Revenge of the poison ivy

Guys, would you believe it if I told you that I had poison ivy AGAIN!?

If you follow my Instagram, you'd see that B and I spent the entire weekend finishing up the front walkway. I'm SO proud of how well it came out. Here are some photos of the process.

And here are some closer pics of the finished product.

The blue stuff is grass seed. The construction that we were doing sure did a number on the grass on our front lawn so we have a lot of replanting to do. And then here it is at dusk with the lights!

B says we may have overdone it on the lights, but I like the way it looks. What about you guys?

What you don't see to the right of the house is a final flower bed that is now the home to two bushes and an azalea bush. We have  had ivy on the side of the house that I always loved. It ran along the base of the house and made it look so green there.

Well, I tried to trim the ivy back because it was killing my azalea bushes. Every time I'd pull a vine it would go in a completely different direction, which made it apparent that the ivy was taking over the side flower bed and making it's way INTO the house!

Yes, into the house. It was running underneath the siding and climbing into the basement window. So, it had to go. 

I went to town ripping all of the ivy out. It took me close to an hour easily. And with one big bunch of vines and leaves picked up and thrown to the pile of plants we need to bring to the dump, I turned to see a single, shiny, red leaf


But that ONE leaf sure did a number on my tank top, capri pants, sandal-wearing self who hadn't thought to change after Barre3 because "the flower beds are safe and don't have poison ivy."

HA! I pity the fool.

I'm back on a 10-day dose of prednisone, covered in anti-itch cream, and enjoy my sleepless nights filled with itching and tears. 

I have a meal plan for the week (which I'll share below), but lord knows this girl does NOT want to cook dinner in the heat to itch like crazy. 

How was YOUR weekend? 

Monday: B had kickball, so I made myself pesto shrimp with brown rice

Tuesday: Thai spiced turkey burgers (didn't make them this weekend, as we were SLAMMED with work and ended up going out)

Wednesday: Jerk pork chops (again with Tuesday's recipe) and asparagus

Thursday: Lemon & Rosemary chicken w/ brussels sprouts

Friday: Mahi Mahi w/ basil butter over quinoa

Saturday: Having a gal party, so probably will just have apps. Menu still TBD

Sunday: Mango salsa chicken tacos

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to be back to regular soon.

High Five for 5.15

Friday, we meet again. How thankful I am that this week has come to an end. It was a challenging work week and an exhausting personal week.

This weekend we have some big plans to plant the flowers and bushes along our new walkway so the yard can finally look like it’s put back together. If you know me, you know that I’m a perfectionist. The front of a home is what everyone sees – a representation on how you live on the inside. And right now, our home front is giving off the vibe that we kill flowers and live in dirt.

We have a few other fun things planned this weekend – Dinner/drinks at our house tonight with a new gal pal and her hubs, Saturday is a fundraising event for my job followed by flower/bush/tree shopping at my favorite local nursery, and Sunday I’m hosting a #BikiniSeries Tone It Up NJ meet up at Barre3 followed by a Food Truck Festival in town.

Once again, a completely over-booked weekend. But, I love it anyway (and will be tooting a different tune on Monday morning because I’m overly exhausted – like right now).

Here are a few moments from my week!

I came home from work on Monday to dinner waiting for me on the table. Normally B is the only one who enjoys that luxury, but this week I got a little spoiled. This recipe is honey salmon in tin foil over quinoa and it was heavenly. Even the dogs got to enjoy a little bit!

I tried getting a little crafty this year and bought some vegetables, fruits, and herbs to grow in the back yard. My strawberry plant had one small strawberry when I bought it and now I have a few! Look how red those babies are. Looking forward to trying these when they get a little bigger. 

Snuggle time with my puppies is always my favorite time. Zeke is such a love bug, whereas Elphie is selective when she likes to show affection (hence why she is up on the couch cushion while Zeke is trying to eat my face).

I woke up like this. Seriously. My hair was in a sock bun the day before and I had taken it down before bed. My hair was still damp, but after sleeping on it I had the most magnificent waves! I used my BeachWaver to make the curls a little more defined but I'd definitely rock this slept-in wave look on the weekends.

The blog got a slight make-over this weekend. I love how clean and feminine it looks now.

We had our Employee Recognition Dinner at work last night, and since I'm a member of HR I'm responsible for helping to plan and run the event. One of the perks was taking home the extra flowers from the honorees who didn't come. Two dozen roses are now taking up shop on my dining room table. They are GORGEOUS and smell oh so lovely. 

How was your week? Anything fun planned this weekend?

May & June goals

I’m a bit behind on sharing whether I completed my April goals or not, as well as sharing my goals for May and June!

This is something I hope to continue throughout the year. Kind of a virtual check list of things I’ve been meaning to get done in hopes of holding myself accountable.

Last month:
  • Transfer from Blogger to Wordpress. Guys, for some reason this still terrifies me. Every time I hope on to get the big move started I clam up and stop. It’s a key transition that I just don’t feel ready for quite yet. I know one day I’ll look back and think how silly I was to put it off for so long, but with everything else on my plate I’m just not going to yet.
  • Complete my editorial calendar until July. Done! Looking forward to a lot of fun posts coming up over the next few months.

This month:
  • Post each of my scheduled posts without skipping. With so many projects going on around the house and jam-packed weekends I'm hoping that I can stick with this. I have a lot of fun things planned for you guys, so I'd hate to get behind!

Last month:
  • Painting. I can’t check this off MY list since technically B was the one who did the painting, but we did finally cover a few spots of spackle that were waiting for some fresh paint. The only thing left to do is paint the white trim and the window sills (since the pups have made quite a mess of them).
  • Organize our closets and dressers. This is definitely a work in progress. I went through my dressers recently, and did one pass through my closet to get rid of some things that just weren’t working for me and retire the winter clothes for the season. B moved 3 sweaters (wahoo!), but we’ve been so focused on the outside of our house that the inside is a bit neglected at the moment.

This month:
  • We are just about done with our front walk way (and I'm obsessed), but we need to plan some small bushes and add the mulch. Our next big project is to complete the back patio and paint the deck. I can't wait for both to be done so we can host a BBQ this summer!

Last month:
  • Focus on food and get my butt moving. Well, thanks to poison ivy I had a major setback with this one. Next week I’m completing an herbal cleanse and hope to debloat. But thanks to a planner I recently purchased from Target I’m planning my workouts and meals a lot better.

This month:
  • B and I had an interesting conversation recently about our future, so I've got a few things to start thinking about. Without trying to be super vague/secretive, I'm starting to look into some freelance work - either in editorial or in some sort of communications. Just something to establish some credibility and relationships for down the road. Who knows what will happen when kids enter the picture, so it makes sense for me to start building myself now to prepare for what the future holds for us. So although this is a "goal" for the next month or two, it's actually a goal that I'll continue to work on for a solid period of time. But no time like the present to get things started, right?

Meal Prep: Week of 5.10-5.16

I hope you're all having a lovely Mother's Day. Whether you're spending the day together or apart, I hope you were all able to show the mother figures in your lives how special they are.

My mom and I spent the day apart, although we celebrated over dinner last week.

I'm back from my slump in the fitness and food department and ready to get back on track. We've been eating really bad lately because of the poison ivy that took over the house, plus sweat and heat make the itch worse so my workouts have been nonexistent.

But alas, this weekend I was able to make major strides in the health department and we are back in business for getting summer ready.

I'm starting an herbal cleanse on Wednesday of this week to help me debloat from the medication, so I'm going to be super limited on a lot of the foods that I've been indulging in lately - no cheese, yogurt, creamer, bread, potatoes, etc.

Here's what we're having for dinner this week!

Sunday: Dinner in CT w/ B's Family for Mother's Day and his cousin's college graduation

Monday: Honey salmon in tin foil (this is one of the easiest, most tastiest recipes ever) over brown rice

Tuesday: Sausage, peppers, & onions (one of B's favorites - throw it all on the grill with some seasoning)

Wednesday: Brian is out, so I'll have leftovers from Monday's and Tuesday's dinners

Thursday: Teriyaki Mahi Mahi over sauteed veggies

Friday: Honey lime chicken skewers with veggies and a side salad

Saturday: Thai spiced turkey burgers **NEW RECIPE!!!**

Interested in some of my other favorite recipes? I have everything on my Pinterest account categorized by the type of meat for each recipe. 

An ode to mi madre

Do you see this pretty face right here? That's my mom. Her name is Bea. She's made a few guest appearances on the blog before, like that time she came running into my bedroom because she thought she was having a heart attack.

That pretty face right there puts up with a lot. She hides a lot of hurt, anger, and stress behind a smile. She puts up with a lot more than she should for the people who deserve it the least.

As I've grown older, she's become my best friend. I talk to her every day, see her at least once a week, and is normally the first person I call when I have a question or need to share something.

Aside from B, she's my rock.

I mean, last year when I sprained my ankle and this year when poison ivy took over my face, she was there to rush me to the Emergency Room and wait two hours for the meds to kick in, listening to the guy next to us discuss the soccer game he just lost.

I can't say we didn't always have a close relationship, because we pretty much did. Growing up, my girlfriends wouldn't tell me all of their secrets because I would always tell my mom. I think that's because with only a 20-year age difference, she's just another gal pal.

We have an interesting relationship. We can't really get mad at each other anymore. I mean, we can get annoyed but we end up laughing within minutes. We can spend an entire day at the grocery store together, only to meet up again for dinner.

We don't really get sick of each other.

One thing I love about my mom is how much she cares about her kids, and her granddaughter. It wasn't as apparent to me until I reached my late 20's just how much my mom sacrificed for us growing up, and how much she still worries about my sisters and I to this day.

I remember in high school asking her to recreate my Kindergarten Tinker Bell Halloween costume. She worked on the outfit for days, molding a wire hanger to make the points of the top of the dress and gluing felt all over the place. It didn't look exactly like it did in my head so I threw a fit and wouldn't wear it.

Mom, I'm sorry.

Today and every day I hope you know how much I appreciate you. How much I treasure the good and the bad memories growing up, and how much I look forward to creating better memories in the future.

You're the best fur grandma to my fur babies, and I know one day you'll be an even better human grandma to my human babies.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. Now let's go to Costco!

Suck it poison ivy

Guys. The last few weeks at La Case de Dubs & Meg has been no joke.

Remember when I told you guys about all that crazy yard work that B was doing? Like, almost a full month ago? Well, it resulted in the most insane spout of poison ivy that has ever encountered my body.

Literally. All. Over. The. Effing. Place.

Don't believe me?

Last Wednesday (4/29) I woke up like this and called my boss to let him know the rash was spreading and I'd be working from home:

After a few days of taking it easy and trying my damnest to resist the itch, I had seen a light at the end of the tunnel. I ended up going on a steroid from the doctor (B too ... his rash was WAY worse than mine). 

And then Sunday happened. And I woke up looking like a swollen zombie. After a trip to the ER and having my IV cherry popped I looked like this:

I can't even believe I am showing you that picture. It's not even the worst one I have in my camera either. I'll spare you the image of what I looked like BEFORE the ER. 

I'm happy to report that B and I are finally on the mend (although he's been rather itchy the last two days), and I'm hoping that the 10 lbs of junk I put on from the steroid and crappy food we've been eating will be off by the end of the month since I'm clearing myself to get back to the sweat on Monday. 

For the record: heat makes poison ivy worse. Who knew. Mother Nature did, I'll tell ya that, but she certainly didn't care when she sent 80 degree temps to NJ the day after this bad boy spread all over my body. 

In other news, B and I have been "leisurely" building our front walkway! Last week my Dad, who works in construction, delivered a pile of goodies to our house. He demos houses for a living, so he constantly finds free things - like close to $3k worth of paver stones. 

After dinner all week, and in short breaks throughout the day, we had to organize this pile of stones to build our front walkway and possibly a back patio. It doesn't look like much, but compare it to the tip of B's car on the right of that photo. It's A LOT of bricks.

So while I was in the ER getting doped up on meds to make my face look normal again, my dad and B were home tearing apart our front yard on Sunday to prepare for our first big project of the year.

But look how beautiful it looks so far!

We're not quite done, but hopefully this weekend we're able to put the finishing touches on the walkway and clear out the driveway so it looks like a normal house again. 

And through the last two weeks of hell that we've gone through, these two tired-looking, poison-ivy covered kids are so thankful to have one another to be miserable with. I'm so thankful for this guy.

I'll be posting back to normal on the blog starting next week. Thanks for sticking around guys!

High Five for 4.17

Happy Friday!

Guys. I am 30 years. Can you believe that!? Last Friday was way more fun since I was celebrating the new decade and prepping for a weekend filled of surprise festivities. This Friday is just, well, boring.

Once the weather gets nice, I feel like everyone is super motivated to do everything they said they were going to all winter. Whether it's house projects or self projects, it's a time for productivity. And let me tell you, that's exactly how my week was.

We fenced in the yard last Friday and it's been amazing to let the dogs run free around the yard. The exercise plus the fresh air leaves them exhausted at night, which is really a win for us fur parents. BUT, the fence along the back that the neighbors put in doesn't quite hit the ground.

Because our bushes in the back are so over grown, I didn't realize there was a pretty large hole in one section of their fence, and Elphie got out. For about 30 minutes. And B and I ran around the neighborhood like maniacs trying to find her.

I said, "the bushes come down," and B said, "the bushes stay because I like foliage and privacy." And in true B vs M fashion I won.

I came home to this beautiful pile of crap and B in the backyard saying, "You were right. They needed to come down."


When he is on a productive kick I just let him go. So all week he took breaks from his work day to trim a few more, cut a few more, and make this pile bigger. And let me tell you. It makes our large yard look even bigger!

In addition to that, I started working out again with the Tone It Up girls. Their workouts are quick but SO difficult, and I've already seen the scale dip a bit. I strayed a bit towards the end of this week, but am looking forward to grocery shopping and Week 2!

Looking for a little motivation? Try the Mermaid workout. Don't let this pic fool ya, that thing was SO hard!

In addition to the insane workouts, the Facebook group has been amazing. I've "met" so many people in the short time I've been in the group, and was thankful enough to meet one of them in person this week! Hi Liz :)

And when you meet for 3 glasses of white, head home to your respective houses and have 2 glass of red without realizing the other person did the same, you know you've found a friend for life. You also know you're screwed because you wake up late for work when you're running an early morning meeting and your whole day is thrown off. But it was so worth it. 

This weekend and next weekend B and I have zero plans. ZERO! Do you hear that?! The calendar is completely open and free. And in true old person fashion, I am happy to announce that I'm excited for yard work, cleaning my house, grocery shopping, and spending some alone time with my man. 

Ya know, because I'm 30 now. And that's what 30-year-olds do. They do housework.

What are your plans for the weekend?