Friday, October 30, 2009

Flickr Favorites Friday

1. mrcz1117, 2. Lovely Green..!!, 3. Rainbow of Ribbons, 4. STAATSGALERIE, STUTTGART, 5. rose cupcakes, 6. i don't know what's on the other side of this life

Happy Halloween... just don't ring my bell!

I am not one of those people who get all excited about Halloween. Frankly, I pretend I'm not home when kids knock on my door, grubbing for candy. Ha-ha! Trick's on you... I'm sitting right here on my couch.

My mom was not one of those crafty, creative stay-at-home moms that my friends had. She had a job and less than no time to come up with something unique for me. When I was growing up, the extent of my costume creativity was to throw on one of those flammable smock deals from the local County Discount with the plastic mask that would totally be illegal today. I did have a brief stint as a homemade She-Ra in the mid-80s, but I clearly peaked early. In high school I upgraded to less whorish versions of the Slutty Devil or the Slutty Witch but that was just about as festive as I ever got.

Not much has changed since those days. This Halloween will be just another Saturday, cleaning the house and running errands. Now, if you want to talk day-after-50%-off-candy... I'm your girl!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I think I just put Spanx on my couch.

After the pudding incident the other night, I tried a dozen different things but nothing could get the darn chocolate {mint!} pudding out of the fabric on our couch. Truthfully, I could have probably hidden the stains with some strategic pillow placements but what fun is that?! I was upset and hell bent on fixing it somehow, and since a new sofa is out of the question, I moseyed over to SureFit to go slipcover shopping. 

I had an unspeakably ugly experience with an unfitted slipcover years ago for a {three times} hand-me-down couch in our first apartment. "Never again," I swore. And one AMEX and 3 UPS shipping days later, here we are.

I went with a three-piece stretch fabric, so the couch could have some definition and wouldn't look like the Big Blob of Fabric, Part II. This super stretchy, gigantic shower cap (and two matching cushion covers) arrived today and I got right to work putting this bad boy on. I realized pretty quickly that I was putting the equivalent of Suede Spanx onto my sofa.

In the end, our sofa went from looking like this little slice of pretty to looking like this: 

Yes, it could be much worse. I know that. But after all of the huffing and puffing involved in getting the main cover on, I expected something a little more snug fitting. No idea how I got the left side straight and the right side is bunched up - and there is a good amount of fabric sort of tucked into the back, behind the cushions. Apparently, my couch is too skinny for Spanx. I, on the other hand...

But I digress. I do love how the cover accentuates the back pillow lumpiness, and gives the seat cushions the faintest hint of the couch equivalent of a camel toe. Klassy. {Could be worse... could be worse...}

Also, I clearly need to take a minute to reorganize my bookshelves. But that's another post for another time. I need a nap!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday: Have Mercy!

For every ridiculously viral video about cats, there exists a gem hidden in the depths of You Tube. I am happy to bring some joy to you today in the form of everyone's favorite mousse-using Uncle Jesse.

For some reason, knowing that Jessie & The Rippers exists in some semblance of perpetuity makes me smile.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lesson of the Day: Episode 2

Did you know that throwing a poor, innocent little pudding cup 12 feet across the room might not be the smartest move? Particularly when you are aiming at a person who is sitting on a pale blue couch? I did... though someone else, who shall remain nameless, seemed to have slept through that day of Life Lessons 101.

Poor thing never stood a chance,because now my couch looks like this:

It was much, much worse (throw pillows were taken down as collateral damage) but it took me a few moments to find the humor in the situation and grab my camera. And by humor, I mean that kind of laughing you do when you are completely enraged about something but it oddly comes out in the form of a laugh. So the Resolve is working it's magic and I am hoping for the best.

And I'm still craving pudding...

Update: So the Resolve didn't lift a darn bit of it, even after 3 applications. I can (mostly) hide it with pillows, but there is definitely going to be some sofa shopping in my future. So long California vacation... it was nice knowing you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lesson of the Day

This morning I had a late start, so I made the call to spray in some dry shampoo to make my hair remotely presentable in public. I knew I was just running a few errands and, frankly, the people at Target don't usually look too hot themselves at 8am. So I felt okay.

Fast forward to 10 minutes ago, when I get home and discover that a sort of... umm... paste has formed on my scalp. Apparently, getting a little overheated while running around while wearing the dry shampoo is not the way to go.

Lesson Learned! Spread the word...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Guilt Free Chili... Really!

I meant to write about this over the weekend, but that would have majorly interfered with my laziness. Saturday and Sunday were gray, rainy and bitterly cold here in the Northeast and that gave me the perfect excuse to bust out my never-fail and totally guilt-free chili. With very low fat and TONS of fiber and protein, I never think twice about going for that second bowl.

Quick Recipe
  • Sauté a diced medium onion and 3 smashed cloves of garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot (I use a 5qt LeCreuset).
  • Once mixture is softened, stir in 2 Tbsp chili powder (store bought or homemade mix) and let bloom in the oil for a minute or two.
  • Mix in 1 lb ground turkey (I like the dark meat) and break it up with your spoon as it browns.
  • Once meat is browned, add 1 large (28oz) can of whole tomatoes and 2 (14.5oz) cans of dark red kidney beans.
  • Let simmer for 30 minutes with cover *on*. You'll see how the sauce changes and the mixture changes from liquidy to "chili-y" an the tomatoes break down. Remove lid and simmer for another 30 minutes or until liquid thickness is to your liking.
  • This is sort of the base recipe I work from. Most of the time, I play around with adding different chilies or veggies. In this batch, I replaced the liquid from the tomatoes with 6 oz of a chocolate stout we had in the fridge. It gave it a great, hearty oomph.
  • I salt everything as I go, instead of all at once.
  • My own chili powder mix that is a rough estimation of:
    • 3 parts smoked paprika
    • 2 parts ground ancho chilies
    • 2 parts cumin
    • 1 part coriander
    • 1 part garlic powder
    • 1 part cocoa powder
    • 1 part oregano
    • 1/2 part nutmeg

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cider + Donuts = I love fall!

Since I am going to be talking a lot more about my photography, I wanted to start things off right. And by right, I mean with donuts.

We stopped off at the same farm that I blogged about last year, which is a 15 minute drive from my mother-in-law's new home, expressly for the purpose of eating these very donuts. We lucked into getting some from the very last batch of the day, warm from the fryer. If you try hard enough, you can actually hear my husband begging me to hurry up so he could get to eating. I was all too happy to oblige.

I *will* be back...

I'm just now getting around to sprucing up the place, so I'm asking you to please pardon the mess around here in the meantime. There have been a lot of changes over the last year or so here at Casa Cupcake - new apartment, new habits, and even a possible new career - and I am looking forward to getting back to blogging on a more regular basis. My yummy recipes and annoying observations aren't going to write about themselves, you know!