Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TT: Oven Fried Chicken

It's that time again. Time to figure out what the heck I'm going to do with all the food in my freezer. I got emailed this recipe a while back from a friend of mine, and it looks pretty good. I have to giggle at the use of both oil and butter, but I bet that makes this really tasty - this friend has yet to send me a bum-recipe. She uses chicken pieces with the skin still on, but says that it's
'still good' with skinless chicken pieces.

Oven Fried Chicken

  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder (optional)
  • approx. 9 pieces chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place oil and butter in a shallow oven-safe cooking pan (such as cast-iron) and place in 375 degree oven to melt butter, set aside.
  3. In a large paper sack, combine dry ingredients.
  4. Roll the chicken pieces 3 at a time in butter and oil, then drop into a sack and shake to cover. Place on a plate until all pieces are coated.
  5. Leave any excess butter and oil in pan. Place chicken in the pan skin side down or its just as good if you remove all the skin first.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
  7. Turn chicken pieces over, and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until crust begins to bubble.
  8. Serve with corn bread or biscuits, and your favorite veggie.

This sounds so good! Dinner seems too far away!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

TT: Baked Brie en Croute

The first Friday of every month, my friends and I all gather together to have dinner together. This month's theme is appetizers. Hubby and I were discussing what to bring last night, and he reminded me of this recipe I used to make years back. It's really elegant looking, and incredibly simple, as well as delicious.

I use Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets because they're easy to find, but you can use any brand. Sometimes I used to get creative, and cut out shapes with the remaining dough to decorate the top of the brie.

Baked Brie en Croute

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup apricot or raspberry preserves or jam (I have boysenberry in my cupboard right now, so I'm debating using that)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (my sister once suggested using diced dried figs, but I'd soak those first to soften them)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almond (I have a ton of pine nuts right now, so I'm going to substitute those)
  • 1 (13.2 ounces) Brie cheese round (Costco has these for a good price)
  • crackers

  1. Thaw the pastry sheet until it's easy to work with - about 30-40 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Mix the egg and water in a small bowl.
  4. Unfoldthe pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square. Cut off the corners of the sheet to make a circle, and save scraps.
  5. Spread preserves on the dough to within 1-inch of the edge. Sprinkle the cranberries and nuts over the preserves.
  6. Place the cheese in the center of the dough. Brush the edge of the dough with the egg mixture.
  7. Fold 2 opposite sides over the cheese. Trim the remaining 2 sides to 2-inches from the edge of the cheese and fold them up onto the cheese. Press the edges to seal.
  8. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Decorate the top with the pastry scraps, if desired. Brush with the egg mixture.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Let stand for 40 minutes - 1 hour.
  10. Serve with the crackers.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Today is Kicker's first Halloween. I'm so excited!

Last night, we met up with some other moms at a local farmer's market, where there was a special Octoboofest event (get it - Octo'boo'fest?). It was so neat, seeing all the little kids wandering around in their costumes. Kicker is too little to get into the trick-or-treating part, but he really liked watching all the kids in their bright costumes running around. He also loved animal crackers, which a little girl shared with him last night. It was so sweet - Supergirl came over and handed him an animal cracker, and then they both shared a really adorable smile. It made me sad that I'd forgotten my camera.

Tonight, before Shabbat service, Hubby and I are going to quickly take Kicker to a few houses for trick-or-treating. Since Kicker can't eat the candy, we're doing it mostly for the photo opportunity. Though if someone's handing out good chocolate, then I'm willing to eat Kicker's spoils of war. Kicker will be dressed up like a dragon. A very ferocious baby dragon.

So, what are your memories of your childrens' first Halloweens?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Miss me?

Well, I had a great time in Albuquerque.

Kicker flew wonderfully. Well, on the trip there, that is. On the trip back, he wanted to crawl around, and was mighty annoyed that I made him stay in the seat. Luckily, it was a short flight.

It was great seeing my family. My dad and stepmother got to hang out with their grandbaby, and I got to see my new nephew! He's adorable (not as adorable as Kicker, but awful cute). My uncle and aunt also were in town, coincidentally, so we got to see them.

Anyone ever tried pinon picking before? It's really fun. Pine cones blossom open, and the pinon or pine nut will just fall out. There are two ways to get the pinons - one is to pick up the pine cones and take them out, or the other is to pick up the pinons that have fallen all over the ground, either from wind, or from shaking the tree. So, we spent all day Saturday pinon picking in the Cibola National Forest. Only in the desert will a National Forest have pine trees with cactus all over the ground. Needless to say, I didn't get to pick a whole lot of pinon, since I was holding Kicker the whole time. Every time I tried reaching for some pinon, he'd try reaching for the nearest cactus. So he and I just spent most of the time exploring, while the rest of the family picked pinon.

I miss my chile. Chile in New Mexico is more than just a condiment - it's a way of life, almost an art form. While I was back there, I tried to make sure I had chile with almost every meal, even breakfast. I had this great dish at Flying Star Cafe called a Southwest Bennie, which is amazing. They make their own english muffins, and their own turkey green chile sausage. Over which, they put two over medium eggs, which are then covered in this plate-licking-good green chile cheese sauce. Yeah - I fit in my new size 6 jeans for a couple of days, and of course, after eating like that all trip long, they no longer fit.

So, now that I'm back home, I'm trying to figure out how to work green chile into some non-traditional menu items, so I can ease back into all this 'normal' cooking. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to combine my favorite soup recipe - green chile stew - with matzo ball soup. I'm thinking I'll make a normal chicken soup, with just a touch of green chile, and then work some green chile into the matzo balls.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's always funny when Bugs Bunny says it.

Albuquerque. I still have an image of Bugs Bunny saying it whenever I read that word, and a slight urge to giggle. Which is odd, considering I used to live there, and all.

Anyways, we're leaving for a few days to the Albuquerque, NM, area to go visit my family. While we're there, I plan to eat lots of red and green chile, because no one in California really understands how to make spicy food.

Okay, I exaggerate. But until you've tried New Mexico green or red chile, you don't understand how good chile is. Honest. Heck, I have to replace my keyboard now, just from the drool caused by thinking of it.

And for those of you that ask, New Mexico is a state. One of the United States. Albuquerque is not near Mexico city. I do not need a passport to get there. It is not a foreign country. UPS and FedEx do deliver there. Yes, dang it - I can get my cable and DSL there - you do service that area, since it is not MEXICO. I do not need special auto insurance to go there. There is no exchange rate. NM is that state between Arizona and Texas. How the heck did all these people who have asked these questions ever graduate grade school?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kahlua Fudge Brownies

Every now and then, you get sent a recipe that sounds so good, you have to clean drool out of your keyboard. For me, folks, this is that recipe.

Kahlua Fudge Brownies recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil (or walnut oil - heck, use whatever you've got, if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup espresso powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (though, wouldn't pine nuts be great in this recipe?)
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Heat the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat until blended, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Combine sugar, peanut oil, espresso, and eggs in a bowl, beating for 5 minutes and occasionally scraping sides of bowl.
  5. Add chocolate mixture and beat until just blended, then add flour mixture and beat again.
  6. Stir in pecans. Spoon batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges pull from the side of the pan. Cool until lukewarm on a wire rack.
  7. Pour Kahlua into a spray bottle and spray onto warm brownies. Let stand until completely cool.
  8. To serve, cut into 3 x 4-inch brownies and microwave until just warm. Split each bar horizontally into halves and sandwich with a scoop of ice cream. Top with whipped cream and/or fresh strawberries or raspberries.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Was it or wasn't it?

I was trying to clear off some TV off of my DVR while Kicker napped. I began watching a new show called "Easy Money." In the show, the main characters run a paycheck-advance money lending company.
Part way through the episode, the lead character referred to themselves as "shylocks." Another character admonished him for using an "ugly, racist" term, but then, not two sentences later, used the same term herself.
So the question is: was it racist, or wasn't it? Is the TV show off the hook for using a racist epithet simply by acknowledging that it is one? If that isn't enough to make it okay, how and why did it get past the censors?
I tried mentioning this to someone else, and they shrugged it off, saying that the show didn't mean anything by it. Okay, so let's pretend that's fine - the show's writers didn't mean anything by it. But if you start using terms like that in every day speech, you're giving them meaning, new life and power. You're teaching people and new generations that this kind of language and behavior is acceptable.
Frankly, as far I'm concerned, it was a racist term, and shouldn't have been used. Period. But it was - so, now what? How do we address these issues?

Monday, October 13, 2008

When did he swallow the lead bricks?

I've had a wonderful, but very long, weekend.

Friday night, we went to Disney's California Adventure, for Mickey's Halloween Trick-or-Treat party. That was so much fun! There'll be another post, with pictures, but for now, take my word for it. Kicker was dressed as a Dragon, and had a great time, holding on to his trick-or-treat bag. We even rode some rides! There were lots of candy opportunities, with healthy snacks also being passed out. All in all, it was a wonderful time, and I think we'll have to be back next year.

Saturday morning, Grandma, Hubby, Kicker and I went out for breakfast at Mimi's (mmm... pumpkin pancakes), then off to the park! We rode rides in Fantasyland, attended a Disney media event with lots of baked goods and characters, and then met up with my sister and her new boyfriend. I learned that it's very important to know where the Mother's room at Disneyland is - otherwise there is way too much going on for Kicker to nap. Also, Rancho Del Zocalo serves a toddler menu in addition to their kid's menu - good to know for when Kicker gets a bit older! It was a wonderful day, and became an even more wonderful evening, as two very good friends of ours joined us because they had some very important news they needed to share - details forthcoming in another post.

Sunday, Kicker slept in until almost 11am. Poor thing - he was just exhausted, and so was I! Man that kid is heavy! I love every moment of carrying him, because I know all too soon he won't want to be carried as much, but WOW! My back is killing me!

Anyways, it was a great weekend, and I promise I'll post pictures of Disneyland, along with Kicker in his costume.

Friday, October 10, 2008

AF: Halloween Candy?

It's almost Halloween! I've already bought my Halloween candy (I bought it in September), and wisely, I didn't buy chocolate. That's why the package is still unopened. Otherwise, I'd probably be doing a last minute candy-run to the store.
This year, I bought Florida's Natural Fruit Nuggets from Costco. So, on this Aloha Friday, where we kick back and take life easy, I ask: what kind of Halloween candy are you stocking this year?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

T13: Things I am grateful for.

The past couple of weeks, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on my life. I'm glad to say that, while my life is not how I pictured it would be 10 years ago, I am really happy with it and who I am. That's not to say I wouldn't make changes, but overall, I am content.

So, today's Thursday Thirteen is 13 Things I am Grateful for.

  1. I have a beautiful, healthy, and happy little boy. Kicker is wonderful.
  2. I have a brilliant, gorgeous, and charming husband who is as crazy about me as I am him.
  3. I am healthy.
  4. I have wonderful friends, for whom I am eternally grateful.
  5. My parents are both in great health.
  6. My dogs are adorable (and really really fuzzy).
  7. While we aren't by any means rich, we have enough.
  8. I have a roof over my head, and it happens to be a cute roof attached to an old Craftsman home.
  9. I have big boobs (okay, so they're nursing boobs, but still - gotta appreciate them while I have them).
  10. I am able to stay at home with my son, and give him one-on-one attention. In turn, he gives me one-on-one attention right back. He also gives me lots of drooly kissies.
  11. I can be as neurotic as possible, and my loved ones have always, and will always, love me.
  12. I am still young. Despite my occasional grousing about turning 31, I know that I'm still pretty young, and have a lot of years ahead of me.
  13. I have all my memories. Looking around, I see so many little things that remind me of happy times. I've had a pretty happy life, and I wouldn't trade it.

For more Thursday Thirteen, check out the Thursday Thirteen hub.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mickey's Trick or Treat Party!

One of the perks of living in Southern California is being near Disneyland.

Thanks to MomSelect and Disneyland, Kicker, Hubby, and I, along with Grandma and Auntie, have been invited to go to Mickey's Trick or Treat Party!

This Friday night, we're attending Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party at Disney's California Adventure. For kids, the only thing more fun than trick-or-treating at Halloween is trick-or-treating at Mickey's Trick-or-Treat Party, a private event in Disney's California Adventure. This celebration lets little ghosts and goblins (and princesses, pirates and superheroes too) join Disney characters for an evening of Halloween fun and games. In addition to collecting candy at treat stations and riding attractions throughout the Park, kids, their families and friends will enjoy lively music, interactive games, a nightly character cavalcade and special activities.

If that's not cool enough, we've also been invited to come back on Saturday to Disneyland, for a special Halloween celebration!
During regular park hours at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, Halloween Time offers parents and children plenty of not-so-scary fun in addition to the parks’ many popular adventures. Halloween Time activities include special attractions (including Haunted Mansion Holiday), shows, meet-and-greets with Disney characters in spirited costumes, opportunities to decorate Halloween cookies and listen to fun stories during “Woody’s Halloween Roundup” at Big Thunder Ranch.

I'll write up a post, along with pictures, after we experience it. I have to tell you - I'm really excited! Kicker is going to be dressed up as a Dragon. Mommy's going to be dressed up as someone who needs a nap.

WW: Shofar

Happy Wordless Wednesday, and Yom Tov.

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out the Wordless Wednesday Hub or 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TT: Lenticchie

It's Tuesday again! And time for another wonderful recipe. Remember that tasty challah recipe I posted last week? Well, that same friend who sent me that recipe sent along this one as well. It's a vegetarian lentil recipe, and it's delicious. And it's easy to make! This recipe serves about 4 to 6 people, so if you're serving a crowd, make sure to double it.



  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 dried peperoncino (chili pepper)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery rib
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ bunch basil
  • salt
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. Rinse the lentils in a colander. Crush the peperoncino. Peel and chop the garlic and carrot. Trim, and chop the celery.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, blanch the tomatoes; rinse under cold water. Core, peel, and finely chop them.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Saute the garlic, peperoncino, carrot, and celery.
  4. Add the lentils and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 40-60 minutes; do not let lentils get too soft. If necessary, add some water to the simmering lentils.
  5. Meanwhile, sauté the tomatoes in the remaining oil in a small skillet for about 10 minutes or until they have fallen apart.
  6. Heat the wine and sugar in a small saucepan and cook down to about a half. Shred the basil leaves in small pieces. Mix the lentils, tomatoes, and the reduced wine, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Like a 3rd Arm

Someone asked me this past week if I had always planned on having children. The question made me pause - I think in the back of my mind, I always wanted kids, but in my early 20's, it was impossible to imagine myself as a mother.
Later that same week, someone else commented that my life must have really changed since having a child. Now *that* rocked me.
You see, I can't even really remember what my life was like before Kicker. I know he's only 8 months old, but he's so much a part of me, it's impossible to imagine myself *not* as a mother.
I can't take off to Europe for an extended weekend, like some friends. I can't just up and go out to the movies, or to a party. Heck, I can't even go and get a haircut without some prior arranging. And I'm perfectly fine with that (though, I do want anyone who goes to Europe to bring me back chocolate, please).
So, my life did change. I'm sure of it. I'm guessing it changed so slowly, over those 9 months of pregnancy, that by the time I actually was a mother, I didn't even notice my old life was gone, or if I had, I certainly didn't miss it. After all, I got this.

Friday, October 3, 2008

AF: Guilty Pleasure?

I read cheesy romance novels. There, I said it. It's out in the open - my secret guilty pleasure.
You can dress them us as "women's fiction," but the reality of it is - they're still cheesy romance novels. And I LOVE them. Hi, I'm Channah, and I'm a cheesy romance novel reader. Thank goodness for the library; they keep me well-supplied!

So, Aloha Friday is the day of the week where we kick back, take off our shoes, and relax. So, today, I pose a question to you, my readers: what's your guilty pleasure?

Garlic Herb Challah Recipe

Each month, on the first Friday of the month, our friends all gather together, and have dinner with each other. It's a great idea, and I hope that it inspires some of you guys to do the same. Each month there is a different theme, and we each bring a dish. This month is Italian. A friend sent out this recipe to me for tonight's dinner, and I thought I'd share it with you. Let me know if you try it!

Garlic Herb Challah for your Bread Machine

Makes a 1 1/2 lb loaf.


  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

  • 1 egg, beaten with
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed (optional)


  1. Load all ingredients in the order listed into bread machine, water through yeast.
  2. To make challah, select dough only setting (to make sandwich bread, select large loaf).
  3. When dough-only cycle is done, remove dough from machine and place on well floured surface. Dust top of dough with flour and press out air bubbles.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Roll dough into rectangle, then roll into rope. Cut rope into 3 or 6 pieces (depending on whether you want to do a 3 braid or 6 braid challah). Roll each of these pieces into balls, cover with towel and set in a warm place, free from drafts. Let dough rest 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Next, roll each ball into a rope about 8 or 9 inches long. Braid, set in baking pan lined with parchment paper or corn meal. Cover with towel and let rest 45 minutes (you can put on top of the stove to enjoy the warmth from the oven).
  7. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Place in oven on cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes, or when nicely browned.
Enjoy! And have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy New Year

Miss me?

Kicker got sick last week, and then I caught his cold from him. All in all, I just didn't feel like blogging. Or using the computer. Or the TV. Or going anywhere. I became a cozy little hermit, just playing with Kicker, reading books, and suctioning out his nose then blowing mine.

Though I did miss blogging, and reading everyone else's, I do feel better for my mini-break. It's nice to un-plug for a while. Re-group.

Rosh Hashanah has just passed by, and a new year (by the Jewish calendar - year 5769) has just begun. I hope that in this coming year, I remember to keep things in balance; my home and family life, with my internet life balanced in there.

Yesterday, it reached 106 degrees outside. Which is just ducky, considering that I don't have air conditioning. It never occured to me that October would be a triple-digit temperature month. Not exactly the weather I want to bake in. Luckily, it's supposed to cool down, starting today. Did anyone else experience that kind of heat?

Anyways, thanks for hanging round, and L'Shanah Tovah - a good year to each of you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Giveaway: Tiny*Prints Holiday Cards!

*Note: I've made this post sticky. Newer content is down below! Scroll down for today's post!

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to get the family together, and take your holiday portrait. Time to pick out holiday cards!

To make it easier, Tiny*Prints is giving one of my lucky readers a $50 gift certificate towards Holiday photo cards!

is asking you to show your holiday spirit, and share your favorite new card design for 2008 with them. My personal favorite? Why, the one pictured!

A leader in holiday photo cards, Tiny Prints is so excited about the upcoming 2008 holiday card line that they couldn’t wait to offer a sneak peek to showcase their new card designs. Enter their contest to help determine what cards will be most popular this coming holiday. During this early preview period, the new holiday cards are not yet available for purchase; however, for a very limited time you can receive amazing early-bird savings on their soon-to-be retired photo cards, Holiday cards and holiday invitations.

To help them celebrate the launch, they’re looking for contestants to review any of their very newest 2008 holiday photo cards and business holiday cards for those who work in or own companies.

Okay, to enter to win the $50 gift certificate to Tiny*Prints, simply:

1. Go to Tiny Prints (www.tinyprints.com), browse your favorite 2008 holiday card designs currently being previewed and save your favorite 2008 design in your account by clicking the “save in favorites” button.
2. Then come back to my blog and provide a link to the specific holiday card (see link for example) in the comments below, indicating what you liked best about it. Please note that some designs are so new that they cannot yet be customized, but will be soon (early October and hundreds more designs)!

The contest will run through Tuesday, September 30th 2008. Winners will then be drawn at random from people who have properly followed the above directions and placed comments in my blog post (you must do both step 1 *and* step 2 to be eligible). Please create your comment using the same e-mail address you used when creating an account on Tiny Prints so participation can be verified.

Friday, September 26, 2008

If there's a Grammy award, how come there isn't a Mommy award?

Veggie Mom thinks I'm interesting and creative. I'm glad I have her fooled. ;) Thanks, Veggie Mom!

She bestowed this beautiful award on me! The award, deemed the Arte y Pico Award, literally translates to "Art Peak."

This is a great award. And, as we teach our children, it's time to share it. Here are the rules:

  1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material & overall contribution to the blogger community.
  2. Post the name of the author & a link to his or her blog so everyone can view it.
  3. Each award winner has to show the award & put the name & link to the blog that has given him or her the award
  4. The award winner & presenter should post the link of the "Arte y pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of the award.

So, I choose:

Thanks for making the blogosphere creative AND interesting for me!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

T13: Places I'd like to Visit

Today's Thursday Thirteen is places I'd like to visit that I haven't been to before.

  1. Hawaii - you'd think by marrying a Hawaiian, I'd have been before now, but nope.
  2. Alaska - I want to go on an Alaskan cruise; it looks so beautiful.
  3. New York - It'd be neat to be in the Big Apple at least once.
  4. Greece - I want to go to the Isles, sun myself, and of course, eat myself silly.
  5. Italy - I just watched "Under the Tuscan Sun", and "Roman Holiday" recently.
  6. Israel - this is someplace I'd especially like to take my son.
  7. China - I want to see the Great Wall.
  8. Seattle, Washington - Especially Pike Place Marketplace!
  9. Australia - heck, I'd love to move there! Especially for the Tim Tams!
  10. England - Wouldn't it be neat to go see London?
  11. Ireland - I think I've watched The Quiet Man once too often, or maybe I've read too many romance novels. I want to go to Ireland and just soak in all the green.
  12. Germany - Germany just looks gorgeous. And of course, they have wonderful chocolate!
  13. Canada - I want to go see Canada. It's the country right next door, and I've never been.

For more Thursday Thirteen, visit the Thursday Thirteen official site!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Free Cold Stone Ice Cream Sept 25th!

Cold Stone Creamery is awesome. And they're giving away free ice cream on September 25th! As I've stated before, if it's for a good cause, ice cream is not fattening.

Don't miss the 7th Annual World’s Largest Ice Cream Social at participating Cold Stone Creamery locations nationwide, a special night to join together and share the simple pleasures of life with a FREE ice cream and family fun. On September 25th from 5:00 - 8:00PM, guests will be treated to a 3 oz. serving of Jack or Emily's Creation. All donations will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

  • Jack's Creation - Marshmallow ice cream with OREO® Cookies, Chocolate Chips and Fudge
  • Emily's Creation - Nutter Butter® ice cream with White Chocolate Chips, Kit Kat® and Yellow Cake
So go eat ice cream for a good cause!

WW: Pandamonium

I'm not sure why I thought it was a bright idea to spend Friday at the county fair, Saturday helping a friend move, and then Sunday at the zoo, but there you go. As you can guess, Kicker and I spent most of Monday napping.

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, check out 5 Minutes for Mom, or the Wordless Wednesday Hub.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TT: Rice Pudding

I love rice pudding. Which is good, since last week, I doubled this recipe. Which makes a friggin' lot of pudding. This is really important - if you double the recipe, make sure you use an incredibly large pot, not just the pot you normally use. *sigh*

Rice Pudding

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain rice (I use long-grain, because it's starchier, so it makes a creamier pudding)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest (optional)

  1. Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan. Note the word large. Don't make the same mistake I did last week, and forget that you're going to have to pour the milk in this pan, too, later on. So bring the water to boil in a LARGE saucepan. Stir in the rice and the salt. Cover, and turn the heat down to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the water is almost fully absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes later. In a LARGE saucepan (man, that sucked having to pour it all into a new bigger pot - learn from my mistakes!).
  2. Microwave the milk until steaming, about 5 minutes - you want to microwave it until it's steaming, but not until it has that weird milk-skin. If it does, pull that off. Stir the hot milk and sugar into the rice and bring to a slow simmer. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until the mixture is thick and a spoon is just able to stand up in the pudding, about 45 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, and remove the pudding from the stove. Stir in the vanilla, and the optional dried fruit and zest. Let the mixture cool slightly before serving, or refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

True friends are there for the grunt work.

One of the things I really respect about Hubby is that he is still close with his childhood friends. Heck, he's known his best friend since they were 6. That's pretty remarkable, in my book.

Anyway, one of his oldest friends is moving today (this is one he's known since he was 14). He, his wife, and his 7 1/2 month old son (yep, they have a baby boy the same age as Kicker!) have purchased a new home, and are moving. Unfortunately, they're moving about 4 hours away (they already live 2 hours away from us).

So, Hubby will be driving up in his truck, and Kicker and I up in my little CRV. I'm going to watch their little one and mine, while the men do all the moving, and his wife coordinates. Afterwards, there will be pizza, beer, laughter, and old stories.

I wish that they lived closer. I'd love it if our sons became as close as their fathers are. But who knows what's in store?

Friday, September 19, 2008

AF: Birthday Memories?

It's my 31st birthday! I made it! So, today, my mother is taking Kicker and I to the Los Angeles County fair. My parents used to take me every year, when I was little. I loved all the sights and smells. It was a lot of fun, and I remember it fondly. I haven't been since I was 12 - the year my parents separated.
Anyways, Aloha Friday is the day to take things easy, and kick back. So, today, I'm going to ask you, my readers - what is your favorite childhood birthday memory?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

T13: Things my son has put in his mouth today

Please note - it's still morning, so there's plenty of time left for Kicker to stick more things in his mouth. Oh, and these are things that he's put in his mouth besides the stuff for feeding, of course.

1. His fingers.
2. His foot.
3. My big toe. That's a heck of a way to realize you drifted off for a moment.
4. My ankle! Ouch! I didn't know ankle-biter was a term based in reality.
5. His rattle.
6. His book.
7. My cell phone.
8. The remote control for the TV.
9. His rubber ducky.
10. The dog's tail. It's a good thing my dog has a big fluffy tail. I don't even think she noticed.
11. His toy phone.
12. His toy duck.
13. My nose.

For more Thursday Thirteen, check out the Thursday Thirteen Hub.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WW: A Wedding

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, check out 5 Minutes for Mom, or the Wordless Wednesday Hub.

PS> Does anyone know how hard it is to make a picture post of a wedding, when you don't want to show anyone's faces? Yeah. Hard.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Birthday Goodies!

I turn 31 in a week.

Yep, that means I can no longer select the 21-30 bubble when answering questions. I'm now in the 31-40 bubble. Since when did 31 get so close to 40? Luckily, Hubby will always be 7 years older than me, so I can always feel like his young trophy wife. And Hubby, if you know what's good for you, you'll back me up on that - I'm your hot, young trophy wife, right Sweetie?

Anyways, while EC-dropping, I stumbled upon this site called Free Birthday Treats. It lists a bunch of websites that will give you something for free if it's your birthday! So I signed up for a few, and now I have a free steak dinner, a couple of free burgers, a free fish taco plate, and some free ice cream coming my way! Wow, so much for losing the baby weight.

We're going out to dinner this weekend for my birthday - I have no idea where we're going to eat, but Hubby's being all cute and secretive about it. We would be going out next weekend, but we're helping friends move into a new house they bought. I'm going to think of the beer and pizza as my birthday party. ;) After all, weren't all of the best birthday parties of your youth pizza parties?

Aloha Friday: What have you done for you lately?

So, this is my first time participating in An Island Life's Aloha Friday. Let's give it a shot.

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy, and look forward to the weekends. So, to take it easy here, I'm going to ask you, my readers, a question:

What have you done lately, that is just for you?

No really, just for you.

I look forward to hearing those answers!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

WW: Tucson

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, check out 5 Minutes for Mom or the Wordless Wednesday Hub.

TT: Risotto

I love ordering Risotto at restaurants. It always seems so fancy.

So when I learned to make Risotto, I realized how easy it was to make! I could have it any time, and feel like a fancy, confident chef!

I don't remember where I got this recipe originally, but it's really basic, so it could have been anywhere. So, in time for another Tasty Tuesday, here's the recipe:


  • 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable are what I recommend)
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced (okay, you can use some onion, but the shallot tastes better)
  • 1 cup arborio rice (it's a short grain rice with a high-starch content, which also absorbs a lot of the moisture. You can use a different rice, but it won't be as creamy as risotto is supposed to be)
  • 2 Tbs white wine
  • Pinch powdered saffron, dissolved in 1 Tbs hot water (okay, I'll admit, I've skipped this before, because I don't always have saffron on hand - it's expensive!)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (Optional: sometimes I throw some garlic in there with the shallots/onions)

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a gentle simmer over low heat.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Saute the shallot until soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the rice to the butter/shallot pan, and saute until it's glistening and well-coated, about 3 minutes.
  4. Raise the heat to medium, and add the wine. Stir until it evaporates, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Using a ladle, add about 1 cup of hot broth to your rice. Stir constantly until the broth has been absorbed.
  6. Add another ladleful of broth, and keep stirring until it's been absorbed. Continue the process, adding broth a ladleful (about a 1/2 cup) at a time and stirring in this way, until the rice kernels are plump and no longer chalk-white in the center. This will take about 25 to 30 minutes. The rice is almost done when the kernels are still separate but starting to bind, and there are pools of broth on the surface. It's done when the liquid has been absorbed, and the kernles are bound in what looks like very ricey, yet somewhat creamy, rice pudding.
  7. Add the saffron and the parmesan cheese. Stir well to combine, making sure almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat.
  8. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Serve right away.

Monday, September 8, 2008

We are all in this together.

Okay, this is all anyone is going to hear me say about this election, so listen well.

We are all in this together, folks.

I can't believe I am writing this. I consider myself an "Independent," though, truth be told, I've almost always voted Democrat (damn you, Gray Davis, for ruining my perfect record).

So, why am I the one defending Sarah Palin? Because she's just like all of us.

Generations of women before us worked hard to give us the choices we have today. We've got options, people - options that allow me to stay home with Kicker, or go to work. Neither choice makes me a bad parent; neither choice makes me a bad woman; neither choice makes me a bad feminist.

Each political candidate that has sought the White House in the past few years has had children. So why hasn't the fact that they're parents been such an issue on the blogosphere? I don't recall anyone writing that any of these *male* candidates were bad parents to be seeking such a high-profile position. And I'm disgusted that in the year 2008, we are judging her for not being at home with her children, instead of lauding her for breaking down yet more barriers for us, and our for our children. Regardless of who we're voting for - we should at least respect her for doing that.

Which brings me to my next rant about this - why are we laughing at her for entering a beauty contest? Again people, she's not one of the priveledged few. She's like you and I. She pulled herself up, and entered those pageants to win a scholarship for college. She didn't go off to Yale or Harvard - she graduated from the University of Idaho. Now, admit it - if you had the thighs, wits, and self-confidence it took to win a college scholarship via a beauty pageant, you might have done it, too. So knock it off with the cheesy photoshopped Sarah Palin in a bikini pictures, okay?

Now, will I be voting for McCain / Palin? Probably not. But I will not be tearing Sarah Palin down - not for the reasons above. All those issues are just reasons for me to respect her. Again, ladies- all we women are in this together.

Beautiful Blogger Award

I got another award!

Angela, over at Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy, has presented me with an award for being one of her top droppers!

Thanks so much, Angela!

In the spirit of things, I would like to pass this beautiful award made by Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy on to my top droppers for August:

Sage and Savvy
Simply Shiny Artisan Handmade Jewelry
My Absent Mind
The Wise (*Young*) Mommy
Designing Hilary
Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy
Confessions of a Diet Coke Addict
Havoc & Mayhem
The Homesteading Housewife
Tara's View of the World

And yes, I do realize the irony of passing the award back to the person from whom it came, but there ya go! Thanks folks, for visiting my blog and dropping your cards!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Giveaway Winner, part deux.

Well, I've been trying to get ahold of the previously drawn name, but with no success.

So, as I stated in the rules, I'm drawing a new name.

Blogger Roxy said...

I'm impressed with lipfinity lipstick lasting for up to 12 hours!

Congratulations, Roxy!

T13: Things that have gone wrong this week.

1. The handle on Hubby's truck tailgate broke.
2. The dogs broke my screen door (it's fixable).
3. I found a flea.
4. I broke my washing machine.
5. I accidentally shredded my dog's bedding (that's how I broke my washing machine).
6. The vacuum cleaner broke.
7. I bought diatomaceous earth, because it's supposed to kill fleas. Unfortunately, after Hubby spread it everywhere, we discovered that the pool grade stuff (which I bought) is chemically treated, and will not only NOT kill fleas, but is harmful to humans and pets.
8. I signed up for a seminar that I really, really, really wanted to go to, over a month ago. It was last night. Unfortunately, it was at the same time as Kicker's swim lesson, and Hubby's class.
9. The flea medicine, which apparently sucks, that I was using on the dogs? Yeah. I have a year's supply of it.
10. One of the dogs chewed through my favorite outfit of Kicker's.
11. With my washing machine broken, I am running out of clean clothes.
12. Kicker's pediatrician just left private practice, and I have to find him a new doctor (okay, this is minor, since he's not sick, but I want one I have references for!).
13. The week isn't over, yet...

Don't worry, next week I'll post 13 things that have gone right. I'm sure next week will be better than this one!

For more Thursday Thirteen lists, visit the Thursday Thirteen hub!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WW: Swimming

Kicker spent Labor Day in the pool at Grandma's house. This was his first time swimming.

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, check out 5 Minutes for Mom or the Wordless Wednesday Hub.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

TT: Cup Cake!

I have discovered the joy that is homemade chocolate cake in the microwave, much to the dismay of my waistband. Not only is this ridiculously easy to make, it's also individual-sized (okay, I split this into two pieces, since it's pretty large, but it could be individual)!

Cup (Mug) Cake!

You will need the following kitchen utensils:
1 magic mixing fork (okay, a fork, but doesn't it sound more fun calling it that?)
1 mug/cup (not some dinky cup - you want the one that holds enough coffee to get you going)
1 Tablespoon (for measuring everything out)
1 Microwave (because how else will you cook it?)

4 Tbs flour
4 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs cocoa powder
1 egg
3 Tbs oil
3 Tbs milk

1. Measure out dry ingredients into cup.
2. Pour egg into cup.
3. Pour oil and milk into cup.
4. Mix well with your magic mixing fork!
5. Microwave for 3 minutes.

Careful, it's going to be hot!

I've experimented with adding cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves - all with good success. However, I tried adding chocolate chips, and, while delicious, the cake stuck to the mug a bit, so I have to play around with the recipe some more - maybe spraying it with cooking spray?


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Max Factor Giveaway Winner!

Wow - I can't believe that, when all was said and done, I had 212 entries to win Max Factor makeup!

Thanks, everyone!

Not only that, but this is my 100th post!!! So I guess it's fitting, there's a prize!

So, I pulled up random.org, and chose a winner. Drumroll, please:

#9 was my winner!

Blogger misty said...I like how they show you different looks and how to get them. And I love their selection of colors. Thanks so much for the opportunity.
Misty, thanks so much! I've sent you an email. Go ahead and get back to me with your mailing information, and your Max Factor makeup will be on it's way. You've won Lipfinity Lipcolor, ColorGenius Mineral Blush and Brush, and Lash Perfection Volume Couture mascara. Congratulations!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Giveaway: Max Factor Makeup!

*I'm making this post stick, so it will stay on top! Good luck, all!

This is my very first give-away on this blog, so if you've any feedback, let me know!

A while back, I signed up to be a BzzAgent. What that means is they send me cool stuff, and I test it out, and tell people about it.
BzzAgent just sent me this neat box of Max Factor makeup.

From my BzzGuide:

What do you think of when you hear the name Max Factor? For us, before this campaign, it mostly invoked images of Hollywood glitz and glamour — but, we came to find out, we only had it half right!

It's true, Max Factor first earned fame for providing movie stars with makeup essentials, but after almost a century of making women beautiful, it's also become a way to get the inside track on makeup artistry trends in the world of fashion and glamour while also helping women express their own unique and beautiful personalities (you know, what makes you you). Around the Central Hive, we like to think of Max Factor and its brilliant makeup artistry as a beauty-tipping friend who works for Vogue or on the set of Project Runway!

With an extensive line of inventive products in a full range of rich shades and colors – from hot and high-glam to beautifully blended neutrals –Max Factor helps you perfectly capture any look you're going for. Be it business meetings and casual dinners, hot dates and girls' night out or just picking up the kids from school, Max Factor has you covered, sun up to sun down (or sun up to sun up, if that's your thing).

With Lipfinity Lipcolor, you get long-wearing hot, high-glam color that stays with you all day (and into the night). Apply the long-lasting color once for up to 16 hours of color and refresh the shine with the Moisturizing Top Coat as often as you like.

Max Factor's new ColorGenius Mineral Blush contains three complimentary shades that can be beautifully blended to create a customized, healthy looking glow for your skin.

What better way to perfectly apply your ColorGenius Mineral Blush than with the Max Factor Blush Brush? This natural-hair brush gives you remarkable control to blend and apply exactly how you want.

Lash Perfection Volume Couture works with the advanced iFX brush designed to deliver superb volume and lash definition for a look that is big and bold, yet sleek and smooth. We put our old mascaras to the test and were surprised at the results. Discover the difference yourself!

Max Factor make-up is high-quality, without the high-price! You can buy it anywhere, like Wal-Mart or Target, or even their website. Or, you can win it here! I'm giving it to one lucky reader!

What you can win:

1 LipFinity Lipstick in color 016 - Glowing.

1 ColorGenius Mineral blush in color 100 - Roses.

1 Color Genius Blush Brush

1 Lash Perfection Volume Couture Mascara in 801 - Rich Black.

How to enter:

Go to Max Factor's website. Look around, and come back here with a comment, telling me something you learned there, whether it be about a product, a make-up tip, or how to get Carmen Electra's look. This nets you one entry.

For a second optional entry, Blog about this giveaway! Leave a separate comment with your blog entry link, so I can see your blog!

Make sure you leave your email address or some way of contacting you if you win. If after 3 days of my contacting you, you haven't claimed it, I'll draw a new name.

This contest runs through Midnight (okay, 11:59pm) pacific time, August 30th, 2008. No entries will be considered after that point. This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States, please.


Ever have one of those moments where you feel like you don't have anything to say?

I've been posting all week, but not because of any brilliant insight on my part - I wrote all those posts last week, and had them ready to go, if I needed them. I just couldn't think of anything to say.

I still can't.

It's not like anything didn't happen to me - I went to a bachelorette party, surprise birthday party, and a wedding. I helped my sister buy a car. I had a window replaced because part of a skateboard came through it. I'm a clever person - I should be able to garner at least one post from an entire week's worth of being. But I couldn't.

Oh well. I'll write something clever next week.

Anyone else ever feel like that, sometimes?

Friday, August 29, 2008

They like me! They really like me!

Jaime @ Just Add Laughter has gifted me with two awards!

I love your blog award

Now, to pass on the award. Here are the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate up to 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.

I leave this award to:
Rivster @ FrumeSarah
Dad of Divas
Kim @ Accidental Mommies
Tiffany, Shannon, and Heather @ The Secret is in the Sauce
Angela @ Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy
Kelly @ The Neurotic Mom

Kick A* Blog award

Here are the rules if you choose to accept this award:
1. Pick 5 Bloggers that you feel are Kick A** Bloggers
2. Let em' know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they've received an award
3. Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to
4. Hop on back to the Kick A** Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on (which you can also get to on the above link)

I leave this award to:
Kailani @ An Island Life
Laura @ Confessions of a Diet Coke Addict
Jenni @ Jiggety Jigg
Jen @ Cheaper than Therapy
Trisha @ Momdot.com

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

T13: Favorite Childhood Movies

Today's Thursday Thirteen is inspired by Apooo's post last week. It got me remembering all the movies I loved as a child. So here goes!

1) Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I loved this movie. Heck, I still do. Angela Lansbury makes me smile every time I see this film.
2) Candleshoe. A lesser-known Jodie Foster film about a huckster-orphan.
3) The Thin Man. Myrna Loy and William Powell. And of course, I can't forget Asta.
4) Sabrina. Humprey Bogart is wonderful in this role.
5) His Girl Friday. Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant mesmorized me on the screen.
6) Lili. I love Leslie Caron in this role - she is at her most charming.
7) Gigi. Another Leslie Caron movie, equally charming. Of course, I don't think I got what her Grandmother was training her for until I was an adult.
8) Mary Poppins. I think I can still sing all the songs from it nearly by heart.
9) My Fair Lady. I love Audrey Hepburn in this, and Rex Harrison just makes my heart melt. Of course, as an adult, I think Julie Andrews should have been given the role, but since she won Best Actress for Mary Poppins, I guess it worked out. ;)
10) Operation Petticoat. Cary Grant and Tony Curtis in Navy Uniforms. Need I say more? It made the girl in me swoon.
11) Some Like it Hot. I love Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis in this movie, but really, Jack Lemon is the star of this movie, as far as I'm concerned.
12) Big. Tom Hanks playing a 12 year old who is playing a grown-up.
13) The Man with One Red Shoe. Tom Hanks again, this time as an ordinary guy who is mistaken as a spy.

Well folks, there you have it. My Thirteen Favorite Movies as a Child. Well, that I can remember.

For more Thursday Thirteen, check out http://www.thursdaythirteen.com .

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WW: El Dorado Nature Center Hike

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, check out 5 Minutes for Mom or the Wordless Wednesday Hub.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

TT: Tome Sheet Cake

Tuesday again, which means it's time for another edition of Tasty Tuesday!

This week's recipe comes to me from my step-mother, who lives in Tome, NM. She calls this recipe her "Tome Sheet Cake."

Tome Sheet Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups margarine, divided (1 cup, and 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4-6 Tbs cocoa, divided (2-3 Tbs, and 2-3 Tbs)
  • 6 Tbs milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 lb box powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a pot, bring 1 cup margarine, water, and 2-3 Tbs of cocoa to boil.
  4. Combine boiling ingredients in with the mixing bowl while hot, and beat with electric mixer, approximately 2 minutes.
  5. Pour into an ungreased jelly-roll pan (10 1/2 x 15 x 1 in) and bake 20 minutes.
  6. While cake is baking, bring 1/2 cup margarine, milk, and 2-3 Tbs of cocoa to boil.
  7. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla, pecans, and powdered sugar.
  8. Ice cake before cooling.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Meme: Quirky Quirks!

Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy has tagged me with a Quirky Quirks meme.

Here are the Rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged me.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
4) Tag six other blogger´s by linking to them.
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.

6 Quirky Quirks about Me:

1) I hate sleeping near a door. I need to sleep on the side of the bed that's away from the door. I'm getting over this one, since it would mean less distance to walk for middle-of-the-night diaper changes.

2) I think raw chicken is one of the most disgusting things on the planet. Cooked chicken is fine, but raw chicken is just awful-looking and feeling.

3) I can't roll my 'R's. I used to be able to, as a child, but can't any more. High school Spanish class sucked, me going "Rrrr" while everyone else was rolling their 'R's as pretty as you please.

4) I would rather do any household chore than do laundry. I hate it. Unfortunately, there is no laundry fairy.

5) I can't remember anything I learned in college. Not even Ohm's law. How sad is that?

6) I don't understand how Hubby can generate 4 times as much laundry as I can. Does he know about my #4?

So here are the 6 people I am tagging:

Jaime @ Just Add Laughter

Stephanie @ Adventures in Babywearing

Sassy Mama Bear @ Cafe at the End of the Universe

Munchkin Mommy @ Cafe Munchkin

Doreen @ Occasional Rambling

Brittany @ Musings of a Barefoot Foodie

Thanks all, and have some fun with them!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Walt Disney World Needs You!

If you’re a Disney fan like I am, you’ll be excited to learn that on September 8, Disney will announce its search for the 2009 Walt Disney World Moms Panel!

Launched just this past year, the panel is an online forum that provides first-hand tips and insights for vacationing at the resort from a group of park-savvy parents. This year, Walt Disney World is looking for a diverse group of moms, dads and grandparents with vast knowledge of the parks and a desire to share their experience with others. And, due to the overwhelming response last year, the 2009 Moms Panel will expand from its inaugural 12 members to 16.

It’s been a great resource for families everywhere; in fact, the current panelists have fielded nearly 9,000 questions from guests who are trying to plan the perfect Walt Disney World vacation.

How to apply:

Beginning September 8 through September 19, interested applicants can visit www.disneyworldmoms.com/2009 to learn more about the Walt Disney World Moms Panel and enter. Candidates will be asked to answer a series of questions and write three brief essays; selected panelists will serve a one-year term and will each receive a 5-night, 6-day vacation to Walt Disney World for four people.

To get you even more excited, I'm going to share with you a recipe straight from Walt Disney World - their famous Tonga Toast from the Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Meme: 6 Random Things about Myself

The Neurotic Mom just tagged me with this Meme. I am to list 6 completely random things about myself.

Now, what is a meme, you might ask? Well, according to Wikipedia, it's "any thought or behavior that can be passed from one person to another by means of imitation. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, gestures, practices, fashions, habits, songs and dances. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus."

Hmm... comparing it to a virus. Yup, that's the internet for you.

Okay, back to the subject at hand. 6 Random Things about Myself.


1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules to your blog.
3. Write 6 random things about yourself.
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

1) I don't like plain socks. I have an entire basket full of colorful, patterned socks. I now own some plain white socks, but they're a very recent thing, and I'm not sure that trend will last. Besides, I prefer being barefoot to wearing socks and shoes.

2) My favorite color changes more often than the wind. I don't have a favorite color, but will express a slight preference for one, depending on my mood. There are too many colors in the spectrum for me to have a 'favorite.'

3) My favorite ice cream has always been mint chocolate chip. I remember as a child going to Thrifty, and paying my dime and getting a scoop of mint chocolate chip. Sometimes I'd mix it up, and get a scoop of butter pecan, but I've always come back to my true love, mint chocolate chip ice cream.

4) I haven't gotten a haircut since November 2nd, 2007. Not because I'm trying to grow my hair out, but because, by the time I was ready for a new haircut, I had a newborn baby, and now I'm just trying to find some time.

5) I love Cheetos, but hate Doritos.

6) I am intimidated / bewildered by other women sometimes. I grew up on street with all boys, have always hung around with boys, heck, and even majored in a subject where I was the only woman in most of my classes. So groups of women throw me for a loop, because I just don't feel in my element. Men are easier for me to understand, usually; they just say what they mean.

So the people I'm tagging are:

1) Veggie Mom @ Eat Your Veggies
2) Karen @ Busy Mamas
3) Miranda @ Keeper of the Cheerios
4) Mojo @ Why? What Have You Heard?
5) Mommie Mayhem @ Mommie Mayhem
6) Maternal Spark @ Maternal Spark

Friday, August 22, 2008

So much cheese.

I've been planning to take Hubby for a hike with Kicker, followed by a nice romantic picnic in the park. I'd bought wine, strawberries, grapes, tangelos, french bread, an assortment of cheeses, some mixed greens, and some crackers. I'd made lemonade, and had the picnic basket and blanket ready.

So, on Friday night, while talking with friends, no one was more surprised than I to hear me say, "We're going on a hike and picnic on Sunday - want to join us?"

But we had a blast. And while it wasn't what I planned, it may have been better.

We got to the El Dorado Nature Center around 11:30am. I got to try out my new BOB stroller! The 5 of us took a beautiful 2 mile hike, where we saw lots of turtles, butterflies, squirrels, bunnies, and bugs. It was great! We would have done another 2 mile loop, but our stomachs were growling.

We loaded back up into the car, and drove over to the picnic area. There we feasted! My friends brought strawberries, grapes, an assortment of cheeses, and water. Between the both picnic baskets, we had a Whole Foods selection of cheeses. We ate until we were stuffed! Heck, even Kicker got in on the action, gumming down a piece of french baguette!

What lazy weekend day is complete without a trip to Costco? We packed up the picnic baskets, and struggled not to go into a food coma while we rode over to Costco, where there were more goodies to be sampled. *groan*

Then we headed back to our friends' home, where we laughed and talked, and prepared moose burgers. Yep, moose. A while later, some more friends dropped by, and we fired up the grill for those burgers. We also grilled up some mooseroni - that's moose pepperoni. Burgers, mooseroni, roasted potatoes, pomegranate wine; all that adds up to one very stuffed Channah.

So, we sat around some more, chit-chatting. This was our friends' last weekend before their wedding. This Sunday, they're hitched! So we're all very glad they're choosing to spend this crazy hectic time before the wedding with us.

Someone insane, possibly me, mentions dessert. Out come strawberries, fresh whipped cream, madeline cookies, and homemade raspberry sorbet.

I'm still in a food coma from all this. And thank goodness I'm not the one who needs to fit into a wedding dress!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Survey: Land's End

Land's End and MomSelect have partnered to bring a survey to us Moms.

Lands' End is one of those companies that really value moms' opinions. Here's a way to have your voice heard and really make a difference when it comes to preparing for the upcoming winter months. And if you take their short survey (and I do mean short - it was only a few quick questions about if I'm buying a coat this winter), your name will be entered to win one of five $100 Lands' End Gift Cards. To be eligible to win, you must complete the survey by August 28th at midnight (CST).

So take the survey, and good luck winning a $100 gift card from Land's End!

T13: Reasons why I don't need NKOTB tickets

Today's Thursday Thirteen is reasons why I do not need New Kids on the Block tickets.

1) I am no longer 12 years old.
2) Hubby would never go with me.
3) Heck, even I'm embarrassed to want to go.
4) The tickets are expensive.
5) I am no longer 12 years old.
6) They go by NKOTB - c'mon, how silly is that?
7) I don't even know their songs anymore.
8) I am a happily married mother, not some fan-girl.
9) I am no longer 12 years old.
10) Jordan Knight will not see this mom with a baby in a sling and pull me on stage.
11) I don't even listen to pop music anymore.
12) I don't want to drive to the Staples Center to see them, especially midweek, at night.
13) I am no longer 12 years old.

But, c'mon, doesn't this appeal to the 12 year old girl in you, just a little bit?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

WW: Finally, a photo of us!

My parents came to visit last week (Dad, my stepmother, and my stepbrother).  I'll post more photos of that another time, but for now, I have a WW post!  Finally, after 6 months of nothing but baby photos, we have a photo of my Hubby and I! Just the two of us!  Whoa.

It's not the best picture, but still, it's a picture of us!  It was taken at the aquarium.
For more Wordless Wednesday posts, check out 5 Minutes for Mom, or the Wordless Wednesday Hub.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TT: Crock Pot Brisket

Tasty Tuesday time, here!  This week, I'm breaking out the crock pot to make a sweet and sour brisket (beef roast).  It's one of the simplest recipes I've got, and it's one of my most raved about by Hubby.

  • 1 3-4 lb beef brisket
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1/4 cup grape jelly (I usually use Knott's boysenberry preserves, though)
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • Pepper, to taste

  1. Place the brisket in a slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, combine the catsup, jelly, soup mix, and pepper.  
  3. Spread sauce over meat.
  4. Cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat is tender.
  5. Slice brisket, and serve with cooking juices.

Monday, August 18, 2008

EntreBlast Summer Credit Splash!

EntreBlast is hosting a great contest, their EntreBlast Summer Credit Splash, where there are 36,000 EntreCard Credits up for grabs! If you EC, you should definitely check this contest out.

The Prizes

I thought about just having three winners but I don’t think that’s fair. There are 6 EC prizes up for grabs, increasing your chances of winning something!

1st Prize - 17,000 ECs

2nd Prize - 10,000 ECs
3rd Prize - 6,000 ECs
4th Prize - 2,000 ECs
5th & 6th Prizes - 500 ECs

The Sponsors

Time to thank those who have contributed to the contest. Or else, there wouldn’t be nearly this many ECs up for grabs!

4000 ECs


1000 ECs

Ez DIY Electricity
Raise the Jolly Roger!

So check out the contest, and good luck, folks! And don't forget to enter my giveaway for Max Factor makeup!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

T13: Things I need at the grocery store, and keep forgetting

What a glamorous life I lead! Okay, this is a boring Thursday 13, but I'm trying to write this down, since I've needed all these things from the store for at least a week, and keep forgetting.  I have Mom-itis.  I go to the store, focus so much on getting the kiddo out of there before he gets cranky (okay, okay, before *I* get cranky), and forget the majority of things for why I went to the store in the first place.

So here goes:

1) Bread.  I'm out.  My husband is out at work.  We have plenty of sandwich meat, just no bread.
2) Cheese.  I never realised how much cheese I could go through, now that I stay home.  Lunch time - cheese sandwich.  Snack?  Slice of cheese.  I like cheese.  Cheese is good.
3) Dog food.  Two big dogs = a lot of dog food purchased in this house.  We're not out yet, but I'm way below my comfort level of reserves.  Besides, this keeps them from eating the furniture.
4) Salad mix.  Always nice, and a healthier lunch idea than cheese between two tortillas (mmm... quesadillas!  Did I mention I like cheese?).
5) Strawberries.  It's summer, and I want to enjoy them while I can.
6) French bread.  Okay, I'll go ahead and admit 4-6 are because I've been planning on taking Hubby on a picnic, and those are the last ingredients I need; I even have some nice wine already picked out.
7) Diapers.  Those are permanently on the list, along with
8) Wipes.  The constant accompaniment to diapers.   Like peanut butter and jelly, only not as tasty. Not that Kicker believes me - he keeps trying to eat his clean diapers and wipes.  Not a habit I want him to get into, in case he ever gets his hands on a dirty one.  Eww.
9) Ground turkey.  I have a new recipe idea for meatloaf that I want to play with.  It involves red chile.
10) Sugar.  I have to bake for a friend's event next Friday night, and I just remembered I'm out of sugar.  I remembered at the grocery store last time to buy sugar, but for some reason I bought brown sugar, instead of regular.  Which was actually fine, since I happened to be out of brown sugar, but I didn't have it on the list, so I don't know how I knew that.
11) Powdered Sugar.  I just confirmed I'm also out of powdered sugar, too.  Do I have sugar fairies or something eating all my baking supplies?  Last grocery trip, I also had to buy flour. 
12) Tahini.  I have plenty of garbanzo beans, but no tahini, and I want to make hummus.  Store-bought just isn't the same.
13) Stamps.  I've gotten so used to using online bill-pay, that I've let myself run out of forever stamps; I only have a few outdated other stamps.  Now I need to mail something, and have to buy stamps just to do so.  Stupid post office raising the rates constantly.

To check out other, much better thought-out Thursday Thirteens, check out http://thursdaythirteen.com/.