Friday, October 26, 2012

Celebrating Husband's Birthday

Thank you, Lord, for another birthday to celebrate together, and for all the blessings and lessons learned this past year.  We love you and praise you!

This was my husband's first birthday after we got married.  I wanted to do something special and AMAZING for him, that our humble budget would allow for (that means no $5000 road bike).  After a lot of thinking and planning (and some last minute running around town), I think I pulled it off!

Here are some of the things I did to make him feel special all day! :o)

1.  Birthday Playlist~
Some of his favorite energizing songs, so he can start the day
listening to his very own birthday soundtrack!  And I put these songs on a CD,
so he can continue listening to it on his way to work.

2.  Take Husband out for Lunch
Something about picking your husband up from their work place,
greeting them with baked sweets and taking them to their favorite place for lunch,
makes them REALLY HAPPY.

3.  Baked Sweets~
Cupcakes from Society Bakery

They always have a charity promotional going on. 
At the time, if you took in an unworn child pajama set, 
you could get 6 free cupcakes!

4.  Festive Helium Balloons
It doesn't matter how old you are,
helium balloons always put a smile on your face~
especially if they are only a dollar each!
Go to any Dollar Tree, and you can find helium balloons for any occasion!

5.  Birthday Dinner
Braised steak with Potatoes and Broccoli

6.  More Cupcakes!
Finish off the evening with more dessert!

7.  The Present!
My husband is an avid coffee drinker.  He manually grinds his own coffee, 
and brews it with an Aero Press (his favorite wedding gift!), EVERY MORNING.  
To expedite his coffee making process, without compromising the flavor~ 
my family and I got him an automatic bur grinder, with some of his favorite coffee 
(found at Whole Foods)! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012


"Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation; seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.'  And it was so.  And God saw that IT WAS GOOD."  Genesis 1:11-12

It seems like people either LOVE cilantro, or they hate it.  I remember my first experience with cilantro, when eating Pho for the first time about 11 years ago, and thought, "WHAT is that?"  Not being accustomed to its distinct scent and flavor, I initially steered clear of it.  But after I started noticing its flavor profile in my favorite Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes, I quickly began to develop a taste for it.  The next thing I, well my husband, knew~ I was adding it to almost every meal :o)  The great thing about cilantro, is that you can purchase a bunch for less than a buck (details on how I store it below)!  

Here are some simple dishes (will post recipes soon!!) that I enhanced with one of my favorite ingredients~ Cilantro! 

White Chicken Chili

More white chicken chili

Fideo~ Mexican Spaghetti (Mrs. Marcela Garza's recipe)

Corn Tortilla Classic Taco

Roast Beef Potato Omelet

Turkey Feta Crepe
Korean Beef Patty Salad
Thai Cilantro Chicken

Grilled Chicken with Pico de Gallo

How I store Cilantro:

With the hot and dry Texas weather, cilantro is not the easiest herb to grow, especially since it prefers cool temperatures and plenty of water.  Until I figure out the best way to grow and maintain it, purchasing a fresh bunch at the grocery store is CHEAP and easy!  I've tried many different ways to make the cilantro last longer, and this method seems to be working pretty well.  These pictures were taken about 10 days after purchase~ and the cilantro was still fresh!  I wrap it in a damp paper towel, and as shown in the pictures, just place it in a container (I used a bread pan) and cover with plastic wrap.  And then store it in the refrigerator.  It's important that the cilantro stays covered so it retains its moisture, otherwise it will shrivel up and dry out.  Before serving it, always give it a good rinse!  It goes really well with lime and onions!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We love our dog, Fella.

My husband adopted a pup named Fella from an animal shelter deep in the Heart of Texas about 5 years ago.  He's a true Texas Heeler-(Australian Shepherd/Blue Heeler mix).  He's the strong silent type with an even temper and work ethic of a true ranch dog. Barking is reserved for giving suspect persons like the mailman fair warning. He's a consummate fetcher and loyal sheriff of his yard. Many unsavory squirrels have met their demise between his teeth. The sight of his leash brings about four-pawed leaps into the air and yelps of delight in anticipation for long walks about the neighborhood. 

If you are thinking about getting a dog, you couldn't do better than a Texas Heeler!  They grow up to 45-50 pounds of  sharp, athletic, engaging, and loyal dog.  Fella is definitely a special dog~ and we're so happy to have him!

Here are a few pictures of our sweet Fella.    

Friday, March 23, 2012

Revamp An Old Clock with Decoupage

When my husband and I got married, I moved into the house that my husband and brother-in-law used to share, when they were both going to school in Dallas.  This was the clock that was up in the den (that has now become my crafting room).  I wasn't always crazy about the clock~ So with an OK from the husband, I decided to revamp their old clock.  Here's what I did!

Their plastic clock.  I have to say that the original silver paint worked out really well for this project,
because it gave the final product a nice metallic shine.  But you can use any ordinary clock!

Line the clock face with masking tape, so you don't get any decoupage glue on it.

I used Mod Podge, disposable sponge brushes, and tissue paper for this project.  

Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the first quadrant you will be working on.
Place the tissue paper (I used a square pattern) around the clock.
Add another layer of Mod Podge to the surface of that.
Be careful not to overwork a particular area with the glue, because it will tear the paper.
In order to make the tissue paper appear more distinctly,
I placed a couple layers of the same color of tissue paper per row.

Then, begin placing tissue paper on the next row, staggering the colors.
I used the same sequence of colors, but I didn't worry too much about the width of each square having to be the same.
I really think a little imperfection adds to the final product :o)
I think as long as there is a consistent element, it's okay to have other things to not be exact.

Remove the masking tape.
The final product!!!
There is no need to go out and buy a new clock, when you can revamp a clock you already have.
I was so excited with the clock's new look!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ham and Swiss Quiche

My husband is a big fan of quiche.  I've made a combination of different kinds, but this one was his favorite.  The difference with this one, was that a can of evaporated milk was added, and made a really creamy and consistent texture, making all the ingredients come together nicely.  
The recipe was adapted from

Ham and Swiss Quiche

Paired our lunch with a fresh medley of strawberries, blueberries, and grapes.

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup chopped, cooked ham
2 green onions, chopped
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt and pepper

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F
Combine 1/2 cup cheese, ham and green onions into pie shell
Mix together evaporated milk, eggs, flour, salt and black pepper in large bowl. 
Pour mixture into pie shell.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

BAKE for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Decoupaged Stained Glass

Glass candle holder from Michael's

Cut and select a color scheme with tissue paper

Apply decoupage glue (Mod Podge) to the glass
and position tissue paper piece over the glue.
Then, apply a coat of glue over the tissue paper.
After all of the pieces are arranged and the glue has dried,
apply another final coat over everything, to give it a nice seal and shine.

The final product!
This is a fun, easy, and economic way to liven up a room!