Friday, June 29, 2012

Furry Friday

My sister sent me this video of her new puppy, Riley. She had mentioned before that Riley demands belly rubs, which I found to be such a ridiculous statement. I think the video proves that Riley truly does demand scratches on her tummy.

Heck, if I spent who knows how long in a shelter and can finally get some loving whenever I want it, I would milk my cuteness for all it's worth, too.


Looks like we have another ridiculous dog in the family.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

You're Lucky You're Cute

I've been having trouble sleeping through the night this week. I finally slept soundly last night until I had a dream that Bella was on the bed next to me, licking herself raw. She does this sometimes when her allergies are acting up and the sound of her tongue always wakes me. It's highly annoying when you're trying to get your beauty sleep.

Nudging her usually works when I don't have the spray bottle nearby. So, naturally, I nudged her. Only it wasn't Bella. It was my sleeping husband who I thought was her. I did not realize my mistake until I had already pushed him. I waited to see his reaction, but he stayed perfectly still. Phew!


The Hubby's alarm typically sounds at 0445. More often than not, I don't even realize he's getting ready for work until he comes over and kisses me goodbye. He then tells Bella to sleep next to me to keep me company. Today was slightly different though.

I heard The Hubby rummaging through all the drawers in the house and lots of car doors slamming in the garage. "I can't find my wallet. Can you take me to work?" It is the crack of dawn. Actually, it's pre crack of dawn since it is still pitch black out. I crawl out of bed with eye crusties, morning breath and untamed hair and get in the car at 0525.

"You're lucky you're cute," I remark.

I don't particularly mind driving The Hubby to work. It's the ridiculous traffic that is a struggle. What is typically a fifteen minute drive turns into a forty minute trek to his office during morning traffic. In order to get on post, you must go through the gates and show identification. When you get hundreds of Soldiers in separate cars driving on one road, all trying to get to the same place at the same time, it is disastrous.

You have people driving off road and creating their own lanes. The stop lights only stay green for literally twenty seconds. People become desperate when trying to get to work on time for formation. I had a car cut in front of me when I had maybe five feet between the vehicle in front of me and my front bumper. The asshole driver had created their own lane to cut in front of me and I was in disbelief. I don't even think of honking because I am in such utter shock.

"I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. I just think to myself how instead of going home I'll just follow the jerk, wait for him to get out of his car, and ask him what he was thinking cutting me off."

At this point, all you can do is laugh at the stupidity of everyone else. I know that drivers in California get a bad reputation. You should see the kind of crap people pull here in Texas.

Even though I like to keep a respectable distance between myself and the car in front of me, I just could not risk it with these insane drivers around me. I wonder how much gasoline I wasted by accelerating and stopping every 200 feet.

The Hubby made it to work ten minutes late, running inside in his flip flops because he had left his sneakers in the office. "Found my wallet! Love you baby!"

On the way home, I witnessed Frogger: Soldier Edition. If those guys weren't required to wear reflective vests, I would have hit a lot of people. Stop sprinting in front of cars, people!

He's lucky he's cute.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Dress for $3

My Pinterest board is full of desserts I'll never eat, crafts I'll never make, and a wardrobe I can only dream of having. Isn't that how Pinterest works? If you're not on Pinterest yet, what are you waiting for? I have four invites left if you need one. Just leave me a comment and I'll invite you! Full disclosure though: YOU WILL BE HOOKED.

[1., 2., 3.]

One of my first pins since becoming a member was this white dress above on the left. I adore anything with bows because I find them so feminine and I thought the low back was really unique. I came across a few more dresses similar to the first one, but I rarely found any link that showed the front of the dress or a link to purchase it. There is actually a link to buy the third hot pink dress, but I hated the hem and the design of the front. 

So I kept the pin for the longest time until I gained the confidence to make it myself. I actually bought two yards of fabric for $1.50 at Walmart on clearance and an invisible zipper, thinking that if I messed up terribly at least I only wasted $3. Fortunately, I am in love with the final product. 


I had trouble imagining the front of the dress without any pictures to guide me. I thought about doing either a scoop or sweetheart neckline, but I had concerns about getting everything to look symmetrical. I knew that I wanted to have something somewhat conservative since the back is fairly revealing. This is what I came up with.


I am a terrible model.


The bottom of the dress was made following this tutorial for a high-waisted skirt. I decided to trace the top of a dress that I knew fitted me nicely and just winged it from there. It took a lot of adjusting before I finally got it right.


I knew I wanted the straps to be adjustable so that I didn't have to be too worried about the fit. The bow was also cleverly placed above my zipper because I am terrible with installing invisible zippers.


Each strap is two yards in length and threaded through loops so that I can change up the design of the back if I ever wanted to. Best of all, everything is fully lined so I don't have to worry about figuring out what to do with bra straps.


A few friends have mentioned that I should start a business, but if I ever sold a custom dress I would have to charge an exorbitant amount simply because it took me so long to make. Being able to sew my own clothes has ruined shopping for me and I no longer want to buy anything. I suppose that is a good thing.



Friday, June 22, 2012

Furry Friday


My weekend posts make our lives seem very exciting. 
In reality, this is how we spend most of our time.
Bella will make any spot her spot.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Member of the Pack


No, this sweet puppy is not ours. She's my new niece! My sister has been wanting to adopt a fur baby for quite some time now and she finally found the perfect one for her on Sunday. 

One-year old Ms. Riley was rescued from the shelter and apparently is the most obedient untrained dog ever. She already knows how to heel, doesn't make a peep, doesn't mind the crate, and understands when someone tells her, "No."

I can't wait to meet her, and I'm sure Bella will get along with her new cousin just splendidly.


I think we're all obsessed with her scruffy Muppet face.


Congrats on your new daughter, Sister and Boyfriend!

Let's Make: Chicken Lettuce Wraps!


I first made these chicken lettuce wraps last week and they have quickly jumped to the top of my favorite weeknight dinner meals list. They're incredibly easy to make and a great way to incorporate more vegetables in our diets. The recipe is also wonderfully versatile so you can substitute whatever you have in your pantry.

The Hubby's sister started our love for lettuce wraps with her own recipe, but the incorporation of a box rice mix is not Paleo friendly. I found this recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine and adjusted it to fit our tastes and preferences.

Ingredients:


Optional additions: cashews, tofu, broccoli




Directions:

1.) Mix 1 lb. ground chicken, 2 T soy sauce, 2 T minced garlic, 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a large bowl. Sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
2.) Meanwhile, heat 2 T peanut/sesame oil in skillet. Add 1 can (or fresh) sliced mushrooms, 4 chopped carrots, 1 can sliced water chestnuts and stir fry 15 second. Add 1 teaspoon ginger and stir fry 10 seconds. Season with 2 teaspoon onion powder. Add chicken mixture and cook through.
3) Toss with 1/2 C sweet chile sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
4) Serve with lettuce cups and extra sweet chile sauce.

(Makes enough for about five large wraps. Should serve four, but is only just enough for two fatties like us.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Last Weekend

The Hubby had Friday off so we headed down to Austin to eat dinner at Haddingtons American Tavern. We had been gifted a generous $50 certificate as a thank you for dog watching a few weeks ago so we were able to splurge a little. After sipping on a happy hour cocktail called Affinity, we munched on a great mini duck meatloaf that was accompanied by cherry barbecue sauce and a pistachio pesto.  


I ordered the red fish because seafood is something that I cannot manage to cook properly while The Hubby ordered a delicious pork loin. His meal was definitely a lot tastier and I was extremely jealous. The both of us fell in love with this restaurant and would love to go back.

After our fantastic dinner, we walked next door to Walton's Fancy and Staple for dessert. Sandra Bullock owns this restaurant along with Bess Bistro. Their lemon tarts and giant chocolate chunk cookies taste so fresh and you could definitely tell that they use quality ingredients.

On Saturday morning, we dropped Bella off with some friends and headed over to San Antonio for the second time with one of our favorite couples. We missed her the entire weekend.


The girls stayed sober while the boys had a total of seven margaritas, two had beers inverted into them. They took full advantage of boozy San Antonio.


Our favorite restaurant from our last trip had been on my mind since last June so we revisited once again. Table side made guacamole and spicy cornbread? I'm there!


After a great night's sleep at the Marriott Rivercenter, we went to New Braunfels to go river tubing. I had purchased a Groupon for four tubes, a tube for coolers, and unlimited bus rides at Chuck's Tubes. Their customer service was really wonderful and I would go back to them again if we have the chance to return. 


We floated down the Comal River for over three hours under the scorching Texas sun. Thankfully, the cool river kept us comfortable the entire time and an entire can of sunscreen prevented major burns. My favorite part of the whole thing was being shot out of a chute into some rapids and being spun around violently. I guess I just like adding as much excitement in my life as possible.

Everything we had was completely soaked by the end of the float and the boys lost their shirts to the river. That's probably a sign of a good time.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Pink Skirt

I made this elastic circle skirt yesterday morning following a tutorial from Cotton & Curls and just added a bow sash on my own. I basically pinned everything from her blog after discovering it recently It's made out of dreamy pink rayon fabric and is wonderfully flowy and at a modest length. I have difficulty finding skirts and dresses that aren't too short so I'm glad I finally have something I can wear without fear (although The Hubby claims that the back of this skirt flew completely up while I was walking outdoors today).

It took me just about four hours and there was a lot of pin pricking involved, but I am really happy with the result. I'm sure I can get it down to two hours next time. Because the skirt is gathered, there is a lot of fabric to hem and I hate sewing with elastic. Although I hate shopping at Walmart, their fabric prices are unbelievably reasonable and especially irresistible when the next nearest fabric shop is forty minutes away. The total fabric cost of this skirt was about $7.

Now that I've finally made a successful article of clothing (my last skirt was a complete disaster), I am inspired to add more homemade items to my wardrobe. And to think that two yards of fabric and some thread could turn into something so cute!

I also learned yesterday that I am an awful model and The Hubby is the worst photographer. I promise that if I blog about a new skirt in the future the picture will be less blurry and I'll be less awkward. Well, at least the less blurry part will be true.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Furry Friday

Bella hates the new camera
It's very large and in her face. 
It clicks and beeps noisily. 
She turns her head any time I try to get a front shot of her.
Good thing she's adorable on any side.


So if you ever see any shots of her actually looking at the camera, don't be fooled.


I probably have a treat distracting her from the camera taking her soul away.
She loves licking clean yogurt cups.
Look at that concentration.


Yummy.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Paparazzi

A UPS package came to our door a few weeks ago and The Hubby shouted at me not to touch it. He ran into my craft room, shut the door, and spent the next half hour wrapping my present. The Hubby then placed the pretty boxes inside his closet. Last Friday, I found them on the coffee table along with a meaningful card and a bag of my favorite gummy bears.

Later I found out that he went to three different florists looking for peonies, but they were nowhere to be found. Gummy bears are just as wonderful in my opinion.


The Hubby gifted me a gorgeous Nikon DSLR camera along with an extra lens, padded camera bag, and a bunch of other accessories. I have lots of studying to do!


I've been taking photos of random things, such as these gold plated bow studs I bought for half off as a treat for myself for finally quitting my job.


And a picture to show off some new coasters I made for our coffee table. FYI, The Hubby is crazy about coasters in case you ever come to visit. 


But, of course, Bella has been my star model. Finally, her big brown eyes are captured nicely.


I'm really excited to develop my photography skills, although I'm already really impressed by how great my new camera does simply on its automatic function. 


Thanks, Hubby! I'm such a lucky girl.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last Weekend

The Hubby and I were invited to attend a concert on Saturday at The Parish where we saw Kina Grannis. We had never heard of the band Walk the Moon before, but at only $12 a ticket we couldn't resist. 


The boys put on such a fantastic show. We loved singing and dancing along with them, especially since  it was so obvious that they loved performing and relished every moment on the stage.  


As an anniversary present for The Hubby, I surprised him with sold out tickets to see The Head and the Heart at Stubb's BBQ on Sunday evening. For dinner, we went to Whole Foods and picked out some goodies. I know it seems silly to go to a grocery store for dinner when Austin is so full of amazing restaurants, but they really do serve quality fresh foods at reasonable prices.

I don't know how I managed to miss the artisan cookie bar the first time we went. I wanted one of each cookie! They have the most amazing prepared foods and desserts displayed. It was hard to decide on what to eat. I chose some sushi with a vegan chocolate parfait as dessert while The Hubby made his own salad at the salad bar. 


The doors at Stubb's opened at 6:30pm. When we arrived at 6, the line was already around the block. By the time The Head and the Heart actually came on stage, we had already been waiting for three hours in just under 100 degree Texas heat. The venue was far too crowded and most likely a fire hazard. It smelled of sweat, cigarettes, alcohol and weed. None of that mattered though when The Head and the Heart started to sing.


I was worried that The Hubby would regret attending a concert the night before he had to wake up at 0445 to go to work, but when I saw his face during the performance I knew that I had just given him the best anniversary present.



We are finally taking advantage of this awesome town for more than its food. And what did my husband gift me for our anniversary? You'll just have to wait to find out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eight


The Hubby and I are celebrating our eighth anniversary today. He thinks it's not our real anniversary, but I think our dating anniversary is more meaningful to me than our wedding anniversary. 
I've been in love with the same man for a third of my life. Not many others can say the same. 
I still miss him when he goes to work every morning. Heck, I miss him even when we're not in the same room together when he is home. Is that crazy?
We're stronger than ever, and we can't wait to see what lies ahead of us.

So happy anniversary, Hubby. This one's worth celebrating.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Gone Renegade (Again!)

I was lucky enough to go to the Renegade Craft Fair in Austin for a second time. The talent of these amazing artists continues to astound me. Last year, I mainly focused on getting more art prints for the house. I didn't go into the fair this year with anything in mind, but I went armed with cash and was looking for inspiration. 


I came away with this pair of earrings from one of my favorite bloggers, Oh, Hello Friend. The set up of her booth was so gorgeous. I would have also loved to purchase these items from her booth:




I added to my jewelry box these sweet red heart stud earrings from tru.che.


CakeSpy has the cutest cards. I chose this unicorn/cupcake one simply because it makes me smile.


I had been looking to complete our guest bathroom with the perfect print for quite some time now. Little Low Studio had such beautiful prints that it was difficult to just choose one. The pink and brown hues match well with our shower curtain and light wood cabinets. 


Caitlin also has another shop called Feb10 Design and they have the cutest nursery prints, all of which are currently on sale. If only we were having a baby! The artist is also offering 15% off right now for Little Low Studio because it is brand new.



I also admired the work of so many other artists. These are just a few of my favorites:




If you're fortunate enough to have a Renegade Craft Fair near you, go go go! You'll discover wonderful new artists and probably score some deals because most of them sell their products for a few dollars cheaper plus you don't have to pay for shipping. Admission is free, too!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On Repeat: Walk the Moon

We just came home from watching Walk the Moon in concert and although we're more than a little exhausted and have headaches, we had such an amazing time. They were fantastic live with so much energy and passion.

I think we just saw a band for $12 a piece before hitting it big. What a treat!





Friday, June 8, 2012

Going Green: Flops and Winners

I don't know if this is interesting to anyone else, but I love it when bloggers write reviews on products. I'm the type who rarely purchases anything without doing research first because I hate wasting money on anything. In an effort to be a little more green and healthy, I've been slowly replacing all of our household products with more natural or environmentally friendly items. I thought I would share with you products that have worked for us and some that I won't be purchasing again. 


These napkins do the job and don't feel flimsy or cheap. They're actually cheaper than other napkin brands, which is rare for products that are better for the environment.

I hate these paper towels. Each sheet is so thin that it's hard to really soak up anything with them. I end up having to use more sheets every time. We use rags for deep cleaning, but we like to use paper towels for quick cleanups and eating.

I'm a little on the brink about this product. Each bag uses 25% less plastic, making the bag less sturdy. It's perfect for holding snacks for lunch, but not really as storage.

You really can't tell that the bag is made out of recycled plastic and the pricing is about the same. This buy is a no-brainer.


We recently switched from Cascade to this one that has fewer chemicals. Harmful chemicals on the plates you eat on? Yuck. I've noticed that our dishes don't seem to come out as clean, but the difference is not enough for me to want to switch back. 

For the pots and pans that can't go in my dishwasher, I use this dishwashing liquid. The smell is wonderful and everything gets squeaky clean. It's a little more expensive than the ones full of chemicals though.

I love the little pump that squirts out super concentrated detergent. The design of the bottle is terrific, but it is far too expensive to continue purchasing. My clothes also seemed a little dingy.

Ultra Purex Natural Elements-not pictured (buy!)
I did some research before buying this one. Purex is an incredibly affordable brand and I love the scent of the detergent. I recently ran out of my last bottle and am about to try Seventh Generation 4x Laundry Detergent. It was on clearance and I had a coupon so I snatched it right away. It has great reviews and I'm excited to test it.


Bella tends to pick up crumbs from the floor so I wanted to make sure we were cleaning our wood floors with something that wouldn't harm her. I absolutely love this product from Method. There's no need to mix it with water. You literally squirt some on the floor and mop away. Each bottle goes a pretty long way as well and it smells like almonds.

I've only used this on our kitchen countertops so I'm not sure how well it works on other surfaces. However, the scent itself is fantastic and makes me want to wipe the counters more often.

This spray is supposed to keep your shower/tub from getting dirty with daily spraying. However, the smell of it is so strong and suffocating that I often neglect to actually use it. Other reviewers like the scent though so you might try it for yourself.

I try not to use too many disinfectant products, but I like to use these wipes after dealing with raw meat in the kitchen. They also smell better than Lysol wipes.


The marketing for Simple products is great and definitely got me interested. I purchased their exfoliating wipes for when I travel and I find them to be too abrasive on my skin.

I've never had mascara rub off under my eyes so much. I don't appreciate raccoon eyes and my eyes also started to burn after using this product. They did make my eyelashes very full upon application though.



Are there any products you're loving lately? I love trying new things so please share your favorites!



P.S. I'm not sponsored by any of these companies, by the way. Ha! Wouldn't that be amazing if I were?




Thursday, June 7, 2012

Aww. Sad Day

source
Many weekends ago, The Hubby and I were invited to a cookout at another Soldier's house. He lives with two other single twenty-somethings in a giant house in a beautiful neighborhood. They pooled together their BAH to get a five bedroom house so that they could designate two rooms just for gaming. Basically, them living there probably lowered the housing market in their neighborhood.

When we arrived, they had their grill going in the driveway with a beer filled cooler readily on hand. There were two blonde girls there, probably my age if not older. They had provided the jello shots for the gathering. One was using her little pomeranian as an accessory. The other was much taller than I am and wore a pink button down shirt with the first buttoned button below her boob, leaving her ta-tas hanging out for all the world to see.

Lady, I don't need to know you're wearing a matching pink lace bra. Leave a little to the imagination, ya know?

We had to leave early because Bella was locked up (a dog is the perfect excuse to leave uncomfortable situations, btw) and said goodbye to everyone.

Pink lace bra girl asked us if we were leaving and when we said yes, she pouted her lips and said, "Aww. Sad day."

It took every ounce of self control in my body not to burst out laughing.

So when I dropped a piece of chocolate on the floor the other day, I texted my husband: "Dropped chocolate on the floor. Sad day."

Forget to eat your vitamins today? Sad day.

Didn't thaw the chicken for dinner? Sad day.

The Hubby better be thankful he met me eight years ago or else he would probably be another single Lieutenant hanging out with dog-holding, boob-hanging, sad day girls.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Proud



Source: k8niss.polyvore.com via Min on Pinterest

I drove to Ulta (which is basically a really lame Sephora) yesterday to pick up a couple of items and didn't walk into the Target right next door. I avoided going into Target, people! That's a major accomplishment!

I'm trying to get my bad spending habits in check. But...but... I really need some colorful nail polish, a floppy hat when we go tubing, another summer dress, and pistachio pants!

The nurse at the doctor's office complimented me on my dress and asked me where I purchased it from. When I told her I bought it at Target she replied, "Target? My friend keeps telling me about Target. I need to go over there one day."

I just about died. You mean there are people out there who have never been to Target?! That's just absurd.

I can't be the only one with this problem, can I?
 
Source: iwastesomuchtime.com via Min on Pinterest