Maggie Takes Over the Blog

maggie shih tzu poodle winery

Hello readers of my mom’s blog, I’m Maggie! Well actually, my real name is Maggie May. I’m named after the Rod Stewart song. Do you know it? I love it and I make my mommy dance with me while she screams sing it. Her singing is atorcious and she looks ridicolous dancing, but I love her because she’s my mommy. So you better be nice to her.

You may recognize me from all of the silly and embarrassing pictures my mom posts of me on this blog.

maggie sleepingI mean really Mom, would you like me to snap pictures of you sleeping and post them for all of the internet to see?

My mommy was a little busy this week so I decided to jump on board here and do a guest post for her. I’ve been wanted to do this for like 45 billion years, mainly because my favorite TV show is Dog With a Blog. I have no idea why she hasn’t let me do this before. I AM the main reason for her to be alive so I don’t know why I”m not the main focus of this blog. I think it should be named “A Beautiful Little Maggie” – my mom and dad are both telling me how pretty I am hundreds of times a day.
maggie poodle at christmas timeAnyways, I lead a very important life, so I thought I’d walk you through a morning in Maggie’s world.

I know it must be a weekday when my mommy wakes up at 7:14 (on weekends me, mom, and dad all snuggle in bed and play peekaboo and other fun dog games) and gets ready for work. I try my best to ignore her and stay curled up in my warm spot on the bed. She keeps telling me that it’s time to get up, that we have to go, but I don’t really believe her. (Maybe this is another game?).

maggie shih tzu poodle cuddles By 8 she is downstairs clicking my leash and using her stern voice. Still, I refuse to leave my perfect spot in bed until I hear her utter the words “Time to go to Grandma’s!”. Once I hear those words I fly down the stairs as quick as possible. (We go to Grandma’s every weekday but every morning I forget, it’s kind of embarrassing and I’d rather not talk about it.) Going to Grandma’s is the best thing you can imagine. You wouldn’t understand unless you met my Grandma.

grandma of dogsShe is my FAVORITE person (outside of my mom and dad of course). Her house is perfect, her couches are perfect, her food is perfect, her lap is perfect, and she spoils me rotten. Also, my bff Bonnie lives at Grandmas. Bonnie is the only other dog that has my heart. She just gets me is all.

poodle and westie  I tell her everything and we take care of one another. I can be a big scaredey cat some days – I can’t seem to forget these awful people who use to own me and did awful things to me before my Mommy came along and adopted me. Now, I really only trust a few people. Most of my heart belongs to Bonnie though. She made me realize that life is supposed to be fun and full of balls, and barking, and running.two dogs running and playing

So we hop in my mommy’s car which I HATE. I don’t know WHO invented these things but they are the WORST! I’m eight years old and have ridden in the car every weekday for the past 2 years and I’m still terrified of riding in the car. Can someone please tell me why my mom who treats me like a baby everywhere else refuses to let me sit in her lap in the car? So rude!

She tries to soothe me by talking to me in her favorite baby voice (I keep telling her I’m no longer a baby but she doesn’t listen) but it doesn’t work. She keeps repeating “We’re going to see Bonnie! We’re going to see Grandma!” but I don’t believe her. Why can’t we just walk there? I love walking! I never understood why Grandma, Grandpa, and Bonnie have to live in a different house? Seems like such a simple idea to me. I wish it was summer time again because then my mommy magically makes the window go down and I can stick my head out and get distracted by all the smells of this big world we are flying through.

to and from Grandma's everyday The drive lasts about 8 hours (even though mom says it’s only 12 minutes). I shake and tremble the whole time. You better listen to my advice – never ride in a car while it is raining. It is seriously the worst thing. It sounds like the world is crashing down all around you. When it’s raining I take back everything about baby talk. Mommy, please talk to me in your highest pitch baby talk ever. Also sing. I love that. Especially Taylor Swift.

After a few hours, we pull into Grandma’s neighborhood. I’m super smart so I know what it looks like. I bark and bark and wag my tail so Mommy knows that we are close too (she must be terrified of the car too, right?!). Once we get to Grandmas I can barely wait to get inside to greet Bonnie. All memories of the car vanish and I go nose to nose with my best friend. I lift my leg and let her smell me and then I do the same with her. We have to make sure everything is a okay! (I told you we are besties) We then run around a bit. We have so much to catch up on since it’s been a whole 15 hours since we’ve seen each other!

poodle and westie looking out of the door Grandma makes a huge fuss over me. I let out cries of happiness and nearly scratch her to death by jumping up on her. That’s the best way to show that you love someone.

In the background I hear Mommy saying goodbye, but I could care less, I’m at Grandma’s! Plus, I’m kind of mad that she leaves me all day to go to something called “work”. Doesn’t she understand how much fun she is missing out at Grandma’s? Or how much more fun we could have had if we stayed at home and cuddled and went for long walks, and she threw my ball for me for hours?

If someone would just listen to me, the world could be a much better place.

winery maggie Well the couch is calling my name. Time to nap and dream of chasing bunnies and balls edamame (I love that stuff!). If you love me, maybe my mom will let me come back and blog another day?

Puppy kisses,

Maggie May

 

Life Lately

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It’s been awhile since I used this space to do a little life update. To fill the space in between the lines, to ramble randomly, to give a peek into my every day life. So this is what current life is looking like:

Writing: in my One Sentence 5-year Journal from The Happiness Project. My best friend gave me this journal as a Christmas gift and I love it! The idea is to write one sentence each day. It’s an easy way to document moments from each day and be aware of your daily intentions and actions. It will be fun to look back at what I did on a particular day – 2, 3, 4, or 5 years ago!

Reading: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Already entranced by this novel by a favorite author (loved Never Let Me Go).

Watching: Best thing about Sunday is the Sunday light TV line up: Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, True Detective, and Girls. Obssessed with all of them, even if watching them all in the same two days makes me think that there are two alcoholic and twisted detectives running around an English estate trying to kill zombies while Hannah watches pool side contemplating how insufferable her life is.

Thinking: That I can’t take much more of winter. Enough is enough! Last week we were hit with another 12 inches of snow, followed by 2 more on Saturday and another 2 last night.

big pile of snow

Needing: To get into spring cleaning mode. Winter has made me a lazy hermit. It’s time to clean out the house, revamp my workout routine and get in gear with some new meal planning. The past weekend was filled with a lot of this:

And although it was relaxing and wonderful and great – it was too much sleeping and eating and drinking and not enough taking care of my body. Remember when I posed about that pesky newlywed weight gain? Well it’s still there. I failed at following through with any changes – or, when I did, two weeks last that weight gain found its way back. Like the snow, it just keep packing on. I’m ready to shovel out.

I signed up for Weight Watchers online yesterday with a great President’s Day sale. The program helped me lose 15 pounds 10 years ago and helped me tone up last Spring. I love the simplicity and the ease and the ability to each pretty much whatever you want. I know that I need the support and the motivation to take charge or else I fall into lazy habits.

Wanting: It may be caused by cabin fever – but my baby fever is so intense right now. It’s pretty disgusting/bad. Other than that – I’m having a deep need to get new drapes for all our windows, and do a lot of at home projects. Also NEW spring clothes!

Smelling: This candle. It is from the heavens. I’m sure of it.

Raspberry Peach Macaron candle

Loving: The 5-day weekend that was granted to Ryan because of the snow. I loved having so much down time with him and Maggie and lots of morning snuggles:

puppy cuddles

Cooking: A LOT! Hence the need to do something about weight! This past week were filled with cookies, cupcakes, pad thai, macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, dip, martinis, and spiked hot chocolate. Yikes!

spiced hot chocolate

Listening: to my Ella Fitzgerald Panda station – her butter voice just pours over the whole house and makes everything warm and okay.

Planning For: This Spring is full of fun events! First, we have Ryan and I’s birthdays in March followed by a bridal shower and bachelorette for my best friend, and we just booked our 1-year wedding anniversary trip. Come on SPRING!

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to lately!

xoxo Katie
 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas, from my home to yours

ABLA christmas card 2013

Our 2013 Christmas card from Minted

Linking up with Amber (Mr. Thomas and Me) and Erin’s (Hooley with a Z12 Days of Blogging Christmas link up. Today is the 12th and last day! 

Truly, what day is better, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

I love the magic and the spirit that today, Christmas Eve, exudes. I love feeling like a 6-year-old, I love all the energy and excitement, I love the hustle and bustle as we get the house ready for Christmas day dinner, I love the relaxing evening with my family.

Tomorrow will fly by and then Thursday it will all be over. No more Christmas music, no more anticipation, and I could cry just thinking of the sight of discarded Christmas trees waiting for the trash man.

So, let’s slow it down and really enjoy every special moment of this holiday.

xmaseve1

Santa’s coming!!!

 

Today I will hold onto hugs a little extra longer and I will go to bed grateful. Grateful for all the gifts that this life has given me. Traditions may change and grow, this will be the first year that I will not be waking up in my childhood home on Christmas morning. This is the first Christmas Eve in 16 years that my best friend will not be coming over on Christmas Eve to take part in our family traditions. But love and family remains the same. This IS the first Christmas with my husband and his family and that brings extra joy and love.

I wish all of you a truly merry and safe  Christmas. I’m so happy to count each of my readers as friends. I hope you enjoy your day, no matter how you chose to celebrate it. I send extra hugs to those who are having a rough holiday season this year. May you believe in love and hold on to your hope.

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Buttery Nipples

Buttery Nipple shots for Santa! He has SUCH a long night!

xoxo katie

 

Snow Day Snack – Peanut Butter and Nutella Puppy Chow

There is nothing like a snow day!

Yesterday we woke up to a blanket of snow with the promise that it would keep falling until mid day. Ryan and I were both lucky enough to be able to stay home. We bundled up and I worked in my PJ’s on the couch with Christmas movies playing in the background. It was so perfect.

The snow was the heavy but fluffy kind and was truly beautiful. By noon we had about 6 inches of snow! On my “lunch break” we ventured outside with Maggie.

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Snow days always make me feel like a kid. There is also something so cozy and romantic about being snowed in. When I was younger snow days were like mini holidays. And since my mom was a teacher, she was always able to stay home with us  to play games, watch movies, and bake.  After a hard day sledding and trekking through the snow, my brother and I would come in starving. We’d bake some fresh cookies or stuff ourselves with some other tasty snack.

Yesterday, I decided to make Puppy Chow with a twist! I added Nutella and it was delicious! You can’t beat this 15 minute recipe!

(Some people call this snack Muddy Buddies, I prefer Puppy Chow because duh, I love puppies!)

Perfect for when your snowed in:

nutellaandpbpuppychow

Ingredients

9 cups Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Wheat Chex or Chocolate Chex cereal (or combination)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
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Directions:

1. Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, Nutella,  and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla.

2. Measure out 9 cups of your desired Chex cereal in a very large bowl.

3. Pour chocolate, peanut butter, and Nutella mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.

4. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag and add the powdered sugar.

5. Shake until all the pieces are coated in sugar.6. Snack your little heart out!

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xoxo katie

Weekend Wrap Up – Thanksgiving Week 11.25.13

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Another weekend flew by and now we are greeted with a beautiful two-day week and Thanksgiving vacation! This weekend was kind of a whirlwind – we didn’t have too many plans, but it was busy with errands, and decorating, and preparing for Thanksgiving. I scored that adorable sign above at Home Goods – could have spent a fortune there on Saturday!

Our house is a beautiful cozy Christmas retreat and I love just sitting on the couch basking in the glow of all my reindeer (my obsession) and pretty candles while watching cheesy Lifetime Christmas movies.

Today, I’m so thankful for a two-day week and so thankful to be able to travel to the Asheville, NC area to spend Thanksgiving at my brother and sister in laws house. This will be my first time traveling to his new (3 years!) home. My parents have visited them over Thanksgiving the past couple of years while I’ve stayed at home (no vacation time and dogs to take care of). I’m so excited I get to come along this year!

So, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning Ryan and I will load up my parent’s mini van and join them for the 11 hour trek to NC.

Both the cabin we are staying in and my brother’s house are in the mountains and very isolated, so I will be without internet connection for a few days. My blogging will be limited and I will enjoy unplugging and family time. My brother and his wife are vegans and we will be having a 100% vegan Thanksgiving!

I’m looking forward to exploring their town, touring Biltmore Estate, and seeing the views of the Blue Ridge mountains. Oh, and all the games, drinking, and snacks that will be taking place!

When we return on Sunday – it will officially be Christmas time!

As November is drawing to a close – I thought it best to do a second recap on my Fall Goals:

fall goals

Clean out closets and donate clothes   – almost all done! Will post before and after photos of my closets, because I’m proud! 

Resist buying any clothes until November   – As I mentioned in my first recap – I failed this right away. But I succeeded at not buying any clothes or accessories for myself between mid September to the second week of November! I honestly didn’t miss having a new shirt once a week (yes, I was that bad)I used the saved money on Christmas gifts.Score! 

Organize office

Print photos from wedding and other recent events for albums and frames  

Learn more than just 4 settings on my camera – getting there!

Wake up earlier on the weekends  – nope, we just can’t seem to kick lying around in bed on weekend mornings when we have no urgent plans. 

Do more than 12 full push ups at a time   

Stop late night snacking and wining – nope! this has probably gotten worse – I blame the cold weather and being covered in baggy winter sweats and blankets! Also explains why the only clothes that fit me well right now are yoga pants and dresses. Time to get serious —(after Christmas?!?!) 

So I completed 50% of my goals. Humpf. I decided that in the future, I’m going to break them down in months. I will be posting my December goals soon and will be taking part in Amber’s (from Mr. Thomas and Me) #sayyesproject.  Help me stay on track guys!

How are you spending your Thanksgiving?

 

xoxo katie

 

 

 

Obsession: House into Home (and the Best TV/Movie Homes!)

So, I must confess, I’ve always been obsessed with houses. And it’s more than just the simple architecture or curb appeal of certain houses – it’s the home that exists because of the house. All the memories, life events and moments that occur in your house that make it a home. How Christmas would not be the same with out the decorated banister. How that crumbly bathtub made your child hood baths an adventure. How that awful shag carpet just brings up memories of coziness and grandparents. I love connecting all the dots to why a memory makes such an impact on our lives. How one little element can shape our perception.

I can trace this obsession back to when I was a little girl and my mom would pick up those gigantic Sears or JCPenny catalogs that weighed around 20 pounds.

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I’d flip through to the furniture and home decor selection and cut out of my favorite bedroom sets, living room, and dining room. I’d then create an entire imaginary family – complete with a mom and dad, cool oldest sister, slightly ignored middle sister, and then usually two toddler twins. I’d assign each of these family members a bedroom set clipped from the catalog. (The coolest girl always got the canopy bed, hands down). I’d intricately set the clippings up on the my carpeted living room floor so that to my mind they resembled a two-story house. Each room was full of its own stories and memories. After playtime was over, I’d gather all the clippings and carefully store them in a shoe box. I’m sure that shoe box is somewhere in my parent’s basement to this day.  (see kids don’t need fancy gadgets or toys!).

My obsession carried over as I got older. On school bus rides or long car rides I’d distract myself playing this game. 1. Pick a number between 1 – 20. Let’s say you picked the number 9. Count the houses that you drive by. The ninth house that you pass is your new home! No cheating! I liked to imagine how I’d make that log cabin, McMansion, or smaller rancher into my own.

Currently, I obsess over the listings on Zillow – trying to find the perfect homes in our price range, even though we’re nowhere close to buying a home. I drag Ryan to open houses and pretend we are serious about buying. Sorry real estate agents!

Ok, so you’re probably wondering where I’m getting to with all of this. With my obsession with houses and all the emotions they can evoke imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this lovely site that showcases the interiors of homes featured in movies and TV!

Hooked on Houses  gives you a peek inside all of you favorite homes from your favorite shows. It’s so fun to see the inside of these homes from a new angle, or how they look un decorated. Also, you may be surprised at what other movies the same house was used for! Some of my favorites:

Father of the Bride

Father of the Bride house

Gilmore Girls

homes from Gilmore Girls

Revenge

homes from revenge

 The Family Stone

family stone house

 The Holiday

Iris's cottage from The Holiday

 Stepmom

stepmom house

As you can see, I love the cozy, cottage, farmhouse feel.

There are homes from over 100 tv shows and movies for you to gawk and dream over. Love it!

xoxo katie