Puppy time!

So from the last time I posted about the Australian Shepherds, Tyler and I decided to move forward with a breeder!  We really loved the last breeders we met with, and we were able to meet the mom and dad dogs, both of which were just super great dogs.  So we put down our deposit, and on the 19th, the dogs were born!  Jolie (mom dog) had 7 puppies - 4 blue merles and 3 tris.  We asked for a male blue merle, and this litter only had one.  We'll probably meet the puppies in a few weeks and make our decision then - the owner of the dad dog gets first pick as payment for letting the breeders use him, so we'll get the next pick from the leftover pups.  Here are the pics of the litter (Fizziwig technically would be our first pick if the dad's owner doesn't pick him):

So cute!  Can't wait to bring our puppy home at the end of February! :)


Buffet Style

One of the perks of getting married is getting all of those wonderful gifts that you registered for. The downside, however, is figuring out where to put them. If you've been to our townhouse you know we have limited storage. We have two bedroom closets and an attic closet on the 4th floor. And that's it. We had to be really creative in figuring out where all of those gifts were going! Hence, the reason all of our china is in our guest bedroom closet. I love my china and it deserves to have a proper home, which is not next to the vacuum and Tyler's shoes (which, are in the guest bedroom closet because, you guessed it, I have too many shoes in the master closet.) So I decided I wanted a buffet. Here are the ones I had narrowed it down to:
Neiman Marcus "Amelie" Mirrored Buffet - on sale (!!!) for $1,599
Crate and Barrel Paloma Large Sideboard - $2,499

West Elm Foxed Mirror Buffet - $999
Z Gallerie Borghese Buffet - $1,199

They are all fabulous, right? Well, Tyler didn't think so. Let me rephrase that - Tyler has an appreciation for my love for pretty, well-designed things, but he doesn't have an appreciation for my lack of hesitation to pay whatever amount of money to get those pretty things. Lame, right? So where did I turn? My old trusty friend Craig - he has this great list of things for sale. Check it out - www.craigslist.com.

Well, after 30 minutes of perusing Craig's List, I was finding that not many people were discounting their buffets. They were all over $1k and they weren't that fabulous. Until I found a listing for "Ming Style Asian Buffet". I clicked the listing and low and behold, the images were great. It had character, it was the perfect size, and it was $250! People - I said two hundred and fifty dollars! THAT'S what you call a DEAL! Yes, it has a few scrapes and scratches, but that's only because its been very well loved. And that's nothing that some stain stripper can't fix. So my wonderful husband went to pick it up for me. It is now sitting in our garage (along with the rest of Tyler's stuff) waiting to be loved. Check him out:

Now - the question is - to paint or to stain? Here are some of my inspiration pieces:

I'm loving the white - maybe update the hardware with gold? via
Two tone? White and stain? via
Doors painted white and the rest stained via

Dark stain via

What do you guys think?


Crock Pot Almonds

My mom and I went to Buffalo during the summer a few years ago and made a trip to the Erie County Corn Festival.  Isn't that SO country sounding?  It was pretty hysterical - they had a corn eating contest, and the guy that won was actually the son of a guy my mom went to high school with (I think that was the connection.)  Anyways, we bought these ridiculously amazing almonds that were sugar coated and I literally could not stop eating them.  We bought a few packets to take home - and I picked up one for Tyler too.  I ended up eating most of Tyler's, but that's besides the point. :)

My mom came up to Dallas last week to visit her BFF and she left me and Tyler a little treat in our fridge while we were at work - a can of sugar coated almonds!!  Well, we finished the can in no time flat, so she gave me the recipe, and I've already made a batch to give as gifts,....but Tyler keeps eating them so if you don't get sugar coated almonds as a gift from me this year its because my husband ate them all. :)  The best part about this recipe is that you make them in the crock pot, and I totally love my crock pot.  It makes life way easier. Here's the recipe:

Crock Pot Cinnamon Almonds

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups almonds
1/4 cup water

In a medium sized bowl, mix together sugars, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.  

In another medium sized bowl, whisk the egg white and vanilla until its a little frothy.  
Add almonds to the egg white bowl.  Make sure the almonds are thoroughly coated in the egg white mixture.
Add cinnamon mixture to the almonds and toss until coated.

Thoroughly spray the crockpot with non-stick spray.

Add the almond and sugar mixture to the pot and turn on low.

Cook with the lid on for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.

In the last hour, add 1/4 cup water and stir well.  Continue to stir every 20 minutes until done.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the almonds flat to cool.

Store in an airtight container, and enjoy!



Happy Thanksgiving!

With all of the house craziness going on, Tyler and I decided to spend our first Thanksgiving as a married couple in Dallas.  We were still in the hotel, so it didn't really lend itself to me roasting a turkey - although they did serve a traditional turkey downstairs at the buffet. :)

We slept in that morning, got a quick workout in at the gym at the hotel, and then decided it was time to get out of the hotel so we went to catch a movie.  We saw Lincoln which was pretty good - Tyler loves history so he especially liked it.  It was pretty long, so by time we got done, we had just enough time to catch a little football on TV (I played on Pinterest) and then go downstairs for some pre-dinner drinks.  Here's a few pics of us at our hotel Thanksgiving happy hour - woot woot:

Oh, and I've realized I haven't been good about getting pictures of me and Tyler together....I'll be better at that. :)

Since I wasn't cooking, and couldn't pick up Thanksgiving dinner from Central Market, we decided to make reservations at Smoke.  Smoke is a newer restaurant in Oak Cliff, right next to the Belmont Hotel.  We had been there before for dinner and loved it, so we figured it would be a good bet for Thanksgiving.  And boy oh boy, it didn't disappoint.  Here's some pics of the spread:
Duck and pumpkin salad
Pimento Cheese Balls

Dr. Pepper ham, mashed potatoes, cheese grits, and andouille sausage stuffing

Apple Cobbler

Pumpkin Pie

All in all, a pretty nice, low-key Thanksgiving with Tyler and Max. :)