July 31, 2015

Five on Friday...

...and I think I'll be happy just to make it through the day.  This week has been rough.  Or as my fabulous herd o'dachshunds would say, RUFF!  As always, I'm linking up with the lovely April.

I shared with you all that Comcast was supposed to upgrade me to X1 last week.  Well, something didn't go to plan and the service guy didn't have the parts we needed.  So we went without cable until Wednesday afternoon.  It was painful.  I thought I could live off of Netflix alone and I was wrong! Ha. Everything is install now and it's this fun combination of trying to figure out how it works and excited to try new features.

I am seriously contemplating making the jump from Blogger to WordPress.  Have any of you made the leap and either A. can't believe you waited this long or B. wish you could go back?  I need help making a decision!

As I mentioned at the top of my post, this week has been rough.  A lot of it centers around things going on at the rescue, that I can't talk about.  At least, not yet.  But it's quickly pointing out who I can depend on for support...or not.

If anyone can say a quick prayer, or think good thoughts for this sweet girl, I'd appreciate it.  Raven the daughter of one of my good friends and she is having surgery today.  She's just entering her teen years and is already a national elite cheerleader!

Have any of you discovered Lip Sync Battle yet?  It's on Spike, which I view as a channel more geared towards men...but I heard about the show and just had to check it out.  Now I DVR it every week.  On a bad day, nothing makes you smile like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson lip syncing "Shake it Off"!


July 29, 2015

Farewell Claudia...

Sorry, this isn't going to be one of my lighter posts.  I'll be back to my regularly scheduled "happy" tomorrow.

Being in rescue, a certain part of me is ready to lose an animal that we took in to Little Paws Dachshund Rescue and just wasn't strong enough to recover.  It's sad.  I cry.  I mourn...but I recognize that it's an "occupational" hazard.

This weekend I lost a foster mom.  My heart is broken.  Claudia came to LPDR by accident.  She fostered my friend Fabre's little girl Papi, and we just absorbed her into the organization.  I came to love her broken English (she was originally from Germany), the endless pictures of her dogs, and especially her fearlessness when it came for fighting for animal rights in her North Georgia community.

Claudia's story isn't mine to tell, but she changed her life dramatically when she came to the United States.  I think that championing the rights of animals and ultimately welcoming over a thousand animals into her home (some just overnight, some for longer fostering stints) is what kept her going through a number of ailments.  Claudia's heart just couldn't keep up anymore and after being on life support for three days, her loved ones were guided by doctors to let her go.  Her loss to the rescue community is palpable.

Today I ask you to hugs your dogs (or kids) tight.  Consider doing something for others - whether it's making a donation to a rescue, buying the person in back of you in line their cup of coffee, or just making someone smile.  These small things help honor Claudia's memory.

As for me... I could really use a hug.  And a LOT of chocolate.


July 28, 2015

Tuesdays at the Table - Nutella Peanut Butter Shake

Back before my lengthy (cough, cough) blogging hiatus, Tuesdays at the Table was one of my favorite weekly posts.  Every week I found at least one new recipe that I had to try, courtesy of the amazing people linking up.

I am so happy to be bringing it back and hope you all enjoy it too!  I apologize that the grab button isn't quite behaving how I'd like it to, but I'll get it fixed.  I like link-ups to be relaxed.  Share your favorite recipes and go visit a few people that sound like they made something you'd like to try! You never know when you're going to find another blog that you just love, and your new bloggy bff.  :-)  I'd love if you'd put my button somewhere on post when you share recipes...but again, I'm not fussy!

This week, I'm sharing one of the many recipes that fuels my Nutella addiction.  Really, I could post: open Nutella jar and eat...but let's go a little fancier than that!

Nutella and Peanut Butter Shake

2-3 LARGE scoops of ice cream
1 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of Nutella
3 tablespoons of peanut butter

Add all four ingredients to a blender and let is go until it hits the consistency you like.  If you prefer a slightly thinner shake, add about a 1/4 cup more milk.

When I'm not drinking it as it pours into my glass, I like to add a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of either peanut butter (microwaved for 5-10 seconds) or Nutella.


What's cooking in your kitchen?


July 24, 2015

Five on Friday

How is July almost over?!  As much as I am overjoyed at the prospect of another cool, crisp New England autumn - I am surprised by how fast the summer is flying by.

I'm linking up again today with April!

My rescue - Little Paws Dachshund Rescue - will be on the Boston CBS affiliate for "Pet Parade" on Sunday.  Above is the video from our last appearance in March.  We tape on Saturday morning for a Sunday morning show, and right about now is when I get just a touch nervous.  After the last show, I learned that the Boston market often "lends" material to other smaller CBS markets...so if you see me on TV in different states, let me know!! :-)

OK... I think I'm going to wear jeans, a black t-shirt, black short sleeve cardigan and sandals.  I know, totally not original.  But I won't clash with any of the dogs or the host.  That makes sense, right?  Now, what should I do with my nails?  Help me pick a mani!

After fighting with Comcast for a few months, the jump from Xfinity "Triple Play" (aka the OLD version of premium services) to X1 (aka the NEW version of premium services) is happening tomorrow.  Heaven help them if I still need to be within 10 feet of my router to get wi-fi!

Tuesdays at the Table is coming back starting next week!  I'll be adding the snazzy new button to my sidebar this weekend.  :-)  I hope everyone will pick their favorite recipe and link up!

I have been a fan of Shaun the Sheep for YEARS!  A TV show of a cute British claymation sheep that is pretty brilliant?!  I'm there!  I just found out that now there's a movie coming out of it in early August!  Have any of you seen Shaun the Sheep before?


July 21, 2015

Wait. You Wanted Me to Help You?!

Friday morning I had a horrid customer service experience.  I'll give you a quick rundown in a second...but it essentially looked like this:

Like all of you, I get promotional emails in my mailbox multiple times a day.  Thursday evening I got an email that Swimsuitsforall.com was having a 60-80% sale.  Of course, I looked even though I had just bought a bathing suit.  I found a suit I LOVED!  But I'm on a budget and didn't want to make an impulse buy and the promo code found on the email said I had another 24-ish hours to take advantage of the sale.

Friday morning came and I still wanted that bathing suit, but the promo code wasn't giving me the 60% that it was supposed to.  Instead, it gave 30%.  Ordinarily, this would be a good buy.  But who spends twice the amount they thought they were going to a mere 12 hours earlier?  Being at work, I opted to use the chat function with their customer service department.  I didn't save our interactions, but the short version went a little like this:

CS: Hi, I'm Sue (name changed to protect the not so innocent).
Me: Hi, Sue.  My name is Cole and I'd like to get a bathing suit using the promo code I was emailed. It's only giving me 30%, not 60%.  Can you help me with that?
CS: Ma'am, did you actually place an order?
Me: No...I just explained that I want to place an order online using promocode: buyabathingsuit and it will only give 30% not 60% as described in your marketing email.
CS: Ma'am.  You need to call us.
Me: Why do I need to call you, Sue?  I'm at work and can't call.  Can you help me get a working promo code?  Is there a known tech issue that the code isn't working?
CS: Ma'am, are you near a phone?  You really should just call us.  It would be much easier.

That is where I gave up, and quite frankly, got ticked off!  Under normal circumstances, I would have just shut that browser window and moved on.  But the combination of calling me ma'am multiple times after I made a point of using her name (and providing mine more than once), and the CS reps horrible attitude pushed all the buttons I needed to go find the email address for Swimsuitsforall.com's Customer Relations Director.

I was wrote a detailed and slightly grumpy email that I tried to temper with desire to make sure others weren't having the same problem I was with their customer service call center. Honestly, I didn't expect an answer.  I was SHOCKED when I not only got a response, but it was within an hour of emailing!  My email was from Jessica, the assistant to the Customer Relations Director,  (Name not changed, as she is pretty fabulous.) who proceeded to ask all the right questions (what item # was I trying to purchase, can I replicate the error, can I try another promo code {which she provided}).

The end result is that Jessica's great customer service and desire to make things right meant I am getting my bathing suit at the right price!  Isn't it cute?!

(I am not getting paid for this post and do not have affiliate links with swimsuitsforall.com.  It's only because Jessica saved the day that I'm sharing their website info.)

July 17, 2015

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, everyone!! It has been a busy week and I am looking forward to the weekend so much!

This little lady turns ONE today!!! I can't wait to shower Vivian with gifts at her party on Saturday.

I only joined a gym a week ago and I already feel the need to say something about pool etiquette.  Somehow, I thought it was common knowledge that you're going to get splashed in a pool.  Darned if I didn't watch someone get all riled that they just had their hair done and didn't want it to get wet - all while she stood in water up to her shoulders BEFORE everyone in the pool started exercising.  Um, really?!  And two the two ladies who I watched put on perfume in the changing room before class, please don't.  Just, don't.  Mmmkay?!

I've decided that I am bringing back "Tuesdays at the Table", my weekly recipe link-up.  I loved hosting it and getting to try all those wonderful recipes!  I'm still working on a button.  Stay tuned for the button and more info soon!  I'm already getting excited to visit everyone and try some new recipes.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about getting another tattoo.  I already have two - a Celtic cross on the inside of my left ankle, and a heart on the inside of my right ankle.  Predictably, I really think I want a dachshund on me.  Obviously, I won't have anything inked on me until I find the perfect design, but here are a few of my favorite designs right now.

A video posted by Clark Gregg (@clarkgregg) on
Little admission here...I am a total geek.  As in, "wow, I'd really like to make it Comic-Con someday" kind of geek.  As Comic-Con has gone on in San Diego this week, I've been entertained by the Marvel Agents of Shield vs. Agent Carter dub smash battle on Instagram.  If you don't want to scroll through a boat load of Instagram messages, you can see the progression of their battle HERE.

What's on your agenda this weekend?


July 16, 2015

A Girl Walks Into a Gym...

Last week when I casually mentioned to you all that I had joined a gym, and I was going to break myself in "easy" with water aerobics - I thought my class was going to look a little like this...

...and that I would end the class feeling like I got a good stretch and should swim laps for "actual" exercise!  Oh. good. grief. was I wrong!  It was more like an hour of aqua zumba - more along the lines of this...

I also knew beforehand that the instructor was one of my foster mom from the rescue and opted to see if she noticed on her own.  Really, I didn't want to draw attention to my lack of hand-eye coordination!  I didn't even make it into the pool before she yelled me name and declared that she was going to make my first class special.  At that point, other people in the class came over and told me that she already makes a point of kicking people's butts, and they may not like me after class.  Good news - at least a few of them are still talking to me!

When I looked at the class schedule, I noted that the morning classes are 45 minutes and naturally presumed that the evening classes would be the same length.  I was thrilled at the 30 minute mark that I almost made it. Um, mere seconds later, was a declaration that we were HALFWAY through the hour class.  Apparently, I made quite the face at my friend/instructor!

Now that I've learned that I actually do need to hydrate even if I'm in water, I'll be going back tonight.  This time, the evening class is taught by a different instructor.  Wish me luck!

Are there any other "fun" excercises/classes that I should try?


July 14, 2015

"Keep Calm", a Birthday Recap!

I've known about my birthday present for a few months now.  But my birthday arriving made it REAL.  I'm going to the UK in October for two weeks!

We're doing a few days in London, then a week in Cornwall, and finally back to London.  As you all might recall - Edinburgh, Scotland is my favorite city in the world, so I'm hoping to find a way to take a train up for a day or so.  I can't wait!!!

My fabulous parents also gifted me a new luggage set and a few pounds to start me saving for the trip!  I LOVE THEM!

It's been almost a decade since I've gotten across the pond, so I'm hoping any of you that live there or have visited recently will give me some ideas of what I need to see or do!

My birthday itself was pretty quiet, which is A-OK with me.  :-)  A family dinner on Friday night to celebrate dad's birthday, lunch with my parents on Saturday for my birthday, cuddle time with the pups, a little crafting and a good book!


July 11, 2015

It's My Birthday... and a Jamberry Giveaway Winner!!

If you know me in real life, you know that I'm shy.  I HATE being the center of attention and am very go with the flow...  However, my birthday is my day.  My one day to get the few things that I really want.  So I embrace the day! I hope that isn't selfish!

If you are following me on Instagram, you've already seen this - but I'm really enjoying seeing pictures of myself as a little kid lately.  These pictures were my grandmother's and came home with my dad after his trip to Texas last month.

Congratulations to my lucky Jamberry giveaway winner - Jennifer! You all can expect another Jamberry giveaway in the fall, and I'll be having another birthday month giveaway starting in a few days!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am having extra incentives for Jamberry hostesses.  :-)  If you'd like to host a party, email me or click the link on my Jamberry website!

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