Monday, April 27, 2009

Hand-made Update

I've been a little busy making things lately. And I love it! If you only knew how many ideas and patterns I have floating around my head of things to make... that's not even including the purse pattern that I got from Hubby for my birthday, which I need to start as my next project.

You may remember that Hubby also gave me the gift of quilting classes from JoAnn's... a series of four. I posted about my fabric selections for my quilt here. Well, I've been to two of the classes, and this is a portion what I've made so far. By the close of Wednesday night I should have my quilt top completely pieced, with the quilt sandwich all put together so I can get to the actual hand quilting portion. I really like how it's coming together and I can't wait to show you more later this week.

On Sunday, The Little Guy asked me to help him make a camouflage messenger bag. He wants to use it when he goes shooting to hold his ammo and supplies. He also said when he goes dove hunting he wants to put the dove in there. Yikes. I just can't imagine him bringing home little birdies. Little birdies are one of my absolute favorite things to look at these days! Granted, a bit of dove wrapped in bacon with a jalapeno in the middle, grilled to perfection, is certainly a tasty snack... but to have my son bring me the little birdies??? Is he really big enough to go hunting? He'll be eleven years old this Sunday. I've heard of boys as young as five going hunting with their dads. But, I still don't think I'm ready for him to go.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday Hike

Saturday morning we got up early so we could go on a hike at a nearby nature preserve. The Little Guy had baseball practice at 11:00 so we had to stay on schedule. We were sooo glad we did! It was a beautiful morning, around 70 degrees and sunny, with a slight breeze. The trails were dry and gave us a great workout. We took Axel with us and he had a blast, too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Receptionist Hired!

The long search through Craig's List is over! Actually, it's been over most of this week. I'm happy to report that I found who I hope is the perfect receptionist and she will begin work on Monday. I can't wait!

Thank you to everyone who posted recommendations on hiring. You'll be happy to know that I followed your leads and checked references of the final candidates. The best part? Both of the final candidates had glowing references from positions where they had to be let go only due to downsizing, and both had long term job histories with their previous employers. It was a hard decision between the two, but I'm confident I've picked the right one.

Not that I want my weekend to go by fast or anything, because I certainly don't, but I'm actually looking forward to Monday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

First Tomato

Yesterday Hubby took a picture of our first tomato of 2009! (Look towards the back of the plant and find that little green ball shape.) We are so excited! I hope our plant remains healthy and these little goodies just keep growing and growing!

There's nothing more tasty to me than a home grown mater!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mourning the loss of last night...

I wish I were still curled up in bed. The alarm sounded too quickly today. The hustle and bustle that goes on my hacienda on weekday mornings was too familiar. I miss my vacation. But, more so I miss not being able to take the mornings at a slower pace. To visit with my son and my husband longer. To love on my pups a bit more. To sip on my coffee and watch a bit of the morning news shows.

Everything went well after my slumber... everyone got out of the house with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. I made it to work and was greeted with a gift from my boss because it's Administrative Professional's Day. I had forgotten about that. I wanted to bring our receptionist something. I'll have to make up for it and surprise her with a little something tomorrow morning. Because she puts up with a lot of b.s. from some of the male staff around here.

I long for tonight to come. For the business of the day to wind down and for simpler times of relaxation at home with my family to approach quickly. I long for hugs and nuzzles and cheek to cheek moments with The Little Guy and Hubby, and of course the pups. Its one of those "needy" feeling days.

"I just wanna be hugged by you...... boo-boo-bee-doo!"

Glitter Graphics

Betty Boop Glitter

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Santa Fe Fine Dining Tour

For those of you traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the future, please consider taking a few hours to go on the restaurant walking tour hosted by the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

On Saturday, we were treated by my good friend's hubby to this very tour. I must admit, we were a bit disturbed at the reality of having to take a time out from gallivanting around town at our own discretion. However, we were soon very pleasantly surprised.

Our host chef and tour guide was Chef Rocky Durham, and he was an absolute delight. Funny, charming, and full of knowledge about where to dine in the area, he led us around town to some secluded spots and some places we'd walked right by and never considered. All of the stops were absolutely delicious! And, he boosted my ego about ten notches by carding me before I could begin the tour. I'm 35! I never get carded unless my handsome, baby-faced hubby is with me, so I was elated. He made my day!

Chef Rocky began our tour at the cooking school, with a bit of sparkling wine to compliment a tamale filled with the best duck meat I've ever tasted. Ok, actually it was the only duck I've ever tasted, but I was impressed none the less. (I failed to snap a picture of that little treat, but it was wrapped ever so delicately in a corn husk, tied at both ends, and looked beautiful!)

The first restaurant we walked to was Rio Chama by the state capitol, and we were led through the entire place, including the kitchen, by Chef Tom Kerpon. This is a truly elegant, fine-dining stop that I recommend you stop at if you're in the mood. The decor is top of the line and they can host just about any size of party, even as small as just two, in one of their many nooks and crannies. You will feel like southwestern royalty. And, the food serving was delish! This is actually pork belly (I know...sounds disgusting, but it was sooo good. I just skipped eating the top layer of fat...) with sweet potatoes and some sort of sauce on the bottom, with little fried onion rings on top.

Our next stop was Amavi. Talk about another amazing source of ambience! It was voted the most romantic restaurant in May of 2008 and I can see why. We met David & Heather, the husband and wife team who run the show, and David is the head chef. We were served a huge scallop on a bed of fettucini with capers, and it was superb. I ate every bite. Their menu is updated every few weeks, and their food centers around tastes from Spain, Italy and France.

We moved on to La Casa Sena from there, and were treated to a splendid bit of trout baked in a custom made clay fish-dish. Chef Patrick Garrity and his staff literally make these little custom baking dishes shaped like fish so they can bake the trout in their wood burning oven. The clay fish are cracked open to reveal the most juicy and tender meat inside. I lapped up every bite of that treat, too. Yum. ee.

The last stop was Santacafe for dessert. The description sounded simple... chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, but I can assure you it was the best cake and ice cream I've ever tasted. As you can see, I had no problem cleaning that plate, either.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Santa Fe Happenings...a brief synopsis

My fabulous weekend has been flying right past me! The vacay in Santa Fe is going splendidly! I wanted to pass along a few tidbits to keep you in the loop, and let you all know I'm thinking of you and missing your blogs. I know I have a ton of posts to catch up on!

When I arrived on Friday, after long delays out of the DFW area due to storms, I was elated. I met up with Mom in Albuquerque around lunch time and we headed to Santa Fe. As we were driving we would see some snow flurries here and there, but we kept thinking it was only supposed to rain and didn't pay it much attention. By the time we got into Santa Fe the flakes were huge and were coming down hard. Here's a picture of what our view was like from the car... It was beautiful!
Later that day my good friend joined us and we sat in the kitchen snacking, having pina coladas and chatting the night away. Saturday we walked all over town, then were treated to a wonderful Santa Fe pleasure that none of us had ever experienced.
My good friend's hubby had scheduled us for a cooking tour through the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Chef Rocky Durham was our tour guide and host. He was also a fabulous entertainer. We hit four different restaurants in town, all of them absolutely amazing in all possible ways, and I will tell you all about where you need to stop to eat in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Sunday we walked around town more, shopping and taking in new sites. We found an amazing new pop art gallery that I had a blast looking around in. I found some awesome art that I was drooling over. I'll tell you more about the artist in another post so you can check out more of her work.
I hope you all have had a great weekend! I'll be back with the deets on where to dine in the coming day or so. Happy Monday to you all!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

ITS Tactical

This post may seem a little strange coming from a crafty lovin' girly-girl, but here goes anyway...

Do you ever wonder what you might need in case of a disaster? How to tie certain knots? Or what to do if you find yourself in a survival type of situation? Well, my husband does, and he has a new blog. ITS TACTICAL at It's definitely geared towards gear crazy tactical minded people, but who knows... you might dig it. If you don't then consider passing the link on to your gear crazy/tactical lovin' loved ones.

I like saying, "It's tactical!" when Hubby is talking about some of his gear or his blog, but really ITS stands for Imminent Threat Solutions. He's got articles about useful gear, tools and skills that can be used in real world situations. Even though he's only been posting to the public for just over a week he's got some great contributors featured and more scheduled for future posts.

Check it out!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My smile for the week!

Thursday will be like Friday for me at work. Why you ask? In two more days I'll be boarding a plane to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I'm meeting my mamasita and a good friend. I absolutely can not wait!

I love that town. It is so relaxing and so peaceful. There is so much beauty and nature to absorb. I love looking at all the art and jewelry that the Native American Indians make. Not that I can buy much of it, but it is still so beautiful to see their crafts. I love walking through the Plaza and seeing the people enjoying the park or whatever event they have going on. The weather will be cool but not super cold, and it is only supposed to rain on Friday. We are going to head over to a flea market on Saturday morning, and I'm hoping to see some vintage goodies, but I really don't know what to expect there. Perhaps it will just be new stuff.

Here's a link where you can see some of Santa Fe through the eyes of the Santa Fe Plaza Cam! The trees haven't bloomed yet and the park seems a bit on the bare side, which will be a new perspective of the town for me. I've always gone during warmer weather in the summer months. No matter what's blooming I can't wait to get there! And, now I'm going to have to look up and try to find these cameras. I've never noticed them before.

I'm going to try and blog while I'm there, but for pictures I'll have to rely on the camera on my phone since my real camera fizzled out on me. I'll see how it works out.

Today and tomorrow I have more interviews to conduct for the receptionist position I'm trying to fill. I'm hoping that it goes well. This part of my job tires me out. Thank goodness we don't have a high rate of employee turn over and I only have to do it a couple of times each year if that. I couldn't be a recruiter, that's for sure.

How is your week going? Any exciting plans coming up for the weekend?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Amigurumi Giveaway

Looksie at what I've found!

I must admit I found MyGurumi through, which Belle from Belle and Burger turned me onto last week. (I love how you can find so many wonderful sites out there just by linking on what your blogger friends like!) I'm completely enamored by the art of Amigurumi, and I can't print enough patterns and learn enough about how to make all these wonderful little toys!

Diana from MyGurumi has a wonderful giveaway for all you crochet lovers like me, and she has some amazing free patterns, too. Check out her site and sign up for her giveaway! I can't wait to look at all her pics... she's made some very artful stuff. While you're out surfing the Web, you should also check out Howie's artful stuff. I love his raygun!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hiring a Receptionist. Crikey!

You may remember that I mentioned (last week or the week before) that I'm hiring a new receptionist at work. I put an ad on Craig's List and have been inundated with emails and faxes of resumes. I've figured out a pretty stringent means of weeding out the undesirables and began the interviewing process last week.

Wow. It doesn't matter how prepared I think I am with my list of questions these candidates are still hard to read and truly believe. I'm not a very trusting person to begin with. The last person I recommended we hire turned out to be a complete waste of our time, and we had to modify some of our personnel policies to formally put an end to some of the bad habits this person brought with him. I hate it that some people can interview so well and turn out to be total louses. I don't want that to happen again with filling the receptionist position.

I find myself questioning my own judgment repeatedly. This is beginning to drive me insane. I actually felt my heart speed up after I finished with my first interview this morning. Why after the interview was over and not before? I guess I'm just being paranoid about missing any red flags, or being overly harsh on someone that could be a truly good fit for our business. I have another face-to-face interview this morning, then I'm back to making calls and conducting phone interviews.

Have you found yourself in this situation? If you have any recommendations on the interview process, or reading between the garbled lines of interview communique, I would greatly appreciate it. You not only help me to learn from your experiences, but you will also help to lower my blood pressure!!! Thank you very much in advance for your input!

Have a great Monday, my friends!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Early Easter

Thursday ended as well as it started. Hubby treated me to quilting classes that began last night, and I ended up being the only pupil! Total one-on-one tutelage! I completely ate that up. I have a great teacher and I'll get to work with her for three more Thursday nights. I can't wait to show you my finished project and hear what you think. Here's a sampling of what my fabrics look like... The Alexander Henry fabric with apples and pears is one of my faves!When I got home from class I entered the house and the only light was from the candles on my homemade birthday cake... Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Loved it! I had a piece as soon as I blew out my candles. Hubby and The Little Guy got me everything that I had asked for... a gift card to JoAnn Fabrics, the purse pattern and fabric from Heather Bailey's site, and the 17th Edition of Emily Post's Book of Etiquette. We had fun flipping through some of the pages, and I can't wait to see what all is in there. I'm sure I'll have to share some of the funnier stuff with you guys.

To wrap up the evening we had a little bit of Easter indoors. The Little Guy wanted to hunt eggs, so Hubby & I hid the ones we colored last night around the house and the hunt followed soon thereafter. We used a Camo egg dying set, but none of the camo stickers would stick today when we tried to apply them, and the dye kept coming off so we had to use little bits of paper towels under the eggs as we placed them around the house. I thought briefly about using super glue to stick the stickers, but then decided against it since I really want to eat the eggs! Here are some pics...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What a Birthday!

I must share with you all that today is my 35th birthday! I must also admit that this is the first birthday that I'm having a bit of trouble being excited about. Perhaps it is because you can now round me up to 40... Whatever the reason, age has never been an issue for me in the past. I've never looked my age... I think it's the chubby cheeks and freckles... I've always looked younger, so what's my deal? I think perhaps its because I can relate so well to what all the old folks in my life have been saying for years, "I still feel like I'm 19!" I'm going to get over this. Age is just a number and I'm going to keep feeling 19 just not try to act like it.

I have received so many sweet sentiments today so far, and it's not even nine a.m.! Hubby made breakfast for us today, he and The Little Guy presented me with their handmade card (and you know how I dig handmade goodies!), everyone at the office wished me happy bday and my good friend at work painted me a beautiful cross on a small canvas (another beautiful handmade goody!), my sister called me and sang happy bday to me in Spanish (Muchos gracias, mi hermana!), and another close friend emailed me to ask if I wanted margaritas or wine at our girl's happy hour tomorrow afternoon. Of course I said to bring on the tequila!!! (Definitely got to hit up the gym today to make room for those extra calories!)

Then when I logged in to blogger today, what other surprise did I have waiting for me? Rambler posted about my bday and asked her readers to send me some bloggy bday love today. Is that sweet or what? Check out her post today, in addition to boosting my ego she also has a great question series on Thursdays, and today's question is another doozie. I love how she promotes a bit of self reflection each week. Go Rambler!

A huge thank you to all of you who've made my birthday so special this morning! I can't wait to see what the rest of the week's celebration will have in store for me!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Critters

I've actually finished a project! These little Easter animals are for the newest addition to our family, my SIL's little boy. These were fun and easy to make. I'm sure if I sat down to finish an entire animal in one sitting I could have made each of these in about an hour. But, I worked on these a little at a time before bed a few nights last week. You can find the pattern here, along with lots of other Easter critters you can crochet. The pattern calls for little black beads for eyes, but I just embroidered these on. I felt like that was a much more secure option.
I'm hoping to make a crocheted chocolate bunny for my son before Friday. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Stuff

I am happy to report Hubby and I accomplished our goal of staining the shutters and front fence facings today. We tackled the shutters first, which went really fast. (The coloring looks even in person, I promise!)The fence... not so easy. We brushed the stain on, which I don't recommend for fence panels. Rent or buy a sprayer. Today we did not have that luxury. High winds were a problem, plus we didn't think it would be too hard to brush on stain when we laid out the original plan. Now we know...wait for a windless day and rent a sprayer.

We still have the inside backyard fence to stain, so you can bet we'll take the easier route when the winds die down around here.

After we knocked that out I was off to church for the Palm Sunday service. Today marked the beginning of Holy Week, which I'm excited about. Easter is just around the corner! Tomorrow The Little Guy comes back from his dad's for the week, and I can't wait to plan our Easter crafts.

I had a late lunch with some girlfriends I grew up with. It was so fun sitting around talking about the "do you remember when..." experiences from years past. I love reminiscing!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Busy Saturday...

What a day! Hubby and I worked ALL MORNING LONG around our house! We got up and he headed to the rental place to pick up a power washer. I made a frittata with eggs, cheese, fresh basil, turkey, new potatoes and onions while he was gone. I had a nice cup of java, I must admit, while I was working in the kitchen. We had breakfast then headed outside to power wash the shutters, the fence and the driveway & sidewalk. (I must confess that he did all of the power-washer-wrangling...I was mainly the hose adjuster/mover. Then I decided to pull grass & weed sprouts out of the flower beds.) The front and back of the house is quite spiffy. We admired the fresh-looking concrete and brick. Tomorrow we head back outside to restain the shutters and our fencing.

After we finished that work, we met a good friend out at the lake and Hubby and his bud did a bit of fishing. I looked on from just a few feet away as I tried to get a bit of sun on my blindingly white legs. A few little Bass were caught and released.

When the sun went down we had a bit of wine out on the wonderfully clean back porch. The frogs were singing in the background. A grasshopper was smacking around the top of the porch. And the dogs meandered around in the dark, playing with whatever it was they could see and we couldn't.

An enjoyable day all around. The only thing missing was The Little Guy... he's quite busy staying the night with a good friend. I must admit its a bit sad to be thrown over for his buddies. But, a boy's got to grow into a young man, right? And, a mom's got to learn to let go. I'm working on that part. He seems to be doing just fine.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Job hunting tip...

At work I need to find a new receptionist because our current one is moving up within the company. The dilemma began with regard to posting an ad. Right now we are cutting as many expenses as possible, so the thought of paying hundreds of dollars for an advertisement wasn't that appealing. I turned to Craig's List. Tons of people post stuff there, right? It should be great.

Great it was. As in volume.

This morning I had over two hundred responses to the receptionist want ad in my in-box. I had just posted the ad about fourteen hours earlier. Not only am I overwhelmed by the response, which I was trying to anticipate considering the economy right now. But, I am ridiculously agitated by the number of people who type as if they are responding to a text message. GMAB! (Give Me A Break)

For anyone that might be searching through want ads, and responding for employment purposes, please please please err to the side of conservatism and professionalism. Don't use an email address such as "Aunt Bush Goose" or "Tammy Tam Tam." For reals. Can you believe those people actually want to be seriously considered as a candidate?

Now, if you'll please excuse me I must get back to weeding out the juveniles. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April Fool's!

A small random tidbit for you on this fine jovial day.... I was supposed to have been born on April Fool's Day almost 35 years ago. Thank goodness I was eight days late! I'm kind of a joke as it is, but to have been born on this national joke day? Wow. That would've been a double whammy.

And, so now I leave you with a bit of Easter eye candy... this is what I've been working on before bed the past two nights. All joking aside. I hope to finish him up tonight. The free pattern is from Lion Brand Yarn if you are interested.
(Click on the link to find this pattern and many more cutesy Easter crochet crafts.)