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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pictures and a funny

Happy Howl-aween, from our house to yours!

So, let me take you back to 1995, when I was a junior in high school. A big group of friends decided to get together and visit a local Haunted House. I had never been so a Haunted House before, and I had no idea what to expect. In addition to my nerves about the house o' terror, I was crushing on a boy who had plans to join our group that fateful evening. Score! I had visions of him cuddling me close, comforting me from the bigs and bads that were sure to await us.

As I'm sure you know, real life never turns out the way we think it will in our heads. The boy barely paid any attention to me, other than to huddle against my back and push me in front of him so he wouldn't have to be the leader. I was TERRIFIED. There was fake blood, screams, gore... dear goodness, I was just praying for the thing to be over. And eventually it was, or so I thought. We walked out the door, and I took a big breath of relief... and then came the chainsaw, right at my head.

I peed in my pants. Yes, you read that right. I was so scared that I peed in my pants at the age of 16.

Now I think it is funny. Then it was just humilitating. Right?

A few recipes

I wanted to take a few minutes to give a very public shout out to my bestie Angel, who turned 30 this past weekend. Happy Birthday! I'm so thankful to have her in my life. We met while we were both working for the College of Charleston. Little did I know then that I was meeting someone who would change my life for the better.

Before I met her, I had never really had any measure of self-confidence, and in meeting such a strong, independent, self-assured young lady, I learned a lot about loving myself. Angel taught me that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and I could be attractive and not be a size 2. She taught me a lot of other things, like poise, grace, responsibility, determination, and how to stick up for myself.

This is the girl I called when Jason and I were first dating and he called to tell me he was coming by unexpectedly. She dropped everything she was doing to come to my apartment and clean up the mess so that I could take a shower. She was my constant dinner companion. She was the first person I told when Jason and I got engaged, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.

In the words of Meredith from Grey's Anatomy: "she's my person!" She's person I call when things are very bad. She's the person who probably knows the most about the real, authentic me - the me that is both good and bad. I've told her more of my so-called deep and dark secrets that I have any other person in my life. And you know what? She's the person I count on to tell me that the things I think are so big and bad aren't so much, and that I need to get over myself. She is truly my sounding board. She doesn't just take my side, but she gives me honest advice - advice I listen to 99% of the time.

Girl, I know I haven't always been the best friend to you that I could or should have been, but you have always, always been there for me. I'm so thankful to have you in my life. I love you bunches!

Here are a few recipes from last night's dinner. The menu was eclectic, like me, and included chicken ritz casserole, corn casserole, and chocolate chip banana bread.

For the sake of your waistline, I'm omitting the pictures of and recipe for the chicken ritz casserole. I'm actually embarrassed to admit I actually cook this, as it is as unhealthy as it gets. It's basically a heart attack in a bowl. It involves two different types of condensed soups, cheese nips, butter, cheese, sour cream, and chicken. Really, there is nothing redeeming about it at all - but it is yummy delicious in my belly.


Moving on! Behold my Aunt Beth's corn casserole. This looks like I slaved all day and made creamed corn, but it really just frozen corn, cream cheese, and a tiny amount of butter. Simply combine one box of frozen corn niblets with butter, one box of regular corn, and one box of cream corn with one box of cream cheese and a tiny pat of butter. Microwave for 15 minutes, stirring at 5 minute intervals. It is amazingly good! Oh, and it is ok to omit the butter. I made this for two years before I discovered that you were supposed to add it in the first place.


Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1.5 cups mashed banana (about 4 medium bananas)
1/3 cup water
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together sugar and softened butter.
Add the eggs.
Add the bananas and water and mix for 30 seconds.
**It should be noted that I read this as 30 minutes and I mixed for 5 minutes before I decided that it must have been a typo. Duh!**
Add flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
Add the chocolate chips.
Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake 55 minutes
This is very, very good! If you decide to try these, I hope your family enjoys them as much as we do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless AND Works For Me Wednesday

If you haven't already done so, don't forget to leave a comment here to enter my "You've been boo-ed!" giveaway!

Have you guys tried the green bags? Well, I have and I thought I'd share a little review.


These things really do work! I usually have such rotten (haha) luck with fruits and veggies. It seems like they mold or go bad within three days of me buying them. I'm so sick of throwing away money on fresh fruits and veggies, and these bags may be the answer!


I purchased the bags at Target, and you get 20 bags for $9.99. You are supposed to get 10 uses out of each bag... I haven't used them long enough to test that out yet, though, so I'll get back to you with that.


Here's my lone tomato, in its bag for one week. It is still extremely firm! Normally they are wilted or mushy by this point.



Here are my bananas, one week after purchase. Amazing!



Have you tried these? What did you think?

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY:


Look closely... closer. See that beach and outline of a house? Well, that is Mr. Bill Gates's humble abode. He had the sand shipped in just to make a beach where his kids could play. This picture was taken on a tour of Lake Washington, where the multi-million dollar houses and just indescribable!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boo to you!

What a busy weekend! I'm writing this post as the clock ticks down the last few seconds of said weekend. I recently went to a 4 day work week, Tuesday-Friday, so I am lucky to count Mondays as part of my three day weekend. This post will be a little random, I'm afraid, so hang in there. There is some good stuff at the end!


My parents came to visit this weekend, and on Saturday evening we went to Cypress Garden's Haunted Swamp. What a mess (literally)! I had heard such good things about the event, which included haunted trails, haunted boat rides, storytellers, a marshmallow roast, and lots of kid friendly events. Unfortunately, it rained all day on Friday, and the swamp was flooded. There was a couple of inches of standing water on the trails, and the mud was so deep I lost my shoes a couple of times. We were so concerned with making sure we didn't fall in the mud that we missed most of the spooky and scary stuff. We didn't even get to the boat ride, since the wait time was 2 hours.


I did get my fortune read... and that was humorous. I wasn't wearing my ring that night, and I was told I'd get married at 30, have my first and only child at 36, and would one day have a big house and a nice car. The best part? I'll come into major money when I'm 40. The fortune teller told my mom that she would come into money when she is 56 (she's 55 now) so I'm thinking I'll buy her a lottery ticket for her birthday.


One of the best things about my parents visiting is that they are perfectly willing to do little projects around the house. The last couple of times they have been here, my father has done landscaping (thanks, dad!) and my mom has done some home decor projects. Remember me telling you all what a master wreath maker she is? Behold her latest project, an autumn wreath for my front door:



Did I mention that I love it when my parents visit?


Moving on - I'm doing a virtual "boo" giveaway! Please leave a comment to this post if you would like to be entered to win one of these two Halloween planters, filled with lots of yummy candy. If you do not have a blog that your comment will link back to, you must leave an email address where you can be contacted. The giveaway ends on Friday, October 31st.



My friend Becca at Lovely Yellow Ribbons is also doing a giveaway, and hers is 10x better than mine! Becca does amazing, whimsical art that you absolutely must check out. Her giveaway is for a family crest that will be customized to your interests and specifications. Visit her blog and leave a comment to be entered to win! Don't forget to mention that Andrea sent you, if you don't mind!

Monday, October 27, 2008

BOO!

Have you been booed?

These are my version of the popular "You've been boo-ed!" bags. They are very simple to do. I did two versions, one for my office and one for my neighbors. I'm a little bummed, though, that I boo-ed all my neighbors on last week (4 people) and none have passed it on. BOO! The neighbor poem is below, and I simply replaced "neighborhood" with "office" for my office poem:
Good evening! You've just been BOO'ed!
Since this is the time for goblins and bats,
For Halloween spirits, for ghosts and cats,
For weird happenings and witches' brew,
These are the things that I wish for you…
May the only spirit you chance to meet
Be the spirit of love and friends warm and sweet.
May the only goblin that comes your way
Be this Neighborhood Phantom you must give away.
T'is much better to give than to receive" goes the old verse
And something this easy won't empty your purse.
It's your turn to pass along a treat and a BOO
Because now the Neighborhood Phantom is little old YOU!
So by this time tomorrow, pick three friends sweet,
And give to them each a Halloween treat.
You have only one day - so you’ll need to hurry -
Leave a treat on their doorstep, ring the bell, and then scurry!

Have you ever boo-ed someone? Does this work in your neighborhood? Share the different methods of boo-ing you have used. Did you use a different container, or fill the bags with homemade items? I want to know, so please share!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The wedding!

Mrs. De Miranda over at The Road Less Traveled asked for some wedding pics, and who am I to disappoint?

Jason and I got married on July 26, 2003, just four short months after our engagement. Why so quick? Jason had orders to relocate from SC to GA, and I was determined to move with him. My mother wanted us to wait until February 2004, but the thought of us living in sin sure did win her over to my proposed timeline.

Because it was such short notice, I had to give a lot of what I wanted up. I had always dreamed of having my wedding at Misty Lake, a lake house my father's company owns. But because it was short notice, the venue was booked. My second choice was my parent's home church, but they refused because they were having vacation bible school the same week and did not want to have to break down the setup for a wedding. Luckily, the church I was a member of throughout high school agreed to let me have my wedding there, and we opted to host the reception in their reception hall. I was not thrilled about having my reception on a glorified basketball court, but what can you do? Having the reception at a church meant no music, so that was another thing to compromise on.

In the end, it all turned out beautifully. It may not have been exactly what I dreamed of, but it was a wonderful day. I admit to having a brief Bridezilla moment when I saw exactly how beat up and scarred the reception hall was (really - a basketball court/reception hall?!) but at least they pulled up the hoops, right?

Here we are taking off the garter. See the beautiful basketball court?

Here we are, cutting the cake. My grooms cake, which I don't have a picture of, was really the hit of the night. My aunt made me a german chocolate cake that was out of this world. Delicious!


And we're off! We stayed that night at a B&B and left the next morning for Disney World.

I consider myself very lucky that I realized early on that the wedding is not the be-all and end-all of the marriage. People spend so much time, effort, and money in putting on the wedding of their dreams, often to stress and worry so much that it doesn't end up being all they wanted. What I wish every bride knew is that the wedding is just a day - one day, when the marriage is the rest of your life. If only we all put as much effort into our marriages as we do into planning our weddings.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Crafty disappointments

Do you ever get so excited about a craft, so sure it will turn out well, and then get extremely disappointed when it just doesn't turn out the way you want it to?


That was the case with this project. I saw this fall project over at The Joys of Home and decided it would be a cheap, easy, mindless project I could do while catching up with my tivo. Hers turned out lovely... mine not so much.


Anyway, it was an easy project, and it cost less than $3.00 to do. All you need is fall silk leaves (Dollar Store, $1.00), styrofoam balls ($2.00 for two at Walmart), and a hot glue gun. You may need scissors to cut the leaves if you want a precise fit.


The final project:


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why romance novels and The Notebook have ruined my life

Yes, you read that right. I know this movie is ages old, but today I'm pondering the media and its darn influence on our lives. Why must the heroes in books in movies be so dashing and romantic? Let's face it, ladies, men in real life rarely stand up to such scrutiny.

I started reading romance novels when I was in the 6th grade. My reading comprehension was higher than my peers, and young adult novels just weren't cutting it. My mother was and is a voracious Harlequin reader, and I used to steal her books. Yep, steal, because what mother wants her 6th grader reading about throbbing members? Right.

Anyway, I'm convinced that this greatly influenced my romantic life. I was not the girl who flitted around from boy to boy, dating just to date. No, I was waiting for THE ONE. The one that took my breath away, that made my heart beat faster, the one that I would look at and just KNOW - you know, like in romance novels, when the hero and heroine look at each other and are instantly soul mates? Only there is some catastrophe they must solve before they can be together?

My first kiss was not the stuff romance novels are made of. In fact, it was disgusting. Gross. Too much slobber and darting tongues and... well, it was bad. I've pretty much blocked it out, and I've chosen to say that my first kiss (which was more like my 8th kiss) was with my first love, at night, in the church parking lot. It was raining and it was perfect - definitely a movie moment.

Well, not that much of a movie moment. But almost. And doesn't every girl want that moment? That "I'm so into you that I want to jump on you, wrap my legs around you, and kiss you passionately?" Don't you want the moment where you run through the airport, having realized HE IS THE ONE YOU LOVE, and jump in his arms, passionately kissing, while music swells around you?

Hmm, I guess a lot of my romantic fantasies center around jumping and kissing. Maybe that should be my motivation for losing weight - so that I can jump and kiss without breaking my husband's skinny body. I must ponder this...

How about this moment? Don't you want to be paddled around a beautiful swamp, while ducks swim around you?


Jason and I visited this swamp, Cypress Gardens, and attempted to recreate this moment. Only it isn't the same with no ducks, spider webs the size of beach towels, and alligators drifting by. AND my husband is not Ryan Gosling, bless his heart.

One day I will have my movie moment. And when that finally occurs, I will share it with you, my dear readers. Hopefully it won't occur when I have Alzheimer's and finally realize that darling old man is, in fact, my husband.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (well, a few words)

I need some help deciding what my chihuahuas should be for Halloween. A bat and a devil, or a devil and a witch?







P.S. - If I go with the witch costume, I have a blonde wig that George can wear for some extra pizazz! ;)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tour My House Tuesday

Welcome to Casa Andrea! Grab a cup of coffee and join me for a virtual tour of my abode. Today's featured room is my living room.

For those of you new to this blog, we purchased this house at the end of January 2008. We've moved in on January 31st, 2008 which means we've been here for approximately 8.5 months. As you will see, we haven't done any painting yet. I envy people who can just run to the store, pick up a few gallons, and slap some paint on the wall. I'm still agonizing over colors 8 months later. Sadly, I don't think this room will ever be painted. The living room has cathedral ceilings, which means we'd have to hire someone with scaffolding, and the quotes we've gotten have been outrageous. It just isn't a worthwhile investment when we plan to move in another 3 years. I've tried my best to "warm up" the room without paint. I'm not really sure if I've achieved it, though.


The couch, loveseat, chaise, and armoire are our first major furniture purchases since we got married. The couch, loveseat, and chaise are all from the same line, and the armoire has a matching coffee table/trunk that is now in our bedroom. It just didn't look right in our living room, but it looks fantastic in our bedroom! I love the intricate woodwork on the base of the seating pieces, and I love the bronze inlay on the armoire. We decided to go with leather because of our boys, who shed terribly. It is a lot easier to brush off stray fur than to vacuum it off.

I hate that coffee table with a passion. We got it after deciding the coffee table/chest was too large and tall for the space, and it moved upstairs. The room felt empty without anything there, and I found this at Pier One. The husband and I love to eat while watching tv, so a coffee table is almost a necessity. He hates this table, though. The husband wants a table where you can stick your legs through the bottom. Sigh... he doesn't care if it looks good, just that it is comfortable.

Here's the view looking into our kitchen. I love, love, love iron work and I found this on clearance at Kirkland's.


Our front door opens right into our living room, and we have a minuscule foyer. Here's the small table to the left of the front door:

I really love the art in our living room. The first is a print of the Angel Oak, which is the place Jason and I got engaged (read the story here). Before our wedding, I had the print matted but not framed, and in lieu of a guest book at our wedding, I asked people to sign the mat. It is a wonderful memento!


Well, there you go! Thanks for touring, and be sure to let me know what you think of the space. Do you have any ideas for the room? How could I improve this space without painting?

Monday, October 20, 2008

New background and layout!

So here's the new look for My Chihuahua Bites! that I was telling you about in my last post. What do you think?

Blogalicious Designs did a phenomenal job. Staci and Stephanie are so easy to work with, and my whole design was complete in about a week. It probably would have taken less time if I had been less indecisive and had more of a clue about exactly what I wanted. Poor girls - I changed my mind midway through the design process and they were willing to scrap what they had already done and start all over. Please don't hesitate to use them for your web/blog design needs! They do complete makeovers, headers, blinkies, etc - almost anything you could want or need!

The Tip Junkie is hosting a giveaway for a bodacious blog makeover from Blogalicious Designs, so head on over there and leave a comment so you can enter. You get a bonus entry if you also leave a comment over at Blogalicious Designs.

Good luck everyone! I hope you like the new look.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Whew! Busy week

This week I've been running around like a crazy person, trying to do a million things in a very short period of time. My cousin was in town this weekend, so I've been cleaning and organizing like a mad woman. I didn't have much time to spare after working 10 hour days! Then I got sick in the middle of the week, which made even the smallest task take 10x longer and be 10x more difficult. I'm just glad the week is over... and now it is time to do it all over again.

My parents are coming to visit next week, and I'm trying to coerce my brother into bringing the kids to Charleston for Cypress Garden's Haunted Swamp event. Remember my post about Cypress Gardens? If not, click here. It is breathtakingly beautiful during the day, and sure to be spooky and super scary at night. I'm excited about seeing the family, but stressed about getting my house in order. It isn't that my house is a mess, but who doesn't want every little nooky and cranny spotless when you have company... particularly company with an eagle eye, like my mother.

Last weekend, Jason and I carved our Halloween pumpkins! This was very exciting for me. Do you know I've never carved a pumpkin? Not that I did this year... I just watched while Jason did all the work. Still, it turned out great! Thanks, husband!



Sadly, we had to throw away one of the pumpkin today because of mold. Next year I may just buy the foam carveable pumpkins so that we can keep them more than a few weeks. Has anyone ever used those?

I know you all are wondering - why does he have on Christmas pj pants? My husband is an equal opportunity holiday lover. It's Christmas year round in this House-hold.

Stay tuned for a new blog look! I've enlisted Blogalicious Designs to create a sassy new look for My Chihuahua Bites. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Boo wreath

So today I'm looking for a little constructive criticism. This is my first attempt at making a wreath, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm a little insecure because my mother and aunt are both expert wreath makers, and clearly, I did not inherit that gene.

What do you think? How could it be improved?


You know, wreath making seems simple enough, but this was a difficult project! First of all, the bow... I must have watched 20 tutorials on youtube, and could not figure out how to make that blasted bow. I sat for two hours on a Sunday night while I was watching tv and finally came up with the monster you see now. Secondly, I wasn't sure how to anchor everything. I thought about using a glue gun, but I really did not know if that would hold, so I used wire.

The entire project was about $20. The wreath, ribbon, boo sign, skeleton, and pumpkin all came from Michael's. The bugs came from Walmart.

What are you thoughts? I appreciate your feedback!

Monday, October 13, 2008

More than you wanted to know about me

I love MeMes, mainly because I get to write about myself and because I feel like it gives people a little insight into who I am and what I'm all about. What I am about is keepin' it real, which is why I told the truth and said that I like to write about myself. Because I do. I'm a little narcisstic in that way. ;)

So here's some a random Q&A with myself. Please reciprocate! These are good for days when you are searching for something to blog about.

1. What is the last movie you saw a movie theatre?
Quarentine, and man, it was scary! Mainly it is just blood and gore fright fest, but it also touches on the topic of bio-terrorism, which scares me silly.

2. What book are you reading?
Twilight, and I have no idea why it took me so long to read this book. I supposed I have just now reached the acceptance portion of my grieving for the Harry Potter series. I just wasn't ready for another young adult novel until now.

3. What is your favorite board game?
I love Taboo... it is great to play with large groups of people. This is what my family plays when we all go up to Edisto Beach, SC together.

4. What is your favorite magazine?
I'm going to be honest, because I'm keepin' it real: US Weekly. Otherwise I would have said Newsweek to make y'all think I was a smarty-pants. Although I can tell you all about Brangelina and who is dating whom in Hollywood.

5. What are your favorite smells?
The ocean, vanilla, amber, and sandlewood.

6. What is your favorite sound?
JC's voice. It will be your favorite sound, too, when you watch this.

7. What is the worst feeling in the world?
Not being able to fall asleep when you know you have to get up at a specific time. I play this ridiculous game all night where I say "if you go to sleep now, you will get ____ hours of sleep!" It doesn't help.

8. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Shower, unless it is a weekend, and then I let the boys outside and get on the computer.

9. What is your favorite fast food place?
Subway!

10. What do you plan to name your future children?
I have a girl's name picked out, and it is combination of my grandmother's name and my middle name. I am praying for a girl... I have enough penises in this house already.

11. Finish this statement: "If I had a lot of money...."
I'd pay off all my bills. No more student loans!

12. Do you drive fast?
If I am on the interstate, yes. Otherwise, no.

13. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
No.

14. Storms - scary or cool?
Cool if I am inside. Scary if I am outside or driving.

15. What was your first car?
A 76 camero. Read more about that trainwreck here.

16. What is your favorite drink?
A Starbucks venti black iced tea, no sweetener.

17. Finish this statement: "If I had the time, I would..."
Paint my house. Actually, I have the time. I'm just dreading this project.

18. Do you eat the stems on broccolli?
Are you not supposed to? I do. I wasn't aware that some people did not.

19. If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?
The better question would be what color has it been? I've been black, dark brown, light brown, auburn, red, blonde highlights, red highlights... If I knew it would stick, I'd be Debra Messing red. Red fades so quickly, though!

20. Name all the different cities in which you have lived.
North Augusta (SC), Rock Hill (SC), Charleston (SC), North Charleston (SC), Kingsland (GA), Silverdale (WA), Moncks Corner (SC)

21. What is your favorite sport to watch?
If I must, baseball. It is the least boring of all sports to me. Wait, is cheerleading a sport?

22. What is one nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
I am lovely and amazing. Keepin' it real!

23. What's under your bed?
Dust bunnies and probably dog hair.

24. Would you like to be born as yourself again?
Hmm.... If I had to be born again, yes. I wouldn't make all the same mistakes again.

25. Are you a morning person or night owl?
Night owl, even though I have to get up at 6am for work.

26. Do you prefer your eggs over easy or sunny side up?
Sunny side up!

27. What is your favorite place to relax?
Anywhere with water... the tub, on the beach, staring out at our pond...

28. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Pistachio almond

Halloween tombstones

I must confess that I am not terribly creative. I so badly want to be, but it just does not come naturally to me. What I am is a blatant copycat. I'm very good at looking at what other people do, and doing the same exact thing. This project was inspired (isn't saying inspired much better than saying ripped off?) by the blog Thrifty Decor Chick. Check it out - she is one talented lady!




These tombstones came from the Dollar Store, and were - you guessed it - $1.00 each. However, the faces, letters, and swirls were very faded and needed a little touch up. With a little white paint, they really pop! This took me about 30 minutes, but most of that was because I was watching Desperate Housewives. Isn't horrible how Gabby talks about her little girl? No child deserves to be talked about for their weight.

Oops, got a little off track! Anyway, these come with little dowels so that you can put them in your yard. I haven't decided quite where to place them so I set up a little obstacle course for George (chihuahua #1) on the stairs. I'm kidding!

I'm working on a few other projects (cough: imitations) so stay tuned. More to come!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

White Trash Tip of the Day

I'm a little embarrassed to show this photo but here goes:




I read about this on one of my message boards. The topic was tarts and oil burners, and someone shared that the best their house has ever smelled was when they put a tart into a tuna can and set it on a candle warmer. I had to try it, and man, it works! The smell is so much stronger than when I use my tart warmers (but the tart warmers sure are prettier!). I think I will use these before my company arrives - my own version of the Glade candle commercial. Try it and let me know what you think.

***This goes without saying, but of course you must clean out the tuna clean thoroughly. Don't forget this important step, or your results will not be quite the same. ;)***

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Orange Juice Cake

I was browsing at The Crooked Curve and stumbled upon a recipe that I just had to try out.


Orange Juice Cake

Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup oil
1 cup orange juice
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a bundt pan.
3. Combine the first six ingredients until smooth.
4. Pour into the bundt pan.
5. Bake 45 minutes. You will know it is done when the cake begins to pull away from the pan.
6. While the cake is baking, combine the final three ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the cake is cooked.
7. Once you pull your cake out of the oven, pour the glaze over the top of the cake. Use all the liquid! It will seep down into the cake, making it incredibly moist.
8. Let the cake sit and cool overnight, or at least 2 hours. Pop it out of the pan by putting a plate on top and flipping the pan over. You may have to light hit the sides to get it to release.
9. Enjoy!

This cake was just delicious. You must try it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Angel Oak

The Angel Oak, located on John's Island in Charleston, South Carolina, is reported to be the oldest living thing in the eastern United States, and is an estimated 1500 years old. It stands 65 feet high, and has a canopy reaching 160 feet, a circumference of 25 feet, and it covers 17,000 square feet of ground.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The engagement story

I mentioned this in my MeMe post, and figured I would follow through and give everyone the whole story. Jason and I "met" online November 2003. We were both in a Charleston chatroom, and struck up a conversation. I didn't think anything of the conversation, really, as I was just procrastinating to avoid doing my homework. We added each other to messenger and would talk here and there when we didn't have anything else to do.

Around the same time, I was trying out internet dating. It did not go well. I met one guy, who seemed nice, but he decided I didn't meet his physical standards (ouch). I tried again, and experienced what was quite possibly the worst date of my entire life. After I finally removed that nightmare from my apartment, I got online to vent to one of my friends. Jason happened to be online, and I shared my horrid experience, stating "I will never, ever meet anyone off the internet again!" He responded by asking if that included him, and I laughed and said "Maybe, maybe not."

We exchanged phone numbers, and he called that **night. That was quite possibly the longest telephone conversation I have ever had - I think we lasted about 6 hours? We agreed to meet the next day at Barnes and Noble for coffee. That meeting went well, and I distinctly remember coming home and telling my girlfriend, Angel, that "I don't think he's Mr. Right, but maybe he's Mr. Right Now." Little did I know!

**Sidenote: This was also the night that my beloved goldfish, Jeremiah, committed suicide. He was dead on the floor in front of his bowl when I awoke the next morning. Can you say traumatic? When I met Jason the next day and related this story, he tried to buy me a new goldfish, but alas, the Petsmart next door was closed. Sweet, huh?

Our first official date was December 8, 2002. The date was wonderful, but things kind of sputtered from there. I went home for two weeks for Christmas break, and he went home for a few weeks in January. In early January, I got very sick, and ended up having to withdraw from school, take a leave of absence from work, and go home where my family could help take care of me. Jason tried to stay in touch, but I was really too sick to talk. I finally returned to Charleston in February, and he came over to see me the first night I returned. That night something just clicked, and from that point on we were inseparable. He met my family for the first time in March, on my nephew's birthday. One week later, he proposed.

It was a Sunday, and we spent the morning together. I had a work meeting that afternoon, and he left to go run errands. He called while I was in my meeting, which I thought was odd, but he wanted reassurance that we would be spending the evening together. He wanted to go and have dinner with his friends, Rob and Jeri, whom I had never met.

Dinner rolled around, and we had a great time. Unfortunately, during dinner I got a terrible headache. When it was time to leave, Jason wanted to go to see the Angel Oak, which is a very old and beautiful tree in Charleston. I didn't want to go - I had a headache, it was dark, and the park would be closed. Jason suggested driving back to my apartment to get some Tylenol in hopes I would feel better.

We arrived at my apartment, and I went into the bathroom to get some medicine. When I walked out, Jason had a present in his hands. I remember thinking to myself "Crap, now I have to go!" It was a mp3 player. So, grudgingly I piled into the car and we headed out.

This is the point where I should tell you that I acted like a brat the whole way out to the Angel Oak. I whined about how dark it was. I whined about my headache. I whined about how long it would take us to get there. It is a miracle he didn't just call it off.

We arrived at the Angel Oak, and as I predicted, the park was closed and it was pitch black outside. We parked the car right outside the gates and left the lights on so we could see the tree. I was content to sit in the car while Jason admired nature, but that just wouldn't do. I didn't want to get out of the car, but Jason looked like he was about to murder me, so I did. I stood by his side, not really listening to him talk about how old and enduring the tree was, how beautiful, what an amazing example of nature, blah blah blah. Y'all, I just wanted to go home.

After a suitable period of tree admiration, he dropped to his knee. I honestly thought he needed to tie his shoe! I was spaced out, eyes darting here and yonder to catch a glimpse of the serial killer I was sure was about to spring out and kill us. I wasn't focused on my future husband, other than to wish he'd just hurry up so we could get the heck out of dodge.

I wish I could tell you what he said, word for word. But you know me - I caught a glimpse of the bling and my attention was focused on the sparkles, not the conversation. I do know he made a lovely speech about how he wanted our marriage to be like the Angel Oak, old and enduring, and for us to one day be surrounded by our family and children, like the tree is surrounded by its limbs. What a lovely sentiment! He had me at the bling.

Oh course, I said yes. :) And we lived happily ever after... most days. ;)

Wordless Wednesday


Leave a comment and tell me what you think it going on in George's head!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Calling all creative minds!

I have an obsession with hanging baskets. I purchased my first hanging basket when we in lived in military housing in WA. Jason refused to hang it because he didn't want us to get charged for damages when we moved out. I had to return my beloved purchase to World Market, but I vowed then that I would one day have my hanging basket, darn it. So when we moved into our bright, shiny new house, my resolve to have that hanging basket was ignited. I headed myself right on over to World Market, and repurchased that bad boy. It was mine!

This hanging basket was the cause of a turbulent week in the House-hold. Jason was just as determined not to hang the basket as I was to see it full of fruits and veggies. He said it was because there was no stud where I wanted to hang it, and if we hung it without a stud the weight of the fruit would blah blah blah blah blah. I stopped listening. I think this may have, possibly, led to me calling him an asshat and him telling me to stuff the fruit where the sun don't shine.

And then we went to the movies, because we're like high school girls who call each other names and then go into the bathroom together to gossip. We're mature like that.

Anyway, long story short... I did not get my beloved hanging basket. I bowed to the pressure of my husband's disapproval, which was made worse by my mother's agreement that "it just won't work, Andrea." Sigh.

So... anyone have ideas for what I should do with the baskets?

Monday, October 6, 2008

MeMe time!

I've been tagged for another MeMe. Here we go!

My Joys:
*Naps with my boys. There is nothing better in the world. The husband + the boys + my super cozy bed = perfection.

*Shopping. It's a rush. You know how runners get a running high? I've never understood that, but it must feel like the thrill I get when I step foot into a store. Let's not even talk about how I feel if something fits and is in my price range. It's orgasmic, I tell ya.

*Reading. I love to curl up in bed at the end of my day and read. It's the only way I can unwind enough to fall asleep.

My Fears:
*Turning 30. I'm freaking out about all the things that haven't gotten crossed off my life list.

*Roaches or spiders crawling on me at night. I once heard a story about a man who woke up with a LIVE ROACH stuck in his EAR! Are you kidding me? This is the reason I sleep on my side with my hand over my ear. I kid you not.

*Getting in a wreck whilst (isn't whilst better than while? I may be using it wrong... I fact I'm sure I am, but who cares?) on a bridge. I seriously have practiced what to do if this happens.

My Goals:
*Cut back on my spending. This means my miscellaneous Target and Starbucks budget must be slashed. I am not a happy camper. That orgasmic shopping high is hard to give up.

*Cook more and eat out less. We eat out a LOT. I could probably keep my Starbucks funds if I would just cook a little more. Hmmm, decisions, decisions....

*Get my house in order! Geez. I've lived here for 7 months. It's time to get all the boxes unpacked. I say if it hasn't been unpacked, then I don't need it. Jason says I probably do need it, and have went shopping and repurchased it by now. (I think he's right.)

My Current Obsessions/Collections:
*I'm a baking fool here lately! I made an orange juice cake tonight that was delish. Stay tuned for the recipe!


*Home decor blogs. I loved reading about how other people decorate their homes.

*Facebook - turns out everyone who isn't on MySpace is on Facebook. My high school boyfriend's mother recently messaged me on Facebook. How weird is that?!

Random Surprising Facts About Me:
*I may have once ran out of clean underwear, and instead of doing laundry, went and bought new ones. Possibly. As in more than once.

*I hate doing laundry. See the above. Actually, I don't hate the laundry as much as I do the folding and putting away. I used to have a clothes couch in my old apartment... now I have a clothes bed. Clothes go from the dryer, to the clothes bed, to be worn, and back to the hamper. My drawers are empty. I kid you not.

*When I was in high school, my chemisty teacher asked me to help her with an experiment, and she dropped acid ON MY HAND! It was very traumatic. I was all "Hey, you dropped ACID on my HAND!" and she was all "Oh, stop being so dramatic and go wash it off." I did not like that woman.

There you have it! I don't like tagging people because I don't know if they will do it, but please do! I love reading these.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

I saw my nephew this weekend, and he provided some comic relief in regards to the 2008 Presidential Election.

Besides referring to Barack Obama repeatedly as "that man with the big ears, Rock Obama", he told me that he knew where John McCain lives.

Me: Really? Where?
J: He's down the road from my house.
Me: What?
J: Yeah, there's this house down the road that has all these signs that say "Vote for McCain." He must live there, cause you can't put stuff in other people's yards, right?

Dies laughing.

Quite a few of my clients have informed me that they are voting for Barack. I asked another client if she knew who was running, and she said "You are! Vote for Andrea, 2008!"

Oh, if only, right?

Friday, October 3, 2008

MeMe

Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:
1. Have a child. Yes, Mother, I do some day plan to give you grandchildren.
2. Go to Hawaii.
3. Finish my master's degree.
4. Run a marathon.
5. Renew my wedding vows.
6. Explore Europe.
7. Be completely debt-free.

Seven Things I Can Do:
1. Cook almost anything - but I'm not a great baker.
2. Garden. I've always been able to keep houseplants alive, but this year is my first attempt at landscaping.
3. Shop. This is a talent, irregardless of what my husband says.
4. Get things done, a.k.a. boss people around. My mother taught me everything I know.
5. Children love me... I'm not sure why. I don't always love them.
6. Put together different "looks" or outfits. I'd make a great personal shopper.
7. Decorate my home.

Seven Things that Attract Me to My Mister:
1. Jason's background could have held him back, but he used it as motivation to change and be different.
2. He's brilliant with money. I am not, so this is a good pairing.
3. He makes me laugh.
4. We often think the same things at the same time. It's both weird and pleasing.
5. He is so easygoing, which works well because I am not. God forbid if we were both high-maintenance.
6. He used to be very romantic. Our engagement story is amazing and incredibly unique. Did you notice I said "used to be"? Yeah. The memories from when we were dating must now sustain me.
7. He gets along with everyone and anyone. This also works, because I am usually the wallflower in the corner, afraid to talk to anyone. There are few people that my husband does not like.

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1. Hey girl! (I call everyone girl. Even boys.)
2. Girl, please (definition: whatever)
3. OH MAH GOSH.
4. Stop barking! Hush! (self-explanatory - my dogs are yappers)
5. Hug from the side, remember? (My male clients love to give full frontal hugs. Cough.)
6. Can you get me some water? (I asked Jason what I say a lot, and he said I say this. I do, now that he mentions it.)
7. That's bananas. (My new saying, courtesy of Rachel Zoe.)

Seven Celebrity Admirations:
1. Reese Witherspoon
2. Dolly Parton
3. Jennifer Aniston
4. Christina Applegate
5. Oprah
6. Heidi Klum
7. Martina McBride

Seven Favorite Foods:
1. Macaroni and cheese
2. Blue cheese burgers
3. Auntie Anne's pretzels
4. Chick-fil-A sandwiches
5. Brownie sundaes
6. Squash or broccoli casserole
7. Turkey

Seven People I Think Should Do This:
1. Anyone who wants to!

Tips & Tricks

New uses for hanging shoe organizers
I hang these on the back of all of my closet doors. Besides storing shoes, I use them as a medicine cabinet, spice rack, and cleaning caddy.

How to make your panty hose last
Freeze them prior to the first use. I've never tried this personally, but I heard it works. Of course, defrost them before wearing.

How to remove scuff marks on patent leather
Wipe off dirt, and then buff with vegetable oil. Erasers also work on scuff marks.

How to clean your dishwasher
Who would guess that a dishwasher would need cleaning? Use a packet of Cool Aid to clean your dishwasher of lime and iron deposits.

How to clean stainless steel
Use car wax! I also use Windex on my trash can and faucets to remove fingerprints.


My Chihuahua Bites
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Southern belle, mom of 1, cooker, decorator, crafter, and lover of all things beauty related. Check my About Me tab for more information!

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