Sunday, December 19, 2010


Cards have been ordered!

I got a great deal (FREE!) on 50 cards - so my personalized cards only cost me $8 in shipping!  Thanks Shutterfly!

I chose one of the designs below - leave your guess in the comments.

Also, if you're actually reading this you're more than likely on my list - please email me your address!

Coming up: our trip to San Antonio and a few catch-up posts from this summer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cards!

Right now I'm surrounded by old pictures - some from the 70's and 80's, a lot from the 90's, and a bunch from the 2000's.  It makes me think that it might  be about time for me to start really thinking about the pictures I take and the memories we create!

Enough so that I might even be convinced to mail out a Christmas Card (yeah right...Happy New Year card) this year!

Of course that means that I'll have to find a picture that includes both me and Mark (no, Rocky will not be in it - he prefers solo portraits....and let's be honest, the amount of grief I would get for sending out a Christmas Card with only our cat on it would be even more than I can handle!) - I'm thinking the big tree in the lobby of the Contessa this weekend will be perfect (hence, the New Year's Cards).

But, the best part about the whole Christmas Card thing is the tons of options that are available -  especially on Shutterfly.  Their collection this year is incredible!

Some of my favorites include: (

(Apparently I have a thing for different fonts)

Which one is your favorite?  Go to to see more!

I guess you'll just have to watch your mailboxes to see if those cards really do get sent out this year!

PS - Shutterfly also has make your own calendars ( and personalized thank you cards ( that could really come in handy this time of the year as well.

Gingerbread cookies

The first Christmas cookies are done!

Mark says they are good. I say Royal Icing is a pain.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's starting to look a little like Christmas...

Hopefully by tomorrow the tree will be fully lit and trimmed, wreaths and garland hung, and Christmastree dishes on full display!

We're so excited to decorate this year - and very grateful for the wonderful tree!

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Hunter & The Hunted

This morning at approximately 7:58 a.m. I managed to notch the first buck of my admittedly novice deer-hunting career. After patiently waiting for an hour and a half (and watching a doe and her yearling treat the surrounding flora has their personal buffet) I sighted in a buck I had seen thirty minutes earlier and fired. I was confident I had executed a successful shot, but the deer bolted over the fence onto the neighboring property. I immediately exited my stand and found evidence that I had, in fact, made a successful shot. Dad heard my gunshot and came to assist my efforts to locate the deer. In no time at all we found a big 8 point buck approximately 30 to 40 yards away. We then proceeded to drag him through the barbwire fence and down to the Gator, which Dad had procured from the owner of the property. Dad skillfully and adroitly prepared the deer for the processor, although his clothing was overcome with what is sure to be a permanent crimson hue.

Do not think that I escaped the situation unscathed. I fired my rifle in a fairly awkward position, and, when the gun kicked with my shot, the scope hit the bridge of my nose. This resulted in a small gash across the left side of my nose, and possibly a slight fracture. From my perspective it was a small price to pay.

This final pic is of a deer called Bruno. Bruno made himself known to us on Thursday when he followed me all the way across a water tank, up a hill, and to my truck. Upon reaching my truck, Bruno came close enough that I noticed he was wearing a makeshift white velcro collar with the words "Pet Bruno" scribbled on it. Bruno then proceeded to approach me and lick both my hands and stay until I petted him. He came and watched this morning while we were cleaning the deer.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I've been holding out on getting an e-reader - but I think I have finally found one that I might be able to commit to - the NOOKcolor.

Full color, touch screen with wifi and free 3G service.  It also runs apps in the background so you can listen to Pandora while reading.  I like Barnes and Noble's "lend-me" abilities and it supports other types of files - which means borrowing library books should be possible very soon as well.

So...anyone looking for Christmas ideas - click Here

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One down

I've finished my first place mat!

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

My first project

I finally have all my supplies together for my first sewing project. Tonight I am working on cutting out all the pieces - which I am convinced will be my least favorite part (notice the cutting mat with a lot of straight lines and the huge ruler. The ONLY way I would have a prayer of straight lines).

So far I have the 4 pieces of Peltec (heavy stabilizer for the middle) and one of the eight pieces of placemat.

I'm very pleased with the first piece- hopefully the rest will be straight.

My goal is to finish this weekend. I'll post pictures of the final product when I get there.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010


In celebration of the "cold" front making its way from the north(not that it is actually cold outside), some fall touches have been added.

"Mark's dishes" - our Spode Woodland - have been placed on display.

[All of the serving pieces have me itching to host Thanksgiving!]

Happy Fall!

(yes, I realize most people don't change their dishes with the seasons. We do. It makes me happy!)

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Monday, August 30, 2010

A little at a time

Here are a few updates on our slow decorating:

Last night we added this to the wall above the bed. I got it on etsy for half the price of the last R. I think it works well with our bedding.

We also hung this by the back door as a "landing zone" for keys, wallets, sunglasses, and bills. It's the perfect size and really helps keep the kitchen counter clear. It's from Pottery Barn and I've been eyeing it for years. They finally went on sale last week and I snatched it up.

I also made a Marshall's run to try and fill in some spaces- and i think these turned out well. I used some vases I already had and filled them with fairly cheap balls from Pier One.

Finally, I got new foam for the 2 couch cushions. Anyone who has ever sat on that couch knows that the cushions were terrible. They dumped you into the middle of the couch - which meant it was really hard to sit with 2 people...and to take a nap.

You can see how high the cushions sit on the couch. It really makes the couch look much better. The downside - $147 PER CUSHION!! Crazy!!

{Oh, and the wall behind the couch is where the big new (to us!) mirror will go.}

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mark's dream

Mark had a dream last night...that he was having an in-depth discussion with the Manchester United soccer team coach, Sir Alex.  They discussed "Giggsy" and "Scholesy" and also why Carrick wasn't playing.  Well, Giggs and Scholes both started and Carrick came on as a sub.  So who knows, maybe Mark is an assistant Manchester United coach, subcontracted in his dreams.

In other news, I owe all of you Baltimore and updated house pictures.  Also, I am know a proud owner of a Janome sewing machine.  I've bought the fabric for place mats and am hoping to have those at least started by next weekend.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Mark!

Today is our second anniversary. Sadly we are 100 miles apart. But, in the grand scheme of life this is the best thing...and I have a pretty great setup in Dallas.

This marks the second year that we've spent our anniversary somewhere other than home. Last year we were in Montana, where we started our "foodie" dinners.

I'm so glad we both enjoy restaurants that are just a little bit different (rattlesnake, elk...) and can share those experiences.

This year, we went to Tim Love's Lonesome Dove Bistro. Yes, the Tim Love of Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef (he beat Morimoto!). We drove over to the Ft. Worth Stockyards a little before our reservations, stopped in a few shops, read some historical markers, and wandered around.

We ducked in a local wine bar and tasted some local wines (surprisingly good).

After that we made our way to The Lonesome Dove bar where Mark had boring drinks and I had the most wonderful cocktail I've ever had - Hendrick's gin, lime, blueberries, and cucumber. Yum!

And then we had the best meal I can ever remember. The entire meal was spectacular. Mark thinks it was hands down the best meal of his entire life. Don't worry, I'll do a separate post about dinner but most of those pictures are on my camera.

Mark, here's to 2 years...and 50 more! Thanks for joining me on this great adventure! I love you!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Tomorrow evening is the Manchester United v. MLS All-Stars.  Mark is as excited as a 5 year-old on Christmas Eve (in my family, that would be Christmas Eve after tamales while the dishes are being washed).

He's got all his gear ready - his Manchester United jersey (it's long sleeve, but that won't stop him from wearing it) and Manchester United scarf.  If you thought he was cheering for the United States team, you would be seriously mistaken.

Hopefully, this guy will be playing and the Red Devils will put on a show.

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Strawberry Mojitos

I made this tonight - and they are really good!  A little bit of work, but a good special occasion summer drink!  I will definitely hang on to this recipe (oh, and the soda water makes all the difference.)

Strawberry Mojito Cocktail Recipe
adapted from The Berry Bible

   * 1.5 ounces of simple syrup
   * about 3 fresh strawberries
   * about 4-5 fresh spearmint sprigs (chopped if you prefer smaller mint pieces in your cocktail)
   * soda water
   * 1/2 lime
   * 2 ounces of light rum
1. In a chilled glass (about 10-12 ounces), muddle the simple syrup, strawberries and mint leaves together with the back of a spoon or muddler. Crush the strawberries and mint leaves well.
2. Squeeze the juice from the lime into the glass, add the rum and stir well. Fill glass with ice and top off with soda water.
3. Garnish with mint sprigs or strawberry slices. Makes 1 drink.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It was only a matter of time before Rocky realized that a dryer full of warm clothes is even better than the laundry basket.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

I got a new iPhone app so I can post from my phone - including pictures. Hopefully this will mean more posts!

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Location:iPhone App

Cafe Madrid

Mark came to Dallas this weekend and we made sure to take advantage of the big city restaurants!

Friday night was pizza from a little restaurant - Olivellas. Mark said it was very close to the pizza he had in Italy!

On Saturday night we had tapas at Cafe Madrid. I don't remember the last time I've eaten there (probably around age 5 when I had cow's brains), but after having great tapas in Houston with Megan & Greg, we were excited to have tapas again. They were GREAT!

Diablo Pulpo (grilled octopus in spicy sauce. This isn't on the menu, but was Mark's favorite.

Breaded eggplant with manchego cheese

Roasted red pepper stuffed with goat cheese (Mark might have changed his opinion of goat cheese)

Grilled chorizo

Cheese & spinach croquettes

We will definitely be going back to Cafe Madrid!

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Our new home

Here are some pictures.  Nothing is anywhere near being complete.  Maybe when I'm back for more than 2 days at a time (usually studying for a test) in August some other things will be complete.  Mainly bath mats and bookshelves!

View from the front door:

New (to us!) Baker's Rack.  It is a great place to display my dishes.  I plan on changing it for summer, fall, winter, and spring.  Yes - I do have enough!
Pass through from den to kitchen:
Kitchen, complete with great space above the cabinets.  It works as both display and extra storage!
Laundry Closet (with my new washer & dryer that I LOVE!)
Guest bedroom/Office:
We have a new (to us!) daybed & trundle which is perfect for this space!  Rocky has claimed it as his own bed.  Please note that the old polyester pink blanket is there.  He LOVES to sleep there!
Our Bedroom:

And the corn field out back:

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