Thursday, March 29, 2012

About time for a Hunger Games review? I think so.

For those of you who know me, you know there’s nothing I love more than going to the movies. 

I would go every week – maybe even more than once a week – if I could afford it and had someone to come with me.  In fact, I’ve often thought of going on my own even when I can’t find someone to come with me…but I’m too self-conscious to sit in a theatre alone. 

(People would be looking at me funny.  I know it.  “Crazy lady who goes to the movies alone.”  That’s what I’d be.)

But someday, I just might have to go alone, because it truly is one of my favourite places to be, and not everyone shares my enthusiasm of going to the movies.

Some people think it’s expensive or a waste of money.  Some would rather wait til it comes out on DVD and watch from the comfort of their own couch.

But the smell of the buttery popcorn that hits you when you walk through the doors?  The big, comfy seats?  The giant screen?  The booming sound? 

That is heavenly to me, and worth every penny.

And every once in a while, a film comes along that makes going to the movies even more special.  A film that is more than just a movie.

It’s more of an event, really.

And this past weekend, I enjoyed the movie event that is THE HUNGER GAMES.

Late Sunday afternoon, I joined my friends Lindsay & Ryan, and my brother Luke and his wife Amanda to see the movie that I had been anxiously anticipating ever since I read the series in a whirlwind two weeks last summer.

I was skeptical of the books, just as I was with Twilight.  I didn’t think this would be my kind of gig.  However, I was pleasantly surprised when I was completely swept up in the dystopian future that author Suzanne Collins created, where the world as we know it is no more.  The people of the post-apocalyptic country Panem are separated into districts, each poor but with their own specialty, and fall under the rule of the rich, lavish and colourful Capitol.  Every year, two teenagers from each District  – one girl and one boy - are selected in what they call “The Reaping”.  These twenty-four young people are pitted against one another in the annual Hunger Games, which is essentially a sick and violent reality TV show in which they battle one another to the death in a grand, fabricated outdoor “arena”, with only one victor left standing.  The Games were created after a rebellion against the Capitol years ago when the former District 13 was abolished, to serve as punishment and a reminder to the people of Panem that the Capitol is to be respected and they are to be obedient.

We are introduced to the character of Katniss Everdeen, the young woman from District 12 who volunteers in place of her sister to take part in the Hunger Games.  She is joined by a boy named Peeta Mellark, and together, under the guidance of their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy, they attempt to bring a victory to District 12 for the first in years.  It won’t be easy, as they are going up against much stronger and more practiced competitors.  But with Katniss’ skill with a bow, learned from her days hunting back home with her friend Gale, it’s the first time in a long time that District 12 has a chance.

Of course, for someone like me to be hooked, there’s gotta be a little romance.  And Katniss & Peeta deliver. ;)

First of all – can I just say that I thought the casting for the movie was phenomenal?  I loved Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss.  Liam Hemsworth as Gale was absolutely drool-worthy, and if Josh Hutcherson  in the role of Peeta wasn’t such a cutie too, I’d have totally jumped from Team Peeta to Team Gale!

(Apparently you can’t watch  a movie or TV show around here these days without picking a team.)

I was also surprised and thrilled with Woody Harrelson portraying Haymitch.  I couldn’t picture it, but he was excellent – just the added touch of humor that the flick needed.  And another pleasant surprise was Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Katniss & Peeta’s stylist.  I wasn’t sure how he would fit in that role, but he was just perfect.

Truthfully, the only slight fault I could find was the chemistry between the actors playing Katniss and Peeta.  Without giving away a whole lot to those who haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I felt that their relationship on the page was more believable than it was on-screen.  Anyone else feel that way?

I do think that it was a good idea that I hadn’t read the books recently – it was over six months ago that I flew through them, and while the main story still held strong in my mind, many of the details were gone.   I think that heightened my experience in the movie, as I was on the edge of my seat at times, trying to remember, “What happens here?”  And in the few cases where the movie differed from the book, I wasn’t bogged down or bothered by it.

To be honest, I thought it was one of the most true book-to-screen conversions I have ever seen.  I’d have to re-read the story to see what was missed, because I didn’t miss much and I thought they covered a lot.

I had also worried a little beforehand about how the violence would be dealt with on the big screen.  It’s a rather gruesome story, and I didn’t want to be hiding behind my coat the whole time, à la Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  But while the fighting and deaths certainly weren’t hidden or sugar-coated, it wasn’t all blood, guts and gore either - perfectly suitable for the young-adult audience the original book was targeted towards.

I loved it.  I thought it was just about perfect.  And I’m glad that there are 3 more movies to anticipate in the future, especially now that the Twilight Saga is winding down.  (Oh, and you should’ve Lindsay and I gasping and holding hands in excitement when we caught our first glimpse of Breaking Dawn Part 2 in the previews!  November 16th!!!)

Did you see The Hunger Games on opening weekend?  If not, do you plan to see it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Thursday :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Don’t you forget about me…

I’m still here!!  I swear!!

How is it that every year, Spring sneaks up on me?  The snow melts, life gets busy, and I’m all “WTF?!?!  I HAVE NO TIIIIIIME!!!”

This year, Spring came a little too early.  28 degrees C in March?  Yep.  That’s what it was like here last week.  Downright balmy.  I wasn’t complaining, trust me.  But when it gets that hot in mid-March, it makes work go crazy.  Everybody wants seed and fertilizer and sod and they want it nowwwww.

Relax, folks.   We’re back to reality this week.  Temps are a little more normal.   But work is still busy.  Life is still busy.

I have so much I want to do here on the blog.

I need to get organized to throw a big GIVEAWAY in honour of my reaching 100 Followers.  I need to recap The Hunger Games, which I saw on Sunday.  I need advice on what TV series to Zip next.

Many good things that I’d like to dive into right now but I just ain’t got the time today.

Hopefully by tomorrow, I can get my act together.  But until then…

Try to remember me, OK?  I’m still here. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Randoms

  • Yesterday, I hit 100 FOLLOWERS!!  Woo hoo!!  I know I already treated you to like a billion pictures of yummy looking food to celebrate, but stay tuned - I may just have a little giveaway in store for you in honour of hitting this prestigious milestone!! ;)  Thanks to all for clicking the “Follow” button, I appreciate each & every one of you. XO
  • It feels cold today.  Like, really friggin cold compared to the past few days.  The weather man says it’s 9 degrees Celcius today, but it feels much colder.  Brrrr.   Bring on the +20 on Sunday.  I’m freezing my butt off right now.
  • The warmer weather has had me craving chip stand food.  Every night, on my way home from work, I drive by Mae’s and glance in to see if there’s any sign of life.  So far, no such luck.  Oh what I’d give for a Mae’s poutine for supper tonight…

  • So.  I finally attempted to Google Diagnose my fish this morning.  The bump is still there.  Last Friday night, some of my friends suggested that maybe it’s pregnant.  Which led to a whole ridiculously hilarious conversation on the mating rituals of goldfish and whether or not fish can even get “pregnant”, and then somehow ended with us watching a Youtube video of a turtle doing it with a Croc.  (No, not a real crocodile, just a shoe.  I can’t make this stuff up, people.)
  • So, back to the problem at hand.  According to the Google Veterinarians, my fish most likely has a terrible bacterial infection, and if I don’t treat him immediately, he will die soon.  I’m supposed to go to the pet store and buy some kind of medicine, quarantine him, clean my tank, put fresh water in, and hope & pray.  And it probably won’t work, but if I want to save my other fish, this is the only course of action I can take.  That sounds like a lot of work for a couple of fish, right?  I think I’ll just wait it out and see what happens. (If that chick that sent me fish hate mail before reads this, I’m gonna be in BIG TROUBLE MISTER!!)
  • You should all be fair warned:  When you go to Youtube and search for “turtle doing it with a Croc”, you’re going to be led to a string of videos displaying very risqué animal porn.   And simply by typing this sentence, I’m probably going to have every creepo on the interwebs coming to my blog.  JUST GREAT.
  • Sticking with the animal theme:  As the snow melts in my yard, I’m discovering little mounds of mud everywhere.  Each of them has a little hole in the middle.  My mother tells me that I probably have grubs, and mice or moles have been burrowing around eating them.  Blech.  The thoughts of mice and/or moles scurrying around my yard gives me the heebie jeebies.  I better not catch one of those vermin in my house.

This is not my lawn but it kind of looks like this.

  • This time change?  It sucks the big one.  I’ve always said, “Oh, time changes don’t really bother me, I adjust quickly.”  Well, not this time!!  I’m feeling so so tired this week.  So very, very tired.
  • I’m looking forward to a quieter weekend this weekend – with more relaxing, and less wine-drinking.  Last Saturday night, at Mae’s party, I drank wine.  Probably just a smidge too much.   I don’t handle my wine very well.  The next thing you know, I’m holding a Zumba class on the dance floor.  (Lindsay has photo evidence, unfortunately.)  That’s also probably why I’ve been so tired this week (can hangovers last this long??) and why my legs have been so sore.  *sigh*  Gettin’ too old, I tell ya…
  • Remember how I said I gave up my credit card for Lent?  Well, I’m still holding strong, but boy oh boy do I miss it.  I’ve been really wanting to order the next season I need of The Big Bang Theory on, but I keep telling myself, “After Easter.  After Easter.”  I really miss on-line shopping, though.

  • I have run out of chocolate.  I have to make a decision.  Replenish the Easter Eggs, or try to cut myself off the chocolate?  Tough decision.  What would you do if you were me?  (Hint: The answer is “Buy more chocolate, Jill.”)

Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WWTKW: Food Edition!

So.  Of COURSE on a week when I am, once again, struggling to get back on track with my diet, the We Want to Know Wednesday questions are all about food. 


Mmmmm food…

Mamarazzi and Crazymama drew inspiration from a previous WWTKW and used questions from people who linked up!  Awesome!

Here are this week’s questions:

{1} Ricki Jill from wants to know: I would like to know what the WWTK's  participants serve when they have company for dinner.  What are your go-to recipes?

{2} Jill @ wants to know: If you were told it was time for your last meal, what would you order up or make for yourself?

{3} Suzanne @ wants to know: Sugar or alcohol? or more delicately Drink or Dessert?

{4} Myya @ wants  to know: What is your favorite Crock Pot Recipe?

{5} Mamarazzi is having a hard time getting breakfast in everyday so she wants to know: What are you eating for breakfast these days?

My answers:

{1} Ricki Jill from wants to know: I would like to know what the WWTK's  participants serve when they have company for dinner.  What are your go-to recipes? 

I consider myself pretty much a newbie in the kitchen.  My mom is a great cook, so I never really tried to learn something that she did so well.  But since moving out on my own, I’ve attempted a few “dinner parties” – with some successes, and some failures.  Some of my biggest “hits”:  the night I served homemade pizza and potato skins, and the night I served spaghetti, Caesar salad, and garlic bread.  As you can tell, I haven’t gotten too “adventurous” yet!!

{2} Jill @ wants to know: If you were told it was time for your last meal, what would you order up or make for yourself? 

Hey!!  That’s me!!  My question!!  Woo Hoo!!! :) 

Sooo…I had pure gluttony on my mind when I thought up this question, and I’m just gonna go with it.  Please keep in mind that I don’t actually eat this much on a TYPICAL day.  But if it’s my last meal, I’m going out with a bang, y’all.

I want a Pickled Caesar, Oven-Baked Antojitos, and Four Cheese Spinach Dip from Montana’s Cookhouse.  I want a Big Mac.  I want Mom’s spaghetti with garlic bread.  I want a poutine.  I want a slice of pizza.  I want chicken wings from the Ladysmith Hotel.  I want Chinese Food.  I want a big-ass Ice Cream Sundae.  I want Turkey Dinner.




OK, this just got ridiculous.  Not even I could eat all that.

{3} Suzanne @ wants to know: Sugar or alcohol? or more delicately Drink or Dessert? 

Hmmm…that’s a toughie!  If this past Friday night was any indication, I would say drink.  Because I had two Pickled Caesars at Montana’s, and then was so full after my meal that I didn’t have room for the Skillet Cookie, my fave dessert there.  So I guess I picked alcohol over sugar.  Generally, though, I think I’d go for dessert over the drink.

{4} Myya @ wants  to know: What is your favorite Crock Pot Recipe? 

I have a very old Crock Pot, handed down to me from my sister, who I think got it from my mother, and it was clearly born in the’70’s.  It still works, but it’s small and not nearly as fancy as the ones on the market today.  So I rarely use it.  But one of my favourite meals to take to a potluck is Slow-Cooker Lasagna.

Slow-Cooker Lasagna

Prep: 15 min. Ready in 4 hrs 15 mins. Makes 8 servings

1 lb. Ground beef

1 jar pasta sauce

1 cup water

1 ¾ cup ricotta cheese or cottage cheese

1 ¾ cups Kraft 4 cheese Italiano shredded cheese (I just shred my own cheese!)

¼ cup Kraft 100% Parmesan Cheese, grated

1 egg

2 Tbsp. Fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. of the dried stuff)

6 lasagna noodles


1. Brown meat in large skillet, drain. Stir in pasta sauce and water. Mix ricotta, 1 ½ cups shredded cheese, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, egg and parsley.

2. Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker, top with layers of half each of noodles, broken to fit, and cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups of the remaining meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit, cheese mixture, and meat sauce. Cover with lid.

Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses, let stand covered 10 mins. Or until melted.


This recipe is so easy to make and gets so many rave reviews, even if it does come in an ancient Crock Pot!!!

{5} Mamarazzi is having a hard time getting breakfast in everyday so she wants to know: What are you eating for breakfast these days? 

Oh, Mamarazzi.  If only you knew my breakfast struggles…Let me declare it, here and now:  I HATE BREAKFAST.  I hate eating breakfast, and unless it’s a big ol’ plate of bacon and eggs or an omelette or pancakes later on in the morning, I can’t stand the thought of putting food into my mouth so early in the morning when I am so darn cranky.

But the healthy people of the world say breakfast is a must – so I make myself eat before work every morning, even though I’d rather drive my head into a wall.  I have a bowl of Cheerios and a glass of orange juice most mornings, which is hilarious, because I loathe cereal.  The odd days I treat myself to an English Muffin with light Cheese Whiz.  And often on weekends, I have some Greek vanilla yogurt with fruit.  Sunday is “breakfast out” day, and that’s when I usually treat myself to the bad but oh-so-yummy stuff.  Those are the only days I truly love to eat breakfast!!

And now…my stomach is growling.

Thanks to Mamarazzi and Crazymama for another fun Q&A Wednesday and for including my question!! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

For Mae

This past Saturday night, our little community had a pretty magical evening. 

The Waterfront Revitalization Committee, a group of people who have been working hard these past few years to raise money to build a much-needed new Community Centre in our town – held a spectacular dinner & dance in honour of one of our most cherished community members, Mae McCann.


Photo Courtesy of Dolan Art & Photography

Mae owns a beloved local business, and is a supporter of almost everything that goes on in our town – fundraisers, sporting events, community events, and she’s always there for families in need.   She was certainly deserving of a night in honour of her, and the evening was made even more special by the fact that the Committee reached it’s fundraising goal of $150,000. 

We’re getting a new hall!!  YAY!!!

As I sat Saturday evening listening to the speeches & toasts being made in Mae’s honour, my wheels started turning, and I realized I had a few things I’d like to tell Mae myself.  I decided to write her a letter, which I’m going to mail to her.   But I thought I would share it here on the blog as well.  Don’t anybody show her, I want her to read it when it arrives to her in the mail!  haha!

I thought that by letting you all read my letter to Mae, you might understand a bit better just why I love my little town

It’s because of people like her. :)

Dear Mae,

I just wanted to send you a little note to congratulate you, once again, on the wonderful night we all spent honouring you at the Lions Hall on Saturday night. You truly are so deserving of all the accolades. I can’t think of a more kind, generous, & caring individual in our community than you, and to be able to honour you and also raise money for the Waterfront Revitalization Committee was a perfect way to spend an evening in March!

As I sat and listened to all of the fantastic speeches made that night by your family & friends, I couldn’t help but think of my own “Mae Memories” – and it made me want to get up and share them, too. But then I realized that the hall was filled with people who could have said a speech. Every last one of us holds you near and dear. Of course there wasn’t time for us all to get up and speak, but I did think that maybe you would like it if I sent you this note to share my own thoughts with you.

Of course, most of my memories involve your chipstand – one of my favourite places to eat! You are always so generous with your delicious food. I’ll never forget one summer when I was a teenager, Erin Hudson and I somehow got the job of painting the garbage cans down at the park, the ball field, and the hall. You knew we had one “trashy” job that day, so when we stopped to eat, you gave us our lunch on the house. And this past summer, when our Canada Day Committee was getting ready for the “big day”, I dropped by to pick up supper for everyone who was getting ready down at the hall.  I remember you asking me how our preparations were going, and saying that you were sure it would again be a big success. As the girl started filling our boxes with fries, you took the scoop and threw in extra, saying, “These folks are working hard for our town, they need to be well fed!” That kindness meant so much!


I never had the opportunity to work for you, Mae, but I did get to work next door at the restaurant. It makes me smile to think of all the times you came in, just to order a roast beef sandwich. When I’d ask you what you wanted on it, you always said, “Just plain, it’s for my dog.” I always thought that was so sweet!

I also really appreciated all the times you asked about my dad in the past year or so. You’d always tell me, “You let him know that I’m thinking of him and he has to get better soon, I want to see him out driving in the little red truck again! I miss seeing him when I’m driving around town.” I’d go home and tell him, and it always made him smile.

Dad loved Quyon, and he passed that love for this town on to me. I truly believe that this is the best place in the world to live, and that is because of people like you. You’re always there for people when they’re in need, and you’re a role model for young women like myself, growing up in this community and wanting to give something back.

Mae, you’re a treasure and we all love you so much. You’re more than just chicken burgers and poutines…You’re the heartbeat of this community. And you are so dearly appreciated. I hope you know that.

From one Quyon girl to another…all my love and thanks.



Linking today’s post up with the fab ladies of Talk To Us Tuesday – Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Life is weird sometimes.

Every so often, I tell you guys about the randomly odd things that I’m noticing in my life.  Today is one of those extra-special days. 


  • Posting about this is probably going to get me more fish hate mail, but one of my gangster fish has a very serious problem I think.  The other night, when I had my family over for dinner, my sister pointed out to me that the big one, Marley, has a huge bump on it’s side.   I’ve been observing it ever since.  I was hoping it just needed to take a big fishy poop, but apparently not.  I’m now thinking it has a tumor growing internally.  I don’t know if there are such thing as fish doctors?  Please advise.
  • Why, oh why, when I wear dark-coloured nail polish, do people think I’m going crazy?  A few weeks ago, I had on my Revlon Black Star, which I loved, and several people thought it was too Goth apparently.  This week, I’m sporting e.l.f.’s Metal Madness, and I’m getting similar questions and strange looks.  It’s just nail polish, people.  I’ll wear yellow next week.  Promise.

Not my fingers!  Stolen from Google Images

  • I’ve heard that peoples’ tastes change every seven years or something like that.  Well, it’s taken me 28 years, but I think I’m officially now a sweets person.  Not that I’d ever turn down a piece of cake before, but I preferred chips & dip and other salty snacks.  Since Christmas, though, I can’t get enough of the sweets.  My family mocked me for being the only person in the world to already have Easter candy last weekend.  Whatever.  I need chocolate on a daily basis now.  It just so happens that at this time of year, it comes in the form of Easter Eggs.

  • Sticking with the weird taste buds…remember my addiction to tea?   All different kinds of herbal and green teas?  Well, that’s over.  I stand and stare at all my boxes of tea bags – Mulled Apple, Ginger Peach, Lemon Echinacea, Chocolatey Chai, Peppermint…and I curl up my nose.  Now, I apparently just want good ol’ black tea.  Fortunately, I have discovered a new favourite.  Earl Grey Vanilla.  Love.

  • I’ve been missing Yoga.  I was doing it quite a bit pre-Christmas, but hadn’t really gotten back into it since then.  Until last night.  I went to Yoga and was absolutely appalled at how non-bendy I am again.  Terrible.  But it felt good to stretch it out.  I think I’ll be resuming my regular Yoga practices, effective immediately.
  • I can’t read anymore.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’ve tried reading, and it’s not working.  Not even my fluffy re-read of the Twilight series has been successful.  I’m stalled about two chapters into New Moon, and have no interest in continuing.  There are 5 books on my night stand that I have started and never picked back up again.  Weird.
  • What I have been doing a lot of?  Puzzles.  Also weird.  I have been working on this one puzzle with a picture of horses on it for about two months, off and on.  Last night, I sat on my floor for two hours, watching Friends and doing my puzzle.  It’s finally starting to take shape.  And I am now officially an old lady who would rather do puzzles than anything else.

  • Sunday is the giant legendary annual St. Patrick’s Day party in my town, and a week ago I was so excited about it.  Today?  Not so much.  I’m contemplating bailing.  Not feeling the green these days.  I’d rather drink tea and work on my puzzle.

So there.  All the odd and random floating through my brain this morning, spilled all over the blog.  Just for you.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

WWTKW: Birthday Edition

Good Wednesday Morning, all!  What shall we do to celebrate this lovely, sunny, WARM Wednesday??


I think I’ll link ‘er up with Mamarazzi and Crazymama for a little Wednesday Q&A. 

This week, they’re asking all about birthdays.  And I LOVE birthdays!!

{1} What is your favorite way to celebrate birthdays?
{2} Which is more fun to celebrate? Celebrating yours or your loved ones?
{3} What is your dessert of choice for birthday celebrating?
{4} Tell us about your best birthday you've ever had.
{5} Share your favorite birthday song
{6} Bonus Question: if you could pick any age to be again, how old would you be and why?

My answers:

{1} What is your favorite way to celebrate birthdays?  Umm…I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I kind of go crazy with my birthday.  I try to stretch out the fun as long as I can.  I think this past year, it lasted almost three weeks.  My dad always called it “The Queen’s Jubilee”.  (He hated my birthday.)  I like having dinner with my friends, and celebrating the others who have birthdays close to mine.  (There are a few of us in July!)  I also like having a family BBQ dinner – burgers, dogs, chips, cake…But honestly, thinking wayyyy ahead to July now (29 is still VERY VERY FAR AWAY)…what I’d like to do most this year is just go to the movies and go to McDonalds.  That’s one of my most favourite outings ever.

I think this was my 25th…celebrating with great friends at Gavan’s

My 24th maybe?  With friends in the Elvis booth at Jack Astor’s!!

{2} Which is more fun to celebrate? Celebrating yours or your loved ones?  I love both.  I don’t like getting older, but I do enjoy celebrating with family & friends, so I’m not one of those people that dreads their birthday.  (Not a fan of the age going up, but what can ya do.)  I also enjoy celebrating birthdays when it’s not my own!!  Birthdays = good food and cake.  What’s not to love?!

{3} What is your dessert of choice for birthday celebrating?  I think I have to say my mom’s cake.  Mom has made our birthday cakes for a million years.  And they’re always wonderful.  I prefer a white cake.  But if I had to choose a second option, I’d got with a DQ cake!

I tried to find a picture of a birthday cake my mom made for me, but apparently I don’t have any on this computer.  So here’s a picture of my niece’s first birthday cake, made by mom! lol

{4} Tell us about your best birthday you've ever had.  I have actually told this story on the blog before.  My best birthday was the year Brenda took me to meet my favourite hockey player of all time, then-Ottawa Senators defencemanWade Redden at the 65 Roses Sports Gala at the Rideau Carleton Raceway.   It was a few weeks before my actual birthday, but you can bet I was still buzzing about it by the time my birthday came around!!  You can find the full story in all it’s glory here.

Jill & Wade

{5} Share your favorite birthday song.  This is the song that comes into my head when it’s birthday time.  At least, the first couple of lines.  I even sing it to my little niece and nephew.  No sippin’ Bacardi for them, though.

{6} Bonus Question: if you could pick any age to be again, how old would you be and why?  I think I’d go back to something like age 5.  I worried a lot as a kid – I think if I could go back, I’d savour those young, innocent days more, and just fully enjoy being a kid.  Plus, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you at 5, and no real cares in the world.  And you get to do Barbies hair all day long.  Yeah.  That would be a good age to revisit.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I ripped the dress. But not because of fatness. It was because of my stupid brother.

In the past six months, you guys have had to hear an awful lot about me trying to lose weight in order to fit into bridesmaid dresses.

And I realized just now that I never followed up on Dress #1.  The one I had to squeeze my butt into for my brother’s wedding on February 11, 2012.

Oh, yes.  That’s right.  There’s a story to tell.

As you may recall, I faced the fiery little dragon and lived to tell about it.  She turned out to be a miracle worker that managed to get me into that dress.  Well… at least, a month in advance, I got into it.  And figured I was good to go.

But then everything happened with my dad.  

My dieting and weight loss goals kind of flew out the window.  For the month leading up to my dad’s passing and Luke & Amanda’s  wedding, I was stress-eating.  A lot.

And so, on the day of the wedding, having not tried on the dress again since that day at the store, I wasn’t 100% sure it was going to fit.

Talk about a sigh of relief when it did.


Life was stressful enough right about then.  I didn’t need to add any ‘dress drama’ to the occasion.

Thankfully, Luke & Amanda’s big day was just about perfect, all things considered.

Photos courtesy of the lovely Leslie at Lestanto Photography

And I think Steph and I looked pretty rad in our BM dresses, too.

With Sherri-Lynn and Steph

With Britt & Cowan

But of course, despite my best efforts, I had dress issues regardless.  It wouldn’t have been right, I suppose, had I escaped completely unscathed, after all that worrying and fretting and busting my ass to fit into it.

Something had to happen to my dress.

The good news is that it wasn’t because of my fatness.

Oh no.  I had another culprit to blame.

You see, brother dearest was a little miffed at the fact that I teased him (just a little…hardly at ALL!) in my speech at the dinner.  And so, he faced off with me on the dance floor later that night.

He pretended to kick me.

So I tried to faux-kick him back.

And that’s when the dress ripped.

Riiiiiight up the back.

I heard it.  I felt it.  My jaw dropped, and I grabbed at the rear of my dress. It was bad, I could tell.   And I instantly started scrambling around, trying to find someone who could help me before my butt fell out completely.

My sister was the first one I found as I tried to back off the dance floor without anyone noticing. 

“Kara.  I ripped my dress.  I have to go home.  I swear to God, my ASS IS SHOWING!!”

(Please keep in mind that my ass would not actually have been showing.  Oh no.  I was wearing an undergarment that literally went from my knees up to my boobs.)

(Really, I’m not sure what’s worse.)

Anyways.  Sister to the rescue.  She bent down to examine the damage, and quickly reported, “Don’t worry, you can’t see anything.  The lining of the dress didn’t rip.  You’re still completely covered.  No one will even notice.”

Thank the GOOD LORD!!!!!

(My brother-in-law was horrified that I posted this picture on Facebook.  I was just relieved that I could.  This picture COULD have been much worse.)

Anyways, I just couldn’t resist sharing my butt picture with blog land.

I was thatclose to having to leave my brother’s reception early.

Thankfully, I was able to return to the fun on the dance floor without anyone finding out about the dress debacle.

HA!  Who am I kidding.  I spent the rest of the night bending over to show people just how close I was to having my butt on display.


So.  Yes.  All things considered, I would say we had a great time.

But let’s hope that I get into Dress #2 on May 12 for Lindsay & Ryan’s wedding without as much difficulty.

Resuming the diet today… :)

Linking up today’s post and the picture of my butt with Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn for Talk to Us Tuesday!!  Thank goodness they have no rules.   Not sure a picture of my butt would be allowed on just any linky party…


Thursday, March 01, 2012

A “Pinteresting” array of snack recipes

Remember when I told you guys last week that I’ve fallen victim to Pinterest?  (Finally)

Well, I let my Pinterest “YUMMY” board inspire me last Friday as I planned for our Book Club meeting at my place that night.  Unfortunately, the blustery little snow storm that descended on our area that day resulted in a smaller group than usual – including one member who recently had jaw surgery and wasn’t able to eat – but it was fun to have some new snacks for the ladies that made it -  and were able to eat - to try out!

I love having friends in from time to time, whether it be for girls’ night, book club, parties to promote companies like Epicure or Lia Sophia – but I was feeling that my standard lineup of snack foods was becoming a little stagnant; a little “overdone”, if you know what I mean.

I parade out the same ol’ cheese dip, cheese ball, veggie platter, spinach dip, and so on, time and time again.  I wanted to be a little different this time, and not rely on my “tried & trues”.

Thankfully, Pinterest came to my rescue!  I had been pinning lots of yummy stuff to try out, and figured this was my perfect opportunity to make some of it.  I thought I’d share some of those recipes – and the sources from which I pinned them – with you!

Buffalo Chicken Dip (aka “Crack Dip”)

Picture and recipe via Sing For Your Supper

8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce or buffalo style barbecue sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (shredded mozzarella cheese can be substituted)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a deep baking dish, mix cream cheese, salad dressing, buffalo sauce, and cheese. Stir until combined. Stir in chicken.
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the dish is heated through.  Serve with crackers, pita chips, sliced bread or vegetables.

I made a few little alterations to the recipe.  For one, I used 1/2 cup of ranch and omitted the blue cheese dressing.  Also, I did as the recipe suggested and substituted mozzarella for the blue cheese.  No blue cheese for me, please.   I had picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, and that worked well for the shredded cooked chicken breast.  I found the recipe a bit too hot for my taste buds, so when I made it again on Sunday for Dale’s Daytona 500 party, I cut back the buffalo wing sauce to 1/3 of a cup and it suited me better.  I served it with Baguette Crisps, sliced baguette bread, and Tostitos chips.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t call it “crack” – not that addictive.  It was just “okay” in my books.

Dill Pickle Chip Dip

Picture and recipe via Happier Than a Pig in Mud

8oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 to 1 C dill pickles, finely diced (I used  a full Cup) 
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Dill for garnish if desired

Mix all and serve at room temperature with chips.

This one was super easy to make and super yummy!  HOWEVER – pretty much tasted exactly like Philly Dill Pickle Dip.  Next time, I’m not sure I’d bother chopping up my own pickles and softening my own cream cheese.  Why bother when Philly already does it so well??

I love how they put “1/2 the Fat of the Leading Sour Cream Dip"!” on their container…you sure know how to woo me, Philadelphia!!!

Monster Cookie Dough Dip

Picture and recipe via Skip to My Lou

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Oats (regular or quick)
1 Cup  Miniature Plain M&Ms
1 Cup Miniature Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and peanut butter until smooth.  Stir in brown sugar and powdered sugar, mixing well. Next fold in oats, M&Ms and chocolate chips.

Serve with pretzels or graham cracker sticks.

This one was probably my favourite of the three recipes I tried.  I’m not usually a “sweet dip” kind of girl – but for some reason, in the past few months, I crave chocolate, I crave peanut butter, I crave sweetness.  And this dip delivers.  I couldn’t find graham cracker sticks at my grocery store, but I used social tea cookies and mini pretzels.   The leftovers from Friday night were also a huge hit the next day with my nephew and niece!  (Can’t imagine why…)  This makes a huge batch, so you can either half it, or make the full recipe,  and roll half in a ball, wrap in Saran, and put it in the freezer for another time.  I did this, and the frozen ball of yummy peanut buttery cookie doughy goodness has been haunting me all week…

“Let me out, Jill!  You have so many social tea cookies left to use up!  I could help!”

Yes.  The ball of frozen yummy peanut buttery cookie doughy goodness talks to me.

Have you tried out any new recipes that you’ve pinned?  Successes or failures?  Do share! :)

And remember, you can find me on Pinterest here.

Happy Thursday!!!