Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vicki ( Martini Girl )

My friend Vicki has been down visiting. Vicki is the one I have recently discussed in my 'Tini Tuesday posting. She is a WILD CHILD. (she gave my grandfather a lap dance at my wedding!)

A few of us went to dinner Sunday night. I love having Monday off!

Vicki and Phyllis, Phyllis owns Mr. Cheesecake by the way (and did our wedding cake), and another friend of Vicki's, Michelle, and I went to dinner.

Vicki and Phyllis shared a pitcher of sangria. And since there was something in Vicki's glass, other than ice and the waiter took them back, I convinced them to just drink out of the pitcher, which they gladly obliged.

Dinner was wonderful and even included Vicki bargaining with our waiter over his tip. In order to get his tip, he had to give her insight into why he was having a bad day as well have his picture taken with her. I feel bad because I didn't get his name.

Phyllis, Michelle (the other one), and Vicki

The other Michelle and Vicki

Vicki and ME!
It really was great to see Vicki again. We shared some stories of times past and laughed until Vicki cried. We really do miss her being around all of the time!


I like to be home alone. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, but there is something to be said to having the entire house to yourself for a weekend.
Jeff is at The Redneck Yacht Club for the weekend, and Kyle is with his Dad. That leaves me at home with the animals.

First, let me say this... I LOVE MY HOUSE. All 2.5 acres of it. I love my pool, I love to sit outside and read with the surround sound on as loud as I want it and on what ever I want to hear. I like to go to bed at night and sleep smack dab in the center of the bed. I don't have to cook dinner, so I usually don't. A snack and a glass of wine, and I am all set. My car hasn't been out of the garage since I put it there Friday night.

The alone time allows me to play around with my soaps, and my camera. (Soap photos tomorrow) This morning while sitting out back, I took these photos.

This is actually the sun coming up through the trees and fog.

This is looking out from our back patio. It was so serene this morning.

And as always, when Jeff leaves I have some issue with an animal. Whether it is our own, or some wild creature (peacocks, vultures, snakes, etc.). This weekend was not going to let me down in that department either. I let the dogs out into the dog pen and then realized they had a visitor.

Took me a bit to suck it up and get him out of there. The heebie jeebies kick in when I have to touch any animal other than my dogs and cats. They are in the wild for a reason people.

So back to my opening comment, I like to be alone and I love my house. I found myself repeating that mantra over and over again as I moved the turtle, killed the spider in the bathroom and saw the snake slither through the bushes when I went to get the mail yesterday!

Sunday Comics

Instead of reading the paper today, wasn't in the mood to be depressed at 6:15 a.m., I sat down to look through some more Pioneer Woman Archives.

As I was sifting through them, I came across the Juice Bag. I just had to post this link. It is the funniest thing. And I love the fact that she is not cracking up the entire time. Be sure to turn your volume up on your computer!

How I wish I had recorded Kyle when he was younger!

Friday, May 28, 2010

MPLT Giveaway

My Pretty Little Thoughts is having her blogoversary. In honor of this occasion, she is offering a great giveaway.

Click here to view.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who is that man?

Kyle got his braces off a few months back. He went back to the orthodontist today and they informed us that he will need to have his wisdom teeth removed immediately because they are pushing out the sides of his gums. We are off to the oral surgeon on Tuesday for our consultation. Can you say "Ka-ching"?

As we left, they handed Kyle his "graduation photos". It included before and after photos of Kyle and his teeth. The first one taken was taken in 2006 before braces, and the last one was this year after the braces. I almost fell over when I saw this:

Kyle 2006

Kyle 2010

OMG!!!! Who is that man????

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Garden New & Old

Our garden has been planted since March. We have enjoyed the benefits of zucchini, squash, green beans, and strawberries. We are currently getting ready for corn, onions, sweet banana peppers, and an onslaught of tomatoes. You can read previous garden posts here and here.

You know when your plants have fulfilled their duty in life when they start to look like this:

Poor, poor things. I feel so bad. They gave everything they had to fill our stomachs. At least they were productive.

And then, you look next to them and see this:

Our corn stalks are now taller than me. Not that much of a difficult thing to accomplish, but still impressive.

Sweet Banana Peppers that weren't there the day before. That is the amazing thing about gardening. One day it is a flower and the next day, poof, a veggie appears.

And then there are the tomatoes. Tons and tons of tomatoes. I have made the best salsa from these little guys. Some tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, onions, salt and pepper all thrown into the food processor. The fresh basil is out of our garden as well. Oh my, where are my tortilla chips???

Just another shot of my peppers.

The garden has been wonderful. I have to give a HUGE shout out to my husband though. If it weren't for him, this garden would not exist. He is the one who plants, picks and waters. For example, we had the house pressure washed last week and he is the one who discovered the pressure washer guy shut the water off to the automatic water system that he put in. I would have been standing there in frustration trying to figure out why all of my plants died, never thinking to check the water that I just assumed was on!

All of our plants were grown in earth boxes. The plants you get out of these are amazing. We are lucky enough that they are located right here, but anyone can order online.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Hooker

Larry, Warren, Kevin, Jesse, Jeff and Jordan

Shame on all of you for just looking at this post because of the title! Tsk, tsk...

Happy Hooker is the boat that Jeff and some friends went out on this past Saturday. I stayed at home holding my head in my hands praying to the Headache Gods to please, please just make it go away.

It was Jesse's birthday, so Jesse, his son Jordan, brother-in-laws Larry and Warren, Kevin and Jeff all went along for the big event.

Yeah! Jesse caught a fish. I think this was a tuna. I think?!

The Happy Hooker at the dock

Jeff had a few good catches. And yes, he is holding a shark in his left hand.

Just a few of the fish caught

A good time was had by all. Especially Jesse. Who was viewed by a few of us later in the afternoon curled into the fetal position on his couch unconscious. It is amazing what a little fresh air, a lot of sun and quite a few beers can do.

My favorite part of the day though, had to be this:

Can anyone believe it? Jeff is COOKING!!! (ever notice how strange cooking looks in capitals? Doesn't look right, huh?!) Jeff was cooking the tuna since I was still on my knees praying for relief. It was delicious and I felt like a proud parent watching their child take their first steps. ( He will kill me for this post later )

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Soap & A Migraine

I haven't had a post in a few days, I apologize. What I plan and how it works out are two totally different things.

I had training for work this week and had thought I could post a few blogs at night. However, we had no air conditioning for the first two days and being that we were on the 8th floor, and we are in Florida, it made for a miserably long couple of days. I was exhausted by the time I came home.

Jeff went fishing yesterday, so I will blog those photos and story later. I stayed at home with a migraine that I am still trying to beat.

I had some new soap to cut, so I will place those here today, along with photos of all of my stuff that it takes to create soap.

Energy Soap

Oils, Butters and other ingredients

More oils and some soap

Fragrances, Essential Oils, Colorants and Herbs

One cannot understand the obsession that soap can have over your life! When we did our taxes this year and I saw how much I had spent on all of my soaping supplies, I stood there with my mouth hanging open and Jeff passed out on the floor.

I do have a website to sell my soaps, it just unfortunately has nothing on it. All these supplies, and all of that soap and it is all for me! (Insert evil vampire laugh here)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whine Wednesday

Every Wednesday, Jeff and I go to a local restaurant by us called Michael John's, or MJ's. They have wonderful food and great people that work there. I would have entered his logo and information (here) if my wonderful dependable scanner actually worked like it is supposed to. We go on Wednesday because they have Wine specials. I call it Whine Wednesday. If you give people enough wine, you eventually get whining!

Anyway, MJ always has the greatest desserts. Jeff's favorite is the brownie sundae that MJ creates. And believe me, it is not your typical brownie sundae.

A few weeks ago, MJ introduced his latest creation and it was a Banana Foster's Sundae. And OH MY. It was scrumpdiliacious. My husband though, did not want to give up his brownie. So last night I asked if they could combine the brownie into the Banana Foster's Sundae. Well, they did.

Yes, we consumed every last bite. Can you see my husbands clenched fists? Isn't that funny? He wasn't happy that he had to wait until I could fumble with my cell phone camera and get a photo.

So, if you are ever in Bradenton or you live here and you are looking for a great place, visit MJ's. They are located at 1040 Carlton Arms Blvd, Bradenton, Fl 34208. Phone number for reservations is 941-747-8032.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

'Tini Tuesday (Lemon Martini)

Those that know me well, know my appreciation for a good martini. I never cared that much for them until my friend Vicky came into my life. Her love of being the life of the party and bringing her bar with her in a laundry basket to parties, changed me. I would call Vicky and go to her house after work, let her make her magic, sit back, relax and spend an evening drinking some fabulous tini's.

Then, Vicky did something that changed my life forever. She had the audacity to move!! Can you believe it? Where would I go in the afternoons now when I need a break? How dare her, right? Thank you.

So, I did what any deserving working Mom would do, I forced Vicky to tell me all of her secrets.

My friends now know me as the one that can make a great martini. People come to any event we have at our house, just to have a drink. And why not? It's free!

In honor of it being late spring and that Vicky will be coming to visit in another week, I am going to start blogging on Tuesdays different Martini recipes. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Absolute Citron Vodka, Cointreau, simple syrup, lemons, sugar, ice, shaker, and a great martini glass to make you feel important!

Let's take a second to discuss Vodka's. (Vodkas? Apostrophe or no apostrophe? Ugh, anyway) In this recipe I do use Absolute Citron. Normally, I would use Van Gogh Vodka. I love the flavor of Van Gogh in a martini. I also keep the majority of my vodka in the freezer. Nothing worse than pouring the alcohol into the shaker and having it melt the ice and water down your drink!

Okay, I'm off my vodka box now. Get it, soap box, vodka box? Alright not that funny.

I use two lemons for roughly two drinks. Depends on the size of your lemons. If we are having a large get together, I juice the lemons in advance and keep the juice in the fridge until we need it. Then I just eyeball it into the shaker. If only making one or two, I turn the shaker lid upside down and just use that as a strainer.
Throw away the seeds and then add other ingredients. The rule of thumb that I use for most of my drinks is two parts vodka to 1 part what ever else I'm using. For example, for this recipe I used two shots of vodka, one shot of cointreau. A good splash of simple syrup and ice. That is it! Shake well.

I then rim a martini glass with one of the lemons and swirl it in a dish of sugar. It creates a delicious tart and sweet combination!

Then pour your lemon martini into your glass,garnish with a lemon slice and TA-DA!

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Make Cold Process Soap: Using Fragrances, Episode 3

For those of you who have been disappointed because there haven't been many posts, yes, I'm talking to all 3 or 4 of you! Anyway, I am in the process of trying to work on some new blog posts and possibly a new blog. So, in honor of the Soap Queen, who is graciously allowing us bloggers to post her latest soap queen tutorial. I can't thank her enough!

Knock, Knock...Anyone There?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

P Dub Part Deux

As written about earlier, my friend Tammy and I went to Ree Drummond's cookbook signing in Orlando on Wednesday. Ree is also known as The Pioneer Woman. Below are a few of the photos we had taken with her.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

P Dub

Went to Orlando yesterday afternoon for a book signing with P Dub, The Pioneer Woman. LOTS of people showed up. More pictures later this afternoon once I have had a chance to clean them up.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What's For Dinner?

This is for my sister in law, Stacey, who requested I cook something for dinner that she can then have the recipe for. So, in honor of The Pioneer Woman, who I am going to see tomorrow in Orlando at her book signing, I tried the following recipe:

Hot and Spicy Drumsticks, by Terri from the Tasty Kitchen. I had to make some changes because I didn't have all of the ingredients that Terri used.

Ingredients: Apricot Preserves, Ketchup, Soy Sauce, Garlic, chili powder. Original recipes calls for Hot Sauce. Since my husband likes nothing spicy, I don't carry hot sauce, so I substituted the chili powder. Cutting it from 2 tsp to 1 tsp. ( The wine in the background? That is mine for drinking. No wine in this recipe, just forgot to move the evidence before I took the photo!)

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook until the apricot preserves have melted down. Pour over chicken in a greased baking dish. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs since this is what I had on hand.

All done and smells, wonderful. Scratch and Sniff . Did you try? hee, hee... just kidding, no scratch and sniff yet.

What's for dinner? Apricot Chicken over Rice. It was Yummy. Thanks Pioneer Woman, and see you tomorrow!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

We went and saw Lady Antabellum and Tim McGraw last night. Great show and great seats! I haven't enjoyed a concert like that in a while. Yes, it was warm, but worth it!