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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Don't get me started.

Crushing at Age 4.

I am way too invested in this season of American Idol. I am almost too embarrassed to admit it (Almost.).

I for one really enjoyed Jason Castro's "I Just Want to Be Your Everything." I thought that the judges were overly harsh on him overall and didn't even recognize the fact that he took a dated disco song and arranged it into something fresh that could be played on the radio today. Whatever. I stopped trying to make sense out of this show years ago. Anyway, I've had that song in my head all day and can't wait to download it when it's available on iTunes tomorrow.

Now, I'm not so naive as to think that Jason has any chance of winning. The judges made that very clear last night with their exaggerated praise for David Archuleta. There is no denying that he is extremely talented and would be a deserving winner. However, why oh why do we have to crown someone in Week 2 of the competition? It sucks all the drama and excitement out the stupid show. Why should we even bother watching the rest of the season when obviously everyone's mind is already made up?

After Jason got criticized and was stuck in the unmemorable #2 slot, I took it as a call to arms and voted. I felt like I was the only one voting for him because I got through every stinkin' time. I also tried Michael Johns and Luke Menard's lines and got through easily. David A's was consistently busy.

At first, Mark couldn't figure out who I was voting for, but finally guessed after he ran through about 7 of the contestants (Robbie Carrico? David Hernandez? I think not!). Mark's only explanation for my mania is that the crush that I had on Vinnie Barberino when I was 4 years old has suddenly resurfaced.

I just want his simple, pleasant voice to stick around for a few more weeks, a least until the Top 10 so that he can make the tour. So all you Archuleta fans out there, why not throw a few votes Jason's way for me, cause it's not like David needs them.'kay? Thanks!

P.S. If Jason falls, I'm moving on to Brooke White (if she's still around by that point).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend run down.


It's been the kind of weekend where all I want to do is read and watch tv. I think it's because I'm bored of winter. And this is coming from a person who usually dreads the coming of hot summer months.

Mark spent most of his time painting our bedroom. Lauren spent most of her time making Play-doh cookies for everyone.

I baked some real cookies for us on Saturday night. This time I used this chocolate chip cookie recipe. The special shaping method looked promising, but these were again not the recipe that I've been searching for. Still, this recipe yielded large cookies that are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Because of that, I think that it will become my standard chocolate chip recipe. So for now, I'm putting aside my obsession and moving on to oatmeal.

Mark and I have started to watch The Tudors. I discovered that On Demand has the entire first season available for free. This is a bit of a rip off, however, because they edited out all the sex scenes. You have to be a Showtime subscriber to see the unedited versions. Boo to that.

We did venture out to the the mall today. We had to pull Lauren away from the 101 Dalmations merchandise at the Disney Store. It's funny - she never so much as bats an eyelash at the Disney Princess stuff (In that respect, she is truly her mother's daughter.). It's coming out on DVD soon, so now I know what to get her for Easter.

And for the record, I've chosen Jason Castro (aka Dreadlocks Guy) as my horse for American Idol Season 7. I haven't supported a contestant since Season 5, and never one this early. I even downloaded his performance from iTunes (Shh...please don't tell Mark because he will make terrible fun of me.). He better not tank on Tuesday night.

Black and white.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What we do when the sheets are in the wash.

Presenting, "The Mean Look":

No one was hurt during the filming of this video. However, during the course of doing the laundry, I splashed bleach on my shirt, which really ticked me off.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Better late than never.

Eat your heart out.

I promised Lauren we would bake cookies for Valentine's Day, but because of last weekend's power outage, we didn't get a chance to actually do it until after Valentine's Day. She was very involved in every step of the process including rolling the dough out and mixing and applying the icing. She's a real pro with the rolling pin. I was impressed.

Alligator love.

Lauren spotted this alligator at Target several weeks ago. I had no intention of buying it, but since he was now half off, I got it for her. Plus I figured he would make a cute accessory once we finish redecorating her room. While we were shopping, we had gotten separated and didn't hook up again until after I had found the half price alligator. Mark said that Lauren had been asking about him as they were walking through the store looking for me. That kid never forgets.

Silicon muffin cups!

I also found these silicon muffin cups for a dollar. I never have the paper ones on hand when I get the itch to make muffins or cupcakes. Mark says that they're probably made with lead paint. I told him that if he didn't want to eat my lead laced cupcakes, it was his loss.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Almost famous.

Almost famous.

Occasionally, someone asks me for permission to use one of my photos in a publication. So far, most of the requests have been for website articles, but I was recently asked to lend the photo of Lauren reading on our patio for a newsletter for moms of preschoolers in the Kennett, PA area near Delaware. So here she is in actual print! This photo has received the most comments of all of my photos on Flickr, so it really must speak to people.

In case anyone is wondering, Mark gave me a box of frosted strawberry Pop Tarts (with rainbow sprinkles) for Valentine's Day. And in case anyone is wondering, this made me really happy. I'm hoping to get a box of Chocolate Fudge ones for the next holiday (Easter, perhaps?).

Fifteen minutes to go until our fish fry dinner in ready for pick up at St. Bonaventure!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"I solved the mystery of Melissa!"

Don't fear the Cookie.

That's what Lauren said tonight when she found my friend Melissa during a game of hide and seek.

You may remember that Melissa had surgery back in November. After a long recovery, she finally rejoined living this week (That is, if you consider us poor working slobs as actually living.).

We're so glad that she's back. My baked beans have suffered immensely without her.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?

Good stuff.

Picked up a pack of these this weekend. Back in the olden days, you used to be able to order chocolate sodas from TGIFridays. I really liked those chocolate sodas, and this sort of reminds me of them. For reasons of either nostalgia or insanity, I like this stuff as well, but don't take my word for it and run out a buy a case, as I can see that the taste probably isn't for everyone. After all, how can something that's chocolate flavored not have chocolate listed in the ingredient list? That just can't be good.


Today, I came home from work early due to inclement weather. With time to spare, I unloaded the dishwasher, did two loads of laundry, and made a perfect meatloaf. Mark must have thought he walked into the wrong house.


"Beavis (our cat) has a nice white tummy. It's right under her bum!"--Lauren

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Viewer mailbag.


This weekend, we received a surprise Valentine's Day care package from one of our blog readers, cousin Noreen!

Just how many hearts can you find in this photo?

Lauren received a cute heart print t-shirt (It fits perfectly!), a Valentine's Day themed book and Scooby Doo stickers. Lauren especially likes the part in the book where Barbie receives a box of cookies from one of friends. Lauren is obsessed with all things cookie right now. Thanks for being so thoughtful, Noreen!

In other news, we were once again without power for about four hours today. A tree knocked down some power lines on the major road in our town, leaving half the population without power. I guess it was a nice change of pace though since we didn't half to worry about our food thawing out this time, although I could've used some thawing out myself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Not quite the holy grail, but good just the same.

In search of the holy grail in the form of a chocolate chip cookie.

When I was in high school, my friend's mother made the most amazing chocolate chip cookies. I have been trying to recreate these cookies for years with no success. Recently, I was looking through some back issues of MS: Living when I found an article about chocolate chip cookie recipes in the October 2003 edition. This one was made by taking the standard Toll House recipe reducing the brown sugar by half, increasing the granulated sugar to make up for it, and reducing the butter slightly. This produced a very good cake-like cookie, but alas, not my friend's mother's cookie. I distinctly remember that her cookie was darker in color and very chunky. Everyone seems to know the kind of cookie I'm talking about, but no one has the recipe. So the search continues.

Happy Lent!

Tomorrow is the first day of Lent - do you know what that means? The return of Wendy's Fish Sandwich! I get more excited about Wendy's Fish Sandwich than any normal person should get. I should start a petition to have it added as year round menu item.

Tonight we're watching the Super Tuesday coverage instead of American Idol. It's so sad to think that we Pennsylvanians will get to vote for the next American Idol before we get to vote for the next presidential nominees. I wish that they would just get to Hollywood already (They meaning AI, since the presidential nominees have already done their song and dance in California!).

Saturday, February 2, 2008

For the love of Amazon.

Annie's Organic Shells & White Cheddar

Amazon is my absolute favorite place to shop. They're fast, reliable and offer free shipping on most stuff (If you spend $25, which is very easy to do). They've never let me down. You can't say that about most people.

And the selection - well, it's gotten to the point that if I'm in the market for something, I don't head out to the store. I just search Amazon (with eBay a close second.). Need I remind everyone that while no local store carries my favorite tea, Amazon does.

As part of my latest Amazon purchase, I bought a case of Annie's Organic Shells & White Cheddar (Uh, that's a fancy name for "mac 'n cheese.") sight unseen, er, taste untasted. I've been trying to eliminate processed food chemicals from our diets as much as practically possible, but most convenience foods are filled with artificial crap. Praise is very high for this stuff, so I thought it was worth a try.

Plus, I couldn't resist mail ordering a case of macaroni and cheese. If Amazon ever carries produce, I'm never going to have to leave the house to shop ever again!

Docking commences.

And where else can you buy a case of mac n cheese and a docking station for your iPod simultaneously (Okay, maybe Costco or Sam's Club, but then you'd have to pay a membership fee.)? For some reason, external speakers don't work with our new old computer, so I bought this so that we could listed to mp3's in ultra modern stereo rather than mono. If they ever make a radio app available for iPod Touch so that I can listen to Club 977, I may truly never leave the house again.

By the way, this contraption is called an iCraft. If you can figure out why they chose that name, you are smarter than I!