Monday, February 25, 2008

The Best Food EVER!!!

The Social House in Treasure Island is fabulous. The food was wonderful, the drinks were tasty and the dessert - YUMMM! I didn't want to freak too many people out so I was only snapped a few pictures. We opted for the "Trust the Chef" - we had about 8 courses of whatever the chef thought we would enjoy. It was so good. By far the best food/experience I've ever had. Thank goodness work was picking up the tab. For 4 of us it came to $550!
This was just one of our dishes. It was absolutely the best sushi I have ever had!
This was my drink (looks a lot better in person) Sunrise Martini

We sat outside right over the pirate ship at Treasure Island.

I love this place....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Viva Las Vegas...

I leave early tomorrow morning for Las Vegas. I wish I could say that I was meeting my dad there, or going with J or going for a girl's weekend trip or anything remotelyy fun. Instead I'm going for work... So not looking forward to it but at least it's only for 2 1/2 days.

The big highlight of our trip is dinner at Casa Di Amore. This is an AWESOME Italian restaurant off the strip. This will be our third year going back there. The food is wonderful, the atmosphere has the old Las Vegas feel to it and what service is outstanding. They have complimentary limo service and a delicious Amarone wine. I highly recommend this little hole in the wall if you want yummy Italian food off the strip.

Patrick Henry Hughes

I am a sentimental sap and am easily moved to tears watching movies, television shows and even some commercials choke me up. One of my favorite tear jerker shows is Extreme Makeover - Home Edition. This Sunday night's episode was one of my favorites episodes.

The family this week was the Hughes family. What an amazing family, what an amazing young man and an incredible father.

Patricia and Patrick John Hughes’s eldest son, Patrick Henry, (19) was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, leaving him unable to walk. The wheelchair-bound Patrick Henry has not let obstacles stand in the way of achieving his goals.

Patrick Henry showed extraordinary abilities at a very early age despite his physical challenges.Patrick Henry is an amazing pianist. By the age of two, the toddler could play songs on the piano after hearing them only once. The gifted young man is not only a university student, but also plays a wide array of musical instruments, is an accomplished singer, and an exuberant trumpet player in the University of Louisville School of Music Marching and Pep Band.

The remarkable Patrick Henry has commented in previous interviews he feels he’s “been blessed” and is grateful for his abilities.

His father, Patrick John Hughes, works a night shift so he can accompany his son to university classes during the day, providing visual aid to the eager student as needed. Inspired by his son’s “can do” attitude, Patrick John also guides the wheelchair, keeping pace with the other 220+ marching band members during practice and game formations. **What an amazing father!!**So many of Patrick Henry’s accomplishments are made possible with the additional, inexhaustible support of his mother, Patricia, and brothers, Jesse and Cameron.

Patrick Henry was born with several birth defects but has the most amazing attitude. One statement that Patrick Henry said tugged at my heart - he looks at his "disability" of being blind as an "ABILITY" because he does not know what anyone looks like on the outside but gets to know the person on the inside. Sometimes we (myself included) are so wrapped up in what people look like, what they wear, how different they look that we don't even get to "know" the person before judging them.

I want to be more like Patrick Henry.
You can see a video of Patrick Henry here...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Little White Lie....

Baby girl has been fighting off a terrible sore throat for the past few days - she had been fighting going to the doctor. But this morning it had gotten so bad that finally she let me take her to Urgent Care.

They opened up at 9am so I figured we'd be pretty close to the front of the line if we got there when they opened. Wrong! We drove up at 9:10 to find a full waiting room. It was hurting her so bad by this time that she was practically in tears. I walked inside to put her name on the list and found out that we were 10th! While I was filling out the forms the girl that was 5th on the list came up to see how long her wait was - "oh,,, about an hour". A quick calculation on my part determined it would be 2 hours at least until we were seen. Crap!
My girl is in pain - there is no way she is going to be able to make it sitting in this waiting room... (remembering something her dad/my ex had told me) I added that her chest was hurting a bit too. The lady at the front desk looked up and said "bring her on in"... score!!! I hate to lie, I really do but in this case I had to tell a little white lie to get her in. At Urgent Care it is first come, first serve - unless there is dizziness, severe pain, or chest pains.....
15 minutes later we walked out of there with an antibiotic and cough medicine prescription (cough medicine because she must have been coughing so hard that made her chest hurt??).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentimes Day!

(I love how my son says Valentimes.)

I've been spoiled rotten this whole February so far. Everyday since the 1st my husband has left me little treats at work or at home. He's such a great Valentine! Last month I "hinted" that I really wanted to see Wicked - later that day he gave me an early Valentines gift of 4 tickets to the show for all of us to go.

Feb. 1st - I came into work to find a little heart shaped candy dish with Hershey Kissables and a diffuser set.

Feb. 2nd. A big cookie that read "Be Mine" (this is not a picture of my cookie - I ate it before I even realized I should have taken a picture...

Feb. 3rd. - Bath and Body Aromatherapy Massage Oil

Feb. 4th. - My little heart candy dish was filled up with Hershey Kisses

Feb 5th. - Bath and Body Aromatherapy Pillow Spray (I love this!!!)

Feb. 6th. - Heart Chocolates

Feb. 7th. - Pink and Brown (our wedding colors) little note pad set
Feb. 8th. - Lotion from Bath and Body
Feb. 9th - Chocolate Truffle Candle shaped like a heart!
Feb. 10th - A whole assortment of Bath and Body lip glosses
Feb. 11th - Heart Paperweight he made with our picture in it. Very cute!
Feb. 12th - Heart Cookie
Feb. 13th - Cupid Corn - So cute!

Tonight we are taking my mom and sister out to dinner. They don't have a Valentine so we thought it would be nice for us to take them out. awwww...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Take a Dip.....

French Dip that is. I love basically all foods that you dip, soak or dunk. Topping that list is the French Dip sandwich. I've always wanted to make it but never really found a recipe that struck me. Until yesterday I found this wonderful recipe on a food blog I frequent.

Crock pot French Dip Sandwiches
Source : Crock It Cookbook by Barbara Murray
Serves 4-6


3 lb boneless beef chuck roast
1 pkg Mushroom/onion soup mix
1 10oz can of beef broth + 1 can of water
French rolls or sour dough bread

In a medium bowl whisk together the broth, water and soup mix. Trim any excess fat off of the meat. Add meat to crock pot, then pour broth & soup over it.Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove meat to a large bowl or plate using a slotted spoon. Use two forks to shred up the meat & remove any excess fat. Toast the bread and make sandwiches with the beef (we added some horseradish to them) serve with a bowl of the au jus from the crock pot for dippin'.

This was so so good. I know we will be having this quite often. I sautéed onions and it was perfection!

Monday, February 11, 2008

What A Weekend!!

Last week was not a good week - I was sick and busy at work and tired and did I mention sick? I ended up working from home on Friday. I didn't want to subject the office to my continual hacking. It helped so much not having to get out. I had zero energy Friday so we stayed in, ordered a pizza and just relaxed watching movies.

Saturday I was refreshed and had more energy. I made breakfast for buddy before his basketball game. (My poor boy - his team has yet to win a game..... his coaches are the WORST in the world) At least it wasn't a complete blow out like the games beforeWe were playing the 10th placed team (we are the 12th) so it was a little more evenly matched up. He's usually never says anything but this time he said "I can't believe we lost again..." how sad. But 2 minutes later he's happy as a clam - I love him.

After lunch at Baja Fresh - I love the Mango Chipotle Chicken Salad - it's so yummy!And then I was off to get my hair cut. I've been toying with the idea of getting it cut short - I really love Victoria Beckham's hair but didn't really think it would work with my hair because of the wave I have. All the kids are doing it and I'm tired of just putting my hair up in a clip or ponytail. I left it in the hands of Bethanee at Michael Kelly to work her magic and I came away with this not so short doo. (Please excuse the blurry picture...)

We lightened it up a bit and I really like it - but might go back to have it cut a little shorter.

Sunday - I woke up full of energy and loving how it is beginning to feel like Spring. I love Spring - I love the smells and way the air feels. I also love Spring Cleaning. I had hit up Smart and Final the day before and loaded up on cleaning supplies. Never mind the 4 different bottles of Windex, the two different kinds of Lysol cleaner, or the many bottles of Pine Sol... My name is Missy and I am addicted to cleaning supplies.... it could be a lot worse.

I was on fire! I was a lady with a mission. Laundry was done AND put a way. My coupons were cut and my grocery list was made. The house was clean with the fresh scent of bleach (I'm strange - I know this), the kitchen was clean, the bathrooms were sparkling, the rooms were all picked up and I was a happy happy lady. I love clean and I love being organized. I especially love starting off the week this way. It just seems to put everyone (when I say everyone I mean me) in a better mood. Everything has a place. People are not running around looking for their shoes, or socks.

J was also in the cleaning mood (or was trying to stay out of my way) so he washed and cleaned both cars!

What a great way to start off a week!!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

One Product - A Ton of Uses

I have always been a fan of helpful little hints. I especially love it when you can use one product for a variety of uses. Vinegar is one of these amazing little products.

**Warning - this is a long list..**

Household Hints

No-wax floors: To wash no-wax floors, add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water.

Carpet stain removal: A mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water will remove non-oily stains from carpets. Apply it to the stain with a soft brush or towel and rub gently. Rinse with a towel moistened with clean water and blot dry. Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone. Then dry quickly, using a fan or hair dryer. This should be done as soon as the stain is discovered.

Windows & Walls
Streakless windows: Simply wash with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth. This solution will make your windows gleam and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the glass.

Washing woodwork:You can ease the job of washing painted walls, woodwork and Venetian blinds by using a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, ½ cup white distilled or cider vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda with 1 gallon of warm water. Wipe this solution over walls or blinds with a sponge or cloth and rinse with clear water. Dirt and grime comes off easily and the solution will not dull the painted finish or leave streaks.

Water or alcohol marks on wood:Stubborn rings resulting from wet glasses being placed on wood furniture may be removed by rubbing with a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and olive oil. Rub with the grain and polish for the best results.
Garbage disposal cleaner: Garbage disposals may be kept clean and odor free with vinegar cubes. Vinegar cubes are made by filling an ice tray with a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to fill the ice tray and then freezing it. Run the mixture through the disposal, and then flush it with cold water for a minute or so.
Coffee maker cleaner (automatic):White distilled vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that collect in automatic drip coffee makers from hard water. Fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished. (Be sure to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions.)
Clean the microwave: Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.
Deodorize the kitchen drain:Pour a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain once a week. Let stand 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.
Clean the refrigerator: Wash with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar.
Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards:Wipe with full strength white distilled vinegar.
Brass polish: Brass, copper and pewter will shine if cleaned with the following mixture. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and stir in flour until it becomes a paste. Apply paste to the metals and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water and polish until dry.
Ant deterrent: Ant invasions can sometimes be deterred by washing counter tops, cabinets and floors with white distilled vinegar.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances: Apply vinegar with a soft cloth to remove streaks from stainless steel appliances. Try in an inconspicuous place first.
Cleaner Dishes and Glasses: Pour 1 ½ cup to 2 cups white distilled vinegar in the bottom of dishwasher, along with regular dishwasher soap. Wash full cycle.
Remove Refrigerator Smells: Place 1 cup apple cider vinegar in a glass and set in refrigerator. Within 2 days, any smell is gone!
Bathtub film:Bathtub film can be removed by wiping with white distilled vinegar and then with soda. Rinse clean with water.
Shower doors:Rub down shower doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar to remove soap residue.
Toilet bowl cleaner:Stubborn stains can be removed from the toilet by spraying them with white distilled vinegar and brushing vigorously. The bowl may be deodorized by adding 3 cups of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to remain for a half hour, then flush.
Unclog the showerhead:Corrosion may be removed from showerheads or faucets by soaking them in diluted white distilled vinegar overnight. This may be easily accomplished by saturating a terry cloth towel in vinegar and wrapping it around the showerhead or faucet.
Pest fighter:A teaspoon of white distilled vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.
Pet accident: Test the color fastness of the carpet with white distilled vinegar in an inconspicuous place. Then sprinkle distilled vinegar over the fresh pet accident. Wait a few minutes and sponge from the center outward. Blot up with a dry cloth. This procedure may need to be repeated for stubborn stains.
Bumper stickers:Remove bumper stickers by repeatedly wiping the sticker with white distilled vinegar until it is soaked. In a few minutes, it should peel off easily. Test on a small invisible area of the car to ensure there will be no damage to the pain.
Paintbrush softener: Soak the paintbrush in hot white distilled vinegar, and then wash out with warm, sudsy water.
Cleaner for Gold Jewelry (Winner of June 2007 Vinegar Online Use Contest)Use one cup apple cider vinegar. Submerge solid gold jewelry item in vinegar for 15 minutes. Remove and dry with cloth.
Remove Lime Stains from Car: Pour a small amount of white vinegar on a clean cloth. Gently rub the area of lime staining with the cloth until the stain is gone. Test a small are first to ensure no discoloration.
Worn DVDs:If you have a worn DVD that has begun to stick or suffers from the occasional freeze-frame, wipe it down with white distilled vinegar applied to a soft cloth. Ensure the DVD is completely dry before re-inserting in the DVD player. (Note: This only works on DVDs that are scratched of dirty through normal wear.)
Laundry Hints
Wine stains: Spots caused by wine can be removed from 100 percent cotton, cotton polyester and permanent press fabrics if done so within 24 hours. To do it, sponge white distilled vinegar directly onto the stain and rub away the spots. Then clean according to the directions on the manufacturer's care tag.
Freshen baby clothes: The addition of 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to each load of baby clothes during the rinse cycle will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue leaving the clothes soft and fresh.
Clothes washing magic: Clothes will rinse better if 1 cup of white distilled vinegar is added to the last rinse water. The acid in vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, but strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents.
Blanket renewal: Cotton and wool blankets become soft, fluffy and free of soap odor if 2 cups of white distilled vinegar are added to the rinse cycle of the wash.
Deodorant stains: Deodorant and antiperspirant stains may be removed from clothing by lightly rubbing with white distilled vinegar and laundering as usual.
Keeping colors fast:To hold colors in fabrics, which tend to run, soak them for a few minutes in white distilled vinegar before washing.
Leather cleaning: Leather articles can be cleaned with a mixture of white distilled vinegar and linseed oil. Rub the mixture into the leather and then polish with a soft cloth. Scorch marks: Lightly rub white distilled vinegar on fabric that has been slightly scorched. Wipe with a clean cloth.
Setting colors:When you are color dyeing, add about a cupful of white distilled vinegar to the last rinse water to help set the color.
Shower curtains:Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the rinse water when you launder your shower curtain. Do not spin dry or wash out. Just hang immediately to dry.
Unclog steam iron:Pour equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water into the iron's water chamber. Turn to steam and leave the iron on for 5 minutes in an upright position. Then unplug and allow to cool. Any loose particles should come out when you empty the water.
Clean a scorched iron plate: Heat equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt in a small pan. Rub solution on the cooled iron surface to remove dark or burned stains.
Cleaning Vintage Lace: Soak the lace in cold water, rinsing it several times. Next, hand-wash the lace gently with a wool detergent, such as Woolite. If rust spots are a problem, try removing them with a mixture of white vinegar and hot water.
Food Preparation
Getting the last drops:When you can’t get the last bit of mayonnaise or salad dressing out of the jar, try dribbling a little of your favorite vinegar into it, put the cap on tightly and shake well. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve been wasting.
Cooking fish:Try soaking fish in vinegar and water before cooking it. It will be sweeter, more tender and hold its shape better. When boiling or poaching fish, a tablespoon of vinegar added to the water will keep it from crumbling so easily.
Cake icing:Cake icing can be prevented from becoming sugary if a little vinegar is added to the ingredients before cooking. The same is true when making homemade candy.
Boiling eggs:When boiling an egg and it’s cracked, a little vinegar in the water will keep the white from running out.
Keeping potatoes white:A teaspoon of white distilled or cider vinegar added to the water in which you boil potatoes will keep them nice and white. You can keep peeled potatoes from turning dark by covering them with water and adding 2 teaspoons of vinegar.
Freshen vegetables:Freshen up slightly wilted vegetables by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.
Fruit and vegetable wash:Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to 1 pint water and use to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly. Research has shown that vinegar helps kill bacteria on fruits and vegetables.
Frying doughnuts:Before frying doughnuts, add ½ teaspoon of vinegar to hot oil to prevent doughnuts soaking up extra grease. Use caution when adding the vinegar to the hot oil.
Flavor booster:Perk up a can of soup, gravy or sauce with a teaspoon of your favorite specialty vinegar. It adds flavor and taster fresher.
Meat tenderizer:As a tenderizer for tough meat or game, make a marinade in the proportion of half a cup of your favorite vinegar to a cup of heated liquid, such as bouillon; or for steak, you may prefer to a mix of vinegar and oil, rubbed in well and allowed to stand for two hours.
Fruit stains: Remove fruit or berry stains from your hands by cleaning them with vinegar.
Fresh lunch box: It is easy to take out the heavy stale smell often found in lunch boxes. Dampen a piece of fresh bread with white distilled vinegar and leave it in the lunch box overnight.
Get rid of cooking smells: Let simmer a small pot of vinegar and water solution.
Fluffy Egg Whites: Soak a paper towel with 1-2 Tablespoons of white distilled vinegar. Wipe mixing bowl and beaters or whisk with the vinegar-soaked paper towel, then dry with a cloth or paper towel prior to whipping egg whites.
Fluffier Rice:For fluffier and great tasting rice, add a teaspoon of white distilled vinegar to the boiling water before adding rice. Rice will be easier to spoon and less sticky.
Soothe a bee or jellyfish sting: Douse with vinegar. It will soothe irritation and relieve itching.
Relieve sunburn: Lightly rub white distilled or cider vinegar on skin. Reapply as needed.
Relieve dry and itchy skin:Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your bath water.
Fight dandruff: After shampooing, rinse with a solution of ½ cup vinegar and 2 cups of warm water.
Soothe a sore throat: Put a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle, then swallow. For another great gargle: 1 cup hot water, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vinegar, gargle then drink.
Treat sinus infections and chest colds: Add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to the vaporizer. (Be sure to check vaporizer instructions for additional water measurement.)
Skin burns: Apply ice-cold vinegar right away for fast relief. Will prevent burn blisters.
Chest congestion: To clear up respiratory congestion, inhale a vapor mist from steaming pot containing water and several spoonfuls of vinegar.
Toenail fungus: Soak toes in a solution of vinegar and water, using 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, 15 minutes per day.
Arthritis ReliefMix a teaspoon of half apple cider vinegar, half honey in a glass of water with a teaspoon of orange flavored Knox gelatin.
Lessen Morning Sickness:Drink some apple cider vinegar in water, with honey added. This concoction can help calm a queasy stomach.
Stop Itching:Apply a paste made from vinegar and cornstarch. Keep on until itch disappears.
Cleaning Heavily Soiled Hands:Moisten cornmeal with apple cider vinegar. Scrub hands, rinse in cold water and pat dry.
Soft Feet: Combine 1 cup white distilled vinegar to 2 gallons warm water. Soak feet for 45 minutes then use a pumice stone or file to remove dead skin from heels and callused areas of feet.
Wart Remover: Mix lukewarm/warm water with a cup of white distilled vinegar. Immerse area with wart and soak 20 minutes everyday until wart disappears.
Bug Spray:Combine equal amounts of water, white distilled vinegar and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Use on skin, as needed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

When Did I Become My Mom??

Growing up my mom always had a certain way she liked things to be done (towels folded a certain way, dishwasher loaded a certain way, beds made a certain way, etc.) I never could understand what the big deal was. "Be happy I'm doing it" is what I always thought.

When did I turn into my mom? Either I never noticed I too had a perferred way of doing what seems to be everything or I've slowly been turning into Mama... Sorry Mom - now I understand your frustration!

Folding towels. I have a certain way of folding our towels. This is a perfect size to fit into our shelves. Plus it looks nice. I'm so guilty of sneaking and refolding the towels after someone else has folded them... Soooo my mom...

And now thanks to Tasty Tater Talks I discovered this awesome way to fold sheets and pack them away nice a neat in the pillow case. I quickly had to pass this on to my mom... she loves it!!!

Unmade bed. I hate to crawl into a bed that was not made. I can't stand to leave the house with the bed being unmade. This is definitely something I've had to adjust to being married...
This is so my mom... I never ever used to be like this. When did that happen??

I love my mom and respect her for so much. She raised my sister and I as a single mom and did a terrific job!!! I am actually happy I'm like my mom - she's a wonderful woman!

Hopefully one day my daughter will appreciate and understand my silliness.

Missing In Action

Work is so busy that I missed blogging all last week. Nothing too exciting has been happening (I'm actually thankful for that) so I don't have really anything blog worthy.

At work I'm trying to coordinate 4 tradeshows in 4 different states that are all back to back. If I pull this off without any hiccups I will be amazed. In addition to this I'm working with a marketing firm totally revamping our marketing literature. We started up with a new telemarketing firm for new leads that I'm tracking. Oh and throw in training a new customer service rep. I've become quite the juggler. This all makes for a tired Missy.

At home life is sweet and simple right now.
Buddy is playing basketball and his little league starts Spring Season today so this will add to our already busy weeks.
Daughter is doing well in school and happy with her new job.

My sister went through a rough week. On Friday the 25th she found out that her dog Jackson had a cancerous spot on his leg and couldn't get him into a specialist until the following Tuesday. The weekend was an emotional roller coaster for her. 8 years ago she lost a dog to cancer and that was all that was going through her mind. Tuesday we took him in for tests - Thursday everything came back showing that the cancer was only in the one spot and had not spread to his organs. They have surgery scheduled for tomorrow. Bless her heart. And in the middle of all this she had a birthday. We took her out to Chicago Ribs and ate and ate and ate. It was very very good! We ordered the FeastIt had a little bit of everything. The onions rings are so good. So yummy!