Thursday, October 30, 2008

What to Be???

Halloween is one of my all-time favorite holidays. I love that it's finally not so incredibly hot, I love the decorations, and I've always loved dressing up. It's just a great holiday!

I wasn't sure if there was going to be much going on this year since it seemed as though a lot of people were talking about going to Lubbock for Tech vs. UT. But luckily, quite a few people decided to back out, and so Julie decided to throw a party! YAY!

I have some FABULOUS spooky recipes that I will be blogging about at a later date, but I wanted to focus on the all-important costume for today's post.

I'm not quite as motivated as I usually am this year. Usually I end up as a "Sexy ____". But hesitation over being the ripe old age of 26 and just not quite feeling the "sexy" vibe this year, has led me down other paths. Although, a conversation with E led to the conclusion that it is entirely acceptable to be a "Sexy ____" until you reach 30 and then maybe it's time to retire the thigh-highs and the hooker heels. So anyways, I've been doing a little research on alternate ideas and had to share my favorites with you:

1. Ceiling Fan - Write "Go Ceilings!" on the front of your shirt. Add other gear if you want (pom poms, big foam finger, etc.) And don't forget to cheer!
2. Blind Date - Use a black trash bag and some loose stuffing to make yourself into a giant date (kind of like a big raisin). Add sunglasses and a white cane.
3. Taco Belle - Wear a Southern Belle outfit complete with a hoop skirt. Top it off with a sombrero. Speak Spanish with a southern drawl!
4. Goth Brooks - Apply white makeup and black lipstick and black eye liner. Dress up in all black, with cowboy hat and cowboy boots. Guitar optional.
5. Bald Britney Spears - Wear a bald wig, Ugg boots, jean shorts, a revealing shirt, and carry a doll and an umbrella.
6. Jilted Bride - Wear a wedding dress and have mascara running down your face and very messy hair. You can crunch up the flowers in your bouquet too. (Hey, they say you should never take yourself too seriously... despite that, I thought this one might be a little awkward.)
7. My personal favorite... The Princess and the Pea - dress up like a princess and carry around a urine sample. Maybe a little tacky, but I thought it was funny!

So despite all the funny ideas I found and all the stuff I tried to put together using my closet/costume box, I finally went to the old standby, Spirit Halloween, and found a cute little ragdoll costume. (Mainly it's an excuse to wear my red, glittery heels that I bought for Dorothy again.) Maybe next year I'll be feeling a little more creative....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spotted WHAT?

So pretty much ever since I've started this little blog, there has been a thorn in my side. And that thorn's name is Wylie Eagle. He decided to follow in my super-cool blogging footsteps and start his own. Now, that's all well and fine except for after I started this, I started getting feedback on how funny I was. That is, until Wylie started to out-funny me. The final straw was when I was talking to my own mother and she mentioned that wylie's newest blog post was hilarious, and when I asked her if she read mine.... crickets. So when he called me the other day elated about the sign he had found for future blog posting hilarity, I decided to stay on the lookout for something.... funnier.

I read that book "The Secret" and I'm all for positive thinking and all that, but you know sometimes it just seems a little far-fetched to wish for things and have them land in your lap. UNTIL, during a grocery shopping excursion the other day, my mom walked up to me giggling. This is what she brought me:
I mean, really??? WHO NAMED THIS? Apparently it's some sort of bread pudding. My aunt sometimes does these dinners where she donates her cooking talents to a charity and then they sell a dinner for eight to some fancy executives. I so want her to serve this at her next dinner party.

"This dessert is so decadent, what do you call it"
"Well, it's spotted dick with a creme fraiche glaze"
*Insert the '84 Cabernet Sauvignon coming out the nose here*

My faith in "The Secret" has now been restored!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Week in Pictures

Mavs game. Classic Julie.... glass of wine in each hand, chowing down a chili dog. We actually missed I think 3/4 of the game due to finding the chili dogs, brisket nachos, and catching up far more interesting than the pre-season loss to the Bulls.

Hostess with the Mostess... this was post-chi o event, pre-specific media party. The girl who threw the party is Jenn Sbranti, who runs hostess with the mostess (aka Martha Stewart gone modern). This is Jodi and I with Jenn:
She is so creative and we had a blast at the event. We learned how to make bloody eyeballs out of lichee fruit, raspberry jam, and blueberries and Jodi got lots of catering tips from the random waiter that we befriended.
Also Thursday: Introducing Ms. Haley Grace Jones! (I've been holding out on this one because I wanted to post it on her one-month birthday, but since I'm posting this on Monday, it seems I totally missed it). Here is the newest addition to my college roomie, Cassie's family, Haley. HOW CUTE IS SHE?? When Cass and Kyle got engaged I always told her that her kids would be graced with some good genetics and it looks as though I was right.

Lean Cuisine Panini. Why am I posting a picture of this sub-par, slightly brick-tasting frozen entree, you ask? Well, because this is what I had for dinner after I got home Thursday night. Big mistake. Our power went out for four days last week because our builder is an idiot and I, for some odd reason, thought a panini was a sandwich so it didn't need to be thrown out... WRONG ANSWER!! Skip to Sunday since there was not a whole lot going on for the rest of my weekend.

King Tut exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. Only it's a little misleading since it should have been called "All King Tut's crap at the DMA, but no King Tut". I'm being serious. You pay about $50 and get all the way through the exhibit and they lead you up to this great point of excitment and then they spit you out into the giftshop.

The best part of this disappointment was this 40-something lady with her nine year old, that was obviously very disappointed that he didn't get to see a dead, mummified body the week before halloween, CHEWING OUT the museum staff member that had the unfortunate job of being posted between the last room (aka, the room that SHOULD have had the dead king tut in it) and the giftshop.

Lady: So, I mean, WHERE is king tut?????
Unfortunate Museum Staffer: Ummm...... in Egypt.
Lady: So you're telling me that we went through this whole exhibit and ALL you have is KING TUT'S SISTER????
Unfortunate Museum Staffer: Ummm.... don't you mean his great grandmother? (side note: They did have King Tut's grandmother on display, but not his sister. King Tut actually married his sister. So I could see how the poor lady got confused. It's an incestuous little world that those egyptians lived in, apparently)
Lady: WHATEVER. So he's not here. Is that what you're telling me???? (um, duh.)
Unfortunate Museum Staffer: Goes into long explanation of respecting the dead, and blah, blah, blah.

To which the snotty lady turned on her heel, and stormed into the giftshop to no doubt buy her son King Tut puzzles, headresses*, and tissue boxes** to make him feel better about the whole thing.

What's funny is standing there waiting for my mom to read every little word on every little sign, I heard at least four other people walk up to the lady and ask the same thing. She should have just held up a sign. KING TUT ISN'T HERE, IT'S NOT MY FAULT. HE'S RESTING COMFORTABLY IN EGYPT.

My dad didn't get to witness any of this because apparently he sprinted through the exhibit and made it back to the cafe in time to follow the cowboys game on his iphone. His response when we asked him about said sprinting was "what??? I thought you guys were in front of me". uh huh. Likely story. If we were in front of him, I would have shin splints this morning and be two pounds thinner from my work out. Nice try, dad.



Friday, October 24, 2008

Chillin' at the lodge, and we're lookin' for some rushees...

Last night I had three places to be at once. I wasn't exactly sure if I could pull it off, but I somehow managed! This was quite surprising to me as I often struggle getting myself to one place at a time.

As some of you may know I am the new social chair for the Chi Omega Night Owls (which is the young alumni group). The head girl is an SMU alum and while I tried to explain to her that a lot of chi-o's from other schools don't come out to dallas events because they assume it's all SMU, our first event of the fall was...... an SMU event. With the SMU chapter. On campus.

As much as I wasn't looking forward to hanging out on a college campus on my Thursday night, it was very fun! It was called Fashion With a Passion and it was basically a fashion show put on my the Chi Omega chapter and the ticket sales went to Make-a-Wish. The most interesting part is that there were 300 chairs and every one was filled with girls that were all dressed up, but all the chi-o's were standing around the outside of the room. So I asked our head girl, Erin, who all the rest of the girls were and she said "freshmen". Apparently, SMU has second semester rush and they have events like this as a recruitment helper. These poor little freshmen basically have to spend an ENTIRE semester going through rush. Dressing up for class every day, being on best rushee behavior, and everything else. CAN YOU IMAGINE?! I mean, the older girls at tech probably saw me the day after rush ended and thought, "hmm... we may have missed the boat on this one".

Here's a picture from the event. The girls standing in front were actives talking to what I assume are rushees. The big screen behind them played a slideshow of pictures that were of the "look how cute and fun we are" variety. I mean, it was very interesting. And a great concept if you think about it. I seriously halfway expected all the girls to line-up on the runway at the end and bust out "chi omega choo choo, chi omega choo choo, chi omega choo choose the one for you!" (ha! now you're going to have that stuck in your head for the rest of the day!)
But the funniest part were some of the old ladies that were there that you could tell they just desperately wanted to be 19 again. So weird. The lady on the right side of the picture tried so hard, but it did not work out for her at all. I feel kind of bad saying that, but if you dress like a 19 year old when you're 65, you kind of have it coming. Wearing designer jeans instead of mom jeans... totally acceptable. Wearing skin tight clothes and an even tighter face lift... kinda creepy.

Speaking of creepy, on my way there I passed a group of guys playing football and caught myself checking a couple of them out. Annnnnnd then I realized they were freshman. Playing football in front of their dorm. At the age of 19 maybe. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?? If you see me on one of those dateline shows, please tivo it so I can upload it to my blog. Sheesh...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday JJ! (and congrats too!)

First of all, I have to wish Jodi a very happy 27th birthday! It was actually on the 9th, and while my blog wishes are a tad belated, I was there for the actual day so that outweighs my past-tense blog wishes (I'm telling you, people, I'm backed up!!) Twenty-seven is not a very exciting birthday, however it turned out to be quite an exciting day for Ms. Jones!

We went to the Porch for a wonderful dinner (mmmm..... mac and cheese) and then a few of us went to Lakewood for a couple drinks. But the really exciting part came after Matt & Jodi got home because Matt proposed!! So here they are officially engaged!

They are such a great couple and I have to brag a little because I was unintentionally a bit of a matchmaker for the two of them. A couple years ago Matthew had a Halloween party where you had to bring another half. (you know... like bonnie & clyde, the nelson twins, lloyd & harry, paula deen and butter... you get the point).

So I brought Jodi along and we went as Dorothy and the Scarecrow. Matt and Jodi met, but there wasn't much to it that night. However, over the next couple weeks anytime I was around Matt, he would ask me about "scarecrow". Finally, I mentioned something to Jodi in passing about the guy that wouldn't stop asking me about scarecrow. This led to a very amusing conversation...

Natty: So Matt McCauley keeps asking me about "scarecrow"
JJ: Matt........ was he one of the three amigos?
Natty: No he was the one that was dressed as Dirk Digler
JJ: Dirk Digler... hmm.... in all black?
Natty: No that was the ninja, and the ninja had a girlfriend. Dirk was the one that was with Alex, but not with Alex. Remember Alex was Rollergirl, and Matt had the big, huge ____ as part of his costume?
JJ: Ohhhhh, now I know who you're talking about. Oh, he's cute!!

And who would have thought that conversation would change their lives?? In the spirit of Halloween and that fateful day... here is a fun picture from the party! Congratulations you two! I can't wait for the big day!
ps- you really should at least click on the paula deen and butter link above... it's pretty funny.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kinley is 1!

I wanted to wish my adorable baby cousin, Kinley, a happy 1st birthday. Her birthday was actually a week and a half ago, but again, I've been a little backed up on this blogging business and I wanted to get a picture from her birthday party.

Her gift from me was one of those push popper things that makes a whole lot of noise. Since my cousin Jarred (above) one time made me eat snuff at the bayhouse (in my defense before you think I'm a total idiot, he told me it was like big league chew... that grape gum that comes in the pouch) I figured he had this coming. (Kelly, I'm so sorry to drag you in the middle of this!) I know, that this will no doubt come back to me ten times over in the form of drum sets, etc., but since I don't see kids in the near future I figured it was worth it.

The party was a cowgirl theme and very cute. Kinley was adorable in her little outfit and had lots of friends running around, but they were all very well behaved. My personal highlight of the party was getting Annie, Jarred's friend David's little girl who is being actively groomed to be an aggie at the tender age of two, to put her teeny little guns up and walk around the party going "Fight, Raiders, Fight". The cherry on top was when I let her borrow my bright red flats to add a little red raider spirit to her outfit. :)

I'm looking forward to seeing Ms. Kinley's dad this weekend to participate in our annual mid-Fall tradition of him handing over $20. Why does he pay me $20 every fall, you ask? Well, because once a year, around this time there is a little thing called Tech vs. A&M. And while our annual bet year-after-year is $20 to the winning team, Tech has stomped A&M so many years in a row, that I'm going to go out on a limb and call it a tradition at this point.

See you this weekend, Jarred!! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The camera adds ten pounds!

Okay, okay, so I'm just now getting to my giada post.  And obviously I'm very backed up on blogging.  I have like 18 things I need to blog about... that dang work thing is just getting in the way!  (love you bossdad!) So as everyone pretty much knows by now, we met Giada de Laurentiis last weekend at her book signing at Sur la Table! All-in-all it was a fun experience and it was very cool to meet her in person.  Here is my blow-by-blow:

My mom convinced me that despite all dorkiness, I should wear my pink chef coat (assuming I could locate it) since it was a once-in-a-lifetime kinda deal and that it would make such a cute photo op. So day of, I get up, take a shower, blow dry my hair, put makeup on, etc. Which most of you know, is quite a feat for me on a Sunday. Usually I spend the majority of Sunday sporting the makeup from the night before and a baseball cap. I mean, if I remember to throw deoderant on then we are doing pret-ty well for a Sunday. (TMI? yes, no?)

So against all odds, I find the chef coat. I can't find my debit card 95% of the time, but my chef coat three weeks after moving, no problem(!) With glee I call my mom to tell her that I found it!

Me: GUESS WHAT?? I FOUND IT! (very triumphantly)
Mom: Good! Now iron it! (SUCH a mom thing to say in a moment of triumph)
Me: Okay, I'll do it right now....... wait a second... OHHHH NOOOOOO!!!!!
Mom: What?? (very anticipatory, let me assure you)
Mom: Oh, that's okay! What kind of chef would you be if you didn't have stains on it? That just means you've actually cooked in it!! (does she know how to work it, or what?)

That made me feel better. Like I looked more authentic since I was covered in stains. (nevermind the fact that a true, authentic chef probably wouldn't be caught dead in a pink chef coat, but whatever) So I ironed it, stuck it in my bag and ran out of the house.
When we got there, this is what we encountered:

I quickly called Alex to inform her that I was not, in fact, the only crazy person in Dallas, Texas... there was a line 90 minutes long to see Giada. And the line was full of CRAZIER people than me... the girl behind me knew Giada's baby's name the lady in front of me had driven in from Midland.  Yep, I'm normal.  In fact, this proves it.

Sur la Table did a great job moving the line quickly, and when I finally got up there, she was very nice.  Unfortunately, part of the line moving so quickly is that they wouldn't let you take pictures with her, just of her.  So no fantastic posed pictures with the chef's coat.  I know Alex is so incredibly sad that we were unable to capture this epic memory for our kitchen.

But regardless, It was very fun meeting her since I've never met a celebrity that I watch on such a frequent basis.  One of the interesting things about giada is that when you watch her on tv, you think "man, she has a huge head".  I thought that maybe that whole camera adding ten pounds thing possibly somehow got focused solely on her head... not so much.  In person... huge. head.  And if you talk to any of her male fans, they will tell you there's one other thing about giada that's huge (well, I guess technically two other things).  Well, boys, those were just as big in person as well.  It was kind of funny because she's this teeny tiny thing with this big head and these big.... well, you know.  She almost looks like a cartoon character!  

Regardless, she was beautiful and very gracious and sweet and I was glad that we waited out the line.  Here I am telling her that I made her pork chops a la pizziola on Tuesday, doesn't she look enthralled???
I thought so too.  Moving on, the picture below cracks me up because she looks kind of bitchy in it, but there's a good story behind it.  

They had very specific instructions just to have her sign your name and that's it.  Literally "To: Natalie... Giada".  Well, the lady right behind me apparently was not only getting a cookbook signed for her personally, but also one for her charity auction benefitting her nonprofit organization of choice.  She literally asked every employee/PR person she could find if giada could write... (and I'm paraphrasing since I can't remember the whole thing, but very similar to:) "Thank you for purchasing this Giada de Laurentiis cookbook at the 14th annual West Chestertonfieldfillville High School silent auction benefitting the kids in need of West Chestertonfieldville.  We appreciate your most generous support of West Chestertonfieldfillville High School Program for the Underprivileged.  We hope that you enjoy the multitude of delicious italian dishes enclosed in this book.  Thank you.  Love, the gracious kids of West Chestertonfieldfillville."  Okay, so maybe it wasn't that bad, but pretty close.  All the employees told her they weren't sure that she would have to ask Giada... So she did, and here's the result:
Ha!  Isn't that funny?  She's like "are you shitting me?? I've been sitting here signing my name for two hours straight and you want me to write WHAT?"  But anyways, it was a lot of fun and I just want to send a big thank you to my mom for waiting it out with me.  As she said, "You SO owe me a pedicure and shopping trip when I'm in the home".  I guess we have a deal!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fight Raiders Fight!!

So before I tell you about meeting Giada on Sunday, I thought I would break it up a bit and let Moose congratulate the Red Raiders on a 58-28 victory against Kansas State.  Here he is completely absorbed in the game:
Okay, so he wasn't really watching the game, but isn't he cute?

You can't really see it in this picture, but he got to sport his tech gear for the first time of the season.  He wore his official Tech jersey and his Tech collar.  Maddie borrowed his red and black tee and coordinating Tech bandana (we had to cover up that silly TCU collar with SOMETHING).  

In very exciting news, Moose is the only Walker wiener to be invited to the much anticipated Tech vs. A&M game in College Station.  This is due to the fact that he is "well behaved" and "doesn't try to run off".  (both quotes from my mom about her beloved granddog)  Mostly I think she has bought him so much Tech stuff that she wants him to have an excuse to model it for a crowd.  I mean, we're probably going to have to pack him a little suitcase and he's going to have to switch outfits every quarter like a wiener dog diva just to wear them all.  

Moose has: (and again, I reiterate 95% due to my crazy mother) 
1) Official Tech jersey
2) Tech tshirt that says "Big Dog" or something like that
3) Red tee with black trim
4) Tech bandana
5) Tech Tag (although not engraved yet)
6) Tech Collar
7) An un-official red and black collar
8) Collar "charm" that says "Texas Tech Pooch"

Since smack-talking between my cousin and I is an annual tradition, I thought I would up the ante and try to teach moose a fun little party trick.  We're off to a slow start, but I still have two weeks and a bag full of bacon.  Patience young grasshoppa....

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ticket for the Book Signing

I got my ticket! After I found out there would be a second book signing at Sur la Table, my mom suggested that I call them and see if they had any tickets available. They still had 150 left!! The tickets were free, you just had to buy a copy of her new cookbook. Soooo, here is my shiny new copy of Giada's Kitchen!!I decided I was going to have to look through it before Sunday and pick out a recipe that looked icky (yes, even giada sometimes has some icky-sounding recipes) and have her sign that page, because once I start cooking out of it, it's almost certain that her autograph would be covered by a giant glob of pesto. One time I cooked dinner for the girls and they walked in and I literally had marinara sauce on the ceiling. :) But my mom brought up the fact that they usually sign inside the front cover, so I think I'm probably good.

I really want to take a picture with her wearing my pink chef's coat that says "Chef Natty" on it that Matthew got me for the Iron Chef competition that trey and I had a few years ago. How cute would that be in a frame in the kitchen?? But I can't decide if that would be too dorky.... I may just take it with me and throw it on at the last minute. When I was talking to the girl at Sur La Table she said that some people had been talking about lining up at 9am. Um, the book signing isn't until noon... so I figure all those people are waaaay bigger dorks than me.

Here is a picture of trey and I after iron chef (which I definitely won, but he cheated by using jager as his dessert and therefore tricked a few of the guys into drunkenly voting for him, but that's a whole other story): And on a different note, Sur la Table had some great Halloween stuff. This apron was probably my favorite. How adorable is this?? I love all the creative cooking things that center around Halloween. The October issue of Martha Stewart had some amazing ideas for Halloween themed baked goodies. That just might be a future post... there was this pumpkin chocolate lava cake that looked to-die-for!