Friday, October 31, 2008

My Halloween Gift to You: Pumpkin Fudge

Oh Geez!!! I forgot to publish a recipe on Tuesday!! Hey, I was still recovering from Monday. Cut a girl some slack, will ya?

Well, today is Halloween and I present you with the infamous Pumpkin Fudge recipe. I will tell you this...I HATE nuts in my fudge and cookies. BUT BUT BUT, in this recipe the more toasted pecans the better. But, make sure that they are toasted. Not toasted = sucky. I love this because it is unique and people always ask for the recipe. It is VERY sweet, which is why I think I like the pecans in it - to cut the sweetness. (Sometimes I even very lightly salt the pecans after toasting while they are still hot)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN Y'ALL!!! I've got to get to the gumbo and voo-doo brew making! I'll be expecting pictures of all of your festivities!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reason #102 The Internet is Fabulous: Ask and You Shall Receive

Apparently, complaining on the internet that you need more fun in your life provokes people to call you and force you to come out to a party on a weeknight.

Here are a few the publishable pictures from a company party on Monday night. A Monday Night! Me? Out on a Monday??? Does your company go this crazy for Halloween? Actually, it was not a Halloween party, but the headquarters building of husband's company was decked out nonetheless. There was creepy crap EVERYWHERE! And, sometimes when you didn't notice it - it would then start talking to you and scare the poo out of you!

Tracy and Katie - highly suggest you come down next time! AND, have your husbands seen the new "bird"??? It was hilarious and maybe a little more scary than the Halloween Decorations.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just a Phase, Right?

So, I have a confession. I am SICK TO FREAKING DEATH of being old and responsible. I'm sick of being practical and dependable. I have been all of these things since the dawn of time. Something snapped about a week or so ago. I want to go out. I want to be carefree and fun. I NEED a party. Lots of parties. Crazy, rumpus ones.


I'm assuming, because I think I'm a pretty darn good mom, that I will get over this. Its just a phase. It will pass. But, in the meantime...My champagne glass needs a refill, please.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trader Tuesdays - Make Your House Smell Delicious Edition

For this Tuesday's trade I offer you a link. This is what I put in the crockpot when I need a yummy, healthy meal for a night filled with meetings, et al. (Which is pretty much every night...)

Without further ado, here it is. Don't skip the coconut rice. Not even if you THINK you hate coconut. My kids hate coconut, but LOVE LOVE LOVE coconut rice.

My alterations:
1. I sometimes add baby carrots
2. I add a couple turns of soy sauce to the orange juice mixture
3. I serve with Siracha

Chris Jordan's blog is one of my absolute favorites. you have probably visited it before, but if you haven't, Go. Go now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Best Room Party Ever the one that includes a "foot soak" for the ladies!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hindsight Is Indeed 20/20 (Brilliantly Illustrated By Shonda Rhimes)

Did you watch Grey's Anatomy last night?

You know how "they" say that the things that are the funniest are those things rooted in some amount of truth? Well, I could not have been laughing harder as Christina, Meredith, and Izzie watched the dermatology residents with equal parts awe, jealousy, and disdain. THAT is EXACTLY how college was for me. Other people having that quintessential, fun college experience while I toiled away like Quasimodo in a lab. I remember walking to The Commons to get some lunch and seeing adorable sorority girls stretched out on their Greek embroidered, oversized beach towels clad in adorable bikinis studying in the sun. I simultaneously adored and hated them. It was exactly like what you saw last night on Grey's! They were putting on the sunscreen while my pasty white nerdy butt was upstairs running a GC-Mass Spec and and IR on the damn oxybenzone in their sunscreen. The Greek girls were all sharing the knowledge of professors' past tests and helping each other through while all the people I knew were one step short of trying to actually sabotage each other because they (thankfully not me - I was going to law school)) were all competing for the same med school slots.

All that so that I could be the effing PTO president and be known for the best desserts in the neighborhood. Why didn't the future me clue the college me in?

As an aside, how sorry did you feel for Lexie, and why is Derek being such an ass?

Please take note! This is in NO WAY a slam on Greek life or non-technical college people. In fact, I'm saying those people were way smarter than me and I wished I had realized it back then! I am openly admitting my jealousy so save the hate mail for another day.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Overheard From The Back Of The Van

You guys are going to think I made this up. This was an actual, practically verbatim conversation from the back of my van this afternoon during carpool. If you do do not believe me, you can call or email Jamie or Connor. They were there too, they can vouch for my truthfulness! Grant is five and Livvy is four. All capitalization was actual emphatic voice raising and inflection...

Olivia: Are we getting married?

Grant: Yeah, still. But when we're married it is YOUR job to change ALL da diapers.

Olivia: Not when I go to Book Club. When I go to Book Club you have to change the diapers. Even the poopy ones.

Grant: I'll go to Book Club.

Olivia: Daddies don't go to Book Club. They stay home to change the diapers and put all the kids in the bed.

Grant: We'll have to take the babies on our date.

Olivia: NNNOOOO THAT is a family date!! When WE go on a date the Grammy or the Auntie or the babysitter will change the diapers.

Grant: We have to take the baby on the dates!

Olivia: THAT IS NNNOOOTT A DATE!!! Dates are when the babies STAY HOME! When we get married you will know that.

Times like these, I am so glad I got the van without the rear entertainment system. This is SO much better!

I Like Opinions When They Are Not Displayed On Your Car Or In Your Yard

So, give some more opinions. Here, on a blog. Where opinions belong.

**Cute, too childish, or ugly?

**Cream blush? Do you use it? Why do you or don't you like it better than powder blush?

**Patent Leather Leggings??? If you want a pair of these, PLEASE explain them to me!

**Ombre? Love it or hate it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

His and Hers (AKA: Never A Dull Moment Around Here)

Honestly, I HATE bumper stickers, yard signs, and all of that. It just seems so divisive and "in your face" to me. And, is anyone really going to decide to vote for a candidate because of your bumper sticker or button? If they are, then they shouldn't be voting at all. BUT, I backed out of the garage the other day to discover THAT on the back of his car. And, oh hell no! Game On.

Past and Present

In the past: Dressed to impress or be validated by other women at a party

Now: Just want a "wow!" moment from Rich.

Does aging breed insecurity?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Headless MaryB: Audience Participation Required **Now Updated to Answer Viewer Questions**

Fronts and backs of dresses. Links to each so that you can see more detail of the actual dresses at bottom of post. Feel Free tot ell me that I ZERO fashion sense and to start all over. BIGGEST LESSONS OF THESE PHOTOS: 1)The camera DOES add at least a few pounds if not 10! 2) I am NOT 25 anymore! AND 3) I am NOT comfortable AT ALL posting photos of my full-length self on the blog.

You are required to dress me. Pick a dress or, like I said before, tell me to start over! Suggest shoes, accessories, bags. Do not have to be specific ones (although that is appreciated!) - just ideas of colors, shapes, designs to look for.

Damn the new cute background...I took the time to line them all up so that fronts and backs were side-by-side. Now they do not fit in that configuration!

Oh, and here are the links:

Dress A
Dress B
Dress C

Your Questions Answered:

1. What does Rich like? Rich does not currently have a favorite - Well, he did but I disliked it so much I wouldn't bring it home. Here it is.
2. Am I wearing hose? In the pictures, yes. i have the knee phobia. HATE my knees, and they look even worse as I think one of my kneecaps isn't exactly completely connected anymore. Cheerleading is BAD to knees. As for will I wear them? Well, now, THAT is part of YOUR job. Girl at store says coloreds are back in???? Seriously? And she had these teeny-tiny fishnet patterned stockings? Feels a little hooker-esque to me????? But I hate my knees and I like peep-toes! WHAT is a girl to do? (I often use spray-on)
3. Do you feel better in Dress A? Well, no. I think I feel about the same in all of them. I do have knee "issues" and I feel that dress A makes my arse look wide (but not as wide as in the photo) and I feel that dress B makes me look "hippy" but that is the way the dress is gathered. Dress C I have worn before and love. It has more of an empire waist effect in person (maybe the camera angle at fault?) And, my dear, dear husband in his efforts to not die informs me that I look thinner in them in person. He says that since I made him exclude my head from the photos that the angle is all goofy and makes me look wider. He is usually BRU-TAL-LY honest - the kind of honest many husbands do not get away with - so I take him at his word. (I've got some good examples of his honesty if you ever need some entertainment.)
4. Not a question, but added info - Their site on "The Knot" (Oh thank the goodlawhd this didn't exist when I got hitched!) declares the dress code to be "Dinner Dressy Coat and Tie." WTH does that mean? I just assumed evening wedding at the cathedral and FW Club inferred suit and tie?? And to me, suit and tie means cocktail dresses or such for the ladies. Coat and tie? NotSoMuch.
5. Why so stuck on the WHBM? Well, because my darling husband just plunked down a very tidy sum of money to cater to my furniture pickiness and has remodeled my kitchen and family rooms. And need I mention the state of the economy? And I do love "the market" - so many cute dresses all in one place! The clincher - I have substantial gift card to spend there. (also- their vanity sizing is RIDICULOUS and I have to admit to getting a high from purchasing clothes in the size that fits there. Yes, illogical and stupid. Can't be helped.)

It's 10:30 Somewhere!

The bad news: I had to choose between blogging and cleaning up my horrid mess of a kitchen (why I usually do not make big roast beef dinners on the weeknights!). The kitchen won out. It was a disaster.

The good news: The delay means I got a few more votes. What is it with you people and wanting the easy recipes???? Just kidding!! I know, life is crazy-ass busy.

The verdicts: 1) Easy, but Mandy has a neighborhood party and she is thinking she would like to bring a dessert type offering. 2)Also, I am going to have to make Rich take pictures of yours truly in the dresses. There will be no head in the pictures, I am telling you right now. Neck down only. If I go through with this plan you will be required to not only vote on a dress, but also to suggest accessories and shoes, and any other pertinent info. For example, the young, cute thing at WHBM informed me that people are wearing gray and black stockings again? Is she confused? If true, however, might influence my dress choice as the one I like the most is a bit short, and I have ugly knees. Gray stockings would take care of this problem I think. Are fishnets acceptable? They are darn cute in the catalog!

Well, it is one of my three favorite months of the year, OCTOBER! That means fall, leaves, and my favorite, PUMPKIN!!! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin tempura...any and all things pumpkin. Therefore, I think a party or gathering of any pot-luck sort in October should be graced with pumpkin. I have about a million ideas. My favorite is pumpkin fudge, but it requires a candy thermometer, which, I'm guessing precludes it from being in the "easy" category? The easiest, and also very tasty, is pumpkin dip. You probably already have a recipe for this, but on the off-chance that you do not, here it is:

Pumpkin Dip with Ginger Snaps

2 8 oz packages cream cheese
4 cups confectioners sugar (better if you sift)
30 oz can pumpkin pie mix
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
(sometimes I add a touch of vanilla)

Combine cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until well combined.
Serve in a pie-sized, hollowed-out pumpkin. Serve with ginger snaps. I have also served with apple slices, pretzels, and have also made stuffed french toast with these leftovers as the filling.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Trader Tuesday - NEED YOUR INPUT! And, Some Bonus Whining

I'm having trouble focusing on my Trader Tuesday contribution. So, here's the plan. You are all going to help me out. Tell me what kind of recipe you are interested in today. Quick dinner ala Sandara Lee's Semi-homemade style? Or fancy-pants, send children away for the night, impress the hubs dinner ? Quick and easy dessert? Showy dessert? Old southern favs? One caveat - I DO NOT fry chicken at home. Ever. So, don't ask me about that. Ill post at 10:30, so get those requests in!

Reasons I cannot focus:

  • Too long of a to-do list
  • Fall Festival
  • Obsessing about dress for wedding. If I get brave Ill take pics of myself in all three and you can vote. Or, not. My internet bravado has its limits.
  • Damn family always needs to be fed
  • Choosing furniture (read: OBSESSING!)
  • Pissed off that the eldest got not one, BUT TWO, detentions! And would you effing believe that one of them was for SOCKS!!!!!
  • Other general, pissiness of both the friend and marital nature.
  • Went to Pilates for first time since December. Might I suggest that you do not ever take 10 months off of an activity you plan to continue? It hurts both your muscles and YOUR EGO very, very much.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

You Are Going To Be SO Jealous

This weekend:

  • Husband is on road-trip bachelor party (can you see my eyes rolling?)
  • Jamie has history fair deadlines looming in the hear future
  • Jamie has major mythology exam
  • Jamie has SAT to study a bit for
  • Jamie has mythology presentation to plan
  • Connor has First Tee
  • Grant is way behind in his speech therapy "at home" work.
  • I have not followed through on my get ready to look hot-as-hell-and-knock-husband-on-his-ass-with-my-awesomeness-in-cute-dress-for-wedding plans. Feel need to start cramming like Claire Huxtable (Do you remember that episode?)
  • It is October the 4th and it is NINETY EFFING FOUR DEGREES outside and the rest of the damn country is "falling" into autumn. Texas sucks.
  • Need to paint fireplace brick and need to paint bathroom
  • Need to clean out fridge and clean the shelves and drawers

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sometimes Husbands Are Funny

Rich arrived home from a kick-in-the-pants 3-day trip last night at around midnight. We hung out for just a bit before heading off the bed. You know, because we had to discuss all the shitty crap that happened yesterday, and the state of the economy, and remodeling projects, and gripe about weirdo captains. What can I say? We are nothing if not uplifting around here.

But I digress. The point is that we were up pretty late. Alarms start their hideous beeping around here at 6:40am. For me this is not a problem. I don't sleep much. It's just a thang. For Rich, the rack-monster, this is a big problem. It is really hard coming home to a normal people schedule when you fly pm lines. Despite all, he got up and helped me get the kids off to school and mowed the lawn even though he is now sitting three days of reserve.

Once the lawn was finished, and we were inside planning the rest of the day we kept having to adjust our plans due to the "well, if THEY call..." He went to make sure his uniform was ready and that his bag was packed while I worked on some budgeting crap for the PTO. A few moments later he came down the hall announcing that he really didn't think he'd be going to work today. He was annoyed at the thought of going right back on a trip after only being home for a few hours and he was tired. Furthermore, he didn't feel well. I asked him what was wrong. He replied that he might have to call in sick because he had a major case of anal glaucoma.

I said, "huh? What ?"

He said, "I really cannot see my ass going to work today."