Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fragments - Goodbye September

It's Friday Fragments time. Joining up with Mrs. 4444 to put those random tidbits in my brain to good use.

Mommy's Idea

Stupid criminal of the day was the guy who tried to carjack a Porsche but didn't know how to drive a stick shift. Needless to say he didn't get far before being arrested.

Fall is trying to come to Oklahoma. It rained yesterday (thank you) and it isn't 100 degrees. However the humidity is so high the windows are fogging up as I drive to work in the morning. Oh well, I can live with that.

My Thursday nights have gotten so packed with stuff. I joined a bible study, I have three tv shows on at the same time (thank goodness one repeats later so I can dvr them all), wine tasting after work. Phew. I did watch one of the shows when I got home but still have two left. I think maybe at lunch today I'll watch one at work.

Speaking of tv, I'm undecided if I'm trying any new shows this season. The only one I'm thinking about is Nashville but it doesn't start for a couple of weeks.

Revenge starts up on Sunday night. Glee has been on for three weeks and I'm starting to lose my interest. Has it "jumped the shark"? If you haven't heard that term, then you need to Wiki it.

I got sucked into watching Dancing with the Stars. I just can't resist All-Stars versions of stuff. I just heard that Project Runway was doing a second season of allstars. Our local boy Kayne is going to be back on it. I might have to watch it for him.

We were successful in eating out of the freezer this week and I now have a few empty spaces there. I can cook this weekend and have a place to put leftovers. Now just to decide what it is to make.

Life at a small school...Whitney decided to quit her job a couple of weeks ago. She applied for one job, within two hours had an interview set up. Ten minute interview and she starts on Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Glade Expressions Product Review

So I received coupons from BzzAgent to try out the new Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser and Fragrance Mist products for free. I also received coupons that I could pass out to others to try out the products too.

I really had to search for these products. My local Walmart SuperCenter didn't have them. What's up with that? So I went across town and SuperTarget had a limited supply. There are four fragrances (Cotton/Italian Madarin, Fuji Apple/Cardamom Spice, Lavender/Juniper Berry, Pineapple/Mangosteen). Only two of those seemed interesting (really you should have plain old vanilla because I like it). I got the oil diffuser in apple and the mist in pineapple. I figured it would be best to try out the two that I liked, plus the store actually had them in stock. After a comical check out (the register kept trying to give me the full coupon value eventhough the products weren't that much) I ended up paying my sales tax and leaving the store.

I set up my oil diffuser in my bedroom. Its a big room and I like it to smell. I find that candles and small oil diffusers just don't do the job so I wanted to test this out. The good news is that this oil diffuser packs a punch and it really does make the room smell. I'm going on three weeks now and it is supposed to last for 30 days. I'd say it is going to make it and probably go longer. Big Plus! This is a different apple smell than you are used to. It definitely takes the cardamom and make it very present. Not bad but not exactly what I want.

Now the bad news. I think it is ugly. I'm not a big one for decorating (anyone who has been to my house knows that) but I think it looks like plastic. It is white but I've seen some that look more wood grained. I would have liked that better for sure. I certainly wouldn't put it in my living room.

The Fragrance Mist is touted as being replaceable. You keep the outside and can change out the scents. Neat concept if it worked. First of all the plastic holder is ugly. No other word to describe it. It is supposed to be designed to be left out and not look bad but I've got that thing hidden away in the bathroom. I also don't think the scent lasts very long. I've spritzed three-four times each time and the smell is there briefly. I won't be getting any refills for this. I have found a really cool little product at Walmart that is powerful and packs a punch in a little silver container. I'll stick with that for bathroom smells.

This is my second product review for BzzAgent. I'm afraid I've been negative twice now (although this one was half positive). Hopefully I'll still be able to review products. They do say they want honest opinions.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Instagram World

Why had I not figured this out yet? For some reason I decided to download and ap tonight and got into instagram. Wowzer. Now I'm going through pictures and editing them with instapicframe and going crazy. Here's some of my beginning work.

My first attempt. When I realized that I could move text around I now know how all the food bloggers I follow get the text on their photos. The picture above is one of my favorite fall snacks. Peanuts and candy corn.

I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond this weekend to buy a salad spinner. They had a bunch of stuff 80% off so I went a little crazy. Could you pass up huge candles for $1.99.

Last is a picture of the mums I planted just a week ago. They are absolutely stunning.

Hopefully I won't get too crazy with this new toy. Otherwise you'll be seeing all sorts of repeat photos of my Alaska trip in new ways.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whitney's new little sis in the sorority likes oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. One day of this upcoming week is baking day where they give new little homemade cookies. Since she doesn't have a kitchen in her room I decided to be nice and make them for her. She was down for about an hour today getting a few other things so I was baking when she came through the door. These are pretty tasty.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. In large bowl stir brown sugar and butter until blended. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I used a ice cream scooper to keep them evenly sized. Bake 9-11 minutes or until go,den brown. Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

This made about three dozen cookies for us.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Fragments

Joining up with this week's fragments with Mrs. 4444.

Mommy's Idea

I just finished reading a book called MWF Seeking BFF. It's all about an adult woman trying to find new girlfriends. A lot of what she wrote hit home. I'm not going to go crazy and do everything that she did, but I did go to a women's bible study class this week and talked to people I didn't know. I liked one woman but of course she lives 30 minutes away. But I will continue to try and expand the friend circle.

I had bought a coupon for some chocolate truffles at a new store just around where I work. I got four different kinds and I have to say I'm not impressed. I really, really wanted to be wowed, but I'm not.

A box was sent to the house for Whitney this week. She's been ordering stuff for her new sorority sister so I thought maybe she accidentally used her billing address as the shipping one. Turns out that it was from the CEO of the company who gave her the scholarship to college. And this was on top of the gifts they had just gotten two weeks before when they went on their semester visit to the company headquarters.

I actually spent money to have stamps delivered to my house from the post office. I got lazy and decided the $1.25 it cost was less than my gas. Come to find out they came from Kansas City not the local post office. No wonder the post office is losing money.

Whitney will be home briefly on Saturday with her roommate to hit the sorority stores in town. I think we may try and make cookies for her to take back to give to her new lil sis on Tuesday. If I can make sure they stay fresh until then. I never have cookies last four days so I don't know if that is possible. I even googled it to check.

The weather warmed up this week so I've had to make sure and water my mums every day so they don't die. The blooms are all opening and they are looking nice.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hodgepodge - ARRRGGGHHH!

Linking up for this week's questions.

1. What's the best and worst thing thing about growing older?

Best is being wiser and realizing that the world isn't going to stop if something that I really want doesn't happen. Worst is my body is slower and not as spry.

2. Autumn arrives this week in the Northern Hemisphere...what one thing do you love most about the fall season? 

Just one? Oh my this is tough. I would have to say the cooler temperatures and all that it brings. Great clothes, great food, fall leaves (although not really here).

3. Speaking of fall...pumpkin seems to be flavoring everything these days-are you a fan? What's your favorite pumpkin flavored food or beverage? 

I love me some pumpkin. YUM!!!! Right now I'm obsessed with pumpkin spice granola and will be making some myself (first time for granola). But I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars.

4. Since we're on the subject of fall...what's the worst fall you've ever taken?

I was walking in our neighborhood years ago and twisted my ankle on a rock near some house construction. I ended up breaking a bone in my elbow and had a cast for a few weeks. I was so glad I didn't have a stick shift then.

5. If you could own a prop from any film what would you choose?

The snowglobe from Citizen Kane. So iconic.

6. What's the most interesting word you've read or learned in the past week?

I don't know if I've learned anything new. But I will throw out a word I invented years ago...gunkification. It means the act of being gunky when sick. Feel free to use that in your every day life.

7. When was the last time you locked yourself out of your house, car, or office? Was it a big deal?

I think I've only been locked out of a car once and that was 15 years ago and it wasn't my car. My office is operated by our ID cards. I have had my card swipe not work and had to call security to get me in. I rarely go into the house through the front door since I'm driving and always use the garage door. Of course the opener broke last week so we are parking in the driveway. But the housekey is on the same keyring as the car key so I can get in there.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It's talk like a pirate day today! My favorite nonsensical holiday. Ahoy Matey!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

I kept myself busy this weekend. Want to know how?

First we had this delicious dinner. (I've already blogged about it).

I went to the local beauty school (Paul Mitchell Salon) and spent four hours (yes that's right) getting a haircut and color. It was less than $50 and turned out great.

Walmart had big mums for $3.33 each. Can you believe that price? I decided to get bronze colored ones for the mailbox.

And finally we have had cooler weather. I always feel like lighting candles when it gets darker earlier and cooler. Unfortunately I don't have too many in the house right now.

See I only had one tea light left. Guess I'd better go buy some more.

I also bought a new purse on an awesome sale at Kohl's. I'm definitely ready for fall/winter now.

Hope this is a great week for everyone!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spicy Sausage Pasta and Broccoli

It isn't often that you find a recipe that replaces one that you love but I think we may have found one. We have a delicious pasta, sausage and broccoli recipe that is absolutely delicious. I was perusing the weekly Secret Recipe Club recipes a couple of weeks ago and someone had recreated this. I Went back to the original recipe and wanted to make it. We finally got around to it on Friday.

Not a lot of ingredients and we have enough for four servings each. So the freezer is now stocked for those handy weeknight meals when there isn't time too cook.

Spicy Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage
Recipe Courtesy of Fried Rice and Donut Holes

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cups broccoli, chopped
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed (we used the hot version)
1 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 pound Orecchiette pasta (I used small shells)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain reserving 1 cup of water. In pan over medium high heat brown the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain off any grease. Meanwhile in a separate pan over medium high heat cook the garlic in oil for about a minute, stirring until golden. Add broccoli, wine, 1/2 cup reserved water, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender and liquid is mostly evaporated. Add the sausage and pasta to broccoli mixture and toss to combine. Add the other half cup of water if it needs thinning. Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.

I tried to do all this by myself but needed dans help at one point because I needed to do three things at once. I started cooking my pasta first. Since no matter how hard I look I can never find orecchiette pasta I used small shells. Dang oklahoma. I also started cooking the sausage because I wasn't sure how long it would take. Once I knew the sausage would be done I started the broccoli. I took the water from the pasta as it was cooking since it wasn't done. It was an awful lot of liquid and I knew it would never be all absorbed if I wanted my broccoli to have any sense of crispness (mushy broccoli is not served in my house). So decided when the broccoli was done to just add the other ingredients and the pasta would absorb some water. And sure enough that worked. We had to get a huge bowl in order to mix the three parts though. Wow did this make a ton. With the hot sausage and red pepper flakes you have to like spicy food to like this. You could use the mild sausage if you wanted to cut the heat back some.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Fragments - A Briskness to the Air

Joining up with Mrs. 4444 for the Friday Fragment section of the blog. You can join in too.

Mommy's Idea

A cool front came through yesterday with some rain (yes I said RAIN). And today is cool too. So excited to be wearing jeans to work and tennis shoes.

The rain of course means it is State Fair time. Because it always rains during the state fair in the fall and the arts festival in the spring. Its just going to happen. Almost makes you want to have those events more often if it would bring the rain. Because we are in the red zone for drought now. Like the entire state is red (and not just because of the red clay dirt).

I just bought tickets to go see Les Mis in October with one of the touring companies. I'm hoping that it will be spectacular.

Glee started last night. I won't give any of it away since Whitney couldn't watch it right away. Some good singing but once again some of the stuff that happens in that high school is just so far-reaching. Throwing a slushie would never be tolerated without a suspension. Come on people.

I would like to be a celebrity judge on a cooking show like Top Chef or Iron Chef. Although in my rider would have to be a clause of "no peas". I never get food served to me like they have there.

Did you catch the last dancing on So You Think You Can Dance? Next week they crown champions and they will have dancing, but no more competition. I was excited that Eliana got to dance with Alex again (although not as good as their first pairing) and Twitch outshone Cyrus in Cyrus style (go TWITCH!). I had a crazy dream that they had Alex and Twitch recreate their famous dance on the show next week. I'm sure it won't happen, so we'll just have to settle for the original here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Joining up with this week's hodgepodge questions.

1. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? The NFL is back in action along with all the college teams. Are you a fan? Who do you root for? If you're not a fan what do you do while the rest of America watches Saturday, Sunday, Monday night, and now Thursday night games?
I don't watch any NFL games. In fact they usually annoy me because it screws up Sunday night tv on CBS. Amazing Race never tapes right so we end up taping lots of extras to make sure we get the whole show. College football is a different story. You can usually find a game on at some point on Saturday. We of course watch OU but I've been known to go shopping when that game is on simply because the stores have less people in them.

2. What's something I'll always find in your closet?
Jeans. My wardrobe staple. What you won't find is a lot of shoes, jewelry or clothes. I just don't own a lot of them. In fact my closet has lots of extra space to hang clothes if I ever bought them.

3. Share one of your earliest memories.
I remember failing year one of swimming lessons and having to repeat the beginner class the second year. I hated to put my face in the water which is sort of necessary to progress in swimming.

4. What circus act best describes your week so far?
Tightrope walker.

5. What's a food you disliked as a child but you love now?
Sushi. Although we never had it as a kid I can guarantee you I would have disliked it. One thing that I disliked as a child and still can't stand...peas. Go read about my harrowing experience.

6. Describe your summer in three words.
Majestic Dogsled Alaska

7. Where were you on September 11, 2001? Will you do anything special to mark the day this year?
I was at work. I remember driving to work and hearing a short news blurb about a plane flying into the building. I had recently rewatched a documentary about a small plane that had flown into the Empire State Building in the 50's and I thought it was like that. Then the reports came out worse. We had a tv in our office that could barely get any reception (it was used more for videos) and I had Dan dig out rabbit ears to bring to me. I had the tv in my office on a stand for two straight days and let any student who wanted to sit in there and watch the news. It brought back a lot of memories from when the Murrah bombing happened here but it was also so different.

I'm not doing anything special to mark the day.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I pinned the cutest marshmallow/candy cane idea on Pinterest this week. If only I had a classroom of kids to make them for. If you want to make them, check out this website

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Guacamole Recipe

Fall means football which means sitting in front of a tv eating food that isn't good for. For the most part I avoid the second part but today I really, really wanted guacamole. We have a recipe from Dan's grandfather but I wanted to try something new. So I went to the first source of all recipes...Food Network.

I love Alton Brown but normally dislike his recipes. I'm not sure what it is, but something never tastes right. Although we do use his chewy chocolate chip recipe and it super delicious. But his recipe for guacamole came up number one with tons of stars so I decided to make it with one cilantro. We don't do cilantro.

Recipe on Food Network from Alton Brown

3 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 medium onion
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced

In large bowl place the avocado and lime juice. Use a potato masher add salt, cumin, cayenne and mash. Then, fold in onions, tomatoes and garlic.

We used red onions (what we had) and put it in the fridge covered closely with Saran wrap for several hours. Letting it sit is very important. It lets the seasonings mellow.

The recipe says leave it at room temperature for an hour after mixing. Since our old recipe uses mayonnaise I would never leave it sitting out.

I was surprised how much I liked this, especially tasting it right away and thought it was spicy. If you know me, I like it spicy but I didn't like it. After a few hours it blended well and I'm keeping the recipe.

If you like cilantro, the original recipe calls for 1 T chopped. Feel free to add it if you like.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Fragments

Yippee it is Friday and I made it through the week. Short work weeks are killer. I'm joining up with Mrs. 4444 to share it all.

Mommy's Idea

 Someone in my cul-de-sac decided that their lawn service should start mowing at 7am. Only saving grace for me is I was already up since it was a work day. If it was the weekend, guns may have been blazing even though I don't own any. And last night our neighbor decided to mow at 8:30pm. In the dark. I wonder what that yard will look like today.

OU's football game is pay per view on Saturday which means we will be listening on the radio. Much easier now that we have better announcers. Or else maybe I'll go shopping since it will be easier together around town.

I am determined to cook one new recipe a week this fall. And it is only going to be in the 80's this weekend so cooking in the oven is allowed. All those pins and bookmarks are being looked over and passed on to Dan for his perusal. I'm thinking something with chicken since we have 8 pounds in the freezer.

Some helpful reminders to myself...When using a heating pad, turning it on makes it work much better. And remember to put the heat side towards your body.

The county fair is this weekend in town. First event today was meat goat judging. Do I want to know what that is?

Started going over 22 pages of definitions for my certification test. Some of these are just stupid. Budget - The detailed statement outlining estimated project costs to support work under a grant or contract. Did I really need them to tell me that? Isn't it pretty obvious what a budget is?

After I posted the dance video last week, guess who showed up on So You Think You Can Dance this week as an all-star? Benji! And he was just as good this week as he was six years ago.

So I'm going to post a video of another of my favorites in hopes that he shows up next week.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hodgepodge - Important Job Edition

Joining up with this week's questions from Joyce. Her answer to number 7 is great.

1. In your opinion what's the most important job in the world? Oh, and parenting is a given so besides parenting, what's the most important job in the world?
I'm going to outside the box today. Lots of people have said teachers which is a great answer. But I'm going with inventor. Without inventors we wouldn't have new stuff. Sure the teachers have to teach you the basics, but the inventors get creative in their minds and come up with everything. Someone had to invent the computer right or else you wouldn't be reading this.

2. Share a favorite or not so favorite memory from a childhood birthday.
I don't remember a lot of birthdays (that isn't my age it just that I'm not a big birthday person). I do remember I had a sleepover for my 16th birthday.

3. Peanut butter-crunchy or smooth?
Smooth is the only way to go. Dan had me buy a small jar of the crunchy last week and I had a taste and didn't like it.

4. William Butler Yeats is credited as saying, "Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing." Your thoughts?
I feel like I'm back in school being quizzed. I never could answer these questions.

5. What's something that makes you cringe?
The static sound when Dan unplugs his ipod from the speaker in the living room. Yikes.

6. Name a song that always puts you in a good mood?
Bananarama - Venus
What can I say? I like bad cheesy 80's music.

7. The answer is yes. What's the question?
Would you like to take a vacation? I love vacations and even when I get back from one I want to take another one.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Four day work weeks always throw me. Today seems like Thursday but it is Wednesday. Which means there are still two more days of work. So hurry up weekend and come so I can get back on track.

Monday, September 3, 2012

S'mores Cookies

Whitney's home so that means shopping and baking. We were the guinea pigs for her test run of s'mores cookies for big/little week. Of course we were happy to submit to the taste test kitchen. She found the recipe and pinned it, isn't that how all recipes come from anymore.

S'mores Cookies
adapted from Make and Bake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 Hershey bars, chopped

Preheat 375 degrees

In medium bowl combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon. In second bowl beat together butter,sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven. Push 3-4 marshmallows and a few pieces of Hershey bar into each cookies. Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes until fully cooked. Cool cookies ona wire rack.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

We halved the recipe and made about two dozen cookies. We still used two Hershey bars but everything else was cut in half. They were very chewy (yum) and tasted like toffee (double yum). The dough was super tasty. I wouldn't say that it wasn't necessarily s'more tasting, but definitely yummy.

This is a keeper recipe.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

High school football

Have you seen the story of the new football stadium a city in Texas built for $60million? some may see that as excessive but having gone to high school in Houston, I understand.

The school district I went to had three high schools and a stadium that sat 15,000. I didn't think anything of it even moving there from a high school in Florida. It was just the thing to do. Homecoming in Texas meant big mum corsages with ribbons and attachments, the more the better.

So after reading the story I wondered how my old school district was doing. I googled it and wow has it changed. They built a new one that was 12,000 seats and they have an 8,000 seat athena connected to it. The school district has 10 high schools, they only play schools in the district and they have not one but two different stadiums. They sell season tickets.

Yes, it is a whole different world in Texas people.