Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Here is the extent of my Halloween enthusiasm. Pumpkins are marked down at work and I finally brought some home yesterday. I figure they will last on the porch through Thanksgiving. I love the funky colors and textures! Pumpkins on the porch Pumpkins on the porch Pumpkins on the porch

 I've been longing to have a backyard s'mores party with our nephews. This picture is from one year ago when we had our nieces and nephews all here and told ghost stories and made s'mores. The nieces are all in Houston now, so it would just be the boys this time. Halloween weekend

 Speaking of S'mores, we attempted to make these crazy s'mores cookies when we were in Austin for my brother's birthday. They were his request and only sort of worked, resulting in 8" diameter cookies with a small s'more in the middle of each. Pretty ridiculous, though the caramelized marshmallow was pretty awesome! I'm not a huge s'mores person but I do have daydreams of making from scratch marshmallows and graham crackers for gourmet s'mores. That won't happen for the boys as they wouldn't appreciate the work.

In more s'mores related news, I'm seriously contemplating making myself this cake for my birthday. I'm having a hard time deciding between this and the Chocolate Caramel cake that I made last year.



Enough with my s'mores tangent. Though I'm not in much of a Halloween mood, I hope you enjoy the holiday and get to see the little ones in your life all dressed up and having a blast.  Karlie is going to wear the Snow White costume that I made for her birthday and her mama is dressing as the evil queen.  I'm anxiously waiting for a picture of the two of them together!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chihuly at the Arboretum

Mom came to town last week and we had a whirlwind day in Dallas. We started at the Arboretum. We had both been wanting to see the Chihuly installation since it was put up. I'm so glad we went, it is awe inspiring, and my pictures really don't do it justice. The arboretum is gorgeous on its own, I had never been. I'm hoping to go back with Frank so that he can see this show before it is gone as well.

Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum Chihuly at the Dallas arboretum

These pieces will be on view through the end of the year, the exhibit was just extended for two months. If you have a chance to see this, don't miss it!

Mom and I also did some shoe shopping and fabric shopping (our favorite).  I came home with some beautiful linen that I dyed, a nice piece of knit that is being made into a tunic and a piece of silk to go with another hand dyed piece that I already had. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Austin was Fun

As always, we had a great time in Austin, but it went by way too fast.

The Birthday cake was delicious!
Here is the recipe, if you are curious.
 Karlie and the cake Chocolate Malt Cake for Elliott

We didn't do much but eat, hang with my family and relax. That was fine with me.

We got stuck in a major traffic snarl on the way home and it took nearly six hours, when it normally takes three.
Austin roadtrip

 When we finally got out of the car to stretch our legs, this gorgeous sunset was there to greet us. Austin roadtrip

Kitty was glad we were home and so were we. Kitty was glad we were home!
Mom came up Monday and we went to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum and did some fabric shopping on Tuesday.  I spent yesterday recovering from that and getting stuff done around the house.  I still have more to do, but it's back to work today.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Most Beautiful of Days

Today was the most beautiful of days. The best of Texas weather. Cool, clear and sunny with a nice breeze. I love it. I went for a jog this morning and it was so nice to be outside.

The garden is loving this weather too! Fall garden Maximillian sunflower Maximillian sunflower Fall garden Fall garden Fall garden

I'm working on this right now. A Milk Chocolate Malt Ball Cake. The cake is Vanilla Malt with Milk Chocolate Frosting. I think it is going to be really good! It is for my little brother's birthday.Baking for my brother

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Could it really be?

It's hard to believe, but yesterday was mine and Frank's eight year wedding anniversary. Time really does fly. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from that day.

We married under a tree in the backyard of my childhood home. under the arbor of paper flowers one of my favorite shots

We danced into the night with some of our best friends.
I keep this picture in a frame by my desk, it may be my favorite memory of that day.

















Monday evening I saw a check that someone wrote at work with the date of October 15th and it dawned on me that the next day was our anniversary. Sure, I knew it was coming up and we had talked about it, but it really snuck up on me. It doesn't help that I'm on a nine day stretch of work before a weekend off. I'm a bit out of sorts, with days running together! We celebrated last night by making Green Curry for dinner, which was appropriate since we had our first date at a Thai restaurant.

I would say that we have come a long way, but really things are pretty much the same.  We live in the same house and have the same friends.  We lost a beloved dog and gained a silly cat.  Besides growing older, and possibly wiser, I think we are about the same people that we were that day.  We still love each other and get along awfully well. We have seen a lot of babies born and children grow like weeds, but none of them are ours.  We have a happy home, and that is what matters.

Happy anniversary Frank, I still feel like one lucky lady to have you as my husband.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Draped Pocket Dress

I made this dress earlier in the summer after becoming consumed with figuring out how to copy a draped pocket dress that I had seen. I didn't wear it until yesterday and I'm not sure why because it is insanely comfortable and pretty damn cute too!

Oh look, this dress has pockets.
 Self Drafted Knit dress with draped pockets Self Drafted Knit dress with draped pockets Self Drafted Knit dress with draped pockets

The pockets are lined with the same hand dyed yellow knit that I used for the binding. detail

I drafted this dress myself. It is very simple, but took some figuring to get the pockets how I wanted them. The top/tank part is based on the Built By Wendy Sew U Home Stretch tank pattern that I have made before and have altered to fit myself well. The waistband is lined and I used knit interfacing to stabilize it, but it isn't as stretchy as I had hoped. The skirt is gathered, as is the tank.  The pockets were created by extending the front rectangle up at angles on each side, folding under at the corners and then gathering in the middle.  Does that make sense?  I had to play around with it a lot to get it just how I wanted.  I added the tie belt as an after thought because I wanted to be able to cinch in the waist more, and I'm glad I did.  It is a woven fabric and was re-purposed after I had removed it from a thrifted top.

The knit fabric is from Joann and was on clearance.  I had just enough to make this.  It is a bit summery but I can wear it with a cardigan into Fall.  The fabric is very stretchy and stretched out a bit at the armholes.  It doesn't show much when wearing but I know it's there.  I really want a serger as I LOVE sewing with knits.  I just wish there was a local fabric store that had a good selection of knit fabrics.  I already have another knit cardigan that I want to copy. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting in the Spirit

This is what I have been looking at at work for over a month. Don't get me wrong, I love them. I love all the funky varieties, colors and textures. I just wasn't ready for pumpkins when they showed up early this year.
 Pumpkins at work

With a friend coming to town I finally got in the spirit this weekend and decorated my table for Fall. I kept it simple with mini white pumpkins, sunflowers and carnations. I am not into the pumpkin spice candles, but got a fireside candle instead. Fall table Fall table Fall tablescape

 I'm still not feeling all the pumpkin flavored everything that I see on pinterest. I am more of a gingerbread person, I suppose.

I jogged today after three days off.  It feels so good, and I don't like it when I miss days.  I was off Saturday and my main agenda was to go trail running.  It was too dang cold and windy.  We were having our December weather in October, and I'm so not ready for that.  Fall is my favorite season and I don't want to rush it.  Lets slow time down and enjoy this.  Yesterday was perfectly sunny and in the high sixties.  My favorite weather.  Ahhhhhh

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cooler Days Mean

Cuddly Pets
Lucy snuggling Cuddly kitty

I'm knitting again
 Knitty time

Soups, stews and roasts in the kitchen. We made Chili the other night and I have a whole list of cold weather recipes that I want to make. The usuals like Tortilla soup, Crockpot chicken, Caldo, Navy bean soup, Charro beans and so on. I also have a seemingly endless supply of cooking inspiration going on over at Pinterest. Yum!

Cooler days also mean that I can go for a jog at noon and not die of a heat stroke. I did that yesterday, well just before noon, and it felt great. It was in the high sixties and overcast just perfect for jogging, in my opinion. Today I was hoping to go to a local park with hilly hiking trails, but it is cold out there!

Enjoy your weekend.
xoxo
Ashley

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Today I...

...ran up a bunch of hills. Hill running Hill running Hill running Hill running Hill running Hill running Hill running Hill running hill day

About 45 minutes into my hour long workout I got stung by a bee on the neck. I freaked out for a minute but kept running after that and was pretty proud of myself for it. You can see the sting on my neck, just to the left of my headphone wires.
 Post run rest

I use my nano on shuffle when I run and forward through any songs that aren't doing it for me at the moment. Today I had an awesome sequence of motivating songs all in a row. I was hoping to find an mp3 player that I could embed here to share them with you but I can't seem to find any that work well.

Tomorrow night we are going to see a friend's work at the Dallas Contemporary art museum. One of my bff's who I haven't seen in months is in town and joining us. It should be a wonderful evening!