Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best Hot Cocoa Mix

Another Christmas prezzie from Daddy, via the Willams-Sonoma sales girl.  I first heard about it from Hopsy's blog but never thought to try it myself.  OMG it is a-maz-ing!  It's literally just chocolate shavings.  No fillers.  Run, don't walk to your local store (or computer) and buy yourself a special treat!  Winter is long my friends.  But cocoa and homemade marshmallows (if I ever get around to making them) make it so much cozier. 




Cheers to a sweet New Year's Eve, my amazing bloggy friends.  Just so you know, I think of so many of you as actual, life-long, really close girlfriends. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bits

* I made "Puppy Chow," ate about four nibbles and decided it's still gross.  Unfortunately I have a giant bag of the stuff.  I might like it if it didn't have the chocolate I think, but I doubt I will ever try making it again to find out.  What a waste of cereal on my part.

* I did something to my shoulder/neck in my sleep.  How that is even possible, I don't know.  But I have been in pain on my left side for two days now.  It's getting better thanks to Advil and a heating pad.  But I still can't turn my head in all directions or do much with my left arm.  Sleeping is apparently very dangerous.

* It finally occurred to me to move a small ottoman next to my bed so the princess puppy is able to get up and down without me lifting her.  I used to loathe her in bed with me but after seeing her seize for a few years, I am keenly aware of every special snuggle we have together. 

* My poor daddy called me today as he was leaving the doctor to tell me he has pink eye.  Poor guy.

* If you live in the Atlanta area, please visit my Bestie to possibly offer her some advice.  My heart just breaks for her and the hub.

* It seems like half of the girls in Hollywood got engaged over the Christmas holiday week.  Note to any future fiances, please do not propose to me on my birthday or Christmas.  I think it's sort of selfish.  No offense if you feel otherwise.  This is just me.

* While we are on the topic, it also completely grosses me out to hear about a proposal that involves food.  Remember when Stan proposed to Dorothy (on the Golden Girls) in a steaming hot baked potato?  That's nearly as gross as when a ring is in a piece of cake or glass of champagne.  Ew, ew, double ew!

* Tell me I am not the only crazy person to feel sorry for Holly when the news broke of Heff being engaged. 

* Do y'all watch Chelsea Lately?  She's so much funnier than the other bigger name late show hosts.  LOVE her!  I'd like to be her stylist though because there are a lot of times that I look at her outfit and wonder who let her wear that.  She's hilarious though and has Ross Mathews on a lot and I completely pink puffy heart him too!

* And this is specific to any local (NY Capital Region) girls.  Are there any coupon websites that you use for Price Chopper or Hannaford?  I ask this on here every year or so because I have yet to find one that includes our area.  I am bound and determined to really REALLY use coupons this year.  I am truly fascinated by the idea of getting groceries I use anyway for free.  I can see that there are quite a few of y'all who live near me reading my blog.  Please tell me some of you have some local coupon using insight to share!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

About Baking Gluten Free

So this post is mostly in response to a comment I received from Kelly a few days ago.  But she doesn't have a blog or email address listed so I cannot contact her directly.  And figured a few others might be interested too.

She mentioned that one needed to double the liquids when using GF flours.  I am not sure where you read that Kelly, but I would strongly advise against that.  Strongly.  Drastically changing the ratio of liquid and dry ingredients will also drastically change the chemistry of the end product.  For most recipes, the dry and liquid ingredients should remain the same.  Or close to the same.  I say most because I have found that GF bread recipes do need more liquid in them.  But cookies don't typically need a significant change in any one area.




Kelly also mentioned that GF flours do not rise like gluten-full flours do.  That's because they are lacking gluten.  Gluten gives things elasticity and allows them to rise.  Take it away and you are playing trick the dealer.  That's why so many (read: most) GF recipes have an ingredient list a mile long.  With things like sorghum flour and potato starch and potato flour and brown rice flour and sweet rice flour and peanut flour and so on.  And most recipes also call for a teaspoon or two of xanthan gum.  I am not a scientist so I will let those interested look up (google is your friend) all those ingredients on their own.  But it is about sort of faking the properties of gluten.  I like to think of it as the difference between butter and margarine or Coke Classic and Diet Caffeine Free Coke or ice cream and fat free frozen yogurt.  The alternative tastes gross until you adjust your palate and get used to it. 

But you will never get the exact same rise on a loaf of bread from gluten free flours as you will from regular gluten-full bread flours.  Until scientists decide to tackle this issue with gusto, you will need to do a lot of your own experiments to figure out what works best for your needs.  I love Better Batter all purpose flour for a lot of things.  But I also have a pantry exploding with more than a dozen other GF alternative flours that I use too.  As I have only been gluten free (with a lot of ooops! mistakes and a few cheat days concerning apple pie) since somewhere around the end of August, I am still very much in the learning stage myself.  It often still feels like a mystery to me.  I am gluten intolerant, not celiac though.  So I have a bit more flexibility in my diet.  I do have the freedom to allow myself a slice of pie on a holiday.  I can certainly tell the difference the following day but it does not have me doubled over in pain as it would others.  I can function, albeit feeling crampy and bloated and itchy. 

The last part of her comment that I want to address is the texture of the GF flours.  Yes, they are often more coarse than bread flours.  I have read that you can purchase some that are more finely milled.  I have also thought about maybe running mine in my food processor for a bit to maybe break it down to a finer grain.  But to date, I've just live with them all as is.  Some are finer than others though.  I've found that both potato flour and potato starch (not the same thing) are very fine.  The rice flours I've been able to purchase thus far are coarser.  I think that's part of the reason most recipes and GF flour blends have a combination of flours.  To give you the closest possible taste, rise and texture to gluten-full flours.  But again, it's about the fake out.  It will never be identical to gluten-full flours.  But I've come pretty darn close!

I do actually have a second blog, that is dedicated to gluten free everything.  I let it totally slide and it's a sad sight right now.  But I have BIG plans and the best intentions for 2011.  But I will direct you towards it now because I also have a list of fantastic gluten free bloggers on the side.  They have great recipes and tips and lists of hidden glutens and everything else you want to know about living gluten free.  I will be back next week with (what I hope will be) good blog posts and recipes on How To Bake A Crocodile.  But until then, visit the other GF bloggers for much more information that I could possibly offer.



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Family Gifts

The last two years, I've posted photos of the five little kid gifts for my cousins.  This year, I did a combo of the two years.  The sugar buckets, as I found myself calling them this year, were once again a BIG hit.  But my camera broke so I didn't take a photo.  They included a few Jelly Belly sodas (that looked sooo gross if you ask me but the kids were thrilled to bits), big boxes of movie candy, other random candy (including Pixie Sticks that required lessons on how to eat them for the two youngest.  A rite of passage.) and a silly straw.  All in a big red bucket.  I think the total cost per kid was about $11.  I again used leftover fabric to wrap the buckets as it makes it sooo much easier to wrap. 




And I don't typically give gifts to my adult cousins (the parents of the kids mentioned above) because we all do the Dirty Santa game. But this year I had a bee in my bonnet and decided to make them towel wraps. I think they were all pretty pleased to get a special treat. I just hope they use them once it finally warms up around here. Did I mention yet that we got about 15 inches of snow on Monday night? Brrrr!





Once again, sorry but these photos were taken on my blackberry. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Weigh In

Did Santa visit y'all this year?  The older I get, the smaller Christmas gets.  Especially as it is just me and my daddy-o.  But he still manages to surprise me a bit.  I had asked for a food scale a while back.  Because so many recipes written these days use weight measurements instead of cups and whatnot.  Which makes sense but when you don't own a scale...  Dad remembered, even though I never told him where to purchase said scale.  Because I didn't actually know and was too busy to figure it out.  He braved the mall (I am proud to say I never once set foot in any mall this season!) to visit Williams-Sonoma and find my scale.  Can't wait to start using it.  To measure out some of the 25lbs of my favorite gf Better Batter flour that was under the tree too.  I need to go out (after the Noreaster blows through town of course) to buy proper storage as it is in this giant professional baker's flour bag.  But dad also let the WS girl talk him into buying me several littles as stocking stuffers.  Which I of course love, but one is sort of a mystery to me.  Chinese five spice.  Have any of y'all used it before?  Dad said that the WS sales girl (who was clearly doing a very good job!) said that it was all the rage with foodie types.  I am sure I do not qualify as a foodie.  I do in fact continue to profess my love for my crockpot, Sandra Lee (Laura is cringing), and once in a while, Chinese take-out.  But I am a sometimes-wanna-be-foodie-because-all-the-cool-kids-are-doing-it, so I am determined to make this cute little jar of Williams-Sonoma sales girl professed magic spice dust my end all, be all.  So tell me, true foodies and those with better stocked spice racks, what should I spice up five Asian ways?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dirty Santa Gift

Thank you so much for all of your suggestions a few days ago regarding my family Dirty Santa game gift!  I loved the electric toothbrush idea actually.  I figure that is something everyone thinks "I need that" but never gets around to actually buying.  But apparently two days before Christmas, everyone else in my area came to the same conclusion.  I went to three stores and all of the lower priced (remember my limit was @$30) electric toothbrushes were sold out.  So I ended up doing something that I considered two years ago: As Seen On TV theme.  I bought the Perfect Brownie Pan and this egg cracker gizmo and a yummy brownie cookie bar mix.  It wasn't the most popular but I think the new owner is happy.  I sort of wanted it myself for the pan.  I ended up with a gas gift card though so I'm preppy happy.  Free fill up!








Oh and I have to relay this funny story that my cousin told about his son.  He is the funniest of the kids.  Just very quirky.  His mother calls him Benjamin Button because he is sort of this little old man in a third grade body (that is easily the size of a first grade body).  Every family gathering, after supper when the kids are off playing, includes hilarious stories of Benjamin Button.  So one of the stories started with "so Benjamin Button noticed a tattoo parlor one day as we were out running errands and grocery shopping and whatnot."  He asked his parents what it was and his dad said it was a tattoo parlor.  "A what?" he asked (I think the word parlor threw him off).  Tattoo, like the colorful things people have on their arms and stuff.  "Ohhhh, like the yo-yo girls."  His parents were so confused and asked about the yo-yo girls.  To which he replied, "you know, the girls who go yo-yo-yo (in your best little kid gangsta' voice that also included full arm and upper body motions)."  I have no idea if this translates funny, not knowing the people involved, but OMG we were rolling and in tears hearing this story. 

Merry and Happy!
KK

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

I've seen this a few times now but it is just too awesome not to share. I so wish I had been in this Canadian mall that day. So fabulous. Just makes me smile!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What To Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes

So the night my camera died, this is what I was photographing.  (Note that these photos were taken on my blackberry and are super crappy...because the camera died.)  Nothing earth shattering but I thought some of y'all would be interested.

After Thanksgiving, I had leftover mashed potatoes.  I love leftovers.  For two days tops.  And that second leftover day is pushing it for me.  I try to come up with new recipes but sometimes those attempts are less successful than others.  This one is sure to be a repeat!  Now if I can just try to remember what I did...  And I am not using measurements because we all end up with different amounts of leftovers.  Use your best judgement.




Mashed Potato Shrimp Cakes

Ingredients:
* Mashed potatoes (mine almost always have copious amounts of garlic in them)
* flour (I used gf of course)
* seasonings (such as garlic or onion powder, parsley, Old Bay, salt, pepper, whateveryouhave)
* 1 can of baby shrimp, drained well

Directions:
* Mix it all together.  Taste for seasoning.  Need more?  Add more.  Be sure to add enough flour to create a texture that will hold a patty shape.
* Saute in EVOO until browned on both sides.  Everything is cooked so you are really just heating and giving it a nice flavor and crispy outside.

Hello easy and mmmm good!  This would work just as well with a can of crab meat or leftover turkey or ham or beans or just the potato. 


Monday, December 20, 2010

Quick Question



I still need to buy my family Dirty Santa/Yankee Santa gift.  We do the trade every year and it's the best part of Christmas.  Our limit is $25-30.  It does not need to be unisex but it does need to be something that is liked by more than just me.  It cannot be anything from Bath and Body or the like, because no one really likes that stuff.  It needs to be something I can buy before Christmas because there is not enough time to have anything shipped.  I cannot make it because I am pushing getting my list done as it is. 




So those are some guidelines...now go.  Go forth and leave me a comment with fun suggestions.  Usually I come up with an idea six months in advance.  This year...  I am five days away from giving this yet to be conceived gift.  HELP! 



Seizures, Plastic Woes and Friendship

Well Saturday morning, I bolted out of a deep sleep before the sun came up.  I just knew.  Sadie was quietly having another seizure.  Only God.  I held her and just did my best until she finished.  She has never had them this close together.  They are usually 4-6 months apart.  Not 1-2 weeks!  But it got worse.  About 15 minutes after her first seizure, she had a SECOND one!  I did my best to hold it together as to not make matters worse but I had quiet tears running down my face.  They were shorter and less severe than years ago.  But three in one week...  I have been holed up inside all weekend because I am nervous to leave her side.  I needed to run a quick errand on Saturday and made my dad come babysit her for the hour I was gone.  My whole family is very much dog centered so he totally gets it.  She slept most of the day- seizures really take all of your energy away.  Saturday night she was snuggled in bed with me, but I couldn't sleep well as I was worried she would seize and fall out of bed.  So at 4AM, I got out of bed to take her from my bed (that is very high) to her donut bed.  This is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night!

So as I was in bed with the computer for all of yesterday morning, Sadie by my side sleeping, I decided to look up some homeopathic treatment ideas for her seizures.  Let me just add this now as I get comments every time I post about her seizures.  The vet will not put her on meds if she does not need them.  If she is seizing 2-3 times a year, she does not need them.  The side effects, like organ damage, are not worth it in the long run.  I have met with at least six vets and they all say the same thing.  Now if this multiple seizing keeps up, she will need them.  But I will do everything in my power to help her- including giving her a bit of honey.  Because it turns out many seizures are actually due to hypoglycemia.  And honey is the very best way to get your sugars back up.  According to several websites anyway.  So you can probably guess already that I now have small honey bears and a plastic spoon in three rooms just in case. 

Another suspected cause is the salt she walks on daily.  I mentioned last year that it was a serious problem for her.  People just think, toss out a bucket of salt and no need to shovel snow.  Which doesn't work by the way.  If it's not warm enough, it doesn't matter how much salt you put out.  It cannot melt anything if it is super cold outside.  So the wretched salt just sits there.  And my dog walks in it and it burns her paws and then I have to wipe off her tiny toes or sometimes carry her home.  I bought three pairs of dog shoes and all three were a bust.  One pair was too small, one too big and the other didn't have bottom traction and she fell down like she was ice skating.  Which was hilarious but not necessarily helpful.  So that is my quest, in between finishing up Christmas stuff, this week.  Baby needs a new pair of shoes.  It was bad when I knew it burned her pretty puds but to think it might contribute to her seizures...OMG hello guilt!

I have soooo much to do this week.  I am not even close to being ready for Christmas.  Having to rush around like this really sucks the joy and fun right out of the season.  Of course, doing nothing on Saturday did not help.  But I need to sew family gifts.  And Sadie hates the sound of my sewing machine.  Online it said to keep her as calm as possible.  Not going to lie, this Christmas, as with the last many, feels like a chore and not a special holiday.  I finally understand why some families pick up and just go on a cruise for the holiday week. 

Oh and my apologies for lack of pictures.  My camera is still broken and I have yet to find time to go to ask if it can be fixed for a reasonable rate.  I called Ritz but they said (via the phone) that it would likely be very expensive and just not worth fixing.  This just infuriates me as the camera is only a few years old and the thing that broke was a tiny piece of plastic that never really worked well to begin with.  Santa is likely bringing a new camera.  Because he feels sorry for me and my streak of things breaking down on me.  So I imagine photos will resume after Papa Noel visits this weekend.

Last but not least, happiest birthday wishes to my very first best friend, Florida.  She's the one who kindly had a baby so that I could finally be an Auntie Fairy Godmother.  Nice of her!  We have been best friends for 32 years today.  You read that correctly... thirty two years.  We are 10 months apart in age and have been best friends since nearly her day one.  She's beautiful, hilarious, generous, kind and a great momma to my perfect Godson!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Eggnog Rice Pudding

I love eggnog.  I buy a carton every year.  But after a few small glasses, I'm sort of over the richness.  And I drink it half nog, half skim or almond milk. 

So instead of pitching the rest of the carton, I decided to combine it with my new dessert obsession.  Rice pudding.  Have you ever made rice pudding?  So easy.  Sort of time consuming and you need to be in the general area to make sure nothing burns.  But it is not at all complicated.  I usually make it fat free with skim or low fat with almond milk.  This recipe is neither of those.  Just being honest.  But OMG the fat is sooo worth it because it is crazy creamy and flavorful!  I served it to someone who claims he hates eggnog.  He ate an entire bowl.  And said it just tasted like eggy pudding.  So I guess that was a good thing.




Ingredients:
* 2 cups eggnog
* 1 cup water
* 1 1/2 cups other milk
* 1 cup rice
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup rasins
* 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:
* Combine eggnog, water, milk, rice and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer on med-low.  Cook until rice is just tender (about 25 mins.).  Stir now and then to make sure the rice doesn't burn on the bottom.
* Add sugar, vanilla and rasins.  Continue cooking about 10 mins until pudding thickens.
* Add cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir to incorporate.  Serve warm or refrigerate a few hours to serve cold.  It's even more amazing with fresh whipped cream but I (fortunately) had none on hand. 




It's a very simple treat.  But it's just one of those retro comfort foods that will forever make you grin. 

**A note on the liquids.  You can substitute any combination.  Omit the eggnog and use all milk.  Use more or no water at all.  Can't drink cow's milk?  Use almond or soy (bleh- I seriously do not know why anyone likes it but I know you do so go ahead and use it if you like it) or coconut milk or whatever else you like.  Very easy to make it dairy free and it is naturally gluten free. If you omit the eggnog, it is also egg free.

**Also, I made a huge batch because I like it.  But you can certainly half or third it if you just want a small bit on hand.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Details

Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments on yesterday's post!  I am so touched.  And excited. 

So let me give you the skinny.  This all started in the fall when B (that stands for bench) talked me up to her boss.  They asked for samples and from there, an order was placed.  But there were stipulations.  Everything has to be made in the USA to be sold in the Senate gift shop.  I use Carters and Gerber onesies most of the time.  So I turned to y'all after I realized both were made in Asia.  That was a funny day because even though I talked about how they were made in Asia and I needed America, I got TONS of emails and comments to go to Target and buy Carters and Gerber.  Seriously every time I read that, I laughed.  Yes blog friends, nearly everything you use is made in Asia.  Gerber was a given as it's not even an American brand parent company.  But y'all know that Ralph Lauren, Gap and Lilly Pulitzer are all compliments of the continent of Asia, right?  I challenge you to find more than a dozen things in your closet that are made in our own country.  The only onesies I could find that fits my needs (as in I needed a few dozen and not 2000) were from American Apparel.  Not a company I know much about other than they are made in the great USA and they have provocative marketing campaigns.  The prices are at least six times higher than Carters/Gerber though.  And the quality.  OMG I was shocked and rather upset when I  finally got the order in my hands.  The fabric was nice, I will give them that much credit.  But the design quality was disappointing.  The arms and pretty much everything were all wonky crooked.  Even the tags were crooked.  For the price and effort and time it took to ship them to me, I was frustrated.  But I had to make the best of it so I used what I had and tried hard to fix what mistakes I could.  I've not heard any complaints from the Hill so I guess they think they look OK.  But you likely know me well enough by not to assume correctly that I have been obsessing over this glitch for a month now!

Now Blogger is making my life difficult.  Again.  It only lets me upload one photo at a time.  So I have to save my post and then go to edit posts and upload one more and do it all over again.  Is anyone else having this new issue with Blogger too?  I swear if it's not one thing, it's another.  Hmph.

So here's what you saw in the photo yesterday...  (I know these onesies are Gerber- they were the samples.)


For all the future Senators.


Classic stars.


This is my favorite bib.  I think I just love the simplicity and colors.


Dressed in style even while eating mushy food!


Very all-American.


These were the bane of my existence for a few days.  For a variety of reasons that would bore you to no end, but I shed a tear or two making these babies.


But by the time I got around to adding the ruffle butt to the above star onesie, I was happy again.  Because who can't be cheerful looking at a baby ruffle booty?!


So that's what can now be found in our Nation's Capital.  Nothing earth-shattering but I am still pretty stinkin' proud.  A really nice up-note way to end my year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Official!

It's official!  The big BIG project that I was working on for so long but said nothing about for fear of jinxing my luck was an order to be sold in the United States Senate Gift Shop! 

B (that stands for bench) was the mastermind of this plan and worked her magic as my Pink Croc Pimp to make this happen.  It was not a fast process but it is over and there and I am crossing my fingers that things look OK.  And I owe it all to B (that stands for bench)!  She is such an incredible friend and I know that I am very blessed to have her on my team in life!

She just sent me this photo.  I made all of that with my two little hands!  The onesies...are all American Made.  Anyone remember me asking about that waaay back in the fall?  More on that commentary coming soon.




More details on what I sent with photos coming soon.  But I was too excited not to share this news immediately.  A VERY BIG day for this little crocodile!!

 




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From Channel One To Oprah Two



The heir of Oprah has been named.  (big bonus points if you like my geeky HP references)  I'm thrilled.  J'adore Mr. Cooper and his handsomness.  And dry humor.  And intelligence.  Not sure how he will maintain his mystery persona while doing a daytime talk show but I am excited to see this all play out.  Everyone knows how powerful a nod from Momma O is in life.

Update:  I didn't mean that he was the actual Oprah replacement.  I don't think there is anyone who will ever properly fill her shoes.  But he's been on her show a lot, as well as on the View (the world's WORST TV show with the worst human beings as the hosts and the worst manners...all five of them....don't get me started on how much I dislike that show!) and Regis and Kelly.  He's filled in for Regis so often, I actually thought he was unofficially auditioning to take over for him.  Momma O loves Anderson though.  And I think his content will come closest to matching hers at the end of the day.  Oh and he is staying on with CNN.  Just adding in a daytime syndicated show too.  Geeze I sound like a stalker but I saw all of this on the new and online news last night, I swear.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just Dip The Chip

I know you've seen them.  And secretly thought, that kind of looks amazingly fabulous.  But people will judge me. 

I've seen chocolate dipped potato chips in fancy food shops for a few years now.  And I always think, I could make that for a fraction of the price.  So I finally did.  I gave some to my dad.  Who looked at me as if I lost my mind.  Two chips later he asked me for more.  I gave some to a group during a meeting.  Same reaction.  They look like a trashy snack.  But the taste makes your embrace the silliness.  Salty and sweet and crunchy and smooth. 

What the heck am I talking about?  Making your own chocolate covered ridged potato chips!

You can buy them at fancy food shops but you can make them in 30 minutes for about $4.  Less if you are skilled at using coupons.

Ingredients:
Ridged potato chips
Bag of good chocolate chips

Directions:
Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler until smooth and fully melted.  Pick out the good chips.  Dip half the chip in the melted chocolate.  Remove excess (I used a small spatula to take off the excess).  Set to dry on lined baking sheet. 

(photos taken with blackberry because camera is broken so excuse the terrible images)








Be careful...it is very very hard to eat just one.

The good news is that they are super fun and easy and gluten free.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update On Not Much

So to bring you up to date on my last big ole whine fest of a post....

My dad flew in and I made him help me fix my favorite fancy pants expensive as all get out for a piece of plastic sewing machine immediately.  I thought we figured it out.  And then I was promptly corrected when I tried to use it a bit later.  I ran over to beg and plead with the sewing machine (and vacuum) repair man.  He was back from the doctor and smoking up a storm as usual so I guess things checked out OK.  He hate hates my other machine and promptly professed that this machine was very fancy.  Yes, it is.  Fancy is a snazzy word for PITA sometimes.  I explained what I had done to fix it and he actually finished fixing it, showed me what he was doing so I could do it myself and then when I asked what I owed him...he said NOTHING!  Holy how nice was that!  I never leave there for under $75, so free and fast felt like the Christmas miracle.  Yeah!

I went with a friend to a very odd holiday party on Saturday.  It was a group she belongs to and I just tagged along for fun.  I was one of the youngest people there.  Just a very odd group of people.  Also, some folks define dressy holiday attire the same way I would define festive hooker attire.  Potato, po-tot-toe, I guess.  Certainly some stellar people watching.  My girlfriend doesn't dance.  Which I find odd considering she was a cheerleader in both high school and college and was also in a sorority.  I, on the other hand, have no shame and will dance my booty off with complete strangers.  That saved the evening for me as I otherwise found it totally random and strange.

Sadie had another seizure on Sunday.  I was in bed actually and heard her and just immediately knew.  I have had a feeling for about a week that I should be on the look-out.  I know this is a strange "talent" but I consider it a blessing that I seem to sense them coming on so often.  I am terrified of her having one with me not there.  But this one was shorter than ever and she didn't even throw up.  She came out of it pretty quickly too.  So while they seem to be coming more frequently, they are lessening in severity.  I don't know if that's good or bad.  Neither does the vet.  But I am very happy that they seem to be less severe.  All that said, have you ever been with someone (human or dog or otherwise) while they are seizing?  It is wretched!  There is absolutely nothing you can do to fix the problem but hold her and pray.  I cannot imagine having a child who suffered from seizures.  Reminds me to say extra prayers for those families!

Love love loving the Sing Off.  Why is this show only on for three short weeks?  OMG it is so great!  And Nick Lachey is such a cutie patootie.  The only negative the show has, and I said this last year too, is the slutty sexy judge Nicole Scherz-something.  The Pussycat Doll.  She is sooo annoying and says the dumbest things.  I hit mute when she starts talking.  I also wish America could vote because I know the results would be different.  The jazz group, while good, is not great.  And my beloved Whiffenpoofs would be in the finals for sure!

Let's just face it, many of us are going to be a little thin in our posting until after the first of the new year. I have one more big order and one medium order to finish and hopefully will have time to finish (er....start) my family gifts. For any friends reading, as usual, you gifts will be late. Truth be told, I might not even start them until the 27th. I'll try but am just being realistic. I have the parts all ready but putting them together and shipping is another story.

Until then, I'm enjoying watching the snow fall a bit tonight.  It's actually colder in Atlanta and Miami than it is here right now.  Not that its exactly warm but it somehow makes us feel better to know it's frigid down south.  Mean, maybe.  But true all the same.

A fabulous yet sort of trashy recipe to be posted soon.  Are you intrigued?  Hehe.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oy!

I have piles of orders I need to sew and ship.  I am waaay behind schedule for every single thing in my life right now.  I have waaaay overcommitted my time.  And waaaay underestimated how much time it takes to do everything. 

So of course that means that not one but BOTH of my sewing machines must stop working properly. When I tried to fix one of them by myself, I couldn't get the damn screw to unscrew.  Not that I knew what I was doing but I knew the problem and figured if I could just get inside the bloody piece of expensive computerized plastic and bits of metal, I could come up with some sort of game plan.  Oh and this expectedly happened after 10PM.  Nothing breaks when the sun is out.  And my dad is out of town so I can't get him to come help me with man fix-it knowledge and tools.  When I went to the sewing machine repair guy today to beg and plead that he just fix it for me as I stood there, instead of taking the usual 1-2 weeks because I didn't even have 1-2 hours, he closed for the day to go to the doctor.  I live in a small city where people actually write notes like that on their doors.  Any other day I would find it amusing that there is a mighty fine line between charming and TMI.  I did what I could with the other machine that isn't working properly either but worked well enough to get through one pile anyway.  As I was cooking dinner, I made something very random and thought y'all would want to see.  Sign of a true blog addict.  You know you do the same thing.  Don't lie.  Anyway, for the bazillionth time my camera (which I have only had a few years and have never so much as scuffed it, let alone dropped it in any way shape or form) starts beeping that the battery is out.  The little tiny plastic tab thingy that holds it it has not done it's job for nearly the entire time I have own the darn thing.  So I open the bottom to push it in yet again and the little tiny plastic tab thingy that holds it in, just pops out.  Totally broken.  It might be fix-able but it will require me to go to a camera repair shop.  And I certainly have zero time for that this week.  And I am definitely not in a position to buy a new camera right now.

Last week I had hit or miss internet service that resulted in a man, whom I am fairly certain was intoxicated, coming to "fix" the unknown problem at nearly 8PM on Friday.  Which was awesome considering he was scheduled to come at 2:30 and I sat there waiting all afternoon.  I brought my phone to the restroom with me because when I scheduled the appointment, the guy said that if I didn't answer their call, they would leave and I would have to make a new appointment.  And a few weeks before that my computer needed to be rescued from crashing just two months after buying it.  Actually, I had my old computer for about 7+ years and never had a major issue.  I've had this one for four months and have had a serious problem every single month.  But every person who sees it likes to tell me it's a great computer.  I'm dying to be sassy enough to ask them to define great.

So the bottom line is that I have been dumped by everything in my house that needs to be plugged into an outlet.  All the electronics in my life have banded together to pick on me.  I'm not sure what I did wrong but I am pretty sure lumps of coal are in my future. 

Cross your finger that my repair guy doesn't have a follow up doctor's appointment today.  My sanity is hanging on my a thread right now.

Oh and remember how I had grand plans to be finished with my Christmas gifts by December first?  Um...while I have purchased components...I have not really started anything.  And I have yet to figure out even one thing to buy my father.  I will be lucky if I have it done by the 23rd at this rate. 

I really need November back.  Not like a do-over.  But a second November.  A bonus November.  One was not nearly enough for me.  This December business is just ridiculous.  It came out of nowhere.  Oy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Might Be Trashy If...

I now own Jeggings. 

I ran to Target last night to buy dog food (seeing as how I was completely out and had to give the dog a breakfast of cookies and other random non-dog food which she of course loved) and a few other essentials.  But my cart steered me towards the pants in the junior section.  You know, where clothing comes sized in odd numbers. Thankfully I also found a pair sized in proper even numbers.  Took the time I didn't have to try them on, and lo and behold...they came home with me.  I still need to try them on again at home.  My mirror tells the truth that store mirrors lie lie lie about.

I had never heard of them until a week or so ago when Gracie Beth mentioned them.  She looked so cute!  I don't know if owning them makes me immature or trashy or what, but I don't care.  They look so much better in boots than my straight leg jeans.  Now to work up the nerve to actually wear them...

I wish they came flannel lined though.  It has been sooo cold up here lately.  Snowing as I type this. 

Back to the grind...

Friday, December 3, 2010

IRL

I am short on time this week.  Again.  But thought it might be fun to share a list of bloggers who are In Real Life friends.  I am always fascinated to find out two bloggers I read regularly are IRL pals.  Though I am not sure why.  But it must reveal something about the bloggers I suppose.  So here we go.

I really do know these girls...

Monogrammed Nest.  Did any of y'all figure out from her comment a while back that she is my cousin-ish?

Buford Betty.  AKA my Bestie.

Parenting In Heels.  My very good pal from high school.

People May Grumble.  Friend AND Stella and Dot consultant.

Bands & Bows.  She's cute and talented

Dr. Blondie.  She's just plain awesome.

Grits In The City.  Not only is she sweet and talented, but she flies on a trapeze too.

Garden State Prep.  Such a doll and I am so happy that our blogs brought us together.

Our Family Blog.  Angie and I became good pals in college.  She's one of the funniest women I know.

I believe that's my complete list.  But if I left anyone off, I am so sorry and just let me know.  These are some of the loveliest girls to call my friends.  I'm a very lucky crocodile!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hobby Lobby

Upstate New Yorkers...did you see the sign that we are getting our very first Hobby Lobby in the old Bon-Ton in Latham?  I am super excited but a bit confused.  Not two stores over is AC Moore and across the street is Michaels.  And 10 minutes away is the big Joann.  So while I think it's fabulous news, I am worried it will leave as soon as it comes.  Walmart is removing nearly their entire craft section and Target has next to nothing, too.  Do we really have the population up here to support three stand alone stores in walking distance of each other? 

So all of that aside, I'm pumped.  I've only been in a Hobby Lobby once when I was visiting Bestie in Atlanta several years ago.  But she swears by the stores.  Do they sell fabric too?  Oooh I hope so.  It would be so nice to have a fabric source in that area too. 

And just to throw it out there one more time, it would be super fun for all you locals who I know are reading (I can see your city in sitereader, my friends!) to come out of hiding.  I'd love love to know who are are, especially if we know each other in real life.  And how fun would it be to get a group of us together for a coffee meet up one of these days? 

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