Monthly Archives: June 2010

500

So I’m wishing I had some kind of incredible brilliance saved up for my 500th post but alas, I got nothing. I have been trying to spend my summer pretending it’s actually a summer break: reading, spending time with friends and family, country drives with the husband but truthfully this is something that should be done all the time. But with our schedules and living out in the ‘burbs, it’s tough.

I have been thinking a lot about what and where I’d really like to be when I grow up. The opinions are definitely divided amongst the polled. A large camp has informed me that there really is no specific path in life and we can pick and choose to do lots of things. Trying them all on for size, wearing the new favorite until another perfect outfit comes along. Intriguing but tough for someone who hasn’t met a decision I didn’t like. If asked to pick, I’ll choose something immediately then move right on to the next. Mostly dessert first and anything pink or sparkly is always a yes. But now, I find myself floundering. The summer seems like exactly the right time to kick back and allow myself some time to ponder. A true luxury.

Next week, back to reality TV, fantasy books, baked goods and oversized art projects.

Addicted

Yes, I recognize that I have more than a few monkeys on my back: diet cranberry limeades from Sonic, chai tea from Saxby’s, Amazon, reality TV, Justified (seriously, are you watching?!), anyway I think you get the idea.

I was planning to be incredibly disappointed in Work of Art Bravo’s latest reality show. Contestants compete for a solo show and $$$. I really had no idea how much I would love it. So far, the challenges have been great and there’s even a Tim Gunn like mentor as opposed to “I’m a judge not here to help” Tom Colicchio on Top Chef. So far, the last episode with the book illustration challenge has been my favorite. I love watching everyone’s thought process and how they develop their piece. And, even if he is a little off his nut, I love Miles. Abdi and Mark are also favorites. Rolland will even watch so fun for the whole family!

Any new favorite things you’ve found this summer? Not that I need to add to my list, but just in case there’s something fabulous I can’t miss!

95

95 was a big year for us. We moved to Texas and got married, although not in Texas. Rolland got a job at Parkland and we settled in to the Lone Star state for 15 years and counting now. Fairly large milestones for most folks. This year will be our 15th wedding anniversary and I think our big plans will include dinner and swimming in our new above ground pool (being put together in the backyard as I type!). Super exciting is how we roll around here!

Anyway, I had sorted a group of rose stone beads I got in Santa Fe. I was sorting by color and saw this enamel number in another pile and decided to make a little piece to commemorate such a big year. Yellow roses for Texas seemed appropriate. I especially like the annealed steel peeking through the clear beads making this otherwise feminine piece look kinda tough.

Happy Monday!

Happy Father’s Day

Dad & I in Eureka Springs the weekend of my brother’s wedding. It was a great family weekend with lovely weather and a gorgeous service.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

Heaven in Chocolate Sauce

That’s right, profiteroles are tasty bites of heaven covered in chocolate sauce. These particular profiteroles are from the Bouchon cafe in the Time Warner Center in New York but they’re fairly available if you keep a sharp eye out when browsing the dessert menu.

These are on my cooking to do list. I’ve got a tasty vanilla ice cream recipe and fudge sauce is super easy. The pate a choux recipe for the dough is fairly common in my cookbooks (I think I’m going with the Barefoot Contessa’s) but I’m a little nervous with the pastry bag but this seems like an easy project to start.

My Mom used to make cream puffs with a similar dough recipe and then fill them with chocolate pudding. So yummy.

Faux Vintage

So I love me some vintage jewelry but truthfully, finding the good stuff at a reasonable price? Tricky. This is why it’s important to snatch up the reasonable “synthetic” aquamarine beads in various sizes and save your 40% off at Michael’s coupons. Add in being a pack rat and not throwing away the brass wire you bought years ago to practice wire wrapping and you’ve got greatness. Not that I brag or anything.

But, I am loving the faux vintage feel of this piece. The beads are actual stone so it’s fairly weighty and looks pricey but for much more reasonable prices. The rose and crystal beads at $8 bucks each can bring the price tag up quickly. Enter the coupon and a very sweet husband willing to go through the line with you and you’ve got beads at a fraction of the original cost.

Now, I just need the perfect outfit to show this baby off!

Influenced by Jules Verne

Growing up we watched lots of adventure movies like Sinbad, Swiss Family Robinson, Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I think this last one inspired me to pick up these little beauties at the beadshow in Grapevine. I had to have the octopus in amber even if I had no idea what I’d do with it.

I took the simple approach with some gorgeous carved beads I got from the same vendor. Again, I used chain links I took apart from a separate chain to add links in between the beads. Love the texture and the bead stretching.

All this crafty goodness was made on Friday night when a group of us “crafty chicas” got together for some crafty goodness, cocktails (sparkling fruit juice for me) and girl talk. My friend Suzanne who moved to Austin came up for the event and brought her new dog Oliver who is super cute. Awesome Friday night.

Summer Reading

As I am a delicate flower and wilt in the sun I’ve decided to take this time to snuggle in the couch with tea and a favorite baked good with a stack of books that will get me through these next few scorching months. Over dramatic? Not a bit, I live in Texas… y’all (nope, still doesn’t fit but I’ll keep working on it).

I try to be fairly eclectic in my reading material but I’ve mostly been reading the urban fantasy or paranormal mysteries. In addition, I’m working in some awesome foodie favorites but those take a lot longer.

I have been a fan of Charlaine Harris since the beginning and the Southern Vampire series (aka True Blood books) are the perfect summer reading. I think I read this one last Saturday and am super excited True Blood starts again tomorrow. Go team Eric!

This series by Ilona Andrews is greatness. It’s really original in it’s approach and I love a chick who can kick ass with the best of them.

I’ve had this one on the shelf for a long time but just picked up recently. It’s written by a great blogger Molly Wizenberg and in the fashion of blog posts. I haven’t tried any of the recipes, which were fairly secondary for me in terms of priority, but the reviews have been mixed. The stories are yummy enough to stand up on their own. No, I really couldn’t help it.

Juliet Blackwell has done a great job with a fun magical mystery series set in San Francisco. SF is on my list of places to visit, hopefully this year, so I love the background it provides. There’s also lots of talk of vintage clothing which is fun in the book but in life I mostly want it new and sparkly.

I’ve also tackled the latest in the Dresden Files, loved the series and Syfy can suck it for dropping it for super gigantic killer centipede story lines, not that I’m bitter.

Also finished Victoria Laurie’s latest in the Ghost Hunter series. Fellow Texan who is much more productive with her summer hours. I love her mysteries with Abby Cooper too.

Whew, clearly my day job is impacting how much more reading and baking I could be getting done! I’m simply going to be grateful for all the extra daylight to read by.

Note: links and picture size are not a sign of favoritism but more of laziness in fixing them.

Molly

My friend Molly, who is an awesome paper and fabric artist, is doing her first blog giveaway and the giveaway is incredible. I’m seriously advocating checking it out immediately! Here’s a handy link and everything.

I met Molly last year at Silver Bella and am still grateful for having met her. She promotes artists work and is the biggest champion we artists could ever have. Serious greatness.

Tasty goodness

Rolland smoked a pork shoulder the other night and it was fabulous. In trying to be better about eating the leftovers, I checked out Serious Eats that had a yummy looking Cuban sandwich on the homepage and I wanted one immediately! I peeked in the freezer to find 2 baguettes that were thinking about getting a serious coating of protective ice (if you don’t know what that’s from go here and check it out) and I remembered we had some Jarlsberg that needed to be used up found the smoked ham deli meat in the fridge and we were good to go.

Rolland used the gas grill and a foil wrapped brick to press them flat. A few minutes later yummy goodness! I think these would be a perfect accompaniment to the recommendation above.

Although I wouldn’t recommend the 7 mile bike ride for dessert. Seriously, ride first then sandwich and a movie.

Happy Wednesday!