Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Confession

It's that time.  Here we go:

1.  I forgot to draw a winner yesterday for the giveaway.  So I should draw one tonight.  But I'm not.  Check in tomorrow.  Peace.

2.  There wasn't a Steelers game today, and I kinda enjoyed it.  Sometimes it's hard to get so worked up every week.  I suppose I could watch and not get worked up, but then it's no fun.  It's my own brand of poison, and I usually like it, but sometimes a week off is nice.

3.  I made 2 cheesecakes tonight.  My mom's recipe, (which is really the recipe belonging to the Israeli baker who used to live in our hometown) with mini chocolate chips.  Handsome didn't want me to bake while he was home, so 17 minutes after he was out the door, I was at the grocery store grabbing cream cheese and 'nilla wafers.  It's delish.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Love I

****Last day to enter!!****

I love Fridays.

I love being done with a 10-day exam 2 days early, so I'm not editing right up to the last minute and (let's be honest, in all likelihood) turning it in late.  

I love cool mornings spent in quiet, and cool evenings when friends will fill the house and the smell of a campfire will fill the air.

Here's what else I love right now:

Seriously, this song is on repeat, and I think Duke is even head-bopping to it.  Love it.

The idea of these cute little onsies.  You know how I am with old t-shirts, and, well, I basically want to quit my job right now and make these forever.  In theory.  Once I make one for real, I'll let you know how the dream is doing.

How crazy easy these blocks are to make.  Seriously, I threw together 8 last night.  They weren't all pretty, but it was fun the WHOLE TIME!  

Soup.  I'm making soup for tonight.  Chicken Noodle and Cheeseburger.  That's two different types, not one. Cheeseburger Chicken Noodle would be weird.  

Those are my loves.  I'm off to read through my exam one more time, pick out the weak spots, reinforce them against the raging waters, beef 'em up, and be done with it.  Then grocery shopping, house cleaning, and I might even try and come up with a very special dessert for tonight... let's just say it includes my dear honey crisps and a good amount of marshmallows.  

What do you love this Friday?
Success tastes like caramel,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Help a Friend Out, Yo! It's a Giveaway!

So here's the skinny:   I don't love contests.  I don't love how they fill up your facebook page or blow up your twitter feed (or whatever that thing is called).  I don't love when people make you do things in order to give you gifts.

That said, I don't love me this morning.

Because we're going to band together to take part in a contest, and if you compete, you have the option of winning something.  Trust me, I'm a giver, if I could I'd send you all presents, all the time.
ASIDE: This makes me think of the lunch a Chinese friend took me to and tried to pump me for information on how to date an American girl.  But that's a story for another time.
Anyhow, let's get down to the brass tacks:

This is a facebook contest.  It has nothing to do with me, other than I know one of the participants, and I really really really want him to win. 

Here's his picture:

Awesome, right?

His name is Daniel.
He's trying to get the most votes for his "Planking Pic" in order to win $500.
Him and his darling wifey are due to have a baby approx. 3 days before me.
They want the money to put furniture in their nursery.
Y'all, he's just trying to get his baby a crib.
We can surely support that, even if we do hate contests on facebook.
(You're with me on that, right?)

Here's where you come in:
  • Step 1: Go to Upstate Adventure Bootcamp's Facebook page.  "Like" them, even if you don't really.  Trust me, it's not lying.  We've got dispensation from the Llama for this one.
  • Step 2: Find The above picture, and "Like" it.  Be glad you don't have to lie about this one, in case you felt like you were lying before.  I mean, who doesn't like the picture?  (His name is Daniel Keaton, in case you need to search the page to find it).
  • Step 3: Come back here and tell me that you have completed steps 1 & 2.  Tell me how you feel about planking, or contests, or soup that has grown cold. - 1 entry
  • OPTIONAL: Share this contest on your Facebook page with the following blurb, and then come back and tell me you did that, too.  "Help Daniel Keaton get his baby a crib by liking Upstate Adventure Bootcamp, and then liking the picture of a guy in an awesome sports coat planking on a horse!" - 2 entries.  Because spreading love is a powerful thing.
The contest goes until Friday at 5:00 PM, so on Saturday, I'll draw a name from the list of my friends (that'd be you all, peeps!) and that lucky winner will win a wallet from TFW's sweat shop.  Trust me, there is no sweating going on.  Although I don't have pictures of the actual product, it'll look something like one of these:

So go on, get your vote on!  Daniel, he has no idea that we're doing this.  So it's like a surprise.  A little goodwill toward your fellow man, if you will.  Which reminds me, we are T-3 months until Christmas!  A wallet might be a nice choice!

I couldn't Plank if I wanted to,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Perfectly Classic Hot Chocolate

I haven't had any cravings, really.  I mean, no more than normal.  I remember, my first year of grad school, I passed the time in some less-than-exciting classes by writing down the food I wanted to eat RightAtThatMoment.  It usually looked like this: Nachos... Soft Pretzel... BBQ Sandwich.... Milky Way... Doritos...  I didn't eat all of that.  At least, not all at once, but I loved making the lists.  I always want some  sort of delicious food, and it always seems urgent.  So pregnancy hasn't really brought out anything new in me.

However I do indulge my cravings a bit more, as is evidenced in this little recipe here.  I may or may not have made it every morning for the past week.  And I may or may not be drinking it for the second time today.  I'm also trying my darndest to get my fruits and vegetables, so it's gotta balance out somewhere.  Right?

So here's a how-to for making this drink-to-end-all-drinks.  Trust me.  Make it in the morning.  Share it with your kids.  Refuse to share it with your kids (much more likely).  Make it a Saturday morning tradition.  A Tuesday morning tradition.  A Monday evening tradition.  Basically, do whatever you want, as long as you make this delicious drink and enjoy it thoroughly.

Step 1.  Chop up 4 dove chocolates.  Put 'em in a mug.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Food Food Food

I'm hungry.


Ha ha... yeah, no, seriously, I'm hungry.  There's a baked potato in the oven, just waiting to be topped with broccoli and cheese for lunch.  I'm pretty pumped about it.  But the 32 minutes left on the timer are just a little too much for me to handle.  If I leave in the middle of this post, it'll be to grab a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch something healthy.  Yeah.

How cute is this??
From this awesome Etsy seller

Anyhow, pictures of food always make an hungry situation both better and worse, and so that's where I went.  I've just found out that my 10-day test starts tonight at 5PM, so I thought a little advance menu planning would be helpful.  I'm also supposed to be studying for a quiz, so any form of procrastination is welcome.

Handsome wants me to be cooking both cheaply and healthily.  In a household where beans are only welcome in the chili some of the time, this is a bit of a challenge.  But we're trying.  Here is my imaginary menu for the following week, in case you were dying to know!  And I'm still keeping my menu on a pinterest board I named "This Week's Meals".  If you use mostly online recipes, this is a great way to keep them all in one place!  [Super-cool Keri gave me the idea... I think.  Either way, she's super cool.]

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nursery Inspiration

I very nearly titled this "Baby Inspiration" and then I thought about what that phrase meant, and I I felt like I should post a bunch of pictures of cute babies, as though I was picking out attributes for my offspring.  And then I felt a bit like a mad professor.  The end.

Instead, it is about the nursery.  While we were on vacation this Summer, I asked Handsome if we could re-do the smallest of our bedrooms into a nursery.  And I mean totally re-do.  I asked him if we could rip the nasty awful very-bad-no-good popcorn ceiling down, if we could put up board and batten, and if we could install some new carpet.  Due mostly to the euphoria of being on vacation, he told me "sure!"  
ASIDE: Ha!  I got him so good.  Ladies, you want a "yes"?  Ask while on vacation.  Something about being removed from the everyday makes anything seem possible.  A well-timed drink doesn't hurt either. 
And then we came home, we built a shed, we paid for Dr.'s visits and labs and tuition and property tax... and suddenly I'm scaling down my own vision of what I wanted to do in that littlest of rooms.  D-man hasn't reneged on his promise.  He still thinks we're doing all the above, even though I'm pretty sure we're not.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Day (I thought) I Lost My Husband

I'm only now able to talk about it.

Okay, that's a bit dramatic.
ASIDE: What's the difference between melodramatic and dramatic?  I surely don't know.
But I was shaken up quite a bit.  


Here's the story:

D-man (it's weird not to type "Handsome" now... I'm never satisfied) left the house around 12:15.  To get to his clinical by 2:00.  He'd probably arrive closer to 1:30, but earlier is better.  I talked to my wonderful man around 1:15, and he said his clinical was re-scheduled for 3:00, but he's gonna get there early and study until it was time.  

I went on my way, lived my life, and did class and other things until about 5:00.  Had a phone message, when I got out of class, from D's buddy that asked if I had spoken to Dante.  Apparently, according to my message, my husband had never shown up at his clinical.  Weird.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Handsome Is as Handsome Does


This is going to be brief.

I'm a bit tired of the whole "Handsome" thing.

I mean, my groom (which doesn't sound as sweet and "awww!"-inducing as when a man says "my bride", and that's just sexist.) is still quite handsome.  Especially considering we've managed to make it through the start of fall without any reappearance of the 'stache. *shudder*

But I'm tired of writing it, and mostly just tired of accidentally typing his name and then having to go back and re-type Handsome.  And so, it's time for the unveiling.  I hope you brought popcorn.

Handsome's name is...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reliving My Glory Days

I always had a packed lunch in school.  The only days I would try to not pack a lunch were nacho Fridays.


Anyhow, I wasn't always proud to have a packed lunch.  At the same time, there was no way I was eating "Turkey Surprise".  It was a bit touch and go.

But these, these were one of my favorite parts of a packed lunch, right along with Gushers and Fruit Roll-Ups.  My favorites:

Remember These??
I loved these.
Until checking Amazon for this blog post, I had been unable to find them in stores.  Didn't even know that Betty Crocker makes them.  Good 'ole Bett. 

However, in case you can't find them, and you've got a hankering (you're welcome), I wanted to introduce you to the grown-up version... in a manner of speaking.

It's a Honey Teddy Graham wearing a hat of canned icing.  He looks quite dashing, don't you think?    You can also dress these guys in icing pants, a half jacket, or pretend that he's stuck in a snow storm of icing snow.  Apparently, one of the hidden blessings of Dunkaroos was that they came in a limited amount.  If you've got a whole box of Teddy Grahams and a whole can of icing, you have to be the one to put a stop to the madness.  It's hard to make a mature decision like that when you feel 11 years old again.

I loved 11,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Today, I will be remembering, along with most of America, where I was 11 years ago.

I will also be forgetting.

I will forget with everything in me, as hard and strongly as I can.  I will forget that days like 9/11/01 happen.  I will forget that it could happen again.  

I must forget.  Because if I remember, if I dwell, I will lose it.  If I focus on the fact that, were another day like that day to come, were it to happen again, my Love would be involved.  The one who promised me forever might meet his "ever".  That slays me.

So remember, if you can.  Forget, if you must.  But feel, whatever you do.

Crying jags are my thing,

Monday, September 10, 2012

To Cloth or Not To Cloth

The other night, I had a nightmare.  Maybe it was a morning nightmare.  You know, when you're not ready to get up so you go back to sleep and you have the worst dreams ever that make you wish you hadn't gone back to sleep?

You have those, right?

Anyhow, I had one.  Multiple ones, actually, in the same night/morning.  And it all centered around a poopy cloth diaper.  [sorry, probably should have warned you there...].  I dreamt that my baby (no hint on girl/boy, either) had soiled a cloth diaper, and I was trying to clean it, and I didn't. know. how.  Couldn't figure it out.  Woke me up a couple of times in a cold sweat.

Rather than wake up and actually think it through, figure it out, and be done with it, it seemed most prudent to continue to fall back asleep, and hope my subconscious would figure it out.  It didn't.  Left me with a bad feeling all day.  And a lingering doubt.

Handsome & I have been tossing around the idea of cloth diapering.  Mostly I toss and Handsome returns, but all the same, it's a volley known as conversation.  But after that dream, and some further thinking/reading, I'm seriously doubting my original resolve.  So here's what I want from you.  What do you think?



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Confessions

So that Alyx girl that I've told you about?  Well, she does this little link-up every Sunday, and sometimes I forget about it.  I don't forget about her, no no no.  But I forget that she's created a space to confess all that weighs heavy on a person's soul.  Lucky for me (and you, as well), I remembered today.  And trust me, I've got a lot to get off of my chest.

1.  I've been shouting a lot this evening.  Scared my dog.  

2.  I'm also not looking (figuratively speaking)  favorably upon Baby Magnum (as we've taken to calling this little parasite I'm growing) right now.  Mostly, because Baby wants me to go to sleep, and I say "No!"

3.  Both 1 & 2 are due to one thing: I've got a fever, and the only solution is MORE PITTSBURGH STEELERS FOOTBALL!

4.  I'm considering eating some dessert, despite the fact that I had a half-sleeve of chips ahoy as my mid-afternoon snack.

5.  I didn't share.  I saw something amazing, and I didn't share it with you.  I'm sorry.  Oh, and what I saw?  A camel.  Lying down beside the road.  In rural SC.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

No Belly Montage

I'm not doing a belly montage, folks.  I'm sorry.  If you were waiting around to see that, I've wasted your time.  I've been writing about apples, apples, and more apples.  For that, I don't apologize.  I mean, c'mon.  Honey Crisp, people.  Seriously.

But yeah, belly montages.  They look cute and I have nothing against them.  I even understand them, documenting the radical change that your body is going through.  I mean,  as Handsome keeps reminding me, he's never seen me with a belly before.  Sometimes he calls it a beer gut, because he's sensitive like that.  And honestly, I've never seen me like this.  

It's not much yet, although it's enough to make even using the 'ole hairband around the button trick not work anymore.  But that up there, that's your only belly shot.  I'd tell you to savor it, but that's just weird.

I am pregnant.  I know that.  It's been a fact for a while, and I'm just starting to adjust to the news.  It still strikes me every now and again that I'm a mom.  I so don't feel ready to be a mom.  I'm not.  This isn't how I planned things, nor is it particularly convenient right now.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Embrace The Quiet

I know I've told you all about my travels.  They were many and long and wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am.  And then they were over, and I dreamed of peace.  Then the friends came.  Dang friends.  It's hard, you know?  Having friends sometimes?  Ones that you actually like to hang out with and are willing to come visit you.  They make for great memories, as well as noisy houses.

And then the in-laws.  The in-laws, they came.  And they loved on us.  And they visited and bought me steak for dinner.  And they hung out with us and smooched our puppy and loved on our baby who isn't even here yet.  They were lovely and I was so glad they were here.  

And then they went home.  And for a day, it was Handsome & myself.  And then it was more friends and fun times.  Really, it's hard being the object of so much love and attention.  

Maybe it's warped, but there is a part of me,  amid all of these fun times and memory making, that longs for quiet.  For no plans.  For (and this is weird, but bear with me) loneliness.  I haven't figured out yet if I'm an introvert or an extrovert.  I know, I know, there's a personality test out there that will tell me.  But maybe I just don't want to know myself that well.  Maybe I'm too indecisive to answer the questions.  Maybe those little pieces of my neurosis right there prove all I need to know.

I hate when bloggers apologize for terrible lighting and bad photos.
But now, with this one, I understand why they do.
Not that I'm apologizing.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pittsburgh Grilled Chicken Salad & Not Apples

Today, we're trying a little interactive blog reading.  Ready?  Your part is in the asterisks.  You know, these things ***

Me: Knock knock.
*You: Who's there?
Me: Orange
*You: "Orange" who?
Me: Orange you glad today's post isn't about apples?

Ha ha ha... good job, guys.  That joke gets me every time.

You're going to need a big bowl for this.
And you're not sharing.

Nope, no apples today [I'm eating one right now, but that doesn't count].  Today is all about one of my favorite meals.  Growing up, with as many brothers and sisters as I had, birthdays were very important, as it was the day that each kid got to feel super important.  And on a kid's birthday, the prince (or princess) always got to pick their birthday dinner.  This was my choice my last birthday at home: Pittsburgh Grilled Chicken Salad.  Doesn't it look heavenly?

Now, this isn't really a recipe, as much as it is a series of steps.  Not pictured, Step 00 is to marinate chicken in Italian Dressing (I like Northern or Zesty, but that's just me).  And Step 0 is to grill said chicken, as well as bake some french fries (I like Ore Ida Fast Food variety).  You can fry them if you wish, and if you're lucky enough to be allowed to own a fryer.  If only. *sigh*

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fall for Apples

Tired of apples yet?  I'm not.  And today of all days, I really should be, but I'm not.

That's how I know.  Apples + Me = Luv.  4eva.  Today, I went to the apple festival, which was pretty much a marriage ceremony for me & apples.

Aaand that's all the further I'm going to take that metaphor.  The end.

Do you know what this is??  Love in a cup.  Others call it an Apple Cider Slushie.  For realz, people, it was everything you could hope it would be.  Just tasted like apple cider, but it was a slushie.  I love slushies.  And apple cider.  Hence my name for it, Love in a cup.  Because it was in a cup, and I love it.  Thanks for letting me spell that out for you.
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