Friday, July 31, 2009

New Hobby

So I'm trying a new hobby...why not. I need something else to help me procrastinate in my school work! So I'm teaching myself to crochet. Growing up I remember always having a handmade afghan to cuddle up in. Both my mom's mother and sister used to crochet, so I think I'll carry on the tradition. Let's just hope I can catch on. Reading a pattern is like deciphering government code. I have a book that explains things but I'm still a little confused. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

Here's me working my little practice piece. I'm not sure what it will be but I just keep on practicing the various chain stitches and working on my tension.

And I tend to tense up my hands, that doesn't seem right. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hopelessly Addicted

Oh Newman's Own Organics...

I don't think that company makes anything that isn't tasty. But lately I've been on a Newman-O kick. Now I never liked Oreos that much growing up so I can't explain this obsession. But I have to limit myself to 3 a night! These cookies are made with organic flour and sugar and no hydrogenated oils.

Check out the Newman's Own Organics for more information on the products.

So Excited!

We are back and fresh from SDCC. David and I had a good time. I really enjoyed meeting all the people in the industry. David's work got some really good coverage from the online toy community. The guys from and were so genuine and supportive of David's new work.

Some exciting news is that David made it onto Vinyl Pulse! This is one of the leading toy blogs/forum. Last year several of the major artists and David were snubbed. But he obviously made a good impression this year. Yaay! Check it out, he's the 2nd item down on July 28.

And the toys should be available to the public for purchase later today on

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 2

Just a few more pictures from the San Diego ComicCon. David did a sign/sketch session on Saturday and we did some more exploring inside the convention center.

This probably would have been better in the previous post but here's the booth for StrangeKiss the company that backs David's toy production.

Here's David doing a custom sketch for a loyal fan.

This needs a little explaining. Jeremy the designer of the MAD variant for David's toy could not make the convention, so they did a virtual signing. The guy in front of the screen is Carlos East another toy designer.

I saw The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch outside when we were getting our lunch. I seriously think these guys deserve an award.

And this costume just too waaay to much time I'm sure.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Geek-Fest Day 1

Well I have officially seen the largest gathering of geeks and dorks. Wow! There were tons of people and it was only Friday. Who knows what today will bring? The convention is huge and unless your into or want to wait forever in line to see a celebrity....pretty lame. But David's toys came out really nice! We met some nice people in the industry, including the 2 guys that run Infectious Designs.

Upon approaching the building I found these guys. I told them that I liked their costume but I'm not sure if "costume" was the appropriate word. These guys take it seriously.

David with the 2 guys from Infectious (on the end) and his web-host toy guy in the pink.

Here's Bill the Yeti w/ a variant by MAD and Kozik.

And here's a model of Fetch that will be coming out later this year.

This man needs no introduction but let me say this is just some guy dressed up not someone paid to be there.

I believe this a "Storm Trooper" no clue here people.

Castle Grayskull from He-Man.

And here's David being interviewed by a fellow toy designer Jessie Hernandez.

Friday, July 24, 2009


So never fly Southwest Airlines. Ugh. What an ordeal. I happened to check our flight status yesterday around 2pm for a flight that was leaving around 625pm. It showed delayed by an hour which meant we'd miss our connection in Chicago for San Diego. So David called the airlines and sat on hold probably 15 min. before getting someone. Luckily there was another flight and it was at 415pm. People we leave at least an hour and 15 min. from the Raleigh airport, that's hoping there's no traffic or slow downs. So we scram out the door, luckily for David sake I am an organized person and I had us practically packed and ready to go. We make a mad dash for the airport, get there, go thru security, only to find out that our 415 flight is delayed to 525 and our original flight (625) is now on time. Sheesh! (and that's the clean version of my thoughts).

Now I'm waiting in line at the only customer service desk for that whole wing of Southwest Flights only to be told just to wait and they'll let everyone know about connecting flights. As it turned out, they were able to get our flight to wait for us in Chicago so that we could make it to San Diego.

So we board the plane, and b/c Southwest sucks, there's no assigned seating and David and I get separate seats. I am so lucky to get seated next to a woman and her 3 month old. And since when we finally get to Chicago we have to run to make our next flight, we get the only 2 seats available. And who gets to sit next to the ADD lap child? Me! Fun stuff. Then we find out that our flight actually doesn't go from Chicago to San Diego but that it makes a stop in Phoenix first. Yay! So after 3 hours of having a kid trying and swipe my snack, go spastic and spill my drink on me, we finally get to Phoenix and I am able to move up front to sit with David. (oh yeah, did I mention he got a front row seat and I was 2nd from the back).


Moral of the story, don't fly Southwest people. Even if the tickets are free b/c you used someone's sky miles. Seriously! Who doesn't do seat assignments!

Now David has been up since crack o' dawn like a kid at Christmas so we're off to Geek-fest 2009.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Garden Update

I thought I'd take a couple of photos to show the progress of my plants before we head out of town for geek-fest. I finally feel like I have something to show for my hard work because my pansy has finally bloomed! And there are buds on my tomato plant and possibly a bud on my Moon Flower plant.

Take a look!

Ta Dah! Introducing my Autumn Frills Pansy. Notice the frills around the edges of the petals.

Here's one that's almost ready....a little aphid crept into my photo.

Tomato buds?

And maybe a bud on my Moon Flower.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pork Schnitzel

I'm a little late in posting this. I think we had this to eat on Wednesday. But it was quite tasty and it's a healthy version of a great classic. Since it's just the two of us, I used 2 center cut pork chops instead of the pork tenderloin.

Mmmm! Mouth-watering delicious!

Here's the recipe courtesy of Cooking Light.

4 ounces medium egg noodles

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

4 teaspoons canola oil, divided

6 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup thinly sliced onion

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 large egg whites, lightly beaten

3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

Cooking spray

Lemon wedges (optional)

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Combine noodles

and sour cream in a large bowl, tossing well to coat.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage, onion, sugar,

1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to pan; cook 6 minutes or until cabbage is wilted,

stirring occasionally. Add broth; cook 6 minutes or until cabbage is lightly browned. Stir

cabbage mixture into noodle mixture. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel.

Cut pork crosswise into 12 (1-inch-thick) pieces. Place each piece between 2 sheets of heavy-

duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.

Sprinkle pork evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a

shallow dish. Dredge 1 pork cutlet in flour. Dip in egg whites; dredge in breadcrumbs. Repeat

with remaining pork, flour, egg whites, and breadcrumbs.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat; add

4 pieces pork to pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until pork is lightly browned and done.

Remove pork from pan. Repeat procedure twice with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and pork. Serve

with cabbage mixture, lemon wedges, and parsley, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 pork cutlets and 1 cup cabbage mixture)

CALORIES 475 (25% from fat); FAT 13g (sat 3.5g,mono 5.6g,poly 2.8g); IRON 4.6mg;


36.8g; FIBER 4.9g

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Um..okay... (part 2)

So apparently Pride and Prejudice and Zombies must have done well because now we have Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters? Seriously? Has anyone read these? Are they any good? I could imagine a movie version with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz).

What will be next?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mary Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Well many of you may remember that I started some seeds back in April. It has been slow growing but the plants are finally gaining some size. Today I was able to harvest some of my herbs. I think being about of town for 2 weeks during the critical period of transplantation set them back a little. But they seem to be rallying.

Me and my porch garden.

Overview of my tomato plants. There are 2 varieties from Burpee: Patio Princess Hybrid and Italian Ice.

This is my tallest tomato plant. I can barely see over the top (but that might not be saying much).

Here's my Fuchsia Plant and Dahlia. So pretty! But I can't claim credit, I did not start these from seeds.

Up close pic of my Fuchsia Plant.

My Coleus Plants with a rogue Curly Willow long ago inserted by David.

And here are some Coleus Plants that I am rooting for my mother. They are so easy to pinch and root.

My Frilly Pansies. I really hope these flower. Maybe by the time fall comes....sheesh this is a slow process.

And finally, a few herbs that I was able to pick tonight. There's Basil, Flat Leaf Parsley and Chives.

Blackberry Pie

This recipe is adapted from a blueberry pie recipe that my mom's next door neighbor gave her. Both are delicious! I cannot emphasize that enough! I decided to try blackberries when some at the farmer's market looked too good to pass up. The genius behind this pie lies in the combination of fresh and cooked berries. So the the pie is sweet and fresh.

Start with fresh berries. Give a rinse and let them dry.

Then put them into a pre-baked pie crust.

Next cooked the other half of the berries down with sugar, water and cornstarch.

Let it cool, then pour the cooked berries on top of the fresh berries. Then refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

Finished product. Sorry it's not a great picture, I'm horrible at serving/slicing pies and cakes. But you can still see how by using the raw berries, you're left with whole berries to bite into. Yum!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bayou Bash

Saturday night we went with a friend of mine to the Bayou Bash being held in the Bog Garden here in Greensboro. It was a bit rainy but for most of the evening there was only a few drizzles. Overall the event was disappointing but I enjoyed catching up with a good friend. On the plus side there was a Dixieland Band playing that was quite good. So we enjoyed walking around the park and being able to hear music. The highlight of the evening was at the end of the night when the Fire Dancers performed their finale. I apologize if the pictures are quite my usual quality but they are still quite good. They were taken from a friend's iPhone since my camera battery died.

While walking through the park, I found this beautiful lily.

The Fire Dancers. How do you go about telling your mom you want to be a Fire Dancer when you grow up?

It was quite mesmerizing. I admire their skills.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dinner Tonight 7/12/09

Easy Chicken Enchiladas
So this is super easy...I mean easy. Take some shredded cooked chicken and combine it with taco seasoning and salsa in a skillet. Let it cook for a little bit so the chicken gets all tasty. Then I add a spoonful or two of light cream cheese to the chicken mixture. This will make the enchilada filling creamy and delicious. Next I put the chicken mixture into 8 grain tortillas and roll then up. Then neatly arrange your roll-ups in a baking dish. Usually I top them with enchilada sauce but tonight we used this tasty Colorado Simmering Sauce from Williams-Sonoma. It's a smoky mole sauce that added a bit of zing to our enchiladas. And finally I sprinkled shredded cheese (50% Cabot Cheddar) on top of the sauce. Voile!

That rice is just Spanish rice that I added some corn to during the last 10 minutes of cooking. And the drink...well..felt kind of inspired so that's a white Sangria Spritzer that I made up. White wine, peaches, a couple of frozen cherries (from my farm picked stash) and ginger ale.

Dinner 2 Nights Ago 7/10/09

Feeling inspired from our recent trip to Japan. I decided to make Miso Glazed Cod. It's a recipe from Ellie Krieger's book The Food You Crave. While I was at it, I also made the Asian style sauteed cabbage in her book as well. Both came out quite tasty. The Miso Glaze was very simple: just miso paste, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, and mirin. The miso paste was a hard to find ingredient and I had to go to the international grocery store in town. But that turned out to be a fun trip b/c the Super G-Mart (name of our international grocery store) has a wide variety of goods from all over.

The Miso Glazed Cod was a hit. And I highly recommend it.

And for a special treat, I found Mochi Red Bean Ice Cream at the Super G-Mart. It's not quite as good as the real thing in Japan but as good as it's going to get.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Off and Running

What a great morning! As some of you know, I have slowly started running again. This morning I felt empowered and headed out on part of one of my old routes. We live close to 2 really nice parks: Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and Country Park. Both are really lovely and surrounded with trees. The loop in Country Park circles a largish lake filled with ducks and geese. Both parks make for a scenic running route but unfortunately they both have several tough hills to climb. But I guess wearing my new shoes and UNC running shoes gave me the strength to make it through Country Park. I'm really proud of myself. And my new shoes are awesome! I have high arches and tend to pronate; the New Balance Womens 1011 keep me in line without needing my inserts. With these new shoes I'll be up to 4 miles in no time but I'm stopping there! No more high mileage, it's just not necessary.

Anyways, check out the New Balance website they are running a pretty good sale right now. (although that's not where I got my shoes from)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Finally, finally...

I have finally managed to cook tasty shrimp! I consider myself a good cook and yet every time I make shrimp they taste kind But tonight I was determined to get it right! It was the second night in a row of shrimp (thanks to my mistake at Fresh Market). So I was determined to enjoy this second round. So I put my saute pan on medium-high heat and added a good glugg of olive oil and three smashed cloves of garlic. I rinsed and patted the shrimp dry and then added them to the pan with a little salt. After a quick saute of just a minute or two, I then added a dash of white wine. I swirled that around and removed the shrimp from the pan. And voile! Perfect shrimp! I think the difference was the really hot pan, a generous amount of olive oil and short cooking time.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Garlic Scented Shrimp