Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BurghBaby's 9/11 Flight 93 Memorial Fund

I can't believe that I'm such a schmuck that I didn't link this sooner. Well, I can, because I'm pretty sure I don't have many readers, and those I do have seem to frequent the same blogs as I do, but really, that's no excuse. I'm still a schmuck.

post about remembering 9/11 is a touching reminder of the tragedy of 9/11. We should always remember the sacrifices made for this country on that day, and also we should remember the lives lost. She has offered to donate all of her September revenue to the Flight 93 Memorial Fund. Revenue is determined by page views, so head over to BurghBaby's blog and start clicking!

As a bonus incentive, today's post is a one-day contest. While you're visiting her site, doing your part to add to the Memorial Fund, leave a comment on today's post mentioning what item (or items) you would like to win mentioned in her post, and have your name put in a hat for a chance to win!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Five - 9/26/2008

Here's todays Friday Five. I'm trying to get back on the ball and start posting again. Hopefully it works.

1. When did someone last break something of yo
urs? Hmm...the only thing coming to mind at the moment is the glass pendant that my cat Loki knocked off the shelf and broke off the part that threads onto the chain. I've got to figure out another way to make it wearable.

2. When did you last play hackysack, if ever? Hmm...it's been a while, but I want to say sometime during my first year of college, so late 2002-2003.

3. What was your most dramatic haircut like?
When I was in first grade I had my hair cut short so I could spike it on top, as was popular with the young boys in the late '80s and early '90s. My best friend Josh had his hair cut like that, and I wanted to be like him. After that, I let my hair grow - it was lower back length and straight. In 2005, I had it all chopped off and donated it to locks of love. I ended up with hair that was only 1-2 inches long. It was a dramatic change for me.

4. Hacking is basically breaking through the security that protects a computer or a website. What’s the closest you’ve come to doing something similar in real life? I logged in to my ex-boyfriends e-mail account; however, I had the password, so I doubt that counts.

5. In the world of stand-up comedy, a hack is a comic who steals jokes from other comics. Have you ever known a hack in your own field? In my opinion, graphic designers are all hacks in some way or another. It's hard to be original in an oversaturated field. Even if you create something you think is original, there's a huge chance someone else has already made something so similar to yours that you can't truly prove it's original. It's common to take someone elses design and modify and rebuilding to fit your needs. The modifying/rebuilding usually protects us from copyrights. So - we modify the ideas, but we could still be considered hacks when it comes down to it.

As always, the Friday 5 questions were taken from Friday5.org. If you join the fun, be sure to let me know so I can add you to the link list! And don’t forget to send those questions in that you’re itching for us to answer! Don’t worry, we’ll gladly pimp your blog for the effort.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Recipe - Chili/Bean Dip

This recipe is rather versatile. It can be used as a party food, but there have been many nights when I don't really feel like cooking much so I'll whip this up fast. There is two variations to this recipe, one with just beans, and one with chili, so I'll let you decide which you'd like to try. (I prefer the chili dip myself.) Additionally, you may add optional toppings once you've melted the cheese. We usually set out salsa, hot sauce and sour cream and everyone can add whatever they prefer to their dip.

Bean Dip Ingredients:
2 packages cream cheese, softened
2 cans chili beans
1 package (2 cups) shredded cheddar or taco cheese
Tortilla chips for dipping

Chili Dip Ingredients:
2 packages cream cheese, softened
2 cans or 1 large jar (26 oz) chili
1 package (2 cups) shredded cheddar or taco cheese
Tortilla chips for dipping

Optional toppings:
Hot sauce
Sour cream
Green onions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a 13"x9" pan. Spread softened cream cheese in bottom of pan. Pour chili beans/chili over cream cheese. Top with cheese. Bake until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Before-bed musings

It really seems that apartment hunting sapped me of all of my energy. I have been unable to focus and keep a clear head for the past two days. Of course, that isn't really a very good excuse for my lack of motivation, but it's the best one I've got.

I've been trying to write something interesting and meaningful, and I just end up staring at the screen. It's been the same for work as well. I need to get my head back out of the clouds.

Here's hoping that going to bed at 9:30 will help me feel well rested in the morning. If that doesn't, then I don't know how I'm going to get through the next few days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Apartment Search - Final Outcome

The husband and I have secured an apartment in Irwin, PA (just south of Monroeville via the turnpike). We will be moving in around October 10th. I am so relieved that we are done with the search - it was really taking up most of our time.

Zach started his new job today, and I'm hoping that all is going well.

Updates should resume on a more regular basis shortly - once I get caught up on everything else. Thanks for tolerating my crappy update schedule!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Apartment Search - Day 1

Apartment search day 1 was rather unsuccessful. One place seemed promising but they only had one apartment available, and it was on hold. We were told that they would call if it freed up, but I don't know if we have time to wait. We want to move ASAP to minimize the amount of driving Zach would have to do to get to and from work.

We have some other places in mind that we plan on checking out, but we decided to take a break today, as we've already spent the past two days in Monroeville.

So - no news yet. Hopefully something affordable will pop up here soon, and it won't be a horrible place to live.

Thursday Recipe - 3-Chip Cookies

These cookies are meant for the chocolate lover. They include three kinds of chocolate chips, and are some of my favorite comfort food.

This recipe makes somewhere near 4 dozen cookies I believe, as the original recipe was meant to make jumbo cookies. I've found that even though this recipe uses quite a bit of butter, the cookies can still stick to the pan, so I disregard the part about using an ungreased cookie sheet, instead lightly greasing the sheet for easier removal. I would reccommend testing a batch with the cookie sheet ungreased, and if you find they stick, then go ahead and grease them.

4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups butter, softened
1 ¼cups sugar
1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda in medium bowl. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar in large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by the spoonful 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. (If you want jumbo cookies, drop ¼ cup dough onto cookie sheet 2-4 inches apart.)

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

So, this is a quick update to say I don't know when I'm going to be able to update. I know it's lame, but we have a good excuse, if one exists! Zach got a job as a long-term substitute in Monroeville and for once we should have some decent money coming in. We need to get back into a place of our own for our sanity. Also being as he doesn't want to drive 1.5 hours to work and back every day, we're looking for places to live. So the next few days are going to be busy for us.

Sorry for the few of you that do actually read this - I'll post updates as I can. Recipe will be up tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Late Friday 5

Sorry for the very late/ very lame answers here, folks. Things have been busy the past few days. Unfortunately nothing worth writing about though. Just the usual things that get in the way.

Who lets you have your way more than you should? My husband,

According to the cliche, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but what’s the way to yours?
Food works. Or gifts. I'm not picky.

What’s something that should have been put away but hasn’t been? 90% of what's laying around the room. Part of the problem is no place to put stuff.

When did you last weigh yourself? It's been months, and I'm sure I don't want to know at this point.

What do the cops in the donut shop say? "I'll take the bear claw, please"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Recipe - Vegetable Pizza

The recipe I'm posting today is Vegetable Pizza. This is something that my family makes for reunions and get-togethers. We use a mix of fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, olives, and green pepper. Any variation of vegetables can be used to top this with, depending upon your preference.

2 packages crescent rolls
1 cup mayonnaise
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (dry mix)
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 package shredded carrots
1 can olives, sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 package (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375°. Set cream cheese out to soften. Spread crescent rolls out on ungreased cookie sheet, pressing together to make a crust. Bake for 14-19 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Set crust aside to cool, for approximately 30 minutes. While waiting for crust to cool, prepare vegetables.

Mix together mayonnaise, cream cheese, and ranch dressing mix. Spread over cooled crust. Top with remaining ingredients, adding cheese last. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

R.I.P. Aunt Ellen

My (great) Aunt Ellen passed away this weekend. The events following a death in the family always drain me more than I expect them to. I wish I could put the following more eloquently than I can, but at least it's being said.

She was a genuine ray of sunshine; petite, polite, a gentle soul with a smile and a warm greeting for anyone she met. She was a seamstress throughout most of her life. She altered my first Cinderella Ball dress for me, and was still sewing with unmatched precision up to the point of her death. She had an infectious laugh. I didn't get to see her much, but I loved her a lot.

The world is a worse place for her passing.

I love you, Aunt Ellen. May you ever be at peace.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday 5 - 9/5/2008

This weeks Friday 5: Orange. I like the color orange. My car is orange. My wedding was based around fall colors, consisting of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. InkForge Studio's identity uses lots of orange.

I give you my Friday 5 on Orange.

1.What’s your favorite orange-colored food?
Hmm. I don't know if it counts as food, but Arby's Orange Cream Swirl Shake is to die for. Also, pumpkin rolls. I could gorge myself on those wonderful holiday creamy bready goodness all year round.

2.What’s the best way to drink orange juice? Often. I love orange juice. Unfortunately it's usually harsh on my stomach - even the low acid kind. But I still love it.

3.Which candy’s orange-colored pieces taste best? I'm not big on orange candy...I guess Starburst is the kind I can tolerate.

4. What are your feelings about orange soda? I have to be in the right mood for it. Also, I once had this horrible generic orange soda that had no fizz and tasted like I was drinking vegetable oil. Not pleasant.

5. When did you last wear an orange item of clothing? I have a shirt or two that is a rust/orange shade. I probably wore it sometime within the past two weeks.

As always, the Friday 5 questions were taken from
Friday5.org. If you join the fun, be sure to let me know so I can add you to the link list! And don’t forget to send those questions in that you’re itching for us to answer! Don’t worry, we’ll gladly pimp your blog for the effort.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday recipe - Mint Brownies

Okay, I'm going to jump on the bandwagon of recipe sharing and share some of my favorite recipes from time to time. This week's recipe is a variation on a mint brownie recipe that I found around last Christmas. It's fairly simple - I use unsweetened baker's chocolate to make the brownies as I prefer the taste and consistency of the brownies made this way, but I'm sure a brownie mix would work just as well. I don't have a picture to post at the moment, but next time I make them, I'll snap one to share.

6 squares unsweetened baker's chocolate
1 1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 container white cake icing
Mint extract
Green and yellow food coloring

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13'x9' pan; set aside. Melt 1 cup butter and 4 squares baker's chocolate in medium pan over low heat. Once chocolate has melted and is a smooth consistency, remove from heat; add eggs and stir. Add sugar, salt, and flour. Stir until well blended. Pour into pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 1 hour.

While waiting for brownies to cool, prepare icing mixture. In icing container, add mint extract to taste. (I always like more than the normal recipe calls for. I usually end up using about 1/3 of a bottle of extract, but that may be too strong for your taste.) Stir in green and yellow food coloring until icing is desired color. Spread over cooled brownies.

In a small pan, melt 2 squares bakers chocolate with 1/2 cup butter over low heat. Once smooth, carefully pour over icing in stripes, OR pour chocolate into a sandwich bag, snip off a corner and carefully squeeze over icing in designs. Refrigerate. Served best when chilled.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I've come to the conclusion that I'm not very good at this blogging thing...not that I'm going to quit, mind you, but I have the feeling I'm never actually writing about anything that others are interested in. I have the tendency to sit down with full intentions of writing something useful and fun, but I just end up staring at a blank screen.

I had full intentions to write this weekend, but as you can see, I was a slacker.

I'm thinking I need to start carrying a little notebook around with me, and if I ever have any thoughts that sound like they're worth writing about, jot it down so I don't forget.

I'll try to do better, friends. I really will. I want to inform and entertain. I just need to get my act in gear.