Thursday, November 29, 2007

Aloha!

I'm back from Hawaii and am missing that warm and wonderful sunshine. It's cold up here- burrrr! I have lots to tell you about the beautiful wedding on the beach and my mini vaca after Hawaii in Hotlanta (where it was not at all hot, btw!) with bestie. But I have not yet downloaded a single photo so that will all have to wait another day. I am still trying to get myself back on track after being away for close to two weeks.

Happy belated Turkey day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pretty In Pink....Finally!

OK, I think I am one of the last people in the world who has never ever even touched an MP3 Player, let alone use and own one. But seeing as how I have more than 30 hours of flying time ahead of me in the coming week, I decided it was high time to get one of those little gems for myself. I figured it would help keep me sane after sitting for sooooo LONG! "Sane" being the key word in this story.....

So on Saturday I went to my very favorite store, Target (location A), and purchased my my very first MP3 Player. I knew that I didn't need anything to hold 2000+ songs or movies or crap like that. I mean, pretty much the only time I will use this puppy is on this crazy long flight to Hawaii. I don't run, as evidenced by my enlarged waistline. And I can't imagine sitting at home with ear phones on - that just seems silly to me. So my point is that I was not willing to spend a lot on this product. I settled on the Momorex MMP8585. It wasn't a fun color but it had the visible screen like the big iPod and I like that feature. For the price, under $60, it seemed to totally fit what I was looking for. Now the Target guy tried to convince me to buy the big iPod of course for $200. But for something I can only see myself using a few times, that just seemed silly. I did look online before I went to Tar-jay and the review of this product claim that it only took 1-2 mins to install. Great, exactly what I need as my week is so insane and hectic.

I rushed home excited to play with my new toy. It came with 100 songs already on the thing. So I first listened to them to see if any of them were fun. They were not. One of the first songs was called something like "Plastic and Concrete" and it literally sounded like someone was rolling wads of plastic wrap on a concrete floor. Bad. Anyway, I spent hours trying to install all the software and get the computer to even recognize that the device was plugged in. Hours! I finally gave up and tried again on Sunday. To no avail.

So Monday I returned it to Target (location B) when I was running another errand. I actually exchanged it for the same product because when I spoke with the help line, they said the first one had issues and another one would be easy to get working. I am such a sucker! It was a pain in the ass to exchange something at this Target too for some reason. But I finally left with a new but same MP3 Player. Monday evening I tried again, thinking this would be ready to download music to in just minutes. After an hour or two I decided to go to bed and start over on Tuesday. I spent SIX BLOODYHOURS trying to get the damn thing to work. I talked to a variety of people at the help center who were less than helpful. Each one began by saying they were not allowed to tell me how to download music. Um I just wanted to know how to make the thing work before I took the time to delve into music downloading. Then they also all followed up by asking me why the guy before them had me do such-and-such. Um, y'all work for the company, not me. I don't know- I just did what y'all instructed me to do. Anyway, long story longer, after six hours and even a few tears shed out of frustration to one of the many unhelpful helpers (I should say that they were all nice - just not helpful), I decided to finally abandon the ship.

So I drove back to Target (location A- because it is closer to my house) to return the sucker and get the iPod Shuffle in hot pink. It doesn't have the screen to look at but it is pink and that is just so fun. After returning the Memorex MP3, I walked to the back to buy my tiny pink Breast Cancer Awareness iPod Shuffle. But they were out of stock. Oh, they had every other color there but not the hot pink one. And dammit, I was beyond frustrated at this point and wanted that fun pink cutie. I remembered seeing it at Target Location B on Monday so I booked it over there. At this point I didn't care how much time I was devoting to this stupid project because I was a woman on a mission. Target (location B) had several left (and it comes with a $15 gift card for i Tunes too - fun!) and I left crossing my fingers and arms and doing a dance in hopes that this sucker would work. Pleeeeaaaasssseee let it work. Three times is the charm, right??

It took close to 20 minutes for me to get it out of its turbo plastic packaging and I was on the verge of tears again seeing this as a bad sign. But wouldn't you know, I had it working in just minutes! MINUTES!!@! It is sooo cute and totally makes me smile. I have full faith that my little baby Apple iPod Shuffle will serve me well this weekend. It's not fancy pants - it doesn't do tricks and has only the very basic features. But I am a basic feature kind of girl. I mean, it took me FOUR days, a total of FOUR trips to TWO different Target stores, and three MP3 players to get one that works. Yes, basics....in pink.....suit me just fine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blog Speak

I have a quick question for y'all. I cannot figure out for the life of me what the two following terms mean and it is driving me batty. I am sure once told I will feel like an idiot - they must mean something very obvious. So bloggers, what the heck does "NaBloPoMo" or "Meme" mean/stand for? Help a girl out, will ya? Thanks in advance!

I Love...

I have noticed that a lot of bloggers are doing cute little lists of things that they currently love in life. So I am totally copy catting that idea today in order to profess my love for the first item on my list!

1. My Crock pot! Oh-My-Goodness! I love, LOVE my crock pot. I use it at least once each week during the colder months. But I used it a good bit too during the summer this year. When you think about using it during the summer, it's genius (OK, maybe not genius....but it is at least a "good thing.") because it does not put extra heat into your house while cooking you a yummy meal. At the moment I have a whole chicken stuffed with lemons, apples, garlic, fresh rosemary and onion sitting on red potatoes, carrots and onions in my crock pot. I can't wait for dinner!

2. My new electric blanket! I am using an electric blanket for the very first time this year and am wondering why I never jumped on this bandwagon before. When I lived in DC, my apartment had very old heating and there were many nights I was just totally unable to get really warm. And this will be my third winter in Upstate NY/Antarctica. It just never occurred to me that I would need it before this week. My brand new blankie has 10 setting options so I can make it super warm before I hop in bed at night and then turn it down to around 2 or 3 for sleeping. Sooo delightful!

3. Caffeine Free Diet Coke! So I still love regular Diet Coke but too much caffeine in life gives me breast pain (I also drink decaf coffee (which still contains some caffeine btw!) about 90% of the time). And since too much breast pain is not very fun because well, it just doesn't feel good and it then leads me to have to go get sonograms of my girls just to be told to cut out caffeine, I have taken to the Caffeine Free DC this year. It was similar to my switch to DC from Regular Coke a few years ago. After a few weeks, I could hardly tell the difference. (Um...I do drink mostly water in life- this makes it seem like I only ever drink soda.)

4. Fabric and Ribbon! I know I have mentioned this obsession several times in passing but you should know just how deep my love is for pretty much anything that my very favorite website, JCaroline sells. I found her blog a while ago too - so fun to put a face with the company that I adore soooo much! I could spend forever looking at all of her beautiful fabric and her prices are awesome! I have yet to find a website that has anything close to her selection of fabrics or reasonable prices. For years I actually tried NOT to tell people about her website because I felt like it was my own little secret spot. But since her ads are now all over the place in mainstream media, my secret is out and I am free flowing with my compliments these days. I do not allow myself to enter a JoAnn store anymore if I do not have a very specific game plan. Sort of like how many people shouldn't go to a grocery store without a set-in-stone list in hand. Oh I am fine in a grocery store but a fabric store is pure danger territory for my checking account. I lose myself in the walls of fun fabrics and ribbons. I come home with stuff that I have no idea when or if I will ever use. But I fall in love fast and furious in there - especially with anything in the Michael Miller or Alexander Henry section. Be still my heart! I would bring them all home if I could! I am about one yard away from needing a 12-step program I think!

5. Quirky cable TV shows! Oh sure, I love Thursdays on ABC as well as Gossip Girl on Wednesday. But the rest of the week I could pretty much care less about the major networks. I am loving several new(er) shows on TLC right now. Have you watched Little People, Big World or John and Kate Plus Eight? Sooo good! My cousin's youngest is a little person and since his birth almost eight years ago I have been minorly obsessed on the topic. He is just the coolest and funniest kid ever. Not that these traits are due at all to his short stature. But I do really hope to one day adopt a LP daughter. I just think it would so neat to have more than one LP in our family. John and Kate is also an adorable show. They have twins in kindergarten and three year old sextuplets. I don't always love the way Kate talks to John- she talks down to him a lot. But she/they always apologize and I think that is an even better life lesson. They really do a great job of making life as normal as possible for the tots. Of course I also love shallow shows like The Hills. I feel like throwing up ever time I see Spencer's big head. Does he not work? How can they afford that fancy apartment? And why is he always wearing an ugly, over-sized t-shirt? Do they not sell polo shirts in California? Or even a t-shirt that fits? Oh I love (and am still not yet sure why because truth be told, it is not a great quality show) Living With Ed on HGTV. It makes me want to make my life "green." Iron Chef America, Ace of Cakes and Semi-Homemade are my Food Network favorites. And I am giddy with excitement knowing that my very favorite Cable show will be back on November 14th, Project Runway! Another bonus about my cable shows is that I don't have to every watch them (or even know in my case) when they originally air. They all run repeats (and I think Bravo runs their shows in a loop- you can catch PR every other hour once the season gets going usually) so I can find one of my favs whenever I have free time. They are great to listen to while sewing or cutting fabric. I didn't have cable TV when I lived in DC because I was never home so I figured I would never watch it. Now that I have it again I don't think I could ever go back. I love it!

So there you have it. Five things that are my current obsessions. Also five things that are subject to change as my obsessions often rotate to other areas of interest. Such is life I guess.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sleeping Beauty

I never used to let the baby girl up on furniture. But lately she has decided that she strongly disagrees with that rule. Royalty, like her highness, should be allowed to rest their heavy heads wherever they see fit. And she has taken it upon herself to correct my mistake about every other day. Of course, it doesn't help that instead of scolding her, I take a picture instead. She's so cute and she totally knows it!


Self Heating

OK, so for a few years now I have seen these funny cups of cocoa and coffee that are "self heating." Well curiosity finally killed the cat on Saturday afternoon because as I was running errands and whatnot, I saw this cup of hot cocoa for $2 at Wally World. So you know I ran right home to "self heat" myself some hot cocoa with marshmallows. And in my efforts to be a better blogger, I documented the entire EIGHT minute process with pictures.


So first this thing weighs a lot. I have no idea how much exactly but trust me- it is not light. It sort of feel the weight of two cans of soup. There are all sorts of directions and diagrams and my personal favorite, the long list of warnings which include bold letters insisting that this entire process be done on a heat proof surface. That begs the question of where is this actually intended to be used?


Step 1: Turn container upside down. Pull off metal bottom (like a soup can again!).



Step 2: Place on flat surface. With thumb, firmly push button downward until green water drains. (This freaked me out a little bit. I mean, what kinds of crazy chemicals was I playing with here?!) After 10 SECONDS, turn container right side up and place on HEAT PROOF SURFACE.


Step 3: This spot change color from PINK to WHITE (5-8 min) when beverage is hot. After spot is white, twist lid to align opening. Shake, open and enjoy!


OK, so seriously I have no idea when one would use this product. I mean, it was fun to try it once for giggles but it is hardly practical. You would get into an accident if you tried to do this in a vehicle. And most homes and offices are supplied with coffee makers that take less time to make an entire POT of coffee. And if you don't have a coffee maker handy, every corner store sells coffee these days. I guess maybe if you lived like at the top of a mountain or something and you lost power frequently....then maybe? But I am guessing a person rugged enough to have that sort of lifestyle would not require crazy coffee products.


So the results....it was tasty. I did not see or taste a single marshmallow as the label claims. I was expecting to throw half of it away, thinking it would be just too much to drink. But with all of that magical green liquid inside, it was not a huge cup of cocoa. It was also not super hot. I actually like hot drinks to be quite hot. So if you wanted to get this to have a fun treat with your kids, go for it. I don't think I will be making more purchases of this product but it amused me for a few minutes anyway.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

October Swap

Thank you, thank you, thank you Gigi! Your fabulous swap sister package was so much fun!! And it arrived when I was sicky in bed so it was a perfect treat and pick-me-up, too! She was so sweet to send adorable socks, stickers, a Halloween stamp, a package of gift baggies for trick-or-treats, ribbon that she customized with my name on the packaging, cupcake sprinkles with another one of her most amazing customized labels and the most creative garland made of candy! She has several posted on her blog- check them out. Too cute! Oh and her card was so awesome too- can you see it in the top left corner? She is seriously crazy creative! I am in awe and so excited to have yet another crafty diva as my swap buddy! Woo-hoo!!


In return, I sent Gigi a goodie package with some chocolate (in a yellow and white wine bag) and snickers, a water tube (that I am crossing my fingers it makes it still full of water!), a tube of those fun glow in the dark bracelets (because everyone needs them!), a tissue case, Halloween drink coasters, luggage tags for her and the hub and a coffee (or tea) cup cozy. Her card was my favorite part. It's nothing fancy or anything but I thought it was cute. I found some random wood things that I painted pink and glued on the skull (she likes skulls) and I picked paper that made me think the back looked a little like a big piece of candy. I hope she enjoys her goodies as much as I did putting them together!

Fall Is Here!




Last weekend I was still not feeling well but I was dying to get out of the house and see the world a bit. I convinced my Daddy to take me on a drive to look at the fall leaves. And while he agreed to get me out of the house, he refused to pull over to let me take pictures- insisting that I had to stay in the car, not exert myself and finally get well. OK, fine dad. So we were off. We started here in Upstate NY and headed up to Bennington, VT. These pics aren't great as they were taken from inside a moving car. But trust me that they leaves and mountains really were beautiful. Like candy!



Then we headed over to one of my favorite little towns, Williamstown, MA. If any of you live somewhere between the Capital Region of NY and Boston, MA, a stop in Williamstown is a must. It's tiny- not really a destination. But it is only an hour from the Cap Region and less than an hour to the outlets (and another adorable town) in Manchester, VT. Check out the pumpkin/veggie stand we found on the way from VT to MA. Can you read the pumpkins spelling VERMONT? Oh-my-gosh too cute!!











OK, this tacky lion thing has nothing to do with fall. But it is part of a set that are at the entrance to a trailer park. I couldn't stop laughing at such a seemingly fancy entrance to a less than fancy neighborhood. I made Dad turn around so that I could get a decent picture.


All in all, it was a great outing. We saw lots of leaves, people walking about (as it was beautiful last weekend) and pretty houses. Just what the doctor ordered!











I'm Alive....


I promise I am alive. I have just been unexpectedly busy lately. Although with what I am not all that sure. I have done a few craft shows that have been unsuccessful. I don't know- I think this is just not my ideal area to be in. I never really feel like I fit in up here. Anyway, everyone seems to have nice things to say about my goodies when I do craft shows up here but they seem to prefer to buy the crap made out of pipe cleaners and google eyes at other booths instead. Not to knock the ladies making goods out of pipe cleaners and what not. But it does surprise me every time. Oh and my biggest "ugh!" moment comes at shows when EVERY STINKING TIME the vendors who have worked this particular show for many years in a row say things like, "it has never been this slow before at this show" or "last year you could hardly walk down the aisles because there were so many people." Um- that is just flat out annoying thank you very much!


One show that I did was OK but the best part were the little boys. They were there in their school uniforms to help me bring my stuff inside, they brought me lunch so that I didn't have to leave my booth, came to ask if they could get me a snack or soda and then helped me load my car at the end. It was rather cute and a very nice and appreciated touch! You are looking at pics from the last two shows that I did this fall.


I was also sick ....again! I had another bad case of bronchitis that had me in bed for a week. I never used to get sick. I mean, sure I had a sick day here and there like everyone else. But I have not been sick sick in like 10 years. And now twice in a few months.


Fall also has me busy with sorority stuff. I think I mentioned that I am the chapter advisor for my chapter up here and we just moved into a new (to us) house. And old fraternity house (the frat was kicked off campus for 10 years- naughty boys!) that was renovated this summer to accommodate cute sorority girls (because it was a frat boy pit before- ick!). While my girls love the new house, it has brought nothing but frustration to me and my team of advisors. I need to take pics of the house one of these days to show y'all the before and after shots. It looks great but when you look close you can see that our landlord (the fraternity) definitely skipped a few corners so to speak. Enter my frustrations. We are slowly but surely making sufficient headway though so I think things are up a slight upward swing.....I hope.



I leave in three weeks for my sorority little sister's wedding in Hawaii. My body is far from being bathing suit ready but I doubt that much will change in the coming weeks so this is the body that is going to Hawaii it seems. Oh well, no one is perfect. I am really excited to have some fun girly time in a beautiful location. I am also super duper excited about visiting my bestie for a few days after my Hawaiian vaca. We have a dozen things planned, including a joint open house (or trunk show depending on what you like to call it), watching the GA/Ga Tech game, and lunches and dinners with friends. So it is like a double vacation for me. Woo hoo!


This is a pie I couldn't resist buying at one craft show. Isn't it adorable!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Family Supper

First- Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and emails about Bailey. Being able to vent on my blog was really helpful and I really appreciate everyone being so supportive.

So last night we had a rather impromptu big family dinner at my aunt's house. I see my family members a good bit but we rarely get together as a big group outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas. With the crazy warm weather we have had up here, it was so nice to sit out on the back porch, relax and catch up.

My cousins lost their baby boy at birth last year and we just found out that they are expecting a baby girl in January. She is still considered a high risk pregnancy (and is only 28!) but we are all crossing our fingers and praying that everything will turn out well this time. It has been a long road for them- to lose their baby on his due date. Oh, and the hub (my actual cousin) could be called back to Iraq for a second tour with the National Guard right around the time of the due date. A lot of breath holding going on in that household right now!

It's fun to see all the kids running around but OMG are they loud! My older cousins and I were saying that we were never that loud- or really loud at all- as kids. We concluded that it is a generational thing. Who knows. They are all so cute though so it's all good.

I decided to try a few new recipes. In my family when we have these supper get togethers, we sort of all bring a dish or two. It seems perfectly normal to me but I have friends who think this is odd to pot-luck it at family meals. It's the best in my opinion because then everyone brings their specialities. One aunt makes the most amazing baked beans. A particular cousin makes a family favorite Jello salad (and I don't even care much for Jello but this is one of our family's most coveted side dishes- sooo yum!). Anyway, for fun I tried a few new online finds and they were really quite tasty. I altered the original recipes a bit so here are my versions....

Shrimp Dip

*1 (8ounce) package cream cheese, softened (the orig. recipe called for 2 but it made WAY too much. I also use low-fat but use whatever you love best.)
*1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
*1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)
*1 (4 ounce) can small shrimp, drained
*1 green onion, finely chopped
*1/4 (12 ounce) jar cocktail sauce

In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, lemon juice, cocktail sauce and hot sauce until well blended and fluffy. Mix in the shrimp and green onions. Transfer to serving dish and chill for 1 hour or until firm. Top with a bit of cocktail sauce for color. Serve with crackers, bread sticks and vegetables.

And I saved the BEST for last....this will be one of your new favorites and staples. Ready?

Asparagus Roll-Ups

*20 fresh asparagus spears
*20 slices of white sandwich bread, crusts removed
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (again, I use low fat but use whatever you love)
*6-8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (I say 6-8 bc it called for 8 but I only had 6 and it was still super fabu)
*2 teaspoons minced fresh chives (um I never measure chives. I pluck a bunch from out back and cut them up w kitchen scissors until I think it "looks" pretty enough)
*1/4 cup butter, melted
*2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Place asparagus in a skillet with a small amount of water; cook until crisp and tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Flatten bread with a rolling pin. Combine the cream cheese, bacon and chives; spread 1/2 tablespoonful on each slice of bread. Top with an asparagus spear. Roll up tightly; place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Brush with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cut roll-ups in half. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Missing Bailey


I have been in a bit of a funk lately. Earlier this year we lost our dog, Bailey. In my family, dogs are like children. They are everything to us. We all travel with them, talk about them non-stop, pamper them and spoil them to no end. We don't put our dogs out back. No, in my family dogs have monogrammed and custom made beds....inside of course. The first thing I do when I get home and the last thing I do before I leave the house is love on the pups. Dogs in our family even exchange Christmas presents with each other and their close puppy friends. If you are not a "dog person" this must sound insane. But in my family and extended friend family, there is just no other way.


I had no idea I would miss Bailey this much though. I had no idea of the physical pain that would linger after we lost him. I have good days and hard days but lately I have had some of those really hard days. He had a fantastic life. He was so happy and full of personality right up until the day he died. His love for me, my dad and little Sadie was unending. He and Sadie Kate were too funny together. They would play together and nap together. She kept him young and playful and he taught her how to give me a guilt trip, to clean the dishes as they are going into the dishwasher and to be even more spoiled in life. I miss him soooo much. Our entire family misses him.

I have no idea why this is all surfacing again this week. I mean, I will have a mini cry over him on a regular basis. But in general, I am a crier in life. I fully believe that a good 2 minute cry (in private of course) is cleansing. It sort of gets all of those emotions out of me so I can be normal the rest of the time. This is different though. I feel like I just lost him again. He is so special, as they all are, and is greatly missed and loved. I know he is in a much better place where his legs work and he can run and be a playful puppy again. But I still miss him.


I love you, Bay!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ice Cream In A Bag




This past summer I read on several blogs and websites how to make ice cream in a bag. I really wanted to try it with my my cousin's kids but never had the chance for one reason or another. A few weeks ago, though, I was sitting for them over a long weekend and we tried it one night. OMG is it ever fun! It would be a hoot to make even if you have friends (adult friends that is) over for a casual dinner in the back yard, too. Sooo easy and really just good clean fun....in a bag.

Ice Cream In A Bag

Ingredients
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1 cup half and half
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
-Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
-2 pint-size ziplock bag (I double bagged it after we had a leak the first time)
-1 gallon-size ziplock bag

Directions
1. Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.
2. Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it's done.
3. Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too! Serves 1.


So I was wondering after I made it with the boys (and forgot to take a picture- sorry!), if it might be tasty with other flavorings. So of course when I went home that week I made it by myself (that's right, not a kid in sight!) with a dash of lemon extract. I made it this week once with a dash of almond extract. All are delish- the lemon is my favorite of the three. Oh, when I made it at home I used fat free half and half (don't get me started on how I think this product is misnamed. Half and half? It's fat free so I'm pretty sure "none and none" is a more fitting name. But I digress....). So not only is it super yummy, but fat free too!

Give it a try, friends. Try it with your kids or without and just feel like a kid.

Have you every made ice cream in a bag?  Would you ever consider doing it with your adult friends, even if kids aren't around?  Any fun flavor ideas that I should try this summer?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

20 Questions

I am so excited to be participating in the Sweet Sister Holiday Swap! It's three months long and really gives everyone a great opportunity to get to know their swap partner, as well as everyone else participating. The swappy organizing gals are so creative to come up with this unique extended swap! And I am thrilled to get to know my swap sister Gigi! Take a look at her pictures- her cookies are about the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I had so much fun with the last swap and love that it resulted in a fabu crafty buddy, sweet Cindy. This swap is sure to be just as fun and exciting!

To start off the swap experience, we are all asked to help our swap partners get to know us better by answering the following 20 questions....

1. Favorite Color: pink and green
2. Chocolate Lover? Milk, Dark, White, or none of the above? Honestly, none of the above. Well, that's not true. I like cookies and brownies. But as for eating chocolate candy, no thanks.
3. What is your favorite craft hobby? sewing, painting, cooking, baking
4. What is a craft/art hobby that you would like to start? I used to scrapbook but I have not done any in years. One of these days I will get back to it though because I have an obnoxious amount of scrappy supplies stored away for future use. And I would love to learn to needle point one of these days too.
5. What craft do you NOT have an interest in or just not great in ( so your partner doesn’t send something you wouldn’t use)? Well I already have a ton of scrap stuff. And I don't have much interest in knitting.
6. Do you have any allergies? (we don’t want to send anything with peanuts if it’ll make you blow up like a balloon!) nope
7.What’s your favorite part of Halloween? Decorating, candy eating, costumes, or something else? oh I just love everything about both Fall and Halloween- candy, decor, kids in costumes, Fall flavors and big pots of yummy soup
8. Do you decorate for Thanksgiving/Fall? for fall- with squash and fall leaves
9. December Holidays--what holiday do you celebrate? What type of decorations do you like to put up in your house for that holiday? Christmas- the usual fresh tree with beautiful ornaments, stockings, garlands, and hours of Christmas Cd's
10. Do you have any children, if so what are their ages, boys/girls? one furry little girl with four paws, Sadie Kate, age five
11. Do you have any pets, if so what kind? one furry little girl with four paws, Sadie Kate, age five, Sheltie
12. Are you a reader? If so, what type of books do you like? I love to read and am all about fun, light-hearted chic lit. And Harry Potter (though BB I am still refusing to read the last book- I am just not ready and feel it is my prerogative to wait!)
13. Are you celebrating a birthday or anniversary in October, November, or December? If so, what day and what is the occasion? nope
14. Do you collect anything? If so what type of things do you collect? not really. I love many things like aprons and various baking items. But I don't necessarily have a specific collection.
15. What type of things do you like to cook? Are you an appetizer person, cookie maker, dessert freak or a take out type of person?? Oh it totally depends on my mood. I love LOVE dips and appetizers and will happily make a meal out of them if I can. I love to make holiday cookies but rarely make them other times of the year for some reason. I am an excellent pie baker. I take a lot of pride knowing my crust tastes great and my filling is huge. They are rustic and I personally find that so much more exciting that the perfect pies in the grocery store. I love to make foods according to the season and find that I cook savory dishes a lot more in the colder months. Nothing I make is fancy, but it almost always tastes delish.
16. What is your favorite scent? Is there one that you can’t stand? Fresh coffee, baked goods, cinnamon, apple cider. I don't really care for floral scents- they make me sneeze.
ok, after reading a few blogs I realize this is asking what scents I like to wear. And that answer is very few. Something very light if anything- I have allergies.
17. What’s your favorite song? Just one? "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter Paul and Mary. When I was a little girl my Dad would let me stay up late to watch them on PBS because they would always end with Puff. To this day I can probably sing you most of their songs. But Puff is just one of those special childhood memories that never fails to make me smile.
18. What’s the last movie you went to see at the movie theater? Um...I have no idea. That's so sad that I really have no clue. Clearly I am not much of a movie buff. When the Oscars roll around I am lucky to have heard of more than 5 of the movies up for awards.
19. What’s your favorite Candy? OMG, while I don't care for chocolate I do have a HUGE sweet tooth! I love all that bad-for-you-stick-in-your-teeth sugar crap like Twizzlers, Hot Tamales, Swedish Fish, gummy worms, Dots, and Smarties.
20. Tea or Coffee or other? Decaf coffee- mmmmmm!

Friday, September 14, 2007

LL Bean comes to Upstate NY

Today was the day. LL Bean officially opened this morning at 9AM here with a weekend packed full of festivities to celebrate. They were giving away gift cards (denominations ranging from $25 to $500) to the first 200 customers to start things off this morning. Thinking that no one would go to a mall at 9AM on a weekday, I ran over there at 9:40AM. The mall is across the street from both Target and Joanns, where I needed to pick up a few random items anyway.

How very wrong I was! The parking lot was so over-packed that there were police directing traffic (I have never seen this up here in small-towns-ville). I was overwhelmed so I turned my little self around and drove across the way to Dunkin Donuts. I rarely allow myself to indulge, especially since I have yet to do so much as a sit up to lose even an ounce of the major lbs I have gained over the last two years. Mind you, I will be on a beach in Hawaii in less than three months and I am still sittin' fat and pretty. But I digress. I was lacking caffeine and felt that I "needed" a sugar buzz to match. So I went through the drive thru, declined the zillion options of random new shit they are trying to push, order my coffee and all it's specifications and order my two chocolate frosted donuts. I am all but drooling at this point over this fat and calorie and sugar insanity. AND THEN....Dunkin Donut intercom drive through buddy had the nerve to tell me the most distressing sentence ever. "Oh, we actually don't have any donuts because our shipment didn't arrive today. Would you like a muffin or egg bagel instead?" WTF?! Are you kidding me? Your name is not Dunkin Muffin or Dunkin Egg Sandwich Bagel Crap. Your name is Dunkin DONUTS dammit! I was almost in tears. I didn't even want the donut until I got parking lot stressed 5 minutes earlier. And now I was on the verge of a meltdown. Since I actually don't really love DD coffee, I cancelled my order and left. I decided that I would park on the other side of the mall, go in and get coffee and then check out the Bean.

Now this mall is very small. And it used to be the crappiest of our malls (sense the longing for a city with good shopping?!). But over the last year or so this little mall has been revamped. We just got a Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs comes in just a few weeks. They are adding on a new movie theater and fun new stores like Bean. The little mall that once had (and truthfully still has a fair share of) all of those crappy random stores that size everything in odd numbers and are better suited to working the avenue than working in an office (don't even get me started on the lack of peppiness!), is really very pretty now with a fabulously renovated inside. The big mall still has all of the better stores but I have a feeling that a few might make the move to the little mall as it is attracting a much higher end crowd. Shoot, I forgot my point. Oh yes, coffee. I needed coffee. Fast. So there used to be two no name coffee places and neither of them were there today. They were just gone. Poof! Not a single place to get a cup of joe in the stinkin' mall. By now it was almost 10AM and I was cranky, but considering how long it took me to park I was going to see that store if it killed me.

Well I am sure you can guess that I did not get my gift card for $500 Bean Bucks. Apparently people got there at 4 and 5 AM to line up around the mall. All for a gift card. Who has the kind of time and determination? Not I said the fly, that's for sure. I walked in and was so incredibly overwhelmed that I had to leave less than 3 minutes later. I really wanted to see the new canvas totes that are all those yummy fall color stripes in person. And I did make it that far- they are beautiful by the way. But both check out lines were AT LEAST 100 people deep. The store only opened an hour earlier, remember! Oh and what struck me as funny was that the return line was just as long. It brought back memories from years ago when I worked retail and opened one of the pilot stores for Pottery Barn Kids. Customers would come from all over the country both to shop and return. Oh and to complain in person about whatever was wrong with their catalog order. I do not miss those days!

All in all, I spent a lot of time to accomplish nothing. Including a cup of coffee- that just never happened today. Oh well, there is always tomorrow. And the internet will always (or as long as my internet provider is up and running properly) be here for me to just order a new monogrammed bag online and avoid the hassle of standing in line for an hour. It is getting cold up here and tomorrow will be rather chilly according to my local weather man. I will be making my own fabu cup of coffee to take with me when Daddy and I go on the Tiffany Stained Glass Window tour. Yes, you read that correctly. While my area is lacking lovers like Bloomies and Saks and Neimans oh-my, we have one of the largest Tiffany glass collections in the country. Fancy that!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

When Momma's Away...

I ran out the door to make a few returns the other day. But when I got in my car, I realized that I forgot to actually bring with me one of the things I was intending to return. So I ran back inside the house to get it. No biggie. Apparently little Miss Sadie was not expecting me home so soon. This is what I found....


She just froze and looked at me like, "well you said you were going to be a while so if you kept your word you would not actually have to witness this and therefor this is all your fault." She knows she is not allowed on the furniture and knew she would be in trouble for being up on the leather arm chair. But I was so thrown off guard at how silly and cute the situation was, instead of fussing at her, I took a picture (my camera was sitting just a few feet away at the time). I am a bad momma! I can only imagine what goes on when I am not here. Even when I am here, her little nose finds its way into all sorts of places it is not supposed to be in. The bathroom trash can with cotton balls and tissues is her all time favorite. Nothing says puppy mischief fun like shredding a few used cotton balls!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Favorites

I have been tagged by Buford Betty to share some of my favs...

Sound - rain at night.

Late Night Snack - frozen fruit bars

Smell - coffee

Color Combination - pink and green of course! This time of year I also love red and black too!

Nut - pecans or frozen macadamias

Time of Year - Fall!

Books - I love love Harry Potter. But anything chic lit is up my ally too. Nothing too serious though.

Vegetable - artichoke, acorn squash, asparagus, spinach

Male Actor - Matt Damon and Josh Jackson

Female Actress - Reese, Gwyneth, Jennifer and Anne

Flower - peony, Gerber daisy, hydrangea, and tulip

Vacation Spot - Steamboat, Aspen and NYC

Pizza - spinach and mushroom

Subject in School - English, Math, Art and Religion

TV Channel - Food TV, HGTV, History, CNN

Radio Station - I'm a flipper. So no station in particular. I will flip until I find something I feel like listening to at that moment.

Holiday - Halloween, Fourth of July

Perfume - Salvatore Ferragamo

Shoes - ballet flats, loafers

Candy - Oh I have a huge sweet tooth! Swedish Fish, Sour Gummies, Hot Tamales, Twizzlers. It's all about the sugar crap for me. No chocolate please- just not my thing.

City to Shop - Not Upstate NY, that's for sure! NYC, Georgetown, Atlanta, Seattle, Boston .... anywhere but here pretty much!

Beauty Products - As prissy as I am, I am not at all into beauty products. I use concealer and blush every day. But I am not brand specific. I am however a sucker for packaging. Those ad companies see me coming a mile away. So put your $2 product in a $40 box and chances are I will buy it.

Item to Shop For - shoes, handbags, fabric, stationary, clothes, prezzies, home dec, .... I don't think there is much I don't enjoy shopping for besides items inside a Home Depot or a Grocery Store (I really really dislike grocery shopping!).

I tag Cindy and anyone else who feels like a fun little blog topic today.

County Fair

Giant pumpkins.

Crazy squash.


The other day my Daddy asked me if I had ever been to a County Fair. I sort of looked at him sideways, confused, and said "well yes, Dad we went to the county (in South Florida) fair many times growing up." He quickly proclaimed that the Florida fairs were not true county fairs. He then insisted that he take me to the Schaghticoke Fair. To say I was hesitant is being mild. A county fair? Why? How is that fun beyond the age of 10? And he went on and on about how 4H groups (I am still not really sure what 4H is. I gather it is sort of like girl/boy scouts meets farmer. I hated girl scouts and am still scared from the summer I went to girl scout camp!) show their animals and farming whatevers at the fair. Again, why would this be of interest to me, Dad? But he was so excited to show me what a true fair was like so I really felt like I had to say yes. He was just too sweet trying to give me a new experience and no matter how odd I thought it was, this Daddy's girl was not about to turn down the offer. Plus, once in a blue moon a day filled with yummy fair food is good for the soul (albeit horrible for the waistline!). So off we went on Monday to the County Fair.

Baby moo!

First, Dad was right. It was nothing like the fairs we went to growing up in Florida. This fair was smaller but a bigger deal. I'll elaborate. In FL, fairs are something you may or may not attend. You go as kids to ride the crazy rides and eat junk food. Sometimes there were school art exhibits (I was always entered and usually won ribbons and never cared because fairs were just no big deal). This fair was smaller in size but was talked about profusely over the radio, TV and every other form of media for weeks in advance. In a way, it was exactly like something you would see on a Lifetime or TV movie. It was small town.

What every garden needs....a toilet turned flower pot!

Moo!

Barns and barns and more barns with various animals. Two of the biggest animals I have ever seen were the oxen. The pictures do not do them justice- they were mammoth! I also could not figure out for the life of me why you would want an ox. It's not like you would actually use it to plow or anything in this day and age. At least four barns full of cows. You could pet the cow if you so desired. It should not shock you to know I did not feel it necessary to pet any of the animals. Ew. Then there were all sorts of contests and demonstrations. Milking demonstrations. Cow milking contests. The frog jump olympics was a personal favorite, though I didn't get a decent picture to post. Dog shows and square dancing and llama exhibitions oh my!

Oxen Demonstration

Up close and person with an Ox.
Blacksmith demo.
Machines thru the years. NOT my highlight of the fair.
My favorite animal barn was hands down the chicken and bunny barn. I have never been so close to chickens before and had no idea how beautiful they are up close. I remember years ago when Martha first debuted her paint colors and told David Letterman that they were all inspired by her chicken eggs. I thought that was sort of cool and also a little nutty. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Martha. But chicken egg paint colors? Turns out MS was right. Of course! Those chickens were so diverse and beautiful and their eggs were just as diverse and beautiful. I want chickens now. Don't worry, I'm sure my mild chicken obsession will soon pass. I mean, as much as I profess this new found love for them, I didn't actually touch them. Ick. The bunnies were adorable. But the black and white feather chickens were my favorite! Sooo pretty!!
Chickens and turkeys. Gobble gobble gobble!

Pretty, pretty chicken.

Cute bunny.
And the fair food did not disappoint. Sausage and peppers, kettle corn and my childhood favorite...a frozen chocolate and peanut covered banana on a stick (this would not be for you BB). Mmmmm good!
Roosters and hens. The white chickens were fluffy and beautiful!
Award winning garden goodies.

I don't know that I would go back to a fair without children ever again. But it was fun and really cute to share this with my Dad. He went on and on telling me about entering his chickens and goats (he didn't actually grow up on a true farm but in my opinion, any house with chickens and goats is a farm) and tomatoes in the 4H contests and displays. It was awesome to hear childhood stories and a little bit more of my family history. Especially since I am going on record here saying my gosh-I-hope-one-day-maybe-please children and I will never own a goat. And a chicken is unlikely too. Definitely not an ox or cow. Or turkey. Yeah, I a pampered pooch girl and that's it.

My favorite chicken- isn't she beautiful?!

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