Photo a Day in July #31 FINAL PHOTO

31.  Toothbrush

Well, this is my toothbrush.  It's a Panasonic.  I'm telling you--electric toothbrushes are the way to go.  The first time I used this--and it wasn't even on the highest speed--it made my teeth dental-hygenist-clean, y'all.  I can't remember how many hours or days, but the toothbrush automatically went up to the highest speed, and then my teeth felt even cleaner.  I always try to floss at night, too.  Since I've started using the pick on my disposable flossers, my dentist has noticed the difference.  ;)

I can't believe I did every day of this challenge, and I actually posted them on the day they were featured.  I will have to do another one of these sometime, but for August, I plan on trying a new challenge--deep cleaning (out) our house.  ;)

I'll also be bringing some more recipes, I hope!  Thanks for following along, folks!

Photo a Day in July #30

30.  Calm

This is my little world--Zach and our fur babies.  I know, I know, some of you folks may think it's silly, but those kitties are our babies.  Gosh, as much as I love them now, it will probably kill me to have human kids someday.  They are my sunshine on a cloudy day (or rather, snowflakes, because I don't like the sun, and snow is MY FAVORITE ;).  Ah, just thinking about them and snow makes me so crazy, over-the-moon, dancing-through-the-woods, crazy happy...

Photo a Day in July #29

29.  Last Thing You Bought

Our friend Brian was in state for a short visit, and he came up to visit us in NWA!  (Sadly, he was sans his wife Whitney, who is teaching a class this summer session.  :( )  Thus far, he and Zach have been catching up over several beers and scotch.  *lol*  When Zach mentioned that a Flying Fish opened up here, I jumped all over the chance to convince him that we had to go there for dinner.  ;)  You may recall that I went there twice for my birthday!  Flying Fish is a special place for us because it was where we had dinner on our first (group) date with...Brian and Whitney!  So it only seemed appropriate that we go.  Zach and I actually filled up our punch card, so my meal was free!  I guess that breaks the rules a bit, but I/we paid for it by having eaten at FF for at least nine times since they opened.  (Yep, NINE times.)  That's a lot of fish...and fried pies.  (I skipped on the fried pie since we still have ice cream cake in the freezer.)  When I realized that my free meal would be covered up to $9, I upgraded from the two fillet to the three.  ;)  I also had one of Zach's hashpuppies.  I ate myself silly, folks.

In addition to catching up some more over dinner, we got to watch the lady gymnasts on the vault.  (Whitney was a gymnast and a gymnastics coach, so Brian knows quite a bit about it, too.)  Do y'all love the Olympics, too??  I love watching gymnastics, swimming, and diving.  I'm bummed I missed uneven bars tonight, and I am mourning the loss of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson from this year's.  (So far, I've seen a good deal of the first two, but I've got to catch some diving, too, soon!  We don't have cable, so my Olympics watching depends on moving around our rabbit ears.  We are so 1988...)

Poor Jordyn Wieber...  :*(

Photo a Day in July #28

28.  Cup

So we got a Deal Piggy (like a Groupon or Living Social voucher) for the excursion train that runs from Springdale to Van Buren and decided to go this weekend for Zach's birthday.  We got up at six to leave at seven to get on the train by eight.  Ugh.  It was a beautiful ride, although the conductors were kind of crazy.  *lol*  When we got into VB at elevenish, we met up with Kevin and Bree for lunch at Boom-a-rang, a hamburger diner-type place.  We all got burger baskets, and then Zach and I ended up splitting this delicious creamsicle float.  :)  After lunch, we went back to their place in Fort Smith and hung out and watched the kitties.  We had to be back for the train at 2:30, so they dropped us off and then we headed home.  I had brought The Hobbit to read but didn't touch it because I was so sleepy on the way there and then had a sinus headache on the way back.  I have the sweetest husband though; he dropped me off at home so he could run some errands for us and then surprised me with some caramel cookie dough ice cream from Braum's!  I was feeling better at this point, so we cleaned up the house, and now he's downstairs playing his new Xbox, and I am watching the Olympics upstairs.  Here's some pictures from our day:

Photo a Day in July #27

27.  On the Road

I was on the road quite a bit today.  I drove thirty miles to Farmington to have lunch with my friend Ashlee--we went to grad school together at UCA--at Briar Rose:

Is it not ADORABLE?  I have been dying to go to this cottage bakery since one of my friends on Facebook liked their page last year!  The food was so yummy, too:

tomato soup and a turkey and bacon ciabatta sandwich

strawberry cake and chocolate silk cake
We got two slices--one of each flavor--and split them to share.  :)

I also drank a gallon of sweet, iced Earl Grey tea.  ;)
We had lunch at 12:30, but we didn't leave until 4:45 or so!  We talked about everything (teaching, jobs, literature, dating, makeup, clothes, food, TV, movie, music, our cats).  We really need to hang out more often than once a year!

I actually didn't get a picture "on the road" until I got home and realized I needed to go back to the pharmacy since we are getting up early in the morning to take a train ride and I am out of my medication. I had planned to stop on my way home, but I didn't use the restroom before I left Briar Rose, so I was nearly dying when I got home.  I called Zach as I was pulling into our neighborhood to see if the door was unlocked because I knew I had to haul butt inside.  ;)  I mean, my abdomen was hurting because I had to tinkle so badly.  And, of course, he tells me he is standing outside, which means he is probably talking to someone (turns out, our landlady).  I apologize and rush past them; thankfully, they were still outside after I was relieved so I could apologize again.  *lol*  I told Becky (that's our landlady) that her granddaughters would probably LOVE Briar Rose if she ever had the chance to take them.

So I came in and relaxed a bit before I realized I needed to go tonight to get my prescription.  At the stoplight as I was heading back home, I remembered I needed a photo, so I took some of the road running perpendicular to the one I was on, but they didn't turn out well, so I took two of my dash, but I didn't like them.  Finally, I thought a picture of the XM radio would be perfect since that's the big thing I love about our Velosteraptor (Hyundai), so I scanned the channels to see if a good song was on, and "Ho Hey" was coming on just as I turned to The Spectrum!

I just love this Lumineers' song!  You may have heard it on a Bing commercial (I think?).  It is so catchy and sweet:

(Ho!) I've been trying to do it right
(Hey!) I've been living a lonely life
(Ho!) I've been sleeping here instead
(Hey!)I've been sleeping in my bed,
(Ho!) I've been sleeping in my bed (Hey!)


(Ho!) So show me family
(Hey!) All the blood that I would bleed
(Ho!) I don't know where I belong
(Hey!) I don't know where I went wrong
(Ho!) But I can write a song (Hey!)

1,2,3 I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweet (Ho!)


(ho!) I don't think you're right for him
(hey!) Look at what it might have been if you
(ho!) Took a bus to Chinatown
(hey!) I've been standing on Canal
(ho!) And Bowery (hey!)
(ho!) And she'd be standing next to me (hey!)

1,2,3 I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart

And love, we need it now
Let's hope for some
Cause oh, we're bleeding out

I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweet (Ho!)


Leibster Award--My FIRST Award!

THANKS, CARRIE, FOR NOMINATING ME!  (It's the first time I've ever been nominated for anything.  :)

1. If you could invite any 5 people (living or dead, real or fictional) to do something, who would it be? And what would you do?
I would invite the poet T. S. Eliot (I wrote my undergrad thesis on The Waste Land), style icon/actress/humanitarian Audrey Hepburn, my favorite Beatle George Harrison, Raziela "Razi" Nolan from The Mercy of Thin Air (my favorite book), and Harry's best friend Ronald "Ron" Bilius Weasley.

2. Coffee or tea? Or neither?
sweet tea, no ice (unless it's just been made and is hot)

3. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, it would be ...

4. A bad habit you have ...
When I yawn, I turn it into this long, drawn-out "AHHHHHHH..."

5. A good habit you have ...
If you are on my side/my team/my friend/my relative/whatever, I am extremely loyal.

6. You can't resist ...
Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide ice cream (or, as I once called it, Mudlin Dubslide)...or cream on my snow cones

7. If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, it would be ...
you need to read more, Ashley!  Don't waste so much time on AOL...

8. Something that made you happy today was ...
having a yummy lunch and dessert and talking for four hours with a friend at the cutest little cottage bakery

9. One book you haven't read but have always wanted to is ...
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
(I'm reading The Hobbit for the first time now.  :)

10.You have $50 to spend on yourself. What would you do/buy?

I would probably go to Target and buy some cardigans and dresses and random stuff.  I love Target! (In fact, I LOVE it so much that it was the first place I visited after being released from the hospital in December--I also had to finish up Christmas shopping since it was the Friday before Christmas.  Here I am in all of my motorized-cart-and-surgical-mask glory!  I was smiling under that mask, but you can't tell.  *lol*)

NOMINEES -- TAG!  YOU'RE IT!  Answer the questions below; then dream up your own question set and tag how many bloggers you wish. :)

1.  Craft | Cook | Create
2.  From L.A. to LA
3.  In Passionate Pursuit

I hope you can all participate!

1.  What did you do on/for your last birthday?
2.  What Olympic sports do you like to watch?
3.  Do you have any special routines before bed?  What are they?
4.  Are you more of a caramel-choolate person or a mint-chocolate one?
5.  Describe (and/or share ;) the most FUN/SILLY embarrassing picture (not truly embarrassing) you have posted/had posted of yourself on a social media website.
6.  Who did you have a crush on when you were ten?
7.  Do you have any surprising hobbies or talents?
8.  How many states have you visited?
9.  What is the best joke you've heard lately?

How much does a hipster weigh?

(And, y'all, I love me so Instagram, so I am probably sorta hipstery, so don't be offended!) 

Photo a Day in July #26

26.  Sunshine

When I woke up this morning at seven, it was still rather dark outside; it was gloomy and overcast, like it was going to rain, and it wasn't too hot.  But since I have forgotten what rain looks like or feels like or smells like (which is actually from the bacteria that is stirred up by the rain, BTW), I thought I should be preparing for the apocalypse instead.  So my umbrella and rainboots were kept in the closet, and the raincoat that I got in April (?) remains unworn.  :(

And then the sun came out as usual.  :(

But then my husband sent me a text about this long-forgotten weather state--RAIN!--and I watched the clouds roll back in and darken and finally start to fall from the sky in liquid form.  The cats were confused and amused, too:

I know, I know, today was supposed to be about sunshine, but today "my sunshine" was the rain.  Thanks be to God for this much needed rain!  Like many parts of the country, we are in extreme drought conditions here in Arkansas, and while it was not long-lasting, the rain was much appreciated.  :)

Photo a Day in July #25

25.  Heart

(He was sleepy this morning.  ;)

I have been planning to make Zach cake batter pancakes for his birthday for months.  However, I decided last minute not to make cake batter ones because we had an orientation session today, and Zach has to speak in front of all of the students, and it makes him nervous so he gets kind of sick, and I knew some people at work were bringing him a cake, so he would have that on his stomach.  Long story short, I didn't think he needed more cake, especially not cake first thing in the morning.

But I still made him pancakes...and I added some chocolate chips and sprinkles to make them festive.  *cue party times*  Since I've learned it's much easier to make pancakes using a squeeze bottle, I decided to try my hand at making shapes.  The stars didn't turn out very well, but the hearts were PERFECT.  :)  I am terrible at making pancakes, but I decided this morning that the skillet I usually use does not need any extra butter when making pancakes...otherwise, they end up burning in the pan.  These were lovely.  I even made some whipped cream and sprinkled some sprinkles on top along with sliced strawberries and turkey bacon.  The best part is that there were some leftovers, so tomorrow will bring a yummy breakfast as well.  :)

Despite it being a crazy day at work, I think Zach had a great birthday.  He got a delicious chocolate cake and a card from co-workers with a few other treats, and then tonight, I cooked, per his birthday request, my Shake 'N Bake chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, buttered corn, and Red Lobster biscuits.  His best friend from childhood joined us for dinner and brought him a LEGO set and some booze, so he was happy.  While they were building, we enjoyed ice cream cake, and then Zach opened his present from me.  (It was a LEGO set he picked out.  He even ordered it but had it sent to me.  *lol*  He said next year we are surprising each other since this year I wanted money to go shopping.  But honestly, I can't keep up with what LEGO sets he has, so this was a weight off my shoulders.  *tehe*)  It's hard to believe we have been together for four birthdays now!

Fondue is Fundoings

So about a week and a half ago, we had little fondue shindig at The Owlery, and it was so much fun.  The food was AMAZING, y'all.  The cheese fondue was gone in about an hour!  We hope this becomes an annual event since we got our fondue pot from Jenni for our wedding . . . and we are only now using it for the first time.  (The SHAME, folks.  The HORROR!)  It was so easy (and SCARY) to use Sterno to melt chocolate into a boiling mess of sugary sweet chocolatey soup.  Ahhh.

Onto the photos!
(Someday, I promise, I will have a nice camera again.)

We hung lanterns on our porch to make it festive.  :)

 I made this extra large so you folks could hopefully read it.


 savory spread
Roasted potatoes in cheese fondue is slap-yo-mama good!

 sweet spread

Amy prepares to dig in.  Actually, I guess she already did since the skewer is in her mouth.  Hmmm.

 Sheena gets more red.

 Sheena and Jess chill on the belanterned balcony.  (Yes, I just invented the word "belanterned.")

 I gave my camera to Zach so I would actually be in some photos.  I think you can tell which ones he took.  ;)


 my eye

 I don't know what was so funny to Mervin and Dallas...

 Zach regales the group with the story of our iPhone in the lion's den (er, cage--true story that I will share sometime ;).

 themed-dinner makers
Once a month, we have a themed dinner.  It's such fun!  Next up is Moroccan, I think?

 The Tulsa Folks

 My husband bombed the Jeb...yeah-I-can't-EVER-spell-their-last-name's.

We're from the Pharr side.

And cat photos (after we spiked their water with catnip on the day of the party):

Hobie, who usually FEARS strangers, was very social and posed for a photo.

Typically social Dinah spent most of her time hiding on the stairs...

 ...until I gave her more catnip so she would come out.

This pillow is also how we drug our cats.  Hobie has had it for as long as I have known him.  *lol*

 Then they entertained us all by chasing the laser!

Hope you enjoyed looking at our party!  If you have a chance to have fondue, DOOO!  *wink wink*