Monday, January 31, 2011

Bachelor Brad 2.0 - Episode Five


It's that time again.
Bachelor time.


Let me start with the obvious.
Michelle is off her rocker.
She's flying her freak flag and I'm not sure if Brad is seeing it.
 What in the world was the "don't say a word" display?
She was trying so hard to make a sexy statement and it just came off desperate and strange.
Beka cracks me up with her look-a-like post.
Priceless.
When will producers let him let her go?


Chantal was a little off tonight.
Teary, demanding, and she let the "L" word slip...which I think Brad was a little charmed by.
 And her rose ceremony dress was horrid.
A disgusting black and white conglomeration.
So confusing.
So unflattering.
Let's hope what happens in Vegas really does stay in Vegas when it comes to that dress. 

In regards to the 2 on 1 date with The Ashleys.
(Loving that there are two Ashleys in this episode...story of my life.)
 I was actually really surprised with Brad's decision.
Not sure what he's seeing in Ashley H.
A good time? Bouncy? Nice teeth?
She just seems a bit immature for him.
Poor Ashley S. exiting to Elvis' Are You Lonesome Tonight?
(I know my sister-in-law was probably loving the Elvis show.)

Emily.
Love Emily.
I love her in a scary way.
With an almost Jillian intensity.
I know...that's big stuff.
I adored Jillian.
 Brad's really on a roll with the hot-button dates with this poor girl.
First was the little plane - the same kind in which her fiance was killed - and tonight was the nascar (just a little insert here...I do NOT like nascar) awkwardness.
I loved how he handled it though.
He just kept checking in with her.
Total gentleman...
As much as you can be while you're on a date with half a dozen other weepy women.

Shawntel...
Hmmm.
She's pretty and he likes her.
But there's just something funny.
I can't put my finger on it.
Oh wait...maybe that "something" is that she blathered on and on about replacing blood with chemicals and moulding faces for open casket funerals.
What in the world?
T M I.
She was sort of charming though...I'll give her that.

I wasn't surprised with the women who left.
Honestly? I've already forgotten who they even were.

Random thoughts...
The previews for the rest of the season look so good.
Seriously.
I want to go to Africa for a safari - it's on our bucket list, always has been.
Chantal must have some good water proof mascara.
That little Alli person is actually very cute. But made herself look totally icky in regards to the Emily jealousy.
Emily's teeth are crazy white and straight.
I don't like Vegas. It's gross.
I still don't get the whole shrink on camera thing. Is he trying to get a job as Hollywood's therapist?
I'm suspicious.

Now...if you watch the show, I know you've got thoughts.
See that little button down there that says "comments"?
Push it. Type. You'll be glad you did.





A Day in January

Saturday, January 29th I woke to the whir and clatter of my pots and pan lids being spun like tops in the kitchen.
You may call us a lot of things...you can add "easily amused" to the list.


After I threw a few of these little puppies in the oven:

I sat for an email/facebook/blog check.


 See my pretty hydrangeas? Thank you, Brawny Man.

The piglets paused in their raucous floor play and posed for a photo op.



The Danish Pancakes come steaming and brown from the oven.
They are beautiful.


Topped with powdered sugar and squirted with lemon juice they are one of my all time favorite things I've ever put in my mouth.
Crispy on the outside, soft and eggy on the inside.
Thanks Katie for the product recommendation!


Britt goes down for his nap and I park the big kids on the couch with an apple each and Alice in Wonderland in the DVD player.

It's Saturday, we're allowed.
(Yes, Beck has changed his clothes to shorts and nary else.)

The kids relax...take naps...munch on fruit...
live the high life.
While I do a little post party clean-up and laundry.
No pics of that exciting action.

Baby practices his cruising.


Brawny Man comes from his Saturday appointments and wraps up some phone business.


And then...wonder of wonders...I get the house to myself while he takes the piglets to the nearest playground.
The weather was snow-melty but playground-able.
So off they went...


I think I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had the house completely to myself since having children.
It was blissful.
I'm not even sure what I did.
I think I just glanced around for a few minutes.
Took in the quiet...my house can be this quiet??
I think I cleaned up the living room and watched it stay clean for longer than 20 minutes.
That was amazing.
I also believe I went to the bathroom in peace.
That was even more amazing.

Then I started dinner.
And then they came home.
Begging for hot chocolate to warm their rosy cheeks and frosty noses.




Evie is the hot chocolate helper.
She's good at it.
Says she wants to be a "Maker" when she grows up.
This means a cook.
: )
It makes my heart happy to hear that.

There isn't much more to the night after that.
I get dinner (an Asian stir-fry with scallops) on the table and we devour.
The kids go to bed and Mr. B. and I laze in an amiable zombie-like manner for a couple of hours before we head to bed ourselves.

The last picture I have of the day is my scallops being coated in sesame seeds.


They're kind of fleshy and slimy.
Ick.
Here's my secret: I don't like scallops.
There, I said it.

And that's the end of the Day in January.
Did you document your Day in January?
If you did, please link up!







On another note, today I baked up a batch of sweet little scones...
They are the Recipe of the Month for February.
They feature the most unlikely pairing of scone flavors...
You'll never guess.
: )
I'll tell you tomorrow.

The Art of the Tea Party

Evie wanted you to know...

The best way to enjoy a tea party is with lace on your head, pearls about your neck and glossed lips.


In fact...it might be the only way to enjoy a tea party.

Pinkies UP!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cozying Up

With the winter storm blowing in and threatening ice and inches upon inches of snow for the next three days I am fighting the urge to panic.
The prospect of being holed up in my little house with 3 cabin fever afflicted children is enough to send me into full rocking in the corner, eye-twitch mode.

But...
instead I'll think of it as a novelty.

I'll batten down the hatches, light the candles, gather the blankies and books and...cook.

I'm reading one of the most inspiring books about life and cooking.
The words Molly puts together in her memoir are almost as delicious as her recipes look to be.
I'm going to try out a few in this ice-lockdown,
I'll let you know how they turn out.

Until then, go to Molly's blog, Orangette, one of my favorites, and gather some inspiration of your own.

And if you're looking for a good read that feels like a full meal without the bloating, get her book.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Frozen Brownies

I pulled a brownie from the freezer today.
While eating it decided it deserved its very own post.

The thing about a frozen brownie is the texture.
It is chewy and there is a satisfactory snap when a semisweet chip yields under my teeth.
(Brownies aren't worth the time if they don't have a dump of semisweet chocolate in them.)

I discovered frozen brownies while I was pregnant; in a full-blown fit of chocolate jonesing.
I had thrown 1/2 a pan of perfectly fudgy squares in the freezer to keep myself from eating the entire thing in one sitting...a feat surprisingly easy to accomplish.
A few hours later I threw open the freezer doors and descended upon the bag in a frenzy that might have been filed one step under "attack-mode."
I contemplated tossing the cold cube into the microwave while I poured a mug of milk but instead took a bite.

I'm glad there was no one in the kitchen with me at the time...
my full-bodied reaction to the surprising fabulousness of it was akin to When Harry Met Sally's "I'll have what she's having."

That first brownie didn't make it long enough to duet with my planned mug of milk but the next one did.
I poured that icy milk and the way they played together was quite harmonious.
Cold on cold.

I don't have much of a point in writing this except to say that the next time you make a batch of brownies
- the old American classic -
please include some Tollhouse morsels in the batter and reserve for yourself one in the freezer.
Divine.

A Book Swapping Party

A new (and already dear) friend of mine called me a few weeks ago and said something to the effect of...
"I have an idea. I think you might be the perfect person to pull it off with...you love books as much as I do!"
She called the right girl.

Her idea was a book swap party.
Perfection, right?
Books, friends, no money spent and new- to us reads!

So we giddily planned and our party was last night.
We co-hosted at my house.
Here's how we pulled it off.

Everyone got a Swap Slip upon entering.


The number of books someone contributed is the number of books they could bring home.

And then...we browsed!


So many good books.
It gave us all a chance to talk about authors and our favorite (and least favorite) books.
And mingle over a common - and very worthy - love of books.

Fiction was set up on one table and non-fiction on another.
In the future we may include children's books.


I'm sorry about the picture quality.
But I so wanted to share our night and taking pictures with a point-and-shoot in dim lighting with no flash (flash = ick) is sort of a nightmare.

Refreshment station.

Dark Cherry Italian Sodas
Recipe HERE.


My cute li'l co-host, Jessica and Miss Trisha (one of the littlest piglets favorite ladies).
Jessica is holding one of my all time faves.
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult...oh, those Amish, they get me every time.

The one picture to prove I was there...

Laura, Jenny and Myself.

We may or may not have been aware of the photo being taken and totally posed this shot.
Fake laughs and all.
What's a girlfriend party without fake laughs? (real ones, too!)

We all found a perch in the living room after the flurry of serious book shopping was done and indulged our appetites - homemade hummus, tarts with lovely things inside, minty brownies, pecan confections and perfect coffee (thanks, Laura!).
We talked books and children and life.
We communed.
And it was good.


There were a few, "when are we going to do this again?" comments.
So I believe it was a success.
Trying to decide if a book swap would be best left to an annual event or a bi-annual.
Speaking of books, I'm giving away one of my favorites along with some other goodies.
Click HERE for my 1,000th post giveaway and enter to win.
 
Find my book reviews at Insatiable Reader.
 
A few questions for you...
Do you buy your books or utilize the library for most of your reading?
Do you buy new or used?
Do you prefer the "big boy" book sellers like Barnes and Nobel or do you try to stick with the little book shops?
What's your favorite book...ever?
 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Books

It's no secret, my love for books.


"Books can be possessive, can't they?
Sometimes what's inside will change your life, but sometimes you don't even have to read it.
Sometimes it's a comfort just to have a book around...
'Why do you buy books you don't even read?' [someone] asks.
That's like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat.
For company, of course."
-Sarah Addison Allen
from The Sugar Queen


Couldn't have put it better myself, so I wont even try.

Tonight I shall be in some very good company indeed.
Books. Girlfriends. Bites to eat. And more books...

More about my book swap party later in the weekend.
: )


"You have a library?
Oh yes! Indeed! With books!
 Gads of books! Mountains of books!
Forests of books! Cascades of books!
Swamps of books! 
More books than you'll ever be able to read in a lifetime!
Books on every subject ever studied, by every author who ever set pen to paper..."
- Beauty and the Beast

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The 1,000th Post & My First Giveaway!

My heavens...1,000 posts!
I must have had lots to say in the past 3 1/2 years.
One thousand posts seems a little exorbitant, don't you think?
Yes, it is excessive and also a reason to
C E L E B R A T E.
Because you know I always love a good celebration.

I may have done a lot of waxing poetic, griping, rejoicing, bragging, creating, extolling, thinking-out-loud in these 1,000 posts; but I can tell you one thing I've never done is a giveaway.

I'm fixin' a change that.




What I'm giving away:

An adorable hand-knit creation from THIS etsy shop.
Marci is a friend of mine from high school.
She knits the most "awwww!" inspiring confections for the top of your babies heads.
I mean...look.




I love them.
Love. Love. Love.
Each one is cuter than the first.

She makes her hats to order from 0 months to 4 years size.
She also says she'll make adult sizes too...
so if you have a hankerin' to wear an owl on your adult-sized noggin, your wish is her command.
(I don't advise an adult wearing an owl on her head...for the record.)


I also want to send you one of my favorite books.

The winner may choose from one of two fabulous reads.

Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison

The amazon site is HERE.
My glowing reviews are HERE and HERE.

This book will change the pace of your days as a mother and your perspective of what is valuable in life.

OR...


Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach

The amazon site is HERE.
My reviews of Sarah's work are HERE and HERE.

This book is (almost) the sole reason I went back to nursing school a few years ago.
It challenged me to do a little soul-examination and (in tandem with my Bible and prayer time) led me to realize I needed to take life by the horns and seize my day.
One of my favorites, for sure.


How to enter the giveaway:

There are several ways to enter.
Each avenue you take will give you an additional entry.
So, do one or do them all.

1 - Comment on this post.
But first, go to Marci's shop and peruse her hats.
Tell me which is your favorite in your comment.
Share the knit-hat-goodness love.

2 - Become a follower of She's Star-Crossed.
Right over there on my right sidebar is an option to "follow" the blog.
Click there and follow; you do not have to have a blogspot account to do this.

3 - Twitter about this giveaway and link back to this post.

4 - Write a status update on your facebook about this giveaway and link back to this post.

5 - Blog about this giveaway.
In your blog post you must leave a link back to this post AND to Marci's etsy site.

After you do all (or one) of these things, come back here and post a comment letting me know what you've done to enter, this is the only way I'll know how many entries to give you!

I will randomly pick the winner and announce it 10 days from now.
Monday, February 7th.
So check back to see if you've won and we'll nail down all the details like which hat you'd like and which book you choose.

For all of my faithful little followers (that sweet, small group) who were followers before I ever entered the world of blog giveaways, you will automatically get TWO entries more added to your entry tally. The rewards of sticking it out with me and my 1,000 silly thoughts.

Now, go!
Go forth and blog, twitter, facebook...whatever it takes.
And WIN this giveaway!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS EXPIRED
KAYLA was the winner.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sometimes In Life...

...there is just too much

Dog hair on the carpet.

Snow outside.

Screaming from the baby.

On the to-do list.

Needless judgment of others.

To clean up.

Loneliness.

And not enough of the good things; the real things. Like singing, sunshine, laughter, love.
-from the girl who has taken to blogging from her iPod.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Computer-less.

I have been without Internet or computer for the last few days and it looks like it will be a few more days until I have access to either.

C'est la vie...it shall be all about funny little posts from the iPod until then.

The 1,000th post is still to come!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Texted

I got a text from my little sister last night.
It said this:

I needed you this weekend...
Thanks for being honest & wise & hilarious. Love you.

It warmed my heart, that's true.
But you know what is the biggest blessing?
I couldn't have put it into any better words for the way I feel about her.


Mrs. B. and Little Sis travelling in the car with two funny little piggies in back.

I could never love anyone more than I love my sisters.-Jo March
Little Women

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bachelor Brad 2.0 - Episode Three

Tonight's show was nice.
It was!
It just felt nice.
Sweet; even.
It felt vintage Bachelor.

Ashley S.'s one-on-one recording date was torturous hilarity and completely touching all at the same time.
The emotional connection she had with "Kissed by a Rose" was moving;
the harmonious connection was leaving much to be desired...
To: Brad n' Ashley,
No. More. Singing.
Love: Everyone With Ears.
(Seal's cameo and silky vocals patched all the sore spots right up though. He's a dream. Really.)

The great big group date a la cheesy blockbuster action flick was a bit strange.
Not my cuppa tea but it certainly seemed to be Brad's.
30-year-old-baby-Michelle, once again, stole the {freak} show.
I believe her time is up. She can go now...anytime.

Brad's one-on-one with Emily the Perfect was...well...perfect.
I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time.
Except for that 5 awkward minutes where she wouldn't tell him about her past that is obviously a very big part of who she is.
Once she got over that hurtle, she was off like lightening.
Such a likeable girl.

The Vanishing Vampire act was a strange little addition to the whole night.
What was the deal there?!
I actually think Brad's psycho-analysis of her was spot on
- he's spent enough time with a therapist to actually be one, apparently -
he said she was putting up walls because she didn't want to allow herself to be loved.
Wow. Nail on the head; I do believe.
Poor Vampire.


So...I have my top four.
Loving Chantal, The Two Ashleys and Emily.





The all-important questions...
Do you have some final picks yet?
Do you think Brad is really a changed man since his last Bachelor stint?
What was the deal with the shrink cameo appearance?
Were you as grossed out as I was when Vampire removed her fangs and set them on the table?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In Anticipation

My blog post count is inching toward the 1,000 mark.
Meaning...
in the next week I will hit ONE THOUSAND posts.
Can you say, "milestone?"
: )

I'm planning a little something special for the 1,000th post.
Something you'll like.
Something rewarding.
For you.


A bit of advice.
If you read this blog but don't officially "follow," you should probably take the extra bit of time to click the "follow" button over there on my sidebar.
There's something in it for you.
But you'll just have to wait and see what...

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Nella!

One of my very favorite bloggers is celebrating the one year birthday of her sweet baby girl, Nella.


Help Kelle Hampton commemorate the birth of her sweet girl with a donation to the ONEder fund.

Donate HERE and feel the love.



I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ten Months Old



How?
How did it happen that this baby of mine has reached ten months old?


 
It's like I blinked and there he was.
All 26 chubby, dimply pounds of him;
10 months old.


 
I told him today, when I realized that his first birthday is heading straight for us as fast as a frieght train,
"If you decide to actually turn ONE on March 13th you will get a spank.
A serious spank."


And this, I've decided, is where the Birthday Spankings tradition originated.
A harried mother baffled by the idea of her sweet little one getting a year older.
The only answer a panicking mother has is to spank.
That's it.
Spank the kid for turning one.


Mr. B. is 28.
I am 28.
Beck is 5.
Evie is 4.
Britt is 10 months.

And I think that's as old as any of us ever need to be.
No more birthdays in the B. household.
End of story.
Forever young.


Spanks all around.


 

*Important note: Britt said 'bye bye' yesterday for the first time while waving his fat little hands at his Grandma Honey.
What a guy.
: )