Productive Sunday

‘Ello eaters!

How are you doing? Anything new in your life? Anything exciting to tell me about?

I’d love to know.

I’d especially love to know right now because there’s nothing too terribly exciting going on in my life. The most exciting thing in my life is that I’m figuring out how my time off will go.

Ya see eaters, I recently started a new job (which I will tell you about…on June 23, I promise) and my schedule is a little odd. I get Sundays and Tuesdays off and work the rest of the week.

It’s a little weird, but I don’t mind and I’ll probably/hopefully savor my time off more.

I certainly made the post of my day off this go around.

I thought the day was going to be more lazy and relaxing, because Leon made me breakfast in bed — French toast waffles! — and we lounged around until noon. But when we did get our butts up, we got a ton done.

Leon and I went to Macy’s, Belk’s, and Old Navy to do a few returns and to look for a pair of khakis for him and a watch for me. We didn’t have luck on either.

From there we went to T J Maxx so I could return some shorts. I ended up spending almost all the money I got from my return on a dog toy (for Charlie’s birthday next week!), some habanera ketchup, and a new shower curtain.

sunday4

Nothing too terribly exciting, but some of those returns had been hanging over my head since April, so it felt great to finally get it done. And our shower curtain was too gross for pictures.

And while I was browsing home goods at T J Maxx Leon swung by Lowes and picked up a small can of white latex paint and a can of spray-on sealant.

Ya see eaters, when we first moved in we painted some of our furniture, including our bright yellow kitchen prep table, with acrylic paint. That turned out to be a pretty dumb move because acrylic comes off with water.

Kinda gross, right?

Kinda gross, right?

So over the year our pretty yellow table has gotten stained and peeled and it was looking pretty rough. But a few coats of paint and a few sprays of sealant later…it looks just as bright as the day we painted it last summer.

Much better.

Much better.

And in between coats on the prep table I got to work on painting another table.

Leon picked up this side table off the side of the road and it’s been sitting in the corner of the dining room, acting as a kind of mini buffet ever since. After a few months of looking at it in all its scuffed and poorly stained glory, I decided to paint it white. More importantly, I decided to paint it white with latex paint so I don’t have to worry about it peeling and staining when we put food on it.

sunday3

I still have another coat to paint and then I’ll live with it a bit longer, but I’m thinking that I might paint all the bevels a medium gray. Something similar to this dresser.

Side note — Once I finish a few more house projects I’ll do a post because I want to show off.

Then, after an easy dinner of grilled chicken and vegetable kabobs, I went out on a couponing trip.

Couponing at Walgreens.

Couponing at Walgreens.

My haul wasn’t spectacular, but it was pretty great and I am going to do a post about that tomorrow.

So finally, at 10pm, I got home from the store and crawled into bed. The day was exhaustingly productive and I loved it.

But I’m pretty sure that I’m going to love my lazy Sundays and my Sundays full of friends and fun just as much.

It’ll be a trade off, I’m sure.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you like to spend your days off with friends, being lazy, or getting things done?

Do you return purchases to stores or only buy what you’re sure you’ll love?

Later eaters!

A Gloriously Lazy Weekend

Hiya eaters!

This weekend has been beyond ah-maze-ing!

Leon and I realized that we haven’t had a weekend where one or both of us wasn’t working or we didn’t have something to do since September! And it’s not that we don’t love being busy and having fun things to do on the weekends.

But this weekend we did ab-so-lute-ly nothing that we had to do and we didn’t have any semblance of a schedule and it was glorious.

I also didn’t stress about taking lots of pictures, so there are some holes.

Oh well, my pants have holes in them too, so obviously I don’t mind.

On Friday Leon and I got off work and immediately got in of bed. We didn’t leave bed except to eat and pee. It was pretty fabulous. And the venison steak Leon cooked for dinner wasn’t half bad either.

Saturday Leon and I had big plans to get our first Christmas tree!

This is not where we got our tree.

We picked up our Christmas tree from Leon’s work where they were selling trees as a fundraiser, which just happened to be close to the farmers market. So of course, we swung buy.

We picked up half a peck of apples (for a school project that I’ll definitely be sharing with you eaters), a dozen eggs (for only $3!), and a pound of chorizo sausage, among a few other things.

Obviously, this shopping trip made me very happy.

Once we were loaded up on food Leon and I walked over to the other side of the farmers market to eat at the Moose Café, a home style Southern lunch place.

How Southern are we talking?

Biscuits and apple butter Southern, of course.

And to keep the comfort food coming, I went with “Grandma’s Meatloaf” with a side of French cut green beans, roasted butternut squash, and cornbread.

The squash and cornbread weren’t too exciting, but that meatloaf was out of this world.

Is it wrong to love meatloaf? Too bad, because I do. I really really do.

After lunch and a trip to the dog park where Charlie played until he almost didn’t have the energy to walk back to the car, we came home, drank spiked cider, and decorated the tree.

An Instagrammed tree and cinnamon ornaments.

I didn’t get a picture of the tree because our lights were dead and I wanted to wait until it was all a-glow. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get a pretty picture of the tree because, when I got home from a party later Saturday night, this is what I came home to.

This was roughly half of the ornaments that were on the tree at that point (we still have about a dozen glass ones that we luckily hadn’t put up yet). And unfortunately, I don’t think my attempt to embarrass him worked.

#DogShaming

Oh well, he’s still a puppy, right…?

At least he was extra cute and cuddly when Leon and I were being lazy bums this morning. So we rewarded his cuteness (which might be his only redeeming quality) with plenty of pizza crust from the pizza we picked up for lunch.

Finally around 2pm I got my big butt out of bed and headed downtown to do some Christmas shopping at the Holiday Hand to Hand Market.

The Hand to Hand Market is a craft fair that happens about twice a year in Greensboro. Today’s was the biggest one yet and there were a ton of great vendors.

My goal this year is to give mostly local/DIY Christmas gifts, so I was happy that I was able to pick up a few gifts.

I was also happy to get some ideas for craft projects that I can do myself.

Is it bad form to take pictures of crafts with the intention of making them later? Probably, but sometimes I’m just not willing to pay $18 for a wine bag (especially when I have a ton of craft store coupons).

With the help of a few tomatoes from the farmers market, Leon made a huge pot of salsa to get rid of the dozens of hot peppers we had leftover from our CSA. So we cooked up some of the chorizo, baked some corn tortillas into chips, and plopped it all atop big beds of CSA greens and called it dinner.

This spinach was so delicious.

This totally makes up for peppermint vodka, almond M&Ms, sour cream & onion chips, and being an extraordinarily lazy bum all weekend, right?

No? Well then I better go drink some water. Because if salad doesn’t erase bad habits, water sure does!

Your turn, eaters:

Your weekend — busy or lazy?

Do you have ANY advice at all about how to keep Charlie from chewing things when we’re not home?

G’night eaters!

House Tour: Whimsical

Helloooooo eaters!

So here I am, in the final stretch of frantic movements before the family arrives. And I’m happy to say that, due in large part to Leon because he’s much more efficient at cleaning than I am, the house is so close to being entirely clean!

All that’s left is the bathroom, the kitchen floor, and finishing our room.

#HotDamnHooray to say the least!

Since there is a good chance that our house won’t be this clean all at the same time again until more family comes to visit, and because I think we are finally about done with all the decorating, DIYing, and furniture buying that we’re going to do, I can finally give you guys a house tour!

Yes, I realize that I’ve lived here since May.

Yes, I realize that you probably don’t care.

But with the exception of my giant bean bag and the crappy cart in the kitchen (which we are looking to replace), everything in the house had to be acquired. So between the acquiring and the creating, all of this was hard and time consuming and I am so explosively proud of my house.

So quit complaining and let me explode.

This is the view from the front door.

To the right is the dining room, featuring our $40 table, pink chairs, British WWII prints, and our booze holder/bar (which is also a vital part of our landing strip <– watch the video, it’s helpful.)

The pink chairs match the blue walls, right?

To the left is our living room. The chair came from an estate sale years ago. The couch came from Leon’s friend, Will, who gave it to their friend, Randall, who gave it to us. And the deer wall is whimsical, which is my design mantra.

If you walk straight ahead you’re in the kitchen.

We didn’t do much to the kitchen, as you can see, but I do love all the white cabinets. And I love all the light that comes in all day from the windows. It makes a great place for photography.

And here’s a quit look back at the front door and living room from the kitchen doorway, just for funsies.

Walking through the dining room puts you in the hallway. This isn’t a super thrilling space…except for our picture corner!

I saw this idea as a pinmonths ago and finally just finished it a couple weeks ago. (Or, as finished as it’s going to be for right now, because I would love to add more frames as time goes on.) And I must say, it’s awesome.

"I am an Omega Man, leader of the pack. Standing tall for excellence and learning not to look back. Learning how to set goals and be an inspiration to the crowd. Seeking wisdom everyday and making the Brotherhood proud!"

It’s especially awesome when you’re looking at it from the bathroom or office doorway because then you see the Omega Man picture, which was a joke gift from Leon’s friends a few years ago that I’m crazy about. I mean, what’s more whimsical than a shirtless afro man and a poem? And the purple and gold on it just happen to go brilliantly with the blue wall and gold frames.

Speaking of the office…

This is a room I intentionally left pretty plain. It’s our office, a guest room (when the air mattress is inflated), and where we keep myCharlie’s bean bag, so I didn’t want to do too much and then leave it feeling awkward at times.

Have I mentioned that I'm in love with accent chairs? Because I am. Especially this one.

But I really do love the desk (and chair) with the bookshelf that doubles as a standing desk. It makes me very productive. Charlie trying to climb up the chair and into my lap doesn’t make me productive.

Onto the bedroom, or as I like to call it (I don’t actually call it this, but it’s true) The Room With The Bed, because our king sized bed almost doesn’t fit.

Eventually I want to upholster the box spring so that it's not so ugly. And eventually I want to actually make the bed, too.

If the room were just a foot wider I would put a small accent chair where the cardboard boxes are (and have been since we moved in…) and probably a few whimsical hooks in the walls on either side of the bed for clothes and things. But I can’t do that, so I pile clothes on top of the boxes usually.

We can't be the only people who never fully push drawers closed, right?

This wall hanging was another pinned idea that is still a little bit in progress. I want to add a few more flowers in the upper right corner so that is looks like they are being blown up from the bottom left.

Last and certainly least is the bathroom, which I didn’t even bother to take a picture of because it’s all teal and peeling wall paper.

We didn’t do ANYTHING except putting frosted glass plastic over the window so the neighbors don’t see me naked. And, as luck would have it, that window will probably have to be replaced since it’s almost definitely rotting.

Who puts an unsealed, solid wood window and sill IN a shower? I don’t get it. But that’s the beauty of renting — we don’t have to get it or pay for it.

And that wraps it up. Aren’t you glad my house is tiny? AND aren’t you impressed with how much has changed since this post, on the day we moved in back in May?!

Because I think you should be.

Your turn, eaters:

Are you proud of your home? Tell me about it!

What’s the next house/DIY project you want to do?

G’night eaters! 

Thanksgiving Prep

Hokai eaters!

It’s crunch time for Thanksgiving. I’ve got T-minus 5 days until my family rolls into town, at which point my house will have to be pristine and fully decorated (which means that I’ll finally get to give you all the house tour that I have been wanting to do forever), all my feast shopping will have to be done, a lot of the feast will have to be prepped, the dog will have to be thoroughly run so that he might be well behaved, and I’m sure a few other things.

But I’m jazzed as shit about it. I kind of love deadlines and a bit of (self-imposed) pressure and having lots of things to do that I enjoy.

Oh, and my house could really use a thorough cleaning. So there’s that.

And I’m happy to say that I’ve already got a good head start on everything.

Whole Foods had fresh turkeys on sale for 99¢/lbs all weekend, so our turkey is already bought.

You have no idea how excited I am about these leftovers. I've even started pinning recipes.

Can you believe that 12lbs was the smallest turkey they had? Oh well, I do love leftovers.

I did a pre-cleaning of the bathroom a couple of days ago, so the next cleaning will be much faster (which means I’ll spend far less time huffing bleach).

The décor is made (for the most part because apparently pumpkins don’t exist after Halloween) and half of it is hung up.

I am supremely proud of this wreath. AND I gave it a few coats of super hold hairspray, which will keep me from sweeping up moss bits every day.

Once I pick up some clear thumbtacks the other half will go up. And hint hint it’s a lot like this.

And I have made my super neurotic lists of everything regarding the feast.

It's like a low-tech Excel sheet.

The master list has 5 categories — the food, ingredients, cooking dishes/utensils, serving dishes/utensils, and cooking time and place. Then I made another list where I divided up the ingredients I need among Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, and Earth Fare. All my shopping will probably happen on Wednesday because EF gives 5% off to students on Wednesdays and then I’ll only have to make one trip to the other two stores to get everything on their lists plus whatever I might not find at EF.

Or I might at least do the WF’s shopping early because I know exactly what I’m getting there and will probably get whatever I can’t get from EF at HT.

Ya know, because I don’t want to be too neurotic and rigid, right?

Yup, this is definitely me having it all.

(And I wasn’t being sarcastic that time. I really do love all that stuff.)

Your turn, eaters:

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Do you like to be super planned out or more casual for hosting parties?

G’night eaters!

DIY Silhouette Wall Plaque

#HotDamnHooray eaters!

I’m officially on fall break.

Sure, I hope a ton of homework and things to do while on break, but right now I’m choosing to ignore that.

Because right now my mind is full of all the wonderful, luxurious fun I’m going to have this week. There will be a trip to Virginia Beach with Leon and Charlie to celebrate Papa’s 60th birthday. There will be a trip to Macon to see Mother and my best friend, Coco, who just found out TODAY that she got accepted into the Disney College Internship Program. There will be beer and sleeping in and not having to pack lunches and cuddling with Charlie. And, m’dear eater friends, there will be crafts.
Because there is almost nothing I enjoy more than doing a relatively mindless task (jigsaw puzzles, crafts, dishes, suduko) while watching TV.
Really, I’m not kidding. I really do love it.
So in honor of my impending free time and the possibility that you’ll have free time over the weekend, here’s a super easy craft that can be done in roughly the time it takes to watch 3 episodes of 30 Rock.

DIY Silhouette Wall Plaque

Step 1:

Scrapbook paper works great for this, fyi.

Gather supplies — wooden plaque, printed paper, Mod Podge (I prefer matte, but gloss is a-okay), sponge brush, scissors, pen, silhouette printed off the interweb, hanging mechanism (I’ll show you my stupid easy cheap method at the end). If you choose to paint your plaque you’ll also need those supplies, and for the purpose of these instructions I’m assuming you’ve already done that.
Step 2:

You can use an exacto knife, or you can be "resourceful" and just use nail scissors.

Cut out your computer print silhouette. Trace that onto the back corner of your printed paper (ya know, in case you mess up … like it did) and then cut out your new, pretty silhouette.
Step 3:
Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire front of the plague and then also onto the back of your silhouette. Place the silhouette on the plaque and rub out all the air bubbles. Let this dry for 20 minutes.
Step 4:
Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire plague and silhouette. Let this dry for 20 minutes. Repeat Step 4.
Step 5:
Cut a small length of rope/yarn/string and tie a knot in each end. Center the rope along the back of the plaque, near the top. Using a staple gun (or a hot glue gun, which I would have used but Leon doesn’t trust hot glue), affix each end of the string to the plaque.

Because I am almost as neurotic as I am stubborn, I used BOTH a staple gun and hot glue.

Step 6:
Hammer a nail with a sizable head into the hall, hang, and center.
Stupid easy, right?
Right!
Now you get to crafting while I…do something.
Your turn, eaters:
Do you like crafts?
What’s your favorite TV show to zone out to?
Later eaters!

Meal Planning 101

Hiya eaters!

To say that I’m mentally exhausted would be an understatement. I am definitely paying for putting off all my homework this weekend. And I still have more homework to do after I post this.

College is fun, isn’t it?!

But enough griping about homework. Let’s talk about class.

I realized today, while I was sitting in class making my meal plan for the week, that I have become pretty dang awesome at meal planning and grocery shopping. So awesome, in fact, that I almost feel qualified to give you advice on it.

And since there’s no “almost” in the blog world, here’s a little insight into how I go about planning and shopping for my food every week.

First: Figure out how many meals to plan.

I generally plan for a week, knowing that we’ll eat out once and wing it (leftovers or odd bits put together) once. So I know I should plan 4-5 meals each week.

If you can't tell, I do have more in my freezer than Smirnoff and coffee.

Second: I check my freezer for protein.

I base my meals around protein, whether it be plant or animal. And Leon and I tend to buy it in bulk whenever it’s on sale (which is why we currently have 6 blocks of tofu, a couple balls of ground beef, and two chicken carcasses), so it almost all ends up in the freezer.

So when planning I aim to use at least three pieces of protein from the freezer. It cuts down on paying full price for what is usually the most expensive part of a meal. It also gives me some limits to make figuring out meals less overwhelming.

Third: I check my favorite basics.

I may not be as predictable as serving spaghetti every Thursday, but I am still predictable enough to go back on my favorites — tacos, stir fries, pizzas, one pot meals. I make at least one, if not two of those a week.

For example, this week I’m planning to make pizza and seitan chili. Knowing that I’ve got those two meals on lock makes the rest of planning easier.

My groceries this week.

Fourth: I check Pinterest.

Yes eaters, Pinterest is for more than pictures of DIY projects you’ll never do or hairstyles you want to try. It is also a pretty great place to find recipes. Because when you think about it you eat with your eyes first, so seeing pictures of recipes is really rather helpful.

I pin things throughout the week, so when it comes time for planning I just pull up my “Cooking Springboard” board and see what I either have the protein, time, or random ingredients for.

All of these were once specialty ingredients.

Fifth: I fill in the blanks.

No one is enough of a meal planning wiz that they can use ever ingredient for two meals and not waste a single bit. Or at least, I’m not.

I buy ingredients that I only need a tablespoon of. I buy two kinds of cheese when I could probably make due with one and save a little bit. But I don’t have too much brand loyalty. And I do know that once that specific ingredient is in my arsenal I’ll use the heck out of it.

Left: groceries. Middle: costs. Right: meals.

Sixth: I make a list and stick to it strictly.

Isn’t that everyone’s trick? Stay away from impulse buys. Know how much things cost and buy in bulk when they’re cheap. Clip coupons. Plan. Plan. Plan.

And that’s about it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got homework to do.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your meal planning process?

What’s your favorite meal to make? My basics could use some refreshing.

G’night eaters!

All Over Sunday

Hellooo eaters!

It’s Sunday and unfortunately I don’t have tomorrow off.

Oh the joys of going to a Quaker school where they believe celebrating holidays is favoring one day over another.

Oh well. I really don’t mind Mondays because I kind of love getting back to my routine. And I also can’t complain about starting a new week when the old one ended like mine did.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sundays are my day. I am guaranteed to have them off (and so is Leon). It’s a lazy day where most places are closed, so I can’t really waste it doing annoying errands. And as of recently, Sundays also include zoning out in front of some Law & Order while clipping coupons.

Yup, it’s a lazy, yet oddly productive, and overall wonderful day.

And this Sunday was no different.

I started the day with a complete balanced breakfast.

Half a Devil's food cake donut with sprinkles and eggs with spinach and Texas Pete.

FYI, I blame Holly for the intense donut craving that set in on Saturday, prompting a nighttime trip to Donut World (on West Market St by Guilford College Rd for all you Greensboro/Triad people), where I can never ever get just one.

(This time I got three. Don’t judge. They have an amazing variety.)

I then proceeded to laze around the house, hanging out with Leon and Charlie, and wasting time on Pinterest.

It’s amazing how much time you can spend looking and pinning and how many ideas for things you can’t possibly do/eat/own/see you’ll find.

Once I had my fill of dreaming, I got to doing. And today that “doing” included buying picture frames from Goodwill for a decorating project, buying fabric and a few other supplies for a pillow project, and going to the gym for the first time since I started Crossfit.

FYI, the gym is super boring.

Once I got home I got down to business. And in no time flat I had two pillow covers sewn and filled.

My plan was to then iron on a black deer head silhouette to make something akin to these pillows. Except for the fact that the couch is new so I remembered the upholstery wrong when I was buying fabric and ended up with pillows that just don’t look right.

These two fabrics just don't work, right?

I can move the pillows to another room in the house and make new ones with new fabric, but I’m bad at picking colors. The living room has the couch, a Kelly green/avocado green vinyl recliner, and a couple of gold accents. The living room is openly connected to the dining room, which has dark blue walls and light pink chairs. There’s also lots of dark stained wood. And I’m locked in with the black deer heads.

Thoughts?

While mulling over new fabric colors and discussion options for what to do with Charlie while Leon and I are at a wedding in Vermont in a few weeks (we don’t want to board him for fear of him having Vietnam flashbacks of being in the shelter), we ate an easy stir fry.

Sunday night always used to be “brown rice and vegetables” night growing up — a scoop of brown rice and a scoop of stir fried vegetables and chicken in some brown sauce while we watched “60 Minutes.” As I got older the two scoops were allowed to touch and eventually the stir fry was served on top of the rice.

That’s a sign of maturity, right?

Anyway, this post has been all over the place tonight, but it’s kind of been a segmented, all over the place day. I hope you don’t mind.

What do you think, eaters:

 PleasepleasePLEASE tell me what color fabric I should choose. I don’t know if you can tell, but the couch is grey with threads of brown running through.

Did you/do you have any set meals based on days of the week?

G’night eaters!

Single Lady Stuff

Hellooooo eaters!

All I can say is “D’oh!”

I totally spaced last night and forgot it was Sunday. Hence the missing blog post.

But I know today is Monday, so let’s do things.

Yesterday was a day. A long, busy, productive day, but a good one.

Ya see eaters, on Saturday Leon left to spend a week up in Vermont with his family. I’m pretty jealous, because Leon’s family is hilarious and wonderful and I need a vacation. But because of work, that didn’t work out.

Oh well.

I’m choosing to look on the bright side. I’m choosing to think about all the wide open possibilities this week holds. I’m choosing not to focus on the fact that I’m now solely responsible for walking Charlie and washing dishes and that I never remember if trash gets picked up on Tuesday or if it gets put out on Tuesday night.

So to kick off my week of single lady stuff I bought a glue gun and made a wreath for our front door.

I was going for something that could last through at least early fall. This works, right?

Yup, I’m wild and crazy.

And I took advantage of Leon not being here (because we learned quickly that we shouldn’t go to the hardware store together), and bought a bunch of flowers at Lowes.

These have since been successfully planted. Hopefully they won't die.

I also bought a cactus, because I love them and they’re just low maintenance enough that I can’t kill it.

Isn't it cute?

Because with all the dishes and dog walking and laundry, I really don’t need any more responsibilities, right?

But the single lady fun didn’t stop at just prettying up the house. Nope, it extended all the way to meal planning and grocery shopping.

Yes eaters, I am a fun, vivacious college student. Why do you ask?

Loot:

Local eggs, organic spinach, organic bell peppers, organic zucchini, organic eggplant, organic sweet potatoes, ciabatta, local pork bratwursts, local fresh catfish, Colby jack cheese, organic green leaf lettuce, mozzarella, baby bella mushrooms, 365 brand Greek yogurt.

I still have to pick up a couple of things from Teeter, but once I fill in the holes I’ll be more than ready for a week of fun single lady eating.

And as you can tell from my shopping list, my version of single lady eating doesn’t include berry parfaits or smoked salmon finger sandwiches.

Yup, it’s going to be a good week.

Your turn, eaters:

What do you do when you have time to yourself?

Do you eat differently with friends/significant others than you do alone?

Later eaters!

Meet Charlie

Hiya eaters!!

There’s two exclamation points to make up for the missing one yesterday.

Oh, and because it has been that great of a day.

First thing this afternoon, Leon and I paid our pet deposit and then headed over to the Guilford County Animal Shelter (on Wendover Ave right next to Biscuitville) to pick up our dog. And after quite a bit of paperwork, he was finally ours!

So, I would like to officially introduce Charlie!

We named him after Charlie from the TV show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

He’s a boxer-hound mix and will be a year old in June.

He has total crazy eyes when he gets excited. It’s pretty great.

He looks like such a puppy!

At first I was a little worried about how he would adjust to domestic life because the shelter said he had been a stray, but he got the hang of the car nicely enough and has only peed in the house once (knock on wood).

And it took him no time at all to decide that our giant bean bag was going to be his bed.

Don't tell me he's not handsome.

He then spent the next hour jumping from the bean bag to his bed and back again.

Neither Leon nor I realized just how much of a spaz-y puppy he was when we visited him in the shelter (I think he was a bit depressed), but now that he’s free and well-fed, his full spaz is coming out.

He's licking Leon's feet, which is pretty gross.

He’s pretty good on the leash, until he sees a butterfly and then all bets are off.

He tolerates baths as well as can be expected, though his toes are pretty webbed, so maybe he’s a water dog.

I think he sees a bug.

He loved going on walks to the park down the street and then around campus. Hopefully he’ll learn his own name soon and we can get him well trained enough to be able to take him to the dog park.

Lindley Park, Greensboro.

Until then, it’s lots of walks and bean bag jumping.

And now he’s sprawled out at my feet, looking extra cute. Hopefully one more walk after dinner will tire him out enough that he’ll sleep his first night home.

Otherwise, it’ll be more bean bag jumping.

Whatever makes him happy.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you have a dog?

What’s something totally spaz-y your dog does?

G’night eaters!

PS — He’s totally mesmerized by the sound my camera makes, so expect a lot more pictures of him.

PPS — I know I sounded critical of the Guilford County Animal Shelter yesterday, but really, they do a wonderful job. I can’t fault them for being extra thorough when it comes to adopting out animals. If you’re in the area and are looking for a pet, pleasepleasePLEASE go to them (rather than a breeder or a puppy mill). They have so many animals waiting to be adopted.

Stuffed and Wrapped Chicken Breasts

G’day eaters!

I had my first day of class today (I’m taking one summer class), so now in addition to all the house stuff I’ve got to do, I now have a bit of school work thrown in.

Oh, and tomorrow I get to start applying for jobs.

I’m stressed and busy and falling asleep at 10pm every night, but I really couldn’t be happier.

I also couldn’t be happier because after roughly a week of being a house-person, I’ve learned a lot about the kind of house-person I really am:

I don’t make my bed every morning.

I don’t care much about bed skirts or matchy-mathcy linens. Actually, I don’t care much for matchy-matchy anything.

I like to plan ambitious DIY projects. I’ve started making progress on some of them.

I don’t yet have a spray bottle of vinegar-water cleaner, but that’s coming.

I recycle as much as possible.

I consider beer to be a very necessary food group.

I don’t have a ton of condiments, but the ones I have a pretty great.

I cook dinner (almost) every night.

Our weekly food bills may be slightly outrageous and every dinner may not be gourmet, but almost every night Leon and I have cooked dinner. We even cooked when all we had was an electric wok, a loaf pan, a few bowls, and plastic silverware.

And ya know what, eaters?

That may have been one of the best dinners to date.

Stuffed and Wrapped Chicken Breasts

2 (organic, hormone free) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

~2 c kale, roughly chopped

~2 T fresh sage leaves, chopped

3 T British brown sauce (or 1 T ketchup and 2 T BBQ sauce)

4 thin slices of any smoked cheese

2 slices bacon

~1 T oil

1 t smoked paprika

salt and pepper, to taste

4 toothpicks

In a bowl mix the kale, sage, sauce, and a sprinkle of salt and then massage.

Butterfly each chicken breast. Rub the outsides with a little oil, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

Place one slice of cheese on the bottom half of each chicken breast and then add half of the kale mixture on top of that. Place the other slice of cheese on top of the kale and then refold the other side of the chicken breast on top.

Wrap each breast in a slice of bacon and secure the ends with toothpicks.

Place the breasts in a baking dish and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a knife is inserted.

We ate ours on top of a bowl of broccoli. With plastic forks and paring knives.

The chicken was insanely juicy and the smokiness of everything almost made it feel like a real summery grilled meal.

The cheese was melty and the kale wasn’t soggy or burnt.

In short — this was a meal that I would happily eat regularly. And with minimal time and effort required, not to mention ample ways to switch fillings and flavors, this is a meal that I could eat regularly.

So once again, I’m not revolutionizing anything as a house-person. But I’m more than surviving, so I’m more than happy.

What do you think, eaters:

How often do you cook dinner?

How do you fee about matchy-matchy things?

G’night eaters!