Becoming The Best Wife Ever On Our 9th Wedding Anniversary

Today is my 9th wedding anniversary and in an effort to keep my marriage fun and exciting I took to the ‘inter webs’ to search for advice on being the best wife possible. The internet did not disappoint and I found a blog that posted 40 great tips to be such a wife.

Seeing that I put this task off until 2 days before our anniversary, I will not be able to complete all 40 steps, although, I feel pretty secure in my wifely ranking that I don’t need to do all 40 steps to push me over the top, just saying. 

With that said, I have selected 9 Steps to share with my husband, so, join me as I spend the whole day annoying and alienating my Husband on our 9th Anniversary. #Truelove

1.Frame a nice family picture for him for his bedside table, desk, or cruiser. Bonus points for a nice note on the back.

This seemed easy enough! I grabbed a cute frame and after a quick google search for “nice family picture” and a click of the ‘print’ button, step one was completed! It really is a darling picture, isn’t it? I named them the Howard family. Brad, (an investment banker) Julia (Once a lawyer, now a travel blogger) and little Ryan and Georgia.

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Oh..and just know I couldn’t forget about the ‘bonus points’! I find the ‘Eighth note’ to be one of the nicest notes, don’t you?

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2.Buy his favorite candy bar when you go grocery shopping.

-Wow! Another easy one, although it seems like a waste. We have separate taste in candy bars and cookies ’n’ cream is far from my favorite but maybe this step is designed to make us see our spouses point of view. Oh well, I never say no to chocolate!

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3.Leave a note (or several) for him to find randomly.

-This one is a little more time consuming, but important in any relationship and I know just what I’m going to tell him. We’ve been on a Cheers kick lately, so in true Cliff Clavin style, I left 20 ‘important but mostly unknown facts’ around the house (read them all for yourself here). 

He already knows I love him but did he know that cats can’t taste sweet food because of a genetic issue? Nope, didn’t think so. Knowledge is power and love.

4.Help your kids make him something.

-We don’t have any kids, but we do have 2 minimally creative dogs and one cat who thinks throwing litter around a room is an art form, what is the worst that could happen?

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Turns out, the ‘worst’ that could happen is 3 dirty, pissed off pets and paint everywhere. EVERY. WHERE. Of all the questions asked of me today the one, “But why did you choose RED paint?” will be the one that resinates the most. It looks like I slaughtered all of Santas reindeer as they then struggled for their life on my patio…

5.Tell him one reason you love him (or randomly text it to him.)

-Just one?! Thats amature hour. I say lets kick this affection up a notch and bombard his inbox with nothing but sweet and touching reasons why he is my forever.

6.Get dolled up just for him, like you did when you were dating.

-Again, this one seems a bit off, but I’ll try to recreate the magic. We started dating in college, so it may take me a minute to dig out my ISU hoodies and sweat pants that I seemed to live in for 4 years straight…

7.Hand over control of the remote for a night or two.

-This task wasn’t specific enough for me, we have 3 different remotes, how am i supposed to know which one to give him? Being the bigger person I gave him the remote that turns the TV on and off. He always likes that. I’ll maintain ownership of the sound bar remote and the Apple TV remote, both of those are too small and annoying to keep track of when you want to change the station..

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8. Buy him a small gift.

-You know, thinking back to Step 2 where I bought his favorite candy bar for myself to enjoy, I thought that would be the perfect small gift for him as well!

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9. Plan a special date night, start to finish.

– You may be thinking that I just wasted a whole day leaving weird and confusing messages for my husband, but after 9 years this is just another day in the trenches for him and a ‘special’ day was had by all!

 

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300 Writing Prompts # 9: How Would You Improve Airplane Travel?

Oh I am SOOOO glad this question has come up, because I travel by air frequently and one of my biggest pet peeves in life takes place at airports, and it’s not the size of the pretzel/peanut bags they give us either. Let’s dive into this topic, shall we.

All people in the terminal will be strapped in to their seats once they arrive to their gate. When, and ONLY when their boarding group is called, will the seat belts be unlocked, and passengers will be allowed to stand in a single file line to have their ticket scanned to board the plane.

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I don’t know if it’s the inability for 200 adults to follow simple directions or the traffic jam that is caused when everyone surrounds the boarding line like a football huddle, but I become filled with rage every time I fly. I mean, how hard is it? Look at your ticket, find your boarding group number, sit and relax and until the number on your ticket matches the number the gate agent has called out. They aren’t going to leave you behind if you’re at the right gate, and it’s not like your seat is going anywhere. (Double check first if you are flying United..) We all have tickets for the same flight and each of us has our own seat as well.

Also, I’m sure every major airline has conducted studies and focus groups on the best ways to load its passengers and have trained their flight crew to follow the best practice. Trust the process, they know what they are doing (most of the time).

Annoying traveler: “But Jennifer, I need to make sure I get on the plane before the overhead bin is full I only have carry-on luggage…”

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Well annoying air traveler, I understand your concern, and this is a risk we all take when not checking luggage. If this is a recurring issue for you, try investing in a suitcase that fits underneath the seat in front of you, they make them now for this specific purpose and they are great. Also, worst case scenario, if the bins are full they will courtesy check your bag and it will go to your final destination or will be waiting on you when you get off the plane.

 

There you have it folks, my suggestion to all the airlines. I think they would also agree how frustrating it is when people don’t listen to directions and crowd the boarding area. Someone just needs to take matters into their own hands and “tighten the buckle”

What is something you would change to improve air travel, let me know below!

 

 

 

Pierogi Math

I’ve been bit by the “Baking Bug” which, from what I hear is similar to being bit by bed bugs but this is messier and more painful.

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It started harmless enough. We are within spitting distance of thanksgiving which means Hallmark is full of all these wonderful scenes of happy people baking these perfect cookies and pastries.  They made it look easy, so I took the bait and made cookies….from scratch…..for the first time ever. Needless to say, 3 days, 2 audio books and countless dishwasher loads later, I have 40 marginally attractive cookies ready for consumption by anyone willing to risk their diabetic status and dental fillings. Let me know if you need my address.

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But this wasn’t enough for me, oh no! I craved more! More mess, more dishes and more “Hey Siri, how long should you melt butter in the microwave?”

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While cleaning earlier this week I came across my daily planner from my freshman year of college. I thumbed through the 12-year old items that I once thought worthy of a bullet point, expecting to see reminders for assignments that may or may not have been turned in on time. Then I saw it in all its highlighted glory “Pierogi Night.” Oh! Pierogis, how could I forget every one’s favorite polish treat! Lost on what a pierogi is? Let my Veggietale friends, Bob and Larry, break it down for you here!

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There were two distinct groups of people freshman year of college. Those who hated the dining hall experience and saved their meal credits for the Campus commons on the weekend and then those who had the dining hall webpage saved on their desktop, so they could plan their schedule around where their next meal was coming from. I’ll let you guess which group I was in.

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Seeing that I haven’t had a decent pierogi in 10 years, I asked my trusted advisor Siri for her best pierogi recipe.  As if the adventure was kismet I had ALL the ingredients on hand. I jumped out of bed, laid out my clothes for the day and hopped in the shower. I needed to feel and look my best for this polish adventure.

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The whole journey, while messy wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t pleasant either. Just picture Lucy and Ethel on the conveyor belt but instead of chocolate and a shift manager to fight off, I was covered in flour and dough while also feigning off two cats with a rolling pin. Yep, it was every bit dramatic as it sounds.

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I also failed to realize when I began making this dish was the number of pierogis I would be left with. 34. I made 34 pierogis for two people, 1 of which I’m not even sure likes pierogis. Hopefully he does because we each have 17 of them to consume in the next 3 days. Per person That’s 5 ½ pierogis a day, or alternatively 2ish pierogis a meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for three days straight. That’s a lot of dough and potato. I don’t know if that is a commitment I was ready to make yet.

What would you like to see me bake next? Leave me a recipe link in the comment box down below. And please, for the sake of my arteries and refrigerator space, make sure the recipe doesn’t make enough to feed a small army!

The Ants Go Marching 1 by 1, Hurrah! Hurrah!

We did it! Matthew and I have been wanting to start our own business for a while, but we couldn’t decide what direction to go in. Luckily for us, a lucrative business opportunity presented itself and we just couldn’t turn it down.

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I know what you are thinking. “This is so sudden Jennifer, how did this happen?” Basically, our house had come under attack. Due to the drought in our area, ants, who generally live their lives outside, came inside in an attempt to find water. They seemed to really enjoy our spacious sink and views out our kitchen window. We spent days battling the pests, guests with no real success. It wasn’t until I saw an ant taking a refreshing dip in a measuring cup, that I realized they were just trying to escape the pressures and realities of life. (same here, ants, same here).

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So, might I formally introduce to you Château Shidler, Central Texas’s premier luxury ant resort!

 

 

Chataue

 

Relax

You are Welcome Here!

Tired of being turned away from every home you visit? Look no further! Chateau Shidler is a rustic 21st century home, which offers a mix of quaint and second-hand furnishings within. We are centrally located on a busy street with over 10 garbage cans for you to explore. Newly renovated hotels complete with 10 doors is guaranteed to fit you and 100 of your closest friends.

Sit Back and Relax

The Spa is set around a man-made, stainless steel pool with custom sponge floats. Looking for a more intement experience? Visit our candle lit serenity deck and lounge next to our cozy vinegar infinity pool.

Looking For More Of an “Active Retreat”

You are invited to climb one of our many scenic trails that take you down our custom stone back splash and over the majestic Keurig ridge to coffee mountain. For the thrill seekers, take the self-guided excursion up our 8-ft cabinet wall before diving down the island light fixture.

We Offer an Extensive Menu Guaranteed To Fit Every Taste:

  • Blue Buffalo Kibble (lamb and beef flavor)
  • Meow Mix (chicken flavor)
  • French Fries
  • Toast Crumbs
  • Pasta Sauce (Aged to perfection in our finest pans)
  • Hunter/Gatherer Packages available (Upon Request)

 

Thirsty? We Have A Wide Selection of Drinks

  • Vinegar Water
  • Droplets of Orange Juice
  • Stale Coffee
  • Milk (for an extra cost)
  • Raid

Resavations not required but prefered. 2 night minimum stay in our newly renovated hotel required for weekend and holiday guests. Earn bonus towards your next stay for referring us to your friends! Other places say if “You can check in, but you won’t check out” well, we will let you leave, if you take your friends with you.

Pet Grooming {ish} With Jennifer

We had to shave our cat. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to type. Now before your mind wanders or you call PETA, we didn’t do this for fun or for sport. Mosby is fine, a little cold, but fine. He thought it would be cute to sit on a wax warmer. A wax warmer that is intentionally hidden for this reason.

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Mosby

How did Mosby become the latest attraction at Madame Tussauds you ask? We are 99% sure this is what happened.

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Grumpy cat meets his wax double at Madame Tussauds

It’s 4 A.M. and everyone is asleep. Suddenly Mosby hears a loud noise coming from the living room. Fearing for the lives of his family, he gets down from his perch to investigate. After running as fast as he can from one end of the house to the other (repeatedly), he finds himself being attacked by a large snake in the shape of a bread tie. Heroically Mosby tackled the bread tie snake, violently smashing and thrashing it around. After swiftly swatting at it with his paws he realized the battle was more than he could handle. In an effort to find safety he leapt 4 feet into the air, landing behind the TV directly on the wax warmer. Mosby, now coated in wax on his stomach and leg has found himself “safe” but the bread tie snake still remains at large.

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Before we get into the physics that goes in to shaving a cat, I want to assure you that we contacted our vet to make sure this wasn’t an emergency situation. Oddly enough, they’ve seen several cases of cat vs. wax warmer (spoiler alert: wax warmer always wins), and have found that even with sedation the removal process can just as “easily” be done at home. Basically, they were not interested in being clawed to death by a 24 lb. ball of fur, wax and anger. I don’t blame them.

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We were officially on our own. The most popular options presented to us were, dish soap, coconut oil, vegetable oil and finally shaving. Since neither of us have experience in pet grooming, (in fact I’m still trying to master shaving my legs without cutting myself) we opted for the soap and oil methods first.

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We huddled in the bathroom (only one exit and no breakables) armed with towels, various oils and an angry cat. You know, your typical date night. Thinking there would be cat hair EVERYWHERE, I stripped down to my socks, underwear and sports bra. This would have been a great idea if Mosby was completely declawed, but I quickly and regrettably remembered his back feet (his strongest I might add) still have claws. Being nearly naked was no longer and advantage.

While distracting Mosby with a buffet of cat nip, we quickly lathered him up in enough oil that would make Paula Dean proud but even with a fine tooth comb the wax would not come loose. As we feared, shaving had become our last option. Mosby, slippery and high on catnip needed a break (as did we). We decided to stop for the night. We needed to lick our wounds, gather our thoughts and formulate a plan for the great cat shave of 2018.

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BE THERE!

We went in to day two with what we thought was a solid plan. We bought a corded mustache trimmer, (no time to mess with batteries) cat proof armor, (3 layered hoodies, gloves and blankets) and found a spray catnip that we hoped would distract him long enough to sheer him like a sheep. The plan was to get in, get out eat dinner watch an episode of The Nanny and never speak of this incident again.

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After performing what can only be described as an alligator death roll, Matthew and I were left with a pissed off, half shaved cat. We had 1 torn hoodie, a blanket that I swear is still missing and a pair of wax clogged mustache trimmers that will never work right again. Cat nip and fur were everywhere, our bathroom looked like a 4-h project gone wrong.

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After yet another call to the vet it was decided that we would allow the stomach fur to grow out long enough to where it could be trimmed with scissors. Lord give me strength. Our only other instructions were to keep the area clean and to keep Mosby happy. Not included in the instructions were hiding all the belongings that Mosby may or may not plan to pee or throw up on out of spite.

Today’s takeaway’s:

  1. Don’t underestimate the agility of even the fattest and laziest of cats
  2. The ConairMan beard & mustache trimmer is best on the market, hands down
  3. Buy a wax warmer and a hairless cat or fluffy cat and Wallflower Plug in. These items should not be mixed and matched

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Car Shopping {ish} With Jennifer

My husband recently had a run in with a concrete barrier in Austin (thankfully, he wasn’t hurt) and needless to say we’ve found ourselves in the market for a new vehicle. Yay, debt. The universe knew that our car note was almost paid off and thought, “Not today young savers, not today.”

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The car buying process is never fun, but Matthew and I have completely different visions of what an acceptable vehicle should be. So naturally we had a blast. The process took a year month.

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Matthew wants a beefy looking vehicle that stands tall and proud. I would prefer my car not to have a stronger self-confidence than me. He wants tires that look rough and tough and I want tires that won’t cost more than my mortgage.

I took to Facebook earlier this week hoping to find some insight on what car we should bring home. I was certain the world was on my side. I. Was. Wrong.

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While it was saddening to see I was alone in my car choices, except for the Delorean (no shocker there) I pulled myself together and compiled a list of car buying factors everyone should follow.

Height

The vehicle can’t be so tall that I have to perform calisthenics to get in. In the same respect it can’t be so short that I sound like a slowly deflating balloon getting in and out of it.

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Vibe

When you get into a pre-owned car for a test drive, make sure to turn the radio on. A good indication of the cars’ “vibe” is the last station the previous owners listened to. If I turn the car on and hear Fleetwood Mac, I know I’m at home in this car. We already have a bond. If country music were to play, well, it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but the salesman’s job just got a lot harder.

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The Peace Keepers

No one wants to argue on a road trip. So, the cup holder to people ratio must be greater than 200%. Also, the arm rests must be clearly designated and ample in surface area. Finally, the charging options. My life is run by an elite team of overpriced electronics. If one of them dies, people could suffer (primarily my husband).

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Color

The term “age gracefully” is usually associated with people, (I’m looking at you Meryl) but I need this to apply to car as well. I live in Texas, otherwise known as God’s easy bake oven. My garage is part recreation area and storage locker, so parking in the elements is the only option. Eventually she will fade as time passes, and since I don’t believe can’t afford plastic surgery, she needs be more of a Meryl and less of a Meg Ryan.

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Storage Capacity

I have a knack for finding useless items and bringing it home. I need to know that if I come across a good deal on a canoe or an ostrich that I can bring them home without phoning a friend. By the way, if you have a friend that will help you transport an ostrich, you have won the lottery. Good friends help you move a dead body. Best friends help you move large exotic birds without asking questions.

Endurance

This one is short and simple, I make it a goal of hitting no less than 3 curbs a week (4 if I didn’t hit my quota the month before) I need to know that this new car can handle what I can hit.

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There you have it, 5 overlooked features to look at when you purchase your next vehicle. Also, a big thank you to the team at Don Ringler in Temple, Texas for helping us find a vehicle! She may not be brand new, but she has low miles (only 50,000) and can be paid off in a year! #nodebt

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It only had 1 owner and 50,000 miles…works for me!