Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Famous for....what??

I think this post might go under "rant" for the week. So, here it goes.
I have a feeling that the United States is going through an epidemic lately of making people famous for pretty much nothing. Famous means "to have a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature." Well...going by the definition, people should be famous for good things, not embarrasing or bad things.

The thing that spurred me to type this was when I was walking through the mall for the first time in forever and saw a huge promotion for those Skechers "firming" shoes. The person endorsing it was Kim Kardashian and her mother. If memory serves me, she is known for making a sex tape with her boyfriend, and then it got released into the world wide web. I don't know if this falls under "favorable nature". Do little girls know this when they see that picture, or do they just assume she is a pretty girl? Another thing that irked me was a line of Paris Hilton perfume. She as well has made a sex video, but she also did the reality stuff as well. Was it nice reality TV she participated in? No...the premise was the little rich girl getting thrown in to country life. I think she made fun of anyone who shopped at Wal-Mart, and thought regular blue-collar jobs were deplorable. Then, she went on to a show where she had contestants try and become her best friend. I never watched that show in its entirity, but she made those people do some pretty embarrasing things to become her best friend.

Everyone on MTV is famous now-a-days for just acting totally ridiculous.
When was the last time "The Real World" was actually real? I don't know about you, but I didn't live in a 6 bedroom house with pool/jacuzzi/pool table in college. They also don't work (or work hard), and seem to get drunk/have fights/have sex with strangers every night. I guess Jersey Shore falls under this category as well. Greg will tell you though that I have been caught watching Jersey Shore. Not for its deep philosophical content, but for me bearing the question,"is this really being aired on TV?" or "don't they know they are being filmed, why are they doing that?" Almost like a train wreck...you want to look away, but you can't.

One more thing that bothers me...16 and Pregnant. One part of me applauds these girls for trying to raise these children and finish school. The other part of me asks,"why do these girls always have their nails done/hair professionally done? How do you afford this?" It's reported that these girls get tons of $$ to be put on TV. I don't know if that's a blessing in disguise for them, or rewarding bad behavior. Should they be famous for this and be thrown on to covers of magazines? My gut says "no".

Why do we throw these people in to the famous category??
Shouldn't we focus on women who are smart, funny and are doing a positive change in the world? I guess that's not entertainment.

The thing that bothers me the most is who Mallory will look up to in another 12 or 14 years. I don't want her to be sheltered fully, but I definitely don't want her watching this stuff and think it's normal or ok.
I will have to do a better job of introducing her to men and women who do great things in the community and have a heart of gold. They may not have their own TV show, or receive endorsments and tons of money, but I want these kinds of people to be famous in her mind.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Big Cookie Project: Week 6

I decided something peanut butter-y was on the agenda for this week's cookie. Greg hates cookies that have 3 different kinds of chocolate in them. For example, my cocoa powder cookies, with two different types of chocolate chips. He even jokes that I would shove a Hershey kiss on top to make it even have more chocolate goodness. The sad thing is, he is right...his idea sounded delicious!

I bought a bag of mini reeses pieces for the cookies, and opened them the night before to "taste test" the bag just to make sure they were okay. They were perfect. I taste-tested a lot that night.

The following recipe is a great base for anything that you would like to put in there. You don't have to put in reeses pieces. You could do any kind of chip, or nut. I usually put brickle pieces in there because the original recipe is called "Oatmeal Brickle Cookies", but don't let that stop you from experimenting.


1 cup Crisco

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

3 cups of minute oats

1/2 cup of brickle or nuts (I usually put more)

Cream the first three ingredients

Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients

By hand, mix in oatmeal and brickle

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes

Hope these turn out good for you ast they do for me. They are my go-to cookie for whenever I have to whip something up real fast. It also makes quite a big batch.

***My model this week was Nolan who had to take a "dainty" bite first to make sure it was ok. Apparently it was, because it disappeared 5 seconds after taking this picture.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What did you do today??

I got up and got the kids dressed and fed...wait, i lie. Nolan and I are still in a semi-pajama state, but atleast Mallory is looking cute.

I folded all the laundry we had in the house. You'd think we had been gone for two weeks instead of two days. It has taken me since Sunday to sit down and fold it all. I was very proud of my tall piles, Greg's being the tallest by far. I would say atleast 3 feet. And then the unthinkable happens, like a stack of cards, his pile tips and falls knocking over mine and Nolan's pile over as well. That's what I get for waiting so long on laundry and seeing how high I can stack clothes.

I put up all the laundry and then put it up again after Mallory opened drawers and pulled out clean, folded clothes. That girl is clever.

I picked up and organized every puzzle piece of Nolan's. In an attempt to bathe himself in puzzle pieces, he opened up every single puzzle, poured out all the pieces and then rolled around in it as if they were gold coins and he was Scrooge McDuck in his money bin (Sorry for the Ducktales reference, it's Nolan's favorite show right now). This was actually a little more difficult than it sounds because two of his puzzles are seemingly identical. I almost threw in the towel and felt like trashing everything, but it got done.

I cleaned dishes, loaded the dishwasher, created more dirty dishes, unloaded the dishwasher, etc....that cycle could go on forever.

I read some pages in my book that I have had for way too long. I am accumulating a fine as I type at the local library.

I loved on Mallory and kissed her poor bruised-up forehead as she is learning how to walk and continuously hits her head on the ground.

I mowed the front lawn, ran out of gusto and left the backyard for another day.

I got huge lick on the face from Nolan who was pretending to be a dog. Sort of grossed me out, but nothing some sanitizer won't fix.

I went to Nolan's last soccer game, which was hilarious. He finally kicked the ball a few times, and ran around with his tongue out, claws up, pretending to be some fantastical soccer monster. I can just imagine him at recess in another year. The teachers will love giggling at him.

I made cookies, ate some raw dough, ate some cooked dough. Overall, that was a good chore.

I bathed kids, well actually only Mallory. Nolan's bath is Greg's domain. I know I've said this before, but there is nothing better than a clean good-smelling baby.

This question of "what did you do today?" eludes me every night when Greg comes home and asks me. I usually answer, "nothing" or "you know, around the house stuff." I think his head might explode if I tell him all of this in one sitting, so I type instead. Putting it down on paper makes it seem like more than what it actually feels like. I guess that goes with anything that you break down into minute detail. I hope you are better at answering this question than I am.

So, what did you do today??

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Big Cookie Project: Week 5

I can't believe it has already been five weeks, and numerous batches of cookies later. I know I said in the first week that I would try not to do any cookies that I had made before, but this recipe is one of my faves. It tastes great, and looks very pretty as well. The only downfall of this cookie is during prep-time. It does get a little messy with all of the powdered sugar, but is definitely worth it! Here you go:

Chocolate Crackle Cookies:

8 ounces bitersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup whole milk

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup confectioners sugar


1. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Set aside and let cool. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

2. With a mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 t0 3 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla, and then the melted chocolate. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Divide dough in to four equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll in granulated sugar to coat, then in confectioners sugar to coat. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake until surface cracks, about 14 minutes.

***Some things that I did extra were when after placing the balls on the cookie sheet, I flattened the balls slightly with the palm of my hand. It also gets messy when you are rolling the dough in to balls, it helps if your palms are slightly wet. If they are too wet, it gets to be a big chocolatey mess.

Hope you have fun with these. They will be going camping with me this weekend :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

When the Kids are Away

When the kids are away:

1. I take long showers

2. I sleep in

3. I run with scissors

4. I leave hot pans close to the edge

5. I never lock any of the child-safe locks on the cabinets

6. I watch inappropriate TV

7. I leave the house without a babysitter

8. I go to lunch with friends and don't have to ask for highchairs or booster seats

9. I don't leave 20 minutes early for fear of being late because of getting kids in/out of car seats and getting them in to strollers or shopping baskets

10. I don't eat pb&j, goldfish, or hotdogs...kiddie snacks are banned

When the kids are away:

1. It is too quiet

2. Their beds are empty and their rooms seem cold

3. No toys are being played with...no "All Aboard" from Nolan

4. "Puff the Magic Dragon" is not playing in the car

5. There is no one to make funny faces to in the rear view mirror while driving

6. No kisses

7. No hugs

8. No booboos to fix or tears to wipe

9. There is no one dance or sing with during "Wonderpets" and "Backyardigans"

10. When my kids are away...I miss them terribly

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Big Cookie Project: Week 4

This week I was looking for a cookie that would hold up well in a plastic baggie. So, no super soft cookies, or cookies filled with jellies. I found this recipe in the Martha Stewart Cookie Book. They are:



1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 large egg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

2. Mix butter and sugar and then mix in shortening. Add egg and vanilla; mix until creamy. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

3. Use a 2 1/2 inch ice cream scoop, drop onto baking sheets. Bake until edges are firm, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

These cookies ended up being super huge, but super good. Greg said they were even more delicious with a large glass of cold milk. These will definitely hold up well in a plastic baggie.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Stating the Obvious

Have you ever had someone tell you something that was obvious in their eyes, but you didn't have a clue? Then, when you think about it, they are absolutely right. For example, Greg can give me that,"Are you going to be moody for the next week and crave sweets?" look with a narrowing of his eyes. Then, I think now that he mentions it:
1. yes I am a bit crabby
2. a candy bar sounds delicious right now.
Good call Greg.
We started a new bible study in Sunday School and the man who is speaking keeps on pointing out things that I DO need in a marriage, but have never given a second thought to. We started "Love and Respect" three weeks ago and have learned about "love tanks" and pink and blue hearing aides. He said a few things that hit home though.
Today he pointed out that women need "face to face" interaction. I never really thought about it, but Greg and I do have the best conversations when we're sitting across from each other in a booth at a restaurant. Then I thought back to when he purchased his smart phone. I literally went through phases of wanting to take a hammer to his new phone and pounding that stupid thing in to a million pieces (I still have these phases). Why the aggression? Because he wasn't making eye contact with me while I was ranting about the days happenings. He was playing Angry Birds or Solitaire. The only way I thought he could listen is if he was looking at me as well. Even though Greg is totally capable of listening to me while playing a game, I lack this male gene in my DNA and always assumed he was ignoring me. Now both of us know, and hopefully will make the effort to put down the electronics while conversing.
Another funny thing the speaker pointed out was when women tell their husbands to choose a restaurant to eat at, the wife expects the husband to choose the restaurant that the WIFE wants to eat at, NOT the husband. Even though we have left the decision up to the man, he should still keep the wife's favorite restaurant in mind. When he said this, the whole class broke out laughing because I think this has happened to every couple, just have never thought about it. Greg knows that I would rather go to Olive Garden or Cheddars, but every time I let him decide we always end up somewhere where everything is fried and they have amazing steak or chicken fried steak. Well...that's what I get for letting him decide, maybe I should speak up next time instead of assuming he can read my mind.
We've been joking around the house of "what fills your love tank?" Mine is through actions or chores that I don't have to remind him about. Sadly, I do love my husband a little more every time he does the dishes, unloads the dishwasher or makes the bed without me pestering him to death about it.
I haven't figured out what fills Greg's "love tank". Could it be praise, actions, words of affirmation? He says he doesn't know. One thing that I know he hates and would like me to do more of is knowing what we are having for dinner when he gets home. He takes bets with employees betting that when he comes home at 5:30 pm and asks me, "What's for dinner?" my answer will likely be,"I don't know." It shouldn't be that hard, I do a meal swap and have a stack of meals in the freezer. Does this help me prepare something? Sometimes, but usually I'll bust out a frozen meal 30 minutes before dinner time knowing full and well that I should have taken it out that morning to thaw. Anyways...I'm trying harder.
So, I guess stating the obvious is working for me, and I'm very curious to what the next 9 weeks has in store in our bible study class. Hopefully I'll be learning new things of how relationships work and how they last.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Big Cookie Project: Week 3

I have not yet cracked open the Martha Stewart cookie book for ideas. I was wanting a quick cookie and got this idea from a friend. You might think that it breaks one of my cookie rules, but it does not. Even though a lot of people out there have made this kind of cookie, I have not, until today. Do you know what it is yet? Cake mix cookie! The reason for cake mix cookie? Greg and I re-vamped our grocery budget (since prices are going up on everything b/c of gas) and we are working hard on using things in our pantry instead of just "buying, buying buying". So, keeping this in mind, I looked in the pantry and found a box of strawberry cake mix (from a previous sale, bought it, but didn't have a purpose for it). I'm not super fond of strawberry cake, but thought in cookie form it might be delicious. I looked up a quick recipe online, so here it is:

1 box cake mix (any desired flavor)

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 cup of choc. chips or nuts or oats (whatever your preference)

I decided to forgo any choc. chips, nuts or oats and decided to make cookie sandwiches instead.

I made chocolate icing flavored with almond extract. Here is the recipe for the icing:

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. almond extract

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

I guess I was sort of going for a "chocolate covered strawberries" feel, since it is close to Mother's Day. Yes, these are going to my mom for the special occasion. The icing turned out tasty. A hint of almond extract and the more you have it in your mouth, the more you can taste the chocolate.

I smeared quite a helping of frosting on a cookie and then sandwiched it with another. VIOLA! A delicious looking cookie, and super easy!!

PS. The beautiful model in the picture is my twin sister, Carrie. If you would like to be a part of the Cookie Project, come on over. Your payment is cookies :)