"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Randoms On Oscar Night

I discovered a fabulous t-shirt company called RoadKill T-shirts. I have nothing but good things to say about them. They have really prompt service and they offer an incredibly wide range of sizes but they also offer tall t-shirts which means those of us with really long torsos or big boobs can still have t-shirts that reach a normal spot on our body. Why am I raving about this company? Well, I found this shirt
and got it for the husband in memory of our fun family night out. I'm gonna warn you, this site is not for the easily offended.

My husband is truly a warped and twisted man. Not too long ago, he looked at me and said, "if you ever get pregnant again, I hope it's twins." I accused him of being crazy or having smoked crack and reminded him that at my age,  twins become more and more likely. Then I made the mistake of asking him why he wanted twins. The crazy ass man said he hoped it would be twins because he wanted to name them Dora and Diego.

Most of my long term readers friendsI found some pacman candy molds on eBay that I got to surprise Gabe with. I also found this awesome pacman neon light that I really wish I could justify buying for Gabe's next birthday but the shipping and handling is crazy expensive (3 times the cost of the light).

I have a huge stack of books to read. They are all by authors I adore...but I am still having trouble getting going on them.  This is really weird for me. Usually, I am consuming books like they are candy.

In one week, I lost my keys and my camera. They are both in my house...probably in the kitchen/living room area...but I'll be damned if I can find them anywhere. I blame it on the little blue men.

The weather has been crazy, even for NC. Tomorrow we are suppose to hit 82 degrees and the next day our high will only be 55. These rapid swings are wreaking havoc with Marty's and my head (migraines suck) and Vic's knee.  Luckily, Joey's headaches haven't been triggered recently.

Anything going on in your life?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Slackers R Us or the 2011 Book Challenge

I am off to a shamefully slow start this year but, I still want to run this so here goes. I've made a few changes this year. Sign up is through Google Docs because this will give me easy access to the email addresses for staying in touch (something I SUCKED at this year). I will also be maintaining my book list and the participant list on a tabbed page under my header. Here are the basic rules...

  1. Please use this Google Docs form to sign up...comment if you like but sign up is through the form.
  2. your goal can be as high or low as you feel comfortable with...the goal is to read more, not to beat everyone else
  3. read, read, read
  4. keep a running total
  5. have fun
  6. if it is under 50 pages or an audio book, it counts as HALF a book
  7. anything over 50 pages counts as 1 BOOK no matter how long it is
  8. textbooks, childrens books, ebooks all count
  9. (thanks Jenn) rereading counts and any books read so far count
  10. cookbooks count as a whole book if you actually read them (I mean really read...not just skim while looking for a recipe)

I want to send my thanks out to Jen J for Navigating the Waters of Infertility and Beyond again because she was the one that sparked my Book Challenge in 2009. So, to get the ball rolling, I am going to keep my goal at 100 books. I hit almost 120 last year but I'm starting off this year at a much slower pace.

Finally, as I mentioned before, I am almost done with the tote bag for the 2009 winner and the 2010 winner. If you participated last year, I have either emailed you or posted to your blog. Comment here and let me know if you hit your goal for last year or how many books you read.

Deterred by the darkness

A few hours ago, well before midnight, I sat down with every intention of writing out a thoughtful post about misogynistic legislation that is being pushed by so many legislators around this country of ours. I sat down because I believe it's our duty to speak out against the bile these people are spewing. As I started to type, I got interrupted buy a horrible sound, both a cry and a scream. Poor Gabeycakes, my little 5 yr old had a nightmare. I got him out of bed and he just kept crying and crying. The poor little guy was shaking. He never was able to clearly articulate what was wrong, just that he was scared. He finally settled down and I was able to get him back in bed...but that little emotional rollercoaster just sucked up all my brain power and shut me down for a bit.

Since I'm too brain dead to write terribly coherently about such an important topic, I'm going to ask you to go over to Keiko Zoll's blog, Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed, and read about the ill conceived legislation that our politicians are trying to force feed us. Please, please read her post Um, Why does the government hate women so much? This post is guaranteed to make you angry. It is guaranteed to wreak havoc with your emotions. It's going to take you on a rollercoaster ride. But, this is one rollercoaster ride that can NOT be allowed to silence us. We must be vocal. We must speak out. We must not allow this legislation to be passed.

Now go on...go read it! And, then take the time to spread the word. Tweet it, facebook it, blog it. We have power. We have a voice. And, we must not be deterred by the darkness.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ooooooh My Gawd

This venture into Ooooooh My Gawd territory is brought to you courtesy of EdenFantasys where you can
Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store
The other day when I was scanning through the multitude of posts on my facebook wall, I happened across a little gem from EdenFantasys. They had a post up about a Crochet Club workshop. This totally snagged my interest because well, two of my favorite things...crafty fun and adult fun. I loved the idea of crocheting a bag to store an adult toy in but, sadly, I didn't make it to the workshop because it was my oldest son's birthday that night. The great thing about seeing this post from EdenFantasys was it got me to explore a part of their website I hadn't visited before...their clubs and workshops. Even though I missed the workshop on making a crochet toy bag, I think I'm going to have to check out the upcoming workshop on making your own massage candles and sugar scrubs.

Of course, after I left the EdenFantasys site, I had to head on over to Ravelry.com and see if they had any cool adult patterns. Here are the ones that tickled my fancy...
The first is to display.  
The second is for a drag king to wear.
The designer used the crocheted condom
to hold his crochet hooks...hehehe, a condom for a hooker.
Can't find the link to that boob pattern.
a crocheted dildo
a spermity sperm sperm
this spermity sperm is a cute little condom holder
So, I seem to remember mentioning something about a giveaway. As always, this is for the electronic gift card the lovely people at EdenFantasys give me for writing about their company. I don't need any new toys yet so I'm gonna let one of you go shopping. This is only open to grown ups...under 18 need not apply. So, tell me which one of these lovely little crocheted goodies you think EdenFantasys should host a workshop on next or tell me which one of their workshops you thing sounds most interesting.

The Good, the Bad, the WTF, and the Ooooooh My Gawd

Hey y'all...I have a bunch of stuff I want to share with you and it's all vaguely related under the crafty heading. Enjoy!

The Good
Remember when I showed y'all the quilt pattern I was helping a friend design? Well, Sheila has made some serious progress on the quilt and says I can share it with you guys. She has finished piecing the center block that includes the machine embroidered saying...

and she has finished the friendship squares that go in each of the four corners...
She has cut out almost all the other pieces for the quilt which means I may get to show y'all another progress picture soon.

The Bad
Honestly, I can't bring myself to put anything here. What I like or find amusing, someone else might think is horrible or vice versa. To get your fill of this, check out Regretsy or Craft Fail.

The WTF?!?
Y'all know I love to crochet. I can even see using crocheting to create striking artwork. But, I just have to scratch my head and say "What the fuck?" when I see these...

created by Rome based artist Magda Sayeg...
the web site calls this a knitted bus but 
Ms. Sayeg is known for her crochet work
so I think it has been misidentified
created by the artist Olek as part of an art exhibit
another Magda Sayg creation...
it was driven through the streets of Rome
created by Washington, DC artist Theresa Honeywell
created by Prague artist, Jitka Havlickova
While I can certainly admire the artistry or the color splash offered by these, the mind simply boggles at the sheer number of hours it must have taken to do these.  All of them are full size and, in the case of the bus and the smart car, are driveable. Can you just imagine hopping into that smart car and taking it for a spin...truly odd. A shout out of thanks to Crochet Today! for bringing this fucknuttery to my attention.

Ya know, this post has gotten awfully long. I think I'll put the Ooooooh My Gawd craftiness in a post later today.  You might want to check back because there just might be a chance to win something in that post.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake plus a surprise

Kira from Grafting a Branch onto the Family Tree asked for the recipe for my Chocolate Raspberry Collapse which started out as Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake. It's been a while since I've done a tasty Tuesday post so I guess it's time. The inspiration for this cake came from Susan of She's Becoming DoughMessTic's Best Birthday Cake Ever. As delicious as her cake sounded, I thought it could be made even better by substituting raspberries for strawberries and oranges.
Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

Devils Food Cake Layer  
   1 Box Devils Food Cake
   3 eggs
   1/2 cup Canola Oil
   1/4 tsp Raspberry Extract
   1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
   1 cup water
   splash of milk
   1/2 box (small size) Instant Cheesecake Pudding
   3 Tbsps. Chocolate Syrup
Combine all ingredients in stand mixer and beat for 2-3 minutes. Pour into 10 inch springform pan that has been greased and lined with parchment circle. Spread evenly and rap on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake 35-38 minutes, or until toothpick test indicates done. Allow to cool before proceeding.

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Filling
complied from http://www.cookfromthehip.com/2009/06/raspberry-mousse-chocolate-cake.html and from http://www.doughmesstic.net/2009/08/26/best-birthday-cakeever/
10 oz bag frozen raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 ½ cup heavy cream
4 Tbsps. Sugar
8 oz. Melted Semisweet Chocolate

Heat the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Stir until all of the raspberries break down and are heated through. Run the raspberries through a strainer and into a new saucepan. Add the gelatin to the raspberries and heat until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Beat whipping cream until just stiff. Add sugar, beat again until well combined. Add in melted chocolate (I heated mine in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted then allowed it to cool a bit before adding it to the whipping cream). Mix thoroughly. Fold the cooled raspberries into the whipped cream.  Cover and allow to chill in refrigerator.

Divide the filling evenly between the four cakes to make a double layer cake.
Baked Cake, cut in half horizontally to form 2 layers
1/4 cup Raspberry Jam
8 oz. raspberries
Chocolate Raspberry Mousse
3 Tbsps. Chocolate Syrup
Sweetened Whipped Cream in Piping Bag (Use your favorite recipe)

Place one layer of cake on cake board, cut side up. Top with chocolate syrup. Spread strawberry jam over the syrup. (If jam doesn’t spread easily, heat it for 10 seconds in the microwave.) Place sliced strawberries over the jam, covering entire layer.Top with a little over half of the prepared mousse.

Place second cake layer over mousse, finished side up. Ice with remaining mousse, going just to the edges. (I left my sides uncovered so that the layers could be seen.) Pipe sweetened whip cream over top. You can cover the entire top if you wish, but I chose to only do a thick border and a center circle which I garnished with a berry. Chocolate curls or shavings would have been really nice on this as well.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
   1 cup heavy cream
   2 tablespoons powdered sugar
   1 teaspoon vanilla
Chill large bowl, beaters and cream before whipping. Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds peaks. Do not overbeat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
All you have to do to change it from the lovely cake you see above (I used standard round cake pans and did not cut each layer in half) to the delish Chocolate Raspberry Collapse is cut each layer in half without the proper tools...making sure they are too thin in parts.  Then, when you follow the assembly instructions, the cake layers break and spread. At this point, you scoop it all into a serving bowl and pretend that's what you were aiming for from the start.
The Surprise Extra...Chocolate Raspberry Mousse

When you make the mousse for the cake/collapse above, double the recipe. The leftovers make a wonderful dessert for the next day. Also, when you put the raspberry mixture through the strainer, there will be a thick raspberry substance that won't go through the strainer. It is almost the consistency of a jelly before it sets. Save this and it makes the perfect topping for the mousse.

Enjoy it y'all.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday: Black Belt In The House

Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart . Lori says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

Joey did it. He totally kicked butt (and many other things) during his black belt test on Saturday. Earlier this evening, he was awarded his Deputy Black Belt by Grandmaster KS Lee. Here are a few shots I have from the test and graduation.

I am so very proud of my kiddo...only 10 yrs old and already a Deputy Black Belt. Way to go Joey!

Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

Cooking Maestro?!?!?!?

Yesterday was Marty's 14th birthday (please, please, pretty please go wish him a happy birthday) and I spent a good portion of the day cooking. At one point, I had my handheld beater in one hand making the whipped cream/mousse filling for the cake and, with the other hand, I was pulling the cheddar garlic rolls out of the oven. I think that qualifies as multi-tasking. The dinner alone qualifies me as a cooking maestro. I mean look at this meal...
The only thing better than looking at it was eating it. The rib eyes practically melted in your mouth. The sauteed onions and mushrooms were divine (Gabe and Joey will always disagree on that). The green beans were crisp and flavorful. and the mashed potatoes were loaded. It was a meal fit for a king or a bottomless pit of a 14 yr old.

Then, I think I got my maestro status at least temporarily suspended if not revoked. Last year, I made Marty an amazing Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake.
Not only did the cake look good but it tasted so damned good that Marty wanted it again this year. I made one fatal error this year though. I decided to follow the instructions that have you slice each layer of the cake in half so there are more places to put the yummy mousse and raspberry filling. See, last year I decided I didn't want to deal with the crumbs that always come when you slice a cake and I just made three round layers for the cake. It went together perfectly.It stood up perfectly. It was awesome. This year...not so much. I guess when I sliced each layer into two layers, my cuts must not have been straight enough. It made the whole cake horribly unstable. I bet you bakers in the crowd can guess what happened. The construction of the cake started out ok...
but with each added layer, the layers below started to give out and collapse. By the time I was done adding layers, the cake had spread out a whole lot. In fact, I think one of the layers had completely split down the middle. Cutting it just made it worse. In fact, cutting destabilized it so much that I gave up and scooped the rest of it into a bowl. It was not a pretty sight people.
If it wasn't for the divine flavor of this cake (?!?), I'd have to say dessert was a complete fail. As it is, everyone thought it tasted good enough to devour, despite it's homely appearance. In fact, we decided to claim we created a new dessert. Marty wants to call it Birthday Pudding. My sister by choice Jennifer voted for Chocolate Raspberry collapse. I went for Chocolate Raspberry Birthday Cake Pudding. Which name do you think fits it the best?

BTW, welcome to all you wonderful ICLW people. I have some links that give you a good overview of my life and my story up above.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy 14th Marty!

Dear Marty,

I promise not to get too reflective or talk too much about what a cute baby you were. And, I wouldn't want to embarrass you (too much) by talking about what a handsome young man you are. Instead, I just want to say how impressed I am with the young man you are turning into. I love teaching you to cook and, even more than enjoying the teaching, I love that you want to learn to cook. Your help around the house since dad started back on night shifts has been invaluable. I don't know many kids your age who would volunteer to stay up a bit later not to chill out but to help fold laundry. I was also really impressed with how willing you were to help Joey practice for his Deputy Black Belt exam. I know y'all have your moments but it makes me smile to see you two working together and helping each other out.

It makes me happy to see you exploring and developing your faith. It still floors me when you say you like going to church because there were days I never thought we'd reach this point (what mom of a teenager hasn't said that).

I love you and I'm so lucky to be your mom.  


Friday, February 18, 2011

A Baffling Case of the Blogging Blahs

Y'all might have noticed that I haven't been posting or commenting with my normal fervor (jeez, self-important much?). I'd like to say I had a good excuse like running away to the Bahamas with my pool-boy Raoul or inheriting from a long lost relative and using the money to jet off to Paris.  Sadly, it's nothing that exciting.  I think a good dose of an extra busy schedule + dealing with a recalcitrant laptop = a great big case of the blogging blahs. I've been reading a bit and trying to keep up with what's important (I know there have been two ALI babies born) but I've been a total slackard when it comes to commenting and showing my support to all of you wonderful people. I'm still suffering from the blogging blahs but I need to get myself out of my writing slump. So, I'm going to get off my ass and give y'all the general life update I've been promising and then I'm going to ask a favor.

My little family went through a pretty big change right around the end of 2010. My husband's job situation changed. To understand why this change was made, I have to give you the back story. A few years ago, Vic became the 911 director in a little local town. Now, as most of you know, Vic was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes right after Gabe was born. Some Type 2 diabetics have a fairly easy time controlling their disease...a little diet change, maybe a little bit of meds, and all is well.  That was not Vic's situation. Vic falls on the extreme end of insulin resistance. Nothing except meds and a bunch of them stood a snowball's chance in hell of controlling his diabetes. Now, as Vic's endocrinologist explains it, if they live long enough, all type 2 diabetics will eventually reach the point where they require insulin shots and not just oral meds to control their diabetes. Well, once again, Vic fell into the short end of the odds and, in January '09, his pancreas decided that since his body was rude enough to not use the insulin it made then there was no reason to continue producing it. Although he is still technically a Type 2 diabetic, he is completely insulin dependent (with his huge heaping helping of insulin resistance on top of it). As most medical people know, stress can affect blood sugar levels. And, for my husband, the office work of being 911 director was much, much more stressful than actually being on the console and dispatching calls. As the past 2 years went by, Vic started noticing that on the days he was in the office, his blood sugar would go through huge spikes and it was taking more and more insulin to control them (not good when you already have to take enough insulin that it could drop an elephant in it's tracks)...so much insulin that it was affecting his ability to do the job to the best of his ability. However, on the days he had to fill in on the console, his blood sugar levels were much more stable and he avoided having to take extra doses of insulin. So, after much soul searching and a little bit of beating his type A personality into submission, Vic decided for the sake of his family and his health, he needed to step down as the 911 director. Since the beginning of the year, Vic has been working as senior telecommunicator (dispatcher) and it has done wondrous things for his blood sugar levels. In the past month, his blood sugar was only above 200 on two occasions and, even with dropping his evening dose of Lantus (an insulin type) from 170 units (see, I told you it was enough to drop an elephant) to 100 units, there have been many mornings when his blood sugar was on the low end of acceptable. Yeah, the step down in position has meant a bit of a pay cut but it is helping Vic's health immensely and that is worth more than any amount of money you can mention.

In addition to all the changes with Vic's job, there is all the normal kid based craziness going on. There have been multiple birthday parties to attend. School events to fit into our schedule. I've got the paperwork to register Gabe for kindergarten (GULP...he can't be that grown up already). Joey is testing for his deputy black belt in Tae Kwon Do this weekend so we've had a lot of prep work to do for that. And, Marty is turning 14...holy shit how did THAT happen?

So, now to the favor. When I get the blogging blahs, I tend to flounder around searching for topics. So, can y'all please ask some questions, suggest some topics, or even suggest something or someone I should feature. Help this bitch out...I'm declaring a HaBO emergency.

*In response to battynurse's comment, that is only one of the types of insulin Vic is on. He takes three different types.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brilliance Personified

My husband seriously rocks.  I mean he really, really does. I'm writing this post on the LAPTOP formerly known as the dead 'puter. Vic fixed it...and he did it without spending a single penny. Turns out that all the problems this poor baby was having were due to the half-assed repair job (or possibly work by an unnamed IT department) someone did on it. The hard drive was only being held in by one screw...one out of three.  That means every time you twitched a muscle, the hard drive moved and it couldn't do anything it was suppose to do. The most wondrous thing about this discovery is that, since the hard drive doesn't have to be replaced, we can upgrade the RAM and give this baby some serious speed...woot woot!

Since the laptop is back among the living, I can post whenevah I want...YAY!

Thanks to my honey I am no longer in laptop withdrawal.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday: Happy Valentine's Day

Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart . Lori says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

This past Friday, Vic and I had some errands to run. We were out and about, doing disgustingly grown up and responsible things. When we were on our way home, this song came on the radio and he reached over, grabbed my hand, and sang it to me.

I know it's sappy and sweet but I am so glad I am married to my soul mate and that we still feel this way about each other. Happy Valentine's Day honey.

Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

Requiem for a laptop...

It's a sad, sad day in the Cruz household. I am reduced to once again sharing computer time with the family. My borrowed laptop has googled for the last time ever. See, last summer when I went on my grand and glorious trip to BlogHer, my mom loaned me a laptop. It's been on semi-permanent loan ever since. A few months ago, it started acting up and it took many contortions, calisthenics, and screwing my face into just the perfect scowl to get the laptop to run the needed chkdsk. This time, nothing worked and the poor beleaguered Dell has opened it's last window. See, you know it's kind of hopeless when you know you need to run a system restore and you start the computer in safe mode (the only way to currently boot the thing up) only to get a message saying "System restore is shut down. System restore can not be restarted in safe mode. Boot up in normal mode and turn system restore back on." Definitely one of those computer moments that make you say "WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? If I could start the system in normal mode, do you honestly think I would be starting in safe mode."

In honor of the poor beleaguered Dell, I want to share this cover of the Fraggle Rock Funeral Dirge with you.
To be honest, I prefer the original but this is still pretty darned good.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Projects Galore or can I have more time?

First of all, sorry I've been scarce...with both the posting and the commenting. These wild weather swings have been doing a number on my head. A couple of times in the past few days my head has felt eeeeevil bad enough that I resorted to some *Vitamin V. When my head is that bad, it zaps all my energy and I just feel totally drained. I finally started feeling a lot better late today and, well, I'm here.

Since I'm feeling so much better, I've decided I need a few new projects. To complete them all I figure I'll need to add about 6 or 7 hours to my day. I'm going to be making roman shades for our living room, the master bedroom, and Gabe's room. I have no clue what color they are going to be. Eventually, I'm going to paint our walls and I was fretting about making that decision so the shades would coordinate. Then I decided, what the hell, pick fabric I like and coordinate wall color to the existing shade color. It may be b-ass-ackwards but it works for me.

I also think I am going to end up making my new bras. Yeah, you read that right...making bras. See, until last year, I had mine custom made. Then, I thought I hit pay dirt because there are a few companies that actually make bras in my size and they are available through many online stores.  The custom made company was pretty fast but was **pricey. The commercially available ones were half the price of the custom made ones but, it was a crap shoot as to when you would get them after ordering.  See, the online stores don't keep my bra size in stock and, while they would accept an order, they wouldn't actually order the bras until the company placed it's next big order...it could be tomorrow or it could be months. I need new bras and was going to go with the custom company but, sadly, the Suzanne Collection is no longer being manufactured unless they find a buyer (fuck the economy). They still have a retail operation selling and customizing other bras but they are no longer making their own bras. I do NOT want to wait months for new bras so I started thinking and looking at my bras. So, I decided they looked fairly easy to make if you had a pattern (and, the bras fit so they are their own patterns) and I even found a web site that explains how to reverse engineer a pattern from an existing bra.  I may just end up doing this.

*Vitamin V = vicodin
**I've since found out that, while expensive, the bras were cheap for custom made items.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

CSN Giveaway Winner

I want to congratulate Lynn of Wistfulgirl's World. Her last minute, under the wire tweet won the contest for her. I never thought I'd see Random.org pick the very last entry in a contest but it did.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Random Shit...the "I can't believe he said that" edition

Y'all know our two kitties are Freddy and Butterball. Well, since Vic got the kids calling the little one Butterball Turkey, it only seemed appropriate to call Freddy, Fred Fredburger, since it's a food related name. Well, the other night Gabe was calling the kitties by their nicknames, Butterball Turkey and Fred Fredburger. Then, a few minutes later, Gabe said "Butter, your balls smell like turkey!" It was all I could do not to completely lose it and laugh hysterically.

Migraines suck.  'Nuf said.

Gabe came home from school at the beginning of last week and had a few little pebbles from the playground for me (the playground is covered with a pebbly sand). At the end of the week, he walked in from school, announced "Mom, I brought you rocks", took off his shoe, and dumped it on the desk. Yeah, he brought me some rocks...in his shoe.

I am shamefully behind on some things. I PROMISE to have the 2011 book challenge posted by the end of this week. I think I'm going to have people sign up using google docs this time.  It will make gathering the email addresses easier.  I also will be done with the tote bag for the winner in 2009 and 2010 by the end of next week...like I said, shamefully behind. I swear I am not usually this disorganized.

Vic and I were talking (don't even remember what got us started) and Vic announced that Joseph and Mary must have been on the ancient version of the Maury Povich show. Yeah, that got me to give him the old side-eye. Despite being a bit scared of the answer, I asked him why. Vic said  that with the method of conception, there would probably be parentage questions and Joesph would need to hear Maury say "Joseph, you are not the baby's father."

I am swimming in fabric.

Just got Mel's book, Life From Scratch. I can NOT wait to read it. Go buy it and join the book tour. You have until the 11th to sign up.

I really need to do a general life update soon.  There have been some pretty major changes (no, nothing pregnancy related).

Hehehe, recently, when my husband gets home from working night shift, there have been moments of  "Oh crap" when he walks in.  See, the light from the computer monitor reflects off the front of our stainless steel fridge (I <3 our fridge) and he panics and thinks the kids have left the fridge open.

Anybody know how to block a text number from being received on my crackberry?

Do you have an e-reader? If so, which one do you have and do you life it? Pros? Cons? Spill it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday: Healthy and Happy

Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart (formerly Weebles Wobblog). Lori says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

Last night, after the Super Bowl, I was trying to catch up on blogging. Our big orange goofball, Freddy, decided to keep me company.
He climbed up next to me, rubbed against the laptop a few times, curled up and settled in. Freddy was purring so loudly you could hear him from across the room. I have never known Freddy to purr that loudly but, for the past few weeks, he has started. I know some of you remember how sick poor Freddy was back in December. Well, Freddy has regained all the weight, he plays like a kitten, and he has become even more talkative than he was when we first got him. Let me tell you, nothing is quite as funny as seeing a 14 lb plus cat with his butt in the air, twitching and getting ready to take a flying leap to attack something. Since the vet treated Freddy and he recovered, Freddy's personality has really blossomed. It makes me wonder just how long that abscess was in there (2 months before we got him from the shelter, Freddy had something happen that caused the last 2 inches of his tail to be amputated) and  it makes me realize just how lucky we got. Seeing Freddy there so happy and healthy was truly perfect.

Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

What color are you?

So, y'all, what color are you this year? Green and Gold or Black and Gold? If you don't know what I'm talking about, what rock have you been hiding under? This year's Super Bowl is

At best, we are casual football fans in this house but who can resist the lure of good food, funny commercials, and rooting hard for a team. Since I have friends who would disown me if I didn't, we are rooting for the Steelers this year.

Back to the whole Super Bowl celebration...are y'all having a Super Bowl Party? If so, what are you serving? Last year our menu was Asian inspired. This year we are doing a bunch of finger foods...jalapeno poppers, sausage balls, Buffalo Chicken Bites (thanks to Monica for the recipe), non-Buffalo sauce chicken wings, potato chips with Baked Potato Dip, and, if I get my butt in gear, we'll have Kahlua Espresso Chocolate Chop cookies(my eternal thanks to whichever Facebook friend mentioned these). I know it's not the healthiest menu around but we don't usually eat like this and Mmmm, mmmm I can't wait.
Anyway, it is thanks to the arrival of my beautiful new fridge that I can cook and not worry about where I'm going to put the leftovers. Isn't it FABULOUS?

Friday, February 04, 2011

Money Comes, Money Goes

We got our state tax return yesterday and our federal one came in this morning. Needless to say, I went shopping today. I scored some incredible deals today. Lowe's is delivering our beautiful new fridge tomorrow. We got the style I wanted (French doors, freezer on the bottom) but not either of the models I talked about before. Lowe's had a GE Profile floor model (last season's I think) and, because it was the floor model with one near invisible ding, I got it for about $900 below the cost which meant it was well within our budget. Woohooo for sales.
I also paid for Joey's big Spring field trip to Old Salem; paid for the next three months of Gabe's preschool, got a fabulous new combo microwave (since ours was making weird noises); bought 2 shirts, a Pooh Bear hoodie, and a pair of pants; and made a trip by Game Stop for Wii Fit, a new copy of Mario Kart Wii, and Donkey Kong Country Returns.

It kind of makes me a little panicky when I realize just how much I spent today but damn did it feel good while I was doing it. I keep reminding myself that the only real splurges in all this were Mario Kart Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns. I shopped smart, got things on sale, and I will not let anything spoil the fun I had today.

So, what are y'all planning on getting or doing with your tax return?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Crafts Galore

I hope you don't mind indulging me a bit. I've been very bust doing crafty stuff and want to share it with y'all. This post is very picture heavy so feel free to skip it if you are on a slow connection or browsing via smart phone.

I finished this first two hats close to the first of the year. The first one is my own variation of the Divine Hat Pattern from Rheatheylia. The second hat is a newborn version that was added to the original pattern by the designer. I also used this pattern to make the hat I showed y'all back in October.

for Ben

for Doing Good In Her Name
This next hat is my very own design called Mimi's Hat. I originally designed this hat for a friend based on a hat her daughter has (and I NEED a picture of her wearing it...hint, hint) and I named it after her daughter. This version was made for my mom and I added a little shamrock to it. I sucked it up and decided to be brave and enter it in a contest.

Mimi's Hat for my mom

close up of shamrock

shamrock highlighted
I designed this cowl, the Mobius Cowl, to go with the hat I made for my mom. I also entered it in the contest.

the Mobius Cowl

close up of the Mobius Cowl stitch pattern

me wearing it
Finally, I helped a friend figure out this quilt layout. The colors are NOT representative. I just had to pick something to show the pattern. The dark lines represent how she will be quilting it. The machine embroidered piece after it goes in the center of the quilt.

quilt layout I helped friend with

the machine embroidered piece for the center
I hope y'all enjoyed my craft indulgence. Thanks for looking.

And, don't forget to enter the CSN giveaway.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

CSN Review and $125 for you or you or you

Y'all, I got really luck when I got on board the CSN Stores blogger review program. I've tried out a wide variety of products from CSN Stores and I have not been disappointed by a single one I think one of the things I want to check out in the future is a corner TV stand for the tv in our den.. I'm not sure which part of this program makes me happier, getting to buy and try stuff or getting to share the wealth with y'all. 

Remember when I told y'all that not only was I going to have a $125 giveaway for you but that I got to spend that too? Well, I got to go on a veritable shopping spree. I decided to continue on the pamper me phase started when I bought my beautiful wallet and I got shoes. Oh man, did I get shoes! Thanks to a combination of CSN Stores always low prices and a few mega deals, I managed to get three pairs of shoes...the J Renee Catrice in Taupe, the J Renee Mona in Gunmetal, and the Bella Vita Wren in Tribal Print.

I followed the instruction on how to measure your feet and find your proper shoe size that I found on about.com. Based on these measurements, I ordered an 8 wide.  Yes, these gorgeous shoes are actually available in wide widths which means no more pinch feet. All three shoes proved to be extremely true to size and fit me perfectly. Also, all three shoes are extremely comfortable. Both the J Renee shoes have 3 inch + heels and they still manage to be comfortable thanks to the wonderful padding on the soles. I personally find all three shoes to be well made, absolutely beautiful, and they would be worth every penny CSN gave me (hell they'd be worth full price out of pocket).

I also have to send some major kudos to the shipping department at CSN Stores. Right around the time I ordered them, the last Snowmaggedon had hit and, of course, there was the obligatory warning that shipping may be delayed due to the effects of the weather. Despite what they were dealing with, I had my lovely shoes in less than 5 days. Color me impressed.

So, on to what y'all are really waiting for...the giveaway. You are entering for a chance to win a $125 electronic gift card that can be used at any of the 200+ stores that fall under the CSN Stores umbrella. Remember, ONE COMMENT = ONE CHANCE TO WIN. In other words, each additional chance to win requires an additional comment. Winner to be chosen with the help of Random.org.

Mandatory Entry:
Visit CSN Stores or any one of their 200+ stores and tell me how you would spend your gift code

Extra Entries:
  • Follow my blog through Google Friends Connect and comment to tell me you do (1 chance)
  • Follow CSN Stores on Twitter and comment that you do (1 chance)
  • Follow me on Twitter and comment that you do (1 chance)
  • Tweet (or facebook) about the giveaway and leave me a link to your tweet in a comment (1 entry a day) - Check out this awesome #giveaway from @csnstores and @dragondream http://bit.ly/gFkOx3
  • Blog about the giveaway and leave me a link to the post in a comment (3 entries, so 3 comments)

The giveaway will run from now until 11:59 PM on February 9th.  Stop by on the 10th to find out who won. Make sure I can find your email address either on your profile or in a comment. I need it to contact you if you win.

The only compensation I received for this review were the shoes I was reviewing. I was only required to provide an honest review. All opinions are entirely mine.