I'm not an expert at anything, in fact I'm a wannabe at everything: DIYer, crafter, cook, baker, fashionista & beauty guru extraordinaire. And so far I ain't bad BUT am still learning. Like I have lots of learning ahead of me. My blog is a little bit of this and that in my wannabe adventures; oh and random ramblings on family life, motherhood, and my kiddos. Y se habla español.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tag! I Am It.

Hilary over at My So-Called Home included me in her Tag! You're It! Blogger game. Forgive me, Hilary, for taking so long but I had writer's block. Here's how it goes:

The Rules:

  1. You must post the rules.
  2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
  3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
  4. Tag eleven people and link them on your post.
  5. Let them know you've tagged them!
Hilary's questions for me:

    1. What is your drink of choice at Starbucks? (Bonus points if you can say it in correct jargon.)  Oh jeez, me no drink Starbucks.  It's too fancy smanchy for moi and I have no idea how to order at that place.  This girl loves to drink McDonald's coffee, decaf.  Yes, decaf.
    2. Do you use Twitter?  Sure doMy Twitter handle is @PinkTexasChick. I am on it, most days but do take a day off here and there. 
    3. What do you wear to work? No suits because I don't own one but it's business causal at my work and Fridays are jean days.  yay!
    4. How often do you work out? Ugh.  Not enough.  I get on the elliptical at work twice a day for 15 minutes.  That is for sure.  What I do after work is not enough. 
    5. If you won the lottery today, what would you do with the money? Pay off my bills, make a donation to my church and pay my grandparent's medical bills. My hubby's grandparents too.
    6. Do you have any pets? What are their names? No. I have never been a pet person.
    7. Do you thrift? Yes, but I am still trying to get my groove down in that department.
    8. Do you pin?  Yes. It was addicting at first but now I have been able to pace myself to a couple of times a week.  I think it's best that way.  I mean, I really don't want to have a ton of boards and get overwhelmed just like I do in real life.
    9. What age do you consider "old"?  Ha!  That number changes as I get older.  :)
    10. When is your birthday and what do you want? September 5th. A trip to Spain.
    11. Blue or black ink? Blue ink, always. Well for handwritten signatures that is.
    Now 11 more random facts about me:
  1. I had super duper long hair since I can remember until my sophomore year in college.
  2. I  clip coupons religiously every Sunday and when I have time I print and clip online coupons too. I'm not an extreme couponer but I use them when I can on products I do use or want to try.
  3. I've only been in a helicopter once and that is when I was airlifted to the hospital after a serious car crash.  All is well now, thank God. 
  4. Lots of gals wear makeup as do I but I LOVE makeup.  I mean I really do.  I like playing with new colors, techniques, new products, etc.  In fact, I am going to buy the new Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush foundation this weekend to check it out.  :) 
  5. I am a weird microwave user.  If I need to heat something for just a few seconds like 20 then I press 2-2 instead of 2-0 because I think it saves time from pushing button to button.  Yep, totally weird and my hubby laughs at me every time I do it. 
  6. I rarely have an adult beverage. I only started "drinking" about a year ago.  Still a rookie, still learnin'
  7. I am kinda sorta a food/beverage snob.  My friends are totally rolling their eyes and nodding their heads right now.
  8. I am a hopeless romantic and am a total sucker for chick flicks with happy endings (as cheesy as they may be).
  9. I have a sewing machine that I paid good $$ for and it gets no use.  The few lessons I took are long gone and I need start over from the very beginning.  I want to sew cute things! 
  10. Sweet tea is my weakness hands down.  But I only drink the real stuff not that high fructose corn syrup souped up stuff.  (see #7) 
  11. I need more confidence.  Don't let the sass here and there fool ya. 
Now the 11 questions I must pose to 11 friends:
  1. How long have you been blogging?
  2. What is your guilty pleasure?
  3. Mall shopper or online shopper?
  4. What is your dream vacation destination?
  5. Do you miss Oprah?  Do you watch her network OWN?
  6. How "green" are you?
  7. What website do you visit daily/weekly?
  8. What smartphone app do you use daily?
  9. Have you been to DisneyWorld or do you plan to visit?
  10. What is your favorite dish to cook or bake?
  11. Your favorite color?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentine Yarn Wreath {Craft DIY}

Hola.  Well before I begin to show you my Valentine's Day wreath I kinda want to pat myself on the back because this wreath makes my third one in five months. I had never made a wreath before until this past October when I made my Halloween wreath.  Wreath making is one of those crafts I never tackled and always wanted to but never did because I just did not know where to begin. After a little planning and inspiration I came up with this wreath:

Pink Texas Chick

Pinned Image
I have seen many yarn wreaths around the dubya dubya dubya (internet) and that stroked my curiosity to make one for my freshly painted front door.  My inspiration for this wreath came from the many yarn wreaths I've seen and also from this front door decor I pinned on Pinterest a few weeks ago.  --------> Cute, huh? It's actually a seller on Etsy that has this up for grabs.

Anywho, here goes the lowdown on how I made my very first yarn wreath.  First let me begin by saying that my hands and wrists were sore after wrapping the yarn around over and over.  Don't think I'm going to make another one soon.  :)

Valentine's Day Yarn Wreath
* 1 - 12 in. foam wreath
*Yarn in Sweet Mocha by I Love This Yarn!
*Craft glue
*Brown chipboard letters
*Pink adhesive gemstones (scrapbook item)

Step 1
To begin, I tied a double knot on the wreath and tucked in the loose piece of yarn a little before wrapping around.

Step 2
In clockwise motion, wrap the yarn around the wreath starting at the knot.  It took me three whole turns to completely cover my wreath therefore I had plenty of yarn leftover.

Step 3 & 4

Snip the yarn once you are happy with the coverage and glue down with craft glue.  I used Crafter's Pick The Ultimate! glue and I am loving that glue more and more.  I rely on it more than my 'ol glue gun.  It has lots of holding power.  After applying the glue, I used a toothpick  to pat the yarn into place.  The glue dries clear so there is no obvious mark.

Step 5 (picture not shown)
Sorry, but I accidentally deleted the picture of the chipboard letters and stickers being put on the wreath.  But it is a cinch and I'm sure you figured it out, right?  :)
Place some gemstone stickers on the letters however you please and then using the craft glue, glue the chipboard letters onto the wreath.  Again, in the order and fashion you desire.  The chipboard letters are just like the ones I used in my hair bow holder.

And that is how I made my Valentine's Day Wreath.  I just love those colors on that yarn.  Maybe I'll ask grandma to help me make a blankey or scarf with that yarn.  It's too pretty not to use again. :)

I am linking up with these fab bloggers:
Creations by Kara * Verry Merry Vintage Style * I Gotta Create
A Diamond in the Stuff * Ginger Snap Crafts *My Romantic Home
The Artsy Girl Connection  One Artsy Mama * Sew Woodsy
Night Owl Crafting * Tatertots & Jello * Nest of Posies

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Easy Cheesy Penne Pasta {Recipe}

This past Saturday was my hubby's birthday and although we had some fun, party food for his birthday celebration I thought I would make one of his favorite dishes for dinner last night.  Baked Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce.  He loves it and adores me even more every time I make it for him and the kids.  So why not share this really easy recipe with you all?  It is my own little creation that I came up with not long after I was married.  I originally wanted to recreate a dish I ordered while on our honeymoon but ended up with this concoction.  Or something like that.

Now before I go all bragging about this savory dish, first let me say there is not much to brag about the actual cooking part but it sure does look and taste scrumptious.  I mean for someone who is not at all Italian and knows nothing of such fine cuisine, I would say this ain't bad at all.  So go ahead and try for ya self.  :)

Baked Penne Pasta w/Meat Sauce

1 lb. bag of penne pasta
1 lb. lean ground beef
Extra virgin olive oil or EVOO
2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce
Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
2-3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a little bit extra for garnish

*Preheat oven at 350 degrees
*Cook the pasta according to package directions
*Drain the pasta, drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss, place in 13"x9" pan
*Cook the ground beef and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Also season with the Italian seasoning but I say do it quite liberally.  That's how I do it.  The more flavor the better.
*In the 13"x9" pan combine the penne, ground beef and the two jars of pasta sauce.
*Top with the grated cheese, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes
*Remove foil and bake another 5-8 minutes
*Let sit 10 minutes or so before serving

Voila! Pretty easy and basic, huh?  That may be so but my hubby loves it and so do my kids.  I have shared the recipe with friends and co-workers but I do say that the right ingredient is key.  I use organic products as much as possible and I don't use the cheap and cheap tasting pasta sauces.  But really use the products that you consider to be of great quality and what you favor.  I hope you enjoy this dish!

Creations by Kara
Ginger Snap Crafts

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ramblings and Resolutions of 2012

Heya!  I hope you are doing well and enjoying those football playoffs.  Our beloved Cowboys did not get very far, our hometown boy, Drew Brees, sadly did not get a win yesterday with his New Orleans Saints and today the Houston Texans lost their very first play-off game ever.  Big shout out to all and a huge pat on the butt back from me.  :)

Anywho, 2011 came and went and I'm ready to tackle 2012 head on.  Resolution wise anyway.  Here is what I have in store for me, my home, my health and my relationships.

Dive Into Serious DIY: I have been following a ton of DIY blogs for about two years now and I have been a dedicated viewer of HGTV and the DIY Network.  Enough watching and note taking and time to start hunkering down in the casa and attempt to do something.  Well I did revamp this pretty little thang BUT I've done nothing to the house.  I freely admit that I envision so much being done in my house but I am so scared to actually attempt it just to screw it all up.  Yes, I know it is a part of the learning process but I'm still skeered.  And what is the difference between a flat head and a Phillips?  Kidding. Not really, sorta, kinda.

Cardboard Box Clip ArtOne Box At A Time: Meaning donate no longer used items in my home.  From clothing to kitchenwares to knick knacks and everything in between.  We have way too many things that we longer utilize (or never did) and when we try to hunker down to de-clutter and organize we I get overwhelmed.  No, the mister doesn't get overwhelmed.  Heck, his attitude is get rid of it all and don't look back, Jack!  I on the other hand have a more emotional attitude about it all.  Well, I have finally had it with all the "stuff and junk" we have, that I told him I think it would make it easier on me if I just do the one-box-at-a-time method.  From now on, I will have an empty box on hand and I will fill it up with the things we no longer want.  Psychologically, it is much easier this way.  Once the box is full then it goes straight to Goodwill.  Yes, it might sound silly to some of you that I am just now doing that when so many people probably do that on a regular basis.  But like I said, I get overwhelmed.  In the past, I would have 5-8 empty boxes ready to pack but going through the whole house including the garage would take a whole weekend or even a week.  I would analyze too much.  So much so that I got on my own nerves.  Oh my poor hubby.  Today is January 11th and I am proud to say that so far we have donated about 8 boxes to Goodwill.  Yay us!

More Interaction, More Thoughtful Gestures: Last year I became a bit sad when birthdays or important events rolled around.  I wished way too many happy birthdays via text, email, Facebook or Twitter.  So did everyone else.  One day I realized it was pretty lame to wish a close friend or a relative "a very happy birthday and many more" via social media or text.  When did we get so lazy and selfish?  What happened to calling that person or actually mailing a nice and thoughtful card?  This past Saturday was my friend's birthday.  Sally is a beloved friend from church and she has become one of my rocks.  I had a very busy day Saturday and I was sick but I reminded myself that I needed to make this change.  I called her and we talked for about an hour and it was wonderful!  I may see her at church every Sunday but I don't get to visit with her much.  We (like everyone else) are so, so busy.  I am glad I made that phone call.  I miss chatting with her.

Woman working out near the beach on a pink exercise ball
Move It, Move It: I got to move it, move it, we got to move it, move it.  If you have kids then you probably guessed that I just "sang" that phrase from the movie 'Madagascar.'  I need to get my fitness on or better said get better at it and bring my sexy back.  I get on the elliptical a couple of times a day for about 15 minutes (while at work) but I don't do much after that little workout.  I do not belong to a gym and I do not plan on joining one either.  My schedule and daily life don't allow me to have room for a gym.  I once relied on Exercise on Demand for a selection of great workouts but that channel is now gone and I-is-sad.  Time to purchase some DVDs and download free workout apps on my iPad and sing "I workout!"  I can do this, I know I can.  Just gotta believe.

Organize and Let Go: This goes with my "one box at a time" goal and I am more confident in this goal than the move it, move it one.  Shameful, I know.  As I mentioned before, getting rid of "stuff" one box at a time is really helping and while doing so, little areas in my happy, little, humble home are looking better and better.  I have a long way to go but I am pleased with the little progress I am making thus far.  And I mean little, like baby steps little.  Our office, for instance, needs serious help.  That place is in serious violation with the local fire marshallPlease keep us on our toes.  

And there ye have my ramblings and resolutions for 2012.  Now, time to get off my laptop, fill up another box, call a friend and move, move it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Making Tamales with Grandma

Happy New Year, Y’all!  I am a bit late on this but I still want to share this post with you. 

Tamalada 2011 at Grandma's House.

A tradition in my family and many, many Mexican-American families is to make tamales during the Christmas season also called a tamalada.  Making tamales is one of my favorite past times with my grandmother and the rest of la familia.  Correction: helping my grandmother make tamales is one of my favorite past times.  No, I do not know how to make them by myself from start to finish.  I have been an assistant ever since I was a little girl.  My mother and grandmother taught me how to spread the masa evenly on the cornhusks with the back of a spoon.  I remember that it was not quite so easy for me in the beginning.  Many times I ended up with a glob or two on each tamal and an adult would fix the spread.  Some people use a butter knife to spread the masa but I was taught to use a spoon and that is how I still do it to this day. 
Here is my workstation at my grandma’s house just a few days before Christmas.

As I got older, I was able to add the filling and wrap each tamal, ready to be steam cooked.  Now at 37 years old, I still spread the masa and add the filling and that is about it.  Sorry to disappoint ya.  Heck, I am disappointed in me.  I am now an expert masa spreader and filler but I totally need to kick it up a few lots of notches.  Yes, I should know a lot more by now which I do in a way, but I am nowhere near making them on my own.
Enough about my lack of tamal making skills, here is my much beloved grandma, aka Güela, hard at work, her much cherished, and beautiful tamales.

My grandmother has had that pressure cooker for years, as far back as I can remember!

And lookee here.  My favorite daughter was initiated into the family tradition and without evening knowing it, she learned something about her heritage.  She “made” four of these babies on her own.  I was so proud that I showed off her pictures to family and friends.  I just had to and it was great to see the look of approval, pride and happiness on the the other grandparents, great-grandparents, tíos and tías too.

{Confession: An FYI for ya, ‘tamal’ is singular and ‘tamales’ is plural.  It drives me absolute bonkers when I hear someone say ‘tamale’ instead of ‘tamal.’  A big pet peeve of mine.  Of course I don’t correct people because it comes off as rude, but it still drives me crazy.} 
Oh and here is a pic of some tamales that I was about to enjoy with my favorite coffee ever.  The same coffee I enjoy with my blueberry muffins.  We still have tamales in our fridge and I am getting a little sad as I see them dwindling down.

Every year I pay a little more attention and take more mental notes; but really, I am just enjoying being there with my grandma and fam.  Moreover, as special as that family time is, I need to put a firework under my toosh (that saying is a lot funnier in Spanish) and really learn how to make tamales: grandma style.  Maybe this summer I will ask her to show me the ropes from grocery-shopping-start to eating-homemade-tamales-finish.  J

P.S. Most of these pictures were taken by my 8 year old son with my iPhone.  Not bad, eh?