Friday, February 29, 2008

Time is Ticking!

Conrad and I sat down last night and filled out invitations- I had no idea 150 would take so long! He did stamps, I did the writing. He said he knew he would "not be allowed" to write on them and that's RIGHT! No way- I see his chicken scratch everyday. I'm no calligrapher by any means, but no boy is writing on my invitations! Wow- that may be the first bridezilla thing I've said! Anyway, I am hoping to get them all in the mail by Monday- which is something like 7 weeks out. I think that's right on schedule... but we have maybe 50 more to go.

This weekend I think we'll also maybe order some attendants gifts- I think I found the PERFECT ones for the boys! The girls are a little harder and to clarify, we do not have a wedding party - I'm talking about the two best men, the dad's, the mom's and the two girls who are giving me the rehearsal dinner. I'm really trying to make them special gifts. Working on it !

The girl who was going to go with me to my fitting caught the flu, so we've moved that out to Monday, which is no biggie... and hopefully by the end of March anything involving my appearence will be over and done with... really there's not a whole lot left to do, but I'm still feeling pretty stressed out for some reason. I wish I knew why.

The good news is I'm going to some craft thing this weekend- I may be able to pick up some nice things there. I also have to buy hostess gifts for the people giving me my Houston shower. WOW, getting married is expensive!!!

I also have to say that sitting at your desk, eating homemade tamales is not really condusive to the "fit in the wedding dress" plan, but holy schnikes they are good! I'm sure that's what most girls do, 57 days from their wedding, eat lard and saturated pork, one by one by one. That's what stress will do to ya!

Wanna see my wedding shoes?

Peace, Love and Matrimony,


Thursday, February 28, 2008

White Hot Chocolate

Have you ever heard of such a thing? I somehow missed it. I am an avid listener of XM Radio and my favorite channel, much to Conrad's disappointment, is Channel 156 Oprah and Friends!

Her best friend, Gayle, has a radio program on from 7AM-8AM CST and I listen every morning. Did you know that Starbuck's shut down for three hours a few days ago? Some sort of expresso training, across the country. I don't drink Starbucks past a certain time in the morning, unless it's Christmas-time... so I was not affected.

Anyway- Gayle said they had something called White Hot Chocolate. WHAT?! I love white chocolate anything. So naturally, I rushed right to Starbucks this morning and ordered one. It is not even on the menu! Ah... the perks of being Oprah's best friend.

To my surprise, the man accepted my order and told me to pull around. $3.67 later- I am in heaven, PURE heaven! It's only going to be cold here a few more days before the summertime weather hits... yes, in Houston March might as well be August.... so I'm so glad I got to have this treat whilst it is still fridgid.

I even read on the Starbucks website that this delicious little slice of heaven is available at Starbucks to take home- the mix! Guess what's on MY Christmas list next year????




Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pay It Forward

Today I got a nice little treat. I started off the morning extremely groggy (from a Tylenol PM the night before) and so I stopped into McDonald's on the way to work to grab a sandwich and a coke - hoping it would wake me up.

Upon arriving at the window to pay, the guy told me the lady in front of me bought my breakfast! Well how sweet was that? I guess there really ARE nice people out there! I honked and waved at her- and then am now determined to Pay It Forward somehow. I'll probably have to help someone out in the Toll booth behind me going home today or something. Maybe that was the reason she did that for me- hoping I would be nice to someone else.

But then that got me to thinking- how come strangers can be nice to us and we can be nice to strangers and yet the people we see and love every day, we're sometimes not so very nice too?

It got me to thinking- and looking back at a lot of people I've known throughout the years. Moving to Houston sort of forced me to weed out the bad. I don't see the same people I used to everyday ... and even though cell phones have free long distance, not being around sort of helps out the "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" thing - and so the phone calls from some people have dropped off too... but there were a LOT of people- coworkers, people I dated and people I was friends with that treated me very badly. Being treated so well now by bosses and cowokers, friends and of course, Conrad- brings it even more to my attention. I was paging through my mind this morning on a lot of old things that happened and I was thinking- WHY did you allow him/her/them to do that? If some of the things that have happened to me in the past happened to me NOW, those people would be long gone...

Want some examples? These are mostly dating examples.... about the things I somehow put up with.

* I dated someone once who was food OBSESSED. He weighed his meat on a scale and when a box said 1 serving = 1 cup, the measuring cup came out and 1 cup is what we got. When he wasn't measuring out our food (if one of us cooked for the other), he was pawing through my pantry and pulling out the offending items asking me- "why are you eating all these empty calories?" He told me he didn't want fat wife and at the time, I was a size 8. Not exactly fat.

* I dated someone else who was actually a friend for a long time before. He broke up with me, via email, after a long long long friendship. He also was fond of telling me, a few weeks before, what was annoying about me- mostly that I either LOVED or HATED everything. I had no gray area and this was annoying.

* I dated someone who had recently broken up with someone else- and I daresay the breakup was not his idea. No matter how awful this woman was to him and she WAS awful... he tried to romanticize her- one day I actually came across a chalkboard in his house, listing out her attributes. Keep in mind she held down no job, had a child that lived with his dad- because she was declared unfit, I rarely saw her (they lived down the street from a friend) when she was washed and presentable, she had a terrible temper and one day while playing cards with the group LITERALLY turned into the devil, yelling and screaming... but the chalkboard said how she was tender, caring, a good mother, and beautiful. GROSS... but *I* ended up being "not someone he was looking for"... I guess having a job and paying my bills put me in a category he wasn't ready to deal with.

The list goes on ... and I do not mention these things to offend or embarass the people I'm talking about- should they read here. I mention them because it's not something anyone should ever put up with. It's about respect and consideration. Like the example of the email break up. This person was my friend and there were many years of caring and respect that went down the drain for awhile (we are friends again) but at the time, really really hurt me. It took the better part of a year or more to get over some of the things that went down- because I felt betrayed by a friend. You don't want to date me anymore because I'm not someone you would marry - well ok, but I AM your friend and I deserve better. I deserved better than an email and I deserved better than the terrible phone call that followed it.

I say all this to say- why can't we be nice to each other? Why could I not tell these people that I deserved better? Why in the WORLD did I tell the Food Nazi to get his head otu of my pantry and his body out of my house? If you're working with me, dating me, being my friend, etc... why aren't you nice to me? I know you must care about me to be my friend- ask me to be in your wedding, etc... then how come you're not nice?

Why did it take me over 30 years to find someone who could treat me the way I wanted to be treated? I don't know- I'm just grateful I did.... and I'm afraid I probably don't tell him enough how much he means to me or that I appreciate how I always have a nice relaxing place to go home too, that's not a war zone. I try very hard to tell him by cooking nice meals and doing fun things and being considerate of his feelings, but it's not always a good substitute for just saying thank you...

So thanks Conrad. Thanks for being absolutely perfect for me and for treating me like a queen, even when I don't deserve it. I will always try to make you happy and make sure you are well taken care of. Just please please don't go buy a meat scale.



Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Last Saturday, before the bridal shower, we attended a wedding of one of our oldest friends, Mr. Colby Holland. It was in Dallas- downtown Dallas and was pouring down rain. Which signals good luck for the marriage!

I thought I would include some pics of Colby and his lovely bride, Elizabeth- who is an attorney in the Dallas area. Some other high school friends (Colby went to high school with us) attended as well- so we did a little group picture.
Sorry they are so tiny! It's Conrad, Adrian, his wife Joanna, Chendog, Jeff, me and Lam.

On the subject of our wedding, lots got done yesterday! I ordered the tags and ribbons for our favors. Those should be in - in a few days... I also went to Alfred Angelo Bridal and got all the contraptions I need to go UNDER my dress. I need this now because tomorrow is my fitting, and I needed everything I am going to be wearing that day, to ensure proper fit. So all of this is going to be done THIS WEEK! WOO HOO

Man, is it getting close! Also today if I have time, I'll drop my engagement ring off at the jeweler (so SAD when it's not with me!) because the wedding band has to be custom made. Something called a Shadow Band, which means it shadows the curves of the original ring. A normal band would not sit flush with this ring, because Conrad had it specially made and the princess cut diamonds are set in this triangular pattern... I really debated about this. The original ring is so unique, that I'm not sure a wedding band is even necessary. It sort of looks like the marquis is the engagment band and the ones surrounding it is like a ring guard/band. All I know is if a band takes away from this ring, then I just won't get a band... I should know this week. Many people have mistaken it for an engagement ring/wedding band combo.

But see what I'm talking about?

... and then tonight, I think the final invitations shall be addressed. Conrad is in charge of the stamps! They should go out this weekend. YAY!
... and you guys BETTER RSVP! The amount of food made totally corresponds with the number of people who RSVP. I'm told I will be very disappointed about the number of people who RSVP, but I just can't believe THAT! It's only polite to tell people if you need food made for you or not. This really stresses me out, because the restaurant is asking for an estimate and that becomes the "guarantee" which we'll have to pay for, whether you show up or not... so please please, just take the time to check yes or no and slip it back in the mail to me. I would be most appreciative.
I was joking when I told my dad that if I saw someone who did not RSVP gnawing on a rib, I'm liable to come take it out of your mouth! But I was only joking... ha ha ha... kinda... ha ha ha... kinda not.
Peace and Love from H-Town,

Monday, February 25, 2008


Well, as we draw nearer to the wedding, I am participating in something I should not be- eating...

First of all, what was I thinking? A few months ago, someone came around with a cute little catalog and I hardly EVER participate, so I said "what the hay?" and I did. Here is what I received on Friday....

I'm not at all sure what I was thinking- but they are the Breakfast of Champions!

Last night's dinner was gooooood. First I made a pan fried steak- seasoned with Italian salad dressing. Yum.

But the real star of the show were the garlic mashed potatoes. I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks! Blog, and modified it a bit. First of all, do you know how to roast garlic? No? Then you are missing out! If you are married, you'll be a hero and if you're not married, you will be by the end of this year.

First- grab a casserole dish or something you can bake in. Drizzle the bottom with olive oil. Then get three or four whole garlic pieces - like the big cluster thing that's so hard to peel. All you are going to do it take the top (where it comes to a little point) and cut it off, so the tops of the little garlic heads are exposed. Lay them in the pan, topside up, and drizzle the garlic heads with olive oil too. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for an hour.

When you are done let them cool- and when you can touch them, grab them by the bottom and squeeze and all the little roasted garlic pieces just POP out and they are so soft and yummy!

Ok- now that's done... you can boil up some potatoes. While that's happening I put 1/2 of a package of cream cheese, a dash of milk or heavy cream and about 3TBSP of stick butter at the bottom of a dish. When your potatoes are boiled and drained, poor them HOT on top of the other ingredients. Start mashing- and buy a masher. I did this for the first time and it was WAY better than my whipped potatoes using a mixer. Just mash, mash, mash and get all that mixed up. Then grab one of your garlic clusters, and squeeze from the bottom, til all the little pieces pop out- mash those up too. I used ONE head of garlic for this, but depending on your tastes, add two, if you like.

SO GOOD! I made enough to use later in the week for when I make meatloaf. How lucky is Conrad?! I'm so turning into Paula Deen!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Some Dallas Wedding Shower pics to share!

My sister and our cousin, Misti (a mama to be!) are shown in one...

then three of my very cloests friends: Carolyn, Sunny and Toni

You can see my friend Candice, in some of these pics (writing down the gift list for thank you notes) too. Candice and I went to high school together- along with Conrad, (who she looooooooved) but alas, Candice and I did not get along, until long after we were adults... we were not friends in high school- I think we may have even avoided each other... and now that I know her, I have no idea why. She's so pretty and funny and I just love her to bits. I'm so glad she could come and well, she loved Conrad first- it was only fitting she was there! ... and Candice is also a mama to be (again)!

I look SO much like an Abercrombie in this picture- a mix of my daddy and Aunt Ann

Neiman Marcus Cookbook!

Super model!

We had such a good time- over 20 people showed up and in the pouring, cold rain. I appreciate it and will cherish the day. My sister-in- law to be hosted this shower and did an AWESOME job. The theme was PINK and I felt like the Queen for a Day!

Thank you again!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cleaning Up

Conrad and I spent a few hours last night putting away shower gifts- there were so many. I think tonight I am going to have to crawl under the island in the kitchen and do some organizing! It all fits right now, but it's sort of a jumbled mess.

We got most of it put away and will finish up tonight or tomorrow. I loved everything and if any shower-goers are reading, I appreciated all of it and all of you coming and sharing that special time with me. 'Bout time, huh?

Conrad and I both got caught in the rain heading home last night. I was going to cook up something good, but we both arrived after 7, so we just stopped separately and picked up dinner. I went to Popeye's and he went to Jack In the Box. It rained and rained, so I was stuck in regular everyday "we don't know how to drive in rain", Houston traffic and he was coming in the back way from College Station on those little two lane roads. There was an accident there and he was stuck for over thirty minutes. He has more patience than me- everytime I talked to him, he was in good humor. :) That's my boy!

Anyway, tonight more organizing and putting away and maybe some cleaning and perhaps an early jump on the laundry this weekend!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Two Months and Six Days...

That's how long we have left in our "single" lives.

I have this wedding planned out by month- what I need to do this month, next month, etc... and so far, it's going pretty well. Everything has fallen into place but now I look down and all I'm seeing are two months left! March and April to do lists are looooooong, but things like marriage license, check on flowers, dress altered, etc, etc... there's really not THAT much to do, but I guess I thought these seven months would go a little slower. They were slow until Christmas and now, it's really sped up.

We're down to 2 months and 6 days or as the counter says 66 days. Funny how 66 sounds like a lot longer than 2 months, 6 days.

Friday I will start back up with my "to do" list. I need to finish addressing the invitations and get those out, buy whatever it is that I need to go under my dress and HOPE it doesn't cause me to pass out, get the dress altered and cleaned... all of that coming up in the next few weeks. Oh and work on the programs... that's very important, but shouldn't take too long.

It's almost here!


Monday, February 18, 2008


Update on the weekend- we are back in Houston.

It was a whirlwind- we saw friends and family and had the shower, a birthday party AND attended a wedding. Not to mention, went to our own wedding venue and ironed out final decorations, seating and a rain contingency plan. We got SO much done, had SO much fun and are SO tired. I hardly slept at all yesterday- so this post will be short. I'll post more later and add pics too.

A big congratulations to Colby and Elizabeth- you had a lovely wedding and we appreciate being invited to share in it- also good to see our friends there!

A big thank you to Grandma Wanda, Da-Delle and especially Mikel who gave me a fabulous PINK wedding shower! I was so pleased that so many were able to come. It was so nice to see so many people I had not seen in awhile and get to spend time with you. It was just better than anything I could have imagined. I imagine Mikel will send me pics soon and I can post some for everyone's viewing pleasure. It was a really great time- Conrad and I got some really thoughtful things and we are beyond blessed and thankful.

Big thanks as well to the Florida Parental Units for coming all that way- first to Dallas to meet Conrad's parents and attend the shower and then on to Houston to iron out wedding logisitics. I think we came up with some great ideas and good plans. We are very excited and happy we had another few sets of eyes to help us iron things out. It should be a fabulous day!

.... and big thanks to both families for being able to meet Friday night. I don't think it could have gone any better. I couldn't have a better family or be marrying into a better family. A lucky girl, I am, indeed.

Love you All,


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shameless Plug

I am starting to get a lot of outside traffic to this blog because of the links on the right side of the page and all the people who link and post on their blogs. I am making WONDERFUL new friends from all over. I know lots of my buddies love to read!

My shameless plug is this: my dad fulfilled a life-long dream last year and had his book published. We were SO proud of him. This his is first book and was published by Publish America and they always release the book online ONLY at first- so to get this book you MUST order it at ... In order to get it and future books (which he IS working on) sold in bookstores, we have to make sure tons of these are bought. It's doing VERY well!

The book is Shadows of the Prince, by David Abercrombie

His website is referenced on the book.

Not only is he handsome, he is smart and funny, caring and loving and extremely talented. I think his writing is probably his passion and I'm so happy he had his dream fulfilled and recognized. I am so gosh darn proud of him! He is coming this weekend for the shower and I am having him sign a book and we're sending it to Oprah!

He has a PO Box listed where he is happy to autograph your book and send it back.

It would touch my heart if some of you would order his book and let me know how you like it! Besides ... the poor man as a wedding to pay for. DONATE!


Peace and Love


Problem Child

I do not know what has gotten into Ms. Blanca Abercrombie-Hopkins. She is has been BAD for two days now. She has had no cookies, treats or tastes of Mama and Daddy's food. It has been major punishment time in our household.

Tuesday morning I got up and saw that she had tee-tee'd in the den. WHAT?! She is almost four years old and she KNOWS better. I don't know in the world got into her. So I called her in the den, pushed her nose in it (well, close to it, I'm not cruel) and swatted her on the butt. She sulked out of the den and went back to lay down and ignored me. When I got home, she made it clear she doesn't believe in corporral punishment and made a big show of cuddling and kissing on her daddy... and not me. Whatever.

Then yesterday I get home and her father informs me that THEY have had an altercation. One side of the yard is very thin between the fence and house. Conrad has laid down some weed fabric there so we can have a small rock garden- and it tends to catch water and mud. Blanca LOVES this area. Yesterday after he got home, Conrad said she went trotting down there and never came back! He said he called her and begged her and finally went down the side of the house and darn if she wasn't covered in mud. He had CARRY her back to the house to towel her off (because she refused to go back to the house herself) and when he would lift his hand, toweling her off, she would try to run! She was in BIG TROUBLE, mister!

Conrad put a baby gate up between the house and fence for now because it's so wet and muddy back there. God bless her, I have no idea what has gotten into her.

Conrad is so funny - he sat her down last night, kissed her on the top of her head and said "We love you and we punish you because we love you. Tomorrow you get another chance to be a good girl and earn cookies" (this is what we call her Milk Bones). Such a good and loving daddy. I hope the brat straightens up!

and THEN today I get a 20% off coupon at Steinmart. After that shopping spree the other day. It made me SO sad, until I realized I was heading there next week anyway because I need to pick up a hostess gift for one of the people helping with the Houston shower... so this will come in handy. Dallas shower this weekend (SO EXCITED!) and Houston shower April 5th. Time is really moving fast now.

I PROMISE to post a picture of my light in the dining room soon. It's been so busy!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I've been a total schlub and I really, really hope that's not a bad word!

I can't seem to find the motivation to do anything. It's like after the light was hung and my shirt was boiled, I lost the will to do anything. Oh sure, I come to work, but I'm in a mildly comatose state. I haven't cooked dinner in two days. I am a horrible wife to be!

First my excuse was the Reverse Valentine's and frankly, I've never come up with a more brilliant idea. I can totally say that was non-schlub-like behavior. But then yesterday I got home and I just - sort of - laid there.

I blame this on my new fleece PJ pants. What had happened WUZ- I went to Steinmart yesterday for lunch, because HELLO my bridal shower in Dallas is this weekend and I MUST LOOK FABULOUS. (Even more so than normal and that is a HARD thing to accomplish) So I went there and they had all of their fleece PJ sets on sale for- SHUT UP- $12. YES. So I found a set and yeah, ok, they have Christmas trees on them, but really, the only time it's cold in Houston is Christmas and about 6 -8 weeks afterwards- we don't have those freak snowstorms in April 'round here. So I figure I can stretch the No Christmas Wear rules out another two months. They are SO comfortable- this isn't cheapie, yucky, dies in the washing machine fleece- this is laying around comatose because they are so super comfy fleece. I am in love!

Conrad had to go out in the fridgid 65 degree weather and forage us up some food, which I mean come on, he is the HUNTER of the family- so it wasn't that big of a deal, but I did feel guilty. HOWEVER I did help drag the trash and remnants of the hair-burning light to the curb AND I hung up a new cross I bought -cause we love JC and we advertise it, dad gum it!!!! ... and I uh- watched the Oprah I had TIVO'd and then passed out. Very productive evening!

I am hoping tonight I am more acclamated to my pants and I can at least walk into the kitchen and make some food. Also, one lucky blog reader is going to score some of the same pants! I picked up some for a Christmas present for this year coming up. I mean, $12- come on! So I got another pair and I know who I am giving them too and I apologize in advance if this tears your family apart next year- because you can't get off the couch, but I'm doing it because I love you. Many of my dear readers I know ARE also fleece PJ schlubs. I can think of at least... counting.... 4 maybe 5 of you..... and sadly, only one of you will have these pants... because even though it was only $12 I am not made of money, people!

I will announce the winner of this illustrious prize on December 26th- of next year, because I can't announce it NOW and ruin the surprise! Mark your calendars!!!!


P.S. and OMG, I forgot to tell you. There is Chico's next to the Steinmart mere miles from my work. IT IS A CLEARANCE CHICO'S. I was in heaven. I didn't find my black shirt like the one I repaired, but I found a $52 necklace on sale for $13 and let me just tell you, I make this necklace look gooooooooood, I am wearing to today. It is very dangerous for me to 1) have even found out there is such a thing as Chico's clearance and 2) be really really really near one. Ya'll pray for me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reverse Valentine's

First of all, I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. I've always been under an enormous amount of pressure when it comes to this day- to me, it's not a jewelry and expensive dinner day... it was more a card, candy and flowers day- which adds up to what- $20? Ok, well what man wants a card, candy or flowers REALLY and then what can you REALLY find him that he'll enjoy for $20, that's not candy or flowers? Nothing electronic! So it's always been a day filled with stress for me. Maybe the card is too mushy and we're not "there yet"... maybe it's funny and he wanted mushy.... AAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK- and then of course, those lovely Valentine's Day when I didn't have a Valentine and it seemed like every girl at work got 3 dz roses, DELIVERED - or that time one of the girls got engaged. UGH. I really don't like this day. Also it was uncomfortable if I DID have a Valentine and some of my closest girlfriends didn't and I was filled with guilt and stress. I don't think this day is such a great idea...

So I think I MIGHT be a genius. Last night we did the reverse Valentine's Day. I got another bad report from my doctor- I had to go in for a three month follow up- and now I'm back to ANOTHER biopsy on March 4th- and so I just... I wasn't panicky this time, but I wasn't in a great mood. I asked Conrad if we could go out last night- so I got a great dinner AND it was on Monday and wasn't crowded. I was so not looking forward to Thursday night, sitting in line waiting somewhere .... AND I also need to go grocery shopping, which is normally a hassel on week nights, but guess what- everyone will be out standing in line somewhere Thursday night and I will be blissfully alone- at the GROCERY STORE! HA!- reverse Valentine's Day. I got Conrad to agree to no presents, did the dinner on Monday and will get my errands done on Thursday when all the other couples are out waiting in line, starving to death.



Monday, February 11, 2008

Savin' Money

I am so stinkin' proud of us this weekend!

First of all, Conrad hung the new light in the dining room. I no longer fear for my hair! I got this from my sister- a Thomas Kincade fixture it's black and brown - metal and wood, BEAUTIFUL! It was missing some pieces- the chain and the mounting plate. We went to Home Depot and spent about $10 for the missing pieces. Not bad for a brand new light! I will post a pic this week.

While Conrad was hanging that, I went off to repair my black Chico's shirt I told ya'll about the other day. It was $68 about five years ago. It's my FAVORITE shirt and it was turning gray and white in places. Broke my heart! I think after all this time, because I wore it at LEAST once a week - it was really just pennies per wear. I really got my money out of it! I was so so so sad when it bit the dust. Chico's carries this shirt year round, it's a staple, but with the wedding, etc- I did not want to pay another $68 plus whatever the five years inflation is on that. So I went to Wal-Mart and bought some RIT dye for $1.52 and figured it wouldn't hurt. Yesterday I sat at the stove and boiled my shirt and dye while Conrad put up the light. GOOD AS NEW! I am wearing it today and I look FAB. I SAVED MY SHIRT! I saved $68- I need an award!!!

Also Conrad just is so good to me... he let me have some space in the garage to set up this little shelf. I wanted to put my garage sale treasures out there. Sometimes I pick up frames and things like that- that I can use at a later date... or books or just whatever and there's really no room in the house for that kinda stuff right now- at least not in it's current state. Once I rehab it and either give it away or bring it in the house for a function, it's fine, but we have no free space to just have things sitting around... So I needed an area to keep it and he graciously let me have some space- I won't tell you the story about how I found a baby snake in the garage as I was setting up- but I DID, and don't let Conrad tell you it was a grass snake, because he didn't even SEE it and it was brown and had designs on its back- it was as much of a grass snake as I am ... and it hissed at me and was very ferocious and probably loaded with lethal poison... and I realize it was only 8 inches long, but the little ones are the ones you have to watch out for- and where there's a baby, there IS a mama CONRAD- but you know, whatever- another story for another time.... I very bravely got a big stick and a broom and made it go out into the street, where I did ponder chopping his little snake head off, but just couldn't kill one of God's creatures, although if he had the chance, he would have bitten me. I could see it in his beady little eyes.... and all this occured while Conrad was blissfully taking a nap and I was outside protecting our house and baby schanuzer --- but you know, whatever. It was a GRASS snake. HA! It was not - it was more like a Diamondback or maybe one of those King Cobras. I did not see a rattle but maybe he was such a baby he hadn't grown his rattle yet. I don't know.

We did SO good this weekend AND we ate at home every single night for supper... Fri, Sat and Sunday. We did the Hawaiian Chicken, we did Bacon Wrapped Chicken on the Grill and Soft Tacos. We did very very well and saved tons o' money this weekend!

We also got our first wedding gift- the cutest little greenhouse from my Aunt Beth, Uncle Michael and Cousin Hope. They won't be able to attend the Dallas Bridal Shower this weekend, so they sent their gift. They totally DID NOT have to do that, but it's so nice... I will start growing my herb garden in it as soon as April gets here! For anyone who attends a shower or something and then comes to the house before the wedding, don't get your feelings hurt if you don't see your gift out. I can't use anything until the wedding is over... that's the rule (sad rule) but the rule none the less! So I have carved out some nice space in the garage for everything until we can use it. I am hoping no baby snakes make this like their nesting ground, but just pray for me and it will be alright.

Thanks to all my family and friends who love me and are making this a really super special time for me and Conrad. We love you all!

KC and B

Friday, February 8, 2008


It's been a looooooooooong week in Abercrombie/Hopkin's Land! It seemed Friday would never get here. Thankfully, we both worked really hard last weekend on projects and errands, so we don't have a ton to do this weekend.

I told you about our lovely mudhole that sits between our house and the neighbors. Conrad made up an impressive little brick design - but of course, there are small areas on the sides of the design that need little bitty bricks- so Conrad purchased himself a grinder and this weekend, he'll cut some small pieces of brick and complete his project. I think it looks GREAT! I am all about adding value to the house. I did it with mine in Dallas and I loved knowing I was improving things and making an investment. I also think Conrad is going hang our new dining room light (big thanks to my sister for the donation!) ... because the one we have now is gold and tacky (sorry Conrad) and also it hangs so low, it about burns your eyebrows off when you're sitting there. I've also been known to break out in a sweat - needing to get up and get some water. Not to mention this new light is just much more modern. How come when they build houses they put the cheapest stuff on the earth in there? You're already paying a fortune for your house- they should at least put decent stuff in there- the old light is a fire hazard! I can't hardly wear hairspray in my hair if I plan to sit at the table, for fear my entire head will go up in flames...

I don't have much to do this weekend. I need to do some shopping for the people hosting my shower in Dallas and I'm in charge of a birthday here at Westlake next week- getting the present ... I also need to scoot by the library, but after that, there's not a ton to do. I imagine we'll grill out- we make FABULOUS Hawaiian Chicken (just like Steak & Ale) so I think we'll do that one night- and we have some Netflix movies to watch - Stardust with is sort of a magical movie and The Queen which I think was Oscar nominated last year- it's about the Royal Family and their response to Princess Diana's death- you know, they were so stoic and showed so little emotion- I think it enraged the British people ... I had wanted to watch this for a long time, but you know- life gets in the way!

Talked to the minister last night. He is NOT going to have time to see us next weekend and that may mean I don't meet him until the rehearsal dinner. I'm not sure if we can get back to Dallas again before the wedding- so he is sending us some books and tapes he gives all engaged couples. I'm interested to see what that is ... I like self improvement stuff - Conrad and I really do get along great, so I don't think we need "counseling" per sea... but a little help is always appreciated.

That's it- TGIF to you all!


Thursday, February 7, 2008


Today I had my yearly review at work. This is my first formal, corporate review. I was scared to death- nervous and excited. WHEW! I am glad it's over. I worked for a small company before and I would't say the review process was formal at all ... so this was something I had not yet experienced.

I did really, really well. They of course can't give you a perfect score, because no one is perfect, but nothing bad was brought up. She said everyone liked me, all the management liked me and that everyone was very pleased and I had a phenomenal attitude... and I should keep that up. Since I have been here a year, I do feel I can take on more responsibility and for the past few months I had been asking for more. Today they told me I am getting a lot more- I have tons of things heading my way. I'm very excited. She also told me to go back to school STAT because the opportunity for me, here, with a degree is limitless- she said my attitude, my work ethic, my brain, everything combined means the skys the limit for me. I was so excited to hear that.

I am back in school come September- I don't have THAT much more to go. Wish me luck.

Conrad and Blanca are doing well. We are gearing up still for the wedding, the weekends now that are packed with stuff to do, the people coming into town, the showers, the everything- it's getting wild. While I am excited - I really hope April 27th comes fast, cause it will be over. I'm totally enjoying it and loving the showers- I'm trying hard to document everything and enjoy and experience everything cause I'll never experience it again... but with all that being said, won't it be nice to sort of get back to normal life... :)


Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I am not a big fan of waste... it really really irritates me when I have to throw something out- and we have an entire tupperware container of homemade ranch dressing (from the Stupid Bowl) to use up. I don't think mayo and milk freeze well, so we gotta eat as much of it as we can.

Last night, I did the infamous Marlboro Man Sandwich and my own creation, ranch potatoes. The sandwich was just ok for me. I am not a big cubed steak person- I really rather prefer whatever the meat is we use for Philly Steak and Cheese- cubed steak just freaks me out. So I give it a 5 out of 10. I think Conrad liked it a lot more than I did- but I would not say this was his favorite. Strike one for The Pioneer Woman Cooks! - usually her stuff is great and I can cook it very easily.

Now the ranch potatoes were another story. YUM-O!
They were so stinking easy! First I cubed some of my leftover red potatoes I had and I baked those, with a little bit of olive oil at 400 for 30 minutes. While that was going on, I fried up two pices of bacon. I let them drain and cool, then I crumbled them up- like homemade bacon bits.
When the potatoes were ready - I threw them in a bowl with the bacon and just took a generous spoonful of ranch dressing and tossed it in and stirred it up. SHUT UP. We both were over the moon for this stuff. It didn't take a lot of dressing either- just enough to coat it .... we are SO having this again! It's almost like having cheese fries from a restaurant- I think next time I may chop up a few jalapenos and green onions. Conrad said he thinks cheese would ruin it for him - so we won't do that, but we may kick it up a notch next time.
We are currently planning our big trip back home to Dallas in ten days or so for my bridal shower.... and we are going to try to meet with the minister, attend a friends wedding, get both families together (the parents units from FL are coming to Houston on that Sunday to see the wedding venue) to meet for the first time (Conrad's parents met my mom and stepdad over my birthday) and also celebrate Kamden's first birthday... all of this around the bridal shower. We are so packed that weekend!
This wedding is getting closer and closer. I think we're down to 81 or 80 days or something. I can hardly believe it. It seemed like I had so much time and now, not so much.
Ok- off to do some more planning!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

One Year

Well, I have been at Westlake Chemical one year today! Can you believe I left Dallas something like fourteen months ago?! I can hardly believe it- it seems like yesterday and it seems like ten years ago.

I remember my first day very well. I came in and met with my HR person, his name was Luke and he's no longer here... anyway, I met him in the lobby and he took me down to the floor where my department was located. They were doing major renovations up on the 5th floor, so the entire department was being held in one big room on the 4th. I walked in and everyone was sitting at tables- set up like a classroom. I walked in and everyone looked up at me- just like I was the new kid in school.... and when Luke introduced me, I felt like I was watching that scene from Hope Floats, when Bernice goes to the new school in Texas.

She walked in, everyone was staring at her, she's standing with the principal and the teacher gets up and says "Class, we have a new student today. This is Bernice, from Chicago! Everyone say hello to Bernice! "... and you hear the grudging "HELLO Bernice" come from all the kids... and then the teacher sees an empty desk and says, "Bernice, we have a desk all set for you- go sit next to Julie... Julie, raise your hand"... and Julie raises her hand and flings it back down... and Bernice starts that quiet walk to her desk, and she has her backpack and lunch pail and she just seems very overloaded- and you pray she doesn't trip or say something to make all the other kids laugh at her... and everyone is still watching her and the silence fills the room. It's terrifying! I have been the new kid before- starting in a new school and it's JUST LIKE THAT!

YEAH that was just like my first day here! I SO felt like Bernice.

But things quickly picked up and I love my job now. I like my coworkers and my boss very much. They hired a supervisor here too about two months ago and I like her as well. We are all one big happy family - ha ha ha. No really, for the most part, we are.

My first Westlake employee review is on Thursday- so cross your fingers. I hope I get a raise! :)


Monday, February 4, 2008

A Hit!

Stupid-Bowl dinner was a hit!

First let me say that I disliked BOTH teams, but I have a burning hatred for the Patriots and I am SO glad they didn't get their perfect season. I'm sure Tom was disappointed and many fans around the world were disappointed and all I have to say to that is- so was I, a few weeks back, when Yoko Romo destroyed the Dallas Cowboys chances to get to the Super Bowl and I had to deal with it... so I suggest all the New Englanders do the same.

I began Stupid Bowl day by getting up early and making Conrad some blueberry muffins from scratch! How about THAT?! They were awesome... I love fresh blueberries... and this recipe is wonderful. We had a nice breakfast... Now... dinner turned out well. I had gotten a rack of ribs from a friend of mine at work. Her daughter's softball team BBQ's ribs and briskets every year and I bought a rack. DELISH! We both were very impressed- and Conrad doesn't even much care for ribs. I also went over to The Pioneerwoman Cooks blog and got her recipe for the baked chicken drumettes. They turned out GREAT and I made some homemade ranch dressing to go with it. YUM-O! ... and then I cooked up a few pizza rolls, cause why not?! It was a hit. We ate GOOD last night.

Tonight I am going to roast some red potatoes in the oven and combine them/toss them with a little of that homemade ranch and make sort of a salad, I guess... I ranch potatoe salad- and of course, make the Marlboro Man Sandwich I have been waiting to debut to Conrad.

I hope he likes it!!!!

Love and Best Dishes (I ripped that off from Paula Deen)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Stupid Bowl II

Well, the Stupid Bowl is today. UGH! I can't remember when I have looked forward to a football game LESS. What a complete and total letdown.

Well the weekend wasn't a total waste. There's a space between this house and the next that becomes a giant mudhole whenever it rains - which is uh, EVERYDAY in Houston. Conrad, my smart home improvement man, figured out a way to combat it. He went to Lowe's and got sand and dirt and bricks and has laid out a little path betwixt the two houses. It looks great! He even made it into a nice pattern. I am more than impressed. I think garage saling and thrifting, etc is in my blood. I clearly got it and my hair color from my grandfather. It's something I can't help but do... and I think Conrad got this love of outside projects from his Grandpa McKinley- but good luck getting him to admit it. He likes to do yardwork and putter around outside- he likes to plant bushes and trees and flowers... he somehow magically knows stuff like what kind of material to lay on one side of the house, to kill weeds... just like his papa did. I never got to meet his papa, but these are the things I hear about him... and to my knowledge, Conrad just sort of KNOWS how to do these things... don't you think that's hereditary? I do. I think it's something we get in the blood, passed down from generation to generation. Just like for instance, I can look at a piece of china and pretty much tell you what it is and how much you could get for it. I never read a book or took a class, I just KNOW... same thing with furniture, which was my grandfather's passion- I can look at old furniture and I just KNOW stuff about it... Conrad has inhereited this garding/puttering trait from his Papa for SURE. So this weekend at the Abercrombie/Hopkin's house- we have a bit of the McKinley spirit hanging around here. I wonder if Conrad/Papa McKinley could somehow tell me how to get started on my veggie garden I so desparately want. I don't even know how or where to start...

In other news I paid off the wedding cake yesterday- thanks Mom and Brian!!!! ... and went to the florist and ordered all wedding-type flowers. I grocery shopped and puttered around the house. I'm going to head to Wal-Mart in a bit and finish up some last minute wedding stuff I can't talk about here- because certain people read and it's a SURPRISE!

Ok- so that's the weekend plans so far. I'm sure I'll be forced to watch the Stupid Bowl tonight. We are having ribs and chicken wings (drumettes). If you go over to she has a great baked chicken wing recipe. I'm trying it out tonight - I bought fresh drumettes yesterday!

Peace, Love and Gardening from Houston
K, C and Blanca

Friday, February 1, 2008


Today's post is about peanuts- the product that almost single-handedly drives the economy of Georgia- my third favorite state in this glorious union.

(i.e. South Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Washington- in order of my most beloved)

Anyway- peanuts are ok in my book. I enjoy them boiled and I enjoy them honey-roasted. That's about it. I can walk by a bowl of peanuts with no problem. If I'm on a plane and there is no other nutrients to be found, I'll eat a couple of bags. I am very selffish when it comes to the boiled ones and I'll almost always lovingly share my honey- roasted ones. I think peanut butter (both the smell and texture) is extremely disgusting and the mere mention of a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich sends me running for the porcelain goddess. I truly cared not for peanut by-products.

Until last night. OH MY DOG! The Grand Luxe Cafe has something called the Vietnamese Chicken Spring Roll - and it comes with SHUT UP- PEANUT SAUCE!!!! I thought I had died and gone to Georgia! It was sooooooo good. It was so good I ordered another side of sauce. I don't know if I even tasted the chicken. I ordered another side of sauce to put with my actual entree (Spring Rolls were an appetizer).

Anyway, I am now so enamored of the peanut, I went and had the Thai Chicken Salad with PEANUT SAUCE from California Pizza Chicken today for lunch. I am on a peanut loving roll. A peanut massacre. When I see a peanut now I just want to smash him up until he is SAUCE!

God Bless America- and also Thailand, since they may have come up with this delightful condiment. They are now my second most loved country.

(i.e. United States, Thailand, Scotland, Ireland, etc ... - in order of my most beloved)