Weekly Photo Challenge: Bailey’s 2012 in Pictures

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “My 2012 in Pictures” but I renamed it “Bailey’s 2012 in Pictures” because that’s what it is! Here are photos of Bailey the Little GSP from every month this year:

January
Just an iPhone photo of Bailey looking cute!

February
Bailey in Ridley Creek State Park on an unseasonably warm winter day

March
Out for a walk on The Darlington Trail

April
Playing fetch on a beautiful Spring day

May
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SUPER BAILEY! (Dock Daze Dockdogs Event)

June
Bailey shows off her World Qualifier ribbon at Eastern Regional Championships

July
Showing off for the crowds at the Monmouth County Fair

August
Mid-air contortion at the Dover Summer Splash

September
Modeling with her ribbons from the Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show

October
Staying warm and safe during Hurricane Sandy

November
Posing at DockDogs World Championships in Dubuque, Iowa

December
Racing around roadrunner-style in the snow

25 Days of Christmas: Days 22-25

This is the last installation of my 25 Days of Christmas challenge!  The last four topics are cookies, sparkle, Christmas eve, and unwrapped:

Day 22 – Cookies – Matt’s mom bakes a huge assortment of sugar and gingerbread cookies and his family gathers before Christmas to frost and decorate them.  Matt frosted this ornament cookie.

Day 23 – Sparkle – One of our sparkly snowflake ornaments.

Day 24 – Christmas Eve – We had our parents over for Christmas Eve dinner last night.  We made bruschetta and Giada’s Penne with Shrimp in Herbed Cream Sauce… yum!

Day 25 – Unwrapped – I’m cheating and using two photos for this final topic…  The top photo shows pile of unwrapped wrapping paper on Matt’s new step stool and the bottom photo shows Bailey with her freshly-unwrapped bone!

25 Day Photo Challenge

Would you like to see more 25 Days of Christmas fun?  Visti Pa-BLAM to see Pami’s days 22-25 post and visit Katie at Kitchen Notes and Other Sundries to see her challenge photos.

Related Posts:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is surprise:

That rock is alive!

 

Just for fun, feel free to leave a caption for this photo in the comments section.  I think Bailey is thinking “Whoa! That rock is alive!”

25 Days of Christmas: Days 15-21

This week’s 25 Days of Christmas topics are warmth, ornaments, wreath, giving, reindeer, memories, and bells:

Day 15 – Warmth – Our wonderful, warm, easy-to-use propane stove!

Day 16 – Ornaments – Our tree doesn’t have a specific theme, but I’ve noticed that we seem to gravitate towards animal ornaments and apparently we have a thing for squirrels! Next year we really need to get a black squirrel ornament.

Day 17 – Wreath – We have a double front door which means that we need these double wreathes!

Day 18 – Giving – These chocolate-dipped coconut stick cookies are all packed up and ready to give to friends and family. I’ll post the recipe soon!

Day 19 – Reindeer – This reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh was always one of my favorite Christmas decorations growing up.

Day 20 – Memories – My dad passed away in 2005 but I fondly remember him always sitting in this chair on Christmas morning while we opened presents. We’d have to wait for what seemed like hours until we were allowed to come downstairs and see what Santa had brought for us!

Day 21 – Bells – This ornate bell is part of an indoor display at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. Longwood is a great place to visit at Christmas time!

25 Day Photo Challenge

Would you like to see more 25 Days of Christmas fun? Visit Pami at Pa-BLAM and Katie at Kitchen Notes and Other Sundries to see their photos!

Related Posts:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “delicate.”  When I saw this topic get posted last Friday I immediately started searching through my Flickr photo collection to find a suitable image.  Unfortunately I quickly realized that a vast majority of my photos are of Bailey, food, and landscapes… not exactly subjects that evoke delicacy!  I did however find these three photos of Bailey looking rather gentle:


That’s Bailey daintily handing me her frisbee, Bailey nosing the turtle she found in the backyard, and Bailey gingerly saying hello to 8-week-old Barrett the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Bailey delicately sniffs Barrett's head

Pretty delicate, wouldn’t you say?  Thanks for stopping by!  🙂

25 Days of Christmas: Days 8-14

It’s time for another installation of my 25 Days of Christmas challenge!

Day 8 – Tree – This was an easy one because I love our tree this year! As usual, we picked it out at Linvilla Orchards the Sunday after Thanksgiving. You’ll get to see some of the ornaments on Day 16…

Day 9 – Treats – OK, not a Christmas photo per se, but to me this photo screams “treat.” We taught Bailey this trick a few years ago but juding by the look on her face I don’t think that she likes it very much!

Day 10 – Joy – This photo is from Christmas morning last year. It was our first Christmas in our new house and Bailey was having fun trying to lick our faces mid-photo.

Day 11 – Carols – This is my mom’s piano with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” ready to be played by someone (not me!). I spent countless hours of my childhood sitting in front of this piano. Now I’m glad just to photograph it and move on!

Day 12 – Vintage – I don’t know what year this Santa is from, but he’s been around since as long as I can remember so that makes him vintage as far as I’m concerned!

Day 13 – Festive – A nice holiday beverage with an orange peel “twist.” We made these last year for New Year’s Eve.

Day 14 – Glitter – These glittery candles belonged to my wonderful grandma, “Mimi Betty.” Mimi passed away a few years ago but my mom and I each have several of her Christmas decorations and I often think about her at this time of year. Mimi was fond of – no, obsessed with! – the color gold and had dozens of glittery ornaments and candles including these lovely Christmas trees.

25 Day Photo Challenge

Would you like to see more 25 Days of Christmas fun? Visit Pami at Pa-BLAM and Katie at Kitchen Notes and Other Sundries to see their photos!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

This week’s WordPress Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is “Changing Seasons.”  I recently decided that my favorite time of year is in fact the transition period between seasons so I think this topic is fantastic!

Matt and I have lived in our house for nearly two years now and I often find myself taking photos of the view from the north-facing edge of our tiny deck.  I have amassed quite a collection of photos throughout the changing seasons so I’ll use this Photo Challenge as an excuse to share some of them!

Changing Seasons: Looking out over Willistown Township

Do you have any favorite photos that illustrate “Changing Seasons” ?  Please feel free to link to them below or link to your blog if you are also participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge!

25 Days of Christmas: Days 1-7

Here are my photos for Days 1-7 of the 25 Days of Christmas Challenge!

Day 1 – Lights – Looking up through a light tree at Longwood Gardens
Day 2 – Decorations – I know, more lights! But this is how we have decorated our house this year.  Icicle lights all around!
Day 3 – Gifts – We haven’t wrapped any presents yet this year so these are some gifts from two years ago.
Day 4 – Tradition – This is our advent calendar!  We stash candy and goodies behind each little door for each other.  Matt gets the odd days and I get the even!
Day 5 – Santa – Our snazzy, sparkly Santa ornament.
Day 6 – Stockings – We don’t have stockings but we do have these awesome red boots!
Day 7 – Snow – I couldn’t decide on this so I chose two.  One shows Bailey on a huge snow drift during the winter of 2010 and the other is a road that we take on our drive to work.

Craving more 25 Days of Christmas fun?  Go visit Pami at Pa-BLAM and Katie at Kitchen Notes and Other Sundries… they are doing the 25 Days of Christmas Challenge, too!

25 Day Photo Challenge

Streaking, Reflections, and Other December Challenges

I don’t usually take part in online challenges but I am making several exceptions this month!  Here’s a quick run down of the fun challenges that I will be participating in for December:

1.  I’m Going Streaking!!

As a part of the Runner’s World “Streak,”  I have committed to run, walk, or elliptical at least 1 mile every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  I completed my mile for day 12 of the streak this morning and I feel great!

“Streaking” is a big deal for me because, although I was a runner in college, I’ve really done very, very little running since graduating in 2007.  I am usually quite content to come home from work and make dinner/watch TV/blog/do anything besides exercise.  But all of that has changed since I started my streak on Thanksgiving.  Now I actually wake up BEFORE work (something I never would have believed that I’d ever do!) and I elliptical my mile while groggily watching the morning traffic and news.  It’s an awesome feeling to come home from work and know that I have already finished my exercising for the day.  🙂

I have to give a quick shout out to Jocelyn from Running Noodle because without Jocelyn I never would have known that the Streak challenge existed.  I read Jocelyn’s “Streaking” Post last winter and decided then and there that I would try streaking myself this year.  I learned this weekend that streaking is actually a whole blog/twitter/social media “thing” with it’s own hashtag (#RWStreak) so I guess I’ll start tagging my streaking posts from now on!

weekly photo contest - "reflection"

2.  Weekly Photo Challenge: REFLECTION

I kept seeing posts with beautiful “reflection” photos featured in my WordPress reader so I did some investigating and learned that WordPress sponsors a Weekly Photo Challenge.  It’s easy to participate so I thought this would be a fun way to add to my December challenges.  I think to actually join the challenge properly I need to create a brand new post titled “Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection” but this post will have to suffice for week 1.

I have two photos featuring reflections for this week.  The first (above) is a rare self-portrait of me taking a photo of Bailey via the car’s rear view mirror.  She loves car rides!  (Ignore my wrinkly forehead… I was thinking hard!)  The second (below) is a photo of a Delmarva DockDog named Sam.  I love how Sam and his toy are converging with their reflections!

weekly photo contest - "reflection"

3.  25 Days of Christmas Photo Challenge

Yes, another photo challenge.  (When I decide to do something I go all out!)  I learned about this photo challenge from Pami at Pa-BLAM.  There’s a nice holiday-themed topic for each day and, like Pami, I will probably do a post every 7 days or so with the photos from the previous week.  I’m going to have to rely on some holiday photo archives for a few of these though… I mean, I HOPE that I see snow on December 7th but at this point that’s not looking too likely!

25 Day Photo Challenge

OK, well that just about sums up my December challenges.  I think that #3 is going to be really fun but overall I am most excited about Streaking.  Wish me luck!   🙂

Tomato Salad with Guajillo Chile Dressing AND a Giveaway Contest Sponsored by Slimkicker!!

I’m excited to announce that the team over at Slimkicker.com has asked me to host a Giveaway on my blog!  Slimkicker is an online “game” that helps you reach health goals by setting a series personalized challenges and rewards for yourself… but more on that in a moment.  First, I want to share a recipe for a healthy meal that Matt and I enjoyed last week.

Oh… and I have to brag a little here – those perfect little rosy red tomatoes are from our garden!  They were delicious.  🙂

Tomato Salad with Guajillo Chile Dressing (from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)

You will need…
3/4 cup Olive Oil (can also be a mixture of Olive Oil and Veggie/Canola Oil)
2 Dried Guajillo Chiles or New Mexico Chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar (also try Sherry Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar)
Salt, to taste
6 Green Onions, wilted leaves and white root tips removed
1 1/2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
Handful of Watercress Leaves
2 oz. crumbled Queso Fresco Cheese

Directions:
To make the Guajillo Chile Dressing, pour the oil into a large skillet and place over medium heat.  Add the chiles and garlic and saute, stirring constantly, for approximately 30 seconds until the chiles become fragrant.  Remove from heat and carefully transfer the chiles (leaving the garlic and oil) into a blender.  Add the vinegar and salt and blend for 30 seconds.  Once the oil and garlic have cooled, add them to the blender and blend until smooth.

Return the unwashed skillet to medium heat.  Brush the green onions with oil and place them in the skillet, turning occasionally, until wilted and browned.  Remove from skillet and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.  Reserve a few of the smaller onions as a garnish if desired.

To assemble your Tomato Salad, arrange a layer of watercress on a small plate.  Next, add a handful of the tomatoes (sprinkle some coarse salt on the tomatoes if desired) and add the green onions.  Add the crumbled queso fresco and drizzle on a few teaspoons of your Guajillo Chile Dressing.  Enjoy as a healthy main course or as a satisfying appetizer.

And now on to the Slimkicker Giveaway!  One of my readers will win this digital kitchen scale simply by commenting on this post!  Cool, right?

Slimkicker is an online “game” that helps you track your calorie intake and exercise.  Why is it a game, you ask?  Well, with Slimkicker you set a series of fun challenges (things like quitting soda for a week or cooking your dinner five days in a row rather than getting takeout) and you earn “points” if you complete your challenges.  After you earn a certain number of points you are eligible for Slimkicker giveaways and the program encourages you to reward yourself with a self-selected “perk” like indulging in something really tasty, taking a day off from your workout routine, or (if you earn a lot of points!) buying yourself a new iPod.

Since creating and sticking with fun challenges is an important part of the Slimkicker program, the folks at Slimkicker would like to read YOUR ideas for a Healthy Challenge!  To enter the contest and be eligible to win the digital scale, simply leave me a comment below with your own idea for a Healthy Challenge.  Slimkicker will select one person who leaves a comment in this post (pretty good odds, right?) as the winner of the digital scale.

My personal healthy challenge is to sit with good posture at work for one hour every day for a week.  Other challenges that have piqued my interest are to drink a glass of water before every meal (helps with feeling fuller sooner) and to replace juice with unsweetened iced tea for a week.  What are YOUR ideas for a healthy challenge?  Please share!

Contest ends at 11:59PM EDT on Wednesday, August 1st.  Comment before then for your chance to win!

Disclosure: The Ozeri Professional Digital Scale and all information about the program have been supplied by Slimkicker.  I downloaded the Slimkicker App but haven’t used it yet… I’ve been too busy sitting with good posture!