Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Love Affair

It started innocently enough. I punched the address into the GPS. I drove quickly, anxious for our first meeting. Would he like me? Would I like him? My stomach was full of butterflies.

As I approached my destination, I saw him come into view. And I could hear the angels singing.

It was love at first sight.

I wandered through the showrooms, the storage section, the restaurant, the child's play area.

I fell in love with Ikea that day...and the love affair began.

Shopping at Ikea is an experience each time. The restaurant, the showrooms, the childcare room, every department full of must-have items that you don't really need. Here are a few of my most recent favorite things from Ikea.

This canvas-style print for my newly repainted/decorated bathroom. $5.99

Glass jars. I put them in a little open cabinet in the bathroom to hold Q-tips, cotton balls, pony tail holders, etc. Large-$3.99 Small-$2.99

White towels. I love that they are extra long and not too thick. I hate a thick towel for my hair. They also come with a little loop to hang up. Towels-$2.99

Cutting board and vegetable knife. The best knife ever. I feel like Rachael Ray chopping vegetables with this thing. It slices through everything so easily. (Even fingers-be careful!) And I love that the cutting board is flexible. It makes dumping your chopped veggies easy-just fold it up and plop them into your pan. Cutting board-2 for $1.99 Knife-$14.99

Meatballs. Seriously. They serve them in their restaurant and now sell them in little freezers at the checkouts. So good and easy to use for your favorite recipe. Meatballs-$6.99

Coloring paper. This little wooden paper holder is perfect for the Little Miss. I love that it doesn't take up much room. It has 2 little spaces to hold pencils, markers, etc. You pull out the desired length of paper, and pull it against the top wooden piece. It cuts perfectly every time.
Paper $4.99 Holder-$6.99

Resealable plastic bags. These are by far my favorite new find. The bags are thick and durable. They come in the greatest sizes. 30 pack of large size bags-$3.99 50 pack of small size bags-$2.99

The Little Miss loves IKEA too. Her favorite part?

I may have a little hoarder on my hands.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

I came. I saw. I met Pioneer Woman!

Oh yes, I did!


The Little Miss and I met Ree, The Pioneer Woman, at her book signing in Cincinnati last night.

We had gone to the bookstore last weekend to get our line letter, I. They were going to start calling letter A at 6:00 p.m. We left home at about 6:30, hoping it was going to take as long to get through those letters as I expected.

We arrived at the bookstore at about 7:30, just as they were calling letter G! Sweet! We went to the bathroom, browsed through the kid section, and soon enough, they called our letter I. We then got in line, where we waited. For a long time. But the line was full of nice, fun women, all excited to meet Ree. We chatted and laughed, and talked to John, the cute little baby boy in front of us in line who was rather smitten with a certain sparkly-shoe wearing girl.

Eventually, we made our way up the steps to the desk where Ree was sitting, signing books. It was all very surreal to see and meet her in real life. And after waiting for a couple hours, once we finally met her, it was all over in about 20 seconds. I don't even remember what I said. I am sure it was something clever like:

I really like you.


She was sweet and gracious, just as you would expect. Her hair is beautiful. She had great eye make-up, and wore lots of jewelry. Her shellac nailpolish was holding up beautifully.

She signed my cookbook, which I got for Christmas last year. I read Black Heels, but it was on my Kindle, and I didn't think I wanted her to sign my Kindle. The woman in front of me brought along an apron for her to sign and Ree said, "Sure, I'll sign anything."

Grr. Why didn't I think of that?!

We had a great night. It's so fun to be able to do these girly things with the Little Miss. She loves shopping and books as much as I do, so it made for a wonderful girls night out.

If PDub is coming to your neck of the woods, I suggest going to meet her! It's well worth the wait!

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some Things You Need to Know

1. I'm busy.

2. The snow has finally melted.

3. I'm busy.

4. I'm going to Pioneer Woman's book signing tomorrow.


6. You know the old "birds and the bees" discussion? My little tractor loving boy gave the Little Miss his version, entitled, "The bulls and the cows."

7. Luckily she thinks the cows only date. He actually said mate.

8. But I am fairly certain neither of them know what mate actually is.

9. Last night I was stricken with a bad case of PMS.

10. Dessert pizza, Mydol, and peach Amish wine helped.

11. One of the male subs peed all over the toilet seat, didn't flush, and left the light on in the women's staff bathroom today.

12. I'm going to go out on a limb and also assume he didn't wash his hands.

13. I shall be putting a more obvious sign on the MALE restroom tomorrow.

14. I talked with the BFF today. The non-working, volunteering, shopping and lunching BFF.

15. I'm a little jealous.

16. If I hear "Firework" one more time, I might stick sharp things in my ears.

17. I got a Kindle.

18. I didn't think I wanted one.

19. I was wrong.

20. I love it.

That about covers it. Anything I need to know?

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Monday, February 7, 2011

The Cat That Came Back

One day, several years ago, as I started to walk out the back door, a gray flash streaked by me. I followed the gray blur into the house and was surprised to find a very large, very fat cat.

This cat was a stranger. I had never seen him before, and we don't exactly live in a neighborhood for it to have been a neighbor's cat. He walked in that day, straight to the bowl of cat food, and has been here ever since.

Of the many cats we have had, Smokey is by far the laziest, most content cat. He is more like a dog than a cat in so many ways. He hangs around the guys when they are out working in the barn. He comes when you call. He will tolerate rowdy kids as he sleeps on your lap. He is calm, cool, and collected. And fat. If Smokey isn't in the house, he's never very far away. Actually, he's never more than about 6 feet or so from the food bowl.

But a couple months ago, Smokey was gone.

The first night, we knew something was wrong because he's always around. Always. Then the second night came and went. Still no Smokey. Had he gotten hurt? Did he finally wander too far from the food bowl? Was he just old and left to die? There were many unanswered questions.

A couple weeks went by with no sign of Smokey. We finally accepted the fact that he was gone and wasn't coming back. We stopped looking. We stopped calling for him. We knew.

A few days later, I drove the kids to daycare. Daycare is a few miles into town, across from where the kids go to school. It was early in the morning, still dark out. I pulled into the parking space, got out, and opened the door for the Little Miss.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a gray streak. A large, gray blur running toward me, and then past me, right into our car.

It was Smokey.

Words rarely escape me. But I was speechless. Our big fat cat was back. I scooped him up, cuddled him, and let him purr away in my arms.

We walked into daycare, me with tears in my eyes, and a very fat cat in my arms. The lady who runs the daycare met us at the door and all three of us started talking loudly explaining that this was OUR cat! She was stunned, to say the least. She went on to tell us that Smokey had been lurking around the daycare and school for a couple weeks. The neighbor ladies were feeding him. And he had a warm blanket on the porch of 3 separate houses.

The only thing we can think is that he somehow hitched a ride with us one morning. Either in the car or in the back of the truck the one morning I drove it. And he knew we would be around to bring him home. I wish I could capture the look of determination and relief in his face when he jumped up into our car. And I can't help but wonder how many times we just missed him. Or if he ever saw the kids playing. All I know for sure is that we are ecstatic to have him back home where he belongs.

Believe me when I tell you he is always in the house, warm and safe. I don't think he will venture much further than the food bowl since his little adventure.

Oh, I forgot to tell you the funniest part. We stopped and talked with one of the ladies who had been taking care of him. She was so happy to hear he was back home. When I started talking about him, she said, "Oh, it's a HIM? We all thought SHE was PREGNANT!"

Ha! I did mention he's fat, right?

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