Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Love Social Media

My 7-year old niece knows how to use her mommy's phone.

There's a new game app on my iPhone and it's taking up a lot of my time these days! It's called
DrawSomething - a social drawing and guessing game you play {on your phone} with friends.

Have you ever played and loved the game Pictionary?
If so, you would love this game too!!!

The game doesn't allow for you to save the pictures {I've put in a request via a survey I answered} but I can do a screen print on my phone if I act quickly. Here are some from Presley that I wanted to preserve:

I just loved her version of a painter:

And her button {which took me a while to guess}:

And this was just so dang cute. This next picture is one that I drew for Presley to guess. The game will be much easier for her when she knows how to spell some bigger words, but she gets and "A" for effort!

How about you? Have you tried this game with friends?
Wanna' DrawSomething with me?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Just a Quote for Friday

{Doug and his cat, Henry}
"The naming of cats is a difficult matter.
It isn't just one of your holiday games.
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter.
When I tell you a cat must have three different names."

~ T.S. Eliot

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Saturday's sliders.

Yeah, I know I already did a weekend recap,
but I thought you'd like to see what we did last Saturday afternoon.
Amongst other activities, we made sliders on the grill.

Doug and our friend Adam got together last Saturday morning to remove some tree stumps from our respective yards. We had three tree stumps to remove here at our house, and Adam and Samantha had four at theirs. The boys men split the cost of a stump grinder and had a busy morning doing their thing. They have looked forward to this event for weeks!

The weather was so beautiful that we cooked burgers and had a late lunch in our backyard. 

To make the burgers, I sauteed some chopped red onion, then mixed them in the ground beef along with some salt, pepper, basil, and garlic powder. We served them on some Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls that were coated with a mayo spread {used the dip recipe found here} and then toasted on the grill. A slice of cheddar cheese and Oh.My.Goodness. They were yummy!

What a lovely spring day to spend outside.

Good food.

Good friends.

Good times.

{We Adam & Sam!}

Monday, March 26, 2012

This weekend went by too quickly! A recap.

Friends! Thank you so much for coming to my house warming party {blog hop pot luck} on Saturday! It was so much fun, I loved each and every post, and my smile muscles hurt by Saturday evening. And for those who participated by creating a post and making a drink or dish, thanks for taking the time and the love to do that!

I plan to put all the photos and recipes in a book, and there's also a blog giveaway in our future to win your own copy. More on that later! Now let's get to my weekend recap, shall we?

After reading Carrie's post about self-portraits, I decided to commit to taking a photo of myself every week. I won't post them all here on my blog, but I wanted to share this one. My Instagram caption read: "Doug has gotten pretty good at helping with a ponytail. Will be so glad when I can lift my right arm again!" {Yeah, the shoulder still ails me.}
Anyway, I took that SP just before work on Friday, and even though including Friday in my weekend recap isn't precise, I thought you'd also like to see what I look at while sitting at my desk at my new job. Candy. Chocolate candy. As I will be responsible for purchasing candy for this dish in the future, I figure I'll buy some kind of candy that I don't like. Logical, right?

We had friends over on Saturday for some yardwork and a barbeque. Early in the day I had to make a trip to the grocery store, and on my way out of the neighborhood I noticed a yard sale. Picked up this little porcelain travel iron for $10.

Sunday morning Doug, Carrie and I all went to see The Hunger Games. Carrie had read the book a year ago, then made Doug and I both read it as well. Loved the book, loved the movie. Carrie was so excited - we had to take pictures for her Project Life.

After the movie we had lunch at BJ's Brewhouse...

And later in the afternoon Carrie and I went for pedicures...
Dear Universe: Why is it every time we go for a pedicure I get a technician that cuts me? Seriously? Carrie was in the chair next to me falling asleep and I was wincing in pain and bleeding! {Weird angle on my foot there...and for the record, my toes do look pretty now.}

Good thing I have Whiskers to sooth me.
Isn't that right, angel cat?

Back to week number two at my new job.
I'm learning lots and there is a lot to learn.
Doug and I are both adjusting to me being back to work full time.
It's all good and we are happy. ;o)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's party time!!! My International Pot Luck Blog Hop!

Hello, everyone!!! Come on in!
Today I'm hosting my first blog hop and it's sure to be a good time.
You see, in the three+ years that I've been blogging I've made some dear friends.
My local friends know how much I love to entertain, and every time Doug and I have
a party in our house, there are so many blogging friends I'd love to have join us.
Next best thing?
A virtual pot luck including 21 of us from around the planet,
all posting at the same time and linking to each other.
Crazy fun, eh?

If you were really coming to my house, this is how I'd look greeting you at the front door. However, many times if I happen to see our guests pull up, I'm so excited that I run outside to the car to say hello. Another thing about me? I'm a hugger. I'd hug you - even if your arms are full of stuff you're bringing in. And then I'd probably hug you again when you get inside and have both arms free. I'm happy to see you!

Once you're inside I'm going to offer you something to drink. I always have wine on hand, beer is usually the boy's choice, and soft drinks and iced tea. Today, it's red wine.

In preparation of this virtual pot luck, I tested two appetizers thinking that Doug and I would pick the one we liked the best. Wouldn't you know? I liked the oven-fried zucchini best, and he liked the ham and cheese quiche bites.

I've shared the link for the zucchini above, but I'll type out the recipe for the ham and cheese quiche bites as it is my own variation of a recipe I've had for a while.

Ham and Cheese Quiche Bites
1 c. {8 oz} flour
1-1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 c. {4 oz} vegetable oil
1/4 c. {2 oz} milk
1/2 c. {4 oz} grated cheddar cheese*
1/2 c. {4 oz} grated Swiss cheese*
1/4 c. {2 oz} parmesan cheese*
1/4 c. {2 oz} finely chopped ham*
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 green onions, chopped {use the green parts too}
salt and pepper to taste
(* measurements are approximate)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour batter into greased/non-stick mini-muffin tin, filling each cup almost full. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes until sides of muffins are light brown. These are great fresh out of the oven, but they also freeze well to be used for future parties or quick breakfast snacks.

♦ ♦ ♦

So, here's how this party works: I'm linking to my dear friend, Rinda so you'll want to visit her next. At the end of Rinda's post she'll link to the next blogger on the list {Beverly}, and so on. Want to know something really cool? This pot luck blog hop goes all over our planet! Starting in Arizona, and going across our states {west coast to east!}, over to England, Ireland, and Spain, and then way down under to Australia. The blog hop loop comes back around to Arizona with a stop at my girl C's house! I hope you're hungry!

Safe and happy travels, everyone.
Now, let's head on over to Rinda's place...

The Menu and the Map:
Deb @ PaperTurtle – {you are here!}
Rinda @ Gallo Organico –  
Beverly @ BE glorious -

Alison @ Life in the Slow Lane –
Fiona @ Staring at the Sea –
Amy @ Over at our Place -

Side/Main Dishes
The “Not So” Small One @ From High in the Sky –
Jacky @ Scrappy Jacky -
Deb @ Deb’s World –
Ginger @ Ginger’s Life of Spice -
Karen @ Tales from the Scrapheap -
Karen @ Random Reflections -
Ruth @ Everyday Life of a Suburban SAHM -

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita -
Ruth @ Chatty Crafty Arty Pig -
Margaret @ Finnegan Begin Again –
Becca @ La Jolie Fleur Rouge -
Cheri @ Scrap Dreams -
Carrie @ Rosalind Revival – {dessert/drink wrap-around}

Friday, March 23, 2012

Just a Quote for Friday

"I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures."

~ Lao Tzu

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Breakfast egg boat

My girl C, does a Friday Favorites on her blog.
These favorites always include at least one food item, and
it's a toss up between those recipes that she wants to try,
and those she hopes that I will make.

Last week while my mom and step-dad were here I made this baked egg boat that I had seen on one of Carrie's Friday Favorite posts. The original recipe can be found here, but I will also post my version at the bottom of this post because I changed it up a bit.

My step-dad accommodated my photo shoot by arranging his plate very nicely. {Thanks, Rod!} He added a dollop of sour cream, some salsa, and fresh cilantro {coriander} from my garden.

This was really delicious and something that I will definitely make again!
Here's the recipe in case you'd like to give it a try:

Baked Egg Boat
 1 baguette {pretty sure that's French for really hard loaf of bread!}
5 eggs
1/4 cup {2 oz} milk
some chopped up ham {or bacon or sausage}
2 green onions chopped {I used the green parts and a little bit of the white}
1/2 cup {4 oz} grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cut a piece of the baguette out of the top of the loaf, and then hollow out some of the bread inside. Combine all ingredients on the list, and include all the bread chunks from the center of the loaf. I used everything but the top crust. Pour it all into the baguette shell and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Take photos for a blog post to let it cool for a bit, then slice and serve with salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For the Queen of Happy Mail

I have a blog friend who is the Queen of Happy Mail.
You may be one of the fortunate ones who knows her too.

While I'm oh so grateful for the happy mail that she sends to me and to my girl C, the thing that touches my heart so deeply is the happy mail she sends to my mom.

My regular readers know that my mom is battling cancer, and I started Team Teal as a way to make sure she was getting little bits of happy mail here and there to lift her spirit on challenging days. All of Team Teal has been so lovely to her, but this particular friend shines bright in her consistency and never ending kindness.

{here's what the canvas looked like before all the layers went on}

Thank you, Ruth, from the bottom of my heart, for all the lovely happy mail you send around the planet - not just to the members of my family, but to all of our blog friends near and far who have been fortunate enough to be the recipient of one of your sweet parcels.

Some angels have wings, Ruth.
You have envelopes and stamps.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Bunny and a Naughty Cat

Last Friday night while having dinner, Doug and I had a serious conversation about Whiskers Jay. To put it mildly, he's been a pain-in-the-neck cat lately. He's a been bit full of himself and pretty bossy and slightly mean. Like, whenever I get out of a chair he immediately takes my place. Then, when I try to shoo him off? He hisses at me. Sometimes, he even bats his paw at me. No respect, I tell ya.

I've had a little dish garden with some succulent plants sitting by our kitchen sink. Whiskers is notorious for nibbling on plants, so I thought I'd outsmart him and put some ground white pepper on the plants to teach him a lesson. Apparently, he likes his succulents with a dash of white pepper.

We actually had a conversation about finding a new home for him. On Friday night, I was mad enough about my destroyed precious succulent plant that I really meant it. I texted Carrie and told her about our conversation and she replied, "I don't think you are going to be able to do it."

And then, just like magic, Whiskers turned into the sweetest cat on the planet. He followed me around all weekend, nudging me to pet him, rubbing against my legs while I washed dishes, and keeping me company while I made this bunny on Sunday afternoon - purring constantly I might add. And when I asked him nicely to get out of my chair? He did so without complaining.

That was a close one, Jay-cat!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A rainy weekend recap

Happy Monday morning, blog friends!
Last week was my last week of unemployment {I start my new job tomorrow!!!} so I pretended like this was a long weekend. Therefore, I'm starting my recap with Thursday morning...
I met a sweet friend for coffee {actually ended up being breakfast too} and had a lovely visit and a great catch up with her.

Then on Friday I met my girl C for lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant...
Friday afternoon I whipped up a batch of Irish Cream cupcakes that ended up being a big hit at our non-camping party on Saturday night.
Saturday afternoon, for whatever reason, I was in a grumpy mood. I reached for a good old standard Hershey bar and had myself an instant attitude adjustment. {I'm really impressed with the quality of this photo taken with my iPhone!}
I sent Doug to the store for last minute supplies for our party and told him to pick up some flowers for the table. He did an excellent job selecting a mix that ended up making two separate bouquets.
We weren't really sure who would be stopping by on Saturday night and knew of at least one couple that were coming over. Turns out we had a houseful of people - 19 altogether! We loved it!!! And! One of the attendees was our 3-week old great-nephew, Sweet Baby J. He is absolutely perfect in every way.
Our friend Judy showed up for the party with tulips and a couple of dish cloths she knitted {LOVE these!!! They actually make washing dishes an enjoyable task!}. Oh, and she also gave me a knitted can koozy, not shown in this photo.
Then yesterday afternoon, Carrie and I did a little shoe shopping. For someone who claims to hate shopping for shoes, Carrie always finds the cutest styles and is quick about it. I wander the aisles, having a tough time making decisions. She helped me find two pairs that I love, and got a cute pair for herself too.
It's a good thing we cancelled our camping trip for the weekend, because it POURED rain on Sunday. I had cooked a pork roast in the crock pot on Saturday, so I used the leftover pork and made a pot of beans for dinner last night, along with some corn bread muffins on the side. YUMMY dinner for a cold and rainy night.
And there you have it.
My last leisurely long weekend.
♦ ♦ ♦
I'm super excited to start my new job! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't
just a little bit nervous, but I suppose that only proves that I am human.
And I'm super excited to wear my new shoes,
and I suppose that merely proves that I'm a girl. ;o)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Cream Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Doug and I love Irish cream. In fact, we have a bit of history with the stuff on an infamous camping trip years ago. Let's just say that as a couple we have learned that a little bit of Irish cream is good, a lot of it is not so good, and we'll leave it at that. ;o)

Anyway! When I came across this recipe on a sweet blog I follow {lick the bowl good}, I knew right away I had to try it out. I was looking for a recipe to make for St. Patrick's Day so the timing was perfect too.

Oh.My.Dangerous, people. These things are fantastic!!!

The recipe called for cappuccino chips and I went to four different specialty stores looking for them to no avail. I settled on white chocolate chips, then doubled the recipe and made mine into {16} cupcakes. I've heard no one complaining!

I used just a little bit of frosting/glaze on top rather than going with
the usual big ol' swirl. These cakes are really rich on their own.
And, I couldn't resist adding a couple of little tags to a few of the cupcakes.
"They call me lucky" is a line from a silly and totally immature joke we know,
and "Always after me lucky charms" is a line from Austin Powers.
{Haha. I amuse myself sometimes.}
Our camping trip for this weekend was cancelled due to weather,
so we're having our camping bunch over tonight for a camp food dinner
and fire in the backyard. Are you having any fun on St. Patrick's Day?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Just a Quote for Friday

{Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, Arizona}

Row your boat, gently down the stream, is but a dream.

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