Monday, October 26, 2009

Cheers and Jeers

Cheers:

- Bailey has made it almost a full week not being locked up in his cage and he's doing great!
- It snowed yesterday and it's supposed to snow again on Wednesday!
- I'm really getting into both of my books, and that really excites me!
- Family is coming to visit for Thanksgiving and I have the day before off to help cook, the day of Thanksgiving to enjoy food, and the day after to watch the UT/atm game!

Jeers:

- For layoffs at work (not me; not yet, anyway)
- Neighbors playing their bass really loud every night for 2-3 hours.
- I don't think I'll be able to go to Texas for Christmas.
- I think I've bruised myself in approximately 3 places in the last 24 hours.

Blog to catch up on (boast about?) current reading progress coming soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mellow Sunday night/Weekend Update

Wow...I don't think I could possibly recall all that I did this weekend. There were funny moments, and average moments. And I think the only way I could really track my weekend would be to do a bulleted list (I am, afterall, a bulleted list person) and include visuals. Pictures of course. It is my blog, after all!

Friday night:

- Originally we planned on going out but in order to save money, we stayed in. We stopped by the grocery store with out any real plan of what we wanted, and on a whim, I stopped by the stand that has those little recipe cards. I have my own recipes at home, but I never remember to look through them before I go anywhere. We saw one that really caught our eye, bought all the ingredients, and it was AMAZING!! It was the McCormick recipe for homemade Tortilla Chicken Chili, which is basically chicken and whatever chili ingredients you like (corn, beans, tomatoes, etc) and then their chili mix. Top it with crumbled tortilla and there you have it!

Saturday:

- Saturday morning always means sleeping in. Period.

- After getting up to let Bailey out so he didn't pee all over the apartment, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I ended up downloading and watching Angels and Demons, since I liked the Da Vinci Code so much. I must say, I was very disappointed. I must first admit that I should have read the books, since I'm a self-proclaimed book nerd. But I just couldn't wait and wanted to see the movie first. I really liked the puzzle-solving and the deep story lines that ran throughout in the Da Vinci code, and I don't feel that it was quite up to that level in Angels in Demons. It's like the second movie went downhill in intricate plots. And *SPOILER ALERT*...

...I was really disappointed to be following the "mystery" of the Illuminati to the very end to learn that a priest killed the Pope and made it all up. Just took away from it all for me. I won't be buying that movie anytime soon.

- Around 2 pm or so, Justin asked me to go with him to visit his grandfather in the hospital. No sooner did we get to the hospital and get up to the room, then we walked in, and apparently they took his grandfather for a bath/shower, and it would be about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before he would be done. So we went out for lunch to a place called Panino's, and it was fun to go on a little date. They do a type of sandwich that is best described as a burrito, but the bread they use is actually pizza dough! SOOO YUMMY!!!

- After lunch, it was time for his mom's hockey game (she plays on a team that had a hockey tournament) so we weren't able to make it back to the hospital before their bedtime hours.

Sunday:

- Again, when one has the option to sleep in, one should. Fortunately for me, I woke up to the weather being VERY cold, so it made it very easy to turn back over and cuddle with the big puppy, who had ended up in the bed mysteriously the night before.

- Time was spent on the couch watching Monsters, Inc. I can't believe I still don't own this movie (or Toy Story, or a Bug's Life). I just really started "craving" it (can you crave a movie?) on Saturday, so I sat down and watched it with Bailey cuddled up next to me.

*On a side note, Bailey is really lazy. But that's ok, because then we get to cuddle a lot.*

- Later on, Justin and I ventured out to Whole Foods to get their supposedly thick cut Turkey bacon. We arrived there after about a 40 minute drive, only to find that they only had 1 kind that wasn't even thick cut, and was about $2 more expensive than a normal store. So we left.

- Right at the moment, I'm enjoying a homemade Chinese food dish (relax - I'm not that good - it was made from a box kit) that's really spicy, and I'm watching a marathon of "Man vs. Food" on the Travel Channel. What a great show!


In the meantime, it's been snowing for the last 7 hours or so, and it started accumulating about 5 hours ago. So needless to say, I'm in heaven!

I plan, as soon as I'm done with dinner, to read another chapter in my quest to read 2 books at once!

Whew - so that's my weekend, and that's where I'm at! Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Did you know...

  • The Roman army around the time of Augustus Caesar numbered at only 400,000, but they kept the peace of a Roman world of over 45 million people.
  • When Roman soldiers weren’t fighting, they were building. Most of the aqueducts and amphitheatres in the areas they were occupying were built by armies (like in France).
  • A typical soldier’s job (when there wasn’t a specific war going on) was stone-cutting for buildings, but most hated it. Those with something called “special letters of introduction” could practice a “trade” of their choosing, normally an administrative type position such as in a library, as a clerk, or in a surveyors or architect’s office.
  • The Roman soldier could move up the ranks by becoming the head man of his “mess” (the groups in which soldiers ate their meals), then a centurion’s second-in-command, then a centurion. To move up even further into the officer’s ranks, they would become a first cohort, then a knight. After that, they would retire, but usually only after serving, on average, 25 years if they volunteered. Some were even employed strictly to torture prisoners.
  • Discipline in the Roman army was taken very seriously. Favorite punishments of the emperors were to replace the wheat used to make bread in a soldiers diet with barley, public flogging of a soldier who misbehaved, reduction of a share of booty, or having 1 in every 10 soldiers from an “offending” cohort (legion), chosen at random to be clubbed or stoned to death by a soldier from another cohort.

Guess which of my two books I've been reading today.

I can't even write a real blog because I want to get back to the book!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Currently Reading...

I'm going to go against everything I've ever done in regards to book reading.
I'm going to read 2 books at once.
To help myself "break through", I've picked one fiction and one non-fiction to break it up. I just never liked the idea of reading 2 fictional books or more at the same time because I didn't want to get into multiple plots and either get them mixed up or not get the full effect of the plot lines.

So, the books of choice this round are:

  1. Non-Fiction: The Private Lives of the Roman Emperors by Anthony Blond. I'm already 1 chapter in, and the next chapter is about the Roman Army. For some reason, Mr. Blond picked Sex as the subject of his first chapter, and while it was interesting, it would definitely have been something I would have rather read last. It's a little bit of a harder read, and isn't quite as spell-binding as the Biography I recently finished about Augustus, but the facts are really interesting once I slow down and focus and process what I'm reading. There are a lot of things about the Romans that I bet you didn't know! And that's what I love finding out!!

  2. Fiction: Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters. This book was purchased as a spur of the moment decision, during a late night run to the grocery store. I'm always looking for great mystery/archeological/historical/puzzle solving fictional books (shocking!) so I thought I'd peruse the book aisle before heading to the check out counter. The cover and title caught my eye, and upon reading the back and the bio on the author, it turns out the book appears to have all of the above criteria I just mentioned, and the author apparently has a PhD in Egyptology. So she knows her stuff! I'm really excited to get into it. Oh yea - and the main character ends up chasing her mystery into - ROME!

So, since I can't decide on a weekly "theme day", and I don't have enough followers yet for a good cross-section of feedback, I'm going to go with blogging about books, whenever. I need to read more, and I always buy books and then don't read them, so I want to do this to hold myself accountable!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Decorations

I am slowly adding to my home decor week by week, and this week it was more than normal because I had a 20% discount coupon to a local store (like a Kohl's or Ross or TJMaxx). Plus, Justin was looking for a nice, affordable coffee table, so we went several places that would have many nice home decorations.
But the one thing I was really looking for was a wreath of some kind for the front door that was autumn themed. Unfortunately, all of the ones I found were either too expensive (I was looking for around 20 bucks, not 40) or were too big for the door (I mean, come on, I live in an apartment!).

Finally, I went to this store, Gordman's with my coupon, expecting to at least find something that was affordable or was affordable after my discount. Right off the bat, I found this really cute door hanging, but wasn't totally sold on it yet, because I was looking for a wreath.

But, I didn't want anyone else to buy it in the meantime, so I carried it around with me. I wasn't totally happy with any other door displays, so I ended up buying this one (as you can see!) and I'm very happy with my purchase! It is a wreath, but not a full out decorated one. And I think I like the fact that it's a simple wreath, but with nice decor attached to it.

Not to mention, it SPARKLES!!!

And I can leave this up for many months, since there's no specific holiday theme (which is what I was looking for) since it's just pumpkins! So, Happy Fall, Ya'll!

Happy Early Halloween!

If you've ever read any of my posts on Bailey, especially recent ones, you know that I kind of like dressing him up. To a certain extent, it's hard to find things that fit him, because he's so big, and I can only find cute things for the little dogs. I was even contemplating buying Bailey a child's costume, since that seemed to be the only affordable option that would fit him, without having anything custom made.

I had to go to PetsMart today to get Bailey some dog food, and right as you walk in, they have a Halloween display. I thought I would just check it out, until I noticed a "50% off" sign! And believe it or not, I picked up the first costume I saw, called Justin to confirm the purchase, and now - ladies and gentleman, I present "Bailey Monster"!!





My little devil! I actually call him my little angel boy, and we were actually going to get him human angel wings and a halo, but I couldn't resist this! Normally, as I mentioned, NOTHING fits him because he's just too dang big! But this is perfect - it's a cape that goes over his back, and the only 2 places it attaches (his neck/stomach) have straps that secure with velcro! So no matter how big the dog, you can make sure the costume stays!

And then of course, I saw the horns, and that sealed the deal for me. The angel halo was a headband meant for a human, and I just couldn't see them actually staying on Bailey's head. But the hat with the horns attached? And it too stayed together with a velcro strap around the neck? Sign me up!

So I brought it home and the very first thing we did was try it on (IT FIT!!!!) and take pictures. I'm dog sitting for my parents, and I have Baxter staying with me, so I'm sure he was very thankful I didn't try to put it on him! (And that's also why you see multiple dog beds in one picture!)

I LOVE DOGS!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New idea...

Since I only had 2 comments on my last post, and only 1 new follower, I shouldn't be indulging my new idea (because I said I needed at least 5 comments!) but I had a great idea as to what my one "theme day" could be...

I scrapbook, but not as much as I'd like. I was working on one page the other night, and brought one completed album to work to show other "dog moms". I thought - hey I really enjoy scrapbooking and I also enjoy sharing this with other people! I'm definitely no expert, and I'm limited budget-wise, so I have to get creative, but I have a great time doing it, and I least I feel that I'm doing a good job! (So don't burst my bubble! :o)

So, my idea was to pick one day (probably Saturday or Sunday) to update with photos of the progress of pages I'm currently working on, or something I've completed. Or, share some photos and ideas on how I'd like to add it to my never-ending album.

Here are some pictures of pages I've made so far:






I also started thinking, if people liked this, and I got a little better, I might be able to make some money doing something I love. People are always telling me that they used to scrapbook, or wish they could, or bought all the materials but then never got around to it. I would love to help them put it together, and I wouldn't charge much. Then they would be happy that they had a nice scrapbook of their memories put together for them!
Now, how to get started on that without peddling myself or feeling like I'm asking people to just give me money out of the blue. Maybe I'm not meant to start my own business!
But, is the idea worth it? Would you read it? Any scrapbookers out there that would start following or sharing ideas/comments? Should I start "Scrapbooking Saturday"? Help!



Monday, October 12, 2009

Themes?

I think it would be fun to do a blog “theme” or two. That way I can interact with people who may read my blog, and maybe attract more people to follow! So, general poll:

Would you be interested in or willing to comment/follow my blog if I had something like:
  • One day a week, I shared about a book I was reading, gave a recommendation, or asked for reading suggestions?
  • One day a week, I shared a recipe, or asked for suggestions/if you made it, did you like it?
  • One day a week, I mentioned a wish or random thought or observation, and asked for opinions or responses?
  • One day a week, I posted my favorite picture of the week (whether I took it or found it), and asked for thoughts the picture may “stir up” for you? Or for you to share a picture similar, etc.?

I want at least 5 comments posted before I decide!! Please help! I’ll also take any other suggestions, if you think I may already have a very light theme in my previous posts, that I could bring more to light. I thought about doing a “doggie theme” one day a week, but that would limit the people who could respond, and I talk about Bailey all the time anyway, so that might be difficult.

Let me know! So, comment and make sure you sign up to follow my blog! Thanks!!

Cozy Weekend Update

I’ve been having a deep desire to be “cozy” recently. There’s just something about being home when it’s cold, putting on the PJ’s and curling up with hot coffee. I must admit, I didn’t really read any of my books this weekend, and I’m actually disappointed in that. I think if I blogged on my “progress” on the books, that I’d be better at holding myself accountable for reading them. But I digress.

We currently have a large group staying at the hotel, and though they don’t do it often, the managers at the hotel asked those of us in administrative positions to help in the operation over the weekend, since they would be very busy. So I was supposed to work at our outdoor pool from 7:30 am – 3 pm Saturday. But, guests don’t really like swimming outdoors in 19 degree weather with freezing rain falling down at high speeds apparently, so they closed the pool officially Friday night when the ice storm started. I knew before I went to bed that I didn’t have to get up early so that was awesome!

Saturday – I was able to sleep in, which is great, because I was supposed to work all day! So, I got up around 10 am or so, while Justin slept later (curled up with Bailey, by the way – so sweet!) and made myself a nice breakfast of toast with jelly, bacon and an egg sunny-side up! Then as the day went on, I watched a Hindi movie and really was just a couch potato all afternoon. (Hey – it was sleeting outside! The dog park was out of the question.) Instead of reading, I’ve been watching a lot more of my Hindi movies lately. I recently got the urge to watch my movies, or to find one or two new ones. They just put me in a good mood! I decided to watch one movie Friday night that I just haven’t seen in a while, “No Entry”, and then I downloaded new movies that sounded really good. Saturday morning I watched “Kambakkht Ishq” (that has my favorite male actor as the lead).



I ended up really enjoying it, and the songs were fun too! I did have to go in to work around 5 pm, to help direct guests to late meetings and dinners, but fortunately only had to stay for about an hour and a half, and came right home. Justin and I looked around for some firewood, but everywhere was sold out, because it had been sleeting all day, and was freezing. Bummer – but at least I had my blanket and my big dog to keep me warm!

Sunday – Again, I was supposed to work at our outdoor pool, but it was still only expected to hit the high 30’s or low 40’s, so we found out Saturday night that the pool was closed again. I got to sleep in again - sweet! I watched the other movie I downloaded, “Kuch Naa Kaho” (with my favorite female actress in the lead), and loved that one too!

I worked again Sunday night, just directing more guests, and made it home in time for the Rockies/Phillies Game 3. I started to watch another movie, “Shabd”, with the same lead actress, but that stopped 30 minutes in, as Justin asked me to watch the game with him, until the very end. I’ll have to watch my final movie tonight then. But it was a pretty close game – so I’m glad I didn’t miss it! Go Phils! (I have to say that now, hehe…) The game didn’t end until 12:45 am or so, so needless to say, I’m exhausted this morning. I wish my lunch was long enough to take a nap, but it’s only an hour, and that involves a least 20 minutes of driving round trip.

On a high note, the pool was closed AGAIN today, and tomorrow, so I get to spend time inside, warm at my desk. And I didn't have to work at the pool at all! I do know that I have to come in at 6:15 am to direct more guests, rain or shine, so no 1 am bedtime for me tonight!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nature got my memo...

So, remember my last post? Where I asked if it was Christmas yet?

Nature totally got my memo.

The forecast for today called for a slight chance of rain and/or snow, but I usually don't go by those since they're usually wrong. Boy, did I have to kick myself for doubting the forecast or what?

This is the view from my balcony right when I got home from work.

Later on, you could see the snow starting to accumulate on people's cars, and all the bushes, etc.



Then, when I took Bailey out, I grabbed my camera. So here's my "backyard". And more solid proof that I'm not lying!

And if you still don't believe me, or you're in the mood to watch falling snow (and hear my sarcastic comment...), then click the play button below!

video

Tonight's the night of Jim and Pam's wedding, so I'm going to let the fire go in my fireplace and settle in!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is it Christmas yet?

We get a certain number of paid days off based on how long you've been at my work. You must use them all before your Anniversary Date (date you were hired) or they're gone, and on your Anniversary Date, you get your paid days renewed. You use 'em, or you lose 'em. I only wish we had a "rollover" policy. But, alas, we don't, and I had to use my remaining days before October 10th.

So 2 weeks ago, I took a Friday and Monday off, resulting in a 4 day weekend, filled with lots of shopping and time with my mom. What made it even better was the fact that she took me to Michael's and I bought materials to make my very own, very first Christmas wreath! All the Christmas stuff was 30% off (hey - it was September) and even though Christmas was still a few weeks away, I couldn't resist the sparkles and the sale and can't wait to put it all together!

No, that's not mine, and I didn't buy that many accessories for my wreath, but it is red/white/silver, and I'm SUPER excited to put it together. I'm trying to fight my temptation to put it together ASAP, but I don't want to finish it too early and then lose the "buzz" from being "crafty" - especially since it involves Christmas.

And on a guilty note, it was actually so cold at one point this weekend, that I almost played Christmas music. I had my iTunes open, and I could see my Christmas playlist, and I fought it - and didn't play anything. But I can't wait much longer. Check out the weekend forecast coming up:

Yes, that's a forecast for a mix of rain and snow showers. So we'll see. BUT - if it snows, I'm going to have to play "Let it Snow". I just have to.

So Christmas - are you here yet? Please hurry! In the meantime, I will have to decorate my apartment with fall things.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bring on the cold!

So it's Saturday night, and I just wanted to share a few of the great Fall things I'm enjoying:

  • Today's high = 57 degrees. Currently = 51 degrees. Expected low = 38 degrees.

  • Windows open, fire raging!

  • Bratwurst cooked on the grill, with college football on in the background (Miami beating OU currently...may change by the end of this post!)
  • Fall flower bouquet from the store with a cute pumpkin candle holder - gotta love fall decorations!
  • And a nice warm doggie next to me on the couch! (That is, when he's not walking around the corner to the window in the bedroom that overlooks the parking lot so he can scope out what's going on)

I can't wait for winter! I'm one of those weird people that wakes up every day just wishing it would snow. Most people around here dread fall and winter, and keep saying they'd like it to stay warmer just a little bit longer. I say - bring on the cold, bright days and the freezing, cozy nights! Being cold just gives you the opportunity to wrap up and cuddle and be cozy inside and when you're outside, you get the best scenery in the winter months!

Imagine - sitting in a big cozy char, in peace and quiet, or with some nice music going, maybe Harry Connick , Jr. You're holding a warm cup of coffee, reading a good book, with a dog napping nearby and a warm fire going. Outside the window, snow is just starting to cover the ground in a layer of soft, white sparkles, and you have no other plans for today.

Doesn't that sound nice? Who wouldn't like fall or winter after that?

Oh, and I'm also currently enjoying pumpkin ice cream!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Return to Blogging

And it feels good to be back! I was still pretty busy over the past month and made sure to keep taking pictures. I knew one day I would be able to have my computer fixed and could upload photos.

Fortunately for me, both of Justin's parent's are I.T. geniuses! One night over dinner, either Justin or I mentioned my problem, and his dad said "well bring it over and I'll take a look at it". My first thought - if he can do ANYTHING for free, then it's worth it! It's not like he could make it any worse. So I brought it up to them on a Friday night, and then by Tuesday - he'd fixed it! He even updated my version of Internet Explorer and put Microsoft Office 2007 on it. And all for free, which was just awesome of him!

I cannot express in words how EXCITED I am to have my computer back! I've been alternating between my BlackBerry and my iTouch for internet and I can't tell you how much I underestimated opening the lid to my laptop and being able to type normal and see things in full scale! So if I can give out any advice, cherish your computers!!

And so now, I’m relaxing on the couch with my dog while uploading pictures and, of course, blogging. I can’t wait to get back into blogging and posting the fun random thoughts and pictures. And to keep up with everyone else! But in the meantime, I kept myself busy by going camping twice, hiking and dressing up Bailey. Oh yes, I'm one of those dog owners. But at least I take him to do "manly" things, like camping. It was a great finish to this summer. Enjoy!