August 28, 2013

What’s up Wednesday: 5 Things



Here are 5 random things to fill you in on my life right now –


  1.  New obsession – Pesto Ranch Dressing. I’m trying to eat more salads and be healthy, but I was bored off all the dressings in the fridge, so I made my own. 1 part pesto (from Costco jar) to 2 parts ranch. Stir, and top salad. Yummo.

  2. My Fantasy Football draft is today. I was never into pro football until I joined my work Fantasy league last year – now I’m addicted. Fingers crossed on a decent draft!
  3.   My baby sister started college on Monday.  This blows my mind.
  4.   FOUR DAY WEEKEND. Took Friday off as comp time for extra hours at the Fair. Super stoked for a FOUR day Labor Day Weekend!
  5. Went to See Spot Splash at the Natatorium pool last night, and it was a blast!!! Gunner loved it!

TTFN Friends!
Laura

August 26, 2013

Happy National Dog Day!

I plan to have some legitimate food and DIY posts later this week, but since I'm still recovering from the Fair, today I'm going with something easy  -  showcasing my main man for National Dog Day!

I give you Gunner:
He loves sticks

and beer

and his Dad


he's a lean mean Frisbee chasing machine (this was a little pre-retrieving stage though)

he likes to be on you

he's an angel when he's sleeping

he loves the grass

you can't resist his "please mom" faces


he's regal and handsome

and gets annoyed when I take photos when he's napping

he makes the silliest derp faces

he is the number one football fan

he likes to take advantage of AC vents
he'd sleep in bed like a human if we would let him

My big boy on National Dog Day!

Here's to all you dog lovers out there and your furry friends!

TTFN Friends,
Laura

August 18, 2013

Fair Time

Spending almost 24/7 at the Western Idaho Fair


I know I have been M.I.A. lately, so I thought I'd do a quick post on why...

I am at the Western Idaho Fair, pretty much all day, every day.


See, I'm so official I have logoed shirts!

I had mentioned in an earlier post that my company does the marketing for the Fair. What I didn't go into though, is that during the fair, we are on site facilitating all press/media and sponsors on the grounds.

This is actually a pretty cool gig - let's just say I'm one of the cool kids that gets to drive around on a golf cart. There's also a couple other perks...


I get to be at all the concerts...
And have an all access backstage pass...

With my boss Becki we run around the Fair, making sure things run smoothly on our end... It turns into long days, and countless hours (30+ already, but who's counting).

I also do all the social media for the Fair. So like the page! https://www.facebook.com/WesternIdahoFair?ref=hl

But even with the long hours I still enjoy taking in the sights and smells, people watching, and seeing the joy the Fair brings to the Treasure Valley.



So you probably won't hear from me or see me until I come up for air on Monday the 26th.

Until then - enjoy one of the last weeks ofthe summer! And come out to the Fair!

TTFN Friends!
Laura

August 7, 2013

What’s up Wednesday



Here’s what’s going on with me this week.

 

1. Work is NUTS.


I work for CLM Marketing and Advertising and we act as the marketing “department” of the Western Idaho Fair. This means we not only do ALL the advertising (radio, TV, billboards, newspaper, online) we also do all of the sponsorship and on site media coordination. Basically it means my August is booked.

I have  been spending a lot of time out at the Fair office. We have our own office there so that Becki (my boss) and I can have a computer/hub onsite. During the Fair we are there everyday. Becki spends 18+ hours a day sometimes – thank goodness I’m not there quite that much.

There is so much that we do for the Fair I could take up pages and pages. Basically I just wanted to mention that is what is going on work. PLUS I still have all my other functions/clients going on at CLM. It makes it very stressful when I could easily work 40+ hours a week just on Fair items, but I still have to do my “regular” day to day job too. I won’t get into that for now. Maybe a post later on…

So I get to do all sorts of miscellaneous things, including design (yippee!), for the Fair. ALSO I do all the social marketing for the Fair, so if you don't already like us!



I get to do on-site signage like this

and create misc. little things like tickets and passes

 2. I got a lecture.



Last night when James got home he basically scolded me for not going to the gym. I hurt my back pretty bad at Monday night volleyball and I was using that as an excuse (at least this one makes sense). I have had lots of excuses lately and have not been working out nearly enough.

However, him TELLING me to go do it really pissed ticked me off. So much so, that with the stress from work, I lost it a little. I refused to talk to him, sat out and sulked on the back patio, and finally slammed the door as I left for the gym.

When I got home I felt much better (funny how that works). I confronted him in a positive way about how if he wants to  be supportive, he should praise and congratulate my actions rather than tell me to do things. I realized this was similar to training the puppy…but hey, I think it would work for me! 

Ultimately it was how he said it, not the meaning behind it, that was negative in my mind. Once I got to the gym and got after it I realized how shallow I had been to taking it scathingly.

New goal – get to the gym/go on a run at least 4 days a week (avoiding the lecture altogether). This will be really tough working at the Fair, but I’m going to try!!!

A little motivation


3. Jones’ Weekend Bash.


This weekend we are going to my roommate’s family home. (Oh yeah I have a roommate in addition to James, it’s one of our friends who lived with James prior to this living arrangement.) Each year his parents throw a big BBQ/Pool Party. Last year I didn’t get invited and James had told me it was a “guy weekend.” However he and all his friends came home and said it was too much of a dick dude fest. Thus, this year, lots of ladies are invited.

It is just for Saturday night, which I am glad about. This will be enough time to get out of town and enjoy ourselves, but not so much of a commitment that I will feel stressed about it. I can’t wait to let loose with my friends for an end of summer bash, and one last breather before Fair starts.
Get to hang with my 3 main men (minus the furry one)
Last year's bro bash


 Now just to decide what side dishes to bring… I’m thinking poolside dip and fruit salad???

That’s all for now.

TTFN Friends!
Laura

August 6, 2013

The Gunner Story – Part 1



I have a gazillion pictures of my dog, and I’d love a reason to showcase them.  So, naturally I’m going to do a blog post or two or three..? 


Most of you don’t know that our puppy was an impulse buy. An EXPENSIVE impulse buy, to which I am embarrassed to admit the actual amount.

We had talked about getting a dog for months, but most of those months were while we were both still in apartments and it wasn’t feasible. Then I moved into the house. More talk continued, but nothing substantial. Of course during all of these months, I had sent James options for dogs and puppies that I found online.

Our first kiss
That fateful April day I sent James a link for Golden Retriever puppies. Now we knew we wanted a  Golden because I wanted a Lab and he wanted something fluffier – thus the breed was the perfect combo. So I guess seeing this listing made something in James’ mind click that this was it…

I came home thinking nothing about it. We were supposed to have “date night,” which rarely happens. I was excited to spend a little quality time with him. But first thing he did was bring up the puppy listing, asking if we should call. I told him I wasn’t sure. He pressured back that a call couldn’t hurt. Well it did – the puppies were available for meeting that same night.

EEEEEEK how can you say no to that? Perfect date night right? But I had my hesitations. A puppy is A LOT of work (to which I can now attest to). Plus I would rather save a rescue dog than get a puppy. Somehow however, I found myself at the bank taking out half the asking price. At this point I was a little excited, but kept telling myself “we’re just looking.”

Too cute for words on my lap on the way home
As we talked about it on the hour drive over to Adrian, OR, it was pretty obvious we probably wouldn’t leave the farm without a puppy. Panic set in. I honestly had a mild anxiety attack. I was not ready for this.

We pulled into the little farm house right as a gentleman was about to back out. He was more than accommodating however. He got out of the van, introduced himself, and said he was running late to his daughter’s play at the school he was the principle of. I told him we could come back (although that would be a pain) but he insisted we could see the puppies.

First make-shift dog enclosure
He opened the garage door and I was sold. PUPPIES. More like little balls of fluff. I wish I had taken pictures of Gunner with his brothers and sisters.

The guy let them loose too! Oh man--a little train of cute wandered out into their front yard. I had another moment of panic – how would we ever choose?

The next few minutes went by so quickly. One minute we were chasing puppies around and the next minute a downpour of spring rain was upon us. We had to help herd the puppies back to the garage. 

Our first night with him home
That’s when I picked him up. The littlest one I could find, with a blue collar.

We got them all back in their pin other than the little guy I was holding. James looked at me like he knew. “Is that the one you want?” YEP.

We worked out payment and the guy grabbed us what was left of his worming medicine. He took down our info as they would be sending the puppy’s papers later that month. His daughter (the one in the play) is who was in charge of raising the puppies, so her dad had some trouble taking care of the “check out” process.  However we paid up and went back to the garage through the pouring rain.

Snoozin
The guy asked me if his collar was blue as I picked up my favorite again. I told him it was. He gave me a big smile and said that he was his daughter’s and son’s favorite.

I had picked a good one!

So we loaded in the truck, puppy on my lap, and that was that. While you can’t beat an adorable puppy in your lap I was still having anxiety issues. There was no going back now.

Nap time with Dad
I was pleasantly surprised on our ride home how calm he was though, even with thunder and lightning all around. This couldn’t be that bad I thought to myself.

For the first couple days it wasn’t…

Look how fluffy and light he was!




Our tiny little fluff ball. Man has he changed!

TTFN Friends! Much more to come on my favorite little guy!
Laura

August 4, 2013

Savory Sunday!


Sunday lunch and weekday meal prep.


Hi Friends! So I already wrote a couple posts about Gunner that I haven't posted yet AND I need to write about how my last week was a HORRIBLE week and how I did some retail therapy this weekend to feel better :)....

But first, since I have just finished with a Sunday meal prep I wanted to do my first "Savory Sunday" post.

I LOVE to cook. I am the type of person that looks up recipes and tweaks them to my own liking. Half the time I don't even follow the recipe, I just use the basic concept and make it my own. I have realized that might make it a little difficult to blog my process, but I am going to do my best!

To start my Sunday I took Gunner to the dog park so that he would be nice and tired the rest of the day. That's a must with a puppy if you want to get anything done.

I hit the grocery store for the necessities and some of the things I needed for Sunday meal prep. I also hit the Costco car wash for a much needed scrub up of the Silver Bullet (my silver Saturn's name).

I got home from the store and naturally I was hungry. So I decided to make lunch before I dove into cooking anything else.

First recipe:

EASY PEASY PIZZA


Ingredients:
- Pita bread
- Pam/cooking spray
- Desired toppings

Instructions:
First off, I have found a little secret when it comes to making home-made pizzas. Instead of struggling with dough or paying for those expensive pre-made crusts (like Boboli) get Greek pita bread! They are the perfect size for personal pizzas AND I got this 6 pack for under $2! Whole wheat too!





Pre-heat the oven. I was getting it warmed up for baking chicken breasts, so I had it at 450. You can probably get away with 400. Get out a pizza pan or cookie sheet. I like to put a sheet of tin foil over it for easy clean up. Spray the surface with cooking spray; this will help the pita get a little crisp on the bottom. (Not too crispy though :) )

Put your pita on there and load it up with toppings. I went for the classic today. A little marinara, turkey pepperoni and cheese. You can use whatever you like, the more creative the better! I think for my next pizzas I might do BBQ chicken. MMMmmmm.



Next pop your pizza in the oven. Let it bake about 6-10 min, or until cheese is melted. Since you don't have to bake the crust, you’re just waiting for the toppings to get all oooey gooey. And viola, you have a perfect personal pizza!



BASIC BAKED CHICKEN


Ok. Now that I am filled up it’s time for lunch prep. First I did some chicken breasts. Chicken is good for you and easy. Here is my go-to baked chicken.

I trim the fat from the breasts and make sure they are cut into about equal proportions so they cook the same. I put all the breasts into a gallon Ziploc bag. I used about 3 lbs of chicken for this batch.

Next is the seasoning. I am too impatient to marinate anything. So I go for the “rub” instead. I like to use Grill Mates packs (about $.45 is all!) for seasoning for a lot of what I cook. Today I used Brown Sugar Bourbon, I also love Back Yard Brew and Baja Citrus. I dump the pack a little at a time into the Ziploc bag with the chicken, shaking it to coat the breasts. Once you get the whole packet in there it will look like this:


Then I cover a 9”x13” or so baking pan with tin foil. Again I love easy clean up! Shoot that with some cooking spray so your breasts don’t stick to the foil. Then spread them evenly in the pan like so.



Put them in a pre-heated oven at 450 and bake around 25 minutes give or take. Like I said before, I kind of “wing” things. I just check regularly to see if they look done. Once you think they are finished, make sure you cut your thickest breast in half to make sure it is cooked through.

Here’s what you will end up with! Perfect with a side dish of veggies, or cut up on a salad for lunches!


 

 SPICY ASIAN GREEN BEANS AND GROUND TURKEY


For my next lunch recipe I wanted to mix it up a little. Both James and I get bored eating the same thing for lunch every day, so at least two options helps us shake it up.

This dish was inspired by this recipe I found on Pinterest from the Weary Chef: Asian Green Beans with Ground Turkey over Rice

The only substitutions I made were that I used white onion, chopped coarsely instead of green onions which I don’t like. I used stir fry sauce instead of hoisin sauce because I didn’t have any. I also added a little teriyaki sauce for a little sweeter taste. Only about 2 TBS of the teriyaki. I think I added way more of the “sauce” ingredients in general, but I like things saucy! Other than that I followed the recipe as so:

I love summer and fresh veggies! I got fresh green beans at the grocery store. YUM!


First I sautéed the garlic and onions. I started in this fry pan and ended up switching to a big sauce pan because the beans weren’t going to fit – oops!






I was thrilled with the finished product! I put it over brown rice and had a perfect meal to pack and go.

I also fried up a little zucchini to go with the chicken breasts.



It was a really productive Sunday!!! Now I just need to figure out breakfasts.



TTFN Friends!

Laura