Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lilly For Christmas

In addition to my fabulous pink mixer, that I am currently referring to as Petunia the Pink Mixer, a few Lilly items made there way over to my crocodile claws! The Gloria cotton sweater is my very favorite sweater. It's cotton, always a plus with this allergy-ridden croc, cable knit and oh so comfie! The colors are fantastic (for Christmas dad bought me the vanilla color but I own it in three other colors too) and it washes well. I can wear it almost year-round. Love! Oh Gloria.... (is anyone else singing out loud too? No? OK well just me then I guess....)



And then there is the matter of this cutie little number. Oh how I love Lilly shift dresses. She has fantastic fall/winter prints but I cannot imagine being able to wear them up here. No, in these parts we wear many layers and ugly Ugg boots and we rarely wear shift dresses and TB flats. You would get frost bite just walking to your car. So I have to get all of my shifty-goodness in during the summer months. Or during my trips to Florida. Actually, this dress arrived in the wrong size (still unclear if Daddy ordered the wrong size or something happened on the sender's end...at this point it doesn't matter anyway) so the day after Christmas I called The Pink Door in a hot panic to see if they would be willing to swap it for the correct size. They were so sweet and it should arrive in a few days. Great customer service is such a pleasant surprise these days! Not that there is any rush.... we got 8 inches of snow today.... it will be a long while before I get to wear my pink and green giraffes. Thank goodness for Gloria, Gloria (No, still just me singing? Typical!).

Best Kid Present Ever


I mentioned a while back that I came up with a great idea for a kiddie Christmas (or anytime) gift this year. I was so right on. The kids in my family were over-the-moon to open this present. It was just too easy to put together that I know some of y'all will find a future use for this gift idea too.

Components:

*Bucket (mine came from the $2.50 section at Target)
*Bottles of soda (I used a combo of fun flavors including Jones Sodas and coke and other random brands.)
*Bottle koozie (You could omit this. I had big plans to monogram them for the kids but then I got super sick and never got around to it. No one noticed anything was missing.)
*Crinkle filler for the bottom of the bucket or basket
*Cellophane wrap and ribbon

In the end, I think the bottles of soda averaged about $1 each. Some were a bit more, some a bit less. It worked out perfectly number wise for the number of children needing gifts in my family. It was certainly one of the gift highlights of the day.





My family also does a Dirty Santa Game/Yankee Trade/Swap (we all seem to call it something different in my clan). The gift should be between $25-$30. I like to stick to a theme so I searched high and low for a beer store that would sell me individual bottles of fun flavored beer. You should note that I very rarely drink beer (like maybe once a year....maybe) so I have no idea what flavors are actually good. I'm all about funny flavors and pretty label art. I neglected to take a picture but I had close to a dozen cool bottles plus a bottle koozie in one of those Target $2.50 buckets and wrapped in cellophane. Then I hid it in this giant gift bag with tons of tissue to throw off participants. It too was a hit.



My father of course waited until Christmas Eve to even think about his Trade gift. Since we were running into the wine store anyway to get a few hostess gifts, I suggested he piggyback my theme and get a bunch of little nip bottles that I could wrap up in a small bucket for him (Target $1 of course....I buy them in bulk when I see them because they come in handy all the time.). This was actually one of the most traded items which surprised me. We are not an alcohol family. There is usually wine available at gatherings but never anything else. We're really more of a water and milk family to be honest. But I guess a chilly winter lends to adding a nip to coffee and cocoa because everyone loved that bucket!



Mostly I wanted to blog about this to remind myself the next time I am in need of a quick and fun gift. Oh and the kid gift could easily be fun chip flavors or candy or cookies instead of soda pop. Let me know if you end up using one of these ideas. They were all heavily raved about at Casa de Crocodile on Christmas day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Family Tradition?

In my attempt to find super duper simple dishes to bring to Christmas with the family (because I was so sick, not because I am lazy....just wanted to be sure y'all don't think I am skimping on my family at holiday time), I came across a crockpot recipe for boiled peanuts. Growing up in South Florida, which is more of a suburb of Manhattan or Cuba than part of "the South," I never tasted boiled peanuts. I knew of them but I was in college at UGA before I had my first taste of this yummy treat. I knew my family would be full of questions but thought it might be fun anyway. Because gosh it was easy to make. They were incredibly tasty, they keep well in the fridge and freezer and heat up beautifully in the microwave for easy snacking.


BOILED PEANUTS

Ingredients

* 2 lbs plain peanuts in their shell
* 3/4 cup Kosher salt
* 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning (optional but mmmmm good!)
* water

Directions

Place peanuts, salt, seasoning in crockpot. Fill up pot with as much water as you can fit in there. Put the lid on and cook on low for 18 hours.


Yes- that says 18- I thought it sounded crazy too but after trying a few peanuts during various time intervals I realized that it was correct. So start this recipe the day before and re-set the timer before you go to bed. It's worth it, I promise. It's not like you have to stand there for 18 hours so really, no excuses not to give it a try (unless you are allergic...then you should stay away)!

I wish I had a camera handy to capture the bewildered expressions from my family members as I explained the peanuts. Hilarious for y'all southerners who grew up eating these on football Saturdays. But in the end I think I converted just about everyone in the Crocodile family. They were a HUGE hit with the kids- the group I figured would be the hardest to tempt. Who knew?! I think it will surely be a new family tradition, especially for our summer get-together.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Homemade Marshmallows



Wow, I had no idea so many of y'all would be interested in making your own marshmallows too! Of course I am happy to share my (er....her recipe). It was incredibly easy. Time consuming as it is done in two parts- you have to let the mallows sit overnight (or at least a few hours) before you cut them up and coat them in sugar. But easy. Oh, you will also need a candy thermometer. But if I was able to find one in the baking aisle of my never-has-fancy-pants-items local grocery store, y'all should be able to find one too. The recipe claims it makes 24 marshmallows but she must be cutting hers honkin' huge because I made about 2 large freezer bags full per batch. Certainly more than 24. Oh and I downloaded several recipes so the bits that I did differently from the big M, I have noted in parenthesis.


HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS

Ingredients

* Vegetable oil, for brushing (I used spray)
* 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
* 3 cups granulated sugar
* 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or other flavor extract)
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions

1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil (I didn't use glass- actually used a variety of dishes including mini muffin cups which made adorable little nibbles). Line with parchment (totally didn't do this either), allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil (I used cooking spray); set aside. (I dusted the pans with a mix of 2/3 confectioners' sugar and 1/3 corn starch because I like it a bit less sweet)

2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, (yes, in the same paragraph she tells me to stir and not stir. Love me some confusing Martha! I didn't stir because it didn't appear to be overly clumpy.) until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into a bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.

4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixture fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla (or other extract flavor). Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours (or overnight).

5. Sift 1 cup confectioners' sugar (again, I preferred a combo of sugar and cornstarch) onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners' sugar, remove parchment (I didn't use parchment but you know
my history with following directions when baking so this is likely not shocking to you.). Lightly brush a sharp knife (I used a pizza cutter that I spritzed with cooking oil spray) with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch (that's huge people- mine are cut about 1/2-inch and that is big enough for my needs) squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (again, I did a combo with cornstarch to cut the sweetness.) into a small bowl and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. (just keep coating until there is no stickiness) Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days. (Other recipes I found said they can be kept for a week or in the freezer for up to two months.)


I hope that I didn't make this more confusing for y'all. I swear it was easy as pie. But without the stand mixer your arm will fall off. I made my first batch using coconut extract and then I toasted coconut and coated them in that too. The second batch I made as it is listed above with the vanilla extract. Both are crazy good. Last night we had another family dinner and instead of adding any sugar to my coffee I added a marshmallow on top. Everyone thought I was nuts but seriously I don't see any difference in a cup of coffee vs. cocoa. Lots of recipes also called for egg whites - let me know if you make yours with whites- I'm curious to know the difference.

Happy marshmallow making!!

No Registry Needed, Thankyouverymuch!

OK so just about all of my girlfriends are married. Or at least in the "forever" stage of life. Everyone it seems, except me. Which is fine most of the time. I'm used to being single, going to events without a guest, not being invited to events with a guest (though did I tell y'all that I am now refusing to even entertain attending a wedding if I am not given the courtesy of a guest invite? I am. I'm 30. I'll probably, most likely, totally not bring a guest as to not use up your chicken dinner budget, plus I am never dating anyone anyway. But dammit, give me the courtesy of pretending I have the option of inviting a date. Let me tell you that I will be attending your event solo. Or I am just flat out not coming from here on out. I'm simply too old for that funny business.), and being the girl who instead of talking about her hubby or kiddos, talks about her dog and latest craft project. Honestly I don't dwell on being single often. I talk about it with a sense of humor 98% of the time. And the other 2% is usually saved for a vent session with Bestie. But there is one thing that bothers me. That teases me. That makes me green with envy. Williams Sonoma wedding registries!

You see, from the first moment I spotted the Breast Cancer Pink Kitchen Aid mixer, it was love at first sight! Oh how I have coveted her for many many years!! But I could never bring myself to justify spending that much on a kitchen tool that really won't be used all that often. I don't bake a lot. And so much of what I do bake is "old school" anyway. Like I make my pie crust by hand using only a hand-held pastry cutter. I usually cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. I mash potatoes with a 30+ year old potato masher that probably came from my parents' registry. I know, I bake as if I am living in the dark ages! My point is that I have had big, huge plans to register for this sweet pink girl the moment a ring finds its way to my finger. But um....no ring means no pink mixer. I'm so jealous of all the mixers that friends receive from their registries. It's not fair. I want a fancy stand mixer too!

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to make marshmallows. Don't ask me why. A bee in my bonnet I guess. So I asked my cousin if I could borrow her stand mixer as I didn't own one. Of course she said yes but then life got crazy. And I never went up to her house to borrow the mixer. Clearly not getting around to making my marshmallows either. Realizing that I didn't have this kitchen necessity, she called my dad and asked if he thought it would be fun to get this for me for Christmas. And would you believe that my dad actually remembered that I wanted the pink one? OMG this fact alone is the most amazing part of the story. My dad has total man brain when it comes to details about conversations and life. So my cousins and aunt all went in together to surprise me with my very own PINK Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas. I had zero idea of what was under the wrapping paper and was in complete shock!! I do not enjoy being the center of attention but wow, they got me good with that surprise! I about fell out of my chair. We don't give big presents like that in my family usually. But never has a gift been more appreciated and loved! I have the best family ever!!



So after sleeping and lounging in best most of the day on Saturday, I finally got around to making marshmallows. I had a ball and never could have done it without the stand mixer. It was my first time making marshmallows (and using a stand mixer for that matter) but will certainly not be my last. Oh there is such a fabulous difference in a bag from the grocery store vs. homemade. The are light and fluffy and so tasty. I made a batch of vanilla and a batch of coconut coated in toasted coconut. I have no idea what I am going to do with two whole batches of marshmallows now but whatever.... She is the prettiest pink stand mixer ever! I'm in love!! And still totally single!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quick Hello...


I'm alive....I promise I did not bid adieu to Blogville. But the last few weeks included an ice storm, a sorority house without power for a full week during finals, dealing with contractors breaking into and smoking in said sorority house, cleaning the sorority house as it was left in a hellish state after girls fled during the power outage, getting myself ready for Christmas, several major snow storms, and oh, I've been really sick for the past two weeks too. Overwhelmed is an understatement! I didn't do any of the baking that I had planned and plotted out over the previous month. Not a drop! I barely made it to my cousin's house for Christmas Eve dinner. But all of the dinners and gatherings are over for the year. I spent pretty much all of yesterday in bed. Just what I needed! Sadie Kate is completely tuckered out too from playing with all of her puppy and kiddie cousins. At the moment she can't even lift up her head. It takes a lot of energy to be the center of attention!

I promise to be back soon with pictures of presents, stories, etc. But until then, I'm wishing everyone a belated Merry Hanukkah or Christmas and a fabulous New Year!!

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On My Mind Today....

* Did anyone watch Real Housewives of OC last night? I rarely defend Vicky, but come on Jeana! I can't believe how mean she was to Vicky at lunch, defending V's ex-hub. I have no idea what that back story is, but to press the issue when her friend was clearly so upset was just mean and out of line. I'm sad Lorie left but totally predicted it would be the case. I hope she participates in the reunion show to update us on everything. I think Gretchen is my new favorite. She's adorable but seems to be the most realistic (or least unrealistic?) of the bunch. She is so sincere in loving and taking care of her fiance.

* I think I am the only person alive who is less than thrilled with the idea of Caroline Kennedy receiving Hillary Clinton's senate seat. Quite frankly, it ticks me off! Though I don't really like Andrew Cuomo any better for the position. First, she has made a career of staying out of the public eye. Something I admire and appreciate. But now when the job doesn't involve any of the nastiness and public scrutiny involved in actually running for an office, it's all she can talk about. Second, hello, she threw Clinton under the stinkin' bus just a few short months ago when she backed Obama. And now wants the woman's job? How is it that this is not a lead story? It's irony and gossipy and it annoys me to not end. I don't actually think her support or that of her family had a lick to do with the election outcome. Nor do I believe SNL skits or the Texas Ranger TV guy had a smidge of an impression. They were entertainment and possibly had a financial value but in the end I like to hope that Americans left all that mumbo jumbo out of it. Anyway, for no particular reason and every reason all at the same time, I hold a grudge to the idea of Caroline getting that position. But like so many things in life, she'll probably get it and stay in the senate for life. I'd like to send her a little note to remind her that there is a whole, great big, gigantic state just north of the island of Manhattan. NY politicians love to pretend the rest of the state doesn't exist. Hmph!!

* Six days ago we had an ice storm up here. Are you aware of that Caroline? Probably not. But anyway, we did. And it sucked. Something like 70% of the city lost power. Ice + no heat = rather cold. Thankfully my house never lost power or even cable. How I lucked out is beyond me but trust me, I am a very grateful crocodile!! The sorority house was about half full of girls who were still in town taking their final exams when they lost power. They all managed to find friends to stay with, but it has been a headache to say the least. The street actually did not lose power- just our house. And only because so many trees came down on the property and they power company had to turn it off for safety reasons. So the last five days have consisted of PPC and A (another local advisor) running over to the house several times a day to meet with contractors and electricians and sisters. We do have someone in charge of the house but she does not live close. Instead she barks out orders to A and me to do everything, is never polite and has yet to once ask or say please/thank you. It's getting old and fast! I really need someone local to take over that position. The girl in charge is a nice person, she is just not close and doesn't have the most charming communication skills. I am forever apologizing to her for things that are not my fault just to try to keep the peace and make her feel better. Cross your fingers that the house is powered back up by tomorrow as I will be there all day with contractors. One of these years I am just going to refuse to volunteer for anything to avoid getting myself into these pickles again.

* I had to go to the dark and abandoned sorority house at flippin' 11PM last night to meet a contractor to check the generator and pipes. Guess who sat there watching the snow fall for more than a half hour? Yeah, yours truly. Contractor man, who insisted that we had to meet at that very hour and no earlier, stinkin' stood me up! I was not a happy camper. He has yet to call me today!

* I woke up this morning with a throat tickle and a cough. I'm blaming my snowy excursion in the dark, middle of the night!

* In need of some cozy comfort food to cure my chest congestion and grumpy mood, I have a chicken pot pie in the oven. Mmmmm, it smells amazing! I love how something so ridiculously simple can be so incredibly good!

* I'm pretty sure a mug of hot buttered rum or cocoa is in my near future, too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Swaptastic!!

My Holiday Swap partner was the fabulously adorable Hollie! And did she ever spoil me rotten!! It also did not sink in until a few days ago that she is also a sorority sister. How I missed that is beyond me, but at least I finally know it now. A swap buddy, a sorority sister and my very first bloggy Facebook friend!

This is what I sent to her....


This little cluster of items represents my family Holiday traditions. Baking pies and cut out cookies is a long standing Crocodile tradition. It's messy goodness at its finest. And calories don't count in the month of December, right?



This group is just because...


This is To: Janie, Love: Sadie Kate...



This stuff is made by me...



These are some holiday decorations for her. I made a second wreath for Hollie- I don't want you to think I took my first wreath off my door and shoved it in a box. No, no, it's a new wreath with several fun Lilly P fabrics in there for extra preppy goodness.



And from sweet Hollie to me...



To Sadie Kate, From Janie....


(Momma, I don't feel like posing for a picture!)


(OK, but take it quickly....my buddy Janie sent me a present!)


(What is it, momma?!)


(A super duper fun doggy toy! I LOVE it! I love to run through the house with it while Momma chases me!)


A beautiful ornament!




A great apron and matching oven mitt. Seriously, this is so fabu! The colors, style and fabric are just fantastic!! I love love LOVE this present!!




Thanks Hollie and Janie! This was a divine way to start off our holiday season!

Hugs,
KK and Sadie Kate



Friday, December 12, 2008

A Little Bit Of Facebook-itis

OK so it turns out Facebook is a ball. I'm sure my fascination will wear off shortly but at the moment I am getting a kick out of seeing what my childhood friends look like now. Who is married and who has kids and where people live....so fun!

One of my elementary school pals has our class pictures from K-5th grade on her page. Seriously adorable! One year I rocked the 80's side pony tail. Another year I was in my brownie uniform. Which seems odd to me- who wears that on class picture day? I'm sure I insisted on it. I was just as bossy back then as I am today. But the scary revelation came when I looked at my second grade class photo. I was wearing jeans (white washed of course!) and Keds and a polo shirt. Now I like to think that my style is up to date but the fact that I wear practically that same exact outfit at the age of 30 has me a bit worried. Did I dress like a 30-year-old back then or do I dress like a seven year old right now? Is this a chicken/egg issue maybe? Either my wardrobe is timeless or completely dated.

I also think it's funny to remember that I was obsessed with pants and shorts (remember I grew up in south Fla) for many years in elementary school. I only wore dresses to church and Cotillion. As an adult I would rather wear a dress than anything else. Well, in the summer that is. It is far too cold in the winter to even think about a dress unless I am going to a wedding or something crazy like that.

I am realizing that is post is pointless. But I will admit that FB is sort of really fun. For now. The novelty is sure to run out in the near future.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

As American As

Looky loo .... this baby just came out of my oven. It might not be the most beautiful apple pie in the world but trust me, it sure is the most delicious!! Crisco really does make the best crust. Mmmmm ... my house smells amazing right now!

Google Mislead You

Hehehe- someone in the UK googled "dirty words" and was lead to my last post. I think google mislead you, my naughty friend. I'm not sure what I find funnier....the fact that someone had to google to find dirty words or the fact that my preppy little blog was the result of their search. Either way, I'm giggling!! I mean, was this person sitting around typing an email and thinking, I need a meaner, dirtier word? Are they trying to be cutting edge with their potty mouth vocabulary? What an odd thing to google! So funny.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dirty Words

My weather man keeps saying the most terribly dirty words on TV. I can't believe they aren't bleeping him saying such crass things like "ice," "snow," and "wintry mix!!" Oh the nerve he has telling me to "buy salt" and "windshield spray!" SATC I will watch, but this sort of blasphemy is really just too much for my sensitive ears!!

To compensate my grumpy mood I am thinking of baking an apple pie tonight. We'll see if I am still motivated to make a crust and peel a zillion apples after dinner.

Monday, December 8, 2008

So Are You Saying I'm Not Natural?



Last week I got a hair cut and highlights. I wait as long as possible before I go because my hair grows so quickly. Not to mention, I have short hair. Which requires a great deal more maintenance than long hair. So I wait until it is just beyond pretending it doesn't look terrible. And whew...I now feel so much better with a cute cut and color!!

This weekend I asked my dad if he noticed the difference in my hair. Of course he said no. Men never notice important stuff like that, especially dads! When I asked how he could not notice the color as my roots were half way down my head before (OK not really that bad but they were noticeable for sure), he said that he liked the streaks!! STREAKS!! What?! My hair looks streaky? OMG OMG OMG!! He said "or whatever you call it. One of the secretaries in my office has streaks of color like that and it looks nice." I about fell over! I have visions of 1985 punk rockers with blue streaked hair. I think he meant highlights but now I obsess about my hair every morning in the mirror. A serious complex is being developed here all because of some secretary in my father's office!

Then on Sunday, two different woman complimented my hair color. Um....I pay good money for this color to look au natural. I am beginning to think I look like a two bit hooker!!

My hair used to be blonde. So blonde that until I was three you couldn't even tell I had any hair. Then in junior high it started to turn golden blonde. Then dark blonde. I think I can still call it blonde....ish, but it is getting darker by the day. It's a very sad state of affairs, friends! I would love to dye my whole head at home but am too nervous that I will end up looking like Orphan Annie. So until I work up the nerve to do it myself, I am stuck paying for "streaks" and hoping that I fool people that they are totally natural. Which apparently....they are not at all fooled by my little hair scam. Drats!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baking Gone Bad

This weekend is my monthly chapter meeting for sorority and I had big plans two months ago to order cute squirrel cookies from Laura. But I never actually told her the date that I needed them so hopefully this will serve as a reminder to myself to order them for our January meeting. I wanted to bring a little something for my girls though. This is our changing of the guard meeting. The last meeting for old officers and first meeting for new officers. So a full house. I also made them move the meeting from Sunday to Saturday to accommodate my own personal plans so a little sugar seems the least I can do, right? I decided (at like 7PM mind you) that I would make whoopee pies. I've been wanting an excuse to make them for a few years now and this is finally it. If you, a bright blogger, decided to make something new, would you go online to search for exact directions? You would, wouldn't you? Yeah, well, I am not you. No, no, no. I instead figured, I'll just use cake mix from a box (remember I don't actually like cake so I don't have any strong feelings towards boxed cake mix). So I ran to the market and bought two boxes of cake mix and four tubs of frosting. First I made the carrot cake according to the directions. I didn't change a thing. I started by scooping two tablespoons and then shifted to single tablespoons and I still don't know which I prefer. They did puff up nicely but none of them are the desired circle shape. I have the same issue when I make pancakes twice a year. Next I mixed up the lemon cake mix according to the directions. Actually I left out about 1/5 of the water but everything else was the same. They flattened out like pancakes. No matter how many tablespoons or how far apart I separated them....little yellow pancakes. But by now it was around 10PM (I really know how to rock the house on a Friday night!) and I just wanted to make it work. So I got busy adding frosting between two similar shaped blobs. A few of the carrot cake pies look good. None look like I had envisioned. Because I was experimenting, they are all different sizes. Like some of the carrot are the size of my hand and some of the lemon are the size of a large coin. Whatever, I wrapped them up anyway. I'm pretty sure they will still eat them. I sure as heck don't want them.







So the next time I make a batch of whoopee pies (or anything else new to me for that matter), I will be sure to seek out some actual directions. Oh and despite the small size of those frosting tubs, you really do only need one per box of cake mix. Thus I have two left over from this experiment gone awry. Many lessons were learned!

Oh and after my baking disaster was cleaned up and ready for to go, I finally made myself a Facebook page. I am not at all convinced this is something I care about but good golly people have been nagging me so I signed up. So far I think it is more confusing and less fun than my Myspace page and um....I never check that darn thing....so I cannot imagine this will bring me any great excitement. We shall see...

Friday, December 5, 2008

So Odd...

OK I have to quickly share this odd story with y'all. I just called this company to order a component of my Christmas gifts to my cousins (actually the children of my cousins but y'all probably don't care about those details). I've never ordered from this company before but now that I have my fancy pants (and so far not that frequently used ....mostly because it scares me a little bit....but I'm working through my issues....I think!) embroidery capable sewing machine, I thought this would be a fun gift component when a monogram is added. (Sorry to be so cryptic- I promise to reveal my uber creative and totally fabulous gift idea in the coming week or so.)

Back to my phone call.....which is the point of this post.

I called. Someone answered- I think this someone was a male- but towards the end of the conversation I was questioning that initial assumption. The person mumbled and I could barely hear him and definitely could not understand him. So I questioned if I had dialed the correct number. He (or she....still unsure) said yes. I told him what I wanted to order and he asked what extension I needed. I scrolled online and answered. I was totally confused but went with it. So then it got really really weird. Because he was sort of mumbling to himself- sounded as if he started Friday Happy Hour a wee bit early at his desk- and humming. Like pretending to connect me to another number but he never left the phone. This went on for a minute or two but of course felt like forever. So finally he stopped mumbling and humming pretend elevator music and asked what I would like to order. I was at this point beyond baffled and asked if this was a joke. He (now sounding a bit more like a she) said no (as if I was crazy for asking as much) that it was the end of the day and he was a bit punchy. I was too weirded out. So I calmly said that this was odd and that I would just call another company instead.

Dude, have you turned on the news lately? Business is falling apart right and left. And instead of selling me a box of your products, you chose to completely creep me out and force me to buy my box-o-product elsewhere.

But no fear, creepy man-woman! I googled and found a company I like so much better. A company with the capabilities for me to order online. A company with a greater variety of products. A company that, as far as I can tell, refrains from making customers get the heeby-jeebies. Isn't that just so odd? Maybe it's a "had to be there" story but trust me, it was bizarre!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

An Unnamed Dish

I hope everyone had an awesome Turkey Day last week! Mine was fantastic. Nothing fancy or extra special- just me and 12 other family members sharing a meal and some laughs up in the mountains. Sadie had THE BEST time with two of her puppy cousins. The three of them ran and ran and ran around the fenced-in and snow-filled back yard for hours on end. All three needed several days of rest after all of that puppy fun!

I do not participate in Black Friday. First of all, that name makes me think of war or death or something scary and bad. Which actually is how I feel about super crowded malls so perhaps the name is more fitting that I first realized. I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping actually. So I have not met my goal to be finished by Dec. 01 but perhaps by the weekend I can be finished. Actually my most difficult challenge right now is making my own wish list for my father. I always circle items in catalogs and make a list of things I want with links to the items online for his easy purchase. Honestly, the only thing on my list so far is a bread machine. This is a first for me. Not that I am remotely greedy but in my family this is the only major gift giving holiday. My birthday is a token small gift. So Christmas is it. I usually have plenty of things that I need/want. I must be getting very old because my list is now limited to one quirky kitchen appliance. I need to come up with something though or Daddy will find things himself. And as much as I love and appreciate his efforts, its just better for all involved if I give him a set shopping list.

So my crockpot turkey breast was a big success. I ate way too many sammys last weekend. But I am sort of over it now. And left with two containers of turkey meat. So this week is all about creative ways to make turkey left-overs taste yummy and new. Tonight, I made Enchlittoitas. That's a combo of enchiladas, burritos and fajitas. I am not sure what it is that I made but it was amazingly good and easy. Dad asked what I was calling the dish and I answered Enchiladas. He said that it looked like a burrito. I said that I am calling it an enchilada because I used enchilada sauce but I have no idea the difference between and enchilada and a burrito. But to increase the confusion, the insides were very fajita like. If you would like to make this unnamed dish, let me know what you think it should be called. It's quick, tasty, filling and rather low fat too!

Ingredients:

* flour tortillas
* re-fried beans (I used fat free)
* crushed pineapple
* onion
* red pepper
* 2 cloves garlic
* shredded cheese (I used a Mexican mix)
* cooked meat (I used left over turkey but anything would work)
* 1 can enchilada sauce

Directions:

Slice onion and pepper. Mince garlic. Saute all three until caramelizing begins. Remove from heat.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of re-fried beans down center of flour tortilla. Add some meat down center on top of beans. Add some onion and pepper mix. Add 1 tablespoon crushed pineapple. Add 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Continue until dish is filled. Top with enchilada sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top of that (in the end I used about 1/2 of a bag of cheese).

Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. I topped mine with sour cream but it's not necessary. I was also going to add spinach to the insides too but forgot about it until after it went in the oven. Next time I guess. It was still mighty delish!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dirty Housewife Chicken



Um...since when did eating chicken become a racial thing? Did anyone else watch the reunion show of Real Housewives of Atlanta last night? You know the show where they actually live in the Atlanta suburbs and are far from what one might typically define as a housewife? Yeah, that show. This is the kind of crap TV that I just love when I am in a veg out mood. So bad it's good. So terrible I just can't turn away. I love it and all of it's trashiness! OK so back to the chicken. The feud between NeNe and Kim apparently was only fueled further by Kim's comment about not wanting to come to the Bar-b-q because she didn't feel like eating chicken. And NeNe decided that was racist. Um, if someone invited me to a BBQ, I would also assume chicken or burgers. I would be pleasantly surprised if it was fish or pork or whatever but if you call it a BBQ, chicken I will assume. Regardless of your skin tone. I didn't realize that black people were "stereotypical chicken eaters??" I'm white - practically Casper white - and I eat chicken at least twice a week. Usually more. I just thought that whole thing was dumb.


Speaking of Kim and NeNe....what's the big deal? They both said crappy things about the other one. They both gossiped and talked smack about each other. They were both rude. They are both crazy. They should both get over it and move on because they seemed like they were the only two women on the show who had a semblance of a genuine friendship.


I love Kim's voice. Seriously, beyond hilarious! How does she not know what she sounds like. Let me tell you sister....pick a new career. I also can't believe she is 30. If you saw my face next to hers, you would think I was her daughter. She looks 45. Less hair and less makeup would do the girl some good!


What's the back story of Lisa going off on Kim? That had to come from somewhere, right? She was the most boring cast member. No drama. I can't stand drama in my life but I fully expect it on Real Housewives. Maybe this is something she too realized and that's what the dramatic yelling fit was about last night?


I am dying to know if DeShawn is able to keep her house staff now that her hub is leaving the NBA. If she, or any of the other women, called herself "Atlanta elite" one more time I was going to throw up. Ta ta ta tacky! Nothing elite about that, ladies! They were all crazy beyond full of themselves but I think DeShawn takes the cake.


Sharee was my least favorite cast member. Oooh honey, does she think she is good looking! And I totally believe that she left NeNe off the guest list on purpose. 100%. I love that she blames her clothing line flopping before it even begins on everyone under the sun except herself. Maybe she and Kim are a good fit for each other. One can't design or sew but insists on being called a fashion icon and the other can't sing or even walk up a flight of stairs without being winded but insists on being called a singing superstar.
I can't wait for the NY ladies to come back. They're actually my favorite of the three cities. Don't worry, I still watch CNN and TLC and the History Channel too. I feel it balances out my trashy TV viewing nicely.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scraptastic


This is what I made the other night. Isn't it adorable?! About a year ago I found the Nester's blog. If you have not yet visited her blog, go now. Seriously...her blog is so fabulous! Full of great home decorating ideas for bargain prices. Since becoming a fan of her blog, I have been saving thin scraps of fabric knowing I would one day get around to making one of her fun swags. But I don't really have a current need for a swag. So I just keep saving my scraps that include even the selvage ends- which I actually really love- the little circles of color are just fun. Anyone else feel that way? No? OK, well we have long confirmed my crazy. When I saw Lisagh's wreath creation last week, I just knew that I finally had a use for some of my strips of scrap fabric.


I picked through to find just the pinks and greens of course. I mean, they really are the most versatile, year-round colors. Christmas, check. Easter, check check. Summer, check. Every other month, check check check! It's a great idea for a kiddie or family project too. I bought this small (if I make another one I will buy a larger one though) wreath form from the Dollar Store. Nothing says "who cares if I hate it in the end" like a project that costs all of $1. If you don't have an obscene collection of scraps, you could certainly buy some cheap-o fabric at Wally World. Then you could actually customize the fabrics. I just used what I had though. If you look closely, you will see several selvage ends, some Lilly scraps, and even the waistline from a pair of Lilly capri pants that I turned into scrap fabric (buttons, buttons holes and Lilly size tag too!). Have some baby clothes or family mementos, add them too. No two pieces are cut exactly the same size- some are very thin and some are very wide. Most are not even straight or even. They are all about 10" long but you should test out your wreath form first as they are all a bit different. Thanks for the fun ideas Nester and Lisagh!

Daisy Mae


I am so sad today. My cousin's dog, Daisy Mae, passed away today. In my family, dogs and children are one and the same. Both are extra loved on, extra spoiled and extra special. I've been able to spend a lot of time with Daisy as I am closest with this cousin and her family. I'm forever house/puppy sitting. Our hearts are all just a little broken right now.

She loved to snuggle and spoon in bed. She was always in the best mood, even when pretending she didn't love Sadie. We all knew she loved my little girl- and my girl simply adored Daisy Mae! She loved rocks. She would dig one up in the yard, carry it around in her mouth, roll around next to it and bark at it. It was hilarious! I miss her so much already!

Monday, November 24, 2008

This And That

I just picked Sadie up from the vet (see...I told you we lived there) and things are just fine. She finally was able to get in for her baseline chest and abdomen x-rays. My father's comment to that was, "She's so small, why the heck can't they just take one x-ray to see both areas?" To which I replied, "because they would only be able to charge me one fee Dad....and it's all about the add-on's in life!" I mean, I don't think they are necessarily out to get me but they have a business to run just like everyone else these days. Her heart is in fact enlarged but they said that was nothing to be concerned with at this point. So I am not. I'm pretty sure it just means she is extra full of love for her momma! Oh and the new food is working as she has gained two pounds in the last week. Whew!!

I am flabbergasted that Thanksgiving is only a few days away. This year my only duty is to make pumpkin pie and bring ice cream. Mind you, given the option I will eat the apple instead of pumpkin pie and I think that ice cream on top of anything beyond a bowl is foul. Why on earth would you ruin a perfectly good piece of anything with soggy ice cream?! That is a craze that is just outside of my realm of understanding. I seriously feel strongly about this topic. What's the point of cold, soggy pie?

I sort of miss living not near my family because I miss hosting Thanksgiving for my friends. I miss being in charge if you must know. I am not a control freak but I do love to plan and organize and prepare things. Like making the list of what I need to buy and when to prep what gives me a bit of a high. I love cooking waaay too much and I honestly enjoy having everyone tell me that they loved my meal. Not because I am seeking praise but because it's nice knowing my hard work and love is appreciated. But I most love being able to make Thanksgiving sammys afterwards- you know- turkey plus dressing plus cranberry sauce between bread! So while I am up in the mountains at my cousin's house toasting the holiday, I will be cooking a turkey breast in my beloved crockpot. All because I want my stinkin' sandwiches. Mmmm...I can taste them already!

I've been listening to Christmas music in my car for about a week now. Is that bad? It's like 20 degrees colder than average around here lately so it feels like I should be fa la la la la-ing it about town. Today, Josh Groban. Tomorrow...you tell me... Do you have a favorite Holiday CD? One can never have too many Christmas tunes in their life!

Why are Vineyard Vines pants so dang long? They are made for gazelles, I believe! I'm 5'6" with long everything. That's 2" taller than the average female. And I always have to hem my VV pants. I have the cutest pair of brown VV cords with dogs on them that I wanted to wear today but totally forgot that they have not yet been hemmed. Bummer. Guess what I will be doing tonight?

Ah, my life is so thrilling! Hard to believe I'm single, really. Obsessed with her dog, abnormally strong opinions about ice cream as a desert accompaniment and spends her evenings hemming pants with critters all over them. Who wouldn't want all that?!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside....But I'm Warm And Toasty Inside

When I took Sadie for her walk tonight around 5ish, it was a lovely 25 degrees outside. Hallelujah for my magic coat! And for fabulously fun bloggers who share yummy recipes. So after running a few quick errands and enjoying a little nibble for dinner, I made myself a Hot Buttered Rum (thanks Figs!). I've only had this drink once before, many moons ago, tailgating at a chilly UGA game. But I have often thought about that tasty treat on chilly nights. Oh it did not disappoint. It is delish!! And now I have it prepared and ready to go for the next chilly night....which will be every night from now until April probably. Oh I only had coconut flavored rum in the house (I have developed an odd affinity to all things coconut over the last few years.) but it was like a mug of liquid candy really. The perfect cold weather desert treat!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Forgotten Moment Of Weakness

A few days ago a second box from our beloved Bonanno's arrived. I ordered two pairs of shoes a while back- one pair for me and one pair as a very belated wedding gift for Florida (the wedding was last December....so yeah....belated is an understatement. But I just had THE HARDEST time deciding on a color combo....). The pair I ordered for myself arrived about a week ahead of the gift pair. But imagine my surprise when I opened the second box to see not one, but two boxes within. Did they make a mistake and send me someone else's shoes? Was the second box empty? Oh, none of the above girls. Yours truly had a long forgotten moment of weakness when ordering her shoes months ago. I didn't order one pair for myself....I ordered TWO! And I blame y'all, my dearest blogger friends! I didn't even know about Bonannos before reading blogs two years ago. Now I am addicted. It's all your fault! You're a bunch of preppy footwear pushers. I'll just add that to my Promises agenda when I check in for my many other addictions such as fabric and ribbon and all things Lilly. The middle pair is the gift- I think she is going to love them- they are chocolate brown with a tan whipstich. The pink/white pair were the "surprise" pair. But the bronze pair are hands down my favorite! Even more than my silver pair (not pictured). Just look at that monogrammed shoe loveliness....I love it!

Fish Chowder

I made this crockpot goodness for dinner last night and it was super delish! It was very yummy, hearty and just perfect for a cold, too-early-to-be-winter dinner. Enjoy!


Fish Chowder


Ingredients:

- 2 large potatoes, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 10 ounce can condensed cream of celery soup
- 1 10 ounce package frozen whole kernel corn
- 1 10 ounce package frozen baby Lima beans
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
- 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh (or frozen and thawed) whitefish or cod
- 1 14 ounce can stewed tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder


Directions:

- In the slow cooker, combine potatoes, onion, garlic, cream of celery soup, corn, Lima beans, broth, wine, lemon-pepper seasoning, and stewed tomatoes. (So everything MINUS the fish and milk powder)

- Cover and cook on low for 7+ hours.

- Add milk powder and stir. Then place fish on top of mixture and cook on high for another hour.

- Break the fish up with your spoon (I actually just used a set of kitchen scissors that were sitting handy but whatever...this is not brain science) before serving.

- Add a salad and warm bread and enjoy!

Squirrels and Snow

I walk my pup through a large and beautiful park every evening. A park with lots of trees surrounded by a fence to keep all beings and creatures safe. Would you believe that we went all summer and didn't see more than four squirrels? In total that is! We would see as many as three a day during the fall but now that winter is here (OK so your calendar might not state as much but trust me, winter has arrived.), we are back to nada. This is so sad because my little girl loves to chase squirrels. However, my tiny, middle-of-a-city, no trees backyard is filled to the brim with noisy, pestering, eat the few tomatoes that actually grew this year squirrels. They will actually pluck the tomatoes and throw them at anyone walking down the stairs. They are violent! This is what I found when I walked outside the other day.... You are looking at a semi-frozen and never ripened green tomato, a gummy worm and a nut shell of sorts. Only the tomato came from my yard. The other two were so kindly brought in by the little buggers!



Then I got into my car and this is what I saw.....



Yes, that's snow. Not enough to coat the whole city but enough to make me realize that winter is officially here. To stay. Until April or May. Sniff!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thank You


First let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sweet comments and positive thoughts for my baby girl, Sadie Kate! She is doing just fine now. Of course, she was doing just fine before she started seizing but I am trying not to dwell on that too much. The bottom line is that if she does not have these episodes but once or twice a year, no medicine will be needed. So far all of her tests are coming back normal. It was a miserable evening but we both survived. It did take her about 24 hours to feel like herself again though. At the moment she is snuggled up on her blankie on the sofa....so she's just happy as a clam! Thank goodness that morning I made my Cherry Chicken. It was beyond perfection to have a warm and yummy meal waiting for us when we returned home from the vet visit.


Now on to some other topics....


Did y'all know that Turkey Day is one week away? How the heck did that happen? Good gravy I am not ready. Well I am fine with Thanksgiving arriving but I had big plans to be finished with my Christmas shopping by December 01. I am getting there but am going to have to move into high gear if this is to be fully accomplished this year. I just really enjoy the holiday season so much more when I don't have to fuss with shopping. I don't fare well with crowded shopping malls. I melt down and leave. Thank goodness for online shopping. And a crappy economy providing me with free shipping codes out the wazu!


Do you know what gift-related thing I look forward to most at Christmas? Wrapping! Oh I save everything to wrap all at one time. I love to coordinate wrap and ribbons for gifts within the same family. I set aside a several-hour time block to have a wrap-a-palooza. Are you gagging from my dorkiness yet? Yes well, I can't help it. Even as a kid, I loved wrapping presents. My best friend Florida and I would shop all day on Black Friday and then would spend Saturday together wrapping all of our goodies. It was so super fabulous!


I am even more in love with my Magic Coat! It is seriously THE BEST COAT EVER! So cozy and warm and comfortable. It feels like air- so light! Oh my fellow cold weather girls, do yourself a favor and buy this coat ASAP! It's magical. I love it!

Hey, has everyone participating in our little Holiday Swap made a connection with your swap partner? If not, let me know so I can help you get in touch with your buddy.

Fed-ex is on my sh*t list right now! They have made me pull out most of my hair over the past week. I think I will be using the Postal Service's Priority Mail from now on! Argh!

And last but not least, I made this little Lilly set for my friend Kim. I love this print- good for boy or girl babies alike. The colors are so retro and the veggies are so fun. She loved it!







Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Swap List

So here's the list girls. I only have some of your email addresses/mailing information. But I will email out what I do have shortly. Please contact your buddy in the next few days to check in. There are a few without blogs too- try to email your buddy a little about yourself to make her shopping easier.


Use the rules as a guideline but be creative and have fun! If for some reason I missed adding anyone to the list, just let me know. And if you have changed your mind about participating, please please let me know ASAP! I've been in two swaps where my buddy let me know she wasn't going to participate by just not mailing a package. It made for a sad little crocodile. If you no longer feel like participating, please just let me know now and we can easily work it out.


Maureen and Sweetiemom
Clara and Beth
KK and Hollie
Jennifer (Little) and Flamingos and Flipflops
Laura and Loves The Cape
Rebekah and Ali
Lindsay and Preppy Chemist
Elliott Family and Three Boys
Scrapper and Rachel


Happy Holiday Swapping!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tough Day For Two Girls



Yesterday was a tough day here in the Crocodile household. Early evening as I am sitting at my desk, I look down to see my Sadie Kate convulsing. She was having a seizure! This happened once before quite a while ago but I think that one I noticed as she was on the back end of it. This one I was sitting right next to her so I saw the whole thing take place. It terrified me! I just held her and stroked her and told her that it would be OK. Towards the end I ran for the phone and called the vet. I was pretty collected under pressure until they picked up the phone on their end at the vet office. The moment they said hello is the moment I started bawling. I blurted out that Sadie was mid-seizure and she ran to get a vet on the phone. They were booked and it was near closing but said I could bring her in. Thank goodness, because I was coming to that office regardless! I am actually not in love with my vet's office- they have taken on way too many clients and it is always always overbooked. And while I was grateful for their tenderness last night, I was on hold for at least five minutes (probably closer to eight or 10) as she was seizing. I mean, that's the sort of thing that I think a vet should run to the phone for. If I was visiting with a vet and an emergency call came in I would understand needing to take that call. Anyway, she seized for 2-3 mins and then took 10-15 to come out of it. I just hugged her the entire time because I didn't know what else to do.


Once in the vet's office, they were so sweet. She's lost more weight. I actually don't think I mentioned before (in a vein attempt to not sound like the loser pet momma that I really am) that Sadie has been having major tummy issues all summer/fall. I'll save you the details but know that for the last two months she has been on a home-cooked diet of chicken, rice, pumpkin puree, vitamins and water because we suspect that she is allergic to gluten. That's right, twice a day this little furry baby gets her pumpkin chicken rice soup! I make a new batch every five days or so. Nothing about this child is low maintenance I tell ya! I increased the amount to accommodate the decreased calories (my food vs. crunchies) but she has lost four or five pounds in the last four months. She now only weighs in at 19lbs! But I can't tell with all her fluff. We are now on a new diet of canned prescription dog food (ew!). And this issue apparently has zero to do with the seizure. Just an added thing for me to obsessively worry about. Good times.

We finally got to see the vet. She is great- one of my two favs was on duty last night. She sat and talked to me for a long time. She was trying to tell me what our first steps should be - no meds (they can harm her if she doesn't have seizures more than once or twice a year. I on the other had do need meds because of the heart-attack I suffered watching this all take place!), x-rays, etc... But instead of me hearing her tell me that we should start with baby steps, I heard her talk about more seizures and death. Big un-pink crocodile tears started rolling down my face again. My poor vet didn't know what to do with me.

She tests out Sadie's nerves and listens to hear heart. Then tells me she has a heart murmur. "I know," I reply. A few vets over time have said as much and then reply that it is nothing to worry about. So I don't. I actually have a heart murmur myself and I have been fine (crazy but perfectly healthy) my whole life. I've never really thought twice about it to be honest. So she says this but I can tell she has a look of concern on her face. I ask if this is related to the seizures. Nope. Fan-stinkin-tastic! Three fairly serious issues in one night. Panicked is a good word to describe me at that moment. Because she then goes into all this horrible stuff that can happen as a result of the damn murmur. Enter, rolling tears once again!

So in conclusion, my baby is OK. She was so so tired last night. We both were actually. I, however, slept less than three hours. I'm not even embarrassed to tell you that I sat up every fifteen minutes with a flash light (you know, as to not disturb the pup) to make sure she was OK. I tried to get her to sleep with me but she got down after about an hour. But she is fine. Back to her jovial self today. She likes her new canned diet (ew!). We are going back to the vet (or as I like to call it, "where I spend my life savings!") next week for several x-rays. If she has a seizure every six to 12 months, she still won't need meds. I will but she won't apparently!

I spent a lot of time in prayer last night. And as terrible as it was to see her in pain and not be able to help, I am so incredibly grateful that I was in fact right there with her. I am so grateful that she is just fine today. And that even though I don't like a refrigerator covered in magnets, I do have the vet's magnet front and center and handy. I am so grateful that the vet was still open and my favorite doc was on duty. Most of all, I am grateful for every day I have with my little bundle of puppy love! She is just the most precious little girl in the world and I would be heart-broken with out her snuggles and puppy kisses every morning.









Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Many Colored Coats



That's it girls, I'm done! I started out the Fall needing two new coats- one light and one heavy. Instead of two, I now own four new coats. That's a bit obnoxious but I don't care. I plan on remaining cute AND warm all Fall and Winter.

First came this little cozy pea coat from my Mecca...Target. It's actually sweatshirt material but looks like a cute little pea coat. It's so cozy and comfy. Oh and it was under $30!



Second came my black barn jacket from Burberry. This was one of the two planned purchases. I love it. It matches everything. My old black barn jacket is ages old and just finally died a sad little coat death last year.

Third was this drool-worthy number. You know you love it! It's pink, it's green, it's toile, it's beautiful! I found this company via blogs over a year ago. Then found this coat on sale via blogs this Fall. After communicating with the company to figure out my size, I took a chance. It arrived this past weekend and it's truly beautiful! And still on sale if anyone else is looking for a fun little barn jacket.


Fourth, and the second planned purchase, was this cocoon-like winter coat. It's from Lands End but I bought it on Ebay for about 1/2 price and in a color not currently available from LE. It's so long- ends mid-calf. And warm- down filled- which I am allergic to but I don't think it will give me trouble wearing it as a coat in cold cold weather. It is incredibly light weight and soft and cozy. It feels like I took the duvet off my bed and made it into a coat. Oh sure, I look like a blue marshmallow. But when a winter storm blows through town, I promise I won't care. I actually wore it last night walking the dog. I didn't necessarily need it quite yet but I was excited to give it a test drive. It's awesome and a must for anyone living in New England or Canada. Seriously, I am like an obnoxious infomercial for this coat. LOVE IT!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Last Day

Remember that today is the last day to sign up for our Holiday Swap. See the post below for details. Yay for swapping fun!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Holiday Swap


Many of you have asked me about swaps, hoping to sign up. Well lucky you, I've decided to host one finally. This is my first time organizing a swap- can you believe it? I participate in them all the time though so I have high hopes I can find happy partners for everyone. Here's the scoop....


*Three gifts

- 1. One gift that represents you. (Your favorite dish or your family tradition or whatever. Just something that reflects your personality. A little bit of sharing of yourself, if you will.)

- 2. One gift that is handmade. (It can be made by your own two hands or someone else's hands- think craft show or your neighbor's small business or Etsy or a local farmer's market. Just made by actual hands rather than mass produced.)

- 3. One decoration. (Think ornament or dip bowl or...well y'all are creative....get to know your swap pal and find a little something you just know she will enjoy.)


If you can make an ornament that represents your family traditions, then I guess you get to have two bonus gifts. You are welcome to spell out a word if that helps. JOY might work. But it's certainly not necessary if you think it limits your creativity. The point is that this swap is fairly flexible. The gift rules above are simply guidelines. Be creative! Have fun! And make a new bloggy buddy! Your limit is $25, not including shipping.


Please email me at pinkcrocodiledesigns @ hotmail . com by Monday November 10th. Please say "Holiday Swap" in the subject line to help me keep organized. Your email should include your name, email address, mailing information and blog address. It's OK if you don't have a blog but please make sure you email your buddy to give her a little insight on your likes and dislikes. It's also fine to participate if you do not celebrate Christmas. Just be sure to let your buddy know what holiday you do celebrate at this time of year. I will list the swap pals by Thursday November 13th. Packages must be sent out by Monday December 08th.


Price Chopper Latham NY

Did you happen read this post a few days ago? About the nastiness in my grocer's freezer a week and half ago? Well I went on Monday and the mess was still there. I again went directly to the store manager on duty, Greg, to report this health hazard of a situation. He was not the manager I spoke to last week, rather he is the big store manager. The top dog. And he was so flippant about the situation. I was rather proud of myself for being so level headed and sincerely sweet while speaking with him. I tried my very best to impart that this was a health issue, not just a mess. His response was that he was away last week but he had a cleaning crew who could vacuum the freezer whenever he asked. I said that this mess was not created on his week away, rather it had clearly been accumulating for a very long time. He then proceeded to blame every person but himself. I actually wasn't there for him to apologize to me (which he didn't BTW) or to take the blame. I honestly just wanted him to clean it up. And I naively hoped it would encourage him to clean the entire store. Because surely this cannot be the only secret mess hiding in this store. But manager Greg was annoyed that I would even say anything. He was rude and condescending. I wrote the company the moment I came home Monday evening. I've heard nothing. Not even, "it's been taken care of."


So as promised, here is the store information. I am sad because this was my favorite market. (For those wondering, Price Chopper is a regular grocery store. Similar to a Publix or Kroger. Not a bargain or low end shop, but not Whole Foods either. Just regular, middle of the road, where most people shop grocery store.) But it's certainly not worth any sort of crazy health risk. Be sure to avoid .....







873 New Loudon Road


Latham, NY




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Better Than Politics

The Red and Blue War...er....I mean the election...is finally over. Thank goodness. Now we can talk about happier things. And pink and green things. And more important things. Like this darling little girl, Rachel. Her family is trying to raise funds to bring her home. Their story is beautiful and heart warming. Please follow this link to read their story. And if you are able, donate a little too. In exchange for you donation, you will be entered to win an amazing camera. It's like going to Vegas, but better. Because even if you lose, Rachel will win!

Perfect White Button Down


Ladies,


Do any of y'all own that perfect white button down shirt? If you said yes, do any of y'all have boobs that are a D cup or larger? Feel like giving me the details? I have a well endowed chest. It is what it is...and it's on the larger end of the spectrum. Not like Dolly or anything but you know, not an A or B cup. And long arms. It's a royal riot shopping, I tell 'ya! Any and all suggestions are very welcome.


Thanks!
PPC


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Congratulations!


Oh happy day!! Congratulations to our President-elect Obama!! I really love the sound of that!


I did not enjoy this campaign. It was close to two years of my life and it was emotional. I have not had a good night of sleep in months. It has seriously had physical effects on me. But the tears of joy running down my face are proof that hard work and struggles can be worth it in the end. This is a great ending to a very exhausting race!


And also to my favorite local Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand! It was a tough campaign, not to mention the most expensive one in our nation. I am relieved that you won!

Good Chips

That last post was so nelly negative. I don't like ending a day like that. So I am taking a moment to show you my new favorite snack. I just bought these today to accompany a dip and OMG they are delish! Organic blue corn chips with flax seeds. Go get some for your next chippy need girls. Mmmmm good!


Incentive To Vote


Just in case you are somehow unaware, today is election day. Finally! Good golly I thought it might never get here! But it's really really here kiddos! My state is one of the few that does not have early voting. And on top of that, my polling center still uses polling boxes that were created PRE WWII! I should take a picture of the booth. The first time I voted I had to have the man help me because I had no earthly idea how to work the "machine." By "machine" I should note that it requires physical labor to vote. It's wild! I'm once again off topic though. Starbucks sent me this email on Monday to let me know that they are offering everyone a free cup of coffee on election day. You just have to say that you voted. That's it. So on the off off chance that you are feeling unmotivated to stand in line at your polling station today, think of this as incentive. Go vote and then go celebrate with a free cup of joe from Starbucks!

Happy Election Day girls! I know win or lose, we are all just happy that today is finally here. And the incessant adds will cease from running on TV and radio. That alone is reason to celebrate!


***Update...

Ben and Jerry's is giving away a free scoop today- I believe from 5-7PM but double check online. AND Krispy Kreme is giving away free star shaped donuts today. We don't have a Krispy K up here- thank goodness! I would totally need to be crane-lifted out of the house if I lived anywhere near that gooey goodness.

Monday, November 3, 2008

In Your Grocer's Freezer


What's in your grocer's freezer? Have you ever looked? You might not want to, but you should anyway. Last week at my regular grocery store as I was buzzing down the freezer section, a woman asked me to come see something. The stock was low in this section and this is what we saw!! And I then moved veggies all along the long freezer to notice that this hot...er cold...mess was everywhere! Not just veggies but filth!! I know that the bags of frozen veggies do keep them away from this mess but still....it's gross and a health hazard for sure. I did tell the manager and she was just as horrified and promised to get it taken care of that same day. I'm going back this evening....I'll let you know what I find. Let's all hope it's a clean case. If it's not I just might need to go public with the exact store and location!!




So I mentioned above that a woman called the gross case to my attention. When I took the picture and said I was going to go tell management, she said she would come too. She introduced herself as Barbara and I introduced myself as KK. I know, I'm going all public now with my name. But considering I have had some sort of email/regular mail communication with half of y'all anyway....who cares at this point. Anyway, clearly that is a nickname. But it is the name that 90% of the people in my life call me. And trust me, it is so much easier for people to pronounce than my full name. Anyhoo...I introduced myself to Barbara as KK. Just like I do most of the time in life. No big deal....or so I thought. Right after I introduced myself, she laughed and repeated my name. Than she said, "one more and it would be KKK!" Now this is not the first time I have heard this comment. It's actually the second time. The first time was from a college professor who gave me my only true experience with racism. Just for one semester. But it was enough to make my life wretched. Laughs on him though because despite his best efforts, I got a big fat A and a best friend out of that class!


I wasn't sure how to react to that terrible comment though. It took me so off guard. I was just there to pick up a few things for dinner. Then I added make-over the freezer section to the list. But finding time to figure out how to react to that comment just wasn't on the agenda. I decided that she was not trying to be mean or even racist. It was a judgement call but I feel pretty sure she was just making an off color comment that I hope she now regrets. I'm sure my face showed my surprise because I have zero ability to hide any of my emotions in life. I then said something about finding the manager and chose to move past it. I think I handled it to the best of my ability considering she was older, didn't seem to have cruel intentions and I was standing in the middle of the health hazard freezer section. What would you do?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Great Cause, Great Prize


Isn't this Vera Bradley set adorable? It can be yours! Please visit this blog, make a donation and enter to win this entire set! She is trying to raise funds to bring home her soon-to-be-son from Thailand and is giving away this entire VB travel set. It would be a great Christmas present if you don't need all of the pieces for yourself. A chance at $235 worth of Vera Bradley bags for a small donation is just too awesome to pass up! I hesitate to post this in hopes that I win....but that wouldn't be very nice now, would it?! Good luck everyone!

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