Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday night fun

So I was planning this great recipe blog post today, but you're gonna have to wait. Because I was cooking and taking pictures as I went so as to provide visuals for all of you when the unthinkable happened. I was cutting up a chicken (yes, I buy my chickens whole and cut them up myself. It's cheaper), and I was using a super sharp serrated knife. And I cut right through the joint of the hip bone and into my index finger.


That's all I have for you. I'm not going to go into the sordid details because I know Michele will read this and she's pregnant and she's in the pukey stage. I'll just tell you it was not pretty. And I remember thinking that I should clean the cut immediately. And I remember putting my hand in the sink. And I remember the water ran more red than clear. I didn't black out, but I don't remember much more than that. Next thing I knew Hubs was bandaging my finger, because he's the best husband in the world ever.

Anyway this:

Is all your fault. Okay, not really, but I needed somebody to blame. Hopefully I'll get the recipe post done SOON, but I'm taking a break from cooking for tonight. And LOST post next week. Woo hoo!

Sorry I've been MIA, I'm having life issues. I'm working on getting back to my old self, though, so no worries! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where have I been?

Did I fall in Elmo's potty?

No. I did not fall in Elmo's potty. I got called to jury duty.

Let me tell you that I was SO EXCITED when I got my letter. I have been waiting to be called to jury duty since I turned 18. And here was my summons. *cue angels singing*

I'm one of those weirdos who LIKES to do my duty as a citizen. I'm proud to vote. Lots of ladies, and some men, fought long and hard so women like me would have the right to vote.

I've always, always wanted to serve jury duty. Everyone acts like it's such a chore. But you get to dress up in nice clothes! And go to the courthouse! And be all "Law & Order!" And they were going to pay me 12 bucks a day. That's 12 bucks more a day than I'm making now. Awesome.

Then my heart dropped. Who would take care of M while I was on jury duty? Our family lives over 600 miles away in another state. All of our friends work during the day. Daycares don't accept children on an abrupt and inconsistent basis. The cheapest babysitter I could find was going to charge me $120 A DAY. And I don't know her. And I wasn't comfy leaving M with her. And I couldn't find anyone else. I had no choice but to ask for a postponement until the summer, when one of my teacher friends could watch her for me. So I went to talk to the jury coordinator and they ended up excusing me. As in, you need to go away now. We do not want your Law & Order. We do not want to give you our $12.00. We will validate your parking ticket. What? You lost it? Sorry, we can't help you with that.

I was crushed. You remember the sad music on Charlie Brown? That was me, all slumpy shouldered and trudging the 8 blocks back to my car. Then I got M and myself in the car and thought of something. Hubs and my fervent prayer over the last four days was for this to work out in whatever way was BEST for our family. Sure, I really did want to serve on jury duty, but I realized that it wouldn't have been best. Best is not serving at all. Second best is postponing. So we got what we prayed for. And I had to laugh, because it's one of those situations where what you want is not necessarily what you get, but you get what's best for you. Then M piped up from the back seat, "I love you, Mommy. Listen Princess song now?" I glanced at her in the mirror and realized that yes, I would have enjoyed serving on jury duty. But I'm going to enjoy the time with her more.

You can't wear a tutu in court.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why I love....


This is the greatest DVD ever invented. I'm pretty sure. I got it for M because she's on a potty strike right now. I'm really tired of taking out a loan to buy diapers every two weeks. She loves Elmo, so I figured maybe it would help if Elmo told her to use the potty, since me telling her seems to have no impact. I didn't realize at the time that this DVD is great entertainment for the adults, too. Here are the reasons I love it:

1) It's hilarious.

I'm not even lying. Have you ever read (and giggled through) "Everybody Poops"? This is like the live stage show-musical of "Everybody Poops". It is an absolute dream for the immature fourth grader buried deep within us all. The hard part was not laughing out loud in front of M when we watched it together, although I'm sure that the maniacal "I'm holding all the laugher in" shaking and snorting was a dead giveaway.

2) Elmo's Dad

I know Elmo's dad must have been around before, but I really don't ever remember seeing him before. Elmo's dad is one awesome dude. I'm pretty sure he was celebrating the Woodstock anniversary this week. He's just that kind of guy. He's also the kind of guy that you're always expecting to huff and say, "That's my boy!" And I'm pretty sure he smells like a bowling alley.

3) Puppets on potties

I really don't think I need to elaborate.

3) The part where all the kids yell out what they call their poo

It had me rolling. Any composure that I had maintained up until this point was completely dissolved. The funniest part was that half of the kids were excited and yelled the words. The other half were old enough to understand that they were being made to use their poo synonyms on tape that could be viewed for the rest of their lives.

4) The "You'll Use the Potty" song

This is the song at the end of the DVD where all the puppets and grown-ups on Sesame street sing about everyone who uses the potty. Grown-ups, brothers and sisters, even kings and queens! A good reminder for us all.

5) The sponsors of the show

At the end of the show, Elmo turns around and says, "Oh yeah! Our show today was brought to you by the letter P and the number 2." CLASSIC!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thrifty Christmas!

Oh, money! How I love it when you stay in my pocket! I made some marble magnets this week for some friends and the grandparents. I got the idea here:

I should have listed notmartha in my favorite blogs. Her blog is AWESOME. It is chock full of fantastic ideas. But I wanted to tackle these nifty magnets. For the record, they cost me $0. That's right. Zero. Sweet.

Anyway, they were wicked easy to make. I used the marbles with the flat bottoms, you know, the kind you bought to put in that vase with those flowers but you never did and now you have a bag of flat bottomed marbles sitting in your house. This is what you use them for. Buy some flat, circular magnets the size of your dud marbles. These are cheap and can be found at any craft store. If you forget to bring your marble to compare, just try to remember that you need something about the size of a penny. Next you need your glue. Hot glue will not work. I used Amazing goop (available at all fine craft stores). I love Amazing goop. It truly is amazing. It dries fast, but not impossibly fast like super glue. It has a really strong hold once it does dry, but it peels right off if you get it on your fingers. It also doesn't burn the dickens out of you like a hot glue gun does. It has a great industrial strength odor, so don't use it in a confined space unless you just want to have visions of purple bears in tutus dancing through the room and then wake up on your neighbor's roof the next day with a lampshade on your head. Not that it has ever happened to me. *ahem*

Your photos need to be good quality. In other words, don't just print something out in word or Paint and expect it to transfer. I found that glossy photos and magazine photos worked best. I did photos of the grandkids for family and for my friends I did photos of things they love. One friend loves to cook, so I cut pictures of tiny food out of magazines for her magnets. They turned out really cute. If you're looking for photos in magazines you need to be very creative. Look for things that might not normally jump out at you, like the pattern of a pillow or clouds in the sky. The marbles magnify everything in your picture so picking out patterns is a lot of fun. Be creative. You can do it, even if you're left brained. Just because you're left brained doesn't mean you can't use your right brain.

Glue the photo to your magnet first, then glue the marble to the photo.

To finish I glued a decorative ribbon (tiny scrapbooking ribbon was the perfect size) around the sides of the marble and magnet to cover up the "seam" where the two were joined and to add a little flair. I love how they turned out!

Happy Christmasing!

P.S. Some of you have expressed interest in recipes. What kind of recipes would you like? I cook just about anything, but my specialties are desserts and breads.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I don't understand them. They confuse me.

Today I'm confused by people who we invite over for dinner. I love having people over for dinner and cooking for them. It's one of my favorite things to do. They always insist on bringing something. That's fine. So I always say, "Please bring a side dish or a dessert." Usually they comply. Sometimes they don't.

On Thanksgiving last year we invited a family over for dinner who, like us, doesn't have any family nearby. I LOVE cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I love thawing the turkey, prepping it, and cooking it. I love making the dressing, creamy mashed potatoes, and homemade rolls. I love making pumpkin pie (for me) and peanut butter pie (for Hubs). The turkey is my favorite, though. I love turkey and there's just something about roasting my own turkey to perfection, sitting in front of the oven and watching it turn from white to golden brown. I love it. So you can imagine my surprise when the couple we invited over last year showed up with a complete Thanksgiving meal from Honeybaked Ham. I'm not kidding. They brought a huge ham, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and yeast rolls. Oh, did I forget to mention the pumpkin pie, too? Yeah, they brought a pumpkin pie. And everyone ate the Honeybaked Ham meal, because it was a treat, and no one but me ate my turkey. And my feelings were crushed. Hubs did not understand. Our friends just smirked, almost like they were pleased to ruin my hard work. I considered never having people over for dinner again.

Then we started prepping our house for sale this past month. It's been a pain. We have to strip off wallpaper and paint every room. We're putting in new baseboards and crown molding. We have a lot of painting, nailing, and caulking to do. We've had a great group of friends who have helped us through it. So we invited them over for dinner and movies tonight. I asked everyone what they want to eat and they said, "Pizza!" I make my own pizza dough and sauce from scratch. I buy fresh veggies from the farmer's market to top them. It's not the normal Pizza Hut delivery pizza. So I got up early this morning to start the dough and get the sauce simmering. A few minutes ago one of the people called to say she was bringing over a roast, potatoes, and rolls tonight.

I can't win. Am I being too soft-hearted?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today M came up and hugged me. I said, "I love you, bug." She stood there for a minute and then said, "I love you, Mommy." It's the first time she's said it to anyone without us prompting her first. Heart=melted.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Things I love today

1. Root Beer Barrels

I was feeling down the other day. Because sometimes I just feel like a not great or talented person. And when I get that way Hubs does not get angry. He gives me hugs and tries to make me feel better. Because he is awesome. He drove all the way downtown to a little general store and bought me my favorite candy, root beer barrels, to help me feel better. He's the best. I think I'm really loving him and not the root beer barrels. Okay, I love the candy, too. No, he didn't just get me three. He got me a whole pound. Again, awesome.

2. The Ocean

Because we are visiting there in a few weeks. I love the ocean. I don't like to swim in it, because I'm afraid of sharks. And jellyfish. And pirates. But I like to look at it and I like to listen to it. And I love to sit on the sand and watch the waves roll in and taste the salt in the air. It's magic, I tell you.

3. My Gram

Because she sent me the recipe for her awesome, melt in your mouth dinner rolls. I made them last night. I didn't have time to let them rise as much as they should had because I'm a fool who didn't plan ahead. They were a little more dense than I would like, but they still tasted heavenly.

4. M's hair

It's getting so long and it's so cute in pigtails. I can't believe she's growing up this fast. For the first year of her life she had peach fuzz, a smooth pate of fine hair that wouldn't hold a bow or anything. Now she has little girl hair!

5. This angry kitteh

What are you loving today?

P.S. Hub's birthday is coming up soon. He won't tell me what he wants because he's a doofus. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Crayon Tutuorial

I made my melty rainbow crayons yesterday. I've been trying to figure out how to make these for awhile. I toyed with a lot of things like microwaving and using a double boiler. This is the best outcome I've had with the least burns, because melted crayon BURNS. One thing I'm going to tell you before I start the tutorial is DON'T LEAVE THEM IN THE OVEN TOO LONG. You know what burnt crayons smell like? They smell like stank.

Anyway, we used to make these in elementary school when I was little. One of my teachers would keep broken crayons in a big tub in her room and a couple of times a year we got to help her make rainbow crayons. I decided to make some for M for Christmas, since she won't use broken crayons. It's really simple.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make sure there is no paper left on your crayon remnants.
  3. Put a few crayon pieces in each cup of a mini muffin tin, or you can use silicone baking cups. I used both and took pictures because I love all of you that much.
  4. Put your crayon muffins in the oven and bake for THREE MINUTES. If you check on them at three minutes and they are still solid, leave them in the oven and check them every minute. Remember what I said about the stank? This step is critical.
  5. When they are melted remove them from the oven as carefully as possible. The more you move the pan, the more the colors will combine. You want that nice rainbow color, so try to keep the colors from mixing too much on removal.
  6. Set the pan down and leave the room until the crayons cool. Resist the urge to stir the crayons, or poke them with your finger, or jiggle the pan. I can't make them without touching them when they're still hot, so I always leave the house for awhile so I'll leave them alone. I know, it's sad.
  7. After about an hour the crayons should be cooled and hardened again. Pop them out of the pan or silicone cups and color away!

Have fun with your crayon making!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lost Character of the Week

All of this could have been avoided...if my dad had hugged me more.

Ben, Ben, Ben. Why do I love Ben so much? I’m usually not one who loves the villains. For example, if I could have strangled any character from a work of fiction, it would have been that Umbridge lady from Harry Potter. I HATED her. And Ben’s not exactly an upstanding guy. So why is he so likable? I’ll tell you why. He’s a nerd. A normal person like most of us, who managed to turn himself into a hardcore, take control psychopath. And he loves babies and bunnies! What’s not to love? So let’s talk about Benjamin Linus.

Baby Ben

Ben was born in the woods in Oregon. I know, WHY? Anyway, his dad is Uncle Rico and his mom is this chick named Emily. Emily and Roger are really smart and decide what Emily really needs while she’s 9 months pregnant is a walk in the woods. Because nothing says safe for the baby like tripping over a bunch of roots and getting eaten by a bear (or a vampire. They were in Portland, after all). Emily dies in the woods, because, let’s face it, it wasn’t the most sterile birth. Uncle Rico is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and he was probably swearing up a storm and smelling like steak sauce instead of trying to help her. Ben lives. Viva la Ben!

Roger then joins the Dharma initiative, because they are apparently in need of sad imitations of Sawyer hair coupled with awesome toilet unclogging skills. Roger is their man! He drags a bespectacled and bewildered Ben along for the ride. At this point Ben is still an innocent and quite the nerd. I love me some nerdiness. Roger becomes a raging drunk, because that’s what people do to deal with their problems on this show, and takes it out on baby Ben, slapping him around and even telling him that he’s responsible for his mother’s death. This makes Ben sad. It made me sad, too, Ben. I wanted so badly to come to freak island and give you some motherly hugs at that point. And give your dad a kick in a not nice place. Your dad is a moron, but I think you already knew that.

Sad Ben runs into the jungle to escape his horrible cushy life at the Dharma camp and meets our beautiful Estee Lauder spokesperson, Richard Alpert. Richard pats his head and tells him he likes his glasses or something, one of those lies grownups tell you when you’re crying to make you feel good about yourself. Then he tells Ben that he can come live with the Hostiles, but not right now. Ben is all “WHY ME!” and Richard is all, “I know, right?” and sends little Ben trotting off back to Dharma.

Ben meets Future Sayid (sounds like a superhero) and helps him escape. Sayid thanks him with a bullet to the chest. Nothing says loving like gunpowder. Sad dying baby Ben is laying the road and Jin finds him. He takes him to Juliet who can’t fix him. She does the typical Juliet thing when confronted with a medical problem: She flaps her hands and asks Jack what she should do. Jack is willing to let him die. Sawyer and Kate tell Jack that’s cold, even for him. Jack just shrugs and goes back to staring off into space, something he perfected while part of the Dharma Initiative. Sawyer and Kate take Ben and run him off to Richard who declares that he will take Ben’s innocence. WHOA! TMI, buddy. Anyway, he fixes Ben and Ben wakes up creepy.

In 1988, Widmore, who is still trotting through the jungle on his pony of justice, sends Ben to kill Rousseau and Alex. Ben can’t bear to kill the baby so he takes her and tell Rousseau she better run like her crazy butt is on fire. She does and Ben takes Alex back to camp. This does not please Widmore, but it pleases Richard and Ben’s all, “This is what Jacob would want yo, so step off before something bad happens to you.” Then Ben kills the Dharma people with poison gas, including his horrible daddy (everybody has Daddy issues), and throws them in a big Dharma pit. Then he tells Widmore that he needs to leave and takes Widmore’s place as leader of the Others. He tells them he can talk to Jacob, which is a lie because he doesn’t talk to Jacob. Jacob’s too busy partying in his foot statue to care about Ben’s shenanigans. Benanigans.

Two days before the 815 plane crash Ben learns he has a spinal tumor. Oh yeah, did I mention he’s been putting the moves on Juliet and she’s been turning him down? Ice Queen. Anyway, after Ben gets this news a spinal surgeon literally falls from the sky and lands in his back yard. How’s that for fate? He immediately sends Ethan and Goodwin to check on the two sections of the plane, hoping furiously that Goodwin gets his and he is not disappointed. He shows Jack to Juliet on one of the monitors in the arrow station and tells her that she will convince Jack to perform the surgery. Then he shows her video of Goodwin and tells her that her man got beat up by a girl.

Ben goes wandering in the woods and gets caught in one of Danielle’s traps. She brings him to the survivors and they lock him in the hatch until they decide what to do with him. He tells them his name is Henry Gale and his balloon crashed on the island. Later on the real body (and the balloon) of Henry Gale is found and Ben is exposed as a liar. Michael frees him and brings him Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley in exchange for a boat and Walt. Exit Michael right. Ben tells Hurley to go back to the beach and he takes the other three with him. He locks Kate and Sawyer in bear cages which results in hilarious fish biscuit hijinks. He sends Juliet to talk to Jack and bribe him with a cheeseburger. She even lets him watch cartoons. It was lurve, y’all. Anyway, he says no but later says yes. Jack botches Ben’s surgery and tells a frantic but adorable Tom that he won’t fix it until Kate and Sawyer are safe on the beach (really? No safe off the island?) with the other survivors. They comply and Jack corrects his intentional mistake. Then he goes to the Dharma camp to play football with Tom. Locke and some other people come to rescue him. Jack tells the other people to go away because he’s happy here with running water, cheeseburgers, and a teddy bear type person to toss a football with. Ben, meanwhile, takes Locke and shows him that his Daddy is here. Ben tells Locke that if he kills his father he will let him join the Others. Locke is intrigued. If he had a goatee, he would have stroked it in thoughtfulness at this point.

Locke can’t do it and Ben smirks. Locke runs into the woods to cry, but a few days later he brings his father’s corpse to Ben. Ben holds up his end of the deal and takes Locke to Jacob’s cabin. Then, HOLY SMOKES! Ben finds out that Jacob is talking to Locke. This angers our little friend because all he’s wanted this whole time was to be BFFs with Jacob and get an invite to the foot statue. So Ben shoots Locke and leaves him for dead in the Dharma body pit. Ben sends the others to the temple while he and Alex try to stop Jack from sending a message to the freighter. Nobody trusts Ben, but they love slapping him around. Then they tie him up and make him watch them contact the freighter. Sad Ben re-emerges. The group splits into people who want to get on the freighter and people who don’t. Ben goes with Locke and the jungle crowd. He gains Locke’s trust by telling him who sent the freighter. Ben leaves and tells Rousseau, Alex, and her boyfriend (Karl I think?) to go to the temple. They are ambushed and Rousseau and Karl are killed. Alex is taken hostage and then shot in front of Ben when he refuses to give himself up to save her life. Ben is pissed. So he sics his smoke monster on the mercenaries from the freighter and runs. He, Locke, and Hurley seek Jacob’s council and discover that Ben needs to move the island. Sad face again because Ben knows if he does this, he’ll be banished forever. He does it anyway because, as I mentioned before, he’s hardcore. He wakes up in the desert and beats some guys up with a magic wand. Ben hires Sayid to kill a bunch of people for him and then tells Widmore of his plans to kill Penny. A daughter for a daughter. Widmore is not amused. Ben finds Locke, stops him from committing suicide, bleeds him for info, and then kills him anyway. He shoots Desmond (still a little pissed about that, Ben. I thought we were friends) but can’t bring himself to kill Penelope. He finds Jack at the funeral and tells him that he can get them back to the island but everyone has to be there, including Locke. Jack lovingly strokes the raccoon on his chin. Oh wait, that’s a beard. Anyway, they all board the plane and get transported to different decades on the island. Ben was with Sun and Lepedis. He drew the short stick and got stuck in the future, after the island had a falling out with its groundskeeper. Sun hits Ben with an oar and Ben kills a guy named Cesar. The Benanigans are back on. Ben is shocked that a very dead Locke is up and walking around. I would be shocked, too, Ben. And running for my life because he’s probably a zombie. Instead Ben trusts him implicitly. Locke takes Ben to the island where the smoke monster beats him up for awhile. Ben feels better after this. He and Locke go round up Richard and his gang, who were probably poring over the latest Avon catalog. They all go to the foot to talk to Jacob and Locke (who’s not really Locke. He’s the mean guy in the black shirt), convinces Ben to stab Jacob. Ben succumbs to peer pressure and stabs the poor maker of the island. And that’s all we know, folks!

Off island contacts: Lots. He was in contact with all of the oceanic six.

Sawyer Nicknames: The Artist Formerly Known as Henry Gale, The Big Kahuna, Sucker, George (from Of Mice and Men), The Boss, Captain Bunnykiller, Yoda, Gizmo

Sources: Wikipedia, Lostpedia,,, Netflix and their glorious “Watch Instantly” feature.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Christmas Projects

So I did some major crafting (I just typed "mammory" instead of major. Freudian slip much?) this week. So much that I might be able to add some stuff to my "to make" list for Christmas. See, we're going on vacation in a month and that makes me nervous that I'll lose my momentum. We're also getting ready to put our house on the market and I'm thinking a move is really going to make me lose my momentum. So I dug in and really worked on projects this past week and now I'm bored because I don't have anything left to right now. Here are a couple of the projects I worked on. Both are for M and I love them a lot.

The first is a crocheted purse that turns into a baby cradle (cute, right?!). I got the pattern here:

Then I changed it up because she doesn't have a doll the size of an ant. So I made it a little bigger and a little uglier, but I still like it so shut it.

With the baby I got for $1 at Wal-Mart. It fits perfectly! SCORE!

If you're a beginning crocheter, don't be intimidated by this pattern. It is actually very easy. It is mostly single and double crochet rounds and I was able to finish it really quickly. I made it from yarn scraps that I had so total cost =$1 for the doll.

My second craft was a little more complex, but again, don't be intimidated by it because it is easy to do, just time consuming. M has this problem with her crayons. She hates for them to be in a box. When we color we have to take 20 minutes to lay them all out side by side on the table so she can see them all and none of them are touching (thanks, Hubs, for passing your anal retentive tendencies on). So I thought she might like something that keeps her crayons in that layout all the time. A long time ago I made a needle roll for my crochet hooks. It's just a flat piece of fabric with pockets sewn in to hold your needles. So I thought, "Why not do that with crayons?" The result was this:

The crayons roll up into a neat little bundle that fits in her craft drawer. They're always organized, always laying side by side, and never touching. She will be in heaven. You can use actual fabric to make your crayon roll like I did, or you can use felt. Here is a link to a tutorial that gives you the basic instructions to making a crayon roll. The roll I made holds 96 crayons, but you can make it hold as many as you please. Once you get the hang of it, this craft is really simple. If you can sew a semi-straight line, you can make a crayon roll. :)

Remember those cheap boxes of crayons I bought? I used half of them to fill her crayon roll. I used discount fabric to make the roll, and ribbon I already had on hand. Project cost = $3.25.

The first of these posts are going to center around actual gifts, as it's a little too early to start on my decorations (I like to use real greenery), but I'll soon get into things that look more Christmas-y. Today and tomorrow I'll be working on a gift for the grandparents and the elusive melty crayons that Kelly asked about. ;) I'll post as soon as I'm done with them.

Oh, and I set up a gmail account if anyone has any questions about the things I'm making. It's allkindsofcreative AT Feel free to e-mail me with any questions and I'll do my darndest to answer them. Happy crafting!