Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween etiquette

FYI: I'm not going to turn away any trick-or-treaters. Even if their parents drive them from house to house. Even if they're clearly old enough to drive themselves. However, I'd like to go on record saying that it is rude to answer a cell phone call whilst standing on my porch asking for candy. That is all.

I love these kids.

I am SO SICK OF THIS ELECTION. But I'd be willing to let it drag out a little longer if I could see more of these kids.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Check it out

I do lots of my shopping online, especially when it comes to Christmas gifts. But shipping charges can add up quickly. makes it easy to find stores with deals on shipping--they have a listing of more than 800 stores that offer shipping discounts and give you the discount codes you need to take advantage of the deals. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mmm. Cake.

My friend Libby made this cake for my birthday: Chocolate Marble Sheet Cake with Mocha Frosting (from the October 2008 issue of Southern Living). Very tasty. (Mom, this would be a good one to take to your meetings.)

Monday, October 27, 2008


Know what I love? Reading warning labels on products. I saw two funny ones today.
  • (On the gas pump) Do not siphon gasoline with mouth.
  • (on a commercial for Triaminic children's cough medicine) Do not use for the purpose of making your child sleepy.

Can't say they didn't warn you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

You'll be wanting one of these

I've been coveting Pottery Barn's Bedford Smart Recharge Station for a while now, and Justin got me one for my birthday. It's pretty sweet. It has a power strip inside of it, so you can plug in your cell phone, iPod, camera, etc., in one place without the cords hanging out all over the place.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Put a little Stephanie in your life

You know my friend Stephanie, right? If not (where have you been?), you should know that she has a great sense of style. You should also know that she'll monogram anything that doesn't move (check that--her car moves, and she monogrammed that too). Steph is putting together a gift club, and for a very reasonable price she'll send a little piece of her fabulous style right to your door every month. I'm signing up. Check her blog for details.

Lost Season 5 Promo


Things that creep me out: Madame Tussauds wax figurines


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cry for help

Tonight I made this Shrimp Scampi and this Cheesy Garlic Bread for Justin's birthday dinner. Needless to say, there was a lot of garlic involved. Whenever I cook with garlic, my fingers smell like it for days. How can I get rid of the stank?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Try this: Italian Jambalaya

I tried this recipe for Italian Jambalaya a few weeks ago, and it's very tasty. It uses orzo instead of rice. I left out the pork chops because it just seemed like way too much meat. Justin asked that I include shrimp next time. This makes a ton of food, so you'll probably have leftovers.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Office: Deleted Scene

Sarah Palin on SNL

Set your TIVOs. She's going to be on Saturday Night Live this weekend. I fully expect my head to explode when I see her and Tina Fey on the screen at the same time. I might not be able to tell them apart!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Check it out: Cafe Johnsonia

Head over to Cafe Johnsonia. It's a food blog with lots of recipes with step-by-step photos. I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rent it: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Disclaimer: Don't rent this if you are offended by foul language, sexual humor, and/or full-frontal male nudity. (You can't say I didn't warn you.)

Welcome back, Eli

Eli Stone returns tonight! I'm excited in spite of Katie Holmes's guest spot. Whew, my Tuesday schedule is packed.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Etsy gallery

I promised you a gallery of things I've bought on, so here it is. (Perhaps it's time to stage an intervention.) It may look like I'm driving my family into financial ruin, but all of these items are very inexpensive. I bought them over the course of several months, and they cost less than $100 total. Plus, it's nice to know my money is going to a real person instead of Wal-Mart or something. So don't you judge me! If you click on the picture, it should link you to the artist's Etsy store.

Mini snap wallet.

Tote bag.

Alphabet print for Luke, Owl print for my office.

Growth cart for Luke. Card for a friend.

Handpainted blocks for Luke.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pushing Daisies

Watched it. Liked it. I added a season pass for this one.
In case you're keeping track, I've now officially picked up the following shows:
True Blood
The Mentalist
Pushing Daisies
That seems like a lot, but in exchange I've dropped these shows:
My Name Is Earl
The Shield
Survivor (maybe)

Blogger ornament exchange

blogger ornament exchangeI joined this Bloggers Ornament Exchange. Just sign up here, and you'll be assigned a partner. Then you send your partner an ornament (either homemade or store-bought) and receive one in the mail. Sounds fun to me! Visit for the instructions.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sir Tom

He's a little testy, no?

Alabama politics

I love living in Alabama, and I think the state often gets a bad wrap in the national media. This is why!
I'm not interested in starting a political discussion here. I just want to ask Mike Rogers: Are these gentlemen really the best examples of your constituents? Clearly he has the good ole boy vote all wrapped up.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Justin loves the Chicken Tortilla Soup at McAlister's Deli, so I found a copycat recipe. I altered the recipe a little bit, and this is what I came up with. This is a recipe I'll make again. It makes a lot--6 or 8 servings.

A few notes: The recipe called for creamed corn, but I think regular corn would be better. Also, I threw some leftover black beans in my bowl, and that made a good addition. I measured the salsa over the pot and accidentally poured almost the whole jar (way more than 1/2 cup) into the soup, but it turned out okay. Der.


3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
20 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup salsa
1 (8.5ounce) can creamed corn
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 (1.27 ounce) packet dry taco seasoning
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
tortilla chips
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the garlic and onion in the butter or margarine for 5 minutes.
2. Add flour and stir well, cooking for 1 minute more.
3. Add the broth and half-and-half. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add the soup, salsa, corn, chicken, cumin, taco seasoning and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Stir and continue to heat for 15 minutes.
4. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each bowl with crumbled chips, shredded cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro, and serve.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Things I Love: The Publix 1 cent mystery coupon

I could have a whole blog on "Reasons I Love Publix," but I'm sure no one would read it. One of my favorite things about the grocery store is their mystery 1 cent coupon.

Here's how it works: Clip the coupon from the Sunday paper, bring it to the store on Sunday or Monday, and find the bin in the back of the store with the mystery item. Then buy that item for 1 cent! Exciting, right?

Now, I'm a smart girl. I know this is a marketing ploy to get me in the store. I know that the mystery item is probably an overstock that they're trying to get rid of. But I don't care. I used to do my shopping on Saturday, but now I go on Sunday. And I have to admit I'm disappointed if I miss out.

In recent weeks I've bought the following items for 1 cent: reusable grocery bag, 6-pack of bottled water, Publix-brand Oreos, case of Capri Sun. Come on, that's cool, right?

I tried it: Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber

UPDATE: Leah pointed out that you can get a coupon for $2.75 off at!
I'm a sucker for any kind of convenience cleaning product, so I couldn't pass up the Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber. I was almost deterred by the price. The "starter kit" includes the handle and 4 pads for more than $5. But the box promises, "We work hard so you don't have to," so I added it to my cart.
The "flexible, durable handle" is really pretty chintzy, but this product made short work of cleaning the grimy stuff off of my bathtub, so I suppose it's worth it. One pad cleaned my tub, shower, and two bathroom sinks.
The verdict: I'll buy it again when it goes on sale or if I can find a coupon.
Important note: You may be curious as to what effect the Scrubbing Bubbles might have on your child's bum, but don't try it. The label says it is not to be used as a baby wipe.

UPDATE! My mission, should I choose to accept it

Today I will go through this box in my guest room. I know what you're thinking: It doesn't look like much. And it isn't. But it has been there since we moved in. I'm posting this in hopes that you'll hold me accountable.
UPDATE: Mission accomplished! I included the empty box in the photo so you doubters wouldn't think I just hid it. I feel much better.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Check it out: Hulu is an online video service: Visit the Web site, and you can watch episodes of TV shows and movies online. For free!

Say you missed last week's episode of House. Just head over to Hulu and watch it online. Feeling nostalgic? They have lots of old TV shows too: Alf. The Addams Family. They have tons of movies too. It's not an all-inclusive archive, but a lot of the shows I watch are on there. Check it out.

Article in the Examiner

Hey, readers. Leah's friend wrote an article for the Examiner. Check it out. (He gets paid per page view.)

It's about movie ticket prices in NYC. He says the average is $12. I gotta say, I don't find that number as shocking as I used to. I think prices here in Birmingham are close to $10. Remember when I worked at the GCC and admission cost $4.50? Man, I'm old.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Funnest? Really?

This makes my skin crawl! However, that does not mean you shouldn't buy me an iPod Touch for my birthday.

Does anyone watch...

Any Pushing Daisies fans? I'm intrigued. (Mainly, I bet it looks awesome in HD.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Check it out:
The seasons have changed, and I have nothing to wear! Somehow this seems to happen every year. The thought of shopping seems overwhelming--I really don't know where to start.

Enter This is a free personal shopper Web site. Create an account, and you'll be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire (it takes about 20minutes). Answer questions about your personal style, fabric preferences, and how much cleavage you prefer to show (I said it was detailed!). They address skirt length, jacket styles, fit, and desired sleeve length.

You also have to enter 18 measurements--everything from arm length to thigh circumference (egad!). MyShape takes these measurements and assigns you one of 7 body types.

My shape is an E: "Women with rounded profiles whose waist measurements are proportionally larger than their more balanced bust and hip measurements. They’re often short-waisted and their legs proportionately elegant. Not a Big Difference Between Bust, Waist & Hip Measurements. Often Great Legs." Rounded profile? Humph. But I guess that sounds like me.

NOW you're ready to shop. The fancy Internet computes all of this data and give you a personal store on their web site, featuring brands and styles you might like. Their fancy ShapeMatch system even picks the size it thinks you would wear. They select styles just for me, and other styles that might be worth a try. There are a range of prices. I have sweaters from $40 up to $200. Then you can order through their site (free shipping both ways! 15% discount on your first order!).

Some of the picks in my store. Looks like me, eh?

The verdict?
Overall, I think it's a great concept. And the clothes they chose for me look like things I'd wear for sure. I'm a little disappointed by the selection (they didn't have a single pair of pants for me), but it looks like the site is pretty new and they're going to be continuously adding new clothes.

I think I'll order the jeans and purple sweater. They offer free shipping both ways, so it's really risk free. And if the jeans fit, that would be incredible.

What do you think? Will you try it?