Nov 23, 2015

If we took a Holiday

ooh yea
ooh yea

(now it's stuck in your head, right?)

Oh yes my friends....per the snow the Holiday season is officially in full swing.
And even though it will all be melted by Thanksgiving, in my head, it's still the trigger point for me.

It was pretty...for like a day. And then you drive through it and it's already turning gray and gross.

I like the idea of snow.
I do.
But only to the extent that I like looking at it from inside my house when a fire is lit (and I'm half lit) and getting all warm and fuzzy about it.
But then I want it to go away.

So does Burn.

This weekend we braved the blizzard for a fun weekend in the sticks. Early Thanksgiving dinner was in order, and I'm down for extending the Holidays with weekends like these.

If you were wondering, the dogs did beautifully while we were gone...even with the freezing temps!
No fights, nothing to worry about.
Mark and I both slept like bricks in the hotel without distractions for once.
No midnight cat meows and random dog barking.
I imagine that's what it's like when you're away from the kids?

I ended up making these cranberry cheesecake bars instead of the original idea.
Like I said before, I don't bake that often, and with my parents stopping by Friday night and us leaving relatively soon the next day, I didn't want to be rushed with baking, but I also didn't want to be baking forever.

So I whipped these up and they were....insane. So easy to make and so delicious.
I taste tested them Saturday morning to make sure, obviously.
If you need a dessert to bake that takes minimal effort and comes together quickly, this is your recipe.
Bonus points that you can drink while making's THAT easy!

As the snow continued to come down at a rapid rate and we hurried to get out the door......I left them in the fridge.
I realized it at the edge of town, and if it weren't for the terrible weather, we would have turned around.
As some IG friends stated, the silver lining is I get to eat them for breakfast the rest of the week!

We don't host Thanksgiving, because the following day is our annual Shrimp Boil, aka, Friendsgiving.
A tradition 10+ years in the making and still going strong.

Saturday is recovery, and Sunday! Sunday is Christmas decorating!
Once the rain stops, I need to schlep all my containers out of the basement and hop to it.

Kahlua and coffee, Christmas music, me untangling a million strands of lights.
My patience wearing thin after I've only decorated one half of the tree, vowing to shove it in the corner and be done with it.
The dogs chewing on delicate glass ornaments.
The cat swatting at anything with feathers.
Mark tracking in muddy shoes from working outside.
Me setting everything to a timer that all comes on at the stroke of 5pm...our eyes light up like Clark Griswold.

It's glorious. All of it.
Tis the season!

And that's it for me until December, folks.
You can still follow along during the festivities on Instagram! (tgendooza)
Make it a good week!
Nov 20, 2015

Thoughts for Friday

Creating my own happy...Tis the season for too much to do and not enough time to do it in.
My mantra is to embrace the here and now.
Looking around, I smile about the sunlight coming in through the windows.
If it's cloudy and windy, I'm grateful for the walls around me for protection.
I'm happy to be able to take warm baths to soothe aching muscles, and dogs just lazy enough to snuggle with.
I always start listening to Christmas music, especially when it's snowing, and honestly, snow might not happen as often this Christmas, and that's okay.
Family drama always comes to the forefront during the holidays. It will always been there and I know that. So I just smile and move on. There is always tomorrow.
I can't change the big things, I can only change my reaction to them.
And I choose happy.

Plans change....they get pushed up, cancelled, sorta come to fruition...whatever.
I try to be loose, go with the flow, find other options. Just when I think my plate runneth over with to-do's....people cancel.
Or commitments change.
Could I get mad?
Sure. But what's the point.
It's all just details. I'm with them in spirit.

Worrying is a waste of time...I have spent many a sleepless nights worrying if the dogs will behave while we are away for a simple overnight this weekend.
Even though I have told myself repeatedly that worrying is of no use, I do it anyways.
My remedy has been to talk about my feelings with Mark. Usually one of us can calm the other's crazy down.
And you know what? My dogs just might be assholes.
It's in their nature to be that way sometimes, and it might happen when I'm not around.
Such is life. Hopefully they will be perfect slobbering angels though.

Reconnecting with my husband...This is the first winter season in nearly five years where I have been truly happy in the here and now. Trying to have a child sapped so much of my happy each Christmas. I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to finally get knocked up and be able to announce my pregnancy to my family. Like how you see in the movies.
I don't know how it'll pan out. I'm so beyond worrying about how I'm going to announce. We have so many hurdles just to get to that point and it's all out of my hands.
But, one thing I do know. Not worrying about timing and if we are broken and testing and all that has been downright amazing. I feel like I am so much more connected with Mark than I ever was before. There isn't this baby-making blinder over me anymore. We'll move forward together.
We have our weekly hot tub chats where we dream about the future, talk about current issues, work out problems.
Everything seems to remedy itself during those evenings over a few drinks.

Making my voice heard.....We are building out another wing of our office and from the get-go I have loudly vocalized that, although I am willing to assist with wearing hats that include receptionist duties....I am NOT a Receptionist anymore.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
It's just child's play for me at this level of my career.
I have been patiently sitting in this front desk for six months waiting for the day to come where I can pick out an office.
A real office with real walls.
One that connects me closer to upper management and away from the telemarketers and UPS delivery guys.

My commute.....I've said it a hundred times and I'll say it a million more. Thank the lord baby Jesus for a suburban commute. The mornings have been cold and yet when I was working in the city, I had to trek through that nonsense day in and day out.
It really beats you down.
Your spirit dies a little every time you exit a building and the wind whips you in your face....for miles.
Now, I get to keep cute hair and not have to bundle up like I'm going hiking in the Andes.
My mascara doesn't run and I'm not frazzled by the time I get to work.
I get to sit in my comfortable car and take the scenic route to work.
I'm sure I'll have a completely different perspective about the snow and cold when I'm driving through it.
My truck was built for it.
Hell, I might even smile about it.

And with that, I'm off to do some baking and get ready for our weekend.
Thank you for reading!
Nov 18, 2015

Chugging right along

Hello loves.
Hope you are all having a fabulous week.
Weather-wise, we are in a weird period where it's clearly not fall anymore, but not quite winter, but still warm?
It's odd. Although I will take this over last November any day. Chicagoans, do you remember how it was in the single digits already? Yea, that happened.

Radio stations are already playing Christmas music, and so are retail stores. To each their own, but I can't quite flip the switch on that music until I am putting up my Christmas tree, which is ALWAYS the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Actually, looking ahead at the forecast, it looks like we will have minimal snow. Now, don't get me wrong.
I HATE snow. But there is something to be said about having a White Christmas.
A fire lit. Hot Cocoa. A blanket. PJ's. The whole nine.

I wanted to quickly thank all that participated in my first Instagram giveaway. It was a great turn out and it was really to say thank you for participating in this little corner of the internet.

I will doing another Stocking Stuffer giveaway in early December, so make sure you tune in!

As far as our IVF journey goes, I am patiently waiting for the RE to call me back with our doctors schedule for January. Our new insurance kicks in for it's just a waiting game at this point as to when we can get started! I'm pumped and nervous all at the same time.

We are headed to my aunt's this weekend for one of two Thanksgiving feasts. The weather is supposed to be dreadful but our massive truck will get us there in one piece! I am making these Cranberry Vanilla Bars from A Beautiful Mess! They look delicious and super easy to put together and transport. All key things.
Oh and wine.
Always wine.

We lit our fire for the first time this weekend and it was glorious.
Perhaps still too warm to do so, but tis the season, right?

I got over my sickness finally. That was ROUGH. And antibiotic suck but you do what you gotta do.
I am hopeful that'll be the last ebola of the season. Wishful thinking!

Oh, and I totally blew it on No Buy November. I have purchased some stuff for the giveaways and then treated myself to a couple small items. #YOLO

How has everyone been?
We have basically been on auto-pilot.
Cooking comfort food and wrestling with our maniac dogs.

Happy Hump Day loves!
Thanks for reading!
Nov 13, 2015

Friday Favorites and a GIVEAWAY

Ok now.
I'm on the up and up, thanks to my stubborn tendencies and some bitchin' meds.
And for that? Let's do a little round up regarding my browsing history and details about the GIVEAWAY!

First up?

Friday the 13th
One of the luckiest days for myself, my husband, our family, life in general. We closed our new home on this day. Things tend to go our way on this day and you lucky fucking people get to partake in a giveaway with some super cool shit on this day!

The weather.
Can I just get a quick AMEN for the fact that Chicago made it to November 11th with summer-esque weather? Granted, it all went to hell in a handbag literally overnight, but we made it now didn't we?

Not your pretty little face ma'am. I'm talking the ones I drink out of. Travel mugs, home mugs, all mugs.
I have an obsession with finding a new champagne or gold colored travel mug that doesn't leak. Any suggestions based on experience? I keep eyeing the ones from Starbucks but the reviews are mixed.

Anal Glands.
Clearly not a "favorite" but if you have bulldogs, you get it. My browsing history at work is filled with phrases such as "natural remedies for anal gland infections in dogs" "anal gland problems in dogs", etc, etc.
I make sure to include the words in dogs so as not to get the side eye from the bosses. #winning

Unique, hilarious people
I'd like to think I am bit quirky and a tad hilarious from time to time, and I like to surround myself with the same type of folk. Those who don't take life TOO seriously, can definitely laugh at an inappropriate joke and have an interesting background. I do love my some basic white girl stuff too, but a bit of depth is a breathe of fresh air, ya dig?

And because of those unique, hilarious people that light up my personal life and my social media life, I wanted to say thanks. Thank you for reading! Thank you for following along! I'd like to gather more of you, if that's okay. Expand this little corner of the internets a bit by giving away some super cute finds from Homegoods.

This little care package comes just in the nick of time for all the party planning you just know you're about to partake in! Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, there are endless parties to attend and to host! And what better way to throw a party than with a few additional cute items for your home!

This gift set includes hand picked items I selected just for you.

When you open up that bottle of red, make sure it is adorned with a bedazzled skull wine stopper!
Your bottle of champagne will perch perfectly next to the framed "Pop Fizz Clink" print on your fancy little bar cart. Or counter top. Or nightstand. No judgement here.
Your classy guests can set their classy drinks on your classy fucking Gatsby-inspired coasters!
And finally, a white (dishwasher friendly) mug with the perfect little slogan for a morning pep talk after a long, drunken night!
Feel free to switch up your morning coffee for some Jasmine Green Tea should you feel so inclined.

All for you! Ready to ship out Monday with the winning announcement!

Here is how you enter:

Hop on Instagram and find me: @tgendooza

1. Follow me and Like the IG photo
2. Tag a friend in the comments and tell me your Party Plans for the Holidays!

Complete these two steps and you're in!

Contest runs now through Sunday, November 15th @ 7pm CST.
Winner will be chosen at random and announced Monday.

Best of luck fancy ladies and have a FABULOUS weekend!
Nov 11, 2015

Captain's Log: Sick Day #1,584

I am witnessing a real fucking stroke of luck this week.
I have been sick for FIVE. DAYS.

This has never happened to me in the history of ever and I have no idea how to cope.
I am going stir crazy.

When I do get sick, which is a couple times a year, it usually comes and goes in a matter of days.
Three max.

But THIS! This is a whole other beast.
A beast that sucked up all my sick days and delved into the depths of my coveted PTO time.
A beast that actually forced me to the doctor's office.
(I haven't been in years. And the nurse reminded me like it was a bad thing.)

It all started on Saturday.
I had a dentist appointment to get my teeth cleaned and a cavity filled.
The joy of joys, in my book.
An appointment to really look forward to.

So I sit down in the plastic chair, awaiting with baited breathe for the nurse to slap those fun movie goggles on so I can watch Mean Girls while she stabs me with a metal hook.
But the goggles aren't working.

And the longer she fiddles with it, the more time I am observing her.

Observing that she is mouth breathing....and....sniffling?

Oh hell no...this bitch is sick.
And she's about to stick her ebola fingers in my mouth.

I panic and think about jumping up and canceling the appointment.
The cavity will still be there right?

But instead of doing that, I submit and allow her to mouth rape me with all of the germs she can muster.
She sprays that numbing crap on my gum and proceeds to poke me at least ten times with that godforsaken needle, which I have been dreading, by the way.

I haven't had to have my mouth numbed since they pulled four teeth when I was eight.
It was a lot different back then. There was no mouth numbing spray to ease the pain.

Then she starts massaging my gums with her ebola fingers.
Rubbing and rubbing and rubbing the germs, deeper and deeper into my orifice.
I swear to Jebus I can actually feel the germs seeping into my tonsils and feel them expand, soaking up the sickies.

I finally get done with the mouth raping and attempt to get on with my day.
We are headed to my nephew's football game and then it's back home to rest up before some evening festivities.

And I can already feel it.
The aching, the head throbbing, the sore throat.
It's already started....and my mouth was still numb!

Fast forward to yesterday, where I had to haul ass into work for the morning to greet new clients and put on my usual song and dance.
All the while my eyes are burning.
I bolt to the doctors at noon and get my Rx.

Can I just tell you that I HATE prescriptions? Not to get all TMI, but ladies...we ALL know what prescriptions do to our nether-regions, and let's just say I am buying stock in cranberry juice.

But, at this point I will do anything to stop snoring through the night with one open nasal passage.
I will do anything to wake up without razor throat.
I will do anything to GET OUT OF THIS DAMN HOUSE!!

I have tried to keep busy by doing some light cleaning and making sure to shower each day.
The shower makes all the difference.
Did I mention that I was literally just sick two weeks ago?
Oh yea....tis the season, amiright?

So as Burn takes to chewing up all the firewood and then grinding it into the carpet, I am sitting here blogging and watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. For the 100th time.

Oh, and peeing. Yes, I do that roughly 50 times an hour, so that will count as exercise.
Not that I need it at this point.
With my lack of drinking, I am sure I have already lost 10 pounds.
This little nook of my living room is collecting dust at an alarming rate.

Anywho, on a completely unrelated note, remember when I mentioned I smashed my brand new phone? I ended up getting another one (same one) and an Otterbox case for good measure.

But you know what the most alarming thing was?
When I would tell people, I had the same question come up, from multiple sources....

Was Mark mad?

What in the actual fuck people?! Why would my husband be mad?
Is that what spouses do to each other? Get royally pissed when the other one accidentally breaks something? What a shitty life that must be.

No, Mark wasn't mad. If anything I was mad. Why? Because it was MY phone that I just got and now I have pay for it in full to get a new one.

Shit happens, man....LIFE happens.

So if you are one of those people whose spouse gets mad at you because of an accident, please do yourself a favor and throat punch them next time.

You don't deserve that.

I felt bad enough already, I couldn't even imagine having someone else come down on me for it.
Especially my spouse. My partner.

Okay, I'm having a coughing fit getting all worked up about that.
But seriously, ain't nobody got time for a shitty man, ya hear?

And finally, do you follow me on Instagram (@tgendooza)? I am thisclose to 300 followers. Once I hit that number, you bet your ass there will be a fun giveaway just in time for the holidays.
No giveaway and fake accounts, puhleeze!
I want real people that really want to read my shit, because it's awesome.

Until next time, peace and love and send me get well vibes!!
Nov 6, 2015

I am Grateful

For great friends inviting us out for an evening on the house.

For affordable, individualized health insurance.

For a credit card for those big ticket items.

For our health, to get up, each and every day, and feel GOOD.

For the flexibility and stability of a new job.

For a lovely Indian Summer.

For seat heaters when this warm weather finally exits for good.

For good eyebrows and big hair...and the products that keep them looking fabulous.

For the opportunity in the next year to conceive a baby free of mutations.

For family, close enough to drive to for Thanksgiving.

For friends, willing to trek out year after year for Shrimp Boil.

For a bitchin' wardrobe filled with sturdy staples that can last season after season.

For Christmas lights, set up early to ward off the evil time change causing our nights to begin at 5pm.

For a house filled with animals, that offer equal parts unlimited love and messes to clean up.

For wine. And hot baths. 

For my insane husband. 

And my insane family.

I love it all. Life is good. Thanks for reading!
Nov 4, 2015

No-Buy November

I was hit with a bit of humble pie over Halloween weekend, and it got me thinking about spending in general.

So, a little back story.
I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my dumb brick phone to a real, adult phone.
It was gold and shiny and beautiful.
I was nervous to upgrade because I can be on the clumsy side and I tend to drop my phone a lot.
Like, a lot a lot.
Or spill things on it. Such as a bottle of Chardonnay. #pouroneoutformyhomies

But alas, I pretended for a hot minute I was truly grown up with adult grippy hands and set off to get myself a glorious new phone. One that would allow me to not only hold a conversation without saying, "wait a minute, I can't really hear you," or stream music AND download the Instagram app, or use emojis.

I know. These are all things I couldn't really do with my brick phone.

I call it my brick phone because it is literally the weight and structure of a brick because it includes some sort of military grade case that is screwed in place.
Not water, nor dropping, nor drunken escapades could damage this thing.

And I've been happy as your mom's clam for two years with it.

Until I got my new phone.

And realized what I was missing.
And then I was all, "pssshaa, this brick phone is shit, I can't believe I ever used it" and tossed it aside like a bad habit.

So here I am with my fancy new phone with it's fancy camera and plenty of storage and emojis.

For a week.

Until I fucking smashed the thing to pieces.

Note to self: Do not place your phone on the lid of a hot tub, on a magazine, and then accidentally push the lid a bit causing it to drop to a weird angle. This will cause your new shiny phone to toboggan launch off the side of said lid down a concrete flight of stairs, to it's demise.

Don't do that.
Because the result isn't pretty.
And now I have a busted phone whose alarm won't shut off and I can't do anything about it because the screen is completely black and broken.

Anyways, back to the current state of affairs.
We finally (FINALLY!) paid off our credit card at the stroke of Halloween. And now I can work on repaying some other debts.

November is an expensive month, but not necessarily for fun things.
We needed boat insurance, so we bought that.
I needed to enroll us in new health insurance for 2016, so we pre-paid for the first month.
The dogs need shots and pills, so we gotta pay for that junk.
We have Thanksgiving travel and an annual SHRIMP BOIL party this month.
And I had to fucking pay for my damn phone IN FULL before I can even contemplate getting a new one.

Needless to say, even though the credit card is paid off for trivial things, the big things just hit so we're kind of back at square one.

Therefore, I decided to declare this month No-Buy November.
Where we don't buy stupid shit just because we can.
That means no clothes, no shoes, no trinkets for the house.
Only important things and only if they are absolutely necessary.

Because Christmas is right around the corner, dudes.
And I am NOT heading into that month with debt stress. I can't and I won't.

As much as I would love to just buy the ever loving shit out of Homegoods right now...and I may or may not be drooling thinking about it, I will not step foot into that place until December.

So tell me, how do you keep your spending in check? Will I be able to last the whole month?
Keep it real. Thanks for reading!