Well, hello there!

You know it’s been a while when you forget how to log on to your own blog!

So, how are things?  I have been BUSY.  I kind of feel like I should have just written that in humongous type but, honestly, that’s too much effort.  Yes, you can read that as I’m still busy and trying to recover from the exhaustion that too much work not enough play leads to.  Plus, I’m trying to buy a new dishwasher, wash all the dishes in the existing dishwasher, trying to remember how I’m to work while these small humans are on summer vacation and, oh yeah, how to manage an actual vacation.  Which reminds me, what IS an actual vacation??????

Oh, and my hockey team is currently not winning the Stanley Cup Final.  Winning four out of the next five games shouldn’t be hard to do, right?

I’ve read A LOT.

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Going to stop there for books today.  The Sandra Brown and Jill Shalvis books are brain candy.  End of Watch was the third in Stephen King’s detective trilogy.  Loved them and really hope he’ll write some more in this style.  32 Yolks was maybe more interesting to me simply because it’s what I do for a living on a smaller scale.  Plus, I have to say, I am always astounded to learn how other restaurants treat their people and why people work there…..

The surprise in this bunch was A Man Called Ove.  I almost set it down.  A couple of times.  But, it is well deserving, I think, of all its rave reviews.  Heartwarming for sure.  Pick it up if you haven’t.

Hope you are well.

The world does NOT revolve around you…

or me.  I’ll explain in a bit.

I’m fine with that, by the way.

How are you guys?  Long time no chat!  I’ve been on hiatus.  Ha!  Did you fall for that?  Noooo, I’ve just been busy mostly with work and yucky stuff.  This past ten days or so I’ve been enjoying some down time, hanging with friends, catching up with things, just trying to recharge.  So look for new book posts, recipes and whatnot starting next week!!!!  Consider it my NaNoWriMo challenge.  It’ll be fun.

So this morning, I’d planned a day with my cousin.  He’s visiting from Chicago.  We grew up together and have been having loads of fun catching up (read as he’s been spoiling me, the kids, the dog….yeah, he’s that kind of guy).  I thought we were going to have a super fun day.  My bad for answering the phone.

Let me just say that I believe in kindness.  I do not believe in shouting, talking over someone and I’m not prone to extreme anger (despite writing this).  Honestly, bad behavior like that is just too much drama and I find it upsetting.  I’m not psychic.  I did not get the memo that the world only revolves around certain people.  Do you guys know these things?  I am a direct person.  I tell people what’s going on with me, if I’m bothered by something.  I try to see their side of things.  I try to listen.  I try to be kind.  I breathe.

I think something might be wrong with me.

The answer is, of course, wine and chocolate.  Wine and chocolate are the answers to most things.  Oh, and a Cubs win would be nice too!

Happy Friday, everyone.  May you have an enjoyable and restful weekend.  Watch out for the crazy. xo

Whoa!

I just logged in and realized that I haven’t so much as looked up to say hello the entire month of September!  How is it almost October?  Man, am I ever in serious need of a wife!!!!

You gotta wonder where the time goes, right?  In my case, I finished up corporate and personal tax returns, dropped out of puppy manners classes (too stressful for me with all those silly clickers), worked, and worked, and worked, and spent entirely too much time at hockey rinks.

I’ve cooked nothing worth mentioning or, to be more precise, nothing new worth mentioning.  Trying a couple of things this weekend so keep your fingers crossed.  I’ve started knitting a sweater (so yes, clearly hell has frozen over), even though for the first day of fall we had temps in the mid-90’s.  Don’t worry I wrote to Mother Nature as she clearly missed this epic event.

I’ve read a TON!  A TON!  Let’s knock out of few, k?

The meh ones.  Read as good but not memorable.

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All of these got terrific reviews.  They were all somewhat entertaining.  One had kind of a fun twist.  But, would I recommend any of them?  Only if you’ve nothing else you’re dying to read.  Sorry, sweet authors.  It could have been me.  When I’m working a lot, I think I’ve mentioned I need serious downtime.  Likely it was just me, but these just didn’t do it for me.

One I truly enjoyed.  It’s a YA book that was recommended for people who love my boyfriend, John Green.  Like boyfriend’s book, it’s dead on.  And funny.  Always a good combo.

Lastly, for today anyway, one that my friend, Liz, suggested.  It’s also gotten great reviews though I almost set it aside a couple of times.  SO GLAD I kept reading.  Totally worth it.

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I’ve more to tell you about but I’m late for work.  Never good when you’re the boss!  😉

Happy Weekend, everyone.  I so hope you are well and happy. xo

 

Yo, peeps! What’s happening?

Did you hear that gigantic sigh yesterday?  I’m certain you did.  It was HUGE, I tell ya.  That was me, wrapping up the hell that is personal and corporate tax returns, while doing my regular job and trying to survive the start of school, dance, hockey and every other thing.  Now, that I have all this free time, I’ve signed Miss Thing up for puppy manners classes!

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Whatever you do, please do not tell her that this will require her to get into the car.  She’s not a fan.  At all.

It’s still wicked HOT here.  So there’s no baking happening.  There’s barely any cooking.  Want a salad, cereal, or sandwich?  I’m your girl.  Beyond that, you have to learn to order takeout or wait until fall.  Sorry.  Think of it as you being part of my support group for getting skinny!!  Do not bring up my thinking that chocolate and alcohol are food groups!  Have I taught you nothing?

Onward, to the books!!!

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Let me start by saying I do not typically read Stephen King.  He’s a brilliant writer.  He is.  But the man freaks me the hell out!  Okay, I said it.  I’ve read On Writing and Misery.  I’m pretty certain I read the latter with my hand over my eyes barely peeking at the words, as if that would make it better.  Freaks me the hell out.

Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers are the first two books in his Detective Hodges trilogy.  I ordered the second book on chapter ten of the first book and the third book before I reached the end of the first.  Yeah, that good.  I can’t wait to dive into the third one but there’s a few I need to finish up first and book three will be my reward.

I’ve read a bunch of other stuff too, some so long ago that I can only tell you whether I enjoyed it or not.  So here goes with a few of those.

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You know the phrase if you can’t say anything nice?  Well who cares about that?! I kept reading this book until the end.  Why?  Because I kept hoping it would make sense.  It totally didn’t.  So then I threw it across the room and broke my favorite picture frame.  Still worth it.  Someone explain this book to me.  No, never mind.  I’ve wasted too much time already.

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There’s a writer I follow on here.  I love her because she’s funny and one of those people whose blog you read and think we could be friends!  She reviewed this recently and LOVED it.  I’d just finished reading it and remembering being like what? really?  It was okay.  Struck me as a 50 Shades wanna be minus the kinky.  My fault I suppose as I prefer more complicated men AND women.  And author’s that can think outside the box.

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This I enjoyed.  I’m a pretty happy, bubbly person.  I work with the public and I LOVE that.  Love my job, love meeting and talking to people.  It’s so fun.  BUT, when I’m off work….well, let’s just say that I could be a hermit without too much trouble.  I’m someone who needs a good bit of downtime.  Quiet.  Time to hear myself think, to read, to annoy you people (kidding!).  I need time to myself.  I’m not a party person.  I’d rather have a few friends over than go anywhere.  Okay, except maybe to a hockey game or dinner where someone cooks for ME!  Reading this book made me realize that there are likely more me’s out there.  I need to meet some of them.

Okay, well I’d love to tell you more but I’ve a sick boy to check on and laundry to fold.  You can get your own, I’m not sharing.  😉

Much love to ya! xo

Seriously? Seriously?!

WHERE does the time go?  No, I’m serious.  Where does it go?  It cannot simply be because I’ve three kids and more than a full-time job plus my domestic goddess and assistant to M duties, can it?  Those “you can have it all” women?  You know the ones….bunch of liars!  All of ’em!  I was just telling my friend, Marcia, that I did it wrong.  Instead of a husband, I should have gotten a wife!  Except I know girlfriends that have wives and they don’t seem to have it that much easier.  Ah well, maybe in my next life I’ll come back as a pampered princess.  And maybe I’ll have all the fabulous clothes and the hot men to fan me…

Yeah, back to real life.  So you missed the big adventure.  M and I were downstairs catching up when we heard a big crash.  He yells upstairs to make sure everyone’s okay.  ‘We’re fine, it’s all good’ echoes down the stairs from the goalie.  Okay, that’s fine then.  Only that’s not fine!  BECAUSE, then the girl comes down looking like something out of a horror movie! Blood’s matted her hair and is dripping down her shirt! Um, goalie boy what universe is this all good????  So M bundles her off while I try to get the story.  When I walk back to check on her he tells me it’s fine, it’s  starting to bleed less.  I get a look.  She’s got a gash down the back of her skull about and inch and a half long.  Now, I know head wounds bleed profusely.  That doesn’t phase me.  She didn’t lose consciousness so that’s good.  She’s talking and answering questions.  But, she is NOT fine.  M looks at me as though I’m on crack when I grab my purse, tell her to press hard with a towel to the back of her head ’cause we’re headed to the hospital.

Listen,  I’m pretty sure that all the people I live with are completely insane, delusional, goofy or whatever.  Not fine!

We didn’t get to the ER.  Penny to the rescue as she happened to have dermabond at her house.  She at least got it.  She took a look and gave me a look like have you SEEN this?  Oh, girl, I know.  Turns out that playing soccer in the goalie’s bedroom is NOT a good idea.  Some people fell or were tripped, depending on who you ask, fell backwards and hit her head on the corner of a dresser.  I told you playing soccer inside was not a good idea.

I might need more chocolate.  And alcohol.

I have been testing recipes but nothing that’s come out worthy of sharing.  A few things like the crock pot beef and broccoli went right into the trash.  I want Nutella brownies! Why is the goalie allergic to all the nuts???  Maybe this weekend I’ll be inspired.  Maybe not.  Hard to be inspired with triple digit temps.  You’d think I’d be skinnier, right?

Onward to the books.  First, one I simply couldn’t read.  I tried.  Really, really tried.  It got great reviews.  I made it a bit more than halfway through.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.

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Has anyone else read this one?  Was it just me?  Did it get any better?  It’s still on my kindle and, perhaps, I’ll finish it one day.  It depends on what you tell me.  Life is too short.

A few I enjoyed –

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Fun, beachy, doesn’t require too much thinking – though there’s a number of characters and plot lines to keep track of.  Super quick, somewhat mindless read.  Perfect for summer.  Especially if you can’t get away but really, really want to…. (yes, I do realize that’s me most days.  So?)

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I do not know what possessed me to pick this up.  But, I’m so glad a did.  If you like a good mystery, it’s one to check out.  Really liked this one.

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Another one I really liked.  This one I picked up because Penny enjoyed it.  Really good.  Easy read but CREEPY!!!  Definitely going to be picking up more by this author.

Options, people, I like options.  And now I need to go choose between option A, making dinner, option B, putting in a load of laundry and option C…..get moving sister, these jobs aren’t going to do themselves!

Ciao!

 

 

Yo, finally!

I was all set to write Monday.  But that whole pesky having a job and responsibilities thing got in the way.  Yesterday, I thought it would be fun to experience a storm burst, complete with flooding, high winds, downed trees, flying debris and a loss of power.  Don’t ask me what a storm burst is, I’ve no idea.  But you don’t want one, trust me.  When it was over and we finally got power back, it was cleanup time.  For now, I’m taking a break from that.  Because I need chocolate and alcohol!!  No, I’m not having either but a girl can dream.  I also imagine that I live in a small coastal town with a beachside abode.  Because my reality involves chainsaws and giant machinery.  See why I said you didn’t want any of that?  In the few minutes that I’ve been sitting here, the thunder’s started rumbling, the wind’s picked up and the rain has begun again.  Woohoo.  Color me happy.

It’s because I tried to drown the puppy gave Joie a bath…..the reason it’s raining again.  Zero percent chance of rain that’s what those liars weather peeps said.  For the record, I think there was more water on me than the dog.  She’s mad at me still and will have nothing whatsoever to do with me.  Like a few moments of peace is a bad thing!  ha!  Weekly bath time it is, sister.  Bring it!

Okay, at long last I need to talk to you about something super important.

It involves chocolate.

And brownbutter.

And brownies!

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Layered Brownies!

You need them.

I need them.  You make some and send me one.  Or two.  Or the whole pan.  I’m easy.

I used the recipe for Brownie Bites, only I put the entire thing into a 9×9 pan, rather than those mini muffin tins.  I want to say I baked them for 22-25 minutes at the same temperature.  Under baking just a tad is what I was going for and I didn’t time them.  I may have forgotten.  Or there might have been wine.  It’s one of those.

Once I took them out, I used a brown butter frosting that I had left over from cupcakes.  Make it like this.  Melt a stick of unsalted butter over medium heat.  Whisk and scrape down the sides occasionally until it gets a golden brown color (don’t burn it….it goes from golden to burned FAST!).  Remove from heat and add 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup or so (you can always add more if you want it thinner but I wanted it a bit thick and creamy) and a teaspoon of vanilla.  Whisk it all together until it’s smooth.  Spread it atop your brownies.  Don’t use it all!  It’s rich and I used maybe half to a third of this amount (because mine was leftover, remember?).  I then melted some chocolate melting wafers…..you could use chocolate, maybe bittersweet, with a splash of cream.  I spread this on top of the frosting.  Because, clearly, more of a good thing is more better!

Put the whole pan in the refrigerator and let it get nice and cold.  Cut into bars.  I wish I’d made mine smaller.  I cut mine into sixteen sections.  But, they were so rich I wished I’d but them even smaller maybe twenty-five sections.  Next time.  Serve these cold.  Like how I said serve as opposed to just dive in and devour them all!?

Time to knock a few more books of my list.  Ready?

I few I was meh about.  They all got great reviews, and by reviews I mean stars as I don’t like to read actual reviews.  It’s also the reason I don’t go into detail here about books.  I want to discover and enjoy the story myself.  I just like to know if people liked them or not.  Am I in the minority there?  No, really, I’m curious.

Anyway.

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This is another one of those Bronte inspired tales.  It was fine.  The main character is a complete smartass.  I’ve a thing for smartasses.  Kindred spirits and all that.  It was an okay read.  Not enough plot or enough interesting plot for me.  But Ms. Lowell rocks the smartass, so there’s that.

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Without the whole religious, somewhat preachiness thing, I’d have enjoyed this one more.  It was interesting if you can put the rest aside.  I’m not particularly religious.  I’m Catholic, went to Catholic school, love the Pope, blah, blah, blah but I tend to be more spiritual than religious.  And, it’s a personal thing for me.  Weirdest thing about living where I do is having people, I’ve only just met, ask which church I go to.  I always want to ask why?  Do they plan on stalking me?  Converting?  Yeah, I’ve explained I’m weird.

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It’s been a while since I read this one.  I’m still not sure what I thought of it.  It was either fine or a complete waste of time.  I can’t decide.  I want to write to those people who called it one of the books of the summer and ask them to explain.  That would require time though so not happening.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with one I loved.  Prepare to be surprised.

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Oh, I’m still mad as hell at her for killing off McDreamy.  But her book?  Loved it.  Inspirational and funny and such a pleasure to race through.  I’d read it again.  Just because.  Don’t tell her though.  She might think it’s fine to kill off Meredith!

Okay, gotta run.  Hope you guys are having a great week!