Monday, February 28, 2011

An American Holiday

Good Monday morning, Kitschies!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  Mine consisted of some time at the clinic (very productive time), a bit of time with the bestie and two of her kids and then cleaning and chores for the rest of the time.  I'm really behind on prepping pics for the blog, but I did manage to get one or two sets done.  This is one of them.

Last Monday was Presidents' Day here in the US.  I didn't get the day off, but I did a mani to celebrate!  Just a side next holiday off isn't until the end of May. *sad Megan*

Here's what I used: Orly Royal Navy (after shaking and shaking and shaking for about 5 minutes), Finger Paints Easel Come, Easel Go, Studio M Magic Attraction and Art Deco nail art polish in red glitter and white.

A note on Orly Royal Navy.  This is one awesome color, but the fact that the sparkle *always* separates from the base color is the suck.  I don't know what the deal with that is, but if you take the time to shake it, the color pay off is worth the effort.  Blue jelly base with blue (almost teal?) sparkle is so right on the money!  On to the mani pics!

Full sun pic.  Ignore the tips - I had quite a bit of shrinkage with the silver for some reason.  The day after I did this, I filed down the tips a bit and got rid of the ugly shrinkage (my nails needed a little cleaning up anyway). 

I also got a bit of shrinkage along the edges, too.  I love Seche Vite, but I hate it, too, because of all the shrinkage I get (among other things).  I had been using ChG speed top coat (whatever the name is), but I picked up the SV top and base coats a few weeks ago at Sally's because they were BOGO, but ChG is my go-to/preferred brand.

If you click on this one to make it bigger, you can really see the gorgeous sparkle in the blue.  I loved this mani and I got LOTS of compliments!  I like it so much, I wore it for 4 days.  And without much tip wear and no chipping.  I'll definitely be doing something like this for 4th of July!

Oh, how'd I do it?  I started out with two coats of Royal Navy on the whole nail.  Then I took Easel Come, Easel Go and painted the outside corner.  It was missing a little something so I did one coat of Magic Attraction over the top of the silver metallic polish.  Once that all dried a bit, I took my red glitter striping polish and went along the edge of the silver polish.  Repeated that with the white and the red glitter again.  For the final touch, I took the red glitter striping polish and went from the inside edge, about 2/3 of the way down the nail and dragged it in a diagonal to the top.  Top with a coat (or two, I think it was) of top coat and you're good to go!

 So now that the awards show season is over, what shows are you looking forward to watching?

Friday, February 25, 2011

What About Me?

Good morning, Kitschies!  It's Friday - finally.  After my super easy week at the clinic last week, it feels like this week has dragged on forever.  *sigh*  And I know it's Friday, but it just doesn't *feel* like Friday to me and I just can't get excited for the weekend.  I hope it changes by the time the day is over because I want to enjoy my weekend.  I want to enjoy the time I spend with the hubs and my boys.  C'mon, Megan!  Get your butt in gear.

Back in early January (see...I told you I was behind), Sara over at Unofficial Mom shared a "Mosaic About Me" which she stole from another fellow blogger.  I liked it, so I stole it from her.  LOL  Isn't it nice how we're all so comfortable with each other that we can steal things off their plate?  Here are the rules.

Do a Flicr/Photobucket/whatever search for the answer to each of the following questions. 

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What is your favorite color?
4. Favorite drink?
5. Dream vacation?
6. Favorite hobby?
7. What you want to be when you grow up?
8. What do you love most in life?
9. One word to describe you?
I liked what I found and put it together...wanna see...?

*click to appreciate the awesomeness of my collage* I'm giving you express written consent to steal this from me.  The only catch is that if you do, I wanna see what you come up with!

Ugh...things at the office just turned crazy (again), so I have to get back in to work mode.  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Bowl of Yum

So Happy It's Thursday!  It's been a crazy drama-filled week so far here at the clinic.  But, I made another Thin Mint cake for one of the docs today, so today is already a better day.  It's definitely quieter here today!  I am sooo far behind in prepping pics for the blog, so I had to go waaaay back to find something to post today.  But just because I had to scrape the bottom doesn't mean the recipe isn't good!

This is one of my all-time favorite slow cooker recipes.  It's super easy to put together, we usually have all the ingredients on hand and it reheats really well.  Oh, and the boys eat it, so that's an added bonus.

Vegetable Beef Soup
1 lb ground beef
1 14 oz can beef broth
1 1/2 cup water
1 10 oz package frozen mixed vegetables
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes
1 10.75 oz can condensed tomato soup
1 Tbsp dried onion
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Brown the meat and drain the fat.  Add all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours.

So yum!!  I think I'm going to stop by the store during lunch to pick up the ingredients so I can have this tomorrow night. 

Well, I'm off to lunch.  I hope the doc gets here soon because I'm going to dive in to that cake if he doesn't hurry!  And I know other people in the office wouldn't be far behind!  Sorry this post is so short - getting behind on the pic prepping is not a good thing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So I Caved

Morning, Kitschies!  It's kinda slow here at the clinic, so I thought I'd fit a post in.  Last night was pretty uneventful.  I got off work about 5:45.  Got home and got the kids in to the bath and then had dinner.  After lazing around on the couch alone while watching Antiques Roadshow, the hubs and I watched an episode of Ghost Adventures.  Say what you will about those kind of programs, but I like this one.  Yes, the lead "hunter" is a douche (they *all* are), but there's something about GA that I like.  Lately they haven't gotten to me, but the one we watched last night was kinda scary.  No nightmares, but I did have to watch something else to take my mind off it.  LOL

So.  When my bestie got me in to this whole nail polish addiction almost a year ago, she picked up ChG For Audrey.  I'd seen it all over the boards and there's a ton of pics on it if you do a Google search, but I just didn't *need* it.  I've gotten many, many polishes over the last year and I always just looked over it.  Until January.  For some reason, I decided I needed it and I caved.

While on a hunt for a new nail art design to try, I came across *this* and thought, "Hey! I can do that!"  I changed up the colors a bit and this is what I got.

The lineup, taken without flash.  ChG For Audrey, some un-named LA Colors (I think it's Atomic) and ChG Atlantis.  Oooh!  I love Atlantis!  I went in to Sally Beauty to look for something else and Atlantis jumped out at me.  So pretty! 

*drooooool*  Look at all the awesome holo sparkle.  Add in the medium teal jelly base and it's a total WIN!

This pic was taken with flash...I think the first pic is more accurate as far as color goes.

How cool is this?  Taken in the shade, you can really see all the great colors.  Minty blue-green on the whole nail, a diagonal with the darker blue-green and a smaller diagonal with Atlantis in the corner.  Top off with a couple stripes of white acrylic paint and you have a cute, easy-to-do mani!

Here it is in the pretty!  I think this was one of my favorites.  It was hard to fully capture the sparkle of Atlantis, so you'll just have to trust me that it was drooly.  I don't remember exactly when I wore this mani, but I do remember that I loved it.  I want to try it again with some other colors.

Happy Tuesday!  I hope you all enjoy your day.  It looks like another gorgeous day here in the Land of Entrapment Enchantment.  See you here tomorrow!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Now Made With Real Girl Scouts!

Good morning, Kitschies!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  Most of mine was spent cleaning up around the house, doing laundry and all that fun kind of stuff.  We did get out of the house for a little bit to celebrate my nephew's 7th birthday.  The boys (the hubs and I) had a lot of fun!  Unfortunately I have to work today (it's President's Day here in the US), but I'm not complaining - at least I have a job.

On to the goodies, shall we?  The hubs and I were doing some cleaning in the kitchen last week and we realized we had an unopened box of Thin Mint cookies hiding out on top of the fridge left over from last year(blasphemy, I know)!  I didn't want to eat the cookies plain because they probably would've been pretty stale, but I had heard somebody mention they've made a Thin Mint cake before and I started on a quest to find said recipe.  Because who wouldn't like them in cake?!  And since Girl Scout cookies will be available starting later *this week* (WOOT!), I thought I'd share this recipe with you now so you can make this awesome cake for yourself!

Thin Mint Cake
1 box Duncan Hines dark chocolate cake mix
1 cup finely chopped (about 1 sleeve of cookies) Thin Mint cookies
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp Creme de Menthe Liqueur
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
Ice with your favorite icing (recipe to follow)

Pre-heat oven to 325*.

Line bottom of cake pan with parchment paper & spray sides of pain with a flour/oil mixture.  Place all wet ingredients in bowl first including eggs, then add cake mix & mix until thoroughly blended.  Add 2/3 cup of the crushed cookies in to the batter.  Pour into the pan(s) and back 40-45 minutes.  Remove from oven and dump cake onto waiting Glad Press 'n Seal wrap (sticky side up).  Wrap the warm cakes tightly and put in the freezer.  You can freeze for as little as 3 1/2 hours but for best results, freeze overnight.  This adds moisture to the cake and straps in the flavors.  After removing from freezer, allow to sit for about 10 minutes.  Mix the remaining cookie crumbs into your favorite icing recipe along with a Tbsp of Creme de Menthe Liqueur.

Chocolate Mint Buttercream Frosting
(for Thin Mint Cake)
6 Tbsp butter
1 cup powdered sugar
4 Tbsp cocoa
2 to 3 Tbsp milk
1/3 cup finely crushed Thin Mint cookies
1 Tbsp Creme de Menthe Liqueur

Cream butter.   Add sugar and cocoa mixture to butter.  Add crushed Thin Mint cookies.  Add milk to butter mixture, starting with 2 Tbsp.  Add Creme de Menthe Liqueur to mixture.  Blend until frosting consistency.

NOTES:  I used Devil's Food cake mix.  There are two kinds of Creme de Menthe liqueur: clear and green.  We used green, but only because it was a couple bucks cheaper.  It says to line the pan with parchment paper, but that's a big pain in the butt, so I spray it liberally with non-stick cooking spray and then dusted with cocoa powder.  No sticking issues.  The recipe calls for the cake to bake 40-45 minutes but in two 9-inch cake rounds, that was WAY too much time - I just followed the time listed on the cake mix box and it turned out perfectly!  I've never made frosting before and was afraid it would be hard to do, but it wasn't.  I doubled the recipe and had just enough for frosting between the layers and to cover the cake.

Looks like some sort of alien concoction.  Oil, eggs and green liqueur.  Yum!

I had an eager little helper!  He did really good until it came time to take the cakes out of the oven...then he lost interest.  LOL

Stir in those cookie crumbs!  He got a little bugged at me that I didn't let him have a cookie.  Poor Natey!

The best part of baking a cake with Mom is getting to lick the scraper!  He got the beaters, too.  If I had eaten that much uncooked batter, I would've gotten a stomach ache.

The middle of each of the cakes was a little sunken, but I leveled them out and they were fine.

Ready for wrapping with the Press 'n Seal - kinda strange, but it worked.  The cake was super moist even though the edges got just a tad over-cooked.

Straight out of the freezer.  Unless you want super cold cake, let it sit out a bit before you serve it.  I didn't mind, and actually, I think I liked it a just a little better when it was still a little frozen.

YUM!!  I want to make another!  Nate doesn't usually eat a whole piece of cake - he'll eat the frosting for sure and *maybe* a bite or two of the actual cake.  He asked for a second piece of this one!

SOOOO GOOD!!  Super moist and super rich.  I saved about half the cake for home and took the rest to work.  Everybody loved it!

Happy Girl Scout cookies!  I hope you try the cake, and if you do, let me know how it came out.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And the Wiener Is...

Happy weekend, Kitschies!!  I hope you're enjoying your (3-day?) weekend.  We've been busy around the house cleaning and doing laundry.  We went to my nephew's 7th b-day party today - it was a lot of fun and now the boys are pooped!!

I finally remembered that I had to post the winner of my "Just Because I Can" giveaway.  Slacker, I know.  So, we go.

After 58 people and 137 entries, I plugged the numbers in to and came up with a winner.  And the winner is...

Yeah...that doesn't tell you much, does it? this better?

Ms Naomi is the WINNER!!  I'm not sure if she has a blog because her profile is set to private.  So, congrats to Naomi!  You have 72 hours to contact me ( with your shipping information.  If don't hear from Naomi in the allotted amount of time, I'll pick another winner.  Thank you to everybody who entered - I've picked up a couple new bands to listen to!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hearts & A Smile *pic heavy*

TGIF, Kitschies!!  Do you have big plans for the coming weekend?  Do you get Monday off for President's Day?  I don't have a whole lot going on this weekend other than a haircut *squee* and a birthday party for my nephew.  Other than that, we're supposed to have rain on and off so I don't think we'll get outside like I'd like. 

I know I'm a little late to the party to share my VDay mani with you; better late than never, right?  I had just finished my Two Weeks of Pink manis and it was time for a change!!  I still stayed with a traditional VDay color.

This beauty of a red creme is Zoya Alix.  The Zoya website describes Alix as a vibrant medium true mid-tone red with a glossy creme finish and I agree.  This is one HOT red - not too bright, not too dark.  Just awesome sexy red.  I love this color but I have a love/hate relationship with red.  It's a total PIA to clean up and remove AND if it chips even one teeny tiny place, it *has* to come off.  Am I alone in this?

After trolling My Simple Little Pleasures, I saw her tutorial for this cute nail art and had to give it a try.  I started off with alternating white and red nails but I couldn't get the white to look just right so I gave up and went with all red.

Collette at MSLP does great tutorials (awesome water marbles) - if you have some time, you should definitely check her blog out.

We were up in the mountains on VDay where there was *plenty* of snow.  You know I *had* to take a picture against the stark white of the snow. 

Now for the fun!  The hubs and I had a rare kid-less day together.  What did we do?  Like a couple of teenagers, we went sledding!!

The hubs caught some air!

I got a nice action shot of *him*, you'd think he could've done the same for me. *sigh*

But, he did get a decent close-ish shot of me.  Like my knit cap?  He gave that to me "just cuz" a couple months ago and I <3 it.

After we'd had enough sledding, we went for a little hike up on the peak.  Lots of snow!  I stepped off the path and sank to my KNEES!!  Lesson learned.

The view was awesome!!  This is looking southeast from the top of the mountain.  The city you see in the distance is Albuquerque.

Awww...the two lovebugs.  It was pretty warm, considering it's still only February and there was so much snow around. 

I like this one because I didn't mean to get the hubs in the background...I was trying to take a pic of myself.  LOL  Yay for happy accidents!

A big thank you to my hubs - I had such a great time!  I used to not like VDay (for a couple reasons) but he's changed my mind on this.  He goes out of my way each VDay to make sure we enjoy it.

I will announce the winner of my giveaway either tonight or some time this weekend, so be sure to keep an eye out!  Have a good weekend and if you're traveling for the long holiday weekend, be safe!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Top 10: Eye Candy

Good evening, Kitschies!  It was a long, busy day at work.  I can't really complain, though, because it was my first day back since last week!  Anyway, I'm pretty tired and couldn't think of what to post.  Until I found an eye candy-filled post over at Myya Says...  Looks like a perfect pick-me-up kind of post, so I told her I was going to steal her idea and she gave me the thumbs up.

The idea behind this post is to showcase our top 10 celebrity crushes.  It reminds me of that Friends episode where the created The List.  As a matter of fact, the hubs and I (we were still dating), sat down at dinner and made our List.  Too bad I don't still have our List - it would be interesting to see how it's change.  Now on to the list, shall we?  These are generally in no particular order with the exception of the first 3.

I first fell in love with him in Six Feet Under as Nate.  Was heartbroken when I realized he was in Albuquerque filming The Lost Room and I didn't get to see him.  Then I followed him through the horrible Dirty, Sexy, Money.  And now I get my Peter Krause fix watching him on Parenthood.

I think the first time I saw Edward Norton was in American History X (hot).  And I've liked him in pretty much everything I've seen him in since (including Death to Smoochy).

It's gotta be the hair.  Seriously.  Cuz it ain't the glasses!

Now, this is where it gets a little more difficult.  The top 3 I could come up with in my sleep - the next 7 I actually have to think about.

Brad Pitt (circa Meet Joe Black)

Dood! You know what I just realized?  I totally have a thing for hot hair!  Seriously...look at all of them - they all have that touseled, just-rolled-out-of-bed hair.  Wow. 

OK.  That's enough eye candy for me tonight.  I think I'm going to get my Eric Dane fix now (read: gonna watch Grey's).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Get Your Blood Pumping

This post is a little off-topic.  Bear with me.

Morning, Kitschies!  I was very slow going this morning.  Didn't want to wake up.  Didn't want to get out of bed.  Didn't want to see the boys off this morning.  All I wanted to do was just lay in bed. All. Day. Long.  But, I dragged my bootie outta bed, helped the boys get on their way and then I plopped my bootie in the computer chair in search of something to get me moving.  After just a little bit of searching, I found what I was looking for.

A little background before I show you what got me going.

When I was in junior high and high school, I was a band nerd.  I'll always be a band nerd at heart, I just don't have the time (or the energy) to further my pursuits.  Luckily, though, there are people out there who, despite widespread fine arts cutbacks, love music and marching band more than even I do.  Enter DCIDrum Corps International touts themselves as "Marching Music's Major League".  And rightfully so.  If you've never heard of drum corps before, the best way I can describe it is this: marching band on CRACK!  It's louder.  It's better.  It's everything you wanted your little high school band to sound and look like.  It's louder.  Oh, did I already say that?  I don't think I can watch a live performance like this without it bringing a tear to my eye.  I have a few favorites when it comes to drum corps. The Cavaliers is one of my favorites. Take a look...

It's one thing to see them on video - it still gives me chills - it's a whole other world to see them in person. I was lucky enough to see a DCI Finals in person in 2007, and it was AMAZING!

For the people who thinking marching band isn't a sport, you gotta watch some videos. How many of *those* people can play an instrument (cranked up as loud as it can go), follow the sets AND make it look *this* good? These kids (mostly high school age) dedicate their entire summer (and more) to touring and perfecting their show all for a spot in the Finals in mid-August. And that's not even including the camps and pre-tour schedule. While on tour, these kids breathe, eat and sleep their shows. Interested yet? If you want to see more videos, go to YouTube and search "DCI" - pick any one of those to get a glimpse into the world of drum corps.

If you're interested, DCI tours from June through mid-August all over the country.  Check out their tour schedule to see if they're stopping by a stadium near you (they'll be in Albuquerque on June 21st).  Their shows are family friendly and ticket prices are usually pretty reasonable.  If you can make it, I'd highly recommend seeing one of these shows in person.  It will be an experience you won't soon forget.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Better the Mind but Not the Body?

Good Tuesday morning, Kitschies!  I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day - I know I did!!  The hubs and I really enjoyed our day off together.  We don't get many of those, but when we get the chance, we take it.  I mentioned before that I don't usually make resolutions, but I was making a *goal* to better myself (mind, body and spirit) this year.  I took the first step to one of those this morning (mind): I took my placement test for CNM.  I rocked the reading and English portions but totally bombed the math (no big surprise there).  The Summer session starts at the end of May, so I have a little bit of time to organize things before I get back in to the swing of school.  I can't wait!

I know I said I was going to try to post more healthy or good-for-you recipes on my blog this year (better the body, remember?), and I have for the most part.  But, there are times when life calls for something that's not good for you.  Sometimes you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth more than you need to meet your daily required nutrition.  Ever have days like that?  A few weeks back I got a BIG bag of dried cranberries and I've been eyeing recipes to incorporate the crannies.  This is one of the first recipes I saw and I'm glad I tried it because they're GOOD!

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
NOTES:  I used my Silpat silicone baking mat and the cookies did not stick at all (even though it says to cook on ungreased cookie sheet).

I loved these cookies because they're sweet without being too sweet.  And I love dried cranberries.  Add the white choco chips in there and it's pretty much awesome!

NOM!  I still have more dried cranberries and more white choco chips at home...maybe I'll whip up another batch tonight.

Pretty short post, huh?  Remember to enter my giveaway!  You have until midnight tomorrow to enter.  And please vote in my poll (in the upper right corner). 

Well, I'm off to have lunch with one of my friends (we don't see much of each other, but when we do, it's a nonstop gab fest!).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Two Weeks of Pink - Part I Don't Remember

Happy Valentine's Day, my dear Kitschies!  I hope you had a good weekend.  It's an impromptu 3-day weekend for me.  The hubs and I are escaping the confines of work for a day of *just us*.  What ever will we do?  Well...we're going sledding (by ourselves thankyouverymuch) and then we're going to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch.  We wouldn't normally go there because it can be kinda pricey, but thanks to a perfectly timed Groupon offer, we got an awesome 50% off deal.  If you've never heard of, or used, Groupon, I highly suggest you check them out!

OK.  So.  This is going to be my last Two Weeks of Pink mani.  I like pink as much as the next girl (ok...not as much as *this* girl), but two weeks of pink manis was a little much for me.  I started of with a rock star mani, then I toned it down a bit with a pretty Spring mani.  Then I cranked it up to 11 with my neon pink mani.  Now I think I saved the best for last...a pink and white water marble!  Click on pics to make bigger to fully appreciate the beauty of this one.

Ta daaaaa!  I love this one!!  I started off with one coat of ChG Strawberry Fields and then marbled with that and SH White On.  I topped it all off with one coat of ChG Fairy Dust.  My favorite fingers on this (left) hand are my pinkie and thumb.

I asked my son, Nate, which one *he* liked best and he said he liked my pinkie best because it "kinda looks like a heart".  Well, Nate, I heart you!

I'm still horrible at taking pics of my right hand.  I really need to start using the tripod more!  Anyway...on this hand, my favorites are my thumb and ring finger because it's so much different than the other fingers.

This water marble reminds me of something but I can't exactly put my finger on it.  It's like when you're trying to remember a word and you *know* you know the word...and it's on the tip of your tongue but you just. can't. remember.  Frustrating!

The thumbs.  I really like how the left thumb (shown on the left) turned out.  I don't know what it was, but this time I had a harder time keeping the designs consistent.  I don't know if it was the temperature of the water or the temperature in the house.  Either way, as you can see, I had quite a few different designs. 

At one time I asked you, my readers, what colors you'd like to see together.  Somebody (I don't remember who now, but I know I have it written down somewhere) suggested mint and brown.  I think I'm going to try that next.  Or...if the weather is warmer (cross your fingers), I might put that one on hold for a bit to do a shrimp pink and lime green marble.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Since it's Valentine's Day, we decided to splurge and make a cake.  I haven't tasted it yet (because I'm typing this post on Saturday night), but I'm very anxiously waiting to try it.  I <3 one of the not-always-available ingredients, so I'm betting I'll be devouring the cake once it's ready!  Don't worry...I'll give you the recipe in a post in the not so distant future.

And don't forget!  You only have 2 more days to enter my giveaway!  You don't have to be a follower of my blog, but if you're a "regular" 'round these parts, you get an additional bonus entry!

Enjoy your Valentine's Day!!  Oh...and take a look at my right side bar for a poll question.