Friday, November 30, 2012

We Can Live like Jack & Sally If We Want...


"We can live like Jack and Sally if we want
Where you can always find me
We'll have Halloween on Christmas
And in the night we'll wish this never ends.." 
- "Miss You", Blink 182


 I should give everyone a heads up that I have a slight obsession with the movie "A Nightmare before Christmas". Every Christmas I deck out my apartment out in Nightmare Before Christmas stuff...and a few lucky pieces even stay up all year round. It's such a quirky, cute, romantic movie with Jack & Sally...I love it this time of year!

November was a great month because I started this lil blog and it has already brought me great joy and smiles. You guys rock! I can’t thank you enough for your comments on my “Moving In Together” post. Sometimes you need blunt honesty, even if it hurts. It’s better than being in the dark. Craig is staying over my place the whole weekend so we will have plenty of time to sit and talk about things or see if it naturally comes up. One of the best aspects of our relationship is we communicate. Thank goodness, we try to be honest with each other.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend, because there are a lot of little things going on that are sure to get my creative mojo working. I got my Kitchen Aid yesterday and I’m so stoked to make my first recipe!! I have NO idea what it will be, but I will definitely post about it. A church by my place is having a White Elephant Rummage Sale. I try to go every year and the random stuff I find is always unexpected!! I never understand why people part with such cool things!! My inner Pack Rat goes crazy for this stuff… Craig and I are supposed to go see Life of Pi of some point too and I can’t wait! Even if the story doesn’t float my boat (pun intended), I’m sure I’ll enjoy seeing the amazing graphics!

 
Have a great weekend!!

Do You Have Any Plans This Weekend? 
I'd love to hear... 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm Your Punk Rock Princess & Your My Garage Band King!!



In another life I want to be a rockstar singer. I want to be the new member of the Donnas, have the fearlessness of Meredith Brooks, the passion of Pat Benatar, the fame of Madonna, the spunk of old school Britney, the tenderness of Jewel,  the lyrical range of Lady Gaga...Oh and a splash of Cyndi Lauper's craziness, can't leave her out of there. I would want it all. The flashing lights, the screaming fans, the concert tours, the perfume label, and maybe a greatest hits album. Perhaps one day...

My boyfriend with this bass...

Back in reality, Craig is trying hard, ever so hard, to start a band and hmmm...he isn't having much luck. He plays the Bass, the guitar, and has a really good singing voice when he sings Green Day, Weezer, or other punk rock songs. He's on my little red couch right now strumming his bass and asking me, "How does this sound babe?". He has such a passion for music and an ear for it. But what's odd is that he can't seem to find anyone to commit & I mean really commit to starting a band and keeping with it...I wish I wasn't tone deaf because I would learn how to play the guitar or bass for him depending on what he wanted to play but yeah I can't. 

Today he was supposed to have a little jam session with a possible new guitarist and the guy cancelled.  Craig was in a band for 6 months of Saturdays & studio practicing, however when it finally came time to do a mini concert everyone went their separate ways for this or that excuse. It sucked, plain and simple. But there is one thing I know about Craig...he never gives up! 

I can't imagine the stress of committing to a band, where you might have to stand in front of a million people one day, but if your willing to take that first step into that music studio, why not go all the way? Craig doesn't have illusions of grandeur, but he would love to play at a local bar or just have mini concerts at the studio where he practices. It would be so cool to see up there on the mini stage. I told him I would play the tambourine if he wanted...He actually took a second to think about it. hehe. =)

I hope one day he finds his musical way...

Have you ever had dreams of starting a band?
 I'm curious & would love to hear...

Title of the Post: "Punk Rock Princess" by Something Corporate

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Um, Hey Christmas Red...Your Pink?!?!? A Cupcake Post...

Me with my lil Wreath Cupcake...pardon the nails...=)

Well, my Cupcake class that I teach ever Wednesday at my local high school was quite interesting this evening. I had all my ideas all ready and my "Christmas Red" Wilton coloring gel all ready to be mixed into the buttercream and um made a little discovery. It comes out a pink....Has anyone ever had this problem before with using coloring gel or paste and not being able to get a vibrant red?!?!

After using half the mini bottle of Christmas Red coloring I gave up...the picture does not do it justice. It is in fact pink...


Let's just say the we were not supposed to make wreaths & santas. =)

My Santa and wreath..

Ergo, we made it work.  But my class had a fun time making the lil wreaths and there was tons of Awes for the Santa. 

Here is a lil Picture Tutorial on the Wreath...



Tips used: Wilton #106 for the white swirls & Wilton #18 for the green wreath & Wilton #5 for the bow & buttercream icing.

Here is a lil Picture Tutorial on the Santa...


I thought the santa came out cute but I think I should have added another color to the beard to make it stand out more. I wish I had black icing for a mouth, but I think it still works. I used the same tips from the wreath. 

I have two more cupcake classes to go...hmmm...I have no idea what I'm going to do next week!! =P

P.S. Thank you ladies for your comments on yesterday's post! I needed the honesty! Big Hug!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Moving In Together...Excuses or Fear??


On this snowy night I have my little apartment all to myself. I bought my home about almost 2 years ago and honestly I didn't think I'd have it for 2 years without my boyfriend moving in with me. We've been dating for a two and a half years so he's known me the whole time I've lived here. My place is small and there is no dishwasher, but still...There is something keeping him from moving in with me...

A little background is that Craig said we should live together over a year ago. He currently lives with his mother. But, then a car payment came up, this or that happened, every time I would ask he'd say oh after the last year's holidays, then the he said last summer, then it was if I had a better TV and then now... 

During Hurricane Sandy he stayed a week with me and when he left he said he'd move in under a few conditions. He got me all nervous and then said that I needed a better vacuum, he wouldn't live here without his cat, and that I needed to paint. I don't know WHAT I expected him to say, but those little things are not what I expected. Those are pointless Excuses...but why?

His family told me to give him an ultimatum two weekends ago but I'm not crazy. Ultimatums don't work. I got paint swatches to look at colors, but I feel like I'm nuts giving into this condition of why he won't live with me. He said that he had a traumatic experience living with one of his exes and it destroyed that previous relationship. BUT i am not his ex...and I think it's ridiculous to demand a vacuum and paint as a reason why not to live with your girlfriend of 2+ years and remain living with your mother. It has to be something else...

The nights he is here, it's great. We are not crawling all over each other and I love how he puts his arms around me when we sleep next to each other. Our bathroom schedules work out great because he has to be out of the house earlier than I do, and we love cooking together. We both have jobs and can more than afford to live here for a little batch of time. So what is it?? I know I have rough feet but I'm working on it, I know I talk a lot but I'm working on it...So what is it!!!!!

This weekend I'm driving him to Lowes and we are getting paint. I'm not trying to rush this, but I'm curious if "Paint" is a real reason why not...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bang Your Hand Right There & It Works...


The Keurig…
The alarm on my little blue phone wakes me with a start. I scramble from the covers to slide the snooze bar over. Luckily Craig didn’t stir from his slumber. I sneak out of bed, patting the covers gently as I go to feel where his legs are, so I don’t step on him. I teeter to the kitchen still not fully awake and press the gray “On” button on my Keurig. It revs up to life and the “Ready to Brew” icon pops up on the screen. I put my K-cup in and press the medium size cup button. Letting it do its magic I leave the kitchen to go to the bathroom.

A minute later I hear, “Hey babe, the Keurig isn’t brewing…Fuck!” I finish my business and quickly go back to the kitchen. I reassure him by saying, “Oh you just have to bang your hand right there and it works.” Low and behold, I re-open the K-cup holder lid, press down on the medium cup button again & hit the Keurig right above the K-cup holder. The caramel drizzle coffee oozed out of the little nozzle on my command. I smiled up at Craig and he just gave me the usual look of ‘your crazy, but I love you’ and shook his head lightly.
My Car Stereo
“I’m at the bottom of the mountain, come out in a minute.” “Okay!” I notified Craig I was almost at his place, clicking the speaker phone off. I turned my car stereo on, a Bruno Mars song that is way too much like, “Message in a bottle” by the Police came on. I ascended the mountain street, singing at the top of my lungs.

I pulled up to Craig’s mom place and there he was waiting by the curb smoking his black e-cigarette with his baseball cap tilted in his unique way. I hit the unlock door button and he entered the passenger seat. “Hey Babe,” he said leaning over to give me a quick kiss. My radio then, puttered out, releasing a squealing, nails on chalkboard sound. I winced and Craig moved to turn it off. I stopped him and said, “Oh you just have to bang your hand right there and it works.” Once again, I banged my hand right at the hour digital number and the radio sprang to life without the annoying squeal.

Craig furrowed his brows at me and said, “What don’t you have to bang your hand against to make it work??” I frowned, but then responded with a sly smirk, “You”. He gave me his usual you're crazy look and kissed me on the forehead. 

Future Goal of 2013:
Own things you don’t need to bang your hand against to make work…Call Keurig to report the problem and actually buy a new car stereo…Let the saving begin! =)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hmmm...Do I Have a Coupon For That? Holiday Saving...

My Store Coupons

I wish I had all the money in the world to spend this Christmas, but with my apartment's mortgage, health insurance, & beginning to put money towards my 401K I've had to count my pennies a little more this year. I can't complain because it's helping me learn to how save money & prioritize my spending. You can never have too many clothes or body sprays but starting in 2013 I'm cutting back my frivolous spending and be more aware instead of just swiping my credit card. 

I'm not a crazy coupon lady by any means, but I will use coupons whenever I can. Craig won't go to the super market with me because I always use coupons and the weekly ads never show you ALL the items on sale, so it takes me a while to shop and use all my coupons. I don't have a stockpile, but a few items, if the price is good, I will buy a couple at a time in the grocery store. 

Christmas presents though are a whole different matter with savings.


Left to Right: 
Kohls - Extra 20% Off Everything,
  Bath & Body Works - $10 Off a $30 Purchase
 Victoria Secret - A 'Secret Reward' of at least $10 AND $10 Off any Purchase (Combinable), Burlington Coat Factory - $10 Off a $20 Purchase
 Yankee Candle - Buy 2 Any Size & Get 2 Free 

Well these store coupons will definitely help me out a little this Christmas season. The Yankee Candle coupon I got in my Sunday Paper and the others I got in the mail because I gave my email addresses when I've made previous purchases. The Victoria Secret reward card I got because I made a purchase last month. The cool part about it is the value is of it is either, $10, $50, $100, or $500. It would be awesome to have gotten a $500, I'd so be done with a lot of shopping. But who knows, I have to wait and see. The Kohl's coupon I'm going to stretch a little further by using my Kohl's cash from my Kitchen Aid purchase. Whew...

The Burlington Coat Factory coupon and the Yankee Candle coupon expires today so I gotta go use it. They are too good of a coupon not to use it and it will definitely knock off at least three gifts. 

How are You Saving this Holiday Season? 
I'd love to hear...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

On Demand, Red box, or Library...An Honest Opinion...


{SideNote: Is it bad that I can almost name every movie on this list?!?! (For you piece of mind..Airplane, Back To The Future, Coming To America, Dirty Dancing, E.T., Flight of the Navigator, Ghostbusters, Honey I Shrank The Kids, Indiana Jones, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Karate Kid, Labyrinth, Mannequin , Nightmare on Elm Street, Octopussy, Princess Bride, Q, Rambo, Short Circuit, Teen Wolf, Untouchables, Vice Versa, Weird Science, Xanadu, Youngblood, Zelig.}

Another obsession of mine is movies. I see at least 3 movies a week, give or take, and I use my local Redbox, rent it On Demand, or walk down to my library that is 5 glorious minutes from me. I can't remember the last movie I actually bought for myself.  I think it was either Crazy Stupid Love or Whip It. Maybe? Both I highly recommend.

Some movies truly hit home and you stop what your doing and watch every minute of it. I've seen those AND I've seen others that definitely do not. Once in a while I'm going to share my opinion on some new movies I've seen, just in case you've heard about them but were wondering, "Hey is this worth watching?" 

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) - A+
"A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them." - IMDB

My Review:  The most ridicolous, yet most adorable movie I've ever seen.  It has an all-star cast of Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Tilda Swanson, Bruce Willis, and the cutest two kids. Every scene could be a painting and it's interesting to see such big name actors & actresses running around looking for these two kids out of their typical roles. It's an artsy movie and you literally have to stop what your doing and rivet your eyes to the screen because you might miss something. You laugh, you say "Aww", and then your torn about the outcome of these two little adventurers. Each slew of quotes make you think and remember the magic of being young and thinking you could actually run away.



I would recommend any of the options and see it more than once. If I found the movie on DVD I would buy it. Trust me you missed something the first time around. If you liked "The Royal Tenabaums" this movie is for you!

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter: (2012) - C

"Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them." - IMDB

My Review: I wanted to like this movie, but alas I fell asleep. I even purchased the book way before I knew it was going to be a movie and alas, I got stuck around chapter 3. I would pass on this tittle. It started out okay but I will stick to wanting to see Abraham Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis instead. This was just a little too far fetched for me. 

If your still curious, look for it at your local library. 

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) - B


"Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel." - IMDB

My Review: Better than I expected. If you've ever seen the movie, "Garden State" you would like this movie. It's a quirky non-mainstream film that makes you wonder what will happen next. It's about these 3 magazine employees that go visit a guy who claims he can travel in time. However safety is not guaranteed in the time travels. The characters have true depth and it's refreshing. It does feel like it is going to jump shark at that last minute but then it pulls itself back together and your left smiling. Also, most movies don't take the time to really show you who the characters are and what they would want in their lives...but this one definitely does. It stares Aubry Plaza(Parks & Recreation), Jake Johnson (New Girl), and Mark Duplass(The League) and each character is believable in the craziness. 


I would Redbox it for a $1 or find it at your local library. 

Have You Seen Any Good Movies Lately?

Please Note these are just my opinion...if you feel differently please feel free to share your opinion. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Shuffling...


Side Note: Aren't these little wreath cupcakes cute? I have to make them this week in my upcoming cupcake class...

Halloween...Blink...Thanksgiving...Blink...Christmas...Wait What? Alright I have to pause for a second because Thanksgiving came & went way too fast and I did not take enough pictures or have enough turkey.  I did have a few new memories of sitting around the dinning room table at my Mom's, I think this is her first year having Thanksgiving, and baking the pies last minute with her. Craig tickled me under the table, my dad talked about "The Godfather" movies like he lived them, a family friend joined us in the festivities and my grandmother was smiles the whole time. I didn't get see too much of my family, but some years are like that, you know...The pumpkin pie tried to make a run for it by overspilling into the oven...ALWAYS PUT TINFOIL UNDER PIES IN THE OVEN!! Even apple pies like to try to escape. I couldn't find the leave cutters for the pie crust but I will find them for next year. It was a very nice quiet Thanksgiving and I am so thankful for my lil family & love.  =)

This year I also decided to stay home and NOT go crazy for Black Friday madness. I've seen almost riots at Walmart, waited in traffic for hours to go to an Discount high fashion outlet mall, and just been disappointed by stores having only 10 of a door busters when at least a 100+ people were going to show up. Yeah, I've had enough of the crazy hoopla. I marched myself to my little desk & pulled up my internet browser and there I shopped. A lot of stores had their Black Friday deals on sale for Thursday online with Free Shipping and I took full advantage! Thank you Kohls & JcPenny.  

Every year I devour the Black Friday ads to try to find something that is a really good bargain and this year I finally got something I truly wanted for years. 

I bought a KitchenAid mixer!!! I have always wanted one and didn't want to wait any longer. I weighed the pros and cons, and I saved about $100 on it and because I bought it from Kohl's recieved $45 Kohl's cash with my purchase so I can buy more gifts for pretty much free. I am so excited!!!!! I cannot wait to get this bad boy and it's white so whatever color my kitchen is, it won't clash! Woohoo!!! This is going to open a whole new door of baking possibilities and I can't wait to show all of you! =)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and have a great weekend!!! =)
Be careful if your brave enough to step foot in a Mall too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!! 

I am so thankful this year for the people I love & my lil life. 

I hope you all have a wonderful day full of smiles, happiness, and great future memories. =)

Good luck for Black Friday too! =)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sorry Lasagna...Not This Year...




When I first started this blog about 2 weeks ago I forgot about Thanksgiving completely when it comes to my future diet plans. Luckily I don’t go crazy for Turkey, I don’t crave left-overs upon left-overs, and I am content with eating one Thanksgiving dinner. All the trimmings are super yummy but I don’t lay out my stretchy pants next to me anticipating a complete marathon of eating. Even though it’s Thanksgiving I’m truly content with having a serving size of each thing AND with a little talk with my mother I think this will be a great Thanksgiving with smart decisions. Well maybe two servings of stuffing... =)

My mother’s side of the family is a 100% Italian (I'm the 3rd & 4th generation here on that side) so that means a Lasagna or Stuffed shells is the usual appetizer for the Thanksgiving meal. Let's just say it's a lot of food, so much that we have to take at least an hour break in between each course. FINALLY this year, my mother is going simple and just making the bird with some baked macaroni. Whew! I can’t imagine how many extra carbs & just extra food I will be cutting out this year. Her baked macaroni is great because you can take a nice serving of it & be satisfied. Yeah for not having to count shells &/or devour all that ricotta cheese.

Also, somehow I never developed a liking for turkey or chicken gravy so I’m pretty excited to just eat the turkey with some stuffing, cranberry sauce, & yams. It does sound like a lot but hey it is Thanksgiving after all, regardless of any diet there will be exceptions to the rule…


Side-Note: I just love the leaves on the pie crust...I actually bought the dough cutters from Williams Sonoma a few years ago...I will definitely be doing this on Thursday to add some extra flare to the Pie! Hmmm...I'm on a big Williams Sonoma kick lately...Maybe it will be next on my Weekly Wishlist!

I remember the first Thanksgiving I brought Craig, my boyfriend, up to my Mom's parents house for Thanksgiving.  He looked petrified because he didn't want to offend anyone by not trying a little bit of everything AND and there was no extra turkey gravy & a big ole casserole dish of Lasagna first. Maybe intimated is the better word. This year I will make sure he has his turkey gravy but the lasagna better luck next year...

 Do you have any "NON-TRADITIONAL" Foods at your Thanksgiving? 
I'd love to hear...

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Little Weekend...


Some weekends blink by & leave you reeling & other times it strolls by at a leisurely pace and give you just enough time for everything. This weekend I got to do everything I needed & wanted, minus an oil change, and had a few surprises thrown into the mix too & uhhh yesterday post but the to be continued will be later in the week...

With only a $30 gift card, I took Williams Sonoma by storm and actually walked out with 5 adorable &/or handy items! I mentioned to one of the ladies working there that I teach a cupcake class and she directed me towards the back of the store where they had all their autumn/Halloween merchandise 70% off. "It's never to late to buy something & keep for next year, " the lady said. She's absolutely right!

Left to Right: 1.) My First Rolling Pin 2.) Halloween Pancake Molds 3.) Pumpkin cake pop pans 4.) Autumn cupcake stencils

I'm in love with the Pumpkin Cake Pop Pans because it comes with 2 of them! I don't have to wait for one set to bake to then make the matching set. Awesome! For the price too, it can't be beat. I'm pretty excited about the rolling pin too. It is a kitchen "MUST-HAVE" I imagine but I have never owned one, until now...no more using a glass to roll out my pizza dough!! =)


In a moment of pure relaxation watching Sailor Moon Re-runs & finishing Halloween candy, I got a call from a friend of mine out of the blue whom I rarely talk too. She had moved to Arizona for a teaching job and unfortunately we've really lost touch over the past year. For her to call me I knew something HAD to be up! I was right, her boyfriend of 8 years proposed & she said YES!!! I burst into tears because I was so happy for her! They are in such a great place in their lives and it is truly a perfect time. What rocks even more is all her family is here so she probably will have the bridal shower & wedding here in New Jersey, not in Arizona. Woot Woot! But, just in case I better start saving up my pennies!!

She asked me not to say anything on Facebook until she posts something. Good for her. She explained that she wanted to take the time to call her friends and let them know personally instead of just posting it on Facebook. She's waited so long for this, so she wanted it to special. It was so nice to hear her say it, instead of reading it. So nice...

Other quirky things that happened this weekend...


Craig standing next to the empty shelves for cocoa cola soda...umm...5 for $5 is apparently an unbeatable deal! =P


I didn't realize "Utterly Smooth" hand lotion was actually made for the utters of dairy cows...It is marketed to humans but this is crazy....

House parties truly are nice once in a while...tea cups are also always nice... =)

Until Tomorrow...


Ultimatums...


An ultimatum (Latin: the last one) is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. - via Wikipedia

Yesterday at my boyfriend's family party the ladies of his family urged me to give me him an ultimatum in the relationship. Apparently 2 and a half years is "too long" of a time to be dangling along just being boyfriend and girlfriend to them. They think I should be pushing him to move in with me permanently and pushing the next steps..... 

I'm not sure how to process this... I'm in no rush to get married & maybe I have been dragging my feet a little bit with pushing him to move in together with me, but wow...I'm overwhelmed about this...

I don't think the words "Ultimatium" & "Force" & "Push" should be in a relationship conversation....

To Be Continued...


Friday, November 16, 2012

Too Early or Too Late?!?! You Choose...

{Source}

Checklist:
Holidays - Check!
Stress - Check!
Dress for the Holidays - Check!
Enough Points for a Free Turkey at Shop Rite - Check!
Actually knowing What, When, & Where I'm Spending the Holidays - Priceless

It is that time of year and honestly it blindsided me this year. Hurricane Sandy kinda swallowed Halloween and the first half of November blinked by worrying about how much gas I had in my car & what day I could go get more. I'm usually a little bit more prepared. Not this year. After tons of questions of what, when & where Craig and I were going & doing for Thanksgiving we have come to an agreement. We are going to my mother's place, which is actually across the street from me. Did I mention that yet? lol. Then we'll go to my grandfathers in the next town over.

This experience has taught me one BIG thing. There is a big difference between Craig's family and my family when it comes to the holidays. HUGE Difference really...

My Family:
 My family usually figures it out the week before or sometimes the night before. I don't have a big immediate family, never did, and we are very much in a weird space of time where it's okay if we don't see each other. Well, I tell myself it's okay that we don't see each other...but none of my cousins have little kids yet, & our grandparents are getting older so we choose sides & try to see each other in the Black Friday madness, sort of.

Craig's Family
Craig's family well...they planned the Christmas Day everyone will get together back in August. YES, AUGUST. We have to decide whether we are going to one house or the other for Thanksgiving in September. It's like taboo to go this long without knowing where your going for the holidays. Last year we got the Secret Santa names in early October. Frankly I think its too early and it drives me crazy! I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow night but I have to plan months in advance. I can't. Life happens, ergo you adapt. If you don't' give an answer in their time bracket, EVERY TIME you hang out with the family you are asked until that respective holiday what your doing. Ahhh!!!!

 {Movie - Four Christmases - Source}
 
But Craig and I have made some decisions and it's a breath of fresh of air. Whew! Finally. I think it's great that in our relationship we can work together to come to a conclusion too. Now all I gotta do is worry about fitting into that holiday dress...hmmm...=)

Are you an Early Planner or a Spur of the Moment Person when it comes to the Holidays?
I'd love to hear...
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