Hobbes’ new goldfish collar

My cat, Hobbes, disappeared last weekend. He went outside on Sunday morning, and didn’t come home for food or water or shelter or his mommy.

My husband and I thought we lost him for good.

He is an adorable little orange tabby with a club foot. He responds well to belly rubs and food. He knows how to milk the deformation he was born with.

People just feel sorry for him!

My husband and I figured someone found him, felt sorry for him, fell in love with him and took him home.

We were pretty depressed (read: absolutely devastated).

We called the Humane Society, Animal Control and the Animal Shelter, but they told us he wasn’t there.

And he’s pretty hard to miss with that foot of his.

On Wednesday, after almost three days missing, my husband checked PetHarbor.com and found him. He was at the Animal Shelter, which we’d called twice and were told he wasn’t there.

To spring a cat out of the shelter, it costs $75. Then, I spent another $20 to buy him a collar and personalized tag.

goldfish cat collar from PetsMart


goldfish cat collar and license tag


Hobbes has (read: had) a lovely orange collar with little white fish and a gold fish tag with his name, address and phone number. He cannot be lost to us again (since no one scanned his chip).

A day after he got the collar, he lost the collar. I let him outside last Sunday morning with the collar around his neck, and he came home without his collar about an hour later.


It’s like he wants to be trapped in the house all day and/or get taken to animal control every other week. He is going to be the death of me.

I swear.

I still have no idea how he got himself out of it. I hope someone finds it and calls me so I don’t have to replace the bloody thing. If I do have to replace it, then I plan on getting him a harness.

See him get out of that.

Cats. Jeesh.

Date Night with the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

My first major in college was Theater Performance. I had high hopes of becoming a stage actress, but I wasn’t that good at it.

And I didn’t love it.

I did find a major and a career that I am good at and that I love, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t enjoy a live show on the stage!

Husband and I had a date night with the demon barber of fleet street, Sweeney Todd, at the Crown Uptown dinner theater last Saturday.

We arrived at the theater early because we thought we’d get better seats. Nope! They provide seats based on reservation timing, but we still had a great view, and the acoustics were perfect.

We were served salad, soup and an entrée before the show. The salad was just greens with chopped pecans and a pear vinaigrette. Husband and I are not usually people for sweet salad dressing, but the vinaigrette was delicious. The soup was butternut squash with a slice of pumpkin bread on the side, and it was UH-maz-ing.

I have to learn how to make it. I might try this recipe from the Food Network.


We had three options for entrees. I ordered the chicken and dumplings, which was a roast chicken thigh over mashed potatoes and gravy. Husband ordered the meat pie, in which no humans were used. Ha!

Dessert was served during intermission. Husband ordered cheesecake, but I was so full that I could barely eat any of it. He said he had no intentions of sharing it any way.

Dinner was good, but the show was fantastic! I love musicals! The actors portrayed their characters so well, and the set even had the barber chair that dropped the dead into the bake house below.

Don’t you just love dinner and a show?

All the links in this blog will take you to recipes associated with the food item linked! Enjoy your own date with Sweeney Todd at home.

My September fitness challenge

I have to exercise to lose weight.

I know this.

The problem with exercise is that it takes time. Time is something of which I don’t always have enough.

My schedule is FINALLY normal, but I still don’t have the time I need before work to get up and exercise. Too early. My lunch break isn’t long enough for me to get in much of a workout…. plus, I have to eat! After work, I am so exhausted that I just don’t want to exercise.


…still don’t have one yet.

But I know I have to exercise to lose weight.

I started two fitness challenges in September so I could get a workout, however small, in every day.

The first is the September School House Rock Hard Abs, which I think is a ridiculous name, but I don’t name these things.

And the second is the Squat September Challenge.

I just don’t follow all the rules… like the first one and the last one. Don’t care.

September is almost over, and I haven’t done too well with either of my challenges. If I wear a skirt to work, I can’t do my fitness challenges, except for squats, at work during my lunch (and I don’t have time to change clothes at work).

I guess I am doing well on my squats challenge. I’ve done almost all of them, and, boy, do my quads hurt.

My ab challenge? Not so much. I hate burpees. Burpees are awful, and I don’t jump. It’s not that I can’t, it’s that I don’t.

I am also making more of an effort to go to Power Yoga twice a week.

I feel good about the exercise that I’m getting, but I wish I could get more and I wish I had the energy to get the exercise in every day.

I guess that’s the beauty of my fitness challenges: I might not be getting the amount of exercise in that I need, but I am increasing the amount of energy I have, which will lead to more exercises when I’m usually exhausted.

Are you working on a fitness challenge? How’s it going for you?

Food and fitness journal for weight loss

I started my first food and fitness journal during my first year of graduate school. I wrote down everything I ate and drank and every workout I did, and I calculated calories in and calories out.

And I lost weight.

Diets In Review featured a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that found women who keep food journals lose more weight than women who do not. I would like to be on the more weight loss side of that study.

I started the journal on the advice of my friend and co-graduate teacher Ashley R./T. Remember her? I miss her.

I stopped the journal because graduate school and teaching are incredibly time-consuming and stressful, and I ran out of motivation to calculate every package of Ramen Noodles I ate after midnight.

Depressing, right?

After regaining all of the weight that I lost, I decided that it was time to start another journal.

My first food journal was a professional food journal with space for food, fitness and calories in and out equations. It was pretty detailed, which might be the reason I didn’t have the time I needed to keep it up.

My newest food and fitness journal is far less professional. I bought a simple, 192-page notebook filled with ruled paper. It is less of a food and fitness journal and more of… well, just a journal. I fill it with the workouts I have completed, the workouts I have missed and, occasionally, the food I eat and beverages I drink. I also use a smart phone app, Fooducate, to figure out what it is I am really eating.

Sadly, there are more workouts missed than completed. I’m not worried, though. I have to start somewhere!

Do you journal? What are your experiences with food and fitness journaling?

Dinner Recipe: Spicy Tomato Chicken

On the final day of my four-day weekend…

…I spent a lot of time on Pinterest.

I picked up my house… a bit.

I did the dishes… sorta.

Husband and I finally hung our master bathroom shower curtain. I don’t know how I feel about it. It doesn’t look… right. Pictures when I decide.

I also tried two new recipes! I mixed this garlic chicken recipe with this spicy tomato sauce recipe. (I also tried to make the potatoes, but I failed big time miserably. Husband had to save me and stick ’em in the oven. I tried. I tried.)

What I did succeed with was delicious.

spicy tomato garlic chicken dinner recipe

Garlic Chicken (with my alterations)

  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic (I smashed the garlic. It works.)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dust the chicken with salt and fresh ground pepper. Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish.

Bake in the preheated gas oven for 25 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. For electric ovens, cook for 30-35 minutes according to the actual recipe and/or just cook it ’til it’s done!

Spicy Tomato Sauce (with my alterations and no potatoes)

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, optional
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, paprika, crushed red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Adjust heat so the sauce is simmering and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of ketchup, about 15 minutes.

spicy tomato sauce and garlic chicken dinner recipe

Pretty awesome sauce.

All my… boxes… are… unpacked?

On the third day of my four-day weekend, I unpacked ALL the boxes in my house.




It took one month and two days to unpack and to find homes, permanent or temporary, for all of the items that came to the new house with us.

Some of those things found a home in the trash.

The house is finally starting to look like our home :)

The largest project of the day was to find a place for all of these books…


I didn’t quite succeed finding homes for ALL of the books, but I did find a place to put some of the ones I couldn’t prominently display.


I have two stacks of books hiding in a cabinet. I am ashamed! But I ran out of space on my teeny tiny bookcase… that is packed to the brim.

Abe Lincoln print and a stack of books

A pretty little book shelf PACKED FULL of books under a print of Abe Lincoln. We have a neat-oh office in the works.

office desk and books

I am donating the books under the desk to my friends who are still in graduate school. Almost all of my old text books. I don’t need to read Mass Media Law ever again in my life. Nor do I need to read all of those Pop Culture journals. No.

The kitchen is coming together, too. I found a home for the wall clock, which has been driving me crazy, and finally hung our calendar where we mark all of our bills!

The tops of the kitchen cabinets are filled with… of course… books.

kitchen cabinet decoration

kitchen cabinet decorations

When you need a library and don’t have a library, you use whatever space you can. We’ve got kitchen cabinets covered in political science and religious books (I typed boobs… wow), autobiographies and Steig Larson’s Millennium Trilogy. Probably out-of-place in the kitchen, those ones.

The rest of the books have been assigned to the living room mantle.

living room fireplace mantle

Some of the books are hiding behind the chimney wall on the other side. We also have a little shrine dedicated to J. R. R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings… and video games.

J.R.R. Tolkein

Finally, I hung curtains in the dining room, which I just now decided that I want to replace, and I have a half-finished dining room wall with a bunch of random framed photos I have no intention of hanging on the unfinished dining room wall.

You also get a little dog butt in the next photo.

dining room curtains

framed sepia artwork

Putting a house together is hard work, especially when you want it to be absolutely perfect because it’s your home.

My next project is to paint this cabinet…


…to match this bedroom set.

bedroom furniture in black

Oh, Pinterest. Here I come!

My style in decoration and home decor flip-flops between traditional and modern. I cannot decide what my focus should be because I tend to decorate with found items I fall in love with or am gifted.

What do you think? Am I out of touch?

Saturday Brunch

I am enjoying Day #2 of my four-day weekend.

Fully enjoying.

I woke early this morning, but I didn’t really move or get around to do anything until my husband woke up at 10:30. (Yes. That means I did not go to Power Yoga.)

When Husband did wander downstairs, I got up to make brunch. A recipe I have been craving for a while now.

brunch recipes

Hilary’s Heavenly Eggs for Two (with my minor alterations)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 ounce turkey bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup prepared marinara sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits


Prepare biscuits according to directions.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions and turkey bacon. Saute until garlic and onions are translucent and bacon is browning.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add marinara sauce. Create a well in the center of the marinara sauce mixture and crack the eggs in the middle. Don’t break the yolks! Cook to desired doneness.

To serve: Place one egg on a biscuit, and then cover with the marinara sauce mixture. Dust with pepper and Parmesan cheese.

brunch recipes

I am the domestic Highlander.