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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lite Chocolate Cupcakes

I saw a recipe on Pinterest for lite strawberry cupcakes.  My friend Ally made them and they were delicious.  The recipe called for one strawberry cake mix and replacing all other ingredients with 12 ounces of diet 7-Up.  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with strawberry, but I LOVE chocolate.  However, I haven't had any in weeks.  So I wanted to try this "lite" recipe in a chocolate version.  I was afraid a fruity soda might make it taste weird so I opted for Perrier.  ***I should mention my cousin, Holly (who you've seen here and can be found over at Something to Celebrate), should buy stock in Perrier.  When I was down for a visit, the woman couldn't drink enough Perrier!  And I must say, she's got me drinking it now.  It's just so refreshing.***  Now, I don't like frosting or icing so I didn't add anything to the tops.  Cool Whip would be a good option if you do want something, I just prefer things a little plain and bland.  :) Recipe and photos below:

One Chocolate Cake Mix
12 ounces plain Perrier
Mix and bake according to the instructions on the box




I had one--no idea how this recipe works with something fizzy instead of egg and oil, but it is delicious!

Dog Park

Today was sunny and warmish so Jovie and I went to the dog park.  When we got home, we both had a little nap and now Jovie is having another nap.  We had the park to ourselves and she was grateful to have space to run on her own, off leash.  She is worn out but had so much fun.  Here are a few photos from our trip:

Hey, this is fun!

Sniff, sniff, sniff.  So many new smells.

My pooch!

Facing the wind.

She loves her squeaky chicken.

Fetch!

Her fast run!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

For the Love of Valentine's Day

Be Mine

I was having lunch with my cousin, Gayla (you've seen her here and here) the day after I posted Inspiration: Elizabethtown.  She was a little surprised at my love of Valentine's Day.  So I've been thinking on that.  Why do I love Valentine's Day?  And I've finally figured it out.

This love of Valentine's Day stems, quite simply, from my love of paper.  Valentine's Day cards can be so intricate and made with so many textures (i.e. lace, construction paper, textured paper, glitter, doilies, etc.).  Flowers, chocolate and other staples of Valentine's Day are nice too.  Yes, I'm one of those people who doesn't care if it's a "commercial media trapping the consumer...."  You get the point.  I'm not one of those.

Since I was little I've loved paper.  My dad worked in a book store when I and sometimes I got to go with him.  They did all kinds of things in the back: embossing, framing, gift wrapping.  And because they sold paper, there were pallets of it everywhere.  I'd slink around the back in the warehouse looking in all the trash bins and around the pallets and paper cutters for bits and scraps of paper and old embossing film.  Ummm, you didn't do that too?  Moving on....

In grade school, Valentine's Day was the best holiday-mostly because you got to give Valentine's Day cards to your classmates.  AND they gave some to you.  My favorite part of the day was getting home and going through all the Valentine's cards.  Of course I just assumed everyone in the class spent as much time choosing just the right card for me as I had for them.  I think I was probably wrong about that.  But at the time, I didn't know.

As I got older, I'd make my own Valentine's Day cards, taking great pains to make sure they were absolutely Martha Stewart-like perfect for friends and family.

And now that I'm a designer, I see that paper can absolutely make a difference in any finished project.  It's the difference between a keepsake and something people will throw in the trash like yesterday's newspaper.  Paper is to the finished project what typography is to the design-and I think typography is imperative.

Today my mom and I spent about an hour looking at paper in Hobby Lobby.  Dad took a nap in the car because the paper aisle was only ONE aisle in the store.  He's a good dad.  I'm home now and about to go through the paper we found to decide which to use for each of my coworkers, puppy classmates (not kidding), family and friends.  I guess some things never change.  I'll always be that kid who spends a substantial amount of time deciding which Valentine will be just right for each person.  Photos coming soon for the finished product!

Hope you're having a weekend as happy as mine is!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My First Infographic!!!

I've been wanting to do an infographic for quite some time now but didn't have the right topic/data...until now.  OH!  I got to start a blog at work for the OU Alumni Association.  To check it out, click here.  We've been handing out scholarships for the last two days as well as getting a lot of calls about how this works so this was the perfect opportunity for an infographic!  (Btw, an infographic is an "information graphic" or information in picture form-good for visual learners.  Pretty self-explanatory.  There are several examples on one of my Pinterest boards, here.)  Here is how mine turned out:

My First Infographic
The work our clubs do is truly amazing and I love working for such a great organization!  My favorite part of this infographic are the little crimson people with their arms in the air because they're so excited they got an OU Alumni Club Scholarship!  Oh, and the $715,000 in scholarships isn't too shabby either.

In other news, I started a blog for all-things Jovie also.  That's right---THREE blogs!  Yay!  To check out, Jovie's blog, head on over to "Jovie the Affenpinsher" or click here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Inspiration: Pushing Daisies


If you're a strictly "no nonsense" kind of person, you should maybe skip this one.  It is terrifically whimsical and quirky-albeit, impossible - but still delightful.  Though it lasted a mere two seasons, it is now and will forever remain my favorite television show.  It's wonderfully narrated by Jim Dale and every episode is as colorful as the photo above.

Synopsis:  A pie-maker named Ned (Lee Pace from Oklahoma!), with the power to bring people back to life, solves murder mysteries with his alive-again childhood sweetheart, Charlotte 'Chuck' Charles (Anna Friel), a cynical private investigator, Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) and a lovesick waitress, Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth from Oklahoma!).  The catch:  the pie-maker can touch someone only once to bring them back to life.  Should he touch them again, they are gone forever, which is how he solves murder mysteries but this also poses a dilemma with Chuck.

Chuck is every bit as cheery as the yellow dress she wears in the photo.  In fact, her wardrobe in the show is divine.  Lots of beautiful frocks and coats, gloves, hats and heels.  Her character is also slightly dark.  I think that's why I like her so much.

As for the color palette, I'd opt for mostly the first three colors and accents of one or all of the last three.  After all, they all work well together in the photo and they would on invitations, party decorations, party favors, etc.  Not to mention, these colors are all fairly popular so they should be readily available as party and paper stores.  I can see lots of paper lanterns in these colors.  Wouldn't that be cheerful?  Yay!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Inspiration: Elizabethtown

"What is that word...? Whimsical!" (Whimsical!  Of course I love this movie!)

Valentine's Day is quite possibly my very favorite holiday.  I've always loved the day selected to celebrate love.  This year is no different.  So looking forward to it.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I plan to post some "Inspiration" blogs featuring some of my favorite love-themed movies and color palettes to boot.

Ahhh, Elizabethtown.  Two great actors-and an Alec Baldwin cameo.  Synopsis:  During an outrageous memorial for a Southern patriarch, an unexpected romance blooms between a young woman and man.  I love that it starts with an epic failure and goes from there.  I also love that Drew, the main character played by Orlando Bloom, is a "creative."  

In the past I never liked purple and red together, but the color combo has grown on me recently.  If you're tired of the traditional pink and red for V Day, maybe sub in some purple for a trendy and hip update on a classic pairing.

"I'm impossible to forget, but I'm hard to remember."  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hunger Games: Capitol Couture

Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
A new site is up called "Capitol Couture."  It doesn't have a lot on it but I love, love, love the look of it!  Great design.  To gain citizen access, click here or go to capitolcouture.pn and enter the password, "#lookyourbest".  There is an amazing photo of Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket and you can enter your email to subscribe to the first "issue."

As we get closer to the movie release, I can't help but get more and more excited.  I'm planning to re-read the book in preparation and saw the preview, well most of the preview before Sherlock Holmes.  I was afraid to watch.  Still don't want to be disappointed.  A photo was released of Katniss and Peeta in their workout gear:

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss and Peeta
Seems pretty high-tech and snazzy.  I wonder who designed them and will get amazing product placement as well as awesome sales after this movie sets all kinds of records.

And finally, pre-sale tickets for the the Hunger Games movie go on sale Wednesday, February 22 on movietickets.com and fandango.com.  Count me in!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I know I should have posted this at least 10 days ago, but I have been working on these things since the first of the year and am just now getting around to making them official.  Just in case I need a reminder about what my focus is for 2012, I'll have this list for reference.


Whether it's writing, posting a blog, knitting a few rows, painting, drawing, designing, snapping a few photos, etc.  I want to push myself to do more and be better.  I want each task I take on to the be the best.  And practice makes perfect, right?  Also, this is the motto or slogan, if you will, of my favorite paper store, Paper Source.  I have seen this statement almost daily for years on their web site and have decided to officially embrace it.  Also, I'm happier when I get to be creative!
 

I want to get fit in every aspect of my life - physically, spiritually, financially, emotionally, etc.  Nothing is in disarray, I just want to be the best Candace I can be and by writing it down, I'm more likely to focus on each area.  



It's finally (almost) time!  If I am accepted and everything works out, I will start working on a Master of Fine Arts at OU in the Fall of 2012.  I haven't 100% decided which emphasis I'd like to work on but I'm leaning toward photography.  They have so much to offer and I'm still sorting through it all but I will keep you posted.



I'm not sure what yet.  Again, I have a few ideas of what I'd like to learn but I'm not completely set on anything yet.  I'm thinking a language, ballroom dancing, concealed weapons class or possibly even karate.  I just want to do SOMETHING I haven't done before.



So this one is super simple.  Fold the laundry.  Previously I would do the laundry but then I'd either leave it in the dryer or put it in the chair in the living room deemed the "laundry chair."  Sure the laundry was clean but it wasn't folded and put away.  It's not a hard thing to do, I just usually wouldn't take the 10 minutes needed to do it.  Then eventually there would be a clothes/towel mountain and I'd finally fold it all at once.  Not this year.  I will promptly fold and put away as it is dried, that way the laundry chair is available for sitting and I'm not annoyed all the time that I haven't folded yet.  I hate clutter.



Yay!!!  This one I'm very excited about.  I'm working on a redesign that will give the blog more structure and a new, improved look.  I'm ready for the change and hope you will like it too!  I will also introduce a new Do It Yourself (DIY) section as well as food/recipes and I vow to be better about posting design projects I've worked on for clients. 

Should be a good year!!  Glad to have 2011 behind me and already loving 2012.  Let's do this!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jovie's First Day of School

Ha!  Puppy school!  In December I enrolled her in the "STAR" Puppy class at the Canine Sports Academy in Norman.  I learned about this place when I had Jovie with me in Wal-Mart.  A woman came up to our cart and raved about how adorable Jovie was.  Naturally I agreed with her!  She had little dog earrings and a herd of dogs embroidered on her shirt so I knew she was a dog lover.  And she definitely loved Jovie.  We got to talking and as it turns out, she's a trainer at the Canine Sports Academy. 

Ready for school!  Love her smile and her ears!
(Please excuse the laundry basket and vacuum in the background.)



Jovie's first class was tonight.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  We walked in to around 20 dogs and their people.  All types of breeds, colors and sizes.  One had a muzzle.  Jovie wanted to meet them ALL.  She's such an outgoing, friendly little dog.  Most didn't know what to think about her sprinting up to them and getting right in their faces and then trying to climb all over them.  Yeah, she's THAT kid in school. 
Such a sweetie!

In her class, there were three large puppies: Einstein, a 10-week-old white boxer pup (loved him); a bull mastiff puppy-can't remember his name and age but loved him also; and Jovie's favorite, Maybe, an adopted mix that belonged to a girl about my age.  There were also three small puppies: A 14-week-old French Bulldog named Roxie, some kind of fluffy designer dog named Moxie and Jovie.  Here is a photo recap of what I managed to capture below: (everything is blurry because Jovie never. Stopped.  Moving.  And it was hard to get a good pic on my phone with everything going on around us.


1.  Jovie trying her hardest to get to the biggest Rottweiler I've ever seen.  Momma didn't let that happen.  2.  Jovie sniffing the clean up kit during potty break while the older dogs have class on the other side of the building.  3.  Jovie climbing all over her new friend, Maybe.  Maybe was such a good, sweet dog and didn't mind at all.  4.  After class, Jovie met another new friend, Kate.  She was so nice and the most regal-looking dog I've ever seen.  They were fast friends.  

The class was super.  Jovie got a lot of good socializing in and we worked on "come" and "settle."  We will continue to work on those two along with "sit" this week as homework and will be ready for class next week.  The teachers LOVED Jovie.  They all held her and fawned over her.  She ate it up.  Now, as I type this, she's sound asleep on my lap.  Little dear.  School wore her out.

Jovie's First Day of School

Ha!  Puppy school!  In December I enrolled her in the "STAR" Puppy class at the Canine Sports Academy in Norman.  I learned about this place when I had Jovie with me in Wal-Mart.  A woman came up to our cart and raved about how adorable Jovie was.  Naturally I agreed with her!  She had little dog earrings and a herd of dogs embroidered on her shirt so I knew she was a dog lover.  And she definitely loved Jovie.  We got to talking and as it turns out, she's a trainer at the Canine Sports Academy. 

Ready for school!  Love her smile and her ears!
(Please excuse the laundry basket and vacuum in the background.)



Jovie's first class was tonight.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  We walked in to around 20 dogs and their people.  All types of breeds, colors and sizes.  One had a muzzle.  Jovie wanted to meet them ALL.  She's such an outgoing, friendly little dog.  Most didn't know what to think about her sprinting up to them and getting right in their faces and then trying to climb all over them.  Yeah, she's THAT kid in school. 
Such a sweetie!

In her class, there were three large puppies: Einstein, a 10-week-old white boxer pup (loved him); a bull mastiff puppy-can't remember his name and age but loved him also; and Jovie's favorite, Maybe, an adopted mix that belonged to a girl about my age.  There were also three small puppies: A 14-week-old French Bulldog named Roxie, some kind of fluffy designer dog named Moxie and Jovie.  Here is a photo recap of what I managed to capture below: (everything is blurry because Jovie never. Stopped.  Moving.  And it was hard to get a good pic on my phone with everything going on around us.


1.  Jovie trying her hardest to get to the biggest Rottweiler I've ever seen.  Momma didn't let that happen.  2.  Jovie sniffing the clean up kit during potty break while the older dogs have class on the other side of the building.  3.  Jovie climbing all over her new friend, Maybe.  Maybe was such a good, sweet dog and didn't mind at all.  4.  After class, Jovie met another new friend, Kate.  She was so nice and the most regal-looking dog I've ever seen.  They were fast friends.  

The class was super.  Jovie got a lot of good socializing in and we worked on "come" and "settle."  We will continue to work on those two along with "sit" this week as homework and will be ready for class next week.  The teachers LOVED Jovie.  They all held her and fawned over her.  She ate it up.  Now, as I type this, she's sound asleep on my lap.  Little dear.  School wore her out.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jovie's Four Month Update

Sweet face
Jovie has spent the last month growing, playing, eating, bouncing, traveling with me and wiggling at any person or animal she comes in contact with.  She never meets a stranger.  It's ridiculous how much I love her.  I was never an animal person before I got her but now I can totally see why people are crazy over their pet.  She's my little companion and always hap-hap-HAPPY.  Happy to see me, happy to go anywhere with me.  I love that about her and she always makes me smile.

Helping pick turnip greens
Yesterday we went to the vet for her last round of boosters and she weighed in at 5.8 lbs.  That's a total gain of 1.6 lbs in a month.  She handled the shots a little better this time but was still a little sore.  Overall, she is the picture of health.

Jovie showing her hurt paw.
While we were at my parent's for Christmas, I went to stay with my cousin for a few days in Dallas.  Sadly, Jovie couldn't go with me and it was our first separation.  I didn't handle leaving her very well--cried until at least Davis.  While at my parent's house, the tip of her paw was accidentally stepped on.  Mom said she ran to the corner of a rug, sat down, help the hurt paw way up in the air and cried and cried.  I was so sorry I wasn't there to comfort her.  Whenever she thinks she's hurt she comes running to me.  My mom and dad took good care of her and made a trip to the vet.  They said it should heal and be fine.  She was sore for quite some time but is good as new now-until she gets in my yarn basket and gets in trouble.  Then she sits down and holds up the "hurt" paw.  It's adorable.


Her chewing has gotten MUCH better.  She knows what "no" means and generally obeys very well.  She also knows what she is allowed and not allowed to chew on.  Though she knows right and wrong for the most part, she is super mischievous.  She likes to grab things and take off.  Loves for me to chase her and generally I oblige.  At my parent's house, she stood on her back legs and grabbed an entire tube of yarn from the coffee table and took off.  The yarn was spooling from the middle and she made it around the dining room table and a big chair in the living room before I finally caught her.  My mom was incapacitated from laughing so hard.

Helping with a project
Speaking of my parents, they were not big fans of the "Candace getting a dog" idea.  But now they love Jovie to pieces and can't imagine life and holidays without her.  And she loved being at their house over the holidays.  Lots of room to run and other dogs to play with.  Not to mention lots more people and attention!

Her favorite place to sleep
She gets really excited sometimes and runs really fast.  Like, tucks her tail and sprints.  Then she'll bounce in place and go again.  She constantly stands on her hind legs.  It's a trait of the Affenpinscher breed.  Sometimes I'll hold her front paw and walk her around like a child.  Ha!

Jovie + Isabella = BFFE
I love coming home to her.  She's so excited and overjoyed to see me.  We usually go outside to potty and walk around and then go and lay on my bed and play and discuss our days.  Ok, kidding on that last part.  She loves my bed.  It's like a special treat to get up there.  She also loves her bed in her bedroom (crate) when she's sleepy.


She is almost potty trained.  She does not have accidents in her crate at all and when she does happen to have one in the apartment, it's always on the tile by the door.  She's probably trying to tell me she needs out and I miss it.  Last week, she went to the door and whined to go out, where she went potty immediately.  I was so proud.

Love this look
When it's very cold outside, she enjoys wearing sweaters to keep her warm.  My mom made her a sweater that she LOVES.  I'll post a tutorial soon.  We start puppy school tomorrow!

In her new sweater.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Here's to 28 years of wedded bliss!  My parents are fantastic examples of what a good, healthy, loving marriage and family should be.  They're a team.  They love 4-wheelers, guns, WWE Raw, Pete's Place, making/building things, trips and most of all, each other!  They also love their kids.  They've always been our biggest fans and without them, I would not have made it through these last few months.  They are awesome!

At my grandparent's (dad's mom and dad) 60th Wedding Anniversary lunch, August 2010.

At WWE Raw.  Mom even made a poster, March 2010.

At a pumpkin patch in Norman, October, 2011

2011 Family Christmas Card photo shoot
Aren't they versatile?!?!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas 2011 Gift Wrap

I realize I'm at least two weeks behind on this but wanted to post photos from my Christmas gift wrapping session.  If you're an avid reader of the blog, you know I wanted to go with a gnome theme.  That didn't happen.  Sadly, there is serious lack of gnome wrapping paper and accessories our there.  Also I mostly ran out of time.  Soooooooooo, my mom and I made a trip to Hobby Lobby (aka the mecca) (aka my mother ship) and chose a different theme and color scheme. 

Matte black with black gloss embellishments, black and white harlequin, matte silver and red foil with gloss embellishments and white with big, bold, red typography.  Many of you are probably thinking, "Black?  Why would you wrap Christmas gifts in black?"  To answer, primarily because I love black for any and all occasions.  I'd wear black every day.....ummm, ok, I do for the most part.  The gift wrap was dark and chic and classy and fit my holiday season mood this year.  And it's something I hadn't used before.  White and red tulle, white and red crochet thread (I think that's what it's called but could be wrong.  It's the fuzzy-looking stuff), curling ribbon and ribbon tape completed the look.  I loved the finished product.  As with other things, a good mix of the colors and textures repeating made for a nice effect.

So here they are.  Feel free to guess what's inside!