When I Start Wearing These….

When I order these bad boys, it will be official that I’ve given up on life.

I had the tv on in the bedroom while putting on makeup this past weekend and heard this infomercial. I thought it was a joke so I leaned into the room to see the screen. Sadly, it is no joke. Coming to a pathetic person near you, the Pajama Jean.


Not Since You

A few weeks ago a friend and sorority sister from college emailed me and asked if I would review a movie in The Goon Room. Christine Duell is an executive producer of a movie called Not Since You. She explained that it’s been a long time coming, but it was finally released and it was a great, romantic comedy.  I said that I would love to and she sent me a copy.

After I agreed, I became very nervous for several reasons. First, I am not a big movie person. I mean, I watch and enjoy movies, but I’m not that person waiting in line opening day or the person that has a subscription to IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes. I really only watch the Oscars for the clothes and then I lose interest.  I like what I like and I don’t what I don’t.  Which leads me to the second reason I was so nervous; what if I hated it?

The good news? I loved it. Even Peter who likes nothing but Westerns, loved it. The movie starts with a group of college friends converging in Athens, Georgia for a wedding. The beginning feels a lot like Love Actually in that there isn’t any background, you’re thrown right in and trying to figure out who is who and how they are connected. As the wedding nears, it becomes very clear that there is an old romance that is still smoldering between Amy (Kathleen Robertson – you’ll know her as Claire from 90210) and Sam (Desmond Harrington – not sure what he’s been in but whoa, is he easy to look at) despite Amy being married to Ryan (Christian Kayne). I liked both Ryan and Sam so it was hard to know who to cheer for and the outcome of both relationships leaves you guessing until the very end. Meanwhile, Sarah (Sarah Rue from the recent Jenny Craig commercials) is trying to strike up a relationship with the obviously damaged Joey (Elden Hensen). The source of his damage comes out late in the movie and made me tear up. His story is illustrated beautifully, but painfully. Then there is Billy (Will Estes – if you were in HS when U-571 came out, you’ll know who he is) and Victoria (Sunny Mabrey). They are in love and she wants to get married, but her past with his best friend Howard (Jon Abrahams) is holding Billy back from proposing. Victoria and Howard were dating when Billy and Victoria fell in love, thus making Howard the third and very bitter wheel. Until Billy can get Howard’s blessing, there won’t be a proposal.

The setting of this movie is beautiful and makes me want to visit my friend Melissa C in Athens. The overall feel of the movie is refreshing – it’s different from a big budget movie and I mean that as a complement.

The outcome of each person is unpredictable, making the movie “the total package”. It’s a great date night flick, girls night in or out, or something fun to watch during home-beauty-night with a face mask and glass of wine. It’s available on netflix, iTunes, pay per view and on demand for rental, filmbaby.com and amazon for purchase. And if you’re flying Air Canada in December, it’s available for your in-flight convenience.

I have been trying to think of funny ratings to give the movie – like 2 thumbs up or 4 “damn dirty apes” (that’s an actual rating for some radio show, I’ve not been hitting the wine or anything). So far, all I’ve come up with is Goons. Predictable, right? Well then, send me some new ideas! Until then, I give Not Since You 5 out of 5 Goons.

picture credit here.

A Little Too Ambitious

After a long, but fun weekend with family and friends, we decided that we needed to take down a few Christmas decorations. The two “live” wreaths are very dead, the red roses are done too and a few other things needed to go. So we started absent-mindedly removing a few things with the goal of taking it all down next weekend over New Years. As we both separately worked on our projects we would say “I’m going to do the manger too” or “I think I’ll take off the ornaments and we’ll do the tree next weekend….”.

Before we knew it, it was all down. It was packed and the boxes were awaiting transport back to the storage unit. Christmas was done.

Normally, I am elated when all the clutter and mess is gone. I love it through Christmas, but shortly after, I start feeling itchy at all the extra stuff in our house and get the very strong urge to get it out. But this year, I am struck with the fact that I miss the tree. I want the warm glow of it back…but I know by mid-week I will be deep into cleaning out closets, the garage and kitchen cabinets, behind all the furniture and the ceiling fans. And by next weekend, I’ll be ready to welcome winter / spring and will be into planting bulbs and a delicious new garden.

But for now, I miss the tree.

BTW – these are only the “pretty” ornaments. I didn’t get a pic of it fully decorated…sniff…

Christmas 2010 = Success

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, we certainly did. Our goal was to cut back on the retail side of the holiday as mentioned in Christmas in August. And the result was a success. We had a wonderful holiday with little stress and a lot of fun.

The only real downer of the weekend was our annual spat driving to my step sister’s house Christmas morning. We get together with all of our family and in a deluge of paper, open presents. It’s crazy and so much fun. But for the third year in a row, there has been an argument that has thankfully ended happily while we drive. Not sure if it’s the early hour, the getting-three-people-out-the-door-on-time or what, but there’s always something. Last year the climax of the fight was me saying “It’s done! I’ve already bought all the gifts so no matter what we spent, it’s done! So you’re going to drop it and we’re going to have a happy, goddamn Christmas!!”. Followed by three seconds of silence and then a car full of laughter. You know it’s bad when swear words are in the same sentence as Christmas. This year’s argument ended similarly with me saying “I might be grouchy, but you’re throwing out the bait and I’m taking it!!”. Silence…me realizing that none of that made any sense, laughter and then it’s over.

Updated with a great pic of me and Ms.B:

The Holiday Home Goods Parade

I have a very large family and we get together often. But they’re almost all informal and involve food that doesn’t require utensils and paper plates. But for the holidays, we like to get a little fancier. The problem is that collectively, we have enough plates, silverware and cloth napkins for everyone. But alone, we come up short. So for each holiday there is a parade of items that travels from one house to the host house for use. I’ve pillaged my mom’s supplies for so many years of Thanksgiving’s and Easter’s, I don’t even  need a list of what I need to borrow and she usually just has it all out for me. 10 plates, the spare silverware, serving pieces, bake ware, a table-cloth or two and always the really pretty folding chairs all make their way to our house. It’s not that I don’t have these items myself, it’s that I don’t have enough for 18 people and 5 kids.

This Christmas is no exception. The folding chairs are in the back of the car already. Linen napkins too. My pretty silver shell dish is awaiting shrimp cocktail for Christmas morning and a spare “giant” table-cloth (we describe the length of the various table cloths that my mom and I own not in feet, but by the length of the table. I.E. “with one leaf in or with all three leafs in”. We have really big tables) is ready to go. And so the parade of items makes its way back across town. It just wouldn’t feel like the holidays if someone wasn’t walking in with chairs under one arm.

New Rules at Starbucks

Well really, these are my new rules, but they should really consider adopting them.

1. If you are in line for longer than 1 minute and then you hesitate when it’s your turn to order,  you forfeit your turn.

2. If you are too consumed by your cell phone to notice the barista asking you what you want, you forfeit your turn.

3. If you cut in front of a woman with a child because you are too oblivious to notice that there is a line 12 people deep, I will say something smart like “No no, I wasn’t in line. Please, stand in front of me”.

4. If you don’t feel that using phrases like “excuse me” and “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was stepping on your foot” are beneath you, you forfeit your turn.

5. If your order has more than 4 instructions, you forfeit your turn (no Peter, a grande skinny vanilla latte does not count).

The things I will tolerate for my caffeine fix and because I have a gift card!

Eggy Deliciousness

This past Sunday, we hosted a brunch for several of Peter’s coworkers – 18 to be exact. And 5 of their cute munchkins. We’re no strangers to large get togethers, but normally those parties include family and I task them out to bring a lot of the food. Not that I don’t like to cook, but to ease the work load.

Because our guests this weekend were not family, it didn’t feel right asking them to contribute. I was freaked out about having a festive and clean house, beautiful decorations and delicious food. As I placed the various food items into the oven and or fridge, I said a quick prayer to the patron saint of cooking (which, oddly enough, it Saint Elizabeth) and she came through for me. We had many brunch classics; spinach and also panchetta quiche, fruit salad, bagels and lox, french toast casserole and doughnuts – but I also included a dish I called Egg Cups. Mostly because they are made in a muffin tin but also because I couldn’t think of a better name. I thought they came out pretty good, but Peter raved and (claims) coworkers raved to him at work today. So I thought I would share the recipe. I made four variations, but the two clear winners were bacon and cholula hot sauce.


1 box of frozen puff pastry

1 dozen eggs

1 package of center thick cut bacon – diced into small pieces

1 bottle cholula hot sauce

shredded cheese – Gruyère or swiss is great

2-3 good size shallots (small red onions) – diced


salt, pepper and your favorite herb or seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thaw the puff pastry and cut into 4ths and then each quarter in half. This part is a little weird since it makes more rectangles than squares, but the goal is to line a muffin tin with the dough so do your best.  Mold the pastry into a VERY well buttered tin being sure not to have too much pastry sticking out over the top so it doesn’t burn. Brush each pastry with butter, salt pepper and a little sprinkle of your favorite seasoning, just something to add a little flavor. Also sprinkle in a small amount of cheese.

Next, break an egg into each cup being careful not to break the yolk. Sprinkle in the diced shallots, a little more salt and pepper and then the topping – either the bacon or the cholula hot sauce. Sprinkle on a little more cheese.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the eggs are done. If you like them softer, cook the bacon before you add it to the egg and then bake for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye to make sure that the pastry doesn’t burn.

Pop them out of the tin and serve! Garnish the cholula hot sauce version with some sour cream and avocado.


*Another variation would be to beat the eggs with some heavy cream and then add to the cups following the same seasoning directions. Add in veggies, different cheese or meat combinations, or have your guests pick their own combination before baking. Enjoy!



An Unholy Combination

I had great hopes to write a lovely blog today regarding happiness. unfortunately, two vaccinations and a new tooth on the verge of breaking through the gum line created an unholy combination of pain that lead to a 3 hour melt down. I didn’t know the kid could actually cry that much. She was to the point of tear-less sobs and on the verge of dry heaving. All of my usual tricks did nothing – she sat in her bubble bath clenching two pacifiers and screaming with the third in her mouth. I even busted out chocolate milk thinking it might sooth the savage beast, but no. I resorted to driving her around on the 101 for about 40 minutes. It finally did the trick – she calmed down enough to fall asleep and then snuggle in once we got home.

I’m now exhausted, still staring at my to do list to get ready for the out-of-control huge brunch we’re throwing Sunday, tripping over the pile of presents to be wrapped and ignoring the fact that the dogs are in desperate need of a bath. I’m also seriously considering throwing in the towel and having a cocktail and nap myself….

What My Toddler Has Taught Me

There are many lessons that Baylie has taught me. The two latest ones I’m still working on…

First, I’ve learned that I cannot rattle off a list of things we’re going to do anymore. I got into the habit of thinking out loud when Baylie was little. I read somewhere that it was good for their verbal skills or something. Now, it’s just a habit. I tend to list out the next things on our list like “Ok, lets pick up the toys, wash our hands and then we’ll get some dinner”. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, to a kiddo who loooves to climb the stool to the sink in the bathroom, turn on the water and then splash around, this is music to her ears.  She doesn’t hear the order of the tasks to be completed, all she hears is “TIME TO PLAY IN THE WATER!!!!”. Which results in her running away while my  back is turned and helping herself to a sink full of fun.

Second, I cannot say a negative direction. Meaning, saying “Don’t spit out that carrot!” will result in her spitting out the carrot because I have said the word “spit” (I would like to thank Daddy for teaching her that one. Yes, Peter, it is important for her to spit out the toothpaste, however, she spits out EVERYTHING!!). Instead, I have to say “Please chew and swallow what is in your mouth” in order to avoid a deluge of partially chewed veggies.

Lastly, no matter how many times I try to sound out a word and ask her to repeat it, she will always say “da da”. Duh-uck = da da. Treee = da da. Airplane = air pane. Oddly, that’s the one she knows, can say and identify. Sigh…



What Christmas Cards Have Taught Me

I have learned a lot from designing, writing, assembling, stuffing, stamping, sealing and addressing Christmas cards. Here are the highlights:

1. I am totally inept when it comes to accurately assessing how many cards I need.

2. No matter how many cards I think I need, I will always have more or less than what I need.

3. Putting a very cute picture of Baylie on the card only requires more work on my part.

4. The post office and the card people are in cahoots – 10 stamps in a book, 15 cards in a box.

5. 60 pictures centered and taped to cards, 60 envelopes stuffed and addressed (5 of which are still outstanding due to moved addresses) and the  taste of envelope adhesive on my tongue = we need less friends.

The out takes from getting the picture for our card. Note the marker, angel from the nativity scene, my phone and yes even the camera were used to get her to A. smile,  B. pose in a way that wasn’t weird and C. hold still long enough to get a good picture. The winner was actually a little soft, but it met criteria A and B so it wins!