Saturday, August 29, 2009

Things I Love ...

Conrad ...

Blanca ...

My cookbook collection ...

My super cute polka dot coffee cup collection - wedding gift. I use them every weekend and picking a color always makes me smile ...

Candles ...


Friday, August 28, 2009


Let me add on something to my last post ... my big boss, Angela is not leaving ... it's my supervisor ... I had some questions. :)

It's Friday, I'm excited.

I asked Conrad today if I was a nag and he said NO, I'm excited.

My friend, Brenna, invited me to join a ladies Bible study this fall, I said yes. I'm excited.

I'm going to get to see my mom - very very soon. I'm excited.

It's Friday- I'm excited.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Change is acomin'

Lots of things seem to be changing

* My supervisor at work is leaving. She put in her notice today. Seems change is always afoot at work ... keeps things interesting I guess ... keeps us learning new things ... keeps us changing up responsibilities. I wish her well. I'll miss her and change is always hard ... but alas, these things happen.

* The humidity seems to have let up. It's almost pleasant tonight ... reminds me that fall and Christmas and pumpkin spice at Starbucks is right around the corner!

* Along with fall comes FOOTBALL~ I am so excited! I noticed today that Texas A&M plays a game this year at the new Cowboy stadium. YA-HOO! Sign me up, buddy!

First Cowboy game this season is against the much hated TAMPA BAY BUCCS. You are going DOWN TB. DOWN!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Two Things Every Southern Cook Needs

There are two things every modern southern cook must have. I'm not talking about butter, cast iron skillets and fry daddys. Those things are a given. I am talking about new products on the market.

I have been watching a LOT of Paula Deen and reading a lot and experimenting a lot and I'm really learning. I am on the verge of becoming a really good cook. You can have plenty of happy accidents, but in order to be a good cook you have to do things for a REASON and know why you're doing it.

Example: I never knew you dredged meat in flour and seared it in order to put a crust on the outside, so the inside could be tender without the entire thing being mush.

Ok so the first thing you need is this fabulous new cookbook. I LOVE COOKBOOKS. They are my weakness. One day I'll take a picture of my shelf and show you. If you ever don't know what to get me for a gift- you can not go wrong with a cookbook. I even tried once to get them from the library and make copies of recipes. NOT something I am interested in. I am interested in owning them, stroking them, reading them and gazing at the pretty pics ... I am a saver, I don't spend a ton of money on anything, but I'd almost sell Conrad and Blanca up the river to get money to buy a new cookbook I've got my eye on. (Kidding).... Sort of ... I can TRY them out from the library. But if they're good, I'm buying it, budget be busted!

This is my new pride and joy. It's the new Southern Living one and it is FILLED with delights. I have never come across a book that I would actually make almost every single recipe inside. The only ones I don't care about are the fish - everything else looks awesome. I made my first one tonight and Conrad loved it- he said it WILL be in the normal rotation. This book is a SCORE! I think it was $19.99 on

The next thing you need to do is get to Kroger or Wal-Mart and get this Gold Medal Wondra. This is a specific type of flour, a in handy dandy canister that can sit RIGHT on your counter. I can't stand digging in the fridge looking for flour when I'm making my sauces. This one, is all you need. I saw it in a magazine about a year ago and have never been able to find it. Today I walk into Kroger and there it was for $2.49

If you make a lot of gravy or sauce, you NEED this flour. I am in LURVE ... I don't make tons of gravy but with all those stuffed chickens I've been making I've been experimenting with pan sauces. MAN this is going to make my life easier.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Carbon Footprint

I've been thinking lately about the little things I do everyday that effect the environment. Dasterdly deed # 1 is using too many sandwich bags when I bring my lunch and Dasterdly deed # 2 is brining my lunch in Wal-Mart sacks ...

I solved problem # 1 a few weeks ago by buying a Wonder bread container- shaped like bread! So now I can take bread or sandwiches in a tupperware type container.

Problem # 2 was harder, but was solved today. When my friend Amy was here last month we took a trip to Steinmart and they had the CUTEST little insulated lunch totes. They had three or four styles to choose from. At that time, I didn't get anything, but they stayed on my mind.

My mom sent me birthday money - and so today I ran back to Steinmart PRAYING they were still there. THEY WERE!!! and they were on sale AND I had a 20% off coupon. SCORE for $10 - I'm saving the enviroment AND I am going to look SO SUPER CUTE ... it even has a "K" on it !!! It was meant to be.

Not only have I reduced my own little tiny carbon footprint ... I'm gonna be stylin' and smilin' ... I mean the minute my coworkers see it, they are gonna be jealous of me !!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another Great Saturday

This morning we got up and got ready and headed out to the Whistle Stop Tea Room. Second week in a row. I talked Conrad into going since I DID see men there last week. We went, super YUM and then I went and had my hair done. It has been close to three months and I was sorely in need of a little refresh. My stylist went to Africa to do some wild game hunting and she was gone almost a month! So we had a lot of catching up to do ... anyway, she did a great job.

On the way home I stopped at Kroger. Today only, and only in TX and LA - Kroger was doubling coupons up to $1. Usually they double up to 50 cents and triple up to 35 cents. MAN- it was a free for all. Shelves were bare, people were EVERYWHERE and women were stopped dead in the aisles flipping through their coupons. It looked like a hurricane in Houston or an ice storm in Dallas. $130 before coupons, $70 AFTER coupons. SCORE!

I got home, and fired up the new breadmaker. We had Italian Herb French Bread for our first try and it was AWESOME ... it was crispy and herby and perfect. To go along, Conrad grilled some steaks - I baked some potatoes and I made smokehouse pepper and mushroom brandy cream sauce (got it from Rachel Ray) for over the tops of our steaks. MAN, we had a great night. My sister also called which is good, cause today I opened a funny birthday card from her and a Amex gift certificate fell out. I don't know yet what to get with it. I'm kicking around holding on to it until the next Bath and Bodyworks Semi Annual clearance ...

Now it's starting to get dark and I'm full and sleepy ... I've taken pork chops out to thaw for tomorrow's dinner. I am going to make smothered southern pork chops. Saw it on Paula Deen this weekend - probably roast up some potatoes to go with it and finish off our bread.

Happy weekend to you all.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

WHAT, Conrad?

Conrad and I LOVE That 70's Show. We've seen every episode at least 5 times. We TIVO it everyday and watch it again at 11PM. It's AWESOME.

Red Foreman reminds me of my dad.

So today we're sitting here watching a re-run, the house is quiet, our bellies are full, there is peace on earth, or at least here in Tomball. The episode is one where Kitty is teaching the girls to make fudge and she keeps sneaking sips of liquor and she tells them "this is what makes cooking fun!" ... and Red walks in, overhears and says "and laundry, and housework and ...."

So I guess Kitty has a bit o' a reputation. Fast forward to our living room, circa 2009, right after this scene mentioned above.

Conrad: You know, Kitty reminds me of you, in 20 years.

Karyn: What?

Conrad: You know, you'll be like KITTY in 20 years.

Karyn: In what way?

Conrad: You know, slutty ... a little drunk.

Karyn: WHAT?

Conrad: Yeah you know, a little drunk ... and .... southern

Karyn: Conrad this show is set in WISCONSIN. Kitty is from WISCONSIN

Conrad: NO! I can hear it a little in her voice ...

OMG, the most random conversation EVER. I am not slutty nor am a drunk ... and Kitty was never from the South. I don't even ... know what to say.

The Drunk Slutty Southerner

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


34 - that's me!

I had a great birthday! I got so many texts, emails, phone calls, cards- Facebook shout outs. I love and appreciate you all!

Today I had gifts (and cupcakes!) at work and my boss took me to lunch. Got another fabulous card (and cash) from my mom and stepdad ... Conrad got me a MOBILE XM Radio and car kit. He saved about 50% too! He got the XM Radio for a discounted price and the car kit was FREE. WHOOP! He took me to a lovely dinner ... and I had 5 books waiting on me at the library. I mean COME ON !!!!

It was a great day - but you know, I have great friends, family, dog and husband ... most days are pretty fabulous ... we just can't see it through the stress and every day life stuff.

(lifting a glass ... ) Here's to August 12, 1975!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My fabulous day

So Saturday was a FABulous day...

Conrad had been gone all week ... and I decided to go on ahead and do a little garage sale creeping, in honor of my approaching birthday (tomorrow) ... I went and for the first time in several months I found some stuff ... I got this really cool red carry on bag- it's very structured, perfect for taking books and stuff on a plane and even has a little cell phone pocket. I also got Eat, Pray, Love- which was an Oprah Book Club selection. I think it's like $25 and unless it's a cookbook, I don't buy books new - so at $2 it was a bargain! I also got this puffy pancake pan. If it's cast iron, I almost always pick it up - it's valuable. This pan is intended to make pancakes, with stuff baked in them. Although the little cookbook says you can stuff it with meat, cheese- etc. So I guess you could make little mini pizza muffns or something and then finally, a small bag of buttons. It was a dime.

Here's a close up of the pancake thing. I know you've probably seen it on TV.

Ok the bag of buttons ... several years ago I bought this cool dish at a garage sale and I started collecting buttons. I think my grandmother did- and I SWEAR I am turning into her. I don't know why I need a button dish, but I do and I frequently add to them and so, when I saw the cute little bag, I had to buy it!

From there, I decided- ok, so what to do on a day when Conrad is gone? It came to me - facial/pedicure ... tea room and shopping! So that's what I did. I probably should have researched my day spa a little better. It was sort of in an out of the way place and the two chicks who ran it were middle aged women, into Renaissance festivals and they played an online game called Second Life. We spent the afternoon talking about slaves, slavers, elves, magicians, etc ... it was WEIRD ... they talked about the game so much vs real life .. they would have to tell me "in game" to help me figure out if they really did whatever the story they were telling - or if their character was doing whatever the story was. ODD, ODD ... but I kept up pretty well. At one point I said "oh like dungeons and dragons" and they seemed offended.
From there, I headed to the Whistle Stop Tea Room in downtown Tomball. YUM-O! I had the quiche with tortilla soup and pasta salad. It was like $7 and I had apricot tea. It was great and the place was filled with men so I've actually talked Conrad into going with me this coming Saturday for lunch.
Finally I was drawn in to The Bath Hut which is a new shop in Tomball. SHUT UP- I never spend money. I shop sales and garage sales - I rarely pay full price. But I could not pass this place up. You pick your scent (multiple if you want) and color. I got the bubblebath in green- it was Garden Mint and Spearmint and then I got the body salt scrub in pink - Sunflower and Midnight Rain. ABSOLUTE HEAVEN. I also bought a super fly candle. It was a GOOD DAY.

When I got home I had two birthday cards waiting on me !!! One from Mommy To Be- Lori and one from the Florida parental units. It just brightened my day !!! I was so stoked. I love cards and emails and comments and calls and stuff on my day. Just to know people are thinking of me ... then I poured myself some cheap-o Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot from Wal-Mart which always makes me think of my good buddy Tracy! .... and I relaxed .... so this was a super fabulous ending to a super fabulous day. I went to bed a full, sweet smelling, happy girl.

Tomorrow I'm 34.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What I Love

Turning off the TV when it's raining and thundering outside ... and just listening to the rain hit the roof and the ceiling fans spinning. Is there anything more relaxing?

I am really grateful when it happens on a weekend afternoon- when I can stop everything and just enjoy it.


Saturday, August 8, 2009


I had THE MOST FABULOUS DAY - but I'll post on that tomorrow. I know ya'll want to see the new doors.

So - we had the remodelers in last weekend. It was one guy and he worked about 6 hours two days and did all of this. I didn't really want to show the laundry room pics yet because I'm going to paint it and get a new curtain but who knows how long that will take in real life - I better just show you what we HAD and now what we HAVE.

K- so the laundry room before. Pretty basic. The house is kind of weird- the garage is NOT attached. The house and garage are about one inch apart- they butt up against each other AND share a roof- but the builder decided not to attach them. SO WEIRD and inconvenient ... laundry before.

This is a close up of where we asked him to put the door ... we had our suitcases stacked up there and it used to get REALLY hot when we ran the dryer. No more!

Lookie there ... a door! I am painting it too- white. I guess AND the casings around the door have been put up now- they weren't in this picture ... but LOOK we have a door !!!!

Now this was taken by me standing in the garage looking into the house. Something I never thought I'd see ... and there's B standing on the platform. She's never been allowed to roam free in the garage. If we were ever in there, the big garage door was open and she could escape. Conrad added a motion detector to the light too - so now when we open the door, the garage lights up. It's like- we're real high class folks now! Also it's been SUPER nice to take out the trash or run get a hammer at 10 o'clock at night and not worry about someone hiding in the bushes ready to conk you on the head. Classy and Safe!

Ok- front door before. Hardware is sort of weak - but it was a good door. I painted it a few years ago. But look at that sad light ... I think we lost the globe in Hurricane Ike - and it's builder basic. Ick.

Now look at that! Look at that light! SHUT UP - it's sort of big and masculine and I don't know ... super cool. This was the most exicting thing for me. How easy am I to please? Don't tell Conrad - he'll never buy me diamonds again - he'll give me light fixtures for every holiday from here on out ...

Ok, this part is embarassing. So the builder did a BAD job and every time it rained, water got back behind the door. We had no idea ... until one day when I propped open the screen door and the thing holding it to the door popped off and look what we had- wood rot .... and I started thinking BLACK MOLD- we are going to DIE ... Conrad thought we would probably live, but who wants to look at THAT every day GROSS. Turns out- that's really just the door frame, not the house, the whole thing pops out ... So that's what we did. Got an entire new door and frame.

Hello! No more wood rot! Look at that - 100% difference! ... and the screen door is connected now too. I KNOW!

K, and here is the new door with the new hardware. Look at that big strong handle and lock- and that beautiful peep hole and knocker. It's like we're living in paradise or something.

... and that is the extent of the current renovations. I talked to Conrad and asked him just how much more $ were we going to pour into this house? He wanted to get it ready to rent. People look at rent houses like they do when they buy. I mean they have choices - why not make your house look really appealing? To be honest, this is one of the best ones in the neighborhood especially now with the attached garage. We also have gutters and sprinkler system - and it's professionally painted on the inside. It's a nice place.
So we're renting it ... we at least know that much - now the question of building vs buying. I'm hoping that question is solved soon. There are a lot of builders around here that went out of business - new homes and former models homes are on the market all over the place - it's sort of like building a new one, if you found one you loved ... so we're looking ... and in the meantime making this a palace so someone will want to pay us to live here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I am exhausted - mentally, physcially - whatever.

I am just BONE tired.

I am getting a facial and pedicure on Saturday - both in celebration of my birthday and in hopes of just ... feeling better.


Monday, August 3, 2009


I am in one of those weird moods again - happens a few times a year, depending on what's going on, but I'm feeling overwhelmed again ... in all aspects of my life. At least though now, it seems, it's a "life" thing- not something being caused by other people.

Work is super busy - and I feel like I'm making great strides career-wise ... I feel like the last 8 weeks have been the hardest and the most challenging, the most frustrating, the most fun, the most rewarding. It's funny how it can be all those things. I feel like I made more of a difference there in two months than I have in two years ... and you know what? I'm super tired. It's like hitting a wall ... like I need four straight days off in bed just to sort of recover. Rewarding and exhausting ...

Home ... a cross between busy and lazy. I have no energy for things - mostly I guess due to the work thing - but we got a LOT done here this weekend - and in order for it all to be pulled together, we have a lot more little tiny things to do. I think we ARE at a point now to either put it up for sale or rent it out- and move on to the next house - which would be "our house" .... you know, our first house together-since Conrad had this one before me. An exciting adventure and also an exhausting never-ending process, it seems.

Gotta go back to school. If I'm going to keep that career, that work life moving forward, I need to finish school. The prospect is daunting to say the least. I struggle with that- I should have finished at 22 like everyone else, but if I had- I woudn't be who I am and where I am today ... it's a hard thing to grasp ...

So I don't know it's all so overwhelming. I feel like laughing or crying all at once. I feel like I need a spa day or a day in bed or a day on the beach or ... something ...

I hope I figure it out soon.


Sunday, August 2, 2009



We didn't PERSONALLY lift a finger, but it's sort of exhausting ... watching your house be torn apart and put back together. New front door and hardware ... garage is now attached to the house, via the utility room, the back door is fixed AND we have a new porch light. Hurricane Ike took away our last one.

I took before and after pics and I'll show them soon. I do have a few things to do - I need to repaint around doorjams, I had to spackle the nail holes in the new casings around the doors, the utility room BADLY needs a new paint job. I plan to tackle these things THIS week ... I have the fire, the spirit- I have been renewed for home improvement.

The thing I thought I really didn't care about (garage being attached) is the thing now I think is most awesome. We can put luggage in the car now without the entire neighborhood knowing we're going away- we can walk outside easily now and get the screwdriver ... you can take out the trash at midnight without fear of being bonked on the head by some random street punk. NOT that the neighborhood is crawling with punks- but you see a questionable person now and then.

Anyway, not since the fireplace update have I felt this ... productive.


Saturday, August 1, 2009


The remodelers are here!

Today they are working on attaching the house to the garage. That's going to help in a lot of ways, not to mention resale value - but it's really neat to see it happening! Of COURSE I have taken "before" pics and I will take "after" ... when the house and garage are attached, I'll finally paint the laundry room ... I'll have it all put together before I show ya.

Then tomorrow they start on the front door. New door, new hardware ... new everything. We are so stoked!