Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Boiled Peanuts!

This week has been very humid, but not because El NiƱo is in effect or an odd heat wave has passed through at the end of December, Nope. My husband is making Boiled Peanuts for one of my co-workers and if you ever made boiled peanuts at home before, you know that there is no need for the heater to be on that day!

Boiled Peanuts are a wonderful snack that I grew up on in South Carolina. I remember as a kid every time we went to Wal-Mart we would often stop at the Boiled Peanut stand in the parking lot for an afternoon snack. Nothing fits that niche better than a salt filled soggy peanut, mmm good!

Did you know that in 2006 South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford made Boiled Peanuts South Carolina’s state snack? I’m surprised it took that long to make it official, anyone who has ever driven through the state in the summertime knows they are in for a treat of boiled peanuts.

I am preparing to leave for South Carolina at the end of the week so I leave you this recipe for Boiled Peanuts, enjoy!

Boiled Peanut Recipe
4 pounds of raw peanuts in shell
4 quarts of water
1 cup plain salt

Soak peanuts and cover with water. Add 1 cup of salt per gallon of water. Cook on stovetop high for at 8 hours or longer if needed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas! Typically we make the drive back to the Carolina's to spend some quality time with both familys and friends. However this year we will spend Christmas Day at home in Texas. This is only the 2nd time since Paul and I have been together that we actually put a tree up, decorated the apartment and pretended to be normal. :)

So we waited until December 15th to wander over to lawn and garden center at Lowes (where we get our tree) only to discover a barren garden center with a few trampled trees left. Sold out of Christmas trees.....who knew!?!

The friendly clerk informed us that the Southlake Lowes still had plenty of trees left and we should have a much wider varietly to select from. While they did have more, I would not call it a variety by any means (imagine what is left of after a vicious forest fire takes down several acres....yeah that was our selection). However I would like to point out that WE WAITED UNTIL 10 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. So....we got what we deserved for waiting that long.

Praise God, there was this one great tree that for some reason was still there (maybe someone returned it, can you return a christmas tree?). So we loaded it onto the cavalier (my tough urban 4 wheel drive car) and prayed like crazy that it didn't launch itself off my car and into heavy traffic on HWY 114. Paul is so cute, he even got to provide advice on tying down trees on tiny cars to a mazda driving shopper.

We made it home and began decorating the tree only to realize we had one, make that two big problems. Menya and Jodie, our two cats we lovinly refer to as "The Girls". As fast as we were putting the ornaments on the girls were knocking them off. So as you can see below we came up with a not so great solution. NO ornaments within paw or jumping range, which successfully limited my decorating abilities and has left our tree half naked. However, we did notice that their yarn cat toys make great stand ins for real ornaments and give the tree a "country" feel to it.

The final result was something I'm quite proud of. Its not decorater savvy or anything outstanding, but I like it. The girls have seemed to of lost interest in the tree, but I'm sure when our living room is covered in wrapping paper sometime in the next 6 hours their interest will be renewed. I'm actually surprised no one has attempted to scale it yet.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Don't know what to buy?

Have a friend with a really good sense of humor, but not really sure what to get them for Christmas?
Do you have a white elephant party to go to and really want to be the person with the strangest gift (because who doesn't want to be that person)?
The answer is BACON STRIPS!!! They're Band Aids designed to look like strips of bacon, how awesome is that?
I will SO be buying some of these this Holiday

Friday, December 12, 2008

If you ever visiting in houston.........

I recommend this hotel, The Magnolia.

Paul & I stayed here not too long ago and it was great! The room was outstanding with a massive garden tub (I seriously took as many baths as I could in our one night stay),

the rooftop pool awesome and the complimentary breakfast was delicious. The only drawback we had is that night of my party it took the valet 30 minutes to find my car. However, after that we never had another issue with the valet or at the hotel.

Definitely going back next time we are in town.

Love: some random thing?

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life” Proverbs 4:23

Do you have any control over who you fall in love with?

My entire life I’ve always received a resounding “No” to this question. As if love is just this random thing that floats around and you just secretly hope whoever it picks for you will be good, kind, compassionate and everything you’ve ever dreamed of. As if your life is not you own to choose who you will hold dear in it and who will be cast out of it. The truth is I believed that very thing for so long in my life that I almost became a witness to my life as if I were watching it unfold from the sidelines instead of participating or even controlling the events that took place.

I recently look back on my previous relationships and realized I had overlooked the obvious that many of them were significantly flawed from the beginning. There is a popular saying “It’s is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all” and to certain extent it is true, but I believe that is only the case when you walk away from a relationship with something positive gained. The fact is many of my previous relationships left me with nothing positive, just a little scarring on my heart and a feeling that once again I was unsuccessful in maintaining a relationship. I wasn’t keeping and guarding my heart at all.

It took several relationships, some that mattered and many that didn’t before I realized exactly what that proverb meant. “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life” Proverbs 4:23. You see each person you love and allow into your heart can have an affect on it. The idea is that each has a positive affect that only enriches your life. Sadly, many people (including myself) give that opportunity to the wrong people and then when they’re hurt they endure scarring that only the lord can truly repair. This scarring can affect your confidence, trust, and other relationships leaving your five steps back instead of ahead were you should be.

Suddenly I realized this meant I have been given control over whom I give my heart to and who I allow to have that kind of affect on it. You see love isn’t something that just floats around and randomly places people together and then good luck! No, you can always choose who you fall in love with as long as you take the time to really get to know the other person first and pray about whether this is someone that should be involved in your life. When you take time to know who this person really is and whether or not they are going to be a positive influence on your life you take back the control.

God always has a plan for you and your life including the people that should be in it. When someone new enters your life, take the time to find out if that person is right for you instead of just flying off with your emotions and then realizing down the road it was a huge mistake. By doing this you minimize the pain of tearing your heart away from someone, then having to rebuild it and instead focus on the things that were meant to be.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

No thats not me going for another piece of pumpkin pie!

For the past 2 years, Paul & I have spent Thanksgiving with Friends and their Families. We've really enjoyed getting to know new people and enjoying food we did not have to cook. However, this year we really wanted to something different or rather, something normal I guess. We wanted to try our hand at making our own Thanksgiving feast and spend the evening with just the two of us.

Now I am not the best cook in the world, .....actually I wouldn't use the term "cook" anywhere near my name. The truth is that I'm the girl who didn't realize you had to drain the grease from ground beef before addeding it to Hamburger Helper. YES, I ruined Hamburger Helper. I am proud to say that I left home knowing how to boil water, but that is where my culinary skills stopped.

So this year I wasn't really sure what to expect and I hoped for the best....which is that our feast would at least be edible. Thanks to some simple recommendations and recipes from my good friend Cindy, lots of prayer and my personal assistant Paul who ran to the store numerous times for me and TA DA.... a Thanksgiving Feast. It actually tasted good....... so good that I'm having trouble staying away from the left overs.

Special thanks to my mom for saving the day with her Pumpkin Pie recipe. It didn't even occur to my to think of a dessert, my mind was still trying to figure out the turkey part. But she can through for me and told me exactly what I need and how to bake it. YAY for my mom. Now the challenge is not finishing off the pumpkin pie all by myself.

So despite the fact that we are more than 1100 miles away from our families, we still had a great Thanksgiving that went off without a hitch. Now what should we do for Christmas?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Starting Anew

Hello Everyone! This is my first blog post. I've consider starting a blog for awhile now, but I took my time in making the jump. Now I'm here and I am at a lost for words. As I develop this blog further I hope to entertain, inspire and find my voice.