Friday, October 30, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: A Catching Up Post

If you haven't read my post of lame excuses detailing why I'm behind on these, feel free to mosy on over if you like. If not, you can just read these to pick up where I left off:

Movie Review #27: Wallace and Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Okay, this is a movie that NO ONE should miss out on. ESPECIALLY at Halloween. It's hysterical. I mean... come on.. it's a WERE-RABBIT. Not a were-wolf, not a were-tiger, a were-RABBIT. LOL In the film, Wallace and his slightly more intelligent than he dog, Gromit try to save residents of Tottington Hall from a mutated rabbit. Perfect for kids or just for some really not very scary at all Halloween fun and spirit.

Movie Review #28: Young Frankenstein

If you haven't seen this Mel Brooks film then you definitely NEED TO. There is Dr. Frankenstein's grandson, Dr. Frankenstein (pronounced "Fronkenstein"), and an Igor (pronounced "eye-gore"), who refuses to believe he has a hump. There are several more equally funny characters and the Frankenstein monster does a wonderful rendention of "Puttin on the Ritz." It doesn't get any better than that. I watch this one all year round whenever I need a good belly laugh.

Movie Review #29: Hocus Pocus

Ha! I bet you thought I was going to forget this one!! Seriously... if you go through Halloween without watching Hocus Pocus then there is no help for you. Bette Midler is amazing. One year I WILL make enough time for myself to make that costume and I will go as Winnafred (her character) for Halloween. It's on my bucket list. It's going to happen.

Anyway, like most of my favorite Halloween movies, it's got a lot more funny than it does scary. I think my favorite part is when they all take to the air and one of them has to use a vacuum cleaner. LOL Classic!

Movie Review #30: Monster Squad

Okay, this movie is one my husband's childhood favorites. In the movie, a group of teenage kids battle against all of the classic monsters: Dracula, Wolf-man, the Mummy, etc. over possesion of an amulet from Van Helsing's diary. It's a pretty cute movie and just perfect to get you in the Halloween Spooky Ooky spirit!

And this has been a "catch-up" post on all of the Halloween Movie Reviews!

Update/Excuses/Photo dump

I should have known better than to challenge myself with that movie review thing. LOL I did pretty well up until this week... which is why I should have known better. Somebody, somewhere should have read that first blog post and then smacked me on the head and said something like, "HELLO??!!! It's OCTOBER?! REMEMBER?! One of the busiest months in your calender year. You are never going to be able to sit down to do that everyday!!! Who are you KIDDING?!" Someone should have... but no one did. Since this blog is still relatively new, and you all are just now getting to know me, I'll let you off the hook for not bringing my crazy notions to my own attention. BUT JUST THIS ONCE. OK? However, all of the rest of my friends are in for it. *Laughs*

ANYWAY, you might have noticed that I've been a little absent on the review front. This past week has been crazy. For the first few days I had this horrible sinus thing going on where my lymph nodes were all swollen and sore and I pretty much spent all of my time whining and feeling like I had been run over by a large truck. I hate when my sinuses get clogged and icky and junk because then I get that brain fuzz stuff and I can't concentrate on anything for a long period of time. Which is why I can't remember exactly which night it was that I made this chicken noodle soup. I remember it was good though and that there is still some in the fridge calling my name for lunch today.

The above picture is just to let you know how crazy I now am about this whole blogging thing. If you could have seen the look on the hubby's face when, in the middle of feeling craptacular, I took the time to set my dinner like this and take a picture of my soup, just for blogging purposes, you would be wondering how it is that I'm sitting here and not locked up in a nut house with people examining me through a tiny glass window. (BTW- I am so glad that my blog is not being reviewed by that Gourmet lady Tammie was talking about on her blog the other day, because if you haven't noticed, I am all about some run-on sentences. I suck at punctuation, and I'm dyslexic so sometimes even spell check can't help me... this blog is certainly NOT for grammar junkies.)

Anyway, we had promised the B that after preschool on Tuesday, we would all go to the fair. I'd like to point out that we promised this because I forgot that I had invited Hobs out for dinner before he had to travel up to B-ham for his bone marrow transplant (we are all VERY anxious and nervous about the whole deal); where he will have to stay pretty much throughout the entire holiday season. And of course, it was RAINING buckets when we all woke up tuesday morning. The rain had pretty much cleared up by that afternoon, leaving everything feeling sort of damp and muggy... kinda like when you pull a shirt of the dryer that hasn't QUITE finished drying yet and it's all warm and soggy and stuff? Yeah... like that.

So we had dinner with Hobs and wished him all the luck and love we could muster and then took the kids to the fair. I get excited about the fair EVERY year. It never fails.. and then we go and we give them our life's savings and EVERY year, I'm highly disappointed.

There's the waiting in line and being in the crowds. And no matter how hard I shield I always end up getting anxious and feeling like I'm being attacked: "That person is sad, That person is angry, That person is worried, This one is anxious, That one is sick...etc"

The rides are always dingy and dirty and scary looking and make noises that I'm SURE they aren't supposed to, and then I get all worried that I actually let my kid RIDE it.

There's the games where "everyone is a winner" only you find out AFTER you play that the prizes aren't the ones on display but the TINY ones jammed into a box you didn't even see before and all you can think is: "I can't believe I let my kid TOUCH that thing for a 2 inch bear!!!! I pretty much just paid them to give my kid GERMS!!!"

But the funnel cake is always good, as fried dough covered in sugar generally is. And somehow, when it's all said and done, the only part I can remember the following year...

is the lights.

Wednesday, we tried to play catch up on all of the laundry and dishes, and vacuuming and house stuff. Then I had to make snacks for B's halloween class party. I did this homemade cheddar chex mix type stuff which immediately required extra batches to be made: One for us, and one giant gallon zip lock bag full for Hobs to bring with him. Afterwards we carved pumpkins.
So far, I haven't missed a single halloween where we did this as a family and it's one of my favorite things. Tim and I met in high school art class and have been competing ever since, trying to out-do one another artistically. Needless to say, this has carried over into our pumpkin carving. Last year, he totally blew me out of the water when he pulled off a pirate ship. But, I totally left him and his Oogie Boogie in the dust this year with my Cheshire Cat.
I did the face above to represent Calvin's pumpkin, and Tim did the ghost for the B. She helped pull out all of the guts and pricked the pattern onto the pumpkin, then Tim did all the cutting. They are all now perched on our front steps because I'm seriously hoping to get some trick or treaters at our actual door this year. (more on that later)

Aside from all the feeling like crap, the running around, the fair, the pumpkin carving, the trying to reassure Hobs and ourselves, and so forth I've also been trying to catch up on all of the mail I'm trying to get out. If you are awaiting a package from me, just be a little patient, it probably won't get mailed until monday. I've also had to finish up Mister's and B's halloween costumes, and I have two bags and a dress to sew that I'm actually getting PAID for. Wow!

And so THAT'S why I haven't posted a movie review in the last couple of days! Whew... and if you have somehow barrelled on through and made it to the end of this blog, then lemme just say: Wow! You are such a dedicated reader! I am so sorry for boring the heck out of you! LOL

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So, if you've been following along, you might have noticed that I was a bit late in getting yesterday's Halloween movie review posted. Well that's because last night, I spent all my time sewing up these:

I wanted to do little treat bags for the B's preschool class party on Thursday and had already bought the little cheap plastic ones when I came across this tutorial over at Sew-Fantastic. So I brought the plastic ones back to the store and used up some of my Halloween scraps that I STILL have left over from last year. Even after making an outfit for B, Mister, and my niece.

They probably would have sewn up much faster if I didn't have to use the dreaded black thread. I don't know what it is about my machine (I say "my" like it's mine or something, but I'm borrowing one right now from a friend. LOL), but it HATES black thread. Every time I have to sew with it, I have to fight with the machine. It's like trying to feed a baby spinach or something equally as gross to a baby. You know how just keep spooning it in and the baby keeps spitting it out? It's like that. The more I try to sew with it, the more the machine spits it out, the thread snaps, the bobbin jams. I have used like 5 different kinds of black thread, different weights, tried adjusting the tension, etc. Nothing works.

SO, after 3 hours of fighting my machine, I had 20 or so decent treat bags. They came out a little smaller than what I anticipated, so I wasn't able to put everything in them that I had originally planned on. Each one got a mini bag of m&m's, 2 dum dums, and stickers. I think they came out pretty cute and I'm excited about bringing them on thursday.

I also made a trip out to Glen's yesterday and got a bunch of christmas fabrics to start on some clothes for the B. I am pretty excited about those. The fabrics were of course, wonderfully cheap as well as being cute. I love that store.

Other than that, I spent most of the day yesterday being achey and feeling rather like crap. My sinuses have decided to let me know that it's finally getting colder here in Alabama. My lymph nodes are all swollen and my throat has been sore as well. Not to mention that all the rain and cooler temperatures has my arthritis acting up too so my hips and knees have been really sore as well. Today isn't much better where those things are concerned, but at least Tim is off of work today so I have a little help around here.

And now I'm off to feed Calvin who is screaming from lack of interest in my post. LOL

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #26

I love watching this movie. The Great Pumpkin is basically like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. He only comes at Halloween to those who believe in his existence. Although it seems the only one who believes in him is Linus. This movie is just classic Halloween and Charlie Brown fun all rolled into one! Great for kids, especially small ones because it isn't really spooky or scary at all.

Monday, October 26, 2009

And the Winner Is!


Congratulations Daphne! You win the Autumn in Blue Tote Bag giveaway!

I'll be sending the bag asap so pm me your mailing addy at so I can mail it out to you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #25

Van Helsing is one of the better vampire movies they've come out with, in my opinion. I love how the vamps change from looking like really appealing and beautiful/handsome creatures, to downright scary and animal looking in a matter of seconds. I love the bumbling friar that plays assistant to Helsing. And I love how they allude to Helsing have a history with Dracula as Gabriel.

The movie incorporates many Gothic horror characters such as The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and Mr. Hyde, which I find very satisfying because several of them are literary classic characters as well. I think they did a good job fitting them all into one movie. Plus the soundtrack is awesome.

Sorry Twilight Fans, no sparkly vampires in this movie. *frowny face* But still plenty of eye candy, so don't despair!

How To Put a Price

So aside from sewing bags and such, I sewed this little jumper dress for the B about a week ago. I had seen the awesome owl print fabric at Glen's and just couldn't pass it up. I have a thing for owls. Seriously, they are everywhere in my house. I have statues, planters, cards, ATC's, I have one made out of sea shells, there is one on my key chain.. they are EVERYWHERE. Sorry... off track... back to the dress...

The dress itself came out really cute, but I had major trouble with the button holes for some reason. They look really horrible, but as long as the dress is buttoned, you can't see them, so I'm okay with it.

I've been posting pics of the clothes and bags I've been making on my myspace and since I recently joined the facebook cult as well, I've posted some on there. I hadn't the pics up for one hour before one of my sister's friends on FB messaged me and jokingly (I thought) asked me to sell her a dress like B's. Thinking she was just being nice, I was like, "*Laughs* yeah, I'm a total amateur, so if you don't mind really badly sewn button holes, I can hook you up." She messages back that she wasn't joking at all, that she's been looking everywhere for a dress for her little girl, Analise to wear for thanksgiving and has found absolutely NOTHING that she likes..... until now. She really, really likes the one I made B and wants one just like it and has offered to pay me for it.

This is were my dilemma comes in. I'm HORRIBLE at assigning a price tag on anything I make. I'm always so flattered that anyone likes it enough to pay for it that I'm like, "Really?? You'd PAY for that? You can HAVE it!!!!" And then I'm like on cloud nine because I just made someone's day. I was always like that with my drawings and paintings, I'm the same way with the wood burnings I've done in the past, and now I have to come up with a price tag for this dress. I've also had several people ask me how much I would charge to make them a bag.

I've always thought it would be nice to make a little extra money off of my hobbies, but never really pictured it as a reality. I feel guilty just trying to think of prices. I'm always afraid I'm going to put this number out there and people will think I'm ripping them off or something. So then when I do pick a number I get told I undersold myself. Sheesh. So for the last few years I've just resorted to making things as gifts for people so I don't have to worry about charging.

Do any of you sell anything you make? And if so... how do you come up with the price? How do you do it and not feel all slimy and stuff?

To give you an idea of what it cost me to make B's dress:

I paid $3.49 a yard for the fabric and it took 2 yards to make the dress because of the way the pattern falls and how you have to cut it. I have fabric left over, but it's pretty much scrap because of how it had to be cut.

I paid $1.97 for the buttons which I made out of the scraps of fabric and a button maker.

I paid $1.59 for the interfacing

And then whatever I paid for the pattern which I can't remember because I found it after having bought it like over a year ago.

So, let's say it cost me roughly $10-13 dollars for all the materials to make it.

The dress took me about 3 hours from start to finish including cutting the pattern pieces, cutting the fabric, and sewing the dress and buttons.

How would you price it? Or should I just scrap the pricing and gift it? *LOL*

Saturday, October 24, 2009

RIP Challenge: Review #3

Ha! I bet you thought I'd forgotten I was even doing RIP challenge!!! *laughs* So anyway, I'm reviewing Will Storr Vs. The Supernatural.

As it turns out, Will Storr is also the author and an actual person in real life. A journalist, to be more exact, from the UK. Among the course of his real life carreer he has done many interesting things including training for jungle warfare with the British Army and spending a entire day with Ozzy Osbourne. His work has appeared in GQ, The Times, The Observer, The Weekend Australian and The Independent.

In the book you discover that Will Storr, along with being a journalist is a self-proclaimed (and proud of it) skeptic and cynic concerning the supernatural and religion and a champion of rationality. That is until he travels to Philadelphia to interview a "Demonologist" for an artilce. He travels to meet Lou Gentile (also a real, google-able person) expecting to meet and probably expose a crack-pot insane person and instead encounters an everyday central heating engineer who exposes Will to things that he can't rationally explain away.

Will's experience with Lou causes him to seriously question his aforementioned beliefs, or rather, lack thereof, and so he launches himself into a full out search for the truth about ghosts and the afterlife. His journey leads him to many haunted places, meetings with priests, mystics, mediums, and druids as he searches for ways to explain the things he has experienced and witnessed.. because you see... if there IS an afterlife.. then there must also be a heaven and angels and demons and all that. And if THAT'S the case.. well then Will has some serious work to accomplish before he dies. LOL

The book and Will's writing style brings the reader along with him and encourages them to loose themselves within the story to the point of experiencing his adventures with him. The part I love the most are his reactions to the "supernatural." There are no illusions of a brave man out to battle forces beyond his control. His reactions are totally human and understandable.. and of course hilarious. My favorite review of the book reads:

"Too funny to read in public, to scary to read on your own."

This is soooo true. I often find myself laughing out loud on nearly every page.. but there is sufficiently enough creepy to keep me from reading it alone in the dark. In either case, it's TOTALLY worth the read. Seriously, I can't think of even one person who wouldn't enjoy it, and in order to prove me wrong, you're still going to have to read it! *wink*

For now, here's a teaser of one of my favorite excerpts from the book:

As the EVP grumbles on, we all hear one single, loud thump coming from upstairs.
There's nobody there. I sit up rigid. That's it, now. I admit it. I am scared.
Really, very, very scared indeed. Deborah starts crying, softly. And then,
something touches my back.

When I think back to this incident, it's my
reaction that I remember most vividly. It wasn't: 'Ooh, did I just feel
something?' It wasn't even: 'Hang on, I'm sure something just...' It was: "Shit!
Fuck! Something just fucking touched my fucking back!" and I leapt out of my

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #24

What can I say?
Sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Fixed... maybe...

Okay, I think I fixed the problem with the commenting thing... so if you haven't been able to comment it SHOULD work now. If it doesn't.... try to let me know. LOL

On another note, I'm glad to know there was a problem with the commenting thing... I spent the last couple of days thinking I must be boring everyone to death or something. LOL

Friday, October 23, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #23

For a very long time, I thought that maybe I had just dreamed this movie up and that it didn't actually exist. I *thought* I could remember watching a movie as a kid about a Halloween Tree and so forth but could never find any proof that it actually existed and as I've made this mistake before (thinking a childhood dream was a movie or a book that I could SWEAR was real), I had long since given up hope.

But HOORAY! The Halloween Tree is an ACTUAL movie AND book! The movie even won an Emmy! How bout that? The story is about a group of kids that learn the history of Halloween while trying to save the life of their friend Pipkin.

For Halloween movies, this one is tops: It's spooky, fun, AND educational! *laughs*

Thursday, October 22, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #22

The Good Witch. This movie came on the lifetime network a few years ago and I just happened to catch it. I LOVE this movie and it's sequel, The Good Witch's Garden. I will watch them any time they happen to come on TV and you should too!

One of the things I like about this movie is that the main character, Cassie Nightingale, is a modern day witch- not the evil, child-eating, hooked nose, warty old fashioned kind. She never really performs any sparkly, cartoony, impractical magic either. She's just very pagan-new-age-y, gardens very well, and gives good advice to children, keeps an open mind, is good and kind to animals, and knows her way around herbs and essential oils.

When she moves into a "to-die-for" old house in a small town and opens her shop, The Bell, Book, and Candle, she has to deal with the small town mentality of the locals. Primarily, the mayor's wife who is as close-minded and crotchety as they come.

Even though the movie comes across as just ever so slightly cheesy, I still really like it because it's entirely believable (to me). Did I mention that I really, really like her house? And her garden? I want both. And hey, while I'm dreaming, I'd like a pony!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #21

Ever since Angelica Houston did The Witches I've never been really able to get over it..... Probably because they made her look like this:

Which I must say is pretty hideous... but well played, and now every time I see her in a movie or as a guest star on TV I wonder if she's going to pull her face off. The movie itself is based on a book, which, sadly, I have not yet read. I'm not usually a big fan of movies like this one which portray witches as ugly, hooked-nosed, warty, child-eating, scary monsters (quite literally), but for the sake of Halloween creepiness and movie watching it certainly does the job.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Reviews #19 & 20

So.. yeah... I missed a day. SO SUE ME! LOL Just kidding folks. But no, I really did miss a day yesterday but I had a head cold/sinus deal and went to bed early... so I hereby excuse me for yesterday. I will make it up right now by reviewing 2- COUNT EM- TWO movies.

Movie #1:

Okay, this was a "kid's" movie that came out very recently. We let the B go see it with my younger sister, Allie. She LOVED it.. with a big, huge puffy heart. She watched it with the 3-D glasses on the WHOLE time.. which is saying something because usually she just plays with them and watches the movie without them.

Now, I will say.. this movie was a little creepy.... even to me. There were parts where I got seriously creeped out... and the whole time B was just mesmerized. So I don't know if you want to let your kids watch it... that's up to you. My four year old just happens to be a bit on the strange side and likes the creepy.

Despite the creepy though, I did really enjoy this movie. I really like these kind of animated movies.... the ones that are a little on the dark side. They are perfect for Halloween movie watching.

Movie Review # 2:

The Covenant. Before Edward Cullen made the messy bed head look the new hotness, there were these guys. Not vampires, but warlocks. Warlocks with a legacy to be awesome and look really hot and dreamy while doing so! this is a pretty cheezy flick, with some fairly unrealistic scenes (i.e. the scene where all of the young, beautiful, super model, stick ladies walk around in their underwear.. cause right THAT happens everyday but at least it made the fireballs seem like less of a stretch), but I still like it. And I still watch it from time to time when I'm just in the mood for a supernatural fix.

So now I'm off to go get everything together for our company tonight. We are firing up the ...uh.. fire pit and logs and flames and such and having some spiked cider and hot chocolate and other yummy grown up fire treats. Yay!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn In Blue- Blog Giveaway

I needed a bag to carry all of my sheet music and large piano books back and forth to choir and such, so I pulled out this pretty blue and brown print fabric and sewed up a tote. It's so pretty, and I have so much left over fabric that I'm going to make another one just like it to give away!

This is a BIG bag. Big enough to hold items that are 12x12 and still have room to spare. It's reversible. The inside print is the brown polka dot fabric you see on the under side of the handle there. The straps are good and long so you can shoulder the bag if you choose. It's fully lined with heavy weight interfacing so it is nice and sturdy.

You can use it as a Green option shopping bag, as a purse, to lug around piano books... you know... whatever blows your skirt up.

To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this blog.

You get:

1 entry for being subscribed to my blog (either on myspace or blogger)

1 entry for reposting and linking

1 entry for commenting HERE on what your favorite thing about Autumn is.

This is open for one week, just like the Halloween Tote Bag giveaway. At the end of the week I put all of the entries into a random name generator, press ok, and the first name to pop up, wins the bag. I will then contact you for your address, if I don't already have it and send it your way! Hope you'll play along!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #18

I really love this movie because you can watch it at Halloween and Christmas....

Or Easter, or on the great holiday known as Tuesday. It doesn't matter what day or holiday it is, this movie ALWAYS rocks.

However, for Halloween blogging purposes this movie fits because... hello... Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, Sally, The Oogie Boogie... lots of pumpkins, ghouls, and goblins... it's brimming over with the Halloween Goodness... there are even Halloween song and dance numbers. Gotta love that!

You have to admit that the Oogie Boogie is pretty creepy... even if he does put on an awesome show. In fact, his song is probably my favorite of all the songs in the movie. I have burned onto at least three cd's that I can think of right off hand. Probably more if I really thought about it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #17

A friend of mine had mentioned watching this movie yesterday and I thought, "Ooh... now that would be perfect for my blog!"

There's no bones about it, folks. This movie is downright creepy. I'm not going to post any spoilers, but trust me, even if you don't get creeped out throughout the movie, by the time you get to end and figure out what all of the sweet old ladies questions were really all about, you'll have that lingering creeped out-let's sleep with lights on vibe for at least a few days. *shudder*

I don't usually do genuinely scary movies because I'm a big fat wimp, but I actually like this one for several reasons, 1 being that it is set in my hometown of New Orleans, and another being Gena Rowlands.

She is an awesome actress, and chances are if she's in a movie, I will love it.

Turn Back NOW

So a little over a week ago, I saw this post for Apricot Bars over at Tammie's Blog, who got it from Daphne, who in turn got it from The Pioneer Woman.

Now Apricot is not exactly my favorite, but I thought I'd give the recipe a try anyway because the oatmeal part sounded delicious. The first time I made them I only made a few adjustments:

1.) I used "I can't believe it's NOT butter" sticks instead of regular butter (to help cut down on the guilt, you see)

2.) I used apple butter in place of the apricot preserves for the filling

3.) I added 1 tbsp of cinnamon and a pinch of cloves to the oatmeal batter stuff to compliment the apples.

They were delicious. Outstanding. I ate them screaming hot, right out of the pan, they smelled so good I just couldn't help myself.

THAT however, is not the worst of it. I'm warning you: If you are on a diet, if you are trying to watch your weight or waist line, or what have you. TURN BACK NOW. Absolutely DO NOT read any further. Just don't... because once you do.. there is no going back. You have been warned. Just remember that.

The worst part is, after I (sadly)ate the last of my apple butter bars this morning for breakfast... I started thinking that I had plenty enough of the ingredients to make another batch... EXCEPT for the butter. Or in my case, the NOT butter. So as I'm sitting there, trying to justify going out in the (FINALLY) cold weather with the baby for ONE stick of not butter, I get this idea. This horrible, awful, terrible, DELICIOUS idea.

I thought, "What about peanut butter?" Oh yeah. So I made another batch, subbing 1/2 cup of peanut butter for 1 stick of butter and then using regular (not) butter for the remaining 3/4 of a stick.... and then... I used mini chocolate Hershey bars that I raided from the Halloween pumpkin for the filling.

You see? I told you to turn back. They are so good. They are horribly, sinfully, good. And I'm NOT sharing. Make your own! ..... If you dare.

This Just In

According to First magazine, Swear words increase one's pain tolerance. This news came from a team of British researchers. They discovered in the course of the study that subjects who repeated expletives, ANY expletives, were able to keep their hands in icy water 60% longer than they could while repeating a neutral word. Why It Works: Swearing is a mild form of aggression that triggers the body's fight or flight response, giving rise to brain signals that override perceptions of pain. So, now you know why it makes you feel better to swear loudly when you knock your elbow or stub your toe. LOL When I read that I started giggling maniacally, and the hubby was peaking around the door like... wtf????

Also in First was an article on Natural ways to strengthen your defenses against the cold and flu viruses.

1.) Cook with Coconut Oil (how bout that Bonnie! Aren't you just a smarty-arty for knowing that one. *winks*)Most brands of vegetable shortening are loaded with synthetic trans fat which weakens immunity by reducing the efficiency of virus-fighting B cells. On the other hand, solid coconut oil is free of trans fats and rich in medium chain fatty acids which destroy germs by puncturing their protective membranes. These fatty acids are antiviral, antibacterial, and even anti fungal.

2.) Slip into Cozy Socks. In a study at Cardiff University in the UK, volunteers whose feet were chilled for just 20 minutes were 3 times more likely to develop cold symptoms in the following week, than those participants who kept their tootsies toasty. What they found was that when a person's feet are cold, blood vessels constrict in the sinuses. This reduces the circulation of immune cells to the nasal epithelium, where they are needed to fight off invading viruses.

3.)Spritz with Saline. Viruses usually gain entrance to the body by penetrating the membrane that lines the nasal and sinus cavities. To flush out invaders before they break through, spray the nasal passages twice daily with saline. In one study subjects who did so lowered their odds of catching a bug by 41%. TO make your own, dissolve 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in 1 pint of water and transfer to a nasal spray bottles found at most drug stores.

4.) Enjoy some Girl Time. Women who regularly visit with friends are almost 4 times less likely to get sick than those who dodge social contact, even if one pal has the sniffles. According to the Center for the Advancement of Health in Washington, D.C., strong nurturing friendships improve the immunity by squelching the body's output of cortisol, a stress hormone that interferes with the immune system's production of white blood cells and antibodies. No time for a get together? A ten minute web or phone chat can also deliver the same benefits. So THANK YOU to all of you lovelies for helping me improve my health! You're all so great!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #16

Okay, I know that this movie isn't very "scary" but it does have monsters in, yeah? And since we took the B out to see it tonight (so that I could see it on opening night), I'm going to review it for my 31 days of Halloween Blog Review.

First of all, I must mention that I love the story book and have for a very long time. I actually own a toy of "Carol" which is the name they give to the monster pictured above, that is still in the box, and that was bought long before they even decided to make a movie. I love Maurice Sendack's work.

The way the movie looked was amazingly beautiful and accurate. I loved the Wild Things. I thought the movie was very good, but separately from the book. The movie had a very bittersweet, almost downright SAD vibe going on. The background story they gave to Max and his mother worked for the story, I thought, for the movie. However, that being said, I always thought the book had a much more light-hearted, spirit of imagination sort of thing going on and it would have been nice to have a bit more of that feel in the movie.

Anyway, I still really enjoyed it regardless, and oh yeah, the B loved it as well. She has always loved the story, and since my checks are Where the Wild Things Are, she has been collecting them everytime we go to walmart. (they give them back to you now for some reason) She calls them and anything pertaining to the Wild Things, including the movie, "HER STORY," and if you throw it away she goes beserk. So she now has a collection of walmart printed, Wild Things used checks. (wierdo)

P.S> How to go to a movie on a budget:
tickets + small popcorn + 1 bag of m&m's = $20 (no exaggeration)

SO instead: Invest in a HUGE purse/bag...they are popular these days anyway. I got one in a lovely shade of purple on clearance today for $7.

Then BERORE going to the movie (or in my case, after you've already paid the $2.50 for the bag of popcorn it costs them $0.10 to make and the $1.50 for a bag of $0.50 m&m's and realize you don't have enough change for a drink, and you have to leave the theater...) GO to the grocery store/dollar store and buy 3, 20 oz sodas and 2 bags of candy for $4.00.

Shove the items into the huge purse. Go to movie.

It helps if you went to high school with the ticket booth manager so you don't get searched when you are obviously smuggling in "outside" food and drinks in your huge bag with suspicious looking bulges. LMAO

Now I'm about to head outside and enjoy a big fire in the fire pit since it's all cold with Jess and Roger who are bringing over a huge bottle of wine.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #15

Usually, I don't go in much for sequels... but Hellboy 2 was AMAZING. In fact, I must say that I like it even more than I did the first movie. The main reason being that Guillermo Del Toro worked on this movie. He is the same man that worked magic on the Spanish film Pan's Labyrinth (another big time favorite).

Not only does Hellboy 2 have a fantastic story line, it's just ... wow... just to look at. I love the troll market scene, the fight with the forest god, and the scene where Hellboy meets his personal Death (a being, he doesn't die). The creatures that Del Toro creates for his films aren't just scary or creepy.. they are BEAUTIFUL. Each one is a piece of beautiful, strange art.

Also, I really love the way he did the elves. Prince Nuada is my particular favorite. His similarities to a beloved (personally) book character Drizzt Do Urden (forgotten Realms series) border on the uncanny.

So anyway, I love this movie. It's awesome. It's perfect. It's beautiful. Watch and Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #14

I caught a glimpse of Hellboy today while channel surfing and decided it would be an excellent movie to review for my "31 Days of Halloween" Blog fest. So I hunted down the DVD (I wasn't watching the TV one.. they always ruin it with editing) and popped it in.

The First Hellboy movie is just full of creepy, outlandish characters including the notorious Rasputin (his role in this movie is much more sinister as compared to his role in Anastasia.. just so you know.), and his lackey undead assassin, Kroenen.

I think my favorite character in the Hellboy movies is most definitely Abe. He's sort of a fishy type person that has the gift of empathy... or in other words, he can read people's emotions, thoughts, memories, even their health by way of his remarkably receptive palms.

I love this movie, and its sequel, which I will shamelessly be using for my blog review tomorrow night! So stay tuned!

Not Quite Apricot Bars

So I saw this recipe for Apricot bars a week or so ago on Tammie's Blog, who got it from Daphne, who got it from The Pioneer Woman. I thought they looked quite yummy so I decided to bake up a batch today.

The only changes I made were adding 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon to the batter and then using apple butter for the filling rather than apricot preserves. They are quite yummy and they smelled so good while they were baking... I totally didn't even wait for the pan to cool. I'm already eating it..... I think I will get more. Maybe the hubs doesn't even need to try them. Or the B. Yeah... I definitely think they can do without. LOL

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #13

Tonight's movie is another "Oldie but Goodie." The Witches of Eastwick, starring Jack Nicholson and of course the ladies, is based on the book The Witches of Eastwick that was written by John Updike. (The book is fairly good as well, btw.)

I have always really liked this movie. The scene with the cello solo is my favorite part. It's kind of a "bad" witch movie, which is kind of a minus in my book, but I still like the movie all in all.

Anyway, they all did very well portraying their respective characters, especially ol' Jack. Gotta luv 'im.

General Updatedness:

So last week, the B had her first day of preschool and decided that she would indeed go back today. She seems to really enjoy it, and I'm glad for it, though I'm still adjusting to the major noise difference in the time that she is away. I have to turn the TV on for background noise just so the silence isn't so.. well... silent.

I decided that since she is now attending preschool twice a week that I would need to make her some new clothes. I've always wanted to be one of those mom's who makes cute little skirts and jumpers and things for her children to wear. Mom always did for us, which is how I learned to sew in the first place. So yesterday I headed out to Glen's to get some fabrics to work with. What is Glen's? Only the most awesome discount fabric store in our area. We don't really have many fabric store options around here. You can either go to Ted's Pharmacy (and fabric shop?) or the Singer store. Both have many options, but both are also VERY pricey. And then, there is Glen's. It's seriously a big one room store that is little more than a shack, but they have TONS of fabrics and they are all SUPER CHEAP.

Take this really cute pink panther fabric. Hancock Fabric online is selling it ON CLEARANCE for $10.49 a yard. It was originally $14.99 a yard. I got it at Glen's for $3.49 a yard. As they say in the World of Warcraft: "WEWT"

They sell beautiful pricey designer fabrics like Amy Butler fabric for $3.49 a yard. The other less pricey fabrics can go for anywhere from $0.89 to $2.99 a yard. I LOVE this store. I'm in there ALL the time.

Today while the B was at preschool I made her a little skirt and shirt ensemble to wear to the ZooBoo (Halloween at the zoo, haunted train ride, etc.) on Saturday. What I learned while making this outfit was 1)I stink, seriously bad, at applique, and 2)When all else fails, wing it.

I had never done an applique before so I thought I would start with a simple shape, like a square. Simple though the shape may be, I still had to rip stitches, and while doing so managed to put a hole in the shirt, which I then covered with another square patch. And then it looked lopsided... so I put one on the other side too. 3 hours and several swear words later, here is the finished outfit:

She looks so stinkin' cute in it, you'd never guess I screwed it up... or swore like sailor while doing so! Despite all the swearing, I think I'm going to make another one for my niece. The B's outfit used up pretty much the rest of the fabric I used to make this Halloween bag. But I have several more Halloween prints that I bought last year when our Wal-mart sold out and removed their fabric section. Somewhere I have a picture of me with my arms laden down with Halloween fabric grinning like the Cheshire cat with a sugar rush....oh yeah.. here it is! LOL

So there you have the updatedish-ness of what's been going on around here the last week or so. I now have to go pat the baby and hope he stays asleep long enough for me whip up something easy for dinner. (I.E.- pigs in a blanket + mac and cheese + green beans = dinner) Later Peeps

Monday, October 12, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #12

For tonight's Halloween Movie Review, I picked a favorite and a CLASSIC: Death Becomes Her is an absolutely HILARIOUS movie, and with both Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn how can you possibly go wrong? If by some chance you haven't ever seen it, the story goes that two long time rivals stumble upon the secret for eternal youth and battle it out to see who gets to win and who gets to die.

Can I just say that the pic above is of my FAVORITE scene from the entire movie? *laughs* She has a hole through her stomach: Hysterical!!! I can't stop laughing at it. I mean... it's a GIANT HOLE through her STOMACH! She SHOT her THROUGH the stomach! *laughs*

Okay, anyway though. Love this Movie. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. If you have, you know you love it too.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #11

Tonight's movie is an animated film about a literally monstrous house that comes alive and eats anything that wanders onto it's property. Which would explain why the curmudgeonly old man who lives in it is constantly bullying the kids off of his lawn.

The characters in this movie, though drawn, are PRICELESS. I don't just laugh through this movie, I seriously guffaw. EVERY TIME. Chowder is my favorite.

Aside from being totally cute and a little bit spooky, this movie is a Halloween must because the story takes place during Halloween.

FYI, it airs tomorrow night at 7/6pm on Cartoon Network. If you haven't seen it yet, you have the perfect opportunity to watch it tomorrow. And I seriously suggest you do. I will be!

So You Say It's Your Birthday

Well It's my birthday too! Today actually. So since my birthday was today, my best good friend, Jess took me and the hubs out for dinner with her and her man, Roger. It was FABULOUS! Up until earlier this evening, I had never before tried sushi, so the plan was to take us out for sushi at Miyori's in the next town over. Apparently, they are regulars at Miyori's. Apparently, Roger is like royalty at Miyori's because when he was single and lonely he used to buy drinks and stuff for the guy who works the sushi bar. So when we got there, the sushi guy was all "Hey!!! Step right up!" Apparently if you are in good with the sushi guy at Miyori's you get your own special pair of chopsticks which they keep in a pretty little wooden box for you that is engraved with your name. Seriously. Roger has his own chopsticks. It's like sushi gangster.

I had a crispy shrimp roll or "shrimp tempura," and it was awesome! And tasty! And then I had what is called a "crazy roll" that has shrimp, crab, avocado, cream cheese, and jalapenos rolled up and then fried. Then they top it with some more crab meat that is in this slightly spicy sauce and some tempura and green onions. ZOMG> YUM!

I am very glad that my first sushi experience was such a fun one. And a special one. I am very grateful to have a friend like Jess who really loves me and doesn't abandon me when I have my crazy emotional moments. She rocks. Seriously. So, despite the earlier craptacular week, I had a wonderful birthday with wonderful people and wonderful food. My goal is that by my birthday next year I will have my own set of chopsticks at Miyori's. LOL

P.S.- Check out my awesome birthday gifts from my sister-in-law, Angela. I LOVE the halloween coffee cup. It says "eat drink and be scary," LOL And of course I love the candle.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #10

Twitches is probably my favorite cheesy Halloween movie of all the cheesy Halloween movies out there.
I love the idea of long lost twin witches (twitches) with a magical destiny to meet again and save their birth mother and the fantastical land of their birth, Coventry. I also love the jewelry.
Besides all of that, I also really love the twins' magical guides and protectors Karsh and Illeana... specifically Illeana who is just good corny fun.
I seriously watch this movie and the sequel every time they air on TV. Sad.. I know.. but I can't help myself!

To the Pumpkin Patch

This morning was the annual pumpkin patch at St. Mary's, so we decided to load up some of the kids and take them out. I was hoping to get some beautiful pumpkin-y/autumn-y pictures like the one of B serving as my header, and maybe one or two of the whole family. However last year, we went to the pumpkin patch in Ino where they actually had PUMPKINS. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head, and so forth.

Apparently, St. Mary's needs a bit of a refresher on some of the qualifications of a pumpkin patch. Like.. I dunno.. how 'bout PUMPKINS? Oh, they had tons of other stuff: an inflatable bouncy thing, go fish, pick up ducks, craft tables, and plenty of autumn treats like mini pumpkin pies and painted gourds and so forth. However, in the pumpkin area they were extremely lacking. At Ino you walked into this big field that was overflowing with pumpkins of all sizes. At St. Mary's the pumpkins were corralled into one big brown box .... just like at the grocery store. They attempted to make it a bit more fun by plastering the box with images of Charlie Brown's The Great Pumpkin, but it still just didn't make for good pictures. To that, I say: "Poo!"

So, no pretty fall pumpkin-y pictures for me. I guess I will have to figure out something else to serve as a backdrop for some fall pictures. In the meantime, I did manage to get one semi-decent picture of me and the baby. I had promised one of the little Mister in the sling that I made back when I started this blog. He was all chilled out with his arm hanging out so he could look around and such.

Anyway, I was pretty dissappointed with the "pumpkin" patch thing, but I'm planning on trying to make it back to Ino's if I haven't already missed it to get some more pictures. I wish there was a place to go apple picking around here, but I haven't been able to find one yet. After about 30 minutes of the kid's running around getting all sweaty we headed home so they could paint their pumpkins. That at least was some way-big fun, as well as incredibly messy.. but hey, that's what way-big fun is all about anyway. Here are their finished pumpkins. I did the faces, they did the rest!

Friday, October 9, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: Movie Review #9

Okay, seriously... is there anyone out there that doesn't like this movie? I love the movie. I love the goblins. And I love David Bowie.

This is one of B's favorite movies as well, though she refers to it as the "Save the Baby" movie. Which is kind of vague since she refers to Willow (another family favorite) in the same way.

For those who might be unfamiliar, this 80's flick is about a young teen who wishes her baby brother away when she is forced to babysit for an evening. In compliance with her disgruntled wishes, the goblins whisk away the bouncing baby boy and take him to their king. In order to "save the baby" Sarah must first find her way through Jareth's (the goblin king)Labyrinth.

In this movie are dwarves, fairies, goblins, giants, and knights as well as a few -very 80's- song and dance numbers. My favorite part is the masquerade.