Saturday, December 27, 2008
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
My dog was going berserk; perhaps she saw a mouse!
My suitcases were packed and placed with care,
In hopes my ride to the airport would soon be there.
When out on my porch there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Uncle Eric and his awaiting SUV were there.
Lexus had been drugged for our impending flight,
But a Xanax and Benadryl left her with plenty of fight.
As I reached for her collar and shouted in vain,
My temper got the best of me and out came these names:
Now Lexus, now devil dog, now bad spawn - you listen,
We have a plane to get on, so you better stop your hissin’!
So into your travel bag you go, my little beast,
Just be glad it’s not a cage or a crate at least.
Her eyes – how they mocked me with an angry glare,
Her teeth bared and biting; her nostrils so flared!
A vicious growl and a twist of her head,
Soon gave me to know I had everything to dread.
I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
Grabbed her by her neck, then turned with a jerk.
And laying my fingers aside from her mouth and nose,
I gave her a quick push and into the bag she dove!
Quick went the zipper, the triumph was mine,
We arrived at the airport and just in time.
But I heard her exclaim, as we soared through the night,
"You think you’ve won, but we still have a return flight!"
Please pray for me!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday night we broke bread at Holly's favorite restaurant Hibicus. Luck would have it, there was a cancellation in one of their private dining rooms, so we were able to have a nice, quiet meal with the family and a few of Holly's co-workers (who were so nice to pick up the tab!) Thanks Derek!
One of the nice things about attending a smaller school (and graduating in December) is there was only 900 doctorate, masters and undergraduate students receiving their diplomas on Saturday night. We had no problem picking Holly out of the crowd and zooming in on her with Big Louise (my sister's fancy camera).
After a record-breaking graduation ceremony (only 2 hours!), the business school hosted a small reception for the graduates and their families. My Dad loved this because there was plenty of finger foods and drinks to go around. (Translation: he didn't have to pay for dinner that night! He also managed to stumble across the graduate t-shirt table and all I will say is "While the cat's away...")
We thought it would be fun to poke fun at the fact that I'm the only Smith sister who DOESN'T have her master's degree. Just call me "Underachiever PK". You can find me and my lame bachelor's degree cowering in the corner with all the other slackers.
Congrats, Holly! We're so proud of you!
P.S. Holly, since I bought you a graduation gift, does this mean I'm off the hook for Christmas?
Monday, December 8, 2008
So it was no surprise when I walked into his house and was greeted by his luggage tag tree. Tags and a random assortment of ornaments and lights (both indoor and outdoor). Hey, what do you expect from a tree decorated by a dude?!
Like I said, not a whole lot of design continuity here, but at least you get the idea.
It was really cute to see my dad gush over his tree. And it actually became a fun little game. He would have you go up to the tags and see how many airport codes you could guess right.
A few of them were no brainers like "DFW" for Dallas/Ft. Worth and "SLC" for Salt Lake City. And then there were those that weren't quite as obvious like "BWI" (Baltimore International Airport), "SNA" (John Wayne Airport in Santa Anna, CA) and "ORD" (Chicago O'Hare International Airport).
Here's a closer view of the tags. How many can you get right?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Meet Beau Travis Pulliam. Beau Travis is 9 months old and the son of one of my sister's friends. He is betrothed to Ruby Belle Tarrant. (Yes, their parents are from the South!)
Ruby Belle was born two weeks ago to my sister's best friend. "Ruby" is after her maternal great-grandma and "Belle" is after her paternal great-grandma. Ruby Belle's dad is the biggest sweetheart in all of Texas. The day she was born he gave his wife a diamond and ruby necklace and said, "Dana, you're my diamond and our baby is my ruby."
That Beau Travis is a lucky boy!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
A few years ago I was introduced to chef Nigella Lawson courtesy of The Oprah Winfrey Show. She was doing a cooking segment with Oprah and the two of them were discussing these little chocolate souffles Nigella had just pulled out of the oven. As a lover of all sweets - especially anything to do with chocolate - let's just say my taste buds were salivating.
And since you can find anything on Oprah.com, (I'm mean anything!), I typed "Choco Hoto Pots" into her search engine and was instantly rewarded with this sinfully delicious recipe:
Recipe created by Nigella Lawson
Forget about the calories—just sit back and enjoy the decadence provided in this warm chocolate treat.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 - 6 servings
Butter for ramekins
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Place baking sheet in an oven preheated to 400°F/200°C. Butter four 2/3 cup ramekins and set aside. (I actually find these so decadently sweet, that I use ½ cup ramekins and make 6.)
2. Using a microwave oven or double boiler, melt together the semi-sweet chocolate chips and the butter. Set aside to cool.
3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar and flour. Add cooled chocolate mixture, and mix until blended.
4. Divide mixture evenly among ramekins and place on baking sheet. Bake until tops are shiny and cracked and chocolate beneath is hot and gooey, about 20 minutes. Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve, reminding children that ramekins and chocolate are hot.
I like to top my hoto pots with a generous serving of whip cream. If you're really feeling naughty (and who doesn't from time to time?), top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then whip cream, and then drizzle chocolate or caramel sauce over the whole thing!
If you feel like making a unique dessert this Thanksgiving, you can't go wrong with these little pieces of chocolate heaven. And because you bake them individually, you can present each of your guests with their own ramekin. (Speaking of ramekins, I just saw them for $1 a piece at World Market and Pier 1 Imports. How's that for a bargain!)
Forget the pumpkin pie, people. Your guests will thank you!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The chef claimed you hadn't really tasted turkey until you had tasted a fried turkey. With that statement uttered, my sister decided it was game on! She went out and bought all the necessary tools - deep fryer, oil, tongs, hooks, flame-retarded oven mitt and of course, the bird.
(Disclaimer! If you're a vegetarian or grew up on a farm where you named your little gobble-gobbles, the images you're about to see are graphic in nature.)
Here's Holly with her bird - pre-fryer. The secret to a moist bird is to inject it with marinades, spices and coat it with a special dry rub seasoning.
Here's my sister's boyfriend, my dad and Holly getting ready to lower our turkey into the fryer.
And a quick 45 minutes later, our bird emerged cooked (yep, it's supposed to look charcoaled!) and ready for consumption.
With her uncanny ability to turned anything into gold (or in our case, dinner!), Holly salutes her masterpiece.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
So while I'll be joining my girlfriends tomorrow night for our OO7 drool fest, I thought I would share some pictures of the next James Bond. You know, in 2o years when Daniel's face starts to sag a bit and his piercing blue eyes lose their hypnotizing effect. Sorry ladies, but it's bound to happen!
Meet my cousin Carter Smith, aka The Booch. A couple of years ago, Boochie was all about the pellet guns. His mom wouldn't let him have a bb gun, so pellets were the next best thing. I came over for a visit one day and found him lining up empty Coke cans for target practice.
So Daniel, beware! Carter is coming for your job in 2028! In the meantime, me and Ms. Maxwell will enjoy Craig's "startlingly luscious iteration of an icon".
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Brandy J tagged me the other day and since I don't want to break the chain and have seven years of bad luck (get it - seven questions, seven bad years of luck!), here we go... (BTW, this was really hard!)
1. I've never broken a bone.
2. I made the varsity tennis team when I was a sophomore in high school.
3. I worked for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and scored a ticket to the Closing Ceremonies.
4. I'm very selective when it comes to dairy products. No to cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, mayo or anything that remotely smells like it was purposely left out to curdle, ferment or be the by-product of a bacterial culture. I do however enjoy ice cream, whip cream, milk (only with cereal), ranch dressing and cheddar cheese. I know, it's purely psychological!
5. Even though I was raised in the Lone Star State, I didn't get into country music until I moved to Utah for college. Some of my first country albums were Clint Black's Greatest Hits, Mary Chapin Carpenter Come On, Come On, and Shania Twain's The Woman in Me.
6. Most people go to the grocery store when they run out of milk, eggs or bread. For me, it's when I get down to my last two Cokes.
7. I'm definitely a creature of the night. My internal biorhythms really do perk up at about 4 p.m. and from then until about 12 a.m., I feel the most alert and productive.
I tag Laurie, Deb, Cristi, Mel, Kalyn, Susan, and Jennifer!
Don't break the chain people!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Smith, now 76 and residing in San Jose, Calif., went from singing in a nightclub in Hollywood to performing before soldiers in North Africa and Italy. Many of these performances were within three miles of the fighting and in front of crowds of 5000 servicemen.
From an interview in her home she said the nostalgia about WWII has led her to wear a replica of her USO uniform to entertain veteran groups today. Smith recently had her picture and a plaque of her experiences overseas, go up in the war memorial room of Hollywood High School, where she attended in 1936.
Smith was only 21 when a call from a talent scout came offering her a position in the USO. "The possibility of going overseas gave rise to a series of emotional reactions and I was asking myself: can I leave my home and parents and face the unknown?" Smith said.
But before she knew it she found herself saying, "yes" and getting fitted for her uniform and getting shots for typhoid and tetanus.
"The FBI ran a complete security check on me, had me fingerprinted and told me that if I were captured by the enemy, I would be treated as a POW-Capt. status," Smith said.
Smith said she knew she would be in dangerous circumstances, but wanted to do her part for the war effort. The USO shows ran from October 1941 to June 1944, with her travels taking her through Alaska, North Africa, Italy and England.
Her first impression of the war was of the poor, weary servicemen in the Aleutian Islands, near Alaska, where she was first assigned.
"Most of these men had not seen a woman, yet alone a white woman, in 18-20 months, so they were quite happy to see us."
Last year she attended a reunion for the 487th bomb group. She was in London celebrating their 100th mission 50+ years ago. She's also been in the production of the play "South Pacific" in which she added a touch of authenticity, as she sang the same songs she did during the war.
From a little girl singing in the Tabernacle to making history with the USO, it is no wonder her life has come full circle. And it's no surprise that 50 years ago, some GI cast his eye on a blond-haired soprano, whose voice helped soothe the angst and heal the soul.
Happy Veterans Day, Grandma!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Here's Lex and I with one of the scariest criminals on Die Cut Row - One Eyelet Hoeppner. (Since our office is so close to the state prison, Megan's team came dressed as inmates. Truly I think Megan came up with this idea so she could curse at us and get away with it!)
And here's Lex and I spreading our message of world peace and everlasting doggie kisses.
Hope you all had a groovin' Halloween!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
While I've spent the night wrapping treats for my co-workers and putting together my Halloween ensemble, I did have a momentary lapse in judgment. Call it mischief, call it curiosity, but I just couldn't wait any longer. The temptation was just too great.
So I gave into it... and before I knew it, my poor little dog found herself tied, velcroed, and coiffed for the big day. There was only one little problem... Halloween is not until tomorrow!
My sister Laurie bought Lexus this hot pink wig. I thought it would look cute with her Daisy Duke halter top and rhinestone-encrusted jean skirt. Just so you know, I never got the halter top on her!
And just for fun, I tried on her Shrek costume. I can't decide which costume she looks more scared in! Good thing I didn't pull out her Princess Leia ensemble. Those buns would have never stayed on!
So here's to a productive Mischief Night. I can't wait to see what's in store for Halloween!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
And since we're always trying to make each and every issue better than the last, when it came time to come up with our book idea for the year, we all unanimously said, "Let's do another PC Gourmet!" And so we have! This time it's a 176-page cookbook packed with over 50 scrumptious recipes and 100 complementary projects!
And since I'm all about sharing the love of food, here's an exclusive PC Gourmet recipe and project from our uber talented Paper Crafts Pro Alisa Bangerter:
Cheesy Garlic Drop Biscuits
This is a perfect recipe to pull out if you are short on time because there is no rolling or cutting. The cheese and garlic add extra kick to a plain biscuit, and kids love them. They are the perfect accompaniment to serve with soups or stews, and are great served with a salad.
2 c. flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 1/4 c. milk
Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry cutter until mixture is fine. Add cheese and mix well. Add milk and stir until just moistened. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle top with chopped dried or fresh chives if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for approx. 15 minutes.
SUPPLIES: Cardstock: (ivory) Dye ink: (Black) Stewart Superior Corp.; (Summer Sun) Stampin Up! Specialty ink: (Mango Lemonade color wash) Stewart Superior Corp. Color medium: (black chalk) Craf-T Products Accents: (black brads) Making Memories; (chipboard bat, moon) Melissa Frances Fibers: (black striped ribbon) Pebbles Inc. Font: (Black Family) www.dafont.com Adhesive: (foam tape) Finished size: 3" x 4 1/2"
1 Make tag from cardstock. 2 Crumple tag and smooth out. Spray edges with color wash; let dry. Apply chalk. 3 Ink chipboard moon; let dry. Chalk edges and adhere. 4 Ink chipboard bat; let dry. Adhere with foam tape. 5 Print sentiment on cardstock; trim and tear edges. Chalk edges and adhere with foam tape. Attach brads. Attach ribbon with brad.
Like what you see? Want to see more paper crafted yumminess? Make sure to visit Paper Crafts' online store where you can purchase your very own copy of PC Gourmet. Did I mention they make great holiday gifts? How easy is that!
P.S. BTW, if you're related to me, there's a good chance Santa is bringing you a copy!
Friday, October 24, 2008
If you think this is adorable, wait until you see the entire ensemble! Lexus told me she really wanted to go back to her rural Texas roots, so her wish is my command. Make sure you check back with us next Friday for the big reveal! (Think Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard! You know, if Jessica had hot pink hair!)
P.S. Does anyone know if they make toenail polish for dogs? It has to be fast drying!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Technically it's "editor", but since that doesn't quite encompass all that I do, we've put together a little contest where our readers will decide my new title!
To get our readers' creative juices flowing, I suggested a few names like "Web Wonder Woman", "Paper Crafts Cyber Girl", "Gallery Goddess", and my favorite..."Mistress of the Message Boards"!
And although the contest has only been going on for a day, the proposed titles are flooding in! Some standouts are "Super Cyber Specialist", "Cyber Czar", "Web Crafter Extraordinaire", "Digital Diva, and my favorite... "Queen of America"! (We're voting for a president in a couple of weeks. I wonder how hard it would be to add "Kelly Smith, Queen of America" to the ballot.)
And since this is a democratic society, we're accepting all title suggestions until next Monday, Oct. 27. From there, voting begins and my new title will be announced on Election Day, Nov. 4. To join in on the fun and perhaps win some cool prizes, visit Paper Crafts web site.
And check back here on Election Day. Maybe my dreams of becoming "Queen of America" will come true!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
My sister Laurie is a budding photographer. She recently purchased a very expensive camera, enrolled in some photography classes, and started her own professional blog called Life Through A Lens. Last week while she was visiting me in Utah, she contacted a local photographer (Liz Frandsen) whose work she has admired for some time. Her goal was to just observe, but Liz turned the camera on Laurie and literally made her a princess for the day.
"Autumn... the year's last, loveliest smile." -William C. Bryant
"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn." -Elizabeth Lawrence
P.S. Laurie, you looked more than awake... you looked ALIVE!
Friday, October 17, 2008
What's even more funny is I have left this thermos in so many places over the years (bathrooms, friends' cars, parking lots), but it always mysteriously finds its way back to me. Some might called it destiny or fate. I call it divine intervention. Coke and I were meant to share this life together. It's as simple as that.
But since it was so cold that day, my usual need for Coke was overruled by my need to stay warm, so I happily sipped on my hot cup of cocoa! (And therefore broke no rules!)
I'm off to go find my lucky Coca-Cola thermos for work tomorrow. Now where did I put it...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So when I heard that these two powerhouses we're coming to town, I had no problem shelling out the dough. And it gave me a great excuse to answer this question: "So Kel, why you wearing the cowboy boots today?" "I'm going to Reba!"
And since we were down on the floor (row 25), I had to snap a photo of our VIP wrist bracelets!
Are any of you Reba/Kelly Clarkson fans? If so, what are your favorite songs?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Then the real baby came along and everything changed. Suddenly a puppy dressed in a frilly dress wasn't nearly as cute as a tiny person dressed in a frilly dress. And no matter how hard she tried, Lexus couldn't help but resent this new "creature" who seemed to have mom and dad wrapped around her little slobbery finger.
So that's how Lexus came to live with PK. PK still thinks there's nothing cuter than dressing up small pups. And as much as Lexus hates admitting it, there's just something so right about slipping into a terry cloth robe after a hard day's work of gnawing on bones and listening to that da** Rafiki gripe about how Simba stole his thunder in The Lion King.
And while the reunion didn't go quite according to plan (Little wanted Lexus to play tea party; Lexus wanted Little to croak on her tea), the two of them "attempted" to play nice.
And maybe next time Little and Lexus will kiss and make up over a cup of English tea!