Friday, December 31, 2010

A Toast To You... the clock strikes midnight!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Say It Ain't So...

I hate the day after Christmas. It means my most favorite time of the year has come to an end. It's like going on a great vacation and then having to come home. I am going t really try to keep the magic of Christmas in my heart all year long, however I don't feel the same way about folks that leave their Christmas lights up all year long.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Season Faves

A few of my favorite Christmas season things, a list:
making peppermint bark
rum cake
candy cane tea
cranberry flirtinis
sparkly nail polish
the Smell of Christmas candle by Aromatique
getting Christmas cards (even though I didn't send any this year)
playing Santa
dad's fudge
my kitchen tree
the ceramic boot my Mam-ma made that I fill with candy canes
egg nog
Christmas Break
getting yummy coffee in my stocking that we make on Christmas mornining
fondue (cheese please)
peppermint twist body wash from Bath and Body Works
unexpected gifts on the porch
mom's Christmas decorations
reading my class' letters to Santa
...just to name a FEW!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Put ME in Song

Dear Keith,
Please put me in your next song. I'm no Nicole Kidman, but I think I love you almost as much.
Lil Ol' Me

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sixteen Candles

My baby turned 16 today. We got up bright and early to go get her driver's license, now that wasn't easy for me. I couldn't even watch her drive away this afternoon...I think it's called denial.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Butternut Squash

I love all things squash! Butternut squash is especially yummy this time of year and I picked one up last weekend. These babies are hard to cut, I mean, like HARD. I recently got a set of Cutco knives and those babies can cut. I read somewhere recently that you should cut the squash in half, through the middle, not lengthwise. That way, you have 2 pieces of squash with a flat edge that is easier to handle. Set the pieces up on that flat end to stabilize it then cut that piece in half again. Scoop out all that stringy stuff and seeds. You'll want to peel it too, the skin is very thick. It's different from summer squash, with it's thin skin that you can just leave on and eat. Use a veggie peeler and the skin comes off easily. Now your squash is ready to cube, I'd say like 1 inch cubes. I tried this recipe for Balsamic Roasted Butternut Squash. I've been hankering for a new way to prepare that lonely little squash sitting on my counter top...thanks GOOGLE :) I ran across this little gem and I love balsamic vinegar on other veggies, so I figured I'd try it. It was great! I roasted mine closer to an hour to get it to really caramelize. The sweetness of the squash really comes out the longer you let it roast and the balsamic gets really sweet too. The end result is a great balance of sweet and tangy squashy goodness. Let me know if you try it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still HOT at 40

My hubby turned 40 last week! We are so lucky to have great friends and family that joined us for a celebration filled with fun and food.

The theme of the party was "Still HOT at 40". I came up with it because he absolutely loves all things hot and spicy (he married me, right? hahaha). See that gallon jug of Tabasco? That was his souvenir from our recent trip to New Orleans. He was in heaven at the Tabasco store, literally like a kid in a candy shop. I thought I would share a few shots of the party, it was so much fun. I had never planned and executed such a big party before. It was a lot of work, but I loved doing it. I planned the menu and made all the food myself, as always we had waaaayyyy to much food!

This is us with some of our best friends, I have know Caron since we were 5 years old!

The birthday boy with my dad.

My sister and me with mom and dad.

A better shot of the cake. It was a white cake with Bavarian cream filling. YUMMY!
Stay tuned for what I did with ALL the leftovers.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blogger Book Club Discussion Questions

The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes

Chapters 1-10

  • What was your first impression of Tim?

I think I am often skeptical so at first I thought he was just "playing" with her. She's so young and I think he could tell she was interested in him. I think he was surprised by her as he got to know her and began to develop feeling for her.

  • If you were in Cee Cee's position, would you be willing to help your boyfriend in the way that she is willing to help Tim?

I absolutely would not do what she is doing. I remember being 16 and crazy in love, but I also had family and close friends that kept me grounded. I think Cee Cee jumps in because she doesn't have a close support system and she doesn't have anyone that she feels like she would be disappointing with her actions. On the other hand, she would be disappointing the only person she feels like she has if she doesn't do it.

  • Why do you think Cee Cee is so eager to please Tim?

I think Cee Cee is lonely and has come to consider Tim to be her family. Being just 16 also has lots to do with her willingness to please him, she seems to go out of her way to prove that her age isn't an issue.

  • Who do you think has it harder? Tim or Cee Cee?

I would say Cee Cee has it harder because as I mentioned above, she doesn't have anyone but Tim. Although I believe she truly doesn't want to be involved, she is so afraid of losing him that she is going against her moral compass. I am interested to see how this inner struggle plays out and changes her as the story develops.

  • What traits about Cee Cee stuck out the most to you in chapters 1-10?

What sticks out most to me is her child like innocence and willing to trust despite all that she has been through in her life.

  • Do you think Cee Cee is as mature as she seems?

I think she comes off as being more mature than she is because of the circumstances of her life and how she seems to have gotten through them. I think on the inside she is still just a scared little girl that is too trusting.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blogger Bookclub

I have always loved to read but I don't always make time to get lost in a good book. I used to read in bed, but these days I am usually so tired that I am ready to saw logs as soon as my head hits the pillow. These two girls, Erin at Blue-Eyed Bride and Rachel at In No Simple Language, may have just solved my problem. They have come up with a sort of virtual book club called Book Beginnings and Bookends. One of the ways they have helped me out is that I never can decide what book on my never ending list of must reads that I should start. They have chosen The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes as the first read. I ordered it on Amazon today so that I will be ready for my first reading assignment! If you would like to participate, get your copy and be ready on August 9.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream...

My birthday is coming up and I am getting one of these! I have wanted an ice cream maker for awhile now, but just never broke down and bought one. My mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I was so glad I remembered to ask for one. She ordered it and it should be here in time for us to break it in on my actual birthday.

When I was a little girl we used to celebrate 4th of July at my uncle's house- and there was always homemade ice cream. It was made in an old fashioned ice cream maker and I remember it being pretty labor intensive and taking a looooong time to be ready (it sure was good though!) From the reviews on this machine, we will be eating the same yummy ice cream in 20 minutes and with MUCH less work. I am looking forward to trying lots of new recipes, I have found plenty of them to keep me in ice cream all summer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Licorice...Is it a DO or a DON'T For You?

I am an avid reader of Serious Eats and this article got me to thinking. I just love black licorice! Licorice is one of those things that it seems like you love or you hate; there's not a middle ground. As I said, I am a black licorice girl. I don't mind the red, but to me, it's just not licorice. I have great memories of going to Silver Dollar City for family vacations. One of our favorite spots was the candy store where my sister and I could watch the candy makers in action. Then, we could go into the store and sample ourselves silly. I still always ended up with my old standby, black licorice pillows. MMMM, I can almost taste them.

So, are you a red, black, or no thank you?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Herbal Festival

Last weekend we went to a little herb festival in Jenks. I was hoping the weather would hold out so we could go. It was the sweetest little festival in downtown that spilled over onto Main Street. There were flowers, plants, and herbs galore. Festival foods and little knick knack stands rounded out the scene. I have a black thumb, so wandering around looking at all the beautiful plants caused me some anxiety. Luckily I stumbled upon a couple that was so helpful, they were an older couple with more herbs than I could believe. Varieties of things that I didn't even know existed. This woman looked like someone out of a storybook. She had long dark hair pulled into low pigtails. Her face was tanned and had lines that spoke loudly of her years. She was so kind to answer all of my questions about each of the plants I picked up. She never made me feel silly and even offered little tips for uses of uncommon herbs. I ended up getting 3 varieties of basil, 2 different mints, lemon verbena, anise, and rosemary. I hope all my new plants make it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Fling

I am loving all the new clothes out for spring. I am having an especially torrid affair with Loft and Gap right now. I rarely buy clothes for myself that aren't on sale and I am almost NEVER loyal to one particular store. I have been called the "queen of separates" on more than one occasion. I just know what I like and will buy things that I see on sale and figure I have something in my closet that I can put it with.
I'm sure my mother takes great pleasure in knowing this. As a kid, I was always so irritated with her because we didn't go to the store and buy an outfit, we scoured the sale racks. We didn't do this out of necessity, we did this out of my mother's aversion to paying full price for anything. I thought this totally sucked when I was growing up. Especially since my bestie was know for her fabulous shopping sprees where she would come home with COMPLETE OUTFITS (gasp) ready
to wear. In my case, the old adage "I am my mother" proves true. She taught me an invaluable lesson in not only saving money, but knowing how to throw an outfit together. I am particularly loving the look of romantic flowers and bows paired with ripped boyfriend jeans. Here are a few of the things I am loving right now...
There's just something about the juxtaposition of the sloppy "boyfriend" look paired with the sweet ruffles and flowers that I can't seem to get enough of. I've put a dressier style top with my ripped boyfriend jeans. I've worn a necklace like the one below with a boyfriend t shirt and jeans with a dressy shoe. Those crinkle flower sandals up there are from the Gap, I got them in gray and navy. They are so comfy and have elicited more compliments than you can fathom. Go getcha some and see what I mean!

So, what are your favorite spring/summer trends?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

from our family to yours!
I hope you had a blessed day, we did.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not Just For Easter

We love to color eggs around this time of year. Sure, they're pretty and they make me nostalgic. But that's not why I do it...
I loves me some egg salad. As a kid, my mom would make the best egg salad. I used to love it when she would pack me a yummy egg salad sammy. That is, until the other kids would not stop talking about how bad my lunch smelled. I even started to pretend I didn't like egg salad! Now that I'm a big girl, if anyone makes fun of my stinky lunch I don't let it faze me!
Another reason to love Easter eggs is deviled eggs! I love them any way I can get them. Everyone seems to have their own variation of these little beauties. The only way I can't eat them is if the filling is too thin. A creamy, thick filling is the ONLY way to do a deviled egg.

Of course I also love to just peel a couple of eggs and eat 1 whole and only the whites of the other. This makes the perfect portable breakfast too!
Do you all color eggs? Do you eat them or are they just for fun?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thank GOD These Are Around But Once a Year!

I am convinced that these are straight from the devil himself...
and I have succumbed to temptation.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Only in Oklahoma

So yesterday it was a sunny 73 degrees. I did some spring shopping and started itching to make the winter to spring closet switch. Today it's 32 degrees with sleet and snowflakes as big as cotton balls. Really???? I mean COME ON! I fear that the Monday after spring break will be a snow day, that ain't right!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On Reubens...

My all time favorite sandwich is a Reuben. Even when they're bad, they're still good. I do have my preferences as to the way I like them. What ARE my preferences you ask...

  • Seeded Jewish Rye, some places use dark rye, others use pumpernickel, some have the gall to use a sub roll.

  • I don't like the meat piled up too high. I want to be able to bite the sandwich without all the goods being squished out.

  • Sauerkraut should be plentiful. My main gripe about a Reuben is being stingy on this ingredient. Why people? It's the cheapest part of the sandwich, yet it totally makes it!

  • Swiss cheese, the sandwich should be warm enough for the cheese to be oooey and gooey.

  • Thousand Island dressing, some use Russian, but I much prefer the former. I recently had a Reuben that had the sauerkraut mixed in with the dressing. It was interesting, I probably wouldn't do it at home, but it was good.

  • This sandwich must be served with Ruffles potato chips and dill pickle spears. Some like it with cole slaw or potato salad. Nope, not me, plain ol' Ruffles is the ticket here. I rarely eat a plain chip of any kind, but it is called for here.

Since tomorrow is St. Pat's, I think I'll invite the folks over and whip up some of these babies. One needs to eat before heading out to partake in cheap green beer.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

And the winner is...

Off to watch the Countdown to the Red Carpet. I DVR'd it this afternoon and I can't wait to see what everyone is wearing. I'm sure I will be feeling really great about myself as I just gorged myself on Drew's birthday dinner. We had Chicken Parmesan, Caesar Salad, Garlic Bread and Ice Cream Cake for dessert. I'm stuffed and ready to cozy up in bed with Hallie and Lily to watch all the glitz and glam!
However, I'm sure it'll be a reminder that they just don't make 'em like this anymore!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Team USA

What's a girl gotta do to get one of these hats? Besides, like be in the actual Olympics.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Best Friend's Wedding

This weekend we made a trip to Eureka Springs for my friend Amy's wedding. We love Eureka, we actually got married there too. We stayed at the Crescent Hotel and it was a great trip. The hotel itself is so charming and has lots of history, they even say it's haunted. Luckily, I didn't run into any ghosts while I was there.

Amy has been a good friend of mine for a long time and I was lucky to be her Matron of Honor (I hate that word...MATRON, sounds so blah!). We were able to spend some quality couple time and we snuck in some girl time at the spa. We had such a great time getting ready for the ceremony and sipping champagne after our mani/pedis and lunch with the boys.

A big congratulations to one of the best friends a girl could have! Thank you again for making me part of your special day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Warm Up From the Inside Out

I made this Orange Scented Carrot Soup for lunch on this blustery day. This is the first day I can ever remember school being canceled because it's just too darn cold. I am on a diet due to the large amounts of holiday eats and drinks I took part in. Cold weather makes me want to hibernate and cook, those things aren't very conducive to the diet! I just started on Monday, so this day off could have been a disaster. I remembered seeing Melissa d'Arabian's new show on Food Network and she made this soup. This isn't something I would just see the recipe for and decide to make, but it looked so easy and yummy I thought I would try it today. The best part is I had all the ingredients on hand so I didn't have to venture out in the cold. I tweaked the recipe a bit to my taste. I would recommend using only half the oregano, but that's just me; oregano isn't my favorite but it works really well in this. I ended up squeezing some of the juice from the orange into the soup at the end and I added about a T of Splenda. Please don't leave out the sour cream, it gives it great body and makes it taste really rich. I actually added about 1/4 c. right into the soup pot and blended it in instead of just stirring it into my bowl. If you have an immersion blender then that makes this recipe even easier, if not just use your regular blender. So, if you are hunkering for a rich, warm meal but are watching what you are eating then I think this will fit the bill.