Saturday, January 14, 2012

Food Waste Friday #1

Welcome to Food Waste Friday!

My friend Marisa and I have been reading The Frugal Girl for a while (Marisa introduced it to me about a year ago, I don’t know how long Marisa has been reading it). The Frugal Girl does “Food Waste Fridays”, where she posts an occasionally embarrassing picture of her food waste for the week each Friday and encourages other bloggers to join her. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while but couldn’t get the guts up, but I’m doing it now! I decided to do it about a week and a half ago but my trash can was full last week (they are super strict on trash here in Oregon, no overflow or anything), so I just saved up my food waste (ew?) in my fridge. So what you will see here is about two weeks of food waste. In addition, I’m declaring “food waste bankruptcy” – cleaned out my fridge and freezer pretty completely so I have a fresh slate. I have some pantry items that are on the edge, but I’ve been eating stale cereal for the past week or so to try to prevent food waste on those things. It really is interesting how big of a difference you can make when you put your mind to it!

Not pictured this week:

- Several leftover containers from restaurants. These were my sister’s (she’s been staying with us since she got back from Afghanistan while she job hunts) and she was in Italy for a few weeks and they got weird.

- Most of a loaf of bread. We don’t eat a ton of bread but we bought it were my parents were here and it went moldy. Sad

- Hamburger rolls from when we first moved in and I had made a bunch of pulled pork. We had two packages and I guess there were two buns left at the end and they were also moldy.

- A tiny bit of skim milk – again, my sister’s and she left for Italy around the beginning of the expiration date.

- Eggnog – Geoff purchased with the intention of drinking and never even opened the carton.

- Parsley – I don’t even know when it was from, it was all dried and weird. Maybe there is something I could have done with dried parsley? But it certainly wasn’t properly dried.

- A weird malt cranberry drink I bought. I thought it would be tasty and festive for the holidays. It was festive perhaps, but it sure wasn’t tasty. I just faced facts that no one (including myself) was going to drink it.


- One picture is my special “s’more stash” for camping. It is a divided container that holds chocolate and graham crackers (and sometimes marshmallows, but they were in a separate container and they’re still ok at the moment). The chocolate was all oxidized (I tried it and it was weird) – I tried to pull it out a bit so you could see it. And the grahams were mushy. I made a s’more in the microwave – yuck. It was all crumbly and weird.

- Caesar salad & dressing – this was also from when my parents were here.

- 2 packages of awesome meat – sad. But it was super freezer burned. I made Geoff a steak from the same set of meat and it was YUCKY. So we decided not to take our chances with these… why waste cooking time, materials, energy, etc. when we know it will be bad?

- Buttermilk – not sure when this is from, got stuck in the back of the fridge.

- Fig spread – I never ate this. Totally my fault. It’s way past the sell by date.

- Onion – it was a little weird to begin with, I should have prioritized using this or made sure I cut the weird parts off from the beginning. I think it contaminated itself.

- Random cup of ranch dressing – no explanation.

- Pomegranate – this was my sister’s. It got super moldy and weird. But this was the first time I tried pomegranate, SO GOOD!!!!

Seems like I had a lot of large quantities of food. I guess I need to work on that. Here are some highlights of the past few weeks, since I’ve been thinking about this stuff more:

- Used up a bunch of cheeses in macaroni and cheese (had to cut a few moldy spots off, but I’ll take it! – I guess I should have counted the moldy spots above)

- Been eating tortilla chips like crazy to use up the giant Costco bag I bought for New Year’s Eve (also been eating up the dips that went along with it as well as some other dips we had on hand, which gets rid of them and uses up sour cream and cream cheese)

- Geoff ate a frozen lasagna that had been in the freezer FOREVER (and by “in the freezer”, I mean has traveled with us… probably since we sold our house in 2009. Ew. And YAY GEOFF!)

- Ate leftovers from going out to brunch this weekend (again, YAY GEOFF)

- Ate a bunch of meatballs leftover from NYE and froze the rest in nice portioned packs!

- Ate up some super-special chocolate sauce/topping we have had for a while (there was one moldy bit that needed to be scooped out, so I think we saved it in the nick of time!)

- My stale-cereal binge

- Geoff’s been eating up his frozen fruit smoothie things (and using up some of my sister’s skim milk, as well as the cream and his own milk in the process!)

So I think pretty good all in all! I’m looking forward to doing this and seeing what we can do about food waste!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I'm awesome at blogging!

Don't y'all know it? Ok, here's some highlights of the past few months.

June - Went camping on the coast the first weekend of June, ran in the Great Urban Race (by ran I mean walked... dressed up as Lady Gaga... there were four of us... we came in second in the costume contest!) the second weekend, and then did Relay for Life the last weekend of June

July - My mom came to visit, so we had a great week with her... went camping one weekend in Eugene, played bingo, and just generally had a good time. Also went to the coast for my friend Beth's 30th birthday celebration. Geoff also changed to a new job (still at the same company).

August - Geoff has been going to school for a couple of years at various Portland Community College campuses close to work and where we live. But he was going to be starting at Portland State (downtown Portland) in the fall. We lived south of the city and worked east of the city and had previously been able to carpool, but now we were throwing in a trip to the city which also eliminated our ability to carpool. Since all of these places are 30 - 45 minutes away from each other and our second "car" was a Ford F-450, this picture was starting to look a little weird. So we sold the truck and put the RV up for consignment at a dealer (it's still there). We moved in with Geoff's parents. His sister was still in town for the summer, so we had a great time. We worked on a ton of outdoor projects while it was still the summer - cleaning out the garage, cleaning out the shed, etc.

I think I've oozed into September a bit here. :) So let me close out August - we volunteered for Hood to Coast (didn't run it this year!) and went to my friend Addy's wedding.

Ok, so onto September - kicked off my beloved Northwestern football season! That's about the highlight of September.

In October, we went to visit Geoff's grandparent's house in Mt. Vernon, WA, which is always so much fun! We pressed apple cider, watched football, and ate a lot. We celebrated Geoff and Claire's (my friend's 2 year old) birthdays the 22nd and 23rd (not-respectively... or something. Geoff's is the 23rd and Claire's is the 22nd). Many people contributed to Claire's cake... my mother in law baked them, Geoff iced them, Claire's aunt Beth (of previous 30th birthday party fame) and her friend made the little people in front of them (see pic below), and I just sort of coordinated the whole effort and let Claire sit in my lap and stick her hands in cornstarch and help me roll out the fondant (while eating a little too... see other pic below). A good time was had by all. This past weekend, we went to Houston for my cousin's wedding. It was GREAT to see my family - cousins, aunts, uncles, grandfather, parents. Haven't seen some of them in years. We had just the best time!!!

November promises fun!!! I switched to a new job myself (also within the same company) effective November 1. We're moving into a townhouse (renting) beginning tomorrow. I say beginning tomorrow because we get the keys tomorrow but we're going to take a week or so to move - no rush! But it will be very close to work, so I will basically have no commute and Geoff will just have to get to school 3 or 4 days a week depending on his schedule. Not too bad! My sister is returning from Afghanistan 6 days (or possibly less!) from now. She goes to Dallas first to see my parents and then here for Thanksgiving! YIPPY!!! Then next month my parents come for Christmas.

Very excited for the coming months!!!

Thursday, June 09, 2011


This is not okay. These people are not “justified” because of what some bank “told them”. They are obligated to the contract they signed to pay for their home.

And it’s REALLY lame that your payments used to be $1000 but tripled to $3000 because you were too stupid to refinance and now you’re paying NOTHING while you “work with the bank to find a payment plan that works”. How about you still pay your $1000? How is NOTHING okay???

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


I've had a couple of comments about how I have new posts on my blog - which are now a month old!

May was filled with a lot of travel - our trip to Georgia was lots more fun than expected! We got to see our friend William, spend a ton of time with family, had some awesome meals, and did a great quick daytrip of Atlanta on Saturday. We went to the Coke museum, the aquarium, and had a behind the scenes tour of CNN. It was super fun!

The past two weekends (Memorial Day and the weekend after) we went camping. We went to Seven Feathers RV Resort for Memorial Day. That's my favorite park, and I believe it's Geoff and his mom's favorite as well. We had so much fun even though it was rainy all weekend long! This past weekend we spent a gorgeous weekend at Fort Stevens State Park. My friend Laura, her sister Beth, and Laura's daughter Claire came and hunt out with us during the day on Saturday. We went to the beach, had a campfire, and chatted. I also invited myself into a camper - my mother-in-law is thinking about buying a camper of her own, and the folks across from us had the same brand she is looking at. She has never been in one, so I politely invited us in (after stalking the people all afternoon waiting for them to return!). In my experience folks are ALWAYS happy to show off their "home". Turned out, they are looking to go to full timing in the next few years when they retire. They had seen our fifth wheel and had already Googled it, so when they learned it was ours they asked if they could check it out. Geoff gave them a nice long (probably 30 minutes) tour. They seemed to really like it, so it worked out well that we could both check out each other's rigs. The weekend before (Memorial Day at Seven Feathers), we saw some people that had the same brand camper we used to have, and our friend Bill (he and his wife Cindy have a trailer also and camp with us often) invited got to chatting with them and they had been Googling our fifth wheel as well. So he invited them to check ours out. They came over and loved it as well. So much fun! Ours is a smaller manufacturer so it's fun to introduce people to them. Anyway, we had a great time at Fort Stevens but probably won't go back with our current camper. Most of the older state parks in Oregon just aren't set up for rigs as big as ours, and it's not pleasant to get in and out of there.

Those are really the highlights of May - have some good things coming in June so hopefully I'll be inspired to blog more. We are playing bingo tonight, I'm super excited!! We most recently played at Seven Feathers Memorial Day weekend, but I really like our "home" bingo hall better. We know our announcers (bingo callers and attendants), we know how all of the games work (no staring at a sheet or the board to try to figure out if we have the right patterns or not), etc. It's just really fun at our own place!

Oh and last week I bought a box (~140) of nail polish from someone on Craigslist. I got a GREAT deal and it's been so fun to look through the polishes. Quite a few gems in there!

Monday, May 02, 2011

2011 Thus Far

Sorry for the wonky formatting in the previous post, if it isn't obvious, I used the "post via email" option. I thought it would be easier, but probably won't do it again due to the formatting.

Ugh and I keep thinking of other things that happened - like in December 2009, Geoff and I took a whirlwind trip to Houston to help my borderline hoarder (like ALMOST could be on the show Hoarders, maybe not quite though) grandfather move into his retirement community. It was 5 straight days of 12+ hour workdays going through his house as quickly and efficiently as possible. My parents came down to help, and we had some help from my uncle as well. My cousin and his girlfriend innocently came by to pick up a fridge and some furniture on their anniversary - and ended up staying and helping us out straight up until they had to leave for their dinner reservation. It was SO kind of them (especially the girlfriend!! - now fiance!) to stay a disgusting, mold-filled house full of trash to help us sort through Goodwill/keep/trash/recycle/etc. It really meant a lot to me and Geoff. They apologized profusely for having to leave and for not knowing ahead of time (this was on Sunday, and they had to work the next day), otherwise they would have helped us out on Saturday as well.

Also at some point Patrick came to visit Portland - it was late 2010 because we went to bingo! But I have to stop thinking about what else happened last year otherwise we will never get into this year!!!

January 2011
Started off with a Murder Mystery Dinner Party at Dave and Busters with my sister and her boyfriend! The New Years Day we went to the Northwestern bowl game in Dallas!!! Yay for parents who live where your team's bowl game is! We were able to rearrange our tickets and because they actually cost LESS than our original tickets back did we even got a discount on our change fee! The Wildcats lost but it was still a great time and we got to see some college friends. We also got to meet up with my college friend Russ, his wife, and his new (probably 4 months at the time?) baby! They took us out for a fantastic lunch a Greek cafe close to my parent's house (so nice of them to drive out closer to us to meet us even though THEY were the ones with the baby!). 2011 definitely started out with an exciting bang!!!

February 2011
Ugh. February. We were planning a trip to Disney World with my friend/bingo partner/doggy daycare manager Chelsea and her boyfriend Peter. We actually DID go to Disney World, but two days into the trip I got sick. So sick. :( High temperature, feel totally rotten, stay in bed all day kind of sick. Yuck. Thankfully we were there with Chelsea and Peter so Geoff could go to the parks with them during the day. I was able to go to the parks Saturday and Sunday, but Monday (Valentine's Day - everyone went out to a romantic dinner but me!), Tuesday, and Wednesday I was in bed all day. Wednesday night I started getting concerned - we had to fly back Friday and I wasn't going to be able to fly the way I was feeling. So Geoff stayed home from a special luau dinner show even thing that we were going to go to in order to the doctor with me. A very nice man came and picked me up on a complimentary bus and took us to urgent care. We had to wait forever (like 2.5 hours?) but finally a doctor came in, said "you have some sort of tonsillitis, no strep test cause adults don't get strep, but I'll put you on an antibiotic". Fine. Happily, they had the antibiotic on site so we didn't have to track down a pharmacy. I started taking that and started feeling a bit better. Thursday I spent a couple of hours at the parks with everyone, just taking it real slow and easy. Friday night we flew home - with a stop in Dallas in which my parents were able to meet us at the airport and my mom brought me birthday brownies! - and then I slept in late Saturday, my birthday. Starting Thursday, I had NO VOICE. I have never had no voice like that before - I would open up my mouth to talk and words would not come out. I could whisper, but it wasn't until Monday at work (which thankfully was President's Day, so there were very few people at work), that I had any voice whatsoever to talk with! Even then it was awful. I would have had to miss a whole week of work, so I guess it was good that I was on vacation, but ugh!! What a vacation - sick the whole week!! So that next week I started feeling better and my antibiotics finished on Friday the 25th. By Monday the 28th I still wasn't feeling right, so I went back to the doctor. This doctor actually ran a strep test and SURPRISE - I had strep. He thought it was SO weird, because he had just been looking at my throat and saying "do you ever get acid reflux? because this looks more like some irritation than strep throat". The nurse then knocked on the door and said the strep was positive. He was shocked - they had only done the strep test because it's standard for them with sore throats. I asked what the percentage of tests are false negatives, and he said "are you an engineer? only engineers ask me questions like that." Why yes, yes I am. So he googled it for me - only 2% are false negatives. But we did a culture just to be sure - it really was strep, I found out a few days later. So he put me on a 2nd course of antibiotics - this one only for 7 days instead of 10 days. I got to feeling a bit better again (never 100%), and then again about 2 days after the antibiotics wore off, I felt worse again. Having been through this song and dance before, I went straight back to the doctor. Strep AGAIN!! It was so weird... they asked if I worked in childcare or was around kids or what. Nope, none of the above. She said "we never see antibiotic resistant strep throat!" She put me on a third course of antibiotics. I don't know if I had strep all 3 times, or if it came and went, or if I just kept having it... who knows. But that one finally did the trick and about 6 weeks after getting sick, I got fully 100% better. Thank GOODNESS!!! So half of February and basically all of March was shot.

The other thing that happened in February is my sister went to Afghanistan. After grad school, she started a program to be a Human Terrain Analyst. She trained for 6 months in Leavenworth, Kansas, and then left in February for Afghanistan. I am SUPER excited for her and proud of her.

March 2011
Since I was sick all of March (more or less... and I was able to go to work but just didn't have much energy for anything else), I decided to become the master of care packages for my sister!! I have sent her some themed ones - Under the Sea, Easter, etc. and some random things that she has requested (clothes, etc.) I am now a pro at filling out a customs form and mailing to APOs. I know everything you could every want to know about how the military mail system works and what to send, what not to send. In fact, I've had so much fun doing this that when she comes back, I plan to do an "adopt a soldier" program for care packages. It's been just awesome, and having her there helps me learn and appreciate a lot more about our military!

We also went to the Portland RV Show TWICE in March - this time it's not us in the market for an RV, it's my in-laws. They went from wanting a Class A (like a big bus type) to a travel trailer (pull behind a vehicle) to back to a tiny trailer (a really short one that you pull behind a vehicle). That's kind of what my MIL wanted all along, but my FIL wanted something a little bigger. But when push came to shove, he realized he doesn't go very often and it makes more sense for her to have something she can tow easily and setup quickly on her own. It did take 2 RV shows to figure it out, but now she's in the market for something like the Rockwood Roo 21BH - has bunks, a U-shaped dinette (more space), plus a fold out bed for when it's nice out. Really great little camper. So she is working on getting her beloved Mustang ready for sale - it's a new season of life and while she's loved the Mustang now she is ready to love a camper of her own! So that was fun too.

April 2010
April brought our first camping trip of the year - to the coast on what turned out to be the nicest weekend of the year!! It worked out nicely. The only bummer came when Geoff opened the emergency exit window, and it somehow slid off it's track and popped off. In the process of trying to put it back in, he accidentally shattered the window next to the emergency exit (they are adjoined). So our camper has been out of commission and we have been living at my in-law's house for the past two weeks. Luckily they have plenty of space and are kind enough to let us stay there. Also, my FIL is out of town for work for several months so it works nicely that we are at there to stay with my MIL and give her a bit of company (or, she is annoyed that people are invading her house during her special time alone!). Plus they have an extra fridge in their garage, which is great because there is a refrigerator recall that we decided to have done as well (might as well since they have our camper anyway). So that should be done in about 2 more weeks - the problem with such a high-end / specialized camper is that everything is custom and so service takes a bit longer. That's ok, I think it was still the right choice for us.

Which brings us to May... this weekend we are headed to Atlanta for my brother-in-law's graduation from Georgia Tech! We'll get to see Geoff's brother for the first time since right before Christmas, plus his grandparents for the first time sense then too. It will be a quick trip but should be a fun weekend.

And now you're caught up on my life. :)

Wrapping up 2010!

September 2010

In September we met up with my sister and her friend Molly in Vegas to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We stayed in the Palazzo. The highlight of the trip (for me at least) was going to a live stage show of The Price is Right. It wasn’t the taped version, but it was a Vegas replica. In order to maximize the number of people that got to play, they called all new people up for each game (like the 4 people guessing the price didn’t get to stay up there, they had to go back to their seats each time). So the Showcase Showdown people were selected just for the Showcase Showdown. None of us had been selected throughout the entire game, and had pretty much given up hope. But then my sister was called to come on down!!!! I had read on Yelp that the Vegas Price is Right prices, specifically in the Showcase, were VERY LOW. The Showcase (there was only one, both contestants bid on the same one) contained a car, two vacations, 1000 shares of Yahoo shop, and a couple of other things. I showed her numbers on my hands, I think I had her bid $12K and the actual retail price was about $13K. Of course the other lady bid like $25K or $30K since it SEEMED very impressive, and my sister was the “big winner”. What the audience didn’t know, but they had told her in the 90 seconds between when she was called up and had to bid, was that she was bidding on these items but unless she came within like a penny (or who knows, maybe it was $100, I don’t remember), she would only win one. So they decided she won the Mexican cruise. She went for the cash out option and got $300. Certainly not bad, but it seemed like she was winning thousands and thousands of dollars, and she won $300. Lots of people kept coming up to her and congratulating her on her new car, and she was like yeah… I didn’t win a car. They were all mad! It was pretty funny. The guy who got to play Plinko (who was a really sketchy guy… he was in Vegas without his wife and gave a really sketchy story about where his wife was? But he didn’t speak great English, so that may have been party of the problem) won about $800… my sister was like how is the Showcase EVER worth less than Plinko?! Again, how can you complain about winning $300… it was just the whole ridiculousness/cheesiness of the whole thing that was funny!!!! Definitely a great time was had by all, in spite of or more likely BECAUSE of the cheesiness. I would recommend for sure! Other than that, we just had fun eating, hanging by the pool, and shopping. I probably played a few penny slots but none of us are big gamblers. Oh and we watched Iowa football (Christine and Molly both went to Iowa) – we couldn’t get anyone to tune to a Northwestern game (which was on Big 10 Network or another obscure network) without agreeing to spend like $100 on food and beverage. No thanks. All in all, a great weekend! (and I did get to spend my gift card that Geoff gave me on the most fantastic purse I have ever owned)

October 2010

October was the month of the cake! My friend Laura’s daughter was having her first birthday, so she asked me to do her cake. I hadn’t made a cake in a couple of years, so I had to “practice” :) First I made a going away cake for someone who was leaving our group at work. Then I made a birthday cake for a friend who invited me to a Girl’s Weekend at the coast for her birthday – that was tricky to keep a surprise! It was a three tier cake, and I had to drive separately because my cake took up so much room!!! Then I had to get some of the other girls to take Kim on a walk so I had time to assemble the cake!!! Then was Baby Claire’s birthday – her birthday is the day before Geoff’s and her party was on Geoff’s birthday. I decide to make Geoff a surprise cake that looked like a big plate of noodles with meatballs (chocolate cake mixed with chocolate icing and rolled into balls) and spaghetti sauce (strawberry filing poured down on top of the cake). So I spent a lot of prep time early in the week making what I could ahead of time for the cakes – one for Claire’s party, one for just Claire to eat, and one for Geoff. Luckily Geoff had class on Thursday night I made his cake and the strawberry filing, then hid the cake in the storage underneath the camper and the strawberry filing in the back of the fridge. Friday morning Geoff and I “moved” – aka parked our camper outside at Ryan and Laura’s house. We would stay there for the weekend to make it more convenient, since Geoff was smoking ribs and chicken for the party and I was doing cake! So Friday I took half a day off of work and went to Laura’s house to finish Geoff’s cake before Geoff got there, then start on Claire’s. I finished Geoff’s cake and hid it in Laura’s garage. Geoff also left work a bit early, but luckily I was done before he got there! Geoff, Laura, and I all worked on Claire’s cakes the rest of the day – instead of finishing them Saturday morning like we planned, we stayed up until 2 AM working on them. There are pictures of all of these cakes on Facebook. It was a lot of work, but we had a great time doing it!!! Oh, and Geoff was COMPLETELY surprised – his parents actually came to Claire’s birthday party so they could see him on his birthday, and I went out to the camper and got my strawberry filling, poured it over his cake, and brought it in from the garage to surprise him. I think a lot of people were more impressed with the spaghetti cake then Claire’s cakes – I assume because it looked like something other than what it was? It was about 239852398 times easier that Clarie’s cakes.

October also brought my high school friends Kathleen and Stacey visiting! They came to Oregon for a wine tasting trip. They stayed at our house Saturday night (we had agility class but just left the door unlocked for them and arrived home about 30 minutes after they got there). Then Sunday we all went wine tasting together and then picked up pizza for dinner. It was a ton of fun!!! It was the longest I’ve been able to really visit with them in about 10 years, so it was great! We went to some wineries I’ve been to before as well as some new ones, including one that had just opened several days before that they heard about in a previous winery on their trip. It was really fun to see them!

November 2010

When we were in Vegas, I saw that I was missing a fabulous Groupon – a 14 day trial membership to ClubSport, a gym I have always been interested in! I knew that it was nice and had a rock wall, but didn’t know too much else about it, so the Groupon would have been a perfect way to check it out. But I didn’t see it until the day after it ran. But in November, someone at work realized he wasn’t going to have time to use his, so he was looking for a taker. Lucky me, I got to be the taker! Geoff was super jealous… until a couple of days later when the guy emailed me and said that his wife also wasn’t going to be able to use hers, and was I interested in that one too? Yes please!!! So Geoff and I went and checked that out (ok, so we might have started in October, but most of the 14 visits occurred in November). WE LOVED IT. It was soooooooo nice and made working out so much more fun!!!! Each treadmill and bike (our primary cardio choices) has an individual TV, which is great especially for Geoff, who likes TV more than anyone I know (except maybe my mom!). I enjoy the TV too, but will often read instead, especially on the bike. There is an indoor pool, an outdoor pool that has a cabana so you can get lunch and drinks, 3 NBA size basketball courts, 2 smaller courts, racquetball, squash, the largest rock wall in the Northwest, a restaurant and bar, nice locker rooms with towels/shampoo/conditioner/body wash/shave gel/blow dyers/q-tips/you-get-the-picture provided (and the women’s has a lounge area with a TV, comfy couches, and lemon water), a spa/sauna/steam room in each locker room), 3 fitness studios, and I think that’s it. Actually there is other stuff like physical therapy, an “Edge” room for more intense classes and personal training, a small store with fitness clothes and stuff, and a spa area with massage and pedicures. They have all sorts of events and activities and parties going on all the time too. Anyway it’s a really nice gym!! It’s great for kids too, they have kid-oriented classes and camps, and for the smaller kids there is a GREAT kids club area where parents can get 2 or 3 (can’t remember) free hours of childcare a day. I have read yelp reviews from new moms that are like I LOVED that time to take a shower and just a bit of me time a day! Plus the outdoor pool is just a recreational pool (no laps or classes), so I imagine that will be a GREAT place for kids. It opens May 21st so that will be our first chance to see it in action. I’m super looking forward to it. Oh, so I guess I just gave away the fact that we joined – we got a really great discount through our company, and we got a lot of use out of our Groupon, so we decided to join. It’s more than our old gym was, but we have enjoyed and used it a lot more than our old gym too. I think it’s worth it – we look forward to going to the gym!

My sister came and visited us for Thanksgiving – it was the third year in a row she’s come for Thanksgiving, and it’s always so much fun. We got her passes to the gym (negotiated that when we joined!) so she was able to check it out. We also did some shopping, volunteered on Thanksgiving day, and some general hanging out. It was just kinda a low key fun weekend!

December 2010

I eluded to my online nail message board earlier in this “year in review” – well in December one of the gals organized a “Portland area meetup”. So 6 of us got together at a Starbucks to meet each other, chit-chat, and trade nail polish. It was quite a site to see us each with a box of colors that we didn’t love, and we swapped with each other for colors we’ll love more!! I know it sounds really really lame to first HAVE a nail polish message board and second of all meet up with them, but I don’t care. Nail polish has turned into an awesome hobby and it was fun to meet up with others who share the same hobby! The same gal is organizing another meetup as we speak!

December of course is also Christmas (stick with me, you’ll learn a lot – ha). We travelled to Dallas to see my parents and sister. It also worked out well because my aunt and grandmother came in from Albuquerque to visit, and my cousin came up from Fort Hood with her family! I had met her husband once before (before they were married), but had never met her little girls (almost 5 and almost 3 at the time). It was so much fun! We hadn’t spent any real time together in 10+ years so it was just great! The other highlight of the trip is that we took the dogs – that’s right, we got these carriers called SturdiBags – I found them on clearance at PetSmart (they are no longer carrying them) and had a 15% off coupon to go with it! So even though they are expensive, we got a great deal on them and everyone we asked about which carrier to use recommended a SturdiBag!! We got them about 3 months in advance and started throwing treats in there and getting the dogs used to them. They travelled like pros!!!! We had to take their collars off and pull them out of their bags to go through security, then stuff them back into their bags. No problema. A little fussing from Jax but really not a big deal. Overall they were VERY calm on the trip there and back. I would do it again any time. Oh, and they travelled under the seats in front of us as one of our carry ons, not underneath with the baggage. I don’t think I would do that. Yay for small dogs! It was a great Christmas with the family and our little dogs!

WHEW!!!!! 2010 is done – that is my year! I’ll start in on the first part of 2011 later today!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

2009 - 2011, continued

March 2010
I know I already covered this, but I didn't remember anything. I do now. March was my first "hunt" for nail polish with my MIL. She has two boys, and she loves to hunt. So what did she get to hunt for growing up? The latest Hot Wheel collections. She also is a knitter, so she has gone on hunts for "retired" yarn colors before. But she was VERY happy to have the opportunity to hunt for nail polish, even though she didn't really know what she was looking for. :) We went to a local store called the Dollar Shoppe, lots of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, etc. Those types of stores have great old drugstore brand (Revlon, Sally Hansen, etc.) nail polish for about 50 cents a bottle!

Also, we started agility classes for the dogs. I thought it would be fun for Jax since he's so athletic, and Geoff decided to take Roxy too even though her legs are about an inch and a half long.

We already covered April, so I'll skip that.

May 2010
In May I came up with the genius idea to get inflatable kayaks. I have always loved kayaking, we live right on a river, and there is at least one place we camp that has a great river available for kayaking. Plus we were going to visit my sister in Monterey where there is fantastic kayaking. So I got two 2 man kayaks, complete with life jackets for the pups. They have proven to be SO much fun!! I spent much of last summer kayaking - there are several put-in points on the river, so I typically will just drive to one, kayak down, and pull myself out near where we live. I deflate my kayak, carry it back to my house (although later I got a little cart to carry it, way easier, cause they are heavy), and then when Geoff has time get him to take me back to my car (or if I went with someone, the second person just takes us back to the first car). In all honesty though, sometimes there is so little flow in our river I could just put in and get out at the same place!

We also did the Portland Doggie Dash in May... super fun event with vendors and dog contests. We did about a mile and a half walk - that's all Roxy can handle! Jax could handle the longest run they have as an option.

May was also when we took the camper down to California for my sister's graduation. We met up with my parents (they stayed with us), and my aunt, uncle, and grandmother rented an Airstream at the same RV park we stayed at. It had a great dog park complete with agility equipment and we had a fantastic trip. After the graduation, Geoff and I had an extra ~5 days and we pondered what to do - Vegas and Disneyland came up as options. Then we realized we could go to San Francisco and eat at really expensive restaurants and it would be way cheaper than either Vegas or Disneyland. So that's what we did. We found a nice RV park overlooking the Pacific and just drove into San Francisco for a fabulous dinner each night. It was GREAT. Plus, I was driving my sister's Civic back to Oregon (to store it for the summer while she went to NYC for the summer), so we had that car to drive into SF with - made it way easier than the giant truck. We had three fantastic dinners, each easily ranks among the top 10 dinners of my life. I love food. :)

June 2010
This is another month that I remember absolutely nothing about! Such a disappointment. I guess you can't have an awesome month EVERY month. ;-)

July 2010
In July I started playing BINGO!! The gal that manages our doggie daycare, Chelsea, and I got to talking one day about cruises and how she played bingo on her cruise and loved it. I had been secretly Facebook stalking Chelsea for months, convinced we would be good friends (creepy much?!). Anyway, she mentioned bingo and I asked her if she'd ever been to Sunset Bingo, a local bingo parlor. She said she hadn't, and I hadn't either. So we decided to go together. Neither of us knew at the time, there is a LOT to learn about bingo!!! It's not just straight lines and four corners - there are seven ways to "regular" bingo! Then there are specials and rules about when you can call BINGO and you have to figure out what to buy and all of this craziness. It was soooo crazy, but so much fun. We got really into bingo and were going once a week for almost the rest of the year. We have only been ONCE so far this year, but we're going again tonight. Bingo will never get old! And it's not super expensive either - $6 will buy you about 2.5 hours of fun! We've come a long way and know a lot about bingo now... we're pros now. ;-) Oh, and in every state but Nevada (except for at Native American casinos), bingo is non-profit! So when we play, we are contributing towards local ameteur sports (like my boss's kids are fencers and part of the money goes towards fencing!).

July also brought a BBQ with my friend Laura and some of her girlfriends. We are coworkers and she has a general "no friends that are coworkers" policy but she decided I was an exception. ;-) So she invited me over and we have become quite close since then. It helps that we see each other daily for work!

We also had our first agility trial in July. It was a VERY hot weekend, but we had a nice sun shade and great setup, and our dogs did their best in a "fun" match (not judged seriously). My MIL and SIL came out to watch it, it was a super fun day!!

August 2010
The only notable event in August was our 3rd wedding anniversary. Geoff and I follow the traditional wedding gifts, which is really fun and about the only traditional thing we do. It just makes it really fun to have to try to put a modern twist on traditional gifts. So the "theme" was leather. We actually came up with very similar ideas - he got me a leather luggage tag that contained a gift card for my favorite handbag "store" (there is only one store in the US and it happens to be in Vegas, where we were going to be going in September). I got him a leather wallet that contained a bunch of different gift cards - Chipotle, Best Buy, movie tickets, etc. It was really fun! And we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Portland.

...Part 3 to come later....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2009-2011 in review :)

Late 2009
So the last little bit of 2009 after we sold our house - the highlights I remember are moving into the camper, getting Portland Trailblazers season tickets, my 5 year college reunion at Northwestern, my sister visiting for Thanksgiving, and my first Christmas not spent with my parents. Oh, and at the VERY end of December, I believe the 29th?, we drove up to Washington to buy a new (used) truck.

January 2010
Why did we buy that truck? To buy a new RV of course. :) We made a hectic-crazy road trip down to Tucson, AZ in our new (used) truck. It's a 2008 F-450... man is it a BIG truck. A very very kind friend drove along with us - and we drove about 25 hours straight through to Tucson. It was the 3 of us, Jax, and Roxy, towing our "old" (2008) camper that we were going to be trading in in Arizona. We left Portland around 6 AM Wednesday, January 6th, and arrived in Tucson on Thursday around 11 AM. We checked out the RV, did a full pre-delivery inspection (PDI), and then signed our paperwork. They had a great setup - they allowed us to pull our old camper with the door aligning straight to the new camper. Geoff stood in the old one, passed stuff to Rick (our friend who made the trip with us), and Rick passed it to me and I scrambled to find a "safe" place to put it so it wouldn't get damaged on the trip back. After the "move" we were on our way - we went to Phoenix to visit some friends - Hart, Becky, and Patrick. We went to dinner at my FAVORITE restaurant, Los Dos, and then the dogs got a nice break running around in Hart and Becky's backyard with their dogs. Then back on the road. We made it back by about midnight Friday night - a fantastic ~60 hour roadtrip. And the craziest part was the boys never let me drive! I think by the time they did all the driving there, they decided that they were going to drive it back themselves. So I did my part by sleeping a lot and being "ready" in case they needed me. ;-) Our new RV is beautiful and I still to this day love living in it.

One other highlight of January was couple's weekend, an annual trip to the beach with friends. It was there that I read through a backlog of Real Simple magazines and saw an ad for OPI matte nail polish. I owned about 7 bottles of nail polish at the time, including 3 OPIs, because a friend had told me in college OPI was "the best". But I thought the matte looked cool, so I went to Ulta when I got back from couple's weekend and purchased a bottle. That led to me googling better application tips for nail polish, which led to me finding that there are nail polish blogs out there, which led to me finding a community named MUA (Makeup Alley) nail board, which led to a love of all things nail polish. My nails have not been unpainted a single day since late January 2010. I LOVE nail polish... this is easily my longest lasting hobby. I know it's weird for nail polish to be a hobby, but it is. More to come.

Feburary 2010
We had some friends over for the Super Bowl - our first guests to the new RV! Geoff and I took our first trip to Seven Feathers, which quickly became our favorite and is rated among the top RV resorts in the country. We spent a glorious 3 day weekend there, and I towed the RV back the entire way. It was my first towing experience with the new RV. The following weekend (my birthday), Geoff was on men's retreat, so Geoff's mom and I towed the trailer down to Eugene to Armitage County Park, which quickly became another favorite of mine. They have the county dog park right there, so it's great to let the dogs go play. It's a public park, so PLENTY of space, plus fire pits, and then have wireless, which is always a plus for me. I LOVE towing the trailer!!!

March 2010
I honestly remember nothing significant about March. The Blazers wrapped up their regular season in early April, so I do remember Blazers games getting a lot more intense as we got closer to the playoffs. But that's about it.

April 2010
I remember being sick on Easter. Sad! I had painted my nails a beautiful pastel manicure for the occasion! Also, we took our trailer in to have some warranty work done on it, so we lived at my in-laws for a couple of dates in late April.

I thought I'd finish this all in one post, but I am going to stop here and finish May 2010 - April 2011 tonight or tomorrow. :) I will keep chugging along on this!