Monday, January 31, 2011

Would The REAL Philly Cheese Steak Please Stand Up?

I am obsessed with The Food Network, The Cooking Channel and any show where food is discussed.  I'm not exactly sure what that says about me, but whatever.

I keep seeing all of these shows about the REAL Philly Cheese Steak being made with Cheese Whiz. 

Although I don't even consider Cheese Whiz to be a real food (isn't it just like melted plastic or something?), I feel that I need to try one of these infamous "REAL" cheese steaks.

I have had my share of Philly Cheese Steaks.  Each one, however, seems to have slices of cheese places over the meat, melted, and then placed on the bun.  No Cheese Whiz.

Babbo Natale shared with me this weekend that she has heard of a place in Smalltown, VA where they use "the wiz" on their Philly Cheese Steaks.  I am beside myself with joy at the prospect of trying this sandwich.  I'm planning to go there for dinner tonight! 

So, what do you think?  Does a Philly Cheese Steak have to be made with Cheese Whiz to be a REAL Philly Cheese Steak?  Or no?


My Weekend Was....Friends, Fondue & Flannel

I finally had a weekend ahead with no plans.  Well, none until Sunday Brunch.  What is a girl to do?  Stay in PJ's all weekend?  Watch movies?  Read books?

Not this girl.  I decided that a Friday night impromptu dinner party was called for!  I feel like I haven't had the chance to see much of WIMP or Babbo Natale lately, so I invited them to dinner.  I made my now infamous Low Cal Chicken Cordon Bleu and salads.  I was so busy gabbing away, I neglected to take many pictures that night :(  Here are a few:

(WIMP and Mr. WIMP killed us in Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition)

(they were very excited about their win)

(i suggested Cranium, hoping for better luck)

(WIMP was flirting with LW and he loved every minute of it!)

(Louis loves having people over to the house)

A lovely evening, with a wee bit too much wine ensued. 

Saturday was a lazy day, and I was excited to prepare for the evening's plans.  Fondue Night at T's House!  I'm embarrassed to say that I've never had/done fondue before.  I knew what it was all about, just hadn't actually done it.  Daisy came up with the idea, as she got a new fondue pot for Christmas.  We invited D & PTB (remember them from THIS POST) to join us.  TEN and I "brought" cheese fondue, bread and apples (first course) and the veggies for part of the second course.  Daisy brought all of the meat for the second course, and D&PTB brought the chocolate, vanilla and fruit for the third course.  We each also brought wine that was supposed to compliment our course.  It worked our beautifully!

(is it odd that i'm fascinated with this contraption?)

Course #1 - Cheese Fondue
with crusty bread & apples



Course #2 - Hot Oil
with Veggies, Steak, Chicken & Shrimp

Course #3 - Chocolate Fondue
with angel food cake, bananas, strawberries & pineapple

(Louis was such a good boy, and it was KILLING him not to know what all the excitement was at the table.  After we finished dessert, we let him "join us" for a minute)

(a little bit of Taboo never hurt anyone!)

(the buzzer got lots of use Saturday night)

(LW adores PTB :)

Sunday we were up early for PJ Brunch Club!  Babbo Natale was the hostess for this brunch, and she does make the best cheese grits known to man!  I was so excited to catch up with Babbo Natale's mum, who was in town, that I didn't snap a single picture of brunch :(  I couldn't find any on Facebook yet, but I'm hoping we have a few.

The boys and the girls all still remembered to take our "after brunch" group photo though :)

(JTT, Mr. Barbie & TEN)

(me, Barbie, IT & Babbo Natale)

All around, quite the lovely weekend!  I'm so very thankful for all of the lovely people I have been blessed to have in my life :)

I hope your weekend was lovely too!  Rumor has it that Smalltown, VA may get some ice/wintery mix nonsense tonight and tomorrow night.  Good thing I got most of my socializing out of the way :) 


Friday, January 28, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

Classic Annie has bestowed upon me the Stylish Blogger Award.  How thrilled am I?!?!

Thank you so much Annie :) 

Now, here are the rules....

1. link to the blogger(s) who gave the award
2. share 7 facts about yourself
3. pass the award on to 15 ladies

7 Facts About T

1.  I have 4 calendars.  Yes, 4.  I do not use my blackberry calendar.  Or my outlook calendar.  I have two wall calendars, a daytimer and a "paperberry" (paper wallet size calendar that I carry in my purse at all times).  My paperberry contains EVERYTHING.  My daytimer is for work, mainly.  My two wall calendars (one at home and one in my office) are personal + birthdays + out of town for work.  I know it's confusing as can be, but it works.  And if it aint broke, don't fix it :)

2.  I am obsessed with meditating on things that I feel will make me a better person lately.  Not that I'm a terrible person or anything, but I'm trying to appreciate the little things.  Be more of a leader.  Not lose my temper as easily.  Not take things for granted.  You know what I'm saying. 

I follow @RevRun on Twitter.  He tells me good things every day.  I also have this deck of cards that Marilyn Monroe gave me called "If Life is a Game, These are the Rules".  I read a new card each day.  Today's card says:

"Give yourself permission to do what you want." 

I like that one!  I also hijack quotes and sayings and what have you off of each of your blogs.  I have them written on post-its around my office.  As reminders.  And I'm trying to focus on one thing each day.  The idea is that soon enough these things will become a part of my life automatically; without me even concentrating on them. 

3.  I've been watching a lot of TV lately.  This is not common for me at all.  I used to watch Criminal Minds (ahhhh...Dr. Spencer Reid), NCIS, Gossip Girl and The Real Housewives of _________.  That's it.  But now...I'm watching Pitchmen, Ax Men, Storage Wars, Modern Family, Downton Abbey and more!  Is it just the winter blues that's got me on the couch watching the tube?  Or, am I becoming a couch potato?  Lord only knows.

4.  This isn't really something you don't know about me, but I'm in love with learning to cook.  I want to cook every single day.  I'm still learning, and not very good at just "flying by the seat of my pants", but I love it none the less! 

(perhaps if i put down the wine i would be retaining more of what i'm learning???)

My dear friend Katie (who has two fabulous westies & a blog) has shared some of her cookbooks with me.  And I read them.  As if they were novels!  I literally read them and visualize cooking each meal.  I rank them in the order I want to try them.  I want to have dinner parties every night.  It's gotten a bit out of control. 

I think part of the problem is that we've not had cooking class for 2 weeks!  The last two Wednesdays our schedules have now afforded us the chance to get together.  It's Marilyn Monroe's turn to teach us something.  I have another bunch of cookbooks to share with the girls (thank you Katie!), and I'm dying to look at them.  But I haven't even opened the box.  I was waiting for the girls.  Sigh....

5.  I am slightly intimidated by "touch phones".  Scratch that.  I'm literally terrified of them :(  You know...iPhones, Droids, the like. 

(gaaahhhh!  where are the buttons?!??!?!)

I do not like them, and I do not want one.  And I am afraid that I am going to be left behind.  The only girl who doesn't have one :(  How can I get the "stylish blogger award" if I'm a scardey pants when it comes to touch phones?  Which are stylish?  Oh my....

6.  Speaking of phones....I abhor talking on the phone.  Have I told you this before?  I can't recall.  Anyway, I cannot stand to talk on the phone.  I don't answer my cell half of the time.  It isn't because I don't like YOU, it's because I'd rather you text and tell me where to meet you for a cocktail.  So that we can talk in person.  Or, if you live far away...send me an e-mail :)  I want to catch up with you, but I don't need a 30 minute conversation with you today if I just saw you yesterday.  Is that wrong of me? 

I know that girls are supposed to LOVE talking on the phone.  Am I an anomaly?  Does anyone else feel this way?  I said last night "sometimes I wish I could just toss my blackberry into the lake".  And I meant it.  And that scared me.  Just a little bit.

7.  I am currently obsessed with the Plain White T's song Rhythm of Love.  It makes me want to smile.  And laugh.  And just be.  It actually reminds me of my very first boyfriend in high school.  I don't know why, but it does.  Have you heard it?  If not, here have a listen...

Now, I will award the Stylish Blog Award to 15 bloggers. 

Angela from Belles & Bows
Elizabeth from Biz & the Bungalo
Candy from Candyland
Charleston Girl
Dating is My Hobby
Dee from Dee's Adventures
Deviled Megs
Rachel from Dinner Bells
Dixie Gator Gal
E from E, Myself & I
Flip Flops on Lex
Garden State Prep
Twenty-Something Blonde from Growing Up Blonde
REBrown from How Now Brown Cow
Ashley from Kiwis and Cocktails
Love Jenny xoxo
Rachel from My Life as Seen Through My Blackberry
Preppy Girl Meets World
The Bee Charmer
Through Rose Colored Glasses

I think I tagged more than 15 people.  Oh well!  Here's the are ALL stylish in my book :)  If I didn't like your style, I wouldn't follow your blog.

Can't wait to see what those of you tagged answer.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scrubbing Bubbles or Baking Soda?

I have 4 pieces of canvas luggage.  One piece is bright orange, from Ralph Lauren.  It's large.  I took it to Italy.  And to London.  And it's terribly dirty :(

Another piece is bright apple green.  I use it for 2-3 nights away from home.  That happens often.  It's terribly dirty as well :(

I have a pink piece and a blue piece, but somehow they aren't as filthy.  But they aren't the right sizes.  So I need to clean the orange and the green.  What's a girl to do?  Well, I googled eHow, of course!  eHow has told me a few things.  I've not done any of them.  Ever.  Have you?

Dry Baking Soda Method
Sprinkle dry baking soda onto the canvas exterior of the luggage. Scrub it with a brush to remove the soil. Brush away the soda residue with another brush. Dry baking soda almost always removes oil spots and most other types of soil. It also does a good job of cleaning the piece overall. This method is the easiest for your luggage.

Baking Soda and Water Method
If the dry baking soda didn't remove all the soil, try mixing about 4 tbsp. of baking soda in a cup of water. Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and rub it on the spot, being careful not to get the canvas too wet. Avoid getting the metal framework of the luggage under the canvas wet because doing so might make it rust. Dry the clean luggage with a hand held hair dryer.

Laundry Detergent Method
For more stubborn stains, rub the spots with a little laundry detergent mixed with water. Pre-treat it, if necessary, with Fels Naptha soap, again being careful not to get the fabric too wet. When the fabric is cleaned, dry the luggage with a hand held hair dryer.

Stained and Ashamed,

Someone Is Having a Baby!

not me sillies :)

The Real Housewife of Delaware is preggers.  I'm hosting her baby shower next month, and I've been working dilligently to find just the right invites, and shower decor, and center piece and prizes.  I just want everything to be perfect :)

This is the invitation that I selected:

The girl on the invitation reminds me so much of TRHoD.  A huge thank you to mrs.mfc for helping me find (and select) the invitation!!!  Next, I needed to come up with a centerpiece for the shower.  I scanned quite a few blogs, and came up with the idea of a diaper cake.  Some that I saw were amazing!  Others, not so much.  I was quite worried that mine would end up in the "not so much" category, but I'm actually quite pleased!  AND....TRHoD's little one will already have 96 diapers :)

One of the diaper cakes I saw had a bottle of champagne as the center.  This is to give the diapers something to lean against.  The champagne is then to be used for a toast when the baby is born!  I liked that idea, so you can see the tip of a champagne bottle coming out of the top of the 3rd layer of diapers!

(notice that sweet framed painting of a westie to the right of the cake? i need to figure out where to hang it!)

I've put some ribbon around it to dress it up, and I'm thinking that a pacifier bouquet of sorts on the top may be fun?  I'll have to let you know what I end up doing.  Any suggestions??

On my shopping trip to Michael's the other day I picked up these pretty prizes for TRHoD.  A journal and a pen, so that I can take down the names of the guests at her shower and the presents that they have given.  Aren't these perfect?  AND FOR A DOLLAR EACH?!?!  (clearly I still have not recovered from the bargains I found!) 

I've also purchased these "matchy matchy" Thank You cards for TRHoD to send out after the shower.  The funny thing is, TRHoD always picks on me for being so "matchy, matchy" :)  No doubt she will shake her head when she sees them, but that's okay.  She will get a kick out of it!

So far things are coming right along.  I'm super excited, and just hope that I get everything ship shape in time for the big event! 

Any suggestions or tips that you have from hosting baby showers would be most appreciated :)


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Westie Wednesday

Louis hasn't really had much excitement in the last week.  I mean, he did go to day care on Friday.  And he did go to the Dog Park on Saturday, where he was trampled by the large dogs and loved every minute of it. 

Other than that, it's been pretty quiet for my boy this week.  Well, with the exception of the photo shoot he and TEN had.  It was pretty ridiculous.  I'm not sure what the photog was hoping to "capture", but here's what he ended up with:

Charming.  And I do believe Louis was asleep for some of those pictures :)

Here's another picture of him from New Year's Day.  Have I showed it to you yet?  I was trying to explain to him that it was a new year, and we all got to "start fresh"!  I told him that all of his accidental potties on the kitchen floor would be forgotten.  As of January 1 he was a perfect puppy, and would be treated as such.  He was, as you can see, unsure if he should believe me or not.

Last night Louis' mummy MAY or MAY NOT have realized that she had 0.00000001 gallons of oil left in the tank that heats the house :-o  Thankfully it wasn't too cold last night, so I made a fire and turned the heat off.  It did get a wee bit chilly later in the evening, and The Lord of the Manor kept inching closer to the fire to keep warm.

Apparently the heat got the best of him, as he is completely passed out here:

(i was playing with changing the colors of my photos.  i think this photo makes it look as if my house is on fire!  EGADS)

See?  Told you.  Nothing very exciting going on in Louis' world this week. 

I do believe things are about to get a little more exciting for him though.  The snow is coming :)  It's sleeting outside right now, and it should be starting to snow any minute.  It will be snowing all day, and night.  I'm not sure how much we will end up with, but I've told Louis that the snow is coming and he did the happy dance.  We'll keep you posted.

Westie Licks,

T & Louis

Get Your Old Navy On!

You know how I love my Old Navy.  You know how I get when they are having a Clearance Sale, AND THEN they give me another 25% off on top of that (use coupon code ONEXTRA25 - through Thursday, January 27).

Do you remember THIS post? 

Well, they've gone and done it again. 

Now, mind you....I do not need any new clothes.  No cute party pockets or ballet flats or bright cheerful scarves.  No sweaters or khakis or knit caps for me :(  But what I DO need are some exercise clothes.  Because i'm doing pilates on Mondays and Zumba on Tuesdays, and both of those events require proper attire.  And although I have 9 pair of yoga pants, I do not have any yoga capris....and everyone else does.  So I felt that I needed some.  And for $9 and some change, why shouldn't I have some? 

And then there are these LONG stretchy tanks.  For like $5.  Really?  I know, I know...I ordered 3 immediately.

I think my order totaled like $30 or something.  Amazing.  And I didn't put it on my credit card.   You should probably run right over there to the CLEARANCE RIGHT HERE too.

Just sayin.


(old navy, please feel free to throw me a bone as this is probably like the 25th time i have advertised for you.  thanks.)