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Thursday Randomness

October 29, 2009

I enjoy writing these random posts and hope that you enjoy reading them! :)
  • I don't watch too much TV, but I sure did miss my dose of Glee last night (anyone with me?).
  • Mr. D and I made peach cobbler together Tuesday evening. I really enjoyed being in the kitchen together! Note to self- next time more peaches, less cake mix, and a larger baking dish!
  • Speaking of baking, my mom and I have a pumpkin bread baking date tonight- so excited as I've wanted to try out this recipe!
  • Stuart is dressing up as a jack-o-lantern for Halloween- I'll definitely be posting photos!
  • Only in Orange County do you see a lady running for exercise while talking on her Blackberry- seriously! (I wish I had my camera with me.)
  • There's a guy that works in our building that reminds me so much of Sheldon from Private Practice! They don't look exactly alike, but have the same demeanor and a knack for awkward elevator conversations!
  • Back to bullet #1- I love House Hunters! However I wish they would disclose the career path the potential buyers have chosen, as some of them are quite spendy (especially House Hunters International!).
  • Stuart is dressing up as a jack-o-lantern for Halloween (he was a bumble bee last year- see below). I'll definitely be posting photos!

Homemade Meal [Helper] Monday (#9)!

October 26, 2009

Happy Monday everyone (I should mention that I secretly prepped this entry on Sunday and scheduled it to post on Monday?- quite nifty if you ask me)!

I'd like to start this post out with a disclosure, as I will not specifically provide you with a recipe today, however I will introduce you to a system that will cut your cooking time by more than half. (P.S.- I'm also not a Tupperware consultant, nor have I been paid by a Tupperware consultant for my following review. However should you believe me and want to try the Stack Cooker set for yourself please feel free to email me [address is listed to the right] and I will get you in contact with my Tupperware consultant- easy as that!)

I recently attended a Tupperware party (I should say I've recently been to a couple as every time there is a party someone new decides to host the next party, and I keep coming back for more. Not to mention that every month Tupperware has sales flyer [that's where I like to shop from!], which also keeps me coming back for more) where the consultant demonstrated how to cook a full meal (chicken, vegetables, and rice) in 25 minutes while not dirtying a single pot or pan! {This is where you gasp and ask how's that possible!?!} :)

Thursday evening I stepped up to the plate and prepped white rice, cauliflower, and two chicken breasts for a nice quick dinner for Mr. D and I. I simply added the rice and water in the bottom layer of the Stack Cooker, the cauliflower and a drop of water in the middle layer and the defrosted chicken breasts in the top layer. I turned the microwave on for 25 minutes and tah-dah! The white rice was cooked perfectly. The cauliflower was delicious (especially with the cheese I added), and the chicken was cooked completely (and very moist)!

The Stack Cooker comes with a handy recipe book that, which makes it easy to pull a main entree, a vegetable, and starch together in no time. The recipe book also includes desserts! I bought the ingredients to make an apple crisp (although I dipped into my apple stash over the weekend, therefore might have to go back to the store- don't you hate when that happens?), which is on my to-do list!

Okay, enough raving for one day. If you're interested, let me know, and if you have one I'd love to hear what you cook in your Stack Cooker!

Child's Apron- Complete!

October 25, 2009

With Mr. D out of town I was able to spend all Saturday sewing, and completed a child's apron for a Christmas present (I mentioned it here some time ago)! With the two pairs of pajama pants and the apron complete, all I have left to complete is the family's handmade present and then the package will be off to Georgia (I'm thinking this will be a 'Christmas in November' package).

I love how the apron turned out, although it almost ended up in the trash a couple of times as I had a very difficult time achieving a nice subtle curve where the top of the apron transitions to under the arm. Thankfully I didn't take any drastic measures as I think the apron will be a hit come Christmas morning!

10/28/09 UPDATE: P.S.- I may have been the only one bugged by the floppiness of the top of the apron (look at the photo above- do you see how the top of the apron hangs off of the straps?). No worries- I sewed a little extra 'support' where the top of the apron meets the straps now everything lays nice and pretty! :)

This Week's Etsy Favorites...

October 22, 2009

Sorry I've been so absent this week; preparing for Christmas in October has proven to be a lot of work! I love spending my down time after work or on weekends browsing Etsy- do you? There are so many artistic people and lovely handmade items for all (I sometimes dream of taking the handmade pledge for gift giving [thus no store bought presents]- but I think it would turn me into too much of a stress ball!).

A few of my favorites:

It's a toss up between the two felt baby mobiles above (note- I'm not pregnant[!], but I still think they are adorable, and will be saving the link for future reference!). Both mobiles are available from PinkPerch.

I also love, love, love the above acorns and think they would look dashing on my coffee table, however I also think Stuart might think they are a snack- not good! The above acorns (also in assorted colors) are available from truLuxe.

I've also had my eye on the necklace above, which is available from Nikki Mac- it's so beautiful and unique!

Enough about my likes, what have you had your eye on?

Homemade Meal Monday (#8)!

October 19, 2009

Has anyone taken the plunge and tried the Grilled Honey Lime Chicken? If so, I have the perfect Guacamole Salad to compliment the chicken (its also a Rachel Ray recipe- so don't fret as its easy!).


2 medium Hass avocados, pitted and sliced (I use roughly 4- the more the merrier!)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, chopped (They don't have to be English!)
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, chopped
A few drops hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I think 1/3 is way too much; I eyeball it!)


Mix lemon and garlic, hot sauce and salt. Stream in extra-virgin olive oil while whisking dressing. Pour lemon dressing over the salad and serve.

(Photo compliments of

Productive Weekend...and Then Some!

October 18, 2009

The weather this weekend was absolutely beautiful (more so today than yesterday as the air conditioning was on constantly Saturday)! I was able to snap some photos outside of my recent projects. The first is the Thanksgiving decor plaque I mentioned on Thursday (cute, isn't it?).

I also finished both pairs of pajama pants, which will be sent
to Alan's best friend's kids in Georgia (I still have to make the apron for the sister). Side note for my faithful readers- I figured out why originally the crotch of the pajama pants I made was 3 inches longer than my pajama pants...according to my mom its because I don't know where my waist is! :o) I'm so thankful to have my mom close by to help!!!

I also must confess that I broke [chipped] a cereal bowl while loading the dishwasher Saturday evening. I was/am so sad...thus I'm posting about the incident for everyone to read! Looking back it is quite coincidental as just last week I was reading the archived posts of NieNie Dialogues (is anyone else a faithful reader???) and came across her postings from December 2005 where Stephanie posted their wedding anniversary tradition of buying latte bowls from Anthropologie, as with a house full of kids and a dog, bowls are bound to break. As I read Stephanie's post I remember thinking to myself that it was such a cute anniversary tradition, but that Mr. D and I wouldn't have to think about buying new bowls for a while as we're the only two in the house that use them- I guess a chipped bowl is what I get for thinking like that! :o)

P.S.- I owe my mom a HUGE thank for retrieving the chipped bowl piece from the inner workings of the sink!

Friday Randomness

October 16, 2009

I personally enjoy reading blogs that give you a glimpse of a person's personality. This is my attempt at giving my readers a glimpse of me, as if we were to meet in real life, I would probably come across as very much an introvert and shy (that is until I really get to know you, then I open up!). Enjoy!

Random experiences, thoughts, and happenings- a week in review:
  • Mr. D and I went to Disneyland after work this week. We grabbed hamburgers (expensive, but very good and satisfying- I was impressed!) at CA Adventure, next to Soaring Over California. I would totally recommend them! The buns were nice and buttery and the toppings were serve-it-yourself-style (just like Fuddruckers- yum!).
  • I'm oh so TIRED of having the elevator doors at work slammed in my face- really? I was raised to patiently wait if I heard or saw someone approaching the elevator at the same time I was. The above lesson was clearly not taught to the majority of professionals that work in my building!
  • I walked outside to grab lunch and no joking its like 82 degrees outside! I don't want to jinx us Southern Californians, but it is totally earthquake weather (when its cold one day and then warms up significantly the next, one must be cautious)!
  • I pondered about walking to JoAnn's at lunch today (roughly a mile each way), but due to the weather (as mentioned in the bullet above) I decided otherwise.
  • I haven't turned on my sewing machine all week, which the more I think about it, the more it depresses me!
  • Wednesday was the best commute home in my vanpool (yep you read it correctly- I'm a vanpooler!) career- we traveled [safely] from work to the vanpool parking lot in precisely 30 minutes! I was a happy camper! :)
  • A very good friend of mine from college recently moved to Northern California, which bums me out (although he did find a job in the architecture field- which is quite amazing!).
  • The jeans I'm wearing today made the trip to and from Italy (I studied abroad during college- best decision ever!), but were never actually worn on Italian soil. (TMI?)

One Way to Cut Shipping Costs!

October 15, 2009

Mr. D is headed to Tennessee next weekend for his Dad's birthday (Stuart and I are staying home to hold down the fort while Mr. D is away). With Christmas being a little over two months away, I've decided to send my in-law's Christmas presents with Mr. D, as shipping is costly and I hate paying for it (hopefully that's not too tacky!). Not to mention that I'm usually late with shipping our Christmas presents. ;) I have fabric picked out for my step-mother-in-law's handmade item, however I'm stumped when it comes to Mr. D's dad (is it just me or is it super hard to sew/craft for men?). If you have any ideas you can offer up, I'd love to hear them (just remember I'm on a tight deadline as all projects must be done by 10/22!).

One last thing, remember when I posted about Blue Eyed Blessing's Craft Challenge? I unfortunately didn't quite meet the October 7th deadline; however I did make a little Thanksgiving decor plaque (which is a miracle as I tend to not decorate for any holidays!). As you all know the lighting in my house is a disaster, so once the rain storm passes I'll be able to get outside and shoot a photo or two (stay tuned!).


October 12, 2009

I'm proud to announce that I cut out two pairs of pajamas Friday night- woo hoo! The first pair of pajama pants are starting to look good (I'm using a simple Butterick's pattern which is only supposed to take an hour!)...that is until I held up the 10 year old's pajama pants against the pair I was lounging around in last night and the ones I'm making are roughly the same length as mine, and the crotch is about 3 inches longer than my pajama pants- slight problem. Looks like I might be going to Target to get a sample pair of pajama pants to measure the ones I'm making against! :) My goal is to have the pajama pants done by the end of the week.

I also picked up Mr. D's Steelers quilt from the long arm quilter, and my oh my the quilt job is awesome (there's nothing like a custom quilt job to start out a week!).

P.S.- I'm sorry I don't have a new recipe to share with all today- next Monday, I promise!

P.P.S.- Just a quick poll to satisfy my curiosity. Do you sew with your seam ripper out on your sewing table or with it put away? I personally sew with my seam ripper put away and tend to get very irritated when I have to get up and get it...just one of my sewing idiosyncrasies! :o)

I'm Getting My 'Craft' On!

October 9, 2009

...although haven't crafted at all this week as I've been battling headaches- not fun! Sadly the house is a hot mess, as it looks like I've been crafting (that's the major bummer about crafting on the kitchen table!), but no worries that will all change tonight as its is 'Craft Night' at my house with my friend Kiara (I'm quite excited about that)! Tonight's agenda consists of cutting the pattern pieces for the pajama pants (although I'm sure I'll find a way to procrastinate out of cutting tonight, as I believe it is the worst part of sewing!); I also have a couple of unfinished projects that I would like to wrap up...I'll post pictures upon completion!

Before signing out I'll leave you with one of my favorite photos of Stuart (it was dog I tell you!). :)

Side note- I think I hit the 'label' right on the head with Miscellaneous Ramblings! I'll be back with some post-worthy news in the near future- I promise! :)

2 Years Ago Today...

October 6, 2009

...Mr. D and I walked down the aisle. Happy Anniversary sweetie! :)

A few of my all time favorites from the day...
(All photos by Red Loft Studios.)

My Dad giving me away...

Homemade Meal {Dessert} Monday (#7)!

October 5, 2009

Who's ready for some dessert? Today I'm excited to share with all one of my favorites, a layered pudding dessert known as The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford (however in my house we refer to it as The Next Best Thing to Matthew McConaughey). :o)

Bottom Layer:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Middle Layer:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (9-ounce) container whipped topping, thawed and divided use

Top Layer:
1 (6.75-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
1 (6.75-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 small milk chocolate bar, grated (optional)


Make bottom layer by mixing together the flour, butter and pecans until crumb-like. Press mixture into greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Bake in 350*F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Cool.

Make middle layer by beating cream cheese with the sugar until smooth. Fold in half the whipped topping. Spread mixture over the cooled crust.

Make the top layer by beating the milk with the pudding mixes until smooth and thickened. Spread the remaining whipped topping over the top. Sprinkle grated chocolate over top, if desired. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


Buttons Galore!

October 1, 2009

Sunday I ventured to JoAnn's with the girls (my mom and sister), with no plan of making a purchase (I should mention that I rarely walk out of JoAnn's without buying something!). I went to the button wall in hopes of finding a sale, however was disappointed when the buttons were full price (cute buttons are expensive!). I proceeded to meet my mom at the cutting counter when I spotted three baskets full of clearance buttons near the checkout stands...score!

I ended up purchasing 12 sets of buttons and went back on Monday and purchased 23 more sets- HA! I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with my button stash, but for only $0.25 to $0.50 per pair of buttons I couldn't pass up the deal! If you're in need of buttons, I encourage you to check out your JoAnn's...maybe you'll also have some success!

Check out my stash below (as you can see I've already used some of the buttons!)...all for $15.50 including tax (a $107.25 value...that's equal to a piece of furniture from IKEA!)!