New Address! Gone to .org!

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hey Y’all!  If you end up here from The Nester, I’ve switched to  You can find me here.

I’m still learning how to make this transition, so the link on Redhouse Ranch still takes you to the blog.  Bear with me lovelies!


I Believe in Infinite Possibilities

September 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

Have you ever had one of those days where you actually amazed yourself?  Well, I highly recommend cultivating a day like that.  I mean the kind of day where you set your sights on something that you’re not exactly sure how you will get it done.  I’m fairly certain that being here

Rest My Soul

over the weekend gave me the energy I needed.  To accomplish what I did.

Wanna know what I did?  I successfully moved my blog over to

This may not seeEEmm like a big deal… however, what was touted as a ‘5 minute installation’ literally took me two days.

I never really doubted I could do it.  I suppose I’m hard-headed like that.  And I was surprised when my server technician complimented me on doing it myself.

If you are wondering why I’m switching… it has to do with the ‘thingys’ you can add to the side bar of your blog… and also a WHOLE lot more creative liberties.

I’m serious, y’all.  It kind~of makes me feel like anything is possible.

I just kept picturing my new blog address in my mind.  And I didn’t stop until it looked like this:  

Join me, won’tcha?


Big, Mj

It’s a McCrazy Day!

August 12, 2011 § 7 Comments

I thought about just adding an update to my last post.  But then I realized… this is kind~of a big deal.

Part of my morning routine is to watch GMA while baby girl eats breakfast.  And lo~and~behold… the Concert in the Park Series was featuring the stars from American Idol.  How fun.  Let’s take a look, why don’t we?

And, Ka-Pow!  There’s Scotty McCreery.  And look what he’s wearing.


Plain as Day.  In the Daylight.  In Central Park.  Oh, My.

He’s being interviewed here.  I took the picture with my cellphone camera… of the TV screen.  One more, ok?

He’s singing his little baby heart out here.

I have to say that this was quite a surprise considering that Aunt Robin gave Scotty the necklace almost a month ago.  And he’s wearing it this morning.  Live.  On National TV.  Isn’t it great when you give someone a gift that they really enjoy.  I’m sure my Aunt is beaming with pride right now.  Sweet Tia.

I tweeted a picture of himself to Scotty.  If he tweets me back I will SURELY pass out.

I’m off to check twitter!



Big, Mj

Scotty’s been PUSHed

August 11, 2011 § 5 Comments

In July my Aunt Robin and Uncle Steve came to visit me.  Well, actually, they came to see the American Idol Concert here in the big city.  Which means I got to see them, too.  They are two of my favorite people in the whole Wide world.

Before they left for the concert, I gave them two PUSH necklaces to give to the ‘stars’… you know, just in case they had the opportunity to meet some of the stars.

Aunt Robin and Uncle Steve have been to an American Idol concert before.  In fact, they are such big fans that they came here for a concert a few years back… when they lived in Hawaii.  That was a BIG trip.  For a concert.

So, apparently having previously attended an AI concert, they were on a special VIP mailing list.  They were offered tickets before the general public could buy their tickets.  They bought a package that included really good seats, an opportunity to meet ‘a’ star, and parking passes… they had NO idea just how awesome their package was until they got there.

Hello, VIP backstage passes.  Hello getting to meet and visit with ALL of the stars but one.  HeLLo, giving two of their favorites Redhouse Ranch PUSH necklaces!!!!

Aunt Robin and James Durbin

James put his PUSH cross on immediately.  Uncle Steve is taking this picture.  Can you tell Aunt Robin wants to help him put it on?!

Aunt Robin and Scotty McCreery

She said Scotty was very sweet.  He’s holding his PUSH necklace in this picture.  I’ve been watching Scotty since he first appeared on AI.  I wanted to get him a PUSH necklace to wear on the show but I couldn’t figure out how to get his address.  He wore the SAME cross necklace in every single appearance for AI.  It’s probably a gift from family or something… I really didn’t think he would take his other necklace off to wear the PUSH necklace… but at least he had one now.  Awesome.  OH, and you should know that they were texting me the entire time… Aunt Robin and Uncle Steve were freaking out.  Seriously.  Freaking Out.

And Then they were taken to their seats.  And then they were ReaLLy freaking out.  They had FRONT row CENTER stage seats.  Absolutely the best seats in the house.

My Aunt kept texting me saying… ‘I am so blessed’.  I’m pretty sure she was having a great time.  So here are some photos of some of the performers.

Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery


I saved the best for last.

Wait! What's that on your neck, Scotty? Is that a PUSH Rowel?

I’m pretty sure Aunt Robin almost passed out when she got a look at this!  What a blast they had.  And being able to give they performers a gift really made it personal for them.

I’m so thankful Aunt Robin and Uncle Steve had this experience.  Uncle Steve summed it up the next morning when he said, ‘I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen her this happy.’  Priceless.

So, here’s to Scotty.  You PUSHed through American Idol.  Won the whole thing.  And you made my Aunt’s day.  Big Time.


Big, Mj

Ta-Da List

August 6, 2011 § 3 Comments

Ever had one of those days when there’s so much do to you don’t know where to start?  Yep.  That’s where I’m at.  So, I did what any other girl would do and I begged a friend for help.  Problem is… she’s where I am, too, just a different longitude and latitude.  And we decided that when the going gets tough, you should make a To-Do List.  I’m supposed to call her at 11 today and report on my progress.

That’s where I start to feel paralyzed.  Maybe I should just spend some time on Pinterest.  Don’t want to miss anything.  Oh, wait… the baby’s hungry and needs a diaper change.  Did I respond to that email I got yesterday?  I’m kind of hungry.  Maybe I should go to the grocery store.  Do we need diapers?  I think my mascara has dried up, should probably buy some new mascara… oh, yah, I saw that commercial for a new mascara that conditions and strengthens your lashes all while making you look 10 years younger.  I think I’ll write a blog post about it.

And, Boom!  It hit me.  I can’t even write a To-Do List.  Too much pressure.

And, Boom, Boom!  It hit me again.  I’ll write a Ta-Da List.

It’s obvious by looking around what needs to be done.  I’m gonna make the biggest Ta-Da List that’s ever been made.  Every time I need a break or finish a task, I’ll add something to the list.

I’ll update you later with my Ta-Da List.  Wish me luck!

What’s gonna be on your Ta-Da List?

Big, Mj

Update:  That had to be the quickest weekend in the history of ever.  And God Bless baby girl for hanging in with me while I made the longest Ta-Da list I’ve ever made.  Ok, so it Was the first Ta-Da list I’ve ever made.  And I must say that it definitely played to my strengths.  By Sunday evening I had a real sense of peace about my accomplishments.  I think I may be ‘on’ to something here.  Here is a little picture of my big Ta-Da List.  Thanks for the encouragement!

A Trip Down South. Cibolo Creek Ranch… And recipes!

August 4, 2011 § 3 Comments

I would like to share a very special day with you.  Last Sunday my sister and Mom and I went to visit Cibolo Creek Ranch for a ‘tasting’.  Eris is getting married in November so we took a little trip down south of Marfa to get a feel for the food and accommodations.  Let me just say that I was Blown away.  This place has an amazing rich history that you can read about here.

Above you see a view of the first courtyard that you enter.  The first thing that struck me as we entered the property was a unblieveable sense of peace.  Oh, and the rock-work.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  My brain automatically pondered the tremendous amount of work that it took to build… then restore.  Guests are welcome to wander the property where Paula Cavness, our guide and event planner, said, ‘the doors are always open.’  The activities range from touring on site museums to 3 hour-long tours of the 30,000 acre property.  Read about the activities here.

The big dining room is very long and adorned with famous works of western art.  It can accommodate 50 people all at one super long table… can you imagine a wedding party dinner here?  Oh, we were giddy with excitement about the special memories that will be created!

Next Paula took us to the smaller dinning room, which is not small… and Eris was given an opportunity to taste the meals that she is considering for her wedding dinner.

This was the best salad I’ve ever tasted… IN.  My.  Whole.  Life.  Garden Salad with an Ancho Chili Dressing.  The dressing reminded me of a caesar dressing but with a depth of flavor a mile wide.  I’ve already pleaded with Paula to put the recipe on the website… I’ll keep you posted on that.

Paired with the Ancho Chili Garden Salad was a filet that had the BEST sauce I’ve ever tasted.  It was rich.  And smoky(cumin).  Aromatic.  And guess what?!  Here is the recipe for FILETE AL COMINO (Cumin Steak).  I am so making this.

A light and fresh garden salad with seasonal fruit paired with a Cilantro vinaigrette was our next offering.  I know.  I know.  You either love cilantro or think is will be the death of you… but this vinaigrette was airy and sweet with just a hint of cilantro.  It was beautiful.

If you’ve never had quail,… and think you probably wouldn’t like it, this would be the dish to change your mind.  I love when a dish stumps me… like I can’t figure out exactly how to describe it, much less replicate it.  It wasn’t bar-b-que’d but  it had a hint of smoke and a kiss of sweet.  I imagine that it was seared in a cast iron skillet as old as the fort.  It was the Best quail I’ve ever eaten.  Oh, and Lord have mercy on me… the TORTA DE MASA A LA TAPATIA, which is an Individual Masa Casserole, was a totally new culinary experience.  It was like eating a corn muffin~gordita~tortilla package with a savory pork stuffing.  It could be a meal in itself.  Yum.  City.  If your mouth is watering, don’t worry… Here are the recipes for both dishes.

Our last salad tasting was a Strawberry Garden Salad with a Berry Vinaigrette.  Perfectly dressed.

Then we tried the Grilled Salmon with Fresh Mango and Jalapeno Salsa.  The Salmon was paired with a saffron rice and Green Beans cooked to perfection.  My biggest challenge would be choosing which meal… in fact, I’ve already asked my sister if I can have two…

Let me take a moment to thank our gracious host, Michael Pugh.  Michael your sense of humor was enamouring and it was such a pleasure getting to know more about Cibolo Creek Ranch through your thoughtful presentation of both the food and the wines.  Can’t wait to see you in November!

I do have one major disappointment with our ‘tasting’… Where were the desserts????  I’ve heard about their famous Tres Leches Cake (recipe here) but there was no cake in sight.  I’m not sure if my sister told Paula that it wouldn’t be necessary to taste the cakes or what.  Maybe I’ll take it up with the management.  Or.  Just wait until November and let the anticipation swell.  I’m just saying that if the desserts are anything like the meals that we tasted… we are in for a big treat.  (note to Eris:  please order one of everything for me.  thank you.  love you.)

After the food we toured the rest of the Fort.  I took a bazillion pictures.  But I want to save some of the fun for the actual event.  Above you see the lake that is right outside the door of a slew of guest rooms.  Doesn’t this look like a picture perfect place to relax?  I could live here.  For real.
One last picture.  Cibolo Creek Ranch is an oasis in the desert.  It is a commitment of sorts to get there.  And once you arrive, you’re going to want to stay.  It’s one of those places that can truly change you… renew you.  Energize you.

My overall impression of Cibolo Creek Ranch is painted with a stroke of beauty, serenity… and familiarity.  It felt like coming home to a place that I’ve visited in my dreams.  I want to thank Paula Cavness for greeting us with love and making us feel like we were visiting her home.  She gave us a sense of complete confidence that Eris’s wedding will be an event to remember.  I.  Can’t.  Wait.  for November!  I’m excited about you getting married, too, Eris!

Do you have a special vacation place like this?  I’d love to hear about it.

Big,  Mj

PS.  I just realized that my Mom was almost speechless on the entire visit.  Holy Moly.  I guess she was blown away, too!

I’m on my way…

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

So, let’s talk about inspiration.

I used to be totally addicted to magazines.  I can’t TELL you how many pages of magazines I’ve saved over the years… with the full intention of organizing them at some point. And if I actually saved a magazine, a whole~magazine, it would have been something like Where Women Create.  I’ve got pages of everything from interior design to diy projects  and everything in between.  Oh, and probably 30 lbs of recipe pages.  I’ve always sort~of prided myself on the quality and quantity of magazines I subscribed to… and of course they were all completely tax-deductible for the clinic.  And then… came… Pinterest.  It is like the CAPITAL CITY of INspiration Nation.  Holy.  Cow.

And then… I started feeling a little guilty about the amount of time I was spending pinning and repinning…

And then… it dawned on me.  I am getting serious inspiration from Pinterest.  Inspiration on so many levels.  Oh, my goodness gracious.  I am pINspired.  I feel a hope building up in me that no matter what I’ve been through… the best is yet to come.  There is so much to create.  So much art to share.

And then… the heavens opened…

Because I heard this:  The Creative Connection Event and BlogHer Handmade are giving away Two free passes PUH~lus Hotel.  TCC is probably the premier conference for creative, entrepreneurial spirits.  Oh, dear, sweet, maker~of~heaven and earth… please place my name on those passes.  (PS, you can enter, too, but you have to pinky~promise to take me(if you win) since you heard it from me.)  If there was ever an event on earth that was designed to inspire, this is it.

Listen, this could be one of those full~circle stories that makes me ponder the workings of the Universe.

And then… I read this: “She wasn’t where she had been. She wasn’t where she was going…but she was on her way…And on her way she no longer looked for the answers, but held close the two things she knew for sure. One, if a day carried strength in the morning, peace in the evening, and a little joy in between, it was a good one…and two, you can live completely without complete understanding.” ~ Jodi Hills (thanks, Robyn for sharing this!)

So, tell me… what inspires you?  and are you on your way?

Big, Mj

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