"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a crafty friend

MK is Etsy-ing! Check out her shop for precious onesies and burpcloths like these:
Aw! A brontosaurus for your baby!

And a sweet sailboat...so cute.

Great gifts or great duds for your little ones. Isn't handmade stuff fun?

Friday, March 27, 2009

on a pedestal

I’ve had baked goods on the brain lately (no surprises there), and I’ve been wanting a great cake stand to display my masterpieces. But when perusing Etsy, I ran across these little beauties for cupcakes. Are you kidding me? A-dorable.

I want this to sit out on my counters at all times! What a sweet surprise hidden under that dome.

So cute. It's all I can do not to lick the computer screen.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

curvy girls, unite!

It’s no secret that I love Kim Kardashian. So not everything in her past is squeaky clean, and maybe she’s not the world’s most perfect role model, but you’ve got to love a girl who’s comfortable in her own skin. And this makes me love her even more. After getting flack for a magazine releasing a pic of her pre-photoshop, cellulite and all, she posts on her blog, "So what: I have a little cellulite. What curvy girl doesn't!?" You go, Kimmy!

(pic courtesy of people.com)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the cupcake indicator

During these tough economic times, it’s the little things that matter – literally. Certain items in our society seem to be recession-proof: cosmetics, candy and cupcakes (or so I hear on the news). It seems like when people don’t have big bucks to dish out on diamonds, cars and furniture, they still want little indulgences that won’t break the bank but might definitely make their day. Butter, flour and sugar make great self-medications. And who am I to argue with a cupcake?

Monday, March 23, 2009

happy birthday, yaya!

Happy 28th birthday to my very first friend! I love you, yaya!

Yaya A to Z

Apples. Green ones.
Blogger extraordinaire
Everyone’s birthday – she always remembers
First friend
Good at stirring things”
Hogan Street
If I were a twin, which one would I be?”
Jennifer Nettles wannabe
Little Miss Muffet
Max’s mom
Not the oldest, not the youngest
Obsessive – Celine Dion, driving the Corolla…
Psalty and Psaltina
Quirky – jolly ranchers make her sweat
Rice Hall
Seinfeld fanatic
Undefeated Spelling Bee champ
Vacation buddy
Waiting for Guffman
X-ray when I closed her finger in the door
Yaya my friend”

Thursday, March 19, 2009

happy (early) birthday, diva!

I’ve known her all her life, and even though her real birthday isn’t until Saturday, this was the best time for me to post. If you've never met Harris, you are more than missing out.
I wish I could see you on your birthday, sis!

Harris A to Z

Armadillo expert
Bargain shopper
Cat lover
Evil Brassiere
Forever 21
Guzzles Diet Pepsi
Happy Birthday” bird
Incredibly fast texter
Just bought her first car!
Kitty: real or stuffed (on her Christmas list for years)
Lorac makeup
My maid of honor
Nicole Richie
One hundred forty-four peas on her plate
Polly Pockets
Queen of the “kitty dance”
Robots and roaches – her greatest fears
Sephora devotee
The Cosby Show
Underwear - she used to only pick them up with tongs
Victoria “Posh” Beckham
Wore her Moon Shoes on Christmas Day even though she had the flu
XM Radio
You Don’t Know Jacques!
Zip-a-dee-do-dah (what she called a zipper when she was a little one)

Love you, Harris!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


A recipe from my friend, Amelia, these enchiladas are as delectable as they are easy. Perfect for a fiesta, needless to say.

Chicken Enchiladas

4 chicken breasts, boiled, broth reserved
1 ½ cans cream of chicken soup (I use the 98% fat free kind)
I can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 bag shredded Monterey Jack cheese, ½ cup reserved
1 small onion, chopped and sautéed
1 bag tortillas (I use wheat)

Shred chicken finely, mix in onions and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1 ½ can cream of chicken soup, Ro-tel and ½ can of your chicken broth. Spray long casserole dish with cooking spray and pour enough of the liquid mixture on the pan to cover the bottom with a very thin layer. Fill tortillas with chicken and onion mixture and cheese (not too much, or they won’t close!). Roll up filled tortillas tightly and place in dish, seam down. Keep adding enough tortillas to pan to tightly fill entire pan (you’ll probably have to line up some vertically and some horizontally). Then, slowly pour remaining liquid over full plan of tortillas, making sure all are covered. Sprinkle remaining cheese onto top. Bake at 325 covered for about 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and cook for about 10 more minutes.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

green day

Being neither Catholic nor Irish, I had no idea why I put a green sweater on this morning. And you know me, I love trivia, so here are 17 facts I found about St. Patrick’s Day (courtesy of Wikipedia):

1. St. Patrick was one of the patron saints of Ireland. He died on March 17, 461.

2. If St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday of Lent (unless it’s Good Friday), the obligation to abstain from eating meat can be lifted by the local bishop.

3. St. Patrick's Blue, not green, was the color long-associated with St. Patrick.

4. Due to the rich history of Scranton participation in St. Patrick's Day festivities it is one of the oldest and most populated parades in the United States. (wonder if Jim and Pam will attend?)

5. The world’s shortest parade is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hot Springs, Arkansas, taking place on what Ripley’s Believe it or Not has designated the “Shortest Street in the World.”

6. It was only in the mid-1990s that the Irish government began a campaign to use Saint Patrick's Day to showcase Ireland and its culture. (what took you guys so long?)

7. St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish.

8. Some Protestants have begun wearing orange on St. Patrick's Day as a mark of defiance. (come on, guys. Seriously?)

9. This is why orange now appears in the Irish flag - to symbolize the Protestant minority in Ireland.

10. In the past, Saint Patrick's Day was celebrated as a religious holiday, and in 1903, the irish MP required that all pubs be closed, a provision which was repealed only in the 1970s.

11. In New Orleans, the parades include the influence of Mardi Gras, with float riders throwing spectators strings of beads, cabbages, and potatoes. (Drunks wielding potatoes? Count me in!)

12. Irish Society of Boston organized what was the United States’ first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the colonies on 17 March 1737.

13. In 1780, General George Washington (yes, that George Washington), who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on March 17 “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence."

14. The Washington Nationals have fan green hat day on September 17 to represent 6 months to St. Patrick's Day.

15. Savannah, GA, boasts the unofficial largest attendance with 750,000 in 2006.

16. The tiny island of Montserrat, known as "Emerald Island of the Caribbean" due to its foundation by Irish refugees from Saint Kitts and Nevis, is the only place in the world apart from Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador in which St Patrick's Day is a public holiday.

17. Some groups, notably Guinness, have lobbied to make Saint Patrick's Day a federal (national) holiday. (raise your hand if you’re surprised.)

Erin Go Braugh!

Monday, March 16, 2009

monday again

Greetings, Earthlings. Weekends lose a bit of their luster, I admit, when they’re as dark and dreary as this one was, but it still beats a day at the salt mine. After a long week at work, we had some Mexican at a restaurant (located right nextdoor to my new workout facility, strangely enough), and Kell went to sleep early. I’d been dying to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona, so I “rented” it from our on demand cable thingy. If you love Woody Allen movies like I do, it’s a classic. The casting is perfect, and Penelope Cruz is simply brilliant – one of the few Oscars I actually agree with.

The hubs and I attended a beautiful wedding in Jackson (congrats Julie and Eric!) on Saturday and had dinner at Ely’s near our neighborhood. I had the shrimp and scallops and gorgo-asiago macaroni, and let me tell you, it was divine. And to keep ourselves from feeling too fancy, we stopped by the DQ for a couple of Blizzards (I must have lost my mind).

And a special thanks to my mom for coming to stay with us last night. We had so much fun, and her coming was a great excuse for me to try out a recipe and share it with you as the Delicious Dish:

Oreo Truffles


1 18-oz. bag Oreo cookies, crushed
1 “block” cream cheese, softened
1 24-oz pkg. white melting chocolate
Sprinkles (optional, but delightful)


Mix the crushed Oreos with the softened cream cheese (I had to do this with my hands). Roll into balls (whatever size you like – mine were smaller than golf balls) and place on wax paper in fridge to harden. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and cover the truffles with the chocolate. Let the excess drip off and place on wax paper. Before they harden, sprinkle ‘em if you want. I did.

I don’t personally care for Oreos, so they were easy for me to make and share. Oooh but they would probably be awesome with the mint ones and milk chocolate…

Thursday, March 12, 2009

what a suck-up

Who really wants to spend money on a vacuum cleaner? It’s much more fun to buy lovely little drawer knobs or dog sweaters. Nevertheless, Kell and I are in need. We don’t have a whole lot of carpet in our house (only the 3 bedrooms), but we can’t very well dust-buster 300 square feet of carpet. I guess we could, but I’m certainly not and I can guarantee Kell’s not interested.

Any suggestions on a vacuum cleaner (and why do I always try to spell vacuum with 2 c’s?)? We need something with decent power that can do carpet and bare floors. And if you think we didn’t drool over the Dyson DC 25 Animal (specially designed for homes with pets, of course), you are dead wrong. Something about that arrogant British guy really makes me believe he has the best vacuum cleaner in the history of the universe. How far we have sunk – dreaming of a home appliance!?!

Monday, March 9, 2009

delicious disasters

I hate Mondays, but I love cake. The only way to appreciate these beauties is to imagine being on the phone and describing how you’d like your cake decorated. Enjoy.

My personal favorite.

Thanks, Mom, for the heads up on the website. Have a tasty day.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

i'm not bitter...really...

Ok, to prove I'm a good sport for getting the Weight Watchers axe, here's a WW version of a very Delicious Dish:

Chicken Spaghetti

8 oz. spaghetti/angel hair (I used the Ronzoni Smart Taste - it has the fewest points)
1 - 6 oz can 99% fat free canned chicken breast, in water (ok you know this grossed me out, so I just boiled a chicken breast or too and shredded it)
1 - 14.5 oz can Rotel, drained
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped bell pepper
6 oz. 2% Velvetta cheese, cubed
1 - 10 oz can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Break the pasta into 3 sections and cook according to package directions.

Spray a medium pot with non-stick cooking spray. Cook onion and bell pepper over medium heat until tender. Add the drained tomatoes, soup, cheese, chicken, salt and pepper. Cook until cheese has melted.

Stir in cooked spaghetti and mix to combine. Spray a 12x8-in. baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mixture into dish, cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes.

Serves 6 - around 7 points per serving.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

boo hoo

The economic crisis strikes again. The latest victim: me. I was laid off yesterday from my job at Weight Watchers, and I must say, I’m sad. I secretly loved our little support group, and I loved working with Annie, the class leader. I’ll still go to that class just because I need the accountability, but I’ll no longer be receiving those teeny tiny checks every month. Boo.

On a brighter note, I found this precious photo gallery of Paul McCartney through the years. My favorite pictures are the one with him and James Taylor and this one taken at the wedding reception of fellow Beatle, Ringo Starr:

See Linda in the background? Adorable.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

make a statement

I keep hearing about these “statement” necklaces that are the gotta-have accessory right now. And I feel like I need one. But what kind of statement do I want to make? The ones I’ve seen and loved in the JCrew catalog are upwards of $150. Don’t think so. But I adore these from Etsy:
This one is absolutely stunning. Check it out on etsy in raquelcastillo's shop.

How pretty is this from the LieblingDesigns etsy shop?

Wouldn’t they be a lovely addition to your closet?

Monday, March 2, 2009

birthday wishes and fitness dreams

Happy birthday to literary icon, Dr. Seuss! For my money no one can match his creativity – even J.K. Rowling. I mean, Dr. Seuss created crazy worlds and made up words, all with a moral lesson and in rhyme. He’s also on my invitation list for my interesting dead people dinner party, but more on that another day. Check out Google’s tribute to the Seuss-man.

He will never be matched. Ever.

On a completely unrelated note, I have to confess something: I am lazy. Really lazy. There is nothing I like more than hanging out at home on the couch watching House or Law and Order, NOT exerting myself. And for a while, just Weight Watchers was enough. But I’ve gotten tired of my belly hanging over my jeans and not wearing shorts when it’s sweltering outside. I’d love to be able to wear skirts and dresses and not worry about my legs. I want to make a change.

Drum roll, please… I think I may join a gym. Really. Pick yourself up off the floor.

I’m just not happy with myself, and I think I want to really try this time. I’ve decided to try for 3-4 days a week and see how it goes – Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (can’t on Tuesdays – I have WW). And going before work is out of the question, so don’t even try. Now I’ve reached a quandary – which one? Should I join for a year or pay month-to-month to keep myself from wasting $? Any tips for staying with it? If I can get to the point where I’m comfortable in a swimsuit (notice I said “comfortable,” not “Gisele”), Kell and I are taking a beach trip!
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