Sunday, August 31, 2014

Superhero Sunday - Coulda been?

I admit it, sometimes I just forget to put my cape on. I know it seems impossible, right? But it's true. Take yesterday for example - Had I donned the flowing fabric, perhaps I could've been a hot mess making my forty-three jars of salsa...muy caliente! Instead, I was just a mess... es bueno.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Week 13 - The Fun is in FUNKO!

Will week 13 of the contest be a lucky one for me? 

I went on my fair share of quests for my two kids…the hard to find Rescue Hero, the newest and cutest Littlest Pet Shop critter. There was adventure and suspense for this collector. Now that most of the toys have been packed away, I sort of missed the thrill of the chase, a bit melancholy and lonely without action figures and other miniatures to keep me company. Then – POP! Who on earth were these funky friends?

It started simply enough when we caught a glimpse of Miss Piggy sitting alone on some random shelf at a toy store. I could not leave her there amongst none of her Muppet pals, so we brought her home and promised to find her Kermie. My teenage son soon spotted some superheroes, and invited Captain America and Iron Man to join his shelf of wonders. He had never really been much for the world of these characters on the screen, but something about their Pop Vinyl forms spoke to him. I believe the Elf came next, completely brightening my day when I felt that whole crazy felt made guy was too childish for my teens, the Pop Vinyl one took things to a much more hip level!

I had no idea of the world we were stumbling into…so many, so funny. One innocent google search and we were in awe of the possibilities. Duck Dynasty Phil was immediately ordered on Amazon. Sure, clicking to order took away a little bit of the fun of searching, but who was I to stop a boy with an Amazon gift card. The announcement made it official: “I think I am going to collect Pop Vinyls.” Decisions, decisions. Would he pick one theme and try to get everyone, or dabble a bit here and there, or buy a large bookcase and shoot the moon?

The holidays were fast approaching so I ordered up a Marty McFly and a MuscleMan. I hadn’t had time to seek out a large selection at a store. I did not want my daughter to feel left out of the madness, so I ordered her the Pooh and Tigger minis. A post-holiday trip to Barnes & Noble revealed where a lot of Pop Vinyls like to hang out. Hooray! Domo Flash, and to Miss Piggy’s relief, Kermie AND Fozzie went into the bag. Mary Poppins just stared at me. She knew I was thinking back to all of those years ago when I played her movie soundtrack on my record player, singing along loudly.  My kids never got hooked on her, sadly, and I couldn’t justify this one selfish purchase for my own self when so many other boxes were calling out to my teenagers. I keep thinking about her sitting there in her supercalifragilisticexpialidocious hat!

Thanks for all of the smiles and the next grand collector phase for this family.

Fun & funky,

So did they POP out a response? Nothing as of yet, but we have still managed to add Dory, Nemo, Skips, Benson, Mordecai, Rigby and Carl Fredrickson to the collection...AND the quest continues!
Some of the gang!
 Zero points, but plenty of fun!
Current total = 30 POINTS

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Random pause

Remember those a-z challenges? Fun, right? The first year I bumbled along on my own alliteration adventure. The following two years I went with themes very near and dear to me and many of you sang along. I was also a minion...
...part of Tina's Terrific Team. She became a fun friend who provided great support and comments.  She was apparently easily amused as well, which worked great for my ego. She provided a great window into her world, full of spunk and Swedish. 

Her blogging had become sporadic as of late, so I was excited to see what she was up to when I saw a post from her blog show up in my feed the other day...until I realized the post was from her family, letting us know she was gone.

I choose today to pause a random moment for Tina, and to salute her with thoughts of creepy monkeys and two other things that will remind me of her...a classic song and all things Swedish. Rest in Peace.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Superhero Sunday - Outcharmed

Sometimes even superheroes are humbled. My three year old niece informed me of her powers, and while it depends on the day whether she uses them for good or evil, they are super nonetheless. This is just one of the tiaras she traveled with...
I swear I did not swipe her pink elephant blanket cape, but may have to go make my own!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Week 12 - The chips are down!

What's a contest without chips? And what are chips without Nestle?

Dear Nestle:

One of the finest moments in the life of this stay-at-home mother was finding a playgroup. Sure, I wanted to give our little cherubs the opportunity to socialize in single syllables, master the art of swiping the good toys with ninja-like skills, and sharing whatever germs they had, but what I really craved was the prospect of talking to other adults. In the unlikely event that my riveting conversation alone may not have been enough to secure my spot at such gatherings, I needed to add some other valuable skill to the mix. Baked goods. I could provide homemade baked goods!

My chocolate chip cookies always got rave reviews from children and adults as well. They seemed to think I had a secret, and I suppose in a way I did. Little did anyone know that they could have been privy to the same information just by grabbing the yellow bag of Nestle semi-sweet morsels. I can barely remember back to the days when I didn't have the recipe for the Original Tollhouse Cookies committed to memory.

Cookies on the counter, dough balls in the refrigerator to be baked up fresh the next day, and dough balls in the freezer for emergencies. For last minute invitations, I was able to cut my necessary lead time down to thirty-five minutes by putting the batter all in a pan for Tollhouse bars. Your chips gave me the ability to waltz into a friend's house with a warm pan of delicious. In fact, that might have been the reason I was invited to begin with, that inability to show up empty-handed. Eyes on the prize, and I got human contact with people over three feet tall.

As my children got older, they were exposed to the wonders of the cookie cake, and I became acquainted with the high prices the supermarkets were charging for such fare. I had semi-sweet chips, a recipe's worth of other ingredients and a round pizza stone. I was a rock star in my own house, and mind, when I pulled those cookie cakes out of the oven. After putting some chocolate frosting around the edge, we had it made...homemade. My son just turned sixteen and still requested cookie cake for his birthday dessert.

Back in the early days of my cookie cake baking, I sometimes forgot if I was supposed to put a full batch of dough on the stone, or just half. I only had to use a whole recipe once to never forget the answer to that question again. Less than halfway into the baking time, I checked to see how things were going. They were going right to the edge. In a matter of minutes, things were going right over the edge! I was stumped as to what to do, as there was soon a ring of fire in the bottom of my oven. The smoke alarms were going off and my daughter was crying. I am not sure if her concern was the noise, the cookie dough flambe, the slightly crazed look on her mother's face, or the potential loss of cookies for snack time. I remember waving the smoke and opening some windows, all the while wondering if I could keep the oven on long enough to cook whatever dough was left on the stone. I had to be able to salvage some of my Tollhouse treat. Certainly I deserved some melty chocolatey goodness after that stress. It was no easy feat to get that masterpiece out of the oven, as there was no edge of the pan free to grab. Trying to get the burnt dough out of the bottom of the oven was just sad.

Time has its way of transforming trying moments into funny memories. My daughter is thirteen now and can make the cookies herself. I think she might have expected a more formal passing of the torch the day I told her the secret to delicious chocolate chip cookies. Instead, I called into the kitchen from the other room "Use the recipe right there on the bag, Sweetie!"

Morsels of thanks,

So did they think I was half-baked?
Well, they did write back and sent me some coupons and recipes (perhaps to help prevent any future rings of fire). The coupon is not pictured because, have you been here before? This girl needs cookies! 
TWO POINTS! My current total is 30 POINTS.
Check out the competition this week!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Random recap

We have been back from vacation for just under twenty-four hours, and I am happy to report that I have found my kitchen counter. (It had been missing for days before we left.) Granted, I am about to get into a jam (Blueberry Mojito specifically) so the clutter is starting to gather again very quickly...jars, lids, rings!

Here is just a little recap from our time away...

Breakfast on the beach with a rather heavy box of donuts...
...and no crowds to share with.

A lot of this...
...and this...
...despite this...
Ooooh, chilly...nearly frozen. That's right, FROZEN! Tattoos all around, compliments of Princess Elsa Ella.


Do you want to build a snow sandman?

So many seals! I finally got a picture that sort of captures just how close they came to shore...and my son!

What did my husband the beachcomber find this year?

And to wrap up a couple of the days...


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Superhero Sunday - Salty

Vacation time, and with my "good" capes left at home, it was once again time to improvise.
I know the folks on shore felt safer seeing me patrolling the tide, until...
...nothing a quick wring couldn't fix!