Tag Archives: Ellie

Fingers Crossed

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am finally back from my brief blogging hiatus. I wish I could say that I am refreshed, brimming and bursting with news; however, I think that would be stretching the truth a bit.

My bum hand is largely to blame for my absence. Again, it is quite the task to type with one hand. Fortunately, I am slowly healing. My fingers are still puffy and purplish, but I think the swelling has gone down. Fingers crossed for a speedy rest of recovery, eh? Your fingers, not mine. I can’t yet. 😉

My computer has not helped maters either. Freezing on me, crashing, losing battery power at rapid speed . . . same ol’ thing. I know you are just as tired of hearing about it as I am with dealing with it. However, there is a light shining up ahead! I met with my bro, Gage, yesterday to take a look at some PC options. Maybe this one?

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That’s the ASUS R500VM-MS71

I love my Mac, but they are way too darn expensive. Anyway, I am hoping to have a new laptop in the next week or so. This will be such a relief to the small tech-loving side of myself. My wallet, on the other hand, will not be so jubilant.  Oh well, c’est la vie!

My week did kick off with some excitement, though. (Of the non-digital variety). I had my second interview with elitefts.net for their content editor position!

And . . . (drum-roll, please) . . . it went fantastic!

As soon as I showed up at the elitefts.net corporate office, I was immediately welcomed by several of the staff members. Everyone’s warm smiles made me feel at ease, and it was encouraging to see that everyone really seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. The atmosphere was incredibly down to earth—with everyone laughing and joking, eating lunch together, etc. Yet, with a 20% growth history each year since its inception, I know these folks still get it done!

The interview itself was actually really enjoyable. I know, an interview being enjoyable? I was surprised as well, but it didn’t feel like an hour-long grill-session. (Like most of the interviews I have been in before).  It felt like an actual discussion—a learning experience for both of us. Which is how it should be, shouldn’t it? I mean, yes, they are trying to find the best person for the job, but you also need to decide if what they are offering is the best fit for you. I think this is forgotten these days, but unfortunately there’s not much we can do, because of the sheer desperation for employment and all. :/

Anyway, I could truly see myself in that role. The scope of work sounds right up my ally- editing, proofing, AND fitness all combined into one crazy good editorial position! Heck yes! Here’s to hoping for a third interview!

I wish my Tuesday was as exciting and jam-packed as my Monday, but I guess I’ll take what I can get.

Ellie was certainly not thrilled this morning. When I grabbed her harness and leash, announcing that it was time to go get a hair cut and a nail trim, she hunkered down and gave me the pouty look.

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She needs it though. Look at that fur ball! And her nails are like daggers. Whenever she jumps on my legs to give me a hug, I am left with red scraps down my thighs.

Too bad dogs can’t have dental work. Ellie also has a mad under-bite.

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Haha! When her lip gets caught on her tooth it is even more pronounced. That silly goose.

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Oh! And I need your opinion. I saw doggie costumes at Target the other day, and I think I may have to get this one for Ellie Boo.

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What are your thoughts?

Decisions, decisions.

Well, I’m off to make the most out of this rainy day! I might even try to bake something one-handed for tomorrow’s girls’ night . . .

Question of the day:

  • Do you have any good (or bad) interview stories?

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Getting Motivated

As you know, I have been following Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program for a little while now. In fact, today was slotted to be Day 23- Back and Biceps. However, after I rolled out of bed, I was just not feeling it. I wasn’t actually feeling the gym at all today. With achy, sore muscles, the last thing I felt like doing was “pumping iron.” Vegging on the couch sounded fantastic. I mean, it is officially football season.

(Source)

OSU vs. Miami kicks off game season, baby! Can I get a O-H-I-O!?!?

Even Ellie tried to convince me to stay home today. She crawled on my lap while I was putting my sneakers on, and it took more than just a little coaxing to get her off.

It’s so hard to say no to that sweet little face.

I did manage to get myself moving, though. I am a firm believer that getting going is one of the hardest things about working out. Plus, I can’t say that I’ve ever regretted a workout.

Workout:

I began with a solid 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I decided to forgo the intervals today, but I did want to work my quads, so I set my machine for a steady climb workout. I know ellipticals vary, but I set my incline at 10 and my resistance at 10-11. I was feeling the burn!

By the time I was ready to lift, I was still not feeling it. I’m not sure if it was the arm soreness or that I am getting a little bored with the repetition of the program, but I just wasn’t excited to do it today. So I did something that did interest me. (Why do something you don’t really want to do, eh? Working out should be fun!)

I stumbled across the blog Back On Pointe the other day, and I found some workouts that look interesting. I gave this one a shot today:

The verdict: I think I might have to complete 2 or 3 rounds of the entire circuit next time to get its full benefit. I was really feeling those Russian twists and planks, but I definitely didn’t get as sweaty as I usually do during circuits. Still, I think you might be seeing a few more of Back On Ponite’s workouts on here in the future.

I finished off with some stretching in the Y’s aerobic studio. I was secretly very excited to see that Yoga was canceled this morning. For once, I finally got to feel like a dancer again. Ballet barre, polished floors (no marley, but I’m not complaining) . . . I felt at home again.

I love that photo. 🙂 I think that’s how I will always feel. Dancing is more fulfilling than walking for me!

The rest of my day was spent getting things done around the house. I vacuumed, mopped, organized, returned emails . . . but I won’t bore you with all of that. However, I did do something that just might strike your fancy.

Muddy Buddy Rice Krispy Treats

We have had marshmallows in our cupboard for ages (and we are not a marshmallow eating family), and since no one has been touching the box of Rice Krispies, I put two and two together: Rice Krispy Treats! Yet, regular ol’ rice krispy treats weren’t gonna cut it today. So, I found the perfect recipe on Pinterest.

Muddy Buddy Rice Krispy Treats

(Source: Cooking Classy)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1 (10.5 oz) pkg. mini marshmallows
  • 6 C Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 C chocolate (I used semi sweet, but milk can also be used)
  • 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium/low heat.
  • Add in marshmallows, stirring constantly until melted.
  • Remove from heat and add in cereal. Stir until well coated.
  • Spread “batter” into prepared baking dish. (Use a buttered spatula to smooth and even everything out).
  • In a microwaveable bowl, combine chocolate and peanut butter. Microwave, stirring every 30 second, until melted.
  • Spread over Krispy Treats.
  • Using a fine mesh sieve, sprinkle powdered sugar over top. (I didn’t do this because I don’t own a sieve. I just threw it on!)
  • Cut into squares and enjoy!

Told ya it would strike your fancy.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Question of the Day:

  • What do you do to help yourself get motivated to go to the gym?

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Simple Pleasures

I started my day off right today: I met one of my very best friends, Kelly, for a workout at our old high school track. We are both running in the Santa Hustle this December, so we wanted to make sure to pencil in a workout together while she is in town. However, this morning was more than simply running laps on the track. No, no. Kelly’s a power house. We did circuits. I wasn’t complaining, though. I must say I’ve grown to really love circuit workouts in terms of exercise regimens. They are faced paced and really keep me on my toes.

“Circuits are so monotonous and boring,” said NO ONE EVER.

Here’s a recap of our morning wake-up workout:

Spending time with friends and the wonderful endorphin-filled happiness you get following a great workout are just two of the small, rewarding little pleasures in life that I adore.

Speaking of little pleasures, I saw Julie do an “A to Z” survey on her blog awhile ago, where she would use each letter in the alphabet to list something that brought her joy, and I have been wanting to do it for myself for some time now.

So, why not today? It’s Friday. It’s sunny. AND we are all just about to enjoy a nice, long weekend! Why not celebrate the good things, eh?

Here we go!

Simple Pleasures: A to Z

A- Adventure. I love finding adventure in life. It’s what makes life thrilling and interesting. From exploring a new culture to something as small as trying a new food, I want to experience all that the world has to offer.

B- Blogging. Although I only began blogging (regularly) a little while ago, I absolutely love it. It gives me a chance to write (and keep those muscles working!), and it has also become a great way to reflect on my thoughts/random ponderings. Plus, it gives me an excuse to cook and bake! Yuuzzzz!

C- Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. The season just brings me the warm fuzzies! It’s so jolly- the music, the decorations, the cute made-for-TV movies, abcfamily’s 25 Days of Christmas, the family time . . . ahhhh! I’m getting so excited just thinking about it!

D- Dancing. It is my form of self expression, besides writing/blogging, of course. I have always felt at home in a dance studio or on stage. I actually really miss doing it every day.

Look at little me! That’s a dance costume, don’t worry.

E- Ellie. My little goofball princess of a pup. She brightens my day every time I see her. How could she not? As soon as I walk through the door she is wiggling and wagging her little furry body. All she desires in life is affection, and she always returns the favor.

F- Faith. I’m still working on growing in my faith, but it brings me so much comfort to spend time with others who have fully given themselves to God.

G- Gage . . . or gum. No, I’ll have to go with Gage. 😉 As different as we are, he is my big bro, and I love him dearly. He has always looked out for me, and he was quite the awesome playmate when we were younger. He would actually play with Barbies with me! (He’s gonna kill me for revealing that . . . I love ya Gage!) Although he doesn’t say it much, I know he loves me back.

We are at a Renaissance fair. Hence, the pirate costume. At least I don’t think he wears this garb everyday . . .

H- Honey Bunches of Oats with Cinnamon Clusters. Best cereal of all time. Enough said.

I- Ice Cream. I think all of you know by now that I have an undying love for ice cream. It is, by far, my all-time favorite dessert. If I am eating it at home, I always opt for Edy’s. My personal specialty is mixing a scoop of cookie dough with double fudge brownie. It’s ALL about the chunks of baked morsels for me. So good. However, Ohio is the bomb diggity for superb ice cream parlors. Ummm, hello: Graeter’s and Jeni’s. Yes, be jealous.

J- Jokes. I love to laugh- it can cure a multitude of things. (Well, that and ice cream)

He he he 🙂

K- Kisses. Some of my favorites come from this little bit:

L- Learning something new. There’s so much out there to learn and so much to explore. As one of my teachers used to say, “If you ever need to humble yourself, go to the library and walk through the aisles.” It just goes to show you how little you know and have read.

M- Madre. She’s my best friend. We get each other’s crazy quirks, and we love each other no matter what. Always and forever.

N- Netflix. I am a big fan of their TV show offerings.

O- Outside. I love the smell of freshly cut grass and the soft, squishy feel of soil beneath my feet. I love the way the sun kisses my face with its warming rays, and I love the sound of rain lightly tapping on my window. Believe it or not, I also love snow and seeing how my breath can hover in the crisp, cold air.

P- Poppa. With a contagious, warm and hearty laugh, my Poppa never fails to make me smile. He has always been one of my greatest support systems and has never stopped believing in me.

Q- Quirky conversations. These are always in full supply whenever I hang around my friends Katie, Sarah, and Emily. I love them. I get an ab workout just from laughing.

R- Recipes. With my love of cooking and baking, I am always down for trying out new recipes. Maybe someday I will begin creating my own!

S- Spinning. I am a spin class addict. I love to feel the burn and work up a sweat!

T- Texting. I’m sorry, but I have to come clean. I am a texting lover. In fact, I am a much better texter than phone talker- I can never sit still and keep my full attention on the conversation. I pace and fidget and doodle . . . Plus, nothing puts a smile on my face like a random, funny text from a friend. 🙂

U- Uncle B. Best uncle EVER. I admire him so much, and he has been such a great support system these past few years. I miss him every day.

V- Vacation! Madre and I leave for Cancun this Wednesday- I’m pumped!

W- Wine. Nothing beats a nice glass of red wine after a long day. Oh, maybe if you add a bubble bath or a chick flick.

Best Riesling ever!

X- uhhhh????? X is such a silly letter. Let’s just go with X-tra comfy sweats and t-shirts. It’s what I wear almost everyday.

Y- Yummy yummy PEANUT BUTTER. Sorry, that one is a stretch, but I couldn’t forget the sheer delight pb brings to my life!

Z- ZONA! As a U of A grad, I have to give a shout out to my alma mater. Bear Down!

(Source)

Questions of the Day:

  • What simple things bring you happiness?
  • Do you have a favorite circuit workout?

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Hubba Hubba

Happy Friday! Haha! If you’re like me, this is how you feel when Friday night rolls around:

I snuck this picture the other night when my family finally returned home from the Gma’s. Can you tell the week’s events took a lot out of us? Or at least Ellie and Poppa. They are two of a kind . . . Ellie boo sure does love her Poppa Bear.

Well, although it is the end of the week, I can’t say it feels very much like a Friday to me. All my days have blended together this last week. Plus, I have to work tomorrow. At least it will be semi-fun though. I am working a wedding, so I always enjoy scoping out the decor, the bride’s dress, and the cake. (If I am lucky, I may even get to snag a sample!)

Today started off pretty typically for me: woke up, applied for jobs, ate breakfast (nothing too interesting, just egg whites and a bit of cereal) . . . you know, the usual. However, Friday does mean spinning! So I headed off to the YMCA around 10:45 to snag a bike and warm up before class.

My work out started out with a nice 20 minute warm up on the elliptical to get the sweat flowing. I did experiment with changing the resistance a bit here and there, which added some variety to my usually-monotone routine. I highly suggest trying this out for yourself if you find that you get bored easily while using a cardio machine.

I then went on to complete Day 17 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer program.

I definitely think my chest will feel that tomorrow. That’s a lot of flys!

Then it was spin time. I can’t help it; I am hopelessly addicted.

All that exercise sure did spark my appetite. So when I got home, I threw together a salad and consumed it so fast that I didn’t even remember to take a picture. Oops! In my concoction went: lettuce, spinach, broccoli, pickle, grape tomatoes, and turkey. (Dipped in Parmesan dressing, of course).

While I was eating, I remembered that I had yet another delicious treat to share with y’all! My friend, Katie, threw a party last Friday in honor of her fiance’s graduation from Officer Training School. Since I am the go-to sweets girl, she asked if I would bake something for the event. Since her fiance, Caleb, loves anything chocolate and peanut butter, I made my Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (they were a big hit). However, I didn’t stop there. I threw together something that I have been itching to make for quite some time now:

Chubby Hubby Bars

I, of course, was once again reminded of my naivety in regards to the name of these bars.

As he was eating a bar, a friend joked, “So, does that mean that eating these will make your hubby get chubby?”

I responded, “Haha, I suppose if he ate too many.” You know, I thought he meant that in reference to gaining weight by eating too many . . .

My friend Sarah just looked at me and then burst out laughing. “Dallas, not that kind of chubby . . . A chubby.” She went on to explain that these “chubby” is quite the double entendre. Haha! Whoops! At least my friends got a chuckle at me expense.

Anyway, I think you will really enjoy these bars. Sweet with just the right amount of salty snap!

I found this recipe on Cookies & Cups and pretty much followed the recipe exactly as written. The only thing I changed was that I subbed chopped milk chocolate and peanut butter chips for the Reese’s PB Cups, but that’s only because I did not have any on hand. The result was fantastic though. So if you don’t have any PB cups on hand, this turned out to be a great alternative. Also, I am sure anything that you would like to add would be fantastic! M&M’s, white chocolate chips, Kit Kat bars, etc. You can use your imagination- or just go off what you have in your cabinet.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1 C butter, room temp.
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp course sea salt
  • 1 1/2 C coarsely chopped pretzels
  • 2 C coarsely chopped Reese’s cups (or 2 C of chopped milk chocolate and pb chips)
  • 1 (14 oz) bag of caramels (make sure to unwrap them!)
  • 2 T water
  • 2 C semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray
  • Beat together butter and sugars until fluffy
  • Add eggs and vanilla
  • Slowly add in salt, baking soda, and flour (I combined these in a separate bowl first)
  • Slowly add in Reese’s cups (or alternative) and pretzels. I folded these into the batter with a spatula.
  • Spread batter into pan and bake for about 25 min. (I went for 23)
  • Let cool completely. About 30 min to an hour. (I let mine cool a bit on a wire rack and then stuck it in the fridge for a bit)
  • Melt caramels and 2 T of water in a microwave safe bowl. Stir every minute until melted- mine took about 2 min.
  • Pour caramel over bars.
  • Chill in fridge for about 15 min. (until set)
  • Melt chocolate chips and spread over bars.

  • Put back in fridge for about 30 min. or until chocolate is set.
  • Cut into squares and have at ’em.

Mmmmmm. Look at that ooey gooey caramel. So so so good. These certainly were a highlight at the party. Both the taste of them and their name . . . Yes, were are in our 20’s if you can believe it.

Questions of the Day:

  •  Have you ever found yourself unknowingly caught in a joke?
  • What’s the best dessert you have made for a party to date?

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Check, Check, Check

The past day and a half has been spent getting things marked off my To-Do list. I can’t say they have all been fun, but at least I feel more productive.

My first major accomplishment was the one I was most dreading. A few weeks ago, Madre and I booked a trip to an all-inclusive vacation to Cancun in September! (I’ve never been on a cruise or an exotic vacation, so I am eager to relax, sip on fancy umbrella-clad drinks, and soak in some hot, sunny rays). However, when booking the trip, Madre and I did not purchase the trip insurance. Unfortunately, in the last few days my grandfather’s health has took another turn for the worst. So, for a little breathing room, I decided to call the travel company to see if I could go ahead add the insurance now.

The only bad part was that I had to call an 800 number . . . so I had a book ready by my side to read for when I was put on hold. However, www.cheapcaribbean.com pleasantly surprised my cynical self. Within a few minutes of dialing, a very nice women began to help me. The best part: I was still able to purchase the insurance I needed. Therefore, I would highly recommend cheapcarribean to anyone looking to book a trip. Although the name sounds a bit cheesy, my experience so far with the company has been beyond exceptional. Oh, and don’t worry, I will give my final review of my vacation experience when I return from the sand and sun in September.

After sending a long list of emails, I took a break from my checklist to hit the gym. Since it was a Monday, my favorite spinning class was on my agenda. However, I always get to the Y early to reserve a bike and warm up before the intensity ensues.

After an easy 20 minutes on the elliptical to get the blood flowing, I intended to complete part of a workout I got from one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers:

Shoulders & Abs

Superset One: Front Shoulder Raises & 60 sec. plank

Superset Two: Upright Row & 50 Crunches (on yoga ball)

Superset Three: Side Shoulder Raises & 20 Reverse Crunches

* Complete three sets of 15 reps for each superset

I got through the first two supersets, but everyone at the gym was in quite the talkative mood. I had to cut my workout short to catch my spinning class, but I wasn’t too upset. Spinning left me looking like a swamp monster: sweaty from head to toe!

Lunch was quickly thrown together when I arrived home: Roasted broccoli, scrambled eggs, and a side of kettle corn. (I need to get the hang of taking pictures of my meals and what not. I promise I will get better. Baby steps, eh?)

Then it was time for a bath. Not me. This little bumpkin:

Ellie boo is not a fan of baths. She’s like a cat . . . she clings to the side of the bathtub for dear life. She did survive though!

Someone is not a happy camper . . . she was mad so she wouldn’t look at me. Ellie is the first dog I’ve met that can hold a grudge.

She did get a treat for her suffering.

Look at her attacking that peanut butter! She certainly is my dog!

The rest of my night was spent cleaning the house. Fun stuff!

I am off to spend the evening with Madre. Let’s see if I can get her to the gym!

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Pickle Jars & Snickerdoodle Bars

I know what you’re thinking . . . it’s been a week! A week since my last post!

How Dare you Ellie

BUT I do have a good excuse. I promise!

Lets hear it ellie

Okay, maybe my only excuse for not posting on Thursday was that I was pretty busy prepping for the weekend. But it was a busy weekend! Not only was my family helping my grandma (who I affectionately call Gma or Grammy- I love you Grammy! if you are reading this) move into her new apartment, but I also got the honor of picking my Uncle B up at the airport on Friday night! He flew all the way from Arizona to take part in all of the festivities . . . uh, work. Winking smile

Therefore, due to lack of internet access and being completely exhausted, I decided that blogging could wait.

Although I did venture back home briefly to fill some work orders and visit with my friend Lori, I turned right around and jetted back down to Springfield once again for my Gma’s auction a day and a half later. Now THAT was one interesting experience. The auctioneer amazed me with his super speed speech . . . I wonder how long it took him to learn how to speak that fast. And that intermittent mumbling? That is an art form. 

All in all, it was a pretty successful night. (And a HOT one at that- 85 degrees in March?!! What’s going on Ohio?) I was surprised by how much people paid for some things. For instance, a pickle jar went for $17.50. That must have been one heck of a pickle jar . . . maybe it was bedazzled. Yet, I would have thought that other items would have sold for more. Hmmm, I guess that is just the way it goes though, eh?

The rest of my time in Springfield was spent making trips to Goodwill, cleaning Gma’s house (HOLY DUST BUNNIES!), and sweating from the crazy heat. However, despite the work, I loved having the time to catch up with Uncle B and Gma. Plus, it felt great being able to help out my parents!

Oh! But before I left for the auction, I made something extra special for my Uncle’s sweet tooth:

Snickeredoodle bars!!!!

Snickerdoodle bars main

If you like regular snickerdoodle cookies, then you will absolutely LOVE these bars! They are so much moister (I think that’s a real word) than the cookies, and absolutely filled with satisfying cinnamon-y goodness! Really, you need to try these. Like right now.

Snickerdoodle Bars

Ingredients:

  1. 2 2/3 Cups AP Flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (I just used what I had on hand)
  4. 2 Cups packed light brown sugar
  5. 1 Cup butter, room temp
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  8. 2 Tablespoons sugar
  9. 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside,
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Stir in flour mixture, making sure to blend well!
  5. Spread evenly into a prepared pan. Since the batter is thick, I found it works best if you put dollops into your pan and spread from there.
  6. Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and then sprinkle it over the batter. (It won’t look like too awfully much in your bowl, but once you start sprinkling, you will see that there is more than enough to thoroughly cover your batter!)
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a little goo. (Yes, goo. You don’t want crumbs- otherwise you have overcooked!) *I cook mine about 23 minutes, but I know I like my baked goods slightly under done.
  8. Cool slightly and cut into bars. These are BEST served warm!

Snickerdoodle bars close up

Look at that golden cinnamon goodness!!!! MMMMMMMMMM

I brought a batch of these babies into Madre’s work a week ago. They were hot out of the oven! She later told me that they were gone within two hours. See?! They are that good! Now go make some for yourself. Your taste buds can thank me later!

Now off to make dinner!

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