Monday, July 29, 2013

Prayers needed

It's hard to describe how I've felt this past week but this pretty much sums it up. Devastated.  Last week we found out that our beloved cat Bailey has cancer.  We are still trying to figure out exactly what type of tumor this is.  After two trips to NC State's renowned vet school and oncology department we are waiting on pathology reports.  We are hoping to try radiation treatment to extend and improve his quality of life but we have no idea how much longer he will be with this.

Every time I think about that it's like I've been punched in the stomach.  Bailey has been my "fur baby" for 12 years.  I adopted him as a kitten when I was going through one of the hardest points of my life.  For years I struggled with an eating disorder.  Officially I was anorexic with bulimic tendencies.  My world revolved around what I was "allowed" to eat and punishing myself for eating with purging and laxatives.   It was a vicious cycle of starving myself until I couldn't take it anymore, binge eating, purging and returning to severely restricting food. 

I eventually admitted that I needed help but I couldn't do it alone...so in addition to a good therapist, I found Bailey. I needed something in my life that wasn't about my ED.  I saw that a rescue organization was going to be set up at a local hardware store and I when I got there it was love at first sight.  Bailey curled up in my lap and went right to sleep in the middle of the busy store.  His calm demeanor was just what I needed.




I brought him home and continued on my way to recovery.

Bailey wasn't a cure for the eating disorder...he was a comfort in my time of need. 

Always ready to curl up in my lap...especially when there was a warm blanket involved! He has been with me ever since through bad apartments, job changes and big moves. He was there in the good times too like meeting my husband, getting married and buying our home.  He calmly adjusted to all of the changes throughout the years.  (in fact he fell in love with my husband just as much as I did)  

Most of all he gave me that unconditional love that our pets give to us.


  

Now it's my turn to give him comfort.  At our first trip to the oncologist he did what he did so many years ago...ignored everything going on around us and just sat in my lap.




Our pets give us so much and ask for so little in return.  A scratch...a lap to lay in...a yummy treat.   Every night when I get home from work he hops up on the couch and gives me a hug.




I don't know what we're going to find out in the next week or what lies ahead the next few months...but I do know that we will do everything we can to give back the love he has given us.   

Please keep my husband, myself and our sweet Bailey in your thoughts and prayers.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rescue Pets rescue us!

I love this story in the news this week! 

That is Chloe and her owner Chuck Weintraub.  Chloe was really traumatized prior to her adoption and she wouldn't go near anybody other than Chuck.  But when he had a heart attack while mowing his lawn, she led a neighbor to her "Dad" who was able to perform CPR.  Chuck said, "I got into this to save dogs' live. She turned it around and saved mine.”

So sweet! I have two rescue cats and would have more if it wasn't for my husband's motto "The human to cat ratio must be equal"  In other words, the cats can't outnumber us. 



These are my "babies" Louie and Bailey.  Louie was dropped off at the Virginia Beach SPCA when he was about 3 years old.  How could anyone give up that sweet face?  I got Bailey as a kitten from a rescue organization in my home town and he's been my best bud for 12 years now.


I love my "boys" but I still want to help as many shelter animals as possible! 


so this Sunday I went out to the Certified Used Pets Regional Pet Adoption Event in Va Beach.  Many area shelters came together in one place to find homes for cats and dogs.  57 animals found homes yesterday!  So awesome!  

There were many though that were left behind and I want to share them with you.

This is Miller and he is available at the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society  He loves belly rubs, tug of war and playing chase!

Jose is also from the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society.  I loved how chill he was...he just kept kicking back and posing for the camera. Click here for more info


Blaze was without a doubt one of the coolest guy there!  He learned to play dead in 15 minutes!  Just say "bang bang" and he will fall down on the ground...for a treat of course!  Blaze is still available at the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center.  Click here


Sammy was another cool dude just sitting in a chair patiently waiting.  He wanted to make sure I got a good close up of him though :)  Visit him at the Norfolk SPCA.


Molly is a beautiful long haired cat looking for a home at the Chesapeake Humane Society.  She's a big kitty who obviously likes her food...and I can't blame her there!


Of course there are many more animals looking for homes so whether you stop by the Virginia Beach SPCA, Norfolk Animal Care, Peninsula SPCA or one of the above shelters you are sure to find a fur-ever friend! 

And if you can't adopt...donate!  The Peninsula SPCA Paws for a Cause walk is September 22nd this year and it's a great way to raise some cash for these shelter pets.  Get signed up today here  You can form a team and raise money together!

I mean...really?!  How?

Help in any way you can!  Adopt, Donate or Volunteer at a shelter today!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sock Bun Fun

When you work nights you get stuck with bad daytime TV....really bad!  So when E! has a SATC marathon on during the days I'm glued to the TV.  Of course the 5th major character on the show was Carrie's many many outfits...and the hair styles that went with them.



I'm pretty sure this look inspired the "Sock Bun" craze on Pinterest so I had to give it a shot!  Just take a sock (you know you have one who's mate will NEVER be found) and cut the toe off of it.  Then start at the top and roll that sucker until it looks like a scrunchie.  Don't worry SATC fans...you can't see the scrunchie/sock bun



Ok here comes the fun part



Start at the top and roll your hair down over the sock.  It's tricky...especially when you have long hair and layers.  Sometimes takes me a few tries to get all my hair in.


And I've even gotten my husband to help with a those few stubborn pieces. 


I was little worried that it looked a little too "Wilma Flinstone" at first


But it's become my favorite beach hair style


Mainly because it keeps my hair off my neck on a hot day!

and bonus- sleep with the sock bun in and you get some nice beachy waves the next day!


For anything to give my straight hair waves you know it really works!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer sweets

To say I love sweets would be an understatement


So even breakfast needs a little sweetness like with this Pineapple Banana Bread


If you've never tried to toast banana bread DO IT.  Immediately.  Really brings out all of the flavors.

Lunch time I get my fix with a Blueberry Banana Smoothie

So easy.  1 cup skim milk, 1 low-fat blueberry yogurt, 1 cup blueberries and 1 frozen banana all blended together.

And of course for a sugar addict dessert is the most important meal of the day!  Here's my Cherry Pie Sour Cream Bars



Crust:
  • 1/2 c butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Filling:
  • 1 can light cherry pie filling 
  • 1/2 c fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Splenda (or sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.  Preheat oven to 375 and line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.
2.  For the crust, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Put in the melted butter. 
3. Set aside 3/4 cup of the crust and press the remaining into the bottom of the pan.
4.  For the sour cream filling, mix together the sour cream, sugar, 1 Tbsp flour, egg, and vanilla.  Pour over the crust in your 8×8 pan.
5.  Spoon your pie filling over the sour cream and gently swirl with the sour cream filling with a spoon.  You may not need to use the whole can.  I saved some of the juices and just made sure to get all of the cherries into the dessert.
6.  Sprinkle the 3/4 cup crust over the top and bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely and serve into squares. 

Top if off with some Cool Whip and you've got a dessert worth licking the plate for!




Just Peachy!

My favorite part of summertime...fresh fruit!

By itself, grilled, in dessert...you can't go wrong.

Firing up the grill?  Throw a few peaches on.  Just brush them with a little oil first and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Before serving drizzle some honey on top.


I'm not done with peaches yet...how 'bout some peach cobbler?!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Peaches Pealed and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 ramekins dishes
  2. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, flour and butter. Mix until crumbly.
  3. Place sliced and pealed peaches in your two Ramekins
  4. Sprinkle the crumble mix on top
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until crust is golden brown
I ended up having extra toppings left over so I saved it and used it a few days later to make more cobbler.  


Yep...a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top made this peach cobbler perfection!  



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Salads

Summer is here along with the unbearable heat 



There's no way I'm turning on the oven unless I have to so I've been eating a ton of salads



and binge watching Parks and Rec...but that's another blog post...

My favorite is this Grilled Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad I blogged about a few weeks ago.  So so good.  In fact the dressing is so delicious I want to put it on everything! Including this Grilled Vegetable Salad


I'm not a huge fan of basil so I took the honey lime dressing from the first recipe and used it on this grilled vegetable salad.  Grilled zucchini, squash, asparagus and corn.  Bring it on!

This dressing goes great on anything!

Next up...slaw.  That's kind of a salad right?


I normally hate coleslaw but this is different.  It's a Red Cabbage, Apple, Pecan slaw with Cranberries!  Here's the recipe  The vinegar in this, along with the sweetness of the toasted pecans and cranberries, really cuts down on the bitterness of the cabbage.

And finally the salad to beat all salads...Fruit Salad!


When I saw this on Pinterest it looked like the perfect fruit salad for a summer BBQ but it actually turned out more like a dessert...and I'm ok with that!


It's so simple.  Just take a can of peaches and pineapple and mix together with a packet of vanilla pudding mix.  Keep the juices from the can...that'll give you a nice pudding with your fruit.  There's the dessert part!  Throw in some strawberries, blueberries, grapes and banana and you're done.  To make it even sweeter, add a little Cool Whip on top and boom...best summer dessert ever!  And I didn't have to turn on the oven!


See everyone loves a good salad!






Monday, July 1, 2013

The stages of being sick

I woke up Saturday morning to my husband saying those five dreaded words "I think I'm getting sick." noooo!



by Saturday night I was convinced I had it too

I tried to resist the urge to google our symptoms and instead went in search of comfort food


When my husband gets sick all he wants is Spaghetti O's and I go straight for a big bowl of lima beans!



The one thing we can both agree on...mac and cheese!  Since Kraft Mac and Cheese isn't vegetarian friendly I went in search of a recipe to make my own and found this one: Whole Foods Mac and Cheese




Here's how mine came out



Just what the doctor ordered!  Have any good mac and cheese recipes?  Let me know!  I'm sure I'll be craving this again the next time I get sick...or just need an excuse to eat some comfort food!