My mom got Arch Rival at a garage sale or consignment shop years ago and I'm still not sure why someone would want to get rid of it. Buy your own set on eBay; you won't regret it.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
My mom got Arch Rival at a garage sale or consignment shop years ago and I'm still not sure why someone would want to get rid of it. Buy your own set on eBay; you won't regret it.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Now, here is what makes Wayne so awesome (This is the back of the envelope of the Christmas card he just sent me.):
Here's a close-up of that stamp.
Ohmigosh, isn't that just so sweet? When I read the stamp (The Christmas Seal People - Season's Greetings - 1988), my heart just about busted in two I was so happy. I want to hang the envelope on my fridge all year round because it's impossible not to smile when you see something like that.
Monday, December 17, 2007
There's less than 12 hours left to vote, but if you want to get in on the fun, visit her blog and vote in the left navigation (and by vote, I mean select the radio button next to Jennifer).
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
P.S. If you know where to find more strands of red wooden bead garland, let me know. I'm looking for at least one more strand. I had to rely on optical illusions to make the garland span the tree this year.
Recipe (yield = 24)
(from The Pampered Chef Fall/Winter 2007 Season's Best Recipe Collection)
Nonstick cooking spray with flour
1 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 T butter (do not use margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray wells of mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Place 2/3 cup of the chocolate chips and butter in microwaveable bowl and microwave until melted.
- Add sugar and egg and mix until blended.
- Add flour, mix just until flour is incorporated.
- Spoon the dough into the muffin pan wells, filling each well about 2/3 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are set (do not over bake).
- Meanwhile, create the chocolate ganache filling. Microwave the cream for 1-2 minutes until it is hot (but not boiling). In a medium mixing bowl, add the cream to the remaining chocolate chips, stirring with a whisk.
- Place the bowl in the freezer for 10-12 minutes to cool the mixture, stirring every five minutes.
- Once the brownies are done, let them cool in the pan for a couple of minutes. Using a tart shaper or your thumbs, indent the middle of the brownies. Use a paring knife to trim around the edges of the brownie cups, then carefully remove them from the pan.
- Spoon the ganache into the brownie cups.
- Let the cups stand until ganache is firm. Enjoy!
NOTES: I let my brownies bake for 15-17 minutes because they were way too gooey otherwise. The brownies were very difficult to remove from the pan (even with trimming around the edges). I ended up banging the pan upside-down on a wire rack. Perhaps spooning them out or using paper baking cups would help. I think the ganache would be extra delicious with bittersweet chocolate chips. I stored my brownie cups in the fridge.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I'm not quite sure what other curtain retailers are out there, so I've just been searching JcPenney mostly and IKEA a little bit. By searching, I mean I've been looking at the same ones over and over again because I can't make up my mind. Here's what I'm considering:
Clockwise from top left, Pompeo Embroidery Coordinates (in peacock blue, not shown), Supreme Antique Satin Back-tab Thermal (in lagoon, shown), Milano Solid Grommet-top Coordinates (in brown, shown), Jewel Tex Grommet-top Thermal (in antique white, not shown)
I keep weighing the pros and cons of each - Will the color be too overwhelming? Should I go with thermal? Is the grommet-top too modern? Is a solid color too boring?
In the words of "my buddy" Trent, "Le sigh."
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Here's what Chad and I ended up doing: We watered down drywall compound to the consistency of pancake batter and then rolled it on the walls with a cheap paint roller. It worked really well, giving the walls a nice even texture! Others seem to think this idea is the cat's meow as well.
Then, we used Behr paint and primer (on the recommendation of Consumer Reports, Becky's blog and my own personal color preference) to finish it off. The color is called Sandstone Cove.
Bonus: Chad also put in all new outlets and switches and convinced me to get a new light fixture. I ended up with a little gem of a chandelier from Lowe's.
It turned out beautiful and delicious. I think it best if it's eaten within a couple days. By day three, the bread had lost some of its luster.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Sorry, Mickey. You're a goner.
Once the print arrives I plan to get a gold frame for it online from American Frame. From what I've researched they seem to be reliable. Can't wait!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Once I hit college, I really started to branch out with my Halloween ensembles. Unbeknownst to me at the time, scary was not, and still is not, "in" for a young 20-something's costume. So, for my first college Halloween party, I went as a scary inmate, complete with teardrop tattoo that I've heard represents you've killed someone. Since then, I've made it my mission to up the (shall we say) girlishness/femininity/cuteness of my costumes. This year, I'm going as a vixen Sherlock Holmes type of detective. Should be a good one. Photos to come!
Here's the past several Halloweens in review.
2003 - Cowgirl, a '60s inspired get-up (some would say I was a flight attendant), and Asian beetle (get it?)
2004 - Construction worker, firefighter (not pictured: knee-high boots, flouncy little skirt and plush dalmatian), and Oriental rug (get it?)
2005 - Road construction worker, UPS delivery girl (my favorite costume of all time! I got a lot of "what can brown do for you?" while I was out), and pirate
2006 - Jem and geisha (that little obi is now a part of my piecemeal coffee table)
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Suds was definitely the star of the weekend. His overall puppy-ness, mild temperament and lovable face caused a lot of baby talk*, empty threats to kidnap him and incessant petting from my house guests and me. He was just so good (except for one minor slip-up when he attempt to poop on a pair of my jeans, but all is forgiven. It had been raining and I just don't think he quite knew how to handle that.) and such a little lover, sleeping on my lap and cuddling up next to my feet. I even started to teach him how to shake. He did quite well, although I think he thinks that a shake is a combination of giving me his paw and licking my hand.
I drove everyone mad with this ridiculous baby talk phrase: "Sudsy-wudsy, pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry. When the boys came out to play, Sudsy-wudsy ran away."
*My friend Kelly is solely responsible for spawning canine baby talk amongst my circle of friends. She pioneered this trend with her dog Foxy, using phrases like, "Hez-wo!" "What chu shink about wife?" "Aww, shank you for da kisshes." Translation: Hello. What do you think about life? Aww, thank you for the kisses.
Friday, October 12, 2007
We'd just left the bar after a night of celebrating the success of our work's annual charity event - the Haunted Tower. Our cars were parked in different directions; mine was only about a block and a half away so I insisted I could go it alone. Well, I hadn't gone more than twenty feet when a well-spoken, bespectacled gentleman in a Carhartt jacket embroidered with the phrase, 'expect the unexpected,' wheeled his bike next to me asking me for funds with a string of sob stories.
- He had a been a college teacher who'd lost his job.
- He'd been working odd lawn care jobs, but those jobs had dwindled recently.
- He has a new job starting on Monday with Remax.
- His car had been taken away (hence the bike), but he would get it back Monday.
- Whilst he'd been roaming around downtown with his bike, some guys had jumped him and broke his jaw.
- He needs to go see an oral surgeon to take care of his jaw.
- He has a cavity on one of his way back molars (which he cleverly pointed out).
- He had been to church and asked forgiveness.
- He hates having to ask people for charity, but he'd fallen on hard times.
- He only has nine dollars in his pocket (again, emphasis on the need for oral surgery)
- His dad has Parkinson's Disease
Three things to note: (1) I tend to be quite jaded, so I wasn't picking up what he was putting down, (2) I tend to be chronically nice to strangers, so I couldn't think of a good escape aside from repeatedly saying, "No, sorry," (3) I didn't know if this was the kind of guy who'd follow me to my car, causing even more trouble, so while he rambled I brainstormed different ways to protect myself (e.g., head back inside, channel the skills of late, great martial arts masters)
Luckily for me, I didn't have to worry about item number 3 above, because just as the teacher was spinning his yarn about his ill father, my coworkers appeared as if out of nowhere and yelled at me to get in the car. I quickly obliged.
I have never been so relieved in my life. Thank you, ladies!
Monday, October 8, 2007
About a month ago, Chad borrowed a ladder from Charley to fix my leaky roof. When he returned the ladder, Charley gave him a jar of homemade pickled peppers in a sign of good will and overall neighborly-ness with the stipulation that we needed to give the jar back. Well, just last week as I finished off the peppers, it hit me - the returning of the jar was my opportunity to win Charley and Gladys over. The way I saw it, if they would appreciate getting their empty jar back, certainly they would appreciate getting a full jar back even more.
So, yesterday, I filled the jar with the fruits of the season: candy corn and peanuts. I even affixed a little thank you label. Then, tonight I laid in wait, clutching the jar, ready to ambush them with kindness. I kept a constant watch, peeping through my blinds every few minutes to see if their lights were on, but alas, there was no sign of life across the street whatsoever. Once I thought I caught a glimmer of something, but it turned out to just be the lights from my house reflecting in their windows. Bummer. Eventually, I gave up my watch for the night, but I haven't given up my quest. I'll return to my post tomorrow night and the day after that and the day after that and so on and so forth - I won't rest until I've returned their jar and succeeded at building that neighborly relationship! :-)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I've been waging a war of words with the army of spiders living in my yard and garage, but it seems to have done little good. When one gets the hint and moves on to greener pastures, another one, double in size comes to replace it. I'm constantly ripping down their webs and trying to will them away, but as you can imagine that doesn't do much either. I know I should just squash them, but the whole idea of killing them makes me squeamish. Gone are the days when I used to chop lazy flies in half with a dull knife (I was eight...and perverse). Now, I can't stand the thought of feeling a little bug go "squish" under my thumb. So, until I get a stronger stomach I guess I'll just keep assaulting the spiders with my verbal battery. Take that!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
1. Perching sparrow (Go)
2. Pink rice paper print (Go)
3. Mini pill canister (Go)
4. Vanity stools from PB Teen (Go)
Monday, September 17, 2007
1. Use the backs of envelopes: I don't think I'll ever buy a pad of paper again. For every bill, junk mail or letter I receive in the mail, I save the envelope and use the reverse side to jot notes or make my grocery list.
2. Take the bus: I use public transportation to get to work, saving several of gallons of gas each week. It's an even better deal since my company pays for my bus pass.
3. Air dry dishes in the dishwasher: Not only do I only run my dishwasher when it is full, I also air dry the dishes. After all, when's the last time a dishwasher got every single item completely dry? Once the dishwasher is finished running, I just open the door, pull out the racks and let the dishes really air dry. If I do this in the morning before I go to work, everything is dry and ready to be put away by the time I get back.
4. Unplugging my cell phone charger: Appliances that are plugged in still suck energy even when they aren't in use. I've heard that the seeminlgy innocuos cell phone charger is one of the worst culprits, so I keep it ungplugged when it's not powering up my phone.
5. Keeping the thermostat in check: In the summer, it's set no lower than the recommended 80 degrees Farenheit and in the winter, it's not higher than 68 degrees. For every one degree, that's plus or minus 1 percent on your energy bill.
6. Recycle: I recycle as many things as I can! Cardboard, glass, plastic, paper, you name it. I even recycle little things like yogurt containers.
7. Turn off the lights: And the computer and the TV when they are not in use. This is something that was drilled into me when I was growing up and it's something I abide by to this day. At work, I cringe knowing I have to leave my computer running over night (company policy) so I make sure to turn off the monitor -- it's at least something.
8. CFLs: I've swapped out the incandescent bulbs for CFLs in all the main light fixtures I use in my house. These bad boys use 30 percent less energy than their incandescent counterparts and last upwards of five years. When I moved from my townhome to my house, I moved the CFLs with me.
9. Turning off the water: When I'm brushing my teeth or shaving my legs, I turn off the water. There is an old Sesame Street cartoon that has stuck with me. It showed a boy who left the water running while he brushed his teeth. The pipe to his sink came directly from a pond that was home to one fish. The longer the water ran, the less water in the pond. When the fish was almost a goner, he finally took matters into his own hands (fins), got on the phone and called the kid to tell him, "DON'T WASTE WATER."
10. Washing my clothes in cold water: I wash almost every single item of clothing in cold water. Most of my clothing items call for this anyway so it's not a hard energy saving stategy to stick to. The challenge is summoning up the courage to line dry my clothes in the summer. It seems this practice has gone by the wayside.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
1. The Honda Passport
I never could seem to balance, steer and accelerate all at once. That inability to multi-task led to a number of incidences. I have: (a) wiped out at the end of my parents lane trying to turn around. (b) gotten hung up on some stubby metal posts and ripped up some of the bike's underbelly. (c) crashed into the barn at an excess of five miles per hour.
2. The riding lawnmower
All in all, I was actually pretty good at operating the riding lawnmower. The only memory sticking out in mind right now is this: I tried to squeeze between a post that held up my parents' clothes line and the cable that anchored that post. I did manage to squeeze through the tight space. I also managed to snap off the top part of the gear shift stick.
3. The baler
Only once was I allowed to operate our hay baler. I had gone to a water park the day before we baled hay and came back with the worst sunburn of my life - complete with lobster red skin, impossible tan lines and blisters. Since I could barely move, I was spared from physical labor and put on the tractor. I wasn't a very good judge of depth, and for every two bales I made into the wagon, I would land one squarely in the field (I'm exaggerating this point a little, but it was definitely more than quite a few bales). Afterwards, my siblings and I had to do even more work driving around the field to pick up the errant bales. Needless to say, I wasn't the one that got to drive - I was picking up bales.
I was spoiled this summer since my brother Brian was around and was more than willing to mow my lawn. Now, that he's back at college, I'm stuck with this miserable chore. For my birthday earlier this summer, Brian gave me a series of coupons. I wonder if this one is still good?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
That little gem saw me safely on many trips to see boyfriends, visit family and start new jobs, but in recent years, its health had been declining. Most visibly, the clear coat was peeling in a number of places, giving my car a splotchy, scorched look and subsequently, keeping me humble. It was with a heavy heart that I let it go. Had it been up to my unmechanically-inclined self, I would have driven it forever. Or at least long enough to let my bank accounts beef up a little after they were depleted from buying my house. But, the timing was right. Just when my dad was getting increasingly nervous about me driving long distances in a car that was past its prime and needed more tune-ups than I cared to pay for, my uncle approached me with the offer to buy his wife's car so they could get a Prius (brats! so jealous.). And so it came to pass. I ended up with a zippy gold Mazda and an 18-year old girl now calls the Taurus her own. Hopefully she'll have as many good memories with it as I did.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Now, prior to Blecky's visit, my spare bedroom-office combo had been acting as the Island of Misfits ("Nobody wants a Charlie-in-the-box!"). All the boxes of odds and ends and any other items I had never gotten around to putting away or didn't feel like putting away ended up there. It boasted a collection of sweaters, shoes, picture frames, luggage and other knick-knacks including a Christmas stocking and some old face paint I'd used to transform myself into a geisha last Halloween. Once I put my mind to clearing out the room, the work went relatively quickly. I even had time to arrange my books by color on the bookshelf. After most of the items were put away, I shoved the rest of the boxes against a wall and called it, "good enough". And the space I'd cleared was good enough. Blecky was able to get their air mattress filled up with no problem (I still need to get an extra bed). Actually, I just need to get all new furniture for that room. All the pieces in it are leftovers from my illustrious college career and have all seen better days, but not many, though, because I think the furniture was pretty crappy when I originally got it from Pamida. Ahh, nothing quite brings style to a room like a matching particle board desk and bookcase.