Saturday, January 31, 2009

We have a WINNER!

Congrats Brandy @ The Buzz (and The Royal Family)! You have 24 hours to contact me and collect your prize!

Thanks to everyone for being here for theme week and entering the Freebie Friday giveaway. A special thanks to Denise @ There's Always Room for One More for letting me play along. I guess there really is always room for one more! LOL!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Freebie Friday

EDIT: The winner has been announced HERE! Thanks to everyone for entering!

What could be better than something for FREE?

How about a bloggy pal that lets you join in their theme's week...THANK YOU DENISE! I've had a blast this week.

Onto to my GIVEAWAY. Yes, I'm ending Theme Week with a GIVEAWAY.

To enter just leave me a comment telling me where you shop most. It's really that easy and for your comment you are entered to win a $10 CVS gift card.

You guys know I ♥ CVS so I'm sharing a little of them with you. If you are interested in my love affair with CVS, or to find out how I "bought" $76.82 worth for only .49 then click on over to my other blog - Craving Savings.

Giveaway fine print:

- Leave a comment to this post telling me where you love to shop.
- Contest ends at midnight tonight.
- I'll pick a winner using the Random Number Generator at midnight (if I'm still awake) or first thing tomorrow morning.
- The winner has 24 hours to contact me to claim their prize.
- Please make sure that you leave your name or email within your comment so there isn't any question of who the winner is.

Thanks for being with me this week and GOOD LUCK!

Feeling particularly lucky? Denise, my ringleader in theme, is also having a GIVEAWAY today, and although I really want to win it, I'm still going to tell you about it too. Go. Go now and enter cause it's a good one.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life Lesson Thursday

Lessons Learned From Watching Reality TV

-Creating fire and reading maps are valuable skills.

-Less is not always more, especially when you're talking about clothes.

-People around you will not appreciate it if you eat all the food, steal their (dirty) socks or just lay around on your lazy ass while they do all the work.

-While knowing a foreign language is helpful, being able to speak the English language is essential. (Thank goodness for subtitles.)

-Do not serve raw chicken to someone you want to impress. (Or live.)

-If you are cheating on your significant other, going on cable television will make it obvious and they will find out.

-Someone is always watching you. (Even when it's dark and you are under the covers.)

-Never trust anyone if you are both going after the same prize. (Although I use the term "prize" loosely when referring to Flavor Flav, New York, or Tila Tequila.)

-Guys named Spencer are douchebags. And so are their sisters.

-If the only person telling you that you have talent also gave birth to you, chances are you don't.

-Drinking too much will cause you to puke.

-Massages can be very persuasive.

-Dating the same man and/or woman as 19 others at the same time is not the way to find true love.

-It's never okay to lie about having cancer.

-Drugs are bad.

-Not all people are meant for closeups.

-Even rich and beautiful woman have self esteem issues.

-Just because you work in a restaurant doesn't mean you can cook.


-It is acceptable to call someone a whore, bitch, slut, etc. but never, never, never talk about someones mama. Especially if they can spit long distance or you're wearing a weave.

What have you learned from watching reality TV?

Let me know in the comments and then go learn more from Denise in her Life Lesson Thursday post.

Theme week will be wrapping up tomorrow and we saved the best for last so be sure to come back on Friday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What the ____ ? Wednesday

It's day 2 riding Denise's theme train.

Aallllll aboard for What the ____ ? Wednesday!

My original thought was to post a crazy picture of everyone proving to you that I'm not the only one that is mentally challenged (insert profile pic here) in my fam.

BUT once I started going through my pictures I found that THE. BEST. PICTURES. by far were of Lil Sis...

...who apparently has a thing for props.

Yeah she has issues but I still love her!

Now straighten up that crooked face so you can see Denise's What the ___ ? post clearly!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for more Theme Week goodness!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tidy Tuesday - The Conspiracy Theory

I'm jumping on Denise's bandwagon, with her permission. In yesterday's post she said it was going to be a Theme Week over at her place. I immediately asked for details and she said I could play along because I would add to her street cred - her words, not mine.

BTW if you are looking for ways to make the most out of your pudding I highly recommend you check out Multipurpose Monday.

So today has been declared Tidy Tuesday.

Conspiracy much? Me thinks yes.

Do you remember a couple weeks ago I mentioned that I cleaned my room but I still had a mountain of clothes waiting to be put away? Well I'm convinced that S sent all you guys an email and asked for help. The only one that answered his tortured plea was Denise and this whole "theme week" was really a ploy to get me to put them away. Really!

Okay not really, but that's exactly what I did started. Let me introduce you to The Mountain.

Most people wouldn't show you this but I'm all about keeping it real. And this is 100% real. All THIS has been laying on my SD's bed for the last 2-3 weeks and each day I pick a shirt, or undies or socks from the pile.

So I started working...



I tossed a pair of pjs that had seen better days...

Thanked the laundry Gods that I found my favorite A7X shirt...

And wondered how I would ever get all the wrinkles out...

Finally I ended up here

Everything folded in a neat little pile based on where it needs to go.

This is my plan:

Unfortunately I didn't get started until after work, after the grocery store, after making dinner, after emptying the dishwasher, after filling the dishwasher up again and after washing the pots and pans so none of these piles are going to the appropriate place until tomorrow.

I decided to treat myself to a nice cup of hot tea and some trashy TV instead.

But rest assured Denise (& S), this will be waiting on me tomorrow.

Now pop on over to find out what Denise has been tidying up...hopefully there's no pudding involved this time, or maybe it pudding would be a better alternative. You be the judge.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Whatcha want to know?

I know it's extremely abnormal of me to post twice in one day - hey why waste all my creative juice the same day? - but I got requested these interview questions from Manic Mariah so I gotta answer them right?

Here we go...

1) Is the male or female body more beautiful? Why?

I think it depends on the person. I'm more attracted to a males body but there is no denying that the female body can be hot...errrr...I mean beautiful.

For the longest time I thought I had a "type" but it proved to be complete bull crap when it came down to finding the right person. S has more hair than a Just For Men commercial, something I didn't think I would like but I do. Oh how I do. On him.

And Gina Gershon makes me wanna be a lesbian. Need I say more?!

2)Which moment of your life would you relive if you could?

I've been blessed with so many great moments in my life like meeting my husband, being with my Granny for one last Christmas, seeing my granddaughter born in October (literally seeing it ALL) it's hard to choose just one moment. So I cheated and went to S for this one. He says he would like to relive the first time we...well you know - bumped uglies, got busy, did the damn thang or for all you romantics - made love.

Doesn't that just go to show you how different men and women are, as if you didn't already know that. I mean he went straight for the sex answer and I would have probably picked something that was a tad bit more emotional.

The greatest part of his answer was that he was at work and he whispered it. LOL!

3) What is so great about your favorite pair of underwear?

They are comfy, fit just right and they don't give me a wedgie.

4) Do you think that opening a on-line store that anonymously delivers gross stuff to exes and weird bosses is a bad idea? Stuff like dog poop, vomit, and other bodily fluids all wrapped up cute with ribbons. Is there anyone you would want to deliver a special 'gift' to? You know if sending bodily fluids through the mail was legal?

No I think that would be one of THE greatest websites out there. But since it is illegal my suggestion is to make faux poo or vomit to send. Remember that scene in Porkies where the girl "throws up" in the restaurant fountain, when it was really vegetable soup? Yeah faux is so do-able. Plus I just really like the word faux.

I would send it to my ex-employer, except in his case it doesn't even have to be that disgusting. Any meat product will do since he is a Nazi-Vegan. (This is sure to get me some weird google searches.)

5) How do you feel about Marijuana being illegal, do you think it should be legalized?

I think that it should be legalized; IMO it's not any worse than alcohol. The biggest difference is that the government hasn't found a way to legalize it, while still keeping the profits for themselves AND not making themselves look like a bunch of asshats for that whole "Just Say No" campaign.

(This statement is sure to get me in trouble with hubs who is insisting that we find some Pineapple Express after seeing that movie this weekend and/or my sis who keeps pestering me to find out if I have ever done any drugs. Which I totally have NOT if she asks you.)

Okay so now that you know more about me (and S) here's what you need to do:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." If you dare.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I *think* Manic Mariah reserved the right to pick your questions No, I will be picking them and I admit that I'm a dummy. Either way you should still be afraid. Be very afraid.)
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview
someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (You will get to choose the questions.)

Snowy Monday

I walked outside this morning to this surprise. So the blogger in me grabbed the camera and ran walked carefully to the backyard so I could share it with you.

Unfortunately they are also calling for quite the ice & snow storm tonight and tomorrow. While I love to see snow, I hate ice with a passion. Hopefully it will stay north of us and just be another time that our weather guy got it all wrong.

As you are enjoying your Monday please say a prayer for my friend Kat and her family.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Thoughts

I know I talked about it yesterday but I just wanted to say officially


I'm so excited that it's Friday, the temperature is going to be above freezing and I don't have any real plans for this weekend. Sixty degree weather and no doesn't get much better than that?

Or does it?

Right now I'm listening to Bon Jovi on XM and thinking that 80's music makes everything better! Then there's my hot tub that I've been neglecting since the temperature dropped. Finally I can see myself back in the steam, relaxing in the warm hot massaging water.

Did I mention that I've lost 5.2 pounds? Woohoo! I understand that is not going to be the norm for every week and that it might be off a little since I'm using my starting weight from the doctors office and now weighing myself at home. But hey, it's a loss and I'm going to brag about it.

It's going to be a good weekend. I can just hear feel it.

What song would make your Friday better?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm happy...

...because I woke up to this

...S is on his way home!

...I'm still on a savings high from last night's grocery trip.

...tonight is dart night.

...the refinance went perfect.

...tomorrow is Friday! I'm already thinking TGIF.

...that I have my sassy boots on today. Lil Sis is coming by work today so I get to see Beefy.

...eating right and drinking water hasn't been too difficult.

...God is good.

What are you happy for today?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Birthday Pictures

First I want to thank everyone for their kind words the last two days. It's amazing who much better you feel when you get an encouraging word or two.

Last night we went out for dinner to celebrate my Dad's birthday. Here's some of the pictures that I'll see most of them are of Beefy and BN #3 because they were the only kids in attendance and they are just so dang cute.

Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like being humiliated.

My Lil Sis who subsequently said "I hate you" because she hates for me to take her picture. Have I mentioned she started a blog after guest posting for me? Click HERE to see it.

Lil Sis again trying to get out of the pictures. I think it's a nice look for her.

Beefy being Beefy.

BN#3 and Beefy; trying to get two kids to look the same way at the same time is nearly impossible.

My Dad with the kids.

Beefy and I; apparently trying to get two PEOPLE, not just kids, to look at the same time AND keep their mouth shut is nearly impossible.

Lil Sis and her oldest.

She is so adorable!

All of us; Lil Sis, Me w/ BN#3 in front, Dad holding Beefy and then my middle Sis, who is not mad but looks like it with the crossed arms.

We had a good time and because Pops was drinking (and maybe expecting to get lucky-ewwwwwww!) I didn't have to be at work today until 9:30. Hence the late post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Highs and Lows

My everyday consists of highs and lows. I'm not sure if this is true for everyone, but it makes me feel better to think so.

On a normal day a high would be having someone else cook dinner or leaving work early; a low would be a problem at work or having a police officer call you because your kid is speeding. Yes, this really happened.

However today's high and lows are more like peaks and valleys.

We lost my Granny one year ago today. It was the worst day of my life, and I didn't even know it yet. I didn't find out until the next day when we docked. My oldest nephew had left me a message and when I got cell phone connection in Jacksonville I heard that familiar beep.

Never in a million years did I expect to find that message. I thought she was eternal. My Granny had always been there for me and I chose to believe she always would be. When Lil Sis wrote about Granny last week she described her as our "Big Momma" me she was just Mom.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and I miss as much today as I did one year ago.

In some sad twist of fate she passed away on my Dad's birthday. So today we will celebrate his 49th with heavy hearts. It's safe to say that his birthday will never be the same.

Before we celebrate his birthday this evening S and I will be signing our life away. At least it will feel that way.

We decided right before Christmas to take advantage of the lower mortgage rates and refinance our home for less years. It's taken until today to get everything done - gathering all the documents, signing for a "locked in" rate, the ride by appraisal, the actual appraisal.

Once all the "t's" are crossed and the "i's" are dotted we will have shaved off about 7 years of our mortgage while keeping the same payment we have now.

I'm so thankful that the housing market is still somewhat stable in our area, allowing us to be able to make this change.

I'm thankful that I had my Granny for so long and that she will continue to live in my heart forever.

I'm thankful for the family that I still have here with me and that I will be surrounded by them today.

I'm thankful for everyone that reads my blog and offered me some much needed support yesterday.

It's these "highs" that will carry me through today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Words you never want to hear...

Last week I went for my yearly physical...6 months late. Truthfully I only scheduled it because that little scare I had a few weeks ago. I already know what to expect when I go.

Even though I really like my doctor (she's actually an LPN) she doesn't sugar coat things. She's very straight forward and I knew that weight would be the topic of the day. First peeing in a cup...always a favorite activity of mine...then I went in to get weighed. Ugh.

After the usual irritations - temperature, blood pressure, updating my information - she got down to business. We had a long talk about losing weight, getting healthy and what it means if I don't. She was very understanding and nice about the situation but she said that dreaded word...obese.

I'm not proud of that but I put it all out here because I need to be held accountable. I need to take better care of myself. I need some motivation.

I've never been a small person, just ask my Lil Sis. But in the past 12 years of marriage my weight has grown with my happiness and my husband, God love him, he loves me all the same. I can't think of one time he ever made me feel less than beautiful.

This however is not about being vain. It's about being healthy. I got my lab results yesterday and they show I'm pre-diabetic, my cholesterol is high and my CRP is elevated. She recommends taking a baby aspirin everyday for the CRP in addition to losing weight and exercising. She also recommended reading You On A Diet or doing Weight Watchers.

On Friday I started drinking more water. I've averaged 2-4 servings a day which is 2-4 more servings than I was drinking. That's my first baby step. My second baby step was to look at what I'm eating and how much I'm eating. I've been practicing portion control this weekend and making smarter choices.

Once I get that out of the way then I will focus on exercising because I know that will the hardest for me to do. I know I need to do it but being motivated to do it is a whole different thing.

Three days into this I'm okay but I've got a long way to go.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My thoughts...

If The Secret is positive thinking, here are my thoughts...

With an actual high of 19 today I'm hoping this starts to work. Soon. Very, very soon.

Cuddle up with your love (especially if he wrote you a blog) and stay warm!

Have a great weekend ya'll!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Guest Blog from S...finally!

She asked me to do a guest blog, which I think is crazy. But for all of you that know B, it's better to go ahead and do it or she will not stop whining. So here it goes. I don't know what to blog about, but I read hers everyday so I will give it a try.

She has an addictive personality. Whatever she does, B gives it 150%. She can't go a day without blogging or even thinking about it. (LOL! I read it everyday so I must be addicted too. That really is the first thing I do when I get home from work.) We can't even go on vacation without her bringing the computer with us. She says it is for work but she wants to blog.

If you think blogging is the only thing. OMG let's talk about coupons and CVS. Sunday rolls around, B pulls out the coupons and ads and smoke actually starts coming from her ears. You can really see the wheels turning. She goes to Kroger or Food Lion everyday. It's unbelievable how much money she saves.

If I'm not mistaken she keeps up with it. Ever want to know? Just ask. I'm sure she will tell you.

CVS. B has to be the CVS Queen. She will go there and actually get like $50 worth of stuff for .11. We actually bought Christmas presents there. (I have to admit she impresses me with that. That is a secret. Don't let her know that. (: ) She doesn't like for me to go with her because I cost her money. But really whatever she sets her mind to B succeeds.

Before I end this I have to comment on a discussion me & B had the other night. See I am 36 years old. We have been together for 12 years. So that means she has been with me 1/3 of my life.

I am stubborn, hard headed, I like things one way. B is a very strong willed, kind hearted woman. Who is actually my soul mate. She understands who I am, and knows how to deal with me. And actually she can help change my mind when I am wrong.

Because I really didn't want to write this. But because I love her I did. Hope it doesn't sound stupid. Maybe, just maybe I will get lucky for it. :)

(All this stems from TMM's idea to have our significant others write a blog for us. My Sis did it on Tuesday, and S decided his life would be easier if he just did it too. I really appreciate him taking the time to write it all out. I love you honey! You did a great job...although I do NOT go to FL or Kroger everyday, but pretty much everything else is true. Including the last part. Bowchicawowow)

See he really did write it all out...even the smilies!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lessons learned from FX

You always hear people say there's nothing on TV. Even though we have over 300 channels, including HBO there's nothing on. Some days I would have to agree, some weeks I would agree that the programming lacks any wow.

That's why I am so thankful to have titillating <--fancy schmancy word alert-- shows back on the air. Shows that may not be educational or critically acclaimed but they are "watch worthy".

Feel good shows like Gossip Girl, where the young upper crust East Coasters can be as bad as they wanna be...and yet still be fashion forward and likable. On the other side of the coast there's 90210. The new 90210 where moral dilemma surrounds them each week...and guest stars Kellan Lutz aka Emmett Cullen. A glimpse of him is enough to make me tune in.

I also watch a lot of reality TV. The ghetto, train wreck, you-just-want-to-bitch-slap-them reality TV that VH1 produces and ones with just a little bit more substance on Bravo. I know it's bad. I know it's trashy. But I can't help but watch. Those sneaky producers know how to draw us in with previews of girl fights, drunken stupidness and other questionable behavior.

Then there's FX. For those not familiar it's the basic cable equivalent to HBO. They have all the bad shows. And by bad I really mean good but naughty. Make sense? It's all about curse words, naked butts and overall bad behavior, with unbelievable plot lines to push it to the limit each week.

Over the years I've enjoyed Rescue Me, The Shield, Dirt, The Riches, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Damages, Sons of Anarchy and my all time favorite - Nip/Tuck.

Oh my beloved Nip/Tuck where the plot line has been at wonderful highs-the introduction of Kimber, Christian's son Wilbur, The Carver-all so good, but there has been plenty of lows too. Far too many to list here...the show isn't meant for everyone. Plain and simple.

It is however a learning tool. A learning tool? you ask. Well, yes.

I thought the best line ever was from Sons of Anarchy's first season and I've been saying it for months now-"Bad things happen to greedy whores."

How true.

Then this diamond sparkled in last night's episode of Nip/Tuck -

"Labels are meant for tuna cans, not people"

I say preach FX! Preach on!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Guest post from my Lil Sis

Let me start off by first saying I am not a writer. My spelling is not up to par and my grammar... well let's just say I skipped English class far too much. But if you are willing to bare with me, please continue reading. [:

My sister, Brandy, asked me to write a post for her blog. It was either actual do it, or she was going to make up nonsense making herself look good; as if her ego needs to be rubbed anymore.

She and I are several years apart in age, 9 to be exact. We haven't always gotten along, sibling spats and what not. Even though there were times we would argue or she would be upset with me, we have always gotten along. Doesn't make much sense does it? It really used to be a love hate thing. Our mother, if you can even call her that, wasn't around very much after I was born. I have no idea how life was for my two sisters while mom and dad were still married, but once I was old enough to know what was going on, she wasn't around too often.

Brandy has always been a "mother figure" for me. Always there when I needed her in ways a normal sister shouldn't be. Standing up for me and having my back. Fighting battles because I was too scared to do so. Stating the obvious to other family members because who is going to believe the baby of the family? Anyway, my point is my sister and her husband, both have been a really big part in my life. They both have been my rock, my foundation, and my support. I don't know what I would do without either of them, even if it at times the ole' hubby is more than hard headed. [I blame it on the lack of estrogen, he just sometimes "doesn't get it."]

Aside from my sister Brandy and our other sister being that "mother figure" in my life... and aside from coming out of the same womb, we shared the same mother. Granny, was always our mother. Frances Earlene was our father's mother. I was just oh so blessed to be named after both my father and Granny, my middle name is also Earlene. I used to hate it. I would hate telling people what it was because it is so out-dated and... country. She passed away around this time last year, hardest moment of my life. When I received the phone call, I collapsed on the kitchen floor 6 months pregnant with my daughter. I cried and cried. You know the old saying, don't take things for granted because you never know when you will lose it? I feel that way. I should have went and visited more, called more. I should have been at the hospital with her. I shouldn't have given her such a hard time as I was growing

Granny was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a nanny, and a friend. She would done anything for her kids and by kids I mean anyone. She would have done anything for her own children, for their children, for their children's children and the ones she babysat. She was really soft hearted and couldn't ever stay mad. She would threaten to tell our dad on us, I guess hoping it would scare us into doing right, but she never told. She never disciplined me... I am not sure if she did my sisters, but she didn't me or the ones she babysat because we were "her babies".

She laughed at everything. I am not by any means stretching the truth, it was truly everything. If you picked with her, she would spat insults back. She was such a happy woman. There is not one time in my mind that stands out to where if she was upset you couldn't make her laugh. She loved to read and watch her "stories". She loved the drama in the soap operas. Days of Our Lives, Monday through Friday at 1 pm. If you made her miss it, she would gripe and complain and demand a soap operas digest magazine.

Growing up I remember her having 3 animals. A cat, that I can not remember the name of to save my life, a very scared skittish dog named Lady, and a parakeet named Pretty Boy. Some would say she treated them just like her kids, I still say she was insane. She was easily attached to people. She could make friends with anyone and every kid liked her. Maybe it was because she also doped us up on sugars and treats while we were around her, or maybe it was because she would let us get by with murder and be our perfect alibi... either way, she was a genuine lady.

I miss her. I miss her getting happy about her stuffed animals, about the great grand kids [she has 4 now and 1 great great grand child]. I miss her loving everything you gave her even if it was a pencil. She not only smiled with her mouth, but with her eyes, and her soul. I miss complaining of having to give her a kiss after a visit because her whiskers would tickle me and making fun of her for calling men that was young enough to be a grandchild her boyfriend. This was the first year she was not at Thanksgiving or Christmas [except for last year she was in the hospital but we did Christmas with her in January, before she passed away]. She loved the holidays... for the family, and for the food, can not forget about how much she enjoyed to eat. Even if she didn't like it, she would eat it. I took her a tuna sub from Subway one time, she was upset at first and then told me to "go ahead and give it here"... she ate it all with a smile on her face.

We don't have a lot of people in our family. We don't have anything to do with our mother's side and I don't think I've meet anyone on my father's side except for my aunt and uncle. We have a bit of a small family and granny was our glue. She always tried to keep the peace make sure we were all together. She was our "Big Momma". Maybe it is because Brandy took after granny a lot, not only with looks, but with values, morals, and personality, but I see a lot of granny in her. Now that Brandy has become a Mi-Mi... I know that my children will pick up on calling her that, and they will look up to her as I did my granny because my children's "granny" is no where to be found. I wish granny would have been able to meet my daughter. She would have loved all of her fat rolls, red hair, and big blue eyes. She would call all the great grand kids names like Butter Ball or Turkey... my dad gave my daughter the nick name "Beefy" because she was just an ounce shy of 9lbs when she was born, granny would probably have loved the nick-name "Beefy".

She was a wonderful woman. I wish we had more time with her. I wish things would have different that year. So much had happened prior and after it was by far the roughest year of my life. But, I know she is in a better place and no longer suffering. She is living on through my sister, and her family and friends.

(Wondering why I have a guest blogger? Besides having someone else do my dirty work, I'm also participating in TMM's guest blogger day. Thanks Lil Sis for doing this! You are a good sport...unlike S who didn't write a damn thing.)

(Sis and Beefy - Christmas 2008)

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's really THAT easy...

It's been a while since I posted any new recipes. Sunday I spent most of the day with my trusty laptop and while I was jumping around I found a recipe for "mix in the pan" cakes that claimed to be as good as a boxed cake mix AND as easy.

That's a claim I wanted to put to the test.

Since I still had applesauce in my freezer I decided on the applesauce version, leaving the chocolate one for another day.

"Mix in the Pan" Applesauce Cake

Here's what you need:

1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice I used a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves since I didn't have any allspice.
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vinegar I used apple cider vinegar cause it's what I had.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Measure all the dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spice(s), and salt) into the 8-inch UNGREASED square pan. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients (water, applesauce, oil, and vinegar) into the flour mixture and stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, but do not beat or over-mix.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (It was 40 minutes in my oven.) Serve plain or dust with powdered sugar.

I couldn't wait to cut into it so it was still hot when I did. It crumbled a bit because I didn't let it cool properly. Didn't bother me a bit. The cake still tasted good and I'm not above eating crumbs.

The only I might change next time is to add more applesauce and less oil. And I might add some raisins. Or walnuts. Or raisins and walnuts. Or chopped apples. Or...well as you can see I could do a million things with it but the basic recipe is good and just as easy as it said.

Wondering what I had for dinner? Check this out. Let's just say my kitchen smelled delicious yesterday.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pulling out the ole' soapbox

My Sis called me yesterday on my way home. She was "aggravated, mad & angry." Since she used so many adjectives in one sentence, I naturally asked why.

This is why.

"As of February 10, 2009, it will be illegal to resell any used children's products, including toys and clothing. That is according to the U.S. Consumer Protection & Safety Commission, who pushed for the new laws after dozens of toys were recalled in 2008 because of lead concerns."

I'm all for safety, especially in regards to babies and children, but this is a little extreme. In my opinion, it should be against the law to resell car seats and mattresses. Car seats because you don't know if they have been in a previous car accident and may not be effective in protecting your child. Mattresses for obvious sanitation reasons.

However when it comes to used clothing or toys, I think it should be the parent's decision.This law is just entirely too broad to institute the way it is written and it will have detrimental effects on parents nationwide. Not to mention businesses such as Once Upon A Child that specialize in selling used items.

I know lots of parents that not only purchase items from stores like this, but they also sell their items to stores like this. Is it really the time to move towards removing yet another portion of our economy? There are over 230 locations nationwide that will have no choice but to close their doors to consumers and their employees.

With 7.2% of the population already unemployed the last thing we need is take away jobs and make it harder for parents to afford to clothe their kids.

And I won't even start on what that will mean to non-profit organizations that have thrift stores such as the Salvation Army or DAV. Nor will I get into the fact that all of these items will now land in our overcrowded landfills. How green is that?

I love how they are justifying this ridiculous law by citing the lead recalls from last year. But have they stopped imports from China? No. Have they tested all imported toys? No.

And yet the direct quote from the CDC says "Toys that have been made in other countries and then imported into the U.S. or antique toys and collectibles passed down through generations put children at risk for such exposure."

They blatantly state it's imported toys. Shouldn't refusing imports be the first step in eliminating lead based toys?

Better yet isn't there a way to encourage more toys be made in the USA, where there are strict regulations? Is ANYTHING still made in the USA? I'd like to note here that the new pair of Levi's I bought over the weekend was made in Egypt.

Yep that's right even Levi's are now imported.

Back to the subject at hand. If you would like to make your voice heard and help stop this ludicrous law please go HERE and sign the petition.

I did. Will you?

**EDIT** To be fair THIS article explains exemptions that are pending final approval. This doesn't change how I feel but I'm happy to see that the government is taking steps to review the original regulation.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Who me? Just because Trish gave me this award on December 11th and I'm just now posting about it doesn't make me a procrastinator. Really.

Since I'm really late in accepting this, I will do something so unlike myself and follow the rules.

1. Say one nice thing to a man in your life.

Honey, I love you! Thank you for putting away the Christmas decorations and putting up with my spoiled behaviors!

2. List at least 6 ways you measure success in your life (or for your blog).

-A great marriage to a great man
-The success of those around me- my family's success makes me proud
-Having good friends that I can rely on
-Buying two houses before I was 30, and without any help
-Being (relatively) healthy
-A good job with lots of "benefits" like time to blog [:

3. Assign this award to 5 other blogs.

Tattooed Minivan Mom
Crazy, Magic, Sometimes Hectic, Beautiful Life
There's Always Room for One More
The Life of Me Plus Three
Too Many Hats

Speaking of Too Many Hats she also gave me an award in December.

Sorry I'm not following the rules on this one. Or this one that Veggie Mom gave me earlier in the week...

I will tell you that Veggie Mom is having a giveaway to start the new year off right. She's giving away a full set of Pop'rs and Tshirts to 5 lucky grand prize winners and all you have to do is comment her posts to enter. Very painless and the payoff is extremely tasty. The Pop'rs, not the Tshirts.

Although if cotton is what you enjoy...who am I to judge?

Another blogger in the giving mood is Kat. This is her 10th and last Weekend Winners giveaway and it's soooooo good. Appropriately named "Greatest Hits" this giveaway includes a little something from each of the 9 previous ones.

Awards and prizes? No wonder I love blogging.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mama's got a brand new bag

It was made for me.

It's MY color. Green. Like my eyes.

It's leather. So it smells yummy.

It came with a friend. A partner in crime if you will.

And it's as pretty on the inside as the out. Like me! Who's that snickering?


Although Papa wasn't too happy about my purchase, or rather the amount of my purchase since I just got this little gadget - I couldn't resist. To be completely honest I picked it up immediately but then put it back before paid for our purchase. Then I proceeded to whine about it.

The. Entire. Way. To. The. Car.

S couldn't take it anymore, so he went back in and bought the purse for me.

I'm a firm believer that bad behavior should not be rewarded. Unless it's for me. Then it is perfectly fine. And expected.

Am I the only one that throws a tantrum to get their way?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm pooped

You would think that the creative juices would be overflowing since I took such a long hiatus over the holidays. But not so much today. I was up waaayy to late on Sunday as my internal clock had reset to vacation mode and wasn't giving it up easily.

Then last night I had intentions of going to bed at a relatively decent hour after watching Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. Don't judge.

Instead I cleaned my room.

This is monumental in my house since it means that I have to put away my clothes and shoes. However last night I did that and so much more. The valances were washed, the furniture was dusted, the baseboards were cleaned, the comforter set was changed out, and the carpet was vacuumed. When I say I cleaned, I CLEANED.

The only surface in that room that was not dusted, buffed or sucked (vacuuming people, vacuuming!) was S's dresser. Now my side of the room shines and sparkles and his dresser is the sore thumb in the room.

Let's not talk about the mountain of clothes in the laundry room. K?

So I'm pooped. Tired. Wiped out. Thank goodness I have gorgeous relatives to entertain you with.

Miss Beefy is sitting up and talking up a storm now. It's adorable to see her wave "bye-bye" and seeing how much she's grown over the last 8 months.

This stinker, Lil J is teething and actually smiling at people. At least I think they are actual smiles and not just gas. Either way it's awful cute.

Both girls light up a room and hopefully light up a random post too.

Unfortunately I can't say tomorrow will be much better because Nip/Tuck is FINALLY back on TV tonight. That is a cannot miss show for me. I know the story lines are corrupt, sick and deprived. That's why I love it.