Tuesday, January 31, 2012

farewell photo challenge

January 31, 2012: You, again.
Today was not the best day to take a picture of myself, but for you (and for the love of the game) I did. Happy last day of the photo challenge!!
Tomorrow we ring in February. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012


January 30, 2012: Nature.
Owls are so hot right now. Especially real ones. And the thrift store kind.
This picture was taken several weeks ago. I spent the entirety of today cooped up in a small room shooting an electron beam at thin sections of 3 million year old plants (oddly appropriate for today's challenge, but not quite as visually appealing or modern).
I took this at our place in La Grange, TX. It's a little hard to get a feel for size, but he is pretty big. We think he's a Barred owl.
He just sat there watching us (with slightly judging eyes) walk closer, scoot around to get the perfect angle, awkwardly fiddle with the camera we weren't used to, snap, peak, snap, loose him in the trees, find him, can't find him with the camera on zoom, zoom out, find him, zoom in, snap, etc. 
Then he flew away as owls do...sick of the paparazzi, knowing full well that we weren't skilled enough to capture him in motion. And his wing span was even bigger than we thought. So we kept looking. Unsuccessful. He was probably up there with all his friends laughing about human stereotypes. And looking for mice. Or bugs. Or both.

This was a strange post. I'm aware. It's been a long day. And I rented the Glee movie. Turns out it's not a movie. It's like home video of their concert. ?. ?. Bum. mer. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

taco soup

January 29, 2012: In your fridge.
Taco soup is nothing new, but I'll share my family's version since it is currently in my fridge :)
It's super easy and it makes a lot. If you're cooking for a lot of people, it's perfect. If you're cooking for yourself, it freezes really well and is good leftover after the flavors have had time to meld together.

Taco Soup
1 lb. ground meat (I use turkey, beef works too)
1 yellow onion
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
1 can pinto beans
1 can red beans (kidney)
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 package Old El Paso taco seasoning
1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing (powder)
1 can green chilies
1.5 glasses of water
tostitos chips

Brown the meet with some of the taco seasoning.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large pot. Add the meat when it's ready and let it simmer until it's hot and the onions are soft. Serve with grated cheese and tostitos chips! Put the rest in the freezer for later :)

Change the rotel to make it spicy or not spicy. I also don't use the whole packet of taco seasoning so it's not overpowering.

painted churches

I'm back from an excellent and relaxing weekend, part of which, I'll share with you now! I missed yesterday's photo challenge which is light. 
Kittens and I packed up on Friday and headed towards La Grange, TX to chill with my parents. Banks made the car ride a nightmare (in which he actually escaped from his carrier). If you would have stopped on the side of the road to see if I needed assistance while I was shuffling cats that afternoon, I may have offered him to you free of charge in appreciation for your concern, or as a parting gift, or as an early Valentine's Day present...anyway. Banks is still part of the family, and if I would have given him to you on that day, I would probably be frantically searching the road for your car right now, hoping to get him back. (That was quite a digression. You may have guessed that Banks was also a monster on the drive home today which is possibly why I am still talking about it.)

Anyway, on Saturday, we plugged the painted churches into our GPS and hit the road to find them all. If you're in the area, you should check them out. They're old but well kept and beautiful. Most of the wall murals are painted by hand as was the tradition in the late 1800s to early 1900s when these churches were built. As far as we could tell, most of them still have service on Sunday! Enough talk, I'll share some pictures from our afternoon. You'll notice how beautifully stained glass lets in the light.
 Can you believe how beautiful all the painting are?? Don't you love the stained glass??

After looking at these pictures on my computer, I'm noticing that most of them are slightly (or horribly) lopsided. Sigh. Maybe a tripod is in my near future.

I will be back later with today's photo challenge and a recipe!

Friday, January 27, 2012

meet prickles

Today's photo challenge is lunch...I had easymac for lunch. Didn't take a picture for obvious reasons. However, I do have some super cute pictures of my friend and office mate's new baby hedgehog! His name is Prickles and he is 10 weeks old.
He's pretty relaxed even around her two cats. When he is startled or angry he puffs up his spines and hisses (not like a cat, more like a snake). They burrow, so he was trying to get inside my jacket, under the towel, etc. Even though he weighs a fraction of a pound now, when you pick him up, he has this massive and adorable stomach pudge :)

I'm heading out of town for the weekend to a place with no internet (a joyous retreat). I'll be back on Sunday with a photo update from the weekend :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012


January 26, 2012: Colour (or, as I like to say, color).
I got home from school the other day to find a pop of color on my kitchen table :)
They are a bit wilted now since it's been a few days, but they fit the photo challenge nonetheless.
He spoils me :) (Rhett, not Banks).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

sewing success: clutch

January 25, 2012: Something you made.
I may or may  not be completely obsessed with this clutch. I also may or may not have already made four of the large one and one of the small one (to send to friends, of course!). I'll show you the one's I'm keeping (the first two I made) and after I send the others out, I'll post about them.
The tutorial is very easy to follow. The zipper can be a bit tricky but she has a diagram (that I have to go back to every time) which helps a lot.
This one was made from start to finish during the second half of the Giants/49ers game.
The fabric is from a thrifted men's pearl snap shirt :)
I cut a pocket off the front and sewed it to the interior fabric.
(If you look closely, you can see that kittens wreak havoc stay very involved in the sewing process.)
I also made one of coral and aqua linen.
These are so fun. Grab-and-go with the basics or stuff into your large bag.
If you've never sewn a zipper, don't fret! This was my first time and I had no troubles. I didn't use a special foot either...just went with it.
In fact, I saw this print and think it serves as an excellent sewing (and life) mantra.
(This is from Etsy and, unfortunately, appears to be gone).

So, the photo challenge is almost over! Do you feel like you know me better??
I think it will be fun to look back on this eventually and have such a clear picture of this month! (possibly too clear??) 2011 will not be so clear...ha. 
Who cares about 2011, anyway?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

a pinners guilty pleasure

January 24, 2012: Guilty Pleasure.
My guilty pleasure is, of course, pinterest. I could spend hours browsing through endless pages of design inspiration, diy projects, fabulous clothes, cute animals, etc. So, it's only appropriate that I share some of my favorite pins with you today.

Oh, gosh. It goes on (kinda like the donkeys).
Stop. The. Insanity.

Monday, January 23, 2012

audrey hepburn

January 23, 2012: Something old.
This evening I scored this Audrey Hepburn print at Ross for $12. It's perfect for my light and airy breakfast nook and compliments my aqua mail pinboard (also in the breakfast nook).
Old classic actress + hot pink + kitten face = perfection.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

let's get some shoes.

January 22, 2012: Your shoes.
I love shoes. What girl doesn't??
Today I was rockin' my Sperry's. Don't you love when something pin finds its way to your closet? :)
Rhett decided to play along today, too! He texted me this pic from the golf course. Gotta love alligator golf shoes!

And now for a totally unrelated kitten picture. Banks and Benson are both fascinated with computers and especially tracking the mouse on the screen. Cat and mouse of the 21st century??


Saturday, January 21, 2012

reflection & donkeys

January 21, 2012: Reflection.
Rhett and I spent the day hiking the nature trails of Lake Bryan. It was a bit chilly (I looked like a snow bunny and Rhett wore athletic shorts and a dry-fit shirt..), but once we got our blood pumping a bit, it felt just fine. I wish I had a super cute pic of our reflection in the late, but conditions did not cooperate. For fear of losing out on the picture challenge this far along, I took a few instagram shots along the way :)
Rhett skipped rocks :)
We found a birds nest (empty).
Attempting a reflection shot of the sun in the lake. I actually kinda like the blurry-ness of it.
And a reflection shot of the trees :)
After we left the lake, we stopped on the side of the road to love on some adorable donkeys.
[This picture is seriously cute]
Okay, I should stop, but these guys are too cute!! I took about 8,000 more pictures. And plan to visit again. Soon. Often. :)

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