Friday, July 31, 2009

it's the little things in life...

Like finding out your favorite celeb chef has a twitter page! It's well-known here on moose and lulu that I am a BIG giada fan! She always provides fail-proof, crowd pleasing recipes... making it very easy to convince my friends to come over and be guinea pigs even if it's the first time I'm attempting something. Literally, I don't think I've ever had anything of hers turn out bad and trust me, I do have disasters from time-to-time. {for the record: marinara sauce on the ceiling does not count as a culinary disaster; just more of a road bump to a delicious meal} And, it also helps that she is actually very sweet in person!

If you don't own any of her cookbooks, buy them now! You won't regret it. Everything is relatively easy (in my opinion).

And, if you would like to take it a step further and stalk her via twitter you can find her at @gdelaurentiis.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Beer Belly

Apologies for the lack of posting this week. Bossdad and I went down to the cult for a seminar on "Marketing Outrageously". The class was taught by Jon Spoelstra who used to run the Portland Trailblazers and the New Jersey Nets. He has had great success in selling out stadiums despite having horrible teams through his crazy ways of approaching marketing.

But this isn't my work blog. This is moose and lulu... so I give you the most entertaining thing I was exposed to during my three days in Austin:
The Beer Belly
HOW HILARIOUS IS THAT?!? It's basically a giant, belly-shaped, soft-sided flask. Sadly, I seriously know some people who would buy one of these. It holds 80 ounces of beer. I have no idea what context this was even shown in considering I was at a business seminar... something about the theory that only 40 problems exist in the world and everything can be solved using the principle of TRIZ. But I digress.

And it gets better.... for the ladies, if you don't want to look preggo (yes, on the website they literally have a girl wearing a beer belly and pretending she's with child.) there is the wine rack:
A sports bra that holds booze and makes you busty!

Despite its undeniable trashy/tacky factor, you have to admit that these two are hilarious inventions. I distinctly remember my freshman year of college one of my then-boyfriend's friends strapping a camel pack (that cyclists use for hydration) full of jack and coke to himself for a Tech game. I suppose it was just a matter of time before this came along...

For those of you that may actually be interested, *cough* Wylie, you can get your beer belly or wine rack here. $49.95 and 29.95 respectively.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Musings

Yoga while seemingly mild and relaxing is, in-fact, fully capable of kicking your ass.

Lemonade is a perfect fix for a white cake that turns out too bland.

Central Market
may just be my happy place in life. Especially on Saturday afternoons.

The city of Dallas desperately needs to do something about widening Henderson Avenue. It's getting worse... and worse... and worse.

It is so strange to me that dallas guys continue to wear Ed Hardy when it is widely known that it epitomizes all that is wrong in this world...

I really, really want to go to this.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A new take on the wedding march:

I'm sure some of you have seen this video already, but how great is this?!? I seriously wish that I had been lucky enough to be invited to their wedding even though I don't even know them... you know when the ceremony is that much fun that the reception had to have been an absolute blast!

Jones: Let's do it!! Bring it up to the Pastor at your next premarital counseling session and let's see if it will fly!

Enjoy!

Boutique or bust!

I'm a pretty down to earth girl, but there are a few things in this world that I can be a touch snobby about:

I prefer my milk to be from Braums.
I prefer my computers and my phones to be Apple.
And I will always choose a boutique hotel over a chain.

And by chain, I mean your Marriott's and your Hilton's of the world. The classic flower-print bedspread with a landscape painting over the bed, etc. It just bothers me with it's unoriginality. When my brother and I were little we used to always go explore the hotel as soon as our bags were in the room. Maybe as a result, he is a hotel snob as well.

Clint showed me this great little website called tablet hotels that is basically a travelocity for boutique hotels. That's where I found Townhouse, the fun hotel that I stayed at in Miami before a cruise.

So, you can imagine how excited I was when Jodi emailed me the link to our hotel for the bachelorette party, the Nines in Portland. Technically, I guess it is a chain since it's a Starwood property but to me Starwood does such a great job making each property so unique and different that I don't really think of them as chains. I am almost as excited about the hotel as I am about her bachelorette party! (Sad that I get that excited about these things, huh?)
Love the turquoise pops and the beaded chandeliers.

I'll be sure to let everyone know if it was as fabulous in-person just in case anyone happens to find themselves in Oregon.

With the flatscreens, pillowtop beds, and ipod docks I have high hopes!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary

To me! I have officially been blogging for one year, today. It's been so much fun putting my adventures out there. Thank you for following along and giving me such great feedback. My favorite thing about blogging, aside from getting comments... hint, hint... is that I get to share things with friends and family that I probably wouldn't otherwise. It's always funny when I'm talking to someone and they reference something I didn't tell them, but that they read here. Creepy but funny. Kind of like my mom being on facebook.... {kidding mom!}

So here's to a fun first year, and apparently to 10 more since Bossdad so kindly purchased my domain until the year 2019, literally.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My new ride....

Okay not really. I got this for a loaner car, but isn't it pretty? When they handed me the keys it was brand spankin' new with only 13 miles on it. Little did they know I am NOT the right person to give a pristine car with a hellava engine to. :D

The Acura is in the shop getting it's insides cleaned, filled, rotated, flushed, inspected and detailed. And in the process of checking it in this morning Bossdad bought me some new floormats*! Woo hoo! THANKS BOSSDAD!

*Demise of Floormat #1: Set on top of car to dry after shampooing and drove off.
Demise of Floormat #2: Spilled Sunkist on.
Floormat #3: In perfect condition!
Demise of Floormat #4: Spilled an entire bottle of red wine on when en route to meet the girls at BYOB italian restaurant, Campania.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moose Monday

Last weekend after my parents brought home the new puppy, my roommate and I were talking about how we wished we could borrow him for the day. My mom was on a trip, so we came up with a brilliant plan to put on all black complete with pantyhose over our heads and go steal the dog. (welcome to a day at my house… it’s always interesting to say the least!) Working at an ad agency, I don’t have much use for pantyhouse, but luckily I did find some shoved in the back of a drawer. And I even found a thigh high for moose to wear!

The funniest part of it was when I pulled up in their ally and we were getting out of my car, their back neighbor came walking into his garage. So I did the polite neighbor-wave and the obligatory “hi bob!” while clad in bank robber gear. He probably thought we were about to knock my dad off for insurance money. Awk. Ward.

At first I was scared I would give my dad a heart attack, but then my roommate pointed out that even while in all-black, we didn’t exactly look like intimidating robbers. Good point.

However, I think we did startle him a little when we came bursting in the back door…. I felt a little guilty about that, but it was pretty funny. And it made for a good photo opp:
Yes, we do realize we are 27 years old, but you are also talking to the girls that threw a pirate party for the Tech vs. OU football game. We like to have fun… even if it’s borderline childish sometimes!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Morning Fun

What's this you ask? Well, that would be the contents of my purse.

Why are they strewn about my office kitchen you ask? Well, that would be because they were covered in raw egg.

I brought an english muffin and an egg to work and was planning on making breakfast here* since I was running late. That is, until I bumped my purse against something resulting in a broken raw egg in the bottom of my purse. It was disgusting. Slimy yolk all over everything. Way worse than the time a big red exploded in my tote bag**.

From now on you can be damned sure I will take an extra 30 seconds and put that sucker in a ziplock baggie.

*Chef Natty tip of the day: Egg + coffee mug + microwave + 20 seconds = office breakfast with a perfect english muffin shaped egg.

**Yes, I drink Big Red. I love it. Feel free to make fun of me... I am entirely used to it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cheers....


... to landing a new client today.

... to forgetting about fun plans for the evening until 5:00.

... to two exciting vacations and four birthdays coming up in August.

... to the fact that I can drink wine at my desk on a random Thursday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Today I decided...

that I am ready for fall to be here. I love looking forward to summer, but I frequently decide when summer actually arrives that it's a tad overrated and most of all HOT. It's pointless to even try and look decent if you're going to be outside. 102 degrees just isn't fun.

So in an attempt to keep my mind off the inferno that is Texas in July, I thought I'd think happy fall thoughts and everything I love about it. Such as...
  1. hot chocolate, hot cider, and various other warm treats from starbucks... there's nothing better than warming up via empty albeit delicious calories.
  2. Halloween. I loooove Halloween! How many people do you think are going to dress as Michael Jackson this year? I'm putting my bets in early that this will be "the" costume of 2009 a la Sarah Palin of 2008.
  3. Being able to wear scarves. I have a theory that it makes anything you are wearing look instantly more put together- lazy girl's secret weapon in the fall.
  4. I love me some red wine all year round, but it really does just taste better with a chill in the air...
  5. Being able to go for a run outside without worrying about death via heat stroke.
  6. Fall food: vegetable soup, chili, grilled cheeses and tomato soup, pumpkin pie.... mmm.....
  7. Being able to enjoy the fabulous Dallas patios again for a few months before the cold weather sets in.
  8. Last but definitely not least... COLLEGE FOOTBALL! Fine, I will freely admit that it's notsomuch the football, football as it is the tailgating, the game watching parties, the ice picks at hurricane, the annual Tech vs. A&M family rivalry, the coming up with cute red/black outfit combinations, and the obligatory annual trip to Lubbock, Texas. But there is something electric about the beginning of college football season. Love it.
So think cool thoughts! Fall will be here before you know it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Moose Monday

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of the clan.  His name is most likely going to end up as Baxter and he was adopted this past Saturday by my parents. (not me, swear!)
My mom has had her eye on puppies from my breeder for awhile and Bax is moose's half brother.  {Apparently moose's dad got frisky with moose's mom's sister.... kinda scandelous, but c'est la vie.}  He's a 9 week old, blonde dachshund with blue eyes.  He is precious, but definitely a handful.  I've been keeping him since Sunday when Alex and I dognapped him.  

The funniest part of him being so little is that he thinks that moose's "man parts" resemble his previous food source on his mom and he keeps trying to feed.  Moose's favorite spot to be scratched is right under his back legs, so at first he thought Bax was trying to scratch his spot and he was all about it.  Enter sharp puppy teeth.  Now... notsomuch.  

He spent all yesterday being very jumpy anytime Bax came near him until he came up with a better plan:
Full coverage.  Apparently he decided to leave nothing to chance once he realized that Bax didn't have good intentions and this was his best option.  Smart dog.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Flying Fido

I (obviously) love my dog as much as the next girl. He gets bathed more than most dogs, sleeps in the bed (don't judge, he's too cute to sleep on the floor and see above... he's very clean), and gets treated fairly frequently to burgers at sonic. However, this is getting a little ridiculous.

An airline just for pets? Have they been watching the news lately? People aren't spending money on tickets for themselves to go on much-needed, stress relieving vaca's... what in the heck makes them think anyone in their penny pinching, job-loss fearing, right minds is going to drop a hundy and a half to fly fluffy across the country?!

All I have to say is, these people best be rethinking their business plan. And perhaps the photos they have featured on their website...

I mean, really??

Monday, July 6, 2009

Moose "Sunday Funday" Monday

I spent yesterday cleaning the house and putting my life back together after a weekend of partying on/in/by the water. Whenever I'm cleaning and come across a half empty water bottle, instead of throwing it away, I always pour the remaining contents into moose's bowl because I don't want to drink it, and hey, he's pretty spoiled and probably enjoys bottled water as much as the next wiener dog.

Back up to the day before... Everyone knows that Rule #1 of pool day is that glass containers are a big no-no. When I was packing everything on Saturday, I decided I wasn't really in the mood for beer. So I decided to pour some vanilla vodka in a water bottle and take it with me... only I didn't end up drinking it.

It wasn't until a few hours into my cleaning spree yesterday that I unpacked my tote bag and realized the bottle was gone. I ran upstairs and sure enough... I had poured 3/4 of a bottle of vodka into moose's water bowl. He was thisclose to having his own little wiener dog version of Sunday Funday!

This, in case you were wondering, further solidified the thinking that I am in no way, shape or form ready for children.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fabulous Fourth

What a great weekend!  I was skeptical when our original plan started falling apart, but it turned out to be a perfect three day weekend.  My mom and I kicked it off Thursday with a trip to farmers market and picked up some goodies that will be foodie friday fodder {three times fast?}.

Friday: Spent the morning at the apple store getting my learn on.  I finally activated my one-to-one membership and have already learned some useful things.  I'm such a geek and yes, I am fully aware of this fact.

Headed out to Lake Lewisville around 11:00.  Hung out on the boat and... are you ready for this........ wakeboarded for the first time ever. Lakes skeeze me out a little and I HATE getting water up my nose therefore I've never been a huge fan of water skiing, but I LOVED it!  I got up on probably the third try and granted, didn't last very long, but it was still way fun.  

Saturday: Partied at T & E's pool alllll day long.  T cooked some fantastic Central Market sliders and we all just hung out.  We left there around six and everyone went home to shower and we met up at a bar on Greenville with a third story rooftop deck to watch the fireworks. 

Trey was not satisfied with the unpatriotic-ness of the bar's music choices during the fireworks so he took matters into his own hands and serenaded everyone on the roof to a very amusing karaoke session of "God Bless the USA".  

My weekend capped off with a phone call from my big brother with news that he booked an impromptu trip to Austin and wants me to come float the river with them!  I was super excited since we have hung out on the 4th almost every year since I graduated and didn't get to this year.  So this will make up for it!

Today I've been marking things off my to do list like a crazy Type A on Ritalin.  It has been nice to be productive since I haven't done much other than be social since leaving work on Thursday.

Hope you all had a fabulous fourth as well!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Foodie Friday - Party Recipes, Mexican Edition

Once we decided to do fajitas for the party, all the rest of the food took a slightly mexican turn. The two most popular things on this list were the Sopapilla Cheesecake Bites and the Chicken Enchilada Dip. Closely followed by the artichoke dip and the brownies.

So for everyone who has asked, here you go!

Queso (aka Cheese Dip):
  • 1 brick Velveeta
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1/4-1/2 onion, chopped
  • Cumin
  • Dillweed
  • Garlic Salt
  1. Cube Velveeta and put in bowl with Rotel. Melt slowly and add the rest of the ingredients to taste.
This is one of the recipes you eyeball and taste, and then add more, and taste, etc. But the cumin and dillweed are what give it the signature flavor.

Chicken Enchilada Dip:
  • 1 lb. rotisserie chicken meat, shredded
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 10-12 jalapeno slices, chopped
  • 2 (4.5 oz.) cans chopped green chilis
  • 1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 C mayonnaise
  • 1 C sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and spread into two greased pie plates.
  3. Bake 25 minutes. Serve with warm tortillas or chips.
This recipe can easily be halved, but I'm not kidding when I tell you the first one was gone in probably 20 minutes. You will need two, so you may as well just make the whole recipe. I also shredded a little bit of the cheddar on top to make it look more appetizing.

Baked Artichoke and Jalapeno Dip:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 1 (6 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 C finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 10-12 jalapeno slices, chopped
  • 1/2 C + 1 T parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 C panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise.
  3. Stir in artichokes, bell pepper, jalapenos, and cheese.
  4. Spread into bottom of greased pie plate.
  5. Sprinkle with panko and 1 T parmesan.
  6. Bake 20 minutes or until golden on top. Serve with crackers or fritos.
Spinach Parmesan Pinwheels:
  • 1 roll crescent dough
  • Chive cream cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll out dough and smooth perforations to make it one solid sheet
  3. Spread with cream cheese
  4. Sprinkle with pepper & parmesan
  5. Press one layer of spinach leaves on top of cream cheese
  6. Roll up & slice into 1/2 inch slices
  7. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Sopapilla Cheesecake Bites:
  • 2 rolls crescent dough (try to find the unperforated kind called 'recipe creations')
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/4 C cinnamon sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Unroll one package of crescent dough and press into bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.
  3. Mix together cream cheese, sugar, and extract.
  4. Spread over dough.
  5. Unroll other package of crescent dough and place on top of cream cheese mixture.
  6. Pour one stick of melted butter over top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
These are so incredibly good, cut into small squares easily, and were such a crowd pleaser. I made one guy sick because he couldn't stop eating them. This was my first time making them and the recipe has been saved as a permanent party recipe from here on out.

Best Brownie Recipe Ever:
  • 1 package of brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • oil
  • water
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 C chocolate chips + extra for sprinkling.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix brownie mix according to package and pour into greased 9x13 pan.
  3. Melt 1 C chocolate chips and 1 can condensed milk together in double broiler.
  4. Pour this evenly over brownie mixture.
  5. Swirl mixture throughout brownie mix with the spatula or a knife.
  6. Sprinkle 1/4 C chocolate chips over top.
  7. Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
I looove chocolate and hazelnut together, so I made two batches of these and in the second one I added three heaping spoonfulls of Nutella to step #3 and then sprinkled chopped hazelnuts over the top with three minutes left in the oven. So heavenly!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

You can find the recipe in a previous blog entry here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jodi & Matt's Shower

The party was so much fun, as you can probably tell from below. We took took tons of pictures (and by "we" I mean "they" since I apparently can't keep a digital camera alive to save my life). It was such a great group and made me that much more excited for their wedding in September! Congrats guys!
The bride and groom!
The hostesses: Stephanie, Brooke, me, Dyan, and Angie.
Dyan and I were so proud of our flower arrangement. Central Market wanted $90 to fill that vase, we did it for $40!!
The table.
The groom, bride, father of bride, and grandfather of the bride.
Record highs. Lovely for a 5pm outside shower... what were we thinking?!?
Jodi, Angie, E, Geoff, Patrick, Johnny, Matt.
The happy couple... less than three months!
Matt's mom, Suzanne, Matt's Godmother, Matt.
They had the right idea to park it next to the keg!
My Dad, Rachel, me.
Matt's dad and brother.
T, E, Caroline, Wylie.
Matt in his own personal version of heaven!
Mother of the Groom, Suzanne, chatting with the boys.
Johnny, Cindy- mother of the bride, Adam - best man, Marva Dawn (honorary MOB).
My mom and I.
We found a professional chef to cook the meat for us. Yes, that's a sheet tied around Dyan- she didn't want to get meat juice on her white dress (TWSS!).
The non-mom and the bride.
Annnnd, the tequila comes out. Who would have thought that sweet Brooke would be the instigator?!
E, Caroline, me, Dyan.
The end-of-the-night pool party!