the week i joined the fixer upper bandwagon

I wasn't around much last week because I spent the week at my brother's babysitting my niece.
 I know what you're thinking.  It's a real shame that she isn't cute.

Annabelle and I spent five days together and I'm pretty sure this is how she felt about me leaving.

Since Annabelle is only three months old, she did a lot of sleeping, which means I did a lot of TV watching.  I got so caught up in a Fixer Upper binge that it almost made me want to go buy a house that needs a brand new kitchen and to be completely updated.

Oh wait.

I've done that.

I also watched countless episodes of The Pioneer Woman and it brought back memories of the days when Michelle and I discovered her show and watched it constantly.  At the time, we considered a microwaved Healthy Choice chicken margarita dinner to be the height of culinary sophistication, but the Pioneer Woman made cooking sound so easy and delicious, and really, what meal isn't delicious when there are multiple sticks of butter involved?

There was one occasion when Michelle got so caught up in a moment of culinary inspiration that she got up from the couch MID-EPISODE and went to the store to buy ingredients for a salsa recipe.  The recipe called for eight cloves of garlic, but Michelle used eight BULBS of garlic which significantly and unfortunately altered the taste.

It turns out that more butter is better, but not always more garlic.

Lesson learned.

I got home from my babysitting adventure on Friday afternoon and Matt had the day off since he had gone to our house inspection in the morning.  It was a beautiful day so we decided to head to the park for a walk.  And it was glorious, except for the part where Matt pointed out all the dead animals he saw.

My mom and I walk on the same trail pretty regularly and I've never noticed dead animals, but five minutes in and Matt spotted a dead mouse and feathers from a bird that he hypothesized was plucked out of the sky by a hawk.

I didn't know that hawks could grab hold of other birds while they were flying and Matt said, "Oh yeah.  One time I saw a hawk grab a blue jay with its talons."  

Just as I felt a tear in my eye thinking about the poor blue jay unable to escape such a terrible fate, Matt whispered, "It was pretty much the coolest thing ever."

Matt and his lack of sympathy for the animals at the bottom of the food chain was going pheasant hunting the next morning.  When we got home from our walk he started to get his gear together and the next thing I knew he appeared in the living room wearing an orange hat, orange vest, gloves, and his brush pants.

I thought he was so excited that he was going to sleep in his outfit, but it turns out he just wanted to make sure he had everything and that it all fit.

Basically he was a boy standing in front of a girl asking her if his brush pants looked okay.

They looked very rustic but unfortunately Matt didn't get any birds on his hunting trip.

If only he had a pet hawk.


blm said…
Your niece is precious!
Great writing. I think it works in waves with dead animals- some days, while running, I'll see tons! Then I the days I must zone out or something and see none. I also spaz out if I ever drive over a dead animal in the road- to be it is so gross.
P!nky said…
What adorable pictures, too cute!
Your niece is too precious! Best 5 days ever <3

Green Fashionista
Faith said…
Bulbs of garlic?! OMG!! Hilarious. But what's even funnier is that you tried it, hehe.

Your niece is gorgeous!

And I'm obsessed with Fixer Upper ... the two of them are interior & exterior geniuses.
LOLOL @ the bulbs of garlic. YIKES.

I also got a good laugh of he's just a guy standing in front of a girl.
ae said…
You niece is just precious!

I just jumped on the Fixer Upper bandwagon too. I had never seen an episode until the first season posted on Netflix. I am now hooked. ;)
Oh my, I can only imagine what that tasted like with EIGHT BULBS OF GARLIC. Gross!! And hilarious.
Brittany said…
First of all, I'm melting at the sight of your niece. My goodness. I'm still in that heat up the Healthy Choice phase of my life, but I'm hoping to grow out of it soon. We've gotten some new cooking appliances thanks to our upcoming nuptials, so we'll see how adventurous I feel. Also, not sure why, but I laughed hysterically at the thought of Matt pointing out all the dead animals and you just trying to have a peaceful, pleasant stroll.
Your niece is gorgeous! Watch out world.
Your niece is adorable. Fixer Upper is by far my favorite reno show right now and The Pioneer Woman is has it in the bag for favorite cooking shows. Too funny about your husband...bummer he didn't get anything!
hahahaha my husband did the same thing with the garlic making hummus one day. it was hilarious. good thing we both like garlic!
Liz Jo said…
she is soooo cute! they do do a lot of sleeping at that age. Sophie started rolling too around that age and would never sit still.

And 8 BULBS? Oh my gosh! Wow...I'm going to guess that didn't taste nearly as good.

liz @ sundays with sophie
Cece said…
That baby is sooooo cute!!!
your niece is SOOO cute and LOL about the garlic. that is quite a bit, I must say!
Sarah said…
The picture of AB2 (my nickname for her) all the way to the left in the series of three is so cute. She can't believe you're ditching her.

I can't believe you didn't have Michelle cater your wedding. People would have talked about the food for weeks! ;)
Such a precious niece!!!
Rachel said…
Wow....I like garlic, but 8, that's a lot of garlic!
Myra said…
Shame about that super un-cute niece of yours...haha. But really, she is freakin' adorable!

I literally laughed out loud at the eight BULBS of garlic. I just...still laughing.
Jenna said…
Your niece is adorable! And what a pretty name! :)

I love the show Fixer Upper!!! Joanna and Chip are such sweet people!
Bethany Carson said…
Oh, you're niece is a cutie! The garlic bulb incident had me smiling! I've had a few cooking disasters myself, but never have tried that one...(yet)
OMG 8 bulbs of garlic? ahhhh hahaha

Love your blog!

XO Ellen from Ask Away Blog
birdie to be said…
Annabelle is so precious!
Pegster said…
I just can't get over how cute your niece is, she is giving me some serious baby girl fever ;).

Good for you for taking care of the babe for a whole 5 days by yourself. Kudos
Evelina said…
The food chain makes me so sad! I am such an animal lover and wish that they didn't have to brutally murder each other for food! That poor poor blue jay.
Briana Runde said…
Oh my goodness, your niece is SO cute!!!
Baby Sister said…
HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Oh man I would loved to taste that salsa. That is hilarious. I made cookies once (I'm pretty much an expert on making cookies) and I must have been really out of it because I doubled or tripled the amount of sugar...and nothing else. So, take it from me, extra sugar is not always a good thing either. :) There was no middle to the cookies, just the top and the crust. It was tragically depressing.

Your niece is adorable!! Little ones are the best. :)