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

Thursday, February 10

DON"T Call the Plumber

Here's a handy dandy way to unclog your drain with basic household ingredients. Oh, and it's green, too.

Baking Soda
Distilled White Vinegar
Hot Water

  1. Pour ¾ cup baking soda into the drain
  2. Pour ½ cup vinegar down the drain
  3. Cover the drain completely with a rag or plug to make sure nothing escapes
  4. Let the baking soda and vinegar do their magic for 30 minutes
  5. Meanwhile boil a kettle of water
  6. Pour hot water down the drain

If the drain remains clogged, repeat the above steps and it should be good as new.

Tuesday, February 8

Roo vs. The Shovel

It's been snowing like crazy in Boulder over the past 6 hours or so. The ironic thing is that by Friday and Saturday we'll have temps in the 50s and maybe even 60s. Weird.

A thrifty way to clear snow - the kids. It saves both time and money. And it's pretty cute, too.

Monday, February 7

Here's the Dealio

Some fun finds for a Monday morning:

zulily - Cupcakes & Pastries up to 45% off (some of the cutest girls clothes I've seen in a LONG time)

BoCo Daily Deal - 6 cupcakes for $10 (regular price is $2.50.ea) at Kim & Jake's Cakes in Boulder

Groupon - $59 for 1 month unlimited classes plus first week of classes free (regular price $159) at CorePower Yoga

WeeklyPlus - $10 for $20 purchase at Wild Bangkok (organic thai food)

Sunday, February 6

Thrifty New Uses for Old-Fashioned Remedies

Since I'm always looking for a deal, I've been looking for unique uses of items available at any drug store. Plus I love the idea of utilizing old-fashioned products today. There's a reason these items have been around for decades.

Vicks VapoRub

Vicks VapoRub was created in the 1890s at a family drug store and reached success in 1918 during the Spanish flu epidemic. Originally called "Magic Croup Salve," the name was changed to VapoRub in 1912.

In addition to relieving congestion, VapoRub can be used to:

  • Soften feet and elbows
  • Keep energetic kittens from scratching legs
  • Relieve the itching and burn of mosquito and fire ant bites

1.76 oz for about $4 and Vicks currently offers a coupon for $1 off 


Vaseline Petroleum Jelly has been around since 1887 when chemist Robert Augustus Chesebrough noticed a jelly-like substance on oil drilling rods. He purified the jelly to a clear smooth substance and Vaseline was born.

Vaseline can be used to:

  • Revitalize leather shoes
  • Loosen rings stuck to your fingers 
  • Keep shampoo out of baby's eyes (a little dab above the eyebrows is all it takes)
  • Keep light bulb threads from sticking to the socket
  • Keep the wheels on skateboards and skates lubricated
  • Keep wax from sticking to candle holders
  • Get chewing gum out of hair

A 13 oz jar costs a mere $3.


Coca-Cola was originally created as a cure for numerous afflictions - exhaustion, headaches, impotence and indigestion - in 1886. The carbonated water was added to the caramel-colored liquid and a legend was born.

Coca-Cola can be used to:

  • Remove rust
  • Clean windows
  • Make marinade for ham and chicken
  • Remove skunk smell
  • De-blacken pots
  • Relieve pain from jellyfish stings 
  • Kill bugs
  • Create explosions (Coke and Mentos, anyone?)

Next time you're looking to solve a household problem, try using these products in a new way.

Friday, February 4


JCrew's older, chic-er, more expensive sister, Madewell, has tons of items listed for final sale.

Roaring Twenties Tank
The Brownstone Bag

Sale items run the gamut - wool hats and mittens, wool jackets, shoes, boots, dresses, sweaters and floaty tops. In other words, you can wear sale items now AND later.

But, buyer beware. . .no returns on final sale items.

Thursday, February 3

Twitter Hop Thursday - February 3

Welcome to Twitter Hop Thursday, hosted by Simply StacieThe King’s Court IVLittle Yaya’sKelly's Lucky You and Dear Crissy.

Would you like more Twitter followers and be introduced to more neat blogs and businesses out there? Come and join us!!

1. Add your Twitter to the MckLinky (you only have to add it to one and it will appear on all).
2. Click on Twitter for the four hostesses and follow each of them. They will follow you back.
3. Follow as many people on Twitter as you like, but make sure to leave comments with links so they’ll know where to follow you!

Spread the word and add this MckLinky to your blog! Write your own post or copy and paste this one. Below the MckLinky box, you’ll see “Want to be a part of this Blog Hop? Click here for instructions and code”. Have fun Twitter-Hopping along!

We have selected a Twitterer of the Week from last week’s entries and the lucky winner is @whyrustalkingme! They will be in the #6 spot! We will choose next week’s winner from everyone who participated today.

Please only add your Twitter url. All other entries will be deleted. Thank you!

Monday, January 31

Beauty Deals in Unexpected Places

You never know when you'll find a beauty deal, especially in unexpected places.

On a recent Sunday, the Diva and I were killing time while we waited to pick up Roo from a birthday party. We decided to go to Borders for coffee - Seattle's Best - and book browsing since, like her mommy, she is the girl who loved books. After hot chocolate - with whipped cream of course - and a latté, we took a look around and found some significant markdowns on Paperchase merchandise. And, voilá!

Marked down from $9.99 to 98¢. What a steal! Lip balm for the winter in yummy flavors and colors.


Sunday, January 23

Radio Silence

Over the past week I've been mulling over my state of affairs. No writing. Thinking. Reflecting. Considering.

I've been thinking about my day-to-day activities and long-term plans. As a stay-at-home mom, I've got a pretty good gig. I can't get fired, I don't get performance reviews (most of the time), and I get to spend time with my kids, volunteer at school and care for my family. 

But it's no secret that women often lose their identities while raising children. On the one hand, you embark on the best and most difficult job you'll ever have. On the other, you put yourself on the back burner. Oh, alright, you can disagree if you want or think it won't happen to you. I never thought it would happen to me. I would NEVER lose myself or step off my path. 

In college I had nothing but disdain for the female students attending simply to get their "MRS" degree. I had better things to do. However, things didn't go according to plan. As they say, "Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans." Nothing tragic or disappointing. Just not many of the things I had envisioned. 

I am, afterall, the sum total of my choices and experiences. No one held a gun to my head and forced me to do something I didn't want to do. I happily made my choices.

I've been thinking and thinking about what I want to be "when I grow up" and I still don't have a clue. I'm troubled that I somehow morphed from a focused child/young person, seemingly without notice, into an adult in a perpetual state of limbo. It's not efficient (read: thrifty) or very satisfying. I know that I'm the only one that can do anything about it. But it's hard to do. 

Let's face it, I'm not Madonna and don't have her preternatural ability to constantly reinvent herself.