Keeping it Cool

I don’t know what’s going on in the world right now, but between the fires in Colorado, the vicious storms that blew through the mid-atlantic and the ridiculous heat here in Raleigh, I’m ready for things to resume to normal.

Basically, our day looked like this:

After a morning filled with running errands in the 105 degree heat, we made a splash at our community pool for a few hours this afternoon, soaking in some vitamin D and enjoying the cool water.

The highlight of the day however, is that our animals are now eating better food than the humans in this house.  Behold, Blue Buffalo:

Hunter’s ears have been a problem for as long as I can remember, and after a recent trip to the vet to update his shots, the doc recommended a change in diet as a test to see if the problems are related to a food allergy.  He doesn’t have it too rough, he just continually gets ear infections, no matter where we live or what we do.  Ultimately, we end up at the vet getting a prescription for special eardrops and antibiotics, so we’re hopeful that this new food will do the trick.

Seriously, I know this I’m just talking about dog food, but he’s eating fish and sweet potatoes, which is great for him.  Animal by-products (the feet, beaks, bones, etc) from poultry or beef in pet food is #1. gross, but #2. so bad for them, so I’m actually pretty happy about feeding him better quality food.  Does it get better than whitefish, sweet potatoes, whole carrots, peas, cranberries, blueberries, oatmeal and kale!?  WTF, Hunter, you lucky dog?!

Not to be outdone, I immediately swapped Delilah’s cardboard cat food for Salmon and Brown Rice.  Not exaggerating when she went bonkers for the nom noms when I opened the bag.  Pretty soon, they’re both going to think they live at the Ritz.  Whatever, dudes, if it fixes the ear problem, it’s worth it.

Tomorrow is Christmas in July, which is better known as NHL Free Agency Day which is also known as the day that my husband becomes completely worthless and is sucked into the television all day is huge for hockey fans.  Should be an interesting day as a fan, especially with one of our best players up for grabs.

Hope you’re making the best of your weekend!

Summer Weekend Rewind

I love weekends like this.  A few plans mixed in with a lot of relaxation.  I swear, it’s the best. :)

Friday night, we had a little date night which was interrupted with some heavy storms, but we made the best of it and had a nice dinner and then holed up at home watching one of favorite guilty pleasures, “Whale Wars.”  Do you guys watch that show?  The idea behind it is good, but the show is filmed in a way that makes the people look like the biggest morons on the planet.  Chris and I narrate the show as it happens and can’t believe how ridiculous it get every year.  Speaking of ridiculous shows, do you guys watch “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding?!”  Talk about amazing television!

Saturday morning, I spent the morning sprucing up my summer wardrobe!

Later that afternoon, we headed to my bosses house for a BBQ Cook Out.  One of the things I’ve learned living in NC is that a BBQ means you’ll be having traditional BBQ (pulled pork, the real stuff).  Where we’re from, a BBQ is burgers and dogs, but down here, that’s known as a “cook out,” so….we went to a cook out.  My boss smoked some seriously good ribs and it was nice to hang out with everyone outside of the office.

After the cook out, we stopped at one of the nearby town centers for some fro yo, only to find out they were doing the grand opening of the shopping center.  There were a ton of giveaways and even a scavenger hunt to win gift cards, iphone and more.  We grabbed some fro yo and wandered around the area completing the scavenger hunt in hopes that we’d win something.  Once we completed the hunt, we dropped off our cards and hoped for the best.  We’ll find out on Monday if we won anything.  Fingers crossed!

This morning, we had a little impromptu breakfast with my uncle, cousin Regan, and Regan’s husband, J.  It was nice to catch up with everyone and see my uncle while he was in town.   Twas fun times.

The rest of our day today has been spent with these two:

Our little animal planet just makes me laugh.  If they aren’t together, Delilah is either laying on one of us (more likely Chris than me) or is curled up in the laundry.  Not to be outdone,  Hunter is always laying right up against one of us.  It’s nice to feel so much love.  ;)

And really, Hunter is such a ham.  Moments after I snapped the two pictures above, he wandered over to Delilah and woke her up by shoving his snout under her and jostling her around until she acknowledged him.  She’s so tolerant of his puppy like behavior, and they are so fun to watch together.  Too bad I didn’t have my camera on high speed mode – these pictures are crappy.  Oh well, still cute.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Renovations Continue

Another weekend, another home improvement project!  We hit the ground running today working on our kitchen floors, and I feel a sense of relief because we’ve put something new down instead of destroying things!

We had a few contractors come out to give us some advice on fixing our less than stellar subfloor, and one of the guys recommended just laying thick 5/8th inch AC board on top of the existing floor to help it level.  Home Depot doesn’t sell such wood, so we had to go to a real live lumber yard to get the stuff.  I’m not lying when I say the following conversation actually happened:

Natalie:  Hi, we need to get 5/8th inch AC board – can you tell me how much it is per sheet and if you have it in stock?

Customer Service Person:  Do you want pine or fir?

Natalie:  What’s the difference?

Customer Service Person:  Uh, one is pine, one is fir.

I thought I was going to jump across the counter and slap the lady’s mascara right off of her face, and if Chris hadn’t given me the cute face with “calm down” written all over it, I might have.  After consulting someone with knowledge, we left with our Fir AC floor (we now have fir floors, hehe) and headed home.  Home Depot doesn’t seem so bad after that experience.

We spent the majority of the day ripping up baseboards, cleaning up debris, hammering down nails & staples and ultimately laying down 2 pieces of the new floor.  Doesn’t sound like that much, but honestly, it was a lot, and I didn’t even do the majority of the work.  Chris worked his ever loving ass off.  Our goal is to complete the subfloors by next weekend and lay our tile shortly after.  I can’t wait to see the final outcome.

After our DIY adventure, I started to work on tonight’s dinner:  Beef Sirloin Tips!  If we ever cook steak, it’s usually on the grill (which we don’t have anymore), so I was excited to have something besides chicken or pork for dinner.  It turns out, this was a really easy and quick dinner to make, and it was really tasty.

Simmering the sirolin tips and sauce.

Completed meal! Beef tips over brown rice and spinach salad with almonds, feta & fat free italian dressing.

I was kind of nervous because this dish was filled with bell peppers which I’m usually not a fan of, but I wanted to try something new, and I think them being “roasted peppers” helped a lot.



  • 1-1/2 lb.  beef sirloin tip steak
  • 1/2 tsp.  smoked paprika or paprika
  • 1 Tbsp.  vegetable oil
  • 1 12- to 16-oz. jar  roasted red and/or yellow sweet peppers
  • 1/2 cup  hickory- or mesquite-flavored barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup  coarsely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley


1. Trim meat and cut into 1- to 1-1/2-inch chunks; sprinkle with paprika. In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add meat; brown 5 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove from skillet; keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, drain roasted red peppers, reserving liquid. Cut up roasted peppers. Measure 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid (if needed, add enough water to equal 1/2 cup). Add peppers and the liquid to the skillet. Add barbecue sauce. Cook, uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently until sauce is slightly thickened. Return meat to skillet; heat through.

3. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories367,
  • Total Fat (g)18,
  • Saturated Fat (g)6,
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g)9,
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g)2,
  • Cholesterol (mg)111,
  • Sodium (mg)510,
  • Carbohydrate (g)13,
  • Total Sugar (g)7,
  • Fiber (g)2,
  • Protein (g)36,
  • Vitamin C (DV%)2.64,
  • Calcium (DV%)5,
  • Iron (DV%)21,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

After dinner, we just settled in for a relaxing night, and then this happened:

Delilah was totally mesmerized by a game Chris was playing on his phone, and as soon as it set it down on the couch, she went at it.  So funny.

Happy weekend!