Day 17: Daily Life in the Ostlie-Household

Imagine if you were a fly on the wall,
in this wonderful Ostlie houseshold.
Life looks like a game of constant pinball;
Back and forth and side to side all in the freezing cold,
I mean, c’mon it is 24 degrees at nightfall.
School, meetings, deadlines and the endless todos
are all but life consuming
Throw in househunting, suddenly counting sheep is very few.
But, the sun is out and light is longer
which means spring is near and so are the horseshoes.
In the meantime, cleaning & scrubbing are on our list
so that we can finally bid these suburbs adieu.

Tired, just tired.

Photo Credit:

Each and every night Kyle and I come home from work or house-hunting and are utterly exhausted. In fact, we look like this frenchie…except not nearly as cute and cuddly.

Day 1: Surviving your spouse on an international trip
Day 2: Never order flowers online
Day 3: Bucket List
Day 4: Pet Peeves
Day 5: Biggest Fear
Day 8: A little honesty goes a long way
Day 10: A voice from the past
Day 11: Confessions from a wanna-be-cook
Day 13: Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel
Day 14: Hi my name is Jackie and I am addicted to Senor Taco.


Because January can be boring. Join us for a January Blog-A-Thon. Post a photo, video, sentence, anything that you want to! And if don’t feel inclined to blog, do come back and see what we’re up to. I can guarantee you’ll be entertained.


Part 2: FTD Flower Update

Thanks to all who helped share and support my earlier blog post about FTD Flowers and their massive snafu with a flower order. It was great to know that I wasn’t completely out of my mind, blowing it out of proportion, or being overly dramatic. Thank you for sharing, liking, tweeting, RT, and commenting…it means more than you think…not just to me, my friend and her family, but also to those who receive the same treatment and lack of customer service but don’t know what to do next.

Photo Courtesy:

As of Friday afternoon, FTD has called and emailed me with an update and confirmation that the order was delivered. Reimbursement as well as additional free bouquet along with reassurance that multiple people will be getting trained was shared.

In addition to the regular customer service training, or should I say, re-training, I also suggested that they re-train their social media for their lack of timely responses and poor engagement and follow through. Their manager agreed and reassured me that the recommendation would also be taken into consideration. Despite their apology, it was interesting to hear the reason for them missing in action on social media channels. It was because they had no updates to communicate with me. And as evident by my frustration via phone calls, emails, Facebook, Blog and Twitter, it sounded like I needed and wanted and update. They were fearful of responding, DM on twitter, or contacting me without any new information. And the florist was in Hawaii. Six hours behind New York. I’m glad I can be intimidating despite time zones.

I’m appreciative for the sincere apology and their efforts to reconcile a no good, dirty, rotten, very bad situation. I’m going to leave it as is and move on. However, their response to social media, and justification for lack of engagement has gotten me thinking…alot. Let’s say it’s fodder for a future blog post on risk mitigation and good examples of how a company should and could be using social media to turn not so happy people into very happy advocates for your brand.

I’d love to hear your good and not so good experiences that you’ve had over social media. Share them in the comments and your example may just make it into this future blog post!

sweet tooth.

i’ve been obsessed with the cake boss. ever since our trip to leavenworth last month, i’ve been hooked.  we even became members of netflix so i could rent the seasons. i know what you’re thinking.  don’t worry, kyle reminds me every day.

nonetheless, i’ve been determined to try to make a cake.  from scratch. adios duncan hines and pillbury. hello cookbooks and aprons. besides, who needs a birthday or milestone to eat cake?  the first attempt was with flying apron’s mexican chocolate cake and dark chocolate ganache frosting. all gluten-free, wheat-free and vegan. i had my ingredients and i went to town!  seriously, how hard could this be?

let me share an insider secret-it’s only as hard as you make it. and since i have a tendency to never read recipes all the way through, i missed the part that i needed three cake pans. yes, three. and yes, i like to make things complicated.  i assume many of you are like myself and have a slew of cake pans. various sizes and shapes for whatever a one layerd cake is supposed to look like. but honestly, who has more than one cake pan, more or less three of the same size cake pans?!  too bad, my ability to catch errors are where my hands are full of batter, holding a large glass bowl and am in dire need of assistance.

enter knight in shining armor to help…eh, my husband in his basketball shorts and his tshirt will suffice. so instead of a 3 layered cake, i made over 48 cupcakes. forty-eight. f-o-r-t-y-e-i-g-h-t. cupcakes. thank goodness for friends who love sweets and vegan friends who like vegan baked goods….oh yeah, and my awesome coworkers who share the same food intolerances as i.

half of the batch...

but i was not to be deterred. i wanted to bake a cake. and no one stands in the way of a baker and her ingredients…oh yeah and her re-runs of cakeboss. the following week, armed with my 3 same-sized cake pans, i decided to bake a layered coconut cake. i decided to keep it to two layers and see what would happen. lo-and-behold, it turned out!  albeit, it was gigantic… that’s an understatement. it was massive. we gave half of it to some friends, who from what i hear are still eating it. the other quarter went to kyle’s school and the last quarter came to work. only rave reviews and most folks had no idea it was gluten-free, wheat-free or vegan.

coconut cake

however, unless i plan on starting my own bakery or someone has a request for some vegan, gluten free treats, i’m sticking with cupcakes. it’s more intimidating to grab a slice of cake than to grab a cupcake. besides, who can resist a babycake, even if it is vegan? i bet your sweettooth wouldn’t be able to say no..or tell the difference.

home sweet suburbian home.

it’s been nearly two months since we’ve moved to the ‘burbs.

life is busy. life is full. but we have found time to decorate and settle in. and by settle in, i mean completely obsess over our dishwasher.

i know many of you have been anxious to check out our new pad. yoshi, you can stop asking for photos now. 🙂  it’s not much but it’s our home.  and can i just say, praise God that all our furniture fit into this place and that it works! we’re quite happy with it but honestly, when the movers finished unloading their truck and van, we weren’t quite sure what we got ourselves into.

without further adieu here’s some photos!

the living room




kyle recently finished the photos. we love it!


unfortunately i’ve lost the photos of the bedroom and bathroom but eh, who wants to see that anyways?! the downstairs is just the entry and garage. yup, kyle gets an entire shop area to work on his VW bug, make stuff, and store stuff. he’s died and gone to heaven.

like with anything, it’s take a little bit of time to figure out our new living space and adjust as necessary. and we are trying to make this our new home. albeit, we’re hardly ever here but when we are it’s quite homey and welcoming!

welcome to the ostlie’s home!

here fishy fishy fishy.

no it’s not sesame street . it’s glazed mahi mahi. and it’s a new house favorite.

kyle found this recipe on and adjusted it to fit our diet.  and we love it. we’ve tested it out with salmon but the glaze tastes the best with the mahi mahi. granted the photo above doesn’t do the dish justice. but what can i say, by the time i remember to take a photo, everything is gone! it’s that delicious. this dish always is great when paired with this kale salad.


  • 4 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.
  3. Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately.

christmas jingle you won’t forget.

so we had a team lunch today and of course it included games.  i know, rolling of the eyes right? wrong! OMG. it was super fun.  we all had to come up with a list of adjectives, names, etc which unbeknownst to us turned out that we were creating our own christmas song!! each table had to sing it in front of 50 or so people…..we sang AND included hand-motions.  so just keep the latter in mind as you sing this out-loud since  i know you will.

SLEDDING through the snow

in a BEAUTIFUL and HANDSOME sleight


SURFING all the way

Bells on JOHN V. ring

Making spirits bright

What fun it is to laugh and sing


Jingle Bells….Jingle Bells….Jingle all the way.

Oh what fun it is to ride and sing

in a BEAUTIFUL and HANDSOME sleigh- Hey!!

As you prepare for the of the holidays, if the chaos hasn’t fully commenced yet, we wanted to send a wish to you and your family.  May your holiday be filled with family, friends, great food, amazing fellowship, perhaps surfing and sledding too.  But most important  the celebration of Christ Jesus-our Lord and King.