Duke's puppy face!

1. Puppy face! He might be eight months old and sometimes have the look of a grown-up dog, but there’s no doubt that Duke is still ALL puppy.

2. Let’s talk jeans… do you have a favorite brand? I have the hardest time buying jeans! I’m short (5’1) and pear-shaped and, well, jeans shopping is a total struggle. I’ve worn JCrew jeans for a long time, but it seems that they’ve changed the cut recently. I’m open to suggestions!

3. My Chief Culinary Consultant and I watched all two seasons of House of Cards in 10 days. It totally lived up to all of the hype, and now I can’t wait for the next season to start! If you haven’t checked it out yet, clear your schedule for the next week, because once you start, you won’t be able to stop!

4. Have I ever told you about my favorite, easiest-most-delicious appetizer? It’s this easy… 1 jar of Harry & David Onion & Pepper Relish (original recipe) + 2 blocks of cream cheese. Stir together and dip, dip, dip! I always keep jars in the pantry, and we even packed them for vacation last year for a quick snack. Totally addicting! The flat pretzel crisps are our favorite thing to dip with, but tortilla chips are awesome too.

5. So true:

Puppy Love

[via Facebook]

6. Aaaaaand another tear-inducing dog commercial:

I snuggled Einstein so hard after watching that one!

7. My 10-inch cast iron skillet has finally reached rock star status. It is seasoned so well at this point that I can (and do) cook things like eggs and cheesy omelets in it without any greasing whatsoever, and they slide right out on a spatula. A few people have asked how I clean it; I used this tutorial as a starting point. I let the pan cool after using it, then add an equal amount of kosher salt and vegetable oil to the pan. I use this cast iron scrub brush to scrub the pan, ensuring that any stuck-on pieces are pulled up. Once the surface is smooth, I use a couple of paper towels to wipe out the pan, making sure that all of the salt is completely wiped out, then I put it away. That’s it! NO water. NO soap. No drying over heat or brushing on more oil.

8. I’m not planning a garden for this year, but this square foot gardening layout that Shawnda put together is totally inspiring!

9. I’ve been tossing around the idea of taking up knitting. I’ve known how to crochet since I was little (thanks to my grandma!) and I can make a mean blanket, but it seems like you can do a lot more with patterns for things like hats, scarves, etc. with knitting. It’s always intimidated me because of using two needles; how much of a jump is it from crochet?

10. TGIF! We’ve got some brotherly love going on!

Einstein and Duke snuggles