Saturday, July 17, 2010

Flip Side...

I'm going to take a little break from the whole blogging thing for a while. I have some other fires in my oven and to be honest, blogging hasn't really been anything I've wanted to do lately. I'll be back.... probably sooner than I think.
Take care peeps... and I'll see ya on the flip side. ;)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Facebook, Twitter and Blog.... Something's Got To Give!

I spend an enormous amount of time online. Actually, it's more like an absurd amount of time. Okay, I spend an enormously absurd amount of time online. And I've got dreams, you know? Ambitions. Goals.
So, here's what I'm thinking... maybe all of you who come to this blog might consider becoming my buddy on Facebook? Or maybe following me on Twitter? Or, wow, I don't want to sound crazy, but maybe even both?!?!
You see, I update my Facebook and Twitter accounts several times a day, but this blog is a lot more work and takes a ton more energy for me to keep current.
I wish there was some app or program that would update all three of my "time sucks" (those being Facebook, Twitter and Blogger) all at the same time. Does that exist? If so, let me know. It would change my life!
I am going to try to post some of my mobile uploads on my blog. Let's face it, I come across some funny shiz out there on my fabulous adventures, and I want to keep y'all up to date.
So, let's see how this works...




Here's a link to my Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/melmel

And, here's a ink to my Twitter page:
http://twitter.com/marshmelanie

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Busy.... Definitely NOT Lazy!

Seriously. I have been crazy busy, that's why I have neglected my blog. No really, it's not at all because I'm lazy...
So, here's the excuse - April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and since I spend 'part-time' hours away from home working for a Child Advocacy Center, well, it means I was pretty much preoccupied the entire month. But rest assured my schedule has calmed down and I am feeling a bit more bloggy these days. Let's see..... what have we done....
Well, there was Easter. We spent it with my parents. It was nice, but the weather sucked. We did start a new tradition though.... we hide Easter Eggs in the dark and let Ben find them with a flashlight. Sounds fun, right? And no, it had nothing to do with us waiting so late on Easter to hide the eggs (or actually almost forgetting about the eggs altogether). Here is a photo of Ben's Easter basket:

Easter Basket

We went to Galveston again last weekend to take my hubby-the-artist's works to a new gallery. Blossom Street Gallery on the Strand. So, check it out if you make it to Galveston in the next month.
We got our mailbox fixed after a good-for-nothing-drunk mowed it over playing chase with other cars at 5:00 in the morning a month ago. The new mailbox actually looks better than the old one. That's awesome. We take our car in on Monday to get it repaired. I am curious what type of rental car we will get. For some reason I love getting rental cars.... it's like a mobile motel room. Kind of exciting. It's like a little adventure. And yes, I realize how pathetic that sounds.

Fabulous new mailbox

After they repaired our mailbox, we decided to do a little landscaping around Casa Loca. Yes, we recently named our house. Hey, if rich people can do it (one of Martha's houses is named "Skylands" for craps sake), then poor folk should have the same fun, yo. And we thought 'Casa Loca' was apropos. It's amazing what a few nice plants can do for your home. It turned out even better than I thought it would. I opted not to buy anything with flowers. I kill anything that blooms. It's a sad fact of life for me.

I always wanted some of these spiraly shrub thingys

This helps hide the fugly water meter thingy

Ahhh... greenery.

So, that is what's been going on around here. How have you guys been? Oh, and I thought I would leave you with a photo of the absolutely cutest boy ever....

See? Pretty cute, right?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fabulously Busy!

It's been quite a long and busy week here in my fabulous world. Today is actually the first day that I haven't had something I just absolutely *must* get done. Well, except for house work. But if you could see my house, you would realize it's obviously not a priority with me right now. Oh well.... whatevah.
My work has been insane these past few weeks, but I think it should start to settle down now. At least I hope so anyway - I need to get some projects done around this house.
Oh, here's a little interesting turn of events... around 5:15 on Friday morning, some drunk loser plowed through our stone mailbox, our neighbors' stone mailbox and another neighbor's parked car while going around 70 miles per hour. It totaled the parked car, and sent 20 and 30 pound stones flying into our SUV and our neighbor's SUV. So, there's a whole lot of damage and a whole lot of drama to deal with now... yippee.
I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying your springtime... I'll be back soon.
Take care!

Our poor mailbox... R.I.P.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Want a Cool Blog Layout? I've Got Connections...

Have I mentioned how much I love the ladies over at Smitten Blog Designs? Well, I do. And not just because they designed this fabulous blog for me. Not only are Kate and Heather uber-friendly, they are also incredibly talented. And when I was working on establishing a blog for my work, they designed the cutest header for our agency, and made me look GREAT to my Director and Board. Thanks, ladies!
So, check 'em out.... and tell them Mel sent ya.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Getcha-Getcha Grill On


We have had some ah-mazing weather here the past several days, and my hubby-the-artist decided to dust off the grill and cook up some steaks. He was "inspired" by a steak grilling competition that was on Food Network last week. So, we went to our local butcher shop and picked up some Porterhouse steaks and ground meat.
Instead of our usual loaded baked potato we normally pair with steaks, I decided to try and make my Mom's potato salad. You see, my Mom makes the best potato salad on the planet. I'm serious. It is the potato salad to which I compare all others. The pinnacle of potato salads. A potato salad so absolute, that I have never even attempted to recreate it. Until Saturday. I looked all over the internet for a recipe, and I could not find one that even came close to my Mom's. So, I winged it. I cooked my potatoes, boiled my eggs, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. And you know what? I did it. I actually made my Mom's potato salad. It was incredible. It was fabulous. And I did not get even ONE photo of it! Oh well.
Sunday we had hamburgers off the grill. Oh y'all, my husband's hamburgers are tha shiz! Better than any take-out or fast food. I LOVE his burgers!
They were so good, we decided to have them again tonight. But with a twist. We added crispy bacon and a fried egg. OMG!!! I also made sweet potato fries. Words cannot describe this meal. The awesomeness of this burger defies the limits of the English language. Yeah y'all, it was really, really good.

mmmmmmmmmm.... egg and bacon on a burger!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cheap + Easy + Pasta = Yummy Dinner

mmmmmm.... pasta!

Oh y'all..... I made the best tasty-cheap meal tonight. Aside from being really inexpensive, it's also super easy. I get these regular emails from Everyday Food from my favorite lady, Martha Stewart. I usually skim over the recipe, check out the photo, and if it doesn't 'wow' me I just delete it. But I got this recipe in my inbox yesterday and I looked at the photo and thought it would be something Mr. Ben would like, and since it was pasta I knew my hubby-the-artist would like it, too. So, I figured what the hell... let's try it.
I did make two little changes to the actual recipe. The shallots at the grocery store were $1.99 and well, I'm not paying that much money for a snobby onion. So, I just picked up a small yellow onion instead. Also, I used boxed angel hair pasta, not fresh. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. It turned out SO GOOD Y'ALL!!! I picked up a loaf of French bread from the store, which was only $1, and I can get two meals out of it. So we only ate 50 cents worth of bread with the meal. Awesome, right?
Oh, and for those of you that know me, you know I hate peas. But my son and hubby-the-artist love peas, so I added them. And I actually did eat a few. But to be honest, there were several peas left in the bottom of my bowl. Whatever...
Check out the photo of my pasta (above) compared to the photo from Martha.... not bad, huh?
Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

Serves 4 to 6

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 box (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 18 ounces fresh angel-hair pasta

Directions

  1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain (leave fat in skillet).
  2. Add shallots to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add peas and half-and-half; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Pour sauce over pasta; toss to combine, adding some reserved pasta water a little at a time to coat. Sprinkle with bacon, and serve immediately.
Photo and Recipe From EveryDay Food, March 2008
Check out this recipe online at MarthaStewart.com.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Life's a Beach

Big Shrimp outside Gaido's Restaurant


This past Saturday, my hubby-the-artist had a showing at PeckArts Gallery in Galveston. We decided to make it a family affair and stay Saturday night at a hotel on the seawall. Ben had not experienced a beach yet, and since he loves sand and water, I was pretty sure he would enjoy it. And boy, did he ever! We actually had to drag him from the beach kicking and screaming. After the beach, we had a fantastic seafood lunch at Gaido's. It was great. We plan to go back and spend more time in Galveston.
Here's the thing with Galveston... back on September 13th, 2008, Hurricane Ike hit the island with a vengeance and pretty much devastated the area. Ike was the third costliest hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. Historic landmarks like the Balinese Room, a night club where famous crooners such as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. once played, was swept out to sea along with other popular spots such as Murdoch's and the 61st Street Pier. When you drive around the island, you can still see quite a bit of damage from the storm. There are homes and businesses that look like they have been literally bombed, and the creepy, skeletal remains of the famous Flagship Hotel (which sits on a pier over the water) are haunting. But Galveston is making a comeback. And I have to say that the people are super friendly and the atmosphere has a quirky, laid back feel that reminds you a bit of New Orleans and Austin combined. Did you know that Galveston had the first post office, the first naval base, the first cotton compress, the first insurance company, the first gas lights, the first opera house, the first orphanage, the first telephone and the first electric lights in the state of Texas? Seriously. (I lifted that info from Wikipedia... just wanna give props where they're due.) So, if you get the chance you really should check out Galveston. Oh, and stop by the gallery and take a peek at my hubby's paintings.


video

Here's a video I made from our day on the beach. I apologize for the poor quality, I tried to upload the original version to Blogger, but it was three times the size limit, so I had to adjust the quality. I also apologize for what some might consider cheese ball video music. I just thought it needed some tunes, and well, I was feeling nostalgic. Deal with it. *wink*

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It Helped ME Make a Great Meal!


My family and I are addicted to fast food and take out. Seriously addicted. Up until two weeks ago, it was not uncommon for us to eat fast food every day for lunch and grab take out for dinner every night. It was absurd. Stupid. Asinine. It was destroying our health and not to mention our bank account. But it was just so easy, and I didn't have to clean up or do dishes, and the food was good and.... I had a million excuses/reasons as to why I thought it was okay to feed my family expensive junk every day. But two weeks ago, that all changed.
My problem is that I watch a ton of Food Network and read way too many cooking magazines. Somehow, along the way, I got the idea in my head that mealtime at home meant I had to bust my ass in the kitchen for a couple of hours and create fabulous feats of homemade cuisine that wowed my family and friends. Truth is, I don't have that kind of energy most days. I also noticed that I was spending about as much at the grocery store buying all the ingredients I needed for one meal as I was on take-out, which was defeating the purpose of cooking at home. That's when I finally realized.... not every meal has to be photo and blog-worthy. Not every meal has to be something I spend hours preparing. The point is to cook at home and eat at the table as a family and be more responsible with money. That's when I met my friend, Mr. Hamburger Helper. One pound of meat and couple cups of hot water and you've got yourself a meal, people! It's SO EASY and guess what? It's actually really good. It's not haute cuisine, but it's dinner. And it's cheap. And I'm okay with that. We have almost instantly noticed a difference in our bank account, too. So, dinner at home.... it's one of those baby steps I was talking about in my previous post. But it's working....
Oh, and hey, you see that package of Bisquick Complete Cheese-Garlic Biscuits in the photo at the top? That package of mix was 24 cents! 24 CENTS PEOPLE!!! And all you do is add some water! OY!!


I'll post other recipes I find that are quick and cheap, too. I've also got some great money saving tips for house cleaning coming your way. It's all about sharing the money-saving love, y'all....

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tweet Tweet!


Are you on Twitter? If you are, do you follow me? You really should consider following me... some of my best material comes to me in 140 characters or less.

http://twitter.com/marshmelanie

Let's Shake This Up a Bit, Y'all...


You know, I've been mulling it over for a while, and I think I might just change the direction of this here blog of mine. I still want to post family updates and photos and all that groovy stuff, but I am wanting to change the focus a bit. You see, I'm really working on making some changes in my life and I just feel that maybe my blog should reflect these improvements I'm working so hard to accomplish. They are baby steps, but each one I take gets me that much further along in my journey. So, I guess this post begins my quasi road trip to a better me.... and yes, I realize how absurd that sounds. But hey, it could be fun. Or a complete train wreck... stick around and find out which one.
Oh, and one more thing... for those of you that know me personally, and I mean *really* know me, you know that I sport a bit of a potty mouth. I have really tried to keep my obscenities out of my blog in respect for those readers (and family) who would have been offended by such vulgarity, but let's face it, the "shit's" and "damn's" and "bitches" are staples of my vocabulary. They are part of my feminine charm. So, I'm warning you now, they will find their way into some of my upcoming posts. And yes, working on my "colorful" language is going to be one of those "baby steps" I take in the future, but for now, hang in there and forgive me.
So, the first post of my new blog "season" is on its way. And here's a teaser for ya.... it has to do with my really shitty money management issues and my being too damn lazy to cook at home more than once a week. That's right folks... I am tackling my family's take-out and fast food addiction. Riveting blog matter, right? Oh yeah.... this is gonna be a blast.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

:: Well, Hello Everyone! ::

Hey there! Did ya miss me?
I apologize for my absence, but rest assured I am back on a regular blogging schedule.
I am working on a slide show of all of our photos from the holidays, not to mention all the goodies from Halloween, our trip to the State Fair and Benjamin's 5th birthday party. Wow, I really have been gone for a while, huh?
For now, I will leave you with a few photos of Benjamin from this past fall.
Talk to you all soon!

Ben eating a corn dog at the State Fair of Texas. October 2009.

Ben on the motorcycle ride at the State Fair of Texas. October 2009.

Checking out his spider ring at Covington's Fall Festival in Rowlett, Texas. October 2009.