Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Here's the absolute most easiest dog treat and only one ingredient! Sweet potatoes are safe for dogs and a fresh, healthy, treat for them. Simply get a sweet potato and peel it. (It's so much easier than cooking it first; FYI for Thanksgiving)

After you peel, slice the sweet potato like chips. Lay out evenly on a cooking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes on one side then flip and 25 minutes on the other. If they still aren't dried out enough keep cooking it a bit more. Store and keep them like you would any normal cooked vegetables. Miles loves them! 

Monday, August 26, 2013


Last Saturday, Matt and I drove out to Castle Rock to go to the Buddy Center with the Dumb Friends League. We weren't sure what was going to happen and we weren't completely set on adopting a dog that day. Matt was leaving Tuesday for another 6 week rotation and that would mean me alone training a new dog. But still, we were excited!!

See how excited we are about to leave to meet some dogs!?

So we get to the Buddy Center and saw this super excited little cutie jumping up and down when we walked past. He was certainly the cutest and most happy dog there! So we asked to meet him in a visiting room. This little guy loved us from the start! As soon as he came in the room we got on the floor and played with him. 

He stole our hearts and when the DFL worker asked "is he the one?" we couldn't say no!

First family photo! Leaving the Buddy Center.

Miles has been an amazing dog! We love him very very much! Here's some fun things about Miles:

1. He knows sit, up, down, and lay down but mostly when I'm holding a treat! 
2. He is scared of my toothbrush, hair dryer, and especially the vacuum! 
3. He loves crawling under our bed. 
4. He's pretty much house trained and doesn't have to stay in his crate. 
5. Miles sleeps on my bed with me! Not sure how it's going to work out when Matt gets home! 
6. He loves grass! He'll roll around in it like crazy and it's super cute.
7. Miles will prance through the grass then pounce on all the bugs that go flying! 
8. When playing fetch he brings the ball back and will sit before I through it again. 
9. He's a slow eater and never snaps when we give him treats. 
10. Oh my goodness! Do we love him! 

Life is so much better and we're so happy that we have Miles in our lives! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Absence of Craft Blogs

Hello, Everyone!

I have two official followers so I'm using the word "everyone" very loosely here.

This summer you might have noticed a lack of craft blogs. If you have not noticed let me tell you: there have been a lack of craft blogs.

Let me tell you a secret: I was crafting my butt off this summer! Okay, that's not a secret. We all know I share everything on Facebook. I made a goal after seeing something on Pinterest. I didn't read the blog with it, because I'm lazy, but I read the Pinterest caption. The picture was a stack of presents and it said "wrapped and done by august one".  The caption mentioned that this woman finished all of her Christmas shopping and wrapping before August hit. I thought "this is a great idea!" I don't have kids, yet, to make the season even more busy. But looking back to last year I was in school and was working retail. I barely got anything done! It was crazy. So I decided that I would take advantage of the summer and make gifts. I planned a trip to Texas at the end of the summer as my deadline to have all the presents done.

Then I took it one step further...

My family does Secret Santa. We have my whole life. When there's 5 kids (eventually 6), no parent can afford to help each kid buy a present for each kid and then buy your own gifts on top of it. So we "drew names" (pick a number!) and shopped for that one sibling. Even now that we're all grown up, we still do Secret Santa! But I made a homemade gift for everyone in my family. All of them! (Then bought my Secret Santa an extra gift to make it fair :) )

Here's what the pile looked like the day I left for Texas:

That's 16 gifts! 16 crafts! 16 homemade projects! And soon to a blog near you: 16 blog posts! I can't post any of them until after Christmas to keep them surprises, but come January there will be a ton of craft posts. Since finishing all those crafts less than a month ago, I've been a little crafted out. Sad times. 

Don't be worried, though! I thought up a craft today and want to do it! So you'll see a craft post soon enough. If you wanted to, you two followers, you. :) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Few Things I'm Good At

This might get a little personal, but I want to get it off my chest.

First off, there's not many things I'm good at. I'm not being mean here, I'm being serious. I'm about to be 28 years old and I don't have a college degree of any kind. I can't dance, sing, and I'm not athletic. I'm not really involved in anything. There's nothing I can point to that I'm good at. My crafts are okay at best and I can only do a few things. No sewing or painting or anything.

There are a couple of things I can do well.

I'm very organized. I'm being serious when I say "very" organized. I can put order to anything. In fact, most times I have a hard time NOT putting order to something. Like in what order I'll take notes in my multi colored pens; red can't be next to orange or green for obvious reasons, but I'd pick green before orange. If you understand why you're as messed up as I am. I try to either make everything go in order or in forced randomness. At Hallmark we're organizing things before inventory. I am freakishly good at it and sadly I'm enjoying it, too. There's even been a few cases where someone else has "organized" something and I go back and find mistakes. Might make me a jerk but there's not very many things I'm good at and organizing is one of them. Just last week I cleaned and reorganized by bookcases. Each book was shifted just a bit and a few drastic changes were made. When I was done I was so proud of my work that I sat and looked at the cases for a while. On the other hand, Matt couldn't even tell the difference. It's because I'm the one who loves to organize and is really good at it.

The next thing I'm good at is hit and miss, but I enjoy baking and cooking. I'd say that at least over half the times I'm good at it, too. Not great. Not bakery great or restaurant great. But I can make enjoyable and fun looking things. When I'm stressed I want to bake. Most people just want to eat, but making cookies or decorating a cake really relaxes me. Until it doesn't turn out right and I yell a bit. At least it's something I can do and sometimes receive complements on. I can't do anything super fancy or impressive, but when it comes to making dinner out of whatever is in the house, or throwing together a last minute dessert, I can do that.

There's one more thing I'm good at: I'm good at cleaning. I do not enjoy to clean. Quite the opposite. But I'm really good at it. My first job was in a hotel and I would clean about a dozen rooms a day, as I remember. I liked that when I walked in each room looked messy and used but when I left they looked exactly like the rest. At work I clean and dust all the time. I have a job where I clean a family's house for them. They're kinda messy so I get that nice before and after difference that I want. It's nice because they compliment me on how much better they feel, or how much better it looks. Even their 8 year old son at one point told me he liked how I put away his LEGOs. Again, I in no way enjoy this. Scrubbing bathrooms, especially after boys who haven't learned to aim, isn't really worth it to me. But we need the money and I'm good at it so I clean. I feel better in my own house when everything is clean and put where it belongs. At least when I clean for other people I know I'm giving them the same feeling.

So, now I'm at this weird internal crossroads. The only things I'm good at are cleaning, organizing, and cooking. What am I supposed to do with that? Talk about having no ambitions in life. I will never have an awesome career that makes a difference. I will never do something really impressive. I will never make a big change. The closest I got to wanting a career I changed my mind when I started to take the classes for it. Long story and that's a whole other blog, if I ever even tell it. Retail certainly isn't where I want to be, but it fills the time and gives me the money I need. Even today, at pushing 30, I can't tell you what I want to be when I "grow up".

What does a woman do when all she can do is organize, cook, and clean? She makes a really good stay at home wife and mother. There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. In fact, there's something amazing and amiable about it. But most stay at home moms I know also have a good degree or job, whether or not they still practice it now that they're home. It gives them something else; something to be proud of or a job they can fall back on if needed. I don't have that. I don't have a job I'm proud of or a degree that matters.... or a degree at all. Before I'm 30, barely before I'm 30, I'll get my Associates of Arts in English. That's barely a step about General Studies. Not much to brag about and certainly no jobs to get from it.

You know what the worst part is? The only thing I'm good at is the thing that's out of my control to be. I would be a great mom. I've had friends make comments about how good I am with their newborns. How I can put a baby to sleep. Keep a child entertained. One friend in particular was shocked I knew how to properly hold a baby when they had to take classes and read books on how to do it. It's because I'm always around kids and always helping out when I can.

It's bad enough to realize that I'm not made to do anything great: I'll never make a huge difference. I'll always "just" be a stay at home wife and mother. Nothing more than that. It makes matters worse that I don't have kids. If I'm really only made to be that, than why aren't I? I believe I'd be a good mom. I believe it would make me happy and I wouldn't miss not having a job or career. I think that whatever loss or void I'm feeling by not being good at anything that matters wouldn't matter anymore because I could use the few things I'm good at to be a great mother.

It's a catch 22. If I had dreams and aspirations to be a doctor or lawyer or anything else than I could take control and take matters into my own hands and do something about it. But all I want, and all I'm good at, is something that isn't in my hands. I don't have control over this. I can't have a baby just because I want one. I'm just waiting for an opportunity that I can actually start using the things I'm good at for something that matters. Instead of organizing work, baking treats for other's, or cleaning other people's house, I can use all those things at home to make my husband and children's lives better. I feel like I'm wasting my time just waiting until it will finally happen for me. Something I can be proud of and enjoy.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Egg Noodle Chicken Pasta

Tonight started with me wondering what on earth to make for dinner. I had chicken thawed out that I needed to cook, and I was kind of in the mood for pasta. I had egg noodles on hand, but have never really cooked with them. I started googling and looking up different recipes for chicken pastas. I looked at a lot of different recipes but I was always missing at least 1 ingredient or it didn't sound good. So I hit the kitchen and did whatever I wanted! Guess what? It was pretty easy, pretty fast, and pretty good.

2 chicken breasts
1 bag egg noodles
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can full of milk
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 small onion
black pepper
8 butter crackers

While the noodles were boiling I cut up the chicken and started to cook it in a pan. I diced up the onion really small and cooked it with the chicken so it wouldn't be so strong a flavor. After you drain the noodles put it back on the hot eye and add cream of chicken, milk, and sour cream. It will be runny but just keep simmering as you add things, it will thicken up. Dump in the chicken and onions. I used minced garlic season and black pepper and just sprinkled a little on top. Then I crushed the crackers and mixed them in for texture and flavor. There you go! From start to finish about 20 minutes and not too many dirty dishes. It may look bland but it doesn't taste it. Great for a last minute dinner and I'm pretty sure no kid would hate it cause there's no crazy flavors! Enjoy and let me know how it turns out! 

Disclaimer: this does not make the best leftovers. So I'm going to say it's a great thing to make for a family or crowd when you know you'll eat a pan full of pasta!