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MAIYA on Houzz!



I love succulents!

How cool is this idea:

Succulent Favors

And the most bizarre succulent of them all, Lithops!

I am still obsessed with the idea of a succulent wreath. I am determined to buy or make one this year!



I make this rather often because it's super quick and super tasty.

Capree's Chicken Tortilla Soup!

• 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (OR use pre-cooked, frozen chicken, to save on time)
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 cans condensed chicken broth (plus 2 cans of water)
• 1 cup frozen corn kernels or 1 small can corn
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• dash or 2 white pepper (to taste, optional)
• dash or 2 of cajun seasoning (optional)
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice.. or a mixture
• 2 small cans diced green chiles
• 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
• 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
• 3-5 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
• tortilla chips
• 1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice (optional)

When I make this, I'm usually pretty generous with the measurements, so adjust according to your own tastes. I tend to use rounded measurements of everything.


1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the chicken in the oil for 5 minutes. Shred. Add the garlic and cumin and mix well. Then add the broth, corn, onion, chili powder, white pepper, cajun seasoning, lemon juice, green chiles, beans, and sour cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes (the longer the better).
2. Serve in individual bowls and top with the cheese. Top with the crumbled tortilla chips as you like (or be fancy and make your own julienned tortilla strips).

You may wish to saute the onion for a bit before adding the broth, etc. It's entirely up to you. This is also good with just one kind of bean or the other. I like both as it makes the soup a little more substantial. This recipe really lends itself to experimentation, so please have fun with it! It tastes even better as leftovers, too.


It's Who You Know

I have been searching and searching for a job that has something to do with photography or any kind of creative industry for quite a while now. I'm happy to say I have a job interview on Monday, thanks to the kindness of Brenda. It really is about who you know. Initially, at least. After the interview, I'm participating in a shoot as a "trial assistant". If I'm cool enough, hopefully I'll be hired on as a "real assistant". I'm crossing my fingers.

Since my post about Capree's Curiosities, I've done some brainstorming about possible doll ideas. I must say that I'm getting quite excited. I think I'll have to bust out the ol' sewing machine pretty soon here and see if my creations translate well into the world of fleece. I started a little sketchbook today (in one of the tiny books I made while in my bookbinding class), titled "Funny Bunnies and Other Things". It will be dedicated solely to doll/creature ideas. If you have any ideas for funny/weird dolls, let me know! I'll see if I can draft a sketch and make it come to life!

I think this is the first time I've been excited/happy in a while. The thought of a job prospect and the thrill of creative brainstorming is stirring me from my dreary, wintery world. Here's to happiness and success in 2008!