Friday, December 28, 2007

Goodbye Addy

Jeff and I have decided to bring Addison back to the breeder tonight. Her heart condition is simply too unpredictable and complicated for us to provide her the care that she needs. This has been the hardest decision, to date, that I have ever had to make.

I never knew that I could love a dog so much, let alone in such a short period of time.

I will miss her loving eyes looking up at me. I will miss her soft whimper crying for me to pick her up. I will miss her warm body snuggling with me. I will miss her following me around. I will miss the car rides with her on my lap. I will miss Jeff softly telling her "no," as she chews on his favorite shoe.

Most of all, I will miss the happiness in my heart that she has brought me.

We will miss her sorely.

Saddest Day of All

Yesterday I took Addison to the vet for her first puppy check up. No more than 5 minutes into the examination, the Dr. furrowed his brows and gave a look of concern when he listened to her chest. My heart immediately sunk and tears welled up in my eyes. The Dr. took her out of the room for a consult with another Dr. in the practice. Both Drs. confirmed that Addy has a serious congenital heart murmur. The vet referred me to an excellent cardiologist.

Last night, Jeff and I took Addy to a veterinary complex that treats only referral cases. The cardiologist had left for the day, but the Dr. on staff confirmed that her heart murmur was indeed serious. She diagnosed her murmur as a "4," on a scale of "6."

Most puppies outgrow this over time, but in Addy's case, she will most likely need medication and there is no telling when or how this condition will affect her quality of life. Medication is very costly, and diagnosing her specific heart condition is very costly as well.

Jeff and I have the hardest decision of both of our lives ahead of us. Do we keep her and accept the costs and heart ache of caring for a dog who will most likely develop serious heart problems? Or do we give her back to the breeder? We both have grown so attached to her and can't imagine accepting another dog into our hearts. Lots of prayers have been whispered and tears have been shed, but no clear answer has surfaced.

As I was sitting with Addy in my lap, patiently waiting for the Dr. to come back into the examination room, I read a quote on the wall that sums up my feelings for her...

"The sunshine in my life does not come from the skies, it comes from the light in my dog's eyes."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fun for the whole family!

My mother stood in line at Target for two hours in a blizzard to buy
my sister Christina a Nintendo Wii for Christmas! It was a complete hit at our family Christmas party. Even my grandpa took a turn playing golf (pictured left). My dad was the real treat to watch. He won 10 rounds of boxing and broke a sweat!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cocktail of the Week

San Moritz Martini

1 cup crushed ice
3 ounces black currant vodka
1 ounce Champagne
Clear crè de menthe
Pomegranate seeds for garnish

For 1 drink, combine 1 cup crushed ice and 3 ounces black currant vodka in a cocktail shaker; shake vigorously.
Strain into a chilled glass.
Add 1 ounce Champagne and a splash of clear crème de menthe, garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Three Movies Coming to the Silver Screen

#1. I Am Legend
Even if end-of-the-world doomsday thrillers have already been done to death, so to speak, there's that real life ongoing ill-advised human tampering with nature that contributes to the repeatedly reawakened fear and dread of these movies. Based on the Richard Matheson sci-fi human extinction classic of the same name, I Am Legend is the third novel-to-screen adaptation. This time around, Will Smith does doomsday duty as determined scientist Robert Neville, who's in a race for the cure for a diseased and virtually disappeared mankind.

#2. The Dark Knight
I cannot wait for the next installment of the Batman series. Batman Begins was easily the best comic book movie ever. There will be a six-minute intro, which will be attached to IMAX screenings of "I Am Legend" starting December 14th. I won't share all the details here, but let's run down a few of the high points:
1. It begins with the first few minutes of the film, which introduce Heath Ledger's Joker to the audience.
2. A bank heist is involved.
3. William Fichtner sighting!
4. Explosions! Gunfire!
5. It ends with a series of clips of Batman in action.
Two words: Bad Ass

#3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I have been a long time fan of the Indiana Jones trilogy. I cannot WAIT for Harrison Ford to resume his role as Indy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A dog after my own heart...

Eva is truly a girl's dog. I love having her around! She has a great appreciation for the art of napping. She spent most of Saturday night curled up with me on the couch. A real live teddy bear!

She also rivals me for being the family member who loves shopping the most. Eva hopped right into her bag when I told her that we were going shopping for some new toys. She truly is a dog after my own heart!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Husband of the Year Award Goes To...

JEFF BURCH!!! (Roar of applause)

I awoke Sunday morning to the smell of fresh coffee. I rolled over to find an empty bed and a clock that read 8:00 AM. I thought I was dreaming.

To my surprise, this was not the case. Jeff woke up early and surprised me with my favorite breakfast...waffles and fresh coffee! Way to go honey!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Santa Paws Is Coming To Town!

Eva is staying with Jeff and I this week. I brought her to Petco to buy some treats. I saw this adorable collar and I simply could NOT resist! It was too cute! Now, Eva is ready for the holidays. She has her new party collar.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Jeff and I went to Ikea this weekend to find a few items to spruce up our little apartment. We found the mirror to your left, for above our couch. It is a classic piece that we will be able to use in our future home!

To your right, we bought a floating shelf. It was originally intended for above our other couch, but it did not fit very well in that space. Instead, Jeff hung it in our dining room as a sideboard. It is fabulous for munchies when friends come over for cocktails!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Our First Christmas Tree

Christmas is officially here at the Burch household! Jeff and I
decorated our tree, complete with candy canes and lights. I was very pleased with how the tree turned out. It adds such a warm touch to our living room.

Elvis' slow and sultry voice played in the background as we decorated. Afterwards, we nestled up with some hot chocolate to admire our work. I hope next year we have room to get a bigger tree. For now, this will do as our very first Christmas tree. Isn't it lovely?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Valentino's 5 Ways for a Woman to Look Sexy

1. Even the most beautiful clothes cant do all the work, so before anything else, you must believe you can be sexy. Every woman can.

2. How would you like to walk? When you decide, practice how to move. Use your hips and a mirror. Nobody does this naturally. Trust me, no one

3. People don’t want to admit they pose, but how you sit is important. Never plop down. Lower yourself on to a sofa at a slight diagonal. Of course its deliberate! But it works.

4. You can’t be sexy without a beautiful smile (but never show your gums) or shining healthy hair. Don’t trust mother nature. She’s too busy.

5. The way you speak can bewitch. Low, slowly and always looking the listener in the eye. And nothing matters more than how you say hello and goodbye.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

I love a fun holiday craft to celebrate the season! This year, I decided to make my own greeting cards. I thought this would be a great way to spread some holiday cheer. These cards were truly a joy to make.

With Christmas carols playing, I was able to relax, sip hot chocolate, and craft away! I am hoping to have them all done soon. Look for them in your mailbox!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Serious Salad

I love a well composed salad! I had the task of making a salad for Thanksgiving. I took this task very seriously. I had to create a salad worthy of being placed on a table that would also be graced with cheesy potatoes, stuffing, and of course, turkey. To your left, my masterpiece. Ta Da! Romaine lettuce, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, and yes, those are leave and pumpkin-shaped cucumbers. I think Martha would be proud!

The classy looking salad to the right is my mom's creation. This salad was made with spinach, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, and sliced PEARS! I love non-traditional ingredients in salads. It gives my tastebuds a fresh and lovely surprise. Cheers to you Mom!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stone Valley

More exciting news! Jeff and I found a beautiful piece of property in Brighton Township that we are going to purchase. We found a breathtaking development, "Stone Valley," last weekend and thought for sure the lots would be out of our price range...the homes in the development are amazing. Turns out the developer fell into some financial trouble and the price of the lots was reduced by an incredible $100k. There was a bit of bad news, however, the lot that we initially fell in love with was sold.

Last night, driving home from work, I saw a rainbow. I just had an all around good feeling about the evening. After meeting with the real estate agents, we discovered that "our" lot was available after all! The pending sale fell through. How fortunate for us!

Jeff and I will soon be the proud owners of lucky lot #7!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007


I have enrolled at The Douglas J Aveda Institute. I am not sure if I will be going to school at the Ann Arbor or Royal Oak campus. I am very excited to be making a career change. 2008 is going to be a busy year...first year of marriage, new career, hopefully a house, who knows what else might be in store!

Breakfast Benedict

This was my first try at "Eggs Benedict." I put a little Florentine twist on this dish by adding a tomatoe and swiss cheese. Next time, I think spinach might be a nice touch.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Strange Events

Over the past few days, there have been a series of three fairly odd things that have happened. It all began last Sunday...

Jeff lost his wedding band on our drive home from Grand Rapids. He was fiddling with his new flair and it slipped out of his grasp. It was dark and we were on the highway, so I told him we would find it once we got home. I knew it would be a challenge to find since it was dark out and I have a theory that the smaller the item dropped, the further it travels. At the end of the drive, we did not find the ring.

Travel forward six days, it is the weekend, Saturday night. We went to Hiller's Market to get some beer and munchies. I love Hiller's, but there are some pretty eccentric people who shop and work there. The woman scanning our items at the checkout asked for one of our ID's. Jeff forked his over. She noticed that he just had a birthday (November 5th) and that he was a scorpio. I informed her that we were both scorpios. She then went into an interesting dialogue about how in the next few days the moon would be in the house of the scorpian constellation and since Scorpio is the sign of "death and rebirth," we would be experiencing a tragedy soon and also rebirth. I began to listen more intently. What could she mean? She concluded by saying that "when this event occurs you can remember that the crazy lady at the grocery store mentioned something about it." The very same day, Jeff received terrible news that his grandmother had been taken to the hospital, was very ill, and was expected to pass during the week.

Next odd event. Now this one is not nearly as intense. Jeff and I were flipping through the channels, and I said, "I wish the Wizard of Oz was on." Two channels later...guess what was on.

Today, week after Jeff loses his ring. We are on the way to church and Jeff is telling me what he would like for Christmas. I tell him that he will probably be getting a new wedding band. He then says out loud, "I wish I had my wedding ring back!" Not a moment goes by ... he looks over and down. There, smiling up at him was his wedding band, stuck in part of the seat belt plastic.

Now, you might think that all of these events are just a strange coincidence. I myself, do not know what to make of all of it. I have had odd instances happen like this before, but never so many so close together. It makes me wonder if these situations are simply coincidence or if there is something else going on.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hair that Flatters

No matter your face shape, there will be cuts that look best on you. (Except for this style which looks great on almost everyone). Here's a quick guide of what to look for and what to avoid for five different face shapes.

Oval Face Shapes
The oval face is the most versatile face. You can pull off almost any look -- short, long, straight or wavy. No matter the length of your cut, you'll look best with layers near your cheekbones, lips or chin -- basically whatever feature you want to highlight.

Styles that are flattering and stylish: Chin-skimming bobs, blunt bangs, long beachy waves (think California surfer girl).

Avoid: Short layers that add height on top of your head. This will make your face appear long. If your hair is thick or curly, avoid a blunt cut. You'll look like a pyramid.

Celebs who share your face shape: Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Jada Pinkett Smith

Tools you can't live without: A great curling iron and flatiron to create waves and straighten your sleek locks.

Long or "Oblong" Face Shapes
Ahhh, the long face shape. The perfect haircut is one that doesn't drag down the face, yet adds width.

Styles that are flattering: Side-swept bangs (I plan to never go without them again). Chin-length bobs are also ideal for this face shape because they create the illusion of width. You will look great curly or wavy (these also add width).

Avoid: Stay away from extremely long or short cuts. These elongate your face. Long hair looks best with a few layers cut in, especially around the face. You might also consider a v-shaped style, where the length is mainly in the back, while the sides and front of your hair appear shorter. Super hot styles now: Long layers.

Celebs who share your face shape: Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashlee Simpson, Giselle Bundchen

Styling tools you can't live without: A great volumizer. My favorite is Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray, I also love the hairspray Big Sexy Hair Flip it Over Full and Wild.

Round Face Shapes
Your goal is to create less volume around the face. You also want to minimize the appearance of roundness.

Styles that are flattering and stylish: Try cuts that fall just below the chin. Soft, graduated layers are a great bet because they make your face appear slimmer and tend to remove bulk and weight from the sides. Consider wispy and tapered ends. These de-emphasize the roundness of your face. Bangs are flattering, but keep them long or sideswept.

Avoid: One-length, blunt cuts if you have short hair. Curly, short hair is also a no-no. These only emphasize your roundness.

Celebs who share your face shape: Fergie, Kate Bosworth, Oprah Winfrey, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Tools you need: A great Boar's Hair brush to keep hair tame.

Square Face Shapes
If you have a square face, you'll want to play down your strong, angular jaw. Texture, in the form of curls or choppy ends, do this brilliantly. You can also get away with short, spiky cuts and long, sleek styles with layers that start at the jawline and continue downward.

Avoid: One-length bobs (especially chin-length) and blunt-cut bangs. These will make your face look even more square.

Celebs who share your face shape: Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore, Angelina Jolie, Isabella Rosellini and Rosario Dawson

Heart Face Shapes
Your pointy chin tends to be the focal point of your face. Draw attention to your eyes and cheekbones instead with sideswept bangs (like Reese Witherspoon pictured here), brow-grazing fringe, a strong part and hair that falls at or below your jawline. Have short hair? Keep top layers soft and long. Long hair? Go for long layers that graze your cheekbones.

Avoid: Short, blunt-cut bangs and harsh, choppy layers.

Celebs who share your face shape: Katie Holmes, Jennifer Lopez, Rachel Bilson, Reese Witherspoon, Ziyi Zhang

One theory...

While in Newport Beach , California last January I walked past this sign. Interesting thought.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Jeff turned 25 today! Happy Birthday honey!

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Tribute to Vogue

"Vogue was described by book critic Caroline Weber in The New York Times in December 2006 as "the world's most influential fashion magazine":

"Vogue is to our era what the idea of God was, in Voltaire’s famous parlance, to his: if it didn’t exist, we would have to invent it. Revered for its editorial excellence and its visual panache, the magazine has long functioned as a bible for anyone worshiping at the altar of luxury, celebrity and style. And while we perhaps take for granted the extent to which this trinity dominates consumer culture today, Vogue’s role in catalyzing its rise to pre-eminence cannot be underestimated."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Macademia, Mahi, and Memories

This is my attempt to replicate a dish Jeff and I had at "The Beach House" in Hawaii... macademia encrusted Mahi Mahi. The veggies you see on the side are sauteed zucchini and summer squash. They pair perfectly with the Mahi. Although my dish did not come close to comparing with the amazing meal we enjoyed at TBH, it did bring me back to Hawaii for a brief moment in time. Wish I could go back!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Jeff and I found the perfect stencils for carving our pumpkins! Jeff decided to carve the skull and bat combo to the left. I opted for the scarecrow below.

I forgot how gross carving pumpkins was. You have to scoop out all sorts of awful smelling pumpkin guts. Eww. I hope someday my kids will just want to draw jack-o-lantern faces on those tiny little pumpkins you can find at Meijer. Than again...where is the fun in that?! I suggest instead of breeding cauliflower/broccoli hybrids, scientists should cross breed a pumpkin with an then carving pumpkins would be more pleasant.

Fall is Here

Every year Jeff and I welcome fall with a day devoted to celebrating the season. This year, we took a trip to a local farm to buy some pumpkins, cider, and to enjoy the beautiful day!
We had our favorite four-legged friend "Eva" with us. We were not there five minutes, when the little bandit trotted over to a little boy and took a bite out of the doughnut that he was holding! She really needs to go to charm school.

We had so much fun picking out pumpkins to carve. There were so many to choose from!
Stay tuned for pictures of our jack-o-lanterns...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cheers to the Newlyweds!

My cousin Lisa and her husband Chris were married on October 13, 2007. She looked absolutely stunning! I have not seen a more beautiful bride since watching Cinderella as a child.

Lisa is one of the most naturally beautiful, sweet, and humorous people that I know. Her smile and "sparkle" could charm the socks off of any man! Chris was the lucky one that she chose to be her prince charming, and I couldn't be happier for the two of them. Congratulations Lisa and Chris!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Our honeymoon was amazing. We had a fantastic time! Surfing, a helicopter tour, fabulous dinners, hot stone massages, and a catamaran tour, were just some of the activities that Jeff and I enjoyed while in paradise.

The picture to your left is a picture of Jeff and I on the beach in front of our hotel, the Kauai Hilton. The hotel had a great ambience, not to mention the best happy hour on the island...complimentary Mai Tais from 5-6!

We enjoyed our stay on the island very much. I especially enjoyed the Kauai coffee. I, a coffee lover, wish I could be back on the island sipping a hot cup of Kauai "Joe" right now.

One memory I will never forget from our trip to Hawaii was while Jeff and I were surfing. A native of the island, a former surf instructor, paddled over to where we were surfing. I observed that he was an old friend of "T-Bird" our surf guide. He offered to help me catch the "perfect wave." While waiting for that wave, we chatted. He asked where I was from. Responding, "Grand Rapids, Michigan,"I was fully prepared to pull out my hand and point to where Grand Rapids is on my make-shift map of the state. To my surprise, he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye, offered his fist, and said "Ohhhh, I been to your island Mon!"

As I reminisce about our honeymoon, this song plays in the background of my memories... "Somewhere... over the rainbow, way up high...there's a land that I heard of...once in a lullaby. Somewhere... over the rainbow...skies are blue...and the dreams that you dare to dream...really do come true." - Wizard of Oz

Happily Ever After

Welcome to myblog!

Jeff and I were married on September 21, 2007, the first day of fall. Fall is our favorite season, so how fitting that we were married on this special day! I personally love the sights, sounds, and tastes of fall. I truly enjoy all that the season brings...pumpkin carving, apple cider, and of course the spectacular fall foliage. Such a magical time of year.