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December 31, 2010

2010 In Review

To be honest...2010 was kind of a crappy year. I feel guilty saying that, as in many ways I was very blessed. I started a new job and moved into a great new house. However, 2010 also came with its fair share of heartache and stress. It was a year of growth for sure, and I often looked in the mirror and said to my reflection "learn from, grow from it." And you know what? I think I did.

That being said, I have a feeling 2011 is going to be my year. 11 has always been my lucky number, and the year is already starting out great with some good news starting on Monday (and no I am not talking about the launch of Oprah's own network, but that too!) 

Goodbye 2010, hello 2011.

1. It rained, it rained a lot (The Birds, Pt. II)
2. The dogs said hello (Can't We All Just Get Along?)
3. I went jean shopping, and said goodbye to my waistline (Holy Jeans and More Potatoes Please!)

1. I met Beyonce and JayZ, kind of (Lets Go Lakers, er Mavs, uh Lakers)
2. Rain turned to snow (Record Snowfall)
3. I went home (Home)

1. I bought some new lamps, of which I was very proud (New Lamps)
2. My Dad had a birthday (Happy Birthday Dad)
3. Dan made me the best birthday cake ever (Takes the Cake)

1. We made this whole lawyer thing official (I'm Baaaaack)
2. Toby turned 3 (Toby's Third Birthday)
3. Kadira turned 1 (This is Doggy Blogging)

1. We celebrated our one year (One Year Ago Today)
2. I went to Chicago for my best friend's bachlorette (Let's Hear it for Chicccaaagoooo)
3. I got acquainted with a steam cleaner (Pretty Flowers)

1. I discovered our  new favorite recipe (Linguine with Clam Sauce)
2. I met my favorite author (Book 8: Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin)
3. Dan and I became obsessed (Anticlimatic)

1. I lost all my confidence as a gardener (Black Thumb)
2. I got one more reason to hate our house (I Hate Our House Part Deuce)
3. I was attacked (A Dramady...With Artwork)

1. I found a love for listening (Commute)
2. I was inspired (How to Be Alone)
3. Ali was chosen (No Judging Allowed)

1. We moved! (New Keys!)
Also I did not blog very much this month.  Things were kind of stressful.

1. We made it through the Storm (Everything Happens for a Reason)
2. I got attacked by a giraffe (Deep in the Heart of Texas)
3. I banned myself from all outdoor projects (Not My thing! Not My Thing!) 

1. I enjoyed (Welcome November)
2. I got far too excited for a wedding that wasn't mine (A Royal Wedding)
3. I trotted (Thanksgiving 2010) 

1. Dan Turned 30, Toby got attacked (Things of Note)
2. Our Christmas tree got a makeover (Christmas Cheer)
3. We had a Merry Christmas (Christmas 2010)

Also, you can check out the Year in Review 2009 


December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010



December 28, 2010

Top Ten Recipes of 2010

One of my other New Years Resolutions of 2010 was to learn how to cook. To help aid in this goal, I decided that I was going to try 24 new recipes (two a month) and I have wound up with a large number of new favorite recipes. Here are my top ten favorite recipes from 2010. You can click on the hyperlink for the recipe.

Do you have any recommendations for new recipes I should try in 2011? 


December 26, 2010

Top 10 Books of 2010

I read a lot of books this year. Twenty four new books, in fact, which I am pretty proud of considering I set a New Years Resolution to read twenty four books (two a month) and I reached it. Some were hits, some were misses, but most importantly I feel in love with reading again.

Just for fun I decided to do a top 10 list of my favorite books in 2010.  You can click on the hyperlink to read my review. 

3. The Glass Castles by Jeanette Walls 
I actually just finished this book so I have yet to do a review on it. I am reading it for my book club, and it easily made my top 10 list. I can't wait to discuss it with the other girls!


What was your favorite book of 2010? 

You can see a complete list of all the books I read HERE.
Additionally, don't forget to friend me on Goodreads (username Duolynoted) 


December 21, 2010

Things of Note...

You would think that since my last few blog posts have been about the Kardashians and the British Royals that there was nothing exciting going on in my life worthwhile to blog about. Not true! We have actually had a fairly busy last couple of weeks, which is to blame for my lackluster posting. Here are the few things of note:

First, Dan turned 30 years old on December 12th. I know, I know...I already feel guilty enough about not dedicating a whole blog post to him. In fairness, he declared it "birthday weekend" - so I was pretty busy. On Saturday we went to a dueling piano bar, our first Texas dueling piano bar experience...and boy it sure was...authentic? First, you could smoke in the bar (I thought they banned that in the '90s!). Second, when asked what kind of beer they had the waitress said "everything." When Dan said, "any IPAs?" she responded with "What's an IPA?" (you know you're in Texas when...) Third, there was a legitimate BAR FIGHT which made its way across the whole bar flipping all the tables in the process. Ei yi yi. Regardless, it was actually a pretty good time. I wouldn't be opposed to going back there but next time I am SO NOT being the DD.

Second, I made Dan a cake for his birthday and Kadira decided to eat it. I am still baffled as to why she did this as she has never jumped up on the counters and eaten anything before (except unattended meat - and who can blame her?) The stupid cake was covered and everything and she somehow nudged the top off and managed to eat the entire thing. It must be because she's a german shepherd and it was a german chocolate cake. I, of course, called the animal hospital and they told me to watch her and she ended up being fine. But eating any form of chocolate in this house - without explicit permission from me to ensure I don't plan on eating it - is a sure fire sign that this dog has a massive death wish.

Third, also dog related, Toby got attacked by a pit bull. He's okay - but I am not. Let's just say we got a little taste regarding the type of hysteria that will ensue when this puppy dies. I was at work still when it all happened, but Dan was taking Kadira and the Tobster for a walk when the stupid pit bull bolted out of the house, grabbed Toby by the neck, and started flinging him around. Thank God my husband is a fast thinker because he then jumped on the dog and started putting it in a choke hold, the only way he would release Toby. Let me just say, when I got that call from Dan all my Mario Kart skills paid off because I got home faster then I ever have before. I insisted we call animal control BECAUSE I AM SO SICK OF MY DOGS GETTING ATTACKED ON WALKS. Additionally, this attack was particularly vicious and what if this dog kills the next time? Of course, after I called I felt all kinds of guilty. The good news is that it was the dog's first call in, so its really just a warning, but it seriously scared the hell out of me. Now I wont walk Toby down that street.

There you have it! A mini life update. Now I am off to watch the finale of the Sing Off I DVRed....keep your fingers crossed for the Backbeats!


December 19, 2010

December 14, 2010

Engagement Photos!

Not mine, silly, Kate and William's!!!
These two are going to have such beautiful babies.

Which one do you like better? 
I am partial to the one on the right, but Kate's hair in the one on the left is to die for.


December 12, 2010

Book 23: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This post has some spoilers. 

Everybody has been talking about this book so I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about.  I don't normally read young adult literature, but I was glad I picked this one up.  I thought it had a powerful message, a unique plot, and a great ending.

However, it made me so depressed.  I would get done reading a chapter feeling just so down, and it took awhile for me to realize it was because of the book.  But really, what do you expect from a book about a girl who commits suicide and then makes thirteen tapes that she sends to thirteen people blaming them for her decision to end her life?  Additionally, I found it hard to believe that Hannah would take the time to compose all thirteen tapes.  It just seemed a bit ... cruel ... but yet she wasn't made out to be a cruel nor angry person, just desperate and hurt.

That being said, I loved the message of the novel: watch how you treat others, because you never know how your actions can affect them.  Having lost a friend to teen suicide when I was in high school I think its a great book for teenagers, especially considering the America's current teen suicide rate. 


December 8, 2010

Christmas Cheer

I have never been a fan of Christmas trees that are too perfect.  You know, the ones with the matching ornaments that are meticulously spaced.  The trees that have a rope around them so you can't get too close.  I like the trees that are a hodgepodge of ornaments.  From the fragile balls of glass, to the glued macaroni ornaments you make in kindergarten.  I want my tree to have a story.  

This is what my Christmas tree was like growing up.  Every year my Mom would buy each of us kids a new Christmas ornament.  Our ornament collection would grow every December, and we were each responsible for putting our group of ornaments on the tree.  Each ornament held a memory, each ornament had some kind of significance.

We are not making it home for Christmas for a third year in a row.  Its pretty disappointing, but my Mom helped make it a little better by sending me all my old ornaments to put on our tree this year.

Don't you just love my haircut?  Its a good thing that I didn't grow up during the era of Justin Bieber because I am fairly certain I would have been mistaken for him on a daily basis.
Can you guess who this is?  You guessed it, Hermione Granger.  My brothers both got Harry Potter ornaments that year because neither wanted to be Ron (despite the fact that one of them has red hair).

"Old Faithful Inn"

However, one of the best parts of my Mom's gift was....

Can you see the scratches on the album cover? Can you tell how loved it is?
Nothing says Christmas like a good boy band CD.



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