I have had a busy couple of days and I only have about 15 minutes to get a post in before I’m leaving for a much needed night out on the town.  I find the best way to commit to my daily posting, but still post something that isn’t complete b.s. (although, let’s be honest, it’s about 90% b.s. on my blog) is to review or recommend a recipe.

Yesterday, I made Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting.  I’m calling them drunkcakes.  The alcohol will cook out of the cupcake, but not the frosting.  You can’t actually get drunk from these, but you can taste the Bailey’s in the frosting.  It could be because I maxed out on the recommended amount in the recipe.  The recipe called for 4-8 Tablespoons of Bailey’s so I went the full 8…or maybe 9.  I kind of lost count.

Here is the recipe for Guinness and Bailey Irish Cupcakes.  Don’t bother making the filling.  I didn’t and they were awesome.  I think the filling would be too much.  I should have taken a picture of the cupcakes, but alas I did not.



Flashback Friday Happy Birthday Edition!

I have lots of friends with a birthday today and I am really tired.  So I’m kind of taking the easy way out with my blog post.  It’s also my grandma’s birthday and for the record, I don’t send my grandma the same kind of cards that I send my dad.  His birthday is Monday…check back for his special card I made for him.

My Grandma Lee

It’s pretty obvious how I met my grandma.  My grandma is awesome.  She always has been.  Her and my grandpa were always spoiling us when we were kids and she still does to this day.  Grandma never forgets a birthday, and the woman can tell stories!  I typed up her memoirs for her a couple of years ago.  The stories were fascinating and she has told me other stories, not included in the memoirs, that are for a more mature audience.  I don’t know if she would approve of me passing those stories along on here so I’ll keep those to myself and maybe I’ll write some memoirs someday and include them there.

Janis with her two beautiful babies, Jack and Violet.

Janis and I met in Boob Group (AKA Breastfeeding Support Group) after Jack and Kamryn were born.  I had been attending Boob Group for a couple of months before Janis came in with Jack for the first time, but it wasn’t long after that first time that I knew we were meant to be friends.  Each time the group met, we went around the room and discussed any problems or questions we had.  One day Janis asked, “What do you guys do with your babies all day?  Should I be trying to teach him French?”  She also dressed Jack in a onesie that said “No hablo.”  Hilarious.  We kept in touch during the time I was living in Iowa so naturally, we picked up right where we left off once I moved back to San Diego.

Matt and his Shake Weight.

I don’t know that I really need to explain anything about Matt.  He has a Shake Weight in his hand for Christ’s sake!  I actually don’t remember the first time I met Matt.  Him and my brother were friends and it seems that my brother’s friends eventually end up being my friends.  I happened to spill Hpnotiq all over his white shirt at an Iowa Football game once and after trying to convince him to let me buy him a new shirt, I ended up buying his dog, Wrigley, a box of Milkbones instead.  I’m pretty sure Wrigley found it to be a fair deal.


Oh Espy.  Esperanza and I used to work together.  I first met her when I had to interview her for her job.  She came in my office and I think I asked her one work-related question before we got completely off topic.  We sat and talked for about an hour and she said something that always stuck with me.  She told me that she had had some hard times, but if she makes a decision that she wants something, then she’ll do whatever it takes to do it.  The reason it stuck with me is because she actual does do it.  Espy made me laugh all the time.  She told me I was the whitest girl she ever met and tried, with some success, to teach me how to roll my r’s when speaking Spanish.  She had a nickname for me, that I could never remember and for all I know, she was calling me a dirty whore, but I didn’t care because I liked how she said it.

So happy birthday to all my wonderful friends and family today!!

10 Miles!

For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you may remember me posting about Kamryn and her reaching her 5 Mile goal in running club at school.  It took her nearly 5 months to reach the 5 mile mark, but she’s 5 and I know I hadn’t run 5 miles in an organized fashion when I was that age. That is a lot of “5”‘s in that paragraph.

Today, only 3 months after reaching her 5 mile goal, she has earned her 10 mile ribbon!

10 Miles!!

I’m pretty impressed that she has shaved 2 months off of her time.  I’m always striving to knock off a few seconds here and there, but Kamryn is committed to this running thing.  It may or may not have something to do with me promising a trip to Legoland when she reached her 10 mile goal.

Tomorrow is the school Family Fun Run, a fundraiser where the kids get pledges and donations for the school based on how many laps they run.  Kamryn raised $100 and while she doesn’t have to run a specific number of laps, I plan on running with her.  They only have about 45 minutes and if I can keep her on my pace, we should be able to run about 5 miles.  I’m kidding, but I am looking forward to running with my little girl tomorrow.  Rory has already said he isn’t going to run, but something tells me he’s going to change his mind once he sees all the kids running tomorrow.  Not to mention, the boy doesn’twalk anywhere.  He runs every place he goes.

WTF Wednesday

I’m starting a new segment on my blog called WTF Wednesday.  I’m not going to promise a WTF post every Wednesday because I may not have one or more likely, I will have forgotten that I have declared Wednesdays as WTF Wednesday.  So here’s the premise:  There are a lot of things that perplex me.  These aren’t major life issues, or quantum physics, just odd happenings that ended with me thinking, “WTF?”  I’m not searching for answers to these conundrums, but I am curious about your thoughts.  I came up with this today because I was thinking about an event that happened 2 days before my wedding.

I had my bachelorette party the Thursday night before my wedding.  It was a fairly conservative affair and by that, I mean we didn’t have strippers or lots of penis paraphernalia.  I spent it with my best girlfriends out on the town and later had Ryan, my brother and a few of the husbands/fiances/boyfriends of the girls meet us.

There are a couple of things that I distinctly remember about that night.  One was my sudden love of Jägerbombs.  I don’t know how they do it.  Separately, I don’t think I could stomach Jägermeister or Red Bull.  I find them both to be disgusting, but together…it’s a glass of deliciousness. Probably the reason I only really remember a couple of things about my bachelorette party.

The second was a woman, maybe in her 40’s, who approached our table later in the evening.  I was wearing a fuzzy, pink tiara as per the American Bachelorette tradition.  On her way out of the bar, she stopped and asked me if it was my birthday.  I told her “No, I’m getting married on Saturday.”  I’ll let you guess what her response was:

  1. Congratulations!
  2. Best wishes on a wonderful life together!
  3. You’ll make a beautiful bride!
  4. I hope it works out.

Yeah, it was #4.  And as you might have guessed, the next words that came out of my mouth were “What the fuck?!”

Hence, WTF Wednesday.

It’s Good To Be A Loser

I turned the news on this morning and the first story I watched was, Man Hurt In Crash Sues Skydiving Company.  You don’t really need to watch the video to get the gist of the story, it’s fairly self explanatory.

As some of you may recall, I recently lost a contest in which the prize was a skydiving jump.  I am not ashamed to say that the mere thought of winning the prize was terrifying, but I’m sure nothing in comparison to actually winning.  By the way, congratulations Chanel!

Today I imagined that I did win that prize and then watched this news story.  One thing that the man says is that he wasn’t shown the 15 minute instructional video before going up in the plane, therefore, he didn’t know how to land.  Um, that’s kind of a big deal.  Isn’t landing really the only thing you have to know how to do when skydiving?  I mean, there’s the whole parachute thing, but he was jumping tandem so I assume that pulling the ripcord is left solely up to that dude on your back.  Also, if the parachute doesn’t open, well, then you aren’t really landing so much as slamming into the ground.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel for this guy.  I really do, but why not speak up?  What’s wrong with saying “You forgot to show me the video that was promised in the brochure.”  I understand having your mind set on doing something and then bypassing some minor details to ensure it’s completion, but this guy decided to go up in the plane without watching the video, 15 lbs heavier than the suggested weight limit and without a helmet.  At the very least he should have realized that the company he was jumping with didn’t have their shit together!

I really question whether or not I would have had the courage to jump out of a plane after watching this story.  I can say with almost complete certainty that my hopes at skydiving have passed for the time being.  Nothing was ever holding me back from doing it up until this point.  Sure, it’s pricey, but it’s not like it’s an unheard of amount.  I guarantee I have wasted more money on less in my life.  Winning the contest would have been that extra push to make me do it and without that push, I can just go back to my day to day life as someone who hasn’t jumped out of a plane.


Makin’ Stuff Monday

It has been cold and rainy all weekend, but yesterday there was some clearing and I decided we needed to get out…to Ikea!  I could walk around Ikea all day long and it still wouldn’t be long enough.  You either love Ikea or you hate it.  Obviously, I fall into the the love category.  My favorite area is the “as is” room.  Not all Ikeas have them, but if you do have one at your store go and dig through all the crap in the bins.  I ALWAYS find good stuff in there and it’s never more than $3.

Yesterday as I was wandering around the store, I came across a display of pillows, on sale for $.99 each.  I have been wanting to make pillow mats for the kids – basically just pillowcases sewn together with the pillows inside.  This was a perfect find because I can usually find cheap pillows, but they still may be about $3 a piece and I need at least 8 pillows.  Suddenly my little project is starting to add up, but pillows for under $1?  I think I do!

These may not be the best pillows for sleeping, but they are perfect for the mats.

I had some pillowcases at home that I was going to attempt to make some little dresses or nightgowns for Kamryn, but I thought maybe they would be better suited for this project.  However, I made a wonderful discovery at my stop at the “As Is” room on my way out of Ikea.  The pillowcase gods were shining down on me and I found 8 pillowcases in the big bin, two of which have really cute print on them.





I wanted these to be the “head” of the pillow mat and then the other pillowcase could be random.  I sewed all the cases together and here is the end result.  There are two separate mats, but they are laying side by side, per Rory’s request so he could jump all over them.

They are pretty comfortable, but I may sew the pillowcases a little closer together.  Right now the pillows barely fill out the pillowcases and I know that over time they’ll get even flatter.  I think if I sew a few inches off the width of the cases, they mats will be much fluffier for longer.

One other thing was that a few of the pillow cases were significantly longer than the rest, I sewed a new end to those cases so they were all roughly the same size.

This was really easy and good practice for a sewing novice like myself.  The total price for two pillow mats was $12.  Another place to find pillowcases on the cheap are stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc.  You can usually find some funky prints and decent quality pillowcases for no more than $4 for two cases.

The Smoke Detector’s Impeccable Timing

Last night both kids were in bed and asleep at 8:00.  To say I wasn’t just a little bit excited to jump in bed and catch up on all the shows that Ryan scoffs at when he sees them on the screen was a bit of an understatement.

I was about 15 minutes into an episode of House and I heard a chirp.  One thing about living in a complex of condos is that you can never assume the first noise you hear is in your condo.  I laid still, tuning my ears to hear and identify the location.  The first thought was, I hope it’s not in Rory’s room. Kamryn would sleep through a battery change, but Rory…he would be up, whining, crying and then claiming to be scared.  It would be a huge production.


OK, it’s definitely not in the kids’ rooms, but the next undesirable place – the living room.  We have huge vaulted ceilings in the living room and while the smoke detector isn’t at the very top, I can’t reach it with a chair.  I have to get the ladder.

The culprit.


The only ladder we have is a giant 12 foot monster that hangs on hooks on the balcony.  I am considered vertically challenged when it comes to reaching anything over my height of 5’4″.  I can’t even reach the ladder to get it down without something to stand on.


I grabbed a kitchen chair, carried it on the deck, kicked all the tricycles and bikes out of the way and climbed up on it.  Just for a visual, I had on green clover pajama pants for St. Patrick’s Day, red and white stripped, fuzzy, Christmas socks and a Dave Matthews Band dry-fit shirt that is 3 sizes too big that I think I inherited from my brother-in-law.  I kind of look like a homeless person who enjoys the holidays or at the very least a little crazy.

The ladder will remain here until Ryan gets home. No need for me to even attempt to get it back on the hooks.


The ladder was a little heavier than I remembered and as I was trying to hoist it off the hooks, I had a vision of me losing my grip and the ladder crashing through the window.  Wouldn’t that be a kick in the ass?  I did get the ladder down, albeit with quite a bit of clunking and banging.


With each and every chirp my adrenaline was increasing.  By this time, I was almost shaking and my face was flushed.  Not from overexertion, but for fear that I either wouldn’t be able to reach the smoke detector even with the ladder or the sudden realization that I may not have a replacement battery!


An immediate sense of urgency came over me.  I rummaged through our junk drawer and found a solitary 9V battery.  Thank you St. Patrick, patron saint of batteries.  No?  He is the patron saint of engineers, though.


I climbed the ladder and realized that I was breaking a lot of ladder rules.  I didn’t unfold the ladder, just leaned it up against the wall.  I didn’t have a spotter and it was looking like I may have to climb higher than the recommended rung.  In my mind, I kept thinking that I was accomplishing some amazing feat.  The higher I climbed up the ladder, the more I realized I was a little scared.  This coming from someone who recently was a finalist to win a skydiving adventure.


Damn that’s loud when you’re practically right next to the alarm.  I flipped open the cover, grabbed the battery and yanked it out, unleashing a long, piercing BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!  I shoved the new battery in place and the deafening, high pitched beep started up, stopped and started again.  SHIT!  What did I do?  I was trying to see down the hall to make sure the kids’ doors remained closed and trying to decide if I should pull the battery out or grab the Maglight to smash the detector to shut it up.  Just as I was descending to get the flashlight, the beeping stopped.

My ears were ringing, my heart was racing, but most importantly, the kids were still asleep.  I climbed back in bed, hit play on the DVR and made it through about another 20 minutes of House before my batteries had exhausted, ie the adrenaline had worn off and I fell asleep.