ranch life

#FaveFiveThings [12.9.16]

It’s the weekend, y’all! Steven has been off this week, so we’ve had fun hanging out (he brought me an office picnic and hung out with me at work one day, y’all. it was the sweetest!) and catching up on stuff around the house. He has been working with the boys on training, so Gump is getting up to speed, and Ruger is getting even smarter. I am not invited to training sessions anymore because I can’t seem to control my “Way to go!!” and “That’s my baby!!” outbursts when they do well, which breaks the training seriousness. Apparently I’m in training to be an obnoxious sports mom in the future. 😉

We had an appointment with a veterinary specialist for Ruger on Wednesday in Round Rock (which meant a trip to Torchy’s Tacos, one of our favorites), and Gump had an appointment for his last set of shots on Thursday. This is Gump at the vet…

He is featured here at 9, 13, and 16 weeks, weighing in at 16, 23, and 37 pounds respectively. And yes, you read that correctly- he gained 14 pounds in 3 weeks. He is going to be a BIG boy.

We have been busy with Christmas activities- as evidenced by my stack of addressed Christmas cards…


We just need stamps and we’re ready to go! I sat working while listening to sweet Christmas music and occasionally glancing over at this scene…


We’ve got a few Christmas related faves this week, and some regular, so check them out below!

  1. Lauren Graham- Talking As Fast As I Can


A few years ago, I stumbled upon Lauren Graham’s first book Someday, Someday Maybe and loved it. She’s a great writer, and of course, it helped that she’s one of my favorite actresses. I consider Gilmore Girls and Parenthood to both be in my top 5 TV shows (definitely desert island material), and considering she is in both, I would say I’m a fan.

Any fans of either show will enjoy this book because of interesting behind the scenes info, especially about A Year in The Life filming. But, I think what I enjoyed more was the witty, heartfelt stories about her early life (as a child she lived in Japan for a period of time), and early career (she has a master’s from SMU). It was a VERY quick read- I started Saturday night, got about halfway through, and then finished Sunday morning with my morning hot chocolate (I gave up caffeine- no more morning coffee for me!) since I was up at the crack of dawn when Steven left for work. I think this is partly due to the fact that it’s not a terribly long book, and partly because it’s interesting and written well, so it’s easy to flow through it.

I bought my copy at Target, but it is available at all major book sellers! And the scene depicted above pretty much describes me any time I am sitting in this house these days. I am covered by this amazingly warm fleece blanket, and I have Gump in my lap. My heart is full, and my lap is full. 🙂

2. Archer Farms Toffee Crunch Pretzel Rods 


I found these a few years ago at Target, and they are seriously one of my favorite things about Christmas time. And WHY they don’t sell these year round is BEYOND ME. I love and hate Target for that because otherwise I might have a serious addiction by this point.

They are just large pretzel rods dipped in milk chocolate and then rolled in toffee bits. But they are just the perfect combo of sweet and salty, and I am hoping these three boxes last me until February. Maybe January.

I was walking through Target on Saturday and came across the holiday themed foods, and all the other specialty pretzels. These were NOWHERE to be found and I almost cried. I picked up plain chocolate dipped and rolled on, thinking Target had really let me down this Christmas. And then, at the end of the main aisle where you turn to go back to the checkout area, they had a special display of just these. I can’t be the only one that loves these things! So, I off-loaded my plain boxes and on-loaded these (yes, I’m that terrible person that leaves things where they don’t belong if I’m in a hurry and distracted. Sorry!). And I left Target with a great big smile on my face.

Steven was a little concerned and confused as to why we needed three boxes, and I had to explain holiday season only availability and rationing. Now I just need to explain rationing to myself. 😉

3. Mantel Hooks 


Steven’s aunt Cindy is an awesome seamstress and this is the second holiday that she has made us one of these beautiful holiday hanging tapestries. The first one was for Halloween, and I ended up tacking it up under the mantel. It looked okay, but not fantastic. So, when we got our Christmas one, I went searching for cute stocking hangers that I could put up to hang this and our stockings.

While at Target, I saw these generic mantel hooks, and thought this might be a better option because it doesn’t cover up what is already sitting on the mantel, and it isn’t holiday/season specific.


There are a couple different ways you can work them, but basically it has a curlicue part that you hook things on to, and then a flat part with a grippy thing on the bottom to keep it on the mantel. Theoretically, I think the top/ big curve should fit all the way around the lip of a mantel, but ours has some different detail work there, so it doesn’t clip over it, but balances on top of it. They come in different finishes, and in a package of four.

And if you have little ones or pets in the house, consider these. I recently read an article from an ER doctor saying that injuries caused by grabbing stockings and pulling heavy stocking holders down on top of heads are becoming common. Opt for a light command hook, or one of these bad boys for your stockings!

4. Cracker Barrel White Chocolate ‘n Fresh Berry French Toast Breakfast 


I think I’ve mentioned a time or twenty how much we love Cracker Barrel. It’s our place. I’m pretty sure it’s where we went on our second date, and many more after that. You just can’t beat how delicious it is, and there are plenty of delicious things to choose from.

Most often, we end up there on Saturday morning for brunch, and on Thursday nights because Thursday’s special is turkey and dressing, which is one of Steven’s favorites. So, last night, he got his usual, and I opted to try this instead of my usual Mama’s Pancake Breakfast or Grandma’s Pancake Breakfast (both of which are delicious).

Y’all. This is SO GOOD. It’s sourdough French toast (delish) filled with white chocolate cream cheese filling (double delish) topped with raspberry syrup and fresh blueberries and blackberries. I think I was basically scraping the plate by the end. Except the blackberries. Way too many seeds for me. But the rest was delicious!

The breakfast plate comes with two eggs and two meats (I recently discovered how delicious turkey bacon is! Which means now when we order, Steven requests “real” bacon). Order this and don’t be dumb like me- I just wanted the French toast and the bacon, which made it priced separately, which is much more expensive.

And while you’re there, shop around! They have some really pretty stuff out for Christmas!

5. Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boots


When Ruger went hunting with Steven over Thanksgiving, there were times and places he had to stay behind because the terrain had too many stickers for him to run and retrieve without destroying his feet. Steven had been contemplating getting him a set of dog boots for hunting, and this helped him make the final decision.

We went to Bass Pro in Round Rock Wednesday with Ruger after his appointment so we could size him. He is about 50 pounds, so we went with size medium (he had tried some size large on before and they were way too big). We got home, put them on him, and this happened…

Oh, y’all. We still die laughing every time we watch this (which is still often). It was just too funny.

He got a little more comfortable after a while…

Even if you care nothing about dog boots and have no need for them, I hope they provided you a laugh today! 🙂 And if you are interested, you can purchase them here.

And that’s our #favefivethings!

Wednesday’s #roadtripselfie! Isn’t he handsome??
Getting pets from Dad! His new specialist said he was one of the best behaved dogs she’s seen. We had a proud parent moment!
Chunky Gump is now apparently part kangaroo! 🙂
And he should be expecting a visit from the puppy Tooth Fairy any time now! He’s got a great big top gap and a smaller (but still pretty gappy) gap on the bottom!

Leave a Reply