Friday, May 31, 2013

my love of nectarines

Nectarines are one of my top two favorite fruits.  Nectarines and Blackberries.  I absolutely love when I walk into the grocery store, get near the produce section, and smell the nectarines for the first time in the spring.  Bar none, that is my favorite grocery shopping experience of the year, and that happened this week.  Of course, I loaded up on the wonderful fruit.

Not only do I love the taste, and love the smell, but aren't they just so pretty?
I did a search on pinterest for "nectarine" and was hoping to find some fabulous recipes, so that I would have new ways to enjoy them.  I didn't really find much, but I did discover that there are quite a few people who don't know the difference between a nectarine and a tangerine.  How is that possible?  I was beyond disturbed, but then I hear there are people who don't know what okra is, so nothing should really shock me.  I did conjure up a recipe in my head... a blackberry nectarine cobbler.  I texted my mom right away.  I told her we need to experiment this summer!

Just in case you think I'm kidding about my love of the nectarine smell, I will show you what perfume I wear...
Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend 2013

I had a great memorial day weekend.  It was eventful enough, yet still relaxing.  I went to Nocona on Friday.  My parents were out of town, and I planned to use the pool and relax for a couple of days.  Unfortunately, after they left town on Monday, a terrible tornado producing, high wind, and hail storm rolled through town.  Luckily a tornado didn't hit in town, but wow, they had a lot of storm mess that needed to be cleaned up. 

I went to visit with my Meme and then I headed back home for clean-up.  These pics don't really do the damage justice, but you get the drift...

I didn't do any relaxing on Friday.  I spent about 4 hours in clean-up mode.
Saturday morning, I drove over to Saint Jo, to visit my other grandparents.  My grandmother and I went on to Muenster to the meat market so I could stock my freezer up on some meat for grilling and pick up some sausage and cheese at the request of Jennifer and her family.  Then I went home and spent a little more time cleaning the pool. 
This was as far as I got when the vacuum attachment broke.
I called it good, and got in the pool (though after all the rain and hail, it was a wee bit cold!)
I did my favorite warm weather activity... float in the pool and read!
Sunday morning, it was time to come back to McKinney for the Smiles Charity concert featuring Ryan Star (that I wrote about yesterday).  Then Monday, I had to hit up the Super Walmart for groceries.  I decided to try a new recipe.

I got it off of Pinterest, and I have had trouble getting the pin to open everytime for some reason, so I'm just going to give you the recipe:
Spring Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad
1 bunch of asparagus, about 3 cups diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced (I used green onions because I went grocery shopping at Walmart!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces orzo pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled
15- ounce can artichoke hearts (recipe calls for you to quarter them, so I bought already quartered)
1-1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, julienned (I bought julienned already)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil.  Turn off the burner, add in asparagus pieces and blanch for 2-3 minutes.  While the asparagus is in the water, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a small saute pan.  Add in shallots and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, just until tender.  Drain the asparagus and rinse with cool water (this will stop it from cooking too much).
In a large bowl, add the cooked orzo pasta, asparagus pieces, sauteed shallots, and garlic.  Drain the artichoke hearts and quarter them, adding them to the bowl.  Add in the sun-dried tomatoes with oil and the lemon zest.  Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whist together lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.  While continuously whisking, slowly pour olive oil into the vinegar.  Once emulsified, stir the dressing into the salad.  Move to the refrigerator for at least 5 hours for flavors to combine.  Serve cold.
Makes 12-15 servings.
The original pinner's photos are much prettier than mine, but this is what it looked like when I made it:

It is a great salad for several reasons:

(1) It's light.  No heavy dressings.  The taste of lemon is perfect for a summery salad.
(2) Orzo pasta is just a brilliant pasta for a salad.
(3) I love asparagus and artichokes, so this is perfect. (although I only like super skinny asparagus.  If it's too big, it is too woody for my taste).
(4) When I was making it, I was questioning the sun-dried tomatoes, and wondering if some fresh cherry tomatoes might work better.  But I really enjoyed the sun-dried element to the whole salad.

I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend.  Hopefully you had some rest & relaxation, did something fun, ate some good food, and took a moment to, as we say at Christmas, but is wholly applicable here, remembered the reason for the season, and thought of those who serve and have served this country in military service. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Helping Heros & Ryan Star

Back in the fall, I turned my hair-dresser, Cathy, onto Ryan Star.  It quickly benefited me because I got to listen to Ryan while getting my hair done, as he was now on her salon's playlist.  Then earlier this year, I got a call one night from Cathy wanting to know if she could give my number to Dr. Jennifer Buchanan, who was wanting my help on a charity concert she puts on each year in McKinney.

Jennifer Buchanan called me, explained that she has a charity concert on Memorial Day weekend each year that raises money to build homes for wounded warriors.  She had heard Ryan playing on Cathy's playlist, and Cathy had suggested he might be great for the headliner of this year's concert.  She wanted to know if I had an "in" for getting him.  I told her not really.  I go to every concert when Ryan is in Dallas (and sometimes other parts of Texas), and while he recognizes me, he wouldn't know my name.  I did rustle up some email addresses for his people and she emailed them.

I heard from Jennifer a few weeks later.  She hadn't heard a reply on her email, so I gave her some additional contacts.  I told her I knew he and his band were busy in the studio recording, so touring might not be possible at this point.  I didn't really hold out hope, but a few weeks later, I heard from Jennifer that she had Ryan and his band booked!

I was so super excited that Ryan was going to be playing a concert in my town!  Who would have ever thought?

I talked my law partner Jennifer, and Joshua into going with me to last night's show. 
 I still cannot believe how wonderful the weather was.  It was in the 80's with a cool breeze.  Not your typical Texas Memorial Day weekend weather! 
 Ryan was the third band of the night. 

This was Joshua's very first concert.  I had him right up front for most of it.
We did sit down for a few songs, but then he was ready to go back up closer to the action.

 The band and crew resting before the encore...They had been Texa-fied a little.

It really is a super event.  It's a free concert and it's goal is to raise money to build homes for wounded warriors, a cause that we can all get behind.
After Ryan's show, we were treated to a great fireworks display

Above and below are my favorite fireworks.
The ones that look like glitter in the sky.

I think Joshua had a great first concert experience, and I still cannot believe that I got to see Ryan less than 10 minutes from my house!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You're Welcome

My Dad texted me last week and told me to go buy two items.  I did, and wowsa, they are good!

These Lay's wavy Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt chips are super yummy.
These pickles are beyond good.  They taste very similar to some my parents have made in the past.  They have several kinds that look similar, but these are the Zesty.  I've almost polished off a whole jar and have bought 3 more!
I was a little concerned because these chips are really thick.  In my experience, this can mean a soggy pickle, but these have all been crisp!
So from my dad to me, and from me to you, I highly recommend these two products.
and I'm so confident in my suggestions, I'm going to go ahead and say "you're welcome!"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Confessions of a Product Junkie {organizing the product}

Since we've already established that I'm a product junkie, I thought I'd take a break from discussing products I love, and talk about organization.  I've been on an organization and spring cleaning kick, and that continued into this past weekend when I cleaned out my makeup drawer and under my bathroom sinks. 

I threw out another large garbage bag of junk, but I was still left with a lot of stuff.  I decided to change it up and organize things differently.  This is how it turned out...

This is my makeup drawer.
I'm trying out a new system here, but I'm not sold on it yet.
I'm giving it a couple of weeks, and if I don't like it, I will flip the organization unit around and go back to what I'm used to.
I decided to store extra make up products in my closet on this shelf I cleared out the other day...
For the past several years, I kept this under the sink, but it was out of sight, out of mind.
I thought if I could access it easier, then I might not repurchase things I already have!

I already had one of these Lucite drawer boxes, but I bought another one at The Container Store.
I do have some of my "extra" stuff in my makeup drawer, and all my Trish McEvoy colors are in the planner pages in my planner (the mint green there on top), but the rest mostly fits in these 6 drawers (thanks to a little recycling and throw away I have done!)...
Left drawer: Lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip pencils
Right drawer:  blush & bronzers
Left drawer:  Eye shadows, eye pencils, lashes & lash glue
Right drawer: Foundations & liquid
Left drawer:  more eye shadows
Right drawer:  Foundation Primers & Powder
For the rest of the organization...
Under one sink, I have medicine on one side, and hair products I don't use all that often on the other.
Under the sink I actually use, I have things I access on a daily basis...
Hi, I'm Kara.  In addition to being a product junkie, I'm a product hoarder...
Why yes, that is 8 extra cans of hairspray and 14 bars of soap!
Oh!  Don't forget the 7 extra hand soaps from Bath & Body Works!
So that is how I have organized my products.  Bins, buckets, and the Lucite drawers seem to be the key to organization for me.  Having a place where you always keep stuff.  I have the same type of system in my nightstand to keep lip gloss, lotion, etc from getting too out of hand.
Anyone have any great organization tips? 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Everythings Coming Up Roses

One of my favorite things about spring, is watching my rose bushes burst with color.  They have been a little slower this year to bloom due to the cooler weather (absolutely NO complaints here about the cooler weather though!), but as always, they are worth the wait. 

Currently, my climbing pinkie is in full bloom...
For all the mother's out there today...
I hope that you have a wonderful day!
Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I have spent the last two weeks cleaning like nobody's business.  I have probably spent about 25 hours cleaning.  NO JOKE!  There really is no surface that hasn't been dusted, vacuumed, windexed, swiffered, or washed. 

That might seem excessive, but it wasn't.  I honestly cannot recall the last time I did a super deep clean.  I thought I was done with everything on Saturday, but then on Sunday, I walked into my closet and started a massive clean out.  I had just taken a ton of stuff to Goodwill in November, but somehow I managed to find another 5 trash bags full of stuff to take (including over 20 pairs of shoes!). 

I removed everything, dusted, vacuumed, and reorganized.  I also photographed all of the newer shoes, so that I could put the picture on the front of their box.  I worked so hard, I never stopped for lunch, and didn't even turn my television on all day!  For me, that's saying something!

Here is the end result...

Funny story:  when I purchased all those pink bins last fall, the lady at the Containter Store said "Oh!  Are you decorating a little girl's room?"  Nope.  Just my closet.
I keep the shoes that I wear most any season right here.  Previously, I only had one shelf that was not for shoes, but after the clean out, I was able to make room for some other "stuff". 
Yes, I keep the newspaper clipping of Andre Agassi waiving goodbye from his last match at
Wimbledon posted in my closet.  Superfan 4-ever!

I like to keep most all my shoes in these clear boxes from the Container Store.  It keeps the shoes dust free, and I like how easy it is to find the right pair of shoes.  
It really helps when you have a photo taped on the inside. It had been a while since I took photos of my shoes, so I had lots of catching up to do, but it sure is nice to have them all organized.
By the way, I have a couple of purses that I would like to sell.  If anyone has an interest in buying any of the following, e-mail me at legallyblondesproceedings at gmail dot com and I can send you photos and talk details:
brown leather Juicy Couture (hobo style and smaller in size),
off-white/bone leather Coach,
black leather Coach purses (2 different ones, one smaller, one medium size)


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