Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coffee makes my world go 'round

Yesterday I got up and made coffee, just like I do every morning. I poured it into my travel mug (thermos?) and noticed that no matter how I put on the lid, it leaks. So when I take a drink, or when I am walking, it leaks everywhere. That sucks. So I stopped at Starbucks on the way in (which negated the purpose of making coffee because I had to stop...) and talked to them about my cup. They were very nice and only charged me the difference for my new cup (i got a nicer one).
I poured my coffee into it and got in the car. I open it, drink, put it back. I then start fiddling with my iPod cord and knock the dang mug over - and it spills on my pants. Because I did not shut the lid.
All this - because my cup was leaking.
And it was Monday.
Welcome back from the Holidays!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas for us this year was a few days long! We had our holiday party on Saturday, the 20th, and then the next day, Donald, Don and Jimmy came over for our presents exchange. The problem is, they brought the presents over the night before so I had to look at this all day:The anticipation was killing me! Lee and the Donald's went out shopping for me right before. So finally they came over and we all opened gifts. There were presents inside stockings and everything! I gave Lee an iPod Classic (120GB) and it was in his stocking for 2 weeks and he had no idea! He loves it and we used it all the way to Kansas. Lee got me a Cole Hahn brown leather purse and wallet! I LOVE it! I also got an iPod speaker thing from Donald so I can play the ipod at my desk. SWEET.
Christmas Eve we piled in the car and drove up to Chetopa, KS. Population: 1,200. I swear it is more like 500 people. The drive is about 9.5 hours because of the stopping for gas and food. I put all the pictures on my Picasa but here are a few:

Lola in the backseat looking precious!Teddy on the way back, looking handsome!Lee ready to shoot guns on the farm!Me ready to shoot the gun. That sweatshirt is not flattering at all! :)

All in all we had a great trip. To see more pictures go to my Picasa Albums here!
Now I am off to the grocery store and I plan on making fresh bread for dinner tonight and of course, a pie or something yummy for dessert!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Party '08

This weekend we had our first Holiday bash. It went very very well!
I woke up Saturday sick with head cold, which was HORRIBLE timing! I basically slept all day and tried to rest. I finally showered around 6 and started helping with a little of the food.
Around 7:30 people began to show up. Donald, Don, and Jimmy came first. Then Carlin and Damon, then Tony, then Jennifer and Dave, and finally Sara and Robert. Everyone had a wonderful time, I had a glass of wine or 2 (even with cold meds!) and everyone left happy, full of yummy food.
Tomorrow we leave for Kansas! I will take tons of pictures while we are away!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stress Induced Cleaning Pays Off

I am not only planning a party for this weekend, a pretty nice one at that, but I am very very busy at work.
Today I left at 4:30 and brought work with me so I could run to Coscto for party supplies. I did really well and walked out there at $150, which is hard to do! I got some serving platters, cups for the soup, plates, flatware, baggies baggies and more baggies, tupperware, 1 bottle of wine (it was $8, i couldn't help it!) and steak for the satay. I may have bought too much but my thinking was - what we don't cut up I can freeze for later, right?
I get home at 5:45 and go out in the garage and start breaking down a million box's that have gathered. Beer, gift, water, misc box's. I got that tidy'd up for big trash day on Friday. Then i started unpacking and organizing my costco stuff. Then i tore the stickers off 15 wine glasses and put then in the dishwasher on the fast cycle. Washed a few pans that were in the sink, changed clothes, picked up the living room, started laundry. I looked - it was 6:20! I must have looked like a whirling dervish!!
Now I am eating dinner and working on my coffee table while watching tv.
I am starting to feel a little less stressed....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Bean!

Today is my sweet Bean (Lola's) 3rd birthday!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday party pre-cook-off

Tonight was our test run on a few different dishes - Beef satay and Chipotle Pork
Oh goodness - these were insanely great!! This will be picture intensive:
Very handsome grill-master! (And Teddy too)
The beef satay on the grill...
Oops! it went so fast I didn't get a good picture! (peanut sauce is smeared on the cutting board as well)
Homemade corn tortillas - really fun and easy!
Ben in his "action" shot - cooking the tortillasThe finished tortillas and pork - YUM!Our new cork vase - we filled the other. I wonder if we can fill this one before the end of 2009?

My champagne glassREALLY yummy champagne. Made the whole evening even more grand!

It's party planning time...

This is our first REAL party. We have thrown a BBQ or 2, but nothing like this, where everything is prepared for in a kitchen and braised and baked. A BBQ is easy. You get some meat together, marinate it, grill it. Done.
This is much more complicated!

So here is our final menu:

Starters (out when guests begin arriving):
2 Pesto Goat Cheese Dip
Assorted cheeses on cutting board with crackers/breads
Spinach / Artichoke Dip

Main Appetizers (the ones I am stressing about)
Braised Chipotle Pork Shoulder (shredded and served with fresh corn tortillas)
Beef Satay skewers with peanut sauce
Assorted Roasted Vegetables
Grilled Shrimp
Butternut squash soup (still conceptual at this point)

Chocolate Croissants
Strawberry/Raspberry Phyllo Pinwheels

Friday night we are having prep with Ben (our co-host) so that we can get the dips ready and marinate all the meats and go ahead and braise the pork. Even the recipe says it is better the next day.

So the day of will mainly be cleaning frenzy. Most things won't need cooking until an hour before the party starts. We still need to purchase inexpensive wine glasses so that we aren't worried about someone dropping one (or one getting elbowed off a table. etc). We need wine charms as well. We are going to put lights on the tree in the back yard, and more than likely put Lilly in the bedroom so that the back door can stand open the whole night.

Tomorrow we have to finish up some Christmas shopping. We will look for wine charms while we are out. The ones at Crate N Barrel were pretty highly priced. I think Pier One (i get a 20% discount anyway!) will be the place to find those.

I also need plastic plates and some small plastic bowls cups for the soup. I am thinking Costo for sure. We are doing a test run tonight of the pork and beef satay. I couldn't find any decent pastry dough at HEB so I will have to look for that later on in the week, or even on Saturday during a last minute shopping trip.

We shopped and shopped and shopped today! I am so tired just thinking about all the things we have left to so. I mean, I need to clean this house top to bottom. I am going to try and not think about that for the rest of the night!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More pictures

It is really coming down!! Here is Teddy out back - look at that huge flake!Our back patio table...My car
The front of the house (look at the dogs in the window on the right!)I love the images of the snow actually falling all around me. I am so sad Lee isn't here to see this, he is in San Diego! Doh!

Even in Texas...


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Yay Christmas Parties!

Today we attended Jennifer's Annual Christmas Bash. Last year it was wine and cheese, this year it was brunch. So much fun! We did that Chinese Gift Exchange thing and walked off with a nice wine opener (The Rabbit?).
Lee and I had a nice photo in front of the tree:
And then much later, after spiked Wassail and some champagne, me and Donald:
I have a habit of running my hands through my hair and often it ends up touseled. Jimmy walked up and said I had "sex hair." Dang it!
I had hoped to use the picture of Lee and I as our card photo this year, but I just don't think it is the right one. It is a little stuffy, (we aren't really excited looking huh?) and - no pets! So tonight we are going to take some new ones out on the front porch. They just have to turn out or our cards will be picture-less. EEEK!
I am making beef stew tonight. I can't think of a better smell than onions and garlic sautee'ing in butter... mmmmm....

Jimmy's Birthday Party

Last night was Jimmy's Birthday dinner. I regret that I didn't take pictures of him while he opened his gifts! But I got a few good ones of him with the sombrero.Jimmy!
Lee and I in a picture that I actually REALLY like...
Jen and Dave
From the back: Don, Coby, Roberto, Jimmy.
Diedra, Kyla, Donald (then Bert, and Jen but you can't really see them!)
We had a nice time and then Lee and I drove out to the far land of Missouri City for another party and I was a trooper and we stayed until 11:30! I didn't drink much but still have a really bad headache this morning.
So now I am off to have my coffee!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I was thinking today about how our lives get so automatic. Like when you drive to work and you honestly forget when you got on the highway, you are just there. Kinda scary!
I have so many habits every single morning. After I am all done in the bathroom (shower, hair, makeup) my real habits start. Undies, perfume, clothes, chapstick, find phone, find watch, shoes, coffee, purse, gone.

Get in the car. Phone out of purse, into lap. Radio to 104.1 to listen to my show (yay the dj is engaged!!), lotion in hand. Pull to stop light and put on lotion.

But this morning... i forgot one step. Chapstick. And I was already in the car driving. So I started digging in my purse in a frenzy trying to find something that would do. Lipstick? UGH (and where did it come from? probably a gift-with-purchase)!
Softlips? No i am sorry. Soft Lips does not even begin to match up to Cherry Chapstik.
I keep digging and find the Kiel's chapstick. It's ok. Still doesn't stand up to what is on my dresser.
So I get to work and the Burt's Bee's Pomegrante chapstick is by my keyboard and I put that on. Still not happy and then that flavor gets all into my oatmeal and yogurt! Gosh!
How can one little thing like chapstick mess up your whole morning?
And it never fails when I have 9 things in my hand that it is the day our office manager isn't there. So then I am digging for keys, picking up the packages outside the door, and juggling my way inside.

All in all - i had a good day. I registered for the scary test. I found a few great people to write letters of reference. I toured a job site.

And when I got home. I put on my chapstick.
The circle has been restored.

Now I am wondering how to not cook dinner because Lee won't be home. I want something healthy for dinner but I don't want to do anything to get it. I don't want to leave the house. I don't want to cook. I don't see many options for healthy delivery.
Oh well. My tree sure made me smile when I turned it on.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nash 1st Annual Holiday Party

With a little coaxing from Ben - we are throwing our first ever holiday party! I am now reeling with ideas for snacks and dips. While the overall theme is wine, I am planning on making wassail with rum or something in it. I make wassail every year, but never with alcohol in it. Menu ideas thus far:

Goat Cheese & Pesto Dip with crackers
Assorted fine cheese & grapes
Pesto pinwheels (made with phyllo dough)
Pork Shoulder "Muffins"

Spiced snow cap cookies

And maybe a few other things. The idea was that if we have it at 7:30, people will eat before they come. But, I think if we just add a few more meaty starters, everyone can just snack. I usually don't see dessert gobbled up at parties, so I may grab some brownie bites or something at Costco to help fill in.
Then there is all the other stuff I will need... plates, wine-glass markers (the things that hang from the stems), napkins, the toothpicks with little decorative paper on the end (maybe i can find holiday ones?) and if i serve wassail, maybe i can pick up some cute glass mugs? not sure. I am sure things will come into focus more over this next week.
I am kind of excited because we have never had a party like this. We have had one or 2 bbq's but nothing nice like this. Maybe i need to find a tacky holiday sweater?

In other news... I have 11 days left to register for my NCIDQ exam. Passing this exam would earn me my official Interior Design License. Getting that would make me alot more marketable as an employee. I could also earn more money, which is awesome. It is expensive and I will have to study really hard but, it would be worth it. I am going to talk it all over tomorrow with my coworkers and see. I have to mail in 3 letters of reference, my transcript, and my work history, along with a big fat check. The test wouldn't be until April 4th. It is a 2 day exam that is said to be pretty grueling. I have anxiety attacks when I think about it.

MMMMM.. Pie!

Thanksgiving day, the only thing Thanksgiving-ish that we ate was - Don's Pie's! Homemade, even the crust!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Day You Decorate For Christmas

Today is not Thanksgiving, folks. See, we had that big dinner last night.
Today (although people are coming over, i am making food, and someone is bringing pies) is not about Thanksgiving.

Today is about.... the tree.

My tree.

My tree is a carefully crafted / lighted / decorated piece that I think about from the time it comes down new years day, to the time it goes up.

Today is that day.

After 10+ strands of lights
3 hours of fluffing, lighting, decorating
The tree, my friends, is finished.
And it looks like this:My theme is snowflakes. There are the traditional glitter ones, glass ones, silver metal ones, etc.
This year I went to the Nutcracker Market at Reliant stadium. From there I got my new (and first) nutcracker. We haven't named him yet (see him on the right?) Oh yeah, I do as much red and white as possible. Just simple to me.
I got the sweet metal dog holding a red ornament who shall sit under the tree. Haven't named him either - I am thinking Charlie.
I don't know where the mice came from in Lilly's stocking.... I also got the red stuff sticking out of the large stockings and the popcorn garland in front of the tv. It is metal, painted and has a touch of glitter. It is about the coolest thing I have ever seen really.
I picked up some metal stockings, trying to not ignore the windows this year.
And lastly, yet I see this as important, a mistletoe -This will yield many kisses for sure. I had to hang it high enough for lee not to hit his head. When I made him get off the couch to check, he grumbled. Poor guy.
The only thing I did differently this year is decorate the back table in the room.

I used a precious strand of lights (meaning it is not on the magnificent tree) and some garland. Those are the pup's pics with Santa last year. Not much more than some dude holding my dogs and taking a picture with a digital camera - so now Lola has possessed eyes. But it is cute non-the-less.
I just need to get something for by the front door. And a wreath. I think I will hit Pier One this week with my discount and see what I can drum up for cheap.

Last night at dinner, Lee's parents are babysitting this ANCIENT Bichon Friese. We aren't sure if he was ever a cute dog at all. He is missing hair, skrawny, and hobbles around. I think he is like 12.
He got into Lola and Teddy's food and at first I was like "no stop!" But then I looked at him. The thing is hungry. His mom keeps him on Science Diet and he needs some food! So he eats and eats and eats. And then we look over and he had pooped everywhere!
I said "Well he ate so much that he had to poop to make room!"
Lee said "I do that sometimes."
Which was pretty damn funny to all of us.
Poor little dog. Probably slept like a baby.

I have rolls rising, dough for snow-cap-cookies chilling, and I am just now about to eat for the first time today (1:30pm).
But it will all be worth it while I sit and stare at my tree.

Christmas is magical.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Canola Oil is my enemy... Dr. Tinky is my best friend

A few months back I had a recipe for brownies that asked for oil. Thinking back, why did I make this recipe when I have millions of others that do NOT ask for oil...
Anyway, I make the brownies, and all I taste is oil. Ick blegh gack.
Last night I made a chocolate-pumpkin bundt cake that asked for 1/4 cup of the evil Canola oil. I stood and thought about it. It also called for 1/4 cup of light corn syrup (again... why am I making this?). I decided maybe the corn syrup will cancel out the oil taste? So I went for it.
I tasted the batter.... oil. Maybe it will "cook out."
I tasted the finished product... oil. OIL.
Lee tastes it "that's bad. throw it away."

I painfully threw away an entire chocolate bundt cake.
Oil. Is. The. Enemy.

Tonight I have to run home after work and make a new cake as fast as possible since we are actually doing dinner tonight at Lee's parents rather than tomorrow.
I shall throw the oil away - for I do not fry things EVER.
I shall look up suitable substitutes (crisco? blegh ick gack).

I shall never use oil again.

I will now try to move on through this day without thinking of the entire chocolate cake in my trash can. Oh travesty of wasted chocolate and canned pumpkin (the greatest thing EVER).

I will do my best to get some pictures over the next few days because I realize blogging has falling to the way side.

Lola went to the vet yesterday and now I have a new rule (much like Bill Mahr):

If, my little furry babies, you are not bleeding, puking, or violently pooing, you shall not visit Dr. Tinky. I know you love him because he pets your head and gives you a treat.

Mommy, however, doesn't like spending $100 because you had a tummy ache that you probably just needed to fart/puke out.
I hated to see my baby girl in distress, but then again, she was ok. I was just flipped out. And because i hated to see her in distress, I took her straight to Dr. Tinky. Then I got a 5 minute lecture on why I should not have taken her off the Science Diet Prescription Diet.
Did you know you can give your dog 1/2 tablet of Beano? I shall stock up. Lola is toot-a-riffic.
You know you have been going to the vet too much when he starts to tell you, in the same exact wording, why he is giving anti-biotics and you smile.
"Why are you smiling?"
"because you tell me this every time."
"Yeah I know, i just have it in my head. I know you are well versed in dog digestive issues by now."
When your vet says that to you, you know you are there too much.

Lola is fine. I think she just tricked me into staying home with her. Which I was happy to do because after the vet she wanted to be in my lap the rest of the day.

Happy DECORATE FOR CHRISTMAS DAY! (Also known as Thanksgiving to you folks)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Monday

Great start to a Monday...
Extremely important meeting at 9am.
All dressed up...
start your "girl time" right before.
Go to the store at lunch and buy 2 box's of "supplies" and chocolate.
Lady at the counter looks at you a little funny.
Pants are snug.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's that time....

Pumpkins have been thrown away...
Shopping centers have put up decor...
The weather is crisp and cold (finally)...
CHRISTMAS!!! Lee is going out of town this weekend and I just don't think I can wait until Thanksgiving to decorate. I REALLY want to get started! REALLY BAD!
And we still have to take our photo for our card. I want to sit outside on the rocking chairs with my tree visible through the window. We shall see....

Last night I made a big pot of chicken tortilla soup. It was SO GOOD.

Tortilla Soup
•Frozen corn (however much you like)
•1 red bell pepper, split and seeded
•1 rotisserie chicken
•1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
•1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1/3 palm full
•Salt and pepper
•1 small to medium zucchini, small dice
•1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
•3 cloves garlic, chopped
•2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (medium to hot heat level), chopped
•1 28oz can tomoto puree
•4-5 cups chicken stock
•1 cup shredded Cheddar or pepper jack cheese
•Sour cream
•2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves
•1 ripe avocado, sliced


Drizzle some EVOO in the bottom of pot/ dutch oven. Sautee veggies, peppers, and seasoning until soft. Pour in stock and puree. Add more stock if necessary. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Shred chicken and mix in with soup. Garnish with cheese and serve.

Lee came in and was like "Zucchini in Tortilla soup?" and guess what - he loved it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I. Am. Bored

Almost everyone that works with me is not here today. There are 9 people that work here. Currently, only 3 are in the office! I am so bored! Usually, as I work, I chat with my co-workers and drink tea in the breakroom and just generally have some entertainment. But today, both my gal pals are out and only me and one other person are in the room (we sit in a huge open space.)
I have resorted to taking pictures of myself with my camera phone.
Cupcake Ganache!I ate the whole thing!Wishing I was on a beach with Buffett!
To all you suckers who didn't come in today! (or am I the sucker for being here?)

In other news, I am so ready to decorate for Christmas. I think I will spend all of Thanksgiving day decorating the house. I am just ready for the magic of the Christmas season.
Maybe I will just leave work early today and take stuff home to "work on."

Monday, November 17, 2008


Mondays generally suck. But they suck worse when:

You are still feeling the affects of 20+ hot wings you had on Sunday.
You then ate non-spicy chili for lunch but that kicked back harder than the wings.
You bang your knee on your desk.
You get a major paper cut that is in one of those annoying spots that hurts when you type.

I declare a do-over!

This weekend was very peaceful. Sleeping in, watching tv and movies, cooking at home the whole time (other than the hot wings. stupid!).
I am just so sleepy and wish I could inject tums directly into my stomach. Sucks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homemade Pasta - Attempt #1

For the first time ever, I made homemade pasta. It went - ok. I first tried running it through my Kitchen Aide attachment, but it would get so warm that the dough would get all gooey and stuck inside the deal and not exactly push through the slots on the pasta shaper thing. So I grabbed the hand crank one that does Fettuccine and Angel Hair. The only thing I did wrong was not roll it thin enough. So the noodles were a little dumpling-like. But otherwise a good first try.
I also made home-made pesto!
I also found that the attachment on my mixer is moody. The leaves can't be too big. The dough can't be too soft. Etc.
Here are some pictures from my 4 hours in the kitchen Sunday!
Finished product of Pesto. Learned that i needed a little more EVOO.Finished product of dinner - chicken sauteed with garlic and shallots, atop thick noodles and pesto.
Lee loved it, he just drizzled a little more evoo on it and had 2 helpings!
I am thinking of a re-attempt on Sunday and going meat-sauce marinara. Maybe I could get tomatoes and crush them through the processor and make true-homemade sauce? Then again, i would spend more on tomatoes than just a can of San Martzano crushed tomatoes.

I did reward myself with Willams Sonoma Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Birthday Photos

I was bad and barely got any good photos from Lee's birthday dinner last night! Here are a few good ones.

CAKE! (mini chocolate mocha cakes with coffee ice cream YUM!)
Donald, Jennifer, and Don
Donald and Jennifer
Don and I. (3 glasses of Chardonnay later...)
I did take a picture of Lee but it didn't turn out! Also at the party was Dave, Jimmy, and Lee (of course) We had a nice time.
Today Lee and I stayed in bed until almost 9, cleaned the house, and then went back to bed around 1 for like 3 hours! We are about to go out to dinner, otherwise I don't think we would leave the house today!!

So for some reason, Lola and Teddy's tags keep falling off their collars. I hate to use the tried and true S-hook because I change their collars out almost monthly and the S hook required pliers! Any ideas out there?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy 29th Birthday Lee!

Tonight we shall feast on steak, baby bok choy, bread, and my famous mini chocolate cakes!
Pictures will be posted later on!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Teeny babies & yummy goodness!

Everyone who knows me well knows - I am terrified of children. Terrified of birthing them, raising them, being around them.. the works.
But this one melted my heart like the Grinch's:Meet Grayson Bostic Tubbs. Little brother the Laynie Grace, son to Katie and Brian. He is almost 2 weeks old. He had his little eyes open when I first showed up but basically stayed in that position the entire 1.5 hours i was there. I was afraid to touch him so i just rocked the little deal he was in with my hand and stared at him while Katie dealt with Laynie pulling her cousin Lindsay's hair and such. Laynie is 3 and maybe a little peeved at the newcomer.

Sunday when we got back from Palestine I took on the endeavor of making Sara's cinnamon rolls. It took me like 3 hours when it was all said and done. The longest part was the bread maker - it took over an hour to get the dough all pummeled and risen and such. Then it was sweet sticky yummy dough.
Here are a few pics of the process:I LOVE my butcher block, built lovingly by my grandfather's hands over 20 years ago.Raising in the dish...

Bubbling in the oven...Done!
The runt of the litter there in the left upper corner was the taste tester. Lee, who claims "I don't like cinnamon rolls" agreed to try one once he smelled them ( he said "I don't like sweet breakfast"). I cut it in half and took it in on a plate. He took one bite and was like "Mmmmmmomigawdmmmmm"
I said "Well let me get my half!"
He said "You can't take mine!"
So i guess we like cinnamon rolls now...

While I was slaving away in my kitchen, the dogs were recovering from "Camp Nash (where they go to Lee's parents when we leave town.)"

All in all it was a good weekend, just a little rushed is all.
Off to dig into a roll, I brought them to the office!