Monday, March 28, 2016

Well, That Was Delicious

Mom and I slaved over Easter dinner.

Really, we slaved.

We glazed ham and carrots, we scalloped potatoes, we deviled eggs, we baked rolls and German Chocolate cake, and we mixed up a mean frog-eye salad.

Our diners appreciated the efforts, savoring the meal at a leisurely pace while enjoying casual conversation and several glasses of wine from a local vineyard.

Oscar and Emily had joined us for the day, and, prior to dinner,  we noshed on some muenster cheese that Emily orders in specially from a local grocery. The cheese is a favorite of QB, and she managed to enjoy a few sliced despite the pain from some dental work that she had done last week (long story, but, the tooth that she chipped many years ago is finally requiring a permanent fix, so, several hundred dollars later, she is two weeks closer to a veneer that is supposed to solve the problem for good).

She was also able to eat the deviled eggs, since they were soft enough to swallow without too much chewing.

They were also adorable, but that's beside the point.

Before dinner, I set the table, using dishes from my last Altrusa Spring Luncheon table, silver serving spoons that I purchased in Paris last year, linens that I picked up on sale at Target, and adorable bunny-ear napkin rings that I discovered in the dollar bins, also at Target. It turned out pretty cute, I think.

I re-purposed my antique sugar scuttle, using it as a candy dish, and, it fit in nicely with the décor.

I filled it with Robins Eggs, which are one of my favorite Easter treats, and, the star of several of my pre-Easter cravings, which, probably explains the fact that I managed to purchase three bags, without really realizing it. In my defense, they are only available once a year, so, I was being proactive.

Yeah, that's it, proactive.

Anyway, it was a great day for eating. Not such a great day for dieting, if that was anyone's goal, but, again; it only happens once a year.

Side note: Despite Mom and I being the only people in this house who like coconut and pecans in frosting, this cake is already halfway gone. Also, I see a lot of exercise in our futures.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I've Said It Before and I'll Say It Again

Thank ya, Easter Bunny!

This morning, I managed to restrain myself from diving head-first into the chocolatey goodness of my Easter basket.

Ok, that is a lie.

I actually started mainlining chocolate yesterday, which was Holy Saturday and the official end of Lent; I just couldn't wait any longer. This Lenten season has been the most difficult for me in terms of cravings. I think it had something to do with the timing of my cycle and the fact that I got to enjoy PMS twice during the six weeks. Twice! It was awful.

But! That's over now. The bunny was good to me and I am now completely free to indulge. Of course, the bunny spoiled us all, equally.

Mom's basket was full of Pioneer Woman merchandise and Godiva chocolate, with a few additional surprises thrown in for good measure.

The Man-Cub's basket had a baseball theme, complete with sunflower seeds, new practice balls, and a pair of wickedly cool Stance socks. And, of course there was plenty of candy.

Hugh's basket contained enough Peeps to feed a small nation, as well as golfing supplies, which, was a very fortunate coincidence, given that he ripped a hole in his golfing glove just yesterday.

My basket was also filled with Pioneer Woman merchandise, including dish towels and oven mitts. And, you know, chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.

Queen B and Katie each got a pail full of nail polish, lotions, lip balms, and other fun stuff as well as candy suited towards each of their individual tastes-Nerds for Katie, and Twix bars and chocolate covered pomegranate seeds for the Queen.

I heard a rumor that the bunny had an especially good time choosing items for baskets this year. Hopefully, he nailed it for each family member. I know I'm happy. I'm also about tens kinds of high on chocolate, but, that is totally expected.

Also, PMS can suck it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

You Know What Costs More Than Buying Your Daughter a Prom Dress?

Renting your son a tuxedo for prom.

I am not even kidding. If memory serves, Queen B's most expensive prom dress cost just under $200. The Man-Cub's tuxedo? Is going to set me back at least that much, possibly more, once all is said and done.


On the other hand, he is going to look like a million bucks, and, you can't really put a price on happiness, but, still.

I am going broke here, folks.

**EDITED: QB recently reminded me that I actually paid closer to $300 for her prom dress her Junior year, when, while we were in the mall in Denver, shopping for her dress on her birthday, Not-the-Boyfriend broke up with her via text message. I had completely blocked that unpleasant memory, apparently. Good catch, QB. I still think tuxedo rentals are ridiculously over-priced, but, at least the Cub didn't get dumped while we were getting him measured for one.

Friday, March 25, 2016

More Friday Favorites: They're Baaa-ack!

The boys won both games of their double-header today, and, I got to enjoy watching the action from the relative warmth of my car. This proved especially nice since the wind was blowing, the temperature had dropped, and the skies threatened rain, sleet, or snow in between periods of bright-almost warm-sunshine.

Colorado, folks.

The boys had a short break in between games; fortunately, it coincided with one of the brief periods of sunshine and I braved the breeze to get some photos of the Fearsome Foursome.

I can't tell you how good it is to see them all on the same field together. Even if they are a bunch of goofballs.

Which, they are.

But, they're our goofballs.

Friday Favorites: Easter Decor

I always love the process of decorating the house for Easter. Not only does it allow me to inject a punch of pastel color into my otherwise jewel-toned décor, but, it's a reminder that the winter is over, the new season has begun, and the Earth is in a state of renewal.

I love Easter for the obvious reason, as well; it is the reminder that God gave his only child for the forgiveness of our sins, and, with a potty mouth like mine, I need all the forgiveness I can get.

Unfortunately, I required a bit of that forgiveness the day that I climbed the attic ladder to gather the Easter decorations; I pinched my finger on the metal springs of the attic door hard enough to elicit a stream of profanity the likes of which have not been heard since Blackbeard ruled the Seven Seas.

But, that isn't really pertinent to this blog post.


Anyhoodle, here are a few of my favorite Easter decorations.

 I started collecting these wooden rabbits a couple of years ago; I discovered them in the seasonal aisle of my local grocery store, and, a new design has been added each year. I have no idea if they will continue the collection in upcoming years, and, according to Hugh, I have enough rabbits already, but, you know what they say about bunnies...

I found these votive holders at Target. I didn't have any candles on hand, so I used some wooden eggs that I purchased from Hobby Lobby many years ago in them instead; I think they look great. I do, however, spend a great deal of time fishing them out from underneath the dining room table, courtesy of Guinness, who thinks that they are awesome play toys.

The window in the dining room is decorated with an egg garland that I found at the five-and-dime in Pixler, as well as two resin birds that were, I believe, also from Hobby Lobby. I loved the birds on sight; because they are chubby and are wearing sweaters. Sweaters, people! That's too ridiculous not to love.

The mantel in the living room is decorated with my ceramic bunny collection and another egg garland. I started with a base of Spanish moss that looks cuter than traditional plastic Easter grass; it also doesn't seem to stray all over the house, like the plastic does.

I drew this bunny on my vintage chalkboard and, I have to admit, I am ridiculously proud of how well it turned out; an artist, I am not.

The rest of my wooden eggs are displayed in egg cups, apothecary jars, and on cake plates, scattered around the kitchen. It may be overkill, but, I like having a little bit of decoration in each room.

Except for the bathroom. I draw the line at that shit.

Damnit, there I go, again.

Thank you, Jesus.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

In Which Mother Nature is Bi-Polar

Seven o'clock this morning...

Six-thirty this evening...

Really, Mother Nature?


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

He's Two for Two

We just got back from the Man-Cub's basketball awards banquet. As always, "banquet" is a misnomer; we dined on a random assortment of dishes contributed by the parents. Well, some of the parents, because, also as usual, the memo about the banquet wasn't as well distributed as it should have been, and, a number of clueless parents wandered into the cafeteria at 6:35, no doubt having been alerted to the banquet mere minutes earlier.

Been there.

Luckily, now that I have an in with the Boosters, I was aware and prepared this year. Well, for the food, anyway; I still teared up when the Man-Cub received his Basketball letter and his second Academic All Team Honorable Mention certificate.

That's two Academic All Team recognitions for the kid; if he manages the feat again for baseball, he will have achieved the Trifecta.

Fingers crossed.

And, it goes without saying, proud.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring is for Frostbite

The boys won both games of their doubleheader yesterday. They did it in fine style, and, I would have gotten pictures of the games had I not been wrapped up, burrito-style, in three layers of coats and blankets. I swear, I don't know how those boys play without freezing. Young blood, I guess.

Not that that makes me old, although....


Anyway, I enjoyed the day with my fellow Booster Moms, and, to give the gentlemen their due, with some really fun and nice Booster Dads.

We spent the day cheering the boys, razzing the coaches (and, each other), and rating the ballpark on all the important baseball criteria:

1.  Restroom facilities: F (Porta-Potty with NO TOILET PAPER! I repeat, NO TOILET PAPER!)
2.  Music: A+ (Classics that we could all get our wiggle on to)
3.  Concession Stand: A++ (COFFEE!!!!!)
4.  Parking: B We could park close enough to the field to make trips back and forth to the car easy while still being far enough away to minimize the chances of having our windshields shattered by a pop foul.

After the game, we joined two other families for an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant that we discovered during basketball season. The food was fantastic and, they had a Mexican coffee that warmed us up from the inside, out.

All in all, it was a pleasant way to spend a bright, sunny spring day in Colorado.

Except for the wind chill and frostbite.

Good times, great friends, toilet-paperless porta-potty in the background (because, a picture of just a porta-potty would just be weird).

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Favorites: Yummy Delicious and Delightful

Today's favorites include a cheese that takes me right back to our suite at the Hotel Elysees Regencia in Paris; it's an herbed goat cheese that closely resembles the flavor of the cheese that Mom, my sisters, and I picked up in a fromageri on a side street in Montmartre during our trip last year. We savored that cheese, along with a baguette, a bottle of red, fresh strawberries, and lemon tarts that were also to die for; it stands out in my memory as some of the best food that we had on the trip.

My sister, Barbie, works in the marketing department of the Albertsons Corporation and she discovered this particular cheese while doing product research. Being a good sister, she immediately texted me a picture and told me to shake my booty down to my local Safeway, where the imported cheese was on sale buy-one-get-one-free; I did not have to be told twice.

I served the cheese to the Booster Club this past Wednesday, along with a basket of freshly baked and sliced French baguette and, the Boosters are  now in love with French goat cheese.

They are welcome.

While I'm on the topic of yummy things, yesterday, I made a corned beef and cabbage boil that was to die for. Mom had called me earlier in the week to recommend a new cooking method for the brisket-using the crockpot and a can of beer, rather than the traditional method of boiling on the stovetop. So, I tried it, and, I can truthfully report that it was the best damn corned beef that I have ever made, and; I've been making corned beef and cabbage for St. Paddy's since Hugh and I got married.

Along with the corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots, I served an Irish soda bread that was just about the best thing that I have eaten since I gave up sweets for lent. The raisins in the bread provided just enough sweetness to satisfy my craving while not making the bread overly sweet. Totally delightful.

Also delightful? The weather, while windy and intermittently chilly, is still nice enough to enable me to break out the capris and sandals.

And, while on the topic of things that delight me; I just received my first box from my new Glossybox subscription and I am over-the-moon happy with the purchase.

Glossybox is a monthly subscription for makeup and beauty products. Most of the products are full-size, not sample-sized like you might receive with other subscription programs, and, the products are high quality, name-brand items that retail for far more than the cost of the box.

This first box included hand lotion, moisturizing eye cream, eyeliner, lip gloss, and a foundation brush, all of which are items that I know I will use, so, nothing will go to waste.

Some people might be uncomfortable with the idea of buying products blindly, but, I have always been a huge fan of the element of surprise; I think it started with the excitement of not knowing which cards would come in the Charlie's Angels trading card packs that I purchased at the local five-and-dime when I was a kid. Or, from the fun of buying grab-bags of scrapbooking supplies later in my adulthood, but, either way, I love it.

I can't wait until next month's box arrives.