Thursday, September 18, 2014

coffee talk thursday

Well hi there. Anyone else running around like a chicken with it's head cut off this week? ::crickets:: no? Just me? Well, alrighty then... moving on.

I was woken up at 4:45 AM this morning by an aggressively snuggling kitten, which is either something out of a dream or a nightmare. HE JUST WANTED LOVE. I get that. But... it was a little over the top and he would not go away and therefore I am going to need an IV drip of caffeine to get me through this day, which is already scheduled to be extra long. Super! So what better day for a "coffee talk" post?? Grab a cuppa (or a glass of wine, depending on what time you're reading... no judgement here) and settle in.

  • Since this is coffee talk, let's start with something actually coffee-related: the PSL (dun, dun, dunnn....) - we all know that I love all things fall, and I definitely love all most things pumpkin spice. However, I once calculated that your regularly-made, grande Pumpkin Spice Latte clocks in at a whopping 10 Points Plus. When I'm following WW, I only get 26 for the day - do I ever really want to spend more than a third of my daily points on one drink?? No, no I do not. (Additionally, I've seen all the article about the questionable ingredients Starbucks uses in the mix.... blerg). So, know what I get when I have a hankerin' for a PSL? Grande Blonde roast, one pump Pumpkin Spice syrup, add skim milk. Bam. All the PSL flavor, none of the wonky / gross stuff. Try it. You're welcome.
  • Additional coffee choice: Pumpkin Spice coffee from Wawa or Dunkin' Donuts. JUST as good, if not better.
  • Did anyone else watch the series premier of Red Band Society last night?? I've been waiting for that one for a while. Got to say, I liked it - it's the sort of cheesy show I can get behind, knowing that it's probably going to make me cry a lot because I'm emotional like that. C, on the other hand? Pretty sure that's one he will not be watching with me.
  • Speaking of television, I am stoked for fall TV to be back! I can't wait for the new seasons of American Horror Story: Freak Show (I'll probably never go to a carnival again), Sleepy Hollow, Bones, and all my other usual faves. What are you watching this fall?
  • I have a shopping date with my mama this weekend and I can't wait. I am in desperate need of some new pieces. I have been throwing things into Goodwill boxes left and right (C probably thinks I've lost my mind), but I am just so tired of all the worn-out pieces in my closet. Must remedy. Slowly. But surely.
  • I've been reviewing some resumes at work lately for a position that needs to be filled, and the amount of spelling errors and other mistakes that I've seen are mind-boggling. If there was ever a time to make sure a document is absolutely perfect, it's when you're applying for a job. Please, for the love of heaven, at least use spell-check, if not your most trust-worthy grammar queen (or king). Come on, people!
  • C and I watched the end of both the Orioles game and the Nationals game the other night, the ones where they clinched the divisions, and we watched as they went into the locker rooms to celebrate. While C was just excited about the success of the teams, I was focused in on the fact that so many of the guys were having SO much trouble opening the champagne bottles. I know they were excited and bouncing off the walls, but still.It was kind of hilarious! So much struggle. Apparently, they did not perfect that skill in college.... #sororitygirltalents
  • Has anyone updated to iOS8 yet? I backed up my phone and cleared a million things off of it to make space last night, but I haven't actually pulled the trigger. Can someone please reassure me that it'll be ok? I'm scared!

So what's going on in your world? How's your coffee? How's your day? Tell me something interesting!

Monday, September 15, 2014

wonderful weekend

Our first "no plans" weekend in a long time turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. C told me several times yesterday that this weekend was the most fun one he's had in a while... and that's saying a lot, because we've been doing a lot of fun things! Just goes to show that sometimes downtime is crucial.

We kicked off the weekend with dinner and a concert - totally low-key style. As I mentioned, we got tickets to go see Dierks Bentley with some of my book club girlfriends & their significant others. We started out by meeting everyone for dinner at Chipotle, and hung out for a while debating the merits of getting to the venue in time to see the opening acts. In the end, we just meandered our way over, and got there right before Dierks started. No one minded!

We had a great time, and we were back home by 10:30. How's that for a rowdy Friday night??

On Saturday, we had Stephanie and her husband over for an impromptu football-watching party... and unfortunately had to suffer through a VT loss. The guys cooked up some wings and cheese fries, though, and we picked up a Sam Adams fall sampler box, so at least the eats and drinks were good, though the game was not so much. 

We tried to use our Caps tradition to swing the game's momentum... no such luck.
After S & C left, we deemed nap time necessary, and snoozed for a while before hitting up the nearest Red Box for Spiderman 2 and pizza-making supplies. We were going to order pizza, but as we wandered around the grocery store, we realized that we really prefer making our own. So, personalized naan pizzas it was. Yum!

Look at these cuties who are finally starting to get along! #pileofkittens
Sunday morning called for a lazy breakfast. I pulled out the cast iron skillet and whipped up a new recipe from Iowa Girl Eats - it totally hit the spot!

C & I were brainstorming ways to remake this one, but change it up a bit next time. It's totally versatile and delicious. While C mowed the lawn, I got to work on a major house-cleaning session: from ceilings to baseboards and everything in between. It was a gorgeous day, and it felt so good to open the windows, get some fresh air in the house, and wipe away a season's worth of dust. Ick. Everything gets so polleny in the summer, there's no way to avoid it or ever truly keep it clean. The end-of-the-season wipe-down is critical. And refreshing!

I couldn't let the first truly fall-like day get away without a run, so I headed out for a few miles on a local trail while C pulled together a pot of chili for dinner.

I made the mistake of telling him that I didn't think it was spicy enough when I got home.... the final result had us both sweating! I have been looking forward to chili season for weeks, and I was so happy to have the first pot on the stove. It's been a long time coming!

Next weekend, I'll be getting ready for another business trip, so having some time to spend this way was wonderful. It felt like I recharged my batteries - no crazy to-do lists, no racing against the clock, just moving from one activity to the next whenever I felt like it. There is so much to be said for days like that!

And we allllll slept soundly last night. Hooray!
How was your weekend? How's the weather where you are? Did you do anything fun? Make it a great week!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five for Friday: cats, cookies, and books, oh my!

Wow - this is definitely a TGIF kinda week! Some weeks fly by, but the ones that don't, man they draaaaaggggg. I am pumped that it's finally the end! We have a "no plans" weekend ahead of us, which should be excellent for starting Operation: De-Clutter, and there is a LOT of football to be watched. My ideal September weekend!

I've got to say, today didn't start out on the greatest foot - the train ride in was bumpier than usual, and I almost turned around to ask the kid behind me to turn up his blaring rap music because I couldn't QUITE make out every single word... but I refrained (seriously, one of my biggest pet peeves. I don't want to hear your music from your earbuds inside your ears. Turn it the heck down! #oldladystatus). But I've got hot coffee and a busy day ahead, so I'm looking forward to turning it around. Plus, C & I are going to see Dierks Bentley tonight with some of the book club girls and their husbands (hi Stephanie and Aileen!), and I'm super excited. He puts on a great show, from what I've heard!

So let's get to the good stuff, shall we? It's time for Five for Friday - hooray!

1 // I had a hankering to do some baking last night, and the ingredients in my pantry led me to a batch of Copycat DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies - aka possibly my favorite chocolate chip recipe, ever! These cookies are SO moist and chewy - just the way I like them. Brought half the batch to work this morning so that C & I wouldn't devour them all! Thank heavens for co-workers.

2 // Yesterday was a lovely (albeit hot & humid) day in DC, and I caught this pic of the flag outside my building at half-staff blowing in the wind. I always feel very on-edge working in the city on 9/11, but at the same time, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  God bless America, land that I love...

3 // It's been a while since I've posted about what I'm reading... and honestly, that's because it hasn't been much. After flying through several emotionally-charged books in a row, I was a little burnt out, and couldn't find anything to really sink my teeth into. That changed when I finally opened my latest book club book this week (due Monday, whoops) - Room: A Novel by Emma Donohughe is wild (affiliate link, fyi!). I'm about 2/3 of the way through, and just eating it up. It's kind of hard to read, because it's written from the POV of a very sheltered five-year-old, but other than that, it's fascinating. Anyone else read it??

4 // Our newest addition has officially received a name. Everyone, meet Toby. Toby, meet everyone. He is keeping us on our toes, that's for sure!

5 // And speaking of cats... Mac the Monster is having a tough time adjusting. Not that we thought it would be super simple, but this week has been a bit trying. I am doing my best to make sure my original cat-baby knows he hasn't been replaced and we still love him. It'll get better, but for now, he is not really enjoying this Big Brother roll. Not sure I blame him, though - the kitten is taking a toll on all of us! Whew.

So tell me... 
  • Big plans for the weekend? 
  • What's the last book you read? 
  • What's one thing you are looking forward to in the next few days?
Have a great day!

linking up with karli and amy

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

so. much. stuff.

I'm not sure if it's the changing seasons or the fact that I'm getting a little older or just being in a phase in life, but lately, when I look around the house, all I can see is clutter. There just seems to be stuff everywhere. I go through what C calls "tornado Lindsay" moments where I spend 10 or 15 crazy minutes trying to put everything away, but it seems like the next time I turn around, every surface is covered again. Know what I mean?

This summer was a busy one for us - if we weren't going somewhere, we had major weekend plans, or I was traveling for work (even though I'm home on the weekends, those business trips are exhausting and I just don't get enough done afterwards!) - so the little things around the house have kind of fallen by the wayside.

We are moving into fall, and my brain is starting to feel cluttered, too. It's time to try to tame the mess! We have a couple of weekends with very few plans ahead of us, so I'm determined to try to get things in order. Anyone have any great tips or tricks for every-day "life hacks" or ways to avoid the constant clutter? I'm talking closets, bedroom, living room, kitchen table... I'd love to see the top of my kitchen table again! I'm beginning to forget what it looks like!

After a good, thorough "put it all away" session, I'm planning to do a total overhaul of our closet. It is definitely time for C and I to both go through everything we own and start clearing it all out. Also, that's the only way I can justify buying new clothes - my drawers are currently jam-packed, but I hardly wear most of what's in there! Time to get rid of all the things just taking up space. I love the idea of splitting everything into three or four categories (i.e., keep, trash, donate) - so we will probably start there and go through every item of clothing we own. If nothing else, that would certainly be a start!

[source: Pintrest]
[source: Pintrest]
Something's gotta change soon.. because I'm about to lose my mind! And this is before we even have kids. It's just the two of us! (If you didn't immediately repeat that in song-form in your head, we may not be able to stay friends...) I swear I don't belong on Hoarders - but some days, I feel like I might! 

So tell me...
  • What's your best de-clutter trick?
  • How do you keep your house from not looking like a total disaster, all the time?
  • How often do you clean out your closets?

Monday, September 8, 2014

And then there were two.

This is probably not going to be the world's most interesting post for everyone, but the fact of the matter is, this development needs to be documented.

On Saturday morning, we were a one-cat family.


By Saturday afternoon, we were a two-cat family.

That's right, what began as a "quick peek" in PetSmart ended with paperwork and money being exchanged, and this little cutie got packed into a cardboard box to come home with us.

He is yet to be named (a much harder task than one might think), but he is already very loved (by us, not so much by the Original Kitten).

Almost every picture so far is a little blurry... he moves SO MUCH.

We have our hands full, that's for dang sure - he is 10 weeks old and lightening quick. Every time a door gets opened, he is flying through it.... We are going to have to keep our eyes on him!

He'd rather just play with the box than the toys, thank you.....