Friday, December 27, 2013

Liberty and Justice for All, Y'all

I hope you all had a great Christmas, etc. (seriously, I am WAY too lazy to write out all the many things you may have celebrated, so I give you an etc. with all my love).  Speaking of differences and awesomeness, gay marriage (read: marriage) is now legal in Utah.  Several appeals have been denied.  Of course, our Governor is appealing to the Supreme Court, but that will take time, which means that there is time to get married.  This is a HUGE breakthrough.  Y'all this is UTAH.  UTAH.  This is HUGE.  So, congratulations to all my friends and to every couple in love.  It was definitely a Marry Christmas (pun!) in this ol' red state.  I was especially thrilled to see that the reverend who married my husband and me out performing marriages like crazy.  You go, Rev. Curtis Price!  

So, let's get to the updates on sweet Guy.  He is doing really well.  I am going crazy right now.  We had vincristine yesterday, which we have not had a problem with in past rotations.  However, as a precaution advised by our oncologist, Guy is now getting half a can of pumpkin puree in his meals after this medication.  This is one giant hell of a mess.  Especially since I started letting Coops lick the bowl at the end (this is the ONLY way to keep him calm while I feed Guy).  Little pumpkin face.  

Speaking of Coopsies, he had a terrible infection from the pollution here.  Congrats, LA.  Your air is better than ours.  At any rate, he seems to be pretty much cleared up after a course of antibiotics.  Guy had the same thing last year.  Geeze... I thought I could never handle seeing him as sick as he was then.  Thanks, cancer.  My husband also got us a HEPA filter for the bedroom, which has been great for all of us since I am allergic to the puppies.

Chemo has now been changed to every other week rather than weekly.  While this is good news as far as Guy getting closer to remission, I have been struggling with it.  I mean, our critical care vet and his technician have become a big part of my support system and it will be hard not to have that as frequently.  But, you go, Guy!  You brave little soldier!  I still don't know how long we will be in chemo.  I think it will be at least a couple more months.  I really don't know how all this works, nor did I ever hope to. 

We are wishing you all a very happy new year!  Please send your prayers, positive thoughts, wishes on stars or eyelashes, what-have-you to our sweet boy.  I am also selling some gorgeous clothing to help pay for chemo, so leave me a reply if you're interested.  I'm a size xs/0/25 and I have a knock-out pair Betsey Johnson stilettos that I have never worn in size 6 (fits like 6.5).

All our love from my family to you and yours.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Guy Update

So, I know I haven't been present on this blog for a long time and I am basically using this URL- for the time being- to update those concerned about Guy.  If you are not a Facebook "friend", or a personal friend then here's the short of it: Guy was given a death sentence called lymphoma.  We are trying to defy that sentence as long as we can (we are fighting 0-2% chance of actually being cancer-free), which means that currently we are immersed in chemo.  That is my life right now.  Cancer is my life.  Don't get me wrong... life is still wonderful, but it's shit as well.  A whole new brand of turd.  Cancer is cancerous.

Some of you may know that in late October Guy received his first dose of doxorubicin, which is one of the medications he was supposed to receive with his chemo.  He had a severe and life threatening reaction to the drug that left our babe in the ICU for ~30 hours and mama still hasn't fully recovered.  But he's a tough little bug and he bounced back like magic.  Within a few days of the reaction his white blood cell count was back to 100% and, a week after that, so were his platelets.

This past Wednesday we were scheduled for another dose of doxorubicin, but we consulted with our oncologist about giving a lower dose, or using an alternate drug.  After I posed the question whether we would be lowering his chance of actually kicking the cancer (as opposed to temporary remission) with the alternate drug, we decided on a third medicine and he has been handling it gorgeously.

We have had to keep him on a "bland" diet to avoid serious nausea.  My attempts at re-introducing his dry food in small doses was not going over well.  I alternate brown rice with boiled chicken and half a can of "bland" wet food (the latter is necessary to get his veggies, calcium, etc... the former two are mainly for fiber and weight gain) with plain oatmeal, boiled chicken and the other half of the wet food.  He has to be fed by hand to control the pace and thereby controlling his nausea.  I strongly recommend this diet to anyone who is, or who will go through this hell.  It has kept our babe stable and comfortable.  He is almost always happy as evidenced below.

Guy gave mama his dreamiest smile during a visit to the ICU

The kids in their Christmas sweaters in front of the tree.  Guy tolerates his and Cooper LOVES his.

Happy Holidays, y'all.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring Forward

So, a LOT has happened in the last two weeks:

For example, I took this photo of Guy.  Oh, and Cooper is officially my baby!!! NO BIG DEAL!  OMGZ!

My amazing brother and sister-in-law (I mean, I really just consider her my sister, but I don't want to get called on a technicality here) made the incredibly difficult decision to give Cooper to us permanently.  While they love and adore him, it's really hard to keep up with a special-needs dog when you've already got 5 kids to keep in line.  Also, Cooper and I are therapeutic for each other... the epitome of symbiosis;  he is my rhino and I am his bird.

Guy has been taking it rather hard, but doing a pretty stand-up job.  Attention sharing is hard, y'all.  Really, really hard.  

So, that happened AND we went to look at a rental house last Sunday.  We've been on the hunt now for over a year, but we were JUST starting to get serious.  After a grundle of disappointments, we landed here:

Right smack dab in the middle of the 'burbs!  I am so ready for suburbia.  So so ready.  So, we're in the middle of moving now too.  This darling little house is going to be better for us in so many ways I can hardly stand it, but most especially because the majority of my time will be spent on the main floor (it also sports a killer basement with lots of light), so Cooper will not have so many stairs to tackle.  Our current stairs now are treacherous for anyone, let alone a special-needs bulldog.  Look at my kids!  No offense, but they are way cuter than your kids *shesaidwithamothersbias*

I have been so horribly depressed and our current living situation was most assuredly adding to it.  Now I am finally motivated to put all the cool tips and tricks I've been hoarding on Pinterest to good use.  My husband won't know what hit him when he finds out I haven't just been wasting time online!  We are going to have one hell of an organized and clean house, y'all.  Mark my words.  And four bedrooms!  Which means that we still have the guest room plus individual offices.  Oh my heavenly days!

That's Coop on the stoop.  And I already have the swankiest soccer car (read: dog toting) car in the neighborhood!  I mean, as long as you don't get in and smell it, or whatever.  Stale dog.  The car is practically MADE of stale dog.  *hangsheadinshame*

So all that's been going on and recovering from depression and working and CFS and just... LIFE.  

I did manage to do some cooking, but I only remember these really nasty crock pot pork chops and these totally amazeballs (and incredibly simple) baked tacos that I made.  The tacos made a TON, so I froze a pan and they baked just swimmingly when I was ready to thaw them out and hit up round two.

This was originally a photo I took to show Dana how I miss her so and a shining example of aging gracefully as well:

Now it's my back-to-blogging head shot.  I'll be better.  I HAVE to be.  I have my own office now.

Spring clean your life, yo!


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Greetings


Roared one of the Easter Mice.  This year we were once again visited by our usual Easter Mouse (the bunny always skips us).  Easter Mouse 2010:

Easter Mouse 2011:

Easter Mouse 2012:

This year he was joined by a cohort and it was delightful:

So, this has been one hell of a week and I pray that someday soon that phrase will not be so common to me.  I'm not counting on it until my husband finishes his dissertation, however.  I am opting only to talk about the good, so let's hop to it (OMGZ! Pun... total pun).  

I needed some extra love (given and taken), so Cooper spent the week with us.  He may or may not be spending a LOT more time with us.  I'll let you know what I know when I know it.  He helped Guy and I celebrate our 3rd Anniversary!

We got a dog pizza to ring it in thanks to the fine folks at Ma and Paws Bakery.

I finally caved and bought the Karen Walker sunglasses I have been lusting over and I made this face to accentuate them:

I also bought this:

This stuff is pretty amazing.  I've used it twice this week in the schnoz zone and I feel like it has really made a difference in my pores.  It sure looks like it was making a difference:

Gross.  And awesome.  I need an eye lift.  I also need to do some major cleaning up on my brows.

Then I took this photo because I was bored and I was sitting in front of some blinds:

We also had an adorable, but failed experiment.  We wanted to take the kids on a long walk, but as Cooper is a special needs pup, he can't get too far.  We borrowed our neighbor's wagon:

It was adorable until he flew the coop (oh, I am on a roll, y'all) in a kamikaze-esque escape.  Wagons can be scary, y'all.  Then he still refused to walk.  Sometimes you just carry the damn dog even if he is over half your body weight.  That's called love.

So, that's what happened this week.

Let's wrap this schnitzel up.


I was bad this week.  There was a lot of take-out and delivery.  The one thing I did cook was utterly unhealthy and comfort to the food to the max.

Chicken n' dumplins, yo:

We made quick work of it.  Seriously, my husband and I ate the whole thing in two days.  Barf.

May your weeks be only photo montages of the good, dear reader.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Guy and I

So, this coming Thursday is an insanely important day:

It's the 3 year anniversary of the day Guy and I fell in love!!!  It's also my mom's birthday, but, I mean, whatever to that.  Or whatever.  Guy and me 4eva!  Above is a photo I took the night he came home with me and never left.  What a total smoochface!

So, this has been an incredibly brutal week and I'm pretty drained.  

I did sneak in a little retail therapy:

I'm going to try and get some sleep and write you a better post next week.  Hey, maybe I'll even write 2 decent posts.  Even though I am no longer involved in the "traditional" work force, I get incredibly antsy on Sunday nights and have a lot of trouble shutting my brain off.  It used to be much worse when I was a nine-to-fiver and it has never managed to go away.  My husband also suffers from the Sunday night jitters.  Is this totally normal, or do I just need to up my Xanax?

That was a rhetorical question.  Of course I need to up my Xanax... so, let's wrap it up, y'all.


I can't remember what day I cooked what for the most part, so I'll just wing it.

Philly cheesesteak stuffed green peppers.  This recipe is all over Pinterest.  It is everything it claims to be and more.  Super easy and super delicious.

Southwest chicken salad in tortillas with avocado and spinach.  

We went to Plum Alley for lunch and barely had room for dinner:

We ordered pretty much everything: house noodles, shredded pork and pork belly ramen, coconut milk "chicken noodle" soup, duck confit buns, magical cauliflower, and we ended with Guiness stout ice cream.  This was a truly memorable meal.

On Saturday night we went to a dinner party with some of my husband's colleagues and that was really lovely.

Tonight we went to my mother's and I made italian wedding soup.  That soup may be my very favourite recipe in my arsenal.  Hit up my Pinterest, yo.

May you dance away the Sunday night ants in the pants.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Diein' in Zion

So, another week has passed...

It was a really busy week as far as work is concerned.  Way too busy, but I have resolved the situation and life should be a little more manageable on that front.  Also, you'll note, Guy is as ridiculously handsome as ever.

I am working on reigniting my Spring cleaning bug.  It's not totally Spring yet, so that's what I'm going with for now.  Let's talk about stuff:

I'm still really happy with all the products I've been using except for one: 

I'm totally over the Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum.  I might still apply this at night to clean lashes, which is not always possible because I can't get my waterproof make-up off without rubbing the living crap out of my rapidly aging eyes.  Still taking suggestions for make-up removers.  Pretty much begging for them.  The point is that, for me, this stuff is just too many layers and my mascara gets crazy clumpy if I apply it underneath.  Thus, it cancels the intended effect of making my lashes "visibly longer", rather making them look visibly stumpified.  Don't take my word for it though.  Honestly, the reviews for this stuff are incredible.  It's just not working out for yours truly.

Seriously, look at the bags under my eyes:

I may have to trade in my beloved La Mer for something else.  This will be a topic of discussion at a later date.

I also gave up on the coconut oil pulling altogether.  It was a huge time investment and I wasn't really feeling or seeing any results.  I guess I'll have to save up to get my teeth professionally whitened.  But hope is not lost on the hair front.

First I got this:

I THINK I'm seeing results, but it is still rather early to make a conclusive statement.  It seems like my baby hair is really starting to come in.  I can tell that it's baby hair and not breakage because it's coming in evenly.  It also seems to be promoting growth along my hairline where it, honest to God, looks like I'm receding if I don't have it dyed super dark (my hair is naturally dirty blonde).  I'm super excited to continue documenting my results!  I follow Miloberry's instructions almost to the proverbial "T" and I always leave step 2 on for 20 minutes to an hour.  As you might imagine I get out of the shower and then back in to do so.  

I have coupled my Ovation Cell Therapy, or ménage à trois-ed it with biotin and prenatal vitamins in an effort to really get my hair amazing.  Fingers crossed, eyelashes wished.

Finally, I have been drinking 16+ oz of coconut water (I am still totally on the coconut water thing and I still totally hate the taste) with 1 and 1/2 tbsp of chia seeds and 1 tbsp of this:

It goes down pretty nice right after a workout, but on the days I don't make it to Xtend... barf.  This makes me FEEL awesome to the max, however, so I force down every last drop.  Bonus: this is prolly what my insides look like now:

Finally, I've added the goop newsletter to my routine.  Sorry, folks, I love my Gwyneth and I think I would be utterly devastated if she weren't a total snob who didn't understand the common folk, the plebeians, the serfs such as I.  Her last email had some really good advice for Spring cleaning one's closet despite one's standing.  It's worth a read if you're into that sort of thing.

So, yeah, it's a wrap or whatever...


I worked.  Almost every night.  I ate work.  And this amazingly simple, yet remarkably delicious pad thai at some point:

Hit up my Pinterest, y'all!

Also, I recommend slow cooking 4-6 chicken breasts every week or two.  They pretty much shred themselves and you can freeze each breast individually to pull out and use as needed.  Seriously, if you never listen to anything else I write, listen to that.  

I'm exhausted.  I'm so over this week, but I'm not over you, dear reader.  Not even close.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Got goop-ed... er, Sidetracked.

This post was going to be about spring cleaning, but then...

You know, it has recently occurred to me that in the buttload of ballet and modern dance classes I took in college- and I took as many as I could fit in (mostly ballet)- I only remember once not having a live pianist.  God bless you Vassar.  How crazy amazeballs is that?  And our studio was in an old gothic building next to an even older cemetery... it's like I WAS a Smith's album.  An entire freaking album.

So, I'll write about spring cleaning later.  And I'll update you on the new things I'm trying for health and beauty and the ones that weren't working.  For now I am going down to do pirouettes in the living room.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'm Back!!!

Oh my hell, drear reader... are there any of you still out there?  This poor little blog has been suffering abandonment issues and I can't afford a blog therapist.

Oh, that's better.  Nothing like a bulldog train to boost morale.  So, here's what happened.  I got crazy depressed.  Unfortunately, I have a genetic predisposition for depression and it's something I have struggled with since I was a child.  Let me tell you first hand, y'all, depression coupled with CFS is a potentially deadly combination.  I am beyond fortunate to have an incredibly supportive family, an amazing husband, and the best dog ever.  Also, we've had Cooper up in this piece for over a week.  Bulldog heaven.  

So, here's what happened: I sunk into a bout of depression and I didn't really know why I was so depressed.  This only served to make me more depressed.  I felt helpless and useless and too exhausted to get pissed off about it.  Eventually I started pulling myself out, but I crashed.  I tumbled fast and furiously back into days of lethargy spent in bed snuggling Guy with intermittent bouts of crying and a lot of wasted time on my iPad.  Finally I returned to the land of the living and it was hectic because I had basically been neglecting everything for weeks.  I had a buttload of catching up to do.  And now I am catching up with you!  

So, let's wrap-up the last three weeks!


Monday: I had to work, so we got sandwiches at Subway.  I finally admitted that I hate Subway. 

Tuesday: I made an awesome quiche!  Secret ingredient = Stovetop Stuffing.  How can I hate Subway and love Stovetop?  Because it's stuffing... STUFFING!

Wednesday: Chicken Enchilada soup

Thursday: No one remembers.  Seriously.  

Friday: Blood orange sangria... yeah, I ate alcohol soaked fruit for dinner.  It was delicious.  

Saturday: Fend for yourself because I worked.

Sunday: Papa Murphy's veggie and pepperoni pizza.  I made caramelized onions with swiss chard too.

Monday: My husband went to see the Jazz play (I was too depressed to leave the house) and I had leftovers.

Tuesday: Again, no one knows.  We have NO IDEA.

Wednesday: We took my handicapped brother to Kyoto *drools*... I forgot to mention that we babysat him for a week.

Thursday: Chicken roll-ups with homemade pesto and mascarpone and spinach fettuccine with vodka sauce.

Friday: Spaghetti squash with kalamata olive and meat ragu.

Saturday: Work and pizza.

Sunday: leftovers

Monday: I had a farewell dinner for my friend who headed out to LA.  We went for tapas at Finca... OMGZ!!!  So divine!  The water glasses are the bottom half of empty wine bottles!

Tuesday: Chicken Gloria with peas and cauliflower mashed "potatoes".

Wednesday: Shredded chicken tacos with black beans and caramelized onions and swiss chard.

Thursday: Work and chicken souvlaki from Crown Burger.

Friday: Work and a gyro platter from Crown Burger.

Saturday: Work and chicken souvlaki from Crown Burger.

Sunday: Meatloaf and potatoes at my mom's.

As always, hit up my Pinterest for recipes!

And that's my please-forgive-my-neglect face.  Let's be friends!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Zoolander: The Canine Chronicles

I have wonderful news!

Pascale Lemire, the wonder who brought us Dog Shaming, is creating a book and Guy is going to be featured in it!!!  OMGZ!  I had this darling photo that I sent in to the website 2 or 3 times.  I'm not going to lie; I was totally affronted that it wasn't posted.  Looks like they were saving it for a more permanent and selective home!  I authorized the publication today and cannot wait to purchase said book, carry it everywhere, and make EVERYONE I come into contact with admire Guy's mug.  Seriously, I am totally freaking out with happiness up in this piece.  

Remember how I started pulling oil with coconut oil in hopes of whitening and strengthening my teeth?  

Well, it's not working.  At least it's not whitening.  I stopped for the last four days, but I think I'm going to start again as I won't know how it has affected my hair, nor the strength of my teeth until I get into my hairdresser and dentist respectively.  I'm super bummed about the whole whitening bit.  I had high hopes.  The only real visible difference I've taken note of so far is that my nails are pretty smooth.  My index finger on my right hand got a snag very low in the nail that caused very painful and bloody tearing.  It healed a week to a week and a half faster than these tragedies normally do.  I suppose I'll start up again tomorrow.  I mean, it's not going to kill me, right?

I mentioned before that I love Prana Yoga for massage and that still remains true, but I finally had a MASSAGE!  I mean the kind where the masseur (in this case) takes you seriously when you say that EVERYTHING hurts along with areas that are particularly problematic.  

Je T'aime,

My husband treated us to a couple's massage for Valentine's Day:

We love a couple's massage when we can afford to sneak one in.  It helps me to have my sweetie in the room so that I don't feel obligated to make conversation with the therapist... seriously, what is wrong with me?  (Prana doesn't have a couple's massage room, FYI).  There was a spa we were pretty happy with that went out of business.  Then we thought we would finally see what all the hype (and expense) was with the Kura Door.  Ummmm... I am putting it at the top of my three WORST massages EVER because it was so damn expensive (I remember all three vividly.  I hold a serious grudge against a sucky massage).  So, yeah, if we're going to fork out the dough, the Grand America is where it's at.  Be sure to bring a swimsuit so that you can enjoy the indoor pool and jacuzzi before you hit up the sauna and the steam room.

And then there were these (which I have since given up for Lent among other vices).  

Je T'aime (too much for my own good),

The photo above is HALF of what I ordered- after several consecutive days of going in for smaller batches.  I LOVE macarons.  I also love macaroons, but not nearly, nor so dearly as I love the former.  And these are the BEST (that I've found in Utah).  So, I gave 6 to my grandmother and saved 18 to last me and my husband a few days.  Yeah right.  I ate 6 right away.  Then I snuck in 3 more.  Then I got some bad news and plowed through the remaining 9- I ATE EIGHTEEN MACARONS IN ONE BRIEF SITTING I AM DISGUSTING I CAN'T EVEN USE PUNCTUATION I AM SO KANYE-ED UP ABOUT THIS SCHIZZ!!!  I always thought the term sugar high was... well, just a term.  I may as well have just bought cocaine and snorted it.  My whole body was buzzing.  I could not see straight.  I could not concentrate.  And, to my great dismay, I could not sleep.  Thus, I snuck the beautiful, delicious, and deadly macaron into my give-up-for-Lent list.  Now, those of you with self-control, rush your little butts to Les Madeleines and TREAT YOSELF!  

So, let's (quite belatedly) wrap-up or whatever:


Monday: We were invited to sup with our friends, Carol and Tom.  Carol whipped up some awesome chicken tacos with caramelized onions and chard and all the fixins.

Tuesday: Italian wedding soup... I made this not too long ago and I'm probably making it again this Sunday.  It is amazeballs and healthy!  I halved the soup, but made all of the meatballs for another meal per usual.

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Buffalo chicken meatball subs with homemade bleu cheese dressing.

Friday: We ordered nepalese after our massages from Kathmandu... super delicious.

Saturday:  Pizza... so, sue me!

Sunday: We had brunch at Pig & a Jelly Jar with our friends, Steve and Amy.  I have been meaning to try this place for a while now and it did not disappoint.  The chicken and waffles were a yuppie/health conscious version of the OG southern comfort of all comforts.  And they were totally awesome.  Everything was.  Later we headed to my parents' where my mother had prepared what even she thought was a very subpar chicken dish.

Hit up my Pinterest for the soup recipe.  And many others.  You will thank me.

And I will now thank you, dear reader, for letting me sneak in my wrap-up at the last minute.  You are a gem.  And a Jem! 

If you want to be or whatever. (Show time, Synergy).