24 February 2012


*Thank God I'm Filipino ;.) oh, and it's Friday!
Birthday Flowers from Emi
Emi got me some flowers for my birthday...sweet girl...

I took off work early today to have lunch with my #1 daughter, Emi Lou. We went to T.E.A. Cafe on the East side (because it's so much more quaint than the campus corner location and we've been going there since they opened up in 2005). Then we went shopping for some good deals (and Easter clothes). This is not Aubri's Easter dress but we couldn't resist getting her and Carly these matching dresses.

Aubri & Carly in Matching Dresses
If I could only find this is MY size...
We managed to get David, Aubri and Emi their Easter clothes but we still need to get shoes and a few items for Emi's dress (to make it hers).  We spent way too much time at TJMaxx, but luckily, not way too much money...

Later we hit The Garage for burgers and fries. This place has been on the list to try out for the past few months as many of my friends have raved about their burgers. The kids were introduced to Ski Ball while I eased into the weekend with a Modelo Especial. The burgers were really good but I really loved the sweet potato fries with the garlic aioli and sriracha aoili.

Ski Ball @ The Garage
Kids in Action

Cellphone Booth

After dinner we tore into a Chocolate Divine cake that truly lived up to its name....

Birthday Cake
Chocolate Divine (courtesy of La Baguette)

Twas a nice start to the weekend....

22 February 2012

Pretty in Pink

Blooming Quince

Put a Bird on It

...or several hundreds
For the past 2 evenings we've witnessed many flocks of birds flying to the West. Aside from David's yelling, it's a fairly peaceful experience...

20 February 2012

How'd You Guys Get Up Here?

Today has been such a c-o-o-o-o-l-d day. I had a few things on my To-Do list but I chucked it once I spent a few chilly moments outside. I got the kids off to their activities, then I ran to pick up Emi's orthotics. After that I tried to shop for some charcoal shoes (boots or strappy leather shoes that I can wear with dresses and jeans, something versatile). Anyway, after not finding anything remotely like what I want at the first store, and getting chilled from being out in the cold wind I decided to grab some Chick-Fil-A and head to the warmth of my home. I was sad thinking about how Kirby would not be there to greet me when I got there so I tried to think of something that would make me smile. This always does the trick...

Luckily we had yesterday, glorious yesterday. We went to Sam's for a quick trip after church and then we got outside and enjoyed the day. Well, I enjoyed it as much as I could with the weeds in my yard. I pulled 2 lawn bags worth of weeds and I am not done yet.

Aubri Helping Me Pull Weeds
Mother's Little Helper
I was going to jump back in today for some yard work, but my motivation is gone now. I may plant some seeds in the sun room or I may just bake some pumpkin banana nut bread and do some shoe shopping online instead...

Saturday morning, the kiddos wanted pancakes, so I decided to pack them with more flavor and nutrients by adding some pumpkin puree and mashed bananas (on sale at Natural Grocers because they were getting a bit ripe). As Rachel would say, O My Gravy! Those pancakes were so yummy. So I have some overripe bananas and half a can of pumpkin puree left...might as well make that bread. Right?

15 February 2012


Sir Kirby
Today we lost our sweet, sweet Kirby boy. I wasn't ready for him to go but he was ready to go. He had been doing better the past 5 days on meds after our vet visit last week.  He would even give us a weak bark to ask for a treat (or some baby carrots) and he was wagging his tail more often, but last night he seemed to be moving a little slower. He plunked down in front of the tub when I went for a long, hot soak.  I dozed off for a second and roused when I thought I heard my erratic breathing...then I realized it was his labored breathing.

This morning he didn't want to eat or drink. I gave him his first medicine to coat his stomach and Scott gave him his antibiotic 30 minutes later. By 7am he was vomiting. We couldn't get him to eat anything and he was so weak. Scott stayed with him after lunch when Kirby got up to apparently look for Emi. He fell down then went to her bathroom to rest. Emi made it home just in time to say "goodbye" to her buddy....

I knew when we picked Kirby out at the shelter 5 years ago that he was a special dog and after only a week of bonding with him I couldn't imagine our life without him. He was always locking eyes with me and winking at me and pawing me for some more loving. I am sad for our family and poor little Abbey. Not sure what she will do without her buddy, her compadre, her seeing eye dog...

Emi and Her Dogs back in 2007....

What the dogs did while we were at work...

Reluctant Santa Pup ("This is highly improper!")

Sweet, sweet puppies ....I thought they were smiling at me...

Camping in October 2008

My Little Nuzzler...

Sweet Boy sleeping with his Emi...

Gonna miss the way he always looked into my eyes

Whatever, Kirby!
Rest in peace, my sweet Kirby boy...We love you and we miss you...

14 February 2012

Bestow, My Heart

A couple of my favorite bloggers have awarded me with some awards. And I feel bad that I haven't addressed the one from Annie (of Dough, Dirt & Dye) yet because it's been more than week, but I was packing to go to California when I found out. Thank you again, Annie!

Receiving the Versatile Blogger award obligates me to divulge 7 factoids about me - I am going to cheat and point you to my About Me page which has at least 7 things about me listed. I hope that doesn't result in bad juju for me...

And I also need to nominate 15 blogs to receive that VBA. I'm going to edit it down to 3 because I am short on time for blogs these days...once again, please no bad juju. And the nominees are:

1) A Little Lunch
2) Yours Truly, Melissa
3) Jill of All Trades

And this morning my lake-living (or is that lake-loving?) writer/blogger/chef friend (of A Little Lunch) let me know that she bestowed me with The Liebser Blog award. Thanks, Kim!

According to my research, liebster is German for dearest, beloved, or favorite.  I feel so honored! The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  That is certainly me! ;.) I have been reading A Little Lunch for some time now and Kim always seems to inspire me to cook...and listen to Elvis. I appreciate the inspiration, kind words (go ahead and comment on her blog and see what I mean) and shared love of food and music and life in general. I like to surround myself with positive people IRL and also in the blog world and Kim is a keeper!

And the nominees for the Liebster Blog award are:

1) Dough, Dirt and Dye
2) Blessed with a Boy
3) Sally's Daily Diary

Congratulations, ladies and Happy Valentine's Day!

13 February 2012

The Comforts of Home

I was hoping for a full on snow day today and technically it did snow on this day! It was so pretty and peaceful outside, even at 5AM when I was checking to see if my workplace was opening up on time. I saw a 2 hour delay posted on the news and oh how I wish I would have been sleeping that entire time. I spent a good deal of time making sure that it was really okay to go in late. My old boss used to call us to let us know about inclement weather delays but at my new workplace we just check the status online...

So back to my "snow day"! ;.( I didn't have time to play in the snow or even snap any pictures... I drove Salty to work because I was worried that Beulah (the Buick) would slip slide all over the place. And because I had a little extra time to get to work this morning, I took the kids to school and headed to my office with a that extra time to spare. Good thing I did too because it was so slippery out there. There were trucks and cars stuck off on the side of the road and I was almost part of an accident when driver of the car in front of me stopped to rubberneck another accident. Needless to say, I had to pry my left hand off the wheel when I finally got to my parking lot. I am hoping that the melting snow doesn't refreeze tonight making it another white knuckle drive to work.

Ah tonight. I prepared an Indian themed dinner tonight: Roasted Tomato Hummus (I told you I would!), Curry Chicken and Sauteed Spinach with garlic. Ok, so the last one isn't quite Indian (maybe a bastardized version of Palak Paneer?), but it's soooo good!

Roasted Tomato Hummus with Curry Naan
This was really good, but next time I will use more roasted tomatoes - can you see the golden grape tomatoes in there? (I couldn't see them but I could taste them...)

Yummy Indian Dinner
Comforting Indian Food

Speaking of Good Things, I can't wait until we get our own Trader Joe's! I could get used to this:

Trader Joe's Wine
Lovely Wine Selection

and this:

Trader Joe's Appetizers
I see many things to reverse engineer in there!
Hope tonight finds you warm and full of yummy comforting food, my friends! Until next time, au revoir!

12 February 2012

Winter Wonderland?

I missed my family while I was away on business this past week! So much so that I had Scott bring the kiddos to the airport to pick me up late Thursday night. They were all in their footed PJs and I couldn't stopping reaching back to touch them on the ride back home. (I wish I'd gotten a picture of them!)

It's been cold and gloomy since I've been back (it was around 77 degrees in California when I left) but I am still happy to be home with the family. I'd be cool with a Snow Day tomorrow though...

Captain Morgan

Friday was a hard day to get through. I was dead tired when I headed in to work but I had a few reports and other business to attend to so I had some coffee for the first time in a few days. The only coffee I had in California (this coffee hiatus was so NOT planned) was a sugary sweet coffee caramel drink from the Fresh & Easy. It was not good. So Friday I only needed a little coffee buzz to get my work day done.

After work I took Kirby in to the vet because he'd been drinking a lot of water the week before I left and was asking to go outside more often. Thursday night his eyes pleaded with me to help him. He also felt thinner to me and he wasn't barking or wagging his tail.  I went to a new vet because in the past, other vets have taken the long way in determining ($$$) what was wrong with my pets and I'd heard that this vet shot straight. I found this to be true....he didn't mess around and he didn't charge me an arm and a leg. The first blood test was to rule out diabetes. Thankfully my boy does not have diabetes. He does have Ehrlichiosis though.

A tick disease is not something I'd even considered and I was surprised at the diagnosis. I've never seen ticks on our dogs (I have seen fleas on occasion.) and we keep up with their tick/flea treatment... Once we get Kirbs healthy again, we'll get him and Abbey in for the dental carnage. Cavis have the worse teeth!

Kirby has been more active and wagging his tail and loitering around in the kitchen for baby carrots this past weekend and I am happy he's going to be around for a little while longer. I was actually in tears when I saw him Thursday night. I love my Kirbs and it breaks my heart to think about him in pain...or gone.

Saturday was got out in the icy wind to go to Emi's basketball game and then we hung out at home and watched Pride and Prejudice while Ketiesha gave Emi a new do. (We are soooooo thankful for Ketiesha!).  There was laundry and ironing (just some Girl Scout patches on Emi's vest) and cleaning of course. But nothing major. It was nice to just be home.

Right now I'm getting ready for the new season of The Walking Dead (last night we caught a few reruns from the first season) and wondering if we really might get some snow tonight....hope so!

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday evening and that you have a great week! Here's to a snow day!

10 February 2012

On Such a Winter's Day

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in LA
California Dreamin
On such a winter's day

Well, friends, I got a reprieve from the brown "winter" of Oklahoma this past week when I scored a work trip to sunny California...

Home Away From Home
My home away from home...

The first night in town we spent with my friend, Gail-san! at Rutabegorz.  We gals enjoyed some nice red wine and some chips with jalapeno dip. The restaurant reminded me of being in Austin...

Gail-san and Nolita-san (not pictured Chantelle-san)
Can you tell that Nolita-san needed some sleep?

The next day was filled with meetings and side meetings and training sessions and face time and getting to know my new co-workers. My stomach and brain were on Oklahoma time so by the time the work day was over, I was starving....and also ready to get into my PJs and order room service. But I pushed through that when my co-workers mentioned free drinks for Happy Hour (sangria, sangria) at their hotel (next time I might have to stay there!) and then we enjoyed some Korean BBQ.

Yummy Korean BBQ
See the squid?

I grilled my own squid and chicken and we gals watched the guys go into caveman mode cooking and eating plate after plate of meat. It was very entertaining.

On the 3rd night there my brain was crying "uncle" so I stayed in my hotel room and ate leftover sushi and sesame chicken. And I had myself some more of the red wine we bought at Target.

mischief maker
I HAD to buy this brand of wine...(note: I was not disappointed)

For lunches we stocked up on roasted tomato hummus (will definitely make this at home!), pita chips, fresh fruit, almonds and water etc from the Fresh & Easy grocery store. I thought I was inlove with that store until we hit Trader Joe's (!) on our way to the airport on our last day. Just kidding....there's actually room in my heart for both awesome stores!

TJ Salads
TJ's Produce!

For my airport lunch, I picked up a wonderful pasta salad comprised of spiral pasta, chick peas, feta cheese and a wonderful vinaigrette. I plan to recreate this yummy salad at home soon... it was very satisfying.

TJ Breads
Yummy TJ's Breads

I showed restraint in the bread section and only got some Curry Flavored Tandoori Naan to take home. I also brought home a few dark chocolate items, baking items, brown rice, taco seasoning, veggie/fruit bars, etc. (items I could easily shove into my luggage)

My TJ Haul
My TJ's Haul (not picture: 2 Dark Chocolate Caramel bars with Black Sea salt)

The manager I spoke with told me that TJ's was opening 2 locations in Texas and 2 in Oklahoma in the next couple of years!!!! (30 more locations in all) This excites me beyond words. He said that they would locate in college towns and I am hoping that that means OU!

06 February 2012

Ivy on the Wall

Last week I found out that a friend of mine had died.We went to school together from middle school on... It was sudden and sad but some beautiful things came out of her passing, or homegoing as her family is calling it. Some referred to her funeral as her send off and from what I've seen, it was a true Celebration of Life. She touched so many lives and heaven is a brighter place with her now. No doubt she is singing in the choir up there much like she sang down here and made our world a brighter place. I haven't seen her in many years but I continue to be blessed by her time on earth reading all of the tributes to her on her FaceBook page and the e-mails I've received from friends.

I've been telling Emi about her because she reminds me of Emi so much....always singing and acting dramatic (comically).  Emi would have liked her for sure. I'm so proud to be part of the many that were blessed to have known her...

05 February 2012

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Breakfast Bagels
Breakfast Bagels - Everything Bagels with a Schmear of Cream Cheese, Grape Tomatoes, Bacon and Italian Parsley

04 February 2012

What's Up?

My second RDO was more like it. Woke up at my normal time and made pancakes for the family and fed the animals.  After I kissed the mister goodbye, I put on my flip flops and dropped the kiddos off at their schools. Then I headed home to catch up on laundry and other household chores...and a nap during the thundery part of the day. Love napping during a rainstorm...

When Emi got out of school we headed out for a quick grocery trip and to retrieve little brother and little sister. Once I had the kids and the groceries unloaded I headed out to meet the girls (Stacey, Stina and Kristy) for a Happy Hour at InterUrban. It was so nice to catch up in person...most of our talk lately has been via e-mail or FaceBook since I started my new job...

Saturday involved more cleaning and Emi had another basketball game. We lost even though the girls played very well..the other team was older and taller and well, better. That will hopefully force us to get better.

Scott and I tried in vain to whittle down our DVR queue and we had some success. We watched 4 episodes of Glee and deleted at least double that of SuperWhy. Of course I added more to the DVR queue in the bedroom Friday as we have free movie channels this month and some movies seemed to jump out at me while I was folding laundry. Last year this time we watched 2 seasons of Dexter because we were down with the flu and had so many snow days.  This winter's been warm and balmy...so no luck on TV marathon opportunities. It's so warm these days that the plants are even corn-fused.

Is it Springtime yet?

Ready or not, here we come!

Enjoying the long weekend...with my family and friends...