Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Cute Farm Cats

We have had oodles of cats on the farm this summer. There are five bigger cats that we raised since they were young, and two of them are from the barn that Bill trapped and rescued a couple of weeks ago. The two that Bill snatched up our just tiny tan kittens.

My favorite all of the cats is this big tom cat pictured above. I refer to him as Goatee cat. I love his goatee marking, his green eyes, his paws, and his playfulness.

Look at how precious they are!
I absolutely love how sweet cats (and dogs!) can look. This particular cat is the best hunter out of them all.

She went in the field during this photo shoot and pulled out a huge mouse.

And turned back for a chance to show off her kill.

Goatee cat doesn't usually look this vicious! He's a very friendly cat. I caught him at a bad moment. Ha

These are the two brothers that Bill plucked from the barn. He tamed them by visiting them everyday and showing them how nice it is to get massages regularly. He told me that he knew when the second one he had caught was tame when the kitten couldn't help but lift up a paw when he was giving them a scratch. The cute little kitty would lift it up and purr to his heart's content and then lift up the paw when he would scratch the other side. He was in heaven.

These particular cats have persuaded me to like cats. I'm much more of a dog person.

Little Pink Book

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Workouts Lately

These past couple of days, I've been hitting my favorite trail. The weather has been gorgeous, and today, it made it into the 80's. I want to soak all these warm days that we have left. Yesterday, I went running with Kitty, and today, I went running with Bill on the trail.

It's been great. Kittle is a super spunky running buddy, but I had to give her a bath because she decided to roll in something dead. So gross.

I decided not to bring her today but maybe another time this weekend. Bill and I had a pretty good run. Neither of us have been running lately, but we decided it was time to start working out together again. Bill always pushes me to keep going which I love.

Earlier in the week, I had been working out at home with my DVDs. My new favorite ones are from Bob Harper, from Biggest Loser. Most of the workouts are an hour and that's right around the amount of time I want to workout. I bought a set of his DVDs that come with four individual DVDs.  I love it. His workouts really challenge me.

I'm thinking that I'll continue to run on the trail for as long as possible till it gets too cold out. After that, I'll switch to my DVDs for all of my workouts.

How have you been working out lately?

Little Pink Book

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Fall To-Do List 2013

1. Have a get together with my immediate family and do something fallish, like picking apples at the orchard ten minutes from our home. Then drink apple cider and have dinner together. Simple and fun.

2. Take pictures of all the favorite farm cats that Bill so lovingly calls, the Stankos.

3. Have a cooking session with my mom and learn how to cook her chicken noodle soup, chili, and one of her favorite soups.

4. Finish building a larger "home" for our ducks and chickens in my backyard with my dad and Bill. Oh, and avoid all hornets.

5. Bake lots and lots of Homemade Cinnamon Bread using The Pioneer Woman's Recipe of course.

6. Capture a special fall memory from this year perfectly on my blog.

7. Go on a hike with my mom and whoever else wants to come with when the leaves are turning colors.

8. Soak up all the memories that I have with my dad here. So glad to have him living back at home.

9. Find a fall craft on Pinterest and have a crafting night, complete with good food.

10. Carve pumpkins with Bill and figure out who can make the silliest face on their pumpkin. Ha

11. Share my freelance writing on my blog and continue to write more.

12. Transition my summer wardrobe into fall with key layering pieces.

13. Watch one of Bill's classic scary movies from start to end without closing my eyes.

Little Pink Book

{Picture via...My Pinterest Page}

Monday, September 23, 2013

Easy Tips for Applying Makeup

I recently came across this article, 10 Tips I learned at Makeup School, and I wanted to share my favorite tips they gave.

"Think of your Cheeks as a Bra."

They suggest first applying a matte bronzer beneath your cheekbone (the underwire of the bra.).

Then brush on the blush right on the cheekbone, "where it counts."

"Re-load your Eyeliner Halfway"

Starting at the corner of your eye and applying more to your brush to follow it to the end of the eye. This way the line will be smoother.

Purrfecting the Cat Eye... haha
Jessica Alba sporting the perfect cat eye.

I always wear my gel eyeliner on top in the form of a cat eye. This tip from Tracey Brown is my favorite. She says to put a dot where you want the wing to end and then draw in the wing to the corner of your eye.

After you have the hardest part done, you can then fill in your upper lash line connecting to the wing. I absolutely love this idea.

Check out all their tips here.

Little Pink Book

{Images via...My Pinterest Page}

Friday, September 20, 2013

Memories from Food

My mom is a master at creating a warm and welcoming environment. In the fall, when she cooks and bakes her signature chili, soups, and breads the delicious smells emanate throughout the house signifying that fall, the season of warmth, comfort food, and family time are finally here.

In an effort to create that same effect in my own home, I have tried my hand at baking a mix of my own fall favorites. The amazing aroma from cookies, pumpkin bread, cinnamon bread, and cherry cobbler have all wafted in my kitchen and traveled to my living room throughout the season. I have yet to cook my own soups and chili like my mom, but I know that when I do, I will inevitably be reminded of our Sunday night dinners with the family all around. A Sunday night where were all gathered around the table. We say a quick pray, thanking God for the family He’s given us and the time together. Then we dive into my mom’s homemade meal and talk to each other about different things going on in our life. Kitty, our family dog, is always waiting by the table for us, I mean me, to throw her a scrap.

After dinner, the cozy living room in my mom’s house invites us to sit down after eating one too many rolls, and we lazily plop ourselves down on a cushion that will be our resting spot for the next few hours while we watch our favorite shows and commemorate about the week’s events. Sometimes, The Big Bang Theory graces our TV set, or more recently, we have been enthralled by Breaking Bad. No matter what’s on the TV, we always enjoy each others' company.

It’s a great way to spend the evening, one of our favorites for sure. No matter how far away some of my closest family members are at the moment, I know that I can recreate that same atmosphere that we welcomed every time we got together. Sometimes, those memories are just an hour away, or as long as it takes me to bake some pumpkin bread.

Little Pink Book

{Picture via My Fall Pinterest Board)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Megan's Visit

Last Wednesday, Megan, my sister, surprised all of us by telling us, she was coming home! I woke up that morning to find a Facebook message on my phone that read, "Hey Patchy, I'm flying home on Thursday!!"

I was beyond excited when I read her message. I immediately responded back and let her know how happy I was that she was coming home. That day we had a Skype chat on my phone and planned a little bit. I knew her good friend, Sarah, was getting married on Saturday. I was so glad that we were all attending that wedding as a family, more time together is a plus.

I picked her up from O'hare at 11:40 at night on Thursday. We went back to my family's home and stayed up late catching up on each others' lives while eating ice cream, yum. The next day, I hung out with Meg and went shopping with her at Target, Trader Joe's, and Tilly's. We also stopped at Pot Belly's for lunch. I had an Italian sandwich, and Meg opted for the Mediterranean, without chicken since she's staying away from meat. I loved getting the chance to hang out with her again, just the two of us. I missed her so much these past nine months. I can be real with her, like I can't with other people. She's one of a kind.

At Target, we dived right back into the shenanigans that we usually divulge into when we are around each other by trying on the silliest pink foam wigs I've ever seen. They reminded me of the people in The Grinch (one of our favorite movies.). I loved those wigs so much, but I opted not to spend the $20 for the wig. Sniff. I should have, especially with our annual Halloween party coming up. (Maybe, I should try to figure out how to dress up as a Who from Whoville!!) After taking oodles of pictures with the wigs, we went to my house where Megan got to meet Megan, our pet duck that we named after her.

I really wondered if we would be able to catch her, but we did. We usually only hold Kevin, our other duck. Megan got to pet her and hold her. I was so happy to snap a couple of pictures. Afterwards, Megan said she had poop on her shirt from the duck. I was like, "Yeah, that happens all the time if you pick them up!"

They're messy animals. It goes without saying that our chickens are also very cute. Meg commented that they look like they are wearing pants. Ha They really do look like they have lounge pants on everyday. It's great. After visiting with the animals, we went to mom's house for dinner and drank wine and had amazing salmon. What a great night. I really am so thankful for the time we had together.

The weekend continued to get busier. We all went to Sarah's beautiful wedding. I'm so glad we all got to see her get married! What a beautiful bride. :)

Here's a picture of the two besties from the wedding! Meg left and Sarah right.

When Meg was home we didn't really go on many outings per say. Time was short. I think the time we spent together, just the five of us at home really meant a lot to all of us. I can't really express how good it was to have Meg and Phil home for days at a time. We watched Breaking Bad episodes (They got me obsessed with the show!), talked about life, ate together, and went shopping at the Commons. I love how we have a close family that can really talk to each other.

On our last day together, Meg and I visited with our dad. I didn't let him know that she was in town until the day before, because I wanted it to be a surprise. We went out to Chipotle for lunch and came back home to look at pictures from my dad's time in Afghanistan. We had a great visit with him.

After our visit, we went to a park in Geneva and took some family photos that I'm dying to see! (Maybe, I'll download them today!)  Mom said her goodbyes to Meg after that since she had a class at church that she is leading, and I went with Meg and Phil to Dicks Sporting Good (where Meg used to work) where Meg looked for tennis shoes. We also went to DSW where she ended up finding a pair she liked. I had a hard time saying goodbye to Meg after that. I was in the parking lot, and I gave Phil and Meg one last hug. I really didn't want our time to end.

Now, that Meg is back in Hawaii (after almost missing her flight!) I am left with great memories and pictures that will hopefully carry me to the next time I see her. Of course, there will be Skype conversations, Facebook messages, and pictures sent via phone in the mean time. I am soooo thankful for the time we had together and the memories made. Until next time, Meg! Love you to the moon and back.
Little Pink Book

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Littles and Braids

Earlier this week, I braided my niece's hair on a whim. She has the longest, most beautiful blonde hair, I've ever seen on a four-year-old. I was like, "I need to braid it!" ha She was more than compliant so when I saw her yesterday and her mom asked me to braid it for school, I was thrilled.

She played her princess game on her Nana's iPad while I combed and then braided her hair. She had this heart rubberband that I used to put her hair in a ponytail after braiding it.
Her mom added the finishing touches and threw on her sapphire feather adorned headband before heading out the door for preschool. She's obviously the cutest kid there. ;)

Little Pink Book

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Mindy Project

I am thrilled for The Mindy Project to start back up this fall on September 17! Want to know something totally exciting? You can watch the season premier right now on hulu. I love how they let you get a taste of the season before it officially starts. I've been a huge fan of Mindy's show since the pilot. I love how her quirky and fun albeit ridiculously goofy personality encompasses the whole show. It's hugely entertaining.

P.S. Watch this clip that shows how they make their set look like they're filming in the Big Apple when they really aren't!

Little Pink Book

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Anyone Else a ISFJ

“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.” 
Susan Cain

My results to the Jung typology test came at no surprise to me. The makers of this test have me perfectly pegged as the ISFJ (Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging personality type) that I am at heart. The results were so accurate that it almost scares me a little, if that makes sense? The first line of the description of a ISFJ, describes this personality type as defined by their "need to be needed." Uh, I think they took the words from my mouth.

Some people might read that line ("need to be needed") and automatically assume that this personality type is someone who is very codependent. Well, they're wrong. Yes, I like being needed, but I also know my boundaries (even though they are hard to define at times). For instance, I like helping my mom or other family members. When my mom asks me to let the dog out because she's getting home late, I readily accept the request without thinking of my prior obligations, most of the time. I like being helpful, even if that means planning a portion of my day out around her in order to help out.

Another thing that defines this type? Their methodical workers. I enjoy putting a lot of time into my work to ensure that I've done the job just right. I also love having interactions with close friends and coworkers throughout the day.

I make myself available to my close friends for a advice at a moments notice. I don't see it as a burden but as something that makes me happy to do. I love helping my friends and family out. I feel important when they ask me to do things. If they need advice, I am ready to offer it, sometimes without their request.

It goes without saying that, family and a strong work ethic are of utmost important to this personality.

"While their work ethic is high on the ISFJ priority list, their families are the centers of their lives. ISFJs are extremely warm and demonstrative within the family circle--and often possessive of their loved ones, as well." 
I've always recognized myself as a family person. They are first. I'm also known for having a few close friends and not a whole lot of acquaintances.

"Like most Is, ISFJs have a few, close friends. They are extremely loyal to these, and are ready to provide emotional and practical support at a moment's notice. (However, like most Fs they hate confrontation; if you get into a fight, don't expect them to jump in after you. You can count on them, however, run and get the nearest authority figure.) Unlike with EPs, the older the friendship is, the more an ISFJ will value it." 

I have friends that I've had since childhood and most of them were a friend to me first. They have hearts of gold and really have always been there for me. My now-husband was the first one to reach out to me in the beginning of our relationship. I was quite and shy at first, but when he got to know me he realized that wasn't how I really am. It was fun to see his reactions when he discovered I really wasn't quite at all.

There are few words that come to mind (to describe myself) after completing this test: Loyal, intuitive, methodical, and introverted.

I'm defined by my "need to be needed" and my love for my family and friends. Those words couldn't be any truer.

{Image via We Heart It}

Not interested in taking the test? Check out these Harry Potter characters to find out which one you are most like! I'm the Defender in this case. Ha

{Copy and paste the link for a larger image:

Little Pink Book

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just Another Reason to Love Fall

There aren't many things that I look forward to more than the start of the fall season. The cooler days, beautiful colored leaves, the pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, and the abundance of layering options in my wardrobe are very welcomed changes. Everything feels right again.

Also, at the start of fall, I become entranced by college/school movies and TV shows. I never really understood the real reason behind this fall obsession of mine, but every year, I am drawn to movies that are school based like -- Admission, Easy A, 17 Again, Monsters University, or the Social Network. Not to mention, I've been re-watching episodes of Greek on Netflix, which is another show that evolves around college life.  I like reliving the start of the school year, even if I'm only really watching Emma Stone battle it out in high school with an overly fake religious girl who is Amanda Bynes or watching Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) work hard to get back into the Scare school at Monsters University after they were kicked out.
The beginning of the school year is just another reason why I love fall. I admire the the few isles in the back of the Target store that are allotted to school supplies. I browse the isles carefully. Not really planning on buying much of anything. Except an extra notebook and pack of pens for old time's sake. I guess I never really stopped liking school and the wonderful supplies that come with it.There's no crime in that, right?

Another thing I love about Fall? My mom's cooking... she slaves over the best chicken noodle soup I have ever tasted with thick homemade noodles and fresh chunks of tasty chicken. Her chili is one of the very best as well. I love watching her chopping up onions, green peppers, tomatoes and throwing in ground beef, garlic, and kidney beans all in an effort to create her famous chili. Well, famous around these parts for sure.
I'm almost always request her chili or soup in the fall when were together for a meal. I'm notorious for the being the party planner in the family. I love arranging the get-togethers and making sure everyone is there. Fall is one of those times of the year that I really get into that. Maybe it's all the reminiscing about back-to-school memories, the crisp fall air with the changing color of the leaves, and the upcoming holidays at the end of the fall season that make me crave more family time.

Either way, fall makes me sentimental.

Little Pink Book

{Photos via We Heart It}

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Some fun family history!

I haven’t really gone into any lengthy family history on my blog, but with this new Blogtember challenge going on, I thought I would at least give a short background of where I come from and what it’s like. I’m not sure if this would be blog worthy but here goes! 

I grew up in a small town with barely a thousand inhabitants.  I was in-town but not even a hundred feet away from the corn fields. I went to the same school my whole life with my siblings. In high school, I had both of my siblings with me when I entered Junior year. Meg was a Sophmore, and Phil was a freshman. It was great being so close in age. 

Since we lived in a rural town, the closest stores were fifteen minutes away. It wasn’t bad but not too convenient.  If you wanted more choices of places to shop, you had to go east. Everything was nicer out that way with a bigger theater, nicer and bigger malls, and more opportunities. All of that was just twenty minutes away. 

 It’s not that I was always trying to get away from my town, but there wasn’t much going on. I suffered some criticism from various people from school for living in a tiny town, but I really didn’t mind. I spent my childhood days playing at the park or in my backyard. I was fortunate to have a few kids in my town that I could play with. If I was raising my future kids there, I would be worried that they wouldn’t have anyone to hang out with. There are a few people renting in my neighborhood and the general age of homeowners is over fifty.  I love visiting my home town where my mom still lives. I have plenty of good memories there. Oh, I forgot to mention, there is a gas station in town now and a beautiful winery too! We’re moving up in the world. Ha

As far as personalities go, I am more like my dad - serious, quite but not shy, introverted, and not afraid of confrontation (But not confrontational. I like standing up for the underdog.)  But, I am also goofy at times. I like having fun that way, and I can't explain where that comes from. Ha My mom is more out going, extroverted type. She could make friends with anyone. I think I am combination of my parents, but I have a little of more my dad's personality. It's a fun combination.

Little Pink Book