Friday, 21 November 2014

While Hubby's Away...

I travel a lot more than my husband.  I used to travel a lot more for work and still have a couple overnighters throughout the year plus I go away with friends/family a couple of times.  My husband rarely travels without me but he has done one weekend trip a year for the last 3-4 years.  One.  Why is this important?  Because it’s the only time I get the house to myself for an extended period of time.  I get so excited because as much I love my husband, a couple of days to myself is heaven on earth. 

I do feel slightly guilty because I don’t hide my excitement and he knows I am looking forward to the time alone but who doesn’t?  If he traveled a lot it would be a different story – I miss him tons when I am away – but he doesn’t so I am going to thoroughly enjoy and take advantage of my alone time.

What do I have planned for this weekend?  Not a whole lot actually because I don’t really want to leave the house – I save that for weekends we're both home ;)

1. Wine. This is a given and has a presence every weekend but I have been looking forward to it all week… plus one of my hubby’s clients gave him a bottle of wine and he suggested I drink it tonight this weekend.  Done!


2. Pitch Perfect.  On repeat.  And the songs on three, four or five ‘peat with me singing along. And Bridesmaids… and all the cheesy girly shows I have saved up on the DVR.

P.S. - can’t wait for May!!

3. Naps.  Not that I don’t occasionally nap on the weekends but I feel way less guilty about it if no one knows when and how often.

4. Decorating for Christmas.  We agreed to decorate for the weekend of December 6-7th but we didn’t specify if that was inside, outside or both.  So I’m going with outside and plan to start getting festive inside (how could I not with all the instagramming and blog posts throwing it in my face) right after I spend my lunch break at Target.  I already have a couple things hiding in my car from yesterday’s break #sorrynotsorry.

5. DIY project.  I got this mini bench seat at a garage sale a couple months ago and want to paint it, recover the seat - basically give it a lot of TLC - and find a basket that fits underneath.  I'll probably also visit my stepdad to give it a structural upgrade.  Its home is beside our front door and we currently have a bunch of shoes piled on the bottom shelf… definitely need a basket.  Our living room colours are mainly greens and dark brown so am trying to figure out what colour will work best (a dark gray?) and then I will raid my mom’s fabric collection for a coordinating piece to cover the top with.  Fingers crossed my vision translates to real life!

DIY project


What else should I get up to this weekend?

 
Linking up  with Karli and Amy, and Leslie from A Blonde Ambition, plus the original 5 on Friday ladies: Darci, Christina, Natasha and Liz.
 
 

 
 
 
 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Green Means Go!

I have some good news to share today. You may remember a post I wrote about my husband's LCHAD diagnosis and a genetic test they were running on me. If you haven't read it, click here and catch up. It’s ok, I'll wait.
 
We got my genetic testing results. And thankfully I do not have a mutated HADHA gene and therefore it is basically 99.99999% sure that our children will not have LCHAD. They will however be carriers of the mutated gene so they will likely have the same concerns when they find a partner and need to do genetic testing.
 
The first thing I did was call my hubby who was very happy to hear the news and then I texted the group chat I have with my mom and sisters – someone is excited to be a grandma again :)
 
 
 
So this is good news for us. Amazing news! It's basically a prescription to get busy and get pregnant. And I am so excited (maybe too excited) but I am also terrified. Now I have a bunch of new worries. I am in my mid-thirties which can make it harder to conceive. I'm overweight which also makes it harder to conceive. So what if we try and it doesn't happen? It’s like we had this important reason to wait so there was no point even thinking about it but now we have the green light and it's all I can think about.  I can’t stop looking at baby clothes and for some reason even maternity clothes get a second (or third) glance.
 
I don't want to be one of those people who goes crazy and is so obsessed about becoming a mother that no one can stand being around me.  Plus all that stress would probably stop me from conceiving.  So I plan to keep myself busy and see what happens in the next few months.
 
But in the meantime… any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.  I know there aren’t really any tricks except tracking your business but you never know – any position recommendations?  Foods I should be eating?  Rain dances I should be doing? 
 
For those of you that feel or have felt the same way – how do you stay sane??
 
I am trying to focus on being thankful that we are able to have healthy kids but I’m ready for the next step.   
linking up with Kristin and Joey!
 
Hodgespodges

 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Best Show in Las Vegas

 
 


Absinthe.

I was blown away.  I was so captivated by the show that when my little bottle of bubbly ran out about 20 minutes in, I didn’t even want to get another from the bar and risk missing a second.  If you know me at all then you know this is big.  I sat clutching an empty glass and laughed so hard I cried… along with everyone else in the audience.

I have been describing the show as a Night Circus on steroids (it takes place at night in a circus tent) with Cirque du Soleil-type acrobatics combined with hilarious offside comedy. 

This is how Absinthe’s website describes it:

“Absinthe,” is the critically acclaimed acro-cabaret variety show. “Absinthe” is performed in the round with unobstructed sightlines and in intimate proximity of the world-class artists performing amazing feats of strength, balance, danger and unfathomable flexibility. The New York Times hails “You’re close enough to see the sweat and grimaces needed to produce graceful, gravity defying stunts,” and sums up the entire “Absinthe” experience as, “Imagine Cirque du Soleil as channeled through ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.’”

Pretty much the same thing I said right?

 The pictures I took don’t do anything justice so you need to check the website to catch a glimpse of some of the performances.  The intimate setting is eclectic and awesome, the actors are amazing, I could go on and on but seriously it is something you have to see for yourself.  The next time you go to Vegas you must see Absinthe.



First (and only) drinks of the show... I was obsessed with the mini bottle, so cute!
 

My sister and her fiance
 

every chair as different and it was so. cool.
 

the teeny tiny stage
 

the crowd
 

my bubbly
  

me and my hubby
 

sister love
 

before the start of the show, just swinging above the crowd, men dressed like women


 
What is the best show you have ever seen?
 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Recipe: Milo's Meatloaf Patties

Oops I did it again.  I took photos with my iPhone.  My ancient iPhone 4S.  The good news is that I got a notification while I was on vay-cay that I am now eligible for an upgrade so iPhone 6 here I come!  I briefly contemplated the 6 Plus but my hands are small and I would not be able to use it with one hand, something I do frequently. Unfortunately though, you have to deal with my crappy photos for this post.  I am hoping to have a new phone by the weekend as long as I can psych myself up to deal with the hassle of the upgrade.  Why is it always a nightmare?  Or am I just lazy?  Oh well.
I am sharing a recipe today that is so easy and straight forward and I have been making it for about 4 years now, at least different variations of it.  And although you totally could, I do not make it for human consumption, I make it for Milo. 
When we got Milo (from what we later found out was a puppy mill but did not look like a puppy mill and I felt sick when I did find out but all I can do now is focus on the fact that we got Milo out of there) he had been eating a raw food and kibble diet.  He was healthy and so we saw no reason to stop as we had both heard good things about a raw food diet.  We bought the raw food for the first year and looking at the ingredient list, I was like, this is basically meatloaf.  Meatloaf that I can make and know for a fact what the ingredients are.  Except I also decided to cook it.  Milo LOVES it.  He gets his meat patty every morning along with a cup of kibble… the patty disappears in less than 10 seconds and the kibble consumption varies.  And if the kibble is still there the next morning, I don’t give him more, or I top it up to a cup.
I have a base recipe that I make every time but sometimes if I have extra vegetables I need to use up I will throw those in too.  I also used to include a cup of cooked rice but he seems to have food sensitivities that irritate his skin so he I cut out the rice and that seems to have helped.
Ingredients
1 lb extra lean ground beef
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
2 brown potatoes
2 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Set ground beef out to acclimate – the inside of a chunk of beef is COLD!
2. In a food processor, shred the carrots, celery and potatoes.
3. Combine shredded veggies and ground beef in a huge bowl (or two large bowls – the mixing can get messy).
4. Add the two eggs and salt pepper to bowl (if you are using two bowls, divide as makes sense).
5. Mix that gooey mixture up.  I use my hands.  I no longer bother with gloves but make sure there is lots of soap ready to go once I’m finished.
 
6. Portion the mixture into muffin tins – I just use my hands and portion it to my palm.  Milo is 26lbs and although I’m sure he wishes he could have more this amount is perfect for him.
 
Milo's homemade dog food - meatloaf patties

Milo's homemade dog food - meatloaf patties
 
 
7. I usually cook 4-5 patties right away for his meals and then freeze the rest, pulling them out in groups of 4-5 as needed.
Baking at 350:
    From frozen: bake 24-25 minutes depending on size
    Fresh or thawed: bake 20-21 minutes depending on size
Milo stalks me in the morning until I give him his patty.  I warm the patty in the microwave for 21 seconds (I think ours is gutless so check the temp. to make sure your furbaby doesn't burn its tongue!) and then mash it up with a fork:
 
He stands there the entire time...

Milo's Meatball Patties
 
... and is literally dancing in between my legs as I walk it over to his dish.  And the patty is gone within 10 seconds.

Milo's Meatball Patties
 
 A very simple way to keep my boy healthy and happy!
 
Milo



Do you make your own dog food?  I would love to give him some variety and try new recipes!
Eat Drink & Be Mary

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Uber Rides Rock! (AND a Promo Code!)

I have woken up the past two days with the best intentions of writing a post, I even have the ideas formed and recipes ready to go, but it seems I am just too damn lazy to get anything written. There is no sense of urgency and it seems I am convinced that my readers will hang on and wait... Please hang on and wait! I am back to real life next week :)

I do want to give a shout out to Uber. We don't have the service at home yet but I have heard about it a bunch of times so I downloaded the app to try it out in Palm Springs. We used it our second night here to go to my in-laws place for dinner (accompanied by a lot of wine and beer) so it just made sense to ensure we could all enjoy the festivities. 

Uber is so easy! I opened the app and it found our location, I pressed ok (or whatever the button said) and within 6 minutes our ride was at the door! I had registered the credit card and so when we got to our destination we just got out and said thank you. So freaking easy! The best part? Not having to call and talk to someone to get a taxi. No fumbling for cash and they email you a receipt, you can even split the cost with your friends! I love it. And we used it again last night to go for drinks.  We have taken it four times... three rides were in a Mecedes SUV and once in a Prius. Super clean and great cars!

I was in no way asked or compensated to write this review by the way, it was just such a great way to get us all where we were going safely and without someone having to suck it up and be the designated driver. There is plenty of time for that when I eventually get knocked up ;)

I can however get you your first Uber for FREE up to $30!! Use my promo code sarahp1386 when you request your first pickup. I will also get a free ride in return but it's totally win-win right?? Perfect timing for all the holiday parties that will be upon us oh so soon. So go download the app and get your drink on!

Enjoying some bubbly last night - this Prosecco is yummy!
I hope you all are having an amazing week!



Monday, 10 November 2014

Weekend Recap: Goodbye Las Vegas and Hello Palm Springs

That is quite the lengthly title but totally accurate as I sit here with sun streaming through the windows and palm trees surrounding the pool I will be heading too just as soon as I hit 'publish'.  Yesterday we left the colourful chaos that is Las Vegas and traveled west to Palm Springs.  The drive sucked big time (traffic jams the whole way) and took twice as long as it should have but I was a passenger with a fully charged iPad and my latest book club read so didn't really have any complaints.  It was a welcome break from walking (20,000+ steps on Saturday!!) and forced down time, perfect prep for relaxation.

Palm Springs view
Good morning from Palm Springs!

You know that feeling when you leave Las Vegas, the 'I need a vacation from my vacation' feeling? Well we got smart and nipped it in the bud.  We had three days and nights in Sin City, walked the strip up and down, watched the Mirage fire volcano show and Bellagion fountains dance, drank way too many drinks, discovered new table games (I'm not a big gambler but I did enjoy Let it Ride and even won $75) and saw the. best. show. ever.  Absinthe is described as an adult's circus but I describe it like a Cirque du Soleil show with offside comedy on steroids.  My laugh muscles got the best workout and I thought a couple of the acrobats were going to fall and die.  It was crazy awesome, I can't say enough about it and will never do it justice, just go see it (as long as you don't get offended easily!).

The best part about Vegas was... well there were actually two... my husband's face lighting up over and over (he LOVES it) and seeing my younger sister.  So fun.  And now we have five days of hanging out at the pool, lazy shopping, happy hours and tasty dinners.  I am just going to try and make sure it doesn't go too fast, and that I enjoy every moment.

But for now, here are a couple pictures of our trip so far...

Las Vegas vacation
Touchdown in Sin City!

Las Vegas vacation
First frosty cocktail at Dick's Bar

Las Vegas vacation
Reunited with my sister <3



Linking up with Bella and Lisa for the Weekend Recap, Biana, Monday Morning Gossip and Meg's Monday Mingle! 


Weekend Recap

 
Mingle 240

Monday, 3 November 2014

Weekend Recap: 3 More Sleeps!

Well it's Monday and for the first time in who knows how long, I'm not that upset about it.  Because in 3 more sleeps we are going on vacation!!  Goodbye rainy gloominess and hello sunshine!  Thursday we fly to Las Vegas for 3 nights, my sister and her fiancĂ© meet us there on Friday and then on Sunday we are driving to Palm Springs for a week.  I can't wait.  I may have already packed.  I will for sure be repacking but I feel better because I did a dry run.

I can't believe Halloween is already come and gone... it was a total non-event at our house this year because neither of us had the energy to do anything.  Normally we go all out including tombstones in our front yard but this year all we had on display was a motion activate spider (that only scared me) and two pumpkin cat-food-turned-candy bowls.  We did buy candy and crossed our fingers that we would get a few kids, which started to look even more hopeful as the rain stopped for a few hours... in the end we got 3 kids. Lame.  I told our friend who is house/pet sitting while we are away to eat all the leftover candy because I definitely don't need to!

Halloween fun
Milo's Halloween sweater

Halloween fun
Then the fireworks started... can you spot him?

Halloween fun
My anti-cuddle furbaby was so terrified of the fireworks that he wouldn't leave me.  I was in Heaven (sorry for thoroughly enjoying this Milo)

My big revelations this morning:
 
1) my iPhone 4S really sucks at photos and I need to use my DSLR a lot more.  Now to only learn how to use my DSLR...
 
2) we really need to decorate our walls.
 
Our weekend was also pretty quiet... I slept a lot to try and get over this bronchitis and I finally have some of my energy back. This was good because it was my husband's birthday Saturday.  Originally I had grand plans of hosting a dinner party (cause we're all mature and stuff) but he didn't want to do anything except get to Las Vegas.  At first I called him a party pooper but now I'm so grateful.  I did take him out for lunch and then we met his dad and stepmom for dinner.  I tried to last for a couple of after dinner drinks but it was home to pjs and couch for me.

Sunday I made a partial comeback when I polished off a couple spritzers.  I know I'll be double-fisting as soon as the plane takes off Thursday so I might as well work up to it now... although maybe I'll be a cheaper drunk.

We did put together a mini meal plan for the few days we are in town... I didn't want to do a big grocery shop so we plan to use up a lot of the food we have on hand.  

This is what we have cooking this week:
meal plan





Sunday | Chicken Fajitas: super easy... we sautĂ© red and green peppers, onions and diced chicken breasts in a bit of olive oil with seasoning and then serve it up with soft tortilla shells, salsa and plain greek yogurt.  
Monday | Pizza Quesadillas: I saw this post and thought it was a delicious idea plus I had even bought turkey pepperoni and mozzarella cheese with another apply in mind.  We had chicken quesadillas for dinner one night last week and since I had the ingredients on hand I decided to throw a pizza one in and wow did the hubby love it!  They are yummy and I never made the apply (shocker) so we'll have them for dinner.
Tuesday | Cheese Tortellini: I have class Tuesday night until 10pm so hubby is on his own.  We always have cheese tortellini and serve it with a garlicky tomato sauce.

Wednesday | Breakfast: with all the prep we won't have much time so a quick breakfast will do the trick... scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast.  

Linking up with Bella and Lisa for the Weekend Recap, Biana, Monday Morning Gossip and Meg's Monday Mingle! 


Weekend Recap



 
Mingle 240