Monday, November 22, 2010

Painful Consequences

I think I broke my foot yesterday.  Or at least my big toe.  Maybe it’s not broken but it’s definitely a terrible sprain.  Just sitting here typing, I can feel it throbbing.  Seriously.  Oh what happened to it?  How nice of you to ask.

I was being an ass.  That’s what happened.  I was pitching a terrible two’s type of hissy fit and slammed the front door of my house.  Only I didn’t realize my foot was still halfway in the door.  And I guess I got what I deserved.  Only it really, really hurts!

I hate living with consequences.  That by far, is one of the worst things being grown up means.  Having to face what is coming.  And knowing that it is coming because of a choice I made?  Downright unbearable.

So while I contemplate a trip to the doctor and how pain is only in the mind, I will also try to act my age.  I will realize that sometimes I don’t get my way, things get completely screwed up and as a Southern lady, I shouldn’t let any of it get under my skin.  And I will also remember to check for limbs in the doorway the next time I make a dramatic exit.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Maybe it’s something in the air

cart 1 I just read a blog entry about what the mother referred to as “The Publix Incident”.  For those of you not blessed with these great stores, Publix is a grocery store chain.  Anyway, this mom had the same problem that we all have at some point…maybe even every time we go to the store.  Her little girl acted up in the check out line.  This poor mom was sitting there, cart full of groceries, and her daughter is pitching a holy fit over some candy.  The mom finally had to spank her child to get her to end the screaming and crying.  She said she felt like everyone in the store was staring and judging.  What an awful place to be in.

publixI, too, have a Publix incident.  (Is this a common occurrence?)  My kids and I walked into the store.  I put them into the cart and around that time, the fit began.  I cannot even remember what it was over.  I just know that they were feeding off of each other to the point of mass hysteria.  I walked a few steps into the store, attempting to diffuse the situation.  But their shenanigans were beginning to draw attention.  So I said “FORGET IT” and swung that cart around so hard, it almost went up on two wheels.  I wheeled my kids to the car and started to put them in.  Then the waterworks started…theirs not mine.  They begged me to give them one more chance.  So I laid down the law and extracted promises of good  behavior. 

They dried up the tears, we got back into the cart and re-entered the store.  I was met with the most surprising thing.  Two women that worked in the floral department started clapping for me.  They said, “Way to go!  You did the right thing.”  I kid you not.  It was a very triumphant moment for me and the fact that I remember it in slow motion with the “Chariots of Fire” theme playing might be a slight embellishment.  I stood firm as a parent and did not give in to the misbehavior of my kids.  And someone actually congratulated me on it?  Glorious!

So to the parents that carry on being a parent despite judging eyes, I give you a round of applause.  Heck, I think you should take a victory lap around the produce department!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well, I won't let anyone punch me in the face.

I live by my own variation of the golden rule.  And it goes like this, "If you are getting on my nerves this much, then I must really be getting on your nerves."  I never know if it's factual though because most people are not biting at the bit to tell you how much you annoy them.  

But with Christmas around the corner, it seems necessary to think up a game plan.  Because not only will I be bombarded in traffic, the grocery store and McDonald's by loads of people that don't know their good manners from their elbow, it will also happen in the fold of my family and friends too.  Not intentionally of course.  This time of year and all the planning that goes into it just seem to put people on edge and nerves get frayed to the point of breaking.  

So basically, I plan to smile more, say "please" and "thank you" in the sweetest tone I can muster and forgive, forgive, forgive.  When I see someone cut in line in front of me or push me out of the way for something at the store, I will say "Go right ahead".  I might be cursing them internally but it is part of my nature to grumble.  A fault, I know.  But to their face, they will see my best attempt at a humble attitude.  (I'm hoping I might fake it, til I make...)  Because I've realized recently that I am suffering over my limited tolerance to being annoyed.  And frankly, my family suffers because of it too.  

How many times have I been harried, hassled or in a huff and snapped at my kids?  Too many.  How many times have I felt that way and had a stranger give me an encouraging smile?  Not enough.  But those times it did happen, it felt like a soothing balm to my flustered skin.  

Of course, my inherent negativity is telling me that none of those strangers will even take note of my demeanor.  That they will just carry on in their rudeness and "it's all about me" attitude.  But hopefully, it will make me a better example for my kids and show them how to be in the world and not of it.  Cheesy or not, it's what I wish for them.

So here's to smiling til my teeth hurt (because I might be gritting them) and shopping on Black Friday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Can’t keep a crafter down.

As most of you know I have been sick for the last week.  And you would know this by my copious amounts of whining on my Facebook status.  And so during a marginal improvement in my condition, I went to Michael’s.  (It was right across the street from the doctor’s office)  And I found something that I could not live without.  It was not only gorgeous, but also on sale and the cashier gave me a 20% off coupon.  It was serendipity.  


This is the K & Company Yuletide Paper Ornaments pack.  It contains 152 pieces of the most old timey, warm your heart paper ornaments I have ever seen. 





There are four or five ornaments per page.  And the cardstock is double sided!  All the folds are scored and each ornament is perforated for easy removal.


The pages even include a picture of the finished product so you can get an idea of what you should end up with.  I also got some finishing ideas from these pictures.





So I took my coughing, sneezing self home, camped in the recliner and proceeded to make some ornaments of my own.  Here are a few that I came up with.  It’s amazing what you can do with a glue stick and scrap ribbon.

1 cone

Did you know that paper cones are the new old-thing-is-cool-again”?  Apparently, they are.  And I plan to fill the ones I made with some candies and give them to people.  Homemade candy*. 

*That I have never made before, so the real gift might just be the dang paper cone it came in*

2 cone





I really like these two on the right.  You can close the lid completely.  So none of that good candy falls out.  And you could use the pointed end to fend off anyone trying to steal said candy.  Seriously, don’t let your kids play with these.  They will put their eye out.

little boxes


These boxes I plan to pack with little presents for family.  The are miniscule.  I wish I would have put something in the picture for reference.  My relatives will think they have turned into giants when they see these.  Or wonder what I could have gotten them that is so tiny (and wonder if it’s worth having).


And here are the two ornaments I put together.  The tucked box was hard to keep together so I had to use real glue instead of the glue stick.  The same goes for the stacked boxes.  ornament2present ornament All in all not bad for a weekend where I could barely breathe or make coherent sentences.  I did have ribbon and little paper pieces strewn all over everywhere but the hub didn’t complain.  As long as I wasn’t begging him for more lemonade, I could do whatever I wanted.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I need to take a breath and buy a printer

I am overwhelming myself with all the holiday gobbledy gook.  And I don’t mean all the over priced, commercialized crap either.  I mean all the cute homemade stuff I am seeing online.  Which brings me to my other dilemma.  I don’t own a printer.  And I need one stat. 

So for my first problem.  I need to find my top five faves and stop there.  Five crafts/homemade gifts will be manageable.  Right?  I already know that I will be making some treats for the teachers.  cookieexchangeandgiftcardenvelope001Think, oreo bark and chocolate dipped pretzels.  And I have a few containers on hand (thanks Michael’s clearance section).  But I found these adorable “Paper Clips” to put around the cello bags.   They are just paper, staples and ribbon.  So does that count as 1 or 2?

I bought stampable wrapping paper and already have the kids painting, stamping and doodling to their hearts’ content.  That was the best $4.99 I ever spent.

And how about some homemade bath salts?  I found a recipe for some that involve a plastic globe mold.  Like this ornament from Michael’s.  It definitely needs to be a two part mold.ornament But all you do is mix 1 cup of Epsom salt, 1 Tablespoon (or so) of water (the directions say to have a wet sand consistency), add a few drops of essential oil and mold.  Once you’ve packed the salt into the mold let it sit a minute, then transfer to a baking sheet (parchment lining would be a plus here) and bake at 200 degrees F for a few hours.  Or they can air dry for a few days.  How easy!  And a very thoughtful gift.  You could even wrap it up in a cello bag and a paper clip.  Dang I’m clever.

That’s only 3 or 4 things.  What is NUMBER 5 going to be?  I saw an Advent envelope garland that was gorgeous and would take me til next Christmas to make.  Maybe I should just put that in the “dreamy idea” file and move on.

I need to stop talking about crafts *deep breath* and move on to my more pressing problem.  I am unable to print out all my wonderful free printables I have downloaded AND I cannot partake in amazing coupon deals because I do not have a printer.  This is tragic!  I attempted to borrow a printer but my tiny mini notebook is contrary and would not allow the printer drivers to download.  I swear to Pete.  So for Christmas I have asked my dear husband for a cheap but compatible printer.  Then I will need some major $$ for all the printer ink I will need.  (For said darling printables, check out TomKat Studios or Parties by Hardie and search for “free printable”)

So I hope that I have not added to your crafty holiday stress.  I hope that I have given you a couple of ideas to downsize the chaos.  And if you want a bath bomb from me, send me your address.  I’d love to send you one!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankfully these are easy…

Thanksgiving is only 3 weeks away.  And that may seem like a long time to some people but to me it might as well be tomorrow.  I have to plan things out ahead of time and buy ingredients along the way because I cannot afford to buy everything at once.  I’d have to carry it all home on my back because I couldn’t afford any gas for my car. 

So I am already planning on what I will make.  And what are the holidays about if not sharing with friends and family?  Here are a few recipes that are relatively easy, definitely delicious and will be a big hit with everyone:

1) This pie is fudgy.  It has pecans.  You will probably have to make 2 because you will eat the first one the night before!

Gina's Memphis Mud Pie - Recipe courtesy The Neelys


  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, plus shaved chocolate, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, plus finely chopped pecans, for garnish
  • 1 deep-dish, store-bought, chocolate cookie wafer crust
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler. Stir continuously until combined and smooth.

Using a stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, corn syrup and salt on medium-high speed until it lightens and doubles in volume, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture and fold in the pecans. Pour into the chocolate wafer crust and bake until the filling is just set, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool. The pie will fall slightly. Once cool refrigerate until well chilled, roughly 1 1/2 hours.

In a medium bowl add the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract and beat until soft peaks form. Top the chilled pie with the whipped cream, makng a nice mound on top of the pie. Garnish the top with shaved chocolate and finely chopped pecans. Serve immediately.

2) This one is a great idea for leftover turkey or a great casserole to take for a party. 

Hot turkey salad with sage biscuits


  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Original Bisquick
  • 2 cups cut-up cooked turkey
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 medium celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 medium green onions, sliced
  • 2 ¼ cups Original Bisquick
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage leaves


Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix mayonnaise and two tablespoons Bisquick in medium bowl until well-blended. Stir in turkey, cheese, celery and onions. Set aside.

Mix remaining ingredients just until soft dough forms. Place on surface sprinkled with Bisquick; roll in Bisquick to coat. Shape into a ball; knead 10 times. Roll dough one-half inch thick. Cut with 1 ½-inch round cutter dipped in Bisquick. Place close together around edge of ungreased two-quart casserole.

Spoon turkey mixture into mound in center of biscuits. Bake uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown and turkey mixture is hot.

3)  To me, this is a good ole Southern side dish.  Paula Deen makes everything better. 

Cheesy Squash Casserole


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 medium yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sleeve crackers, crushed medium to fine (recommended: Ritz)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the squash, onion, and butter until soft. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan, Cheddar, and sour cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Place in the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.


I hope that you all enjoy these dishes.  I also hope that you will share with me some of your tried and true holiday favorites.  I’m always open for new recipes and well, eating! 


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