Coffee Date #41

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My reward from the cosmos for helping at the pool.
It was a truly beautiful painted sky and the crappy pic
doesn’t do it justice. Perhaps I shouldn’t have tried,
but I wanted to share.

So nice of you to join me today! What’s in your cup today? I have my usual Friday Hot chocolate and Kahlua flavored treat.

How are you? Has your week just dragged? It seemed like each day took progressively longer. I helped out at the pool for an hour Wednesday (which is normally a day off for me) and it might have been the longest 3,600 seconds of my life. I am not exaggerating when I say that I felt each and every one of them.

You know what else seemed like it took forever? I watched the season premier of NCIS last night. Holy horrific Batman! A helicopter is hit by a ground-to-air missile, crashes inside the Russian border, and the pilot dies. Too much of a spoiler for you? Sorry, but my anxiety ridden self was having a hard time watching it last night. It’s sort of one of my worst nightmares with my brother and all. I wanted to turn it off, but I had to watch it.

Between that and the shocker in Bones last night? (OMG. No!) I’m really surprised that I slept at all. (I won’t spoil it for those who don’t like spoilers but I will share this link if you’re like me and don’t give a rats tuchis if you know what the ending is going to be. Are you one who hates things being “spoiled” for you? Sometimes I actually prefer to know how it’ll end.)

I did manage to sleep though. It might have been that I was up after Bones making that guy I married some birthday cupcakes so he could have a special treat for breakfast. Cream cheese frosting makes it a breakfast food, right? I didn’t put cake on his desk, but there was a note in his coffee cup to look in the fridge.  That’s about as much as he wants to celebrate his birthday though so we’ll get pizza tonight, maybe watch some Almost Royal or House and call it a night.

So what do you have planned this weekend? Anything fun? Tomorrow I have to be at the pool way too early for my liking and then I’m having ladies lunch and going painting.  I’m always down for some painting and wine drinking. (I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to next session being off for me at the pool.)

Sunday is the walk for Team Harlow (Don’t forget to donate if you haven’t already! AND let me know about your donation so I can get cookies/cupcakes etc out.) and grocery shopping.

Well that’s it for now, I need to grab another cup and get on my way. I hope you have a lovely day and fantastic weekend!

 

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Thursday Three – Links from my unread emails

I was recently going through my unread emails because the count had gotten up to something like 75? That’s lot of unread emails and makes me twitchy. I hear you, I hear you and Why have so many? Well I’ll often email myself articles to read, recipes that can’t be pinned, blog ideas etc. My email is a general catch all, but sometimes it’s tough to stay on top of. I can’t even imagine if I were to have 250 unread emails like some that I’ve heard from!

I did find some gems though and thought I’d share them with you.  If you’ve seen them already, sweet! If not? Please enjoy.

  1. Google can do
  2. Fun theory
  3. Words that sound Rude, but aren’t!

Do you use your email as a catch all? How many unreads to you have? (Did you know you can search just the unread by putting “is:unread” in your email search bar? Best day ever when I found that out a bunch of years back.) For full disclosure, I’m down to 37.

Don’t forget! I’m walking with Team Harlow and would be most grateful and consider it a great favor if you would consider joining us or donating to our team. If you join us or donate, you’ll be supporting a cause that’s near and dear to my family’s heart, get warm fuzzy feelings ’cause you did a good thing, and as an added bonus I’ll make anyone who joins because of my request or donates $25 or more a 4 pack of cupcakes (gluten free or not) or cookies if they need to be shipped.

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Lyrically, Court, Court pumpkin eater doesn’t really work, but I’m going to eat it anyway!

favorite pumpkin

He’s one of my favorite pumpkins.
  Photo by Jamie Lynn Photography, hat by Court is Crafty

I haven’t been making anything exciting lately but I do have high hopes for what I’m thinking of making tonight. If it goes well, I’ll share next week. It’s not complicated or even all that creative or difficult, but for some reason my head thinks it’s something I NEED to eat today. So eat it we will!

Let’s talk about pumpkin for a minute. I’m not talking about pumpkin spice that you see EVERYWHERE this time of year. I’m talking about real pumpkin and using it in food.

Side note. Did you know that you can easily make your own pumpkin spice? According to my notes which likely came from Mehmere, you mix 1 part nutmeg, 1 part allspice/clove, 2 parts ginger and 4 parts cinnamon in a bowl and store in a sealed container. Go ahead, make your own. I like to add just a tiny bit more ginger and clove than cinnamon but that’s my preference.

Anyway. Pumpkin. The fruit. Everyone thinks pies when they hear pumpkin. I’m so sure of it that if I had to go on Family Feud it would be my first guess. It’s one of my favorite things to eat that is pumpkin but over the last couple of years, I’ve discovered other things to make with it. (Not those lighter brownies you make with a can of pumpkin instead of eggs and oil/butter. They weren’t terrible, but they were weird.)

Since it’s fall now and I’m excited for it, here’s what I’d like to make with pumpkin.

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

White chocolate chip macadamia nut pumpkin oatmeal cookies

A recipe art card for you. It prints nicely on a 4×6 card.
I can email you the file if you’d like to print it.
It’s festive and functional.

Let’s start off with these Pumpkin Spice Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Go ahead, click through. You’ll want some too. (I can make these GF pretty easily.) I also want to do pumpkin bread. Yum.

GF Pumpkin Pancakes I’m not sure how these will turn out, but I’m willing to give it a shot. In theory they should be okay.

Next up is Pumpkin Chili, I don’t know how Frank (or I!) would feel about but it uses the crock pot so I might give it a whirl. What I’d really like to try is pumpkin soup. It just sounds pretty good in my mind. This Roasted Garlic Sage Pesto Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Fried Pumpkin Seeds sounds like it would be awesome.

It’s not specifically recipe related, but I also would LOVE to have friends and their kiddos over for a pumpkin carving/painting day with hot cider, yummy foods and maybe even some smores cooking in the fire pit. If I don’t have to travel for work, I might make at least part of it happen. (This would also leave me with a crap ton of seeds to roast as well! That’s a win all the way around if you ask me.)

Ah food dreams.  So. Are you a fan of pumpkin? What’s your favorite pumpkin dish/snack to make?

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They’re back! Or they will be soon…

Last night when I got home from the pool I quickly ate some food and changed into warm-ish pjs so I could watch Dancing with the Stars. Frank doesn’t love #dwts (I believe he told me it’s a “Bad, bad, bad show”, but what can I say? This season so far I’m sucked in. How could I not be? Chong can dance and Carlton is super fun to watch. I’m mentally hating on that Bethany girl and curious to see what will happen to Betsy, Leah, Antonio, etc. Besides, oh my goodness who’s going to have a wardrobe malfunction? Who will we guess is having an affair? Like I said, I’m sucked in. I’m really surprised though because historically I haven’t liked it.

(Stay tuned for some glorious Frank saids as a result of him watching last night with me.)

I also skipped The Blacklist last night because I don’t like watching that in the dark for some reason but I watched Forever. I still don’t know how I feel about it. It feels like a rip off to New Amsterdam which I loved and was sad to see it go after 8 episodes. I’m going to give Forever a few more episodes (even if they’re on OnDemand) because it has potential.

I’m also looking forward my old friends and favorites coming back in the next couple of weeks. Gibbs, Abby, McGee and Tony are back on NCIS is tonight, the Jeffersonian crew comes back on Bones 9/25, hopefully we’ll find Castle on 9/29 and he and Beckett can get married, and I have a date with the BAU and Sue for Criminal Minds on 10/1. (I don’t know if I’ll watch Stalker. It might be too much for me. I tend to watch tv alone. At night. With a big window and no lights in the back yard.)

I have a few summer shows to catch up on, but that wont take me long. I’ll also be watching my secret shame TV shows like 19 Kids and Counting and Virgin Territory so you don’t have to do it.

It’s a good thing I have so much crafting to do. I’ll have lots of time to multi task!

What’s on your must watch line up? How about your “if I happen to watch it”? What’s your secret (or not so secret like mine) shameful TV watching?

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Coffee Date #40

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Why hello there! You’re looking smashing today. How has your week been? Was it kind to you? Mine seemed to drag on and on and on, but after two short weeks, what can I expect?

What’s in your cup today? Yes I have Kahlua coffee and hot chocolate mix. It’s Friday after all!

What’s new? Any good  news? I managed to make the 6:30am yoga class with my favorite instructor today. Yes, it was a minor miracle I did anything close to functioning so early, but I would have felt like a giant tool if I hadn’t because I had committed to it last night when I left the pool.

It was a good class, but I’m all off balance and struggled through parts. I also discovered that I’m very stiff first thing in the morning! I’m going to try and keep going to this class, but if I’m honest with myself, I know it won’t be an every Friday kind of thing.

In other news, I have some fun things coming up. Things like using a butt marker to prep doors for hanging, probably too much time at the pool, hopefully getting a gas stove installed, crafty and design time for a craft show I’m doing as Court is Crafty, visiting with family and friends, and a Buddy Walk!

What’s this Buddy Walk I speak of? It’s an awareness and fundraising event to “support the local programs and services provided by Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center as well as the National Down Syndrome Society’s national advocacy initiatives that were established to benefit and serve people with Down syndrome and their families.”

(I took that part from their fundraising website.)

I’m walking with Team Harlow who is the daughter of a dear dear friend. Why do I ask if you would consider it a great favor if you would consider joining us or donating to our team? If you join us or donate, you’ll be supporting a cause that’s near and dear to my family’s heart, get warm fuzzy feelings ’cause you did a good thing, and as an added bonus I’ll make anyone who joins because of my request or donates $25 or more a 4 pack of cupcakes (gluten free or not) or cookies if they need to be shipped. (Forward me your confirmation of donation and if you want cupcakes or cookies – it’s that simple.)

Other than that there isn’t much to report. I heard this weekend is going to be all rainy so I’ll likely take naps, read my books for NetGalley and do stuff around the house. I’m so exciting sometimes it slays me. What do you have going on?

 

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Thursday Three – Reasons for me to be excited for fall

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Not today, but I’m looking forward to it.

If you looked out my window right now, you’d think that fall is already here – or a really cloudy day with lots of wind. I noticed the other day that the trees are just starting to change which makes me slightly giddy. What can I say? While I love all the seasons for their very own special reasons, I might love fall the most.

(Sort of related. Did you see this Buzzfeed about white girls and fall? I’m guilty of like 5 of them, but I don’t just limit it to fall! Can you guess which 5?)

I know it’s not fair to love one more than the others, but I have valid reasons to (maybe) love fall best.

  1. It’s getting to be soup and chili season. I love soup or chili for dinner. They’re easy, warming, and there’s almost always left overs for lunch. Also, we have them with cheesy biscuits and they are just awesome.
  2. It’s cozy sweater and layer season and cozy sweaters and layers are good ways to disguise a little less than svelte physique. And they’re warm in my freezing cold office.
  3. Colors. Not only are the levees on the trees beautiful colors with striking contrast to the blue skies, but I’m wicked excited for 2014’s fall colors.  Even if a lot of the clothes are ugly.

I have a few special things that I’m hoping to pull off in the next few weeks that make me extra excited for this particular fall, but I’m not quite ready to talk about/do not wish to jinx them so for now? Just cross your fingers and think generally good thoughts for me.

What’s making you giddy lately? Do you love fall? Why?

Don’t worry. I remember. I also remembered to wish friends a happy birthday, to tell Frank that I love him, to chat a little with G-d about some things and to send healing thoughts to those who were directly affected by that day. My specific thoughts regarding what today represents have not changed much from last year.

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Reading More: Nest

A copy of Nest by Esther Ehrlich was made available to me by the publisher at no charge to me through NetGalley. The opinions are my own

From Amazon:

For fans of Jennifer Holm (Penny from Heaven, Turtle in Paradise), a heartfelt and unforgettable middle-grade novel about an irresistible girl and her family, tragic change, and the healing power of love and friendship. In 1972 home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein, her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp’s mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, and everything changes.

Chirp finds comfort in watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who lives across the street. Together they create their own private world and come up with the perfect plan: Escape. Adventure. Discovery.

Nest is Esther Ehrlich’s stunning debut novel. Her lyrical writing is honest, humorous, and deeply affecting. Chirp and Joey will steal your heart. Long after you finish Nest, the spirit of Chirp and her loving family will stay with you.

Nest was one of the most heart-breakingly beautiful books I’ve ever read. It’s up there with Homcoming which is one of my all time favorite books.

Nest drew me in so much that I was back to my 5th grade self, clomping through the woods on an adventure. I was sad when it was done because my new friends, Chirp and Joey, can’t come out and play anymore. I hope they’re okay.

Other than Chirp and Joey, I found the other characters to be caricatures of their roles – the Teen, the Shrink, and the New Teacher – with little development. It’s alright, it’s not their story.

It’s Chirp and Joey’s – one of friendship and healing.

Is this a book that would interest you? If it is, let me know that it is, why, and share the most heart-breakingly beautiful book you’ve ever read and I’ll pick a comment to send a copy to. I love this book that much I want to share.

I should note that although this was a great book, it did tackle some pretty serious issues such as chronic illness, depression, suicide, and child abuse. If you’re going to hand it to your kiddo, you might want to be ready for some tough questions.

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Frank said… #90

This is part of the Frank said feature. You can see more here.

Ice cream truck music playing as it drives nearby.

Frank: They’re taunting me
Me: How so?
Frank: The music is echoing through the trees…
Me: Give it time, they’ll be over
Frank: NO they won’t, THEY wont let them
Me: Who’s THEY?
Frank: General electric.
Me: I don’t think they can do that
Frank: Yes they can, they have the power.

Frank wanted me to update this and let you know that he believes GE is out to get him because their Twitter handle has blocked him.

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Coffee Date #39

I was tired. It was early

Off to Chicago coffee

Hi there. It’s been a bit. How are you? I’m tentatively back although I’m not sure what it’ll look like, how often I’ll be here or if it’ll even stick. I guess I just missed you.

What’s in your cup today? I picked up more Kahlua coffee so Friday’s are a treat again. I’m having a major craving for an English Muffin with butter and jam, but that’s a no go.

What’s new? I’ve been a little crazy busy working on a major project at the office that required an insane amount of research, too many hours at the pool to cover, some design work for friends, more crafting, and traveling. I hand wrote a bunch of stuff while I was gone and it might see the light of the internet, or maybe not. Who knows? It’s one of those things we’ll have to see about.

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It’s blurry, but so was I.

So that traveling thing. Yeah. I might be getting too old to sit in the car so long.

We were gone for 5 days and drove 1700+ miles to go to Cornfest, to find a bar that’s the Copper Fox all over again, to attend a dear friend and his stunningly beautiful bride’s wedding, a 10 year old’s birthday dinner, hear Grandma’s latest theory, and buy wine at Target. I got a little too cozy with Jack at the wedding, ate [too many] french fries, rocked the sparkly blue dress with 5″ peep toed slingbacks, and laughed a lot. We also ate a lot of bacon.

It was a good trip.

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Happy 10th D!

I’ve read a few books and am in the middle of two others. I’ll be posting thoughts on those soon. Other reviews will be coming out as the books become available for sale.

It seems I can keep getting more free books if I keep on top of the reviews. Who doesn’t like free books?

After 5 days of being away, I’m glad to be home and back to a mostly general schedule. The accommodations at the Hansen Inn are fantastic, but I missed home and my shower. Also, my body wants to get back to yoga class and more normal to me foods. I applaud my in-laws for  their willingness to help me keep gluten free, but it’s just easier at home.

I hope you have an awesome weekend. Anything good planned?

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Reading More: Guilt by Association

A copy of Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark was made available to me by the publisher at no charge to me through NetGalley. The opinions are my own.

From Amazon

Los Angeles D.A. Rachel Knight is a tenacious, wise-cracking, and fiercely intelligent prosecutor in the city’s most elite division. When her colleague, Jake, is found dead at a grisly crime scene, Rachel is shaken to the core. She must take over his toughest case: the assault of a young woman from a prominent family.

But she can’t stop herself from digging deeper into Jake’s death, a decision that exposes a world of power and violence and will have her risking her reputation–and her life–to find the truth.

With her tremendous expertise in the nuances of L.A. courts and crime, and with a vibrant ensemble cast of characters, Marcia Clark combines intimate detail, riotous humor, and visceral action in a debut thriller that marks the launch of a major new figure on the crime-writing scene.

Rachel Knight has a sharp wit, sharper mouth, and a kind heart. The plot was decent enough but the characters and various descriptions got in the way of this being a better book and getting a thumbs up from me. There were some very funny lines but I don’t know about “riotous humor”. The characters were likable enough, but quite obviously borrowed from other authors.

I grew weary of the dining /drinking being peppered with how much she was going to have to work out and what she was going to wear. Maybe it was done to be more more relatable, but as I ate my french fries and wore my yoga pants, I found it cumbersome and guilt inducing. The specific products and locales mentioned made me wonder if Clark was paid to mention them.

I’ll read a few more to see where Clark take her character, but I don’t expect I’ll give this series a thumbs up. Kinsey Millhone, Kay Scarpetta, Kate Beckett, Eve Duncan Olivia Benson or even Trixie Belden she is not.

I’m sure Clark was an ace attorney, but she has a long way to go to be a fiction writer.

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