Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Would You Do with $120 Today?

As selfish as it is, I would buy these three dresses. They look so comfortable, flowy (good for hot Texan summers), and high necked!
Let's face it, prego cleavage is not sexy.

I guess I'm a neutral kinda girl.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Round Up

This weekend was so much fun. We slept in until 10:00am both Saturday and Sunday! It felt great to get caught up on sleep and to spend so much time with Marlow and our friends.

Our loquat tree in the backyard is ripening more every day. There are tons of fruits already and we are just waiting to pick them. We didn't even know we had a fruit tree in our backyard until this year. Since we've trimmed/cut down so many trees, we wonder if it's not from the sunlight finding new places to shine.

We always enjoy the times we hang out with our fellow Yankee friends, Scott and Lydia. Here we are playing Ingenious, a fun board game.

Yesterday we hung out with 2 of our favorite couples and hiked about 4 miles at Emma Long Park. We all brought our dogs and they had a ball tropping around the woods, swimming, and playing with each other. Afterwards, we brought them all home, bathed them, and met up again for a Tex-Mex dinner. And after that we went back to the Staffs' apartment to play games, eat cookies, and watch TV. We were all exhausted by the end of the day, but it was so much fun to spend a chunk of time together. The original plan was to go camping, but with the recent drop in temperatures and the burn ban still in effect, we canceled the camping trip and just hung out in Austin.

Cameron, Janelle, and Jake
Kyle, Leah, and Reagan

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We heard our baby's heartbeat again this morning.

Read a cool little factoid on a website that I thought I'd share:

"Your baby now has fingerprints! Believe it or not, he actually created them himself while swimming around in the amniotic fluid. As he moved his hands, the skin on the tips of his fingers formed unique ridges and folds. That's why no one on earth has the same fingerprints, not even identical twins!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Butter Cake with Lemon Glaze & Fresh Raspberry Ice Cream

Deeeeeelish. I'm still freakin out a little how good the ice cream is. Haven't tasted the cake yet, but it looks heavenly. We're sharing our sweets with friends tonight. I'd be happy to share the recipes if you want.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Should I Complain?

Recently I went to a becoming-less-of-a-favorite store, Forever 21, to look around and see specifically if they had any extra-flowy shirts in which I could fit. Since it is a bit of a hike, I go only a few times a year, but usually find at least one piece of clothing I like. But the last several times I've gone, my shopping experience has been spoiled completely by the employees working there. This most recent time was no different. I walked into the store and immediately noticed how loud the music was blaring. I don't think I'm too old to enjoy loud music. You expect it when you go to a concert (or some churches for that matter), but you don't expect such deafening sounds in a store. I could tell other shoppers were aware of this and also annoyed. Seriously, it was WAY too loud. Out of the ordinary, and definitely inexcusable. I walked up to the counter and spoke with the Store Manager. (Granted, she looked only 16, but hey, I figured they must have trained her for this position and taught her about customer satisfaction, at least.) I asked politely if she wouldn't mind turning down the music. She gave me a very ugly look and told me that it was part of the store's environment. I asked her in a different way, mentioning that since she's the store manager it seems like she might be able to help the situation. We go on for a few minutes, me asking a different way each time, and her finding an excuse to my requests. Finally she huffs off and turns it down (hardly at all) and immediately goes to the closest employee to talk about me and give dirty looks. I continue my shopping and notice every employee I come near gives me a dirty look as I come near them. I go into the dressing room with one item to try on. I come out, no success, and decide to leave the store. Before leaving, I went up to the Store Manager again and thanked her for accomadating me. I wish I would have gotten her name because now I kind of want to call the corporate headquarters to complain. Should I or is this just too trivial? I don't think I'll go out of my way to go to Forever 21 in Austin again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

If I Had The Money

Canon Rebel XSi.
And perhaps a 100mm macro lens?!

As much time as I spend around food and life happenings, it makes me wish we had something to capture it all as realistically and perfectly as possible.

I've been saving up for a 'Girls Trip' this summer with my beloved high school friends. Perhaps after that I can begin saving for this treasure. It may take years, but what a difference it would make.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break

Thus far it has been enjoyable. Since my weekly clients are on Spring Break, it gives me a break from cooking for them. I've really been motivated to get some things done off the checklist that keeps growing the longer we live in our house. I painted trim in the master bedroom yesterday, painted what will be baby's crib, and did some touch-up painting around the house. More touch-up painting will follow, and I'd like to get the changing table painted this week, too. If I'm really ambitious, I will paint trim in baby's room. Yes, lots of painting, but don't worry, I wear a ventilation mask.

We are also hosting a friend for a week that is visiting for SXSW, as well as dog-sitting for sweet Molly. We might not give her back. Marlow has enjoyed his napping buddy.

Tonight Chris and I are going out to dinner. A client has requested I make an entree similar to one at a local restaurant, so Taste and See Fine Dining is paying for dinner as I "research and develop." That is the category in which I place the receipt when I do my taxes. Afterward we will try to catch a few free shows at SXSW.

Other than all that, this week I've made strawberry sorbet and banana-blueberry muffins. I'm on a sorbet kick right now as dairy has been upsetting my stomach. Mango sorbet is next. Talk about being on a kick...I've been on a mango kick for about 2 years now. Can't get enough.

Watched a fun movie last night: Outsourced. Others I would highly recommend from recent viewings: Beautiful Country and The Visitor.

Oh yeah. And I also have a rockin' sun tan on my face as I spent a little too much time outside yesterday with my largo sunglasses. Gotta get one of those at least once a year.

Monday, March 16, 2009

12 Weeks

Completely not flattering, but I guess I should get used to that.

Reading Through Proverbs

I honestly don't think I've ever read through the entire book of Proverbs. It has always thrown me, just like poetry classes in college. As much as I loved them, it was a challenge to figure out the underlying meanings on my own. Class discussions were the best part because you got to hear everyone else's thoughts and responses.

Chris and I are starting to read through Proverbs together, one chapter at a time. Last night was chapter one and it was so fun reading and discussing it together. Here are the two verses that we liked the most:

"Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it." (vs. 19)

"...the complacency of fools will destroy them..." (vs. 32)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

We celebrated a little early for my good friend, Rachel's, birthday which is tomorrow. We had a fun dinner together and got to have Jaxson spend the night with us. At 17 months, he is so funny! What a sweet little boy he is. We have loved knowing Rachel and Randy the past 3 years and have had lots of fun together. Rachel is a great wife, a wonderful mom, and an awesome friend. We love you!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Barf or Bake

That pretty much sums up my life right now. I either feel sick or am concocting something in the kitchen. I'm either out of commission and on the couch or energetically mixing, whipping, and stirring. It doesn't make much sense. Today was a 'barf' day, but I had three 'bake' days preceding it. This being one of them.

Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti

1 1/3 c. dried cranberries, reconstituted
2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. pistachios
eggwash (1 egg + bit o water, mixed)

Reconstitute cranberries for about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Blend dry ingredients. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, until dough is formed. Stir in cranberries and pistachios.

Knead a few minutes and divide in half. On a floured/buttered cooking sheet, form into two logs, about a foot long each. Eggwash and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Cut on a bias into 3/4" slices. Arrange on their sides on cookie sheet and bake (325) 10-12 more minutes per side.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Work Lately

Since working full-time for Taste and See Fine Dining, I've seen the ebb and flow already within the food business. January and February were great months, profitable, and very rewarding. I had a lot of fun cooking for my weekly clients and catering several showers and parties. So far March has been a slower month. I feel like it's in between seasons a bit. It's Spring Break time and families are leaving town. I've got lots booked for April and May, so I'm enjoying my down time this month. I've still got my weekly people, which is fun, and that keeps me being productive. I just booked a dinner party in two weekends, but other than that, I only have two other gigs for March.

All in all, I have really enjoyed working for myself. Business has come entirely through referrals and word of mouth marketing, which they say is the best kind. It is fun to meet new people, create unique menus for each occasion, and cook in different kitchens. I feel like I have the best job. Who knew that I'd love this so much and that God would bring me here, all the way from a mid-sized town in Indiana? I feel very fortunate.

Made a Bag Today

Remember this? leftover fabric = new grocery bag. I had to throw my old one away because it was stinky. I spilled a little bit of fish sauce in it a few weeks back. I washed it out and sanitized it (it was the heavy duty plastic kind), but to no avail. A good excuse to make another. With a pinwheel embellishment, of course. Also leftover fabric from a shirt my mom made me.

Monday, March 09, 2009

My Search for the Perfect Doodle

And I finally found it. This is the cookie I think of when I think of cookies from my childhood. Chewy, warm, cinnamony-sugar textured crunch. Divine.
I heart snickerdoodles.

2 t. cinnamon
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 3/4 c. flour
2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Combine cinnamon and 1/4 c. sugar and set aside. Use to roll dough balls in.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one by one. Add vanilla. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir with whisk a few times. Add dry ingredients into wet mixture and combine. Rolls into balls and coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Chill for at least one hour. Bake 10 minutes at 375.

New Curtains!

After months of looking for a way to hang curtains in our breakfast nook, I finally found this tension cable hardware at IKEA. Since it's such a wide window, we weren't able to do the typical rod, but I am very pleased with how it turned out. I took a shower curtain that I had purchased a long time ago that I never used and recycled the fabric for the curtains. I'm not much of a seamstress, so this project of sewing a bunch of straight lines was just the right level of difficulty. :)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I Am Second


Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Half a muffin, a banana, and grapefruit juice for breakfast.
(I love breakfast!)

I mostly cleaned in the morning, watered the grass, and sent some work emails.
Then a little lunch outside in our patio with Marlow.
Checked out this AWESOME new market near our house. I'm so excited to start shopping there. It's close to home and cheap.
I went thrifting in the afternoon. I struck lucky finding a couple of cute maternity pieces, a shirt for Chris, an awesome candle holder from Renovation Hardware, earrings AND these fierce boots!

Violet earrings will find a home on my lobes.

In the afternoon, Marlow and I went to Red Bud Park, which you can see is appropriately named for all the beautiful red bud blossoms this time of year.

The dog park is actually a peninsula, which means lots of water for the dogs to play in.
Then, we went home. I gave Marls a bath, made dinner, and hung out with hubby until his conference call started.
And to finish off the night, I went to the Cheesecake Factory with two friends to celebrate a birthday.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Early Bird Gets the Worm

...and that last post was atrocious, so I deleted it.

To celebrate a day off tomorrow, I think I'll do a "Day in the Life" post with pictures.

Good night!