Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


2010 Book List

I figured I'm not going to finish another book this year, so here's the final list! My goal was to read 15 books this year.

1. The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
2. Chimpanzee Politics by Frans de Waal
3. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
4. Food Rules by Michael Pollan
5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
6. The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.
7. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
9. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
10. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
11. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
12. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
13. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
14. Don't Shoot the Dog! by Karen Pryor
15. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
16. Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor
17. Tales of Two Species by Patricia McConnell
18. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
19. My Life as a Guinea Pig by A.J. Jacobs
20. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Goal pwned.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Can Eat if I Want To.

So it's my birthday today, and like a majority of my birthdays it was cold and gloomy outside. But I went into work and found this:

The girls at work decorated my cubicle! Yes, that is a blow up monkey! One of the girls gave me some new cookie cutters. They are the most amazing shapes - I got an owl, dinosaur, squirrel, and unicorn! Awesome? Yes! My supervisor also brought in the most delicious chocolate pound cake. I didn't even know such a thing existed.

Then my BFFs came over and took me out for some sushi! Then we had cake and ice cream. I've had about 4 pieces of cake tonight. The waves of guilt are overwhelming. *sigh* Oh well. I guess I'll work it off in 2011!

p.s. I have decided to do 52 weeks of dogs this next year. That means I'll be taking one picture a week of Teddy (or whatever dog I have at my disposal). This week was "practice week" where we just had to take a picture of our subject. I threw a hat on Teddy and came up with this:


happy birthday?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December, A Review.

Hello person reading my blog! How are you? I forgot to tell you, I decided to take a month off from my blogging to rejuvenate. I've spent the majority of my time planning out my creative goals for this blog. I have lists, Venn diagrams, bar graphs, and even a few laminated signs. 2011 is guaranteed to blow your mind, so stick around!

Not really though. I've just been epically lazy.

But I'm back!

It's sad that I haven't posted because I discovered a lot of new things in December. While searching for Christmas presents on Amazon, I discovered a quilting book, which led to a quilting blog, which led to a colorful quilt that I love, which led to me jumping head first into a quilting project. Look at all the fabric I have! Ack!


Then I went to the lake house where I got to see my baby cousins Chandler and Dylon. I think 11 months old is officially my favorite age.


I did some baking which is no suprise. I made some Christmas themed cake balls for peoples at work! I also baked cookies for 2 of my coworkers' birthdays. It involved cookies spelling their names but I didn't take any pictures because baking and decorating cookies is effort enough.

Cake Balls
Cake Balls Cake Balls

I had also been working on a knitting project for a long while. I had absolutely no time to work on it, but was finally able finish it on Christmas Eve. So glad I got it done before Christmas - I made it for Stephanie; hope she likes it.

Knitting - Neck Warmer
Knitting - Neck Warmer Knitting - Neck Warmer

oh! oh! I also discovered dog parks. Okay... I've known about dog parks for a long time now, but I've never taken my dogs to one. But Toast absolutely loves the dog park. She was jumping in the ponds, running as fast as she could, barking at swans, running under people doing push-ups, and just, in general, drawing a crowd of admirers. People are fascinated by really small dogs. Teddy sticks pretty close to me when we go but he enjoys running about as well.

So that's about it for my December. How about you, dear blog reader?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Booty

That's right, I was one of those crazies who got up in the middle of the night to go shopping. Actually, both my mom and I were crazies. We woke up at 2:00 AM (after getting to bed around midnight...) and shopped for about 4 hours. We hit up Kohl's, Sears, JCPenney, and Lowe's. All of the things we got are pictured below, except for a fancy microwave that we can pick up next week and a 4' x 6' picture frame thingy that I completely forgot to include. Our loot includes 2 vacuums, a slow cooker, a hand mixer, two 20-pc Pyrex sets, a Toaster Over, some scarves and gloves, flashlights, and slippers!

After all was said and done, we spent about $400 and saved $500!! Totally worth it. Now I'm off to work... man...

p.s. How 'bout them Ags?! We beat TU; WHOOP!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I went to visit Grandmommy and the rest of the family last weekend. I’m working the day after Thanksgiving so I knew I wouldn’t be able to make up there for a while. I brought Grandmommy a present in the form of a world map puzzle! How cool is that? The oceans are regular puzzle pieces, but the rest of the pieces are the actual shape of the countries! (I think I may have been way more excited about it than anyone else.)

Saturday morning, while Grandmommy slept and Jane took a road trip with Melissa to Austin, I took a nice long run down the bayou near Jane’s house then I baked the always delicious chocolate covered cheesecake. I sent a few pieces home to Grandmommy the first time I made it, and she had been asking me when I was going to bring her more. Grandmommy and I then worked on the puzzle and discussed knitting patterns. She let me borrow this really cool knitting and crochet book that has all kinds of different patterns that I want to try out. I haven’t yet ventured far from the comfortable knit and purl. We visited Melissa that evening and I got to see Carter’s baby room. Melissa is huge! After dinner I watched A&M beat Nebraska (Whoop!) with Thomas, then stayed up late chatting with Jane and Grandmommy. Perfect Saturday, no?

On Sunday, Jane and I drove over to Shannon’s house to witness Dylon’s first haircut. His Mimi had to, of course, take pictures of the monumental occasion. Dylon was a star, sitting nicely for his trim as his parents tried to keep his attention so he wouldn’t move. Afterwards there was a little bubble photoshoot in their front yard. Look how cool they look!

The Smiths & Mimi

We ended the weekend by making cake balls! My work had a potluck lunch on Monday, and I signed up to bring a dessert. I may have got a tad stressed and been overly critical of Jane's ball rolling, but we finished it up and she let me borrow a pretty basket to display them in! (She's a great assistant by the way, I would highly recommend her if you are looking for free help.) Everyone at work seemed to like them. I saw a couple of people grab 3 or 4 bags!

Monday, November 22, 2010

All in a Day's Mail

$6.00 compensation for going to jury duty - score!

$17.20 fine for going through a toll (a very confusing toll!) without a TxTag - fail.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cable Rib Dog Sweater

I knitted something! I have this book called Stylish Knits for Dogs. It is full of amusing puns related to dogs and fashion (Vanity Fur, anyone?), but it is not full of good patterns. I started knitting the cable rib sweater but the instructions only had me doing one cable when the sweater clearly had 5! It turns out the book has at least 3 incorrect patterns, but I luckily found the corrected instructions on the publisher's website. Here is the pattern if you want to try it. On to pictures!

In the works:

I took this picture when I was done with all of the cabling. I didn't know how to proceed since I had to increase stitches. (Can you tell I'm a knitting n00b?) Anyway, I figured it out and I finished it!

Dog Sweater

I actually finished it about a week ago. I didn't post it sooner because I didn't have the photo I wanted. You know, the one where one of my dogs is actually wearing the sweater. But it turns out, it doesn't fit my dogs! It's way too small. (It was pretty hilarious trying to put it on... though, the dogs didn't care for it.)

Dog Sweater

I don't know if I just have really tight stitches or if size "small" is only for newborn chihuahuas. Oh well, I had fun. I might try it again in medium.

p.s. I don't know why the color looks so different between photos. They were taken on different days and at different times ... and ... and... I'm also a camera n00b. :(

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jack-o'-Lantern Cake

I made another cake à la i am baker. It's a pumpkin cake, just in time for Halloween!

There is a special surprise in the middle, just like the fancy fourth of July cake I made in the summer. I used a cookie cutter and a knife to cut a hole in three layers of my red velvet cake. Then I baked a million (27) cupcakes so that I could use three for my cake. I used two white cupcakes for the bottom three layers, and made a yellow one to put in the top layer and act as the pumpkin's stem.

Pumpkin Cake Pumpkin Cake

Then I "carved" the cake into the shape of a pumpkin.

Pumpkin Cake

After dying the frosting, which I think may be one of my least favorite things to do ever, I had some fun decorating. It was so hard to make a semi-decent green! (It turns out, you have to add some red.)

Pumpkin Cake

The inside was the coolest part! These cakes are so fun. I believe I jumped up and down when I saw that it had worked.

Pumpkin Cake

I took it to work, and everyone seemed to like it. It was gone in about an hour. (I made sure to have a huge slice myself.)

Pumpkin Cake

The BFFs were over while I was decorating the cake. (I believe Casey suggested the red food coloring for the green frosting. She is now my official frosting dyer.) I told them they had to decorate the left over cupcakes. They are very creative...

Halloween-ish Cupcakes Halloween-ish Cupcakes
Halloween-ish Cupcakes

Time to go enter into my food coma!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Juries, Dogs, and Yarn

Hi there!

So, I have this post-it note. And on it is written a list of things I need to do. There's stuff like, "clean rat cage" and "give the dogs a haircut" and "go to Goodwill." But all of these things are crossed off and finished. There is only one thing left on my post-it note. And it says "Blog." So here I am!

Last week I had jury duty. *boo* *hiss* It was really just jury selection, so I had to listen to lawyers for 4 hours ask everyone a bunch of questions. I didn't say anything, just sat and played with my little number paddle. When the defense attorney started cracking jokes I made sure to keep a straight face... you know, let him know that I wasn't going to play along with his little games. I also said "don'tpickmedon'tpickmedon'tpickme" over and over again in my head when they were making their final selections. I think all of these things played a very significant role in my not being chosen. (By the way, you can borrow my tricks the next time you get summoned.)

On Thursday, my BFFs and I had craft night. (Why yes, we are cool, thanks.) Casey made bows for headbands, Stephanie crocheted, and I started undoing a blanket I had started months ago. I never finished the blanket because it was looking like a trapezoid as my stitching became tighter and tighter. I've decided to knit sweaters for the dogs. Hopefully I can figure out how to make them; it's a cable pattern. (yikes?)

Saturday was spent crossing off my to-do list from my post-it note, but Sunday was fun! I dragged Stephanie to Waco to spend a day at the ASCA nationals. (ASCA stands for Australian Shepherd Club of America.) We saw stock dogs herding cows, sheep, and even ducks. We also caught the final conformation awards and a little bit of the agility. I was going to take pictures of all the pretty dogs we saw (and there were so many!!) but I was too self conscious. I took one picture:
Ah, well! It was fun anyway, and now I want one of these dogs more than ever! (I also want to learn how to work stock. Am I too much in the city for that sort of thing?)

Okay there. *crosses off item on to-do list* I'll try to bore you again real soon! Byyeee!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Food and Books. Typical.

Thursday the BFFs came over and we baked! We made the Chocolate Biscoff Cheesecake Bars that I've made before. I've had 3 slices in the last day and a half. (They are really good.)

Cheesecake bars

Other than that I haven't been doing much. I've poked around my room, adding stuff to my Goodwill box. I also finished a few books, which makes my 2010 book list look like this:

1. The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
2. Chimpanzee Politics by Frans de Waal
3. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
4. Food Rules by Michael Pollan
5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
6. The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.
7. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
9. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
10. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
11. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
12. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
13. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
14. Don't Shoot the Dog! by Karen Pryor
15. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I know I have lots of things I could do today but I can't seem to think of a single thing. Nap time?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Blog for People.

Hi there. I'm exhausted; how are you?

Yesterday was my cousin Melissa's baby shower. It was a lot of fun (you know... in terms of baby showers), and the food was delicious. I snapped a few pictures. I was feeling a little rusty with this whole camera thing; I haven't taken pictures in forever!

Here's my favorite of the day, Papa Coach and little Dylon:

Papa Coach & Dylon

I didn't get any pictures of Melissa (well I took one, but I took her by surprise and she would skin me alive if I posted it anywhere), but I got two good ones of Shannon (hehe):

Shannon Shannon

I wonder what Dylon will think of his new baby cousin:


We spent the night at Jane's house. My aunt DeeAnn and cousin Tim, both of whom I never see, were there and it was really good to see them. We all got together in Grandmommy's room and helped her with her puzzle. We almost had it finished, but we were missing one piece. The puzzle was set up on a drop-leaf table, and when Jane was in the other room looking for the missing piece, the side of the table was knocked down and the puzzle crumbled to the floor. Everyone thought it was hilarious; we were so close to finishing!

Later we went to Cracker Barrel for pancakes, followed by an ice cream cone at Marble Slab. (I got Birthday Cake with chocolate sprinkles in a waffle cone... ohmy it was good!) We stayed up the rest of the night in Jane's "scrap room" as Tim taught Jane how to use her photography umbrella and DeeAnn and I suffered through being the models.

And now it is already Sunday! I have to get up early tomorrow to run off that ice cream. All in all though, good company, good food, and good laughs... I declare this weekend successful!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Long Overdue, eh?

Well aren't I just a horrible little blogger? I must make a new entry now before it becomes *gasp* a month since I last posted. I'm sorry Mr. Blog, I promise I haven't forgotten about you; actually I think about you every day. Nothing seems extremely blog-worthy (you know... like taking down my bulletin board... *sigh*), but I'm afraid that if I don't write in you soon I will stop writing completely!

Things that are new:

- I am no longer a lowly intern, now I'm a lowly samples receiving employee! I got hired full time and I have things like a salary and benefits! I even got my little insurance card today, and it doesn't have my parents name on it or anything.

- Due to an unfortunate storm that rolled through Austin a few weeks ago I have decided to start looking for an apartment closer to where I work. It took me an hour and forty-five minutes to get to work that day. Without traffic I could get to work in 20 minutes, most days it takes 40-45 minutes, but I couldn't wrap my head around an hour and forty-five minutes to drive 17.5 miles. It also takes me about an hour to get home everyday, and I don't want that to be my life.

- I finished The Hunger Games the weekend I got it, and have since bought and finished the rest of the series. Casey has read the first one and I'm trying to get the others to her. It is so fun sharing books!

- My Grandmommy fell and broke her arm. :( I went to Katy to visit her, but mostly I spent my time with Jane running around everywhere. I don't know how she was upright at the end of the weekend... she had to take care of Grandmommy, baby Dylon, help paint my cousin's house, cook for everyone, and she didn't even get to go to her scrapbooking class she had planned. Grandmommy seemed to be doing well, she worked on a puzzle all weekend and kept forgetting not to move her arm.

- I gave my final presentation for school, which means I have completed my advanced certification in Biotechnology! I was a little shaky at the beginning (there is nothing worse than when your voice gets shaky!) but got more comfortable near the end. Everyone asked lots of questions, and I was able to answer most of them without looking like a complete idiot. (Success!)

- I went out with my BFFs and had some Thai food at Blue Bamboo. Stephanie got some pineapple curry that she tried to convince us was really good, but it mostly tasted like a flowery candle.

- I went to happy hour at The Dig Pub with some school friends who I haven't seen since summer school. There was a lot of laughing, I miss them.

- I saw a bug on the bathroom floor at work (I think that's the definition of riveting, don't you?).

- I walked with work peoples in a Mental Awareness 5K hosted by NAMI. I brought Toast and she was a hit! Everyone was obsessed with her, and now people are always asking about her at work. (My dog has a better social life than me. :D)

- I also worked at a Rabies Clinic for TLAC. I love love love Rabies Clinics; they are so fun. The shelter sets the clinic up at a park in a low income neighborhood and give free rabies shots to dogs and cats. I'm always at the tagging station where we clip rabies tags onto collars. It's so much fun hanging out with the volunteers who are so passionate about their animals; they are involved in rally and agility and I love the atmosphere.

And tomorrow I am heading off to Katy to go to Melissa's baby shower!

That's about it... kind of. I didn't want to make this post any longer or duller (google told me that was a word). I apologize! I need to dust off the cobwebs from my camera and become a more diligent blogger. Until then, happy Friday!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Your Bulletin Board is Showing

Bulletin Board

When I moved out to go to college I bought this huge bulletin board. And I covered it in many things:

Pictures of my friends, football tickets, and my childhood dog's collar.

Bulletin Board

It held my Harry Potter glasses and tons of movie tickets.

Bulletin Board

It revealed my obsession with musicals and House. It held pictures of those I loved.

Bulletin Board

It pretty much held all the crap I could throw onto it.

Bulletin Board

And today I decided to take all that down. I've stored most of it away, but kept some of my favorite pictures to be displayed somewhere else. I loved it in college, but I felt like moving on.

Bulletin Board

Now it is ready for new obsessions and new memories, but I'm sure there will always be room for old friends.

I'm going to have to force myself to throw away movie stubs now; it feels so wrong.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm Special!

Lookie!! My momma got me The Hunger Games cuz i is special!!

Special ed!

Man, I'm so tired.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Eyes Adore You.

I was going to just do a Wordless Wednesday today, but I think I would rather ramble to you about what's been going on. I was also going to exercise, but I'm taking an "I'm tired, my head hurts, It's rainy" day. (You can avoid anything if you have enough excuses.)

Last Thursday a family friend invited my mom and I to go see Jersey Boys. I had heard of the show, but I had no idea what it was about. It turns out it is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I loved it! It was funny, and I suprisingly recognized most of the songs. The cast was so good; I wish I could have bought a recording of their performance. I bought the musical soundtrack, but I don't like the broadway cast as much. I should have just bought the songs from the real deal! Oh well.

My mom and I listened to the soundtrack all the way to the family lake house, which is where we headed for Labor Day weekend. It was beautiful and sunny. The dogs had a blast running around all day barking at the neighbors and I read. and read. and read. I read a little more than 300 pages in two days and finished my book. The end was full of cliffhangers, and now I am waiting in anguish for the next installment. (My aunt informs me that the next one will probably be out in a couple of years. *sad*) That makes number ten for this year:

1. The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
2. Chimpanzee Politics by Frans de Waal
3. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
4. Food Rules by Michael Pollan
5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
6. The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.
7. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
9. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
10. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

I don't know what I'm going to read next. I'm considering Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or The Hunger Games. Whichever I can get my hands on first I guess!

Here's some pretty purple berries at the lake:

Purple Berries