Friday, February 28, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

Another Friday is upon us! 

1. This past weekend, Dave traded in his Dodge Dakota and upgraded to a Ram! Even though it's not "my" truck, it was still really exciting to be a part of his moment. The rest of this week was spent hearing Dave talk about the truck. It wasn't so bad....except for when we were in the truck and he would announce the temperature every two minutes from the gauge on the rear view mirror.

2. I discovered this video/song earlier this week and I cannot stop listening to it.

3. I made this side dish last night that I found on pinterest. It's delicious and easy to make, I highly recommend trying it out!

4. I think Squishee may be a narcoleptic. He will roll on his back to get Dave and I to rub his belly, but if we don't within about 30 seconds, he's passed out. Kinda like this:

He couldn't last me brushing my teeth to get rubs before he was snoring here. 

5. Scratch that, I think both my cats suffer from narcolepsy. Nibbler is passed out with his head in my tush. Seriously, look closely, you'll see my legs on the left hand side curled up, Nibs' paw is on my hip and his dangerously close to a loaded weapon. 

How was your week?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

14 in '14 - February Update

In December, I wrote a post about the 14 books in 2014 that I wanted to make a point to read, among others. You can check out January's reads here

Here's what I read in February:

Christopher Moore is one of my favorite authors. Normally, his crude sense of humor has me crying so hard from laughter while I read one of his books, but Sacre Bleu was a bit off the tracks for him. I wasn't as intrigued or enthralled by this book as I was his others. I definitely wouldn't recommend this book first over other Moore novels, but I wouldn't say it was terrible. It was...okay? 

Where'd you go Bernadette?

After getting past part one of this book, I thought it was excellent. Was it as hilarious as all the quotes that covered the front and back of the book claim? No. I chuckled at a few parts, but by no means did I think this book was funny. It was unique and original and I loved how differently the book was written. The first part was a bit slow and I had some trouble slugging through it and the ending left a bit more to be desired (there were a few unanswered questions), but the story line and the middle part of the book were really good and I enjoyed reading it.  I would definitely recommend picking this book up for a quick read. 

Are you on Goodreads? If so, add me! I always love connecting with fellow readers!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Halfway There

52 days ago I decided to take up the 100 Happy Days Challenge. Reflecting back on the first half of this challenge, I noticed a few things:

::I didn't post as many pictures of my cats that I thought::

 I counted and came up with 11 posts about Nibbler and Squishee, that's only about 20%. Not too shabby considering they make me happy everyday.

::Some days I had to fake it to make it::

There were certain days that I struggled to find something "original" or "unique" that made me happy. Sometimes it was because I was just in a sour mood and forgot the whole concept of the challenge, other times it was just a slow "news" day. 

The thing that I have to keep reminding myself is that this challenge isn't for anyone else except for me. No offense to you guys, but I'm not doing this to entertain you, I'm doing this to try to understand happiness as a daily concept and not through random things. 

However, with that being said....

::Choosing a challenge where it helps if you stay busy is kinda hard to do in the middle of winter and all you want to do is hibernate::

When winter hits, I hibernate. Don't most us? That means that most days consists of waking up, going to work, staying at work over lunch and reading a book, coming home and reading more, cuddling my cats (and Dave), watching TV and then going to bed. This routine is not conducive to posting really awesome, different pictures everyday.

The first 50 days have been challenging but fun. I definitely think that I've gotten better about finding happiness on a daily basis, but I'm not quite there yet. I still have 48 days to go, so we'll see! 

And now for a few of my favorites so far:

If you want to see my progress, follow me on Instagram. Also, if you are taking on the challenge, let me know, I'd love to see what makes you happy!

Friday, February 21, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

It's been a great week! 

1. I won another giveaway through Goodreads. If you haven't started doing this yet, get on it! Free books are awesome!

2. Tuesday, I had to take the boys to the vet for their annual checkup. Nibbler doesn't mind the car at all, in fact I'm fairly certain he enjoys it, but Squish hates the car. He just sits there and howls the whole time, and of course pees. Which is fantastic. When we got to the vet, we were greeted by the office kitties. One of them decided to hang out with Squish, which you see in the top picture and the other one attempted to assist the front desk. 

Side note, doesn't it look like the cat in the bottom picture is pulling a "Brady Bunch" and checking out the boys in the upper picture? 

On the way home, Nibbler tried to get Squish to poke his head out of his carrier and enjoy the ride, but Squish was having none of it. 

3. Wednesday night, Dave and I decided to have an impromptu date night. I love date nights. Enough said. 

4. Last night, I met up with my friend Linda for dinner and chatting. We try to get together every couple of months or so to catch up, she's a teacher and loves to talk about school and her students and I love hearing every second of it. Honey is her sweet St. Bernard who gives Nibbler a run for his money when it comes to best cuddler. 

5. Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of Nibbler and Squishee together where they are sitting and both looking at the camera? This is a moment that needs to be celebrated. 

How was your week? 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

See the Forest for the Trees

We all have those days where we just feel off. We have "nothing to wear" or our hair just isn't doing what we hoped it would, or we just feel lazy and don't feel like doing anything and it throws us off. Ironically enough, I'm having one of those "I have nothing to wear AND my hair looks like crap" days today. 

It's been about three or four months since I've gone off of birth control and as with any medicine, there have been side effects of me going off the pill. Like my chest and jaw line thinking it's 17 again and breaking out terribly. It's awesome. Or gaining an additional five pounds on top of the 15 I'm already trying to lose (aren't most of us?). Among other terrific things....

Needless to say, that lately, more often than not I'm bummed out from all this. When I have these moments, I make it a point to do things to make myself feel better, which I thought I'd share with you today.* 

1. I take a few extra minutes to do more with my makeup.

Most mornings I do the basics, mineral makeup to cover up my face, a quick swipe of blush, and mascara. On the days that I just feel bleh I take the time to do more, wear eye shadow, contour my face with bronzer and highlighter. Just adding one or two more steps to my makeup routine makes me feel so much better. The rest of the day when I look in the mirror I automatically feel better about taking the extra time to enhance my features. 

2. I spend quiet time with Nibbler and Squishee or Dave (or all three!)

Sometimes I need to be reminded that the beauty in the world shouldn't be focused on one person, but on the little things. Like the unconditional love my little family has for each other, or the loyalty that Nibbler has to me. No TV, no music, no phone, no distractions, just me an the boys all laying together listening to them breathe, reminds me that all those things that bother me don't really matter at all.

3. I make it a point to do something I really like. 

One of my favorite things to do is to grab a book and go have a meal at a restaurant somewhere. I don't mind sitting there alone, reading and servers seem to be a little nicer and more attentive when you're alone. When I sigh a sweet little sigh, then I know I've reach  my happy place. 

4. I talk to friends about how I feel. 

My one friend Sheena is really awesome at centering me again. Sometimes she doesn't even have to respond to my complaints, just saying them out loud to  her makes me realize how silly I'm feeling. 

The point I'm making here (mainly to remind myself the next time I feel this way) is that my looks are just one little aspect of my life. And quite frankly, it really doesn't matter. It's just one little tree, in a really big forest. 

So share with me, what brings you back to reality when you're feeling low?

*It's really funny, I wrote this post Monday night when I was in a good mood, and I'm reading over it today (Wednesday) and I'm glad I wrote this, because it's bringing me back out of this slump I woke up in this morning.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Here's to the Night

Every once in a while Dave and I like to just hang out and reminisce about the past. It's a really fun way to remind ourselves of the great times, the sad times, and the times we connected on a deeper level. 

Saturday night, before falling asleep, we talked about some of our favorite memories and Dave brought up the night we brought home Nibbler and Squishee. Thinking back on that night, I remembered how I felt bringing them home. They were so tiny, I was so afraid I was going to break them. 

I haven't gotten around to sharing my first night with them on the blog here, so I thought I would. It's probably not the most heartwarming tale you would expect...

I had to pick them up by myself from the woman we adopted them from (an incredibly kind woman who ran a little adoption place out of her house) because Dave had to work a bit late. I had bought a mini pet carrier that I knew would fit the both of them so they could be together on the ride home. I'm sure it was terrifying for them to leave the comforts of the woman's house and be stuck in a car with a stranger on a dark night (it was October when we had adopted the boys so it was darker much earlier) and I wanted to make sure they knew they still had each other. 

One the way home my car stunk so bad, like someone had passed gas. I assumed that one or both of the boys had done something in the crate, as cats are notorious for doing in the car, but when I brought them inside I didn't see anything in the crate that needed to be cleaned out. 

I kept the boys confined to the living room when we first came home, so they could get acclimated to Dave and I and one room for now. They were really good, and for the most part just laid on my lap or with Dave. 

Pleas ignore this ridiculously terrible picture of me, but this was me and Nibbler the first night home.
When it came time to go to bed, we brought them upstairs with us and I laid them in between Dave and I, nestled under my arm. I stayed in that position all night, but of course, when my limbs would get stiff I would have to shift a little. I noticed every time I shifted I would smell the same scent that was in the car. After a few shifts, I realized that one of the boys would fart whenever I moved because it scared him! The rest of the night, I laid awake with two adorable kittens in my arms wondering how I managed to adopted the only kitten I've ever known to drop smelly, rotten egg farts and whether or not this would be something we would have to put up with for the rest of our lives. 

My nervous farter (not sure who it was but I have my suspicions) stopped dropping bombs shortly after the first night together, but the memory of it always gives Dave and I a good laugh.  

It's a bit random, but let's make today Memory Monday, share a great or funny memory with me!

Friday, February 14, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

Happy Valentines Day! What are your plans for today? Right now I'm cooking up some Marry Me? Ribs for Dave as his valentines day gift.

Here is the round up for the week!

1. Friday night I met up with my friend from college, Gabby, for a delicious meal at Carrabba's. My favorite thing about hanging out with Gabby (aside from the obvious spending time with my friend)? The fact that we both ALWAYS get dessert. That's a girl after my heart. And of course, Carrabba's dipping herbs/oil, is always a treat.

2. Ever since Kate posted about how to enter giveaways on Goodreads (which I didn't even know existed!), I've been entering giveaways nonstop. Friday I received notification that I won my first giveaway  and I got the book on Monday! It was like Christmas morning! 

3. Lola has been one of my best friends since high school. I even wrote my very first check out to her. It was a bogus check (meaning I had no money for her to legitimately cash) but I wanted her to be a part of my first milestone. A few weeks ago, she had mentioned she was going to try and dig it up and let me see it again. 

On Tuesday she hadn't found the check yet, but did show me two cards that I had given her when we were still in school. It was so much fun reading what I wrote on the inside, and how much hadn't changed between us. Reminiscing with her over our lunch break just driving around, was such a great way to spend an hour, I was sad to see the break end. 

4. I'm sure, if you follow any bloggers in the Northeast, you know all about the ridiculous amount of snow we've gotten so far this winter. On Thursday, we got even more snow, which put us at 17 inches. Here's a pic of Dave being the neighborhood hero and snow blowing out our neighbors. Note the ridiculous pile of snow next to him. 

5. After Dave got done shoveling everyone out, he came inside and relaxed on the couch. Squish took the opportunity to hop up on his papa and pass out. Mouth open and all. 

From Nibs, Squish and myself (and Dave too, even though he has no clue I'm offering this up), have a great Valentines day! Enjoy your weekend!

Linking up with Lauren, Laurenand Jennie!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An Open Letter to Bare Minerals

Dear Bare Minerals,

I'm sorry. It's not you, it's me...I think. Everyone else likes something of yours and sings your praises but not me. I tried, I really did, but I just don't like you. 

I bought your 4 piece lips and eyes gift set in the hopes that maybe I could like something of yours since your mineral makeup and I just couldn't get along. And I figured at $10 what could go wrong? 

Well for starters, the lip and blush color look pink in the photos, but they aren't. Which wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the fact that they are probably the least flattering colors for most skin shades. The blush? Golden gate color? Does orange blush look good on anyone? The moxie lip gloss? I've heard so much about how great this stuff was. The color was a brownish color, which again I don't get. Does brown look good on most girls? Why would these shades be in a sample set? Don't you want to pick the most universally flattering colors possible to promote future purchases? Back to the gloss. I had it on for 5 minutes and had to get it off. The smell, the way it coated my lips, everything about it made me want to wipe it off as quickly as I could. 

The eye shadow wasn't too bad, the color is half decent and seems to go on well. But the Almay Nude Shadow trio I bought at the same time has the same exact color in it for half the price. 

Your flawless definition mascara wasn't half bad. It did a great job of separating my lashes and didn't get clumpy but for all the hassle, I can just stick with Cover Girl's Eye Brightening Mascara.

I think it's time we threw in the towel. The next time I'm hypnotized by your beautiful packaging or hyped up products, I'm going to remind myself how much I don't like my experiences with you and I'm going to move on. I'm sorry Bare Minerals, we gave it a good run. 

We'll always have.....well we won't have anything but there are plenty of other girls out there that like you, you'll find someone new soon. 



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Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekend Haul

This weekend Dave and I headed to the mall to try and find some new shirts for me. I don't know about you guys but whenever I feel under the weather for an extended period of time, it always ends up doing some major damage to my self esteem too. Shopping with the hubs and grabbing a few shirts always seems to do some wonders when it comes back to righting the wrong. 

We stopped by The Limited, and they were running an awesome BOGO sale. Here's what I picked up on our little spree:

I don't know how long their sale is going on for, but you can't beat BOGO!

On a side note, did you know that Williams-Sonoma smells like bacon? I'd sit in that store all day for the smell alone. 

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Friday, February 7, 2014

End of the Week Roundup

After two weeks, the usual EOTWR is back! I'm still feeling under the weather but...

1. Last night I finally gave in and went to my local urgent care doctor. My symptoms were letting up, but my one ear was muffling sound and really hurting and I wanted to make sure everything was okay. I'm glad I went, the doctor confirmed it's nothing serious and I should be okay in a few days. Having peace of mind was worth the co-pay. 

2. Wednesday, we got hit with a bad ice storm. I lost power at 5:30 in the morning and didn't get it back until 10:30 pm. It sucked BUT I did get to spend the whole day reading Sacre Bleu, with only about 50 pages to spare. All life anxiety aside, it was nice to be forced to slow down. 

3. To "ease the pain" of being sick, Dave brought home this video game Saturday night for me. I spent the next two days comatose on the couch, partially because I was sick and partially because this game had me hooked. 

4. I caught Squish in the perfect "Dos Equis" position Tuesday night and I had to share. 

5. And finally, these two. Cuddling. Be still my heart. 

How was your week?

                                 Linking up with Lauren, Laurenand Jennie!

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Husband's Secret

My apologies for being M.I.A. on Monday. I was (still am) very sick and had no energy or brain power to give you any type of legitimate post. Anyway, Bonnie, over at Life of Bon, is a high school English teacher who, once a month, hosts a book club. I decided to join in on a few of the months of the club and for January the book to read was The Husband's Secret

I first heard about this book when Bonnie posted about the books that were chosen for the club, and my interest in the it peaked when I literally could not get my hands on a copy of it. I finally had to give in and have it shipped to me (I hate paying shipping fees on books when I could just go to a library or buy one from my local booksellers). I am going to be linking up with Bon to discuss the book, which means there are spoilers ahead. If you really want to read the book, hold off on reading my discussion below, then come back and share your thoughts with me!

First question:

The book is told from the viewpoint of three women.  Which women did you like the most and why?  Whom did you dislike the most and why?

I didn't have a favorite character. Quite frankly, Celia kinda annoyed me with her perfectness, and it wasn't until she was grappling with trying to figure out the right thing to do and started to fall apart at the seams could I really connect with her as a character and feel for her. 

Rachel drove me nuts, I know that she lost her daughter and no one will ever be the same after going through something like that, but the way she treated her son and daughter in law reminded me of my own mother in law made me want to grab her by the shoulders and scream at her. Her actions made it really hard for me to sympathize with her. 

I didn't like Tess' story line at first and looking back on the book, I'm not quite sure where she fit into the big picture; however she was better to read about than Rachel in my opinion. 

Second question:

+ What would you have done if you had found out the secret that Celia did?  Did you agree with the way she handled it?  What is the "right" thing to do in a situation like that?

Now THAT is a tough question and I found myself asking that a lot while I was reading this. What would I do if Dave did that? What if we had children? I don't think there is a right answer here. If Celia gave up John Paul (side note, was anyone else incredibly annoyed by his name?), she wouldn't be just punishing him, she would also be affecting her own life and more importantly the lives of her three girls. It isn't fair to them to have to have their whole world turned upside down over something that happened so long ago. However, it also isn't fair to Rachel to never know what really happened to her daughter. I think knowing the whole story, including the epilogue, I wouldn't have done anything either. 

+ Do you believe the bike accident was adequate "penance" for what John Paul had done?

Yes and no. No because why should poor little Polly, who could have been an awesome tennis player, have to pay for something that someone else did (well technically didn't do but thought they did)? But yes, because now Rachel knows the truth and can hopefully find some peace and still have to live with the fact that she allowed her hatred to ruin another persons' life and maybe John Paul and Celia can find peace in the fact that they technically did "pay" for the crime that John Paul committed. 

+ Did you like the resolution of the book?  Did you feel there was enough closure?

The epilogue was hands down my favorite part of the book. I loved how Moriarty answered "what ifs" with little side stories and explained the real cause of Janie's death. It was like she wrapped an already excellent story in a neat little package and tied it with the perfect bow. I've never read an ending like that and it was so satisfying. 

+ What nots...

The question of the point of the Berlin Wall segments came up  a few times in a few other girls' posts and whether or not it needed to be in there. I thought about this, and came up with a possible conclusion. What if Moriarty put the Berlin Wall in there for symbolic reasons? At the start of the story, the wall is up, and all the characters in the book are all trapped in their own little countries, then by the end of the story, the wall is coming down and so do all the metaphorical walls of all the characters.

I really hated Felicity and Will. When Tess chose Will over Conner I wanted to barf, but then again I don't have children so I don't know what it's like to  have to "stay together for the kids". 

Doesn't Connor pretty much  seem like the real victim in this whole story (besides Janie)? He loses his first "love", gets used by another, has some crazy old lady accusing him of murder for 25 years and then tries to mow him down, and she ends up running over the little girl that he was purposely ignoring when she tried mowing him down. Seriously the guy can't catch a break. 

Did you read the book? What are your thoughts?

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