Things I couldn’t live without in August.

I’ve have to admit that I love when vloggers and bloggers put up a list of monthly favorites. At first I found the entire thing a bit silly but then I found myself watching them and then clicking to watch/read the previous months favorites and then fell down a virtual wormhole of favorites dating back three years and decided that I probably didn’t need that really popular nail polish from September 2011.

ANYWAY, I love reading them and it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps somebody would like to read mine! I’ve kept the list short and sweet. If you post your favorites on a monthly basis (YOU TOTALLY SHOULD SO I CAN READ IT!), leave a comment in case I don’t have your blog in my feed reader so that I can see what your favorite things are too!

august favorites

1. Coconut Body Scrub by 100% Pure $28.00 – I wandered into this store when shopping with Cassidy and my little brother because the smell when I walked by was DIVINE. We spent time smelling pretty much every item in the store but trying to be good I made myself choose ONLY ONE to buy. I love all things coconut so I brought this home then it sat on the bathtub for almost a month before I finally used it. OMG this stuff is AMAZEBALLS! The list of ingredients speaks for itself. It’s all organic, vegan and full of amazing oils. My legs and arms get VERY VERY dry from shaving and being out in the sun. So much so that I often apply lotion at LEAST twice a day. After using this I can go two full days without ever having to apply lotion. I can not recommend it highly enough!

2. Runkeeper Website and Mobile App FREE! – I’ve actually been using this application since September 2009 and after trying several different run apps, I keep coming back. So far it’s GPS has been incredibly accurate, I like that I can set reminders to motivate myself and set specific goals (right now my goal is to run 100 miles before the end of the year!). I also love that I can look back on runs, walks and bike rides to see how far I’ve grown in my fitness goals. And plays really well with Facebook.

3. Vitamix 5200 Blender $479.95 on Amazon but I got it for FREE! – My mom didn’t like that it didn’t fit under her counter with the lid on (it doesn’t fit under ours either but I’ll DEAL) so she gave it to us and ordered herself a smaller version. This thing is amazing so far. I’ve wanted one for YEARS but our Kenmore blender, that Ben has had for over 12 years now, worked and we don’t generally replace appliances unless they die or it’s a gift. There were many days I stared at that damn Kenmore blender and willed it to DIE ALREADY but it just kept on going. Ben has been using the Vitamix it for his shakes every day and I’ve been trying lots of different green smoothie recipes and all it’s worked perfectly. LOVE IT. It will straight up liquefy some spinach in less than 20 seconds.

4. GU Energy Gel $31.50 for a box of 24 – For several of my afternoon runs I was just EXHAUSTED before I started (getting up at 4:00AM every day will do that) and it was really showing in my endurance. Ben suggested eating one of these gels about 15 minutes before the run and the difference is VERY CLEAR. I have more than enough endurance and energy to make it through the run feeling strong. I bought a bunch of different flavors and so far my two favorites are Salted Caramel and Espresso Love. As my runs get longer I can see keeping one in my pocket to re-energize during the run but I’m not there… YET.

4. Island Coconut Soy Scented Candle from Target $5.00 for a small or $10.00 for a large – Again with the coconut love. It’s been one of my favorite scents FOREVER. I bought several of these soy scented candles in the small jars from Target to try the different scents and the coconut is the one I keep lighting. It’s currently sitting on the ledge in front of me at my computer and I light it whenever I sit down in the loft. Even Ben has commented that he likes the smell and he’s generally not a coconut fan. I’d say it’s had about 8 hours of burn time now and it’s about half gone which isn’t bad. I also keep the lid off if it when not in use and it continues to release the scent.

DISCLOSURE: I have no material relationship to any brand mentioned in this post. All items listed were purchased with my own money or given to me by my crazy mother who gets nothing in return from this review other than a really happy daughter and some brownie points.

My daughter is a stoner.

Sunday: Cassidy has odd abdominal pain. It’s on the left so I’m not too worried. Give her medicine, assume it’s period pain, continue on with day. Then she pees blood and I’m like yeah, to Urgent Care we go! The doctor we get is kind of a tool and doesn’t really listen to anything I say and blows it off as dehydration even though I told her SEVERAL TIMES that I’ve been hospitalized for dehydration more than once and this was NOT dehydration pee, it was BLOODY urine. They take urine… and don’t test for blood. Tells us that since her pain is only a 2/10 to go home, take some over the counter pain pain meds and see how it goes.

Monday: Cassidy is fine, I am fine, Ben is fine. EVERYBODY IS FINE. Well, not totally true. Cassidy is sunburned because she went to band camp and was in the sun for 10 hours straight. I spread an entire branch of aloe on her over the course of the evening.

Tuesday: I’d been at work for three hours when Cassidy calls me frantic and in tears and YOU NEED TO COME GET ME RIGHT NOW I AM IN SO MUCH PAIN IT’S A NINE OUT OF TEN, MOM! COME NOW!. I get to the school. She’s down to a 6/10 but she’d thrown up right before I got there.

We go to back to Urgent Care but Cassidy’s pain is only about a 2/10 at this point. We get a doctor that KICKS ASS. She’s not going to let us leave without some kind of diagnosis. She gets a urine sample right away and collects some blood then has us sit in the waiting room to wait for results. 10 minutes later Cassidy is hunched over in pain and throwing up with 7/10 pain.


Doctor calls us back into an exam room and tells us that since Cassidy is having this random pain and nausea she just wants us to go upstairs for a CT scan and an ultrasound while we wait for blood and urine results. Cassidy has the CT scan, we go right next door and they prep her for the ultrasound but just as the tech starts to check her kidney we get a knock on the door and the nurse says don’t bother ultrasounding the kidneys, just check for ovarian cysts. I’m not sure if this means they already found NOTHING in the kidney or SOMETHING in the kidney.

Head back to Urgent Care and the doctor says, “SURPRISE! You still have blood in your urine and the CT scan shows that you have two kidney stones! One is traveling (all the pain) and one is still in the kidney.” She made us an immediate appointment to see the Urologist so back upstairs we went for that appointment. Of course, by that time Cassidy had NO pain so he made her do an X-Ray to make sure that the stone didn’t pass after all the ultrasound prep water was evacuated. Nope, it was still there!

The doctor explains that the stone is large enough that it qualifies for laser lithotripsy OR we can wait for it to pass on it’s own. When he told Cassidy that could take 2 days to 2 weeks, she immediately said THAT LASER THING PLEASE! So he sent her home with a funnel she had to use every time she peed just in case it came out before her surgery on Thursday.

Six hours after we originally got to Urgent Care, we were on our way home. FINALLY.

Then the pain came back. So did the vomiting. I tried to give her the Vicodin and anti-nausea meds but she’d just throw them back up as soon as she took them. EVERYTHING came back up. The pain got to a 9/10 so I loaded her back up and we headed to the ER. We got there at midnight.


Wednesday: At the ER at Camino Hospital we got another KICK ASS doctor after no wait at all. She threw up on the way there in my car (I had taken a barf bag with me when we left Urgent Care, thank goodness). Then again in the waiting room. Then again when trying to change into her gown. They got her hooked up to an IV quickly and pushed an entire bag of fluids, some better anti-nausea medication and morphine into her in record time. They also gave her another drug that is supposed to help keep the ureters open so that things can flow more easily. I’m thinking this is what got us through the next two days.

We got home at 3:30AM and she slept for most of the rest of the day. At 11:00PM she ate dinner. Than at 11:30PM she ate again. Then at midnight she ate again. She and Ben stayed up pretty late watching movies and talking. I was exhausted so I went to bed.

Thursday: She slept till 11:59AM when I woke her up to take her last drink of water before surgery. She went right back to sleep till 2:15PM when we left for her surgery check in.


Her surgery was supposed to start at 4:15PM but they were running behind so it didn’t start till well after 5:00PM. The surgery went REALLY well. They were able to laser both the moving stone as well as the one that was in her kidney. She now has a stint that runs from her kidney all the way down her ureter to her bladder than has a string attached that come out her urethera. She has to pull that out on Tuesday morning which is also her first day of school! We tried to get video of her when she was still on the happy drugs from surgery but she just kept saying she had to pee and PLEASE FEED ME I AM SO HUNGRY OMG.


Friday: She slept a lot of the day but still had some pain and a lot of burning during urination. Because she’s on Norco now which is a REALLY strong drug, Ben and I have been in charge of giving her all her medicine so one of us has been with her pretty much non-stop since Tuesday. I even have a shared a google doc with him that I update whenever she gets any medication because TECHNOLOGY IS AWESOME. She slept most of the day with the adorable stuffed bear that was waiting for her at the house from Nana and Papa when she got home from surgery. She names him


Saturday (TODAY): She woke up with a 4 or 5/10 paid so I gave her some pain meds then went right back to sleep. She spent most of the day that way but is up and moving around now. Still lots of burning when she pees but I think it’s a downhill road from here.

FUTURE: LOTS of water! Less salt in her diet! NO MORE KIDNEY STONES.

PS – Post surgery poop talk blog: COMING SOON!

Rio Del Mar Beach

We took the dogs to the beach last Saturday. I’ve been wanting to do this for over a month but we had something EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND. so we were just never able to make it work out. Finally last weekend we got up early and got it done. It’s silly that we don’t go to the beach more since we have an entire coast line 40 minutes away from home but 1) I really fucking hate sand between my toes and 2) Once your kids are old enough to have a social life that doesn’t concern you it just seems to happen less. But we have DOGS! And dogs love the beach so I want to start going at least once a month till it gets too cold to throw a ball into the water for Kumo over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.


I was thinking on a quite stretch on the way home about all the random people you see on the beach at 8:00AM. The beach we take the dogs to, Rio Del Mar, is really popular for dog owners because when you leave the parking lot there is a sign which identifies the official end of the state park thus allowing all the off leash fun to be had for the dogs. So it’s mostly dog owners out there that early. A few joggers and then a few random old people. But mostly dog owners. Oh, and also a yoga class.

So in my head I categorized all the people and I thought, you know, this is something I should put on my blog as an excuse to show you how cute my dogs are while playing on the beach.

1) Dog owners who want their dogs to play. These are my favorites and as annoying as they are, I think that Ben and I fall into this category. We give Kumo and Danica the opportunity to meet all the dogs along the way. Sometimes they just sniff butts and move on (ASIDE: I found a really interesting YouTube video about why dogs sniff butts that you should totally watch because SCIENCE) but if your dogs are like ours, they instantly try to get your dogs to play with them. Especially Danica who thinks other dogs should just exist to chase her down the beach.


2) Dog owners who are all uptight and suck at life. My least favorite kind of dog owner. They think that all dogs except their dogs are stupid and when your dog tries to sniff their dogs butt they look at you as if you have personally violated their butthole with a hot poker and how dare your dog BE A DOG.

3) Old people with no dog that are mean and bitter and how the fuck can you be in a bad mood at the beach. There were two of these. One glared at Kumo even though Kumo never even looked in his general direction. I blame this on stupid pitbull stereotyping even though all Kumo was doing was chasing a ball through the waves looking ADORABLE. The second guy happened to walk by just as Danica crapped out all the ocean water we’d been trying to get her to stop drinking. We’ve REALLY been working on this with her but chick is seriously hooked on the stupid salty water and inevitably ends up crapping it all out in glorious fashion. Unfortunately we had no more poop bags because both dogs had already done the deed and it’s literally just clear ASS WATER that passed through her. So Ben and I shared nervous glaces like, “Are we supposed to just pick up this wet sand that’s two feet from the tide?” Then Mr. Crabby Pants walked by and shoved a poop bag into Ben’s hand because of course this guy with no dog carries poop bags on the beach. So Ben picked up sand and carried it around in a poop bag.

Happy dogs!

4) Adorable old people with no dogs who get the pure awesomeness of enjoying a beach walk. We came across two adorable old ladies laughing and carrying on as old adorable ladies do. Kumo went over to meet them and licked one of their hands then went off to chase a ball. The old lady that Kumo liked looked at me and said “Well, they’ll NEVER lose you in the dark!” Ben and I both cracked up and agreed because at the time I had on a hot pink tank top, neon orange shorts with neon purple piping and a bright peach hoodie. Like I do. Ben enjoyed relaying this story to Mel and Kim later at breakfast and there was more laughing. I’ve joked about this before because I LIKE COLOR OKAY STOP JUDGING ME but was so funny to hear it so bluntly from a random adorable stranger. That’s all she said. That one sentence. So much truth.

And just because it’s a Friday and I’ve had way too much coffee here is a throwback picture of our first trip to the beach with the dogs in 2010.

My Family. <3

An open letter to Caleb Reynolds from Big Brother 16.

An open letter to Caleb Reynolds from Big Brother 16.

I never really talk about my Big Brother obsession because not many of my friends actually watch the show but I just have to say something here because WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, MAN.

1st of all, Amber told you within a few days of entering the house that she liked you as a friend. Period. She flat out said that she didn’t think of you the way you think of her. That should have been the end of your made up “relationship” but somehow in your mind that registered as “she just doesn’t want to talk about it in front of cameras but she actually likes me”. No.


All the live feeders watched in disgust as you basically tricked her into going on a “date”. The level of uncomfortable from her for that hour was so horrible I actually had to stop watching after about 15 minutes and wasn’t able to come back to it for almost a full day because it made ME uncomfortable. PROTIP: When a girl tells you she doesn’t see you in a romantic light, don’t talk about how excited you are for your parents to meet, then talk about your wedding, then insist she go on a week long cruise with you after she’s just been forced to spend 90 days in a house locked up with your obsessive behavior.

The thing that finally prompted me to write this letter was your recent “game move”. Let me be clear. That “game move” was a classic case of mental/emotional ABUSE. Yes, ABUSE.

After 50+ days of putting up with your ridiculous obsession with her (seriously, taking her clothes to wear around the house and stealing her crap to sleep with at night is BEYOND creep, man) and she stopped talking to you altogether, you decided that you needed to “teach her a lesson”. So you told Frankie to put her on the block so she’d be “so scared she’d be forced to come running back to you”.

SERIOUSLY? If you ever manage to get a girl to go out with you outside that house I will be flabbergasted. Also, understand that FORCING a girl to do ANYTHING is pretty much the epitome of a fucking douchebag. If a girl stops talking to you then just LEAVE HER THE FUCK ALONE. Don’t play games and mentally screw with her to FORCE her to be nice to you again.

But thank you, I guess? My almost 16 year old daughter loves to watch the show with me and I’ve been able to use your behavior as a great example of the kind of guy you NEVER want to date EVER.

I actually did call him Mr. President a few times.

Friday of last week Ben called and asked me if I’d be interested in staying at the Presidential Suite of the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco for a night while he had to be there for company business. I agreed immediately as long as I didn’t have to call him Mr. President. Originally we were only supposed to stay on Tuesday night but last minute they needed him there a day early so we got to stay Monday and Tuesday night and OMG YOU GUYS! PRESIDENTIAL SUITE!

This was pretty much a once in a life time opportunity. The cost of this room PER NIGHT was almost TWICE our MONTHLY mortgage. It flabbergasts me that there are people that have that kind of money to spend and I certainly didn’t mind getting to pretend to be one for a few nights.

I didn’t get great shots of most of the suite because they were showing product in the downstairs portion that I couldn’t photograph but I got some the second night after they had cleaned all that up. I had SUCH a great time getting to explore San Francisco all on my own for the day but will save that for another post. For now, take a look at how the 1% live.

This is just inside the front door looking right. It’s one of two sitting rooms and farther back is the dining room.

Finally some pictures of the first floor of the Presidential Suite! They took all the product out tonight but left it kind of a mess from having people in and out all day. Still, this first floor is pretty much the size of our first floor at home.

Here is the same room standing across from the front door. The door on the right is a half bath and the door on the left is kind of a “butlers kitchen”. Seriously.

The bag on the table contains a piece of pecan pie and a gigantic chocolate chip cookie. Just saying.

Finally some pictures of the first floor of the Presidential Suite! They took all the product out tonight but left it kind of a mess from having people in and out all day. Still, this first floor is pretty much the size of our first floor at home.

Here’s the dining room which was kind of a mess because Ben’s coworkers and a bunch of reviewers had been in and out all day long. That window on the left had a great view of The Metreon where we are always going to see IMAX movies and the Moscone Center where Apple likes to announce all it’s fun new toys!

Finally some pictures of the first floor of the Presidential Suite! They took all the product out tonight but left it kind of a mess from having people in and out all day. Still, this first floor is pretty much the size of our first floor at home.


This is the living room, bar, and front door. Behind me is the stairs to the only bedroom.

Finally some pictures of the first floor of the Presidential Suite! They took all the product out tonight but left it kind of a mess from having people in and out all day. Still, this first floor is pretty much the size of our first floor at home.

Here are the stairs and the massive window that I spent HOURS staring out.

Finally some pictures of the first floor of the Presidential Suite! They took all the product out tonight but left it kind of a mess from having people in and out all day. Still, this first floor is pretty much the size of our first floor at home.

And here is the bedroom. It was FABULOUS! We spent quite a bit of time laying in bed and staring out the window not quite believing that we were actually there in that room.


And lastly, the bathroom. THE BATHROOM. Apparently the 1% like warm butt showers.




So there ya go! I still can’t believe we had the opportunity to stay there for FREE and I’m glad that I’ve been better lately about not WORRYING (work, dogs, Cassidy) and saying YES to things that I’d normally pass by because of all those silly things that will totally work themselves out. Work isn’t going anywhere (I have 180 HOURS of PTO!) and Cassidy is more than capable at 15 (almost 16 OMG) of taking care of the dogs for two days while we are gone. When I was her age I was staying home for longer times alone with a dog, cats, AND a 6 year old little brother to take care of!

I’ve dropped about 12,039,429,348 hints to Ben to try and get more chances to do demos and go to trade shows so that I can tag along more. There is one in Spain that I’d LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE if he were able to go because work would pay for his ticket and hotel room and all we’d have to pay for is my ticket! YES PLEASE! Fingers crossed!