Friday, October 31, 2008
WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE: Remember the actress Michele Lee of Knot's Landing fame? That was my mom's inspiration to name me "Michelle Lee." What can I say? I'm a child of the '70s.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED:
I'm not sure -- I can't remember.
DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING:
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT:
Boar's Head Honey Maple Turkey. That's pretty much the only lunch meat I'll eat.
DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Three -- Jillian (5), Josh (3), Grace (1)
IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Yeah. I'd like to think so.
DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS:
WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
I almost did, but then I chickened out at the last minute. It was so high up!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Grape Nuts Trail Mix Crunch
DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Only if I tied them too tight to begin with.
DO YOU THINK YOU'RE STRONG?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
RED OR PINK?
I didn't think I liked pink, until I realized that I wear it quite a bit. So, I'll go with pink.
WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My tendency to procrastinate.
WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I'm wearing black yoga pants and tan suede, fur-lined slippers (cute, huh?)
WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A whole wheat english muffin with cream cheese.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Nothing! Two kids at school, the littlest one sleeping.
IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Chocolate, cinnamon, jasmine, honeysuckle, lilac
WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH?
DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy endings. My overactive imagination doesn't need any more fodder than it already has in the scary department. :)
LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
I can't honestly remember. But I know the next movie I'll see will be Twilight, coming out Nov. 21st. (Yeah, still obsessed.)
SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer, hands down.
HUGS OR KISSES?
Chocolate chip cookies and milk.
WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
The Lady of Milkweed Manor
WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
I don't have a mouse pad.
WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LATE LAST NIGHT?
I didn't watch TV last night. I was reading blogs. :)
My kids playing happily together.
ROLLING STONES OR THE BEATLES?
Definitely the Beatles.
WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My culinary repertoire consisted of cold cereal, boiling water and, on a good day, maybe a scrambled egg.
Despite my gastronomic deficiencies, my mother and grandmother insisted on outfitting my newlywed kitchen with every utensil, gadget and pan known to mankind. At the time, it seemed like overkill. I mean, it was highly unlikely I'd be reaching for a meat thermometer to check a turkey when I was still trying to master toast.
But, as my cooking skills slowly improved, I discovered a need for various kitchen tools. Time and again I would be thrilled to discover the perfect tool hiding out in my kitchen drawer (lovingly purchased by mom or grandmom) for use at just the right time.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
So, to share the love, I'm giving away one brand-new, never-read copy of Twilight. It's just the first book, but it should be enough to get you
Well, my little computer snafu will, from here on out, be referred to as "The Great Computer Meltdown of 2008." Really. It's worthy of its own Weather Channel graphic. If I was able to, I would have created a snappy little graphic myself, but I'm afraid to make one wrong move for fear that I'll screw something up.
My dear, sweet husband spent literally all weekend cleansing and rebuilding my laptop. Everything had to be wiped off the hard drive because this particular virus (or series of viruses -- I told you the virus scan discovered about 400) was ruthless. Fortunately, I did manage to back up our photos to an external hard drive before we left for vacation. And, for once my procrastination actually paid off -- I needed to download 1,145 pictures off my digital camera (I have a HUGE memory card), so I think the important stuff -- family photos -- was preserved.
My laptop is now like Fort Knox. Nothing should be getting through and we even updated the virus scan software to the "deluxe" auto scan version. I can assure you that was $70 well spent.
All that to offer you a friendly little reminder -- have you backed up your computer lately? How's your virus protection? Do yourself a favor and make sure it's up to date. Or buy a Mac. Either option would work.
Secondly, I did promise soup, right? I am so glad the temps are dropping because I can finally pull out all of my soup recipes. I love to make soup in the winter. And, while this is not a recipe blog, I'm going to try and share a soup recipe each Monday for a few weeks. If you have a recipe to share, leave a link in the comments. I'd love to try some new recipes.
This soup is a take on Panera's Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. So good! We had this the other night for dinner and my 5-year-old ate every bite. She'll be taking the leftovers for lunch this week.
Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
**I originally got this recipe from my mom, who is notorious for changing the original recipe. True to form, she revamped this one as well. I have changed the measurements below to reflect her changes.**
1/2 cup butter
1 finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 pound fresh sliced mushrooms (I leave these out, because if my daughter spotted a mushroom, she'd refuse to eat the soup.)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (you can use a rotisserie chicken to save time)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup slivered almonds (optional)
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 cups half-and-half
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Then add the flour and stir well to create a roux. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly, until all has been added. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer.
Next, add the rice, chicken, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper, almonds and sherry. Allow to heat through, then pour in the half-and-half. Let simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Be sure not to boil the soup, or your roux will break.
**Note: The longer this soup sits, the thicker it gets. When you reheat it, you'll need to add some water or chicken broth to thin it out slightly.
And, if you're looking for more great menu ideas, don't forget -- it's Monday! Laura's got a whole slew of menus up for your perusal at Menu Plan Monday!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Yeah. You read that right.
I didn't even know that was possible.
Turns out I was supposed to be scanning the computer regularly. I thought that the antivirus software was supposed to do that automatically. And that's when my husband informed me that we didn't pay for the "deluxe" auto-scan version.
So, I've been officially "unplugged" until we can recitify the problem -- hopefully sometime this weekend.
With any luck, I'll have that soup recipe to share with you on Monday.
Have a good weekend!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
1. The crafting continues. I bought more fabric today because I simply cannot stop at one small bathroom window. No m'am. I've decided to do my entire kitchen and great room -- because the crafting bug will not leave me alone.
I've been running around here like HGTV's next Design Star. I even found myself in Michaels today buying the items needed to make a fall centerpiece. Oh, my creativity clearly knows no bounds these days. With any luck, all this "design exuberance" will pass in about a week or so. But, not before I do a "big reveal" for y'all sometime next week. Think of it as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Only, not nearly as exciting.
2. As I was driving back from dropping Jilly off at school the other morning, I noticed an animal crossing the street in front of our house. At first I thought it was a fox. But, I quickly realized this animal was too big to be a fox. Then I thought it might be a dog, but I was pretty sure I didn't see a collar and the tail was much too bushy. The animal sought cover in the woods across from our house, and I stalked him with the minivan until he ran right out in front of me. I could have sworn it was a coyote. Later that day, a neighbor confirmed my suspicions.
This kind of disturbs me. For a while, I walked around expecting the coyote to jump out of a shrub at any moment to attack me or the kids. I've calmed down a little, but not enough to let the kids play in the front yard unsupervised.
3. In other wildlife news, I think I have a new favorite show. Anyone seen Man vs. Wild? My husband was watching it when I came in from karate the other night. The show features Bear Grylls, a most appropriately named survivalist, who demonstates how to survive in some of the world's toughest terrain. It's kind of like Fear Factor on steroids. My husband and I watched the entire hour with our noses wrinkled and our mouths hung open in shock. If you're brave enough, here's an example of what I'm talking about (and, a word of warning, I wouldn't click on it if you have a weak stomach):
It's oddly fascinating in a "I can't ever imagine doing that" kind of way. We've ti-voed the next several episodes.
4. I was going to share a delicious new soup recipe with y'all. But, for those of you who chose to watch the clip I embedded above, I can see that doing so would be wildly inappropriate at this point. The recipe will be another post for another day.
And on that note, I'm off to bed. My husband and I have been doing P90X -- which has involved a lot of early morning workouts. It's a lot easier to get up at 5:15 a.m. when I get to bed before 11 p.m.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Last week as I was scrolling through Works for me Wednesday posts, I saw this post for "Window Coverings in Minutes -- No Sew!" When I clicked over, I was absolutely amazed at the gorgeous window treatment Lora Lynn created with scrap fabric, packing tape and upholstery tacks. She called it a window mistreatment, and credited the Nester for this flash of brilliance.
I headed over to the Nesting Place to get a few more details, and my fall craft obsession shifted into high gear.
Did I mention we have about 80 windows in our house, not counting the skylights? Yep. I went through and counted them myself. I love window treatments, but when you've got 80 windows, you quickly come to the realization that mini blinds are the cheapest and easiest answer.
Because, after all, you do have to send the kids to college.
But the Nester says these treatments are supposed to be done with remnants. Scraps. Whatever you've got lying around or can find on the cheap.
And I'm all about cheap.
So, I headed up to the attic and unearthed about a yard and half of leftover decorator fabric (from a few fall projects ago). I got out my packing tape, bought some upholstery tacks and just look at what I did to our bathroom window:
See the upholstery tacks? I hammered them right into the wall!
Here's what it looks like when you take a few steps back.
Isn't it pretty?!? It took me about 15 minutes and cost all of 99 cents (for the package of upholstery tacks).
I'm so psyched, I can't wait to go hunting for more remnant fabric, because I've got a few other windows to dress.
Only 79 more to go.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I'm paranoid that way.
So, the other night, after I put the kids to bed, I sat down with my laptop and turned on the TV on for background noise.
But, I wasn't up for blogging that night. I was up for procrastinating. So, I started flipping through the channels and stumbled upon Rock of Love Charm School.
Klassy TV, I assure you.
As if watching Sharon Osbourne try to "class up" the women who were once vying for Bret Michaels' affections wasn't enough, I followed it up with the season premiere of The Pickup Artist 2. That's the show where "Mystery," the world's greatest pickup artist (don't ask me why, because really I don't get it -- they showed him "in action" and I wasn't impressed), shows socially backward men how to, well you know, get women.
You would think I surely would have hit my limit at that point, but no. I topped it all off with Paris Hilton is My New BFF.
Three hours later I peeled myself off the couch with a screaming headache and a nagging urge to shower.
There. I've confessed. I just had to get it out in the open.
Please tell me y'all have indulged in a little trashy TV every now and then.
I can't be the only one, right?
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Most of the time, that has its benefits.
Slower pace of life.
But, for the times I'd like to escape hide from my kids take a little break, living in the sticks has its limitations. (read more)
Monday, October 13, 2008
Crazy, but probably true.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I'm particularly fond of Josh's "King of the World" photo below and, I even included the one vacation picture that has me in it! (I've had to make a concerted effort to take at least one of these "mom is really with us" pictures per vacation so that my kids will have proof that I actually existed. Otherwise, just a cursory look through the scrapbooks and you'd think they didn't have a mother. A father, yes. But, me? I'm always the one taking the pictures, not in them. :)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I'm the type of girl who would never spend $80 on a pair of sunglasses, when she can find a similar style for under 10 bucks. I love to shop the outlet stores. I'd buy a no-name purse over a designer bag any day of the week.
And, truth be told, I rarely spend an exorbitant amount of money on makeup.... (read more at chic-critique.com)