Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gym is the new Sugar

     


Couple weeks ago I came up with a motto with a colleague of mine. "Gym is the new sugar". I had this draft saved for weeks now to show off my amazing work out results at some point, but of course never got to it. We are pretty busy at work right now and for some reason, the sugar craving gets worse if you have tons to do.

SO we decided on working out everyday instead of not working out and eating 3 cupcakes a day.

I was doing really well, went to the gym at least ones a day (Monday-Friday) for three weeks. I still ate tons of sugar, but didnt feel bad about it anymore. :)

And then... we adopted 2 little dogs, and life has changed since. Yesterday I froze my gym membership for the next two months. I feel kinda sad about it, but haven't had that much excercise as I do right now, in months. I still need to get used to getting up before 7am every morning, but the walk with Steele is so refreshing and clearing out my mind, I really enjoy it. Brian and I are alternating the lunch and afternoon walks due to our work schedules. We are going together in the evening with both of them, and then later that night with Steele. Roundabout 2 hours each day of walking and I have lost already 5lbs in one week. YAY.. (and hopefully these few pounds are not just my muscles decreasing)

ANYWAYS.. my motto I guess doesnt work anymore and should be something like "My dogs chase me, so the pounds I gained due to my sugar addiction, disappear!"

Happy Leap Day everyone!

Monday, February 27, 2012

From zero to two in six days!


Brian and I were talking about having a dog now for several months.

Brian wanted a Pitbull, I would rather move out, than live with a Pitbull. 
I'm sure that they are loving dogs, but I'm just afraid of them.  
NO ON PITBULLS!!


I told him, that if we ever have a dog (after the babies) we can have Labs.

Then a couple weeks ago he received an email from a colleague regarding fostering/adopting pure breed labs. Some of them recovering from heart worms and some others little tiny 10 week old puppies! Of course they put pictures in that email and that was it. I was in love.

After a catalog of questions on the website, a phone interview from the foster care to one of our friends and a home visit, we got approved to become foster parents. It seems like a lot of check-ups, but they just want to make sure that the dogs have a nice place to stay and be treated as part of the family.

The organisation is amazing. They have lots of very nice people working for them, all of them with tons of knowledge and are very helpful with any kind of questions. Last saturday they invited us to visit their monthly adoption event to meet the team and some of their dogs. The puppies couldn't be there - all four of them were in the hospital b/c of parvo.

While at the event, there was this one georgeous looking black lab, he was whimpering a lot, and didn't really care for any attention. His name is Steele and he is four years old. We sticked around for some time to meet everybody, hear stories about the dogs. The same day I treated myself to a new car. I traded my VW Beetle convertible to a Nissan Rogue. Just in case, there is a new family member coming to our house.

They told us that the puppies will not be ready for another week or so, still recovering from this ugly virus. Brian and I talked alot about the puppies, Steele the black lab. We talked to Jenn on sunday, the lady who is working for ADS and she told us Steele's story. He got returned that past saturday after an ugly divorce, three kids, two dogs and they couldn't take care of Steele anymore. It was a heartbreaking story. Right there I decided to not wait any longer and foster that poor guy.
Monday afternoon I sewed a bed for him, bought food and some toys and put everything in place.


That night we met at the vet, saw little Diggor, the male puppy (who was so sick, they didnt think he would make it) and took Steele home. Brian and he had to ride together in the trunk! Steele was all over the place, scared, confused, excited and whimpering a lot that he didn't stay by himself in the trunk.
Tuesday during the day we had him locked up in his crate just to make sure he wont destroy the house or hurt himself. I took him out during lunch and put him back in. That night he had free reign of the house and after seeing him being so good, not getting onto any furniture, not jumping on us, we decided to leave the crate open and leave him free in the house. He seems to love life.
He is an awesome loving dog and we are completely in love with him.


This past saturday Steele became a big brother. Jenn brought little Diggor to our house in the morning and stayed with us for an hour or so to make sure they get along.


They are awesome together, Steele is an amazing boy and shares his toys. Diggor is now called Toby, he is 12 weeks old (born on 12-6-2011) and a chewer. You can't leave him alone quite yet, or your bed ends up not having legs anymore.

In 6 days we went from zero dogs to two and our life changed pretty much over night.

We put Toby's crate in our bathroom and now have a divider in it as well. He now only has so much space to just fit in it comfortable but not give him too much, to prevent him from peeing in his crate.


He has to go to the bathroom every two hours, and also we knew this was coming, we are exhausted. He sleeps, 

rests,




when not playing


or walking (with) his brother.





Our stairs are pretty steep, and we still need to carry him. He is just so tiny.


And here is mommy with her two babies.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vanilla Strawberry Cupcakes

  




After messing up the last two tries making cupcakes, I had to make sure this time it is working out. I used a white cake mix and included some vanilla extract and baked them for about 18min at 350F. 



 Let them cool completely


While they were on the cooling rack I made icing from scratch 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, soft
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • couple drops of red food color

 

       

After filling my decoration tube with the icing, I started from the outside and worked my way in.


 

                                                         



Monday, February 20, 2012

Cupcake Debacle

Here is my first failure in baking cupcakes. It started with my new cupcake recipe book and using self rising flour. The plan was to bake vanilla cupcakes with shades of pink frosting.


I put mixed berries in the batting and folded them in.



I put the cupcakes in for 18min at 350F.
While in the oven, they overfloaded the cup,


and when almost done, they completely fell together.


I was about to cry - they were pretty much going into the trash right there.
Brian said, just call them muffins and be done with it. But I couldn't leave them as ugly as they were and crumbled all of the 12 cupcakes into a bowl.


 I then mixed some strawberry frosting under, I had cake pops in mind! But it was so not going to stay in any kind of shape. Next idea, I put all of it into my decoration tube


and pressed little round shapes onto a cookie sheet.







Placed them into the fridge overnight and hoped they will become hard. Not happening either. SO I heated up the oven to 375 and baked them until the bottom turned brown. AND I have to tell you - they are delicious! :) and I named them Mixed Berry Treats.





Friday, February 17, 2012

Purple Pillow

One more pillow for the week, which already found a new home. 
I love purple, and I wish I could keep all the pillows I'm making, but our house kinda overflows with pillows. So time to just make pillows for others.

It turned out very nicely, remembering I'm just using the fabric swatches I got free from our textile tradeshow in New York.