Sunday, March 31, 2013

Suspended Coffee

I shared this on my Facebook page earlier in the week but it just moved me so much that I am sharing here too.  I plan to ask my favorite local coffee shops if they participate as I pop in there for a cup of joe this coming week.  What a simple way to chose to share a little love and joy.

"We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we're approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter -

'Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended'

They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend:

'What are those 'suspended' coffees ?'

'Wait for it and you will see'

Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers - three for them and four 'suspended'. While I still wonder what's the deal with those 'suspended' coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks

'Do you have a suspended coffee ?'

It's simple - people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal."

Happy Easter

I adore Easter. 

Not only is it the most significant holiday for all Christians, but it also bring in spring.  Or the idea of it anyway. 

The Lord is Risen!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vegetable Lust

Last weekend I popped into the de-pot (aka Home Depot) to pick up a few things in the garden section.  And I was just overwhelmed by the displays of veggie porn in front of me.  So promising.  So colorful.  So indicative of snow melting and sun shining one day in the somewhat near future.

Bulbs of every variety.  Which truth be told, isn't really my thing.  Don't get me wrong, I love flowers.  Especially hydrangea, poppies, dahlias, Gerber daisies and peonies.  But in general, my happy place is in growing food vs. flowers.

My Martha is in on the seed game.  Naturally.  That actually seems like a better fit for her than bath towels.

This display had so many great, unique varieties. 

I think it's fun to see things broken into flavor nationalities such as Italian and Asian.  While all of my purchased seeds this year are from Baker Creek, I am growing several of these varieties.  Such as Asparagus Beans.

And last but not least, even Disney Princesses are getting in on the action.  Disney knows that growing things is cool!

Dear Spring...It's Time

Dear Spring,

I'm waiting.  Impatiently. 

I need to see sunshine and not think it's novel and rare.  I need to not wear a coat.  I need to wear flip flops and sundresses.  I need to stop seeing dirty snow.  Or any snow.  I need to grow and eat tomatoes.

I know I sound whiny and needy.

It's because I am.

Winter has not been kind to me this year.  Emotionally and psychologically, I just really need spring or summer to arrive.

So please...enough is enough.  It's time, little lady, to make your grand entrance here in the North Pole.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bacon Makes It Better

Because I have all but abandoned my coupon blog for the time being (or maybe forever...TBD), I am going to post deals on here once in a while when I find them and think their worth sharing.

So for those local, Price Chopper has Jennie O turkey bacon on sale for $2 this week.  With coupons, you can snag it for just $0.50!  I hoard bacon in my freezer until tomato season, when I eat a BLT or a BLT-ish salad at least once a day. 

Here's the deal...
(1) Jennie O Turkey bacon  reg. $2.79, sale $2
- (1) $0.75/1 Jennie O breakfast meat coupon 3/17 SS
= Out Of Pocket $0.50/each (Price Chopper doubles coupons up to $0.99)
~ Saved 82%

I Am An Ally

And that about sums up my personal sentiments on the topic.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Starbucks At Half Price

Woo doggy...this has been a doozy of a week.  So was last week, but thankfully I had posts prepared.  Notsomuch this week. 

I am pretty much just giving up on this week.  But I promise to come back with real posts soon. 

In the mean time, this popped up in my inbox yesterday and the timing was absolute perfection.  $5 for a $10 Starbucks gift card!  My treat of choice lately.

So go forth and get your coffee on, my friends!  I'm a grande skinny decaf latte with no foam kind of girl.  How 'bout y'all?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I Loathe The New Pinterest Changes!

Why do social media site need to make big changes and mess with my head?!  Pinterest is the latest and it's such a pain in my arse!

Insert old Pinterest.  The screen was pretty easy to read.  And if you were on someone's board, you could go straight to the website where each pin originated.  You could also easily see who re-pined things and hop from board to board.  That was a total highlight for me.  I love finding new boards of pins in a theme that strikes my fancy that minute.

And now.  The new Pinterest.

Larger photos.  I guess that's nice.  I don't know.  The other photos were never an issue for me so I really have zero excitement for the new larger size.  I dislike though how the pins now sort of flow one into the other.  I felt like the old look was cleaner.  You can't easily see who re-pined things and getting to new boards takes extra clicks.  Ain't nobody got time for that, Pinterest!  And I said above, if I was on someone's board before, I could just click the website and it would open up in a new window.  Now, I have to click the pin and then click "website" and that will open in a new window and I then have to back click and scroll down to get back to where I started. 

Why?  Like what the heck is the point of that?

If you are going to roll out some big to do about making changes, they better the eff be improvements. 

Of course, I admit that perhaps there is some user error involved here. And perhaps I am tired. And cranky. Over non Pinterest problems. And perhaps I will get used to it and learn to not let something as silly as a free social media website make me grumpy and grouchy.

But why, Pinterest? Why? Just go back to the good ole days. Like 12 hours ago good ole days.

These changes are dumb!

And that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Community Garden Plot: My Seeds Are Germinating

Well I am officially a community gardener.  I have a small plot in a garden not too far from my home.  I could walk there but if I'm honest, the chance of me ever walking there are slim to none.  I do hope I will at least ride my bike there a bit though.  You know, the bike I got last summer and never rode even once! 

So now that I am officially a community gardener, I need to start planning my plot layout.  And I need to finish starting my seeds too!

As I don't have grow lights (Something I will get next year.  I wanted to make sure I actually liked gardening as much as I have imagined I will all of these years before I went out buying shelves and lights and whatnot.), I have exactly one window where I can grow seeds.  And the weather has not been cooperating. 

Damn North Pole winters!

Slowly but surely, I am seeing signs of life.  Well, in everything except for my eggplants and peppers.  Not a single one of those seeds is growing so far.

Below you see baby artichoke plants!  They take up a lot of space so I will likely only keep a few.  The rest I will use at the food swap and share with friends.

Here's a view of my seed trays.  So far I am seeing growth from purple okra, a few varieties of squash, purple tomatillos, a few crane melon seeds are starting to sprout, heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, a really pretty pink and green heirloom tomato, sweet basil, rainbow chard, kale, artichokes, marigolds, and more!

A fun bonus of going to the official Community Garden Plot sign up was the opportunity to pick from thousands of free seeds.  I could have taken dozens more but as I have already purchase and started so many seeds and I didn't want to be greedy, below is what I took.  Which is still a lot.  I didn't realize I took this many until the next day when I took them out of my bag.

If the fennel is a success, I promise to share with you, Kara!

Most need to be started indoors so that's on my agenda this weekend.  Did I mention that these were all free to me?  Hello fun surprise!

Next up is a before shot of my garden plot.  I need to go measure it so I can start planning the layout and promise to take some decent before shots.  Which I can hopefully compare to an after shot that will be full of tomatoes, artichokes, beans and more!

Swimsuit vs. Sweatpants

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Just Wanted A Somebody


Late Tuesday night, I came home very upset after an incredibly exhausting and stressful meeting.  The meeting was the culmination of about nine months of discussions, hurt feelings, research, hard decisions and shocking realizations. 

Nothing about the meeting went well.  At all.

It was just chaos.  More accurately, it was a cluster {bleep}.

Bad, bad, bad and worse.

My head was spinning and heart racing as the realization of all that just went down set in.  Texting and talking to friends both helped and hurt my cause to calm down.

And then around midnight I realized what I really wanted. 

I wanted a somebody.

I wanted a partner.  Someone to listen to me ramble.  Someone to support me in one of those moments when I let stuff like this consume my world in such a rather obnoxious (and probably unhealthy) way.  And more than anything, I was desperate for someone to just give me a hug and rub my shoulders.

I just wanted a somebody.

Obviously, project I need to accept my lot is life is going swimmingly.  I am so totally not there.  Ugh.

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pinterest Refuses To Do It For Me.

Did you know that no matter how much time you spend holding her hand and telling Pinterest that she's pretty, she will still refuse to do a damn thing for you?

I am loyally pinning recipe after recipe.  And yet, she won't ever come cook them for me.


I am loyally pinning workout tip after workout tip, all promising to make me skinny in like a minute and a half without doing a single sit up or dropping a bead of sweat.  But did you know that one must actually do the workouts?  Like, Pinterest won't just poof make me skinny.


I am loyally pinning house idea after house idea. don't actually own a house.  I assumed Pinterest would buy it or build it for me.  You know what happens when you assume.  What's up with that, Pinterest?!

But even though Pinterest is a total tease and offers nothing but false promises, I still love her.  She's the Chris Brown to my Rhianna.  The court room to my Lindsay Lohan.  The Ben and Jerry's to my freezer.  I should stay away.  It's not healthy for me to pretend at 10 PM that I will really get my arse up early to workout and then make healthy foods and paint my walls six shades of glorious grey.  The entire relationship is full of false promises and seeing what I want to see, instead of anything based in reality.

But I can't stay away.

At 2AM when I have insomnia and toss and turn and can't find anything on TV, she coddles me.  She's like a time sucking hug.  She tells me it will all be fine, after I just pin a few more fantasy gardens to my board.  Sleep is not nearly as important as yet another pin on how to grow the perfect tomato.

Sometimes Pinterest makes me feel less than. 

No house of my own.  And even if I did, the chances of it looking like hers would be slim to none.  I'm too lazy to cook anything fancy.  I seriously eat eggs at least once a week for dinner.  Ditto on a baked potato- you can put anything on that thing and call it dinner.  My dinner parties never looks like hers.  I'm not skinny and too lazy to do anything about it.  My outfits are never that cute.  At least not in the winter.  I am a lay to the z stylist in the winter.  Cable knit Lilly sweater, skinny jeans, and wellies from Target or Sperry.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Pinterest always has the most amazing ensembles and accessories.  She also reads great books and rattles off motivating quotes.  I watch Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. 

And yet...I go back to her time and time again.  She's a black hole of unfinished promises and project ideas I will never attempt.

But she's pretty.

If you're counting... it's one point for Pinterest and zero for KK.

Well played, pretty lady.  Well played.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Love Facebook!

Last week Facebook sucked me back in.  A few months back I put together half of this story, but then, on Friday, it got SO MUCH BETTER.


Childhood friend A is engaged to and living with the baby daddy of mutual childhood friend B.  The baby, in elementary school, lives with childhood friend A and baby daddy part time.  And for a skinny minute, childhood friend A and childhood friend B were all buddy buddy and sharing photos and cheerful comments and love on Facebook.

Then something happened.  I assume between childhood friend B and the baby daddy.  But as a result, the love halted between childhood friends A and B.  Childhood friend A is one of those who shares waaaay too much on Facebook so it takes very little to put this all together.

Childhood friend A is now prego (announced via FB on Fri with all the grace and class one can imagine) with baby daddy of childhood friend B.  Baby daddy was not married to childhood friend B, nor is he married to childhood friend A.  Baby daddy has two other children who he sees rarely, though I do not know the details of that situation.  Nor do I know baby daddy.  Just the two mommas.

I suspect this will play out to my amusement on Facebook.

Normally, I am super annoyed with how much childhood friend A puts on FB.  But this plot twist has me re-thinking my grumpiness. 

Oh as as trailer trash as this all sounds, I should note that all the key players in this game are well educated and financially comfortable. 

And this my friends, is why Facebook sucks me back in, just when I think I am over it altogether.

Garden Dreams Decided

I will find out tonight if I am actually able to get a highly coveted community garden plot!

I've spoken to three different people at the headquarters and all three convos have been odd at best.  All three people initially made it seem like winning the lottery would be more likely to happen than getting into the community garden scene. 

So let's all just hope this pans out for me.  Because I have two seed trays full of starts and I have exactly nowhere to plant them otherwise. 

Here's to banking on my big tomato dreams!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Thankfully for my ever-expanding waistline, we don't have Krispy Kreme stores up here in the North Pole.  It would be mighty hard to say no to a free hot glazed doughnut tomorrow!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Recipe: Mango Sorbet

This is one of my favorite treats.  So easy.  So flexible.  And so delicious.

I call it mango sorbet but I am not sure if that's accurate as I often add dairy.  Sometimes I add coconut milk/cream, depending on what I have on had at any given moment.  But either way, it's probably not a true sorbet. 

Mango Sorbet

* 1 bag frozen mango chunks (any fruit will work)
* 1/2 cup sour cream, yogurt, or coconut cream (I used fat free sour cream here)
* sugar to taste (I used vanilla bean sugar) (other sweeteners will work but I am not a fan of the flavor so I can't speak to it specifically) (sometimes I add half a frozen banana instead of sugar but it obviously changes the flavor to mango banana instead of pure mango)

* Add mango and sour cream into food processor.  Whiz until it turns creamy.
* Taste to decide how much sweetener to add.  Frozen fruit can vary in sweetness.  Sometimes I add nothing and others I need to add a few tablespoons.  Whiz to combine well.
* Serve immediately or keep in freezer.  If you keep it in the freezer, let it warm up a bit on the counter before you serve it as it will harden in the freezer.

Great Gift Idea

These little thermal totes are on sale right now on One Kings Lane.  I gave several of these away as Christmas gifts this year.  They are awesome when bringing a dish to meetings and parties.  They keep everything warm (or cold) and have a handy handle.  I'm a big fan and think they make GREAT gift ideas. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tory Burch Bangle Love

I'm in love with these cute bangles from Tory Burch. 

I'm not normally a bracelet person but these are just screaming, "I would look like perfection on your wrist, even if your wrists are tiny and I will most likely fall off, OK you probably don't need me, but you for sure want me."  Yeah, their chatty little numbers!

When Family Fun Days Are Less Than Fun

Three times in the last two days I have had to explain why I don't attend family events to people I don't know very well.  Not events for my own family.  And not dinner at a friend's home with her family.  I specifically mean events and fundraisers that are for families to attend.  Where everyone attending will be in a family unit.  Except me.

I avoid them like the plague.  I just don't do family fun days or family bowling events or park play dates for the whole family or family apple picking or any of that jazz.

And I used to feel a lot of guilt about it.  Now I am down to a more manageable amount of guilt.

I want a family.  I can't have a family.  I have not yet accepted this and am currently very heartbroken over the matter.  Salt in wounds doesn't improve things for me.  So I stick to non family specific events.

I am bringing this up not because I need support to justify my decisions.  But because my "group" is so often over-looked.  The 30-something who just might be single forever.  And as a result, insensitive comments abound.

Listen, I'm working on my issues.  I know that I need to come to a place of acceptance.  This is my lot.  I am trying hard to make progress.  But not everyone is in a place of realizing she needs to accept her lack of a family. 

So when you tell her she is being ridiculous, needs to get over it, or needs to be patient, it hurts.  When you tell her that you know someone who got married in her 60's, she wants to die a little inside.  When you tell her you would never have kids after age 34 or 35, she probably sheds a tear right there with you overlooking it.  When you tell her that life is so much more fun without a husband and kids and then look at your watch to see if it's time to go home to your husband and kids, it cuts her to the core

It's not about jealously, though that's certainly there a little bit on dark days.  It's not about setting the bar too high, either.  Though I also get that we don't all receive the same blessings.   

99% of the time I do not sit around and wallow about what I don't have.  But in great part, it's because I take care to avoid salty wound situations. 

My point is that everyone has a story.  So if someone tells you she isn't comfortable attending an event, good golly, just leave it at that.  Just because you don't understand or agree with her reasons, doesn't make them invalid. 

Duck Dynasty: The Before And After

Duck Dynasty is a total guilty pleasure for me.  Si and Jase never fail to crack me up.  I hope a reality show doesn't destroy this family the way it has destroyed every other family in the history of reality shows.  They're so sweet and I just love how they enjoy being around each other.

All Beard, All The Time.

Willie's Family Before.

And After.

My Favorite, Si, Before And After.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Use The Plastic Dome Lid On Seed Starting Trays

I mentioned yesterday that I learned lots of lessons just in the week since starting my seeds.

The biggest so far is that you SHOULD NOT USE THE PLASTIC DOME LID THAT COMES WITH YOUR SEED STARTING TRAY.  Because it creates the most optimal environment for mold to grow.  Mold kills your healthy seeds and starts.  So unless your goal is mold growing instead of seed/plant growing, learn from my mistake.  Leave the lids off.

In addition, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of all of your soil pots.  Cinnamon has natural properties that repel disease.  In fact, it's so awesome that I was able to kill off nearly all of the mold with cinnamon.  And as a bonus, it makes everything in that room smelly delicious.

When I first found the mold, I got online and found that cinnamon was a simple way to treat it.  I took off the dome lids, sprinkled cinnamon and left off the dome lids.  In two days, the mold is about 90% gone!  In the future, I will add the cinnamon right from the beginning!

In the photo below, the mold is in the bottom center of the soil pot in the center top.  I looks like a white spider.  But this is two days after I treated it with cinnamon so I don't have a pic of what it looked like in the beginning.

And now ... my seedlings are starting to sprout.  The cinnamon and the dome removal to air things out really helped matters tremendously!

Just look at my little babies growing!  I think these are broccoli.  Mmmm!

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and artichokes, oh my!


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