Monday, November 22, 2010


It was my ex's weekend for the older kidlets, so guess what I got for my wedding anniversary weekend? Two pukey kidlets.  My poor babies needed mommy, and no one called to let me know they were sick until 5 minutes before they showed up.  Not to mention he unexpectedly brought his girlfriend who had to pee in my freaking house.  And it was one of the few weekends when my house was a disaster.  The bathroom was dirty, the floors were dirty, the kitchen was a disaster because the pipes under the sink are leaking and every cleaning product is piled up on the counter because my landlord always has some disaster that precludes her from calling someone to come fix stuff (don't get me's amazing how many people in her family need emergency brain surgery or have broken hips...and no, I'm not kidding).  Not to mention the baby had thrown her little puffs all over the floor.  Just great...

Now, I just cleaned everyone up for the millionth time tonight and can't sleep, so blogging it is.  After they got home, I ran up to wallyworld to pick up popsicles and clear soda.  They puked those up too.  My poor little things. I hope they are well for Thanksgiving as they are so looking forward to hanging out with their cousins. 

Anyway, everyone was eating popsicles and Little Miss I'm-so-NOT-a-baby (aka Mollyball) wanted in on the action, so I let her have a few sucks of a cherry popsicle.  Daddy was holding her while I took pictures of her first few tastes.  It was so adorable, I had to share!

As an aside, notice the Daddy Muggle t-shirt?  We are not sure how to go see the new movie. It's really long, so I don't think we can take her and hope she sleeps and nurses through.  And Mollyball is not into either grandma at the moment, nor anyone but her immediate family, so I don't think babysitting will work.  Separation anxiety has settled in.  She doesn't even like strangers looking at her when we're out and about, bursts right into tears when little ol' grannies come coo over her.  I know hubby is going to be super disappointed that we are probably going to have to wait til it comes out on DVD.  Oh well...watching babies suck on popsicles is so much better than snake-faced Voldemort.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Amazing Garlic Cheddar Chicken Breasts

Let's just say I have never been a fan of chicken breasts.  I have pretty much avoided them like the plague because they always tasted like cardboard to me.  However, since I cook all the time I needed some variety for my family.  I've been trying to get away from beef, so I started looking for new recipes.  Well, I found one that comes out so deliciously moist, it's unbelievable!  And don't you just love garlic? I can't get enough of it, lol.  Everyone cleans their plate on garlic cheddar chicken night, and hubby is usually in the fridge eating any leftovers before bedtime  It's so easy to make -- just throw it in the oven and come back in 40 minutes and it's perfect every time.  I found it on some recipe website, but I made it a bit more healthier. 


1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbs minced garlic
1 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
4-6 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a baking pan or casserole dish for chicken. Mix one bowl of olive oil, 1 tbs garlic powder, seasoning salt and minced garlic.  Mix another bowl of bread crumbs (I always use crackers), 1 tbs garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and 2/3 of the cheddar cheese. Dip thawed chicken into olive oil mixture then bread crumb mixture and place evenly into pan.  After you've coated all the chicken, then take the leftovers from both bowls and drizzle over all the chicken.  Five minutes before you take the chicken out, sprinkle the rest of the cheese onto the chicken.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes before serving. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Magical stories

I had an epiphany about myself the other day.  I have discovered something about my reading choices.  To me, reading is like a super soft warm blanket that I wrap around myself on a cold snowy night (if we had those here in Texas) and snuggle in deep.  I love stories with a hint of magic.  I don't like stories that are about every day painful lives.  I want something equivocal to a fairy tale, per se.  I love to escape into a book of fantasy that I could only dream of happening in real life, not some horrible Jodi Picoult Lifetime movie yuck.  Ok, I know I'm beating a dead horse when it comes to Handle with Care, but geez I hate that book.  I feel the need to purge it from my system, don't ask me why, lol.

This is probably why I've enjoyed Brunonia Barry's two novels.  The newest one my husband got for my birthday is The Map of True Places.  I could not put it down, even at the detriment of my chapters upon chapters of reading for school.  It is a bit of a fairytale wrapped into a story.  This woman is a successful psychologist who has to go back home to care for her ailing father.  Her mother had committed suicide when she was just a girl, and she has a lot of issues.  She was raised by her father and his gay lover.  Barry likes to set her stories in New England, near Salem, MA, and she's does a wonderful job of making it so colorful and believable with a hint of magic thrown in.  It's a bit of a mystery with romance and life-changing choices thrown in.  I love to guess endings, but the twist at the end of this novel I definitely did not see coming. 

The Lace Reader is Brunonia Barry's first novel, and some characters and tiny details from this novel are thrown in her second one up above.  It has the same wonderful New England setting.  It's about a woman, Towner Whitney, who ran away from Massachusetts and went all the way to the west coast.  Her mother is a nut who lives out on Yellow Dog island and out there runs a shelter for abused women and their children.  Towner must come home when her dear aunt, who helped raise her, goes missing and is later found dead.  Her aunt was a famous lace reader and ran a wonderful little tea room.  Through the story, she comes to terms with a lot of things from her past.  It has a similar magical feel as the other novel and has an interesting mystery that leaves you guessing, plus some romance thrown in. 

Both novels are intriguing and hard to put down.  I loved them and can't wait for her next story to come out.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guess what!

Oh my gosh, remember just a few short days ago I was complaining about the paper from hell? I got my grade today...95!!  I have never worked so hard on a paper in my life.  Usually I whip them out and know I'll get an A, but with this one, I had no idea if it would make the grade. Yay!!  I'm debating on no longer participating in the class because I have enough points to get an A for the semester.  Would you keep participating if you knew you'd get an A anyway? By participating I mean writing 2-3 posts per week related to the weekly chapter reading and then taking the final.  I've had conflicting opinions from family members on if I should or shouldn't. 

On another note of guess what...Saturday is my anniversary.  I think we've decided to go to a hibachi grill, we both love hibachi and haven't been in forever.  It's hard to believe we each had a completely different life just a couple years ago.  It feels like he's been my partner in crime forever.  I can't wait til it's been 10..20..30 years.  I wished for him for a very long time and wondered if he was out there, and I feel so lucky to have found such a wonderful husband and father.  I hope my surprise for him shows up in the mail before Saturday. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Working on next tutorial...

Hubby is on vacation this week, so we are hanging out with just the baby during the day while the other kidlets are in school.  It feels like forever since the baby was born, we basically hit the ground running and haven't had time to stop.  We had a baby...I got a horrible infection...he switched jobs...we moved...he had to study his ass off for all his licensing tests while I had a newborn, unpacked, and got everything done for the move, then got kids ready for new school...we are finally at a spot where we can take a breather and just spend time together, just the two of us.  One of my favorite times is when we're alone and I sit in the recliner in our bedroom and nurse the baby to sleep and he lays on the bed near me and we just talk and giggle about all kinds of things. 

He just interviewed the day before his vacation to move to a new position in his office with a chance at higher pay, but he will also have to take a new licensing test and work lots of overtime to make his goals.  It's customary to move around at his work into different jobs, most people move on after 6 months from this first position he has.  We're both nervous and know it's gonna be some work on his part.  He finds out a week from Monday if he gets it.  Cross your fingers!!

Anyway, new tutorials I'm working on are something I've seen people searching for in the blog stats....fairy and elf waldorf dolls!  I'm making the baby a walforf doll for Xmas, so I'm going to turn the fairy parts into a tutorial.  Hand-dyed hair in funky colors, pointy ears, and petal dresses.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

And we're reading again...

Since I finished my paper, I was able to breathe a big sigh of relief and get back to my love of reading.  I felt suffocated by that Jodi Picoult book.  It was one of those books that I felt dread reading the entire time and when I read a book like that, as soon as it's over, I have to immediately read something else.  It drove me crazy because I couldn't, instead I had to delve even further into the book and pull out quotes and paraphrase passages and just completely immerse myself into it.  It's literally sitting in the fireplace right now, waiting for some prime cold weather to light it up and have a fire.  I missed sharing about books I've enjoyed reading.  On with the show...

The first novel is a story by Curtis Sittenfeld, whom I assumed was a boy until I looked at the book jacket and realized she was a girl.  This is a fictional account of the George W Bush family and his rise to presidency written from the perspective of his wife.  I am not sure how close to the truth it is, as someone from Texas, who has read quite a bit about the Bush family, I assume it is fairly close as a lot of things in the novel were true. I really enjoyed it.  I wasn't sure if I would, as I found this book sitting in a $5 bin at Walgreens, but it made me want to find more from Curtis Sittenfeld.  I loved how she wrote it through the eyes of the "Laura Bush" character.  It made you realize she certainly wasn't all she was portrayed to be, and it made you soften a bit toward George W.  Politically, I tend to lean republican (which drives my diedhard liberal husband crazy), but I did not like the Bush administration.  However, this book softened my views of them as people.  It's a wonderful story, and a definite page turner. I couldn't put it down.

I just finished this novel yesterday.  I thought it was wonderfully appropriate for the season.  It was very short, only 300 something pages, but I wanted it to go on and on.  It's by Amy Foster, who is a songwriter, and it was her first novel.  I am an atheist by nature, but I love pagan things, just can't get my head around a goddess.  The story is set in this wonderful little town called Avening.  It makes you want to live there.  The beginning of the story is about Autumn Avening, who is some what of a witch, though she hates that word, and she must choose her replacement because she has been called to leave.  You can just imagine her home and little store.  She is given a list of women to consider, and their stories are fascinating -- that was the part I would have loved to have delved further into.  Their stories were just enough to make you beg for more.  I wanted the tiny little plot lines of their lives to keep going, especially the woman who had breast cancer and was dying but was given the option to go some place else...very interesting....or the girl who could astral project.  She wrapped the story up nicely with truths about Autumn you suspected but ended up being much deeper than you realized, but I felt there was so much more to tell about each of the women in the story, and I'm still craving it. 

I've got a week to finish up 2 more novels from the library, The Red Queen and The Calligrapher's Daughter, historical fiction and asian fiction.  I read all of Phillipa Gregory's novels as I love Tudor historical fiction, so I'm excited to read The Red Queen as I finished up The White Queen several months ago. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

Recipe Scrapbook

In order for me to be a stay-at-home mommy, we don't each out much, and I cook everyday.  Having to cook all the time, I've acquired quite a few tried and true delicious recipes along with some personal family recipes .  Also being a SAHM, we need to do Xmas on the cheap, so I plan on making a lot of gifts this year.  I'm going to make my mom, his mom, and possibly my SIL (she doens't cook, so I'm not sure how helpful this would be to her) a recipe scrapbook.  I went looking online to see ways other people did it, and I found the coolest site, complete with all kinds of page examples with recipes.  Check it out here. 

What do you think about my making another recipe scrapbook to offer up here on my blog?  I'm just thinking  that would be something I would love and cherish to get myself so I'm sure other mothers would like it too. 

In a related thing, I found the coolest thing on eBay -- old vintage handwritten recipes.  I got a huge stack of them on their way right now.  I can't wait to try the recipes.  I'm hoping to incorporate some of them into my scrapbook designs for my own recipes.

Shopping Cart Cover / Highchair Cover Tutorial

I finally got the computer away from my husband the flight simulator addict and wrote up the shopping cart cover tutorial.  I had all the pictures done by last weekend, but we all know I had the paper from hell and a test for the same class due this past week.

It's complete, and you don't need a pattern!  Click on this link or click the picture.  It's a PDF document you can save to your computer. It's fairly straightforward with lots of pictures and easy even for a beginner. 

Everyone raise your hand if you hate patterns.  Ah you...and you...  I knew I wasn't the only one. ;)

All I ask is you don't use it for commercial use, and if you want to repost it, please ask my permission first.  Thanks guys!!

Friday, November 05, 2010


I just turned in the hardest paper I've written in my life.   Ugh, ugh, ugh!  It was due this weekend, and I've been working on it for a month.  It had to be around 10 pages long and it was based in sociological theory and on one of the most annoying books I've ever read -- Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult.  If you love Lifetime movies, then she's you're kind of gal.  She, however, is not for me.  I inhale books by the tons, but I hated every minute of that book.  I can finish a huge novel in about 1 day -- this sucker took me 2 weeks of forcing myself to read it, and then the ending sucked.  Crappy crappy ending.  I'm debating on torching it in the fireplace this weekend I hated it so much.

Anyway, I have an exam to take tomorrow, and then this weekend, I will post my shopping cart cover tutorial -- complete with pics....The best part - NO PATTERN!! I hate patterns.  I have decided I need to create an I hate sewing patterns blog specifically for sewing without patterns. 

Wow, I feel like I can breathe again.  I have been so busy from halloween costumes to tests to that stupid paper.  I'm almost done with the semester and can get back to reading fiction I like and sewing and crafting.  Now I'm just going to worry about my grade.  Paper grading is so subjective, I hate that part. 

Next project after the shopping cart tutorial - holiday wreaths made with polar fleece.  Woohoo!

I think I'm delirious, it's 4:30 AM and I'm so relieved to be done with that damn paper.  Off to bed, gotta get up in 1 1/2 hours to make hubby's lunch.