Friday Five

Friday, March 17, 2017

One – Blog Refresh


Away She Went has a new look! I purchased the template from 17th Avenue Designs and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I love how clean and simple it looks now. I also created a new travel page and organized all of my posts by country and then by specific location. I think everything should be working now, so if you see something wonky on the blog, please let me know.



Two – The Wire


Adam and I have been watching The Wire on HBO GO and it’s SO good. He’s seen it before, but I haven’t and I’m loving it. Right now we’re on the third season (there are 5 seasons). It’s set in Baltimore and focuses mainly on law enforcement trying to get a handle on drugs in the city. However, each season introduces a new Baltimore institution into the storyline - Season 2 was the seaport system, season 3 is city government/bureaucracy, I think season 4 is the school system and season 5 is the media.  It’s from the early 2000s so obviously the technology is a little dated, but the storyline and characters are so good.



Three – Thrift Find


My parents came to visit a couple weekends ago and my mom and I spent the day thrift shopping while my dad and Adam went to a spring training game. This striped sweatshirt was my favorite find. I got it at Savers for $6.99. I love it, but Phoenix is quickly getting too hot for sweatshirts so I don’t think I’ll get much wear out of it until the fall.  I couldn’t find the exact same one online, but this sweatshirt is similar if you like the style.



Four – To Kill a Mockingbird


Last June, on my 30th birthday (and golden birthday), I created a list of 30 things that I wanted to do in my 30th year. One of those items was to read 3 classic novels. A few months ago I found a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird at Goodwill. Like most of you, I read it in high school, but I don’t really remember it and I’m sure I mostly just skimmed. I’ve always loved to read, just not what others tell me to read.
Anyway, I finished reading it last week and it was so, so good. I’ll be honest, I thought it was going to be overrated. I know people love it, but do they really or are they just trying to sound well-read? No, they really do love it because it’s amazing. Atticus Finch is one of the best fictional characters of all time. If you’ve never read it or like me, haven’t read it since high school, I highly recommend adding it to your list.



Five – DietBet


Have you heard of DietBet? It’s a weight loss challenge website where you can bet money that you’ll lose a certain amount of weight in a set time frame. At the end of the challenge, everyone who met the goal splits the prize pot. For example, I signed up for the kickstarter challenge. The goal is to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks. I joined Just Brandi’s (aka Mama Laughlin) challenge and it starts on March 27th. The prize pool is over $20,000 and there’s still time to join if you’re interested. I’m curious to see if it ends up being motivating or not…


I hope you all have a great St. Patrick's Day and a wonderful weekend. What do you have planned? We’re going to Las Vegas for Adam’s nephew’s 2nd birthday. We’re excited to see everyone and get away for a couple days.


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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links where applicable. 



Pinned It, Made It #2

Thursday, March 2, 2017

About six months ago my friend Michelle and I decided that we wanted to start making some of the projects that we’ve been pinning, so we started a monthly craft night. I shared our first three projects a few months ago (see them here) and today I’m sharing our most recent crafts.

In November we made ornaments for Christmas. We made block ornaments, wood slice ornaments, and clay ornaments. These pins were our inspiration: wood block snowmen, Harry Potter, A+S, Snow Place Like Home, snowman wood slice, and chalkboard wood slices. Mine are on the right.



I hung most of my ornaments on our Christmas tree, but I also used a few while I was wrapping presents. They were such a fun addition to the gifts. I ended up liking the heart shaped 'love' one so much that kept it out after Christmas and it now hangs on the hutch in the dining room.



We skipped December because of the holiday madness (well, actually we made fudge), but started back up in January. Our January project was a pair of large wood tags. We had originally planned to make them reversible, but ran out of time. I was planning to do one side for Valentine’s Day and one side for St. Patrick’s Day. Michelle was going to do one side Dr. Who and the other side Star Trek.



Even though we didn’t finish both sides, I still love how they turned out. I used these instructions to cut the tags and we used this method for the lettering. It worked well for the shamrock, but I had a hard time with the lettering. I saw later that some people use paint pens and I think that would be SO much easier than a brush. 



Last weekend we planned a last minute craft night and decided to make home signs. I picked this Home Sweet Home design from Where the Smiles Have Been (she provided the cut file for free) and Michelle picked this cat design from the Silhouette store.



We had few issues with the vinyl and Silhouette, but we’re still happy with how they turned out. Other than the wreaths we made for our first craft, this sign will probably get the most use.



For our next craft night (end of March) we are going to make either these signs for Easter or these posts for our front porch. Probably the Easter sign so we have enough time to display it before the holiday passes.



What’s the last thing you’ve made from your pins? How did it turn out? If you have any favorite projects for us to try, leave them in the comments!



Travel Tuesday: Sonoma Wine Tour

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

While we were planning our trip to San Francisco, we knew we wanted to spend one of the days exploring wine country. My mom and I aren’t huge wine drinkers, but we both enjoy an occasional glass of wine...especially on vacation!

We were staying in San Francisco and didn’t have a rental car, so we had to find a tour group. I did a lot of research and we ended up taking the Sonoma Valley Wine Country Tour with Green Dream Tours and it was excellent. I would HIGHLY recommend using that company if you ever go. Our driver/guide Mark was funny and informative…everything about the tour was just so great. It’s $134/adult, but that includes all of the tasting fees ($45) and lunch. We definitely thought it was a good value and worth every penny!



Our first stop was at Robledo Family Winery, which is the first winery established by a former Mexican migrant worker. The family owns acres all throughout wine country and they sell most of their fruit to other wineries. As you can tell by the name, it’s a family business so everyone that helped us was a member of the Robledo family. It’s a great atmosphere and we enjoyed their wine. It was funny to see how much friendlier everyone on the tour was after the first wine tasting.



The next winery we visited was Larson Family Winery. I was really excited to visit this winery because they have 3 labs…they even have a wine (Three Lab Cab) named after them! By this point of our trip I was missing my doggies and home so I was excited to rub some lab bellies. In addition to the wine, we also tasted their Three Lab Chocolate Sauce and Chardonnay Wine Brittle.



We really enjoyed the wine plus the extras (I think this was my favorite stop). I ended up buying the chocolate sauce and wine brittle to take home. The chocolate sauce is AMAZING on vanilla ice cream. Anyway, we also ate lunch here. Our driver/guide picked up our lunch from a local deli while we were at the last stop. We ate outside at the picnic tables and it was pretty perfect, plus I got to pet all of the labs!



Our next stop was the town of Sonoma. We had an hour to shop and explore the square. We ended up buying some chocolate at a local shop and enjoyed ice cream at Sweet Scoops. From there we drove to our third and last winery, Nicholson Ranch.



Nicholson Ranch was a great last stop for the tour. The winery is in a beautiful area and has amazing views from the terrace, plus the weather was perfect (we were there in mid-September). After spending some time relaxing on the patio with our wine, we hopped back in the van and headed back to San Francisco. We had such a fun day in Sonoma and I would highly recommend visiting wine country if you are ever in that area.



MummyTravels “Inspire


 

Meet Macey – Our 2nd Foster Dog

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Technically you all met Macey as part of January’s Friday Five post, but I figured she deserved a proper introduction. So, meet our new foster dog Macey:


Our first foster dog Lilly left at the end of November and we were planning to take a break from fostering for a bit…but then the rescue sent me a picture of a pitiful pup and we’re suckers for a sad dog face, so here we are…We got Macey on January 11th and will have her until late March/early April. She was found as a stray and was on death row at Maricopa County Animal Control for being fearful.



Macey is about a year old and is a very playful pup. Well, now she is…when we got her she was SO skinny, had a pretty bad cough, and was very skittish. I’ll be honest, those first couple days were rough. We had to follow her around with paper towels wiping up phlegm all day long. She wasn’t house broken and was scared of the doggie door, so we ended up cleaning up a lot of accidents too (plus wash all of the bedding when she peed on the bed – thank God for waterproof mattress covers). Luckily the cough cleared up in less than a week and our brave little toaster started using the doggie door after a few days. Although she still has a random accident about once a week…I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s been days with no accident so hopefully she’s got it all figured out now.



She’s super sweet and cuddly, but is also very playful and full of energy. She is REALLY fast and loves running around like crazy at the dog park. She also loves playing with toys and tug of war. Seriously, that girl is tug of war obsessed. She is also obsessed with the Wobble Wag Giggle ball that Ringo got for Christmas. It’s the most annoying toy ever, but it keeps her occupied so we call it a necessary evil.



Unfortunately, Ringo and Abby are not huge fans of Macey. Abby wants nothing to do with her. Ringo will play a little, but he usually ends up getting mad that she won’t stop messing with him. I think she is just too hyper for them. So we’ve been dealing with lots of little spats between the dogs, but nothing too bad. We haven’t had any huge fights and it’s nothing like the one stressful day we had with our first foster attempt Gonzo. We briefly talked about finding a different foster for her, but we don’t think moving her to yet another home would be good for her. Ringo and Abby will just have to deal with an annoying little foster sister for another month. Of course if things start to escalate between the dogs, we’ll have to reconsider based on what’s best for everyone. We definitely don’t want anyone getting hurt.



As I mentioned earlier, Macey is set to leave late March/early April. We are fostering through the same rescue group as before – Mountain Girl Transport Rescue. Mountain Girl Transport Rescue saves e-listed Chihuahuas, pit bulls, and fearful dogs in Arizona and transports them to no-kill shelters in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. There’s less of a supply/more of a demand in those areas vs. overpopulated Arizona (Maricopa County is the second-largest shelter system in the country and has one of the highest kill rates).


Anyway, she’ll be on the next transport (the February one left last week) and I’m hoping it’ll be easier for us the second time. Adam and I did not do well when we dropped Lilly off for her transport. I sobbed the entire drive home (like 45 minutes). Adam held it together until we pulled into the driveway. We got out of the car and just held each other crying. We had a hard couple of days. I’m hoping that now that we know what to expect it’ll be easier. Plus we know Macey isn’t a good fit for our family in the long run, so hopefully that’ll help too…yeah, I’ll still probably cry.


(look at that drool bubble!)

I know not everyone is able to foster, but there are other ways you can help. Volunteers and donations are always needed. If you don’t already support a rescue organization, please consider donating to the current transport. The February transport left Arizona last week and arrived in Northern Washington over the weekend. There were 50 dogs on that transport and all of them have been placed with adopters or fosters. Donations are still needed for the return trip (you can donate here). You can also learn more about MGTR by checking out their Facebook page. If you want to see some the rescue dogs in their happy homes, check out their rescue partner PB&CHI’s Facebook page.



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