Apr 29, 2012

The Zoo Around the Corner

It is so baffling that I live two miles from the zoo and have never been.  As a scouting trip before the official field trip, I checked it out.  Solo.  I am not really a go-places-by-myself kind of person, but I successfully visited every attraction in an hour for $15.50.  That is expensive entertainment.  I even had time to stop and take pictures!  Sadly this zoo is a little run down... the landscaping is pitiful and the exhibits are not very well kept.  But I love animals, and it is amazing that we have the ability to surround these animals with their natural habitat and keep them healthy so that we can visit them right around the corner.

Primates are my favesies.
I'm going to keep one of these for myself!
Probably my most favorite pair!
This little stinker BIT my finger.
The new butterfly garden was really neat.  They perched on everyone!
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Apr 21, 2012

Sometimes It's What's On the Outside

Case in point: a gift's wrapping.  I couldn't believe the lady at Bed, Bath, & Beyond wrapped my gift in a plastic bag.  Not the kind you use with tissue sticking out the top--that would have been fine.  Instead, it was clearly their official wrapping style to use it as "paper" and tape down the edges, gather the extra length in one end, and tie it up with a purple bow.  Nobody uses plastic baggies as wrapping paper!!  With all the showers and parties of the beloved wedding season, I take pleasure in the small things like buying gifts that are not on the registry.  And yes, the vintage juicer really was the hit of the kitchen shower!  I've also kept busy by wrapping each of my sister's gifts in different papers and bows.  This one, in particular, was exceptionally darling.  I saw the coolest magazine bows here, but I needed something a little nicer than that for a wedding shower.  Thanks to my past love of scrap booking, I now have a new use for all of those papers... bows!  This one was easy to make--just cut eight 3/4" strips:   three should be 9", three 7", and two 5".  Save a little bit of paper for a 3" strip as the center loop (not pictured).  Form loops with all of the strips and staple in the center.  The tutorial suggested double sided sticky dots, but mine were not working.  Instead, I used craft glue and a clothespin to hold it together until dry, then voila!!  I can't wait to make another!

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Apr 15, 2012

Can there be a casual up 'do?

At first, I thought no.  But with day-old hair and 20 minutes before a luncheon, I went with it.  So, I teased my hair, twisted one side all the way to my opposite ear and started twirling strands and pinning.  I got tons of compliments, and I didn't even need a curling iron!
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Apr 14, 2012

Cinnamon and Sugar Makes Everything Better

After a busy week of baseball, Chick-fil-A Spirit night, and hosting a dinner for family, I found myself searching for something sweet and puffy.  Enter, Spoapilla Cheesecake.  For breakfast.  Yum.  I had to read all of the edits and extra suggestions after reading the author's comment, There's no way you can pass this recipe as healthy, but this at least helps. :)  Well, my mind was already made up that this was what we were having for breakfast, so no turning back.  I made some edits to the halved recipe (in italics), and no, it is not healthy in the vegan/paelo/whole foods sense, but it's certainly an indulgence that is fine for once in a while!

Photo borrowed from My Yellow Umbrella
-1 can reduced fat Pillsbury butter crescent rolls
-4 oz. packages fat free cream cheese (softened)
-1/4 c. Greek yogurt, vanilla flavor
-1 cup sugar 
-1/4 c. light agave nectar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/4 cup butter (melted)
-Cinnamon & sugar/Splenda mix

Unroll and spread half can crescent rolls on bottom of un-greased pan lined with parchment paper. Combine softened cream cheese, agave nectar, and vanilla with a little cinnamon. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture. Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

I think the Greek yogurt tastes so much like cream cheese anyway, and the agave nectar also helps make the filling much easier to stir.  Next time I might add the egg to make it more fluffy and stuck together, but it will have to be this summer because we ate the whole pan!

Apr 1, 2012

It Feels Like Spring

It's my favorite time of year when all of the birds start chirping, the flowers bloom, and everything turns green again.  It is so much happier than winter.  Springtime always means wedding season is approaching.  Even though most of my friends are married (with children), it's my sister's turn.  She's the last wedding of the family, so her future sister-in-law and I threw her a couples shower.  By far, the biggest hit were my tiny individual desserts.  It took 12 times longer to make them in the little jelly jars, but they are 112 times cuter!  And YUM, we had Oreo dirt cups and banana pudding.  Seriously, the cream cheese in both recipes just makes the desserts!

In other news, you know how you walk past all of the swimwear racks at the stores and cringe?  Well, at least I do.  It is harder to find a good swimsuit than a pair of jeans, which is also utterly depressing.  I haven't bought a swimsuit since I was in college--and it was my first one piece!  I loooovvvvvve it because it covers, but it is still youthful and not granny-like.  But as luck would have it, I was shopping for a down comforter since Massey threw up Goldfish on ours (totally my fault), and I passed a rack of coverups and two-pieces.  My first thought was, Who even wears bikinis anymore? Sorority girls?  Then I saw one that caught my eye.  How old is too old to wear a two-piece? Eh, I'm  not even thirty!  I grabbed the only small, sadly reliving the dressing room nightmares involving two-piece swimsuits where you don't get to pick the bottom size or the top size. Why do they even do that?  I was starting to tense up just thinking about it, so I almost put it back. Almost.  Somehow I tried it on, and it fit!!!  I had to snap a quick picture and send it to my sister to see if it was cute or too old lady. I will spare you the pale practice shot, but this is the suit!

Macy's has this in other colors for $54, but I snagged this one at TJ Maxx for $29!

Margaret has inspired me to play with watercolors.  She taught me how to mix acrylics and paint on canvas, but I really have no talent for creating colors or the actual painting part.  Not that this is very talented either, but it feels like elementary school, which is nice. 
PS, my very first car (yes, it has been 10 years) has turned to 100,000.  And for the record, I was the passenger when I snapped this picture!