Thursday, May 27, 2010

Maybe Next Year They'll Think I'm Seventeen....

I don't know if you folks remember my blog post about me looking much younger than I am. Well, I thought I'd share a little update.

Yesterday, myself and three co-workers went over to a newly acquired building that our church purchased and is renovating. This would be considered a construction zone. (And you better believe that yes, I do have a pink construction hat, and yes, I will be bedazzling it when I have down time.) Anyway, we went over there to check out the latest and greatest of the construction.

I happened to be wearing my snuggie. Before you freak out, we randomly decided to go straight there and I didn't have a way to take off my snuggie so it just went with me. And I was cold. So duh, I had it on. So, there we are, walking through the building, rather sneakily, without our construction hats, since we didn't have time to grab them. We checked everything out, and then started to walk back to our building.

Now, apparently construction zone safety is like a big deal. Who knew? As we were walking toward the exit we got busted by one of the head construction guys who was all giving us the third degree, and let me tell you, he gave me a look. A judgy look. A why-are-you-in-my-building-with-a-snuggie-on look. Of course, I did not appreciate that, so we left and that was that...

Until our operations manager came over to let me know we were in trouble because we wore open-toed shoes over there. First of all, I'm like how did he know it was us? He wasn't there, and second of all, hello, people, it's May and it's Oklahoma. Who doesn't wear open-toed shoes?

So I go into my boss's office, where he and our operations manager are discussing our recent rebellion, and they proceed to explain how they knew it was us. The conversation between Mr. Judgmental Construction Dude and our operation's manager went something like this (I'm ad libbing):

Safety Patrol Man: "Some of your people came over here and they were wearing open toed shoes and did not have on construction hats. This is a problem."

Op Manager: "Do you know who it was?"

Bob the Builder: "There were three men and they brought a youth with them. It was a girl that looked to be about sixteen years old."

Op Manager: (laughing) "I know who you're talking about, and she's actually 25 years old."

Awesome. Tim the Tool Man thought I was SIXTEEN. At least he thought I could drive.

You better believe that since then everyone has been giving me a hard time. The conversation ended with me being asked, "Are you excited about the upcoming Jonas Brother's Concert?"

Really? Wow.


Friday, May 21, 2010

We Love Fondue!

Tonight Mark and I got to go to The Melting Pot for dinner. We won a $50 gift certificate from our apartment complex, so we decided to use it tonight.  We opted to go for the cheese fondue, the salad, and, duh, the chocolate. We decided against the entree because it's super expensive and we don't just absolutely love it. Plus, we were super full without it!

We loved what we got! It was very yummy. I had some coffee with my dessert and Mark had a Manhattan, and he gave me the cherry, so I was happy about that. Here we are, full of fondue:

After our first trip to the Melting Pot, I decided to invest in an electric fondue pot and got a cookbook and have made our own fondue at home. We have an electric fondue pot that works great. If yo uare thinking about getting a fondue pot, I would totally suggest this one

It's nice because it's electric so you don't have to mess with candles or whatev. We've made cheese fondue, meat fondue, and chocolate fondue in it. YUM.

So now you should make some fondue.

And for your entertainment, here are a couple pictures of Miguel and Melvin:

Happy Weekend!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Someday, But Not Today

***Warning: Girl topics are discussed***

My friend had a baby this weekend. She had a baby after 36.5 hours of natural (no meds), and yes, painful, labor, but she doesn't regret it and it was overall a good experience for her. (Side note: our definitions of "good" are different, so I'm not planning on trying that route.) I went to visit her at the hospital and saw her beautiful baby boy. He really is beautiful. Some babies aren't that cute, but he was really cute. And his new parents were just beaming with pride and gushing with love. It was very sweet.

I was sitting there, holding that little baby, and I got quite a gigantic rush of fear. (This is not nothing new to me, fear is something I've always dealt with). Not a fear that I would drop the baby, but a fear that I would have one sooner than I would like. I mean I was holding a person. What a huge responsibility.

I looked at that sweet baby, and then handed him to his proud aunt, said my goodbyes to the family, and then I resumed breathing once I was in the hallway.

So let's just keep it real. I don't know about other married females out there, but every month the same thing happens. I ask Mark if he thinks I'm pregnant. Not because I have any reason to believe that I am, but because I have that fear of "what if". Every time Mark says "No", I say, "Are you sure?!" and he says "Yes", then generally I say "But what if I am??!" and he says, "You're not". Man of few words. I keep this up for a good week or two until a monthly friend visits and then I praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow. Okay, wow - I did NOT mean for that pun to happen. But seriously. That's bar none the best day of the month for me.

To keep things straight: I want kids. I hope when the time is right we will be able to have kids. I want three, heck, maybe even four. Who knows? But here's the thing: I do not want them today. In case everyone is wondering, we would like a house first, and we would like to be more financially stable. So it will be a few years.

BTW... the entire time I am typing this, I am using only my right hand, while my left hand is non-stop knocking on a gigantic piece of wood.

So. That's my story. I'm not ready. I could get ready if I was forced to. But I'm not ready today. Holding that little baby gave me a lot of joy for his new family, and reminded me we would have one of those one day hopefully, but it also almost sent me over the edge. Not to be dramatic or anything. (-;

Do I have a point with this? Well, no, apparently I don't. Except I know a lot of young marrieds read this blog, and I am dying to know how other people feel about this as well. I'm looking forward to your points of view and your stories.

Do you want kids? Now? Do you worry about it? Does your hubby think you're crazy?


Friday, May 14, 2010

Melvin: Photo Op

We have now had little Melvin as a part of our family for five weeks. Crazy, huh?

He is doing well, and we just love his sweet little personality. He is always happy - he holds his tail up high about 99.99% of the time. He is doing wonderfully in his obedience class. He can already sit, lay down, stay for a short time period, heel with an automatic sit when I stop, he will come and sit perfectly in front of me when I call him, and get in heel position. I am very proud of his progress.

Potty training is another story... we're still working on it.

Miguel and Melvin do not really get a long, but that's okay as long as Melvin just leaves Miguel alone.

Melvin had a trip to the groomers today and so I wanted to share a picture of him with his new do.

Here is another photo:

Is he not the cutest little puppy you have ever seen?

He's pretty darn cute. Btw, as far as the name thing goes, I wanted Winston or Cosby, but Mark really wanted Melvin. I'm very good at picking my battles, and figured I'd rather have a dog named Melvin than a child named Melvin, so I went with it. (-:

And yes we still miss Brinkley very much. I still have dreams about him, but his foster parent loved him so much she kept him and he is doing very well.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Gave Mark a Haircut

Yes, folks. I did a very brave thing. I took my husband's appearance into my own hands. When we were dating and I attempted the same thing, but we ended up having to shave his head. So, really, I was being very brave. Especially if you knew how anti the shaved/buzzed head look I am.

Mark's hair was out-of-control-long, so I thought maybe we could save a few bucks and I could cut his hair.

So I had him wet his hair and then we took a before pic:

And no, I don't know why he has that weird look on his face. I try to get him to smile for pictures and he does stuff like that. Anyway, so his hair is long.

So, unfortunately for him and for me, I couldn't find the hair cutting scissors so I had to use regular ones. Oops. Here I am with the clippers, the comb, and the scissors, and my own awesome hairdo that clearly hadn't been touched in like 15 hours. ha.

I did my best to try to do a good haircut. I will admit, it is not perfect, but I did not have to shave his head. Praise the Lord. Here we are mid-cut.

Doesn't he look so thrilled?

Well, the deal was, he got to pick the music we listened to while he got a haircut. There was much debate. Should we watch a movie? That was voted down so that we could talk while we were cutting Mark's hair. My ipod was shot down, because, well, my ipod is going 24/7 pretty much and it has all my favorite songs on it. Which, might I add, are GREAT songs, but for whatever reason, Mark was tired of hearing. He wanted his own music. I said, sure, no problem (cause I'm just that kind of wife), and we listened to the Beatles and some old school Caedmon's Call. Everyone was happy.

After much cutting, and even more after this picture, his hair was short again! Yay!!! Here it is:

Now, don't make fun of me. I know it's not perfect, but it'll do. And it was free. And with more practice (if Mark'll let me), hopefully I will improve.

And since Mark is so handsome with his new haircut, I had to give him a big kiss when it was done. (-:

Are you inspired? Have you tried giving someone a haircut? Good? Bad? 

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Natural Cleaners

You have heard me allude to "natural cleaners" and perhaps have sensed a soapbox (no pun intended) coming as I have talked about conventional cleaners. So, I've decided it's time share the cleaners I have found and love with you in case you are considering transitioning your home to a chemical free one.

Some of you may be thinking that it sounds expensive. Or that it sounds granola. Or you may be thinking, those cleaners don't really work.

On the other hand, you may be thinking, "I remember getting headaches sometimes when I do deep cleaning", or you may know of someone (I know of several) that has had minor to major health problems due to harsh chemicals in cleaners and/or mixing them. Perhaps you have always wondered if there was a healthier option that was actually a possibility.

Well, I've got great news for you: the cheapest, easiest, and most effective cleaners are things you probably have right now at home.

My tried and true cleaning supplies have been vinegar, water, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and lemons.

I'm telling you, vinegar and water works wonders. I add some lavender essential oil to it to make it smell better, but once the vinegar dries the vinegar smell doesn't stick around anyway, so if you don't have essential oil it's okay. Once you put some vinegar and water on your windows or mirrors, you will never again buy regular window cleaner. I'm telling you, it's life changing.

Also, a regular 3% hydrogen perodixe solution is a great disinfectant. If you wipe your counter with the hydrogen peroxide solution and then use vinegar and water, your surfaces will be more disinfected than if you have used the vast majority of conventional cleaners, PLUS, you don't have to worry about inhaling chemicals, or mixing them. How great is THAT?!

Baking soda is great on carpets, and also works as a paste if you need to do a little scrubbing. I really like baking soda on carpets, since bare feet walk around on that. I wouldn't want me, my dogs, or my future kids getting chemicals and on their feet/hands/in their mouths. Lemons help with scent and with cleaning as well. There is a actually a book, Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda, that has all kinds of ideas for cleaning with those basic household things.

But, perhaps you don't want to make your own cleaner. You just want to go out and buy something. I understand. I have also found a great line of cleaners that you can find at some health stores. I really like their effectiveness (especially the mildew cleaner, and who doesn't have a mildew problem?), and their packaging is so cute (since that matters so much). Their website is - I tried to get their company to do a giveaway of some sort, but they weren't feeling the love. But since I really like their products, I'm getting over my bitterness and recommending them anyway. (-: They have a cleaner for everything. Literally. Floors, toilets, kitchen, tub and tile, carpet, mildew, glass, etc, etc. I have almost every one of them.

And I still recommend my gold standard book, Super Natural Home, for cleaning facts and tips as well.

So, there you have it. You now know about natural cleaners that are plant and enzyme based, not chemical based, that will leave your home sparkling clean, not smelling like chemical fragrance, and not putting toxins everywhere for you to touch and inhale. And you can make your own for super cheap!

Does it get any better than that? I submit that it does not. If you have questions on anything, feel free to ask!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cooking with Kat: California Artichokes

At my weekly visit to Whole Foods yesterday, I was perusing the produce section only to stumble upon some beautiful artichokes. They were from California, were big, and were on sale. 2 for $3.00. I caved immediately.

So, along with all my other produce and groceries, I went home and unloaded the fridge, and the artichokes were just staring at me.

The problem was that I had never exactly made an artichoke before. I mean, sure I love me some artichoke spinach dip, but I had never cooked an artichoke.

So I did a little research online, pulled out my trusty "America's Test Kitchen" cookbook, and got to work. Ready to see my artichoke? I decided to cook the smaller of the two first, in case something went awry.

Pretty sweet, huh?

So, first things first. Apparently before you cook an artichoke, you are supposed to dip the artichoke in lemon water.

So, I cut a lemon in half, and squeezed all the juice out of the lemon into a large bowl of cold water.

Next, I cut the tip of the artichoke and the base off. The book says you are supposed to cut the thorny tips off all the fins things, but I didn't really see tips, so I didn't do that. Am I missing something?

To me, it looks like the tips were already removed. Oh well. You don't eat that part, anyway, so I just skipped that. But, I did cut off the base and the tip.

So, after this, I set the artichoke in the bowl of water.

Interesting, huh?

Okay, so, once that has been in bowl for a few minutes, it's time to get cookin'!

Artichokes are supposed to be steamed, so I pulled out my trusty steamer thing, put some water in the bottom part, and set the arty on top, and turned the burner on medium heat.

Lookin' good? So, I let the steamer do the rest of the work. I set the lid on top and steamed it for around 30 minutes. Once the leaf/fin/whatever things were really soft, I pulled the artichoke out and set it on a platter to cool.

Doesn't that look so good? So are you wondering how you eat it? You don't eat the outer couple of layers, but you pull off the individual pieces and use your teeth to scrape off the soft white part. We dipped the pieces in butter and ate them. And... it. was. divine. I am so glad we have another one. YUM!!!!

Let's see if Mark felt the same way:

And here's the remnants after we devoured the artichoke:

So, go to your local healthy grocery store, get ya one of these, and eat up! Bon Appetit!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Bad Day for That Guy

So, this morning, I'm pulling out of our apartment complex to go to work, and I notice what appears to be some sort of explosion. Okay, well, not an explosion, but it might as well have been. I don't know what actually happened, but basically, some dude rammed his ginormous truck into the gate to get into my apartment complex. I must have left right after it happened, because that bewildered dude was standing by his ginormous truck looking slightly rattled.

So, since a picture speaks a thousand words, for your viewing pleasure:

Ha ha ha. Yes. That is legit. And see that pile of bricks? He actually knocked the brick thing almost down as well. And here's the gate from the other side:

I mean, that takes some serious skill. That guy must have been going super fast. Did I mention his truck was ginormous? I don't think my car could have done that even if I tried.

So the moral of the story: When you see a huge closed gate with iron on it, don't attempt to drive through it.

Happy Thursday!


Monday, May 3, 2010

A Day of Rest

Sunday just became a much more enjoyable day for me.

You see, I have worked my full time job and my part time job, both on Sundays, for several months. So I work from about 7:15am to 7:15 pm. Pretty non-stop. Like I drive from one job to another. Usually, I don't even have time to eat.

Recently, I had a schedule change. Now I work my part time job on Fridays, so that means my Sunday afternoons from noon to 5:00pm are free. Five hours to do whatever I want.

I really did not know what to do with myself. I wasn't in a rush. I got home from church around 1:00, and I opened my windows and let the beautiful sunshine inside. I put on a James Taylor mix. If that music doesn't make all things right in the world, I don't know what does. I lit a cinnamon candle. I put on an apron, some gardening gloves, and I worked on my balcony.

I threw out some unfortunately under watered plants that remained from last year. I got some fresh soil, new flowers, and my old faithful flower box, and went to work. I have two trailing purple petunia plants that I put in my box, along with a magenta geranium in the middle. They look very happy on my porch.

Once the work was done, I swept the soil off my balcony, and I made some lemonade. I grabbed some lemon juice, some cane sugar, and some water, and it was heavenly. I grabbed my Super Natural Home book, and read about how great vinegar/water (which I already use) and a hydrogen peroxide mix are at disinfecting and cleaning. (Sidenote: Did you know that using those cleaners right after each other is more effective at disinfecting than using conventional cleaners laden with harsh chemicals? Not to mention MUCH cheaper! Also, when people think their house smells like lemons, unless they are actually using lemons, they are smelling some sort of chemical concoction that is probably not good to be inhaled! Who knew? Moving on from that soapbox....)

I sat on the porch in the sun. Miguel sat in my lap as I read, and Melvin entertained himself on the porch with his toys. I also talked leisurely with some neighbors who are moving back to Minnesota, which is sad, since they were so sweet. Plus, I loved hearing them talk - what a great accent. So, pretty much, it was like I was on the Andy Griffith show, chatting with neighbors, and not even via Facebook. (-:

I was able to relax, clean my porch, clean my living room, and even read, and I had plenty of time to spare. Isn't it great to have a few hours with nothing planned?

Sunday is definitely a day to which I am going to look forward from now on.

What do you do on your day of rest?

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