Goodnight and good morning

It’s late … or early, depending on whether you’ve been to bed yet and how you take your 3 a.m. camp outs on the couch. I’m taking mine with a mug of tea, which probably means “Good morning!” for me—a really depressing thought when all I want to do is sleep. But this silly cold/cough just ain’t havin’ it.

So here are some random recently enjoyed things because it’s early (as we’ve clarified), and my brain can only think in lists. Who am I kidding? My brain always thinks in lists.

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^^^Good golly those red rocks! I only saw them for a few minutes from the plane, but they left quite an impression. The mister and I are already planning a desert adventure for 2015! (:

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// Racking up the Skymiles. My Bihn bag hasn’t had any time to get dusty lately. I was in Las Vegas last week for a trade show (my first business trip, which made me feel very old and very young all at once), and I’ll be headed to NYC in just a few days. I miss Lee and the beast, our lovely nickname for Fig when she’s being especially monster-like, but I am also (strangely … and madly) in love with packing for trips. I think my brain sees it as the ultimate test of all of my planning and organizing skills, so I take it all a little too seriously. We’re talking outfit planners and packing cubes and the whole shebang.

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// Room service … crème brulee … in bed … while watching Netflix. Yes, please.

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// Coming home to a Fig who can’t contain her excitement after not seeing me for three whole days! The hyperventilating and shaking lasted 20 minutes, I kid not.

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// Testing one of those meal delivery services for work (I love my job!), and getting three free meals dropped at our doorstep. Honestly, it isn’t THAT much easier than our usual dinner prep, but what is nice is the mindlessness of it all. Everything for one meal is in one bag (minus meat), all the ingredients are measured out to exactly what you need, and the recipes have, at most, five steps with photos. I don’t have to figure out what to cook because it’s already decided for me … I guess you can’t be a picky eater. We’ve only made one, but so far, so good!

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// This face.

Here’s hoping for a stunning sunrise, so my empty sleep tank isn’t all for nothing … because the last one I saw wasn’t half bad. (;

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And a happy Saturday to you, too!

Four things

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ONE. This is Fig and her new best bud, Al-the-gator. (See what we did there? (;) They take turns chewing on each other. We call it love.

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TWO. You know, I just love how the mister and I were packaging jars of homemade pickles to send to friends last week, and then the universe turns around and sends us fancy Siracha sea salt in return. (By universe, I mean my rad BFFs.) That’s some good juju, and I’m happy it came right back boomerang-style … because we had turkey burgers and fries for dinner, and my fries were salty AND spicy. Bam.

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THREE. Speaking of, let’s have three cheers for vintage dresses! This beauty is everything I adore in one darling frock, so I couldn’t resist. (Sorry, mister!) Oh, and pockets! Three cheers for those suckers, too.

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FOUR. These two. I’m so grateful that they’re mine. Pinch me.

This is your dog on drugs

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I couldn’t help myself.

Figgy is back to her old hoppy, snorty, farty self (she could be all seven of the reject dwarfs rolled into one), but this gem was a few hours post surgery. Poor thing.

She doesn’t even realize she’s in recovery, which makes it that much harder to keep her from getting too riled up. But thankfully we’ve only got a few more days to go.

Oh, the squish!

Laboring the day away (not really)

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I feel like I should be typing up a so-long-summer post, but I can’t bring myself to do it when the weather isn’t cooperating with me. It’s hard to pretend it’s fall when it’s still teetering on 90 degrees outside. Eh, maybe next week.

I should add that we might be partly to blame for this lack of autumn-ness. After all, isn’t the whole point of Labor Day weekend to give the sunshine and swimming pools one last hurrah? We had both right outside our door, and we had very little to do with them. How rude of us.

In fact, we didn’t end summer with anything resembling a proper farewell—unless you count hours of AC consumption, so I guess, in protest, summer has resolved not to end just yet. At least not until we can get our party hats and noise makers together to wish it well.

That was my way of saying we did nothing but sit on our lazy bums over the three-day weekend. We blame Fig, who is recovering from surgery—a darn good excuse if I ever heard one.

While we were on our bums, we did, however, pick up a new Netflix binge, play Banangrams, eat homemade pizza bagels—and somewhere in between there was some actual standing, which featured the vacuum cleaner and duster and ended with a big pile of Goodwill donations. Bam.

And how can you feel bad about any of that?

Quick pickle your veggies, and thank us later

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Now that our refrigerator door is full of jars, I think it’s safe to say we’ve found a quick-pickle recipe that’s worth sharing … and by sharing I of course mean sending oddly packaged mason jars through the U.S. postal service … and posting here on the blog. That, too.

Our first attempt, we tried this simple recipe. And it is tasty. But we decided to temper the garlic taste (don’t get me wrong, we love our garlic) with a couple sprigs of fresh dill and a pinch of coriander.

I’ve almost finished a jar in two days all by my lonesome. It’s the extra spicy jar with peppers, so husband knows to keep his distance.

*This recipe makes roughly three jars of pickled veggies.

 

Here’s what you need:

-Jars (We reuse ours a lot—any shape and size will do just fine.)

-About 3 cups of sliced veggies (Try green beans, radishes, cucumbers, any kind of pepper your heart desires, carrot sticks, and red onion.)

-2 ¼ cups of water

-2 ¼ cups of apple cider vinegar

-3 tsp salt

-4 ½ tsp sugar

-3 tsp minced garlic

-A bunch of fresh dill

-Ground coriander

 

Here’s what you do:

-Bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a simmer.

-Wash and slice your veggies, then fill each jar. We always make one with hot peppers for me and my spicy-loving taste buds.

-Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, pour your pickling liquid over the veggies until they’re completely submerged.

-Now that your jars are filled, just seal them up, and pop them in the refrigerator.
(They’ll be good for about one week.)

I can’t usually sit and eat pickles—plural—as a snack, but when they’re fresh I just find myself craving them all the time … a mini appetizer while I’m cooking dinner … a side with lunch (like they’re chips or something).

I guess, now that we’re up to our eyeballs in pickled veggies, we need to find some what-to-do-with-all-these-pickles recipes. Let me know if you have any! In the meantime, I’ll just be over here crunching away.

 

Four things (in roughly five minutes if we’re being honest)

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1:: I might have let Fig choose my shoes today. I couldn’t make up my mind because it was early and the brain was foggy, and her nose just seems to know sometimes. … Or does that mean I’m always wearing the smelliest shoes? Eh, oh well.

2:: The Newtons have been spending their post-dinner evenings looking at what our local real estate market has to offer in terms of single-family homes. Let’s just say it’s slim pickings. What’s cozy and picturesque on the outside is a garish nightmare once you’re on the other side of the door—and I’m not just being picky, I swear! We’re talking window in the top corner of INTERIOR walls, people. I don’t even know how that sounds like a good idea. I’m starting to doubt that there is a home out there for us—not counting the one we stumbled on to a month ago … that sold within two weeks. (That one was perfect.)

The mister says it’s a good thing because we still have months to go on our lease, and we couldn’t make an offer now anyway. But it would be reassuring to find another—for no other reason than just to know that there’s more than one home we could love. Being an adult is hard work, guys.

3:: My side of the office was empty today, so I took full advantage and popped myself a smelly bag of popcorn. I’m like a 6-year-old; I can’t make it through the day without an afternoon snack. And I’m completely OK with that.

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4:: More food? It is a top priority around these parts (meaning in my head). Lee and I scratched one off our summer bucket list—right under the deadline—and quick pickled some cucumbers from the garden. They didn’t come from our garden, but my grandmother’s should count. It counts. I decided. We kept the recipe simple for our first foray into the pickling world, but we already have plans to experiment with more garlic, coriander and some jalapenos for a spicy kick. Once we’ve perfected our method, we plan to send some surprise jars to friends who have already tried to place orders.

And now a little Buckwheat to take us out: “I have two pickles, I have two pickles, I have two pickles today, hey, hey, a doot dat dee little woo wang wing biggle, I have two pickles today-day-day!”

Abracadabra, it’s magic

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We’re getting really good at this sudden disappear act.

Which also happens to remind me of the latest family costume idea we came up with: Lee the magician, me the assistant, and Fig the bunny you pull out of the hat … because she’s practically a third bunny anyway. Not that we are ever in need of costume ideas because we are boring, married homebodies who’d much rather cuddle on the couch and lose their trains of thought.

Choo choo. [Insert arm pumping motion here.]

The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind of changes and unexpected detours—some good, some heartbreaking. There was a spontaneous international trip, a funeral, a job offer, a dance around the living room because of said job offer, and a puppy who has had to grow up a little faster than we’d like, what with her first boarding experience (she was a rock star if you care to know) and learning to be on her own more during the day.

Like I said, whirlwind.

It feels like we’re living completely different lives. OK, not completely. But it all happened so fast; my brain can’t keep up. What was two weeks ago feels like it was, at a minimum, two months ago. I blinked, and here we are.

Don’t get me wrong. We LOVE it here—this magical land where it’s OK if you go a teensy bit over the grocery budget, where we can pay OFF (not down!) the small amount of debt we’ve accumulated, where we can both end our days feeling happy and satisfied and productive, where looking at houses for when our lease ends isn’t completely ridiculous, where we can BOTH go out to the grocery store and hold hands down the bread aisle like we did pre-puppy.

This is where we’re at right now, and I’m thrilled to call it home.