Friday Things

1. This is what we call “For the Camera”:

Duke & Einstein "For the Camera"

2. This is what we call “Real Life”:

Duke & Einstein "Real Life"

That’s what happens about 95% of the time when both Duke and Einstein are awake, complete with non-stop snarling noises. It’s… fun?

3. We inherited a serious drainage problem in our backyard that seems to have been exacerbated by large amounts of melting snow and multiple rainy days we’ve had over the last few weeks. Let me tell you, two dogs running through a soggy, muddy yard results in infinite messes that include paw wiping with beach towels, dragging out the hose, and doggie showers (sometimes at midnight). It also results in praying really hard for freezing temperatures so that our yard just solidifies.

We had someone come out and look at the problem, and they confirmed it is definitely a drainage problem that needs to be fixed (by digging up half of our yard). They’re going to start on it within the next week or so, but in the meantime to alleviate some of our problems, they came and spread straw down where the yard was soggy. We never thought of it and it has seriously been a sanity saver. We were losing our minds over the mess, and it has definitely helped.

4. On a related note, do you remember the show “Boiling Points” on MTV? Where they would put people in crazy situations and see how long it would take for them to flip out about something? I feel like this scenario would be perfect that show. Seriously, give two people two big Golden Retrievers that love to run (including one that wants to go outside every 3.2 seconds between the hours of 7pm and 11pm), a muddy backyard, one beach towel and one hose, and see how long it takes for one of them (or both) to go completely bananas. Thank God for straw!

5. Did you fill out a Billion Dollar Bracket for March Madness? I’m always so horrible at the bracket thing, but I continue to do them year after year, and of course my hopes for a perfect bracket were dashed by about 3pm yesterday. On the bright side, as of midnight, I was a stunning 11 out of 13 (with games still in progress). That might be my best start ever!

6. Do any of you petite gals shop on ModCloth? They have some super cute clothes, but I’ve read some things about their sizes not really fitting shorter, petite-sized girls. If you have feedback, I’d love to hear it!

7. I saw this on Facebook and… HA!


7. Maria has me lusting over her Tieks flats. How adorable are they?! Does anyone have a pair? I hear they’re extremely comfortable, but pricey. Give me the details!

8. I made a completely ridiculous cake this week and had to invite all of our family over to help us eat it. Everyone declared it one of the best things that I have ever made. Ever. EVER. It’s coming to a computer near you next week, so stay tuned!

9. Surprisingly, I haven’t bought any new cookbooks in awhile. What are some of your new favorites?

10. TGIF! It appears as though we have Food Bandit 101 training going on in our house (we’re in double trouble!):

Food Bandits!


66 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Gry on March 21, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Love your Friday Things posts. I’m making your blueberry muffins right now (6 am in Switzerland) and continued to browse BEB. Did I dream this or didn’t you get a new camera recently? I couldn’t find the post about it. I want to get myself a new camera and I’m doing my research.
    Have a good weekend!


    • Michelle on March 21st, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Gry, I got a new camera about a year and a half ago. I currently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III (love it!). I hope that helps!


      • Gry on March 21st, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        Thank you so much, I’ll check it out. Have a good weekend!


  2. Jennifer P on March 21, 2014 at 2:36 am

    I just love the pics of your pups!! I look forward to an update of their antics every week…sorry about the massive clean up though – It must be terrible with such big dogs!!
    I have a pair of Tieks and wish I had 50. I live in Hong Kong and walk all the time – miles each day. Aside from a few scuffs you would never know – and they are super comfortable. They are a bit pricy but should last a long time. At Christmas they have a 20% offer – I wish they had another during the year!
    Your cake is awesome too…cant wait for the recipe!!


  3. Pam W on March 21, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Follow you on bloglovin- love your recipes and totally relate to the puppy stories. The spring time thaw for goldens isn’t fun, the amount of water the “wookie” fur can hold is crazy. (We have 2 girls) Wouldn’t change a thing, those little faces get ya!


  4. Anne on March 21, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Your dogs are so beautiful! I hope you get your drainage fixed soon. Mud season with dogs is bad enough already.


  5. Karen Miller on March 21, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Just came upon your site the other day– love it! I am a recipeholic, is that even a thing? It should be! I have a 12 year old daughter I am teaching to bake and cook. So of course I included your wonderful recipe for soft baked choc. chip cookies, yes I remember those too!


  6. Rachel @ Fairietale Designs on March 21, 2014 at 7:10 am

    So sorry about the drainage problem in the yard! We have something similar, but have been to lazy to deal with it (since it’s away from the foundation, at least). I never thought of straw, either, but will have to look into that! It definitely makes sense. Hope they get it fixed soon without too much trouble and the dogs can enjoy the yard again mess-free!


  7. Danielle on March 21, 2014 at 7:19 am

    I’m petite and I love ModCloth. The sizing of their stuff is sometimes inconsistent but that’s mostly because they carry so many different designers/manufacturers. But they have free return shipping so there’s really no risk in trying stuff. If anything, I’d say that their stuff tends to be on the short side (and I’m only 5’1″!) but I think that’s just because a lot of their stuff tends to skew younger.
    I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair of Tieks a few months back…and I hate them. They somehow feel tight and like they’re falling off my foot at the same time. But the soles do seem like they’d be pretty comfy if they fit my feet better . I keep wearing them around the house hoping that maybe they’ll magically break in but I usually can’t wear them for more than 10 minutes before my feet start hurting. Such a bummer since it seems like they mostly get great reviews!


  8. Chloe @ foodlikecake on March 21, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I love your Friday Things posts! Your dogs are adorable 🙂


  9. Margie on March 21, 2014 at 7:58 am

    so sorry to hear about the drainage problem. Our Western PA clay soil is about the worst – it just won’t absorb the runoff. Ground is frozen this morning but it’s smart to get this problem fixed before the April thaw. And please tell us about that cake soon! I love your over-the-top cakes!


  10. Betsy on March 21, 2014 at 8:09 am

    You are ALMOST the best thing about Friday! Those boys of yours–can they get any sweeter?? Anyway, as the “mom” of a Golden with a muddy backyard-I feel ya! Yes, straw if your friend! Another cold week coming-your chicken chili is on the menu! HAPPY SPRING!!!!


  11. Claire on March 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I’m 5’2” and very petite, and I adore Modcloth! I own so many items from them. The trick is that if the item is designed to fit pretty tight, you need to hold out for items that come in XS, and not all of their clothes do (some start at a S). If it’s supposed to look a little loose, S will sometimes be fine, all depends on how you want your clothes to look. But really, Modcloth is great and has free return shipping, so there’s never any reason not to at least give it a try. I think as a petite woman you’ll find plenty that works well on you!


  12. nancy k on March 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I am sorry to hear about your drainage issues. I am wondering why the sellers were not required to disclose something that seems so huge. I have no doubt that in the past, similar issues occured.
    I was curious abot the two sets of dog photos. The text under the second one stated that 95% of the time they are showing serious teeth and snarling and growling. Does that mean they only get along whan they are cozy and asleep and the rest of the time, they are bickering or is that “play”.They look do docile and gentle but those teeth are seriously scary!


    • Michelle on March 21st, 2014 at 9:54 am

      That is play, but it’s loud 🙂


      • Norma on March 21st, 2014 at 1:59 pm

        I don’t understand your comment on Duke and Einstein growling open moths pictures–this is not play–I have owned 5 golden retrievers in the past and never had that apply–they have always been very protective and have never gone after another dog or child–all they do is cower down–so maybe you have strange dogs because they are boys?


        • Michelle on March 21st, 2014 at 4:02 pm

          Nope, not strange dogs. I’ve actually had tons of readers email me photos of their two Goldens playing the exact same way. They are not “going after” one another – they are playing, not being aggressive. They don’t actually bite each other.


  13. Kim in RI on March 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Can I just say that those are the two most gorgeous pups I have ever seen. Just love when you share pix of them! I also have been craving a pair of Tieks but just cannot bring myself to spend that kind of money on a pair of shoes. Definitely not a bargain!


  14. Kirsten G. on March 21, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Have you seen The Paw Wash- Brushless Dog Paw Wash?
    I saw it on TV and looks like a great idea.
    I made your banana cake yesterday. It turned really well. I didn’t have cream cheese so I made the icing from the funfetti cupcakes.
    Anyway…I love you Friday posts!


  15. Vicki on March 21, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I LOVE your Friday Things. Our dogs do the open-mouth-snarling thing too; we call it playing fangs! I made your salted caramel Blondies yesterday, and they were great!


  16. Kim on March 21, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I love the Our Best Bites cookbook. The authors are Sara and Kate, but I cannot remember their last names.

    Thanks for the info about ModCloth. I am short (5’0) so will have to check it out.


  17. Maria on March 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Your dogs are too cute! I want a piece of that cake!! And you NEED a pair of Tieks. They are so comfortable and I love all of the fun colors! xo


  18. Patti on March 21, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I love seeing pictures of your boys. They always brighten my day. I bought a pair of Tieks with the 20% off at Christmas and have been waiting until it was warmer to wear them. I wore them recently at a conference with lots of walking and standing and I LOVE them. They were so comfortable that I came home and ordered another pair and a pair for my daughter.


  19. Bonnie on March 21, 2014 at 9:38 am



  20. Marsha on March 21, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Your side kicks are so darn cute. Know what ya mean about paw wiping and doggie baths. Can’t wait to hear about the cake recipe your tempting us with.


  21. Maria D. on March 21, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Einstein and Duke are just too cute! The ballet flats are really cool looking but yeah …they are pricey! On the drainage problem in your yard – check with your homeowner’s insurance – they will probably pay for part of the problem to be fixed so that you are not out of pocket for it – and if you had a home inspection that you paid for before you bought the house – there should be some coverage there…we had to have that done to our house and it was a royal pain in the behind!


  22. Kirsten on March 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Your dogs are adorable! Great photos!


  23. Danielle on March 21, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Love your Friday things! My newest favorite cookbook (which I finally ordered from Amazon after getting from the library twice) is the New Artisan Bread in 5 min a day – I love to make homemade bread!


  24. Lorrie on March 21, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Cookbook ideas- Tosca Reno- The Eat Clean Diet cookbooks have some interesting recipes. How about Paul Prudhomme (Cajun chef) cookbooks – These recipes are really complicated and I recommend you have EVERYTHING cut up and or measured out and ready to go before you start any recipe.


  25. Josephine on March 21, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I am petite (5’0″) and I love Modcloth! The clothes are really well made and so cute. I got a dress from there last summer to wear for my sister’s wedding and it didn’t even need hemmed. You just have to try some items to check out the sizing!


  26. Kathy H on March 21, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Love your Friday posts! The cookbook I’m loving lately is called Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever. I’ve decided to cook my way through the whole book. I’ve already tried a couple of the recipes, and they were delicious. I would highly recommend you check it out. Hooray for vanilla!


  27. Amy S. on March 21, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I’m loving the Tieks too, but I’d love to hear more reviews. They are pricey, but if they’re comfortable & durable, it’d be worth it!


    • LIsa D on March 21st, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      I have 3 pairs of Tieks and they are absolutely worth it. Yes they are pricey but if you sign up for the newsletter or follow on facebook, they have a promo at least once a year. That’s how I bought mine. I have black, cobalt and the emerald green. Super comfy.


  28. Amanda on March 21, 2014 at 10:51 am

    The pics of the dogs makes me giggle. Ah fur babies. Gotta love ’em.

    I’m 5’4 and I have a couple of dresses from Modcloth. They work fine for me. One of them I wear year round because I love it so much. It hits just below my knees and has POCKETS.


  29. Elisa on March 21, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Love, love, love those pictures of your dogs. They’re like people!

    Thanks for sharing the straw Idea. Good to know as our had is like swampland. Sorry for your issues, though. What a pain. GL!


  30. Lauren on March 21, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Cookbooks? Anything by Bill Granger!!! They are all good and I highly recommend. Love him! Beautifully written and have never made something short of wonderful from any of the books!


  31. Bethany E on March 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I also have a Golden Retriever. The Food bandit comment made me laugh as I recall one day I had put raw potatoes on the counter to cook for supper when I got home. When I returned I found a mangled potato on the couch with distinctive teeth marks in it. So funny!


  32. char riippi on March 21, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I LOVE your Friday posts and those amazing pictures of your adorable dogs!!! I want to hug them!!!
    Feel so bad for you with the drainage problem.
    Our back yard is a mess from so much snow, rain,
    etc. I have towels etc ready after my Yorkie ventures out. I have not heard of that clothing line but will have to check it out as I am petite and have a hard time finding clothes I want to buy.


  33. Rachael on March 21, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Oh, those dogs are awesome. I, too, am living in a world of mud these days. I can’t wait for summer.

    I’m on a cookbook binge these days, and am especially loving A la Mere de Famille by Julien Merceron and First Prize Pies by Allison Kave. Amazing!


  34. Darlene on March 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    In no way would I qualify as petite, but I have bought from modcloth. The key is to check the measurements for the clothing. Only once did I have to return something because it didn’t fit. I went by the size instead of the measurements and it was way too big.


  35. Shikha @ Shikha la mode on March 21, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I LOVE ModCloth! I didn’t’ fill out the million-dollar bracket cus I know literally nothing about March Madness, but maybe do it anyways?


  36. Steph in Lex on March 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I actually love the “Entertaining with the Sopranos” cookbook from several years back. Blatant marketing ploy? Absolutely. Hands-down the best cheesecake recipe EVER??? No doubt. I have made it more times than I can count and it’s amazing. The entire book is worth buying for that recipe alone.

    Those flats are cute, but wow. “Pricey” doesn’t begin to describe that cost!!! Hard for me to stomach them being “worth it” no matter how comfortable they are and how much I’d wear them.


  37. Auntiepatch on March 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Love those doggy pictures!


  38. Dawn McPherson on March 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Michelle- you always make my day with your pictures of your
    Fur babies!


  39. Martha in KS on March 21, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    I hope you picked Kansas – winner, winner, chicken dinner! Rock Chalk Jayhawk.


  40. Marcia S. on March 21, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I love those doggy pics! My Goldens, Cali and Teddy, play like that daily! They softly growl, even howl a little, they crack me up! I have had 5 goldens in my life, and they all had fun like that. We also had a wet yard problem, as we live at the bottom of a hill.(Note to self-don’t buy a house at the bottom of a hill!) Our town’s street and sanitation dept. installed a couple drain tiles, it has helped tremendously. My dogs got so used to being wiped down, they would walk in, lay down, and put their legs in the air haha.


  41. Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction on March 21, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I may have mentioned it once or twice but I love the puppy pics. Whether it’s play or camera ready.
    Owning a house comes with it’s own set of angst. Sorry to hear about your troubles.


  42. Jamie on March 22, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I love all of the pictures of your dogs! They’re beautiful! The cookbook I’m enjoying right now is Giada’s Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis. I highly recommend it! Good luck with the drainage issue! I hope it gets resolved soon!


  43. Julie Cruz on March 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    So funny you ask about cookbooks because I just bought Cooking Light’s Global Kitchen. As I browsed thru it at the Costco book table I saw at least 5 recipes that I wanted to make right away! Tomorrow’s dinner was a toss up between Masaman Curry or Beef Bourguignon – the beef won out. I plan to cook my way around the world in the next few months.


  44. Margaret Smith on March 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Where is the weekend dish? Michelle, you didn’t put it up for two weeks now.


  45. Alexis on March 22, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Your second doggy picture is hilarious!! I love it. 🙂

    Alexis at Laugh. Eat. Learn.


  46. Ashley on March 22, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    I am petite (5’1 and 117) and love Modcloth, have never had any problems with fit. Also, I just bought the brand new “Oh She Glows” cookbook and love it!


  47. Maureen on March 23, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Hey, Michelle! Just curious. Love Friday posts but don’t see the weekend dish anymore on Saturdays. May have missed posts referring to it. Have you stopped your weekly roundup? I’ve recently experienced problems with some emails. Anyway love your site! ( and dogs will be dogs! They’re awesome 🙂


  48. The Macadame on March 23, 2014 at 5:28 am

    I’ve bought a few things off Mod Cloth before but they are always too big. I’m 4″11 and petite but even their smallest size doesn’t fit right. They have such cute designs though so I just take mine in 🙂
    Anisa – The Macadames. xx


  49. Stephanie on March 23, 2014 at 10:24 am

    The “in real life” photo is the story of my life. My two are constantly chewing on each other’s faces while one makes what I can only describe as chicken clucking sounds. It’s amazing that I haven’t been committed yet. But we continue on and love them nonetheless. Love your boys and all your recipes. You are my guaranteed go to for just about anything I want to make. Thanks for being awesome!


  50. Anna on March 23, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Can I ask who/what type of person you called for your drainage issue? We are having a problem too and I don’t know who to call!


    • Michelle on March 23rd, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Anna, We called a landscaping company that also does excavating work.


      • Anna on March 24th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

        Thanks for the tip!


  51. Lindsey on March 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve shopped Modcloth many times and had to return every single item I have bought due to fit. The first time I thought I knew my size and was wrong. The second time I followed their sizing chart very specifically, even reading the comments to make sure I was headed in the correct direction. I had to send that back too. I’m tall and thin but their sizing is just WAY off. Plus the most often comment I saw was their dresses end up being so short…not what I’m looking for in vintage. Great clothes, super prices (for the most part) but not worth the headache in my humble opinion.


  52. Alex on March 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    It’s great how you got the two dogs to show their teeth like that. The last pic of them is great as well, the one to the left is trying to put on the sad eyes – no doubt they’re smelling what you’re cooking in that one lol 🙂


  53. Debbie on March 24, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I have been missing the weekend post the last two weeks. Is it coming back? You are my favorite blog!!


  54. Charity on March 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    That cake! Want a slice right now. Hope you post the recipe soon as I so want to make that now!


  55. Alyce on March 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    The great thing about modcloth is that they ask reviewers to include their measurements and have a spot to include pictures. I am usually able to find a review from someone with similar measurements and can decide from their review what size I would need and whether or not to order. 🙂


  56. Eileen on March 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    We have a mucky back yard. We also have two large dogs – shepherds.
    I went to a thrift shop and got two extra large t-shirts. I cut the arms off and then enlarged the armholes so they were still snug, but comfortable.
    Their bellies still are wet but all the dirt goes on the shirt. Their feet are still muddy, but it cut cleaning time by a chunk.
    Love your food.


  57. m on March 27, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Re Modcloth: I have the “Classic Twist Dress”. I’m about 5 feet/98 lbs. It fits perfectly in terms of length. The ‘trunk’ of the dress is a bit large (my natural waist is ~25 inches) but doesn’t pose any aesthetic issues and the bust is a bit large on me (generally wear a 32 or 34 B). I’m very petite, the S is great.


  58. Bonnie on March 28, 2014 at 8:57 am

    I just discovered your BEB not long ago and I love it! Your recipes are insanely good although I fear that I will gain a crazy amount of weight if I continue to try all the recipes. The cinnamon raisin bagels were a huge hit at my husbands office. The sweet and sour chicken was awsome and so easy, though I added chopped up sweet peppers, scallions, and jalepenos to give it a little heat ( next time I think I will add some brocalli and carrots for color).
    I absolutly love that you blog about your dogs, and they are adorable. We had two irish setter siblings for 15 years ( lost one last march) and they were so fun to watch romp and wrestle with eachother all day and night. They crack me up because when they get tired , they are like children, and they just collapse right where they are ( even if we are on a walk) . Now, my remaining setter, Weenie, keeps me entertained by requiring all my love and attention 24/7! She better live forever.
    Anyway, I look forward to following your blog. It is so entertaining as well as great information and recipes. Thanks, and good luck with your yard.


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