snow day!

Don’t I wish! I remember the days as a child when school would be cancelled and we’d get to stay home watching mid-day cartoons, eating grilled cheese sandwiches and basically driving my poor mom crazy – those days are long gone, but we can always hope and reminisce, right?

Today is going to be a snowy one, though!

And a cold one, too! (Sidenote: how often is my iPhone fully charged!? Go me!) They’re (whoever “they” are) saying that we’re supposed to get about 5 inches today!

Last night was comprised of shells n’ cheese, pinot noir, Modern Family and New Girl. Best two shows on TV, in my opinion. They are amazing!

Paul and I got so many laughs about this video (please ignore that it’s somehow inverted? Who knows how that can happen!)

Cracks me up every time. “Driving moccasins.”

Today is going to go by fast (positivity!) and I finally get to go have my hair cut and colored – it has been too long! And then later, one of the local bars here called Donnely’s Pub is having a “Tap Takeover” where they are replacing all of their regular draft beers with all New Belgium beers! Amazing. Can’t wait!

Tater says it’s the WEEKEND! Time to play!

xxoo

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i can almost smell it . . .

Friday is so close! I can practically smell it 🙂 TGIAF! This week has been much better than last, so I’m chalking that up to my dedicated new attitude and to P being as wonderful as he always is. That boy, I tell you. He’s just the best and I am so lucky.

P and I have decided that the only way we’re going to get the monster to start behaving better is if we make a concerted effort to train him every night when P gets home. It’s usually the last thing either of us wants to do at the end of a long day, but we’re finding that he minds me pretty well during the day and gets used to his routine while I’m working. That all goes out the window when P gets home and Tater gets really excited, stops minding either of us and has tons of accidents.

Our training has been relatively successful so far when we really bear down and work on it. So far, we’ve gotten good results when training him to sit, wait, go to his bed, and wait (sitting) on the mat by his food bowl for me to place the food inside. Before we trained him to do that, he’d attack the bowl like a banshee and push his little dog snout into it before we could even get the bowl put down. This way, he knows that he has to sit and wait before we will put the bowl down on the floor. Much nicer.

Last night, we decided that we wanted to work on “Drop,” since we had been having trouble with him dropping things once he gets his teeth on it. We had purchased a new rope/tug toy at Petco a few weeks ago and decided that we’d only let him play with that when we are in the room so he doesn’t tire of it. Speaking of tiring of things, I’m willing to bet I’ve already lost half of you to boredom on this post – if you’re still with me, thank you!

Tater LOVES tug and when P really gets him going, he won’t let go for anything – as evidenced above. We worked on Drop last night and we’re happy with the progress Tater made. Baby steps, people.

Today’s shaping up to be another cold, windy day – BUT – I just read that it’s national coffee day, so I’m pretty sure I’m obliged to celebrate with an afternoon trip to Starbucks to burn a hole in my Christmas gift cards! 🙂

Hope you all have a great day – stay positive!

xxoo

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it’s all in the attitude

I’m not sure how I feel about the first quote on this blog coming from Mr. Trump himself, but I read this one on Gina‘s blog this morning and it really resonated with me –

“Get going. Move forward. Aim High. Plan a takeoff. Don’t just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won’t happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you’ll love it up here.”
– Donald J. Trump

For the last several months, I haven’t felt like the best version of myself. Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t felt like myself at all. I’ve been crabby, shlumpy, grumpy, lazy, disinterested, tired, etc. You get the point. Christmas was a nice break from those feelings – I love the holiday season more than I can explain. How can you not when you have things like this to look forward to:

and this

It’s really hard to not appreciate and enjoy every moment of times like that. However, as soon as it’s over, I always feel let down and admittedly pretty sad. So, it comes as no surprise that over the last few weeks, my blah feelings have returned with a vengeance. I have been itching for a change and have known that I’ve been a pain to live with and be around, but haven’t realized how bad it’s really been until I took a hard look at things Monday night. I know that I’ve got to get back on the path to feeling good about things in general and about myself, so I’ve been working hard the last few days to make small changes that have been adding up to better feelings.

Some examples:

– putting on actual clothes rather than pajamas! I knew this would be a problem for me when I began working from home, because it’s just so easy to be lazy and wear sweats every day. But – news flash – unless shlumpy sweats are your idea of high fashion, they’re not doing much for your self esteem and work productivity.

– leaving the house for breaks from the home office setting. Even if this means going to grab a quick lunch somewhere, getting out of the house is really important. Yesterday, I spent the bulk of the afternoon at Starbucks, and it was great.

– working out. This is a no-brainer, I just need to get myself to do it. 20 minutes is better than 0 minutes and I always am proud of myself when I do it.

– beautification. Sounds silly, but works. Pedicures, hair appointments, new makeup, etc. It all helps me feel more like myself, and is therefore worth the investment. Haircut/color on Friday yeah!

– appreciate the little things. Again, a no brainer. But I really, really need to remember to do this more. A little example from this morning:

Hard to see, but that says “Nubbin.” P texted that to me this morning. Silly thing, made me giggle unreasonably at this hour of the morning. So, I appreciate and love P for his ability to always make me laugh and feel better.

Time to get to work, but here’s to having that POSITIVE, PROACTIVE attitude that seems to have eluded me for some time!

xxoo

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yep, i’m a crybaby

You guys, I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing The Descendants was! This movie is easily one of my top five of the last few years – it was heartwrenching, witty, inappropriate, awkward, heartfelt, sad, thought-provoking . . . everything I could have asked for in a movie. George Clooney was amazing and believable and I was definitely in tears for a good percentage of it. I think both P and I really enjoyed the movie which isn’t always the case – next up, Titanic in 3D 🙂

I know you all needed a Tater fix, so I thought I’d just go ahead and oblige. P loves it when he cocks his head to the side like that. . . .

He just looks so angelic and sweet, right? Looks can be deceiving!

Today is another beautiful, snowy day! For some reason, I’m embracing winter a lot better this year than I usually do. I think it’s because it hasn’t really started with a vengeance yet 🙂 But hey, I’ll hang on to this good attitude re: snow as long as I can.

We’ll see what tonight has in store – I’m thinking another yummy, comforting dinner – any ideas?

xxoo

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new week, new perspective

Good morning and happy Monday to all! Let’s start out the day with a little cute puppy action, shall we?

This weekend, as I expected, was relaxing and full of a whole lotta nothing. I really needed time to just kick back and be okay with not pushing myself and I think it will pay off this week, leaving me with more energy and a positive attitude for this week.

Friday night we headed out to the Vine downtown for dinner and a few drinks with friends. As always, the food at the Vine was pretty blah – I had a turkey melt with a side salad, P had chicken fingers with french fries. After dinner, we went to the Piano Lounge and stayed for a few songs – I have to be in the right mood for piano bars, and for some reason, I just really wasn’t this weekend. P had to work early both days this weekend, so I think that added to the whole not-wanting-to-get-into-it attitude.

Saturday I woke up early and went to the UI QuickCare to renew my prescription for my inhaler. I used to use one as a kid with sports and have been noticing a bit of wheezing recently, so I decided to make sure the prescription was current so I could renew if I needed. I’m glad I did – it’s amazing what just one puff can do for me. After that, I went to the local credit union to open up a checking account. For some reason, they are able to offer outstanding checking rates (i.e. 3.25%) which is unheard of for checking accounts, so our financial adviser recommended that I open up an account asap to start accruing that interest.

Saturday night = football and a shared bottle of champagne. Sunday = errands and walking Tater, with a side of an absolutely miserable showing from the Packers. What a way to waste a whole awesome season, playing like that. At least we’ve still got the Niners and Alex Smith to cheer for.

Today is work work work and then hopefully P and I are going to go on a little date night to see “The Descendants.” We’ve both heard awesome things about the movie (Golden Globe talk for George Clooney) so we’re thinking about making a night of it. Here’s the trailer from IMDB:

The Descendants

Overall goals for this week are: eat healthy, be positive and be proactive!

xxoo

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comfort food and over-cozyfication?

Guess what? It’s FRIDAY again and I couldn’t be happier about it 😀 This weekend is going to be filled with relaxing, movies, more relaxing, a pedicure (possibly!) and probably some baking. Juuuuust the way I like it. After this week of feeling sh*tty all day, every day, I’m looking forward to some R&R with the pup and P.

(I mean, please!)

Yesterday was one cold, blustery wintery day. It didn’t end up snowing a whole lot, but it definitely did enough damage to make the roads really slick and dangerous. It’s days like yesterday when I feel so blessed to drive a Subaru – sometimes I get annoyed with the car because it gets crappy gas mileage and has a few problems, but when it barrels through snow and ice like it’s no big deal, I realize how lucky I am to drive it. P agrees and always makes some offhand comment about how he’s going to rally people who drive Mercedes (Mercedii?) the next time it snows. Oh, boys.

I had to go to the store to pick up a few household items and ended up deciding that I didn’t feel like paninis and soup for dinner anymore – the only thing that sounded comfort-foody enough was chili, cornbread and German chocolate brownies. And man oh man, that change in plans was the best decision I’d made lately. I doctored up a pre-made chili package (I can’t remember the name of the brand, but it was kind of meh) with some onion, green pepper, chili powder, ground beef and a few other things I can’t seem to remember now. It was great! We talked about what movies are coming into theaters in the next few months and ended up watching several trailers for the Hunger Games – I can’t wait!


I adored the books and am excited to see how the movie fares at portraying the characters and the story. I always have trouble with movies based on books, because my imagination creates such vivid imagery for each character, setting, and so forth that the people producers choose don’t usually match up properly. I’m sure other people have that problem, right? I digress.

We watched a few episodes of new-to-us show called “Perfect Couples.” It’s about 3 couples, all of which have some pretty funny quirks and who are all good friends. In one of the episodes, the husband basically tells his wife that he thinks she’s “slipping” from a 10 to a 6.5 – that she looks so nice during the day for work and clients and then she comes home to her makeup towel and grungy clothes. It got me thinking about what P might think about me lately – I haven’t felt like getting dolled up for working at home and am usually dressed in my cozies with no makeup and my hair in a ponytail. My skin and hair love the lack of treatment, but I wonder if P is thinking the same thing that the character in the show was thinking. Something to ponder and work on, I suppose.

Time to get to work – have a great Friday!!

xxoo

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winter is here!

view from my desk window

My, how things can change overnight! Good ol’ Iowa went from 45* and sunny to about 10* with blustery winds and a few inches of snow! Winter is one of those seasons about which I have several opinions: 1) it’s beautiful and reminds me of being a kid playing outside with my big brother, 2) it’s a pain in the neck to deal with driving in it, shoveling it, dressing for it, 3) it’s an excuse to hibernate and get cozy with lots of comforting things (soup and grilled cheese, anyone!?) . . . I could go on and on! This year, Iowa has (so far) had an incredibly mild winter, but as I’ve said all along, when winter finally arrives, it’ll arrive with a bang  – and so it has!

Last night was uneventful, but good. I still am feeling like crap, but we had scheduled an appointment with our financial adviser. I always walk out of those meetings feeling both empowered and terrifically nervous because there are so many things that we can do to prepare for the future, but then there are so many things we must do to prepare for the future. Double edge sword, but in a very adult, interesting way. After our meeting, it was too late to think about making dinner, so we picked up four (!) slices of pizza from our most favorite pizza place in IC, Mesa. IC people, if you haven’t tried Mesa, run – don’t walk – there and get yourself some immediately. They offer pizza by the slice with the most amazing combinations – last night we had: spicy taco, barbecue with french fries, philly cheesesteak and penne with chicken and alfredo. You GUYS.

We brought the pizza home and curled up with Tater and a very old-school favorite of mine, Beethoven.

If I said after 10 years of not having seen the movie that I still know every word, would you make fun of believe me? It’s okay, P did.

Ok, time for work! Happy (almost) Friday to all of you!

xxoo

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two picture tuesday

Happy mid-week! (For the record, I dislike the reference of “Hump-Day” so I usually try to avoid it at all costs . . . but I do agree with the concept!) This week seems to be going by rather slowly, but at least we are halfway through and the weekend is now in sight, if not a bit too far away for my liking.

I have been feeling sick the last few days (headache, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, etc.) and today isn’t much better, so I’m hoping that getting some rest and taking it easy today will help me shake whatever it is that is bugging me. At least I’ll have this little chunky monkey to keep me company . . . even if all he does is be Jekyll and Hyde with his bouts of crazy and snore-fests, respectively.

P and I had another relaxing night last night – I walked to Redbox last night and picked up Moneyball (great movie!) and made gnocchi with a tomato cream sauce, lots of veggies and garlic bread. For a throw-together dinner, it was definitely a win and P really enjoyed it. He even requested more bread to sop up the rest of the sauce! I’d say that’s a victory if I’ve ever seen one. Definitely left both of us in a food coma – evidence below 🙂

Tonight we have a meeting with our financial adviser, Anthony. There is a fantastic company here that gives free financial consulting to residents – it has been a really great experience for us. We have a lot more to do in terms of planning out our finances and being successful with that, but that’s okay.

Have a happy, positive Wednesday!

xxoo

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tough night

Hello and good morning!

I began yesterday with the firm resolution to be as positive, happy and proactive as I possibly could. I proclaimed this proudly and peppily (is peppily a word? Probably not but I’m going with it) to my friend via email and up until about lunchtime, I was. Around 3:00, I began having some truly horrible allergy symptoms and couldn’t stop sneezing, rubbing my eyes, wiping my nose, the works. It got to the point that I tried just getting out of the house to see if that would help and when it didn’t, I climbed into bed and tried to just wait it out. For pretty much the remainder of the night, I was pretty miserable and even a delicious burger from Shorts couldn’t improve my mood. I had a minor major meltdown and P had to comfort me, which I am now very embarrassed about. I suppose that’s something I can be really thankful for – that I have a wonderful, loving, supportive fiance who is able to comfort me and calm me down. Do you ever experience meltdowns that you can’t seem to control?

(P and me over Christmas break in SLC – gotta love him!)

Anyway, P ended up picking up burgers from Shorts (I had one with sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms and American cheese – if you’re going to do it, over do it!) and a few fries, alongside a salad and some Theraflu. Yum, yum. Alabama stomped all over LSU (Roll Tide!) and P was upset, having bet an obscene amount of money on the game. Men.

Today’s another sunny and relatively nicely temperatured day, so I’m hoping to have an allergy-free morning and afternoon, taking the monster for a walk during lunch and a gym session after work is finally over.

Here’s to a better day!

xxoo

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weekender

Good morning! Happy Monday!

I can’t believe the weekend is already over – it went by so quickly, but P and I were able to spend most of it together, which was wonderful.

Friday night ended up being very low key with dinner and the movie “Midnight in Paris.” I had heard a lot of good things about this one, but was a little bit disappointed with the content of the film. The images of Paris were absolutely to die for and planted the “need for travel” seed in my heart again. I will really need to get back there as soon as possible – hopefully I can convince P that it needs to go on our ASAP list.

Saturday was a phenomenal day. Woke up, made breakfast, both of us went to the gym and then we set out to take Tater on his first park walk. He did amazingly well on the walk and enjoyed himself quite a bit, I think.

We can’t believe how big he’s getting! We sent the photos to P’s dad and stepmom and they couldn’t get over how quickly he’s growing!

I posted a few photos to Facebook and received a message from my friend warning me about the dangers of puppies contracting Parvo if they’re out in parks too early. Of course, this really freaked me out but P said it should be an issue. I’m watching Tater much more carefully this week for symptoms. Ick! So many things for puppy parents to learn!

After a rest and a shower, P and I headed out for dinner at Basta, a local restaurant here in Iowa City. We have been there before but this was most definitely our best meal yet! P ordered a lobster pasta special with the most delicious roasted asparagus and pearl onion side and I ordered a fantastic Margherita pizza – both were amazing and for the first time in a long time, we BOTH cleared our plates! Delicious! Thank you Basta for an amazing dinner!

Not a good photo, but hey. Documentation is documentation.

Sunday was low-key and filled with Tater training, cake eating, and cleaning. Uneventful, but still nice to spend time with P.

Tonight is, at long last, the National Championship football game! Alabama and LSU – it’s going to be a great game! We’re planning on ordering food from Shorts, another local restaurant. They have the BEST burgers and only use local beef and other ingredients! Yum!

Have a great Monday!

xxoo

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