Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend + Quality Friends/Family Time

Thank you to all service members who made the ultimate
sacrifice to protect our freedom. 


Hello all and welcome back! Linking up with Katie @ Healthy Diva Mom and Erin @ Her Heartland Soul

After being in the military for 6 years, days like Memorial Day have a special place in my heart. I saw this picture posted around Facebook (and other places) and I think that it does a great reminder as what each of the days mean when it comes to service members and their families.




This weekend was a long one and I am so grateful for it! I hope yours was great as well. This post is going to be pretty picture-less as I didn't get too many but I hope you enjoy anyway!

Thursday - Heading to a girlfriend's after work. Since Thursday's are technically my Friday's, I usually dont hesitate to do something on that night with friends. This night we decided to have a spontaneous girl night to meet and cuddle with our friend's new baby. He is about 2 months old and is so adorable. It almost makes me want to start having kids (ALMOST guys, calm down). We sat around, had a drink and ate some pizza. It was awesome!

Friday - I started the day by taking Ms. Mya for a walk. She seems to be getting better and better with walking (and not pulling). Then I decided to head out for a little pampering. I got myself a pedicure at a place that just opened up by our place. AND all services were 25% off so I decided to go with the middle option instead of the bottom pedicure option. You guys, it was great. The lady was a great massager and my feet actually felt great afterwords. Sometimes I feel like you leave there and you can't tell the difference. After that I ran to Wal-mart where I may have spent quite a bit of money. I got a new rug, new curtains, a swiffer (for the new hardwood floors), couple of food items, and a keurig pod holder. I haven't taken it out yet but I might be able to find something cheaper at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx :) After Wal-Mart I headed to Menards. I am working on a little project in the kitchen that I will share with you all in the future. I give all credit to my mother in law who suggested it in the first place! After that it was heading home, cooking some dinner and then heading out to HOM furniture. We are in the market for a new couch (living room set really) so I suggested we go to HOM to get some inspiration. I honestly think we left with more confusion and options than anything. We'll get there, eventually.

Saturday - Started with some breakfast (eggs + cottage cheese + shredded cheese = heaven!). Then I went for a 2.2 mile run. There are some trails behind our new house and I decided that I would go out and explore. It is really gorgeous and its hard to even tell that we live in the suburbs sometimes. It reminds me of when we lived in Colorado and we had the trails behind us. So peaceful and beautiful. After that I prepared for my best friend Amy and her pup Hoss to come over. This was going to be a new meeting for Mya but it turns out it was just fine. Actually, Mya wanted to play more than Hoss did! Here is a blurry picture of them trying to play tug of war. Let's just say that Hoss (left) is quite a bit stronger than Mya (right).





It so nice that Mya is doing better with other dogs. For a while there we didn't know if she would like other dogs. After some intense play, we decided to head out for some drinks and dinner. We hit up one place just to find out that they do not have a gluten free menu, so we decided to just get a drink there and head somewhere else. We decided to go to Bricks Kitchen and Pub which wasn't very far. At least 1/2 of their menu was gluten free or gluten free by request which is perfect for Amy (she has Celiac Disease). I got the Elk Burger. It has cherry bbq sauce, bleu cheese and fried shallots and I got the asparagus as the side. I was disappointed in the asparagus as I only got about 7 stalks and they were super thin. I ended up eating some of Bill's and Amy's fries because I didn't feel like I was full. Amy got the Pub Burger and Fries (both gluten free) and Bill got the turkey club. Although the price was a little high, we all felt that the food was really good. I would recommend it!

After that we headed home to have a nightcap and catch up. Honestly, this chick and I could talk FOREVER! 


stolen from Amy's snapchat

Sunday - Bill and I were finally able to get our downstairs living room put together. And by that I mean the tv on the wall and the couch in its spot. I cant wait to do some much needed netflixing and huluing down there (yes I just made those verbs) After that, we headed to our friend's house, Toby and Emily. There we having some people over for Memorial Day and we thought Mya would love another play date with their Golden Retriever, Zoe. The food was delicious! After that we headed home for some quality relaxing time.

Monday (extra day off) - Started with Bill heading off to golf with some friends and me and Mya hanging out. Then I decided to tackle the yard and massive itch weeds that we have growing. I sprayed the yard and hoped that it would kill all of the weeds. I am happy to report that most of them looked about dead this morning. Dinner was over at Bill's cousins house to celebrate a birthday. After some more delicious food and cake, we headed home and were in bed by 8:30pm. Man, does that make us sound old or what?!

Well I think that's a long enough post for today!

How was your weekend?



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mya: The Journey of Adding a Fur-member

The long, anticipated post about our dog Mya is here! If you follow me Instagram, you would see that about 1.5 months ago we added a new fur-member to our household.

Now Bill and I have talked about having a dog since we started dating (almost 7 year ago...wahhhh??). We never really had a time frame or talked about when we would get one, just that we wanted a medium/large dog in the future.We talked about the kind of dog that we wanted too. We couldn't really settle on one type of dog but we knew that we wanted one that would be smart, that would be trainable and one that didn't have a long list of health issues. If you have followed the blog for some time you know that last year about this time, our Bruce was diagnosed with some urinary issues. Since we were able to get it under control, we have had no issues (knock on wood!).

Fast forward, my friend Amy (hi Amy!) send me a picture of a dog. She was brown and black with bits of blonde and white. She was also labeled as a German Shepherd mix. Now I have always wanted a GSD mix. I have always just felt a weird pull towards them. She was listed through a rescue called Happy Tails Rescue. I had never heard of this rescue, so I looked into them. I found that they had a Facebook group where fosters updated the group on dog's progress and training. I had never found a group like this for any other rescue that I follow (and I follow quite a few ha). I knew that the one that Amy sent me was not going to be the one for us just by how many people were sharing her post and commenting on how they sent in an application for her. So I went back to their website and looked at their available dogs. That is when I found her...

She looked a little different than the original one but she seemed to have the same type of fur and ears. So I clicked on her and immediately felt like she was waiting for us. Around this same time, her foster mom posted in the group that she was doing great with the transition to human hood. Now I say this because of a few different things (which I will get to in a second). I reached out to her and talked with her about Mya (then named Jo). This is where I found out just what was going on and her background.

Mya's Background:

Mya was found with her sister roaming with a pack of wild dogs on a reservation in South Dakota. The Happy Tails rescue rescues quite a few dogs from this reservation. They were able to catch Mya's sister but it took a little longer for them to catch Mya. The foster and the Rescue called her "the wild one" since she had little to no human contact. You couldn't really get close to her without her running and hiding with her tail between her legs. Mya was also a little older than most puppies since she was about 4 months old.

When we first met her, she wouldn't even come near us. She was scared and had found a safe place on the foster's couch. You could go up to her on there (as long as you did it slowly) and she would allow you to pet her. She is seriously one of the softest dogs I have ever pet. We also noticed some scarring on her face. We concluded that it must not have been easy on the reservation which could have led to fights. We also think she might have been picked on. I will be doing another post on training where I will talk more about this! We also were informed that she had a virus in her mouth that just needed to run its course and that once she got healthy, it would go away. Essentially it was like a cold for humans. Other than that though, she was healthy and up to date on shots and was already fixed!

After meeting her, I think both Bill and I feel in love. I know I did! I mean how could you not love this face?!




After getting home, we decided that we should jump on this opportunity and become fur-parents again. So we met her on Tuesday and picked her up that next Friday!

I felt so nervous on Friday going to pick her up! Trying to decide if we made the right decision or not or if it was too early. How could we handle a new puppy, buying a house, moving out of our old house and into the new one within a month?!

But guess what?! It has worked out just fine!

When we got home, we had things already set up. We knew that she was going to be scared so we had a little "den" that the foster suggested we set up. We had her crate with a blanket in it as well as covering half of it. That way she had a place that she felt like she could hide but not covered to the point where we couldn't see her. After a little while, she started coming out of the kennel and exploring. At first she had no interest in Bruce and would just let him come over and sniff her...OH BOY has that changed ;) Within the first week of getting her, we took her to the vet. We just wanted to make sure that she really did have a clean bill of health. Turns out, she did! It also turns out that the vet thought that she was a little older than 4 months when we got her. They figure her being born around the end of October. <---How perfect that we got married at the end of October :D She also said that Mya would probably be around 50 lbs and that she is probably a mix of a lot of different breeds. Although she stated that she looked like an Australian Shepherd. After looking at different variations of mixes, I think I have settled on one that really looks like her: Australian Shepherd Chow Mix. The pictures are of variety but a lot of them look similar to her! Anyway...the vet also said that she will probably be smart (since in the wild, dumb animals do not survive) and we have definitely made huge progress with training so I think she was right!

Potty Training:

At first, Bill and I were going to use puppy pads. The foster was having success so we thought that it might be easier for her transition if we used them as well. HA well we got some, laid them on the ground, showed her where they were and that did NOTHING. We ended up not using any and really just watching her. Watching for sniffing and walking in circles. Waiting for that moment of intense play and then the sudden look of "oh sh* I gotta go!". Since she was a wild dog for quite a long time before we got her, we have had some incidents where she will be just walking and then pop a squat. Thankfully we have (hopefully) gotten her out of that. I will say though, the first week was ROUGH. We kept her in the kennel and Bill would come home for lunch. Then go back to work. Every day that first week, Bill would come home at lunch to a pup covered in feces. It was beyond frustrating to try and figure out the best routine for her. We thought about feeding her earlier to get her to go #2 but that was just not working. So a co-worker suggested waiting until you leave to feed them so then they aren't rushed into having to go to the bathroom. Honestly, since the day after we started that she has not had an accident in her kennel. When she is out and about roaming, we are still watching her since we have had a couple of accidents in the house. Nothing major but just enough that we have to make sure she isn't going somewhere to go to the bathroom. At the old town home, she would go and sit by the door and that usually meant that she had to go to the bathroom. We have also noticed that when she gets rough with us or WILL NOT settle down, its her telling us she needs to go to the bathroom. Last night, for example, she just kept running around and trying to bite us. I asked her if she needed to go outside and she went to the door. We barely made it to the grass before she started going!


Kennel Training:

The foster started this with Mya right away which I am so thankful for. Both Bill and I did not have dogs that were kenneled growing up. The first couple nights we had her, we put her in the kennel in our room. After that we moved her out to the hallway for one night. Then we moved her downstairs (where her kennel was at most of the day- we would move it upstairs at night). She has been out in the living room ever since. She has also been really good at keeping quiet - that we know of! When we are at home and she starts whining, we tell her no and that is the end of it. Usually when she is whining, she has to go to the bathroom. Not all the time, but I'd say about 70% of the time. Now we have gotten to the point that when we say kennel, she will go in it. Sometimes, she runs but eventually she will go into her kennel. We also feed her in her kennel. When doing research, we had found that you want to treat their kennel as a good area not a bad one. This is why we had it set up in the beginning as her hideout and it is also why we feed her in the kennel. That way when she goes in there, she doesn't associate it with being in trouble or bad.


So there you have it! A little snapshot into our first couple months with our puppy.


Here's a couple more pictures for your viewing pleasure :)

          




Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thinking Out Loud


Thinking-Out-Loud2
Today I am linking up with Running with Spoons for Thinking out Loud...so let's go!


1. Our house is STILL in shambles...gah. Moving is so exhausting! But hey, by tomorrow we will only have one house :) Bill and I were able to get it all clean by noon this last Sunday and carpet cleaners come today! Check out with our landlord for our town home is tomorrow. He was seriously a great landlord, even though we never met him! This weekend we are hoping to get our dining room table from Bill's parents house and get some more stuff organized. The other night we searched for about an hour trying to find a fingernail clipper...and it is still MIA (sigh).


2. This week I finished The Girl on the Train.

                                                      Image result for the girl on the train

I've heard some buzz about this book so when my coworker offered it to me last week, I jumped to read it. It was pretty good. Good enough that it only took me about a week to finish - I'm a pretty fast reader...especially with books that intrigue me. They are turning this book into a movie this fall and I'm for sure going to be seeing it. I am always interested in seeing how producers interpret the book and put it on the screen. From the trailer though, the movie looks like its going to a good one!


3. Bruce has learned to jump over the gate at the new house. At our last house, we used a baby gate to keep Bruce downstairs at night due to his annoying constant meowing at night. Well the old owner left his baby get at the house and we thought we could just do the same. Turns out Bruce does know how to jump and gets over it no problem. Two nights ago he was quiet. Then when I got up I realized there was a bag of Mya's treats on the floor opened. So needless to say, he probably wasn't interested in humans since he was full. Last night he was also quiet so I was full on expecting to see something destructive, but nothing! He started meowing around 5:30am which is normal since his automatic food feeder goes off at 5:45am. This morning though, he couldn't remember where it was and I had to get up to go and show him where it was. Since we thought the gate would work, we put his food downstairs. But since he can jump over it, we might just bring it back upstairs so he hears it when it goes off! 


4. I have not worked out in 2 weeks...ick. With moving and trying to get everything ready, working out took a huge hit. I hope to get back this next week when everything kinda slows down. Unfortunately there is no Anytime right by our new house. The closest one is about 14 miles away. That doesn't sound like much but there was an anytime 2 minutes from our old town home...whomp whomp. Bill has decided to join a new gym call Xperience Fitness. The facilities look nice and the price is pretty hard to beat. I am still deciding if I want to make the change or not. With getting new healthcare on July 1st, I will have the wellness attachment so I will be looking into that as well.


5. Today is my friday...WAHOO! I started working 4 10 hour shifts a couple months ago and I seriously love it. Although the days get long sometimes, having every Friday off is worth it! Tomorrow should be a productive day though. I hope to get more stuff organized, run some errands and then we are going to The Book of Mormon. I have heard really good things about it so my hopes are very high :) Then Saturday we are planning a grill out with some friends. One of my favorite activities for the Summer!


So that's it for today!

disclosure: this posts contains affiliate links



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Empty Cabinets: Two Easy, Healthy Meal Ideas for Moving


Have you even been in the situation where you are getting everything packed up and ready to move...then you realize that all of your kitchen stuff is packed and you know you dont want to eat out for the next couple of day? I thought so!

Well I am here now and I have looked on the interwebz to try and find a good post on easy, healthy meals to make while in transition and guess what? I didn't find any that really addressed that! So that is what inspired me to make this post. I am hoping that it will help you out the next time that you are trying to come up with dinners when your kitchen is in boxes!

ok...here are two ideas that helped us get through the week!

Meal Idea #1 - Quesadillas

Sadly, I don't have any pictures but here is just a generic one to help get a good picture in your head :)

Source

Now that you are salivating excited about making these, I will go ahead and explain how we do quesadilla night at the Adam household! Feel free to add and/or take away and steps to make it your own.

Step 1. Make sure you have tortillas. We use La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat tortillas. I can't count how many times I have been excited to make these just to realize we are out of the main ingredient. 

Step 2. Gather ingredients. With moving, this opportunity to use any lunch meat/leftover meat that you have about to go bad/lingering in the fridge. Especially when you don't want to have to move it or throw it away.

Step 3. Two other ingredients are are staples are: cheese and beans. Sometimes its refried beans and sometimes its black beans. It all depends on what we have on hand. I will say that refried beans is a little easier since we just heat it up and spread it as the bottom and top layer of the quesadilla. For the cheese I usually use a Colby Jack blend. I really like getting these on sale and then freezing them. That way we always have some on hand!

Step 4. Last night I used up some yellow pepper and some white onion as well. I sauted them in a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. It added just enough flavor to the whole thing. 

Other: Salsa/taco sauce. Now if you were to ask Bill, he'd say taco sauce. For me, I like good old fashioned salsa. Not needed but definitely helps.

Now this is how we make them. We don't have a fancy quesadilla maker but we do have some pots with lids and they do just fine! Below I'm going to list the steps we went through last night since they were simple and required little dishes. That is the reason for this post after all ;)

Step 1: Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat with some oil spray.

Step 2: Spread a thin layer of refried beans on one tortilla and place in skillet. Then sprinkle some cheese on the beans. I would say that I use about 1-2 T of cheese.

Step 3: Place whatever middle goodies ingredients you want in the skillet. Cover those ingredients with some more cheese and place another tortilla with refried bean on top. 

Step 4: Place lid on skillet. This helps all of the meat heat through and melts all the cheesy goodness.

Step 5: I flip mine after a couple minutes on one side. Be careful though, I have lost some fixins by going too fast with it!

Step 6: Take out, cut up and enjoy with favorite dipping sauce.


Meal Idea #2 - Pineapple Crock Pot Chicken

I used this Damn Delicious recipe as inspiration for this idea. Now when I made this meal I cooked it for wayyyy too long. That is all on me but this would have been delicious if it was only cooked for an appropriate amount of time (apparently 15 hours is not appropriate).

Again I don't have any pretty pictures. But I can guarantee you that if would have seen the way this looked in the crock pot you would run away!

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can use breasts but cut down on the cooking time so they                dont dry out.
  • 1 can of cubed pineapple ( I just dumped the whole can + juice in the crock pot)
  • 1 cup of Island Teriyaki sauce
  • 1T Rice Vinegar
  • 1T Liquid Aminos
  • 1t Red Pepper Flakes
Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Like I said above, you can use chicken breasts but I would make sure to keep an eye on them. Since breasts are lower in fat, they tend to dry out a lot easier. You could also use leg quarters. I know our grocery store has them on sale for $.49/lb sometimes, which is a great deal!

To make clean up easy, I used Reynold Slow Cooker in my crockpot to make for an easy cleanup. These have honestly changed how I cook in the crockpot! There is (almost) nothing better than when you go to clean up and you can just lift and throw away. Then a little wipe out of the crock pot and you are done!


So there you have it! Two simple, healthy meals that make for an easy dinner when you are packing up/have packed up all of your stuff. These meals made last week an easy one all while we were able to continue our packing progress!


Have you moved recently?

What was on your dinner table?


disclosure: this posts contains affiliate links

Monday, May 9, 2016

Moving Forward





You guys. I cant believe we are here already and next week at this time, we will be move into our new home! Feels like we just moved into our town home. But we are moving onto bigger and better (and more expensive) things!

We spent the majority of this last weekend doing some final painting touch ups and cleaning up. The basement is now done, most of the closets have been painted and about 20 spiders were killed. Am I the only one that thinks that 20 is a lot...yes? okay then.

As we left the house last night, we reflected on how this upcoming weekend is really the last night in the town home. The town home was a huge part of the last 18ish months. Going from engaged to married, to house hunting and becoming fur parents again. She has seen a lot! As scary, stressful and exciting as looking for and buying a house was, I am excited to have a place that is OURS. Oh and so many projects that we just cant wait to do to make it more "us".

As we pack up our stuff, I have been throwing out a lot as well. No better time to purge your things than when you are moving and don't want to take it with you to the new place! I actually ordered a bag from ThredUP to send in my brand name, gently used items. If you haven't heard of ThredUP, its basically an online consignment shop where they look at your clothes, determine what they can accept and pay out a certain amount. Any unaccepted items, they donate and/or upcycle. You can request to have whatever they don't accept shipped back for a fee, but honestly I want to get them out of the house anyway and I'd rather someone else get some use out of them! You can request the bag for free and then it comes with a prepaid shipping label to give back. I have not sent mine in yet, but will have an update once I do!

When packing, it seems to take me forever. I usually find that when I start going through things, I find stuff that I forgot we had or I find trinkets from different memories. This usually leads me to think about the past and all of the amazing things that I have had the opportunity to experience. With friends and family but also by myself. While memories are great, it sometimes makes it hard to get rid of something because of the sentimental value. But I have noticed that some things are still in the box from our move to MN. And if that is the case, it really is time to let it go. But as I donate/get rid of things, it is allowing for us to make room for more memories. Moving forward isnt always easy, but I can honestly say that I am excited about it this time!




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'til next time!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Life Update

Holy moly! I can't believe that it is already May and how long it has been since I have posted!

So sorry to all you loyal followers ;) If you are new to this little corner of my world, welcome! If you are returning, welcome back! You may notice that my blog now looks completely different <-- Which I will get to soon!

So here is an update on the last 6ish months in my life!

Wedding and Married Life:

We got married on 10/24/2015 and it was almost perfect! At the end of the day, I married my best friend and that is what mattered. We danced the night away and probably stayed out too late, but it didn't matter. WE GOT MARRIED. The venue/vendors on the other hand, I swear were out to get on my nerves (I didn't really touch on that in the weekly updates leading up to the wedding, but may do an update on how I everything went with different venues and vendors).  After our wedding, we went to the amazing city of Puerto Vallarta where we enjoyed a heavenly week at Barcelo. If you'd like more information on the resort, you can see reviews and different pictures from other travelers here. After our honeymoon, we got back and enjoyed our time not planning for anything.

Buying a Home: 

In January, we started talking about looking into the house buying process. Since our lease was going to be up in May (or so we thought), we decided it could be a good time to start. We found a realtor through one of Bill's coworkers and jumped feet first. He suggested a financial guy where we got pre-approved and then started looking at houses on Thursdays and on the weekends. Let me tell you, after looking at 26 houses (before finding "the one"), they all kinda start looking alike. The ones that you really didn't like stick out but the mediocre ones just fade from memory. When we found "the one", it was on a Thursday. I think Bill knew right away that he loved this house but it took me a little more convincing. It didn't have the exact kitchen that I wanted and the rooms were kinda small....but we decided that this one was the best for the money and if we put some work into it then we could possibly increase the value of the house. This was an important factor that we talked about each time that we looked at a house. I have it on the list of blogs posts to do: Lessons Learned from First Time Home Buyers. Well fast forward-- we closed on the house on April 28th. Even though there were some bumps in the road, we got into the house the night of April 29th. Since we are not moving in for a couple of weekends and decided that we'd like to do some painting and whatnot before moving. The week before I went out and picked out some paint colors and on Saturday, April 30, we jumped right it. We are so fortunate to have great family and friends that helped us out. It probably doesn't help that we called it a painting party instead of just painting :) That day we were able to get almost the whole upstairs painted. There were only 4 walls left by the end of the day. We were also able to start on the basement. I say start because I do.not.like the color that I picked out. So this Friday I will be going and getting a different color. I'm sure it is all going to work out, it will just take some time! I am planning on posting some before and afters on here once things get finished. Let me know if you'd like some other home posts! Now I finally have a chance to decorate and make the house, our HOME.

Adding a Fur Member:

After starting the house looking process, we found a rescue group (thanks Amy!) in Fridley called Happy Tails Rescue. The reason this rescue stood out to us is because all of the dogs are placed in foster homes before they are adopted out. They also have a Facebook group where the fosters post updates on the dogs and how they are adjusting. We were originally looking at one dog named Catalina, but due to her popularity, we knew that she just wasnt going to be the one. Once I started looking on their website though, I found a puppy named Jo that looked quite similar. She was a little more black but still had some brown and little spots of white. We submitted the application on a Thursday and met her the next Tuesday. The thing that I really liked is that I was able to contact the foster before hand to talk with her about her demeanor and her adjustment. I was also able to get some more background on her situation. After meeting her, we went home and talked about if we were ready to add another pet to our family. Ultimately we decided that we were going to do it (obviously) and we picked her up 3 days after meeting her. She was very timid but I can say that after almost 4 weeks, her true colors are starting to show! I'll share more about her story and how she has adjusted in an upcoming post!


Blog Update:

This part is pretty huge. I felt that I was never really happy with how it was looking. One day I was just browsing blogs and found one that I really liked, which eventually led me to Erin. She designs blogs for Blogger and I decided that it was time that I just did something about it. I contacted her and over about a month and a half, we came up with this! I really like it and I feel that it fits my personality much more than the other layouts that I had. Plus this was made by a person that actually understands a lot more than I do!

That is pretty much all for now! I will be posting more now that I feel better about my blog and have so many things to share!