7 Random Facts About Me Today

1. I'm reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage) and I LOVE IT.

2. I'm sort of addicted to Mafia Wars on Facebook. Don't get me wrong, I could go a week without it but... leveling up to do more jobs is sort of satisfying in a weird sort of way. I never really played video games before Wii anyway (but do Facebook games count as video games???).

3. I downloaded classical music on iTunes. I'm fairly certain that it's calming for the dogs...

4. I hate wearing socks.

5. Painting trim in the whole house is a TON of work.

6. Tulips from my garden are pink. I thought I had planted yellow and red ones.

7. Chex Mix is a great breakfast.

Happy Wednesday!


Hemming The Drapes, What A Chore

Here's the living room curtains. Eventually they'll go into the guest bedroom because I like them better in there, and I've been too lazy to buy anything (Ok, actually I have no idea what I'm going to do, I'm looking for inspiration still) for the living room that I really like. They still need to be hemmed because the dogs step all over the puddle of curtains on the floor and get their noses in between the curtains to open them up to watch the neighbors.
So here's the length of them hemmed. Much better than a puddle of curtains on the floor collecting dog fur and mud.
Ahhh... no more gasps of breath wondering if the next dog step is going to pull down your plaster walls...

Hemmed curtains = a sigh of relief.

And it took me an afternoon to do one set because I can't measure correctly. However, I've learned from my mistake so next time it will only take me half an afternoon to hem curtains.


The Back Deck... Almost Finished!!

Well, the deck is now mostly done, but I was too lazy to take of pic of it on Sunday. I'll do it this afternoon and post another update.
We used a primer on the finished deck, but then porch & floor paint over the primer.
We used 6 inch wide boards and cut them down to size for the deck slats.
Here's the pile of rotting wood that came off the deck. Yuck.
Porch with primer.
Now, unfortunately, my wonderful paint job makes the rest of the back of the house look like crap.

I'll post the pic with the porch & floor paint later today. However, be prepared for the rest of the house to look like crap. Eventually we're going to repaint the house so we stuck with a classic floor paint color to match the future house color. I mean, we'll pick the house color based on the floor paint color because we like it a lot.

Also, if you own a home, you'll find that with DIY projects, the costs of the tools are the real expense, not the cost of the materials themselves. I'm tempted to do a break down on the costs, but frankly, I'm just too lazy.

I think the approximate cost of EVERYTHING, including tools, primer, paint, nails, premium treated wood and sawhorses was about $125.


Wednesday... I Want This...

Emerald Earrings from Blue Nile $1,230

Le Creuset Braiser in Lemongrass $200

West Elm Links Duvet Cover & Sham ($59 for Duvet, $16 each for sham)

Marimekko Mouse Pad -Unikko White/Red $19.50 from FinnStyle

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of my favorites, whether I make them myself or not.


I'm going to pull a Rachael Ray here and say Yum-O!! (Have you seen this website? HILARIOUS!!!)

Back to Enchiladas

8 tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce, or make your own, whatevs...
1 block softened cream cheese
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp cumin
1tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp honey (Yes, really, HONEY!!)
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce
1 can black beans
Shredded cheese for topping
2 chicken breasts, shredded or chopped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine chicken, black beans, cream cheese, cumin, chili powder, diced tomatoes, honey, salt and pepper in a medium sauce pan. Stir to combine until cream cheese is melted and creamy - add in hot sauce to taste. You can add in jalepenos or whatever for heat too, doesn't matter much.

Stuff the tortillas with the creamy sauce and put in baking dish.

Top with can of enchilada sauce (or extra creamy chicken sauce and leave out the enchilada sauce, but I love enchilada sauce so I really couldn't leave it out) and cheese. Lots of cheese.

Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

Makes EXCELLENT leftover lunches.


Mario is going to be on TV!! (And me too)

He's almost as famous as the Rusty MONSTER from last year's Grand Old Day (the ONLY day of the year that you can have dogs at Billy's on Grand, so we HAD to bring him with us for a beer!).

So, make sure you watch Twin Cities Live on Channel 5which I'm pretty sure it's at 10:00 a.m on Wednesday.

Mario did well, though me, well, I'm not so sure about that one! You'll be able to pick me out pretty easily - the foster mom in a black shirt with blond hair. At least I put some make up on! HAHA!


Spring Blooms. Ok, Just Planted.

Forget-Me-Nots are in pots until May. They're supposed to be bright blue, but we'll see about that.

Morning Glories have germinated - I just need to find the right trellis for them to grow in the front yard.
See? They're starting... ever so slowly!!
Oh, Spring! I'm jumping for joy and I cannot wait to get stuff planted outside!


On My To Do List:

Make this AWESOME travel organizer with my nifty sewing machine. I'm getting some fat quarters tomorrow. I'm also going to be hemming the curtains in the living room so the dogs don't step on them anymore.

Also on the to do list:
Swiffer dog fur
Water the germinating plants
Get a sample of Mario's poop for the vet. Hopefully he doesn't have worms. Yuck
Oh, and share the recipe for Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. I love enchiladas!

I Want A Horchow Rug

The new Marie Acanthus Rug. Prices start at $399. This would be awesome in our living room or in the bedroom. I totally want it. But there's more:

Antique Blush starting at $379

How cool would a crocodile gel print rug be in the kitchen? Awesome right? Way better than one of those industrial mats that Sam's Club sells. Way cool and trendy for cooking those awesome dinners!


Homemade Pizza Pockets

Yum. I'm a pizza addict. If I could eat Tombstone pizza every single day, I totally would. I'm just addicted.

And so one day last week I ran out of pizza, so I decided to try and make my own pizza pockets so I could read out in the yard without the hassle of pizza.

And it worked. For the most part, if you like pie crust...
1 pie crust, Pillsbury or homemade, whatever
6 - 8 pepperoni slices
3/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cups of cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out the pie crust, divide into four pieces. Divide all other ingredients between the four pie crust pieces.

Pinch pie crusts together to form a pocket, pinch tightly otherwise, see above photo for what happens. Poke a hole in each of the pieces to relieve steam.

Bake for 15 - 25 minutes or until pie crust is nice and brown.


P.S. Here's a good joke:

How do you get Lady Gaga's attention?

You poker in the face

Demolishing the Rotting Deck

The joys of home ownership. The benches on the deck were rotting. In fact, one sort of fell apart which happened to be the catalyst for this project. Bimmer sat down or maybe pounded a hammer on a bench and it just sort of, well, fell apart.
So he took the rest of it apart too. Sort of.
See then there's this UGLY lamp post. At Menard's it's less than $50. If you want this one for free, please let me know so that I can get it out of our yard. Please. I love our house, but the people that lived here before us just didn't take the best care of it.
For example, these are not pressure treated boards. Someone was cheap and didn't buy the pressure treated stuff, unfortunately we're the ones that have to deal with it. So, off they came.
Here's one side of the deck where A bench is still standing for the moment. We have to put up railings and then I think some other types of seating. I particularly enjoyed reading a book and watching the dogs.
So they way the benches were attached to the deck was not cool. It's actually ruined the boards and now we have to replace parts of the deck. That's fine, but we weren't exactly prepared for the cost. Plus I want to think about what we want to do for it too.
And the old planter. The dirt was on top, it was hollow in the middle and not attached to the deck.
I'm not sure how well you can see this, but the lamp post wasn't/isn't actually attached to the deck. It's just sitting on wooden boards. Not safe at all!! So we're in the market for a new lamp post, benches, stain for the deck to protect against the Minnesota weather and railings.

Argh, at least I'm not really surprised at surprises anymore.

And at least after this I still love the house!


Scarpetta Becomes A MOVIE!!??!!

What? Yeah, that's what I thought too! Finally, the beginning of Patricia Cornwell's novels will turn into a movie and I've been trying to figure out who will be playing Scarpetta!

Well, it's not Scarpetta, so don't go getting your panties in a bunch.

Lifetime is making the movies and it's about a D.A. and her favorite detective that work on a case.


And that's ok with me. I haven't read the last few because honestly, they're getting way too unbelievable and I'm not about to fund her crazy ideas anymore. If I get the hunch to read them, they'll come from the library.

But I do have the links to the trailer and Lifetime's page where it looks like there's even going to be a sequel. And honestly, I think I want Scarpetta movies to be made with Andie MacDowell anyway!!

Goodread's At Risk Trailer

Lifetime's At Risk Website


Black Dog Syndrome

We have a new foster, Mario, who is a black lab (Click here to see his petfinder page). He's absolutely adorable! He's fairly well behaved too for being in Animal Control for so long (generally the dogs we've had from animal control are a bit nervous, scared and all out nuts because of pent up energy, being in a strange place, etc... but that's for another post!) and he knows how to sit and shake and he's fantastic with Rusty.

However, there's this thing called Black Dog Syndrome where black dogs take longer to get adopted because of stereotypes. You can read more about it from the link above, but I was pondering this issue yesterday and thought about the people that I know with black dogs.

I can count the number of people that I know who own black dogs on two hands. And I'm probably forgetting some people! And the dogs are so dang cute and smart and great.

So my question is, how do his photos look? What sorts of ideas do you have for me to advertise Mario to get him adopted faster? If you're in rescue, what do you do to stop the stereotyping of black dogs?

Do you have a black dog? Was it love at first sight? Did you adopt it?


Inspire Me. Please.

So I've got a new book to read (The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage)) and I want to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage). I have a few books on my plate and I've heard they're awesome reads. I can't wait to sit out in the porch and read them. Or maybe outside, but it's raining today so probably not outside. Anything good on your Summer reading list?

Book club book for April, well, that I'm not quite sure of yet. I haven't gotten any emails from anyone hosting the next book. Maybe I should volunteer again?

But I do need some inspiration in the kitchen. Why?

Because I bought blackberries, that's why. What can I make with blackberries besides muffins? Bimmer Man loves muffins but I get sort of bored making them because I have the recipe memorized.
(I found a recipe for Blackberry Breakfast Bars, image thanks to the Dallas News to go along with the recipe, gotta give credit to whom it's deserved, BTW). I shall take my own pictures of blackberries once I actually cook them. Or maybe just eat them.

Oh, and I also have won ton wrappers and more tomato sauce than ever thanks to a trip to Sam's Club.

So um, yeah, about those blackberries...

P.S. This post was going to be about Patina burning down in Edina and me losing my weekly fun window shopping trip, but whatevs. Blackberries seemed more important a few minutes ago.


Beachy Keen

I have been just itching to get near water. I even had a dream last night that I was putting a garden pond in our backyard. Seriously, I'm itching for water.

I've always been a water person and I've even picked out "beach" colors for paint. Yep, you can tell that I don't live near any ocean! In any case, I came across this super cute coastal living store called Tulvalu located in Laguna Beach, CA and I just can't get enough. I'm just on a rampage to find beach themed accessories and furniture.
Palacek Havanawood Coffee Table $1,285

Bauer Grandpa's Trunk $1,140

Palacek Stinson Porthole Cabinet $1,598

Lee Industries Coral Club Chair $2,260

P.S. I love it when you stumble upon a whole new website. Have you found any links you want to share? Like food or decorating or life or living? Or mostly food.

P.P.S. I need some new inspiration for cooking, as if you can't tell I haven't had too many food posts lately so I need some new stuff to try!!! Jenn - got any good recommendations for cookbooks?