Wednesday, February 29, 2012

midweek confessions

This week, I confess...

-I've spent way too much time searching for the perfect laptop bag.  I just can't find a nice bag that is big, but not too big and doesn't scream "I'm holding a computer!".   Oh, and would be great if it was either a nice tan leather OR one of my favorite colors with a shoulder strap.  Impossible?

-I just learned that I will be out of town on both my birthday and my anniversary this year for separate work events.  This is odd because my birthday is exactly a week before my anniversary and I usually don't have much going on in October at work.

-I went to Havana's for lunch yesterday and almost finished the half order of BBQ chicken nachos... by myself.  Let's just say that wasn't a point-friendly move.

-Speaking of food, I've been counting down to a friend's birthday dinner at Yardhouse tomorrow night.  I've even anticipated having a light dinner tonight and being really good tomorrow just to prepare for it.  Yep, I love Yardhouse that much.

-We have friends who moved to Hawaii this past summer and I've been thinking more and more how much I want to visit them.  The main thing to know about this couple is they have a baby on the way this June and I was sort of removing that factor from my mind so I could pinpoint the perfect time this summer to visit.  I mean new parents don't mind guests, right?

-I branched out and tried something other than the avocado cucumber roll from the Sakura Elite cart in the mall.  I ordered the "Number 6" which is one avocado cucumber roll and one sweet potato roll... and ladies and gentlemen, I think this might be my new regular order there.  Oh, and by "regular" I mean I may or may not let myself eat there once a week, but I'm not willing to fully disclose that information at this time (midweek confession or not).

-I'll admit I'm focused a lot on food these days (see the bagillion confessions on the topic above) and the pounds are much slower to come off, but I'm being patient and realize I still have a long way to go but have come a long way at the same time.

-Work is good, but busy.  I spoke too soon when I wrote my end of January post.  We'll see if slows down anytime soon.

-I haven't dusted a few pieces of furniture in months.  Gross.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

peanut butter pretzel bites

The perfect combination of salty and sweet...  these bit-sized treats are dangerously delicious and simple to make.  I've made them twice now and they didn't were gone quick both times.  Enjoy.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
recipe courtesy of Foodaphilia
Yield 60 – 80 pretzel bites
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar (maybe more)
3/4 cup brown sugar (maybe more)
1 bag  semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine peanut butter and softened butter in a large bowl with a fork or whisk, or in a stand mixer.  Add the sugars and mix to combine.  At this point if the filling will roll easily into balls without sticking to your hands you’re ready to go.  If not, add a little more of each sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.
Roll a small portion into a small ball, then sandwich it between two whole pretzels.  When all the balls are rolled and successfully sandwiched, stick the whole tray in the freezer for about half an hour.
Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted.  Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate.  Return to the tray and repeat with remaining sandwiches.  When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely.  Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

So Long January

January is over and I couldn't be happier.  Seriously.  As soon as the holidays were over work didn't skip a beat and I've been slammed until now.  By slammed I mean that I didn't take lunch breaks, I went in early and came home LATE, I continued to work from home, and I lost sleep as my mind raced with the next day's to do list... every day.  How lame is that?  Pretty lame.

However, all the preparation was for our annual sales meeting in Dallas which ended on Thursday and was a huge success.  I had tons of people tell me it was the best one yet, which is always nice to hear after killing yourself to prepare for it.  Busy is normal just before an event, and this year I actually had a team helping which was huge!  In addition to the usual tasks at hand, I was also responsible for completing our company intranet in time for it to be rolled out at the meeting.  I had a lot going on at once and a clear deadline that seemed almost impossible, however my team is awesome and we worked together to get it done.  That's that.

Now I've got to keep the intranet meeting the expectations set last week and will transition straight into preparing for our annual awards program in Aruba and our next big trade show this April in San Antonio.  It never stops, but I like a good challenge.  I really enjoy what I do, which is a huge blessing.

On a completely unrelated note, I've lost 17 lbs!  I probably gained a little back after eating at a hotel for 5 days straight, but I'm still really proud of the progress and people are starting to notice.  The compliments I got last week when I saw folks I hadn't seen in months made me feel even better.

Friday, February 3, 2012

dog ownership: it's not always a walk in the park

Having a pet is a serious undertaking and I wouldn't recommend it unless you truly love animals and are 100% committed to caring for them financially, physically, and emotionally.  Depending on the kind of pet you choose, they can require a lot- so if you aren't prepared then don't even think about it.  Don't take this to mean that I don't love Tank or in some way regret getting him, because we absolutely ADORE him... but he is a lot of work.

 Tank on the couch while I'm blogging... I just fluffed the cushions.

Over the past few weeks Tank has been a HOT MESS.  We noticed a growth on his front paw just before the holiday and I told Jake we'd need to keep an eye on it in case it started getting bigger.  Of course, Jake did not want to have to bring him into the vet over something like that and quickly dismissed it until a couple weeks ago when it started growing by the day.  I made an appointment and learned that it was some type of immune response to a cut/bite/scratch/who knows and would eventually go away on its own.  Needless to say, I'm glad we had it checked out because it continued to get bigger and bigger and we would have totally freaked out if we didn't known what it was/wasn't.

That same growth was the cause of several other issues including blood on our couch, duvet, and sheets.  Yep... it burst not once, but twice as a result of him playing and got everywhere.  Awesome, right?  The stains on the couch have lightened in color, but are still there and the sheets are still a work in progress.

That's not all though.  Recently, while taking a shower Tank somehow managed to get a corner of the bath mat under the door and started eating it.  No joke.  I came out of the shower and noticed the rug had been pulled under the door and when I opened it, carpet shavings were just sitting there.  Bad dog.

Speaking of carpets, he also has a habit of shredding the rug in front of our door whenever we dog sit Peanut (Scott and Hannah's sidekick).  This has happened twice now and we've only had Peanut twice.  The weird part is that we dog sit for friends a lot and this only happens with Peanut in particular.  I'm onto rug #3 and I plan to put it away the next time Peanut comes to visit.  I should have learned my lesson the first time around, but we honestly thought Peanut did it since Tank had never chewed on rugs before.  Shame on us.

Lastly, his hair loss.  Poor thing.  We took him in for this little issue awhile ago as well and all they could say is that it might be stress related.  Strange.  Anyway, we got him some stuff to put on his dinner each night to help and it's been working.  We officially ran out and learned that the replacement bottle is going to run $60 and will last about 3-4 months at a time.  That might seem reasonable to some of you, but that's not his only expense each month.

I'm not sure why I took the time to vent about Tank because I'm obsessed with him, but I guess I've just been feeling a little more tired than usual so all of these incidents seem monumental at the time.

What I can say is that writing this blog reaffirms that I'm content with just one dog (for now) despite getting the below photo from Tank's former home that they have a new and final litter.


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