Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Proudest Moment This Week....


I am my father's daughter afterall! I don't really like 'car' mechanical things...it's one of those things....sure, I can probably do a lot more than I DO do, but I don't like to do these sort of things....so I don't. My dad liked to work with cars (trucks, boats, bikes....whatever), my brother likes to work with wood, and I like to work with fabric, papers, and baubles. We all like(d) to look at things and figure out how they work, and then...work with them, but....it's different materials. Today, I reached down deep, and I found my Dad's DNA....and I fixed something on my car. I'm generally frugal...except when it comes to cars. I called the dealership and they said they would charge me $15 for this repair, so I mulled it over for a week, and today....I went in and bought some lights ($4.32), and decided to attempt it 'on my own.' OK, whatever-it's two little bulbs that go over the license plate, but....I figured it out! I even had to go back in for a 'different' screw driver. Just for the record-all my tools are hot pink, and they fit compactly into a hot pink tool kit, but....they work. I was so proud because I did something I didn't want to do, and the lights fit in, the screws all went back into place.....I don't know if they work, but lets say they do.

Nacho' Everyday Boyfriend


Lunch is rarely dull with friends. I do believe this is the most handsome 'Bean Boyfriend' I've ever seen. My friend Kelly has mad skills with Mexican food leftovers.

Tummy Time


Look, more annoying pet pictures. I also have annoying pet stories I tell people, I wonder why my phones not ringing as much lately? Peanut prefers Lilly. Lilly has licked a spot raw on her foot just thinking about it, but it still makes for a cute picture.

My Birthdays Coming Up....


...and I DON'T want a pair of these. I'm all about efficiency, but... I just don't see it having the same 'mopping' impact they claim. I do appreciate these little 'Slipper Genies' only because they made me smile when I saw them. You would normally have to be worried you'd find these under the Christmas tree from me, but fortunately for all my friends and family-I'm doing homemade gifts....so I left 'your pair' in the store....this year. Now....I guess I could see about making some pairs to give as gifts....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

11 Months, 8 Days Early...Blythe's Dress

Talented Heather D. makes these dresses and sells them on ETSY for a steal. http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6370315 They are so cute. I had to try it out, but now that I've tried it, I had to take the picture from a distance since it is far from perfect, but it gets the job done for this occasion. My first attempt:

This is for Blthye's birthday dress (note, she was just born on May 5th, I'm a little early, but....this is me), so she will get it for Christmas, and I think that she probably still won't be computer savvy by then, so it's safe to post. I chose purple because it went with the cute polka dotted fabric that is the underneath fabric (which is what I LOVE about these dresses). Heather's mom, Jolene (who I work with) talked me through the process of creating the cupcake out of fabric, and the button hole. I attempted the satin stitch around the cupcake (eeck, I need to work on this). Lastly, I left it for SOMEONE ELSE to embroider with her name, and then velcroed on two yellow ribbons (a favorite family color), and the velcro ribbons is a clever Heather idea.

Wa la, a party dress for a girl with a family looking forward to all the wonderful celebrations, though I am first looking forward to enjoying the many months before that first big birthday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Circus Acts


I love that Lilly and Max put up with this. I love that Peanut feels safe enough to crawl all over....well....everyone.

Weekend Wrap-Up

The Good....

Stacey and Sean's Wedding was beautiful.
The Bad....

OK, Lake Murray isn't 'bad,' but their renovations aren't to my liking! They still haven't started, though the new plan (two years after the initial start date) is this August, and in the meantime, I think people have been going elsewhere as things are in limbo :O(. The plans look great, but they also look pricey. Mom, Holly, and I headed down for the day on Monday, just to 'see' what was going on at the Lake. We stopped by a scrapbook store on the way (I wonder who's idea that was), and ate at the Apple Barrell overlooking the lake (they have great rolls....or so I hear).
The Ugly...

My cupcakes for Saturday's engagment party had an accident. Fortunately, the chocolate cakes made it, and a few of the white...just enough to feed the masses, but it still gave me mini-heart failure to look over and see these Friday morning as I was prepping flowers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Walking White Rock Lake


Holly and I decided to walk around White Rock Lake today. It's 9 and a half miles, and it kicked my tail. About halfway I imagined using my phone to call someone to come pick me up, and I tried to decide how I could explain where I was....I got over that, and focused on the positive: the wildflowers were beautiful, sailboats were out and about on the lake, and there were plenty of people to watch along the trail. The first half was physical, the second half became mental, but we had lots of good conversation to distract us. We made it, and we both agreed we would do it again. I think I need to get back to my 3 mile walks and get back in the walking habit before I go back out.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Stacey's Wedding Flowers

Here it is, my weekend project: Stacey's Wedding Flowers
The Flower Girl's Flower Ball

Mom's/Grandmother's Corsages (3 Total)
Boutonnieres (13 Total)

Bridesmaid's Bouquets (8 Total)

Bride's Bouquet (Plus One Toss)

(I added a few more monkey tails to the bride's bouquet after I took the picture.)
Table Numbers
(The bride provided the numbers on the sticks, I just did the 'sticking' into the apples.)

Reception, Table Arrangements (10 Total)
Half of the arrangements were floral arrangements, with a mix of flowers.

The "Other Half" of the Tabble Arrangements (10 Total)
Half of the arrangments were green apples, and grapevine wrapping around the insides.

The Cake Pedestal
(Kristine did this at her wedding, it was beautiful. I can't wait to see a picture with the cake.)

Cake Decorations
I don't know who baked this beautiful cake, I was just in charge of fresh flowers on the cake, but it looked delicious.s

Friday, May 22, 2009

Maurine's Purse


For Christmas, Kelly had made me a purse (not pictured), it is super cute, bright colors, and fun, summer, fruit fabrics. As soon as I received the gift, I wanted to try one for myself. Maurine collects purses, so-keeping with the homemade gift themes-I decided to make her one for her birthday. It was fun to find fabric that reminded me of Maurine (even if she wouldn't choose it for herself, it's what I chose for her). I went over to Kelly's and she created a purse for herself while taking me through the steps to make a purse. I couldn't believe how many steps it took! There is a LOT of 'stuff' inside the purse to make the sides, bottom, and handle more sturdy. We even created pockets, and a magnetic clasp. This may be my only purse, but it was a neat experience. Kelly wanted to know if I was going to post 'my' purse after two long nights of sewing, ironing, and cutting....yup, in honor of all Kelly's help-here is the purse Kelly helped me create. I had to wait until now since I didn't want to post before Maurine actually opened the gift.
Inside the Purse

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's Amore!



...and thus completes the portion of my week entitled 'cupcakes.' I have one delivery to make, and a party to attend where I get to eat one, but....really, the work is over (as far as the cupcakes are concerned). Can you guess the theme of this engagement party? Romance via an Italian supper, count me in!
P.s. Maurine, Creative Memories needs a double-sized heart punch, these were not as easy to make as the circle punch picks.

If I Had a Dollar...


...for every bow I've tied in this lifetime, I wouldn't be blogging, I'd be sitting on a beach somewhere, sending postcards to friends. This weekend I'm making flowers for a friend of a friend's wedding. I've got 20 pew bows ready to be tied onto alters, 105 lbs of apples covering my tables, monkey tails being shipped from Hawaii, and peonioes, roses, rananculus, berries, and mums being delivered in the morning. I love weddings, but there is a point where I feel overwhelmed for just a minute as I wait for the puzzle pieces to at least be set on my table so I can start building the picture. I hope it's a pretty picture, and I get the feeling there is no 'cold' front coming through in the morning....the flowers and I could use one!

Salsa


I went and bought some herbs to plant the other day, because I was so excited about the Basil (it doesn't take a lot), one of the new additions to my house is a Cilantro Plant. I also had an onion left over from another dish, so I decided to try some homemade salsa. I used the following recipe, feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions for jazzing it up because it was pretty basic. It was really fresh, but I'd call it more a Pico de Gallo. You just put all the ingrediants together, and then let it chill for an hour. I might use a milder pepper, or make sure I removed all the seeds next time I put together salsa with peppers. Plus, I guess the juice from the peppers went up inside my cuticles as I was cutting and the ends of my finger were inflamed, and they stung for several hours so badly I had to soak them in water....weird (I'm more of a wuss than I ever realized).
3 Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 C. finely, diced Onion
5 Serrano Chiles, finely chopped
1/2 C. chopped, fresh Cilantro
1 t. Salt
2 T Lime Juice

Growth Spurt...

....I had to share this, it is so weird. I turn 30 in July (yes, that's weird, but not what I'm sharing), but this is even stranger in relation to my age. I went to the doctor on Tuesday, and a grew an inch this past year! This is the SECOND year in a row I've grown at inch. I've been 5'5 since 9th grade. Every year, every doctor measured me there. Last year I went, they measured me, and I was 5'6. Sure enough, I've been 5'6 by everyone else's measuring system now too, until yesterday....I was 5'7! Maybe it's all the spinach (I have an addiction)....but really....I'm completely fine with 5'7, but how tall will I be by the time I'm 40 at this rate? So, let me know if you want me to reach anything on the high shelf b/c I guess I'm gonna be that tall friend who can reach 'stuff' from now on...;o)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Week of the Cupcake

This ones for you, Gretchen. Look, it's a shiny cupcake....

She has lots of cupcake friends, all dressed to match Beta Clubs signature colors....

....they joined our school's Beta Club for inductions Wednesday afternoon. :O) I prefer the cupcake....and it's a good thing because this my first 48 of 97 cupcake I'll be making....doesn't it sound more dramatic when you say '97'....just forget you can toss them together 24 at a time. Tomorrow I'll introduce these cupcakes to 48more cupcakes for a Wedding Shower I'm attending Saturday evening...and that 97th 'cupcake' is a sewing project that I'm dropping off this evening for some finishing touches from an embroidering company, I'll take a picture when I'm finished. The thing about the cupcake is that it never frustrates me. They don't crack like cake, serving is simple, you only have to ice 'one side' and the decorating possibilities are endless....and easy.
P.s. As a side, can I recommend the creative memeroies punches. I used them on the circles on the picks, and they saved me sooooo much time. Maurine and her Mom sell them if you ever need one. I've had mine for several years, and used it several hundred times (if not more, seriously). When I scrapbook with friends we each bring our 'stuff' and I'm always in charge of the punches b/c they are fabulous fun.

So Much Depends On A Clear, Plastic, Paint Bucket....


This poem always goes through my head when I see something I 'need.' I don't think W.W. would appreciate my interpretation of the things that are important in life....but he never knew me....
The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Williams
so much depends
upon
a red wheel
barrow
glazed with rain
water
beside the white
chickens.
....or a clear plastic, paint bucket. I found this at Michael's this week, and I'm in love. I bought several, and one is already getting a makeover. I'm spending all my free time thinking of fun things to do with these pails. Note-I didn't have an idea, and needed a container, I found a container, and then went and found an idea. I can not explain why I love paint buckets, but I do....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby Shower Cake Balls


I made these for Mom to take to a baby shower this weekend....they just never get old....so good, so easy. I'm just sayin'....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pizza Project


I had a two part project. 1) Try a new recipe 2) Use something from my...uhhh...garden (?) in the recipe.
I saw the following recipe for pizza dough in Martha Stewart's magazine, here's a link:
http://www.marthastewart.com/how-to/how-to-make-pizza-dough?autonomy_kw=pizza%20dough
It makes four pizzas, so I experimented with some different toppings.
Pizza One: Roma Tomatoes tossed in a T of Oil, Sea Salt, and Pepper, Basil (from my 'garden'), and Mozzarella Cheese.
Pizza Two: Pepperoni, Sauce, and Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza Three: The ingredients in number two, plus Onions, Tomatoes, and Olives.
Pizza Four: Butter, Sugar, and Cinnamon
The pizzas were good, and very 'fresh.' The recipe calls for you to turn the oven on broil, but I just kept it at 500 degrees for about ten minutes per pizza. I had difficult transferring the dough to the stone, but I didn't have one of those pizza paddles, that's next on the shopping, wish list. I think this would be fun to do with friends, let everyone create their own pizza. Bake, and share.

Yummmmm


I picked these up this weekend at the store with low expectations. I usually can tell it's 'diet ice cream.' BUT, I must say-these taste JUST like snicker bar ice creams (or....uh....so, I hear), and they are only 150 calories. Yum!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Good Sportsmanship....Or Lack There Of....


Mom, Jason, and I went to the Ranger's game yesterday (after a really 'exciting' stop at Cabela's. Jason wanted a new bow. It's pretty much like Bass Pro Shop, though they did have a fudge shop that I took advantage of...). The game was delayed by an hour becasue of rain, but it held off the rest of the day, and I got to witness a Ranger's win. They played the LA Angels who are number two by a game and a half (now several more with these additional losses-a sweep!), the Rangers are currently sitting in first. On the first pitch by the Angels, it went BEHIND the batter's back. I know the drill, this Ranger hit two homerooms the day before, so the pitcher decided he was going to walk him, but I just don't like seeing that-I smell bad sportsmanship. Win through all your skills, against all the skill of the other team, and not by refusing to play with the big guns. Pitch two nailed the Ranger....and the umpire threw the Angel's pitcher out. The crowd went wild, and their coach went balistic....but the decision stood. I liked that.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dallas Museum of Arts Late Nights



Once a month the DMA stays open until midnight, host programs, musicians, and dancers. My friends Sonia, Shelly, and I headed downtown this evening after dinner and walked around. I always wander around paintings and think-wow, how do they do this? I don't have the patience for painting, and I am in awe of those that have that sort of concentration and passion, and ability! And a few of the highlights....sure, most people can spot a Picasso....

OK, but seriously, this cracked me up. There is a more 'unique' section of art, and this girl creates bust of herself out of strange materials. Here are two of her pieces she licked and lathered into being. She licked this chocolate statue into shape....and she lathered the second statue during her cleaning rituals until she got the shape she wanted. Some art I just don't get, but I'm always fascinated! I wonder if she is friend's with the butter artist?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Do Your Ears Hang Low?


Peanut loves to nibble at Lilly's ears. She lets him, probably because he is so little she doesn't notice he's about most of the time.

Prayer For (Your Name Here)

This week in Beth Moore's Breaking Free study, she had the following prayer. Fill your name into the blanks, it's pretty powerful stuff!
My child, _____________, I loved you before you were born. I knit you in your mother’s womb, and knew what your first and last words would be. I knew every difficulty you, _____________, would face. I suffered each one with you. Even the ones you didn’t suffer with me. I had a plan for your life before you were born. The plan has not changed, _____________, no matter what has happened or what you have done. You see, I already knew all things concerning you before I formed you. I would never allow any hurt to come into your life that I could not use for eternity, _____________. Will you let Me? Your truth is incomplete unless you view it against the backdrop of my Truth. Your story, _____________, will forever remain incomplete until you let Me do what only I can do with your hurt. Let Me perfect that which concerns you.
I remain,
Your Faithful Father

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poppy Chicken


Here is another great recipe. I got this from one of the best cooks I know, Ann (at work, for any work buddies who are visiting). She brought it to a pot luck. Anytime Ann brings a dish, I ask for the recipe before I even try it because I know it will be great. This was good. I halved the following recipe when I made it since it only had to feed three, but here's the 'complete' recipe.
1. Cook 2 Cups of Rice (2 cups of uncooked rice will turn into 3 cups of cooked rice for the base of the dish), and bake 4-5 Chicken Breast (Add several chicken bouillon cubes, and/or replace the water with chicken broth, and pepper the water when you boil the chicken.) Cube the chicken.
2. Mix 2 Cans of Cream of Chicken, and 1 1/2 Cups Light Sour Cream
3. Crush 2 Stacks of Ritz Crackers (put the sleeves in a large zip-lock bag and use a rolling pin to crush into a finely ground mixture). Add 2 T of Poppy Seeds to the bag, and shake well. Melt a stick of butter and toss with crumb mix.
4. Use a 9x13 caserole dish (spray with Pam), place the rice on the bottom, cover with chicken, and spread the combined soup and sour cream over the chicken. Last, top with the crumb mix. (You can prepare this up to 2 days ahead without the topping, and just combine the butter and crumbs the day you bake it).
5. Bake at 300 degrees for 50 minutes.


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Oh No...The Big 5-0!


Despite that fact that Aunt Lois only spent part of a year in the 50's, we threw her a 50th, diner style birthday party for her 50th birthday (next Sunday). Complete with malts...

And diner favorites like hot dogs, burgers, and onion rings...

In case you are keeping score-calories don't count on your birthday....or your family member's birthday, or your family member's, friend's, sister's, dentist's birthday...in case you needed to read the rules one more time.

The Cake "Innards"


Here is my "own" picture of the cake innards. It was good: very moist (thanks to all that icing) and very rich (thanks to all that chocolate).

Family Tree


Last winter when I was playing with wood, I saw a few things that looked similar to this, and I decided to make my own twist on the fencepost tree idea. The ideal situation would have been to find 'used' wood (it's so fun to recycle) from a torn down fence, BUT I found some affordable (new) pieces at Home Depot. Jason cut the fence post for me down to the sizes I asked him to cut, and he even made a post for the bottom so it will stick in the ground (I think I used three pieces total for the trunk, and branches). I found the ornaments and star at Hobby Lobby over the holidays and I painted those, and glittered them (because I like glitter), then I nailed all the pieces together. We celebrated Lois' birthday today, and I decided she needed a new yard sign for the holidays, but I can't give it to her at Christmas (too late!), so this was my opportunity-my 'out of season' birthday gift (I warned everyone it's a homemade year). I even bought an ornament for Blythe, and I added her name this past week :O). There is room to 'grow'....but for now, this is the Mariam's Tree. It was a fun, very do-able yard sign. My friend Terry would have cut her own ornaments, and star out with her scroll saw, but...I am all about cheating with the pre-shaped ornaments from the store.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Lois' 12 Layer Cake


I saw the recipe for this cake here http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2009/02/fourteen-for-fourteenth.html a few months ago. Lois' favorite cake is yellow cake with chocolate icing, so I decided this year to try this out for her birthday (which we are celebrating tomorrow since she is headed to meet Blythe over her 'real' birthday). I only bought six pans, which worked fine, since that's all that fit in the oven anyway. I was a bit of a cheater-I used a boxed cake, and I used two boxes, and they made 12 layers instead of 14....I think it will have the same impact. (One is on the cake plate in the following picture).

I did follow the icing recipe from the original recipe, but I cut it in half, and just put it between the layers. I covered the outside of the cake with icing from a can (show above), but the recipe on the blog for chocolate buttercream looks really great too.

This is what the inside of the cake will looks like when it is sliced (I will try to remember to take a picture, but....no promises-I borrowed this from the website for now....I love this website!).

Here's hoping this is an experiment gone right....tomorrow the cake should be decorated, and sliced...