Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shared Fasion: Polyvore

Bold Tank
$34 -
Cotton tank »

Classic Short Ugg Boot Stone
229 EUR -
Short boots »

Paloma's Crown of Hearts ring
220 EUR -
Heart ring »

MAC Eyeshadow
$15 -

$7.99 -

MAC Brush - 263 Angle Brush

I found this website from another blog and I can honestly say it is the coolest thing I've done in a long time!

You start off with a blank canvas, and then you can search the entire internet (Ikea, Tiffany & Co, Coach, etc.) for things that you like.  This is mine...

It's sort of my "blah" daily style.  Comfy jeans, layered tanks, soft sweaters. 

Toss in a simple foundation, a great mascara, and something to draw my eyebrows in with. 

I added in a song, a handbag, and some of my favorite simple jewelery also. 

Viola!  You have "me in a box." 

So head over to Polyvore and make an account to show us what your style is!  It's a lot of fun, I promise! 

***Disclaimer: I probably wouldn't spend this much on anything.  Most of my stuff comes from Target or outlets.  However, my Uggs, Coach, and Tiffany are real.  But you get the idea! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Carving!!!

Big Mike carved his pumpkin from our trip to the pumpkin patch a few days ago and let me have the seeds to roast! 

If you want a re-cap from the pumpkin patch, click here

Here's Big Mike drawing his outline onto his pumpkin with a marker.  If it were my pumpkin, I'd probably have just starting hacking into it with a knife and gouging eyes into it. 

This is probably why no one tried to convince me to carve a pumpking this year. 

It gets ugly. 

Brining my seeds.  If you boil them in salt water before you bake them, they're really salty. 

I love salt. 

My mother used to threaten to give me a salt lick when I was a little girl. 

I didn't ever tell her not to buy me one. 

The "artist" is getting more serious about his creation. 

Maddie is seriously confused at this point.  You see, up until now she had been wandering around the kitchen and trying to eat any of the stringy pumpkin innards that we accidentally dropped on the ground. 

She thought we were cooking.  Because in her mind, "when duh fatt peepole goes in duh kitchunn, dey drop duh foodduh." 

Well needless to say, she'd pick up the stringy orange bits and chew on them for a second.  Then she'd spit them out and give us a look.  Like the one you see above.  Sort of like, "WTF?"

Obligatory shot of the innards. 

And the carving begins! 

Eye numero uno is done! 

Then Big Mike "man handled" the pumpkin. 

He showed that pumpkin who's boss! 

Maddie eventually gave up on us. 

I'm pretty sure she started snoring at this point. 

Viola!  Here's the finished product, no candles.

I secretly call him Drunkin' the Punkin'

He looks drunk, right?  

Well let me light him up for you. 

One big eye, one little eye, and a half closed mouth. 

Actually his mouth is stitched closed if you look close enough.  But honestly, that doesn't go with my "drunk pumpkin" fantasy. 

So now he sits in our kitchen every night, but this weekend we'll put him outside for all the little boys and girls to see! 

What do your pumpkins look like?  Post a link in the comments if you have it in your blog! 

My friend Laura posted her pumpkin photos here. 

Carve happy! 


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What do you watch?

Because it's Wednesday.  Because I've started watching television programs again.  Because I happen to love you all and I want to know more about you. 

I want to know what you're watching! 

Currently, Big Mike and I are getting into several new shows.  It's been one of the best seasons that I can remember. 

First up is the CBS show "Blue Bloods" which airs every Friday night at 10 o'clock. 

Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg teamed up as a father and son due in the police department and the cast that surrounds them makes for some fairly entertaining dinner time conversations.  (By the way, if you watch "Rescue Me" then you'll recognize a few of the characters.)

Next up, "Hawaii Five O."  CBS Mondays at 10 o'clock. 

It's sort of cliche, but I can't help but love this show.  Great scenery.  Banter between the two (attractive) male leads.  Catching bad guys.  What's not to love? 

And my carry over from last year?  NBC's "Chuck" on Monday's at 8 o'clock. 

Chuck and his spy-girlfriend continue to save the world (same premise as the 2009 season) but in this season, Chuck is actually getting better at his job!  Once again, Chuck isn't bad looking but his brother in law is beyond hot. 

So those are my shows.  Now I want to know yours. 

Are you a Gleek?  Obsessed with Mad Men? 

By the way, months ago I put "Mad Men" on my Netflix que a few months ago.  I've yet to get it.  It must be really popular! 

Watch happy! 


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Take a Picture Tuesday!

I may or may not have mentioned that I did a shoot a while back for some friends of mine.  You can check them out here.  I've been continuing to practice and play with the photos from the shoot and my new hobby is collages. 

I hope you like it! 

What are some photography tips or techniques that you really enjoy?  Do you follow any photo blogs? 

Photography happy! 


Monday, October 25, 2010

Let's talk about social media for a second...

So I've been sort of noting all of the different changes in social behavior as I read and go about my daily routine and I'd really like to share my thoughts with you all and see what you think.

A few months back I was in another Austin phase and I read (for the ???th time) Pride and Prejudice. It really is one of my favorite books due to the relationships of the Bennett sisters as well as good old Mr. Darcy. So as I was reading I was thinking about how people in that time period used to write beautiful letters to family and friends or when they visited they would leave a calling card to denote their wish to be called upon as well. I find this all very proper and romantic. I love it. Then I started thinking about my life today.

Speaking of calling cards, there is a blogger out there that I follow and she had these calling cards made and I absolutely fell in love with them.  I'm going to have some made, or make them myself.  ASAP.  I'm in love. 

I love the holidays because it seems to be a rare time during which most people send cards or letters. Most other times of the year you'll only get an email. Oh, emails. With the pre-written signature at the bottom. Most of us try to have some Bible verse or quote down there, but let's be honest: it's impersonal but practical.

I also find email addresses to be absolutely ridiculous these days.  I know I'm guilty of having a "kippyskppy" email address when I was a teenager, but when you're an adult and you have an email address that is is way too long or has some stupid cute slang or nickname in it, you should not give it out to people professionally

Your name.  Or your initials.  Perhaps a number if you're "John Smith" or "Paul Johnson" but for gawsh sake's people, is not an acceptable means of conversation in the business world.  I'm sure your parents gave you a respectable and mature name, so go get yourself a grown up email account and save the nicknames for your Twitter account. 

But now, the cherry on top. 

On my phone, I have 2 applications or apps that I use fairly frequently: Twitter and Facebook.  In the first one, Twitter, when I decided to micro-blog I am directed to click in a box that says "What's happening?" in grey letters. 

Then I click update and my words are spewed all over cyberspace as if they actually meant something.  Sometimes they do, other times it's just the ramblings of an undrugged but highly intricate 20-something year old. 

But the fact that my Twitter app actually asks me "What's happening?" actually makes me feel good.  I feel as though someone out there actually cares and is asking me to tell them about my day.  I feel as though I am being asked to share my odd thoughts.  I feel as though I matter. 

Now, Facebook takes it even one step further.  The writing in the box reads "What's on your mind?" and instead of clicking a button that says "Update", I am asked to click a button that says "Share".  That's right folks, I am being polite and doing what my pre-school instructors taught me.  I am sharing. 

I share grievances.  I share joys.  I share recipes.  I share links. 

This makes me feel like a good person because in my head, if something makes me smile or chuckle then I need to share it and try to make someone else feel the same way. 

But sharing isn't always caring in this stage of life, right? 

How many times have we clicked that little blue button, only to find out that one of our cyber friends does not share our opinion on a certain topic.  I don't know about you fine folks, but I have been deleted a total of 3 times (that I'm aware of) due to my differences in opinion with certain individuals. 

Now, as you can see, I'm not too crushed or heartbroken.  However, it's got me thinking. 

Have you ever said in a conversation, "We're not real friends, only Facebook friends."? 

Well I have.  A lot. 

I've come accross people that I actually couldn't remember meeting.  I deleted them. 

I've come accross people that I actually remembered hating in the past.  I deleted them. 

I've come accross people that believe that every single word I write pertains to them and I'm a mean soul.  They deleted me before I could delete them.  Dang. 

But listen to what I'm saying before you judge me.  I'm asking, why have the phrases "friends" and "acquaintances" been replaced with "friends" and "facebook friends"? 

It's sort of disgusting when you think about it.  Some people get to read what I'm thinking every single day on Facebook, but I only see my Grandmother once every week or every other week.  That doesn't compute in my tiny little brain. 

What's important?  Where's the connection?  Why are we letting a phone call or an old fashioned letter slip through the cracks in favor of a quick post on someone's Facebook page?  I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this whole thing, but Facebook is quickly becoming a thorn in my side rather than a tool I can use to keep in touch with old friends. 

Oh, and let's not even get me started about how much I loathed the idea of going to see a movie about the creators of Facebook.  Facebook has enough of my time and attention, I'm not giving in $12 of my money and an additional 2 hours on a Friday night. 

What do you think?  Am I nuts?  Have we lost our personal interactions?  Or do you think that social media is just another tool to use for personal interactions?  Do you think I should make calling cards?  What color should they be? 

Please, someone help me understand why I'm so frustrated and addicted at the same time! 


Sunday, October 24, 2010

I have to share this...

This is too good not to pass along. Trust me.

So last week, when it was drizzling rain and cold, I was headed to work one morning when my car's "I'm hungry" light came on. So I got off of the freeway and stopped for gas. I pulled a $20 bill out of my wallet and headed inside of the quick stop to pay. As I headed out of the convenience store, I saw 2 police cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck pull into the gas station with their lights on. I stopped in my tracks because my parents taught me if you see police officers headed towards something, you don't need to be there. No looky loo's.

They got out of their vehicles calmly and were looking around but I thought nothing of it, so I started for my car again. A man next to me grabbed my arm and stopped me.

"You don't want to go over there," he said to me. 

"Yes I do.  That's my car."  I replied. 

At that moment he pointed to the back of my car and I realized that a man's legs were sticking out from underneath my trunk. 

It kind of reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, you know, that one part? 

My first reaction was I turned to the man that had stopped me with panic in my eyes and asked, "DID I RUN HIM OVER?!?

I'm sure I was a calm as a river when I asked this. 

On second thought, I probably looked a bit like that crazy comedian Bobcat Goldthwait on crack.  If you don't know the name, click here.  He's kind of insane, I apologize.  But I am pretty sure I sounded like him. 

So after I insanely asked the man if I had run over the gentleman that was now laying under my car, he started laughing at me.  I was hoping it was a nice laugh and not a "you're going to jail and I'm laughing at you" sort of laugh. 

At that moment, the clerk of the gas station walked out from the convenience store and towards the police officers.  They then began pointing at the man that was laying under my car. 

It was then that the man explained to me that the sleeping man underneath my car was wandering around the gas station when I had entered the convenience store to pay.  While I was inside conducting my business, he had climbed under my vehicle to sheild himself from the rain and for a little warmth. 

Upon closer inspection, I discovered that there were several beer cans strewn about the gas station and I overheard the police discussing things with the convenience store clerk. 

Apparently, the man had been wandering around the gas station and was very intoxicated.  The clerk had notified the police officers prior to my arrival, but as they were pulling in, the intoxicated man climbed under my car. 

When they approached the car to pull him from it, he was snoring!!!  Can you believe that?  He fell asleep faster than I do! 

The firemen pulled him out from underneath my car and put him on a gurney.  I was thanked for my patience and told that I could go ahead and pump my gas, which I gladly did.  But as I continued on with my day, I began to chuckle to myself.  I wasn't sure if I was the only person that thought this story was funny, so I decided to test it out. 

First I sent a series of text messages to my friend Momma Bug.  She told me that it was such a funny story that she had to go tell it to her boss, who also thought it was funny.  Then I called my mom.  Her reaction?  "I have to go tell this to your dad." 

Yup.  This was too funny.  Too funny not to share! 

So there you go. 

I pray this never happens to any of you. 

Feel free to tell this to anyone you see fit.  Make someone else smile today, tell them it's from me! 

May you all laugh until you cry! 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shopping Day!!!

A few years ago, my mother and I attended a Pampered Chef party at the home of our stylist, Stacy.  I've been pretty hooked ever since! 

Of our purchases, I was given most of them when I moved out.  A lot of what we bought were serving dishes and such, and my mother agreed that this was a great first set of serving items for my first home. 

One of my personal favorites is the Family-Size Quick-Stir® Pitcher - $22.50

It's perfect for double batches of Crystal Light in the summer, and believe me, Big Mike drinks a lot of Crystal Light Pink Lemonade in the summer! 

Next, the Classic Batter Bowl - $15.00

This thing is perfect for pancake batter or stock that you aren't ready to use or that needs to sit for a few minutes.  The cover is light, but extremely durable.  The glass portion is thick and although it's heavy, it can withstand a few hard knocks on the countertop.  There is a smaller size too! 

Finally, we picked up a few pieces from the Simple Additions® Collection.  Some of the items we purchased are no longer available, but a few still are: 

Medium Square Bowls - $22.00

Medium Square Plates - $22.00

Petite Squares - $12.00

But as you read this, I'm getting ready to attend my second Pampered Chef party at my dear friend Shannon's house.  My mom and I are going together again, which could get dangerous.  So I'm giving myself a budget.  Also, I have at least one item I know I'd like to order:

Double Boiler - $20.00

I've searched high and low for a double boiler, and I couldn't find one!  Picking one up this weekend for $20 seems like a reasonable request for me, and since I plan on making a lot of chocolates this holiday season, I know I'll get good use out of it! 

If you're interested and would like to order something from the line, feel free to head over to my friend Jennifer's Pampered Chef Page to contact her with any questions or just orders! 

Cook & shop happy! 


Friday, October 22, 2010

Dessert: Part 2!

Alright, so if you're like me then you're sitting there and drooling while looking at the cooled pumpkin bars that are sitting on your counter top right now. 

But you're probably much cooler than I am, so you're not doing that right now, are you? 

Okay, well either way we're going to talk about toppings right now. 

When I first tasted the pumpkin bars through my co-worker, it was a bit odd.  It was topped with a frosting and bacon.  Yah, you read that right.  Bacon.  On a pumpkin bar.  Maple frosting.  Good, but not my thing. 

So what is my thing?  Let's be honest, my favorite cupcake is a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. 

Say it with me now: cream cheese frosting. 

So lets whip that up! 

Frosting Ingredients:
  • 6 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • splash of lemon juice
Throw the lemon juice and softened cream cheese into a mixing bowl. 

Start with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and beat it into the cream cheese.  Continue on with this sugar addition, 1/2 cup at a time, until the whole amount has been beat in. 


That's cream cheese frosting.  Plain and simple. 

So then you can just toss it on to the cooled pumpkin bars.

And then spread the frosting evenly. 

Feel free to stop here if you'd like.  There's no shame in it.  This is a beatiful thing.  If you're really a fan of pecans, toss some on time.  Like cinnamon a lot?  Sprinkle it on there.  Anything your little heart desires. 

What did my heart desire?  Caramel. 

I love Caramel.  I don't like the candies, but I love the sauce.  The flavor.  The smell.  The consistency. 

I die. 

So I found an old recipe from The Pioneer Woman for Ice Cream Pie.  Now you're scratching your head and thinking, "What does ice cream pie have to do with pumpkin bars?"  Caramel sauce, that's what. 

Inside of the Ice Cream Pie recipe is a recipe for the simplest caramel sauce you'll ever make.  5 ingredients.  10 minutes.  Loads of sauce. 

Caramel Sauce Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of half and half or whipping cream
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Throw the first four ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. 

Then, after the mixture has dissolved and started to thicken (about 5-7 minutes) then toss in the vanilla.  Keep stirring for a few more minutes. 

There's your finished product!  Caramel sauce, lots of it!  You barely need a few tablespoons for this recipe so you might want to start thinking of all of the other things you can put it on.  Coffee, ice cream, cakes, pies, graham crackers, your fingers, etc. 

So now all that is left for you to do is drizzle and serve. 


By the way, this makes 24 pretty good sized bars.  I'd go so far as to say you could even cut those in half for 48 servings.  If you're a Weight Watcher, and you cut this into 24 pieces, be prepared to track 5 points.  Not too bad, but it's definitely a splurge! 

Bake happy! 


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Since I didn't make anything on Monday...

We're going to have a double dose of recipes.  That's right, a two part recipe! 

Read that again, now breathe deeply.  Two part does not mean that it's going to be hard.  We're going to make a two part dessert!  Why is this great?  Because you can make it all at once, or over 2 days!  That's right, you can stretch this out if you're in a time crunch. 

This is a bit of a modified recipe from my co-worker.  She bakes something for us every single Friday, and last Friday this recipe jumped out at me.  Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting! 

Think of it this way:  it's a pumpkin brownie with frosting.  I'm crazy, I'm adding a caramel drizzle.  Why?  Because it's fall and everyone knows that mammals gain weight in the winter months because they need insulation from the cold. 


Let's begin! 

Step One:  Pumpkin Bars

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
Mix In Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

All of the dry ingredients go into one large bowl,

And all of the wet ingredients go into another large bowl. 
Give each bowl a quick mix. 

 Place your mix in's aside for now...

Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet,

Then another 1/3,

Then the last 1/3. 

Here is your pre- mix in's batter...

And now you add the pecans and raisins. 

Spread the batter into a greased or Pam'd 13x9 baking dish.  Make sure that you spread that batter out.  Why?  Because this is a dense material and whatever form it goes into the dish, that's how it will stay.  It isn't going to spread much in the oven, so do the spreading now! 
20 minutes in the 350 degree oven. 
Your house will smell amazing, trust me. 

Here's the finished product, put a lid or a cover on it and let it cool.  I did this in the morning before work and made the frosting when I came home that evening.  10 hours is plenty of time to cool.  Leave it a whole day if you'd like.  You won't offend me! 

Tomorrow's recipe: The frosting and the caramel drizzle!  If you don't like caramel, I'll be giving you several different topping ideas.  Why?  Because I care.  Or maybe I just think about food too much.