Thursday, July 3, 2008


Sorry, I am a day late posting this fabulous recipe from Alton Brown tweaked a little by me.

Fajita Marinade

2tsp Lime Zest
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/3 cup Dark Soy Sauce
4 Scallions, washed and cut into quarters
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of Red Pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground Cumin
3 tbls brown sugar
2 lbs of flank steak (you can use skirt as well just don't let it marinate for more than an hour or it will begin to cook from the line juice)

Throw all of the ingredients except for the steak into the blender and puree until combined. Cut the steak into two or three equal portions (for more even cooking) and place in a gallon size zip bag, pour the marinade over the steak and refridgerate for two to three hours turning several times.

Heat your grill to scorching (or 650 degrees) place the steaks on the grill and let cook on each side for two to four minutes depending on thickness, this will be fast beacuse we want to sear all the juices in. Remove steak from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain!

Serve with peppers and onions (I roast them in the oven with a little oil, salt, and pepper at 350 for 30 min while the grill heats and the steaks are cooking) cheese, flour tortillas (best if heated) guacamole and sour cream!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Perfection or Lack of It

You know they say that the truth will set you free. It does. Last night I was lying awake, praying, and you can't hide anything from God, He knows. I was telling Him how I feel and three words came to mind. I realized those were the true feelings that I had felt towards my parents for a long time. I love my parents, but they both have a lot of problems that they don't seem to be able to overcome, demons that rear their ugly heads. I used to think that it wasn't my parents fault is was all just too tempting, the alcohol and drugs. I know that isn't true, yet as a child I was eager to think that. When you are a child you want to believe that your parents are perfect.

That brings me to where I am this morning. I don't want C to think that I am perfect. I am not. I make mistakes. I get angry. I can't make coffee. I want him to know that the truth is that I am willing to admit when I make a mistake. I say I am sorry. I take responsibility for my actions. I admit my short comings. I don't blame. Okay, well sometimes I do, but I try my best not to. What I am saying is, don't be afraid to let your kids know that you are human.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Home Decor Project 3

I have been having so much fun playing with chipboard lately!

Happy Monday,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's All About The Accessories

I thought this picture might make you all smile!

Have a great weekend,

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Official....

Spring is here! WooHoo! I just thought I would share some pictures of our lovely crab apple tree with you all!

Happy Friday,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

You Get What You Pay For

The old saying is so darn true in today's world of mass production. Things are made by machine and there is no care or concern for quality. Case in point, yesterday I was a Le Target on a mission to buy fans for our bedrooms, they had a large selection with a strange price margin... some were 19.99 and others were 49.99 and there was really no in between.  I went with the less expensive (read CHEAP models).

I came home from work, fed Coleman, had C take a "tub", and then was about to read him a story when he asked if we could put the fans together so he could use one tonight. I obliged, not willingly, really with a piss poor attitude, but I began the laborious process of DIY assembly. Well wouldn't you know it, one fan had parts that had been manufactured incorrectly and the other didn't I had to rob from Peter to build Paul! Alas, it was hopeless, neither fan had a working part to correctly control the range of oscillation.

I was livid with those ridiculous fans. They were cheap and poorly manufactured.  I ranted, raved and got back in my here I am off to buy some fabulous fans made by Hunter and Dougy, because they know what makes a girl swoon, vintage brushed nickel!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Moving on Monday

Just a reminder that I am posting at the Scrapbook Destination Blog on Mondays! Check out my new wall art with the Maya Road Chipboard Trees!

Happy Monday,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Top Ten on Thursday ala Christyn

So my wonderful friend Christyn publishes a Top 10 on Tuesdays and I didn't really get to blogging this week so I thought I would do something along those lines.

Lately we, my group of great girlfriends, have been blogging about more personal things and I like that. I find other people's lives fascinating. On that note I thought I would do a Top 10 Things I am Really Bad At List... we are all good at so many things, but there are just some things I cannot do.

10. I cannot make lasagna, sure I can whip up any other pasta dish without a hitch, but Lasagna is a no go in my kitchen.
9. I can't keep a garden alive... nope I love flowers but ask me to plant some and maintain them and it's all downhill.
8. I cannot seem to remember phone numbers any longer, my cell phone has ruined me, I can only remember the numbers that I learned before having a cell and most of those aren't even in use any longer.
7. I don't know how to start a fire. I can light a match and all but I have no idea how one is supposed to be built, I know there is something about a tee pee, but I am clueless as to how it all works.
6. I can't sew. Sure on paper, no problem, but to actually make something that requires anything besides straight lines it's a no go.
5. I don't remember birthdays, I write them down with the best of intentions and then they just get past me. It's not because I don't love these people, I just forget and then I feel so stupid when I remember and have to send something belated. I guess it's the thought that counts.
4. I cannot use an electric can opener, these little modern devices throw me for a loop, I have yet to make a can open with one.
3. I can't parallel park, I never learned how.  It's sad really.
2. I cannot make coffee.
1. I am incapable of clapping in time to music. I can tap my foot in time, but clapping in time, that's different.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Feathered Friends

Many of you know that if there is a scrapbook supply with a bird on it that I will be the first in line to own one (or fifty), but you may not know that I have birds all over my home. No, they aren't live birds, just statues, paintings, drawings, or photographs.

My love of birds began when I was very young. I lived with my grandparents for large periods of my life and my Gram loved birds. At their home in Maine they had lots of wonderful feeders around the property and on the windows. The clear window feeders were my favorite, the birds were just beyond the glass and you could really see God's intricate creation. Their home was only 78 feet from the Atlantic Ocean and my Gram would spend lots of time looking out the bay window of their den with a tiny pair of binoculars at the ducks and Loons swimming by. She would call to me in excitement "Huse, come see the Loons they have their babies with them." or "Huse come see the woodpeckers." Gram could identify so many birds and very rarely needed the help of her National Audubon Bird Guides, yet she kept them on the side table near the window just in case. I used to love to look through those books at the beautiful color photos.

Now that I am older I have feeders in my yard and watch for the birds from my kitchen window. I can identify some, but others are new to me, they are different from the birds in Maine and I enjoy spending time discovering what they are. One of my favorite Colorado birds in the Flicker, it has coloring similar to a Mourning Dove, light tan streaked with peachy pink and chocolate speckles, but it makes a noise like a Guinea Pig! Whenever I gaze at the feeders I am reminded of the warmth and love of my grandparents and I feel close to them even though they are gone.

Another reason I love birds for scrapping is that we call Coleman "Bird". It all started when he was an infant. Coley would squawk and not cry, he would flap his folded arm like a wing when he drank his bottle, and he would make little motions with his mouth like a baby bird. Coley has always loved sitting on the sofa as the sun rises and listening to the birds outside. He was our "Baby Bird", our "Little Bird" and now our "Bird"y boy.

Well, I have so much more I could write but I will stop here. Enjoy the peace of the snow today.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Hi All,

It's Sat-ur-day! I am so happy to hang out in my own home, sometimes I just forget how much I love my nest!

What I can see right now, my cute boy playing his Lmax, the tail of a Dachshund wagging from under a blanket, my second cup of coffee, my bird family, my kitchen (LOVE my kitchen), my AW painting that looks like my dearly missed Bellarosa, the cute pillow C made in kindergarten sitting on the rocker that was in his nursery, wonderful pictures of my family, the turtle bookends my Daddy gave me for graduation, the copy of The World Of Pooh my Grandpa read to me each night, my collection of green plates from Portugal, the super heavy buffet that was the first real furniture "piece" I bought  (so glad it fits in this house too:), and Phil (my philedendrom, the only plant I can keep alive).

What do you love about your nest? It's the little details that really make it yours.

Love to you all,

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Backyard Villians

I can tell that it is spring because Bad Bad Billy The Birdfood Stealer is back. I saw him today. At first he just leaped gracefully across the tender new shoots of green grass, I thought 'I know it's you Billy.'. He came to a stop underneath the freshly filled bird feeder and pretended for a few moments to be satisfied with the seeds the birds had dropped. 'You can't fool me' I thought as I watched from the kitchen window. I turned briefly to get my camera and as I turned my face back to him I saw him sneer and his beady little eyes glinted in the faint rays of sun peeking through the clouds. Quickly I rushed to turn the camera on, I wanted to see his expression when he realized I had fixed the feeder. You see I have a "squirrel proof" bird feeder, it is spring loaded and when something as heavy as a squirrel attempts to climb onto it the outer part lowers and closes off the feeding holes with what previously appeared to only be decorative metal leaves!

Last fall Billy had somehow managed to pop one of the springs out of the feeder, thereby allowing himself a buffet of black oiled sunflower seeds. I discovered his crime only after he had emptied the feeder. It took a good twenty minutes for me to repair his handiwork, unfortunately by then most of the birds had migrated south for the winter and I stopped filling the feeder, knowing it would not be visited.

A few days ago I heard the birds singing from the trees once again and rushed out in my delight to fill the feeder. Slowly they are coming back to it, enjoying a nibble here and there. I love to watch them as I sip my second cup of coffee. Today, however, Billy came back and I was there for the show. Hee, hee, hee, I could just see the anger flash in his eyes as he found the feeder once again functioning properly. His tail shook violently as he chattered what I can only believe were curses at me. Finding the seed out of his reach, he dropped to the ground, beaten but not defeated.

I know he will be back. I will be watching. He will not win.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Wow, I was so excited to read what inspires you ladies. I have to say that I am inspired by product, I get so giddy over the new stuff that comes in. It's probably good that MK developed the two week rule, because I have way more stuff than I will ever use and I am beginning to fear that my scraproom will get so stuffed that it will fall into the basement:) Seriously I have had nightmares about this!

So what else inspires me, I really got to thinking about this and ala Chrisytn I thought I would come up with a list, of 10, not seven because we all know I can't stop there! Please know these are in random order, that is how my brain works.

1. Moments with Coley, quiet or loud, happy or sad.

2. Nature, I love to hear the sounds of birds early in the morning, it reminds me that each day is new and fresh, sure the same old problems are still there but how I approach them can be different.

3. Friends, I am blessed to have amazing friends, they teach me new things about myself everyday. I love to read their blogs or chat with them on the phone, even in dark moments they are still light into the world.

4. Laughter, it comes in so many different forms, but sincere laughter is pure and inspirational.

5. Reading, I love to read and I find so much to think about between the covers of a book or magazine. Sometimes I take action on the topic and sometimes I don't but either way I am inspired to think.

6. The Grocery Store, I love to cook and the endless array of ingredients at the grocery just sets my mouth to watering.

7. Classical Music, I know it sounds corny but I love that it's sort of a soundtrack to life, I leave it on quite often at home and in the car.

8. Color, there are so many amazing colors out there and each one has mood or feeling to it.

9. Smell, I love the different scents of life, most of my memories include not only the people but the smells of the time. I can walk down a street and certain odors bring things to mind.

10. Art, I love all sorts of art work and mediums. I love to play and get dirty in paint. I love to wander the museums. I love historic art that depicts a certain time period.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bathmats and Birthday Cards

Nothing feels quite as nice as waking up on a cold morning and trudging into the bathroom only to be greeted by a shiny tub and fluffy white bath mat! (Insert smiling face here)

This afternoon I came home to find my fluffy new bathmat on the sofa alongside three different shoes, one shoe belonging to each member of our family, and Coleman's pajama pants. Snuggled in amongst the oddities was Edgar.

Edgar is a peculiar dog.

Yesterday, he won the lotto.

I came home and discovered him atop a nest of glitter, paper, and cash. It seems that Coleman's birthday card from Grandma arrived in the mail. Edgar believes, wholeheartedly, that mail is his enemy, so... he destroyed it. Oh Eddie. (Insert sigh here) Thankfully none of the money was torn and was happily accepted at Toys R Us.

In the spirit of all things crazy that Edgar does I have included one of my favorite Edgar photos.

Have a good weekend and watch out for Weiner Dogs, you never know what they are going to do!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Okay Vivian tagged me and all the other people I would tag! I guess this means I just get to share, 7 random things about me....


1. I am a "nester"... this means that I can't live with a room for more than 2 years without changing it.

2. I am notorious for leaving Nalgene bottles or travel mugs in my car too long, I should buy these things in bulk.

3. I cannot make good coffee or smoothies.

4. The majority of my pajamas have Dachshunds on them:) I LOVE DACHSHUNDS!

5. I have panic attacks in Super Target or Super Walmart, I just can't take it all in, don't know why, but after a half an hour I freak out, even if I have a list.

6. Edgar sleeps under the covers :)

7. My whole family calls me Huse and all my friends call me House.

8. I have a huge late fee at the library, I just can't seem to get the books back in time.

9. I am a creature of habit, I always order the same thing, and if I find something that I like to wear I buy it in every color.

10. I walk around TJ Maxx for relaxation.

Monday, March 3, 2008

CHA Highlights

Due to the fact that I have been wordy or wordless the last few days, I think that I will recap CHA quickly for you....

Lots to see, lots to do, stayed with really cool girls.

Heather won a Slice on Day 1 f the show, Erin won a Slice on Day 2 of the show, I won a Slice on Day 3 of the show, thanks to the help of Emily and Heather "Here's Technique Tuesday" more about this later, Vivian won a Slice an hour later, and Mary Kay won a Slice 2 minutes after Vivian, thanks to my screaming, she can no longer complain about how vocal I am. Then Day 4 ... Emily wins a Slice! After some thought we realize Em was with each and every one of us who has won and that she is the talisman! This was pretty amazing considering she worked the October Afternoon booth half days, everyday! Thanks Emily for hanging with me when I was in my hour of desperation!

Okay the show was great and I loved hanging out with Mary Kay and the girls at night. Janna was super cool and Erin was just as nice a person as you could ever want to meet. The Two Peas party was so-so, but they gave out prizes - I am always up for free goodies. The Hilton was nice but the breakfast was super costly. Mary Kay had her first experience ordering a Starbucks for me .... Triple Venti, Non Fat, No Whip, Mocha, On Ice, say it with me now.....! We were mistaken for drunken CHA revelers and asked to sing kareoke with a woman I am sure was mentally disabled. The truth is we weren't drinking, we were just having a good time! It's nice to know friends that you can be really silly with and then serious with in the next minute.

Vivian introduced me to In and Out burgers, yummmmmm! Heather made me laugh like no other on the way to the airport. I was chased by a security guard because my winnings weighed down my suitcase. I spoke with a woman in the airport who confessed to me that she has mice in her scrapbook store, ewwww. I sat next to a woman who was married to a higher up at one of the big scrap companies, but I can guarantee you she doesn't scrap. Then it was over, I was home, back in my car (I love my car, it's my second home) and back in the land of reality TV and Wahoos to go. Back in my bed. It is so amazing how good your own bed can feel.

So that is my silly little recap, I should probably go back and proof it, but I need to go to work. Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CHA Day 2

I feel wordy in a bullet point sort of way today so here it goes....

CHA Day 2
-I awoke before the other snoozing occupants of my room and claimed the first shower only to find that my shampoo had leaked all over all of my other hair care products, all had to be rinsed before I could proceed with my morning routine. I did have the presence of mind to pack them in a ziploc before traveling so at least I didn't have to clean out the suitcase too.
-Everyone else wakes up and Janna proceeds to do her hair in my TH mirror, wow, two scrapping celebrities in one mirror, how cool! I will be bronzing it now:)
-We meet up with girls for breakfast.
-We discover the horrors of the hotel's continental breakfast.
-Several of us make a beeline for the Hilton and the sanctuary of Starbucks. Have you ever noticed that Starbucks always feels like home, this is probably because here in CO we have one on every corner and in every market.
-Ahhh, the sweet sensation of sipping my Triple Venti, non-fat, no-whip, mocha on ice... I liken it to the relaxation a baby feels when having a bottle... or when Dorothy clicked her heels and said "There is no place like home...".
-Note to self: Do not change from a hot mocha to an iced mocha when dealing with a grouchy barista, even if they haven't called out your drink nor have you paid for it.
Either this guy was a serious enviromenalist and couldn't handle the tossing of the cup he had written on or he was just having a really bad day, either way I pissed him off royally.
-Head over to Door A to meet Heather, who is stretching in preparation for her dash to the Basic Grey booth where she will secure our place for shipment. Go Heather!
-At this point we all begin to receive frantic and puzzling text messages from MK, I leave, good lackey that I am, to meet her at Door C, this is long walk folks, but I did it in record time due to the beautiful chocolate fuel I was using. (Later we will discover that the girls received an alarming text reading "Tell Houston to meet me at prison", what had happened during that continental nightmare, was there a coup?, where was the closest prison? Did they have a temporary one at the convention center? Upon later rereading they discovered it said "Prism":)
-MK and I head into the show, wow, is all I can think how amazingly overwhelming, for the first minute, then all I can think is "I am a kid in a candy store, a highly caffeinated child, woo hooo!"
-My first booth Prism with MK then I go over to do the Stampendous MnT, MK meets me there and I tell her we have to find Rach to say 'Hi' she points out that Rachel's booth is right behind me and offers to take over for me so I can go say 'Hello'. I love that about MK she and I are such a great team, even for MnTs.
-I see Rach, it's so good to see a familiar face in this crazy place, she is making the cutest darn Starbucks Cozies. She is so talented, I don't even know if she knows how darn cool she is, but she is rock star, all of the MnTs she designed for the ThermOweb booth rocked, way better than any others I saw! We are so lucky to have such talent at our store and I just know she is going to be big, oh and did I mention that I was darn glad to see her smiling face!
-MK heads over to the booth, hugs Rach and then gets down to the business of ordering, she catches a mistake in their pricing and scores herself a deal! I meet her with the vendor and am able to squeeze in my Mimi order! I am now the proud owner of some amazing totes, including one on wheels, I have wanted a tote on wheels for so long, I am thrilled, totally floating on a caffeine and adrenaline rush! I LOVE CHA.
-I see people in SLICE shirts, where are they getting these? I know what the SLICE is I saw it on a sneak peek, it's a die cutting machine (I LOVE DIE CUTTING MACHINES) I want a shirt, not that it's my color, but there must be a reason they are all wearing these shirts. MK wants to move on.

Getting to wordy and now I am all worked up, gotta run, more tomorrow!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thank You

Thank you to all of our friends and family for your beautiful comments on our sweet girl. Above is another of my favorite pics of Belle. I will post later today about some of our California and Keystone adventures. Thank you again for your kindness.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Our Beautiful Bella Rosa

An air of sadness hangs over our house as we mourn the loss of our beautiful girl. I will be posting more about last weeks adventures over the next few days, but for now we are just missing our beautiful Belle. She was such a sweet spirit and always so good. Belle's favorite foods included tator tots and scrambled eggs, but you had to cut them up for her, she was a lady! She loved being outside in our yard, she spent many happy hours sunning herself and digging in the sandbox. Belle always enjoyed watching "Dog TV" in the summer months, this is what our family calls the glass storm door! Belle and Edgar spent a wonderful summer and fall together and we know that he is missing his big sister. Thank you to all of our friends and family for your sincere condolences. We are glad to know that Belle had a wonderful life and that she didn't suffer in the end. Thank you also to the amazing staff at the Argus Institute for being so kind to our girl in her last hours.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Taste Testing

For the past week I have been reading this great blog from a woman who calls herself The Pioneer Woman, not only does she take great photos and write with finesse, she also has a blog about her cooking. You can find both here (follow the links to The Pioneer Woman Cooks). Anyway our family has been testing out her down home recipes this week and we have to say they are really good! The Chicken Spaghetti and Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich are awesome! It's been a challenge to prep as much as I can ahead of time before work so the we don't have to eat at 8pm (no offense to those who do, we are just a 5:30/6pm kinda family) but it has been worth it! To any meat eaters reading my blog you have to try the sandwich it is a true family pleaser, Coley even asked if he could take the leftovers for lunch!
Another trick that I remembered this week is from my Gram, she was a great cook and a really wonderful woman! Gram used to make a big salad once a week in her pretty glass salad bowl and then wrap it in a grocery bag and stick it in the fridge, she and Bampa used to eat that salad with their dinners all week. I have been doing something similar only my glass salad bowl was broken several year ago, Gram had given it to me and I cried and cried when it was broken (it wasn't hers, that is still in Maine, don't worry), anyway I am using this great Tupperware salad spinner/storage bowl. It is great I can make a huge salad and it stays crisp and wonderful all week! Writing this has reminded me that I haven't been putting any radishes in my salad like Gram did, I love radishes I will have to go and get some!
This leads me to my last thought for the morning. I always wanted to be like my Gram making a home for my family, filling their tummies with great food, having my beds neatly made everyday (I always do this and C has been making his bed since he was 3) and always learning. That is something that my Gram always did, she worked different places during different stages of her life, God always blessed her with a job that allowed for her to still be a Mom and I feel so amazingly blessed that He has done the same for me. I know that Gram always continued to Grow and I want to do the same. I miss both of my grandparents so very much, but they instilled so many wonderful values into me, that I feel they are still with me everyday.
God Bless,

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One Word 2008

So I have been choosing a word for the last few years to describe what I want to incorporate into my life that year, examples: 2006 - Home, I wanted to make our new house a home for my family, establish/reestablish roots in Denver and give Coleman a place that he would always know as Home, 2007 - Release, I get so caught up in things and it snowballs, last year I needed to learn that I cannot always be in control of every situation (yes, my name is Houston and I am a control freak) so I chose Release as my word and throughout the year I worked really hard to let go, and you know what I am able to do that a lot more often now!

My word for this year is Grow. I have been home for a long time and I have grown in so many ways by doing that, but now I am out in the "world" more and I realize that I have so much to learn from others and I want to grow more as a person.

I want my relationships to Grow. I want to put more energy into making time for relationships that are important to me.

I also want to Grow at home, literally, Coley and I have been wanting to plant a garden for several years and this is the year that we start. By start I mean a small garden, but by golly we are going to grow something!

I also want my art to grow. I want to scrap less about events and more about moments. I want to be more real in my journaling as well.

Last but not least, I want my world view to grow. I tend to hide behind my little rock and just let the world go on and I try not to notice, ignorance is bliss kind of thing, but this year I want to grow in my knowledge of what is going on around me. I want to know what the candidates stand for and why. I want to read more news and know what is going on and where it is happening.

This year I plan to put down roots into the soil of home and draw from the love of God, family and friends, to grow upward into the woman God has created me to be. I can't wait to see where the journey takes me.

Do you have a word for 2008?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Lo Mein?

Dogs do the funniest things. Our dogs are usually really good and don't beg too obnoxiously, okay Belle is really pushy when it comes to her food but not ours, and they aren't really overindulged (in the way of people food). Yet for Edgar all this changes when we bring home a little Chinese take-out! Eddie will do just about anything when it comes to Lo Mein. I speculate that he must have previously lived (in the five months before he came to his forever home) with a Chinese family in a Chinese restaurant and because they were struggling to make it they fed him leftover Lo Mein. I don't know if I really buy this. I wonder if all Dachshunds have a thing for Asian cuisine. My last Dachsie loved teriyaki and would risk mussing her beautifully groomed feet (she had a fetish) by going through the garbage for the last few drops left in the take-out container. I personally think that Dachshunds have a more refined palette than the average canine and thus appreciate fine Asian cuisine!

Belle however is a dogs dog. She loves all things meat related and isn't too interested in the Lo Mein unless Edgar is getting some and then she wants her rightful share. Belle does other strange things such as mouthing apple or carrot slices that fall on the floor until she has tasted them thoroughly and then she abandons their lifeless husks on the rug. This reminds me that Bella D only eats on carpet, why I don't know, but she takes all food downstairs to the family room to enjoy it, including the occasional ice cube which then leaves a cold puddle in the rug. Belle does have an after dinner routine, she stands next to C's chair and carefully cleans the edge of the table with her tongue, isn't that nice of her to clean up :)

I am sure your dogs do silly things, let me know about it in the comments section!
Happy New Year!