Thursday, October 30, 2014

60 HOURS

Well, the time has come for me to step away from the computer for a few days. All I have to do now is finalize my schedule/to-do list for the next three days, then I'm heading off to do something I haven't done in over ten years -- get a Mani-Pedi! (my friend Paula insisted) Wouldn't you know, I cracked my big toe on the coffee table a couple of days ago, taking a big u-shaped chunk out of the toenail, down into the quick. Not sure how they are going to make that look pretty! On the plus side, while I'm off having the royal treatment, dear Suzanne will be making my house spiffy clean for any visitors who might be popping in. This is the life, no?


In case you've forgotten, tomorrow around lunchtime the hubster and I, along with our daughter Alexis, and her entire wedding party, will be checking into this place -- the Cypress Falls event center here in Wimberley --  for the entire weekend!


So many cozy little places to hang out and have fun together.




Tomorrow night, being Halloween and all, there will be trick-or-treating for the little ones, followed by a rehearsal dinner here at the lodge, where costumes are encouraged! I wish I could tell you what my hubby is wearing, but he made me swear to secrecy!


Looks like it's going to be absolutely perfect weather for a sunset ceremony "down by the river" on Saturday evening...


followed by drinks on the terrace...



then it's on to cake and dancing in the "speakeasy" that inspired this wedding's theme, where most of the guests will, of course, be sporting 20s era attire.


Sunday there will be a "Morning After" brunch for the wedding party, and the next time you hear from me, I'll be a MOTHER IN LAW!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

SIMPLE HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Today's Simple Happies include:


The gingerbread pancake at Magnolia Cafe on S. Congress...


enjoyed with friends who are just enough older that turning 61 seems young by comparison...


one of whom loves finding treasures at the Dollar Store, and sharing them with her buddies, and who made us "laugh-'til-we-leaked" when she spent all morning searching the car for several of her nails which had popped off, only to discover them several hours (and several shops) later...


HANGING IN HER HAIR!

Monday, October 27, 2014

WEDDING SNEAK PEEK

When we met up with the kids this weekend, Lex and Nate loaded up the back of Hubby's Prius with stuff for the wedding, as they didn't think they'd have room in their cars to make it in one trip. I thought you might enjoy getting a glimpse of what Miss Alexis considers vitally important to the success of her wedding. First of all, there is this...


which contains stuff like this...


and this.


Be Prepared! Right?

Next up?


500 food trays! Not that she needs 500, with only 100 guests. It was just the smallest amount she could order. If you ever need any, let her know. I'm sure she'd make you a good deal.

I guess this next crate falls into the category of "entertainment". Most of the wedding party will be staying there at the wedding venue all weekend long, with plenty of time to play games and hang out around the fire pit, which could explain some of this stuff.


Hmmmm, what's this in the last crate? I see some handmade paper flowers...


 and a cake topper...


and of course, two cases of Kazoos.


Wait! 100 Kazoos? What on earth would they need those for? Could it be that the wedding ceremony is going to require some audience participation?

Well, I did tell you that this wedding would be one-of-a-kind, did I not?
 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

AUSTIN'S BIG BOOK BASH

 
Yesterday was one heckuva day. We started off by meeting our kiddos over in Austin at Red's Porch for lunch. We're on the final countdown to Lex's & Nate's speakeasy-style nuptials, so there was that to discuss.


But, before you can blink an eye after this wedding is done, we will be jumping headfirst into plans for this one!


Well, actually, two weddings for this pair! We knew that Austin and Areeg had finally chosen a date in October for a wedding somewhere in the Austin area, but what we just found out last week is that there will be a Sudanese wedding this summer, in Khartoum, and it looks like John and I will be going along on this adventure!

From there we headed over to the Texas Book Festival.


I've been hearing about this event, held on the grounds of the State Capitol, ever since moving here, but this was our first time to actually attend. I'd always pictured the front terrace filled with folding tables full of books that you could browse through, right? Bwahahaha! Not hardly!


Instead we found rows and rows of huge tents that spread their arms into downtown Austin!


In addition to tents full of authors and publishers, there was a music tent, where Shelley King happened to be performing...









a food tent, where local celeb Kate Payne was demonstrating recipes from her newest book, The Hip Girl's Guide to the Kitchen...


and of course, plenty of food trucks and tents.  Guess which tent had the longest line in front of it?


Why, our own Crepes Crazy, of course!

All in all, it was a wonderful event. Or, it would have been, if only it hadn't decided to get up to ninety-freakin'-five degrees yesterday, at the end of October! You wouldn't believe how miserable a nice shady tent can be if it's crammed full of sweaty people and there's not a speck of air moving around. I expect the organizers have been praying for weeks that it wouldn't be too cold and rainy this weekend. Like they say, be careful what you wish for!


Friday, October 24, 2014

SIMPLE HAPPY MOMENTS: CHOCOLATE

I was flipping through the winter issue of Artful Blogging magazine this morning, and came across an article by Mary Wangerin, who blogs at The Turquoise Paintbrush. I knew I'd found a kindred spirit when she said "I gather great inspiration through mindfully honoring little moments like these every day. Beautiful details can so easily get lost in the daily rush; and to me, it really is all in the details." That's one of the main reasons I blog -- to notice the details, and remember.

I suppose if I had to identify one special gift or talent that I have, that would be it. I notice simple things, and they make me very happy. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's why my hubby married me, hoping that some of my giddiness would rub off on him. Not only do I notice things when I'm out and about, I also develop little rituals that make ordinary things more enjoyable. Take chocolate for instance.


This is my favorite kind -- Hershey's Special Dark. I've tried tons of the hoity-toity verieties, but keep coming back to this one. The others seem too bitter to me. Plus they're expensive, and hard to find when you live in the boonies, while this is available in most any grocery or drug store.


Each bar has eight of these little squares in it, and I usually have one square after each meal when I'm home. Lots of people have said "No way! How do you stop at one square? I'd probably eat the whole bar in one sitting!" Well, that's because you're just not eating it right.

There is an art to eating good chocolate. For one thing, you need to give it all of your attention. This is no time for multi-tasking!


Take your one square and divide it into four pieces. Put one piece into your mouth. Now, here's the secret. No teeth, just tongue. Use your tongue to hold the piece up against the roof of your mouth until it begins to melt. Roll it around in your mouth to spread the melted joy around. Swallow some of the juice, then press the solid bit to the roof of your mouth again. Repeat until every last trace of it is gone. The best thing about this particular bar is that it is very thick, so it takes longer to melt.

Move on to the next little piece of your square. Repeat until all four are gone. Now, wasn't that more satisfying than if you'd popped the whole square into your mouth, chomped once or twice, and swallowed the lot of it in one gulp? Of course you'd be wanting more then!

There you have it -- something simple that makes me oh so happy.

Wangerin closed her article by saying "The moment I realized that it doesn't so much matter how far I travel, but what I see -- the inspiration well inside remains filled to the brim. So what are you waiting for? Those little moments in your life are abundantly anticipating your notice. It is my hope that you will treasure and celebrate them. Every single one."

That is my hope as well. And, when you do notice them, I hope you will share a few with us.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MY WEDDING TASTING TEAM

Can you believe it? Only eight days left until Wedding Weekend Blastoff! Two of the Muses had not yet tried our new creperie in Dripping Springs. Since Crepes Crazy is catering our Morning After brunch for wedding party and family, and since I'd had to select the menu without having tasted what I was ordering, we decided to rectify that situation.

Loving their new patio with shady awning!
The Scandinavian - smoked salmon, pickled red onions, whipped cream cheese, capers, lemon and dill
Dulce de Leche Turtle - caramel, chocolate chips, roasted walnuts, and bananas or strawberries. Or both.
In addition to the two crepes pictured above, we will also be serving one called Cowboy Up (scrambled eggs, Swiss cheese, ham and bacon) and one called Sweet Cheese Delight (house-madesweet cheese, strawberries and raspberry sauce), for those who prefer to keep it simple.

Taste Test results? Six thumbs up on everything tasted!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ON MY TABLE: TEXTURE

I got a bit sidetracked by Junelle's Farmers' Market art class and all this wedding hoo-hah, but I've finally made my way back to the projects in Pam Carriker's book Creating Art at the Speed of Life. This chapter was called "Tactile By Nature", and was all about adding texture to your projects.

The objective of this first project was to find texture in everyday objects around your house, and use that to create graphite rubbing transfers. So I used this...


and this...


to create this:



For the next project we had to create an Impressionist-style portrait painting, without using any paintbrushes! Yep, other than a final bit of shading from a Stabilo pencil, this lady consists entirely of paint dots "dabbed" on with things like sponge dabbers and pencil erasers.

She's always watching me!

This latest project required layering textures and colors over each other to create a digital collage "look", and was supposed to involve an inkjet image transfer. Unfortunately, we don't have an inkjet printer. Instead, I just sketched an image from my favorite bath soap wrapper onto deli paper, then collaged that over my background.



Needless to say, it's been more fun 'n a barrel of monkeys!