Wednesday, November 23, 2011

bentley loves the dogpark

Let me take a minute to apologize profusely to you loyal blog readers. In the craziness of the mound of sewing I've found myself in, my blog has been pushed to the wayside. Deadlines will do that, I guess. Never fear, plenty of great posts coming, as I find more time for life and spend less time sewing!

Here's one for the 25 for 25 list. #17: Take Bentley to the dogpark 25 times.

So far, my success with this one is feeble. Before last weekend, the dogpark count was 1. Now, after last weekend, the dogpark count is 3! Yes, I tripled that count.

Since it's been so cold, rainy, and dark here, running after work has been nonexistent (so much for #1 and #2). This means that Bentley's getting little to no exercise during the week. He's mostly a lazy dog anyway, but after a couple days without a walk, he's pulling all my fabric off the table and chewing on whatever furniture he can find, and every so often, goes on these crazy sprint circuits around the ottoman.

So last weekend, Billy and I decided it was high time for some dogpark action. And Bentley was so angelic the rest of Saturday, so we decided to take him on Sunday, too! Here's some action from Saturday.
We motivated ourselves to get out there first thing in the morning by getting some coffee. Rare treat these days!

Chasing his friend "Roo"

He basically just loves chasing the big dogs.

Dog-butt action. Bentley has the stick this time.

Look at those ears fly!


"Wow, Mom - I love to run!"
 And this is the part that makes the cold mornings in the mud all worth it: a sleepy beagle lazing by the fire. Sleepy Bentley=Angel Bentley.
Thank God for dogparks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the goose loves key lime pie cupcakes

I know things have seemed very quiet over here in Gooseville, but I promise you it's anything but quiet! I just have been superly slacking on the blog posting. I'm gearing up for a couple of good ones, but you'll just have to wait.

Here's an old one that should have gone up weeks ago. But that's life, I guess.

My dear friend Jackie went to Florida last month to visit her aunt, and brought us back a package of Key Lime Cupcake mix! Yum - thanks, Jackie!

She came over a few days after she returned and we made them together.

My favorite part? The cream cheese frosting, of course.
I almost baked them for too long. Nice and golden.
But what I love about limes and key lime pie is the color - gorgeous green. Lime green, actually - that's how the color got its name. From the all-natural source. So why have regular colored cupcakes and white frosting? Where's the green?

Here it is!
Voila. It's like celebrating St. Patrick's Day in October. Or November, if you're behind in blog posts.

I'd eat another one of these right now, if I could.
Thanks, Jackie, for bringing us the treat! And for enjoying it with us too. Best souvenir ever.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

the goose loves chevron curtains

My sincere apologies, friends. I started Novemer off so well, and then skipped out on you all last week! Well I have good excuses - last week was crazy at work, and I'm now slightly overcommitted in the sewing department. But more on that later.

Here's a quick one from a couple of weeks ago. Back when I had time for house projects.

Meet my front window. (Doesn't that sound familiar?)
It's fairly boring. It actually had a worse curtain up earlier, that we took down because it was ugly. We then replaced it temporarily with two yards of green and white material, but had to take that "curtain" down when we decided to use the material for our ottoman. Then, for a week or so, we'd throw a big blanket over the curtain rod to get a little privacy. Talk about redneck. So it was high time for a real curtain.
I had this awesome green chevron, and decided it would be great. I measured my window and cut out the fabric. Yes, that's a combo sewing ruler and heavy duty construction measuring tape.
I then used hem tape to make my seams/hems - about 3/4 inch, folded over twice (to have completely hidden edges). The hem tape is super easy to use, and keeps my hems perfectly in place before I sew.

Then I just go along the edge - I used a zig zag stitch, as a play on the chevron print... haha.
I made sure to reverse-stitch at the corners, to make sure they didn't pop up. I also actually cut the folds on the corners at a diagonal, to lessen the bunch of material.
And then, uh oh! I broke my needle. See how it completely split in two? Not sure how that happened.
And then, the result! Yeah no major wow factor here, but it's a heck of a lot more classy than a blanket.

Ahh much better.
Well there you go. Something to read, and another project checked of the list.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the goose loves 25 for 25 - november 1 update

Happy November, dutiful followers!

Today marks one official month since I embarked on my 25 for 25 journey. And it's been a fairly productive month! To keep me on track, record my successes, and glaringly publish my failures (for motivation purposes), I'm going to give you a quick recap of how I've done so far. One month down, 7.5 months to go! And to get you through these boring updates, I'm including never-before-seen photos of the cutest puppy in the world, Bentley. Or Bento-B as we fondly refer to him. Or devil dog, as we also fondly refer to him. For the sake of any small children reading my blog, I won't share the "terms of endearment" we actually use ...

Also, in case you're planning on tuning out immediately, let me lure you into the remainder of the post by promising some "super hot" photos of me from about a year ago, when I apparently did nothing interesting with my hair. Ever. Are you hooked now?

Let's start this process off with Bentley, Day 1 at home. That'd be September 10, 2010. Awww, sleepy!

Let's go category by category.

Be Healthy
1. Run 250 miles (not all at once)
I'm happy to report success on this one! In October, I ran 21.3 miles. Not all at once, of course. The furthest was 4.3 miles on October 25th. And I found that I really enjoy running! Bentley does too, and I love how it gets rid of most of his energy in the evenings. I'm especially proud of my progress here, since it's 21.3 miles more than I ran in September. Unless, of course, you count running to the MAX in the morning...
2. Exercise for 25 minutes a day, 25 days a month.
Unfortunately, despite my running success, I can't say I did as well with this one. My days often included some sort of exercise, but sometimes it was just a short walk at work (maybe to go shopping on my lunch break - haha). Other times it was chasing Bentley around the living room or dancing with the vaccuum across the living room. Not that the vaccuuming happened all that often, though... Here's one goal I'll work harder on in November. I'll need to get more creative, too - the evenings are getting darker and colder, but I can't let that stop me
Let's take a short puppy break, now. What mischievous eyes!
3. Hike 25 miles (not all at once)
Slight success here. Billy, Bentley, and I did a 3 mile hike in Washington Park a few weekends ago, and loved it. The day was cold, but clear and sunny, which I love. We'll have to battle some rain and mud coming up, but I'm excited to hike more.
4. Run an almost 25k (a half marathon, which is 21k)
Obviously not complete yet, but I'm making progress. I ran 20 miles more this month than last, and I'm signing up for a 15k race in March. And I think the final "21k" will be in April. Yay!
5. Try yoga & bikram yoga
Not yet, but there's time. Especially as the nights get rainy and cold - I'll want to exercise in warmth!
Notice the theme? I heart sleepy pups.
Be Crafty
6. Sew 25 things
So it looks like I haven't made progress here, but that's not true! I've sewed a few things, but they're gifts for others that I haven't gifted yet. In the off chance they read the blog, I don't want to give away the surprise! You'll see them soon enough.
7. Complete 25 house projects
     1. DIY Ottoman
     2. Half Bath Curtain
You've already heard about some of my progress in this department. And more projects coming soon - I just have to photograph or complete them still. You'll see soon!
See the sleep trend? It will continue...
8. Make 25 new recipes
     1. Monkey Bread & Egg Cups
     2. Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     3. Pumpkin Coffee Cake
     4. Pumpkin Spice Bread
This seems to be my most successful goal yet. But are we surprised? Shouldn't be, since I love to eat, almost as much as I love to cook & bake. I'll try to challenge myself with recipes in the next few months, and this category will also probably include some tasty holiday recipes coming up!
9. Catch up on scrapbooks and photobooks
Fail. Big Fail. Better next couple months, I hope!
10. Make 25 things from Pinterest
     1. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Again, looks like slow process, but I've got some projects in the works. Just wait!!

Here's where the progress trails off...

Be Smart
11. Learn 25 new songs on the piano
Big fail. Goal for November? Get out the keyboard and just play.
12. Make 25 new business contacts (internal or external)
Okay this one wasn't actually so bad. With a month down in my new job, I've actually doubled my contacts - both within PGE and externally. So consider this a success. I'll keep working on this, especially developing thorough relationships with key contacts.

13. Learn 25 things about photography0% progress. That's why I'm not showcasing any new photos here - haha.

14. Read 25 good booksI haven't even made it to the library. Goal for November? Get Billy to take me to the UP library to check out some books. (Why not the public library, you ask? I owe too much - I'm afraid.)

15. Learn to ski well
It's fairly difficult to ski when there is no snow. So I'm putting this goal off for now.

Oh look, he's awake!
Be Generous
16. Make 25 things for others 
Seems like no progress here, again, but it's really that I can't reveal them yet. I gotta get with the gifting, not just the making!
17. Take Bentley to the dogpark 25 times
Poor Bents. Only one dog park adventure this whole month. But in my defense, I did take him on 20+ miles of running, which he also loved...

18. Volunteer for at least 25 hours
Fail. I need to get on this one.
19. Write/send 25 letters, cards, or packages (besides birthday cards)
Fail. But don't worry - typing all these "fails" is motivating me to make more progress in November.
20. Donate $25 a month to a good cause
Slight progress. We donated to the Humane Society already and have some other donations in the works. But this is not the time or place to brag about our giving.

Be Adventurous
21. Go horseback riding
22. Go on a spontaneous adventureFail. Work takes up too much time.
23. Go to Crater Lake and/or Bend
Fail. See excuse for #22.

24. Save $2500 (on top of our normal savings)
Success! Well not the full amount, but we more than doubled our normal monthly savings in October, by being frugal with spending in lots of categories. Yeah, it wasn't easy, but so worth it.
25. Clean the house 25 times a month
Ehh, maybe? I am getting better at small batches of cleaning at a time, but it is still tricky after a long day of work. Certainly more room for improvement.
See? Awesome hair. Not.
So that's the extent of my progress so far. Not bad, for a month! But obviously plenty of places where I can pick it up.
I'm really enjoying having these goals out there - it's great for motivation, and I love lists, so it all works nicely. I can't wait to share more projects and recipes and adventures, too!
Baby Bentley with his girlfriend Dakota.
Let's finish off this super boring post with a few more shots of our pup. If only he was still this small.
My First Bathtime
And in honor of Halloween yesterday, here's Bentley almost exactly a year ago - squirrel puppy! And yes, my dear sister in the background. Why of course she's on her phone!
And to round things off, a pup and his mom. Again, with awesome hair. And on Halloween, 2010.
That completes our first month's update. I'm also pleased to announce that a year later, I actually do my hair... :)