Saturday, February 27, 2010

February 26, 2010
Dark and Lovely ! I thought it was time to revisit my roots as it were. I'm taking a break from blonde to go back to my past as brunette. I think this is as dark as my hair has been in about 5 years!

On a side note, it's really hard to take pictures of yourself in the mirror! I kept messing up the angle and not looking at the camera, but I think I've got it down now!
February 25, 2010
Girls Night Out (GNO) with the Ladies of the Oaks. Marleen hosted at her house and we all brought a snack and bottle of wine to share. Yum-o! Delicious-ness.

It was good to catch up
and find out from Sarah that perhaps they aren't totally re-building the burned-out fire house behind her! It seems like they are just ripping off the garage and putting a new roof on. Apparently the house is already down to studs on the interior. But still, the windows have been open for months, I can only imagine the grossness that is in there between our super how Summer and wet Spring. Stay tuned for details!!

And in other news, I'm switching to Arial font in the blog. I had been using Lucinda Grande which looks great on the Mac, but I hate it on all other Arial it is!
February 24, 2010
Taking pictures of fish is hard! These are the fish in the lobby of my office building. The difficulty factor is raised because there is a big window right across from the fish tank. It was a challenge to make sure I wasn't in the photo and the window reflection wasn't too bad.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010

Snow in Austin! Big fat flakes fell at the office and I caught one on my scarf and a few on my hands. This makes your hand really cold :) And one sleet shot on the way in with the rare bokeh from my camera!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010
White balance, white balance, white balance! Ugh. Oh well, I still love this picture of little Ginger all bundled up in her house. This is how a good dog gets in her kennel without me even asking before I leave for work. Still trying to teach the old dog this new trick!
February 21, 2010
Off to the Cirque-us! They are sticklers about the no photos! They even search bags. I snuck my camera in anyway, but it wouldn't have been a good picture as it was so dark inside. A wonderful performance and nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 20, 2010
I read once that the onset of digital cameras would cause us to lose a lot of photos because we'd simply throw away the bad ones. But I love this "bad" picture. I think you can still make out the impression on her face and I like it better than it's in focus brother. And we learned that you can't take a picture of a face when the flower setting is on....
February 19, 2010
SoCo kind of night. Dinner on Friday night at one of my favorite Italian restaurants - Enoteca. Pizza anyone?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010
Bird watching on the way into work. I really have too many red lights to stop at in the mornings. But I had to snap this because there seemed to be ALOT of birds on this wire this morning!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010
More proof that nature abhors a vacuum. When I left yesterday, the chairs were all pushed in at the table and there was only one box in the picture.

Today I came in to this hot mess, complete with noisy equipment running. I thought, it's like a science project gone wrong. But it turns out it was a science project gone right. It's for the science fair at the local elementary school. It was so quiet when it finally left at 3:30....ahhhh
February 16, 2010
What is that you ask? It's my demon dog. Under the bed. When I'm late for work. How does she know how to pick the worst days? It's clearly a special gift. I had to open the garage to get her to come out....dang dog.

Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15, 2010

Ginger (Knocking on the door to come in)

Me (From other room): Just a second, I'm coming


Is there any particular reason you want to come inside?

Ginger: No, not really

Me: Just done playin' huh?

Ginger: Yeah, just done playin'

On the upside, I haven't vacuumed the house yet for this week. On the downside, while I was cleaning Ginger off with the brush and then the lint roller (damn static electricity.) Zoe went and rolled in the same spot in the yard. Awesome.

February 14, 2010

This week's taste sensation is a take off of a sesame chicken salad I ate at BJ's last week. The dressing isn't quite there, but it's got a lot of nice crunch for a salad. I think the peanuts really add to the overall dish even if they are hard to see on top of the chicken!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

February 13, 2010

This why it's fun to take in a movie at the Alamo drafthouse - they don't take themselves too seriously. Well that and the fact that they serve food and drinks! Saw Valentine's Day with the Thetas and we pronounced it to be pretty cute!
February 12, 2010
Don't make me get in the kennel Mom. Zoe is not a fan of the kennel. Ginger has no problem hanging in there, but the Zoester doesn't make a move when I tell her to go get in her house. So she often gets momentarily promoted to my bed. This is to keep her from crawling underneath it. With the bad back I don't want to yank her out so if she's under there I have to trick her out.... she has now figured out that she shouldn't come to the sound of the car keys shaking or the door to the garage opening. I can still get her with the opening of the actual garage, but as soon as she figures that out, I'm not sure what I'm going to do!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 11, 2010
Part three of Valentine's day cupcakes! I think these are really adorable too! The pink hearts were made out of the marshmallow fondant I made earlier in the week. A classic red velvet with cream cheese pairing was perfect for Valentine's day and a good foil to my Hostess knock-offs!
February 10, 2010
Oh my ganache! I love them. My very own hostess cupcake knockoffs. I started with the Pioneer Woman's chocolate cupcakes. I omitted the kisses because I knew I was going to have a cream filled hostess cupcake. The recipe reminds me of a brownie recipe rather than a cupcake recipe - there is no oil, all the fat is from butter (which would technically make these muffins....but enough with the semantics.) The dark chocolate ganache definitely made too much, but I'm thinking of trying a chocolatebundt cake this weekend because what else does one to with extra ganache?!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 9, 2010
Today's adventure is part one of Valentine's Day cupcake makin'. I'm trying to make marshmallow fondant at home for the first time. I found this recipe online and I'm giving it a whirl.

Partially melted marshies and vanilla

The remains of the day. Sugar everywhere, an easy to clean up melted marshmallow bowl and a big lump of fondant sugar dough. Waaaaaay more than I need for my cupcakes and I'm not sure if it's still enough. We'll see tonight!

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

In case you haven't gotten the memo yet - it's Spring time in Texas. This little bloomer is out by my bank. Along with a whole variety of trees here in South Austin. It must have been the one sunny day we had on Friday, but whatever it is I like to see the cheery flowers amidst all our rain! Of course the upside of the rain is lakes that are catch up to proper levels. Just a few months ago, the 65 mile long Lake Travis was forty feet down. That's about 40% full. Now, we're above our monthly average and it's about 80% full. At the rate we're going, it will be flooding in no time!
February 7, 2010
Another great opera in the "Theta Box" at the Long Center. The Star was quite a different opera, very light, lots of humor. The set was a bit different. As in, what were these people smoking different? But you get over it. It kind of works, but I mostly found it distracting. Still a very nice opera!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 6, 2010

We have a strict no jumping policy in this house. It's all about protecting Zoe's back. And Ginger's too, although we've never had to do the full dachshund back problems treatment for her. So you can imagine my surprise when I walked out to the great room on Saturday to see this!! See The Drama Button for the sound I made when I walked out and saw this site.

Of course Ginger-Jo was just soaking up the best sun-lovin' spot in the whole house after a week of no sunshine. But as you can see, it encouraged Zoe to grab the seat of the red chair. Not good, not good at all. More chair blocking is called for....I'll let you know what I come up with!!

February 5, 2010

The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. It's really impossible to type that and not sing it! Eryn and Thomas had a last minute cancellation with their wine club buddies and Cheryl and I got the call! Well actually Cheryl called them. We decided to do dinner on Friday night and she was calling around asking foodies for some good options South of town.

We had a great tasting at Driftwood winery followed by dinner at Trattoria Lisiana which is the winery owned by the Mandola's and where all the wine for Mandola's restaurants comes from. What a great Friday night!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010
And it keeps a rainin'. Despite forecasts that said it wouldn't rain today, that's pretty much all it did. This low water crossing #11 over Spicewood Springs near the office. As you can probably tell, the water is up just a bit. As you can see from the sign, it's about one foot below the roadway - just low enough to keep driving!
February 3, 2010
Rain drops keep fallin' on my head. Another week, another rainstorm sweeping across Texas from Mexico. After 24 month where we were below our average rainfall for the month, we've now had 5 months in a row of above average rainfall. This summer, the hottest ever on record in Austin, the lake was more than 40 feet down - now it's only 7 feet down! It's a 65 mile lake! That's a lot of water. I have high hope of not turning on my sprinklers for this El Nino summer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2, 2010
I hate it when I miss this light. Well this one and the one before it. And there are a few after it as well. But this one particularly stinks because it's right at the crest of the hill. If I make it, I just have to coast down that big hill of traffic behind me and roll right through the light. Sigh. But then I missed it and it's a long wait.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010
When it's cold and blah outside, I need a bit of sunshine inside! So tonight's dinner (and let's be honest, dinner for the rest of the week) is Fiesta Chicken Salad! I don't know why I call it that, but it just sounds happy doesn't it? So yum, that's what I'm having. I forgot the jalapeno though so it could be more festive....
Jan 31, 2010
You know with kids and dogs that when it's quiet, they are up to no good. What's classic here is that Zoe left Ginger holding the bag. Zoe is the dog that goes into my bathroom and pulls the toilet paper off the roll, not Ginger. Sure, Ginger enjoys the spoils, but she's not bright enough to put together the plan.

Notice how Zoe is not pictured. I think she heard me ask where they were and decided to hide. I can only hope that she never figures out that the toilet paper in the guest bath is the same as the toilet paper in my bathroom. 'cause then I'd have to remember to close that door too!