Cruisin’ (hopefully not for a bruisin’ hehe)

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Ok so we are currently on our way to NYC to board our cruise to…Bermuda!!!! (ps the pic above is me showing off the minuscule bottle of banana republic perfume I got for the trip that I thought I was getting a deal on…uh yea). Anyway, I am super excited although I’ll admit a bit apprehensive about leaving the pups. I already miss them. But I know that our good friends Ron and Joe will take amazing care of them while they stay at our home for the week…I mean I definitely bribed them enough hehe. No seriously. A little “hostess with the mostest” goes a long way.

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Pound Ridge, NY- Memorial Day Weekend 2010

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We decided to head to Pound Ridge this weekend to see Mom and Dad #2!  It was a blast like always!  We all (Oscar, Ian and myself) LOVE to escape the city to the beautiful suburbs of Westchester County, NY!

Excuse the blur and evening pic, but this is our gorgeous view when we pull up to the MIL/FIL house!

Mm MOM 2 and DAD 2 (plus LOLA-dog) live in a beautiful house in Pound Ridge, New York.  We just LOVE it there.  Our getaways there include MUCH outdoor time in their spacious and lush yard and pool area…

While the doggies LOVE the pool…

Uhhhh....OK, so maybe Lola likes the pool a bit more than Oscar... 🙂

The adults like to chill on the deck…

Being in NY definitely brings the outdoorsy-ness out in ALL of us.

We hiked in the local nature preserve and at a beautiful nearby ravine.  It was awesome.  BUT, of course I got a lil shoppy-shoppy in.  I purchased some adorable digs for our trip to Europe this summer (more on that to come) along with a VERY European hat and pair of Raybans LOL.

C'est la Vie!

Overall, a great time with the MIL and FIL.  We were fed great food- thanks Dad 2 for the amazing grilled steak-and saw a FANTASTIC movie—The Blind Side-

PS:  LOVED it!  Did you see the Blind Side?  Did you love it as much as I did?!?!?

A Walk in the Park

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Hi all!  So,  I feel like I mention walking in the park with Luxy and Stephie a lot, but don’t elaborate much.  Well, today’s the day… recapping a walk in the park!

Steph and Lux

Poor Stephie needs to walk Luxy girl every day.  Luxy is a very large (130 pounds) mastif and is as cute as can be.  BUT, she certainly needs a lot of exercize.  Sometimes I volunteer to meet these two lovely ladies in the Norristown Farm Park for a walk.  The farm park is very large and has a few streams flowing throughout.  There are trails and many wildlife to be seen. It is like a little nature preserve in the middle of N-Town 🙂

Ya know, everything was going soooo well…I was in SUCH a lovey mood…even hugging trees!

SUCH a hippie~!

…UNTIL Luxy and I got a LITTLE too lovey.  She headbutted and gave me a bloody nose an a fat lip!  Let’s assess the damage…

...and for a close-up

So…we got a lil’ rowdy.  BUT, all’s well that ends well- my fat lip deflated as the night went on, so no worries.  Husband met me out out Steph’s and we were off…to New York!  Stay tuned for a post on those shenanigans!  Toodles!

Running with a Friend

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So, I’ll start out this post with a question (I usually hit ya with it at the end)… Do you enjoy/like/prefer exercising with a friend????

Not to be sounding like a self-centered Debbie Downer (Downeser hehe) but I generally like to exercise ALONE…especially when it comes to RUNNING.  I really take the time when running to be by myself.  It is my “ME TIME.”  I get to sing think, reflect, or not.  BUT, yesterday I went it with a friend, and I realized that my reasons for running solo aren’t always great.  For example, running with a friend can be extremely motivating and way less boring.  Yesterday I went for a run with my friend Kristin.  She is SOOO great and in wonderful shape.  I was even getting butterflies in my belly, nervous that I would have to chase her the entire run and thinking I would burn out quickly. We planned to run from School over to the local park, do two loops there and run back. It is a 5-mile course that is filled with hills (in the park).  Well, I must say- we did great!  I don’t know if she was humoring me, but Kristin’s pace was LOVELY and I actually enjoyed the run AND the company!  So there was a final hill that I am pretty sure I would have ditched (aka walked up it) but because I was with a friend, I PUSHED…like hard.  And it was great.  SOOOO maybe my aversion to running with others is sort of a cop-out in ways.  Therefore, I am going to make it a goal to run with a partner at least once a week.  It can be really fun and encouraging!  So, thanks, Kris!

Kristin is the beautiful lady on the left 🙂

Moving on to today’s Oscar cuteness…We found out that Oscar’s Dog School (cute, right?) is closed all week for repairs, so the lovely Eamon filled in to help us out.  He is SOOO cool because he sent me some serious cuteness…Oskie waiting patiently for his treat 🙂

Happy Tuesday!  Toodles!

The morning (day) after…

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So last night’s party was a blast!  It was intimate and lovely!  A wonderful time…here are some picture highlights!  

Because of the snow (and the subsequent Philadelphia Snow Emergency), our usual menu had to be altered, as Chic-Fil-A and Philadelphia Soft Pretzel were both closed.  Therefore, there were some new additions to the menu, which turned out to be delish!  

Homemade baked ziti  

Total cheesey yumyum!

  

Funfetti cake (decorated by yours truly, who doesn’t necessarily excel in cake decorating) nicely decorated 😉  

The cookies surrounding it are plain Stella Dora cookies (Husband leaves those in the package hehe) that I iced for more excitement

  

And onto more icing, iced cookies (chocolate chip AND sugar)…and for those crazy people who don’t like like their cookies iced, I left some plain.  

another yumyum...and addictvie too 🙂

  

…I know what you’re thinking.  Yes, I was icing-happy.  But i think it worked ;-).  Here are some pictures of the table and decor:  

Food, glorious food!

  

The bar…the drink was peppermint martinis by the way, which were (adorably) garnished with mini candy canes.  🙂  

  

Fire was a roarin’  (thanks Husband!)  

  

I think Oscar is getting annoyed by my constant camera usage…I wonder who else is… 😉  

  

Anyway, it was a great time.  

I am currently watching Sweet Home Alabama.  I just love that movie.  I made a spaghetti squash and am waiting for it to cook.  this time, instead of halving it and putting the halves face down on a baking sheet (sprayed, of course), I sput them in a deeper pan like this…  

  

…face down with a cup of water in the bottom (for one hour on 350.) They fit perfectly!  

  

 Anyway, I will let you know how it turns out.  I am planning to do it “Italian Style” (with tomato sauce and cheese)…yumyum!  

So, I’m feeling bad out the passing of Brittany Murphy, age 32, today.  She was in three of my favorites, 8 Mile, Clueless, and the one with Ashton Kutcher (I forget the name)…anyway, RIP.   

  

OK, until later…

Well, hello hello!

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TGIF people!  wootwoot!  Working on a post for yesterday…hint, yesterday was FABU!  Look for it later today.  BUT, for now, just wanted to pass on some interesting Friday stuff.

1. Ordered up some snow for the partay to make it more festive and (drum roll please)…it’s on its way!

Speaking of snow, I actually am NOT dreaming of a white Christmas because I think it will make for a NIGHTMARE of traveling. I am SOOOO excited for Cincy and want to GET THERE!  heehee

Saturday, Dec 19
High: 35 °F RealFeel®: 16 °F
Breezy with snow of varying intensity, accumulating 2-4 inches
Saturday Night, Dec 19
Low: 23 °F RealFeel®: 12 °F
Cloudy, breezy and cold with snow tapering off, accumulating an additional 2-4 inches

2.  How redonk is Oscar’s chew toy?  Seriously?  Pretty cool no?  Dog’s life

Wise Oscar Pictures, as requested by Husband

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So Husband and I had a great time the other night taking pictures of Oscar…I know, we’re off our rockers.  Anyway, Husband LOVED some of them!  This was his favorite,  he things Oscar looks very WISE!

I’ll admit, he does have quite a soulful look on his face.  I like this one:

Close-up!  Haha!  Husband also liked this one- he actually REALLY liked it (I was proud)

 

WOW, that is an awesome picture…”Oh Oscar!”

Help! Drowning in holiday madness!

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OK, so workout will NOT be happening today especially after last night’s shenanagans, click here for more https://upsanddownes.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/bummer-run/ 

Shins are killer!  By the way, I ordered the Zensah compression sleeves for my lower legs which have NOT been faring well through my runs…

(…as well as a running skirt that was wicked cheap and wanted forever)

…and Compression Capris

www.zensah.com

OK moving on!

Some of my favorite bloggy buddies (see Lindsay at www.goodiesgalore.wordpress.com) have been posting their holiday schedules and it is contagious, so here I go…(ps:  i also find this to be very cathartic and helpful to my control-freak scheduled personality)

TODAY  12- 17—> Work, go to Verizon store to get my phone fixed YET again (it will just decide to stop getting emails now every so often) even though I was just there less than a week ago with the same problem, go to kofp mall to grab last-minute neglected gifts, Dollar Store if possible to secure some last-minute partay items and stuff for schoolkids, attend an event at school(work) at 7:15, arrive home to an un-fed Husband empty house (Husband has a weirdo movie thing he is going to-Nerd.) hopefully by 9 to resume wrapping and pass out.

FRIDAY 12-18—> Work (only the morning thought becuase I have a dr. appt.), 12:30 Dr. Appointment, long run (a 5-er but haven’t decided inside or if I am ready to brave outside again), gift wrap ALL presents for the family we sponsored this holiday through my job and any remaining to put under the tree for the BIG ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY (Saturday 12-19), make collection bin (in silver theme) for donations for said holiday party (we collect toys for children in need at our annual holiday party-year 5 by the way!), finalize said holiday party menu which so far looks like this (and shop for party groceries):

1.  Chic-fil-A nugget trays (2) with dipping sauces- they go like HOT CAKES- really think this is why most people come

2.  Philly soft pretzel nugget trays with dipping sauces

3.  Crudite BLAAAAAAH

4.  Baked Ziti-a new addition, homemade by yours truly!

5.  Chips and Dip

6.  Hummus/Veg tray

7.  DESSERT- I can’t even DISCUSS until Husband and I discuss becuase he will get MAAAAAAD!  He is SUCH a dessert guy!

8.  DRINKS-

           – SIGNATURE DRINK THIS YEAR TO GO WITH SILVER COLOR SCHEME:  peppermint-tini!

           -WINE

           -BEER

           -OTHER?

OMG how is this list making me more stressed!??!?!?

Saturday 12-19—> PARTY NIGHT!!!!!  Wootwoot!  Prepare!  This list will have to be a separate post beucase I am getting anxious as we speak- check back later…

Sunday 12-20—> RECOOP!  Long run (another 5-er hopefully), veg, FalalalaLifetime!  Slow-cooker Sunday TBD!

Monday 12-21—> Work-field trip at school :-), Dr. Appointment (weekly one), gym (strength/cross training, 45 minutes on elliptical at 7 intensity), Philadelphia Runner 1st trip (remember Husband got me that awesome gift certificate for Hanukah, click  here   https://upsanddownes.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/x-mas-came-early-in-the-form-of-hanukah-heehee-kidding/) as I am planning on logging miles while away over Christmas and want to make sure I am prepared for ANYTHING!  I also need to do the “new running shoe” thing, so check back Monday for the post about this experience!

Tuesday 12-22—> Work, Group at Renfrew (from 5-6:30), Pack for Cincinnatti (our Christmas destination- we are visiting Ian’s brother and his wife, plus Mama and Papa Downes), Get all work-related gifts together as Wednesday is the last work day and LOAD INTO CAR the night before (I am a complete and total morning-flake!), Check into our next-day flight to Cincy!

Wednesday 12-23—> Last WORK day before BREAK :-), luncheon at work, party for da kids :-), pack carry-on for trip, head to the airport at about 8:00 PM four our 10:00 PM flight, and land in Cincy sometime that evening (or maybe early the next morning depending on how much air-traffic control hates us.  Sounds like an awesome day, no?  Tired thinking about it!

Thursday 12-24—> Christmas Eve Day!  Yippeeee!  We will be in Cincy!

Friday 12-25—> Christmas Day!  PS:  I WILL be blogging about out adventures in the “mid-west” while there, so check back for updates!

Saturday 12-26—> We leave Cincy at about noon and will return to Philly in the afternoon, at which time I will spend a MINIMUM of an hour cuddling my baby-boy 🙂

Sunday 12-27-Monday 1-4 ARE ALLLLL MIIIIINE!  heehee Winter break, here I come, baby!  🙂

Toodles! 

PS:  soooo stressed now! hahahah

Fa-la-la-la-loooooove it!

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Even though Sunday HAD to be the most disgusting weather day of the week year, we still managed to get our tree, which is BEAUTIFUL by the way, and decorate it.  It was a fantastic day!  Bri joined in the festivities as well!  Here are some highlights:

Oscar and I in our matching Snuggies

Oscar looking extremely adorable

The tree process (note hot Husband!)

And we added garland/lights to the railings (one of my favorite things about my house-going to do a post on this soon!)

We had a great time and the tree turned out BEAUTIFULLY- thanks Bri!  🙂