Just checking in…

Aaaahhh, the weekend. It was a busy one, with lots to tell you about, but today I feel like doing a list, so here it is.

1. Justin and I worked all day on Saturday on various home-craft projects. The photo above is of our bedroom wall…I found the “Beautiful Conifers of Canada” print here, and Justin worked his magic with simple leaf silhouettes on a similar background to create a wall grouping. We mounted the prints on sturdy cardstock, then lined them up along the wall. We decided to frame the whole thing with two lengths of string, pulled taut across the top and bottom edges of the grouping. I love it! Until now, this wall has been a big, blank, chocolate emptiness…the bedroom looks so much nicer already.

2. Friday night we went to the Blue Theater to see a screening of Let Them Eat Cake a documentary on the fight to keep junk food out of Texas schools. We loved this theater…I wish I had taken a picture of it! The film itself was good, and the gallery next door featured scanned images of the crazy marketing that junk food companies direct toward children. Blue french fries? Green ketchup? It was so disturbing to see how advertisers slyly encourage kids to nag their parents (who are often depicted in ads as being “uncool”) to purchase these foods.

3. Saturday night we went to the Dougherty Theater to see my friend Vidya’s dance company’s performance. It was so much fun! The theater is so small and cozy, and I was just amazed by how graceful and gorgeous Vidya looked on stage.

4. This is Toast, our new puppy at the bed and breakfast. I don’t remember whether I mentioned it or not, but our old dog, Myles, passed away last month. We were all pretty sad about it. Toast is about two years old and full of energy, and he’s super-friendly and loving. And he’s so cute!

5. Sunday morning we ate lunch with Chad and Lindsay at Las Manitas, my absolute favorite Mexican food restaurant. I took some photos, and I’ll do a write-up in the next few days.

6. The University of Texas will be starting up classes this week, so Austin is once again jam-packed with students. Lindsay and I went grocery shopping together on Sunday afternoon, along with EVERY. SINGLE. UT STUDENT. It took us two hours to get out of that place, through crowded aisles of kids buying Ramen noodles by the case. We have hereby decided never to grocery shop on a Sunday again.

7. Speaking of grocery shopping, Lindsay has started a blog to keep track of her wonderful meals. She posts her grocery list once a week, then throughout the week she updates the blog with each meal, a photo, and the recipe. Isn’t that a cool idea? Check it out here.

8. Sunday night we had dinner at Rob and Shara’s house, and Shara made the most amazing lasagna. We stopped by their new house (they’ll be moving in this week!) to see all the hard work they’ve put into it. It’s looking good, but I don’t envy them a bit…painting and tearing out cabinets and re-wiring plugs…

9. I finished reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver this week…holy moly! It was incredibly good, and if you haven’t read it, you should. Justin and I also finished reading the His Dark Materials series (yes, this is the third time I’ve read these books). I read aloud to him at night while he sketches or plays a game, but I suppose now we need to find a new book to read together.

10. I’ve become addicted to crossword puzzles. After we watched Wordplay weeks and weeks ago, I wanted to try my hand at the puzzles…I started with the Monday and Tuesday New York Times puzzles, and I loved them! I just bought four little books of NY Times crosswords at Half-Price Books, and they’re keeping me pretty busy.

11. Finally, I made the gazpacho (from the Spanish cooking class), which turned out deliciously. Now that I’ve tried and approved of the recipe, I’ll share it with you!

Gaspacho de Andaluz

  • 1 (28-ounce) can Muir glen fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 slice bread, crusts removed (if using a fluffy bread, toast it first)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used 1 tablespoon balsamic and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I only used about 1/4 cup, and the texture was perfect)

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Check flavor for salt. Pass through a mesh strainer and chill thoroughly. Before serving, check flavors again for salt and vinegar. You can used the strained solids as a bruschetta topping.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Adapted from Central Market Cooking School.

10 responses to “Just checking in…”

  1. Toast is adorable! and the leaves are a nice way to brighten the room.

  2. Wow, lots of news! I’m so sorry about the loss of your dog, happy about your new puppy, and love the new art in your bedroom.

  3. what a busy weekend! and so much fun stuff too. I love your bedroom wall, that is such a fun idea, especially with the string. hm, I’ll have to keep that in my idea bank…

  4. ooh, i love your walls. i’ve always loved that poster and a couple weeks ago checked her shop to see that it was all sold out. sigh! i hope she prints more up!

  5. I love your wall!! You did an amazing job.

  6. #1, huh, you and we have the same color of walls. It’s been 8 mos and we still haven’t managed to hang anything yet. Live in hope. What you’ve done looks Nice. I expect it will be a painting we hang should hub finish it.
    #4 Q-ute.
    # 6. LOL. There are all these roving bands of students in matching frosh t-shirts appearing. Amusingly odd but no one seems to have discovered grocery stores yet. Maybe next week…:)

  7. Love the prints and the way you all hung them. I am sorry about your dog Myles. I hope Toast is a good companion. I had a dog named Toast, except she was a girl and was a black chow/lab mix. Named her toast because she reminded me of burnt toast. Anyways, I haven’t read the Poionwood Bible, but I have read The Bean Trees by Kinsolver and I absolutely loved the book. http://www.kingsolver.com/bookshelf/bean_trees.asp
    Have a great day!

  8. What a cute puppy and I love what you two did with your wall! How creative!

  9. OHMYGA, the wall is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it in person. Thanks so much for linking to me….I love you!

  10. Toast is perfect. . . Wow on the walls. . . Fantastic that your hubby helps and inputs on the craftiness. . . UT. . . well look at the bright side. . . more UT parents at the B&B. . . job security.

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