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eats memes & carnivals

t13: Thirteen Sweet Recipes I’m Coveting

Between being hugely pregnant and prone to craving sweet treats and having access to Food Network again for the first time in like two years, my sweet tooth coveting tendencies have been kicked into overdrive lately. Here are thirteen desserts and assorted sweet treats that I have a hankering to make right now and the people responsible.

  1. Wanted: Chocolate Ricotta PiePerson To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – The first thing that struck me about this recipe was, “holy cow I want a food processor.” Watching her make it had me drooling for her appliances just as much as the dessert, which I mean – what’s not to love about chocolate pie?
  2. Wanted: Key Lime PiePerson to Blame: The Pioneer Woman – I’m not sure if she knows this but right now lemons and limes are like my favorite thing in the world, which is weird because before pregnancy they were kind of a take it or leave it thing with me. I’m guessing this little baby of mine is a citrus fiend, and I’m anxious to make something along these lines soon.
  3. Wanted: Hazelnut & Chocolate Pie w/ Vanilla Whipped CreamPerson To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – This just looks decadent – she compared it to flourless chocolate cake which is one of my other new favorite things and um yeah, me wants it.
  4. Wanted: Lemon BarsPerson To Blame: Bakerella – Again with the lemon and me obsessively craving it – these bars look absolutely delicious and her pictures weren’t helping matters (see left). She even cooked these with her kids which had me feeling all, “I should be a super mommy and cook with my son, too,” but the truth is I just really want to eat a lemon bar.
  5. Wanted: Earl Grey Shortbread CookiesPerson To Blame: Claire Robinson – Claire hosts a show on Food Network called 5 Ingredient Fix – I love the idea of the show and her food looks really good. Some of her recipes I think I’d add a couple more things to and spice them up but I like the idea of keeping it simple and letting a few stellar ingredients really stand out and shine in a recipe. And I like cookies.
  6. Wanted: Biscotti Gelato Sandwiches and EspressoPerson To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – I’m not the biggest fan of biscotti but I love ice cream cookies and espresso and I’m supremely tempted to give this “recipe” a try – Giada certainly made it look delicious, but then she does that, doesn’t she?
  7. Wanted: Chocolate Peanut Butter PiePerson To Blame: The Pioneer Woman – I love chocolate peanut butter pie but I’ve only had it a couple times and I’ve been on the hunt for a good recipe for it – this looks like the recipe – it’s perfect and I plan to make this in the near future or at least by Thanksgiving.
  8. Wanted: French Toast with Strawberries and CreamPerson To Blame: Claire Robinson – Another thing I recently discovered that I like is French Toast. I know – these are things normal people learn at like infancy or something – but I swear I never liked it until a couple weekends ago when Dan made some and I suddenly wanted them, too. And they were delicious. Claire’s recipe is of course super easy and the strawberries on top are genius. I’ve actually made this one already and will definitely make it again.
  9. Wanted: Limoncello Cheesecake Squares – Person To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – As soon as I pop this baby out and I’m either not nursing or can take a couple hours off from nursing, I want to try some Limoncello (a lemon liquor) or some equivalent thereof. And I want to make these cheesecake squares for sure – they look delicious and you might have noticed that I’m infatuated with all things lemon, so yeah. This one needs to be made for sure.
  10. Wanted: Cream Puffs With Lemon Mousse and Blueberry SaucePerson To Blame: Martha Stewart – I’m not sure how Martha Stewart ended up on my list – I don’t watch her show, at least not normally – but this looks fantastic and I definitely want to try it sometime.
  11. Wanted: Strawberry Peach DipPerson To Blame: My Wooden Spoon – Honestly it was the picture (see left) that made me start craving this recipe. It sounds (and looks) perfect for the summer – what could be better than a tray full of fresh fruits and a delicious dip to eat with them? I’m thinking nothing unless I can have that and the other twelve desserts on this list also. That might be better. Also – can I have her serving dishes because they are adorable (speaking of coveting).
  12. Wanted: Individual Orange and Chocolate CheesecakesPerson To Blame: Giada De Laurentiis – These look so cute and I love the idea of making individual servings – with such a small family somehow this feels like less of a waste of baking because they are so grab and go and I bet you could freeze half of them or something. Or just eat like five at a time.
  13. Wanted: White Chocolate MoussePerson To Blame: Claire Robinson – This sounds so easy to make and delicious. I’d love to make this when my mother-in-law comes to visit as she’s allergic to chocolate and the blackberries to go with it? Heavenly.

Check out the new home of Thursday 13 for more Thursday 13 participants!

Categories
memes & carnivals

t13: Things I’ll Miss…

In two days the moving company is coming to pack our things. In five days they will be loading the moving truck with those things and we’ll all be headed out to “Dream State.” It’s all happening. I’d like to take a moment today to reminisce on some of the (many) things I will miss when we are gone. I am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives but of course I have my reservations, and they are…

  1. Friends & Built-In Playmates: As I type this MM is playing with one of his best friends, the three and a half year old son of one of my best friends. All of my close friends have children – and we all live in this area. That’s four friends of mine that provide MM with six friends – a long standing legacy of friendship that will be sorely missed. I think I’ll probably be putting MM in preschool this fall, despite having planned not to, now that his little net of social activity will be no longer available.
  2. Game Night: Those great friends of mine and I have had a semi-long standing tradition of getting together about once a month. Even living as close as we do, having families means that we get busy and it’s not always easy to get together. I will miss those game nights a lot, miss the getting together with good friends. We like entertaining and love this little circle of families of friends that we have here – they will be sorely missed.
  3. Free Anytime / Anywhere Babysitting: Yeah we are pretty much leaving the lap of luxury. With so many family members nearby, we’ve actually never had to pay for child care, never mind the process of finding and hiring a complete stranger to watch my children – yeah I’ve never done that. I’m sure I’ll be coming to you guys for tips and advice on that in the future.
  4. Old, New England Nature: The roads here will built around cow paths, a lot of the nature has been here longer than the people. This makes for some pretty crazy driving conditions but also some beautiful landscapes. The nature here is strongly rooted – the trees are majestic. There will definitely be trees and water in Dream State but it’s much more cleanly maintained and probably man made and designed. I know I’ll come to love it, but it’s these old trees that feel like home to me. It will be interesting.
  5. History and Heritage: My family is straight off the Mayflower. The history here is my history – it’s the story of my life and the lives of my family. There is history everywhere – stories of the ones who came before and while I look forward to learning these new histories I will miss this one, which is also my own history.
  6. Family and Family Parties: They will be very different from now on – birthdays up until now have meant family and lots of it. Both of our families are in the area and sometimes a family event will be celebrated multiple times just to see everyone. Sure that can get a little tiring, but it’s also nice. I’ll miss seeing people on a regular basis, being able to keep up with everyone and watch the little ones grow.
  7. My Library: I’m sure the one in Dream State will be wonderful but I’ve gotten used to mine and know my way around.
  8. My First Apartment: While I’m growing weary of some of the less than wonderful things about this place, it was our first apartment. I’ll miss my tacky 70’s style kitchen and all the memories we’ve made here.
  9. Our Extended Family Kitty Cats and Puppy Dogs: Our parents have pretty much the greatest pets ever. The assortment of puppies and kitties in our families are just so sweet, so cute. I love watching MM interact with them and I’m going to miss all the cute animal moments we have with them. I look forward to getting our first pet someday, but it’s nice to have these wonderful animals to spend time with without having the obligations of owning them full time.
  10. My Favorite Potato Chips: Wachusett Sour Cream and Onion – they are made by a local company and they are the cheapest brand in the grocery store. They are my favorite and I will miss them terribly. Potato chips simply won’t be the same. Here’s hoping Dream State has some acceptable equivalent that won’t cost as much as the main brands.
  11. My New Favorite Mexican Restaurant: It’s hardly fair that I finally found a wonderful Mexican place just months before moving away. Dream State had better have good Mexican food – also Italian food, Chinese Food and breakfast places – In short – I’d better not go hungry!
  12. All Our Favorite Vacation Spots: They are all in New England. While I know we will be coming back to visit family, I don’t know how often we’ll be hitting up our regular vacation spots now. I know the first couple years in Dream State will make for easy vacations because there will be fun new things all around that we’ve never seen before – but New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania in particular all have some wonderful places to travel to that I will definitely miss!
  13. All The Things I Haven’t Thought Of Yet: But I know they are there. The little things that I’ll be too late to appreciate properly one last time, the things I’ll remember when we’re gone and miss horribly even when it’s silly. Again, I am totally looking forward to the new memories, the new things to fall in love with in our new “life” in “Dream State,” but I know more pregnant hormones are going to go into overdrive soon – and I will miss all these things mentioned and more a lot.

Thursday 13 is a pretty self explanatory meme – write thirteen things about something, anything, whatever is relevent and interesting to you in that moment. For more information and rules about the meme you can look here.

Categories
family fun

Oh Right, That Thursday 13 Thing

Normally Thursday 13 is like one of the highlights of my week and I get all geeked out trying to think of a good theme. But this week? This week I’m still on a Hotness High from being nominated for entering the NQHE fake calendar (you sick of my linkage yet? Hold onto your horses). So I’m taking it easy and stealing Fond of Snape‘s T13 Topic which she stole from fleur-de-lisa. Stealing is fun. I encourage it when it isn’t something that can send you to jail anyway. Speaking of anyway…

  1. If I were a liquid I’d be… a green cleaner like Method hand soap. Why? Because I talked about it yesterday.
  2. If I were a sin I’d be… sloth or gluttony. Because when I’m not sleeping I’m eating? As a general rule anyway. Except for right now – I’m not sleeping or eating right now. But ask me again in an hour…
  3. If I were a gem/stone I’d be… a diamond – classic, beautiful, a girls best friend. I’m not picky. Just get me a nice diamond from Tiffany’s and I’ll be your best friend, too. I Swear.
  4. If I were a metal I’d be… white gold, just to be difficult and complicated but pretty. (Am I just picking out my wedding rings or what? Except they aren’t from Tiffany’s but hey – this is my imagination we’re talking about, not my income.)
  5. If I were a tree I’d be… A weeping cherry tree, because they are my favorite and they’re gorgeous – need proof? Fine, here’s proof:

    picture by tanakawho
    picture by tanakawho
  6. If I were a flower I’d be… a mum – because um, I’m a mum, and I saw some at Trader Joes yesterday and they were beautiful. MORE proof, god you guys are picky:

    photo by § Mary §
    photo by § Mary §
  7. If I were weather I’d be… Warm and sunny with white fluffy clouds – comfortable – not too humid or hot but not cold with a light breeze – hey if I’m going to be a weather I should be comfortable with myself right? Though to be honest, if I were weather I’d probably be constantly changing like my moods. 😛
  8. If I were a color I’d be… one confusing color – kind of like a mood ring, I’d be all red one minute, then yellow, then green, then blue… but always pretty. 🙂
  9. If I were a sound I’d be… my son’s laughter – I know that’s a weird sound to BE but I love it.
  10. If I were a lyric I’d be… “girls become mothers who turn into lovers, so mothers be good to your daughters, too…”
  11. If I were a scent I’d be… freshly baking cookies – yum
  12. If I were a piece of clothing I’d be… comfortable – and I’d always fit no matter what you ate that day.
  13. If I were one of the 4 seasons I’d be…fall – still a bit warm but with a crispness to the air – leaves changing colors making for excellent foliage pictures.

What would YOU be?

Categories
family fun

Thursday 13: Strangest Search Terms

I’ve seen a couple of people do this for a T13 or just a random fun blog post. I’ve held off on doing it until I felt I had some truly strange search terms come up. I don’t know that these are really the strangest ever, but I am absolutely stumped on what to blog about today, and guessing you are all bored sick hearing about my upcoming vacation, so I’ve decided to take pity on your poor souls and this will just have to do for today, mmkay?

So here are the 13 strangest or most interesting search terms people have used to find my blog – or at least the weirdest ones they’ve used AND THEN found my blog – I’m guessing they weren’t looking specifically for me anyway. Ready?

  1. the thing (5 times): Seriously, first it begs to be questioned, what they were hoping to find when searching for “the thing” and why they then chose my blog from those results? I can tell you, my blog is not on the first page of results for that search (not that I looked, okay yes I did, but still) and I honestly can’t imagine what post they’d be thinking about – obviously it was that one post about that one thing…
  2. what it means to be a woman (4): To be fair, I actually wrote a blog post with this title. But I’m still curious, were they looking for me, or did they not know? Four times?
  3. good looking (4): Should I just say thank you? Or do I just blog about attractive people a lot? Like John Mayer and McMommy – that’s who they really wanted, right?
  4. “bandana to bed” (3): I got nothing, but three people found me that way so it must be an interesting topic for all those searchers out there – do you think they wanted pictures or instructions on how to do it? Or just confirmation that it’s okay? It’s okay. But it’s spelled bandanna according to my spell check. Just so you know.
  5. jessica simpson hair cut (3): This almost lowers the quality of my blog, but I know this was just a strange jumble of words from my post about John Mayer’s love life, so I guess it’s okay.
  6. i will never be the woman with the perfect hair (10): I know this was in reference to Sex and the City, which I reviewed, but it amazes me how many people have found me with that quote or some semblence of it… “I will never be the woman who can wear white…” and “I will never be the woman with the perfect…”
  7. what to do when your baby is coming home (3): I’m just sad because I’m certain I never answered such a question. I hope those three poor new parents found what they were looking for and were ready when those babies did come home – because eventually they do.
  8. meredith grey’s death photos at dock (3): This just seems morbid if you don’t know the surrounding circumstances. And I’ve never blogged about this specifically, despite my obvious obsession with the show.
  9. pregnant tv (3): Pregnant people have their own tv stations? Really? What channel? What time? Do they give birth right on the air (I know TLC does it)? Are all the commercials for bon bons and pickles?
  10. snarky comments (3): My husband would laugh so hard at this (and might if he reads this or I read it out loud to him… it happens). Apparently he just learned last weekend that I have snarky comments – or perhaps I should be honest and admit to having about 9,000 of them in a one hour time period. It was a wedding though, to be fair.
  11. description of a housewife for blogs (2): My blog should totally have a housewife. You know, other than me. One who cleans. Preferrably.
  12. where do you find a good and loving woma (2): Not here, that’s for sure.
  13. most beautiful pregnant person (2) (as well as several other searches for pregnant beautiful and beautiful pregnant… and pregnant): I must like really want another baby or something, because my blog sure does lend to a lot of pregnancy related search terms. What with all that absolute lack of pregnancy in my actual life. Maybe it’s just that I am meant to write about pregnancy – and thus should get pregnant myself, simply to please the fans? Give them what they want? It’s all for them, though. Not me. I could care less…

So yeah, you know, for more Thursday 13 fun, head over here. And tell em Jen sent you, so they can be all, “Jen who?” and then you can be like, “the non pregnant and beautiful one,” and they’ll be like, “Oh yeah – momma blogs a lot – what’s up with her man?” And I’ll be all like, “Shut up. I don’t care, because I’m going on vacation tomorrow! Oh yeah!!! That’s right.”

Categories
family fun

13 Books I’d Rather Be Reading Right Now

For this week’s edition of Thursday 13 I’m taking a break from the alphabet – I’m mixing things up a bit, and beating a dead horse down, down into the ground* – and by dead horse I mean topic – and by that I mean I’m going to devote this post to BOOKS just so you all know ridiculously obsessed I am with reading – i.e. I have no life.

By now, I’ve told you all ad nauseum in various forms what my favorite books are, so to avoid boring you all to tears by telling you for the 800th time that Gone With the Wind is my all time favorite book, followed by Lamb by Christopher Moore; I’m going to list the THIRTEEN BOOKS I MOST WANT TO READ RIGHT NOW, in no particular order. Helping me in my mission will be goodreads.com, my favorite place to make lists of books that I’ve read, want to read, consider a favorite, borrowed from a friend, etc. and then see what my friends are reading so I can add those books to my list, too! With goodreads helping me, this Thursday Thirteen should be easy as pie… mmm… pie… Erm, ok, ready?

  1. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: It’s coming out in 1 days 16 hours and 2 minutes… not that I’m counting or anything… I won’t be getting it the day it comes out, but I am toying with the idea of going to the release party at my local Borders, which happens to be across the street from our apartment…
  2. Ariel by Sylvia Plath: I’ve had this sort of obsession with Plath since reading the Bell Jar and not finding her all that emotionally confusing, i.e. I completely and utterly related to her main character and it scared the bejeezes out of me. Ariel is supposed to be one of her best works and apparently she churned out the poems in Ariel, “at the remarkable rate of two or three a day, and Robert Lowell describes them as written by “hardly a person at all … but one of those super-real, hypnotic, great classical heroines.” Even more remarkable, she wrote them during one of the coldest, snowiest winters (1962-63) Londoners have ever known.” Snowbound, without central heating, she and her two children spent much of their time sniffling, coughing, or running temperatures…” Which just makes me want to read it even more.
  3. I Heart My In-Laws: Falling in Love with His Family–One Passive-Aggressive, Over-Indulgent, Grandkid-Craving, Streisand-Loving, Bible-Thumping In-Law at a Time by Dina Koutas Poch: One of the few examples in literature where the title really does say it all – what married woman wouldn’t want to read this?

  4. Phantom by Susan Kay: This was my BFF’s description of this book, which made me want to read it so badly: “Phantom is a must read for anyone who has swooned over Phantom of the Opera and never known why. Susan Kay weaves a story that makes your heart fall in love with the Opera Ghost and makes it ache for his misfortune. There are only few discrepency’s between the stage production of Phantom of the Opera and the book. Mostly you will note a few differences in the performance in the recently made movie in 2006. The subtle differences are few but there. Such as the severity of OG’s deformity and how he gets to the opera house.”
  5. Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews: I’ve always been intrigued by the lives of celebrities – and by that I mean their real lives, their life stories and what happens when the cameras are turned off. Julie Andrews being the phenomenal woman she is, is a perfect example of a woman I’d love to know more about. “Her memoir begins in 1935, when Julie was born to an aspiring vaudevillian mother and a teacher father, and takes readers to 1962, when Walt Disney himself saw her on Broadway and cast her as the world’s most famous nanny.”
  6. The Constant Princess by Philipa Gregory: I loved the Other Boleyn Girl – as in, I ate, slept, dreamt, and drank the book – and the one character whom I admired but felt could have used a broader story was Queen Catherine of Aragon – the Constant Princess is her story – so you know I want to read it badly. I’ve read a couple of Gregory’s other books and wasn’t quite as in love with them, which is the reason I haven’t read this one yet, but it is always in the back of my mind as a must read soon book…
  7. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky: I don’t know how many times I tried to beg, plead, and blackmail my book club into reading this book but it never quite caught on as a favorite – I still think it looks amazing. It tells the story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control, i.e. the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1940. “When Némirovsky began working on Suite Française, she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where she died. For sixty-four years, this novel remained hidden and unknown.” That alone is such an amazing story, I really want to read this novel someday…
  8. Rumors by Anna Goderbsen: I won’t go into detail here as I’ve mentioned it in what seems like over half of my posts in the past week, but it’s the sequel to The Luxe for anyone who doesn’t know – The Luxe was a kind of historical mystery romance novel, and was just stunningly brilliantly amazingly [ insert more ly words here]. You should read it, and then read Rumors, but not before I do, or I’ll be jealous.
  9. Rockabye: A Young Mom’s Journey from Wild to Child by Rebecca Woolf: The memoir of a young city girl who becomes unexpectedly pregnant – so many themes going on in this memoir that make me want to read about it, but really most parenting memoirs intrigue me, this one just has oodles of cool kid credits going along with it – and the cover is gorgeous.
  10. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry: About a family of women who can read the future in a bit of lace – this just sounds so cool and it’s getting rave reviews and you know I’m all about the band wagons.
  11. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell: One of many books whose cover was what initially drew me in, this novel tells the story of a woman who seemingly vanishes, only to turn up 60 years later, after supposedly finally being let out of a mental facility, and showing up on the doorstep of her only living relative, who didn’t even know she was alive. Talk about a heavy hitter – this book just sounds amazing.
  12. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen: I found this book RIGHT NEXT to The Vanishing Act, and want to read it pretty much just as badly. It scores one point immediately for the author’s middle name, which is on the top of our Girls’ Names List right now, with Rachel, Anna & Catherine (if you wanted to know); this book has nothing to do with my list of baby names though, it’s about the Waverley’s, an extraordinary family who tend to a  garden which bear a special kind of apple tree which gives the caretakers sort of “magic powers” … they also grow nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and pansies that make children thoughtful, and even snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of amorous neighbors… Yeah seriously, hello, shut up, I want to read it.
  13. Last but certainly not least, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart: whose introduction is vaguely reminiscent of Harry Potter, but in a good way, not a “nobody has new ideas anymore” kind of way. And actually, okay, it really sounds nothing like HP at all, see?  “”Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete.”

Okay, I’m done – man that was harder than I thought it would be; a quick browse through my goodreads account yielded well over 30 books from the 275 or so that I have listed as “to read” – and that was me being picky – then I had it down to a solid 23 which was solidly 10 too many, so I started weeding out some obvious ones like Pride and Prejudice, which by now everyone and their brother knows I’m going to be reading for the Classic’s Bookclub on 5 Minutes for Books; and a few other classics and “should read because people say so” books, and tried to focus on the ones that made me want to run across the street to Borders and buy all 13 right now… which I won’t do, because my husband would cry, but I’d like to, and that’s how I decided on my final 13. Neat, huh?

If you want to participate in Thursday Thirteen, just head over to the T13 Hub and join in!

*No dead horses were harmed in the making of this blog post. I swear.