WooWee!!! Houston has been having some weather, y'all. The other night I almost thought we were going to have to roll out of bed and start building a boat. Yesterday they had to save 18 people from their cars by helicopter. Isn't that crazy? I'm just happy to hear that nobody got hurt but the weather has been insane. We live north of Houston so we didn't have as much flooding up here but we still had a little. Thankfully the sun has been out this afternoon and drying things up for us.
I'm ready for some nice weather. What are some of your favorite things about summer? Here are some of mine.
Check out my new Southern Pride "T." It's so cute! It makes me want to whip up a batch of sweet tea. I have funny story. My hubby and I went over to New Orleans to see his parents. On the way back we stopped at a little Cajun place outside of Lafayette. When the waitress came to take our order, we both ordered tea. She asked, "sweetened or unsweetened?" I slowly lowered my menu and leaned in and whispered, "You profiling?" Well, the table next to us heard me and everyone started laughing. She knew exactly what I meant and brought two glasses of sweet tea. Now when we stop on our travels to New Orleans she greets me with a smile and brings Mrs. Gigi her tea.
This weekend I'm so exhausted. I think we all need to take some down time and just relax every now and then. Today I'm feeling lazy and I'm taking full advantage of it too. I'm going to lay back on the couch and watch my absolute favorite DVD collection, Poirot (Agatha Christie). Is anyone else out there a huge Poirot fan? I LOVE Hercule Poirot!!! I have been discussing a trip to London so I can go on the Poirot tour. That would be a blast.
So, I'm watching Poirot and eating Chinese. That's one of the biggest things I miss about living in San Francisco. I miss good Chinese food. Jill, do you know of a great Chinese place in Houston? If I'm in a hurry sometimes I get a quick fix at P.F. Changs but it's not the same as traditional China Town. Today I made my own and I asked hubby to pick up egg rolls at a little dive down the street. Greasy Chinese is the best but I'm trying to lose weight so I'm trying to cook my own healthy Chinese. Anyone out there like to cook Asian food? What are you doing this weekend?
The blogging world has truly crossed my path with some wonderful women. A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail from a fascinating woman named, Crescent Dragonwagon. She's an amazing woman who happens to be an author. She generously sent me her book called, THECORNBREAD GOSPELS. Y'all, this is a fabulously delicious book. I haven't put it down since I opened it. It truly has hundreds of cornbread recipes. This definitely makes my favorite cook books list in my kitchen. Thank you so much, CD!!! You are truly one charming gal and made my entire day.
Y'all can find this book on the Barnes & Noble site too! It would be great as a gift for someone who loves to cook!!!
I've been considering having two chairs reupholstered in our kitchen area. In Houston they have a fabric warehouse. I found this beautiful fabric for my kitchen area that I'm in love with. I think it's going to be great. * For those in Houston it's off of Harwin Drive called Texture Textile. There's a section that's open to the public.
I also found the chandelier that I'm going to put in the kitchen area. I think it'll go fabulous with my new chairs. It reminds me of old NOLA and I'm eager to get started.
I had to run by the grocery store this afternoon and as I was strolling through the wine section I saw MAD HOUSEWIFE WINE. It literally had me stopped in my tracks. I don't know why this image amused me but it did. I thought about putting a Mother's Day basket together for a friend of mine with this brand inside. Has anyone ever tried MAD HOUSEWIFE before?
When I say rainy, I mean RAINY afternoon. You wouldn't believe the thunderstorms that have been rolling through the Houston area! Almost the entire afternoon has been pitch black and waterfalls dripping from our roof. The electricity flickered a few times. I had an entire day of shopping planned but ruled that out when I saw we were under sever weather alert. I started meddling in the back room and came across an unpainted bird house and some paints. I decided to do a little arts and crafts while my husband dozed off watch the Sci-Fi channel (yuck).
I was just starting to take painting lessons in Austin before we moved.I really enjoyed it and this got me thinking of looking for one in Houston. Anyone paint? This is my first bird house and I can see a lot of touch ups that need to be made. I decided to put it out on the porch anyways. That way a little bird could find some shelter from all this bad weather. This is my Martha Stewart moment, LOL! Hope y'all are staying dry this weekend.
Jill over at Peetoe Pumps and Pearls just tagged me. It's the top 8.
8 Things I Am looking Forward to:
1.) To finally saying Adios to all the tacky wallpaper when my house is completely remodeled. 2.) Becoming a mom (no,I'm not prego) 3.) Our trip over to New Orleans next month 4.) Our annual vacation we take in the Fall (we agree with Jill 100%). We look forward to the season when the kiddies go back to school & the resorts are empty. 5.) Taking my car to a car wash. It's disgusting right now. 6.) My birthday. My husband always surprises me with something great. I'm hoping it's a new Mignon Faget bracelet:) 7.) Going out to dinner with friends this weekend. 8.) Signing up for a cooking class at Hubbell & Hudson (The Woodlands, Texas)
8 Things I Did Yesterday * Nothing exciting 1.) Read blogs 2.) Worked on a proposal for a new center 3.) Made breakfast for my husband 4.) Answered e-mails 5.) Started laundry 6.) Stopped by Hallmark to pick up a B-Day card/gift for a friend 7.) Stopped by Post Office to mail B-Day card/gift 8.) Made dinner
8 Things I Wish I Could Do
1.) I wish I could speak another language. I think it's awesome when someone can speak more than one language. My husband speaks German and has tried to help me. But my tongue is not having it. 2.) I wish I could write a book. I've always wanted to become an author since I was a little girl. That would be my dream job. 3.) I wish I could sing like Ingrid Lucia. 4.) I wish I knew more about art. I love to visit museums and learn about the history behind the paintings. 5.) I wish I could become a gourmet chef and cook with my own herbs & veggies. 6.) I wish I was more disciplined and walk away from chocolate. I love chocolate! 7.) I wish I could garden and have a beautiful flower bed like the women down the street. 8.) I wish I was more organized.
8 Shows I Watch
1.) The Office 2.) The Real Housewives of NYC 3.) Desperate Housewives 4.) King of the Hill 5.) House Hunters HGTV 6.) Judge Judy 7.) Green Acres reruns 8.) I Dream of Jeanie reruns * I started watching TV Land for some odd reason.
I tag Pink Petunia in Paradise & All Things Fluffy Fabulous & Famous
This is my favorite meatloaf recipe. I'm not a big meatloaf fan and neither is my husband but we love this recipe. It's great with green beans and mash potatoes.
Spicy Meatloaf 2 lbs. ground beef 3/4 c. Italian bread crumbs 1 c. large sweet onion 1/2 c. ketchup 1/4 c. milk 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 tbsp. horseradish 1 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper
Topping 1/2 c. ketchup 3 tbsp. brown sugar 1 tbsp. prep. horseradish 2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1.) Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl, stir well. Form the beef mixture into a loaf and place in a 9x5" loaf pan.
Now for Topping 2.) Combine 1/2 c. ketchup, brown sugar, 1 tbsp. horseradish, and mustard in a small bowl, blend together. Spoon half of ketchup mixture over top of loaf. 3.) Bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Spoon remaining ketchup mixture over meat loaf, and bak 10 more minutes.
The secret ingredients
Check out my salt & pepper shakers. I got them in the French Quarter. I'm a huge Jazz/Blues fan so they were appropriate for my kitchen.
Yesterday I rolled out of bed around 6:30am so I could be at the church for 7:30am to help set up the Easter egg hunt. We had to move everything indoors because it was going to rain. I spent the entire morning helping everyone in my class rearrange one of the large conference rooms into an Easter extravaganza. I was happy that we got their early because I don’t think we would have found a parking place if we hadn’t (very crowded).
As soon as the service was over we made a beeline to the car and headed home (thankfully we live in the same neighborhood). I had to rush in and start cooking. However, I forgot two small ingredients and had to send hubby to Randall’s up the street. As I was cooking I looked out the French doors and saw eerie dark black clouds rolling in. Suddenly a squirrel leaped off the back fence and scurried under hubby’s new BBQ. The Cardinals began frantically chirping and dove under the awning for shelter. Within seconds I could see the storm pushing the trees back with strong winds and loud thunder shook the house. As the rain began filling the streets with streams of rushing water; I felt guilty for sending my husband out in such a mess. I turned on the weather channel and the screeching beeping sound (often heard in the south) came blaring out of the television. That’s means severe weather alert. And just as fast as the storm appeared it disappeared and the sun began shining. Texas has crazy weather. About 10 minutes later I heard my hubby drive up. I grabbed the camera and surprised him as he walked through the door. He doesn’t look very amused, does he? But he quickly got into the festive mood when the table was set. We had Rosemary thyme lamb, Cajun Cornbread, Grilled Lemon Pepper Asparagas, Cinnamon Red Wine Baked Sweet Potatoes and Fig Cake with a Buttermilk frosting.
* Check out our tacky wallpaper behind him. The whole house is full of this traditional icky stuff. It’ll be nice when the house is finished.
I made this for Easter brunch and it was the first thing to go. It was fantastic and I thought I would share this recipe with y'all. It's perfect for a side dish.
Cajun Cornbread Stuffing
2 pkg. yellow cornbread mix 1/2 c. unsalted butter 1/2 c. celery 1/2 c. bell pepper, chopped 1/2 lb. boiled and chopped hot sausage 1 lb. Louisiana wild-caught shrimp, peeled & de-veined (16-20 count) 1 lb. Louisiana crawfish tails, chopped 1/2 c. while milk 1 11-ounce can cream style corn 1/2 c. chicken broth 2 whole eggs, beaten 1 c. mild cheddar cheese, shredded 1/4 c. parsley Cajun Seasoning
1.) Bake cornbread, cool, then crumble with hands in bowl. Set aside. 2.) Melt butter in large saute pan, add onion, celery, and bell pepper, and simmer mixture until onions are clear. 3.) Add sausage and shrimp and cook 5 minutes in mixture. 4.) Then add milk & creamed corn, stir will into mixture. 5.) Add this point casserole will look dry so stir 1/2 c. of chicken broth. 6.) Finish casserole by folding ingredients into bowl of crumbled up cornbread. Fold in the beaten eggs, shreded cheese, and minced Italian parsley. Season with Cajun spice. 7.) Transfer mixture to a 11x14 "baking dish" and bake at 350 for 45 minutes until deep golden brown.
I've been tagged by Pink Petunia in Paradise. The name of the game is to take a picture of you right this minute (as is). #1 RULE: NO PRIMPING!!! I stepped out of my home office because it's a mess full of color/fabric/wood samples. Here's me in the hallway in my favorite J Crew green Tee (so comfy). I haven't had a chance to hang all of our artwork yet. The artwork I'm standing next to are bible leaves we got in Europe. They are over 100 years old. We had them professionally framed but the walls are a dull yellow and do nothing to help them pop. I can't wait to repaint them. I'm thinking of going blue but I'm not 100% yet.
My Mignon Faget glasses came in! They just arrived in time for our Easter brunch. I love them!!! Mignon Faget is actually a jewelry designer in New Orleans. I was introduced to her line almost 10 years ago. I have about a dozen pieces from her line. My favorite are the Fleur De Lis. That's why I had to have these glasses. My birthday is coming up in June and I've had my eye on this New Orleans charm bracelet. I'm going to have to drop some hints to hubby.....
The #1 factor in choosing our house was location, location, location. We wanted to be in a certain neighborhood surrounded by the greenbelts. The parks and greenbelts give us a lot of privacy and the neighborhood is full of beautiful custom homes that were built back in the 80's. Most of the community is filled with engineers that work/retired with Exxon. Everyone has done a fabulous job upgrading/keeping up on their homes that it makes the neighborhood a jewel. We fell in love as soon as our realtor turned into the community. It reminds us of the charming neighborhoods in New Orleans.
The previous owner did upgrade the house but their taste is not our style. So I’m going to be remodeling. The kitchen has new disgusting wall paper that I’m ashamed to even photograph and post on my blog. It’s very blah…not even flowers but just plain tacky. I thought of hiring a crew to come in and remove it but I began finding some artistic patterns that I actually like. It will also bring in the old world feeling I’m trying to accomplish. I’m going to hire them to cover it up with this…
This is my inspiration for my new living room. I'm going to replace the couch with the red one I picked out and also the big oversized chair. I also have an antique chair that I'm going to have reupholstered in similar fabric as the chair. This has the same look as our things now but I have a couple of new modern pieces as well. Honestly, what do y’all think?
It's time for a new living room set. I love and enjoyed the set we previously purchased when we were first married but now it's time to upgrade. It's been 7 years so I think we definitely got our money's worth. We both love antiques and have many old worn pieces we've collected over the past few years. Our home is decorated in a very eccentric style. It's very New Orleans....old world, French accents, and modern all rolled into a one. I needed to find a set that would express our passion for old & funky things but also show our conservative side as well. I knew that I had a vision but I needed to force my artistic grey cells to kick in. I searched and finally found what I was looking for. I believe this will work perfectly. What do y'all think?
We spent a lovely Saturday afternoon at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. My husband was dying to see the “The Birth of Christianity: A Jewish Story” exhibit due to leave in another week. I found it very fascinating as we got to see sections of the Dead Sea Scrolls and some Epistles (on loan from the British Library in London). The exhibit was beautifully decorated with large crystal chandeliers. I remember a few years ago I went to see the “Princess Diana” exhibit in the same section of the museum. The only downfall is that I’m not allowed to take any photographs so I’m not able to post any pictures.
However, there are other exhibits such as the Dinosaurs in which I can photograph. This is one of my husband’s favorites. He loves the Dinosaurs! He and about a thousand little boys, LOL! My second favorite exhibit was the section on oil/gas. That is a picture of me standing by chart of different types of fuel. We have two separate family friends that are very dear to us that are in the oil business. They own their own oil company’s (sort of like J.R. Ewing, ha). It has always fascinated me on the entire concept of how the industry works. One is on his way back next week from Australia. I was offered a position as a Project Manager with his company but it would also require me to travel to Australia to work. My friends tell me I’m a fool for turning it down but I’ve already lived out of a suitcases traveling to foreign countries back in my twenties. Now that I’m in my mid thirties I’m looking to stay put and try to live a normal life. Now I just have to figure out what normal looks like, LOL!
Today I’m going in for my routine facial and I happened to read Petunia’s blog. She touched on something that is really important to me regarding skincare products. She was discussing all the horrible cancerous toxins that are in our beauty products. About 5 years ago I attended a conference regarding how the toxin build up can affect our health. It was pretty scary and I shortly began changing my products over to organic toxin free. However, it wasn’t easy. There’s a lot more variety now than 5 years ago but the job was more overwhelming than I imagined it would be. I wasted a lot of money on terrible shampoos, toothpastes, body soaps, etc. After many years of dabbling with organic lines I came across these and absolutely love them. Even my husband likes them. For those who want to switch to a toxin-free lifestyle and haven’t a clue where to begin try these products (I would hate for anyone to waste time and money on those yucky organic lines as I did):
Jason natures body wash- I like the Lavender. It's silky suds are devine and it smells like fresh cut Lavender.
John Masters shampoo line is fabulous. I like Rosemary Lavender Shampoo and the Honey Hibiscus conditioner.
Living Nature is a skinline from New Zealand. It's awesome!!!
Tom's toothpaste is a flouride-free without a yucky taste. They even have a toothpaste for children. I've found it in our local grocery store.
I hope y’all don’t mind me venting but I’m about to pull my hair out. I seriously work with a bunch of monkeys. That picture posted above truly represents what I’m dealing with, silly people who refuse to listen. I’m in commercial design and I have a huge account I’m currently working on. The client hired a consulting group out of Colorado to have oversight over the facility (building a medical center). I’m not over exaggerating when I say they (as a group) couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag. I could tell you stories… (shaking my head)...this all would be funny if it wasn’t happening to me. I’m so angry because I’m stuck cleaning up after “grossly” overpaid incompetent people. I suppose that’s why I make the medium bucks, LOL!!!
However, I must be a glutton for punishment because I’m constantly telling my husband, “This is it!!! I’m quitting after this project. I’m not going to design anymore.” I’ve said that about almost every project, LOL! But it’s a great feeling of accomplishment once you see it all come together at the end. But for now I’m exhausted and stressed out. Tonight I have a date with a bottle of Riesling that I brought back from Napa. I like to eat milk duds with my wine (I’m so refined, huh) LOL!!! Now that I’ve had my Dr. Phil moment I need to get back to work. Hope y’all have a better week than me.