Monday, April 30, 2012

Grownup Popsicle

The Hubby had a mango chili popsicle from Mom & Pops at the Farmers Market on Saturday. After taking his first lick, he exclaimed loudly, "Woah!" Folks, it was a darn good all natural popsicle. 

We made a late night run to the grocery store to pick up some mangos and made our own for cheap. 
The waiting is the hardest. Sweet, salty, spicy, and plain yummy.
This recipe will definitely stay in my recipe binder.

"Tastes like my childhood."--The Hubby

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On Repeat: Down in the Valley

This is The Hubby's current favorite song.

Hubby Thinks He is a Dog Whisperer

Bella started a fight because Shiloh was sniffing at a rawhide left behind on the floor. Never mind that it was actually Shiloh's rawhide. It was food and Bella wanted it, darn it! The Hubby decided that the both of them needed to be submitted at the same time. He was very serious about it while I just crooned about how cute the both of them were. I love Bella's expression on her face. "What's going on, Mama?"

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Conquering the Zipper

Did you know that it's zipper week? The local mom & pop fabric store was selling zippers for 50% off so I thought it was time to gather the courage and try sewing with zippers. I had purchased a zipper foot last year, but never used it. Turns out I didn't even need the darn thing. It took me 30 minutes to realize this, and only because I gave up on trying to install it on my sewing machine. 

I followed this tutorial for a zipper and blow clutch. It's definitely one of the best tutorials that I've followed on the web. I typically always have to redo something on a sewing project, but not this time! I also managed to shorten my own zipper. I'm rather pleased with myself.

I took my new bow clutch for a spin last night and I'm in love. Hubby makes fun of me for it. I think I have a right to be proud of my work. Don't you?

Try to make one yourself at Prudent Baby. You can expect one of these or something similar for your birthday, all you women folk friends.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Shiloh Pups

We are a two-dog family this weekend. Shiloh is a five-year old American Bulldog. She belongs to The Hubby's boss. 

She's a bit like the Company's mascot since she goes to work with the Commander everyday and just sits quietly in his office. The Hubby has developed a strong relationship with her and she is very attached to him. 

Bella was not very welcoming at the beginning and growled at her a few times. She's not a fan of larger dogs for some reason. Fortunately, I have not had to break up any fights. They just sort of tolerate each other, although Bella shows signs of wanting to play and Shiloh just ignores her.

Although Shiloh has shorter legs than Bella, she is much larger. Doesn't Bella look so puny in comparison?

I tried to use my hand on their backs so you could see the difference. Now that I see the picture I realize that using my hand as a scale is pretty much useless.

But what about using my entire body? Can you see how um..thick she is? It's okay, Shiloh. You're just big boned. Bella decided to get into the picture at the last minute.

We all cuddled on the bed together for a bit. The dogs definitely took over.

The Hubby has quickly fallen in love with Shiloh. I think it's because he's not used to having a dog in the house more attached to him than to me. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let's Make: A Recipe Binder

My sister put together a guest book for my bridal shower years back where she asked guests to share their favorite recipes with me. It's actually a leather photo album turned into a beautiful keepsake. 

She included some helpful baking and cooking tips and a copy of my beautiful bridal shower invitation. Dispersed through the pages are quotes about food pasted on pretty card stock from my large stash. 

Guests wrote me little love notes. This is the one from my mom. I think it's very endearing.

I think it's pretty neat that I have The Hubby's favorite macaroni and cheese recipe from his Nana.

Recently, I've been updating the recipe binder to include all the recipes that I have tested and loved, dishes that I have yet to try, and removed things that The Hubby will never eat due to his diet. 

I've split the binder into several categories: breakfast, appetizers, sides, chicken, beef, pork, seafood, noodles & pastas, Chinese, Mexican, cookies & bars, cakes, frostings & icings, candies, brownies, breads, other desserts. 

If you've been following my blog, you may have already assumed that the dessert section is the largest. I've allocated more pages for more popular categories such as chicken dishes and cookies. 

I also included techniques I've found in magazines. I may bake a soufflé one day. You never know.

I have written some recipes on adorable recipe cards. You can print out your own here

Sometimes, I pull them straight out of magazines and fold them to fit in the slots. 

Bon Appetit Magazine has the most gorgeous pictures of food.

Most of my recipes are written on index cards embellished with stickers. Our printer is awful so cute printable recipe cards are out of the question. 

It's okay, though. I'm a messy cook so the cards just get ruined anyway. Little star stickers signify tried and true recipes. 

I strongly recommend that you get started on your own recipe binder. It's so easy to pull the card out of the binder and follow it instead of lugging your laptop around or worrying about spilling on a book. 

The talented women at Prudent Baby have a wonderful recipe binder tutorial as well. They have free printables, too!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sandy's Restaurant

Did you know Sandra Bullock owns a restaurant in Austin? It's called Bess Bistro, and it's really quite impressive. I've been wanting to go there on several occasions, but the timing just never seemed to work out for us. It turns out it was worth the wait.

The Hubby and I finally made it to Bess's last Friday evening. We arrived at 6pm and although the restaurant was fairly empty, every table was already booked and we were seated at the terrace upstairs. Thankfully, the weather was absolutely perfect that night and we enjoyed the fresh air, plantation style ceiling fans, and comfortable seating.

We were given a generous basket of warm bread and tasty butter. I cannot say enough good things about this bread. I could eat it all day long. The Hubby no longer eats bread because of his Paleo diet so I was able to indulge instead of sharing.

While I was munching on the outrageously fresh bread, The Hubby ordered an overpriced drink. He claimed that it was something Don Draper would enjoy.

Because we made it in time for happy hour, we ordered a duck sausage appetizer for half off. It was incredibly flavorful and hearty. This was a good sign of what was coming up next.

Grilled duck and pork belly sausage served with
Ziegenbock Ale braised chiles and caramelized onions.
The Hubby and I agreed that we would each order an entree and share with each other. He chose the grilled sea scallops. Although it was pretty tasty, it was also extremely expensive at $25 for only three scallops. I don't think we would order this one again. I have to give him props for ordering the wild mushrooms a la carte ($7, not pictured) though. 

Served over roasted marble potatoes and andouille
sausage, topped with spicy beurre blanc.
The all-star of the meal was my selection--the pan roasted chicken. It was perfectly cooked and remarkably juicy. We really could not get enough of it and would love to have it again. It was also a pretty hearty serving for $14.

A pan-roasted airline chicken breast served atop a charred corn
and crawfish Maque Choux, served with andouille sausage and a three chile coulis.
My only complaint is that our food took a long time to arrive. The waitress claimed that it was because the chicken dish typically takes longer than others, but she definitely avoided eye contact when it was fairly obvious we were growing anxious. We also saw food come out faster for the tables around us. I think they were probably understaffed because we were seated right before the dinner rush. 

Parking is a bit of a hassle for Bess Bistro, although they do offer valet parking for $7. If you're interested in making the trip to Bess's, I suggest purchasing a certificate. Sign up for their weekly deals and you can find promotion codes. I think I purchased our $25 certificate for only $2. 

We're definitely hitting up Walton's Fancy and Staple, also owned by Sandy, the next time we're over there.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Love Is...

Love is patching your husband's very stinky sneakers. 
Do you know how close you need to bring dirty shoes to your face when you're trying to sew a patch on it? 

Please disregard the uneven stitching. 
I blame the sudden spell of nausea from holding my breath.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Low Crawl

We all know that Bella has trouble walking on our floors and making turns, specifically left ones. Somehow, she's convinced herself that going under our side table is easier than going around it. What a weirdo.


Woman vs. Food

The Hubby and I were talking about how we haven't been to Round Rock Donuts in ages. It's my favorite donut place in Texas. They just melt in your mouth. Hubby claims that there's no way I would be able to eat a dozen on my own. Well you know what I say to that? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. I once ate 3/4 of an entire apple pie on my own, no problem. That's like five apples and a bazillion cups of sugar. 

Source: via Min on Pinterest

We picked up some Shipley Do-Nuts to train with this morning. They're pretty darn good, but not anywhere close to the magic that is a Round Rock Donut. 

Glaze droppings from a bear claw on my lap. I'm so attractive.

I'm not sure when I'll do this challenge, but my stubborn ass wants to do it simply because Hubby thinks I can't. I promise I'll start exercising again soon...

P.S. Hubby saw me writing this post and doubted my donut eating abilities again. "No way. You're not really going to do this, are you? You couldn't even finish your boneless wings today." First of all, of course I couldn't finish 1/2 pound of chicken drenched in buffalo sauce on my own. Secondly, apples and oranges. How can you even possibly compare chicken wings to donuts?

P.P.S. Hubby's entire family has been doing P90X madness. Hubby himself works out like three times a day and NEVER cheats on his diet. And Nana, Hubby's grandmother, has just been named as a World Champion Silver Medalist in weightlifting.

Congrats, Nana!

Me? I'm double fisting bear claws and ridiculously proud of the fact that I got the last maple iced donut in the store. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

5 Things

1.) I have not exercised in months and have been binging on marshmallows, Hawaiian bread, and ice cream. I keep telling myself that I will get back on track, but sitting is so much nicer than doing pushups or squats. I should really get my body back in shape for the summer. We're considering going to Hawaii in July, and I don't necessarily want to wear coverups all the time. Besides, The Hubby already has a rockin' beach bod thanks to his no bread, no cookies, no anything yummy diet and three workouts a day.

2.) I am rereading the final book of The Hunger Games trilogy. the ending was ridiculously disappointing so I am reading it again in hopes of accepting Collins' choices. Tell me, are you Team Peeta or Team Gale? "Where's Finnick? Odair he is!"

3.) I absolutely love using The Hubby's Kindle. I've been able to read so many books while at work, although nothing really substantial. I love chick lit! So far, I've read the following books on the Kindle: Born to Run, The Help, Manhunting, Size 12 is Not Fat, Size 14 is Not Fat Either, Sushi for Beginners, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay.

The Hubby purchased a very sturdy and economical case for "his" Kindle when he first purchased it, but I really want to make a cute one like the one below.
Source: via Min on Pinterest

4.) High heels are my enemy, but I'm trying. I consider myself fairly tall at 5'7" so I can't wear anything too high--not that I could balance, anyway. Maybe this is a good thing or else I would spend loads on all the pretty shoes in the world. I finally found a pair I could wear for hours (and walk just slightly funny in) at Payless. However, they definitely get damaged really easily.

5.) I'm itching for a baby, but I know that the timing is not right for us just yet. Maybe we should just get a puppy. Look at how cute this one is! I met Stella at a Battalion BBQ this past weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Words from My Husband

We laugh so much in our home, largely due to my husband's unintentional sense of humor.

In the middle of the night, sleeptalking:

Look at my sexy wife. She runs a tight ship!

(Hubby adamantly denies this because he claims that the phrase "tight ship" has never come across his mind before, but I heard it loud and clear, Hubby.)

After receiving his new poop scoop from Amazon:

Nice! It looks really sturdy, too. I'm actually excited to go pick up poop now. Wait. I must be getting old. I'm getting excited about a poop scoop. You need to blog about this.

After I spotted a scrape on his inner thigh and asked what the heck happened:

The Hubby, nonchalantly: Rope burn.
Me, laughing my head off: What?! A rope burn?!
The Hubby: Yeah. What's so funny?

Hubby often breaks into song and serenades Bella. I happened to capture part of a song:

(I didn't have my camera handy so I used my laptop to record this video, which is why the audio is poor. Turn up the volume to hear his sweet tunes. "Love Buggie" is me, by the way. I just didn't respond because I didn't want to bust out laughing.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Best Version of You

Source: via Min on Pinterest

Trying to embrace this today...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Accept Job?

I haven't been working very often lately. Although we are now a two-car family, I have actually been working less than I thought I would. I can't remember the last time I had a good work day. It's been a long time since I shared my work horror stories. Each of these things run through my head before I click the "accept job" button when I search for a position every day. It's no wonder that I always hesitate in signing up to be a substitute.

Things I've been asked or told recently. (What's sad is that they legitimately think these questions or statements are acceptable or true. They're not just trying to be funny.):

Do you know kung fu?
You don't know Spanish! You're Chinese!
I'm going to call you Ms. Yao Ming because I forgot your name.
Are you good at math?
I wouldn't mess with a Chinese dude. They're BORN knowing kung fu. (This is right after I gave a 10 minute lecture on stereotyping and racism.)
I grew up thinking that Asian people could fly because of the movies.
Me and Mr. L. have an understanding. He said that if I just show up for class he'll give me an A. 

Sixth grade boy humor:

An example of an argument with a student:

Me: You're being extremely rude right now.
Her: Why? I ain't saying nothin'.
Me: You were talking and I asked you not to.
Her: I WAS talking.
Me: So you just admitted that you were talking, then?

A teacher's warning:

Thank you for subbing for me today. My afternoon classes can be talkative, rude, and obnoxious.

Stupid and disrespectful actions by high school students:

1) A student was called to the Assistant Principal's office. I wrote her a pass and she left promptly. I received a phone call from the office half an hour later asking if I sent the student. Apparently, she never made it to the AP office.

2) I took attendance for a class five minutes before the bell was scheduled to ring. As soon as I read off some names, the students got up and walked out of the classroom. Because the remaining students didn't want to snitch on their friends, I took attendance one more time and was able to figure out the names of the three students who left early.

3) Students were to take a quiz on Newton and were allowed to use their own notes. I caught two students Googling answers on their phones. Instead of taking away their quizzes immediately, I just wrote their names down for the teacher because I was legitimately worried that I would get shanked in the parking lot.

4) Girl made "chink" eyes and stopped right as I walked past her.

My work conditions. Can you spot the dirty spoon?:

Being a substitute has been a wonderful way for me to help with our bills and I'm appreciative of its flexibility. I really need to gather enough courage and strength to get back into it so that I can finish the school year on a high note.

I'm legitimately not feeling 100% today so I took the day off. Let's hope I don't deal with too much foolishness the rest of the week.

A Musical Weekend

Although we've lived near Austin for about two years now, we barely took advantage of "The Live Music Capital of the World"until this weekend. We bought $17 tickets to see Kina Grannis on Friday night at The Parish

The Hubby and I waited in line on 6th Street and watched underaged girls get hit on by drunk bikers, ladies in bikinis serving beer and hula hooping, and a man put down his cigarette on the floor, walk away, then come back and put the cigarette back in his mouth a few minutes later. All of this before 9pm. I can't imagine what kind of crazy things happen later in the evening.

We were so pleasantly surprised by the amount of space available at The Parish. The two of us were able to stand close to the stage and I was able to see right over the tiny Asian girls in front of me. Oh, how I've missed my people. It was so much more mellow than the Death Cab concert I went to last year.

I was a great fan of Kina before she gained popularity for her amazing jelly bean music video for "In Your Arms". I guess Jelly Belly decided to sponsor her tour, which meant free beans for everyone!

Imaginary Friend (aka Jesse) opened for Kina. He was so witty and extremely talented. My favorites include "I Knew This Would Be Love" and his cover of "Fly Me To The Moon."

And Kina came on, as sweet as you might imagine her to be. 

The next evening, we headed back to Austin to watch Mary Poppins at the Bass Concert Hall. We purchased our tickets at the last minute so we sat almost as far back as we possibly could. Even so, the show was splendid and I was just in awe the entire time. 

It was seriously part musical, part magic show. Just how did she pull that coat rack out of her purse?!

I got hungry at intermission so I snacked on my jelly beans from the night before. 

I'm so lucky my husband actually enjoys watching musicals and has an appreciation for them. So far, we have watched Les Miserable, The Lion King, Edward Scissorhands, The Color Purple, Beauty and the Beast, The Nutcracker, and Wicked. 

Two late nights out in a row resulted in a very lazy Sunday.