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Posted on Apr 22, 2013 in Dear Diary | 26 comments

A Glass Case of Emotions

If you’ve been reading this blog for any reasonably significant amount of time, by now you probably know the following things about me:

1. I seriously love to eat.

2. I seriously love my birthday.

3. I seriously love my dogs.

4. I am otherwise rarely serious about anything.

5. I have a lot of feelings.

And while I actually do have something to post about that falls in line with points 1 & 2 (because, you know, I haven’t posted enough about all the ridiculous amounts of food I’ve been consuming lately or anything), today, I shall be addressing points 3 & 5. Thus, recapping the grand birthday dinner I had with my family on Friday will simply have to wait (my mom has been out of town for the past month, so we waited to celebrate until she got back) because I have other things to report.

SO! Let’s start things off with Saturday night and the first time I cried that night. (I told you: FEELINGS.) My wonderful sister texted me earlier when I was out with Sean, asking me when I’d be home because she wanted to Facetime. Given that there is very little that we sisters cannot communicate via our wicked fast texting fingers (honestly, I think between Jenny and me we could probably beat some kinda record), I was already slightly suspicious that something was afoot. I was a little worried that perhaps my older and wiser sister had befallen the myth that you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding and my perfect little niece Mia would be getting an Irish twin.

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Say what now?

My suspicions arose further when Jenny proceeded to Facetime me within 60 seconds of walking back in the door of my house, all but proving the fact that she had been stalking me via the “Find My Friends” app. And yes, there was indeed a reason for the call, though it was nothing like what I expected. My sister proceeded to put Mia on the phone (for lack of a better image), and, in a voice that sounded suspiciously like my sister’s, just 3 octaves higher, “Mia” asked me if I would do her the honor of being her godmother.

I mean, c’mon. Do I even need to tell you that this is when the waterworks started?

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Pull yourself together, woman.

I managed to utter a garbled “Yes!” between sobs of happiness, and then proceeded to watch my sister feed Mia prune juice through an eyedropper 1,400 miles away (TECHNOLOGY!). It was really a very special moment… up until the part where, y’know, she spit up prune juice. Which, coincidentally, also happened to be the part of the evening where I discovered the remnants of a VERY THOROUGHLY DESTROYED packet of Orbit gum on the stairs of my house. Which brings us to our second emotional point of the evening.

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Caught in the act.

Oh, the joys of dog ownership. On a routine basis, you might find your dirty underwear strewn about the house, food wrappers fished out from the garbage, or a panic poop in the basement. At least they generally have the decency to act guilty/apologetic about it, although in this particular case Harry didn’t seem to think anything was amiss. Daxter’s guilt, on the other hand, was evident–he does this automatic ears-back rollover thing that is so cute you automagically forget why you’re mad (see above picture). I didn’t think too much of the incident, seeing as how my dogs have eaten a lot worse things than a couple sticks of gum, IMO (like the time Harry ate half a FILET MIGNON off my end table, or when Daxter polished off half a bag of Fizzing Whizbees from Harry Potter World…). In fact, I thought it was funny, and so I posted about it on Instagram and Facebook.

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And it was kinda funny. That is, until I started getting flooded with messages about how sugarfree gum–like Orbit–contains an artificial sweetener called xylitol. And xylitol, unbeknownst to me, is really, REALLY toxic to dogs. Like, not just like “Oh, you probably shouldn’t feed that pizza crust to your dog because they don’t digest wheat as well as humans”-bad, but “Well, now your dog’s blood is being flooded with a huge amount of insulin and his organs are probably going to start failing within the next thirty minutes and HE WILL DIE”-bad.

Yeah… so, in hindsight, I’m gonna go ahead and say that Googling “xylitol dogs” really didn’t do much to help the situation. Enter: Phase 2 of crying (and this is, clearly, not the good kind of crying).

Anyway, needless to say, at this point I am FREAKING THE EFF OUT. Harry and Daxter weren’t exhibiting any strange behavior, but since we didn’t know A) how much gum they actually ate or B) which dog even did the eating, I knew it was better safe than sorry and there was no question as to what to do. Sean and I threw both dogs in the car and zoomed off to the emergency vet. Which, of course, considering my dogs’ proclivity for bad things happening to them, is a route I know all too well at this point.

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We got to the vet, I explained the situation (in tears), and they immediately took both dogs into the back to check them out. Meanwhile, I learned that there is an animal poison control hotline that I needed to call (still in tears). They asked me a bunch of questions as to exactly what was ingested, and what the worst-case scenario was in terms of how much gum they ate. Thankfully–THANKFULLY–it turns out that Orbit as a brand has low xylitol amounts, and even if one of my dogs <25 lb. dogs had eaten half a pack (7 pieces), they likely would have been okay. At this point, the vet had already made both dogs throw up, so I did find out that Harry was the sole culprit in terms of actually consuming the gum (though Daxter had a field day with the cardboard wrapper, which I guess explains why he was acting guilty?) but I could take them home that night. I would just have to monitor them for signs of hypoglycemia and my regular vet would likely follow up and want to run some blood tests.

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And nobody at the clinic even commented on the fact that Daxter is still pink.

All in all, I realize I got pretty lucky: There were only a few pieces of gum left in the pack, and I have some VERY thoughtful friends and blog readers who alerted me to the danger quickly. Because, honestly, if they hadn’t told me, I might never have known! Although I guess if we’re going that route, I also would not have known if I didn’t constantly exploit my dogs via my various social media channels. So clearly the lesson here is: Post everything about your life to social media!

Oh, c’mon, I kid, I kid. In truth, I really have learned a valuable lesson about the dangers of anything that contains xylitol (which is mainly sugarfree gum, but also some jams, jellies, and baked goods) when it comes to my pets. And to me, the peace of mind in knowing that both my furbabies are okay was worth the outrageously high vet bill… and I say that only, like, 40% begrudgingly.

So there you have it. One Saturday night, MORE than enough emotional roller-coastering to last me until at least the end of the week. Whew. I am emotionally drained just having rehashed the experience for you guys.

Have you ever had a pet medical scare? I feel like at this point I have had more than my fair share with both dogs… It’s all worth it, obviously, but still. Oy.

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Posted on Apr 2, 2013 in Uncategorized | 188 comments

I’m Back, Baby! (Giveaway!)

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed. To see if you were one of the winners, click here!

Ohhhhh hey guys. Long time no see/talk/read. Well… I’m back! Yep, back from Houston full of adorable baby memories and a huuuuge backlog of work to sift through, heh. Technically I got back on Saturday, but I’ve pretty much been playing catch-up since then. (Also, there has been some major snuggling with Harry since he didn’t get to make the trip with Daxter and me.)

Getting to spend the week in Texas with my sister, her husband, my parents, and my brand new baby niece was amazing, but it may surprise no one to hear that it wasn’t really a vacation in the traditional sense. Nope, up by 7 every morning, helping to change poopy diapers, and watching a LOT of TLC (okay, well, that part was pretty vacation-y, heh), I almost feel like I need a vacation from my vacation! Alas, that won’t be happening (at least not until Sean’s and my epic Ireland trip in July!) but at least now I’ll be back on a (hopefully) regular blogging schedule.

Part of my going down to Houston was to do a newborn photo shoot with baby Amelia! I’ve only just started editing some of the photos, but in case you haven’t already seen these plastered all over social media (and apologies if you have, hehe), take a look!

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She is the most alert and curious baby when awake, and soooo freaking adorable when asleep. Of course, not every shot was a winner…

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I honestly think this one might be my favorite of them all, hahaha. Anyway, like I said, this is only a preview of the gazillion photos I still have yet to edit (seriously, I took almost 300 shots! Hahaha) but I thought you might like to see proof of the one productive thing I managed to do in Houston. 😛

Speaking of Houston… so. My sister, who some of you may already know works for UnderArmour, sent me home with a smorgasbord of UA goodies. One of the things I was sent back with is an exclusive collection of awesome UA headbands!

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They look really great AND are super functional for working out. They feel nice but are grippy (without tearing out hair or anything horrible like that). Even though my hair is super straight and sleek, they really don’t slip very much! This particular pack comes in really fun blues and greens. I get compliments on my UA headbands ALL the time when I wear them, and I want you guys to experience the same!

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Giveaway time!

I’ve got FIVE (yes, five!) packs of headbands to give away to you guys! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thing about Spring is!

As always, extra entries for those who follow me on Twitter, Like HISTG on Facebook, and tweet/post about this giveaway. Just make you sure you leave separate comments back here for each thing you do! I’ll pick the winners on Friday, April 5th.

Note: This giveaway is not sponsored in any way by UnderAmour. I just have the good fortune to get freebies through my sister, and know I’m not gonna need 20 more headbands to add to my own collection, hahahaha.

Happy April!

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Posted on Mar 21, 2013 in Dear Diary | 34 comments

Squeeeee!

So remember how yesterday I said that I had nothing exciting to report? Well, that may have been true at the time, but little did I know that as I typed those very words…

…my sister was going into LABOR!!!!!

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Say hello to my perfect niece, Amelia Alice Robinson. Born 7 pounds, 13 ounces, on March 20th, 2013.

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Mia, for short!

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I can honestly say that’s it is SO true what they say, I feel so differently about this baby, knowing she’s part of my family. I mean, I’ve always liked babies. You know, I think they are cute and I really like being able to follow my friends’ adventures in parenthood on Facebook and whatnot. But I’ve never really been one to have baby fever, or go head over heels over for other peoples’ kids. I like them, but I don’t loooooove them. I CAN say, though, that the very second I saw Mia’s picture, it felt like my heart just swallowed her up. Here I was, worrying about all the changes that are happening to our family dynamic, and now I can’t even imagine what things would be like without her here. I LOVE her, and I haven’t even met her yet!

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Seriously, you can ask Sean. He can verify that there was Kristen Bell vs. The Sloth level of happy crying.

Jenny and baby (and grandma, hehe) are all doing great. I already love her so much, and I am seriously chomping at the bit to head to Houston.

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My dad and I (and Daxter, hehe) leave to start the drive down tomorrow. I’ll be in Texas for the week, and then flying back next weekend. I can’t wait!!

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Posted on Jan 22, 2013 in Dear Diary, Food | 15 comments

Baby Shower

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Words cannot adequately prepare you for the photo explosion that is about to happen on this blog. I’m not gonna lie. It’s going to be intense. There were a lot of photos taken at my sister’s baby shower this past weekend–some by me, more by Taylor (our future sister-in-law). So many, you may wretch at the sight of polka dots and tulle after this point. So many, that the very mention of the color pink makes you want to claw your eyes out. But, then again, maybe you like this kinda stuff so it’ll all be okay. 😉

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On Saturday afternoon, some of my older sister’s nearest and dearest friends (as well as a few of my awesome extended family members) gathered at my mom’s house for a baby shower: I was hosting and Taylor helped me plan.

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Also, they brought presents.

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Hehe.

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We set up a buffet in the dining room with fingerfoods and glasses of sparkling pink lemonade (the ruffle ball thingies and lemonades were modeled directly after a Pin on my sister’s Pinterest that Tay found!), and then everyone pretty much gathered in the adjacent living room.

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As mentioned, Tay and I played dueling photographers (she won), and she also helped me plan the entire shower. We had quite the smorgasbord going on!

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There was a veggie platter, a fruit & cheese plate, hummus & crackers, THREE kinds of finger sandwiches (apricot, marionberry, and cucumber)…

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And my mom made these vegetarian curry puff things which were delicious. (My sister is a vegetarian, so the only non-Jenny-friendly food was a little plate that had some smoked salmon and crackers.

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Of course, the main event (in my opinion) was the tower of Georgetown Cupcakes that I ordered special for the shower. Funny story, I ordered two dozen cupcakes — half with pink icing and a white duck, and the other half with white icing and a pink duck — in chocolate and vanilla. What we ended up receiving was one dozen cupcakes — chocolate and vanilla — with pink icing and a white duck… and one dozen red velvet cupcakes with pink discs on top that said “16” in sparkling print.

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Lol, I guess we ended up with half of someone’s Sweet 16 order (I’m sure that kid is gonna be thrilled to have gotten our baby shower cupcakes, hahaha). I called the bakery and they offered to redeliver but it would take too long. So they gave me a gift card to make up for the mix-up, and we kept the red velvets. Actually, it worked out, since red velvet is their best flavor in my opinion. We just turned the “16” discs upside down, and voila! Totally shower appropriate. 🙂

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As for activities, the main thing was watching Jenny open her million, gazillion presents. It was a lot of clothing. Really, really stinkin’ adorable clothing. That pretty much consistently made me react like this to every gift:

BUT OH WAIT. Thanks to Tay’s wide angle camera lens, YOU DON’T HAVE TO IMAGINE ANYTHING because I’m in the background of each shot. Enjoy. (Stupid technology.)

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In addition to the, you know, shower itself, I got Jenny (or, rather, I got my niece) a couple of super adorable outfits that had tutus and pop-out ice cream cones and cupcakes on the top. (As if you’d expect anything less!)

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Hilariously, Anne ended up getting Jenny one of the same outfits, just in a bigger size. So this kid is gonna be rocking tutus and cupcakes until she is 2. (Couldn’t have planned it better myself, gwahaha.)

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So yes, the present-opening was definitely the main event, but we did a few other things as well. There was also a onesie decorating station that we set up in the kitchen (which was SO much fun, and if you have/host a baby shower, you should absolutely do this).

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The guests decorated onesies, and then at the end Jenny picked a winner (who got a small prize). Plus, now the baby has awesome, hand-crafted, personalized onesies to wear… for however long that fabric paint will last in the wash, hehehe.

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And as for the last activity…

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…I forced everyone to eat baby food. MWAHAHAHA. But at least I made it look pretty by putting them in nice glasses, and I only chose fruit flavors because I’m the nicest person ever. (Pear, Banana, and Apple, in case you were curious.) Also, the people who guessed right got a prize (a prize of Starbucks giftcards which, ironically, went to the two pregnant people at the shower who can’t really drink coffee, hahaha).

WHEW. Did you make through all of that? If so, congratulations. If not, you should know that this isn’t even all the photos that were taken that day. I actually managed to practice a smidgen of self-restraint so… you’re welcome. 🙂

I cannot wait for this little alien baby to join the world in March! I am gonna spoil the crap outta this kid. Because, you know, she’s definitely not spoiled enough already.

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Posted on Sep 24, 2012 in Dear Diary | 19 comments

B&B (& B… & B)

Saturday, 17 ladies climbed into a bus to celebrate the bachelorette AND birthday of the loverly Miss Anne P. B & B. Get it? (The second and third “B”s come into play later in the story…)

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The bride to be!

My older sister, Jenny, is Anne’s maid (matron?) of honor, and so is the one who organized the whole thing. The plan was to take in a couple of wineries as a group o’ ladies, and then head back to the house we met up at for a birthday barbecue that Anne’s fiance Matt was hosting!

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And SPEAKING OF MY SISTER… guess what?

Preggo Jenny!

I’m going to be an aunt!!! I shot this pic of her this weekend (after crying — er, twice — upon seeing her newly popped li’l baby bump) and then our brother worked some of his Photoshop magic to edit the sign. Her husband Dan wasn’t able to make the trip back to DC with her this time (they recently moved to Houston), so mentally I just superimpose him somewhere in the frame, hahaha. Little Baby Robinson (or, as Jenny so dotingly refers to him/her, “Blob”) is coming to the world in March!! Eeeeeep!!!!! 😀 So there you have it: the 2nd “B” stands for… BABY!

Oh, and remember this post about the birthday wine tour that we all went on for Jenny’s own 30th birthday? Well, as it turned out, the little minx tricked us all. She had JUST found out she was pregnant and didn’t want to tell anyone yet… so she FAKED all her wine tastings! None of us suspected a thing — we even caught her “drinking” on video! Tricksy, tricksy hobbitses sister. Deception must run in the Powell blood. Haha!

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Nope, I’m not excited to be an aunt. Not at all. I’m not going to spoil that baby rotten or anything. 😉

Okay, okay, back to the post at hand (I say as I wipe yet another round of happiness tears from my cheeks, keke). Unfortunately, we got off to a little bit of a late start, as the bus that was coming to pick us up broke down on the way to us (womp womp) and they had to send another one. So, the 1 PM kickoff got pushed to 2 PM, but eventually we were off!

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There was wine drinkage on the way to the wineries, obvi.

The first winery we hit up was called La Grange, in Haymarket, VA.

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The wines were good but the experience was kind of blah. There was a wedding going on at the same time, so the group-organizer-lady-person didn’t have a lot of time to pay attention to our group (which is understandable!). The wine was delicious though, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous.

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The woman of the hour(s) and me

After La Grange, we piled back into the bus and headed over to Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, VA. Now, here we definitely got our money’s worth!

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They gave us a private group tasting back in the fermenting room. Our tasting guide was super friendly and really knowledgeable AND we got to try unfiltered wines straight from the steel vats! They tasted like grape juice. Delicious, slightly fizzy, cloudy, amazing-tasting grape juice. Mmmmm.

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Several bottles of wine were purchased post-tasting, and eventually it was time to head home. We had a party to get back to, after all! Unfortunately, however, that’s when the night hit a bit of a snag…

Believe it or not, the bus that we had been riding on (the SECOND bus that the transportation company — Access Limousine, I do NOT recommend — had sent, let me remind you) BROKE DOWN. Right on the road outside the winery. We had to wait over 90 minutes for them to send another bus out to us (since we were almost an hour outside of DC) and take us back. It was definitely a huge bummer and a big break in the momentum of the day. Of course, we all tried to make the best of it!

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At least the scenery was beautiful!

So the third and final “B” stands for “bus”. Or “breakdown”. Or “bus breakdown”. The Pearmund Cellars people were SO nice and sympathetic to our plight. They gave use free crudite platters and let us chill on their porch until the rescue bus came. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to drink any of the wine we had just purchased due to county laws, but they were still very hospitable. The poor employees stayed until we left, sacrificing part of their own Saturday night so that we could have bathroom access!

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Finally, around 8 PM, the third (oy!) bus came to get us, and we arrived back at the BBQ just before 9. Granted, it was about 3 hours later than we had originalyl planned but all’s well that ends well! Hopefully Anne still had an amazing time — I know I was certainly thrilled to have been able to celebrate with her! We will all be reuniting at the wedding in less than 3 weeks, too. SO MANY THINGS HAPPENING!

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