much bigger than our old library and houses so many more books.  Granted we live in a town that's about 4 times what my other one was, but still, I was impressed.

I even found out that I can download library books onto my kindle for FREEFree, people.  Gone are the days of passing a book up because it's too expensive.  Now I just login, click, and read away.

No need to go hog wild on my first trip, so I picked up the above 4 books.

>> 2 thrillers It's been a while since I've read a good action/mystery tale so I can't wait to dig in.  Each are about 400 pages so I'm hoping I can get both in before they're due.
>> a book on embroidery.  I've had a lot of interest in this lately.  This book has the most unique and cute designs, so here's to hoping self-teaching is going to be easy.
>> a workout book.  Our new pool is currently being built, so I need to get this bod in swimsuit shape.  Boy shorts bottom is the main focus right now.

I feel like these days a lot of people don't utilize libraries like we did when we were kids.  Pretty sad if you ask me.  I love my kindle, but I will never choose it over a nice hardback book.  There's got to be a few of you that agree (;

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

cardio/strengthing daily routine!

this morning i woke up late and knew that i wasn't going to get much of a workout in because we had errands to run and then we're going to see ellie goulding tonite!

i drank some ovaltine and decided to head out on a walk, but when i got about 2 minutes in, i had to turn around.  i think it was probably around 50, but so super windy that even dutch was bothered by the wind. i was a little agitated because i haven't gotten a good walk in in about a week because of work or weather and today wasn't going to work either.

later i was browsing pinterest and ran across this.  it's blended with a good amount of cardio and strengthening.  this is something that would be good to do in addition to a daily routine or on the days when you can't get outside.

i'm definitely going to be trying this out today!  it definitely doesn't look easy, but hopefully gives some good results. 

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Monday, January 28, 2013

my life with dogs.

i think this is the cutest thing!

i like dogs more than people, in all honesty.  if i wasn't a nurse, i would definitely be a vet, but unfortunately that's not the path i was able to take.

growing up we always had dogs.  not just one or two, but lots.  i believe at one time we had 7, all inside.  the biggest was about 205 pounds and the smallest weighed about 10 pounds, so we had all sizes.

my family was known for taking in strays or at least finding homes for them.  there was a running joke that when people dumped dogs, it happened by our house because they knew we would take them in.

i rescued harris from the streets back in 2002
e said that when we move out of our condo, i can get another dog and that makes me happy.  not that it's going to be anytime soon, but it can't come soon enough.  since we have no kids, the dogs are our kids and we treat them like they are human.  in every way it's like having kids though - they have doctor bills, needs, you have to plan for when you want to take a trip or even be gone for the day, but i would not have it any other way.

i know lots of people who have never had a dog and don't feel like i do about them.  i feel sorry for those people because they are definitely missing out in life.

this time of year really gets me thinking about dogs {and animals in general} because of the cold.  there are so many idiots that have a dog and just chain them up, offering minimal shelter, along with food & water, and it kills me.  there are others who do treat their dogs humanely, but don't bring them in when the temperatures are freezing and the poor dogs are freezing as well.

my dad told us several times that not everyone treats their dogs like we do and i wish more people did.  there are plenty of dogs that need good homes and someone to love them.

i can't imagine my life without dogs!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

homemade famous taco seasoning

i hadn't ever thought of making my own taco seasoning until i stumbled across this recipe.  i had always prepared ahead and bought the packets at the store.  i never truly liked the taste of them because they were a bit strong and i know they were loaded with sodium and other processed ingredients.

after tasting this particular one, i know i'll never go back.  it has a much better flavor and although it's still probably loaded with sodium, i know what it consists of.

it literally takes about 5 minutes to prepare and i had all the ingredients already on hand.  you can even make a big batch of this and store it for next time.

try this out and i swear you won't ever buy the packaged stuff again! 

what you need
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp crushed beef bouillon 
  • 1/4 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 dash onion powder
mix everything together and you've got it!


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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

a wintry walk.

i don't know about in your parts, but the weather here is nuts.
one day it's 30, the next it's 70, and after that it's 22.
today i believe it's about 15.

i've been on this kick of trying real hard to get outside and walk every day i'm off, so the other day i venture out and realize it's mighty cold out, but it was so beautiful.  definitely windier than what i care for, but the sun was shining and it was peaceful.

when i got home i decided to grab my camera and head back out to snap pics of all the pretty things i saw while i was out.  winter is not my cup of tea, but it sure can be pretty.  we don't get as much snow as i'd like, but nature can create some other things that i like almost as much.

the beautiful sunshine | the edge of the lake consumed with crackly, brittle ice.

cold weather gear.

the ducks don't seem to mind the ice cold water

bundled up

our pool is finally being built

a vacant nest

the blustery wind blows


on our jeep

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Friday, January 18, 2013

love your life.

Bob Marley says some good stuff.  Really. 
He has made some one of a kind music with great lyrics about life. 
This is one of my favorites.

You only have one life.  Love it.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

{product spotlight} MAC lipstick in Meltdown

I picked up this lipstick a couple of months ago when I cashed in 6 empties.  I was looking for something bright and semi-red, but I couldn't bring myself to get a total red color like russian red or absolute power.  Perhaps this spring when I'm feeling more alive with the warm weather I'll go that route, but for now I'm loving this. 

Good thing I was able to get this in store when I did because it's currently sold out online and I'm pretty sure I know why.


This is a frost lipstick, meaning that it's got a bit of sparkle to it.  There is just enough to make the lips stand out while having a smooth texture.  The color is close to a coral, which is what I was going for, but if I layer it on pretty thick, it has a nice bright orange color with a lot of sparkle.  I tend to wear mine pretty light most of the time so it looks pretty natural, especially for daytime.  In the nite I tend to make it a bit more bold.

While somewhat on the high side at $15, I definitely think MAC lipsticks are worth it.  They smell wonderful, are long-lasting, and come in a variety of unique colors and textures.  I like that this one has almost a heartier texture, where some are so shiny, creamy, and glossy that I feel as if they won't stay on long.   I can wear this for a couple of hours without having to reapply and it stays put fairly well. 

On this particular lazy day, I wore a sweatshirt and went out pretty low-key.  The color was just enough to work with my lips, but didn't make me look as if I was all made up.  I love that it's such a versatile color that would work with any skin tone, but probably stand out best on fairer skin.

If you're in the market for a new shade, be sure to check this one out!

* This is my own personal opinion and I was not compensated for this post.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

life lately, thru photos.

 ::  my sister & me at the oyster bar celebrating the sunny, warm, winter day ::  peace tea. word.  ::  how cute is this canine hitch since the dogs weren't allowed in the shops & eateries ::  love ::  yummy blueberry muffins ::  dutch with his head out the window as we're driving down the road ::  e snapping photos of me ::  my favorite two angel ornaments {yes, our tree is still up} ::  peel and eat shrimp make me think of beach living ::

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

money mash up

Money Mash Up 1/7.  Hosted by simply stacia.

I am one of those that has no budget, rarely knows how much is in the account, and just flies by the seat of my pants.  Being more in control and held accountable is something I really need to master when it comes to finances.  

When I saw this link up at Stacia's blog, I knew I had to join in.  She holds a weekly series of money questions and this is my first attempt at actually thinking about what I spend & where I save.

1.  The most money I’ve spent last week was for a trip to Ulta.  I think I spent around $68, but I got 2 boxes of hair dye, Biosilk conditioner, dry shampoo, an eyeliner brush, and I can't remember what else.  I had my $3.50 coupon that saved a bit, but not too much.  Ulta is definitely one of my favorite stores.  I made platinum in no time.

2.  A low-cost or free thing I did this past week was nothing as of yet.  Friday is supposed to be around 65 degrees, I am off work, so we may go visit my family and take Dutch to the dog park or make a visit to the zoo or something else outsidePretty cheap things to do. 

3.  The one thing I did for another was that we almost bought my sister's supper @ Chili's.  She came down and spent the nite with us and although I said we would get her meal, she insisted on buying her own.  We turned around and used her money on frozen custard, so I guess it all worked out. 

4.  Something I really need to accomplish this week is to take down our Christmas tree and all the holiday decor.  I just haven't found the time and before I know it, March will be here.  It's such a pain in the ass, so I keep putting it aside.

5.  My most favorite thing about winter is the snow and knowing that prettier, warmer weather is approachingI think if it's going to be cold, bare, and get dark in the afternoon, it might as well snow.  We don't see it as often here anymore so when I do, I am in love.  Winter is now probably my least favorite season so I'm always looking forward to spring weather. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

strength & thoughts.

Sounds good to me.

I like to call myself a realist, although my words can sound so negative at times.

I am constantly trying to shift this kind of thinking to a more positive and happier tune.

On the other hand, I learn so many new things every day with my job as a nurse, whether it's a skill or something about people & society.  I gain knowledge and, ultimately strength, from this.

 No matter how bad a day can be, tomorrow starts a fresh, new one.  Making the most of that new day can make a world of difference in our perception and attitudes.  

I thought this quote fit perfectly for me right now because I've always got a constant swirl of emotions and thoughts in this crazy head of mine.

Friday, January 4, 2013

nice to meet you, new year.

I really don't like the fact that it takes a brand new year to make people change their ways, and although I make goals each year that are usually forgotten or lost by March, here I am again setting new ones for myself.  Goals are good; resolutions are not. 

The year has basically started off like any other year or old day it seems, so it will be harder to make myself do these things because I don't feel any different than I did on say, Dec. 31 or July 8, for example. 

There isn't much to my list, but there is so much I need and want to do that I have to do it in small bits.  Here's to hoping I can stick to my guns and get these babies accomplished. 

1.  Here's the most cliche one of all, but seriously, workout or exercise at least 4 days a week.  Working 3 twelve-hour shifts a week makes it nearly impossible to get any form of exercise in on those days, so it's on my days off that I have to work out.  We have actually made a workout sheet that lists certain exercises to do on certain days, so I think if we have a schedule, it will make me more apt to comply.  Timeframe: by the end of March.

2.  Work at least 2 extra shifts a month.  We want to go on a nice trip for our 5 year anniversary this year, a getaway to Vegas in June after my sister graduates, our annual trip to Florida in the fall, and there are smaller, but costly, trips mixed in there as well.  Working those extra shifts can bring in an extra few hundred bucks in each month so I really need to, if my body will allow me.  Timeframe: by the end of April.

3.  Pay off at least one school loan and my car.  We have about $100,000 in school loans that are killing us.  It literally makes me panic to think of this.  Having that education is a must, but the cost is ridiculous at the same time.  I don't know where I think we are going to get this extra money, but we have to pay a chunk of it down.  My car is maybe 2 years from being paid off, but I need to get it done because we are in desperate need of another now.  Timeframe: End of year. This will definitely take more than a few months. 

4.  Get control of my anxieties and scatterbrained ways.  I've had anxiety since I was little, but it's been bad {on and off} since I was about 20, so for a little over 10 years now.  It impacts all aspects of my life: at home, work, vacations, when I should be relaxing, etc...We all worry, but if you've never truly experienced anxiety for prolonged time, you don't understand what it feels like and probably think I'm nuts.  I rely far too much on my medication and just want to live a worry-free life. Timeframe: Summer. 

So there it is.  A small list.  Although I have a lot more that I want to do, these are the most important to me right now.  What are yours?  Are they similar to mine or completely different? 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

homemade dog treats

For the holidays, I didn't really feel like baking cookies since I always do that, so I thought what better thing to make than treats for the dogs.  I normally have treats and chewy bones stockpiled, but I wanted to try my own.  I used cookie cutters that I had, which were a dog bone and a star, and I love the way they turned out.

Essentially we could eat them since they're made with all-natural ingredients, but the combo did not appeal to me.  I used organic ingredients when I could, so I don't feel bad when Dutch eats 3 at a time (:  They're quite simple to make {basically just like baking cookies} but are more fun, in my opinion, except I never tried the dough. 

See the recipe below and make the next time you're in the mood to bake. 
Your pooch will appreciate it.

  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 8 oz chicken broth
  • 10 oz whole wheat flour
  • 5 oz all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz cornmeal
  • 1 cup peanut butter

--  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together two of the eggs, the oil and honey. Whisk in the chicken stock.

--  Mix the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and cornmeal. Slowly pour in the chicken stock mixture, then add the peanut butter. Mix until the dough comes together, about 1 minute.

--  Divide the dough in half. Roll out each ball of dough approximately ½ inch thick. Then go crazy and have fun with your choice of cutter.  Place on cookie sheet covered with wax paper.

--  Whisk the remaining two eggs and brush the egg wash lightly over the cookies. Allow to dry for 10 minutes and brush with the egg wash a second time (the second wash is optional, but gives the cookies a darker brown color). Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies.

-- A couple of tips:  
* The mixture gets super thick so make sure you have a good mixer to mix.  I don't and it took a bit more manhandling. 
*Also, the first round of egg wash takes longer than 10 minutes to dry, or at least it did for me.  I still used the 2 coats though, but could probably forgo the second next time. 
*Store the cookies in a ziplock bag or in another container, or even leave out {but out of reach for the dogs or they'll find themselves a tasty treat when you're not looking}.  I had some of mine left out on a plate and some in gift bags to pass out.  The ones in the bags were pretty soft and more like a peanut butter ball consistency and the ones outside were pretty hard, and more like a milk bone.  Your choice though.

The dogs loved these, naturally, and I am going to make these a lot more often.  It was pretty fun and they will store up to a couple weeks I'm sure.  Fun to make for yourself or even give out as gifts for doggy bday parties or holidays. 

You may become more popular because of this.  I've had numerous requests for these.  As always, there are tons of variations for these and I found the original here and may stick with it next time or try something with more of beef or pumpkin base.  Either way, the dogs will be in heaven.