Thursday, December 23, 2010

Turkey Intimidation

I've pretty much been doing anything but blogging lately - I think I've been too busy with Christmas break. Wallowing in it, if you will. No more studying, no more papers, no more pretending like I've read for class - just sweet, sweet freedom.

And this week, it's been all about Christmas prep. I don't think I have ever had so much of the responsibility for Christmas, and it's strange, it makes me feel like too much of a grown-up. In fact, I started my very first turkey this morning. There is something crazy intimidating about a turkey, and I don't know why. I just bought a turkey breast, wrapped it in foil, and threw it in the crock pot. Have I mentioned I would die without my crock pot? You should have seen me up at 7am trying to get this bird in the pot though.

Peggy Sue the wonder dachshund was going crazy, I've got a huge turkey breast on the counter which is dripping its horrible turkey juice EVERYWHERE, like all over the counter and down the front of the dishwasher. Meantime, Peggy Sue is acting like this is the best thing that's ever happened to her, standing right under it and trying to lick all of it up while more drips on her head. So I have salmonella central all over the countertop, the dishwasher, the floor, and the dog. And that would be why, after I washed Peggy Sue and every flat surface in the kitchen, I retreated back to bed until ten.

And because this thing is wrapped in foil, I have no earthly idea if it's even cooking. I have this horrible feeling that when I take it out to take to the family get-together tonight, I'm STILL going to have salmonella central. Merry Christmas everyone, here's an intestinal issue, hope you enjoy!

In other news, I have lost my voice. I am certain this is because someone (most likely PB) asked Santa for my voice to be stricken for Christmas. That's why I've been sending out public facebook appeals to Santa that I am certainly less naughty than anyone who might have wished my voice away, and dammit I SHOULD WIN THIS ONE. So far, I still sound terrible. This does not bode well for tonight, because it's Christmas with my mom's side of the family. There are two things we do at that get-together. We eat, and we talk. Everyone talks A LOT. There's a reason I do too, I can't help it, I swear it's genetic. So I'm drinking lots of hot coffee and hoping that somehow has a therapeutic quality.

Sigh. I still have to crank out a green bean casserole, a pumpkin pie cheesecake, a pumpkin gooey cake, and a hashbrown casserole for the various family get-togethers we do between now and Christmas, and hopefully work in some time for some Christmas drinking. I am foreseeing making some Sangria and watching A Christmas Story at least 6 out of the 24 times they play it on TNT this year.

Cross your fingers for no turkey poisoning for anyone, and a voice for me, so that I will not be coming to the battle of the talkers unarmed tonight.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Parties, Cookies, Puppies, Wahoo!

We've had Peggy Sue for a week now, and I kind of feel like I've had a newborn for a week. I knew puppies were a lot of work, but whew! She's either eating something off the floor, she's gotta pee, or she's nomming my commercial law book. We've had so much fun though - as you can see, PB is acting as if he personally has just birthed the puppy:


It's hilarious, he picks her up and talks to her in the PB Puppy Voice, which I would love to surreptitiously record one day, as it is awesome.



The one thing I have never liked about dogs: if they are not pristinely clean, they have a tendency to smell like seashells. But that's easily remedied with Peggy Sue. We gave her a bath in our big kitchen sink the first time, but I figured out yesterday that the easiest thing to do is just throw her in the shower with you and wash her. She chills on the bath mat while you shower anyway, and she doesn't mind the water, so you just grab her, soap her up (I highly recommend the Martha Stewart Pets peppermint shampoo), and rinse her off. She laid down on the towel after that, and I wrapped her up like that, where she stayed for about 15 minutes until she was dry. So cute.


So there's the whole crew, chilling on the loveseat last night. (Back row, Twyla on the left, Tallulah on the right. Obvs Peggy Sue in front.)

At this point, you're thinking that I have become a total crazypants who does not ever have any human interaction and stays home with the dog at all times. You would be right that I am a total crazypants who is with the dog all the time, but the difference is, I've just made her a road dog.

We had an engagement party on Saturday night, which was so much fun! It was just a little redneck get-together in my parents' finished basement - pool-playing, foosball-playing, beer-drinking, low-level gambling. Mom knitted Peggy Sue a party dress so she looked all fancy:


Like I said, it was a redneck party. Note the sketch behind me in the following picture, including a motorcycle and an Indian headdress. Also, I'm pretty sure the words coming out of my mouth at this point would be something like "Hold the puppy so mama can gamble." We played Left/Right/Center, which requires absolutely zero skill, just a little luck, an ability to roll dice, and three one dollar bills. Basically, everyone starts out with three dollars and you roll three dice. If you roll a dot, you keep that dollar. Roll a left or right, and you pass it in that direction. Roll a center and it goes to the pot in the middle. The goal is to be the last person with a dollar in play. And if you are, you win the whole pot! I know it sounds like a caveman game, but it is so much fun, especially at a party after you've had a few. I highly recommend it for your next high-class soiree.


This photo is pretty much a good example of how PB looks most of the time post-puppy:


The party was lots of fun though! I got pasta from a local pizza/pasta place, and it was so delicious. Pretty sure that we had enough for about 900 people to eat for 4 days, because we had baked ziti, baked spaghetti, angel hair with pink sauce (my personal favorite), fettucine alfredo, tons of salad and delicious garlic bread. By the end of the night, we were all just walking around gnawing on big hunks of garlic bread and holding a beer in the other hand. Classy times!

We also got an engagement cake from The Sweet Life, which is where our wedding cake will come from! We got a pumpkin spice cake, which was delicious - my number one priority as it relates to any cake. I really don't care if it looks like something from Ace of Cakes - I just want it to be nomtastic. It got me really excited for cake tasting this weekend! Other flavors in the running, to be decided post-tasting, are Sun Drop pound cake (recipe here - if you live anywhere that you can find Sun Drop soda, it's worth making for Christmas; sort of like a less intense lemon pound cake without that terrible Pine-Sol taste some lemon pound cakes can have), strawberry cake, and hummingbird cake (recipe here - another of my favorites).

Here's how it turned out!

One other thing - last night I went to a cookie exchange. You should host one of these asap because it is the most fantastic thing I've ever heard of. Here's the idea: each person makes 24 cookies, and then you show up with your tupperware. There were other snacks and drinks and socializing during the party, but the main point of the cookies is delicious takeout for later. You pack yourself a whole container of various cookies, and then you have lots of delicious treats at home. I am a fan of any concept that allows me to have fatty snacks in the cabinets.

I made two recipes of cookies to take, and I figured I'd give you my best one. These turned out to be MOST amazing, and they are so easy. As a general rule, I am very against cookie making because they are a big pain in the butt, and the results usually don't reflect what a giant pain in the butt they were. Thus, you will never again find me melting butter, rolling out dough, or doing any of those other not-worth-it tasks.

Here's what I most certainly do advocate for your next batch of cookies. Go to the store, buy yourself a tube of the Pilsbury dough that those nice people do such a good job with, and doctor that junk up.

Here's how - with this recipe from Pilsbury:

Cinnamon-Toffee Pecan Cookies

Ingredients:

1 16.5 oz tube of sugar cookie dough
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used allspice because I was out of nutmeg, and that turned out fine)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup toffee bits (I used butterscotch chips because I couldn't find "toffee bits," whatever those are - delicious!)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. This goes much easier if you leave it out of the fridge for 20 minutes or so. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla until well blended. Drop on cookie sheet by heaping teaspoonfuls, three inches apart. I use a small ice cream scooper for this - makes it easier.

2. Bake 11-14 minutes, until edges are golden brown. I despise crunchy cookies, so I stick closer to the 11-12 minutes side.

And TA-DA! Delicious, real easy cookies, that taste like you slaved over them.

Now it's back to studying - one more final, a short little paper, and then it is officially Christmas break! The mere thought of that makes me want to cut cartwheels.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pupdate! (forgive me for that, I had to.)

So y'all....the puppy search has come to an end. It was too long for my snap-decision tastes, and it was tough, but it's over.

You remember my post from yesterday about the chiweenie rescue we
were going to see. We did that, because I was really really into getting a rescue and she was the best-looking one we had seen. But we got there, and oh my goodness y'all, it really broke my heart. She is sweet, but she has so many issues. She ran and hid as soon as I accidentally let her leash slide out of my hand while she was on my lap. After the rescue lady went and retrieved her, she begrudgingly sat there while we kind of held her down. And she was just shaking and shaking.

Now her ad said she was okay with cats...but what that meant is that she doesn't chase and/or try to nom cats. She is afraid of them. The rescue lady had one and she said that the dog screams when the cat gets close to her. So ultimately, as much as PB and I wanted to do that, we just realized we couldn't. I was so worried about territory issues with my cats and all of that stuff, and I just felt like she had issues we couldn't overcome. Because my house is not that giant and I have two cats that kind of are giants. Whatever dog we got was going to have to be okay with having cats all up in their grill, all the time. We just knew we probably weren't the best home for her.

So we did what we did not want to do. We made an appointment to go see a puppy. I have a friend that has three dachshunds and I just knew that's what I wanted. She referred me to this kennel, and they are the sweetest little country people in the world. They have the MOST adorable little weenie dogs you have ever seen in your life. And as soon as we got there, they were ready to meet us and play with us. We were open to looking at all kinds, and I was kind of feeling a short-haired dog because Tallulah is a Maine Coon and it is already pethairapalooza up in my house no matter how much I try to stay on top of it. Turns out though, that long haired ones actually shed MUCH less (and are softer on top of that!) Who knew?


So, we met one of their sweet little black and tan long haired weenies. And she liked PB immediately!

Here she is in the yard after we brought her home! I don't have a ton of great pictures of her yet because I sadly had to go to class after we brought her home today. It is terrible, not only do have that awful end-of-the-semester apathy about class, I feel like I've just left my infant at home. She's hanging out with PB right now - can't wait to go home and see her!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shockingly doing Ten on Tuesday ON TUESDAY

1. Where are you from? Have you lived there your whole life?

I'm from a little town near Charlotte, NC. And yes, I've always lived here, I'll probably die here, and y'all can all judge me and talk about how un-worldly I am. I'm ok with that. I love it here, and it's home. I've lived in Chapel Hill for college, and did a year of law school in Columbia, SC. It's easier to go back to Chapel Hill and get all nostalgic about it now that I'm removed from living there a little bit. But when I was there, I always had the distinct feeling that it wasn't home and that I just sort of had to be there because of college. I didn't enjoy it as much as a lot of people did, though I love to go back now. Columbia? Columbia is a terrible place, in my opinion. I know there are

people who love it, but I found it a dangerous, hot, ugly place full of giant roaches. I'll take my town - I've never been as happy as I am now, living on my own, in my town.

2. How would you classify your clothing style?
Homeless chic. Just kidding. Though I was Food Lion yesterday in a ball cap, t-shirt and UNC sweatshirt because I didn't feel like putting on a bra. Most of the time, I don't wear it if it doesn't come from Target or Old Navy. Maybe the easiest thing is just an example. Today I'm wearing Old Navy dark wash skinny jeans, a gray tank top with a few beads and lace at the top from Abercrombie kids (yes, Abercrombie kids) and a big, slouchy army green cardigan. All with my "renaissance festival boots," as my friend T called them.

3. What kind of car do you drive?
A Toyota FJ Cruiser. Y'all, I love that car. It has rubber floor mats you can just wash off with the hose when they get dirty. It's bright blue. It has giant mirrors that totally eliminate blind spots. It has a compass that I have never used but that looks cool. Also an incline meter. Makes me look like I'm the kind of person who hikes and camps and kayaks. Oh, illusions.

4. What would your dream home look like if you could have it (or already do!)?
Honestly, I feel like I have it now, but it is perhaps a little small (only 2 beds, 2 baths). So basically, I want my exact house, in its exact quiet, cute little neighborhood, with all of its closets and cabinet space, and its screen porch, with maybe a second story.

5. Do you have kids, and if so, how many and how old were you when you had them?
Lord, no. But I do have puppy fever. See my last post.

6. What is your favorite hobby?
Knitting. I never have enough time for it, but I love to do it while I watch tv or a movie on my couch. It's so fun to take some yarn and needles and actually make something out of it. Maybe I love baking for the same reason. It seems like magic.

7. Are you going to have any New Year’s resolutions for 2011?
Yes. The typical, work out more, stay healthier, blah blah. We'll see how that goes. But I do have a wedding dress to fit into, so it better go pretty well.

8. What is something, if anything, that you’d want to change about yourself?
I wish I was one of those people with just a touch of OCD that has to have everything cleaned out and organized and prepared all the time. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, cram-that-junk-in-the-closet kind of girl. It can be very frustrating.

9. What is something that you love about yourself?
I am pretty darn loyal.

10. Pick one of the following: Someone to cook for you, someone to do your laundry, or someone to do your dishes.
I love to cook, I find it a lovely creative process. One which normally involves me messing up every dish and flat surface in the house. But fortunately, the rule at mi casa is if you cook, you don't clean up. And PB hates cooking,so he cleans up, and it works out great. So that's covered. But maybe you know of my laundry woes. Laundry is the bane of my existence and PB hates it too, so it's like the one thing that's always naggingly undone at my house. I really, really need a laundry elf.

Your turn!


Thanks to Chelsea at Roots and Rings for coming up with this! And to Walking with Nora for getting me into it!

Puppy Fever

A lot of y'all have been posting about baby fever lately...and the peeb and I are not there at all. But we do have puppy fever. Intense, incurable puppy fever. So much so that I have been cruising Petfinder for HOURS and we made an appointment to go and see this little bebe:


We're going this afternoon to see her in her foster home. We've promised ourselves we won't bring her home today though. I've got to go back to class tonight, and I kind of intentionally scheduled the visit on a day that wouldn't be great to bring a dog home so that I'll be less tempted to do it. Seriously, me and PB are the worst. He wouldn't let you know, but he'll want to take her home too. We're a dangerous combination.

Also, PB wants to name whatever dog we get "Peggy." This is the kind of weird person my fiance is, but it cracks me up. Especially since we are looking at getting a dachshund or a dachshund mix (because I love those, and I really can't have a big dog) - it makes me think of little peg legs.

It was hilarious yesterday when I brought this intense puppy fever to the attention of Mama Dearest. There was an intense text message battle for roughly thirty minutes, to the extent of "a dog will ruin your house, you can't have a dog, wait until after the wedding/bar exam, it will make your cats pee on your furniture, etc. etc. etc." I pointed out that if I am in fact going to get a dog, now is the time - after the wedding and bar exam, I am (presumably) going to have a job that requires me to actually be out of the house all day long. Nowadays, I'm here a good amount of time, and I will be all summer too, even if I'm studying for the bar. That means time for potty training a dog/puppy before I have to be gone all the time.

So after about 15 minutes of silence, she sent me a text that said something like, "Well. I'm not marrying you. So. I don't have a dog in this fight." And then we immediately transitioned to her asking to help name it, looking up dog products on Etsy, and cruising puppy websites.

We did make an appointment to go see a puppy tomorrow morning too. That's another reason we can't take home the dog we meet today. Mom is really advocating us getting a puppy, rather than "a dog with baggage." I don't really agree with that, for a few reasons, such as me having to house train a puppy from scratch, the fact that it would be a dog from a breeder, etc.

But then, puppies are super cute. And I'm also wondering if that wouldn't be better for my two cats. They would probably put a puppy in its place pretty darn quickly. Thinking that won't be the same for an older rescue dog who has seen the mean streets for awhile. It would probably threaten to cut them or something. Mom also makes a pretty practical argument that these puppies are already here and someone might as well adopt them and make them pets. I know, it's still supporting breeders and all of that, I understand how that argument is flawed. But adopting one rescue dog isn't going to necessarily change everything and stop breeders forever. I'm a realist, yo.

At this point, I'm keeping an open mind both ways. I'm super excited to go meet both of them!

I plan on making PB the official event photographer this afternoon, so expect an update with pictures soon!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Eaten Until I'm Tired.


Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! Turns out that two Thanksgiving meals in one day is too much for this girl, and so I've retired to my sweatpants, my Snuggie (yes, I have a Snuggie), and sitting by the Christmas tree with some tea. With my cats. And I'm thinking of knitting later. Could I be more of an old lady? Whatever. It's fine.
Anywho, we had the 2nd Annual Great Deviled Egg Cook-Off last night! Alas, I did not retain my title this year. A newcomer won the title - and I have to say, they were pretty good classic eggs. We definitely had a lot more entries this year, 13 in all, and it was tough to get through that many eggs. It also really spread the voting out, as I feel that despite my instructions otherwise, folks voted for their own eggs. We had about 30 people in attendance, and the winner got 5 votes - definitely crazy. But by the time we'd finished with all the egg-making and the egg-sampling, I think I could go for another ten years without touching eggs with
a ten foot pole. Seriously, I saw the deviled egg plate at lunch today and wanted to run and hide. The egg cook-off is always a great time though, and last night was no exception.

Today's festivities consisted of not one, but two Thanksgiving feasts, and since I have all the willpower of a hamster, I have eaten until I don't think I could physically raise the fork to my mouth again. But there was barbecue turkey (my grandmother's specialty, and my favorite), perfect dressing, gravy, hashbrown casserole, green bean casserole, and coconut cake. Basically, all that is good and wonderful in the world.

And now, it's Christmastime at my house!

I can't believe that it's survived a few nights now without totally being torn down by Twyla. She's big enough (11 1/4 pounds, and she's only a year old) and she's wild enough to go all nutter butters on the tree. Her strategy, I think, has been to slowly undecorate it, like I won't notice. She grabs part of the beaded garland, takes it from the bottom of the tree, and starts walking around with it. She'll mindlessly paw at the lower ornaments until she gets one off to chase around.

Yesterday, I was sitting at the table and looked over at the tree and saw it sort of shaking. I thought to myself, "Hmm, why would the tree be shaking?" Then I notice two little back feet sticking out from the bottom of the tree. "OH RIGHT. Because there's a KITTEN in my TREE."
Let's hope she doesn't get any braver in the next month or so - we may have a tree disaster on our hands.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Solidifying the Ball and Chain

I finally ordered PB's wedding band last night. Getting PB to commit to his favorite wedding band is like pulling teeth. He pretty much has zero opinions. "I mean, it's a ring," was a frequently heard phrase.

I originally really liked the fingerprint rings from fabuluster on etsy, but they only come in sterling, and a sterling ring + PB is going to last approximately 4.2 seconds.



I tried and tried to find one in tungsten, which is what PB really liked after trying on a ton of rings at the jewelry store. But tungsten is pretty much way too hard for a design like that, and I had pretty much the same results with titanium. I did find one, but the print didn't wrap around like that - it was just a solo print on one part of the band, and I was not a fan of that.

So after I sent PB a billion more pictures, he finally committed that this was his favorite:



It's tungsten, which he wanted, because it's heavier and PB likes that for some reason. And it's kind of different - I can tell that's one thing he really does want. I think he is going to be a lot less happy with a plain band or anything even close to traditional. Also, it's 9mm wide, which is super necessary for him. When you're buying a ring in a size 13, it tends to look real girly on his giant hands if it's not also pretty wide.

So yay, ring ordered!

It occurred to me that I've never shown you guys my ring - I've had it since August, but I've not posted any pictures!
There it is! I took that picture in our hotel room in Savannah right after we got engaged. It's on top of one of the roses PB gave me at the big moment. I know, you're throwing up in your mouth. But I'm always curious about other people's bling, so there's mine, for your viewing pleasure.


ATL

So, I'm back! I took a day off work because a) I am a little throat-scratchy, which might just be from sitting in the mold-infested Fulton County Courthouse all weekend, or it might be the start of a cold I could infect the whole office with just in time for the holiday, and b) after being gone all weekend I have so many little things around the house to get done.

Time for a little weekend recap!Like I said, I hadn't been to Atlanta in forever, and had never gotten to really see much of it, so it was cool to be down there for the weekend. It would definitely be a fun weekend road trip for me and PB sometime, because it's a fun city and there's a lot I still really want to see! Mainly I was sad that we didn't have time for the world of coke (wow, that sounded like a drug reference), or the Georgia Aquarium.

We did get to do a few cool things though. We stayed at the Omni, which is connected to the CNN center, which is super cool. Here's a view of the hotel and CNN from the outside:

It had a super-fancypants lobby too, which makes me feel real awk when I am traipsing around there in a t-shirt and sweatpants (that happened).

The hotel was also connected to the CNN center, which had an atrium and a giant food court with 94 billion delicious things to eat. Pretty sure I gained about 10 pounds in one weekend. There was a Dunkin Donuts that was a lifesaver every morning, and a Great Wraps place that makes a darn good falafel pita and some amazing fries with whatever seasoning you want on them!
The first morning there, the whole team went to brunch at a place called West Egg Cafe, and if you live in Atlanta and haven't been or are visiting, you HAVE to go there. They have an amazing menu and by amazing I mean that they put homemade pimento cheese and bacon into an omelet. Delicious, delicious. Also the atmosphere is so cool - very retro, very awesome.

The first night, my teammate Ash and I were having kind of a rough night for various reasons. So after a long day of competition, we found ourselves in the hotel bar, drinking $10 glasses of wine and $6 Michelob Ultras. But at one point, I think the bartender felt bad for us, and he brought out two giant pieces of cake and handed them to us. That's when you know you're having a rough night.

Fortunately, there was only one more day of competition and Ash and I got to be witnesses, which is easy peasy. Then there was a reception at Manuel's Tavern, which was the scene of the "crime" we were fake litigating all weekend. Thank goodness, everything was over for us at that point, and everyone enjoyed the free pitchers of beer with abandon. Here's the team!


We competed against the team from UGA during our last round and we all started hanging out together at Manuel's. When the trial crowd thinned out there and a super-obnoxiously drunk wedding party rolled in, the UGA team led us down the street to another bar in the highlands. And you can see how the team was doing at that point:


All in all, it was quite the weekend, and I have to say that it's good to be home, it's good to have a ton of extra time back since trial team is over for the semester. And above all, I'm ready for Thanksgiving break and some turkey!

Friday, November 19, 2010

My new shutterfly cards!

Framed With Joy Holiday Card
Make a statement with custom holiday cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A-Town Bound

I'm heading down to ATL after class with some other lawyerin' school folks, to compete in the William Daniel Mock Trial Invitational. The reason I am most excited about this? It means that after this weekend, the competition will be over! And I can regain some semblance of a life! Yay! I am not the kind of person who stays at the law school for hours upon hours every day. Ever, ever, ever. And so now that I've started on this trial team thing, that's been a necessity, and it kind of makes me want to scream every second I'm here outside of class.

But anywho, I haven't been to Atlanta since...and this is a great reason...the Association of Christian Schools International Spelling Bee. Regionals were in Atlanta, and in sixth grade, I got to go. It was SUPER EXCITING, let me tell you. So if you're from Hot-lanta (trying now to use every obnoxious nickname I know, clearly): I need suggestions. What can't I miss? I don't have a ton of time at all, so I'm really talking restaurants, maybe a hangout spot or two. We'll be staying across from the CNN center, so you know the general area, and the competition is in the courthouse.

The "crime scene" in our problem is Manuel's Tavern, which is apparently a big, old Atlanta hangout, and we're going there for a post-competition party/reception on Saturday night, before the final rounds on Sunday. Other than that, we don't really have plans to be anywhere other than the courthouse.

I've been frantically packing, which I hate. I always, always, always forget something while simultaneously managing to overpack. How does that even work? Example: I've already realized I forgot to bring my jacket. Definitely left it hanging in the closet, so I have nothing for mornings/evenings when it gets chilly. Fail. Maybe I can do a Target run or something when we get there, after I realize I've forgotten 19 other things, despite the fact that I have 46 pairs of pajama pants in my duffel bag.

Anywho, I'll be MIA most likely for the next few days, until after we get home and I throw myself into full-out Thanksgiving mode. My official list of responsibilities for Thursday includes:

Hashbrown Casserole
Garlic-Cheese Biscuits
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Pumpkin Gooey Cake

I'll post some recipes when I get back - those are a collection of my "Greatest Hits" recipes if you will, and they are all super-easy ways to be real impressive at T-giving. Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yay Christmas!

So I'm sure if you read any blogs on the regular, you know about the Shutterfly holiday card giveaway. And I like a freebie as much (probably more) than your average bear, so I'm jumping on board! At this point, what with trial team and finals coming up, and a whole box full of save the date magnets sitting on my kitchen counter, I'm not sure when I think I have time for Christmas cards...but I'm sure going to give it a shot!

I made a few potential cards for your viewing/commenting pleasure.

Here's #1 (and if you like it, you can find it here):
I think this one (numero uno) might be my favorite. What do y'all like?

This is numero dos, which you can find on Shutterfly here:

And finally, numero tres, which you can find here if you'd like to use it for your holiday card!
Thoughts? Comments? Which one? Captain Indecisive will take suggestions.

And a big thank you to Shutterfly for sponsoring this awesome giveaway! If you'd like to sign up, just go here.

one day, I will actually do the ten on TUESDAY. but wednesday's close enough, right?

Ten on Tuesday (read: Wednesday, because that's how I roll)...again from Walking with Nora!

1. What is your favorite breakfast pastry?
I am not a big fancypants. I love nothing more than the Pilsbury cinnamon rolls in the tube with the icing in the plastic packet. I can literally eat the whole giant tube. I've seen me do it.

2. Were you ever in a Thanksgiving or Christmas play?
I went to crazypants First Assembly as a kid, so we never did the cute, traditional Christmas plays. It was one of those churches in which we have to use powerpoint in every sermon, and had a praise band, and dancing in the aisles and such. Our Christmas plays were always some sort of musical Focus on the Family, contemporary, "edgy" thing. I do remember being an angel one year though, in which my mom had to make me a costume, which consisted of gluing gold garland from Wal-Mart onto the bottom of a white nightgown and making some cardboard wings with more of said garland. And tying some around my head, hippie-headband style. It was quality.

3. What is your favorite clothing accessory?
Have to agree with Nora and say scarves. I've made a few lately that are very warm and snuggly, and lately I've been a big fan of the pashmina scarf. Ever since I bought one in DC on my trip to visit Lia, I've been on a rampage. Including when I bought 2 for $6 at WALGREENS the other day. That's when you know you have a problem. But there's no easier way to dress up jeans and a long-sleeved tee and make it look like you tried.

4. What is your favorite item of clothing?
My slouchy gray boots. I love love love them lately. Really, boots of any kind.

5. What is your favorite color and why?
I am still a huge fan of pink. Stuck back in the days of Lisa Frank notebooks and erasers. It's sad, I know. But I can't give up the hot pink.

6. What is your favorite type of Christmas cookie?
Now I love to bake, but generally, I don't make cookies. They're a pain in the butt unless you buy the refrigerated dough. And I have no idea why you wouldn't buy the refrigerated dough. Cookies from scratch = just not worth it. That said, however, I am a huge fan of the refrigerated gingerbread dough for Christmas cookies. Not only is it delicious, I think I am just a big creeper and I like to make gingerbread men and then eat them limb by limb. Delicious.

7. What is your favorite scent (food, perfume/lotion)?
Food= pumpkin pie/anything pumpkin in the oven, really. Nothing makes the house smell better.
Perfume= I rarely remember to wear it, but I got the Burberry perfume for Christmas and I love it! It's a nice, clean smell. I hate musky or really flowery perfume.

8. What is your favorite household cleaner?
Y'all, I was in Wal-Mart the other day and almost did a cartwheel in the cleaning aisle because they had a whole giant display full of goodness from Mrs. Meyers. If you've never bought any Mrs. Meyers, you definitely should. It's all-natural, and doesn't make me feel like I'm burning out my lungs when I use it, and it all smells delicious. My favorite two scents are the lavender and the basil. I even have basil fabric softener. Amazing.

9. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you actually grow up to be?
People used to say, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" and my response would always be, "I want to fly." They would inevitably ask, "Oh, like a pilot?" and I'd reply, "No, like a bird." And I was pretty serious. But I also used to want to be a doctor. Like pretty much up until the end of high school. Then I figured out I sucked at chemistry, so here I am in law school.

10. What is the last song or album you bought?
I went with my sister to a concert for her birthday, and I am tragically not cool and had never heard of the band we were going to see, needtobreathe. So I bought the album, thinking I'd listen to some of it before we went, and I ended up loving the concert and buying their second album afterward. It's awesome - lots of piano, a little banjo, and the lead singer's voice reminds me of the lead singer from Counting Crows.

Monday, November 15, 2010

sleeprambling

I am a giant crazypants, of this I am sure. It manifests itself in different ways, but yes, the fact always remains that the crazy is so there, y'all.

Exhibit one: I do not sleep like a normal individual, apparently. I sleepwalk. Has anybody done that since age 5? Probably not. I never remember what I do when I sleepwalk, and I guess I never know unless I happen to do it in front of someone, or I wake up in a weird place.

When I lived at home, I'd wake up in the formal living room we never use, on the cold leather couch. Or in the front hallway on a teeny hard bench. Now that I have my own place, places I've woken up include the guest bedroom (my favorite haunt, it would seem), the couch (also a fairly normal place I suppose), curled up against the side door/bookcase where they meet, and most recently, in my closet with the fluorescent light on.

I woke up last night at 1:30 or so, lying on the floor of the closet, my head on top of my slouchy boots, with the lights glaring due to the automatic switch PB put on the closet light so that it turns on when you open the door. Also, mysteriously, with a scraped and bruised elbow. I keep awkwardly wincing in pain whenever I use my right arm a certain way because apparently, I did an excellent job banging it up on something. I have no idea what.

Last Christmas, when PB was staying with me one night, he said he saw me get up, turn on the Christmas tree, and stand in front of it. Like with my face really close to it, apparently. He tried to talk to me, I think he said, but I just looked at him and then back at the tree. He got me to shuffle back to bed, and I never said a word. Also I remember none of that, but at least it didn't end up with me + a scraped/bruised elbow.

It surprises me that I don't think I've ever left the house when I do it, or at least I don't think I've ever done anything like that. Unless I somehow manage to disarm and re-arm my alarm system, which I doubt I'm sophisticated enough to do. Pretty sure my ramblings stick to moving to weird places, taking things out of cabinets (since sometimes I wake up with random things on the floor or the countertops that weren't there before), and generally being a big weirdster.

So that's your daily dose of crazy, the part where you either hit the "unfollow" button, or you do what I recommend and keep me along for the ride as someone you can read about and think to yourself, "Jeez, I'm normal. And also super cool."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

trying to love fall like everyone else

On a daily basis, there are some things that just go wrong. I don't think I could tell you of a time in my life when I have had an empty laundry hamper. Giant success for me is if the laundry pile is small enough that it fits in the confines of the hamper. Unlike this situation, which is what we have going on right here at the moment:


Now you may remember the various laundry crises I've had in the past. I'm trying to be better. See these clothes in my dryer?



Well, I have to say that even if they've been hanging out in there, they're at least dry. And they don't smell like a moldy cheese wheel. And, as of tonight, a miracle of the dear sweet 8lb, 60z baby Jesus occurred, and I FOLDED LAUNDRY. I think the cats were a little perturbed by this, since it never happens, ever. But mainly, this is my vow. One load of laundry, washed, folded, put away every two days. I have GOT to be better. You know what a bad feeling it is to be scrambling for clean underpants three minutes after you were supposed to have been out the door? Not a good feeling.

Other parts of the house, however, have managed to not look like drunken baboons run my household. I've been trying to embrace this whole "fall" thing, even though I might be the only person in the world who really doesn't like fall. Fall just means the end of summer and imminent bleak, cold, yucky winter. I could pretty much hibernate from October to April and be just fine with that. But I figured that maybe a few fall decorations this year would perk me up. And lo and behold, I found what I was looking for on a recent trip to...wait for it....WAL-MART. I know, seriously, I found awesome home stuff at Wal-Mart! Crazy.

I got some fall garland (which actually was a Hobby Lobby find for $5 when I was there on a yarn run). Sticking it up on the mantle makes me want to have some kind of greenery up there all the time now, because I love the way it looks and also that it covers up my gross-looking DishNetwork DVR for the most part.
The fall garland is also Twyla's favorite. Doesn't she look sedate here? Let me assure you that that is not the case. Sometimes, Twyla will sit right underneath the garland and you can hear the voices in her head getting cranked up, and then all of a sudden, after hours or days of the garland being a non-issue, it MUST BE KILLED. So the garland and my picture frames get snatched down at once. And then attacked again, just for good measure. And then Twyla gets yelled at and sprayed, if I can find the water bottle in time. But even if she does, she just looks at me all indignant like, "Well, it was worth it anyway." I can't imagine what shenanigans are going to go down when I finally put up my Christmas tree. I'm foreseeing Twyla IN the tree for most of the holiday season. Probably I should just skip putting the tree topper on at all, since Twyla will likely be on top of the tree most of the time.



Fortunately, she has not yet discovered my bowl of $5 Wal-Mart vase filler. I didn't get a good picture of the bowl, but it was made by a friend of ours who lives at the beach and makes the most beautiful hand-thrown pottery. She's getting ready to start up an Etsy shop, seahagpotter, and when she does, you'll definitely hear about it from me, because she makes amazing things. This bowl had been full of keys, hair ties, random papers, and other ugly stuff until I found this and forced myself to clean it out and let the bowl live up to its potential as something other than an above-the-counter junk drawer.
Finally, I found these Better Homes and Gardens fall placemats at Wal-Mart too! Cheap! I just took them out of the dryer (I know, amazing) and they need to be ironed (ha, don't get me started on how ironing never happens!) But they do a great job of covering up my Craigslist-probable-dumpster-rescue-spray-painted table!

I would ordinarily already be getting in the spirit to put up Christmas decorations but I've been too busy what with my terrible law school schedule and such the past few weeks. I'm just going to fire up my pumpkin pie candle, make some butterscotch coffee, and try to relish the fall feeling for a little while longer, before we gear up for Christmas.

Do y'all decorate for fall?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ten on ThursTuesday

Took this from Walking with Nora (who I just love), who normally does these on Tuesdays, but I figured I'd join her and do it on Thursday this week too.

1. Who makes your Thanksgiving dinner?
We always have Extreme Family and Caloric Overload on Thanksgiving day. Pretty much from the time the Macy's Parade starts until the time I pass out in a gravy stupor at 10pm, there is food. We start out with my dad's side of the family and have Thanksgiving lunch. That's probably a 30-person event, and everyone brings something, or maybe two or three somethings, so we all eat until we could just die. Then we rinse and repeat for dinner with my mom's side of the family. That side is slightly smaller (maybe 20 people come), but that side seems to be more serious about le cooking, so I always somehow manage to eat even more for dinner than I did for lunch.

2. What is your favorite recipe the includes pumpkin? (bonus points for including the recipe)
Pumpkin streusel muffins! I made these last week and brought them to work, and they were amazing. Now, I'm going to tell you a little secret that I have not told hardly ANYONE. You can make these using a traditional pumpkin bread recipe like this one from All Recipes. OR you can buy a box of the Libby's pumpkin bread kit and make it in muffin cups. You just make the batter like the happy little box tells you, then you mix together 3 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, mash in 2 tablespoons butter until it's sort of a crumbly consistency. Spoon that on top of your batter, bake at 350 for about twenty minutes and BAM, you are a pumpkin goddess.

3. What are 5 things you want for Christmas?
Well, in fantasy world where Santa comes and brings you everything and nothing costs 1 billion dollars, I would like: 1) A MacBook. DARN THIS VAIO AND ITS BROKEN SPACEBAR/CHARGER RECEPTACLE. 2) An iRobot Roomba. I have no time to vacuum, I hate vacuuming, and I have two cats. I could totally see Twyla riding a Roomba. 3) A table for my hallway, like this one from Target (which is conveniently also on my wedding registry!) 4) A Nintendo Wii! Not only because it would be fun to play Wii games, but because I want to hook it up to the interwebz and enjoy the magic that is Netflix from the Interwebz. 5) Some picture frames to hang on the walls with some of our engagement photos!

Just realized that whole list sounded brat-tastic. But those are fantasy items, y'all. Like sit-on-Santa's-lap-and-tell-him-you-want-a-unicorn kind of items. Really, I am in the midst of planning a wedding which is getting RULL expensive, RULL fast, and I don't really expect much of anything for Christmas. But a girl can dream!

4. Does your family draw names or do you buy for everyone?
Dear Lord, we buy for everyone, at least on my Dad's side of the family. Remember question 1, when I told you that was like 30 people? That's always a gigantico source of stress at Christmas, because what in the world do you get everyone? It's never anything that anyone really wants, so it turns out being a giant waste of time and money. I'm really trying to figure out how to get out of it this year. I'd much rather spend the money on gifts for the Salvation Army Angel Tree or something else that's actually worthwhile. Will keep you updated on that.

5. How do you feel about motorcycles?
I've only ever ridden a handful of times, but I really like motorcycles! Now, I have very strong feelings about what specific kinds of motorcycles I do like, but I would love to learn to ride and have my own one day, perhaps. I love Harleys - they're just gorgeous and awesome. That would definitely be what I would own if I did ever get one. Nothing that looks like a toy for yours truly, por favor.

6. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Saturday?
Hang out, knit, watch things on the DVR, and throw something like chicken and mushroom soup or beef stew in the crock pot.

7. What is the coolest thing to do in your city?
That's really tough, as I feel like I never have a chance to do anything cool lately. Umm, maybe I could say just going out for a run and enjoying all the cute little neighborhoods, all the big, old, gorgeous homes, and not having to worry about being snatched up by an axe murderer at any point.

8. Do you paint your fingernails?
Sometimes. But I tend to do a pretty poor job myself, and then if I ever managed to get them to look right, then they chip within 14 seconds. I do love a good manicure, but I always end up getting French or some really light color so I won't look so much like I'm on the crack when it starts chipping off all over the place.

9. Who is your favorite actor over the age of 50?
Hmmm. Maybe Alec Baldwin. He is hilar. And pretty darn cute, 50 or not.

10. Do you have a high school letter jacket?
Somewhere. I never much liked it though, all itchy royal blue felt and such.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

party party

Today is one of those days where I want to blow off everything I'm supposed to and go play. It's 70-freakin-degrees outside and here I am, stuck in the law school, in the world's most terrible class. Why did I ever think it would be a good plan to take a course entitled Human Injustice, Reparations, and the Law? With a textbook entitled When Sorry Isn't Enough? Fail. My tongue always gets raw from having to bite it the whole time I sit here.

So I said I wanted to go play. Really, I just meant I want to go home and get stuff done that needs to be done. First, I need to work in the yard. My poor impatiens have all died and I need to spend roughly 90 bajillion hours replacing them with pansies. Second, I really want to cook. And bake. And knit. And watch 19 Kids and Counting on my DVR. I swear after our trial team competition is over, you will have to have a cattle prod and a means to hog tie me in order to get me to this darn law school at ANY TIME other than class time.

In the spirit of less whining, let's talk about what I'm looking forward to! I mean, obvs besides being done with trial competition, this semester, craptastic law school in general. We are having an engagement PAR-TAY! And since I've sent out all the invitations (with precious little Christmas tree stamps, I might add), I thought I'd post them for you to see!

Now of course, I didn't send them out with big blank spots where the location of the party should be, I just jacked them up like that in print for the benefit of all you creepsters who might want to show up. But I mean on second thought,so long as you bring your favorite beverage (and maybe a giftie, if you feel so inclined), maybe I don't care?

Anywho, here are my lovelies:

Muchas gracias to Erica at Sweet Prints Stationery for designing these! If you need shower invitations, baby announcements, party invites, Christmas cards, etc., she is fantastic and a super-quick designer.

The only slight headache I had with these was trying to get them printed. I've never done anything like this before, and I just had a hard time finding a company to work with that was a) cheapies because I am a big poorface and b) actually able to GET the design on a dang 5x7 card with envelopes.

I ended up using Zazzle, and though I didn't pay for expediting so it took about a week, I was very pleased with the end result. And I'm already starting to get a few RSVPs...very exciting!

*Disclaimer: just so you know, I didn't receive any kind of consideration from either Zazzle or Sweet Prints Stationery...I just happened to use and like them!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

slow cooker = me not starving

Lately, every time I try to blog, I start saying things like "I am so busy, why am I so busy, it sucks, the house is a wreck, I'm behind on everything, the car looks like I'm driving a dumpster on wheels, I haven't eaten anything but Taco Bell/Arby's/Chick-Fil-A and stray cupcakes that cross my path for the past week, OMG AM PROBABLY GOING TO EXPLODE AT ANY SECOND."

I could probably write another post like that today, except that today included a rare morning of me waking up early, having my delicious pumpkin spice coffee while watching The Today Show, playing with my kittens, working on a project, and finally trolling the Taste of Home website for something I wanted to have for dinner. I even got to go to the grocery store for the first time in about two and a half weeks and actually plan a meal! That I will be at home to eat! Even if it will be at 8:30! It's better than 10:00!

Let me just say that if it weren't for my slow cooker lately, I would surely starve. Even cooking in that thing has been an achievement as of late. Not kidding, if it hasn't come from a lean cuisine box (on a good day) or a fast food bag (the norm), I pretty much haven't eaten it in the last month because of all this trial team mess.

So today's recipe from the Taste of Home gods (I have never had a bad ToH recipe) is slow cooker spaghetti sauce. I have been having a spaghetti craving, and not the old standby where I just make pasta and dump a jar of sauce on it and then nom it mindlessly while I stand over the sink. If you too have found yourself with no time and a serious spaghetti craving, here's what I recommend:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef or bulk Italian sausage (I used ground beef because it was on sale at Food Lion and also less calories, but I'm sure sausage would be delicious!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the kind with basil, oregano, and garlic included, but I still didn't skimp on the dried herbs and garlic - I figure you can't have too much.)
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (super important, don't leave this out)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme (I didn't have any of this, but I just added plenty of the other stuff and I'm not missing it)
  • Hot cooked spaghetti
Directions:
  • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Add the next 10 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 6-8 servings.
I'm serving it with Pepperidge Farm frozen five-cheese Texas toast, because it is THE BEST and because it's ready in 5 minutes and thus something PB can handle while I'm in class, and make salad to go along with it.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In which I consider paying a ridiculous amount of money for SHOES

Here comes another dreaded wedding post. But y'all, I am having a SHOE CRISIS of EPIC PROPORTIONS. A dramatic, terrible, bridezilla-esque, full-blown shoe emergency.

See, I have been taking advantage of those sweet people at Zappo's who let you buy as many shoes as you want, get them home, and send them back with no shipping charge for any of it. Really, I'm at a point where I'm feeling a little guilty about it, because I have just used their poor selves over and over.

I initially ordered two pairs of shoes, both
peep toe fuschia heels. But then they came and one was more purple, and dear sweet Lord do I ever HATE purple, so that one had to go back. Th
en the other had a rhinestone buckle on the toes which turned out to be set in a brassy gold color. I hate gold perhaps even more than purple, so back to Zappo's they went.

Then I ordered a third pair.

I know, they're lovely. Very cute. And they don't make me want to punch a school bus full of orphans immediately upon viewing them. However, within about ten minutes of wearing them, I start to consider punching at least a few orphans. I'm feeling like following an afternoon of pictures, a ceremony, and some dancing, the four-inch heels on those bad boys are going to bring out my homicidal tendencies.

So you know that I tried to remedy this situation by purchasing the Nine West pink flip flops I showed you in this post. But they are not cute. The soles are too thick, the straps are too thick, they are a weird color, and basically they somehow manage to combine Lisa Frank rainbow ponies with a lesbian softball coach sort of vibe. Not the vibe we are going for, in short. This means they're going back to DSW. They just have to.

But I am still toying with the idea of flip flops. Like nice, blinged out, cute and comfy but still sexy flip flops. And on the search for those, I've come across Mystique Sandals. Y'all, they have cute shoes. Like these:

But horribly, they want ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS for some FLIPPY FLOPPIES. For reals?! I haven't been able to let myself order them yet. I'm keeping the 4-inch peep toes for now. I haven't totally divorced them, since they are really cute. But then I think to myself hmmm, those were $116 dollars and I feel like I will wear them maybe once or twice more ever, maybe with an LBD. So is it worth it to buy cute wedding shoes that I could actually see myself busting out with a sundress later? Or is 150 freakin dollars just too much to be tolerated for flip flops, ever?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Election Day!


First, some gripes I have:

The space bar on my laptop is sticking and it is making me CRAZY. DoyoumindifIjusttypelikethisfortherestofthepost? Because at this point, that is NEARLY A NECESSITY. Also, as I am posting in commercial law, the fact that I have to keep awkwardly banging the crap out of my space bar is a little strangetastic.

Also, why does the calendar flipping to November mean it is suddenly polar bear weather? I was out campaigning this morning (woo, election day!) and I feel like I may have been doing more harm than good, as I was holding out cards to voters and shaking like an alcoholic missing her morning glass of vino and saying, "G-g-g-good m-m-m-morning, c-c-can I give you s-s-some information?" So attractive.

Now, on to the more positive things:

You may remember that Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. Not sure why, but it always has been. Maybe that was because when I was in elementary school at Crazypants Christian (not that all Christian schools are crazypants, but mine sure was) - I could dramatically declare that my favorite holiday was Halloween and elicit all sorts of gasps and judgy looks. Because I like the devil's holiday more than the baby Jesus' birthday!

Seriously though, I love Christmas too, but Christmas is a pressure-filled holiday. I always end up running up my credit card because I try too hard to be a good gift-giver, I engage in marathon eating for a week and gain a ton of winter polar bear weight, and then there's the terrible post-holiday-undecorating phase. Halloween is low pressure. No family members to upset if you don't spend enough time with them, no ugly/ill-fitting/impractical gifts to deal with, and of course - free candy! Just because you asked!

This year though, I wasn't all that into Halloween. Normally, I decorate the house to the nines, I plan my costume and activities to which to wear said costume months in advance, and I play "Monster Mash" ad nauseam. This year, I lazed around and debated even doing anything at all until the very last minute. I didn't plan a costume, so when I did dec
ide to go out, I did the old "pull random shiz out of the closet and call it a costume" routine.

Perhaps is because I was sans-PB, because he has recently attained the world's most terrible job which requires him to work at every waking second that one might want to do something fun, or really, anytime I'm not at work or law school. Ohhh what I would give to have him back in a 9-5 job. We love it. Can you tell?

But anywho, whining aside, here's how my "costume" turned out:

I was a "cowgirl"...which I achieve by just pulling junk out of the closet. Quite frankly, it kind of scares me that I can pull out stuff I would actually wear and make a costume out of it. Probably that says something about my style.

I know you also like my fix for not being enough of an adult to own a full-length mirror. Pull back shower curtain, perch precariously on bathtub (exponentially more difficult depending on the footwear the outfit requires), contort self slightly so as to see full self in mirror. Normally it's not quite so difficult because the outfit doesn't require a hat that also needs to be evaluated.

But that was the start of Halloween. I walked up the street to a party, which seemed like a good idea in order to avoid running down trick-or-treaters, but which I was starting regret about 1/4 mile in. It was about a half mile away, I wasn't wearing the most comfortable cowboy boots in the world, and I was also carrying a leaky cooler with ice and two bottles of wine. (Yes, I packed two bottles of wine, for myself, for one party. In my defense, it was indecision, not alcoholism.) Basically, I was the big creeper trolling the sidewalks with a cooler bag and no pants while kids and parents gave me strange looks. It's a good role to play on Halloween.

I had an excellent time at the party, however. How could I not, what with the bonfire in the front yard, candelabras everywhere, some awesome costumes, and frito pie? Frito pie is DELICIOUS.