Neon Challenge

I was playing along with one of the Challenges on the Kitchen Keepsake board.  One of the monthly challenges is to do something inspired by a Pinterest Pin.

Here is this months pinspiration:

So, we were supposed to do something using Neon colors - which is quite a stretch for me.  I did have some Neon foam letters and while walking around Michaels, found large clothespins in Neon colors and hatched an idea.  That's how it goes ... one thing leads to a thought ... which leads to a plan ... which sometimes leads to creative action.

So here's my Neon creation:

Altered clothespins used to be a big thing several years ago and I guess they're making a comeback since they're back in the stores.  This one will grace my desk at work - I might make another for my scraproom desk too.

Fun and Games ...

I play games ...

They entertain me in the wee hours of the morning when I can't sleep, or when I'm a passenger on my daily commute to work.  I believe it also keeps my mind young (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

I play Words w/Friends (almost came out Fiends, which some of you are very viscious and don't let me win once or twice - LOL) , Matching w/Friends, as well as lots and lots of Scramble (if you don't play, it's like the classic board game Boggle).  I also have a pretty strong Bejeweled addiction.

And now ... I have fallen into the black hole of Candy Crush.  It's a game linked to your facebook friends which I started awhile ago but didn't play often - but now, I've started playing again.  My sisters play, my friends play, my co-workers play, so I went along for the ride and started playing and it sucked me right in.  I am thinking Candy Crush is more poplular than I even imagined because now I'm seeing commercials on TV for the app (both for IPhone and Android). 

The games are harmless enough ... but they do want your money.  You can buy more lives, and you can buy helps.  I am being strong and haven't succombed to pull of playing longer or getting through a level.  Not to say that I haven't payed for the privelege of playing games (I do buy hammers for EggBreaker [another Facebook game - don't ask] - but at the moment, I am resisting buying into Candy Crush. 

As you go to higher levels in the game, it gets harder and harder.  You only get 5 lives, and you lose a life every time you fail at a level.  I personally believe that you should get more lives the higher you go, but then I was thinking about it, and 5 lives is really the perfect amount to keep the obsessed functional members of society.  I can blow though 5 lives in about 5 minutes - and then it's 2.5 hours for them to rebuild again.  Works perfectly.  Play on the way to work, then play on break, then play at lunch.  At home, I can actually cook or God forbid clean between life refills.  If not, I think my life would go on complete shutdown in order to finish a level.  Ahhh ... the addictive personality.

{P}inspired - the Radish Debacle

I wanted to make a recipe I found on Pinterest here.

Simple enough.  Slice the radishes, cover w/olive oil, and sprinkle on salt and pepper, then bake.

So on my first pass, I think I sliced them too thin.  Some were overcooked, some were undercooked. Some were just right .. sounds like a fairy tale.  I will say this ... the ones that were not burned - well ... they were fabulous.  I found I liked them a little to the well done side (but not burned).  The ones still a little white, tasted OK, but were limp - so I liked the texture of the browned ones.

So I did what anyone would do.  I made a second batch.  These, I used the mandolin on a thicker setting, so they weren't so paper thin.  I took them out of the oven and all was well.  Then since I'd been tasting and eating the first batch, I put them back in to get a little crispier.  And that was my mistake - I should have just left well enough alone, but I had to temp fate.

So here is what I ended up with:


Burned to a crisp.  This is no way a reflection of the recipe - it was all me.  I just didn't set the timer, or didn't hear the timer, I don't quite know what exactly happened - but I burned them - and they looked so good just a little bit ago - I wish I had taken an interum picture - but you'll have to believe me.

Although I did have more radishes, I was over it, so didn't try a third batch.  I might try again in the near future - they were tasty.

{P}inspired - Tomato and Jalapeno Salad

This is a salad I found on Pinterest.  I don't particularly like lettuce, so I'm always on the lookout for recipes sans lettuce.

This one is pretty simple, just grape tomatoes, onion and jalapenos.  You can find the pin here or the recipe here.

And here's my creation.

You might note that it's missing the cilantro - highly overrated - recipe didn't need it (in my opinion). So the taste ... it was very good, but a bit on the spicy side (not that I mind).  It was a little addicting and I kept going back for another taste, and another taste.

Then I got the brilliant idea to tone it down a bit and aded some chicken to the mix to make it a chicken jalapeno salad.

Still good, but it needed more spice.  If I had had an extra jalapeno, I would have added it.  What I added was about 2 cups rotisserie chicken blended with some mayo and a little poultry seasoning.  I left out celery and other stuff that gets added normally to chicken salad because I knew I was adding to the  Tomato and Jalapeno salad.  

I would do both again, but particularly the original Tomato and Jalapeno one.  It has a crisp fresh taste that like I said was addicting.

Chromebook ...

Since I forgot to bring my laptop up to the house in Sorrento, I opted to buy a cheapy laptop to play on. 

I thought about driving home from work to get it, before we started our trek north, but it's 50 miles home and 50 miles back.  Then there's the fact that on salary, if you don't work at least 4 hours, you don't get paid for the day ... we were planning to leave from work early anyway, using a vacation day came into the equation.  And if we left work and headed home then got on the road, we would have been smack dab in the middle of rush hour, which would have costed us much more time.

I could have just used my IPhone or Galaxy phone to play games and check facebook, but to do any serious work, like updating blogs, sending emails, uploading pictures - would just not work.

So ... we decided to just get a cheapy laptop - in this case a chromebook which is google based (Google Chrome), and in my opinion a cross between a IPad and a laptop.  It's primarily desined for internet surfing which suits my purposes just fine.  You can download apps to have other tools as well.

I've only been playing on it for a couple of days, and for the most part it does what it is intended to do.  Other than Facebook, Pinterest, Typepad, and general surfing I haven't tried to do much else with it, but I expect over the next several visits north, I play with it some more.

It does have a slot for an SD card, so I was able to upload pictures but I used the flickr site to edit.  I need to play around some more to see all that it can and can't do.

All in all, it's a machine to visit, but I wouldn't want to work daily on it.


My one of those days ...

I posted the other day about having one of "those" days where I took one step forward and two steps back in just about everything I did that day.

And so, I think I jinxed myself, because one of those days turned into one of those weeks.  I posted Tuesday night, and I wasn't quite home from work yet.  So when I did get home, I found that the crisper bin was pulled out a bit which popped open the fridge just a little, but after being at work all day and evening, everything was warm and had to be thrown out. This was just about everything I had bought on my Sunday shopping trip, so I wasn't happy.

Wednesday, one of my employees turned in her notice

Thursday, I must of left the TV on in the morning, so it was on all day long.

Friday, we were packing to head north for the weekend, and neglected to pack my laptop.  Not a good thing - in fact one of those things that nearly brought tears to my eyes.  Then we arrived at the house and the internet wasn't working, so spent 45 minutes with Comcast who initially couldn't find our account.

Saturday, I made a grocery shopping list, and hit the road, only to find that I left this list at home. When we're north ... the stores are farther away then in Miami, so it would mean a 20 minute ride back to the house and another 20 back to the store.  I ended up calling hubby, who read the list to me, and I still forgot something on the list.

and now Sunday ... I haven't done much.  I didn't want to touch anything, and nothing was "off" today - well ... I burned the radish chips, but well, I often burn food, so I'm not counting that one - I'll probably post about it later in the week.

I'm thinking this has been just a blip, and things will be back to normal with the new week ... anyway, that's how I'm thinking about it.

Tonight, I planning to look up at the sky and hopefully see the Perseid Meteor Shower.  As I type, it looks pretty clear outside.  I just need to get out my compass to find which direction to look for northeast.



I like reality shows.

There ... I admit it.

I don't like the dancing, singing and dating shows, but I do like shows about everyday life, different professions, and competition type shows.

Big Brother is probably the one I love the most, although this year it has been relatively boring.  Ahhh, a couple of words and some conflict, but in my opinion, no big twists in the game.  I'm hoping someone stirs the pot even just a little.

I am watching Top Chef Masters --- love love love Top Chef.  1st episode of this season was awesome, where they offered the Chefs an extra hour if they went skydiving to their first location.  Amazingly all but one chef made the jump.  I'll tell you what, that is commitment to your charity.  It would give me pause to jump out of a plane even it it was a tandem jump.  I am so looking forward to the rest of the season.

Another new show, which based on the name I thought it was going to be stupid, but I find it facinating, is Naked and Afraid.  They drop 2 survivalists (one man and one woman) off in an area, with no clothes, no shoes, nothing but the 1 item they chose to bring with them, and they have to survive for 21 days and then get to the pick up point.  I've seen 3 of the episodes now, and each one amazes me.  The contestants start out looking fresh, and by the end have lost weight and are dirty and probably smelly too.  To top it off, they (supposedly) don't get any payment from it - they do it all for experience and bragging rights.  To those wondering, you don't really see too much in the way of nakedness as all the bits and bobs are blurred out, but you do see their backsides, so if that bothers you, the show might not be for you, but if you can get passed that, and think about just how much more challenging it is to have to survive with absolutely nothing, and having to work with a stranger, I think you'll love it.  I've liked Survivor but it is a planned show with challenges, and they have clothes, get food, and they win luxury items ... the Naked and Afraid show is like REAL Survivor.  Apparently, there is a bit of controversy about the show because (from what I've read online) in the first episode the girl eats a turtle and then gets really sick.  They show and talk about her being sick, but apparently she was given IV therapy to hydrate her as well as food, which wasn't shown in the episode.  Regardless, so far I find the show interesting and entertaining - which is what it's all about.  It's a short season - just 6 episodes.  I've seen the 1st 3 and have a few more recorded on TiVo.  I love it!

Aside from these, I also have my 'guilty pleasures', if you will .... Keeping Up With The Kardashians (YOLO), and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (Doorknob), which are more for pure entertainment purposes.  Two extremes that give me a good laugh.

Ever have one of those days ???

Today was one of them for me.  A full day of one step forward 2 steps back.  It's not that it was a "bad" day, it was just a day where I couldn't seem to get any forward traction

Backing up to the start ... I couldn't sleep (well my not being able to get to sleep was worse than usual).  Couldn't get MixTab to load (blog feed reader), and with some research found that they shut down the site on July 31st - Arggh.  Then when I thought I'd try to sleep, I make it to bed and lay down, and Mattie (one of the cats) has decided she's hungry, so starts nipping at me.  I get back up, give her a few kernals of food to tide her over, and go back to bed.  Just start to doze off, and hubby's alarm goes off.  Doze off again, and now my alarm is going.  Get up ... flick on the hall light and the bulb blows, go to the dryer and find that there must have been a power flicker because the dryer stopped half way through - so guess what the clothes are still damp (more than damp).  I was charging my FitBit and couldn't find the little rubber holder for it (the cat must have knocked it off my computer table).  Throw the Fitbit device in my purse and go out the door.  Hadn't charged the cell phones so digging in my purse to get them on the car charger and find the rubber holder for the Fitbit, and now I can't find the device in my purse.  Pull everything out of my purse and finally find the device and put it on.  As were pulling into the gates at work, the bell rings on the car to say we're low on gas.  << we'll skip the work part of the day - just because>>  Trying to play one of those levels on Candy Crush where the candy goes out one row and back in another and I can't even follow the candy, let alone get close to completing the level (It's a Candy Crush thing - if you don't play, just trust me it's frustrating).  Run out of lives so I think I'll check my lottery tickets (just in case I'm a big winner and can hire a maid) - out of 3 months worth of tickets, I have 2 winners - $7 and a Free Ticket.  I probably should have checked the tickets when I was having a better day and maybe I would have had some more winners - LOL.

I was almost not going to do a blog post, but I figured since I do them at the end of the day, and it seems things are starting to turn ... (I had a big score on Words With Friends of like 132 points or maybe more where I played SQUIBS with a Triple Letter on the Q and a Triple Word score) and the fact that I don't want to break my posting roll, I just figured I'd keep it simple and post about the wacky day I've had.

Cool Find ...

I've been looking for books and things that pertain to the area of our house up in Sorrento. I found an old cookbook put out in the early 80s by the women of the Wekiva Presbyterian Church.  The fun part about the book is that I can tell the tried and true recipes because there are some stains on the pages, and (in my opinion) even better are notes that the owner wrote in the margins with changes to the recipes and ideas.

That being said, I know the first recipe to start with - apparently Pumpkin Bread was her go to recipe with notes to reduce the recipe, and notes to make it in different pans.  There's even a note to cook for 30 minutes in "fancy" pans.  I think this will be one I try out as we hit the fall holidays.

Such a find.  Some people would pass it by because it is well used (well loved), or stained, but I am in love with it.  I wish I knew who it had belonged to.  God I love stuff like this.










Thoughts on Under the Dome

I'm currently reading the book by Stephen King as well as watching the series on TV (Mondays CBS).

Everything is so compleely different between the two.  So different that after the first episode hubby decided that he didn't want to even watch the series.

That's how it always is with a book adapted to a movie or series.  Especially  Stephen King stories.  I think I've seen every book turned movie and none have made the transition well.  The one I felt was close was Dreamcatcher, that is close until the very very end.  Other than that, they never follow the book as well.

Reading a book just transports you into whatever it is you're reading, and as the reader you put your interpretation on things.  You're engrossed in the book and usually hate to put it down until you find out what happens next - at least that's the way it is with me.  I can stay up all night just to finish a great book.  I think with a movie, however, the readers interpretation is replaced by the writers interpretation let along trying to fit the story into a several hour flick.

With the TV version of the Dome - it is utterly and completly different from the book.  Almost every character is different.  The main character Barbie in the book is innocent, in the TV version, the show starts out with him burying someone.  The police chief in the book is not part of the illegal dealings with the Selectman, in the TV version he is involved in some way.  The person appointed chief is different, well ... you get the picture.  If I was to write out all the differences, I'd be here all night - sufice it to say they are really two separate stories.

I love the book (not hard to imagine since I am a Stephen King constant reader).  I also, love the series.  You just have to go into it knowing that it will be different, and different isn't always bad.  I think that Stephen King explains it very well on his website here.  I assume he was getting lots of emails and posts about the differences, so put out the letter/statement.  That being said, I'm happy that the series was picked up for a 2nd season, and can't wait to be surprised with how things pan out in the TV version of the story.  

If you haven't been watching it and want to catch up, you can stream the episodes at and probably on CBS too.