Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Best $45 I Spend a Month...

I love to cook. I admit it. It is relaxing for me. I love trying new recipes, some of which I love and will make a million times again, and some that I just toss down the drain after a taste or two. One of my favorite things to do is take cooking classes. It was on my "to-do" list last year and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to take one class a month now.

A couple of months ago I suggested to one of the cooking instructors (Terri Geisler) that I would love to take a class on tamale making. I miss a good California tamale! They just don't make them the same in Knoxville. I was so excited when Terri put together this class and 17 people signed up to take it! We made 3 types of tamales including a dessert tamale with apples, ice cream, and caramel sauce. Below is a picture from this class.

I learned a lot about the texture of the masa and how to put the tamale together. I am going to try making some this weekend using my friend Debbie's recipe for shredded beef. But, to just make you salivate a little, the picture below is of the beef tamales we made...and they were delicious!!

My next cooking class is next month and it is about Mediterranean cooking. The class description says:
The menu for this truly Spanish meal will create an eclectic & extraordinarily savory experience beginning with Chorizo in Red Wine, next is savory Shrimp with Garlic, then an extraordinary Spanish Paella, and for dessert, Galician Almond Torte.
I'm ready!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

She Done Good!

A big CONGRATULATIONS to my little sister who won the highest award in the IT realm of GE....she's so flippin' awesome!!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I won two tickets to the new Renée Zellweger film, New In Town, from Stacy Julian. She asked us to leave a comment about who our leading man would be....of course, you KNOW my answer...

[René] My leading man would be Colin Firth. They say he is the thinking woman's sex symbol.....he is simply nummies!! Mangolicious, in fact!
Posted by: René 20 January 2009 at 07:42 AM

Thanks, Stacy!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Light Dusting of Snow...

Woke up this morning to a light dusting of snow. It is 8:48am as I type this and it is snowing lightly outside. The news says that it will increase in intensity around 1pm. I love snow - as long as I can view it from inside my nice, warm house!

Planning on going out briefly today. Here's my "to-do" list:

1. Run to Hobby Lobby to get knobs that are on sale. Honor has consumed 5 of the 10 on my dresser.

2. Go through stack of magazines and cut out the stuff I want to save and get rid of the rest.

3. Work on passport stuff for the boys.

4. Fix my GK-12 earthquake powerpoint presentation.

5. Read a little bit for my Evolution class.

6. Re-start forgotten cross stitch (this was added to my bucket list in 2008...I add one thing every year).

I had to buy new reading glasses to be able to see the holes in the cross stitch. I haven't cross stitched for at least 10 years now. I have two projects I want to finish. The first was a pattern by Paula Vaughn. What drew me to this pattern to begin with is that there is a Gramma's Fan quilt on the front. This is my favorite quilt pattern. I have finished the basket and pot of flowers. All that is left to do is the quilt and back stitching.

About 20 years ago my Mom gave me a set of linen placemats and napkins that I started to cross stitch small patterns on. I have one set finished so I need to finish the other 3 place settings.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I *heart* Vimrod

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Back to school today. The weekends are never long enough. Spent the weekend at my parents house and had a great time attending the 1 year anniversary crop of the 3 Scrappin Chics! Was lovely to see everyone and got my charms done for my swap...YAY!

Finished "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. Took everything I had not to break down crying. Here's my new book

Off to class....

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back to School

Today is the first day back for classes at UT and one of my intentions is to get here at 8am on the days I have class so that I can have some quiet time before my first class at 10am. Hopefully I'll get some work done...haha. I'm really excited about this semester as I have two interesting classes....Evolution and The Age of Dinosaurs. I've never had an official class on dinosaurs and I think it's know, as a paleontologist and all....haha.

Finished my first book the other day....The Friday Night Knitting was good! Am now reading "The Last Lecture." It is excellent so far.

Listening to Britney Spears "Womanizer" are you?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Ah...that man makes me crazy!

The Firth-Fest was wonderful last night. I watched both of the Bridget Jones movies back-to-back. A couple of my favorite scenes from these movies are...

1st movie: When he's helping her in the kitchen and the doorbell rings and it's her friends and he kind of smiles and adjusts his tie, when he's walking away to get her a new diary (oh my goodness...that lovely swagger as his coat swings behind him), and at the very end when she said "Wait a minute, nice boys don't kiss like that" and he replies "Oh yes, they f***ing do"....*whew*

And who can forget this one:

Mark Darcy: I like you, very much.
Bridget: Ah, apart from the smoking and the drinking, the vulgar mother and... ah, the verbal diarrhea.
Mark Darcy: No, I like you very much. Just as you are.

2nd movie: When he's in bed underneath the covers and he says "Bridget, will you stop? Stop staring at me while I'm asleep. Now, find something to do. " and when they leave to go to work that day and she starts to text him and his text comes in "I miss you, too"

Mark Darcy: [Bridget gets out of bed covered in a sheet and begins to fumble around] What on Earth are you doing?
Bridget Jones: Getting dressed.
Mark Darcy: Why're you dancing around in that tent business?
Bridget Jones: Because I don't want you to see any of my wobbly bits.
Mark Darcy: Well now that's a bit pointless isn't it. As I happen to have a very high regard for your wobbly bits. In all circumstances.
Bridget Jones: Really?
Mark Darcy: Absolutely. I think it's high time we had another look.

I have collected so many photos of Colin Firth that I think I am going to eventually make a mini-book about my love for him. And speaking of scrapbooking, I was able to complete 9 pages yesterday...YAY! I'm scrapbooking a bit again this morning. Here's my list for today:

balance checkbook
go through mail (I hate mail so only do it once a week)
go to petsmart
go to ijams nature park for a walk with Honor

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Scrapbooking and Colin Firth...

My goal today is to scrapbook. Lately I've done a lot of miscellaneous projects like mini-books and charms, but today my focus is on scrapbooking some of the numerous pictures I have in my 2008 photo holder. Last night I did work on some and got 4 pages scrapbooked so I'm happy. Today I'm devoting all day to it. I also have it on my agenda to do tomorrow.

I think I shall have a Firth-Fest tonight and watch one of his movies....dang, that's one gorgeous man!! And yes, I am addicted.....*sigh*....

Friday, January 02, 2009


Yesterday I caught a couple of the episodes of Season 3 of the Biggest Loser on tv. These folks are losing 5-20 pounds a week...consistently. How in the heck does one lose 20 pounds in a week?? One guy lost 12 pounds 3 weeks in a row. How? HOW?? 100 pounds in 3 months? Seriously?? I'm all for lifestyle change but don't you think that this sends out the wrong message? Sure, these folks need to lose weight but isn't 12 pounds a little over the healthy 1-2 pounds per week that dieticians recommend? This is not realistic and I think it sets up others for failure. I'm sure for some it motivates, and that's great! But I've decided that I'm not watching this show again. I just can't watch the show without setting up the same type of expectation for myself and then being disappointed when I fail.
I did well with my healthy eating yesterday. I started off my day with a smoothie that had 1 cup of Chocolate Silk Soy Milk, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup frozen peaches. It was nummies!

Thursday, January 01, 2009