Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hiatus

For those people who actually do follow my blog, thank you for being devoted to it despite the fact that I can't seem to update it on a consistent basis. Many of you know that my youngest sister has deleted her blog entirely; while I have no intention of doing that (I've had this thing since 2008!) I am planning on taking a short hiatus from posting. Nothing is wrong, I've just been struggling to find things to write about and I haven't taken many pictures in weeks. There are quite a few blogs written by others that I'm addicted to, but those bloggers post on a daily basis, many of them actually blog as their part- or full-time job (I can't even imagine that!). They always seem to have a lot to say, a lot to do, and a lot to share, which makes for plenty to talk about. My routine for months now has been working night shift, running, oversleeping, going to the lake, and reading lots of books. While that's not exactly doing nothing, it limits the subjects for me to talk about. With all of that being said, I'm tired of trying to force myself to write something when I'm just not feeling it. This is not to say that I won't post at all, but please don't be surprised if I only manage a post every 1-2 weeks for a bit...at least until I have something to share that doesn't include what I ate or bought on Amazon.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Things Friday

1. I am absolutely in love with Sudocrem. My sister first introduced me to it about a year ago as a possible treatment for my cystic acne, for which I've pretty much tried everything. I briefly gave it a shot (so I'm a little impatient) before finally going to a dermatologist and getting put on Spironolactone (miracle acne drug for me). My little jar of Sudocrem was then vanquished to the back of my bathroom cabinet until recently, when AB asked if he could try it for some chaffing. While it didn't make a huge difference for my acne, apparently it is a miracle cure for chaffing! Since then both AB and I have tried using it for various things and this is what it works wonderfully for (so far):
  • Chaffing (for the third time0
  • Razor burn
  • Rashes of unknown origin
  • Blisters
  • Hot spots on my dog*
  • Calluses on my dog's bony joints*
  • My dog's ever-inflamed butt*
  • Self-contained staph infections...on my dog*
*My vet was questionable about using Sudocrem on Stetson at first, but once she looked it up and read more about it, she jumped on the train with us- surprisingly Stetson doesn't lick it off; if it feels as good to him as it does to me on my post-running flabby underarm chaffing then I'm not surprised!


2. I'm giving Stitch Fix a try. I read a lot of blogs, and since it kept popping up over and over again I figured, why not? The worst that could happen is that I'd be out $20. Stitch Fix is like an online personal shopper; you fill out a [very] detailed profile, pay $20, and you are sent 5 pieces of clothing/accessories to try. You can choose to buy any, all, or none and mail back the rest within 3 days in a postage paid box. Whatever you do decide to buy you can apply the $20 towards, and if you keep all 5 items you get 25% off the entire box. You can do monthly "fixes" or just order one when you feel like something new. If you're a Pinner, you can give the company the link to your pinned clothing so they can get an idea of what you like. When you mail something back you have the option to let them know what you didn't like about it. I may end up not liking any of it at all, but I'll update once I receive my first box the week of August 30th. If anyone decides to try it, please use this link so that I can get a referral credit!


3. Canned pumpkin is the insanely cheap and easy solution to my dog's whacky bowel habits. Stetson has always had issues with his digestive tract, and since the cancer and chemo it's been even more off-kilter. We're constantly battling diarrhea and colitis so I finally took my vet's advice and started mixing a tablespoon of pumpkin into Stetson's wet food two times a day. Problem solved; the poor dog has regular bowel movements and no diarrhea! Amazing.


4. I have finally made it to Week 12 of the Couch to 10K. Running 30 minutes straight sucks; running for 54 minutes straight is miserable...but I can do it! Shockingly, my eating habits haven't changed a bit and yet I haven't even managed to drop another pound. Maybe it's the beer...

5. I haven't had a cupcake in 6 weeks. That's right, the self-diagnosed cupcake addict has managed to avoid those little handheld servings of yummy, sugary, calorie-packed, waist-widening, addictive goodness. Until tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be having one of each from my beloved Gigi's:

Italian Cream

Kentucky Bourbon Pie

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No Bake Oatmeal Nut Butter Balls

I am addicted to these tasty little balls of high protein, high fiber, high calorie (boo!) nutty chocolaty goodness. I found the recipe on another blog I read, and since they reminded me of something my mom always makes that I super love, I wanted to give them a try. I followed the recipe but wanted to add some chocolate chips to the mix- just because I love chocolate- and it worked out well! These keep great for several days in the fridge and are surprisingly filling for something so small.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Handful dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (yes, dark is healthier!)
Directions:
  1. Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stir until completely combined
  2. Roll into balls and refrigerate for ~1hr
***This recipe makes 12-14 balls




Saturday, August 17, 2013

More Puppy Birthday

I didn't end up being called into work last night (1 down, 1 to go) so AB and I went ahead and "celebrated" Stetson's birthday. I went over to Earth Fare and bought some fresh veggies, a sirloin for AB and I, and a sirloin for the 2 dogs. I decided to make kabobs and some brown rice/quinoa for AB and I while the dogs just got their steak grilled and served. Needless to say, it was all a big hit and very little Pepto was needed for the enjoyment (the dogs, not us). Our neighbors across the street even came over with a birthday bag full of gifts for Stetson (love them!).
Ignore the fact that our steaks look like lungs
Look at that perfection!
We had leftovers...
New toys


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Stetson (Picture HEAVY!)

Since I adopted Stetson from the SPCA no one was quite sure when his litter had been born, but based on the woman who abandoned them the volunteers knew it was sometime during August. Being the slightly OCD-ish person that I am, I set his birthday for the 15th of August which means that today my furbaby is 12 years old! It definitely calls for a celebration being that he has survived cancer and chemo, and aside from regular aging changes, is doing wonderfully. AB has to work tonight unfortunately, so aside from a lot of belly rubs and kisses we will be celebrating his birthday tomorrow evening with steaks and salmon (yes, for the dogs too!). I feel very blessed to have found myself such a sweet, loyal, calm, intelligent, loving, faithful companion for the last 12 years, and while I know my time with him is running out, it's always nice to have a reminder that we should enjoy all the time we have together.
































Sunday, August 11, 2013

Book Club

I managed to convince several of my coworkers to start a "MICU Book Club" with me; I've always wanted to find a group of fellow book lovers who are interested in picking a book, reading it at the same time, then sitting down to discuss it and have a few drinks, and I finally get my wish. My mother-in-law belongs to a book club with several of her friends and it always seemed like such a neat idea after hearing her talk about their get-together's! I pulled up a list of 2013 book club favorites and from them we chose "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn as our first one. I will post a review once we've read and discussed it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mango-Carrot Cake

I stole this recipe (literally) out of my mother-in-law's Better Homes and Gardens and thought it would be nice to make for everyone at the lake this past weekend. I'm personally not a big fan of mango, but my husband's family is and I assumed the carrot taste would hide it anyways...I was wrong. Mainly because a certain someone can't read directions and dumped double the amount of mango juice in. Fail. I also did one other thing wrong, which explains the odd texture of the cake, but I refuse to admit to it at this point! Everyone else seemed to enjoy it though so I thought I would share it on here. Sadly I have no pictures of the actual cake (fail, again).


Ingredients for Cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flower
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup mango juice (I used Naked Mango juice)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for Icing:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
**Set aside an additional 1/2 cup mango juice for glaze

Recipe:
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8 x 1/2" round cake pans; set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium-high for 30 seconds. Gradually add granulated sugar; beat until combined. Beat 2 minutes more then add eggs, one at a time. Alternately add flour mixture from step 1 and the 3/4 cup mango juice until well combined. Stir in shredded carrot and pour into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 25-30 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
  4. Place additional 1/2 cup of mango juice in saucepan and boil gently until it's reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and cool.
  5. For icing: Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in vanilla and then gradually beat in 4 cups of powdered sugar.
  6. Frost top of one layer, add second layer, then frost entire cake. Drizzle with reduced mango juice from step 4. 
  7. Makes 12 servings- ~500 calories/slice

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Instagram Week

Lovely weekend at the lake with the inlaws and except for Stetson getting attacked by a bunch of yellow jackets and Baer pulling a muscle everything went rather smoothly!