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.