Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 can take a hike

I have mixed feelings about 2010. Nothing horribly tragic happened, but the year wasn't all that great either.

Bad things included:
* I was forced to live like a poor person to pay off debt.
* I had 4 teeth pulled (ouch!).
* I was plagued with multiple yeast infections (yuck).
* A tree fell over in my front yard (thanks mother nature).
* Our cat died.
* I was in a car accident.

Good things included:
* No-one died (except the cat).
* My house didn't burn down.
* We had food to eat.

Needless to say, I am ready to say goodbye to 2010, and I am eagerly looking forward to 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Did you miss me?

Damn, I feel like I haven't blogged in FOREVER. Well, Christmas was good. No one got sick, the children slept through the night, we got to visit family, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I am soooo glad to be home. Nothing fills my heart with more joy than sitting on my own couch, eating my own food, and watching my own television.

John is on vacation for the remainder of the week, so he will be doing lots of work around the house. I am working hard to get the kids back on a regular schedule. I am also trying to stop eating like a pig. Being around my family brings out my worst eating habits, and it is hard to rein myself back in. I literally gained 7 pounds during our trip! That is a fucking pound a day! Ugh. Now I just feel bloated and fat and disgusting.

Thanks to my lovely family, our house is now overflowing with brightly colored plastic crap. We have toys coming out the wazoo! It is ridiculous. I have an overwhelming urge to throw half of the objects in our house away. Everything feels so cluttered and messy.

Anyways, I hope to get back into the swing of things over the next few days. I am glad to be back!

Friday, December 17, 2010

To: You From: Me

Dear Internets,
I seem to have too much stuff to do lately, and I have been neglecting my beloved blog. Sorry friends. I am baking my neighbors cookies this weekend. We have a Christmas party to attend on Saturday. I have a million last minute errands to run for our upcoming road trip. I need to wrap all of our gifts. I really want to clean the house thoroughly before we go to Kentucky. And we are leaving in less than 5 days. So, I think this will be my last post for a while. I hope you have a very merry Christmas. I will miss you and think about you constantly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Just in time for the holidays!

Things that have been pissing me off lately...

1. Insomnia. For the love of God, why can't I turn my fucking brain off?
2. Children. Why are they so whiny and needy and demanding?
3. Cold weather. I usually like the winter, but I have to admit, the cold weather has been kicking my ass lately. I sleep covered with two or three quilts every night, and it isn't even officially winter yet. What the fuck mother nature?
4. Domesticated animals. Why did I ever think it was a good idea to bring cats and dogs into my home? Never again internet. Never again.
5. Food. Why do I love food so damn much? I think about cookies and brownies and cupcakes ALL DAY long.

What is pissing you off?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The accident from HELL

I have really bad luck. My car was in the auto body shop for a month. A FREAKING MONTH. The damage to my car was pretty extensive, but I never thought it would take 29 whole days to fix it. I am lucky that the insurance company paid for my rental, otherwise, we would have been screwed. There is no way we could afford to pay for a rental van for an entire month.

Last Thursday, the body shop called to let me know that my van would FINALLY be ready for pick-up on Friday. I honestly felt relieved. Although I love driving the new minivan, I just wanted to get my life back to normal, and have this whole accident fiasco behind me. On Friday, I waited and waited and waited for the shop to call. They never did. Finally, at 5:30pm I called them. No-one answered, so I left a message for them to call me back. About an hour later, the manager of the shop called to tell me that my van's exterior was completely fixed, but for some unknown reason, it wouldn't start.

Honestly, I felt like crying. WHY? Why can't anything ever be easy? He went on to tell me that it sounds like my van's "smart box" went bad, which is apparently the van's computer system. The auto body guy told me that he would call be back in the morning with more information.

On Saturday morning, the auto body guy called again. He wanted to let me know that my van still wouldn't start, but that it might just be my battery. They wanted to unplug it for a full 24 hours, because apparently that would solve the problem? Honestly, I had no idea what the dude was talking about. He told me he would call me back on Monday.

Monday rolled around, and once again I waited and waited and waited for a call. Finally, at almost 5pm, the manager called to tell me that my van was up and running again. AWESOME. I went over to pick up my van (it was pitch black outside, so I couldn't inspect the work that was performed) and returned the rental. When I got home, I parked under the security lights on the side of our house and looked at the finished product. Something caught my eye. The paint was scratched on the back (near where you fill the car with gas). I went inside and got John. We were both pretty pissed. I took the van back to the body shop. The manager was baffled. He kept trying to blame it on the gas attendant who had filled up my tank right after I left the shop. I assured him that there was no way in hell that the gas guy fucked up my van.

They took the van back and then happily called me back to look at the damage. It was gone! WHAT THE FUCK? It turns out that is wasn't a scratch after all. It was just a large portion of wax that had frozen while I was driving it home. Apparently it wiped right off. I felt like an ass, but was glad that it could be so easily fixed.

I am eager to see my van in the daylight tomorrow. Hopefully it will look fabulous. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

A weekend filled with baking...

Peanut Butter Crisscross Cookies...

Banana Bread...

Eggnog Muffins with Boozy Raisins...

Next up, Cowboy Cookies!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cast Iron Bread Pan!

After CSN contacted me to review a product, I decided that I wanted to purchase a cast iron bread pan. BUT, they were sold out of their cast iron bread pans. I had to wait several weeks before they restocked. A few days ago, my lovely pan finally arrived...

I know you'll probably think I am a little crazy, but I really don't like to use non-stick cookware. The coating can flake off and get into your food. I don’t like the idea of my family eating chemicals that have rubbed off of a pan. I have also read that nonstick coatings emit toxic fumes when they are overheated. And who really knows the long-term effects of breathing in these gases? So, I like to play it safe with my family and only use cast iron cookware. Well, that isn't entirely true. I have a few nonstick items left in my kitchen - my bread pan, cake pans, and cookie sheets.

For a few months, I was searching high and low for a cast iron bread pan. My search would have been much easier if I had looked online, but cast iron is heavy, and I didn't want to pay for the shipping cost. Although I didn't find a cast iron bread pan at a local store, I did find a few very nice glass bread pans. But before I could make a purchase, CSN invited me to select a product from their store. So, now I have my coveted cast iron bread pan (and I didn't pay a penny for it!).

Basically, this pan baked my bread EXACTLY like my non-stick pan. The bread tasted fabulous. And the best part is that this pan will last a lifetime. I'll never have to replace it because of a damaged nonstick coating.

So, if you are looking for a quality bread pan, look no further.

P.S. Marni is hosting a $75 CSN giveaway right now. You could buy so much stuff with $75! Go enter NOW!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Homemade ornaments!

I baked some Christmas ornaments! It was super easy and the kids had a blast painting them. We put some of them on our tree, but most will be given to family members this Christmas...
Craft Salt Dough Recipe

1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

* Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Then add the water and oil to the mixture. Mix together until it forms a ball. Knead dough (like you're making bread) before rolling.
* Roll out the dough and press into shapes (I used Christmas cookie cutters), keeping the dough thick enough to be sturdy (slightly thicker than an actual cookie).
* Before baking the ornaments, be sure to poke a hole in the top of each ornament with a toothpick.
* Bake @ 250 degrees for about 2 hours (check occasionally).
* Cool baked dough ornaments. Paint or decorate as desired.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


When I was ordering Christmas presents from Amazon last week, I bought myself a little treat too. Since I earned nearly all of the Swagbucks money, I felt completely justified in giving myself an early Christmas gift...
The book arrived yesterday afternoon, and I nearly peed my pants from the excitement. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is my most favorite cookbook author. Some vegan cookbooks feel the need to make everything (even desserts) super healthy. That is great and everything, but sometimes I just want a delicious, rich, loaded with calories and fat type of dessert. And Moskowitz completely understands this. She NEVER compromises the flavor or texture of her recipes. They may not be healthy, but they sure do taste scrumptious! I am not exaggerating when I say that I love nearly every cake, cookie, and muffin recipe she has ever published.

So, needless to say, I baked a patch of cookies last night. These are called Banana Everything Cookies. They have bananas, rolled oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. And in true fashion, they were delicious...

Because I am addicted to sugar (and baking!), I am planning on making a special trip to Whole Foods for some key ingredients I am missing. Be expecting lots of new cookie posts in the near future!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Small vs Big

My neighbors have a brand spanking new baby. I stopped over to drop off a gift on Saturday, and the baby was awake, so I got to see him. Oh my goodness, he was the cutest little thing I have seen in ages. I always forget how small babies are. He was a big, healthy 8 pound baby, but he looked itty bitty to me. His little feet were so tiny!

Then I came back home to my ginormous, talkative, super excited children. That really drove home how far we've come from the newborns days. And honestly, I am not sure I miss those days. Of course, a precious little baby is amazing. Truly, they are so beautiful and perfect and small. I love that! But new babies also cry a lot. And poop in their pants. And nurse approximately every 20 minutes. Older kids are definitely easier to manage. My kids can poop on the potty. They can dress themselves. They can feed themselves. They can express their needs without crying. It is really quite nice.

So although I have an overwhelming urge to cuddle my neighbors' new baby, I am also thankful for my big kids and all of their amazing self-help skills.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My kids

My son is a little maniac. He is actually a pretty shy child. He clings to mommy in most social situations. But at home? IZZY IS A WILD MAN. He is so darn physical with everyone. And he borders on being a little too aggressive.

Recently, he started hitting Porgie. I have even caught him pinching her a few times too. And he ALWAYS refuses to say he is sorry. I find this to be an extremely challenging parenting problem, because no form of punishment seems to curb the problem. We usually do a time-out until he can say he is sorry, but it take SO FREAKING LONG to get an apology out of that kid. It is frustrating.

Izzy also like to steal Porgie's toy, sit on her, stand in front of the TV so that she can't see, and destroy her artwork. Of course, this elicits tons of tears and screaming from Porgie, which is also annoying and frustrating.

I know that this is all normal brother and sister stuff, but I swear these kids are going to put me in a loony bin. I have been so short tempered with them lately. I get mad at Izzy for being mean. I get mad at Porgie for crying so much. I get mad at myself for yelling at the kids. Gah! Parenting is hard shit.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our weekend

Well, the visit with Santa went just like I expected. Izzy screamed like a maniac, and Porgie happily jumped right up on his lap. When prompted, Porgie asked Santa for a trumpet. THEN, Santa asked her what else she would like! That fat old elf isn't supposed to ask for two gift ideas. I was kind of annoyed, because we always tell the kids to ask Santa for the ONE thing they really want. So now my daughter thinks Santa is bringing her a trumpet and an accordion. Fucking Santa.

On Saturday we took a train over to Philadelphia to visit Macy's. They have an awesome light show and a neat little village of animated figures acting out A Christmas Carol.

It was a fun, but exhausting day. I didn't take the double stroller this year, and needless to say, I ended up carrying a 40 pound child on my hip for 5 blocks. UGH. But I am glad we did it. The kids also got to ride on a carousel that was set-up in front of City Hall, so that was a neat surprise. I would show you pictures, but my camera had died by that point.

Speaking of my camera, I have lost a freaking battery charger. I ALWAYS keep it on the mantel in my living room. I cleaned the mantel off last week to make way for our holiday decorations, and I have no idea where I put that damn charger. It is driving me INSANE.

Okay, that is enough rambling.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


The Portable North Pole is up and running again. Go make an adorable video for your kiddo!

Friday, December 3, 2010


We are going to get a double dose of Santa today. I am going to pick up my Christmas pictures at the mall, so I intend to multi-task and get photos with Santa done this morning too. Santa is also going to be at our city's annual lighting of the Christmas tree this evening. I am hoping that Izzy has warmed up to the idea of Santa, because otherwise, this could be a very traumatic day.

I am meeting a friend for lunch today, which I am oddly excited about. I never go out to eat with my friends. I am much too frugal, and always end up suggesting a picnic lunch instead. But I have been feeling a little depressed lately, so I am taking this opportunity to do something fun that I normally wouldn't do. I usually try to eat a healthy lunch, so I'll be splurging on the diet front too. I can't wait!

Speaking of splurging, I made a new cookie last night. HOLY COW! So flippin' good. Basically, they are chocolate cookies with a peanut butter fudge center. They were labor intensive, but soooooo worth it.
I have to admit, baking can be very therapeutic for me. If you are feeling stress, I highly recommend finding a fabulous new cookie recipe. It will turn that frown upside down:)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


December is here. It is the end of the year already. Is it just me or was this the fastest year EVER? We have our Christmas tree and all our decorations up, yet somehow, it still doesn't feel like Christmas time to me. I think my brain is stuck somewhere back in October.

Last year I wanted to bake all of our neighbors some holiday cookies. Unfortunately, both of my kids got sick the week of Christmas and totally ruined my plans. I am going to try again this year, so I am currently on a mission to find some yummy cookie recipes.

I still haven't finished crocheting all of my hand towels yet. I really don't know what I am waiting for. I am also stalling on ordering Christmas gifts from Amazon. I've held onto my Swagbucks money for so long, that I am finding it hard to part with it. I really need to place my order (like NOW).

I am sure December, with all the shopping, crafting, and baking, will zip by in the blink of eye. Very befitting for this quick year.