High School Graduation!

My little brother, Lucas, graduated from high school recently!  Brett and I sat proudly in the stands with my dad, my grandmother, and Lucas’s girlfriend during the graduation ceremony.  At one point Lucas was at his seat and looking around the stands for us.  My dad and I waved our arms and Lucas saw us!  I think my brightly colored dress helped out with that a bit.  🙂  Later on, Lucas waved and blew a kiss our way and I thought, “aawwww, my little brother loves me!”…then I realized that the kiss was probably intended for his girlfriend..bummer!  😉

Congratulations Lucas!





Wine and a movie

After a long day of studying for my qualifying exam, Brett and I decided to unwind with a bit of red wine and a movie 🙂  Up tonight on the queue was a Star Trek movie (yes we know…we’re Trekkies).  Brett did a bit of sketching while we watched…I’m pretty sure we’ve seen it half a dozen times 🙂


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins — because everything is better with chocolate!

Some of my favorite baked goods growing up were banana chocolate chip muffins.  Whenever we had some over ripe bananas around the kitchen my mom would skin ’em, smash ’em, and bake ’em up!  This is the recipe she used…


That’s her note at the bottom, converting the bread recipe to one for muffins.  Its so easy!  Mash up the bananas and add the milk.  Cream the sugar, egg, and butter.  Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Mix the flour mixture and the banana mixture to the sugar.


Add the chocolate chips!


Bake them up


And enjoy!  These muffins are such a great summer treat.  They are great right out of the oven but they are also good cooled off and with an ice cold glass of milk 🙂

blog_bmuffins2What are your favorite summer baked treats?  🙂


Doggie Training!

We’ve been working really hard with Inca.  Brett and I are quite a dream team when it comes to the dog training…Brett offers the insight and know-how from the doggie training book and I offer the positive energy and doggie instincts from my dog behavioral studying.  🙂  We recently had a lovely boxer, Julep, visiting us for a few days.

blog_JulepInca and Julep have met before, with a bit of contention, and this meeting was no different.  When the two pups were outside they chased each other and had a great time but the second we got inside, Inca would try and guard the portions of the house she had deemed to be hers.  At one point we were all in the bedroom together and Inca was looking menacingly at Julep.  Brett grabbed a handful of food and so did I.  While I fed the ‘refuses to eat when anything too exciting is happening’ Julep from my hand, Brett gave Inca a piece of food everytime she looked at Julep and didn’t completely tense up and/or start to curl her lip up.  Whenever Inca did tense up or curl her lip, Brett would ask her to sit or shake until he had her full attention and then he would give her a piece of food too.  After a little while, Inca completely relaxed.  All of our positive reinforcement training is working!  The girls played outside for a few more hours that night and all was well.  Inca’s manners lapse sometimes but her anxiety around new dogs is continuing to improve.  🙂


Do you have any dog training tips for dealing with anxious pups?  🙂


Girly Wednesday ~ viii ~ a how-to DIY pedicures

Most of the women that I know love wearing sandals in the summer and those naked toes look best with a little bit of color 🙂  Those pesky pedicures are so lovely but they can also be costly if you stick to an every 2 weeks kind of routine (because let’s face it, even the best of nail polish doesn’t last more than 2 weeks if you want to have chip free painted nails).  If you invest in just a few extras though (in addition to some awesomely-colored nail polish) you can get the same look as a pedicure at a fraction of the price!

Step 1:  Use nail polish remover to get rid of any unwanted color from the last time you painted your nails.  If you do not have color on your nails, do this step anyway!  The nail polish remover will remove all unwanted oils and particles from the nail, which then helps the nail polish to stay on better.

blog_nails1Step 2:  Apply a coat or two of a base coat.  I don’t even bother spending a ton of money on a base coat.  This one, from Sinful, runs about $8.00 on amazon and I can’t honestly remember what I paid for it at my local drug store but it can’t be much more 🙂  This step helps the nail polish to better adhere to your nail and it helps keep your nails from staining if you wear nail polish often.

blog_nails2Step 3:  Paint on your color!  I used to buy cheapo nail polish (I have an entire bag full of various colors).  I still go back to these from time to time but last summer I learned that if you spend a bit more on your nail polish, the nails look better and the color stays longer without chipping or peeling off.  Essie has become my new favorite.  Depending on the color, I usually paint on 2 coats of the nail polish.  Remember to let your first coat completely dry before adding a second.

blog_nails3Step 4:  Use a top coat!  I also learned last summer that using a UV top coat really helps to extend the look and life of your nail color.  It’s also great for adding a bit of shine and gloss to the top (especially if you had a few nicks in the color).  It’s important to note though, that clear nail polish is not the same as a top coat 🙂 I usually just paint on a quick, single coat of top coat once the nail color is completely dry.  (I even do it the next day sometimes)

blog_nails4And voila!  Great looking nails at a fraction of the price of a nail salon 🙂