Friday, December 21, 2007

Football widows have nothing on me...

I am a gamer widow. I have been for sometime, but am now officially putting a label on it. According to Wikepedia, "A Gamer Widow is a term for those who have a relationship with a Gamer (one who plays video games, be it on a console or on the computer) who pays more attention to the game than to their partner." Sound pathetic? You have no idea. Not only am I a gamer widow, but I am widowed to a World of Warcraft player-- a 'massively multiplayer online role-playing game' (MMORPG), which is the worst kind. Chad will spend hours trying to "level-up" or complete an "instance" with his online buddies, from which there is no pausing or stopping until the mission is completed. I have recently joined an online support group, WoW (World of Warcraft) Widow, hoping to find some advice and answers. I can't keep living like this!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fromage Soiree

AKA: Cheese Party
One of my good friends Amy suggested the idea of getting together to try different types of cheeses that we wouldn't otherwise buy on our own--after all, who wants to buy a block of Gouda for $8.00, and then not like it? So my friend Joanna (being an avid party-thrower) and I (being the cheese-lover that I am) latched onto the idea, and our Fromage Soiree was born. We had Havarti (regular and Jalapeno), Mild Cheddar Fondue, Pepperjack, Creamy Swiss, Smoked Gouda, Brie, Chipotle Cheddar, and this mushroom flavored cheese that I can't remember the name of. It was a lot of fun, and the cheeses were delicious! (okay, so I didn't like Brie, and the Chipotle Cheddar was a little strong for me, but everything else was good!) I especially like the creamy spreadable Swiss--much better than the 'real' stuff with the holes in it! And Havarti was delicious too. And of course, the cheese fondue is always a favorite of mine! We plan on repeating the event--any time women get together to sample food equals a good time in my book.


During Jaime's last visit she told me about a wondrous invention called the Cocoa-Motion, a machine that mixes, froths, and heats your hot chocolate for you--all you do is pour in the ingredients! I had no idea such a thing existed, but knew immediately that I had to have one, since hot chocolate is one of my favorite foods. Well, little did I know that one such machine awaited my purchase at our little small-town Walmart. (okay, so it's actually called the Coffee-Motion, but to me it will always be the Cocoa-Motion) Let me tell you: best $30 I ever spent! After all, during the cold months I have AT LEAST one cup a day, sometimes more, and it is SO easy! While my cocoa is making itself, I can fix myself breakfast or a snack to go with it. Then I'll sometimes add a yummy-flavored creamer (vanilla-caramel, or hazelnut) and top it off with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa. Not only is the result delicious, but gorgeous as well! And I love that it's just as easy to make 2 or 4 cups as it is one! So Chad is benefitting from it too, which is good, because I tried to pass of the expense as an anniversary gift!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Second Best Christmas Social Ever

Last Friday night was our ward's Christmas Social. The Bishop kept calling it the Second-Annual Best Christmas Social Ever, since last year he cleverly coined the name the "Best Christmas Social Ever" to refer to our annual Christmas party. I was on the committee last year, so I'm partial to how ours turned out--more desserts, better entertainment, and some great decorations. This year, the decorations were awesome, thanks to yours truly and the snowflake cutting skills of our Young Women. The other main draw-back was Bree falling to pieces on Santa's lap. Granted, she was sick last week, and she was exausted that day from being at the church decorating for hours.
So I think she was crying for those reasons more than fear of the red suit and beard. But when we unwrapped the candy cane for her she cheered up considerably! Then I got her to pose nicely with me and with her best friend Lizzy.

Twilight Obsessed

So, with the WGA on strike, and no new Office episodes to satiate me, I'm left with little to do except dream about Edward. I recently finished the third Stephenie Meyer book, and now I don't know what to do with myself again. So I go online to see how casting for the new movie is coming along, and discover that Edward has been chosen. I love this photo I found of Edward (Robert Pattison) and Bella (Kristen Stewart). Aside from the facts that Pattison can only be Cedric Diggory to me, and he has a desperate need for some eyebrow shaping, I think he's a great choice. I guess no one could possibly be pretty or perfect enough for my vision of Edward! And I think Stewart looks the part for Bella, (pretty, but not gorgeous enough that I'm jealous) but I'm just hoping that her acting skills have improved since the last movie I saw her in (Zathura, 2005, which was awful). Anyway, I'm just thrilled that they're choosing actors, since that means we're that much closer to being able to see them on the big screen. So, there it is, out in the open. I'm pathetically obsessed.

Cozy Cottage Christmas

I love my house at Christmas-time! It's so cozy inside, and in the evenings the outside of the house actually looks pretty (an amazing feat for our little fixer-upper!). Thanks Jaime for the great pics!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

When I Count My Blessings, I Count You Twice

What would I do without this friend of mine? Jaime and I have known each other for almost 4 years, since we found ourselves to be fortuitous neighbors across the walk in our apartment complex. I'm so glad I decided to do my visiting teaching for once--I don't know how long it would have taken us to get together otherwise, I was pretty shy about meeting new people. But it was so clear to see that we just clicked, and from then on it was Valentine's Day together, picnics at the park, camping at Mt. Charleston, Disneyland, etc, etc. (Good thing our hubbies got a long too!) Now I've moved almost 400 miles away, but she's still the best long-distance friend I could ask for! Jaime just visited me last weekend for some much-needed girl time and serious scrapbooking. This photo was taken in front of my house, compliments of Jaime's skill with her awesome camera and self-timer. I had such an amazing time--I was sad to see the visit end. But I know there will be plenty of memories to be made in our future, and I'm glad that's a blessing I can count on.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My Popcorn Addiction

I have a vice, and it's called popcorn. The buttery-er the better! Lately I haven't been able to settle for plain old microwave popcorn, although it's been good to me in the past. And there are those that swear by the air popper, but I require a buttery taste, and I don't like soggy popcorn. The answer (unless you have a movie-theater-style popper in your home) is stove-popped corn.

The flavor of this yummy treat is indelible in my taste-buds' memories. My mom used to make a HUGE bowl of it for dinner sometimes, and we would eat it on our family room floor, picnic-style on a sheet while we watched a movie.

So now when I'm craving a delicous snack, or can't think of what to make for dinner, out comes the pot, the butter-flavor Crisco, and the kernels. I've perfected the art of popcorn making, and perfection tastes so good.

By "pop"ular demand, here are instructions for the perfect stove-popped corn:

1) On medium-high heat, melt enough Butter-flavored Crisco in a large pan to cover the bottom to approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch (I never measure--the amount depends on how much buttery flavor I'm craving)

2) Wait until the Crisco is 'smokin' hot--you can throw one kernel in, and when it pops, it should be hot enough (if your kernels don't pop very big, you know your Crisco wasn't hot enough).

3) Pour enough popcorn kernels in to cover the bottom in one layer (again, I never measure, and I don't spring for the 'Brand Name' popcorn either--store brand works perfectly). Cover the pot with a lid, but make sure there is a crack so the steam can escape. (make sure to wear oven mitts)

4) Now shake your booty! (Chad loves this part.) Keep shaking the pot on the burner while the kernels heat up and start popping--don't stop or it'll burn. When the popping slows down (just like microwave popcorn) remove from heat. Pour into a large bowl, and salt to taste while still hot. Enjoy! Any leftovers will store great until the next day in an air-tight container--it stays nice and crunchy!

Give it a try!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Card

For the past few years, I've felt the need to create beautiful hand-made Christmas cards for friends and family, as if to prove how creative and thoughtful I am. Well, this year I've joined the ranks of "mediocrity." I took our little family to JCPenney to have pictures taken and 'form' cards printed up. I wasn't looking forward to the photo-shoot, since sitting still is not one of 20-month-old Bree's talents. But I was beyond thrilled with the results--I love our photos! And my Christmas cards are ready to slip into stamped envelopes--no cutting, gluing, stamping, or even signing required! So can I just say: I'm sold on mediocrity.
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