I must apologize for not blogging for two weeks. Apparently, even when you’re not in school, life gets crazy at the end of the school year. Hopefully, that means that it will get nice and calm during the lazy days of summer. If not, oh well, life as normal. 🙂 Nevertheless, your intrepid blogger did not fail to keep track of all sorts of neat things that she thought would interest you. And now, she is going to regale you with all of them (unless of course you shut down this window, which I suggest you don’t do since you’ll miss out on some truly fabulous finds). Believe it or not, there’s so many finds here that I couldn’t even categorize them, an amazing feat considering my nearly obsessive-compulsive neat freak tendencies . I am just going to give them to you in the order I wrote them down.
In case you haven’t noticed, I like reading. My baby books even list it as my favorite activity. This has resulted in my having a large and unusual vocabulary. I’m also a sort of word nerd, and I do have favorite words. One of my current favorites is transmogrification. Besides the fact that it’s insanely fun to say and spell, it’s a pretty neat word. According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, transmogrify means “to change into a different shape or form, especially one that is fantastic or bizarre.” It’s like a cross between transform and mutate.
In my last blog post, I mentioned that I had joined a program called BzzAgent and that they had sent me Covergirl NatureLuxe foundation and lip balm to try. The foundation is a little hard for me to judge. The color they sent me was a little too dark, so I had to mix it with moisturizer to lighten it. That made it hard for me to judge the texture of it. I can’t roundly approve it, but I didn’t find any problems with it either. As for the balm, I loved it. Granted, I am a bit of a sucker for lip products, but I’m also very picky about them. This balm feels like chapstick, but looks like gloss on your lips. Very cool!
I recently finished reading the June issue of Food Network Magazine and saw a really neat idea for a super fast and fun dessert. They cut a pie crust into “fries”, brushed them with butter, sprinkled them with sugar and cinnamon, and baked them as normal. Then they heated up strawberry jelly to look like ketchup and served it alongside. I don’t really care about the jelly, but I love pie crust, so the rest sounded very enticing.
I recently saw a picture that I just thought was so interesting I had to share it. Click on this link and scroll down about 10 rows. Pumps made out of wellie material. I don’t think I’d wear one, but it’s just such a neat idea, I thought I’d share it with y’all.
So by now, I’m sure you’ve heard that McDonald’s has a new product, Strawberry Lemonade. Last Sunday’s paper had a coupon for a free one, so my husband and I tested it out. I was pleasantly surprised. As a fan of Starbucks blended lemonade of a couple of years ago, I was depressed when they changed it to one with a strawberry base. The original was slushy and tart (which I like!), but the adjusted one was too syrupy sweet. You can imagine that I had some trepidations about McDonald’s version, but I actually enjoyed it. It had a good flavor and was tart enough to please this citrus fan. I suggest you keep an eye out for local deals or coupons and give it a test run.
During the past couple of weeks, we’ve had some interesting weather. It made me wonder if anyone else has reactions to the weather that might be similar to mine. Though I’m not a tree-hugger or even a fan of things like camping (bugs! and no toilets), I do get great pleasure from learning about, observing, and experiencing God’s beautiful creation. Being a true Floridian and transplanted Texan, I very much enjoy the warm, humid blanket of weather that comprises most of our seasons. But my favorite type of weather is rain; a phenomenon that is sorely lacking in Texas. Rain makes most people sad or depressed, but to me it’s comforting and happy weather. Depending on the type of rain, I love to go outside and play barefoot in puddles. I also love the wind that comes before the rain. I understand why men were driven to find a way to fly, because I love the pull of the wind that comes right before a storm. And I love watching and listening to a good thunderstorm. I also love the ocean. There are so many interesting animals that live there and so much of it is really an unknown territory. When I swim into the ocean, the awesomeness of it astounds me. I get the feeling that I’d like to swim out until I can’t see land anymore. It’s also incredibly relaxing to lay on the shore and listen to the lull of the waves crashing on shore. I was recently reading a somewhat less than impressive Charlotte Bronte novel when I found a phrase that perfectly describes most Texas “rainstorms.” Bronte called it a “dry storm”, and she characterized it as being “dark, be-clouded, yet rainless.” That’s what we had today, in fact.
I also wanted to let you know about a promotional offer that’s going on from Redbox right now. From now to the 25th, you can text DEALS to 727272 everyday and receive a discount code that’s good for that day and could be anywhere from 10 cents to $1.50 off.
You also might want to check on your Kraft First Taste homepage (as discussed here), as many people have offers for some of the new sandwich creations.
I heard a good tip that I thought I might pass along, especially to those with children. If you freeze ketchup packets, you can use them as mini ice packs for small bumps and cuts. Especially for children, large ice packs can be cumbersome, but this seems like such a neat solution.
Are you a fan of coconut? I am, and I was excited to try Starbucks new Coconut Creme Frappuccino. Though the coconut is a subtle flavor, the frappe is delicious!
Another new treat you might want to indulge in, is the new Peanut Butter Snickers. It’s like the love child of Reese’s and Snickers. Oh my cow!
Speaking of the wonderful union of peanut butter and chocolate, I highly recommend you try making Peanut Butter-Chocolate Semifreddo. It is an amazingly rich, decadent dessert that is surprisingly easy to make. The only problem I had with the recipe was in the making of the chocolate sauce. Though I followed the instructions, the result looked like brown water with floaties. 😦 Unappetizing, to say the least. Since you actually only use a 1/2 c. in the recipe (the rest is poured over, if desired, after being served), I just used some chocolate syrup that I had on hand. It definitely turned out well and was a big hit at the party I took it too.
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Semifreddo (from Martha Stewart)
2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. peanut butter
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Line a 5×10 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a 4 in. overhang on all sides. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and 1 c. sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirrin constantly, til the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, add the peanut butter, and whisk til smooth. Transfer the mix to a large bowl and let it cool completely.
2. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, til the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir til the chocolate melts and the mix is smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and let it cool completely.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the cream and vanilla til soft peaks form. Add 1/2 the peanut butter mix and whisk til combined. Fold 1/2 the remaining peanut butter mix gently in 3 times (the mix will be rippled).
4. Transfer 1/2 of the cream mix into the loaf pan. Top it with 1/2 the remaining peanut butter mix and 1/4 c. of the chocolate sauce. Top with the remaining cream mix then drizzle with the remaining peanut butter mix and another 1/4 c. of the chocolate sauce. With a knife, gently swirl the mix together. Freeze til firm, about 5 hours. Let sit 20 minutes before serving.
Well, we’re at the end of the road, but I saved the best for last. My latest obsession is a website called Pinterest. It’s a virtual bulletin board. You can “pin” pictures of inspirations that you find on the web, and the website will even log where you originally found them. You can also get inspiration from the other people that are using it. For a person like me who Loves pictures, this is an amazing idea. I highly suggest you request an invite and get started finding inspiration and inspiring others.