Monday, September 26, 2011

Melon Adventure

I love Wal-Mart.  A lot.

Growing up as one of nine kids, Wal-Mart was almost exclusively where my parents shopped.  I hate going into Tom Thumb and HEB to buy things that I know are cheaper elsewhere.  And let's face it, Wal-Mart is cheaper.

But one thing I have learned about shopping at Wal-Mart on my own the last three years:  they do not have great produce, especially fruit.  Produce is one of the few things that I sometimes purchase at smaller stores.

However, a few weeks ago, I was shopping and got a sudden craving for cantaloupe.  Little-known fact about me:  I could probably eat a whole cantaloupe in one sitting.  Just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and I'll eat it with a spoon, using the rind as a bowl.  LOVE.  (Another little-known fact about me:  I'm actually allergic to melons.  My throat gets all itchy when I eat them, but I love them so much that I don't care.  Ha.)

Anyway, Wal-Mart happened to have cantaloupes on special, so I went ahead and bought one.

Best.  Decision.  Ever.

It was seriously the ripest, sweetest cantaloupe that I have ever tasted.  So, last week when doing my weekly shopping, I decided to try again.  Who knew?  Maybe I'd get lucky twice!

When I cut into it, I was ecstatic.

Look how ripe that is!

It's practically begging me to gobble it up!  Unfortunately (fortunately?), I have a little guy who loves melon as much as I do, so I had to share.

And really, who could resist that face?  (Don't let the shirt fool you... he's a fruit monster.)

Needless to say... I'll be buying cantaloupes at Wal-Mart more often!  Next time, however, I'll be taking Gabriel's shirt off before he eats.  Melon apparently stains.  Any suggestions for getting it out??

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Well, as everyone can see, I have changed my blog look... again.  Sometimes I think I have too much fun with the template designer.  Ha.  This look, however, will be staying for a while... because it's symbolic of a shift in focus for my blog from mainly family/life posts to more artsy-craftsy stuff (although the family/life will probably not go away entirely).

Anyway, I'm super stoked to share with you the first official craft of Tailor-Made. :D I've been waiting since Monday, when I made it, to post about it.  It finally arrived at my sister's yesterday afternoon!  Yay!

Here it is:

Me and my four sisters are pretty much obsessed with Anne of Green Gables.  We watched it and Anne of Avonlea countless times on VHS growing up.  This past spring, I flew home for a week and we watched Green Gables and Avonlea again for the first time in years.  (Actually a funny story--the only VHS player available was in my brothers' room, so we all camped out on the floor... even my bros!)

In any case... we've all been kind of on an Anne kick since March, so my sister Destiny suggested getting Brianna something Anne-related for her birthday.  She sent me links to lots of Anne stuff on Etsy and told me B's favorite quote.  I actually found something that I liked and had it in my cart ready to buy when a thought hit me:  "I could totally make this.  I have Photoshop."  That idea basically took over my brain.

It's not nearly the quality that the one on Etsy, but there are definite bonuses to me making it myself.  1) I picked out the colors to match her room (white and brown with coral, which looks pink in the picture but it's not).  2) I was able to frame it myself for less than the cost of the print (score!). 3) I got to pick out my own font, which is a huge deal because I'm kind of obsessed with fonts.  And 4) I got the satisfaction of having made something myself!

Now, I know it's not perfect.  I wasn't sure exactly what kind of adhesive to use to stick the layers together and I think I made a poor choice as you can see the paper wrinkling.  It's also crooked.  But I choose to ignore those facets.  Or embrace them because it shows its handmadeness.  Or something. ;)  The next time I make one of these, I'll spend a little more time figuring out the logistics like adhesive and straight sticking before I start, haha.

For now, I'll just sit here and stare at the picture and feel proud of myself. :D

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lemon Chicken

Last night, I adventured in the kitchen.  This isn't really something I have done often in the past.  I am definitely the kind of person who gets stuck in a rut, preparing the same things over and over again... probably because I like eating the same stuff over and over again.

Seriously, I could eat a turkey sandwich every day for lunch.  Once, I even ate it for lunch and dinner.  Sad.

Anyway, my poor husband has suffered patiently the past three-and-a-half years.  (Although don't let him fool you that it's all my fault.  Our first year of marriage, he was hesitant to try anything new, which I think is part of the problem!)

No longer!  I've been collecting new recipes and trying them out (starting with desserts), thanks to my newfound love, Pinterest. :)

Last night, I tried this recipe for lemon chicken.  I knew it would be good, as Jeanene claimed it's one of her "most requested recipes," but I was completely unprepared for just how scrumptious it was!

Look at this insane goodness... just waiting for me to get my fork in there and shred it!  After tasting the first bite, I said aloud:  "Oh. My. Goodness."  Pretty sure that Gabriel looked at me funny, talking to myself.

But seriously... SO GOOD!  The chicken was so buttery, but not too heavy, thanks to the light lemony flavor.  Plus, it literally melted in your mouth!  Ahhhh...

I paired it with brown rice and green beans.  I think it would have gone better with some toasty French bread, but alas, I didn't have any.

Best part?  Both of my boys loved it.  Gabriel practically inhaled half a chicken breast... without ketchup! And I have leftovers! (Although I had to keep Drew's fingers out of the tupperware I put it in... ha!)

And after dinner, Drew said:  "I think that's one of the best meals you've ever made."

Yeah.  I was happy. :) Needless to say, there will be plenty more kitchen adventures coming up on this blog!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Craft Beginnings

Yesterday, I made the first "tailor made" craft. :) Considering I'm hoping to turn this space into more of a crafting blog in the near future, I'd say its about time, eh?

However, since it's a birthday gift, I can't really post it here yet.  No worries, though... I'll be sharing it with you guys as soon as my sweet sister receives it.  I'm going to put it in the mail today.

In the mean time, happy 20th birthday, B!  I love you!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hello, September!

But not necessarily goodbye summer!

I know that summer for most people has already ended, but not so much for me. There are quite a few reasons why I can say that summer lives on in my house right now.

- It's still ridiculously hot, although we've had a "cool front" since last week -- highs in the 90s.

- I'm still wearing my white capris. I'm pregnant and it's still in the 90s. Give me a break.

- This is the first year since starting kindergarten that I haven't had a first day of school. It's a great (albeit strange) feeling.

- I'm still in unpacking/decorating mode, which for some reason makes me feel like it's still summer.

- Fall means Halloween and Halloween means Hallie will be making her appearance. I'm not ready (see above).

- I'm in the middle of two books right now and I already have a few in mind for when they're finished. Nothing says summer like time to read!

So, to all my friends who have made the leap into fall... I envy you your cool weather and your change of season, but I'll be staying in summer for a few more weeks.



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