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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Test Kitchen - Personal Apple Pies

Hello there!  'Tis the season for gatherings and parties and what better way to celebrate than with a bit of dessert?  I made these personal apple pies with inspiration from Renata at Testado Provado Eaprovado blog for our office wide Thanksgiving feast this week and although they didn't turn out quite like I imagined them, they weren't too shabby!  

I started out with a dozen medium sized granny smith apples and sliced off the top of the apple.  The hubs and I then proceeded to go to town on the apples coring each one first with a melon baller to eliminate the seeds (we found that it had nice sharp edges to work with) and then with a spoon to get the rest of the good stuff.  There was some trial and error early on in the process but eventually we had a mini assembly line going.  

To keep the apples from going brown, we periodically sprinkled them with a bit of lemon juice.  

In a separate bowl mix together the following ingredients:

12 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp all purpose flour
3 tsp powdered cinnamon 
Sprinkle over the apple bits and toss well.  Spoon the bits into the hallowed out apples.  

For the topping, I took a shortcut by using store bought pie crust to crown the apples and then I used a small flower shaped cookie cutter to create the pattern but really, anything goes.  Just provide a little bit of space for the apples to vent while baking.  Have fun with it!

Ok, so we were quite proud of ourselves up to that moment.  Everything was looking really good!  I put them into a 370 degree oven for 40 minutes with the intent on checking back every so often.  Then I got caught up watching last night's How I Met Your Mother (for those of you who watch it, I hope you know what I mean when I let out an audible "gasp!").

I ran to the kitchen after the show finished and panicked.  This is what came out -

Yup.  The apple containers exploded.  All that work down the drain.  

And if you don't already know by now, I'm not an expert baker of any kind so a number of things might have been the deciding factor to their demise:

a.  I left them in the oven too long
b.  I didn't allow for enough venting
c.  The temperature of the oven was set too high
d.  A mystery yet to be solved
e. All of the above

I'm going to go ahead and go with E.  Do any of you know what could've happened?

I still needed to get a dessert together for the feast so I wasn't going to give it all up.  I proceeded to carefully spoon all the fillings of the cooked apples filling including the pretty topping carefully into cupcake liners.  They held up pretty well, thankfully and no one was the wiser!  

Two of the apples survived the ordeal and I'm happy to present them here as my intention all along:

Hopefully you'll have more luck than I did and in the meantime, I will try this recipe again. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


This came in the mail the other day and frankly, it couldn't have come at a better time.  I've held out with envy as the rest of my friends flaunted the iPhone 4 in my face.  But I was patient!

It was a good thing too, because just weeks before my phone fell 18" to the floor and when I picked it up, this was the state it was in.

Sad, isn't it?  What's worse is that I was cutting my finger on the shards of glass so I put packing tape over it.  Then the packing tape started to peel so I added more masking tape on top of it.  Be honest, you think it's trashy.  I do, too.  I promise that it wasn't on purpose but I'm sure others in my life might tell you otherwise.  (All lies!)  I'm still considering selling my phone to a place like Gazelle or Target.

I'm in the middle of making a snazzy cover for my new iPhone with inspiration from Purl Bee.  I don't have a lot of the colors that she recommended but that just gave me room to experiment a bit with what I have.

It's getting there!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sushi Persistence

Happy Halloween everyone!  Little Mister will not stand to wear any sort of hat or headpiece so all those cute costumes on Pottery Barn and Chasing Fireflies would not suffice.  I was even willing to suck it up and not come up with something clever and handmade.  But alas, given our dilemma and that he's about as stubborn as they come, I decided to make something anyway (I'm pretty stubborn, too).

I was inspired by this guy and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Except Little Mister wasn't.  This is how the dress rehearsal the night before went:

The struggle leading up to it was even more dramatic.  Let's just say both our hands were full.  I asked him again this morning if he wanted to wear his costume and I got a resounding, "NO."

I brought it to his school anyway just in case his teachers had more luck than I did.  Thankfully, they did and for the Halloween parade, he marched around like a champ and we won First Prize!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I was feeling pretty daring this past weekend.  (Plus, Matt was away watching the Rangers lose Game 3 of the World Series - jealous)  So with Little Mister snoozing away I decided to play with a little something I picked up at Target.

Ok, I'm sure you can see that it's already chipped up and looking nasty.  That's because I forgot I had to do dishes right after.  I know, I know - rookie mistake.  Granted, this is the first time I've done my nails in YEARS but I love them!  :)

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Houndstooth
Nail polish - China Glaze in "Aqua Baby"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nap Mat - A Pinterest Inspired Project

You might have already guessed based on this post that I'm what you might call a Pinterest fiend. That's cool, I dig it. If I were to be called a "fiend" at all, I'm okay with being the Pinterest kind.

My boards are stock FULL of ideas and things to do but somehow I never manage to get around to them.  Figures, right?  Little Mister needed a nap mat for school and popular on the circuit these days coincidentally, is this handy dandy nap mat. Since necessity is the fuel for creativity, I counted on Pinterest to help me get the job done.

Image via Pinterest
Doable, yes?

I purchased the pillows from Ikea and some fabric from Fabricworm  and set to work with a few modifications here and there.

It's big and poofy and from what Little Mister's teachers tell me, he's quite comfortable at nap time. Plus, it's easy to wash when the weekend comes around.

That's what I call a success!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giddy Friday

A big DON'T fellow parents:


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I'd like to take a moment to help raise awareness for a cause that I believe in.  Every year for the past 19 years, I've donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in memory of someone very close to me.  (I chose to withhold his name for the privacy of his family).  It is the very least I can do to manage the pain and hurt that I still feel today.  While it has been many years since our loss, I still relive the fateful day as if it were yesterday.  I cannot turn back time, but I hope to play a small part in the prevention of suicide.

Chair Swoon

As if I needed any more chairs.  DwellStudio in collaboration with Precedent has released a new furniture line.



Monday, September 19, 2011

ACL 2011

We had such a great time at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this year.  The weather was cooperative and the music was fab as always.  Going to ACL with a toddler is certainly a different experience for us - we were stocked with plenty of diapers, snacks, and baby wipes to get us through the day.  Little Mister had no interest in wearing ear protection as he promptly pulled it off so we stayed safely back from the loud speakers.  We also had to make the difficult decision not go on the last day of the festival since we still had to drive back to San Antonio and Matt and I had to work on Monday.  We didn't want to push Little Mister too far.  It was a good decision and we're still able to check out the highlights of Arcade Fire on YouTube. 
Austin skyline

watching Foster the People
i haven't seen grass this green in ages.  the grounds were beautiful!

i don't know who these guys were, i just thought their signs were funny

Little Mister managed to nap through all the noise

We had a great time with some good friends and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Tickets for next year go on sale NEXT WEEK.  Yes, we'll try our hardest to score early bird tickets.  See you all then!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

C'mon Colder Weather

I want to make this:

The free(!) crochet pattern is courtesy of Vicky Howell.  I love her.  I really do.  I've admired her for years and years and not only that, she hails from Austin! 

Since I couldn't snag the coveted Missoni for Target throw, I think this is a nice alternative.  I looked on eBay and people are selling it for nearly 3 times the retail price.  Crazy.  But as much as I love to knit and crochet, it doesn't make sense to cuddle up with yarn and needles on a 100 degree day.  It just feels wrong.  So I'm hoping for a cold front.   

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Texas BBQ - A Checklist

A new app came out on the iPhone called the Texas Monthly BBQ Finder.  Not only does it direct you to the nearest BBQ joint (just in case you have a mad craving for a brisket sandwich) but it also lists the top 50 in the state.  I firmly believe that if you live in Texas, it is a prerequisite that BBQ becomes a part of your diet.  Veggies?  Check.  Whole grains?  Check.  Pork Ribs?  Check.

Oh and forgive me, my vegetarian friends - I'm about to talk meat. 

We decided to take the Texas Monthly Top 50 challenge.  This is not an official event, but for us - eating might as well be a sport.  Our goal to is eventually hit every single BBQ joint on the list and space them out enough so we won't suffer from too much heartburn and weight gain.  It also ties in with our love for long road trips and visiting the far reaches of Texas that we've never seen. 

First stop:
While it wasn't the legendary City Market nearby (it was closed the day that we visited), this was a mighty good alternative.  

So much fun!  I prettied up the Texas Monthly list a bit to record our adventure.  We'll probably not hit every joint but this will be fun way to track it!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Windy City Part 2

Here it is, the second installment to our trip to Chicago.  We had a blast and can't wait to visit again!  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Giddy Friday

Start the weekend off right - with a little laugh:

via Aled Lewis

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Windy City Part 1

Happy September everyone!  Excuse the absence - me and the boys decided that it was high time to escape this heat so we headed north to Chicago.  And we had a real blast! We always try to visit the famous ballparks in the cities we visit so we started off the trip with a tour of Wrigley Field.

Do you love the Tom's shoes?  He's so stylin'.  

We spent just about all of our time outdoors while we were there.  I hear Chicago can get really humid and mucky but thankfully, it was just beautiful.  Our favorite part might have been the time we spent at Millenium Park. 

Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate was amazing and so interactive.

Yup, Little Mister is in his diaper in the middle of Jaume Plensa'a Crown Fountain.  He got so excited to be in the water that we had stripped him down right there otherwise he'd be soaking wet.  As you can see, he thought it was hilarious. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

August Break - Day 22: FREEDOM

We were on a mini staycation this past weekend at the JW Marriott in San Antonio.  We had a great time floating in the hotel's lazy river and Little Mister flirted with every female lifeguard that he came across - figures.  He also enjoyed the wide open spaces with plenty of room to run. 

If he could speak, I would guess he'd be shouting, "FREEDOM!"

Friday, August 19, 2011

August Break - Day 19: SPIRIT

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August Break - Day 18: SNOW

There has been a heatwave here in South Texas for so long, I forget what cold feels like.  Today's photo might help to bring back that chilly feeling.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Break - Day 15: ANOTHER SUNSET

Not that I don't have thousands of photographs under my belt, but another sunset seemed worth sharing.

I missed posting on Friday (bad Michelle!) but I'm back in full force.

Happy Monday to you all!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August Break - Day 11: LOTUS

A Sea of Lotus
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