Sunday, February 27, 2011


I got a great deal this week! JC Penny mailed me their $10 off $10 purchase coupon like they do a few times a year. Usually I'll scoot over there and get a pair of flip flops or one of those cheap jewelry sets. But this time I did some research. I checked to see if they carried anything Rachael Ray. FYI, they carry almost everything RR. So - this spoonula set (which I have been wanting) was $19.99 - it's a three set, in three different sizes. This week JCP had the set on sale for $14.99 - so with my coupon applied, plus tax I got them for $5.80 - SCORE. MAJOR SCORE. I think this is going to be the way I can get a lot of the RR accessories I want. I just need to wait for the next coupon!

When I first got my apartment (age 21), I bought a few of those $1 sets that came with the spatula, spoon and slotted spoon from the Dollar Store. 14 years later I STILL have them. Surely the cheap plastic has posioned me by now. Anyway - those went into the garbage yesterday. I got this set and there is one or two more sets I want - and soon, I shall have them! 


Sunday, February 20, 2011


There is a shop in Tomball owned by a friend of mine- her name is Joanna and the shop is called Refined Spaces. She sells a lot of high end furniture, sinks, cabinets, accessories, etc. I can't afford most of the stuff! But ... her accessories are pretty nice! ... we went last weekend and I saw this platter. I tried to resist, but I ended up going back and getting it. Not to impressed? Well ...

the top is INCREDIBLE. I love it! I have put it in the living room for now. It can be just a showpiece or it could even be a cakestand. LURVE it.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Powder Room

We aren't even building yet, and I'm already decorating the new house. Oh well, at least it will cut down on moving day chaos.

I saw this bathroom earlier last week on the Sand & Sisal blog. I think it's a SUPER CUTE bathroom and we will have one powder room in the new house, downstairs. Easy for company to get to!

I am thinking of copying this bathroom, only making that blue stripe Aggie maroon. I'm going to hit up the Benjamin Knox gallery and get a couple of cute prints to add in there too. Conrad is of course pro-Aggie, but he's not OVERLY Aggie. The house isn't covered in it. Although if he would let me every wall in this house would be Cowboy blue and silver. SIGH - but I did not marry into such madness. I think though, he would approve of a classy Aggie room, small scale and I think this is just the place for it. Most everyone who ever visit us will go into this room. His degree would fit in too - but I don't think he'll agree to let me put it in the bathroom (there has to be a joke there somewhere), so thus, B Knox will have to help me out. The degree can go into his man room/office/cigar room.

ALSO, this frees up the new game room for Cowboy blue and silver baby! My friend told me that Lowe's now sells the actual PMS/pantone colors for collegiate and pro sports teams. I can see an all silver room with a ginormous blue stripe. I also want to get some of those fatheads too - a lifesize Tony Romo and Miles Austin looking down over me with love and affection. Mostly love. Love and money - a lot of LOVE AND MONEY for ME.


Monday, February 14, 2011


Yes - I am ANTI-Valentine's Day. I think I post this every year. I love Conrad EVERY DAY why should it just be celebrated on Valentine's Day? It's not fair for many reasons.

Reason 1  - Conrad can go to the store and buy me roses, I'd be thrilled. If he brought home a box of Russell Stover's candy I would shut up for a week. If he took me to a nice dinner I'd do naked jumping jacks. Men? They don't want anything to do with it. If I came home with a bunch of flowers he would look at me blankly. Ok, so if we make this fair and he spends $20 on me and I'm over the moon, then what can I get for him for $20? A belt? A bag of socks? I mean it SUCKS. The next thing I know I'm selling blood and plasma to get money to buy a Festina watch for stupid Valentine's Day. No. I have better things to do with my time.

Reason 2- I don't even understand Valentine's Day. It's MEAN. I work in an office. If you are single, you watch people get cool stuff all day long. If you're dating, you spend all day WONDERING if you'll get anything cool. If you do, OMG, he loves me. If you don't, he obviously doesn't care a whit for me. WE ARE BREAKING UP. If you're married, you spend all day apologizing to the dating and single girls because you got something. It's ridiculous. It's such a high tension day in an office.

So no, we don't celebrate it. Conrad and I had our first date on December 31 and Valentine's Day came up quick and I told him then, I think it's dumb and pressure filled and I don't want anything to do with it. He spent two years questioning me. Looking for hidden meanings in my words. Giving me weird looks when he thought I wasn't looking, dropping hints about the upcoming day and the finally saying are you serious and am I going to get in trouble? I think after 5 years, he's finally convinced.

We wake up, I tell him Happy Valentine's Day. That's it. I cook at home - I'm not going out to spend a ridiculous amount of money for a set menu. If I'm going to pay $100 for dinner, you better give me more than two dessert choices. The whole thing is a scam.

SO - I know it sounds bitter and ugly and mean, but I just don't like it. I will be so glad when it's over. The pink, red and white everywhere, especially on all the blogs are making me sick. Come on Feb 15th!

and yes, Conrad DOES feel like the luckiest husband alive!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

My New Boyfriend

Shhhhhhhhhhh ...... don't tell Conrad!
Just kidding ... he knows. I am in love. With my Keurig.

I had a Best Buy gift card left from Christmas and so I went out and got myself a new boy toy. I am SO excited. It just looks good, sitting there on my counter. I am so tired of going to other people's houses or restauants and having fabulous coffee, only to go home and make myself either sludge or coffee so weak it's like drinking Coors Light. (shudder) THOSE DAYS ARE OV-AH.

Not only that, but it came with a 12 pack of coffee samples so I can see which kinds I like. It also came with a coupon for two FREE boxes. I am in heaven. I am going to be jacked up from now til Easter. Conrad will have to peel me off the ceiling. I also bought the Universal K Cup, which means I can use my OWN coffee which I love too cause I got a lot for Christmas this year. HEAVEN.

Here, let's get a close up shot. These will be his head shot. This guy is going to be FAMOUS. Come to Mama.

Karyn "Keurig" Hopkins

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I narrowly avoided failure today! Well, that's a bit dramatic, but I'm pretty proud.

I went to Target on the way home to pick up a prescription. I REALLY wanted a Starbucks white hot chocolate but I RAN right past the Sbux area and hopped into my car. When Conrad got home, something happened to me. I decided I did not want to cook tonight. I wanted ... I don't know, something. Like Whataburger. I looked straight at Conrad and said, "I feel like I just want to burst into tears". That stopped him dead in his tracks, he didn't even know what to say and I don't know why I said it. I just know that approaching the stove made me want to bawl. STUPID.

I sucked it up and approached the stove and Jamie called to me. Tonight - chicken fajitas with corn tortillas and they were GOOD. Better than anything Whataburger can offer. It took just a few minutes - I don't know what was wrong with me earlier.

Anyway, Conrad had offered to go to Whataburger after my outburst and I said no. I feel like # 1 we saved money today. Two meals and the hot chocolate would have been like $20 and then the calories ... OMG. One day when I am sitting in a cardiologists office I will be really sad about all the Whataburger I was consuming. I don't want that. So - we stayed home dad gum it!

I also REALLY want to send Citibank $1000 this week and to do this, I can't be cheating on my dinner. Maybe ONE night this week, but not two and I did not want to waste my one night out at Whataburger. If I can send in this 1000 bucks, I will be down to $4880 and then I am DEBT FREE. I can almost taste it. It's so close.

How can I let a hot chocolate and a burger get in my way?

Thank you Jamie Oliver! LOL


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jamie Dish 1

Oh. My. Dog.

Jamie Dish # 1 = SUCCESS. I made the cheesy caulliflower and YUM. Even the veggie hater liked it. First of all, I got my Brown and Bubble set, in yellow, as you can see. Hello Lov-ah!

Second of all, this was truly not to be missed. Look how beautiful that is. It was SO easy too ... I can't wait to make something else Jamie wants to teach me. I did learn that I probably could have easily gotten away with frozen veggies, because cutting up a fresh cauliflower is not easy and it's messy. He called for cheddar and I decided to use aged Vermont white cheddar. SHUT UP that is something else!

I also learned how to use my food processor. Married close to three years and never pullled it out. But I did today because Jamie told me this is how you make topping. I  l listen to you Jamie. Whatever you want, love! Few spoonfuls of olive oil, four pieces of bread, a piece of raw bacon and a few springs of FRESH rosemary. Pulse, Pulse, Pulse and OMG - I could have rubbed those crumbs all over me. They were BEAUTIFUL and I am forever converted to fresh herbs - it smelled like you would not believe. You know what we're making this week? Foccia bread, baby!


Monday, February 7, 2011


Here's a little lesson on value vs use.

I am a VALUE girl. I use coupons. I go to flea markets. When it warms up (but not too warm) I hit garage sales on Saturday's. When we build this new house you won't catch me at Ethan Allen. I'll be hitting up Craigslist. This is just how I'm built. My maternal parents lived and breathed this way and I'm pretty sure it's hereditary.

Recently I started watching more Rachael Ray. I find her recipes a little involved AND she uses a million ingredients. Who has time for that? But she also uses the NICEST dishes. I fell in love with these, after watching her programs. This is the Rachel Ray Bubble and Brown Set. $39.99 at most places and believe me I searched EVERYWHERE to see what the best deal was.
During said research I came upon something that spun my world off it's axis. I found out QVC sells Rachel Ray too ... and you can get this 7 piece set for $50.00

YES, $10 more and you get 5 more pieces. I ... didn't know what to do. My friend Lori keeps QVC in business so I emailed her.  She gave me some interesting information - sometimes QVC makes special pieces. MAYBE I wouldn't even find this set in the stores (and frankly I haven't been able to). So ... wow for $10 more I could get something sort of custom.

Well ... there's a problem. The Bubble and Brown set are 1 and 1.5 Qt. Perfect for Conrad and I. The 7 piece set have 4 and 4.5 Qt pieces along with 4 small ramekins. More for the money, yeah, totally. BUT I don't know that I would ever use it. I mean for 4 Qt we'd have to have us, and Conrad's sisters entire 4 person family over for dinner. I don't think I'd get any use out of it. I really don't. So - then that means NO value, right? If I never use it, then the extra $10 for all that stuff doesn't mean a thing. This is a HARD lesson. Every fiber of my being wants to have MORE for my money.

Also, those ramekins are freakin' CUTE. Look at these. Oh .... SWOON. They are $25 for the set. AND I already have ramekins. Like, three different sizes of ramekins. They aren't this cute though. :(
So, I've decided I am going with the original set I loved and I'll use for $39.99 - and I will put on my birthday, Christmas or Ebay list (keeping my eye out for a deal) the cute ramekins. I can live with that, I'm happy with that ... and this is like a ONE MONTH LONG lesson. Today I going to buy the ones I want. I suppose it was worth the month long wait ... I mean I'm glad I did the research. I just wish I was a little loser with the money. I mean, really? A month long agnoizing decision? Over pottery? Really? Well ... surely Conrad is grateful. Not to mention it's not costing us a dime. I'm using my Christmas money. Yep, February and I still have my Christmas money. Proof positive I am a freak!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blanca's Super Bowl Cookies

Well ... Happy Super Bowl. I guess.
Not much of a Super Bowl without the Cowboys. It's just ... the Sucky Bowl.

Well, for the Sucky Bowl Conrad requested chicken wings (baked, not fried), queso and chips, stuffed jalapenos and sausage stuffed mushrooms. We can't leave out Blanca though! So yesterday I made her Banana Cookies from a dog cookbook I have. She LOVES them.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cooking with Jamie

As you can see I did NOT make it to goal # 3 in January, which was to cook a fabulous meal. I'm not sad about that, however, because I spent the time getting to know Jamie Oliver and his cooking ... through various shows and reviews. Jamie's approach is fresh, organic and quick. He says we eat too much processed food and the reason many people say, "I hate veggies" is because we just throw them in a pot of boiling water, and turn them into gooey mush. I have decided to test this theory on Conrad, the VEGGIE HATER. I am REALLY excited to try the process! I've seen Jamie on Oprah, I watched his series Jamie's Food Revolution, I've started watching his show on the Cooking Channel AND I bought one of his 7 cookbooks, also called Jamie's Food Revolution. I got it on Amazon, and if I like it, I may buy more.

Conrad has agreed to try this way of eating for a bit, so today I went to the market and came back with:

We're not going vegetarian, everyone calm down! I just didn't find it necessary to take pictures of meat. I just don't know if we have ever, at any one time, had this many fresh veggies in the house or not. I'm TOLD by Jamie, that veggies can be good and what makes them good?

White wine, fresh herbs and parmasean cheese- the BLOCK of cheese. You grate it yourself. The stuff in the tub is crap-ola. I would also like to say that I have NEVER cooked with fresh herbs. Not in this lifetime! I've seen them growing in people's yards and windowsills, and maybe I'll grow them myself if this works out, but I am TOTALLY a dried oregano off the shelf kinda girl. I think mostly anything goes ... but I bought dill, thyme and rosemary this time because my meat choices for the week were pork and chicken ... and of course, I got some potatoes, so these were the obvious choices. I am not a huge dill fan, but for some reason fresh dill on potatoes sounds REALLY good. So ... anyway, I'm trying!

We're not cooking tonight, and tomorrow is Super Bowl so we're having... snacky stuff, but pork chops and califlower are on the menu for Monday. I know that sounds disgusting, but it's not gonna be. You just have to see what I do with it.

Wish us luck!