Thursday, December 16, 2010

Doggie Destruction

This time of year is always so busy -- gatherings with friends and family who come in town, holiday parties, gift exchanges, multiple shopping trips to get everything you need, and so much more. With all these wonderful things happening, it means spending less time at home and a bit more time out and about. I love having things to do after work and not feeling like my whole life is spent in an office; however, these two sweet puppies are not thrilled with less ‘mom’ time…

Normally, when I have something to do after work, I come home to let them out, spend some time with them, and then head out leaving them loose in the apartment -- I’ve become very trusting even with 7 month old Nolan. During Christmas; however, I’m a little more skeptical of their good behavior. There seem to be a few too many extra temptations around when Christmas decorations are up. My main concern is their curiosity with the Christmas tree -- and who can blame them with all the sparkling lights, glittery ornaments, and reflective glass balls just within reach? Not to mention all the tempting presents lying on the floor practically yelling out, “there could be something great hidden under this paper! Come chew it open and find out!” For these reasons alone, I have been locking up my sweet puppies when I leave the house in the evenings and I think they are starting to resent me for it.

The two times this week I’ve had to leave after work for some reason or another and they end up back in their crates, I’ve woken up to some major doggie destruction. I’ve discovered that on these days, they become nocturnal. Because they’ve slept all day and part of the evening, they go on a rampage while I sleep at night. The first morning, I found my poor, innocent plant torn to pieces and spread ALL over the apartment.

You can see the two culprits acting completely innocent when I discovered the mess. Also, please ignore the high-water curtains in the background -- they have been hung on the world’s tallest apartment window and can’t find their way to the floor. Short of getting them custom made (which I didn’t want to pay for) ordering 120” panels was my only other option, which still hasn’t cut it. As part of my project to-do list, I plan to attach additional fabric to the bottom so they will touch the floor and stop looking like a huge designer ‘no-no’, but more on that another day.

The second evening I had to be away I decided to confine them to a smaller area before climbing into bed. I thought I was being smart by shutting the bathroom door and bedroom door to prevent them from getting to the rest of the apartment, and particularly, from attacking the poor plant for a second time. I should have known they’d still find something to destroy in that tiny space…

Again, you can see the two suspects just begging to get on the bed like nothing is wrong. I do have to admit, the clothes on the side are my mess and my mess alone. After a couple cocktails last night, I was not feeling particularly neat and tidy and did not put my stuff away like a normally do. But the rest of it was definitely the work of my two little heathens. Side note: the cocktails would probably also explain why I heard none of this happening during the night and woke up completely shocked when I looked over and saw the mess.

The jacket on top of this pile was laid on my bed last night -- they must have found a dangling sleeve and pulled it right off. The bag beneath the jacket is usually stored under my bed and used often when I stay at my parent's house or need to carry a bunch of stuff to work. The fabric panel on the bottom of the pile was temporarily stored under the bed until after Christmas. It is normally in my TV stand, but for Christmas, even it received a little makeover and the normal panels were placed in a ‘safe’ spot. These little guys must have worked hard to pull all this from its original home!

You can see where this hydrangea’s home used to be -- on the bottom of my nightstand. Nolan has been pulling petals from this plant for the last couple weeks, so I should have known it’d be the next source of some major destruction. I’m just shocked they managed to pull the entire thing off the nightstand for some all over access!

You can see they also pulled out an entire stem and half the petals and spread them all over my room -- maybe they were just doing some redecorating :) Last but not least, they had some fun with my need to be organized. Those green cards used to be labeled and tied to some black, canvas under-the-bed storage bins. They have now been chewed on and missing several letters and their ribbon.

Needless to say, I’ve got some cleaning to do when I get home tonight and some quality time to spend with these little rascals. Should that plan fail, does anyone know of good obedience schools in the Dallas area?!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Product Review: Shark Pocket Steam Mop

It’s been a week since I purchased my beloved steam mop that I could not live without, and I have to say, it did not disappoint! My tile and wood floors have never been cleaner and getting them that way has never been easier. In one week, I have used the steam mop twice: the night of purchase -- duh! -- and on Sunday, which is my typical total house scrub down day.

Setting up the mop was surprisingly simple and I was up and running in no time! Once out of the box, I attached the handle, put on the head I wanted to use, filled the tank with water, plugged it in, and was steaming in less than 30 seconds! The quickness and ease for getting the mop set-up bodes well for many future uses as I am a lot more likely to do mopping when it takes no time to get it out and ready. In addition to how easy it is to get started, I also love this mop because it has a triangle head for smaller areas to reach, such as the bathroom, and a rectangle head so you can cover more ground in the larger rooms. Each cover that fits over the head is also two sided so half way through, you can simply flip the mop over and you have a clean surface to continue with and no stopping to slow you down! Once you’re done, just throw the covers in the washer and set aside for next Sunday :)

That first night, I went through the bathroom, entry way, long hallway and part of the kitchen. I was excited to try it out, but had too many other things to do to keep going through the entire apartment -- plus, it wasn’t my normal cleaning day and I would have thrown my schedule completely off!

Anyway, I was shocked, appalled even, to see how dirty the mop cover was after going through half those spaces! I am a very neat, organized, and religious cleaner of all surfaces in my place, so I was not expecting that my mop and manpower had left behind so much dirt! I guess it just proves how much better the power of steam can clean than my own two hands :) I was also very impressed with how long the water tank produced steam. I went over several areas twice and still managed to get through half of my apartment floors with more steam to spare. I still have not read the entire user’s manual so this may be a big “No-no”, but I did have to leave some water sitting in the tank because I couldn’t use it all up. I’m certain this won’t be a problem when I clean my whole place in the future.

When I did my normal cleaning on Sunday, I was pleased that the areas I had done a few nights before weren’t nearly as dirty as the first time cleaning -- I can’t say the same for the rest of my apartment, however. Again, I try not to take offence to this and my normal cleaning skills. I know my place is spotless and anyone who has visited would hopefully agree! That steam just has more cleaning power than my mop, soap and hot water.

With all that said, if you are looking for a better way to clean your floors -- wood, tile, laminate, linoleum, even carpet -- I would highly recommend this steam mop! Even after my purchase, I continue to research the prices and read reviews to make sure I got the best deal and haven’t missed any pertinent cleaning facts, and I’ve noticed that several places have been putting it on sale. Probably the holiday season, but if you’re interested, I’d start doing some price comparisons because there are tons of good deals out there!

Side note: I promise I have not been hired by Shark to promote their product. When I find something I love, I tend to get very passionate about it and feel the need to tell everyone -- especially when it’s one that makes my life easier and my place cleaner!

Happy shopping and mopping for those of you interested!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feeling Spontaneous

I’m embarrassed to admit that at 6:30 on a Monday evening, I had already finished eating dinner, was changed into PJs, and curled up on the couch with the pups, a glass of wine, and watching TV. Thankfully, to pull me out of this super lame evening, I got an unexpected invite to the Mavs game that I could not turn down. Thank goodness I had once again passed on working out after work and would just need to swap PJs for normal clothes and I would be ready to go! Although skipping my workout worked to my advantage this time, I worry this one instance will give me too many excuses to skip working out in the future...

After a quick change into my Mavs attire and some freshening up, I met Chris, Betsy and two of their friends and we made our way to the American Airlines center. We were very fortunate to have an awesome parking pass and didn’t have to spend much time outside in the cold -- I was born and raised in Texas, so yes, I do consider 50 degrees to be cold weather!

Once inside, we did manage to get a bit lost -- If you’ve never been, American Airlines Center is an awesome venue but quite large and you can easily feel like a tiny mouse wondering through a giant maze trying to find your section. The long, winding walk proved to be worth it; however, when we came upon the suite where our tickets were. We had an awesome view, and anything we could think to eat and drink!

Despite the fun and spontaneous evening, I fear I may be bad luck for the Mavs. It was the first game this season I attended/watched and they broke their winning streak! Hopefully that won’t be the case for every game I attend :)

A big thank you to Chris and Betsy for the Mavs game invite -- and for saving me from another lame Monday evening!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Shiloh!

Today, this sassy little girl turns two!

Here are some sweet Shiloh moments during the last two years...

This tiny hinny picture is when we knew she'd fit in with the rest of the family :)

I lovingly call this her perplexed puppy Einstein look

This was the first day she came home with me!

I tried giving her ice as a "treat" -- her boyfriend Ollie goes nuts for it -- but she wasn't quite as thrilled...

Halloween 2009

This is from her week long stay with Aunt Sammy in Norman -- they forced awful OU sweatshirts on my poor baby!

And this is typical little Shi-Shi -- and dressed much more appropriately, I might add :)

What a sweet and sassy little girl she is becoming! We plan to celebrate the big occasion with her best bud, Ollie, who also turns two this month. More puppy party details to come!

Happy Birthday Little Shi!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It’s Official, I’m a Grown-Up

I’ve know this was the case for a while now, but it felt especially true when I could not get the thought of purchasing this steam mop out of my head!
I discovered how much I wanted this mop earlier this week which unfortunately, is too late in my family to add to my Christmas list with any hope of receiving it. I knew my dear sweet boyfriend had not done his Christmas shopping yet -- typical boy -- so I immediately sent him the link with the title, “This is what I want for Christmas!” He kindly told me he would not be purchasing appliances or cleaning supplies as my Christmas present -- I suppose I should see that as a good thing :)

Knowing now that no one would be buying this for me, I decided I just had to have it and would purchase it as a gift for myself and my apartment floors. Unlike any normal person, this could not wait until the weekend or even after work, so I left the office at 12:30 to get it from the nearest Best Buy. I am also a big comparison shopper slash product researcher and found they had the best deal. I even looked up the store closest to me and made sure they had one waiting. Sure enough, it was there when I arrived! I excitedly made my purchase and proudly loaded it in my car and was so disappointed when I realized I could not immediately go home and use it -- who really needs me in the office on a Wednesday afternoon, anyway?!? Well, while I was out -- getting out of our office is a total pain and not something you want to do more than you have too -- I decided to pick up some fun, new nail polish shades, thanks to the Mitz’s inspiring nail polish post. I settled on OPI’s “Thank You Berry Much” for my holiday shade and also picked up a personal favorite, “Bubble Bath.”
With the steam mop and nail polish sitting in my car just 17 floors down, a short walk south, 4 more floors down, a long walk through the concourse, and another 5 floors down -- I told you it was a pain -- I am having a hard time focusing on the work in front of me. It’s hard to decide which I want to play with first when I get home!