Monday, May 24, 2010

Have you read my little bio on the upper left of this webl?

If so, you may have noticed that little part about me liking to adopt animals?  and you may have noticed that in my last post I put pics of our two furry dog babies... and maybe I've mentioned that we also have two furry cat babies WELL WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT I HAD TO ADOPT ONE MORE LITTLE TINY FURRY BABY!  Sooooo, thanks to my dear friend Erin who emailed me this picture:
which was on the Humane Society website with the caption "Tiny Pie" and the info that he was three years old and weighed five pounds... WHAT ON EARTH WOULD ANY SELF-RESPECTING HUMAN DO WITH THIS INFORMATION, ERIN!?!?!?!?  So, now we have a little baby who we call Bogey and probably actually weighs closer to four pounds.  He had originally been at Town Lake Shelter and he was on the euthanize list (I mean, REALLY?) and the Humane Society took him and was trying to find him a home.  Well, find a home he did!  And now he has four brothers and sisters who are quite jealous of his good looks though are quite friendly to him... he, on the other hand likes to try out his growl (freakin a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e) on any other pet that tries to steal some of my affection.  

I should mention that I didn't just go willy-nilly adopting these animals without consideration to the cost of keeping them and the tiny living areas we share... and I should definitely mention that Nate was really a most excellent husband regarding this matter.  The poor man married into a family which already had one Princess dog (from a shelter), one Punkin cat (from a dumpster) and one Bebe cat (from a shelter)... then one day Nate and I found a "mini Princess" whom we call Hancho (from a shelter) and HAD to have him because Princess was probably really lonely without a baby dogbrother.  This logic makes perfect sense to a gal like myself.  

Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure -- there are no cats in these pics because they are still a wee bit wary of the new addition to the family:

See how unhappy Nate looks with all those babies?  :)
Bogey in the yard:
Bogey's boney lil' ribs that need some fattenin':
Bogey just chillin':
Bogey and his Pop:

For reals this time, the next baby we get will be a REAL BABY.  :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Well, Hello There, Friday! I've Missed You!

Happy Friday!  Wooot!  So, my sweet friend Amy , who I worked with years and years ago at my favorite Italian restaurant (Canino's) sent me The Sweetest Owl Ever!  See!?
Amy lives in Myrtle Beach and has an amazing eye for design in the house and in the yard.  She's quite good with fabric and a paintbrush too!  Her photos are awesome and she has a very cool Etsy shop you need to check out: .  

Y'all know I LOVE to cook and I found a really fun Spring recipe that requires no oven use and is awfully simple, here ye are:

Asparagus Pesto with Pasta

1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 lb), trimmed of tough ends and halved crosswise
3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled (I used 6)
1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1 c pine nuts
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t fine-grain salt
8 oz of dried pasta or 12 oz fresh 

Bring 2 pots of water to a rolling boil, one large for pasta and one medium for asparagus.  While the water is heating, put the pine nuts in a single layer in a large skillet.  Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned.  Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside.  You will use 3/4 cup of the pine nuts for the pesto and 1/4 cup to mix in whole.  Salt the asparagus water and drop the spears into the pan.  Cook for only 2-3 minutes, until the spears are bright green and barely tender.  Drain under cool water to stop the cooking.  Cut off and set aside several of the asparagus tips to use for garnish.  Add the asparagus, spinach, garlic, parmesan and 3/4 cup of the pine nuts to a food processor.  Puree and with the motor running drizzle in the 1/4 cup of olive oil until a paste forms.  If too thick, thin it with a bit of the pasta water.  Add the lemon juice and salt, taste and adjust seasoning.   Salt the water and cook the pasta until just tender.  Drain and toss immediately with 1 cup of the pesto.  Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup pine nuts, a dusting of parmesan and a light drizzle of olive oil.  Serves 4 to 6.  

One last really cute thing for you... my great aunt made this awesome egg and when I was little I would just stare into it for hours and pretend I lived in the egg...
Ok, that's all for now!  I put some new necklaces up on Etsy so check out my shop for the latest if you want.  Have a grrrrrrrrrrreat weekend!  WOOOOOOOOOT!!!!  xoxoxoxox

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's in the SAUCE!

Ok, I've been a fan of chimichurri sauce ever since Nate and I discovered Buenos Aires, The Most Adorable teeny tiny Argentine restaurant down the street from our old house.   How cute is this?

Chimichurri is an herb-laden spicy gem of a sauce for meats or veggies or to dip bread or chips into... I just may even drink it out of a glass.   Last week our newspaper featured the sauce and had the best quick recipe for chimichurri I've ever made... typically I use only fresh herbs in my chimichurri but this recipe called for both fresh and dried and you probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry.  Nate and I brushed it over tilapia filets and roasted them for 10 minutes and they were perfect.  Er, I should say they were perfect after I figured out NOT to heat our oven to 500 degrees or the smoke may fill the house and set off the alarms and the firemen may come.  For a side dish I tossed whole cherry tomatoes and sliced zucchini in the chimichurri and roasted them 20 minutes... what was left over I blended for pizza sauce - YUM CITY!  Here's the recipe:

6 T red wine vinegar
1/4 c water
2 T minced garlic (~ 8 cloves) - this is probably the one time in my life that I did not quadruple then amount of garlic in a recipe... didn't even need to!
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1.5 t salt
.5-1 t dried hot red pepper flakes
1 t dried oregano
1 t coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 c olive oil
1 c finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, including stems

In a wide-mouthed glass or jar or in a bowl, stir together vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaf, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano and black pepper.  Whisk in oil until combined then whisk in parsley.  Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature.  Makes approximately 1.5 cups.  

I say go start your grill, make the sauce, throw the meat on the grill, baste with chimichurri... when your meat is cooked, serve it with a little chimichurri on the side for dipping and you won't be disappointed! 


Ok when I was home in Colorado for the Wedding of the Century I forgot to tell you two things.... first of all, Everyday Joe's hangs art for sale on their walls and while I was home they had paintings on fabric by this talented fellow:
Here's the info about him that is hard to read above:
and here's the painting I bought... only $25!  I'm guessing the money goes farther there than it does here and I was super excited that all of the money goes directly to him.  
Is that awesome or what?!?!?   I need to figure out what the instrument is that she's playing... please tell me if you know what it is.  It is NOT a hamburger with a fried egg on top and a fish skeleton coming out the side of it, of that I am certain.  

Ok, and then Thing Number Two that I forgot to share was that my new Sis-in-law was Super Brave and asked me to make the necklaces for her bridesmaids to wear IN THE WEDDING!  Can you believe it?!?!?  Here they are:
I laid them over the top of my sis's bridesmaid dress so that you could see what lovely taste Missy has.  Pretty, eh?  Thanks again, Missy, for including me and allowing me the honor to make these beauties for you! xoxo

Ok, final image for you is my babies enjoying an afghan I crocheted... I crocheted the afghan for people to use but you wouldn't know it... actually, I do believe the queen bed in our master bedroom is for people to use as well BUT the babies think otherwise.  I can't deny those babies, they're too ding dang cute.  

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fireflies Are Back!!!!!

It is my most favorite time of year!  The mercury has reached my favorite digits (90s) and the fireflies are back in our backyard!  Sadly they are nearly impossible to photograph (for me) and the pics I found online were too "bug-y" and not magical enough... they should look like little tiny Tinkerbells!   I ADORE them. They remind me it's time to barbecue and sit on the back porch and plant fun stuff like potato vines and crotons and ginger, oh my!  It's time to put on a sassy pair of sandals and have a beer and toss something delicious on the grill!  IT'S TIME TO CRANK UP THE REGGAE AND START SUMMER!!!!!  WOOOOOT!!!!!!  

Ok, before I get my swimsuit in a twist I still have some pictures to share from my trip home where it was very much still Winter-like!  This is what happens when you live 9500 feet above sea-level!  First of all, on the way to my family's house you pass Twin Owls... how freakin awesome is that?!?!?!  It's like MADE for me... by God.  Thanks God!  :)  See:
and also this beauty, my favorite mountain ever... Longs Peak:
and here is my personal driver for the trip:
she took me to meet some of her friends, they were sort of shy:
and then she took me to the pet store and I found this guy... who happens to still have part of my soul still there with him... I shall never forget this little tiny baby:
and right below the window a sign held the wisest words ever written:

Ok, and THEN, the real juicy part was the wedding!!!  Jonathan and Missy had a most beautiful wedding... I really can't say enough about how lovely and elegant and chic and heartfelt and REAL it was.   I mean, look at this venue!  There were tons of windows and each view was a stunning take of the beautiful Rocky Mountains!
and the couple... aahhh... my heart swells...

Would you believe she walked down the aisle to Cat Power singing Velvet Underground's "I Found A Reason"?  Cat Power has been in my Top 5 Vocalists since like 1999.  Seriously. It was really really perfect and soooo special.   You should totally play that song on right this minute.

And look!  My very own husband was part of the wedding party!
 And also, the band SHEL played at the wedding!  What's that? You don't know who they are??? Ok, you should definitely check them out!  They're playing at Lilith Fair in Austin this Summer and you can catch them at Everyday Joe's in Fort Collins most Sunday mornings.  They.  Are.  Awesome.  ..and quite stunning to look at as well.  Singer/pianist Hannah is in above photo with Nate and here's Eva and Sarah below:  (sorry, Liza, you were sneaky and didn't make it into my few pics!) 
Ok, that is all for now.  Enjoy the weekend!!!  Woooooooooot!  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ok, ok, ok, I'm back... AGAIN!

Sooooo, another dry spell in blogging land for me.  It's like I'm out of words or something!  That just can't be possible... perhaps the apocalypse is drawing nigh.  

Anyways, last week I had my very first First Thursday here in Austin.  It was a scorching hot day to sit in the direct sun for several hours in front of a table of your own jewelry but I did it anyway... and I wasn't alone.  My friend Grace came along and generously donated her afternoon and evening to sitting next to me watching the people pass by.  

We did get to enjoy GIANT shaved ices and food that came in paper cones so that was definitely a perk.  The sad part was, I sold not a thing.  Really, no one bought anything!  Plenty of people said they liked my jewelry and took a card but no one purchased anything.  I got home and told Nate I was bummed out and proceeded to fill him in on my day and as I was rambling and smiling at the same time Nate says "you don't seem like you had a bad day"... and he was RIGHT!  It was true!  Even though I didn't sell a ding dang thing, my day was lovely.  It happened to be National Prayer Day so I had prayed in a tiny training room at work with a handleful of amazing ladies earlier in the day and really felt something awesome.   And then I got to leave work early to set up my table in the sun and as soon as Grace got there time flew by while we talked to people and reminisced and enjoyed fun food and icy treats.  

I had just happened to set up my table across from some people with cool wooden furniture and macrame plant hangers.... their stuff was called "Renew" and it was all made by homeless people and all of the proceeds go directly back to the homeless.  Nate and I have been brainstorming for a few years about ways to help the homeless, really really help them, not just give them our hard-earned money for who-knows-what.  I was definitely inspired.  Then a nice girl from Renew came over to Grace and I and we ended up chatting for quite a while and turns out she goes to a cool church which takes place in a bowling alley... Nate and I ended up going last Sunday and I really like it, everyone was really friendly and around our age. 

Yes, it was a great day.  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Well, hello there! Long time no see!

Howdy!  Last week I was blog-free and blessed enough to be in Colorado with my family preparing for my lil' bro's wedding.  It was an extraordinarily beautiful and spiritual event.  I am SO PROUD of him and his new bride, they were poised and passionate and absolutely stunning.  I'll post pics and more details after their honeymoon and I get their 'ok'.  :) 

Sooooo, since being home I've enjoyed one sporting event and made a handful of necklaces for my Thursday sale.  A coworker gave Nate and I tickets to the Round Rock Express, a Triple A minor league baseball team that play at Dell Diamond.  Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure:

And here are my newest necklaces:

love birds

don't be scared of the scarab!
dancing ladies, oh yes!
Ok, that's it.  Wow, sorry this post is so photo-y and not very word-y... next time for sure it'll be better and much more entertaining and genius.  One last thought... tonight Nate and were watching 'The Biggest Loser' and one contestant said something to this effect: the things you do for yourself die with you, but the things you do for others and the world live forever.  Love it?  Love it.  Peace.