Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Mile-Stone

Or, a 100,000-Mile-Stone:

Currently feeling: zoom zoom

Monday, January 29, 2007

I want *that* hair color!

Please note, I am in no way poking fun at people with eating disorders. I just find the following statement totally baffling (referring to Ashley Olson's supposed anorexia relapse):
Another source close to Olsen blames her new hair color for the drastic change in appearance, adding, "The blonde hair she has now makes her look skinny."
Okie-dokie. If I thought blonde hair could make *me* look skinny, I'd dye it right this second!

Currently feeling: why do I keep reading this crap?!

Friday, January 26, 2007

A truly inspired thought

I found the following quote on Anita's blog today. (For those of you who are scrappers, she puts up a free SketchPlate template every Friday.) This quote is really making me look at things differently today. It reminds me of the statement "this too shall pass," but what makes this different is that it is not only emphasizing that the bad will pass but that the good is *always* there, whether you bother to see it or not.
Happiness is permanent. It is always there.
What comes and goes is unhappiness.
If you identify with what comes and goes, you will be unhappy.
If you identify with what is permanent and always there,
you are happiness itself.
Papaji, 1910-1997 ~ Indian Spiritual Teacher
Speaking of the bad passing, Luke is doing much better. Thank you to all who have asked about him and sent well wishes. He even took his medicine without more than a token fuss this morning. I can't say that he was opening his mouth like a bird, but I didn't have to force his jaws open either. It was a nice change this morning. Let's hope it lasts through Wednesday (his last day for meds).

Happy Friday everyone! Wishing you all a most excellent weekend.

Currently feeling: pretty peachy

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I was reading this article the other day, and it really made me wonder, both in a good way and a bad way. I'm as guilty as the next person of expecting to always be constantly and instantly in touch with those I love. I have email and a blog, I have a cell phone with text messaging, and I couldn't live without my internet connection. I wonder how this world ever functioned without the web, particularly where driving directions are concerned.

But I also draw the line a whole lot sooner than a lot of other people. I do not, for instance, hand out my cell phone number to just anyone. If you do have my cell number, consider yourself among the special few. Spouse, parents, siblings, in-laws, close friends (10 or so), and daycare have that number. That's about it. And most of those people only call my cell when they really need me; otherwise they call the house if they need to speak with me. Other than my spouse (once or twice a day) or my brother (2-4 times a week), my cell almost never rings. And I like it that way! And for goodness sake, get those stupid ear phone things out of your ears, especially if you are not currently on a call. We are not the Borg! (Not yet. I'm starting to think they will start implanting them at birth in the next 10 years or so.)

If we are on vacation, I *might* take the laptop with me and check it once a day, in the evenings. That's it. That is part of the point of going on vacation, to get away from being connected to things other than my family. At Christmas, I went several days without even looking at the computer. There were more fun and important things to do (like learning to make risotto!). Don't get me wrong, I love email! I like the instant-ness of it (and the search feature! LOL). And I do start to worry if I go several days without receiving one, or if most people take longer than a day or two to respond to one I sent (there are a few exceptions to this). But I can also let it go for several days without feeling like I've amputated part of myself.

I love technology. It touches my life everyday, mostly for good, but occasionally for ill. I am on the laptop and/or desktop daily, and I couldn't do my job without a computer. I do carry my cell phone virtually everywhere everyday. But sometimes, you just have to shut it all down and remember how to interact with the real world.

Currently feeling: unplugged

Monday, January 22, 2007

Make it a double

Ear infection, that is. Yep, it's in both ears, though one has more fluid and the other (though with less fluid) is more infected. Fun. And he hates the medicine, so I get to be "mean mommy" and force it on him for the next 9 days, half the time by myself, since DH will have already left for work in the mornings. Joy.

Currently feeling: ear-itated

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Another fever (and some scrapping)

Daycare called us at 3:15 Friday afternoon to report Luke was running a fever of 102. He felt hot as a firecracker, and his face was red (and not from playing or anything). But he seemed to feel fine. He even had quite an appetite for dinner Friday night. I hoped it was just a small bug and would go away. Well, he woke up with virtually no fever this morning (99 degrees), but he fussed. All. Day. Long. But since he's not talking, we have no idea if and/or where he's hurting, or if he's just tired. He hardly ate all day. He did perk up a bit right at the end of the evening, including laser-blasting everything in sight (a good sign, since he watched almost all of Star Wars today without a single laser-blast or light saber reenactment; highly unusual!), so we'll see how he feels tomorrow before deciding what to do about a doctor on Monday.

In other news, I've been quite the busy scrapper here in January. I've done 9 layouts! Wow, even I didn't realize it was that many until I just sat here and counted. Instead of listing them all out, I'll just give you a link to my January 2007 Scrapping Archives. Might take a bit to load, since it also includes the 2007 CD Calendar close up pages, but all of the new stuff is at the top. Hope you enjoy!

Currently feeling: tired of fevers

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You're not serious

I just read the following over at IMDb:
The trade paper said that the MPAA will now warn parents that some R-rated movies are not suitable for younger people -- whether or not they are accompanied by an adult.

Now (and I can't believe I am about to say this), in their defense, both the PG and PG-13 definitions include something about some material not being suitable for all audiences, while the R definition does not. That being said, I have to points of contention with that particular quote.

#1: If it isn't for the content, then just why, pray tell, would they require an adult to attend with someone under 17? Did people think it was just a way of annoying both adults and children? Or maybe a way to increase revenue by requiring an adult ticket be purchased along with a child one? They list the reasons for the ratings right on the posters and in the previews. Those descriptions alone should be enough to tell you that it is inappropriate for a child. Come on, people!

#2: I am greatly concerned by the word "some" in the quote. Only *some* R-rated movies are not suitable for younger audiences? If it *is* suitable for younger audiences, then it wouldn't have been rated R in the first place, now would it?

I guess the old saying is true: Make something idiot-proof, and someone will come along and build a better idiot.

Currently feeling: baffled

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New Movie Musings sent out

If you have signed up to receive my Movie Musings (movie reviews by me!), you should have received the most recent one by now. Check your bulk folder, but if you didn't get it, please let me know. I reviewed five films! Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Stranger Than Fiction, Casino Royale, Eragon, and The Pursuit of Happyness.

Shameless plug: If anyone reading this is interested in receiving my movie reviews, as infrequent as they are these days, please either email me (erinmarie AT rocketmail DOT com), or leave a comment with your email address. I'll get the new ones posted on the web, hopefully sometime this week, but it is currently well after midnight, and I have got to go to bed!

Currently feeling: sleepy

Monday, January 15, 2007

Season 3: High Stakes Poker

Everyone is all excited about the premieres of 24 and various other television shows. And what are DH and I watching? High Stakes Poker on GSN! I swear, we're addicted. We had heard that our favorite player, Daniel Negreanu, would not be playing this season after getting burned (bad!) last season, but he's here. Yay! Lots of familiar faces, a few new ones; some familiar, some not. Havin' fun!

Not even watching the Golden Globes tonight. I know, I'm sad. I don't love the Globes, for some reason. I don't know what it is about the Oscars, but that is really the only awards show I watch each year. If there was nothing else on, sure I'd have the Globes on, but I'd probably be doing something at the same time (like scrapping). I'll read about the results tomorrow, and maybe try to figure out what movies need to be on my "to see" list if I intend to hit all Best Picture Oscar nominees this year (one of my 101 things). We'll see.

Had a great day today sans child. Slept in with my honey (after dropping Luke off at daycare), had lunch at our Japanese restaurant that terrifies our son (he doesn't like the noise or the flames), spent our gift card to Best Buy, enjoyed a little of the beautiful weather, then saw a movie (The Pursuit of Happyness). Picked up the kido, dinner at Captain D's, then the premiere of one of our favorite shows. Doesn't get much better!

Currently feeling: quite content

Sunday, January 14, 2007

2006: For Fun and For Real

There was a meme going around last year to do a blog year review, so I thought I would do that again this year. But considering how this past year has gone, the meme won't really touch on the big events, so I'll do a more "real" recap after the meme. So keep reading! This might get long.

The Blogging Year in Review 2006

Instructions: take the first sentence (or 2) from the first post of each month of 2006. That's your year in review.
  • January: Snitched from Whiz. This is all I can manage for tonight. I'll try to post a more thorough (and traditional) recap later this week.
    This very meme, recapping 2005, followed those words on January 1, 2006.
  • February: No lower, in this case. We have dropped the mattress in Luke's crib to the lowest possible setting. Next stop: toddler bed. That was actually the entire blog entry for that day. I can't believe that was almost a year ago! He's still in his crib, and it is still at that setting, and until he starts climbing out of it or protesting the crib (or he literally outgrows it), I intend for him to *stay* in the crib.
  • March: Actually, there is no point. I was feeling the need to blog, but I don't know what to say. Lots I could say, serious and trivial, just not feeling up to it. Gee, that feels like deja vu. Been feeling much that way again lately.
  • April: I saw this on Joy's blog, and I thought it was a fantastic idea! Way better than New Year's Resolutions to me; I don't know why. Ah, my 101 Things in 1001 Days list! LOL Funny to see that here.
  • May: So, when last discussed, I was reviewing the virtues of digital scrapbooking, one of the primary virtues being that it is free if you stick to the freebies, it's a cheap hobby. Um, yeah. Considering I got a 250GB external hard drive to hold all of my freebies and, ahem, purchases for digiscrapping, I'd say I'm long past that point. In fact, I seriously need to curtail my purchasing.
  • June: Guess who's blogging! That would be my mother, who hasn't blogged, or scrapped, in ages.
  • July: Hard to believe that eight years ago yesterday (yes, July 4th), DH and I were married. Oh the irony, considering yesterday's post.
  • August: Some of you may recall that I was previously offered a contracting position with my old company that never panned out. Ah, I had just been contacted about the job offer for my current job! And where I should be working right now, LOL.
  • September: Geez, has it only been a week since we left? Feels like a month, at least. I don't ever remember being this tired in my entire life. The aftermath of my grandmother's funeral.
  • October: We all know how men are when they're sick. One is bad enough, but two? Oh yes, a house full of sick males, right before Luke's birthday and the discovery of his horrible ear infection.
  • November: Woo-hoo! I am very excited to announce that I have finally recorded 10,000 hits on my blog. That was a fun day!
  • December: His email from a few minutes ago:
    Just heard from the neurosurgeon. The neurulogical radiologist who read the films says the discs look fine, but there are some degenerative changes.
    Getting word on my father's condition, after he had an episode at school the day we were leaving to return home after Thanksgiving. He was fully checked out during December with all kinds of tests, and he is just fine.

    2006: The Way It Really Was
  • January: Luke was teething. I was sick. Disney bought Pixar.
  • February: Laura died. Luke learned to wave. I was offered a job. Luke had his first cold. Luke visited his first playground. Luke had his first stomach virus.
  • March: The job fell through. We left Luke at Nana's and Papa's and went to Disney alone. Luke got sick, again.
  • April: My uncle got married. I made my 101 Things in 1001 Days list. I redesigned my blog. We realized that Luke is HUGE for his age. Luke discovered his imagination. I fell "hook, line, and sinker" for digital scrapping.
  • May: I visited Miami for the first time. Jacob graduated with his Ph.D. Granny broke her hip. Luke said his first word (down).
  • June: I started Mom on digiscrapping. Luke said "mama." Granny took a terrible and terrifying turn for the worse. I met Scott Leonard of Rockapella at the airport. I flew first class for the first time. Granny does better physically, but starts mentally slipping. We visit her for the last time. I started my scrapping blog. Luke acquired his pink kitty.
  • July: DH and I celebrated 8 years of marriage. I *finally* got my Social Security information straightened out. Lots of scrapping. Lots of child frustration. I turned 30.
  • August: I was asked to interview for another job. DH's turn to be 30. I got the job! I began the nightmare of finding daycare for Luke. Granny died. I discover how much my new boss truly rocks.
  • September: We finally have daycare, almost a month after I started working. Lego Star Wars II is released, and DH and I are disappointed in it. Luke learns to jump. I got very sick.
  • October: Bot Luke and Steve are sick. Luke is diagnosed with his first ear infection plus peri-orbital cellulitis, two days before his birthday. Luke turns 2. Mike brings Jennifer to the party and proposes that afternoon. I visit Toronto, Canada, and Niagra Falls. Luke and Steve are in a small accident. We all survive what would have been PaPaw and Granny's 60th anniversary. Luke is a baseball player for Halloween.
  • November: I make 10,000 hits on this blog. I see a deer in our neighborhood. We make it through our first Thanksgiving without Granny and what would have been her 84th birthday. We have new family portraits made. Luke is officially diagnosed with a speech delay and hearing problem. Dad has a possible neck/nerve relapse.
  • December: Dad is cleared for his neck. I get terribly sick. Christmas is a great grand affair. I try all sorts of new food. I ring in the new year surrounded by my family.

    Busy year! After all that, I'm hoping for a pretty quiet 2007. Hope yours is going swimmingly so far!

    Currently feeling: listed
  • Saturday, January 13, 2007

    Krista got me again

    I am in the midst of that 2006 review (if anyone still cares, now that the month is half over). I also still have 3 movie reviews to write up from December! Oops.

    And I want to thank all of you who have come out of the woodwork to cheer me on with my new goal, in comments and in email, literally from all over the world. I appreciate it! I can't say that I have been doing great yet, but I have made some baby steps, and I *will* have a firm plan in hand very soon. But your support means the world to me! Thank you.

    In the mean time, Krista decided to tag me with her own little idea for a meme. Actually, I think it is a useful exercise that we should all do more frequently.

    "List 10 things that are making me happy right now, right this second..."

    1. Hearing my son's gentle sleeping breath over the monitor.
    2. Scrapping templates, because they rock!
    3. My new PhotoBlast actions.
    4. My new 250GB external hard drive, so I could download all of my recent purchases without having to delete anything to make room for it.
    5. Josh Groban's new album, Awake.
    6. Feeling the love of my family and friends regarding my new goal.
    7. The cascade of Christmas cards that have come in the mail from my various pleas for them in cyberspace. Thank you all!
    8. The beautiful weather we've had this weekend, that should continue tomorrow.
    9. I found a great dress to wear to my BIL's wedding in March. (Now, if only I can find shoes....)
    10. Planning a day out on Monday, just me and my hubby, after we drop off the child at daycare.

    Currently feeling: happy

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Failing myself

    Okay, after much encouragement from all of you, through a couple of comments and several emails, I'm going to start putting a little more of myself out there in my blog, even if it isn't very pretty sometimes. Here is the perfect example:

    I frequently fail myself. For some reason, whenever I set myself a goal, particularly about my weight, I do something within the first few days to sabotage myself. Being my present weight and size, I often ponder losing weight frequently (I know few women, regardless of their weight and size, who don't). But as my father often says, "until the pain of changing becomes less than the pain of staying the same, you won't change." So let's discuss some of the "pain of staying the same" that has been inflicted on me lately.

    Point #1: I realized that I am now, officially, at my full-term pregnant weight. And I'm not pregnant. And if I ever intend to be pregnant again (still not sure on that point), something has to be done. Part of why I was so quiet last week is that I thought I might be (I'm not!), and it scared the crap out of me for a zillion reasons, not the least of which was my weight. I swore after Luke was born that if we *ever* did that again, I was going to be lighter. And then what did I do? Promptly gain 30+ pounds. Maybe that was partly my screwed-up psychological way if saying I'm not ready for another baby, but should another baby find me before I'm ready, I'd better at least be significantly lighter when the time comes. And given how far I have to go to even get under 200 lbs, I'd better start now.

    Point #2: I read something on Patti's blog that really convicted me. Let me see if I can find it. Oh, it was actually a link to the Yarn Harlot's blog. Here is the quote: "many of us will die of our excess, while others, as worthy and hardworking as we are, will remain so very poor that they will die of it." If that doesn't smack you in the gut (literally and figuratively), nothing will.

    Point #3: I'm 30. Metabolism slows down and all that, and losing the weight only gets harder A) as you get older and B) the longer you've been at your current weight. But here's the bigger point: my grandfather had a heart attack at age 31. Now, granted, he smoked like a chimney (hey, it was the 1950s, and he was in the military, but still). He also developed adult-onset diabetis and died in his mid-60s when I was 19. In my mid-60s, Luke will be a little older than I am now. How could I set myself up to leave him when he's still so young (in his 30s), if not sooner? I don't want that, any of that, to be me. I'll be 31 in six months.

    Point #4: Luke. I don't want him to remember me this way. He's starting to get old enough that he might remember things from this age, and this is not what I want him to remember. I don't want him to be teased in school for having the super-fat mom. I don't want to be uncomfortable at school functions in the auditorium because I can't fit in the seats. I don't want to be the mom who never takes her kid to the water park because she doesn't want to get into a bathing suit. I want to be the mom who got out and played with her son, who swam in the pool with him because he asked her to, and who he remembers being confident and proud of who she is. And I am, most of the time, just not about this.

    Point #5: And this is the one that is kicking my rear end today and prompting this post. My 10th wedding anniversary is in 18 months. When the hell did I get old enough to be married for almost 10 years? And I wasn't exactly thin then, either (size 18). So I did the math. In those 10 years, I have averaged gaining 10 pounds a year. Essentially a pound a month for every single solitary month we have been married. He says he doesn't care; he says he still desires me. And for the most part, I believe him. But wouldn't it be awesome, come our 10th wedding anniversary, to be at least the same size I was when we married? How many women can say that? That they could still wear their wedding dress 10 years later? Now granted, most of the time, that's because they were at their fittest and skinniest for their wedding. But still, a size 18 is dramatically better than my current size 26. My doctor would be ecstatic, and my family (particularly family I don't see often) would be floored. My brother lost a bunch of weight when he was in college. My mom lost a bunch of weight when I was in college (apparently I found everything she lost, and then some). It is my turn now.

    So I set a goal for myself: Size 18 in 18 months. That's 4 dress sized (yes, 26-18=8, but the sizes go up by 2, so it's really only 4). It's not unreasonable. I should be able to do it, if I work at it. Smaller would be awesome, but at least a size 18 is my goal. I don't really have a set plan at the moment, but at least working out every day while coming up with an eating plan would be a good start. I decided this sometime yesterday afternoon. I will be the woman I was when I got married by the time I celebrate 10 years. I wasn't even going to talk about it on my blog until I had some actual progress to show.

    And then I failed myself, not even 24 hours later. I didn't work out this morning or at lunch today, and I just drank a Coke. Not a Diet Coke, but the one full of sugar and caffiene. Granted, I don't drink them often, but I wanted one, so I just reached into the fridge and drank it, without the slightest thought of "put it down!" entering my head. How is that possible? I was so ready yesterday, and here I sit, staring at the empty can. Maybe I should carry it around with me as a token of my shame.

    Yes, there is always tomorrow. As they said in Anne of Green Gables, "tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it." I will do better tomorrow. I have to, or this is never going to work. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, yadda yadda yadda. But how many more times am I going to have to fail myself before I actually, FINALLY, make the necessary changes? I guess we'll find out. Here's to a better tomorrow.
    Currently feeling:

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Email is down

    If you think you should have heard from me today, please note that my email is down. I can read and receive them, I just can't send them. I currently have three messages pending. I've contacted Yahoo! Mail customer care. Will let you know when I'm back up and running.
    Currently feeling: annoyed

    I should blog more?

    I've been gently scolded for not having blogged lately (I'm teasing you, Shalini!). Sorry. Just a combination of too much to say and not really wanting to say it here. It's nothing important anyway, just some things I was recently reminded of that I'd rather forget. Plus writing while in the midst of PMS is always a dangerous thing. You never know what you'll read a week later and thing "what the heck was wrong with me?!" LOL So I just decided to keep quiet.

    But I did scrap a bit. Two layouts, in fact. One is a Christmas photo: A Child's Delight. The other is a 2006 Year in Review layout. I chose this particular one to do since it didn't have to be month by month, just 12 pictures that were significant to you from the year. Which is nice, since I didn't take a single photo of my child during January or February last year! Oops. Am I a horrible mother or what? Or at least a horrible scrapper. (Then again, I wasn't scrapping yet; I started April.) I'll use that layout as a jumping off point for a whole 2006 Review blog post, but later this week. (Yes, I know the month is almost half over, and such a review would have been more appropriate a week or two ago. I'm working on it! LOL) Right now, I need to get back to work.

    Currently feeling: slave to the keyboard

    Saturday, January 06, 2007

    To Heidi

    Heidi asked where to send Christmas cards to, but didn't leave her email address, so I can't contact her. Please email me at erinmarie AT rocketmail DOT com, and be sure to put something about Christmas cards in the subject. If you don't hear back from me by the end of Monday, try again. My email has been a little whacky lately. Thanks!!

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Do you still have your Christmas cards?

    It might be too late, since I know lots of people who do a clean sweep of their holiday decorations right around New Year's, but if there is anyone who reads my blog who has not seen my announcement on the boards, and who would like to donate their holiday cards to me, I would love to have them!

    For those who don't know, I do a couple of different crafts that use the fronts of Christmas/holiday cards. One is an old-fashioned card ball, which takes 20 cards. The other is a Christmas alphabet scrapbook, which can use 100 cards or more. I do not receive enough cards personally each year to keep up with that kind of consumption.

    So, instead of just throwing yours away, why not send them to me! I'll give them a good home and put them to good use, I promise. To save on postage, you can gently cut or tear away the fronts from the backs. It is really just the pretty front picture that I need. Any and all donations appreciated!

    Cards from other winter holidays are great, if you have any cards for Chanukah, Diwali, Kwanza, Solstice, Yule.... those are all fine, as well as Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, Santas, Nativities. International cards and those not in English happily accepted. Any leftovers you didn't need this year for your own mailings and don't want to keep. The corporate cards sent to your office that will just get trashed. Whatever you have. I do not need other holidays (Valentines Day) or birthday cards, though.

    I know most of you have already seen this notice (in fact, the last three paragraphs were just copied and pasted from my board posts), but just in case there is anyone out there, I wanted to repost them. And if you want to see the actual projects, here they are:

    Card Ball (imagine each "facet" being a different card, though):

    And a couple of pages from the scrapbook:

    Currently feeling: pleading

    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Adventures in Food

    Credit: Pinky Blinkies

    Okay, so many of you won't consider these items particularly adventurous (and some of you will consider certain items dietary staples), but this is *seriously* branching out for me. Getting me to try anything new, especially if it involves unfamiliar ingredients, is a challenge. I am an extremely picky eater, and the dietary restrictions related to my kidney stones don't help any (though they do give me a good excuse not to eat some things, like broccoli, that I never liked anyway). And if I hear one more person say "you've never had that?!!!", especially about the first item, I'm gonna have to hurt you! LOL

  • Risotto - OMG, YUM!!! Why have I never eaten this before??? Sheesh! It was phenominal. In this case, though, it was never really having the opportunity to try it (and being way to chicken to try and make it), not that I thought I wouldn't like it. I'm afraid I may never forgive my brother for showing me how to make it. Too too good. So good, in fact, that we chucked out a side dish for a later meal and had it again! I'm drooling just thinking of it.
  • Artichokes - Not so much. I was brave, I did try them, even though I didn't like the way they smelled. And I was able to swallow it without issue (didn't have to spit it out), but that half of one artichoke heart was enough.
  • Schnecken - Eh. It just reaffirmed my opinion that I don't care for sticky buns. There is just something off about the flavor. And these were definitely NOT worth the 3 hours they took to make (most of that while rising, but still). I much prefer cinnamon rolls (yes, there is a difference!). Or, instead of plain cinnamon rolls, how about....
  • Gorilla Bread - Way too yummy, and thankfully way too much work and way too much food to justify making just for our little family of three. And I don't even like cream cheese (I like it mixed in things, but not plain, even on a bagel), but I loved this. Think cinnamon rolls stuffed with cream cheese and then baked smothered in pecans, butter, and brown sugar. To die for! Once or twice a year is good, which will be much friendlier to my figure.
  • Turtle Dessert - Okay, so we discovered this particular recipe at Thanksgiving, but it is so good (and easy!), it is worth mentioning. It is just ice cream sandwiches, Cool Whip, caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, and pecans, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Kielbasa Toastettes - This was not as good as I hoped. I didn't see how it could go wrong with the ingredients (mayo, Worchestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, green onion, and turkey kielbasa, baked on sliced baguette rounds), but I didn't care much for it. My parents seemed to like it, though.
  • Brie en Croute - Fabulous! Yes, this was also my first time having brie. (Stop gaping at the screen, please.) Not because I thought I wouldn't like it (it's cheese, what's not to like?!), but because my only chance to try it (without buying it myself), I was pregnant, and you aren't supposed to eat soft cheeses like that when pregnant. But when the recipe called for brown sugar and nuts on the cheese inside the puff pastry, I was skeptical. Why ruin perfectly good pecans with cheese, and perfectly good cheese with brown sugar? LOL But it was way yummy! Again, too much and too rich for a frequent thing, but perhaps for the occasional special event.
  • Hummus - Okay, stop rolling your eyes already! No, I had never had hummus before either. And I'm not impressed. There was some sort of flavor in it that I didn't care for, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what. Chick peas, sesame seeds (tahini), garlic, lemon, and olive oil. How can I not like that? Just not my thing, apparently. I'm starting to think that all Greek food in general is also out for me, since I've never liked any of it that I've tried. (Same goes for Thai, for that matter.)
  • Croquetas - Hey, my brother lives in Miami, and I think he is the only non-Latino/non-South American in his office. He's picked up a bunch of ethnic dishes from various countries south of Florida. This is one of them, though we got the frozen ones in ham. They were pretty good. I didn't love them, and I was admittedly a little hung up on the ham thing (long story, but I don't eat ham; maybe we can try the chicken ones next time), but I liked them okay. Not as much as the Tostones from last year, though. LOL
  • Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip - Disappointing. Tasted too much like cream cheese for me (remember, I don't care for it, generally speaking). I don't know if it is the eggs or just the baking of a regular cheesecake that alters the flavor and/or texture of it, but I love real cheesecake (it's all Connie's fault, she introduced me to it). This didn't even come close. Ah well.

    And that concludes our 2006 Christmas Menu review. Everything else was either something straight up (like Giada's Chicken), or a well-loved family favorite. We have 32 recipes in this year's collection, and we made a total of 40 different foods (some, like the croquetas and hummus, were pre-made, so no recipe). Can't wait to see what we come up with for next year! Who knows what culinary adventues we'll go on next year. Perhaps something Russian....

    Currently feeling: well-fed
  • Monday, January 01, 2007

    The Big Reveal

    I may or may not post a Christmas update. It was long, it was wonderful, it was full of family and fun, I actually saw two movies at the theater, and I ignored the computer for almost two weeks! But I have been sitting on this for almost two months now, so I'm ready to share. For Christmas, I made a CD Case Calendar for my family using pictures of Luke. Here is the cover sheet, where you can see very very small versions of each month's sheet. To see close-ups of each month's page, check out my scrapping blog.

    Happy 2007 Everyone!!

    Currently feeling: scrappy