Friday, December 31, 2010

Five Years ....

Conrad I met (again) 5 years ago, yesterday.

December 30, 2005 - and here we are on that day!

Our first date was the next day.... and "we've not been apart since" ... although yes it was a Houston to Dallas relationship. I just mean we never saw anyone else after this night. So glad it was a party and someone thought to take pics!

Here is to 55 more glorious years!

Happy New Year, y'all


Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Year In Review

I stole this question/ answer thing from Jess's blog- but I thought it was cool. So here are my answers!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

We bought land to build a house on AND we designed said house.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never really make resolutions. I have a Bucket List and I mostly go off of that ... and quite a few things have been checked of, so I'm happy with that!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, not someone super close.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My sister's mother in law did and it was VERY upsetting. We weren't close but I thought she was a very nice lady and I felt horrible for my brother in law.

5. What countries did you visit?
None outside of my own!

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
I would like to have a new house- and that may be a reality.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 9- when my sisters mother in law died.
May 5- when we closed on our land
Dec 11 - family thing

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well again, buying the land. That's super grown up, dontcha know?

9. What was your biggest failure?
I thought I was going to try to get fit and healthy and I didn't. I also thought I was going to be debt free, but I'm still $7K away from that. At the beginning of last year thoughtit was somewhere in the $20's. I've made major progress.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I got Strep Throat for the first time EVER in February. I felt like a little kid!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The Land; my laptop; new dining room table

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
All of my coworkers in my little area where I work. They did a GREAT job this year donating for the needy kids our company supports. We drew ornaments and they all went above and beyond for those kids. We had so many presents, they almost had to send another truck.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Can I even say this out loud? One of my brothers .... out of control. I wake up every morning and then suddenly there is a pit in my stomach and I remember we have major major problems.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Towards that debt!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My Tony Romo jersey for Christmas, LOL. Long live the Cowboys!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Life After You - Daughtry

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? SADDER
b) thinner or fatter? SAME
c) richer or poorer? RICHER

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise and cooking at home

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Reading novels and sitting here on the couch watching reruns of everything, over and over.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Dallas, with Conrad's family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
No, but still in love.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
OMG we discovered Modern Family. HIGH-larious

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I am disappointed in some people, but I don't hate anyone this year.

24. What was the best book you read?
There are too many to list.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ah- musicals. Kelley and I go all the time and we also went and saw Wicked. I fell in love with that stuff!

26. What did you want and get?
Well I want Conrad and I to continue to grow and improve and we have. We have less debt, well I do- he never had any. We made a decision about whether to buy or build and made enroads to getting that done. We continue to get along and love and respect each other. I could not have asked for a better year with him.

27. What did you want and not get?
I did not get that weight loss I wanted. I guess I didn't want it enough because I didn't do much about it. In 2011 I will.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I LOVED Grey Gardens. I watched the movie and then I went back and watched the documentary from the 70's. It was fascinating!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 35. I think we went to dinner. It was mid week, hard to party down.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
This will sound strange but I still have a bone to pick with my former best friend. There were so many times I wanted to sit and write her a letter and just close that chapter but there never seemed to be a good time. Some people say if I do it, she will know I still think of her and care. I don't care ... but I do think of her and it's not in a good way. I think if you mistreat people or you just turn into a big jerk, you should be told about it. Otherwise, you get away with hurting people and go off down your merry way, leaving people bruised and bloodied and I don't THINK SO. So this year I will get around to letting her know that I know she went completely and totally crazy AND ... was never my friend to begin with.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

32. What kept you sane?
Conrad, reading, my friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Well Elizabeth Edwards dying really made me sad. I didn't agree with her politically ... but she had been through a terrible 15 years ... with patches of bright spots and then unfortunately - her last three years or so were a complete and total nightmare. I almost feel like death was a sweet release and also I think she's with her son. I hope her husband spends the rest of his life feeling like a HEEL.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Kelley will laugh at this - um, during our United Way campaign we were forced to confront illegal immigration in our community. I have always fancied myself a moderate - but it turns out if I were any more conservative I'd be in 3 piece suits. I had a friend tell me, "nothing about you says moderate" ... so this year was full of information!

35. Who did you miss?
I miss my grandparents every single day. I also miss my parents who don't live anywhere near me. It would be nice to have dinner with them on a random day or be able to see them anytime I wanted to.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I really like the guys who are selling land in our new community - they are great and have become friends. Sometimes Conrad goes up to the sales office just to hang out.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
I learned that I can't fix people or save people. I learned that my way isn't always going to be everyone's way and also that I can't take on other people's hurt. I've tried to absorb it and I just am not able to do that. So all I can do is pray and empathize and hope that Time Wounds All Heels. :)

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Of all the things I still remember
Summer's never looked the same
The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I just got lucky!

For WEEKS anytime I get out of my car - after a long drive- like to work, I smell burning. At first it was just a hint and I thought hmmmm... something weird in the air. I'd go to lunch (short drive) and nothing. I'd drive home, weird smell ... weekend comes, run up to the library or somewhere close, no smell.

Yesterday it got BAD. So bad Conrad came out and smelled it too. I popped the hood- nothing leaking. I finally said well I bet it's the back brakes. I have been expecting them to go and right after Christmas (money's tight!) ....... lovely.

Today it was even WORSE so I stopped at Kwik Kar on the way home to get them to check it out. My heart was in my throat waiting for Steve to get back with my keys. He came back in .... transmission? oil leak? back brakes shot? alternator? OMG- is my engine ok ????? ........

"ma'am? you ran over a plastic bag"
" a plastic bag, on your exhaust. a big one"
"a PLASTIC bag????"
"Yes, it's melted ... I pulled it off and chipped away at it's melted all over the exhaust ... and there is a tiny bit left. You may have a residual smell for a few days"
"OMG, thank you ... what do I owe you?"

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Man did I get lucky and I LOVE that Kwik Kar!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Essence ...

Much like Christmas, the essence is almost gone too!

Merry Christmas to you and yours ......


Thursday, December 23, 2010


I have been meaning to post this forever.

This is the dining set Conrad had when I met him. I think his parents got it in the 90's - and it's perfectly fine, just wasn't the direction the decor seemed to be going in. We seemed to be getting darker and more contemporary and this wasn't cutting it. We told Conrad's sister when they were here in July and she said she'd love to have it. SCORE!

A lot of people have this set .... I just didn't love it anymore for us. Another shot?

SO - in October we went to Dallas for the JJ Pierce Holiday Bizzare and we brought our table with us. His sister had JUST refinished her floors, so it was perfect timing AND we didn't have to mess with Craigslist - and it stayed in the family.

My mom came from SC to visit a few days before the Dallas trip ..... and we went to Wal-Mart and saw a cute set. I wanted something inexpensive, but cute and modern - and I wanted it to be able to move into my craft room in the new house. So I didn't want it to be big or have a leaf. So we found just the perfect thing - at Wal-Mart and it was $200. SCORE AGAIN! .... Conrad went with me the next weekend with his Tahoe and we got it home and put together.

My mom loved it in the store- but of course, neither of us had seen it in the dining room. PERFECT for staging the housse for selling AND for crafting down the road ...

Another shot?

I LOVE IT! ... and I ran up to my friend Joanna's store- Refined Spaces in Tomball - and got that little table scarf. It's very cute and goes great. I do think I need to have a piece of glass cut for the top of the table so I won't be so paranoid about scratches, but it's 99% perfect!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Kicks

I got these bad boys when my mom was here in JC Penny.

They were regularly $40 - and I got them for $10.

I am ROCKING them this winter! You jealous?


Monday, December 20, 2010

Glass Buckets

Secret Santa gift # 2 is a 24 oz. glass she wanted. No pics for that! It was nothing exciting. Although it DID stretch the budget!

Secret Santa #3 - a custom glass bucket with a bottle o' vodka.

Started with a glass bucket:

I used my handy dandy Silhouette machine - and made a vinyl cut out of her name, Jill. Then I used tranfer paper to put it on the bucket, and used etching cream. The bottle said 5 minutes, but it was more like 20. I have no idea ... but anyway, the result:


I put some blue tissue paper in the bottom (water, ice?), put in a bottle of vokda- I hear she enjoys it! ... and then at Hobby Lobby I found some glass ice cubes for 50% off. So I added those too. This thing is showroom ready - she is going to LOVE it.

I'm so jealous, I want one myself!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Essence of Christmas

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Secret Santa is upon us ... and it gets harder and harder to think of cool things every year. We have three days of presents and a $30 limit. Every year I sort of try to do some crafts or something and keep the budget down.

This year I drew the name of a girl who likes to "garden and cook" ... ok, well that should be easy! ... and since it's winter there aren't a ton of plants available ... so I went deep into the abyss of my brain and came up with ... chalkboard pots!

I started off with regular terra cota pots .... at Home Depot, like 94 cents each.

Then I painted the RIMS ONLY in chalkboard paint - so that whatever she puts in the pot ... she can label it there. Chalkboard paint is SO COOL - I love it. I want to cover everything in the house with chalkboard. It is just the neatest thing. You do two coats- one horizonal, then let it dry, then vertical, then dry ... and 24 hours later, you can write in chalk.

Then after I was done, they looked a little plain - so I painted the body of the pots, white ... SUPER CUTE.

Then I stuffed each one with green tissue paper (grass), labled each pot: basil, rosemary, cilantro, dill - and then I put a seed packet of each of those things in there. I took three pieces of chalk and wrapped it in a black & white ribbon - and it was SO CUTE ... THEN I forgot to take a pic and gave it to her today, LOL  ... and I can't believe I did that but I thought this was SO CUTE.

She LOVED it.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This year my friend Debbie and I are exchanging gifts! We have a $20 limit ... and I love a challenge.

I found these really nice candle holders at Hobby Lobby. The color was off though. For me, LOVE them, but for Debbie - I didn't love them. I actually think Debbie would have liked them a lot, but I wanted to personalize them for her .. I loved the bones of them, but her decor is much more feminine. I have a lot of dark furniture - hers is lighter and I was thinking a cream color, maybe some gold (her curtains have gold) would be good. SO ... I bought these and REVAMP!

A can o' high heat spray paint:

Cute, but not quite THERE - so I took some gold paint and antiqued it a little. I painted all the little nooks and crannies and then wiped it off with a paper towel. It left JUST enough ... so cute. I loved how they turned out! Oh and I thought the soft green candles would be great too.

A little up close action of the gold:

Merry Christmas, Debbie!


Monday, December 13, 2010


Just some pics of our little tree ... when we build the new house - we'll get a big tree ... maybe even a couple, but for now, we have a tabletop tree. I think Conrad's parents gave it to him. We've had it as long as we've known each other and this is Christmas # 5 for us!

The cutest thing about this tree is that every year Conrad puts the "star" on the tree ... which is really a winter Jack In the Box antennea ball - with a scarf! I think it's so funny ... and I think it's pretty unique.

and finally .... my favorite ornament. Conrad's parents gave this to us FOR Christmas 2007 - we had just announced our engagement. I think they went to a Canton type place and had it made. I loved it the minute I saw it - it even has lace over the wedding gown! I will treasure it forever.... and it was even cooler cause we weren't married yet (that was 2008) so it was like WOW, this is REALLY happening!


Saturday, December 11, 2010


I  have so many fun pics to post!

I have been working on Secret Santa at work and some projects for my friends ... so I can't post QUITE yet ... but very soon. Today has been craft day from sun up til sun down. I am TIRED! :)

This was also Conrad's 36th birthday. We had a great time. Pizza at his fav place, Vito's ... where they snuck out and gave him a tiramisu and sang to him. Then I gave him a Best Buy gift card - and then we headed to The Woodlands to eat dinner at Tommy Bahamas. YUM-O that place was GREAT!

Then on the way back to the car we stopped in and I showed him the beauty and wonder that is the store, Orvis. I know where a clearance outlet is - so guess where we're going tomorrow!?

Seasons greetings and RIP Elizabeth Edwards.


Saturday, November 27, 2010


Well .. my nine days of vacation are almost over. In some ways it was great, in some ways incredibly boring (who would have thought I would get bored at home, but I DID) and in some ways it will be hard to go back. I think the hardest thing will be getting up early - I've been sleeping pretty late (at least late for me).

I have enjoyed the daytime TV like the Today Show, The View, Oprah, Martha, Ellen ......... and I did get a ton of things done here at home ... errands and such. 

I have no idea what we'll do tomorrow, but I know around 3PM I will start to get incredibly depressed. I can't believe it's already OVER.

I also can't believe it was 85 degrees almost the entire week. It almost ruined it all. I had visions of being bundles up, drinking Starbucks, out Christmas shopping all week  ... but I barely got presents wrapped. I was and am still SO NOT in the mood.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ed Hardy

I found these:

They are by Ed Hardy and are pretty close to the Ugg boots. They are less in your face, since they have some suede and not completely 100% covered in sequins. I love these too. They go for $100 less than the Uggs.. Conrad asked me to send him the link.



Favorite Things 2

Holy crap on a cracker!

She had a Favorite Things show PART TWO. WHATEVER! Now I have more choices and you're just going to die when you see what I fell in love with.

I think Ugg boots are the ugliest things out there, and yet, their holiday versions are NOT. They are AWESOME and I have fallen in love with the black ones.

YES they are COVERED in sequins. Couple of problems: Houston has about 4 days a year I could actually wear these. It's Thanksgiving week and today's high is 83. They cost $175 DOLLARS. That is CRAZY ... CRAZY. I told Conrad last night and he just looked at me. He didn't tell me no, I don't think he would ever tell me no, but he knows I'm not CRAZY ... even though I am crazy about these things. The last problem is I can't wear them to work. After our United Way campaign it became clear that the powers that be frown on sequins. They have been strictly prohibited, LOL and I know that sounds funny .... but showing up in boots covered from sole to top - clearly violates that rule.

but I LURVE them!

So Conrad had a good idea. He said I should start a search for some knockoffs and that sounds GOOD to me! We talked about it last night. If I can only wear them 4 times a year, they will last me the rest of my life. My budget is going to be $75-100.

How crazy am I ????


Friday, November 19, 2010

Favorite Things

Sorry for my silence, AGAIN.

Life just catches up with you ... and the next thing you know, it's been 18 days.

So I know most of the world knows about Oprah's Favorite Things. Today was her last Fav Things show and I just watched it. Besides the diamond watch, the cruise and the cashmere stuff, most of the things are surprisingly affordable and I really like to learn about new things in the world I never knew about.

I assume since her magazine will keep going even after her show is gone (and she does Fav Things in her mag every December) ... we will keep hearing about things most of us underlings don't know much about.

So today I made an executive decision. I'm not a big shopper and I am for SURE not extravagant ... but I do think once in awhile I deserve a little pampering! SO ... beginning this year, right now .. and continuing on as long as that December magazine issue is coming out ... I am going to buy myself ONE favorite thing every year ...  I'm almost debt free ... I make good money ... and most importantly I WANT to.

So my choice this year (you can view the entire list on her website, .... I choose

Breville Panini Press which retails for $99.95 at Williams-Sonoma. I am getting this baby NEXT WEEK.

Monday, November 1, 2010

2nd Opinion

This afternoon Conrad and I took Blanca in for her second opinion. I am having REAL issues with my vet and I have lost confidence in them. I called last week to get B's pathology report and what I saw made me even madder. She just called and told me that Blanca had "Fibrosarcoma" and that the surgery WAS the treatment. Well YOU Google Fibrosarcoma, all KINDS of stuff comes up. Turns out she has Low Grade fibrosarcoma, which has been contained in the subcutaneous region (skin, not muscle or bone).  She told me NONE OF THIS - SO - time for a new vet!

This new doc went word by word through the results and stopped to explain everything. I now have a clear picture of what she has. It may or may not come back- he did examine her and he KEPT saying what good shape she was in - he inquired about arthritis but to my knowledge she has never had it. He said her heart sounded great, eyes clear - everything good. He said in a dog her age sometimes they began to show signs of heart disease, but she has not. This little blip is all we have that's wrong.

He made sure to be honest and let us know, hey - once there is a cancer of any kind- you just have to check for the remainder of the life. That's people or human. You wouldn't go in to be treated for lung cancer and never go back - you would go back every 3 to 6 months for life. You just DO. He said this could be an isolated incident and she could live to 15 problem free, OR next year she could have full blown cancer of another kind. You never can tell - and again, that's people as well as animals.

I'm glad I went - and as we were leaving he did say he wanted to ask a question and the question was, "Do you believe me?" and my answer was "Yes".

He is going to go ahead and take the percaution of calling Texas A&M and speaking to the person who did the histiopath and find out if there is any other information he can give us. We should know something Wednesday or Thursday. I did tell him to please call Conrad - I just think that's better for me. Otherwise I will be waiting and stalking my phone and every time it rings, my heart will drop. That's just the kinda girl I am. Conrad loves her as much as me.... but he is much more logical and I just would rather hear anything, good or bad, from him.

Ok, that's the report!  Pics very soon on my dining table. SUPER CUTE.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Quick Fix

Well, in case you didn't know, I am somewhat of a genius. More frugal fun from Karyn!

Whilst purchasing all manner of needed things yesterday I found myself in the makeup aisle. There are a few things I will spend money on (moisturizer, mascara, lipstick) but blush is not one of them. I picked out a new color and tossed it in the cart.

My powerful throw must be something like one of the Texas Rangers pitchers. When I tossed it in, it must have broken the blush. When I opened it this morning to use it, it was in pieces. Well, no matter - I can use my old blush and still look JUST as fabulous. Breathtaking, really.

But anyway, I fixed it. Wanna know how?

You just open up the offending product- blush, powder, eyeshadow and you see it has been broken into pieces. Get some rubbing alcohol and pour a little into the blush or whatever .... enough to be able to rub into the cracks ....what you want is to rub the stuff enough that the cracks go away .... it's sort of pasty. Anyway, then leave it open and go on to work or where you need to go - when you get home, the alcohol will have evaporated and your precious item will be back to it's original state.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Feeling somewhat better today.

I cooked dinner, and Kelley dropped off some cookie dough I ordered - how can you be sad with double
brownie chocolate cookies?

It's maybe not so bad to be me.


Monday, October 25, 2010


You know, I've had people tell me how it is to be ME my whole life ... and it hasn't happened lately but I FEEL it.

I've had people tell me I am too extreme. I either LOVE something or HATE something. There is no gray area ... and then I caught myself actually thinking about something before I talked, because of someone else's judgement.

I had someone tell me once that I used too many words that sounded like SOUNDS ... like POP, ZOOM, BOOM ... he actually told me that it was annoying. I would just be telling him something like "That balloon exploded and went POP" ... or "I saw a car accident this morning and those two cars hit with a BOOM." ... yes, well I guess that was wrong. It was an annoying way to talk. *I* was annoying.

Now I feel like it's happening again ... I am being PERCIEVED as a certain way ... like I'm selffish and self absorbed ... and the person who is putting this on me IS me ... I am trying to explain to people how I feel about certain things and whenever I get their reaction, I feel like it's more of a "Oh ... here we go, she's being Karyn again" ...

and I've always wondered why that is such a bad thing.

Well I don't know, but today I have cried and cried because I didn't think it was a bad thing. Not at all, but today, I don't know, maybe so. Maybe I am bad. Maybe I am selffish. Maybe I am judgemental. Maybe I am absolutely 100% all of those things.


Friday, October 22, 2010

World Series

Finally, a decent Dallas team.

Good job, Rangers! I spent many a night, in my younger days, sitting in that stadium... and Conrad worked there during high school. Congrats!



I took today and Monday off.  Mental health days!

Today was productive. I washed ALL the clothes which will surprise and please Conrad. He does the laundry almost every weekend - so the fact he doesn't have to will make him happy. I EVEN went into the trunk of my car and dug out my winter coat to clean. Last winter I had a fight with a blueberry smoothie one morning and LOST. Thankfully my coat is black - but I had blueberry dripping from my nose ... it was EVERYWHERE. So I threw the coat in the trunk and there it has STAYED. Today I washed it - and I've got my super cute scarves out - waiting for our two weeks of Houston winter. I sprayed the entire thing down with Spray N' Wash and it tooks like everything came out. I don't like to dry clothes- it's terrible for your clothes - so it's hanging up to dry.... you guys know something bad has to be wrong with my clothes to get me to throw them away... I even bought some navy RIT dye the other day because I have some dingy white pants I'd like to dye. Nothing wrong with them except they are looking a little yellow. Soon I'll have new navy pants. I am totally living in the wrong century.

We are giving away our dining room table this weekend and getting another one, so I cleaned off all the crap on it this morning too ... so it will be ready for Conrad to take apart tonight. Hopefully I'll have some before and after pics soon.

By the time Monday rolls around, it will just be a movie and library book day.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soooory for my absence

Hey y'all  ...sorry for my unscheduled absence.

Things have been WILD and CRAZY and after every single day of just living, I found it hard to just open the computer and randomly blab about a cute Christmas wrapping paper or baking bread. I have been going through some seriously life altering stuff ... well not ME, but my family  ... and it has just been emotionally draining. When I had my condo in Dallas, my neighbor Toni used to check in on me - and she knew if after work, the house was dark, I had just come in and gone straight to bed. Many a day I got a phone call to GET UP ... and well, that is really how I deal with things. There is nothing more comforting to me than a mattress, a pillow and a dark room. Now that I'm married up - I can't do that so easily.

My sister has left her husband and since a divorce is imminent (per that sisters phone call yesterday) I guess I can talk about it now. I know she feels free and at peace ... but being at the recieving end of such news, I can only tell her and you that when you lose a family member, the world sort of tilts off its axis. I didn't spend every weekend with BIL or anything, but I did like him very much and I thought we all got along great. I feel a great sadness for my sister and family and it feels like nothing will ever be the same again. I never, ever wanted this for her. I wanted it to last forever.

My brother - I can't talk about too much since this is still a pending issue. But let's just say I am so worried about him I don't sleep. He is lost- either by laziness or some sort of chemical imbalance and I don't know  which. He is currently with my FL parents ... and soon enough I shall see him for myself. The situation is frustrating and scary. I like to solve things with tough words and the the threat of deadly force - but I don't know if even that will budge him this time. Both of my brothers are bigger than me and stronger than me now, but even if I am standing there, head tilted back to look at them, I can still holler and yell and threaten serious butt kicking and they seem to be pretty intimidated by it. I'm kicking around a quick trip to FL to straighten things out - I don't think there has been NEAR enough yelling.

Blanca had a bump on her hind leg for a few months. I took her in and had it removed and it came back as cancer. They said all they needed to do was remove it, no further treatment necessary. This does NOT make sense to me ... and so since she is my precious baby, I am taking her to another vet for a second opinion. Now I find myself frantic with worry and doing a nightly rub down/lump check. That's no way to live for either of us. I'll feel better once the 10/30 appointment has come and gone. As for her though, she's fine- she's never acted different and her little surgery area has healed beautifully. She was the model patient. Such a brave girl. Such a scared mommy.

Anyway, that's just a taste of what's going on. I'm the co-chair of our United Way committee this year and it's been hard. Kelley is the chair and has taken 90% of the brunt of things ... but it's been hard to watch. It's hard to watch your ideas shot down ... hard to fight for your coworkers, hard to voice to HR what all the other employees want, hard to prove what was done in years past. Kelley has been running around for two weeks buying prizes and raffle stuff ... making sure we have all the posters and pledge cards, etc - our kick off is tomorrow and this will almost be over. It is always an honor to serve, but this really was an emotional journey and I think K will agree with me.

I'll try to do better and update more soon and get back to my happy, sarcastic, fun loving self - both here, at work and at home. Sometimes you just go through stuff.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

OMG !!! Thanks Kelley

I DID leave out the water for my bread recipe !!! LOL LOL LOL

1.5 cups ... you just put all the dry together, then the water, then cover and leave for 4 hours.

I can't even believe I did that!

HA! Anyway, it IS heaven!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Make this NOW

This was my first ever homemade bread, WITHOUT a breadmaker!

3 cups of bread flour
1 packet of yeast
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Mix it all together and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Leave OUT, room temp, for FOUR hours. It will get all bubbly and yeasty. Pour some flour on a counter surface - and dump the dough out. While this is going on turn your oven on 450 AND put a dutch oven in the oven to heat.

Back to the dough: dump out on the floured surface and just sort of get flour on it, lightly ... and put BACK in a bowl, cover with a towel and wait 30 minutes while the pot is heating. After thirty minutes pull the pot out of the oven and put the bread in - flat side down. If you have any seams, those need to be facing up. Cover the pot and cook 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, just remove the lid and bake for 15 more minutes.

THEN HEAVEN. It is the best thing !!! With some rosemary and garlic salt added it could be just like the bread from Macaroni Grill. This stuff is SO good. I will never buy artisian bread from the store again.


Saturday, September 25, 2010


I am grateful too!

1. I am grateful my parents are also my friends.
2. I am grateful for Conrad.
3. I am grateful I am employed.
4. I am grateful that I'm smart.
5. I am grateful for my friends.
6. I am grateful I'm almost out of credit card debt.
7. I am grateful I kicked many toads to the curb.
8. I am grateful for Tivo.
9. I am grateful that I'm brave.
10. I am grateful for my sense of humor.
11. I am grateful I have Kelley, Tracy, Toni, Debbie, Carolyn, Lori and Tosha- I can tell them anything.
12. I am grateful for my sister in law - she "gets" me.
13. I am grateful I love my mother in law.
14. I am grateful for 70's Show re-runs; they make me laugh.
15. I am grateful for blogs; they inspire me.
16. I am grateful for the library - I would be BROKE if I had to buy my books.
17. I am grateful I can go back to school.
18. I am grateful for my ambition.
19. I am grateful for my compassion.
20. I am grateful Conrad loves me.
21. I am grateful I learned to be a FAB "dog mom".
22. I am grateful to be from the South!
23. I am grateful for coffee.


Friday, September 24, 2010

I Wish

So I saw another blog where the blogger just let loose with a lot of her wishes and it seemed like a good idea ... so I will do the same thing. I won't worry about politics, other people's feelings, offending people or appearing selffish. It's just a stream of consciousness which I am actually a huge fan of. No better way to channel your feelings... and as of late, I seem to have a lot of them. Maybe this will help me figure out what I want. Here goes.

1. I wish family were easier.
2. I wish the government would get their STUFF together.
3. I wish I had more time to craft and create.
4. I wish the cool weather was here.
5. I wish I could lose 50 lbs.
6. I wish my wedding dress had fit better.
7. I wish I had picked a different song for our "first dance".
8. I wish we were already building our new house.
9. I wish I lived closer to my family or they would come visit ME more.
10. I wish all my friends were close by.
11. I wish Blanca would let us get another puppy.
12. I wish I had more energy.
13. I wish I lived closer to work.
14. I wish I were a gourmet cook.
15. I wish my best friend had not betrayed me.
16. I wish health and happiness for everyone I love.
17. I wish I wasn't getting these weird, hormonal headaches.
18. I wish I could sleep 100% through the night.
19. I wish my grandparents were still alive; I miss them terribly.
20. I wish Blanca were better behaved.

Tomorrow, because this does seem INCREDIBLY self serving and narcissistic, I will write down the things I am grateful for... it did help me see where my priorities lie ... or maybe it's better to say it has helped me to see what route I want to head in at work, at home, emotionally, physically, etc - might be time to print these babies OUT and hang them up.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

House Plans

Today was an exciting day!!!!

My friend Amy sent us in plans for our new house. WHOOP! They are so nice. It's almost exactly what we want. We made some small revisions which I will send to her tomorrow ... but almost spot on. Now I am pretty excited and ready to start interviewing some builders.

I can't wait to post the plans here, but want to wait until we have the final floorplans. Then we're off to get the architect started on them and then BUILD BUILD BUILD !!!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I finally learned how to use my VADO camera I bought off Amazon this past Christmas. LOVE it. So easy to download. It takes pretty great quality movies AND you can of course download stills.

Maybe soon I can start filming EVERYTHING - and uploading it here.

Conrad will simply LOVE this!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Have a Really Cute Husband

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yeah, So?

Yeah so my Cowboys got their butts handed to them last night. I'm getting over it ...
I have lived through a good 15 years of disappointment - I have become used to it.

I guess I figure if I put it out in blogland SOMEONE will hear me - please please please hire me a new coach! Mr Wade is probably a good guy - Lord knows he's a good ol' Texas boy, but he is NOT a good coach for us. We need a new one and we need one THREE YEARS AGO.

I was sooooooooooo looking forward to fall - to the cold weather, boots, football all weekend, chicken wings .... please no more of these stupid games. If you're gonna lose OK lose - but don't just HAND people the game ... you may as well have not even gone to D.C. you know what I'm saying ???? You could have stayed in Dallas and did what you did.

I mean for REALZ Jerry Jones ... I am just one little ol' girl here in Houston, but if this is a decision that needs to be spurred on by some good ol' fashioned ass kicking then OK, I will come home for a weekend and take care of business. SOMEONE needs to.


Sunday, September 12, 2010


About three years ago Conrad and I looked and fell in love with a house in Tomball, built by Plantation Homes. We loved it SO much we ran home and immediately and did our budget to see if we could afford it. We COULD - but it would have been hard especially if we had to hang on to this house for any period of time. I was honest with Conrad and told him I loved the house, but I really didn't want to have a house that caused us stress and we had the floor plans so we could always build it later. It had a lot of cool nooks and crannies and one of them was this cool small bedroom they had set up as a nursery. (It was a former model home, still set up as a model)

Back story is that for about a year I had been watching this one item in the Ballard Designs catalog. It was a giant safety pin that was $45 and I LOOOOOOOOVED it. But $45 ??? I don't even know why I am so drawn to it, probably because it's very different and I've never seen anything like it. So when we walked into this Plantation Home imagine my SHOCK when I walked into the nursery and saw my safety pin hanging on the wall. It was JUST as beautiful as I knew it would be, only for me I would have hung it in the laundry room ... the salesman noticed and said we if bought the house he guaranteed he would throw in the safety pin. LOL!

Well we decided not to get the house but since I had seen the pin in real life I decided $45 was worth it. I went online to order it and they didn't CARRY it anymore! HEARTBREAK! I looked on Google, Ebay, you name it ... I looked EVERYWHERE for my pin. Nothing ...

Well imagine my surprise this weekend when I logged on and it is BACK. Not only is it back, it's back in a set of THREE (including the original one) for $35. I am pulling the trigger on this one! I am ordering it today ... and I am so excited! It's on backorder until 11/21 but I do not care! I have waited three years for this!!!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

So it was a surprise party

That was the thing I haven't been able to talk about for MONTHS ... I am so glad it's over so now I can stop worrying every time I post something on Facebook or talk to the birthday boy!

So our high school buddy (from Dallas) lives here in Houston. He turned 35 today - and his wife planned him a surprise party and he really WAS surprised. You'd mostly expect this for 40, 50, 60 year old birthdays .... not 35 so I think he was completely caught off guard.

The fun part was the Lindsey's flew in from AL - old poker playing and church buddies .. and his dad and brothers were there, his best friend from high school, Bob (now lives in Michigan) and good friend from high school Candice who lives in Dallas - she came with her family. So he went on a fishing trip with his dad and bros for three days and all these people snuck in then.

Saturday was a fun day - Conrad and I went to breakfast with Bob. I haven't seen him since he flew in for our wedding 2.5 years ago --- then Bob and Conrad went to the gun range. They came back to our house and while we were catching up, Candice and her brood showed up at our house. It was a really good time! Then we went over there, had the surprise, the party itself was a lot of fun - and these two old people here (us) partied it up til 2 AM . WHOOP!

This morning we all drug ourselves out of bed feeling like 84 year olds - and went back over to Adrian's to tell Bob and the Lindsey's goodbye. They all decided they wanted to see the land Conrad and I bought for the new house- so we took a field trip over there and then hugged everyone goodbye on the street and separated from there.

We are a REALLY close high school group. I have no idea why  and I don't know many other ones that exist like that. We were good friends as kids and had each others backs as young adults and maybe it's not so easy to let that go. As good things happen in life with marriages and kids and jobs - you want to share it with your friends and we have always done that. We have people here in town with us and some as far away as Michigan and Ireland, but we still stay really close together and I am super proud of that. When Conrad and I met back up at one of these little reunions five years ago it was REALLY easy to start dating him. We had the same friends and we both knew they would have never approved the union if we weren't both really good people. It was easy to trust that.

So it was a super fun Labor Day and it was sort of sad to see everyone drive away this morning ... but it was so nice to have them all back for a day.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Labor Day

I think Labor Day (with the exception of Thanksigiving) is my favorite work holiday. I sooooo very badly needed this long weekend. We have something exciting going on tonight (can't talk about it yet). Tomorrow the excitment continues and then dinner at Texas Roadhouse ... and Monday not a DARN THING ...

When I got up this morning it was almost cool outside, there was for sure not much humidity. I have college football on, it's nice and breezy outside, I can hear the washing machine, the house is SUPER clean ... and my precious baby angel is just layng around enjoying her weekend too. I have one of my fall Yankee candles burning and am in absolute HEAVEN. 

I adore fall and all the things that go with it. I come ALIVE in fall. I dress better, look better, have more energy. I get creative, I cook, I bake - I am just all around a nicer person. LOL 

I am so excited Labor Day is here- because it means fall is literally less than a month around the corner. GO FALL! ....... oh and for me, GO COWBOYS! 

oh and for my husband and also a good friend - GO TEXAS A&M!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another Busy Week

It was end of the month at work - which is always busy ... I have a busy Labor Day weekend coming up. My friend Tosha will be 40 tomorrow so I have a nice lunch and present planned for her. She is SO excited ... today Kelley and I had matching doc appts which was funny. Same doc. Hers was 15 minutes before mine, so we just went together ...

and all of that adds up really to a pretty busy week. Conrad and I came home tonight and started cleaning the house. We have had no energy (lazy) these past few weekends - so tonight we Swiffered and vacuumed and washed guest room sheets, dusted, cleaned the bathrooms ... I washed all the cool Pampered Chef my sister gave me last week on her way out of town ... so I've been busy tonight.

Another week has sort of come and gone. I will be SO happy for Monday off. YAY!


Friday, August 27, 2010


Tacos are one of my favorite foods. If you told me I had to choose five things/meals I could only eat from now til the end of me, well I'd for sure pick tacos. My favorites ever come from Pappasito's!

I decided to make some the other day - and I didn't have a spice packet! I almost always use Old El Paso. PANIC!

Then I read one of my cooking blogs and they gave the taco spice recipe.

1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/2 Tsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Cumin

Mix together with your meat and I added a few tablespoons of water at a time until I got the consistency the way I wanted it. Just like on the packet it says 2/3 cup of water. I think that's too much. So I just poured some water in a cup and drizzled some here and there until I got it right.

I think it was some of the best taco meat I ever had. I won't buy the packets anymore. Also I would maybe add a few dashes of hot sauce. We like our tacos spicy!


P.S. If I  had to choose five foods/meals from now til the end of my days that I could ONLY eat:

Tacos, Chicken N Dumplings, Spaghetti w/ Garlic bread, Hamburger w/ fries, Grilled Cheese like my grandma (and me) used to make

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I got myself a Silhouette Machine - and it is SWEET. It's a vinyl cutter and in my opinion, way better than the Cricut machine - because with this you don't have to buy cartiridges. You can use your own Jpegs, use the FREE CD of shapes I got with purchase OR you can buy shapes for $.99 on the Silhouette website and you own them forever. It cuts vinyl, paper, lables, whatever you want.... so AWESOME! I used it tonight for the first time.
A co-worker and his wife had a baby two weeks ago - and her shower is this weekend. Her name is Addison, Addie for short and I just love love love giving "grab bag" type gifts. Usually I go with a basket but I noticed at the last shower I went to, almost everyone brought a basket. So I went with a nice pale pink pail - and I think she can use this forever. I used my cutter and personalized it. SO CUTE!

I stuffed it with little sherpa boots, designer looking pacifiers, University of Alabama stuff (her parents went there), socks, Bodreaux's Butt Paste, pink zebra fork and spoon, onsies, washclothes, headbands, etc ... I think it's so cute and I hope they like it!

I just love how the bucket turnd out! I think it's so cute and useful.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


My sister just blew through town on her way to South Carolina ... she's going there for a little while - not sure how long ... it was good to see her and sad to see her go.

We had a nice time. She came in about 10 last night, we stayed up late talking. I took the day off so it was nice to just slum it this morning in the PJ's- we talked some more, then got cleaned up and went to the Tea Room I love for some lunch. It's such a great place .. and my sister loved it. I love it too - they have the best pasta salad and soup. Total girl place. Then we did a little window shopping and then came on back.

She just packed up and is heading to our parents house in FL for a little stop over.

My thoughts and prayers are with her - for a happy, relaxing time ... and the freedom to sort of get a clean slate going, get her mind clear and do what's best for her.

Sad to see her go, but excited that the possibilities seem endless. That is a BEAUTIFUL part of the country - different than any place in the world and if you're after some healing, I can not think of a better place to go. I think and hope she will find it there.



Sunday, August 22, 2010


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Busy Week

Sorry! Busy week ...didn't mean to abandon the blog again ... but such is life.

I am the floater or the ... person who fills in when people are on vacation or three or more days at work, and someone was out some this week. For some reason this made me VERY TIRED and I abandoned my blog, my books, my movies ... everything. I went to work, came home, slept and did it again ... such is life sometimes.

This week my sister is coming for a day or two on the way to South Carolina so I am looking forward to seeing her.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gold Mine!

We decided on our first full day in CO to go visit a Gold Mine in Cripple Creek. It was started in 1891 by a lady named Mollie Kathleen and her grown son. It ran until sometime in the 1970's. We just sort of drove by and doubled up and came back. It seemed interesting and at $15 a person it was a good attraction and a good way to spend a few hours.

First of all, WOW, the stuck 5-7 people in this TINY little elevator thing - and it was still functional from all those years ago. They lower you down on a cable, no light ... and it's a rickety ride, straight down 1000 feet. I was SCARED! I am also apparently claustrophobic, but didn't know. We went down, one elevator on top of the other. I took about 30 seconds to get down and it seemed an eternity. Once down there, a miner with 8 years experience was our tour guide. Here is the inside of the mine.

Here are Conrad and I getting ready to go in. Oh it's also 50 degrees down there, I could FINALLY breathe when we got that far down - they offered jackets and most people wore them. Being from Texas, we opted to NOT wear the jackets. It felt SO good down there.

and Conrad just thought this sign was hilarious. It certainly is "him"!

Then at the end of the tour before we got back into the elevator (which by the way was just like an open cage) they gave us each a piece of gold ore. When we got back up on the ground I went into the gift shop and bought a Mollie Kathleen shot glass and put our ore pieces and tickets in there. PERFECT souvenir. This one meant something - so much better than a magment or a snowglobe or something.