Thursday, December 18, 2014

Friday Fragments

Time for Friday fragments, where we take the trivial things that happened during the week and we throw them all in a blog post, like a big 'ole pot of fragment soup.

But first...a happy dance from my two favorite comic characters:

Frag #1
Do you use Redbox to rent movies? We do because it's super cheap - like $1.30 a night or something like that. Here's what usually happens:
It's Friday night and we decide we want to watch a movie. 
Hubby says lets just order a movie from On Demand through the cable company. 
I say no, it's $6, let's go get a movie from Redbox.
We drive to the Redbox, get the movie, drive home, watch the movie, go to bed.
Next day I remind hubby to bring the movie back on his way out to pick up milk. 
Hubby says, sure no problem.
8 days later, I notice the movie is still sitting on top of the T.V.
Hubby kicks himself for forgetting. I kick myself for forgetting to remind hubby. Then I kick hubby.
We return the movie and get charged $12.97. 
I realize we could have saved the trip to Redbox, stayed home, and watched 2 movies for the same price.
Repeat the above the following weekend.

The movie was Maleficent, which was very good, by the way. Angelina Jolie was fantastic in it. At least we didn't pay $12.97 for a bad movie. So there's that.

Frag#2
Speaking of movies, do you have a favorite Christmas movie or two that you watch every year? I was on a Christmas movie kick last night so we watched It's a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, and about 1/3 of Christmas Vacation. 

I was supposed to write a blog post for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, but my daughter Sissa came home from a two week trip to California and we got all comfy on the couch and started the movies, then it was just too hard to get up.

Mama Kat has a lovely writing prompt this week called "Where I'm From". You follow a poem template and fill in the blanks with descriptions and experiences from your childhood that shaped who you are.

I've started mine, but it's taking longer than I thought, or maybe I'm overthinking it. That's easy to do when you start examining your past. Anyway, her link up is open until next Thursday I think, so I hope to link up maybe by the weekend. Here's where you can link up if you want to.

If you write one, whether you link up to Mama Kat's or not, leave me the link in the comments - I'd love to read it.

Frag #3
So remember last week I shared the White Elephant gift I bought for our office Christmas party - the fart bank? Do you know who ended up going home with it? 

Yours truly. Well, my hubby, actually. Which was pretty funny because he was a little embarrassed that I would buy such a gift to represent our family in the office gift exchange. He could have left with a remote controlled helicopter, but the gal he stole it from looked so disheartened when he traded the fart bank for the helicopter that as we were leaving, he turned around and gave it back to her.

So I have the fart bank on my desk at work. I've decided that when the guys don't answer my instant messages or emails, the penalty is that I march into their office with the fart bank and they have to deposit money into the butt crack and listen to the ensuing sound.

Hey, if you ignore emails, you have to pay the piper...or farter, as the case may be.

Frag #4
This weekend is Christmas cookie weekend. Making, not eating. Well, probably both. I make my mom's sugar cookie recipe and frost and decorate them and bring them to work as gifts (fart-free gifts - yay). My girls help me and we listen to Christmas music and laugh and talk and bicker and it's one of the best parts of Christmas for me.

That's if for my frags this week. Off to bed now because I stayed up too late last night. Have a great weekend!

Dragging and fragging,
Lori

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Back to Those Fraggin' Friday Fragments

It's been a few weeks since I wrote a Friday Frag post, but I'm hoping to get back in the fraggin' saddle.

But first...a friday happy dance!


Those Peanuts dudes sure knew how to party!

Frag #1
I'm doing quite a bit of online Christmas shopping this year because well...it's kind of a no-brainer. No crowds to deal with, huge selection, and I can shop in my pajamas. Of course, to some that last one is not an obstacle.
Woman in public shopping in pajamas and curlers
Source
Anyhoo, my only problem with online shopping is I think I spend more. For instance, I get a coupon for $10 off if I spend $30, but maybe the item I want is $24.99 and even with tax, it's under $30. So I buy something else.

Then after I hit the big fat "Check-out" button, up pops a message that if I spend $10 more I'll get free shipping. Since shipping is about $10, I figure it's like getting something for free anyway, so I buy something else.

So for the $24.99 item, I've now spent $80 because I can never just buy something that's $10. It's always $15 or $20. Do that on 5 or 6 sites in a day and well...you see my problem.

Is it just me or is anyone else suckered in with this gimmick?

Frag #2
I added a new comment system to my blog. I went with Intense Debate with the Comment Luv plug in. I wanted something where I could respond to a comment by email and the response will post on my blog and get sent to the commenter by email. It was a little nervous putting in a new system because I've tried others that just didn't work. Hope this one does. If anything goes awry while you're commenting, please let me know.

Frag #3
Every year at our work Christmas party we do a white elephant gift exchange. This is the present I'm bringing this year:
Funny Fanny Farting Bank from Amazon - the perfect white elephant Christmas gift! Your welcome from Tiny Little Reveries.
It makes...err...a distinctive explosive sound when you put a coin in. It farts, ok?

Yup, one of my co-workers will be the lucky recipient of a Funny Fanny Farting Bank and a roll of quarters. 

In case you're interested, according to Amazon it was frequently purchased with the Generic Weener Kleener soap and the Obama toilet paper.

Frag #4
Want to see something that has made me very happy this week?

Hang a jewelry organizer on the wall of your closet to keep your jewelry organized.
It's so organized and pretty!
I now have a little spot in my closet just for my jewelry. My long necklaces were all shoved together in my jewelry box and it was hard to find what I wanted in the morning when I'm hurriedly getting ready for work. Plus they were always getting stuck in the jewelry box door because they were too long.

I know. First world problems.

So I bought these hanging jewelry organizers and hung everything on them I have to tell you - they just make me smile. If I've had a bad day, I only have to go in my closet and gaze at my pretty little jewelry spot to get an immediate pick-me-up. 

I bought a little key holder to hang more bracelets on too. I should have had my hubby hang it though because I used nails that were too long without realizing it came with two nice little nails in a package on the back of it.

Oh well. I can hang rings from the nails, right?


Frag#5
Here's a little tip for you - watch out for Christmas tree lights with bulbs that broke off and left exposed wires.

Those suckers will shock the knickers off you! I was decorating my little Victorian tree (picture coming in another post) and my hand just brushed the broken bulb slightly and YOWZA!

I felt like the electrocuted cat in Christmas Vacation.

Christmas Vacation movie electrocuted cat scene. You get almost the same result if you touch a broken Christmas light with the wires exposed. Just FYI.
Source
That's it for my silly frags this week. After reading this over I feel extremely shallow. With all the important things going on in the world, I couldn't come up with more important issues to write about than a fart bank, my too much jewelry problem and that I shocked my finger?

Oh well. I'll think about that later. Hope you have a fantastic weekend! And thanks to Mrs.4444 over at Half-Past Kissin' Time for hosting Friday Fragments every fraggin' week! Pay her a visit and link up your own frags some time.

Shallowly,
Lori

The Power of My Curse

I first wrote this post back in January, 2010. I'm updating it a bit and reposting it for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop topic, "Share a quote you love."

I know that's lazy, but I've established before that I can be a bit lazy when it comes to my blog. And that ties right into the meaning of one of my favorite quotes.

My daughter and I watched Penelope the other night.  If you haven't seen it, it's a quirky little movie made in 2006 about a girl (Christina Ricci) who is cursed with a pig nose.  She is told that the curse can only be broken if she finds true love with "one of her own kind."

She sets out to do just that, and at the end, tells the story of her curse to a group of children. She asks the kids what they thought the moral of the story is and a little boy with a charming English accent says,
"It's not the power of the curse, it's the power you give the curse."
Inspirational quote from the movie Penelope. It's not the power of the curse, it's the power you give the curse.
When I heard that line in the movie, I immediately thought of my stepdad.  I intensely disliked him. I only had to live under his roof for a few months because I turned 18 not long after he and my mom married, and moved out. But that was long enough for him to curse me.

He was a selfish, mean-spirited, obnoxious man, but he fancied himself a smart one. One day he picked up something I had written - a grocery list, or a note, or something - and starts to "analyze" my handwriting.

After a minute, he announces, with his too loud voice and his Brooklyn accent, "Well, it looks like you're all right kid, but you got high ideals and sloppy habits." 

I've never forgotten those words.  The man meant less to me than a mascara clump, but those words hung over my head for years.  "High ideals and sloppy habits." They were my curse.

Any endeavor I started, I would question if I could finish it successfully because of my "high ideals but sloppy habits."  Some aspirations I haven't started yet because I'm afraid I won't finish them - like writing a book.  How can I write a book with "high ideals and sloppy habits?"

Admittedly, there were a few things I started that didn't pan out - selling Tupperware (that was a brief one when I was a teen-ager), learning medical transcribing, selling insurance - but it wasn't "sloppy habits" that did me in. I just wasn't good at those things. Or maybe I could have been good if  I had better habits.

There I go again, giving the curse power.

Then there's my blog. I had high hopes that it would be wildly successful.


The fact that it's not is entirely my own fault. I'm inconsistent. I get tired after work and don't feel like blogging. I get busy on the weekends and don't make time to write and promote and socialize in blog world.

High ideals, sloppy habits.

On the other  hand, there are some things at which I've been very successful. I flourished in the mortgage business for 9 years.

I'm an excellent administrative assistant.

I was a good mom. Not perfect...but good.

What else...

I'm proficient at wine drinking. Although I do get sloppy when I've had too much.

Anyway, the point is that most of us are cursed with our baggage.  Past mistakes, labels our parents or teachers gave us when we were kids, beliefs we formed about ourselves (based on others judgements about us) - these are all curses.

They don't have any power if we don't give it to them.

Curses we give power to are like big fat pig noses strapped on our face. They get in the way. They're hard to see past. And they make us feel ugly.

This quote helped me understand that.

Ever since I saw the movie, whenever I hear that little whisper in my head when I've failed at something (**Pssst - high ideals, sloppy habits**), I think of Penelope and I refuse to give my curse power.

What about you? Do you have a curse?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Last Minute Thanksgiving Post

So has everyone else been chopping and peeling and prepping and baking for tomorrow? I got off work at noon today and am off for 5 glorious days and have some wine in me so who knows what this post is going to be about, but I had to write something since it's been a full week since I posted.

And that was a really long sentence.

Anyhoo, back to the prepping for Thanksgiving because I think that's what we were talking about. We have all the traditional favorites at Thanksgiving, but we like to throw in a "wildcard" (as my brother calls them) or two just to mix things up. You know, something different like a new recipe or side dish to make things exciting. Yeah, we live on the edge over here.

So this year we have two wildcards - a squash dish and a stuffing made with dates and kale.

Mind you, I'm still making the traditional stuffing without any added stuff my husband doesn't like. He likes his food boring predictable, especially at Thanksgiving. He's very stuffy that way. (see what I did there?)

But I found this recipe from a newsletter with a link that someone sent to me at work. The link is Thanksgiving recipes from chefs and famous restaurants. There's several good ones, but the sourdough stuffing with dates and kale and almonds sounded really good. Here's the link. You'll have to scroll down a bit for the stuffing.

The second wildcard is the squash, which involves brown sugar and roasting and carmelizing and I hope it comes out as good as the reviewers said it was. Here's the link if you need a last minute squash dish. Because it happens.

It's just our family this year for Thanksgiving. No wildcard guests. Just us. Me and the hubby, my brother and his wife, my sister and her hubby and kids, my kids (splitting their time between me and their dad) and my uncle who is a new widower (3 years ago) and has come out every year since my aunt passed away to spend Thanksgiving with us.

I'm lucky because my brother loves to cook so we split the Thanksgiving cooking. He does the turkey. His wife does the candied yams (and they are best damn candied yams you'll ever taste!), I do the wildcard stuffing and squash and the mashed potatoes. Brother does the stuffy stuffing. I do green bean casserole because it's my hubby's favorite. Brother does apple pies and I do pumpkin. It works out splendidly.

I'm thankful to have help with the Thanksgiving cooking.

I'm thankful my family is together and healthy and all here to enjoy Thanksgiving together.

I'm thankful for my daughter's sobriety.

I'm thankful my hubby helps me in every way possible, especially now with my back injury. He even backs my truck in the driveway for me so I don't have to twist around in the seat to try to see to back out when I leave for work in the morning.

I'm thankful we're both employed and I have a boss that lets me off early the day before Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful pumpkin pie martinis were invented by Rachel Ray and plan to have a couple one tomorrow.

I'm thankful there's good in the world to outweigh the bad.

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you have much to be thankful for, big and small.

I leave you with a song by John Denver, "Hey It's Good to Be Back Home Again", which I know is corny, but when my uncle comes out we listen to a lot of John Denver because...well, it's just what we do. And I love this John Denver song.

It's a fitting song for Thanksgiving, I think.

If you don't have your loved ones home with you at Thanksgiving, then I pray they find their way home to you soon.




I did warn you that I've had a little wine, didn't I?

Lushly and Thankfully,
Lori

Linking this post up to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop for the prompt "Write about something you're thankful for." I guess I cheated because I didn't pick just one thing. But hey, I'm happy to have gotten a post written this week!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Haiku...Gesundheit.

I love Haiku. It says so much with so little. Every single word counts. I especially love Peyton over at Suburban Haiku because she is the queen of saying volumes with a few words. And the result is hilarious.

So she's my inspiration for taking on this topic from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop this week: Write a Haiku about what you see out your window. I couldn't stop at 1 haiku though - I wrote 4.


Those aren't Tootsie Rolls
lying on the balcony.
Bad, lazy doggies.

****
I see the mountains.
Wish I were there camping out.
Where is my trailer??


"Next weekend," he says,
as I view our jungly yard.
I won't hold my breath.

****

I like our feeder
but bird seed = bird poop.
 I might rethink it.

Oh, these are fun. Every person, pet, and issue in my household is now fair game for Loriburban Haiku. That's haiku written while I'm drinking bourbon. Or...drinking anything alcoholic.

Try it yourself (the Haiku, not the bourbon. Although...) then go over to Mama Kat's place and link up!

Poetically,
Lori

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hey, It's Okay Tuesday!

It's Okay...

...To play the "I have a fractured back" card and give my two grown kids who live at home right now a chore list of cleaning tasks to help get the house ready for Thanksgiving.

...For one of my kids (*cough* the boy *cough*) to offer to pay the other one (Sissa, who just returned from romping in Kauai and is now broke) to do his chores. She accepted and is now $40 richer and I get a clean house. Win Win.

...To clean and organize my closet, then google "fall/winter outfit ideas" and become obsessed with having a "capsule wardrobe," a phrase I was completely oblivious to just moments before. It's further okay to make a list of clothing items I need to complete my capsule wardrobe and go shopping for those items, but buy two things from Maurice's that were not on the list but will go with the other items on the list as soon as I buy them.

...To binge watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix on my tablet while lying in bed on a heating pad. Furthermore, it's ok to binge watch any show you love and not feel guilty about it, because damn it, I do enough stuff for everybody and if I want to veg out for a few hours, I deserve it!

...To not care about Kim Kardashian or her ass.

...To write a very short It's Okay post on my lunch hour so I can have something new up on my blog which I've neglected for two weeks.

Thanks to Amber, at Airing My Dirty Laundry for her It's Okay Tuesday meme! Write some quick It's Okays yourself and link on up!

Airing My Dirty Laundry

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

12 Lines A Whiner

So I mentioned before that I have weak bones suseptible suceptible prone to fractures.

Since I found out,  I've been taking care of myself with vitamins, green drinks, and exercise.

Then I fractured another bone in my spine a couple weeks ago. That makes 4. WTF??

It's painful. It's debilitating. It's depressing. It makes me feel old and afraid and sad.

Eventually, I'll be a hunchback which will be a real wardrobe challenge.

On the upside, my shoes will always match because I'll have a great view of my feet at all times.

The downside is it means more doctors and tests to find out the one thing I want to know.

Why?

If I could just know that, then I can know how to fix it. I could know how to fight this disease.

This disease that makes my lifespan 30% shorter.

And speaking of shorter, I'm shrinking.

Thanks for letting me whine. I'm done. I leave you with this uplifting thought:

Funny and inspirational quote about life and getting through hard times.


**Participating in Mama Kat's pretty much World Famous Writer's Workshop where I chose writing prompt #5 - Write a Post in Just 12 Lines. And these two lines don't count.**

Succinctly,
Lori

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dressing Rooms Are Scary

Today I'm sharing an older post about the time I went clothes shopping on Halloween and had to contend with scary dressing room lighting, getting stuck in a pencil skirt, and forgetting to wear my spanx. 

It was a frightening ordeal, but I learned a few things about feeling good about myself no matter what size I am. Hope you'll read it! 

Linking up with Natasha at Epic Mommy Adventures for Turn It Up Tuesday. Click the link below to read the post. 

What about you? Are you afraid of dressing rooms?



Sunday, October 26, 2014

22 Girl's Trip Do's and Don'ts You Probably Haven't Heard Of

A few weeks ago, my sister and I went to Brianhead, Utah on our second annual Sister's Trip. Instead of a narrative of our shenanigans, I thought a road trip Do's and Don'ts list would be both amusing and helpful. I'm considerate like that.

I learned some important traveling tips when on a road trip with my sister.
©Depositphotos.com/Goodluz

DO offer to drive if you are taking the other traveler's car. We were taking my sister's car so I drove on the way up.

DON'T start bickering about the temperature in the car on the way to the gas station before you've even left town. Unless one of you is menopausal, in which case it's perfectly acceptable for that one to declare it "too stinkin' hot" and turn the temperature setting all the way to the cold side and the blow factor (giggity) to at least 3. The non-menopausal one should just shut up and put on her jacket.

DON'T accuse the menopausal person of being "Evil Twin Car Lori" and state vehemently several times during the course of the trip that you can't wait to get to your destination so that the evil twin will disappear and "Pain-in-the-ass-but-pleasant-enough Lori" returns. This is counter productive when dealing with a hot and irritable menopausal person.

DO remind the non-menopausal person that very soon, she will experience the same hell and when that happens, been-there-done-that menopausal person is going to gloat like a motha'.


DO ignore it when your passenger tells you to slow down because the roads are wet, or to change lanes to pass someone, or that the lane is ending and you have to get over. She is trying to be helpful and doesn't realize she's really annoying the crap out of you. Also ignore it every time she checks her airbag light to make sure it's working just because you stopped short once when a semi cut you off. because you didn't listen to her when she told you the lane was ending.

DO make sure you understand the definition of a "flight" of stairs so that when the owner of the condo you are renting says it's "three flights up," you know what you're in for. When you have stairs, then a landing, then stairs, then a landing...6 times...that's 6 flights of stairs, not 3. 4 trips hauling crap up from the car and back totals 48 flights of stairs. Factor in the higher elevation and you got yourselves 2 of these:


DON'T bring more crap than you need. See above.

DO bring a couple chick flicks and a shitload an appropriate amount of alcohol. You will need a way to spend your evenings. Margaritas and whiskey are good choices. After finishing the margaritas and starting on the whiskey, one of you should declare herself the "Fire Queen" and slur at tell the other to rip up magazines for kindling. When she gets the fire roaring, Fire Queen should shout, "Blog this, bitch!" and high five the other one. Both should laugh uncontrollably.

DO text your husbands (who are at home taking care of the dogs and kids while you are partying) so that they know you are both safe and not getting into any trouble. Something like this is appropriate and will put their minds at ease that you are safe:

Drunk text to husbands.
Note: Tequila does not improve grammar.

DO take selfies of yourselves to remember the fun you're having and the fact you both brought the exact same pajamas. Just know your picture taking skills will be impaired due to the tequila and whiskey.

...Nor does it improve picture taking skills

DON'T mix your liquor ever. ever. again. In retrospect, finishing the tequila and starting on the whiskey was not a good idea.

DO take a picture of your companion with her head over the toilet so you can show her in the morning and laugh at it. If you are the one in the picture, DON'T post it on your blog. No one wants to see that.

If you are not the one with her head over the toilet, DO clip your companion's hair back so she doesn't puke on it. It's the social convention.

DO take in the local scenery and go hiking during the day. You will need to burn off the calories from the alcohol.

Hiking while on a girl's trip in Brianhead Utah
Oh, we were serious, with our hiking sticks and all.

DO get clear directions from the locals to find the hikes. Ask more than one local because you may not get the right directions the first time and end up doubling back a few times. The 2 hour hike might turn into a 4 and a half hour death march hike. Nevertheless, enjoy the scenery along the way.

Beauty is all around when you're hiking
There were hints of fall color in the foliage everywhere.


Hiking in Utah we saw beautiful Aspen trees and fall colors
The aspens were beautiful. All lined up like soldiers.

View from our condo in Brianhead utah
This is the view from our balcony.

DON'T believe the locals (who likely all drive pick-ups with 4-wheel drive) when they tell you "Oh, your car will make it just fine on that road." You may find yourself driving along ATV paths that couldn't possibly have been meant for automobiles, scared shitless to keep driving forward, but even more scared to turn around and go back because it would mean driving back over the treacherous road you were just on.

DO be as comforting as you can when your companion, whose car is not yet a year old, begins to have a mini freak out over the road conditions and the fact that you may be lost. Be understanding when, on top of it all, it begins to hail and she yells, "Are you KIDDING me?!" 


DO appreciate the beauty of where you are. When you're in a place called the Twisted Forest, among Bristlecone Pine trees that are the oldest living organisms on the planet and date back as far as 5000 years, be sure and take a selfie. Oh, and pictures of the trees too.

Bristlecone Pines as old as 5000 years in Twisted Forest
They look old, don't they?

Me and my sis.

DON'T be in such a hurry to drive home, that you forget to stop at the scenic overlooks along the way. You might miss something spectacular.

Scenic Overlook at Cedar Breaks Utah
Cedar Breaks, Utah

Beautiful Cedar Breaks Utah
Another overlook at Cedar Breaks

DON'T point out signs you see when browsing through roadside gift shops, that you think apply to your menopausal companion. Again...counterproductive.

No Whining sign at Cracker Barrel in Utah
My sis got a good laugh over this.

DO take road trips often and to places you haven't seen before.

To travel is to take a journey into yourself

Journeying through Menopause,
Lori

Linking up to Natasha's Wake Up Wednesday Link party over at Epic Mommy Adventures. Go visit her and link up your post too! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Friday Fragments that are just really all over the place

If I were a dog, this is what Fridays would feel like:


If I had big ears and jowls, they'd be just a flappin' away. Fortunately, I don't. Yet.

Anyhoo, Friday means it's time to link up to Mrs. 4444's Friday Fragments and post the silly little bits and pieces from the week. I only have a few this week due to the fact I am just dang tired and need to get off the computer and go to bed early on this Thursday night.

Who am I kidding? My Friday nights are really no different.

Frag #1
I'm so excited because my daughter, Sissa, who has been off having naked adventures in Hawaii for the last 9 months, is coming home on Saturday! We've all missed her so much and I can't wait to see her and hear all about her life-changing experiences and live vicariously through her.

Frag #2
My younger daughter, The Girl (that nickname just stuck from way back when we watched The Simpsons), went with her church to a mission in Mexico last week. They preached in a sort of homeless camp called Tent City which is in the desert next to a dump. I suppose it's not really a homeless camp, because for the people that live there, it is their home.

The people there are so poor they live on about $3.00 a week. They give birth there and their kids are raised there and that's the only life the kids know. The missionaries preach to them and give them hope, but they also bring them blankets and other supplies to help them out. It was an eye-opening experience for her and she wants to go back again.

It warmed my heart to watch her speak at her church about the experience. Just a couple years ago, she was in much the same situation as many of those people she preached to - homeless, addicted, lost. It was her found faith that turned her around. Well...jail helped...but she needed something to hang onto to keep her clean after that and fear of jail wasn't enough to do it. But faith was.

I'm just very proud of her for how far she's come.

Frag #3
I wrote a post about Pinterest successes and failures for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop and made a lovely image to put on Pinterest about some Thanksgiving ornaments I made with The Girl, out of artificial leaves.

Only I spelled it "artifical."

Fical, as in fecal.

As in poo.

Yes, I put on Pinterest that my ornaments were made of poo. Perfect. The post wasn't live too long before I caught my typo and made a new image and fixed it.

Oh, and here's a pic of the Thanksgiving tree The Girl and I made together last weekend. Oddly, and related to my poo debacle (defecal?), she thought the long, narrow, brown pinecone ornaments looked like poo.

This is why my husband calls me and all of his in-laws "The Fecalsons". Somehow, we always manage to talk about poo.

Anyway, here's the tree:

Make a Thanksgiving Tree from leaf garland, ribbon, and leaf stems
Our Thanksgiving Tree!

Frag #4
Lastly, I had fun this week participating in Blogtober week with the SITS Girls. It was a social media link up party and they focused on a different social media platform each day. They covered Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and tomorrow is Facebook.

They give tips on how to use all the different platforms then everybody links up their profiles and follows everybody else. It was fun to find new bloggers to read and follow and I learned a lot of great tips for using all of these mediums to promote my writing and my blog.

Speaking of social media parties, there's one on Saturday nights that's fun too. It's hosted by Epic Mommy Adventures and you can link up all your profiles and follow other people and all their profiles. It's a lot of fun and I just realized how it sounds like I have no life if I'm sitting on my computer on Saturday night. But there you have it. That's my life.

That's it for my frags this week. I wish everyone a great weekend!

Pooped,
Lori

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Leaf Ornaments and a Thanksgiving Tree. Blame Pinterest.

Linking up with Mama Kat's Workshop again this week. The prompt I chose is:
1. "Create something inspired by Pinterest - was it a win or a fail?"

Fall leaf ornament to decorate a Thanksgiving tree

I'm a sucker for cute crafts that look easy and for suckers like me, Pinterest is like the conman on the corner with an overcoat full of shiny watches just waiting for a chump to meander by.

I meander daily. And I pin all sorts of crafts and recipes that I'd like to try. Most of them I never get to, but last year my daughter, sister, and I decided to decorate some pumpkins for Halloween using some ideas we found on Pinterest.

I decided to try to make a version of these:

Sequined pumpkin craft

Glitter polka dot pumpkins

It looked easy enough. For the sequined one, you paint the pumpkin white, spread glue all over the top of it and sprinkle on the sequins. For the glitter ones, you buy "glue dots" and stick those on, then sprinkle glitter on them.

I couldn't find "glue dots". I bought the little glue circles that you use to stick pictures in a scrapbook because that was the closest thing I could find. They were small, but I figured it was okay because I was using small craft pumpkins, not the regular size ones shown in the picture.

The problem was, when you peel the perfect circle dot of glue off the paper, it is no longer a circle. It is a blob. I wound up with blobs of glitter all over the pumpkins.

And as for the sequins, well...they just didn't look the same. Maybe the sequins I used were too big. I don't know. But it didn't look like the picture. at. all.

Then I thought I could rescue the whole failed attempt by painting letters on the pumpkins. I thought I would spell out "Give Thanks" and put them on my mantle.

I tried to freestyle the letters. It looked like a 5 year old wrote them. Truly. It was a mess. See for yourself:

Sequined pumpkin project that didn't turn out very well

As you can see, I didn't bother making the "Thanks."

But...this story has a happy ending.

My daughter and I pulled out the remainder of the pumpkins this year and decided to just throw some glitter all over the little bastards and see how that turned out:

glitter pumpkins for Fall

Glitter makes everything better! I'm going to do the rest of them in a variety of colors and call it a day.

The sneaky conman that is Pinterest struck again this year. I saw a couple Thanksgiving trees and decided I had to make one.


But before I could do that, I had to make some Fall-ish ornaments. So I saw these and decided to make my own version of them, with my daughter's help:

Decoupaged leaf ornament
Source
If you look close, they decoupaged the leaf to the outside of a clear ornament. 

Yeah. Too complicated. 

I decided to roll up the leaves lengthwise and slip them inside the ornament. Once inside, they unroll and stick to the sides. We used a pencil to sort of arrange them in there how we wanted them. We put 3 - 4 leaves in each one. 

Make your own ornaments with artificial leaves and cler ornaments
Pinterest Success!

For the tree, I bought some dollar star leaf garland, some leaf stems, ribbon at Wal-mart, and pulled out some sparkly pinecone Christmas ornaments that I already had.

Here's the result:

Decorate a tree for thanksgiving with leaf garland and Fall ribbon
Thanksgiving Tree!
For the topper, we looped the ribbon a bunch of times and tied it with a twist tie to hold it, then stuck a bunch of leaf stems together and twist tied the whole thing to the top:

Fall Thanksgiving tree topper from ribbon and leaf stems
Not bad for a Pinterest chump
My faith in Pinterest restored, I'm now on the hunt for cute Christmas ornaments to make. I'm such a sucker.

How about you? Any Pinterest fails or successes to confess?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's Okay to Be Real On A Tuesday

Tuesday means I get to name some of the dumb lazy things I do and declare them okay because it's "Hey, It's Okay Tuesday." And this Tuesday I'm adding in a little something I call "getting real on Tuesday."

No, that's not a thing, but it so happens that all the things I'm sharing come with pictures and the pictures ain't pretty but they're real. Except for maybe the one of my dog. She's kind of cute.

Anyhoo, link up with Amber over at Airing My Dirty Laundry and share your "It's Okays" and join the fun. You don't have to get real if you don't want to. That's just me cause that's my mood tonight.

Airing My Dirty Laundry


It's okay to let your office-craft-writing-space-atorium be messy while you blog because if you took the time to clean it up, you wouldn't have time to write. And if you don't write, you go a little crazy. It's a simple matter of priorities.

Now for the "Getting Real" part:


I don't clean so I can blog. My messy office.

I warned you it wasn't pretty.

It's okay to let your clean laundry sit from Sunday to Tuesday Wednesday. My brother's birthday was Sunday, so I stashed all the laundry up in my room in order to enjoy the birthday drinking festivities. Monday was work all day of course, then Monday night I'm writing this post so...the laundry sits. 

Maybe I'll get it put away tomorrow. Or maybe not. 

Sometimes I let my housework go so I can blog

It's okay to put Halloween costumes on your dogs. It might not be okay with the dogs, however.

My chihuahua, Lucy, let me put this hamburger costume on her

And finally, it's okay to share the results of your neurotic eye cream test with the world. At least 3 curious readers asked in the comments whether my eye cream test worked from my last "It's Okay" post, so I thought I'd post the results here.

I could have swore I still had the before and after pics, but I must have deleted them. Bugger. I wanted to show you the difference.

You'll just have to trust me that the end result was that the cream worked!

I looked less like a wrinkled, menopausal, sleep-deprived lush than I did two weeks prior. 

Sounds like a winning ad campaign to me.

Olay eye lifting serum worked on my eye wrinkles
Olay Regenerating Eye Lifting Serum
I liked that I could put this cream on my eyelids as well as under my eyes. At night I put it on my lids and all around my eyes and in the morning I just put it under and on the corner "laugh lines" (dubbed such because if you were told at age 20 that you would eventually get these, you laughed. Oh, the sweet, ignorant bliss of youth.).

Real-ly,
Lori



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Vegetable Chowder

I love my crockpot, especially now that the weather is getting cooler. I just throw stuff in it in the morning, turn it on, and when I get home from work - voila! Dinner! Hot soup, creamy chowder, melt in your mouth roast...it makes coming home all the sweeter.

I especially like it when I can make something healthy in it that everybody in the family likes. And by "family" I mean the hubs because he's a meat and potatoes man who makes a face like this when I say we're having chicken:



So it's a pain in the ass challenge to make something healthy that he'll actually eat...and like.

But this he will eat.


Maybe part of the reason he likes my Crockpot Chicken Vegetable Chowder is because it's delicious with warm, crispy french rolls or breadsticks and he does like his bread. If I pair stuff he doesn't like with stuff he likes, sometimes he'll eat it.

He once told me, "You know how much of the stuff I don't like to put in the stuff I like to make me like it." 

So there you have it.

Back to the recipe. What I like about it is that it's easy. There's no browning or pre-sauteeing. Just dump everything in the crockpot and let it cook. Easy peasy.

Start by cutting up 1 pound of chicken breasts into about 1 inch pieces and throw those in the crockpot.

Then cut up the vegetables. This chowder is loaded with veggies - carrots, broccoli, mushroom, corn - it's another reason I like it. Good and healthy. 



I have to go easy on the mushrooms though because the hubs doesn't like them but I do. So I cut them in large slices and pick them out of his bowl when I serve it. Yeah, I'm nice like that.

After the chicken and veggies, you dump in a can of cream of potato soup, some chicken broth, minced garlic, thyme, salt, and fresh ground black pepper, and give it all a good stir.

If you don't like to use processed foods, you can peel and boil a couple potatoes and throw them in your food processor or blender with a little chicken broth and salt. Then pulse it till it's a similar consistency to cream of potato soup and use that instead.


Then put the lid on, turn 'er on, and you're good to go.

It's important to cook this on low because the broccoli can get pretty mushy if it cooks on high or cooks too long. About 5 hours on low is good.

Taste the broth after a few hours and see if it needs more salt, pepper or thyme. It wasn't until after I married my first husband I realized I needed to taste as I cooked. I have to admit, some of my earlier meals were pretty bland. Bland meals + critical husband = unhappy wife.

But I digress.

Once the chicken and veggies are cooked, add some milk or half-and-half and turn on high for about 15 minutes until it's heated through. This is what gives it the creamy chowder consistency. The recipe calls for half-and-half, but I've used low-fat milk and it comes out just fine. 

It's important to add the milk at the end because if you add it at the beginning it will curdle and although it will taste fine, it won't look very good. (See disclaimer at end of post.)

Creamy = appetizing; Curdley = hubby or kids that probably won't eat it.

At this point, you can add some cheese if you like and turn it into Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Chowder. Cheese tends to make everything more palatable for picky husbands and kids, doesn't it?

I made this last weekend again and it was delish! My sister-in-law said it was the best soup she's had in a long time.

Here's the full recipe:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
1 can (10 and 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of potato soup (See above for alternative)
10 ounces fresh or frozen cut up broccoli
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup whole kernel corn (fresh or frozen)
4 and 1/2 ounces sliced mushrooms (fresh or canned)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/3 cup half-and-half (or milk - 2% works fine too)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (optional)

Combine all ingredients except half-and-half or milk in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 5 hours or until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink.Stir in milk or half-and-half. Turn to HIGH. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until heated through.

If you try this, let me know how it comes out for you in the comments. Do you have a favorite crockpot recipe?

Linking up to Mama Kat's "What's Cooking in your Slow Cooker" writing prompt this week. Hop over to her site and check out what's cooking!

Mama’s Losin’ It


P.S. I doubt I'll ever make it as a  food blogger because it's probably in poor taste to put a GIF of a guy making a disgusting face in the same post as your recipe. Who does that? Me, apparently.

P.S.S. I have to confess that although I've made this a few times now, this last time I forgot and put the milk in at the beginning. So the result was delicious-but-not-picture-worthy-curdley-chowder. I had to use a different picture and in the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that. The pretty picture of the chowder in the bowl looks just like the recipe chowder does though, really it does. (Pic Source)

Sigh.
Honestly Yours,
Lori

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