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Showing posts from June, 2016

Will We Live Long Enough to See Our Dream Home Finished?

Or will we kill each other in the process?
Last night was a lazy night, as was the night before. Every day and night has been lazy, with the exception of me researching tubs for our guest suite, which Sexy Nerd took no part in. So, imagine my frustration this morning, barely awake and getting ready for work, when a certain someone frantically demanded that I drop everything and choose a tub right this instant. Apparently, I'm holding up the entire project, and being late for work is a small price to pay for not causing any more problems.
Oh, and that part of the drawing that says "matching ceiling plane"? I might just insist on changing that, just to irk you-know-who.

Construction Photos

Construction on our mountain dream home, week one:
(This is post 2 of 2. Click here for post 1 of 2.)

See that fence? Don't get too used to it. The neighbors will be moving it onto their property any day now. If only we'd caught them before they'd paid someone to build it...and before the posts were cemented into place!
(There's that neighborly guilt again.)

Here's a weird question for you - what do you think of this part of our lot? I call it our dry riverbed and Sexy Nerd calls it our canyon (it's hard to tell from this photo, but the ground dips down here) and we like it so much we've designed the hot tub in the master retreat (hee, hee) to look out over this area. However, the last time we both thought something on our lot was really neat (a gnarled old tree trunk), every person we showed it to was like, "That's really ugly and stupid and what's wrong with you two?" The construction crew was just going to fill this in with dirt and r…

Construction Week 1

We broke ground last week and have been amazed by how quickly everything is rolling along. Within only 4 days, the crew created a driveway, cut down all necessary trees, removed all the waste (including a pile of wood from when our crazy neighbor cut down a bunch of our trees, much to our dismay, but that's a story for another day), dug a pit/created a mountain, and more!

Photos from Week 1 of Construction (post 1 of 2)(click here for post 2 of 2)

Can you imagine how disappointed our neighbors must have been when they drove home and discovered a porta potty next door? Even worse, the neighbors on both sides of us just moved in and neither family had any idea construction was about to begin! I know there's no way around it, but I can't help feeling guilty. There are doorstep goody bags (with balloons!) in their future.
Truth be told, I don't look like I feel guilty at all in this photo.

On day 3, the ground was flat. The next day, we had our very own mountain!
When you…

The Biggest Time Wasters on the Internet

Today I will...
...stop wasting so much time on the internet!
When Sexy Nerd and I were in Iceland last year, our Airbnb rental had Wi-Fi that worked great on his tablet and on his phone. On my tablet and on my phone? It did not work AT ALL. Weird, right? No matter how hard we tried (oh, how we tried!), my devices refused to acknowledge the existence of the perfectly functioning internet signals beaming all around them. It made me crazy.
A funny thing happened though. Without the internet constantly in my life, I was able to think more creatively, enjoy my free time better, and even came up with a few genius ideas for my novel (you know, the one I've been working on for the last decade, darn internet).
No mindlessly scrolling through my never-ending Facebook feed. No "just checking my email real quick". It was like my brain had been freed! 
Of course, you probably can't just ban the internet from your life altogether. How would you keep up with your favorite website,…

The Biggest BBQ Mistake You Can Make

Summer has officially arrived, marked by 100+ degree weather here in Albuquerque, a haircut for Biscuit (she looks so tiny now!), and homemade burgers on our patio. I arrived home from work yesterday to find a buffet of topping options on our kitchen island, courtesy of Sexy Nerd, and we quickly got to work building the perfect burgers.

I can never resist a unique sauce/dressing/topping/condiment/anything food whatsoever when it's on clearance, so we've accumulated quite a few unique burger topping options.
Mango Habanero Ketchup? Check.
Parsley Garlic Sauce? Of course.
Mojo Picon? Obviously.
Truffle Oil? You know it.
Wasabi Sauce? Duh.
Tabouli? Burger-topping extraordinaire.
Cranberry Horseradish Mustard? It actually tastes identical to everyday brown mustard. I may have been scammed on this one.
Pickled Beets? Is it even a burger without this?
Olive Paste? Olive you, olive paste.
The list goes on, and I had to find a way to include every single option. I divided my two burge…

Cake Mix Cookie Bars (That Actually Taste Like Cookies!)

There's no bad time for a chocolate chip cookie. A hearty bowl of oatmeal, mug of coffee, and a side of chocolate chip cookies? What a great way to start the day!

Unfortunately, chocolate chip cookies are time consuming and kind of a pain to make, especially when you just want to eat the cookies right this instant. So, you try to save time and effort by baking a batch of cookie bars, but they often end up tasting more like cake or brownies. Cookie bars don't really taste like cookies, do they?

Until now!

Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe
Quick & Easy (I Promise!) 1 15.25 oz Box White Cake Mix (I usually use Pillsbury Funfetti - a relief after you saw that neon photo above, right?)1 Egg1/3 C Vegetable Oil1/3 C Milk (I've made these with everything from skim to whole - use whichever you have on hand.)1 tsp Vanilla1 Tbsp Brown Sugar1 tsp Almond Extract (optional)1 C Chocolate Chips Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a rimmed 9"x13" baking sheet or pan. If y…


Excerpt from an email I sent my BFF on 12/13/11: 

A few months ago, Sexy Nerd and I were browsing land and houses online, not really planning to buy anything, and came across a listing for a 13.1 acre property in the mountains. It was described as having "various meadows and views of 4-5 mountain ranges", which seemed funny to us. We walked the property and, although we didn't find anything we would consider to be a meadow, we bought it. Now we're designing a home to build on it. 

4.5 years later, I received this nifty email from Old Republic Title:

Congratulations, we have closed, funded and inspected.  You may start construction. Happy Homebuilding!

That's right. WE'RE BREAKING GROUND TODAY!!! Can you believe we're finally, FINALLY going to build? Woo hoo hoo!

We spent the weekend shopping for tile FOR OUR DREAM HOME THAT WE'RE ACTUALLY BUILDING!
(Not this exact tile. Ick.)

Oh, and now I finally get to use this:
Why did I resist watching you for so long, …

A Healthy Recipe: KALE CHIPS (Also, No Recipe!)

You've probably noticed some changes to my blog lately. There's a new header almost weekly (I really like my new one and think it's here to stay...though I said the exact same thing about the last one, which is dead to me now), I'm posting more frequently, and I've been cleaning up some of the nonsense in old posts. Wow, there's so much nonsense! 
Plus, I've completely done away with anything lamb-related from the good ol' LambAround days, so if you're a new reader to this blog, you're going to be confused if you look very far into the post archives, which is lamb everything. I'm working on it! I see all these other blogs succeeding and think Hey, I can do that. Call it a side effect of my latest crazy brain meltdown.
Today, I'm looking through drafts that were never posted. Here's a gem from 2011, where I took a million photos to teach you how to make kale chips. The photos are from 2011 and the text is from today because in 5 year…