Posts Tagged ‘carrie spencer’

Don’t Treat me Like I’m an Old Lady – I’m only 50! Cheap Date Night and more oldster fun!

I’m 50.

I admitted it quite freely, even in spite of the gasps of “noooo!” and “not possible!”s….because, well duh. I am. Born in 1962, it’s now 2012. I don’t make this kind of stuff up.

So, when I got treated as an “elderly woman who needs help”, I possibly went a bit overboard.

First, I didn’t need help. Those damn Rubbermaid containers treat static electricity like it’s the new Velcro. WHY, may I ask you, does Walmart see the need to stack Rubbermaid containers, already known for their stick-toit-tiveness, at least 15 high?

This is just a plot to unearth helpless little old ladies.

(Of which I have no intention of being one)

So there I was, unsuspectingly holding what appeared to be 30 Rubbermaid containers (30 gallon size) in my hands, trying to shake the top one loose. I have too many shirts ( as if! Does anyone want to explain to DH why NO ONE ON THE PLANET EARTH can have too many shirts????) and was attempting to box up a few.

So I shaked. And shimmied. And wiggled. And then I tried getting the boxes apart. Damn things weren’t coming apart for love nor money.

Over my left shoulder I hear breathing. Followed by “May I help you, ma’am?”

May I tell you, few things rile me faster than someone calling me ma’am?

I’m sure you’ve heard it once or twice. A nice boy taking out your groceries. Someone loading lumber for a deck. And suddenly, you’re in shock. You’ve just been ma’amed.

Life as you know it has now changed. You have reached the “elderly status”.

This can happen when you’re 25, 34 or even 84. Doesn’t matter. There it is, hanging over your head like Damocles sword. (If you’re old like me, you’ll understand what that means. If not, Google it.)

Anyways, back to the nice young man. He was in his early 20’s, wearing the uniform of someone who serviced tires and other things I Don’t Understand in the vehicle bay. His hands were outstretched, determined to help me separate those cursed Rubbermaid containers.

I should have been grateful.

Instead, I was insulted. Miffed, even.

It didn’t happen on purpose. I swear. I double dog swear. He lifted the boxes, and two were stuck together at the top. So I said, “Two is fine, I’d love to have two.” And proceeded to tug on the boxes, to get the two free.

“Ow,” he said. “Um. Ow, ow, ow.”

I struggled mightily, trying to find the source of his discomfort. Two boxes, the rest lying on the floor. I tried pulling the second box from the first. “Ow!” His pained face swam into my vision. “Ow! Ow!”

Okay, so this wasn’t going well.

Concentrating on the bottom Rubbermaid, I finally saw the source of his pain. Four fingers were squished, like a Panini Sandwich from Barnes and Noble Food Court, between the two containers. And by me tugging on the two containers, I was squishing them more. Oy.

“Oh,” I said. “Wow, that’s gotta hurt.”

The more I tried to separate the boxes, the further I pinched his fingers. Catch-22. Finally, they sprang apart.

Okay, so I’m no Mother Theresa. I didn’t bandage his wounds, didn’t offer much in the way of sympathy, because now I felt old AND stupid. I did apologize, because my mother did raise me to be polite.

I don’t need help. I can do it myself. I’ve got it. How many times have I said those in the past few months? A lot.

And yet, he made me feel like I’m heading for the nursing home.

And what does any of this have to do with cheap date night? Not one thing. Just something I had to get off my chest. So, to the young man who’s fingers I pinched, I apologize. That really did have to hurt.

Now let’s eat.

Low Calorie Good for You But Still Tastes Wonderful Salad

iceberg lettuce
spinach
almonds
mandarin oranges
radishes
cucumber
baked or a rotisserie chicken
dressing of your choice. I used fat free Dorothy Lynch and it was AWESOME.

Heat your oven to 350. Toss a handful of almonds on a baking sheet and bake about 10 min. They should be nice and extra crunchy. (ok, so this is SO NOT the fiasco of the flaming nuts – much easier, trust me!)

While those are cooking, tear the iceberg lettuce into bits and mix with the spinach in a big bowl. Open a drain a small can of mandarin oranges, toss on top. (Don’t you love easy recipes like this?) Chop your radish and cucumber into bite size pieces, toss in the bowl. When the almonds have finished, add those in as well and give it all a jumble. If your chicken isn’t still warm, nuke it for 30 seconds or so, put on top of your portion of salad, and decorate with dressing. Simple, but an excellent salad, full of protein.

Smart Ass Romance - Bottums Up - Fun Drink RecipesAnd since we’re being so good on the food front, here’s a nice low calorie drink to go with!

Peach Sparkler

D’Asti sparkling wine
peach schnapps
lemonade

In a tall glass add 1 shot of the peach schnapps. Fill the glass with half lemonade and half wine. Sip and enjoy.

And on to the movie portion! Pull up a comfy chair and watch my absolute favorite Bugs Bunny classic.

Writing on Shirts with Bleach? On purpose? Found it on Pinterest

Did I ever tell you I invented the Clorox Bleach Pen? Well, I did. Not only am I smart, talented and flat-footed, I’m also a brilliant inventor.

It was mostly brought about by necessity, as trying to pour a gallon of bleach onto a striped shirt with ONE TINY SPOT ended up in a huge splash that obliterated half the stripes and yet somehow managed to keep the spot I was aiming for. So I wrote the bleach company and said hey, why don’t you come out with something like a little marker or roll on type of bleach? Lo and behold about a year later? Yup, the bleach pen. I’m taking full credit for it, even if I know it takes an average of two years for any new product to be added to a line.

So, anywhoo, I found this cool tutorial on Pinterest, on how to write on your shirt with a bleach pen. And me, being me, just had to try it.

So, I did. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the process. =( But, here’s the shirt! The lyrics on it are from Imagine by John Lennon.

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

It got a little blurry in trying to rinse the bleach OUT, but otherwise I was pleased.

So, this time, I’ll take photos AND write instructions – then you can see what happened the SECOND time I tried bleaching a shirt.

First we take our shirt. Mine is a v-neck in ash. I slide a trash bag in between the front and back – otherwise you’ll have words on the front and reverse words on the back. Here I wanted to try a design that would be on the lower right hand side of the front, wrapping to the back.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Think first of what you’re going to write, then grab your bleach pen and go. Don’t put it on too thick, you can use the point of the pen to spread the bleach out a bit. Since I did words the first time, this time I opted for a design. **I’ll also add an addendum that after you rinse your shirt, rinse it again with hydrogen peroxide to stop the bleaching process**

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Keep writing.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Ok, now let it sit for a bit. 20-30 min for min. I kept waiting, and waiting and waiting. 45 minutes and no visible sign of bleaching. Seriously? I have the only non-bleaching shirt in the world? Finally, I decided to rinse the shirt and see what happened. This is the tricky part. Trying to get the bleach off without bleaching the rest of the shirt. (in this case I doesn’t matter, as my shirt is impervious to bleach) So far, I can say I haven’t found a successful way of doing it, but I call the extraneous bleach spots “character” and everyone seems okay with that. You can try laying yours in the shower and rinsing it, or hit it in the sink with the faucet, or even outside with the garden hose. You’ll have to scrub at it a bit with your fingers, too.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

When I finished rinsing, (I’ll explain why the sink is orange in another post) I noticed a very vague, faint pattern. Hard to tell since the shirt had darkened so much with the rinsing. I decided to toss it in the washer and dryer, and see what came out on the other side.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Um. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not even a light colored outline.

After some research, I read the a cotton and man-made fiber blend will sometimes cause this effect. Something to remember if you ever play with bleach. Something FURTHER to remember if you’re deliberately TRYING to bleach a shirt.

So, of course I immediately made another, because of course, no guts, no glory.

Bleaching a design onto a t-shirt

Muuuuch better. =)

So did it work? Mostly. Was it as beautiful as the Pinterest pic? Not even close. Will I wear them in public? You bet.

carrie

Flaming Nuts, Fireflies and a Cheap Date – What More Could a Gal Ask For?

I rarely try to cook these days. It’s a lesson I’ve learned through countless mis-haps, fiery disasters and cleanup that can last for days.

However, every now and then my inner Betty Crocker pops up and says “Hey! Let’s give THIS a shot!” And invariably I listen.

Silly me.

So, when I ran across a recipe that said you could make roasted nuts on the grill, what else could I do? Ms. Crocker and I whipped out the tin foil and went to work.

In less than 10 minutes, Betty was fleeing for her life. Smart girl.

Spiced Nuts (the hard way)

Spiced Nuts in Foil

So, following the recipe carefully, I piled a bunch of mixed nuts and sunflower seeds into my tin foil packet. I shook some spices over all – chili powder, pepper, garlic salt. More chili powder. And then plopped on a few pats of butter. Mostly following the recipe.

Then I carefully folded my packet.

Spiced Nuts in Foil

And tossed it on the grill. Hub-meister lit the grill, because I preferred to keep my eyebrows intact. As long as the grill was going, I tossed on a hamburger – why not?

I let the nuts roast for 8 minutes, and carefully unwrapped my package. Um…hm. The nuts were barely warm! The hamburger was still bloody and raw! Disaster!

Well, it appears one must first have propane to light the grill. This would seem obvious, except there’s no meter on the side of a propane tank to say when it’s empty. Seriously propane people? How hard can this be?

So after much grunting and labor and twisting things off and on (not by ME of course, I merely watched in sympathy) the new tank was put on. Flames burst forth! Yay! Let’s roast these nuts!

Back on the flames again, I dashed inside for seasoning salt and pepper for my burger. I watched the time carefully. At 7 minutes I hurled myself back out the door – this time the nuts would be SPECTACULAR! I might even start my own nut company and make MILLIONS!

I peeked at the burger first – wow, it was still kinda…gray. Ugh. Obviously I need to turn the heat up. And then I looked at the packet holding the precious nuts. Well. Sparks shot from the foil and smoke geysered out of one end, like those smoker things they use to put bees asleep? I didn’t see any bees nearby, so it’s possible smoking nuts do the same. Snatching up my tongs, I ran for the house and frantically blew on the package of nuts. (Hey, I know. But I’d lost it a little at this point) Tearing it open I discovered ….yes, burnt nuts. No actual flames. Thank the Lord.

Spiced Nuts in Foil

The outer edge was completely black. The bottom layer was completely black. The inner 2-3″? Yeah, that part was good. Fumes of fried nuts filled the house and the cats let themselves out to get some fresh air. Hubby finally came over to see what had happened. “Oh,” he said. “You must have had the heat up too high.”

Brilliant man.

After a few adjustments, I found out the grill had TWO burners, each with their own separate settings. The burger was on the low side (where I thought the nuts were) which is why it didn’t cook. The nuts? Yeah, about that. They were on high heat. Explains a lot, yeah?

Now my hamburger was cooking nicely, the nuts were in the trash bin and I set out my usual burger accoutrements. Pickles, ketchup and mustard. Brandishing my spatula and a plate, I went out to get my (now) nicely browned burger. Giving it a little flip over onto the plate, I heard a funny noise. Like….a tiny scream. A little flash of light. Odd that, I thought.

Inside the house, I flipped the burger onto the bun (look out Emeril) and discovered – a firefly. He’d apparently flew between burger and plate while I was doing my theatrics and was trapped under a section of the burger. His wings were a little soggy, his light flickered unsteadily, but DH and I set him free again with a stern lesson to never come near the grill again.

Smart Ass Romance - Bottums Up - Fun Drink RecipesBurger joined the nuts in the trash.

Which brings us to the drinking section of the evening, in memory of my lightly toasted friend, The Firefly.

1 shot of vodka (more if you’ve had a day like this)
2 shots of grapefruit juice
Grenadine or pomegranate schnapps

In a tall glass over ice, pour the vodka and grapefruit. Slowly pour the grenadine or schnapps over the top. It’ll sink to the bottom, making a nice sunset effect.

Enjoy!

Now believe it or not, this cooking sketch takes 8 minutes. Yes, the exact same 8 minutes it takes to make spiced nuts. Fix your drink, toss your nuts on the fire (so to speak) and watch this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULINjjTkrDU

Creating a Cool Slideshow with the Slidedeck Plugin – Woodie Knows WordPress

Woodie knows WordPress - Carrie Spencer Smart Ass RomanceHello my wordpress buddies! Life is grand here in Woodchuck Land – the sun is shining, the wind is gentle and Carrie’s got eight, count ’em EIGHT new planters just FULL of petunias right there on her front steps! Suh-weet!

Today, we’re going to add a new type of slideshow to our repertoire – Slidedeck. It’s easy to configure and looks might snazzy in one of your just-got-back-from-vacation posts!

First, go to your dashboard, then go to plugins> add new. Type in slidedeck. There’s only the one! Now click install, and go back to your dashboard. You’ll see a new button on your dashboard titled Smart Slidedeck. Hover over it and choose Add Smart Slidedeck.

I kept most of the settings, just so I could see what they looked like, and play with it from there. I clicked on save, then preview. Well holy cow. Is this just awesome or what???

A cool slideshow featuring five of my most recent posts. That is SO COOL!

I went back in, changed the slider so it would show pictures from my most popular posts and only in a few chosen categories. Then, when I clicked preview, I changed the size of the slideshow and clicked update.

Now I click on the yellow bar at the top of the screen where it says insert your SlideDeck into a post.

This takes me back to the posts page. From there, I choose the post I want the slideshow to appear in, and click on it. Now on the right hand side is this widget, and I choose Insert Slide Deck where I want the sliders to appear. I can change the dimensions here if I so choose, or feature the post I’m posting right now in the slide show.

[SlideDeck id=’2203′ width=’100%’ height=’200px’]

voila, the code is inserted for me, I don’t need to do anything else!

The only thing that reaaaaaally bothers me about slidedeck is that the widget takes over the side panel. So I closed it by clicking the little arrow, and drug it below the publish box. I can drag it even farther down (and will!) later, as it’s something I’ll only use occasionally.

Want to learn some more sidedeck tricks? Check out this website here..

Make Use of – SlideDeck

Enjoy!

Grilled Cheese Grilled Cheese – Cheese Outside AND In – Found it on Pinterest

Nothing says easy supper/lunch/occasionally breakfast like a good grilled cheese sandwich. Mine is always made with white bread (99% fat free!) and Velveeta cheese. (Stop making faces Jen, I can see them clear over here!)

So when I found a recipe on Pinterest for a grilled cheese grilled cheese, I of course had to give it a shot.

I assembled my ingredients.
Two slices white bread
Monster slab of Velveeta
Shredded sharp cheddar
Butter
Frying pan
Spatula

That should really be all a girl needs right? Sort of.

First, I tossed the butter in the pan and set it to bubble.

Grilled Grilled Cheese

Next came the cheese sandwich. Velveeta safely tucked inside and a few more slabs of butter for when I turned this baby over.

Grilled Cheese Grilled Cheese

Isn’t that the most adorable frying pan? Just big enough for one. (and it’s ORANGE!)

Next came the all important flipping of the sammy. This required a bit of effort – trying to take a picture while wielding a spatula, so my first side got a wee bit toasted. Still, we’re doing good here.

Now I sprinkle the top with the sharp cheddar and wait for the other side to brown.

Grilled Cheese Grilled Cheese

Here’s where I ran into difficulties. Between the lifting of the cheese coated sandwich out of the pan and tossing in another pat of butter, I needed one more arm. As you can see, my utensil count increased, as did the stove splatters. I finally accomplished the deed by lifted the dripping, gooey sandwich with the spatula, flinging in a pat of butter I’d speared with a knife and then doing the all important cheese-flip. No cheddar was wasted in this maneuver.

Grilled Cheese Grilled Cheese

And lookie there. A nice crispy cheese crust on my sandwich – just like they showed on Pinterest! On a roll now, I flipped the entire thing out on my plate and added in some fresh fruit.

For the final picture, I thought – I’ll saw this baby in half, so you guys can see all this wonderful cheese!

Saw being the operative word. Apparently when you get your nice crispy cheese crust, you also get a substance somewhat akin to Kevlar. I sawed, I hacked and whacked and finally resorted to a bare-handed jerking apart. But voila – we have a grilled cheese grilled cheese.

Grilled Cheese Grilled Cheese

Will I make it again? Probably not. I didn’t care for the cheese crust which tended to stick to my teeth and required more GNAWING than delicious lip licking. (Something Woodie would have enjoyed!)

So there you have it – another “Found it on Pinterest” exposed. =)

carrie

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

[progpress title="Of Life and Lemons" goal="50000" current="6645"]

[progpress title="Wedding Cakes R Us" goal="6000" current="2938"]

[progpress title="Moose's Christmas" goal="300" current="0"]

[progpress title="I've been framed" goal="50000" current="52086"]

[progpress title="lemons and cowboys" goal="50000" current="41389"]