Jul 31, 2009


It's a fact. Females have mastered the art of multi-tasking:

Check out Rylie's multiple toy-snatching techniques:

All while posing for the camera, head tilt and all. Can't have this ham without some cheese...

Jul 30, 2009

Running on Empty

This past week we've been on a road trip up north to Portland for a long awaited visit with family. The itinerary called for a vehicle that would fit 2 dog crates with 2 dogs, a guitar, an amp, luggage, a cooler and 2 adults. Comfortably. So we rented an SUV, it was supposed to be a RAV-4 but we ended up with a Saturn Vue which is actually larger so that worked out in our favor:

A couple days before, we used our Best Buy Reward points from purchasing the fridge and microwave, towards the purchase of a GPS. Yes folks, we have finally hopped on this technology bandwagon:

After eating dinner and a quick nap on Wednesday, we left at 7.45 pm for our 15 hour drive. 20 minutes into it, we were dying for caffeine so that was our first pit stop. The long trip was not looking so good already.

Once it got dark I did most of the driving. 2 things got me through: cold air and good music. Even if that meant the music was the same stuff on repeat which was unfortunately our case (I mistakenly assumed that satellite radio in the car meant the rental company subscribed to it! Boooo for them!).

The nighttime driving went well due to zero traffic. I listened and sang to Jackson Browne and pretended I was a trucker along with the rest of them on the road. When it comes to driving, truckers are really courteous and get out of your way (most of the interstate is only 2 lanes), and they actually use their blinkers! And I saw a bobcat, that was pretty cool!

We made good time and arrived at 9:30 am, that's including several pit stops for gas, food, and potty breaks. The last hour of driving was eventful, Rylie peed her crate. She just absolutely refuses to potty away from home. In fact, I've only seen her go 1 other time, in a park back in January at a flyball tournament. The entire weekend. This time, she only lasted 13 hours.

And because we were cranky and starving, we went to a drive through for breakfast. I accidentally spilled the entire cup of coffee and Jesse nearly cried (I'm not exaggerating). I couldn't stop laughing and giggling as I was so sleep deprived and couldn't believe how the last hour of the trip was playing out. The server clearly thought I was on something but gave us a coffee refill anyway.

The downside to night driving was not being able to see how beautiful it was outside. Luckily we caught it on our drive back during the day, where Jesse did 99% of the driving.

What truly helped on the trip home, was a small coffee chain called Dutch Brothers. I miss them already! We also stopped at a Java Detour where I got a latte but the server forgot the espresso so I basically had warm milk, the opposite effect desired. Boo for them.

Any other suggestions for a long road trip? What do you make sure to do or pack?

Jul 28, 2009

Domestic Tumbleweed

Above is a photo of the elusive, domestic tumbleweed. It flies, floats, sticks, and never stays still. And with 4 dogs here recently, I am left with a daily discovery of the above.

Pet hair is like an airborne virus. Once you have it, it's hard to get rid of, and quickly spreads.

How do you battle a case of the domestic tumbleweed?

Jul 22, 2009

Weekend Score

A couple weekends ago, we scored this find at a garage sale:

We got it for $30 and discovered later at home, that it's a designer piece. It's the perfect size for that corner and it's great for curling up with a book, morning coffee and a great spot for doggy napping and sunbathing.

Have you scored an awesome deal lately? Do share.

Jul 21, 2009

Doggy Spoons

Karma and Rylie invited some pals over this weekend, Kea and Chibi while their parents were off in Vegas racing cars. Although it was too hot out for much outdoor activity, they made use of their indoor time.

Kea and Karma are BFFs and quickly picked up where they left off last:

(Left to Right: Kea, Karma)

And that left Rylie and Chibi. Who pretty much did the same. Who needs the black and white clique when you got other colors?

Do your pooches have BFs that they love to snuggle up with?

Jul 20, 2009

Across the Board

Now that we have a sink I can do things I wouldn't have done in the bath tub. Like oil the cutting boards and wooden cooking utensils:

(in case you were wondering, both the mineral oil and cutting board are from Ikea)

So appreciate your sink for more than just doing dishes!

Jul 17, 2009

Canine Conquests

This post is dedicated to the victims slain by my dogs:

  1. Tiger Cat: tortured first by whisker removal, then eye-gouging
  2. Dalmation: multiple eye excavation with the same eye
  3. Furby: tail removal, eye removal, foot removal, followed by beak removal (this was affectionately known as Karma's "baby." It came from Laconia, NH after 4 adults played a lot of skeeball to win this creature)
  4. Butterfly thing: elimination of both eyes and antenna
  5. Other Dalmation: total eye eradication
  6. Lil' Buddy: hair distress (many ways including tossed into a burning fireplace)
  7. Octo: with all those limbs it was interestingly straight gut harvesting
  8. Owl: I'm not sure why he's considered an owl, but he has suffered both eye dislocation, limb amputation, and some violent hair displacement
Conclusion: eyes are the first to go, then whiskers and hair-like extensions, then ears, then limbs, and occasionally they quit messing around go straight for the gut.

Do your furry creatures have their own special techniques?

Jul 16, 2009

Get a Handle on it

If there's a lesson in home projects, it's that nothing is easy. Or at least nothing is as easy as you'd expect it to be (or should be). Even buying the hardware was not easy for me. During my research for cabinetry hardware I read countless suggestions for using a template. Even from professionals. Really.

We first tried sans template. And of course, made a mistake and had to hide the holes we drilled (no need to show you that). Then we went out and got one of these bad boys:

Somehow no matter how many times you measure and mark, you will make a mistake. And for each cabinet door, that meant 2 holes (unless you are doing knobs rather than pull handles). And the more cabinet door sizes and types you have, and the different sides they are placed on, the more your risk of error increases.

In our case we had all different sized cabinets with 8 left opening, 9 right opening, 1 vertically centered, and 1 horizontally centered. And in 2 different sizes (the drawer pull was larger). And we have a tiny kitchen (so you can imagine what non-tiny kitchens have). You get the point.

With the template, we were on a roll. The rest went so quickly and effortlessly. For that reason alone it's worth it. And at about $3 there's no reason not to use one.

So installing cabinetry hardware can be an 'as-easy-as-you-thought' project.

Jul 15, 2009

Watering Holes

I have a strawberry pot but do not grow strawberries in them (or anywhere else), so instead I planted succulents in the pot. The biggest problem with this pot is that the water spills out the side openings, creating a mess and not doing a good job of watering.

I took a leftover piece of PVC pipe that is about the same height as the pot and drilled holes down the entire length:

Then I stuck it straight down the center of the planted pot:

If I were going for style points I would trim the top portion off so it would not be visible. But I simply do not care, I'm just glad to be able to use this pot and get my plants watered. And the water spillage is not the pot or tube's fault, I was just sloppy.

Do you have any gardening tricks to share? Do tell.

Jul 14, 2009

Big Poppa

He loves it when his girls suck up to him:

Can you blame him?

It's Curtains

Now that it's getting hot, I've decided it would be nice to block the sun from the main/biggest sources in our home: the 2 sliding doors.

After months of living with these doors, I am aware of how frequently they are used and decided to go with grommet curtains for their sliding ease.

After 1 dreaded trip to Ikea (I love/hate that place, love the prices but hate hate hate the experience), I got all that was needed to do the job:

(VĂ…GEN curtain rods $9.99, the longest length I could find there)

(MERETE curtains in brown $39.99, in the shorter length)

After measuring 3 times and marking the spots, we drilled holes and put in wall anchors (because although the rods are light, the curtains are heavy). I hung the curtains higher and wider than the doors to make them look bigger. It also keeps the curtains from blocking the doors when they are pulled open, and out of the way. It also conveniently made for less fabric to hem :)

Tip: before installing the rods and definitely before hemming, wash these curtains because they do shrink a bit (due to their 100% cotton make up). That will determine their final length.

For basic cotton curtains (ie. no fancy liners or thermal technology), they block out a fair amount of light and therefore heat. They also block out views of squirrels, bunnies and other woodland creatures. However, there are ways to bypass this as demonstrated above.

Are there other attractive 'window' treatments for sliding doors that you've seen?

Jul 13, 2009

Yet even more Paint Reliever

Because I had about a cupful of paint leftover from the planter project (which was leftover from the outdoor table project, which was leftover from the front door project) that I couldn't bear to waste, I found a way to use it:

It's made using an old kitchen cabinet door and old kitchen cabinet molding (it went along where the cabinet met the ceiling).

I have no idea why or where to put this or even what to call it (house number plaque?). Where would you put it?

Jul 10, 2009

Laundry List

I know you're wondering what my weekend plans are (all 3 of you). Here's a hint:

See the 2 red fuzzy slippers at the bottom of the heap? That could have been me. So close..!

How do you handle your laundry, let it overwhelmingly pile up? Do a small load every few days? Wear dirty clothes everyday? Buy new clothes everyday? Go au natural and boycott clothes altogether?

Jul 9, 2009

Bag Lady (part 2)

My favorite plastic hardware store bags, in order of preference are:
  1. Do-It (strongest, and large capacity)
  2. Lowe's (stronger than it's biggest competitor's)
  3. Home Depot (for some reason I hate the nude color and transparency of its thinness. It reminds me of old lady panty hose)
Do-It and Lowe's also offer different size bags (for different sized stuff, obviously). So far, I haven't seen that from Home Depot, boo for them.

Do-It also offers shopping baskets in their stores, props to them.

Am I missing any store?

Jul 8, 2009

Bag Lady (part 1)

I try to bring my own canvas bags (for obvious reasons) to the grocery store but often times forget. Since grocery shopping is my addiction, they easily accumulate in this household. Not all plastic bags are created equal - some are larger, some are stronger, and some just look nicer.

My favorite plastic store bags, in order of preference are (including stores where errands are run for good measure):
  1. Whole Foods (strongest, and large capacity)
  2. Fresh and Easy (ranked 2nd because Whole Foods has been around longer, it only seemed fair)
  3. Target (large capacity, decent strength, and I like the red target pattern)
  4. World Market (can have large capacity, but mostly because I like the pattern)
  5. Wal-Mart (stronger than it looks)
  6. Gelsons (strong, large capacity)
  7. Vons (this is where my list takes a dramatic dip because of being prone to holes and small capacity)
  8. Ralphs (holes, small capacity, ugly logo)
  9. Albertsons (holes, small capacity, and falls last on the list because these make up the majority in this house and I'm sick of looking at them)
Trader Joe's is also another place I frequent but they do not offer plastic bags, and aside from the obvious 2 categories in which all paper bags fall in (with handles, without handles), I find them to be rather equal.

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