Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas near and far

The mad dash to the holidays are here already. Anyone else ready to ask Congress for one more week in December? I sure could use one!
I don't have any earth-shattering thoughts right now about humanity and the world, but I did want to share some fun stuff from the last few days. I got to take a trip to New York City on business, and there I got the answer to a question I had been pondering. I know NYC is famous for its Christmas store windows and overall decorations and festivity, but I wondered -- how the heck do you buy a Christmas tree there?
Here in NC we have lots of Christmas tree lots that spring up all over town, plus some of the big box stores have stacks of them. But I'm talking Manhattan. Where do you put up a Christmas tree lot?
Why right here, in front of the Starbucks at 66th and Columbus Avenue, of course. Best of all, you can't see the sign from here but:

They even bring it home for you. Free. I didn't check out any price tags, so I'm not sure how prices compare, to be honest. I was just tickled that you could pick up a peppermint hot chocolate AND your Christmas tree, right here.

So that was last Friday, and after an adventurous trip home that included missing my flight, flying to Raleigh instead, renting a car (all the computers were down NATIONWIDE and they were renting by HAND), and driving home late at night, I made it. My presence was really important because we had big doin's Saturday.

The Christmas parade! That's my tween in the pink coat, holding the banner for her dad's news station (where I used to work too.) And behind her, the big Nutcracker balloon the News2 crew was guiding down the street.

That's my hubby at the extreme left. They had to help the Nutcracker recline to make it under the light poles and street signs at the corner, before letting him rise back to vertical. I didn't get to see this, but they also ran around in circles under him so the Nutcracker twirled down the street! Tween says that's when the crowd really cheered -- even louder than they did when they threw candy.

And then later this night, Disney on Ice! I'll spare you the pictures, but we had a great time. As expected the toddler was enthralled until intermission and then she was DONE.










Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

It would have felt a lot like Christmas

I bought a Holiday CD last year at Target. It was a post-Christmas bargain, and I bought it solely because it had the Eartha Kitt version of Santa Baby on it. It's one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs, dating back to when I first played it on my hometown radio station when it switched in December to 24 hours of Christmas music. So I've heard them ALL and Eartha's my favorite.

So this weekend, as I ran a few errands, I decided to pop in my new Christmas CD (I buy a new one almost every year) and get in the mood while I drove around. I'm decluttering my house for the holidays so I wanted that Christmas glow, you know? I was expecting my tried and true Eartha Kitt version of Santa Baby, but something wasn't right.

The version I got was a lot like this one:



It's good stuff, right? Eartha Kitt, pouty in most of the right places. But it's more rushed than the version I first played as a DJ in the 80's. My new CD sounds like a version that Eartha Kitt sang on a variety show in the 50's or 60's, and it's good, just not what I was primed to hear. The CD I had was one of the Pottery Barn compilation CDs featuring many members of the Rat Pack. It might have been called Cool Yule or something like that. I can't find it and it's driving me crazy.

This is the version I'm looking for ... I guess it's the studio version.

I'll be looking for it via download this holiday for my iPod instead.

I'm a sucker for almost any kind of Christmas music, even the corny stuff.

Here are my top five Holiday novelty songs, AFTER Santa Baby:
5. Frosty the Snowman by Jan and Dean
4. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (Sung by Gayla Peevy -- the old version. Just found out the Jonas Brothers have a remake?!!)
3. The Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler
2. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
1. All I Want for Christmas (Love Actually version)

These are just my novelty favorites. Those who know me may be surprised that my Jimmy Buffett Christmas CD didn't make the list. But that's a whole 'nother category. I also love classic Christmas songs and traditional carols.

What are your favorite holiday songs? I'd love to hear your novelty favorites.
P.S. I really hope it's not the Madonna version of Santa Baby, but if it is, I guess we can still be friends. Maybe.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Props to the Tween

I'm learning how to make web banners. For those of you proficient, I take my hat off to you. Considering I have to kick my dear hubby or tween off the computer to get any time to fiddle around with them, I'm pleased with my progress so far.

So, above, my third web banner ever. My darling tween painted a vibrant picture of birch trees in autumn which inspired me to use a colorful snippet from it as the base. Thanks sweetie!

And more props to The Pioneer Woman for her tutorials too.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A boo-licious affair

My office had a little Halloween party and costume contest. The party involved all of us, the costume contest was truly just little. Four of us dressed up. I submit for your viewing pleasure, me in the winning costume.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A little snow in SOHO

Can you see it? Snow. If you look closely you might see the snowflakes in this photo ... maybe around the UPS truck? I promise you they are there.

Even the New Yorkers we met said snow in October is unusual, even a 5-minute snow flurry.

I love visiting the city, but every time I do, I realize I don't have quite enough black in my wardrobe.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Privacy and security

I was sad to read today that the Little Rock anchorwoman who'd been attacked in her home died yesterday from her injuries. Here's the story. The story quotes police who say the attack was random. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

When I was her age, I was a news anchor in a small Southern town. Luckily, nothing like this happened to me or my fellow anchors and reporters, mostly single girls who were living and dating. We had to consider our privacy and either pay extra to have an unlisted phone number or ask our roomates to put the phone in their names. And this was before Google and cell phones, digital cameras and Gawker-like sightings. It was like hiding in plain sight. I can't imagine how much tougher it is to do today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

iGoogling

Steve Rubel just told me about this nifty iGoogle gadget that lets me blog from Google. How cool is this? Thanks Steve. Thanks Twitter. Thanks Blogger. Thanks Google.

Halloween Treats

Just saw an article on Yahoo about the 10 most disappointing Halloween treats. And some stuff I personally love is mentioned. You can read the article here.


Candy corn? A disappointment? Really? I know it's not everyone's favorite, but I'm a fool for candy corn. My brother used to trade me all his candy corn for candy bars I didn't like, like Butterfingers. I always thought I got the better deal because there was way more candy corn for him to give me than Butterfingers for me to give him.


Smarties? Who doesn't like a roll of smarties? I know they go kinda fast, but they are just sugary fun.


Laffy Taffy? Now I am not a big laffy taffy fan personally, but my tween can't get enough of this stuff.


The other stuff on Ed's list I agree with: Necco wafers, raisins, apples, toothbrushes, pennies. Confession: my parents used to give out pennies for Halloween. One for each year of the kid who trick or treated. I spent several years after I was done trick or treating, helping them count pennies into trick or treat bags until I was able to convince them to just give out candy. I think we switched to fun size snickers.


And I do think they're fun size, Ed. I really do.
Aside from Candy Corn and Fun Size candy bars (except Baby Ruth. Yuck) I'm guilty of sneaking Nerds, Skittles and Twizzlers from my tween's haul. You can see last year's booty above. What are YOUR favorite Halloween treats? Tell me in the comments.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stuff I learned or figured out from ConvergeSouth

I had a great time at ConvergeSouth on Friday. Hosted again by NC A&T State University (Aggie Pride!!), the conference was a full day of ideas and accessible thought leadership, tip sharing and affirmation.

I'm sure it's being blogged about more articulately than I am doing here, but it was really interesting to meet Robert Scoble (who is sure to add my business card to his 8 or 9,000 collection of them, even though they are just cold artifacts and old technology that does not add to the dialogue) and learn so much more about broadcasting. Because, you see, that's what I am.

I'm a broadcaster without a studio, without audio, without video. And it sort of drives me crazy. After 20 years of "casting", I stopped when I left TV. I think that's why I've been dashing so hard towards web, new media, social networking and these tools. That's why I say you can take the girl out of the newsroom but not the newsroom out of the girl. That's why I've been telling people for three years (since BlogNashville 2005) that blogging is like our Founding Fathers -- it's like Benjamin Franklin getting his own printing press and spreading his message. (And didn't I just feel so vindicated when Chris Rabb said blogging was like what Thomas Payne did with his pamphlets?)

What makes it so tough for me is that most nights, not five feet away from where I type is a Sony DSR-500. And I can't pick it up or use it. My husband's still in TV and shooting video. He's editing stories and posting them to the web. And I couldn't.

But, actually, I can. I own a cheapie digital point and shoot camera. A Kodak Easy Share. With a big enough memory card, I can shoot some stuff and edit it together. It'll be kinda rough. No lavalier mikes = crappy audio. Oh well. No light kits, no mixing audio channels, I don't think. But that's okay. And now I've learned all the places I can post it on the web.

I sort of thought I was too late for the party. So many people are doing so many interesting things with these tools.

But Anil Dash spent a good part of his time at ConvergeSouth letting us know that it's never too late to join the conversation, and that you have to communicate in the way you love to communicate. Some of it could be broadcasting, some could be social media, some could be blogging and it is going to converge so that going from platform to platform will be more effortless.

So I met some new people, regrouped with others I'd met before, found some new people to follow on Twitter and have had some more follow me. (Confession: I totally love Twitter!)

There is just one thing left to figure out. When the heck am I gonna sleep?

Banners, we got banners!

Okay, it's really nothing to brag about. But I made the banner at the top. I wouldn't call it pretty. I'm certainly no designer. But I'm just so happy to have made something that fit up there, that wasn't too small or way too wide.

I'd like to give a shout out to The Pioneer Woman, who decided to share how she makes her banners. She posted instructions here, which took me through the patterns and basic backgrounds. Then I just started fooling around.

And while I'm thanking people, how about Cathy Zielske who not only inspires my scrapbooking but also linked me to The Pioneer Woman? Please visit them both.

Friday, October 17, 2008

So much to think about at Converge South

Scoble: great info about ways to broadcast video on the Internet. Sites to check out: stickam, ustream, kyte, mogulus. Need to ask Santa for a flip camcorder.

Anil Dash: Social media's future. It's converging. Don't rush to try to join every network, worry about aggregators, etc. The information you need will generally come to you through your network.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Cousin the Saint Book Giveaway

And while I'm telling you about contests to enter, you should head over to Bleeding Espresso and My Bella Vita. Not only are these blogs written by fabulous women who are now living in Italy, but they are also giving away autographed copies of Justin Catanoso's My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family and Miracles.

Full disclosure: I am helping Justin get the word out about his book, published recently by Harper Collins/Morrow. It is a wonderful story - part travelogue, part memoir, part quest for faith. I encourage you to read it!

Handbag Contest

Okay, so I totally entered the contest at HandbagPlanet to win one of their giveway handbags.

I would suggest that you enter too, but wouldn't that lower my chances of winning? Oh, shoot. Go ahead and enter. Just don't pick my lovely green bag!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Polite Punk

So you know my oldest goes to parochial school. We've discussed the plaid. It's coming up on Halloween and it's time to figure out the costumes. Which is getting kinda tough because although she's just made double digits, she's tall for her age and doesn't fit into kid sizes. Heck -- she's about 1 size away from fitting in my shoes.

And you know what comes after girl costumes don't you?

Teen slut costumes.

Sure, the name of the costume is Little Red Riding Hood, but it's the Little Red Riding Hood equivalent of a French Maid costume. Since when did Strawberry Shortcake become sexy?
And Alice in Wonderland is downright disturbing.


Luckily, the Tween picked being a punk rocker. Ordinarily, you wouldn't think that was such a relief, but it's better than any midriff-baring, stocking/garter skimpy thing that you can pick up at one of the Halloween stores that pop up in empty spaces in shopping centers this time of year.

So, we found the cutest punk rock shirt at T.J.Maxx. She already had jeans that feature a huge hole in the knee. A rummage through some costumes a friend gave us yielded fishnet and stripey hand warmer/glove things. I have a belt from the 80's. She has a headset/microphone from a friend's birthday party makeover session. We've got a punk in progress.

Things we need to complete the look:
1. Pink hair dye spray
2. Dog collar choker
3. Black nail polish
4. Willpower for her not to bite her nails for the next 3 weeks
5. Black jewelry

We did find some cute punky high tops tonight at Payless. High top converse-style, with some graffitti near the heel and black and gray laces. The Tween thinks she's so stylin! I'm calling her look "Polite Punk" since she'll get to wear her costume at school.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Feeling All Red, White and Blue. And Sometimes Pink.

So we've been enjoying the Olympics at my house. We cheered on Michael Phelps and the U.S. swim team who destroyed so many records. I stayed up WAAAY too late to watch gymnastics, both men's and women's team competitions. And then the all-around. I know it was an individual competition, but I still wish Nastia Luikin had worn a red/white/blue leotard instead of a pink one. But I cheered for her anyway -- she makes the sport look graceful in addition to strong and plucky.

But the judging seems all wacky. Disclaimer: aside from cartwheels, backbends, and the occasional handspring (front only, I was never able to do a back handspring) I know nothing personally about gymnastics. I'm the armchair gymnast (like an armchair quarterback, you know) who relies on the commentators for information. But I have been watching gymnastics since about 1973. It's like art. I know what I like. I know when there are mistakes even before the commentators say, "Ooooo, slight bobble there. That's a one-tenth deduction."

So when a Chinese gymnast went down On. Her. Knees. during NBC's not quite live gymnastics coverage of the individual vault competition, you'd think she would score less than a U.S. gymnast who had done a perfect vault with a very similar start value. (Start value. See, I could be a color commentator!)

Yeah. No. She actually scored better than the U.S. gymnast (Alicia Sacramone in this case.) who got bumped down to 4th. No medal.

In all fairness, it wasn't that gymnast who bumped her to fourth. It was 33-year-old Oksana Chusovitina who bumped her to third. Then a Romanian gymnast bumped Oksana to silver.

While I feel bad for Alicia, I'm totally psyched for all the thirty and forty-somethings who are medaling. Can you believe a 33 year old woman just medaled in gymnastics? This is a sport where 19 year old women are considered almost too old, and there are many rumors about the underage Chinese gymnastics team. If they are true, Oksana is almost two decades older than some of her competition. And Oksana's story -- a Ukranian competing for Germany -- just melts my Mommy heart.

My husband isn't as interested in gymnastics as I am. He feels the same way about ice skating because both sports are judged, which is really subjective. Kind of like trying to get hired or evaluated in TV news ... but I digress. He's been totally into the swimming.

He's even been DVR-ing some of Phelp's races so he can see just how close the finishes are. I missed the one he won by one one-hundreth of a second, and he played it back for me. And again.

The PR pro in me just ate up all of Michael Phelp's interviews. Both him and his mom. I know they have been in the spotlight for a while, and they are used to all the media attention. But boy, they handle it like pros. If they got media training -- it was really GOOD media training. But I think, deep down, that they have the right personalities for these interviews. That kind of sincerity is really hard to fake. And during the Olympics, fake isn't fun.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pink-ifying

I'm on the prowl for presents for Babycakes who is turning 1 next week. She's at that age where the wrapping paper and the box would keep her just as enthralled -- maybe even more -- than the actual present. The first birthday is for the parents, really. And for the adorable picture of cake frosting smeared on baby's face.

I'm looking for presents that don't say they're going to teach my daughter her ABCs, colors, shapes, sounds, numbers with lots of flashing lights, computer chips and electronics. She's 1 for crying out loud. She needs entertaining stuff like wooden blocks, mega blocks, and I even considered the Fisher Price Rock a Stack.

True, it says its for 6 month olds, but I remember kids playing with it at older ages. It's rainbow-hued stacking rings were perfect for chewing, floating in a bathtub or banging on the floor. But that's when I found this classic toy had been pink-ified.

I enjoy shopping the adorable pink aisles of Babies R Us or Target, don't get me wrong. I don't hate pink. We've got all kinds of pink stuff at my house. But I couldn't believe this classic toy needed a gender-specific makeover. And I didn't see a blue one anywhere around. There were two. Rainbow, and this. And then I saw the pink school bus.Was the yellow school bus clashing with the decor of little girls all over our country? Is that why there would be a need for a pink school bus toy, exactly like the yellow one? Was there a blue school bus? No? I guess the yellow, multicolored school bus is masculine.

Next door was the pink Little People plane.


Perfect for those girls' getaways ... to a spa or a bachelorette party, right? The Sex and the City girls probably flew to Mexico in one of these after the big wedding scene. I'm going to New York this weekend and if my jet isn't pink, well, it just won't seem right. Again, no blue plane. Just the regular multicolored one. What was next? The pink Little People Barn? The pink Little People Tractor? The pink Little People Fire Truck?



As I came to the end of the aisle, one more surprise awaited.



The pink corn popper. While this little toy is the bane of some parents for the delight toddlers get in constantly wheeling it around the house to the incessant pop-pop-pop-pop-POP-pop, I secretly love the popper. Which is why I bought one for 25 cents at a yard sale this summer and have already given it to Babycakes. A regular, multicolored popper with red, yellow, blue and green balls and a blue handle.

Sigh. It will clash horribly with her pink bedroom. I hope she still knows she's a girl.When she's old enough to realize there's a difference.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Way less than 8 and gr8tful!

So I have been watching a lot of Jon and Kate + 8 on TLC recently. Have you seen this show? It's my guilty pleasure. Jon and Kate had twin daughters and thought they'd try for one more. They had fertility issues so they got pregnant with assistance both times. Turned out the last time, Kate was pregnant with sextuplets! Eight kids. When I started watching it, the sextuplets were under 3 years old. Now they are either 4 or about to turn four.

Anyway, Kate keeps them on a schedule, which is no mean feat. I mean we're talking eight children under the age of 7 plus at least one photographer, sound operator and a producer! On some shows, I know they've got to have more crews. Sometimes she comes off a little harried, but I utterly sympathize. On my worst day with two kids, I've got a walk in the park comparatively speaking.

I bought Lexie shoes on sale at Stride Rite a month or so ago. $29 bucks. On sale. Now multiply that by six. Buy some more shoes for the older girls. Double it. Not to mention the toys, the clothes, the laundry, the dinners, the potty training, the books, the diapers, the pull ups, you name it.

How does this show make me feel? Grateful. So very, very grateful.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Mary Jane Longing



On Monday, I saw a woman wearing the perfect shoes. If I wasn't doing a business-y thing, I would have tracked her down to ask her where she got them. They were that good. I have dreamed of these shoes. I WANT these shoes. So I asked my friend Google about them.


But I don't think I can have them. Behold the DKNY Mary Jane Peep Toe Espadrille Wedges. (not their real name) $180-$229. Sigh. They are perfect on so many levels. In fact, every level except one.

1. They are Mary Janes. 'Nuff said.
2. The strap is elastic! Very comfy.
3. They are peep toe. Love it.
4. They are espadrilles. Summery chic.
5. They are wedges. Comfy again.

But their failing point.
6. They cost a freakin' fortune!

My friend Google did tell me about some Tommy Hilfiger Mary Jane Espadrilles that look quite cute and adorable, and my friend Zappos says they have some in stock for me. In fact, Zappos, whose CEO I am following on Twitter, also has these DKNY shoes. (Hi Tony! How's the bald head?) I see that no one has reviewed the DKNY Harmony Peep-Toe Wedge. I would be happy to do that if Tony wants to send me some for review. Size 8.5, please. In Black. Thanks.

I miss Casual Corner

I really wish someone had bought the Casual Corner chain a couple of years ago when it was going out of business. Although I am still wearing some of the clothes I bought at a great discount when all the stores were closing a couple of years ago, I would gladly give them all back if the store were still here.

I admit, Casual Corner wasn't a vanguard in the style world. But you could count on them for professional looking clothes. I started shopping there in the late 1980's when I became an on-air reporter for first radio, and then television. They had a great layaway policy: if the clothes you were buying went on sale, you got them for the sale price as long as you kept up your payments and got your clothes out on time. I put whole wardrobes on layaway for the spring and fall seasons. I got to pick what I wanted, they had my size, it all coordinated -- how much easier could it get?

You could always count on Casual Corner for a professional suit or separates. I've always had a hard time buying suits since I am different sizes on the top and bottom -- like most of America. While some CC suits were sold as a set, almost everything came as separates but it all still looked like a suit.

If you had an important event coming up at work, like a visit from a corporate bigwig or were just tired of the shirt you had to go with your navy blazer, you could ALWAYS drop in to Casual Corner and find something.

The sales people at every store I shopped at whether in Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem or visiting a mall on vacation, were helpful and knowledgeable. When I was a news anchor in Wilmington, the Casual Corner store manager used to call me when she got in an outfit that looked like my style. My mother and husband could drop in and ask them what I would like for my birthday or Christmas -- and they always got it right. And I wasn't telling the sales associates to make me up a wish list. It was something they just noticed if I looked at something or if they had something they thought would look good on me or went with something I owned.

And generally at Casual Corner, if you were a size 8, all the size 8 stuff fit you. No surprises. No changing room trauma with you being a 10 in this, a 6 in that so that you had no concept of where you were on the body scale.

And their accessories! I still have all my Casual Corner pins and quite a few necklaces. I'm not wearing my pins much anymore since I don't always wear a blazer like I used to, but I just can't part with them.

Now when you need something special for work, it takes so much longer. Stein Mart is usually a good option, but not a surefire hit the way Casual Corner was. I know there's Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft for some of my coworkers --- oh, and Banana Republic -- but their clothes seem to be cut on the skimpier side to me. And I am on the ampler side now, truth be told. Talbots is a good option, but holy cow, the prices! Even the sale stuff is expensive!

I want my Casual Corner back!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Adventures in Atlanta


It looked like Death was waiting outside my hotel.

I had been sightseeing Sunday afternoon, taking the MARTA up to Lenox Square Mall. I was trying to get to Phipps but just ran out of time after my flight was slightly delayed. Walking along Andrew J. Young International Boulevard, I squinted up into the setting sun and saw it.


Death. The Grim Reaper. Arms outstretched to gather folks in.


Only, it wasn't.


It was a statue of Andrew Young, about to be unveiled. I didn't get to see the unveiling since I was in a PRSA seminar, but I'm sure it was a fabulous ceremony. And I was really relieved to learn Atlanta doesn't have a statue dedicated to Death.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Love Cherries, Love Chocolate ... but not always together, I'm finding

As a diet soda drinker, I enjoy branching out from my beloved Diet Coke to switch things up. I love Diet Coke with Lime, for example. The lemon ... too strong. Found Vanilla Diet Coke to be refreshing, but can't find it in stores now.

Diet Dr. Pepper is also on my playlist, with Cherry Vanilla Diet Doctor ranking high. So when I saw ads for Cherry Chocolate Diet Doctor Pepper, I gave it a try. Bleah.

Just my opinion of course, but it's gritty somehow. Maybe chocolate really needs a texture to be enjoyable, although hot chocolate is pretty smooth, and I've had a YooHoo once or twice in my youth. I bought a 2-liter bottle of it and I've had one glass. It's not for me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mary Janes

I have been needing a new pair of black heels. Nothing fancy, just something in the mid-range. I have highish peep-toe pumps, black leather/black patent: kind of wing-tippy if you must know. Have another pair, very similar in taupe with black crocodile trim, also two pairs of black boots and some black flats I wore when I was pregnant, which truth be told, and really too big for me now.


I keep finding brown shoes I love. I don't need brown shoes. In fact, a couple of years ago I made myself buy the brown pair of shoes when I found shoes I liked because all my shoes were black. Now the pendulum has swung the other way and it's brown, brown, brown on my closet floor and I have no black shoes!


I think I'm secretly looking for something reminiscent of a Mary Jane. I love Mary Jane shoes. Love the strap. I have several pairs of semi-sneakery Mary Janes, a pair of navy blue pumps with an asymmetrical MJ strap, a red pair with those squishy tall soles that have been out of style for at least 4 years now, but I can't throw them away because they came from Talbots and they were expensive and they still look brand new, darnit!


So imagine my delight when my little cutie one received these as a present when she was born. These little socks from Trumpette just made my day. Thanks again, cousin Janet! There was nothing cuter than my little baby in her teeny weeny newborn outfits with matching or complimentary Mary Jane socks on her feet. In fact, I loved them so much, I bought her Mary Jane tights at Christmas from The Children's Place. In black AND red. Sigh. Adorable. Her little feet have already grown so much that these socks don't fit her any more, but I love the way they look still and decided to save them for her with some of her baby outfits. She may end up putting them on her baby doll's feet some day, who knows. Let's see if she loves Mary Janes as much as I do!

Recipe Rut


I have about 5 cookbooks on my shelf. A Better Homes and Gardens red and white checked one, a Weight Watchers Simply the Best, a couple of Cooking Light cookbooks I found at a yard sale for almost nothing, one about food from Italy, one for cooking with kids ... you get the picture. So, there's probably at least 2 years worth of meals in there. (I have to assume there are fish recipes and I don't like fish. Plus I hate the way it smells up the house. Bleah.)

So why am I still making the same 5-6 meals all the time? It's spaghetti, meatloaf, homemade little pizzas, chili, chicken stir fry and cheese enchiladas with an occasional marinara sauce and augmented with Costco's amazing chicken pot pie.

Okay, now I have to digress a moment. Have you tried the chicken pot pie from Costco? I am not generally a chicken pot pie fan. My daughter tried some one day when we were picking up a big box of diapers for her sister and really liked it. Since she's not really a chicken fan, I bought one since she loved it so much. I thank her for that every time I cook one for dinner. This pot pie is huge -- about the size of a medium/large pizza and competely delish. We could eat it for days. In fact we do, because there's no way we can finish one at one sitting.

I have read these cookbooks many times. I have marked recipes, but just never seem to try a new one. Maybe it's because my time is so limited that I tend to cook stuff I can do almost on autopilot. If this were the kind of blog with lots of readers, I'd say hey everyone ... give me your recipe recommendations. So if anyone out there stumbles on this blog, send your recipes my way.

Just remember that while I follow directions exceptionally well, I'm not into cooking things that take all day or a tremendous (more than 30-40 minutes) amount of preparation. In fact, cooking that chicken pot pie stretches my attention span to the breaking point. I have to cook it for 90 minutes. That means planning way ahead for dinner in my book!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Blow, baby, blow!

If only babies could blow their own noses. I know I'm not the first parent to wish this and I certainly won't be the last.

My poor little cutie one has a blocked honker. Her nose is stuffed up, so she can't breathe, so she blows out her binky at night so she can breathe. Then she's sad because she doesn't have her binky. So then you give it back to her, which calms her down. But then, her nose is stuffed up ...

So after doing this little dance at 5:00am for a while, I bit the bullet and took her downstairs for the dreaded nose sucking. That bulb-syringe they send home with you from the hospital? It's the Best. Thing. Ever. Only try telling that to your baby. She doesn't even like to have her nose wiped after this weekend.

Let me just say: many tissues were used before the green bulb syringe came out of storage.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

At least I'm not writing 2007 on my checks any more, but ...

Are we really this deep into 2008 and I haven't posted anything? Yeah, I guess it's true. Of course, I'm the mom who wrote all her holiday cards after Christmas and then left them in my scrapbook room. They're addressed. They'll be mailed ... but just when, exactly? I went to all the trouble of making them, even dressing my darling daughters in matching outfits for the photo, and have addressed them by hand. By hand!! Not even labels!! I'm telling you, I was doing it all right.
And then ... sigh. The not-mailing of them.

Of course, I have a built-in excuse ... several of them, in fact.
1. I have a baby daughter (she's 7 months old now, so I guess I have 5 months left of this one)
2. I work full-time
3. My house looks like an interior tornado rages weekly (EF-3 on the Fujita Scale, I SWEAR!) and someone's got to make sure we don't get gangrene from the debris!
4. Fill in the blank

I have the stamps. There's really no excuse. I think I'll do it this weekend before the 100 stamps I bought at Costco are obsolete thanks to the U.S. Postal Service raising rates. Again!