March 31, 2010

Wednesday Woes

Wine or Whine. Which one?
Tonight I choose the latter. I had a rough day at work - as now I completely LOATHE children who eat. Because when they eat, they make a mess. When they make a mess, they expect someone else to clean it up. When you ask them to clean up their mess, that obviously means a food fight. Yes - this is the next generation. Ladies and Gentleman, brace yourself. Our future is looking grim in the eyes of the cafeteria. Though I teach high school, I am subjected to performing a duty throughout the day, and that God awful duty is in the cafe. A fate worse than death. I kid you not.
On that LOVELY note, I decided wine just wouldn't cut it tonight - so I decided to just sit and complain about it.

This poem pretty much sums up my day. humph.

Food Fight
We’d never seen the teachers
in a state of such distress.
The principal was yelling
that the lunchroom was a mess.

It started off so innocent
when someone threw a bun,
but all the other kids decided
they should join the fun.

It instantly turned into
an enormous lunchroom feud,
as students started hurling
all their halfway-eaten food.

A glob went whizzing through the air,
impacting on the wall.
Another chunk went sailing out
the doorway to the hall.

The food was splattered everywhere—
the ceilings, walls, and doors.
A sloppy, gloppy mess was on
the tables and the floors.

And so our good custodian
ran out to grab his mop.
It took him half the afternoon
to clean up all the slop.

The teachers even used some words
we’re not supposed to mention.
And that’s how all the kids and teachers
wound up in detention.

Text © Kenn Nesbitt, reprinted from When the Teacher Isn’t Looking published by Meadowbrook Press. Illustration © Mike Gordon.


March 29, 2010

Don't Cage Me

There are moments where I honestly feel trapped. Though I am sure most people feel this way, I'm not sure what to do about it. I don't like the feeling that I am stuck at my job, stuck paying my bills, stuck period. This is in no way a rant, but there are times I wish I had more free time to do the things I dream about. So what inspires me are all the art pieces relating to bird cages. Not only do I feel an emotional connection, but they remind me of something whimsy, magical. All the artwork to the side was found on - I just wish I had space to buy it all and display it!

I am in love. I am in love with this website - Ruche. Everything, and I mean everything, is something that belongs in my closet. Did I mention I would need a new house to replace my closet? Going with the birdcage theme (four stars for themes!), I found this necklace that I NEED. Yes, much like I need water and food - the same type of needing.

It is called Lemon Rose Bird Swing Necklace - handmade! The bird is adorable, and I like the touch of the yellow rose. I would feel a tad guilty buying it for myself, but ho hum. Why not?!

For a whooping $30, I feel like that is a deal. Now....what to wear with it.....

Other bird jewelry that peeked my interest and plucked my heart strings? I love the idea of wall stickers - and how cute are these?
They would look adorable in a girls room, or a craft room....ahhh - I can see it now!

On our front porch these pillows would be a great addition!
Thanks to etsy - finding cute items are so easy peasy. This 50s birdcage pillow would be a great summer purchase.

Buying all of the jewelry I would want, I would need some sort of organizer - I received this from my family last Christmas. I love the style. However, with the amount of necklaces I own, I may need another!
This was from Urban Outfitters, but there are a bunch of different ones available. What I really need is an organizer for earrings, and again at Urban Outfitters I have found my match! Round and round my earrings can spin.

I am a bit dismayed, as my pictures are extremely tiny! Nonetheless, as long as the item itself is bigger than a postage stamp, I am a happy camper!


March 26, 2010

Iconic Cookies

It's Spring time! The flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing (particularly in my front lawn), and the girl scouts are going house to house selling crack (I mean their cookies). They are quite addicting! In fact, I have to hide (and I will not reveal where the hiding spot is!) all the cookies so my husband doesn't finish off the 17 boxes of cookies in one sitting. Anything is possible.
The power of the girl scout cookie. No matter when, or who - the girl scout cookies always always wins. The number-one seller is Thin Mints at 25 percent of the market. More Girl Scout Cookies are sold every year than Oreos and Chips Ahoy, making them the best-selling cookies in the US!!

You might think DESSERT only when you think of these cookies. However, LAtimes reported restaurants claim to use these delicious goodies in their main dishes! Since the months to buy cookies are only Jan -March, people have to jump on the wagon while they have a chance. On the Girl Scout website, there are a bunch of different ways to ingest this deliciousness (not just in cookie form!). This recipe got me at coconut shrimp.

4 extra large shrimp, peeled and veins removed
5 Samoas Girl Scout cookies, finely chopped
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
2 cups flour
1 cup coconut flakes
4 egg whites
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 lime for garnish
Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
Toss coconut flakes with bread crumbs, cayenne pepper and chopped Samoas Girl Scout cookies.Dredge shrimp through flour, followed by egg whites and Samoas Girl Scout cookies mixture.Fry shrimp in vegetable oil at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.
Garnish with coconut flakes and lime wedges.

Combines a few of my favorite things! yum yum.

For salad:
1 package mixed salad greens
6 ounces fully cooked chicken breast strips
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup dried mandarin oranges
1/2 cup Berry Munch salad topping (see recipe below)
Balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

For salad topping:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
11/2 cups pecans
10 Thank U Berry Munch cookies, broken into 1/2-inch pieces

Place salad greens in a serving bowl, scatter toppings on salad and serve with salad dressing.To make salad topping: In a four-cup bowl, stir together honey, oil and orange rind. Add pecans and stir to coat. Add cookie pieces and stir to coat. Spread mixture evenly in greased jelly roll pan or on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Cool.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with Ciabatta bread. Salad topping is tasty on any salad, and is also a great addition to any trail mix.

All these recipes sound so good, it makes me wish I ordered more cookies!!

To end your evening, who doesn't love Thin Mints? To add to that, who wouldn't love a Thin Mint with alcohol?

Dirty Girl Scout
1 oz vodka
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Bailey's
1 oz white creme de menthe

Mix (though it looks gross!), tastes great! I'm sure this drink has a multitude of names, but since we are on the subject of girl scouts - I figured I would change it around.

I was a Brownie, then a Girl Scout - so I will end this with the Girl Scout Motto:

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law. (and eat lots of cookies!)

**Thanks to Natalie Dee for the amusing Girl Scout cartoon**


March 19, 2010

Let's flock together

It's that time of the year again! Spring. Birds are churping. Flowers are a'bloomin. Bees are buzzing.

More importantly, I am finding many reasons to brighten and freshen up our house. This mug may fill that void in the early morning for me :)

Found at Sur La Table (one of my favorite websites to "window"shop), the mug is very much affordable as it is cute.

If you know me, and know my cabinet, you will be familiar with my fondness of mugs. They are spilling out of our cabinet! So much, that Mr. "accidently" dropped one. I am onto him and his ways!

Ed Hardy designed a Sparrow mug that very much resembles the tattoo I would have liked to get in I feel it isn't me. But perhaps someone I was.

I love this design because I really like the heart on the end of the tail - it for whatever reason reminds me of the Queen of Hearts (by FAR my favorite character in Alice in Wonderland).

Ed Hardy is a concept I don't quite understand - as the brand seems to have taken over the every market, from wines to window stickers. It really is quite amazing. Again, not so much my style - but I do like this drinking cup.

Lastly, my love for mugs and birds have co-mingled and created this website:

There are so many items on here, that if I had the walls, I would decorate from top to bottom. My favorite artist on this site is Karen Anderson. I like that she uses nature to create nature/inspiring whimsy items. Karen says, “After sketching a design idea, I head out to my garage-studio, where my power tools reside. I cut and sand the piece (or pieces) I will need from aspen wood. Then it is back to my indoor studio to work on the next steps of the process of drawing the design, wood burning to etch the image, use acrylic paints to color the designs, and finish it off with an acrylic sealer. The whole process, from start to finish, is done by one person--me!”

As soon as I saw this, I thought of my grandmother - who believes in singing loud, even if not singing well. The colors are bright, the picture is adorable -and very much affordable.

Check out the website!


March 18, 2010

Bake Me Pretty and Sweet

At work, there is a long list of things I should be doing. Key word - should. Instead, I am finding topics to blog about...all of which leave me feeling hungry or pained because I lack the finances to purchase all my findings.

To add to my themed "Tea Party" un-birthday, I have found Teacupcakes. They are adorable. The only problem I find is that the package comes in four, which wouldn't be enough for a party - you would need to spend hundred of dollars to buy enough to make tea with your dozen cupcakes. Nonetheless, this just may be my next purchase.

My new favorite website is Bake It Pretty - and if I could quit my day job (though I love teaching!) and run off to be a baker's assistant, I don't think I would hesitant (too much!).

My favorite Easter items from this website are the following:

How cute!!!!!Though I am a little late in ordering these items, I think they would have been super adorable! Oh well, there is always next year!

Happy Spring! Happy Easter!


March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day to the Non-Irish!!

I am not Irish, and sadly, I will never be. However, that doesn't mean that I can't celebrate! Any reason to throw a party or decorate, works for me. (And I suppose through marriage, I am very much Irish!). I can't believe I am attempting this to the public, but I don't know who St. Patrick is/was, and why people celebrate this day. To me(being un-Irish), I have always known this to be a day filled with good cheer and green beer. Clearly, I am missing something.

Putting the green dye aside, and for me that is hard (as I like to dye everything green starting March 1st), I have found the easiest recipe.

Last night I attempted to make my own Irish Soda Bread, and with only six ingredients, it seemed too easy!

Adapted from
Easy Irish Soda Bread

4 cups of flour
4 tablespoons of white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, white sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in egg and buttermilk (1 cup). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes into clean, about 30-50 minutes. You may continue to brush bread while it bakes.

I am proud to say that the bread was delicious!!

Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day!!


March 16, 2010

Sleep Needed

I am unsure whether or not the time change truly effected me, but I am extra tired. To a point where I might be able to fall asleep at my desk with a room full of children. What can I do? Blogging doesn't even seem to help. THIS is a problem, if I do say so.

Today I am suppose to discuss movies, but I honestly haven't been awake enough to watch a full movie through. However, I recently watched "Where the Wild Things Are", and I was pleasantly surprised. I was afraid it would be too out there (if that makes sense). But I loved it. I laughed. I cried. I cried some more. It was just as eerie, magical, and fantastic as I hoped for.

Max is a character that most children, and adults could relate to. This is an adaption of Maurice Sendak's classic story, where Max, a misbehaved boy is sent to bed without dinner, and creates a world of his own. In the movie version, viewers get the impression that Max feels alone in the world, even when he is surrounded by people. He has a wild imagination, which allows him to escape to a place where he is King. The movie captures the uncontrolled behaviors of the boy, as he reacts to his family, who pay little attention to him. He wears a ratty old costume, though he is too old to be dressing up. He hides away in this outfit, pretending to be places in his head. After a terrible fight with his mother, he runs away, stumbles upon a rowboat which leads him to this barren land filled with odd shaped creatures.

The monsters are amazing. I couldn't get over the costumes, and how wonderfully imaginative the design was. I remember reading this book as a child, and after watching the movie I wanted to go back and reread this. I didn't remember it being so sad! Though it is based on a children's book, I wouldn't necessary say this is a children's movie. The plot line is deep, and some parts could be deemed as frightening. As a child, I always found this book to be sad, dark and depressing at times. However, at the end of the paper version, there is a shred of hope for Max, when he wakes up and realizes that time has stood still while he was on his adventure. However, in the film version, I ended the movie still feeling upset for the boy. I am not sure what was truly resolved. The boy, who felt abandoned by his family, and reacted to their lack of attention in the real world, was a leader amongst monsters in his fictional world. He had to take on the role of a parent, tending to the monsters' problems and needs. They looked up to him for guidance and support. A heavy role for a child. If you are looking for a "feel-good" movie, this isn't it. However, the characters on Max's island represent a twisted mix of his family and his twisted view of himself. This is a story exemplifies the power to forgive, and the healing powers of reconciliation for families by wounded children.

I don't know if this is a movie I could see again and again, but it is definitely something worth watching at least once. It may bring you back to a point in your life where you felt small, abandoned, and unneeded. This movie captures that feeling, and makes every character, big or small, lovable.


March 10, 2010

The World Spins On

Another spins out of this world. Corey Haim. He was someone I remember when I was younger, and thought was just adorable. I found out this morning - that he has passed away. I don't know why I am saddened by this, but I am.

It could be that I secretly was obsessed with vampires, as I had memorized (and probably still could recite) the entire movie of Buffy and the Vampire Slayer. With that being said, Lost Boys came in as a close second.

Other movies Corey Haim starred in:

License to Drive - This was an amusing movie about boys getting their license at 16 (which in my state of NJ - is unheard of!), and all the trouble that comes with it. I love that Heather Graham is in this, as I didn't even realize it until I went back and watched it again.

Dream a Little Dream -
I haven't seen this movie in years. But I remember it better a romance comedy - something I am a sucker for. A little elder/young soul body switch-a-roo? I may have to rent it and take a watch again.

Though I am not surprised by his death, in fact - I was surprised he was still alive. But it blows my mind how fragile people are, and most people don't handle their lives with care.

Here's to those that are gone. May they be in a better place, without pain, without sorrow. May others learn from their mistakes.


March 08, 2010

Doctor Brother

Today is a good day. Fantastic day in fact. My younger brother, whom I have not lived near in over 10 years, will be moving within 20 minutes of me! He just received word just now of where he will have his residency (medical school), and I am delighted to find that he will be so close! How wonderful! Therefore, this post is dedicated to him.

Why get a foot massage when you can put these slippers on and get the ultimate therapy?
For $24? So funny. So cute.

Need an IV? How about settling for an IV ice/hot pack. I seem to have a collection of creative ice packs in my freezer. Not sure why I have so many, because I don't bump body parts that often. But among my frozen fish, Mister Mr, and Hello Kitty ice packs, I might be able to make room for this.

This is just what the doctor ordered.

Calling all newborns! I didn't baby outfits would get any cuter, but I couldn't resist writing about this when I found it. I don't know anyone who would find use for this right now, but it is simply adorable! My favorite part to this outfit is the "stethoscope graphic casually slung around the neck, and an embroidered pocket with pen to write those teeny tiny prescriptions." At Royal Baby Boutique, a little Baby M.D. will surely warm hearts :)

Don't listen to your mom - Germs can be fun! How else can you give your friends gonorrhea, Rabies, and chicken pox without having some major explaining to do?! Microbes are fun for all ages! Get your hands on the swine flu, gangrene, toxic mold, and a variety of other gross and disgusting germs and diseases. Afterwards, wash your hands. Don't forget to rinse, lather, repeat.

Here here to my lil brother!! Congrats to your new position, and your next chapter of your life!! Love you tons!!


March 04, 2010

Flapjack Paddywack

I didn't realize that in England, they have a Pancake Day. I am apparently 20 days too late! To celebrate (late) I found these recipes for pancakes that simply make my mouth water.

From HungryGirl:
Strawberry Short Stack
(entire recipe): 289 calories,
1.75g fat, 471mg sodium,
60.5g carbs, 7.5g fiber, 7g sugars,
14g protein
POINTS®value 5*


1/3 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tbsp. old-fashioned oats

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)

Dash salt

1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute(like Egg Beaters Original)

1 tbsp. light vanilla soymilk

2 tbsp. sugar-free strawberry preserves

1/2 cup sliced strawberries

1/4 cup Cool Whip Free, thawed Optional: Fat Free Reddi-wip,

sugar-free pancake syrup


To make the batter, combine flour, oats, baking powder, sweetener,

and salt in a bowl. Add egg substitute, soymilk, and

2 tbsp. water. Mix well and set aside.

Place preserves in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke for

20 seconds, until softened and warm. Stir into pancake batter

until thoroughly integrated.

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat.

Add half the batter to form a large pancake. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes,

until pancake begins to bubble and is solid enough to flip.

Gently flip and cook for an additional 1 - 2 minutes, until both sides are

lightly browned and inside is cooked through. Plate your pancake and

set aside. Remove skillet from heat, re-spray, and return to med heat.

Repeat with remaining batter to make a second pancake, and then

set that aside as well. While pancakes cool slightly, combine

strawberries with Cool Whip in a bowl and lightly stir.

Spoon this mixture evenly over one pancake, and then place the

second pancake lightly on top. If you like, add a squirt of Reddi-wip

and a drizzle of pancake syrup.


Gimme S'more Pancakes
PER SERVING (entire recipe): 281 calories, 3.25g fat, 523mg sodium, 52g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 14.5g sugars, 13g protein -- POINTS®value 5*

Melty, chocolatey s'mores in pancake form?! S'mokin'!!!!!

1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like
Dash salt
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
1 tbsp. light vanilla soymilk
1/2 tbsp. mini semi-sweet
chocolate chips
10 mini marshmallows, halved
1/2 tbsp. Hershey's Lite
chocolate syrup
2 tbsp. Fat Free Reddi-wip
1/2 sheet (2 crackers) low-fat
honey gm crackers, crushed

To make the batter, combine flour, baking powder,
sweetener, and salt in a bowl. Add egg substitute, soymilk,
and 2 tbsp. water.

Mix thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips.
Stir in halved marshmallows, adding them slowly
and individually so they don't stick to each other.
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to med heat.
Add half the batter to form a large pancake. Cook for 2 - 3
minutes, until pancake begins to bubble and is solid enough
to flip. Gently flip and cook for an additional 1 - 2 minutes,
until both sides are lightly browned and inside is cooked
Plate your pancake and set aside. Remove skillet from heat,
re-spray, and return to medium-high heat. Repeat with
remaining batter to make a second pancake. Stack your
pancakes and top them with chocolate syrup,
Reddi-wip, and crushed graham crackers.


Strawberry Puff Pancake

Bake a puffy pancake and
impress your brunch bunch
with a delicious fruity treat.
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 45 min
Makes: 8 to 10 servings

2/3cup water
1/4cup butter or margarine
1cup Original Bisquick® mix
1to 2 cans (21 oz each) strawberry pie filling
Print these coupons...
About Concordance™
1.Heat oven to 400°F. Generously grease 13x9-inch
(3-quart) glass baking dish or pan. In 2-quart
saucepan, heat water and butter to
boiling. Reduce heat to low. Add baking
mix all at once; stir vigorously about 1 minute
or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat.
2.With spoon, beat in eggs, 2 at a time, until
dough is smooth and glossy after each addition.
Spread in pan (do not spread up sides).
3.Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed
and dry in center. Immediately after baking,
spread pie filling over pancake. Cut
into rectangles. Serve immediately.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pancake
Simply mix peanut butter and mini chocolate chips in with regular
batter! yum yum. and a large glass of milk :)

These are DEFINITELY not diet material, but delicious nonetheless!
Thanks to Taste Of Home:

Apple Sausage Pancakes Recipe

Apple Sausage Pancakes Recipe
Photo by: Taste of Home

  • 1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup shredded peeled apple
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter


In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat

until no longer pink; drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg, milk and oil.

Stir in pancake mix and cinnamon just until moistened.

Fold in apple and sausage.

Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly

greased hot griddle;

turn when bubbles from on top. Cook

until second side is golden brown.

For syrup, combine the sugar,

cornstarch and pumpkin pie

spice in a saucepan. Gradually stir

in cider and lemon juice until smooth.

Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or

until thickened. Remove from the heat;

stir in butter until melted.

Serve warm with the pancakes.

Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 egg
• 1 cup milk
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar,
baking powder and salt. Pour in the milk, oil, egg, brown
sugar and vanilla, and mix until well blended. Stir in the

2. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, and
coat with butter or cooking spray. Pour batter into desired
size of pancakes. Flip with a spatula when bubbles appear
in the center. Cook until golden brown on the other side.

**I love when you go to restaurants and they make smiley faces for you out of your cakes. I didn't realize the wide array of pancake molds out there in the wide world. Speaking of wide world....what if your pancakes came from outer space? Thanks to Outer Space Molds at Williams Sonoma you can have alien cakes!

I hope pancakes are in my future! Happy Eating!