Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Here we go

This is what I came home to today. There is no turning back now!






Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cool treat



I saw this cool summer snack at Gourmet Mom on the Go and I knew I'd found my new favorite dish to bring to BBQs this summer.

I followed Mandy's instructions but made a few changes. We used Watermelon Jell-O because, well, it just made more sense. Instead of mini chocolate chips, we used some chocolate sprinkles we had in our baking stash.

We also decided to do some cantaloupes and filled them with the new melon flavored Jell-O. The cantaloupes looked gross but tasted yummy. The watermelon slices looked and tasted perfect!

Next time I will use a sharper knife to cut these babies. Hopefully then they won't have the jagged edge look.


Looking over the photos I have taken so far this summer, I realized that I really do need a nicer camera. I think I have said it before but now it's time to seriously start saving...

Friday, June 5, 2009

YAY!!!


I just had to take a moment to say that I have the coolest fiance' ever! He surprised me with Sims3 for our year and a half anniversary! It came with a 2gig USB drive in the shape of a Plumbob!
I don't dare open it because we have a busy weekend planned and I know if I get started, I won't want to stop.

P.S. Sorry for the poor quality photo. My digi camera hates me

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Taking a break

I think I am going to take a break from blogging for a bit. I know as soon as I publish this post I will probably want to blog again...
It's not that nothing exciting has happened, A has been smoke free for 6 months and Sis had her 30th birthday, but I am still missing my sweet kitty and I am putting in OT at work (which is mentally exhausting). I just don't feel like coming home to blog.

We are all doing well here so don't worry about us.

Much love,
Layne

Friday, May 22, 2009

My heart is broken

Rest in peace my Princess. My Besst. My sweet Bess-a-bun. You gave me thirteen wonderful years. Thank you for being my constant. My furry little rock during the darkest times. Thank you for continually amazing me and making me smile. I hope you know how much I love you. I will miss you forever but know you are in my heart always.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm Back!

Sooner than I expected thanks to Dan Fischbach! I have never met him or even emailed him (yet) but his tutorial on how to "Fix Windows XP Log ON/Log Off Loop" saved my computer and my sanity. It took forever and took a few tries but it seems to have worked. I had a ton of Trojans and a few other bad guys lurking on my computer.

It looks like Dan isn't blogging any more but I am going to try to contact him to tell him "Thank you!" I'd also like to donate some $$ since he saved me from having to call the professionals. I just need to decide on what I can afford to send... Hmm...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not happy

My nice new computer died this evening. Not sure what happened so I guess I will be taking it to a computer doctor after all. I am super unhappy about it... I am on A's laptop right now. I will probably be MIA for a bit until I can get things resolved or until I can get my wireless working on my dinosaur of a laptop.

I am sorry for the super grumpy post.

Let sleeping dogs lie

Ever since Bess decided she wants to hang out in the living room 24/7, Piper has been able to hang out in the bedroom during the evenings. She wants to be near us so badly that she sleeps on the cold hardwood floor. This makes me sad so I decided to make her a little dog bed.

I bought some Gray fleece (to match the bedroom colors) and 6 bags of stuffing. I took some white felt and drew a dog bone. Then I used the left over iron-on letters from D's tooth fairy pillow to spell "PIPER" and stitched the bone on with pink thread.

It looks like a giant pillow but I think it turned out well. I am still learning how to sew a straight line but practice makes perfect.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fun with Fondant

My computer seems to have come down with a virus. I am doing all I can to keep me from having to lug this monster to the computer repair gal (Which happens to be A's cousin).

Enough whining and onto my excitement of Saturday. I have been watching Ace of Cakes lately and I got it in my head that I can make cool cakes too! Sure I can! All I needed was a recipe for fondant. I went on a Google search and decided on this one. it had a short ingredients list and it seemed fairly easy. I headed out to Wal-Mart to get some supplies...



The instructions say to use mini marshmallows but we had regular ones left over from the BBQ and they worked just fine. The fondant spreader and cake leveler shown in the photo turned out to be a waste of money. Neither of them worked but it could have been user error.

I used a Betty Crocker white cake mix and prepared it to the instructions on the box. While it was cooling I started the fondant.

I heated the (nearly, since a few were eaten with S'mores) 16oz of marshmallows and added the powdered sugar. Like the instructions say, I didn't need all 2lbs of the sugar. There was about a cup left over.

Since this was my first time, and we don't have a "heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook" (hint-wedding gift-hint), I had to kneed the marshmallows and sugar by hand. I made a HUGE, sticky, powdery mess over the entire counter. I also got a great upper body workout.




I added a little gel food coloring to a part of the fondant so I could make a design later. I was originally going to make a flower but I dropped the yellow fondant on the floor. I couldn't, in good conscience, just use it anyway. In the trash it went.

The fondant had to chill in the fridge for a bit so I went to shower the sticky white mess out of my hair... (no comments from the peanut gallery)



I rolled out the fondant to fit my cake. Next time will use the dining room table because the counter just isn't big enough.

I added a thin layer of frosting to keep the fondant in place. I started cutting out polka-dots with a cookie cutter. I wanted a simple look for my first cake...


And there you have it! My first cake with homemade fondant. I didn't have a proper knife to cut the fondant with so it is choppy around the bottom. I was going to make pink icing to cover the edges but I didn't have any plastic baggies to put the icing in.

A and I both had a piece and I couldn't really taste the fondant but A (who isn't a fan of any sort of frosting/sauce/topping) pulled his off.
I definitely want to try this again with a more elaborate design. I know what I have to do differently and maybe by next year, I will be so good I can make my own wedding cake :)

If you don't like clicking links, here are the instructions:

You can make a simple, inexpensive fondant at home using only three ingredients:

16 oz. mini marshmallows
2 TBSP water
2 lbs powdered sugar

First, sprinkle the water over the marshmallows and microwave them to melt, as if you were making crispy cereal bars. Now you must knead the sugar into the melted marshmallows. Its easiest if you have a heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook, but it can be done by hand as well. Do not use all the sugar unless you have to. The proper consistency will be about like PlayDoh. If you want to color the entire batch with one color, you can add some paste/gel food color in as you knead. You can also add vanilla or almond extracts or any other flavor you choose during the kneading process. After you have it well kneaded, you will want to wrap it tightly and let it rest for 15-30 minutes.

While working with the marshmallow fondant, have a bit of Crisco or some spray oil handy to keep the work surface, rolling pin, and your hands lightly greased. This will help keep the fondant from sticking and also helps the surface of the fondant maintain a glossy shine. If you find your fondant is still too sticky, knead in a bit more sugar.

To cover a cake, simply roll out a circle of fondant about ¼” thick and wide enough to cover the top and sides of your cake. Make sure the cake itself has a thin, smooth layer of glaze or icing, and then gently lay the fondant over the cake. Carefully smooth the fondant down the sides, pulling the bottom edge out as you go to avoid wrinkles in the fondant. Then, simply trim away the bottom with a knife.


Add decorations.

Monday, May 11, 2009

So much has gone on

And I have nothing to show for it!

I was going to do a post about how A surprised me by mowing both yards but I accidentally deleted the photos... The yard needs to me mowed again already!

I knocked two things off my list of 101 things but I forgot to take photos...

My mom and I did the Relay for Life walk and A and I had a BBQ at the house. I am hoping to have more BBQs this summer so I won't check this one off yet. As far as the Relay for Life walk goes, we took a group photo and once I get a copy I will blog about the experience.

What else...

Mother's day was very nice. A bought me a Beanie Bear and we both teared up when he told me how much he loves me. I really and truly have an amazing fiancé. I love him more every day.
My Sis came down to surprise Mom. Sis, A, D, My Mom, A's Mom and I all had a nice dinner at our new Chinese restaurant. it was very yummy.

Other than that, I have been doing some over time at work. It sucks to be at work for suck long hours but the pay check sure is nice.

Now I am very tired and I think I will go to bed...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Still here

It's been an exhausting few days. I will update soon. Don't give up on me :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Welcome to the jungle

It's been raining a lot here so we haven't been able to mow the yard. It's gotten out of hand and Piper is too afraid to go out there and pee! It looks like a mini jungle and I am sure it won't be any kind of fun to get it back to normal...


At least we cleaned up the big branches from the ice storm and you can't see all the tittle ones :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Noblegarden


Noblegarden is WoW's version of our secular Easter Holiday (At least I don't remember seeing anything about the resurrection of Christ while I was playing...). I didn't even realize they had such a Holiday until I logged on last night. I ran around hunting eggs till 2am. I won a few nice prizes like the dress and ears I am wearing in the above photo. My favorite prize is my new little bunny friend.



Children's week starts tomorrow and that is J's favorite WoW Holiday. I look forward to running quests with her.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And so it begins

A had the day off today. I didn't think he was going to do much of anything since he had to have a tooth pulled and I figured he'd be feeling pretty miserable. Needless to say I was surprised to come home to find this:


YAY!! The remodeling of the bathroom has finally begun! I can't wait to try the pry bar!

~*~

On a sad note, I don't think Bess is doing that great. She has the runs for the 3rd time in two months. In case I haven't mentioned it, she 13 years old and has been fighting cancer for about a year now. She is painfully skinny even though she eats like a pig. I keep asking the doc if he thinks she has quality of life and he says that as long as she is eating, she is okay. I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. I don't want to keep her alive because of my own selfishness but I don't want to put her to rest just because I am sick of dealing with the side effects of her cancer... okay I need to quit typing about this because I am getting super emotional...

Instead here is a photo of Bess in the sink and a very short video of what she was doing. If you can't tell, I was letting the water run for her to drink. I left and came back to check on her and she was lying in the sink with the water dripping on her but still drinking from the faucet. Silly kitty.





Oh and one more photo! Bess found a bag of Goldfish crackers and decided to help herself. I never had to worry about what I left out when Bess was secluded to the back of the house. I need to be more careful now.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

97. Pay for the person behind me at the drive thru

Well, I couldn't really get a photo of this one without coming off as a total freak...
Why is this on my list?: It's something nice that (should) make me and the recipient feel good.
How did I do it?: I knew I would do it at Sonic because it is the easiest place I could think of to pay for someone behind me without causing a drama. I just had a feeling that it was time.
How did it feel?: I felt a little silly at first when I asked the drive through girl if I could pay for the lady behind me. I told her to tell the lady to have a great day. I didn't ask the total so I was kind of relieved when she only ordered a drink! I may just do it again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How to teach Filthy Rich Girls, a book review, Kinda




Now I know I have said that I am not good at reviews. I have no idea why I am going to review this book but I am. I guess I just like tormenting myself...


I absolutely love the CW show Privileged. I think it is witty and cute and when I heard that the show was based on the book How to teach Filthy Rich Girls, I knew I had to read it. In my past experience the books are better than the show or movie. Not in this case.


Yes, I enjoyed the book. It was an easy read, but it was not what I was expecting. The CW show is loosely based on the book and when I say loosely, I mean the only things they share are the names of the characters and the Palm Beach, Florida.


In the book Megan becomes the tutor to rich, bratty, identical, red-headed twins; Sage and Rose Baker. If Megan can tutor the twins and get them accepted into Duke, the twins grandmother will pay off all Megan's student loans and the twins get their trusts. If they fail, the twins go penniless. The twins hate Megan at first but through laughter and tears, they all come to love each other in the end.

I have such a knack for painting a picture don't I?

Here are my final thoughts;

I like the show much better. The characters are more interesting as well as their back ground stories. My only beef with the show is that Ashley Newbrough and Lucy Kate Hale look nothing alike. I didn't even realize that they were supposed to be identical twins until the middle of the season. Although I adore Ashley (she has been in several of my Canadian shows) I think Nora Zehetner would be a much more believable "Sage" to Lucy Kate's "Rose".



I can't wait for next season!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

When life hands you lemons…

Photo by cfwhitney

D’s spring musical was last night and it was wonderful. It was called “Lemonade” and it was about Fairytale Land and all the fairy tale characters were having a bad day. Mother Goose comes around and tells them to look at the brighter side of things and, as the old adage goes, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” Everyone took her advice and lived happily ever after.

D didn’t have a speaking part but she gave “good face” while singing in the choral. She was back row center because she is probably the tallest kid in the first grade. She sang and pantomimed her little heart out. A and I both sheds some tears of pride. My Mom, A’s Mom, My Uncle L and Aunt C came to the show (D’s BM and BM’s Mom came as well). We gave D some flowers and she was excited because she was the only on in the class to receive some.

After the show I got to meet D’s teacher. I was very nervous to meet her because of my feeling like a “poseur mom” that I spoke of in my last post. D’s teacher is also a friend of BM’s family and has known BM since she was small. Again, my feelings were unwarranted. Her teacher was so sweet and so glad to meet me. She told me I should start getting involved in school activities and parent teacher conferences! This is so huge for me and got me a little teary eyed.

After the show A and I chatted with his Mom a bit and then headed over to my Mom’s to hang with Uncle L and Aunt C. We all shared stories about my Dad so that A could get an idea of what he was like. Of course Mom and I cried and I wish my sister was there.

Even though I blubbered a lot, it was a really great evening. I am blessed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kind of like a mom

Mother’s day is coming up.
This is a weird time for me; Biologically, I am no one’s mother and legally, I’m not even a step-mother. But there is a tall, thin, six-going-on-seven year old that I have loved like a daughter for almost 2 years now.

I am sure I will help her make Mother’s Day gifts for her BM like I did last year and that is fine. I don’t mind but I am not going to lie, it’s been hard. Very hard.

Being stuck in the “I’m-just-her-Dad’s-fiancé” title is bittersweet. I love that I am A’s fiancé (I have never been one before!) but sometimes being in this spot makes me feel a bit like a poseur. I am not sure where I fit in, what I am and am not allowed to do or where I am welcome. Some days I can handle it and some days I get angry or cry.

D invited me to have lunch with her at school yesterday. I felt so good that she wanted me there but I was very nervous. Would the school let me have lunch with her?
Would the “real” mommies treat me differently? Would D’s BM show up too?

It turns out I was worried over nothing. The front office didn’t care who I was or who I was there to see (a bit unsettling I might add) and we got to sit at table with D’s bestie and her dad. I introduced myself to him as:
”I’m-her-Dad’s- fiancé-soon-to-be-step-mom” and D piped up with, “I get to have two Mommies!!” It made me feel good.

Later that evening we were in a convenience store where they had a bunch of Mother’s Day stuff out. D made the comment that I am, “Kind of like a mom”. Yep, I kind of am.

I don’t expect anything for Mother’s Day so I won’t be hurt if I don’t receive anything.
I just hope that I can figure out my place in this blended family and will be a good step-mom to D. I would also love to be a “real” mom someday too…

Monday, April 20, 2009

Progress



please don't mind the mess

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gonna get my read on

I received a package from Amazon this afternoon. Inside I found;


"Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest To Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, Or Why Pie is Not The Answer" by Jen Lancaster. It got great reviews and is supposed to be hilarious.

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Ronald Dahl. D and I both love the old and new versions of the movie. I thought it would be fun to read her the book.


"How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls" by Zoey Dean. I love the CW show Privileged so I thought I'd give the book a try.

And last but not least, "Getting Over it" by Anna Maxted. R recommended her and I so I added reading one of her books to my 101 Things list.
Now the question of the evening... which to read first?!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Frenemies

My house is sort of divided in half. The front half (kitchen, living room & garage) is where Piper lives and the back half (2 bedrooms, bathroom and "hall") is where Bess lives. I have a four foot tall baby gate separating the two. Bess and Piper have lived in the same house for over two years but have never really "met" until tonight.

They have seen each other so they know the other one exists. I wanted to keep them separate because Bess is a little old lady with cancer and I didn't want my huge Piper stressing her out.

Bess is a stubborn girl and she normally gets what she wants. The past few weeks she has wanted in the living room. Because she is sick, she is skinny enough to fit through the slits in the baby gate and a few weeks ago she came into the kitchen while I was preparing her breakfast. Piper was too sleepy to notice the small kitty sauntering right by her.

A and I decided to let Bess come into the living room for short periods of time. Bess would come in, look around, see Piper and run back into her part of the house.

Tonight was different.
I was home alone and Bess was crying to come into the living room. I was eating so Piper was much more interested in my food to notice. Bess got on the back of the couch and napped for a few minutes. Then she went to Pipers water dish and drank from it for about 10 more minutes. Piper was still interested in my dinner.


After a few more minutes of Bess roaming the kitchen, Piper gave up on my food and turned her attention to the cat. I decided it was time for Bess to go back to her room. Bess pitched a fit and cried and cried. I let her out again and she sat on the credenza by the front door. Piper was very interested this time. Piper was shaking but she didn't bark. She was such a good girl for having a huge temptation right in front of her but she didn't take her eyes off Bess.

Bess hissed a little bit but soon got bored and decided to take a nap. Not before she stuck her tongue out at Piper!

I sat there with the two of them for about 10 to 15 minutes but I didn't want to spend my whole evening refereeing so I put Bess back in the bedroom for the night.

Sorry for the grainy photos. the cell phone was the only thing I could grab.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I F-ing HATE

Arkansas weather!!!!! That's all I have to say right now. I am going to try and sleep through the tornado season... cya in a few months.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Second Life

I finished my project for J but I got sucked back into SL in the process.
If you want to know what Second Life is like, I have a little travel blog that you can check out. There isn't too much in it yet...

In real life news, work is very busy (yay for job security) and this weekend is going to be busy as well. Sis and her Man are coming down and so is Cousin B. It is also a D weekend.

I am sad that I don't have anything interesting to post but I will take boring over drama any day!

Be well.

Friday, April 3, 2009

101 things, I haven't forgotton you...

There isn’t much going on around here lately.
I am very thankful for it!

We haven’t begun the demolition of the bathroom yet.
A couple of A’s employees called in sick so he had to cover for them on both of his days off.

As far as my 101 Things list, I have a few of them in progress but nothing done except for;

#6 Paint the bathroom

Why is this on my list?:
The original paint made the bathroom look dirty.

How did I do it?:
A
had some left over wall paint and I had left over ceiling paint. It was pretty quick since the room is 5X8 and covered mostly by tile.

How did it feel?:
Pointless. Shortly after I finished painting we discovered a huge leak and now have to fully remodel the bathroom.



Here are some updated "before" photos. The walls & sink cabinet are painted and the new shelves are up. I didn't bother cleaning since it will all be ripped out soon. Between the tub and the sink you can see some of the nastiness we have to look forward to when we pull up the floor. I even made a little layout of the room for you.

















Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two lives one night

Last night I woke up gasping for breath. This has happened to me several times before but last night was the worst. I honestly felt like I was going to die. I was having so much trouble catching my breath and it was hard to swallow. When I finally felt like I was breathing well, I was shaking so hard and I was so cold. I decided to lay slightly sitting up but I had a hard time falling back to sleep because I was so scared I went into a panic attack. I still felt a bit shaky this morning and I am exhausted.

Usually when I wake up feeling like I am choking, I am dreaming that I swallowed marbles or a pen or something. It feels like I have something in my throat.

Do I have sleep apnea? I have wondered this for a while but I think it is time to find out. My Mom has Gurd and I had a lot of problems with esophagus spasms a few years back so it could be that as well. My coworker swears it's sinus drainage.

My doctor said I could have a sleep study but I can’t afford one right now. In the mean time A bought me a foam inclined plane (haha I learned that on Sid the Science Kid) to lie on. (He also brought me flowers. He is such a sweetie!)





In my Second Life; I made this cute little Easter Basket. It's free at my booth on Babydoll's Island (I also made the dress but I am not finished with it...). I am doing a 250+ Easter Egg hunt. There are some fantastic freebies (like the ears I am wearing that I modified) and I am a big fan of hunts, so I am having a blast.

The only reason I started playing around in SL again is because my bestie J asked me to make some outfits for her Sorority's pledge week. I hope I make her proud.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Washed up

Remember how I told you that we were going to do some minor improvements to the bathroom? Well, I painted and A hung some new towel bars and shelves. No, I don't have any photos right now. Why? Well, we have had a minor leak in the tub. We would find a pool of water under the sink after showers. It has rotted away our under the sink cabinet. I noticed it when I was painting and the wood would come off as I painted. No big deal right? Well, now the floor is squishy and I poked a few holes in it when I was wearing my stilettos.

Yesterday we had a monsoon. Okay, just a torrential downpour. Well, the walls started leaking... What the?? Now it smells moldy in there. For fear of getting black lung from toxic mold, A and I decided that the bathroom is now #1 on the priority list along with the roof. Thanks Arkansas weather!! We had to do some creative financing but I think we have enough to fix both.

So what was supposed to be an "after" post is now a "before revisited" post. Needless to say I am stressed out. We are going to do the work ourselves because we can't afford to hire someone and A really thinks we can do it. I am sure we can do it. I just hope we can get it done quickly and ulcer free.

I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Coraline

I've been buttoned

A and I went to see Coraline in 3D. It was pure creepy goodness. We both almost wet ourselves because we had to go pee so bad but the movie was so interesting, we didn't want to miss a second. I am not good at writing reviews so I suggest you take a look at the website. Although A and I thought it was amazing, I definitely don't recommend it for the little ones.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sick Day

A 6 year old with an upper respiratory infection + orders from BM to stay in her room all day = A room that looks like a craft store threw up in it. We sure had fun though.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Almost there!

I just hit level 60 in World of Warcraft. Only 10 more levels to go to reach my goal. I may take it all the way to 80. Thanks to J for showing me around the Outlands!

Now I am off to search for fun things to do for a 6 year old with an upper respiratory infection that she can do from her bed...

Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thankful





Well, they aren't "New" but they are new to me. They look like they were hardly ever worn and they were free!! (Yes, the shoes in the first photo are furry LOL) I love free stuff especially if it comes in the form of sexy shoes.

I received an apology today. It totally caught me off guard and wasn't expected. It was from a boy who I loved before I met A. I won't go into it but he did me wrong and broke my heart and at the time he thought he wasn't at fault. I harbored a lot of hate toward him for a long time. I prayed and prayed for release but it never came. He said God showed him that he did treat me like a jerk and put it on his heart to apologize. I am very thankful for this apology and I am looking forward to closure and getting rid of any ugliness left in my heart from him.

I am so thankful for forgiveness. Thankful to give it and receive it.

 
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