Friday, March 26, 2010

Fun Way to Watch the Time Fly By

Cute watches by May28th, each design with its own time of day. I especially like this Pantone-looking one. 3:28 AM: $39

Ooh, and one of these for floorplan lovers:

Monday, March 22, 2010

On the Road Again

We were hoping to take a road trip this past weekend – J unexpectedly got the end of last week off, so we wanted to make the most of it – but we couldn’t settle on a destination.

We’ve been talking about Memphis for a while, and I was pretty excited when I found on Better Bidding* that we could potentially get the Peabody relatively inexpensively. Alas, marching mallards, Graceland and BBQ were not meant to be when we realized a seven hour drive was probably a bit much for a three day weekend.

helpful tip of the day: sunburns and 100 degree water don't mix

I’ve also been itching to soak in some hot springs since we wrapped up our Costa Rican luna de miel at the Tabacon springs, so Hot Springs, AR looked right up our alley. However, I wasn’t very excited by the lackluster hotel reviews I was finding, and I was confused by the actual use of the bathhouse, which looks like it’s a private experience. (Which means no canoodling with your spouse trying to pretend like you’re on your segunda luna de miel.) Has anyone been to Hot Springs that has any recommendations?

We went to Houston the weekend before, and have made plenty of trips down to Austin, San Antonio, and the surrounding Hill Country, so those were out, and J didn’t want to go Choctaw with me at an Oklahoma casino, even if I promised not to wear my fanny pack.

Running out of ideas, and remembering that the four hour drive to Houston the weekend before was a bit much to repeat so soon, I suggested a staycay at a local hotel, where we could lounge by the pool and sip cocktails and pretend like we didn’t have a pile of laundry to do at our house down the street.

Luckily, J nixed that idea. When I came up with this plan late last week, it was upper-70s and sunny. This is what our car looked like Saturday night leaving the bar:

Yup, it snowed in Dallas on the first day of Spring. Pool time was most definitely out. (And uh, maybe I should start checking the weather more often.)

So instead of making a weekend getaway, we:

I thought the "warm vintage" effect would be appropriate for this one. Sorry for the poor quality iPhone photos...maybe one day I will actually download photos off of my real camera.

  • Ate at our favorite hole-in-the-wall burger joint. The waitress has worked there for 29 years, and I don't think anything about the place has changed for at least that long. But don’t be scared, this guy has been known to park his Maserati outside and come in for a juicy burger.

  • Took the puppy to her first training class.

  • Watched some of our friends play their first gig at one of our favorite bars. They played covers for four hours, and it went really well. So well that the guys at the table next to us (already drunk when our friends went on at 8 pm, so that might explain it) spent a lot of the time singing, air guitaring, and doing jigs in front of the stage, somehow managing to not knock over any of the equipment.

  • Went to see our new niece for the second time. Hard to believe that I’m an aunt to NINE kiddos!

We’re still wanting to go somewhere new soon, and I now think we’ve found the perfect place! As we were catching up with one of our couple friends during the show, they told us all about…the awesome, only-two-hours-away road trip they took last weekend to Dublin, TX, home of Dublin Dr Pepper! (J was following a doctor recently named Dr. Pepper, and I can’t stop giggling every time. I want that last name so I can make people introduce us as Dr. and Mrs. Pepper! But I digress.) I think they stopped by the bottling plant, went to a winery, and saw cheese being made. They did it all in one day, so I’m now psyched to shamelessly copy their itinerary for a day trip or a whole weekend stay!

What about you, any quick trips you’ve taken or planned recently?

* Better Bidding is my secret to using opaque hotel booking sites like Priceline and Hotwire. It provides a listing, broken down by the area and star rating, of hotels you are likely to get. If you're using Hotwire, you can also match up the amenities listed, which helped me net a 4* hotel in Boston where a wedding reception we were going to was being held for half off the cheapest rate.

The site also has forums where you can see what price other people got a hotel for in the area you're interested in, which was helpful when I was booking our hotel for Houston last weekend. We got a 4* hotel in downtown for $55...never mind that it was a smoking floor and we're too chicken to ask to be moved, and never mind that when we came home late that evening that neither of our keys worked and I was stuck standing in the hallway listening to a rather loud amorous couple through what were apparently thin doors while J got a new key. I used Priceline for the first time to book it, where I recommend having a backup email and credit card if you don't want to adjust your bid or wait 24 hours to place the same bid.

Friday, March 19, 2010

For Saturday

Sorry Coco, but I tried watching about your life avant Chanel and fell asleep each time, so you had to go back to Netflix...just in time to snag Twilight: New Moon the day it comes out on DVD (and my only chance befoe it goes to "very long wait" status).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

I've been on a smoothie kick for breakfast lately, and my latest twist has been to add some spinach to it. (I was channeling Missy Chase Lapine of the Sneaky Chef, who spoke at our Junior League meeting recently. The sneaky ingredient in her smoothie recipe is avocado - I wonder what that's like.)


The spinach went great the first few days. Amazingly, you cannot taste it and wouldn't know it was there but for some tiny green bits.

However, I think I got a little heavy handed with my last attempt.

One handful? Still red.
Two handfuls? Still red
One last handful because we really need to finish off this half-used giant tub of spinach before it goes bad? Puke green (not a pretty green like this one)

I decided to ignore the color, but it also tasted bad, I think due to a lack of some sweetening agent. Sadly, I ended up throwing it out.
Any favorite smoothie recipes or tips out there? I know it isn't as healthy/cheap as making your own, but I recently tried the Yoplait frozen smoothie mix (or as this funny blog post* calls them, the "Jamba Juice Action Playsets"), and I thought they tasted good and blended real...smooth. Mmm, a smooth smoothie.
* I laughed out loud at the response to one of the comments about how buying a pre-made mix is lazy: talk to the Cheeto-filled hand

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lucky Dog

I cringed at my misspelling this morning when I shared this post about this dog mustache chew toy and added the comment that I wanted one with "Mrs. Potatoe lips". I knew it didn't look right, but I always think about Dan Quayle and want to add the "e", thinking he insisted it didn't have one.

(If you're interested, here's the feed for my Google Reader Shared Items.)

Anyhow, I did find some smiling versions:

Fetch Art Dog Lips

Fetch Art Clown Lips

Love the tongue:

Humunga Tongue, tongue and stached also sold at Petco and Amazon

I don't know if my dog would grab it properly, but it would make for a funny photo op.

I had some dog drama tongight. J texted me after picking her up from his parents, where she spends her days while we're at work. She had darted out an open door at their house for what I think is the third time in the last few weeks, and then she alluded them for half an hour. And she pulled all of this paper out of their recycling bin to chew up. Needless to say, FIL doesn't want to watch her this weekend when the rest of us go out of town this weekend.

Then I came home to find the cutest doggy care package from my friend that included this St. Patty's "Lucky Dog" tee and frog. It was such a sweet surprise, even though this baaaad puppy didn't deserve it.

It's no bueno that she's not behaving, and I think she's acting up more now (she's 8 months) than she ever did as a younger pup. So I had a nice chat with a PetSmart guy tonight, and we are enrolling her in some training classes, something we probably should have done from the begninning. It's going to be great. We will go on Saturdays so J can join, and we will once and for all establish that I am the pack leader.

My hope in 8 weeks that she will:
Respond to "Stay" and "Come here"?
She better!

Stop barking at
a) dogs on TV*, b) doorbells on TV, c) screaming children on TV, d) sketchy people on TV, e) grocery scanner beeping on TV, f) hospital maching beeping on TV?
g) All of the above

* I often marvel to J about how we picked such a good dog because I always wanted a dog that would watch TV and chew ice cubes, something my dogs growing up never did and she does.

At first it was cute when she'd stop playing with her toys to look up at something interesting on the screen, but it quickly became annoying once she started barking and/or growling at it constantly. Who knew dogs and wild children were so prevalent on the shows we watch? Now J and I say things like "Oh yeah, Trixie doesn't like Frasier; there are a lot of doorbells on this show. However, Will & Grace is coming up and she likes it just fine." and "Change the channel, the M&M's commercial where Red's running on the grocery conveyer belt is coming on!".

What about you? Any dog training tips to share? Any pet products you're loving? Any interest in seeing the fun pet collars and tags I've found in search of the perfect one for our pampered pooch?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Put Some Spring in Your Step

I'm always on the lookout for some pretty flats with a pretty pricetag. I was surprised when I spotted these on coco+kelly to see that they are Lela Rose for Payless.

What flats (or other footwear) are tickling your fancy these days? Should I hold out for the Tory Burch Revas?

Monday, March 1, 2010


Have you played Bananagrams? My MIL had 5 of her grandkids staying over Saturday night, so we picked it up at Target on our way home from The Neverending Shopping Trip* to play that night.

I had been talking up Bananagrams ever since I recommended it for a patient on my shift at the hospital gift shop. (I suggested it because I think the packaging is adorbs, and because the grandfather said no to all of my other suggestions, citing that his granddaughter only likes playing on her these days. I hope she liked it.)

The reviews of it on Amazon are gushing, so I had high hopes. It was fun, but I didn't get to yell "BANANAS!" on a single game! And competition doesn't bring out the best in me - both of us want to be the winner, and there can only be one: The Hubs/our niece handily beat me/our nephew with his brainy med school jargon.

Once we started playing I remembered that it's like the Speed Scrabble tournaments my b-school girls and I would have in college, although I think the letter composition is a little different. But the banana's cute, no?

* We owed the three nieces a birthday shopping trip, which I thought would be a good alternative to the desire for money and gift these days. Not the best idea:

  1. Money would have been cheaper since we took them out to lunch beforehand and bought them smoothies at the mall. (Not that we minded; they're a bunch of cuties.)
  2. I realize that I hate the mall. I haven't been to NorthPark in a while (a combination of not shopping much and not being able to afford half of the stores there), and it was so crowded, even with the first sunny, 60 degree day in a long time. I was annoyed by the teenagers blocking my way. I was curmudgeonly about the prices. I am so old.
  3. Tweens don't like these days. The girls used to love everything I so much as said I liked, but not anymore. Thank goodness my MIL in showed up, because J and I had taken them around to most of the stores and they found maybe one thing they kinda-sorta liked. (J was such a trouper.) She talked them all into getting some things when we went to Aeropostale for the second time, and my job was done but the migraine was only starting. Then we went to a department store and Target, where they got more clothes from their grandmother and used up some of their birthday gift cards.

I did feel like I was making them get something for the sake of getting it. I told them they could save the money for later instead, but I think they ended up being okay with what they got. I now look back at my birthdays and Christmases with a twinge of guilt. So much stuff! I think I would have rather been told I should pick out only one or two things my childhood heart really, really wanted (and/or needed), and that the rest would be saved for later or used on an experience.

Although I do think they enjoyed the experience of hanging out with their super-cool aunt and funny uncle, who cracked them up by trying on sunglasses and spritzing himself with cologne. Also, when we passed the AAC on our way to the mall, they brought up how cool it was when we took them there to see Disney on Ice for their birthday a few years ago.

I'm hoping that's what they remember later on. They probably won't remember that they picked out an orange hoodie (although they do have freakishly good memories), but maybe they'll remember that Uncle James liked a cologne called Mandarina Duck and we made quacking noises at him.