Wednesday, April 30, 2008

He He He

What are you doing Saturday?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Free stuff

Register to win a $100 Land's End Gift Card over here at Hormone Colored Days.



This product is a god send to anyone with curls. Seriously. I've tried to live without it but I cannot. I had to break down and buy some today b/c my hair is screaming for it. Silly I know, but I can't think of another hair product that I love more.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rested and Relaxed

This was my view this weekend. I had a much needed weekend away where I was able to sleep, relax, eat good food, sit/walk on the beach, sleep, sit in the jacuzzi, swim in the pool, sleep, and read a good book. It was needed and I actually felt great this morning and managed to make it through the entire day at work with a smile on my face.

This was taken at Buddha Lounge and Grill on Saturday night. The food was fabulous and the waitress was on spot. I'm also very shocked that there is actually a decent picture of me out there now. Normally my face morphs into that of a crone with only one eye when a camera is turned my way. It must have been the relaxing...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I made these tonight and they were unbelievably good. They have peanut butter in them so that means they are full of protein, right? They aren't full of calories, they are full of love.
So the buy nothing month is almost at and end and I've been just a little more naughty. I bought all of the decorations for Monkeyface's birthday party b/c the party shop was having a buy one get one free sale. Granted, his party is not until June 7th, but how could I pass up a sale on things that I know I'm going to have to purchase. I could not justify paying full price for things next month that were half price now. I also bought some clothes for Monkeyface (Thomas the Train)and a broom. The clothes were completely spur of the moment and we could have lived w/o them but I don't get over to that side of the county very often and I knew it would be a while before I went back. The broom was just a good investment b/c he loves using it and I love having him help me clean. I still feel that I've made a good effort this month and have really watched where our money has gone. It has definitely made me more conscious of my spending habits and I plan to continue this after the month is up.
This weekend I'll be traveling to Myrtle Beach for a much needed girls weekend. I got us an upgrade to a 2BR condo for the occasion free of charge b/c I am good like that. The room looks amazing so fingers crossed that it is. I plan on sleeping late, enjoying a good glass of wine, taking a long walk, and sitting in the jacuzzi. I have even shaved my legs for the event which is a huge undertaking for a hippie like me.
Speaking of hippies...last night Monkeyface was looking at one of my yoga books full of pictures. He would point to the pictures and in his funny gibberish that sounds like a cross between German, English, and Japanese, he would say "hippie" every time he pointed to one. And I gave my usual reply, "yes baby, hippie."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Western Dream

Bob Sinclair is playing on Pandora today in the office. It makes me happy. After years of bringing in my ipod or burning cds to bring in, we've finally been allowed to use the "unused" computer and play music. The right music makes all the difference and that album cover makes me want to run away today to nap in the sun. How fantastic is it that it's going to be 82 today? I'm a little jealous that Monkeyface gets to play outside all day while I work inside and he gets to nap. When I went to lunch on Wednesday I made a comment to my co-worker that if we were with Monkeyface right now then we would be napping. Oh how I miss naps. I think this weekend you'll find me on the couch with the windows open napping while he naps.
So my "Buy Nothing" month has been doing rather well. The only extra things I've bought have been clothes, but in my defense they were on sale and they were exactly what I've been looking for. I bought 2 pair of plaid cargo shorts for Monkeyface and some fantasic chocolate linen pants and a black shirt for myself. The pants fit perfectly in the waist and hips and after I get them altered to fit my apparently short legs then they will be the best pants ever. I don't know why stores think that plus size women are 7 ft tall. Sometimes I wished that I could draw/sew so that I could design some decent clothes for the fairer sex.
I did visit Linens and Things and was tempted by all the gadgets but walked away with only the sandwich cutter I needed for the cucumber sandwiches that I made for the shower of my sister in law that I love and all that jazz. (how's that for a run-on?) I love gadgets. They always seem so promising but I reminded myself of the larger picture this month and stopped the impulse to purchase. Oh yeah..I also bought some new washcloths which were needed for when my house guests arrive in June. They are darling little monkey washcloths so how could I not get them? The kids are going to love them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dinner tonight

Chicken is grilling marinated in Allegro and Orzo is sitting on the stove waiting to be eaten. This is a really good recipe for kids and adults :) I don't remember where this recipe came from b/c it was saved in my inbox.


1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped (I use onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, juices drained
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a heavy large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas. Add the orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. Season the orzo with salt and pepper, and serve.

Wonder Woman

I think these suit me. Anyone have $120 lying around they want to spend on me?
NO? Well, a girl can dream.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Where will you be?

I know what I'll be doing May 3rd. Looks like a fun day and a great little excursion for the little one.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh my aching back

This weekend was a lot of fun but boy I'm tired. I'm ready for Memorial Day weekend just so I can rest a little longer.
I helped to host a baby shower on Saturday which was my first one ever. I made about 40 large cucumber sandwiches and cut them into 2 hearts each with my wonderful heart shaped sandwich cutter. It took about 2 hours to make all of those which I didn't expect but I got lots of compliments so it was worth the effort. Oh and I love my sister in law and all that so it was worth the effort even if no one complimented me.
Uncle Vern babysat while I was at the baby shower yesterday and this is what he left for me:

This was the first in a set of 3 photos where my son's face got progressively dirtier. (In the background you will see a learning tower which is a fantastic way to have your kid at the counter when you cook. No more falling of chairs!!)
I decided to take Monkeyface and his cousin, Nanah, to the lake later in the day to feed the ducks all of the leftover white bread and crusts. White bread has never made its way into this house before so at least two pieces were devoured by Monkeyface while he sang "Yummy". Yeah I know baby, it is yummy.
We bought a potty yesterday and will be starting to talk about that this week. I'm not ready to train just yet, but I do want to start talking about the potty. Yes, I talk about potties now. Oh, the excitement!
Today I was allowed to sleep until 9am which is a very rare event in this house. After a breakfast of delicious grits, eggs, and bacon Monkeyface and I unloaded the dishwasher, vacuumed, and dusted. He is a "tremendous" helper and I am making sure that I nuture this side of him. I figure that it is my job to teach him all I can about independence and this is the first step. Well actually, I guess the first step was actually his first step, but this is good too.
We eventually made it over to the inlaws for our monthly get together and the kids played really well together. I love watching all the cousins running around with Monkeyface trailing behind them. Soon there will be a new addition so he won't have to be in last place for too much longer :)
Well, Desperate Housewives is finally back on tonight so I need to get my dose of primetime trash. Yay DVR! I never have to watch a commercial again.

Bean Dips

This is the hummus that I made today.


Patacones with Spicy Bean Dip is a traditional Costa Rican dish that I have made several times in my house now. It is worth finding the plantains and making this. They are really good. Of course if you have little ones, be gentle with the spices.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Crockpot Love 1

From time to time here I think I'm going to post some recipes that make my life a little easier. I know I've got some mamas and some daddies (Hi daddy!) reading this so hopefully this will help you out.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

First time I ate chicken tortilla soup was in San Diego and I do believe that this one is better. This tortilla soup freezes/reheats well and it's healthy too so I double the recipe every time I cook. It is particularly tasty if you garnish with grated cheddar, avocados, sour cream or a splash of fresh lime juice.**Keep in mind that I eat low salt food but you do not have to**


* 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken (I boil a few breasts and shred them with
* 1 (15 ounce) can diced no salt tomatoes
* 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cups water (sometimes I use no water and double up the chicken broth)
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
* 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
* tortilla chips


1. Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
2. Remove bay leaf
3. Crumble tortilla chips and put on top.
4. Thank me when you eat it b/c it is that good.

For more recipes, visit Gayle

Link goodness

I must post this link as it is the most delightful thing I've read in a long time. I almost fell off the couch laughing and I am literally wiping a tear from my eye right now.

It reminds me of the little old lady that used to babysit my younger brother and me, Ms. Penny. She was a completely proper, Baptist widow raised in the South. She never spoke ill of anyone and was incredibly sweet. She would cook THE BEST fried chicken and mashed potatoes I have ever had in my life and she would cook it every day if I asked. The potatoes were the perfect consistency and since she never told me how she made them I can never have them again. I remember that she swept our orange shag carpet every day when she was there and refused to use the vacuum cleaner. She told great stories and crocheted all the time. She is one of my favorite memories of childhood and now that I have a child I really miss her.

Of course, being the instigator that I am, I would wait until she fell asleep with her head back on the couch (she did this frequently) and then my brother and I would stick our fingers in her mouth, giggling the whole time. She had dentures so sometimes she would snore a little too deeply causing the dentures to go back too far and she'd snort awake. We'd take off running and pretend like nothing was going on....until she fell asleep again.

Another favorite story of mine is that we used to watch a nightly news entertainment program. One night they had on these beautiful women with the tiniest bathing suits I had ever seen in my life. She hoists her 80 year old body off the couch, squinches her eyes at the TV, and loudly says to me..."that girl barely has enough material to cover her pussy". I gasped, sputtered, laughed, snorted, and probably any other sound you could think of. That was probably 24-25 years ago and I still remember this about her.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Farmer's market

My dad called yesterday from the Asheville farmer's market (one of my favorite places on Earth) and told me he was bringing home some Sundried Tomato & Garlic Amish cheese and some Greasy Beans seedlings. He's going to grow them in his back yard for me. I'm super excited b/c these beans are awesome. I miss having a garden. We always had one when I was growing up and I hated taking care of it then, but I truly enjoy the experiences I had. I wrote this back in Feb 2007:
I once again find myself reflecting on a time when I grew my own food and picked strawberries directly from the fields and ate so many fresh strawberries that all I could do was lie around in a hammock afterwards. Summers spent picking and selling fresh blueberries by the roadside and helping my mom make pickles and jellies. Summers when my dad would harvest all the honey from the bees and I would chew on the honeycomb until there was nothing left but a tiny piece of wax. All the times that we would go up the road and get fresh eggs directly from the chickens or sausage directly from the source. Summers of barning tobacco and nothing, and I do mean nothing, beat the afternoon mountain dew and nab break.
Next year I am having a garden in my yard. Monkeyface will be old enough to help me tend it and I think it will be one of the greatest things we can share. Anyone have recommendations for gardening books? I'm looking for ones that will help me to grow in a raised garden bed.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Well here it is April 5th and I've made 4 pledges this month already. What in the world is going on?
I've pledged to buy nothing this month unless I absolutely need it which is hard b/c I'm a browser. Today alone I've found these headbands. I'm already drooling for this book and a cup of tea. I'm actually almost out of tea for the first time in the history of my tea drinking but as it is not a need, I cannot buy anymore.
I've also pledged to myself to drink a green smoothie every day this month. That one is not going too well but there is always tomorrow. I do love the way they taste, I just don't like to blend them in the morning. I think I'm going to plan it out so that I make a double batch at one time.
I've pledged $35 to the Environment North Carolina because I figure that hits closer to home than anything else I could have done. I also think I will start volunteering with river/park cleanups when Eli gets older b/c I want him to know what it feels like to give solely for the sake of giving. I suppose it is not totally selfless though b/c I do like the way I feel after having made someone else smile.
I've pledged to declutter this month as well which is fine in theory but poor in follow through. I am the person that will have a gigantic pile of thrift store goods sitting by my bedroom door for months before I take them out. But I suppose that this will be a good motivator to change that. It's hard for me to get rid of things because I was raised to keep everything. I was always told that you just never know when you are going to need it. Now I live in a house that needs decorating but I'm afraid to do it b/c I don't want to clutter up the place. I do, however, still have boxes to unpack from when we moved in here over 4 years ago. Sad, I know. Stuff is stashed and stacked. I type this I'm already moving towards throwing things away.
I've pledged to do my taxes today which isn't really life changing but it is something I need to do and stop procrastinating. So off I go.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happiness is...

I really enjoyed my happiness is post the other day so I've decided to do it again.

**Playing outside

**Jamming out with the windows down and sunroof open on a warm night

**Homemade chicken pastry and green beans canned by my grandma

**Watching my child eat, and eat, and eat after a week of not eating

**This face smiling at me

**Sending friends on trips to the countries I love

**Planning my own trip to the beach at the end of this month for a girl's only weekend

**My retired dad who is off all of his medications b/c he is suddenly as healthy as a horse

**Finally getting Eat, Pray, Love from the library after waiting for months. I dove right in and feel at home.

Have we beaten it?

This has been the view at my house lately.
I think we've finally kicked the sickness b/c this is what I got today. .

Just don't let him know that the yogurt all over his face is good for him and not actually a treat.