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January 28, 2011

Furbaby Fridays on EAD Living

I have really fun news this Friday.  Ami, from the fabulous website Elizabeth Anne Designs, dropped me an email to see if these two balls of trouble could be featured in her new segment for EAD Living called "Furbaby Fridays."  Uh...YES! I have been a reader of EAD for years, and it is so fun to see these two on the site.  Make sure you click on over to EAD Living and check them out!


January 26, 2011

The Quilting Quest: Part 1

New Years Resolution numero doce was to learn how to quilt.  As this was also one of my 2010 New Years Resolutions, I felt like I had to get on it rather quickly.  I have no idea how to quilt, so I knew I needed something very simple as my first project.  After some research, I settled on the ragged squares quilt from Crazy Mom's Quilts.  My initial thought was that I would do one big blog post on my fabulous new quilt.  I have since realized that, uh, this is going to take me awhile.  Quilting is a time consuming hobby, so I am going to have break this into segments that I have so aptly titled my Quilting Quest.

STEP ONE:  Gather your fabrics.  I initially bought 13 different fabric quarters (pictured above).  I ended up having to go back to the store for three more.  So total, I have used 16 fabrics. Surprisingly, these are not that expensive.  I got mine for about $1.25 a piece at JoAnn fabric.

STEP TWO: Wash all the fabric so that it shrinks before you start sewing.  Iron as needed.

STEP 3:  Cut 30 squares of 9 inches, 6 inches, and 3 inches.  This takes forever.  I probably watched about four episodes of "Friday Night Lights" before I completed this part of the quest. As I don't know how to quilt, and my knowledge in sewing is limited, I just made a pattern of the squares out of paper, traced them with a thin marker on the back of the fabric (nothing too strong so the ink didn't soak through), and cut the pattern out.  I am sure there is a better way to to do this, but it worked for me.

STEP FOUR:  Figure out the pattern of of your quilt by laying the squares out one-by-one and making sure no two fabrics are right next to each other.  This is where I diverged a little bit from Amanda Jean.  She sewed together the squares first...but I don't know that it makes THAT big of a difference. However, after you have decided on your pattern make sure you gather then up in a way so you know where they go back down.  I took a digital photo just in case. 

I am currently in the process of sewing together the fabric top (that I will discuss in Quilting Quest: Part 2).  This is going to take me forever as I remembered how little patience I have for my sewing machine.  I also have to research how to baste a quilt.  Primarily because I don't actually know what that means, but also because how you baste your quilt is apparently a very controversial topic in the quilting world.

Anybody out there have any tips on basting a quilt? Should I sew or pin?
Anybody out there want to quilt along with me? 


January 23, 2011

Lakers for the ---!!!!

(No, I did not reuse the same picture from last year - we were pretty much in the exact same seats.)

Last Wednesday, Dan and I went to our annual Lakers vs. Mavericks game.  It has turned into a tradition: we sit in the nosebleed seats, drink overpriced beer, eat a small hot dog, and try to ignore the people screaming "Boooo Lakers!"

I thought that this year might be better then last year.  Last year, a small child around the age of six tapped me on the leg and said, "You a Lakers fan?"  I pointed to my hat and said "Yep," at which point he gave me a thumbs down and screamed "BOOOOOO!!!!" to my face while his parents cackled from a few feet away.  Can't get much worse then that, right? Well, this year, a very large guy next to me not only felt the need to utilize the drink holders on either side of him, he also liked to yell "YOU'RE IN DALLAS, BITCH!" everytime the Mavericks scored.  Fabulous.  

The worst part was that there were no celebrities in attendance this year.  I mean, unless you count  Emmit Smith and Tony Romo - which I don't.  I was hoping for another Jay-Z and Beyonce sighting, but alas, they were nowhere to be found.

Now, this post might seem like a bit of a downer - but we really did have a good time.  It would just be nice for when we pay a bazillion dollars for nosebleed seats to at least see some A-list celebrities (for me) and for the Lakers to win (for Dan). 


January 20, 2011

Recipe 1: Bacon Mac

{Sorry for the dark photo.  It has been cloudy and gross here so natural light has been zip, nada, nilch.}

Rachel, from In No Simple Language, said this was one of her favorite recipes from last year.  Since she makes so many wonderful recipes, I knew I had to try it.  Plus its MACARONI AND CHEESE with BACON.  So it kind of sounded like heaven.

I was a bit nervous about making this for Dan.  While I liked PW's Homemade Mac and Cheese, he did not (wierdo).  When I told him this is what I was making he smiled and said, "That's nice" which is man code for "Seriously? You know I don't like that." I made it anyways, we sat down to eat it, and without any kind of provocation he said "This is really good."  I know he meant it too because he ate the whole thing.


Without further ado, I give you Bacon Mac, adapted from My Recipes

3 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 box penne pasta
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. Preheat oven to broil.

2. Cook pasta, al dente, drain.

3. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes.

4. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss.

5. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese.

6. Broil 7 minutes.


January 16, 2011


Things in Dallas have been downright cold, yall!

Now, to be honest, the small amount of snow that fell last week and the low temperatures this week are nothing compared to THIS - but it certainly has been a change of pace around these parts. 

Things have been so cold that these two were forced to make nice and actually ended up cuddling on Kadira's bed.  Now, I know that two dogs laying side by side is not unusual in most households, but it certainly is in ours.  When one falls asleep the other immediately feels the need to pounce.  This is literally, the first time I have seen this happen. It also lasted exactly three minutes.

Another source of comfort during these cold, cold Texas winter days has been our new KEURIG!  I have been on a caffeine high ever since we go this fabulous machine.  It is life changing.

And finally, has anybody else been watching Behind the Scene of Oprah's 25th Season on OWN?  Now, you know that I worship at the Church of Oprah, so it should be no surprise that I am addicted to what goes on behind the scenes at Harpo.  I have been really impressed and surprised at how candid all of the producer have been regarding how difficult their job is and the snags that come in making the show. It is definitely my favorite program on the network, but I also really love Master Class and am excited for Lisa Ling's new documentary series Our America premiering in February.


January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday To You!

New Years Resolution #2 was to get better about remembering and acknowledging birthdays.

I attribute my inability to remember birthdays to my problem remembering numbers in general. Don't believe me? What if I told you that I know exactly two phone numbers. My childhood number from when I was a kid and my cell number. I don't even know my work number or my husband's cell phone number!

I can typically name what month somebody's birthday is in, but never the date. So, obviously I need some help. While I write everybody's birthday in my planner, by the time I get to the date its the BIRTHDAY - and I don't have time to send a card or get a gift. Totally lame. Hence my resolution.

In an effort to remedy this problem, I made a list of everybody's birthday. I then proceeded to put every single one of them into my google calender (which I never use but I am going to start) and then set email reminders a week out. I even figured out how to sync it to my blackberry, in an effort to delve into the 21st century and use my electronic calenders.  I hope it works, as I know I always appreciate it when people remember my birthday so I want to return the favor.

Do you have any special way to remember birthdays?


January 4, 2011

January 1, 2011

2011 New Year's Resolutions

Last year, I made a list of all my 2010 resolutions and it worked out pretty effectively (see results HERE).  I have been thinking about what my 2011 New Year's Resolutions are going to be for awhile so I have a pretty long list.

This year, my 2011 New Year's Resolutions are:

1. Reread the entire Harry Potter series before the last movie comes out 
     (1) 11/20/2010 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
     (2) 1/9/2011 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
     (3) 3/31/2011 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling  
     (4) 5/22/2011 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling 
     (5) 8/1/2011 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
2. Get better about remembering and acknowledging birthdays
     -1/10/2011 Happy Birthday To You! 
3. Learn how to bake 6 kinds of cakes from scratch
4. Create an emergency book for the house
5. Get better about recycling
6. Work on decorating the house
7. Get our files organized
8. Volunteer somewhere
9. Develop and STOP DEPLETING our wine collection
10. Go the entire month of January without eating sweets
     -2/1/2011 The "No Sweets in January Challenge" and The Cupcake Incident...
11. Finish my manuscript 

...and here are some I want to roll over from last year...

12. Learn how to quilt 
     -1/26/11 The Quilting Quest: Part 1
     -10/18/11 The Quilting Quest: Part 2
13. Read 25 new books (one more then last year!)
     (1) 1/9/2011 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
     (2) 1/30/2011 Decision Points by George W. Bush 
     (3) 1/30/2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
     (4) 2/13/2011 Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah  
     (5) 3/17/2011 Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
     (6) 3/17/2011 Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
     (7) 3/31/2011 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling  
     (8) 4/30/2011 Room by Emma Donoghue
     (9) 5/17/2011 No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin
     (10) 5/22/2011 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling 
     (11) 8/1/2011 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling 
     (12) 8/1/2011 Divergent by Veronica Roth  
     (13) 8/15/2011 Winters Garden by Kristin Hannah
     (14) 8/31/2011 Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
     (15) 9/30/2011 Commencement by J Courtney Sullivan  
     (16) 11/14/2011 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
     (17) 11/14/2011 Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling
     (18) 12/1/2011 Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
     (19) 11/20/2011Mary and O'Neil by Justin Cronen
     (20) 12/15/2011 Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
     (21) Somewhere Bossypants by Tina Fey

14. Try 25 new recipes (and yes, the cakes count)
     (1)  1/20/2011 Bacon Mac
     (2)  1/31/2011 Slow Cooked Car Siu Pork Roast
     (3)  2/19/2011 Hearty Jambalaya
     (4)  2/27/2011 Chicken Tikki Masala
     (5)  3/9/2011 Chipotle Marinated Pork Chops with Chimichurri Sauce
     (6)  4/6/2011 Low(er) Calorie Fettucine Alfredo 
     (7)  10/26/11 Cookies
15. Run a half marathon
     - 1/29/2011 Ran the Texas Half....5k
16. Get out of debt
17. Tour a winery

You can track my progress on the toolbar of my blog!

What are some of your New Year's Resolutions?


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