Books, Sunday In Pictures, Weekend

Sunday In Pictures Vol. 35

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Ours was non stop busy but in a good way. Starting last Wednesday we had plans every day/night except for Thursday. Honestly I could use a second Sunday just to relax ha! Alas Monday is here and it’s time for work. Before the day really gets going though, I want to pop in and share our Sunday in pictures. Have a great day 🙂

img_6998

After staying up until 2:30(!) Saturday night, I needed to ease into Sunday by reading more of Little Fires Everywhere.

img_7003

When it’s 80 degrees before 10 am, you skip hot tea and go for iced tea.

img_7004

Since we were SLOW moving to wake up and not that hungry, breakfast never happened. We skipped right to lunch and I had a buffalo chicken wrap.

img_7005

On the way home from the grocery store, I swung by Alex’s parents house to pick up his twin sister Tory. We baked shortcake together for dessert later that night.

img_7007

Alex and Tory went back to their parents house and I took a little break from running around for a quick snack. I cut up a cucumber and added a little light Ceasar dressing and parmesan cheese to the bowl.

img_7008

The finished product for dessert. I used this recipe from Taste of Home and it was a huge hit!

img_7009

Blogger fail but I didn’t get a picture of dinner. It was really good and we even got some leftovers to bring home. We enjoyed steak, salad, asparagus, corn plus basil, mozzarella, and tomato with balsamic on top.

To end the night, Alex and I watched Mamma Mia! on the couch. It’s on Netflix now if anyone is interested.

Question of the day: What’s one highlight from your weekend.

Books, Daily Happenings, Dating, Weekend

A Surprise Baseball Game

Happy Saturday friends! Sorry for the slightly late post. Alex and I had our second date night in the past three days last night so I was tired when we got home and wanted to head to bed. Have a wonderful day 🙂

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

Friday started off pretty good. After getting ready for the day, Alex and I realized we had time for bacon so we made some to have with our eggs for breakfast. Bacon starts any day on a good note.

img_6998

At work, I started reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It’s the story of the Richardsons who have four kids and live in a suburb of Cleveland. The story starts out with the tenant in their rental house leaving in the middle of the night and the youngest child sets the house on fire the next day. Rewind a year when the tenants moved in and somehow that leads to little fires everywhere in the house. So far so good through the first 5 chapters.

img_6984

When I got home from work, I had some packages waiting for me so I tried all the dresses on while Alex had a work call. Once that was done, I made some homemade ice cream for a dinner we have tonight (hopefully it freezes well and tastes like ice cream!) before we headed into the car. Alex called me Thursday afternoon while both of us were at work, which is unusual, and he simply asked “Do we have plans Friday night?” I responded no and he said great we’re going on a date and hung up. The first stop was dinner at Hoagie Haven in Princeton. It’s one of Alex’s favorites and it hit the spot.

img_6986

We got in the car and started driving to Trenton which is somewhere we never go. The entire way, I was guessing potential places and he said no to all of them. I actually guessed right though with a baseball game! The weirdest part was I had a dream that we were going to a baseball game and I never remember my dreams, it’s like we had ESP about it or something lol. Apparently a girl he went to high school with posted on Instagram that she had tickets but couldn’t go. Naturally Alex slid into her DM’s to snatch them for us haha. The Trenton Pork Rolls, formerly Trenton Thunder, is the minor league team for the Yankees. For all we know, we watched the next Derek Jeter play last night!

img_6989

It ended up being absolutely beautiful for a game. The seats were basically behind home plate and we chatted while sipping on a beer as big as our head during it. Seriously, the beer was huge. The atmosphere was very kid friendly and the family behind us had two little boys that were providing us with some funny entertainment during it. Overall the game was really well until the 9th inning. It was tied 2-2 when the Erie Seawolves scored 3 points on one hit. We decided the Pork Rolls probably weren’t going to win it and headed home to bed instead.

Question of the day: Are you a baseball fan?

Weekly Obsessions

Weekly Obsessions XXI

Happy Friday! How was your week? The weather was pretty good, we have a working ice maker again and there was a midweek date night. I have to say I had a good week and really hope you did too.

In Friday fashion, I’m sharing the things I’ve been obsessed with this week. Have a wonderful day!

Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate

img_6980

Earlier this week, a coworker asked if I liked dark chocolate out of the blue. I said yes and she goes here have this chocolate bar because I bought dark instead of milk chocolate. When I broke a piece off, I was expecting to have the caramel be more liquid in it which I don’t love. Boy was I wrong! The caramel was hard with tiny pieces throughout the chocolate so it’s not an intense caramel flavor. It’s the perfect mix of salty, caramel and chocolate. She bought it at Walmart but it appears to be out of stock online. If there’s a Walmart near you then you should pick it up.

Spindrift

img_6983

When we were at my parent’s house over Memorial Day, my mom and I popped into Costco to pick up some veggies for the weekend. While walking around we came across a case of Spindrift. I had been seeing it all over social media and asked my mom if she had tried it. We ended up buying the case and I brought it back to New Jersey (thanks mom 🙂 I’ve been drinking them during lunch this week as a break since I can’t drink a giant seltzer during lunch. So good!! It’s flavored with real fruit juice and it tastes fresh. Sparkling water is less carbonated than seltzer so it makes it’s easier to go down during my lunch break. The Costco pack had lemon, grapefruit and raspberry lime flavored. Grapefruit is my favorite but I like all of them a lot. Spindrift’s website has a store locator function so you can see stores that carry it near you.

The Lucky Ones

img_6964

The Lucky Ones is the story of Allison. She was orphaned after her mother died and placed in foster care. A well known brain surgeon and philanthropist brought her and six other children into his home, known as The Dragon, to live with him. Allison loved her life and newfound family until she almost died one night and her great aunt took her in. Thirteen years later, Allison’s “brother” writes that their “Dad” is ill and will die soon if she wants to say goodbye. Allison is torn of leaving her past behind her or going back to find out what really happened to her on that fateful night.

Tiffany Reisz wrote a good one you guys! It hooked me in from the beginning and I was dying to figure out what happened. Reisz throws a few twists into the story that throw you off from the path you think the story will follow. It’s a quick read and I didn’t want to put it down.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you’ve been obsessed with this week?

Books, Daily Happenings, Dating

Impromptu Date Night + Costco Members

Happy Friday Eve! A part of me is shocked that it’s already Thursday but then I realize I’ve had a semi busy week so far so it totally makes sense. June is basically a marathon month over here so it makes sense this week is flying by for us.

Yesterday had a few fun items take place. I hope you had something fun happen yesterday as well! Have a great day 🙂

img_6552

Wednesday started out pretty normal. Wake up, lay in bed a bit, take Bailey out and feed her before getting ready for work. Breakfast should come as no surprise that it was eggs and a muffin. I’ve been eating this combination since January or February so it’s probably a miracle I’m not sick of them yet.

img_6964

Alex was working from home because a technician was coming to look at our refrigerator. Last week, water that was supposed to be going to the ice maker decided to flood our fridge and freezer instead… It was just as much fun to clean up as it sounds. As I was getting ready to head home to eat lunch with him, he called to say abort mission since the technician was almost there. So I grabbed my Nook and read during work instead. I finished The Lucky Ones and really liked it. Check back tomorrow for a bit more in depth review on it.

Costco Membership Card

After work was when the fun really got started. Last week I saw that Groupon had a Costco membership deal going on, (and still is available here if you are interested!). For the price of the lower membership ($60), you got a $20 Costco gift card. I finally bit the bullet and bought it so headed there to redeem it. While redeeming it, I ended up paying the difference and upgrading to the higher membership to get some rebate bonuses on it. Plus if we don’t use it then I can return for the lower and get my money back. Gotta love Costco’s return policy! The timing couldn’t have been better either since we needed some toilet paper and paper towels so I could grab those, plus a few other random things, while there. Y’all…having this membership will be dangerous for me!! I was walking around the store going “Oh this looks good” and “We will definitely need to try that”.

Fried Pickles From Harvest Moon

When I was walking out of the store, Alex called and asked if I wanted to meet him for dinner in New Brunswick since he was meeting a client there for drinks. We went back and forth on going out or just having burgers at home but decided an impromptu date night was the better option. We actually went back to Harvest Moon. Any longtime readers may recognize this restaurant since it’s where we had our first date. If you want a good laugh I highly recommend reading about our first date. It’s almost a miracle Alex and I are still dating after that disaster lol. Obviously we had to start with some fried pickles.

Hanger Steak From Harvest Moon

There was actually a 3 course meal that was the same price as the entree I was thinking about getting so I ended up getting that. It started with a ceasar salad that had toasted sunflower seeds on it. I wasn’t sure about that when I saw it on the menu but it ended up being really good. For dinner, I ordered the hanger steak which came with pepperjack whipped potatoes, broccoli, and some sort of spicy sauce on the bottom of the plate. So good!! The spices were perfect on everything. Alex and I both commented that Harvest Moon always nails presentation for the entrees. Alex ordered a pork chop and he ate the entire thing. I think just some sauce remained on his plate.

Creme Brulee From Harvest Moon

We were both a tad tired and kind of wanted to just bring dessert back home with us but they can’t make creme brulee to go. Not a big deal so we split the dish. Personally, I think creme brulee can be hit or miss depending on the crust on top but this was the perfect layer of it. After we all but licked the plate clean, we headed home. We played with Bailey a bit before heading to bed after a wonderful date.

Question of the day: If you have a Costco membership, what’s one thing we have to try?

Bonus question: Do you have a chocolate ice cream recipe that does not require an ice cream maker? We’re going to Alex’s coworkers house for dinner and his young daughter asked for chocolate ice cream as dessert. Help!

Dog, Tips

Tips For A New Puppy

Happy hump day friends! In the comments on Monday, Tracy asked me for tips on a new puppy since she just got an 8 week old pup. After typing out a long email (sorry girl!) I thought I’d compile my tips into a blog post as well. In an attempt to keep it short, I’m using bullet points and have it sorted based on categories. If you get a puppy or are thinking about it I hope these tips can help you out!

Before we jump in though, please keep in mind that I’m not an animal expert. This is just from the experience we’ve had with Bailey so far. When we picked her up, she was 14 weeks and is just shy of 6 months. Technically she’s still a puppy but we’ve gotten past some major hurdles that happen when puppies are really young.

Potty Training

img_7069

  • Make them go outside from the start. Dogs get used to the texture in a place they pee so if you use potty training pads, then your puppy may have a hard time going outside.
  • Give LOTS of praise and a treat when they go outside. Alex and I have had success with Crazy Dog brand of treats and there’s a few flavors.
  • If they go inside, yell “NO” and clap to startle the puppy before bringing them outside immediately.
  • To clean up accidents, I find stains don’t occur if you blot them with a rag (if on carpet), spray Resolve pet stain remover and after sitting for a few minutes blot with a rag to remove the scent and any residual liquid. For tile or wood, wiping up the pee is sufficient.

Crate Training

Bailey With Lamb

  • Due to space constrictions, Bailey has always slept near us in the bedroom in her crate. We always leave one toy with her at night just in case she wakes up. Aside from waking us up the first night to go to the bathroom, she never cried at night which was just dumb luck for us.
  • Train them to go into the crate as their safe space. Never put them in the crate as punishment as they will associate the crate with something bad.
  • Use treats to get the puppy walking into the crate on their own from the beginning. We tell Bailey to go to bed and would put a treat in there until she learned what “go to bed” meant and doesn’t need a treat.
  • The first few times Alex worked from home, he put her in the crate to make calls so he didn’t have to worry about accidents. Bailey would whine a bit and try to get his attention. Instead of giving in and letting her out, we let her cry it out and would occasionally “go to the bathroom” so she would see that we were there but she had to get used to being in bed.

Basic Commands

img_6885

  • Give them time to adjust! It’s a new home, new people and new schedule to learn. Don’t start training right away. Except for going to the bathroom. Definitely start right away with that.
  • Instead of long sessions daily, Bailey responded best to short intervals (5-10) minutes that we would do twice a day every 3 times a week. Alex read multiple articles as well as Youtube videos that included studies to show how dogs respond best to this.
  • Start with the basics! Sit, stay and lie down are great commands to know.
  • When the command is followed give praise and a treat so the puppy knows that it’s a good thing. Positive reinforcement is the name of the game!
  • Use hand signals for the commands. Alex and I had a lot of success with this. Determine what hand signals will be for which command and stick with it. The hand signals helped her listen to my family giving commands when we visited them.

Miscellaneous

img_6842

  • When you leave, give your dog some toys to keep in their crate. We give Bailey 2 toys when we go to work. Sometimes I will give her 3 when I go for runs in the afternoon if I feel particularly guilty about leaving her again haha.
  • Determine ahead of time if you want to dog to be on your furniture. For example, we don’t have an expensive couch or anything right now nor do we feel attached to it. We know that in a few years, we’ll be buying a nicer one which we don’t want Bailey to ruin so she isn’t allowed on the couch unless once of us has a weak moment and picks her up.
  • Be consistent! We feed Bailey first thing in the morning and at 4 pm. After a week or so, she figured out to expect food then since her body had become accustomed. Even when we were traveling to my parents for Memorial Day her schedule was the same.

 

If you’re getting a puppy and want more in depth tips or to know more about our experience, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Question of the day: If you have a dog, what’s one of your best tips for a puppy?