Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Miscellaneous: Crochet Three

Quick post: Here is a scarf I made a while back. I thought it was really cute, but I didn't have the colors in my wardrobe, so I changed it to colors that I did. The pattern is in The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stroller. She has some other cute patterns in there that I haven't had the opportunity to try. B's mother really likes the drawn guides for the patterns called crochet charts. They can be much easier than learning (or until you learn) the short names for the stitches.

Anyway, what do you think?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Men: "Cliff St. Paul"

Geek/Nerd: Cliff St. Paul
Show/Movie: Ugly Betty
Actor Name: David Blue
Year of Birth: 1979
Status: Single
Height: 6'
Fun Fact: Self-taught piano, guitar, and Champion Swing Dancer

Also Eli Wallace (Stargate Universe) and Logan Griffen (Moonlight), I've known the actor best as the lovable, nerdy, and unfortunately gay, Cliff St. Paul of Ugly Betty. While I love buff bodies and dimples...the cute bear types hover over my heart.

The actor is not gay, which is a relief, and he's no longer on Ugly Betty, which is a bummer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chocolate: Chocolate Madness

While the family was vacationing I had the opportunity to visit a place called North End Treats just outside Boston. A mini chocolate cake and a Key Lime Bomb (both 3 inches high and 5 inches in diameter) were waved in front of my face at a family event. Unfortunately, I didn't get even a taste. So I made B drive me to their place to buy some treats for myself :)

I tasted a mini strawberry cake (B and B's mom loved that one), the Key Lime Bomb (which I liked), and a slice of Chocolate Madness, in lieu of the mini chocolate cake. I have to say that the Chocolate Madness was the real bomb. There was cake, pudding cream, chocolate crumb crust, and chunks of brownie. Loved. It.

There are no pictures of the special treats on their webpage, which is a crying shame, and the three set me back almost $15, but if you are in their area that's what I would recommend.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Books: The Sisters Grimm

The summer is here, and I'm ready to celebrate! It's time to visit the local library because I have time to read. Of course I'm going to continue to read Robb's in Death series, but I'm on the lookout for new books and authors.

On our first library visit, A and M came first. While I was there (unsuccessfully trying to help A find a book she would enjoy) I found The Fairy Tale Detectives from The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. There isn't much on Wiki for Buckley so you'll have to take a look at the book series through Amazon. I've only read the first book and read the reviews for the first two books in the series. Buckley is on his seventh book, with two more planned.

It centers around two sisters, ages 11 and 7 when the books starts, who were left as orphans. The foster parent circle the kids end up in reminded me of Series of Unfortunate Events, but that's where that similarity ends. The sisters' last chance is a woman claiming to be their grandmother. The older sister, Sabrina, doesn't believe in the woman because their father told them there was no other family. I won't spoil anything by telling you here who the old woman really is, but be warned that the reviews give it all away.

The woman and now the girls live in a town made up of fairy tale characters. For example, the mayor is Prince Charming. There is a whole back story on how this came to be, plenty more make believe, and magic. The names some of them have (What is Little Red Riding Hood's real name anyway?) is reminiscent of Harry Potter, but again the rest of the story is a little different.

Anyway, if the kiddos are looking for something to occupy time. Check it out. M, no, not A, has taken a liking to the first book and my library copy is a hefty 284 pages (It's a small sized book). I think it's interesting. I'll have to remember to update when I've read more.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TV: The Othersiders

The Othersiders is a television show for kids on the Cartoon Network. "A team of teens who go to these places like the Queen Mary or Lincoln Heights Jail and they look for ghosts," says M. The teens actually look for ghosts by collecting evidence and then take a vote to decide if the place is haunted. They leave the evidence on their website so you can decide for yourself.

First, it never ceases to amaze me how much we rub off on our kids. It would be wonderful if that continued through the teenage years :) I watch stuff like Ghost Whisperer and Supernatural so it seems appropriate they would like to watch this show.

Second, how real is it? I'm convinced that it pushes the boundaries of reality. Most of the actions of the cast are real, but I wonder just how much of their evidence is.

I guess it is pretty harmless as far as shows go and somewhat scientific (hypothesis, data collection, conclusion). It's better than Spongebob Squarepants.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Miscellaneous: Dunkin' Donuts

I miss Dunkin' Donuts. I used to live where they had many stores. Now I have to wait to visit relatives (like I am now!) to get them. For the most part they are just like any other donuts, but there is one that makes them the best for me: the creme filled. They are my favorite! Chocolate or vanilla, powdered to perfection. Krispy Creme has a similar donut however it is glaze and sometimes comes with a chocolate topping. It's okay, but Dunkin' Donuts has the best.

It isn't the slightest bit healthy.

In a few days I will get my 5 year fix. Celebrate with me :o)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Men: Paul Telfer

Name: Paul Telfer
Best Known For: TV Miniseries, Hercules
Year of Birth: 1979
Status: Partner (Carmen Cusack)
Height: 6'2"
Fun Fact: He was a teacher at one time

Stumbled across this one while looking at Squarehippies. I had never heard of him before. He was born in Scotland, though. Can you hear the accent? Ooh la la. Oddly enough, I actually prefer him with the longer hair and the goatee (Google him). The way he looks in Hotel Babylon (another show he worked on) isn't as attractive. Anyway, enjoy! I am.

BTW, that pic actually goes a lil' bit lower. ;)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chocolate: See's


Good things come in threes. Number two is this one pound box of chocolates I've gotten my hands on. See's Assorted Chocolates (That's what my box looks like on the left). I rarely get one. So happiness! Although See's Candies sells a variety of chocolates including peppermints, truffles, and fudge, if I'm in the vicinity of See's it's usually a box of soft centers, nut & chews, or the assortment.

There are 20+ different chocolates in the assorted box. I particularly like the marshmallow with caramel, chocolate covered almonds, the chocolate buttercream filled, and the chewy almond with chocolate bottom. I dislike the walnuts (chewy or nut cream), the bordeaux, and the rum filled. I generally like their chocolates.

What I don't like is not knowing what's in them without the bite. I don't get them often enough to remember the pattern. I'll bite into a nasty rum and spit it back out (I know, eeeww! Right?) So if I have a gripe it's about not having a "key" for determining the chocolate I'm biting into. If you'd like to look at the different chocolates, click on Custom Mix. You'll get to see each piece.

Anyway, I have chocolate to eat.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Books: Child Behavior

I consider myself very lucky. My kids are pretty good and well behaved. What I mean is: no tantrums in public places ever, do what they are told 95% of the time, polite and respectful in others' homes (no running, screaming or jumping on furniture), rarely talk back to me, and have good grades in school. I think it's because they know who is in charge of this household and it's not them.

I have seen children who are not well behaved. I don't just mean a temper tantrum from a stranger's child, I mean I see the same child every day for months or I've heard the parent complain about how their child behaves. While many times all it takes is for a phase to pass, sometimes I start to wonder what the child will be like when they get older.

I have a friend who was having a really hard time with her child. Temper tantrums, blatant refusal to follow directions, disrespect, and physically striking out at her any time she asked her child to do something that was within reason. She found a book, Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm by Dr. Beth Grosshans. Now my friend says she has a brand new child.

Her child is extremely bright and one of the things she noticed that she was doing was reasoning with the child as if the child was a peer. She made a list for me, because I was very interested, of the things she needed to remember when dealing with her child.

Over-explaining, reasoning, and negotiating
Apologizing too often
Seeking the child's permission and approval
Not owning parental decisions and directions
Manipulating with too many bribes and threats
Repeating the same diresction over and over
Blaming the child and looking to him/her for answers

Before I go on, let me point out that I have not read this book. I don't want anyone thinking I endorse it. With one friend who has changed her life and another who wants to, I thought it warranted a little consideration in one blog post.

I read the reviews for the book and out of 29, 4 were very negative. But I found that the people who didn't like the book complained that it was too controlling. They believed Grosshans' methods did not allow for child freedom. First, why are they reading the book? They are obviously having issues with their children as a result of how they are raising them now. If they aren't open to the idea that there is something wrong with the way they are handling things then why bother to look for a better way. Second, the people in need of this book are those who give their children too much freedom. Again, it's a discipline book on behavior, not a book on self-esteem.

I think the list is on target. When one has a bright child, there is a tendency to treat the child as if he/she is an equal. The child seems to understand so much about daily life. But I think parents forget that the child IS a child and not an adult. As such, the child does not deserve all the rights and privileges an adult has.

Of course one book cannot be a panecia for misbehaving children. There are other books out there. One, 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Whelan, Ph.D., has some of the same philosophies as the book above(child not in charge). Again, I have not read his book, but one of his others (there is 1-2-3 Magic for Kids, 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers, 1-2-3 Magic for Christian Parents,...).

The point of this post? I just see too many out of control kids, and I worry about how they will turn out later without intervention of some kind. I just want people to remember that books are great resources. Rather than buy one, check one out from the library (It's summer reading program time!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

TV: Pushing Daisies 2

Three missing episodes are being aired. One has already shown on May 30. The other two are slated for June 6 & 13. We're happy because we get to see a little more of our poor cancelled show, but we're unhappy that three is all we get. And we really don't get to see a conclusion.

Monday, June 1, 2009


There will be several of them that I have to overcome this month. One, I have a major project due at work. I'm going to be working my tail off, which I think will sue me for vacation time. Second, I'm going on a trip. I stress about these things, but I'm hoping that everything will go smoothly. Let's not get into all the reasons I stress over travel. Focusing on the good, I'm planning to look into my genealogy as I'll be in my hometown. Third and finally, I absolutely have to tackle the mountain of crud that's taken over my home. It seems like I did nothing last summer, and I can no longer take it.

Deep breath. One mountain at a time.