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Monday, September 30, 2013

Mocktail Monday: Sparkling Pumpkin Apple Cider

This week's mocktail is a Sparkling Pumpkin Apple Cider. I've been seeing all kinds of recipes for pumpkin drinks and pumpkin cocktails, so I thought I'd try one myself. This is purely my concoction of what I had in my fridge/pantry, so it was a little trial and error.

The original ingredients were:

1 tbsp canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup apple cider
Sparkling grape juice

To be honest, I thought I had sparkling cider in my refrigerator, and when I pulled it out, it was sparkling white grape juice. So I used the sparkling grape juice with great reluctance. When my husband tried the final product, he was like, that's gross, I'll go the store and get you some sparkling apple cider. Sweet guy.

So I started off with just a tablespoon of pumpkin and 1/4 cup of apple cider. My plan was to pour that in my glass and top off with the bubbly. But it wasn't pumpkin-y enough. After several rounds of putting in just one more tablespoon and adding just a little more cider, I gave up and dumped in the whole can of pumpkin. Here is the final recipe:

1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup apple cider
Sparkling apple cider

Pour pumpkin and apple cider in blender. Blend until well-mixed. Add 1.5 tbsp of pumpkin cider mix to glass, and top off with sparkling cider. Stir gently. You will lose some of the carbonation but it's worth it to have a well-mixed drink.

I actually liked this drink, but after one glass I was satisfied. I don't think I could drink several glasses of this, but it would be a fun drink to serve for a fall dinner party.

*NOTE* -- I also tried using sparkling mineral water and club soda in place of the sparkling juice. Both were gross. You need something sweet or else it just tastes like watery pumpkin.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Mocktail Monday: The Virgin Mary

I see all these posts in blogland about new cocktail recipes and I always think, "that's great and all, but what's in it for me?" That's because I'm a Mormon, remember? I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints seven years ago (when I was 27). I still enjoy a fun beverage when I go out to dinner just as much as the next person, but who says a fun beverage has to include alcohol? 

There's nothing worse than going to a party and finding nothing to drink except the one bottle of Coke that's supposed to be the mixer for everybody else. Just because I don't drink alcohol doesn't mean I only drink water. 

So I'm starting a new series of posts are for my teetotaler friends who want more than water at the end of the day. I'm more a fan of savory things than sweet things, so finding a good mocktail is hard because they are usually a mix of fruit juices. Sometimes that's fine, but not all the time. 

This week is the classic nonalcoholic savory beverage -- the Virgin Mary. I like to get a Virgin Mary from the bar at a restaurant when we have a long wait because it's heavy enough to practically be an appetizer. Plus there's always treats in them like celery and olives, and sometimes a pickle.

I got the mocktail recipe book several years ago but have never really tried anything in it. I've made many Virgin Maries (sp?) without following a recipe, but I thought I'd give this one a try. The ingredients are:


Ice cubes
1 can tomato juice
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I didn't have the real thing so I used the bottled kind)
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2 drops of Tabasco sauce
Pinch of celery salt
Salt and pepper, to taste
Celery stalk

It is worth noting that I do not like bloody mary mixes. 
They are waaaaayyyyyy too heavy. 

Place a scoop of ice cubes in a cocktail shaker, then add all the ingredients, except for the celery stalk, and shake well. Strain into a lowball glass and use the celery stalk as a stirrer.

This drink was good, pretty much what I'm used to, but I usually use lime juice instead of lemon juice, and I think I might like that more, it's hard to say. I doubled the Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, and put in a lot of celery salt, salt, and pepper because I couldn't really taste them in my drink. I also love a salted rim, so I wet a napkin with lemon juice and rolled my rim into some salt. Yum.

All in all, a success. I gave Scarlett a sip and she cried.
She practically drinks salsa so I was a little surprised. 


Friday, September 20, 2013

5 on Friday


I had a birthday! I am now 34! That is terrifying. We spent the weekend in St. Louis with some of our favorite people. The day of my birthday was Sunday, which is nice and blah at the same time. But we had delicious smoked meats and a birthday cake, followed by girl time with a couple of my besties and popcorn and Sister Wives. Success!


Remember this post? I got the beautiful cookie jar! Hoorah!

I came home from a Walmart trip to find Todd making gingersnaps to fill the cookie jar. 
Happy birthday to me!


I also got the greatest invention in kitchen appliances -- the Whirley Pop. With my 52" tv, Amazon Prime and Netflix, and delicious movie theater-style popcorn, I will never leave my house ever again.


Happy Fall Y'all! Can you even read that banner? I don't think I can.

Over the last couple of months I've gotten more involved with the Altus Spouses Club on base. Last night was our monthly social, planned by yours truly. People decorated table centerpieces with a fall theme and then we voted for Best Theme and Best Decorated. As the party planner, I didn't want to compete, but I also didn't want to miss an opportunity to decorate. My original plan was to do a football table, but somebody else was already doing that, so I opted for Plan B. I have loads of pumpkins, so I created a pumpkin patch. I love my pumpkin with lights. It's always my favorite.


Ahoy me hearties! Yesterday was also International Talk Like a Pirate Day! I never remember until halfway through the day, so I hurriedly tried to get pictures of Scarlett before naps. As always, the necklace was her favorite accessory. I tried to put the hook on her hand and she freaked out.

Yarr matey! She be walkin' t' plank!

Friday, September 13, 2013

5 on Friday


One afternoon I was putting Scarlett's leftovers away when I noticed this:

I swear the matching is not on purpose. What is wrong with my subconscious?


This was Todd's fortune when we went to get Chinese for dinner the other night. How is this a "fortune"?


We went to the Jackson County Fair last weekend. Scarlett petted a cute pony, we saw some rabbits, walked around some booths, and left. The whole adventure took around 20 minutes.

September 11 was this week. Am I the only one who actually enjoys the September 11th coverage in the days leading up to the anniversary? I think so, because this was the first year I noticed there wasn't as much on TV as in years past.

My September 11th story -- I was in my first year of law school and ran into a friend as I walked out of my Constitutional Law class. She told me there were planes "dive-bombing" the World Trade Center and nobody knew who it was. I went to the computer lab to get on the internet to see what was going on, and then I just decided to go home because I had a long break. After the towers collapsed another friend from school who was also my neighbor stopped by my house to tell me classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. My roommate and I just sat at home and watched tv all day and all night. 

Law schools typically use the Socratic Method as a form of teaching, which means instead of a lecture, you get called on directly to answer a barrage of questions. My Constitutional Law professor gave us three free passes to use at any time in the semester -- you signed a piece of paper as you came in saying you didn't want to be called on that day. The morning of September 12 almost the entire room got up to sign the paper because nobody had done their reading. Of course, my professor knew this would happen and he postponed our lesson for the day. We basically had a discussion on war powers and what could/would happen next. I don't remember any of it and I'm pretty sure I took crappy notes.

When I say almost everybody got up to sign the paper -- I was not one of them. I spent the entire class period on September 10 at the podium answering questions, so I was hedging my bets that because it was the beginning of the semester, there were still lots of people to call on and he wouldn't call on me again until he got through them. Hey, I wasn't going to waste a perfectly good free pass if I didn't need to. #lawstudentproblems


My birthday is on Sunday! Happy birthday to me!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Scarlett Does for Fun, Shopping Cart Edition

Does your child do this?

Unfortunately I'm usually too busy trying to hold her down to get a picture of her trying to stand up and slide out of the buckle.

So then I let her do this:

But I never really thought about the fact that she's a climber. 

She outdid herself on our next trip to Target. She climbed up the side of the cart and fell flat on her head. It took her about .08 seconds to do it -- I know this because that is approximately the amount of time it takes me to put a box of shoes back on the shelf. 

There was a lot of panicking and freaking out, mostly from me. This is how Scarlett handled her time in the ER:

My mind was racing and I wanted to throw up. All she wanted to do was run. For the record, she's totally fine and that red bump was gone by morning. And I never want to take her to the store with me ever again.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Charm of Altus

There is something to be said for this small town. Sure, I don't have a Target, Hobby Lobby, Dillard's, or a gym with child care. The time it takes to travel to and from the airport alone takes up half your vacation. And there's not much to look at, what with the drought, dead grass, and almost complete absence of trees.

But today I drove through one of my favorite little drink/convenient store spots (The Pit Stop) to get my daily beverage. I pulled up, and before I could say anything, the owner walked over and handed me my 44 ounce DDP with light ice. He then told me he saw Todd this morning when he drove through and we had a lovely chat.

Now that's service. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Best Friends Are Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Ross, and Chandler

File:Friends titles.jpg

This last week I've seen a couple blog posts on the interwebs devoted to the Love of Friends (here and here).

Friends is my all-time favorite. It got me through high school, college, and law school. It was the one constant in my life through moves and graduations and various life transitions. The Friends series finale was two days before I graduated from law school. The end of Friends and the end of my school career happened all at the same time and it was way too much change for my emotional well-being to handle.

I have seen each episode approximately 2,148 times. I'm a lawyer, not a mathematician, so maybe my calculations are off on that. Either way, I've seen them all a lot. So I present to you the four reasons why I am the seventh Friend:

Jennifer Doesn't Share Food

Yes, I don't share popcorn. But I also really don't like sharing other food either. I'm fine to share an appetizer, because that is the social convention. However, sharing my meal is a whole other story. I dread the day that Scarlett demands to eat off my plate. I really hate sharing food.

Quitting the Gym is the Worst

In a former life (5 years ago), I had another blog. I wrote a whole post detailing my anxiety about quitting the gym and how impossible it was. It was pretty funny, so it's unfortunate it's gone for eternity. But the whole experience went something like this:

Nestle Tollhouse Makes the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've seen numerous pins about the various ways to get your chocolate chip cookies to rise beautifully, be light and fluffy, and whatever else. I don't care about any of that. I don't want a fluffy, overly flour-y chocolate chip cookie. I want the Nestle Tollhouse version (except with 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of Crisco). I don't care what anyone says -- that recipe is the best chocolate chip recipe on the planet.

I Hate Getting Ready

One reason I like not having a job that I go to every day is because I absolutely hate getting ready. Maybe it's because I'm lazy. Maybe it's because my hair is neither straight nor curly, just this in between wavy that is impossible to tame. I will do anything to avoid getting ready -- watch some tv, read some blogs, play with the cat. I would probably even resort to stealing somebody's chair essence.

And there you have it -- the four reasons why I am the seventh Friend. They're probably sad they couldn't cast me. They didn't know what they were missing.

Friday, September 6, 2013

5 on Friday: Birthday Edition

It's my birthday month! As my birthday is in 9 days, the 5 things I've been thinking about the most are the top 5 things on my wish list. Here are they (in case you're interested). 


Have you seen the Happy Everything plates from Coton Colors? Now they have cookie jars. They are functional -- as they hold cookies -- as well as fashionable as they display cute holiday attachments year round. I am loving the big black and white polka dot jar...


Obviously I need some cute attachments to display on my cute cookie jar, such as this...

...or this...

...or THIS.


Did you know I have a Silhouette Cameo? Did you know I am OBSESSED with my Silhouette Cameo?  Sometimes I take it with me on vacay so I don't lose a minute of important crafting time. Unfortunately, I don't have a great way to conveniently transport my beloved, so I am in desperate need of this:


I have been carrying the same Vera Bradley tote (as my "diaper bag") since June 23, 2012 (the day we brought Scarlett home from the hospital). The fact that I've been carrying the same bag for almost 15 months is SHOCKING. Nobody is more stunned by this than my husband. Maybe you haven't seen my stockpile of bags that I have on rotation. I love a tote, always have, even if I have nothing to carry in it, but somehow my other totes aren't QUITE big enough for the menagerie of toys and snacks that must be with me at all times. I think after 15 months of commitment that I deserve something a little different.

If I could have any bag I ever wanted, it would be a beautiful Coach tote in red or yellow. Something like this:

Coach Saffiano Large City Tote in Red (silver/vermillion) - Lyst

However, something is happening to me because I would also die for this:

Coach Soft Legacy Travel Satchel in Pebbled Leather - Lyst

But at $798 it's never going to happen.

So back in the real world, I would be happy with this Fossil Sydney Shopper in yellow:


TECHNICALLY, I told Todd he never had to buy me another present ever again because he gave me a day all to myself on Labor Day. He took Scarlett to his brother's house all day on Labor Day and I was alone in my house left to do whatever I wanted. I cleaned and organized all on my own time and in my own manner, without my munchkin destroying everything behind me. It was magical. 

Of course, this is my dream list. In my dream world, should he ever feel inclined to give me a day all to myself ever again, he could also send me off with gift cards to Dillard's, Target, or the Enchanted Door (my fave cute little store here in Altus).

Happy birthday to me!