Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So What Wednesday

So WHAT if....

  • I still haven't blogged about Happy Whatevs? I have to download pictures from my camera and by the time I remember, I'm ready for bed.
  • I never finish a library book in the prescribed initial check out? Whenver I buy a book and have eternity to read it, I end up finishing it in two days, but if I borrow one from a library or a friend, it takes forever for me to get through it.
  • I really haven't gotten around to blogging? I really only have the thought process available for short spurts like this right now.
  • I do need to do an all encompassing "This Is What I Did From December 18 To January 2" at this point? I will have lots of stories and pictures, but patience is a virtue, Gentle Readers.
  • I know I have some readers that aren't followers, and I know one of them has a birthday, Val, hope that you have a great birthday in your winter wonderland!
  • I really can't think of anything else witty to write? I'll just have you go over to Mama Dew's blog to hook up for your own So What Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Domestic Diva: Part II

For the holidays, I like to get my teammates something nice. This year, I opted for all those Christmas goodies that come but once a year. I also wanted to get in touch with inner Paula Deen and Martha Stewart. While I didn't make any of their recipes, I channel my Domestic Diva.

For their sugar rush, I made them all of the following delicious recipes:

My assembly line...Buckeyes, Chocolate Dipped Pretzels, Peppermint Bark, Fudge, and Muddy Buddies.

     To prepare: Don’t tell people that there is paraffin wax. They’ll be biased against it and the    chocolate doesn’t adhere as well.
1 stick butter, melted
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 ½ c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
12 oz. chocolate chips
½ brick parawax (found in canning section)

         Mix butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla together.
·         Roll batter into 1” balls and arrange on lined baking sheet.
·         Freeze balls for at least 2 hours.
·         In double-boiler, mix chocolate chips and wax, melt over medium heat until smooth.
·         Using a toothpick, dip balls into chocolate leaving small area at top for the buckeye.
·         Cool.
·         Store in fridge or freezer.
Makes 8 dozen.

Since I had lots of chocolate left over from dipping the buckeyes, I decided to dip the pretzel sticks I had in the pantry, too.

Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Sticks
For Peppermint Bark, I don't really use a recipe. I melt some good (Ghiradelli) dark chocolate in a double boiler, then pour onto a lined cookie sheet. I have that cool in the fridge, then melt the white chocolate. (Adding a drop or two of peppermint flavoring for a punch. Then I pour the white chocolate over the top of the dark chocolate and sprinkle with crushed up candy canes. Voila! Peppermint Bark!
Peppermint Bark
For Muddy Buddies, I wanted to make something that I only really get around Christmas time. My best friend's mom always makes it this time of year and she always makes me a little.

Muddy Buddies
     To prepare: A great snack that you can make in 15 minutes…just don’t wear black.

9 c. Chex (1 box)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ c. peanut butter
¼ c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ c. powdered sugar

·         In bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter uncovered for 1 minute.
·         Stir and microwave for 30 second intervals until smooth.
·         Stir in vanilla.
·         Pour mixture over cereal and stir.
·         Once the cereal is coated, pour into gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
·         Pour in powdered sugar, seal bag, and mix the bag to coat the pieces.
·         Spread onto waxed paper to cool.
Makes 9 cups.
Chex Muddy Buddies
     To prepare: Melt in your mouth fudge that’s easy to make.

3 c. sugar
1 ½ sticks butter, room temperature
5 oz. evaporated milk
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow crème
1 tsp. vanilla

·         Line cookie sheet with waxed paper, set aside.
·         In large saucepan, mix sugar, butter, and evaporated milk.
·         Bring to a full and rolling over medium heat.
·         Stirring constantly for 12 minutes.
·         Remove from heat.
·         Add chocolate, marshmallow crème, and vanilla.
·         Mix well.
·         Pour immediately into lined baking sheet.
·         Chill at least 2 hours.
Makes 3 pounds.

I didn't take a picture of the fudge...I think that it would look weird as a swirling mass of chocolate wouldn't photograph well, but it's wrapped in waxed paper in the final product!
The finished product in a cute plastic tub that only cost $1.49!
I will post more about the daunting task of Christmas dinner as it nears and I have finalized the menu. So far, we've got ham as the main dish, so talk amongst yourselves and post ideas for me for the side dishes and embellishments....oh crap. I just realized I haven't even thought about dessert for the blessed day. oy.

OK, so please please please post your ideas for Christmas desserts. Thanks in advance.

So What Wednesday

SO WHAT if....

  • I am wearing Uggs at work? I mean, I have an adorbs pair of Tory Burch Reva flats, but really, my Uggs are comfy and warm and I really don't want to be at work.
  • I have the same hairstyle all week? Every once in awhile, I wish I had curly hair, so I curl all of it and put it up messy everyday.
  • I had a serving of Muddy Buddies with breakfast? I got some from the BFF's mom for Christmas, it was in my purse, and a nice little treat this morning.
  • I am saving some of my Christmas shopping for Christmas Eve? I get paid that day and it's smarter than putting something on a credit card.
  • I haven't blogged about Happy Whatevs? I really should download the pictures and write some of the stories from the night, but I don't really feel like it. So there.
  • I may have an addiction to Moscow Mules? I'm sure there's a support group for it that gathers at the local bar serving the Nectar of the Gods in a Copper Cup.
  • I am wearing leggings under my pants because the wind chill this morning was in the single digits? It's still cold in my office and this way I don't have to wear my parka while blogging.
Now, go over to Mama Dew's blog to link up!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Post To Remind Me

...about what to write about for Happy Whatevs.

Before I can fully attend to blogging about Happy Whatevs, I need some sleep and to upload and edit the pictures (hello breakout on my chin). In the meantime, here are some teasers about the night:

  • "It's so awesome to drink with 'upper classmen'."
  • "Where does it say that it' a $10 minimum charge?"
  • A Moscow Mule. Google it.
  • The Curtis Hotel
  • Reminiscing about college
  • "We've met. We've known each other for about two years."
  • Sam's No. 3

Friday, December 17, 2010

My New Loves...Merry Christmas to Me!

So, after I left Starbucks after witnessing the most awkward first date ever, I headed over to Nordstrom Rack. My intentions were somewhat pure in that I was going to look for something for my mom and maybe a cute top for Happy Whatevs.

Side note: Happy Whatevs is when my friends get together close to the holidays to celebration literally WHATEVER. It's like Christmahanukawanzaakah plus New Years plus anything anyone wants to celebrate. Since you know me by now, you'll also know that I'll post about it.

Anyway, I headed back to the shoe section just to browse. Well, I came across this little inconspicuous table that I noticed had some Uggs on it. Well, at closer inspection, I found that the prices were ridiculous!

Here are my steals:
Tory Burch Reva ballerina flats. Normally $195, my price $70

Ugg Classic Short boots. Normally $140, my price $50

I cannot believe the deals that were on that table! There were several designers and a limited selection of sizes, but with these deals, I'm not surprised. I just wish I wasn't sitting in the parking lot blogging about that date and in the store seeing what other steals were to be had.

I also found out that Nordstrom Rack now has inventory online. Also, if you sign up for alerts via Rack Insider, you get to shop BEFORE everyone else on deal days like the one I had today. This? Could be dangerous.

My Own Private Reality Show

Ok, so real life is reality, I get it. But, I got my own real-life reality show. I call it First Date.
I was at my local Starbucks for a little Caramel Brulée latte treat (read: waiting for the stores to open for Christmas shopping) and was playing some Angry Birds.

Time out.
I'm sickly addicted to that dang game. I downloaded the Lite version to see what the whole hoopla was about and was so hooked I went and did something I vowed I would never do: pay for an iPhone app. Get it. But make sure you don't get to the point of your own real-life reality show with Intervention.
Time in.

As I was sipping my latte, a gentleman walked in and approached a lovely, anxious looking woman. His opener? "Kelly? I recognized your picture from the website."

Dying. Clearly, my ears were perked and I started sipping slower.

They went on to talk about each others kids (She has a kindergartner, he a senior in high school. Hello, May/December romance.) and what they do for a living.

What almost made me lose my composure when she was talking about her marketing business and said people like headlines with lists like super market tabloids. His response that almost made me spit out my latte and laugh hysterically? "Oh yeah! When I see something like '10 Naughty Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship', I always take a look!"

It took all my being to calmly get up and leave at that point so I could laugh out loud and write this post.

Such a great way to start my weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Domestic Diva: Part I

So, for the holidays, we have an office "meeting" where we actually have a meeting with a breakfast chaser. In years past, we have had it catered, but with the "regulations", it's now sponsored by a couple of my bosses. Well, since I'm recently gluten-free and there are a couple of others in the office as well, I offered to prepare something for those that can't have the muffins, bagels, croissants, danishes, cake, cookies, etc. that the holidays bring about.

I have also been on a sojourn to find a replacement for the strata that we normally prepare for Christmas breakfast in my mom's family. It's basically eggs, green chiles, and bread. In fact, bread is the main ingredient. Now, you might be thinking, "Why doesn't she just use gluten-free bread as a replacement and be done with it?" Well, I would have you try gluten-free bread (oh, and pay for it) and then you'll know why I needed a replacement egg dish.

Enter my dear friend Kalyn. She has THE BEST brunch casserole that doesn't include flour or some kind of bread. It's easy to make and is a definite crowd pleaser.

Kalyn's Rockin' Brunch Casserole
     To prepare: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
     Total bake time 1 hour, 15 minutes.
   12 rectangle hash
   1 lb. sausage
   1 can green chilies or
   4 c. shredded cheese
   8 eggs
   1 c. milk
   1 tsp. yellow mustard

·         Warm/soften hash browns and layer in a greased 9x13 pan.
·         Brown sausage, drain, and layer on top of hash browns
·         Add a layer green chilies/ jalapeños.
·         Add a layer of cheese.
·         Beat eggs in a bowl with milk and mustard.
·         Pour mixture over the top of the layers.
·         Baked, covered with foil for 1 hour.
·         Remove foil and let brown for 15 minutes.
Makes 12 servings.
I opted for the green chilies since I didn't know if everyone in the office could handle the heat.
How I kept it warm until I served it. That's a radiant heater in the foreground and a ceramic heater. Don't laugh. It worked!

I will probably make a mild (green chilies) and hot (jalapeños) version for the family on Christmas morning. Since the reviews from the office were clear from people telling me so and the fact that the pan was all but licked clean, I know that it will pass the test at home!

Part II of Domestic Diva will be my goodies that I made for my teammates and why I'm on the Elf Four Food Groups for the rest of the year (Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corns, and Syrup).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So What Wednesdays

SO WHAT if...
  • I'm late in posting this today? I actually had work this morning! (Shocker if you know me.)
  • I don't have a fashionista follow up of what I'm wearing today? It's non de plus, so I don't think it deserves blog space.
  • I'm sickly addicted to SororityGirlProblems on twitter? She had insights that I might share from time to time.
  • I'm sickly addicted to Angry Birds? I downloaded a "lite" version and was so addicted in the first three levels that I downloaded the full version and it was my first app that I paid to download.
  • I play Angry Birds in the doctor's office? It's not like they're punctual with seeing me when my appointment is at 10:30 and the doctor doesn't come in the room until 11:00. It's only fair. Oh, and homeboy loves Angry Birds.
  • I decide to stick to only the four food groups for the rest of the year? It's the Elf food groups, so I'm covered.
  • I get really excited that one of the blogs I followed used my idea? Jessica over at Stilettos & a Fishing Pole had a Tacky Christmas Party. In the planning phase, she solicited ideas for her adult signature beverage and I suggested "Holiday Hangover". Get it? Hangover because of the alcohol and from all the holiday parties and cheer that drains you? I thought it was awesome. Hence, why I'm so giddy. It's like getting tweeted back on twitter.
  • I'm a little too excited about the idea usage? I'm seriously having a better day because of it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sleep Deprived and Awkwardly Glorified

First, let's start with the fact that I am wicked tired. The worst part about it? That when I go to bed at 8:00pm, my mind races, it's on auto-pilot, and all of a sudden, it's midnight. Not cool. This? Also led to me having to call in sick since I was so exhausted. I've had bouts of fatigue and exhaustion before, thought that we had worked through it with my doctor, but I'm going to get serious. I'm going to go for a whole battery of test tomorrow to at least narrow down what the heck is making me sleep this much.

Second, let's talk about the awesomeness of this picture once again.

Go ahead. Love it. Live it. Be jealous of it.

Well, I decided that it needed to be submitted to While I was there, I realized that they started a new site called Clearly, this is where my Dorothy Hamill belongs. I submitted the picture and completely forgot to stalk to see if they posted it. (I encourage you to go to the website, but I'll save you the trouble of losing my train of thought and looking for this, it hasn't been posted.)

In my sleep deprived stupor, I read my email from my other email address (everyone has one of those you use for signing up for things that you know might lead to spam.) and got this little gem:

Dear Ana,

I'm writing to you because we love your photo and wanted to know if you would be interested in having it be a part of the Awkward Family Pet Photos book that will be published by Random House next year, a follow-up to the NY Times bestselling Awkward Family Photos. The book will be the ultimate celebration of the relationship between people and their pets. Please let me know if you're interested so we can send you more information and thanks for the great submission.


Mike & Doug

That's right. My crotch-blocking, Olan Mills standard is being considered for a freaking book. No word on if they will use it or when exactly the book will be out, but you bet your bippy I will be getting a copy. I'll keep you posted on development of my awkwardness in print.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's NOT Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Alright, Mother Nature. I live a short distance from the foothills. Just a little further are some of your most majestic and gorgeous 14,000 foot mountains. Yet, here I sit, on December 12 (which I know is technically still fall for another nine days) without a trace of snow and no sight of it in the 10-day forecast.

I know that I have previously ranted about our relationship in posts like Snow Day, Schmo Day, I've been excited about 18" of the fluffy white stuff in October with Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, and maybe over stepped my bounds with a very formal Memo, but really? It is December in Colorado and like my memo said regarding the tilt of the Earth's axis indicates seasons and converse to the timing of the previous memo in April, the fact that I drive to work before sunrise and drive home after sunset (keeping in mind that I work for the government, so it's not like I'm working ridiculous hours here), that would indicate that we are nearing the December Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere which means that we are entering winter.

I would really appreciate some more winter weather that includes some snow, some cooler temperatures, and some glistening fields of white. I am currently in need of some winter inspiration to get me into the holiday spirit since right now, Colorado looks dead and full of despair without the grass covered in white, pure snow. Not to mention all of these pushy shoppers really just test my patience. And the songs about Christmas just grind in the fact that some places are having a winter.

I realize that I can be demanding, but I'm really just looking for some semblance of normal for Colorado. I appreciate your attention to this matter and hope that the informal manner to which I have addressed this issue is met with better tidings than my forceable rant from April of 2009.

Thank you in advance for a White Christmas.

p.s. I have just been informed that it's snowing in Kentucky and Georgia. Not cool, Mother Nature. Not. Cool.