Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: And One Last Thing

And One Last Thing ...And One Last Thing ... by Molly Harper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lacey Terwilliger is living what she thinks is the perfect life. She has a home in a cozy small town. She has a husband who provides for her. She is able to stay at home and keep the house while helping her husband run their successful insurance agency. She is a member of the Junior League. Everything is perfect.

Until it isn’t.

After a confused and slightly drunk local florist delivers flowers to her on a random week day, Lacey discovers her husband is having an affair with his secretary. And he is doing a bad job of hiding it!

In an act of revenge Lacey makes a very public example of her husband and then flees town to seek solace in her summer cabin.

While in hiding Lacey learns who she really is and what she is looking for in her life this time around.

I found this book to be an absolute riot. I loved it from the first page all the way to the last. Lacey is loveable and relatable if not a little over the top. She is a woman you want to cheer on as she blazes her path into a life where she can be the Real Lacey.

Great job, Ms. Harper!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

I Need a Kevin in My Life!

Last week Shawn returned home from Dog School with Cupcake with the news that she was very close to passing her class. At the end of the night the teacher told Cupcake and Kevin they would pass next week if they get their “down” mastered.

Wait! Hold up!

Who is Kevin? I needed to know.

Turns out Kevin is another dog in her class.

I don’t know what it was about that name but when I heard it I just knew I needed to have a cat named Kevin in my life. He needs to be a boy (obviously) and he needs to be a kitten. He would fit in well with Peter and Eddie. I just know it!

So I tell my BFF Shannon about this need and she starts sending me links to Catteries (who the heck knew cat breeders were called Catteries?!) because Shawn said I could only get a Kevin if he was a Doll Face Persian.

Did you know that Doll Face Persian’s from a Cattery are like $2,000?

Well, no Kevin for me.

At least not right now. But some day I will have a Kevin in my life. Most likely after Eddie has passed on (he is 13 but Shawn says he will live to be 23 because he is so ornery).

If I wait until Eddie is no longer with us then I can get whatever cat I want. So, in 10 years I will have a Kevin and he will be a black with gray striped tabby. Or another big orange tabby. Only time will tell.
Peter in the dog food bin when he was about 8 months old. This picture doesn't really go with this post but I found it on my computer today and just had to share it.
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: A Little Night Magic

A Little Night MagicA Little Night Magic by Lucy March
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the cute story of Olivia. A waitress in a small town in upstate New York who is feeling stuck in her life and looking for a big change. Just as she is about to board a plane to Europe to get away from it all she meets a woman who changes her life in an even bigger way than she could have imagined.

I found this book to be a fun, quick read. The story was a nice blend of love story, adventure, coming of age, and super natural. It was a bit predictable but that really didn't spoil anything for me.

I recommed this book to anyone who likes Chick Lit or Cozy Mysteries.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And We Have A Level 3 In Our Home

To say we have been busy would be an understatement. The last few weeks have been normal busy plus cookies sales for Girl Scouts, final project for our Girl Scout Journey, huge presentation for me at work, huge "troubled" project to fix at work, extra day off from school and work turn swimming outing, and goodness knows what else has been going on.

Oh, yes. Cupcake has been training extra hard for her test.

To pass out of Level 2 Dog School she needed to be able to lay down on command without a treat to guide her down.

She practiced. She studied by laying on the couch, laying in her crate, laying on the bed...  I mean, she is a bulldog so the act of laying down is not new to her. Just the command.

She was so nervous yesterday she didn't eat breakfast. (Or she didn't eat breakfast for so other reason, I just think it's funnier this way).

At 6 pm when Heidi and I loaded into the van to go to Girl Scouts, Shawn and Cupcake loaded into the truck and headed to her big test.

At 7:30 Shawn met us at the Girl Scout meeting for Heidi's final presentation bearing the news that...

She is so proud!

It's official!
Cupcake had passed level 2!!  Way to go Cupcake! You are such a smart dog!!

I just hope in level 3 they teach her not to eat books....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

When I See You Smile

Yesterday I read a blog post over at ELF that inspired this little post.

She asked what song would you consider "your song" for you and your husband/boyfriend/partner.

This had me thinking a bit and I realized we have a lot of songs that we hear that make us thing of the other one. But the song we danced to at our wedding was When I See You Smile by Bad English.

I love this song. It reminds me of when Shawn and I first met working at K-Mart when we were in High School. That job made me crazy. The store was always messy and short staffed which meant we were always, always busy even if there were no customers in the store.

I was going to high school, part of the Marching Band, and working at least 20 hours a week so I was often tired and short on patience.

It was Back To School Season (which used to be August, not July) and I was desperately trying to clean up the school supplies while backing up the front check outs. The supervisor was a nightmare of a woman (who ended up getting fired for coming in to work one Saturday morning still drunk from the night before and falling asleep in a shopping cart. True story.) and she was making my night very painful.

Every time I would walk by Shawn, who was working in the Sporting Goods department, he would say "Hey, let me see your smile."

I would give him the biggest, fakest, cheesiest smile I could muster.

This was one of the things he did that made me fall in love with him. We started dating about 6 months later and never looked back.

When I was planning our first dance at our wedding I realized that every time I heard that song it reminded me of this story and it became "our song."

What is your song? Does it have a story behind it?

Happy Valentines Day to all who celebrate, Happy Thursday to those who don't!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A New Goal

Those of you who know me in person and those of you who have been hanging around the blog for a while know that 18 months ago I was 40 pounds heavier than I am now. You also know that I spent July 2010 to May 2011 counting calories, wearing my BodyBugg at all times, and running at least three times a week.
After that first 40 came off I felt like a new person. I am still getting used to this new body. Some days I am very happy with it. Other days I am confused by it.
But, as I have said a number of times, I love the way my butt looks.
I love my curves. They make me who I am. And I am finding that as I tone and tighten I am not losing the ones who define me, I am losing the ones I struggled to hide.
Would I like to lose another 20 to 30 pounds? Yes.
Am I willing to count my calories and strap the BodyBugg back on? No.
Why? Well, at this point in my life I am just simply not motivated to write down every little thing I eat. It’s never been something I enjoy and it never will be.
As for the BodyBugg, I took it off in November because after a particularly warm night of sleep I woke up with it sort of stuck to my arm. This happens often, a soft pull and it comes free. This time it pulled my skin and I had a nasty blister on my arm for over two weeks. I couldn’t put the BodyBugg back on until it healed completely which was about six weeks. After that I just decided to keep it off.
The BodyBugg taught me a lot. It taught me how much I do not move in a day. It taught me that I don’t take nearly as many steps in a day as I had thought and the only way to meet my Doctor’s recommended 10,000 steps is to run 3 miles.
I don’t know if this post has a point, I guess I am trying to say that I have finally, honestly, come to terms with where my body is right now. I consistently fit into a size 14 jeans, my curves look good, I can keep up with my very active daughter, and I can chase a dog around the neighborhood without dying.
So, I have changed my goals from weight lose goal to mileage. My goal this week is to run 12 miles on the treadmill. I am running 4 miles in a session to prepare for the 7k I will be participating in on March 16th. I am able to run 2 miles without a break and I look forward to pushing that in the coming days.
I hope this post inspires you a little bit if that is what you are looking for. I started as a 240 pound 31 year old who could not run for 45 seconds without wanting to pass out. After a lot of hard work I am now a 198 pound 33 year old who can run 2 miles straight and can complete a very respectable 4 miles. If I can do it, so can you!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Night Sledding Deserves a Quiet Night

Yesterday had the makings of a crazy, go, go, go day but with the looming snow I put the stops on all that.

We could have delivered Girl Scout Cookies all over town, ran a bunch of errands, attended the RV show at the convention center, went to open skating at the ice arena.

Instead we were homebodies. Well, our version of homebodies which still meant leaving the house.

Heidi had early morning hockey practice then we made a stop at Target for Valentines Cards. This is the first time we have ever been completely ready for the school Valentines party more than the night before! YAY us!!

We headed home where I prepared my shopping list and threw in a load of laundry. The three of us made a quick trip to the grocery store then back home. Heidi had two of her BFF's over, Sophia and Piper, so they played while the snow fell outside.

I did laundry, cleaned my dining room turn mudroom in the winter, cleaned the kitchen, payed billed, filed my taxes. I cannot tell you how great I feel just having a clean dining room to come home to and knowing I am done with taxes for this year. Huge stress relief!

Shawn headed off to his hockey game at 5pm and I rounded up all the Kuykendall kids I could find, piled them in the van, and hauled them down to the sledding hill at the elementary school.

The new snow was perfect. It was a warm 30 degrees. And the kids, Cupcake included had a blast.

Heidi stopping just long enough for a picture
Makayla after a few trips up the hill.

Makayla helping Heidi get the snowboard on her feet.

Cupcake had a blast! She loved seeing all the kids, romping with another dog who also came sledding, and running around in the snow.

It's a pretty big hill!!
I didn't sled but I ran around with Cupcake, tried to take pictures (so hard with a crazy dog pulling on my arm), and cheered the kids on.

After about an hour and a half we piled back into the van and returned to our respectable housed (I had 6 kids who live in 2 houses) where Heidi and I crawled into my bed to finish the night watching the Grammy's.

Shawn won his hockey game and Cupcake slept like a rock.

All in all it was the perfect Sunday.

I will leave you with this little video of Heidi and Emily doing cartwheels down the sledding hill.  Heidi is on the left, Emily on the right.

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cupcake Shame

I am hoping you all know what Dog Shaming is by now but if you don't I highly suggest you google it right now.

No, wait, not now. When you are done reading this! But then go right then.

I love, love the idea of dog shaming and I wish it was a thing back in the day when Daisy Mae was a pup. She would have been shamed for eating the left shoe of every pair of shoes I own, for eating the legs on the table in the kitchen, for eating my couch...  I am sure the list could go on and on but that over 10 years ago so I have blocked most of it out.

Cupcake, however is fully susceptible shamed via Dog Shaming. Today I will share the two that have been shared thus far.

I eat cat toys and throw them up on mom's feet in the middle of the night.
 This first installment of Dog Shame has a little story that goes with it.

One night a few weeks ago, I am comfortably sleeping in my bed when at 2:30 am I am awaken by the sound of a dog barfing. When Pig would throw up he would heave for 2 minutes so there was always time to get him outside before the actual act happened. Well, as we all know, Cupcake is not Pig. She heaves twice and out it all comes.

Right on my feet.

Yep. At 2:30 in the morning I woke up to Cupcake throwing up on my feet.

I jumped out of bed and grabbed some tissues to clean it up. When my dogs throw up I always look at it to see what came out. Judge me if you want but dogs not just throw up for no reason. I need to know what they ate.

Man, oh man did this pile of barf smell to high heaven. It was just horrible.

But I had to sift through it a bit to see what was in there.

I pulled out (using a tissue) a hard, solid ball.

"She ate a mouse!" I yell.

"She ate a mouse?!" Shawn sleepily asks.

"Well, Peter's toy mouse. But yeah, she totally at that mouse."

No wonder she threw up. She ate a mouse stuffed with catnip.

I finished cleaning up pulled the blanket off the bed (always grateful we sleep with two comforters on the bed) and went back to sleep. Little did I know at that time this was the start of a week of her waking up at 2:30 every morning for some reason or another. I felt after that she deserved her first dog shame.

Mom said this book was good. I thought it tasted like paper.
 The second dog shame has a shorter story. When a puppy gets to be closer to the one year age you start to give them more freedom and they, in turn, become naughty. They are like a 3 year old looking for their boundaries. And like a 3 year old they prefer your stuff to their toys.

One morning I was doing my normal "get ready for work" routine when I realize Cupcake is just being to quiet.

I walk out to the living room to find her curled up in my chair enjoying my book.

Only, her version of enjoying my book meant eating it!

The kicker? I borrowed this book from the Share Library in my office building. Sigh.

I went to the used book store and picked up a new copy then returned both to the girl at the library who totally laughed at me. Thus earning Cupcake another dog shame.

I am certain there are more to come but to end this longer than intended Friday morning post, I leave you with a picture I took of Cupcake last night before we went to bed.

Such a bulldog!

Happy Friday everyone!

PS - you can see Cupcake Shame and other awesomely random Cupcake pictures by following me on Instagram - Karamae31

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review: Blood Lust by T. Lynne Tolles

Blood Lust (Blood, #3)Blood Lust by T. Lynne Tolles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third installment in Tolles Blood Series takes us down a different path then the first two stories. While the first two books revolved around the O’Rielly sisters and the Bloomington brothers, this third book is mostly about Darby, the elder O’Rielly sister.

While it was different and I did miss the other characters, it was the most addicting book of the series. I could not put this book down and read it every second I had, finishing it in two days.
At the conclusion of the second book, in true Tolles fashion, she introduces Dominic leaving the reader to wait for book three to know what adventure Dominic brings.

Dominic is the Uncle of the Bloomington brothers who raised the boys after their parents were killed. His son is gravely ill and since Vampires cannot get sick Dominic does not know how to make him better. Against Devon’s wishes, Devon and Darby fly across the country to help Dominic. Devon is so angry he becomes cold and distant from Darby causing her to question the strength of their relationship.

No one in the family will tell Darby why Devon is so upset until Dominic’s son, Anton is nearly left for dead by his own wife. Darby starts to put the pieces together and gets Anton to confide in her about his wife. Things only get worse from there until Darby is all alone living in Massachusetts with her entire family thinking she has gone loony.

The first few chapters of the story made me wonder why a strong woman like Darby would put up with the way she was being treated. The middle chapters had me rooting for her but wondering why she didn’t use her magic to find what she was looking for. The last half of the book Tolles brought out the real Darby, the quick thinking, witty, crafty Darby the readers love redeeming any frustration from the first few chapters and making everything right again.

I look forward to reading the fourth book – Bloodstone Heart.

Again, I would recommend this to anyone over the age of 15 interested in Vampire Drama Young Adult fiction.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fitness Update - Week of Feb 6th

I haven't written a fitness update in a few weeks so you get one today! How exciting for you!!

I still haven't really lost any weight but I have come to terms with that. I know the reason is that I haven't embraced the food thing at all. If I want to lose weight I really have to count my calories, not just watch what I eat. Since I really don't eat all too bad I have to change little things like bread to 100 calorie sandwich rounds and pretzels to carrots.

I just really haven't been super motivated in these cold months to make those changes and I am okay with that because of what happened the other night.

I am laying in bed pressing on my lower stomach. It feels sort of hard and strange. At first I am a little weirded out but then I realise those are my abs! I know this probably sounds odd to those of you who have abs or who have had them in the past but I haven't had them since I was 13.

That was 20 years ago!

So, while I may not have lost any weight I am totally getting lower abs. And I will celebrate that.

Not with a chocolate fudge cake! But in theory and motivation.

On Sunday I set a goal that I will run 12 miles this week. So far I have completed 4 with 4 more scheduled tomorrow and the final 4 on Saturday.

Another win? Well, I can run 4 miles in the treadmill in 53 minutes without dying. I am running a 7k in mid-March (7k = 4.1 miles) and my goal is to finish in under 55 minutes. At this point I know I can do it!

I am so happy I am done! I mean I am so happy I did it! Sweaty, Hot Mess after a run at the Community Center.

That's me (#5610) running the Team Ortho Get Lucky 7k last March. I was in a Running Magazine!

Monday, February 4, 2013

I Heart the Superbowl!

I love the Superbowl for one reason. My friends Jenny and Matt host a party and I get to some of my favorite people.

These are people I have been friends with since High School. You know, the friends who know all of your secrets from way back when you were 16 and dumb.

These guys are like family. No matter where our lives take us we will always be connected.

Everyone brings something to share (so there is a ton of awesome food) so we eat until we cannot sit comfortably.

There are two TV's. One in the basement where the guys gather to actually watch the game.

And the one upstairs where the rest of us mostly have it on for background noise.

I don't see the game save for watching the scoreboard to see who is winning the numbers board.

I don't see the commercials because that's when the guys come up for more food and it's just to loud.

I do see the halftime show. And I generally love it every year.

But I do get to spend 4 hours with these people who I consider my extended family and their kids. And Heidi gets to play with kids who she really likes but doesn't see too often.

As an added bonus for Heidi, she got to sell Girl Scout cookies with a fellow Daisy, Maddie, to everyone at the party.

And as an added bonus for me, I finally got to meet Jenny and Matt's newest addition, Ryanne.

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 1, 2013

That Time I Had to Have Glass Surgically Removed From My Foot

It all started last night. I had just gotten home from Atlanta and was walking around the house in my socks when all of a sudden I got stabbed in the heel by something very sharp.

"Ouch! What the heck?" I said (or maybe yelled).

I reached down and pulled a shard of glass out of my sock.

"Really, what the heck? Did someone break something?" I asked.

No one responded.

I threw the shard in the trash and went about my evening.

An hour later, after returning from dropping Heidi at Gymnastics, I am walking around the house unpacking my suitcase when I realize my heel really hurts when I put pressure on it.

I take my sock off and there is a black spot right in the center of my heel. I try to see if I can just pull it out but it is wedged in there.

I throw myself on the floor in front of Shawn and (dramatically) put my foot in his lap.

"What is in my foot?" I (shriek) ask.

"Um... I don't know. Go get a tweezers and a flashlight."

Now that I know this ginormous (tiny) shard of glass is in my heel I lose the ability to walk normal and hobble around the house locating the tweezers and a headlamp.

I toss myself back on the ground. Shawn starts to poke at it and I (freak) tense a little. Which is apparently Cupcake's queue to come jump on my head while I lay on the floor and hit me in the face with her toy.

"Mama!!  You are on the floor!! Play with me!! Why you scream? Play with me!! MAMAMAMAMAMAMA!!!!" Cupcake seemed to be saying.

After (a lot) a little (screaming and crying) whimpering on my end Shawn says I need to soak my foot to loosen it up a bit.

Again I hobble around the house looking for something to soak my foot in.

A bread pan! Of course!  It is the perfect size 9!

Check out my AWESOME pedicure! I love Hanna Nails so much I get a pedi every time I am in Atlanta.

I sit here for a few minutes soak as the water gets increasingly cold. I am fighting off cats left and right who love that I am now keeping a bread pan of water for them in the living room. They just want to know why my foot is in their water.

I (whine) tell Shawn the water has gone cold so we are probably ready to try again.

I hobble back over to where he is sitting and toss my leg back up on his lap. More (screaming, crying, flinching) whimpering on my end ensues. More Cupcake whacking me in the head with her toy also ensues.

Shawn says "Hang on, this might hurt."

What?! It has been hurting all along! If that wasn't HURT what are you about to do to me?!

I brace myself, he yanks, it's out.

A sheet of glass the size of a plate glass window (the size of a discarded pinkie fingernail) is pulled from my heel and I instantly feel better.

So maybe the title of this post is a bit dramatic.

And maybe my Facebook post last night was also a bit dramatic.

But I will not apologize for it! That suck hurt like nobodies business!

Happy Friday everyone!