Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Year in Review

2010 is quickly coming to a close, and I am thankful for another year of fun and blessings.

There were many firsts, and a couple of once-in-a-lifetime-experiences.

--My honey & I went to Game 6 of the ALCS, and saw the Texas Rangers beat out the NY Yankees, to make it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history (and shortly after the Rangers exited bankruptcy with new owner Nolan Ryan). My honey is a die-hard Yankees fan, so it was a very sweet win for me!

--We also went to Game 5 of the World Series to cheer on the Rangers, never expected to have that opportunity! Unfortunately they lost the game, and the Series, but oh what a ride.

--And we went to the Thanksgiving Day Cowboys-Saints NFL game with my good friend Christy and her family. The Cowgirls lost so it was even better!!

--I went to a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley with my coworkers - complete with beer & Wrigley dog. I love Wrigley!

--We celebrated my parents' 45th wedding anniversary in June; the entire family gathered at the beach for a weekend of sun and fun.

--Our family welcomed my niece, Reagan Jane into the family in late August.

--Volunteered at Best Friends in Kanab, Utah with my friends Saira & Val - what and incredible opportunity!! I can't wait to go back and volunteer again.

--Saw the Andy Warhol exhibit at The Modern in Fort Worth

--Saw the da Vinci piece at The Kimball in Fort Worth (only one in the western hemisphere!)

--Cooked quite a few new dishes, and found a few new favorites (including Spicy Pulled Pork, The Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin, Cajun Meatloaf, Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie, and The Best Baked Corn)

--Speaking of the kitchen - I finally finished my remodel, as we installed the backsplash earlier this year

--We tried many new restaurants, including Fred's Texas Cafe, Eddie V's, Sushi Axiom, and Dixie House Cafe (all favorites of ours)

--My honey & I took quick weekend road trips to Austin and Houston

--The Great Shoe Search of 2010 culminated with the ultimate find: Alegria Palmoa.

--My friend Trisha & I attended Maya Road/The Crafty Scrapper's Artistic Journey in October

--I had a semi-crafty year, learned how to make glass tile pendants (and shared the How-To with you!)

--My mom joined me in Vegas and we had a blast! We stayed at The Signature by MGM, saw "O" at Bellagio, visited the Hoover Dam, ate and drank well. We also went to Southern Nevada Pug Rescue's Pug-o-Rama event.

--I began volunteering with DFW Pug Rescue - what an amazing bunch of people helping pugs!!

--I saw Bon Jovi in concert. Up close and awesome!

--I jumped into the realm of DSLRs, and have been learning about photography. How do you like this one of my Audrey??

2010 was so much fun. I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for us!

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snubbed by Starbucks

So I got snubbed at Starbucks this morning. The only Sbux between my honey's work and the house doesn't have a drive through. So it's a pain to walk in, but I really wanted my coffee today.

A guy walked up to the counter about the same time I did, and I let him go first. now, in reality, any "man" in Texas will always let the lady go first. it's just how they do things here. that should have been my first sign.

The chick taking the order greets him by name, and knows his order. that should have been my second sign.

She takes my order, and the guy at the register rings me up. I cough up my Starbucks card, knowing I'm 1 coffee away from my very own personalized gold card. he rings it up without saying a word to me, crabby ass. should have been sign #3, right?

Whatever...I just want my coffee so I can get out of there.

The barista hands "Les" his coffee, complete with the little sleeve, and a green stick in the spout to keep it from spilling. I thought to myself "awesome, those sticks are great to keep the car from getting messy".

Then she calls my name, and hands me my cup. No sleeve, no green thingee. Fine, the sleeves are in a basket on the counter. As I'm slipping the sleve on, I ask her for a green thingee.

Bitch looks me in the eye and says "oh we're out, I only had that one".

Uhm, lie. I see them sitting there in the back. Stunned, I looked at her and said in my best snotty-bitchy voice, "wow, only for the regulars, huh?" and walked out.

Guess I will now drive out of my way to a different Starbucks - at least that one has a drive-thru. *sigh*
Enjoy your new day! (with, or without Starbucks!)

Deck the Halls

Ready or not, Christmas is around the corner. My halls are all decked out - are yours?

I thought I'd share my tree and a few of my favorite ornaments with you.

Without further ado: VOILA! 

I decided against any sort of garland this year. I just wasn't feeling it. This year the simple look worked for me. And normally garland is my FAVORITE. Guess I'm in a weird mood this year. Meh...oh well!

This gingerbread couple are my oldest and dearest ornaments. My mom buys ornaments for everyone each year. That's her thing. She got these for me in 1978.

This little longhorn and star ornament is also one that makes me smile when I hang it on the tree. I got it at Rodeo Houston - many, many fond memories!

I don't remember where or when I found this filigree heart, but it's one of four, and a favorite!

And then there are the pug ornaments. This one from Florida - where else do Christmas + golf = ornament?? I always picture the pug saying "WHEEEEE" like the little piggie.

And this one:

Last, but certainly not least - my annual Starbucks ornament. They do a ceramic ornament of each red holiday cup - this is actually last year's. Yes, I'm addicted.

And no post about my holiday decor would be complete without Black Santa. My mom collects these guys (the Santas that is), and wanted me to have one too. She bought it for me several years ago, not realizing that Santa was a chocolate man. And this was long before the BF and I shacked up. I get a good laugh when Santa comes out of his box each year.

Ah Christmas. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Enjoy your new day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Blogging @ The Scrap Shoppe

As promised, I'm guest blogging over at The Scrap Shoppe as part of her Homemade Christmas recipe week.

Check it out!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Adult Realizations

A friend of mine shared this with me - I have no idea who the author is. If you do, pass it along in the comments and I'll give them the credit!


1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

7. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

8. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

9. Bad decisions make good stories.

10. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

11. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

12. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

13. I keep some people's numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

14. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

15. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night that more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

16. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

17. I sometimes have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

19. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

20. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and pinning the tail on the donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

.Enjoy your new day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two of My Favorite Appetizers

December is the month of holiday parties, gatherings of friends and family.

Here are two of my favorite appetizers to take along to these gatherings - Texas Caviar and Artichoke Dip. I hope you'll forgive the lack of pics - I haven't made them yet.

Artichoke Dip
--imagine a creamy white bubbly cheese dish. you can do it!
1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 oz mozzarella or monterey jack cheese (I always add more...more is better)
1 can artichoke hearts (I like the quartered artichoke hearts)
dash garlic powder
--drain & chop artichoke hearts

350 degree oven, bake 20-25 minutes. Stir once halfway through.

And it's seriously that easy!! Serve with bagel chips, corn chips, melba toast, or whatever you like. Fritos scoops is one of my favorites.

Texas Caviar
ok, it's not really caviar. But it is GOOD. It requires opening & draining cans, and chopping some veggies.

You can handle that, right?
Ok - here's the can list. 1 can each of:
black eyed peas
black eyed peas with jalepeno (if you can't find this, use the regular BEP, and finely chop a jalepeno)
white homini
diced tomatos

The veggies:
--2 cloves garlic (is garlic a veg? hmm...)
--1 medium bell pepper - chopped
--1 and 1/4 cup chopped onion
--1 and 1/4 cup chopped parsley (use cilantro if you prefer)

and 8 oz italian dressing

--drain all the cans, throw into a big bowl with the veggies and dressing.
--chill 2 hours (let those flavors mingle and get happy!)

Enjoy your new day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Working Girl's Survival Guide

It's probably not a big surprise that the drama and stress continues with my job.

At least the jerk-boss is gone. That's been a relief. But the work is still piled up deep, and no relief in sight. I can bitch and complain and whine about work - but it doesn't really change anything (ok, it does feel better for just a little bit!).

While I'd love to find a job doing something I love, that isn't an option right now. I'm not in a position where I can chuck it all and walk away (but a girl can dream, right??).

So until I win the lottery, I'm stuck. I ask myself daily - multiple times - "how can I find ways to cope in this situation? how can I make it tolerable enough to make it through another day, another week, or another month?"

And then I thought that if I'm asking myself these questions, I bet someone else out there is asking them too. I can't claim I've found THE answer, or know THE magic to making it happen. I will gladly share what I'm doing to try to cope.

First, I acknowledge that I'm trying to cope. Right? Admit there's a problem...that's where all the "programs" start. Take a deep breath, and just throw it out there. Here, I'll go first:

I have a problem. I'm not satisfied or fulfilled with my job, it's keeping me stressed out, and I just plain don't like it.

See? not so hard. The key is that once you know what the problem is, you can look for ways to solve it.

I've already mentioned that walking away isn't an option. I've been testing the waters of the job market, but if I'm honest with myself, I'm not clear on what else I want to do right now, and even if I did, is the grass really greener on the other side? I kinda doubt that... so I'm stuck here for a while.

One path of coping I can take is to focus on the things I do like about my job.

1. I work with GREAT people. Most of them. A very high percentage of them even. They are smart, personable, and fun to work with. That in itself is a blessing. And going into battle work I'm glad we are on the same team.
2. I work in my PJs from home full time. Huge, huge perk! No commuting, just roll outta bed, through the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and into my office.
3. I work with some pretty cool clients. Yeah, a couple of them are real jerks, but for the most part, they are neat companies.

Another coping mechanism? I remind myself that I'm working to live, not living to work. I use this tool when I get emotionally wrapped up in my work, and have trouble closing the office door. I am not willing to sacrifice my personal life for what is essentially - a job. That's right, it's a job, not a career (really - do careers exist anymore??)

An excellent one for when the work is overwhelming, and I have no idea where to start tackling it? The work will be there in the morning. It isn't going anywhere, and I am doing my best to conquer the mountain. This one is big right now - as we continue to be under staffed. I try to make reasonable commitments, and then do my best to meet them. Doesn't always work... but I'm not interested in 12 to 14 hour days, week after week. Cuz that's what it would take to even make a dent.

One thing I've learned is that it's important to have other interests and places to spend your time. Try to choose something you're passionate about, and that makes it easier. For me, it's been volunteering with DFW Pug Rescue. Maybe for you it's volunteering with your church, or another organization like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels, or a group you were in during your college years (for me that was AKPsi!). Or any other worthy organization. Maybe it's crafting, or decorating, or creating. Or writing, or reading. Or yoga. Or a sport (playing, coaching or just watching) - kickball is BACK y'all!.

Whatever it is - take time to discover your passion. It might just save your sanity!

Oh, and one other thing to understand - your passion may change, and when it does, that's ok. Find what interests you, drives you, and makes you WANT to walk out of the office in the evenings.

One last tip - and this one may be obvious. Have a support system. A boyfriend/husband/girlfriend, friends, family - the bigger the better. Someone to support and sympathize with you through the tough days (gelato, anyone?), and to cheer with you in the good days. And someone to moan and gripe with - because so many of us are in the same boat, paddling upstream.

So what drags you out of bed each day? What drives your passion? How do you cope with a less-than-perfect work situation?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Saturday...and December..and..

...I should be running around checking things off my list.
Grocery shopping
Buying those last few Christmas gifts
Making those last few Christmas gifts
Trimming the tree
Cleaning the house

well, you get the idea.

I should be motivated to do all of these things, get into the holiday spirit, get off my duff and just DO.

But I'm not. All I want to do today is snuggle on the couch with the pugs (and my honey bunches), and be lazy. And that's what we're doing so far. Maybe the rest of it will come along...

You won't be too upset with just a card, will you?

Enjoy your new day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

OhMiGawd Chocolate Chip Pie

Yes, that's right my friends, I made a pie today.

My sister shared the recipe from this blog post from The Passionate Penny Pincher blog.

It's really called Pecan Chocolate Chip Pie, but trust me when I say this: when you take a bite, you'll go "OhMiGawd". It's deserving of the name.

So you probably have guessed that I prefer cooking to baking. I'm just not much of a baker. But when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. It got 4 thumbs up in my household for both taste, and ease!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup melted butter (splurge..the butter is worth it)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
6 oz package of chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla
9 inch unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the flour & sugar.
Add melted butter and blend well.
Stir in eggs, chocolate chips, pecans and vanilla.
Pour mixture into pie crust.
Bake for approx 1 hour or until golden brown (I did mine for 50 minutes).
Pie will wiggle when it comes out of the oven, but will set as it cools.

Don't wait until the next holiday to make this pie. Your family will thank you! (your waistline, however, probably will not).

Enjoy your new day!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Visit A Homemade Christmas by the Scrap Shoppe!

My friend Michele is hosting A Homemade Christmas at her blog. That's right - 3 weeks of crafts, decor, and recipes!

Check it out:

Hint: I'll be guest posting during the recipe week.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Shaved My Legs

I shaved my legs last night.
Not because I had a hot date.
Or because I had a cute (short) skirt I wanted to wear.
Or because I was going to the pool/beach.
Not because I hoped I was going to get lucky.
But because my legs itched.

Yeah. That's when I realized I'm old.

I'd just shaved my legs, because it'd been too long, and my legs itched.

And then I started thinking - how LUCKY am I that the only reason I have to shave my leg is because I feel the need to do so.

I don't have a boyfriend who nags me to shave them, he never even mentions it. Ok, probably because he's a guy, and just doesn't notice. But still!

I mean, I never expected to end up with a guy like mine.
He's a city boy, and I'm kinda a country girl.
He's a die hard Yankees fan, and I H.A.T.E the Yankees. Yeah, it's a strong word, but I really do hate them. Detest them even.
He likes crowded cities, and a go-go pace.
I like wide open spaces, and time to relax and enjoy life.
He loves NFL. I love NCAA football.
I love animals, he's allergic. (yeah, this one is a tough one!)
I love(d) country music, he hates it.

Seriously, if I had made a list of the interests I hoped my partner in life would have, he wouldn't have made the the final cut.

Had I made a list of the characteristics I hoped to find in a partner, well buddy - there I hit the jackpot.
Thoughtful. This guy is so very thoughtful - he bought me perfume this weekend, because he knew I wanted it. Just because.
Caring. When I'm sick, he wants to know if he needs to pick up anything on the way home from work. When I'm stressed out at work, he does his best to distract me and make me relax.
Easy going. This is from an actual conversation that happens a couple of times a week
Me: "what do you want to do for dinner"
Him: "whatever you want to do"
or this variation:
Me: "how do you feel about ____ for dinner tonight?"
Him: "sounds great"
Realist: he's down to earth, he gets what's going on in the world, and he cares enough about me to send me articles he thinks I'd be interested in (whether he is or not).
Helpful: he helps around the house, without me having to ask (much less nag). He gets up to feed the dogs before I remember to (speaking of...I'm 23 minutes late feeding them - if he'd been out here, he would have fed them on the dog!). 
Giving: He will go with me to anything I want to do, whether or not he wants to do, and he won't gripe about it. Example: he went to the rodeo with me. Just once, and I learned my lesson. Poor guy...what a disaster! By the by..I go watch MMA fights with him, and I really hate that stuff. Just another lesson in compromises.

This guy is so good to me. I couldn't ask for a better partner to spend my life with. And I can't help but think that if I had this list of interests that were "must haves", I'd never have considered him. I'm so thankful that I did, and that I do have him.

We watch sports together. I still curse the Yankees. He tells me everyone hates a winner. I tell him that if they are paying that much for a team, they should win every year. Blah blah blah.
He watches my FSU Seminoles. I watch NFL (as much as I can stand). We both hate the Dallas Cowboys (this has been a fun year!).
We don't listen to music together (much).
He has lots of allergy meds, and I think he actually likes the pugs. He'll deny it of course.
I don't drag him out into the country much, and he's shown me the "local" side of NYC.
We watch NASCAR together (yes, I've converted him on that point!), and have even gone to a race.
We play Wii together, and sometimes I even win. Until he spends his free time playing so he can make sure I don't win. (he doesn't much like to lose..go figure).

I could go on and on. What I really want to say is this: I'm so thankful that I have this guy in my life. He's nothing like I expected, and yet, so much more. Hon - thank you. You rock, and I appreciate you so much.

Yeah, all that cuz I shaved my legs. Next week: washing my hair. Can you stand the anticipation???

Enjoy your new day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Big Time Baby!

Milestone Culinary Arts Center hosted an evening with Ming Tsai as he celebrated (ahem..marketed) his latest book: Simply Ming - One Pot Meals. (wow, three links, one sentence!)

The evening included wine before/during/after the demo, a buffet meal of Chef Tsai's dishes, and a personalized autographed copy of Chef Tsai's book. All this for the bargain price of $75. Seriously.worth.every.penny.

Let's start with the Milestone Culinary Arts Center. It's located in the uptown area of Dallas - and is an AMAZING venue. They had a lovely space for receptions, a demo theater, and a teaching kitchen. The space is beautifully decked out with various Viking appliances and cabinet options. It's the un-store, store part of it. I would love to have a reception, party, or take classes here through the Viking Cooking School.

I could go on and on - because the facility and the chefs were just incredible.

I know you're really curious to hear about Ming Tsai. So I won't dither dather on any longer.

Quite simply, Ming Tsai is incredible. He's HYSTERICAL, in a crusty-sarcastic-chef sort of way. Right - my kind of people. He's an amazing chef too. If you didn't know, he's currently competing to win The Next Iron Chef competition on Food Network. He wouldn't tell us any thing, except that he made it to final 4, and the last challenge was in Vegas (which was the episode that aired on Sunday).

Chef Tsai's One Pot Meals cookbook is based on the premise of quick, healthy, and affordable meals. Quick: since all meals are made in one pot, clean up is easier. Healthy: fresh ingredients, readily available in most supermarkets. Affordable: a meal for 4, under $20. Seriously - who isn't looking for these three things?? I'm so looking forward to trying some of these dishes, and learning more about Asian flavors. (yes, I'll blog them for you!)

Chef Tsai demo'd his "Mom's Vinegared Shrimp" recipe for us - it was later one of the items on the buffet dinner we had. SO GOOD. So, so very good.

Here are a couple of pics from the demo:

And here's a pic of me with Chef Tsai (tongue tied, as usual):

I really enjoyed our evening, and can't wait for another opportunity like this! 

Enjoy your new day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Or, uhm, winners.

Cuz I couldn't choose just 1!

Drumroll please!

Random.org says...

And...#6 is AMBER!

For our NEXT winner..Drumroll......

Random.org says...

And ...#13 is MELISSA!

One more...drumroll please!

And...#9 is TRICIA!

Congrats ladies! I will contact you via Facebook with next steps on how to get your pendant.

Thanks to ALL of you for the very kind comments. I hope you have fun making your own jewelry!

Enjoy your new day!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mom's White Chicken Chili

Ok, so it's not my mom's original recipe, but it's a popular one! I borrowed it from her, and love to make it when the weather turns cool. Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients - it's really pretty easy!

1 stick of butter (don't skimp - go get the good stuff!)
1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper (black pepper is fine too)
1 sm can green chilis
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 lb chicken breast
4 oz sour cream
1/4 cup flour
white kidney beans
1 tsp tabasco (or cayenne)

--boil chicken w/ 1/2 tsp garlic until tender; set aside (or cheat, and used the sliced/grilled chicken you can find in the deli meat section, cube it up into bite-sized pieces)
--saute onion, 1 tsp garlic, 2 tbsp butter ~10 minutes (if you used the cheat above, just add all the garlic here)
--remove mixture from pot, lower heat
--melt remaining butter on low heat
--wisk flour to make a roux; let it brown up before continuing on
--add broth & milk, wisking constantly
--bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer
--simmer 20 min, stir occassionally
--add sour cream
--top w/ cheese before serving (I use monterey jack here to keep with the theme!)

Don't forget to comment on this blog post for your chance to win a custom pendant.

It's (almost) a new day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How do you DO that??

I know you've been on pins and needles waiting for me to post the tutorial for the glass charms.

Well folks, the wait is over!

So let's go.

First: gather your supplies:

That's right - 4 adhesives! Here's the supply list:
ModPodge (acid free)
Glossy Accents (or Diamond Glaze)
Acid Free Liquid Adhesive (I like Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue)
Ball Chain
Ball Chain Connectors (packet on left)
Glue-on Bails (packet on right)
Glass Tiles
Craft knife

Choose either photos, or patterned paper you love. For this example, I'm using photos as the focal point of the pendants. My printer has settings that allow me to print in wallet size or smaller, which work well for these pendants.

Ready? here we go!
1. Trim your photo:
for the DFW Pug Rescue charms I did, the picture took up almost the entire charm. therefore, very little trim was needed:

I needed a little more trimming with the charms for SNPR:

Steps 1 & 2

for the rest of this post, I'll focus on the SNPR charms.
2. Add a layer of ModPodge over the photos (to seal the ink, and keep it from running). Now, this is very important. LET IT DRY.

That's right, walk away. Let it dry.

3. Choose a pattern paper to act as the background for your photo/charm. In this case, I chose a black & white pattern to pop the color on our pampered SNPR pug (left side of photo below). Adhere the photo to the background paper, being sure to leave plenty of border for the tiles to fit in. I use the Tombow Mono to adhere this step (quick drying).

Steps 3 & 4
4. Adhere the glass tiles to the photo/background paper using Glossy Accents or Diamond Glaze (right and bottom row). do your best to get an even coat over the entire tile.

And then walk away again. Let them dry!!

5. Take a craft knife or very sharp pair of scissors and split the tiles. Then trim away any excess paper. Your charms should now look like this:

Now, if you really wanted to, you could skip the next step and cruise on down to Step #8 where you add the bails. But I'm a stickler for details, and I couldn't have a blank backing.

6. Using either ModPodge or the Tombow Mono, adhere another patterned paper to the backside of the charms. I used two different scraps for the charms below:

Once again, let them dry. Walk away...

7. Add a thin layer of Glossy Accents to the paper backing to seal them in. This is also a good place to reseal any spots where the Glossy Accents didn't adhere to the glass tile.

ok - you know the drill. Walk away...let them dry.

8. Whew, finally! Time to add the bails. Break out the E6000 (you may want to make sure you have decent ventilation - this stuff is seriously stinky!), and adhere the bails to the back of the charms.

Uh huh, you guessed it. Give them some drying time.

Are you humming the jeopardy theme song yet?

Well, that's it! You now have charms! Errr, pendants. I can't vouch for your charms, or lack of...wouldn't dare. Nope, nuh unh. Not me.


The glass tiles are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. The ones above were 1.75" squares.

I've also done some earrings (using a handmade asian paper): 

Gorgeous, huh?? And super easy!!!!

Ok, so I also promised to spill my secret dealer supplier. Or not so secret. Before I do, I want to say that I am sharing this seller with you b/c I've had great dealings with her, and have been very happy with the quality of her products. I'm not famous talented important anything enough to receive any sort of endorsements, yadda yadda yadda. I did shop around (the internet), and liked her prices best.

The adhesives can all be found at your local Joann's, Michaels, Hobby Lobby or other craft store.

I like to get my glass tiles, ball chain, fasteners and bails from Kristens Krafts, an Etsy seller.

I shared this technique with my crafty and creative friend Kim (who has two fledgling Etsy shops - check them out - Jewelry and Charms and Sugar Skulls and Goth Fun).

She came up with this uber cool Dorothy pendant:

And the back is red glitter!!! Doncha just LOVE it?

(If you're quick, she just put it into her Jewelry & Charms Etsy shop: Deconstructed Dorothy)

What are you inspired to create? Do you have a photo that you'd like to see as a pendant?

Tell me about it (via comment here on my blog), and I'll choose a random winner to create a custom pendant for you. Contest closes 3pm CT on Monday, Nov 8th. One entry per person...US only please.

For an extra chance to win, follow me via Google Reader, or any other RSS feed. Just leave a 2nd comment letting me know how you follow my blog.

It's a new day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I had to go to the Emergency Room.

No no, sorry to scare you! Like 2 years ago.

I had to go to the Emergency Room a couple of years ago (better?).

And while it certainly wasn't a laughing matter, a couple of things happened that made me laugh until I cried.

Mostly because I was in a lot of pain (freakin gall stones!), but they were seriously hysterical.

So I had to go to the ER, and since it was my 2nd trip in a week, and they knew what was wrong, I got to wait with all of the other people-with-non-life-threatening conditions. And wait, and wait...


I'm sitting there - in pain - waiting. From across the room a lady woman starts hollerin - and I literally hollderin - that her boyfriend's butt hurt and someone needed to see him NOW. Let me try to recall the quotes for you:
"His butt hurts!"
"He's got a huge boil on his butt!"
"Someone better help him soon, this boil on his butt hurts!"

Over..and over...loudly. The entire waiting room was trying not to stare, as her boyfriend slunk lower, and lower in his chair. While avoiding sitting on the butt cheek in question... (staph infection of course). She was oblivious to his humiliation, and focused on his pain. Oh dear...

The second story requires a little bit of background (or perhaps it doesn't, but I'll share it anyway).
In Texas, a certain ethnicity brings the whole family to the ER with them. That's right...when one has to go, they ALL go. And I'm not talking about mom, dad, and kids. I'm talking about mom, dad, kids, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and the neighbors. The whole barrio meets them there.

There had to be 20 people in there from this one family.

My friend (kind-hearted soul that she is drove me to the ER) and I were sitting near the doors, and as they all came in, she suddenly burst out laughing.

And could.not.stop.laughing.

She laughed until she was crying.

Sobbing even. Couldn't catch her breath.

And I had no idea what in the world she was laughing at.

So I'm staring at her like she's a loon, waiting for her to fill me in.

She finally catches her breath long enough to tell me.

"That guy that just walked in. The one in the pajama pants."
(I try to look around without staring...)

"He doesn't have on underwear!"
(erm, how is that funny, still waiting for the punchline)

"His thingy is all flopping around and you can see it through the flap! Wait until he walks by again."

So apparently my friend got flashed in the ER.

I never saw what she say - thank goodness.

The moral of the story? Unless you have a life-threatening injury, don't go to the ER.

You're welcome.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crafty Alert!

In my spare time, I made these earrings with some kits I got from a recent "big show".

Aren't they gorgeous?? I especially like the pair on the right.

Super simple and easy to make. I'll be doing a quickie tutorial in the next couple of weeks.

Here's another preview: This is a charm I did for a few DFW Pug Rescue volunteers

What's cool is that when I say "in my spare time", I really mean it. Each step takes maybe 10-15 minutes, so it's a nice little break during the day. I stop by my craft desk, add some glue, add the next layer or a bale, and on it goes!

Stay tuned for the tutorial...and I'll also include the links to my dealer...supplier!

Enjoy your new day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Someone needs to drag me off the cliff before I hyperventilate. Or jump. I think hyperventilation is the more immediate fear though.

I'm going to meet - and eat - Ming Tsai.

Did I just say I was going to eat Ming Tsai? not *exactly* what I meant of course. I mean I get to eat his cooking.

Oh say what? you don't know who Ming Tsai is?!?!

Girlfriend, get out from under your culinary rock!

Ming Tsai is THE East-Meets-West chef. Click the link to check out his website. He's currently competing to be the Next Iron Chef, and also hosts Simply Ming on public TV.

 Here's a photo of Ming and his mom - photo courtesy of Simply Ming's FB page.

Ming is a James Beard Award Winning Chef (are all of those supposed to be capitalized?!! gah! should have paid more attention in grammer. err grammar school. aw heck!), and his Boston restaurant, Blue Ginger has also won many awards.

Ming's latest book - Simply Ming One-Pot Meals will be released November 1st. Annnnnd on November 10th he'll be doing a demo and book signing here in Dallas at the Milestone Culinary Arts Center.

If I was prone to squealing, this is where you'd hear me squeal.

But I don't squeal. Just giggle like a school girl. So giggle with me, ok?

Ming is going to demo 7 techniques which can be used to create one-pot meals. And here's the menu:

--Braising - Aromatic Short Ribs with Root Vegetables
--Wokking (wok it out! hahaha) - Black Pepper Sake Mussels with Granny Smith Apples
--Sauteing - Mom's Famous Vinegared Shrimp
--Roasting - Mushroom Chicken Fricassee with Edamame
--Flash Frying - Flash Fried Eggplant with Honey Lemon Syrup

--Tossing - Tea-Smoked Salmon with Preserved Lemon and Fennel Couscous Salad; Soup - Shrimp Bouillabase

Holy drooling batman! (ok, except for the mussels, which I'm not all that fond of).

Don't worry. I promise to take my camera and record the evening for you. I'm dedicated like that!

Enjoy your new day!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Signs that it's time to call it a day

or really, just one major sign.

I think I've shared with y'all (if you didn't know) that I work from my home. I have an office, etc.

So this afternoon I ran to take a shower, thoughts of work transitions, travel next week, what's for dinner tonight, and so on - running through my head. I rushed through my shower, got dressed, put on my shoes to wear around the house (I no longer run around the house barefoot, but that's a different post), let the dogs out, and headed back into my office to work for another hour or so until my BF gets home from work.

I worked for 15 minutes or so, when I heard the dogs do their "let me in" bark, so like any good dog-mom, went to the back door to let them in.

As I got to the door, I had this vague notion that my feet kind felt strange.

That's when I looked down:

yeah, that's right. I totally put on one flip flop, and one slide-on boat shoe.

Please forgive the fat, lily white legs. I thought you might could be kind enough to over look those in exchange for the laughter generated by the fact that it took me over 20 minutes to realize I had these two shoes on my feet.

You're welcome.

That's when I knew it was time to take a break...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Fast Food Problem

Side topic - I finally "get" why people are ticked off at places like McDonald's and blaming them for the obesity epidemic. I used to think that it was people who made choices about what to put in their mouths...and thus it was people's problem, not McDonald's. I've changed my mind...

I was hungry (go figure...3 cups of coffee + 2 hour conf. call with my wicked client), and didn't want to spend time cooking anything. So I ran out to McD's, intending to pick up a salad. When I pull up to the speaker, it's all I can do not to gaze at the delicious-looking fries, hamburgers, apple pies, shakes, etc. I had to hunt all over the menu board for the teeny tiny salad section. Then it took every ounce of willpower I had to stick with my original intention and order a salad. I so wanted a burger, fries, or nuggets. I even considered getting the salad, and then a small burger to fill that craving.

I'm happy to say I didn't cave into the craving. But it did piss me off that all of the unhealthy food is so vividly portrayed on their drive-thru menu board...no wonder it's so hard for us (me) to exercise willpower to make healthy choices. When you've got a juicy burger and salty-sweet fries staring you in the face, a grilled chicken salad is the last thing you want!

I've been to NYC several times (mostly on business - but hey, there are worse places to travel), and the restaurants there are required by law to post the calorie count on their menu boards. At first I was offended - that the denial part. I didn't want to acknowledge the calories I was unconsciously consuming. Eventually I began to LOVE the calorie count - it made me pause and really think about what I was ordering. This was true anywhere from Starbucks where they had to post the calorie counts for their drinks and their evil mini-donuts, to the nicest sit down restaurants. I recall making a decision NOT to eat 5 Guys Burgers & Fries at the airport in NYC, because I was appalled at the amount of calories that added up so quickly.

I hope more cities and states will adopt legislation around posting calorie count. It's one more step in this obesity war (which I am myself fighting...). I mean, I know I have issues with food that go much deeper than surface-denial of how many calories I'm consuming. Deep down I know that a burger and fries have a butt-load (pun intended) of calories. I need the help that posting calories gives me with my willpower and decision making.

One step. One step...

I really am making an effort to eat healthier, and eat smaller portions. Little steps perhaps - like a salad instead of burger + fries from McD's. I mean, come on - we know that a salad with ranch dressing and bacon on it isn't the most healthy meal. But it's better than that burger & fries I considered.

So here's my question for you - how do you motivate yourself to make healthy (or healthier) eating choices?

Enjoy your new day!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Home Cooking with Love

Yup - another crafty project!
And this one fits in perfectly with my other hobby - cooking. 

It's a recipe book/stand/holder (Idunno exactly what to call it!)

This is done with October Afternoon's Thrift Shop, Cherry Hill and Farm Fresh lines. The book itself, chipboard shapes and letters are all Maya Road.
The colors are cherry, aqua, yellow, and white which I totally dig!

Here's the in-process project, quite messy, eh?
(are you Canadian, eh?)
(PS: Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians, eh!)

(good morning....I digress!)

aaaaannnnd the finished project! (lots and lots of pages!)

isn't the little dress form with the apron adorable?! 
And the bowl of flowers? 

And we start off with Breakfast Recipes. All good days start with a healthy breakfast! 

And appetizers (one of my favorite sections!)

Somehow I think this section will stay pretty empty... 

Another section I need to focus on - Veggies! 

And this would be anything that doesn't fall under beef, poultry or pork (as you'll see momentarily)
Hmm. somehow I missed a pic of the Poultry page. Sorry! 
You can see the tab in the pic above though.
Can't forget the chicken. It's a stable staple (how embarrassing!) in this household! 

I think I need to find a picture of a cow for this section: 

And then... and then. there's this section: 

Mm mm love me some pig!

Next up is the fresh catch of the day: 

And the last two tabs are my fave: desserts and drinks! 

Do you like??? 
So here's where I need your help - I need to fill this with recipes!! 
Who's got some new recipes to share? 

ah well, enjoy your new day!