Thursday, March 10

From the Mouths of Babes

Glee isn't the only thing that's got me laughing these days. Roo and one of his 2nd grade buddies have me cracking up.

Last night, Roo was emptying ice trays into an ice container. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied while he pounded on the tray, "I'm trying to get this bad boy outta here."

At soccer a couple of weeks ago, Roo arrived late to indoor soccer (bad mommy). His coach said hi to him and Roo said "Yo," with a big wave in the air. That kid is such a joker.

During afternoon carpool, Roo and his buddy have devised some excellent uses for mini pretzel twists. One day they asked me to look at them - they occupy the third row during carpool - and I busted up. Roo's friend had broken his pretzel and placed it in his nose like a ring in a bull's nose. Seriously.

The other day they were using the pretzels as glasses.

Leave it to little boys. Their imaginations never cease to amaze me.

I really had no idea pretzels could be so much fun (although I do know that they're a thrifty snack for ravenous kids).

Wednesday, March 9

Gwynnie's Back

Good grief, glee was PG-13 last night. The Diva had to get her eye muffs on and luckily Roo was out of the room. Personally, I like Joan Jett but the whole game changes when kiddos are in the room.

Jayma Mays' performance of 'Afternoon Delight' as a song about celibacy made me laugh harder than I had in a really long time. I love glee.

Monday, March 7

Monday Madness

Check out today's dealios. Even if you can't indulge, it's always fun to look.

LivingSocial - $30 for $60 worth of clothing at Body Bark

BoCo Deals - $10 for $20 worth of merchandise at Whole Pets

Groupon - $25 for one ticket (regular $56) to Cabaret (professional production) at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities

WeeklyPlus - $7 for $20 gold wash package at The Wave Car Care Center

LOFT - 3 spring sweaters (new merchandise ) marked down to $25 each

JCrew - extra 30% off final sale items 

Nordstrom - women's shoe clearance

Banana Republic - 30% off purchase until noon today (Sunday Brunch to Monday Lunch promotion)

Thursday, March 3

The Diva's Birthday Cake

Back to the Diva's birthday cake. . .

Suffice it to say the Diva likes dessert, especially chocolate, as much as I do. The richer the better. And birthdays are the perfect time to indulge. A flourless chocolate cake from The Joy of Cooking sounded perfect.

Flourless Chocolate Decadence
Makes one 8-inch round cake
Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 x 2-inch round cake pan (not a springform) and line the bottom with wax or parchment paper.

Combine in a large heatproof bowl:
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
10 tablespoons (1 and a quarter sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ten pieces

Set the bowl in a large skillet of barely simmering water and stir often until the chocolate and butter are warm, melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in 5 egg yolks.

Beat in large bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form:
5 large egg whites
1 quarter teaspoon cream of tartar

Gradually add, beating on high speed until the peaks are stiff but not dry:
1 tablespoon sugar

Use a rubber spatula to fold one quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Set the pan in a large shallow baking dish or roasting pan, set the baking dish in the oven, and pour enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for exactly 30 minutes; the top of the cake will have a thin crust and the interior will still be gooey.

Set the cake pan on a rack to cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled, or overnight. To unmold, slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the pan. Invert the cake and peel off the paper liner. Reinvert onto a serving platter.

Store in the refrigerator, but remove 1 hour or more before serving to soften.

The cake didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped. As usual I was running behind - I went  to no less than 4 stores to find the gift at the top of the Diva's list, volunteered in Roo's classroom, went to the grocery store, etc., etc. - and didn't make the cake until after I picked the kids up at school.

The melting and mixing went according to plan and so did the baking. The problem started when I was ready to serve the cake. Even though the cake hadn't chilled long enough, I had to serve it. Bad idea. When I tried to remove it from the pan, it had a pudding-like consistency. Not quite what I expected, although it was delicious. After chilling overnight, the cake was lush and dense. But it never did look right since I was too impatient.

Note to self: make the cake the night before.

Tuesday, March 1

Roxy Heart Vintage Giveaway

Roxy Heart Vintage is giving away a gorgeous little rustic wood cake stand on March 17 to one lucky Facebook friend! 

The rules are simple:
2. Suggest the page to at least 5 of your friends: use the ‘Share’ link in the bottom left hand corner.
3. Post something you like from the Roxy Heart Vintage website on your wall and encourage your friends to ‘like’ us them as well!

When you’ve completed the steps above, be sure to post that you’ve entered on Roxy Heart Vintage's Facebook page.

The winner will be chosen at random and notified once it has been verified that the rules have been met. Good luck and spread the word!

Thursday, February 24

Dogs vs. Skunk

You can guess who won. Since 6:30 am yesterday, we've been dealing with rampant skunk odor. What a way to start the day.

Our lab, Riley, went after the skunk as soon as he went out the door. My husband opened the door as soon as he heard Riley going crazy. Everything we own smells awful. The smell is even on our clothes IN OUR CLOSETS on the second floor.

Luckily we acted quickly to mitigate the damage. We used a thrifty bath for the dogs - 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, one quarter to half a cup of baking soda and a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid. Rinse the dogs with warm water, rub the mixture down to the skin and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Repeat as necessary. Since we were in our morning rush, the dogs only got one bath but needed more.

The poor kids went to school with their clothes and bags smelling slightly of skunk but enough to be noticeable. The nurse at Roo's school called and said Jack was complaining about the skunk smell making his stomach upset. THAT'S a call you want from the school nurse; Mother of the Year, here I come. I sprayed a shirt and pair of pants and beat feet to the school. He smelled much better with the new clothes and because I removed the offending coat and backpack from school premises.

His teacher had a great sense of humor about it, but I think the poor kid was a little traumatized. When the Diva described her experience, see below, Roo said he was humiliated, too. First thing the teacher said was that it smelled like skunk in the classroom. Roo told the story about the dogs, so his coat and backpack were placed outside on a bench. Then, he said, his teacher had to spry the classroom (hence the humiliation). At least he wasn't teased by his friends.

The Diva, on the other hand, had to deal with middle school 'mean girl' garbage. Two girls, supposedly friends, plugged their noses every time they walked by her and each time she opened her locker. Yuck.

My children, I have to say, handled it admirably. Sad faces at pick up, but not long lasting.

When we arrived home, more fumigating. I used Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover on our furniture and carpet and the dogs got three more baths with a deskunking shampoo. Poor Riley's face still stinks to high heaven since he got the brunt of it.

We're all spraying our clothes as we walk out the door to spare others from the smell. We're using Nature's Miracle which is supposed to be non-toxic. But who knows. Although, I'll take chemicals over social suicide any day.

My husband has the funniest outlook in the family. He posted a photo of Bill Murray hunting the gopher in Caddyshack on his facebook page with the comment, "Skunk 1, dogs 0."

Hopefully the smell will do us a favor and leave SOON and things can go back to normal.

Saturday, February 19

Happy Birthday to the Diva

Well, it's happened. The Diva turned 12 yesterday. Sigh.

By her own admission she had a great day. At school yesterday her french class went to Le Central, a french restaurant in Denver. The child tried escargot, moules (mussels), poulet cordon bleu, and mousse au chocolat. Not a bad start to the day.

In the afternoon, her social studies class had a fiesta during which she went down to 32 inches in the limbo. Didn't win, though. Her friend won with only 29 inches (unbelievable).

We had dinner at home - thai shrimp and lemongrass soup, cashew chicken and flourless chocolate cake (more on the cake tomorrow).

Finally, we ended the day with a trip to Zing in Boulder where she got feathers in her hair. Have you seen this? I'm not sure if it's a Boulder/Denver thing. Basically the stylist glues the feathers into the hair, the same process used for extensions. Crazy, but she was in heaven.

Best of all, she said it was the best birthday ever. It made me feel really good.

Thursday, February 17

President's Day Savings

If you're in the mood - and have the $$ - President's Day sales are a great way to go. Most start on Friday and go through Monday. A small sample:

Pizza Pi Cutters

The Spoon Sisters - 15% off orders of $75 or more; free shipping on orders of $50 or more

JCrew - Long Weekend Event: 20% off orders of $150 or more

LOFT - 25% off full-price purchases

Piperlime - Up to 70% off final sale of the season

As I mentioned, this is far from an exhaustive list. Do some digging and you can find some great deals.

Monday, February 14