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Hurry hurry. A blog giveaway!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If any of y'all were interested in winning these beauties, you had better head on over to Indie Delights! And fast! The contest ends on May 3rd. All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite recipe, and these hand-cut, hand-printed, hand-lined recipe cards could you yours, in whatever color your heart desires. Hows that for a run-on sentence?

Dirty money, sea monsters, and a nudist beach.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I haven't been swimming in forever. When I was in my teens, my dad had purchased a big yellow boat. I found out later that he payed for this boat, with pot money. Yep, you heard me. Pot money. One day while I was 19, I was helping him move a bunch of lights and equipment, I ask "what's all this for?". He stops and looks up at me, as if I should know. "For growing pot", he answers. My jaw drops. Is he being serious? ..."What?". He raises an eyebrow, tilts his head a little bit in one direction, and then chuckles. "You didn't know?". ...um, no I didn't know. "How do you think we payed for the boat?". I don't know dad, I was 14 years old, boats come out of thin air as far as I'm concerned!! We sit down on boxes and he starts telling me in detail, about the super secret room in our old house that he had to get to by crawling through cabinets. Apparently this is something he had done all my life. Well. Alright then. Now that that's out in the open. So we used to take this yellow boat out on various lakes during the summer. As soon as my dad would get home from work we'd go. I'd usually have a friend or two over, and we would have got everything ready so that as soon as he pulled in the driveway we could hook up the boat trailor, jump in the Mud Duck (that's the name of my dad's big brown 80's looking mini monster truck, if you can picture it) and haul ass to water. The sooner we got there, the more time we'd have in the sun! I wasn't as self conscious back then. I had no problem getting in a swim suit. My friends and I would jump off the side of the boat out in the middle of the lake. I was always afraid that something would come up and touch my feet though. We had a couple of tubes that we played on, and if we had enough people, we'd hook up both of them at the same time. My dad was really good at driving the boat in a way that didn't promote crashing. But when he wanted to, he'd maneuver just right, so that one tube crashed into the other, and both people went flying. One time I got tossed so far, I landed towards the side of the lake, and my legs got tangled in lake muck. I started panicking, as if a sea creature was trying to swallow my chunky pasty white stems. We always wore life vests, so I knew I wouldn't drown. But I really did think that if I looked down, I would have seen swamp thing smiling back at me. The boat was so far away, since my dad had swung around to pick up my friend Syd (the other crash victim) first. I thought that because nobody was looking at me, my chances of lake monster death were higher. I knew that as soon as I could see the orange flag coming my way, I'd be safe. Waiting was the worst part. But finally, my rescue. What took them so long?! Crashing on the tube was nothing new to me. It happened 10 times a day or more. And while it hurt, it sure was fun. But crashing on the tube, into classic horror movie water logged tangled plant life, that was another story. I decided to stay out of the water for a few days. I think after 3 days on land I gave up and had to get back in the boat and on the lake. On a very sad day, the boat broke down. Things kept breaking, and eventually it ended up sitting in a storage garage at my dads friends house. He swore he would fix it "next summer". A wind storm caused a tree to fall over onto the storage garage, and it was bye bye boat. So since then, I really haven't been swimming. One day (I was about 21?) we called up Christopher's sister (Hybrid Hopes) and boyfriend, who lived down the street from us in Southeast Portland. We all hopped into my topless convertible Kia Sportage and headed down to Rooster Rock, a beach park on the Columbia River. When we got there, we were surprised to see that the water was way too low and disgusting to go swimming in. But wait... how was the water on the nudist half of the beach? There was no law saying we had to take our clothes off. And what are the chances that anyone else will be there anyways? Lets go! So we head off down a mysterious trail. At one point we split up. Christopher, Steph, and I go one way. Andy goes another. We walk forever and ever, through tall brush, with bugs swarming all around us. Okay, we've been walking for way too long now. We keep walking. Still walking. Walk walk walk. *alskjdlkj* What was that?! RUN! We're running now, because something moved, and we don't know what it was, and we don't know where we are, and who's idea was it to go swimming anyways?! Running. Run run run. Stop!...is that? ... yes! It is! I see sand! Finally, we come to a clearing. With beach. Oh beautiful sand and water, why have you been hiding from us? Andy is on the phone, saying hes found a nice area to go swimming. Now we just have to find him. The phone cuts out. Of course. We start yelling for him. He's nowhere in sight, and he obviously can't hear us. Suddenly there are people. They're not Andy, but maybe they've seen Andy. Ohmygosh. They're not wearing any pants. They've got shirts on, and hats, and... no pants. Eye contact. Focus. Don't look down. We start talking to the men, and turns out they have seen Andy. They point us in his direction, and after they're gone, we all stare at each other, wondering the same thing. Did that really just happen? Were we really just talking to 60 year old men wearing no pants? We walk over a hill, and there's Andy. OK, we came here to swim, not get lost in the jungle and avoid looking at old men's penises. When we get to our jumping off point, I flashback to the seaweed monster. I can't do it. The slimy murky water looks and feels too much like sewage to me. Everyone else enjoys the water, and I sit back on the sand getting eaten by mosquito's. West Nile virus here I come. Its starting to get dark now, so we head off. We come to a point in the trail, where it separates into about 5 paths. Which one do we choose? To continue along with our teenage horror movie trip to the beach, we choose a path, that of course turns out to be the wrong path. Halfway down the walkway, it turns into a swamp. Well its too late to turn back now. It starts getting darker. The swamp gets worse. There is no longer any dry land. Its all mud. Remember an hour ago when I didn't want to go swimming because I thought the sewage would feel gross in between my toes? Well now I'm up to my calf in the stuff. I can hardly walk. Lifting my legs is like picking up 10 pounds with my big toe. Who knows whats living in this goop. I'm positive a monster is going to pop out and eat us all any second. I'm putting all of my weight on Christopher, because my flip flops are no longer on my feet, and every step holds a new surprise. Its darker now. The sun has gone down. We could die out here. Nobody knows where we are, and without the light of the sun, we'll be goners. I start crying. I really think we're going to die. Steph and Andy are much farther ahead than me and Christopher. Just when all hope is lost, they announce that they can see the end of the trail. I'm alive! On the way leaving the park, there were giant sprinklers watering the lawns. We parked the car, and I got out and ran through the refreshing clean water. Oh, that's so much better. When we got home we were sore and tired. Not only did we have a zillion mosquito bites, sunburns, and knowledge of how big of a wimp Tia is. But we all lost our shoes in one way or another. Ugh. I haven't been swimming in forever.

I'm not a playa I just crush a lot.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Before I met Christopher, I would constantly be labeling people as my "________ boyfriend". My Whole Foods boyfriend, my gas station boyfriend, my coffee shop boyfriend. I think I had a coffee shop boyfriend for every coffee shop in the Portland Metropolitan area. Now that I've been married for 2 years, rather than "_______ boyfriends", I get "_______ crushes". People crushes I call them. These crushes can be either male, or female. It makes no difference. ...So what makes a crush? I don't know. Personal style maybe. Attitude. Scent. All the same things that would attract you to your significant other I suppose. When I'm comfortable with my surroundings, I see a people crush, and attack. I instantly go in for the kill, and address their crushing qualities. Sometimes, depending on the intensity of my heart beat, I'll be too shy to say anything. Usually if I see the person frequently, I'll be able to muster up the courage to start a conversation. But occasionally I'll miss my chance, and my crush will be gone forever. Such a sad story that we all know too well. The other day while I was at work, the most gorgeous girl I've ever seen my life walks in. Shes tall, with short bleach blond hair (that I think might have actually been natural). Shes wearing a brightly colored plaid sleeveless shirt, her face and arms are covered in freckles. I can tell by her body type that shes not shopping in our store for anything other than bras. Shes got 3 or 4 kids around her, making it difficult for her to pick out the items she needs. Finally, a girlfriend of hers, lover or friend, whoever, comes in and takes the kids outside (but not before doing a double take at me, hmm). I can tell my customer crush is still having troubles, so I bite the bullet, and rush to help her. She tells me what size bra shes looking for, I can tell her cup size is much larger than that. I measure her. I'm right. We pick out a few bras together, she tries them on, they fit, we prance along telling secrets and holding hands like 7 years old's... but not really. As shes checking out, I have the opportunity to talk with her a little bit, but freeze up. Shes so pretty. I wonder if she knows how pretty she is. She must know. But she acts so, oblivious to her beauty. Instead of talking to her, I play connect the dots with her millions of tiny freckles, and before I know it, her new bras are all bagged up, and away she goes. ...Dangit. I tell all of my coworkers how perfect she was, and we all laugh at how ridiculous I am. Will I ever see her again? Probably not. I used to have a mega crush on Jason Schwartzman. His character in "Slackers" made me go hubba hubba, how creepy huh? Whenever I see a chubby guy in a military uniform, I get excited. Every time my blog crush Diana comments on one of my entries, I smile so big my face hurts. Tattoo'd guys and gals really do it for me. I want to pull them close and learn everything there is to know about each and every speck of ink. Well done tattoos make my eyes sparkle and sing. Christopher gets people crushes on guys he works with, but is always too afraid to ask them to hang out. So I'll call them up on a Saturday night, without ever having met them, and ask them to come play scrabble with us. I did this for a man crush he had a year ago. Turned out the guy and his wife were totally crazy, and caused us nothing but drama. And boy were they bad at scrabble. I guess sometimes crushes are better left as crushes. But I also think people deserve to know when they're being crushed on. Sometimes I wonder if anyone has a people crush on me. It would make my day to know such a thing. I bet someones got a people crush on you too.

Burn baby burn!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Here's what I don't understand. Decorative candles. Really. The way I see it, there are two types of people. People that have candles and "save them" la la la, and people that have candles and burn 'em, muahahaha! First lets talk about saving candles, and then we'll talk about burning them, sound good? Okay. So you've got a few nice candles placed around your home. Your favorite is a tall round vanilla mocha scented masterpiece on your mantel. You walk past it every day, so often that you've forgotten its there. Whenever you have guests over, they comment "oh what a pretty candle. And it smells so good". You instantly remember who got it for you, and on what occasion. "Lets light it", says your guest. And like a mother bear protecting her cub, you dive for the candle and yell "noooooooo". You scoop the candle up in your arms and hit the deck. Suddenly you're in a jungle wearing all out camouflage, crawling in the mud with war paint on your face. Must. Protect. Candle. ...okay. So maybe I'm a little over dramatic. So what. But you know exactly what I'm talking about, right? Sounds familiar? For whatever reason, you just don't want to light that candle. Or any other candle. Well maybe birthday candles are OK. But you always always save them to use again next year. You like getting candles for your birthday, and Christmas. You love giving candles, because that way you can go candle shopping, and of course you have to buy a few for yourself. Your husband has forbid you from going to the dollar store, because he knows that you'll blow a hard earned 50 on tiny wax filled glasses that will do nothing but collect dust on your end tables for all of eternity. When you tell your friends and family that you're going to take up a new hobby, candle making, they all reflect back to that episode of King of Queens where Carrie makes "Mobile Homes", the most god awful cell phone cases you've ever seen in your life. Now lets flip the switch, and talk about the candle rebels. The folks who like to burn stuff! You've got decorative matchbooks and fancy candle-lighting lighters. You don't waste your time with the pretty stuff. Artistic wax statues and funky shaped wicks aren't for you (unless given to you as a gift). You just want to grab the thing by its pillared neck, and light that sucker up. When you have guests over, they look at all of your collection of half melted messes, look at you, back to the mess, back at you, and say "so you like candles huh?". It can be awkward, but you don't care. You'd do anything for your love of dripping wax. Last weekend I went to my friend Jaylynn's baby shower. She lives just down the street, in the newer base housing (which is a thousand times better than the crap caves we live in, by the way). We played a couple of baby shower games. Ya know, the ones where you see who can drink the from the baby bottle the fastest (ME!), and who can walk across the floor with a penny between their legs and drop it into the baby bottle on the floor (ME!). There were other ones, but I didn't win those ones, so who cares. I got 2 prizes. A bottle of pink nail polish, and ...a candle! I think I had that thing lit and smelling up the block before I even got through my door. Black cherry. Mmmm. I remember black cherry used to be my favorite flavor of Kool-Aid, back in the days before food intolerance's and allergies. Did any of you ever color your hair with Kool-Aid? I never did, but I remember always wanting to try it. Okay I just wanted purple hair. My favorite kind of candles are the holiday scented ones. Pumpkin spice, cinnamon stick, baked apple pie. And yes, I'm guilty of lighting up to 3 different scented candles in my house at the same time. Different rooms, but, still. I think we all got headaches. It was worth it though, to see the hot melty puddly wax pooling up against the glass holders. You can tell a lot by a person, based on how they treat a candle. Actually I don't know why I just said that. So what do you prefer? Burning or saving? Fancy or plain? I think I've still got a candle in my bedroom from when I was like 12. Ugh. I'm off to burn some wicks. Black cherry here I come!

Aww, I feel special.

Friday, April 25, 2008

How flattered am I? I've been awarded the 'E for Excellence' blogger award! This award was so nicely presented to me by the talented Diana, my hot mama blog crush from a muted palette. Seriously Diana, next time I'm in PDX, we'll hit the Goodwill Bins like nobody's business.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

If you're a man and you're about to start reading this, I want you to know that you're more than welcome to stay, in fact, I encourage it. But first you need to know, that today we're going to talk about periods! Yay! ...Ladies, shall we? We shall. ...They say that friends share their cycles. The more time you spend around someone, the closer your cycles become. Well mine is any second away, so I'm feeling crappy as ever this morning. Anyone else about to take a big dose of bitch? Ugh. I remember the exact moment I started my very first period. I was in middle school, the 7th grade. Which puts me at 12 years old? I already had boobs. Those came way before my monthly. In the 6th grade I was approached in the hallway by a teacher actually, who pulled me aside and proceeded to explain to me that it was no longer acceptable for me to not wear a bra. They said it was a distraction (to who?!), and unhealthy (your mom's unhealthy). I went home and cried to my mother, who then took me to the scariest old woman's bra shop that ever did exist, and my very first bra, was a 36C. Seriously, scary old lady had me in enough straps to suspend me from a tall building. For that very embarrassing reason, my Eleanore will start wearing pretend bras as soon as she wants to, which will then lead to real bras, and proper boob care. But back to when I started my period. So, I was the typical unpopular fat girl. And when I say this, try not to take it too seriously. Its all in fun. My only friends were the other fat girls, and we all sat at the fat girl table in the cafeteria. If you're a fellow fat girl, you'll understand how this works. And you'll also understand how when you get old enough to start changing in locker rooms, you opt for the bathroom stall instead. I liked the middle stall. One time when I was changing in there, none of my classmates knew I was in the room, and proceeded to call me every name in the book and come up with a thousand and three insults. Its a fat girls worst nightmare, hearing the popular girls playing with her insecurities. When I got the nerve to walk out of the stall, and straight out of the locker room, they all knew I had heard them, and it was almost like a classic movie scene complete with crying and running down the hallway. One of the girls, I think it was Jennifer O'niel (one of the pretty popular girls that I knew I would never be, who also happened to be my neighbor), followed me to an outside bench, where she apologized. At least one of them cared. It was that same middle stall that I started my period in. It was right after gym class. My best friend at the time, Bryana Cline, was in the stall next to me. We were talking the entire time. I think doing Ace Ventura Pet Detective impersonations. Yep, that's how cool I was. And then I remember looking down and thinking "what in the hell is all of this yucky brownish red crap?". But then I realize, Oh, I'm a woman now! And then I got so excited I think I shouted "He-llo, womanhood!". Once we both got out of our locker room hideaways, we jumped up and down holding hands with excitement Babysitters Club style. Little did I know what was in store for me. It took months to figure out how to get a handle of the overflows, and the cramps, and the everything else associated with the shedding of my uterine lining. Do you remember your first couple of spills? White underwear was soon a thing of the past. As well as unstained jeans, and freshness. Ew. And what is that smell?! It would have been nice if someone would have handed me a box of diaper wipes and said "this will help", know what I'm sayin'? My mom had bought me a box of tampons though, that I would set up on the bathroom counter next to me. I'd stare at the how-to pictures on the back with wide eyes, and hold an unwrapped tampon in my right hand. There was no way I was sticking that in there. I tried a few times, but it just wasn't happening. So I wore the big bulky pads until I was ready to introduce Ricky to Lucy. Oh how much better they were! Seriously, whoever invented the tampon, thank you. Things got less messy. I felt liberated. My period sucked 50% less. As I got older my periods got worse. Much worse. Super worse. My cramps would get so bad that I wouldn't be able to get out of bed. I'd lay there and think about how much I hated being a woman, and stuff my face full of chocolate while watching Beaches. My flow was so heavy that I'd have to wear a tampon, and a pad. My mom told me that wasn't normal, but what was I supposed to do ya know? Bleed everywhere? Soon even that wouldn't work, because using a tampon became painful (why god, why?!), and I had to go back to pads alone. Overnight pads during the day seem to do the trick. I still catch myself trash talking tampon commercials when I see them on TV. Its so not fair. In October 2007, I had a laparoscopic surgery, confirming that I have Endometriosis. An incurable disease where the uterine lining grows wherever it damn well pleases. Whats that mean, you ask? It means a LOT of pain, infertility, internal bleeding, food intolerance's, ect. My mom had suffered from this, and had a hysterectomy when she was 35. I wasn't really aware of it when it was happening to her. I was young, and my parents did a good job keeping me out of it. I'll most likely have a hysterectomy someday too. Its not a cure, but I hear it helps a hell of a lot. Until then, I want to pop out babies like a popcorn maker at the movie theater. We've been trying for our 2nd child for a year with no luck. Tomorrow, this dreaded thing that we were all at one point excited about (what were we thinking?), will be here to ruin my weekend. Watch out folks, Aunt Flo is in town staying at the Herman Hotel. Put on your pj's, put your hair in pigtails, and lets talk periods!

Cursed box!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I spent a good time last week working on a gun and bullet recipe set. Do you ever work really hard on a project, only for it to not participate and make your time seem cursed? Everything that could have gone wrong did. First I messed up, by getting black paint on the pink paint. Christopher had to sand it down multiple times so that I could touch up the pink. Black paint doesn't come off so easily. After the prime painting was done, it came time to paint the gun onto the lid. That's when things really started to suck. Pink on black is obviously going to take multiple coats to show up. So I sat there on my bar stool for what seemed like ever, painting and painting and painting. I stood back, and it looked horrible. After it had dried, I thought maybe one of our new paint pens would do the trick. When I pressed the tip down onto the box, a small puddle of pink paint formed over the entire gun image. My eyes teared up, I set the box down, and simply said "You've got to be kidding me". Before that had the chance to dry and cover my gun image entirely, I dabbed it up with a recycled paper towel, and started re-painting with the black paint this time. This cycle kept repeating itself in various ways, until I eventually gave up, handed it to Christopher and said "seal it". I cut and printed the recipe cards yesterday afternoon while Eleanore was napping, and then photographed it and put it up in our Etsy shop. I hope someone falls in love with it and takes it off of my hands. Soon. Cursed box.

Working out and wheat poisoning.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I was at work the other night, and my knees started to hurt. I thought maybe I was just standing funny. I corrected my position, but nope... still hurt. I waited a few minutes, thinking it would go away, before announcing, "I'm too fat and my knees hurt". Everyone turned and looked at me, and it was awkward as hell. Seriously, when my knees can no longer support my weight, its probably time I start working out. It's not that I don't want to work out, because really, I do. Its just, right after I had Eleanore, I got a gym membership and started going 4 or 5 times a week. I was determined to lose weight. At my first weigh in, I had gained 6 lbs. We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, so I was willing to keep that in mind when I saw the numbers on the scale go up. Then they did a funky body analysis, and it turned out that it was all fat I had gained, none of it was musle. So I thought to myself, alright, this just means I really need to step it up and kick some butt. I changed my diet. More whole grains, lean meats, no sugar. I worked out harder than ever. To the point where I was dripping sweat, and there was just no possible way I could gain weight, since it was literally puddling underneath me. At my next weigh in, I was stoked. I was sure that I had lost at least 2 pounds. I was proud to be well on my way to my size 12's. I stepped up on the scale, and.... wait. Are you freakin' kidding me? That says I gained 3 more pounds ...and... UGH! No no no! I went along with this pattern for 3 or 4 months, until I couldn't take it anymore. And this entire time while I was gaining weight, I was sicker than ever. My body was in such bad condition. Turned out almost everything that I was eating, my body couldn't tolerate, and was storing as fat? Figures. It just happen to be, that the harder I worked out, the more I gained. Over the next couple of months I got my food intolerance's squared away, figuring what I could and could not have. There were lots of mistakes on the way. As of right now, I can't have wheat/gluten/soy/dairy/eggs/coffee/fructose/meats/beans/sorbitol/certain brands of white rice/seaweed/more than a handful of grapes/rice milks/corn/potato... and the list goes on. So while I had figured out what the problem was with my weight gain and overall feeling of crappiness, I never went back to the gym. I couldn't stand to gain another pound. So anyways, when I got home from work the other night, I told Christopher that I really needed to start working out again. We recently had our elliptical fixed, but I don't use it because its out in the garage with the giant scary crickets, spiders, and scorpions. Yesterday while I was at a baby shower, he had called a friend over to help him move it into our bedroom (that way I can lock him and the kid out for some Tia-time), he set up the TV and DVD player, and it was perfect. I don't have any more excuses. I have to work out now. Plus, exercise is supposed to be one of the best forms of pain management for Endometriosis. While Christopher was giving the monster a bath, I put on some comfy pants and a tank top, and hopped on the runner. He had forgot to set up the cable, so I got back on solid ground, and stood there pushing every button on the remote trying to get the tv to work. Nothing. I yelled "How do you set up the cable?!", through the door to my left. I could hear him talking to Eleanore, so I knew he could hear me. ...yet, no response. I asked again. And again. And then dammit, again! Its not like hes on the other side of the house, hes like 5 feet away! Finally he goes "What?". By then I'm so annoyed that I had to repeat myself so many times, that I do the same back to him by not responding. Seriously, how can he not hear me. This happens all the time. He never hears me. Because hes never listening for me. Even if I'm standing literally 5 feet away from him, he somehow manages to block me out completely. Does this ever happen to you? Please tell me its not just my husband. Finally I get over my annoyance enough to let him to come in and fix the dang cable, so I can get my workout on. Good, now go away because I'm mad at you and I don't want you to hear the elliptical squeak while I'm on it. Keep in mind, I haven't worked out in about a year. I set a goal for myself. I'm going to walk uphill for 30 minutes. No matter what. Here I go! After 10 minutes I'm hating life, and telling myself that I'm going to be done when the clock gets to 20. But as I step through it, I start thinking about my knees hurting at work, and how I'm constantly bitching about not being able to wear my size 12's anymore. When I get to 20 minutes I keep on going, and before I know it, 30 minutes have passed, and boy do I have the worst heartburn I've ever had in my life. My face is bright red, and I'm all sticky. That's supposed to be a good thing. Lets hope I didn't just gain 10 pounds. I walk out into the kitchen and sit down on a bar stool, feeling like I'm going to throw up, gasping for water. I need white rice, right now. My heartburn is killing me. Christopher had cooked 2 cups of rice earlier, so I know there's some in the fridge. A dose of relief is in my immediate future. I ask him to heat me up a bowl, and he stares at me blankly. Great, what did he do with the rice? Earlier in the evening, he had made a potato/broccoli mash for him and Eleanore to eat. On accident, and this isn't the first time this has happened, he opened the wrong side of the pepper container, and turned his yummy dish into a pepper death wish. Apparently he had added that entire pot of rice to his mash, thinking it would cancel out the pepper taste, which it didn't. So not only do I not have fluffy white rice to ease the pain in my chest (I'm out of Nexium), but we've got a giant pot of green mush in the fridge that him and Eleanore still won't eat. He feels bad (which makes me feel bad) and makes me some fresh white rice. After its cooked, I gobble it up, and everything is better. My heartburn is gone, and I'm not angry anymore. We're sitting on the couch watching the alternate ending to I Am Legend, and I notice I'm starting to bloat up. I'm not feeling so good. What the heck? And then I realize that when the hubbs went to the store earlier that day, he had bought one of the brands of white rice that my body doesn't tolerate. ....*sigh*. I just can't win can I? And just the day before, he had made some tasty cookies, with a wheat contaminated baking soda that has been sitting in the back of our fridge for well over a year. There was a brand new box in the pantry though! Most of us would know better. But because I know its nothing he did on purpose, I calmed down and I'm not mad at him anymore. I just... ugh... Ya know? So tonight, I'm going to workout for another 30 minutes. And not eat anything that will make me sick and gain another thousand pounds. I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.

I <3 cleavage.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alright ladies, this has gone on long enough. Every day women come into my work looking for a new bra. They walk over to the bra section, start flipping through sizes, and then glance around the room waiting to make eye contact with someone that will ask "are you finding everything alright?". If you are, great. If you're not, well then I'll help you. But here's the catch. You have to actually listen to what I say. So you're an older lady, and you want some support for the girls. I understand how it is (well, not yet I don't, but I can imagine). If you want support for the twins, then you need an underwire, and you need padding. ..."But its uncomfortable. It pokes me under the arm. It feels too stiff. It looks too big". Well ma'am, then your knockers are going to continue to get (and look) knocked around. Here's one with an underwire and a little padding, strap your breasts in, and lets get you some sexy matching panties for grandpa to look at, yeehaw! Lets move on to a new scenario. This lady is looking for a bra, and I say "would you like to be fitted?". She says yes, because even though this woman is 34 years old, shes never ever been measured, and really doesn't know what size to wear. I ask her to turn around and lift her arms. "It looks like you're a 46 D" I say to her. She stares back at me blankly. Like how dare I. "No. I'm wearing a 38 DD right now, so that can't be right". Oh, okay then. Well don't let me stop you from wearing the incorrect size. By all means, go right on ahead and strain your back. Sag on sister. Good thing she asked me to measure her huh? I politely respond with "well you can wear whatever you're comfortable with wearing, but you're measuring in at a 46 D. I guarantee that if you try it, you'll see a huge difference". Most of the time I'll see that same lady at the register later, buying the size I measured her at. But sometimes I'll get the occasional customer that just does not want to let go of her I-wore-this-40-pounds-ago Walmart bra. And that's fine, shes more than welcome to wear whatever bra makes her feel good about herself. Heck, I used to wear bras like that. I had this one bra a few years ago. The underwire had popped out, and was digging into my skin so badly that I still have a scar from it. One day I had accidentally locked myself out of my studio apartment. After banging my head on the closed door repeatedly, trying to figure out how I could avoid calling a locksmith and forking over $50, I pulled the underwire out from underneath my armpit, and popped the door open like freakin' MacGyuver. That's right, my cheap bra saved the day. If you've got a crappy bra, you might as well rock it, right? Moving on. ...And then there are the women that don't know what size they wear, but just do not want to be fitted. They'd rather try on every single bra in the dang store, than let you anywhere near their chest. So I run back and forth from the bras to the fitting rooms, handing her bra after bra after bra over the top of the door. She insists shes a C cup. I can tell just by looking at her, shes hauling around DDD's. So girls. Grab your measuring tape, because you're way overdue for a bra fit.

Step 1- wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust (right about where your nips are). Document that number.
Step 2- move the tape down right below your breasts, where your bra band sits. Document that number.
Step 3- Subtract the bottom number, from the top number.

Easy as pie right? Once you've figured out the difference in inches, you can figure out your cup size.
1" = A
2" = B
3" = C
4" = D
5" = DD
6" = DDD
7" = F
8" = G
9" = H

Me, I measure 47 at the Bust, and 40 at the band. I'm a 40 F. I'd love to hear any bra horror stories in the form of comments. And I hope these bra fitting instructions were able to help some of you!

From top to bottom:
-"Boob Job", by LaCoque, $5.70.

I got busy this afternoon.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Aren't those the most delicious looking gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, corn-free chocolate chip cookies that you've ever seen in your whole entire life? If you have the same kind of dietary restrictions I have, I think you're probably saying yes. Mmm, the outsides are crunchy, and the middles are nice and soft. When Christopher got home, I shoved one into his mouth, and his reaction was "What?! These have wheat in them!". Nope. No Sir. "Yes they do!". Sorry Mister, them there cookies are Herman-household friendly! I've slightly altered (I have to alter everything to make it work for us) a recipe that I found over at the Gluten Free Goddess's blog. Let me know if you try them.

"Tastes like they have wheat in them chocolate chip cookies"
You'll need:
-3/4 cup buckwheat flour
-1/2 cup white rice flour
-1/4 cup arrowroot flour
-1/4 cup brown rice flour
-1/4 cup tapioca starch
-1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (heaping)
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-2 teaspoons baking powder (we make ours from scratch, to make sure that its corn free)
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1 bag chocolate chips (we use "enjoy life" brand)
-1 1/2 cups sugar (organic turbinado works best)
-1/2 cup shortening (we use "spectrum palm oil shortening")
-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
-6 overflowing tablespoons vanilla milk (we use "Blue Diamond" brand)
-2 egg replacers (we use "Ener-G" brand)

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix the first 10 ingredients together in one bowl, and mix the the last 5 together in a different bowl. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry. When you do this, you'll probably think "Tia, crazy lady, there is no way this is going to work, it needs way more liquid". But be patient Bettie, it doesn't. Trust me? Mix mix mix. ...There, see? Take off your rings and brass knuckles, because you're diggin' in. Roll your dough into even sized balls, and space them out on your cookie sheets. If your dough is stiff enough, press your balls down with the back of a spoon (just slightly). If your dough is squishy and the spoon seems to stick, then the dough will probably melt down on its own. I bake mine for 17-19 minutes. And mmmmmm. They come out so good.

One order of poppies, coming right up.

So we've gotten our first request for a custom order! And even though its not finished, I can't stand it anymore. I have to post a picture. A while back I had gotten a convo from a lady about our gun recipe box and cards, saying something like "where was this when I needed it", along with a really funny story. The gal turned out to be real nice, and she had mentioned that she wished our cards were lined. So, I thought about it, and then I lined them. When I sent her a message to say "Hey, I took your advice", she asked me if we'd be able to make a red poppy box for her. I asked the Mister if he would accept the mission, and this is what our combined powers have come up with. Oooh. Aaaah. So pretty. I haven't made the matching recipe cards yet. That requires supplies that my craft corner is lacking. Man, I hope she likes it.

<3 free stuff.

I'm sending these bad boys out to eastern Texas today. Things I Make, Things I love won these just the other day (we're raging geeks about giveaways). The pink wolf recipe cards were the first cards we ever made, so whenever I hear that someone else likes them as much as I do, my heart rains pink fluffy wolf raindrops all day long. Aren't you jealous that you didn't win? I know, right.

Orange spots and broken futons.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When we first moved to Abilene, from Wichita Falls (where Christopher went to his Air Force tech school), we were living in a base hotel. It was just like a super miniature apartment really. However, it was built horribly and the bedroom door didn't close all the way. And the walls were paper thin, so we could hear everything, and I do mean everything, that the neighbors were doing. I didn't need to hear Mr. Neighbor belching after dinner. Or Mrs. Neighbor blowing her nose at 6 in the morning. But, you take what you can get, right? I can't remember how long we stayed there, but it was much too long. 2 weeks maybe? We didn't have any of our things yet, they were still on their way down from Washington state. We had moved everything into my parents basement before Christopher left for Basic Training, and then the military went and packed it and moved it sometime that summer. Finally we found an apartment in Abilene, over by the mall. It was our first 2 bedroom place, since we had a newly introduced baby Eleanore in the family. A few minutes after we got the keys, the movers pulled up with a giant trailer full of our Portland past. They moved it in quickly, and left before we knew it. I had no idea how much I loved my stuff/junk, until I had to go 4 months without any of it. My parents had sent along a few extras, like a dresser, a bed frame, a baby swing, things of that nature. Christopher and I had bought our first mattress set earlier that week, and it was delivered later that day. We had previously been sleeping on a broken Ikea futon. The first piece of furniture I ever bought on my own *sigh*. So that night while I'm laying on the bed, I notice a spot on the ceiling. Just a tiny little orange spot. I look away, chat with Christopher, pump some breast milk, do whatever. When I lay back down, the spot has moved? Its in a different place? No ...I'm probably just crazy. I go get something to drink, peek in at the sleeping baby, come back and lay down. OK, the spot has moved again. Its gone. Spots don't disappear like that, do they? What kind of spot was that? Wait! There's the spot, on the wall! I focus in on it, trying to figure out what it is, and then I realize, its a lizard? We don't have those back home. Is that really a itsy bitsy tiny orange lizard? So I say to Christopher "...See that spot?". Of course he doesn't, and has to look all around for it, even though I'm pointing right at it and there no way anyone could possibly miss it, unless you're Christopher. Finally he says "Oh. What is that?". "I think its a lizard" I answer. He tilts his head slightly to the right, the way a dog does when you make a funny noise, and then he goes "WOW!", like an excited little boy. He goes up to it to catch it in his cupped hands, and it very quickly squiggles down the wall, and then poof hes gone! I immediately start freaking out. Its not the lizard I'm afraid of. Its that I don't know where the lizard is, and I'm afraid I'm going to wake up in the middle of the night with an orange friend on my face. I swear I saw him run down onto the carpet and head my way. I repeat this over and over again. "He squiggled, and then ran this way!". Christopher looks and looks, and finds nothing. "Did you look there?!" I insist. "What about behind that, look behind that!". So then he starts telling me that lizards only like hard surfaces. He says that the lizard wouldn't be on the carpet or bedding, because its too hard for him to walk on. He tells me that I need to be checking the walls and ceilings, because thats where I'll find the little guy. So all night, when I go into the bathroom or down the hall, I'm scanning the walls thinking the lizard is going to be just standing there clear as day. Eventually we go to sleep, and I feel safe knowing I won't wake up to him on my face, but still on edge because I don't know where the damn thing is. 3am rolls around, and I have to wake up to pump some milk. I would have just breast fed Eleanore, but my G cup (yep, you read that right) was 5 times larger than baby's tiny little head, and it just wasn't happening. So I spent 3 hours a day hooked up to a machine, for 6 months. She can't say I never did anything for her huh? OK, so its 3am, and I sit up in bed with my eyes still closed. I reach for my pump, yank it up onto the bed with me, get all situated, and start going to town. Christopher had gotten up with me, and when he turned on the light it took my eyes a second to focus. I look down, and crawling out of my breast pump and looking up at me, is the lizard!! Milk goes everywhere as I'm frantically scooting away from it. I thought they didn't like soft surfaces!!! Why is he running around all over the bed?! ... Why Christopher! My liar of a husband caught the lizard in a tiny juice glass that he had previously brought into the bedroom for that very reason, and released him outside. "You wouldn't have gone to sleep if I hadn't have made that up, would you?". ...hes got a point. Lie accepted.

Hip to the dance scene beat.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Among my very favorite things in the whole wide world ...dance scenes. I looove dance scenes. If High School Musical would have been around when I was a kid, I would have been the freak that danced the entire movie by myself every day on the playground at recess. In the summer of '04, before I met Christopher, I was dating a fella named Kris. Lets chat about Kris for a second. Any longer than a second and Christopher might kill me (hes not a fan). So here we go. My friend Jenny had met him on myspace, and invited him to my conveniently located downtown Portland apartment for drinks. Before he came over, Jenny and I had gone down to 23rd avenue to listen to loud music and eat hot dogs. We used to drive down busy streets with the top off of my car, listening to whatever ridiculous song we favored at the time. Jock Jams, Britney, The Cars, whatever seemed fitting. We'd dress up in cute vintage outfits (sunglasses, scarves, the works) and sing as loud as we could for everyone to hear. It didn't take long to wear ourselves out. A few minutes after we got back to my place, Kris showed up on his motorcycle. That's right, he was a coo-oo-oo-ool rider. Tall and handsome. Served in the Army. Tattoo sleeves. Mmm mmm good. I guess he had come by previously while we were losing our voices in the Pearl, and when he missed us, decided to come back later and try again. Him and Jenny didn't get along at all, which made for great entertainment. Jenny is loud, and about as out-there as they come. Which isn't a bad thing, that's just who she is, and for that we love her. We drank our usual PBR 40's, and I smoked cigarettes one after another. The same way I did every night. As it got darker, more people showed up at my apartment, and the more I drank the less I remember. I know by the end of the night, it was just me and Kris left outside by ourselves on my infamous porch of doom. I remember dropping my 40 over the edge, and him diving after it for me. Good man right there. We sat on the stairs and talked for the rest of the night. Who knows where everyone else had disappeared to. ...I bet you're dying to know what happened next, but a lady never tells. A few days later I was spending more time with Kris, and he asked me if I had seen Napoleon Dynamite yet. Knowing my love of dance scenes, he was shocked when I said no. He told me he wouldn't spoil it for me, but that I had to go see it immediately. Kris and I spent a lot of time together over the next couple of weeks, and then gradually our relationship spoiled (that was more than a second wasn't it? Sorry babe). What a shame. On the way back from a weekend beach getaway, Jenny and I stopped to see Napoleon Dynamite at a discount theater somewhere in Tualatin I think. From what Kris had said, I was about to see the best dance scene of my life. I didn't know what part of the movie it was at, so even though I was hungover as hell, I spent the entire time on the edge of my seat. And then finally, there it was. The best single person dance scene that I will probably ever see as long as I live. After Christopher and I had gotten together, I got a phone call from Kris, saying he had been in a motorcycle accident and needed me to come over. As much as I wanted to, I declined. The last time I saw him was on New Years Day 2005. Me and a group of friends, Christopher included, were eating a greasy brunch at My Fathers Place, which isn't actually a place owned by my father, its just the name of a dirty diner in Southeast. I wonder if Kris has seen High School Musical. I bet anyone who knows me thinks of me when they watch it. Even though our TV is almost always programmed to the Disney Channel, I've somehow managed to miss both of the High School Musical movies every time they're on. I'm not so secretly dying to see them. Maybe tonight we'll watch Electric Boogalo.

From top to bottom:

Big winner, right here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Things that I've won in the past; A coin collection at the age of 5, movie tickets off the radio, earrings from MuffinTopDesigns, and newly added to my list of big wins, earrings from Thisoldhenhouse's second Etsy shop, TwistThis22501. Normally I don't wear dangles. I like to wear big chunky studs that give the illusion that I have plugs in my lobes. My favorite ones are a pair of black roses that Christopher bought for me as a gift while we were back home visiting. I've worn them so much that we've had to super glue them back together at least 3 different times. Yesterday was nice and sunny, again, and I had spent the morning playing outside with Eleanore. After I put my little Missy down for her much needed nap, I had to start getting ready for my 7 hour shift down at my retail home away from home, Lane Bryant. After I had my makeup sprinkled over my sun-kissed face, I decided why not give the dangles a try. They'd match my outfit perfectly. Thanks Thisoldhenhouse! I'm off to hunt for more blog giveaways. Oh!! Speaking of giveaways. Don't forget to head over the Pamperingbeki to win a set of our fabuloso recipe cards! The contest ends tomorrow.

Balls and bubbles.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yesterday was a perfect day for taking Eleanore outside to play. Let me try and explain how our base housing is set up. All of the houses are in big circles. Loops if you prefer. As you drive along the roads, rather than driving beside front yards, like you would if you were driving through most other neighborhoods, you drive beside individually fenced in back yards, and driveways. All of our front yards, are where the back yard should be. And they're all connected. We've all got our own little front yards that's we're supposed to take care of, and then a big giant yard in the middle. A large circle shaped sidewalk separates the two. Are you following? Because I think I've just confused myself. Well in that joint-yard space, is a park. And there is a park in every housing loop. Sometimes two. Does that make sense? What I'm getting at, is, when we want to take Eleanore out to play, the park is just a few steps away, I can see it from where I'm sitting as I type this. Yesterday morning I covered her in sunblock and we went to swing. When that got boring, she decided she wanted to play with her ball. Well this decision came after I was tired of standing in the big sand pit, and asked her "Do you want to go get your ball?". So we walked home, I hunted down her ball (in the kitchen?), and back out we went. I kicked it as hard as I could, so it went out of our yard, and into the joint yard. I turned back to say "Eleanore, go get your ball", and when I looked forward again, there was a giant dog running for the ball. It scared the crap out of me. Where in the heck did this dog come from?! He wasn't there 10 seconds ago! The dog is obviously thrilled to be playing ball. Hes falling all over it, tearing it up in his mouth, and before we knew it, running towards us with the ball hanging out of his mouth. He knocked Eleanore right on her butt, but in a gentle way, so I could tell he was used to being around kids. She started crying, and was more scared than anything. The dog was super excited, and couldn't sit still for even a second. He took off running around the houses, and left a very shredded pink and grey ball behind him. A woman and her son came out of one of the nearby houses, and were calling for the dog. I replied with "Your dog ate our ball". I guess I could have said nice to meet you, but at the time, I was still recovering from the death of the ball. All of it had happened in about a minutes time, it was very quick. I was glad to meet the lady, even though I still can't remember her name. A lot of our other neighbors are snobbery at its best, and turn their noses up to us as they drive around in their golf carts, go carts, and toy power wheels. When they caught the dog a few minutes later, I decided to take the slowly deflating ball over to them, and let the dog finish the job. The son kicked the ball for the dog, he chased and attacked it, and they did this until the ball was flat as a pancake. And while they were doing that, Eleanore was standing next to me whining and crying about either the fact that there was a big barking dog, or the fact that the big barking dog was playing with her ball and she wasn't. We didn't have anymore balls inside, so I decided we'd blow bubbles instead. We being me. I blew bubbles until I was light headed. When she takes a bath, we call her bubble bath "bubbles" as well. So she had a hard time telling the difference between the two, and kept sticking her hand in the bottle and then rubbing the solution in her hair, while saying "clean! clean!". Ugh. So we sat out on the sidewalk "getting clean" for at least an hour. I kept trying to teach her how to do it, but she would just try to stick the bubble wand in her mouth. Last night after all of the grocery shopping was done and dinner had been placed in the oven, the ball killing dog owner came over, and presented Eleanore with 3 brand new balls. Wow! So all morning Eleanore has been piling balls in my lap and yelling "Ball!". As soon as it warms up a little this morning, we'll put on our sandals and sunblock, grab the balls and bubbles, and try again.


Friday, April 11, 2008

For those of you familiar with Endometriosis, you know that caffeine is out. For whatever the reason, the two don't get along. So after being diagnosed with Endometriosis last October, I said farewell to my very favorite dark colored caffeinated beverage. I was never a tea drinker. I hate iced tea. An old friend of mine used to order chai tea's from starbucks. I tasted hers once, and loved it. So I started buying Oregon Chai in the box (the purple one) and bringing it home with me. My dad, the last man on earth that you'd think would have anything to do with tea ever, tried it upon my forceful nagging, and loved it as I knew he would. My mom, on the other hand, was not as open to the idea. There was always a box in the fridge for my dad and I. One time I think he even bought it. That's how I know he actually likes something. It'll pop up in the fridge like the taste bud faeries went and picked it up at the store before I woke up. The same thing happened with hummus. I had tried hummus at my now-favorite Portland restaurant, Nicholas' (near the old Meow Meow), and decided that I needed to make it at home on my own. The first time I did, my dad turned his nose up at it. He tasted it, acted as if it was nothing special, and went on his merry way. A few days later there was a store bought container of hummus in the fridge? Hmmm, wonder how it got there, and who had eaten half of it. So when I said goodbye to coffee in October, I welcomed chai back into my home with open arms. This time the tea bags as opposed to the boxed kind. I enjoy it much more than I thought I would. At first it was tea morning, noon, and night. The trend has slowed down now to once a day, sometimes twice depending on my mood. We tried Yerba Mate, but weren't too thrilled with it. Maybe now that I've warmed up to tea I should give it another go. I like chamomile and peppermint tea as well. Other than the ones I mentioned, my eyes have yet to be opened to the wonderful world of tea. Abilene is a small town, with no real health food store. We go to a drug store that happens to have a health food section in the back corner. There is an entire aisle of tea, just waiting for me to taste. Christopher has been very supportive of my caffeine retirement. I had gotten him a french press for Christmas, since our coffee maker kicked the bucket. In February he had gone on a month long TDY (temporary duty station, hes in the Air Force for those of you that aren't up to speed), and upon his return, he gave up coffee with/for me. I had mentioned that the scent was driving me crazy, and always complained about how much I missed it (but never once asked him to quit the habit). One time I slipped and had myself a big mug. My body was much happier without the dreamy drink, so as soon as I gave it a taste, my previously mentioned grumpy body threw a fit, and that was the end of that. So now we both drink tea. My grammy had gotten me a bright red tea pot a few years ago for Christmas (see a trend? appliances go well with Christmas in my family), that we put to use every single day. Back in the days of my studio apartment, when Christopher worked at Value Village (some of you might know it as Savers), I had stumbled upon a vintage red and floral design teapot. I didn't care that it was rusted and on its last leg. I loved it. Christopher and I would use it to boil water for hot chocolate most mornings, especially on the weekends and on those extra cold days (I didn't have heat in my apartment. I'm hardcore like that). Oh boy did we like our hot chocolate. On mornings when we didn't have the time or the patience, we'd skip next door to the Dunaway Deli with our little packets of hot chocolate, order a cup of coffee at the self serve, and make what I like to call "On the go white trash mocha's" for the road. And on the rare occasion that Christopher would spend the night at his own apartment, I'd go over to the deli alone and make a tall cup for myself. So while I don't see any white trash mocha's in our future, I do see a lot more tea, and the occasional cup of hot chocolate now that I've put my foot down and said "body, you'll tolerate chocolate, because I said so!".


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I've noticed that most people, myself included, would prefer their recipe cards to be lined. So I busted out my very favorite felt tipped pen, and got down to business. It sure is time consuming, but the results are nothing short of gorgeous. So I'm proud to announce that all of our recipe cards (both sides!) are now available hand-lined! The prices of course will need to be adjusted. Etsy is a site for handmade items (right?), and handmade is how we do it. We have yet to use computers or printers for our crafts. Boy, I need a glass of lemonade after hunching over for the last hour drawing lines, haha. I also just listed our new children's (I say childrens, but, ya know) pink and purple unicorn box. Let me know what you think?

TBB and the dissapearance of gluten.

When I was living by myself in downtown Portland, I used to take trips to the Whole Foods on Burnside to scope out the cute boys that worked the olive bar, and chat with the bombshells in the bakery. While walking down the aisles looking for vegan treats, things labeled "gluten free" would pop out at me. And even though I had no idea at the time what gluten was, I used to think about how special I'd feel if I had a food restriction like that. It fascinated me. I sometimes wished I had no choice but to eat everything organic. A rule that I could never eat fast food again. A reason to be healthy. Self control wasn't enough. In the summer of 2004, my good friend Jenny and I had been sharing a night of 40's and long thin cigarettes in fancy holders. Come 4 in the morning, we decided we wanted crunch wraps. So we poured ourselves into my shiny silver Kia Sportage convertible, and I took us down to the Taco Bell on Burnside. The Taco Bell was maybe a mile or 2 down from the Whole foods. I was obviously drunk (and driving?! shame on me), and shouting into the talk box like only drunk stupids do. He replied to everything I said with a monotone voice. I could tell he hated me already. When we pulled up to the window, there he was, my monotone dream. He was wearing a black button up shirt with a red tie, Alkaline Trio style. He had a big messy curly afro. He continued to talk to me like he hated me, and for the first time in my life, I hit on a boy. I got defensive and demanded he take my phone number. Rather than writing it down on a piece of paper and tossing it in the trash as soon as I drove away, he went into the back of the store and got his cell phone. He made an entry for me, gave us free coke's, and we drove away labeling him as "Taco Bell Boyfriend". Keep in mind at that time in my life, I had an everything-boyfriend. Gas Station Boyfriend. Sears Customer Service Boyfriend. Whole Foods Olive Bar Boyfriend. You get the point. The difference between those boyfriends, and Taco Bell Boyfriend, is that I had actually talked to TBB. Like how I did that right there? I got sick of typing out Taco Bell Boyfriend. To my surprise, TBB called me a few days later, and we set up our first date. And now we're married (awww). After our daughter Eleanore was born in August of 2006, I started to get sick. After finding no help from doctors (lets hear it for military medical! sarcasm heavy), I took things into my own hands, and figured out that I was gluten intolerant. There was that word again! "Gluten". What the hell was this gluten stuff and why couldn't I have it anymore?! I remember seeing it years ago on those boxes back at Whole Foods. For those of you who are still clueless to the g-word, gluten is a fancy way of saying wheat-barley-rye. The stuff is in everything. Most of your boxed foods, flour, envelope glue ...everything. So while I thought this would be difficult, I remembered back to the day when I actually wanted this, in my curious way, and accepted the challenge. Like I had a choice, haha. Over the last year, I've discovered that not only am I intolerant to gluten, but I'm also intolerant to soy, dairy, eggs, caffeine, fructose (fruit juice and cooked fruit), seaweed, sorbitol, corn, potato, oats, amaranth, pine nuts, meat, and beans. So what does that leave? Seafood, most vegetables, most nuts, fruit, and rice. Its a hard knock life, for us. Christopher, my then TBB, my now partner in crime, has been a dear, and cut all of the above things out of his diet as well. I've just re-introduced chocolate back into my diet. I know that I'm caffeine intolerant, but chocolate seems to have reconciled with my stomach, so I'm not going to question it. When I came home from work the other night, Christopher had set up a cute dinner date for us. We ate a rice pasta with homemade organic spaghetti sauce, followed by chocolate ice cream (yes, ice cream!!!) and The Notebook. One thing I miss the most, is ice cream. Since I can't have soy or rice dream, store bought ice cream has been long gone. So I'm going to share Christopher's chocolate ice cream recipe with y'all.

Christopher's Allergen Free Chocolate Ice Cream:
*Lots and lots of ice. Fill a blender almost to the top with ice.
*Unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Fill about 1/3 of the blender.
*2 bananas.
*1 large scoop peanut butter (this can obviously be left out).
*2 large spoonfuls of cocoa.
*5 large spoonfuls of turbinado (can sub honey or agave nectar, or whatever else you crazy folks use).
*Blend like crazy!!
*After its all blended, stick the entire blender in the freezer. When you're ready to eat the ice cream, take it out of the freezer and re-blend.
*Serve and enjoy!
If any of y'all make this, we'd love to hear about any alterations, and we'd love to know how it turned out :)

From top to bottom:
-"Felt Taco", by beemiceelf, $5.00.