Saturday, December 31, 2011

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

WISHING YOU A VERY MERRY NEW YEAR'S EVE and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Oh my! This couple knows how to start the new year!
Maybe you'll be like this by the end of the night???


Ella Fitzgerald - "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" (lyrics)
From the album Ella Wishes You A Swingin Christmas

Maybe it's much too early in the game
Aah, but I thought I'd ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o'clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year's Eve

Maybe I'm crazy to suppose
I'd ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations
You received

Aah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve


New Years Countdown

Who Gave the Black-Eyed Peas So Much Power?

Looking for a good luck dish to serve for tonight? I've found a couple of remixes to the traditional black-eyed peas!

Good Luck Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Ingredients:

1 (14 ounce) can black-eyed peas
1/4 onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup sour cream
8 slices jarred jalapenos
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons salsa
hot sauce, to taste
salt and black pepper

Prep Time: 10 minutes. Cook Time: 30 minutes.

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain black-eyed peas and partially mash, leaving some whole.
  2. Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.
  3. Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips!
  5. *Note: if you have them available, you can use the canned black-eyed peas and jalapenos (they're canned together.) If you do this, you can omit the extra jalapenos.
Photo by lolsuz

Spicy Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Ingredients:

1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and liquid reserved
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel Tomatoes, undrained
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup bacon drippings
3 tablespoons flour

Prep Time: 15 minutes. Cook Time: 30 minutes.

Directions:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the bell pepper, celery, onion, black pepper, Tabasco, ketchup, salt, bullion cubes, nutmeg and cinnamon. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until mixture is boiling and bullion cubes are dissolved.
  2. Add peas, tomatoes, garlic, and sugar and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir flour into warm bacon drippings (that way the flour doesn't lump) and stir flour/dripping mixture into peas.
  4. Cook ten minutes more. Mixture should be thick enough to use as dip.
  5. Scoop a couple of cups of the finished peas out and set aside. Using a blender, food processor, or stick blender, blend the most of the peas to a medium-smooth dip, then return the couple of cups of whole peas back in, stir, and serve. Mashing the most of the peas makes a nice smooth dip that clings to a chip well, while leaving a small portion of them whole makes a nice presentation.
  6. Serve with Frito Scoop chips or corn bread.

  By the way, who gave the black-eyed peas so much power anyway???

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Toss Him BEFORE New Year's Eve


Have you ever noticed that more couples breakup right before the winter holidays? Especially, right in time for a new year. It just may be that pre-existing problems in the relationship were further enhanced by the stress of the winter holidays. By the way, nothing like Valentine's Day to know exactly what relationship status you stand in. Now you've made some New Year's resolutions, more than half of which you'll quit on, but it was a valiant effort, right? Why not add ridding your life of unnecessary stress to the list? There's nothing like clearing your life of energy draining, two-timing, time wasting, confusing and confused men. Particularly, when you know your limits and have reached the limits.

Here's a collection of clues red hot flags that you need to toss him before New Year's Eve:
  • You're a single mom and have been dating one person exclusively. Now you finally feel comfortable with introducing the guy to your kid. They meet and there's no chemistry. He acts as if he doesn't know what to do with children.
  • You have a guy that doesn't think to involve your child in anything. Doesn't even ask about your child, not even once in awhile.
  • Your child doesn't like him even after your guy has consistently been around.
  • Your family and everyone else doesn't like him. It's not because they're hating on you, they just see things that you can't see because you're so wrapped up into this one person. Or if they've never met  him before, they don't like him from the things that you are specifically telling to them. Either way they're just looking out for you.
  • He doesn't spend any holiday with you.
  • The douche bag puts the relationship on "break" around any holiday, just so he doesn't have to spend money on a gift!
  • He hasn't formally introduced you to his family after you've been dating for a long time.
  • You've never been around him when he's with his group of friends.
  • If you're with him around his friends, then he treats you differently. At this point you're a jumpoff.
  • He has a lot of female friends that he talks about to you all of the time, but he has a problem with you wanting to all hang out together at least once so you can meet.
  • He talks to his female friends about his issues with you, but doesn't ever bring what bothers him to you.
  • He lives with his "ex" still (I meant "roommate") and won't let you meet at his place, hello!
  • He thinks every time you both hang out your clothes are supposed to come off!
  • After hooking up he texts or calls his friends and he has a grin on his face!
  • He has broadcast details of your relationship issues on facebook!
  • You get this feeling that you're being toyed with. Listen to it! It's called female intuition and it's creepily accurate. 
  • He doesn't want to put a condom on at all with you.
  • You find out he cheats on you and only used a condom sometimes. How can you expect him to care about you, if he doesn't even care about the safety and health of himself?
  • He feels uncomfortable when you bring up going to get tested for STD's together. You shouldn't be having sex at all if you can't even discuss serious things together on the topic.
  • You're pregnant and he hasn't been there for you during the whole pregnancy, but you still some how have that fantasy of a family life including him. 
  • He runs a tight schedule. Meaning, he only visits you certain days of the week and only calls you at certain times, like oh, I don't know.. 5 O'clock in the morning!
  • Whenever things are fun in the relationship he's around, but when things are down he pulls the disappearing act.
  • When you decide you'll finally let it go and leave, that's when he decides he wants to get his act together.
  • He says all of the right things, but his actions aren't matching up.
  • You feel like you can't be 100% yourself around him.
  • You've been on a small relationship "break" and the whole time you were sitting there sulking, he was having no problem trying to forget you by already dating other people in no time.
  • When his friends ask why he's so in love with you he can't answer the question. He just knows you're the best he's ever had...in the sack!
  • He plays childish tic for tac games in the relationship and you're really not doing anything wrong to him, he's just plain 'ol paranoid!
  • Whenever you have some plans you want to do with him he always has some excuse as to why he can't participate, including your birthday plans!
  • He's put you into the mom position when you're suppose to be his Lady.
  • He doesn't stick up for you when it counts. 
  • You've spent years together already in there's no mention of the "love" word, marriage, babies, etc.
  • When you ask about moving in together or marriage, he suggest bringing up the topic again in 2024 and laughs it off!
  • There's either explicit pictures of females or explicit messages in his phone! 
  • He has photos of his exes still around his place.. in frames!
  • He loves his video games more than he loves you.. and he's in his 30's!
  • When you ask him why did his last relationship fail, he doesn't give you a real definitive answer. He's probably not really single or he doesn't want you to figure out what relationship baggage he has too soon.
  • When you don't fall for what he thinks is his "suave talk", now all of the sudden you get called bossy, *itch, diva!
  • He doesn't have a five year plan, or has one that doesn't include you somewhere in it!
  • He doesn't choose hanging out with you over his friends (that he see everyday) once in a while and you already don't get to be around each other much, like a long distance relationship!
  • He answers a phone call while you're together, walks into a different room and closes the door to continue the conversation. 
  • You're his back-up plan! Whenever he's bored and there's no one else to talk to, he'll call you. When he's frustrated with the other women, he'll come back to you. When he's a horny horn-dog, he'll want you for some personal entertainment.
  • He keeps doing the things you don't like after getting you back into the relationship because he knows he'll always have you to fall back on forever. 
Your female besties have your back no matter what, but come on! Save your group of female besties from having to sit through another venting session. I bet New Year's Eve you get a kiss and for Valentine's Day next year you won't be alone again if you just say good riddance! You don't want to block new blessings to come now do you?

Monday, December 26, 2011

AFV: Great Christmas Gifts and Epic Fails





Did you get anything for the holidays that you really liked? Or do you want to re-gift your present already?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!





Click here for Judy Garland heart wrenching performance from Meet Me In St. Louis!

These are my top two songs. Hope everyone has a very blessed holiday!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Bingo!

You can play this with the family or turn it into a naughty game with your Mr. Claus for later (wink wink)! Whomever you play it with have fun! Just print out these free boards from Crayola. If you don't want to use crayons, you can use buttons or coins as markers on the board (not suggested for younger kids).





 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Funnovation Friday Finds 4

I'm assuming many of you out there are enjoying having your home feel cozy and smell like the holidays. Usually I just go for the sugar cookies fragrance or classic cinnamon, but with today's FFF Etsy shop Huntley & Fox I can have fun with these additional scents.


These pure soy candles are the perfect countdown to Christmas in their numbered tin containers. Each day or night can be something different. Number 22 scent being Sugar Pumpkin, number 23 Gingerbread House, number 24 Winter Berry and number 25 scent being Christmas Hearth. These candles can burn for up to 40 hours.


This can make for a great gift to teachers, hostess, last minute gift for a special girlfriend with a card so it doesn't seem last minute (hint hint to fellas). Even a nice anniversary gift. It will be my parents 24th anniversary on Christmas Eve, so I'm sending an early HAPPY 24TH ANNIVERSARY shout-out to them! Lol

What smells remind you of the holidays?

Secret Santas and Layaway Angels?

It seems people really are more into the holiday spirit this year! There's been more holiday shopping than what was predicted for this holiday season. Some shoppers are even anonymously paying off multiple layaway balances. It started at Walmart and K-Mart stores and just took off from there across America! It has been an everyday occurrence!

There has been all sorts of other great deeds. 

There was a story on NBC Nightly News about a man losing his wallet full of money with his ID and credit cards. A lady returned it. She didn't take the cash reward for finding and returning it, even though she could've really used the reward money. She has three kids, is unemployed and looking for work. She said she didn't accept the money because she felt like, "Why should she get a reward for doing the right thing that any normal person should do?"

Here's some more great deeds (courtesy of KSDK):

A $50 gold coin was dropped into a Salvation Army red kettle at St. Claire Square Shopping Center in Fairveiw Heights, Illinois. "It was wrapped in a dollar, it was kind of hidden. Once we saw it, we were pleasantly surprised to find the gold coin," said Captain Health Sells with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army was even more pleasantly surprised at its worth. The coin is valued at $1,800. Another gold coin was placed into an Alton, Illinois Kettle worth $200.

There's a similar story in Portland, Oregon. A South African Gold Krugerrand, worth more than $1,800 was dropped in a red kettle.

In Miami, a Salvation Army bell ringer found a diamond ring. It was wrapped in a a $50 bill using a rubber band. A note was attached: "They need it more than I ... Do good!"

Some icing on top of the cake, all of our U.S. troops are coming back home by December 31st! Welcome home and thank you for serving our country!

Quite frankly, it is so good to hear great things on the news for a change.


Have you heard of these Secret Santas and layaway angels? Have you been one yourself? Who do you plan on paying it forward to in the future?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Best Holiday Light Displays

Further inspired by Sarah, as she went on a "staycation" I thought, "Why not discover your own city or state with a vacation attitude?" What better way to go on a family staycation than to bundle up, jump in the car and spend an evening taking in some great views of holiday lights? Maybe it could even turn into a new family tradition. Or a great date. I'm the type of person that would like to have most of the events planned out ahead of time in detail. Like what holiday music station we'll be listening to on the radio during the drive, and have some type of snacks  packed and coco in canisters ready to go. Yes, I've really thought this one out for a while now! The light display would be so spectacular with snow! Hopefully it'll happen sometime soon.

Here are some of the best (and romantic) places to visit locally for light displays:

Winter Wonderland at Tilles Park

You can drive through the display, but if you want to do something extra special you can do this by horse-drawn carriage. Winter Wonderland is open daily from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., except for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Cars are welcome Sunday through Friday, but Saturdays are reserved for carriage rides. Admission is $9 per car. Tickets for carriage rides are available through MetroTix, and vary depending on the size of the carriage.

Getting There:

Winter Wonderland is centrally located in Tilles Park in West St. Louis County. The easiest way for most visitors to get to the park is to take I-64/Highway 40 to the McKnight Road exit. Go south and the park will be at the intersection of McKnight and Litzsinger Roads. All vehicles must enter Winter Wonderland from McKnight Road and exit via Litzsinger Road.

November 23, 2011 - January 1, 2012
Tilles Park, St. Louis County

Santa's Magical Kingdom

Millions of lights and dozens of holiday scenes fill Jellystone Park in Eureka. You can see Santa's flying reindeer, travel through the Candy Cane Village or visit the Waterfall of Lights. For even more fun, take an old fashioned wagon ride through the display. After seeing the lights, head over to Kringle's General Store for a little holiday shopping. Santa's Magical Kingdom is open from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Admission is $19 per car or $12 for wagon or train ride tickets.

Getting There:

Santa's Magical Kingdom is located in Jellystone Park, just off of Interstate 44, in Eureka, Missouri. Take I-44 to exit #261 and follow the outer road to the entrance to the park.

November 18, 2011 - January 8, 2012
Jellystone Park, Eureka

Way of Lights

Lights are used to tell the story of Jesus' birth. You can drive through the display or take a carriage ride. There's also a laser light show, camel rides, an indoor Christmas tree display and an interactive play area for the kids. The Way of Lights is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission to view the lights is free, but there is a small charge for the laser light show, camel rides and other attractions. Donations are also accepted.

Getting There:

The Way of Lights is located about 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville, Illinois. To get to the Shrine take I-255 to exit 17A (IL Highway 15 east). Then, go about one mile down Highway 15 and the entrance to the Shrine will be on the right side. The address is 442 South DeMazenod Drive.

November 18, 2011 - January 1, 2012
Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, Belleville


All of these locations are quite a drive in distance, but you could always enjoy driving around your own neighborhood for free looking at house light displays. Just try not to look like stalkers cruisin' around!

Funnovation Friday Finds 3

You can completely avoid being the one in the fugly holiday sweater with today's FFF. Just simply adorn yourself with the accessories of warmth as jewelry with the help of Etsy shop blockpartypress! Hey, there's even FREE shipping til the New Year!


I really like all of the items from blockpartypress

Not having to deface a tree
in the name of love can be achieved!

There's even more where that came from, so check it out!

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Christmas Everyday



I'm getting myself back into the holiday spirit. Trying not to give up on all of mankind just quite yet, and I do mean ALL men right now. I've been force feeding myself Christmas to cheer myself up and it actually was working. Hey, fake it til you make it right? I'm actually a huge holiday nut, in case you haven't noticed! In the month of December I've managed to make almost every post Christmas everyday. Last year was unexpectantly enjoyable, but it's been pretty hard throughout the last few years. Though, it doesn't take much forcing when it comes to the classics. Nothing can compare to those "oldies but goodies"!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Ashame

I am HIGHLY disturbed right now folks. I just witnessed a dude beating on a female in a car right across the street from my home! Then he started fighting her outside of the car! I didn't know what was going on til my lil Sis came and got me while I was in the middle of blogging for today because she saw it first. We didn't know that it was a female in the car until they got out. I called the police.... Three police cars showed up. I didn't see the guy get put in a police car afterwards, so the teen girl must've not pressed charges. I'm feeling bewildered and defeated for what was the right thing to do. The guy was punching her in the face so hard that her head hit onto the roof of the car when they were outside of it. I even had tried going to my next door neighbor house and they didn't answer the door. I don't understand how people see certain things and not act on it, do the right thing. I don't go for that type stuff, AT ALL. I still don't support Chris Brown and never bought one his albums before, and even Rihanna has moved on and I guess forgiven him at this point. Young ladies and women in general,  if you get into that type of situation make sure you press charges so the police can take his ass to jail! When you don't follow through on protecting yourself, it makes it harder for the police to do their job. And you will not be taken so seriously the next time you really need help. Police talk about what a shame it is all of the time, to let a "less than a man" get away with doing wrong.  How do people get to the point where they let someone completely break them as a human being? :-/


I will be posting what I originally was going to blog about tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's for Dinner?


Baked Herb Chicken Breast Tenders

Ingredients:
  • Chicken Breast Tenderloins (I baked 15 pieces)
  • 1/4 cup melted margarine (I used olive oil to my liking)
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried rosemary leaves, crushed  
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black pepper, coarsely grounded
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine herb ingredients and olive oil in a bowl. I substituted the margarine for olive oil to my own liking. I just so happened to have a rosemary plant at home from over the summer, and lots of leftover sage from Thanksgiving Day.
  3. Rinse off chicken, pat dry.
  4. Place chicken in baking pan, you can use foil to line the pan. I didn't need it because the olive oil helps the chicken not stick to pan.
  5. Make sure the herb mix is evenly brushed onto chicken tenders.
  6. Bake chicken tenders for 22 minutes or until you see that it is done. It will be firm and not pink.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:
  • Depending on how many people you want to serve, 1 potato can serve 1-2 people.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to your own liking
Directions:
  1. Cut sweet potato into strips.
  2. Evenly rub olive oil over the fries.
  3. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
I just used my already preheated oven at 375 degrees and the same pan I used for the chicken tenders which had leftover seasonings and olive oil in it! I baked it for up to 15 minutes when the sweet potato fries were nice and tender. They are so delicious! It is also at it's best when piping hot and topped with ketchup.


I also fixed Mushroom Alfredo using mostaccioli pasta. Hopefully you already know how to boil pasta, right? To save time I just used the Bertolli brand cheese sauce. The sauce is creamy and has portobella mushrooms. I added a few dashes of garlic salt to further jazz it up.

My daughter has food allergies along with her eczema, on top of her being a picky eater. So it's pretty tough trying to feed her, but even she loved this meal! Sans the pasta because it's part of what she's allergic too (darn eggs)!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh Yeah!

On Saturday, I finally got a chance to get some relaxation in my long awaited candle-lit hot bubble bath sans crying kid with severe separation anxiety! I also enjoyed one of the many variations of Christmas cocktails. I especially enjoyed using my new 100% handmade bath set that I bought from the Soulard Farmers Market. The shop is named Sea Street Soap Works, LLC. They have been selling great products since 1994, but started at Soulard Market in 2003. I have the 2 ounces Really Thick & Good Hand & Foot Cream, in the Meet Me in the Shower scent (around $2.50), the Love Spell Type scent of the 2 ounces shower gel ($2), and the 16 ounces of pure Coconut Oil (unscented $5). The hand & foot cream is exactly what it says it is and has a fresh baby powder scent. The Love Spell rivals Victoria's Secret. I use the unscented coconut oil on my daughter because she has severe eczema and it helps. When I rub it on her my hands get moisturized too, so this is a kill two birds with one stone deal! It was actually really hard to pick out these items since there were so many scents to choose from. There must have been 16 other scents! Sea Street Soap Works, LLC does not just have shower gels, and hand & foot creams up their sleeves, but also incense, bar soaps, massage oils, foaming bath salts, body milk treatments, and those oil diffusers! If you've never heard of oil diffusers, it uses sticks in a jar of oil which deodorizes a room. In other words it is a very chic room freshener. Any way, I'm a very satisfied customer.

Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz, It's Christmas

Friday, December 9, 2011

Funnovation Friday Finds 2

That's right, today is FFF! Today's Etsy shop is The Monkey Cannon. I saw this shop on my search for quirky-cute things. They sell 100% handmade beard and mustache hats for boys and men. They are made out of soft yarn. Perfect gift for the father and son duo or even include a Grandpa with a sense of humor to the fun! Or at least have fun mimicking Grandpa!

The Professor

The Full Beard


The Monkey Cannon uses this quote, "He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man." -William Shakespeare

Let's Celebrate With Christmas Cocktails!

I can't believe I'm at the 100th post so fast! It's about to be 101 posts after I do the FFF of today. Time really does fly when you're having fun! I know all the veteran bloggers are sitting back like, "Ha! What a newbie blogger, wait til you have five times more posts!" I'm not focusing on that though. For right now I'm really enjoying blogging about what ever I find interesting at this particular time. I hope to continue to do this, and keep it illuminated with what's going on with me and my views.

I'm looking forward to these later on as part of my blog mini milestone celebration!

Recipe courtesy of bartender Charles Corpion
 featured on Martha Stewart show.
Photo via Etsy.

Candy Cane Cocktail

Ingredients:
  • 1 Candy cane, crushed for garnish on rim
  • 2 oz. Strawberry vodka
  • 4 dashes White Creme de Menthe
  • 2 1/2 oz. Cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes
Serves 1

Directions:
  1. Place crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with candy.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into prepared glass; serve immediately.
Cocktail Hints from the Ultra-Lounge: Christmas Cocktails 2 :


Cocktails are usually served as appetizers or aperitifs, before a meal. Such cocktails should therefore be tart or "dry" to stimulate appetite. Being mostly liquor with only a small part of flavoring or sweetening, such cocktails are of course more potent. There are times when sweeter cocktails are suitable: when your guests are not regular drinkers (me) there should be more emphasis on fruit juices and sweetening. Any cocktail recipe can be modified to suit your taste and that of your guests. Sophisticated drinkers, as suggested above, like a lot of liquor and only a touch of flavoring; unsophisticated drinkers (again me) the other way around. Most cocktails are at their best ice-cold; they should be shaken or stirred vigorously with ice-cubes (cracked or shaved ice is even better) and served promptly in thin, clean, stemmed glasses. Chilled glasses are an added refinement. Cocktails like Martinis and Manhattans which contain only liquors, may be stirred vigorously with a rod or long spoon. Cocktails which contain fruit juices or eggs should be shaken in a cocktail shaker. Vodka may be substituted for gin in any recipe. Cocktails should not be made in advance if you can help yourself. If all your ingredients are lined up beforehand, the actual making is a very quick -- and pleasantly social -- process.

Here's some drink recipes from Ultra-Lounge: Best of Christmas Cocktails.


North Pole Nog

Ingredients:
  • 1 qt. Chilled eggnog
  • 5 oz. Brandy
  • 4 oz. Dark rum
  • 3 oz. Dark Creme de Cacao
  • 1 whole nutmeg (or dashes of already ground nutmeg if you have it available)
Directions:
  1. Whisk together the eggnog, brandy, rum, and creme de cacao in a large punch bowl.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Grate a little nutmeg over the top of each drink when serving.
If you want to serve individually, not in a punch bowl:
  1. Mix ingredients together over ice in a glass.
  2. Pour into a shaker and give one brisk shake.
  3. Pour into the glassware you will be serving guests with.
Makes 8 (6oz.) cups.

Mistletoe Martini

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 fl. oz. (31 ml) Gin
  • 1/4 fl. oz. (6 ml) Dry Vermouth
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Peppermint Schnapps
  • Cracked ice
  • Candy cane garnish
Directions:
  1. Half-fill a cocktail shaker with the cracked ice.
  2. pour the gin, dry vermouth and the peppermint schnapps. Shake well.
  3. Strain the mixture into chilled Martini glass(es).
  4. Serve garnished with a candy cane. See first drink recipe at top of page.

Printout from Etsy shop FlairDesigneryLLC,
located in St. Louis, Missouri.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dreaming of a White Christmas



It just so happened to snow for a little bit here after I made this treasury list five days ago. Though, it wasn't the type of snow that sticks around. In fact, it was barely noticeable unless you watched the weather report on the news early in the morning then you would've just missed it. You would've just woke up and thought the street was wet because of rain. Yesterday it left that ashy residue on cars. In Saint Louis,MO, we don't typically get real heavy duty snow until it's already in the month February. I think it was last year the very first day of snow was right on Valentine's Day. I like the look of snow. Not so fond on the functionality of it. Like I think it was the year before last year that we had a huge snowstorm. There was a HUGE power outage for a good chunk of the winter in St. Louis. Ice was underneath knees height snow, then it snowed again on top of that for a week straight. The weight of it all made trees snap on power lines. The power was out in my home for almost five weeks! Then when summer rolled around the same thing happened again. Everyone went all crazy on the hunt for ice and regenerators! I think the state even sent out the National Guards for the innercity [SMH]. At least during the winter it was cold enough to just take the food (including milk) from the fridge out into coolers in the shed. Yes, it did stay fresh. That's how freezing it was! Not looking forward to freezing and having snow related issues. However, I think this etsy treasury list is very soft and gives the fuzzy nostalgic feeling of seeing the first heavy duty snow of the season!

Can't view board? CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

BGTY: Relaxation

As part of BGTY (Be Good To Yourself) I will hopefully be able to relax and soak in the tub for a long amount of time tonight. Lord willing, because I have a two year old daughter who is my shadow. Gotta love those terrible-twos. Anyone that is a mom knows all too well about not being able to just go to the restroom by yourself or get yourself fully ready before you head out the door. Yes, even this small task somehow turns into a crying meltdown!


I haven't been able to read a book and actually finish it. In fact, the last book I've read and actually finished is The Help. This book is surprisingly realistic and evoked emotions and thoughts. I couldn't get that story out of my head afterwards! That's what a good read is supposed to do! I still haven't seen the movie (one of the many perks of having a little one). Thank goodness it's available on DVD now. In which, I'll have to watch with subtitles. I won't get to hear a word of what's going on because my daughter talks over everything I'm really trying to hear, including when I'm on the phone.


I've really been dealing with feeling exactly like Charlotte in Sex In The City 2. Overwhelmed when the baby is screaming the whole time she's on the phone and the older child (Lily) ruins her perfect vintage cream Valentino skirt. Then she has a meltdown. Fast forward to later on in the movie. Miranda and Charlotte have drinks at the bar in their hotel. They're talking about how hard it is to be a mom. Charlotte always wanted to have a family but her daughters are driving her crazy. She wonders, "And I have full time help! How do the women without help do it?!" Miranda answers with, "I don't effing know. Here's to them." They drink. That's what I need a drink, a long bath, a good read or movie and a young mothers support group! I can empathize with Charlotte except for the fact that she is well-to-do, has support, and a nanny. All of my friends don't have any children. If you have a nanny don't even talk to me.

Too many times women put everyone else first, neglecting to take care of ourselves. It's totally the burned toast syndrome. This is when we get done fixing everyone else's toast and there's the one piece of burned toast left. We take the burned piece of toast so that everyone else gets to have a perfect breakfast. We get  obsessed with pleasing others and being the perfect supermom. You know it's completely illogical to be perfect. It still doesn't stop you from feeling like maybe what you think is your all, isn't your best.

God forbid we actually put our foot down for fear of turning our kids into psychopaths later in life. We ask ourselves such questions like, "Will this make (insert your child's name here) hate me or resent me for the rest of their little life?" Even when we're at the point of being really ticked off we still want to protect their little heart. I have to constantly repeat myself. Am I a human tape recorder? I don't even want to get started on the topic of sleep. I haven't had a full night of sleep not by choice, since two years and six months ago. By the end of the day you're left thinking to yourself WTEff? You've been drained and turned half crazy. And that's a normal week. Yet, my relationship with my child is still the most fulfilling in my life. Perplexing.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Treats


Photo by SashasMommy
Since my Peppermint Land treasury went so well I decided to celebrate with this recipe. There may be more mint recipes to come throughout this month of blog post! You can say I've taken a umm.. special liking (cough, slight obsession) to peppermints for this holiday season.

Peppermint Candy Cane Bark
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2lbs. White chocolate chips
12 Candy canes, crushed (can be pulverized in a closed Ziploc bag with a hammer)
1 teaspoon Peppermint Extract

Directions:
  1. Melt white chocolate either in a double boiler or in a bowl over a pot of boiling water.
  2. Stir in crushed candy cane and peppermint extract into melted white chocolate.
  3. Line a 11x17" baking pan with wax paper.
  4. Pour and spread chocolate mixture onto wax paper.
  5. Chill until firm and break into pieces
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Such a simple recipe with a gourmet look! You can use 1lb. baking chocolate chips (bittersweet or dark chocolate) to layer the bottom of the white chocolate. Just let the brown chocolate cool in the fridge while you're melting the white chocolate and layer that on top. You can also reserve the chunkier pieces of crushed candy cane to layer the top of the whole treat as sprinkles.

I also found these:

Head on over to Our Best Bites for
Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies
and even more winter goodnessville!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lena Horne - Jingle All The Way


There's something about the holidays that give crooners a third lease on life. Ms. Lena Horne is a classic though regardless of what season we're in! Lena Horne adds her touch to Christmas with "Jingle All the Way" --that's the sound her glittering gems makes when la Lena strikes a pose!

Peppermint Land

This is by far, the most viewed and commented on Etsy Treasury List I've ever curated! I actually helped get some items sold too! Enjoy this festive holiday-spirited list as much as I have!



If you can't view board, CLICK HERE.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Funnovation Friday Find(s)

Today is the start of what I call Funnovation Friday Find(s). I don't usually do the cutesy titles for certain days of the week thing, but here you have it (for right now)! This is when I will be posting fun items I find from Etsy shops. It could be one or more items from a shop being showcased. Could be items for kids or right down to a pet, basically, for anyone.

Today's Etsy shop is Oh Dier. This shop makes wood signs, wooden toys and photo prints. Each item is lovingly made by hand.

Here's what I love:

Camera Bots! These robots are made from reclaimed oak.
If you don't have any kids
 this will still be great as home decor.

Yo Gabba Gabba and Money Mark - Robo Dancing
Yo Gabba Gabba and Datarock - Smile for the Camera

Sweater Queens and Kings

Etsy shop NanLawson



Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Am Following These Blogs

Blogspot and Google has been giving me problems since day one, even with me just trying to get the verification code sent to my phone. Then I couldn't use my google account to comment on some of the other blogs. There would also be glitches while I'm typing my draft because of that dang-on automatic saving constantly saving every three seconds. Now all of the blogs I follow publicly show up sometimes as anonymous when I sign in or don't show up at all on my profile page. PLEASE don't feel duped if I said I'll follow you and you don't see your blog on my list when you check! [Sighs]..My computer makes me want to punch it in the face.

Here are the blogs  I DO FOLLOW PUBLICLY :
  1. http://mylifeasliztaylor.blogspot.com/
  2. http://mscomposure.blogspot.com/
  3. http://www.allthisgraceandcharm.com/
  4. http://www.bridgettemurphy.com/
  5. http://elizayogaom.blogspot.com/
  6. http://chelseatalkssmack.blogspot.com/
  7. http://www.snarksquad.com/
  8. http://www.createmyevent.com/
  9. http://diaryofasnuggleslut.blogspot.com/
  10. http://therabbitholeofalice.blogspot.com/
  11. http://wvfrugal-wvsaver.blogspot.com/
  12. http://kimbathecaffeinatedbookreviewer.blogspot.com/
  13. http://landscapes-of-me.blogspot.com/
  14. http://lionessrebirthorg.blogspot.com/
  15. http://www.mompreneurmogul.com/
  16. http://madeinusachallenge.com/
  17. http://www.sevenspoons.net/blog/
  18. http://missmerryweatherscreations.blogspot.com/
  19. http://www.misadventuresinmotherhood.com/
  20. http://marleestokes.blogspot.com/
  21. http://www.patricesblog.com/
  22. http://partiesandpatterns.blogspot.com/
  23. http://life-reflexions.blogspot.com/
  24. http://smittenkitchen.com/
  25. http://www.multitestingmommy.com/
  26. http://tattoosandlace.blogspot.com/
  27. http://sweetbabylila.blogspot.com/
  28. http://toocrewel.wordpress.com/
  29. http://woodntyaknowit.blogspot.com/
  30. http://supermomwannabe.com/
  31. http://www.thehomemakermakeover.com/
  32. http://www.littlecrunchy.com/
  33. http://www.christiangirlygirls.com/
  34. http://sciencesosexy.blogspot.com/
  35. http://glamorouswithouttheguilt.blogspot.com/
  36. http://www.jmanandmillerbug.com/
  37. http://itsabouttimemamaw.blogspot.com/
  38. www.fourlittlemonsters.com/
  39. http://chicagofoodiesisters.blogspot.com/
  40. www.create-with-joy.com/
  41. http://madamsarcasm.blogspot.com/
  42. http://amommyslifestyle.blogspot.com/
  43. http://crazedmama.blogspot.com/
  44. www.claytonpaulthomas.com/
  45. http://myowngrocerygame.blogspot.com/
  46. http://www.havesippywilltravel.com/
  47. http://www.howardhousereviews.com/
  48. www.thislittleblog.com/
  49. www.kellymaekreations.com/
  50. www.withalittlemoxie.com/
  51. www.katyconfidential.com/
  52. http://momma-money.blogspot.com/
  53. www.goingcrazywannago.com/
  54. http://pampersandpumps.blogspot.com/
  55. http://wegotkidz.com/
  56. www.uncreativemommy.com/
  57. http://twomomsalittletimeandakeyboard.blogspot.com/
  58. http://lifelossandotherthings.blogspot.com/
  59. http://www.newlywednichole.com/
  60. http://easyeatsshauna.blogspot.com/
  61. http://imperishablybeautiful.blogspot.com/
  62. http://www.basiasbookshelf.com/
Let me know if you follow me so I can add you if I missed anybody or if you are a new follower. Thank you my lovely RetroFlirtees! Believe me if I did not get some kind of enjoyment out of what I do, then I definitely would not be sticking to this. *Especially, with no pay*. Now I'm 91 posts into it (with more in draft)!

Day 1 of December!


With the first of December comes the countdown to Christmas!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Got Thanksgiving Dinner Leftovers?

Here's a very useful and delicious recipe that caught my eye from the Etsy blog. I even posted it on the RetroFlirt facebook page along with another recipe!

photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink

Turkey Cheddar and Apple Hand Pies from Kimberly Hasselbrink

Whole wheat pizza dough (pre-made or following this recipe)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 cup roasted and diced turkey meat
1 medium, crisp apple, diced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

If using chilled pizza dough, allow to come to room temperature for about an hour.
Warm the butter in a skillet over a medium low flame. Saute the onion, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about ten minutes. Add spinach and stir to wilt the leaves, about two minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the turkey meat, diced apple, cheddar cheese, thyme and sage and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Set aside.

On a floured surface, roll the pizza dough into a large square, roughly 12×12 inches. Divide into 16 squares about 3×3 inches. Place the squares on a large, lightly oiled baking sheet.

Using a spoon or your hands, portion a generous tablespoon of the filling in the center of each square.

Fold one edge of the square over the other, forming a triangle. Fold and pinch the edges together to seal. Pierce the top with a fork. Brush the surface with a little olive oil, and finish with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Bake in the oven until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Best enjoyed hot. Can be reheated. They freeze well.

My stomach literally was talking to me and I just about drooled on myself after looking at this recipe! You can basically fill them with any leftovers from Thanksgiving Day! I simply just set aside some portions of the food I was preparing on Turkey Day into Ziploc bags. I put together some corn kernels, mashed yams, a little bit of cranberry sauce and strips of turkey and ham. Then I let it sit overnight in the fridge. The next day I just rolled them right up like a soft taco and heated them up. I don't know what it is about Thanksgiving leftovers? They seemed to have fused very well marinating in it's own flavors, creating a delightfully sweet taste and wholesome at the same time. My stomach sang praises to me and my mouth savored every bite! Great bite to eat for those occasional midnight munchies too.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

HAPPY TURKEY DAY!

I look forward to seeing my Aunt
try to out do herself this year!

Hopefully your own shin-dig
doesn't turn out like this!

A tradition of mine is to watch Miracle On 34th Street after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I like to switch between the classic and the 1990's remake each year. I've been cooking all this morning and enjoying watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with my daughter. It is particularly enjoyable this year since my kid is an active tot. I can clearly see her reactions to things. They're kinda like a couch potato when they're younger than two years old! What are some of your Turkey Day traditions?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Calling All Hopeless Romantics: Twilight

The latest installment of the Twilight Saga has a really lovely style, then again, there was a wedding to be had! There was a huge build-up over the top secret wedding dress. 


The official replica of Bella Swan's gown.
The official replica gown is designed by Alfred Angelo. He has worked exclusively with Summit Entertainment since May to get the gown out in time for the premiere. Dresses were available since Monday at Alfred Angelo stores nationwide, priced at $799. The onscreen dress is designed by Carolina Herrera. She will be selling her dresses at the CHNY boutique starting next year. I like this gown, but I would add more pizazz to it somewhere. It is however, very much a gown for Bella, simple, very innocent, and sweet with lace.

One thing I can say is that each soundtrack does a great job in capturing the overall essence of each movie, but with just a few odd ball fill-ins thrown into the mix.

Tracks I adore on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1 [Original Soundtrack] are:
(in the order of CD)

1. Endtapes - Joy Formidable
2. Love Will Take You - Angus & Julia Stone
4. Turning Page
6. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
10. Northern Lights - Cider Sky
11. Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Wedding Version) - Iron & Wine

Iron & Wine's track ties Edward and Bella's dance at prom and their wedding together. I think when you actually listen to the lyrics instead of just the melody they're quite strange. So Turning Page is my absolute favorite, (not by default) just can't get enough of it. The lyrics fit the melody so well. It just oozes honey! Needless to say, hopefully some day this will be part of my own wedding playlist.

Turning Page  
 Performed by Sleeping at Last

Written by: Ryan O'Neal (of Sleeping At Last)

I've waited a hundred years
But I'd wait a million more for you
Nothing prepared me for
What the privilege of being yours would do

If I had only felt the warmth within your touch
If I had only seen how you smile when you blush
Or how you curl your lip when you concentrate enough
I would have known what I was living for all along.
What I've been living for

Your love is my turning page
Where only the sweetest words remain
Every kiss is a cursive line
Every touch is a redefining phrase

I surrender who I've been for who you are
For nothing makes me stronger than your fragile heart
If I had only felt how it feels to be yours
Well, I would have known what I've been living for all along
What I've been living for

Though we're tethered to the story we must tell
When I saw you, well, I knew we'd tell it well
With a whisper we will tame the vicious seas
Like a feather bringing kingdoms to their knees

Etsy shop CarolinePhotographie

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Am Lucky To Have This Bunny!

I got this handmade
pink bunny hat from one of the booths
at the farmers market.
I guess I was in a bunny type of mood
that day!


Amel Larrieux- Lucky To Be Me
What a day
Fortune smiled and came my way
Bringing love I never thought I'd see
I'm so lucky to be me

What a night
Suddenly you came in sight
Looking just the way I'd hoped you'd be
I'm so lucky to be me

I am simply thunderstruck
With this change in my luck
Knew at once I wanted you
Never thought you'd want me too

I'm so proud
You chose me from all the crowd
There's no other girl I'd rather be
I could laugh out loud
I'm so lucky to be.. me

The Flipside To the Farmers Market Story

Yes, there's is at least an cute fairytale-like ending to the horror at the Soulard Farmers Market. I went to the petshop with my daughter and enjoyed watching her look at all of the live cute pets. Now I want to get a Golden Comet Fish and a SUPER ADORABLE bunny rabbit. Not just any old rabbit, a Lion-headed Rabbit! It was twenty-six dollars. Just as cute as can be in a large cage with two other rabbits. They had to be at least 6 weeks old. The one I particularly adore is a brown color and the other two are jet black. I didn't like the idea of just the one being sad and lonely. So I thought I might have to comeback and get two. But then the one left at the shop would be sad! Then two of them (the brown one and one of the black ones) did the cutest thing ever. They shared this one big carrot that was hanging in between the space in the cage and it looked like they were kissing each other! I know, I know, just made me want to explode into glitter like a Ke$ha or something LOL. So now I have my mind set on getting all three if I can, if they are still there, which I doubt because they are so awesome!

All of the reviews I've read say they are great with people, other lion headed bunnies and some other pets (depending on that particular pet's temperment). They love attention and have their own personalities.

Back to reality though. I don't know too much about rabbits. I never had one before and don't have any supplies that they need already. I know that part of the care of rabbits is that they require lots of fur grooming. The Lion Head Rabbit doesn't shed as much as other rabbits when they are older.  BUT when they are younger they go through stages of shedding. The mane on it's head is made of wool so really have to comb it out or else they could injest too much of their own fur.

Here's what the lion head looks like:

lionheadrabbit.net

pic via Google

Click to see bunny in action from aftertherainrabbitry.

The Horror At The Market!

Nothing beats a great trip to your local farmers market! Unfortunately, I had a camera malfunction so I personally couldn't take any photos. It's quite a drive from where I live, but it is still located in St. Louis, MO. Soulard Farmer's Market is the oldest market in St. Louis. It's origins date back to 1779! It was started by Antoine Soulard and his wife Julia Soulard. Julia had acquired the deed to the piece of land on which the market still sits today. Officially in 1841, Julia had two city blocks for two main buildings.

Okay so now that we got some brief history out of the way..

I decided to do a little Thanksgiving Day shopping yesterday morning. I was passing by a butcher shop in one of the outdoor wings of stands. I didn't really get a chance to catch the company name of this particular shop because I was too preoccupied with staring in shock and amazement at their items. I was looking at freshly killed (probably like that same morning type of fresh) and skinned opossum, muskrats, and beaver! The beaver still had it's tail attached and the skin was still on it! Then they had live white ducks and chickens just waiting around in cages off to the side of the counter. My sister was completely grossed out. I was not completely grossed out, I more was like entranced sort of.. I don't know, sometimes I can be quite morbid. Or maybe it somewhat had an affect on me. Hence, I'm typing this now to get it out of my brain and unleashing it onto you. LOL it was probably best that my camera was out of commission at that moment! I just never ever saw those animals in person before, sad they had to be already dead. As I was pointing at the sign that said what type animals they were a women came over with her friend and actually was like, "Hmmm, opossum! That's right up my alley with a little gravy!" The realization of it being food.. for people. That's when I was just done. Her friend was just as turned off by it.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

10 Things That Make Me Happy

  1.  My daughter.
  2. My blog and blogger friends.
  3. Listening to music.
  4. Helping others when I can.
  5. Being creative and decorating: sewing, putting together homemade gift sets, making collages with beautiful pics, painting the house, arranging flowers, etsy treasury lists.
  6. Being in control of the camera but not necessarily being the one in the picture. Hey, what can I say? I know what I want the picture to look like.
  7. Non-curmudgeon, creative, unique and quirky-cute (not scary strange-derange) people.
  8. Having a good hair day.
  9. Hilarious comedians. Who doesn't need a great laugh???
  10. Being left-handed (just one more thing to set me apart).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bad-Mood Intervention

Sometimes we all need to perform a bad-mood intervention for ourselves. Some bad experiences can have lingering effects, but it doesn't have to stay that way. This is for myself. I have noticed others are going through an mixed bag of inner-struggle too. So, this could also be for you at this particular time.

  1. Don't believe in all of the negative things you tell yourself. You are your own worse critic. So tell the inner heckler to SHUT-UP!
  2. Walk with my head held high and own it, what ever it is.
  3. Smile even when I don't feel like it. It makes me even more so approachable. Every time I leave the house, even just for a walk, a different guy approaches me (great ego boost). Funny that's when I feel like I'm so sweaty and icky I just wanna get back home to the shower.
  4. Change up your scenery. Rearrange furniture, add real flowers, paint a wall etc.
  5. Always have something to look forward to like going out to dinner, hosting a party, or buy tickets early for a show.
  6. BGTY (be good to yourself). You can't let your happiness depend on anybody else.

Needing A Hit Of Happiness?

Here's some clues:
  1. Kissy-feely PDA couples make you sick!
  2. The only time you're in tune with nature is when you go to your car, or see a nature TV show!
  3. When someone asks, "Is somebody having a bad day?", you actually growl!
  4. If for this Christmas your boyfriend gives you a new sweat suit!
  5. If at number 4 you were wondering, "What boyfriend?"
  6. If you don't even feel like going through the "getting to know someone new phase" all over again.
  7. You blow off your girl friends because you're too busy... doing a whole bunch of nothing.
  8. You have a seriously lulled libido.
What would you add to the list???


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hostess With the Mostess!

It seems like everyone has completely forgotten about Thanksgiving Day and intentionally skipped to Christmas (including me) since the day after Halloween. Actually I was so ready for the Christmas holiday season in mid October! Weirdly enough, the only holiday I can fully enjoy is Halloween. The rest of the cold weather holidays kinda suck on the actual day of because it requires a loved one (besides your own nana, mom, kid) or spending major money. But by the time you get to the actual day of Halloween you feel like you've already celebrated it early from all of the build up. Especially with all of the outdoor activities you can do in the beginning of autumn. Just so we don't completely throw away this upcoming holiday, I've curated a Thanksgiving Day hostess Shopping Guide!

Sunday, November 13, 2011