May Blog Challenge

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yay - Halloween Week!

I have been baking and creating up a storm this week.  I love it!  My mom commissioned me to make something for her work.  Well that of course turned into a couple of things.  I also volunteered to make cupcakes (or a choice) for a cake walk.  Pinterest has so many great ideas.  Sometimes I follow a recipe exactly other times, I take their idea and put my spin on it.

Here are some pictures of the Halloween Puppy Chow I made.  Here is the original link.  This was my first time making puppy chow.  I will definitely make it again with different things.  My poor deprived sheltered daughter thought I really made dog food.  She had never had it or heard of it.  We quickly changed that!  She is a fan.
I really liked the texture of rice cereal (or did I use corn?...not sure now).  

Chocolate and peanut butter - I don't really like either one of them, but I know a lot of people who do.  

The two different kinds of mix.  Traditional powdered sugar and the brownie variation.

Finished product with candy corn and reese's pieces.  

And just because I love photographing candy...

If you are too lazy to visit the website (like I usually am); here is the recipe.

  • 8 cups of square rice or corn cereal (I don't want to be sued for saying Chex)
  • 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips or melts (I used melts)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar (I did not measure this and I had a little excess I had to sift off)
  • 3/4 cup brownie mix (luckily I made another recipe that called for brownie mix and I didn't use the whole bag so I had some left over)
  • 2 large plastic bags (gallon sized worked for me)
  • 2 1/2 cups of Reese's Pieces (I used one of those theatre boxes that cost a buck at Walmart)
  • 2 1/2 cups of candy corn (again I didn't measure, just tossed half the bag in).

1.  Put your rice cereal in a bowl and get your bags ready.  Put powdered sugar in one and the brownie mix in the other.
2.  Microwave the melts (or chips) and peanut butter (I did 30 seconds on 50% power twice and mine were done)
3.  Pour the mixture over the cereal and gently fold until it's all coated.
4.  Divide the mixture between the two bags, seal and shake (good for frustration)
5.  Dump on a cookie sheet to cool (or put on plates like I did so I could take pictures of them)
6.  Mix the candy corn and Pieces in until it is all pretty and ready for it's closeup (or is that just me).

Optional step 7:  Take pictures of the left over candy corn for Facebook cover photo...ha!  Speaking of FB if you want to be my friend, email and I will give you the info.

This was really fun to make and I am going to make my 'second daughter' (Elexis' best friend) some for Halloween.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Life lately

Man last week was a blur.  This week is no better.  I feel the closer we get to the holidays, the quicker things go.

Right now my external hard drive that has all of my pictures on it; is dead.  Luckily my husband is an awesome IT guy and will hopefully restore it without having to send it off.  The stuff is still on the hard drive, I am just not able to access it.  Unfortunately, I will be waiting another week for him to get it restored because he is off in the woods being one with nature.

Yesterday my daughter performed in her first Sinfonia Orchestra concert.  She did awesome!  Next weekend is her Oklahoma Chamber Honor Orchestra concert.  I am really excited about that one.  She practiced all summer on her audition pieces to make that one.  Saturday, we went to Frontier City (which is OKC's version of Six Flags).  We had fun.  It sprinkled and rained on us pretty much the entire time.  Half the rides were closed, but we had free tickets so we might as well take advantage of them.  It was the last weekend they were going to be open.  After about four hours of walking around and getting wet, we decided to call it quits and go to the dollar movies and see Monster's University again.  Friday, I am glad that Elexis had the day off from school.  We had parent/student/teacher conference (will be a separate post).  Then, Elexis and I were off to find black pants for her concert Sunday, black boots for her costume, and lastly for her to get new glasses.  She hasn't had a new pair in two years so it was time.  What's funny is my kid is very tall and really mature.  People often mistake for an 18 or 19 year old (at least once or twice a week).  When she went to pick out her glasses, all the adult glasses were too big.  She wound up getting kid glasses which are perfect for her face.  Bonus for me; they are a whole lot cheaper.  That night we went to a fall festival at our friend's church.

This week is going to be busy too.  Today, Elexis has Chess Club after school.  I will pick her up from there and we are taking our friends to the airport, and then off to Sinfonia practice.  I will leave my house about 3 and not get back until about 8 tonight.  Phew...  Tomorrow, Elexis doesn't get out until 5 and then my mom's company is having a thing at a Pumpkin patch/Family Farm.  Parts of the place we are going was destroyed in the tornado.  They have been busy rebuilding all summer.  Side note: Our local drive in theater that was damaged, also opened up this weekend.  Yay!  We love the drive in.  Wednesday is church night.  Thursday is Halloween.  I am making cupcakes for our church's cake walk, and I am making a couple of things for my mom's office party.  Pictures will come with all that.  I also dress up as Minnie Mouse every year.  By the end of the night, my feet are usually killing me, but it's only for one day.  Friday my child will be rehearsing all day for The Honor Concert, and Saturday is the concert.  I am looking forward to a low key Sunday next weekend.

I still have a few blogs I need to catch up on.  And, I still have an award and a couple of tags post that I am working on.  I planned on getting to them on Friday, but with the great hard drive crash; I was more than a little preoccupied (crying hysterically curled into a ball...not really, but I did cry).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Stealing

1. as you get older, are you jazzed about your birthday?  I still get excited about my birthday!  Heck the more I have the longer I am living...

2. do people usually remember your birthday? With Facebook, it's hard to forget someone's birthday, but I have the luxury of having a birthday exactly two weeks after Christmas.  I also share a birthday with Elvis.

3. an ex-coworker used to begin 3 mos. before her birthday flat-out reminding us that it was coming up. it's amazing what no self-esteem does for you. anyway, do you know anyone who pre-announces their birthdays? Yes, and they will go as far as planning their own surprise party under their husband's name.

4. what was your best birthday? why? This past birthday where all the Musical Theatre kids sang to me was pretty awesome.  But I would have to go with #9.  Sleepover/skating party -- Awesome!!

5. what was your worst birthday? why?  Probably the one where my in-laws (brother and step-father in law) were so outright mean and nasty to me in my own house that I locked myself in the bathroom until everyone left.  Luckily my BIL is not that bad anymore and my SFIL has passed. 

6. name your best birthday gift.  #5 Smurf skates...enough said

7. name the best birthday gift you've gotten for someone else.  An opal ring for my baby sister.

8. as i age, i value SLEEP as a priceless commodity. i didn't get any for my birthday, however. what do you want this year for your birthday? A nice quiet low key birthday with no drama!  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A big bunch of randoms

I have some thoughts, not all of them could make a post on their own so I am just going to combine them.  I have a few award and tags that I am going to get up this week.  I am excited about doing them.

Bragging on my kid for a moment

I have an only child and she takes up a lot of my time so bear with me for celebrating her successes.  After the first nine weeks of school, her lowest grade is a 95.6.  I am one proud mama.  She is taking 4 pre-AP classes this year.  Her Algebra 1 class goes on her permanent high school transcript.  She is making a 98 in there.  So far so good as far as school goes.  She also found out yesterday that she is one of her teacher's favorite student.  That's always nice to hear.  We have student parent conferences on Friday.  I don't like them.  I want to talk to the teacher about my kid, not talk to my kid about what she has been doing.  We talk about that every day and I check her grades at least twice a week.  Sometimes I know her assignment grades before she does.  Her cello practices have been going good.  She has her first Sinfonia Orchestra concert on Sunday.  I am pretty excited for her.  We have to go find black pants for her though.  Her ones from last year are now capris because she grew all her inches in her legs.

A day of remembrance

Yesterday was the anniversary of my Father-in-law's passing.  He passed away 11 years ago.  We still talk about him a lot.  We know he would have loved being a grandfather to Elexis.  Before he passed away, he and Elexis would play marbles.  She was two.  She still vaguely remembers rolling the marbles under the couch.  Fortunately we got the marbles when he passed.  She also would stick the guitar pick in the hole of the guitar and grandpa would get fake mad at her and she would just laugh and laugh.  He could make my kid laugh harder than anyone I knew.  He was a great man.  One I was truly blessed to get the privilege of knowing.  He was a brick mason and a fantastic one at that.  When we were touring homes this weekend, my husband would judge every piece of brick work.  He would say "My dad would throw a screaming fit if one of his workers left joints like this" or "This would meet my dad's standards".  Our neighbor had my FIL brick him a mailbox.  I am so glad to get to look outside and see a part of my FIL everyday.  He passed away when he was 49 years old.  He died from skin cancer.  We are very diligent about wearing sunscreen and reapplying.  In 13 years, Elexis has only had one minor sunburn.  We are very good about screening our bodies for abnormal pigmentation or moles.  Unfortunately, my FIL's skin cancer grew on the inside.  One of his legs was 5 times bigger that the other one.  I made pants for him that would fit over the leg.  We really miss him a lot.

Dinner last night

I threw together something in the crockpot yesterday and it was a success.  I have no pictures of the meal but it was only three ingredients.  Pork chops, ranch dressing powder mix, and a can of cream of chicken.  Both of my extremely picky eaters loved it.  Usually I fix shake and bake pork chops because that is the only way the two of them can agree upon.  But, I took a chance and it was a success.  My husband said he liked it better than shake and bake.  Yay!  I am going to try more.  I am slowly trying to bring them out of their shells.

My last dentist appointment

Today I go get my final permanent crown.  It has been a long six weeks and I will not wait 2 1/2 years before going to the dentist again.  I will finally be able to eat crunchy stuff with my whole mouth again.  I am excited!  I do love our new dentist though.  I am sure he is loving us fact we better be invited to the beach house I am sure he can build with as much money as we have paid... haha.

Here is a picture of my husband, his dad and Elexis.  This was before he lost all of his hair to chemo.  This picture sits on our mantle next to his urn.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My weekend at the parade

This past weekend, my husband and I went to the opening weekend of the Parade of Homes.  I was on cloud 9.  I got to feed my passion for architecture and floor plans and ideas galore.  If you are not familiar with the Parade of Homes (I know different states have them) it is a bunch of builders that put brand new homes for show.  It usually shows where trends are going and up and coming neighborhoods.  Our parade is broken into 4 different sections of the city.  I was so excited when I opened my book last week and saw downtown OKC condos that I am in love with, on the list.  Yay, finally I was going to get to see the insides of these things.  The parade started Saturday and ends next Sunday.  We went to 10 or 12 houses on Saturday (Elexis joined us that day) and we went to 5 or 6 on Sunday.  The price ranges for these houses are $200K to $1.75 million.  There were two houses I fell in love with.  One was $600K and the other $475K.  Both wayyyy outside of our price range (but we are not looking to buy).  We saw a lot of really good ideas that we could do to our own house (which coincidentally is back in style again...finally after 38 years...haha).

My favorite houses had the cathedral ceilings with wood beams (my house has that), beautiful wood work (I want some), they were old world, classic, traditional charm.  I am not a sleek and modern person.  I want unique, quirky, different.  I love the new trend of barn doors.  We have a lot of ideas if we ever decide to build a house.  We know what we want and definitely what we don't want.  It was really nice to see my husband get just as excited as I already was about seeing houses.  He was just going to go Saturday, but after having so much fun he decided to go Sunday as well.

The condos downtown were awesome.  The first one, the master bedroom (which was the size of my daughter's room...not big) had a fantastic view of the our downtown skyline from the bed.  It was 3 stories and the kitchen living area was on the second floor and the two bedrooms were on the third floor.  The first floor was a foyer and garage.  The condo was bigger than our house square footage wise, but I think they count the garage in the square footage.  The second was supposed to be the size of our house, but it was small.  It did have a cute kitchen/living space, but the 2nd bedroom was on the ground floor right by the front door.  Not cool!  The third condo was FANTASTIC!  It had a two car garage, 4 floors, 4 bedrooms, a theater/game room, two living areas and a huge kitchen.  It also had it's own private elevator.  The view was of the three intersecting interstates and from the balcony you could see the downtown skyline.  It also overlooked Bricktown and our riverwalk.  It also came with the price tag of $830K.  Yikes.  It was sure fun to look though.

Here are a few pictures I took with my iphone (so ignore the quality).
I want a laundry room, unfortunately I have a laundry closet, but I could do these awesome barn doors instead of my swing out doors and save space.

My ceiling is like this now, but it's all brown.  I would love to do this treatment to mine.

Looking downstairs from the 4th floor of the condo.  The white frames on the right is the windows to see out of the elevator.

My favorite entry.  I love the brick pattern.  I have no idea what my kid is doing.

The $1.75 million dollar house.  

I would love to have these lighting fixtures in my house.  Oh, and more barn doors down below. 

I can't wait to go and see more homes tomorrow.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Stealing

My Random Randomness Meme, part 3 

1) What room are you in? Living Room
2) Can you solve a rubix cube? no, I don't have that long of an attention span
3) Are you psychic in any way?  I have had a few deja vu dreams, and I am pretty good at reading people, but not psychic
4) What star sign are you? Capricorn
5) What's your favorite color? Purple!!
6) What's your lucky number?  My lucky number is 4, my favorite number is 27
7) Do you have any chores that should be done now? probably laundry
8) Did you have a cherished childhood teddy bear or other toy? Yes, two bears and a cabbage patch doll
9) What was the last thing you bought from a vending machine? probably a Powerade for my daughter at the zoo about 2 weeks ago.  I am lame...
10) What shoe size are you?  8 1/2
11) How many pairs of shoes do you own?  probably 12-15, I'm too lazy to get up and count.
12) If you were prime minister/ruler of the world what laws would you make?  I would make naps mandatory for adults
13) If you were a super hero what powers would you have?  what???  You mean I'm not already a superhero...I am the finder of lost shoes, socks, homework, phones, etc....
14) and what would your hero name be? Mom
15) and what outfit would you wear?  Yoga pants and a t-shirt...I want to be comfy and I don't want to wear a body suit that shows all the flaws!!
16) What was your last dream about?  Forgetting to pick my daughter up at school...definitely not using my superhero patterns
17) What would you do if you won the lottery? A lot of traveling and then buy some acreage and open an animal sanctuary.
18) Would you like to build/design your own house? Absolutely...writing a post about this next.
19) Which form of public transport do you prefer? I wish we had a subway, but alas it would be the bus...that's all we have.
21) Can you juggle? nope.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I am busy this week editing pictures that I took last Thursday and Friday.  I am slowly gaining confidence in myself in shooting people (haha...always fun to drop in a sentence).  Last Thursday, I took pictures of a Senior boy.  His mom said that he would probably tolerate about 30 minutes.  I was finished in about 35.  I got some really good shots and I had a great time editing.  His daughter (yes, you read that correctly...he has a 5 month old daughter) is absolutely adorable.  I could eat her with a spoon she was sooo cute.  It almost made we want another one.  Here are a couple from that session.

On Friday I took pictures of one of my most favorite families ever!  These people are my family without being blood.  A little story how I met these people:  I answered an ad on Craigslist for voice lessons for Elexis.  It was the only ad she ever placed and I am the only normal person to have answered the ad.  The first few lessons, we clicked.  Her youngest KK hid in the pillows the first month or two.  Now the kid throws herself at us as soon as we walk in the door.  Elexis takes piano and voice from her and then we hang out with them (often eating dinner) for a few hours every Thursday.  Her husband is in dental school, so I get to ask him a lot of questions regarding teeth when I have them.  The girls call me Aunt Cristy or Elexis' mom (which is what they called me for two years).  I am so happy these pictures turned out the way they did.  I got some great candid shots that turned out to be my favorite.  They are a gorgeous family.

I finished off Friday evening with taking pictures of my beautiful cousin as she won Homecoming Queen!  I am so stinkin proud of her!  She and her sister are my favorite cousins.  I get to take her first set of Senior pictures in the next coming weeks.  I will take more in the Winter and Spring.  I guess that is one of the benefits she gets for having her cousin as a photographer.  

Her awesome boots she wore with her dress.

Other than that, it's been a pretty slow week.  I have gotten tons of housework done (for once).  I even went through our lost sock box and matched about 25 pairs of socks.  I still have about 25 unpaired in there.  I would like to know where all the socks go....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Stealing

My Random Randomness Meme, part 2 
  1. What was your first alcoholic drink? Besides Beer...Tequila Sunrise
  2. What was your first job? I worked at a full service car wash.  I vacuumed and wiped down cars
  3. What was your first car? '83 Caprice Classic two tone brown - it was a tank
  4. What was your first mobile phone? Motorola Flip Phone when they first came out
  5. What is your first proper memory? Probably getting my smurf skates for my 5th birthday
  6. Who was your first teacher? Mrs. Meskimons - she still teaches
  7. Which fictional character do you wish was real? Harry Potter
  8. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? San Francisco when I was 19
  9. Who was your first best friend? Amanda G
  10. What was your first detention for? I never had detention
  11. What's your strongest sense? Hearing or sight
  12. Who was your first kiss? Billy K 
  13. What was the first film you remember seeing at the cinema? Dirty Dancing
  14. What's the largest amount of money you've ever won? none that I can remember
  15. What's the largest amount of money you've spent in one spree? Probably $500 in NYC
  16. If you had a warning label, what would yours say? Contents May Explode When Shaken
  17. Have you ever got sweet revenge on anyone? yes
  18.  Have you ever been to a live concert? yes
  19. Have you ever been to see stand up comedy? no, but I want to
  20. Have you ever needed stitches? Yes, a couple of times

I promise I did not fall of the edge of the world

I didn't get eaten by sharks, ran over by a train, or even tripped up the steps and busted my head lately.  I am still alive and breathing.  I took a blog hiatus.  I tried coming back a few times, but my heart just wasn't in it.  It has been hard for me to cut out a chunk of time to sit down and write a post.  And when I do, I wonder if I have anything to say that people will want to read.  I love the friendships I have made through blogging.  I miss you girls and I think about you daily.  I will get better.  I have decided that I am going to start a list of blog ideas.  They come to me while I am driving down the street, but by the time I get home; I have forgotten.

Allison ( - Yes, we have given up musical theatre for now.  Elexis got accepted into an extra orchestra and it conflicted with rehearsals for theatre.  She had to choose and she chose orchestra. She is doing very well in the orchestra.

Government furlough - My husband works for the government.  Last October he transferred from the DoD (Department of Defense) over to the FAA.  As much as he has struggled with the decision, it turned out to be a blessing.  As of yet, he has not been furloughed, but if the government doesn't come to a decision in the next couple of weeks, he will be.  I pray that Congress gets their act together and resolve this fairly (yeah right, its the government) and quickly (ha).

I have a few things that I am going to go ahead and write while I have the chunk of time and focus and schedule them.  Maybe if I start out ahead of the game, I won't fall behind.  I am looking for a November Challenge as well.  I need to get back in the habit.

I want to give hugs to my girls.  I pray that you will still read this even though I have been MIA.  I am going to catch up on all your blogs so be expecting a crap ton of comments...

Oh, and I changed the name back to My Own Personal Stage.  I really like it, so I will be changing my header back.  But I like the new color scheme, so I think I will keep it.