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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Front Porch Redo and a GIVEAWAY!

I really believe that your front porch and your front door set the tone for your house. I’ve slowly but surely spruced up the porch area, and I wanted to show you the finished project.

Here’s a picture of the porch before we moved in. I love the idea of a covered porch! I knew right away that I wanted a big and bright wreath, some rocking chairs, and lots of greenery.

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And the finished project:

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The rockers are from Wal-Mart and were $78.00 a piece. I couldn’t find black rockers at any of the stores in my city, so my parents drove these 3 hours from my hometown. My mom, the wreath whisperer, made the wreath. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s the perfect summer wreath.

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My favorite part of the redo is the vinyl lettering on the door. Doesn’t it add the perfect touch? I got the vinyl lettering from Empressive Design’s etsy shop. I wanted some custom touches, and she was fabulous to work with.

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I also ordered two vinyl “H” letters for the pots that hold my ferns. DSC02072

Vinyl lettering is a great and inexpensive way to jazz up your home! There are so many things you can do with it, and the best part is that it is not permanent. If you live in an apartment or rent, you can decorate your walls easily without worrying about loosing your security deposit. When you are ready to move out, simply peel off the vinyl and toss.

Empressive Designs is offering a $20 gift certificate to one of my readers. If I had a $20 gift certificate, here’s what I would choose:

Perfect for the bedroom!

Love it!

You could also do a custom designed monogram for your stairwell and build a wall of pictures around it. If you have a glass front door, I think a big monogram would be beautiful! I also love the idea of having a monogram over a baby’s crib.

If you would like to be entered to win the $20 gift certificate from Empressive Designs, please visit her etsy shop and tell me how you would spend your gift certificate. I’ll announce the winner next Monday. Good luck!

I’m headed out this afternoon for four days of blissful relaxation at Edisto Island, SC. I’ll see you again on Monday!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tuesdays at the Table

Andrea's Tues at the Table Red Gingham copy

Welcome to Tuesdays at the Table! Most of you know the drill. If you have a recipe, link up. If you don’t, click on the link to get some great recipe ideas. If you are new here, read on for more information on how to participate in Tuesdays at the Table.

To participate, simply create a food-related post: a recipe, a food tip, a tutorial, a product review - anything food related! Be sure to link back to My Chihuahua Bites! in your post so that your readers know where they can come to join the party.

Once your blog is posted, come back to this post and sign in with Mr. Linky. Please make sure that you are linking to your TATT post and NOT to your blog. I have had people complain that they can’t find your posts when they click on your link, and this is because you link to your blog and not to your post. If someone comes by later in the week and wants to visit you, they have a harder time finding your featured recipe.

This week’s recipe isn’t really a recipe at all but is more of a tutorial on how to make delicious, juicy hamburgers. I’ve perfected my method, which I’ll share with you, but in the comments I’d like you to chime in – how do you prepare your hamburgers?

**I didn’t realize when I was taking the pictures that raw meat would gross some people out. I’m sorry!

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I start off with a lean hamburger meat – usually 90% lean or above (I actually usually use 98% lean most of the time). I’ve heard a lot of people say that you need to use a fatty meat for a moist burger but I just don’t agree.

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Then I add in some seasoning. My secret weapon is Dale’s marinade. It is amazing! I pour a very healthy portion into the bowl, along with salt & pepper grill seasoning and worcestershire sauce. See the liquid in the bottom of the bowl? I’m talking very generous pouring of the Dale’s and worcestershire, y’all.

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My final step is always to add blue cheese crumbles. Yum! If blue cheese isn’t your thing, you could add another cheese.

My aunt has a nifty burger patty maker thingamajig. You smoosh in some meat and push down with your hand and you have a perfectly formed patty. Those are cool, but I just use my hands.

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How do you make your burgers?

P.S. My friend Holly has entered a contest to win an awesome and custom craft desk. Could you take a few seconds and vote for her? Click here to vote.

Friend Makin’ Monday

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Welcome to Friend Makin’ Monday, hosted by Kasey at All That Is Good. Today Kasey wants to know:

How did you and your significant other meet?

A&JCharlestonApt. June 2003

Jason and I "met" online November 2003. We were both in a Yahoo! chat room for Charleston SC, and struck up a conversation. I was in grad school at the time. I didn't think anything of the conversation, really, as I was just procrastinating to avoid doing my homework. We added each other to messenger and would talk here and there when we didn't have anything else to do.

Around the same time, I was trying out internet dating. It did not go well. I met one guy, who seemed nice, but he decided I didn't meet his physical standards (ouch). I tried again, and experienced what was quite possibly the worst date of my entire life. After I finally removed that nightmare from my apartment, I got online to vent to one of my friends. Jason happened to be online, and I shared my horrid experience, stating "I will never, ever meet anyone off the internet again!" He responded by asking if that included him, and I laughed and said "Maybe, maybe not."
We exchanged phone numbers, and he called that **night.

That was quite possibly the longest telephone conversation I have ever had - I think we lasted about 6 hours? We agreed to meet the next day at Barnes and Noble for coffee. That meeting went well, and I distinctly remember coming home and telling my girlfriend, Angel, "I don't think he's Mr. Right, but maybe he's Mr. Right Now." Little did I know!

**Side note: This was also the night that my beloved goldfish, Jeremiah, committed suicide. He was dead on the floor in front of his bowl when I awoke the next morning. Can you say traumatic? When I met Jason the next day and related this story, he tried to buy me a new goldfish, but alas, the Petsmart next door was closed. Sweet, huh?

Our first official date was December 8, 2002. The date was wonderful, but things kind of sputtered from there. I went home for two weeks for Christmas break, and he went home for a few weeks in January. In early January, I got very sick, and ended up having to withdraw from school, take a leave of absence from work, and go home where my family could help take care of me. Jason tried to stay in touch, but I was really too sick to talk. I finally returned to Charleston in February, and he came over to see me the first night I returned. That night something just clicked, and from that point on we were inseparable.

How about you? How did you meet your significant other?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Today’s Thrifty Treasures

Hello all! I hope everyone is doing well this holiday weekend. I wanted to say a quick THANK YOU to all of the men and women who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces. You are appreciated!

To my husband, a proud submariner in the US Navy: You do a job that few would voluntarily do. You endure harsh conditions and many lonely nights and days away from your loved ones – all in the name of service to your country. I appreciate you, and I love you.

I’m woefully behind in my blog reading and visiting due to my blog hiatus. There’s a reason for that, and I’ll hopefully share the details soon. I apologize that I haven’t been around to visit your blogs. I hope to get back to normal this week.

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Today I’m participating in Today’s Thrifty Treasures, hosted by Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. Rhoda has invited us all to share or yard sale treasures or thrift store finds. I’ve found some gems at Goodwill in the past couple of weeks!

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My most exciting find, my far, was an 8 piece place setting of this beautiful white china. Check out the details – it is bordered by fleur de lis! The whole set was only $3.00!

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This may not look like much right now, but with some spray paint and imagination, the items will be beautiful! You all know I’m crazy about wreaths, and behind the silver tray are two brand new straw wreaths ($1). The silver tray is going to get a makeover with chalkboard paint, and the baskets will look amazing with a fresh coat of paint. I’ve even got something in mind for the frame!

I don’t have a picture, but I also picked up a Scene It game for $4.00.

How about you – what have you found recently?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

Please forgive my blog absence for the past several days. It will last a little longer, I’m afraid. Recent happenings at the House-hold have necessitated a step away from the computer. I apologize to those of you who had recipes ready for this week’s Tuesday at the Table. Please save them for next week, when TATT will resume. I hope to be back with regular posting next week.

I did want to jump on the computer while I can and announce the winners of my scarf giveaway! Are you ready?

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The winner of the $20 Target gift card and the PINK scarf is…..

Ashley, from Ashley’s Antics!

 

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The winner of the LEOPARD PRINT scarf is….

Christie from Pop Rocks for Breakfast!

 

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The winner of the PINK AND NAVY silk scarf is….

Tanielle from The Polka Dot Daisy!

 

Ladies, please email me at andrearhouse at yahoo dot com with your address.

I’ve got some good stuff planned for next week, so hopefully I will be back to regular posting. Stay tuned for another fabulous giveaway next Wednesday. I purchased something super special and super adorable from an Etsy shop recently and the seller agreed to sponsor a giveaway for my blog; how cool is that?

Love to all my beautiful readers - Andrea

Thursday, May 14, 2009

All About Scarves & a GIVEAWAY!

If you are like me, when you hear the word “scarf” a few different words might come to mind: cold. winter. coat. Imagine my amazement when I put on my observation goggles and started to notice that people were no longer wearing scarves for warmth – they were wearing them as accessories!

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Well, readers, I love me a good accessory. Earrings? The bigger the better. Necklaces? Only the most chunky and ornate will do. Sunglasses? Jackie-O style, please.

Scarves? Well, this was new to me, but I quickly jumped on the bandwagon. What’s not to love? They’re colorful. They’re available everywhere. Best of all – they always fit. You can never get too fat for a scarf.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Celebrities are all about scarves. Check it out:

the-scarf-is-the-new-bag-415x275Katie is really thinking “Man, I love my scarf. It totally hides the fact that vampire Tom bit my neck last night.”

6a00d8341c873353ef00e553e1f32e8834-800wiHave you ever noticed that Jessica never smiles in pictures? She smirks. She’s smirking here, knowing she looks adorable in her pink and white scarf.

Scarves are sold everywhere. Wal-Mart, Target, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Wet Seal, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and Claire’s are just a few of my favorite places to look for scarves. I find them very affordable… at the places I listed above, I’ve never paid more than $15 for a scarf. Don’t forget Goodwill – that place is a treasure trove for silk scarves.

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There are tons of ways to wear a scarf. Wear a solid color scarf with an outfit that has multiple colors. Use a patterned scarf to punch up a solid colored t-shirt or tank. Wear your scarf as a pashmina. Tie it around your neck like a kerchief. Knot it around your neck like a ascot.

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Purse scarf

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Head scarf

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Skank magnet scarf

Because I love scarves, and I want you to love them as well, I’m hosting a giveaway here at My Chihuahua Bites. I’m giving away three scarves:

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AND A $20 TARGET GIFT CARD!

One lucky reader will receive the gift card and a scarf of their choice. Two other readers will each receive one scarf.

There are a few ways to enter to win;

  1. Leave a comment in response to this post. Tell me what scarf you would like to win, and how you would wear it.
  2. Leave a question for me to answer on my “All About Me” post. You can ask as many questions as you like but please leave each question in a different comment.
  3. Everyone who left a comment in the “Babies on the Brain” post receives an extra entry in the giveaway.

GOOD LUCK!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tuesdays at the Table

Andrea's Tues at the Table Red Gingham copy

Welcome to Tuesdays at the Table! Most of you know the drill. If you have a recipe, link up. If you don’t, click on the link to get some great recipe ideas. If you are new here, read on for more information on how to participate in Tuesdays at the Table.

To participate, simply create a food-related post: a recipe, a food tip, a tutorial, a product review - anything food related! Be sure to link back to My Chihuahua Bites! in your post so that your readers know where they can come to join the party.

Once your blog is posted, come back to this post and sign in with Mr. Linky. Please make sure that you are linking to your TATT post and NOT to your blog. I have had people complain that they can’t find your posts when they click on your link, and this is because you link to your blog and not to your post. If someone comes by later in the week and wants to visit you, they have a harder time finding your featured recipe.

Remember when I said last week that I lost my cooking mojo? Well, I found it, and with an old tried and true recipe. Some of you have probably had this before, and you can attest to how good it is. Some of you have not, and trust me, you’ll thank me later.

Better Than Sex Cake

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Ingredients:

  • One box of chocolate cake mix (I use devil’s food), plus the ingredients required to make the cake
  • One can sweetened condensed milk
  • One jar of caramel
  • One jar of hot fudge sauce
  • One tub of Cool Whip
  • One package Heath candy crumbles

Prepare cake according to package directions; bake.

When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes. Take a butter knife and use the handle (the part you grip) to poke holes all over the cake. You want lots of holes.

Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk all over the cake.

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Pour the entire jar of caramel sauce over the cake.

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Heat up the hot fudge sauce so that it is easy to pour. Pour about half of the jar all over the cake.

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It’s best to let this soak in overnight. Let the cake cool completely, and then pop it in the fridge until the next morning. The cake will completely absorb all the toppings, making it rich, gooey, and decadent.

You can make and eat it the same day, but it is richer the longer it sits.

Top with Cool Whip – do this right before serving.

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Sprinkle Heath crumbles all over the top of the cake, and then slice and serve!

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This is seriously the best cake ever. It is easy to prepare, and you will get raves when you serve it. It’s great for potlucks or family events.

Some people mix together the condensed milk and caramel and then pour it over the cake. I prefer to do things one layer at a time.

What’s cooking, ladies?


Friday, May 8, 2009

What’s on my camera?

I have a ton of very random pictures I’d like to share with you, so please join me for today’s edition of What’s On My Camera.

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This is my super cute niece, L, in the super adorable tutu and shirt I had made for her birthday. The shirt says “Princess L” – don’t you love the zebra? She insisted on wearing her high heel shoes with this ensemble.

Here’s L on Easter Sunday, posing in my sunglasses. She’s taking after her aunt, for sure! Are you wondering why I cut off her head in the picture above? I just don’t feel comfortable featuring other people’s children on my blog, unless I have their permission. I feel safe posting this picture because the sunglasses obscure half her face.

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DSC01723 Here’s Jason and I on Easter Sunday. This picture makes me laugh! Jason is such a sorority girl – he thinks we have to be cheek to cheek in each picture. It drives me mad! Apparently I was trying to get away from him when my mom snapped this picture.

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I showed you George in his blonde wig but check out JC! By the way, he really hated this. I should have got some audio of his reaction when I was trying to put on the wig.

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I am so not a rocker chick, but I seriously want to be. I want to be a girl who can pull off lots of eyeliner and a smoky eye. I picked up Bare Escentual’s Rocker Eye kit at Sephora a few weeks ago, and this is what I came up with. I’ll be showing you a tutorial of this look sometime next week.

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Why are these on my camera? Because I randomly take pictures of people on TV when they have cute hair, outfits, or accessories. Crazy, I know. I love Heidi’s hat and Lauren’s headband.

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Can you identify this creature? He made an appearance in our pond a few weeks ago. At first, all I could see was the tail, and I totally thought an anaconda was coming to eat JC. Then I saw a glimpse of the head, and was convinced it was an alligator. I’ve since narrowed it down to an otter or a minx. What do you think?

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Justine left me this comment on yesterday’s post:

Let me ask you this, since you answered all those other questions. Do you ALWAYS look so put-together? I mean, do you ever just lounge around in a t-shirt and a ripped pair of shorts? Is your hair always done to perfection, in addition to your makeup. 'Cause really? You're starting to piss me off with that shit. I want to see you look nasty!!!!!!!!!

And take me to Edisto with you. That way I can see you first thing in the morning.

Well, Justine, that’s a fair question. No, I don’t look like that all the time. I look put-together 10% of the time – usually on weekends, and usually when we have somewhere to go, like a family event, party, meeting, etc. That 10% of the time, I take pictures, because I need to remind myself and my husband that I have the capacity to look decent, should I choose to do so.

I look a hot mess Monday-Friday. I’m not a morning person, and I’m usually running around like a crazy person because I overslept and am late for work. This results in me going to work in a thrown together, slightly wrinkled outfit, with wet hair (and my hair DOES NOT look cute when it dries naturally), and minimal makeup. In fact, when I do get my act together and dry my hair and properly apply makeup for work, my co-workers say things like “Oh my gosh, you look nice today! What did you do different?”

When I get home, I immediately change my clothes, as George and JC shed terribly and I won’t pick them up or let them sit on my lap if I have on my “good clothes.” My bad clothes, therefore, consist of old white Hanes t-shirts, covered in random stains, and some sort of gym pants or shorts. It is not cute.

I’ve shared before that I’m ruthless about pictures of myself. I take multiple pictures, trying to get a shot that doesn’t show my wonky eyes or my many chins. The bad shots get deleted. Now, if I somehow got access to my mom’s camera – then you’d see what I look like the rest of the time. Although I’ve totally tried to delete pictures off her camera, and she’s banned me from touching her camera in the future as a result.

Some of you probably think this sounds terribly vain. Well, I’ll admit to being vain some of the time. But the truth is that I choose to present my best self on my blog. I can keep it real any time I want, just by looking in the mirror. I don’t claim to be a beautiful girl. I know what I look like, and it isn’t perfection. I’m overweight. My skin has been breaking out lately like I’m back in high school. My cheeks are always red, and my hair only looks decent when I spend 20 minutes fixing it. I know this about myself, and I’m sure you have noticed some of it from the pictures I share. Trying to look as nice as possible with what I have to work with (as far as the pictures I share on my blog) is a pride thing for me, I guess. If that makes me a bad person, so be it.

With that said, here are some less than perfect pictures of myself:

ajmeltingresizeI’m pretty sure we had both been drinking.

momjcrThe girl with no neck.

outsideresize Frizzy hair alert

DSC00517 No makeup – thank gosh Jason looks worse than I do. :)



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Southern belle, mom of 1, cooker, decorator, crafter, and lover of all things beauty related. Check my About Me tab for more information!

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