Friday, July 31, 2009

Gettin' buff

"I think I'll work my biceps today."

"What? I gotta rest between sets."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My baby's growing up

Tucker tried out his big boy bed the other night. It's been two nights and he's done great.

Each morning when I come in to get them, he's still on his bed. We're not quite ready to give him the run of the bonus room during the day, but this is a start.
Speaking of beds - Tori has a new favorite sleeping spot.

Does she look comfortable or what?
It's the one spot she doesn't have to worry about givng up. The dogs can't get to her and we rarely sit on that couch.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Slave Labor Part II

My mom actually didn't come up here just to cook some good food. She was really up here to make curtains for my kitchen; the food was just a bonus.

(Remember, the McHusband had the camera with him so these first two pictures were taken with my cell phone.)
Here's my mom hard at work and, of course, if there's work to be done, the ultimate McHelper isn't far away.

The McHusband was nice enough to get the curtains hung this afternoon. My mom and I had stapled the fabric to the "rod" - a 1 x 3 - but the McHusband needed to attach the L brackets and then get everything up on the wall.

First, he wanted to find studs and use them if he could.

Then he had to drill holes in the "rod" (and hopefully not the table underneath) then attach the L brackets.

After all the prep, the curtains went up and voila!

I have a little tweaking to do on the sides so the fabric will hug the window frames a little more closely, but they are essentially finished. (The color's a little off in the first picture; I promise, my walls aren't pink.)

Once we got the curtains up, I decided that the wall over the plant needed a little something, something I'd actually had sitting around since we moved in.

And I don't want to get in trouble, so here's a quick reminder of how the windows looked naked.
Thank you sooooooooooo much, Mom! I appreciate all your hard work, and I had a great time hanging out with you this weekend. We should do it again soon. I have some ideas for curtains for the dining room...

Such a tease

I didn't want to put the McHusband straight to work after he got home yesterday so we'll hang the new curtains that my mom and I made later today. For now, though, here's a sneak peek.

Yesterday when I was updating my blog, the McHusband was hanging out on the couch here in the bonus room with me. And by "hanging out," I mean snoozing.

Hope you're well rested today, McHusband, cuz we have work to do.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Slave Labor Part I

My mom visited this past weekend while the McHusband was at the beach. She got here Thursday evening so she was at the house on Friday while I was at work.

I think she worked harder here at home than I did at the office.

When I walked in the door, this is what I saw.

She had gotten some flowers from the yard and "shopped" in my hutch and powder room for accessories.

Our shrimp cocktail wasn't just shrimp in a bowl with some cocktail sauce to dip it in. Nosiree. We got the shrimp at Harris Teeter the night before and my mom told the guy, "I don't want 14 and I don't want 16; I need 15 shrimp." She also requested that they "be pretty shrimp."

That poor guy, I hope it was near the end of his shift.

Here's our shrimp cocktail, in martini glasses no less.


Wait, who's the third person?

Chelle joined us for dinner.

My mom was using us as guinea pigs for a pasta salad recipe she'd heard was good, and we were happy to oblige.

She also made Pioneer Womans's Spinach Salad. Yum!

How is it, girls?

Since my mom worked so hard all day, we had to MAKE our own ice cream for dessert. It was amazingly simple and very tasty.

Here's what we needed to make it.

You put the ingredients (half and half, vanilla, and sugar) into a small Ziploc bag. You then put that bag inside a bigger Ziploc bag half-filled with ice.

Then you seal the big bag up and shake shake shake for five minutes. When your arms get tired, put the bag down on the bar and move it around.

We ate the ice cream straight out of the bag. My mom had even crushed up some Oreos so we added those and had cookies'n cream ice cream.
Thanks, Mom, for cooking such wonderful food on Friday - it was delicous! Any time you feel the urge to cook for someone, you are more than welcome to visit us.
Chelle, thanks for bringing your camera (the McHusband took mine, er, ours to the beach) and deleting some of your out-of-focus memories so there was room on the camera for me to take pictures.
(Sorry for the formatting issues at the ends of a couple of posts. Blogger is being stubborn and not putting line breaks where I want them. ARGH!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dancing down the aisle

What a fun way to start married life!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just dessert

No, this isn't a revenge post. Or maybe it is. My revenge against my bad baking luck. Take THAT!

I have to share my two baking successes. First, I made some delicious cookies for the McHusband to take to the beach with him. Am I a wonderful McWife or what? Sure, they were those refrigerated break-and-bake cookies, but that doesn't mean I didn't make them with love.

Not with a ton of effort, I'll admit, but I did put some love into them.

Once I was done slaving away over those cookies, I made this pie.

It's called Tar Heel Pie. I'm thinking that whoever submitted this pie to Allrecipes either isn't a good speller or isn't from 'round these parts because everyone knows tarheel is one word. Right?

My mom and I sampled the pie tonight and it was VERY good. I used a premade graham cracker crust instead of the pie crust and I thought it turned out really well. Mom?

The pie was very rich. Good thing we had vanilla ice cream and Cool Whip to tone it down.


On Wednesdays, I go straight to the Y from work so I can take the 6:15 spinning class. Of course, I'm there waaaaaaaay before class starts so I do about 30 minutes of cardio beforehand. Last night, I was on the elliptical machine for 20 minutes, then I ran around the indoor track for about 10 minutes, then it was finally time to head downstairs to my class.

The class was actually pretty full, and I saw a few familiar faces. Apparently my face was familiar to at least one other person, but I'll get to that in a minute.

I'm a sweater. I don't glow or glisten in a ladylike fashion, I SWEAT. It's so bad that I take a second t-shirt to change into after my workouts because the one I wear during exercise ends up totally soaked. You can imagine what my shirt looked like last night after 30 minutes of cardio and an hour-long spinning class.

Or maybe you shouldn't try to imagine that, it's not a pretty picture.

After class, I changed into my dry t-shirt. As I walked out of the lockerroom, a lady - one of those familiar faces - from class stopped me and said, "I noticed you in class. Spinning's really working for you."

"Oh, thank you!" I said. "Spinning's such a great workout and I've been trying to make it to class each Wednesday, and I've been doing some running so..."

She said, "Well, I just wanted you to know that I noticed and you look good."

Well, you know it just made my day that a stranger felt compelled to comment on the change she'd seen. My spirits were hardly even dampened by the torrential downpour I had to run through to get to my car.

When I got home, I had the McHusband take a picture of me so everyone can see just how great I look following a workout. Oh, and the rain I ran through? That's not what you're seeing on my shirt and pants.

Yes, that's my DRY t-shirt. If you're brave enough, you can click on the picture and make it bigger to see the sweat on my pants. Sexy, I know.

Hmmm, I'm thinking I look more like a drowned rat than a gym rat.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Then and now

(No, this isn't another post about my weight and long-lost collarbones.)

I took a few other flower pictures while I was outside with the camera and my "weeds."

Here's the practically indescribable Leaning Tower of Flowers in May:

And here it is now:

Here's one of my urn and a phlox to the right in May:

And here are my urns and a couple of phlox now:

This one with the butterfly's for the McMom.

That's all for now. I could say I don't want to bore you with more then and now pictures, but that wouldn't be true. I've been slack and haven't taken updated pictures, but I'll get to it.

Soon, Mom, I promise. But just think: You'll see everything for yourself in a couple days so I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. :)

My weeds are blooming!

So you know how I extolled the virtues of vinca before? I love it even more now.

I'd noticed a bunch of green things popping up around my vinca, mostly by the sidewalk to the left of the front porch, and thought they were probably weeds, but they kinda looked like vinca so I figured I'd give them a chance. They were actually easier to pull out when they were a little bigger so it worked to let them grow a little.

Soon, I had a LOT of these interlopers around my vinca. I still wasn't sure what they were, but I just had a feeling that I should let them grow a little more.

My patience paid off. One of the weeds had a white flower on it - vinca!

See all the green stuff to the left of the pink flowers? Those are all new flowers. I can't remember my vinca being so... prolific in the past.

And there's the white flower that caught my eye.
I've grown vinca out of a crack between the bottom brick step and the sidewalk at the other house. I don't guess I should be surprised to see it basically coming out of nowhere.
Hmm, I'm starting to think any green thumb I might have is probably green from luck rather than plant-growing success.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bathing beauties - and Tucker

Morgan and Tucker very much enjoyed the beautiful atypical July weather we had here yesterday.

Their temperatures tend to run like the McHusband's and mine. Tucker's hot-natured while Morgan could soak up the sun for hours and hours.

Tucker had his spot in the shade:

While Morgan was happiest in the sun:

The McHusband even got in on the sunbathing action. He's headed to Myrtle Beach later this week for his annual Mustang Week trip (no girls allowed!) so he was trying to get some color on the body parts that DON'T stick out of his t-shirt and shorts.

Tucker stood guard at the back door. In the a/c.

(If you're wondering what that is to Tucker's left, it's the fronts of the kitchen chairs. I was mopping the kitchen while the McHusband was outside working on his tan.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tucker vs. The Eureka BossSmart

You know how Tucker has destroyed two vacuum attachments? Well, I don't think I'm helping the situation.

When I use the hose attachment on the vacuum, Tucker comes running. He can be downstairs and I'll be in the bonus room vacuuming the floor, which doesn't interest him, but as soon as I switch over to the hose, he hears the difference and comes to attack.

He doesn't usually make too much noise, but for some reason he did when I was vacuuming the inside of his crate and he was going after the hose through the bars. I had to get the camera and torture him some more for my enjoyment.

A Reason to Celebrate

We spent some time with old friends yesterday. The McHusband and I went to Cleveland, NC, which is just outside Mooresville (not to be confused with MORRISville; that would've been a much shorter drive). We went to celebrate a battle against cancer being won, and we were grateful to get a chance to visit with people we see far too infrequently.

We got to the party early mostly so the McHusband could visit with Eric, who was in town from New York. The McHusband has known Eric since elementary school. They got to be friends and so did their moms - the McMom and Penny.

The McInlaws also arrived a little early. Here's everyone at or near the drink cooler, which is where the beer and wine was.

Guess who else showed up? Bill and Veerle. The McHusband has known Bill since at least middle school, and Veerle went to high school with us.

Do you see the McDad in the background? I have another picture with him sneaking his grin in. I think he was enjoying those Newcastles.

Isn't that a nice little courtyard area? There was a fountain and lots of pretty flowers, and we even had a bonfire later in the evening. I liked this stone bench with the birdhouse on it. (Hint hint, McHusband.)

The McMom had told Penny she'd bring this oatmeal cake she'd made once before that Roger, Eric's stepdad and guest of honor, really liked. However, she forgot about how they'd actually still be on the road after the reunion in Tennesee so she asked me to make the cake. I was a little nervous, especially because she even gave me the pan to bake it in. Remember, it was her bundt pan that I used to make the Monkey Bread.

But I'm on a roll cuz the oatmeal cake AND homemade icing (woohoo, two for two!) were a big hit. Out of a 9 x 13 pan, there was only enough for two small pieces left at the end of the night.

We left there at about 10:00 Saturday night and after getting gas and making one potty stop, we finally got home around 12:30. We'd gotten up just after 7:00 so we were exhausted. A big thank you to Chelle who helped us with all the animals while we were gone.