Favorite Things Thursday…Cooking Edition

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So, one of my favorite things of all time is Cugino’s soup mixes, they are so completely delicious and make cooking something good for supper so easy! However, I am kind of a stickler when it comes to potato soup and while I do like the Perfect Potato soup mix I wanted it to be a bit more…thick, creamy and filling. So, I got crafty tonight and turned my bag soup mix into what might be my favorite potato soup yet!

Ingredients….ingredients….

The one thing that I did before I started cooking was to dump the bag soup mix over a colander – the soup mix comes with small pieces of dried potato that; while they serve just fine, I wanted to take out and do more with. So I put a colander over my soup pot, let the soup mix and spices go through and weeded out the potato pieces…and then we were off to the races!

Some delicious root vegetables, cooking away!

Bacon and the bag soup mix, awaiting the rest of the ingredients….

Ingredients

– 1 bag of Cugino’s Perfect Potato Soup mix
– 4/5 small potatoes
-5/6 small carrots
-3 cups milk
-3 cups water
-1 cup half & half
-1 cup reserved potato water
-2 tsp. sour cream
-4/6 pieces of bacon, torn into pieces
-1 tsp. parsley
-1 tsp. black pepper
-1 tsp. dried onion 
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-2 tbsp. butter, cut into cubes

The beginning of the soup…before everything was good and combined…

The soup starting to look absolutely delicious; thick and creamy…just like I wanted.

How to Cook It

– Wash and scrub potatoes and carrots, cut into small pieces. Cook for about ten minutes or until tender; they should be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside one cup of potato/carrot cooking liquid.
– In soup pot, empty the Cugino’s soup mix, (minus the potato pieces) bacon pieces, parsley, pepper, onion, milk, half & half, water, cup of reserved potato water, butter, sour cream and cheddar cheese, mixing well.
– Bring to a low boil on medium heat, then turn down to medium/low heat and cook for approximately twenty minutes. Stir frequently to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
– Serve garnished with cheddar cheese…or bacon pieces…or sour cream. Perhaps all three! Enjoy!

Absolutely delicious!

So good with potatoes and carrots – yummy & with more veggies!
So – there you have it! One of my favorite things, turned into a new favorite thing! Try this out and I know you’ll love it too!

Italian Sausage Stew

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So you see, I got a brand new fancy-pants crock-pot for Christmas this year and I have been searching out a recipe to try as the inaugural recipe to make in it. I stumbled upon this recipe and after reading several people’s rave reviews of it, I decided this would be the recipe. I gathered together my ingredients, pulled my crock-pot out (while singing “Aaaaahhhhaaaahhh” in a ceremonious fashion) and got right down to business!

Ingredients, ingredients…they’re what make a meal!

Ingredients

– 1 package (approximately 18 ounces) of tortellini; your choice what style – I used three cheese
– 1 can Italian diced tomatoes
– approximately 2-3 ounces of Spinach, torn in pieces (a bag is usually about 5 ounces)
– 1 8 ounce brick of cream cheese, cubed into small pieces
– 4 cups chicken broth
– sausage of your choice, about 1/2 a pound

Viva Italia! 

I love all the colors in the crock-pot!

Italian Sausage Stew

– Brown sausage; set aside
– In crock-pot combine tortellini, shredded spinach leaves, 1 can of Italian tomatoes, 4 cups of chicken broth and cream cheese, stir together well…chunking up cream cheese.
– Add in sausage.
– Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
I only cooked mine about 4 hours and thirty minutes; so it’s worth watching to make sure the tortellini doesn’t get over-cooked. If you want it to be more soupy as opposed to having a stew consistency, I’d suggest using a bit more chicken broth. You can also substitute vegetable broth for chicken.

Loking delicious after about four and a half hours!

I garnished my bowl of stew with just a wee bit of Parmesan!

So yummy and filling – perfect for a chilly day!

And All was Calm….

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Only five more days and February will be over – I can’t believe it and I can’t say I’m sad to see it go. February is always the most desolate of all the months and so I certainly won’t be sad to see it go…not just because the weather has been dull and gray; the month itself hasn’t really been walk in the park either, and so I will happily bid February adieu! Having said that, the past week was pretty good (even with some crazy, still gray and dreary weather) and that’s certainly worth looking back on! This week is mostly pictures because the week was fairly uneventful and seemed to fly by.

A Monday made better with new shoes – a Valentine’s gift from my parents.

Monday is tiring for everyone apparently….

A detour on the way home…a creepy house as part of the new route…

The joy of plumbing issues – not that I had this major plumbing break down this week or anything but it’s kind of a constant thought in the back of my mind. I mean, I do have to think about “oh yeah, I can’t just go down the hall and use my second bathroom…” those are the thoughts I have on a fairly constant basis. I finally decided to take the chance and run my dishwasher, which was far more nerve-wracking than it needed to be because I have anxiety issues and I fear that my house is going to explode due to pressure on the pipes. I know, I know…crazy. It’s okay though because the dishwasher actually does work, there was no house explosion and apparently I can use the dishwasher pretty much whenever and there will be no issue. However, for the first thirty minutes that I first turned on the dishwasher I went up and down the hall to check that the toilet (and the bathtub and the sink) didn’t explode with some kind of Old Faithful type geyser of pent up water. It didn’t – thank goodness…and all is (kind of) well. Emphasis on kind of.

A Tuesday sunset – thank Heavens for some blue skies.

New water bottle courtesy of a visiting insurance rep…it turns blue when you put cold water in it!

Mid-week selfie!

Why is chocolate so delicious? 

Wednesday – puffy clouds and blue skies, now that’s what I’m talking about!

Sweet dreams, courtesy of my linen spray!

I’d describe the teal color as pretty….if I knew it wasn’t well…poop water!

The calm before the storm on Thursday night…

Oh – bad weather, how I love it. NOT. I tried to let Watson know that it was going to come a flood and that he shouldn’t stray too far from the house…but he didn’t listen, because maybe he didn’t even know what I was saying to him because he’s a puppy. Anyway, the bottom fell out all of a sudden around 6:30 and he was nowhere in sight! I called for him and it wasn’t long before I saw a little white streak zipping across the yard toward the house and a rain-free zone. Thankfully it never got too awful but around midnight the weather did pick up for about fifteen minutes and when it did pass, I had to coax Watson back into his bed. The first time he got in the bed, he immediately got out and ran for the safety of the living room. No amount of sweet talking would do, so I had to scoop him up, carry him to his bed and talk in gentle tones until he decided to stay in the bed…so that I could go back to my bed. Silly little puppy.

Headed for a cloud wall on the way to work Friday morning!

Watson has friends – let there be much rejoicing!

My little brown-noser (he’d been digging in the dirt…)

I got to leave work on Friday at 1 – something new that my office has started; alternating afternoons off with pay, which is really nice. I left the office at work and took myself straight to the movies to see “Pompeii” in 3D. Afterwards I got some Chick Fil A for an early supper, stopped by the bank and still got home before 4 in the afternoon – amazing! I used my extra hour to get a jump on my laundry since I’m walking across the yard to do my laundry at my Grandma’s because as I’ve mentioned…my washing machine is a big no-no right now. My next afternoon off at 1 isn’t until April 4th but I know I’ll be counting down the days until my Friday comes around again…because an extra four hours of freedom is absolutely amazing!

A beautiful Friday night sunset!

Taking a break atop the freshly raked leaves.

Saturday was delightful…mostly because there were no plumbing problems and that makes me really happy. My toilet didn’t overflow and I didn’t have to invite people over to dig holes up in my backyard while I had a nervous breakdown. That constitutes a good Saturday in my book. I raked leaves in the yard and Watson promptly made the pile of leaves his new favorite spot to sit – which cracked me up. I ran errands to get the mail and get groceries, had a relaxing afternoon picking up on commercial breaks while I was watching Indiana Jones on USA and then around suppertime, I spruced myself up and went to town to watch my surrogate little sister in her high school beauty pageant – which she totally should have won, but unfortunately I wasn’t a judge, so she got second alternate…which is still awesome! I made a late night (okay, not really late but late for me…) Taco Bell run and came home to eat and watch Being Human with Watson before going to bed. Like I said – a good Saturday. No issues.

So beautiful in her pageant dress….and she’s beautiful in her every day as well!

2nd alternate – way to go girl!

2nd alternate – we’ll take it! 

Having some late night Taco Bell with newly discovered Verde salsa – hello delicious.

Thankfully it’s not too hard to make a bed with a little twenty pound knot on a log asleep in the middle of it..

Sweet girls on Sunday morning!

Well – I guess that’s about all she wrote this week. Like I said, nothing too much happened this week and sometimes I like things that way. On to the last week of February and soon – Spring! Oh how I’m looking forward to Spring! Now then, I don’t know about you but I’ve got watch the season finale of Downton Abbey and get some sleep…Monday always dawns early, if not always bright.

Friday Flashback

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In honor of the Olympic Games, let me share with you a short and sweet little flashback that I had on Wednesday night while watching the Women’s Figure Skating competition get under way…you see, Lindsey and I used to have our very own Olympic Games.

Picture if you will – a perfectly clear “ice rink” with a dazzling lighting scheme, a fantastic sound system and the most elaborate of costumes. The commentating was always riveting, narrating each spin, turn and precision jump with excitement and accuracy. I’m telling you, these Olympic Games were almost; if not more wonderful than the actual Olympic games. We may not have had all the skills, the rhinestones and the flashy skates but I will tell you what we did have…

We had a freshly mopped kitchen floor to serve as our amazing ice rink. We had the staircase off the kitchen to serve as the commentators booth. We had white socks, fresh out of our dresser drawers to serve as perfectly fine-tuned skates…and if we were feeling really crazy, we might put on colored socks instead of white socks! We might even put on old dance costumes to really spice things up and then, while my parents were busy cleaning, reading a book or poking around on the computer , Lindsey and I would have our very own Olympic Games! We would hop and spin around to our music; one of us would “skate” and the other would be the commentator. We won quite a lot of gold medals you see, because we were quite excellent at our skating skills.

Olympic skaters in disguise…didn’t you know?

Those are some good memories y’all! I have a feeling if we could just happen to be together at the right time, here at my house, we could make some skating memories all over again. I could push my kitchen table out of the way, we could grab some socks and have ourselves a good ol time!

Side note – I am SO pleased that Bob Costas has returned to the NBC Olympic commentating fold! Those eyes were looking rough but Lord knows, it is just not the Olympics without Bob!

Favorite Things Thursday

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This is just a short, sweet little post to share five things that I am really into this week…maybe even this month. They run the gamut from cosmetics to entertainment to food and drink. So, without further ado – five things that are pretty much my “favorite” this week!
Best. Color. Ever.

Clinique’s Black Honey lipstick – which at first glance looks like it would go on SO dark, but let me assure you it doesn’t and that is why I love it! I am not a huge lipstick person; I don’t like to just overpower with color and that is what makes this color my favorite – it goes on with the perfect hint of color and shine, without being overwhelming. And therefore, I love it!

It’s tough “being human”

Being Human – which I will elaborate more on in my What I was Into in February post but I have just been on a binge with this show for the past week or week and a half and I am eating it up. The show has a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost as the central characters, which if you’ve paid any attention to some of the shows I normally watch, you will know this one is right up my alley. It’s even managed to draw me away from the Winter Olympics broadcast – GASP!

Nom…Nom…Nom…

Ocean Spray Chocolate Covered Craisins – one of my new favorite snacks; I stumbled upon these in the Dollar General and bought a bag just to check them out. Oh my, hooked is not the word. I could eat the whole bag but I promise that I haven’t done that. I eat them sparingly as one of my healthier snacks…I suppose they aren’t 100% the most healthy thing I could eat, but they’re better than what I’ve been snacking on and they still taste delicious!

Delicious liquids…with 0 calories!

Sobe Life Water Zero – When you jump into a diet and you’re used to drinking soft drinks, or at least something with flavor then going to nothing but water all the time. Thank goodness I found Sobe because it has six different flavors (strawberry kiwi being my favorite) and is a really nice break from drinking plain old water all day long!

The best stuff – no doubt!

Vaseline Lip Therapy – No doubt, one of my most favorite new finds. I didn’t actually find this so to speak since it was gifted to me from “Santa Claus” as a stocking stuffer this Christmas. I put it in my purse and to be honest, I kind of forgot about it until I was in desperate need of some lip gloss about a week ago and remembered this was in my purse. I haven’t quit using it since; it is smooth without being sticky or gummy and provides just the right amount of gloss and tint. I love it!

So there you have it – five things that are my favorite this week! What are some of your favorite things?

10 Things I am Learning

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Life has been throwing out some lessons at me and I thought I’d share some of them; some are deep and maybe even a little sad, some are funny and others are just…just lessons – broken up with a couple funny pictures that somewhat go along with. So there you have it. Read em and weep…or laugh…your choice.
10 Things I am Learning
1.       Going at it alone – not easy; and if there is a lesson to be learned, it will probably be learned    the hard way.
          Seriously people, being on your own is not easy. I grew weary of coming home with no one but the dog to talk to two years ago and yet the trend continues and so I trudge on. Another delightful thing about being on your own is that as a homeowner and as a human being in general there are many lessons to be learned and trial and error (emphasis on error) is usually the name of the game. Example: my recent (and still ongoing) plumbing debacle which has involved much wailing and gnashing of teeth – and is still not over yet. As someone on another blog pointed out, I am learning so many life lessons by being on my own and supposedly that is a wonderful thing…and yet, they always seems to come with drawbacks: Moving the fridge to discover possible leak? Back hurts for several days after because; well, I’m not physically equipped to drag around a fridge. Weed-eating one’s own yard? Yeah, I got Lyme disease people. Seriously. So yes – life skills have been developed – but can I just say, I’m tired of learning all these “valuable” life skills. Or at least, I’m tired of learning them on my own. Where can I sign up for the mutiny?
2.       I depend too much on other people’s approval, admiration and praise.
          I think we all probably have this issue to a certain degree but I know full well that the degree to which I have it is less acute and more obtuse – and that isn’t really a good thing. Late last year an incident occurred wherein numerous people were recognized for their hard work but my contribution was left out; actually it was assigned to someone else entirely, which left me not only feeling hurt but also feeling like I was terribly inadequate, unimportant and not doing anything worthy of being praised. I am in desperate need of figuring out a way to shake things like this off and come to the realization that other people’s opinions are just that, opinions and they don’t really matter that much in the grand scheme of things. I’m getting better at this but it’s still a struggle; a struggle that is made more intense because I am one of those people that doesn’t want to rock the boat, so just ignoring people, being who I want to be and not worrying about who I might “offend” in the process, well that stresses me out. It’s a vicious cycle and I’ve got one leg off the hamster wheel…I guess I need to just make the jump, right?
3.       I am not nearly as efficient as I’d like to think I am.
          On a lighter note, because 1 and 2 were kind of heavy, I know…I know. I get a serious high from making myself a nice little to-do list and then crossing everything off as I complete it. This has somehow led me to believe that I am highly efficient and just always about some business when in reality; more often than not, I am just a lazy bum! I realize there are people in this world that come to the realization of what needs to be done and they just tackle it but I am of the variety where I need to first be seized by a mood if I am going to accomplish certain tasks. The rug needs to be vacuumed? I mean…if I am not in the mood, it’s probably not happening – even if it is on the to-do list. This results in spastic cleaning bursts at 9:30 on a Wednesday night. So you see, having a to-do list does not make one efficient. That being said…
4.       I am quickly becoming my Mother.
          Which is 100% not a bad thing; I love my Momma and think she is quite amazing, but it completely tickles me. I say things and the minute the words leave my lips, I realize I have just repeated something that I have heard my Mother say for these twenty-nine years, four months and some odd days of my life. My favorite thing is when I tell my Momma (of all people) that I just feel like I can’t sit down and chill out until I’ve finished all the little things I need to do around the house (see above; this obviously only happens in the midst of a cleaning frenzy) – something I used to laugh at her for saying. I see so much of my Momma in things I do, say and the way I act and while it cracks me up, it also makes me really happy because if I can turn out to be just a tenth of the person she is, I think I’ll be just fine and dandy.
5.       Life tends to go smoother when you are organized.
          Ha-ha, this points back to the above. My Momma has preached organization and being prepared since I was small and while it took me a little while to catch on, I now stand by the ideals of organization hard and fast. Everything has a place and at the end of the day, all of those everythings need to be in their places…because if they aren’t, then there is sure to be struggle in the future. I took my dog’s collar off of him last night and just tossed it onto the chaise lounge which is NOT where it goes!! What was I thinking? I’m not sure but I can tell you I spent about five minutes hunting all over my living room for it this morning before I found it, my dog watching me all the while like I’d come unhinged; which honestly, I kind of had. So what if some of the people I work with tell me that I am anal – I don’t lose things on my desk like they do and that gives me much joy. And yes, while it may seem silly to you to spend time picking out my clothes for the week ahead or readying my lunches for the week ahead, I tell you that it seems delightful when I can sleep an extra ten minutes in the morning because I don’t have to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, searching for this black tank top or that bag of Craisins. Organization – it is of the good.
6.       Genuinely loving people is REALLY hard.
          Oh me, this one is a big one. You see, people are all just one big ol mess; you can pretend that you aren’t and that’s just fine but let’s be honest with each other for a minute, we are all flawed and have crazy issues (hello, please see above for just one or two of the plenty of things I’m carrying around) and that makes it really hard to just truly love on people. It is much easier to pick reasons why people have disappointed you, made you angry or just been downright mean and it’s even easier to forget the times that they have been supportive, loving and encouraging. I am preaching to myself here for sure – you see, I have a low tolerance for people that…for lack of a better word, seem naïve to the ways of the world. It bothers me to no end when people act surprised or dumbfounded by simple things – you guys, I do not suffer fools lightly. It’s the truth and maybe it’s awful but it’s a cross I have to bear. That being said, I need to let it go a little bit. I need to just love people, because we all have something we are struggling with and we are all just fine the way the good Lord made us. So, I will try to love people more and you do the same and the world will be much nicer; right?
7.       I really don’t understand grace; at all.
          Which ties in to the above about learning to love people; I think learning to love people and understanding grace go hand in hand. As a child you accept that you are loved and you don’t question it; the innocence of youth makes us all so trusting, we accept grace for what it is – love we don’t deserve. The older I get, the more I realize that in all honestly, I am a very unlovable person sometimes and I try to do things to work toward being loved when we aren’t meant to do that. No amount of good deeds, prayer and supplication, none of it is enough to earn the kind of love that we all desire (even if you don’t realize what kind of love that is) because that love is given through grace. I often think it would be nice to retain a bit more of that childlike innocence; the childlike faith, because grace makes much more sense as a child. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
8.       I’m MUCH less mature at 29 than I thought I’d be.
          I don’t really have too much to say about this one…because really, what can I say? So…yep, it is what it is.
9.       My life, my relationships, my circumstances are nothing like I thought they’d be – and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
          Oooh, this one could go deep again. I mean, I know we’ve all heard the phrase “people plan and God laughs” but I honestly get the feeling that he just laughs hard at me. I don’t mean that to sound sacrilegious or even downright terrible but I can go ahead and assure you that if you’d asked me at nineteen what my life would look like at twenty-nine..folks, this just ain’t it(and yes; I know, ain’t isn’t a word, thaaank you! It just seemed to provide the right flow for that phrase). This isn’t even in the ballpark. My reality compared to what I thought my life would be – well, it’s so far off that I might as well be standing outside the ballpark…and the ballpark is in Tokyo. I have read where other people experience this same phenomenon but they are actually thrilled and delighted by the way things have gone but at this point, I just cannot say the same. I am neither thrilled nor delighted…if we are being honest, I’m more on the level of troubled and confused. That being said, I guess I just push on while praying for clarity and try to assure myself that one day I’ll look back at this stage in my life and it will all make sense. I sure hope so.
10.   Every single person is just making their best guess as they go.
          Once upon a time I thought people hit a certain age and everything just clicked. I would understand how the world worked, I would know how to take care of all the necessary parts of life without too much stress or strain and I would achieve that place where I appeared to be a fully functioning adult that had it all together. I don’t know if that place exists anymore. I think everyone is just trying to make the best of the hand they’ve been dealt and if that means that you don’t always have everything together, that’s perfectly fine. It’s a comfort to know from talking with friends that nobody is really strutting around, saying proudly to themselves “I have GOT THIS and everything is going make perfect sense from here on out!” Those people don’t exist. And knowing that makes me feel just a little bit better when I realize that I still don’t really know what I’m doing.

When the —- Hits the Fan…or the Floor

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Y’all – what a week. I don’t even know where to start except to say that I am happy to see this weekend in the rear-view. I guess the week itself wasn’t really that rough but Saturday was just about the worst day of the week, without a doubt. Granted, I’m getting ahead of myself on that and I’ll get there in due course. So, moving right along….

Just passing the time on a Monday lunch break….

I’m nothing if not insanely into being organized & prepared!

Monday night one of the funniest things happened – and of course, it involves Watson. He keeps me laughing most days and I’m telling you, on bad days he is normally the bright spot. Monday night I knew that Watson had disappeared into my bedroom and I was pretty sure he was asleep on my bed. I went to my bedroom and I couldn’t find him but I could hear his breathing. I looked all over and only when I walked around the corner of the bed did I see that he’d managed to climb to the top of the pillows and squish himself down in a little ball. It further cracked me up when I sent my Mom, my sister and a friend of mine the top picture to see who could find him first – and they were all just as cracked up by him as I was. I’m telling you, funniest little fur ball I have ever had the pleasure to call my own.

Playing hide & go seek with my favorite fur ball!

I can’t help it – he couldn’t be more adorable. 

Watching the Olympics – his favorite sport is snowboarding; he’s very into it…

I have raised the bar this past week on my exercise – and surprisingly enough, I haven’t died! I certainly thought on Tuesday that treadmill was going to run away with me but when it got faster, I just took it minute by minute and before I knew it, I was done! I somehow felt even more empowered once I conquered the crazy trip on the treadmill that I went all around the gym using the weight machines. I guess I was just in total beast mode because I lifted 120 pounds on one leg machine and 130 pounds on another before bouncing over to the crunch machine and doing crunches that involved me lifting 30 pounds! I even did the machine that involves hanging/balancing on your forearms while your body and legs dangle and raising up your legs to do “inverted” crunches. That machine is tough! I’m glad I can do all this but let me tell you, I feel it in the morning…and then I feel it the next morning…and maybe even the next…

That’s 120 pounds – because sometimes I can go into beast mode…

That’s a gray hair – from MY head. Oh mercy, this is NOT happening….

Have I mentioned lately that he’s completely rotten?

Curly hair – don’t care…just wish it would stay that way a little bit longer!

After almost two weeks of completely gray, dreary and downright awful weather – the sun finally came out on Thursday! I can honestly say that I have never been a fan of February because it just seems to be one long parade of gray and this year has been no different. I will not be sad to see this month pass because hopefully March will be a bit more sunshine and a lot less cloudiness; Lord knows I completely understand why people suffer from seasonal affective disorder because I promise, if I have to see many more clouds then I will run screaming. As it was, I was so excited to see the sun on Thursday that I wanted to get up and run in circles around the office. I didn’t – because, hello…not professional…but the urge was definitely there. All I have to say is, come on Spring – let’s do this.

The sun FINALLY came out! Hallelujah!

This is a hot look, I know…I didn’t show you the pictures from when she was dying my eyebrows; it would have been too much to handle.

I mean – doesn’t he clean up well? I may or may not have a Benedict Cumberbatch problem….

A new hair-do always makes me feel better and on Thursday, I took my lunch break at the end of the day and had a nice visit to the salon. I had pored over pictures and settled on what I wanted done; so with a flash of the picture(s) saved on my phone, I was plopped into the chair and within minutes my whole head was slathered in gorgeous brown goo – gotta love it! What you’ve got to love even more is that the girl that cuts my hair has recently become a huge Game of Thrones fan and so we easily passed the time that it took for my color to set discussing the merits of House Stark versus House Lannister, our favorite cities in Westeros and what we think (well, what she thinks…I know since I’ve read the books) will happen in season four. Only 48 days until season four arrives and I know that Lilah and I will both be glued to our TV sets. Beyond that, on the hair front…I had to have my eyebrows darkened to match my new hair and while I was at it, I got my eyebrows waxed because honestly…they needed it. I absolutely love my new hair-do and as I said, a new hair-do will always boost one’s mood!

Yay for a new hairdo!

I happily sang the Olympic theme song to him…he was not amused.

Maybe a little self-absorbed, but I really like my new hair…

Valentine’s morning aftermath & mayhem….

Valentine’s Day – or as I like to call it, Singles Awareness Day. I do hate it but to be honest, I’ve never been a fan…even when I had a significant other. The holiday just strikes me as something that can only be truly enjoyed if you are lucky enough to have romantic love in your life and if you don’t, then you really are kind of left out in the cold. I know that there are many different types of love and I was beyond blessed on Valentine’s Day with affection from numerous different sources of love – and I am incredibly lucky for that, because I know full well that there are lots of people that probably didn’t even get a single gift. So, that being said…I realize I sound completely wishy-washy on the subject so maybe I should just move past it. I spent my Valentine’s Day at work, followed by dinner and a movie with two of my friends. The dinner wasn’t spectacular and the movie was less than thrilling but at least the time was passed with people that I care about, and I suppose that’s all that matters.

A gift from my lovely Mom & Dad! So delicious!

Another present – this time from my sweet friend Hope!

My gifts from my parents: 2 Peanuts season ornaments, the display stand for them, a Subway card & a Chick Fil A card! Thanks a ton guys!

A happy puppy, enjoying the Saturday morning sun!

Saturday – oh what a day. Dear Lord, I sure do wish I could just have gotten back in the bed and started this whole day off differently. You see, last week I wrote about having suspected plumbing problems and while at the time it scared me to death, it seemed like it wasn’t that big of a deal. Well – fast forward to this week and guess what? It’s a big deal. I decided to start on my laundry this morning and things were going just fine until I heard the toilet go from bubbling to overflowing all over the guest bathroom floor and flooding it. The toilet and the bathtub had filled with grayish, debris filled water – at least, what hadn’t spilled all over the floor. After running through the house to cut off the washing machine, I mopped up the nasty water and reached out to a family friend, who brought his brother and came over. The next two hours were spent with them digging around in the back yard, coming to the conclusion that vines have apparently grown into my pipes, the whole system is blocked/jammed/under pressure and if the truth be told, I probably need to have a major plumbing overhaul.

I broke down and cried three times today – all because of my crazy plumbing issues. I watched while puddles of nasty water kept bubbling up in the midst of my backyard and when the wind would blow just right, the smell was truly lovely. I spent the afternoon dragging laundry across the yard to and from my Nanny’s house since my washing machine is now off limits – as is my guest bathtub, my guest toilet, my dishwasher and guess what? I have to wash my dishes carefully in the kitchen sink because when I let just a little bit of water out of the kitchen sink…the guest bathroom toilet starts bubbling, gurgling and all around making me a nervous wreck. So, I guess I’ll begin my week taking short showers, wading into the task of finding someone to fix my plumbing problems and praying that it doesn’t cost a fortune. I’m telling you, what a Saturday. Ugh.
A sure sign that your Saturday isn’t really going to go as planned….

You know things are rough when you have a diagram….oh Lordy….

He has obviously really fell in love with his car seat; I sometimes think I should just bring it in & let him sleep in it nightly…

Bubbles in the toilet – this is part of the problem. And yes, I know it’s nasty…but that’s what happens when the plumbing backs up. 

My little love, checking out what’s going on with me in the chair.

Sometimes when you’ve had a bad day, you just have to attack a chocolate covered, caramel covered apple with a knife…

Another goofy Sunday morning mirror picture….because that’s how I roll…

Sunday (or today) has gone by way too fast! I feel like my Saturday was crazy fast as well, but I think that is mostly because of all the madness. I woke up a little crazed this morning because I’d had a very real dream that I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and stepped out of the bed into ankle deep, cold gray water. Talk about waking up from a sound sleep, I certainly did just that and immediately cut on the lamp to peer over the bed and make sure my dream (I guess it was really a nightmare) wasn’t reality. Once I actually got up to go about my day, it seemed to pass in a blur of babies, Bibles and preparing for the week ahead. This weekend definitely passed way too quickly – at least for me.

Sunday morning cuddles!

Sunday night sunset – the weekend is going out with a blaze.
Well – that’s all she wrote (literally) for this post. I’ve got to cheer on Team USA in the ice dancing (even thought they can’t hear me through the TV….) and then get back to the Abbey to see what’s up with the Granthams and their downstairs help. Here’s hoping this week is promising, there are no more plumbing problems and my next weekend is not filled with crazy.