Sunday, January 31, 2010


Wow--it is a good thing we really like our house because we have been cooped up in here for almost 48 hours. As any good wife would do, I ventured out to the grocery store on Friday and bought the necessities such as....brownies, taco shells, string cheese, gatorade, mini oreos, and salsa.

Here is a rough outline of our weekend:

4:30am- Mason wakes up everyone to announce he needs to pee
4:40am- Finally bundle up enough to take pets out in the blizzard
5:30am- Dogs are fed. Mason wakes everyone up to announce he needs to poop
5:40 am- NT bundled up to take out pups who now refuse to pee or poop in snow
9:00 am- Oh Joy! I get to shovel snow to create a small grassy area for pets to "go" in

10am-NT makes his famous Waffles!! Yum!

11am- NT watches Braveheart for the 10th time and I finally finish wedding album
12n, 1p, 2p, 3p, 4p, 5p, 6p, and so on---stand in sub zero temps while dogs use the aforementioned 4' x 4' grassy area
3p NT makes brownies ( we apparently eat a lot when it snows)
4p- We watch "The Island"-crazy movie but I kind of liked it
7p- Rachael Ray's Neopolitan Baked Ziti (pretty good & I got to use my new Bubble & Brown dishes!)

9p- Bible Reading, a little basketball watchin', check out some blogs and bed early

4:30am-Repeat up above pattern with mason this time substitute blizzard for" ice skating rink"
8:00am- Realize we are out of milk and want to cry. I knew I should have followed the standard list of three--Milk, Bread and Eggs
10am- Devise Escape plan. Must be by foot-roads are too icy.
10:30am- Slip and Slide around the neighborhood trying to take fun winterland photos

12noon- NT and I risk the drive in order to maintain sanity by getting out of the house. We go to the bagel shop where the heat is broke! and then to Food Lion to get some milk (Yay!)
2pm- Play every Wii game we own
4pm- make lots of list ("Things to buy at Pottery Barn Outlet" list, "Work to-do" list, grocery list, "Things to get for the house" list, "Things to blog about" list, a list of things that you can make list for)
6pm -leftovers for dinner
7pm - Bloggin, Pro-Bowl and countdown to the Grammy's

Tomorrow-Please go away snow.


We each took a picture of Hines and we are arguing who took the better pic--which do you think is better? PICTURE A or PICTURE can comment anonymously to keep your identity safe....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Color me pretty-

I want a wall decal. Not just any decal that you can buy at Hobby Lobby but an AMAZING "could be a real painting but it's not" decal. The only problem is that NT is having a hard time justifying a $50 investment on a glorified large sticker. Nonetheless, I feel like I will win this battle. Think of wall decals as my surround sound...or my ping pong table.

So now the issue is which wall art shall I choose?? Check out etsy if you need something fun for your home as well, click here for one of my favorite wall decal shops. And click here for my cousin's etsy shop.

I love this Cherry Tree. I know it would be the perfect touch of brightness in our breakfast nook!
This fabulous decal would go in my office in the tiny space in the corner. I am a wee bit obsessed with birds and I have a feeder right outside of my office window so this would be perfect! I wonder if Parsnip (the cat) would try to eat this bird as well?

I must have these trees for behind our bed. I am not sure if it is because we saw Avatar tonight or what but I feel a connection to nature and I need these dream trees. I would like to point out that my last decal was only 24 inches long and it took me an hour to put it on the wall--luckily with the 8 inches of snow we have on the ground I have nothing but time!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh Rachel-

Do you watch Rachel Ray? I do. I know she is a bit over the top but I like her...ALOT! I recorded (AKA:DVR'd) her top 10 recipes of 2009 show on Monday and I have watched it a couple of time since. She has this magic way of making everything look SO easy. However, I get in the kitchen and it becomes a HOT MESS! Tonight, NT said by looking at the mess and dishes he thought I had prepared enough food for a small nation. I was making what I assumed to be a SIMPLE dish called Que' Pasta--a simple mac n' cheese with a little Mexican flair. That was until.... I had to CHAR poblano peppers. Have you by chance ever charred a pepper? It was a disaster. For starters, those little peppers are deceiving. They are hot..lava hot..and if you touch them and then your burns. Second, they have 1.23 million seeds in the center. And lastly, peeling off the skin after the charring process takes the patience of a saint.

All that being said, the dinner was great. NT said it was the BEST thing I had EVER made--hallelujah! I had all my little ramekins ready to go-filled with onions, garlic, flour, cumin, etc. Honestly I felt like Rachel Ray (well pre-poblano pepper). So the dish is really good and I recommend you make it. Here is the recipe:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • Salt
  • 1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta) or whole-wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend or mix of cheddar and queso fresco
  • 1 firm avocado, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 small vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
Heat the broiler to high and blacken the poblanos on all sides, 12-15 minutes. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover tight with plastic wrap or place in a paper sack; cool for 10 minutes, then peel, seed and chop.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Add salt and the pasta and cook al dente.

Heat a saucepot over medium heat; add the EVOO, onions, and garlic and cook until tender, 6-7 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and when it melts, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper, the cumin, and the coriander and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight pattern until the cheese melts.

Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and the chopped poblano peppers. Toss the avocado with the lime juice. Serve the mac-n-cheese in shallow bowls and top with the tomatoes, avocados and scallions.

And here is a video of how Rachel did it on the show. NOTE: Notice how she doesn't show how she chars, deseeds and peels the peppers. They just magically are ready to be tossed in the pasta.

And here are a few pics to show my effort (sorry for the bad lighting_)

One other thing--I am typing this 3 hours later after charring the pepper--and I just touched my lips and they are burning, stinging.

And another thing--I bought these ever so cute Bubble and Brown dishes from the Rachel Ray Store. Cute, huh? She uses them for everything. Sorry NT- I should have told you about these.

Monday, January 25, 2010


NT and I did our resolutions together this year. I liked it. It makes it so much better to have two people working towards the same goal(s). Now that we are almost at the end of month one, I think it is a good time to evaluate.

Here is where we are:

-Take a trip per quarter (bugger-no plans yet)
-Entertain/Go Out with friends twice per month (check and check)

-This is probably boring to most of you but basically it involves a lot of torture by cold calling multiple hours each week. It also involves the very painful act of going to networking events. Networking does not have to be painful--it can be fun even--but in the beginning I feel a bit of a wallflower.

-Read one book per month (check for NT)
-Cook 3-4 days per week (Done-fire and all)
-Volunteer once per quarter (We need to get going on this one)
-Be Active/Work Out (Done-Denver Health & Fitness 4 life)
-Start and update Blog (Done)
-NT: 3 fly fishing trips and play 4 new golf courses (this probably does not include me)

-Find, Attend and Get Involved in a Church (Lake Norman Baptist--we "heart" you)
-Read Bible Daily (see below)

I have often had the New Year's resolution to read my bible daily and I normally make it to the end of Genesis. However this year is different. NT and I are taking a Voyage through the Bible-a one year voyage. Lake Norman Baptist started this program by having the church commit to a daily reading plan. We are reading in chronological order the events of the bible from the beginning of time...and honestly it is very exciting. In case you want to follow along, here is this week (I will update each week).

Monday (1/25) Genesis 31:1-32:32
Tuesday (1/26) Genesis 33:1-35:29, 1 Chronicles 2:1-2
Wednesday (1/27) Genesis 37:1-39:23
Thursday (1/28) Genesis 40:1-41:57
Friday (1/29) Genesis 42:1-44:34
Saturday (1/20) Genesis 45:1-46:9, Chronicles 5:1-6, Genesis 46:10-12

So in conclusion--we are doing pretty good on our resolutions. I am proud of us.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's for dinner?

So I am not an amazing cook--we all get that. You really can't be considered an amazing cook if you have started 3 kitchen fires. Of course, I am working on it. However, what I am pretty good at is making lists. I make lists for EVERYTHING. I love paper, organizing tablets, calendars, sharpies, binders, notebooks, etc. So when I found this cool grocery list tablet at Target-I had to have it.

Every Sunday,I sit down and plan the menu for the week. I bring out the Rachel Ray archives, the cook books, recipe clippings and favorites. From there I make my grocery list. And then I TRY to find coupons that match up. I am new to this coupon stuff but I did save $30 last week at the store with my coupons. I do not have the amazing stories where you get $100 of groceries for free--but you get the idea.
And then, to be totally like a Pottery Barn Catalog--I write it on the chalkboard in the kitchen.
I always look in the PB Catalog and see those ever so staged office and kitchen settings thinking who keeps their life that organized. This is my one contribution.
So I still have a way to go to make my wall look like this--


I would say in general, I am pretty trusting. I am a control freak but otherwise trusting. So when I mentioned that I would like to have power outlets in the floor so we wouldn't have lamp cords running across the den and Dad volunteered his electrician services, I was game. H0wever, when he walked in with 3+ saws and started to carve in to the hardwood floors of our new house--I became slightly nervous. My Dad comes from the old school philosophy of "DIY-Do it Yourself" or at least Do it Yourself first and if that doesn't work you can call somebody.

So here we go:

NOTE: My Dad is below that hole underneath the house. The highlight of this 7 hour project was trying to find where to put the holes. It was a series of 1000 or so knockings on the floor and we amazingly ended up close to the target (well within 6 inches ;-)

Do you know the scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation after he spent all day stringing the Christmas lights and he brings out the family to watch the lighting? He has them do a drum roll.....and then nothing. Well this was what it felt like last night- we plugged in the lamp, the drumroll began, fingers were crossed....and nothing! It didn't work. My electrician/painter/carpenter/auto technician Dad felt like everything had been done correctly. So we ordered pizza and called it a night--we would try again the next day.

And finally.. WE HAVE LIGHT. Originating magically from our floor. And we saved money by using the multi-talents of my dad. Love him.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A MAJOR setback in my road to becoming a domestic diva...

I set myself on fire tonight trying to cook. Yes it is true. I am not talking about a bit of smoke or tiny sparks--I am talking FULL out FLAMES burning my scarf to pieces around my neck. So what did I do....I screamed for NT and told him I was on fire. I then took off my flaming scarf and threw it at him. Luckily, he knew what to do and stomped out the flames. The bad news....I loved that purple scarf.
This honestly does not show how bad it was but I couldn't really go grab my camera while Neal was putting out the flames. I would also like to point out this is not the first time I have set something on fire in the kitchen--there was also the two times I put aluminum foil in the microwave. Don't do that.
This was what I was making-turned out pretty good in the end.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Color me yellow

What color would you be if you could choose? My friend Kristen said after seeing the name of my blog she woke up the next morning feeling like the color Green. So I decided to do some research on what colors mean. First, think of what color you feel like right now-I normally feel like yellow. Here are my findings:

Red: Excitement, energy, passion, desire, speed and strength

Yellow: Joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope and sunshine

Blue: Peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity and trust

Orange: Energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm and vibrant

Green: Nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, spring and generosity
Purple Royalty, nobility, spirituality, mysterious, transformation and wisdom

Gray : Security, reliability, intelligence, dignity, maturity, conservative andpractical

Brown: hearth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, simplicity, and comfort.

White: purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, precision, innocence and good

Black: Power, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth and style

Then I found this website that has a color test. First choose the box below that you are attracted to. Then when you click on the link (and the color block again you will find out what it means)
Here is the link:

My color came back as this:
Extroverted Personality Style (EPS) means that your preferred role is "life of the party." You actively seek out other people, and are at your best in social situations in which you can meet new people and bring other people together. People who know you are drawn to your genuine interest in other people. In that way, you are probably the ultimate "people person."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Mistake #1: Going back to the gym for the first time in 3 months and doing the treadmill on a 15 incline. I about flew off the back of it once I got to a 4.0 speed. Then I proceeded to try to do a "pre-wedding type" work out and about passed out. My arms were shaking like a leaf after holding a plank for just one minute! How easy it is to fall out of shape. (Note: That is not me in the picture-how does she look so happy?)

Mistake #2: Getting involved in yet another reality series. You all know how I love Biggest Loser, Big Brother, Survivor, So you Think You Can Dance, American Idol, The Bachelor... should I continue? Well now you can add MTV's the Jersey Shore to the list-really?

Mistake #3: Letting NT go with my Dad to the car auction in Statesville. Guess what we are the proud new owners of?? A beautiful 2008 Canyon truck. Actually, he was in the market and this was a great deal thanks to my dad's mad auctioning skills. I love black vehicles (impractical but pretty). This will be great to pull our boat (oh wait-we don't have a boat but maybe one day)

One thing that was not a mistake yesterday was my fabulous cooking (ok-it is a bit of a stretch). I made honey crusted chicken tenders with a yummy honey mustard sauce and they were great! NT even went back for seconds. This recipe will now move from the "test kitchen" phase to the "i have made it" notecard file.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why hate on the casserole?

I like casseroles-my mom used to make a mean tator tot casserole that I would eat three servings of-yum. So imagine my dismay when I found out that NT does not like casseroles. In fact this is a deep seeded dislike because his mom has a list from when he was 8 years old naming the top ten things he didn't like...including Casseroles and Leftovers. Now for a newly married gal who can't cook, you can see how this could be a challenge. For starters, I am absolutely not domestic. I am like a bowl in a china shop in the kitchen. So casseroles could be (should be) my lifesaver--simple one dish recipes that are pretty hard to mess up. However, with Neal not liking casseroles I am in a bind. Tonight I am going to try to disguise and update a casserole (Casseroles 3.0 if you will) it is called Inside Out Spaghetti and it looks super yummy in the magazine. Simple enough. Cheese, pizza sauce, ground beef, onions, noodles and some spices.
To help with the 2010 resolution of being a Domestic Diva-I bought a couple of cooking magazines. I tried to hide the title of "casseroles" from NT but he saw it. Bugger.
Here is the final product in the oven. To be honest it was just "ok." I would give it a 5 out of 10. It kind of tasted like meatloaf meets spaghetti. NT ate it but said not to keep the leftovers-bad sign. Try again tomorrow--on the menu: Pecan Chicken Tenders with Honey sauce and sweet potatoes

Home Goods-I love you.

Some people say Disney is the happiest place on earth, I have to disagree and say that Home Goods when paired up with Marshall's is the happiest place on the planet. You never know what you will find, but you know it will be at an amazing price. HG is a dangerous place for a shopaholic like me because you always end up with things you don't really need simply because it is "cute," affordable or happens to be sitting on a shelf that you walk by. For example, last night NT and I went solely to find these uber-cute chairs and instead we came home with: colorful cheese knives, drawer organizers, 12 polka dot linen napkins, a casserole dish, an orange pillow, a Rachel Ray knife, a linen smelling Yankee candle and a reusable shopping bag to carry it in. No chairs. Oh well, Home Goods I still love you even if you make me broke.
I may not have found my dream chairs last night (see below) but I did find these cute and ever so colorful cheese tools. The only problem is we don't really eat a lot of cheese so can I use these as little mini butter knives?
These chairs are in my dreams nightly. Ever since I saw them I literally picture these chairs in different places around our home including their perfect spot which is in our breakfast nook. Neal and I headed out on a mission to find these chairs, but as with all good finds at HG you have to be a confident shopper and buy on the spot. No hesitation ;-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

A day in my Dad's Shop

Johnnys One Stop open for business. Of course, gotta was Cotton's car first ;-)
Colors in my dads shop. His tools are very organized.

This litte GI Joe looking guy was chillin' in my Dad's pen jar. It cracks me up.
Fanta, Fanta...want a Fanta? Just a few of the beverage choices at Dad's Garage.

Most people know about Johnnys One Stop in Kannapolis. It is the best inspection station in the WORLD and I am not just saying that because it is my Dads. For one thing, you receive a soda and a pack of nabs just for visiting. You can expect to hear jammin' oldies playing when you arrive and of course you will be greeted my sheltie, Tucker. Here are a few pictures from a day out in my dad's shop. If you want to visit, go to to get the address


A New Year. A New Project.

To be honest I have tried the "blogging" thing a few different times without much success. But I made a resolution for 2010 and here we go. Join me for the fun. My hubby asked me why did I name my blog 12 Crayons and I have many great reasons. 1. I love crayons (consider me an almost 30 year old with the interests of child) 2. I want my postings to be about colorful things in my life 3. Life is better illustrated with a box of crayons

This blog will be about...This. That. and Everything in Between. It will feature stories about our crazy pets, highlight my struggles in trying to become the domestic diva I dream of being and my random photography. So to our friends and family check in often and hopefully this is not on of those resolutions that last one week.