Monday, March 31, 2014

Healthy and Delicious Spaghetti

The weekend is over and you know what? I don't hate it. It was a good weekend and filled with fun things but the fact that the weather is improving also improves my mood and therefore today I do not hate Monday even though the fun of a couple days off is over until Friday again. 

The highlight of my weekend was hanging out with some of my MN Blogger Friends at our 2nd annual favorite things party but I will have to post about that tomorrow because I did not take a single picture. So once all my friends have their posts up I can share about the fun and steal borrow their pictures :)

So since my weekend fun will have to wait I'll share a fun recipe that I tried out a couple weeks ago, Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti. I saw the recipe first on Erin's blog and thought it was a little crazy but why not try it out. And I am so glad that I did. 

I will say that it took a little getting used to knowing that I was eating broccoli and not noodles but it is definitely something that I will make again. The fact that I ate spaghetti and didn't even have to worry about all the carbs was pretty exciting. 

1 bag of broccoli slaw
Jar of tomato sauce
Half of an onion (optional) 
Ground meat of your choosing (optional), I used ground chicken
Seasoning, I used garlic and Italian seasoning

Then you just boil broccoli slaw in water for about 5 minutes to soften it up, brown your meat and heat up your sauce like usual and then pour your broccoli slaw into your meat and sauce mixture and as easy as that you have yourself a delicious and healthy meal. Good way to trick yourself (and kids) into eating some extra veggies :)

Let me know what you think if you try it out! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Smokin' Bacon

Woo hoo! We are half way through the week already. Friday night I head home, Saturday afternoon I'm going to be hanging out with some MN bloggers for our 2nd annual Favorite Things party and then Sunday I have no plans-that means sitting on the couch with Jamal and Colby Jack. Perfection. 

Perfection it will be, but Saturday the 15th? Now that was far from perfect. I may have caused a small scene at my house and now the carpet and kitchen floor is ruined forever. But let me start at the beginning. 

It was Saturday morning and I was sitting on the couch with my mom and holding Colby J. I had some bacon in the oven cooking for breakfast and we were on the internet looking for some flowers to send to Jamal's grandparents. Time is going by and I tell my mom that I need to go get my bacon because it was burning. Little did I know though, it was actually burning quite literally. 

I walked into the kitchen still holding Colby and opened the oven. And instead of my bacon nice and crisp I see flames. So I calmly say "it's on fire". And take a few seconds to think about what to do because I am holding a dog and the flour is not in easy reach. Well my mother was not about to wait a few seconds she was quick as a bunny when she saw the fire and started yelling. She was actually on the phone at the time with my aunt and freaked out and threw the phone. I personally found it quite comical, I mean really it wasn't that big of a deal and it wasn't like our house was burning down. 

Well my mother yells at me to open the door so I walk over and open the front door thinking that she wants me to air out the house while she puts out the fire but no she had a different idea. I turn around to see her running through the house carrying the flaming pan and then she throws it out the door! I am just confused on what is going on. It was tiny little fire and she freaked out about it. So as I've been known to do in the wrong situations I burst out laughing along with my sister's friend and my sister. We are standing in our living room laughing hysterically at the entire situation. I mean really, what else could we do? 

We quickly realize that the floor is destroyed due to some flying grease while my mom was running out the door with the pan. The carpet was singed, there were black holes in our carpet. There is no way that we will ever fix that. And the kitchen floor melted where the grease had fallen on it! Craziness. 

And of course, for about the next half hour all we could do was laugh about it. Well, except for my mom. She didn't think it was too funny and kept saying how I just stared at it and didn't do anything. In my defense I had a puppy in my arms!! And I am just calm under pressure :)

We have no idea how the fire started, it was the weirdest thing. And now I don't know that I'll ever cook bacon in the oven again....oh who am I kidding? It tastes the best that way. 

PS I was too busy being stunned by my mothers reaction and then laughing about it all to get photographic evidence, but trust me, it happened. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Solid Gold Healthy & Natural Dog Treats

As I am sure you can tell by now I am obsessed with my dog. He is my little baby and I do anything that I can to make sure that he will live a long and healthy life. That means that I monitor what goes in his mouth quite strictly. I don't want any of that gross meat-by-product or any of those other questionable ingredients. So when I heard about Solid Gold Northland I was really excited. I love finding great products for Colby Jack that he enjoys and are still good for him

Solid Gold Northland is a wholesale pet product supplier in Minneapolis that specializes in natural and holistic products. And I am really happy to joining their team and a product reviewer so I can share all of the great things I discover with you! 

This month Colby Jack got to try out Solid Gold Beef Jerky Treats. Of course he couldn't even wait for the package to be opened before he started freaking out and whining for one. He loves his treats! But has also been known to be picky, if he doesn't like something he will not eat it. But these, he devoured. I love that they were soft and easy to break up because he has such a small mouth and sometimes has trouble eating bigger treats. 

I would say that these were a hit for both me and him. I love that they don't have any gross ingredients in them and he is a big fan of the taste :) If you are looking for wholesome treats for your dog I highly suggest checking out Solid Gold Northland. You can go to their store locator to find a carrier near you. 

*I received the bag of treats in exchange for my honest review 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Colby Jack Update

I hope you had a great weekend. The only fun thing I did was meet Jamal at the casino to switch cars. Of course that meant we had to go in and spend a little money. He won $60 at Black Jack but then I went and threw away 20 of that on pull tabs so we called it a night. It was fun to go and get to see him for a little bit and I decided that it is the perfect halfway mark for us to meet when I don't go home for the weekend but need to see him :) Anyway today I thought I'd do a little update on how Colby Jack is doing. 

A little over a week ago we took him to the vet for his two week check up and to get his stitches out. The vet said the incision looked good and we have an appointment for x-rays at the end of next month. 

He is doing really really well. I actually wish he weren't feeling so good because he is just so dang hyper and wants to play all of the time. We have definitely had a few mishaps where he gets loose and goes crazy running around, usually opening up a jar of peanut butter will stop him. It is getting more and more difficult each day to keep him happy and still. He is just itching to run and jump around. Poor guy. He should be cone free at this point but a new problem has come up; we think that he may have mites. 

So shortly after he got his surgery we noticed that his stomach was really red, dry and losing hair and he kept scratching it. I had no idea what it could be and we were thinking that maybe it was just from his cone rubbing on his stomach when he would bend trying to get at his leg. When we went to the vet for his check up I showed her and of course she was of no help. She said it could be a number of things and it would cost over $200 to find out. No can do, so we bought some spray that she said to try and went home. We used the spray for a few days but it didn't seem to be clearing up the redness so we brainstormed. My mom googled pictures and information and we have decided that it is most likely mites. So the cone is still on so that he doesn't tear his stomach apart trying to scratch himself. 

We have done a lot of research and for now we are trying a home remedy of covering the area with apple cider vinegar and baby oil once a day as well as giving him benadryl to help with the itch and it seems to be working. The most frustrating part about it is not knowing where it came from. Our best guess is that he got them from the vet. We didn't see any problems until after his surgery and since then he hasn't the left the house since he is on lock down, so there isn't anywhere else that he could have got it. We have no way of proving this but really where else would he have gotten them?? It makes me so mad that this happened and most likely at the vet of all places! Like I said we don't know for sure but we will not be bringing him back there. It sucks to see my little baby in pain. He is still happy as ever but just knowing that he is uncomfortable makes me so sad. So yea, we have had quite the year so far, maybe the warmer weather (when it finally comes) will bring some good luck with it. 

I worry about telling everyone about first the leg breaking and then the mites because I feel like people think that we are horrible puppy parents. But I promise he is so loved and very well taken care of. I don't think that there is anything that we could have done to prevent either of these events and we just happen to be going through a rough patch in life right now. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sorting Through Chicago

Well I finally made it back to my little blog here. I am still exhausted from our trip and trying to remember what it is like to be back in school. I feel like I have so much to say and yet nothing at all at the same time. Part of that may have to do with my lack of sleep and part of it because I am just so incredibly stressed and trying to figure out my life. 

Things with Colby Jack have been up and down. I will post an update about how he is doing next week but for now I will say that 1. he is costing me all of my money and 2. I feel so bad for the poor guy because we have yet another problem on our hands. 

And now for a quick recap of our weekend in Chicago. It was fast, emotional, and yet nice all at the same time. It has been way way too long since I have gotten to spend four consecutive days with Jamal and neither of us had to leave for work. It was so amazing. Regardless of the fact that we were with other people 99% of the time I couldn't have been happier to be with him. 

He is doing well and handled the weekend pretty good. As expected it was difficult to go to his grandparents house where his dad had also lived but I know that he was happy to be with his grandparents. He is still there until Saturday spending time with them and his brother. I know that he is enjoying his time off and being in Chicago with his family. 

I met a lot of new people while I was there. I have met many of his family and friends from Chicago but this past weekend I met a ton more! I love getting to know everyone. Some of them he didn't really remember since he hasn't seen them in years so he "met" some people too haha. 

I just decided that I love his little brother Malcolm. He is 13 years old and my favorite teenage boy ever. I have always liked him but for some reason this weekend I decided just how great he was and now I want to adopt him as my own little brother, in due time :) 

I was really looking forward to seeing the green river but we never made it downtown (he's from the south side). So that kinda sucked but I also know the reason we were there and understand that. We had a lot of people to chat with throughout the weekend and there just wasn't enough time. 

And of course being back in Chicago made me want to move there sometime in the near future. Seriously, I am so back and forth on it. I just cannot decide. One day I am ready to pack my bags and leave and the next all I can think about are all of the things here in MN that I would be missing out on. We still have some time and I think that eventually we will make the move. Every time I am in one of my "let's move" phases the urge becomes stronger so ultimately I have a feeling that we will end up there if even for a short time. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Loved One's Loss

As I mentioned in this post, we've been dealing with a loss recently. Monday morning Jamal's dad passed away. It was completely unexpected and came as a big shock. As of right now we still do not know what happened and I think that makes it even harder. 

It has been difficult for me to decide what to share as he was not someone that I was extremely close to but he was close to someone who I love. I knew him but didn't see him often as he lived in Chicago. I am so grateful that I did get to know his dad.

I know that Jamal is sad and hurting and my heart breaks for him and his family. Driving the two hours to or from school and home has been hard because it leaves me with nothing but my thoughts, I feel helpless and wish that there something I could do to take away the pain but I know that there isn't. 

It's the times when we are sitting on the couch talking about our day or other mundane things I wonder if he is thinking about him. He took the night off of work the day it happened and has since been going, going, going. I understand the need to keep moving but I also wish that he would slow down and talk to me about how is feeling more than a few words here and there. I am a talker and I am a crier so I just wish that he would sit and cry it out because that is something that I can better understand. But I do admire for him for how he is doing and taking care of what he can at a distance. I know that next week will be much harder when we are actually there so maybe this right now is good for him. 

And maybe all of that will come when I get to spend more time with him. Our schedules aren't very conducive right now and we the past two days we haven't gotten more than two consecutive hours together and that time includes other things that had to be done. 

We will be heading down to Chicago this weekend for the funeral and Jamal will be able to stay for all of next week to help out his grandparents and sort some things out. 

I feel like this is all jumbled together and doesn't quite flow well but it is all that I can manage right now. I am still trying to sort things out in my head. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Squished Bugs

Hello friends, hope you all had a fantastic weekend. As predicted mine was nothing too exciting. Yesterday I discovered a used book store in town that I was pretty excited about. I stopped by after work to check it out. As soon as I stepped in the door I was greeted by the cutest little gray cat. I may be obsessed with all things dog these days but I used to be a cat lover and seeing them still brightens my day. I picked out two pick in the jumbled mess that is usually used book stores and checked out. I started reading one of the books when I got home and to my dismay when I got to page 5 I found a squished bug! Yuck. 

So I thought, okay, gross but I'll keep reading. Well until page 15 anyway, when I discover another squished bug!! Double yuck. I am currently on page 66 and have yet to find more so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am not sure if I'll make it back to that store or not...

I am excited to be heading home today to see Jamal and Colby Jack, I think we all could use some hugs. We're dealing with some more heartbreak and loss so I can't wait to see him today to try and make the pain a little less. 

Of course I have to mention this, who watched The Bachelor last night? I did but am wishing that I skipped it. Talk about the biggest waste of my life. It was just so annoying to hear Juan Pablo say over and over again how everything is private. Seriously? You signed up to be on a reality show that millions of people watch and yet for some reason you think you can have privacy about the main idea of the show? Ridiculous. I am so glad that it is over. The best part of the show was Chris, he made some funny comments. I'll probably end up watched Andi's season but if it goes anything like Des's did then I'll stop. 

Hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather :) I can't wait until it is here to stay...for ya know a few months. Tell me again why I live here. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five on Friday

We made it to Friday and I am officially on spring break. Unfortunately it is guaranteed to be the lamest spring break ever. I have to work most of the week which wouldn't be so bad except that I get off by one every day so I literally have nothing to do with my life all afternoon and evening. But lucky for me I will be able to go home for the night on Tuesday so I can check in on Colby Jack :)

Since I'm on break and my brain has started to shut down I'm linking up today with Darci and the gang for Five on Friday.

1. I watched Tyler Perry's Temptation and Olympus Has Fallen last night. Both are so so good and I highly recommend them. Somehow I didn't really know much about either but that's okay because I usually prefer it that way. I will say this, Temptation was not at all what I was expecting but it was a phenomenal movie with a great message. Have you seen either? What did you think?

2. I had a test yesterday. It was online and only 18 questions. Super weird that it was so short, well anyway I tend to be a pretty quick test taker and so when I was the first person done after five minutes I felt kinda bad about how quick I finished. I feel like if I get done too fast then the teacher will think it was too easy of a test and well I did get 100% so maybe it was but you will hear no complaints from me :)

3. It makes my heart so so happy when friends take the time to ask me how Colby Jack's leg is doing. It means so much. Yesterday our exchange student that we had a few years ago randomly messaged me on facebook asking about him and it made my day. I love all of you thoughtful people so much, yes I am talking about each of you that have taken the time to comment on posts of mine about him.
My mom gave him some supervised "cone free" time last night and sent me this pic. He looks so happy!!

4. Have I ever mentioned my love for Famous Daves Hell Fire pickles?? They are the best pickles on earth. I bought a jar this week and plan on finishing it off by Saturday. They are just so good. They are sweet & spicy, normally I'm not a fan of spicy things but these are perfect and don't burn my mouth off. Run out and get some for yourself if you've never tried them.

5. The Cherry Berry by my house did a facebook frolympics competition and you got entered in a drawing for liking their posts to win a free cup of fro-yo. And lucky me I won twice!! yay so excited to cash those in. If you love fro-yo and your favorite location has a fb page I highly recommend liking it. Mine always has such great deals on there that I would never know about otherwise.

Enjoy your weekend friends!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Just Live

We made it to Thursday! The weekend is almost upon us and I start my spring break at 5 today. Woo hoo!! Sadly I have no fun plans but a week off of a school is a week off and I'll take it :) And again, sadly I have to work basically every day so I can't even go home and cuddle Colby Jack, but maybe I'll find a way to head home for a day or two. We shall see.

A couple years ago I looked around at the people in my life. Some were of them were unhappy and it seemed that the main reason for their unhappiness was that they were trying to please others. Instead of focusing on their desires they did (or didn't do) what others wanted and in turn it made them miserable and dissatisfied with life. After watching this I came to the realization that I will live for myself and not for others. I don't want to be that unhappy person and I don't want to feel sorry about my life has become.

I don't want to look back on my life and think of the things I would have done if I didn't let other people control me. And thus whenever I feel like maybe I shouldn't do something because one or two people in my life disagree with my choice I remember that it is my life and my right to do what I want. That's not to say that I don't listen to what they have to say and take their opinions into consideration because I do! I truly appreciate their thoughts and that they care and are brave enough to voice their differing views but at the end of the day it is my life and I am the one that has to live with the decisions.

I have been pondering this a lot more lately because in the coming months I am going to be making a big change in my life (getting a place with Jamal, more on this later) that a lot of people I know won't agree with. It has made me think long and hard about the decision I am making and how it will affect me as well as them (fyi, it has no affect on those people).

So basically I am trying my best to just live and not worry about others judgments/beliefs on how I live my life. I want to "Just Live".

Have you ever had to step back and remember that it is your life and not anyone else's? What is a difficult choice that you have had to make knowing that some people close to you may disapprove?


*NOTE* I sincerely hope that you take this post for what it is. I am not saying that I don't care about others thoughts or how my actions affect them. I am simply saying that I have to remind myself that not everyone is going to approve of all of my decisions and that it's okay. I would rather be happy with a few disapproving looks than miserable while everyone else has control over my life. I would also like to add that none of the decisions I am talking about are hurtful to anyone is any way (including myself). And I of course do live for Jesus above all.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

In One, Five, & Ten Years

I was reading Bonnie's post the other day and I thought her idea was brilliant. She wrote about what she thought her life would be like in 1, 5, & 10 years when she was in high school and then how it really turned out. Such a fun idea so I of course had to do it too.

My life today is nothing at all like I thought it would be when I was in high school. I will go back to sophomore/junior year me before I met and started dating Jamal.
Little old me at high school graduation (don't mind my freakish looking fingers)

One Year Later
photo shoot with my first roomie. we spent hours taking pictures. 

What I thought: I thought that I would go to school out of state, maybe somewhere warm and close to the beach. For sure though, far away from home. I imagined living in a dorm and having the time of my life meeting so many new people and even finding myself a cute boyfriend. I dreamed of the co-ed dorms and how crazy yet fun it would be to have boys on my floor. And at this point in time I thought I would be joining the FBI, just not sure on the major yet.

How it was: Well I did go to school out of state. But it was a private school so my dreams of co-ed dorms were quickly shattered. Guys were only allowed in the girls dorm every other Sunday for two hours. I also ended up in Oklahoma, not exactly a dream location but it was warmer so I'll take it. And about finding a boyfriend? Well I already had one from back home when I arrived so that was out the window before I even got there.

Five Years Later:
This is my everyday life right now

What I thought: I imagined that at this point I would have my degree and being working for the FBI. I thought that I'd be married now and living in my husbands home state (he was not going to be from good ol' MN).

How it is: Well here I am coming up on five years post high school this June and I am still in school. I am looking at corporate jobs or something boring like that once I graduate. I'm not married. And I am living in MN. How did this happen?

Ten Years Later:
Five years from now I'm still planning on being with this handsome guy

What I thought: Well I imagined I'd have a kid or two by that point. I would be advancing in my career and doing great and I would still be madly in love with my husband.

What I think now: That would only be five years from where I am now so I envision myself happy and advancing in my career-what career though I have no idea. Having a big house to call home. Having another dog. For sure being married already! And either being pregnant or have recently had a baby.

So like most people my life has not gone as I planned. But isn't that the fun of it? Hop on over to Bonnie's so you can link up too!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Canvas Wall Art

I love pictures. As soon as I get my own place I will have pictures on every single wall in the place. This is probably because my mom is the complete opposite and all the walls in our house are bare! Plain white walls and no pictures :( It's sad I know. So I have been planning for a long time on how I am going to fill my walls and have even started stocking up on picture frames. Call me crazy but I'm a planner :)

So when found out about Easy Canvas Prints you better believe I was sold. Some of my favorite pictures put onto canvas? And for an affordable price? Perfection. The hardest part was trying to decide which picture to use!! The website was so user friendly. It shows you exactly how your canvas will look so there are no surprises and my favorite part was being able to choose the outside border color. I just went with a basic black for this picture but I love the option of choosing other colors that fit with your picture.

I cannot wait to hang this when Jamal and I get a place together but until then it will have a home in my room down at school. I will definitely be purchasing more of these in the future. They are so well made. I was so impressed with the wood support in the back. Way sturdier than the canvases that I buy at the store.

So that you can try them out too and see how great of a product they are I have a 50% off promo for you to use. So what are you waiting for? Go get one for yourself and see what I'm talking about. Just go here.

*I received this canvas to review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, March 3, 2014

First Weekend Post Surgery

I hope you had a great weekend. Mine wasn't terrible exactly, I mean I did get to see my baby, but it was incredibly long and felt like it might never end. Life with an injured and helpless dog is not an easy one that is for sure.

Colby Jack was able to get his surgery on Friday. For the most part everything went well and we are on the road to recovery, a long one but we are on it nonetheless. I got home Friday night shortly after my mom and Colby Jack did from his surgery. He was still in his crate because he isn't supposed to move around so I was the first one to take him and see him. I was so shocked by what I saw once I had him out. For some reason I expected his leg to be bandaged and didn't think he would have a cone on since he didn't really bother the splint he had on that whole week but what I saw was so hard to look at.

I had to squish him out of the crate because he had a cone on. His whole thigh is shaved and there was no bandage over his incision whatsoever. It was red and swollen and just looked painful. I felt so bad for him and was so scared to hurt him. The first couple of hours I was home I was useless because I was crying and too nervous to touch him. As usual my mom told me to toughen up and somehow I did and had a long weekend caring for my little guy.

Friday night I did not sleep at all. Colby Jack was up the whole night trying to get comfortable, wanting food or drink, or just wanting to be held. I think it is safe to say that we were both miserable. He spent the majority of the night in my arms and I couldn't wait until morning when my mom got up to give my arms a break.

Since he was under anesthesia for the surgery he was pretty out of it the whole night and slowly getting an appetite back. He had some water here and there but apparently not enough to pee. All night I thought he had to go so I took him out but he never went. Sure enough Saturday morning it came out like a flood after not going once and being home for over 12 hours. Only was on me. I was holding him when suddenly my stomach felt really warm and then I smelled it and realized that he was peeing on me!! I didn't know what to do and it was getting on the floor so I just let him finish and then cleaned everything up. It sucked for both of us; I was covered in hot smelly pee and he was so sad that he'd had an accident in the house.

Other than that the weekend was pretty uneventful. I was exhausted from not sleeping at night and so achy from lying on the floor with him when he would stay still. I am happy to say that two days out of his eight week recovery are done and hopefully those two days were the worst of it. Although I can't imagine how easy it will be on week three when he'll feel better and think he should be able to run around but still can't for over a month. Guess we'll tackle that when we get there.

I am just so incredibly happy that he was able to get the surgery he needed and hopeful that we won't have anymore issues with his knee for the rest of his life. Now we just need to make it through the next eight weeks without going stir crazy.


ps. Looking back at those pictures now breaks my heart. He is so so sad, I can't wait for the next three weeks to fly by when at least we will be able to take that stupid cone off.
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