Saturday, May 31, 2008

Meet Tom

I'm trying to grow tomato plants from seeds. Key word: trying. A few months back my dad helped me re-pot the seedlings. It was touch-and-go there for a while and I thought Tom was a goner. This deathbed picture was taken to show dad what he already knew: I am a murderer of anything green.

But lo and behold, he's alive!!! The poor guy has been dehydrated (several times), knocked off the steps by my bear of a husband, and relocated twice. I know I need to plant him in the ground, but the people who cut our grass just mow down everything in sight! Maybe I'll make him a little flag or banner or something to keep the mowers away. I'm hoping he lives long enough to bear some green tomatoes for frying.

Oh, and of course my long term goal is this:

That's one inspiring mustache. Did you think I meant the tomato?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cupcake Caricatures

Apparently, I can add "Desserts that Look Like Your Family Pet" to my repertoire. These Albie Cakes were to celebrate our dog Albert Einstein's fourth birthday. John Jay didn't let him eat one, although I did sneak him some icing.

Any excuse to eat cupcakes, right?

Cheap, or Clever?

This is how I paid the baby-sitter last night. When I asked Hannah Rose how much babysitters get paid these days, she replied as sweetly as possible, "Oh, you don't have to pay me...I mean...I get an allowance and everything, so I'm good." (Isn't she funny?!) So I told her I'd think of something.
I bought these beads at the same time as the bird necklace. I love this stuff. It reminds me of Mrs. Gina's dishes. Hopefully it was worth two hours of crying games...Judah was testing out the new authority and decided to give her a hard time. What can I say?...he's John Jay's kid.
Hang in there Hannah! He'll give in eventually. Until then, I'll keep the "money" flowing.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mama's Spinach Pasta

I'm horrible at naming my dishes. When John Jay asked me what this was I said, "Um, creamy...chicken and spinach....stuff." He said I needed to work on that. So, "Mama's spinach pasta!" sounds more appetizing, I suppose. This first attempt had chicken, but we just acquired a very large bag of peeled crawfish that I'll be using next time.
I basically turned my mom's spinach dip recipe into a baked pasta dish. Here's what you need:

a large bag of fresh spinach
green onion (3-5)
minced garlic
grated Parmesan (1/4 cup?)
4 0z. cream cheese (light works fine)
approx 4-5 oz. sour cream (light works fine)
salt and pepper

10 oz. whole wheat linguine
one can of mushrooms
2 cups cooked chicken
grated Parmesan

•Cook the pasta (according to package directions).
•Chop the spinach and green onion and mix the first seven ingredients. Cook for about 2-3 minutes in microwave, stirring every 45 seconds or so.
•Drain noodles and stir in spinach mixture, mushrooms and chicken. Pour into casserole dish and top with Parmesan. Bake at 350˚ for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Guess We Like Birds (???)

This little love bird bead wanted to be a pendant for me to wear. But after I made it, I thought, "What's the deal with the Alvaro's and birds?" There's my husband's blog: strange bird alvaro, as well as his first tattoo (here are the only pics I could find of it. Bonus: a pregnant belly!). Then of course, my first sewing project. And now this.

Every body's got something, right?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Breezy PJ's

I needed some summer pj's that were lightweight and non-ugly. I realize that "need" is a strong word here. But in my defense, there are plenty of days that I don't change into real clothes and if my jammies are this cute, I can justify it.
I am particularly proud of these because I made them from scratch!!! No pattern. Okay, enough fronting...I'm scared of patterns. They make me nervous. I measured and eye-balled a similar pair of pre-existing pj's as a guide. Next go 'round, I will use a little heavier fabric. Somewhere between flannel and cheese cloth lies the perfect material. This one was hard to keep together - it leans more towards cheesecloth. We'll see how they hold up. But I guess you get what you pay for when you shop the dollar bin at the fabric store!

I still need to learn how to use a pattern. But it's so nerve-racking! Plus, every time I start the instructions I get frustrated with the pattern lady telling me what to do. She doesn't know what I like! Besides, there are too many steps. I want shortcut patterns.
Or I need to just stop whining and do it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Ear-rangs (you have to say it like that)

My original intent was to just shorten the long blue-green ones (on the chain). These have been hanging in my closet for a while in the "what were you thinking" section. John Jay pointed out that they rested on my collar bone (as a joke) so I figured it was time to re-do them. But before I even started on those, I saw those sparkling little crystals staring at me...begging me to turn them into earrings. So I played for a while and this is what I came up with. Fortunately, John Jay was home to watch Judah since I get tunnel vision. I love making jewelry - especially wrapping the wire. I don't know why that's so satisfying, but it is. It ranks right up there with watching the presser foot eat fabric, coloring with a red crayon, and using bright blue paint on a fresh canvas.
You can see them better in these first photos, but I had to include the one with the nosy polar bear.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day! (clever title, eh?)

My mom asked me to paint this for her a few years ago. She wanted something peaceful and serene with the verse "come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Okay, I'm now realizing how lame this just reminding her of gifts I've given in the past! But I'm going somewhere, I promise...

My parents are moving to Nashville, pretty much as I write. So for this Mother's Day I told her I would paint any thing she wanted in the new house - within reason. No Sistine Ceiling replicas. For Mrs. Gina, we gave her a mounted 8x10 of this:

The way to her heart is definitely through pictures...well, and monogrammed napkins.
It's so great making things for parents and in-laws. No matter what it looks like, they love it. It's like being in kindergarten again!
Happy Mother's Day Mom and Mrs. Gina! We love you!!!!

I must return to my Mother's Day cake. I woke up this morning to an entire carrot cake from our local bakery. It has nuts on it really is all mine!!!! My hubby knows me so well.
Oh see a casual, candid shot of me in motherly action, go here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Zoës Coleslaw

In a few weeks the 3 of us will be leaving for our family vacation to Destin. John Jay's family has a cute little cottage that's walking distance to the beach! We are just another couple on the long list of newlyweds who have honeymooned there over the years. One of our favorite places to visit is Zoës Kitchen. They make the best slaw! I tried to recreate it and this is what I came up with:

-bagged shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
-feta cheese
-chopped green onion
-Newman's Own Tuscan Italian Dressing

You all know I'm not good with measurements. Just mix it up until it looks tasty. Although, I would advise you to go easy on the feta and onion - too much makes it pretty stout. I'm sure it would be better to make your own dressing, but Paul just makes it so easy to use his.
It's good with baked or grilled chicken cut up in it. Don't take your dinner cue's from the picture, though. My food critic of a husband thought the carrots didn't pair well with the slaw and chicken. He guessed it...bread.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Judah's Dress Shirt

Judah needed a snazzy shirt for all the fancy occasions he attends...weddings, prom, brunch at the Ritz, etc.
The bow tie is made from material that was leftover after I hemmed John Jay's perfectly good pants into of his staples. Don't get me started on that.
Look at my handsome men!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bleach Project

I found this dress while mom and I were shopping in Atlanta. We got it for 10% off because it had some bleach spots on the bottom. When we got home, I used 1/2 bleach, 1/2 water in a spray bottle and went nuts. I love how the bleach spots turned turned the army green to a nice rusty orange. I wonder what it would do to other colors? This could be dangerous. John Jay might come home to find all his clothes sprayed.
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