A Few Disasters

Remember back to when Hawkins ran away last week? In that post, I mentioned briefly that I fell and hurt my elbow while trying to let him in. It's finally time for the full recap. As you probably remember, I had been sleeping on the couch for the nights he was gone in order to hear him when he came home (I was obviously very positive he was actually coming home). Incidentally earlier in the evening, my dad had come over to help move all the furniture from the walls of the living room because we were scheduled to start painting. Because we have such a big unit with our big screen TV on it, we can only move it away from the wall about 3 feet. Because of that, everything was scrunched together against our couch, including our shag rug.
So anyways, the rug was now smack against the couch, so when I woke up to scratching at the door, I sprung up and started to run around my couch to get to the back door. At this point I'm not exactly sure what happened, but all of a sudden I was literally air born and landing on my left elbow. I was so full of adrenaline that I didn't seem to notice how bad it hurt until about 15 minutes later. The next morning though, I had quite the knot. It's been a week now, and the swelling has gone down significantly, but it still hurts to the touch. Hopefully in another few days I'll be as good as new.

The second disaster is my house, particularly my kitchen. This is a photo of it before painting the kitchen, and the ladder is outta here, but I still have nothing on the counters and my kitchen table is the catch-all for everything else. Stay tuned to see what it becomes!


Home Makeover Part II

This past weekend was spent on home makeover part II. Part I was the "front room" as I like to call it, since we never can really decide what it is, only that it's the room at the front of our house. We painted and finally got around to decorating it in the fall. That was one of Chris's surprises when he came home for Christmas. Luckily, he really liked it.

Part II consists of the living room and kitchen. Because of our open floor plan, the front room, living room and kitchen all run together, making it necessary to paint the entire space one color. You'd be amazed at how much a coat of paint changes the look of the room. The rooms already look much warmer and inviting without those harsh yet dingy white walls. I will post all the before and after pictures once we are done putting everything back and adding a few more decor items. Luckily these rooms were pretty much done decorating-wise, so there won't be very many more additions. I did buy a few things on our trip to the mountains last weekend, and I can't wait to add them to the mix. And a HUGE thanks to my parents, who did all the painting. It wasn't that I didn't want to help, but they have a pretty good two person system, and I don't really have a spot to help. I stayed busy though, cleaning out my refrigerator (I found items that were best by 2006, I really needed to do this) and reorganized my pantry and cleaned that out as well. I also spend time on our pool and laundry and such. Stay tuned to see how everything comes together!


Just monkeying around

During the whole Hawkins ordeal, I decided I needed to do something to keep myself busy while I was at the house waiting and hoping for his return. I didn't have a lot of ingredients for things that popped into my head and I wanted to do something more than just cookies. Then I remembered that my Gramma had given me a kit for Monkey Bread for Christmas. I had thought about making it another time, but it had steps that required a lot of time, and until today I hadn't had the amount of time it required. But given I wanted something that would take a while, I knew this was perfect.

The kit came with most of the ingredients, and the things I needed I had on hand. This is a yeast bread, so I was overjoyed that the box said the dough could be made in the bread machine. I put all the ingredients together and hit dough and I was set. Once the dough came out, you roll it out and cut it into little pieces, form balls and roll them in butter and a cinnamon sugar mix. From there it all goes into a bundt pan and I made a sauce with butter, maple syrup, and more cinnamon sugar mix. As you can see butter and sugar are a huge part of this, definitely not low cal! After you pour the sauce over the pieces, you let it rise for another 30 or 45 minutes before baking.

I will say it right now, I might just be obsessed now. I love how you can just pull apart the pieces. I am going to try to make it from scratch since I'm sure the mix was a little more expensive and I most likely have the ingredients at home in the pantry. Here are a few photos of the finished product. There are various recipes out there, including ones made with refrigerator biscuits which seem much less time consuming. Enjoy!


A Huge Ordeal

That's what I've been dealing with since Monday night. A quick rundown of the events...Monday I came home from the gym, let the animals outside, talked with Chris, let the animals inside, went to the grocery store and came home. At this point I was going to start making dinner because it was already pretty late but Hawkins was dying for more play time outside. It was still light outside so I let him out and started dinner. It was almost dark so I decided to call him in and he didn't come. This isn't much of a surprise really, sometimes I have to call him a few times and shake his treat container for him to come. But still, nothing. Sometimes he can be really stubborn so I decided to just go inside and wait a little while and try again. He also comes to the door and scratches by himself, so I still wasn't too worried.

Hawkins at the door a few weeks ago. Please excuse my dirty glass door, the animals are constantly getting it dirty and I've pretty much given up.But he still didn't come home, it was getting pretty late and he'd never spent a night outside. I decided to nap on the couch for a while, waiting for him to scratch at the door, but still nothing. I slept on the couch all night long and that morning when he still hadn't come home, I really started to worry. So much in fact that I skipped work that day, worked from home as best I could, and spent the majority of the day doing my rounds of the neighborhood on either my bike or in my car. Later in the afternoon I even made some signs (really crappy looking ones b/c we don't have a printer at home) and hung them up around the neighborhood.

After a second night on the couch, I decided that I had to go to work yesterday. As much as I could barely force myself away from the house, I decided to put food and water out and just hope for the best. My dad came to check the backyard around noon and still nothing, so after work I headed home for another round, this time set with color posters. Oh, and I had to tell Chris that night. He had been out training on some boats and was incommunicado so he had no idea what was going on. It broke my heart to tell him that his cat was missing, this cat is as close to a child as he's ever known. But I refused to give up the entire time and once again last night after my usual rounds I camped out on the couch for the third night. I'm sure some people think I'm crazy for the couch, but it's right by the back door and I wanted to guarantee I could hear him. I am an incredibly sound sleeper, so I needed all the help I could get! At about 3am I woke up and looked outside and noticed that the food bowl I'd put on the table was moved. I got up and saw that the food bowl was empty. I couldn't get myself too excited because the food could have easily been consumed by another cat or bird. I looked outside, didn't see anything, and went back to the couch.

All of sudden I was woken up to the sounds of scratching at my door! I bolted off the couch and saw our precious kitty at the door, standing on his hind legs and scratching with the front two. I literally ran to the door, slipped on the tile and fell right on my left elbow (that story is for another post) and let him inside. I couldn't believe that he had come back, after more than 52 hours of being gone. He still had his collar on, was totally unharmed, and pretty much acted like nothing ever happened. I of course was sooo relieved. Apparently our little guy was pretty tired from his adventure because he crawled in his bed for a little bit of sleep.

I really wish he could tell me where he'd been all that time, but I'm just glad to have him back safe and sound. I think he'll be staying inside for the next few days, or at least under some close supervision in the backyard!



I will post about my fabulous trip. However, I've been too busy with other things to sit down and really write about it. Most of those items have been house related. I created an extensive to do list for each room of the house and am slowly working on getting everything done. My goal? To have everything done by the end of August. The reason? Can't really say just yet, but wait for some potentially exciting news in the near future. I know...people might "hate" me for holding out, but there's a good chance you might have already guessed. And NO, it does not have anything to do with marriage or pregnancy, so you can get your minds out of those two gutters right now! Haha just kidding, those aren't gutters, but aren't the reason for my to-do list craziness.

This weekend I am headed up to our cabin in Northern AZ with my parents, and possibly my grandparents. I am looking forward to getting away from the city, even though the weather here has been quite mild so far the past week or so. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to share, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with a must try recipe. And I really must must try. As in if you don't try it in the next week or so, I might try to harm you. Just kidding!

A few weeks ago I went to a pool party hosted by a guy who I work out with. I'll have to go into more detail about the gym I've started going to another day, but anyways, we were all invited over to his house for an afternoon pool party. I knew that I wanted to bring something, and of course, something sweet was requested. Only a few days earlier I had seen this recipe and thought to myself that I had to make that, the only problem being that of course living alone at the moment, I would have to eat the whole thing. This pool party was the perfect excuse to have a little bit, and dump the rest on other people. It's called the Cookie Cake Pie and comes from the fabulous blog CakeSpy. The whole concept is amazing, and I really hope everyone has the chance to make it. You can make it with any combo you can create, and I really encourage everyone to try this at some point. I chose the following combo:
  1. Homemade pie crust
  2. Chocolate chip cookie dough from a mix
  3. Golden butter cake mix
  4. Fudge frosting from a can
  5. Round rainbow sprinkles
The reason I used all the pre-made, mix type items was two fold. One was to save time, and two, because I had all these mixes sitting in my pantry. I did manage to make homemade pie crust because for me, it's neither difficult nor time consuming, but I was perfectly happy using packaged items for the other components. Feel free to go above and beyond and make everything from scratch, if I hadn't had all the other ingredients in my cupboard and wanted to use them up, I probably would have done so.

I also didn't get a single picture. I really should have taken a few at home, but I was in a rush, and it didn't last long enough at the party to get a good shot. You'll have to use your imagination this time around, but trust me, it was pretty. I have another combo in mind, so maybe I'll make that for the next pool party and I'll share that with you, making sure to take a photo!


I'm Back...Sort Of

Ok, I know I didn't get to blog once during my trip. Mainly because the wireless internet at the hotel was spotty and my mac didn't respond well to their wired connection, but also because I was just plain tired at the end of every day. That's the sign of a good vacation right? So while I spend a few more days decompressing from the events of the past few weeks, take a look at the new section in the right hand column I've added...the book section.

The summertime is really when I do all my reading. With the Arizona heat, we aren't left with very many options of things to do. Swimming, reading, and holing up in my house are usually at the top of the list. Also, because I can go through a book in a few days, sometimes even less, I tend to rely on the library, not the bookstore for my constant stream of books. I'm going to post what I am currently reading in case anyone needs any ideas of their own. Right now I am reading a culinary mystery series. The first one is posted now, although technically I just finished the last few pages earlier at work. I recommend it. Anyone have any good book ideas? If so, post them below and see you in a few days for an east coast recap!