"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

Friday, October 30, 2009


Tomorrow is Halloween, Harris’s favorite holiday. I like it myself – the candy is great, I love to ponder a costume, and the decorations are marvelous. And since I grew up in Mississippi, I have memories of both shivering and sweating in my costume – it’s just how we roll down here.

Kell and I don’t have (human) kids, so we won’t be doing the trick-or-treating thing, but this is our first Halloween in our new house! In fact, we closed on Halloween a year ago, so it’s an extra special day for us. Anywho, aside from dressing up and handing out candy, I don’t know a whole lot about this spooky holiday. Here are 13 fun facts about Halloween so you can impress your friends.

1. The term Halloween, originally spelled Hallowe’en, is shortened from All Hallows' Eve. It is now known as "Eve of" All Saints' Day, which is November 1st, historically a time of pagan festivities.

2. On All Hallows’ eve, many Irish and Scottish people have traditionally placed a candle on their western window sill to honor the departed.

3. A traditional Irish and Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name.

4. Haunted attractions in the United States bring in an estimate $300–500 million each year.

5. The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

6. If you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved one watching over you.

7. Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.

8. Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.

9. Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.

10. Over $1.5 billion is spent on costumes each year and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia.

11. Over 10% of pet owners dress their pets in Halloween costumes
12. More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces – enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end.

13. Many people think the pumpkin is a vegetable but in actuality it is a squash fruit related to cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.

Have a safe and delicious Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* A new Moleskine notebook for 2010. And I promise I won’t change any dates this time, MK!

* To make Joy the Baker’s Blood and Bones (dark red and delicious hot chocolate) for Halloween! Is she not the cutest?

* Pretty much everything in the new J.Crew catalog.

* A plateful of Chick-fil-A nuggets. Right here. Right now. YUM.

* That pay day would just come already! I’m dying here!

What’s your wish?

Monday, October 26, 2009

hello there...

Let’s start another week, shall we?

First thing first – Timmy T and the Gators prevailed. BUT, it was a great game, and I think every fan at the game and watching from home is proud of the Bullies (and furious with the refs). Oh well, it was the best team in the country, and there’s always next week. Look out, Wildcats!

Sunday I helped to host a shower with yaya and Ms. Melita for bride-to-be Alexa. It was so fun to see the girls and watch her open gifts. Don’t you wish people just went to lovely stores and bought you great presents every day? I do.

And what’s a shower without a few Delicious Dishes? This is the first recipe I’ve had on my blog that I didn’t personally like. I don’t like pumpkin, but if you do, these are delightful (or so I’m told) and certainly cute. And cuteness counts.

No-bake Pumpkin Tarts

1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin (2 c.)
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk (1 2/3 c.)
1 (4 1/2 oz.) pkg. no-bake custard mix (I used no-bake ready-made cheesecake filling, and it worked beautifully)
2 egg yolks (save the whites for a delicious and healthy egg white omelet!)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
12 baked tart shells or mini tart shells (recipe below)
Pecan halves or Cool Whip (for topping)

In saucepan, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, custard mix, egg yolks, brown sugar and spice. Mix together thoroughly. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Remove from heat; cover surface with waxed paper or clear plastic wrap. Cool 1 hour. pile into tart shells. Chill until set. Garnish with pecan halves or Cool Whip.

* I put some Cool Whip in a Ziploc bag and snipped one end off to make a piping bag. Then I piped the Cool Whip on top in a cute little swirl – really cute and totally worth the extra effort. This recipe makes a ton of filling. there's no need to double it unless you're making tons of tarts. If you end up with too much, though, it freezes pretty well, or you could make a big pie!

And what’s a mini tart without a mini shell? If you can’t find tartlet shells in your grocery stores (I couldn’t), these are very quick and easy to make. I recommend not skimping on the crust – generic just doesn’t cut it as well as the good stuff.

Mini Tart Shells

1 crust = about 14-16 mini shells, depending on size of cutter

Preheat oven to 425°F. Unroll prepared pie crust and lay flat on a cutting board. Using a 3 inch diameter cookie cutter (I used a glass that wasn’t quite 3” because I couldn’t find one), cut circles from the pie crust. Each pie crust should yield 10 circles. Combine dough scraps, roll flat, and cut the remaining 4 circles. Spray mini cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place each pie crust circle into a mini cupcake mold. Press the crust along the sides and bottom of the mold to form tartlets. Bake for 9 minutes, until edges become golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. (* If they come out puffy on the sides or bottom, just press the shells down gently while still in the pan until they’re they shape you want. If you wait until they’ve cooled, the shells will fall apart.) Fill each shell with desired filling and allow to rest at room temperature at least one hour. That’s it. Easy peasy, right?

I hope everyone has a great week! TTFN!

Friday, October 23, 2009

happy friday

TGIF, readers! I don’t know about you, but I am itching for a weekend. Hooray!

The Bulldogs play the Gators on Saturday, and I smell an upset (it’s happened before, and it’s possible again, people!). If there’s anything I’ve learned from years of being a State fan, it’s that you shouldn't bet on or against us. I’m just saying...

In honor of this weekend’s game, I’m sharing a few of my favorite Tim Tebow-isms. Laugh, enjoy and get your game face on!!

When the boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks the closet for Tim Tebow.

The active ingredient in Red Bull is Tim Tebow's sweat.

Tim Tebow can get Chick-Fil-A on Sundays.

People with amnesia still remember Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow hits blackjack with just one card.

The only reason you're still conscious is because Tim Tebow hasn't stiff-armed you in the face.

When Tim Tebow was a kid, he made his mom finish his vegetables.

Tim Tebow doesn't do pushups. Instead, he pushes the earth down.

Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas.

Tim Tebow counted to infinity. Twice.
When life gives Tim Tebow lemons, he uses them to kill terrorists. Tim Tebow hates lemonade.

What color is Tim Tebow's blood? Trick question. Tim Tebow does not bleed.

Tim Tebow has been to Mars. That's why there's no life on Mars.

When Tim Tebow wants popcorn, he breathes on Nebraska.

You can lead a horse to water, but Tim Tebow can make him drink.

Tim Tebow can believe it's not butter.

Tim Tebow doesn't wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.

Tim Tebow can get breakfast at McDonald's after 10:30 A.M.

The recent earthquake off the coast of Florida measured 6.0 on the Richter scale, or .024 Tim Tebows.

Tim Tebow can touch MC Hammer.

Tim Tebow frequently donates blood to the Red Cross. Just never his own.

Tim Tebow sleeps with a night light. Not because Tim Tebow is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Tim Tebow.

Rome wasn’t built in a day because Tim Tebow wasn’t born yet.

A meteor didn’t kill the dinosaurs; Tim Tebow did in a pickup football game.

The quickest way to a man's heart is with Tim Tebow's forearm.

Time waits for no man. Unless that man is Tim Tebow.

Have a great weekend! GO DAWGS!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That these sniffles would just go away already!

* A new camera. Even though mine was super cool 4 years ago, now it’s practically an antique.

* That I could eat Halloween candy for every meal and not gain an ounce.

* For chilly weather at Saturday’s MSU vs. Florida football game. I want to wear boots!

* Snuggies for the twins!

What’s your wish?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a sweet tip

I’m still stuffy, so I bought some hot tea last night at The Fresh Market (aka Heaven on Earth). Being a novice tea drinker, I needed a little sweetener, and honey totally fit the bill – and I happened to have some at my house. I wanted to be sure I measured the honey out (for WW purposes), but I didn’t want it to stick to the measuring spoon. Hmmm…

Then it hit me: I saw the Neelys on Food Network spray their measuring spoon with cooking spray when they were adding molasses to a dish to be sure every last drop of the ingredient made it in. It works like a charm with honey, too! Give it a try!

Monday, October 19, 2009

welcome to a new week.

It’s Monday again, friends. I’m back at work after a few days on the road, and I’m having trouble getting back into my groove. And my sniffles and sore throat are not helping me (boo hoo).

I got to hang out with MK and Hayden this week at one of my favorite places in the state. We took a cooking class at the Viking Cooking School and spent the night at my former stomping grounds, The Alluvian. We ate like queens even though our pesto looked like mud.

Saturday some of my besties and I hosted a party for my bride-to-be buddy, Amy. It is always so great to see those girls (and the guys, too) and get a reminder of why I love them so much in the first place.

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 16, 2009

finally friday

It’s Friday! Hooray!

This is me today, by the way. Getting a mani with my friends, MK and Hayden after a fun Viking Cooking School class last night. Few things are more fun than total girl time.

This weekend, I’m helping give a party for my dear friend, Amy. I can’t wait to see her and all the other guests. Aren’t friends marvelous?

Here’s to a super weekend, readers! Cheers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That the lawn care fairy would come and plant some monkey grass in my front yard while I’m asleep.

* This cute case for my iPhone. It’s a strawberry Pop Tart! Are you kidding me?

* That I could find popcorn balls year-round. Deelish.

* Some cute suede booties, but I’m worried I can’t pull them off.

* That I could bring my doggies to work with me!

What’s your wish?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

harris the stylist

Ok, so if you've never heard of Red Carpet Fashion Awards, you totally should check it out. It's a fabulous London-based website (and who doesn't love the Brits?) that chronicles the red carpet fashions of stars all over the world. Well, we all know my sister Harris loves Posh and has great fashion sense herself, right?

Well, check this out...

Harris submitted her "wish list" for Posh to RCFA, and they posted it! Such a fashionista, that Harris...

Congrats, sis! And check out RFCA daily for great celeb style!

Monday, October 12, 2009

fall has flung

Did this weekend feel like fall or what? Football and cool weather make me want to sing “This Time of Year” from the rooftops. Speaking of fall, check out my door! Do you like? Whitney and Kristen had to explain to me about mums, so it’s because of them I even knew what to shop for. My ferns are getting spindly, so they got moved from center stage.

I LOVE Jen Lancaster. Love her. She just makes me laugh out loud. So much so in fact, Kell makes me read to him the parts that make me giggle. I finished her latest book Pretty in Plaid (and since I follow her on Twitter, I know she just finished writing a FIFTH book! Hooray!), and it did not disappoint. Such a Pretty Fat was my fave of her books, but this one might be creeping up to take it’s spot. If you’ve never read any of Jen’s stuff (again, with our Twitter relationship, I feel as though we are on a first-name basis), you simply must. She’s not for the faint of heart, but that’s why I love her.

After such a funny book, I’ve moved back to the dark dramatic books that I truly love. I read My Sister’s Keeper many months ago, and I adored it. I even refused to see the movie because a) I don’t buy Cameron Diaz as a movie mom, and b) I heard they changed the ending. Well, I’m back on Jodi Picoult thanks to Liz’s recommendation, reading Nineteen Minutes. I’ve only read a few pages, but I can’t wait to get deeper into it.

So, that’s that. How was your weekend?

Friday, October 9, 2009

a wedding and the weekend

Howdy, readers. Who watched the wedding last night? (Let the record show that my hand is raised high.) I so desperately want Jim and Pam to be real people who are really in love and really got married on a boat at Niagara Falls (not to be confused with “Viagra” Falls, eh?).

Kell and I are looking forward to a weekend at home with no plans - a luxury we haven’t had since the dog days of August. It’s time to clean up (ew), work inside the house (ew again) and get in the yard (double ew) while Kell drowns in college football. What are your plans?

Need something to do this weekend? Give this Delicious Dish a try...

Easy Bruschetta (or as Giada says it, brushketteh)

2 tomatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
seasoning salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, dried basil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, seasoning salt and ground black pepper. Cover and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight, before serving.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That I could attend Jim and Pam’s wedding!

* Some fall mums and an autumnal wreath for my front door (I always seem to gravitate towards a square one).

* That hallmark.com wasn’t charging for their e-cards now. Are you kidding me?

* Some funky patterned tights (not to mention the cool weather to wear them…).

* That I could have all my friends near me all the time.

What’s your wish?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

eight days a week

As we enter the final quarter of 2009, I'm starting to think about my 2010 calendar. How cute is this one with the puppy dog?

Just a thought: do you get your calendar ahead of time or wait until they go on sale?
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