We Sprung a Leak!

I will wish for "moisture" no more. While we were vacationing in Colorado for Christmas, it was sooo dry that Steven and I kept wishing for more wetness in the air...

Well, this is what we came home to. At 2:30 in the morning. After our flight back was delayed for 2 hours. Tired. And already grumpy.

Our porch is covered so there is never water under it. That was our first clue while walking up from the car with our suitcases.

 Oh, wait, water in your master bedroom is not customary? This was the area most damaged. Our master toilet piece broke while we were gone. :(

Who's the Boss? to the rescue!

 I was cringing the whole time... our wood floors are only two years old! They are all gone now.

Bonus was the disaster guy standing in the pic was kind of cute. Steven didn't think so. 

So, now we are living in a hotel for the foreseeable future. Very inconvenient when you forget something at home, but very convenient when the bed needs to get made or you are wanting some breakfast in the am. 

Hopefully we will have some pictures of our house put back together soon!

On another note, joining my AXO alumni group was one of the greatest things I did in 2012! Here is a sweet note from one of the exec board members.

"Hey Jo,
At tonight's AXO alumnae exec meeting, Leigh mentioned your holiday "surprise". The exec board would like to offer you and Steve our support in anyway we can. Please let me know if you need clean up help, a home cooked meal, help with Minnie, whatever. Don't hesitate to ask. Your sisters are here for you." 


Thank you!


Gifts of Christmas

My precious Steven gave me a gorgeous turquoise Coach bag and this amazing smelling perfume! I love it and feel so fancy when I wear it. I was so excited that he was the one that picked it out for me since he is the one that I wear it for!

This is a Fathead of Fenway Park at Night and what I gave to Steven. I can't wait to hang it up in a new house some day! Thank goodness it did not get ruined during our water damage fiasco!

Every year my parents give me cash money. My mom knows I shop at strange places and many different sites online. I am always so picky about things that I buy anymore since I decided to stop buying stuff. Usually I would rather have an "experience" like a massage, trip, etc. over something I have to dust. This year I bought this way cool George Nelson clock for my new office! I can't wait to get it in. :)


Christmas Vacation

Headed here for a whole week starting today! We are visiting my husby's aunt and uncle in Pagosa Springs with the rest of my in-laws and going to enjoy some family time, relaxation, and no cell service. Looking forward to doing nothing for the remainder of my 2012!

Actually, it will probably look more like this:

Snow suits are packed!


12 * 12 * 12

Coolest. Date. Ever.


Holiday Host(ess) Gift

Last year I made these delicious little treats called Rolo Nuggets. It is a roasted buttered pecan squished over a melted Rolo chocolate carmel candy topped on a pretzle... what's not to love?

People enjoyed them so much that this year I thought that they would make a good host/hostess gift when we attend a holiday party? We usually bring wine and I think we've played that one out, but these would go great WITH a nice glass of red so it takes two for the ultimate holiday deliciousness. :)

My husband and I eat a lot of salad and thus a lot of Marzetti's Ranch (in our opinion, it is the best store bought Ranch dressing out there). So, I started saving the jars and over the past year have collected close to 10. You can also buy Ball Jars at almost any grocery, craft, or even hardware store, but I decided to upcycle mine.

The jar, completed Rolo Nuggets plus the other supplies you see here; scissors, decorative felt, and coordinating ribbon, and you've got yourself a great host/hostess gift!

One regular jar will fit about 24 of the nuggets. I think I ate one so that would be 23 - haha!

One pack of Rolos has eight in it, so three packs to a jar, you can do the other math. Enjoy!


Ear Muffs

Steven and I were driving to the park this morning with Minnie. The sun was shining and it was about 75 degrees outside. It was such a nice day that we had all the windows down and little Minnie was peeking out of the window while we were stopped at a traffic light. A car pulled up next to us a couple lanes over blaring Metallica while their windows also down.

Steven and I started joking about “Minnie not being old enough to listen to that kind of music yet…” so I candidly put my hands over Minnie’s ears. At that moment the music stopped and the man yelled across two lanes of traffic, “What?!? She can’t listen to evil music?!?” Steven and I busted out laughing. We just smiled at the guy – he was laughing too and made our morning!


Apple Cider Vinegar

Besides being an important ingredient in a couple of my favorite dishes, blue cheese coleslaw and chicken apple sausage pasta, apple cider vinegar has sooo many more uses and I am only now starting to realize what a miracle liquid it really is!

I started using it for more than cooking when we got our pup Minnie. We got a handout (1997 article by Wendy Volhard) from a swanky dog boutique about all the benefits of ACV for your dog and gave it a shot. We started giving her about a tablespoon twice a day (in her food in the morning and at night) since she was a puppy for a number of preventative measures it listed. This supposedly helps with tear stains, joints, skin, ear infections, etc.

We didn't know how much it actually helped her tear stains (because she never got them, go figure) until we told my friend Rachel about it for her dog. Within three days she emailed and said that her dog's stains were almost completely gone.

Minnie also started to get small bumps, similar to acne, on her back. After two weeks of antibiotics from the vet with little change I pulled out my little handout and read that you could spray ACV on a dog's skin and coat to treat small sores and bumps. Within 1 day they were already drying out and I could see signs of healing.

The important thing to remember is to get raw/ unfiltered ACV that you would get from a health food store. I get mine at Trader Joe's. It is a simple and inexpensive thing to do for the health of your dog (and wallet)! It makes me curious what would happen if I added it to my diet. I might have to do a little research on this...


Cookie Exchange!

We had our annual Alpha Chi Alumni cookie exchange here in Charleston yesterday and look what I made! It is a Land O' Lakes recipe for Peppermint Meltaways. They turned out very similar to the picture and were soooo yummy and perfect for a holiday cookie treat!

I even made this little recipe card to go with them, complete with nutrition information. Not bad for a cookie, huh?

You must try these as they were so easy and such a simple recipe for a more "difficult" looking result. The remainder of my batch are being enjoyed by my coworkers as we speak!


Dealing with My Loss

It has been over a week since my feline fur pal Colin has passed and it has been hard. I can put on a happy face, but really, I have gotten upset quite a few times in the past 10 days.

Even still this morning when I got up from bed and quickly looked for him, he wasn't there.

When I got home last night I made sure to close the door really quickly so that a chill wouldn't get into the house by his bed, but the bed is also no longer there.

These are not events of great magnitude but just little reminders of how I cared for him and how he would care for me. He was usually the best one to comfort me when I was sad and now it feels a bit lonelier because I am sad at the loss of him. His presence is what made it all better so it isn't like I can just go to someone else, it is not the same.

I guess I should consider myself lucky. I have never dealt with the loss of a pet before, or really anyone that I have been close with for that matter... so this is how it is, huh? A small void has been left in my life that no one else knows how to fill, if it even can be filled. Maybe it isn't supposed to be. Isn't that what memories are?

I think life is like that, full of all these voids and then also fullness in other areas. Life is not a straight and linear path but more of a bubble diagram - closing of a door and opening a window so to speak. You don't ever get over it, you just get past it.

Still missing you, little guy. You were very loved.

From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)