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Showing posts from June, 2009

Re-arrangement by Lola

My house has three bedrooms. One is mine, one is a guest room, and one is my home-office. My bedroom is at the back of the house, but the other two are up at the front of the house.

Here is a photo of the guest bed. It is usually the only bed in the house that is made, unless muddy Lola has jumped up on the white bedding and it's all in the wash (which is more often than I would like). I don't know if I have told you about one of the biggest perks of my job before, so here it is: I would say that I spend about 10% or less of my work time each week at my out of home office building. I spend about 30-40% of my time at the courthouse on a normal (non-trial) week, and the rest, I spend here at home working.

Anyway, the point of all this gibberish is that while working this afternoon here at home, Lola was giving me the constant squeak of green guy (a very annoying and loud, but beloved toy). I finally took green guy away from her and instead of napping under my desk like she…

Have a glass of grass?

Well, it is that time of year again. The time of year when I start to notice that the water starts to taste afoul here in McKinney.

Don't get me wrong, there are many things I love about McKinney. I love that all of our streets are lined with hundreds of crape myrtles and that this time of year it is gorgeous to drive around. I love our downtown square area. I love that we have festivals all year around in our downtown that make me feel like I live in my own little version of Star's Hollow (Gilmore Girls reference...If you haven't seen GG, please remedy this problem immediately). But one thing I don't love, is our funky summer-time water!

This gem just came in the mail this week... Think I'm exaggerating about the horrible taste? Well the city felt the need to send out a brochure addressing it, so you tell me, seem like an exaggeration now? The city alerts us that "Each summer, throughout the months of July and August, lakes and other surface water supplies e…

Help! A Holiday is Coming!

Oh, Lordy! I just realized a holiday is coming! Yes, of course I realized this earlier than just now. I mean I did decorate and all. But what I mean is that I just realized a holiday is coming AND that Lola has been sick darn near every single holiday for a while now.

Let's see...

Thanksgiving: at vet for bladder stone diagnosis
Christmas: at vet for huge emergency case of pancreatitis
New Years: she had turned yellow and was back in hospital due to pancreatitis
St. Patrick's Day: surgery for bladder stones 2 days after SPD (does it count). It was my Dad's birthday though.
Easter: I think we were well!!!! Lordy, lordy, we were well on a holiday?
Memorial Day: infected paw

So where does that leave us? Well today is the last day of our second 2 week round of antibiotics. The last time, the paw flared up about 3-4 days after we finished the antibiotics. By my calculations, that means, if it flares up again, then it will be smack dab in the middle of a holiday.

Pray for Lola. …

Sweet Give-away

Traci at Sweet Cheeky Designs is getting ready to celebrate 1 year of blog designing, and to celebrate she is giving away a couple of blog designs. All of you guys who I've heard say, "I need to contact her about a design" should click on her button over to the right of the posts here on my blog and then you can read all about how to register to win. Good Luck!

Happy First Birthday Sweet Cheeky Designs!!!!

Sunday of Heat

I've been laying on the couch trying not to move, since every time I move, I seem to sweat. I'm laying here waiting on the "Big Cold Front" to hit and drop us down to the lower nineties...break out your sweaters people!

While laying here, I'm watching "Point Break" (1991) on Encore. Ahh, memories of high school... It seems like we watched this movie a lot in high school. I don't know why. I guess because all of us girls like to look at Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves and the guys liked to look at Lori Petty and liked the whole FBI seeks Bankrobbers/Surfers dynamic.

Anyway, while here on the couch, I started thinking about all the things going bad in my ice box and wondering what I could do with them. I got on the computer and found a Barefoot Contessa recipe that fit all the requirements I was looking for: (1) I could make it without turning on the oven (and thus heating up the house even more), (2) it used multiple ingredients that I was trying to …

Icebox Banana Pudding

It's Hot outside, and since today is suppose to be the hottest day of the year, I thought I would give you a recipe for a great summery dessert. It contains cream cheese and eagle brand milk, so already you know that you can't go wrong. Also, it's pretty darn easy to make (10 minutes of less I promise!).

Make it for your friends and family and they will be guaranteed to love you!

Beat 2 cups milk & 2 small pkgs. instant vanilla pudding

In a separate bowl, stir together: 8 ounces of cream cheese and 1 can of Eagle Brand Milk

Mix (really more of a folding process) 8 ounces of cool whip with the other bowls of goodness.

Layer 6 sliced bananas* & vanilla wafers with the mixture

*If I am taking this somewhere or having folks over, then I layer it all up nice and pretty. I've also served this all layered in mason jars, topped with whip cream and garnished with strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries and a mint leaf. BUT, if I'm just planning on grazing on this for s…

Rue La La

There is this great invitation only website for designer goods. I'm sending all of you this invite right now. All you have to do to accept is click on this website and then enter your info.

Be sure to check Rue La La often because new boutiques open almost every day and then are only open for a couple of days. I've learned that if there is something I'm really interested in, check soon after the boutique opens because the item you like or size your need may sell out.

I've only been on Rue La La for a couple of weeks, but here are some of the deals and boutiques I've seen: They have had Kay Unger dresses that sell for $350 + for $99 (Lisa ordered one of these), Tori Burch, Halston, a high end hotel in Nantucket had weekend and week long stays, Berringer sold some expensive vintages, etc. Right now, Ebel watches has a boutique which have some watches that are more than half price. Coming up, there are a couple that I'm excited…


I was very upset yesterday to hear the announcement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences that this year they would be increasing the number of "Best Film" nominees from 5 to 10.

I of course have a bone to pick with the Academy over this for a couple of reasons:

(1) Are there seriously 10 films per year worthy of "Best Film"?

(2) Will 10 nominees split the votes too much? Will they have a run-off election?

and (3) How in the heck am I suppose to see 10 movies before the Oscars are awarded? I can't usually even get to the 5, but at least that goal seems like I might someday achieve it. 10 just seems so unattainable that I might not even try anymore!

P.S. I've finally almost finished my Oscar race for this past year. I've seen all but one, "Frost Nixon". I've had it here at my house for over a month, so maybe this weekend I will complete my "race" (ok maybe crawl at this point).



I got my Neiman's bill in the mail today (sigh). Anyway, Neimans puts these little inserts inside your bill advertising products, you know, so you can continue adding up your debt to them. One of this months inserts was this:

I love this flatware. The bees on each piece are so cute, I can't stand it. I'm not sure I can live without it. _______________________________________________________________ UPDATE Okay, so since I've been asked, here is the info on price. Thing is, I don't think it is CRAZY expensive (of course, you may think I'm crazy for thinking it isn't really that expensive)... The 45 piece set (which includes 8-five piece place settings plus a five piece hostess set) is $174.90. It is by Wallace Silversmiths and is 18/10 stainless steel. It's called "Napoleon Bee".

Channeling Martha

I'm no Martha Stewart, but I have learned this week that I certainly can feel like her just by having these babies in my icebox.
Seriously, look at these things... Green, brown & speckles, oh my!
Thanks to my grandmother who sent me these fresh eggs (She doesn't read my blog because she doesn't have a computer. I told her she needs one and she said she wouldn't know what to do with it. Her standard saying is that she can't get online because "her dot com is broken". I don't think she even knows what that means!)

Red, White & Blue

You're a grand old flag, You're a high flying flag And forever in peace may you wave. You're the emblem of The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.

I've been decorating this afternoon. My neighbor hollered across the road and said, "You aren't already decorating for the 4th, are you?". "Of course, I am! It's just next week!", I replied.
The front door all cloaked in red, white & blue These are my new purchases for the 4th... I love this Uncle Sam. I wanted a cute pic of Lola and Sam, but she was scared of him.

Flags in all the front pots...
and the back too, of course!

I actually have several more decorations for the 4th, but I don't have an appropriate place for all of it here at this house, and then some of it needs some hot-glue repair work. But I'm decked out and ready for the upcoming holiday!

Salad Recipe

By request, here is the recipe for the salad that we served at the shower yesterday:

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup white vinegar
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons onion juice*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups loosely packed mixed greens**
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, cored, and chopped
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Spicy Pecans (see recipe below)
2 green onions, chopped

Combine first 7 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Slowly add oil, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until blended.

Combine greens and remaining 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add desired amount of dressing*** and toss gently. Serve immediately. Store any remaining dressing in refrigerator. Yields 8 servings.

*Onion Juice:  Updated:  We looked high and low and couldn't locate this forever, and then  a friend finally found it at Kroger.
** Has anyone checked out the Organic mixed greens at Sam'…


I'm done with the darn baby shower for my cousin! I had the thing here at my house this morning and am just exhausted! Everything went fairly well. The food was great: we had brunch with two egg casseroles (one vegetarian for my cousin), a great green salad with granny smith apples, spicy pecans, blue cheese and a great vinaigrette that we made, fruit salad, bread, mini strudels and of course, cake.
A picture of the oh-so-cute cake! The house was clean and looked nice with blue hydrangeas on the table and cream spray roses.
It's the best part of hosting a get to keep fresh flowers at your house!
Lola was a perfect angel. She did really well and only had a couple of "bad" moments: (1) when someone rang the doorbell (I really need to put a sign up that says please don't ring the doorbell and rouse the pup!) and (2) when someone's baby cried. She made a friend that was so adorable and petted her the whole time. She was super gentle with Lo, and I am …

It's Too Hot...

It's too hot to blog. It's too hot to do anything. I feel like all the energy has been sucked out of my body by the oppressive heat. I'm so ready for Fall and cooler weather. Is that weird since it isn't even officially summer yet?

I need to do laundry and clean my house because I'm having a baby shower brunch at my house on Saturday. But it is too hot to do anything but lay on the couch. I'm in denial. Help me!


If you look up the definition of pathetic (and probably, p.o.'d), you would see this photo. I just dropped off my bi-weekly bag of cash at the vet. Lola still has the infection in her foot also known as pododermatitis. I don't think she was on antibiotics long enough, so we are in for another 2 weeks. We are also doing more antihistamines and a steroid spray on her paw. I have to be sure she doesn't ingest any of the spray because it will wreck her weak pancreas, so NO licking while wet. I'm a little stressed out by this whole situation!
Lola is just getting the feel for her E Collar (don't call it a lampshade collar or the pot smoker guy working at Petsmart will mock you...seriously). Right now she is running into furniture, because she hasn't gotten the wider clearance thing down just yet. That's okay, I do the same thing with my butt all the time!

Do you think this girl appreciates that I went to Petsmart so that I could get her a cute pink lampshad…


SQP? What does that stand for? Sweet Potato Queens of course!

Don't know what a Sweet Potato Queen is? All you need to know to start is that the SPQs are a whole lot of funny and little bit of naughty, so you should get to reading!

You can start out by visiting their website

There are several books by the Boss Queen, Jill Connor Browne, including:

SPQs' Book of Love *
God Save the SPQs *
SPQs Field Guide to Men: Every Man I Love is either Married, Gay or Dead
SPQs' Big Ass Cookbook *
SPQs' Guide to Raising Children for Fun or Profit
SPQs' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide (one side is wedding, flip it over the other side is divorce)
SPQs' First Big Ass Novel *
American Thighs: SPQs' guide to preserving your assets

I put an asterisk beside the one's that I have actually read (Lisa I need to get the marriage/divorce one from you). I just finished the First Big Ass Novel. I laughed myself silly yesterday reading out in the sun... got too e…

Lazy Saturday

After being busy for the past couple of weeks, I was ready for a lazy Saturday. I watched some backlog on my DVR, cooked some more of my fresh veggies for supper and then settled down with a DVD from Netflix.

I watched "New in Town" and was really pleasantly surprised. Maybe I was just in a weird mood tonight, but I laughed way more than I expected to. It's definitely worth the rental.

The only other activity of the day was trying to keep Lola from licking her paw (AGAIN!). She has been off of the antibiotics for three days now and here we go again. I have been trying to really dope her up with the prescription strength antihistamine, but that hasn't worked as well as I had hoped. I feel another vet trip coming...

It's A Keeper

You may recall back in April, I mentioned that I purchased a Clarisonic. Here is a photo of a Clarisonic in case you have no idea what I'm talking about (they come in white, but of course, I got the pink one).

I purchased mine at Ulta and they allow you to use it for 60 days and if you don't like it, then you can return it no questions asked. It is kind of pricey, but I figured that the 60 day "insurance" was good enough to figure out whether I really thought the darn thing was worth the outlay of cash. In addition, Ulta frequently has 20% off coupons and I purchased when I had one of those. I am at my 60 days and have decided that it's a keeper (well, I really decided this about day 15). I can't say that my skin is flawless all the time, but it is more even in tone and less flaky in my dry areas and just generally better. I notice that my make-up goes on much smoother too. I used to have great skin, but either age or stress that comes with living in the real …

Mmmm Mmmm Good!

This afternoon I ventured out east of town to a fruit and veggie stand that I like to frequent during the summer.

Some of my purchases What am I going to do with these goodies? Well, first I cleaned the asparagus and cut off the ends. Then I coated them will olive oil and then sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Want a close up?
Then I put them in the oven at 380 degrees for about 8 minutes. After I removed it from the oven, I poured some balsamic vinegar all over it. Even if you don't think you like asparagus, try it. I think you'll love it!
As far as the squash goes, what should I do with my first squash of the season? Something healthy like boiling it or baking it? Heck no!
I sliced it, washed it, coated it with corn meal, sprinkled with fresh cracked pepper and finally kosher salt. I normally use regular salt, but I tried kosher this time and it is definitely the way to go! Then I fried those puppies up! I was smart and fried them outside on the si…

Storm Fiasco

I started back to school this week. I have class on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. It is here in McKinney instead of Frisco where I usually teach. I have a really small class of only 12 students and many of them I had last semester and they followed me over to McKinney for the "second half" of government.

Tonight as I headed out to class, the radar was looking ominous. There were storms moving in from the west and there were tons of little spinning circles along the line of storms (you know those little thingies that are suppose to indicate rotation in the clouds). I was so worried about leaving Lola. I don't know how many directions she can actually follow (I do recognize that she is a dog after all- even though I rarely treat her like she is ONLY A DOG), but I took her into the hallway and instructed her that if she hears sirens, she needed to come into the hallway. Don't make fun of me people, she was sitting very still and listening and looked at me like she…


Has anyone seen the trailer for Julie & Julia? It was written by Nora Ephron and stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. It doesn't come out until August 7th, but I have seen it advertising like crazy the past few days.
If you haven't seen it, it deals with 2 true stories: Julia Child and a lady named Julie Powell. It chronicles Child's life and how she came to be Julia Child as we all know her. Powell, is just a normal every day gal who isn't even particularly a cook, but decides to blog her progress of cooking her way through all 524 recipes from Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year's time.

It looks pretty cute, so I was just wondering if anyone else had seen or heard about it. In addition, it is the first major motion picture about a blog.


I just had an explosion in my kitchen. Okay, that may be overselling it a little, but it was a calamity nonetheless! I was loading cans of Diet Dr. Pepper into the ice box and talking to my Dad on the phone at the same time. I dropped a can on the floor and it EXPLODED! I mean, that sucker really EXPLODED! Clearly this is a case of not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time!

I have dropped cans before and had them spew, but that was nothing compared to today's EXPLOSION. It went all over the floor of course, but also the cabinets, the walls, all the appliances, the canisters on the counter, the backsplashes, all my crap sitting all over the counters, and heck, I even found it behind my Kitchenaid Mixer. It is what you call a D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!!!

Luckily, I was able to keep Lola, miss restricted diet dog, from lapping it up before I was able to clean. I'm quite concerned that I may have to move now because my kitchen may be sticky from now until the end of time!

Saturday Shopathon

Friday night, my friend Abby came to visit. She drove up from her home in South Texas for a hair appointment and to come visit me and shop. She got here kind of late on Friday, so we had dinner and then stayed up way too late chit chatting.

Saturday was really a shopathon! We shopped until we were ready to drop. Abby got a make-up makeover at Neimans (I'm counting on her 5 1/2 year old to make sure she actually wears her new make-up!). Then we did some shopping at a new shopping center in Allen as well as the outlets in Allen.

I didn't buy much, but I did finally get a new wallet. My old wallet was a very cute Juicy Couture wallet, but it was too small and things were always either falling out or so jammed in that I couldn't get to them (I lost two credit cards because of these troubles!). After the credit card loss in March, I decided to get a new wallet. I went to Coach outlet and only found one that I really liked and it was of course, just crazy expensive. I fou…

Friends Friday

As I mentioned yesterday, I was off work today because I was spending the day with friends. My friend Jennifer was in from North Carolina and I spent the day with her and another friend, Suzanna. I've spent time with each independently, but it's been a couple of years at least since the three of us were together, so it was a real treat! We went to Northpark and hit up the make-up counter at Neimans, then went to La Duni for a great lunch.

Here is a photo of the trio. It's not the best photo because of the glare. We intended to take another one before we left... but then we ordered some of their fun drinks and forgot! Suz and her good-girl drink (she had to go to pick up her kids after a church!)
Jenn and her frozen berry mojito
Me with some sort of lemon drink
After an awesome lunch, we dove into these delectable goodies!
It was such a great day and so much fun. Jenn and I are trying to talk Suz into joining us in Savannah in October. If she can work out a sitt…


This is the last Puerto Vallarta least until next year :)

This post is filled with photos of the resort. I stayed at Dreams Puerto Vallarta. It is an all-inclusive resort just south of Downtown. I chose this resort last year because it is in a portion of Puerto Vallarta where the mountains actually come right down meet the beach. The resort is a little older than some others (though they do have a new tower of rooms), but what this basically means is that they have a much smaller pool than newer resorts. Pools aren't really my thing because, well we have those here at home. I'm all about the beach, and if you are too, then Dreams P.V. has the best beach!

My bed View from my balcony (looking to the left)
View from my balcony (looking to the right)

This design of this hotel is pretty ingenious. ALL rooms have an ocean view because it is very wide, but only one room and a hallway deep. This is the view from the hallway behind the rooms.
Here is one of the pathways …