We Have a Winner!

August 31, 2008 at 9:02 pm (Uncategorized)

Congratulations Adriana!

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Start the bidding

August 28, 2008 at 7:34 am (Things I love)



So, here’s the deal: up for auction is a red Kate Spade Messenger Diaper Bag. I originally bought this for my sister and her upcoming baby, but I don’t think she’ll mind me using this for the greater good. It’s an adorable bag with lots of room and a changing pad. If you don’t have any babies in diapers, I think the bag might also be big enough to hold a laptop, but I won’t swear to that.

lots of room!

lots of room!


Anyway, this is a wonderful cause for some really deserving people. If you want to get the whole story click here. If you want to know what other people are auctioning off, click here. I know for a fact that my sister is doing something adorable as is my cousin Anne. And Danielle, who I don’t really know, but who I stalk a little bit, is also doing something, and trust me when I tell you, this girl is super crafty. Spread the word, and buy something that you don’t really need. It will make you feel good. Perhaps that’s not the most altruistic reason for doing this, but it is a nice fringe benefit.


I am posting the rules below (thanks Anne!).


1. Each item up for auction will be posted separately. The bidding will be done in the comments section. So, for example, I will start by leaving a comment saying “I bid $2.” Then someone can comment with a higher bid and so on.


2. Bidding will go through the weekend, ending at 9 p.m. (CDT) Sunday.


3. Please keep bids to whole dollar amounts.


4. Monday morning I will post a list of the highest bidder, at which time you will have 2 jobs. #1 Send your money directly to the Nielson paypal fund (I will provide the link). #2 Email me with your mailing address (I will provide my email address. Oh, and I will cover the shipping.)

If you’re a new commenter, it will take a little bit for your first bid to show, but every subsequent bid will show immediately. I promise I will be checking frequently to update the comments.




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A Sneak Peak for NieNie Day

August 25, 2008 at 9:08 pm (Uncategorized)

On Thursday I’ll be participating in the NieNie Day Silent Auction. Check back to see what’s in this package:

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This is 31!

August 25, 2008 at 9:01 pm (Uncategorized)

So, this year’s birthday was definitely an improvement over last year’s … Doug remembered, and I got my dairy Queen ice cream cake. All is well with the world.

The only problem is this:

Me on date night!

Me on date night!

When I picture myself in my mind, I always see me as 19. You know, unwrinkled and unstressed with no grey hairs whatsoever. Then, I get the reminder of reality. I get myself gussied up with make-up and a fancy top and jeans. We’ve hired a sitter so we are footloose and fancy free. But, when I look at the close-up of this picture I can see the future Botox sites! Plus, the restaurant we wanted to go to was closed, so we ended up at an Italian restaurant where we were the youngest people by about twenty years. We were just a smidgen too late for the early bird special! Then, for the ultimate in excitement we headed to the grocery store. Oh how I used to mock the couples who spent their date nights at the mall, but I think it might actually be worse to spend date night at HEB!

However, as a lovely consolation prize I wore my new shoes from the Anniversary Sale!

I should have painted my toes for this!

I should have painted my toes for this!


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Christina, this one’s for you!

August 11, 2008 at 7:34 pm (Giveaway)

Sometimes I wish I had a girl. The woman over at Grosgrain makes little girls clothes and then gives them away. She gives away all the stuff she makes. I saw this over at Design Mom, and I was hoping she had a boy, but sadly no. Everything is for little girls. Perfect for Delia, but my boys are out of luck!

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I’m not quitting my day job, but …

August 11, 2008 at 11:14 am (Fun Stuff)

wine angel by WinoInNYC.



I’ve kind of always wanted to do some dance work in Vegas (I mean real dancing, not “dancing”!) and I’ve kind of wanted to do some super spy work a la Jason Bourne. Well, now I’ve found the perfect job for me:

Wine Angel

It’s awesome, you get to fly through the fancy wine tower at the Aureole Restaurant at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and pick out ridiculously priced wines for people. I’m perfect for it. No one even has to worry that I’m going to steal anything, because I don’t drink! I know Trisha thinks I’m too old to notice half naked high school boys, but I am definitely not too old to fly through the air like Tinkerbell at Disney World looking for over priced alcohol!

p.s. Dixie and Andrea –  this was for you!!

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Why we serve

August 10, 2008 at 9:38 pm (Makes me Smile)

30am, and the two girls on the right ha been up all night with the Breaking Dawn book!

This is part of our groupbefore we began. It's about 7:30am, and the two girls on the right ha been up all night with the Breaking Dawn book!

A couple of months ago a sign up was passed around RS for Habitat for Humanity. Since I’m always looking for new things to blog about, I signed up. It was going to be a full day of manual labor … in August … in Texas. The sign up was only for the ladies so I didn’t have to worry about embarrassing myself too badly. It was on a Saturday, so I didn’t have to worry about finding a sitter.

Because we’re oh so environmentally friendly, we carpooled to the location south of downtown. At least I think it was south of downtown, I get turned around without the gps! It turns out that this location was a whole Habitat neighborhood. There mut have been at least thirty houses; some long finished, and others just begun.

It turns out that we showed up for landscaping day. I had kind of been looking forward to building walls, but it is probably better for the people living in the house that I only cleared rocks and laid sod!

This is the fancy checkerboard sod pattern.

This is the fancy checkerboard sod pattern.

Because we were landscaping we were finished at lunch. While we were eating we got to talk to a family who was volunteering their hours because they were actually getting a house. They told us about the different requirements, and a gentleman told us about how Habitat had changed his whole life.

The whole thing was a really rewarding experience for me, and I would encourage you all to go and try to serve in a new way. You might pick up a new skill, or just enjoy some new company. It also doesn’t hurt the eyes to be working with these folks:

I'm just saying, no one at my high school looked like this!

I'm just saying, no one at my high school looked like this!

Maybe next week I’ll share why I like to tour the fire station with the play group!

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It’s like cumin on speed!

August 7, 2008 at 5:44 pm (Fun Stuff)

Dixie, Andrea and Me Hanging out high above the Central Market

Dixie, Andrea and Me Hanging out high above the Central Market

It was getting to be about time for another cooking class. This time Andrea, Dixie and I attended the Southwest Entertaining class with the Dining Diva. This was my second trip to the Central Market Cooking School, and although there was no blue cheese cake, it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

On the menu for this class was:

Tortilla Soup with delicious crispy tortilla strips

Deep Fried Panko Avocados with a green salad and Chipotle Buttermilk Dressing

Chicken and Rice

Strawberry Trifle

Some of these things were more successful than others, I think I would definitely make a less spicy version of the soup, and the tortilla strips were amazing. I also really enjoyed the deep fried avacado, but I doubt I will be making that since there are not enough safety glasses and fire extinguishers on the planet to make Doug agree to let me deep fry in our house!

As for the dessert, normally I’m not adverse to a little liqueur in food when someone else makes it. After all, I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings who worked really hard to make something that was both tasty and relaxing, but I hate the smell of coffee, and so using Kahlua didn’t do anything for me personally. I think if I was going to make that particular recipe I would use maple or almond flavoring (thanks for the suggestion, andrea). The diva wasn’t too much help with looking for alcohol substitutions. I get the feeling that this woman enjoys the properties of certain alcoholic beverages … strictly for their culinary value, of course!

The best part of the evening came when the diva was giving helpful hints. One was to turn the exhaust on fifteen minutes before you start cooking fish so that your house won’t smell. I’m not sure if I really buy her logic there. Her other hint was about cumin.

Apparently you should never buy groung cumin, only cumin seeds. Then, when a recipe calls for cumin you toast it on the stove (being very careful because apparently sizzling cumin seeds fly everywhere!), then you put the toasted seeds in the spice grinder. And voila! You have cumin on speed. You will never go back to regular cumin again!

I’ll let you know if I ever try this, but for know I have a whole jar of cumin powder in the pantry that I have to use up. Waste not, want not!

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Look who’s 1!

August 6, 2008 at 11:14 am (Kids)



It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since our youngest boy came home with us. I would like to report on all of his teeth and his walking skills, and how big he is, but I’ll save that for the day that he actually has more than one tooth, is big, and can walk! I think he likes having his older brothers do everything for him, and I’m in no hurry to have him walking while we’re in Florida. The less mobile he is, the better! He is definitley the smallest of the three boys, but I’m hoping that will change by his 15 month check up. He seems to be eating a lot more, and he finally seems to understand the sippy cup.

I decided to make this cake because I couldn’t deal with the selt-imposed guilt of the store bought cake. This time though, I was smart and just made an individual cake plus cup cakes. This may be my new birthday strategy. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, except for the fact that forgot to level off the bottom, and so I spent a good deal of time trying to keep the cake from falling over.
The big brothers celebrating
The big brothers celebrating

As parties go, this one was pretty low key. Just the family, one gift and a lovely rendintion of Happy Birthday. I’m trying not to take it too personally that Ben’s was the only birthday not to make it into the family blog, but I can’t be too upset since it took me over a week to post about it here! (Thanks Charlotte!) Kudos to Ingrid though for calling and wishing him a happy birthday! One is a tough year to really call since obviously the birthday boy’s participation is limited to drooling all over the phone!


So, here’s to another great year. Hopefully the cake will be a little less messy at party #2!

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