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February 28, 2010

Sunday Post

 

Head on over to Seven Dames a Week to read my Sunday Post "You Can't Take Me Anywhere."

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February 25, 2010

Lets Go Lakers, er, Mavs, uh, Lakers

 

Last night Dan and I attended the Lakers v. Mavericks game here in Dallas. We have been wanting to attend a game for a long time since we are huge basketball fans and will use any excuse to attend a college or professional game.  The seats were a little high up, but hey, we bought them off Ebay the night before. Beggars can't be choosers.


Dan is a Lakers fan, despite my attempts to convince him otherwise, so when we got these tickets he was happier then I have seen him in weeks....or at least since the last time we were in the same place as Kobe Bryant.

 

But for me? A surprise gift that I couldn't even have even dreamed of! Jay Z and Beyonce were in attendance! I then spent the entire first half of the game trying to get a decent picture and attempting to figure out what type of shoes Beyonce was wearing.  

In the end the Lakers lost and I didn't get to meet Beyonce, but it was still a great time!

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February 23, 2010

"You Let It DIE!"

I am a huge fan of "How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days." Who isn't? The only difference between me and most other people is I pretty much have the entire thing memorized and I like to use this talent to reenact parts of it in my everyday life. The "my boyfriend thinks I'm fat! I can't eat in front of you. I CAN'T EAT IN FRONT OF YOU! line is a personal favorite. Dan particularly loves hates it.

Around the beginning of December Dan brought me home this beautiful little Poinsetta plant.  It was particularly sweet since he remembered how much I love them, especially around Christmas time.  The only problem is...it is a plant. I don't mix well with plants.  So I told him to not be too offended when it inevitably died in a matter of weeks.  At which point he looked at me and said "Oh babe, this is like our own personal love fern (get the 10 Days reference?)...its our, uh, partnership poinsettia. You can't let it die." 


I have tried my damnedest. Other then give this stupid plant mouth-to-mouth resuscitation I have done everything in my power to keep this stupid plant alive for the last two months. Unfortunately, this is what it looks like now:


Dan is getting particular joy out of grabbing it and proclaiming "Our Partnership Poinsettia! You let it DIE!"

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February 21, 2010

Sunday Post


Head on over to Seven Dames a Week to check out my newest obsession in my Sunday post "Bed Envy."

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Oven Barbecued Pork Chops

I never really crave pork. Of all the meat options out there it is not the one I ever think to cook with. However, when Sara sent me her list of recipes she noted that this recipe for Oven Barbecued Pork Chops was one of her favorites, which means it must be good, right? Well it was! The sauce was delicious and made it so I could hardly taste the pork, plus it was so easy and different then anything I have ever cooked before.


INGREDIENTS:
- 4-6 Pork Chops
- 1/2 c. flour
- 3 T. oil

SAUCE INGREDIENTS
- 1 c. chopped onion
- 1/4 c. oil
- 24 oz. tomato sauce
- 3/4 c. water
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 3/4 c. lemon juice
- 2/3 c. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper


DIRECTIONS: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Dip pork chops in flour and lightly brown in 3 T. oil in a skillet, then lay them in a 9 x 13" pan.
3. Cook onion in oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredients.
4. Pour over pork chops and bake uncovered for 1.5 hours at 350 degrees.
5. Serve with rice, pouring sauce over rice.


Voila! Number 5 out of 24! Thanks Sara!

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February 19, 2010

Weekend Linkage

Did anybody else watch Tiger Wood's statement today? If not, you can watch it HERE. I thought it was so brilliant and said everything he needed to say.  Now lets be clear, these accolades go in their entirety to Tiger's publicity team which has handled this situation as best as could be expected considering the fact that they are representing a man who is in high contention for winning the esteemed title of King of the Douche Lords (Scott Disck giving him a huge run for his money.)  I hope Tiger is paying them well because they deserve it.

I haven't done some weekend linkage in awhile, so here we go!

-I love this blazer. I can't afford it, but I love it! (Corporette).

-Its the year of the tiger, baby, which is so much cooler then the year of the rat (me. Boo). Love these images.  (The Big Picture).

-I have been looking for a yummy spaghetti sauce recipe for awhile now (I normally buy mine from the store.) How does THIS one look to everybody? (via Pioneer Women).  Speaking of, can we say "yes, please!" to THESE gooey cupcakes of wonder and glory?

-Pretty wedding dresses make my heart go pitter patter, and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the bottom of this girl's dress. I mean SERIOUSLY, if you could rock that look then you better wear it! (Jasmine Star).

-New video for "Carry Out," which is awesome but JUST MAKE A NEW ALBUM ALREADY! (Perez Hilton).

I hope everybody has a great weekend.  I am hoping mine includes some of this:



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February 17, 2010

Finish That Damn Blanket [CHECK!]

I have been a bad blogger as of late, but a lot has been happening! Nothing I can disclose as of yet, but we'll just say I hope to have some big news in the coming weeks.

Until then I would like to share with you a personal triumph of mine. I have always loved crocheting, but I only know one stitch and I only know how to make square things. Thus I can make scarves and blankets. That is it. Despite my limited talent I have made a great deal of blankets over my time, all as gifts, never for myself. 

Over a year ago I started crocheting a blanket to be placed on our bed. I thought it was time that I created a blanket for my own personal use. I wanted it to be HUGE, and black, and perfect contrast to our red duvet. Well....it was huge, TOO HUGE, and over the past year it has been sitting on my nightstand just screaming at me to go on huge crocheting binges in hopes of finally getting it down.  One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to finish it. I am happy to announce that this ridiculous project is finally complete.


[Size] It stretches across the entire King bed.

 
[Pattern]


2010 Resolution #1 [CHECK!]

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February 14, 2010

Sunday Post


Head on over to read my Sunday Post "Photo Nostaliga" on Seven Dames a Week and see what this cute little girl is all about...

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February 12, 2010

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo


My sister-in-law Sara sent me a whole bunch of recipes that I have been dying to try.  So I broke away from my Pioneer Women cookbook (as hard as it was, you know how I idolize her) to try Sara's Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. This is what I always order when I go to Italian restaurants so knowing how to make it at home is fabulous...and probably deadly. 

INGREDIENTS
-8 oz. cream cheese, cut in to cubes
-3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
-1/2 c. margarine or butter-1/2 c. milk
-1 can cooked chicken
-1 c. broccoli florets, steamed (I did not add this. Why? Because I have a death wish.  Also I feared the healthiness of the broccoli would ruin the taste of the gooey joy that is Fettuccine Alfredo.  I need help, I know. Refrain from nagging me on how I need to eat my veggies.)
-8 oz. fettuccini noodles, cooked

DIRECTIONS 
(This is my favorite part because she made it so dang simple!)

1. In a large saucepan, stir together cream cheese, Parmesan, milk, and margarine over low heat until smooth.
2. Stir in chicken and broccoli; heat through.
3. Serve over warm fettuccine noodles. (I just mixed in the noodles with the sauce.)


YUM! So good! Thanks Sara! Can't wait to try more of your recipes! 4/24 new recipes for the new year completed!

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Homemade Macaroni and Cheese


Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and I are bosom buddies. It has been a staple part of my diet for most of my life, but I have never attempted to make it homemade. Well obviously when I saw Pioneer Woman's recipe I knew I had to give it a try! It was delicious, but I made it rather plain. Next time I will definitely be adding some bacon bits or sausage. I would also add another teaspoon of seasoned salt. And no, I have no idea why my portion turned out so massive and Ree's turned out so dainty looking. You can find her recipe for this delicious bit of cheesy goodness HERE.

This is my third new recipe tried in 2010! Well on my way to my goal of 24!

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Record Snowfall


Yesterday, Dville got slammed with some major snow.  Okay so not even remotely major snow compared to what is going on on the East Coast, but it was the most snow that Dallas has seen in a single day ever.  What is with us and having to live through record snowstorms wherever we live (Remember THIS and THIS?) Plus it was only the second snow that Dallas has received this season and thus it was eventful. 


Poor little Kadira is having a rough week.  On top of starting her heat cycle she developed some serious gunk in her eye which required a rather traumatic visit to the vet yesterday. She did, however, enjoy the snow, as it is the only second time she has seen it. 


I am a little concerned about the tree in our front yard (See a bit of the branch above). It seems to be breaking under the weight of all the snow and is  now ominously leaning all over our driveway.  If it did fall...it would probably miss the house, but its not a theory I would like to have tested anytime soon.

I hope everybody is staying warm and safe!

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February 10, 2010

Bruschetta and Asparagus


I have hesitations about cooking a meal that does not include meat.  For some reason, the meal does not feel complete.  That being said, I watched  that "Eating Organic" Oprah recently and one of the things thy were talking about was how Americans eat too much meat.  So I am trying to let go of my fears and cook more meat-free meals.  Dan is not a huge fan of this concept, so I decided to start with something that he likes: bruschetta.  Now I know this is normally considered an appetizer, but I think it is really filling and with a side of asparagus can be a really good, healthy meal.  I have used this recipe before and loved it.

INGREDIENTS: 
- 6 big plum tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 6-7 chopped basil leaves (I use just a chopped basil spice)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 baguette of Italian bread (I get the pre cut kind)
- Asparagus
- Cottage Cheese

DIRECTIONS
1.  Preheat Oven to 450 with the rack on the top.

2. Boil a pot of water. Place in tomatos for 1 minute (parboil). Remove skin from the tomatoes. Once peeled, cut into quarters, remove seeds and stem.  Chop finely. 

3. Chop garlic and basil if you decide to use the basil leaves. 

3. Put chopped tomatoes, garlic, 1 tbsp. EVOO, and vinegar into a boil and mix. Add basil, salt, and pepper to taste. 

4. Coat one side of each slice of bread with EVOO and place on cooking sheet olive oil side down. Place a tray of slices on top rack of oven and toast for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Cut off lower stems of asparagus. Boil asparagus for 5-10 minutes.

6. Remove bread, allow to cool.  Place topping on each bread slice. Serve with asparagus and cottage cheese.


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February 9, 2010

Dog Owner FAIL

Yesterday was not a good day, not a good day at all.

Let me just preface this story with the statement that getting Kadira spayed was not my job. It was the job of a second human being that lives in our house. In fairness to that second human being, the spaying issue became a larger undertaking then either of us imagined. It was going to cost a lot of money and there was going to be a longer recovery time then we thought. So we kept putting it off....and off...and off.  Once she got to the age where we were really starting to risk it, I kept saying "if she goes into heat and I have to take care of her I will be ANGRY." I would always emphasize the word "angry" with a growl and a scrunched up face that resembled something like this:


So obviously, terrifying.

Yesterday it was raining buckets here in the grand ol' state of Texas. On days where I wake up to hear the wind howling and thunder pounding I like to stay in bed for as long as possible because I know the second I get out of bed I am going to have to take Kadira outside in that mess, and that is not a pleasant thought when you first wake up in the morning. I can normally hear her start getting restless in the other room, but this morning I heard nothing. After awhile I convinced myself to get out of bed and proceeded into the other bedroom where we keep her crate. Upon entering the room I was not greeted by her normal wagging tail and bark. Rather, she was laying in her crate with her ears pinned back and her eyes wide with fear. Yes ladies and gentlemen, my dog became a women, and it totally was freaking her out.

Upon finding this I let out a huge wail which definitely included some expletives and the name of the second human being who lives in this house. I have never been around a dog in heat, I have no idea what to do. I immediately texted Dan to hold true to my threat that "IF THIS DOGS GOES INTO HEAT YOU WILL TAKE TIME OFF WORK TO DEAL WITH IT!" Unfortunately for me, this threat did not go over so well as I soon found myself driving to Petco for doggie diapers in the pouring rain with no makeup on donning some super sexy Old Navy sweatpants.

The doggie diaper thing really bothers me. I stopped babysitting at the age of 12 because I hated changing diapers, the last thing that I wanted to do that morning was get a diaper on my 90 pound German Shepard who was already in a pissy mood because nobody had "the talk" with her about becoming a woman. Coupled with the fact that the sixteen year old girl at Petco kindly informed me that I should go buy people maxi pads to place in the diaper as lining, as they are cheaper then doggie maxi pads. Sweet gesture, but I really wasn't in the place to be discussing the cost benefit analysis of "doggie maxie pads" versus "people maxie pads" that early in the morning.


Getting Kadira into her diaper requires WWF "The Rock" like strength. She hates it, obviously, and I must say it is not her best look. She keeps letting out low whines which I can only imagine translates to "whyyyy didddddn'ttttt yoooooouuuuu sttteralize meeeee yoooouuu arrreeee baddddd parenttttsss!" This was the only picture she would let me take of her, you can see how embarrassed she is. Please don't tell her I put it on the internet, she would be so mortified.

So...this will be my next nine days in a nutshell. I think the only one less happy about it then me is Kadira.

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February 7, 2010

February 6, 2010

DJ Roomba

I think Parks and Rec might be my favorite comedy on the air right now. I know, I know, that is a pretty bold statement. I waiver sometimes between The Office, 30 Rock, Modern Family, and Parks and Rec...but DJ Roomba I think tipped the scales. I haven't laughed this hard in weeks.


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February 5, 2010

Book 3: Committed


Every female on the planet fell in love with the book "Eat, Pray, Love" - some men too! Who wouldn't? The book itself was written with such passion and honesty that you can't help but find even a morsel of similarity to your own life or thoughts. I can remember the moment when I read the part about her experience meditating in an ashram in India and thinking to myself that she wrote it in such a way that I felt like I had just experienced it too. This women has a gift of writing with such perfect detail and beauty that I anxiously had been counting down the days until her next novel.

Her next novel, "Committed," is not "Eat, Pray, Love." If you go on book review websites it is getting mediocre reviews. But for me, this book took my breath away. I devoured it with such a studious intensity that I literally did not put it down for five straight hours, a huge accomplishment for me since I can barely sit still long enough to watch a half hour television show. The book is not a story, per say, but rather almost a mix between an academic paper and personal journal. Inevitably, that must have turned some people off, but it is a shame as I feel compelled to give a copy of this book to every women on the planet who wants to get married, never wants to get married, or is married.

Essentially, Gilbert writes about her personal exploration to make peace with marriage- a marriage that is forced upon her if she ever wants to step foot on American soil with her foreign boyfriend again. It is broken into subjective chapters: marriage and autonomy, marriage and women, marriage and history, etc. Some of her thoughts and stories are so personal I cannot believe that she had the audacity to even say them out loud, let alone write them down on a page for thousands of people to read. Yet that is what I admire about her writing, her honesty.  We've all heard the old saying that "the truth will set you free", and in Elizabeth Gilbert's case I feel as though she sets a lot of people who read her books free with her truth, allowing others to recognize their own. 

I should mention that my view of the world is very similar to Gilbert's, which is perhaps why I enjoy her writing so much.  That being said I don't know that I have ever read a book that forced the reader to engage in such critical thinking about what THEY want for THEIR life. That is what I liked about it.  It made me think, it made me examine.  It was a self exploration in 287 pages. I would recommend it to everybody.

Read more of my reviews on goodreads.com, username duolynoted.

Next book: The Help

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February 4, 2010

Jeans FOUND

 

A few weeks ago I blogged about my quest for some new jeans- and you all had some great ideas and suggestions! I can conservatively estimate that I have tried on over 20 pair of jeans and today I finally decided on these, the GAP curvy jeans in a saturated dark wash. They will run you about $69.50, are super comfortable (read: stretchy), and very slimming.  Thanks for all of your suggestions!

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February 3, 2010

Lets Play a Game....

This week I am in the grand ol' state of Idaho (no, youdahoe) for some interviews and fun time with the fam. On Monday night I had to get a hotel in Boise and I thought it would be fun to play a little game called Guess What I Had To Pay For My Hotel Room. Your prize for guessing the right answer is well, nothing, but major props for having psychic hotel cost guessing powers.

Are you ready?

Hint #1: It was a suite at the Marriot.

Hint #2: Here are some pictures:

{Bedroom}


{Bathroom}


{Living Room}


{Office}

Okay so fair enough this isn't a hotel room that blows your mind but it did have three separate rooms.

Hint #3: It was located in downtown Boise, next to the capital.

Are you ready to guess?

Ready?

It was a whooping total of $35! Can you believe it?

Now I am going to let you in on a little secret on how to get cheap hotel rooms. Priceline.com has a fabulous little feature that allows you to bid for hotel rooms in certain locations.  So, you give them your credit card, pick the general location of where you want to be, pick the quality of hotel you want (four star, three star, two star, etc.), enter your price, and see if any hotel accepts it.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  But when it does you get one hell of a deal.

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