Monday, February 28, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking Pants

We have a problem around here.
Our pants are shrinking.
All of them.
Anyone have a tutorial on how to let out jeans?  No?
Ok then.
This calls for drastic measures.
I found a wonderful new diet that is supposed to really work.  I'm going to tell you about it.  Everyone that has ever tried it, I mean, every single person who has ever done this crazy new diet has lost weight and has become more healthy.  Because I love you, I will share it with you.
Stop eating crap and increase your activity!
Crazy, right?  But it's supposed to work.
Let's just see about that.
Here's where we start:

Yes, that says 168!
It's okay, gotta start somewhere right?
(My father is totally freaking out right now because first of all, I weigh 168 and second, I'm posting this for everyone to see.  Breathe Daddy, it's okay.)
Eating healthy takes a lot of preparation.  I don't like preparation. 

I cut up the following vegetables:
Red, green, yellow bell peppers
red onion
yellow squash

Threw them in a bowl, added a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread them out on a cookie sheet covered with nonstick foil.  (It would please me if you would use a really old blackened cookie sheet like the one I have.) 

Cook at 450 degrees from about 30 - 40 minutes depending on how well done you like your veggies. 

I also grilled some boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Throw some veggies, the chicken and some salsa in a whole grain tortilla.

It's not Burger King but it will do until my pants stop being so stupid.
I'm also doing this:

Which is equally stupid.
I have no coordination.  I'm going to break a hip.
I have a headache.  From the lack of eating crap, I'm sure.
My husband was being totally supportive while eating his bacon and eggs this morning.
Let's revisit that scale next Monday and see how things are going, shall we?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Why I Blog

I work from home.
I work alone.
I am a people person.
I like meeting new people.
I enjoy surrounding myself with friends, old and new.
I enjoy idle chit chat.
I like learning about how to fashion cute home accessories out of old junk.
I especially like it when someone writes about their craft and recipe failures.
I like to stalk your beautifully decorated homes.
I like to see dirty dishes in your sinks and piles of dirty laundry.

I enjoy learning that thigh chafing cream can be used on my face as a primer under my makeup.
I've connected with so many wonderful people that I never would have had the opportunity to meet had I not started a blog.  They support me, listen to me rant and rave, and pray with me.  Some of them even "get" me. 

I hope that someday I can meet each and every one of them in person and tell them what I love about them and thank them for letting me share my crazy self with them. 


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just One Voice Changed this Nation

I have no doubt that Kelloggs will be thrilled to know they have redeemed themselves in my eyes.  Picture a boardroom full of executives throwing out accusations and pointing fingers and trying to come up with a solution to what they finally realize was a major flaw in the production of their cereal,
Raisin Bran.

Let me bring you back to November 6, 2010, which I call, The Great Cereal Killer Fiasco.  You remember it, don't you?  For my new readers, please let me introduce you to a time and place not too long ago.  It was an ugly place, a place that caused screaming in the streets and pitchforks, and lighted torches as the masses swarmed the Kelloggs Corporate offices in hope of bringing about change in this great nation.

Oh, maybe it was just me, I was upset.  In my own defense, let me tell you that this took place prior to my hysterectomy where they surgically removed my hysteria. 
I'm better now. 
I can just roll my eyes if I get upset and I don't do crazy things like I did on that fateful day.  Go ahead, look at it, I'll be right here waiting for you when you get back.  If you come back.  Here ya go.

November 6th, 2010 I said, they must have found my blog and been scared senseless because they have come up with a solution.  They kept the same amount of raisins but added some more crap that makes up for the fact that they didn't change the flakes (that still get soggy).

Raisin Bran EXTRA!

They have added dried cranberries, sliced almonds and yogurt clusters.  Now when I get a spoonful of cereal, I don't feel I've been cheated.  I feel that Americans should really start speaking up for the injustice in the world. 
or whatever. 
My standing up to Corporate America made a difference and if it hadn't been for a little blog post on November 6, 2010, we would have still been eating that soggy bowl of inequity.
You're Welcome.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Chevron and Vomit

I'm not a fan of Chevron.

There I said it. 

I know it's huge now and you see it everywhere in Blogland.

It makes me dizzy and nauseated. 

source: apartment therapy
source: craftzine
source: designsponge
If you have anything in this Chevron pattern, please don't hate me, I'm pretty sure it's just me and I have no taste.
What new decorating trend are you seeing that you don't care for?


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love...then Eat again.

Yesterday was nice.  I had the house to myself and spent the day cleaning, organizing and baking bread....again.  I've been wanting to try this English Muffin Bread that my friend Kris at Simplify has been talking about.  It was really easy.  You can find the recipe here.  For my machine I set it at 1 1/2 lb loaf and the white bread setting.  When toasted, it's crunchy and chewy just like an English muffin.  A little raspberry jam and I was a happy girl.
Just look at those nooks and crannies!

I really enjoy all of her recipes but this is one of my favorites.

I'd like to ask for prayers for my Daddy.  He's going to be going in for some pretty extensive surgery next week.  If you have followed my blog you will remember my Dad from here and here.  Please remember him in your prayers for a uneventful, safe surgery and a quick recovery.  I just love this man more than you could ever imagine and I want God's mailbox full of prayers for him.  My Daddy loves the Lord and knows that He will be holding his hand on that day.

We are going to a BBQ this weekend and I will be making deviled eggs.  These are a big hit with my husband so I can't make them ahead of time or they tend to disappear. 
Have a Great Day!!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Temporary Post...Don't read me...unless you're Laraine

HEY LARAINE.....!!!!!!!!!



(I must admit that when I got a message that my email was undelivered because her box was full, my first thought was to email her and let her know)


Monday, February 21, 2011

The Sweetest Day

I was thrilled yesterday to get a visit from Tammy and her unbelievably sweet daughter Madelyn.  Tammy lives in Colorado and is my husband's niece so she and I had never met.  We talk on the phone, email, and read each other's blogs.

  Seeing Tammy for the first time was so much fun.  I felt I had known her all my life.  We got to sit and chat and play with Miss M.  What a perfect little girl!  I had a wonderful time lovin on that little one.  She has such a sweet nature and Tammy is so good with her.  We got to get her naked down to the diaper and smell all that great "baby smell.
Look at those gorgeous eyes!
This is the look I got all afternoon while she tried to figure out why this crazy woman kept taking her picture.
If you get a chance, head over to Tammy's Blog at Pink is Not My Favorite Color.  I love seeing pictures of her family, the amazing renovations they have done on their home, and see her get her craftiness on.  Tammy makes adorable tutus. 
I think I wore Miss M out with her photo shoot and probably too many kisses.
Aunt Holly

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rainy Days and Ranch Bread

The forecast calls for a rainy cold weekend so all my pretty flowers have been pulled in under cover so I can throw a sheet over them if it gets too cold.
It's been so nice the past week that I was hoping we were finished with the cold spell.  Not that I'm ready for 115 degree weather.

Inside we've been keeping nice and warm.  I used my bread machine to bake a white ranch loaf.  The house was filled with a wonderful aroma.
White Ranch Bread
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup Dry Milk
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 TBSP powdered Ranch Dressing
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/8 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Place all ingredients into bread pan, in the order recommended by manufacturer of bread machine.  Insert the pan into bread maker and select "white", desired crust color, rapid or normal baking cycle and loaf size.  Press start.

I love this bread sliced and grilled with a little butter and garlic to go along with steak and potatoes. 
I think next time I'm going to let the bread machine do its thing until it's time to rise and then pull it out, let it rise on the counter and then bake it in the oven.  I don't like the shape or the hole in the bottom of the bread from the paddle.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Show Some Love Casserole and My Favorite Character

This is my "Go-To" dish that I use when I need to take something to a family that needs some extra lovin' and comfort food.  It refrigerates really well and the leftovers are even better.

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

8 oz thin spaghetti
1/4 cup butter
1/2 large onion chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups sliced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups sour cream
pepper to taste
salt to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup StoveTop stuffing (uncooked)
(looks like a lot but you probably have most of these things in your house already)


Heat Oven to 350.  Grease a 9/13 baking dish.  Boil the spaghetti noodles 3 minutes less than instructed on the package.

Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Cut chicken into bite size pieces and saute just until the outside is done, don't worry about the inside, it will cook in the oven.  Add mushrooms, onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent. 

Add broth, soups, sour cream, 1 cup of the cheddar, salt and pepper and mix well. 

Add the spaghetti and toss.

Spoon into the baking dish.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and the remaining cheddar.  Sprinkle the StoveTop over the top and bake for 35 - 40 minutes. 

(My husband loves stuffing and I don't so I make it as a side dish a couple times a month and I love that I can now buy it in a canister so I can just take out whatever I need.)

Makes enough for a family of six.  I halved the recipe above since this dish was just for my husband and myself.

What's your "Go To" recipe for showin' some love?

And now, I just have to show you a video of my favorite character, Dot.   Try to watch the whole thing, it's hilarious.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm a my head.

Since I have nothing good to post, and since I was just over at Larainy's Blog reading the first chapter of her book, I thought I would share the beginning of a book that I had written a while back.

Note to self, call Home Depot in the morning and order a gas oven. Never mind that I don’t have a gas hookup, but I know that it has to be nearly impossible to kill oneself by sticking your head in an electric oven and far too painful. I’ve burned my forehead enough times with a curling iron to know that this would not be the way to go. So much easier to turn on the gas, plump up a pillow on the open oven door and take a little nap. Maybe read a good book.

I’m still sitting on the kitchen floor giving the oven a dirty look when the phone rings. I’m instantly thankful that this is 2007 and not 2027 and I don’t have an automatic web phone so that the caller can see me sitting in a puddle of orange juice eating stale marshmallows out of a bag. While I’m waiting for the answering machine to pick up I run my tongue over my teeth feeling the sticky goo that has adhered itself to my molars. I will need to buy a firmer toothbrush if I decide to live through the rest of the day.

“Pick up, Mel. It’s not that bad. Just pick up the phone.” My best friend Sara whispers over the phone. “Pick up or I’m coming over.” Sara lets out a long sigh and I can almost see her at work, bent over with her head under her desk. “Fine, I’m probably going to get fired but I’m coming over.” Beep.

“Beep”, I say back to the machine. Somehow, this is the only conversation I feel that I’m able to have at the moment. I’m never going to be able to move the refrigerator to clean the juice out from under it. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Today is January 23. I am:
1) Not going to Hawaii on my honeymoon
2) Not going to be Mrs. Melanie Becker as planned.
3) Not going to be drinking a fruity drink with an umbrella in it.
4) Not going to be worn out from passionate sex.

I am:
1) In a snowstorm in Kokomo, Indiana
2) Still Melanie Addison, 31 year old single spinster
3) Sitting in a fruity little drink
4) Never going to have sex again.

“Beep.” Saying this word makes me laugh and I realize now that I may be crazy.

Sara lets herself in and doesn’t even have the audacity to look repulsed by what she sees. What she sees is me sitting in the kitchen clutching the marshmallow bag wearing OJ soaked underwear and a t-shirt that says, “Who let the DAWGS out??” My normally curly brown hair now hangs in straight greasy spikes and sticks to my forehead. I have raccoon eyes from the mascara I put on two days ago. “You can’t have any; I don’t have enough to share”.

“Why didn’t you pick up the phone?” She sounds like someone’s mother. Oh yeah, she is someone’s mother. She has a daughter, three year old Rebecca, with soft blond ringlets and a finger permanently positioned in her left nostril. I suddenly have the urge to put my own finger in my nose. I mean really, why shouldn’t I? It’s not like I have a husband who’s going to walk in and say,” Darling, now that’s really not attractive.”

“How did you manage to spill the entire carton?” Sara picks up a roll of paper towels and begins mopping up the mess on the floor, she pushes me with her hip to try to move me but I’ve become a part of the linoleum. I’m not moving. I like it here. I like the view from here. I can see into the open cabinet beneath the sink and I see that I have three cans of Pledge. See? If I wasn’t down here I would have probably put Pledge on my shopping list and wasted $3.79 at the Stop and Shop. Nope, don’t need Pledge. Good thing I’m down here.

“You gonna help me or what?” She doesn’t look happy.


“What?” Now she looks really irritated.

“I’ve decided what. Not helping.” I can’t help but feel a little powerful right now. Everything in my life is so out of control but one decision I can make is whether to start helping clean up the mess or to just sit in it. I’m still sitting. A smile crosses my face.

Sara stands up and leans against the counter with her arms crossed in front of her enormous chest. Maybe it’s not enormous; it just looks that way compared to the rest of her body which is tiny. Ballerina tiny. Big boobs, tiny wrists. Don’t see that too often. Her light brown hair fans across her shoulders and I am in awe that I could have such a beautiful friend. I picture myself in the third grade, standing in a line on the playground playing a game. Sara is across from me and it’s her turn to call a name. “Pick me! Pick me!” I was praying. “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Melanie right over!” She picked me. From that day on, she always picked me. She became my best friend.

She smiles down at me. “You know, it’s going to be okay. He was an idiot. You’re lucky it happened when it did and not after you had a couple of kids.” She waits for me to say something. “Come on, you need a shower. I’ll finish up in here then we’ll drink ourselves silly. You’ll feel better.”

I let her pull me up and stand with my legs apart while we watch the juice fall from between my legs. “Look, I’m peeing citrus!”

Instead of getting in the shower, I slip out of my clothes and sit on the bed and stare out the window at the snow slapping up against the pane. I try to figure out how things got this bad. I knew that Mike had his faults. Like the time we were in that steak house on the outskirts of town and he turned around and yelled at that little kid for kicking the booth. Like that time when we were first sleeping together and I woke up early to make coffee and he got upset because I was drinking out of his favorite “Indy 500” mug. Even after I passed it to him he wouldn’t drink out of it until he washed it out with soap first. Strange behavior from a guy who had spent half the night with his head between my legs.

So anyway, I should have seen this coming. I should have known he would dump me a week before our wedding when he stopped coming over after work every day and started going out with friends instead. “It’s not my fault my friends want to throw me a bachelor party”, he would say. Of course, most men don’t have seven or eight bachelor parties but I did try to be understanding and besides, I had a lot to do before the wedding.

“Are you getting in the shower?” Sara peeks her head through the doorway.  “Ew, naked!”  and she immediately slams the door.  Sara has a thing about nudity.  No one should ever, for any reason, be nude.  I wonder how she got Rebecca.  Did she pull her panties to one side like you do when you have to pee in a bathing suit? 


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring has Sprung

We're finally starting to warm up here.  The frost took a toll on all of our bushes and trees.  Everything is still looking terrible and brown.  I can tell that we have green underneath so in March I can trim everything back and hopefully have pretty green again.

I posted a while back about the problems we were having with bees under my husband's workshop.  We had a massive hive underneath so the bees kept coming back no matter how many times we killed them.  The hive had to be removed.  The workshop had to be jacked up and the hive was removed.
We are now bee-free.  Woot-Woot!
I was able to get some flowers planted in some pots that will probably hold me over until we are able to get our summer lawn in.  I miss the green.

On a side note, I found a recipe for home made kettle corn here.  It was very simple and delicious.  The secret is to just keep the pot moving on the stove or the sugar will burn very quickly. 
Sweet and salty deliciousness.