Monday, January 31, 2011

House Hunting

Since Hubs has been home, we've been frantically searching for a house. We've looked at far too many for me to count and still haven't found "the one." 

I fully acknowledge that we're probably being pretty picky, however when you're dropping that kind of dough on a place to live, I think being picky is acceptable. Plus, I'm fully prepared to stay in this house for many years. Quite frankly, I'm really sick of moving. We've moved 5 times since 2005 and I'm over it!

There have been a few things I've observed during our house hunt (and I apologize in advance if I offend anyone.)

1. Why wallpaper? And why is obscenely ugly flower patterns? I'll never understand this. Even though I grew up with a half wallpapered house, I don't have a taste for it.

2. As a seller, why would you stay at the house while it's being shown? When we sold our first house, I would never dream of hanging out while a potential buyer is wondering around. We've encountered this a few times so far, and each time it's made us cross the house off the list. 

3. Pick up your crap. I don't really want to trip over your sneakers and dirty towels. 

4. Wooden toilet seats should never have been made.

5. Leaving your dog at home while I'm trying to walk around your house does nothing but distract and annoy me. Unless it's an adorable puppy. Not a yappy schnauzer. 

Those are just a few of the annoyances I can think of right now. We're going out this week to see more and we're really hoping we find one to buy. If we don't before hubs goes back to work, we'll have to wait 3 more months! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Heart the Kindle

Before hubs left for his long work journey, my very generous mother bought him a Kindle. It would have been hard for him to lug a bunch of books around because he didn't have a whole lot of luggage space.

Now that he's home for a while, I've decided to hijack it and try it out for myself. Since the whole eReader phenomenon began, I've been pretty skeptical. Personally, I like the feel of a book, looking at the books on my shelf, going to bookstores and spending hours finding something new. And now, (see my post on that here.) 

So, I downloaded my first book (Cutting for Stone), which was $5 and is a New York Times Bestseller (so it's not something from the bargain bin.) That would be the first plus. It was cheaper on the Kindle than buying it in paperback. Although, I think this is rare. Books seem to range from $3.99 - $9.99.

For reading, it's been quite lovely. The page turn buttons are right at your fingertips. You can mark your page and even highlight and make notes. The screen isn't backlit, which means it's easier on your eyes and the readability isn't compromised in bright sunlight (like the beach or your favorite park bench.) For those of you that have the Nook or are wondering the difference...the Nook is backlit. It makes it harder on your eyes.

If you feel inclined to read in the dark, perhaps while your partner is sleeping, while you're camping, or while on a plane, I suggest purchasing the cover with the book light built in. Trust me, it will come in handy. It's a little pricey at $60, but it's worth it.

It has wireless access, so you can literally buy thousands of books with the click of a button. Which is really, really dangerous. It's automatically hooked up to my Amazon account, which has my credit card on file. Yikes.

It also has fun, addicting word games. Like word jumbles and scrabble. And a majority of them are free. Bonusss!

In short, I highly recommend it if you are an avid reader. I'm pretty sure at some point in the future, everyone will have one. Kind of like the iPod.

Also, I'm always looking for new books to read, so if you have some recommendations, I would love to hear them!

Central PA Grammar

Every area of the country has their own dialect. Growing up in Central PA, this was no different. I didn't realize, however, that not everyone said things like we did. Not until I went to college. My Nana and Grandma had their own phrases for things that I look back on now and think are hilarious. Most of the sentences below are taken from times they were scolding my sister and I for doing something wrong and/or stupid. 

It's rare that I use any of these, but perhaps you'll recognize a few:

"Red Up"
From: Grandma
Meaning: To clean a room
Sentence: You girls need to go red up the living room before your parents get home.

From: Nana
Meaning: You all
Sentence: If I let youns have a cookie, you better not tell your mother.

"Pitch a Fit"
From: Nana
Meaning: Throw a temper tantrum
Sentence: Your mother's going to pitch a fit if she comes home and sees you two aren't in bed.

From: Grandma
Meaning: Sofa
Sentence: Heather, get your feet off the davenport right this instance!

"What's the score?"
From: Grandma
Meaning: What's going on? Give me the update.
Sentence: What's the score? (Duh.)

"Oh my Glory"
From: Nana
Meaning: Oh my a nice way that doesn't denounce our lord and savior
Sentence: Oh my Glory, you girls better clean up that mess right now!

From: Nana
Meaning: Cherry
Sentence: I'd like a piece of churry pie please.

From: Nana (and now my mother)
Meaning: Color
Sentence: Did you get your hair kelered?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taco Dip

You know how everyone has their signature dish...something they always make and everyone enjoys and requests? Mine happens to be Taco Dip. And I wish I could tell you that it's really hard to make. That I spend hours toiling over the stove. But that's just not true. In fact, a monkey could probably make it. 

My mom started making this when we were kids for special occasions and parties. And I've carried on the tradition.

Dawn's Taco Dip

1 (8 oz) container of sour cream (you can use light to reduce the calories)
1 (8 oz) container of cream cheese (I like the whipped kind because it's easier to stir)
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup lettuce, chopped

Combine sour cream, cream cheese, taco seasoning. Pour into a pie pan, or other vessel, top with cheese, tomato, lettuce.

Ta - da! You're done! Serve with taco chips. Oh, and I advise making a double batch. This will be a big hit.


You all may be noticing the sudden change in my blog's appearance. Well, I've been trying to figure out how to incorporate my own design in the header. This process so far has been an epic fail. Mostly because when I look at HTML, I get confused and I panic.

So, bear with me for the next few days as I tinker around.

Also, you may have noticed that I added the Facebook and Twitter icons on the right. Use them! Pretty please :) Help me share my blog with more people...because then I feel like I'm writing for more of a purpose, other than my own pleasure. Although that's important too.

Thanks for your support!
Smoochessss to everyone that's reading...aka My Adoring Fans...and by Adoring Fans I mean my awesome friends and fam :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In the Event of Zombies...

Hubs and I have been househunting since he got home last week. We're moving this search into super warp speed because I want to find something before he leaves again.

We saw 7 houses last Saturday, and here's an excerpt from a conversation we had at one of the houses:

Hubs: What's that thing?

Me: I think it's a wood stove.

Realtor: It's a pellet stove actually.

Hubs: Well, I think it's ugly. We'd have to have that removed.

Me: Why would we pay to have someone remove a piece of equipment that's perfectly funtional?

Hubs: Because it's an eyesore and takes up a bunch of valuable room where I could put my crap. Besides, we'd never use it.

Me: I disagree. In the event of a Zombie apacolypse, this pellet stove would come in handy.

Hubs: You actually make a very valid point.

Weight Watchers 2.0

I finally bit the bullet and actually paid to join Weight Watchers last week. Previously, I had been using one of many counterfit points calculators that are plastered over the Internets and just praying that it was right.

I lost some weight...about 6 pounds total. However, that's not quite the kind of weight loss I expected.

Last week, hubs stepped off the plane and he was 25 pounds lighter! Which, obviously, motivated me even more. Apparently, giving up beer and biking 20 minutes a day is recipe for weight loss for him. I wish it were that easy for me.

Anyway, this is my first official week on the new PointsPlus system. I'm doing it online because, quite frankly, I won't go to the meetings. I'd like to say that I would, but I'd be lying.

I've been busting my butt to get to the gym. I've taken up Spinning again. I forgot how much I really liked it and how great of a workout it is!

My workouts for this week? Two days of spinning, one day of Yoga Meltdown with Jillian Michaels (which really isn't Yoga at all), and one day Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. Tomorrow I'm going to do some lame treadmill/elliptical cardio and weight training.

My weigh in is tomorrow, however, I weighed myself this morning and I've lost...get ready for it...ZERO POUNDS! How is that EVEN POSSIBLE?! I've followed the points and exercised. But nothing. The only explanation I have, other than the fact that I think God is trying to punish me for something, is that I'm PMSing this week. Which means, for me at least, a lot of water retention (aren't you glad you know that?)

I got some encouragement from my Aunt Wendy today, who's had major success with WW. Thank goodness for those words of encouragement, because I wanted to call and get my $50 back after I stepped on the scale this morning.

We'll see what next week holds. I can tell you that this weekend will be a challenge. I'm saving all my activity and flex points for a shin-dig we're having on Saturday night. And they're almost all going to wine and vodka. Which isn't good...I know. But it's just reality.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Manic Monday

I knew today wasn't going to be a good Monday. 

First, on my way to the shower this morning, I look in my closet to figure out what to wear and all I see is disaster. Half the shelving/closet rods are on the floors with piles of clothes on top of them. Seriously? Somehow, after a year and a half, the closet decides it's had enough and collapses. Ugh. Fine. At least they were all Nile's clothes.

Second, I started my Monday the way everyone should...getting blood work done at the hospital. No, don't worry, nothing's wrong. I got a new doc and she wanted to get a baseline for my chart. But still, needles suck. And so does giving up 4 vials for blood.

In general, besides a monster headache, my workday went just fine.

Then, I come home to find Peanut with a bloody, puss-filled ear. The poor pup has all kinds of ear problems. I've probably spent $2,000 on her ears. So, off to the vet we went. The vet actually scared the living beeejeeebusss out of me because he scanned her for a brain tumor. Apparently, blood in the ear is not only a sign of infection, but possible tumor. After a scary looking scan, that I knew was hiking up my bill, the vet diagnosed her with 2 ear infections and an eye infection and allergies, but no visible tumor. My bill? $295. TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE DOLLARS! Now I get the joy of giving 2 pills and drops in both ears and her eye, twice a day for 14 days. And, yeah, she loves that as much as you'd think. 

The silver lining out of all of this is that hubs comes home on Wednesday!!! Providing the stupid snow stays away. FINALLY he'll be home. Not sure for how long, but he's coming home and that's all that matters. Looks like we'll be doing a marathon house hunt :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Best Reality Shows You AREN'T Watching, But Should Be

Ok, we all know by now that I happen to have a mild obsession with reality TV. In general, I don't discriminate. I'll try anything once. Weed out the bad, DVR the good. 

And since I did the legwork for you, let me give you a rundown of the best reality TV shows you aren't watching (because I know you're already watching Teen Mom and Real Housewives):

  • Downsized on WE: This show follows the Bruce family. A blended, Brady-bunch like clan who went from living a life of luxury when dad, Todd's construction business was booming, to losing everything when the housing market tanked. You follow the family, which includes Laura (mom), her 5 kids, including a set of triplets, dad (Todd) and his 2 kids and the family dog, as they try to get by in this economy. You'll even pick up a few tips for yourself on how to save a buck. 
  • Chopped on Food Network: This show takes 4 gourmet chefs, gives them a basket full of the most random ingredients, and lets them loose to make an appetizer, entree and dessert with said ingredients (the other day, the basket had cotton candy, papaya and dried mango). After each course, however, someone is cut from the show until it's the last man (or women) standing. 
  • My Strange Addiction on TLC: Granted, I've only seen one episode of this, but I can guarantee I'll see some more. This follows people that have really weird, off the wall addictions. The one I watched followed a woman that was addicted to sleeping with her blowdryer, a woman who sucks her thumb and a woman who was addicted to eating toilet paper. Yeah. It's for real. 
  • House Hunters International on HGTV: Where else are you going to see someone looking for a house in a foreign country...from start to finish? Nowhere, my friends. Nowhere. 
  • Bridezillas on WE: This show follows insane brides as they plan their big day. Tantrums, fist fights and all. 
Now, I'm sure there are others that I'm not thinking of...there's just too much reality TV for me to handle right now. But I'm sure I'll have a Second Edition to this post. 

Happy TV Watching!

Read More! It's Good for You

Occasionally, you come across something that you just have to share with anyone who will listen. Recently, while reading one of my college classmate's, Tabitha's blog (which I highly recommend), she wrote about a website called

If you're an avid reader, you should surf yourself right on over to the site. Everyone has those books on their bookshelf that were just ok, or those you'll never read more than once. Well, take those books, create a free account, and post them to the website. Then, peruse the site and pick some books someone else has posted and request them for yourself. You get credits for posting your books and one credit equals one book for you.

Within minutes of posting, someone had requested one of my books. For the cost of postage (about $1.50), I sent off my book using the label you can print from the site. Then, when my book is received, I get another credit to get another book!  Plus, there's a variety of books available...not just novels. Cookbooks, kids books, self help. It's a cheaper way to read more!

I requested Barefoot by Elin Hildebrand. 

Three women arrive at the local airport, observed by Josh, a Nantucket native home from college for the summer. Burdened with small children, unwieldy straw hats, and some obvious emotional issues--all trying to escape from something.

Hopefully it's a good one! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

These Are A Few of My Favorite Thingsssss!

I love Oprah. And I don't care who knows it. 

I watched the launch of O.W.N., her new network, this weekend while I was recovering from my New Year's Eve hangover. She makes me feel warm and fuzzy with all her feel good, live your life better, type shows. Because, let's face it, everyone needs a good dose of motivation. I know I do.

As an ode to my one my most favorite Oprah shows of the year (cue fanatical screaming...) I'm going to do my version of Favorite Things. Except in my version, no one wins anything...except the new found knowledge of some things I think are pretty great.

  1. Silk Pure Almond - Dark Chocolate - Delicious, chocolate flavored almond milk. Pure delight.
  2. Vitatops - In the old Weight Watchers system, these babies were just one point. You usually can only get 2 flavors at your local supermarket (deep chocolate and golden corn), however I just ordered a crap-ton (yes, that's an accurate term of measurement) from the Internets. Do it yourself at WARNING: These are very high in fiber. I do not recommend eating more than one at a time. Unless you have a steel stomach. I found this one out the hard way.
  3. Just Dance 2 - If you haven't read my review...please reference an earlier post. It rocks. And I've sufficiently mastered Proud Mary AND the crazy Bollywood song.
  4. Skype - This has been a savior for hubs and I over the last 8 months. If you aren't familiar with it, it's free video chat. FREE. All you need is a webcam and microphone. I don't know how I would have gotten by without it.
  5. Body Shop All In One Face Base - I have tried a laughable amount of foundations in my makeup-wearing years. Usually, they have something I really hate about them. They look unnatural, feel heavy, wear off, don't get the idea. But this...THIS is the ultimate in foundations. It's a powdery, silky, full-coverage foundation that I couldn't recommend more. If you have normal - oily skin, it's for you.  Get it here!
  6. Vera Bradley Wristlet - Ok, ok. Those of you that know me, know that I have a slight obsession with all things Vera Bradley. And I totally got my mom and sister on the bandwagon. By far, one of my favorite things is the wristlet. My mom actually got it for herself and decided she didn't like it (for shame!), but then passed it on to me (victory!) And now I use it all the time. I suggest you buy one too at
  7. Vera Bradley Weekender - And while we're at it, I might as well mention my other most favorite Vera purchase...the Weekender. Perfect for...that's right...weekends away!
  8. Water for Elephants - I recently read this book upon recommendation from a friend, and it was definitely one of the best books I read all year. The premise is a young man, whose parents are killed in a car accident, drops out of veterinary school to join a traveling circus. Intrigued? You should be. Plus, it's being made into a movie that's coming out in the Spring, starring Reese Witherspoon (love) and Robert Pattinson (hate...but oh well.)
  9. Eddie Bauer Ice Scraper Mitt - My mom got me my first ice scraper mitt when I was in high school, and I laughed at it's silliness. But let me tell you something, ice scraper mitts are genius. Keep your hand warm, while scraping your windshield? Check. "But Heather, just wear a glove!" Sometimes, you forget your gloves. Or misplace them. Or are too lazy to put them on. Ice scraper mitt to the rescue! Luckily, I got another one for Christmas this year. I highly recommend the Eddie Bauer brand.
  10. Lands End Down Jacket - This was another Christmas gift. It's the perfect winter coat. Waterproof, super warm, and not too you don't feel like you're straight out of a Christmas Story. And, lucky for you, they're on sale!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Oh, Hello 2011!

2011 is finally here! And I can't say I'm very sorry to see 2010 go. Peace out.

I got to spend New Year's Eve with my other two husbands, aka, Christopher and Funk. They've been my pretend husbands since Nile's been gone. 

And Chris's brother, Matt and his girlfriend, Jenny.

And our host, Nathan. Remind me, the next time I go to a party at his bachelor pad, make a list of things for him to buy before the party starts. Like cups...and food...and beverages.

I was only missing hubby and Julie. She was stuck working that night. That's when having "untraditional hours" at a job really screws you. But the cardiac patients aren't going to take care of themselves.


I've been thinking about my resolutions. For some reason, I can't seem to get inspired. Perhaps it's the recently funk I've been in. But, alas, here's my list so far:

1. Lose weight. Duh. This will forever be my resolution.

2. Buy a house! That's a pretty big one. It's time to stop throwing away money on rent and becoming a part of the wonderful world of home ownership again.

3. Get pregnant! Yep, it's that time to start making little Heather and Nile's. Now I just need my husband to come back to the US. It's hard to get started on this resolution without him.

4. Go on a damn vacation! Preferably Europe, but now we're thinking about doing the resort thing again that we did for our honeymoon. We realized the other day that we haven't had a true vacation like that since we got married. 

5. Take advantage of the local activities. We started doing this last year. We've visited some parks, the dog beach, the zoo...but there's a lot more I'd like to see. And I know once we have kids it'll get harder.

I feel like I should be listing a lot more goals. But, like I said, I'm lacking inspiration today. Perhaps it will strike me this week, so stay tuned.