Monthly Archives: August 2013

Easy as (Chocolate) Pie

So here’s a quick story about how I just learned how to make the easiest dessert in the world.

Chocolate pie. Which should basically just be called “chocolate pudding in a store bought crust.” Because that is it.

These are all of the things you need. AND THAT IS IT PEOPLE.

These are all of the things you need. AND THAT IS IT PEOPLE.

Directions:

  1. Go to store.
  2. Hit the baking row for the 9″ graham cracker crust that you can buy THAT’S ALREADY MADE.
  3. Go to the row with pudding.
  4. Pick up the chocolate kind.
  5. READ THE BOX AND IT TELLS YOU THE REST.

Seriously, you mix a little milk in with your mixer (which, let’s talk about how that the best $5 I’ve ever spent), it gets a little thicker and then you pour it into a pie shell so it’s like this:

Why yes, yes it is hard to not just eat it out of the pie like a bowl, how'd you know?!

Why yes, yes it is hard to not just eat it out of the pie like a bowl, how’d you know?!

And then you set it in the fridge for an hour.

And then you top it with whipped cream when you serve it.

It’s genius. It’s so stinking easy.

Oh, and the best part? The best part is, when you’re done pouring it into the crust, you get to lick out the bowl…

Ahem… I mean, if you were probably five you’d do that. As a mature responsible adult, you’d probably skip the step where you immediately take off the mixer arm guys and lick those suckers clean. Cause that’d be embarrassing.

#winning

#winning

Embarrassing. And yet, so amazingly delish!!

 

And THAT’S how you make an awesome dessert with three ingredients. I think I’ve got a new backyard BBQ favorite!

I’d just like to go on record…

And say that for the first time in my life, I’m actually excited for a Batman movie.

How could you possibly be mad about this?

How could you possibly be mad about this?

So if your goal was to get a whole new crowd of people out to the movies, high five.

If you really wanted girlfriends everywhere to be excited to be invited to the latest high action flick with their boyfriends, mission accomplished.

Apparently (according to my very accurate source: Facebook) all the real Batman fans just aren’t that excited. And I feel bad for them. Really, I do.

But I’m pumped. I mean, come on guys, didn’t you see him in Pearl Harbor? How about Argo? Dogma? Or even He’s Just Not That Into You? He can act.

Let’s just forget about some of the bad decisions like Gigli. And maybe Jersey Girl. And for sure Bounce.

That lovely magical face is about to be our next Batman.

Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Dancing Through Life

I made a decision the other day that has been bringing a smile to my face for a week solid.

I joined Jazzercise.

Yeah. I said it. And I meant it.

Because really, nothing makes me happier than swinging my hips like an idiot to a Pitbull jam blaring through the speakers. It’s basically like dance class for grown ups. And sure, I might be the youngest person in the room by a solid 20 years, but that just means people think I’m endearing and they compliment me.

And there is NOTHING wrong with going to the ‘gym’ and getting complimented on your dance moves.

Especially if work is paying for your ‘gym’ membership (which I realized last week they would do!). Everyone, I’m telling you. This is a total win.

And I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.

The best part is the people I’m enjoying the class with. They are awesome. They shout. Some sing. And some wear leg warmers.

Let me correct that… some of the 60-something year old men wear singlets, tights and rainbow leg warmers.

Summary: Singlet. Tights. Leg Warmers. Consider my day made.

Summary: Singlet. Tights. Leg Warmers. Consider my day made.

That happened. In my life. At Jazzercise.

So if you’re looking for a workout where:

  • You spend a full hour running around like a crazy person…
  • You won’t be judged for any level you’re at… or anything you’re wearing…
  • You want to fulfill that life long dream of having a massive dance party to all of your favorite tunes (don’t lie – you’ve been practicing alone in your bedroom for years)…
  • Are welcomed with open arms by everyone there…

… all while spending an hour grinning from ear to ear.

I have the place for you! Thanks to my darling friend Becky for being my biggest Jazzercise advocate for years. Girl is right. This is a blast. So if for some reason you can’t get ahold of me, don’t freak out, just know, I’m doing jazz squares to J Lo. I’ll call you back in a bit…

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Chili and Cinnamon Rolls May Just Be Catching On…

Remember the amazing Emily Gray I told you about yesterday?

She invited me over for dinner because her husband makes incredible chili.

AND GUESS WHAT SHE DID?!

LOOK! It's catching on!

LOOK! It’s catching on!

Okay, the title probably gave it away. But, CHECK THAT OUT! They know how I feel about cinnamon rolls being paired with chili. They know I think it’s normal. And because they LOVE me… they made them for me.

Adorable. Knife Girl and Emily Gray for the win!! They are just wonderful friends. I mean, they are actually sisters. But they are wonderful friends… to me!!

That’s all I had to tell you today. Just know, my heart is filled with happiness and joy right now!

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Where Fiscally Responsible Meets Hair Dye

A couple of months back, I went to the hair school in town to get some highlights put in my hair. It was summer and it was killing me to not be blonde.

Because, for those of you who know me well, my hair is very seasonal. And it had been the same color SINCE I MOVED HERE. Which was like 8 months ago. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much of my natural hair color. And it’s nice. I’m proud of the medium-ish brown tone that I have naturally, I really am. But when it’s June. There’d better be a sun kissed looked to this hair.

But here’s the thing. To maintain that natural looking hair glow… it’s just plain downright expensive. And what nonprofit working girl has that kind of money?

Not this one.

And then I heard about the hair school in town. A magical place where you could get highlights for $35. Did you think you read that wrong? No. You don’t have to go back over it. I said $35. Because, IT REALLY IS THAT CHEAP.

And they really were pretty good. But, something to consider about $35 highlights… They just don’t look like $110 highlights. And since it’s a really nice beginner student doing your hair… it takes about four hours. Which, is just a lot of a Saturday.

And the can’t-stand-bad-roots-or-lack-of-consistency-in-color-and-stripe-pattern type A part of me was dying. So I invited a few friends over, made a trip to Sally’s and took matters into my own hands.

May I introduce, my new favorite thing in the world?

It just LOOKS like fun... doesn't it?!

It just LOOKS like fun… doesn’t it?!

For $20 I now own: a pair of reusable gloves, a mixing bowl, a paint-brush-thing-a-ma-jig, hair clips, a two use bottle of developer and a box of INTENSE medium brown.

Which means, anytime I want to color my hair, your hair, random friends hair… it’s going to cost me like $6. Which is freaking sweet. And I’ll need a friend. Because this really isn’t something you should try alone friends.

And that’s where I’d like to introduce you to my fabulous stylist: Emily Gray. Yes, I appreciate that normally people get a funny little nickname. But this girl has a blog. Where she tells you her name. And YOU SHOULD ALL BE READING IT. Cause the girl is funny. And because of that Emily Gray she will be.

Not only does this legit lady have a funny blog, a DIY husband, two crazy dogs and a baby on the way… But she’s got mad skills when it comes to dying hair.

Things got mixed:

IT LOOKS JUST LIKE AT THE SALON!!!

IT LOOKS JUST LIKE AT THE SALON!!!

Things got applied:

Adios amiga. And by 'amiga' - I just simply mean blonde hair.

Adios amiga. And by ‘amiga’ – I just simply mean blonde hair.

Seriously, how professional does that amazing lady look?! Gloves. Brush. The whole nine yards:

It's my blog. Of course there's going to be a cheesy picture. People, it's just how I roll.

It’s my blog. Of course there’s going to be a cheesy picture. People, it’s just how I roll.

And then it was DARK brown:

Extra cheese for the after shot.

Extra cheese for the after shot.

Okay… it’s maybe a tad bit darker than originally intended. In fact, some may say it’s BLACK. But hey, maybe we just try something a little crazier and darker for fall this year. Life’s an adventure right? At some point, I’ll probably stop scaring myself every time I look in the mirror…

And for $20, 15 minutes of application, 30 minutes of process time and a serious shampoo (in your very own shower!) – you end up with a whole new hair color! That’s just darn impressive to me.

So thank you to the lovely talented beautiful Emily Gray (I know, I know, last link… I promise!) for my amazing new do. Girl didn’t miss a piece. Everything is one color. She’s a professional. Who knows… maybe I can get her to attempt highlights next time… I mean really… what could possibly go wrong…?!

Bring on the fall, my hair is officially ready!

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Salt and, Salt and, Salt and Pepper Here

I broke down yesterday and I bought something a little more frivolous.

BUT, I’d really considered it for a couple of weeks. I researched the options. And I just really wanted the little bit nicer set.

How b-e-a-utiful are those little guys?

How b-e-a-utiful are those little guys?

 

Salt and pepper shakers.

Yes, it did make me break out into a small rap from ‘Push It.’ Thanks Salt-N-Pepa for that perfect reference.

Yes, shockingly, I didn’t already own any. I know, surprise surprise.

Yes, I was using my large Morton Salt container to salt things.

Classy. I know.

And after watching New Guy just grab his salt and pepper shakers and use them to spice something… I realized that’s a much more convenient way to season something. Plus, it looks a whole lot more grown up.

And then I turned to Pottery Barn to show me my salt and pepper shaker options. And then I found them. And then I fell in love. They were beautiful. They matched my dishes. They would look incredible and they were $12. Which, since I needed two (one for salt and one for pepper) would be a $24 commitment.

Which is slightly ridiculous.

But then after searching for a cheaper option (read: I ran to Walmart’s website) I realized that each shaker there is $8.

So…. $16 isn’t that far from $24… right?! And that extra $8 spent would bring a lifetime of joy.

I left it alone for a couple weeks… but I could not stop thinking about how beautiful those were.

And then I caved. I went to Pottery Barn I smelled the smell of happiness. I drank in the color scheme. And I told the lady behind the counter exactly what I wanted. No looking around for me necessary.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED.

She rang them up. And the total was $12 plus tax.

Because I am an idiot. And they price salt and pepper shakers as a set… because they are a set. In my head individual prices made sense. I buy each bowl separately at Pottery Barn. Wouldn’t that be how the shakers worked?

No Betsy. That’s not how it works. Because they aren’t the same thing. Turns out. They are different. Or you would never know which one was which!

And that’s the story of how: I caved and I bought something nicer than required, then saved $12, and discovered I’m an idiot.

The end.

(Or really… it’s just the beginning of a beautiful life with new salt and pepper shakers…)

Life Soundtrack

I went home this week, spent a lot of great time with family, friends, my YL girls and time just visiting my favorite places in my hometown. Plus, K got to swim in a real life lake. Which was awesome. Seriously, I almost feel guilty for not living closer to water for her.

Not the point of the blog post. The point is… at one of these amazing catch-up meetings my darling friend Nia told me all about a “get to know you mixer” that they had used for her board as an actually fun way to get to know you better.

Which, if you’re involved in a lot of get to know you activities, you realize is a tough job. Mixers are fun. Once. And then you play another mixer and you’re ready to gouge your eyes out.

And that’s coming from a “I LOVE GETTING TO KNOW PEOPLE AND EVERYONE NEW CAN BE MY BEST FRIEND” type of person.

Oh what’s that? You’re dying to know more? Yeah, I thought so… here’s how it works:

Everyone picks a “song that describes their life” and a “guilty pleasure” song and then you read the titles, guess who it might be AND GIVE EVERYONE MIXED TAPES AT THE END.

Which, regardless about the painful actual mixer part – you end up with a whole CD full of random fun tunes.

Now come on, that idea is GENIUS.

Plus, it got me thinking… if you had to pick one song to describe your life and one guilty pleasure song, what would you pick?

Luckily, I had an 8 hour drive home to really noodle on this – because it’s difficult! Do you go serious? Do you go funny? How far can you push the envelope if you’re on a professional board and you’re supposed to look professional? I mean, that basically cuts out T.I. and DMX… right?

So I’ve settled on these tunes as professional – yet – upbeat and accurate! Plus, they both brought a smile to my face and I’d hope when it got to that track on the CD they’d bring a smile to that person’s face as well.

Song that describes my life:

And not in a super depressing, I feel alone way. But in the HECK YES LET’S DANCE THROUGH LIFE!! sort of way.

Runner up options: Unwritten (Natasha Bedingfield) & Perfect Day (Hoku).

Guilty pleasure song:

Okay – don’t judge. You KNOW you want to drive around town blaring that and singing it at the top of your lungs. And yes Maika and Gwen, this is totally a shout out to you two and the glory days of Petunia and gas station cappuccino.

Runner up options: Anything from Beyonce (obviously), Popular (Wicked) and something from Trans-Siberian Orchestra (yes, I’m a nerd, I own that).

Seriously, how genius is this mixer? Flipping genius. Just go ahead and give Lincoln AMA props if you steal it, I’m sure they won’t mind sharing.

So those are mine. Noodle on it for a minute… what would you pick? Feel free to share in the comments, I’m dying to know!!

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