Sunday, November 20, 2011

Catching up from August......

I'm sitting on the love seat drinking a decaf chai tea latte. Impressed? You should be. I made it myself. Okay, Tazo made the mix....but I added the latte part! Darren gave me an early birthday present of a milk steamer! It is FABULOUS! I've used it about 4 times already and I've only had it for about 24 hours. I figured I'd try to play catch up on about 3 months of blogging I haven't done. Shame on me! I've had the best of intentions...but never the best follow through. Darren has been taking a genetics course on Tuesdays and Thursdays while I decided to take an American Sign Language course! It's been wonderful but has put me behind on numerous things because of the time it takes during the week. I'll apologize in advance for the number of pictures in this blog! It's my collection of want-to-be blog posts over the last few months.

My best friend from graduate school was married on October 29th! The wedding was beautiful and so was she. I helped out with lots of things, but had the joy of creating the bouquets for the bridal party and the bride.
It was special for me to create her bouquet. Each flower was placed with love.

I made wreaths for the mantle to dress up the place a bit for Autumn. What I learned? NEVER try to make 2 of anything that will be displayed together. It's a nightmare making things symmetrical. I love the way it turned out though.
I also rearranged the furniture in my living room. I wasn't sure initially, but it is my favorite by far! Riley posed in the picture for me :) Any tips for where to put the Christmas tree? There is a sliding glass door to the left side (you can see the curtain in the picture).
Recently, I went on a crock-pot cooking spree. I used it every day for almost a week! I placed a whole chicken in, covered it with an obscene amount of butter, and left it on all day. Darren had to help me take it out because it was falling apart. Instead of pulling meat off of the bones, I pulled the bones out of the meat. DELICIOUS! From the left overs, I decided to make chicken stock. In the picture below, I've put all the bones, gross pieces of chicken, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onions, leeks, and herbs from my garden, along with other spices. I added water as high as I could and let it simmer overnight.
The next day at lunch, I hurried home to strain the liquid and separate it into containers to chill and freeze. It made a LOT! I wish I had salted it a little more, but I'm always wary of adding too much salt to the foundation pieces of my recipes.
For bosses' day, I decided to make pretzels because my boss was trying to not eat sweets. It was fun! I used my bread machine for the dough and did the rest by hand. What I learned? 8" dough makes a lovely dinner roll, not a pretzel shape. I had to roll it out much thinner and longer to have it maintain the shape by cooking time.
Make a twist, then flip the ends down. In hindsight, I should have pushed the ends down a little more to keep them more flattened.

The team pitched in to cover the cost of the flowers. Turned out exactly how I wanted!
Happy Halloween! I was grabbing extra candy at Kroger and saw the wigs. We lean toward the impulsive costumes :) Riley is obviously baffled by our behavior. Too bad we only had 4 groups stop by this year! I blame Monday .....
My most recent adventure! I found the chair at my favorite Catholic Charities Resale store and bought it for around $25, I think. It was U-G-L-Y.
I suckered Darren into helping me take off the nasty fabric along with 1,000 and 16 staples. We found multiple layers.......

I'm finishing up the last of the staples. It needs more TLC.... but for now, it's staying upstairs while Thanksgiving, a trip to Canada, and Christmas take place.
Riley made his debut at the Mockingbird Dog Park! We've made about 4 trips by now, and he is slowly working on his play skills. He always seems confused by the idea that the other dog will sniff back.
This is how he usually looks. Darren and I feel like we're taking our kid to kindergarten every time we go.
Jordan and Mallory, my bro-n-law and sis-n-law, recently moved into their new home. We rode with Darren's dad to help with the moving process. Unfortunately for Doug and Darren, I found a lovely (insert HUGE) china cabinet on craigslist the day after we moved them in. I do love it though! I had to replace the lights and now need to replace 2 pieces of glass to have it fixed back up. I can't wait to put my pretty things inside!
Hoping to post more often in the next few weeks!

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