This is a blog that contains: struggles, triumphs, crafts, recipes and stories to brighten your day and make you smile, laugh, and say well things aren't all that bad!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Two Handed Pot Holder Craft

Mr. and I set to work today! (As you know I can finish no project without him!)

We actually did two projects today but I will reveal one now... the other we finished but I will reveal another day! (I know the suspense!)

We made Two Handed Pot Holders! From this awesome tutorial. It was easy (took us about 1.5 hours to make the two, but we were making other stuff too) and straightforward.


This evening Mr. and I experimented and made calzones! As it was our first time we still have kinks to iron out but I thought I would give you guys a look see anyway! We made the dough in our breadmaker but I encourage you (if you don't have a bread maker) to try handmade dough there are a ton of easy recipes and I think the only thing you probably don't have that is required is yeast. I went ahead and invested in a jar of yeast and keep it in the refridge that way when it comes to things like dough for pizza you are set! 

We split the dough in two and added Italian herbs, tomato sauce (we used left over sauce we had, for this you don't need much at all! a couple tablespoons will work) (in retrospect wait on the sauce), and put the dough in the oven to cook. My fear is if we didn't do this the inside dough would not get done. This made it a little hard to fold in half after adding the toppings though so again I think next time we will just fill at this step and see if the dough cooks the whole way through. 

After cooking in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. We added our toppings hamburger (all ready browned and seasoned), cheese, sausage (already browned), and pepperoni. We returned our calzones to the oven to brown for 10 minutes.

The finished product was yummy, though even though we still have tweeks to work out. 

Only one white spaghetti strapped shirt was hurt in the making of this recipe (Tomato sauce splash!)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Royal Wedding Day!

Today I woke up with a spring in my step. I didn't get up in time to see the ceremony ... I had the alarm set but I am not a morning person these days. But I caught them online. I did get up in time to see the kiss ... es.

I greeted Mr. with a joyous "Happy Royal Wedding Day!" and he in his scrooge stride said "Cynthia, we don't even know these people!" (ba humbug)

I already called and had a phone conference with my sis and mom about ... what else the dress! Now I am pondering why are all the XX chromosomes around the world caught up in today?

Maybe it is because it is the fairytale, what we grow up hearing, fantazising and dreaming about. True love, princes and princesses, no expense spared cutom made ball gowns. We look back and remeber or fantasize about how our days will one day be.

Nothing too philosophical here simply saying, I love to celebrate. What a great day!

And wasn't the dress a masterpiece! But more than that I was struck by Kate's radiant smile, it brought me back to my day. I have said it before I love weddings because it reminds me of my day, how happy, perfect, beautiful, wonderful that day was when I married my prince!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sick Day

Stomach bug = pj's + making me wish my mom could still dote on me on days like today

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wedding Dresses...

I'm not getting married again but who doesn't want to pretend! hehe. Acutally when I was single my dad loved to embarrass me in front of new friends with a story (all my own fault really). Years before I met Mr. when I was just a happy go lucky single girl with stars in my eyes (or whatever you are in your early twenties). Some friends of mine had this routine we would do when we wanted to have a good time on a Saturday afternoon it involved a walmart ring and ... a good story.

We would go to Wedding dress stores, pretending to be the bride to be (we would take turns) and the other girls were the adoring bridesmaids! We had made up grooms names and stories of the proposal. (this is pathetic ... I know, read on). Of course you have to fill out the ocassional form (these stores are getting thorough). But when It was my turn I wasn't fazed ... I didn't even realize I was filling out a contest form (I have to stop now and say I never win anything...) Well you can see where this is going. Me and my (made up) fiancee ended up winning a honeymoon package... which I never redeemed because we had to have our forms of ID which was fine for me but not for ... Taylor Mason... Oops.

Anyway Flash forward to when I am not pretending but actually getting married. Here were some of my runner ups. None of these were the ones. But dress shopping for real was super fun.

Actually dress shopping was not super fun (looking back without the rose colored glasses). I left the first place a went to crying because they said I was had no time to order any of the dresses in their shop. So I bought 7 dresses (whopping credit card charge!) from J. Crew and had them all shipped to me. I transformed my spare room into a dress shop and that is how I picked! (By the way I was able to return all 6 of the other dresses to J.Crew). I loved my interaction with them. Acutally they sent my a $25 gift card to buy something for the honeymoon trip from J.Crew. As well as having wedding coordinates I could talk to and email with. Wonderful!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Traditions

One of the wonderful things I think about being married is getting to enjoy a second set of family rituals/traditions.

 My Mother in law always makes this... even with only four people to eat it!
 Mr. and I dyed eggs!

This is a picture of Saturday before... and my practice round at Egg Dyeing! 


I sponsor a compassion child from Malang, Indonesia.  I give through Compassion International.

It is really a wonderful organization. I visited my Compassion child a couple years after I started sponsoring her. I learned that the money I give goes to her after school program that feeds her and the other children who do not have sponsors yet. Also, the money provides teachers who mentor, help my compassion child with her homework, make sure she gets to the doctor if she is sick (she has asthma), and teach her about Jesus.

My compassion child is a teenager now! A teenager! Cannot believe it. We are going to Indonesia again this Jan and I am going to get to see her again. Only our second time to meet.

I autodraft the $38 dollars from my bank account every month so most of the time I forget that I "do" this. Except that there is a picture on my refridge of my Compassion child and I get letters frequently from her. I am not faithful in writing to her but I think of her often and wonderful if she is healthy and happy.

To me this has been a sort of Tithe. I shared this with you so that if you need a Tithe you would maybe consider Compassion. They do good work!


How did I learn to pose like this as a lil kid?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Take me out to the Ballgame!

We live yards from Ranger's Ballpark. I love baseball and I am fortunate that Mr. tolerates it ... (I think he is beginning to come around after their awesome season last year). 

This is where we were last Tuesday and Wednesday. 

This is me pointing to our house!

These are our yummy Dogs! BTW, if you go to a game try the Garlic Fries they are delicious!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Sometimes the best things in life are free, and unplanned, and come in suntanned packages. This is the case with my Roomie. We met in college, were roommates then and have been since. Some, well a precious few relationships are easy, comfortable, and never get old, pretentious, or anything.

Roomie and I are Yin and Yang. We are far from the same but We balance.

Roomie and I have been flashed. I've seen her vomit over the balcony after a night of drunken scrabble. (maybe that was revealing too much). In short I love her. Not in the lesbian way, although at one point while being roommates we were mistaken as such... I love the person she is. Uncompromising, original, artistic, creative, compassionate, loving, caring, introspective, strong, resilient. She teaches me to value art and creativity in its various forms, to be thrifty, to look inward and reflect, to be real, to feel, to enjoy life for just what it is today. I miss you roomie.  I love you. I think of you often, always fondly, and more often as the weather turns warmer and more comfortable to sit on porches and ponder life over a glass of wine. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Christmas in ... April part 2

I love Christmas.
Flashback to this past year.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"That's Life" in the burbs

How did this happen. I used to live in a chic lil Oak Lawn (if you are not familiar with the Dallas area read Downtown) apartment. Since meeting and marrying Mr. now I live in the burbs. We gained a dog, huge backyard and medium size front yard and a whole lot of love! Before you get too jealous think about the fact that with that comes ... Yardwork!

This weekend.... was a whirlwind of yardwork and dog care. The hedges and yard definitely needed some tender loving care. So Saturday we set to making the front of our house less of a jungle and more fit for the neighborhood! You know you live in the suburbs when your neighbors make subtle comments about the state of your yard! Now the:

--yard is mowed front and back
--hedges are trimmed
--dogs are walked, washed, and have new collars (pictures to follow... they had to go back because both collars were the wrong size!)
--my car is washed and thoroughly cleaned inside. It looks like a new car!

I made the mistake of saying to Mr. (my slavedriver husband) during our walk on Sunday. "Man, we did so much work this weekend." To which he just replied. "That's Life, babe."

This is me midway through my hedge trimming job!

This is Jo Jo sprawled out after his walk! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

TOGETHER: One year and counting almost...

I am not an anniversary person. I never celebrated dating anniversaries (well one year two girl friends and I all had concurrent anniversaries with our boyfriends but we spent that day together just the three of us smoking cigars and listening to Delila in a backyard hot tub (best anniversary ever)).

But mine and Mr.'s first wedding anniversary is coming up, and I have been thinking about that lately. More so just amazed that a year has passed already and reflecting over the past year of being married to the best man. (well he was the groom, but you get it)

I can't believe that I love Mr. now more than the day we were married. (I am not trying to be sweet or especially sentimental) Just saying I understand what people mean. We have been together longer. TOGETHER in the sense of waking up in the middle of the night with  Mr. wailing uncontrollably and thinking I was going to have to take him to the emergency room, or TOGETHER in the sense of bursting out laughing to keep from crying while my Mr. is hysterically yelling because the Jo Jo  has ... wait for it... vomited on the bed (that had newly changed sheets, as if it could be any worse). TOGETHER in the sense of "honey I'm going to sleep on the couch because your sick"... "no really you're keeping me up and I don't want to catch what you have!" TOGETHER meaning being mind bogglingly bored trapped in the house while the walls are almost shaking because the music at Cowboys stadium is so loud and the traffic is too horrendous to leave the neighborhood.

The other day I realized, I married a man I had never been bowling with. (We went and neither of us bowls very well).

Life is amazing and ridiculous. **Sometimes I want to take our marriage back.  It's true sometimes I am weak, scared, frustrated. But the wonderful thing is, it is done. I can't take it back. I mean don't think I can ... I don't think you can get in annulled after this long ... But I digress.

But marriage doesn't end just because I want to quit that is the beautiful thing about marriage. I didn't go into this marriage thing thinking everything was going to be fairy tales and roses even though that is what it was May 10, 2010. But the things brought us closer and made me (hopefully Mr. too) love each other more is the hard things. The times that were frustrating, and hard, and scary made me trust and rely more on us TOGETHER rather than just me.

I'm not perfect. Obviously see asterisks. But Mr. is much better than I am: more patient, understanding, loving and forgiving. He is my yang. He doesn't complete me (neither of us can bowl!) But he does a hell of a job complimenting me. We make it work.

We are less than a month away from 1 year. Hopefully there will be many, many more years.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


My Sis is my best friend. As my lil sister I feel like she grew up in my shadow and it wasn't until college that she grew into her own. I have no problem saying the roles of sisterdoom have now reversed.  Man did she grow into her own! The freespirit has always been there but now I see she is so strong and determined.

I'm sorry I locked you out of the house when we were little and you got stung by a wasp.
I'm sorry I punched you in the face for the basketball,
and hit you in the head with a baseball.

After all that is a amazing you still turned out as pretty and smart as you are now!

The curious incident of the dog in the Night: a Review

This is a truly amazing book. It is written from the perspective of a boy with autism. The book is about his struggles with school and family. It really gives you a view inside the mind of someone with autism. It was brilliantly written and very eye opening. Loved this book!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Marry Me?


This is precious. 

Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother: a Review/Reflection

I saw the hype around this book and thought... sounds like my childhood.

There are alot of similarities. My sister and I are not music prodigies (a big theme of the book) but we did experience the "Shame and Guilt model" of parenting, what Lindsey dubbed the Asian way of parenting. The book portrays a story/model of the ups and downs of parenting the Asian way in the West. It is about a mother so devoted to giving her kids tools to succeed that she doesn't mind making her life and her children's miserable. Which brings me to the reflection part of this review.

That is something Amy Chua adequately points out is not a concern of Asian parents. Constantly during my reading I would read an especially poignant part of the narrative out loud to Mr. and he would say "Wow" how terrible. Like when Amy (the Tiger Mother) rejected her children's sloppy birthday cards and said she wanted better ones. Happiness is not something that is a goal in Asian parenting. The end goal is always success.  I think that is a major difference between the West and East. Mr. and I lie awake that night wondering about Success and Happiness. Mr. thinking he wanted his children to be both, and me puzzling over what could accomplish that.

Overall, the book gave me a headache. There is so much responsibility associated with raising children. I want my mother (a Tiger Mother) to do it for me. I want to be a tiger mother like my mother before her but I don't know if I can... I don't know that I have the strength.

This review took a personal turn. In short I would say read this book if you have wondered how are Asians so darn successful all the time, but beware it might make you empathetic. If your spouse or friend is Asian and you want to understand how they think about meaningful life and goal setting. However, I doubt someone could take this book and use it as a manual to "raise their child in the shame and guilt model."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Water for Elephants: A review/reflection

This is an interesting, creative story of the circus adventures of a young man told from the perspective of his nursing home self years later.

The circus adventures are cool and obviously keep the story interesting. However, I (maybe my healthcare/psychology perspective is behind this) was more intrigued by the old man's perception of himself and his surroundings. I thought this book was an interesting look into Alzhiemers (it is never mentioned that that is what he has... but of course it wouldn't be). I think it is a beautiful story of healthcare/the aged/growing old/caring for the elderly with respect and compassion. That is what I was left thinking about after I turned the last page.


I randomly break into dance around the house when fun music comes on... if only I could take an instant pic and show you all how bewildered it makes the dogs. They (Jo Jo especially) does not understand what is going on.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time off

At the beginning all is fun and games, television, naps, reading for leisure. I read Water for elephants, The Steig Larsson Trilogy, and Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mom.

The end of breaks I feel are always a frenzy, on my list
-Clean house for Lindsey and Evan this weekend
-Mop kitchen floors - - check!
-Wash Dill and Jo Jo -- Dill check, JoJo are you kidding me I need reinforcements for that!
-printer cartridges refilled at Walgreens
-Finish the last onsie and wrap my present for Baby Bryant's shower -- Check
-return library books --- errr just renew them instead -- check!

I like being busy and moving with a purpose again so that it ok. Although it is a little sad to say goodbye to the last real break I will have until... october...

Spring Advice

Buy a pineapple! They were only $2 at my grocery store. Let them ripen until they get yellow hued. (a couple days) and then cute off the top, bottom ... I should have taken pictures of me cutting up mine but here... just google cutting up a pineapple!

It tastes so much more amaizing than from the can!

What I had for breakfast the past couple days: pineapple. yougurt, and cheerios. Delicious!

Good Prose, err I guess this is Poetry

A more cultured friend posted this on her site a while, possibly a year ago. I don't read much (read: any) poetry but this spoke to me, I copied it and kept it. I love how the written word can do that. So I decided to share it with you today. To me it is about courage. 

The Impossible Dream

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

~Man of La Mancha

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

1905 Salad

We got married on the beautiful Anna Maria Island almost a year ago. It is a special place to us. It is the place (little did I know) the Mr. decided (a startling couple of months after we met) that he wanted to marry me. There are so many things we love about that place. The quaint feel, the quiet beaches and the food. One restaurant in particular The Colombian has this amazing salad. Here is a copy from the cookbook. This is the only salad Mr. will eat. He loves it!

When I make it I omit the celery. Also, make the dressing and let it sit at least overnight. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My afternoon yesterday.

This book is a commentary on my childhood. Maybe you have to be Asian to understand. Thoughts on the book are formulating and will probably follow.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My mom

This post is a tribute to my mom. She along with my sis have become my best friends since college. I talk to her about everything, it is really wonderful to have a sounding board who knows you... and I mean KNOWS you like only a mom can.

She is my rock, my compass. I love you mom

10 things I love about you: Life

1. Morning Coffee, I need it through an IV.
2. Splenda
3. Comfy sheets
4. Dansko Shoes  (they are ugly, cloggish. but soo comfy especially for standing all day.) Couldn't do without them in my work life
5. Sunglasses
6. Crock Pots
7. Netflix
8. Henri Bendel Candles
9. Columbia Fleece Throw
10. Spring Breaks!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Things I want to do in life! aka Bucket list

First Draft (of many I imagine)

1. Win a blog contest
2. Be mistaken as a famous person -- Am I dreaming thinking Kim Kardashian?
3. Meet/recognize/see a famous person -- check Jessica Simpson, but I would like to again
4. New England in the Fall
5. Open a bakery
6. Walk on hot coals (if that's for real)
7. Compete in a triathlon
8. Own (possibly buy on sale) a pair of Louboutin Shoes
9. Create a secret family recipe that will be passed down
10. Celebrate my 17th Wedding anniversary

I encourage you to take part in this mental exercise! It is fun and requires more introspection than you think! Post it as a comment or on your own blog!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Decorative flowers

Again from this same site super cute idea.

Embellishments that take two seconds and some scrap fabric and a glue gun to make!

Decorative Onsie with Bootie Ruffles!

One reason I love blogging is all the ideas that I get from other blogs. Here is one example.
I saw this super cute idea on a precious baby crafting blog. and I was inspired.

I used this tutorial on an amazing blog that I frequently read, to create the look I wanted for baby Bryant. Well we all know by now Mr. is the one who really does the sewing but anyway!

This is from the back of the onsie. So Baby Bryant's cute lil rearend will be all fluffy with ruffles.

and a close up!!

I think the idea is super cute. Even though I wouldn't say this onsie turned out perfect, I think it was a decent first attempt.

By the way you can use the linked tutorial to add ruffles to just about anything! Some thoughts I had were pillows, shirts, and curtains. I am excited to try more. If you guys try any please let me know!!

Happy Saturday and thanks for reading.