Getting Back To The Basics

A place to show the changes in our yard, our garden, our home, and our life.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Secret Santa

We had a secret santa on a forum I belong to and I received my package today! Thanks to Erin for such thoughtful gifts - two pretty name tags for the girls' collars and a lovely necklace for me.

The unwrapping!
Violet's tag with kyanite
 Sadie's tag with banded agate
 Ruby Zoisite focal piece with garnet and moss agate
 Erin's choices of stone for me were actually pretty spot on. The necklace she made for me is on the right and one I made is on the left. I dont think the center stone is exactly the same. I think it was garnet something or other. I actually like Erin's choices better. More rich reds and greens compared to mine.
 Sadie showing off her new tag! It's out of focus but you get the idea.
 Miss Vi knocked off her pretty stone in about 5 minutes secondary to a vigorous neck scratch :(

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's a tough life

Enjoying some down time with her new toy, Mr Ducky. Everyone is tired after all that eating they did.

Naughty or Nice?

Today is Christmas eve and we spent the day at home with the girls. What do I do with my down time? Dress the girls up and take pics. What else am I supposed to do?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Avocado Chicken & Braised Leeks

Thanks to our organic veggie box deliveries, every 2nd week we get a box full of mysterious fruits and veggies that I don't typically buy from the grocery store - mostly because I never ate them and have no idea how to prepare them, etc. So these deliveries force me to broaden our palate's horizon.

I had three avocados. I didn't really feel like making avocado dip or chicken salad so I found this recipe:

I have lots of greens - including three big leeks. I have never bought or prepared a leek. I've probably eaten them before in restaurants or something like that, but never in a home made meal.

I found this recipe on <--have I mentioned how much I love this site? I love it. A lot.
Hello easy recipe that cooks up my leeks!
(note to future self - I only cooked it for 9 minutes, not the recommended amount. Anything more would have been too mushy)

Not bad! Aside from the fact that rob doesn't like avocado (haha) it wasn't bad at all. The leeks were maybe a little slimey in texture. Not sure if that was my doing or just the nature of the beast. We'd definitely make it again if we get more in our box though.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Odds and Ends

Here's a bunch of random odds and ends  -

Productive weekend!
  • House is cleaned (thanks, Jackie!)
  • My office is cleaned and organized
  • Rob actually managed to somewhat kinda clean his office
  • Sadie successfully completed a 3 jump run at flyball
  • Violet didn't eat the black fuzzy shepherd dog at rally (yay! No dog eating!)
  • Downloaded Pomplamoose christmas music
  • Our basement didn't flood!
That last one is important. The pacific northwest saw a lot of rain this weekend combined with a lot of mountain melting. Thank you, la nina. I wish it were all snow.

Our basement isn't exactly water proof. A lot of water creeps in from the basement door and probably through various cracks on the concrete flooring. So knowing how bad it was going to be this weekend I had Rob go get some sandbags from Lowes to try and keep most of the water out of the basement. It actually worked! there is water down there but it could have been MUCH worse!
The garage wasn't so lucky. There is a drain in the driveway but it is clogged. Obviously. By the time I took this pic the water had started to recede but I think you can see the water line in the garage. Definitely the most water I've seen in there since we bought it 2.5 years ago.
 Thankfully Jeff, our realtor, has given me the number of the plumber he uses.
We got our new freezer! It's in the basement. The girls are on a raw food diet so this helps us with storage. Plus now we have room for costco runs!
My clean office! OMG! This only took me 2.5 years...
No post is complete unless I post some pics of the girls. They've been loving on these rawhide bones all weekend. They're sun-dried and compressed so they're not quite the usual rawhide.
I think Violet likes it
 And finally a little bit of home made hot cocoa to burn off the chill of the rain.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Photos

So last night I finally got around to taking Christmas photos of the girls so we can hurry up and make those Christmas cards and mail them out!

My girls love me. They must or they wouldnt be so tolerant.

I should also point out that today is Sadie's 2nd birthday. A birthday post will follow, probably after this weekend.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Games Night Party Thingy

The full photo experience can be found here:

Oranges with cloves in them. yay for warm cider recipes

Amber made these. Aren't they cute?
Christmas colored martinis! Pomegranate and apple
Fiona and momma, Kate
I learned it is hard to take pics of toddlers and puppies simultaneously
Audrey, Amber's pumpkin
Proof that Michelle + kids does NOT = oil + water
Fiona is a card shark
Fiona is showing daddy all the right moves to play
Back to the ham
Everyone is pooped by the end

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Little Monsters

Tonight we're having a little christmas party with friends and board games. So I decided to get the girls some christmas outfits to be festive!

Aren't they just the cutest?


So every year the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Puget Sound (SBTCPS) puts out an annual and I decided to buy a full page color ad to put up cute pics of my babies. I get to brag a little and it helps support the club.

Seriously guys it is now 1pm and I have been working on this since 8am. I use a mac and I couldnt figure out what program to use to make this thing. I found this program (ipages) and it works great! Except for a few things - I can't figure out how to get it to the person in charge of the annual! The file is too large to send it in gmail and that's even assuming they have a program that can read an ipages document. So I saved it as a doc and sent it praying that it is readable.

As a back up I've been trying to upload it as a google doc and that failed miserably. I tried loading it onto iworks website and the pictures didnt come through correctly (one picture was completely wrong, another was super pixelated). w t f.

I also found it tricky to get a screen shot. I had to make it ignore the "typos" and then was super quick to snap the picture so the different editing tools didn't show up in the below picture. Yes I tried to hide them. it didnt work.

So after hours of work and 6 screen shots, here it is.

Pardon me while I go get a stiff drink now and get ready for the christmas party I'm supposed to be hosting in a few hours.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Doggy Cookies!

So last night and this morning I worked on a couple of dog cookie recipes.

Recipe #1 -
3 jars baby food (should not contain onion or garlic)
1/4 cup cream of wheat cereal
1/4 cup dry milk
Combine all ingredients together, mixing well. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten each ball with a fork. Bake at 350*F (175*C) for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. 

I used beef baby food. Smells awful. I dont see how a baby would want to eat that crap. The pups thought it was AWESOME!

I used a cookie dough scoop. Boootiful.  

Here is Sadie standing guard by the oven just in case a cookie tries to escape
The finished product.
Sadie is hoping this cookie commits suicide

Here are a few recipes my dogs love:

Banana Mutt Cookies
Makes about 20 mutt pleasers

1 1/2 cups ripe mashed bananas
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.
Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet, and press flat with a fork.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, then cool on a rack before serving. Store in an airtight container. 

Finished Product
 Violet is a good helper!
 Sampling the finished product. Or more specifically - waiting patiently to sample said finished product.
(they approved)