Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gone Girl - Book Review

So, I finally finished Gone Girl. It took me a couple tries to get through the book. I know, I know, it's a New York Times Best Seller but sorry to say, to me, the first 100 pages seemed like a bit of a snooze fest. My sister loved the story but I kept having trouble getting beyond the beginning but once I was into the story, it was well worth the read. It starts out slow...

It took me a while, to get beyond the introduction - which I thought was waaaaaaayyyyy too long, but when I did, I loved the twists and turns the story took. Okay, I'm a little odd but I like a story that's going to surprise me, or at least keep me guessing and this was a strange story with an unusual outcome.

I don't want to give away anything. . . but let me just say that the end is surprising.

Still, I have to admit I've been trying to read the book for quite a while. My first bookclub picked the story but when I started reading the very first page I got stuck on the talk about the shape of Amy's head...I was like...yaaawwwn.

And the story seemed to be just another Scott and Lacey Peterson story...

It's not.

And, like I said, after the first 100 pages or so the story starts amping up and up and UP until you can't put the thing down.

So over all, I'd say it's worth the effort and I'd give it a solid B.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Chili Contest

So I won! It's so much fun to win but it's really fun just to play. My family all gets together, everyone brings a pot of ...whatever it is we're making and we all eat, drink and vote for our favorite pot.

The fun thing is just getting together.

This month it was chili. Next weekend it will be a cake contest. Yep, I picked it. See, the winner gets to choose the next food challenge. :D

We try to make it a blind taste test.

We put a small bit of each pot into separate bowls - bowls so we can't tell who brought which recipe.

We don't want people to be swayed.

This time I won, my brother took second place and my nephew took third place.

I don't think I could recreate the recipe though, because I'm one of those people who put a pinch here, a dash there. No measuring...just whatever sounds good.

Now, I'm planning for next month...
start out with bowls filled with food,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thought for The Day

I was watching a show and a customer ordered a "dirty" martini. I had no idea what made the martini "dirty" so I googled it to find out.

Do you know what a dirty martini is?

Well, it's a drink that has a splash of olive juice. So it's supposed to be quite tasty and that's what makes a drink "dirty".

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Like Mother - Like Daughter

My Mom was a beautician. She loved to play with hair that's why she went to school to learn how to "style" the strands.

When I was little, she used to pull my thick horse-tail mane up in a ponytail and pull it to turn it into a "waterfall". At least that's what she told me. Mom always had a way of making the plain, ordinary and down right dull seem spectacular.

And, I have course, curly hair that is so thick I need to have it thinned more than a few times a year. When I was growing up, somehow it always managed to get tangled, twisted and terrible. Mom used all sorts of "products" before "products" even existed to try to make my mane more manageable. She used vinegar, mayonnaise, and even lemon juice to try to untangle my locks.

My head always ached from Mom pulling, twisting and brushing. So, I never thought of becoming a beautician but . . .

I have a hair board on Pinterest that I LOVE. I could spend hours looking at the unusual styles, colors and dynamic dos.

It makes me wonder, if a love of hair is something Mom has passed down to me...?

I don't know but it seems like a bond between us.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

BUTTERBEER from Whimsic Alley

So who likes wands, magic and spells...?

If you said, "Me" then Whimsic Alley is for you.



This is a store dedicated to all that is Harry Potter. So if you're in the L.A. area you might want to hit Wilshire Boulevard. It even has it's own Great Hall, which you can rent for parties and birthday celebrations.

But that is just the beginning.

You can buy a replica of Harry's wand, or Dumbledore's or even Hermione's, which I did.

I bought Vinespell

I also had to buy some earrings with little black spiders, reminiscent of the movie and a spell book (for my son to jot down sketches and notes) and a deck of cards. But one of the best finds was Butterbeer. Now, I don't know if you've ever had Butterbeer or not but, if you haven't, you definitely need to try it.

And you can even make your own...it might not be exactly perfect but it will be close.  Here's the recipe:

BUTTERBEER:
Ingredients 
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butterscotch topping
2 tablespoons whipped butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups vanilla cream soda
Directions 
Combine condensed milk, butterscotch topping, and butter in a glass heatproof measuring cup. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir until butter has melted and incorporated into mixture. Meanwhile heat cream soda in another heatproof measuring cup for 1 minute 30 seconds.

Divide butterscotch mixture between 2 (10 to 12-ounce) mugs. Fill mugs with heated cream soda and stir thoroughly. Serve garnished with an old-fashioned butterscotch candy stick.

(I used vanilla ice cream instead of condensed milk and whipped butter--it was delicious).



 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Remaking a Tee-Shirt



When I was at the wolf sanctuary, they gave me a teeshirt.

But I don't like collars up around my neck or the square shape so I was thinking I might make it into a grocery bag or remake it into a shirt I would want to wear.

This is how I did it:

I made a paper pattern to cut the neckline to a shape I wanted by taking an 8 and 1/2 X 11 inch piece of paper and cutting the pattern by simply drawing the shape on one side and folding the paper in half and cutting the shape to put on the neckline and cut the fabric.

Then I took in the sides a little and put elastic in the arms so they wouldn't hang like a square.

Now I might actually wear the shirt.

It was super simple.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Run Like a Mother

Run Like A Mother- Portland, OR

Celebrate with Run Like A Mother on Mother’s Day!  Sunday May 12, 2013
Hillsboro, OR US 97124 
 
Start Time: 8:30am
Price: $40.00 Race Fee + $3.00 Sign Up Fee
 
RLAM’s Mission
The mission of Run Like a Mother® is to fuel a woman’s journey toward health and wellness. Empower with education and training programs. Inspire with communities, events and races. Enable through programs and partnerships. Run Like a Mother® Isn’t Just a Race, It’s Our Way of Life. Contact us at info@runlikeamotherrace.com
 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Home Again . . . Naturally

We've been gone for days...nine, to be exact. Our trip started in Portland...we flew to Las Vegas. I know, that sounds like fun but I'm not a good flyer...I tend to get motion sick.

I hate that. Being such a wimp.

I love leaning over to look out the window on the plane and seeing all the little pretty patchworks of patterns down beneath us but watching those colors zoom past can leave me feeling queasy and ready to lose my lunch...literally. So flying from one place to another is not a great way to spend any time...at least not for me. But, once I'm at the destination, I'm enjoying myself.

How bout you...? Is there anything about traveling that you don't like? Anything that makes you feel a little queasy? Or is it all worthwhile no matter what?



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: Dewey The Small Town Library Cat

This was fun to read and it was even better because it's a true story.

Dewey i's the story of one small cat who touched an entire world.

I'd never heard the story of Dewey before but I wasn't surprised to learn how many people were touched by him. He had an amazing life. It wasn't that he was an heroic animal (like Lassie) or that he could do awesome tricks (like Rin Tin Tin) but he loved people and, because of that one simple fact, people loved him back.

It's one of those heartwarming stories that leaves you feeling warm and good inside.

It's not a fast-paced action adventure story but I would definitely recommend Dewey.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Earth-Friendly Friday

We all can do something to save resources. If we all do a little, it will do a lot.

For example:

Turn off the water when you're brushing your teeth.
Reuse towels more than once.
Turn off lights when you leave a room.
Use cloth kitchen towels instead of paper towels.

It's the little things in life that can make a BIG difference.

So think about it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

24 Hour Film Race

The 24 Hour Film Race is just around the corner.

It begins May 17th but you can sign up now and save some money. The fee is $95.00 per team but the price goes up after April 18, plus you can save more if you tweet about the competition.

So, if you've ever thought about making a movie...you might want to read all about it.

If you participate, let me know. I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Word for Wednesday

Guess what the word abaft means.

Do you know?


Can you guess?


If you don't know, scroll down for the answer...



Further




FUrther



FURTHER


Abaft means "in the rear of"

If you want to read more, check out this link

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Books I Haven't Finished

I'm in two book clubs. So, I read a lot of books. But...are some books that I never am able to finish. I don't know why or what it is about those books that makes me put them down and never pick them back up.

I've even started a couple of books by my favorite author and put them down never to finish them. And, I've tried. Believe me. I keep telling myself...it will get better. But...I just never seem to be able to get through the pages.

How 'bout you...have you ever picked up a book and fully intended on finishing it and not been able to do it?

It's not that I'm in a class or going to school and I have an assignment that I have to finish to pass the class. So, I shouldn't feel bad or guilty...but sometimes I do.

Sometimes I think, I should finish it to give it a fair evaluation but...life gets busy and if the book isn't "fun", I'm not going to finish it.

Life is just too short to spend time doing something just to get it done.

This makes me think about reading and writing...and wonder what makes one book great (at least in my opinion) and other book unreadable...

Because sometimes even my favorite authors write a book that I just can't seem to reach the end.

Any thoughts...?


Monday, April 8, 2013

Those Were the Days My Friend

I remember sitting and watching my grandma. She always seemed to have a hook in her hand or a needle.

You see, my Grandma used to knit and crochet and sew all sorts of things. When I was little, I didn't appreciate all the skill and talent that went into her doilies, table clothes, blankets, afghans, or even the clothes she made for us (especially the flannel nightgowns) but now I do.

It took a long time for me to come to my senses. But when I took up knitting, crocheting and sewing, I learned that these things aren't easy to make. It takes talent, patience and practice to perfect these delicate crocheted borders--not to mention the flowers and scenes she sewed.

Now these old linens are keepsakes.

Lucky for me my MIL gave me a few more vintage linens to add to my growing collection.

Aren't these beautiful? And to think these are decades and decades old but they still retain their vibrant punches of color.





How 'bout you...do you have any items that have been passed down in your family that you didn't appreciate as a child but now have come to love them?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Earth Friendly Friday

With planting season upon us, I'm thinking of planting foodstuffs for the future. Beans, radishes, spinach...things I can dry, can, or cook right out of the garden.

I don't use chemicals to fertilize or to kill weeds. I use my hands to pull the weeds and mushroom compost to help build strong plants.

Plus my hubby always helps me build little trellises and supports for my plants.

How bout you? Are you thinking of planting any fun edibles this spring?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Planting Time

Well it's nearly planting time here in the Pacific Northwest. And I've been thinking. . . blooming beauties are sort of like writing..."write"?

Well, a beautiful word or turn of a phrase can bring beauty into our lives just like a flower in bloom.

This is the time of year when I write the most. In the spring . . .I'm just popping with ideas. And the spring seems to be such a wonderfully inspiring time of the year.

How 'bout for you? When do you write the most? When are you inspired the most?




Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beans, Beans the Tropical Fruit

So my family is planning another cook-off. This time it's a test of "Texas" or at least one of their famous dishes: yep, chili.

Now, I didn't win the last cook off. But you have to remember I come for a BIG family. Mom had nine kids so when we all get together it can look like a little slice of Texas, right in my own house. Yep, down there they say Bigger is Better. Mom must have been listening to that motto, why else would she want nine kids?

Anyway, we're going to be doing a chili cook off. So, I'm asking for some tips, tricks and for readers to share some of their chili cooking talents 'cuz I wanna win this one.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my brother (who used to own his own restaurant) is going to be stacking the voting bin . . .again. So, I can use all the help I can get.

If you know any good recipes...or better yet...some really GREAT recipes for chili, please leave them in the comments section.

I've got to start taste testing some of these beanly beauties to make sure I come up with the best combination, if I wanna win. And, this time I think there's going to be a trophy.

Okay, so my family is a little overly competitive when it comes to cooking but that's why I'm asking for your help. There's gotta be a few chili lovers out there in cyber land. So, please share my plight with your other cooking friends. Maybe they'll have a few tricks tucked up their aprons that they won't mind sharing.

And, if I use your recipe or one of your tips, I'll give you the credit (here on my blog). And, if you wanna play along, take out some pintos, red beans, beef, or whatever else you want to try and start roasting, boiling or baking those beans too. I'd love to hear all about it well only "hear" on my blog because you know the saying...

Beans, beans the tropical fruit,
the more you eat the more you toot,
the more you toot, the better you feel
So eat beans at every meal!

Now, that's not the sort of thing I want to hear about...I'm only talking about the yummy scrumdilicious conversation of chili.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

DIY Edible Arrangements

It's so easy to make an edible arrangement out of fruit.  All you need to do is cut the fruit into thick slices and then punch out the fruit using cookie cutters. I skewer the fruit with bamboo shish-kabob sticks.

I stick the skewered fruit into floral foam and stick it all in a vase.
Then cover the floral foam with beans, rice, paper grass or anything.

It's healthy, delicious and looks really cute.

What a fun way to feast!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Wolf Connection - a nonprofit organization that works with At-Risk Kids and Wolves

My sister, niece and I went to volunteer at Wolf Connection during spring break.

This is Maya the Arctic Wolf. She is a sweetie. My sister and niece and I couldn't go in all the wolf pens to spend time with the wolves. But Maya is a very gentle wolf and Kenai was fine with us in their "den".

Wolves might look like dogs but there are a lot of differences. Wolves can crush bone in their jaws and they have very large paws and long spindly legs. They are also much larger than an average dog. I have a husky and this is how she looks.
And this is me with Maya the Wolf
Do you see the difference in their size? Plus wolves are much more powerful than dogs. Of course every dog has descended from the wolf.

Here are a few photos of my time at the wolf sanctuary.



This is Teo and Rene. They are the leaders of the pack at Wolf Connection.
And  this is a video clip of the wolves howling as a pack.



This is my sister Tammy carrying some of the poo away from the pens.


It was a great way to spend a vacation.