Monday, April 5, 2010

Sing...sing a song

"Dirty babe.  You see the shackles.  Baby I'm your slave.  I'll let you whip me if I misbehave..." ~ Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake

"The whole damn world is just as obsessed.  With who's the best dressed and who's having sex, who's got the money, who gets the honeys..." ~ High School Never Ends by Bowling for Soup

They just take on new meaning.  When the songs are sung by your 8 year old.  At the top of her lungs.  In the back seat of the mini-van.  All while having a raging case of the hiccups.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010


I hear that Tuesday is the day that I am supposed to be random.  But since I am usually a day late and a dollar short.  Thursday makes perfect sense to give you the bits and pieces.  Flotsam and jetsam.  List of sundries. 

I had almost thought that I was back in the swing of blogging.  And now it's been almost two weeks since I posted.  I have 9 posts in draft on my dashboard.  But I don't suppose that counts.  However.  My photoblog is current.  Shocking, no?

A post that is currently residing in my head.  And not in the draft section.  Is one on Judy Blume.  But every time I think about it.  I get irate.  And flummoxed.  For what you ask?  Barnes and Noble has a new rating system on their website.  And a group rated "Are you there God, It's me Margaret" as a book that is IFFY for anyone under 14.  IFFY?  Are you kidding me?  I could go on and on.  But what comes out is incoherent babble.  And incoherent babble rarely makes a good blog post.  Unless it's titled Foderol.  So.  Instead.  I decided to get my 8 year old a copy of the illustrious book.  All in the spirit of solidarity.

Speaking of books.  I just finished Edith Wharton's "Ethan Frome."  It was my bookclub reading for the month.  And I had thought I read it in high school.  But after finishing it.  I am not so sure.  I don't recall any of it.  Of course it is always possible that I was supposed to read it.  But didn't.  Anyway...I really liked it.  The writing is amazing.  And picturesque.  But the subject matter.  There is not another way to describe it other than bleak.  Or tragic.  Ethan - the title character - is just trapped in a horrible life.  Where he is just trying to figure out how to survive.  Rather than to live. 

Katie is studying weathering in science.  Specifically  Devil's Tower in Wyoming.  And how it's the neck of the volcano.  But the outside of the volcano eroded away.  Naturally, we watched "Close Encounters" to go along with the lesson.  About weathering.  *Ahem*. 

We end up going to Panera bread every Thursday for lunch. It's an expensive addiction. But yummy.

Madalyn keeps talking about this delicious drink she is getting at school. She wants to know when we can get some ya-hoo milk. And she refuses to believe me when I told her it's called yoo-hoo. Not ya-hoo.

I am just loving LOST this season.  I don't think that there has ever been a show that is that enveloping.  And I love that Katie is watching it with us.  Look at the cool shirt I found for her:

On the other hand.  I don't think that American Idol could be any worse than it is this season. 

So...what about you?  Opinions on Judy Blume?  Did you pretend to read required books in school? 

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Friday, February 19, 2010

In the kitchen with Kat: Chicken Tacos

Recipes used to be a regular feature here at casa Sunshine and Lemonade. In fact, it was almost a year ago when I last posted a recipe. A yummy chicken and rice casserole. The perfect thing to offer to your family. Or someone in need of a meal. Much better than some of the more interesting offerings that we received while on braincation. Like pot roast pasta. Or carrot jello. Or boiled cabbage. Or lasagna with peas and corn. Not that I am complaining. Dinner made by someone else is always a good thing. Unless it's pot roast pasta. I am now the proud owner of a rather large hole.

One of the kitchen tools that I have never been a huge fan of is the crockpot. I have used mine occasionally. Never with much success. It seems like everything that I have tried ends up tasting the same. Or swimming in its own grease. Appetizing not. However. I do have a few crockpot recipes that I like. And I thought I'd share them with you.  Starting with the very easiest one. Easy. And most importantly - yummy.

This recipe is so easy that it only calls for three ingredients. Three. 3. T.H.R.E.E. That's it. Bonelesss chicken breasts. Salsa. And taco seasoning.

Just dump them all in your crockpot.

Maybe swirl it a bit with a spoon. And ignore it the rest of the day.

When it's cooked, that chicken will just fall apart. It might need a smidge of help from you and a fork. But it's rather effortless.

And voila! Chicken tacos.

What is interesting about this is that chicken you started with. Well. It's like it multiplies. After you eat your tacos. You will still have LOTS of chicken left. You can freeze some. You can make chicken nachos. You can make enchiladas. Taco salad. Tortilla soup. Or just keep noshing on it as you do the dishes. And wonder about the mystery of your disappearing leftovers.

Here is my simple recipe:
6 boneless chicken breast (frozen or thawed)
16oz jar of salsa spiced to your taste
1 envelope of taco seasoning

Put all the ingredients in the crockpot and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Enjoy!

So...what about you? Do you like your crockpot? Have a favorite crockpot recipe? Do you use those crockpot liners?

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vegas, Baby part VI

It is the story that seems to never end. But today. It will. Finally. Really.

And apparently I left ya'll with a cliffhanger. It's always been my goal to write a serialized set of posts. With endings that beg for more information. But. I have realized. My writing skillz are not that good. But I did it with my last Vegas post. Without even realizing. So. To answer your questions. Yes. Michael got his shirts back. Ya'll can all let out the collective breath you were holding.

After I left Elena, I went to get ready for the conference. And then back to the casino. Down one hall. And another. Around a corner. Ask someone. Turn around. Go to another hall. A different corner. And then I found them! I saw Lula. And people I have only seen online. Like Heather. And Tiffany. And Angie. And Jen. And DiPaola Momma. And Tonya. And Swirl Girl. And somehow. I did manage to have a brain and get a picture with Swirl Girl!

I am not sure what happened to my brain. Cause my camera was right there!

The conference had a short opening. And then we broke for dinner. And then re-grouped for the evening cocktail party. Where there was dancing. And an open bar. Shannon, Lula, Elena, and I hung out together.

Celebrated Shannon's birthday.

And we took lots of photos on Lula's camera while she was off dancing. Socializing. And drinking. The best photo of Michael and I was taken on that camera!

We finally crashed late. And then had to get up early again. While we were conferencing. I left Michael with an assignment. To go to the half price ticket booth and find us something to do in the evening. I was hoping to see a Cirque show. He was armed with a priortized list. And a budget.

So...what did we end up with? No tickets to Cirque. Or to that guy with the puppets who won America's got Talent. Damn budget. But we did get tickets to Anthony Cools' naughty hypnotist show at the Paris. (Did any of you see him when he was on the Millionaire Matchmaker show?) The show didn't start until later in the evening, so after the conference was over Shannon and I arranged to meet for dinner and then do a little gambling. Slot machining?

As part of our room package through SITS, each room got $25 in slot vouchers. Can you believe that Shannon had never gambled? Well we set out to eradicate that. Pronto. Unfortunately. Shannon listened to me. She got her voucher. Dumped it into a machine. And then decided that that particular machine didn't like her. And went to switch. Except that her money did not follow her. It stayed on that machine. Which some floozy took over. And won money with Shannon's money. And left. All before we realized what happened. Oh. Wait. Was that supposed to stay in Vegas?

Shannon and I finally decided to make our way to the Paris to meet Michael for the show. Did I mention that Shannon was joining us. What would you call that? A double date? Triple? A menage? No. Wait. Ummm. Staying in Vegas?

When we got to the Paris, Shannon and I decided to lose a few more quarters in the slots before we found Michael in the line.

For the show, we had front row seats. And I must admit that I was quite surprised that Michael did not volunteer to be part of the show. Evidently he decided that if he paid for it, he'd watch it. And after seeing the show. I am quite glad he remained in his seat. Anthony Cools puts on a hilarious show. It is naughty. Raunchy. And not for the faint at heart. Or those without water proof mascara.

After the show, we set out for a different show - that of the Eiffel tower. We rode up the elevator to the observation deck. And what a sight. At night. With the lights. Vegas is just beautiful.

And finally. Our trip was over. With just a few hours of sleep, we had to check out for our 7am flight. And head back to the real world.

So...what about you? Have you ever seen a hypnotist show? Heard of Anthony Cools? Or forgotten to take a picture that you really meant to take??

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Southern Snow

I must admit to being a bit jealous of all the snow everyone was having. Feet and feet of snow. I wasn't quite so jealous of that. I just wanted pretty snow. Pictures of my girls making snowballs. Snowmen. Snowangels. Pictures of the snow in the trees.

I didn't want snowpocalypse. Or snowmageddon. Just snow. No ice. Pretty. Not scary.

And that is what our Southern snow was on Friday. It started lightly. Just dusting the surface.

Starting in the early afternoon. So the kids didn't even lose a day of school.

But it kept snowing.

And snowing. Enough that there were snowballs.



Please note. This is a Southern snow. With Southern children. Which means that we don't have the equipment. No snow jackets. We used our rain coats.

No snow pants. Wet jeans and wet leggings make for a cold child. No sleds. We used garbage bags.

Does that make it a redneck snow?

We even had a kitty escape because she needed to check out the snow.

And when we woke up on Saturday. It was like a fairy land. With the gorgeous blue skies.

And the sun reflecting off all the snow.


Then. Less than 24 hours after it started. It was practically gone.

So...what about you? How much snow have you had this year? Do you like the snow or are you pining for summer?

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Playing with Photoshop

I started this other blog.  It's for Project 365.  With the idea that you take a photo a day.  More often than not.  I get to the end of the day without a photo.  And not much of an idea for what might be interesting to post.  And then I thought I might use it as a spot to play with the actions that I downloaded for photoshop.  Yes.  I have photoshop.  But I have absolutely no idea as to how to use it.  There is not a button to push that says "Make this brighter."  Or "get rid of the blur."  Or even "make it pretty."  How I wish there were buttons like these.

One of the buttons that I really wish I had was "make the ______ part in this black and white picture colorized." I think that with as much as photoshop costs, it should just know where the flower or fountain or bird is in the picture.  And if I want the black and white picture to have a pop of color.  It should just know how to do it.

Photoshop through osmosis.  That is what I really want.  Sigh.  Unfortunately.  It does not exist.  But.  I did find a fabulous tutorial.  And look at what I created today.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Vegas, baby part V

Do you think that I will ever get to the end of this trip? I mean. We went in October. I first started telling you about it in November. Maybe we'll finish in February. And then I'll have to start telling you about the Disney trip we took last September. Did I see you moving to the edge of your seat? Oh. The anticipation.

So. We left off with our visit to the Mirage. And the tigers. And the volcano. And our trip back to our room on the 13th floor.

I was very excited when we got up Friday morning. Cause today we were movin' on up. Leaving behind the regulation hotel room. The perfume soaked hallway. And the 13th floor. All for the fan-cee digs of the Venetian.

We got packed up. Checked out. And grabbed a cab. Cause I was surely not schlepping my luggage on the deuce. And when we arrived.

Oh my. What a difference. I quickly got through the check-in and we headed up to our new room.

We had a suite. With a very comfy bed. And a step down to a living area. Complete with gold sectional couch. We had a couch just like this in the '70s. Who knew they'd make a come back? And the blinds. We had remote control blinds. Flat screen tvs. Including one in the bathroom.

After we got somewhat situated, I called Elena, and arranged to meet for lunch. Elena and her husband Jarom had flown in for the weekend just to meet me. Sort of. I mean the whole reason we went to Vegas was for the SITS blog conference. Which starts this evening. And Elena came for the party. And mostly to meet me. Maybe.

As we head downstairs, Michael asks me "Did you pack my shirts that were in the closet at the Monte Carlo?" Yep. He really asked me that. Uh. No. I packed my stuff. He packed his stuff. Or most of it anyway. So instead of helping me to find Elena, he heads back to the room to see if the Monte Carlo might still have his shirts.

Elena and I had decided to meet in the lobby. The lobby is gorgeous. There is this amazing domed ceiling.

And this.

Um. Hallway? Between the lobby and the casino. Would you call it a hall? So. I am waiting. And waiting. Then Elena calls. They cannot figure out how to get to the lobby. It truly is a conspiracy. The casinos want you to stay in the casino. Not marking the exits. Or making you go the long way around just keeps you there. May as well have another drink and another quarter in the slots.

Anyway. After a few calls, we finally find each other. And it's like falling back into a regular conversation. In fact, I have felt like that with everyone I have met through blogging. Just picking up where we left off. We had a great afternoon. Eating. Talking. And lots of laughing.

And we finally parted when Jarom had to go satisfy a need for chocolate. And I had to go get ready for the SITS conference...

So...what about you? Have you met people through blogging? Would you go to a blog conference?

Catch up on the trip:

our first night with the Bellagio fountains

walking the strip

visiting Hoover Dam

More schlepping the strip and the Mirage

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Monday, February 1, 2010

If only I had curly hair

Did you ever perm your hair?

What about put it in those foam pink rollers overnight?

All in that quest for curly hair.

I had straight hair. There might have been a slight wave to it. It had a bump. One. I didn't count that as a wave. It was a bump. And then all of that changed after children. When all of a sudden I got curly hair.

But now. Right now. Madalyn is lamenting her lack of curls. And my telling her to wait till she has children is really not making it all kopacetic. So. For Christmas. I got her some rollers. Who knew this would be one of her favorite gifts?

So she took a shower. And I sectioned off her hair. And rolled it up.

She somehow managed to sleep in them. Even though she was very uncomfortable. And complained. A lot. But taking them out. That was so not in Madalyn's plan.

By the next morning. Her hair was dry. And her curls were set. Right along with her smile.

So...what about you? Did you want curls (or for it to be straight)? Do you style your childrens' hair?

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