Thursday, December 7, 2017

Procrastination Recipe: Sick Day Soup

The past few days, feeling unwell, all I wanted was soup. But not canned soup. I craved a really hearty, healthy soup. So tonight I decided to finally make it. My body needed it. And while I still feel like poop my tummy is full.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Chalet: I'm Falling Apart But The House Looks Great

To quote Leslie Knope, "Everything hurts and I'm dying." Last week my throat started hurting akin to the start of something flu-ish. But then after two days it went away... kind of. Then Sunday I did something maybe while loading bricks into the bed of my truck, pulled a muscle? in my side along my third rib from front to back, where every position I sit, stand, lay it hurts. So pretty much I'm dying. It was nice knowing you.

Yesterday was my father's birthday, so I made brownies for him, and my sister popped over with a card and in a miraculous turn of events she let me take a photo with her. And she sort of smiled! I don't think you quite realize how rare this actually is. It's like spotting a unicorn. The puppy ears and noses maybe helped.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Chalet: Countertops, Baby

Let's talk about Tuesday. I was so excited to be at the house on Tuesday because the new garage door was supposed to be installed as well as the kitchen countertops. I was giddy with excitement. And then no one showed up. When my dad finally got a hold of the garage door people in the afternoon the guy said they'd gotten the wrong size door and would have to reorder it. Here's just a little note on that. If you realize you've made a mistake then you call your customer as soon as you realize and explain the situation and fix it. Do not wait for the customer to call you and ask what's going on. You will not get repeat business if you can't get your job done properly. Don't even get me started on our MIA roofers.

But before we move on to what did get done, let me just share this pic from evening looking into the family room. During the day it's too bright to get a good shot looking in at the room, but I happen to stay late enough yesterday to catch a look in from outside. It's still a work in progress, but I wanted to share this angle with you. It's going to be a really big, really lovely family room. And now that I'm thinking about it, this room is probably bigger than my whole apartment...


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday

Welcome to #GivingTuesday!

Maybe you got up super early on Friday morning (or just never went to bed on Thursday) to shop for deals at your favorite stores. Maybe you also spent yesterday online scoring major deals for yourself (guilty) and family and friends. And now it's Tuesday and your chance to give back.

Below I've highlighted some of my favorite non-profits that could use help today but also all year round. They all have a special place in my heart so please consider giving to them today, or looking for other charities that are near and dear to you.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

*Photo from

My dream vacation would be a safari. I've warned my bestie that when we eventually go I will likely just cry the entire time, I'll be so happy. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy would be part of that dream. If you don't follow them on Instagram you absolutely should. Every time I scroll past a picture of a group dining outside with wildlife in the distance I have to pause. It's just spectacular. But preservation and conservation costs money - employing armed rangers and their tracking dogs. If you would like to donate to their cause you can click here. 

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Adopt an Orphaned Elephant
*Photo from

I am mildly obsessed with The DSWT. Okay, legitimately obsessed. I don't remember how many years ago I became aware of Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick and the amazing place she has created and nurtured but I am just smitten with the green-jacket wearing keepers and their tiny charges.
If you follow their Instagram then you've seen many rescues of orphaned elephants and the process of trying to bring the scared baby back to health and happiness in the fold of other orphans. I think what gets me the most is when a graduate from the program brings back her new baby to be shown off. It's too much for me. I typically end up misty when I see those posts. Follow them on Instagram for adorable baby heffalumps wearing wee blankets, and donate here. Also, if you're a family member of mine, consider donating to them as a gift to me.

Villalobos Rescue Center

*Photo from

Do you watch Pitbulls & Parolees on Animal Planet? One New Year's Day a few years ago there was a marathon on. I've been watching since day one but I had it on anyways and my mom and sister started watching. I left to go pick a friend up from the airport, came back a few hours later, and my mom and sister were still watching. I'm telling you, the show is addictive. 
Villalobos started in California but a few years ago moved to New Orleans. Through a warehouse and multiple sites outside of the city, they rescue mostly pitbulls (but also other breeds). Run by Tia Maria Torres and her family, which has grown considerably over the years, they strive to rescue and adopt out all of their charges. Click here to donate, or purchase something from their store here. It costs $8,000 A DAY to run the rescue. Their vet bill is astronomical, mostly because the dogs they rescue are almost always heart worm positive and heart worm treatment is not cheap. So anything you can give helps. 

While I'm only highlighting three charities today, there are so many more in desperate need of your help. If you want to help, this is a good place to start. You can search to find organizations near you or around the globe. Remember, every little bit helps. So be a part of #GivingTuesday.

~ Stephanie

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Chalet: What Once Was New

I hope you had a lovely holiday long-weekend with family and friends. I made way too much food and ate way too much food and regret nothing. 

I spent Friday painting wall trim in the bedrooms in preparation for the carpets going in soon. My sister came and kept me company, so that was nice. Then Saturday I painted the trim below, which will frame the sliders while my dad worked on the family room in the basement. Then we went to pick out lights for over the kitchen island, as well as the dining room and living room. They are rustic and lovely and I can't wait to see them installed.

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