Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Christmas Decorations

Well, the Christmas hangover began yesterday morning. I slid my groaning body out of bed around 6:00am so that I could ready myself for a morning of competing with other crazed shoppers for the best of what's left of the Christmas decorations. I've recently redecorated my living room and dining room so I of course needed some new decorations that would work with my new color scheme. Shooter was excited, as you can imagine. Well, my Mom and I hit Target a little after 7am with my Dad and Shooter in tow. We'd missed the mad dash to the farthest corner of the store holding the decorations....and therefore missed out on the opportunity to get a regular shopping cart. We had to settle on the one that will seat two kids....ha! Anyway...we were a regular army going in there. I knew what I wanted and accomplished it in grand style. Mom did pretty well too. From there we were off to the mall....then a sporting goods store....then Best Buy. Shooter's now headed back to the ATL since he has to work tomorrow. I'm staying with my parents a few more days before heading back. I plan on nursing my hangover a bit....perhaps with wild and crazy Wii tourneys at my cousins house? :-)

Here's a peek at some of the things I luckily landed this morning.

Whew...hope your hangover is better today. :-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Family, Fun and Food

My Mom's side of the family has always done something fun on Christmas Day evening. Sometimes it's going to a movie, a lot of times it was bowling, and last night we had a Wii tourney at my cousin's house. We had a blast and by we, I mean me and I have to say that I really must get a Wii for myself. That thing is addictive and way fun! I had thought I wanted I know I have to have one. Shooter agrees with me. So, we'll see what we can scare up over the next few weeks.

I made a new dip for the fam last night and it was very well received. It's the second time I have made it and everyone seems to really like it. Unfortunately I have no pictures, but I'll give you guys the recipe.

Laura's Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 - 8oz packages light cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup chunky blue cheese dressing
1 package Perdue Shortcuts, shred chicken into smaller pieces
3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
celery sticks
Fritos Scoops

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and blue cheese dressing (I use Marie's brand that you get in the produce section) together with a hand mixer on low speed. Pour that mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. In a medium size bowl, combine chicken and wing sauce (I use Texas Pete Buffalo Wing Sauce). Pour the chicken over the cream cheese mixture. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min or until bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and Fritos.

I hope that your holidays were filled with as much fun, food and good times with family as mine.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Me, Shooter, Morey and Leah

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elvis has left the building!

Woo Hoo! Today is Thursday, December 20 and I am officially a free woman. Today starts my vacation and I won't return to work until Friday, January 4. I haven't had a vacation this long for quite a while. I so need this time off - the last couple of months at work have been really hard on a lot of us. Just really busy and lots of change.

I get to head home to Knoxville and spend the time with my parents and extended family. It's hard being away from them all, but it just makes the time we get to spend together all that more special. My brother and sister-in-law will be coming in as well so my parents will have a house full - just like they like it.

I snapped a pic of Leah this morning, I couldn't find her and called her name and she popped her head up from this little burrow she made. Let's play, Where's Leah??

Well, tonight we'll have some friends over for dinner and I'm making my take on chicken pot pie. It's absurdly quick and delicious and easy!

Laura's Chicken Pot Pie

1 package Pillsbury Pie Crust (from the refrigerator section)
2 C shredded chicken (I use a store bought rotisserie chicken)
1 small can Veg-all, drained
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup
4 oz cream cheese
salt, pepper, garlic powder and poultry seasoning to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take one of the pie crusts and roll it out a little on a lightly floured surface. Place carefully in a 9" pie crust. Crimp the edges as you'd like. In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, heat together the soup and cream cheese for about 2 minutes. Stir to combine. Add the Veg-all and chicken to the soup and cream cheese mixture. Stir well to combine - if it seems too thick, thin out with a little chicken stock or milk. Taste and add salt, pepper, garlic powder and poultry seasoning to taste. Pour into pie shell. Roll out second crust a little and do whatever you want with it. I usually cut out crazy shapes and what not...cause I'm kinda crazy like that. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and place in the middle of your oven. Bake for about 30-45 min until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Let cool for about 5-10 min before serving. this pot pie was so delicious I didn't even have a chance to take photos. We literally ate the pan clean. Thanks to Dusty. ;-) I did however snap a photo or two of the table before we ate.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas. Postings may be erratic over the next couple of weeks as I'll be hanging with the fam. Count on early morning pics of my brother to make it on here. He's completely embarrassed me by putting up a pic on his Myspace page of us two years ago on Christmas morning....just wait, bro.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

MMMmmmMMMmmm...Peanut Butter Cookies!!

AAAhhhh...can I tell you how much I loooooooove Peanut Butter Cookies. I actually tried to make some this weekend...they fell flat....literally...they were like coasters. It was horrible. Of course I chalk up the failure to a faulty recipe and nothing that the baker did. :-) So, I was poking around in my fave blogs, and lo and behold, shining like a beacon in the night was Deb from Smitten Kitchen and her Magnolia Bakery Peanut Butter Cookies. I immediately texted Shooter and told him what I needed from the store. I was committed to trying these that very night.

Ohhhh...were they good....I use past tense as I consumed entirely too many of them. And boy howdy wasn't that batter delicious....I can say that because Shooter and I ate one scoop for every three we put on the pan. I was in Peanut Butter Cookie heaven. So were the stalking snowmen...

Oh, and my female schnauzer was dying to get her little paws on one. She sat right under my feet as I was rolling them and putting them on the pan. She's a booger that one. She's also a lover of all things peanut butter (not all bad for a dog) and chocolate (VERY bad for a dog). She wasn't happy when I banished her to the living room...

Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Pound of Pure Sinful Bliss!!!

Ahhh....poundcake. For Southerners, the mere word poundcake invokes memories of their grandmothers (or mothers), and bundt pans, and tons of butter....and more butter.

Cream Cheese Poundcake

3 Cups Sugar
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
8oz Cream Cheese, softened
6 eggs
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 package Toll House Chocolate Chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pan by liberally greasing it - I use Baker's Joy. Cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add in the vanilla. Add in the eggs and the flour, alternating additions of each. Add pinch of salt. Toss the chocolate chunks with a little flour and then stir into the batter. Add to the pan and bake for 90 min.

I decided that it was time that I try to perfect Shooter's grandmother's recipe for Cream Cheese Poundcake. Shooter's Mom makes the best poundcake and try as I might, I just can't get it down. I blame it on my gas oven...hear that Shooter...I need a new oven, STAT!!!! I baked a couple plain ones that were pretty darn good. I then got a wild hair and decided to try adding in chocolate chunks. They were getting better each time....until this last one....the one I had to take to Shooter's Family Christmas Celebration. Yup, the Christmas gathering with all the fam...including Shooter's Mom. GULP. Shooter volunteered me to bring the poundcake...I coulda shot him...hehehehe. Not really, baby! ;-) Anyway...I thought, sure! I'll do this! Umm...not so much....I overbaked it....badly. It wasn't horrible, but by far not my best. So I got home and crawled into the corner and cried. Not really...but I felt bad about baking such a disaster. are my little snowmen stalking the least it looked good...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Do I look fat in this? I looked at the last post I put up in November and I've been sick for approximately one month. It sucks. I kinda got over it and Shooter got sick....then he made me sick again. Gotta love men...anyway, I'm back on the road to recovery and feel better every day (I know my podmate is so glad that I'm not blowing my nose every other minute and coughing nonstop during the minutes I'm not blowing out my brains out.

Anyway....I have been pondering something that crazy (and also nasty, mean and vile) Janice Dickinson said the other day. She was being interviewed by Al Roker and he asked her about whether she thought Jennifer Love Hewitt was fat (a reference to pictures taken by the papparazzi of her at the beach). Janice didn't even address the question, but took it as an opportunity to jump on the "let's beat up Tyra Banks" bandwagon. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge Tyra fan...she definitely gets on my nerves...but please, I'm so sick of the tiny portion of the population deciding that normal sized women are fat.

I read a blog posting about how women should take ownership of the word fat. Personally, I still struggle from enough self esteem issues to want to crawl into a corner and suck my thumb and pick at my toes at the thought of owning the word fat. Calling myself fat is something I do when I'm in a self hating mood...not when I want to celebrate how talented I am. I hate the other terms we use though...we call ourselves "curvy", "volumptuous", "bbw", and "fluffy". All endearing terms for the same thing....we're fat.

Well, perhaps one day we can lessen the sting of the word fat. After all, it is just a word....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Camera!!!!! I finally got my new baby, my new gadget and techy toy. I bought a Nikon D40 yesterday. I thought I'd show off a few of my pictures.

Ahhh...more objects of my obsession to come...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No, I don't smoke 4 packs a day

Ha! Wouldn't you know it...I'm coming down with my first official "cold" of the season. I feel pretty crappy and I called up the doc and asked if he could call me in something to make me better, FAST! Unfortunately there's this virus going around...whatever....and I am in the early stages of it. Apparently it's supposed to make me feel better that there's nothing so wrong with me that I need medicine. I got the whole, drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, get plenty of Vitamin C and if you're not better in a week call us back. Ha! If I'm not dead in a week, I'll call. boss calls me this moring...he asks if he detects a bit of a cold coming on. After I rolled my eyes and made faces he couldn't see - I told him that yea, I think I have something trying to come on. He said his wife has the same thing and plans on blaming me if he gets sick. Ha...sorry bud...not going to be able to blame your assistant on this one. Perhaps blaming your 6 hour flight from the west coast is a better need to hack off your wife AND your assistant. He then has the wherewithall to say that it sounds like I'm a 4 pack a day smoker. Ha Ha Ha. He's a commodian, my boss. In all actuality, it does sound like I smoke that much...and that I've been smoking that way since I was 10 (so you don't have to wonder....that was 25 years ago). It was worse this morning and I had to laugh at myself as I was singing to the radio - man oh man, did I have the bass part covered! Ha!

Anyway....perhaps I will make some chicken noodle soup....make Shooter do all the housework....and curl up on the sofa with the pups. Yea, now that sounds like a plan!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I hate talking about money

Cold hard caaaaash. Moola. Cashola. Deniero. Benjamins. Daaaaahlahhz.

Ya know...I hate talking about money. BUT - you can't really get through life without it. I like to talk about wanting more money....I like money in general....but I don't like talking about how to make it go farther or not being able to spend it like a crazy woman on everything I see. I'm an impulsive buyer...always have been...unfortunately wasn't ever taught how to reign that in. I'm getting better, I'm starting to get the whole less is more concept.

Shooter and I have to get on a budget. It's gonna be a horrible session of gnashing of teeth and tears and me retreating to the corner to suck my thumb - but we need to do it. We honestly don't have a good idea of where our money minute we have some...the next it's gone. I'm sure you all understand.

We're currently going through a series on Godly money management at church. It's really smacked Shooter and I upside the head. I think more than ever about how we spend our money and what we buy. I'll keep ya'll updated on our progress - this is actually a way for me to keep myself accountable. Ugh...did I just say that. Double Ugh.

Happy Monday.... :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Just another crazy Saturday

Whew...I am left trying to catch my breath after another crazy Saturday....of course I'm talking about college football. Specifically Southeastern Conference college football. In the Fall this obsession competes with all other obligations I might have. My nails do not get manicured, my laundry piles up to the ceiling, my dogs howl and whine to be fed, dishes pile up in the sink and my hiney is constantly numb from sitting on the couch or in a chair watching hours of football. I suppose I come by this obsession honestly...I am after all a girl of the South. My father instilled in me a passion for college football, more specifically Southeastern Conference college football, and MOST importantly the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Yes, I was born and raised in Knoxville and bleed orange. Okay...that's cliche...however it's true, and I glow in the dark. I was born in Oak Ridge after all. Anyway, girls like me are prized in the South. I'm a girlie girl, I love to dress up and do my hair, nails and makeup. I love dresses and lovely handbags....and I love to scream and yell and throw chicken wing bones at the TV when the ref makes a horrible call. My husband loves that about least he says he does....

See, I so named this blog the right thing...I ramble, I get off topic and I basically converse by free association. I realize this and I accept'll get no apologies from me. as I was saying...I basically plopped my football loving self in front of the TV all afternoon to watch my beloved Vols play Arkansas...yes, dear ones, my Vols won! It was a glorious afternoon indeed. THEN, Shooter's "Back in Black" Georgia Bulldogs pulled one out against Auburn. He's happy, my podmate at work will not. Personally, and shhh don't tell Shooter that I admitted this, I was hoping Auburn would win...but I never betrayed myself and rooted for Georgia - they're a mighty fine team after all (Do ya'll Knowshon? You should...he'll be a Heisman winner in a couple of years). Best yet, those darn Illini beat Ohio State. I laugh in the face of the BCS right now. I have hated the BCS since it's inception and now they're completely thrown into a tizzy. I LOVE it. I get to pick at my cuticles, chew my bottom lip and twirl my hair in anticipation of next week. It's a big laugh but I do not. Vandy used to be the whipping boy of the longer. They always seem to figure out a way to make the lives of Vol fans miserable. As so many pundits have said...and I've heard it so much it makes me wanna faint...we hold our own destiny in our hands....

Friday, November 9, 2007


I have recently developed a fascination with abstract photography, mostly of architectural elements. I LOVE Charleston and the seemingly endless supply of subjects. My husband and I, since I'm sure I'll refer to him often let's call him Shooter, have visited Charleston twice in the last two years. Each time we bought matted photographs from a very talented lady there in the market. I also took my own photographs, which I have to say are pretty darn good. Recently we did some redecorating in the house and Shooter helped me hang up the dozen or so frames over our new and oh so comfy couch.

The photo above I framed on it's own as a 5x7. The following were grouped together as 4x6 photos in a triple frame.

One of my absolute favorites on the wall, though, is this one:

I have my eye on a Canon Powershot G9 as a gift to myself when I get my company is so graciously giving us an extra 20% this year and I plan to use it to further my addiction. Heh.

The Inner Child

Okay...has anyone ever accused you of being childish and immature? I was accused of that yesterday, and not by my husband (although everyone we've ever encountered knows he has grounds to do that) or by one of my friends (although lord knows they have reasons to) or by my mother (who has about a gazillion reasons and counting) - it happened in the craziest of places. The place where I am the most professional and focused - AT WORK! Now, I must confess that it wasn't just me who was accused of being childish and immature - an entire group of us were marched in to a room and we were told that we need to grow up. Apparently there are a few people in the group whose inner children aren't playing fair and are bonking others over the head with their plastic shovels. But to brand an entire group as childish - isn't that a bit much...I play fair...I share...and I smile at everyone. For Pete's Sake, why can't we lock the offending children in a room and let them fight it out....preferably put them in a room with windows so that we can all watch the hair pulling and biting and the shin kicking...