Monday, February 28, 2011

"And the Oscar Goes to"

 So much excitement and anticipation in those five words! I LOVE it!! We paid tribute to our favorite hobby tonight and I thought I would provide you with pictures! To honor the 10 Best Picture Nominations:

1. Appletini's from The Social Network.
We started the afternoon watching the Before the Red Carpet on E! and then the Red Carpet Coverage on E! and then switched over to the Red Carpet on ABC. I love all the pretty gowns. My favorites: Anne Hathaway, Hailee Steinfeld, Reese Witherspoon, Hillary Swank, and Sandra Bullock.  Some of my least favorites: Annette Benning, Cate Blanchet, Christian Bales (let's all hope that beard is for an upcoming role!), Marisa Tomei, and I hate to even think it but Nicole Kidman (I really did not like the dress).

2.  Venison Stew from The Winter's Bone.
I grew up eating venison but I have not had it in years. I would really like to thank my friends, the Honeysuckles because they are the ones that provided us with the deer meat for this main dish.  It was very yummy!

3. Cheesy Baked Grits from True Grit.
My father loved westerns and watched them all the time! So, it should shock everyone that I had never seen the original True Grit. But I loved the Cohen Brother's version of it.
These Cheesy Baked Grits were so yummy!


4. Salad from The Kids Are All Right.
Seems so simple. Yet the entire time I was watching the movie I wanted to eat the veggies they were showing in the movie.


5. Boston Baked Beans from The Fighter.
I was planning to make baked beans for this category although they really did not go well with my menu. Funny story, at breakfast this morning I asked my extended family if anyone knew the difference between Boston Baked Beans and my baked beans. My Mother In Law said, yeah Boston Baked Beans were candy coated. Funny enough that I had forgotten about these little candy coated peanuts of my childhood. Finding them was a completely different story. I had to go to 5 different stores before I found any Boston Baked Beans.


6. Cake from The Black Swan
Remember the pretty ballerina cake that got thrown away in the movie? Well, there shall be NO cake throwing away in this house! The Short Chic thought the cake was a birthday cake for her, she ran around all day singing "Happy Birthday To Me".


7. Rock Candy from 127 Hours.
Such pretty candy for a movie that made my bones hurt.


8 and 9. Tea from The King's Speech and Inception.
They sure drank a lot of tea in The King's Speech. And can I tell you how happy I am that it won best picture!!! The Academy really does LOVE movies about the Royal Family. But the tea also covered the small scene in the outside cafe in Inception. (by the way, I did re-watch Inception today and still am not sure if I am smart enough to understand it. Don't worry, I felt that way about the whole Matrix series as well.)


and FINALLY, 10. Cool paper products from Toy Story 3.
I honestly had no clue what food to pull from this one. So I opted for a tablecloth, plates, and cups. It added some humor to our night!

Overall impression of the 2011 Oscars....Normally the Best Picture Movie walks away with a lot of other awards, acting and technical. But this year, I felt the winners were all over the place. I think the Academy had a hard time between The Social Network and the King's Speech. I also think when Host James Franco said that picking the shorts was hard, he was absolutely CORRECT. I correctly guessed 16/24. Tracy correctly guessed 18/24.  We ended this movie season, happy. We had good food, good drinks, and good friendship.

Tomorrow starts a new movie year. Happy Watching!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Weekend!!

It's here, It's here!! Oscar weekend is here!! I am almost as excited as I was when I was a teenager and I got a letter in the mail from a boy that I liked! Or when I had my first date with my husband!

For the past 14 years, the Oscars have been one of my hobbies. It started off so innocently, I had actually seen several of the movies that were nominated for Oscars and I discovered that watching the Oscars was more enjoyable if I had knowledge of the movies. So began the quest to see as many nominated pictures that I can. This year when I was creating my "bucket list" I put attending the Oscars on my list.

Over the years it has gotten easier...you get to know what the Academy likes and does not like...sorry Justin Beiber fans, I do not think "Now or Never" will be earning any nominations for best picture. This year I had most of the pictures seen before the nominations were even announced. (Do I need to say that Nomination Day is only second to Christmas morning in my house?)  That includes categories like Best Documentary, Best Live Action Short, Best Costume and not just the obvious Best Picture, Best Leading Actress/Actor, Supporting Actress/Actor or Director.

This year I had some trouble seeing a few movies. My area never showed Biutiful or Rabbit Hole. I have seen all ten of the best picture nominations. I am going to give you my best guess as to who should win:

Leading Actor...Colin Firth in The King's Speech
Leading Actress...Natalie Portman The Black Swan (I do think Annette Benning may walk away with this but I think Natalie rocked her movie).
Best Supporting Actor....Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actress....Melissa Leo
Animated Feature...Toy Story 3
Best Picture...The King's Speech

I hope you are all tuning in on Sunday for the big event. So until I am actually able to attend the Oscar's in person, you know that I will be kicked back with my BFF and partner in this hobby.We shall start early watching the red carpet drinking our Appletini's (as a tribute to The Social Network).  We will continue to watch the awards show and snack on a whole menu based upon the movie (cheesy grits, fish and chips, tea, and ballerina cupcakes).

 As I am typing this I am wondering, do other people celebrate the Oscars? If so, how? How many nominated movies have you seen? Did you have a favorite?  If you have not had a chance to see the best picture nominations, it is not too late. I believe AMC is having their best picture showcase this weekend.

Happy Movie Watching!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Customer Testimonial

This one was taken this past Monday, February 21.
So some time ago I posted that I had been given a product called BioJen 9. I totally feel like this product is working for me! I wrote the company an email and shared a photo of myself with them. They asked permission to use my testimonial and today, they emailed me the following link. As I look at the photo I sent them on January 25, I am still impressed with how much my hair has changed in a month.

Customer Testimonial

Monday, February 21, 2011

Farewell, "Live Music Show Capital of the World"

What a weekend we have had! Thanks in part to the school district and the State honoring President's Day, we had a nice long weekend. So, we made plans to head south to Branson, MO! What a wonderful weekend to be away from home; the weather was so sunny and warm! It was the perfect cure for the winter blues and the cabin fever this family has been experiencing for some time.

The boys spent the weekend with their feet in Lake Taneycombo trout fishing. I spent the weekend hanging with Olivia and sneaking in some scrapbooking every chance I got. The boys caught 7 fish, I finished 16 pages in my 2009 scrapbook. You all know what that means right....I did not go on a fishing trip this weekend and squeezed in some scrapbooking. It means I went on a scrapbooking weekend and Wayne squeezed a little fishing in! (you all know he is not happy about that!)

Most everything else in Branson was closed (their off season is January/February) so we really just hung out at the condo, swam, fished, and shopped at my favorite little scrapbooking store. On our way home, we made a pit stop by Rockaway Beach, MO ( I think a fishing trip here might be in our future). The one thing we did not do while in Branson over the weekend, stay connected to everyone. We have 3 cell phones for the 4 of us and all 3 of us forgot a charger! Then on top of that, my husband forgot his phone at home. So the boy and I fought over the one car charger we had with us!

The one thing I was able to do in Branson (besides scrapbooking) was stay on track with my fitness/health plan.  The last time I was in Branson, I had a growing lump in my throat that was undiagnosed cancer. It served as a constant reminder so much has changed for me since last June, 2010. So, I tackled it. I made really smart food choices for all meals (ok, I did have 1 cheat meal but all the others were REALLY good)! I also exercised while there. For the first time EVER, I not only found the exercise room, I used it. I not only packed a swim suit, I used it. And...the charge I got on my phone did not go to texting friends or catching up on facebook...it went to updating on myfitnesspal.com!  I normally dread hitting the scale the day after a weekend trip, but not this time. I am so looking forward to jumping on the scale tomorrow morning.

Ending with some photos from our trip!

My fishermen. 

The Short Chic enjoyed gathering rocks and sticks while the fishermen got ready to go.

Here are my fishermen in action. Unfortunately the water was running fast making it hard to catch a fish.

Olivia and I at Dicks 5 and 10. First time the kids have been there. 

At the Grand Country Buffet.

This is only one of the teen boys dinner. This is why it is more economical to take teen boys to a buffet!

The Short Chics new bunny. This is what she picked up at the 5 and 10.

Mr. Rock Star Fisherman! When in the Live Music Show Capital of the World, you must wear guitar sunglasses!

It was COLD in Rockaway Beach!

She had little interest in hanging out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Patterns are Hard!

Those people who enjoy exercise, get a rush from it, just totally amaze me! I made a committment on Monday to walk for 30 minutes every day and so far this week, I have kept that committment. In fact, I have made my way into West Virginia on my quest to walk across the USA this year. But, it is STILL a challenge everyday. I have to wonder how long until I become one of those Exercise Fans? Will I ever become a fan?

I am really loving the website http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ . It is so simple to use and has been way easy to track my food intake and exercise.  I am pretty proud of myself for following through with both the walking and the tracking.  However, this still does not touch the biggest accomplishment I have had this week; I have yet to eat red meat.

Research shows that being overweight is a red flag for Cancer. So is a diet high in red meat. I am actively addressing both of these. I have no intent to give up red meat (as I am typing this, a steak sounds so good!) but I do plan to minimize by consumption of it.  I have made some good choices here this week: I opted for ricotta cheese instead of meatballs in my pasta. I opted for a turkey burger instead of a hamburger.

I am weighing in on Monday, and I will let let you all know how I did on the scale this week.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love love! I love that I am here and celebrating another Valentine's Day with my favorite three people; Wayne, Jacob, and Olivia.  I also love sharing love to those around me, so I spent some time yesterday making homemade valentine's to hand out at work today.  Since I am obsessed with tea/tea cups right now, I made these cute little tea cups.

I put a packet of Tazo tea in each cup. The tea flavor was "Passion" and I have to tell you, I made some iced Passion tea for our V-Day dinner and it was so yummy. Even the husband and boy loved it! And the most perfect thing about the Passion flavored tea...it's PINK!

So besides today being full of love and the celebration of love, it is full of something else for me. Today is the day I start my journey to becoming fit and healthy. I have admitted to neurotic thinking since my diagnosis and I am sure this is a continuation. BUT, I am determined to become as healthy as I can be to minimize my risk of getting Cancer again. So, I started walking over lunch. I have resumed  my walk across the USA. I have managed to walk 319 miles.  That puts me somewhere just past Old Town, MD.

So, if I am smart enough, you will soon see a weight loss ticker on my blog. Check it out, ask me about my journey, keep me accountable.

The family saying Happy Valentine's Day to YOU! (oh and The Boy says GO K-STATE!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

8th Grade Dance

Today, I am thankful to have a teenage boy and not a teenage girl. I do realize that one day I will have a teen girl, but not today!

Tonight is the big 8th grade dance for my son's school. It is the school's big celebration that the kids are over half way finished with elementary school and will soon transition to high school. In fact, this past Thursday was freshman enrollment.

While Jacob's "mean" mom made him finish out the school day, many of the young women going to the dance checked out of school early. Many had to tan. Most had to get their nails done. Oh, and you know they all got their hair professionally done. Right now I am wondering, do you hair stylist love this day or dread it?

While the girls were running around getting extra pretty tonight, things on my end were pretty easy. The boy showered. We watched a you tube video on how to tie a tie. Wayne is the only person in our household who knows how and he was not home from work. I actually think I could do it now by myself.  That really is about it. Well, Jacob did probably check and double check his hair a few dozen times.
We made a quick stop by his date's home to take photos and exchange flowers, then off to dinner the young ones went. The boy and his date met up with four others a local Mexican restaurant. Of course, we tagged along as well as the date's mom.





This mom separated from the young one's at the restaurant. They all got a ride from another mom and headed to the dance. They plan to head to the movies after the dance. I hope no adults were planning to see the new Justin Bieber tonight. Of course, they all still need drivers, so you know Wayne and I will be up late driving kids around.

So, one final thought. I want to say thank you to my mom for all the dress making, hair styling, fingernail painting, and driving she did for me!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pravana BioJen 9

 We all love to hear nice things, especially about ourselves. A thank you will go a long way in this ungrateful world.  Praise for a job well done often keeps up motivated to keep going when things get are not going so well.  So if we as individuals enjoy praise, why wouldn't a company like to hear it?

That was my thought when I looked up Pravana and sent them an email. Ihave been so pleased with how well this product has worked at helping me grow my hair back. And it seems to be working quickly! So I wanted the company to know, they have a believer and a faithful consumer in the middle of the USA!

What happened next, shocked me. The company was very  happy to hear from me. They asked permission to use my testimonial and offered to send me more product (whether I said yes to the tutorial or not).
I was so excited to come home and find a package from Pravana in the mail today!

Fairies, Fairies, and more Fairies

I dreamt about fairies last night. I woke up thinking about how to execute this birthday party! I can not tell you how obsessed I am over fairies right now! It is easy to be obsessed, I have the cutest fairy living in my household.

I mean how could you not find that smile infectious? The boy has had years to get to know his mother's crazy obsessive habit of over planning his birthday partie, but the Short Chic, she is still new and has no real idea. I woke up in the middle of the night to tell my husband he needed to find me some grass. We have inches of snow on the ground and I am thinking about grass! Well, if not real grass at least some type of indoor/outdoor carpeting that looks like grass.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Daily Dose of Stupidity and My One Month Check-Up

My morning began at 5:30 a.m. when my sons school called to say that school was IN session today. Seriously!  I was so annoyed I could not fall back to sleep. So, I got up and headed to the computer to catch up on some blogging. Yesterday a blogger I met through the cyber world recommended me to one of her friend's blogs. Her friend is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. So, I was anxious to get to reading. Before I left my bedroom, I thought I had turned my alarm off. Well I did not. So after about 55 minutes of blissful, uninterrupted blog reading, I hear my alarm going off upstairs.

Now my wonderful husband would sleep through a tornado, so I knew there was no way he would get my alarm turned off. I jumped up from my comfy chair to rush upstairs before the blasted alarm woke the entire house. I failed to account for the fact that I had been sitting on my right leg and cutting off the blood circulation. So, when I hopped up and put weight on that foot, I immediately rolled the foot and came crashing down. Then as if that was not bad enough, I attempt THREE more times to get up and bear weight on this useless foot. Each time, I nearly fell over again.

Needless to say, Wayne had to turn the alarm off as I laid on the floor waiting for feeling to return to my foot. I have hobbled around all day on the foot. It still hurts.

It has actually been just over one month since I finished radiation. Today was my first check-up since then. I am happy to say things look good. The Doctor found no scar tissue in my neck. My saliva glands are working better than I could have hoped for, and Dr. Cozad believes they will continue to heal over the next few months. My skin looks great, no longer red and burnt! In the end, I might have some possible hair loss at the right hand side of my head at the base of my neck. As my hair grows back, this really won't be a big deal because the rest of my hair will cover it.

Today as I write this, I feel strong. I feel energetic. I feel healthy!

I do not need to follow up again with Dr. Cozad until February 8, 2012!  I have only a short month until my three month check-up with the Oncologist.

Beyond me: I still say prayers for Cancer patients and for a cure. Well, actually I pray mostly for early detection for all Cancers. I feel we are closer to that one than a cure. Today alone, I have heard of two people that I would like you all to keep in your thoughts.

My dear co-worker Kay's nephew is struggling with esophagus cancer. Kay's family has really taken a hit recently and some good news on the Cancer front would be a great blessing.

Another friend from work, Ashley, told me today of his father's struggle with prostate cancer. This is his fourth re-occurrence of it. If you have been reading my blog, you know that re-occurrence is my worse nightmare. I can not imagine what four times would do to one's outlook. This last round, he had nuclear medicine and it does appear to be working so far. Let's all be hopeful.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Comfort!

Man it is cold today!  I have spent the entire day cold.  On the coldest day of the year by executive order they cut the heat in the building down to 70 degrees. Apparently, this measure will reduce the state's deficit. I personally think it will increase the likelihood that I as well as my coworkers will get sick.

On my way home from work, the car thermostat read 5 degrees! I have spent the day and the evening dreaming of warm beaches and fruity drinks. I would love nothing more than to have my feet buried in hot sand, a good book on my lap, eating fresh guacamole, chips and salsa, with a cold cerveza somewhere. Instead, I am fixing soup.

I came home tonight and made up some Chicken and Dumpling soup from Tastefully Simple. I should tell you, I am not a Tastefully Simple consult (but I do know one). This soup was super easy to make and very taste. If I would have known, I would have made it sooner because it has been in my pantry for a while. My belly is comforted with every bite.

I also can't seem to get enough tea these days. Maybe it is in preparation for The Short Chics birthday party but I am CONSUMED with all things tea.  Bagged tea, loose tea leaves, sugar cubes, and most of  all tea cups. It probably makes no sense to anyone except me, but I just smile and feel good when I see a cute tea cup. Tonight, I am enjoying an Earl Grey in a pink ribboned tea cup from Portugal. My soul is comforted with every sip.

I am knee deep in preparations for The Short Chics birthday. I have decided to make fairy costumes for her and her guest. I have never seen so much tulle as I have in my living room right now. I had no idea how static it can have. I have the green tutu finished, the blue and half of the purple one cut out. Just envisioning these little girls wearing the costumes is keeping me cutting when I am sick of my scissors. (Each tutu takes nearly 12 yards of tulle.)

So, as I have finished my tea while I have written this blog, I now must get back to work.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup; it's whats for super!
How sweet is this cup/saucer??  The Earl Grey was yummy. What are you brewing?

Monday, February 7, 2011

January Birthday's

My niece turned 1 this month! Although I am not her Momma, I will tell a bit of her birth story. My brother's girlfriend has a heart condition and her pregnancy was high risk. I know she spent the last week (if not more) in the hospital trying to prevent Baby 'laska (this is what our short chic calls her) from being born. On a night when my brother was not at the hospital, and not in a cell phone coverage area, her doctors decide it was time to go ahead and take the baby by c-section! Baby Alaska was born several weeks early and very tiny (less than 2 pounds) in the wee hours of the morning. Well, when you look at her birthday photo, I promise you will see no resemblance of the preemie that she was. She is a beautiful little girl and really a happy baby!

We gathered at my mom's for a small family celebration for her birthday. Unfortunately, the short chic had a crazy high fever on the day of her actual birthday and we could not travel to Moberly to be with her.


Alaska was not shy about eating her cake! Or maybe I should say about eating the frosting on her cake. She actually had very little to do with the cake itself!

The next birthday we celebrated was Jacob's. His actual birthday was during the week, so we had a small birthday celebration the day of...then had a family event the Saturday afterwards....then diverted the party with his friends until Super Bowl . I am posting this the day after the Super Bowl party and I can say that while I only drank a cup of iced tea last night, I feel totally hung over. I guess that is how one should feel after a great party is had! We had 10 of Jacob's friends over. We played guessing games with PropGuesses last night (i.e. Who will win the coin toss? Who will score first, Who will call first Coaches Challenge, What color will the Gatorade be that gets dumped on the winning coach?) My party food turned out really good and with a lot of prayers the birthday cake was pretty darned good. Enjoy the photos!
Birthday Breakfast has become a bit of a tradition since Jacob splits households on his birthday.

Since we ordered his birthday present late (ANOTHER new pair of shoes!) we made him a junk food gift box for his birthday. I am very sad to say he consumed all of that junk food in less than a week.

Birthday dinner at Freddy's. The Honeysuckle's joined us. Here is Jacob getting birthday lovin' from his two favorite short chics!

The entire family (well minus a brother or two on my side!) met at Jacob's basketball games and then out to dinner together. We had planned to go to Japanese steakhouse but they were closed from 2:30 to 4:30 and we were there at 3:30. So Pizza Street it was.  The lovely lady in this photo is Jacob's girlfriend, Danielle. She is sporting her brand new braces that were put on that morning.

Two of Jacob's Grandmothers.

The Super Bowl Party: Jacob LOVES chocolate covered pretzels.

Costco's 2 bite brownies with frosting added. In team colors no doubt.

And if you are going to have one team, you have to have both represented.

table decorations. (Can you see my fancy tablecloth?? I used green felt and sewed yardage markers on it and ironed on yardage numbers).
HERE is my tablecloth. I actually did 95% of the sewing myself (which is something I am very proud of) and the numbers were iron-on.

A big bowl of chips for the nacho dip! Wayne also made up hot and sour meatballs, which were so yummy!

Rachel Ray's Steak Sliders (you should so google that recipe!!! easy and tasty!)

Besides PropGuessing, we also did a football grid. Thanks for my wonderful co-worker Donna who makes the BEST flipcharts!

My friend LeAnn helped me make team pennant banners to decorate with. This is the Steeler's colors. We had a room decorated with Green Bay. The boys were all cheering for Green Bay so by default Wayne and I got the Steeler room all to ourselves!

The Boyand his football cake. It turned out well and tasted pretty darned good. Yes, Martha Stewart, I used a box mix.


Next up, in terms of birthday's, is our Short Chic. She will turn THREE years old in under a month. Her party....a fairy tea party. Stay tuned.