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!!