Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Weekend at A Glance

Here are a few things that were the highlight of my weekend!!  Good food, good friends, good cleaning...

       (Breakfast with Hubby buffet at Ollie's Station)
(Finally getting the big basket of wedding items off the table and putting them in our cedar chest, which has become sort of the wedding chest.  Lol)

(Going to the Plant and Herb Festival in Jenks.  Hubby was so nice and drove me!!)

(Pretty hanging basket from Riddle's Plant Farm.)

(Playing with Hubby and Bandit in bakyard in the puuuurrrfect weather!)
(A buffet fit for royalty at Grandma's last Sunday!  Grilled burgers and chicken, sliced potatoes, homemade coleslaw.  Mm-mm!)

(Our makeup giudes for the opera, Aida with Tulsa Opera.)
(The Egyptian results!  Such a fun production to be a part of! I will actually be auditioning for Tulsa Opera in a couple of weeks, about which I am very excited!!)

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Weekend to Remember: Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake

 This weekend was such a packed weekend!!  We celebrated one of my best friend's birthdays (twice!!), had an open house for my old elementary school, Eisenhower International (this is the last year that they will be in the building that I called my school home for 6 years.  The program has once again outgrown its building and will be moving.)  It was opening night of Tulsa Opera's Aida, (which was amazing and so fun to be a part of!), and my Hubby's work picnic.  Through all of this busyness, I found the time to bake this delicious Lemon blackberry Cheesecake. (Recipe below)  Shurayah loves anything blackberry, just like I love anything raspberry! 
As you can see, I had a lot of fun decorating her office!!  Decorating is something I enjoy doing immensely, so I'm always looking for opportunities.  We had a little cupcake anddessert party for her after out immaculate lunch at Sushi Hana.  Needless to say, we were all pretty much miserable and useless forthe rest of the day.  *ehem* I mean we were very productive and motivated for the rest ofthe day after all ofthe sugar we had...
This is a picture from my old elementary school, Eisenhower International.  All of us pictured were part of the spanish program and were part of the first class to go all the way through, from K-5 at this "new" building.  This is a picture of our handprints that we got to paint on our gym wall when we graduated in '98.  That apricot color is the original color of the wall.  They did a good job preserving it, while trying to update the rest of it!  The immersion program was a revolutionary program when it was started, back in 1981.  It started at Eliot Elementary school, but outgrew that and moved to a new building next to Tulsa's Education Service Center.  It truly did help build lifelong skills and lifelong friendships.  Only 5 of us are pictured here, but there were many more.  And mostly all of us still keep in touch.  This was just one more opportunity for all of us to get together!

Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake
3 tbsp softened butter                        1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs         1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 lbs. Cream Cheese                          1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used Splenda)     1 1/2 pints Blackberries (I used frozen ones!)
3/4 cup Milk (I used Lactaid)            Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
4 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9 in. springform pan with 1 tbsp butter.  Mix the graham crackers with the rest of the butter and press firmly into the bottom and halfway up sides of pan. (I really only pressed it around the bottom and not the sides.)

In large bowl, use a handheld mixer and cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Blend in the milk, then beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing just enought to where they are incorporated. Mix in the sour cream, flour and vanilla until smooth. (careful with the flour and make sure you have the mixer on a low speed.  Otherwise it will go everywhere! Not that I know from experience......shhh)
Divide the mixture between two bowls.

In a blender or food processor, puree 1 pint of blackberries with the zest and juice of lemon. (I got to use my new handy dandy zester that we got for the wedding!)
  Pour the puree into one of the bowls of cheesecake mixture, along with the remaining 1/2 pint of whole blackberries and mix well.


Pour the blackberry mixture into the springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from oven and pour remaining filling over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 1 hour, until topping is set. Chill in the refridgerator until ready to use. (I moved the pan straight from the oven to the fridge and it ruend out just fine! Just make sure to set potholders under it so it won't harm the fridge shelf.)  I left mine in thr fridge overnight and it was perfect in the morning!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Thank You! and Spring Contest

Well folks, I've gotta hand it to you.  We did it!  I want to thank you for helping me reach over 1,000 page views!!  This blog was a slow process to get started.  I started it last year as a sort of means to chronicle the wedding planning, but as you can see if has turned into something more.  I'm a big sharer of things that I love, how I feel.  It keeps me going knowing that I could potentially help someone have a better day, a successful craft night, an inspirational saying, or  a hearty home-cooked meal or dessert!  I couldn't have done it without  all of you.  I appreciate everyone stopping by and taking an interest in some of the same things that I love.  

   To celebrate, I'm going to hold a contest.  Start commenting on here, or on my post about this on Facebook.  I want to know one or two things that have been milestones in your life, whether it be an achievement, an award, a turning point, or something you are very proud of.  I'll  accept comments made from now until May 1.  

  What is the prize, you ask?  I will send you the book 'Fireflies in December', by Jennifer Erin Valent.  It's in a trilogy with 'Cottonwood Whispers' and 'Catching Moondrops'. It's one of my favorite books I've read so far this year, and for awhile.  It's about a turning point, a milestone in two young girls lives.  It takes place in the early 1900's, amidst prejudice and racism.  The threat of the Ku Klux Klan is so big in a small southern town that it threatens the lives of a white family that took in an African American girl after  the girl's parents died in a fire.  It's the Summer that Jessalyn Lassiter stops being a little girl, and starts learning what it really means to love someone so much that you'd risk your life to save hers.  Once I started reading this book on my Kindle, I could hardly put it down!  So go ahead and start commenting!  I would love to share this book with you!!  

    Thank you all again for helping me make this a successful blog!  While you're commenting, feel free to give me some ideas of things you all would like to see on here!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Crystal City

Crystal City: the original home of the Zingo. (Which now sadly sits disassembled somewhere in storage after Bell's amusement park was closed in 2006 or 7.)   Crystal City, as you can partially see is now a strip mall down Southwest Boulevard.
    As we pulled up, we could tell the parking lot was packed. People were still walking up.  Today was the last day of the Crystal City Carnival.  I enjoy community events.  I don't get to go to many.  But when I do, it makes me feel like a part of a real community.  Almost Gilmore Girls-esque.  (Which is great, because it's one of my favorite shows!)  Walking up, we could smell some of the wonderful smells of the fair.  September can't come soon enough!  I'm ready for the real thing now. (Except it canwait, because I need me some Summer weather so I can go to the lake and do summery things.)

There was, of course, the classic fair and carnival ride ferris wheel.  There were a few other rides as well, most of them kids rides.  Actually, I'm not a huge ride fan at the fair anymore, except for a few tried and true that I ride every year.  A. They're expensive; B. Some of them look scary, do they seriously put them up safely in just a couple of days?? C. I've started getting sick on roundy round rides.  (Except the Himalaya.  That's a fun bone-crushing ride.  Though I miss how it used to go backwards and forwards.  I can't stop laughing the whole time we're on it!!)  The other ride that I have to ride is the one that has about 5 arms coming down in a circle and each arm has a bench at the end of it that holds about 6 or so people.  The arms that these benches come down from swings back and forth while the whole thing spins.  I love it every time!  It takes my breath away, probably cause I'm so scared that the whole arm is just going to swing right off!  But hey, that's part of the fun, right?

There were also little carnival games set up.  I've never been big on playing them.  I never win. All of the money that I bring to the fair (or carnival) with me is for food and those two rides. But people look like they enjoy them.  (It reminds me of that scene in Despicable Me where the villain takes his little children to the carnival and they really want to win the unicorn prize from a booth and, after many failed attempts at winning the rigged game, he ends up blasting the whole booth with his gun.)
    But now we get to the real reason (one of them aside from wanting to be involved in the community) why I wanted to go to the carnival.  The Food!!  I'd like to joke that I'm a fat person trapped in a skinny girl's body.  The way I eat (though I have gotten a lot better and have cut out fried food for a little while) I sould weigh a lot more than I do.  As we stood in line at the hot dog place, I started looking at the prices.  Wait a second, it can't be $6 for a corn dog!  Surely these prices are double??  But no, Hubby informed me that that was the "normal" fair price.  I guess I'd just never noticed...  We decided to forego the corn dogs and go straight to the good stuff: cotton candy and caramel apples!! ("Would the pretty lady like a carmel apple?  Free for the pretty lady!" name that movie!!)  They were delicious!  They were worth the $9 it took to get them both.  It's always OK to splurge on dessert.
    All in all it was a good visit to the carnival.  There were a lot of people that looked like they were enjoying themselves.  We enjoyed ourselves as well!  I believe this was the carnival's 3rd year running and this was the first year we could make it.  I'm sure glad we did!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Nautical Neavitt

I have grown up going to either Florida or North Carolina every other summer.  The past few summers it has been North Carolina.  We always visit family in Laurinburgh and Raleigh.  We also visit Wilmington.  Wilmington, NC has to be one of my most favorite places to visit.  It's full of ghost stories, neat stores, the BEACH and delicious seafood restaurants.  The oceanside part of it has such a nautical feel to it, as does the downtown area.  Bottom line, I love nautical things.  My outfit today was nautical inspired.  I had actually planned on bwearing my white and navy blue striped shirt that I hadn't worn in a few long months.  But come the day I wanted to wear it again, it went missing! *gasp* So I had my back up stripey shirt.  It's made up such soft fabric, as is my velvety jacket.

The shirt is from Old Navy. (They have such great basic tees in a huge variety of colors.)  The jacket is a thrift store find by my wonderful Mama.  Jeans and boots are both from Targe, which is always hard to leave without finding something to buy!
(I tried to be artful in posing.  but you know that your mind's eye sees something totally different from the eye eyes.  In my mind's eye, I was looking pensively off in the distance with a slight sile on my face.  In the eye eyes, I am standing there awkwardly staring atthe wall, pondering "hmmm, is that a fly way up there?" In my mind's eye, I was posing a little more gracefully!

I don't know what I was trying to accomplish here.  "Eh, step rright up, step rright up.  I have such a fine array of looted watches and pretty bobbles to choose frroom.  You no believe me?  Step closer, I show you."  Sometimes my imagination runs wild.  Heck, it gallops wildly. 

This is a necklace that I've actually had few occasion to wear.  It's such a pretty piece that I got for my birthday a few years ago with matching earrings.  (Along with a mug that lovingly compared friends to bras.  I'll have to share it with you another day.)  You can't tell really well in this picture, but it's a light silver color.  I felt like it was the perfect piece to dress up my outfit today.

Like I said, I love everything nautical.  And I love, love God.  So this was a really neat design I found in Pinterest that combined two of my loves.  (Though my love between them is incomparable.) 
I think nothing goes better together with the blue and white nautical colors than red.  It's such a nice contrast and seems to make everything flow together.  These are actually a few of the colors and themes that are serving a inspiration for a clothing line that my cousin and I are working on.  I might talk about it a little later, but it's still in the early stages of planning.  But here, you all get a sneak peek of a few things that inspire me, andinspire my clothes. 

What are things that inspire YOU?

Monday, April 1, 2013


Christ has risen. He died for our sins and rose again to be with the Father. It is the ultimate sacrifice of history.

Have I mentioned how much I love my little cousins? They're so smart and precious, all 4 of them! Ages 3-11. All I want to do is spoil them. This year I decided to put together a little treat for them of things I picked up at the $1 store while I was out and about.
I included some candy: chocolate eggs, double bubble gum eggs, peanut butter eggs, and (my personal favorite) gummy bunny teeth!! I also included that noise making goo for the boys, and expandable princess washcloths for the girls. Simple contents, but the kids are so good, they love anything. They deserve anything!
For Easter, we all went to church Sunday morning and we presented the second half of our church's Passion Week, our annual musical drama. I was Mary Magdalene. We depicted Jesus' betrayal by Judas in the garden all the way up to his crucifixion and resurrection. It was a very touching performance and I think it was our best one yet! We then went to Grandma's house for delectable ham, potatoes, asparagus, macaroni, salad, bread, and....3 pies to choose from for dessert; chocolate mousse, coconut cream and cherry cream!!! Hubby, Mama and I then went to Victory's 'Risen' drama. Also depicting Jesus's entry into Jerusalem, the miracles he performed and his crucifixion and resurrection. It's a story I never tire of being told. Our Saviour's sacrifice to send his own son to die for us on the cross for sins that had been committed and sins that had yet to be committed. It's the greatest love story.