Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Make Your ♥ Melt Monday

Sorry kids (both furry and non-furry), I didn't go to HHS last night due to a doctor's appointment. Therefore, I don't have any stories and updates on how any of the animals are doing... except for Honey. She was adopted by a fellow co-worker last night! Sarah and Josh brought their two chihuahuas, Lord Nugget and Lieutenant Javier, to the shelter last week to make sure all three dogs would get along. Although they did not play around, apparently the got along enough on the first try for Sarah and Josh to agree to adopt her. Yay! I'm so glad she's in a good home where she's be loved and fed properly! Thanks Sarah!

Clare is a female Pit Bull Terrier.

Octo is a male Chihuahua.

Petey is a male Pit Bull Terrier.

Stewart is a male Pit Bull Terrier.

Wilson is a male Labrador Retriever.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Yes, I know it's not Friday... but close enough. Thank you Good Friday and your short work week, we all appreciate it! I'm going to go ahead and do my questions today since this weekend is packed and I don't know when the next time I touch my computer will be. Tomorrow, weather permitting, is going to be devoted to yard work. If it's too cold/raining/snowing/whatever, I think I'm going to paint either the bathroom or laundry room cupboards. Friday night is fish fry at the Eagles and card night with the fam. So excited for my parents and Peanut to come home! I haven't seen them really since January. Saturday I finally get to meet Clay's boss and co-workers. His company reserved the Whitecaps box for the game and should be a pretty good time. Sunday is obviously Easter and have the normal rat race to contend with. With that said, Happy Easter everyone and hopefully I'll touch base at some point this weekend! xoxo

1. What are two foods you just can’t eat?
Hmmm, that's a toughy. There are a lot of foods I don't like, but can choke down if necessary. Ones I absolutely cannot eat... ??? Chinese for one. I refuse to eat the Poodles 'N Noodles. Another food is tomatoes. Gross! Definitely a texture issue. Clay and I use to sit and restaurants and dare each other to eat the cherry tomatoes served with our salads. We'd both finally give in, count to 3, toss 'em back and then sit there and gag. I know, we're a classy duo. LoL.

2. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?
I don't personally buy them. My mom use to and, of course, I'd eat 'em. Thin Mints are by far the best Girl Scout Cookie ever! I'm tempted to buy them now, but I figure it's just better not to have the temptation in the house. They're kind of like Oreos, you sit down to have a few and then notice a whole sleeve is gone. Self-control FAIL. 

3. How do you pamper yourself?
Once in a blue moon, I'll be inclined to pamper myself in the evening if I have nothing else going and just feel like I need a little pick me up. Pampering myself usually includes a bubble bath, mani/pedi, lotion, face mask... ya know, the usual girly stuff. Other than my own personal DIY bathroom spa treatment, there's nothing else I do to really pamper myself. 

4. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
"Z" is my most common nickname due to my maiden name being Zylstra. I miss being a "Z". It's sort of a family tradition. My dad, Ashley and I are all referred to as "Z" and now it just really doesn't make sense. However, if people use to call me "Z", they still do now. Sometimes I find myself accidentally signing work emails like that. Whoops! LoL 

5. Would you rather be on ABC’s Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC’s What not to Wear?
Oh definitely Home MakeOver. I don't need Stacy and Clinton critiquing my wardrobe. I'm just thinking sweatpants and tshirts from high school and college didn't make this years "what to wear" list. Stacy would probably make me cry... or punch her in the face is she attempted to throw my sweats in the garbage. (Clay'd probably be helping her). I love my house, but if Ty Pennington wanted to tear it down and make it bigger with a bunch of new, cool thing.... I don't think I'd object. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." -Kate Moss

I guess as a born and raised Michigander, this shouldn't surprise me a whole lot... BUT we woke up to snow Monday. Snow. Obviously Spring isn't exactly on its way, but nonetheless, bathing suit season is soon approaching. Eww. God knows my sweatpant wearing physique trembles at this very thought. Besides lacking total self control when it comes to eating (especially sweets) and would rather punch myself in the face than exercise, I also am an unfortunate sufferer of seasonal depression. Winter = cold and darkness = over eating and zero physical activity.

Note: I've had the copy below saved in my drafts for several months now debating whether or not to make it public. My weight/body is a very sensitive subject for me. I know there are people out there (my husband included) who can't understand why it's so hard to have self control and therefore don't understand the frustration of dieting and watching your weight. However, I also know that there are so many people out there fighting the same battles I am and sometimes it helps just to know you're not alone. With that said...

I wish I weren't body conscious. I wish I was one of those girls who could embrace my double digit pant size and love all my jiggly-ness, but sadly, I'm not quite that strong. I saw a passage pop up in my Facebook mini-feed the other day that really reached out to me:

Tips on how to battle negative body image issues:
  • Don’t let others be your mirror unless they are a positive one. 
  • Find what you like about your body and play it up. 
  • Spend time admiring things about yourself in the mirror and in pictures. 
  • Do things that make you feel beautiful. 
  • Protect yourself from toxic people who belittle your beauty. 
  • Avoid comparing bodies. 
  • Relearn to love yourself. 
  • Participate in things that make you feel good about your body. 
  • Discover your style and appreciate it. 
  • If you can’t find yourself, reinvent yourself. 

Well, I'm hoping one day to find a balance of eating what I love combined with portion control and frequent exercise. Right now, I need to get my ass in gear because I'm not happy with what I see in the mirror. I have my workout clothes packed and ready to go for after work today. I think it's also time to dig out my before and after pictures (below) in order to get myself motivated again. May as well super glue them on the back of my hands as a constant reminder when I reach for food. Pictures don't lie... and the ones taken of me in Hawaii in 2009 are no exception. Knowing I had a wedding and honeymoon coming up in 11 months was enough to scare me into diet and exercise. I had Clay take an "after" photo of me on the first day of our honeymoon. Although disgusted with my before photo, I'm thankful for this reminder.

August 2009 to July 2010: Front
August 2009 to July 2010: Back

I pray for motivation, strength and success as I attempt to improve my actions and feelings toward exercising, eating and body image. Self-discipline and self-control will also be added to the self-improvement list.  I wish I still lived with my mom, but we will have to learn how to be long distant workout buddies and hold each other accountable for what we eat and the exercise we should be doing.

If anyone out there is looking to be healthier and lose/watch their weight, I strongly recommend MyFitnessPal.com. Easy and free site to help track food and exercise... almost like a fitness facebook. Try it out... and be my friend (username AndreaArchambault). Well friends, wish me luck. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Make Your ♥ Melt Monday

Due to a major case of the lazies last night, I wasn't able to get a Monday post out. But no worries, here's one now. I have to say, I'm deeply saddened by the fact that HHS is getting so many returned animals lately. They're obviously not getting a fair shot at their new home. It's like coming home with a newborn baby... you can't return it the first time it keeps you up at night or has an accident. Do people not realize how traumatic it must be for these dogs to go from a home/out on the streets to a small kennel to a new home? The husky, Balto, was adopted and returned less than 24 hours later. What kind of a chance is that? Dogs love you unconditionally... is it so unrealistic to return the favor?

Mlive article on HHS

Luckily, last night wasn't as bad as last week's visit. Honey, the paper-thin chihuahua is still there, but looking a smidge better. They've been monitoring her weight very closely. Plus, a co-worker of mine is visiting Honey today and may potentially adopt her! Yay! Tulsa was adopted sometime last week as well. Good thing, because if I had to look at her big, sad eyes one more day, she would be coming home with me. Still lots of chihuahuas and two huskies there. :( There's also a entire kennel full of 8 hound/shepherd mix puppies. Teeny little puppies who all just stop and stare at you with big sad eyes when you walk by. Ahh! Cute overload!

I was extremely grateful for all the volunteers who were there yesterday. Usually Monday nights are pretty quiet with maybe 1 other volunteer there. Makes me feel really guilty for leaving at the end of the night knowing that I couldn't get to every dog. There were so many people there last night getting the dogs taken care of that we all went home early. It was so great. I got to leave knowing every animal had a clean cage and a chance to burn off some energy outside. Great night.

Allie is a female Husky mix.

Bishop is a male Pit Bull Terrier mix.

Chevy is a male Shepherd mix.

Shirley is a female Jack Russell Terrier.

Tanga is a female Labrador Retriever mix.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

FSU GRDE c/o 2008

The annual GRDE senior portfolio day rolled around this spring once again, but this year I was invited. I've been out in the real world for 3 years already?! Crazy. Sadly, most of my fellow peers were unable to make the trip to Grand Rapids for the event, but I was fortunate enough to get to spend the evening with Rachel and Kyle.

How I miss you guys! Even though I refuse to say I miss college, I do miss those crazy times in the DPC. Wrapping boards and sniffing spray mount in the lab at 3 AM isn't quite as bad when you have 12 other crazy designers trapped in there with you. I wish I hadn't been such a hermit the first three years and was able to spend more time with that group. Let's face it, no one else will be able to talk about tweaking it, primordial ooze and "say it with tea, yell egg!" with anyone else and have quite the same effect.

Dear GRDE class of 2008, I miss you guys like crazy! It's kinda lonely here on this little island known as Holland. I hope that in the near future, we can have a reunion with all 13 of us. Until then, take care and keep in touch! Love, Z

Ferris State Graphic Design program c/o 2008

Friday, April 15, 2011


1. What is your favorite sign of spring?
That first day you can open your windows! Whether it's at home or in the car, I love that still slightly cool air mixed with the super warm sun on my skin. Even though there's still the possibility of 3 feet of snow within the hour (thanks Michigan), open windows reassure me that warmer weather is on its way... eventually.

2. What was your best birthday ever?
During my senior year of college, Clay and I unfortunately parted ways. It was a rough couple months, but when we were on decent terms, we decided to go out and grab a drink to celebrate my 22nd birthday/end of finals week. It turned out to be one of the best nights/birthdays ever! We walked from our dorms to The Gate bowling alley (mind you, it's winter and I'm in heels). Decided later to grab a cab and go to Shooters. Had a great time shootin' pool, dancing, drinking. When it was time to go, the wait for a cab was ridiculously long so we decided to walk from Shooters back to the dorms. Many many miles... in high heels... in the snow... drunk. Halfway back, Clay decided to walk through the Burger King drive thru. Sadly, they served him. LoL. Such a great night after a very stressful/emotional few months.

3. What is your favorite dessert?
That's like asking which of my future children I like more! I love dessert! It's my favorite good group. If I had to choose, I could probably at least narrow it down to the cookie category. Big glass of milk + many many cookies = pure bliss (+ tight pants). Oreos are my all-time favorite cookies followed by my mom's no bakes then Grandma's chocolate chip cookies. Nom nom nom!

4. What is the best excuse you've ever used to get out of a ticket?
This speed demon has never gotten a ticket. Probably should have though. Going 87 down the highway apparently is a "just a warning" offense. Oops. I was just reeeeealy polite, was apparently very nervous and didn't have my most recent registration card thing. Cop told me to use my cruise control and sent me on my marry way. Who knew?

5. Do you wake up before your alarm, with your alarm, or after hitting snooze several times?
I'm a snooze hitter. Many many times. I even have to put an extremely loud alarm in our guest bedroom or else I'm not getting up. Sometimes I shut my alarm off in my sleep. Not good. If I have to get up for work or something, I'll hit snooze one or two times. If it's the weekend and had ambitious goals the night before to get up and get stuff done, I will set an alarm and hit snooze for several hours. Yeah, I'm that awesome.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I seem to have a slight obsession with checking Petfinder.com somewhat religiously... especially the dogs at HHS. I like to see which dogs are new and which have been adopted (yes, all of them are adopted... happy endings only in my mind). I had asked about Tulsa the other day at the shelter because I noticed she had been there several weeks, but hasn't been posted on Petfinder. Well, she's on there now. This lil heartbreaker just lays in her cage staring at you with huge Puss In Boots eyes. When I opened her cage, she just slid towards the back and cried. So I carried this big baby outside and all she wanted was to press up against my leg or beg for a belly rub the entire time.

The picture of her isn't so great, but she's such a cutie! Awesome pattern/coloring in her fur and a lil baby face. The front desk gal told me that someone potentially wanted to adopt her, but Tulsa needed to go through a temperament test first. Apparently whenever someone goes to reach in her cage, she "wants to rip your arm off." Um, this big baby begging for a belly rub? Uh huh, sure. I understand some people "connect" with dogs better than others and I strongly believe that dogs are a great judge of character... but if this dog is trying to rip your arm off, you're probably pissing her off. Same with Cheetoh who was supposedly biting volunteers and customers. People, connect with your inner Dr. Doolittle and approach these dogs with a little more TLC. 

I also found my other heartbreaker from Monday on Petfinder. Honey is the Chihuahua who was all skin and bones and very scared. Luckily her picture makes her look a little healthier because I'm pretty sure I would start crying again. 

Clay, I've decided we need to buy a ton of land with a huge barn or something so I can start saving all these animals from tiny cages, rationed food and no love... because they all break my heart. 
Honey is a female Chihuahua.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Make Your ♥ Melt Monday

I know, I know... it's Tuesday. I was planning on writing my usual Monday post after I was done at the Humane Society last night. Well, let's just say there was much sadness last night. The number of abused, half-starved dogs I came across was just too much for me to handle yesterday. There was a Chihuahua that saying she was "skin and bones" would be an understatement. Watching her try to stand up was like watching a newborn horse trying to stand for the first time... legs wobbling and unsure if they can support the weight of the body.

I have a particular soft spot for Huskies and Chihuahuas for obvious reasons and there were so many of them there last night. Balto is a Husky that was adopted and returned less than 24 hours later. So he's back and giving me those big sad eyes. There's a Pit Bull mix named Tesla who refuses to run and play... she just presses up against my leg shaking and crying. While I was outside in the pens with the dogs, there was a beautiful Lab who sat at his gate with a toy in his mouth just crying non stop for the 2 hours I was there.

See? Much sadness. Usually I can somewhat "handle" what I see at HHS week after week. However, there was just something about yesterday that made me lose it. I think a lot of it was there were soooo many scared dogs. Most of the time, the dogs are jumping against the gates, barking, making a scene. Yesterday, like 3/4 of the dogs were pressed in the back corner of their cage... shaking... crying... making me sad.

So my featured furry kids of the week are all of them. If you're thinking of getting a pet, please look into rescuing. Every breed, size and age can be found in a shelter somewhere close to you. These animals need a home. Please don't give up on them.

Friday, April 8, 2011


1. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
My number one thing I would change is a physical characteristic. I am... an odd shape. There's my waist, then my hips, then a huge indent, then my thighs. It's just an odd looking silhouette. I immensely dislike my back fat, but that's something I have at least a little control over. When I can summon up enough self control and will power to diet and exercise, I can lose some weight. But no matter how small I can shrink my back fat, I just can't pull off the clingy tops and dresses because of my odd shape. Hmph. Oh well.

2. Write about a time when you got lost.
Um, this happens only like every time I drive. One time that really sticks out was when I had to leave really early from Ferris to drive to some no name high school for volleyball officiating. I have some crappy directions from the school's A.D., some mapquest directions, my Garmin and a vague idea on the general direction. Unfortunately, all 4 of those sources were quite different. Early wintery morning when I have to be somewhere at a certain time is NOT the best time to get lost. I called and woke up my dad for help, and he too had different directions. I eventually made in there... late and frustrated... but made it.

3. Camping or 5 star hotel?
Camping. Definitely camping. I'm all about hobo pies, campfires and s'mores. Mmm. The only downside is that I'm always cold, so sleeping outside isn't always the most cozy. Best to have a snuggle buddy. :]

4. Have you donated blood?
I haven't in a while, but I've given blood probably almost a dozen times. I don't mind giving blood and am glad to help out, but I'm always afraid I'm going to run into the same probably my dad did. He use to give blood like clockwork every 56 days. One day, a relative of his got in a bad accident and needed blood. My dad was only a couple days away from being able to give blood again and the hospital wouldn't let him give blood to help out his family. I'm always afraid something like that will happen to me.

5. Do you have a budget or do you 'fly by' most months?
We don't have a set budget, but I watch our checking account like a hawk. I know, for the most part, how much is coming in and going out every week/month. Good thing I'm Dutch because I really only have to be concerned about Clay's spending. Utilities and loan payments are scheduled automatic withdrawals and I generally don't spend much in groceries.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My husband's a goner for sure...

A different kind of bling

Don't get me wrong, I love a nice sparkly diamond just as much as the next girl, but I also love the unusual. Good thing Clay knows my taste in jewelry... whether it's a unique silver piece or something with typography incorporated into it. Love. Just thought I'd share these lil gems I came across on the Internet and hope to find for real someday. Happy hump day all!

Want to see more? Check out my Pinterest style board!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Make Your ♥ Melt Monday

Lazy Sundays lead to Mind Numbing Mondays. I have no strength to form any sort of complete thought today. I have spent the last 9 hours organizing the Gentex photo library. Thousands of pictures with no labels other than the default PIC0001 or obscure names like "TacoCrop2009." What?! So yeah. That is why I have nothing more to give other than this week's featured furry kids. Enjoy. :)

Balto is a male Husky Mix.

Buddy is a male Pit Bull Terrier/Labrador Retriever mix.

Gunner is a male Pit Bull Terrier/Labrador Retriever mix.

Paco is a male Labrador Retriever mix.

Scraps is a male Pit Bull Terrier mix.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Birthday my love.

A dark, rainy, cold Sunday spent watching movies in pajamas and binge eating is a pretty awesome way to wrap up the weekend... and even more awesome-er when it's Clayton's birthday. My husband found out that he's a little old for the last-call bar hopping extravaganza and is having a little trouble getting going today. But that's ok. Woke up and crawled on the couch to watch some movies this morning, made a big lunch-dinner (pork roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, strawberries, apple crisp...) and then back to the couch for more movies and Call Of Duty. Mmm. Lazy Sundays, I love you.

It's hard to believe I started dating Clay when he was only 17... and now he's 27! Where does the time go? And an even bigger question, what was life like before Clay? I know a decade may or may not seem like a super long time, but wow, it sorta feels like forever. Crazy.

Happy 27th Birthday to my wonderful husband.

Friday, April 1, 2011


1. Have you ever had surgery?
Definitely... with the scars to prove it. My first surgery was having my tonsils and adenoids removed, then dozens of moles removed and finally, tarsal tunnel surgery on both feet. I had my left foot done in January of 2006 and my right during the summer that same year. The first one was the roughest because I lived on the 4th floor of my dorm (no elevators), went to school on the hill-iest campus ever and had classes all over the place. Plus it was the dead of winter and my first day back after surgery was the day after a huge ice storm. Crutches and ice don't mix well. It was a long 8 weeks on crutches hobbling all over campus.


2. Ever ride in an ambulance?
Nope, fortunately.

3. How are you in a medical emergency? Panicked? Calm?
I've never really encountered a serious situation where I would know either way. I think I would be intense, but collected enough to be able to take care of whatever was happening. My fear is someday with a baby, if something doesn't seem right or bad is happening, I'll freak out and panic. I sure hope not.

4. Do you have a garden? Flowers or veggies?
Not yet, but I really want a garden. We have a lot of landscaping work to do and hopefully a garden will find its way into our backyard somehow. I'd love to grow raspberries, green beans, strawberries... etc. Clay and I aren't huge veggie fans, but I'm sure I could find something to grow. Growing flowers throughout our property is a definite yes someday.

5. When did you move out of your parents house?
Funny that this question came up today. I didn't move out of my parents house until my wedding day (July 17, 2010). Yes, I moved into a dorm for college for four years, but officially, not until last summer. However, Clay and I officially closed on our house one year ago today. He started living there immediately and slowly over the last year, we've made it our own. Of course there's still a lot to be done, but it's coming along nicely and I love our home. xoxo

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