House Hunters International

I have a bit of an obsession with all things HGTV which sucks for me because we don’t have cable at our house.  Too expensive!  A few weeks ago Netflix finally added some of my absolute favorite shows including House Hunters, Property Brothers and Love It or List It.  My husband and I have been watching them together and we recently finished watching all of the available episodes of House Hunters International.

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I LOVE this show!  I love traveling and think it would be amazing to live overseas somewhere so this allowed me to live vicariously through the people on this show.  I loved seeing all of the different kinds of housing and seeing what features are the same and those that are different.  One of the most interesting (and I’ll admit annoying) things about the episodes with American people/families moving to Europe was how shocked and appalled they were by the difference in size of dwellings and lack of multiple bathrooms.  In the US we are used to having large rooms, large bedrooms, multiple bathrooms and two living spaces, etc.  But in Europe those things are very seldom seen.  These people on the show were getting rather upset (usually the mothers in the family episodes) and all I could think was…..  Come on you jerks!  This is the chance of a lifetime to live somewhere new and exciting!  Not many people get this opportunity and yes, there will obviously be some compromising and getting used to the way things are.  So stop your bitching and just think about all the positives!  I would kill to be in your situation!  …  Both my husband and I got annoyed with these people.  We started talking about what it would be like if he got a job opportunity to move to Europe… what countries we would prefer, the benefits, the downsides, etc.  I think it would be so exciting to move to Europe and have all of that opportunity to just hop on a train and be in another country…  Oh, all of the exploring we could do!!!  Just think of all the new experiences!  We would jump at an opportunity to move abroad!  We decided our top two country choices would be Ireland and England.  I’ve always had a major thing for Ireland and my husband’s ancestors are from there so it would be awesome to trace back his lineage and see the places where his ancestors have lived.  Our friend has done some work for his company in England and loves everything about it.  He has told us that he would move there if given the chance.

If you were given the opportunity to live abroad, would you?  What would be your dream country to live in?

Sick Day

I have been sick for the past week and was hoping that the weekend would have been the end of it.  But alas, I woke up this morning feeling the worst I had felt all week.  I used my last vacation day to stay home and rest up.  My voice was completely gone too so I wanted to rest my voice and not talk as much as possible.

I am not a fan of tea but knew that it was probably the best thing for me to drink for my sore throat.  Yesterday Ethan made me a cup of black tea with honey.  I did not like it at all.  It took everything I had to drink that whole cup.  So we went to Target to get some more cough suppressant (he is sick too) and I went to the tea aisle to find something I could maybe like.  The one that most intrigued me was Tazo’s Wild Sweet Orange.  It smelled good in the box and I love orange flavoring so I decided to give it a try.  I made a cup today while I was finishing Ruth’s Journey by Donald McCaig.  jjIMG_20141117_164741The tea smelled delicious as it was steeping.  When it had finally cooled enough for me to drink I was pleasantly surprised.  It didn’t taste great, but I definitely didn’t have a hard time drinking it like I did the other stuff.

One thing to help get me through this cold weather and illness was making some nice, homemade beef stew in the crockpot.  I had this cooking all day long and just had it for dinner.  So good!  Hearty and felt great on my throat.  We have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow night’s dinner as well.

Cooking away!

Cooking away!

All ready to eat!

All ready to eat!

Basically I had around 1.5 lbs. beef stew meat, 3 cans beef broth, potatoes cut up into chunks, baby carrots cut in half, a little salt and pepper, some freshly minced garlic, a bay leaf, and in the last hour of cooking we added some long grain brown rice.  Everything was so tender and had great flavor.

Astro Falls Short… Thank God!

I’m thanking my lucky stars that Winter Storm Astro fell short in my area!  There were some record snowfalls around the state but I lucked out where I live and commute to work.  We barely got 1 inch whereas other places north and northwest got up to 16.5 inches!  No thank you!  But it was rather cold so I got to test out my new Sorel’s two days in a row.  They definitely did what I needed them to do…. Keep my feet toasty warm and dry.  I took a few photos while wearing them.  They were taken at work while I helped my dad shovel the front sidewalk.  Yes, I work with my dad and I do love that, well most of the time haha.

The one thing I did notice was that they feel different with different types of socks, which is kind of obvious.  The first day I just wore regular crew cut socks.  The only issue I had was that I have large, beefy calves (I hate them… thanks Mom for the genetics on that one haha) so around the ankles the leather bunched weird and rubbed against them.  It was pretty uncomfortable.

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IMG_20141111_075135The one thing I did notice was that they feel different with different types of socks, which is kind of obvious.  The first day I just wore regular crew cut socks.  The only issue I had was that I have large, beefy calves (I hate them… thanks Mom for the genetics on that one haha) so around the ankles the leather bunched weird (as you can see in the 3rd photo) and rubbed against them.  It was pretty uncomfortable.  Today I wore boot socks that were thicker.  That was much more comfortable.  So overall, I love these boots and so glad that I am prepared for this winter.  I’m guessing it’s going to be a bad one.

Winter Is On The Move

Well, folks, it’s that time of year now!  We’ve got a big snowstorm brewing!  I was really hoping that winter wouldn’t rear it’s ugly head until after my birthday (which is next Tuesday in case you were wondering 😛 ) but this year I’m not so lucky.  In my neck of the woods we’re forecasted to get around 8 inches or so.  YUCK!  And of course the first snow always brings about idiot drivers who seem to have forgotten how to drive in the winter.  Last year I didn’t have any winter boots.  I attempted to order some Sorel boots like the ones I had growing up but alas, they were out of stock by the time I got around to it.  Luckily I was able to get them this year!  I’ll be able to test them out tomorrow and see if they’re as good as they used to be!

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My new Sorels! Enzo approves!

I love these boots so much!  I’ve been wearing them around the house all day today.  They fit perfectly and keep my feet nice and toasty warm.  Plus, they’re pretty!

They are the Women’s 1964 Premium LTR boot.  I bought them directly from Sorel.com for $140.

Earlier this fall I went to a craft sale during my town’s annual fall festival and ended up finding a few great items for winter.  One of the booths was an alpaca booth.  They had a mama and baby alpaca along for people to pet and see where the products come from.  In a tent they had all kinds of clothing made from their wool.  I got two hats and a scarf.  What was really great was the guy explained to me why alpaca wool was so great.  He said that regular sheep’s wool has barbs on the fibers and that’s why it can be so itchy whereas the alpaca wool fibers are smooth.  Sheep’s wool has lanolin which many people are allergic to (including my dad).  I’ve never been a fan of wool.  But the alpaca wool was soooooooo soft!  He also said that alpaca wool is 10 times warmer because the fibers are hollow, providing more insulation.

From another booth, a woman had made a bunch of mittens from recycled sweaters.  I got two pairs there and a pair for my mom as well.  They are wool on the outside and lined with fleece.

My green recycled sweater mittens, one of my alpaca hats and my alpaca scarf

My green recycled sweater mittens, one of my alpaca hats and my alpaca scarf

As much as I hate winter, well I guess I wouldn’t mind it so much if I didn’t have to commute 5 days a week, I am super excited to make use of my new winter accessories!

Are you ready for winter?

NaNoWriMo 2014 – Why I Won’t Be Posting Here Until December

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I probably should have posted this before the weekend but it was a pretty busy weekend.  I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year!  For those of you that don’t know what it is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  It takes place every year from November 1-30.  Basically on November 1st you start writing a novel with the goal of finishing with 50,000 words by the 30th.  If you make it to 50,000 words, they call it winning and if you win, there are all kinds of awesome freebies from this year’s sponsors!

For years I have wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo but couldn’t ever come up with a story worth writing about.  I would come up with a possible story and it either bored me or I couldn’t think of how to make the story work.  I actually signed up in 2009 with the full intention of at least attempting to write a novel but I could not come up with anything good enough.

This year is different.  I was determined to participate this year but once again, I couldn’t think of anything!  It was really frustrating me.  Then all of a sudden, an idea hit me last Wednesday, three days before the start!  I couldn’t believe it.  I finally had an idea that was actually good.  I immediately took out some paper and started writing down my idea so I wouldn’t forget.  As I was writing, more details started popping into my head.  I think this year is going to be great.  My goal over the weekend was to get 5,000 words out.  I was close with 4,419 so I was happy with that.  I may not get 50,000 but I’m definitely going to try and get as close as I possibly can.

So with all of that said, I won’t have a lot of extra time to post on this blog.  You may not see me post again until December 1st when this is over.  And I’ll let you all know if I was able to “win” or not!