Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #4 - My Art Baubles

I have been ultra creative lately and thought I'd take a break from lists and let my photos do the talking. Here are 13 of my favorite pieces from my spring collection. Hope you enjoy the eye candy!

As always, you can see all of my goodies in my shop:

1. Art Stamp Magnets - I just made these yesterday. So cute - I have tons more to make!

2. Sweet little Vintage Cameo Ring

3. Dangle Earrings

4. Amethyst Fleur de lis Earrings

5. Vintage Cameo Pendant - such a delicious color, almost like sorbet. Mmm...

6. Chantilly Lace Earrings

7. Green with Envy Fleur de lis Earrings

8. Flirty Girl Bamboo Ring

9. Fairytale Gold Necklace

10. Vintage Cocktail Ring

11. Brazilian Emerald Necklace

12. Kallista Necklace

13. Lady Love Ring

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything

Blues and the Wetlands

J and I had an awesome weekend. We went to the Blue Festival downtown but it wasn't what we expected. Instead of sticking around to watch a bunch of no-bra wearing old women dancing, we crossed the street to walk the levee and talk a lookie out on the boardwalk. The Mississippi was extremely high and I took some photos, but the lazy in me will post them later. :) Hey, I'm sneaking this post in between cooking for clients, exercising and cleaning, so shush.

After strolling along the boardwalk, we walked over to the Louisiana Art and Science Museum and saw Hurricane on the Bayou, a film which focuses on our rapidly disappearing wetlands and the devasation Katrina brought. I was a bit surprised at how the film affected me. You would think after seeing so much on the news and so many documentaries created after Katrina that I'd get used to seeing the destruction of New Orleans and surrounding areas. Not the case.

Passports, Check

Saturday morning we got our photos taken and sent off the necessary to obtain passports. Jason's brother is getting married on a cruise ship beginning of next year and invited family to come along on the cruise. So we decided to get that item checked off our list. Now that the cruise tickets are ordered and paid for, and the passports will be here shortly, I have less anxiety about the whole situation. There's no backing out now. I can be excited.

Baber's Homecoming

J and I have been counting down. As of today we have 3 days left before he comes home for good. I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm anxious, I'm ready, I think I'm in the honeymoon phase again...

Mother's Day

I love to hear what everyone does for their mothers on Mother's Day. My Mom was very helpful this year and told me she wanted a handmade sunflower wreath. Sooo, artsy fartsy me went to Hobby Lobby and picked up all the necessaries and got to work. I was so excited about trying something new and immediately dived into it and now its done! I would post a photo but Mommy Dearest reads my bloggy so I can't. What are you doing for Mother's Day?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #3 - Things my dream house must have

Before I start my TT, I have a request - I NEED WORKOUT-INSPIRING MUSIC!

Please, if any of you have a play list of songs and artists you can share with me I'd be so grateful. I'm getting a little bored with the same songs on my iPod and I need something to boost my energy on my long walks. I love alternative rock, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, 12Stones, etc. but I really adore all music, so send me some ideas of what really gets you in the mood! And if you don't work out but just have some favorites to share, let me know what those favorites are too. Thanks so much!! Feel free to email me. :)

Things My Dream House Must Have

1. Covered porch/patio - Both J and I love being outdoors. We can't wait to have a house with a covered patio to have get-togethers or to just have a space to be outdoors.

2. Glider swing - swinging with an iced tea in one hand and a good book in the other...

3. Wood floors in main living area - I like the sound of bare feet on wood floors. And they really add character to a home.

4. Garden - Out of cilantro? No need to put the lipstick on for the store - just walk out the back door to pick a fresh sprig.

5. Land - So its not part of the actual house, but I want land for me and my family to grow on. To ride 4-wheelers on and take walks on. To build on and just enjoy the beauty of.

6. Satsuma tree - This is kind of for Babers cuz he loves them so much. And they're pretty and stuff.

7. Fig tree - I love figs but not as much as my mom does. In a way, I want to own a fig tree some day so that she can have an everlasting supply of them when she wants.

8. His & her sinks in the master bath - He wants this. I want this. We will have this.

9. Hammock - This is sort of a thing between me and Babers. We would love nothing more than to take naps in the hammock outdoors on Sundays. Every Sunday.

10. Window above my kitchen sink- Preferably over looking my backyard. Hey, the dishes ain't gonna wash themselves. You know how its so much easier to do your cardio in front of the tv? Same thing for me with the dishes.

11. Kitchen must have tons of counter space! I want to have the house everyone comes to on holidays. I'll need enough space for a turkey, a ham, side dishes and at least 5 desserts. :)

12. Arts & crafts room - *squeal* I'm scared to talk about it because I'll end up with a novel here. I'll keep it brief: altered art, photography, jewelry making, painting, scrapbooking, AHHHH!!!!!

13. Fire place - Chop the wood honey, my toes are getting cold! Hot chocolate and snuggles and blankets and warm toes. And snuggles. Did I mention snuggles?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Food for Thought

Bananas Foster French Toast anyone?

I saw Paula Dean do a really fattening version of this on tv and whipped up my own light recipe, using hers as inspiration. I traded her Karo syrup, pure maple syrup and heavy whipping cream for skim milk and regular light pancake syrup instead.

You will need (for one serving):

1/2 medium banana
handful chopped walnuts (I used almonds but that's just what I had on hand. I believe walnuts would be much better.)
light pancake syrup
one piece bread (I used light brown bread)
1 egg
1 splash milk

Mix one egg, a splash of milk and a splash of vanilla in a bowl. Place bread in the mixture and let it soak up the goodness. Place bread in a non-stick skillet on medium heat with a little butter. Check underneath the bread and flip when it becomes a light brown color. Once french toast is cooked, take off heat and plate.

In same skillet, add about 1/2 cup of syrup, just depending on how much syrup you like. Then add walnuts and bananas and stir around to coat the nuts and bananas. It only needs about a minute in the skillet to heat through. Pour the syrup mixture on top of the french toast. Ta da! A fancy breakfast in less than 15 minutes.

P.S. - No making fun of my expensive china.


Change of the Season

Oh I just love this time of year! The flowers blooming everywhere, the sun warming everything, my allergies... No really, I do love the change of each season. In fact, to celebrate, I went to the nearest nursery and picked up some seeds and potted myself some green onions when I got home. I will put green onions in practically everything and plan to do just so when these puppies start growing in. Sounds like a crawfish fettucini is in the near future. Thankfully, Babers like green onions okay. I'm going back this week when the nursery restocks to get some hot banana peppers specifically for him. And some rosemary, cilantro and parsley. :)

I also got the movie Atonement on the way home. I adore movies made during that time period and I fell in love with Kera Knightley in Pride and Prejudice, so I have high hopes for this movie. And let's face it, I had to hurry and sneak in some girlie movies I've been wanting to see - ten more days and J will be home trying to make me watch scary, boy movies again. *sigh*

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jellybeans and Lollipops

A meme from Mom's place. Feeling a bit out of clever.

You're feeling: Lazy and a bit worn out.

To your left: my cute little bistro table

On your mind: Is 9:00pm too early for bed?

Last meal included: I just made a pot of spaghetti and meatballs and had a bowl, mmm.

You sometimes find it hard to: please everyone all the time

The weather: dreary and gray

Something you have a collection of: cookbooks and chic lit books

A smell that cheers you up: Baber's boy smell

A smell that can ruin your mood: cigarette smoke, public restrooms

How long since you last shaved: eh, Wednesday?

The current state of your hair: serious bed head people

The largest item on your desk/workspace (not computer): my workspace is my bistro table and I just peeked over at it - the biggest is my cupcake container, which has been sitting there SINCE EASTER. *sigh*

Your skill with chopsticks: EXPERT! Used to be a sushi eater. Not so much anymore. That's another post.

Which section to head for first in a bookstore: pyschology or chic lit (I know, weird combo)

Something you're craving: something salty, as usual

Your general thoughts on the presidential race: blah, blah blah blah (I don't speak political, sorry guys)

How many times have you been hospitalized this year: not once! I'm not even sure I've ever been hospitalized before

Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: well, since I live by my lonesome, I can have a quiet moment pretty much anywhere, anytime, any day in my apartment

You've always secretly thought you'd be a good: domestic goddess!

Something that freaks you out a little: someone breaking in. I think about it more than any sane person should.

Something you've eaten too much of lately: Well, I've had three shrimp salads this week and a chicken salad from Izzo's today for lunch, so I'd had to say salad.

You have never: pregnant, homeless, sky diving, on a cruise, to Alaska, painted my toe nails black, seen the Pope - I can go on for hours. Email me if you want more. *snort*

You never want to: be divorced, be trapped, be unhealthy, grow into a selfish person.

Take the meme if you want it! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Foods I Could Live Off Of

Since recently picking up a new gig as a personal chef part time, I think it only appropriate that I post about food. Yes? You no like, you kiss it.

1. Blueberries. I can't get enough of these. Both sweet and tart and the only food in the world of that color, blueberries are packed with antioxidants and have lots of other terrific qualities that nourish our bodies. My favorite uses for them are in blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins.

2. Cheese. I've never met a cheese I didn't like. Well, except for the really stinky kind. My favorites (so far) are baby smoked gouda, pepper jack and sharp cheddar. I also really love feta in a greek salad and well, who doesn't love the stringy mozzarella that tops pizza?

3. Salad dressings. Particularly my Dad's homemade italian dressing. SECRET recipe people. There's just something about this dressing that makes you go back for seconds and thirds. And my mom makes a delicious thousand island style dressing that is so good I can't even keep it in my fridge for fear I'll dip anything I come across into it. I could gain 5 lbs a week on that stuff alone.

4. Frozen yogurt. If you're a long time reader, you've heard me go on and on about frozen yogurt like it's gold. And to me, it is. Low in calories and fat free with endless possibilities in flavor, you just can't go wrong with this stuff. I've actually had it for dinner on occasion.

5. Olives. Mmm. What can I say about these pretty little things just bursting with flavor? I prefer green olives to black olives, but both are great in each their own ways. I have a jar in my fridge now that I pick a few out of every evening after dinner.

6. Salami. Okay. I never eat this stuff because its crazy fattening, but I feel like I have this love affair with salami. I would marry Genoa salami if it was legal. My Paw Paw brings a huge roll of it to my parents when he visits and sometimes my Dad will offer to cut a chunk of it off for me. But like I said, I gain a pound just looking at it so I rarely take him up on the offer. But oh, how I love it.

7. Onions. Not by themselves!! I cook almost everything with onions and without them, I believe most of the recipes I love would be dull. Red, yellow, white, even green - I like them all the same.

8. Eggs. They are used in such a wide variety of ways and are really a great tool for casseroles and baking. My favorite would have to be over easy though, with a runny yolk. Mmm.

9. Mayonnaise. Ugh. You all think I'm so country now, don't you? ADMIT IT. *snort* I'm sorry but I can't have a sandwich without it and its really great for my newest hobby - creating salad dressings! I'll share my Green Goddess dressing soon. :)

10. Fajitas. I don't know why I even open a menu in a Mexican restaurant. I always end up ordering fajitas. Just something about grilled meat and not having to grill it yourself. *sigh*

11. Tea. That counts as food, right? I've been drinking the decaf kind as of late so as not to cancel the good effects tea has on your body by nixing the caffeine. I drink it in the morning for breakfast and continue until I hit the bed at night.

12. Black beans. I'm a mexican whore - not, I'm a whore from Mexico, but, I love mexican food so much that, oh nevermind - and black beans are great in any mexican dish. Salads, soups, I love them.

13. Pineapple. I really enjoy a piece of fresh pineapple but its so darn expensive done up for you and I sure ain't chopping and peeling a pineapple, or whatever you do to those things. Still, I love pineapple and pineapple sherbert and pinepple flavored drinks...

Hungry now? Come on over, I fix ya something right up. ;)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cloud 9

It's 7:45pm. I've got my jammie pants on and my feet propped up while laying on my couch. I'm thinking about a glass of wine but just not sure I feel like getting up just yet. Why? 'Cause I've had a full day.

I've struggled the last few years with accepting that I'll just be working as an administrative assistant or something of the like for the rest of my life. After 10+ years of hand crafting jewelry, I finally put my Jillry business together. Its doing great, but let's face it - I'm a one man band, not a factory. Unless I hire Gwen Stefani's hiroshuku (msp?) girls to help string my designs for maybe a waiter's hourly wage, I won't be able to make a living off my jewelry. Not yet anyway. :)

So, the business venture I spoke briefly of in a previous post has finally come together. You are now reading the blog of a Personal Chef. Yes, I'm serious. *squeal*

Tonight I had my first clients, which just so happen to be my boss and his wife. After my regular work day I stopped by Whole Foods - screeeech!!! I just have to say here how much I adore this store and wish I could shop there every day. *sigh* THEY have ARUGULA, DAMN IT!! - okay, sorry. As I was saying, I picked up the necessary groceries this evening and let myself into my clients house.

The wife would be arriving an hour later, so I had the house to myself. They live in the freaking Country Club of Louisiana, so I expected a nice house but geez, it was really fun cooking in that bad ass kitchen. I was in absolute heaven. By the time she walked in the house smelled of fresh steamed green beans and tilapia mixed with the aroma of a casserole I had baking in the oven for dinner another night.

Doing something I love and getting paid for it... I never thought I would be that lucky. But tonight, cooking in that beautiful kitchen while my client leaned over the bar picking green beans out the pot while ooing and ahhing - priceless.

As I walked out the door this evening, my client booked me for the next week. I walked out smiling, realizing that this could really be something. Her neighbor is interested in my services as well, as is my doctor. I would love to be able to do just this some day and I'm going to work my tush off to make sure it happens.

And to top it all off, my sweet, always supportive boyfriend had nothing but encouraging words to say as we talked while on my way home. For a second I think I may have heard a little pride in his voice too. :)

That's all I've got for now. I'm relishing in the after glow right now and that glass of wine is starting to sound really good...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Every Day Kindness

I joined Every Day Kindness last year to take part in small acts of kindness that could collectively add up to a big ol' world of kindness, one act at a time. When Claudia first created the Every Day Kindess site and invited bloggers to join in, I hesitated. How could my little acts of kindness make a difference? And besides, what if I couldn't commit to an act every day?

I didn't realize how easy it is to do simple things to help others out, make a person smile, give another person a break. Once I joined I started thinking about it more often. Every new situation I found myself in triggered the thought "What can I do?" I'm getting better at spontaneous acts now, but in the beginning it was tough to think of ways to be kind to others, whether they were people I knew or strangers. I hope this Thursday Thirteen will help others who are participating in Every Day Kindness.

13 Every Day Kindess Acts - Thursday Thirteen

1. Bring lunch to a co-worker. Ever notice the co-worker who always runs out to buy lunch or often dines from the vending machine? Dish an extra container of that spaghetti you made last night or take 5 minutes to whip up another sandwich. This is a simple way of taking care of another.

2. Slip an anoynomous card. Make a handmade card or spring for one at the nearest Hallmark. A note to a friend that says "Thanks for being there" or a "Thinking of You" card sent to your grandparents would really make their day.

3. Do a chore your husband or wife normally does and do it without broadcasting it. Step into the kitchen to wash the dishes before the other does. Take a few minutes and a little exercise to scrub the tub or run the trash out before they get to it. An unexpected helping hand is a beautiful thing.

4. Let a fellow driver out in traffic. I do this one often. In congested cities (like mine) it could take five to ten minutes just to get into the flow of traffic. Flash your lights, wave, and let someone in front of you. Think of all the times you were running late and swore at every person who didn't let you in line. Now help prevent someone else from having that kind of morning.

5. Smile and smile like crazy. I've gotten into the habit of smiling at random people in random places. My favorite place to do this is the grocery store, and in particular, at elderly people. They're less likely to think you're crazy or want something. Just a quick flash of your pearly whites can be addictive. Just do it. See if you can make someone else mirror your smile. It can brighten another's mood and yours as well.

6. Five minutes of silence. This is something I also practice on occassion, especially when I'm stressed out. Instead of spouting off the first thing that comes to your mind in a stressful situation or heated moment, step away. Allow yourself five minutes to calm down and decide if the situation is worth getting your blood pressure up over. It can also prevent you from hurting someone's feelings. Think about it and come back to the situation with a calmer, clearer perspective.

7. Baked goods! Who doesn't love sweets? While you're picking up the cinnamon rolls for breakfast at your local grocery, reach over and grab a roll of cookie dough while you're at it. Bring cookies to initiate a probably well-needed group break at work or to your neighbor or parents just because. Sweets can brighten even the grumpiest faces.

8. Answer the call. Sure, you may not feel like talking to your always-depressed friend or your grandpa about his fishing trip, but they called you for a reason. Take ten minutes out of your busy day to plop on your couch and lend a ear. Too antsy or not enough time? Tell the person kindly that you only have a few minutes to talk but are glad they called. People just need to be heard. Hopefully the next time you need an ear one will be there for you too.

9. Tell your loved one its "their day". Lend yourself fully to them for the day and be their partner-in-crime on whatever their heart's desire. Go to the ball game even though you aren't a sports fan, take her to the boutique she's been wanting to visit, go see that action film he's been talking about, or help her make lunch for a picnic. In this busy day and age, its not often we get a day to ourselves. Having someone else say "Hey, its okay. Let's do this together," releases a bit of the guilt that may creep up knowing the to-do list we have waiting at home.

10. Say thank you. Seems simple, right? How many times have you gone through the post office or grocery store where the clerk doesn't thank you? Kind of bums you out doesn't it? Makes you snarl a little, huh? Say thank you. On the phone when a receptionist takes your message or to your bank teller. To your spouse when he or she cooks dinner or picks up the dry cleaning. Its polite and it will make someone feel appreciated.

11. Hold the door. For anyone and everyone, male, female, young, old - its just a kind thing to do. While your at it, throw in a smile. Hey, two acts in one. You're a pro now. :)

12. Help the elderly. This is such a simple act that not only will brighten their day, but it will reflect on your mood because you're doing something kind and/or helpful for someone who may not have a support group or family nearby. Examples? Pull the empty garbage cans in for Mrs. Smith two houses over or bring the paper to her door when you can. Take over a home cooked meal. Just stop by once a week to say hi or give them a call to see if they need anything. You could save them a trip to the grocery for two measly items when you're going there anyway. Knowing they have a friendly, helpful neighbor can be comforting.

13. Be kind to yourself. This I cannot stress enough. Since I've joined Every Day Kindness, I notice that I'm taking better care of myself. I exercise but in a more pleasurable way like nice long walks in the evenings. When my to-do list becomes too full, I scratch the not so important items off and sit down on my couch with a good book and a glass of wine. I focus on nutrition so that my body will be nutured and work the way I need it to. I make sure I get 8 hours of sleep a night and have learned to say no to people. Being kind to yourself will make you a better friend, daughter, husband, mother, lover and make it easier to be kind to others.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Baby Love

I took these when I first got my new camera and have been meaning to share.

This is K's "sweet eyes". When I take my camera out she immediately starts to smile and give me sweet eyes. She even has a few poses like below.

And now, time for RANDOM ASS SISTER PHOTO OF THE DAY!! (I do have enough to do this daily, but I'll spare you guys.)

Monday, April 07, 2008

I Embarrass Myself

This evening I took a trip to the grocery store to look for a specific brand of wine that I enjoyed at my all time fav Greek and Lebanese joint. So I'm walking down the wine aisle squinting at the labels cause I've recently gone blind and I hear a voice address me.

"Ma'am, can I help you with something?" One of the guys stocking wine walks up to me and smiles. And as I'm telling him what brand I'm looking for, he smiles some more. Usually I would have been all weirded out and self conscious, but I had on a new top and was feeling quite confident thankyouverymuch. He jots my number down and tells me he'll order some and will call me when it comes in. And smiles.

I finish up my shopping and walk to my car thinking, aw, maybe he has a crush on me! That's why he was smiling at me so much. *snort* Then I get into my car and catch a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror. Oh shite! Somehow while browsing the produce section for arugula (which by the way NO ONE IN MY CITY APPARENTLY CARRIES), a tiny piece of dark green leafy something or other found its way to my face and planted itself in my lipgloss. Oy! (<--- I'm English now, didn't you know?) So much for confidence. And now for some delightfully silly quizzes I urge you to partake in. My very mature boyfriend sent them to me at work today to fill my spare time. Pfft. Me? Spare time? I am much too important a person to need quizzes to fill my time! (Shuttap, I'm trying to get my self confidence back.)

What are your chances of surviving a Zombie Apocalypse? 37% chance of survival for me

How many five year olds could you take in a fight? I could take 15. (Jason's was 28!)

I wanna hear the results people!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I've been a busy girl

I know I'm slacking on the blogging but I swear I have 3 posts waiting to be proofed and finished. My Jillry is a bigger hit than I thought it would be, on both my site and locally, so I'm wishing there were far more hours in the day than there are now. I've had two customers seek me out for parties which I will hopefully be able to clear the schedule for to book before summer's heat hits. And then there's my second business that I'm woring on. No, I can't tell just yet. I feel I'll jinx it. I spilled to one of my favorite blogger friends (you know who you are) but I'd love to wait until its a definite to share with everyone. Let's just say I've got two consultations with future clients this Monday!! I know, I'm a tease.

So here's what I've been busy doing. Btw, I have hypoallergenic, nickel free posts now thanks to Kelly's request! A few pieces from my spring collection:

Whew, I'm tired. I need a strawberry margarita. ;) Miss you guys.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


randomness...feed your mind and your blog
Week of March 30: Finish the Sentence

Fill in the blanks for this weeks meme....
1. I always wanted to ___________________.
2. I really hate it when___________________.
3. My best friend is______________________.
4. In high school I was _____________________.
5. My greatest fear is _____________________.
6. My dream job is _______________________.
7. Some people really should _________________.
8. My favorite author is ________________.

My answers:

1. I always wanted to be naturally thin.

2. I really hate it when people aren't self aware.

3. My best friend is also my boyfriend.

4. In high school I was the silly comedian cheerleader who preferred being friends with the loners and a few rebels as opposed to the snotty, evil popular kids.

5. My greatest fear is losing a loved one and/or being attacked.

6. My dream job is owning a sweet little boutique filled with my Jillry, one of a kind clothing and other accessories.

7. Some people really should think about what they are going to say BEFORE they say it.

8. My favorite author is no one in particular. I have so many favorites and therefore can't pick just one!

Since this is a meme from a site I frequent and not something I've been tagged with, I'll give you peeps a break and not tag. BUT feel free to steal and check out the site - they have great memes!

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