30 January 2011

Green Eyed Kitten Angel

Do you ever just have a moment of clarity - where all the pieces you've been making mental notes about come together and you must take action? Friday night all the little pieces I had been noticing about my cat Rosie added up to the fact that I needed to get her into the vet. Something wasn't right.

She had had a urinary tract infection before the holidays (both cats did, actually). They both did a course of antibiotics and have been on special food since. They were to do 60 days on the food and then we rechecked their urine for all the things they check for. There was something about Rosie's levels that they wanted to look into, but they didn't make it sound urgent. When I got the voicemail, I knew I'd have to call back to schedule them both for their vaccine shots, so I'd get the scoop then.

During the week or so since they called, I noticed that Rosie wasn't coming around, that I'd have to go look for her. Often when I found her she'd be hunched in the bathroom near the register sort of staring into space. I also noticed that she has lost some weight, and in the last week it was to the point where I could noticeably feel her spine and shoulder blades. The litter box yield each morning later this week was less than usual. At the height of the UTI outbreak, I was going through litter like mad. Friday night it all added up and I knew I had to call the vet.

I called and explained everything I'd been noticing, they checked her file, discussed and had me bring her in at 10:00 a.m. They did some blood work and found out she was in kidney failure. Seriously. Her levels were off the chart. And her potassium and electrolytes were way off. The vet said we could put her on IV fluids for 48 hours to see how her kidneys would respond. Some cats respond and bounce back, some don't and require another 48 hours and then the possibility that they'll have normal kidney function is still kind of shaky at best. Being only five years old and having this come on so suddenly was also kind of odd. The vet said they see this in older cats, but her young age and the severe compromise of her kidney function wasn't a good thing.

I had a teary phone call with her dad, R, who raised her since she was a kitten. We went through the options and different scenarios and made the tough decision to put her down. Once I told the vet, she said we were doing her a kindness, that with all the information - her age, the seemingly quick onset and how off the chart her different levels were - that it was very likely that something bigger like cancer could have been driving the kidney failure.


So sad. I was with her when she took her last little kitty breath. I just kept petting her and telling her we were going to help her feel better and that we loved her. She was such a sweetie. She used to climb on my shoulders whenever I'd be working on the laptop and snuggle in like a kitty neck warmer. She'd also do thing thing where she'd put her nose really close to my mouth and I'd gently blow on her. She did it alot, so I hope that means I didn't have horrible breath! It was just this little thing we always did.

Junior and Rosie, fall 2010

RIP Bunny, you're already missed. And Junior misses you too. I hope you're having a ball in kitty heaven, chasing mice, eating endless treats and catnip and generally causing a ruckus with the other kitties.

27 January 2011

Fashion Week Style

Jill over at Good Life For Less blogged about this and how could I not participate in the fun? I just pulled together a warm, front row-worthy look for Bergdorf Goodman's Fashion Director, Linda Fargo to wear during F/W 2011 New York Fashion Week. Bergdorf's has paired up with Polyvore for quite the contest to style Ms. Fargo. Why not participate for a chance to head to Lincoln Center to take in a few shows!

Here's how I came up with my look for Ms. Fargo. First of all, I lived through a New York City winter, it can be very cold! And, they've been getting walloped by snow this winter, so she definitely needs layers, (not pictured, but I'd put a black tissue T under the dress), sensible footwear, and some protection from the elements.

I dug around for some photos of Ms. Fargo, so I could get a feel for her personal style. From what I can gather (photos via Zimbio):

She wears leather and fur. The scarf I chose for her is faux!

She looks fab in red and with a great red lip!

She's pro-scarf!

She digs an animal print (who doesn't?!) and she carries a large handbag to the shows!

Here's my look for Ms. Linda Fargo! What do you think? Click the link and it will take you over to my Polyvore page so you can see all the fashionable details!

26 January 2011

A Question for Modern Times

I'm curious what everyone else does in this situation. You go to a restaurant to pick up some yummy take out items. It's the kind of place where the pleasant person helping you actually has to package your food - go get the soup, the accompanying roll and heap some salad into a container from the deli case. You pay with a credit card, where there is space for writing in a tip - because it's a restaurant and that's how every receipt must look - and for your signature. You go to said place a lot. Like, they know who you are on sight. Do you write in a tip for counter service? I don't believe there's a "tip jar" for cash like some establishments have. So I'm not really sure what's expected. Don't want to feel like a tool for not tipping, if that's standard practice.

Help! Do you have an answer to this question for modern times? Please share!

25 January 2011

Swimming in the Current

The State of the Union Address is on NPR right now. I'm barely listening. I figured I'd follow suit with what's current in my world (the state of me address, hehe). I took the cue from TwoAdults, who posted Currently earlier today and Fluent Brittish, who did so before her:

Reading: "Cleopatra: A Life" for my book club

Looking forward to: Going to Costa Rica and Coachella this spring.

Stressing about: The amount of of work I have to do at the j.o.b.

Craving: Sleep.

Wanting: A tripod for my camera.

Proud of myself for: I seem to be getting a tiny bit faster with the running. I am pushing myself.

Wearing: My coat in the house. For all you know, I may live in an igloo!

Avoiding: Making that three minute, chocolate cake-in-a-mug.

Sick of: All the attention and money surrounding major league/college/high school sports when education and things that matter get the shaft.

Learning: That small changes can make a big difference.

Suffering from: Lack of sunshine.

Struggling with: Getting used to my new retainers. I so owe you a post about the end of my orthodontia journey. You're all waiting on pins and needles, I know it!

Overcoming: Dry skin. It's all about greasing up in the morning (I'm on a combo of Eucerin Calming Creme and a discontinued Korres body lotion.) and at night, always carrying hand lotion and Burt's Bees Hand Salve, running the humidifier non-stop and putting on some more lotion.

Hoping to: Get to bed at a decent time tonight.

Excited for: My book club dinner on Sunday night.

Relieved by: The fact that I've now booked my flight to Costa Rica. The anxiety can now leave me. I hate booking flights.

Splurging on: I bought two pairs of boots (on major sale!) in the last two weeks. Have yet to wear either pair because I still need to weather-proof them.

What are some of your currents?

16 January 2011

2011 Golden Globes: Fashion

It's award season again! I've seen many of the movies creating a buzz this time around and am always excited to see who wins which awards. And of course, it's always exciting to see what people wear! Here's a quick round up of some of my favorite looks from tonight's 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards red carpet. They're in no particular order, but are color coded for your enjoyment - pinks, neutrals and black! All photos: Getty Images

Natalie Portman in Viktor & Rolf
Best Actress, Motion Picture Drama for Black Swan

Megan Fox in Armani Prive

Juliana Marguiles in vintage YSL

Maria Menounos in Pamella Roland

Michelle Williams in Valentino

Carrie Underwood in Badgley Mischka

Hailee Steinfeld in Prabal Gurung

Olivia Wilde in Marchesa

Eva Longoria in Zac Posen

Melissa Leo in Marc Bouwer
Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture for The Fighter

Ryan Gosling in black velvet Ferragamo suit

Who wore your favorite looks of the evening? Did anyone surprise you? Were there any looks or trends you weren't too fond of?

15 January 2011

"one day I'm going to whistle"

I came across this darling video this morning of a dad and his daughter (Jorge & Alexa Narvaez) singing "Home" by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. At one point in the middle while Dad is whistling, she says, "one day I'm going to whistle." It's so sweet. Give it a listen for some fuel to start your day!

14 January 2011


So you know I've been eating Special K like it's my job. What else have I been eating? Well, funny you should ask, or that I would pretend that you asked and tell you! Some of the staples and recent favorites:

Clif Builder's Bars - Peanut Butter. I've probably blogged about these before. They're so good, and such a simple way to get a good dose of protein - 20 grams, yo! I've been eating one for breakfast lately, you know since I've been eating cereal for dinner! HA!

Bananas with peanut butter. Seriously the bananas are b.a.n.a.n.a.s! Then, you add peanut butter?! Get out! I've been bringing both to work. I had to remove the jar of peanut butter from my giant purse tonight before going into dinner. Do you know anyone else who carries peanut butter? My work buddies and I developed a whole routine about bananas. As with most work-comedy things, it might not translate to the masses. Just know we were laughing this week in cubeland - all about bananas!

They're yellow and delicious! They're bananas! (image via google images)

Rak Thai. Grand Rapids seems to have exploded with Thai restaurants in the last year or so. While I'm not a super experienced Thai foodie, I do enjoy it! People who are Thai experts would probably laugh because I usually order Pad Thai. It's the gateway Thai food though, c'mon! A couple friends who live north of town always talk about Rak Thai and tonight I had the opportunity to have dinner there with my friend N, since it's in her neighborhood. Decor is contemporary/clean, painted bright green with bamboo wood banquette seating and a few stand alone tables. I actually branched out and ordered a Curry dish that I don't remember the name of (sorry!). It was delish though!

Chocolate Cake in a Mug. If any of your lady friends who love chocolate have seen this recipe, you've probably received it via email at least once. I saw it a couple of years ago and never thought I'd actually make it. Well, a girl and her chocolate craving might run up against some desperate times on a Friday night, desperate times that call for chocolate cake in a pinch! It's beyond easy and actually tasty for a cake made in the microwave in three minutes! If you give it a try, leave me a comment and tell me how it went for you!

Chocolate Cake in a Mug! (phone camera accounts for picture quality!) I posted this same photo on my facebook and my friend D posted, "Does anyone else see an owl?" So if you see an owl, you have a special gift and can laugh out loud like I just did!!

Water. Seriously! Good old H2O! During the week at work I go through one 32 ounce Nalgene bottle during the day and probably another 16-20 ounces on nights that I work out. Love water. Totally need to incorporate the water drinking during the weekends though. Gotta stay hydrated on the weekends too!

What foods are you digging right now? Any good recipes to share with me? Leave me some comment love!

Your foodie friend,

09 January 2011


I made this way-easy curried tempeh spread yesterday. Never had tempeh? It's a fermented soy product that comes in handy for us vegetarians as a nice meat alternative. Higher in protein than regular tofu, and in my opinion depending on the need, more simple to cook with since it's naturally condensed in a way that tofu isn't.

Curried Tempeh Spead

1 8-10 oz package tempeh (I buy LiteLife brand. If you're local, it can be purchased at Meijer and is probably a staple at health food stores.)
1/3 cup soy mayo or regular mayo (Your choice, I used miracle whip because that's what I had.)
1 tsp yellow mustard (Prepared mustard, not dry.)
1 tsp curry powder
pinch chilli powder
1 scallion, minced (optional)

Grate or crumble the tempeh into a bowl. I used a box a cheese grater. In a separate bowl mix mayo, mustard, curry powder, chili powder and scallion if using. When mixed well, add to the grated tempeh and stir together. Serve with crackers as pictured, or use your imagination. I'm thinking it would be good in a sandwich. I do know that whenever I make it, it doesn't last long!

Curried Tempeh Spread (right) pictured with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus & Crackers

06 January 2011


Loving this Viktor & Rolf fragrance right now! I picked up the little purse-sized Flowerbomb roll on over the holidays and it's so yummy. For winter I tend to wear something a little heavier. I've worn Michael Kors and loved that, but wanted to try something different this year! Flowerbomb is perfect, all kind of floral like you'd expect with the name Flowerbomb, but it's got some deeper notes - just read through the description on Sephora.com and it says it has a patchouli base. Oh, it's making sense now! Not too heavy though, it's more haute couture not hippie!

Do you switch up your scents from spring/summer to fall/winter? What scent are you loving right now?

05 January 2011

*starr fish bits

I am hopeful for new beginnings in the new year. I think I mentioned that I practiced yoga for the first time in forever on New Year's Eve and one of the principals of Anusara Yoga (the style of yoga that I practice, WHEN I practice) is opening to grace - here's a good explanation of it within the practice. My intention for the year is to open to grace in life. To me that means being in the moment, being tuned into and trusting of my intuition, thinking positively about what I'm doing, who I am and what I'm capable of. For me it also means being open to new experiences and trying new things so that I can continue to grow as a person.


I'm on day three of a seven day 100 squats/day challenge posed by Mary over at MoreThanMary.com. First day, not so bad, getting through 100. I've been breaking it up into sets of 20. I think the idea is just do whatever you need to in order to get through them, but DO them! It's getting progressively harder each day since my muscles are sore, but I'm already feeling more toned and like my rear is getting more in gear!


I get my braces off next week! I can hardly believe it! I'm going to be put into Invisalign though for some final corrective maneuvers. I wasn't totally hating the braces, to be honest, so it will be a little sad when they're gone.


I caught the first part of the first episode of the Bachelor (no judgements!) earlier this week. Apparently there's drama because this guy was on the show before and he didn't pick either of the final girls. (did not watch that season!) Seriously? Would everyone rather he picked a girl and then broke up with her a few months later like all the rest of them seem to do? He knew he wasn't ready, give him some credit for that. Now that he's done some soul searching, he's apparently ready. It will be interesting to watch how it all goes down! Anyone else watching?


I got my new passport in the mail today and while I'm happy to now have a valid passport (my previous had expired) I'm so not digging the design of this new one. It looks virtually the same on the outside, but the inside is all "USA! USA! USA!" It's a bit over the top! The old style was so much cleaner and just classy. This new one seems junky - there's WAY too much going on. If you have a newer passport, do you agree?


Special K was on sale this week and I've been eating it like it's my job! Why is it so good?


Another year is upon us! If you had time off around the holidays, I hope you're faring well back to work! I'm actually doing surprisingly well, after all it's Wednesday evening! Just two more work days until another weekend.

02 January 2011

Ooh Mashed Potato Pancakes

Mashed Potato Pancakes with Cranberry Orange Sauce

The mystery of what to do with leftover mashed potatoes is something I've never had to contemplate. On Thanksgiving or whenever the fam is all together and mashed potatoes are made, we usually ask, "will that be enough for dinner AND leftovers?" We don't like mashed potatoes in my family, we love them, even leftover. I made them last week. Let me tell you, mashed potato leftovers take a lot longer to get through when you have fewer bellies craving them! I had mashed potatoes that needed a new life. Enter the mashed potato pancake! I wondered what the difference was between mashed potato pancake and a traditional latke - turns out latkes are made with shredded potato!

Mashed Potato Pancakes

2 cups mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
chopped onion
salt & pepper

I started by putting the cold mashed potatoes in the microwave for a couple minutes to take the chill off just enough so I could actually stir them. Add two eggs, flour, chopped onion and salt and pepper. Mix everything together. It will still be kind of thick, you want it to hold together and not be runny. Add vegetable oil to coat the bottom of a large frying pan, heat over medium to high heat. When oil looks extra shiny, drop spoonfuls of your potato mixture into the pan.

First batch in the pan.

They dropped in clumps that I smoothed out with the back of a spoon. Cook until the bottom browns, then flip and cook the other side. Once you flip them, you can use your spatula to press them down a bit. Cook in batches until you have a yummy plateful to share or dish them up to friends and family right out of the pan as you cook them.

Seriously delicious Mashed Potato Pancakes

I served mine with an Orange Cranberry sauce that my Auntie G makes. It's super easy to make and if you're lucky you'll see the recipe on the bag too! One bag fresh cranberries, one whole orange cut into chunks (skin too, but I trim the ends off as I'm chunking it). Put everything into a food processor and process until chunky and well mixed together. I add a 1/2 cup of sugar. You can adjust the sugar as you wish. I used less than the recipe called for. Chill until ready to serve. I'm on my second batch in as many weeks. It's tasty!