Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!!

I am going to be in the middle of nowhere, Tennessee this weekend and I'm safely assuming I will have limited access to the internet, but Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so of course I can't miss out on wishing you all a haunted, spooky, fun and happy halloween!

For Halloween, Mark and I are going to be Thing 1 and Thing 2, and King gets to be the "cat" in the hat. Pictures to come in the future of course, but it should be a pretty funny costume.
To pull it off, I ordered Mark and I red onesies online. I did this in secret because I didn't think he would be too thrilled to wear a onesie. I tried to break it to him gently.

"I already ordered our Halloween costumes, so you are just going have to deal with what I came up with. But it's really cute I swear."

"What are we going to be?"

"Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Suess. And King is going to be the Cat in the Hat."

"Okay."

Then later we were at dinner with a bunch of friends, and this is when I broke the news that he would be wearing a onesie. I strategically did this in front of people so he wouldn't make a scene. Instead he surprised the heck out of me by saying, "Really? Sweet! I was really sad when I grew out of my onesie when I was little."

Really, Rambo? Mark is usually pretty manly, so to hear him admit that he likes onesies, let alone misses the one he had when he was little made me laugh so hard I about peed my pants.

It gets better. A couple of weeks ago we got the onesies in the mail. He came home, asked what was in the box and I told him. He immediately dropped everything he was holding, ripped open the box and his onesie, and put it on. He then proceeded to wear it for the remainder of the night.

A 25 year old man in a red onesie. Rambo continues to surprise me.

Happy Halloween everyone! What's your costume?

Live & Love!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

All is Fair in Puppy Parenting

Somebody please tell me how King went from this:
To this:

They grow up so fast! Of course growing up has advantages. For example King has not had an accident inside in THREE days. He also knows how to sit, shake, lay down and roll over and is getting better at the basic commands like come and stay everyday. He will also sleep through the night and last weekend he slept in until 11:30 (Hallelujah! I was hoping he'd be lazy.) And he likes to cuddle, which is adorable.

However growing up has disadvantages, too. King can now climb up on the couch. Which is where we used to put the laundry before we fold it along with anything else we needed to move out of his reach. Not anymore!

We also had our first official shoe death yesterday. Sure he's chewed on a few pairs now and then, but bite marks are fashionable this time of year. Yesterday was the first time he rendered a shoe un-wareable. And of course it was MY shoe. Which he got from the couch (see above paragraph... I put them there so he could not reach them. I would have put them in the front closet, but I didn't want to risk an avalanche.) Rambo thought it was funny. So now I am forced to accidently-on-purpose leave a few of his shoes out.

All is fair in love, war, and puppy parenthood, people. Both parents have to make sacrifices.

Live & Love!
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Mama!

Today (at least for the hour that's left of it!) is my Mom's birthday! I won't tell you how old she is, because she likes to pretend that she was either 7 or 17 when she had me, putting her at 30 or 40! But I will say that the pictures below may give it away (hint- giant balloon.)

Here are a collection of pictures from the day and quotes about mothers in celebration. Happy Birthday, Mom!

The whole family (top left to right David-brother, Dad, Ian-brother & bottom left to right Mark-Rambo, Me, Mama, Jen-Ian's girlfriend)

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

The pretty ladies...

I love my mother as the trees love water and sunshine - she helps me grow, prosper, and reach great heights. ~Adabella Radici

A hint at Mama's age and delicious cheesecake!

There's nothing like a mama-hug. ~Adabella Radici

Make a wish!

A little girl, asked where her home was, replied, "where mother is." ~Keith L. Brooks

Her first grandbaby

When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” ~Pablo Picasso


Love you, Mom! Here's to 50 more!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

I need to stop going to Michael's

I've been to Michael's (the craft store) 4 times this week. I don't know what creative bug I caught, but every night I have been getting pretty crafty, if I do say so myself.

Last night was our second meeting of the Naughty Novelists-- a little book club I belong, too. Kim hosted and I told her I'd bring the wine (hello 94 bottles under $5 from Trader Joe's.) Of course Halloween is Kim's favorite holiday, so naturally she went all out on the decor/games/etc. It was AWESOME... and I'll post some pictures later.

But back to the point of this post... the creativity bug. Here was my contribution to the party:

Yep, that's right, blood-type labels for the wine bringing out the vampires, Twilight and True Blood lovers in us all. What's your preference?



I went for the "O Negative." And in addition to the wine labels, I also made everyone bookmarks... because we are a book club after all!
You can find the labels over at Hostess with the Mostess. And I just glued them onto some red construction paper and taped them to the bottle. You could really put them on any kind of pop, too. As for the wine opener, I found that spooky thing at Michael's, too- for about $2.00.

And for the bookmarks, I just cut up some thick watercolor paper and used a $1.00 stamp and some black ink (again thanks to Michael's!) Then I just used my finger tip to add some red ink across "RIP." Add a hole-punch and some ribbon and VOILA! Bookmarks!

I'm sure there will be more creative goodness to come, so stay tuned.

Happy Haunting!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkins Decorating (aka How to Make a Huge Mess)

Yesterday I went to a craft store and bought a bunch of black craft stuff: glitter, ribbon, feathers and paint. Then I went a little overboard decorating some of my pumpkins:

Here are all the little baby pumpkins:



I think this one was my favorite out of the little pumpkins:


And here are the three big pumpkins I decorated...

This one needs a little something more I think:


And this one looks like a sumo wrestler to me:
And this is my favorite big pumpkin:

And here they are, all my pumpkins in a row:


I love the black, white and orange look together! And playing with glitter and glue sure did make me feel like a little kid. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of the table after I was finished with this project!

And don't worry... pumpkin carving is happening this weekend, pictures to come...

What's your favorite craft so far this season? Please share below!

Live & Love,
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Book Love & a Giveaway!

I obviously LOVE to read, which is why Book Love is such a big part of my blog! And some of my favorite authors are those who write funny stories about themselves, and in general just don't take life to seriously, like David Sedaris or Chuck Klosterman.

Which is why I am so excited to write this post, because not only did I get the chance to read another hilarious book, I also get the chance to give five of them away! It's the gift of laughter and there's nothing better. So, without further ado, here's my Book Love for Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish (Giveaway below!)

Book Name: Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish (I know you are thinking "What!?")
Author: A collection of hilarious people!
Category: Humor
Pages: 300ish

Brief Description: According to the book back, "From Heeb Magazine-- the definitive boice of a proud, searching and irreverent new generation of American Jews, this first-of-a-kind fast and fun showcase spotlights the hilarious and heartful raconteurial gifts of many of today's leading writers, comedians, actors, artists and musicians. Laura Silverman, Michael Showalter, Andy Borowitz, Joel Stein, Ben Greenman, Darrin Strauss, and others navigate sex, drugs, work, youth, family, and on the lighter side, body and soul."

Why I bought it: I didn't actually buy it :) I was lucky enough to have Grand Central Publishing send it my way. But I would have spent the money on it. HILARIOUS!

Book Love: I laughed and laughed and laughed. I even read a few of the chapters out loud to Mark because I thought they were so funny. I wish I could give you a background of each individual story but that would take forever, and take the fun out of it if you win the contest!

It's an easy read because each story is really short, about three to five pages. I stuck it in my bag and anytime I had to wait for something (doctor, dentist, etc.) I just pulled it out and read a little story. And being such a light-hearted book, it certainly put me in a good mood.

And even if you aren't Jewish, you will be able to relate to the hilarious stories that range from humiliating to unbelievable. And if you are Jewish you will be able to identify with all the ridiculous Jewish clich├ęs.

Book Quotes: There were so many. Instead of quoting I am just going to give you a little teaser on one of the stories:

"I was fifteen, it was 1986, and I really wanted to have sex. I know that seems young, but my parents had HBO, And all my friends had done it. Hunter had done it, with Susan. Pat, the basketball star, had done it, with Mary, Dana and Susan. Even Dan, who grew up to become a rabbi and write books about the secrets to a healthy, loving Jewish marriage and raising your kids without scarring them too terrible, had done it, also with Susan. I'd never met this Susan, but I really wanted to."

See what I mean? Being able to write, and make your readers laugh out loud is such a blessing.

Bottom Line: If you like to laugh, buy the darn book (or try to win the giveaway!)

Availability: Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish will be available at bookstores October 26, for around $14.00 (What a perfect Hanukkah present! Now you just have to figure something out for all the other nights!)

And now...

How to Win a Copy of Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish!
(insert game-show music here)

5 lucky commenters will win a copy of Sex, Drugs & Gefilte Fish (thanks Grand Central Publishing!) and because this is my very first giveaway, I am giving you five (count 'em!) FIVE chances to win!

For your first entry: Leave a comment on why you think you'd like to read the book!

For two additional entries: Twitter about this giveaway. Be sure to link back to this page and mention @LaurenBlast. (Be sure to leave two comments after you tweet!)

For one more entry: Blog about this giveaway (Be sure to leave a comment below linking back to your blog!)

For one final entry: Mention this giveaway on Facebook. Be sure to link back to this page (and leave a comment below telling me you mentioned it!)

I will be using random.org to generate the winners. Be sure to get your comments in by noon on October 26, 2010. The five winners will be announced that evening, be sure to check back to see if you've won!

Remember winners will be picked based on the comments below, so each time you do one of the things above, you have to comment to let me know you did it!


*Winners Update*

Congratulations! Please send me an e-mail with your address! Laurealism at gmail dot com.

Randomly generated numbers: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9.

1. Anonymous said...

It sounds like a good read! -Grandma Maxine

2. beth said...

OK, this is me entering.

Why I would like to read this book: I am Jewish (by birth at least, not so good at being a practicing Jew--possibly the last time I went to High Holiday services was with your father when we were in college).

I could use a good laugh.

I may tweet this, no promises, but I will not blog about it. I have serious motivational issues when it comes to updating there.

I may pimp you on FB though...

Fingers crossed!

b

I think I can totally relate to the stories.

4. Anonymous said...

PiCk Me PiCk Me!! I want to read this book because my best friend likes it....period. Do It ....Just Do It
-Kim!

6. Marjy said...

I'm Jewish and I love to read. Also, the book sounds great. We could all use a little more laughter in our lives.

9.gracefulme87 said...

i tweeted again! @ gracefulme87


Good Luck!
Live & Love!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn Love & Apple Cider

I love everything about autumn: pumpkins, halloween, the beautiful trees changing, and the leaves crunching under my feet. The air is nice and crisp and you can see your breath. And I especially love those days where the weather is cold enough that you wear a sweater, but warm enough to go coatless. Like I said, I love autumn!

I also love all the food that goes along with the season: pumpkin pie (heck- pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING) carmel apples, warm apple cider... all those foods that make you feel toasty and fuzzy on the inside!

Which is why I especially loved today's lazy Sunday. While Mark and Zac chose to take a romantic manly trip by floating down the river in a canoe to catch fish, Kim and I decided to locate an apple orchard and make home-made apple cider.

Most of the orchards were closed on Sundays, and those that weren't were way too far away, so we finally settled on Lilly's Orchard (in Broadripple- 500 71st Street,) which is more of a little country store with barrels and barrels of a ton of varieties of apples. They also have other fresh produce, pies, pumpkins, mums, and a lot of jellies, jams, etc.

We got 25 Fuji apples (these are a sweeter variety and were only about $9.00,) carmel apples for ourselves, some spices and a few pumpkins. Kim got some blueberry jam that was also DELICIOUS. Now here comes the recipe:

What you'll need:
10 apples (pick a sweet variety!)
1 cup of sugar
4 Tbsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp allspice (instead of the above spices, we ended up buying a little cider spice mix made up of cinnamon, allspice, orange peel and cloves. So you may want to add a few other things to yours, too!)

Cheesecloth (or coffee filters)
A deep pot
A fine-strainer

Get started!

1. Cut the apple into quarters and dump them into the pot. No need to de-stem, de-skin or de-seed!

2. Fill the pot with water so the apples are completely covered, plus a little extra.

3. If you don't have some sort of tea-diffuser ball. Use two coffee filters and fill each with half of your spices. Cut a third coffee filter to make two strips and tie up the spice-filled filters into little sachets.

3. Add 1 cup of sugar. Stir it all up. Be careful not to injure the spice sachets!

4. Boil the apples for 1 hour on high heat, uncovered. (Your house will smell DIVINE!)


Kim and I felt like witches brewing up something special!

5. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer 2 hours.

6. Remove the lid and spice sachets and use a masher or a whisk to mash up the apples.

7. Strain the "pulp" into a serving bowl (or just a regular bowl, you can transfer later) you will have to smash it down to get as much liquid out as possible. You may want to run it through a cheesecloth or strain it again to get all the pulp out... but once was enough for us.
Here we are straining and mashing away!

8. Serve and enjoy! This should make about a half-gallon. When I make it again I'm actually going to double it because I had more than enough room in my pot!

Even though this recipe takes a while, it's pretty maintenance free, and would be a great idea to start making a few hours before a party, so your place smells heavenly when guests walk in!

So while the girls' afternoon turned out successful, the boys weren't quite as fruitful (pun intended!) They caught zero fish in four hours. And the float down the river they were hoping for didn't quite work out... they had to paddle the whole way. But they did get some beautiful shots of the season... perfect to look at while drinking warm apple cider!







Have a fantastic fall :)
Live & Love!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Love: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

It's been awhile since a book love post. Before reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I was actually going through two more Sookie Stackhouse books, a book series that I am in love with. I also finished up Ravens by George Dawes Green (book love post to come.) Lately I have this really big problem with going to Borders and buying more books even though I have a stack to read at home. Right now the "to read" list includes:

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
All Together Dead (another Sookie)
McMommywood Tori Spelling
A big collection book of Jane Austen
Son of a Witch (Second book of the Wicked series)
Not to mention whichever book we pick next for Naughty Novelists (ideas welcome!)

But anyways, on to Book Love:
In case you haven't read what Book Love is all about and the best advice I've ever received when it comes to books, be sure to check out this post!

Book Name: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
Category: Popular Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 600ish

Brief Description:

According to the back of the book: "
An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel. Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattoeed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Toghether they tap into a vein of iniquity and corruption."

Why I bought it: This happens to be our first book for our book club, the Naughty Novelists! I'm not exactly sure how we came to pick this particular book, I think there were so many options on the table we just sort of picked one.

Book Love: LOVED this book! With on big exception, and that would be the first chapter. It has a lot of business-y information and was really hard to get through, but after that the book gets better and better as you go along, and by the end I absolutely could not put it down! The characters are intriguing-- especially Lisbeth Sander. There are very crude parts to the book, but the ending is something you wouldn't expect... a great read! I definitely plan on reading the second book in the series, The Girl who Played with Fire.

Bottom Line: If you love suspense and want a step up from the usual murder-mystery... this book is perfect!

Availability: I found my copy at Borders on a buy one get one free table, but it's definitely available at all book stores.

And get excited... the next Book Love I feature will involve my very first giveaway! I didn't mention it on my to-read list because I don't want to spoil the surprise!

Live & Love!
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guess who caught the biggest fish?

If you recall from my last post, Mark and I went on a romantic little getaway this past week. And it was very romantic... just check out our cute little cabin:

You may also recall that part of this romantic getaway included a full day of fishing. My secret plan to make the full day of fishing worth it was was to catch the biggest fish of the day. Well not only did I NOT catch the biggest fish of the day, I also did not catch the second place, third place, or fourth place fish. Of the five fish we caught, mine was definitely the baby.

First Place (whoa baby!):
Second Place:
Third Place:
Fourth Place (didn't get a picture, a bass similar in size to third place.)
Fifth Place:
Don't be alarmed though, I have a simple solution in the form of this picture:


See that? Nothing a little tricky perspective can't solve! On a side note, King was dressed in his very own fishing vest for the occasion.


And Mark was totally in his element:
And even though I hate to admit it... I actually had a good time on a boat for eight hours, in the October cold, catching the smallest fish of the day.

And yes, that's a camouflage hat. I had to at least look the part!
Live & Love!
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