Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Love Mutts

Mutts are quite possibly the best thing ever! Especially when those mutts happen to be mixed with Weimaraner (I may be a little partial). Even though Java has been a handful at times, destroying seemingly inedible objects, being a crate Houdini, and random allergic reactions, he has been one of the best decisions that we have ever made. It is at this time that I would like to make a shout out to the website that brought him to our family: PetFinder. I'm sure that there are oodles of puppies available through breeders but, as I like to say, where's the fun in that?

Save a dog from a local humaine society and I promise that you will be greatly rewarded with a dog that will love you unconditionally for the rest of his or her life.

Seriously, I want one of each!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo with Blackened Chicken

This is my new favorite meal! Estevan and I have been slowly getting more and more tired of our usual meals and it culminated 2 days ago with neither one of us finishing and leaving the dining room completely unenthused. So yesterday I went out on a mission to find a meal that both of us would enjoy... chicken, safe.... pasta, safe... veggies, safe if you can hide em! I decided to make this:

Makes about 4 servings when you boil half a box of fettuccine. I mixed in snow peas (I cooked slightly by putting them in colander which I then drained cooked pasta over) and steamed broccoli (yay for easy veggie steamers in the frozen food aisle).

Blackened Chicken:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a shallow dish, drizzle olive oil over boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Flip to completely coat with olive oil then sprinkle blackening seasoning (I used Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends for Blackened Redfish.... hey, it was all I had and it worked on my chicken!).

Then put chicken into a large baggie and pound down the high parts (I used a rolling pin) to make the breast one even piece, makes it cook evenly and prevents over cooking.

Take out of baggie and rub in some more blackening spices.

Heat up a pan over high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil then place chicken breasts in. Cook each side 1 minute. Let that blackening seasoning do its thing!

Place chicken breasts on baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes or until firmed up.

Alfredo Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
8 fl. oz. heavy whipping cream
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely minced
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk, whisked with a little of the cream
Chopped parsley
Salt and pepper for taste

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium low heat.

Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, add a little to the whisked egg yolk continuing to whisk vigorously. Slowly add the egg mixture to the saucepan while whisking continuously to prevent egg yolk from cooking too fast.

Add garlic and Parmesan to saucepan, whisk quickly to heat through. Simmer 3-5 minutes until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste, then add parsley for color/texture. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mini Constellations

These are just about the cutest things I've seen at an Etsy shop! They remind me of floating with my dad in our pool in La Quinta, California with him pointing out all the vivid constellations visible in the nightime desert sky. I hope that someday I will remember all those constellations for my own children. These little cuties could definitely help! I found them for sale on the MiniatureRhino shop via the You Are My Fave blog.

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Autumn Ideas

I am so looking forward to fall this year! Not only am I pumped to have my favorite pumpkin pie spice creamer (yay!) back on the shelves, but I'm also so excited to experience my first Texas season other than the extreme-heat summer. Fall also means that all my favorite, rich color combinations are back in vogue.

This gourd craft is beautiful but I'm absolutely in love with the wreath it's sitting in!

party invite is so creepy I love it!

Cute and sparkly, what's not to love?

I love everything about
this wreath and display.

I would love to try this idea
with multi-colored corn cobs
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Homemade Cards

There are two things that I really love: making pretty things and being thrifty. Ok, maybe I don't love being thrifty... but penny pinching is a must these days. The craft I did today utilizes both concepts. I just love the idea of making something especially for people that I care about.

Here's what you'll need....
Coordinating textured cardstock and scrapbooking paper
A tool to cut straight edges, I love my Cutterpede
Stickers or something decorative
Glue stick
Circular items found around the house

Step 1
Cut a piece of cardstock in half to make 2 pieces (6"x12")

Step 3 and 4
Fold into thirds, be sure to keep the texture on the outside of the folds.
With the texture facing the table, center a round object on the middle section of the cardstock.
Trace and cut out with scissors (I find it's easier to make an X in the center with an exacto knife or the blade of the Cutterpede and then use that opening to cut out the hole).

Step 5 and 6
Cut out a piece of scrapbooking paper that is larger than the hole you just cut, leaving enough room to glue onto the cardstock.
Glue onto cardstock.

Step 7
Fold over one side taking into account the location of the cutout, this is where you'll need to make the decision for whether you want your card to open side to side or up and down. The folded over side (with the peek-a-boo hole) will be the front of your card.
Glue folded side onto the back of the peek-a-boo hole to neatly hide it.

Step 8

I like to add a slightly smaller circle of plain white cardstock to make a nameplate. Then decorate it to your
heart's content!

Tip: My larger circle was made with the top of a glass, the smaller circle was made with the bottom end.

Add your own personal inscription.

Ta Da!
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Frilly Fall Fashions

I have a sickness for DownEast Basics clothing and their new fall fashions aren't helping. Even though they ran out of my would-be favorite bathing suit top, I still love their clothing line. The rich colors and light, layered fabrics are so perfect for fall. I'm ready for the seasons to change! Oh and I'm also ready for my hair style to change, what do you think of the hair style on the last model with the blue top?

Curtsy Coat
This coat might be a little too warm for the bulk of Texas winters, but it's just so dang cute!

I've always had a thing for 3/4 length coats, now I can actually use it as a winter jacket, yay! Comes in Olive too!

Grey Flower and Pearls

Intuition Top
This top would be an excellent layered piece for fall, love that neckline!

I'm also in love with her haircut, what do you think? Pin It Now!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Enjoy the weekend

It's going to be a good weekend! With a Saturday morning starting out with overnight rolls, how couldn't it be? This time around I put part of the pecans on top to make the pecan experience more encompassing. I didn't realize how much I actually had and the rolls ended up falling a little in the oven, but they should be fine. Next time I'll just leave a tablespoon or two.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Love This Town

Just a little ways away from the 4th largest city in the country is a little shopping/antiques/artsy district called Old Town Spring. It has to be one of the cutest little districts that I've ever had the pleasure of walking around. Just take a look at some of the store fronts. Too cute!

Very creative.

How could you not want to go in and look around? Adorable.

I was wishing that I had an extra $65 in my purse. Good bargain for an oil painting and an old wooden frame in perfect condition!

My Jaw dropped when I saw this little slice of heaven. Fantastic prices in there!

Seriously, the name is awesome.

Beautiful custom chandeliers and other estate-sized items.

This a beautifully made sign, it's even fashioned after the artist's favorite piece. Pin It Now!

Sloppy Joe's

Better than Manwich, I swear!


1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard
Half of a yellow onion, chopped
Bell pepper, chopped

Brown the ground beef along with the chopped onion and chopped bell pepper. Drain well using this tip!

Mix the remaining ingredients in small bowl. Return the drained ground beef to pan and cover with sauce.

Simmer, covered, on low for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. You may need to uncover and continue to cook a little more in order to thicken up properly.

Serve on a bun, yum! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Get it!

To all those worried by my last post of Java, here's some concrete proof that he is doing well... very well and exceedinly happy.

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Rubber band pennant stamp

This is one of the neatest ideas I've seen in a long time. So creative and inexpensive too!

I like the idea of using this to honor my future students with a "Great Job" pennant banner.

Get full directions on Just Something I Made.

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New Garden Wish List

One of the things that I'm really looking forward to is learning how to garden in my new area. I learned a lot about gardening in Michigan, and that only was in the last 2 years! I'm sure I can learn it all over again, right? I'm fairly positive that all I need are a few books (Christmas wish list to come!) and I will be on the right track to gardening in Texas. So far, I've been looking around my neighborhood to get a pretty good idea of what can be grown here. Here's my newest garden wish list... oh and get this, they can all be grown in pots! Perfect for rental living.

Aloe vera; has saved my fingers from burn scars more times than I can count.

Bird of Paradise; so cool looking!

Hibiscus; the epitome of tropical living.

Night blooming Jasmine; I might actually enjoy waking up early in the morning.

Bouganvilla; these grow in huge bushes.
Reminds me of La Quinta, CA which was my favorite place to live...
I guess that must be part of why I like Houston so much!

Gardenia; these can also grow in huge bushes down here.

This is definitely my favorite; Meyer Lemon tree.
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