Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy 109th Birthday, Alpha Gamma Delta!

Happy 109th birthday to one of the biggest pieces of my heart.  

And a huge thank you to the 11 beautiful women who were so brave and forward-thinking to found my amazing Alpha Gamma Delta!  You changed my life and the lives of women everywhere.  I'm so proud to be a part of your legacy!

A the Alpha Gams...the greatest girls I know!

Smocking And Ruffles And Lilly On Sale

Love love love this!

Be still my beating heart!  Smocking and ruffles as far as the eye can see are on sale right now at Zulily!!  I need a baby to dress up in all this cuteness!

Every girl needs a tea party dress!

Cozy Coupe + Smocking = Perfect Preppy Boy Outfit!

Dino bubble!

Sail away with me!

You are my sunshine!


How cute would these be with a t-shirt this summer?!

I can't decide if this is obnoxious cute or obnoxious obnoxious.  But it made me smile!



If you didn't pop over already, make sure you check on the Lilly Pulitzer sale on Ruelala today!  I picked up a cute (I hope- it's a style I've never worn before) dress.  Yay for summer finally, officially arriving!

Tutorial: How To Build A Squash (Or Melon Or Bean) House Out Of Wood Pallets

 This is what I fondly call my squash house.

Actually, I was calling it a squash melon structure.  Which has absolutely zero ring to it.  I sent a pic to my friend Michele (and everyone else I know because I was so sure they would be just as excited as I was to see my creation) and she referred to it a as a squash house.  A far cuter name.  So it stuck!

The idea is that it will save ground space in your garden.  Which is at a premium for me in my teeny tiny community garden allotment.  Small to medium sized squash and melons (or possibly larger ones too if you take care to fashion them a harness of some sort) can grow vertically up the structure instead of all over the ground.  In addition to saving you ground space, it should also help protect your fruit from rotting, which happen when sitting on wet ground, and being eaten by pests.  Though it's not at all fool proof, the good idea is worth a try!

It is also incredibly cheap and easy to make.

I found my wood pallets in various alleys for free (I live in a city with alleys between homes and buildings- that's typically where you park/enter your home.).  They are not heat treated- you will need to purchase those if that's a concern.  But as I am not growing anything IN the pallets and rather just using them as a sturdy structure, that was not at all a concern for me.  So mine were FREE!

You will also need two hinges.  I re-used mine from something else (a project that I no longer used) so they were FREE for me too.  But they are very inexpensive in any hardware store.  And two scrap pieces of wood.  Which my dad had around so they were also FREE.

Even if you had to pay for everything though, I can't imagine this project running you more than $10-15.  No fancy materials were used.

First you need to decide which sides of the pallets you want facing out and up.  Then lay them on the ground, right sides down, with up ends together.  So the sides that you want facing out will be touching the ground and the sides facing in will be looking up at the sky.  And the ends you want facing up- so the top of the A that will be hinged together- will be touching.

Now you can attach your hinges.  Just line them up and screw them in place.  I didn't bother worrying about the screws sticking out but you can certainly do this much nicer than me.  I just did it quick and dirty with what I had on hand!

Next (and this part helps if you have two people), carefully fold over one side and set your structure upright and in place.  Carefully adjust it to the desired opening (I wanted mine to be rather skinny as to take up as little space as possible).  Then nail in the two scrap pieces of wood as side bars to help stabilize the structure.  This will ensure that the A doesn't fall down and become ___ on the ground.

Now all you have left to do is plant your squash, melons or beans and let them go to town this summer!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Community Garden Plot Update: Weeds-Be-Gone

I know this doesn't look like much.  But oh my word, I have never been so proud of dirt in my entire life!  It was HARD work to get to this point!

This is what my allotment looked like on Day 1: Weed Heaven.  My plot is between the two wooden stakes and then from there to the fence.

And this was after hours of weeding.  Not complete but this felt like a huge step.

So you can see...I worked really hard.  Many of the weeds had roots that were 12" (or more) deep.  Dandelions are a Bitch!  It took two people a lot of back-breaking hours to dig up this 10' x 24' parcel of land.

I know it's hard to see but if you compare the fence line in the photo above to the fence line in the photo below, you can see a huge difference.  The weeds along the fence are amazing in strength.  I spent 5 minutes trying to pull one up today and the weed totally won.  It's still there.  But I took the piles of decaying weeds (shown above but they were much more decayed) and layered them on top of the weeds that were impossible to pull by the fence.  In an effort to build up my soil.

That space is pretty much unusable this year.  Because in addition to weeds, it is FULL of ROCKS, too!  A house once stood on this site.  The soil is full of rocks and bricks.  It's awesome!  So I'm not planting anything along the fence line this year.  I will just do my best to maintain it this summer and then amend it more over the fall and winter months in prep for next year (that is...if I survive this year).  Instead, I have it planned out to allow large squash and melons to use that space to spread out.  Hopefully that will aid in shading out more weeds, too.

The onion (I think it's onion...unless it's garlic...which would send me over the moon in excitement) clump you see is the only non-weed treat in my garden left by the previous occupant.  It's right in the middle of my planned walkway but whatever.  I'll just step over and around it.  Behind it (so towards the fence), you can see several melons and squash.  They are planted a little close together but that's because I am banking on a few not surviving (This ain't my first trip to the rodeo...I'm amazing at having plants die the day after I proclaim them to be strong and healthy.) and them also using that unusable space of weedy rocks to spread out.

The prize piece (so far) is my squash house.  An A-frame structure made of two found wood pallets that were hinged together.  I am growing several varieties of squash and melons that are very small.  So they are perfect for climbing as the fruit isn't terribly heavy.  At the moment it feels like I've sacrificed a lot of valuable space for this thing, but as long as the plants survive and grow, it should prove to be a great space saver.  The plants won't have to sprawl all over the ground.  Which not only saves space but also keeps the fruits from being quite as vulnerable to rot and pests.  (Though last year I grew these same varieties up a trellis and the squirrels ate all but two tiny it's not fool all.)

Here's hoping round two of the rains this week won't drown these babies!  I've been growing them since the last week in February.  And I again recognize that they are tight.  But I am expecting a few to die.  It always happens.  It will work itself out in the end.  I hope!

Now a confession.

I'm nervous!

You fellow gardeners are all growing in a similar style.  Very traditional rows with these deep ditches between each row (for the life of me I can't figure out what the deep ditches do).  And I have my garden planned in a more square foot gardening method.  (I'll be sure to take a photo soon so you can see the difference.)  I'm super nervous that my differences will be off-putting.  There are lists of rules about keeping your plot up to standards.  And you can get in trouble (sort of like earning demerits and fines) if you don't keep things just so.

So while I am excited as can be over my trash-to-treasure squash house...I am on edge waiting for an email telling me it has to go. (I have no plan B by the if I am told it's not allowed to stay because they think it's solution will obviously be to just cry.)  I don't know these people and am just not sure what they will think of my against the grain ways.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Head's Up...Lilly Pulitzer Sale This Week

Lilly Pulitzer Sale

Head's up, preps!  Lilly Pulitzer is on sale at Ruelala this Thursday.  Both women and girls.  I also noticed that Vera Bradley will go on sale Wednesday.  Yay for summer sales!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Canning And Preserving Goals This Year

With summer finally upon us, I am thinking about two things right now.  Gardening and preserving my harvest.  {Dear God, please after all this work that began in January, let there be a decent harvest!}

I thought it might be fun to set some actual goals this year for what I hope to can and preserve.  I have no idea if I will be able to make any of this possible but it's going to be fun trying.  Life is about the journey, right?

Canning Goals:
* 18 jars of tomato sauce
* 12 small jars tomato jam and/or ketchup
* several jars of tomatillo salsa
* lots of fun pickles - onions, beets, green beans, etc...
* lots of fun jam recipes - including more strawberry chipotle jam

Preserving Goals:
* Freeze tomatoes
* Freeze beans
* Freeze veggies - including greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peppers, and if I get any, ground cherries
* Cold storage veggies - including onions, carrots, parsnips, pumpkins and if I grow them, potatoes

good source

Now you should know that a lot of what I can, I give away.  Either as gifts (Christmas, hostess, just happy because, ...) or during food swaps.

But if I am lucky enough to have a tomato glut to can that much tomato sauce, I plan to hoard it all for myself.  Holy selfish!  But that's my plan.  Because I use tomato sauce all the time.  So why not attempt to use my own this coming year?

Oh might point out that I've never actually made a single jar of tomato sauce.  Whatev.  Details.  This is just the goal.  And if I don't succeed....well I am going to assume there will be lessons along the way.  And God-willing, laughter too!

Of all the things I am growing, the two wild cards are the ground cherries and the artichokes.  I'm Zone 5B if anyone has tips to share.

Do you have any gardening or preserving goals this summer?  Have you ever tried canning?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Free Samples Of Essie And John Frieda

Right now you can snag a free sample of both of these products here.  I love a surprise happy in the mailbox!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's A Bird. It's A Plane. It's A Bird In My Plane.

Last Wednesday, I arrived at the airport of a quick flight down to my favorite city in our fine country, Washington DC.  I had the sincere honor to go on behalf of my Junior League as our delegate to the AJLI Annual Conference (I am the President Elect this coming year).

So we are about to board the US Airways plane and I am chatting it up with the guy sitting next to me when the ticketing agent announces that we should sit back down because there seems to be a small bird stuck in the engine.


So we wait.  The announcement suggested it would be about 15 minutes.  No biggie.

Then the agent gets an update and makes a second announcement.  The sparrow-like bird is good and stuck in there, will be a bit longer.  But they are working on it.

And this is when I first start to notice Khaki Man.

There's always one.  In every airport story.  And in this story, his name shall forever be Khaki Man (though other passengers took to calling him Blue Shirt Man....he sparked many conversations).

Middle aged.  Blends in.  Normal looking.  But every. single. time. an announcement was made, he would run up to the agent and ask for more information.  Like seconds after the agent would get done telling us every ounce of information he has, this guy was on the scene to demand more.

This agent works inside.  He wasn't the team working on and in the engine.  He didn't see the bird in person.  He has no control over Mother Nature.  He doesn't fly the plane.  He doesn't even fly as staff on the plane.  He stands inside and shares information as it comes to him.

None of which satisfied Khaki Man.  He wanted to know every four minutes on the dot how and when he was going to get down to DC.

So back to the bird.

Like all grew.  It started out nondescript.  Then became "sparrow-like" and eventually we were told it was "hawk-like."  But I'm fairly certain it was an ostrich.  Or Big Bird.

Do you want to know how long it took to get Big Bird out of my plane's engine?

Well...I do too!

I'll tell you this much.  Three hours, two on-sight mechanics and an unknown number of on-call mechanics and engineers did not cut it.  They had to tow that bird-filled-plane wherever they tow planes.  A hanger?

If the guy next to me and I had made a drinking game out of Khaki Man freak outs, I would have been dead at the end of those three hours.  Khaki Man really made a name for himself that day.  That ticketing agent was an absolute saint - so patient and calm and nice to everyone (read: crazy Khaki Man).

The story gets stranger though.

So all of a sudden some other guy from the airline gets on the speaker and is clearly unhappy.  He announces that he had nothing to do with this decision (ooooh....things were getting juicy) but politics were coming into play (uh huh....I'm have my undivided gossip seeking attention).  The flight staff from my DC bound plane was more important than the staff from the about to leave Charlotte, NC bound plane.  Because after DC, they were headed somewhere else that was most important to keep airport business flowing.  So even though my DC bound plane was now grounded due to bird flu (or whatever), we (really just the flight crew....screw the passengers) were more important than the Charlotte bound peeps.  We were seizing their plane!

So even though the Charlotte peeps were about to get on the plane, off came their flight crew.  And our flight crew came off our plane, walked across the airport and boarded their plane.  The Charlotte peeps were not going anywhere until the next morning!

We literally stole their plane!

As if we were Bloods and Crypts, we all got up and switched sides.  DC moved to the Charlotte side and Charlotte moved to the DC side.  20 minutes later, I was boarding their plane.

The nice guy I was chatting with for so long had to get a hotel for the night.  DC was not his final destination and the Bird Hostage Crisis 2013 caused him to miss his connection.  He would miss them all for the night.  I felt so badly for him as this was his first vacation in six years.

I made it safely to DC and checked in just in time to order room service and fall asleep.

But y'all...who knew a bird could cause such a ruckus?!  It took down one plane and created quite a scene when the DC peeps overthrew the Charlotte peeps.

All because of a bird.

Further solidifying my dislike of birds (chickens and penguins being the exception).

And for sure to read up on the last time I went on a trip for the Junior League.  I don't know which story is more insane!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Five Of My Favorite Blogs

I love blogging.  It is truly such a joy in my life.  Seven years and counting for this little peach!  But the largest reason I love it so dearly is because of the sweet women I have met along the way.  I told you here how I started blogging.  And I often mention that my Bestie has a blog.  But today I am going to share five of my current favorite reads.  I have so many more on my must read list so this is just a little sampling.

Katie.  I love this girl!  If I ever decide to move to Colorado (I do talk about that frequently with Little), I swear we will become besties and walk the dogs together.  She's sweet and honest and down to earth.

MCW.  I live vicariously though MCW.  She has the absolute best dating stories.  And she fills every minute of her weekends with fun activities.  She is so great at taking advantage of life's opportunities- large and small.  I want to do so much more of that in life!

Mavis.  If you are into gardening and sassy writing...go read Mavis' blog!  She has chickens and a dog named Lucy.  Plus she grew 2000 lbs of food last year in her large suburban backyard.

The Sammons Family.  I follow a lot of adoption bloggers.  And stumbled upon Mary's blog after they brought Lexi home.  Right now they are fighting for the life of sweet little Ivy Joy who has had five or six open heart surgeries since coming home a year ago.  I am fascinated by their journey and while the blog posts are not daily, they are well-worth reading.

Mermaid.  I've read her blog since her earliest days.  I've had the joy to follow her journey to motherhood.  Plus she frequents my old neighborhood on the Hill, which always makes me smile.  Her blog is private but trust me when I tell you she is adorable and very fun to read.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My First Taste Of Champagne. At The Ripe Old Age Of Four.

Florida and I grew up in a very special neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale.  We lived next door as young children and did everything together.  Our parents were best friends so we became best friends at birth.  Or at her birth, when I was all of 10 months old.  She is the mother of my Godchildren.  She is my sister.  Even today, nearly 35 years later.

Around age four, her our aunt invited us down for a special lunch.  She lived at the end of the block and our parents let us walk there on our own (times were different and they could see us the entire walk).  It was a big deal for us.  I very vividly remember feeling very grown up and adult!

Aunt SuSu is over the top and lives a very different lifestyle than the one we knew.  So when we got to her house, she lead us to the table on the porch outfitted to the nines.  Fine china and sterling silver.  Her son, who was a young teen at the time, was our waiter.  White towel over the arm and whatnot.  Very formal.  Especially given our age.

I have no memory of the meal but I'm sure I enjoyed it.  I've always loved food.  What I do remember is that it included champagne.  Our first taste of champagne...unbeknownst to our parents.

But we were kids at the end of the day, despite the formal lunch with a champagne toast.  So after lunch, when it was low tide, we climbed down off the dock to look for treasures (and crabs) brought in from the sea via the Intercoastal waterways.  We were into trash to treasure decades before it was a catch phrase!

This is one of my favorite childhood memories for several reasons but the older I get, I love it most for it's absurdity.  What were any of these adults thinking letting babies walk down the street on their own, eat lunch with a loved but crazy Aunt SuSu, drink alcohol and then play under a dock in the water?  I think it's all quite hilarious because as precious as the memory is, I would never allow my fictional children to do that!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Overcoming My Lot In Life

Today's post challenge is to discuss something difficult about your lot in life and how you are working to overcome it.  Which I feel like y'all might be exhausted from reading.  I write about this stuff a lot.  But I'm also out of town and like the cheat list of topics this week.

So I am going to go back to bullet point it...

  • I have a mother who never wanted to be a mother.
  • I was always aware of that fact.
  • She didn’t even want to be a part of a family.  Hers, ours, anyone’s.
  • She married Satan. 
  • He was extremely abusive to her and the children.
  • She repeatedly told me that despite the abuse, she would never choose me over him.
  • And she didn’t.  So she’s not a liar.
  • My goal in life is to keep the peace.  There is a direct connection between this behavior and how we had to live in Satan’s house.
  • I struggle to feel worthy. 
  • It’s only been within the last few years that I truly realized that my best friends, some since birth, really do just love me for me and there is no need to attempt to impress.
  • Which is great because trying to impress someone is exhausting.
  • For years I worked on forgiving my mother.  And I believe I have. 
  • But I still have sadness.  I would give anything to know a mother’s love for just one hour. 
  • But that sadness isn’t omnipresent.  It doesn’t consume my life. 
  • Currently I am working on letting go.  Letting go of that dream to know her love.
  • Letting go in general does not come naturally to me.

And there you go.  My lot in life and what I am doing to overcome it.  Nothing you haven't heard before.  But it's all pretty important to me and something I struggle with/work on (depending on the day) rather often.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BBQ Pork On A Sweet Potato

I've been seeing similar meals floating around Pinterest for a while now but when I saw it on How Now Brown Cow last week, I just knew I needed to make this my dinner.  Y' was sooo good!

BBQ Pulled Pork on a Sweet Potato

* BBQ pulled pork (I bought it pre-made but of course your favorite recipe is even better)
* Giant sweet potato
* Sour cream of choice
* Spinach (or broccoli would be good too)

* Bake your potato as you see fit.  I wash, cut spots, prick with a fork, and pop in the microwave.  But if you are an oven potato baker...knock your socks off.
* Heat pork up.
* Steam veggies.  Again...I used the microwave.  This is great for leftovers!
* Top your split potato with pork, sour cream, and veggies.  I didn't use butter but of course, you certainly could.
* It's as easy as can be and very filling!  The potato and pork worked really well together.  It was a great alternative to a sandwich bun and french fries.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

10 Things That Make Me Really Happy

1. My dog.  Sadie isn't my pet.  She is my fur baby.  The love of my life.  I never ever look at her and feel anything other than pure, overflowing love.

This is the same child I almost killed.

2. My Godbabies.  Godson and Goddaughter just light me up.  I force their mother to send me videos of them every so often and to hear their voices...oh I just melt!  Godson saying "we love you Auntie KK" puts a smile on my face for days.

3. My sisters.  I was blessed to grow up with Florida and her our two younger sisters.  I only see them about once, maybe twice if I am lucky, each year.  But they make me laugh a year's worth of laughter in just one weekend.

4. Sunshine.  When I was a kid growing up in South Florida, my aunt would come visit from here, in the North Pole Upstate NY.  And every single year, she would extend her stay at least twice.  She would say, "I just need two more weeks of sunshine."  And every time she said that, I was baffled.  There was only one sunshine for the entire globe, right?  We lived on the same coast.  So if it was sunny in Fort Lauderdale, wasn't it sunny at her house?  Then I moved up here.  And now....I get it!  We can go 20 or more days without ever seeing a ray of sunshine.  You know you are sinking low when you get a few 20 minute spells of sun and consider it a good day.  So when we get truly sunny days....I am different.  I'm lighter.  I will stand outside on the back deck with my face up and eyes closed and arms wide to very literally and physically soak in the sunshine.


5. Garden planning.  Or perhaps garden dreaming is more appropriate.  I don't have dreams of living on acres of land.  But a yard big enough to have chickens and bees and a few fruit trees, plus some raised beds too, brings pure joy.  One day.  One day!

6. Writing.  Not writing anything at any time.  But when I get in the zone, I find such happiness in writing.  I always have.  Hence the blog!

7. Hand writing.  This is a weird one but sometimes I just take a blank piece of paper (Have I ever mentioned I don't like lined paper?  I could do an entire post about my writing quirks.) and an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie (In that post it would include my very very specific pen taste.) and just write.  I don't doodle and draw.  I write whatever.  A word I just read that I decide for a moment I need to see written out, baby names, plants, cities, friends, and any other variety of nothings.  I will fill up the entire page with this nothingness.  I just like to see things written in my own handwriting sometimes.  Then I throw the paper out.  Because it truly means nothing.  It's the physical action of writing and then seeing it I think.  Weird...right?

8. Friends.  I know everyone has great friends.  But I have THE BEST friends in my life.  God has really gifted me with the most precious women in the world to love me like family, share laughter, and support each other.  I have struck gold in the friend department.  Y'all know Bestie, right?


9. Volunteering.  True that if often brings a huge amount of frustration to my life.  But part of that is because I allow that to happen.  On the whole though, it is a passion instilled in me by my father at a young age.  I love being a part of a group and working in our community.  Joy, joy, joy!

Sweet Potato Salad With Bacon

10. Food.  I love food.  Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.  Artichokes, asparagus, sweet potatoes and lemons.  Tomatoes, tomatoes and tomatoes.  Sweet treats and savory treats and the Target brand potato chips.  Chicken salad...oh how I love chicken salad.  And potato salad!  Pecans and pistachios.  And my apple pie.  Food is a love language in my family.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Crazy Coupon Freebies And Deals

This is sort of too odd not to share.  These are the answers to yesterday's quiz, which I am sure you have been waiting with baited breath to read.

So my local grocery store, Price Chopper, had a coupon for a free heart-shaped cake that was good for use yesterday only.  I don't like cake.  And I don't normally grocery shop on Sunday.  But this is a crazy week for me so yesterday was my only option to shop.  And since I printed off the coupon and love free things....I totally came home with a heart shaped chocolate cake.  For free.

I gave it to my dad.  Who doesn't swoon for cake either, but does love frosting.  As usual, he got a huge laugh out of my odd freebie.

And since I am bragging....

This cheese is normally $2.50/each.  It was on sale for $1.88.  I used a $0.75/1 coupon that doubled up to $1.50.  So I bought each block of cheese for just $0.38/each.  Nearly an 85% savings!

Cheese freezes so well and that was just an insane price not to pick up two for later use.

So in review...cake was FREE and cheese was $0.38/each!  Hot diggity dog!

Have you picked up any crazy coupon deals lately?  Are you jealous of my free heart-shaped cake?  Ha!

Issue A Public Apology

I am stealing a few topics from here and today we are charged to Issue A Public Apology.

Oh geeze...I should could apologize to the world for so many things.  But we'd be here all day.

* I wear my heart on my sleeve and my emotions on my face.  So say, hypothetically, if you show me your engagement ring and the diamond is in the shape of a heart, no matter how much I try to fake flattery, you can see my true reaction on my face.  The older one gets, the more we are expected to offer up the proper reactions.  And I am oh such a giant work in progress.  I fail.  Often.  But seriously...a diamond in the shape of a sweetheart! mean...hypothetically...not saying that actually happened to me.

* I fight the good fight to the bitter end.  And my apology is that I take is way too personally.  It's not every day I get fired up over things.  But when something comes my way that gets my goat, I can't stop thinking about it.  And talking about it.  And worse...stewing over it.  I have mock conversations.  To myself.  Usually in the shower.  And get myself 400 times more worked up than any normal person.  And I can't let things go.

* But on the other 360 days of the year, I am an absolute pushover.  I have an opinion.  I will voice that opinion.  But when no one else supports it, I will sit back and go with the flow.  My apology is for not speaking louder or with more gusto.  Save for the few times I am really hot and heavy in a topic (see above), I just go with the most popular opinion.  And so often regret it.  Constantly looking back realizing I had the answer all along but never did the right thing is not a healthy way to live.  Don't do that!  People pleasing is not all it's cracked up to be.

* I am snobby.  About dogs vs. cats.  I think dogs are pretty equal to babies.  And I think cats are pointless allergy balls.  As much as I love my dog and understand why you love your dog, you would think I would be equally understanding of someone's love of cats.  But I am not.  Cat love baffles me. About which I am less than shy.  It's so rude of me.

* My eyes wander.  And it bugs people.  I wasn't aware of it until I was out of college.  But it used to drive a boy in my life at the time nuts.  We would be talking and he would say, "look at me!"  I will be mid conversation and then my eyes wander off.  I'm still completely engaged in the conversation.  I don't drift off attention-wise.  But my eyes do.  And people think it's rude.  It is but I honestly don't do it on purpose.  Thanks to that boy I am more aware of it.  So when I catch myself, I try to be extra conscious of it.  But it still happens.  So I am so sorry if I am talking to you and my eyes move around the room.  I know it's not polite.  And I really do try to be conscious of it.  Actually, I am sometimes very self-conscious because of it. But it does still happen.  And I'm really sorry.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Guessing Game

Let's play a game.

Guess how much I paid for these items!  Be reasonable.  I did pay for them.  No stealing involved.

I'll answer you tomorrow.

So guess...

How Do You Feel About Today?

I avoid spending much time on Facebook on Mother's Day.

I don't have a mother who loves me.  And would give anything to experience that for even just one hour.  (I've built it up in my head to be pretty effing amazing.)

I am not a mother.  And would give anything to experience that too.  (I'm no fool- I know motherhood has it's amazing and exhausted in tears on the bathroom floor moments.  But I want them all the same.)

I'm not bitter.  And I do wish all my mom friends a very happy day filled with treats (my friend Angie's seven year old daughter made her a waffle doused with powder sugar...but mistook the flour instead...Angie being the awesome momma she is ate the whole chalky flour thing) and pampering.  But I don't need to rub my own face in it.  So I quietly do other things and wait for Monday to roll around.

Is anyone else not a fan of Mother's Day?  Is this a universal holiday or just something we do in the US?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

How Much Food Can You Buy With $5?

How much food will $5 buy around the world?  This is a short video but really interesting.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Preppy In Just Madras Seersucker


Loving this cute seersucker Carolyn dress from Just Madras.  Love even more the ruffles!  Hello how perfect for summer!

About The Time I Slammed My Godson's Head In the Car Trunk

You read that correctly.  And it really happened.  But I totally forgot to tell you about it because it was just days before Christmas.

This was a year earlier at Godsister's wedding.

The weekend before Christmas, I went down to my hometown for my littlest sister, Yaya's, wedding.  (For the record, she's not technically my sister.  She's bestie Florida's youngest sister.  But I'm like the fourth sister.)  Do you remember me whining about it being just days before Christmas?

After the wedding ended, I drove back with Florida and Godson J, who got his groove on all. night. long!  It was a late but very fun night.  Back at Florida's house, we were getting all of our worldly possessions out of the car.  You know, the clothes we wore earlier in the day before putting on dresses, hangers, make-up, toys for the kids, etc.  We grabbed bags out of the trunk and J started walking towards the house.

But as I was facing the car to close the trunk, Godson J saw something in the trunk and leaned in.  My back was to him though and I didn't see him lean in.  I didn't even see him move toward the car.  I slammed the trunk closed and Florida gasped.  I just slammed the trunk down on my sweet Godbaby's head!

I had no idea what just happened, though.  I heard the crack but I thought I slammed it on J's drum sticks that the drummer gave to him at the end of the night.  I thought the gasp was because I broke one.

{this all took place in the time frame of about five seconds}

She threw bags down and took J in her arms, who was at first shocked and then screaming.

And I still had no idea what just happened.

Florida said something about his head and ran towards the house because it was pitch black outside.  Our other great childhood friend, UC, was inside watching Goddaughter and happens to be a nurse, thankfully!

So I grabbed up all the stuff from the ground that Florida just threw down and ran inside behind them.  The next thing I knew, UC, Florida, Godson and I were all in the small bathroom looking at Godson's perfect blonde locks covered in blood.  Florida is insisting on going to the emergency room, I am handing things to people in an effort to be somewhat helpful and about to throw up over the guilt, Godson is now wimpering instead of screaming, and UC is nursing him up by wiping away the blood to figure out if he needs stitches or a plastic surgeon or all the other things Florida is rattling off.

Florida still wants to take him to the ER.  Godson is now watching cartoons (we moved from the bathroom to the sofa).  UC is offering to do a (as in one) stitch but insisting it's not really necessary because after being in for about five minutes the blood and Godson's tears have stopped.  And I am bawling. more tears.  Godmother who just slammed his perfect baby head in the car....hysterical.

I am great in a crisis, but lose my $h*# once it's over.  The guilt and fear and realization of all that could have happened set in as everyone else in the room was calming down.  How did I not see him at the car next to me?  How could I hurt my precious baby like that?

Mr. Florida came home and the decision was made that Godson did not need medical attention.  Nurse UC was the voice of reason that he was fine (we did make him stay up a while to make sure he was OK). Nurse UC left and eventually we all went to bed.  Me crying myself to sleep.

The next morning, Godson was fine.  I was even more guilt-ridden.  Plus I was tired and emotional because I had to leave later that I was a mess inside.

It was five months ago and I still feel guilty about it almost every day.  I love that child as if he were my own. I get a pit in my stomach every time I think about how I hurt that perfect baby boy!  This will seriously haunt me until he graduates from high school.

He is fine.  He was fine by the next day.  I've seen him in videos and he walks and talks and functions as if it never happened.  It was on the top of his head so any scar is not visible as hair covers it.  So Godson...totally fine.

Godmomma though....totally different story.

But the love was shared the day after Christmas when I came down with the world's most wretched case of double pink eye.  Courtesy of Godson and his pre-school class.  So we're kind of even.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sour Cream Oat And Buckwheat Flour (Gluten Free) Waffles

I am new to waffles.  I do not order them in restaurants because they are always cold about seven seconds after they get to the table.  Total pet peeve.  But a waffle iron came to me on Christmas morning and I have been playing around with it every since.

A few observations...

Not all recipes will be good.  Nor all mixes.  And like everything gluten free, this requires a good bit of experimentation.  Oh and finally, if you are going to take the time to make waffles, double the batch and free the extras.  It's not that making waffles is difficult.  It's actually super simple.  But unless you have a row of waffle irons, it takes a while.  So just like my adventures with cooking rice and chicken, when I make waffles, I make extra to freeze.  They make a great lazy day dinner (or breakfast but you should know me well enough by now to know that I pretty much only eat breakfast foods for dinner...without any rhyme or reason....just because that's how I roll).  I toss them in a low oven, still frozen, right on the metal racks.  If you have a toaster oven, that would probably be better.  But I don't.

This recipe is completely gluten free but I promise no one will know it.  They are sooo light and fluffy and have just a hint of sweetness.  I'd say they are healthy's a waffle.  I mean, they're not horrible.  As far as treats go.  And they have more fiber than most things of this nature.  But you's a waffle.  Don't eat them every day and you will be fine.

Sour Cream Oat and Buckwheat Flour Waffles

* 2 cups oat flour
* 1 cup buckwheat flour
* 2 tbls. ground flax seed
* 1 cup sour cream
* 3 eggs, separated
* 1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
* 1 tsp. baking powder
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 tsp. salt

* Separate eggs.  Whisk egg whites until they are stiff enough to hold a peak.  Set aside.
* Combine wet ingredients.  Add in dry ingredients.  Whisk to ensure no lumps.
* Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites.  Then fold in the remaining egg whites.  Be gentle and fold only until all ingredients are incorporated.
* Cook in waffle iron according to your iron's directions.
* Enjoy!

Extra waffles cooling before getting frozen for later enjoyment.


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