Thursday, January 28, 2010

Our Oreo

My mom called me this afternoon to tell me that my brother's cat was put to sleep today, she was 13 years old.

My brother got Oreo when my parents bought our house in 1997. She was always, well, kind of stand-offish as far as cats go, but she was a good cat and a wonderful companion for my brother. She was different, not the typical cuddly "oh oh pet me" kind of cat, but she loved to be with us, and we loved to have her around. She always slept with my brother at the foot of his bed, and the few times that she would want to cuddle with us I remember the silky softness of her long black and white fur very well.

My mother told me that over the past two weeks Oreo (who had been a big cat all her life) started loosing weight at a pretty dramatic rate. Two days ago she stopped eating all together. Today when my dad took her into the Vet they told him that she was in end stage Kidney failure and there was nothing they could do. She had never been sick a day in her life. A couple of hours later she was gone.

I was so shocked by this news. I was home myself just last week! I saw her! She did look thinner then I remember but she never looked like she was sick or in pain...It was pretty difficult for me to process this news.

I am sure most of you have delt with loss in your life of one form or another, but I believe that there is a significant and unique loss that a person can only feel with the loss of an animal. It is impossible to describe to someone who doesn't have pets, who haven't been blessed by their unconditional love and compainionship.

I, along with my family, all loved Oreo and we all will miss her dearly. The sudden shock of this unexpcted loss kind of knocks the wind out of you, but also makes you think of how great the gift is of a pet's love. Even if it isn't the kind of love you expect.


We'll miss you, Oreo...
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. "
(Anatole France)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Joys of going to bed early

I have NEVER, EVER been one to go to bed early. When I was in elementary school I would get into so much trouble for being caught out of bed past my bedtime. I would always read via flashlight to stay awake. In college I don't think I ever went to bed earlier than 12:30am, then the past 5 months of working night shifts pretty much made a normal sleep schedule impossible.

So far this month, (mostly because of a nasty cold I got last week) I have been regularly going to bed at around 10 (last night it was 9:30). The nice thing about it is that I have discovered this wonderful period of time I never had before; the hours between 7-11am. Yesterday I woke up without an alarm at 7:40. I was awake, had breakfast and was hanging out by 8:30, so I decided to go to the gym. I was showered and ready for the day after my workout by 10:30 which is when I used to wake up on a normal day. It seemed that I had nothing but time, it was wonderful! I was in bed reading by 9:00 and went to bed at 9:30 for work this morning. This morning I woke up before my alarm at 5:45!?! WTF? While I was in the shower work called and asked me to come in at 9 instead of 7 so I had an extra 2 hours to have a relaxing breakfast and clean my apartment before going to work, and I had time to write this post.

I might be a convert to "early rising." It's nice to have a morning to get stuff done.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Man where have I been?

Hey, way to start off the year with a total lack of posting. haha.

Well things have been going along at full speed for me for the past two weeks. I got back from Rhode Island on Saturday after a wonderful 10 days visiting with friends and family. I have some pictures to post from my visit home including some family pictures and pictures from Kyle's 24th birthday party.

I haven't yet gone back to work (YES) and I am enjoying the last day of my vacation before I go back to work tomorrow. I have been keeping up with my gym days and today I started the couch to 5-k running plan. Have any of you successfully completed this? I am hoping that I will be able to complete it from start to finish. I downloaded the app for the iphone and I actually really enjoyed my 31 minute run. The app makes it really easy.

I have been reading more. I am on the second book in the Sookie Stackhouse series that True Blood is based on.

living dead in dallas Pictures, Images and Photos

I am interested in starting the TV series as well but I haven't decided if I should wait until I finish the books. If you True Blood fans haven't read the books, I have really enjoyed them so far. Check them out if you want

So you'll hear from me later on today. My friend Suzannah gave birth to her first baby, a girl, while I was in Rhode Island. I am excited to meet her this afternoon!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Two more Days

The buzzer just went off on my dryer, which SHOULD signal me to get up and go fold the laundry, but here I sit, cuddled with my two cats, blogging.

Man I really love slacking off sometimes.

Today was busy, but really productive. I had my last gym session this morning. I really didn't want to pay to go to 24 hour fitness anymore. We DO have a gym at my apartment, but when Kyle deployed I wanted to treat myself and I got a personal trainer at 24 hour fitness. It was so much fun and I learned a lot from him (also it kept me accountable for going to the gym regularly) but it is expensive, and I couldn't justify paying for it anymore, hence today was my last day.

Now comes the hard part. I need to start motivating myself to go to the gym without having to be accountable to anyone but myself (hard to do for anyone). I have done it many times before, I just have to get into a routine.

I have settled on three days at the gym and two days with Jillian

Any of you ladies tried this DVD? I highly recommend it.
It is an ass-kicking 20 minutes but no pain no gain right?

Ok I guess I should go fold that laundry right? Two more days of work before I fly out Thursday. Just have to get through the next 48 hours.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Wedding Album

My Wedding Album came in the mail about two days ago. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.


It's 11"x14" and weighs in at around 8 pounds, no joke



It's fantastic, beautifully laid out, and my personal favorite feature is that the photos are printed on this thick chipboard overlined in plastic, on other words, fingerprint proof, waterproof, "sara"-proof!


In other news my lovely wedding photographer, Faith, got engaged over the holidays! Congrats Faith!!!!

New Flash

I used some of my Christmas money (thank you Kyle!) to get an external flash for my camera to help with my indoor and portrait shots. I am hoping that I will get a lot of use out of it when I go home next week

Here it is!

Check this out.


This is a picture of my coffee table, shutter speed 1/200, f-stop 1.4 taken with the traditional pop-up flash.

The next is the same picture, taken with the SAME settings, with the addition of the 430x, angeled 120 degrees to bounce off the wall behind me


Friday, January 8, 2010

My Weekend at Newport Beach

Haha...I wish this post was actually about a weekend get-away of some type or another, but unfortunately I am WAY too boring for that.


O.K. truth time, I am totally a T.V. Junkie. I am the type of person that likes to have the T.V. or the radio on when I'm cleaning or doing some other project. I hate having silence in the house (that means I can actually hear the voices in my head). My fix of choice, TV on DVD, and this week was season 1 of the OC. Classic, Drama, Teenage angst, SO GOOD!

This weekend I FINALLY finished that quilt I made for Suzannah and gave it to her, she LOVED it! Now it's more photo editing and two more days of work before my flight back to R.I. on Thursday. YAY! Time with family and friends, and lots of free time for cooking and photos. I can't wait!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bacon Mac

Let's be real for a second ladies, who doesn't love some homemade baked macaroni & cheese?....that's what I thought.


Now don't get me wrong, I love me some blue box every now and then, but that's not something I'm gonna serve center stage on my table. This melty cheesy goodness is something you can serve proudly to your mother-in law then eat out of a mug later while you relax on the couch watching bad T.V.

I made this as written and it was fantastic, however next time I prepare it I think i'm going to swap out the bacon for some ham and peas. I'm more of a ham person anyway. The best part of this recipe? No cream, no butter, no whole milk and no, I'm not lying.

Bacon Mac
From: Cooking Light Magazine


* 3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
* 12 ounces strozzapreti or penne pasta
* 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups skim milk, divided
* 2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
* 1/4 cup sliced green onions
* 1 teaspoon hot sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
* Cooking spray


1. Preheat broiler.

2. Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.

3. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What's Going on This Week.

It has come to my attention that I have not blogged about my trip this month.


Ok, ok, let me explain. Kyle has to go to a class for work right near our home town in Rhode Island. When we got the finalized dates Kyle asked his parents if he could just stay home with his parents during the 4 week class, which of course they said yes (I went home in June, he hasn't been back home since our wedding!). So I immediately started plotting to go home with him, I REFUSED to be left here to work while he went home (to OUR hometown, which was MY hometown first! haha)

I managed to get a week and a half off at the end of January, the second half of kyle's class. We'll stay home together (bouncing back and forth between the homes of both parents) until his class ends and fly back home on the 23rd, the day before out first wedding anniversary! The not-so-fun part about all of this is that he has already left for RI, and I am stuck here in San Diego until next Thursday. :-(

So for the next 10 days I am here, working, and killing time.


Good thing I have some good distractions :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

This is my second year sending out holiday cookies to my family and friends. I always do the sugar cookie cutouts because it isn't really Christmas for me until I smell these baking in the oven. I wanted to try flooding with royal icing since my icing last year was kind of….messy ☺. I am really happy with the way these turned out. Although by the end of it I was really “cookied” out. I was literally baking and icing non stop for a week straight on top of working. It was crazy!


This Sugar Cookie Recipe that changed my life (well, not really, but seriously this is a fantastic cookie recipe!) so what are you waiting for, get in the kitchen!

The Ultimate Sugar Cookie Cutouts
from: Good Things Catered From her friend Ashlee


1 1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest
5 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp saltPowdered sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.
-Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.
-Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.
-Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time.
-Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.
-Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away.
-Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes.
-Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

The Super Cute Reindeer Cutters that I got at Williams-Sonoma this year made some really amazing cookies, but they wern't exactly the most durable things. I made 8 and 4 of them broke while I was trying to pack them up for shipping


Oh no! What to do?



MmMmMmmmm.....yummy reindeer

Saturday, January 2, 2010

101 in 1001 List

As promised today I sat down and after a few hours I cranked out my 101 in 1001. Check off one goal for 2010 completed! I had a lot of fun thinking about how good it will feel to check each thing off the list.

101 in 1001

Start Date: Sunday January 3rd 2010
End Date: Sunday September 30th 2012

1) Get a Passport
2) Travel to Europe
3) Take a last minute Vacation
4) Go to Disney World
5) Visit the Midwest
6) Start a newlywed map
7) Surprise my parents with an impromptu visit

Take my Picture
8) Get paid for a photo shoot
9) Take 3 more Photography Classes
10) Shoot a Wedding
11) Go to a photo conference
12) Clean out my photo files on my computer, organize them and back up all my photos on CD’s.
13) Start a Photography Website
14) Update my Camera Equipment
15) Learn to Cut my own matting
16) Have one of my pictures framed in every room of the house
17) Start a 365 project. Be as consecutive as possible.

Family is Everything
18) Call my in-laws myself twice a month (66)
19) Get my brother out for a visit, without my parents.
20) Talk with my sister-in law and brother in law at least once a month (33)
21) Write letters to my Grandparents 10 times.

Friends are Family
22) Pick one friend a month that I haven’t spoken to in awhile, call them up and set up a time to meet or catch up on the phone. (33)
23) Host a game night, four times. (4)
24) Travel to visit a friend, special occasion not necessary

Working Girl
25) Get my TNCC certification.
26) Become a Certified Emergency Nurse
27) Get a Job at a Level-1 Trauma Center
28) Start Graduate School
29) Join a Nursing Committee at work

In the Kitchen
30) Take a cooking class
31) Buy a complete Le Cruset set
32) Try two new Recipes each month (66)
33) Host 5 Dinner parties
34) Buy a new dining room set

Little Rhody Girl
35) Get a Blog Re-design
36) Still have an Active posting habit
37) Develop a Weekly post
38) Do a giveaway
39) Design a Blog Button

Girls just want to have fun
40) Go to Las Vegas with just the Girls
41) Host a Girls Night in
42) Have a date night with Kyle at least once a month (33)
43) Watch 101 movies that I have never seen before
44) Finish all the seasons of LOST

These are a few of my favorite things
45) Buy a New Macbook Pro
46) Get a copy of Photoshop CS
47) Buy a Kooba Handbag
48) Get a Bose stereo

Health and Fitness
49) Enroll in Yoga, go weekly for a month at least
50) Start Spinning
51) Complete the couch to 5-k plan
52) Run a 5-k race, and finish it.
53) Buy a pair of Reebok Easy-Tones.
54) Eat Vegetarian for a month
55) Get a massage
56) Get a facial
57) Start taking a folic acid supplement
58) Do the 30 day Shred, every day for 30 days.

Artsy – Craftsy
59) Complete a full size quilt
60) Learn to make my own stamped jewelry
61) Finish my wedding Scrapbook
62) Re-pot my plants
63) Start a vegetable garden
64) Start a fish tank

Music of the Night
65) Join a Church Choir (hopefully a bell choir too)
66) Join a Civic Band
67) Go home for an alumni marching band event
68) Go to a DCI Final
69) Go see a musical on Broadway
70) See an Opera, (like a real one)

Home is Where the Heart is
71) Invest in property
72) Redecorate two rooms from scratch
73) Buy a new bed
74) Buy a new living room set
75) Invest in some art

Experiences to the Extreme
76) Go parasailing
77) Ride on a Zipline
78) Go out on New Year’s Eve
79) Try Snowboarding again
80) Ski a black diamond run all the way without falling
81) Go to Comicon
82) Try Surfing

Great is My Faithfulness
83) Read the bible (the whole thing)
84) Complete a year of devotionals 5 days a week
85) Join a church committee
86) Take a bible study class
87) Be a Lay Reader

(my husband’s) In the Navy!!!
88) Become more active with the Officer’s Wives Group
89) Host a Navy wives get together
90) Find a true friend in another Navy wife
91) Get though another Deployment

Money Makes the World Go Round
92) Double the money in our Roth IRA
93) Start a Vacation Savings Account
94) Start a Savings Jar, put in one dollar a day for the duration of the project.
95) Save all loose change in the same place, roll it once a month and add it to the Savings Jar.

96) Make a list of 1001 things that make me happy
97) Make another list of 101 things that make me sad and burn it
98) Read an average of 1 book a month (33)
99) Volunteer for 101 hours
100) Go for an entire week without twitter, texting and use my phone just for phone calls.
101) Donate $2 to charity for every item not completed on this list.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!

To all my Readers,

Sorry I have been MIA for so many weeks. I bet most of you thought I was long gone huh? Well I actually thought about the blog alot over my 3 week-ish hiadus and let me tell you I have some BIG plans for the upcoming year.

So many of the other bloggy girls were so good in keeping up with their posting after their husbands came home. I however, depite my love of multi-tasking, was not able to keep up my posting. Kyle being here made me feel so happy, so complete, that being with him totally consumed me, not to mention the business of the holidays! I will over the next month be back-posting some but I figure 1-1-10 is a good place to just start up fresh.

Here is a short list of some of the Goals I have for myself. I use the words Goals and not Resolutions because let's be frank people, no one ever keeps their New Year's Resolutions.

1) I want to keep up the blog, posting and commenting often.

2) I want to look back on my photography next year and say "wow I have come a long way!" This includes taking another class. (and learning to use the new flash that I just bought with my Christmas money, THANKS to kyle and my Grandparents!!!!)

3) I want to try and cook something new each month, something challenging that I have never tried to make before

4) I want to talk to my brother more often

5) I want to watch T.V. less and read more

6) I want to run a 5-K and not get in last place

7) I want to start to volunteer

8) I want to look into getting my Graduate Degree

9) I want to finish my quilt and start a new one

10) I want to start a 101 in 1001.

There it is, my 10 for 2010.

So for all of you that are still out there in the bloggy universe, I'm still here! So thanks for sticking around

-Little Rhody Girl