Posted by Kate O. on Apr 27, 2009 in books, me | 3 comments
I have just barely started this one, but I am reading My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I have been wanting to read this one for awhile and decided it was time after seeing a preview for the movie on Oprah last week.
I always like to read books that are being made into movies before they hit the big screen. Even though I have no idea when this movie starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin is coming out, I still wanted to get this one read.
The only other Jodi Picoult book I have read was The Tenth Circle and I enjoyed it so hopefully this one won’t disappoint.
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 26, 2009 in me | 0 comments
This weekend was super busy and next weekend promises to be just as busy. But I wanted to share a recipe that is always a winner and for me it is only one I make on the weekends because to be honest I just don’t get up early enough before work to bake.
I am not sure where this recipe originally came from but my mom has been making it for years. Every time I make it is a hit and doesn’t last too long.
Graham Streusel Coffee Cake
1 Pkg. SuperMoist Yellow Cake
1/3 C Vegetable Oil
Streusel Crumb Mixture:
28 squares of Graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
¾ C Packed Brown Sugar
1 ¼ t Ground Cinnamon
¾ C chopped nuts (optional)
¾ C margarine or butter (melted)
Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 C powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon water
Stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time or until desired consistency.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs in large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, until moistened. Pour about half the batter into the greased 13x9x2 dish, and top with about 2 cups (or a good covering) of the crumb mixture. Pour remaining batter into dish and cover with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake about 45 to 50 minutes or until fully cooked, cool and drizzle with powdered sugar glaze.
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 23, 2009 in me | 0 comments
Did you watch? My mom wanted me to but I didn’t. . .oops? But she did record it so not all hope is lost that I might see it. What did you think? Did you watch?
Louis M. Martini – Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2006
So you know from previous posts that I’m a big fan of the Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet. . .but tonight I tried the Alexander Valley Cabernet.
Apparently the Cabernets are ranked, starting with the Sonoma County then you take a step up pricewise and taste wise to the Napa Valley, then one step up is the Alexander Valley and the top of the line Cabernet from Louis M. Martini is the Sonoma Valley Monte Rosso Valley.
Well Matt (who will maybe blog one day), travels a lot for work and while he was in Austin stumbled upon a store that had the Alexander Valley for a great price! So he bought me one. . .and in exchange, instead of paying him back I bought him 3 Barefoot wines. Kroger had them on sale and he wanted some inexpensive 2nd bottles of wine.
I finally decided to open this bottle, cause he might be in Austin soon then I’ll know if I want another bottle. Matt found it for about $20 less than what most people sale it for. Don’t ask me how that is. . .
I like this wine; it has a good taste that is very enjoyable and very drinkable. I think it is very smooth but with just the right amount of kick. I’m thinking I might need Matt to pick me up another bottle. . .
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 21, 2009 in me | 0 comments
I am by no means the most hard core Aggie but I am definitely not a 2 percenter. . .despite that Muster is one of my favorite Aggie Traditions even though I only went one time as a student. It was one of the things that I liked most about A&M when I was looking at colleges. . .Aggies are always family or as they say, “once an Aggie always an Aggie”. . .I know we mostly sound like a cult to the nonAggies of the world but I think it is best described through the words of the alma matter:
Some may boast of prowess bold
Of the school they think so grand
But there’s a spirit can ne’er be told
It’s the Spirit of Aggieland.
But anyway, back to Muster. . .I like how it is descried on Wikipedia:
According to the Houston Chronicle, “perhaps the best, most meaningful Aggie tradition of all is one you wish never happened.” While students at many schools prize their individuality, “Aggies are all about unity and loyalty. When an Aggie falls, the family comes together to remember.” This remembrance occurs annually on April 21 as Aggies observe Muster, a solemn event to honor current and former students who died during the previous year. Over 300 Musters are held around the world, with the largest taking place at Reed Arena on the Texas A&M University campus. All Muster ceremonies feature the Roll Call for the Absent. As the names of the deceased Aggies are called, a family member or friend answers “Here,” and lights a candle, to symbolize that although their loved one is not present in body, his or her spirit will shine forever.
I know it can sound a bit creepy focusing on people that have died, but the part I like the most is that it brings Aggies together.
So, tonight Bitner and Chaz had us over to their new place so that we could Muster and just have some fun. . .
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 20, 2009 in me | 0 comments
Today one of my oldest and dearest friends turns 30! I know, I know. . .I am not supposed to say that but she has actually been looking forward to being 30 for quite some time so I wanted to give her a shout out here.
Amanda and I met freshman year of high school, but it wasn’t until our junior year that we became good friends. I had no idea when I walked into that horrible chemistry class I would find a friend for life. . .but I did! We slowly started hanging out a little here and a little there and now. . .14 years later we are still friends.
I did my best to dig up old photos but to be honest I have hard time finding none digital photos from those days because they are all in scrapbooks, but here’s are the few I could easily find.
This picture is from right about 13 years ago, because it was her little sister Hillary’s birthday. This is me with Amanda, Hillary, John & Josh. . .all of Amanda’s siblings.
This is Ainsley Kate’s first birthday with her mom and dad (Amanda and Eric).
This is Amanda and I on our trip to London, we’re at the Tower of London. Eric was nice enough to watch Ainsley all by himself so we could go in January of 2004, but this wasn’t our first trip overseas together, if I could find them I would have posted pictures from our trip to Europe senior year of high school.
In December of 2005 her family was complete with the addition of Brynn and Emma. . .and no don’t ask me which one is which in this picture. I can tell them apart now when I see them in person or in pictures but this far back I don’t think I can do it.
Happy Birthday Amanda. . .one day I’ll be as old as you!
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 19, 2009 in me | 0 comments
When the weather is nice I like to make a trip to Fort Worth and eat at Joe T. Garcia’s. It is an old restaurant in Ft. Worth that only has 2 menu items: Fajitas and Enchiladas.
I think my favorite thing is the amazing and gigantic patio that I love. But I definitely recommend giving it a try.
On nice days the line can get pretty long so you would want to get out there early. And I have to warn you that everything is served family style so there will be tons of food so maybe skip lunch if you are heading out for dinner.
This weekend I actually mad it to the movies. . .twice, and saw Duplicity and 17 Again. Duplicity was a disappointment, I thought. I was really looking forward to this one because the previews made it look good, plus it had Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.
However 17 Again with Zac Efron was cute. Cheesy but cute. . .took me back to the days when Tom Hanks’ Big came out. I LOVED that movie. So go check it out.
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 16, 2009 in me | 0 comments
Did you watch the Cougar? Can we say ridiculous? But yet somehow it was a bit addicting watching those guys fall in love with the 40 year old woman with the crooked tooth. . .and for the record Vivica A. Fox is NO Chris Harrison. . .I wonder if he didn’t want to host the show or they didn’t ask?
Of these 20 guys. . .I found all of them to be a little wacky and well some more than others. . .there was the freshly 21 year-old who walked up to THE COUGAR with a bottle of Champagne asking her to share in his first legal drink. . .the 12 year-old looking pool boy who I’m sure somehow escaped the gaze of his 7th grade homeroom teacher, fortunately he will not be back so he should only have to serve one day in detention.
Twins, but of course, why not. . .one of him thought he was all that and dumped THE COUGAR before she could dump him in the “kiss off” which could not even be compared to a rose ceremony. . .
Man, I can’t wait for next week. . .such quality entertainment! Watch out Bachelor, THE COUGAR has arrived. . .or so she thinks. . .
Happy Tax Day! Fortunately, since I knew I was getting a refund my taxes were filed a long while back and today was just a regular old day for me. . .except I experienced my very first stimulus raise and I promptly put that extra $22 into my savings account. I thought it was the best idea.
But. . .on to more important things. . . tonight’s wine! I had decided last week that I wanted to “taste” the Campisi’s house Cabernet (Woodbridge) for this review and bought an $8 bottle at the grocery store over the weekend.
However, I ended up meeting Meredith for dinner at Campisi’s and enjoyed their bottle of wine on the patio. Which was wonderful. . .except I’m thinking this bottle was either a little on the old side or not corked properly from last night. . .but oh well the pizza was good!
Despite the sour taste of tonight’s wine, I still think this is a good wine. Especially when it is $2.50 a glass a happy hour. . .can’t beat that!
P.S. Sorry this post is so late, I got sucked into watching “The Cougar,” most ridiculous show ever but I’m thinking I’m gonna keep watching it. And if you missed it, don’t worry they are replaying it every day through the weekend.
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 14, 2009 in me | 1 comment
So. . .Brett is temping at my office a couple days a week
And his favorite restaurant is Pei Wei, so he suggested it for lunch today and I agreed. I have recently discovered that my favorite dish at Chinese food restaurants is chicken low mein. So, being both frugal and I’d like think smart, I ordered the kids low mein for right at $4.00.
Brett had some kind of hook up and knew the manager who gave us each a free drink with our meal. Then we sit down and a few minutes later, Brett who ordered without me got his food before me. . .about ten more minutes go by and I’m beginning to wonder where my lunch is.
We get one of the other manger’s attentions and he goes to check on my food. . .and it turns out that they gave my kids low mein to some other table. . .to make it up to me the guy brought me a $10 gift card and apologized when he brought me my food. . .
Talk about sweet, I can eat 2 and a half more times for free, if I don’t get a drink, unless Brett is with me again and hooks me up. . .totally wasn’t expecting free Pei Wei when we went to lunch today, but hey I’m not complaining.
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 13, 2009 in me | 1 comment
This week’s “What I’m Reading” is a bit different. . .I haven’t started a new book yet because I have been searching the web trying to figure out the best and smartest things to do with my money.
One thing I did, was I decided to open and ING Orange Savings account because I figured it would be a good place to stash some extra cash for a rainy day. They offer a $25 bonus for opening an account with an initial deposit of $250.00. Plus their interest rate they pay is better than I can get at Wells Fargo where I keep my main savings account. . .maybe I should rethink that? Leave me a comment and I can send you a link for the bonus $25.
My favorite places to read for money advice or suggestion are:
My Dollar Plan
Million Dollar Journey
Generation X Finance
I figure with the stock market on what seems to be an upturn in action, I just might want to make a few purchases with my limited funds in my Scottrade account (if you are interested in a Scottrade account, use referral code: QQER0293 for 3 free trades). It is nice to see things in green type instead of red for a change!
Got some sound advice? Send it my way. . .or just have some thoughts, still send it my way. . .I like to hear it all.
Posted by Kate O. on Apr 12, 2009 in me | 0 comments
I hope you had a relaxing a peaceful day with friends or family. After going to church with the family we headed over to my mom’s house and watch a couple episodes of 24 before the Pietsches headed over for Easter dinner. After we ate we all sat around and watch the Masters. . .not exactly interesting but hey I guess it was supposed to be a low key day, right?