Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Favorites from the Blog: 2008

Inspired by Erin. Here is my year in blog review:

February 19:
I had goosebumps on my arms, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I'm fairly certain I cried. I also proclaimed, right then and there, out loud to myself in my room of exile, that I had just watched what was sure to become the first black president of the United States of America.

Tonight I watched that same man, stand on a stage in Houston, Texas after winning yet another state (Wisconsin) in his quest for the White House. And while I am a Hillary supporter, while I'm still loving this race, I have no problems admitting that Barack Obama is a Change I Can Believe In. My mom, a very diehard Hillary supporter, even spoke up with her own, "Yes We Can".

The torch is being passed. The future is looking bright. And this country is awakening from a hard, cold 8 years. A change is on the horizon

February 22:
One definition of home is any place of residence or refuge. That day, on the sand with my feet in the water I stared across the gulf before me and the island behind me and discovered something that I hadn't known I'd been missing. A place of refuge. Solitude. Peace.

February 25:
Jon explaining his happiness: That's why I'm in a cheerful mood.

Me: Wait...why?

Jon: Because I feel loveable.

I put my arm around his shoulder and laugh.

Jon: Right now? Not so loveable.

February 27
I moved away the summer before senior year. I got accepted to UK. I took care of my sick grandmother. I made friends with a group I would have never befriended before. I fell, hard, for a boy who'd never love me. I made bad decisions. Good decisions. Sometimes no decisions at all. Life changed. Our friendship changed.

And yet. On a sticky summer night at my new house, in my new backyard, away from all of the fuss I was reminded of what makes family. How certain friends are different. We laughed and cried until it hurt. And giggled. Cause that's what teenage girls do best. Lots of giggles.

March 7
So I'm sitting here at my desk this morning, eating cold chinese food and anticipating 8-10 inches of snow.

Seriously, March?! This is your idea of a good time?

March 20
Most of the time I'm okay with being a Size 16 American. I really am. I don't think it's productive to spend time in this life, as short as it is, hating my body or the way I look. And it sounds ridiculous but I can't imagine myself with a skinny body, I just don't think it's built to be that way.

March 25
Then it happened. The most charismatic, surreal, unbelievable politician I've ever laid my eyes on arrived.

Let me tell you this, everything you've ever heard in relation to Bill Clinton in person is true. He commands an audience like no other, is well spoken and has this way of looking into a room full of people and making you think for a split second that he is speaking only to you.

April 1

April 14
It reminded me, that for all of my outward happiness, for all of my confidence that I try to project, it is still very hard for me to go through life with this empty feeling. This sort of sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'm going to have to forge through my entire life on this Earth...alone.

April 22
I realized in that moment that a Philly Cheesesteak is not something you learn about in a high school text book. They don't set aside a day in school to teach you the merits of sliced beef with onions and peppers. It's something you learn from exposing yourself to culture and the world around you, and what better tool than through television?

May 4
In my lifetime there are many things I thought I knew about myself, or the way my life was going to go. Like how I never wanted children, would graduate in four years from UK, would never enjoy frugal living, wouldn't dream of having savings accounts and investments and by now I'd have gone to Europe at least once and met some beautiful Greek man of my dreams. I would also never do things like garden or work my hands through a container of cow shit.

Oh how life makes liars of us all.

May 13 (great blog block 08)
  • called my mom's dog, "the baby jesus"
  • changed her name to "el diablo"
  • then back to "the baby jesus"
May 18
I simply adore rolling into parking lots in the middle of the night, with the lights illuminating the view. How around 3 am you have to crank up the air conditioning to force yourself awake as you drink shitty cappuccinos and prompt the rest of the car into one more rousing session of "sing it if you know it". Or that feeling of hitting the Florida state line at 5 am, where the wind immediately shifts and everything begins to feel stickier.

May 20
I did my Civic Duty today and voted in the Primary. I'm happy to say I helped lead Hillary Clinton to victory tonight, even if it ultimately doesn't mean much. I've dreamed about casting a vote for Hillary in an election since I was in high school. Today, in that booth, I stopped for a second after voting, soaked in the beauty of that name at the top of such a historic ballot, and smiled. I might not get to vote for her in the fall, but today I did it. Such a powerful moment.

May 26
Later on my father asked me why I felt the need to take a picture of the dead bird my brother had killed. And I gave him the honest answer, "So I can have it for every Christmas party and family gathering from here until eternity."

And I meant it.

June 8
34. Attend a Catholic Mass.
41. Learn to garden, well.
93. Take Vitamins on a regular basis.

June 18
But other than that, I've ate too much and been way too lazy. Which means one thing: success so far.

June 22
Since I strive to maintain a level of honesty on this blog I will say that telling you that version of the story just isn't quite fair. Because when I'm being honest, both with myself and you all reading, I will admit this one thing: vacation kicked my ass.

July 16
There is absolutely, without a doubt, one certainty in life: we will all die. No matter how many anti aging creams you use, medications you take or exercises you perform, you too will succumb to death. I know this because I had an aunt once who lived through a massive heart attack, spent the next 3 years of her life eating rabbit food and walking 2 miles each day only to have Breast Cancer strike her down at her otherwise healthiest period in her life.

Death is funny that way.

July 24
Off the wall names I like:
  • clementine
  • ainsley
  • poppy
  • piper
  • harrison
  • henry
  • alfie
  • ezra
July 30
The piece de resistance came a few days after we returned from vacation when he doused the mother effing hell out of my plants with a combo of Miracle Grow and Sevin Dust. When he was finished an entire 5 pound bag of Sevin Dust was gone and my garden looked like a scene out of White Christmas.

August 3
I might not ever get good at this. It could go the way of all of the other crafty things. But as for now I'm interested enough to try. Because above all else there is something deeply satisfying about a stack of beautiful fabric.

August 7
But at the same time I'm mourning the loss of a friendship over something so surprising and uncomfortable. Racism, injustice and bigotry exist in this world, I'm not naive enough to think otherwise. But I suppose it hurts a bit more when you find out it's lurking right under your own nose.

September 2
And this is the moment that made putting up with my 5 year old Alex P. Keaton all worth it. Proud, not that he is is a Democrat, but that he is making informed decisions all for himself at the ripe old age of 13. Proud that in moments like these, he reminds me of myself.

September 11
I have my Jonny today. The Cappello family does not. But I hope that somewhere, somehow, they can find solace in the fact that today someone besides themselves is remembering their Jonny. And the brilliant love he brought to his family for his short time on earth. I know, there is something about a Jonny that is so bright, so loving, so full of intense passion for living. What a light they must have lost.

September 20
I think it can be said that the camera does add 15 pounds to a person. And the pantsuits might be a little deceiving. Because Hillary Clinton is the tiniest, most petite thing in real life.

October 6
I want to marry Keith Olbermann. And have little journalistic, glasses wearing, intelligent babies who speak in really long political diatribes from birth. Yes, I realize I'm setting myself up for lofty disappointment with this dream.

November 3
Thank you for this election. Thank you for changing the way the political game is played in this country. Thank you for reminding us that there are no pro-America or anti-America parts of this country, and that education and intelligence are not things to be afraid of.

But most of all, thank you for giving me hope again. I was worried I'd lost it.

November 5
We did it. We really freaking did it.

New Years Resolutions

Hello 2009:
  • get a new job, that I like or at least tolerate.
  • 3.0 or better (preferably better) next semester.
  • pay off my last credit card balance.
  • read more, especially making time for books that aren't for school; try to read one new book each month (i.e. reading does not mean gossip blogs, or twitter feeds or tumblr.)
  • travel somewhere new.
  • take a weekend trip.
  • finish my quilt, finally.
  • set up an Etsy shop to sell quilted table runners (so I can be cool like Devin.)
  • be nicer to my Dad, appreciate that he means well and only wants the best for me.
  • go to the movies more.
  • get better at cooking (not just baking) and find more dinner recipes that are enjoyable.
  • expand the garden.
  • can something.
  • improve my closet, as cheaply as possible, so that I have more options.
  • wear more jewelry.
  • start walking more, if only to get out of the house and clear my head.

Those are just a few I could think of. Note that losing weight is not on the list. I've decided, while I could lose a little, I've been the same weight for many years not...not losing and not gaining. My cholesterol is fine. I could walk a brisk mile right now and not feel winded about it. So whatever...accepting and embracing is far more important to the psyche than disappointment over failing another diet and not looking like a size 6 starlet.

Photo of the Day



Download it, it's fun stuff.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Question Time

I want serious and varied answers on this one. Which means, I expect comments. Yes, I'm demanding. And I plan on holding all of your various social networking sites hostage until I get them.

Okay. Here goes.

Lately I've felt this insatiable urge to run. But school is holding me here. And family. But I truly feel if neither of them were giving me a good reason to stay put I would have skipped town weeks ago. I want to be adventurous. Even if that means failing a time or two. I don't ever want to look back on my life and regret that I never jumped off the deep end.

Which brings me to the question(s):
  • What keeps you where you live?
  • Are you happy there?
  • Do you plan to stay or do you hope to one day leave?

Feel free to answer one, or all, I'm easy to please. Some feedback that I'm not crazy would be appreciated. (HA, kidding...I know I'm nuts. And that's okay. ;) )

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Grand Finale

The last of the Christmas pics, I promise.

Check out this Christmas ham! My Mama got all fancy this year. ;D
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A bit blurry, but we never take those hold out the camera pics and have them turn out without one of us looking CRAZY. So, I'm sharing it.
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Now, here's my Dad falling asleep story. We had guests at our house since Sunday night. My father gets a bit of nervous energy flowing when we have guests, even relatives as these were, and begins to think he must entertain and host the entire time. Let's say he began hosting and didn't stop until Christmas Eve night. He barely slept and was WIRED for 72 hours straight. After finally sitting down to eat Christmas dinner, no sooner than his plate was cleared did he begin to nod off.

Now, any sane person could be woken up and guided into a bed, or at least to cat nap on the couch, right? HA, my father is different. If you wake him up in this state he begins to argue with you like a 2 year old fighting sleep does. He insists upon going out into the garage to smoke a cigarette. So we left him.

Here I am holding him up, because he began to wobble. Note the cigarettes, we had to pry them from his fingers.
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Here's Mom getting quite bored while waiting for his power nap to be over.
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And finally. We call this one, 'If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em.'
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He woke up a few minutes after this picture, probably because we were playing dress up with his head (he'd worn a Santa hat and a turbin at that point). And he laughed, cracked up over the pictures, and proceeded to stay up half the night.

Oh well.

I'm happy to report he does seem to be returning to regularly scheduled sleep. Thank God.

Now, I think I'm almost over the holidays. Something about 70 degree weather shook me out of it today. Although we're still watching lots of Christmas movies on Hallmark and Lifetime. In the back of my mind I'm plotting vacation. Go ahead, tell me you aren't surprised.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Obligatory Christmas Roundup

Dad checking out one of his gifts, that 'y'all shouldn't have bought', but we did anyway. He opened all of his presents with a pocket knife. Which is...kinda hilarious.
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Jon, super excited about getting Season 1 of Supernatural, which is his favorite tv show, like 'of all time...ever'.
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I got a new iPod, which is amazing, considering I've been using an ancient iPod MINI for the last 5 years. Also seen are my various pairs of super long socks, house slippers, pajamas and cold weather gear. I'm not kidding when I say I can't handle the cold anymore. I used to walk around the house in shorts and tank tops in the dead of winter...but not anymore. All I wanted were things to bundle up in. My Mama happily obliged.
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Dad got Mom some earrings, which he wrapped in several grocery store bags and placed inside of an empty box of Prilosec.
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Jack passed out from eating too much wrapping paper.
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Jill, the chihuahua, has a heating pad that you warm up in the microwave. My Dad got her addicted to it, I'm not going to pretend that's normal. But, her bed buddy was falling apart, so she got a new one. She loves it.
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We all got various board games, books, DVDs and music. Here we are playing Blokus last night. Awesome board game! But even better was Jon playing it while offering commentary of his moves in a French accent.
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I sent all of the neighbors a gift. I filled cute Christmas tins with a dozen Peanut Butter Buckeyes, 5 huge Chocolate Chip Cookies, a Cinnamon-Applesauce Ornament and a card.
Christmas 2008 179

Jon got a guitar.
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And for Cassie, we dressed up Jill in an Elf Suit. Sadly, Molly's suit didn't fit her. They were gifts and I guess the giver didn't realize how much bigger Molly is. :(
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I'll probably share more pictures from Christmas soon. Just because I have to show you how my Dad literally fell asleep at the Christmas Eve Dinner Table. It's priceless.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.

We didn't have a Christmas ham until about an hour ago this morning! Ack, so ill prepared, I tell you. Anyways, on the agenda today:
  • cooking
  • baking
  • listening to the rain and being thankful I'm no longer out in it
  • shaking gifts
  • putting finishing touches on my fabulous stockings
  • tracking Santa Claus
  • putting elf suits on chihuahuas for kicks
  • reading from the stack of books I picked up at the library yesterday
  • eating leftover ice cream birthday cake

dec. 20 2008 011
Molly says 'Merry Christmas.'

Jonathan's 14th Birthday 005
The boys baking yesterday. I thought they'd think my Christmas cookie creating was too 'girly' or something. But the minute I pulled out the cookie cutters they were on it. I don't think you're ever too old to play with sugar cookie dough. (Tip of the day: Roll out sugar cookies on powdered sugar. I'd never thought to do that before, but the results were so much better. Thanks Alton Brown!)

We also did Gingerbread cookies the other day. Turns out I don't enjoy Gingerbread.
dec. 20 2008 003

Hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Festivus Birthday

I have a 14 year old brother. It's weird and I feel old.

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We didn't have candles so we cut off the sides of the 6 from my Mom's 46th Birthday and pretended that together they made 14.

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Jonathan's 14th Birthday 014

Our guests for the last few days: my cousin Sandy and her son Sean. I don't know what happened to her eyeballs here. Pretend that happened on purpose or something.
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Jonathan's 14th Birthday 016

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Molly got in on the action.
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As Melissa Morris always says, 'a good time was had by all.'

Monday, December 22, 2008


I've wrapped presents until my fingers were bleeding. I might be exaggerating. But it's almost true. Now I'm moving onto baking. And feeling overwhelmed about the holidays. It's crunch time and I ALWAYS begin to feel like I'm running out of time.

Mom came home with presents from work today. I'm so jealous. Everyone has opened a present at this point! I've even given several. But so far nothing for me. I think my Secret Santa forgot about me!

I leave you Emily. Because pictures are all I have left to give at this point in the year!

dec. 20 2008 007

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Stocking Stuffers

stocking candy 002

We hit up World Market today for Stocking candy. The general consensus is I should only be allowed to visit that store maybe twice a year. SO. MUCH. KITCHEN. STUFF. Oh my God. We tried to be conservative with the candy since we'd already picked up stuff at Cracker Barrel, but when German Gummy Candy is staring you down it's hard to just keep on walking.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008


Oh, hey, I gotta let you go. Bush is coming on the tv, it's a special report, I don't want to miss it if shoes start flying.

--My Dad

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cards

I mentioned my Christmas Card plans earlier, and I'm happy to report I got them all signed, sealed and delivered. I hate that we don't get too many in return, I don't think a lot of priority is placed on Christmas cards anymore, which is sad! :(

But I do love sending them. Since we don't get to see too many family members during the holidays this year I thought a neat way to catch everyone up on the comings and goings would to be send out a Christmas Letter. I've always wanted to do that, but I'd never taken the time to sit down and write one before, or I'd lost all inspiration come time to send them out. Anyway, not this year.

These were the cards, scored for $3 at Half Price Books. I thought they were super cute.
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Photo tucked into each one:
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And I decorated the envelopes:
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This is the letter:

Dear Family and Friends,

Another year has gone by and we continue to sit back and wonder where it went to. It seems like just yesterday we were preparing for Christmas 07 and Jonathan becoming a teenager and now 14 is upon us. We won’t talk about how fast those 14 years have flown by. But I think you’ll notice that Jonathan is now taller than everyone but Bobby. Quickly approaching his Dad’s height is something that Jon finds great amusement in.

But enough of that, let’s get the formalities out of the way: April is still a professional student (frankly, we’ve stopped asking about elusive graduation dates), Bobby has had no major health crises to speak of (knock on wood of course) since he had the brain transplant earlier this year (ha!), Vickie is still trying and failing to make us all keep up with the housework, and Jonathan is eating us all out of house and home (why did no one warn us teenage boys can bankrupt you from food bills!?).

We added a new family member this year, a Chihuahua/Miniature Dachshund mix (aka, a Chiweenie) named Molly. She’s long, lean and suffering from an identity crisis. But we love her anyway. The Labrador, Jack, and the Chihuahua, Jill, took a little while to adjust to the new addition but a few bloody noses and several bite marks later and everything seems to be fine. Ironically the bloody nose and bite mark were all on Bobby. Weird. Or accident prone, we still can‘t figure it out.

As mentioned Jonathan is definitely a growing teenager, but he’s also become quite the teen in other ways. His latest love? Rock and Roll music. He’s spent hours poring over AC/DC, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Lynard Skynard, Bad Company and CCR albums. This year he hopes to learn how to play the guitar and has begun strumming a bit. In the process Bobby can now only hear out of his left ear. We just make sure and talk real loud around him, or terribly quiet when we’re plotting things he doesn’t want us to do.

April has spent this past year, in addition to her professional student activities, traipsing around the state campaigning for her favorite politicians. She met President Bill Clinton in Paris, Kentucky. She got to talk and take a photo with Chelsea Clinton in Lexington. And just this past September she and Vickie got to meet Senator Hillary Clinton as she campaigned for Barack Obama and Bruce Lunsford at the Kentucky Horse Park. She now jokes about getting the Clintons to adopt her, which Bobby thought was a good idea in hopes they might help pay for all this schooling she seems so addicted to. ;)

In June we took the annual ‘don’t tell Dad how much this trip really cost’ trip to Florida. We visited Sanibel Island in South Florida for the 3rd time in 5 years. It was a wonderful trip…AFTER the 16 hour car drive it took to get there. Highlights were Bobby catching another huge snook, Jonathan hooking a small shark and Vickie and April trying to figure out how they could just move to the island forever. For the record, they are STILL trying to figure that one out without much luck yet. (Anyone have a few million dollars they could borrow?)

We all spent the remainder of the summer tending to a garden in the back yard against Dad’s protests. He feared by the end of the summer he’d be the only one left taking care of it….he was right. But we thank him every day (okay, at least once a month) for all of the tomatoes we have frozen for future use.

This fall Jonathan took up archery as a hobby. He and his Dad have been busy fletching arrows and going on hunting trips. Bobby’s only managed to lose a little skin here and there, nothing traumatic for which we are all thankful. ;)

Jon does however, keep trying to get his sister to stand real still with an apple on her head for ‘target practice’. She has so far refused to oblige.

But it should be said, we are all looking forward to the Holidays. If we don’t get to see you, just know that all of us are thinking about you and your family. We hope you had as wonderful a year as ours has been. And may your Christmas be everything it’s supposed to be: merry, bright, and beautiful.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

The Watkins Family: Bobby, Vickie, April, Jonathan, Jack (the Labrador), Jill (the Chihuahua), Molly (the chiweenie), Emily Elizabeth, Hercules and Zena (the cats)

I love stuff like this. The 13 year old me would be SO disappointed at how much I've embraced my inner Martha. But sending Christmas cards is one of the reasons I'd love to be all married with a house of my own and living in domesticity. Just...if you run into 13 year old April...don't tell her what she's become. Okay?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

Let's talk cookies, shall we?

I've been in a cookie mood lately, I think it's Christmas. Christmas is a big cookie eatin' time, isn't it?

Today I wanted something chewy, and crispy. Which, if you think about it, is kind of a fine line to try and mix in one cookie. Aren't they usually one or the other? I'm difficult I suppose. Which is probably why I'm a cake and pie person.

Who does one turn to when searching for such a cookie? Ha, duh! MARTHA!

Martha should be the Queen of America as far as I'm concerned.

Buttery Pecan Rounds

I omitted the halve of pecan on the top of the cookies, because I'm cheap. (I don't have Martha's money, obvs.)

I chilled the dough a bit so it was easier to scoop.

And I baked them on a nonstick cookie sheet. Which is totally necessary unless you have actual parchment paper or Silpats. Because let me tell you, these things WILL stick.

Follow my rules and I promise they are super easy and super tasty. The perfect combination of crispy cookie on the edges and chewy in the middle. Not to mention, who doesn't love a nice huge flat cookie?

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Next up I tackled super easy peanut butter cookies. I've blogged about this recipe before, but I can't find it. If you've heard this before, pretend you haven't.

Magical Peanut Butter Cookies from Paula Deen

These cookies are so insanely easy, and actually pretty tasty. They are not your usual peanut butter cookies, they have a bit more of a peanut butter fudge taste to them. But I can almost guarantee you have all of the ingredients needed in your pantry right now and they take 5 minutes at most to whip up the batter. You have to try them, at the very least, for the novelty of making such an easy cookie.

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And finally, my parents have been married for almost 26 years. Have known each other for almost 28 and for that many years my Mom has been trying and failing to make fudge that somehow emulates how my Dad's mother made it back in like the 60s. She's tried every method you could think of and it's never right. A few weeks ago I tried this recipe, and surprise! It was exactly the fudge he'd been wanting all this time:

Festive Fudge

Yes, all of those candy thermometers and stirring over hot stoves and as it turns out my grandmother's fudge was nothing more than sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. We, really, seriously, should have known. Because bless her heart, but my Mamaw is not domestic.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Hair by Mama

I had a paper and a final to email by 12:30 today. Needless to say I was up until 2am finishing the paper and up again at the crack of dawn to work on the final. Both were, and mind you I've been at this whole college thing for sometime now, quite possibly the most miserable final and paper I've ever worked on. I think this is partly due to the subject matter, I will never love Shakespeare. And also because my creative juices are apparently very depleted right now. Whatever the case I had a very long night.

But, enough of my whining.

I highlighted my hair this weekend!

I'll be honest, I haven't had any color on my hair in about 3 years, but I was born a blonde and I've always felt I should be a blonde. And I've had a box of blonde highlights sitting here on my desk taunting me for the last 6 months. I guess in my desire to put off actually working on that awful paper I decided Saturday would be the perfect time to highlight my locks. Not to mention I've been in an awful hair rut lately.

What I'd forgotten over the last 3 years is that my hair is highly welcoming of color. Which of course means I left the highlights on for about 2 minutes too long and ended up with platinum streaks.

It was awful.

But I didn't panic. I did quite the opposite actually. I had my mother chop off the 3 inches at the end that the salon failed to cut before Thanksgiving, put a hat on my head the following morning and bought a box of dark blonde hair dye.

It ended up being the perfect combination. The platinum turned into a warmer blonde, the darker brown that wasn't highlighted lightened up to a nice honey color. And I have the best hair color I've had in years. And haircut!

And all for $13.

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The picture doesn't do it justice.
And for a point of reference, in case you can't tell the difference. (and please excuse the awfulness of this shot)
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So yes, there is the story of how I will continue to be a fan of at home hair care until either all my hair falls out or I inherit millions of dollars.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Quote of the Day

"One of my she-roes is Mother Theresa, she is an icon for what it means to be pro-life but it’s not because she ran around wearing an “Abortion is Murder” shirt. She said, if you didn’t want to have your babies, you can give them to me. That has an integrity that you can not argue with. Jesus had a political manifesto in the Sermon on the Mount and the beatitudes and the poor are at the very center of it. So if our political agenda is not good news to the poor, then it’s not the gospel of Jesus."

Shane Claiborne, a founding pastor of The Simple Way, a church in inner city Philadelphia

I just thought that was an awesome quote, so I had to share it beyond my little Tumblr world (again, if you aren't on Tumblr you don't know what you're missing).

One of my ultimate fascinations with the pro-Life movement is how much it could do if it took all of that mobilized energy and instead of focusing it on ending all abortions, focus it on ending all of the situations that lead women to choose abortions.

If adoption were simpler in this country, what difference would it make? If more families looked beyond biological children and opened their eyes and hearts to the beauty of adoption, what difference would it make? If more emphasis were put on ending poverty, improving conditions in inner cities and providing assistance to those in need, what difference would it make?

Food for thought on this chilly December night, indeed.

I'm sitting here snuggled up under the blankets, still freezing to death though. I made 120 peanut butter buckeyes for my Mom's office Christmas party tomorrow. How I got roped into doing that, I'm still not sure. But there I stood methodically dipping peanut butter into melted chocolate for God knows how long, and I don't care if I never see another one of those damn candies again.

(Ha, yeah right. I call BS on my on BS, you watch me.) ;)

So anyways, there's that tidbit. I leave you with quite possibly Amy Poehler's best Hillary Clinton to date. It's pretty fabulous.

This Saturday is Amy's last official SNL, unless they ever have her back to host I suppose, or if an obscure VP candidate pops up in the future and looks freakishly just like her. Either way, heads up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ugh! I've been kissed by a dog! I have dog germs! Get hot water! Get some disinfectant! Get some Iodine!

Here's my tip of the day:

If it's ever cold and snowy and generally miserable, and you've been out shopping all day so you are at your wit's end. But! You want something homemade-tasting that doesn't cost a zillion dollars, nor take up a tremendous amount of time, then here is what you do.

Buy 2 cans of chicken broth, one rotisserie chicken from the deli ($3.50 at Walmart where I was yesterday picking up a prescription!), and a small box of bisquick. Bring the chicken broth to boil in a small pot on the stove, shred up some of the chicken breast from the rotisserie bird and add to the broth, with some of the skin (for flavor!). Then as it's boiling drop in dumplings you made from the recipe on the package of bisquick, cook as directed. When the dumplings are finished cooking sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.

I don't know how great this was for me health-wise. But omg, did it ever hit the spot. And my mother was genius to point out the rotisserie bird idea, which was a total timesaver over having to cook one myself. (and cheaper!)

Chicken and Dumplings

Remember that whole Jon's-growing-his-hair-out experiment? Yeah, finally over. We tied him to a kitchen chair last night and buzzed it. I'm only half kidding about that.

Jon's new hair

And finally, I just thought this was hilarious. Mom got home late Friday night, starving and willing to eat just about anything, so I got her something from Sonic. She was so hungry, yet also in the middle of telling a story to my Dad that she broke her own no-food-in-the-living-room rule and ate in there. But this is what happens when you attempt to have food in the living room:

Mom's audience

They stayed like that, silent, until she finished.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Let's go get the shit kicked out of us by love.

These will be tucked into each Christmas card sent to a family member.

Final Christmas Montage

You know, once I actually buy the Christmas cards.

I made my own last year, and plan not to re-do that little mistake. Serious kudos for all of you card-makers. I think I lack the patience required. Or something.

Anyways, that's my plan for the weekend. Get out the cards, finish up my AMAZING Christmas Swap gifts, make some more homemade ornaments (next tutorial upcoming, so watch for it!), and watching 'Love Actually'...on repeat.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cinnamon/Applesauce Ornaments

Equal parts applesauce and cinnamon
(I used 1 cup of applesauce, 1 cup of cinnamon, plus a few extra shakes to firm up the dough a little better)

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Mix, roll out to about 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters.

Place cut shapes onto another piece of wax paper, make a hole at the top of each shape so you can string ribbon for the ornament later.

Place the wax paper with the ornaments on it onto a cookie sheet and bake at around 140 degrees for several hours. I just let them sit for hours in the warm oven with the door cracked. If you'd prefer you can let them air dry for several days.
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After they were nice and firm, I let them cool completely.
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Then strung ribbon through the holes and tied.
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The result is the house smells insanely delicious, and I hear the ornaments themselves retain their wonderful scent for a long time.

Thanks Stephanie for the tip!