Carrot Dogs and a Celebration

On labor day, we “grilled” carrot dogs.  I saw the recipe in Shape magazine and clipped it a while back, because it sounded interesting.   (For the record, I don’t know why I receive Shape, but somehow I have been receiving since we lived in Twinsburg).  I didn’t have high hopes, but I figured I would give it a try just for fun. You basically boil carrots, let them sit overnight in a marinade, and then cook them in a pan.  After I made the marinade, my hands smelled just like hot dogs.  It was crazy.   They turned out much tastier than I thought.  Drew and Newton enjoyed them as well, so we will probably make them again.  Here is the recipe if anyone wants to give it a try.


Carrot Dogs

4 carrots (washed and ends cut off)

4 T chicken stock

3 T soy sauce

1 garlic clove (minced)

1/2 inch piece of ginger (chopped fine)

2 T white vinegar

2 t liquid smoke

3 t brown sugar

Simmer the carrots in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain and place them in ice water.  Mix together remaining ingredients for the marinade.  Place carrots in a shallow dish with marinade and let sit overnight.  Saute carrots in 1 teaspoon of oil for 10 minutes on medium-high heat.  Turn carrots frequently and drizzle with marinade as they cook.  Place in buns (I recommend higher quality buns) and top with ketchup and mustard.  Enjoy!

Drew took vacation this week so we could get lots of yard work done.  A few weeks ago, one of our trees lost a huge limb during one of the many storms.  Our yard also flooded repeatedly.  To prevent future floods, we (read mainly Drew) has been putting in some drainage pipes.  Here is a preview of the progress so far.


Newton is greatly enjoying all the dirt.  If you look close enough, you can see it on his tongue.


As a break from all the yard work, we went on a 10 mile bike ride to downtown to celebrate.  We have been talking about eating lunch at Wildwood Market for months.  Each day they feature one sandwich and one salad.  Today’s sandwich creation was smoked brisket, kale dressed with smoky sauce, caramelized leek dressing, and cheddar cheese spread on a pretzel bun.  So yummy and totally worth the bike ride.


We ended lunch by going down the street to Amelia’s for big cookies :D, but while we were eating our cookies, the tube in my back tire popped :(.  Luckily, we were able to catch the bus back home.  It was our first time on the bus, and the bus driver was super nice and helped us secure our bikes to the rack right before it started to downpour!  Busting a tire turned out to be not such a bad thing.






New Shutters

Monday night, we finally installed our new shutters!!  Before we bought our house, I looked at many pictures of it on google street view.  We decided that we were not a fan of the black shutters.  They were so boring and too small for the windows.

For the new shutters, I knew I would only want them on the outer two windows.  I wanted to draw attention away from the middle encasement window.  It is too close to the door to have proper sized shutters.  We started building the new shutters a few weeks ago using a  design from Lowes.  The diagrams were easy to follow, and we love the results!  When we were getting the paint mixed, the lady mixing the paint nicely told me she thought I was crazy for getting such a bright color in exterior paint ha-ha.

Before pictures:

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In the process of hanging:

Our adorable helper:

After pictures:


We painted the garage door window trim and mailbox post too.  The mailbox post is so bright you can see it from the end of the street.



Weekend Project: Pavers

Our new place has such a nice deck area out back with stairs leading up to the rail trail, but the side yard is not so nice.  It is lumpy, has a crazy amount of sticks all over, clumps of chives growing randomly in the middle of he yard, and barely any grass.  The biggest problem is the barely any grass.  When it rains it becomes a giant mud pit.  We are talking so muddy that even Mr. N won’t walk through it to go potty.  He will either try to jump over it or teeter on the edge of the retaining wall.


This past weekend we decided to tackle the muddy walkway by the fence.  A few weeks ago we purchased the paver base.  We calculated that we needed 34 bags, so we headed out to make our purchase.  We loaded up the Focus with all the bags and someone walking by commented that we should be careful because it looked like we had a heavy load.  Sure enough the back of the car was coming down on the tires.  IMG_20160220_201705289_HDRWe evened out the weight by putting the bags all over the car, not just in the trunk.  This meant even in the passenger seat.  I had no where to sit, so I wandered around Menards for an hour while Drew drove the load home and came back to pick me up.  I think I walked up and down every aisle in the store.  Menards has some pretty interesting items for sale.  I enjoyed looking through the greeting cards and spotted this giant garden gnome.


Needless to say, we opted to have the rest of the   supplies and pavers delivered during the week.  Saturday we leveled out the dirt and started putting paver base. Newton enjoyed digging and snorting in the dirt all day.  He is really good at removing tree roots.  He yanks them out of the ground and then gnaws them off.

Sunday we finished laying the paver base and sand in the morning and then laid the pavers in the afternoon.


It is supposed to rain quite a bit in the upcoming weeks.  We will see how it holds up.  Now we need some flowers in the garden and a nice rain barrel.IMG_20160309_110649433_HDR

I almost forgot – Saturday at the market there were kumquats for sale!  🙂IMG_20160305_111517254

New Home!

In December, Drew got a new job (which he loves!), so we bought a house and moved to Indiana at the end of January!  Here is Newton helping me pack.  Unfortunately for him, the frog family got “lost” in the move.

It snowed constantly for a few days before the move.   Newton had a stick that he loved at our old house.  He found it at the park while on a walk one day with Drew.  I had left it out in the yard hoping he would forget about it with all the snow.  I was wrong.  He was so proud of himself for finding it in the snow and wanted so badly to bring it inside.


I tried to clear all the walkways before the movers came, but just couldn’t melt the inches of ice on the steps.  I even attempted to crack the ice by banging it repeatedly with a shovel and tried pouring hot water on it.  Luckily the movers brought an ice pick and plenty of salt!


The movers loaded us up on Friday morning.  I walked Newton around town to keep him out of the way.  We stopped and picked up lunch at On The Rise in Cleveland Heights.  We already miss going there.  They have the best sandwiches, and the cookies are awesome too.IMG_20160122_124210691We left for Indiana when I got off of work Friday night.  Here is the last picture we took in our old place.  Newton was so frantic.  He didn’t want us to leave without him!


Newton found an old friend at the new place.  While the movers were unloading, Newton and I explored the yard.  He promptly went to work finding himself a new stick.  It took him a while, but he is finally starting to enjoy being outside by himself.  He was so used to only going out on a leash that he thought it was punishment when we let him out by himself.   So far we love the house and our new neighborhood!!