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Posts from the ‘Lilly’ Category

Lilly Turns TWO!

My dear, sweet little pup turned two years old on Monday. Once again, Bella was there to celebrate with us. (Funny how she always happens to be staying with us when cake is involved?!?).

This year I went the DIY route, and baked up a puppy perfect birthday cake myself. (Recipe below). The pups went crazaaaaay for it. Definitely a hit.

bday girl Lilwaiting for new toynew toy dnabday playtimebday playtime2new toy2singing to Lil

lilly eating cake

This would be the one and only shot I would get of Lilly eating her cake. I use the term “eating” very loosely, as hoovering might be more appropriate. She gobbled it up, and I spent the next several minutes concerned that she was either going to choke, or throw it up. She did neither; but word to the un-wise… you might want to cut each slice into cubes (which I did on the following days). It is THAT delicious.

My homemade puppy birthday cake…

lils bday cake2

Lilly’s Pumpkin Peanut Butter Birthday Cake:

  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of vanilla extract

lils cake ingredsDSC_0673

Mix well, and spread in a greased (I used Spectrum Canola Spray) loaf pan.

Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 30-40 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely. Frost, if desired. (I cut this cake into 6 slices; you could definitely make the servings smaller depending on the size of your pup).

Quick Peanut Butter Puppy Frosting:

  • a few spoonfuls of nonfat plain yogurt
  • slightly less than equal amount of peanut butter

Blend together with hand-mixer until smooth and fluffy.

Happy Birthday to my darling girl!



(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

I’m here.

I’m alive.

I’m Mama to this cutie-patootie pup… (who never stops moving!)

lickin lilly

(I’m currently being swallowed up by my upcoming event this weekend… the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer – but I should be back tomorrow with a new post!)


Veg-Out & Booze It Up

As per my ritual, Saturday morning found me at the Farmers’ Market. I went a little nuts this week (everything looked so beautiful!) and spent about $45 (I think. Maybe it would be best if I just “forgot”). I spent $27 at one of my favorite vendors… Hinson Farms. (My other favorite farm is Carlea Farms). All of the vendors at the market are fantastic, but these two definitely get top billing in my book!

I normally only go to the market with about $30 in cash (plus my checkbook for must haves and meat!). However, flush with cash… I spent, spent, spent. I was paying with quarters by the time I dragged myself away. And here is what I came home with…

 market bounty

Two dozen farm-fresh eggs, cucumbers, edamame, romaine (3 heads), Cherokee purple tomatoes, peaches, Russian fingerling potatoes, purple and green bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, Japanese eggplant, and a small honeydew melon.

cherokee purpleseggsedamamepepperspeaches

After the vet and car ordeal, I popped into the ABC store to restock some of our favorites and scope out some new finds…


Lunch was simple sandwich of guacamole, tomato and pepper jack cheese on Great Harvest Honey Whole Wheat (the heels), with a few sweet potato chips. And then… then we napped. Food coma!

saturday lunch

Lilly napped as well… she was worn out from her exciting vet visit!

mopeypants with bunny

When we arose, I got to work in the kitchen (again – and always!)

First, I macerated some fresh strawberries in Limóncello. This is a summertime favorite of ours!

limoncello berries

Then, it was cocktail time! I purchased Skinnygirl Margarita for the first time. I am a huge fan of Bethenny, and thought this was definitely worth a try! It was good… none too sweet – but of course, that’s how I like my margaritas! As I make a damn good one myself, this definitely will not be a staple in my house – but I think it is a good product, and I would love it if restaurants started carrying it!

skinnygirl marg

Dinner was a simple pesto pasta with sautéed veggies, drizzled in balsamic, on the side.

In the mix:

9 oz. whole wheat rotini

prepared pesto, to taste

15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Prepare your pasta, drain and stir in as much pesto as your little heart desires. Throw in your drained cannellini beans, and stir to heat through.

Topped with:

garden fresh cherry tomatoes

fresh parmesan cheese curls

pesto bean pasta

For dessert? Limóncello strawberries, of course!

strawbs with limon



Saturday morning we took Lilly to the vet. For the past couple of weeks she has been gnawing on her feet. This is a new thing, and not something I’ve ever seen her do. I first noticed it the day after I returned home from Illinois, and thought that perhaps it had been a stress reaction to my being gone (who loves her mama!?!). But, a week later it had only gotten worse, so I hit the Internet for answers… and what I came up with, was allergies. Allergies?! Now, I for one suffer from allergies. All the damn time. In fact, the past month or so, mine have been OUT OF CONTROL. But… allergies for Lilly… making her attack her feet? This was new to me. So… off to the vet we went.

Lilly's paw

Lilly will happily get in the car, but once we start to move, she doesn’t like it. She paces, she won’t sit down, she does her nervous yawning, etc. I want her to like the car. As of right now, she really does not.

For the journey there (which takes about 20 minutes), we tried a new doggie seatbelt for her. It did not go well. She was able to get herself all kinds of twisted up before we had even left the neighborhood. So much for that one.  I have a different seatbelt picked out and am going to order it later this week. We’ll give the whole concept another go. I’d really like her to be safe (and calm!) in the car. Hopefully the new one will be more comfortable and functional.

This is what riding in the car with Lilly feels like sometimes… Eeeeee!

crazy angie lilly car

Whenever we pull up to the vet office she is SO excited to get inside! She pulls on her leash in the parking lot like mad (something she NEVER does normally). She’s happy to be there, we think – but then she proceeds to act like a fraidy cat. She’s very cautious when meeting new people, (which I actually really appreciate), and she kept throwing us “why are doooooing this to me” glances, I swear!

waiting for dr

I went back with her to get weighed and we discovered she lost 4 lbs. since March. I guess a summer weight-loss? Fur weight loss? All of the above? I was a little concerned (10% weight-loss in  just a few months seems a bit extreme) but the vet assured us that her weight is “perfect”.

chill at vet

He looked at her paws, and indeed, diagnosed her with “allergies”. She’s going to be on Prednisone for the next week and a half – which will hopefully clear her issues up. If not, I guess we go back and try something else? Paws crossed we don’t have to.

lilly car

Do your pets like to ride in the car?

Have you ever had to deal with your pets having seasonal allergies?!?


Holiday Weekend Happenings

What a weekend it was! I had 3. 5 days off from work, and tried to make the best use of my free time and long weekend!

I cooked good food.

I cleaned and organized my house.

I played with my puppy.

I tended to my garden (bugs and all!)

I spent some quality time with my other half.

Some highlights…

Lilly Julyred white blue breadfarmers market basket fulltamale pie sliceenchilaswatermelon

mutant cukesromasichibansungoldscrazy wubba doglavenderpatio playrainbowdead bugstomatoes1DSC_0305Lilly's new gate

Come Saturday afternoon, I made a full dinner for a family that I had never met. I signed up to help out the Breen family with a meal for a couple of months, while Tonya is fighting cancer. I live locally, and it just seemed like the right thing to do. (Thanks again to Caitlin for sharing Tonya’s story!)

I had intended to snap a photo of the food I made for them, with handwritten ingredient tags, etc – but when it came down to it, I was more concerned with packing up and getting the food to them – rather than snapping pics. (Poor blogger = good person? Hee, hee). I took them a pan of Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas, salad with veggies fresh from my garden, my homemade Cilantro-Lime salad dressing, some fresh salsa from the Farmers’ Market and a batch of Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I figured even if Tonya and Kevin didn’t want to indulge in the cookies (they are trying to eat a semi-vegan diet), that their little boys might appreciate the sweet (healthy!) treat. Little did I know, that when we dropped the food off at their house, we would find a house FULL of people! It was a bit chaotic, but we did chat with Tonya for a few minutes, and we met her Grandmother, and the two boys. I received a nice message later that night from Kevin and Tonya, and apparently all EIGHT of them (6 adults and 2 kids) enjoyed our dinner. I was thrilled that they were able to feed their unexpected dinner company with our meal, as I had been a little concerned when we left! But I had made a large amount of food, figuring in that situation, leftovers would probably have been appreciated, as well. Thankfully it all worked out. Now I just have to figure out what to make them for dinner in August…

Monday night, the rain and storms drove us inside to cook out dinner (we had planned to grill the burgers and corn). We cooked our local grass-fed beef burgers in a skillet, and they were still tasty. Come dessert time, we braved what were merely sprinkles at that time, to make S’mores! These were Tristan’s first s’mores ever – can’t you believe the man got to be 33 years old without ever having a s’more? Shocking! We set our marshmallows ablaze and got to work assembling them.


They were even better than I remembered! A rare treat!

Having graham crackers reminds me of how much I love them – but I don’t like the ingredients in store-bought crackers. I must try to make my own! And soon!

We saw a few fireworks from the comfort of our living room… and let me just say – Lilly is NOT a fan. What she IS a fan of, however… is watermelon! Can you tell?!?!

Masala Pancakes

Well, not exactly.

This past weekend I made two of my most favorite things to eat…  my classic (whole wheat) pancakes, and what I like to call Chana Spinach Masala. (Which is, incidentally, the best Indian food I have ever made at home, to date. And I have made a lot! Holy yum).

chana masala

Chana Spinach Masala


The pancakes have been a favorite for a while now, and are only made better by the addition of pumpkin puree, blueberries, or chocolate chips… etc. This batch was just straight up basic-style, with maple syrup, raw sliced almonds and unsweetened coconut on top. Divine!


My Favorite Pancakes


Recipes to come, for these and more, so check back! (By Monday, hopefully).

I am working hard on my recipe page, and plan to post:

  • English Muffins
  • My Favorite Pancakes
  • Chana Spinach Masala
  • Cilantro Lime Dressing
  • Granola Muffin Bars
  • Broccoli Salad with Yogurt Dressing
  • Beany Tuna Salad

… and much more!

Has anyone ever frozen sautéed greens before? I still have collards galore, and have reached the time where I MUST take them out of my garden, to make room for spring/summer crops. I was thinking I could cook them up, and freeze them to use later in quiches and casseroles, at the very least. Think it would work?

collards garden

Collards from my garden


I think it’s supposed to be a nice spring weekend… and I hope to get a lot accomplished outside. Tristan and I have dubbed Thursday, “Crap-Friday”, and I am thrilled that it is Crap-Friday no longer! Tomorrow I’m off to the Farmer’s Markets, as per usual… and plan to fit in plenty of playtime with this one here, too…

lil play

My little monkey



Blog Bake Sale!

Interested in helping out a good cause, and getting something delicious/pretty/or for your pup in the process?

Check out Sweet Tater’s bake sale on her blog tomorrow, Thursday 3/3.  It’s being held to help raise some last-minute money to help Katie (Sweet Tater) get her butt to Nicaragua in order to do some wonderful things for the people in a small remote community there. She’ll be living in a hammock for a week, and bathing in a river! Bless her. You can read more about her trip here.

Check out her site for a preview of the goodies that will be available tomorrow. You can even find Lilly’s favorite Crunchy Peanut Butter Pumpkin dog treats, homemade by yours truly!

My homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats



Loving Lilly

I wanted to post this last weekend, but I was too busy dying. I’m still sick, but with moments of lucidity thrown in for good measure. In fact, I now have a horrible cold on top of everything else (thanks Medrol Dospak!), and am scheduled for a CT scan tomorrow. Funzies.

Last weekend (February 6th, to be exact!) was our 1 year anniversary of adopting Lilly. And yet, I have try reaaaaaally hard to try to remember a time when we didn’t have her. Oh wait, come to think of it, there was a time that I didn’t feel the urge to vacuum  Every. Single. Day.

Here was our first glimpse of the lovely little one that was going to WORM her way into our hearts.

This was her photo on the Humane Society website that I fell in love with immediately. I looked at it every day for a week, and then fretted about someone else adopting her before we could get there on the weekend. Her name at the Humane Society was “Precious”… which… ick. While she was indeed precious, I am not that girl. So we hemmed and hawed trying to think of an appropriate name for her. We tried lots of Irish place names (as we had taken a trip to Ireland together not long before), but those only seem to work for boys, not girls. Hrmph. Then we thought about her coloring, and the fact that we had a trip to Greece in the pipeline for later that year (or so we thought – thanks Greek economy! Tis okay though, we ended up in Jamaica that fall. Not too shabby).

We settled on Lillith, which means “Of the darkness” in Greek. It sounds kinda dark, I suppose. But then, T and I are kinda dark. Sometimes. Plus, she’s mostly black. It just works. And I’m allll about shortened nicknames, and have always loved the name Lilly. So, Lilly she is.  

The day we met her, is the day we brought her home. We went to visit her, played with her in the playyard, went to lunch while our application was being reviewed, found out we were approved, came back and took her home the same afternoon. It was all so quick! She shivered and shook on the way home in the backseat with me, and I fell a little bit more in love with her.

Here is a photo from the day we brought her home. This is outside in our front yard, she hadn’t even been inside the house  yet…

Checking out me and my camera

First bath!

Throughout the year we’ve had a lot of fun watching her grow… playing in the snow… nosing around in my garden, playing with her pool, making new friends, and destroying LOTS of toys. Thankfully, toys are all she really ever destroys. (But seriously if my 44 lb Aussie can destroy the EXTREME KONG, wtf do other bigger dogs chew/play with!?!?!)

She was so tiny!

In the snow, February 2010

In the snow, December 2010

Trying out the pool, with Bella

March 2010

September 2010

I think she likes it here…

Stealing my side of the couch!

Mmmm, stick!

I think we’ll keep her.

We love her so.

Puppy kisses!



Boxing Day Blizzard!

Okay, not *really* a blizzard. But we woke up a beautiful snowy wonderland on December 26th. It was a LOT of snow for us in Charlotte, especially at the end of the year (our snow, if ever, usually comes in Jan-March). By my best estimations, we had about 3.5 inches.

I love snow.

I miss snow.

I grew up in central Illinois, and winter just isn’t winter, without some snow.  The Charlotte area doesn’t always agree with me (case in point, it was 67* yesterday!). I, however, like my seasons to be seasons.

Needless to say, I was thrilled when I woke up early on Boxing Day to discover our backyard covered in fluffy white clouds of snow! I headed out asap with my camera, and instructed Tristan to keep Lilly inside until I had some good shots. I knew once she was set loose in the backyard, things would never be the same.

I snapped photos of the trees, the fence, my garden… the snow was very wet, and fell at an angle so there were all sorts of lovely little drifts here and there. I loved the way it stuck to every crevice of our fence…


We let Lilly loose and played for what seemed like hours! She was hilarious to watch, running around, pawing at the snow drifts. She found her ball buried under the snowfall at some point. This was not her first snow… she experienced it for the first time back in March when she was just a wee pup. I wonder if she remembered it? By the way, I think she ate her body weight in snow this time!

Don’t be a stranger, snow. Come again soon!


‘Tis the Season…

… for picking out our Christmas tree! We are planning on getting a tree tomorrow, and decorating it (and the house) on Sunday. I love finding one that is just right! I adore getting a real tree, and that is definitely a benefit of living in NC – gorgeous local trees. Is there anything better than a Fraser Fir? Not for me.

I have a new concern this year, however…

How is this…

"Mom, I promise I'll be good".


Going to deal with this…?

Our 2009 Christmas tree, pre-Lilly.


This will be Lilly’s first Christmas, and I honestly don’t know. I just hope she isn’t obsessed with it, and that she doesn’t try to knock it down! I’ve already decided that none of the super-important ornaments will be on the bottom half of the tree this year, just in case. Who knows, maybe it won’t phase her at all? (*fingers crossed*). However, I’m certain the presents under the tree will be a constant temptation for her. I hear a lot of “no” and “gentle” in my future.