Friday, March 6, 2009

today's to do list

today's to do list read like a week long to do list and i hate to say i am no where near finished. tomorrow i will be gone almost all day between the baby shower, work, then a birthday party. and everything is scheduled back to back with only time to change clothes in between them and most likely changing at work multiple times. i am super tired and promise to get back to posting by sunday.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

peanut butter cookies

i got this recipe from for peanut butter cookies since i was in the mood for a classic food from my childhood. I did make some changes from the recipe. here's the original recipe:

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.

and, here's how i made mine:

i didn't have unsalted butter, so i used salted butter and just a pinch of salt instead of 1/2 tsp of salt. there is an additional problem in that when my dear boyfriend did our grocery shopping and i said i needed butter, he came back with this
. that's right, a whole 1 lb block of butter. i was a bit befuddled with how to measure this. i ended up literally shaving off small bits of it into a measuring cup and packing it down til it looked like almost a cup. i truly think other than the process of baking all the cookies in batches, this may have been the most time intensive part of the process. he may have saved a bit of money, but in the end it really truly was not worth it.

so to the poorly measured butter, i added my peanut butter. however, i hate and i cannot stress this enough hate crunchy peanut butter. i am a creamy peanut butter girl all the way. so, i used the last bit of crunchy peanut butter maybe 1/3 a cup of crunchy to 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter. that way there were still a few bits of peanuts in the cookies.

next, i added the eggs and mixed it all together thoroughly.

then, i added all the dry ingredients but the flour.

despite what the recipe calls for, i still sifted the flour as i added it to the mix. i always sift my flour. then, after stirring it all together, i let the batter set in the fridge for an hour or so(i finished an episode of survivor up waiting and began hell's kitchen.)
i made them into 1 inch balls as the recipe indicated.
and then, my favorite part, made the criss cross pattern with a fork on them.
however, this makes gianormous cookies as they spread out significantly while baking. so, with the next batch i reduced the size a bit so they wouldn't smush together like this. and, i found that even though cooking times seem to need to be longer normally in my oven for this recipe, i had to shorten the cooking time down to 6-7 minutes per batch. i did end up with 7 dozen cookies instead of 4 like the recipe states. but, they were yummy and soft unlike a lot of peanut butter cookies.

today's free stuff 3/5/09

free kellogg's all bran product after mail in rebate
free sample of betty crocker mini delights
free copy of tiger 2.0
free diabetes friendly cooking dvd use promo code pcfm
free resume printing at fed ex office up to 25 black and white one sided copies on resume quality paper on march 10th just bring a hard copy or digital copy of your resume

have i been a bad role model?

we have two cats,belle and kitty, which we consider our children. much like parents, we spend way too much time talking about their antics. kitty is the youngest and may i add named by my boyfriend who thought it was a funny name. she has been trained by him to play fetch and high five. cute tricks aside apparently as we discovered this morning, i have not done a good enough job of teaching her to be a lady. she had seated herself in the front window and was washing her butt with her butt facing out the window for the whole world to see. when we spoke to her to stop which she normally replies to, the look she gave was much like this.apparently she wanted the world to see her girl parts and how much pride she was taking in cleaning them. she kept at it for a good 10 minutes. i must admit we could not stop laughing at her.

this is not the first time i have been embarrassed/amused by a cat. when i was in college, our family cat, mouser made a bit of a scene on a visit to the vet. the vet took her temperature rectally which did not sit well with her at all. she immediately jumped down and went to the bathroom on the floor. the flooring was that laminate tile that looks like sand which apparently was what she thought it was. she tried to scratch the floor over her mess to no avail. i was both laughing and crying at the same time in front of the new cute young vet.

free silver jewelry

well, not entirely free you do have to pay shipping. but really for 100% silver jewelry, its worth the small price. and, perfect for me as i almost exclusively wear silver jewelry. last summer, woman's day did an article on saving money that featured the article mentioned that they feature free silver jewelry with real gemstones for just the price of shipping only $ 6.99. however when i went to check it out, i forgot the exact web address and simply typed in i was surprised that it was a similar program there except the shipping $ 7.95 and they do not feature real gemstones. i ended up purchasing some earrings through as they had some designs i really liked. the three pair i bought all retailed for $59.99, so i really felt like i was getting quite a bargain.

baby shower games

once again i have been tasked with coming up with games for a baby shower. this is not my first time having this task. in fact, i have done it so many times that i have never once won a prize at a baby shower game. however, it has been a while. so, i thought i would search the net to get some more ideas. i did have to amend my games list since the baby was already born and eliminate one of my faves guess mommy's tummy size game. the mom requested the rice and diaper pin game. i am not entirely sure how this works but from what has been explained to me you fill a bowl or jar with diapers and pins and guests try to pick as many pins while blindfolded with tongs since the rice and pins appear the same.
my top game picks are
1. don't say baby game. everyone is given a clothespin, diaper pin, or ribbon with a baby themed party favor on it(i've used a mini size plastic pacifier with a ring on it tied into a necklace made with curling ribbon.) i prefer either the necklace or clothespin since they don't ruin people's clothes. the goal is not to say baby. whenever someone gets caught saying baby, the person who catches them takes the clothespin, necklace, etc. the person who ends up with all the clothespins, etc. wins. this may take all or most of the shower to finish.

2. the baby food game. you will need to purchase several baby food flavors. this is especially funny if you pick odd flavors like prunes. you need to take off the labels and number each of the baby food bottles and make a key of what each one is. you can do this one of two ways. people can guess just by smelling and looking at the color, but for more fun, i recommend giving guests some plastic spoons and letting them taste the baby food. you really want a camera handy for pics of some of their reactions. guests write down their guesses and the guest with the most correct wins the prize.

3. the dirty diaper game. you will need a few disposable or cloth diapers and several different candy bars. you need to mush the candy bar into the diaper and number the diapers. i find if using cloth diapers since you don't want to number the diaper, you may want to put it into a paper bag that is numbered. you need to make a key as to which diaper is which candy bar. the guest then try to guess which dirty diaper is which candy bar and the one who guesses correctly the most wins.

4. guess the number of pins game. this works really well if the mom to be will be using cloth diapers since she can keep them after the shower. fill a jar with diaper pins and let guests guess the correct number and the winner gets a prize.

5.thank you note not really game. i really like this idea as a way of helping mom to be get ahead on the thank you notes dept. it is not really a game but a good opportunity to give a small prize. as guests arrive, hand them pens and envelopes for thank you cards. have the guests then put their address on the envelope. set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes and when it goes off have the mom to be pick on of the addressed envelopes from a bowl or box and give the picked name a small prize.

here are what i found to be the most helpful sites:
14 baby shower games with cute pics
list of 50 baby shower games
141 baby shower games
50 active baby shower games

freebies for As

i am a freebie fanatic. i have come across several business that offer free products for kids for As on their report card. these may not benefit me, but i am sure there are a lot of moms who can use them. i would just recommend calling ahead to make sure your local store is part of the national promotion as some of these stores have franchises which may not participate. sounds like great incentives for good performance for kids.

krispy kreme offers a free dougnut for each A a child recieves

blockbuster offers a free kid/family rental for As

chick-fil-a offers programs when linked to local schools for perfect attendance and honor roll check with your school to see if they are linked or to get them to participate.

bob evans often passes out coupons for free kids meals to schools for honor roll students ask your local bob evans if they can include your school.

chuck e cheese offers free tokens for report cards up to 15 free tokens. 3 for each A, 2 for each B, and 1 for each C.

limited too offers free $5 gift card for a good report card.

cheryl's cookies offers free cookie for each A up to 6 free cookies.

pizza hut's 3 As program offers kids a free personal pan pizza and kids drink for kids who earn at least 3 As on their report card.

mcdonald's also appears to have various programs for report cards from free fries to happy meal.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

last night at karaoke

despite all the drama, i still had a good time at karoke and happily celebrated john lee's birthday. and despite being totally congested and sounding like i was underwater, i still sang. i mean karaoke is about having fun not trying out for american idol. janet and i paul may be singing but i am wondering what could drew be thinking about so hard.

paul and i took this pic ourselves perhaps thats why it looks like the flash blinded uspaul and john lee aren't they cute togetherme cheesin for the camera
trav and i
trav gets a little unsolicited help on o what a beautiful morning from oklahoma

the storm of the century

ok so that may be overstating things. i didn't get an opportunity with work to get any pics of the ice storm this weekend. however, my friend paul sent me some pics from his house which is maybe 10 minutes from me. thought i would share them, so y'all can see how ridiculous things were around here.

my baby shower haul of presents mainly from the dollar store

the baby shower for my best friend's grandbaby is this saturday. so, i decided to hit up the dollar store for some great baby stuff. i assumed i would just be able to get the things mommies can never have enough of like baby oil, lotion, powder, etc. boy was i surprised by their baby offerings.
i got this super cute fleece blanket which is perfect for the jungle/safari theme.
and another baby blanket cause i loved the color and how soft it is. plus, i tend to be of the belief that one can never have enough blankets even for a baby.
i picked up a couple of packs of these seasame street baby wipes.
i got a couple of these onesies in different sizes for baby madox as he grows. they had a ton of pink ones and other girly designs, so i ended up with plain white for baby madox as he's a lil boy.
i was super pleased to see baby washclothes in vibrant colors not pastels. i think the vibrant colors work better with the theme.
baby socks were available in a variety of colors, so i went with navy to go with the lion onesie i had already purchased.
i was over the moon for this too cute bib.
and, of course i picked up some of those can't live without baby supplies like petroleum jelly. what a haul and all for only a buck each.

the academy awards were last week, weren't they

i love my friends. i really do. but, right now, two of them are driving me nuts. hence, the no more drama twittering last night. by now, several hours later, i must say i am done with the drama. all the texting and phone calls have now not only frazzled my nerves but worn out my phone to the point that it is sitting on the charger trying to recover. you see the two of the broke up almost a month ago but somehow it exploded this week especially last night. i am caught in the middle being friends with both and both feel the need to vent about the other to me. i am a bit too old for the constant texting though. and, i am not into the whole battle of the exes thing. it's not really my style when i deal with breakups personally. and, with friends, i hate feeling caught in the middle. so, after almost a full day of this behavior at high speed and almost a month of on and off bickering, i am ready to tell both of them to stop it. they really are being childish each accusing the other of cheating, threatening to get restraining orders, etc. i feel a bit too mature to have to explain to friends this is uncomfortable, but i guess i do. any suggestions for how to best deal with this?

today's free stuff 3/4/09

free dvd rental at redbox use code dvdonme or 75EA16 good for today only
free coupon printout for free bag of riceworks chips
free coupon printout for free caramel mocha at bob evans
free tix for screening of miss march in select cities
free tropical tea sample
free gardening gloves from preen for taking survey

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

snow, snow everywhere and not a bit plowed

i was beyond ticked off at the road conditions when i left for work monday morning. not only had my road not been plowed, neither had it appeared any of the roads on my way to work. a silly complaint considering we had between 4-6 inches at 6 am when i took off with more snow still coming if you live up north where people are used to driving on snow. however, this is virginia, and we tend to freak out at the first snow flurry. the road situation was further complicated by an ice storm just on saturday which had not had enough time to melt before the snow hit. the route i ended up having to take was going the opposite direction i needed to go to work first to avoid hills before crossing over to a major road. along the way, i heard an announcement on the radio that vdot(virginia dept of transportation) had decided to wait to plow the roads until after the snow stopped. this announcement absolutely enfuriated me. many non government, non salaried workers still have to go to work regardless of the weather conditions. especially in these difficult economic times taking off work for those of us who need ou hourly pay(and in my case tips) is just not an option like those who are salaried and can just take off and still get paid. decisions like this make me as a taxpayer feel less important to the government as if the poor are once again being discriminated against.

today's free stuff 3/3/09

free just for men touch of grey after mail in rebate
free 1 oz sample roscea relief from kopec
free sample of bald guyz grooming product
free sample degree men's deoderant
free sample aveda color conserve treatment
free tote bag from nature source
free st pauli girl poster
free ziploc fresh sheild bag sample
free subscription to roadracing world magazine
free baltimore orioles tix for your birthday
freebies from allure at noon est each of the next 3 days 1st 500
free $20 gift card from dillyeo today only
free coupon printout for free large popcorn at imax theaters

Monday, March 2, 2009

today's free stuff 3/2/09

free sample of loreal everpure register if not a member or sign in if you are and go to my special offers they also have several coupons
free gift from plus white for registering with their website
free idea book for educators from a & e
free redbox rental with code MS72K3 good for today only
free snore stop sample
every 5th person wins a free easter book from lhm
free tonsilectomy recovery kit for kids 18 and under includes free 6 pack of edy's popsicles, coloring book, crayons, key chain, and bracelet
free t-shirt and possible tickets from bleacher brothers
free indiana pacers fan pack
free subscription to baby talk magazine
free sample dunkin dark coffee

Sunday, March 1, 2009

today's free stuff 3/1/09

free appetizer at romano's macaroni grill
become a glambassador and be the first to test new products and learn about special offers from glamour magazine

a real snowfall

appears we are finally getting our first real snow in virginia, something worth talking about. i'm excited, because i love the snow. and, it means more hours for me at work. people always call out when it snows. but, since i am so close, i have no choice but to go in. more hours means more opportunity to make money. yippee. here's some pics taken in the snow around my yard.snow covered daffodils
dogwood tree, our state tree
our lightpost as snow falls
the front of our house
a closeup on snow laden tree branches