Wednesday, December 30, 2009

from the old to the new...

my poor truck after sliding into a light pole on christmas eve eve... you can't see the V8 anymore, it looks more like a checkmark...
and here's the replacement, a Hemi V8 - even more power :)
i know it looks like a short bed but it's really 6 foot, i promise!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

O Tannenboing, O Tannenboing...

another random blog find: the tannenboing, retail price $795.00 + $75 shipping which is currently being covered by the website but still, $795.00 for a tree which, while happily sustanable and eco-friendly, large & modern looking does remind me of the paper trees children make in school and much more reminds me of something my cat would try to climb and the dog would try to jump through to get to the cat hiding behind it if the cost was more reasonable i may be tempted to try it.. might be, might not

again with the ugly shoes...

...or maybe it's just her toes that look weird in them i found this on a blog i've never visited but it was referenced from a crafter's blog.. they did a feature on his woman's closet, 10 of her best outfits and i noticed several pair of shoes i'd never wear, maybe they're just not my style. your thoughts?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

killer shoes and a smashed truck...

so i'm sitting at home, snuggled up under my fav blanket (thanks sara), waiting to hear from the rental car company as to when i'll be getting my replacement vehicle since i slamed my truck into a pole last night. no injuries & no other drivers/vehicles involved and luckily it was after work and josh was able to come pick me (and my groceries) up and bring us home. so i'm sitting here checking email, looking at random news stories on aol and come across the headline 'models refuse to wear scary item' and think 'huh, what could be so scary that models would refuse to wear it? i mean, they wear undies down a runway that one could never wear under anything, the victoria's secret girls wear 6' tall sparkly bows with said undies, and i've seen runway models in chocolate dresses that begin to melt under the lights causing a slipping hazzard, what could be so scary that they'd refuse???' so i click on the link and see these:

'armadillo heels' from alexander mcqueen and i wonder... what is it with this guy that he is so fashionably brilliant that people trust his judgment to actually manufacture shoes that look like this? ya'll should know that i love shoes, fun shoes, way-too-high shoes, pinchy shoes, sparkly shoes, comfy boots, not-so-comfy boots, etc but these, are just plain wrong! amazing shoes are meant to make a woman look and feel her best, not look and feel like a weird 1960's alien. honestly, if you ever see me looking at/trying on/seriously considering any shoes anything like thise, smack me off the heels and shake me until i realize that it's a bad idea...

oh, and during the writing of this i received the call from hertz and was told that i could pick up my standard size car anytime (yahoo!)... except that they don't re-open until saturday morning at 9am, thankfully i don't work until 12

Sunday, December 20, 2009

great friends, great food, great gifts...

awesome cfs with the ayo-raders... got this amazing bracelet which, hint hint to santa* would go really well with the shoes i really love
*no, i did not get the shoes for christmas yet and, if i do, it better be from santa or someone else with a large disposable income, the price is redic and i don't honestly expect anyone to purchase them for me but a girl can dream, right?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

baking anyone...

as in, does anyone want to finish my holiday baking? i actually don't have too much more to do, just make my cutout cookies, frost them, make macaroons & chocolate cover some pretzel sticks, easy peasy. today (feeling very ambitious) my sister & i set out to make a double batch of kiflies (amazing hungarian pastry with walnut filling), cutout cookies and a few other things. We started around 10 this morning and even though we raced to the finish around 5pm we still didn't get everything finished. Now, I'm sure that some of you have no idea what kiflies are or why it would take 7 hours to make a double batch but really, the process is actually much longer. It started last night with my sister making a double batch of dough for the pastry which not only has to be made, but kneeded for a long time and then rolled into individual balls so that they can be refrigerated overnight before being rolled flat (like a mini pie-crust but paper thin), filled and then rolled back up. The process isn't necessarially difficult, the volume is. A single batch of dough and filling makes about 10-12 dozen kiflies and we made a double batch and ended up with just over 20 dozen. That means that 20 dozen balls of dough needed to be rolled, filled & then re-rolled and baked then cooled and i only have one rack in my oven so we could only bake a tray at a time. on the upside, we finished with the kiflies (thanks to mom, casi & paige for helping). lisa got all of her cut-outs made (thanks to rockne for eating a little less than 1/4 of her dough, i'll tell that story later) and i made 2 batches of buttercream frosting for her cookies. i made my batch of cutout cookie dough (thanks paula deen for our new fav recipe for that (again, i'll tell it later) and after we cleaned up the mess from that it was 5pm and lisa had to get home to go to dinner for a friend's birthday and i made tree & gingerman shaped brownies and my peanut butter sandwich cookies and got them covered in chocolate... i have a couple presents to wrap tonight and would like to make some macaroons before bed but i'm not sure if i'll get the energy to do all of that...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

santa baby...

...i've been an awful good girl
and yes, i realize that they retail for $1025 but, i'm sure, if anyone has a hook-up, it would be santa, right?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

christmas decorating...

the start of our christmas decorating... my mantle which will get further decorated by the incoming christmas cards, and my new rosemary tree, now decorated gently so i can still use it for cooking
and my very sleepy hosey, she can't rest while we're decorating because she's too busy chasing the kitty while he inspects our work...

Friday, December 11, 2009

papa can you hear me...

or can anyone? i'm not in a weird mood, i'm just hoping i have zillions of readers that will give me some ideas to make the best christmas compilation for the cocoa party and maybe make a cd for friends and family as part of the homemade christmas presents i'm doing this year... my only real must-haves are 'go tell it on the mountain' a la james taylor & 'i want a hippopotamus for christmas' by gayla peevey (if you haven't heard it, look back a few posts, it's hilarious!). i downloaded the freebies from oprah the past couple of years so those are good but i need more people's fav. songs. i know my sister's christmas isn't complete without bing crosby but what are your must haves?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

cocoa party...

working on recipes for saturday's cocoa party. i've narrowed down the hot cocoa recipes to: belgian white chocolate (from harry & david), peanut butter hot chocolate, cinnamon chip hot chocolate, peppermind stick hot chocolate, mexican hot chocolate & vanilla hot chocolate. I think someone is bringing the ingredients for chocolate martinis and i know i'll be making pudding shots. For garnish we'll have homemade marshmallows and purchased large & mini marshmallows. We'll have real whipped cream & redi-whip, chocolate shavings, cocoa, cinnamon & powdered sugar in shakers and peppermint sticks. We'll have some mole wings done in the crockpot and maybe another non-dessert but i'm not sure what... if anyone has any ideas please let me know, i've got until saturday morning to nail it all down, that's when i'll be going to the grocery

Monday, December 7, 2009

to the whiners, complainers, brats & not nice people...

if you don't like what someone is status updating/blogging/etc, don't cry and whine about it trying to get that person in trouble for no good reason, either talk directly to the person or just stop reading. if you are a blogger/status updater/twitter-er/etc and someone whines about your post suggest they just stop reading... your blog/etc is therapy for you, not for them, unless you're being hateful for no reason (ie: racist/sexist/any other 'ist', that's different, you need to grow up and be an adult) it's way better to vent to your friends and make them laugh/feel better about their day/etc. than to keep it bottled up, that's why people go postal!

as for me, lesson learned, delete whiny brats & not nice people from your friends/readers list...

and, no, i did not get in trouble for something i blogged/status updated/etc, this is just a word to the wise based on the fact that i've heard some things recently that make me wonder what our society is coming to when people can't tell a funny story or complain about their brainless coworker in a fairly innocent way... aren't people allowed to have one of those days?

christmas favs...

fav kids: newest fav:
snuggle socks from life is good
fav christmas song:



I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey

fav blog:
fav recipe:
Yum Yum Brownie Muffins from the Hungry Girl

Sunday, November 29, 2009

christmas is coming...

and i'm wondering if i'll get enough time to finish all of my projects and have/attend all the parties i know about. probably not but, at least i don't have to build a 6' tall gingerbread house like the people on food network! seriously though, lisa & i painted grandma's kitchen last week before thanksgiving and at thanksgiving she announces that she doesn't like it and wants the colors switched, instead of green on the bottom and brown on the top she'd like the green on the bottom... remind me why we volunteered to paint her kitchen again?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

turkey fryer...

so, i bought a turkey fryer at home depot because they were on sale and had a tasting demo which was delish... only, you don't use oil, it's infrared (i think i spelled that wrong) which makes it easy to clean and no oil to buy. to prove that it was worth the purchase i'll be making a few turkeys between now and new year's!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

AMAs...

congrats to the winners but why did they follow up the great win for Taylor Swift (artist of the year) with Adam Lambert's broadway-esque s&m bump and grind??? Seriously, at points i'm sure i saw someone using their mouth to warm up his zipper, a girl grabbing his crotch, him grab the croch of a pole-dancer and tug on it (yikes and ouch) and several people make out with him... that's just too easy a way to contract H1N1 in my book. no, i'm not saying he has it, but if he gets sick anytime soon you know why!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

really...

i read an article that said this probably cost close to $100,000 to create, i think it turned out great but i wonder who had the idea to spend that much on a 4 minute clip

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

owls owls everywhere...

i'm not sure who started this trend but i noticed it during the beginning of the year and it just keeps getting better. retro owls have been popping up all over the place and i think they make a great statement in small doses!
a cute coffee cozie from BurryGirlDesigns

an owl bank from Target Brooke bedding from Pottery Barn Kids
Owl pendant from Happy HavenWall decal from Holly on Etsy
there are so many more ways you can add adorable owls to your decor. Just remember that design trends like these owls should punctuate your room, not tell the whole story!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fiona...

My brother and sister-in-law are going to begin the process to adopt a beautiful 5 year old girl from Uganda. They have been trying for a second child for several years without any luck and after some of their very good friends began the process to adopt two sisters from Uganda they found out about another child available, a 5 year old girl named Fiona. Because the adoption process is long and tedious (and very expensive) we're thinking we shold hold a rummage/craft/bake sale fundraiser next spring for the family, not only to cover the cost of the adoption but also to help cover the cost of the mandatory 3 week trip to Africa to determine custody and finalize the paperwork before bringing Fiona 'home'. They've got a long road to go but I'm confident we can get some help for them. If any of you have any experience holding a craft/bake/rummage sale (or just some good ideas) we'd appreciate it!

because they're cute...

my nieces conned me into posting this on my blog... they think it's heeelarious!

Monday, November 2, 2009

amazing friends...

on a night i wasn't even sure i wanted to go to the bowling event with hubby's work i realized that i have a truely amazing group of friends. after the crazy week when i thought i wanted nothing but quiet i decided to go out because knew that we always have such fun (and a few responsibly consummed beers) and that it would make my feet (and head) stop hurting... we didn't think to take photos at the bowling alley but afterwards some of us went to bleachers for karaoke...

video

no, their singing and dancing don't soley make them amazing, i realized that we can talk about anything and everything, and make new friends in the process. i also realized that good friends, good music and laughing so hard you hurt makes everything better. thanks everyone, we need to go out again soon!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

two projects...

house numbers now adorn my favorite pumpkin and i assembled what is probably the world's easiest (and cheapest) DIY centerpiece:
i already had the hurricane (and the kitty), the mini pumpkins were 3/$1 at the pumpkin patch and the leaves were free from my yard, such a saver i am! i have some other ideas for easy/cheap fall projects but in the mean time, what are your ideas for recessionary decor?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

pumpkin project...

i really hate carving pumpkins, way too messy and they take way too long for the few days that they're viable as decoration, here's my new plan:i'll be painting our nouse numbers on that white pumpkin and put it on the porch with our newly monogrammed pumpkin, first though, they need some clear coat!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

family time...

spent most of thursday with my grandmother, her brother and his son, and my gma's sister-in-law and niece. we had a great time at the snite, notre dame's amazing art museam which had several new pieces that i'm very excited abouti know this one doesn't seem like something i would like but this was painted by a 19 year old soldier recalling his experience as father sorin (the founder of ND) sermoned to the soldiers during the civil war.but i was disappointed that one of my favorite paintings wasn't hanging and that, as educated as many of them are, they don't 'understand' modern art and have 'no idea why anyone would paint it' (actualy quotes from our visit). We did have such the good lunch at legends. if you're in the mood for good pub food i'd highly reccomend the ruben or spicey tilapia po-boy. after that we went to the basillica on campus and got a tour which was super detailed which ran a bit late so we missed the museum area that shows several old relics which is, in my opinion, one of the best parts, but we did learn a bit about why the murals and stained glass are way more purposeful than anyone really takes the time to notice. even though many of our conversations throughout the day involved health problems (my dad's aunt that was with us has lukemia but is doing much better that i would have thought), the inevitable one-upping of 'my grandchild did this', and our government ('i just don't think michelle obama looks like a first lady' 'she's too masculine') and the prices of things which, with the family growing up in michigan, immediately turned to apples (note: had it been earlier this year we would have been discussing asparagus) seriously, one conversation went like this:

'enough talk about politics, can you believe the price of apples? i thought we had an abundance but last week the honeycrisp were up to $2.39 a pound'

'that's why i like the school boy size red delicious, just enough to eat at once and i get more in a bag'

'i got some northern spie at the (insert farmer's name here) that are so good, and just the right size for pies'

'oh yes, they hold up so well'

it was hilarious!!! i love my family and spending time with the older relatives but i am so happy that many of them live out of town and that we don't spend every day together, i don't think i could handle it :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

first fall dinner...

being that fall has quickly arrived here in northern indiana i decided that it was time to make a good fall dinner, complete with a nice fall dessert. i made a delicious pork roast, roasted red potatoes and amish noodles. i know i've talked several times about trying to be budget conscience and i know others of you are as well so, just so you know, the dinner portion of our meal cost about $10 and there was enough food for roughly 10 people. for dessert i made my own creation, an apple pie cup and it was delish (and with only 2 ingredients to buy because i had basic baking ingredients in the house it was super budget friendly at right around $3 for 8 servings)!

so here's the recipe:

1 can gran's biscuits (or any other 8ct. canned biscuits), 3 large apples (i used honeycrisp because they were on sale) - peeled, cored and cut into small chunks, 2T sugar, 2T cinnamon, 1/2 C oats, 2T butter, 1/4 C brown sugar, pinch of salt

*put apples, sugar, 1T cinnamon and a small amount of water in saucepan and simmer until apples are tender and sauce has reduced to slightly runny syrup (probably 20-30 minutes or so)

*preheat oven to 350

*take a muffin/cupcake pan and flip over so cups point up, flatten biscuits into large enough rounds so that one biscuit covers a whole muffin cup (try to stagger so they don't stick together) and bake until golden (10-12 minutes) then remove for cooling.

*make strusel topping with oats, butter, the remaining 1T cinnamon, brown sugar and pinch of salt (mix with fingers/fork/pastry blender until butter chunks are throughly dispersed and your mix feels like wet sand

*divide apples with sauce among the 8 biscuit cups and top with strusel topping

*return to oven until topping looks crispy (maybe 8 minutes, not really sure!)

*consume carefully, the biscuits are super flaky so they have potential to make a big mess!!!

these cups can be used for sooooo much more (thanks to Rachel Ray for the cup idea although i can't remember exactly what she used for filling). here are a few ideas:

~cream of mushroom soup, shredded chicken & veggies for mini pot pies

~eggs, sausage & cheese for breakfast cups (although for this one i'd pull the biscuits off the tins a bit earlier so they don't burn while you're waiting for the eggs to finish cooking)

~pasta sauce, pre-cooked meat, cheese, veggies, etc for deep-dish pizza cups

~sausage gravy bowls ('nuff said!)

~soups/stews of almost any sort

and yes, i know that canned biscuits are not exactly the most healthy but you really only need to eat one for dessert (or share with a loved one) and you can always make them either from scratch or use the heart healthy bisquick and, of course, you can modify the ingredients. the easiest option as always though, is moderation! i'll try to guestimate the points/calories for those that care but it will have to be tomorrow! g'nite :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

i never thought it would happen...

... and since i was there to witness it and will be providing pictures there's no way anyone can say 'pics or it didn't happen'.

for those of you that aren't aware of the amazing thing that transpired, let me first give you some background. our story begins long ago (the fall of 1980 to be exact) at mishawaka high school, a couple years before i was born to be exact. mishawaka high school beat their biggest cross-town rival, penn high school in one of those 'who saw it coming' football games. Since that day in the fall 1980, every time mishawaka and penn played football it has been one of those must-see games. several times the score was close, several other times it was a total blow-out and our cavemen (mishawaka) walked off the field with their heads hanging low and fans devastated. we always got pumped up at the friday pep-rally's saying 'this will be the year' and every time we lost. seriously, not a single win against the penn football team in the 28 years that followed. the last fews years have been heartbreakers, near wins, penalties that caused a loss and even some bad calls that both sides thought cost the game for the cavemen. tonight was completely different. mom, lisa, casi, paige & i left lisa's house around 6pm tonight, an hour before the game was supposed to start, and by the time we got there it was hard to find a parking spot and the crowds were crazy. we found some of the last available seats and watched as the crowds filled the stadium and then started filling space on the track. this is the first time i've seen them allow track seating for anyone other than the handicapped. we got our hotdogs (love a $1 hotdog at the game) and prepared for the game to start. i know paige doesn't look happy here but she was really hoping to be the one taking the picturethe girls cheering with the pompons they got from chic-fil-ai won't bother with the play-by-play but we scored, they scored, then we scored and kept scoring to a final score of 26-10!!! during the last quarter they allowed people to get onto the track and wait until the end to rush the field. hundreds of past, current and future students were out there, but not a single person i recognized that i could go celebrate on the field with so we watched them rush the field
video
and we celebrated the win we weren't sure if we'd ever see which was truely amazing!

not only did lisa and i both graduate from mishawaka but our dad did as well, and knowing that casi & paige will eventually go to mishawaka made it an extra emotional evening for us.

GO CAVEMEN!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

we wear teal for our grandma...


lisa, mom, paige & i completed a 2mile 'fun walk' for gynecological cancer. it was sponsored by notre dame took place on campus starting near the stadium. after a poorly organized beginning which made the entire event start late and, come to find out, because no one gave the walkers our time strips, the top walkers probably won't recieve their prizes which sucks for them. we did get free teal bracelets, pretty nice 'domer run 2009' shirts and a breakfast afterward and all of the participants registration fees went to benefit gynecological cancer.before the race began we were given tags and balloons to tie to the arch where we could write the name of someone who struggled with cancer so for this, being a gynecological cancer benefit, we wrote the name of my maternal grandmother who lost her battle with ovarian cancer over a decade ago.

Friday, September 25, 2009

really...

so, i found this clip online and had to share it with ya'll... if you are one of the many that think the song is overplayed just watch the first 10-20 seconds to see his 'dance steps' and then to about 38 seconds and watch him wave his hand around, it's too cute!

i got 'em...

my tom's shoes that is

love them!!!

thanks pat & denise :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

shoes are made for walkin...

the salmon chase was today in downtown south bend and lisa, casi, paige and i did the 5k 'fitness walk' and it was our best 5k thus far. we finished in 56.5 minutes which is nearly 2 minutes off our last walk and this time we had paige's stroller and dealt with her getting in and out of it, along with pushing it (and her) up and down some hills i had no idea were even near downtownand the walk, which started around 8am was a rare moment for us to get a glimpse of the next generation of seestersand then paige did the 'guppy run' which was a short course for kids (ages 2-7) with each age group running in their own 'heats' she did great and got a ribbon for participating which made her so proud of herself. you know it's funny, even though i had been up until 2:30 this morning prepping for the september birthday bash (party for all of our friends and family with september birthdays) i wasn't really exhausted, my feet are sore but i don't feel like i am going to die so to that's awesome! for now i'm off to bed so i can get some sleep before making a big breakfast then going to our family reunion tomorrow, g'nite

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

biggest losers...

season 8 started tonight and for the first time i don't weigh more than some of the contestants, i actually don't weigh more than any of the contestants. i realize that this season's contestants are the heaviest that there have ever been but still, that's a first for me and i'm proud of it.

here's where the contestants started this week

shay - 476, daniel - 312, amanda - 250, rebecca - 279
rudy - 442, dina - 253, antoine - 367, sean - 444
danny - 430, liz - 267, allen - 325, abby - 247, julio - 407
alexandra - 309, mo - 355

i know that they'll be loosing double digits some weeks and that it's not healthy for me to loose that much that fast but watching them work hard makes me want to work harder.

p.s. another first - we didn't watch the season opener of biggest loser while eating dairy queen, thank you philly swirl!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

finally a word to the wise...

from an iVillage article entiteld 'what do your shoes say about you':

In the world of shoe fashion emergencies that have nothing to do with a broken heel, there is the Croc. “Unless you are a chef or a 5-year-old child on the beach, please do not wear these,” begs Luciani. And, heaven help those who wear them in the winter with socks! While the appeal is their comfort, there are other better comfortable choices available. Luciani suggests opting for men's style oxfords, which are flat, rounded at the toe and super comfortable. You’ll be in style, comfy, and most important, Croc-less!

thank you iVillage for speaking my mind! you can read the rest of the article here:

http://beauty.ivillage.com/slideshow/beauty-style/what-do-your-shoes-say-about-you/babe_booties.html

Sunday, September 13, 2009

family dinner...

i know that i grew up with a fairly set family dinner ritual which meant that every night around the same time we would all gather around the table for dinner, and sometimes it would include friends too. when josh and i were dating we had dinner with his parents almost every night but now if we do eat dinner together it's in front of the tv and i know many families that don't have a set meal together daily even if the whole family is home. what has happened to the family dinner?

you all know that for several months we have had cfs (chinese food sunday) with the ayo-raders and even though we occasionally part from chinese we usually end up doing dinner with them on sunday nights. sometimes we invite other people to our dinner and tonight was no different. i roasted chicken and potatoes and made noodles, mom and dad brought a salad and denise made a delicious blueberry pie. it was a great time to socialize, relax and enjoy a delicious dinner. i know that we will continue our 'family' dinner tradition as long as possible but i'm wondering what family dinner traditions all of you out there have?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

22 & 27 pounds...

so my seester and i have been doing weight watchers together for the last few months and it's been crazy good. she's down 27 pounds, i'm down 22 and no, we didn't buy a membership, we don't go to meetings with a bunch of strangers or eat strictly ww foods (way too complicated). we do weigh in at least once a week, share whatever tips or healthified recipes we find and generally keep each other in check. our version of a meeting is walking 1.5 miles, 3-4 days a week but with a 4 year old and either a dobe or jack russell in tow it doesn't always work out that way. i know these aren't the best before and after pics but it'll work for now:i'll have to get a pic of us together sometime this week... it's good