Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Furball Under the Tree

Well, it's the last day of November!  And that means, the last day of NaBloPoMo.  I gotta say, this year I gave it way more energy and attention than I did last year...and it felt great!  So, I figured, what better way to end November/NaBloPoMo than with pictures of a furry fluff-ball of a cat under the newly set up Xmas tree!?  Warning, I went a little snap-happy while Guillermo was under the tree.  There's just something so adorable about all that fluffiness under twinkly Xmas lights!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nearly Time

It's almost December.  Which means, before you know it, it'll be Christmas time.  I've always been partial to Christmas.  The snow, the twinkly lights, (some of) the music.  I know it's an overly commercialized and highly consumerist holiday...but I've got good memories when it comes to Xmas!  So shove it!  Some of my favorite Xmas memories thus far have taken place in our house, namely last year...our first real Christmas at home.  Last year was our first year celebrating Xmas in our house, putting up our tree and decorating.  It was magical.  And this year, I'm hoping it will be just as magical.  We're visiting my parents and celebrating with them the weekend before the week of, it'll be just me, Antoine, Cheese and Gui!  I can't wait!

This past weekend I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and turn into one of those fanatics who puts up their tree right after Thanksgiving!  Behold the twinkly awesomeness:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Long-Weekend in Instagram

A rare tantrum-free, peaceful moment!

Sporting my new $10 mustard cardigan (that I've been in search of for over a year), just before we left for Thanksgiving lunch at Antoine's parent's house.

After T-giving lunch I went up to change back into my pajamas and found this adorable furrball in our bed.

 Behold my favorite Black Friday purchase! 

 And maybe my second favorite Black Friday purchase, Cheese's new Gumby shirt!

The first cream soda I've had in years!  And it was delicious!  Deliciously bubbly.

 Nothing quite like watching Big Bang Theory with a basset planted on your lap!  Good times!

The Saturday morning sunrise was pretty spectacular!

 Saturday, after a major bout of laziness, I finally managed to put up the tree and stockings.  I love our tree!

 On Sunday my wonderful sis invited us to tea!  She's the best!

My favorite part of Thanksgiving...the leftovers!  YUM!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Big Bang Theory

Antoine and I have been watching the Big Bang Theory nonstop since Monday! We've made it all the way through season four! The only word I have to explain its utter awesomeness: BAZINGA!! FYI, my favorite scene thus far has been the one in which Sheldon is in the ball pit and Leonard comes in to try to get him out! BAZINGA!!!! For those of you who were like me last Sunday and had never seen the show, now you have a way to spend your Sunday!! You're welcome!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

9 Pointless & Strange Things to Know About Me

*Because I'm an ego maniac...and I'm severely lacking in post ideas this week.  And I'm still Thanksgiving comatose.

1.)  I grew up on a farm.  In the middle of nowhere, in northern Ohio.  My parents decided to leave the city and move to Polk, Ohio when I was about 5 years old.  They bought a small farm with little to no previous farming experience while they both had full-time jobs (which they kept), each an hours' drive away.  I don't know what they were thinking, but I'm glad they temporarily lost their minds because it was the best experience ever.  We lived on the farm until I was about 12 years old.  We raised cows, pigs and chicken to supply our household with meat and eggs, and also to sell.  We had a small pond with fish and ducks, and often cute baby ducklings.  We had an old horse that I would ride on the weekends named Choe ( I didn't name him).  I helped bottle feed calves, mucked the horse stall, fed the barn cats my leftover milk from my morning cereal, learned about taking animals to slaughter, picked wildflowers for my mom, played with the Amish kids down the street, and ate our farm-raised, hormone free eggs and meat.  The farm taught me responsibility and the merit of hard work, and our acres of land let me explore and be as creative as I wished.    I wouldn't trade those years for anything.

2.)  Despite growing up on a farm, among a variety of animals, I'm kind of afraid of A LOT of animals.  Namely, I'm afraid of being bitten by them.  Some of these fears make sense.  Like I was bitten by an elderly poodle when I was little, therefore I'm wary about putting my hand near an unknown dog's mouth.  But most of the fears are completely irrational.  Squirrels, rabits, raccoons, pigs, birds, rats, snakes, mice, etc.  I'm afraid they are all out to bite me.  I think the only animals on the farm that I wasn't worried about biting me were the cows and the ducks.  And it's no surprise that they were my favorites.

3.)  I started watching horror movies way before a person should (i.e. when I was a kid).  No, I can't remember exactly when I saw my first scary movie or what it was.  But if I had to guess on how old I was I'd say age 8.  Maybe 9?  Yeah.  Chalk it up to having a Stephen King fan for a mother.  You name it, I saw it well before I was 12.  Pet Sematary, The Stand, Carrie, The Shining, IT, Misery...  And I love them all!  I love the fact that my mother let me watch all of these scary, violent films, and I attribute it to why my sister and I have such a deep love for the horror genre.  And I blame it for my still being a little bit afraid of the dark.  Wait, what!?  I'm not afraid of the dark, weirdo!  26 year olds aren't afraid of the must have read that incorrectly!  Moving on...

4.) My biggest pet peeve is when people leave the toilet lid up.  Not the toilet seat (although I don't like that either), the toilet lid.  Growing up, my mom and I shared a bathroom and my dad had his own.  Therefore the toilet lid was always put down after use.  There's something about knowing that someone has recently used the toilet that kind of creeps me out!

5.)  My first word was Peaches...the name of our Great Dane when I was a baby.

6.)  I have what the quacks refer to as social anxiety.  The peoples, they scare me.  So I'm not super crazy about big crowds or meeting new people.  Christmas parties/weddings/family reunions/etc tend to freak me out, unless I'm intoxicated!  Hell, I was practically a hermit when I was in college.  I got it bad.  For example, sometimes I'm scared to take pictures (you know, photograph things with my lovely Nikon) if there are too many people around.  I'm trying to work on it, but most of the time I'm not very successful!

7.)  I desperately want to get a tattoo of the Cheese-man on my foot!  Hello, birthday present idea...if you happen to need one for me!

8.)  I have a thing for rivers and streams.  I don't know what it is about flowing water...but I love it!  Just ask my HLP, I made her stop at practically every stream in Rocky Mountain National Park so I could take a picture.

9.) I could eat pizza probably every other day, and that's not an exaggeration.  The only other person I know who can eat pizza as often as I can is my dear HLP, Amanda. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday (plus Etsy coupon code!)

I can't help myself, but I love the crazy that is Black Friday!  I love the wacko old ladies who'll run you down for a good deal.  I love the waking up at a ridiculous hour just to get an extra 30% off a sweater.  It's my personal dose of holiday ridiculousness...and I'm going to put it in a pipe and smoke that shit up!  Lucky for me, Antoine loves it too!  We don't even have anything we need to get this year really, only a couple of things we want to keep an eye out for, but we can't resist waking up at a god-awful time and taking part in the craziness.  Laugh all you want.  Go ahead, judge me!  Frankly I would personally judge you if you didn't look down on me just a little!  But let me also ask you this, is there any other time of the year when you can openly run into someone with your cart and they don't give a shit because it's not the first time it's happened that morning!?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  Oh Black Friday, you tug on my sadistic, rotten heart strings.

In other honor of the most bat-shit crazy day of the year I've got an extra special deal for you; 15% off my Etsy Shop!  Just enter the coupon code BLACKFRIDAYDEAL when you check out and you will get 15% off your order.  This offer is valid today through December 2nd.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

5 Things I'm Thankful For

As I've said before, Thanksgiving has never been my thing.  And I've never been one to be overly touchy-feely and openly tell others what I'm thankful for because it would diminish this hard, rough persona I've got going on here.  Hey!  Stop laughing jackass!  Anyway, this year, I'm kind of feeling this urge to do so.  Not sure why, but I'm going to roll with it!  So, here's the five things I'm most thankful for:

1.)  Family:  I'm lucky as far as family goes.  No one is too ridiculously crazy, just a good amount of crazy.  They're supportive and loving, and that's really all you can ask for!  Plus:
...these two weirdos live just down the street and I get to bug them anytime I want!

2.)  This guy: 
And I'm not talking about the itty bitty froglet.  Antoine is pretty much the best thing that's ever happened since the invention of cheese.  Big statement, I know!  But it's true! 

3.)  These furry things:

They make me laugh and occasionally drive me a little batty, but I love the heck out of them!

4.)  This lady:
There's no other way to describe her than as my HLP (aka my heterosexual life partner).  We're in it for the long haul!  As far as friends go, Amanda is the shit and there's no disputing that. 

5.)  A job I love:
Oh, and let's not forget the fact that I only have ONE job now!  Count!  And it's awesome!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cop Out

I'm notorious for not finishing things.  I can't even count the number of scarves I've half crocheted or the number of books I've read a third of the way through and then never picked up again.  I've got a half finished scrapbook of my 5 weeks abroad in England that I will probably never complete.  Then there's that circle patterned afghan that I started crocheting last winter but haven't touched since.  Yeah, I've got a problem when it comes to finishing things.

I've also got a problem when it comes to watching TV.  There's just something so relaxing about watching a movie or a good show on TV.  And I'm one of those annoying people who can watch a movie or a television show over and over and over if I like it enough (which doesn't take much).  I also have a thing for watching TV in bed.  It goes back to my days at home with my parents when I would get sick of my mom watching all her reality shows so I'd go to my room with a good movie and paint my toenails.  Throughout college, when Amanda and I were living together, she would often pull me out of my room when I was holed up in there for too long with a stack of movies from the library.  Sadly, Antoine doesn't share my affinity for watching TV in bed.  One of these days I will convert him.

Onto my latest in a long line of cop outs.  See, our upstairs TV doesn't really get any channels, so we I use it mainly to watch DVDs and television show series sets.  A couple months ago I decided to make my way through two of my favorite TV series, Six Feet Under and Gilmore Girls, for which I have the entire box sets.  Hands down, these are and will be my favorite shows ever.  Six Feet Under because it is amazing.  Gilmore Girls because it is hilarious and reminds me of my college days, watching it religiously with Amanda.  So, I decided to start with Six Feet Under, working my way through that and then when I was done, start up Gilmore lighten my spirits.  So I watched and watched, just before bed and while I was getting ready for work in the morning, and I made my way through all of Six Feet Under (sidenote: I've lost track of how many times I've watched both of these shows in their entirety...let's just say A LOT).  Well, except for the last episode.  Oh, the last episode of Six Feet Under, it slays me like no other finale ever will!  It is, in my humble opinion, the best series finale EVER.  It is utterly perfect.  And it transforms me into a sobbing puddle of emotional goo every time I watch it.  Yeah, it's not a pretty thing to watch. 

So, I made my way through the entire series and even about 15 minutes into the final episode and then I stopped.  I went downstairs and picked season one of Gilmore Girls off the shelf, put it in, and went merrily on my way.  It's funny that I've seen Six Feet Under so many times and I've never sidestepped the finale before.  In fact, I usually crave its closure and perfection.  But this time I couldn't handle it!  I don't know if it's because I didn't want it to end or I couldn't handle turning into the soggy emotional basket case that it creates in me.  Either way, it is just another one of my cop outs that I will probably never finish...well, until I decide to watch the series in its entirety again.

What about you?  Do you always finish your projects?  Or do you get easily distracted, like me?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Call It Renovation

The last month has been a little hectic at work.  And the next couple months year is bound to be even more chaotic and stressful.  But all this stress makes way for some really big improvements to our department, and even my job.  Our department has been around in the library, in one form or another, for about 40 years now.  And in those forty years we've essentially occupied the "basement" of the library, a space originally meant for storage, not for people actually working in it.  And in those forty years the department has seen very little practically no cosmetic attention...until now.  See, a couple months ago the Public Library was awarded a grant to join forces with our existing lab and create a joint lab (that will conserve both the PL and UC collections) in our existing space.  As part of this, UC is funding a much needed and desired renovation and update of the department.  We'll be in the same space we are now, but some major changes are happening and will continue to happen in the next month. 

One example of the major major things going down (quite literally) in the department is that our main storage room is being converted into our Binding packing area (this involved tearing down a wall), so that we can make space for a second Conservation bench area, which we will desperately need after the Public Library folks move in permanently in January! 

 Demolition!  For a couple weeks everything has been covered in plastic and moved to the back of the department so that the wall could come down.  It took two weeks for the wall to come all the way down.
After the first week.  Apparently there were more layers to the wall than they were expecting.

And here's what we walked into yesterday more wall!

Now that the wall is down, the rest of the renovation can continue...tiling, painting, shelves moved out, new furniture, installation of the new bench area, new equipment, two sink installations, cleaning, more painting, picture hanging, etc.  The next month and a half are going to be INSANE, but I think it'll all be worth it...if my boss doesn't lose her mind in the process.  I'll keep you posted!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend in Instagram

Antoine and I had every intention of doing a variety of fun and eventful things this weekend.  We were going to go to Crafty Supermarket and Findlay Market.  I was going to take lots of pictures.  But then we sat on the couch and snuggle up and before we knew it it was Sunday.  But it was wonderful doing nothing, not leaving the house until after 3pm both Saturday and Sunday.  Absolutely wonderful!

Cheese thinks all food should be shared with him, even the stick from Antoine's banana popsicle.

Lazy weekends are wonderful in their own special way.  And for some reason, when I'm snuggled up on the couch, I often pile pillows on top of myself.  Weird, I know!

 What a beggar!  If you can't tell, he's got his head resting on my right leg, which was crossed over my left leg.

Saturday, when we finally left the house, I decided I wanted frozen yogurt from Yagoot for dinner.  It was delicious, as usual!

 After a trip to the dog park and a stop by Yagoot on Saturday, Antoine and I drove up to the outlet mall.  On our way back we randomly stopped at the Target near there and I FINALLY got my furry hat that I've been searching for for weeks now (more on that later!)  Yeah, it has balls...what of it!?

 Sunday lunch brought to me by Antoine (because he's awesome!): Jet's pizza!  YUM!

Sunday evening sewing while I watched Office reruns and Antoine took a nap.  I finished sewing up three books this weekend.

I didn't end up leaving the house until 5pm on Sunday.  We made a much needed run to the grocery store where we picked up, among other things, pistachios.  They ended up being my dinner.  I forgot how much I liked them!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

10 Days

It's almost Thanksgiving, as you know.  I like Thanksgiving, but it's not the end all, be all for me.  The food is good, and that's about all it has going for it.  Except for this year!  This year it being almost Thanksgiving means that Antoine will be on vacation all of next week!  That's 10 DAYS at home, compared to usual 3 days at home and then 4 days in Chicago.  Rinse.  Repeat. 

So, today marks day 3!  Yay!  And what's even better...I'm also off from work 6 of those 10 days (2 Saturdays, 2 Sundays, Thanksgiving and the day after)!  What, what!?  Who's excited!?  This girl!  I don't think anyone could be more stoked than me right now...except maybe Antoine, since he's the one who doesn't have to work for 10 consecutive days!  Wait, no, scratch that!  I think Cheese is probably the most excited!  He gets to roam free (aka not in his crate) during the day and sleep on his dad's lap!  Yeah, Cheese would definitely be the most excited in our household, that is, if he understood the concept of vacation days, Thanksgiving, or...hell just days in general!

Also, just a warning...I might totally lose my shit in December because, get this, Antoine will be taking two full weeks off from work!!  Ridiculous, I know!  But that's not all, I've also got a 6 day weekend planned during part of time he'll be at home!  Holy crap, I can't wait! 

That is all.  Happy Sunday folks!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cute Dogs Run in the Family

While we were in Cleveland last weekend, my cousin Christa gave us a tour of her amazingly fantastic apartment and we also got to meet her dog, Flip.  Flip is a Beagle and is 14 years old...and absolutely adorable!  Just see for yourself:

Oh, the cuteness!  It's just too much to take!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

 I've made it clear that when it comes to gelato Dojo has my heart.  I've got the warm n' fuzzies for that place super bad.  Not only because they made me a gelato believer (every gelato I had had prior did not impress), but they crank out deliciously creative concoctions with some major local flair. Plus, it's one of those places that reminds me of dating Antoine.  I remember the first time he brought me a pint of Dojo gelato, it was such a sweet moment...we had just started dating, we were getting pretty serious and he was always surprising me with things like that.

Anyway, where was I!?  As far as gelato goes, Dojo is it for me.  But when it comes to ice cream I tend not to pick favorites.  All ice cream is different to me, each has it's own texture, taste and special place in my belly.  I cannot compare soft serve from Hold the Nuts to Dairy Queen (nostalgia central), Young's Dairy to Graeter's.  They're all so different and wonderful in their own way.  So, naturally, I am never opposed to trying out a new ice cream place when someone recommends one.  [Seriously, I think I need an ice cream related tattoo...I've got a major addiction going on here!]  So, when several people recommended Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams to Antoine and I, we just had to check it out for ourselves.  Unfortunately, we don't often find ourselves in Columbus, where Jeni's is headquartered.  And while Jeni's is sold in several local stores...I'd much rather get the whole experience, especially for the first time around.  But leave it to Antoine to come up with a genius idea...he hunted down and found a Jeni's shop on the way back home from our recent trip to Cleveland and it only meant a very small detour off of 71.  My sis was with us, and seeing as how this love of ice cream runs in the family, she was happy with the little detour.

 I was blown away by the selection.  There were three freezer cases and each had about 8 unique and interesting flavors in it!  It was a tad overwhelming...and that's coming from me, someone who's generally pretty good about making quick decisions.  I felt bad for my poor sister, she's not so good at the decision making!

 One of the really awesome parts about Jeni's is they're all about you trying as many flavors as you like!  And I think we probably tried about half of them!  The only thing I didn't like about the sampling was that they used little plastic spoons, instead of little metal, reusable spoons like Dojo does.  It makes me, as a consumer, feel a little bit better about trying as many flavors as I want.

 For me, the second I tried the Brown Butter Almond Brittle I knew exactly what I wanted!  It was creamy and buttery and nutty.  Awesome.  For my second flavor I got the Black Coffee which was rich and bold but not too overwhelmning.

 Antoine went for the Salty Caramel (good, but I like Dojo's Sea Salted Caramel better) and the Brown Butter Almond Brittle.

My adorable sis went ordered (from top to bottom): Gravel Road, Whiskey & Pecans, and Brambleberry Crisp (her fav of the three).

Then after we finished out delicious ice cream, they even let us try a couple more flavors, now that the line had disappeared.  The Riesling Poached Pear sorbet was particularly good, as was the Smoked Tea & Plum Pudding. 

As far as fancy, unique ice cream flavors go, Jeni's is pretty awesome.  I like the variety, although not all of them hit it out of the park for me.  For instance, the Frankencense & Almond Cake tasted like an air freshener to me, and the Cumin & Honey Butterscotch was a little too much like putting a teaspoon of Cumin in my mouth.  But the rest of the flavors that we tried were fantastic, and it'd highly recommend trying Jeni's out sometime, if you haven't already.  It's certainly fun tasting all those flavors, and you might be surprised by which blow your mind and which don't!