DWTS Withdrawal

My favorite show, “Dancing with the Stars,” is over for the season. I am sad.

Unlike a lot of other people, I was not disappointed that Helio Castroneves won. Sabrina and Mel were both better all-around dancers, but he was really pretty good, too. It was primarily his personality that won me over. Not exactly what I expected from an IndyCar driver. The week after his Rumba, he had this side-splitting quote, which I watched OVER and OVER, “Now, I’ve loosened up my moves, and with my Castroneves smiles, I do hope I have better scores.” Maybe you had to see the rest of the season to find it as funny as I did, but I think it’s worth a view, at any rate.

Week 6 Dance – Cha Cha

Isn’t he just darling?

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Happy Feet

Actually, Happy Face. I’m one of the only women I know…

…who practices making awful and/or funny faces in the mirror. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I think most women practice looking good in the mirror. My friend, Hibby, is well-known for her ability to always look fabulously posed (well, except this one time). She’s so photogenic! Meanwhile, I’ve always got an awkward arm, or I’m turning my head the wrong way. So I figure, why not go with that? Be even MORE awkward. OBVIOUSLY awkward. Here’s a small sampling of a session I had the other night in the hallway (ignore the yucky spots on my mirror–baby fingerprints!):

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And here’s my favorite from my New Year’s party last year:

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Stunning, eh?

Cookies!

My favorite food…and in my world, no Christmas preparations are complete without some serious baking. My mom bakes a million kinds of bars and cookies every Christmas (Oh Henry, Caramel Bars, Mounds Bars, Peanut Butter Chocolate balls, Almond Bark drop cookies, Hip Builders, Peanut Butter Bars, Peanut Brittle, Butter Cookies, Sandwich Cookies, and the list goes on…). She has the freezer space to store it all. Someday I will, hopefully, but for now I’ve tried to keep myself to a couple of favorites.

Two I keep making are Giant Ginger Cookies and Spritz.

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“Don’t eat me!!” The dough for the Giant Ginger Cookies isn’t that tasty…

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But once they’re baked—YUM! So chewy…good warm, room temp, or even frozen.  And they get that great crackly look on top.

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Here’s the hubby and Anja enjoying one (well, Anja wishes she was enjoying one). Do you have any holiday baking traditions?

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It’s the most wonderful time…

Today was an exciting day for Anja. She got her first glimpse of a Christmas tree, all lit up!

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Today was also an exciting day for my husband and me. You see, just as I was swaddling Anja up to put her to bed, I heard a colossal crash from the living room. I knew exactly what it was and screamed, “(Insert Husband’s name)!”

Every year since we got married, he has complained about having to put up a real tree. This year was the exception! We picked one out quickly, got it set up quickly…all seemed to be going smoothly. Until tonight at a little after 10:00. Sure enough, the tree toppled over.

We purchased a new tree stand last year to hold a larger tree (taking advantage of our new cathedral ceilings) and had a bugger of a time getting the tree to stay steady and straight in it. Apparently we did an even worse job this year, since the stupid thing fell over half a day after we put it up. Thankfully, Goodwill had been unwilling to take our old tree stand (seasonal items don’t sell well, I guess), so we had that as a back-up.

We spent over an hour transferring it, cleaning up shattered glass, needles, water and dirt (it overturned a potted plant as it fell). That said, the accident caused far less damage than it could have. It could have landed on one of us! I think next year I may sincerely consider my husband’s idea of getting an artificial tree. I’ve had a real one for as long as I can remember, but for safety and sanity’s sake, it might be worth it to go fake.

I’m thankful for…

  • Jesus
  • Books
  • My husband
  • My daughter
  • Blankets (one in particular)
  • Christmas music
  • Food (namely cookies)
  • “Dancing with the Stars”
  • Disposable diapers
  • Good friends who still like me
  • Two good eyes
  • Ribbons and glitter
  • Cookies (did I mention them already?)

 I wanted to write something more in-depth, but it got late…

Kitsch in the Kitchen

Yesterday my husband had the day off work, so we took the opportunity for a rare mid-morning “date” at Barnes & Noble (one of our favorite date spots).  I had recently heard of Amy Sedaris’ book “I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence,” so I followed the nice customer service lady right to it, picked up a few obligatory magazines (usually they get placed, unread, back where they were on my way out), and found a spot at a table near the café.

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  This is a HILARIOUS read.  I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard so many times in a row.  I can’t say I would necessarily buy a copy, as I wouldn’t want my children finding something with inappropriate humor on my bookshelf (or in this case, in my recipe cupboard), but…I also can’t say I might not pick it up again the next 3 or 4 times I go to B & N.  This book is even funnier if you are a fan of Martha Stewart, which I am.  Sedaris satirically takes aim at Martha-type entertaining books, filling hers with some useful tips but mostly humorous anecdotes and “to do” lists regarding entertaining.

Sedaris has a few obsessions that are quite obvious even after just a quick scan: squirrels, rick-rack and googley eyes, to name a few.  Her recipe photos seem to be stolen from a 1970s cookbook.  Ugly props (my favorite being a little terra cotta worm who shows up randomly in plates of food), not-so-good looking dishes (including…a cake made out of meat.  After reading some online reviews, however, I saw that many people gave her recipes kudos despite their unpalatable appearance) and random captions fill the pages.

My sides really split when I saw the crafting section in the back.  Gum wrapper necklaces, earrings made of painted penne pasta, peanuts (or clams) with googley eyes, plant hangers made of nylons…it defines kitsch.

Again, not something I’d recommend for the kiddies (I don’t find some of the “adult” humor she includes very funny), but good for a laugh or 247.

Must OD on the CTC

I have made it a point to indulge in some of “life’s luxuries” before my daughter is old enough to recollect me doing so. Is this bad mommying? Probably. But I just can’t give up things like sugar cereal and hot mama shoes.

Speaking of sugar cereal, I didn’t actually consider it a luxury until I got old enough to sleep over at friends’ houses. We had it all the time. Here’s a little “taste” of what I mean:

My sleepover
Heidi’s mom: “Would you like Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms or Fruity Pebbles?”
Other kid (thinking): Sweet MERcy! SUGAR for breakfast!

Other kid’s sleepover
Other kid’s mom: “Would you like All Bran or Puffed Rice?”
Heidi (thinking): What is this “bran” she speaks of? What is “rice”?

BARF. While Anja will probably be given similar options as the “other kid’s mom” gave on a daily basis, I think Mommy will heroically pull out her private stash of Reese’s Puffs for tiny visitors. Send ‘em home on a sugar high, that’s what I say. I want to be the “cool mom.” However, once Anja’s tall enough to see the Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the top of the pantry, I may have to find another way to pamper myself.