Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Weekend Whirlwind

Ever had a weekend where you feel like you need another just to recover? That was me this past weekend. I had so much fun and spent some great time with family and friends, but it all caught up with me with a springtime cold. I won't dwell on my stuffy & runny nose, cough, and lack of two senses, though....

Friday started the weekend festivities with an open house for relatives and friends in celebration of my cousin's wedding. So fun! We brought yard games, had great food, and met the bride's family, who were really friendly and great.

Saturday was the big day... after seven years of dating, my cousin married his high school sweetheart, Dana. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception. And I'm pretty sure I cried way more at their wedding than at my own. That night, we yeehawed our way to Southern Junction to have a huge steak and baked potato dinner. It was quite the experience; you pay for the dinner, go pick out your cut of meat, and then cook it over hot coals (or pay $2 more to have someone cook it for you... but what fun is that?!). It was delicious, if I do say so myself. Then, we had some drinks and an impromptu pool tournament. And who was the star player of the night?? None other than my dad! Two words: pool shark.

Sunday was Easter... so more family time at my grandparents' house. We had a mighty battle of washers, a yard game that we brought from Illinois. And fun was had by all.... but geez louise. I'm getting too old to have so many activities in a weekend. I like my lazy days with sleeping in and pajamas until 10am. But enough gabbing... here are some of the wedding pics I took....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Going Green Part 5: Market Excitement

Lately, I've been scouring the internet for a market close to Rockwall that is open and ready for business. Farmers markets (most of them, anyway) don't start until May, which I think is a little weird, since Texas gets warm pretty early on in the year. But, for whatever reason, there are none to be found in the immediate area... yet. My hope was to do the majority of the shopping at the markets and then supplement the other items at the grocery store. This way, we can reduce the plastic wrappings of food (even produce is typically stuck in a bag for easy hauling and checking out at the grocery), and we can support local farmers.

After much searching, I found this little gem, which I'm dying to try this Saturday. It seems like there are more vendors than I'm used to at farmers markets.... dairy, meat, cheese, produce, etc. I'm hoping that it's everything the website makes it out to be, because if so, I'll do my grocery shopping for the summer months at the market.

With the emphasis on the market produce, Randy and I are trying to make recipes that are fresh food oriented. I've bought a few recipes books that are centered around this idea, and I'm falling back on one of my favorites... the Readers Digest Homemade book. I'm really excited to try a frozen yogurt recipe, which would work well with my ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. If it works well, I'll be sure to post the recipe.

Cheers to the weekend, ya'll :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Going Green Part 4

My cousin's wedding is coming up in a couple weeks, and I've heard many of my relatives talk about what they are going to wear. It seems that when a wedding comes up (which doesn't happen very often), no one has anything really suitable to wear. Same goes for me. I mean, I guess I have clothes to wear... work clothes perhaps. Maybe they could be styled up for a more formal occasion. But, to me, they are work clothes that I rotate through every couple weeks. So, I decided I needed something new.

I was thinking about going to Kohls for their latest sales or perhaps JCPenny, seeing as we have what seems to be a mecca of JCPennys. But, after reading a blog from the Zero Waste Home, I was once again inspired to do what Bea does. Twice a year she goes clothes shopping to buy new things for her family... except the clothes she acquires are not entirely new. She goes thrift store shopping for the majority of her purchases. It's the green set of mind: don't buy new what you can get used. Obviously, it helps to give the clothing, which may have otherwise been found in the garbage, a new life. So.... on my lunch hour today, I decided to visit the thrift store just right down the road. I'd never been there, but it looked pretty big and pretty comparable to the Goodwill I used to shop at in Illinois. And man, was I excited!

Furniture, housewares, clothing (up the wazoo!), books, fabric.... it was great! I started looking at the dress section and found a few dresses right away that warranted a visit to the try-on room. I quickly settled on a black dress from American Living (a JCPenny brand that is usually out of my price range). It was a  halter-like sleeveless black dress that falls just below my knees with a gathered waste. I know what some of you may be thinking... black? for a wedding? in spring? Yes. It's a staple piece that I think I'll be able to rewear lots of times, which lends itself well to the green idea. Plus, I have an adorable plum cardigan sweater to wear over it and dress it up with one of my grandma's brooches. I'll add a pair of nude heels (thatI'veneverreallyworn) to tie it all together. All for $12.98. I'll tell you what... this going green thing also lends itself well to my frugal mindset. To quote the looney toon, Charlie Sheen, that makes me "winning."

(note: not the exact dress, but very similar... minus the rhinestone neck and slit)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend Recap + Getting Greener Part 3

The weekend is winding down, and there's been so much we've done in just a couple days. It's been a nice combination of work and play, and I just so happened to take pictures of most of it....

We started Saturday with a visit to Lowes to pick up flowers and mulch for the front yard. It's amazing how just a little mulch can increase curb appeal.

I spent most of the morning planting 12 vinca plants, 2 African daisies, 6 celosias, and 6 snapdragons. I also ended up picking up a fuchsia plan in the pot near our front door.

After working outside for most of the morning, we cleaned the house inside, which also meant that we were able to hang a mirror in the breakfast nook. It's getting a little closer to being completely done (a new light fixture would be the next step...)

Saturday night was a night out with friends, Marianne and Jorge. We be-bopped around the Harbor area, having an awesome dinner at El Potrillo de la Sandia, where the frozen mango margaritas were amazing. I pretty much could have parked it there all night, but we did enjoy the beautiful night (around 70s with a slight breeze near the lake) by strolling around and visiting neighboring bars. 

Sunday morning, we decided to get back to work on house projects. We've been interested in getting a compost bin, but we haven't been too happy with the prices and customer reviews of the ones in our price range. So, Randy had a wonderful, thrifty idea to google "homemade compost bin." That's something I should've thought of, but I must say, I was pretty darn proud of Randy coming up with the idea himself. We found this neat video link showing how to make your own bin from a trash can. So, we now have a compost bin.... although it does just look like a trash can. It'll be making compost in about 6-8 weeks. And we paid about $20 for the whole thing. Awesome.

Also in green news, we have 3 little tomatoes growing like crazy. I've heard that tomatoes don't really grow well here, but as far as I can tell, they're doin' just fine! Can you spot them?

Hope your weekend was relaxing and/or productive.... and maybe a little greener :)