My Life of What Ifs

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Groovy Kind of Love

Twelve years and counting...

September 27, 1997


Thursday, September 24, 2009

What I "see" when I read my free subscription to Elle

At one point some time ago I received a free subscription to Elle magazine. I am not Elle material, nor am I am Vogue or Harper's Bazaar material, but free is free so I thumb through them when they arrive.

Well this month I decided to give it a fair shake and really "see" what I was thumbing through. I enjoyed an article about Jennifer Aniston and a blurb about Jon Hamm and then I tore out things that "spoke" to me. This is what I came away with...

The ring totally spoke to me. Maybe I do have a little Elle in me? It's stunning, and less than 3K. Pocket change right? OK, it's a want, not a need and a girl can dream.

These, on the other hand, scream for me! I love funky shoes and a girl can never have too many Chucks. Unfortunately for me, this particular pair of Converse All-Stars is only available at Macy's and they are fresh out. Ain't that a load of crap? If you spot a pair, let me know. I wear an 8.5 or a 9 :) I totally **heart** them.

Now for the ad girl in me. As much as I say I'm not an Elle girl, I'm also not a juicy girl. Juicy is not a word I need emblazoned across my ass. However, I really liked this print campaign they had in Elle. The guy in the tutu is nice but I was drawn to the line "You can always get what you want". Hmmm, let's rethink that ring up there...

Finally, I have coveted a Kate Spade bag for years. Yes, it does seem to go against everything I claim to be, but her brother-in-law in David Spade for God's sake, I think a Kate Spade hand bag is something I am destined to have. I have looked at them longingly on the web, and ahem... on ebay but I have never taken the plunge. I do, however, have a very nice Monica Lewinsky bag that I bought years ago. Just had to have it. Anyway, Elle, may not be my thing entirely, but I found some inspiration in odd places and possibly something to save for, something purple and sparkly...


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I would just like to care a little less


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Great American Taste Test ~ Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits

About a month ago I stumbled upon an opportunity that was too good to pass up. If I agreed to participate in an event called The Great American Taste Test I would receive a complimentary copy of Ron Douglas's new book America's Most Wanted Recipes: Delicious Recipes from Your Family's Favorite Restaurants.

You're probably saying, "Yeah, so?" But what you may not realize is that America's Most Wanted Recipescontains over 200 recipes from 57 of America's most popular restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory, KFC, Olive Garden, P.F. Chang's, Outback Steakhouse and Red Lobster. Yes, Red Lobster. Cheddar biscuits anyone? Yeah, I thought so.

While I hated to be predictable, we chose to taste test Douglas's copycat recipe for Red Lobster's cheddar biscuits. The Red Lobster closest to our house is about 25 miles away, and aside from the "teeny weeny shrimpies" you can get on your salad, the cheddar biscuits are our favorite, and if we could make them at home, well that would be bliss.

I was able to grab some Sunday while out covering a story for the newspaper, and when I got home my husband was in kitchen heaven. I may fancy myself a writer but he's the best cook in our house, and we all know it. He spent A LOT of time devouring this cookbook to decide which recipes we would try first, and while we knew we would taste test the biscuits, we also knew we would round out our meal with more from the book.

The recipe for cheddar biscuits is obscenely simple. Cory is a fan of baking mix, but much to his chagrin can never get the flavor to spread throughout the batch. Truth be told, that while he is a fantastic cook, his biscuits are usually a little ummm, hard, and not really of the melt-in-your-mouth variety. But by adding a little shredded cheese, milk and butter, wow! And I do mean wow!!! Even our picky five-year-old declared them wonderful and the only difference between the two versions was that the originals were a little more "melty" but the flavor was ALL there.

In addition to the Red Lobster biscuits we also made (but without the "real" versions on hand) Boston Market's meat loaf and Applebee's bacon-green onion mashed potatoes, both items we have enjoyed in the past at their respective restaurants.

The meat loaf was acceptable, and truth-be-told I am picky about my meat loaf, so I am not easy to please, but the bacon-green onion mashed potatoes were simply divine. I highly recommend them, and again very easy to make. Just ask my husband.

Unfortunately in our haste to get our eatin' on, I didn't take the time to really evaluate my pictures before consuming our, ummm, my husband's hard work. Therefore I didn't know they were all blurry. (Maybe I was shaking with anticipation?) But here is a glance of Cory's work. Again, those biscuits, tell me your mouth is not watering.

We have big plans for America's Most Wanted Recipes. Many recipes are marked to try in the very near future, including KFC's original recipe chicken, Hard Rock Cafe's pulled pork and Cracker Barrel's cherry-chocolate cobbler, to name a few. I promise to report on all of them, unless my fingers become too large to hit one key at a time, or I never wake from the food coma. But at least I'll have a smile on my face. Bon Appetit!!!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

What if we hadn't stopped with two?

What if we hadn't stopped with two children, that is. I will tell you what if, and please pardon my glee, because you see, if we hadn't stopped with two, everyday at 8:30 a.m. I wouldn't be FREE!!!!!

Free takes on many meanings here. Yes, my tax dollars are at work when my children enter their school everyday, but I'm not cutting a check for weekly daycare, after-school care, or any other kind of care.

I also don't have to take them anywhere, because they ride the bus!!! At the same time!!! To the same place!!! Every day!!! And the icing on the cake? They come back!!! At four!!! Every day!!! And I don't have to go pick them up!!! And I don't feel guilty that they're gone because legally they have to be there!!! Every day!!! At least the weekdays!!!

OK, I will try to control myself now...

Of course I miss them, I spent the last two weeks being a non-blogger and absorbing every moment with them. And, yes I simply can't believe that Jayden is old enough to be in kindergarten. (All day!!! Every day!!! Did I mention that?) But you see I had been an out-of-the-house working mom for eight years before I became whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-me for the last year. This last year confirmed for me what I had suspected all along. I was not meant to be a stay-at-home mom. I don't have the patience. I'm too selfish with my time. I enjoy my girls so much more when I can be away for them a small amount of time each day. Or seven hours. Every day.

It helps that they are both so excited to go to school every day. On the first day I didn't even get a hug and a kiss before Jayden jumped on the bus. Ryann thinks fourth grade is going to be her best year yet, in fact, she wants to be in fourth grade forever. (All day, every day) All of this makes my level of giddy that much greater. I am blessed with two beautiful girls, that are happy, healthy, and excited to learn. I had a wonderful summer with them, filled with the simple things, and I loved every second.

Now I put them on the bus each day with their backpacks, folders, water bottles, nutritious snacks, lunches, homework, appropriate attire and I know they are all ready for their day.

After I wave, non-stop for a minute or two, switching hands for fear of carpal tunnel, and the long yellow bus disappears around the corner I begin MY day. A day I am so blessed to have. I write, I do laundry, I have breakfast with a friend. I feel wonderful. Life is good. Oh and ten months ago today I left my job at an advertising agency. A job I went to all day, every day, without exclamation points. Yeah, life is really good.

All day. Every day.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's 3:15 a.m. Do you know where I am?

Wow. I have been sitting here since about eight p.m. I have left this chair periodically to go to the loo (I've always wanted to say that), kiss my girls goodnight, make myself a chai, etc., all so I could pull an all-nighter. Ok, not an all-nighter, but probably a "I'm gonna survive my Thursday on about three hours of sleep - er".

You see, I have a lot going on right now. Instead of working full time an hour away at a job I didn't want anymore, I now work about five jobs and have a to-do list eight miles long. But I'm happier. Yep, that's right, happier.

In the morning I will rise at seven (or half past and that's still less than four hours away, in case you're counting) and I will do one phone interview for one article I am writing. Then I will write and submit said article. I will then make another call to interview someone else for the second article I am writing. I have a doctors appointment (medication follow-up anyone?) at 10:30 and I have to work at the the flower shop at one. Oh yeah I have to write and submit that second article before I go to "work".

So I stayed up late and did some work for DetroitMommies, the Examiner, here, prepped my news articles, and now I will definitely be cruising through the Starbucks drive thru sometime in the a.m. But it's all good. Because yes, you guessed it, I am happier. Even on three hours of sleep.