Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sailing, studying, and showering

Hello, friends and family!

I hope you enjoyed the pancake and craft post from moments ago..... I enjoy your responses to our creations!

A little update on what's been going on around here....

Last weekend, Scott and I were invited to go "camping" on our friend's sailboat. There was no campfire or smores, not even a tent--but there was lots of good grilling, eating, swimming, and bug spray.

B and Scott grilled some black bean burgers and corn, while the girls all munched on salsa and chips and sipped beer.

The weather was perfect--about 80 degrees and breezy on the boat. We had some duck friends waddle into our territory to eat our fallen food scraps....

This duck emitted that white cloud from his tail end RIGHT as I was taking the picture.... I don't really want to know what it is...

After dinner, we went to the yacht club's swimming pool and had a WILD pool noodle war. Men v. Women. Who can steal the most pool noodles from the other team. There was wrestling, pulling, yanking, and bopping. I think at one point a lounge chair ended up in the pool..... The girls won, of course. We did have them out numbered (4 to 2), but we won fair and square! I don't think I have played like that in a pool since I was 10. Needless to say, we destroyed the pool noodles, which by the way did NOT belong to us. The evidence was hidden and we walked away silently...

Sweet friend.

After our night of fun, Scott and I drove to the downtown Houston library for the day.

Note to self: a cute outfit can become not cute with a 20 lb. backpack...

I had some reading that I needed to do and Scott was working on a project.

Scott makes funny faces while he reads :-)

I have only visited the main library once, but after spending an entire day there, I think I would consider this one of my favorite study spots. There was interesting mix of people there--LOTS of homeless people, students, and elderly women. I liked the diversity; it was more interesting than being in a coffee shop full of middle class white people (nothing wrong with that, just saying it was a good change of scenery :-) ) plus I had more room to SPREAD out! I need my space when I study or I feel overwhelmed.... Of course, I didn't leave without checking out some good reads (i.e. those that do not pertain to research and speech pathology). I picked up a non-fiction by Michael Pollan called "The Omnivore's Dilemma", one that I have been wanting to read for quite some time, and a light-hearted fiction called "Deep Dish".

Today, I went to my dear friend, Melissa's, bridal shower! She received some good gifts and the women I met there were so sweet!

Sweet Mo and her momma

Yummy petit foirs...

A few gifts...

Scott is currently in Kansas attending the "Prairie Festival" with some of his friends from JBU! He met his favorite author, Wendell Berry, today!! Scott has wanted to meet this man for a very long time and when I got the text that said, "I saw him!" I was just thrilled! I hope he snagged a picture.... This is my first time home alone since we moved to Houston! Crazy, I know. I think I'm going crazy! It's too quiet! But, fortunately, I had Melissa's shower and tonight I have a bachelorette party to attend! We have to wear wigs to this party and mine so happens to be a Lady Gaga-esque HOT PINK wig cut like a short bob. Oh my, oh my..... Pictures to come!

Well, that is all! Happy Weekend!


Quick bud vase

It was my friend's birthday about two weeks ago and I needed a gift for her. Something special, handmade, and simple. I dug around in my antique library catalogue (a.k.a. my tiny drawers of goodness and inspiration) and found three things: a small glass jar, a large antique wooden button, and some ribbon. Perfect. This project took me about 20 minutes to complete, and the results were too cute!

What you need:
-Small glass jar (the one I used was a recycled jam jar)
-Thin ribbon or embroidery thread (small enough to fit through the button holes)
-Decorative ribbon
-Large button
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks

What to do:
-Clean and dry the jar thoroughly
-Thread the ribbon through the button, leaving enough on both sides to tie around the jar
-Tie the ribbon around the mouth of the jar and place a dot of hot glue to hold in place
-Place a few additional dots of hot glue around the mouth of the jar, under the ribbon, to keep the ribbon in place
-Cut your decorative ribbon to the size of the mouth of the jar
-Hot glue the decorative ribbon around the rim to hide the thin ribbon
-If you so desire, you could hot glue the button to the jar, but I didn't find this necessary
-Fill the jar half-way with water and put some tiny, fresh cut wildflowers inside

I love how simple crafting can be....



Buttermilk Pancakes

Do you ever wake up on a Saturday morning, the sun creeping through the shades, bundled and twisted in your sheets, and ponder, "what will I eat this morning?" I know I do. In fact, Saturday morning breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the week. It's my husband and I's one morning that we allow ourselves to indulge in whatever greatness the kitchen presents to us. Forget the healthy, organic granola! Ditch the piece of whole wheat toast with organic preserves! Saturday morning is a time for carbs, fats, and sugars, my dear readers. Indulge, for this is the one morning a week you can do this guilt-free!

I am a HUGE fan of a food blog called Smitten Kitchen. The recipe for our buttermilk pancakes comes from her--I can take no credit except for that I followed her recipe precisely and grilled these fried cakes to their fluffy perfection. I omitted the blueberries because 'tis no longer their season. Oh, and I smothered them in organic butter (okay, so I can't completely stray from my need for organic...) and doused them in 100% pure maple syrup. Complete this meal with a tall glass of milk and you will be ready for your weekend! (WARNING: after consuming these pancakes, you may collapse from a sugar/carb coma by 12:00 noon, but who cares?! It's Saturday!)

What you need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or slightly less table salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon extra for brushing griddle

What to do:

-Preheat an electric griddle to 375°F, or place a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
-Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.
-Add the eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons melted butter, and whisk to combine.
-Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining 1/2 teaspoon butter onto the griddle
-Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup, pour the batter in pools 2 inches apart.

Note: don't use a scoop the same color as the batter.... you will be digging for a while until you realize it was on top of the batter all along...
-When the pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

-Repeat with the remaining batter. You can keep the finished pancakes on a heat-proof plate in the oven at 200°F. Serve warm.
-THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Get out your butter knife and slather those golden babies with butter, then drizzle maple syrup on top. Oh yeah, and EAT ALL OF THEM (okay, maybe just 3.... or 4.... I'll never tell how many I ate.)


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Brief update and last minute trips....

Hello, hello! I hope this weekend finds you rested and joyful :-) My husband is currently hacking away at some frozen beef as I sit here and (laugh at) watch him from a distance...

School is off to a good start! My internship is great--it's nice not being cooped up in our tiny building with no windows all day... The therapy room I work in most of the day has a HUGE window that overlooks the city, so I have a very nice view :-) Classes are going well, yet I am still in denial that anything is due in the near future.... I should snap to reality soon, I suppose....

Scott just found out that he will NOT be transferred to Galveston after all!!! HUGE praises for that one! Thank you, Lord :-) He will most likely be transferred somewhere that is actually CLOSER to home!

Scott and I have taken on the role of Small Group Leaders for our church group. Sarah and Eric were our small group leaders, but due to her cancer diagnosis, they passed the baton to us. Scott has REALLY enjoyed leading the group. We are going through the book of James right now, which has been a great blessing to our group due to the trials that have come our way recently.

In other news...... We recently took a VERY spontaneous trip to Louisiana over Labor Day weekend! Scott's good friend from high school/college, Jared, came down to visit us and we wanted to show him a good time. We also have some friends, Ashley and Jason, that live in small town Louisiana that we met up with. Our trip included a tour of the Tabasco factory...

...eating Po' Boys...

...a tour of the bayou and swamp (we saw 12 alligators!!!)

I don't remember what this green plant is called, but it covered the top of the swamp water... it looked like the trees were bursting out of a lush shag carpet...


Jason and Ashley with the bayou foliage

I did NOT use a zoom lens for this photo--we were about 3 feet from this 8 foot alligator...

...and a cajun seafood dinner complete with zydeco music and dancing.

It was a quick trip, but we spent VERY little money and had so much fun!

So, we love this place called Miller Outdoor Theater. I've blogged about it before, but I will continue to do so because we frequent this spot, well, FREQUENTLY. On Friday night, before our venture to Louisiana, we had a cookout at Miller Park with some friends, followed by a free viewing of Avatar at the Outdoor Theater! Loads of fun, but Scott's Weber grill got stolen.....

Poor Weber...

Scott caught the frisbee while balancing on this rope...

Friends :-)

Don't worry, we took another quick trip the weekend before to East Texas to visit some of Scott's family. Scott designed a table that was to be made out of unistrut. It needed welding and it so happens that his uncle has a welder! We packed a backpack and drove the 4 hours to Uncle B and Aunt K's house for the weekend. Scott and B slaved over the welder and unistrut ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday. No injuries were incurred, minus the fact that Scott's shirt caught fire...... He only lost a FEW arm hairs.....

Notice the hole in his sleeve....

While Scott was busy creating sparks and welds, I stayed inside most of the time sketching, reading, crocheting and doing homework.

They are wearing the protective face masks because you ARE NOT supposed to look directly at the welding spark because it will burn your eyes..... yes, I took this photo while looking directly at the welding spark WITHOUT wearing the protective helmet. Oops.

His cousins were all out of town so I was alone most of the time--no complaints here! His aunt and uncle have a deer that lives IN THEIR HOUSE. Yes, you read that right. A PET deer. It is still a fawn, which means that the little creature is especially cute.

Would not let me come NEAR it, but I snagged a few photos.... Its eyelashes had to be at least 2 inches long and those tiny white spots still speckled her back like dripped paint. SO CUTE.

Okay, last but not least-- Our neighbors M and T are professional ballet dancers for a dance company here in Houston and they were performing last night at Miller Outdoor Theater for FREE! We packed up a picnic with our friends, Melissa and Payton, and headed out to the green hill to support them.

They did a BEAUTIFUL job, as always :-) Their company only has 6 dancers, so it was not hard to spot them on stage. M keeps a sweet and creative blog, mostly about her delicious cupcake recipes, but she will post art projects and thrift store finds periodically. Check it out!

Wow, if you have read this all the way to here, bless you. I will end now and give your eyes a rest.

Blessings to all.


P.S. I wrote this post on Saturday, but forgot to submit it. Sorry!