Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Christmas Decorations 2011

Since we are down to the last 2 days before Christmas I thought it would be the right time to post pictures of our Christmas decorations.  Enjoy!
Oh, Christmas tree!

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

A small collection of our Christmas cards. The rest are on the fridge.  Some day I will make the clothespins look a little nicer.  Someday.  

Our decorations outside.  I need to grab one at night so you can see the lights in the window.  

Some of our favorite football team's decorations!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day #4 of My Do Nothing Vacation Was a Bust!

Other than getting a glorious 11 hours of sleep that night the day was a bust.  I got a few phone calls from work (ugh) and painting the master bedroom ceiling was an absolute disaster.  First, I just couldn't get any coverage.  I'd glob the paint onto the roller and it would disappear with barely covering an inch (just a minor exaggeration).  Then, I broke my extended roller brush!  When it broke apart the roller bounced off my head, then my arm just to finally slide the wall.  Luckily I got the paint out of everything even my hair.

 The next disaster was when I ran out of white paint and had the brilliant idea to substitute it with another white paint, different brand, that we had in our storage closet.  They both looked the same when they were wet so it should have worked, right?  WRONG.  It looks like I have clouds on the ceiling which is so not the look I was going for.  Ugh.
Ceiling painting in progress.  At one point all the walls and ceiling were painted the same color.  Yuck.  

Matt has promised to help me repaint the ceiling at some point.  Of course, we'll need to figure out the right color paint.  At least I wrote down one of the colors' information.  I so smart.  

Later that night we were supposed to go out on a date, but of course that ended up being a bust too.  We went down to Mountlake Terrace, about a 15 minute drive South, in the hopes we'd be able to see Sherlock Holmes at the Cinebarre.  It was $5 Tuesday so we left an hour early because it is nuts on Tuesdays.  Yeah, we should have Fandangoed.  The showing was completely sold out!  We turned right around and went to our favorite bar instead so we still got out.  Here's hoping Day #5 of My Do Nothing Vacation is better!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day #3 of My Do-Nothing Vacation

Was spent fixing these shelves in our hallway:

Pretty terrible, right?  I guess I can't expect much from them since they were $15 from Wal-Mart and they were never sturdy from the time I took them out of the box.  I've always tried avoiding them when I walk past them to the bedroom, but I just couldn't do it anymore so I found a way to fix them.
And now the bookcase looks like this:
Much better, right?

Lights of Christmas

I've always loved driving around this time of year to look at all the Christmas lights.  It is one of those vivid memories from my childhood - begging my mom to drive us through the trailer park by our neighborhood to look at the lights just one more time.  When Matt and I still lived in Seattle we would go to down the U-District to check out Candy Cane Lane which was a small cul-da-sac of decorated homes.  Since we live about 20 miles North of the city now we don't do that anymore and we really haven't found any neighborhoods in our area that go all out so this year I was excited when the Herald ran a daily deal for a BOGO on admission tickets to Warm Beach's Lights of Christmas!   

It was a bit of a drive since it is 45 minutes north of Everett, but it was well worth it.  The place was packed which was to be expected on a Saturday night, but they have the whole parking situation down to a T so it wasn't so bad.  From the minute you get on the property there are lights everywhere!  It is a rather large resort too so there are literally millions of lights!  We walked around for awhile before we grabbed a bite to eat:  Hot dogs and elephant ears.  Yum.  It was a great opportunity for me to play with my fancy camera too.  I'll leave you to enjoy some of my favorite pictures.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Best of Friends

When I used to volunteer in the cat room at a local shelter it used to amaze me how many people didn't believe that you could introduce two adult cats and have them get along!  Most people, including myself, were brought up with the notion that you have to get cats and dogs as kittens and puppies if you want them to get along with a resident animal.  This is so not true and the Horton animals are a perfect example of that.

Our beloved Nikita was our first cat.  He was about a year and a half old when we got him and we instantly fell in love.  About 7 months after adopting him we decided he needed a friend because he wanted to play with me all the time and I had the scratches to prove it.  We adopted Fidel a loving 10 lbs. cat.  Nikita hated him.  He body slammed the poor thing all the time.  Fidel was in heaven and didn't care.  They got along for the most part.

Two years later we adopted Vlad.  Nikita really HATED him.  It was at this point that he decided he loved Fidel so the two of them teamed up and tortured Vlad for 2 years, turning him into the sissy cat he is today.  OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit.  Nobody ever got hurt and it wasn't constant.  They had their moments of jealousy, but for the most part we had a peaceful household.

Until we brought a dog home.  At first Luna was terrified of the cats.  She spent her first week home huddled and shaking in our arms.  We put a baby gate up in the hall way to keep the two species separated and it worked.  It took a solid 2 months before the cats ventured over to the dogs territory.  Somewhere along the way, Luna's herding instincts kicked in and she realized what great fun they were to herd around the house.  Nikita never accepted her and spent most of his time in high places staying as far away from her as possible.

Sadly, Nikita left us in 2008 after he developed lymphoma.  We waited about a week to bring Karl home.  It was instant love for everyone.  Fidel had a new best friend and Vlad was no longer tortured for being a big cat and thus a threat.  We'd often come home to the 3 of them snuggling on our bed mostly wrapping their bodies around Fidel to keep him warm.

We enjoyed a solid two years of harmony with our three cats, Fidel, Vlad and Karl plus our corgi Luna until we lost Fidel this past April to a myrid of health problems.  He fought a long battle with hyperthyroidism and kidney failure (CRF).  He developed anemia in the last few months of his life.  And even though we swore we would be a 2 cat household after we lost him we couldn't help but check out cats on  That's how we found Joey and the process of reintroducing a cat to house began all over again.
Joey and Karl relaxing after an intense game of sparkle ball.

Joey was a tough one because he didn't really any of the cats at first and definitely hated Luna, he was pretty vocal about that.  After the first month he had calmed down a little and was trying to figure out how to play with Vlad and snuggle with Karl.  A few months after that we caught him loving on Luna.  He now very openly headbutts her for love and cleans her ears and she takes it with a look of horror in her eyes, but I know she'll come around too.

We might not have the same mothers, but we love each other like brothers.  
I guess the lesson here is that it just takes time.  It's sad how many people don't want to put in the time and effort to adopt an older animal.  I also want to say it depends on the animal.  We had to find cats with the right personality or we knew it would work.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween and Luna's Photo Shoot

This year Halloween is all about dog parties!  That's right, Luna has more parties to go to them her parents. Tomorrow we are heading down to Greenlake in Seattle for our corgi group's annual Halloween Costume Parade.  I think we'll be breaking a record this year since 65 people have RSVPed already!  Can you even imagine what that many corgis in one place is going to look like?  Insane.  Unfortunately, if it rains in the morning then we'll have to cancel.  I'm just not interested in walking with a costumed dog in one of the downpours that we've been getting around here lately for 3 miles.  No thank you.  It's OK though because Luna has another event for later in the afternoon at her favorite store, Paddywack.  They are holding a Halloween Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt to benefit the Grey Muzzle Organization.  Each dog receives a goodie bag and a set of clues that leads us around Mill Creek Town Center.  Along the way we get to fill up our bag with lots of treats for Luna.  At the end their is a Halloween party for the doggies!

 I can't wait to see what great costumes people came up with.  We went with another store bought one this year.  It was only $6 at Target though so I can't complain.  Luna on the other hand can and will complain.  She looks absolutely miserable in all the pictures I took of her this morning.  See for yourself:

I really want to be done now, Mom.  

Please tell me we are done.  PLEASE!  
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!  Anyone else doing anything fun with their dogs this year?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spoiled Dog

Yesterday I got off work early and ran to Paddywack at Mill Creek Town Center to register Luna for their Tricks and Treats Scavenger Hunt on October 30.  I was only going in to register not for anything else, but as I was leaving I noticed a beautiful thing - big, frosted cupcake for dogs!  Luna had to have it.  She's a spoiled princess after all.  It was pricey, but it was HUGE so it was worth it.

Of course, the instant I pulled it out of the bag once I got home Luna went insane.  Her eyes got huge and she started jumping up and down.  It took her a little longer than usual to eat it, but it was still gone in no time.  She's such a spoiled dog!

I love how it has dried berries on top!

Give it to me NOW, Mom!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

First Pats Game at the Moon!

Being a New England Patriots fan on the West Coast can pose some challenges such as being able to watch them play every week.  This week's game against the Bills was one of those games.  Luckily, we live 2 blocks away from a sports bar that broadcasts every game every weekend so we headed down there. Even though this is our second time going to a 10 AM game down there I'll never get used to drinking that early.  Well, unless we are in Vegas, but South Everett is far from being a second Vegas.

Of course, we had to have our picture taken while we were there.  It's a little blurry, but it was taken in a bar so it's understandable.

The Pats ended up losing that day 34-31 to the Bills.  Let's hope this week's game against the Raiders ends in our favor.  And oh yes, we'll be at the bar early that Sunday too, just not 10 AM early.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy (belated) Birthday, Luna!

Luna's 7th birthday was on Friday, September 16!  She's the first dog that I've actually known the exact birthday of.  Since we had such a busy weekend we didn't actually get to celebrate it until Sunday, but I don't think Luna cared.  We took her to her favorite store, Paddywack, to get her some puppy pizza and a birthday cookie.  The cookie was free since it was her birthday!  As you can see in this picture, Luna was more than a little excited to get it!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Corgi Fun Day 2011

Luna enjoying a picnic lunch.
Today we took Luna to Corgi Fun Day at McCollum Park which is only a short drive from our home.  It was a beautiful day to mingle with some fellow corgi owners and lovers and we got to see a lot of old friends that we've made through the Meetup group.  As soon as we got there Luna started flirting with a boy corgi puppy!  It really was too bad that there was no off leash area because the two of them could have played for hours!  She also got to see her boyfriend, Milo, but by then she was too interested in the hot dogs that were cooking for lunch.  Matt finally got to meet Luna's sister (same litter) Shadow and her family.  I didn't get any pictures of her this time, but they are almost identical.  Luna's coat is a little rougher and Shadow is a little thicker around the middle, but they have the same face!  In true Luna fashion, she snapped at her when she got too close.  She had been doing so good up until that point.  Oh well, I guess we can chalk it up to sibling rivalry, but truth be told Luna is just a bitch.

Luna and I playing musical "hoops."  As you can see she was very into it.  
Before we left we played musical hoops (hula hoops instead of chairs) and we won 3rd place!  We even got a  3rd place ribbon.   They only had 2 pieces of agility equipment there:  Weave poles and a single jump.  I was SHOCKED when she ran up to the weave poles and started going in and out of them like a pro!  Sure, she skipped a few, but we haven't practiced agility in over 2 years so I was baffled that she would remember what to do at all especially since I didn't prompt her to do anything.  What a smart girl!  After seeing her take to them so quickly I was half tempted to sign her up for classes since there is a new club in Lynnwood, but I just don't think I have the time or energy right now which saddens me because she could really use the mental stimulation.     Oh well, it is something to keep in mind.

After we left we took Luna to Paddywack so she could pick out a bone.  Her birthday is in a few short weeks so we'll take her back to get a puppy pizza and maybe a birthday cookie.  Yes, they really sell such things there.

Once we got home, Luna immediately wanted to snuggle and fall asleep in my lap.  She's such a spoiled girl lately!  Next weekend, Matt and I are taking her to the 20th annual PAWSwalk to help raise money for the low-kill shelter where we adopted Fidel (RIP) and Vlad.
I was so proud of Luna when she remembered how to use the weave poles!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shattered Stove

One day our stove exploded.

OK, so it didn't really "explode", but something crazy happened to it and the glass door shattered into a million pieces.

It was a Sunday night and I was getting ready to start another work week (ugh) when all of a sudden we heard the sound of glass breaking coming from the kitchen.  My first thought was that Joey had launched another plate off the kitchen counter or that the cats had gotten into something, but when we ran into the kitchen we stood watching in horror as the entire glass door of our stove slowly shattered onto the floor.  There were big chunks and little pieces all of over our small kitchen floor.  

Here's the picture I snapped right after it happened:
Notice how Luna's food and water bowls are right there?  So glad she wasn't eating dinner when this happened!
After we got all the glass cleaned up, it is surprisingly heavy by the way, I started Googling "shattered GE stove" to make sense of what just happened.  We hadn't been using it when it broke.  In fact, I hadn't cooked anything in it for a few weeks.  

What I found surprised me:  This is a fairly common problem!  I couldn't find an explanation for it, but it sounds like it is some kind of defect with self-cleaning ranges.  

I eventually called GE's Service Line and was given the prices for how much it would cost to send a tech out on a service call ($79.98) and how much we'd pay in labor per hour if we decided to fix it ($39.98), but I wasn't told how much the parts would cost and if all together it would cost more than the stove is worth.  Although it came with our condo when we bought it my best guess is it was around $400.  

Frustrated that it seemed OK that my stove could spontaneously explode for no reason I Googled this problem again and stumbled on a gold mine of information at a website called "The Consumerist."   The article talks about how a son helps his parents get their GE stove fixed after it shatters into a million pieces like ours by tweeting GE on Twitter!  Genius, I tell you.  Simply, genius.  I followed his advice and tweeted this:  The glass door of our 4 year old GE range spontaneously shattered! Scary - dogs dishes right by stove. Does GE have a Twitter account?   

Easy enough, right?

That same night I got this response:  GE_Appliances
@sabby12s Oh no, that's so scary! Pls email the details to & we'll see how we can help. >Megan

Hey, I can do that.

So I sent the listed email address this note:  


Megan from GE-Appliances on Twitter gave me this email address to send more information about our 4 year old GE Range.  I've attached a picture of the damage.  Thankfully, nobody was in the kitchen at the time, but what we find perplexing is that we hadn't used it in at least 2 weeks so it wasn't hot either.  After calling the GE service line to get price quotes on how much it costs to repair it we are not sure if it is worth it to fix the door or buy a new range.  I didn't get enough information from the operator to make a decision. 

The model # of our range is JBP70B0K3BB and the serial # is RL253512Q. 

I'd appreciate any help with this matter.

Thank you!

Notice how I didn't ask for anything for free because all I wanted was help trying to figure out whether my range is worth repairing or if I should just go buy a new one?  Pretty incredible considering I got this as a response just 2 hours after I sent it:

Hello Sabrina,

Thank you for reaching out to us at GE.  I'm sorry to hear that the glass in your oven door shattered but so thankful that no one was injured. I can certainly understand your concern and will be happy to assist you.

Although your range is outside the warranty, this is an unusual occurrence and not what we expect from our products.  Therefore, I would like to offer to cover the total cost (parts, labor, and home call) to repair your range. 

I have documented your information and this offer in case file number 12130147. If you would like to accept this offer, please reply to this e-mail with your complete address, phone number for service contact, and the days that are best for you to have a scheduled service call.  With this information, I will be happy to make the arrangements for you.

I look forward to hearing back from you.


Social Media Solutions
GE Appliances

Holy schnikes!  My stove is getting fixed - for FREE!

OK, kids what did I learn from this?  2 things.  1.  The internet is a wonderful thing and 2. GE has the best customer service I have every dealt with.

I'll keep you posted on how the repairs go!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Red Sox in Seattle!

Yesterday was our 7th trip to SafeCo Field to watch the Red Sox play the Mariners.  Matt and I have gone almost every year starting waaaay back in 2003 (I still have the ticket stubs).

Matt enjoying his vodka tonics at the Red Sox Nation party.
We started out by going to the Showbox SoDo for a Red Sox Party hosted by Red Sox Nation.  Admission was pretty much free, but they suggested a donation to The Jimmy Fund at the door.  They were raffling off some Red Sox memorabilia so we bought a ticket and gave a donation too.  We were lucky enough to score seats at the bar because the place was packed with fans already!  It was a sea of red with some Bruins and Pats colors thrown in.  The music?  You guessed it:  All Boston area bands.  Seriously, I don't think I ever need to hear a song by the Mighty, Mighty, BossTones again.

We hung out sipping on our drinks watching more and more Boston spots fans spill in until 6 PM when the raffle started.  Unfortunately, we didn't win anything.  At that point we moved on to check out the fan stores and vendors down by the ball field.

After we did some window shopping we decided to go find our seats in left field.  Since we bought our tickets from the governor of Washington State's Red Sox Nation (yes, there is such a thing) we sat with 120 other Boston fans!  The ladies behind us were visiting from Somerville, Mass and we chatted them up for a bit.  I didn't get a picture, but the governor of Alberta, Canada rallied us Boston fans by running through the stands with a Red Sox Nation flag (still kicking myself for not getting a picture).  We were in a prime spot to catch a foul ball, but we didn't have that kind of luck.  One of the organizers from the party caught one from Ellsbury which really excited the crowd.
Where's Matt?

In the end, we lost to the Mariners 6-5 which was disappointing but we still had a lot of fun and I take heart that there were a lot more Sox fans than Mariners fans there that night.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vega$ Money Saving Tip$!

A few people asked me to share with them some tips on how to save money on a trip to Vegas.  My husband and I have now traveled to there 5 times, including one very special trip to get married there (yes, it was planned) so we've had plenty of experience to learn from our mistakes.  Here are the best money saving tips I can give you.
  • Book a Package!  We've booked all of our flights and hotel stays as a package deal through either or  In my opinion, expedia is cheaper.  Do your homework though and price compare.  I always check to see if we'd be saving any more by booking them separately, but usually we don't. Keep in mind the time of year you travel there will affect the room rates as well.
  • Promotional Deals!  If you find a good deal that offers you complimentary show tickets or buffet passes act on it (assuming you are also saving money booking as a package).  On this last trip we just barely booked in time to get complimentary show tickets for a Cirque show.  When we got our tickets to see Criss Angel's "Believe" we found out that the going price was $100 a ticket!  We saved $200 this way and we got a really sweet deal on our hotel/plane tickets to boot.
  • Never hurts to ask!  My hubby searched different hotels' websites to see what kinds of deals they were offering after we booked our trip.  He found out a hotel other than ours was running an all you can drink deal so he used Twitter to ask our hotel if they had a similar deal.  They didn't but they said they could put us on the guest list for their nightclubs.  He also asked if we could get a strip view room.  They put a notation in our reservation for us about his request so upon checking in we were upgraded to a premium strip view room for FREE!  And we got a complimentary bottle of champagne because he told them it was our anniversary trip. 
  • Coupons... before you go!, and are all great sites to scour for Vegas deals.  You don't have to live there to buy one of their deals.  Always read the fine print.  For this Vegas trip we bought a Groupon for Cabo Wabo that saved us $15 off a $30 bill.  We also brought several certificates for breakfast, dinner and lunch.  Do yourself a favor and sign up for their emails to get the 80% off coupon codes.  I bought 5 vouchers for $9 using the codes and had we used them all we would have saved around $90.  The certificates don't expire, as far as I can tell, and if the restaurant stops participating in the program before you use the voucher the company will issue you a credit.  Needless to say a little preparation before the trip can save you a lot of money.  
  • Coupons... while you are there!  Many bars will have people out on the street handing out 2 for 1 deals ("Twofahs" as I like to call them) for drinks.  TAKE THEM.  From our experience they are legit.  You'll even find some on the ground as you are walking The Strip.  I think most places have even taken to just throwing coupons on the ground because you can pretty much follow a trail of them down The Strip on the sidewalk.  Just watch out for all of the hooker cards too.
  • Nightclubs!  Most nightclubs start handing out wristbands for reduced admission or free drinks during the day.  We were offered one by our waiter at Cabo Wabo on our first day there.  You'll get better deals at the beginning of the week because they are trying to get people in on notoriously slower days.  If someone asks, go ahead and put your name down on the guest list.  There is no obligation to go, but if you do you'll get a good deal or at least save some money.  Drinks are pricey at nightclubs, think $13 for a screwdriver, so it can get a little crazy if they offer a "Ladies drink free from 10PM to midnight" deal.  I'm going to warn you that you'll be lucky if you get two drinks during that time period and you might even get an elbow to the eye from all the ladies scrambling to the front of the bar before the clock strikes midnight.  
  • Drink in your room!  Matt and I have learned from past experiences that it is better to buy a bottle of your favorite alcohol on the first day of your trip to keep in the room to mix drinks before you head out.  We went to the ABC store at The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and spent $15 on a bottle of Skky Vodka which is a pretty standard price here in Washington State.  We've also found that the convience store at the Excalibur also has good liquor prices if you are staying down at that side of The Strip.  
  • Deals on Show Tickets!  I scoured the Internet and found a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) deal for show tickets through Ticketmaster.  We used these to see Holly Madison in "Peepshow."  We got 3rd row aisle seats for a little over $100 total.  The seats were awesome and we enjoyed the show.  We also noticed long lines for Tix 4 Tonight booths while we were there, but I have no idea if they had good deals or not.  
I think that about sums it up!  We saved a pretty good deal of money and were able to have an awesome trip by following these tips.  Like I said, we've been to Vegas 5 times and we do something new every time which I attribute to us being smart about saving money.  Still haven't skydived or flown in a helicopter over The Strip at night but we'll save that for next time.  

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy 4th Anniversary to Us!

Our Thursday, July 28 Matt and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary in Vegas!  We went to see Criss Angel's show "Believe" at the Luxor and then had a late dinner at Valentino's at the Venetian.  I had an awesome flank steak and Matt tried rabbit for the first time.  

The best part was the SUN!  It's been missing in Seattle this summer so it was nice to see it again and we finally have tans.  A lot of people have asked us for money saving tips since this was our 5th trip to Vegas and we've learned a lot about how to have fun on the cheap there.  That will be a separate post so stay tuned!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Matt and I hosted a 4th of July party yesterday, but it wasn't just any old celebration of America's Independence Day.  I won the ability to host a Budweiser Ultimate Backyard BBQ from  It was a blast!  Budwesier gave me favors and prizes for the guests and they will be reimbursing me for the beer.  We really lucked out with the weather.  The day started out yucky, but it cleared up around 2 PM and turned into a pretty beautiful day which was good because throughout the course of the day 18 people showed up!

The cats were locked up so they couldn't run away, but Luna mingled with the guests and had to get into the action.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Twizzler Giveaway Winner!

I won a Twizzler prize pack from one of my favorite websites for awesome deals, Mama Cheaps.  Luna decided that she loved the towel and Joey was curious as to what the big deal was.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love Triangle

I call this "Love Triangle." Karl clearly is in love with Luna, but Luna is looking for me since I had just left our house when Matt snapped this photo. I love our animals.
When we first brought Luna home 3 years ago she had never lived with a kitty before and was terrified of our cats, but she quickly became very curious about them and LOVES herding them around the house.  Her favorite is Vlad.  She lets Karl clean her ears when she's resting.