June 30, 2009

In Celebration - A GIVEAWAY!!!!

Time flies! I can't believe that I've been blogging long enough that I'm approaching my 100th post!

As a huge THANK YOU to the fabulous folks (ahem...YOU!!) that read my humble little blog, I've put together a giveaway.

What's up for grabs you ask?!?! Good question!

Lilly Pulitzer journal and pen. Cuz who doesn't love some Lilly?!

OPI "Think Pink" nail polish. Great summer color. :-)

Burt's Bees Tips N' Toes travel kit. That's right - all the beeswaxy goodness you can stand!

Philosophy Strawberry Milkshake Shampoo/Shower Gel/Bubble Bath. I've always loved strawberry shampoo. Who says you need to give it up as an adult?

A Bartender's Deck. Every woman should know how to mix at least one killer drink!

The piece de resistance? A Coach Wristlet!

What, you see three wristlets?!?! Oh, that's cuz there's a second and third prize! I love you all soooo much that a second and third prize winner will get a wristlet too. (Note: the pink and green wristlets are leather; the blue wristlet is suede.)

Here are the rules:

You get ONE entry for commenting.
You get ONE entry for following me.
You get ONE entry for blogging about my giveaway.
You get a super special bonus entry if a commenter tells me that YOU sent them to me!

Please make it easy to give this stuff away to you...and let me know what your first/second/third choice of wristlet would be! I'm good - but not psychic. :-)

The contest is open until Tuesday, July 7th at midnight EST. The winners will be announced on Wednesday the 8th.
Oh...While I have your attention... two other people are having giveaway's too! Drop by A Sassy Engineer's and Mrs. Realife's blogs by Friday to enter their fabulous giveaways.

June 29, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Curried Chicken Salad

Howdy! It's that time again. :-) I just love reading your weekly recipe blog posts... and trying the recipes too! You all are such great cooks!


Round up your yummy recipes and share with the group. But before you do that - swing by Andrea's blog and tell her you miss her! Hopefully she'll check in soon to let us know how her pregnancy is going!

Last week Mr. Linky was a royal P.I.A; hopefully this week he behaves. I LOVE chicken salad; and this is a good way to spice it up just a little bit.

Curried Chicken Salad

3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup diced celery
1 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/3 cup chutney
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
pinch of salt and pepper

In a large bowl mix mustard, chutney, oil, curry powder, salt and pepper. Stir well. Add in chicken celery, and green onions. Toss ingredients until the chicken is well coated. Chill and serve.

My two favorite ways to eat this is 1. On top of a garden salad; 2. In a chicken salad melt with provolone cheese and whole wheat bread. Yum!

What's cooking in your kitchen?

June 28, 2009

Musical Monday - Summertime

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend...and only have a four day work week this week. :-) I'm so happy that I have both this Friday off as well as the following Monday.

Well, it's finally summer in New England. HURRAY!! The sun shined, the breeze was warm and there was only a little rain. Add in the fabulous BBQ and fire pit at Kirstren's Saturday night and it was a great weekend!

This Monday I'm bringing back an old favorite. You all know this song; don't deny it! It's nice to see Will Smith before he hit it big as an movie star. :-)

June 26, 2009

Friday Funnies - Literal Videos & The Best Cupcake EVER

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a good week. :-)

To celebrate surviving a long week (we've been short staffed due to the flu, incessant rain and the departure of our contractor) my co-worker, Stina and I indulged in cupcakes today. There is an amazing bakery by my house and they totally outdid themselves.

Yum, yum!!

BTW, our contractor didn't know we were celebrating his departure. But more on that at a later date.

April did a post on literal videos, and when I was playing on YouTube, I found two that I thought were well done and share worthy.

I'm hoping for a low key, relaxed weekend. What do you have planned?

June 24, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away...

...and don't come back. Ya hear?!

I usually like the rain during the summer... the sweet earthy smell right before it starts coming down. And THUNDER STORMS?! LOVE 'em!!

Unfortunately, we've only had three days in the month of June where it didn't rain. It is spoiling my enjoyment of summer rain.

Our forecast looks like this for the next seven days:

Not cool Mother Nature! We played nice; we shoveled all winter; we were patient in waiting for summer. You are going to give us sun and warmth eventually, right???? If I wanted fog and rain all the time - I'd move to Seattle!! :-)

OK, ladies. Make me jealous; tell me exactly how nice it is where you live!

June 22, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Strawberry & White Zinfandel Granita

Ah...Tuesday is the yummiest day of the week!


Thank you, thank you, thank you for linking up and sharing your recipes last week. Mr. Linky has been well behaved; and I'm crossing my fingers that our luck holds out this week too.

A big welcome to anybody from Andrea's blog that is dropping by for the first time!!

This week I'm sharing an awesome Strawberry & White Zin granita recipe I came across. It just screams summer! :-)

Strawberry & White Zinfandel Granita

2-1/2 pints raspberries (hulled)
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 (750 ml) bottle white Zinfandel

In a medium sauce pan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, allowing sugar to dissolve. Take off heat and allow to cool to room temperature then transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Stir in wine.

Pour out into shallow pan (I find that a 1 quart or larger Tupper Ware/Glad Ware container works well) and pop it into the freezer. Pull the container out every half hour and stir with a fork. Make sure the scrape the sides and bottom so everything freezes evenly.

Such an easy, yummy summer treat! *Remember, this is supposed to be grainy/full of ice crystals; like adult version of a stick-less Popsicle!*

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Musical Monday - Be Here Now

Happy Monday! I hope you all got to show appreciation to the fathers in your life yesterday - your hubby, your dad/step-dad, and your grandpa(s).

This week's Musical Monday is Be Here Now by Ray LaMontagne. I've used one of his songs in the past and wanted to hold myself to one using each artist once...but I just like this song to much not to share. :-)

Have a WONDERFUL week ladies!

June 21, 2009

Having Faith

I'm not overly religious - in that I don't necessarily believe that God hears you better from a church.

Do I believe in God? With every fiber of my being.
Do I belong to a church? Yes.
Do I go every week? No.

Instead, I believe that God hears your heart; your silent prayers; the thanks you don't always articulate; the blind faith that you have in him.

Just over 24 hours ago, Bagram Air Base was attacked. Though the news outlets haven't released it, I will share that one of the men is American and from my brother's company. I don't know this brave, brave man; but will forever be thankful for his service and giving his life for his country. I wish I could be there to help console his family through one of the hardest experiences of their lives. Instead, I ask God to see them through this; knowing that they must rely on him and his wisdom & love.

I thank God that it wasn't JC or any of the other men that I have come to know as my extended family.

Big hugs to all of you...

June 19, 2009

"Baaa"ck At the Ranch...

...or farm, as it were.

After a particularly stressful week, I was thrilled to have chaperoned a field trip today! Despite the fact that the constant rainfall in the north east means we'll be rowing to work soon instead of driving and the kids being keyed up (the last day of school is Monday) - today was a BLAST!!

This was my mom's last field trip as a first grade teacher; I'm honored to have been there. (For all you moms out there - NO parents were allowed. I went in the place of one of the school Aides/Paraprofessionals.) The last field trip I chaperoned was during the school system's trend of discovering the tidal pools at the beach. Quite fun... but as the trip nurse - I came home with one child with a broken arm and two others that needed stitches. I can HAPPILY report that no one got injured with anything more serious than a muddy knee on this trip!

The kids were very well behaved, the farm guides were amazing and it was great seeing some endangered/rare animals so close up & get to see the children's reactions too. Their perspective on things is a joy to behold. :-)

Sorry I didn't get to take pictures. Between the torrential rain, keeping the kids moving/paying attention/fingers out of animal pens, and trying to discretely deal with work emergencies - I didn't have a free hand to take pictures. Here are a few from the farm's website.

Pepper the Nigerian Dwarf Goat was the biggest hit with the kids. She was very gentle and the kids got to feed her. :-)

Gypsy hid from us...but there were Peacock feathers to be found around the farm!

I don't remember what breed of goose the white one here is, but apparently, she lays GREEN eggs!

June 17, 2009

Just Short of The Nuclear Launch Codes...

After three weeks of being "out" in the field; meaning even fewer communications - JC called my cell phone Tuesday morning. Having the horrible timing that I do, the call came in while I was on the elevator in my office...so I had no reception and missed his call.

It was great just to hear his voice when I picked up the message. :-)

His message indicated that he'd like me to call him back. When I'm home, and I have everything lined up; that's easy (and by easy, I mean at least all my crap is in one place). Calling from work presented a few challenges.

  1. I had to dodge meetings to try and call.
  2. A new international calling card had to be purchased and I had to wait for a new 12 digit PIN. (sigh)
  3. Dodging of meetings and the Senior Leadership team that are in town this week.
  4. JC and I text, so his Afghan cell is in my BlackBerry...but my fried brain didn't want to copy the 14 digit number down onto a piece of scrap paper.
  5. I had to dodge more meetings to try and call.

I finally dial the local access number for the calling card, enter my PIN, dial the ginormous country, city and local number for JC's cell...and get a lovely Afghani couple. Who spoke a bit of English and DEFINITELY thought it was great that I was calling from the USA.

Hung up and tried the whole shebang THREE MORE TIMES. Sigh. Downside - no conversation with JC; upside - I have made friends with a lovely couple!

Better luck next time, right?!?!

June 15, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Caprese Salad

Happy, Happy Tuesday!! It's time for Tuesdays At The Table - Andrea's weekly meme. It's another great week to read all about (and hopefully try) your delicious recipes.


As you may know, Andrea is pregnant. YAY!! I'm so happy for her and her fab husband Jason! As Andrea gets over the nausea and fatigue, I'll be your happy hostess for as long as she wants/needs. Keep sharing your comments of Congrats with her! She's an awesome blogger, one of my favoritest new bloggy friends and I'm sure will have lots to tell us as she experiences pregnancy for the first time. :-) Many thanks to those of you that ventured in my direction last week!!

Hang on and enjoy the ride! Oh, and a BIG welcome to those of you I haven't "met" yet. Please feel free to poke, prod and dig through my blog!

Summer to me means salads...of all types. This week is my twist on Caprese salad. I'm growing basil on my window sill and can.not.wait to do this with tomatoes and basil that grew at my house!

Caprese Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp finely chopped basil
3 medium or 2 large tomatoes, sliced
6 oz. (or so) fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 big bunch of fresh basil

In a small bowl - whisk oil, mustard, lemon juice, chopped basil and sugar; set aside.

Arrange tomatoes, basil and mozzarella on serving plate. Drizzle with dressing and serve.


(stolen from FoodNetwork.com)

Musical Monday - Seasons of Love

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, my lovelies. :-)

Not to get all philosophical on you all this early in the week - but I had an amazing conversation with one of my nearest and dearest friends this weekend. She is amazing and pointed out to me that this is tuning up to be one of the LONGEST years of my life. Which...is true. But it also means that I (and you) get to start all over again. That's the beauty of it!

I'm a HUGE fan of Broadway, and following the conversation - "Seasons of Love" from Rent just started running through my head. This musical (in my opinion) is genius; I've seen in twice on Broadway and once in the West End of London.

So, how do you measure a year?

June 12, 2009

More Friday Funnies

Welcome to the weekend! You all survived the week...HURRAY!

I was doing a little Youtube research for Monday's post, and came across these. What's not to love?! Men in uniform, music and a good sense of humor. :-)

Um, these guys have got too much time on their hands...but a good sense of rhythm at least!

Who doesn't love some Peanut Butter Jelly time?!?!

Props for their creativity. Note: not that I'm biased towards the Army (ok, maybe I am), but for some reason, this is the only one that is Air Force.

This one is my favorite. I'm so easily amused! Plus that many guys willing to act dumb as a team just warms my heart.....hahaha!

What's on tap for the weekend, ladies?

June 10, 2009

New Favorites

I'm a creature of habit, but I've found a few new favorite things...

Pomegranate Jelly Belly jelly beans. I love pomegranate, and have always had an affinity for jelly beans. It's the best of both worlds. :-)

Bones. I've heard other people rave about it, and after seeing all the season finales of my regular shows, I gave in and watched an episode. Now I'm addicted!

Baby doll tops. Summer means light airy clothes. I learned early that I look icky in maxi dresses, but these usually look cute and layer well when it cools down and a cardigan gets pulled on.

Havaianas flip flops. I LOVE flip flops! They are a summer must, and I discovered this brand by accident last year. They are so comfy, have a bunch of styles and price points. I've bought two more pairs already this season. :-)

Do you have any new favorites? Or summer classics?

June 08, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Lemon Coffee Cake

Happy Tuesday!! It's time for Tuesdays At The Table - Andrea's weekly meme. I love seeing and trying all of your recipes.


As you may know, Andrea is pregnant. YAY!! I'm so happy for her and her fab husband Jason! As Andrea gets over the nausea and fatigue, I'll be your happy hostess for as long as she wants/needs. Keep sharing your comments of Congrats with her! She's an awesome blogger, one of my favoritest new bloggy friends and I'm sure will have lots to tell us as she experiences pregnancy for the first time. :-)

Hang on and enjoy the ride! Oh, and a BIG welcome to those of you I haven't "met" yet. Please feel free to poke, prod and dig through my blog!

In the meantime, hopefully I've gotten Mr. Linky figured out...so link up and share!

This week is Lemon Coffee Cake.

Lemon Coffee Cake

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 table spoon & 2 tea spoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter - softened
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon (about 1 large lemon) grated lemon rind
4 egg whites
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 table spoon & 1 tea spoon lemon juice

Mix your dry ingredients- flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add margarine, milk and lemon rind & beat until smooth. In a small bowl - beat egg whites until stiff peaks form & fold into existing mixture. Pour batter into a 10 inch bundt pan that's been greased and floured.

Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to cool.

In a small bowl combine confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. When cake is cooled, drizzle with glaze and serve.

Yummo!! (FYI... I got this recipe from my grandmother. I believe that she got the recipe from a butter company in the 70's.)

June 07, 2009

Musical Monday - I Know It's Today

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fun-filled weekend. :-)

Today's music choice is "I Know It's Today" from Shrek The Musical. My cousin's (actually second cousin) husband was the bookwriter and lyracist for Shrek The Musical. In honor of their EIGHT TONY NOMINATIONS and their one win - I'm sharing one of their songs today.

Plus, I need to give a big "YAY" to David!! He is fantastic and you should look for Inkheart (he wrote the screenplay) in movie theatres soon! Shrek will win all the Tony awards next year; I'm sure of it!

Did you watch? Love or hate theatre? SHARE! :-)

June 05, 2009

A Friday "Funny"

After the less than cheery post I just did...I want to give you all something to giggle at too.

This is the FUNNIEST thing I've seen all week, and I couldn't wait until Monday to share... :-)

Uh-oh...I Think I'm A Workaholic

I've always been "dedicated" to my job. Employers have never had to worry about my work ethic...

I got my yearly review last week, and my boss mentioned in one breath (literally) that she'd like me to ensure that nothing sits in any one's voice mail or email for over 24 hours and that she took off points in my review because I work TOO MUCH! Ugh... You want me to work more, but work less?!?!

Can someone explain that to me?

Our HR Department is starting a task force to discuss work/life balance and sent out questionnaire to determine if you are a workaholic.

  • There is no separation for you between work and home.
  • Even when at home, your work is the top priority.
  • You are overly committed and driven to work. Your happiness is found in your work.
  • Work always seems to take precedence over family and leisure time.
  • You have no social life other then work-related events.
  • Work is on your mind 24/7.
  • You feel stressed because of your work.
  • You get upset when others suggest you cut back on your work.
  • You do not take vacations or take your work with you on vacation.

While I'm not guilty of ALL of these...I do have to admit that I almost NEVER take time off, rarely delegate and had to skip a girl's night out last month because I was still at work at 9 PM.

I don't want my life to be like this!! Any suggestions on fun things I should do this weekend?

June 03, 2009

An Attack of STUPID & An Excuse to Shop!

I have a theory - the full moon brings out the "stupid" in people. People who are ordinarily smart, articulate and NORMAL become susceptible to the full moon lunacy...

Case in point: One of my repeat customers called me this morning. She wanted to know if she really needed her computer for a web session. It took a lot of self-control not to laugh. I explained to her that we use Microsoft LiveMeeting and that I would email her the link along with one of our conference call numbers. She seemingly understood this process. At end of going through all their logistical info - she asked me AGAIN why she'd need her computer for training.

One of my friends works in a veterinary hospital. She passed along today that someone called in for an appointment for their animal and then asked if said animal needed to be present for the appointment!! UM, DUH!

Unfortunately, I had a stupid moment today too. I stood in the elevator for over a minute wondering why it didn't move before I realize I neglected to choose the floor I wanted to go to....

Sigh; the full moon doesn't happen for anther 4 days. Does that mean it's going to get worse before it gets better?!?!

And my second thought of the day...
Tomorrow night is my mom's retirement party. HURRAY for her! After 32 years as an elementary school teacher, she's going to hang up her "I've got my eye on you, Buster" stare and say good-bye to the smell of industrial cleaner and glue sticks. Mind you, there are still 15 more school days - but she's excited! And I'm excited for her!

I perused my closet last night and realized that I have nothing summery, cute and party appropriate to wear. That means I need to get my tushie out of the office and go shopping tonight. Not that I need an excuse to shop; but this is a good one! It's all her fault I'm shopping. Heeheehee

I heard a rumor that Bath & Body Works is having their semi-annual sale, so I may need to head over too. :-)

Dachshund Commercials

It's a "doggy" few days for me. :-)

Here are a few dachshund commercials that I've seen and LOVED. Wonder why....heeheehee

Did someone say "anti-dachshund"?!?!

Rub my belly!

200 Oxen or 200 Dachshund?

Bobo and the Dachshund

A "Mighty Dog" Dachshund

June 02, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Pet Week

Hi Gang! It's a bonus post today. :-) I love to take pictures, but don't share them as often as I should. When I came across this little (OK, GINORMOUS) blog contest and found out that it's pet week; I just had to give it a go.

Beckett is my little love. He finds such joy in smelling, tasting, tackling EVERYTHING outside; and I adore watching him do it.

June 01, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table - Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Happy Tuesday! It's the yummiest day of the week - Andrea's weekly blog party!


This week is another family favorite - Cream Cheese Cupcakes. Even though I don't like Cheesecake, everyone else adores these suckers!!

Cream Cheese Cupcakes

3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 lb block of cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 can of cherry (or blueberry!) pie topping
vanilla wafers

Line two cupcake tins (using the usual 1 dozen tin), and put a vanilla wafer down in each section.

Beat sugar, eggs and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and mix for about 2 minutes until the mixture gets little air bubble and become fluffier. Fill each section about 1/2 full with cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool and top with cherry filling.


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