Hello Friends!

My life has gotten a little more grown up lately... New forever love of my life, new house, new job and officially a honeymooner Mrs.! Everything is a shiny adventure and untrodden territory. Follow along as I navigate the world of being a grown up!


Goodbye My Life as a Grown Up

Five years and five days ago, I started this little blog.  It contains my vague and cryptic woes of dating and heartache, funny stories with friends and family, memory-filled photos and joyful announcements of some major life changes!  It follows my life through several different living situations with wonderful roommates who are like family to me.  And finally it chronicals this last year where I've joined my life with the love of my life.

It is a great snap shot of my threshold years as a "grown up."  And now it is time to retire this blog and move on over to joshandtory.com.  It's official, I am a grown up.

This summer has been a crazy one of tears of sadness and joy (and not a single word written about it).  I'll hope you'll follow along at joshandtory.com and catch up with my summer update.

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it's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake

So, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants turned 30 last Friday, and to celebrate I made a cake!  Jane helped decorate and my co-workers lent their lovely singing voices to create a little video.  We entered the video into a contest against all Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants.  Other hotels had their pastry chefs create a masterpiece, so we may not win by skill, but we should sure win for creativity and effort!

The fondant was made from a short cut recipe here:   What's Cooking America  Not only was it "easy" but it tastes yummy, too!

Special thanks to Abbi for filming and directing the cake decorating!  I wouldn't have even tackled this without your consult and help.  If we win, you're coming to the party to celebrate!

Here is our video:

I'll let you know if we win!!


baby fever

So if I haven't shared with you already, last month I was sick with baby fever. My co-worker and sister in law are both pregnant and glowing and I'll be damned if I don't go a week without someone asking me,  "so when are you going to have kids?"  You can only go so long before it starts to get under your skin and into your brain.  Baby fever takes years of social conditioning and typically manifests at its worst shortly after marriage.  The symptoms come and go in waves - for right now, my symptoms have subsided.

Here are some of the symptoms if baby fever:
1. You have pregnancy dreams - mine involve going into labor, doctors telling me I'm pregnant, knowing that I'm pregnant, holding my new born child, etc. They're fierce and very real.

2. You start to think about being an "old mom". You do the math to determine how old you will be when your child graduates high school and you don't like it. You compare yourself to friends who already have x number of children and then do the math to figure out how old they will be when their child(ren) will graduate hs.  This number is lower than yours.

3. You start reading mommy blogs and bookmarking articles for future.

4. You begin thinking about baby names and start a google document entitled babies so you can easily update the list when a good name strikes you.

5. You think about your grandparents and want them to meet their great-grandchild.

6. You consider the fact that conceiving could take years and if we don't start now...

Each of these symptoms can haunt your very being if you dwell on them.  But instead I am enjoying the dream, standing on the threshold of our future.  We are so blessed in many ways and I am grateful for the life we are building together.

So if you're reading this list thinking, "what are you waiting for?" The short answer is we're just not ready. What's that you say? We'll never be READY to have kids?  I agree with you there.

The fact remains that we are newlyweds; we are enjoying our new life together and soaking in every moment of being a family of two (or five if you count the cats). Babies will come when we are ready and only God knows when that will be. So for now, I am embracing my baby fever and loving my husband for being supportive of my disease.

Because I am content with "just us" and looking forward to our family years at the same time. :-)


smoothie time

In an effort to use all my bounty from Bountiful Baskets, I've taken to making smoothies in the mornings using this helpful little guy.  Someone just asked me what my recipe was, so I decided to share with you!
Morning Smoothies
  •  5 frozen strawberries (I remove the stems before I freeze)
  • 1 frozen banana (cut up, then frozen)
  • 1 Activia yogurt
  • 1 cup soy milk (I use the 4 oz. yogurt container as a measuring cup)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (again with the yogurt measuring cup)
  • Another fresh fruit - I've used mangos, pears, apples, oranges, grapefruit
  • Emergen-C vitamin packet (my own vitamin Boost, just like Jamba Juice!)
  • Method:  combine everything and blender until all fruit is mixed in
By using the frozen fruit (thanks for the tip Jamey), I don't have to add any ice.  This makes about 20 ounces of smoothie and is a great texture.  Does anyone have any smoothie recipes they like?

Here's one I tried and didn't like... It sounded good in theory, but I didn't care for the peanut butter.

  • 3 bananas
  • 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (soy, regular, almond, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. ground flax seed and/or wheat germ (optional)
  • Method:  In a blender, combine all ingredients.  Blend until smooth, and serve immediately.
This recipe came from Give Me Some Oven.


today was a rough day

Cat Damage Done:
Carpet torn up
Base board broken

Keeping the cats in quarantine is getting more and more difficult.  As they are feeling better, they don't want to be couped up.  As I mentioned before, we let Peanut come out and hang with us in our room.  His mood and wellness improved after this.  He is less depressed but more ornery.  We let Harley spend some time in the living room tonight - thinking that baby steps of learning her new environment would be good.  She is the healthiest of all the kitties, so we gave her some free time.  Having not heard a peep from her during two weeks of confinement, she is now wailing up a storm and scratching at her door, too.

Basically, in giving Peanut and Harley a taste of freedom, we have, in fact, created monsters.  Luckily, I sleep through it, but I can't say the same for Josh.

I woke up this morning to frayed carpet bits in the hallway and opened the door to reveal a bare straggly area where Peanut had scratched all night.  They still have almost two weeks left, but I can't say that we'll make it that long.

I cannot wait for our family to be back to normal!  Today was a rough day.


peanut gets special treatment

The AM and PM routine!
 At the vet yesterday, we found out that Harley can come out of quarantine after she gets her FHV vaccination on Wednesday!  As for Peanut and Poley, they have at least a week left of quarantine.  Harley's total time in quarantine will be almost 20 days.  Since Peanut and Poley are only 6 days into theirs, we've got two more weeks of keeping them cooped up ahead of us.

Last night I was feeling really bad for Peanut.  He seemed to be doing the worst out of all three.  He was really down and out and really grouchy when I would give him his medicine.  In fact, I know animals can sense emotion and he's totally playing in to my fear.  He swipes his razor blade claws at me with all his might and growls like a banshee (I'm pretty sure they growl, too).

So last night, we let Peanut hang out with us in bed while we were watching tv before bed.  He snuggled right in and seemed to perk right up.  He sneezed all over us to the point where we had to wipe off his sneezes - gross.  Peanut has always been the more needy kitty, so some extra love was just what he needed.

Looking out the window - pre-virus :)
Harley's Quarantine:  14 days
Days Harley Has Eaten on Her Own: 4 days
Peanut & Poley's Quarantine: 7 days
Days Peanut & Poley Have Eaten on Their Own: 7 days
Number of cat scratches on me:  11


she's eating!

I am so thankful and pleased that Harley is finally eating again that I wanted to share some photos (courtesy of Justin's camera and my skills) from her dinner last night.
Bon appetit, Harley.

In other news, when it comes to giving them their medicine, adversely to what we would have expected, Poley is still the easier of the two boy cats.  Peanut has now taken to spending his time in his cat carrier that is still in his room, which means I have to drag all 16 pounds of him out morning and night to give him his meds.  He and I both will be glad when this passes.

We have Harley's (hopefully final) vet appointment today.  She is eating and drinking on her own - even chowing down on kibble in between her wet food!  I can't wait to hear from the doc when we will be able to end the cat hospital quarantine.

Harley's Quarantine:  13 days
Days Harley Has Eaten on Her Own: 3 days
Peanut & Poley's Quarantine: 6 days
Days Peanut & Poley Have Eaten on Their Own: 6 days
Number of cat scratches on me:  10 - nothing new to report!  Either I'm getting better at avoiding the sweeping claws of pain or they are going easier on me.

fill in the blank friday

Hooray for Friday!  It's been a long a full week.  Time to fill in some blanks...

1.   The best deal I've ever gotten is two suits I bought at Express a couple years ago - had a $50 off a purchase of $150 or more and they were on sale - ended up at over 75% off.  Also got over $60 worth of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body wash and a couple other things at CVS for $12 after mail-in rebate!

2.  If I were hosting a dinner party and could invite people from my fantasy guest list it would include  my grandfather on my dad's side (I never met him), Josh's grandparents (I never met them either) and then I would have Josh's and my entire families come, too.  I think it would be really amazing to spend an evening all together and absorb some lessons about why we are the way we are; we all started with them!

3.  Something that inspires me is  music and photography!  I used to blast music and get ready for work.  It's been about a year since I've been cohabiting with Mr. Smith and I've had to tone down my morning routine since he sleeps later than me.  Until now, I never realized how much music set my tone for the day!  Photography is a new inspiration.

I recently took a photography class with Diana Elizabeth and it has really opened my eyes to a power within me to create something visually appealing.  It's fun to discover new tricks and techniques and have it be something that I am teaching myself.  My camera inspires me to look at things in a new way and also continue to learn new things.

4.  If I could only choose to eat one flavor of food for the rest of eternity (sweet, salty, spicy, bitter....) I would have to go with  SALTY!  There are times when I crave sweet, but I'm a salty girl all the way - peanuts, pretzels, Goldfish crackers, cheese, Cheez-Itz, popcorn... I love it all!

5.  I dream about  being pregnant and going in to labor and looking down and seeing a flat stomach.  According to this online dream dictionary, dreaming of being pregnant and going in to labor has something to do with my baby fever, but it could also mean that my "goals will take a lot of hard work to accomplish" or that I am "giving birth to a new idea or project.  It also represents a new attitude, fresh beginnings or a major event" and even perhaps that "the dream may be calling attention to your inner child and the potential for you to grow."  Either way, that's what I'm dreaming about.

6.  My weekend will be spent it started with a visit to the vet, where Harley was officially deemed to be on the road to recovery - no fever, well-hydrated and eating.  We have a 5th visit to the vet next Wednesday for her final round of vaccinations that will conveniently vaccinate her for this FHV that she has right now.  :-/  Tonight, Josh and I are laying low with pizza, beer and the DVR.  Tomorrow, Josh is playing golf with my dad, I am picking up our Bountiful Basket and will get this house in to shape.  Tomorrow afternoon, we are going to Lexi's 3rd birthday party and Sunday, we have NO plans!

7.  If I could only  watch one movie or TV show for the rest of my life, it would be  ...watching one thing for the rest of my life would not be very satisfying - I'm sure I would quit watching television at some point.  But, for the sake of the question, it would have to be Glee or maybe Shameless which is inching its way in to one of my favorite shows.  Sex and the City also comes to mind.  Well, I've hardly picked only one, now haven't I?
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