Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Confessions - Blog Baton Edition

Happy Wednesday everyone! If you're visiting from the Blog Baton, welcome! If you aren't familiar with the Blog Baton, it's a pretty cool idea, a few days each week, a blogger takes over the Instagram account for the day and you show off the things you enjoy that day! Check out @TheBlogBaton and also check out @Masonlikethejar on Instagram and her blog over at Mason Like the Jar, This was her fantastic idea!

So please check it out on Instagram today! I'll try to make it interesting!

Alright, how about some confessions?

1. I was creeped out and a little disgusted with 2 guys I encountered this past weekend. Friday night I was getting my nails done and a fairly manly man came in and asked for a mani / pedi. I thought, how metro of him, It's nice when a man cares about his nail health. Then he asked for them to be kept long and to be polished. OK... I mean if you want to have your nails painted a sparkly pink, that's cool. You do you. But it was the long part, Then he kept staring at the lady and I think I heard him take a picture of her. It really freaked me out, I hope she doesn't end up in a well somewhere,


Then a guy in Body Pump sat on his risers and poured a bowl of cereal and ate it with some milk literally 2 minutes before class. A belly full of fiber and lactose just don't mix well. I was more than a little scared and glad no one saw his breakfast again.

2. I still have up my Halloween decorations. I'm just going to take them all down this weekend when I put up the Christmas ones. Also, these sticky hooks are still on the wall over my stove, from last Christmas. I don't take them down, I seriously thought about it in September but figured why bother, Christmas will be here soon enough and I'll have to put them back up. I'm the worst decorator ever..

3. I'm getting my house deep cleaned soon and after then I'm looking for someone to come 2x a month to clean. It's my mission to clean as little as possible before they come, I'll tidy and pick things up but I really don't want to do much else. The cleaners will probably be horrified but I just don't want to do it. Now that I told the internet that I don't clean my house, I'm sure you all want to come over for the holidays. We'll have cookies,

4. Kev was away last weekend at a concert and it was cold as heck. I was so cold and bundled up most of the time because I can't work the thermostat. Yes, I can't work the thermostat in my house, The main reason is because the house was remodeled by a giant and his wife. I'm 5' 3" and can't see the numbers. Even if I bring over a chair, I still don't know how to work it. I need a simple thermostat. 4 buttons, max. Up, down, hot and cold. That's it. Mine has 17 and levers and crap. I don't have time to learn it, I'll just get another blanket.

That's all for me today! Don't forget to follow @BlogBaton on instagram and check me out today!
Monday, November 17, 2014

The Story of the Mincemeat Cookies

I know that usually on Monday people expect to hear about my weekend and the various things I ate. At last I like to delude myself into thinking that. As thrilling as pictures of coffee and sushi might be, I have a story to tell today. The Story of the Mincemeat Cookies, aka A Story of Injustice.

When I was growing up, my Grandma made three types of cookies. Just three, and my mom made the rest. Grandma always had peanut butter balls, (some people call them buckeyes), hers were peanut butter, powdered sugar and rice krispies rolled in a ball and dipped in chocolate. They were my brother's favorites. She also made nut cups which are essentially tiny pecan pies. Those were my mom's favorite. I've made both of these cookies before and they are extremely time consuming and kind of a pain. I think this is why she only made a few types.

Then she made mincemeat cookies. They were a dense puffy cookie with raisins, hints of clove and cinnamon and were delicious. These were my favorite. I have very distinct memories of standing in my Grandma's kitchen eating these cookies for several years. Remember this part of the story, it's important.

A year of two after we moved here I was invited to a cookie swap held by one of the people at the church Kev works at. It's been running every year for 40 years and is a dang nice swap. You make 12 dozen cookies, each wrapped by the dozen. 13 people attend and you come home with a dozen of 12 different types of cookies. It's a crap ton of cookies and you can wrap them in individual boxes and give them away for Christmas. Everyone thinks you're an amazing baker and slaved away for hours in the kitchen.

I thought, what better to share with my new friends than one of my favorite Christmas cookies of all time? Grandma's mincemeat cookies. I was so excited at the prospect of making them again. I called my mother and asked her to find me the recipe. I couldn't wait for her to call back with the instructions.

A few days later she called and left me a message. "Hi Lara, this is your mother. I looked in my recipe box and didn't see anything, then I looked in Grandma's and it wasn't there either. I called Grandma (she's well into her 90s and sharp as a tack) and she said she never made mine meat cookies, she has no idea what you're talking about. I don't remember them either and neither does your brother, you must have imagined them. Talk you you later, bye."

.....

There are plenty of things from my childhood that I don't remember but there are some that I have a picture of in my mind, as clear as can be, and this is one of them. I ate those cookies, at Grandma's house and it wasn't just one random year.

I've been stewing over this for years. Seriously, how does NO ONE remember these cookies? This is probably my 5th or 6th year at the cookie swap and every year they make me tell this story. Everyone gets a nice chuckle and you know what? I still don't get my cookies.

Well you know what, I'm going to find that damn recipe and make them. If I have to make every last mincemeat drop cookie on Pinterest this is going to happen. I found soy-less shortening at Whole Foods and that was the last piece of the puzzle. We're going to my parents for Thanksgiving and you know what I'm bringing? Mincemeat cookies.


Have you ever experienced a similar injustice?

Do you absolutely remember something from the past only to have others say you imagined it?


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Five thing Friday - New Job Edition

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a lovely week and are winding down for a great weekend! I want to give a shout out to Kev and his vocal jazz group, Avante. They're heading up to Kev's home town for a concert this Saturday and I know they're going to kick some major butt! 

It did mean that Kev left the house at 415am this morning. Which resulted in all the animals waking up and singing me the songs of their people. Godiva was screaming for food, Cleo was whining to pee and Titus banged on the door like a swat team. Oh, and I had a flat tire this morning. I'm going to need copious amounts of coffee. 

For my 5 things Friday I decided to show 5 things from my new job. Here they are!


1. When I was negotiating my salary, my new boss asked me what snacks I wanted and of course, Skittles. This bowl and bag was in my office the first day. Reflecting back, I should have asked for Skittles in perpetuity. Just a never ending bowl of Skittles.


2. This might seem trivial but this is the first time I legitimately have an office with a door. For real, this makes me so so happy. I also have a window with a view of the parking lot. 


3. The first day, as an initiation, they took me to Smokey's BBQ which is literally a trailer that has amazing BBQ. I've driven past it 100s of times in the last 4 years and never stopped in. 

One of the best things about the place is all the things to look at. The walls are full of "interesting" things. This note was in the women's room and it made me chuckle. 


Then there was this. The stuff that nightmares are made of. Apparently someone took the butt of a dead deer, turned it upside down and made it in to a horrific face. The deer's butt hole was made into a mouth, completed with tiny awful teeth. The worst part, one of the guys I was there with had seen others of these. Seriously, MORE THAN ONE PERSON THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA. 

It haunts my dreams...

4. There is a room full of snacks. All the snacks you could possibly imagine... here for the taking. Apparently the stash is low right now. 


In the pantry in the kitchen, it's nothing but giant boxes of sugar cereal. It's like an 8 year old was given a credit card and sent to Costco.


5. I got this doTerra car diffuser but it's the perfect size for my office. I love that I can diffuse some oil to my heart's content and I don't even care if someone thinks I'm a hippie. I'm going to have some calm and peace. 

Yes, that's a TARDIS pen and it's awesome.

That's all for me! Have a great weekend!


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

RDU Baton and a few confessions!

First of all, if you've wandered over here as a result of the RDU Baton, WELCOME! If you're wondering what that is, let me tell you... On Instagram the @RDUBaton account is held by a different person every day. They show you a glimpse into their lives and some of their favorite spots around tow. I've been on the waiting list for a few months and today is my day! Not on Instagram? no worries, I'll do a blog post about everywhere I went today. It's also a great excuse to get Kev to take me out to dinner tonight. 'Cause I have to take pictures and stuff...


Like this one of my back yard. It's all fall and stuff. :)


It's been a while since I've confessed and I have a few things to get off my chest. Time for Wednesday Confessions!

1. I don't always wear my wedding rings. Now, before you lose your minds and think I'm trolling for a hook-up, no. I love my husband and I love my rings but believe it or not, the majority of wedding sets aren't meant to be worn every minute of the day. Heck, jewelry shouldn't be worn 24/7. Gold wears down. prongs get snagged on things, diamonds get lost. You shouldn't be scrubbing floors or cleaning toilets with your rings, the chemicals in the cleaners can cause them to pit and get nasty.

I sold jewelry for many years and saw all kinds of bad that happened as a result of rings / jewelry being worn 24/7. I put my rings on in the morning before I go to work and take them off when I get home. If I stop home before going to the gym, I take them off then as well so they won't bang on the weight bar.


2. When Kev and I were on our loooong road trip, I started pondering the state of music today and how there are things that people don't sing about anymore, like rebelling against society. Back in the 80s there was a lot of "We're not Gonna Take It" and "Youth Gone Wild" now it's just "Yay, we're going to listen to what we're told' That kinda makes me sad in my heart.

3. I was also pondering how things had different meanings a few years ago. Kiss has a song called "Deuce" and they sing about how "He's worth a Deuce". I only know a deuce to be a #2. Why would someone be worth a poo?

No Way! That's what it means. I had to get to the 12th entry in Urban dictionary to find it though... The first 5 entries are all about poops.

4. Being in Sales, you can get away with a lot of things because you're "in Sales". Like constantly asking for money or resources. It's a great excuse and really, I would expect that if anyone would ask, it should be sales. At my old job, I got a new boss boss and I immediately asked him for $500 for a sales contest. He said yes... and the day the contest was to start I gave my notice. Oops. #sorrynotsorry

5. I'm a bad cat parent. One of the cats, Titus, the fat one, was being a pain in the ass and spraying and peeing on everything in the house. It was ridiculously frustrating and he ruined a multitude of things. We made the decision earlier this year to convert him into an outside cat. We put a cat door to the garage, moved the food and blankets in there and blocked him from coming inside. 

Well, while we were on vacation we received an e-mail from the neighbors that he was terrorizing their cats and they wanted us to keep him out of their yard. Right... the cat is going to stay out of a yard. So we made the decision to convert him completely into an inside cat and never let him out again. We put him in the garage for a week to get him to use the liter box again and slowly started letting him in the house. 

He's had a few slip ups and has been beating on the door to go outside but overall, it's been as smooth transition. Hopefully he'll continue to behave, but probably not because he's a jerk. But he's our jerk.


Do you wear your rings all the time?

Have a cat? Is he/she a jerk?

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What I did this weekend


Well, well, well, it's Tuesday. First off, Happy Veteran's Day to all those who've served our country. 

If I;d still been working at the bank I would have celebrated with a day off but alas, I don't get all those holidays off anymore. It's OK, I traded it for an office with an actual door. 

This past week was kinda strange because I gave my notice on Monday and the bank said it was my last day. Good news is I was able to start at the new job on Monday but it gave me 6 days to twiddle my thumbs. 

A high point for the week was this! 


I go to Breugger's for coffee... a lot. Kev wasn't drinking coffee for a while and instead of me making a pot, I went to Breugger's. Well, I kinda go there every day. Last year I didn't get the Bottomless mug because it seemed excessive but the more I went, the more the employees "harassed" me to  get the mug. I told Kev it was what I wanted for my birthday and he got me an early surprise. :)


It just went on sale the first of November and is good until December 31st 2015. I figure I have to go 100 times to break even. I intend to make money on this investment. Challenge accepted.

Friday night we went to see Interstellar. It was fine. I wanted it to be better and the first 2 hours were great. The last 30 minutes I felt they jumped the shark. I've seen 3 disappointing movies in a row. Next time, I'm choosing the movie.

Saturday I was climbing the walls and decided to take Cleo for a run, She usually stops 750 times on a run to smell the world and ends up ripping my arm out of the socket when she comes to a dead stop. 


Halfway through we stopped for a selfie and she pulled what might be the derpiest picture I've ever seen. I almost erased it because I was embarrassed for her. Then I remembered she was a dog and didn't care about social media. Then I posted it all over the interwebs.

I also made a stop at Trader Joe's where all the pumpkin things are transforming into peppermint things. I found these Thanksgiving dog treats which she absolutely loves. Who knew?


Saturday night all the animals laid on Kev.


My cat has a fat ass...


Sunday morning I took myself on a solo run and it was nice. The weather is perfect for running! I was a little annoyed for not going the other .05 miles to make it an even 3.5. I have a slight number OCD.


The rest of the day was spent doing laundry then I headed over to NC State for sorority meeting and elections.

That was my exciting weekend, what did you do?
Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Five (or six) Favorites - Junior League Shopping Spree

Last Friday I called off from work and went to the Junior League Shopping Spree. Geeze Lara, calling off to go shopping? yep. Two reasons. One, I was waiting for my final offer letter from the new company and knew I wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything. And two, I knew I was leaving and didn't want to spend the day looking at their faces. 

I always love the Shopping Spree, each year the Junior League gathers a bunch of vendors and for 4 days it's a big shopping extravaganza. It's $12 to get in and you can come back all 4 days.


It's hard to see but those are all vendors. It fills the entire floor of the convention center.


There's lots of boutiques and interesting gifts. Most years, this one included, I found a bunch of great food items.

This was one of the first ones I had to pick up. It's a Party in a Bag and for $20 you got a dip mix, a box of tasty crackers and a box of magic that turns your alcohol into slushies.


You take a bottle of wine or booze, add a mixer and the deliciousness in the box, put it in the freezer, wait a few hours and it turns into a booze slushie. Seriously amazing. Add some cream cheese / sour cream to the spice mix, dip the crackers in there, instant party. It's going to be perfect over the holidays.


I did buy one non-food thing, these gable boxes were 11 for $10. I absolutely love these for gift giving over the holidays. I participate in a huge cookie exchange every year and when it comes time to spread the love, these are perfect. You can fit a crap-ton of cookies in here and they're instantly festive.


I also found these gluten-free, no-GMO baking mixes. The chocolate one had 0 soy which made my heart (and stomach) happy. 

\

I got really excited when I saw these butter mints. Kev and I sampled them a few weeks ago and didn't buy any. They were soooo delicious. I had to get get some. I'm going to take some to my grandma for Christmas, I know she'll love them too.


BBQ Sauce with beer AND bacon? Um yes. We made BBQ the other day and used this sauce and it was amazing!


One last thing was these delicious hard candies. Again, taking these to Grandma for Christmas.


Overall it was a pretty successful spree and I got some great stuff. 

Have you ever been to a Shopping Spree?
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Transformation Thursday

The last few weeks have been a little hectic and my workouts have suffered a bit. I've been eating mostly low carb which is good and hitting up the gym for Pump a few times a week. It's just been closer to 3 times a week instead of or 5. We've also eaten out several times this week. Hey, we were celebrating. But it really is time to get back on the wagon.

I think the most frustrating thing is that I didn't run the City of Oaks half like I'd planned. I didn't register, I wanted to wait and see how training was going and when I only made it to seven miles and caught a cold the next week, it was all downhill from there. 

I was starting to get down and then I was looking though Kev's pictures and found this.


This was taken on our first cruise, I think in 2008? This was pretty close to my heaviest. I don't have too many pictures from that time, but this is one of them.

Then I found this one which wasn't at my lowest but pretty close to where I am right now. 


When you compare the 2, it's a pretty big difference. The girl on top wouldn't dream of running a half marathon, she used to say that she wouldn't run even if her ass were on fire. She also spent a lot of time eating 100 calorie snack packs and drinking Diet Coke by the gallons. I don't care if diet soda is "safe", I finally lost weight after I stopped drinking it.

Regardless of the off weeks, the extra eating out, I know I'll never go back to where I was. It means that I have to buckle down and make sure that girl never comes back. I know she won't. And please, someone stop me if I ever think about chopping all my hair off again.