Thursday, January 26, 2012


So it is T minus 6 weeks until Ed and I will actually be in Singapore for vacation with my mom, dad, 2 brothers, and sister in law! Actually as I'm writing this, in exactly 6 weeks, is when we will actually be waking up for our first morning in Singapore!!! I am beyond excited to go. I still can't believe that it has been 10.5 years since I have been there last! This will also be our first family vacation with my parents and brothers and me in 10.5 years (just another reason to be super excited, as if I needed another one)!!

It's hard to believe that we lived there for 6 years. As we've been getting ready for the trip I have been doing a lot of researching about what to see/eat/do. For those of you who don't know, Singapore is a very modern city/country in Southeast Asia just off the tip of Malaysia. It is hot and humid (like almost hard to breath sticky humid) every day of the year. And it is ALWAYS changing. Some of the things i am most excited to see are things that were not even there when we lived there. The only negative part of the trip will be the 24 hour's of travel to get there....Minneapolis to Chicago (please oh please don't let Minneapolis weather delay our flight and us miss the flight from chicago) to Narita Japan to Singapore. Hopefully tall hubby's knees/legs can handle all the flying!! 

Some of the things I am hoping to see/do are
1. A zipline over trees that lands on a beach on an island off Singapore (wasn't there when we were)
Sentosa Island where we will lay on the beach and hit the Zipline

2. Go to the Singapore zoo, it is HUGE and they also have a really cool night safari where you can see the animals and how they act at night
3. Visit the Bird Park. Pretty much another zoo but entirely dedicated to birds! I remember walking in and seeing the Flamingos all over the entrance, super cool. Also you walk through a rainforest and birds are flying free and they also have the world's largest man made waterfall
Jurong Bird Park

4. Enjoy a lot of dinners and drinks with my family everywhere from East Coast Parkway to the Hibachi place in the Pagoda to drinks at Clark and Boat Quays

5. SHOP....and lots of it! Singapore is a shopping gold mine, one particular road (Orchard Road) is just mall next to mall next to mall next to mall next to....(ok well you get the point). And they are all tall...5+ stories each!  They have brands and labels from all over the world. I'm excited to go in Top Shop a brand from London, super cute clothes!! If you're not into spending a lot of money you can go to Far East Plaza and various side streets that you can bargain for the price. I'm hoping to leave with a few knock off Coach purses (or CoUch)...keep your fingers crossed for me!
A small portion of Orchard Road

Inside one of many insanely large malls....mall of america has nothing on singapore malls

6. Take Ed to Leonie Condotel (where we used to live) and maybe hit up the old high school!
Our old home, Leonie Condotel

7. Gamble at the casino (these didn't exist there when we lived there, I'm pretty sure it was taboo then. The new casino is actually in one of the hotels we are staying in and it looks AMAZING) Check it out:  We are staying at this hotel the last two nights, mainly because the only way to get to the most amazing pool ever is to be a hotel guest.

View from the Marina Bay Sands

Our 2nd hotel of the trip....yea my jaw dropped to when I saw it. The very top deck is where the infinity pool is
Another view of the Marina Bay Sands
See?! The view is AMAZING!!! The hotel is amazing! It has an ice skating rink, MALL, casino, restaurants, and more inside it. Not to mention the pool!!! Now you're looking at your schedule to see when you can visit too, aren't you?!?! There is still lots to plan and lots to pack....(and lots to shop for) to get ready for the trip but I can't wait. Here are a few more pics of one of the most beautiful places ever!

Hawker stalls...very cheap...very delicious food....Singapore's version of a food court

The Merlion

Singapore money, its so colorful and pretty!

The Parliament House

The Singapore Flyer...wasn't there when we lived there

Singapore at night, beautiful city

Sir Raffles statue and financial district in the back  
I'm sure you can see why I am so excited! Forgive me if half my blogs until then are about Singapore :) 6 weeks and counting!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pet Insurance

When Ed and I were deciding to get a dog Ed wanted to get a purebred so he would be healthier and have less problems. This is how we ended up with sweet Maverick. Sadly for Maverick few health problems is not the case. This dog is at the vet like every 2 months!!! Whether its his annual well check up, his allergies are bad and he needs steroids, his face has swollen up like a pit bull (that was a real fun bill at the emergency vet), seizures, or eye infections I feel like we are ALWAYS at the vet. Its a good thing the vet is super nice, super close, and Mav loves going there or it would really be a pain! We considered health insurance a time or two but thought it would never pay for itself.....I'm really reconsidering that thought now!

We had a good stretch for not going to the vet  (3 months) until today. He's had a weird smell coming from his ears and they've been waxy. We kept cleaning them out and even had the groomer do it, but it kept coming back so I thought I'd zip him in to the vet to get it checked out. Go figure, double ear infection. So a hundred bucks later we have our first vet visit of 2012.

I asked the vet how he got this and she asked if he likes to roll his head in the mind instantly flashes to images of this: 

This dog LOOOOVES snow! As soon as he sees it collecting he is face planted in it and rolling his head in it like a snow plow. Apparently that moisture got stuck in his ears and a bunch of yeast grew leading to the lovely ear infection. I guess the next snow we get Mav will have to snow plow a little less.....or we'll just wipe his ears real good after :) It's going to be a long 21 days of ear drops! YUCK! Here's hoping puppy and mommy can keep their sanity through 3 weeks of ear drops :) Off to put in the drops....and reprice pet insurance!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ed's Golden Birthday

Ed turned 29 on the 29th this year.....aka his Golden Birthday! I was set on doing something special for it so I through a surprise birthday dinner downtown for him. It turned out great and he was super surprised. I planned it about 3 weeks before his birthday and fortunately he doesn't ask a lot of questions about what we're doing so it was easy to keep a secret.

The day of his birthday at about 4pm I got the brilliant idea to swing by Burger King and see if they still had those gold crowns from when I was little, how fun would that be to make him wear! I left work at 5, knowing I had to go to Target and Herbergers for errands for the party, get home, do my hair, make Ed put on a gold colored shirt, and leave by 6:45.....time crunch much! I hit up BK first, the good news was that they had the crown, the bad news was that it is now blue or pink. BOO! I took the crown and then scrambled to Sherwin Williams for Gold Spray paint...I think the guy there thought I was nuts when I told him what I wanted and why. I then high taled it to Target for some amazing gold heels I had seen there. Before I got out of the car I did what any normal person would do though and put the crown on the parking lot of Target and gave it a nice spray paint coat...I'm sure they appreciate it haha. It reminded me of my days back at Purdue Freshmen year when my roomie and I decided we needed glitter jeans so we put jeans on the hallway floor and COATED them with glitter then hairsprayed it to keep it there....I'm fairly confident that hallway is now permantently coated in glitter outside our old room....your welcome Earhart Hall :)

I made it home with 40 minutes to spare. So Maverick and I gave Ed his presents. He already had gotten the Ipad 2...but I wanted him to have a few things to open so we got him some smaller things.

Then it was off to the party!! We met 8 friends at Rock Bottom Brewery (thanks to all who came!!!) Ed thought we were meeting our good friends Katie and Tyler for dinner. It was great because when we walked in and saw everybody the first thing he says was "That's not just Katie and Tyler." I loved it! Once we sat down I ran back to the car to get the crown I had hidden and then once he put that on (he was SUPER excited to wear it)  he got his bling that the Schwartz's had made him, thanks guys!! After a few hours of eating, drinking, and laughing we headed home. It was a fun night. I can't thank everybody who came enough, it meant a lot to both of us :) Here are a few pics of the bling!

His spray painted crown (man that stuff dries fast!!) Can you tell how much he loves it?


Mav wearing Ed's bling, hes so cute!

Christmas in Illinois

This year for Christmas we headed to Morton to be with my side of the family. As always the drive was long, but Maverick behaved like an angel! We got in early Thursday morning (like 1am ish, eww). That day we met dad for lunch and then caught a movie (the new sherlock holmes....highly recommend). Afterwards we went to the country club (where we had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding....ahh memories!) and then relaxed at home. Friday we caught another movie (Mission Impossible 4...shockingly I liked that too!) then went to dinner with my parents and one of my brothers. We ended up playing trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings and did awesome! I like to think my random entertainment knowledge helped a lot :)

On the 24th we headed to Pontiac for Christmas with my dad's side of the family. First time in 4 years everybody was together for Christmas! Its hard with all the cousins getting married for us all to be there the same time so it was fun it worked out this year :) After presents we ended up looking at old scrapbooks from when we were growing up till now that Grandma had kept. Nothing quite says Merry Christmas like making fun of your family!! It was great, I was laughing so hard I was crying! Before leaving we got our traditional family pics....I say traditional because since I was in elementary school we've always taken a "cousin" picture in staircase order...tallest to shortest....its fun to look back at them and see us change positions in the staircase...I used to be 2nd and then slowly dropped down to the bottom, thank goodness my cousin Cara is still just a hair shorter then me! Here are a few of the pics from this:

Brian, Jeff, Jason, me, and Cara

Cousins and Grandma

The new tradition picture...cousins and spouses/significant other....Jeff got a nutcracker haha

Uncle Brad, Aunt Cindy, Grandma, Dad, Mom
 After Grandma's it was back to mom and dad's for our Christmas. Got some great gifts and so did Mav! My favorite Maverick gift was from my brother and sister in law....a doggie mustache!!! Hilarious!!!
Wait, this is a dog toy? Guess I should give it to Mav then

It was a fight to get him to do it right!

Family picture!

Jason, Katie, and Baxter

Isn't he the cutest!

Mom, dad, and their grand dogs!
 Christmas day we went to my mom's mom. Had a good lunch and opened gifts. Took a few family pics!  (Normally I'm so bad getting pictures at family functions because I'm to busy talking...we did good this trip haha)
The McCarthy side of the family

My family!

My family and Grandma

Mom, Uncle Kevin, Grandma, and Uncle Tom

 When we got home from Grandma's we made drinks and watched a movie together. We also talked about doing a family trip to Singapore (more to come on that later) All in all a fun weekend! Merry Christmas :).

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Ok it's been awhile :) I kept forgetting to get all the pics on Ed's camera and put them on this...and then I didn't want to get out of we'll just do a few posts over the next  few days to get up to date :) The week before Christmas we went with our neighbors to the train yard in NE Minneapolis. There was a "holiday train" coming in that would stop and also have live music. Apparently this train would make about 70 stops over the Holiday season, very neat! Here are some of my favorite pictures from it: 
The train coming in

One of the carts opened up and out came the band, country and christmas music, jackpot :)

In front of a festive cart!

It was a fun....cold night :) Glad we were able to check this out. Got me in the holiday spirit!! :)