Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday night (possibly inspired by my visit to Lush) I decided to go ahead and try to make the bombs. I ended up making two batches. The first one was lavender scented (and possibly tea tree, oops, I might have used the wrong essential oil). The second batch was black chamomile--my mom bought me the oil at B&BW on Black Friday.
The ingredients are relatively inexpensive, and the mixture is easy enough to make. The hard part is getting the balls out of the molds. I enlisted Ross's help and he was a lot better at it than I was. He was able to make perfect little globes. I'm going to make some more soon. I need to find a better source for the citric acid. It was kind of expensive at the store where I bought it.
1 c baking soda
1/2 c citric acid
1/3 c epsom salts
1/3 c cornstarch
1/2 tsp Borax
1 Tbl. oil
Mix all dry ingredients together. You might want to grind up the epsom salts and citric acid if they are in large crystals (luckily mine were fine crystals).
Add oil and essential oil. For the first batch I used a lavender scented oil. In the second batch I just used plain old veggie oil, but the recipes suggest almond oil. Mix thoroughly.
I put about a half and half mixture of water and glycerin into a small spray bottle. I shook it up, then I sprayed the mixture a few times to moisten it. Caution: too much glycerin can start the fizzing reaction. You might not see the reaction, but when the bombs are used they will be duds and not fizz.
Mold the mixture (which will be powdery/crumbly) with the globe molds. Ross said the trick was to way overfill the mold so that the edges of the mold never touched when he squeezed really hard to pack the mixture together. He let the mold sit for a minute or two then tapped on the mold to help release it. Careful--the globes like to break in half. Gently lift off one half of the mold, then the other--no twisty!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I'm trying to think of a pose to post tomorrow. I don't think it will be nearly as exciting as last week's.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
So there, I helped the economy by buying something I didn't really need. I joined in with the "holiday spirit."
Yesterday I read an article that said that 30-50% of retail sales occur during the holiday season. Ha! Our economy is strongly based on people going out and buying each other useless, unnecessary crap during the last 7 weeks of the year. Yep, I was moved by the spirit of shopping to buy even more junk at the galleria. But how could I resist buy-one-get-two-free deals at Lush?
My husband is unemployed and I barely make enough to buy groceries, but yesterday I was doing my part to stimulate our crap-based economy. I'm a little disgusted with myself.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tejal had a big grin on her face. Ross stood there for a few seconds just staring at the game. Tejal handed him the gift receipt and said "The look on your face was a lot more fun than just buying you a gift card!" We all busted out laughing. Tejal is so cool. She regaled us with the story of her buying the game and making triple sure they were going to give her a gift receipt. We had lots of good laughs on Wednesday night. At one point we were laughing so hard Tejal shot water out of her nose!
Ross now has to go through the embarrassment of returning the game.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
1 c. softened butter
1 c. sugar
2 Tbl. lime juice
1 Tbl. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder (or is it soda)
1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Beat in egg, lime juice and vanilla.
3. Mix in flour.
4. Divide batter into thirds, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
6. Working with one batch of dough at a time (leaving the others in the refrigerator), roll out dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness.
7. Cut cookies out of dough and place on baking sheet.
8. Bake 7-10 minutes--just until edges start to brown (thinner, smaller cookies cook faster).
9. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes then remove from pan.
10. When cookies are fully cooled--decorate as desired.
For the frosting I just mixed together some butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. I think next time I'm going to try a more traditional royal icing recipe with egg whites. Knowing his love of sculpture I gave the last lump of dough to Ross to play with. He made a Wall-E cookie and and Eve cookie. The Wall-E turned out really well. No secrets here--this recipe is from Land o Lakes. I just changed the oj to lj. If I make another batch this week with a different frosting I'll be sure and post the results.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Bound full lotus. I saw this one on the web on Sunday and I have no idea if I'm doing it correctly.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Yellow Cake Cookies
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 c. oil (sometimes we use melted butter, but I was too lazy last night)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Thoroughly mix first three ingredients
3. Stir in chocolate chips. Don't add too many...as I discovered last night, this makes it difficult to form the dough into balls.
4. Form dough into balls and place on cookie sheet
5. Cook for 10 minutes.
Cookies will be fluffy and soft when first removed from the oven. Allow them to cool about 10 minutes before removing from baking sheet--they will collapse and harden slightly. This recipe makes approx. 2 dozen cookies.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
After dinner we ventured out again. To Target. Ross wanted to pick up a digital converter box for the TV. On the way there and back we drove through the neighborhood and saw lots of Christmas lights. I actually like Christmas lights--at least ones done tastefully. What we saw was mostly crap. We did find a couple of houses on August St. that were really cool. They had their trees completely wrapped in white lights. It was a lot classier than all the trees that we saw with the bottom 3 feet hastily wrapped in lights (we saw blue, yellow, green, red, white, and multicolor stumps).
Christmas in Italy was so different. No Santa. Three days of everything being dead because everyone was home with their families. There are some things I do like about the holidays. All food: panettone, stollen, eggnog. I suppose I'll spend the rest of the month at home--eating cake and washing it down with eggnog. Ha!
Friday, December 5, 2008
The best movie we've seen lately was Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. We both really enjoyed it. It inspired me to start reading again. I'm not kidding when I say that I read children's books. I haven't read a grown up fiction book in a long time (years). I checked the library catalog online and one of the branches has a book of Balzac's short novels. I went ahead and asked for it to be sent to my branch so I can check it out and read it. I still haven't finished the B.K.S. Iyengar book I checked out forever ago. Oh well, maybe I can finish chapter two (of four) and then give it a rest. If I finish the Balzac book maybe I'll feel like reading other books that they read in the movie. Maybe I'll turn back into the little reading machine that I used to be.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
When I was home over the weekend I let my mom wash my hair. It isn't a pleasant spa-like experience. She scratches and scrubs my scalp as if it was going to be inspected. One speck of dirt or dandruff and she fails! My mom commented that my hair was falling out. I always lose hair when I wash it or when I brush it. I lose a lot, but I guess I have a lot to lose. So anyway, I kind of ignored her until I saw a huge clump that had come out. That morning I lost a lot more hair than I normally do. It got me thinking....hair loss, weight loss, nervousness, increased BMs. Am I hyperthyroid? Probably not. My heart rate at the dentist last week was 68. Slightly high for me, but completely normal. Still, maybe the next time I go to the doctor maybe I'll ask him to order a TSH and T4 level...just to make sure.
Monday, December 1, 2008
1 14 oz. can pumpkin
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1. Whip pumpkin, mascarpone, and sugar together for several minutes until sugar is dissolved and mixture is fluffy.
2. Add spices and mix thoroughly.
3. In a separate bowl whip cream until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture.
5. Sprinkle crushed gingersnaps over the mousse (optional).
The photo doesn't make it look very appetizing, but I think it tastes pretty good.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
We used to go to Juarez to go grocery shopping. You know, pick up some Mexican Cokes and some produce. We were joking about going to the pharmacy over there and my dad mentioned that 8 people were shot in a restaurant on Friday. He said that at least 40 people have been killed since last Monday. There are shootings every day. I guess we'll just stay close to home.
I was much better yesterday. I drank over 100 oz. of water and didn't binge eat. I don't think I even had one chip! We went shopping some more and mom bought me some work out tops. I think I'm all set for working out and for teaching now.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Today I went shopping with my mom. She ended up getting some stuff at Mervyn's because they are having a going out of business sale. I went shopping later with Ross. He got shoes and I got socks. We all got things we pretty much need. Well, we don't need those two video games we bought, but nothing else was frivolous.
Oh, I went to Wally World with my mom. That was a mistake. Apparently if you want any of the sale items you have to stand in a very long line. Forget that. I only bought some febreeze and used the self check out because there was no line.
I'm behind on my sleep, and on my water intake. Tomorrow I'll have to make a point of drinking 100 ounces of water, taking a nap, working out (cycling), and not over eating. Yesterday my dad and I went for a bike ride. We were going to go in the morning, but it was raining. We did about an hour of loops around the strip mall. There was only one store open, so we didn't have any problem with traffic. We rode a loop around Best Buy (where there were folks already camping out), Target, and Barnes and Noble. Since it had rained we had to avoid some puddles. I got splashed a few times. I think I've mentioned before how much I love the smell of the desert after a rain. It was wonderful. I hope tomorrow we can go riding down by the river.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I weighed myself this morning, despite my friend Hugo being here and eating a ton of salt in the last few days. I was 3 pounds up from my low (which happens to be where I was 12 weeks ago). I seem to just bounce between here and my low of 142.5. Grr. This week was not a good work out week for me. Next week is going to be crazy. I've told my dad that I have set a goal of biking 50 miles with him over the Thanksgiving weekend. I think that is completely reasonable.
There are five and a half weeks until the end of the year. I hope I can end the year at or below my low. I seem to have hit a wall, but Lord knows I'll bang my head into it until I break through or pass out. I'm nothing if not stubborn.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I learned a lot yesterday. I learned that the lower your juror number is when you are assigned to a court, the more likely you are to be selected. I learned a little about contracts. Always get a contract in writing. Get signatures. If circumstances change, draw up a new contract. Keep very good records. Keep detailed records. Keep receipts and invoices to back up your checks. I just hope I never end up in a lawsuit. Oh, and if you do, get a good lawyer.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Ross made the zabaglione, fudge, and the pie crust. I'm not sure how the cupcakes turned out. I thought the lime frosting was better than the actual cupcake. The red velvet cupcakes seemed to go over well. No one commented on the tiramisu, but it went very quickly. The consensus seemed to be that that regular panna cotta is better than this one with the chestnut honey flavor. I like the flavor, but I think it was a little strong and turned out too sweet. I think my favorites were the mint cake and the pumpkin mousse.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
3 dozen eggs
3 pounds butter
8 c cream
I have 15 bars of chocolate in the cabinet, so I don't have to worry about buying chocolate this year! I'm going to have to make some room in the fridge.
This morning I woke up at 445. I couldn't sleep. My mind was racing. I tried to think of my favorite place. Il Duomo. The top. In winter. The moment I step outside. I laid in bed and imagined the feel of the 441 stone steps under my feet. The wind whipping in through one of the tiny windows on the way up. I remembered the familiar feel of the stone center column in my right hand as I push myself toward the top. I could feel the heat building up. I closed my eyes to imagine the paintings on the ceiling. In my mind I could see the steps that lie between the layers of Il Duomo. I went up the tiny ladder-like steps and burst outside into the cold. The wind cuts through my clothes and my sweat is suddenly cold. I'm on top of the world. Nothing can touch me here. I'm happy.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
1/2 c. raw old fashioned oats
I was going to add vanilla, but I forgot. It was tasty. It really held me over all morning and I didn't feel super hungry after my class yesterday the way I normally do.
I've been really good about working out. I think I have 380 minutes so far this week. We will go to the lift class tomorrow. My muscles are sore, but I suppose I'll get used to it. I was too beat from last night's class to go to this mornings weights/cardio class, so I only went to yoga. Robert has me totally flipped out about the teacher touching people and now I notice it and it creeps me out. I did all right. It was good to stretch out a little. Shelby did a beautiful king pigeon pose and the teacher helped her practice scorpion! I did a couple of headstands during our rest periods. My weight was almost down to my low yesterday am, but I had soy sauce last night... so I'm back up today. We are having sushi with friends tonight, so I'm going to drink lots of green tea and try to avoid the soy sauce. I am so tired....
My piercing doesn't fit anymore. I'm going to see Justin tomorrow to see what we can do about that....I can't wait! I have so much to do today and tomorrow, but I feel like being lazy. I suppose I should make a to do list and see what all I have to tackle.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Whole Grain Apple Pancakes
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. rolled oats
1/3 c. flax meal
1/3 c. all purpose flour
2 Tbl. whey powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 Tbl. butter, melted
2 Tbl. light molasses
1 large apple, peeled and shredded
1. Combine dry ingredients, including spices.
2. Whisk eggs, add remaining wet ingredients, including vanilla.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
4. Cook on skillet over medium heat.
Well, this weekend I made a few modifications. I cut out the butter and used vegetable oil, only because I was lazy and didn't want to melt the butter. I also cut out the molasses--not to cut out sugar, but because they tend to burn. Instead of apple I used 2 really ripe pears. I just used 2 percent milk, not buttermilk. These pancakes tend to turn out dense and heavy. I'll work on it--I have a few ideas.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Bailey is the cutest thing on Earth. Lately Ross likes to tease her with other "S" words. Yesterday he said "other people's stupid kids" and "scrumptious." She just flinches. He doesn't fake her out. She waits for him to say "Stick 'em up!" before she jumps up (but sometimes she complains loudly that he's making her wait).
Anytime we sleep in she thinks it is the weekend and gets excited. She's been rather confused lately. Yesterday she cried and cried when she realized it was finally the weekend.
This morning I slept in and didn't get a photo of Ross getting her to do her trick, so I put some treats on her plate and had her do it again for photos.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
This is a 6 year old Eastern screech owl.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Leana's, Tim's and Terri's pumpkins.
Tiffany carved Ethan's Jack pumpkin and Robert caved the one on the right.
My beheaded cheerleader pumpkin.
Ross's sad Toad pumpkin. He doesn't want to try again because that would mean more scraping, scooping, peeling, chiseling, and carving.