Friday, January 28, 2011


Stitching these little triangles onto flour sack cloth was harder than I thought it would be...maybe other people use a dot of fabric glue or something... I need to find a cheat method...but it was fun! No real reason for it other than to just celebrate... HUZZAH WEEKEND!

I felt very craft-productive this week...stitched 2 little projects, made 3 pieces of jewelry, updated the Etsy for the first time in months!

Looking forward to sleepin' in pretty hard this weekend. It's supposed to rain a bit on Sunday so maybe Ryan and I will get totally crazy and crack open the giant paint-by-number I got for my birthday.

We're so nuts. 

Happiest Friday y'all!  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New items in the Etsy shop! Hurrah!!

Whew! Bout time, y'all.

Both necklaces are 30" long and I love them both equally like children!

How every lunch break should be spent

outside in the sun with a cold beer.

Sparklers, Stitches and Sassy Dresses

In a fit of randomness last night, Ryan and I decided to light some sparklers my dad gave us for new years...25 days late. But srsly, is it ever a bad time for sparklers? I don't think so. Same with champagne.

In "What I'm working on" news, I snagged this dollhouse miniature @ hobby lobby yesterday. Love it because it looks like my grandmother's old singer and would make a super-cute necklace on a long chain.

[Gammaw's vintage singer]

Also working on stitching this little guy up...gnomes y'all. gnomes.

It's almost payday! Whew!

My payday purchase this week is Modcloth's Terra Firma dress. I love the cut, the sleeves, the length..

It would look so cute with cowboy boots. This is my 3rd official modcloth purchase. Sadly, after I purchased the Flora dress a few weeks ago, I got an email saying they oversold and I wouldn't be getting my dress. They were super apologetic about it and gave me a coupon to use on my next purchase plus free shipping which was really nice. It still hasn't been restocked (I hope hope hope it will be soon).

Meanwhile also waiting for this guy to be restocked, too. The fabric has little foxes all over and I love the neckline.

Hurray dresses!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"I like my sugar with coffee and cream" - Beastie Boys, Intergalactic

There's actually going to be a shop update this week! Things have been so absolutely nuts the past month but they're finally slowing down and I made a few things! I'll have some new necklaces in the Notes from the Republic shop before this week ends. PROMISEZ.

Here's what's comin':

Go-Go Rocket Fuel necklace

 Tea Service necklace complete with serving tray, teapot and sugar and cream bowls!

for getting back in the game!

[hooray on weheartit}


Was feeling inspired by the fabulous gaga during snack time @ work today....

 You like-a my giant ricecake+peanutbutta hat?

Pancake bunny feelin' it too...

I gotta go... there's peanut butter in my hair.

52 weeks

Like many others on the web (a la Miss Squid), I decided a few weeks ago to start a new photo project documenting 2011 by taking one Instax photo a week for the whole year. I'm not doing a theme.. or following any guidelines, just snapping whatever I feel like. There's a Flickr group here called 52 weeks (of Instax) where folks are uploading their weekly pictures. I think it's such a neat idea and a fun way to get to know my Instax (got it for Christmas! Thanks Mom!) I'd love to make a neat little photo book to keep all my weekly snapshots. Here are my first 3 photos for the first 3 weeks of the year.  I haven't taken this week's photo yet, but I have a feeling it might involve some leftover new years sparklers! 

1: Week of Jan 3rd, Ryan on New Year's Eve

 2: Week of Jan 10th, Pretty daisies on my dining table.

3: Week of Jan 17th, my favorite Polaroid in my collection.

How are you doing with your resolutions/ new projects? Are you still eager or finding it difficult to stay motivated? I'm not getting my 4 days of exercise in each week like I wanted...It's so hard to come home after work and put my workout gear on when I just want to have a nap or a glass of wine and watch Brian Williams... I need to stay focused! We can do it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gorgeous weekend to explore the HTX!

This weekend was a busy busy one! We kicked it off Friday night @ Dolce Vita with Mom and Dad! I had been trying to get them to go for the longest time. It was amazing as always! After dinner Ryan and I went over to Royal Oak to celebrate the birth of our friend Sam. We woke up early on Saturday and cashed in my massage coupon Ryan gave me for Christmas! That is THE way to start the weekend...

[ Tennison]
Snapped a quick photo of the apartment as we were leaving. It was the most gorgeous day so we walked to the spa!
After our massages, we got all cleaned up and headed downtown for the day-long Main street block party which was held at The Continental Club, The Mink, The Mink Backroom, Big Top, Pachinko Hut and Natachee's.

You can't block party without some amazing tacos first so we stopped into Tacos-a-go-go for lunch!

We hung out at Mink and Backroom for a while, listened to a few DJ sets and then went over to the Lawndale Art Center for a free screening of Handmade Nation! It was such a fantastic and inspiring film...You've gotta see it! Etsy Houston had a table set up in the front where you could make cute little paper crafts and there was even free St. Arnold's on tap! Such a cool event and I got to meet Miss Roxy of grrfeisty! 

[showing off my paper hearts!]

[ Lawndale]
After the film screening we went back over to the block party and watched a few more bands and DJ sets. The long day was starting to catch up with us (and the tacos were wearing off) so we went down the street to check out the new Natachee's Supper N' Punch! We split a turkey burger and some fries- it was delish! Can't wait to go back to try more. Below is a shot of the bar area. It's such a cool vibe in there, they play 1950s doo-wop music so you can sing along between mouthfuls.

It was only about 10:30 pm when we called it quits, but we kicked the day off pretty early.
Sunday morning was pretty grey and dreary so we decided to try another new place suggested by my friend Lauren, Asia Market in the Heights. OOOOhhh man. This place is amazing!! It's an Asian grocery mostly, but there are about 10 two-seater tables in the little cafe area. We ordered two chicken pad kee maos and boooyyy was it amazing. I mean... I'm still thinking about it.. It's definitely going to fill the hole that Pei Wei's Thai river noodles left (after they took it off the menu!! Argh!) But you know what? Take THAT Pei Wei... I've found something better AND CHEAPER.

Maybe it doesn't look beautiful....I guess Thai noodle dishes aren't that photogenic...but it's my new favorite thing.

So now it's Monday again and I'm feeling refreshed and inspired...ready to kick this week's a$$. Last week Ryan and I went jogging around downtown and came across the coolest random fountains and parks. I hope it stops raining so we can do some more exploring!

Happiest Monday y'all!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yamz, y'all.

Not even joking. We ate yams for dinner.... 3 to be exact. But they were gooooooood! Ryan scrubbed and sliced into wedges...I brushed them with a little olive oil and black pepper and baked at 435 degrees for about 25 minutes (flipping the wedges 1/2 way).  We devoured. I was never a huge fan of yams, but the past few months I can't get enough. They're high in vitamin B6 and potassium and a great source of fiber so you feel full!

Next time I'm gonna add rosemary!

Tonight's experiment? Spaghetti squash

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Payday Purchase!

One of my resolutions this year (still need to post my list) was to add to my dress collection. I have a cute little dress rack in my room now and there are quite a few vintage and retro-inspired frocks hanging from it. I told myself that every payday I can choose one dress that's $50 or less. This way I won't make a hasty purchase because I have 2 weeks to choose and I'm adding a well thought-out piece to my (practical) collection! This is my payday purchase for Jan 13th:
Aaahhhh can't wait to get it! See how it's out of stock? Yeah I just bought the last one. HUZZAH!!  

I was a teenage mutant ninja turtle in another life.

I won't try to hide it. I love pizza. Pizza is my kryptonite, but because it's not amazing for you, I love looking for healthier options, where you can obliterate 2 big slices and not want to curl up in the fetal position afterwards, swearing you'll never eat again. One of my favorite meals to cook is homemade pizza because it's not just dinner, but it's a fun activity! Pour a glass of wine and get to choppin.  I like to peruse the produce aisles looking for anything that can be diced and sprinkled over a thin crust. Fresh Roma tomatoes, onion, green bell peppers, artichoke hearts, black olives, big plump mushrooms... oooo even though its 7:44 am... I'm craving. We always end up with this massive, 4.5" high concoction, piled with fresh veggies. It really is a sight to behold. More mushrooms? Yeah throw em on there...Oh, we missed a spot...needs more tomato. Done. Sometimes we'll even bypass the sodium packed tomato sauce and brush olive oil over the crust...maybe a little pesto.

So last night we tried something new! Instead of a mountain of veggies, we chose 3 little ingredients to layer on top of some fresh naan bread and made naan pizza caprese! It was divine. We spread olive oil and freshly grated garlic on slices of tandoori naan and topped with organic basil leaves, diced Roma tomatoes and low fat mozzarella. (probably threw a few goat cheese crumbles on there because I have an addiction). Boy did it smell good in the oven! It even tasted better, the naan was so crispy! Will definitely make again. So much flavor!

Do you ever make pizza at home? What kind of crust do you use and what are your favorite toppings?

[ images google, weheartit, and my own ]

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wo/Man vs. Her/Himself: Weight loss, Donuts and the Struggle

FACT: From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I gained 10 lbs. It didn't sneak up on me...but it wasn't what I'd call a completely conscious decision. I just didn't deny myself the tasty treats that come along with the holidays (and in an office environment, tasty treats are never few and far between this time of year). So many pretty, homemade can you say no to a wonderful lady who spent all day in the kitchen baking something delicious for you just to see your smile as you say "WOW... that is AMAZING... you MADE this" ? It would be plum rude. Who wants to be rude?

But now that the holidays are over and all the treats wrapped in red and green have been consumed, it's time to go back to eating like a human, not a garbage disposal. I'm eating salad, baked chicken and rice, fresh seafood, low sodium soups, opting for cottage cheese, honey and fruit instead of my soy milk & cookie before bed, laying off the beer...and even hitting the little gym we have in our building. 11 days have gone by and I'm happy to report that I've lost almost 5 lbs. (small victories!) It's not much but come on... it's half of what I gained!  For the most part, I behave at work. I bring my own lunch so I'm not tempted to go out and buy something terrible, I'll pass over the cookies, brownie bites & kolaches that vendor's bring...(If you buy my fittings & flanges, I'll bring you breakfast tacos! Come on! Give me your business!)

But every now and then, I think it may not be the worst thing in the world to fall of the wagon for a second, just make sure you enjoy the hell out of it and exercise a little restraint/ self control, i.e. no seconds).  If you limit yourself to raw asparagus spears and lemon water, you'll stop before you even start. You'll think "I hate this diet, I can never have anything that tastes good, this is bullsh!t, I quit". If I don't allow myself some small indulgence during my quest to drop the holiday 10, I'll just be another bitchy dieter. The rigid discipline can have a negative effect on you and your diet psychologically.

 Sure running for 2.5 miles and then eating a donut might be counterproductive... but it's definitely better than NOT running and eating the donut anyway, right? Am I justifying my donut consumption today? Maybe. Am I taking a step back? Possibly.Duh, they're bad for you...I don't eat them often (I seriously haven't had one in... oh... 6 months...) So at that rate, 2 donuts a year ain't bad. 

Yes, this donut was 217 verrryyy empty calories (it was a glazed Shipley, I looked it up) and truth be told, if I hadn't left my lunch in the car this morning (only to remember it as Ryan drove off...) I may have passed on the donut. But while I'm on the treadmill this evening...sweating, with the incline as high as it will go, I'll think "Damn, that was a good donut".

And I'll look forward to July 11th, when I can have another one.

** this is in no way any kind of dieting advice...just ramblings and observations about my current situation**

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekend outings!

Hihi! So it appears that the holidays are officially over and I'm back to working full 5 day work weeks. ARGH! I'm gonna be counting down until the next day off which is... I don't even know when. I guess all the more reason to enjoy the weekends even harder.. like this one, for instance! We explored the neighborhood and a few little spots in walking distance from our house.

Friday night we tried out a new spot,  Bitterman's Market Square Bar and Grill. We enjoyed  good, old fashioned hamburgers and cold beers while watching LSU beat the Aggies! (Hooray!) Their slogan is "It's every Texan's right to hold a burger in one hand and a beer in the other!" and I couldn't agree more.

Saturday didn't start off as I would have hoped. Ryan was going to go into work to get a few hours of OT so as we're walking to the car, we see the back windshield is shattered. Of course I start to cry because I'm A) super mad and  B) worried about how much the replacement windshield will cost. We couldn't figure out what happened! There was a small spot that looked like the point of impact, but we couldn't really find anything around the car that would have done it. It wasn't theft because the window was broken, but it hadn't fallen through yet. Were there drunks on the patio that just got a little rowdy and threw something?  Was it a freak accident i.e. a rock that hopped from the interstate or from the roof? I guess we'll never know because there are security cameras on parking garage floors 1 and 2...but not on 3. Funny. (Not funny). SO... to the internet I ran, looking for someone who would come out to my complex on a Saturday afternoon to replace it. I found Xpress Windshield, they found a used but in-perfect-condition back windshield and came out to replace it for 160$ total. (Thank goodness).

While we were waiting for the tech to come over, Ryan and I decided to make lemonade out of lemons and try another within-walking-distance place for lunch. I passed The Broken Spoke numerous times to and from work, but always thought it was a little hole-in-the-wall bar! I thought wrong because it is a fantastic Belgian restaurant that specializes in steamed mussels!! One of my favorites! We had the entire restaurant to ourselves at noon on Saturday but it was quickly filling as we were leaving. I had the mussels a la escargot (steamed mussels in a garlic butter sauce) with a glass of Blanc du Blanc champagne and Ryan had the chicken curry salad sandwich with a St. Arnold. Such a good lunch and a great way to take the sting out of the morning. Below are a few shots of Broken Spoke with it's colorfully decorated walls and ceiling murals.


    Sunday we woke up early to go to Trinity Downtown Lutheran church. We've been trying out different churches downtown, seeing which ones we like best. This weekend we went to Ryan's (as he's Lutheran) and next weekend we'll try out St. Joseph (I'm Catholic) downtown. Trinity and St. Joseph are across the street from each other (convenient!) so after Trinity we walked over to St. Joe to check it out and I snapped a few photos of the pretty interior.

After church we met up with Mom, Dad and Pete for a little goodbye-brunch at Mia Bella (a favorite!)  as Peter is moving to Lima, Peru on Wednesday! So exciting. I'm going to set up a blog for him so he can upload photos and stories about his adventures.

Happiest Monday!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 Year in Review

2010 sure was busy...filled with some wonderful and some rough moments.  The Saints won the Super Bowl, something the city of New Orleans badly needed. What a morale booster! Can we do it again? We're sure as hell gonna try.  Ryan went to his first Mardi Gras parade, the first of many to come! I bought my first sewing machine, opened my little Etsy shop and actually sold some stuff! Can't wait to get-to-makin again! My favorite thing:  Ryan became a Houstonian! Proud moment: my brother graduated from Texas State and my sister became a student again. We kicked it with Gaga (def one of the weirdest weekends of my life), enjoyed a wonderful beach vacation, had fun, lazy days at the lake and Dad had a bit of a close call, health wise (NEVER AGAIN, OK?)  I turned 29, got a new job, moved into a new home. Peter bought a plane ticket to Lima, Peru, where he'll be living for the next 6 months. Woo! We also lost Gammaw this year and she'll be so missed.
Even with the rough stuff, If 2011 is half as good to me as 2010 was, I'll be pleased as punch. I already have so much on my list of things to do, including plane rides to Omaha, St. Paul and New York.

Strange, but things feel.. mostly "in place"... and the things that aren't quite...well, I feel like they're headed in that direction. I'm so very looking forward to what this year will bring. I'll post my 2011 goals list sometime this week.

Yesterday was my first day on a treadmill in... oh.. like 10 months. YIKES. I don't know how it happens (oh wait, yes I do...I eat everythingggg) but between Thanksgiving and now, 10 lbs seem to just... find a happy little home on me. They're being evicted.

Happiest 2011 everyone!



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