Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Project Post 2 - Barnwood Monogram Sign

Tobin's Sign

We wanted to make something special for Tyler's brother for his birthday, and we were still in the "old barnwood" mood from making Levi's letters and the shelf in his room (more about that later), so we decided to make him a sign with the barnwood (since the wood is sort of a family heirloom it is good to use it for Tobin) and his initials.

Tyler did the photography this time, and I won't explain [most of] the pictures because they really speak for themselves. I was very happy with the finished product. I hope Tobin was too!

I got the letters at Hobby Lobby and spraypainted them metallic dark bronze.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Southern Skillet Corn

Who doesn't love corn? I will admit that normally I look for quick, 5-minute side dishes that I can throw in the microwave (hello steambags!) while I prepare dinner and wrangle take care of my 8-month-old. Corn is pretty much a staple that we have often - microwaved, quickly cooked on the stove, or boiled on the cob when I can get it fresh and home-grown in the summer. I love creamed corn too - it's delicious - but overall I prefer my veggies crisp, with a little crunch to them. That's why this recipe was perfect for me to try (I slightly adapted it to fit our preferences). It's delicious and creamy, but the corn still has some crunch to it. Here's how you make it:

Shuck 6 ears of corn (I obviously only used 5) and pull off all the silks, then rinse with cold water.
Scrape the corn off the cob with a sharp knife into a large bowl, then take a spoon and scrape the bare cobs to get all the milk.

Combine 3 tbsp. flour, 2 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt (I used only 1/4 tsp. - one tsp. is a TON of salt!!), & 1/4 tsp. pepper (I used 1/2 tsp.) in a small bowl, then add to 1 1/2 C water. Whisk to mix together.
Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet, then add the corn and the flour mixture. Cook on medium to low heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!
Here is my little man being an angel while I made dinner. He is entertaining himself by eating throwing his snack in the floor so the dog will eat it.
Here's the recipe if you want to write it down:

6 ears of corn
3 T flour
2 t sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 1/2 C water
3 T butter

Shuck corn and pull off silks, then rinse under cool running water. In a large bowl, cut the corn from the cob with a sharp knife. Scrap up the cob with a spoon to get the milk. Combine flour, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then add to 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir with a fork or whisk or combine. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Add corn and flour mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition information can be found HERE. Yields 6 servings.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Flowerbeds - Before & After...

...well, sortof! I'm not going to post the final "after" pics yet - so you will have to stay tuned.

We have an understanding when it comes to home maintenance, decorating, projects, finishing touches, etc. We don't spend the money on something until we have plenty to spend on it. This philosophy is why I still have incomplete rooms in most of my house (besides Levi's), why I am still missing a sofa, entertainment center, occasional tables, bedroom furniture, and the list goes on. The same philosophy is also why it took us 16 months of living here before we did any landscaping! But alas, we finally took the plunge.

Let me take you back to the VERRRY beginning. Here is the front "yard" right after we moved in, and when we were still using the pre-sidewalk 2x4s:

And here are the proud new homeowners in front of our yardless new house :)
And here is some progress after our beloved sidewalk was poured:

Then last summer, we (and by we, I mean Tyler) put in some flowerbeds and spread mulch, then put leftover stone from the house around the perimeter.

And then, FINALLY, after patiently waiting, my brother-in-law who does landscape design (***shoutout to Tobin!) drew us a design according to our budget, and ordered our plants from the nursery and then we put them in!
Here's the awesome plan he designed us:

I will leave you on the edge of your seats with that! Final "after" pictures coming soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hall of Fame Shoes

It is no secret that I am a lover of clothes, shoes, accessories, and anything related. Every once in a while, I invest in a piece, whether expensive or not, that ends up being a wardrobe staple for seasons to come. Twelve years ago, I purchased a pair of Gianni Bini cognac leather wedge Mary Janes. Here they are now, in all their glory:
Gianni Bini Mary Jane Wedges in Cognac - Circa 1999 via Dillard's

I was in 8th grade when I bought these, and I paid for them with money I earned working at my dad's store after school. So when my parents griped at me for spending $69 on a pair of shoes, I thought "these were such a great investment - I'll wear them forever, or at least a year or two..."

Although I probably had no business buying $69 shoes just for the heck of it (there's no way I needed them; I had plenty of shoes - my love of clothes started way earlier than 8th grade), this is one of the only times I am glad I spent money against my parents' wishes. 

Twelve years, one high school graduation, one college graduation, a husband, a baby, and one resole job later, I am still in love with these shoes. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Shredded Beef Tacos

Buenas noches!

Once apon a time, I was in Dallas with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law to do some Christmas shopping, and we stayed at the Doubletree on Northcentral Expressway. In our room, there was a Dallas Dining Guide that listed the top 25 favorite dishes in Dallas. We decided to plan our meals around this guide on the trip (for the most part). The first night, we trekked downtown to Fuel City via GPS. We hesitantly walked into the Fuel City convenience store (not the best neighborhood, and there was a van outside blaring hispanic music so loud that we couldn't hear our own thoughts) and headed towards the taco window in the back (don't come here alone or with your small children). We each ordered a couple of tacos and hopped back in the car to head back to the hotel. Once we got back in the room, we began our meal.

That was the moment my life changed forever. Watch this video.

I couldn't have said it better myself! Ever since this trip, I've been obsessed with shredded beef/brisket tacos. I have ordered them at every Mexican restaurant/taco stand/etc., but I've never tasted one half as divine as a Fuel City one.

There are a couple of restaurants that have pretty good ones, and I order them there, but I will reserve the "best taco experience ever" for Dallas trips.

A couple of weeks ago, I did some research online to try to find a good recipe for homemade shredded beef tacos. I was not trying to recreate the Fuel City tacos (because it can't be done), but just trying to make a good option for taco nights at our house. I followed THIS recipe with only minor adaptations, and the result was great! They were among some of the best tacos I've had. My husband and brother also had them that night, and both agreed they were fabulous (although neither used that particular word). The best part was that it requires VERY little cooking or prep. It slow cooks in the crockpot for 6-8 hours.

Here's a look at our meal:

I like to keep it simple (the Fuel City way) with cilantro, lime, and a tiny bit of shredded colby jack. The boys doctored theirs up a bit more. This recipe will definitely become a staple at our house!

Little Man was also excited about these tacos. Here's proof:

Buen provecho!

Monday, June 6, 2011

pinterest sparks my interest

Do you have a Pinterest account? If you don't, you should get one! It's great. Pinterest is like an online virtual bulletin board that hold all your ideas.

View my Pinterest boards here. Look around on the site - try it on for size - and you'll love it. I'm hooked!

Here's a look at my pinterest boards: (They aren't very full because I haven't spent a lot of time on here yet)

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