Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Ok, so I've been thinking about veganism for quite a long, long while. The idea came to me today to post about and ask for your favorite vegan things to eat. As I was thinking about that I turned on the Oprah episode I recorded today and it was all about veganism! I feel like vegan eating has been smacking me in the face for a very long time. Do you ever feel like the universe/God is beating you over the head with something that you conveniently choose to ignore?

To be clear, there are MANY messages God beats me over the head with. I'm choosing to focus on veganism today. And the message is much deeper than the food I'm putting in my mouth.

Why veganism for me? When I pay attention to where the meat I eat comes from I am repulsed. It's not worth it. Not only is it not necessary for my health, I truly believe it's detrimental. Why do I continue to eat meat. Selfish. Ego. Mindless behavior. That's the reason I participate in many, if not all, of my self destructive behaviors.

My initial thoughts about this post were to focus on vegan food that I, and/or you, truly enjoy. No one likes to eat something out of oblgation. I enjoy every bite of lightly steamed broccoli, seasoned with Bragg's Liquid Aminos, mixed with black beans and Seeds of Change Quinoa & Whole Grain Brown Rice w/garlic packet. I feel happy when I eat it. I don't feel deprived in the least. I love salad with Galeo's Miso Dijonnaise. I love guacamole with baked corn chips.

Please post about a vegan meal you love.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WTF Wednesday: My Strange Addiction

Ok, if you're having a bad day, feeling like a loser, feeling like you don't fit in or just simply feeling like other chicks don't quite understand your search for the perfect natural eye shadow palette, your excitement over holiday gift sets with super cool eyeliner and shadow flavors (that you gave to yourself) or the urge to rub Doritos & blue cheese all over your body then you should take the time to watch TLC's show My Strange Addiction. Is this show a big hoax? I'm wondering if they are just fucking with us. I keep looking over my shoulder thinking one of those Candid Cameras is secretly watching me and soon everyone will jump out and howl "Bwahahahahahahahah! You actually believed that shit?!"

I'm quite sure I can't do these freak show weirdos justice with my simple recounting of the show. I can't even believe they define these behaviors as an addiction. Drinking and drugging are addictions. Shopping and gambling. Addictions.

Excerpts from the show:

"My name is Adele. My addiction is eating couch cushions." She's been doing it for 20 years. She's had bowel obstructions. She thinks it's to the point she needs to seek therapy. After 20 years. She thinks her 'addiction' may have something to do with her parents getting a divorce when she was young. Her therapist suggests, with a straight face, that she may be "stuffing" her feelings down.




"My name is Lauren . My addiction is wearing fur suits." She has a 'fursona'. She jogs in her fur suit. She does just about everything in her fur suit. She got her boyfriend into it. He loves it. She doesn't think it's weird. She doesn't have sex in it. Yet. Yeah right. She thinks it might have something to do with her dad dying. Her mom thinks she should maybe see a therapist.

Really?? Oh my goodness gracious. I just don't even know what to say. To put it mildly, these people are just plain beyond fucked up.

Previews for tonight's show highlight a guy that "thinks it's just a matter of time before people start choosing a synthetic option." He's talking about for a girlfriend. For sex. Companionship. Yeeeaaahhhh. Don't cha think if men could have found a pussy that was worth it and didn't talk back they would all have it in the closet by now?? Or do they......??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

With the Steelers going to the Super Bowl Baby it's time to think about party food. Super Bowl worthy food. Time to take it up a notch. My dear friend Kim has graciously decided to host a Super Bowl party. I voted to have a Qdoba taco bar to make things easy on her. I still can't help but think about what other cheesy, greasy items we might add to the menu.

No party is complete without some sort of ball shaped appetizer. Especially a Super Bowl party. Sausage balls anyone? I'm not sure if it would be worth it to take the time to shape these piglet nuggets into footballs or not. You could pipe the laces on with mustard?? Here's the basic recipe I found on many websites:

Ingredients:
1 pound ground pork sausage
2 cups biscuit baking mix
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.In a large bowl, combine sausage, biscuit baking mix and cheese. Form into walnut size balls and place on baking sheets.
3.Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Can you ever go wrong with a 1:1 ratio of sausage to cheese? I'm guessing you'd brown the sausage first?? Recipes don't say. Might be too dry tho if the sausage was cooked so it must be uncooked. Gross. I hate to handle raw sausage. I bet my mom has made these before. She'll let us know. I would be tempted to add some onion and garlic salt, maybe green chiles. Knowing me I'd find a way to sneak in some blue cheese too. I would definitely use Uncle Charley's spicy sausage as it is the bomdigity of sausage. Some kind of a mustard dipping sauce sounds delightful don't you think?

Paula Dean's Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip . I've always wanted to make this. Feb 6 just may be the lucky day.







Gotta have the football Oreos!










Football Meatloaf?! Hello??!! Maybe not for the party but I'm making it this week for the kids for sure! Although some mini buns with a sweet & spicy ketchuppy sauce could make a tasty football meatloaf slider. Hmmmmm.....











Incidentally, I'm watching the Biggest Loser as I type this post. Not quite sure how I feel about that. Mostly this show inspires me to snack as I'm not that fucking fat... yet. Then it makes me feel like a loser because if these chubbies can work out that hard and stick to their diets then I have no excuse whatsoever. Or do I.......

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's Up Homies??

I'm feelin' the urge to blog! Partly because my creative side has been lying (laying?) dormant for way too long. Partly because I have the urge to scream WTF???? Partly because I've had 3 glasses of wine.

I want to vent without being judged and without anyone taking it personally. Is that possible?? That sounds like nirvana to me. I have spent my entire life fearing the people I love will not like me if I spew what's in my head. Honestly, sometimes they don't. Is it possible to say what you think without anyone taking it personally?? Don't we all know by now that what we say has everything to do with us and nothing to do with YOU? Thus, the desire for an anonymous blog. Of course, that leaves those of you in my life wondering WTF do I want to say. Well, if I told you I'd have to kill you :-) Or vice versa.

I often feel like I'm walking through life smiling, hugging, air kissing, saying "How are you, I'm great! How are YOU?" over and over. I want to be real without complaining. Honestly, I don't have anything to complain about. I want other people to be real, but really real. Not stupid real. I want to be compassionate and empathetic. I also want to say "REALLY, STFU!" I am blessed to have friends & family in my life right now that are smart and honest. You know who you are :-)

I did a quick search for "mom blogs" for Chad today because he wants to target Qdoba advertising through social media to Pittsburgh moms. Free kid's meals on Sundays! Awesome! I was like, "I don't read Mom blogs" as if I was too school for cool. What I did find in my quick search was borrrringgg. I'm not an idiot. I know there are super cool, funny blogs out there. If you love one. Post it. Cuz I didn't find them in my quick search.

I have been searching for my passion for the last, say 39 years. I have yet to discover it. What have I discovered? I love to write. I love attention. I love to cook. I love my kids & my husband. I really think they are so much better than everyone else's. No offense. That has to be something genetic so that we don't kill our own. I must be doing something right because I know I have the best friends right now. I want to eat you all up!! It's true.

I have written many posts over the last few months, never finished or posted. This one is scattered and random, like many others. I might actually post this one. A step in the direction of creativity, honesty, acceptance....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hiatus

It's obvious I haven't posted in awhile. I am officially taking an extended hiatus.....for many reasons. I won't say just yet that I'm done with this blog but that is what I'm thinking. I have all but three readers so it's not like this is earth shattering news or that I can't tell you myself next time I talk to you. But there it is. Sayonara for now, compadres!! It's been real.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Versatile Blogger

Connie, my mom, has awarded me this award:


To accept this award I have to:

* reveal 7 truths about myself
* select 7 blogs that I would like to share the award with


So here are my seven truths:

1. I like to swear. A lot. I always have and I don't know why, but I do. Besides the occasional outburst , I do a decent job of not swearing in front of my kids. As long as they don't fuck up we're in pretty good shape.

2. I am immensely blessed and eternally grateful for my healthy, beautiful family.

3. I am a procrastinator.

4. I never played sports but wished I had. I know, I know, it's never to late. STFU.

5. I love nifty electronic gadgets. iPad, iPod Touch, smart phones, etc. Unfortunately, they do not help with my procrastination issues.

6. I love realty tv. And my DVR.

7. I am not a good housekeeper. Probably because I spend too much time playing with my nifty electronic gadgets and watching tv :-)

7 Blogs I'd like to see participate:

Simple Living with a Dash of Chaos

Hmmm, I'm pretty much a blog stalker so I'm not sure I have seven to suggest. I'll go ahead and post and think on it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

I don't have a tasty recipe to post today but I do have a tease..... I bought Reese's peanut butter cups and Dove chocolate caramel squares today. I am going to shove both of these tasty nuggets in my gorgeous dark chocolate cupcake batter and see what happens. I have never tried this. I once tried putting a dollop of ganache on top of this batter before I baked it but it did not sink and thus did not bake well. I have another recipe that a dollop of ganache works very well with but the cupcake is ultimately not as good as my original recipe. My gut is that I should pipe in a caramel filling after the cupcake is baked because I am concerned about the caramel filling hardening after baking. I am going to try a few different methods while my dear sister-in-law is here to be a taste tester. I will post the results!!

Note: the Reese's peanut butter cup is just a basic chocolate & peanut butter combination that must be tried. The best chocolate cupcake with the perfect peanut butter inside sounds delightful. Will it bake up so? No idea.

Manic Monday

I just realized it was Monday! That's an extraordinary thing. This Monday was Not Manic. At all. Lucy and I went to see Nanny McPhee Returns. I saw the first one with the boys. She didn't. I didn't love that one but she was sure she would love this one so off we went. It was actually the first time she and I had gone to see a movie by ourselves, just the two of us. That was nice. We ate at the new Qdoba right next door after the movie. Yum. Very relaxing, uneventful day :-)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Funky Fresh Friday

I do realize that the themed, day of the week topics are a bit cheesy but it does motivate me to write so.....who cares. I could've done Fuck You Friday but I resisted. That would be soooooo unoriginal. I haven't said Fuck You to anyone [out loud] in a really long time. I've been having the urge to say it to my neighbor lately because he's a douche. I feel it a coming.

But, that's not the topic! I am more funky than fresh right now. I'll just let you wonder about that.

How cute is this website?? Love it! Funky and fresh! Carolyn's Kitchen

Love this apron! Pretty sure I don't need the garter. I definitely always wear clothes under my apron as well. Would not use the gloves but still think they're cute.

Note to men reading this blog.....no matter how cute & hip, I wouldn't buy this for your lady. If my mom or sister-in-law gave it to me, even with the garter, I would be amused and love it and think it was sooooooo cute. If my husband got it for me, especially with the garter, I'd think "WTF do you think I am? Some whore that cooks for you? What? I don't look good enough already while I cook all your meals and wash your clothes? I need to wear an apron with a fucking garter too?! Fuck You. I ain't cookin' no more. You go give this to your Chinese girlfriend with the small hands. I bet she'll wear it while she "give you happy ending". Then ask her for an egg roll because your missus said 'So solly Missa Brooks, I no cook tonight."

Just kidding. That was a joke, people. I crack myself up with my "Missa Brooks" routine. I don't think Chad thinks it's as funny. Don't make fun of people who speak broken English, he says. She's just trying to make a living. Whatever. I know he wishes most of half the time I didn't speak English. He'll never admit it, but I know. So solly, Missa Brooks, but you know me love you long time :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I have been dreaming and salivating for awhile over the thought of a Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake. I made a devine, if I do say so myself, cookie by the same name for my 2009 holiday cookie exchange. It's been 90+ degrees all week. Too hot to bake. It's supposed to cool off this weekend and I am dying to try a new, self concocted recipe (the very best kind)! Stay stuned!!

I have a couple of good options for the chocalate cupcake part. I'll put a rolo in the middle. Certain recipes accept a dollop in the batter better than others. Another option is to pipe caramel filling into my normal dark chocolate cupcake. I would definitely like your thoughts on the frosting. I'll sprinkle/coat the frosting in a sugar/sea salt mixture like I did the cookie. Should the frosting be a typical chocolate buttercream? A richer chocolate ganache? A combination of chocolate, caramel buttercream? A chocolate buttercream with caramel drizzle and sugar/sea salt sprinkle? I'm leaning towards chocolate ganache with sugar/seat salt sprinkle. Although who can resist caramel drizzle. Hello! So many options. Please let me know what makes your mouth water. I am excited about this cupcake!

Why Didn't I Think of That Thursday?

Hmmmm.... I wanted to just do Tasty Tuesday a bit late but I've had this topic in mind so I wanted to come up with something. Plus, Chad's not home yet so I still have the laptop :-)

Confession time. The woman I most envy right now is The Pioneer Woman. I love her blog!! I admire her. I think she's funny. I think she's smart. I wonder why I didn't think of all that stuff that she does. I could have done that! Right? But I didn't. So, I feel like a loser. Don't tell Pioneer Woman. She would disapprove. I just want to get my shit together and do something!!! Ugh. What is my problem!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WTF Wednesday

So, I've had a request from the people......WTF have you been doing for the past week? Why haven't you blogged? What happened to Tasty Tuesday? Why Didn't I Think of That Thursday? Fun Friday?

Well, I don't like blogging on my iPad. Besides the fact that I can't type at my normal lightening speed I can't figure out how to upload a darn picture! On my desktop I can save a picture and then easily upload it. On the iPad I can save a picture but can't figure out how to upload it to the blog. Drives me nuts.

Why can't I blog on my desktop, you may be thinking. Well, the desktop crashed a bajillion times. I'm sure if it wasn't completely fucked already I finished it off by repeatedly unplugging and restarting it. I moved on to the backup laptop but the keyboard was all jacked up and not working at all. Fucking kids. I took both computers, which are not old, to Kevin, the computer guy. I called to check on them today. He said they were both working perfectly for him! WTF???? He did witness the jacked upness of the laptop when I dropped it off so he doesn't think I'm crazy.

In the meantime I've been using Chad's brand new laptop when he's not looking. Shhhhhh. However, I've only been doing real important stuff like hockey manager spreadsheets, planning a pre-season hockey party for 50 people and organizing half-time oranges for football. Next week is the first general PTA meeting (for which I'm already VP) so someone better tie my hands to keep me from volunteering for more shit like homeroom mom, library, math & science fair........ I think I'm trying to prove that having kids hasn't turned me into the fucking retard I feel like half the time. I'm showing them alright. Whomever they are.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Manic Monday

Great day! Not manic at all. I bounded out of bed at 6am. I scooted those little goblins onto the bus for their first day of school and basked in a bicker-free environment for the rest of my day..... Not free of whining because I had Lucy but it was still music to my ears. I don't even think she realizes she's whining at this point. Whaaaaaattttteeeeeevvvverrrr!!

By the time the boys got off the bus I had baked brownies, bagel bites & pizza to welcome them home. They bounded off the bus with smiles. Hooray!!

Apparently Sam's teacher is the Goddess of all Children. She has 6 biological children, one with special needs and another that recently had a liver transplant. She's in the process of adopting two more with special needs. WELL......... I said, "Did you mention you had FOUR cavities and I dealt with it in stride! I had them filled right away! And with the white stuff, not the trashy silver stuff. Yeah! Did you put that in your "me bag" to take to school tomorrow?

I bet she had a crock pot going all day making pot roast or some shit. I've decided if I make brownies & pizza when they get home from school then that's their dinner! Seriously? I suggested Chad have a burrito. Duh.

Background

I've been trying many different backgrounds so please comment on whatever one you see. Like? Dislike? Distracting? Not me? Me? I don't feel like I've found the perfect one yet. Describe the one you're seeing since I'm changing it left and right.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Funday Sunday

Holy hell I am tired! I got up with Sam today at 6am for hockey and have been running ever since. Both boys had their first football game today. That was super fun to watch but also exhausting since that meant four straight hours of little people football. Just how many hours is one person supposed to be able to resist the concession stand walking taco or nachos grande?? I better get used to it because it runs until the end of October.

My belly laugh moment of the day came as Henry was filling out his 3rd grade paperwork during Sam's football game. When asked by his teacher "If I had a million dollars I would buy...", he responded, "I'd buy a new butt, cuz mine has a crack in it." I've been laughing ever since.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Birthday Cupcakes

I made two dozen of these for my friend's daughter that is turning 12. She's taking them for her soccer team whose colors are black & gold. They looked cuter in person. It's really hard to photograph food and make it look good.



These were the ones I made for her birthday last year that she also took for her soccer team.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WTF Wednesday

It's not quite midnight so it's not too late for WTF Wednesday. At the beginning of the day I had no idea if I would have anything to write about on this topic. Who the fuck was I kidding?

I don't normally get stressed out about stuff. I'm a pretty laid back chick if you know what I mean. And if you don't, I just mean I don't give a fuck about a lot of shit. It's late..... I think I may swear more late at night. I'm usually in bed by 10pm. It's 11:30pm. Why, you ask, am I up so late? Because at some point, some time I thought it would be a good idea to make cupcakes for money. Conclusion: I should only make cupcakes because I enjoy it. Not for the money.

I made these beauties for a friend of mines husband to take to work to thank somebody for something. They turned out pretty cute. This first picture was taken on my kitchen counter. Not the best background but I didn't have a plate big enough. By the way, why do children have the urge to fucking touch EVERYTHING!!!! When they were babies they touched things to learn. By now they should keep their grubby hands off my shit!! I digress....



This picture is in the cupcake carrier. You can see the colors a bit different. 12 vanilla. 6 chocolate. $40.


I haven't had a cupcake order in I have no idea how long. I still have 2 dozen cupcakes for someone else to decorate for tomorrow!! WTF was I thinking?? Not to mention, Sam's birthday party is tomorrow at Kennywood which means I have to get up early and frost these other cupcakes (picture tomorrow), go pick up bagels & donuts and get a bunch of jacked up kids ready to head to the amusement park by 10am. Smart planning.

Cupcakes are cooling. I just need to finish the frosting. It's the frosting that always pushes me over the edge. I hate making frosting.

And you know what? My kids never want cupcakes for their birthdays. And I never eat the cupcakes. By the time I'm done baking and frosting and saying ever so nicely that I DON'T NEED ANY FUCKING HELP, THANK YOU!!!! I'm tired of looking at cupcakes.

I have to say that when I turned up the music and let it drown out the children's cries for "help" (give me a break) the whole process was quite enjoyable. That and the wine.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Food I Can't Live Without



One of my favorite, semi-healthy, go-to meals right now is, let's call it, Sarah's Cobb Salad. I can assemble it in less than 5 minutes and I thoroughly enjoy every single bite. Oh so tasty and I feel no guilt because I love it so much. Worth every single calorie.

My most favorite ingredient that I start to panic a bit when I'm almost out of is Galeos Miso Dijonnaise. I love, love, LOVE this salad dressing!!! I would love it even if it were unhealthy but it's actually super healthy! Low calorie, low fat, low sugar, high flavor. Love it!! I can only buy it at Whole Foods which is a pain to get to so I sometimes just order it online so I don't have to go without.

My second favorite and absolutely necessary ingredient is blue (or gorgonzola) cheese. Sometimes I have a big tub from Sam's Club which is adequate but lately I've been splurging on smaller portions of better quality cheese. Totally worth it.

I always buy in bulk mixed greens, real bacon bits & ready to eat chicken strips from Sam's Club so I have never have an excuse for not eating a salad.

My favorite croutons are Rothbury Farms (Cheese Garlic). They have the perfect crunch and seasoning. Other croutons just aren't worth the calories.

If I'm really on the ball I'll have hard boiled eggs & avocado on hand. Bonus but not necessary for pure enjoyment of my salad.

What's your favorite food, meal or recipe this summer?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Manic Monday


So I made up a song and I can't get it out of my head. It goes a little somethin' like this....

SCHOOL STARTS IN 1 WEEK! OH YEAH, Baby!!

I have a little dance that goes with it. The kids think I'm weird. Whatever. Pesky fuckers.

Also part of my Manic Monday was allowing 2 boys to sleep over last night which meant I was yelling at four boys at 11pm instead of just my own two. I did that forgetting I had already invited another boy to come over this morning and play. And then I, of course, invited his sister to stay and play so Lucy wouldn't be the only girl and driving me bananas. That's 7 kids in case you lost count. It was fun. Lots of pancakes, bacon, Gatorade and an extra large pizza. The only time I had to yell was when someone threw an old bottle of Hawaiian Punch on Henry, covering him from head to toe in his white shorts. I let the two girls pee behind a tree at the private school park. That's not bad, right?

All is quiet for the next 10 minutes then it's time to get ready for football. After I drop them off I'm on to my first hockey manager meeting. Should be interesting. Hockey parents can be intense. I shall be a catalyst for calm.

Willie Nelson update

So, Willie was awesome. We got there a bit late because we figured the "family" might be playing so I think we missed some good Willie tunes. The sun was down and there were dark rain clouds overhead so it was comfortably warm. The concert was pretty basic as far as presentation (a huge Texas flag in the background), instruments & musicians which was quite refreshing during a time when so many things are too extravagant and over the top. I envy Willie and his family. They've obviously spent a lifetime following their passion. When will I discover mine?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Willie Nelson & Family Live in Concert


This is what we have planned for the evening. Not sure if I'm a fan of Willie's family or not but I'm guessing at his age he needs all the help he can get.

I've only been to a handful of concerts in my lifetime. My first concert was as a teenager. Def Leppard. I will never forget that one because I wore a homemade, tie dyed dress made out of an XL men's white t-shirt. It was a super hot Oklahoma summer night and Def Leppard was kind enough to hose down all of us screaming teenage girls. As a result, I ended up in a very sheer men's white t-shirt that dyed my underwear the same color as the tie dye. ClassssEY

Other concerts? MC Hammer maybe in college. Or somebody like that. George Straight here in Pittsburgh. Poison here in Pittsburgh. That was fun. I know there are a few others I can't remember right now. Not so memorable I guess. Ok, I'm boring myself.

I am looking forward to tonight's concert as long as it cools off. It's 92 degrees right now and everyone who knows me knows that I won't last more than 5 minutes in heat like that. Cross your fingers. What are the chances I get offered a joint at this concert? Hmmmmm....

Oh, and I meant cross your fingers about the weather not the joint.

I'm Back. Really.

carosel open for business Pictures, Images and Photos

Wholey Moley it's been a long time since I've blogged!! I have missed it. I have actually started many a post over the summer and then abandoned them because either I got interrupted or decided it was going nowhere. I got an ipad for my birthday and that made it it harder to blog because I can't really type fast on it and I don't end up spending much time on a real keyboard because I'm playing games checking email, reading important stuff, etc. on the ipad instead of a PC. And then it had been so long I thought I should have something really important to say once I posted again. But I never really did. And I really want to monetize my blog but the fucking AdSense thing keeps telling me I already have an account but never lets me set up anything. Enough with the excuses. Just as summer ends and another school year begins I am back to tantalize you with the fascinating details of my life. Men will want me. Women will want to be me. Stay tuned.

I'm thinking of having certain topics on specific days of the week to motivate me to write. Like "Tantalize me Tuesday", "Wordless Wednesday" .... things like that. Any ideas from my two loyal readers?

Monday, June 14, 2010

First Official Day of Summer Break

The boys' last day of school was Friday. It was only a half day and they just cleaned out desks and lockers so I'm sure, in their minds, that was the first official day of summer vacation. In my mind it was the last official day of freedom as I knew it. Not necessarily a bad thing; I just have to adjust my schedule and expectations.

Today is Monday, which in my mind is when summer break begins. No waking kids up for school or hounding them to stay off the computer and eat their breakfast. No rushing to finish homework that was forgotten the night before. No frantic searches for missing shoes because it's a gym day and all we can find are Crocs. No stern reminders that they'll have to walk to school if they miss the bus. [Come to think of it, I never actually followed through on that threat. I'll have to come up with something better in the fall.]

Instead it's nearly 8am and Sam is still sleeping. Henry is up but quietly reading a book on the couch with the dogs. Lucy is still sleeping as well because she can't seem to go to sleep at a decent hour with these long summer days. I'll have time to cook the extra thick bacon instead of the precooked microwave kind. We can all stay in our pajamas until at least 10am. We'll start packing for our road trip to Myrtle Beach. Only two more sleeps until we leave!!

Will I be able to get everyone out of the house with no complaining so I can run errands? Possibly. If I bribe them with toys for the upcoming road trip. Will I be asked 67 times if we can go to the pool today? Probably. Will I take them? Probably not. Will we all enjoy the first Monday of summer break? Most definitely.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's Been Way Too Long!


I can't believe it's been more than one month since I've blogged!

I did, by the way, include bee pollen in a few bowls of oatmeal. I felt extremely itchy/hivey afterwards but I am not convinced it was due to the bee pollen. I also started taking these detox supplements at the same time. Unfortunately, you have to actually eat ultra healthy while taking all those supplements and I just wasn't into it 100% of my days. Healthy oatmeal, YEAH! Blah, blah, blah.


So I stopped taking the supplements. I am going to give the bee pollen a shot again soon when it is the only new thing introduced.


My mom was tagged recently on her blog to list 10 things she loves. She chose not to tag others but I thought I would play along as it is a good topic to get started blogging again.


10 Things I Love


1. My hard working, handsome husband. I love him!!!

2. My beautiful children

3. My wonderful mom who just moved here to spend more time with us!

4. When it's NOT a fucking, pussy snow day.

5. Goat cheese

6. Wine

7. My gorgeous soul mate, Jessica

8. My amazing, inspiring, sister Juleah

9. Getting my nails done every two weeks

10. Long, Uninterrupted hot showers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bee Pollen??


Apparently I've been living under a rock because I just read that bee pollen is one of nature’s healthiest and most powerful “superfoods”!! It’s been used as a dietary supplement for thousands of years. The early Egyptian and early Chinese civilizations both used it as a physical rejuvenator and medicine. The Greek physician Hippocrates, recognized as the father of modern medicine, used pollen as a healing substance over 2,500 years ago. Today natural health practitioners often refer to bee pollen as an herbal “fountain of youth” that can be used for everything from weight loss to cancer prevention. It may be nature's most perfect food...

Bee pollen has been shown to help people:

  • Lose weight
  • Increase energy, vitality and stamina
  • Enhance the immune system
  • Relieve allergy and asthma symptoms
  • Improve sexual function
  • Correct digestion problems
  • Slow the aging process


One thing is certain (according to bee-pollen-health.com): people who consume high-quality bee pollen almost always experience an increase in energy, zest, and physical endurance. This is precisely why thousands of world-class athletes supplement their diets with this natural substance.

What’s in Bee Pollen?
Bee pollen contains an incredible array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, co-enzymes, and hormones. It is especially rich in B vitamins and antioxidants, including lycopene, selenium, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and several flavanoids. It is composed of 55% carbohydrates, 35% protein, 3% vitamins and minerals, 2% fatty acids, and 5% other substances. Overall, it's one of the most nutritionally complete natural substances found on earth. Who knew???

Well, buckle the fuck up, cuz guess who bought some bee pollen today??!! Yep, you got it. Yours truly!! I'm puttin' it in my oatmeal tomorrow morning!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Woo Hoo!! Yaya's Coming to Town!!

I was going to call or email Yaya with a little tidbit that warmed my heart today but thought I'd like to share with a few more. It's the little things after all . . . .

First, a little background. I never had a super close relationship with my grandparents. I have a few random, yet vivid memories. They were amazing people, I cried when they died but I didn't mourn the "relationship". You know what I'm saying?

Chad's mom was the MOST amazing Mom and Memaw. Even though we lived far away she always made sure she saw us at least every 3 months. To say she was loving and generous is to put it mildly. It is truly tragic she left this earth so early. I sincerely mourn my relationship with her that was cut so short. Even more deeply, I mourn the fact that Sharon will not see her grandchildren grow up and they will not truly appreciate the person she was. I am extremely grateful for the time we did get to spend with her but it wasn't enough!

And so here we are. January 2010. My mom (Yaya) has made the HUGE decision to keep her wonderful home and darling husband in Tulsa AND rent an apartment here in Sewickley for 6 months so she can test the retirement waters and be close to her one and only (biological - which trumps the rest of you btw) fabulous child and three wonderful grandchildren. In Lucy's words, we are Super DUPER excited!!

I'm finally getting to the heart warming tidbit . . . When Henry got off the bus this afternoon he was carrying one of his favorite stuffed animals. How sweet is it that he still takes stuffed animals to school?! Anyway, the first thing he said was, "When is Yaya getting here?" He then proceeded to turn his little dog upside down to show me the tiny hole in it's belly. He then told me he had a couple of things that needed fixed. Lucy has a couple things lined up too.

I LOVE that they think of Yaya when one of their prized possessions is wounded. I think they will forever remember her as being the only one that can "fix" those things. Daddy can fix just about anything under the sun. But he doesn't sew. Mama is good for cooking, cleaning and cuddling when you are hurt or sad (as long as it doesn't drag the fuck on). But unless dollies and stuffed animals can be fixed with super glue or tape then Mama is worthless. Enter Yaya.

There are probably many aspects of their relationship with Yaya that we adults don't even realize are important. Yaya definitely knows kids speak up at the most unexpected moments with the most unexpected things. I am thrilled beyond words that she will be able to experience many more of those moments!

So, Mom and Tom, I know this change is BIG. I realize the sacrifice is HUGE for both of you. I am deeply grateful you two are open and willing to take on the challenge! Thank you, Tom, for understanding and sharing her with us! Regardless of things bought, moved and left behind I truly believe that it's the little unexpected moments that will make it all worthwhile.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Most Popular Passwords

According to a new analysis, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like "abc123," "iloveyou" or even "password" to protect their data.


"I guess it's just a genetic flaw in humans," said Amichai Shulman, the chief technology officer at Imperva, which makes software for blocking hackers. "We've been following the same patterns since the 1990s."

A genetic flaw??? I guess that's a nice way of saying at least 20% of Americans are dumber than a fucking rock.

For entire article go HERE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown 52%, Coakley 47%

From bostonherald.com: Demoralized Democrats were left grappling with the notion of a once-obscure GOP insurgent snatching the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s seat in the so-called bluest state, only to possibly seal the demise of the late senator’s health-care dream - and single-handedly knock President Obama’s agenda off course.

From Sarah Brooks: Woo Hoo!!!!! All that keeps running through my head when I think of Obama is the following quote from the movie The Hangover.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie Review: Book of Eli



5 Word Review: I Fucking Hated This Movie.

OK, so to be fair, this is not the type of movie I would normally watch in the first place. This was the plot summary I found online, "In the not-too-distant future, across the wasteland of what was once America, a lone warrior must fight to bring civilization the knowledge that could be the key to its redemption." After reading that I didn't want to watch it in the theater, at home, with a gun to my head . . .

But, I really [REALLY] wanted to get out of the house with two of my girlfriends and this was the only movie that fit into our timeline. They wanted to see it and, believe it or not, they loved it! They really, really did. So, this is just one fabulous person's opinion.

My one friend loves Denzel and, as a devout Christian, loved the message. Spoiler Alert! Don't read any further if you don't want to discover the "knowledge" referenced above.

By the end of the movie it is revealed that The Book of Eli is the last remaining King James Bible. Denzel (Eli) has been protected by God for the last 30 years as he's traveled through an America devastated by war, poverty and depravity because God spoke to him telling him to take the Book to "the West". There is a tremendous amount of violence and it is clear that cannibalism as a means of survival is commonplace. You can identify those who've eaten too much human meat by how much their hands shake.

Long, inane, unbelievable story short, Denzel has to give up THE BOOK towards the end to the one other person in the movie, i.e. THE bad guy, that realizes the importance of the Bible. Yet Denzel keeps travelling West, as he has been for the last 30 years. Everyone's wondering WTF . . . did he give the bad guy the REAL book (by this time everyone assumes its the Bible but it hasn't been confirmed) or does he have it hidden on his body somewhere?

Denzel (Eli) finally makes it to San Francisco where, apparently, the last civilized, intelligent people live. He tells them he has the last remaining King James Bible. Ta Daaaa!! They are astounded and grateful. At the same time the bad guy is opening up what he thinks is the Bible he stole from Denzel. It is then revealed . . . . that the bad guy DOES have the bible BUT . . . . It's all in BRAILLE!!!! Mooootheeeerfuuuucker!!!! He doesn't really say that but you know that's what he's thinking. The girlfriend he's been extremely horrid to throughout the movie just happens to be BLIND (pieces are falling into place) but she gives him a big FUCK YOU and says she doesn't remember braille. Touche!!

At the same time it is revealed that Denzel (Eli) is, yep, you got it, BLIND. He's been reading his braille Bible every day for the last 30 years so he has it memorized and proceeds to recite it to the San Francisco guy so they can print it on the ancient printing press they have put in working condition. Then Eli dies. His purpose has been fulfilled.

Hallelujah, it's over! We can go to PF Changs. I need a fucking drink after watching Denzel decapitate all those cannibalistic losers. My favorite part of the movie and the only thing that kept me interested was that even though these people were bartering with fucking KFC wet naps and travel size shampoos for clean drinking water they ALL had the coolest g*damn sunglasses!! The sunglasses were never lost nor broken throughout the entire movie. It was amazing.

To be clear, I was not opposed to the "message" I just didn't believe a word of it, the way it was presented. I thought the whole movie was slow and stupid. There was no nudity with all that violence. Hellllooooooo??!!

Save your money. Rent it and fall asleep half way through. When you have bad dreams don't blame me. I told ya so.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Why am I not Famous??!!



It's really a shame my blog is not famous because I have so much to say. So few to listen. I honestly don't see that much difference in what I have to say and the bulk of all the other jackasses out there. Not that I am that profound or that funny, but who is?! Few. Not many.

I am going to add to my repertoire . . . movie reviews. If I make it to see a movie in the theatre I am often alone, which I LOVE. I remember thinking my mom was a total weirdo when she would go to the movies by herself. I get it now! I love it!! As a result, when I see a movie, I am totally engaged and my opinion is, at a minimum, insightful. On the other hand, if I watch a movie at home and make it through (in one sitting) it must be a winner and thus also deserves my review. Otherwise, I will give my half ass movie review, which is just as useful as it might save you an evening of mindless movie watching.

I'm thinking I should review movies in 5 words.

To wrap this dialouge up, I'm going to review the movie I saw today. Sherlock Holmes. In five words.

Robert Downey is Fucking Hot! Ok, let me try again. Awesome Actors, Engaging, Downey Amazing. Another 5 words. Thoughtful. Entertaining. Love. Robert. Downey.

Yes, I liked the movie.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - PM

My belly and my heart are full as is my sink of dirty dishes. Streamers, empty beer bottles, soda cans, juice boxes, cookie crumbs, chips, and good thoughts for the New Year are scattered every which way. Sam has quite a contusion above his left eye from an awesome slap shot by Henry. Shoulda worn a helmet. I'm in bed with my laptop.

Believe it or not, I was not stressed one single bit all darn day!! I was perhaps irritated a bit this morning as I was chopping and chopping and chopping and certain little people were bothering the fuck out of me asking to be fed, blah blah blah but, all in all, it was a wonderful, stress free day!

I think I can honestly say it was the least stressful party I've ever thrown which just goes to show it's all in your attitude. I know what you're thinking and it has nothing to do with alcohol or medication. I am simply a whiz at entertaining!! WA LAA is my middle name!! The sitters were a godsend. They were proactive, take charge, amazing girls. When they would ask me a question I would say "Hellloooo, I'm in charge of the food and you're in charge of the kids, remember??" and off they would go. There were three of them. One was generally in charge of boys, one for the girls and the third was a floater. I really, really hated to see them go.

I know, I know, what you really want to know is HOW DID THE HAM TURN OUT??!! In a word. FUCKINGFANTASTIC!! Here's how it went down. . .


Garlic & Herb Rub: 1 cup fresh sage from 1 large bunch, packed lightly, 1/2 cup fresh parsley, 8 medium cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp kosher salt or 1 1/2 tsp table salt, 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil, mixed in food processor until forms a smooth paste. That is the recipe for a 6-8 lb ham so I doubled it. It was plenty.

7:15 am: Rubbed and ready to go in the oven!


Based on calculations I read online you should bake a fresh ham for 22 min/pound which, for a 17lb ham, comes out to 6 hours. I didn't think it would take that long, but it did. Luckily, I put it in at 7:15 am so it worked out about right. TA DAAAA!

1:15 pm

It actually looked MUCH more impressive in person. A gorgeous ham, if I do say so myself.


5:15 pm : notice the bottom of the pan is completely cold pig fat. YUM.


So, the "ham" really seemed like "pork" when it was all said and done. It wasn't pink like a traditional ham. It looked like "the other white meat". So, the question came up, "Is it a Ham or is it a Pork Roast?" All of the recipes I found were for "roasting a fresh ham." When I googled ham vs pork I found . . .

"Ham, technically is the thigh and rump of any animal that is slaughtered for meat, but the term is usually restricted to a cut of pork, the haunch of a pig or boar. Although it can be cooked and served fresh, most ham is cured in some fashion."

So, I think what I cooked was a 'fresh, uncured ham' although it could definitely just be called 'pork'. If someone were expecting 'ham' they quite possibly might have been disappointed. If they were simply open to fabulousness then they were happy. A few seemed genuinely confused.

The only thing lacking in this day was that I didn't get to share it in person with my few loyal readers!! I love you all!!!

Happy New Year - AM

I went to bed at 10pm on New Year's Eve and woke up this morning at 6am so I could prepare THE HAM. And, yes, of course we are having black-eyed peas! Hoppin' John Stew. Ham stock base, Cajun seasoning, beans and rice. This is my favorite way to have black eyed peas except for the Texas Caviar mentioned by my Aunt Jennifer. I was going to make that too and forgot! Oh well.

This is the 17lb, skin on, fresh ham prior to cutting my beautiful, meditative diamond pattern.




This is after an hour of cutting with a serrated knife through the skin and fat, being careful not to cut into the meat. Does it look like it would be hard? Well, I hope so because it was a big fucking pain in the ass. I almost gave up half way through, chucked my $30 in the trash and called it a lesson learned. But, I didn't. I think I can, however, say with 100% certainty that I will never make a 17lb fresh ham again. If it's really good I might make a smaller one . . .



I put the ham in a brine of salt, brown sugar, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns around 2pm yesterday and retrieved it at 6am this morning. It is now sitting for an hour at room temperature before I apply the Garlic and Herb Rub and then pop that motherfucker in the oven.



To be continued . . . .

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pre-Party Panic

I'm having a New Year's Day party. There's no backing out now. I think Chad and I started our New Year's Day tradition 10 years ago?? That can't be right. But I think we started it Jan 1, 2000 which would make this year ten but our 11th celebration (someone check my math)!

Each year I seem to invite more and different people depending on where we live and who we're close with. Last year was our first New Year's Day in Sewickley and I have vague memories of inviting people (not tooo many, because I invited too many the year before and swore I wouldn't do that again) and then freaking out in my post Christmas funk, not wanting to cook one more thing, canceling, saying something about unforeseen circumstances......

So this year I decided to really have a Partaayy. I sent out an Evite to a shitload of people. What I didn't plan on was all the fucking kids associated with those adults!! We need to stop breeding. It's out of control. So now I'm panicking just a bit. My latest RSVP count is 48, 24 adults and 24 kids. Yeah, I know. What the fuck was I thinking. You should have seen Chad's face when I told him . . . yesterday. Not to mention 20 maybes, also equally divided.

AND, I've decided to try a new ham recipe! Brilliant, right? Instead of baking and glazing my tried and true ham I am going to roast a fresh ham! It is the biggest ham you have ever seen!! It's like a whole pig's leg or something. Poor piggie. They're as smart as three year olds, you know (new year's resolution!)

I calculated the roasting time based on what I could find online and it was 6 hours! Really??? The last thing I want is to overcook it. Well, maybe the last thing I want is to serve an underdone ham. The Partaayy starts at 1pm. What time do I put the ham in?? Better safe than sorry, right??

It will be fine. I'm counting on people coming and going between 1 and 4 and not staying the entire time. I bought a bunch of crafts today to keep kids (i.e. girls) busy and I have three sitters scheduled to help. I am going to keep the menu simple. Hoppin' John Stew, which I can cook the night before. Cornbread muffins. THE HAM. Spinach Dip. Pizza for kids.

The funniest thing really is seeing Sam & Henry's reaction to my panic. I made a list of all the kids broken out between boys, girls and babies. They just laughed and laughed when they saw how many adults AND kids (boys) were coming. They are now even calling in The Partaayy. Chad is just worried. The boys find it amusing. I am now somewhere in between. My goal is to enjoy myself! I think everything will fall into place after that.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lucy & Grandma Ann

My Aunt Jennifer's comment about Lucy's resemblance to my Grandma Ann made me want to go find a picture and compare. Here they are. I think it's the eyes and the cheeks.


Sparkle Sponge



This may not be the most absorbent sponge I've ever used but it's the only one that actually makes me want to clean. I just love it! It sits next to my kitchen sink just begging to be picked up and used to make my kitchen sparkle!

I bought a butt load of them so I will never run out and will always have a clean one! The picture does not do it justice. It is much sparklier in person. Kind of like yours truly.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

First Snow


It's fucking freezing outside. Literally. I'm grumpy because Lucy was up at 6am for the third day in a row. I know someday I'll be able to sleep in as long as I want and instead I'll be getting up at 5am like Yaya. But today it's Saturday and I'd rather be in bed.

Despite my grumpiness, I have to admit it's lovely to wake up to our first snowfall. Too sweet to see the excitment on Lucy's face. Somewhat annoying that she wants to go make snow angels before it's fully light outside. Even more annoying that she wants me to go out too and keeps opening the g*damn door to ask.

Maybe Yaya's bah humbug attitude is catching. I don't feel like wrapping. I don't feel like cooking a big Christmas dinner. I don't feel like roasting chestnuts over an open fire. I don't feel like cleaning up dog shit which will surely appear because they dont want to go out in the snow. I do feel like getting the hell out of here and going shopping and perhaps getting snowed in while I'm at Target. Hmmmmmmm . . . .

Friday, December 18, 2009

Babies

Check this out. Looks so cute and a great topic for discussion . . .

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cookie Exchange

And the winner is . . . . me, of course! I am the self proclaimed winner of this year's cookie exchange.

Here's the recipe for Sarah's Famous Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies:

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (3 tsp of vanilla extract can also be used)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder such as Hershey's Special Dark

note: regular cocoa could also be used but then they would no longer be Sarah's Famous Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies they would be your 'regular ol' I'm too lazy to go to the store and get dark cocoa cookies'.
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons sea salt
48 chocolate covered caramel candies such as ROLO

Directions:
Beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla bean paste. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Cover and chill at least 2 hrs.

Preheat over to 375 degrees

Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Work with one part at a time, leaving the remainder in the refrigerator until needed. Divide each part into 12 pieces. Press each piece of dough around ROLO and roll into a ball. Dip the tops gently in the sugar/sea salt mixture. Place sugar/salt side up, 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.

Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven, rotating pan halfway at 4 minutes. When you take them from the oven there may be a lump from the ROLO. If so, gently tap it down with the back of a spoon. Let cool on baking sheet for at least 4 minutes, preferably longer, so the carmel doesn't come out of the bottom! If you do notice caramel coming out of the bottom when you take them off of the cookie sheet just flip them over, pat the caramel down and let them finish cooling upide down.

NOTES: I used vanilla bean paste but I think it may have been been a waste. The paste might be better suited to a vanilla cookie where you get to appreciate the specs of vanilla bean.

Also, I don't know how many dozen it took me to figure this out but the cookies baked on a dark, non-stick Air Bake cookie sheet came out much better than the ones cooked on a light, non-stick Wilton air bake cookie sheet. The majority of the cookies cooked on the light pan had the caramel come through the bottom. It was fine once cooled but not as pretty. The majority of cookies cooked on the dark pan did not have the caramel come through the bottom. Any ideas on why???

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lucy's Self Portrait

This is the picture Lucy brought home from school yesterday . . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Layered Greek Dip Recipe


This recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens. I've had it several times and it's awesome!

Ingredients
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups prepared hummus
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions
Pita chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips

Directions
1. In medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined.

2. Spread cream cheese mixture into a deep 9-inch pie plate, or shallow serving dish. Evenly spread hummus on cream cheese layer. Top with cucumber, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and green onions. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Serve with pita chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips. Makes about 2-1/2 cups dip (16 servings).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Route 66 Countdown: 13 days

I can't believe I'll be in Oklahoma in 11 days! I can't wait to see everyone!

Yesterday, in training, I ran/walked 9 miles. I'm pretty sure I jogged at least as much as I walked if not more which I was not even planning on doing so I was super psyched about that. I averaged less than 15 min/mile which was my goal so that was good also. Not super speedy but we all have to start somewhere.

I had lunch with my dear friend Jennifer yesterday and she reminded me that the Pittsburgh Marathon is in May so today I signed up for the half marathon! I am quite confident that I can run it! I'm so happy to have a new goal to focus on and work towards so I don't stop after all this training.

Who wants to join me in Pittsburgh on May 2, 2010???

http://www.pittsburghmarathon.com/

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fire Pit


I love Fall. My favorite season.

Right now there are leaves everywhere. Men and their leaf blowers cannot keep up. I wish they would just take a break and leave the leaves where there are for awhile. I love shuffling down the sidewalk through newly fallen leaves. I love watching the leaves fall as I walk the dogs. I love that the dogs are mostly quiet as we walk and I can escape the constant chatter and banter of my house. I think my absolute favorite smell might just be a wood burning fire from some unknown location as I breathe in cool fall air.

I have been begging for a fire pit all summer and now that most of our outdoor projects are finished we finally have one! It sits upon a small stone patio that was added when our retaining wall (pictures of that later) was being put in. And that is our new fence which replaced the one that was literally falling down. If you look closely you'll see that there are two mini Adirondack chairs that match the big ones.

Our marshmallow/hot dog roasting sticks arrived yesterday from amazon so we broke in the pit last night with s'mores and hot dogs. Kids love roasting anything and I love a fire. Doesn't get much better than that. Except, of course, if YOU were here : )

Monday, November 2, 2009

Route 66 Countdown: 20 days

It's early so I'm saying this out loud now while I'm feeling motivated. I'm going to give up alcohol and crappy food for the next 20 days in preparation for the half-marathon (and Thanksgiving). I think I will feel prepared and a little lighter for the walk. It would also be nice to lose some chub chub before Thanksgiving, cookie exchanges, holiday parties, etc. etc.

I am quite sore today after my long walk yesterday. Some stretching and light exercise today should do the trick though.

No school today or tomorrow. School conferences. Have no idea what the day will bring.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Route 66 Countdown: 21 days


Today my goal was to take a fairly strenuous 2.5 hour walk. I wasn't as concerned with my distance but wanted to incorporate big hills and go for at least 2.5 hours. I did it, actually walking for 3 hours. And I didn't chicken out on any of the hills. I had new kicks I was breaking in and could tell they were much better than my old shoes. I felt pretty good when I was done. My hips and lower back were sore. I just wanted to sit and stretch.

But, just as I got home it was time to take Henry to hockey and Chad was busy working on the house and yard so I took him. After getting him on the ice I had to return the boys' football equipment for the season. Then I picked Henry up, getting home just in time to take Sam to hockey. Chad was still working hard so back to hockey I went.

Sam was practicing as goalie today which he was SUPER excited about. He wanted to get there early because goalie equipment is different than what we're used to. We have to put goalie pads on at the rink as opposed to at home with normal hockey pads. For goalie leg pads he lays the pads on the floor and then lays on top of them, belly to the floor, while I strap him in. The first time I did this we didn't realize we had to put the skates on first (they go on last with regular pads) so we had to unstrap and start over. Today, after he was all strapped in he stood up and the coach told me I had them on the wrong legs! Start over! Oh well, I think now we've made all the newbie mistakes and know what we're doing. At least as far as getting dressed.

We made it home about 4pm and I finally took off my running shoes. One blister. I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and here I am. Wiped Out.

While I'm typing, Lucy is in the next room flitting around to her Barbie and the Diamond Castle movie. She is such a girl. Earlier, however, she was determined to put those goalie pads on herself. No one would help her but she was trying her darnedest. She would not take no for an answer. Just about the cutest thing. I love that these boys have a little sister and I love that she has two older brothers. She will be so much tougher and they will be just a little softer.

UPDATE: Obviously, I was really tired and wiped out tonight. So was Chad. After talking to him I found out he moved the equivalent of 3 tons of tile and stone today. Yep. 3 tons. Among many other things. I think that trumps my 10 miles. He consistently amazes me.

The Holiday Season is Upon Us


November 1 marks the beginning of the Holiday Season in my mind. I'm planning a Cookie Exchange party. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. All of the stores are putting their Christmas stuff out. I need to get a picture of the kids this month for our Christmas card. Every year that seems to get harder and harder. It shouldn't be that hard. They're so super cute. I'll try bribing them with Halloween candy. It's a little early for the "Don't make me call Santa" line.

Can someone come up with a way to keep coffee in a coffee cup hot for a long time? I usually drink my coffee out of a thermal mug which does the trick but this morning they were all dirty so I'm drinking out of one of my cute coffee mugs. I forgot how much more enjoyable it is to sip from a mug. It just doesn't stay hot. And I don't want some "special stay hot mug" because I like my own. What about some type of hot stone or something???

I'm walking for two and a half hours today in training for walking the half marathon (which is in 21 days!). Yikes!! I hope that gets me to 9 miles but I'm adding some killer hills today. In any case, it will be a good workout. I'm going to have to get serious during the next three weeks. You too, mom. Jessica is going to kick our butt.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Daylight Savings Time is Great


Damn does this feel like an extra long day. And it's not really. Tomorrow is. Daylight savings time. It's only 6:30pm on Saturday night. Halloween night. Not in this house though. We've already trick or treated and paraded until our masks and hats fell off and we made ourselves sick on Reese's peanut butter cups and an endless supply of lollipops.

Chad pointed out that daylight savings time is great because we get an extra hour of sleep. I guess I'm a wine glass half empty kind of girl. That may be the case if you don't have fucking kids that wake up at the same time no matter what. An extra hour of sleep? Nooooooooo. 7:30am becomes 6:30am which in turn becomes an extra hour of "Can I have something from my Halloween bag?" I hate Halloween.

When they were really little I could easily throw away the bulk of the candy and noone was the wiser. Now the little fuckers have everything sorted and cataloged like it's the end of the world.

Oh well, I have at least got them programmed to give me all of the Reese's peanut butter cups and peanut M&Ms. They know what's good for them.

Sunday morning update: 6:30am wake up became 5:30am. When I whispered to Lucy that it was a great day because it was daylight savings time and we get an extra hour of sleep she replied, "Remember when I threw up but I didn't throw up on Bunny??!!"

She was right. That was a great day.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween is Great


Ok, so I really do love Halloween. I love both kids and adults dressing up. I love decorating my house inside and out. I love all the fun themed food. I love scaring the shit out of little people.

You know what I don't like. Parades. I hate parades. For ALL holidays. But if I have to endure one holiday parade it would be a Halloween one. I parked way far away from the elementary school carrying way too many cookies and a large camera. I stood for way too long to watch kindergarten through fifth grade parade their costumes. Really cute. Blah blah blah. Class parties with jacked up little people high on sugar. Great fun. Then I moved on to a preschool Halloween parade. Cuter. Shorter. The people and the parade.

Then I drove around town and saw the signs for the town parade tomorrow at 10:30am. I have done everything I can to discourage my children from marching in yet another inane parade. I shall bribe them with Halloween candy, television and toys. Whatever it takes. I will only pull out the "mommy is about to stick her head in the oven" at the very last minute.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Farewell Piggies

Yesterday, Lucy and I returned our three guinea pigs to Guinea Pig Rescue. I have been planting seeds in their little minds (Sam, Henry & Lucy's) for awhile to get them to agree to getting rid of the pigs. Pretty much any toy they desired was theirs for the asking. I was so tired of cleaning up guinea pig shit and urine soaked pine bedding. The ammonia stench after a few days was awful. And the pigs were in the laundry room so every time I walked up the stairs I felt the call of the laundry AND heard "wheeking" from the pigs who were standing up and waiting for me to make them happy. And they were easy to make happy. They wanted food and a clean cage. If it were only so easy to make every one else who needed me as happy. Unfortunately, or fortunately, everyone else won.

When I returned the guinea pigs I told Julene that she was a very special person to take care of all of these guinea pigs. She told me that she was the lucky one and that they were her therapy. Everyone has their thing. I love to care for and nurture the people and animals I love but there is a limit and I guess guinea pigs were my limit. I'm glad someone like Julene knows that caring for guinea pigs is her purpose. I'm actually not sure what my purpose is yet. At least she knows what hers is.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Progressive Dinner

Last night was the annual Progressive Dinner for a group I belong to. There were 100+ people attending. Everyone showed up at one Appetizer House for drinks and apps and then names were randomly drawn at 7pm for Dinner House assignments. Houses hosted between 8-14 people. I hosted an Entree House for 12 people. I spent all day prepping and cleaning. Thank goodness for Sherry who did the bulk of the cleaning while I got rid of my piles and got the food ready. Our house looked great! !

Aside from holidays, I've never made dinner for 12 people, much less people I don't know. It was different. Fun though. And I did end up knowing about half the people. The food turned out really well so I thought I'd share my menu. I wish I had taken pictures of everything but it was a little chaotic.

Roasted Pear and Roasted Beet Salad with Blue Cheese and red wine vinaigrette

What a pretty and interesting salad this was! I absolutely love roasted beets for their flavor and color. I roasted the beets earlier in the day. Pear slices were tossed in butter and sugar and roasted for about 20 minutes right before assembling the salad so they were still warm. I thought the pears were kind of a pain to roast but everyone seemed to really like the salad.

No Peek Chicken
Grease a big casserole dish

Mix together:
1 box Uncle Ben's Wild Rice w/seasoning packet
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cold water

Put mixture in casserole dish and top with bone-in, skin on chicken pieces
(I used all chicken breasts , 6 per casserole dish , which was tight because the breasts were enormous)

Sprinkle top of chicken with a packet of Lipton Onion soup mix and then seal tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 2.5 hours. No peeking!!

Although not part of the recipe I decided to soak the chicken in a brine for about 3 hours before assembling the casserole. I don't know how much of a difference it made since I hadn't made this dish before but the chicken was very flavorful and moist. The rice was really good too. Kind of like a wild rice risotto.

For the Brine:
Dissolve 1.5 cups sugar and 1.5 cups salt in a gallon of cold water. I used a big stock pot. Stir in 2 medium heads garlic, outer papery skins removed, cloves separated, unpeeled and crushed. Crumble in 6 bay leaves. Immerse chicken and refrigerate until fully seasoned. It smelled so good before even cooking it!!

While everyone was eating their salads I roasted asparagus, tossed in olive oil, salt & pepper, in a 400 degree oven. About 10 minutes. I finished it with fresh lemon juice before serving.

I also served warmed fresh garlic bread and fresh potato rosemary bread. And lots of wine, of course. So good!!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy as Sam would say!

My girlfriend, Kim, who was in charge of organizing the whole event and her husband were at my house because she and I were "co-hosting". Our boys all play hockey together. Another girlfriend was stag so Kim made sure she ended up at my house too since she was in charge of "randomly" choosing the names. My dining table only seats 8 so we three girls ate in the kitchen which was actually really nice because I didn't feel like I had to "entertain" anyone.

Everyone was kicked out at 9:30 so they could head to the Dessert portion of the night. It was held at this awesome barn that is perfect for parties. Cool things on the walls, couches, huge flat screen TV with the Penguins game on, a band, a little side room where people were smoking cigars. Dessert and more wine. I went for about an hour. I was pooped. Good times.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Obama Speech Update

For those who don't get it, the basic issue is that many feel Obama is using the opportunity (the school address) to promote a political agenda and is overstepping the boundaries of federal involvement in schools. The suggested material teachers were encouraged to use in conjunction with the speech was objectionable. Cultish. Fucked UUUUUUPPPPP! Yep.

I think the school district had quite an onslaught of emails regarding the airing of Obama's speech in school, probably for and against. I wish I could have seen how many and what people were saying. To be a fly. Why on earth Obama would think it was ok to give a speech to our children in school without any parental presence, participation or approval is beyond me. Way fucking beyond. He's an arrogant son of a bitch.

Anyway, our school district decided that K thru 3rd grade would not view the speech in school at all. Someone will record the speech on Tuesday and the 4th and 5th graders will have the opportunity to view the speech on Wednesday at school. If parents do not want their children to see it (having had the opportunity themselves to view it on Tuesday) they are to send a note and an alternate activity will be available.

I have friends with middle school children and these students will have the opportunity to view the speech live on Tuesday. If parents do not want their childrent to view the speech they may send in a note and an alternate activity will be provided. Neither the elementary nor middle school will use any of the lesson plans or other suggested material found on the internet.

I will record the speech and view it with my children on Tuesday evening. I don't expect it will be a big deal at all but I am glad they are watching it at home and not in the company of a bunch of liberal teachers : )

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Obama Land


Ewwwww. I am so creeped out by Obama's (apparently long planned but I'm just now hearing about it) speech to our children on September 8th. I have not gotten a straight answer from the school yet about whether or not it will be shown in our classrooms but the vague responses I have received are leaning toward YES.

I will absolutely not, not, NOT be sending my children to school to listen to Obama's bullshit socialist propaganda. It is more than disturbing. Chilling. Nauseating. If I had more time I would look up more words in the online thesaurus.

And don't any of you liberals comment unless you can back up your shit. This is NOT just about telling our kids to work hard and get a good education. We don't need lesson plans from Obama for that. How 'bout after his speech we teach the kids a lesson on socialism by taking all the kid's who worked really hard to get A's and redistribute the good grades to all the kids who don't give a shit.

Hmmmmmm . . . how motivated will our children be to work hard now?

I am so ready to move to Costa fucking Rica.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Decoupage Project





This is my decoupage project that lasted all summer. Not because it was difficult but because I am either lazy and/or have ADD. These are paper mache letters, purchased at Jo Anne's, that I covered in tissue paper. I may do DRINK and BE MERRY in different sizes, some covered in tissue paper, others covered in fabric. As you can see, EAT is placed above the mantle in my dining room. The pictures are not great but you get the idea.

Henry asked why the A wasn't pretty.

Saturday, August 15, 2009