Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Carrot Cake Expert

The Marshmallow is addicted to the carrot cake at, of all places, Chuck-a-Rama. And before you ask...yes, it's our favorite restaurant (for the family) for a variety of reasons and anyone with children will understand why. We all eat for less than $30, anything we want in any quantity. The kids can eat noodles, fries, baby corn, hard boiled eggs, and pieces of ham and mom and dad can have grown up food or at least comfort food. And it's remarkably good for a buffet.  So we go there frequently.

I've decided to become a carrot cake expert and surely I can do better than Chuck-a-Rama, right?  Surely.  So I started tonight.

My sister gave me a cookbook for Christmas...

So far I haven't used it but I found their carrot cake recipe and decided it was a good place to start.  It calls for butter flavored crisco! Who uses that?  I guess I do...but the dough was very smooth and fluffy. Sort of like zucchini bread. In fact it tasted like zucchini bread. Is this all there is to it? I have a great zucchini bread recipe. Do I just cover it with cream cheese frosting?  Hmmm, put this away in my file cabinet in my head (wait, I might never find it again...).

I just took the cake out of the oven and lo...the middle fell a tiny bit. 's Ok.  I'm sure it'll taste the same but who wants a cake to fall?  Now I just have to wait for it to cool and then put on the frosting.  I'll report on the results - how will The Marshmallow grade my cake against Chuck-a-Rama?  I'll probably want to try other recipes. If anyone out there has a good one, shoot it my way!  Maybe I can get Chuck-a-Rama's recipe.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Shouldn't Be Allowed To Be A Grown-up

Can I tell you a secret?  If you want free electronics, like brand new iPhones and new iPads within 2 days of them being released, then go hang out at Smith's Marketplace in Bountiful in the entrance where people leave their carts.  Surely, it won't be long before you find one or both in an empty cart just waiting for you!

How, do you ask, would I know this?  Because not two weeks ago, I left my iPhone in a cart there one night when I was grocery shopping.  I realized it several hours later.  I panicked because it didn't even have a password on it and every shred of personal information about me and my entire family is on there.  I returned at 11pm. Someone had turned it in, God bless their sweet little soul. 

You'd have thought I had learned my lesson.

No. I. Did. Not.

Yesterday, I was there again with my iPad doing a little shopping for the candy decor we made yesterday and I grabbed all the bags and my Priorities...MY CHILDREN...and we got in the car and headed home looking forward to excitement and crafting all the day long.  Until I got home and instantaneously realized I had left my iPad IN THE FREAKING CART. O My Gosh.  My heart exploded in my chest as I hurtled back to the grocery store.  I did not even STOP to buckle up my Priorities in the backseat but drove at breakneck speed the 2 1/2 miles to that store where I found that no one had turned it in.  I nearly started to scream at the service attendant or CRY or both when I realized that there was a infinitesimal chance that it hadn't even left the cart yet. I walked in slow motion back over to the carts and someone had actually shoved the cart back into its cart row and never even noticed the black leather case in the cart. It was right easy for anyone to steal. But no one had even noticed it.  Except me...and I snatched it up again feeling like I was going to cry.  What the...I'm really speechless.  I mean how lucky can one person be?  I'm not kidding. I think a train is going to hit me next just for karma's sake!!

My Priorities are expressly forbidden to divulge this tale to The Marshmallow. And I will tell him at a later date...after I have buttered him up with whatever I can think of.  He will probably not ever let me buy another toy again...and I do not blame him at all.

Am I lucky? Yes. Am I stupid? Yes.

Should I be allowed to purchase expensive gadgets? The answer is clearly no.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

We Don't Just Pin To Pinterest - We Create Pinterest Stuff!

Don't you love all the little Pinterest pins alluding to the loser lives we have and all we do is pin and wish on Pinterest instead of DO stuff?

I actually am quite inspired by Pinterest. I love logging on there and immediately feeling inspired to create something cute that I pinned there. I've made so many fun things lately but today was the best. A little reminder popped up on my phone today telling me that it was time to decorate for Easter (ya, I give myself these reminders, lol) and I thought - hey! I've got some cute Pinterest stuff for Easter!  So my girls and I gathered the supplies (i.e. we talked about the Repentance process as we drove to the craft store on Sunday) and began working on several projects that I've pinned to Pinterest.  My results are never quite like the pics on Pinterest - who is ever that awesome (not me), but we got some super fantastic results, loads of candy left over, a huge mess on the kitchen table, and great kid/mom time.

Here are my girls and I being creative instead of just gawking at Pinterest stuff, which by the way is one of Bugs and my favorite things to do as we're putting off bedtime together.  Her fav thing to look at is desserts in bright colors. We tried a few and mostly gagged (chocolate dipped peeps, cream cheese frosting stuffed strawberry-cake cookies - oh my gosh, that was the sickest thing ever) but they're pretty anyway.

This is another thing we tried from Pinterest. It's curls for a little girl. I dampened her hair a bit then corkscrewed it for the day. Then let it out and look - it's beautiful!  I wish my hair would do this but it's a bit short for this look. I am CONSTANTLY jealous of this little girls' hair. It's the perfect color, texture and length. I guess mine would look like hers if I wasn't consistently damaging it. 
 Look how happy she is!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Guest Post: Throwing Your Daughter a Great Birthday Party

I've never had a guest post on my blog before but thought it might be fun to try one.  Lisa from The Party Works has some fun ideas for little girls' parties that I thought you might enjoy......

For the first couple of years birthday parties are more like a gathering with cake and lots of photos.  That is to say that 1, 2 and 3 year olds don’t really have themed parties so much as an occasion for families and a few friends to gather and celebrate their turning another year older.  Once they turn 4 or 5 it’s time to think about what kind of birthday party you want to throw for your kiddo, where they can invite their little friends and enjoy games or crafts and party favors.  Here are a few ideas for throwing your little girl a wonderful party that she will never forget!

Princess Theme
Really girly girls love to get dressed up with a tiara and wand and prance around holding court.  Decorations for the princess theme are easy to find and the tiaras and wands make great party favors to send home with your guests.  Bowls filled with sparkly costume jewelry for the girls to accessorize with can be set out among the snacks.  A craft station with lots of glue, glitter and little jewels for the girls to decorate an item of your choice, such as their own tiaras or felt princess bags. 

Tea Party Theme
Go to a thrift store and pick up a few sun hats, the bigger the better.  Note the theme in the invitation and have the girls wear their Sunday best.  Make little crust-less cucumber sandwiches and break out a tea set (plastic is best), with saucers, teapot and sugar caddy.  The girls will love the cute little finger foods and giant hats they get to pick out.  If the birthday is in the spring months this is ideal for setting up small tables outside with little vases full of flowers and place cards for the guests.

Lisa is a guest post blogger who loves throwing her kids birthday parties and has tried both Princess and Tea Party for her daughter and used Super Mario party supplies for her son.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I took Tinker to her pediatrician a month or so ago for what I thought might be croup. The visit itself run me about $75. Not bad, right? For the peace of mind that your child is getting the oxygen they need, probably not going to die and that somebody besides you has diagnosed your child with a fairly routine ailment, I think it's ok.  Except this...

A few weeks later (after the bill had been paid), I get another bill from the pediatrician. It's for $14.73, an odd amount especially considering the visit bill had already been paid in full.  I call the accounting department and they tell me that that all of the charges hadn't been submitted when the bill was paid and that the $14.73 was the charge for using the pulse oximeter.  Do you know what this is? It's that little thing they put on your finger that tells you your oxygen saturation.  True, this is not a reading I can get at home since the pulse ox I use for work is for adults but this is my gripe...

The doctor sees patients...
I see patients...

The doctor charges per visit...
I charge per visit...

The doctor monitors vital signs...
I monitor vital signs...

The doctor routinely uses a pulse oximiter on her patients...
I routinely use a pulse oximiter on my patients...

The doctor charges for each use of the pulse oximeter...
I consider it part of the visit fee to use the pulse oximiter...

Why didn't they charge me for using the thermometer, the stethescope and every other object they utilized during the visit? Why just for the pulse ox?  It is just another device to measure vital signs!

I am so irritated about this that I actually laughed when the billing creature told me what it was for.  Wow, I thought. Now that's really getting down to the nitty gritty.  Am I going to be charged for the lollipop next?

I sound like my dad. Frickin' doctors.