Friday, April 26, 2013

My entire life has been a buildup for this one moment.

Some days I wake up and I feel I have all but lost my hope in humanity.

Some weeks are rougher than others and I really have to bite my tongue at situations and prevent myself from shaking people and yelling at them to act like adults.

Some times I just need to come home, decompress and veg out on the sofa reading blogs and listening to Meatwad hop around and oink like a little pig.

I feel like I have a lot of those days lately, those "mental health" days when the stresses of the world seem to boil up and over the edge of what I can handle being a simple human being.

Some days I feel like I will absolutely go crazy if I don't find an outlet to vent my frustrations. On those particular days it's either a lot of Rage Against the Machine and fast driving or sending some climbs I didn't have the courage to do beforehand. Occasionally it's something much more simple albeit much more out of the ordinary.

The days when I come home, I grab my camera and follow Meatwad around on his daily household adventures are some of my favorite moments. I love my family and friends immensely. But there is a part of my heart that can only be filled by a fluffy little creature. There is a part of me that is nothing but a void until I interact with a creature of another species. Animals are so simple and happy. The basic survival instincts are primarily what drives an animal. But they can also be so complex and intelligent, they can fulfill so many different positions in a humans life that cannot be achieved by our bipedal brethren.

With that being said, Meatwad has his own way of filling that void in my life. No one else can put that warm and fuzzy feeling inside of my heart as quickly as he sometimes can. It's his mannerisms and goofy personality that drive me into fits of giggling sometimes as he hops around me in circles when I'm trying to workout, or the way he tries to help me fold laundry by digging and pushing and pulling at  my freshly cleaned clothes.

Sunday was one of my favorite moments with Meatwad, simply because he is so happy to just sit there and let me make him look ridiculous and take photos of him.  It's like he knows when I've been having a bad day or rough week and knows that certain things will bring me joy.

So Sunday morning after cooking breakfast...I put a pancake on his head  I hope that somehow it brings you as much joy and laughter and giddiness as it did me.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blog Swap-Cookes and beer!

One of the coolest people I know, Ben from Ben Likes Beer came up with a brilliant idea the other day (or should I say month since I'm a procrastinator and waited forever to start on this). That idea was to do a sort of hybrid blog post swap where we each give each other an inspirational piece of work. Since Ben is the resident beer connoisseur and I am the resident baker, we are swapping concepts and creative direction.

I have provided Ben with a recipe for "Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie" I was convinced that the warm, spicy deliciousness of this pie would allow Ben to have a fun time finding a beer to compliment. Also, remember how I said Ben was a genius? Well, I'm sure I could've provided him a recipe consisting of celery stalks, cinnamon and cumin and he would've found a beer to pair it with.

Whether you drink beer, sip on wine, or prefer your adult beverages in the form of a flaming neon shot, I urge you to visit Ben's blog where you can see his hilarious, sharp wit and understand clearly why everyone just adores him so much.

The fantastic post he did with the Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie is here.
Is it just me or is he too good at stuff?

For my part of this fantastical swap, Ben has given me Dogfish Head's-Theobroma.

and mmm mmm mm is it delicious. I of course could not give an appropriate review of this beer since I would certainly do it an injustice, but I can tell you that Ben described it to me as a "spicy chipotle coffee/chocolate beer."  Boy do I love nothing more than chocolate. Except for bunnies maybe, and sunny days of course. But I'm sure you already knew that.

So this spicy, chocolaty concoction was a beautiful beer to sip after dinner and enjoy. Also, I don't know if perhaps I drank a bit too much of the Theobroma but for some reason I took terrible pictures that did not do it justice. I was going for that whole Beer commercial slow poured ice goodness but it turned out like one of those grainy pictures from a child's Fisher Price plastic digital camera.

So because I did not do the beer any justice just trust me that it was delicious.

So now came time to figure out a baked good to pair with this spectacular beer.  I knew immediately that I needed something chocolate because...well it doesn't take much for me to decide I need chocolate. But since this had notes of chipotle and spicyness I wanted to do something a bit different.  Several months ago I had stumbled upon a recipe for "Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies" and that seemed almost too perfect.  

Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Melt the butter and the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave.

In a stand mixer beat the brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla and eggs.  Slowly pour in the melted chocolate until mixed thoroughly.

In a seperate bowl mix and sift the dry ingredients. 

Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate batter slowly until it is thoroughly mixed and then fold in the chocolate chips.

Take an ice cream scoop and place balls of dough on a non stick baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes and rotate halfway through.

The cookies were definitely different. Just like the name indicates, it's similar to chewing on a mexican hot chocolate. To keep up with tradition, I didn't take any good pictures of the cookies themselves until they I had already eaten some of them and then bagged them up to take to work.

I had such a fun time with this challenge and swapping creative ideas with Ben. Hopefully we can do it again soon in the future if he isn't too disappointed in my procrastination!

Spring in Saranac-our new neighbors

Shaun had the day off today and was at home to water the plants and mow the lawn, go to the driving range and in general enjoy the weather on this gloriously sunny day. All the while I was inside my office staring longingly out the window wishing for 5pm and a sliver of daylight left to enjoy when I do eventually make it out of the building.

Throughout my glum, paperwork riddled day at the office, Shaun sent me pictures of Meatwad flopped over sleeping, as is per usual for him during lazy days such as...well every day. He also sent me a photo of a new neighbor we have living in the bushes next to our house.

It turns out a robin had thought our little bush was a happy enough home to raise some baby birds so she built the perfect little nest and laid 4 perfect little eggs in the most darling shade of blue.   I'm flattered that she chose us to trust as her immediate neighbors and of course I'm hoping that all the other little critters in the neighborhood make their way over to our house to hang out with us and be Meatwads fluffy little friends.

A girl can dream, right?

 Is it wrong to want to paint a wall the color of those eggs? Oh, mother nature, you are such a superb decorator.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weekly Pinterest Roundup: Maxis!

I love Maxi dresses. Have I told you that?

I love, L-O-V-E Maxi dresses!

They are so sleek and elegant and make everyone look taller, thinner and glamorous! 

They are also oh so simple. Throw on a a maxi dress and some sandals and you have an instant casual outfit, add heels and you've just transformed to a great night time style.

The past couple days here have been CRAZY hot. I mean, it's the first week of April and it was 90 today. *phew* I think it's definitely time to bust out those loose, cotton frocks to start and end these summer-like spring days!

Great Casual strolling outfit. I love that you can throw a t-shirt over a dress or skirt and have the perfect flea market/thrift shopping outfit!

This is possibly the easiest most basic outfit and one of the cutest I've ever seen!

This outfit is runway ready but cozy enough to meet a girlfriend for lunch

I love the simple understated elegance of this outfit. The flowy cotton material, the dressy flats and large clutch. This would be great for a summer night party

One of the best casual uses of a maxi dress or skirt is pairing it with a t-shirt and adding some glam accessories. Perfect for a stroll through the park or a walk to the bookstore.

Do you have a favorite maxi dress in your closet? What do you like to pair it with?