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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Blogging Linkup & Gift Exchange!

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Before now I had never ever done any kind of blog swap!  But I was extremely excited to see what would come of it!  I signed up and then was partnered with a sweet girl named Ashley from Tennessee!

It didn't take more more than a minute to realize what I was going to send her!  Her blog's name is Tea for Two!  TEA!  Of course!  I was so excited!  Alycia with the Crowley Party did a great job of matching us up!

Last week I got a note that I needed to drive to the post office to pick up a package.  I excitedly walked up to the lady and handed her my mail slip.  She came out with a box that had FRAGILE written on the side of it... It just so happened to be the side of the package that was crushed.  I made some sarcastic comment (of course, because that's what I do) about the condition of the package and walked out.

I loved the contents of my gift!  Chocolates!!  A handmade little bag that will be perfect for must-have-make-up when I am working on the road!  A pretty pretty pink journal!  And what would've been an AWESOME decorate yourself Starbucks mug!  (I am going out to buy a new one this week!)


And even though it was broken, I could not resist writing on the mug! :) 


Thank you so much Ashley!!  I hope you enjoyed your tea!  And I really hope that the teapot made it there in one piece as well!  

I am looking forward to doing something like this again in the future!  If you know of any fun blog swaps please please please let me know!  Happy last day of January friends!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sparkly Super Hero Toms

Yesterday was my first day of food poisoning freedom.  FREEDOM from the ball and chain (aka the bathroom!)  The pains and poisoning finally left me and I was ready to see the world, enjoy the sunshine, and wear my brand new Toms.

What?  I forgot to tell you about my Toms?  My brand, sparkly, new Toms?!  Let me just tell you... it was not love at first sight.  My intent when ordering my sparkly Toms was to get them in Ivory.  After paying $8 in shipping they showed up on my door step in "Wedding White."  FAIL.  I still swear it wasn't my fault and that I ordered Ivory - but my screen capture, receipt and confirmation email all confirm I was wrong.


I didn't want Wedding White Toms.  I wanted Ivory Toms.  But I already paid for them.  And I would have to pay $10 to ship them back.  That's almost $20 just in shipping for shoes I wouldn't even own!  Then I realized that when/if I ever get married, Sparkly Wedding White Toms are probably going to be exactly what I'll be wearing under my dress.  Sooo... you're gonna think I'm crazy... but I packed them back in the box and put them under my bed just in case I tie the knot one day.  Then I ordered Ivory ones.

The Ivory Toms arrived last week.  And it rained.  Every day.  Then I got food poisoning.  And I spent a day or so lying in bed looking at my Toms just waiting to be worn.

Yesterday was the day!  I was finally healthy, the ground was dry, and I had errands to run.  And my Toms came with me!

First we went to Target. 


 And found a fun mirror on the gift wrap aisle...


Then we had to find new rugs for my bathroom.  After 5 years it's time to replace them.  (I guess it took a good bout with food poisoning to make me actually notice the rugs in my bathroom!)

Sparkly Toms and I were shocked that nice bathroom rugs can cost $40!!


Then we found several that were less that $20.  There's still hope!


After getting the bathroom decor situation taken care of, we moved on to Valentine's goodies!  "You otter be my valentine!"  Hint Hint Boyfriend... Valentine's Cards are always nice.  


After Target we headed to the grocery store.  Pretty sure Sparkly Toms are good at finding hot deals.  $3.24 for a block of brie?  Don't mind if I do!  


We waited in line with the millions of other Sunday afternoon shoppers. 


After unpacking the groceries we took a walk around the block to enjoy the sunshine, and the sparkles that sparkled off my Toms.


We chased our shadows...


...but avoided stepping in the ugly brown winter grass to protect the clean white beautifulness of these shoes.


And then... after cooking some homemade mushroom and brie soup, I started to wilt.  So we sat down and kicked our sparkles up on an ottoman, and enjoyed a bowl of soup.


All in all, I decided I felt like a super hero with these sparkly shoes.  Not really sure why.  But half way through Target, with my pants rolled up just a bit to show them off, I decided that if I ever become a super hero, forget the cape - all I will need are Sparkly Toms.

I just hope that there are two kids somewhere in Africa rocking a Wedding White and an Ivory pair of sparkly Toms feeling like they can now take on the world with their brand new sparkly super hero shoes.  The thought makes me smile. :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Food Poisoning & Healthy Eats Don't Mix Well

You know that scene from the movie "Bridesmaids" where... yeah.  That scene.  Yep.  The one that made you cry hysterically.  I am pretty sure it might be the first scene that comes to most minds when I just mention the movie.  Let me be just a bit more specific, just in case we are thinking of different scenes. Because let's be real, the entire movie was pretty funny.

The scene I am beating around the bush about is the one when the girls try to do some dress shopping.  YES!  THAT SCENE!  The grossest, funniest, you-might-cringe-but-you-will-totally-LOL scene from the entire movie.   If you are still a bit out of the loop, I have a clip below.  And for those of you who have not seen this before... let me say... you have been warned.
 

I have been home with food poisoning for the past 3 days.  Luckily my week has not been nearly as... shall we say "explosive" as the bridesmaids above!  In my entire life, I have never felt so horrible.  And I absolutely hate that I am wrapping up my first full month of healthy Paleo eating like this.  Before I got sick I had lost 5 pounds and felt AWESOME.  I have lost 1.5 more in the past few days.  Poison was not my first choice in ways to lose weight.  And the kicker of it is - I chose a "healthy" dinner at the restaurant!  I got ahi tuna bites and a side salad!  Darn you ahi! 

My sweet, sweet Chloe has taken good care of me.  She even went into protective growl mode when my roommate came in my room to make sure I was alive!

Okay okay... I am getting to my point.  Last week I promised you two paleo posts.  Due to my illness I spent the last three days of the week trying to find something paleo and food poisoning friendly.  I found nothing.   At least nothing that either A. settled well with me, B. was something that seemed appetizing, or C. was something I had in my house.  There were a few recommendations online for things like pumpkin, banana, and apple sauce - but I honestly didn't try toooo hard to find the "perfect paleo and food poison recovery meal."  I am sure many paleo fans will cringe right now but in the end I went back to my childhood go-to sick food: Buttered egg noodles and parmesan cheese.  (My mom even drove to my house to make it for me!)   Oh!  And hot tea!  It totally hit the spot.  (Speaking of which - don't forget about the tea giveaway!!)

 Bland noodles, my heated bed, and reading blogs and googling Toms on the macbook! Exactly what I needed!

I am so sorry I dropped the ball and only posted one paleo recipe last week.  Once I recover from this plague I have a couple great paleo ideas to bring to you all!  I am thinking about a creating a delicious mushroom and pepper with red wine soup!  Or some fun, creative paleo burgers.  Oh man, I can't wait to eat good eats again!  

Do you have any tips for recovering from food poisoning?  Help a sister out!  And enjoy the sunshine for me this weekend!  It is so lovely outside it makes me sad to spend my time lying around watching lifetime movies!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

P52 Week 4 - Self Portrait (and I'm giving away something too!)

I love that Project 52 has forced me to get my camera out and actually think about taking a picture, at least once a week.  And hey - we've made it to week four so way to go fabulous folks!

This week's theme was "Self-Portrait."  Let me walk you through my thought process of this one.

Self Portrait?  Really?!

That means I have to brush my hair.

And find my tripod.

Ooooh maybe there should be something sparkly in my photo, because I love sparkles.

Well, what else do I love?

I love my house, even though it has been a headache lately.

Brrr.  I am so cold in this house.  Hot tea would be great right now.

I love decorating my mantle.

I love purple and gold.

I love to travel.  A trip to a warm island sure would be nice.

I love my giant "make a difference" mug.

Oh, I do love giving people presents too.  How could I incorporate that into a photo though?

After much, much more of that nonsense above I decided on the photo, a few of the things I love to put into the photo, and a giveaway I can host on my blog!  No, it's not a trip to a warm island.  Sorry folks.  The sales job just doesn't pay enough for that.  


After many attempts with lighting and posing, this was the last shot I took.  By that point I was getting tired and needed to get some more real work done.  I felt like this photo would give you a little more insight into my life.  I am in love with scarves and wear them as much as possible, even when I am indoors.  I am half way through redecorating my mantle for Valentine's Day.  If you look closely at the fireplace you can see the santa hat on my snowman decoration that is still out from Christmas.  The quilt in the right was hand made for me by my aunt and my grandmother.  I wear fake pandora jewelry (but no one can tell.)  I like tea.  Oh and wine too (notice over my shoulder?) Hey!  The island vacation made it in the shot too!  See the 5 o'clock somewhere sign with palm trees?!  I totally didn't plan that!  Score!

What's that you ask?  Oh right!  I did say something about loving to give people presents!  Well get excited.  We are having a little give away here at 2 Cats & Chloe.  Do you see that blue teapot?  It's not mine.  But it might be yours!  :)


My family has our own little tea cafe & restaurant in North Carolina.  It's called The Carriage House.  I was talking to my mom about how I want to try to grow my blog this year, and that I thought it would be fun to do some sort of giveaway.  Together we came up with this brilliant plan!  Here is what you can win:

A cute blue teapot
Five 2 oz bags of a few of my favorite loose leaf teas
T-Sacs to help with brewing
And a loose leaf tea infuser

What teas are you going to get?  Like I said, a few of my all time faves:

Bourbon Street Vanilla Rooibos - It has a delicious creamy vanilla flavor. I love this one!
Monk's Blend - Just a good go-to tea for me
Cochin Masala Chai - Probably my most favorite chai we offer at the cafe! Add some extra sugar and milk... chai tea latte?!  Yes please!
Carriage House Apple Spice - This one reminds me of fall :)
Peppermint - This one was a last minute decision.  If you are sick or have been fighting with a seasonal cold, you need this.


So what do you have to do to win? This is the easy part.  You have FIVE options.  The more you do, the more times your name is entered to win.  And there will be only one winner, so why not do all of the below and up your chances!?

Your name will be entered once for each of the below:

1.  Become a follower through the Google Friend Connect on the right hand side of my blog (if you are already a follower, your name is already counted) or register for my emails.  You must do one of these in order to win. 

2.  Like the brand new 2 Cats  & Chloe Facebook Page!  (www.facebook.com/2catsandchloe) Then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did this! 

3.  Comment on any of my past blog posts.  (You can comment on as many as you would like, but I am only going to give a max of 5 entries for this.  And it has to be more than "hey" or "... :) " are we cool?)

4.  Post something on twitter or facebook about this giveaway with the link.  Then come back here and tell me you did it.  Send me a link if you can.

5.  If you have a blog - mention my blog or add my button.  Or hey, just tell your readers about the give away.  Who wouldn't love a nice cup (or twenty cups) of tea?!  Then come back here and show me your link. 


Do you think you can handle this?  As I said, my goal for the year is to grow this blog and become a bigger member of the blogging community.  In just a couple weeks I have 'met' so many wonderful people.  I can't wait to meet the rest of you!

Have a question?  Email me at: 2catsandchloe@gmail.com



*This giveaway starts on Saturday January 24, 2012.  I will draw a name for a winner on Friday February 10.  Winner will be notified that day.  

*I will ship the prize anywhere in the USA. (Sorry, I know I have some loyal fans in Europe and Australia...)  

*These items were provided by my family's cafe The Carriage House.  If you want more information on the cafe and shop please visit the website at www.thecarriagehousenc.com  




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

HOLY J.CREW!

I live in Hampton Roads.  Which is about 1.5 to 2 hours from Richmond, Virginia depending on which side of the water you start your journey on.  Most of my dearest college friends live in Richmond.  A couple of weekend ago (yes, I am super behind on writing this post) I drove up to RVA for Katie's baby shower.  While mingling at her party I overheard numerous conversations from nicely dressed ladies about the J. Crew Warehouse Sale that was going on across town.

"It's crazy, but you will get great deals!"

"Not worth your time unless you want to dig..."

"I got a swimsuit for $3!!"

"Not a place for pregnant ladies."

As the shower was wrapping up the curiosity was starting to get the best of me.  I looked over at my friend Caitlyn (who mightttt start writing something awesome for this blog once a week!) and said "So about this J. Crew thing..."  Her response: "I was there a couple days ago, but I'm in!!"

All I can say is Holy J.Crew!!  This was not what I was expecting.  Although, to be fair, I don't really know what I was expecting.  It was rows and rows and rows and rows of boxes overflowing with clothes!  People were carrying around giant trash bags.  You know, those ones that you dig out in the fall to put all the leaves in from your yard?  Yeah, those.  


The second I walked in I began to feel a bit overwhelmed.  Where do you start?  What do you look for?  Does that have a hole in it?  Is that girl half naked in the middle of this old Borders Bookstore?!?!  Ooooo that sparklesssss!



Want to add a bit more pressure to this experience?  We had to HURRY because Michael was on his way to Richmond.  My plan was to basically squeeze an entire warehouse experience into 30 minutes... tops.  Which meant Caitlyn and I hit the turbo button and zoomed through many "boxen" of clothes.  That is until I saw something that sparkled and we were forced to stop what we were doing and go examine the glittery apparel.  


Imagine the clock ticking... you need a strategy and you need it fast!  We hunted and gathered, then sorted!  Caitlyn would hold the dresses up and I would literally leap into them!  Here is a quick photo montage for you, courtesy of my iPhone! 


Pretty sure that is a size "tiny" wedding dress that I just stuck my arms through and twirled around in for a minute or two!


No, bright colors aside, these are not 80s prom gowns.


My trash bag full of possible items...

 

The dress was cuter in the trash bag.  And I loved the sweater... not gonna lie.  It was heavy and funky and $20.  It was the kind of sweater you can picture yourself wearing while sitting next to a nice fire with a glass of wine and a bowl of chili.  Sadly it had a gaping hole in the right shoulder.  Yes, I could have fixed it but for $20... it just wasn't worth it. 


I made it through the hunting, gathering, sorting, and decision making phase of the event and then rushed into the first line.  The calculation line.  They used a check list, taped up my bag and sent me on my way to the check out line. 

I walked away from this crazy shopping spree with a worn out looking, orange-ish baseball shirt, because let's be real, I will never get tired of baseball shirts.  (And it was only $5.)  I got a swimsuit for a whopping $6!  And I purchased a sparkly gold sweater for just $15.  Done and doneeee. 

A special thank you and shout out goes to the delightful Caitlyn.  Thank you for reminding me to write this post and share this tale.  I can't wait for our next virtual coffee date!  iLove! :)




Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Paleo Cocktail Sauce and Crazy Eyes on the Bachelor!

Is it me or does that crazy model on The Bachelor send evil vibes through the television?!  THROUGH THE TUBES!  I am not sure how she does it, but I am sitting here watching and waiting for her to bite someone while she kung-fu chops another girl in the face.  There is just something about Crazy Courtney that totally urks irks me!  Apparently you don't cross that girl and her crazy eyes!  She will hunt you down, shave your eyebrows and roll her eyes at you in front of everyone.  Quite frankly, she terrifies me just a bit.  And I am pretty sure she would make me cry.  A lot.  And that's with the comfort of the we-will-never-ever-meet-security-blanket wrapped around me as I lounge on my pink couch.  And for serious Ben?! You gave her a rose?! I love you and your 90s styled Jonathan Taylor Thomas hair style but please man... listen to the blond girl with the sparkly dress and take a better look at Team Lindzi or Tennessee (Casey B).  And don't... I repeat DON'T get into the ocean, naked, with that skank.... I'm pretty sure you will catch something and not with your fly fishing rod.  (Woop - that was for you Cait!) 

Innnn other news!  I was invited to my parents house for a family dinner last night!  My mom went well out of her way to make sure that everyone's eating lifestyles were available.  Here's the family line up:  My sister is a vegetarian, but she still eats fish.  My dad doesn't eat anything that walks on four feet - basically no red meat.  I have gone Paleo (all natural, no processed foods).  And my mom, she's just a pretty good sport with all of the above - except cheap wine.  It makes her face look all racoon-y, yet she still keeps drinking it!


My plate(s) were delicious!  A great salad with oil and vinegar sauce plus a bit of secret Swiss sauce.  My godmother, Jean, grilled me up a steak.  I sauteed some mushrooms and prepared artichoke hearts.  And the shrimpies of course!  There was a panic before dinner because the cocktail sauce was MIA.  They hustled and bustled around the kitchen, trying to make some up.  There was talk of using ketchup and mustard.  Either way, I knew there wasn't going to be cocktail sauce in my near future.

One of the tough parts about 'going paleo' is that you cut sugars.  Ketchup and even store bought cocktail sauce isn't on my "yes you can eat" list because of the sugars and extra goodies that are added.

Last week I was lazy and did not feel like cooking.  Not at all.  So I decided sale priced steamed shrimp from the grocery store was my best quick, healthy option.  For $4 I got more shrimp than I could eat alone.  I steamed up some veggies and sauteed some spinach.  Then decided I needed to get creative and make some homemade paleo cocktail sauce.   It was delicious and easy.  Here's my recipe.  You should totally try it. :)

Directions: 

Mix all of the ingredients (below) together.  Easy enough?

Ingredients:

8 oz Tomato Sauce (no salt added) - I got the roasted garlic kind to add a bit more flava!
1 teaspoon of minced garlic - No such thing as too much garlic in my book!
2 teaspoons of horse radish mustard - I got an organic natural type.  I don't normally like mustard but this was awesomely delicious.
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 or 2 teaspoons of hot sauce - The heat is up to you. I went with two teaspoons and thought it was good with just a bit of kick.  And yes, the hot sauce has sugar and such in it, but 2 teaspoons isn't going to kill you - promise.
A couple shakes of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - Again, use your discretion about the level of heat and spice
A dash or so of fresh ground peppercorn and you're good to go!



The amount of ingredients is all up to you.  I encourage you to use these ingredients but be creative with the flavors you love.  I love garlic and hot, so I did both.  Live it up!  And let me know how it turns out! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

P52 Week 3 - I Dreamed A Dream

Now, I am pretty darn positive Darcy's idea behind the theme this week was inspired by MLK Day... HOWEVER!  It was a tough one for me!  I have tons and tons of dreams but I wasn't sure I wanted to work toooo hard to create a photograph that was more of a metaphor.  I kept going back and forth with some ideas, none of which I really liked.  Soooo... when I hit the snooze button on Tuesday morning and thought to myself "Oh just one more dream pleaseeee" I shot out of bed with a whole lot of excitement!  I figured out what I was going to do!

I screen captured the shot on my iPhone since my Nikon was not nearby.  The plan was to stage the captured image on my night stand or pillow.  When I turned around though, Rockie was passed out and snoring on my bed.  When he realized what I was doing he began putting on a show.  Purring and rolling and even yawning!



Sadly, I couldn't get my camera focused quick enough for the yawning shot so it's a bit out of focus.  But I still love it.  I also love how he is kind of reaching for the snooze button in both shots!

Pretty sure he is dreaming about becoming a rock star or auditioning for America's Next Top Model with those crazy awesome modeling skills!

Do any of y'all have pets?  Do they snore as loud as mine?  Do you ever wonder what they are really dreaming about?!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Let's keep up the good work with this project!  :)

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge my3boybarians.com

Helloooo Rainy Monday Rambles!

First and foremost, I feel pretty bad about not having posted at least ONE paleo recipe last week.  I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my paleo lovin' heart.  However, I got some mad crazy page hits on my Everything But the Kitchen Sink Paleo Quiche post this past week.  Pretty sure that is thanks to my sister's dear friend Bailey who has also "gone paleo" and posted it all over facebook.  And let me tell you - this girl gets mad props from me.  You all know my goal is to lose 16 pounds this year, and that's probably as open and honest about my weight that I fully intend to be with y'all.  But Bailey, she deserves a million high fives because she has posted her weight and goals all over facebook.  The amount of support that seems to appear on her page is amazing!  Keep it up girl.  You are braver than me, but we are all in this together! :)

Anyway - I plan to post two (2) paleo posts this week, in hopes of making up for the one that was MIA from last week.  Stay tune and GET EXCITED!  :)

So, how was your weekend?  Mine was crazy, stressful, tearful, fun, relaxing, profitable possibly?  Friday night was spent crunching numbers and crying - I mean pretty much sobbing with that ugly cry face - as I attempted to figure out my adjustable rate, interest only mortgage.


I will save you from the boring details, don't worry.  The tears stopped but the emotions and stress lasted throughout the weekend.  (Last night I was up until 3:45 AM praying and thinking and chatting it up with the Big Guy about my future.  You know the best part about that?  My brain felt sooo much clearer this morning.  Thanks Jesus.)


Oh I worked this weekend too!  Meaning fun, creative juices required, kind of work!  I had a bridal appointment and booked the job!  I am pretty excited to knock out some lemon & lime themed wedding invitations and seek out themed photos on pinterest tonight.  Have you ever been to a lime green and yellow wedding before?  I have not.  But I am excited to help plan it!

Yesterday morning, after a cut throat round of giant checkers with the boyfriend, I ate a huge, slightly non-paleo breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  I asked Michael to take a picture of me in my near death state.  I seriously felt like I was going to implode.  Being the good boyfriend that he is, he did not take the photo.  More than likely he would've used it for evil, not good.  If the photo had been taken I probably would've posted it on here.  I LOVED eating those biscuits with the delicious sugary apple butter.  But after 21 days of no sugar or grains, goooood lord that was not a good idea.  Moral of that story: You are what you eat.  And for just five minutes, I loved my identity as a Cracker Barrel biscuit.

So I did what ever kid does after a crazy sugar high - I crashed for the rest of the afternoon.  I drifted in and out of sleep, nestled up in my cozy electric blanket.  I watched some movies.  Enjoying only classic flicks such as "Kindergarten Cop" and "Wedding Crashers."  And I avoided my chores at all costs.  


In other news, I got a shout out on one of my must-read-ever-day-because-it-will-make-you-laugh-so-hard-you-forget-about-your-troubles-and-might-even-pee-your-pants favorite blogs!  Living In Yellow is an awesome blog.  If you're not reading it yet, you really should be.  The girl is hilarious.  And she owns glitter Toms.   Need I say more?

All in all, it was a good, busy weekend.  Tell me about yours?  Were you one of the lucky folks who got pretty snow instead of gross rain?  Because I may be slightly jealous.  Just slightly though.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Suzanne!

Since my boss-lady has been sooooo wonderful to send my blog link out to everyone she knows, not to mention bringing up this site at sales meetings, only to dote on the lovely Chloe in this post - I decided a personal birthday shout out would be only appropriate! :)  So......




What did I do with these little signs you ask?  I busted my butt trying to get a few photos snapped with your favorite K9 before heading to a KW team meeting!  


She posed real pretty for the first couple shots... then the troops started to get a bit restless!


Yes, I am standing on a chair, wearing heals, trying to keep Spitty out of the shot, and to keep Chloe near the signs... who says I'm not a multi-tasker?!



Happy Birthday Suzanne!  Sent with love, just for you, from Chloe!  (And me too!) :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Impulse Shopping with your Boss-Lady!

I am a sales rep, which pretty much means I work alone most of the time.  I spend my work hours doing reports or lead generation at my computer (which is currently in my bedroom right next to the kitty litter box - not the best for productivity!), driving around town visiting realtors, real estate social events or in real estate office sales meetings.  I am blessed (some days it may be a curse though) to work with my mom every now and then... but for the most part I am riding solo, just like the hip-hop song.

Last week I was lucky enough to join forces with another "Suz" of sorts.  Whether you go by Suz, Suzanne, Susan, or Suzy, whenever there are more than two together, things happen.  We rocked out a few appointments, a huge realtor kick off, and some work stops around town.  After two full days of working together though, we needed to swing by Target for just a simple table cloth (for her).

For me, Target is typically a recreational thing... or a form of therapy.  It depends on the day.  I know the departments and I usually stay up on what's new.  Am I proud to admit the fact that I spend my free time aimlessly wandering around Target?  No.  Do I spend Friday nights there?  Not anymore.  Do I spend to much money on their inexpensive yet totally adorable sweaters even though I have a few of them already in my closet?  All-The-Time.  But hey, it could be worse.  At least I am not spending all my time and money at the Coach Factory Store or Tiffany's. :)

In order to get to the table cloth section you have to walk through the bedding section, or so we told ourselves.  You would think, that as someone who is so marketing and sales driven, I wouldn't let something like an aisle end cap stop me in my tracks.  But it did.  And I stopped.

Folks, I highly recommend you say no to impulse shopping, especially in this economy.  BUT if a blanket as soft as a new lamb's wool that heats up as it hugs you to sleep like you're in a cozy cocoon is the item that grabs your attention - YOU STOP and YOU PURCHASE. Immediately.

Forget the end cap, I am going to convence you:  You NEED this and your WANT this.  You pretty much HAVE to HAVE this blanket.  Of course Suzanne was no help in talking me out of this impulse purchase.  She actually convinced me to purchase a quilt and sheets to go along with it!  

Last night, before I climbed into bed, I opened up my new bedding and made my bed up nicer than it's been made in several weeks.  New dark purple sheets, a soft (read - heavenly) electric blanket, and a sage green quilt.  (The quilt Suzanne and I bought is getting returned, so for now, my old green one will do the trick!) I climbed into bed and turned on the blanket and felt like I was laying in a bed at a spa!  It was just so warm and cozy!  

I was gmail chatting with my boyfriend for a couple of hours.  Around 1AM I woke up to a text message ringing on my iPhone.  "WHERE ARE YOU?!"  Apparently I was so incredibly relaxed I passed out in the midst of typing a message to him!  HA!  

I slept like a baby last night!  And not one of those babies that is still trying to master the whole 'sleep through the night' thing.  I slept sooooo well!

If you get anything out of this long and rambly blog post here's what you should walk away with:

1.  Impulse shopping isn't always bad
2.  Shopping with your boss can lead to larger Target expenses than when shopping alone
3.  Never shop with two Suz's
4.  YOU NEED THIS ELECTRIC BLANKET
5.  Did I mention it was on sale?!  $45 off the original price! 
6. What are you waiting for - Go.Get.It.Now!

:)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reader comments make me giddy!

Raise your hand if you have seen the movie "Julie & Julia."  (My hand is up, a couple of times.)  Let's be real, it's not the best movie ever, but it is super cute in the girly movie kinda way.  To summarize:  the "lost" twenty-something is looking for something bigger and better outside of her cubicle where she has little control over her job. The well established, hilarious adult is just looking for something more, even if she doesn't quite fit the mold.  Add a cute guy, a blog, a couple living lobsters, a few witty comments and you have quite the chick flick.  Need a refresher?  Watch the clip below!


As I was rewatching this movie last weekend on the channel infamous for cheesy drama, Lifetime, I found myself relating to Amy Adam's character quite a few times.  You know... things like how her circle of friends is beginning to change, how her boyfriend thinks she is slightly crazy for doing a blog, and how she loves to spend time in the kitchen even though sometimes it feels like yet another job.  My favorite part of her blogging adventure is when she gets her first comment from a reader.  *Spoiler Alert* ...that reader turned out to be her mother!  (Apparently I am not the only one who feels like comments from mothers are great, but they just don't count for some reason!)  This scene is later followed up with her jumping for joy because she has a real comment and real followers.

For some silly reason reader comments on my blog just make me absolutely giddy!  No offense to my mom, my friends, and my family, but especially comments from strangers!  That means someone has found my little plot of cyberspace and actually took some time to read what I had to say! AMAZING!

Last weekend I was at a friend's house when my iPhone alerted me that I had a comment.  I almost dismissed it, figuring it was my mom, surfing the internet on a friday night and commenting on my latest project. To my surprise, I did not recognize the name!  A stranger!  A real life stranger!  Woooooo!  I read the comment, pondered it a bit, then realized it was my boyfriend's friend just leaving a smart aleck comment.  Sigh.  Not quite a stranger, but the silver lining?  He's still someone outside of my family!  (Thank's Patrick!)


A couple of days later I linked up with my3boybarians.com for her p52 photo project.  The theme was resolution.  One of my resolutions is to exercise and another is to grow my blog.  The day after I posted my resolution photo I got yet another reader comment email alert.  I tried to not get too excited, but guess what!  I have no clue who the reader is!!!  SUCCESS!  I have been blogging for a couple of years and I have never had a stranger comment on my blog! Wooooo-eeeeee!!  You can't to begin how happy her eleven words made me!  And then, linking up with her on Saturday again only provided me with stranger comments!  6 of them actually!  I was a happy girl!! 


2 cats & chloe is my place to be me.  My place to be creative.  My place to get away from work.  I have been blogging, on and off, for a couple of years.  In college it was my escape from studying.  After college it was my way of documenting my adventures and keeping track of my memories.  I never tried to grow my blog, it was just for me.  I love the concept of writing about whatever I want and not trying to fit into a certain blogger mold.  And that's what I hope to continue to do, in addition to hopefully upping some readership with my witty banter.  

I realized that for me, blogging = joy.  It does sometimes feel like work.  Often times it's a lot of work.  Who wants to wrap up a full time job and life and pets (no kids yet for me!), only to go and sit in front of a computer for a couple of hours.  What I am learning though, the more I get into blogging, the more it makes me happy.  I don't have a job that allows me to be creative.  I sell what I am told to sell with the marketing supplies I am provided.  This site let's me be creative or silly or rambly or crafty or healthy or whatever it is that I am feeling at that moment.  Whether my readership goes up or down, I still love my tiny tiny blog. 

It's always nice to know that someone is reading though... keep on commenting! :)  (and go ahead and "follow" while you're at it! Click the Google friend connect if you use google reader, the RSS box, or just enter your email address and I will take care of the rest!) 

Do you have a blog?  Do you love it as much as I love mine?  Does it feel like work sometimes?  Do reader comments still make you giddy? Any blogger tips you have I would love to hear them! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

P52 Week 2 - Made with Love

Week Two!  Of p52!  Woo!  I made it to week two!  Although, I will be honest, I haven't had a chance to take any photos outside of those for my blog.  I pondered the photos I have taken this week though and decided I would recycle a picture! AAH!!  That's not a rule breaker is it?  It's not an old photo.  And I did take it this week.  It's just one I used yesterday! :)


The theme of the week is "Made with Love."  If you read my post from yesterday you heard the details of these envelopes and letters, some at the ripe old age of 22 years,  from my cousin in Switzerland.  If this doesn't capture the theme, I don't know what will.  They revolve around stories of our Prince Charmings, missing each other so badly our hearts ache, adventures we would conquer and trips we would take, and of course the love we have for each other.  Finding these letters has been the highlight of the first 5 day work week of the year. The love and joy they reminded me of... priceless.

Also - I am currently in love with this song, and video.  Watch it, and love it.  It has been playing nonstop for a day or so now in my house. :)

"Don't you worry your pretty little mind.  
People throw rocks at things that shine. 
Life makes love look hard. 
The stakes are high, 
the water's rough, 
but this LOVE is ours!" 


Happy weekend friends!  Kick back and relax tonight with a glass of red wine.  You deserve it!  xoxo.


project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge my3boybarians.com

Friday, January 13, 2012

Phase One of Don't Become A Hoarder

Treasures!  I found absolute treasures!  Before you judge me, remember how the saying goes: One man's trash is another's treasures.  And boy did I find some treasures!

As my resolution post stated, 2012 will be the year I de-clutter.  Or at least give it a good shot.  I can't promise you the world, but I really do want to give this a fighting chance.  Today I started small.  I decided to tackle a bag and a box of stuff that my mom wanted out of her house.  I moved out ten years ago, but I still had some stuff in my closet and in my bathroom.  Time to clear it out before she threw it out!

I started with jewelry boxes.  You know, those ones from when we were all kids... goodness only knows what we used to define "pretty" then.  I am so thankful my taste in jewelry has changed.  Although, Michael would probably prefer it if buying me a mood ring would be enough to rock my world!


I started with my musical jewelry box.  Despite the fact that the ballerina's skirt has begun the dry rotting process and no longer stays on her, the box still plays "Somewhere over the Rainbow!"  I also went through a couple other boxes with kittens on them.  Yes, I was that girl.


Okay, maybe the saying should be rewritten... Some of one man's trash should, and definitely is, everyone else's trash too.  I found my retainer from elementary school!  Whoa trash pile!  However, some of the other treasures I found I had a hard time parting with.  I mean, come on... a troll ring, the Babysitter's Club official necklace, a smily face with a santa hat necklace, and a golden horse necklace that came from a book about a golden horse necklace!  These things are all classics!  Should be worth millions of dollars right?!

As you see below, I did set aside quite a bit to give to the thrift store.  I just couldn't justify tossing things that some little kids may absolutely love.  Yes, that is a rabbit's foot you see in there... Who in the world decided that would be cool?  So gross.



Okay, now for the REAL treasures I found.  I was so excited about this find that I barged into my roommates room to show her!

I found this cute, pink, flowery box with a broken lock on it.  Either my little sister was really good at breaking into secured, cardboard boxes with cheap plastic locks on them, or I simply lost the key and broke into it myself.  Inside I found a wad of old papers.



My cousin and I have always been close despite the fact that we have ALWAYS lived on separate continents.  Before the days of the internet, emailing, and blogging (oh yes, and I am watching her son grow up via skype) we wrote letters and mailed pictures to each other.  The joy I have in the fact that I found 38 letters from her is astonishing!  According to the international stamps they date all the way back to August 7, 1990.  LOVEEEE thissss!!






Even when computers became popular we still snail mailed each other letters.  I love how she probably worked so hard typing this letter up, only to color in all of the circles and handwrite some more on the paper. :)  I also love that she talks about how proud she was that I saved $20 to come visit her in Switzerland!  Ha!



I think this is the coolest thing.  I am going to have to create a book or something with them.  I would hate to lose these again!  It really made me think though, in the future, it won't be nearly as cool to sift through thousands of emails to see what we rambled about.  And when I say "sift" I mean Gmail Search "Kirsten."  I am pretty sure I will begin writing letters to her again.... just to have letters to find and read again when I am sixty.  

Wonder if she has a stash of "Suz Letters" stuck in a box somewhere.....

xoxo.