May 30, 2012

3 on Thursday - Weird Foods

Thanks for coming back to spend a little quality time with Andrea and I.  We both appreciate you participating (and commenting!) on our humble little link-up.  :-)  Have topic ideas for upcoming weeks?  Tell us!

This week we're talking about weird foods...or at least foods you eat that others *might* consider odd/strange.

I'll level with you, I've eaten a LOT of weird food.  Most of it is stuff that was a once in a lifetime culinary experience. Here's a short list of things I've consumed...but will never do it again:
  • Haggis. During my first trip to Scotland at 16 years old.
  • Rocky Mountain oysters aka bull's balls.  I blame my dad for not telling me what I was eating. *gag*
  • Seal flipper stew. I blame my dad's mom's Newfoundland family for that one.  AND...In my defense I was 3 years old when I ate it.
  • Cow's tongue.  Note: Always ask the ranchers in your family exact what they are feeding you. I thought it was corned beef.  Wrong!
  • Snake. This was during a work trip to Arizona a few years ago.
  • Alligator. A burger at "Fast Eddie's" about a decade ago.  And, NO it does not taste like chicken.

3 on Thursday

 Three foods you eat that others might think are strange/weird.

Calimari.  I love me some seafood, squid included!  I much prefer the round "body" of the squid than the slightly rubbery tentacles.  So tasty though.  In sixth grade, a science specialist came through and we did a dissection of squids.  It gave me a much better appreciation for where they come from...and how juvenile 6th grade boys are with ink sacks.

One of my favorite midnight snacks is pretzels and Nutella.  I personally, don't think it's too weird.  But I've been told that it is, so I'm counting it!  The combo of salty and sweet just can't be beat!

Sometimes, I'll put a scoop of ice cream in my coffee instead of milk and sugar.  What?!?!  It's all the same right?  It adds great flavor, adds a nice foam to the top and gives the drink a little extra body!

Time for you to share!  Link up! Visit my adorable co-host Andrea, and the other kids too.  :-) 

May 28, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Dragon's Breath Dip

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend full of cookouts, relaxation and fun!  I'm also hoping that you all got to thank a soldier for their service.  Many of the important people that I wanted to thank are in different states, so Facebook posts had to suffice.  :-)

Sorry for no Monday post too...  I've been battling a migraine all weekend which means I didn't get to have much fun or be on the computer too much.  On the bright side, I did get some good puppy cuddles in!

Also because of the headache, I'm going to cheat a bit and revisit a popular recipe from the summer of 2010.  It's a crowd-pleaser.  I mean, as long as you don't plan to kiss anybody!


Dragon's Breath Dip

2 heads garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz. Brie cheese
1 (3-oz.) small pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash or two of fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut top 1/2" off the top of the garlic heads and remove some of the loose papery skin, leaving the heads intact. Place each on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle each with the olive oil, and wrap tightly. Bake at 350 degrees 50-60 minutes, until the garlic is very soft and begins to brown. Cool until easy to handle and squeeze each head to remove the soft roasted cloves.

In a food processor, process Brie cheese and cream cheese with the salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Refrigerate several hours to blend flavors. Serve with melba toast, crackers, crustini or the like.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

May 23, 2012

3 on Thursday - What Won't You Do?

Welcome back to the day Andrea and I come up with fun questions!  This week is one that will let you go wild - see below.  :-) Really, have fun with it!
Drop by and visit my super-momma of a co-host, Andrea! Her kiddo is so cute it's ridiculous and I have a serious case of envy when it comes to her nail polish collection. Seriously

3 on Thursday

What 3 things will you absolutely not do?

I will not bungee jump.  People, I'm afraid of heights! PETRIFIED! The prospect of plunging to my death just gives me the heebie-jeebies.  However, I would skydive and I love rollercoasters.  Irony, thy name is Cole.

Smoking is way out of the question too for a number of reasons.  Your breath stinks! I've seen a pair of lungs from a recently deceased smoker. I'm premature, so I have small lungs AND I'm asthmatic. {Please know I'm not trying to offend anyone that smokes!}

This one is going to sound really stupid.  I don't dance in public. I did tap, ballet, jazz and modern dance from age three to sixteen and then again in college.  I love structured dance...but I don't sway well to the music and I'm really self-conscience.  Go ahead and laugh!

What won't you do?

Please remember to visit Andrea! You'll love her as much as I do. If you are linking up, please include our button or a link to our site. Link to your blog post and not your blog home page. Please visit your fellow participants to say hello. And all that jazz… you know, the usual.

May 22, 2012

Summer "Must Haves"

I was helping the adorable Mrs. Jones find a dress a few weeks ago via the tweet. She suggested that I put together a list of ten summer "must haves".  I can do that!

A great dress.  One that you can dress up for a garden party/cocktail party or dress down and it works for a beach bonfire.

Wedge espadrilles.  Sweet summery shoes that are casual but versatile.  Plus, the wedge gives a little more ankle stability than a standard heel - quite useful if you've had a little more sangria than normal.  :-)

Flip flops. For most of us, beach time (or pool time) is inevitable.  A colorful pair of flip flops are fun and useful all season long!

A short sleeved cardigan.  There's no hiding that cardigans are one of my fashion staples.  They are great for layering, providing a little warmth on a cool summer night and giving a pop of color/a little visual interest where needed.

A multi purpose moisturizer.  The summer dries out your skin, ladies! Between warmer air, more sun exposure and the glistening that results {hey, at least I didn't we sweat!}, I need something to not only keep my skin moisturized but provide some SPF too.  It's an even bigger bonus if I find something oil-free.  :-)

A good mani & pedi.  Some of you lovelies get mani/pedis all year long, which is great.  Some folks take care of their own nails all the time with is pretty cool too.  My theory is that if you get a great mani/pedi at the beginning of each season, it makes it easier for "at home care" on a regular basis.

Sunglasses.  I don't take my own advice enough on this...but wear sunglasses!  Save yourself from wrinkles around your eyes caused by squinting into the sun.

Cute camis.  Summer clothes are supposed to be fun!  This cami has great detail and is adorable!

Great shorts. Find some that fit your body, please - I'm begging you!  Last year I saw lots of too tight, too droopy and buns hanging out.  Please don't bend over and make me look at your bum again this year. 

Fun accessories!  Lots of color; beachy accents; just FUN!

What are your summer must haves?

May 21, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Southwestern Salad & Avocado Lime Dressing

Happy Tuesday, and Happy International Vegetarian Week! I always feel like I forget to let you all know about these food-based "holidays", so I'm glad I remembered this one.  :-)
I was going to do a post about crockpot pot roast...but I see the irony in doing that directly after pointing out that it's vegetarian week.  So we'll come back to that at a later date!  This time, let's go with a nice crunchy salad!


Southwestern Salad & Avocado Lime Dressing

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 ½ cups cooked pinto beans or 1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup grape tomatoes, rough chopped
½ cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels
¼ cup chopped green onions
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado
¾ cups prepared (not chunky) salsa
½ cup sour cream
3 Tbs. lime juice
Tabasco sauce, optional
⅓ cup crushed corn tortilla chips (about 20 chips), optional

Combine lettuce, beans, tomatoes, and corn in clear glass bowl. Sprinkle green onions and cilantro on top.

Mash avocado in separate bowl, and whisk in salsa, sour cream, and lime juice. Season with hot sauce (if using), and salt & pepper, if desired. Pour dressing over salad, toss well, and top with crushed corn chips.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

May 20, 2012

New PUPPY!!!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that there's been a little hoopla in trying to adopt a new fur-kid.  Well, things are finally falling into place!

Meet my new little one!  If everything goes according to plan, she'll get to come home next weekend.

At 7 weeks

Yesterday at 13 weeks

She is absolutely beautiful, is so loving and is astonishingly laid back.  I estimate that she'll be ten pounds of a smidge less when she's grown.

Now...I need a name for my new little love! Her name now is Dixie, which is sweet - but I don't think "fits" her.  HELP ME!  I'm drawing a blank and you all are my sounding board.  I only have two requirements for any suggestions you give me - it has to go well with Meadow and Beckett's names & can't sound like the word "no".

Sound off!  There may be a little price if I pick your name!

May 18, 2012

Ah...What An Experience!

I made it through the CNA program!  It's been quite the experience...

I met some really great people.  Smart, caring, generous women that I would be proud to work with in the future.  :-)  Yesterday we finished up our clinical experience (I'll re-visit that again in a minute) and took our final exam.

I got a 98% on my final!  YAY ME!!!!  I missed ONE question - and the "right" answer to that question is so outdated that it's truly not applicable anymore.

Anywho, the clinical experience was an exercise in patience, joy and frustration.  I started with Ms. A and she a sweet little thing once she was up and about.  The rest of the week I had Ms. B - who is exactly who I hope to be as an elderly woman.  She was the life of the proverbial party, yelled out my name when she wanted my attention {no call light for her!} and everyone in my class gravitated to her.  My parting gift to her was a manicure with some great red nail polish {she wasn't a fan of the pink that a volunteer had put on her}.  Her parting gift to me was to  compliment me so much, tell me how much she loved me, beg me not to leave her - that I sobbed in the car on the way back to class to take my final.

My only frustration with our clinical site was that there just didn't seem to be enough supplies to go around.  It was a search each day to find everything you needed to properly take care of the residents.

If everyone could think happy thoughts for me, I'd appreciate it.  My last step is to take the state exam.  Hopefully I'll have a date for it soon! Then I'll get a good year worth of practical experience under my belt before nursing school  :-)

P.S. A big thank you to Jane, KristinMrs. Jones, Andrea, Holly, Jessica and everyone else who has supported me as I change careers.  Your encouragement is invaluable!  I love you all.

May 16, 2012

3 on Thursday - Comfort Foods

Welcome back to a new round of 3 on Thursday!  My sparkling super-mommy of a co-host Andrea and I appreciate you playing along with us each week!  Make sure you drop by to say "hi" to her.  :-) She's pretty darn awesome!

I'm going to skip the longer spiel I post every favor of just reminding you to: A. Leave Andrea or I a comment. B. Link up! C. Visit a few of the other lovely ladies who played along too. Please and THANK YOU!

3 on Thursday

This week's question:
What are your 3 favorite comfort foods?
Mac and cheese.  Not just anybody's mac and cheese - MY version.  I do it up with a real thick bechamel sauce followed by 45 minutes of baking that culminates in a panko & parm crust.  It is NOT waistline friendly...but I have a good list of people who ask for me to make them this recipe - including my mom! (aka the best cook I know!)

Mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Sure, I could probably survive with the store brand.  But I don't eat much of this I tend to keep a few of the "good stuff" stockpiled in the freezer.  My favorites are Haagen Daaz and Ben & Jerry's.

Pineapple chunks.  Seriously...who has fruit as their comfort food?  Apparently, I do!  But it's only pineapple!  Give me an apple or orange when I'm sad, cranky or upset - and it's getting thrown back at you.  :-)

I want to know what your comfort foods are too!

May 14, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Curried Chicken Salad

Happy Tuesday!  Thanks to you lovely ladies who commented, tweeted or emailed me your support yesterday.  It gave me the boost of confidence I needed for my first day of clinicals.  :-)  You are all AWESOME!
This week I'm bringing back one of my favorite leftover chicken recipes.  I'll pick up a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking it myself sometimes - sure I'm probably cutting corners, but I'm OK with that!


Curried Chicken Salad3 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?

P.S. Come back on Thursday!  This week for 3 on Thursday, Andrea and I will be talking about our three favorite comfort foods.  We'd love it if you'd post yours and share with the group too!

Rockin' Some Scrubs...

This week is the clinical round of my CNA program - and as odd as it sounds, I'm a little weirded out by wearing scrubs to "work" instead of business casual "regular" clothes.
So, just pretend with me for a minute.  Tell me I'm going to be adorable wearing these suckers, that my patients will adore me, and that I won't make any stupid mistakes.

Oh...and this week's 3 on Thursday question:
Tell us about three of you comfort foods!

May 11, 2012

Friday Funnies

Every time I see this video of the Harvard baseball team, I laugh!  LOVE IT!

In other news, my class has spent a lot of time on end of life care this week.  We've resorted to potty humor to relieve the tension.

May 09, 2012

3 on Thursday - Secret Single Behaviors

It's time for another fun round of 3 on Thursday!  Thank you all you lovelies that play along with Andrea and I.  We both fuzzy pink heart you! :-)  You're all Sex and The City fans, right?  Do you remember the episode where they talk about their secret single behaviors?  That's our topic this week! Andrea is a genius for picking this one, if I do say so myself! Be sure to drop by and read her answers too.  She's pretty awesome and I'm guessing - will have a few gems to share.
This week's question:
Share three secret single behaviors (Remember the SATC episode? Things you do you wouldn't want a man to see you doing)!

3 on Thursday

Sometimes, I only take the laundry out of the dryer that I immediately need.  Then, I wait a few days and fold up the sheets, towels, etc.  I know it sounds so lazy...but if I need jeans and a sweater at 7 AM, I usually don't have the time or the desire to fold the rest of the load.

I eat completely random stuff for meals more often than I'd like to admit.  A spoonful of Nutella while I wait for my coffee to come steaming out of the Keurig, only a banana and Special K cracker chips for dinner, trail mix as a snack at 2 AM.  In my defense - I'm single and live alone.  Making a big meal for one person is way more trouble than it's worth sometimes. Oh, and I went without a working kitchen sink for three months.

3. I rarely close the bathroom door.  My two little shadows {aka Meadow and Beckett}get REALLY angry if I try to close them out.  Last weekend, I closed the door {accidentally} before I got in the shower.  Two minutes of screeching - and Beckett was able to not only pop the door, but leaped into the shower with me too.

Quick reminder: Please remember that this is a “few rules” linky, so please post about the weekly topic in order to link up. Be sure to link to your specific blog post and not your blog. Finally - please do us a favor and visit some of the other ladies to see their answers!

99 Things

I've seen a bunch of people do this, and thought I'd play along!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child {only if I can count my pups!}
16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
(presuming a fish counts)
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Fifty nine of ninety nine! Not bad. How about you?!

May 07, 2012

Tuesdays At The Table - Dandelion Greens Salad

The weather is getting warmer, and produce is getting just a bit more economical to buy at the store.  However, if you're a little adventurous you can get your dandelion greens directly from your yard!  Meadow sucks down dandelion greens like they're going out of style.  Of course, that means I need to spend money to buy these yummy bitter greens in the store.  *sigh* {Note: Please buy them from a store if you have a dog or put any type of chemicals on your grass.}


Dandelion Greens Salad

1 bunch dandelion greens, washed, drained and trimmed
3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1 handful fresh dill
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, mix your dressing - honey, lemon, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.  Add the onions, dill and dandelion green.  Serve!

What's cooking in your kitchen?

A Dose of Random...Or, How I Spent My Weekend

Happy Monday!  My brain is a smidge fried, so I'll be employing bullet points to keep from completely boring you (hopefully). :-)

  • Thank you all for the support that you've given me in changing careers.  Tuesday I'll be doing the final exam for the Home Health Aide portion of the class.  Any quick prayers that I don't have a brain freeze will be appreciated.
  • The remainder of the week I have skills labs, where I'm going to get paired with the person either before me or after me alphabetically.  That means I either have someone who is afraid to touch people...or doesn't speak English.  I apologize in advance for any venting that may be sited here later in the week.
  • Saturday I did my class project on Cancer.  It's fabulous people...believe me on that. :-)
  • While that was happening, I had a plumber come and steal all my money!  Well...he did replace the faucets in my kitchen and downstairs bathroom, but it wasn't fun paying that bill!
  • Then, I got to hang out with Kristin to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. 
Mixed berry Margaritas!

  • Sunday Meadow & Beckett enjoyed sunbathing at my parent's.  They also spent some time scavenging the back yard for dandelion greens.  I think I might have miniature goats instead of dachshunds...
  • If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I'm a bit heart-broken.  I've learned that I either won't be getting a new puppy from the rescue I volunteer for, or it will take at least another two months.  I don't blame them at's totally the state of MA.  They are making it very difficult for people here to adopt from out of state.  Never mind that "my" puppy is no more than 50 miles away from me! Just thinking about it still makes me teary.

Sunbathing puppers!

This week's 3 on Thursday question:
 Share three secret single behaviors (Remember the SATC episode? Things you do you wouldn't want a man to see you doing)!

May 02, 2012

3 on Thursday - Guilty Pleasures

I'm going to be honest here...when Andrea picked the topic this week, my first thought was "how do I narrow it down to three guilty pleasures?".  I have the guilty pleasures that I indulge in just a *little* too often and the really special gems that only happen once or twice a year.

Drop by and visit my co-host Andrea!  I think you'll love her as much as I do.  If you haven't seen the vlog her husband did - you NEED to watch it.  It is sooo funny!

3 on Thursday

Oh, I guess I should share with you what the actual question is, huh?!
What are your three guilty pleasures?

And, here are my guilty pleasures in no particular order. 

Coach purses.  Something about their totes is both trendy and timeless in my opinion.  I only indulge {and even then it's almost always a present from others} every few years.

Books!  Books of all types.  Chick lit, horror, memoirs, fantasy.  You name it; I'll read it.  Have I mentioned that my mom did a one month e-book club in January and I ended up with over 100 new books?  And...that isn't going to stop me from buying more! {Note, we're reading the book above for book club this month.  Read along!}

The Seasons Collection® Grand Horizon White Down Side Sleeper Pillow, 600 Thread Count
You're going to laugh... but pillows are a guilty pleasure for me.  I mean, we all have pillows - but I don't admit to many people that I'm extremely picky about pillows.  I need the king sized, 100% down, side-gusseted (so the pillow is rectangle instead of kinda football shaped) pillows.  Thank goodness I can always find them at Home Goods when the need for a new pillow arises.  Buying retail would really stink! :-)

Quick reminder: Please remember that this is a “few rules” linky, so please post about the weekly topic in order to link up. Be sure to link to your specific blog post and not your blog. Finally - please do us a favor and visit some of the other ladies to see their answers!

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