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Friday, February 27, 2009

Totally distracted

Oh yes, my Kindle has arrived, all right. You may remember that my husband got me (actually, told me to buy myself) a Kindle for my birthday, back in January. When I placed my order, the first generation Kindles were back ordered and on waitlist. I placed my order and took my spot on the waitlist, and last weekend got an email from Amazon saying they were upgrading my order to a Kindle 2 for free. Score!

Anyway, it came this afternoon and I've been ignoring all my other responsibilities (like returning comments and visiting your blogs) in order to mess around with it. I'll post a detailed review sometime next week when I've gotten comfortable with the product.

Anyway, since I have no blog posts prepared and my Kindle is seducing me with its portability, I thought I'd leave you with some recent good eats.

Yesterday, Smokey Mountain Cafe (one of my new reading obsessions) posted a recipe for M&M cookies, and the pictures made my mouth water. I actually had all the ingredients on hand for a change, so I threw a batch together. The only change I made was to add 1 cup of dark chocolate M&Ms and 1 cup of chocolate caramel morsels, since I didn't have enough M&Ms for the recipe. I also pressed a few extra M&Ms onto the tops of the cookies once they were on the baking sheets. Oh, and just a tip? Don't bake two pans at a time. They will both burn.

Have you discovered the Pioneer Woman? If you have not, spend a few minutes (or hours) at her site. She has the most incredible recipes - nothing of hers that I've ever made has been bad. If you like olives, you will love her olive cheese bread. I made a batch a few weeks ago.

Here's a tip: make one loaf, and flash freeze your extras. Put the extras into zip lock baggies, and when you are ready to eat them, pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes to unthaw and cook.

Lastly, have I shared with you my obsession with chocolate martinis? Yum! They are so easy to make.
  • First, drizzle the inside of your glass with chocolate syrup.
  • Fill up your martini shaker with ice.
  • Add 1.5 shots of Godiva chocolate liqueur, 1/2 shot of creme de cacao, 1/2 shot of vanilla vodka, and 2.5 shots of milk
  • Shake it like a Polaroid picture!
  • Pour into your glass. Line your glass with sugar for a little extra pizazz.

There you go! I'll be back to visiting your blogs this weekend, once the newness of the relationship with my Kindle has worn off.

PS - Does anyone else hate the new followers widget? It's so ugly!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rants and raves.... minus the raves

You know, I think I'm just very easily annoyed. I have a bit of a hair trigger temper, as well, and the little annoyances just add up and BOOM! Mega witch makes an appearance.

Yep, I look about like this when Mega Witch is about to make an appearance...

You don't want to mess with Mega Witch. She's very sassy and sarcastic, and if she's truly reached her limit, she'll start sobbing uncontrollably, which is just embarrassing for everyone.

So to bring down the witch o' meter just a notch, I thought we could start the My Chihuahua Bites! first Witch and Stitch. Grab your sewing (or your coffee, laptop, alcohol - whatever floats your boat) and prepare your vent. I know you've got one. Surely someone or something in your life is getting on your nerves?

Dear Husband:

This is not putting away the groceries. Taking items out the bag and placing them on the counter is NOT HELPFUL.

When I ask you to do the dishes, I mean do the dishes. You're missing a critical step. This is not doing the dishes. This is scraping the dishes clean, filling up the sink with water, and plopping the dishes in. George could handle this. PUT THEM IN THE DISHWASHER!

Dear Paula,

Hush up. Seriously. You have nothing original to say. We all know you just wait to hear what Simon and Randy have to say, and then you desperately try to figure out how to repeat it without being too obvious. I make a point to fast-forward through every word you speak. Thank goodness for TIVO!

Dear Walmart:

Seriously? You seriously sold this to me? What the heck? I wanted a rotisserie chicken, not a char-burnt chicken. Good job on the packing though - I had no clue this was what I was getting.

Update: A few people have asked me if I took the chicken back. No, I did not. It was a 20 minute drive back to Walmart, and I had dinner to cook. Once I peeled of the skin, the chicken was just fine.

Now it's your turn! Sound off in the comments. Who or what is getting on your nerves today?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Time for a crafty project!

Have I shared with you that I am absolutely, 100% not creative? I wish I the girl that just thought up beautiful projects, all on her own. I wish I could look a mish mash of ingredients in my pantry and come up with an amazing recipe. Alas, that is not me. I get my inspiration from other people. In other words, I am a blatant copycat.

In my defense, if there is one, I always give credit. And isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

The inspiration for this project came from the super talented ML at The House of Whimsy. I saw this post and immediately forgot about the millions of Christmas and Valentine's Day projects I still need to do. I needed a fresh and spring-y floral arrangement. Darn it, I was cold, and this project radiated warmth. So off to Michael's I went, with a 50% off coupon (for President's Day) in my cold little hands.

What's you'll need:
  • A 6 inch styrofoam ball
  • Enough flowers to cover the surface
  • Dowel
  • Base (I used an urn)
  • Styrofoam for the base
  • Ribbon for the dowel
  • Filler (optional)
  • Moss

Start by wedging some styrofoam into your base. You need somewhere to stick that dowel.

I loved that ML wound ribbon up her dowel, so I did that, too. Only you can't see it very well with filler so I guess it was a waste of time. I bound two dowels together with wire, and then covered with ribbon.

While you're in the general area, cover your styrofoam with some moss.

Pop your flowers off the stems, and then remove the plastic on the back of the flowers. Begin covering the ball with your flowers. Don't be like me and put them too closely together, because it will look ridiculous and you'll have to pull them all off and start over again.

Pop the dowel into the base of your flower ball, and then pop the finished project in the base. Add some filler, and you're done.

Then rotate and fluff because it looks sort of like your flower ball fell asleep on its side and mashed its flower/hair. It's an analogy, people. Laugh. Then panic because your house is a mess and you can see that clearly in the picture you just took for this project. Look around desperately for a small segment of your house that is clutter free and settle on the staircase. Feel depressed and guilty that you are such a bad housekeeper and then go and take a nap because floral arrangements are tiring.

Just keeping it real, y'all. I like to keep it real.

Wake up and realize that you left the hot glue gun on all afternoon. Be thankful that you had the foresight to cover the coffee table with paper. Feel guilty because you could have burnt the house down. Notice that you have extra flowers and decide to make some super large and in charge hair clips.

It's always an adventure when here, is it not? You just never know what you're going to get.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesdays at the Table: the Cheesecake Edition

Hello everyone...

I'm Holly the avid paper crafter with a second love of cooking. Andrea has asked me to share my Chocolate Lime Cheesecake Recipe with you and I said "sure why not!" Who doesn't love a good cheesecake right? Well, with the exception of those who can't have dairy...(let's all bow our heads in a moment of silence for them!)

I made this particular one for my Husband for Valentine's day and he loved it. This was my first time making it. Pretty easy. What I love about this recipe the most is the crust is a cake mix! Yep, you heard that right.. a cake mix!

These are our ingredients:
Crust: 1 box (18.25oz) Devils food cake mix
6 Tbs (3/4 stick) of butter, melted
1 Large Egg

Filling: 2 8oz packages of Cream Cheese room temp
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 Large Eggs, room temp.
1/2 Cup lime juice (if fresh use 3 limes)

You'll need to place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Set aside a 10 inch Springform pan.

Place the cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Stop the machine and scrap the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

The batter should come together into a ball.

With your fingertips, pat the batter evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan, spreading it out with your fingers until smooth. Set the pan aside.

Place the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in the same mixing bowl that was used for the crust. With the same beaters (no need to clean), blend on low speed just until combined, 30 seconds.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 1 minute to thoroughly cream the mixture.

Stop the machine and add the 3 eggs and the lime juice to the batter. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with rubber spatula.

Pour the filling onto the crust and spread out wit the rubber spatula so that it's smooth. Place the pan in the oven.Bake the cheesecake until it looks shiny and the center barley jiggles when you shake the pan, 58 to 62 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Then lightly cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour or preferably 24 hours.

An alternative to this cake is an Double Chocolate Lime Cheesecake. Add 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips, that have been melted and cooled slightly to the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. I have made this one before and if you are a chocolate lover.. Oh is this heaven on a plate!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Steals & Deals plus Friend Making Monday!

Update: I am trying to get in touch with Tina from Life's A Journey and Dana from Life In Beverly Hills. Girls, please contact me. I'm trying to get information about your Valentine's Day swap packages. Please contact me as soon as you can. Thanks so much!

It's time for a much overdue addition of steals and deals! Don't forget to scroll down and read more about Friend Making Mondays.

Target has been a huge source of steals and deals lately. Right after Christmas, my store had most of their shoes marked down to 75% off. I got the black ankle strap flats for $8, the black pointy toe flats for $6, the yellow wedges for $8, and the fur lined slippers for $4.

The urn came from Michael's and was $8 with a 50% off coupon on President's Day. You'll be seeing it again in an upcoming craft project. :)

I found the pumpkins (vase fillers) for $2 at Target. I also got the candle (50% off) and table runner, which was $9. The apothecary jar was part of the Global Bazaar line and was $6, marked down from $15.

Right in front of the pumpkins is a clear glass storage jar. Hobby Lobby had these 50% off last time I was there so I got 6 for my pantry. While I was there, I also picked up the animal print table runner for 75% off ($12.00).

I hit up Target and Walmart a few days after Valentine's Day to see what I could find. I don't have pictures of my Walmart finds, mainly because they didn't have much. I think I ended up with some candles and cookie cutters. But I did rack up at Target - everything below was 50% off.

What steals and/or deals have you found lately?


Today I'm participating in Friend Making Mondays, hosted by Kasey at All That Is Good. Kasey started FMM to encourage bloggers to reach out and get to know each other better. If you'd like to participate, read the rules and find out how to get started here.

Today I've been tasked with sharing 10 of my favorite things.

#1 Starbucks

I super big puffy heart Starbucks. My drink of choice is a venti unsweetened black iced tea. I also love the new vanilla rooibos tea, and in the winter I love peppermint white chocolate mochas. Yummo! The pic below is of mine and the husband's favorite drinks - tea for me, white chocolate mochas for him.

#2 My boys - Jason, JC, and George

#3 The beach

I love the beach, and not for the reasons you think. The beach is soothing to my soul. Have you ever heard people say that they find God in nature? Well, I find God at the beach. Whenever I'm upset, sad, or searching, I head to the beach. I always find the answers I need in the sounds of the surf and the wind.

#4 Cooking

I love to cook! This picture is from Christmas - it is a pic of the oreo truffles I made my co-workers.

#5 Peppermint scents

I love peppermint scented anything, and it is a special bonus if the product tingles. My favorite lotion is a limited edition Bath & Body Works lotion, Twisted Peppermint. I also love Dr. Bronners body wash in peppermint.

#6 Snow

I love the snow! Sadly, we don't get nearly enough of it (zero, actually) here in SC. I had my fill when we lived in Washington, and when I miss it, I look at these pictures and reminisce.

#7 The Notebook

I love everything about this movie. A lot of it was filmed in South Carolina, and Jason and I were actually in Charleston when they were filming here. When we lived in Washington and I got homesick, I watched this movie to remind me of home. I've also taken the same boat ride, minus the ducks!

#8 Shoes & purses

I love shoes and purses. Do I really need to say more? The purse I'm carrying in this picture is one of my favorites - the husband calls it my "goldfinger" purse.

#9 Charleston, South Carolina

I was born and raised in South Carolina, but I only moved to Charleston when I was 22 and had just graduated college. I've always loved Charleston. It feels like it is the place I'm supposed to be.

#10 Big, huge sunglasses

Lucky for me, I've got a big old face that can carry them off. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's tough to be a girl, part 2

So we've established that there are, in fact, times when it might possibly be preferable to be a boy. The daily monotony of applying makeup, drying, and styling your hair are not the only downsides to being a woman. There are a few more unique "situations" that woman are forced to endure that men are not.

#1 Shaving

I hate to shave. HATE IT. I hate every stinking thing about it. I hate that it is messy. I hate that my razors are so expensive. I hate that it takes so long. I hate that I frequently nick myself. I hate that I shave on Monday, and have stubble the next day.

(If you don't experience this, don't tell me. It will alter my perception of you. I'm insanely jealous of you freaks that can go a week without shaving.I am a gorilla. Two hours after shaving, I start to prickle.)

One of my primary problems with shaving is that I have crazy sensitive legs. I've tried dozens of different razors, dozens of shaving creams, dozens of after-shave lotions and no matter what I use, I get the same result: smooth legs on day one, and horrible razor burn and itching on day two. It takes 2-3 days to go away, so I'm stuck not shaving during that time.

Don't get me wrong - I love the look and feel of smooth legs. But why is it ok for men to rock insanely furry legs when women get flack about going two days without touching the razor? I dated someone in high school that was just freaked out by the merest hint of stubble on legs. It seriously grossed him out. Wonder of wonders, I didn't end up with that guy. I consider myself lucky that my husband really doesn't care. He doesn't love that sometimes in the dead of winter my legs can get seriously ape-like, but he just laughs and shrugs it off. Until a man is prepared to shave his legs in solidarity, I dare him to comment on the state of mine.

#2 Why did no one tell me we would grow hair THERE?

There should be manual handed to us when we are a pre-teen that prepares us for the various insane ways that our bodies will one day embarrass us. If it hasn't happened to you yet, ladies, it's coming. Unless you are one of the freaks I mentioned above, in which case, you alternately rock and suck.

One day you'll be doing something and will catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. What you'll see will horrify you: a moustache. Excessive peach fuzz on the sides of your face. Perhaps random hairs sprouting out of your chin. Maybe your nose hairs are peeking down out of your nose to say hello.

We've established that I am a gorilla, a lovely bonus of my genetics that I received from my father. My mother's wonderful gift to me was her dark hair, so not only do I have excessive hair, but I have dark excessive hair. THANKS, PARENTS. As a result, I've had a 'stache since I was a teen. My natural eyebrows take over half of my forehead. Don't believe me? There's proof.

I started off using Sally Hansen creme bleach in high school. Every two weeks, I'd lock myself in the bathroom to complete this embarrassing necessity. Poof! Moustache be gone! I eventually moved on to waxing. At this point I own my own wax pot. Let me tell you - the upper lip is one of the most painful places on the body to wax. It hurts BAD.

I felt the need to hide this from Jason when we were dating. But one random day, we were sitting on the couch, watching a movie, and he began to peer closely at my face. "What, dearest?" was my reply. He nonchalantly pointed at my upper lip - "you might want to take care of that the next time you shave your legs, babe."

There were two ways to handle that situation: 1) be embarrassed, angry, offended, or all of the above or 2) view it as an opportunity to get real and laugh it off. I chose option 2. Ladies, if you are still hiding your hair removal from your significant other, come out of the closet. It's very freeing. Trust me, he's noticed your 'stache (or whatever else). He's just more polite than my husband and he hasn't mentioned it.

#3 Your lady parts aren't meant to be bald.

I seriously do not get waxing the vagina area. I'll be up front and I'll say I've never tried it. But if waxing my upper lip sometimes causes me to cry, I can just imagine how much THAT would hurt. I once tried to wax my legs, and I walked around with wax and cloth strips suck to my leg for three hours before I gained the nerve to rip it off. Needless to say, only one strip of hair was removed that evening, and I haven't tried it since.

Not to mention I'm really not even comfortable with my husband staring at my lady bits, so I can't imagine spreading my legs for someone to stare AND wax.

In case you don't remember, this is episode of ANTM where the contestant told Tyra she was a waxer, and Tyra decided it would be appropriate to jump up on the judge's table and simulate a brazilian wax.

We've established that I hate to shave. I once decided to try Nair - notice I said once. I got distracted and left it on too long, and had such a terrible reaction that I couldn't wear underwear for a month. Y'all, I am not a girl who goes out without underwear. It was painful, in more ways that one.

So, in conclusion, I think it is safe to say that waxing will never happen for me. Unless the husband offers to wax his genitalia, in which case I'd be willing to give it a gander. Just to see how THAT turned out.

I like bullets, so let's summarize, shall we?

Perhaps it is better to be a boy:

  • You don't have to wear makeup (but seriously, boys, concealer is not just for girls)
  • It takes five seconds to fix your hair (unless you a one of those boys - the ones that blowdry and straighten. Seacrest, I'm talking about you.)
  • You can pull on possibly dirty, wrinkly clothes and get away with the Abercrombie casual look (but you smell)
  • No shaving your legs (but you will never know the bliss of sliding between clean sheets with smooth legs)
  • Moustaches are acceptable (but only Magnum PI can really pull it off)
  • No manscaping of the male parts is required (although I hear it does make things look bigger... cough cough)
  • Your bathing suit does not require hair removal (can't find a downside to this one)
  • Orgasms. Every single time. (I had to throw that in there.)

But us girls never have to experience the horror of:

  • Having a dangly appendage that could embarrass you at any moment
  • Back hair
  • Ugly, gnarled toes (mine may be crooked but pink polish makes it all better!)
  • Receding hairlines
  • Male patterned baldness
  • Chest hair
  • What else? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts.

In conclusion - GIRLS RULE. BOYS DROOL.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


First things first - if you are a fan of The Bachelor and would like to read a possible spoiler for the finale, please head over to Reality Steve's blog for major dirt and gossip. Then run back here immediately and leave me a comment with your thoughts. WE MUST DISCUSS. I die! Do you think this is true? If it is, Jason is an asshat with a capital A.

In other unrelated news, what are we thinking of American Idol so far? My TIVO had an unexpected brain fart and did not record Wednesday's show, so I only saw Tuesday's shenanigans. All I have to say is:

Girlfriend, Sandy called, and she wants her outfit back (minus the shoes). You are not starring in a traveling Broadway production of Grease. Change your clothes, stat. Also, Chris Daughtry sang that song before, and he did it better. It's all about song choice, Dawg.

Moving on! Today we're talking about Casper and his friendly and not-so-friendly ghostly cohorts.

When I graduated college, I decided to immediately start working on my master's degree at the College of Charleston. While I was going to school, I was also working full-time as a Residence Hall Director. Part of my salary was a furnished apartment in the residence hall. My second year as a RHD saw me living and working at Berry Residence Hall, which houses 700 undergraduate females, 20 staff members, myself, and my co-RHD.

Rumor has it that Berry Residence Hall is built on the site of an orphanage, which burnt to the ground sometime in the 1800s. Rumor also has it that many children died in that fire. Before I moved in, my predecessor told me numerous stories about supposed hauntings, but I shrugged it off as good natured banter. After moving in, I had many residents report that while they were in their rooms, they would hear children's laughter. Their televisions and radios would turn on and off. Pictures taken in the room would be blurry or would contain strange white orbs.

I thought these stories were interesting, but I still didn't really believe any of them until strange things started happening to me. My television would change channels and I would be nowhere near the remote. My radio's signal would be perfect one minute, and full of static the next. The station would change on its own. Here's the kicker, though, and it was something I really couldn't ignore or explain: I would go to bed at night, and when I would wake up in the morning, all the cabinet doors in my kitchen would be open. Every single one, every single night.

This still didn't really scare me. I thought it was kind of neat, actually. I had a friendly, mischievous ghost! Rock on! Then one night I woke up in the middle of the night for no known reason. I was sleeping on my stomach and had my head turned away from my bedroom door. In that moment when I first woke up, I KNEW that there was someone standing beside my bed. I KNEW that if I rolled over, I would see a ghost. In that moment, I was officially terrified. I never did roll over. I lay in my bed, frozen, and eventually the feeling went away.

Fast forward to winter break, when all the students and staff had left for the semester and the building was on lock down. At that point, the building was completely closed and the doors were dead bolted. The only people who had keys were myself, my co-RHD, and the janitorial staff. One night around 6:30 p.m., I was watching television and relaxing when I began hearing a commotion in the building. It was the sound of someone or something running in the hall above, opening and slamming doors shut, one after another. The problem? There was absolutely no one in the building. Those doors were shut and locked, and there were only two people with keys.

I opened my door to run out into the lobby, and was greeted by my co-RHD's terrified face. We looked at each other for a few seconds and then made a mad dash for the telephone. It was like something out of the movies: we were elbowing each other to get through the doorway, hopping over sofas, and dodging sofas to call someone, ANYONE, who would make this madness stop immediately. Fortunately, it was a slow night for Public Safety and they made to the building pretty quickly. They did a walk-through of the entire building and what did they find? Nothing. There was no one in the building except the two of us.

When I've told this story before, some people have asked me why we didn't go to investigate. Seriously? People, I am not stupid. I am not the girl in the movies who goes to investigate the strange noise and gets chopped to pieces. I get while the getting is good. Hasta la vista, baby.

Charleston is a great city to visit if you are into ghosts and spirits. I wanted to share with you the story of Poogan's Porch, which is a restaurant located downtown. Poogan's is reported to be haunted by two ghosts. One is the ghost of Poogan, a West Highland Terrier that passed away in 1979. Guests of the restaurant report that they can feel the dog nudging their ankles while they eat and that they hear the sound of nails clicking on the hardwood floors.

Guests of the restaurant also report seeing an older woman, dressed in black, who appears in the upper story windows, front foyer, and in the ladies restroom. There is a hotel across the street from the restaurant, and many of the hotel's guest report seeing the ghost on the veranda in the middle of the night. For the record, Jason and I have eaten at this restaurant twice, and have never experienced anything paranormal.

A few weeks ago, I went to dinner with my parents and a few of their friends. One of my mother's friends, Elizabeth, has a son who works on the Charleston Police Department, and she shared some fascinating stories he has told her about Poogan's Porch.

Jason (Elizabeth's son, a deputy) and his partner responded to a disturbance of the peace call at Poogan's Porch one night around 1:00 a.m. The call reported that the lights were on and loud music was playing. When they arrived, the house was lit up, and the front door was unlocked. When they stepped in the foyer, the lights went off and the music stopped. Both deputies were so freaked out that they stepped back inside to wait on the restaurant's owner. The owner's wife appeared a few minutes later and told them that after she got the call, she got dressed and went downstairs to leave. She stepped into her garage and her garage door was already open, and her car door was as well, with the keys in the ignition. Freaky!

Jason also reported that they had to respond to a call at Poogan's Porch regarding a guest who had gotten stuck in the ladies restroom. The guest states that she went in to use the bathroom, and while she was washing her hands she looked up to see a woman dressed in black standing behind her. She turned around and there was no one there. When she turned back to the mirror, there was the woman in black. She began to panic and tried to leave the restroom, but the door would not open. The lock wouldn't budge. The police were called and had to remove the door from the hinges to get her out of the bathroom.

Y'all, I would DIE.

So I want to hear from you. Have you had any paranormal experiences? Do you believe in ghosts? Sound off in the comments!

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