My Pictures Today

Today I walked at the Lake by myself, preparing for when Kudra leaves.  Yup I have scared yet another Walking Buddy away, this time to the other side of the country =P.  But seriously, I am going to miss that lady a lot.  I think she was just one of those people that comes into your life just when you need them, hopefully I have been the same to her.

So I took these for her, to add to my ever growing collection of Lake photos so she can remember the chaparral surroundings of SoCal when she is looking out onto the Atlantic.

Mad Melly’s Mar”T”ini Party

For my birthday party this year I decided use a theme, I wanted to invest some time and make something a little different than our usual summer BBQ.  Since it was my 30th and in a sense the end of childish things (yeah right) I chose an element from Alice in Wonderland, I had a Mar”T”ini Party and I was the Mad Hatter or rather The Mad Melly.  Melly was a nickname I was given by my former boss and eventual friend, it is my favorite my eight other nicknames.

I began by sending out handmade invitations, instead of the usual evite.  I sent the invitations with a response card made from an old set of playing cards.  I wanted to send out cards in the mail because with email and text messages how often do we get something besides a bill or junk mail in our mail boxes?  Hopefully it made someone smile a little bit, it made me smile seeing the response envelopes in my mailbox.

The envelopes

The Invites

I have always loved the images of Alice in Wonderland in all kinds of incantations of the films and in books.  My idea was to have the fun stuff of Wonderland in a nighttime setting, like this is what all of the grownup characters did after Alice went home.  I decided to have be a cocktail party so Honey wouldn’t be chained to the grill but then he volunteered to be the bartender, so he was chained to the makeshift bar made of an old computer desk.  There were some minor hitches (light cord being cut, malfunctioning fake eyelashes, and the painters next door working after 5 for the first time all week) but overall I think it went really well.  Every conversation seem to have boisterous laughter every couple of minutes.

I had a wonderful time, I got to see (most of) my favorite people in one setting.  With Birdie making my birthday pie (a delicious mud pie from a family recipe), Kudra having me over for pre-party helping of “happy bubbles” , and Azure helping with set up, I felt very loved.

I did make a Mad Hatter Hat (of sorts) out of a strand of peacock feathers Birdie gave me a while back.  I wore it again for breakfast at home on my actual birthday and it now has a temporary home on my Buddha statue in my office.

I plan that when I become a crazy old lady, I will wear it while I water the garden-like Boris Karloff did.

We decided to make a few signature cocktails to add to the fun.  The “Mad Melly Martini” is actually a version of a French Martini-it was requested often.  The “Dirty White Rabbit Martini” is the martini we have most often (being big garlic fans).  The Red Queen Lemon Drop is something to try, the pear vodka cuts the bitterness in a Lemon Drop and makes it go down nice and smooth, I borrowed it from a very Lovely Lady.

But I am a shocked we had so much liquor left over, we have four bottles of vodka and half a bottle of gin left-enough to have at least three more martini parties!  I guess we’ll just have to have people over more often.  =)

These are the leftovers

I didn’t take many pictures during the actual party because I was too busy having fun but here are some of the decorations, many of them I made myself.  I made “Drink Me” labels and “Eat Me” labels (which I forgot to put out), direction signs, oddly painted bird houses, pictures of victorian animals, and of course christmas lights all over the backyard.

Thank You for coming friends!

The Evolution of Our Planter Box

A while back Honey made me a planter for the patio to my flowers, unfortunately some adaptations we made to the design he had found online made it structurally unsound. For example when our six pound cat Rocco jumped into it (it did look a bit like a cradle at this point) it rocked like a Del Mar Fair ride.  Considering that we were going to be filling this thing with more that six pounds of dirt, plants, and water-we knew some changes needed to be made.

Originally Honey thought he was going to have to pull it apart and start all over, but I suggested (being half penny pincher and half protective over my painted work) that he saw off the legs and build a table underneath to support the structure.  He did and it worked!  In fact it took two of us to move it so I think it can hold a some dirt and flowers.  So here is the finished product:

Now we’re off to go make some more for the back yard. =)

Leftover Bliss

I have a love/meh relationship with leftovers.  I love that we are not wasting food and that you get to enjoy a (hopefully) good meal a second time, but usually for me it is not the same experience as the original meal.  I must admit I am not very inventive with my leftovers, I don’t repurpose them I just present the meal in the same manner as before, though it usually colder and somewhat boring because you just had it the night before; but last night Honey and I created together a dinner from leftovers that rivaled the original meal.  On Sunday I roasted a whole chicken with lemon and rosemary (thyme is better).  Since it was just us for dinner there was a lot of chicken left, usually I just heat it up or eat it cold the next day but it is always kind of meh.

Not anymore.

Using our recently harvested produce of tomatoes and peppers we made a Leftover Bliss meal.  Honey made pico de gallo and I sautéed  some onions and garlic, then I juiced a lemon and splashed the leftover chicken with it.  Then I put a little salt, pepper, chipotle powder, and garlic powder on the chicken as it absorbed the lemon.  Once the onions and garlic  began cooking I added the seasoned chicken and stirred until the chicken was warm.  After a few minutes I put the chicken in some tortillas, threw a little cheese over the chicken and topped it with the pico de gallo.  Oh my Gods.  So freaking good! I wanted more but I was full and we were out of chicken =( It was citrusy and light, but flavorful and filling.  It makes me want to make another chicken this Sunday or at least start planning to use my leftovers in new ways.