Monday, November 30, 2009

Be Thankful & More...

Hello all! I hope that everyone had a safe a happy Thanksgiving! I know I did, and gained about 12 lbs. in the process! If you read my blog regularly then you know from a recent post that I am fortunate enough that I get to spend Thanksgiving with both my in-laws and my family, at the same time, even in the same house! Amazing right? I know! So it was a great Thanksgiving day with lots of food and laughs! I even got to test out my newly acquired cooking skills with these little devils!
I always eat way too much of this...And this....

Here is a SHORT list of a few things that I am thankful for...

  • My health
  • A roof over my head
  • My job
  • My wonderful husband and Family!
  • Great Friends
  • That my grandma could travel to come spend the holiday with us

There is so much more, I could go on and on! So I have NEVER gone out on Black Friday, but I decided that this year I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so we held our noses and dove in. It wasn't that bad. Sure, there were crowds, but nothing that I couldn't handle. Now I will admit that we didn't go out before 10 AM so I don't know what it was like for the early birds, but I'm not much of an early bird so I stuck to 10 AM. I will dare to say that I would do it again! The rest of the weekend was spent catching up on things around the house. Of course being the SUPER organized gal that I am (ha!) we got all of the Christmas decorations up and they look great! And now sad to say, back to work!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Show Us Your Pets!

I am a little late with this post but I figured that I would join in anyways. If you read my blog then you know that this is my baby Dewey:

He is a cock-a-poo and he is the most spoiled little puppy that you will ever lay eyes on. He follows me EVERYWHERE. We got Dewey a few months after we got married
in 2007. I swore that I would never have a dog sleep in the bed with me. Dewey spent the first two nights in his crate crying, I gave in and he has been sleeping next to me in my bed since. It's so funny, he sleeps right in between the hubby and me! Not long after that my parents got Dewey's brother and named him Dublin. As they grew we started to notice that Dublin kept growing and growing. He is quite a bit bigger than Little Dewey. Here is Big Dub:

They are best friends and LOVE to play together!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FAVORITE THINGS THURSDAY!

I don't think that I will ever get tired of this post. I love sharing with you what my favorite things are. And if you feel like sharing something please feel free to leave some of your favorite things in the comments section! I would love to hear what you love, maybe I will love them too! It just started getting cold here-cold for the south anyways-and I have always loved the cold weather because I can get out my winter coats. And when I pull out the winter coats that means that it's scarf season! Yes, I love scarves and this year they are out there in fabulous bright colors!
Aren't these great? I love 'em!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

T minus 2 days!

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it! I'm so excited that in less than 48 hours I will be sitting in the movie theater watching this...
I know that I am such a dork! ha! I just can't help it. You just don't know until you read the books...you will be hooked I promise!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fiesta!

I feel like I haven't even had time to catch my breath. We went to Houston over the weekend. That's where I grew up (or that's my old stompin' ground as we in Texas like to call it) Anyways I went there because I was hosting a 'couples shower' for my best friend who is getting married in January. I did fiesta theme because I wanted something that could be neutral for both guys and girls, it worked out well.

The weekend was kind of a blur. I was SOOOO busy that I didn't even really get to visit any other friends or family. I am plum tuckered out! Oh well, there's always next time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FAVORITE THINGS THURSDAY!

Did you love my leaves pictures from the last post? Those are trees right outside of my office window. I think that they are just dazzling!

Now on to one of my favorite things. I am in love with a new show, Eastwick, on Wednesday nights on ABC. It is the cutest show about three friends who have witchy powers. And the little town they live in, Eastwick, is soooo adorable. It makes me want to pack my bags and move to the Northeast.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Leaves are Falling On My Head....



Monday, November 9, 2009

Crafty

Boy I'm glad it's Monday. I never thought that I would say that, but I am. It's Monday and that means that I have one more event under my belt. Over the weekend I hosted my very first craft fair for work. I decided to do an event that I could donate a lot of money to charity. I thought that a craft fair/bake sale would be perfect. It was a lot of work. We raised a lot of money. I'm tired today. This is what my kitchen counter looked like Friday night...


I made chocolate chip cookies, banana, blueberry, and chocolate chip muffins. And I that last minute I decided to make pumpkin muffins (recipe courtesy of Tasty Kitchen, I don't know what I would do without you.) They were every easy to make, tasty too! And thank you so much to my Mama for baking up a storm for me! The event went well but I'm glad it's over. Now on to the next one...wedding shower for my best friend this weekend. Does it ever end? I'm beginning to think...no. That's ok though, I enjoy it! Here is the pumpkin muffin recipe that I tried...


In-a-pinch Pumpkin Muffins

package of vanilla cake mix

1 can Pumpkin Puree

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Mix all ingredients together. Grease muffin pan. Fill muffin tins 1/2 way. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. That's it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Show Us Your Life- Thanksgiving Recipes and Traditions!

When I was growing up my family always has the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, green bean casserole, dumplings...etc. When my husband an I got married a new tradition was started. Our parents practically live in the same neighborhood and we thought it was so stressful to have to go from house to house and try to fit them all in in one day. So three years ago we all started going over to my in-law's house for Thanksgiving. It is so nice to be able to have both families there together all getting along. I know that is not very normal, so I feel blessed that we are able to do that. It always works out so well. My mother-in-law makes the things that she normally makes and then my Mom and Grandma bring things that they normally make, so it's like having a little bit of both families. It really is nice. I am going to try a new recipe for Thanksgiving this year...here it is:

Chocunkin Muffins!
(Chocolate muffins with Pumpkin Frosting)
(Do you like the name that I gave them? Ha!)

For the muffins:
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Coco
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temp
3 cups Sugar
5 whole Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Buttermilk

For the Pumpkin Frosting:
1 stick Butter, softened
8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 cups Pumpkin Puree

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease muffin pan or line with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy. On medium speed, add one egg at a time to the butter sugar mixture. Don't over-beat, just mix enough to blend well. Add vanilla and mix.
Alternate adding flour/cocoa mixture and buttermilk until combined. Mix well on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth.
Fill muffin tins 1/2 full.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake these.
Let muffins cool in the pan for about 2 minutes and carefully remove to cool on a rack.

Frosting:
Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth, add all other frosting ingredients and mix together on medium speed. Add more powdered sugar or cream cheese for a thicker consistency if desired. Put in refrigerator for 10 minutes and then ice the muffins.

YUUUUUMMMY!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Long overdue!

It's been a while since I have mentioned anything about taking pictures of anything. My apologies. I have still been practicing ALOT! Here are just a few from a practice shoot a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty pleased with how these turned out:






When I first started taking pictures almost a year ago the very first thing that I learned was the different settings on the camera. They differ among different cameras and brands but for the most part they are pretty universal. So for this post I would just like to share the functions of the different settings. Every camera has a Mode Dial. On that dial you can choose what setting you want to shoot in.


Auto- Auto mode, "the point and shoot mode" the majority of the setting are controlled by the camera in response to shooting conditions. This means that you have limited control over the outcome of the picture.

Auto Flash Off- the built in flash turns off. Use where flash photography is prohibited. For example, you can use this setting to photography infants or in low light settings. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject.

Portrait- This setting is used for portraits with soft, natural looking skin tones. the camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject, the built in flash and AF illuminator turn of automatically. Focuses on the closest subject.

Child- Clothing and background details are vividly rendered. Great depth of field. Camera focuses on the closest subject.

Sports- Fast Shutter speeds to freeze the motion. The camera is continuously refocusing while the shutter release button is pushed 1/2 way. Camera will focus on whatever is in the center of the frame. The camera will focus on the center of the frame and this uses a great depth of field.

Close Up- Usually a picture of a flower. Used for close up shots of flowers, insects, and other small objects. Camera automatically focuses on the center of the subject. Tripod recommended.

Night Portrait- Used for a natural balance between the main subject and the background in portraits taken in low light. The camera selects the focus area containing the closest subject. Tripod is recommended to reduce blur. Slow shutter speed.
Advanced Modes:
P- Programmed auto. The camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed and aperture for optimal exposure in most situations.
S- Shutter Priority- You select the shutter speed and the camera will automatically select the aperture that will produce the optimal exposure.
A- Aperture Priority- You select the aperture and the camera will automatically select the shutter speed.
*M-Manual- You control the shutter speed and the aperture. You also have the option of BULB in this setting. I mostly shoot in Manual mode. Some would call it control issues :)
I hope this helps you get started. The best advice that I can give is to refer to your camera manual and read everything!








Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm still here!

I know I haven't posted since last week, but I'm still here. Working on updating the NEW recipe blog (check it out on my sidebar)! And....wait for it....a long overdue photography post! Be back tomorrow!