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I love house-sitting, I feel so responsible and grown up knowing someone trusts me enough to leave me alone in their house and in charge of keeping things safe and in order. Plus, it’s like a mini vacation! Throw a pet into the mix, and I am in heaven. Look at those faces, the nervous one on the left is Abby (my cousin’s dog) and the dapper dog on the right is Oliver, my own beloved chunky monkey. Because I was sitting for my cousin and his partner, they were cool with me bringing Oliver along for the long weekend. I’m not sure I could handle a whole weekend without Oliver, my recent trip to Maui was marred slightly by my incessant “I miss Oliver” whining ritual.

Because this was my cousin’s house, I was already comfortable being there and was familiar with their routine. But even with family, I can’t help but feel a little nervous when left alone in a house that isn’t mine. I decided to pretend it was a lovely bed & breakfast I’d found on Living Social. While I unpacked, Oliver made himself comfortable in our shared guest room. It wasn’t hard to keep my B&B fantasy going, since the house is decorated so nicely. My room was robin’s egg blue, which really set off Oliver’s black & white coloring. Aside from admiring the decor, I decided to keep myself occupied by trying out a few new things – some I brought along with me from home, and some I discovered at the B&B.

When I wasn’t walking the dogs, keeping things straightened up, or trying to figure out the scary HD television, I was marveling at the incredible display of products my cousin keeps in one of the bathrooms. I sent this picture to a friend, and she thought I was at Sephora. If anyone was curious, L’Occitane makes a killer body lotion and shower gel. I’m already a big Aveda fan, and have been using their Black Malva for years, but while at Cousin’s B&B I was able to rediscover the Rosemary Mint line. Since my product junkie relative seemed to have stocked up on dozens of sample sized bottles of the conditioner and shampoo, I helped myself to one of each. Shhh….

Since I knew I’d have some spare time to work on crafts, I brought supplies, Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri in Lickety Split Lime and the Nail Art Pen in Black. My original idea was to do tiger stripes, but I quickly realized that was beyond my skill level and I had to scale it down a notch. I went with abstract lines, since it’s the only thing I could manage without help (the dogs were no help at all). I should have remembered a top coat, because the black lines faded throughout the day and practically disappeared by the next morning.

Finally, I decided to tackle the luxury coffee maker I’d heard so much about, the DeLonghi Magnifica. There were weeks of research, ordering, back orders, delays and finally rave reviews. I’m not a coffee drinker, save for the occasional iced mocha or my yearly peppermint mocha. On the first morning, after the darling little doggies had woken me up at 7:30am, I stumbled into the kitchen and decided perhaps now was the perfect time to try a cup. After a phone call to my cousin for a walk through, I was on my way. I’m hopeless with coffee makers, and I kept thinking I’d accidentally launch a rocket like in the movie Space Camp. I’m now eating my “how good can it possibly be? Coffee is coffee!” words. This was one hell of a cuppa cawfee. I had no idea what to put in it, but since I’m not a fan of flavored syrups and they didn’t have any regular milk or creamer (only rice milk, eww!) I went with a single pack of raw sugar. Cut to me having a cup of coffee every morning and wondering if I could fit the machine into my purse without anyone noticing.

And so concluded my latest adventure, between the walks and experiments I had zero time to worry about which of the four remotes in the living room operated the television or anything else.