Friday, February 27, 2009
Chelsea Handler is that girl in high school your mom told you to stay away from...."she's trouble"......well, that girl has grown up and has the most hilarious show on E!...She's Jewish, from New Jersey, she has a boyfriend and no children...the complete opposite of me!..the first few nights I watched her last year I couldn't figure out if I liked her or not...the stuff she said was bad!!...she is crude, funny, uplifting, and quick witted!!....so I watched a few more nights and decided she's fabulous!! Her opening monologue is generally pertinent to the current events of the day...her take on things is hysterical....she has code words for body parts and functions so the network doesn't get mad at her. She then takes the show to the "roundtable" for a session or two of discussion on topics she picks......at the roundtable are three invited guests for the evening...usually comedian friends of hers, or a few of her staff/writers. The stuff they all come out with is absolutely hilarious!!!...the show then progresses to her interviewed guest of the evening. They must all be scared, because you never know what she will throw at you....and in between it all she introduces you to her little "hot pocket" Chuy......a little person from Mexico....she likes to throw questions and comments at him as well.....she makes it well known she loves her Grey Goose vodka.....and also has a number one best seller on the New York Times list..."Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea"...she used to be on at 11:30pm on the E! network...but they have traded time slots with E! entertainment news (which I LOVE too!!) and now she's on at 11pm....check her out!!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Today was the day of my cupcake lesson with Marzipanmom.....the anticipation and excitement felt exactly like it did when I was a little girl waiting for Christmas morning!! After she posted the recipes for these vanilla cupcakes and buttercream frosting on her blog a few weeks ago I have been craving them. I read through the recipes several times and felt overwhelmed. As most of my readers know I am NOT a baker.....I have tried soooo many times, but with dismal results. Well, Marzipanmom is my absolute hero and she invited me over to teach me how to make them. ....and you can't see them, but I even had on my cupcake earrings :)She had all of the ingredients set out, as well as a beautiful Kitchen Aid mixer....something I do not have either....but now I have to have one!!!!!..(and when I do I will certainly name her!!) I truly think I can do this!!! They turned out perfectly!!!!
The buttercream frosting recipe seemed intimidating....having to cook sugar and light corn syrup on the stove ....and then whipping it into "medium peaks"...it is soooo perfect!! The best I've ever had!!!
I even got a cupcake carrier yesterday to bring....I am determined to be the Queen cupcake maker......I want to be known and adored for these cupcakes!!!!
Granted, Marzipanmom held my hand through the whole process....but I am determined to make them all by myself....batch after batch!! Everyone will love these treats!! I just need the mixer!!....hint, hint!! :) my birthday and Mother's day are coming......wish me luck and thank you again Marzipanmom!!!!!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Here is my first "real" tutorial!!! I've shown how to do a lot of stuff...but this time I really got a supply list and took pictures of every step....it was harder than I thought...a lot of things I just take for granted...it was hard to break it down sometimes....anyway....here is how to make those cute fabric bookcovers I made over the weekend...luckily Bessie, my sewing machine, was in good spirits....First gather your supplies:
tape measure-check out the cute red ones I gave out to the soul sisters for Valentines Day!
fabric-32"x12"....or about an inch bigger all around the size notebook you choose
Measure your fabric and cut....if you are using a standard composition book like I did, cut it 32"x12".
Turn all edges in about a 1/4" and press....then turn them all edges in again and press once more so there are no raw edges....keeping the notebook handy to ensure a perfect fit...making sure you have enough room to sew along the top and bottom hems.
Voila!!! Your cute new notebook!! This is for my ebay notebook...I was going to upgrade to a spreadsheet...this is an improvement ovet the purple spiral notebook I had last year.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I got a free day on Saturday!!! I knew a few days earlier that Chip would be taking the kiddos to the Outdoorsman Show at the Convention Center....well, it felt like Christmas morning when I woke up...but it's hard to not look too excited, I didn't want them to think I was kicking them out or anything...I just wanted some time alone during the day, at my own house!!...not in the middle of the night when everyone goes to bed ....so, I started my day out at the Y for a few classes, stopped to see Cindy Lou at karate and say goodbye to the boys...and started out on my beautiful day! I chatted with the gerberagirl on my day home. I lite my new coconut lime verbena candle, and had a snack while I posted on my blog. I tried desparately not to get sucked into the computer, but I did find a great new blog...a glimpse of London...now that my sister has a flat there it will be fun to check in on. I made Cindy Lou's bed and resisted every temptation to run the vacuum, dust and touch up the bathrooms as I made my way to the shower....after that, I noticed two bananas that looked like they could walk away. So, I got sidetracked making banana bread that I shouldn't have...I told myself it was for the kids.....but they don't like it! My intentions were to spend the whole day in my craft room getting re-acquainted with my desire for scrapbooking....but I started out by sewing big europillows for our new "family" room...then sewing a cloth book cover for my ebay notebook.....a tutorial will follow on that soon!.....and only then did I get down to my craft room...
But it was a mess!!!....so I got busy cleaning it up a bit...oh and by the way..I really would like to call it something other than my "craft room"....any suggestions?? So I got busy cleaning it up....
Well, in the midst of the cleaning I knew it was the beginning of the end about 2pm when Cindy Lou started texting me....and at 2:30 she called to say they were on their way home!! Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining...any free hours are a blessing but I was hoping for more than 4!! So I started hurrying....uploading pictures and finishing cleaning the craftroom at the same time.....
I didn't get any scrapping done like I intended too.....but I am ready to go....hopefully a night or two this week.....and I know I didn't do anything fabulous...I got a lot done in just a few hours....it was such a treat for me!
They're back!!!!!!!!! I drove by McDonald's yesterday and this is the sign I saw!!! Well....just to let my dear readers know, they don't have to put a sign out for me...every year about mid-February my body starts to twitch...I know they're coming!!...if you remember my post from last fall about the pumpkin shakes...this is where it all started....soooo....for the next six weeks or so it will be a big struggle for me....knowing they are just a gift card and a drive-thru away!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Well........daddy promised Cubby donuts this morning and that didn't happen!!!!....he was very, very sad....so what did the treat girl do???.....she made him Mickey Mouse pancakes!!...Mickey Mouse clubhouse is his favorite show ...he asks all morning when is it going to be 9 o'clock???....he already knows he wants a Mickey Mouse birthday party in October!!....this pancake made him happy!!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Whenever my dad comes down for a visit he always calls to check and see if I need anything from favorite grocery store...Wegmans. If you haven't been to one...you haven't lived yet. He popped down yesterday afternoon for a surprise visit...and look at the treats he brought my kiddos!!......tons of snacks!!! He knows I hate buying lunchables and all of those little bags of snacks.....especially the "100 calorie" packs....they drive me crazy......I usually just buy a big bag of something and make my own....same little bag, same snack...but my kids want the "real" ones!!......anyway, he was their hero...AGAIN....when he surprised them with three suitcases of sunchips, fritos, doritos, chips and cheetos....plus slim jims, raisins with "frosting"...another halfway heathy thing covered in sugar!! and umpteen sleeves and boxes of little bag snacks...........we're good in the snack department for quite a while over here! Thanks again Dad!!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Happy Valentine's Day!!!.....I just wanted to share a few of my favorite things from the day today......
A new tea towel....cupcakes!! :)
A favorite decoration....
I made Cubby a Valentine lunchable....thanks for the idea ms. jennifer juniper!...He LOVED it!!!! He thanked me for making it and is already "ordering" one for his field trip with preschool and for all of his friends at his birthday party in October!!
....and here is the cake I make every year. A lovely day!!! Hope yours was happy!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Today is my 16th wedding anniversary....and look what my husband brought me!....I love Sarris peanut butter meltaways... the last time I had a whole box to myself is when I was in the hospital when Cubby was born.... white roses are my favorite!... and I love that my daughter texted my loving husband once or twice to drop a few hints :)
Today was also the Valentine's Day ball at Cubby's preschool. He was sooooooo excited for it!! He has really taken to dancing and practices a lot! If he has an audience he's even happier. He had a little routine made up for us too.....just like Dancing with the Stars.....we went to dinner before the dance and when we entered the school he was amazed at how the school was transformed........there were little white lights everywhere, punch and cookies and the disco ball was spinning. The photographer took our picture and we hit the dance floor......the chicken dance, hokie pokie and YMCA were big hits......what a wonderful night!!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I have to start by saying that I have loved hearts since I was a little girl.....which then turned into my love of Valentine's Day....and when my husband and I were choosing a date for our wedding , Valentine's Day was on a Sunday so the logical choice was the 13th so we could make it into a big, blowout weekend!!!!.....I was so happy to blend the two days into one big holiday! I decorate my house, send valentine's, give treats, wear my socks with the hearts on them and wear all of my favorite heart jewelry, I eat more chocolates and conversation hearts than I should, use cookie cutters to cut my kids sandwiches into hearts...I guess I am a hopeless romantic deep down inside...after all of these years I still like to believe in the fairy tale. So here a few pictures of my favorite hearts from 2009. The cut out cookies pictured above aren't the greatest...they aren't from scratch and they don't look pretty....but Cubby had sooooo much fun making them! They were more of glorified play-doh project....but to see him dig his apron out and climb up on the stool ready to go....I knew right then it didn't really matter what they looked like or tasted like, I knew he would love them.
These were THE BEST cupcakes I have ever had in my whole life!!!!!!!!!!! Marzipan mom treated all of us soul sisters with them this morning. I am dreaming that some day will be able to make them all by myself!! :)
Here is the box Cubby made for his party at preschool....
and these treat bags for Cubbys class will surely make all of his friends happy.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I know I am probably the last person on earth to make homemade croutons...marzipan mom has probably done them a zillion times....but my daughter just happened to have the foodnetwork on after school yesterday...and I have to admit I VERY RARELY watch it because I can't control myself and want everything!!!...then I would be living at the YMCA!!!.....anyway, Giada, who I would like to die and come back as....was making her own croutons and I couldn't believe how easy they were!! I didn't even write it down......and I wasn't even planning on making them today until I came across the other half of the loaf of french bread that I had left from making hoagies over the weekend....it wasn't too fresh anymore and I was going to toss it until I remembered the segment on croutons!! I know a lot of people are watching their carbs......but I CANNOT have a salad without something crunchy in it!!! .....and croutons are my "crunch of choice"!!....so.......all you do is cut the not-so-fresh bread up into pieces (I now see why a lot of restaurants make their own with all of the leftover bread they must have!) toss it with olive oil until it is coated and spread it out on your cookie sheet.......I then sprinkled it with garlic powder, basil and oregano.....bake them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes...or until they are golden and crispy.
I am sure I could have had a cheeseburger and fries for the amount of croutons I just had on my salad for lunch ......but I couldn't resist they were such a treat!! I don't think I will ever buy them again!!!!
Let me just start by saying I have NEVER bought a can of garbanzo beans!!...when I was little my mom would put them in our dinner salads and I'd pick each and everyone out...it's something I never acquired a taste for no matter how packed with good stuff they are! ...and just for the record they have a lot of different names....chi chi beans, chickpeas, and garbanzo beans. When I googled hummus this morning because I wanted to learn more about my newest passion...I found out chi chi beans is the italian translation and garbanzo beans is the spanish! Hummus is one of the oldest foods, dating back to ancient Egypt over 7,000 years ago. Hummus tastes different everywhere and I think the one or two times I have tried it, it has been quite bland...well, not anymore!!!!! With this roasted red pepper recipe shared with me yesterday by my girlfriend I am a complete convert to the joys of hummus!!!! I had all of the ingredients at home and just needed the can of beans...it takes less than 5 minutes...so why not make some hummus for your honey this weekend for Valentine's Day weekend??....p.s. the cute glass heart dish is available at the Dollar Tree or Walmart ....always a cute idea to bring it along and leave it as a treat for a hostess!
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 cup roasted red peppers...I used the whole jar! no juice
15 oz. can of garbanzo beans
5 oz. crumbled feta
Mix all ingredients in a food processor and blend until your preferred consistency. I don't have a food processor so I just used my blender and worked it with a spatula :) Refridgerate for several hours and serve with veggies, pita chips or crackers. I think next time I will subsitute sundried tomatoes for the peppers....I think that would be fabulous too! Beware!!! this is totally addicting!
Friday, February 6, 2009
It's tax time...and my Dad always says he knows two things for sure....death and taxes.....and this is the time of year I go to my "Charity" file and dig out my Goodwill reciepts for my husband to include with our tax paper work.....I had a VERY good year at the Goodwill since they opened a gorgeous new one with a drive thru in our town....I drop stuff off every week!!!....I keep a bag in my closet and one in the coat closet downstairs and everytime I come across something I just throw it in.....anyway, this year we may try Turbotax for the very first time.....our tax preparation bill runs about $350 and this is the first year in a long time where things have been quite "normal"...no sales of houses, no depreciations on things or major write offs...no babies...so I think I have Chip talked into giving it a try....(and of course I want to get the fuel perks when we buy the software! :)...but I wanted to mention the bit of information that my dear friend out in Harrisburg told me about last week......you can go to http://www.goodwillsew.com/ and get a print out of the value of the things you donate.....it's amazing how much they give you for your stuff!!!.....I always get a reciept and write how many bags I have dropped off....and I just sat down to figure out how much it totaled.....I was thrilled!!!......over $1400!!!.....not bad!....hope this helps
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I know you've all seen the commercial for the snuggie.......everytime I watch it I just can't believe someone thought of this , had it mass produced and is making MILLIONS!!!!!!!!.....the suggestions they depict for it's usefullness are just plain ridiculous!!.....my dear friend jennifer juniper over at http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com/ has dedicated a post to this lovely thing as well.....if you haven't seen the remake of the commercial that these guys have put on youtube you HAVE to check it out!!!..she has it embedded on her post......well......my morning friends at the Today show have even jumped on the bandwagon!!....I snapped this picture of them on my t.v. this morning (I'm getting pretty good at that!).....they start off the segment by saying there is a cult-like following of the snuggie....and show a clip of Jay Leno announcing the lady in Californina who had the octuplets was wearing the snuggie and no one even knew she was pregnant!......they also showed Matt Lauer in a previous segment from a few weeks ago saying he would never be caught dead in a snuggie!!!....well, I guess from the picture above he lost that bet!.....they also state that there is not one percentage of natural fiber in this thing .....and that the family who is roasting the marshmallows on the commercial better be careful or they'll all go up like a torch!!......I'm so happy there's always a little bit of humor in every day!!! :)....oh, and in case you'd like to get yourself a snuggie...I did see they have them at Giant Eagle so you can even get fuel perks for your snuggie!
Monday, February 2, 2009
We're Super bowl Champions for the sixth time here in Pittsburgh!!!!!!!!...What a game!!!!!!....and an incrediable half time show by my man Bruce....the images ,re-plays of Harrison's 100 yard run and Santonio's awesome 6 yard catch have been shown over and over, statics have been analyzed and interviews watched......here are a few tidbits from the party at our house:....top of the agenda were the really festive Lemon Drop Martinin's I made for the pre game festivities......
My husband went a little crazy at Party City and came home with Steeler plates, napkins and cups.....clacker things, beads,pom pom's, banners and signs......he got balloons and made a killer Steeler party CD which included the now hit single..."All the Steeler Ladies"....Cubby had fun with his new hairdo!!!
There was a lot to cheer about the whole game.......my mom was in town from Florida...especially to watch it.....and my niece needed to be home from college to be with her people as well......and they all got to see me in rare Bruce mode during the half time show.....I took this picture of him on my TV......I think it turned out great!!!!!......It felt like it was a holiday!....what a great game and a great season........thank you guys!!