“What has Tara been up to?”

27 08 2009

…you might ask?  Well, this is what:

Also, Amanda started a blog at amandaveneman.wordpress.com.



17 08 2009

We got a kitten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

johnny“uyyyyyyynnnnnnnnnm”…a message from Johnny, he was typing.


13 07 2009

This is the post where I tell you how I make my guacamole.  I got the recipe from the Oprah Magazine and then altered it to my taste buds which means I took out the onion, cilantro, and garlic. =)  For a class in college I had to do a food demonstration and I chose to make guacamole.  I have a really pretty color coordinated recipe that I printed out for the class that I wish I could share with you!  Instead, I took picture (sooo Pioneer Woman) and will explain the steps.  This will also help me be able to find my recipe quicker since all my recipes are in a stack of paper in the front of a cook book very unorganized (anyone want to fix it?)

Here’s the recipe:

4 avocados

1 tomato

1 jalapeno

Juice of 1 lime

1 T ground cumin (T=tablespoon)

1 t salt (t=teaspoon)

Pinch of pepper


OK, let’s start with the grocery store.  Pick avocados that are almost all the way purple but have a little green to them, rather firm if you’re planning on waiting a few days to use them or just a LITTLE squishy if you’re using them today.   Get a small tomato and a regular ol’ jalapeno.  Instead of a fresh lime I like to use lime juice since it lasts a lot longer.  Ground cumin is found in the spices aisle and isn’t really cheap but it goes a long way.

Removing the pit

Now, wash your fruits/veggies because you don’t know who touched them in the store.  Then cut the avocado lenghtwish all the way to the seed.  Open up the two halves by twisting.  To remove the seed, slam your knife straight into the center (be careful!)  Then twist the knife and the seed should come out.

Scopping out the center

Scoop out the green flesh with a spoon- you can scoop all the way to the skin without the skin breaking.

Mashing with fork

Now smash the avocado with a fork so it stays clumpy.

Taking out the center of the tomato

On to the tomato:  cut it in half, then in half again and again and again until you get something that looks like that one in the picture.  Cut the juicy seeds out because those make the guacamole too juicy.  Dice the tomato and add it to the avocado.

Adding lime juice

Then add the lime juice.  I use 2-3 T of the juice from the bottle if I’m not using a real lime.  Also add the cumin, salt and pepper now, too.

Hot sauce because I forgot to buy a jalapeno

And since I forgot to buy a jalapeno =( we had to use hot sauce in this batch.  I love jalapeno way more than hot sauce but this works.  If you have a jalapeno, you can remove the seeds to remove a lot of the heat or you can keep half the seeds or you can keep ALL the seeds!  I can never do that because Matthew has acid reflux and his throat hates really hot things.  Dice the jalapeno REALLY SMALL.  Stir it up really, really good

Taste it with a chip.  Add whatever you think is missing.  I usually add more cumin.  Some people think that adding the seed to the guac keeps it from spoiling faster but that has never helped me.  To store it, I use tupperware and cover the surface with plastic wrap and then cover the bowl with aluminum foil and then put the lid on.  It helps the top from going brown so fast.  I don’t mind eating brown gaucamole but Matt hates it!!  We’re having our friends Patrick and Hannah over for dinner and I’m going to make some…hope you all like it 🙂  Hannah has just learned how to sew!! YAY!

Sewing updates

8 07 2009

the sewing room

Since we’ve moved, I got a new sewing area!  It is much bigger and better than the corner of the guest bedroom in Owensboro.  It’s in the sunroom which gets really hot during the day but it is very well lit!


For our 1 yr anniversary I made a photo album of “hands” pictures.  Every year on our anniversary we will take a new picture and watch our hands age! (this was stolen straight from Chelsea’s 1 yr anniversary present to Tim. hahhahaha thanks Chelly!)  I already had the photo album but I made the little polka dot cover and embroidered the letters on.  Easy peesy.  (The fabric is from the Cake Rock Beach line by Joelle Hoverson of the purl bee.)

lampy lamp

Our lamp shades were $5 from Wal-Mart!!  I spruced the up a bit with some Anna Maria Horner Garden Party fabric.  It’s so beautiful.

dressy dressAnd the project I finished today is another dress!  The fabric is from Hobby Lobby clearance- $2/yd.  The pattern is Simplicity 3538 minus the sleeves and plus an elastic waist, elastic arm holes, and pockets.  It was a pretty good challenge!!  Matt’s grandma helped me put in the pockets.  The armholes without the elastic were way too big because they are made to have sleeves.  Since I left the sleeves out, there was a lot of extra room.  That’s where we decided to try elastic!  It worked really well.  The I tried the dress on and it was really super baggy so I put some elastic in the waist and TA-DA, my dress fits 🙂  Matthew and I are going to Indianapolis, IN for our 1 yr anniversary this weekend so I’ll probably wear it to dinner and feel really special.

There are two more blog posts coming soon.  1) how I make guacamole and 2) the apt. tour also found on facebook.  But now I have to go to bed so I’ll be able to wake up for my big girl job.  Night night.


11 06 2009

We’re settling in here in Louisville.  I passed my test so now I’m officially a Registered Dietitian.  I’ll be consulting in different nursing homes for my first job!  This week and the next few weeks, I’ll be in training.

The move has gone really well.  We are almost finished unpacking and organizing.  It has to be finished tomorrow because I’m hosting Sarah’s Bachelorette Party and have some guests for the weekend!  Sarah and Dave are getting married Sunday =)

Other than working, going to SC, and unpacking, I haven’t done much!  I finished this shirt tonight.  The shirt I gave Amanda was this pattern but I made a few changes so it wouldn’t be as baggy.  It’s Anna Maria Horner Good Folks Fabric with solid orange from Nana’s stash.  I like it so much!


Apartment tour coming soon!  Peace.


3 06 2009

Hey Friends!  I haven’t blogged in a little while because Matthew and I moved to Louisville this weekend!!  We just got our internet set up yesterday.  And our A/C window units were installed today….thankfully!!!  It’s been a hot few days without AC!  We have an attic fan but when it’s 90 outside, cool air doesn’t exist.  Well, we are happy in our new home!  I’ll show pictures later and I’ll start sewing again next week in the new sewing room.

This Friday I take the Dietetic Registration Exam and if I don’t pass, I can’t start work, so I won’t be blogging anything for that reason!  Hopefully next time I blog I can write Tara Thomas, RD, LD.  Until then, say a prayer for me.  I’ve been studying!!  I also have a job, in case you didn’t find out otherwise. =)  I start Monday as long as I pass this test!

We’re going to South Carolina this weekend to celebrate Mema’s life.  She passed away last Monday night and we are going to miss her so much.  Mema is Matthew’s Great-Grandma and she was REALLY Great.  We are excited to see the Thomas family and hear even more great Mema stories.

Have a great weekend, we’ll see y’all when we return!!

Quilt #2

25 05 2009

The 2nd quilt I’ve ever made is finally finished!  When I think about it, I feel like I’ve made ~100 quilts because I look at pictures of other peoples quilts so often.  But then I remember that I’ve only made 2.  This quilt, as you may remember, was inspired by the picture Amanda painted me for our birthday.  I only bought the batting and like 1/2 yd of fabric and the rest is from the huge stash of fabric I’ve acquired.  I used Warm & Natural cotton batting.  The quilting is just free motion squiggles with a few hearts thrown in when I got bored.  The binding is just pieced from random fabrics.

Full size quilt

Full size quilt

Quilting a Full Size quilt is a BIG task.  I had such a hard time getting my sewing machine to work right- it finally straightened up but I’ve concluded that no matter what I set the tension on, it’ll do whatever it pleases.  Whatev, machine, whatev.

I almost like the back more than the front!

I almost like the back more than the front!

The back is from the stash, as well.  Here is the detail:

Sailboats and anchors

Sailboats and anchors

Matt said it makes it look like a 3rd graders quilt…haha.  He really does like it and he doesn’t want it to go on the guest bed, he wants it on our bed!  It won’t fit but that is OK since we hardly ever make the bed.



“Why am I finding safety pins all over the house?!” -Matt.  It’s because I randomly find safety pins in the quilt and I just take them out and put them on whatever ledge is closest.

Will you pray for Matthew’s great-grandma Faye (Mema)?  She is in her nineties and had a heart attack today while eating out.   She had another while at the hospital.   She is the sweetest little lady and has the BEST stories.

K, gotta go to bed.  Peace, love, gymnastics.