Wednesday, December 9, 2009

YES!



Can I please tell you how excited I am for Oklahoma City? Yesterday OKC voted on the MAPS3 Proposal and I'm happy to tell you that it PASSED!  Now our city can join the ranks of other major cities. We can add beautiful parks, walking trails and events centers to our list of atributes. And finally, finally, we'll have the transit system we deserve. I'm excited for the future of this wonderful city, not just for myself, but for my young cousins that are already here, and for all the future children to come in my family. The OKC that they will grow up will be a completely different city than the one I grew up in, and while I've always loved this place, I can't wait to see what the future holds.  To find out what this proposal has to offer, go here.  Also, here are two of my favorite letters to the editor in the OK Gazette. This one is written by my cousin and this one is written by Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. But I promise, I'd love both articles no matter who wrote them.

GRACE.
1. Pups who watch TV. It's hilarious.
2. The Christmas Tree at my mom's house, that is still decorated by us as a family, and is never overdone.
3. A beautifully sunny but cold and crisp day. It's 19 degrees outside, but the skies are clear blue and the air is clean and fresh. I love it.
4. Barefoot wine. It's cheap and delicious.
5. December birthdays!  Happy Birthday to Linda, Bizzy, Mike, Lauren, and Matt!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Strawberry Marg Cupcakes

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Can you believe it?? I can't. That's probably because I'm usually elbow deep in flour at this point the day before Thanksgiving. Today will be no different, we're (my grandma and I) are just getting a later start on things than usual. I was ready to get to choppin' and rollin' and bakin' early this morning, but she has manicures and hair appointments to go to, so I'll have to wait. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a recipe with you. It's not a Thanksgiving recipe. In fact, it's not even a fallish recipe. It's not savory by any means. It's sweet. Super sweet. It even teeters on the too sweet side. But, these cupcakes will be the perfect post-Thanksgiving treat and will make you feel like you're sitting on the beach sipping a fruity drink out of a coconut. Or something like that....

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes. There's really nothing easier.

First, grab a box of yellow cake mix out of the pantry.



Next, grab some strawberry marg mix. I bought this bottle for about $3.50, so if you're thinking about spending $14 on a bottle from Williams Sonoma, please don't be stupid. Besides, this is the Master of Mixes, so how can you go wrong??



Now all you have to do is follow the directions on the back of the cake mix box, except where it calls for 1 1/2 cups of water, use 1 1/2 cups of marg mix.  Put the cake mix, 1 1/2 c. marg mix, 3 eggs, and 1/3 c. oil in a bowl and mix away!




Now you have pretty pink batter. Good job!



Now, if you don't have a cupcake pan, you can use these awesome aluminum cups and just line them up on a baking sheet. I actually like this approach better because you can bake more cupcakes at a time. I think I got 15 cupcakes on one sheet. It was a cupcake miracle!

Okay, not really.



Now, pop these in the oven for 18-20 minutes, and let them cool for 10 minutes or so. Or at least until they are cool to the touch. I never time that step, so I really have no idea how long it takes.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make a quick icing using powdered sugar, the margarita mix, and a little milk. I think I used around 2 c. of powdered sugar, 3 T. of marg mix, and about 2 T. milk. You can do this with just powdered sugar and marg mix, but I had to cut the sweetness with a little milk.  Honestly though, I have no idea how much I used. I just kept adding different amounts of all three until it was the right consistency. So play with it until it's just right for you! But make sure it's not too thick, like cookie icing, you want it to spread over the tops of the cupcakes and maybe even down the sides a bit. It'll firm up over night.




Wait a minute or two before topping with sprinkles. If you put the sprinkles on too soon, they sort of melt into the icing. I learned this the hard way.







Now just pack these beauties up and take them to work for your friends birthday. She'll be happy that she's getting something completely un-Thanksgiving-ish.

Now I'm off to chop 4 bags of celery. And bake 5 pies. And make some cranberry salad. But don't worry, we'll also have the cranberry jello in a can. My brother can't have Thanksgiving without it.

Happy Thanksgiving!!  

Graces.
1. My grandma's turkey and stuffing, Coopie's mashed taters, mom's green beans, sweet potatoes, cheese grits, lasagna, beef tenderloin, banana sheet cake...ummm, sorry, I got a little side tracked...
2. Dad's key lime pie.
3. Brothers home from Cali and Stilly.
4. 105.3 FM. Finally a radio station in OKC worth listening to!
5. Rosie's first Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lazy dog.

Rosie is a lazy dog. Don't believe me? Have a look for yourself.


    She's actually playing with this red Kong toy, but she got tired of wrestling it, and needed to take a break. The break lasted at least 10 minutes.




She's on the couch, so can you really blame her?




She's lazy in her Halloween costume...




She's lazy after a bath....




She's even lazy at my mom's house. There were 3 other dogs running around at this moment. She wasn't feelin' it.




Laaaazy.




LAZY.

(She actually sleeps like this)


.graces.
1. My first Christmas Tree. Don't worry, it's not up yet. I'm just really excited about it.
2. New Moon. I hope the movie is as good as the book. Honestly, I didn't really like Twilight the movie. I thought it was awkward and it actually sort of turned me off the books that I unexpectedly loved so much. I hope the same thing doesn't happen this time around, or I may have to give up on the movies altogether. (But probably not. =)
3. Garlic. And not in small doses.
4. Little boys.
5. The Elegence of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.

Friday, October 30, 2009

What I've been up to...

Here I am, back in wallycado land. The last few weeks have been crazy busy, what with moving and all, so I've been a little lazy when it comes to blogging. But who can blame me? I have a new house all of my own and sometimes I just want to turn on the tunes and dance, or sit in my beloved Laz-E-Boy and read for ridiculous amounts of time. But now that I'm a little more settled, I'll probably be here more often, so don't give up on me yet.

I have had a pretty busy week, and because I'm a slacker, I'm just going to write all about it in one post, although each event really deserves a post of their own.

Let's get started!

Last weekend my cousins hosted a Chili Cookoff. Hopefully this will become a regular thing because it was so much fun! It was a family affair, which is always the best way to go in my book. It doesn't hurt that I happen to have a ridiculously awesome family.

I was lucky enough to be a judge, and let me tell you, it was some stiff competition. So stiff, in fact, that the votes had to be re-cast and re-calculated because apparently it was too difficult for us judges to make a decision. But a winner was finally selected and the prizes were handed out. Don't worry, there was a prize for all competitors...pumpkins!


Here are the winners (and the only entries).  Just look closely at the pumpkin sizes and you can see for yourself who the winner was. She cheated though....biscuits baked on top of chili? Genius!


And what chili cookoff would be complete without judges?

I'm pleased to introduce you all to Judge #1, my dad (and Emmett), Judge #2, umm, that's me, and Judge #3, the bespectacled Jonathan.  Please feel free to hire us for your next chili cookoff. We are strictly professional in selecting a winner. Just trust us on this one.


So, do you all know The Pioneer Woman? What am I talking about, of course you do! Everyone knows her, and if you don't, please visit her site where you will find beautiful photos, delicious recipes full of butter and bacon, and hilarious stories about her children.

The Pioneer Woman cookbook was released this week and last night she had a book signing at Full Circle Bookstore, which happens to be not only my favorite bookstore in the world, but one of my favorite places in OKC. So of course I had to be there

After waiting in line for four hours (seriously, FOUR hours!), Liza and I finally made it to the front of the line. And it was well worth the wait.

Here I am totally giving PW the googly eyes while Liza is looking all calm and cool and collected. I mean seriously, look at that face I'm making! Way to be cool, Annie. At least I didn't tell her how pretty I thought she was. Now that would have been embarrassing.

Here we are looking a little more normal.


We really did have a blast. It turns out that standing in line for four hours isn't all that bad when you're with a best friend, and you see Marlboro Man and PW's punks walking around greeting fans, and signing autographs. And PW herself was so nice and friendly, and now I'm convinced that she and I are destined to be lifelong friends.

Pioneer Woman, remember me? Annie? You said you loved my name and my boots?? Hello?

By the way, Marlboro Man is ridiculously rugged and handsome and Liza and I were throwing out our flirting vibes all over the place. But we didn't stand a chance after he turned and smiled at us and Liza blurted out a very audible and slightly awkward "Hi!"  Then we hurried off giggling like little school girls. We are so smooth.

Okay, now for the most important thing that's happened to me all week....


This beautiful girl is Rosemary Brownpants. Rosie, for short.

She's my new baby, and I'm totally smitten. I'd been wanting a dog since before I even had my own house, and once I moved I got serious about the dog hunt. I knew I wanted a big dog (aka, a real dog) and because I'm ridiculously allergic to everything including dogs, I not only wanted but needed a hypoallergenic dog, or any sort of poodle mix. And after a few weeks of answering ads in the paper, calling shelters, and hoping to not go through a breeder, a little luck fell in my lap and this girl came along.

I've only had her a week, but I am already crazy about her. She's sweet and pretty lazy, which is right up my alley. And her paws are ginormous; I seriously can't wait to see how huge she's going to get.  I knew it was love, when on her second day home, I found her like this on my couch.



And you know what? That's how she lays everywhere. She has no dignity. No pride. She lets it all hang out. And I'm okay with that.

Don't worry, you'll be seeing lots more of her.


G.R.A.C.E.
1. Halloween!
2. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. The 4th book in the Outlander series. I'm so happy to have Jamie Fraser back in my life. It's been too long.
3. Monsters of Folk
4. Ramen noodles
5. Lysol, Glade candles, incense, and anything else that cover up the smell of all the puppy pee I've had to clean up in the past week. Rosie, you little booger.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Boyfriend Box

We all have one; The Boyfriend Box. Come one, don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. All of us girls have, at one time or another, had a box hidden away in the back of a closet, or drawer, or under a bed. It's put there to be forgotten, but is never thrown away because of the memories it holds. But as we're filling up this box with pictures, love notes, ticket stubs, jewelry, etc., we never think about what it's like to find the hidden box and to open it up again.

I found my Boyfriend Box a few weeks ago while I was packing up my old room. I knew it was there, somewhere. I've even gone hunting for it a few times since I've hidden it but have never found it. I guess I'm really good at hiding things. When it resurfaced weeks ago, I ignored it. I tossed it in a box labeled "random" and threw a few other things in there, knowing well aware what the box was and the contents it held. I planned on never looking at it again, perhaps hiding it in my new house in a new closet. But when I unpacked the "random" box today, I knew that the Boyfriend Box could not move into my new house, and life, with me.

So I opened it up and had a look inside.



Surprisingly, I didn't let myself read the 487 million little notes I had stored inside. I opened up a few, read a few lines and, for the most part, smiled. They were all letters. Letters I'd written but never delivered, letters from high school loves, letters written during math class, and nights at home during various periods of being grounded. For the most part, they were very sweet reminders of very sweet young love. A part of me wished it was still so simple to just write down in a letter exactly how you feel about someone. But another part of me remembered what some of those other letters held: hurtful words, gossip, and so much teenage angst I can hardly believe I made it out alive.

So I did something very uncharacteristic of me;


I shoved everything back in the box, jewelry, pictures and all, and threw the Box away. I'm not that girl anymore and I don't need her hanging around my new house all the time.

And besides, I don't need a Boyfriend Box anymore, because I have The Boyfriend that I've always wanted. And he's more than welcome in my house anytime.

...grace...
1. Cleaning frenzies.
2. Memories. Life sure would be boring without them.
3. Free coffee at Full Circle Bookstore.
4. Preferring music over TV any day of the week.
5. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches saving dinnertime once again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A home of my own.

I have a house. Of my own. And I'm head over heels, crazy in love with it. I have my own furniture. My own TV. My own rooms to fill. The bed? It's all mine. The closets? No room for you. The pantry? Filled with Captain Crunch Berries, thank you very much. And the volume of my music? Way louder than my mother ever allowed.

Tonight, for what will hopefully be the gazillionth night in a row, I'm listening to my pink ipod at a near annoying volume level, sipping on some red wine, and cooking up something delicious in my kitchen. Yes, my kitchen.

I'm sorry, but I don't think this will ever get old.

G.R.A.C.E
1. Flaming Lips Embryonic. Gets my blood pumping!
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
3. My new camera, a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H20.....whatever that means....
4. Dancing in my living room and not caring that my curtains aren't up and my neighbors can see.
5. Footrubs from boyfriend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Crafting for dummies (like me)

I love me a good craft project. The thing is though, I very rarely complete one start to finish. I start out with good intentions, but somewhere around the half-way mark of a project, my mind starts to wander and I totally lose interest. I have a suitcase full of glitter, stickers, glue, markers, tape, and everything Christmas from my misadventure in making Christmas cards last year. I think I completed three of them before I realized that my Christmas cards looked more like something your child (if you had one) would bring home from school in kindergarten than a posh greeting card made by a super hip 25 year old. BUT I tried, and that's what counts, right? Never mind.

Today I'm going to show you my latest craft project. It's quick and super simple, and I came up with it all by my lonesome. Impressed? Yeah, I was too.

I was asked to make cupcakes for a baby shower last weekend. My cousin's wife (who I was making the cupcakes for) wanted "something cute" to put in the cupcakes. Hmm, something cute? For babies? That left a lot of options. So I wandered around Michael's Craft Store for a while searching for inspiration. I found lots, but crafts are expensive, and I needed something cheap. So I went to the aisle that always makes me feel like I'm saving money, even if I'm not: the paper aisle. You can buy single sheets of adorable paper for pennies. Or $.69. Whatever.

Here's the paper I picked:

Adorable, no?



I also bought this hole punch (the yellow thing) and I used it to punch out the little circles of helicopters, submarines, and airplanes.








Then I took my glue stick, and put glue on the back of the circles, working one circle at a time.






And I stuck the circle to a plastic stick that I found in the cupcake aisle. (Actually it was in the wedding aisle, but the sticks are intended for cupcakes.)







I glued another circle to the other side, choosing between green stripes, and blue polka dots.




I glued and glued and glued until I had 30 little pops and sticky fingers. It helps if you recruit your mom half way through. Moms are crafty too!



I was really happy with the outcome. What do you think?



I think the helicopters are my favorite.

So next time you're asked to do something crafty, don't fear! It's easy to find a simple alternative to whatever you're trying to make. And if you ever need some baby shower cupcakes, you know who to call.
GRACE.
1. Having so many people to help me move that I had to send a few of them home.
2. Homemade spaghetti and meatballs.
3. Allergy shots. Ouch!
5. October!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sorry if I offend you.....

I've got things to say today. Does that surprise you? I mean, I'm normally a pretty quiet person. I like to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself, which is why I'm so terrible at blogging, and even worse at carrying on a conversation with a stranger. But, like I've said before, I blame my parents for my quiet nature; they were always talking too much for me to get a word in! Of course, this works to my advantage when I'm out amongst strangers in the presence of my parents because they can get things done, as opposed to taking an extra 30 minutes to do anything, like me. I could use some of their gusto.

Anyway, today I've got things to say! Opinions that need to be voiced! Music that needs to be praised! And responsibilities to avoid!

So let's get started.

Normally I would in no way try to voice my religious or political opinions on here. Partly because my religious and political views have been known to change on a daily basis. Also, it's not really my place to say what should or should not be done/believed/worshiped/preached/taught/etc. And also, that's not what this blog is about. It's a place of happiness for me; a place full of cupcakes and music and pictures of my dogs. If I suddenly went all "Pro-choice" (or, to be fair, "pro-life") on you all, I'd probably scare you off. Hell, I'd scare myself off. But today I read something about the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas (whose website I will not link too. The site name is too offensive for me to type, or click on). You know them, they sang a Christmas song about Santa Clause being a f*g? And they protest military funerals? And they partake in regular demonstrations of dumbassery? Remember? Yeah, sorry for reminding you about them. I was a little upset about being reminded of them as well, until I realized that tomorrow they will be here in my state and my city and that, ladies and gentlemen, really pisses me off. Go ahead, give the article* a read. It's from the cool dudes over at TheLostOgle*. They say everything I'd like to say but am too chicken (and not quite cool enough) to say. And because they did such a good job of expressing exactly how I feel about these people, I won't say any more on the subject. EXCEPT that anyone who thinks they are doing God's work by bringing violence and hatred into this world is not only sorely mistaken, but incredibly small minded and flat out stupid. And I don't like stupid people.
*note: if you click on the word "article" it will take you directly to said article. Click on The Lost Ogle for the link to the main page of their site.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest we can move on to bigger and better things.

Last night The Flaming Lips performed a song from their new album on The Colbert Report. I, sadly and unfortunately, saw everything except the performance (damn TiVo) but I did get to see Mr. Coyne's interview, confirming once more just how much I love him. It was after the interview, and TiVo cutting off the performance, that boyfriend's brother asked if we thought we'd still like Wayne and the Flaming Lips if they weren't from OKC? I got his point; they are weird and different, and their music is loud and sort of spastic and psychedelic all at the same time, and their lyrics cover everything from love, life and politics, to aliens, pink robots and magicians. But my answer is still a very loud and proud YES. YES a million times! I'm sorry, but I just can't seem to get enough of them. Check out ColbertNation to listen to the Lips' new album coming out October 13. "Embryonic," that's all you need to know.

Have you all ever seen the video for Man Man's "Rabbit Habits?" Check it out. It will slightly weird you out and tug at your heartstrings all at the same time. Which clearly means it's awesome.

One more thing. In exactly 8 days, I will officially be a first time HOME OWNER! Anyone have a TV they want to donate to me? How about a washer and dryer? Couch? Lawn mower? Garden gnome? Clearly, I'm very prepared.

.GRACE.
1. Growing up in a family and church that taught love and acceptance for all.
2. Fall weather!
3. Buying my first piece of furniture.
4. And a set of dishes. (From an antique store...and I looooove them!)
5. Chili-Rig, my version of Chili-Mac.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two Weeks

Not much to say today, except that I'm totally in love with this fan video of the song "Two Weeks" by Grizzly Bear. I first stumbled upon it a few weeks ago and loved it so much I immediately downloaded the song, and then watched the video a few more times. Something about the weather today really made me want to watch it again. And to share it with you peeps. So watch it. And then watch it again. It's too good to watch just once.

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.


.grace.
1. Chili and cornbread.
2. American Apparel
3. Nikkolette's Cafe
4. Bananas
5. Waking up and realizing it was only a dream...

Friday, September 11, 2009

What I've Been Up To....

Finally! Summer is over! Not that I'm a summer hater, but it's really not my favorite season. Actually, it's my least favorite, but only because the other three are so glorious, they're hard to compete with. This summer wasn't so bad, especially considering that August decided to be nice to us this year. Oklahoma summers can be brutal, and usually by the time August comes around, I'm packed and ready to move to Colorado. Or anywhere with less than 100 degree heat. I'm not really a "heat" person. Give me sleet and snow and blistery cold weather and I'm a happy girl.

Anyway, since I've been missing in action for quite some time now, I thought I'd catch you all up to what I've been doing. Which is a whole lotta nothin'. Okay, I've been doing something, but most of it is very summer related things. Pool parties, egg tosses, cupcake baking, etc. Throw in a little storm chasing here and there, and that pretty much sums up what I've been doing the last month.

Here are my end of summer pics, taken on my phone (my dad hijacked my camera for two weeks), enjoy!





Cream cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped jalapenos? Yes, please.



Egg toss for money? Done.



Chilling by the pool with my besties? Done and done.






Oh lemon cupcakes. I love you.




My summer reading list....still working on it.




Thunderstorm 1.



2.



3.

And yes, I like to take pictures of storms while driving. It's very safe, don't worry.



Full Circle Bookstore, one of my favorite places in the world.




Plunko, packed and ready for the lake!



Pulling away from Grand Lake....



A pile of my dad's books. One of many. (now you see where I get it)



Cyclone Cupcakes for my niece's birthday. It was also her first day of 2nd grade. She's got school spirit!


Gigantor grasshopper on my windshield.




Two cakes stuck in their cake pans. I thought a warm bath would help pry them loose, but it didn't. I had to get rough with them instead. It wasn't pretty.




The birthday girl!!


OKC Redhawks baseball game....Thirsty Thursday!


A big ol' mess....



Makes for pretty sweet results.....(lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream. YUM)


Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. Double YUM.


Caddo sporting a sweet 'hawk. I'm thinking about dying it blue for Halloween. Thoughts?




So, that pretty much sums up my life for the past month or so. Now that summer is gone, and fall is here (my favorite!), you'll be seeing a lot more of me here in Wallycado-land.


Especially because I have some really big exciting news.


But I won't tell you yet. Sorry!



GRACES
1. My bestie Meesh...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! (in 2 days!)
2. Excite Bots. You have to see it to believe it.
3. Interior design. Which I know nothing about, but I still love.
4. Anthropologie.
5. Vietri Italian dishes