Monday, December 20, 2010

Gorgeous California Sunset

Last weekend, the sky displayed its holiday finery in pinks and oranges and peaches. 

Gorgeous. Breathtaking, even.

This weekend, though, the clouds chose to share their seasonal offerings.

Rain, rain, rain. 

Good thing I love rain!

Orgasm Cookies

The name "Brown Sugar Shortbread" just doesn't do these cookies justice. It really doesn't.

So from here on out (in my mind, at least) they'll be known as "Orgasm Cookies". 

They. Are. That. Good. They not only melt in your mouth, but the flavor literally curls your toes.

The impossibly fast and easy recipe is from Mrs. Field's Cookie Book.

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

6 oz. chocolate chips
1 tbsp. butter
4 oz. finely chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar, then add vanilla and sugar. Once dough forms, roll into 1 inch balls, then roll each ball into a 2 inch log and place on cookie sheet. Depress middle of each log with the length of your forefinger. Bake at 325 for 17-19 minutes or until light golden.

Remove to cooking rack. Melt chocolate chips and butter together. Either dip the tips of the cookies in the chocolate or spread the chocolate on the cookies with a knife, then cover with pecans. Refrigerate to set chocolate.

I'm sure you have the ingredients on hand, so go make them. Right now. 

Trust me. 

You want them.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NEEDTOBREATHE - Something Beautiful [Official Video]

Hit the concert scene for the first time in years! Saw NeedToBreathe. Way cool.

Scott bought tickets for the four of us to see one of his favorite bands -- Need to Breathe -- play at the House of Blues last night. A rockin' good time, I tell ya!

I'd forgotten how much fun concerts are, especially when I'm wearing much-needed ear plugs. LOL

The House of Blues is a really small venue, thank goodness, and it's standing room only. That's just fine for adults, but for the 10 year-olds in attendance (okay, for the one 10 year-old in attendance), no seating adds to the over-stimulation of the concert. 
But... having never been to a rock concert before, Emma did awesome! She didn't like waiting and waiting and waiting for the band to come out or the interminable jam sessions to end or the four encores to just stop already. But she was a trooper, thanks to a pushy mother (Haha! How often am I ever pushy?? LOL) and several women who kindly accommodated a 51" tall child. They noticed she couldn't see too well and gave her space to hang right up in front of the stage.

Nothing like enjoying a concert in the spit and sweat splash zone, right?
Scott and Hayley hung towards the back since they're both tall enough to see clearly. I totally wish I could have watched Hayley (the oh-so-reserved teenage) enjoy the concert. I'm sure she didn't rock out or anything, but I hope she at least got into the groove and danced a little. (This isn't her first concert, by the way. Scott took her along with the youth group at our Vancouver church to see a huge Christian concert at a huge arena in Portland (the Rose Garden). I think there were something like 10 bands playing.)

I also missed hanging with my hubby. He's been trying to get me to a concert for years and I finally agree to go to one and we don't even get to stand together. *sigh* 

We could have used a tow truck to drag the four of us out of our comfy beds this morning. We were home and in bed by midnight, which is when Scott and I usually go to bed, but I think the concert noise drained our collective energy.

I am just so thankful both girls had a good day today. I figured Hayley would be fine after the late night, but Emma? I wasn't so sure. Aside from big purple bags under her eyes, though, she had a great day. And she was thrilled to tell all her friends about her first "grown-up" concert. Heehee!

Definitely take a look at the "Something Beautiful" video from Need to Breathe that I posted separately. If you ever listen to KLove or one of the other Christian radio stations, you definitely have heard them... (Don't worry, it's not hard rock or anything and the video was created by the band from clips their fans sent in. How cool is that?)

Check out the yummy and adorable dinner Emma made!

I just love the little stars she added, don't you?

Super yummy, super easy and (if your child isn't being creative and inventive when cooking it) fairly speedy...

Here's the recipe...

Taco Puffs

1 roll refrigerated biscuits
1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare the beef according to the taco seasoning's directions.

Coat a cupcake tin with cooking spray, then push one biscuit into each section. Make a well in each biscuit by pressing down the center. Fill the well with taco meat, then top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

If you want to add the cute decoration on top, keep out one biscuit and use a cookie cutter to obtain a shape. Just pop that shape on top of the cheese and bake away!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Books, books, blessed books!

A Borders in town (way, way across town) is closing, so their entire store is 40-60% off. Wow.

Wowwee wow wow.

Despite the fact that the shelves were picked over and many books had been transferred to other stores, I ended up at the cash wrap with 13 books.

And 12 bows (the kind for gifts).

For $35.

Yup. $35! How coolio is that????

Now, of course, all I want to do is curl up and read, read, read. But it being the holiday season and all, my busy-ness quotient has expounded ten-fold.

Another week, though, and Christmas vacation will be here... a break from lessons and recitals, practices and volunteering, shopping and wrapping, running and running and running.

My wonderful parents will be here and we'll sit in front of the fire (should it *not* be 90 flipping degrees outside), enjoy the smell of the Christmas tree, savor (or scarf) the yummy cookies and read.

Make that "Read" with a capital "R".

And maybe, just maybe, by New Year's Eve, I'll have achieved the elusive goal of reading 75 books in a year. (I'm at 68 right now. I think. I keep losing track.) ;)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Girl Scouts are so much fun. Loud, but fun.

I hosted a spur-of-the-moment Girl Scout meeting at my house tonight to plan a last minute holiday service project. Funny how an hour and a half meeting can stretch and stretch and stretch while the DADS chatter away like magpies long after all the moms have left to sensibly put their children to bed.

But this sensible mom could not tuck in her children because they were running rampant with the remaining Scouts. The loudest Scouts in the troop, I might add.

Oh how I wish they had a mute button.

I'm nonetheless glad to have had the meeting. The girls are working through the Journey program and in the last part of the program involves a service project.

Emma came up with a fantastic idea a couple days ago and since it's holiday-related, we had to rally the troops to put the project together asap.

The girls are creating bookmarks listing pertinent holiday recycling information. People generally want to recycle as much as possible, but forget (or don't know) their local recycling plant's guidelines. My five Girl Scouts are out to remind/educate the public on what common holiday items can and cannot be recycled.

I'm so proud of them for working through their differences of opinions and wanting to really help the community. They're a great group of girls, they are. Loud, but great. LOL

I'll post a photo later this weekend of the bookmarks they create so all you Delicious Readers can print out and share with your friends and family this holiday season!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Friday! Time to make some new friends!

It's Fun Follow Friday!

So what does everyone have planned for the weekend?

There are so many great holiday activities around San Diego--I just can't wait to get out there and enjoy. I will not, however, be enjoying the 90 degree weather! Can you even believe 90 degrees in mid-December?? Where's my snow? Waaahhhh!!!

Annnnnywaaaay... We plan to head up to the corner tree lot and pick out the perfect tree. Then we're gonna come back to this new house we live in and attempt to find a place to put it.

I'm looking forward to perusing through a cute town about 20 miles away that's set up in Victorian Christmas fashion. Just my style and I can't wait!

Sunday will find Emma and I gift wrapping at Barnes and Noble. Our Girl Scout troop is fundraising for future activities, so hopefully people will be willing to let several 10 year olds wrap the gifts they've just purchased.  (I'll let you know how it goes. *wink*) LOL

But here's the most important thing on our agenda... we're volunteering to deliver Christmas trees to needy families. How cool is that? We'll pile two or three trees on top of the Santa Fe and play Evergreen Santa.

Hopefully I'll find my camera so I can photograph all the events and post them for your viewing pleasure.

I'm sure your weekends are just as busy, but don't forget to relax with some holiday cookies, a couple chunks of creamy fudge and some really great Christmas music. (Josh Groben's Noel is a personal favorite.)

Have fun!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deliciously Reviewed: ecoSTORE products

Lucky me! I recently received two ecoSTORE products to try and review: Laundry Liquid and Orange Patchouli hand wash.

These are completely earth, home and body friendly products since they're all plant-based and non-toxic. In fact, the ecoSTORE's slogan is No Nasty Chemicals.

Considering Emma's uber-sensitive skin and Scott's allergy-ridden self, I kept a careful eye on both of them when they washed their hands with the Orange & Patchouli hand wash. I also watched for any clothing sensitivity alerts -- itching, rashes and discomfort -- for the three or four weeks I used the Laundry Liquid.


I honestly didn't see much of a difference in the ecoSTORE Laundry Liquid. The rash that constantly resides on Emma's chest didn't resolve, so I know it's not caused by the other laundry detergents I use. Laundry Liquid generally got out spots and stains just like other detergents and it smelled nice. I love that there are no chemicals, but since I didn't notice anything to make me saw WOW, I won't go to the extra effort of ordering online and paying for shipping. (I generally get great deals on laundry detergent at the drugstores anyway and frugality right now takes precedence over chemical-free products. Bummer, I know. I hope that someday I'll be able to pay more for earth-friendly products.)

ecoSTORE's Orange & Patchouli hand wash didn't really wow me either. It seemed a little thin compared to regular hand soap, but one squirt was perfect for a hand wash so consistency didn't really matter. Scott didn't complain that the soap dried his skin out or made his hands itch--YAY!  I can't see buying it, though, since it's regularly priced at $7.50 a bottle. If it was the only product that helped Scott then of course I would buy it. But other brands I can buy at Target are constantly coming out with sensitive-skin formulas that seem to work well for him.

Definitely check out their website. It looks like most, if not all, products are on sale right now, so if you're looking for plant-based, sensitive-skin friendly household and personal products, is the place to go!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Heehee! Super Shopping Galore!

How much do you think I spent on all these wonderful items?

Huh? Huh?

What'd ya think?

Well, let me tell you...


Yuperoos. $6 for 4 Zhu zhu pets, 4 boxes of Hershey's Pot of Gold chocolates and 2 boxes of Mini-Wheats.

So. Darned. Cool.

Here's how I did it...

CVS has Zhu zhus BOGO, plus there's a coupon for BOGO. So when all is said and done, I paid $9.99 for four annoying, mechanical hamsters that children seem to adore. Go figure.

But then... super couponer that I am , I whipped out my $4 off a $20 purchase (the register looks at the total before coupons and discounts), so my final price was $6 for all four hamsters. Yeehaa!

Then I ran over to Rite-Aid and boy howdy, was I ever excited to get there!

Those boxes of chocolates are on sale for $3.99 plus have a $2 Up Reward. There's also a $1 off coupon floating around the web, which brings the price per box down to a mere 99 cents.

But wait! There's more!

In addition to a Ginsu knife absolutely free (just kidding--had to throw that in, though, after my "wait, there's more" comment), Real Simple is hosting a $5 rebate with purchase of $15 or more.

And the Mini-Wheats? Probably my children's favorite food next to Peeps (Emma) and Jamba Juice (Hayley), are on sale 2/$3. With a $1 off the purchase of 2 coupon, that brings the price down to the cheap-o price of $1 per box.

So let me do some quick calculations...

I bought $86 worth of merchandise for only $6!!!!!


On the edge of your seat, ready to jump into the car and head to CVS and Rite-Aid to get these deals for yourself? Head on over to or Scroll through the amazing deals these awesome women have compiled and you'll find the current drugstore deals, along with coupon locations.

Have fun!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Seriously? Seriously?

This cannot be. I cannot be sick again.

Three illnesses in eight weeks. It's just not cool. Add in that random hurt wrist that bugged me for a good two weeks and we can easily come to the conclusion that the past two months have been just dang annoying.

A wicked sore throat plagued me yesterday so my amazing husband wouldn't let me out of bed today. I awoke long enough to call and cancel the day's doings (Girl Scout meeting), then slept for another four hours. Woke up for lunch and half an hour of a bad 1951 movie, then slept for yet another three hours.

All slept out now. I'm going to have to swallow a couple Nyquil in order to fall back asleep. Maybe I'll catch up on some blog posts, commenting on other blogs and who knows? Maybe I'll even work on my novel.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Congratulations to Denise Z.!

Remember that contest I was having? Whoever commented the most during the month of November would receive a set of handmade (by me!) cards. 

And the lucky winner, with 4 comments (it was a very slow comment month), is Denise from Illinois!

Thank you, Denise, for reading Delicious as Pie! I mailed out your package yesterday.