Tuesday, September 29, 2009

takes me back

So I'm sitting at the table, working on book orders...and can I just tell you how much I look forward to book orders??? I honestly feel like a kid in a candy shop, scanning the pages, checking and re-checking to make sure I didn't miss any book. I read and (you guessed it) re-read the review of each book. Then I have the horrible task of trying to narrow down my giant order. How can I possibly cut out any book that I deem perfect reading material for my kids and I??? I will tell you. It is not possible and a very, very hard decision. It usually takes me a good hour to cut my list down from 45 to 43. Then I send my list back to D for review, which inevitably is returned with a disapproving look and mumbling something about "no money" and "we need to buy milk, diapers and DVD's". I mean, really??? "Books feed the brain" is usually my arguing statement. The diapers?? Well, yeah, I guess we need those. But seriously...

Anywho. SO I'm sitting at the table working on book orders when an oldie but goodie starts spinning on my iPod. Instantly, I'm back in my old room; turquoise carpet, blue gingham duvet on the bed, an Austin Powers poster on the door, small hanging mirror ball from my light fixture and a naive 19 year old, missing her missionary. Yes, it's true. I told myself I would never do it. I was in total denial to be quite honest with you. I already had a few friends leave on missions but this one was different. Do you want to know how I knew?? I missed him terribly. I had never felt this way before, ever. About anyone. I felt like my appendanges had been taken and I was left helpless and crying.

I never wanted to be one of those girls. I watched some friends send off their boyfriends to a faraway land to preach the Gospel and I thought they were total suckers. I was always so guarded about my emotions. So to watch them blubber and cry and stay at home because "their missionary" was gone, I decided that was not for me. I was young!! I wanted to be out, having fun, dating, dancing, doing whatever the hell I wanted to do, without having to worry about hurting someone's feelings or feeling guilty for having fun.

But, there I was, bawling my eyes out for someone. It was a whirlwind of dating and movies and dances and concerts and just enjoying each other's company. It went by so fast! Well, it was January until May 18, when he left. But I really was just having fun. When, in the thick of it all, I fell in love without truly realizing it. And he was gone. For two whole years.

We even had a song. It is still our song. It is on our wedding video. We listen to it on our anniversary. We reminisce about when he first sang it to me and thus became our song (I will save that story for another monstrous post). So when he left, of course I listened to it over and over. Talk about torture! I might as well have scooped my heart out with a dull spoon. So during one of my lock-myself-in-my-dark-room-with-"our song"-on-repeat-moments, I had forgotten to press repeat and I let the CD continue without even realizing it. Then, when I noticed it was on the last song, I found there was a secret song that is not listed on the album. It is now considered to be our second song because it describes perfectly how we both felt.

So funny enough, during my in-depth book searching, that was the song that popped up on my iPod, without me even realizing it. Honestly, I had almost forgotten about the song and there it was, swelling up so many old emotions. So I did what I had wanted to do when I first heard that song, ten years ago. I walked right up to D, wrapped my arms around his neck and gave him a kiss to remember.

Monday, September 28, 2009

snl weekly

So did you catch it? Did you see the season premiere on Saturday night? Megan Fox was the host and U2 was the musical guest. Of course, U2 was awesome. I especially loved their last song "Light My Way" from Achtung Baby. LOVE that song. Seeing them made me seriously bummed that they are not coming to SLC during their U.S. tour. Then it made me even more bummed to know I had the chance to see them in London and the stars didn't align for it to work out. :(

Anywho. Back to SNL. Megan Fox did pretty good for her first time hosting. This was probably my favorite skit of the night. Of course, it has Kristen Wiig who is so, so funny. It is almost what you would expect from stuartesses (or whatever the politically correct term is) on a plane. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

candle on the water

How cute is it to listen to your 4 year old in the other room singing "Candle on the Water"?? My heart is melting at this moment.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

snl weekly

We are continuing the countdown to a new season of SNL. U2 is the musical guest and Megan Fox is the host. Not sure how she'll do but of course, U2 will be awesome.

Mike Myers has to be highlighted in our countdown. He was one of the most versatile cast members on SNL. He came up with so many different characters and a lot became permanent skits, some even turned into a major motion picture. Simon was one of my faves. The take on the English accent and being in the tub with Danny DeVito...how can it not be funny?!?

stir crazy

I wasn't much of a popcorn lover before marrying my sweet D. I mean, I liked popcorn but it wasn't something I reached for when I wanted a snack. But my husband's family tradition is to pop some on a Sunday night. So this is what we find ourselves doing quite a bit. We especially love using our West End Stir Crazy popper. It is the coolest, I must say. Nothing like what I grew up with. Nowadays, people tend to microwave popcorn more than pop some up themselves. Another plus is the entertainment the popping provides for the kids. Giddiness overload occurs just by placing the popper on the counter. We like to eat it with a little butter and salt. Sometimes we even add popcorn seasonings that we bought up in Canada (because Canada rules in the treat department). But our favorite way to eat it is with caramel. I have an awesome recipe for that too. My cute cousin is the caramel popcorn master and was kind enough to share it with me. And now (drumroll), here it is:

The Best Caramel Popcorn on the Planet

  • stick of butter
  • 1 C Karo syrup
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 C sweet and condensed milk

Melt butter in a 2-3 qt pot over medium heat. Once melted, add the cup-a-cup-a-cuppa ( I've always wanted to say that). Stir constantly and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Pour over popcorn and enjoy!!

We love making this and adding mint M&M's during Christmas time. It is a great treat to share with the neighbors. :) Now get to poppin'!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

snl weekly

Next Saturday starts a new season of SNL. So until then, I want to countdown some of my favorite skits. Of course, I have already shared a lot of faves over the year. But, there are so many to choose from and I am having fun looking back at past seasons.

Cheri Oteri and Molly Shannon were amazing. It is too bad neither of them have really done much since being on SNL. Especially Cheri Oteri. She was one of my favorite cast members of all time. She is so seriously funny and talented. Her comedy is very smart and you have to be fast to catch all of it. Enjoy this skit called Leg Up, where they play two old movie stars whose star doesn't shine as brightly anymore.

Friday, September 18, 2009

black cab sessions

This is so stinkin' cool. One song. One take. One cab. I'm thinking that U2, Coldplay and Keane would be perfect for this. Check it out.

The Black Cab Sessions from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.


It is so wonderful to take a shower without interruption; kids running in and out of the bathroom, screaming and crying or asking, a hundred times, if I'm done yet. But what's more...I get dressed and then take the towel off my wet hair and hang it up before I come out. Last night, I guess I was a little crazy when drying my hair with the towel because I emerged from my bedroom and found Mase there to greet me. His response, "Wow, mom. You look like a witch and a lion."

Looking in the mirror, an image of Medusa actually came to mind. Then I thought, "Clash of the Titans is a really good movie." Then I thought, "I cannot believe my parents let me watch that." Then, "I wish I had an owl like he did" and "those pink flowy pajamas in the movie were the coolest."

Also, I had a serious crush on Harry Hamlin. To fight and cut off the head of one of the scariest creatures, Medusa. (And yes, I do realize I compared myself to Medusa. I do look pretty scary when fresh from a shower). Then to journey all that way to deliver the head and have to deal with many other mythological creatures along the way...a scorpion that grows to the size of a large elephant, a two-headed dragon. I may have just given up. But he wanted to save his true love and, of course, did.

So then I start to think that D is my Perseus and I, his Princess Andromeda because even though I slightly resemble Medusa, on the inside I was a Princess...but D made me a Queen.

Time to dry my hair...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

dinosaur train

There's a cool new kids show on PBS. It is Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train. Of course, Mase is absolutely loving the show. I mean l-o-v-i-n-g it. He probably would watch it all day, every day, if I let him. That is what's nice about having a DVR...recording the show so he can watch his favorite programming, whenever, under my supervision, of course. :)
Anywho...Dinosaur Train incorporates two things Mase loves: trains and dinosaurs. Plus, in between each set, there is a palentologist who talks about the highlighted dinosaur for the day, in detail. It is such a smart show and I would dare say I'm a smart parent for letting my child watch it. So definitely worthy of checking it out for yourself.

Monday, September 14, 2009

favorite children's books

I remember how magical it was to open a pop-up book when I was a kid. To have a 3-D image of a storybook; a tangible image to touch and examine, absolutely made the book come alive. My love of pop-ups has remained and a new age of pop-up books has come around thanks to Robert Sabuda. To open one of his books is to walk right into the storybook and interact with it in a way that has never been done before. Here are a few of his books:
I own The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and also Alice in Wonderland. But my next purchase will be Peter Pan. I consider them a keepsake.
His books are made magical by the colorful and inventive pop-ups. They would be an added treasure to any book collection!

you're a peach

Fall is a favorite time of year for our family. One thing we look forward to is Peach Days and all the early elbertas we can buy! Saturday was spent bottling our elbertas and making cobbler. Mr. Clean even got in on the action.
Opening a bottle of peaches on a dismal, wintry day in January is the absolute reward to this whole process. But also the time I get to spend with my mom is memorable. I truly am so lucky to be close and learning all the family recipes and tricks of the trade.

Friday, September 11, 2009

fanatical friday

Just because...


Thank you!! Since December of 2008, I have had over 3,000 views. Love it!! I do know that it is not 3,000 different people viewing my site. Mostly, it is 6 people viewing it over and over. But I do appreciate you and love reading your comments. Now if I can just recruit 2 more people, my statistics drastically improve. Here's to another year of Nell-O.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

holiday '09

With September comes the Arbonne Holiday product line. I cannot live without the Ginger Citrus scrub!! It is one of the only products that makes my feet look like normal feet...instead of cracking, ugly, old feet. Because I am going to be 30, if you haven't heard, and the last thing I want is my feet to look old. Check it out!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

perfectly chocolate

This homemade chocolate cake is a Sunday night favorite of ours. It actually stems from the time I spent in St. Pete's with my fam-damily. My mom would whip it up every Sunday. It was the perfect remedy to smother our pangs of homesickness, which would especially peak on Sundays.

Homesick? Eat chocolate. Depressed? Eat chocolate. Cut your finger and don't have a band-aid? Eat chocolate. I'm telling you...it is the cure-all.

Here is the receta:
2 C sugar
1-3/4 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C cocoa
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 C vegetable oil (I usually substitute sour cream)
1 C boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-in. round baking pans.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil (or sour cream) and vanilla; beat on med. speed 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into pans.
3. Bake 30-35 min. or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Voila! Amazing, homemade chocolate cake that you will immediately be addicted to. Frosting it is an option (chocolate overload...which is a good thing) but our favorite way to eat it is with homemade whipping cream and strawberries. I could also tell you this is a recipe, handed down many generations; one that my Welch ancestry used to whip up while living in the hills of Cardiff. But it's not. It's from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box. Eat up!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Another benefit to getting older.
This is in my top ten of favorite movies of all time. So, so good. Enjoy. :)

the big, and scary, 3-0

with my 30th birthday creeping up fast, i have been thinking a lot about how much i have changed, including my body. i mean, i still think i can play soccer and softball with 20 year olds but, when i play, i definitely feel my age. it is sad and hard to cope. i am not as in good of shape as i was 10 years ago but still...

i am especially feeling my age tonight. i was over at my parent's house and tripped while going down the garage steps. at first, i didn't feel much pain. now, a couple hours later, my left wrist hurts, my third tow over on my right foot hurts, my right quad and upper leg are throbbing and also my hip, and left shoulder blade. you would think i fell down a flight of stairs!!! but no...it was only 2 steps. 2 STEPS, people!!

there are definitely benefits to being older. i have learned a thing or two. i reflect on how i got to where i am now. some of my choices i'm very proud of and some, well, i wouldn't mind rewinding and do over. but i have learned and am a bit wiser than i was 10 years ago.

the serenity prayer seems especially poignant:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr


Friday, September 4, 2009


The fun just never ends!
The new EW arrived in my mailbox this morning. Could I get more excited about the new Rock Band?? Yes, I think I can.

hear ye! hear ye!

Pay attention. I have an announcement to make. It is so important you know this and I'm glad you have taken the time out of your day to read this. It will make your day so much better. I mean, this is treasured learning I am about to share with you.

Halloween Oreos taste so much better than regular, plain white Oreos. They do! And they have the cool Halloween shapes etched on the cookie. So it makes them fun to eat too. Oh. Also, don't waste your pennies buying a package if you don't plan on scarfing them down all by your lonesome. A fight will inevitably ensue over the orange discs of deliciousness with your spouse. And it is immature to fight over Oreos. So just keep them out of sight and sneak a few, or ten, throughout the day.

Bonus nuggett of knowledge: a glass of milk is a must! Forget about the gallon of skim. Be selfish and use a few cups of the 1% or 2% you have been saving for your kid's sippy. The milk fat makes the cookie taste that much better.

This concludes my special announcement. Back to work!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

happy birthday

This girl just absolutely stole our hearts the moment she arrived. Hugs and kisses from her are treasures and we cannot imagine our lives without her. She is quirky, entertaining, fun, smart, smiley and always so happy. Her brain goes a mile-a-minute. She is constantly gabbing about one thing or another. Her favorite right now is to talk on her new princess phone. She talks to grandma, grandpa, aunt Sarah, daddy and even Elmo.
She loves to read, sing, dance and spread sunshine. She gets along so well with her brother and we count our blessings for that. How the time flies and we love every second with her. Happy birthday, girl. We love you!!


Two things I'm very super excited about right now that I could just pee my pants! First: How cool is this??? I could just lie down right now and die. But then I wouldn't be able to play this...so I had better not.

The Beatles music has been such an influential part of my life (cliche?). I mean, I know everyone says this but for me, it is true. Every Beatles song and album are intertwined with some of my life's events...it is hard to not think of these moments while listening to the Beatles. I am just so pent up with excitement right now that I could blast through the roof at any moment and fly off in the sky like Superman. Really. I could.

FINALLY!! The Pioneer Woman, Ree, has decided to take all of her awesome recipes and compile a cookbook. Do you know how many times I have been in the kitchen, laptop open, following her step-by-step instructions?? Now I can actually have a tangible book to dirty with butter, flour, and flying cocoa. With me, it really flies. I'm messy. I'm thinking this will be a perfect birthday present for moi, since it isn't released until right before my birthday. In case anyone (D-babes) is reading this and needs ideas for my upcoming 3oth birthday.

Okay. Now I'm all the sudden depressed. 30. I will no longer be able to say I'm in my 20's. It is a whole new playing field...an all new level of life. A big step into the lower metabolism and hormonal reboot of life...ack...

...but at least I will have The Beatles Rockband and Ree Drummond to cheer me up. Chocolate sheet cake, here I come!! And yeah, it is that good. And...yeah, I will eat it all by myself since I will be 30 and because I can.

Oh! I do have a third thing to be excited about. My amazing and wonderful, hard working, fun loving, always-making-me-laugh hubby secured a promotion at work. So three cheers! For he is a jolly good fellow. And is always looking out for what is best for us. Love you, babe!!