Saturday, June 25, 2011

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

At least I'm hoping that's the case! I realize it's been over a week since my last blog post. Life has just been a bit busy lately. I have several posts to be written but it's finding the time to sit down, format the pics and write them that's the problem. If you are a fellow blogger, you know what I mean.

I'd like to tell you that will all change this week, but it's highly unlikely. See, in about two hours, I'm boarding a plane headed to Chicago and then another for Toronto. That's right, I'm headed to Canada for the week. I wish I could tell you of all the great things I'll be seeing while I'm up there, but I'm actually headed for work and won't see much outside of the Sheraton Convention Center. But, I am hoping to make a trip to Niagara Falls tomorrow with my co-worker.

I've never been to Canada, so I am pretty excited. The weather should be amazing, with highs in the low 70s. Sure beats the 100-degree weather we've been having! 

When I return July 3, I'll be sure to tell you all about the trip and about a few things I've been doing around the house. Until then, have a great weekend and week!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A little freshening up

This post has been marinating in my drafts. I started it the day I broke the camera. I took half the pictures and wasn't able to finish until the new camera was purchased. I just didn't think my cell phone would do it justice.

I mentioned that we were going to repaint our sunroom. Well, Memorial Day weekend, we did just that. I really like the color that was in the sunroom, but it looked "thin" in some places, showing through the wood paneling and just needed a refresher. Not knowing what color it was, we threw a couple of paint samples on the wall and ended up choosing Glidden's "Antique Beige."

We thought it was going to be a very quick process, but it seemed to take longer than expected. As always, it was my job to trim while Landon rolled. Needless to say, my job was harder.

Can you see the subtle difference in the colors? The all to my left has the fresh coat of paint while the wall to my left has the old color. I know ... it's barely noticeable in this pic.

At first we were afraid we were going to need two coats of paint, but luckily it gave great coverage once completely dried. Also, once dried, we realized it was actually a shade lighter than the original. I think Landon said it best when he said the entire room just looked "clean." So true. Funny what a new coat of paint can do.

We had hoped to have enough paint to also do the office, but the walls just soaked it up and we basically used the entire gallon. I do like the color so I may just end up buying another gallon or I might choose something new all together. We'll see. We're a little ways off from that project.

Now that the paint was done in the sunroom, I could finally begin hanging things on the wall. Mainly, these beautiful vases purchased from IKEA.

I had bought some hooks also from IKEA and with Landon's help, we were able to get them hung.

My goal is to purchase some battery-operated candles to put down in them with some shells. I have my eye on some at Michael's that look real when turned on, but I didn't realize how expensive they were! So, I'm waiting on them to go on sale.

I put the potpourri purchased a few weeks ago in some other vases I had and placed them on my yellow tables. The blue of the vase and the blue in the potpourri is perfect. 

The room already looks better. Now if I only had some furniture for it ....

I think I need to go yard sale shopping ... surely I can find some cute wicker furniture that just needs a good spray paint.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meet my new best friend

After my unfortunate camera incident a few weeks ago, we have finally purchased a new shiny model. If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know that I have been complaining about my camera for some time now. We had a little Canon PowerShot that we bought four and a half years ago. It was actually our Christmas present to each other. I remember paying so much for it (I think $300) and telling everyone what great pics it took. Funny how quickly technology can change in just four years.

So, after I broke that little Canon, I started doing some research on a possible next camera. I had been browsing the camera section for a while, and had actually written down info for a couple of models that looked good. I wanted something that would be have all the functions of a big camera but still small enough to put in my purse while on trips. After much research, we landed on yet another Canon PowerShot, this one being the model SX130 IS.

The reviews on both Amazon and cnet were great for it. And, in addition, it has a manual mode for added control. 

I took some photography classes in college. I am no professional photographer but I do know the basics and know there are times when manual mode would come in handy.

I was able to purchase this camera at Sam's Club where it was actually $50 less than Target. Score! I've only played with it a bit, but already I can tell it takes such better pictures. 

This weekend, I pulled out some of my old photography books and started refreshing myself on everything I needed to know. Here is a sample shots I took to show you the difference in automatic and manual.

On "automatic" setting

Adjusting various settings manually

It's not perfect. Matter of fact, I think I also had on the manual focus and after downloading the pics, it looks like I may not have completely focused the pics. But a little more practice will make it better. P.S. Don't Bug and Mitsu look pitiful? They were just upset that I wasn't sitting on the couch paying attention to them. Yes, that's how they are. Perhaps you could call that spoiled? :)

Hopefully, with a bit more practice, you'll begin to notice a big difference in my pics moving forward!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I can honestly say I have been absolutely lazy lately. There are things around my house that need to be done, people that need to be called, projects that need to be completed, yet I haven't done any of those things. Instead, I spent all weekend lounging around watching TV and reading. I think part of my problem is this.

When Landon and I decided to purchase a home in Dallas, we made a list describing our future house with three columns: 1) things that we must have, 2) things that would be like, and 3) things that would be an added bonus. In column No. 1 was a pool.

I've wanted a pool since I was a little girl. I absolutely love swimming. I was thrown in the pool at just six months old by my sister's swimming lessons teacher. From then on, I could frequently be found floating idly on my back around the pool, content as could be. My mom used to joke that I always got uneven suntans on vacations when I was little, because I spent so much time underwater. There is just something about being in the pool that I absolutely love.

Before house shopping, we had spoken with different people who had pools and determined that the price of the home wasn't that much more, it's just the chemicals and maintenance that costs more. We decided it was a price we were willing to pay, especially living in Texas where 100 degree weather is the norm.

We purchased our home in October ... not necessarily in pool season. While Landon jumped in a few times (and frozen), we were beginning to think all the effort to "figure out this pool thing" was never going to pay off. Then came Memorial Day and mid to high 90-degree temperatures. All I can say now, is it is soooo worth it.

Landon shares my love of swimming. We have two floats and two pairs of goggles. Depending on the mood, we either lounge on the floats and have great conversation or pull out goggles and see how many breaths it takes to find the loose change the other has strategically thrown around our small pool. Yes, we are absolute children, and I love it. I hope to get to enjoy this fun with each of my friends and family.

That said, I have vowed to spend some time on projects next weekend, so here's to hoping some of those dining room chairs will get done. Aren't you tired of me talking about them? Yeah, me too!

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


In case you don't keep up with basketball, you may not be aware that the Dallas Mavericks are currently battling out the Miami Heat for the NBA Championship. Normally, I wouldn't pay attention to the NBA finals, but with everyone in Dallas really excited about the possibility of having a champ, it's hard to ignore. I would like them to win, too ... who doesn't love having a winning team!

So, last Thursday, we invited some of our friends over for dinner and to watch the game. I actually didn't join them for dinner because I met an old friend and former Sunday School teacher for dinner. We figured out that we hadn't seen each other in over 10 years, so it was so great to catch up!

Knowing I wasn't going to be at dinner, I told Landon I would make a cake to enjoy afterward. So Wednesday night, I went through all my recipes and found the perfect easy, yet delicious recipe for Earthquake Cake. 

This is my "Mema's" recipe. She is the best cook! I have no idea where she got this recipe but she made it once for a dinner, and I immediately told her I needed the recipe. This was my first time to make it, but I must say it's super easy. Here is what you need:

1 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 German chocolate cake mix
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
16 oz confectioners sugar

First thing you want to do is mix the pecans and coconuts and place them in the bottom of a greased 9.5x13 pan. Next, mix up the cake mix as directed on the box and pour it over the coconut and pecan mixture. Lastly, mix the cream cheese, butter and confectioners sugar until fluffy. From here, spoon the mixture over the cake mix. It will probably look something like this.

Then, bake the cake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. As it bakes, the cake rises up over the cream cheese mixture, creating a layer of goodness in the middle.

The cake was well received. I probably could have cooked mine an extra five minutes, because the middle was really gooey, but it was still really good! Sorry I don't have any pics of our friends actually enjoying the cake (I promise they did), but with my camera being broken, I've been relying on my camera phone and I just forgot to take any!

This is a great recipe if you need something easy. You could also probably use a different kind of cake mix, if you wanted, but I'm a German chocolate fan, so it's perfect to me. If you make it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I hope everyone had an amazing Memorial Day weekend! Landon and I officially opened up our pool for summer. It was still a little chilly but we spent most every day floating around the pool. While I enjoyed every minute of it, what I loved even more was that it was such a sweet time for us to just relax and discuss what's going on with life. I can't wait for more of that!

Also, I have a small little hiccup in my blogging. You see, I accidentally dropped my camera Monday on my tiled kitchen floor. Oops! Needless to say, it will no longer turn on. So, the camera that I've complained about so much now must officially be replaced. Luckily, I was able to put the SD card with all my pics into my computer so I could do a few posts. 

We did several projects over the weekend, including putting some finishing touches in the dining room. Matter of fact, it's actually starting to look like a room! I hung all the things I've been telling you about on the wall ...

And, we bought some curtains a few weeks ago at IKEA. What do you think?

It actually looks like a room now that everything is hung. It's amazing what a difference it makes.

Now if I can just get those chairs done ... I'll also soon show you some close ups of my table arrangement I've been working on. It just needs a few more little details added.