Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chocolate: Skittles

I was looking for a candy to fill the teacups I had bought for M's birthday tea. When I spied the (big, 41 oz) bag of Chocolate Mix Skittles, I knew that I'd be able to eat the leftovers. I am apparently behind the times as the chocolate Skittles came out back around September 2007 at the All Candy Expo. I've spent the last week eating them and feel prepared to give an assessment. (Sorry about the fuzzy picture, I was in a hurry.)

Fuzzy picture of SkittlesCybele at Candy Blog does do a pretty thorough job of describing each of the 5 flavors.I was really hoping for a chocolate taste, but that is not what I found. There was really no good chocolate taste in them at all. So I have to think of them as candy and not chocolate.

I'll describe them in order of my preference (which coincidently is also in order from lightest to darkest.

Vanilla (pale, off white) - amazing because this one doesn't even have chocolate in its name. It tasted sweet, sugary and reminded me of vanilla frosting which I can easily eat straight from the can with a spoon.

S'mores (light brown) - tasted a lot like a graham cracker.

Chocolate Caramel (the color of real caramel) - no chocolate taste, but much like a mini Brachs caramel.

Chocolate Pudding (reddish brown in the light) - tastes just like the packaged Jello pudding with just a hint of sitting on the shelf too long.

Brownie Batter (dark, dark brown) - the first bite was like a Tootsie Roll, but then it ends in a nasty after taste.

Sera at Candy Addict had an assessment that matched mine. But now I have a cold, and the Brownie Batter doesn't taste so bad. That's not good is it?

J, B's mother, tried them and she preferred them in this order: Brownie Batter, Chocolate Pudding, Vanilla, Chocolate Caramel, then S'mores (which she did not like at all.) I also found yet another's review (not favorable to Skittles new flavors in general.)

The best part of eating the bag was in mixing them like Jelly Bellies. If I picked two flavors and chewed them together they tasted better. I don't think I'll buy another bag of these, however should someone have some in their possession I won't mind dipping in. Since everyone has varying evaluations, I've come to the conclusion that you'll just have to buy a small bag and try them yourself. Notice I said small.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Books: Google Books

A report for college years ago was the beginning of one of my hobbies: genealogy. Over the years I have found some famous and infamous ancestors, at least in their time. I've not yet become so proficient at research that I can guide others, but I have had some wonderful discussions with others also doing research. One such conversation led to a short conference at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No, I'm not Mormon and never intend to be, but their resources are phenomenal.

So anyway, one of the courses that day had to do with the internet (which I think I'm pretty good at navigating.) Even I learned something new - Google Books. Besides being able to find books or book information and besides being able to type in a good line from a book and have it identified, it also searches for people mentioned in books.

I thought there was no way I would find anything of interest using Google. Those famous people in my family tree couldn't possibly have been published in any book. Thank goodness I was wrong! I found a book written by a university professor who was researching people who lived in the area. It contained interviews, pictures, and excerpts from books such as yearbooks. I found my family in there, through Google Books, contacted the author, and obtained a copy.

Awesome resource!

BTW, I had to go to a store today to buy a book. I just love the way bookstores smell!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

TV: The Biggest Loser

I usually don't watch reality shows. The closest I get is watching American Idol and even with that I cheat by looking on the internet to see who got kicked off. Most people I know watch Survivor, which I could not watch if someone paid me. However, this season I did watch The Biggest Loser. I had was a girl thing. It was truly sweet to see a female, Ali Vincent, win for the first time. And she looks dramatically different.

Ali BeforeAli AfterI'm not overweight, but I could stand to lose about 25 pounds. I've often wondered if they could do a "Mini-Loser." No cash involved, but you get two weeks with the trainers. I would so lose that 25! I know that I could do the same at home, but my friends are busy people and I need a partner to do this kind of thing with. It sucks alone. Nice weather all year round couldn't hurt. And maybe a stationary bike. And one of those exercise balls...

BTW, can we say how excited we are about a new Ugly Betty?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Miscellaneous: Crochet

I like to crochet. A long time ago I acquired a hook and was able to make a single chain. I lost the hook and found it again repeatedly over the years. Last year I got the itch to do more with the needle than enjoy its purple color. I bought three books, one of them Crocheting for Dummies, and taught myself to crochet. I did a bang up job on my samples (a few squares) and first ever project (pic below).

B's grandmother also crocheted. She especially liked the tiny thread that made doilies. I asked B's mother why she never learned from her mother and she just said it seemed so hard. So what does she do? She buys the dummy book, too, and teaches herself. Sometimes she asks me for help with the stitches because I've learned all the lingo for reading the patterns. Sometimes I enjoy how she can start a pattern and modify it on the spot to suit her. Remember, I'm OCD. I follow the pattern.

Anyway, every so often I will share a project or two. Not necessarily related to crocheting. I'm a pretty crafty person. (BTW, the tablecloth underneath was purchased and belongs to B's mother.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Men: Honorable Mentions

Taye DiggsName: Taye Diggs (Scott L. Diggs)
Best Known For: Movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back; TV Show, Kevin Hill
Year of Birth: 1971
Status: Married (Idina Menzel)
Height: 5’10”
Fun Fact: He got his stage name from a shortened name his friends called him, “Scottaye.”

Naveen AndrewsName: Naveen Andrews (Naveen William Sydney Andrews)
Best Known For: Movie, The English Patient; TV Show, Lost
Year of Birth: 1969
Status: Single, but attached (Barbara Hershey)
Height: 5’8” (He’s a shortie!)
Fun Fact: Became a father at 23 with his math teacher and Hershey is 21 years his senior. He has enough fun facts to take care of the next man…

Scott Kinworthy...who has very few facts period.
Name: Scott Kinworthy
Best Known For: Soap, All My Children
Year of Birth: Unknown
Status: Unknown
Height: Unknown
Fun Fact: He was in an off-Broadway production of Blue Man Group.

Gabe KaplerName: Gabe Kapler (Gabriel Stefan Kapler)
Best Known For: Major League Baseball
Year of Birth: 1975
Status: Married (Lisa Kapler)
Height: 6’3”
Fun Fact: Honors his Jewish heritage with tattoos.

These guys are not at the very top of my list, but oh so close :D

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chocolate: Better than a kiss...

According to this article I found online from April of last year, letting chocolate melt in your mouth causes your heart rate to double and gives you a buzz better than a kiss. I wasn't surprised to hear that. I've always known chocolate to be a stimulant. It was just seeing it in a study that was so funny.

And...the comments were great fun. I wish there had been more. Someone suggested it might be about who you kiss. What would that say about your significant other if while hooked up to electrodes Godiva gave you a better high? I'm happy not knowing which one gives me the better buzz, but I would undoubtably love to try out the theory on some of the men I've posted about.

Oh yeah...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Books: The Book of Questions

I've gotten into looking at other people's blogs more frequently lately. I have somewhat of a dilemma when it comes to adding these "favorites" to a blogroll. Imagine that you are voting for a particular candidate and would like to feature him or her on your blog. You know that your friends don't share your affinity for the candidate or even political party. Would you blog about it anyway? Especially knowing that not many visit your blog to begin with.

I find I'm interested in a particular topic right now that would alienate many of my friends. One could say that they aren't your friends if something you like would be uncomfortable for them. But it is one thing for them to be aware and quite another to beat them over the head. The point of my blog is to see if my less controversial interests are interesting to someone else.

So to try to get to the point, a blog I visit frequently posted about morality versus love. This person is taking classes in psychology and thought the lively debate would be interesting to her readers. It made me think of a book a friend of mine bought for me published in 1989. The Book of Questions: Love & Sex. I was in the throes of young love and I bet she thought I could use some grounding.

Still available for about $6 on Amazon, the book features questions about relationships. The blogger asked her readers to respond to some of the questions she posted, and I thought it was a great idea. Here are some for you to ponder:

If you were feeling sick and miserable, would you rather be by yourself or have your partner with you? Why? (#15)

If you lost your eyesight, in what ways do you think your notions of a perfect partner would change? (#21)

When you look back on past romances, do you ever wonder what you saw in a former lover? If so, is it because you have changed or because you have grown to see the person more clearly? (#78)

If your partner had a fatal heart attack tonight, what would you most regret not having done together? When do you think you will actually get around to doing those things? (#241)

The author, Dr. Gregory Stock, also has another book with general questions. These types of questions can be very personal, so I'm not expecting a whole lot of responses. I thought I would at least post one of the questions (and maybe some of my own) each month along with my quote.

My answer to #15, if I'm sick and miserable then I want B there with me. He has an uncanny ability to make me feel better :o)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

TV: MythBusters

Jamie Hyneman and Adam SavageB and I enjoy this show immensely. Even A and M join in when they notice it's on. It is a show on the Discovery Channel in which a group of people (that originally started with two, Jamie,l, and Adam) test out common myths. Each myth is then determined to be "busted," "confirmed," or "plausible." Cool huh? Come on, don't you remember way back when being told not to ingest pop rocks and soda? That was one of the first myths busted. I was kinda hoping to see a stomach explode, ah well. There are plenty of other myths that end up confirmed.

I really enjoy the theme episodes they've done. They used to just show unrelated myths for busting, but have now been having more theme shows. One was on pirate myths. It was said that some pirates wore eye patches not to look scarier or because they've lost an eye, but because it helped them see better at night. Telling you that the myth was plausible isn't enough. You have to see the episode. Another special was about Bond myths. I especially enjoyed the myths of blowing up a propane tank and the electromagnetic watch.

One cool thing I found while researching the show is that a few people have claimed that watching the show helped them make decisions that involved their survival or the survival of others. There are links below for the Discovery Channel and Wiki, both of which are filled with enough info to get you interested in watching at least one episode.

MythBusters Discovery
MythBusters Wiki

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Miscellaneous: A & M

We were eating at a Kentucky Fried Chicken/A&W franchise sometime last year. There was a jukebox in the room. I was surprised that A & M actually knew what one was. We left the meal to look at the machine. I wanted to see the range of music while they wanted to get a closer look.

Me: Oh, a song from "Grease" is playing next.
A: Ooooh! {face giddy with delight}
Me: You don't even know what "Grease" is. {clearly picturing Travolta with dippity doo}
A: It's a place in Italy...isn't it?

My own little tribute to dooce...

We went to the snow for Easter. Family friends invited us to their cabin. We brought Apples to Apples (Junior, so the kids could join in.) M is pretty good with the adjectives. She's been trying to read Series of Unfortunate Events while her classmates are just trying to get through The Cat in the Hat. Anyhow, we adults wanted to make sure she knew what enormous was. We shouldn't have worried. After several of us named some enormous items she chimed in with:

"A makes eeeeeeenormous poos."

The "e" emphasis is no exaggeration. A sunk low in her chair while B and I turned red with embarrassment.

For those of you on the way to (new) parenthood, behold the knowing smirk.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Men: Justin Hartley

Justin Hartley

Name: Justin Hartley
Best Known For: TV Show Passions and Smallville
Year of Birth: 1977
Status: Married (Lindsay Korman)
Height: 6’3”
Fun Fact: Avid basketball player

This is another hunk I haven’t really known or watched. Someone else posted a picture of him extolling his awesome looks. The picture really wasn’t all that flattering to me. It looked like he was wearing makeup. There is another famous male out there favored by the teeny boppers, Zak Efron. I swear he wears makeup in every picture. I even heard a ten year old saying he looked really bad without his makeup.

So I went in search of more pictures. The ones I found of Justin “fresh faced” were so much better. Don’t you agree?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


MS Face StressI hate stress. I should be okay with it by now considering the nature of my job and being a parent, but I'm not. I'm one of those people who can't make lists because my lists get lost, and I end up repeating the necessary things over and over in my head. Each succesive repeat reminds me of how much I have to do and my stress increases.

I relieve my stress in one of three ways: I conk out when I get home, I play Zuma or some other mind numbing game, or I read. I feel lucky that no matter which of the three I engage in that I'm actually able to do it. My kids, while stress-filling, are so wonderfully independent at times. I do know when I have to take drastic measures to relax. The muscles around my eyes start to twitch. I had a twitch for a month and half this year, which is rare. They usually only last about a week. That tells you something about my year. What do you do to relieve stress?

And don't tell me yoga, because I don't want to feel even more stressed that your relaxing activity also helps you lose weight - and mine doesn't.

PS I'm letting you know that I've cheated. This post was supposed to be up on April Fool's Day and it's not. April Fools!