Sunday, January 31, 2010

What To Do With Ripe Bananas

I stopped by Kroger Friday night and saw some ripe, discount bananas. I would say they put these out maybe three days before they go "bad" ... but you DO know right that banana bread is best when the bananas are close to going bad? The mushier the better! I actually looked at my bananas this week with bananas foster in mind and I may still do that - but this bunch had 5 bananas for 49 cents - so I had more than I really needed.

Today has been a real lazy day - I've had coffee, watched HGTV and Food Network all day. Conrad has been organizing his office ... and I started eyeing my brand new KITCHEN AID MIXER which I just HAD to have - but still, as of yet, have not used.

So I went in there today and whipped up a Hummingbird Cake. This cake is mostly southern - and usually really made in Georgia. I love it. Pineapple, bananas, vanilla, and dark rum. YUM!

... and can I just say WHAT have I done without a mixer? I can't believe I've been using hand mixers this entire time. I feel like I've lost hours of my life. I washed an entire sink full of dishes while my cake mixed. SHUT UP. I did not know this was possible ... how have I lived? Know what else, it was QUIET. Revolutionary! I could weep for all the cakes and breads I could have made.

Hummingbird Cake

Preheat oven to 350
Mix these six ingredients and God help you, I hope you have a mixer so you can just stand there and smirk while this machine does all the work.

- 1/4 cup of dark rum (optional) but REALLY why would you not?
- 1/3 cup of milk
- teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of mashed bananas
- 1 8 oz can of crushed pineapple

Add in a box of cake mix - I used white. MIX for two minutes - pet your dog, wash dishes, have a beer, whatever ...

Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake 50 minutes. Let cool down for 15 minutes, flip onto a wire rack for another 15 minutes.

Vanilla frosting - just used store bought. Put into microwave for 20 seconds to melt. Pour over cake and garnish with chopped pecans.



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nicholas Sparks

My friend Amy is in town again from MN and last night we headed out to see The Lovely Bones - quality, uplifting stuff, I know. ;)

and during the previews I saw the new movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book and I thought REALLY? I mean I have been a big fan throughout the years - when he first started he had some great ones - A Walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle, The Notebook ... classic stuff. Then they started turning them into the movies. The first few were GREAT - like MIAB and Notebook.

But now, he is turning them out like John Grisham. How many more teenagers falling in love on the beach - being separated and reflecting on their wasted lives can we read about? How come someone always dies or gets old alone in an nursing home reflecting on their once full lives?

There were TWO previews last night for this next movies- Dear John and one starring of ALL people, Miley Cyrus - in the other new one Last Song. At this point he has become too Hollywood for me.

I think it's all come to a head people ... he took his once really great books and just turned himself into a conveyor belt of novels. I think the downfall started with that crapfest, Nights in Rodanthe.

Can I get a yes, yes?


Monday, January 25, 2010

Office Somewhat Complete

Ok, so here is a quick update ... I promised Kelley!

This is where we are on the office. I popped out of town this weekend and while I was gone, Conrad hung his diploma (first time on the wall!!!!) and put stuff up. He did a GREAT job ... everything looks so good. He's a great guy - a good house husband! So many things were done this weekend while I was out. It makes this week SUPER easy for me in terms of organizing and cleaning. Although on Monday nights I don't do anything ... it's my relaxing night!

Anyway, so this office is actually being used. When I got home tonight from work, he was in there working away - so these are not PERFECT pics ... it's an office IN USE. But really the only thing left are the curtains and a nice rug ... then we'll be done! At that point I'll clear all the stuff off the desk and take a nice AFTER pic ... but this is where we are today. I think it looks really great. I am so glad to see his diploma hanging up and you can see the cigar store indian I got him for Christmas ... we named him, uh ... his name is Breaking Wind.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today Sucked

I wanted to be able to show you pics of the office with the pictures of what we had completed today. We completed nothing.

When we went to open our office furniture this morning to put it together it was PINE. We ordered WALNUT. What a disappointment. It was bright and we wanted dark. I hate IKEA and how they are set up. They sent us to the wrong aisle.

Then the Cowboys TANKED and I got many crappy calls and texts and Facebook's from my friends and family .... wow, thanks guys ... the season is over.

Then after that horrible game, which I did not even watch the end of the game ... we had to drive TWO HOURS to IKEA and back to exchange the desk and shelves. They gave Conrad a hard time and were there for an hour. So three hours later, we're home. I will NEVER EVER buy from IKEA again. Never. Conrad is in agreement.

True we did get the room painted, but we had absolutely no relax time. My heart is broken and yeah yeah it's just football - but it was my passion. This is my favorite time of year and ... it's over ... and it's over like all of the sudden and people were making fun of me and they made a bad situation so much worse.

I am so sad. About to watch the Golden Globes and fighting back tears. LITERALLY trying not to bawl. What a crap weekend.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Office Update

Here is our progress! We picked this weekend to get started. These are the before and after pics of the same areas of the room. The room was what Conrad called his "den" ... but it was never used, became a junk room and he REALLY needed an office. I think it's coming along nicely. The before pics were taken at 9AM as we geared up and the after pics were taken at 3 PM. We have now installed the blinds back in (still shopping for curtains) and the big couch is coming out - going into the living room ... the loveseat will go back in here ... and then of course we still have to assemble our new desk. These textured walls just SUCK UP paint - especially dark paint ... and this paint is SO nice. It's Valspar Tender Twig, but I told Conrad it's like being in the Easter Bunny's stomache. It's very milk chocolately ...

I think the desk is being assembled tomorrow, after the Cowboy game. Wish us luck! This isn't even halfway done ... but I wanted you all to see I WAS working on it! LOL
Oh and I love, love, love the way the doorway looks with no curtain, but Conrad is insisting on one going back up. Maybe not maroon velvet, but something else. He also said I could tie it back - compromise! I just think our house looks so much bigger with the curtains gone.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

IKEA Office

Conrad and I are, I think, decisive people ... we can make decisions and stick with them. But this house thing ... we have trouble. We are SO comfortable here - meaning with our current mortgage, with our living situation, where we live (location) that it's almost hard to leave. Problems are: the neighborhood will decline in the next few years, we're both REALLY far from work, our house is too small, our closets are RIDICULOUS.

We went and saw a BEAUTIFUL house yesterday - one that people already live in. I guess I'm making progress getting Conrad to go to open houses that are not brand new model homes. We LOVED it, but it clearly had some flooring issues - there were dips and things in the upstairs rooms.

So I guess what I'm saying is .. we still can't make up our minds. We are either going to SERIOUSLY outgrow this house and HAVE to leave or just find one somewhere that we fall in LOVE with and HAVE to have.

So in the meantime, we continue making this house fuctional. We make it comfortable and pretty for us - while at the same time making sure it works for if we ever need to sell or lease it on the fly. We don't want a list of projects to tackle in a short amount of time.

So we are working on what is currently a den- we never use- turning it into an office we WILL use. Today we went to IKEA for their semi annual sale and came home wtih this:

SO NICE! We love it. It was reasonable too ... that bookshelf has big fat holes in it. We bought some things to put it in - storage cubes and the like. It looked great in the store! ... So in the next few weeks, we'll be painting that room, assembling this, selling some stuff on Craigslist, etc, etc ..., and I am excited. I think it should look GREAT. When we get to going on it, I'll take pics and update you with the progress. Finding this was probably 50% of the battle.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mucho Frio en Houston

17 degrees in Tomball, Texas this morning! This picture is from a month or so ago when we got SNOW - but this morning, there were ice crystals covering EVERYTHING so it was just as white.

Today is supposed to be in the 40's - and back into the teens tonight. Sure wish we'd get some more of that snow and ice - so I could just stay in here all comfy and cozy! I usually get a nasty case of the post holiday blues and if it stays nice and cold and we get some free snow days, I start to feel like ... the holidays are still around. It would PROBABLY help if I'd take down our Christmas tree, huh? I told Conrad we have to get it put up TODAY - and I'm going to scrub the bathroom and then finally ... watch the playoff game with the Cowboys tonight.



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

These Two ...

... are ridiculous. They hang onto each other like Romeo and Juliet. When Conrad isn't home, she's not herself. I daresay when Blanca isn't home (at the groomer) Conrad isn't himself either.

They sit together, they play together, they laugh together ...

and apparently enjoy the fire together. At night, he gives her doggie massages and covers up her with her little pink blanket.

Right now he is brushing her while she lays on the ottoman. They make me sick! :)


Monday, January 4, 2010


Conrad drank the water!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cool Gifts and the New Year

Good evening. I hope you all had a happy and safe New Year. My goal for this year is really just peace and positivity ... not to say people won't frustrate me or things won't go wrong - but just that I can handle them better and maybe when something happens I won't immediately think of the WORST possible scenario. Thankfully, Conrad is really great at being positive, so it should be pretty easy or at least I'll have some encouragement.

Yesterday afternoon I already got some bad news from one of my family members. My initial reaction was "Great ... Happy NEW YEAR!" .... but now after a day of reflection I realize this isn't about me AT ALL ... all I can do is offer my support and trust that maybe this was the best decision for THIS person and maybe this is how she can have her happy new year. I am looking at the news as devastating but you know, maybe it's not. I'm just here ... waiting to see what I can do.

I wanted to take a second and show you some cool stuff. I loved everything I got ths year - but these two things are unique and I'd never seen them before. Speaking of unique, my friend Kelley has a embroidery machine and she made me my very own kitchen towel- I'd show ya but it's in the washer!

This thing is a fruit infusion pitcher. Conrad and I went to Hawaii a few years ago and we went to the spa in the hotel and enjoyed a few treatments. In between, you would go sit in this room that was open to the ocean and you could drink this water with lemon and cucumbers. SO REFRESHING! I loved it. Spa water- who knew? So Conrad got me this great infusion pitcher. You can see I made my OWN lemon and cucumber water !!! The inside of the pitcher comes out so you don't always have to have the fruit inside, but (giggle) I probably always will. Now the question, will Conrad drink it?

This is a bowl set ... When they are together, they form a rose. SO CUTE ... my friend gave me this. Completely unexpected ...

Happy New Year, y'all!