Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

It's Halloween and I'm definitely excited. I don't know why I love this holiday so much. I was talking to a good friend from Taiwan yesterday and she described Halloween as "weird." Well, yes, it is kind of weird. But only if weird equals awesome, right?

I mean, when else do you get to sit next to someone dressed as Where's Waldo? all day? (As seen below - he knew I was taking his picture even though it doesn't look that way, for the record.) When else does your office dog dress up as a pirate? (Not pictured due to the fact that he's in the Witness Relocation program.) When else do you get to eat tons of treats almost guilt free?

Here's a little Halloween mosaic to get you in the Halloween spirit. In this mosaic are some Halloween scenes from the last couple weeks, including two of my costumes (a rag doll and Professor Trewlawny), scenes from Bone Heads, the spooky restaurant we went to Friday night (it was awesome), and more.

Are you dressed up today? Are your kids? What are you/they dressed up as?

And lastly, a spooky song from 30 Rock that I've had in my head all morning (the video quality is crap-ola, but the audio is fine)! While flipping through radio stations this morning I heard that one local Detroit station has already gone all Christmas music. Um, wait one more day, how about!?

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Recipe for Halloween Spirit

It has come to my attention that not everyone loves Halloween. Some people can't wait for it to be over, in fact. I don't know why anyone would hate Halloween. Maybe they had a traumatic childhood experience? Maybe they don't like being scared? Maybe they are allergic to Halloween candy? Maybe a witch stabbed them with her broom? Maybe Frankenstein won't take the hint? Whatever the reason, I'm going to try to cure you Halloween Grinches of your Grinchy-ness.

Here are Elizabeth tips for getting into the Halloween spirit!

1. Buy a bag of candy corn. Eat 5-10 candy corns per day leading up to Halloween - no more than that in one sitting or you will turn against Halloween forever.

2. Listen to a Halloween playlist. I made one for you, in fact! Listen to this while you read the rest of the list.

3. Choose a Halloween destination. Not necessarily a haunted house, because if you don't like being scared, that will only make your resentment grow. Next thing you know, you're punching the guy in the mask with the chainsaw and there's no way that's ending well. But I digress. Choose a fun destination to get in the spirit. Last year a couple days before Halloween, I went with a few friends to Hell, Michigan which was perfect. This year I've been to the Greenfield Village Halloween nights, a haunted corn maze, and tonight I'm going to a restaurant called Bone Heads that's reputed to be haunted... I'll let you know if I hear any chains rattling. These destinations put you in that spooky Halloween spirit. Don't hide from it!

4. Take a plastic bag, or better yet, a pillowcase, and stuff it with 10 of each of the following: Smarties, Tootsie Rolls, Snickers, Reeses, Dum Dums, pennies, one toothbrush, and a handful of some kind of gross pink gum. Now shake it all up, open the bag and take a big smell. That's the smell of Halloween night.

5. Acknowledge the pumpkin. I don't care how you do this. You can carve one, you can buy a pumpkin scented candle, you can make a pumpkin recipe, you can go to a pumpkin patch, whatever works for you. But you must acknowledge it or you're not truly trying to get into the spirit.

6. Watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Or Hocus Pocus, or any other Halloween movie that puts you in a state of nostalgia reminding you of all those wonderful childhood memories. Unless you're suffering from a childhood Halloween trauma, in which case, do not do this one!

7. Read a scary story or book. This month we read some Edgar Allan Poe short stories in my book club. Very spooky stuff, and very fun to read. I brought eye themed candies since Poe was obsessed with the scariness of eyes. (I'd recommend The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and The Masque of the Red Death to start.)

8. Put up some kind of Halloween decoration - I don't care what it is. A spider web, a fake skull (I felt like I needed to say "fake" just in case), a pumpkin, etc. Just do it.

9. Every night before going to sleep, quietly recite to yourself, "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat."

10. If you hate dressing up, but people put tons of pressure on you to do so, just put on some cat ears and call it a day. That'll shut 'em up.

Any other tips, Halloween lovers? And to you Halloween Grinches, let me know if any of these tips work!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Halloween! Love, TV

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the holiday episodes of my favorite tv shows. I almost feel like I should be embarrassed to admit that, but I'm not. Halloween is an especially fun time for holiday episodes, but this week some of my shows have betrayed me with reruns. Not cool. So here's a look back at some Halloween episodes of some of my favorite shows.

1. Parks and Rec, 2. Modern Family, 3. Happy Endings, 4. Full House 5. The Office, 6. Friends, 7. Community, 8. Raising Hope 9. How I Met Your Mother

Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

Today I'm going to share with you some random facts about me.

Shows I've watched all available seasons of on Hulu (that are not currently on tv):
Major Dad
Mary Tyler Moore

I think it's completely inhumane to expect anyone to wear pajama pants (or any kind of pants) to bed. They get all tangled and hot and twisted. I will never wear them! Never! Not even for naps.

When playing Monopoly, I like to be the iron. If I can't be the iron, I'll be the battleship. What playing piece do you choose? I'm curious. The options, besides the two I already mentioned are: car, horse, shoe, top hat, thimble, wheelbarrow, and cannon. Unless you're playing a different version of Monopoly, of course.

Which is your favorite? (I am going to evaluate you psychologically based on your choice.)

I get really annoyed when movies have aliens in them. I'm not interested in aliens in the slightest. They're not scary, they're not interesting, they're just silly. I'll still see movies with aliens in them because I'm a team player, but I will roll my eyes when an alien comes on screen. I'm not saying I don't believe in aliens, I'm just saying I think they're boring and most likely inaccurately portrayed.

I think Kleenex is superior to Puffs.

My top five vacation destinations in the US are:
The Grand Canyon
Alaska, to see the northern lights
Hawaii, to relive the Brady Bunch vacation
The Redwood forest
Wherever you live (of course)

Sidenote: the northern lights were visible the other night in the part of Michigan where I live, but no one informed me and I slept right through it. Heartbreaking, isn't it? I'm not over it yet.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Apples, Pumpkins, and Halloween

I've mentioned on here before that I consider October weekends very valuable. This weekend was no exception. Considering I was sick all of last week, I may have over done it this weekend but it had to be done - October weekends are too precious to waste! Here's a quick run down of some of the awesome things I did this weekend followed by an overwhelmingly large mosaic. There will be a quiz later.

1. I went to a Hallwe'en nights celebration at Greenfield Village. My friends and I went dressed as rag dolls. I don't even know where to begin in talking about how fun this evening was. We watched a story teller recite the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, we walked through Sleepy Hollow itself, we saw a headless horseman, we walked through a haunted covered bridge, we had our fortunes told by a fake fortune teller (my fortune was that someone from my past will come to visit me), we drank hot chocolate, watched ghostly holograms float across buildings, and wondered if Halloween was always this cold, or if we just didn't care when we were kids.

2. I went to a friend's birthday party which has nothing to do with the "fall" theme but is important anyway. Happy birthday, Janice!

3. I canned apple sauce with my family and played outside with my nieces. This is definitely one of my favorite fall activities. I love spending time with my family, and we have so much fun doing getting together in October to do the canning. Also, I got to see the chickens again which always amuses me. Some of my friends have accused me of being obsessed with chickens but, um, hasn't anyone else noticed that they're hilarious!?

4. I went to a cider mill with some friends. The weather was perfect - sunny but crisp. And the cider and doughnuts were divine. But side note: why do bees and cider mills go together so well? We need to figure out a way to break them up.

5. I went to a super fun Halloween party where we watched "Wait Until Dark" - a very suspenseful classic! Highly recommend! We also ate about a million calories apiece at this party, keeping with the Halloween theme.

6. I helped carve a group pumpkin. At one point six hands were working on the same pumpkin. Surprisingly, it turned out great. And we won the competition. Some people reading this who were there tonight are probably thinking, "what competition? There was no competition!" Well in our minds, there was. And we won. Your pumpkin was fine though, don't get me wrong.

Did you do anything particularly "fall-ish" this weekend?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Great Lakes State

Whenever I travel, I almost always pick up postcards from the towns or cities I'm visiting. The problem is, I never send them. But that doesn't stop me from buying them. Yesterday I saw a picture of a vintage Michigan postcard and it left me wanting more. I decided to do a little search on ye olde internet and found some fun ones. I thought I'd share some with you. Some are old, some are new. But they all look old, and that's what matters. Hope you enjoy. (And I really do wish you were here. [Well, most of you.])

Love this.

Why does Marquette looks scary and ominous in this postcard?? I never
want to go there now!! And no, I won't calm down!


I don't like this one because Michigan looks weird.
Like an amoeba.
Trying not to think about how this was probably done from the perspective of
someone in Windsor.

 Durand, Michigan? That's not a real place. I've never heard
of it in my life. But if it is real, it deserves a shout out.

Ok, I don't think this counts as a real postcard but I stumbled upon it
and I have to complain because the idea that a chicken would invite people
to come inside to eat chicken is just ridiculous. I don't believe it for a second! Unless the chicken is making something else, like corn. Then, maybe.

My favorite, of course. The town and beach house that I love,
love, love!
Which is your favorite??

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

Well, it's a good thing I decided to stop blogging every day as of last week since I've been too sick since Saturday to come up with anything original to say. I went back to work today but for four days before that I was in bed almost nonstop so my blog posts would have been something like,

"Sleeping a lot, thank you Nyquil. Went through two boxes of Kleenex. Watched an entire season of Mad Men. Slept more. Coughing a lot. Need more Tylenol. Bored. Entertain me?"

But today I went back to normal life again. And I'm not going to talk more about being sick because being sick makes me so mad! It's frustrating when your body betrays you.

Anyway, back to Wednesday Thoughts (it is Wednesday, isn't it?)

1. I miss Gilmore Girls on ABC Family. I used to watch it every day after work. Now it's been replaced with That 70's Show. Who even likes that show?! Honestly!! It's not funny. I don't know how many times I have to say that. Searching for an alternative to watch after work today, I turned to the local news and found myself very amused by a newscaster who was apparently following a slow tele-prompter. I mean, unless she intended to talk like this:

"She's a mother of two.
Children, who just bought a new vehicle."

"The new center represents equality for all.
People. And opens today."

2. I don't know if people outside of Michigan or Ohio know this, but Michigan and Ohio resent each other a lot. I was going to say we're enemies but that's not exactly true. But there's definitely animosity, especially when it comes to sports. Why is this? I don't know. Maybe it goes all the way back to the Michigan/Ohio war that ended with us giving them Toledo in exchange for the Upper Peninsula. Maybe they're mad because they want the U.P. back. Tough luck, suckers!!! Either way, there's tension.

Anyway, I'm not sure if you guys have all heard about this or not, but it's been on the news that some guy in Ohio was a collector of exotic animals. He had over 50 of them, most of them pretty dangerous (tigers, lions, baboons, bears, and a monkey with an infection). Yesterday he committed suicide then released all of them. Or rather, the other way around. Police have been hunting down the animals, and killing them (there's still a few on the loose, including the infected monkey). Today on my home from work, I was listening to the radio and the DJ said, "This guy was allowed to keep that many exotic pets and I'm not even allowed to have a dog bigger than 30 lbs in my apartment!? Ohio!!"

The fact that he ended his diatribe with somehow making the problem "Ohio" made me laugh. Though for the record, I think Ohio's pretty ok. I like how it's round on the ends and hi(gh) in the middle.

3. Every year I blog about (and think about, and talk about) costume ideas for Halloween, but I almost always end up being super lame and not dressing up at all. Or being a witch, my ultimate cop-out costume. This year things are looking up, with the help of a group costume idea (which will be revealed later). But I think secretly I don't like dressing up. I always thought I did. It's strange when I make these realizations about myself. Do you like dressing up for Halloween?

Happy Wednesday.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some things making me happy this weekend

(Random corn maze picture)
What had been a lingering cold the past couple weeks turned into full blown sinusitis this weekend. As you can imagine, I'm thrilled about this. But I can't complain too much because there have still been some things making me happy this weekend. Here are some of those things:

1. I went to a haunted corn maze with some friends. Before going in, we stood outside the corn maze, putting our scarves on and getting our tickets out (yay, Groupon!), and we got nervous. All we could hear from inside the corn was screaming and chainsaws. We started second guessing ourselves. The guys especially. I think they were worried about not looking manly or something. My friend and I were teasing them, that as women, we were supposed to be the scared ones, not them! But when we got inside, they were fine. My friend and I, on the other hand, were not! To make matters worse, one of the guys told one of the monsters my name, so behind me in the corn I heard a creepy voice saying, "Ellliiiiiizzzzzaaaabbbbeeeettthhh" over and over. No me gusta.

Back in the car, safe and sound, I was given the "most touchy feely award," or something like that. As if they didn't like it!! I'm just glad I survived.

2. We watched Watcher in the Woods afterward. Still scary after all these years! If you haven't seen it, you should. Just don't watch the alternate ending unless you want to undo all your spooky feelings. It's ridiculous.

3. Cool Touch Kleenex. Have you guys tried this? I don't know if I'd use it on a daily basis, but when I'm sick - wow. It's really nice. I'm in that stage of the illness where I keep flipping my pillow over looking for a cooler part to rest my head, so this Kleenex is rocking my world. How does it stay so cool? I don't know, and I'm trying not to think about it too hard.

4. This video staring Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers, talking a little about his spiritual journey, and his religious beliefs. He's a Mormon, and so am I. This isn't something I typically talk about so much (though I'm very active in my church), but with the political situation here in the States, there has been a lot of political debate about what Mormons believe and who we are. Instead of letting other people make proclamations about that, we feel the need to say for ourselves who we are, and what we believe to be true. This video isn't at all preachy, just sincere. I liked it and thought I'd post it in case any of you were interested. Don't worry friends, I won't be any more in your face about my religious beliefs than I ever have been, but I might be sharing a bit more of this type of thing on my blog and I'm always willing to answer questions.

How has your weekend been? I'm laying in bed with nothing to do, so I'd love some updates!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More on Autumn

I know you probably get tired of my reflections on fall, but it's just blowing my mind with its beauty right now. Sometimes as I'm walking down the street I'm almost overwhelmed with how pretty the trees, and consequently, the sidewalks, are! The leaves are getting to full color right now. It's gorgeous.  Like a fairy tale.

Today I raked some leaves, bought some pumpkins and some bulbs, and listened to the geese fly south. It reminded me of a poem and I wanted to share it with you guys, followed by some pictures I've taken recently. If you're not into poetry, don't worry, this is the first time I've shared a poem on here and it probably won't happen much more!

Something told the wild geese
by Rachel Field

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered - "Snow."
Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster glossed,
But beneath warm feathers,
Something cautioned - "Frost."
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly, -
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

I had to take my car to the shop yesterday. What's wrong with it, you ask? Well, it's making "a sound." What kind of sound? I dunno. Something like a rruuuurrring or a fast chchchchchchcch, or maybe more of a tststststststst, or like something's loose, or just....something's different than how it normally sounds.

That's the answer I gave the mechanic when he asked yesterday. He repeated the sounds I'd made back to me, but changed them a little bit, rolling his r's more, and giving them a bit more umph. In general, making more the types of sounds little boys make when playing with matchbox cars: "t-t-t-t-t," "bbbbzzzzzz," and "krrrkrrrkrrrkrr." Talking about the sound your car is making is the only time English turns into an African click language.

On one of my favorite national public radio programs, "Car Talk," people call in and tell their car problems to the hosts, Tom and Ray Magliozzi. Tom and Ray ask questions to try to determine the source of the problem, and one of their main questions is, "what sound is it making?" They love to make people make embarrassing noises on the radio. I understand the purpose of it for diagnostic reasons, but I still find it very embarrassing to do myself.

I wish that taking your car to the shop was more like getting an eye exam, where you could listen to two pre-recorded sounds at a time, and say, "number one.... no wait, number two." Then listen to two more sounds and eventually get it narrowed down to just the right sound, without having to make a "rurring" or "t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t" sound yourself.

Instead we have to go in and make embarrassing sounds, then clarify those sounds even more - it's less of a "ka-dink, and more of a "ka-donk." Maybe next time I go in, I'll bring a matchbox car for inspiration and channel my inner four year old. Or better yet, bring a four year old with me to do the sounds for me.

Anyway, I picked up my car from the mechanic tonight. He couldn't find anything wrong with it. He did however hear another sound though, and it sounds something like this: "Tszzz-Tszzz." He said I should listen for it...

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spooky Time

Yesterday I made an exciting purchase on Amazon - I ordered one of my favorite childhood scary movies: Watcher in the Woods (trailer). In looking for images from that movie for this post, I got scared and had to stop for a bit. This movie, meant for children, still gives me the creeps. In the elementary school I went to, we were shown Watcher in the Woods as part of the curriculum in fifth grade. Ok, maybe it wasn't part of the official curriculum. It was just something the teachers did every year around Halloween for us older kids. It was a right of passage for us into the realm of scary movies.

One of my sisters, who shall remain nameless because I haven't asked her permission to tell this story, was a very obedient child. She was (and still is) several years younger than my brother and I, who are only a year apart in age. When my brother's turn came to watch this movie in school, he became as big a fan as I, and we rented it to watch at home with some friends. My younger sisters were told they were too young to watch it at that time. So my sister got it into her head that she was never allowed to watch it, and even told her fifth grade teacher, several years later, that she wasn't allowed to watch the movie. She was sent into the reading room for the duration of the movie.  This year I gave her permission to watch it so she's about to experience the scare of her life.

Each year around this time, I blog about some of the spooky movies I'm going to watch leading up to Halloween. Am I the only one who has a list of movies to get through in the month leading up to Halloween? That makes it sound like a chore, which it definitely isn't. I love watching these movies. I'll admit that none of them are overly scary - most of them fit more in the "family friendly" category because that's how I roll. (I'm a wimp.) This year, besides Watcher in the Woods, my list includes all my standards: The Changeling (still scares me), Hocus Pocus (confession, I already watched it in September), Ghost Busters (I also watched Ghost Busters 2 last year and it was funnier than I remembered), and maybe something like the Skeleton Key or The Sixth Sense.

Any recommendations for a semi-chicken like me for Halloween movies? What are some of your standards?

Monday, October 10, 2011

End of Post a Day

I've been writing a post a day for about six or seven weeks now, but sadly, that is coming to an end today. I will still probably write a lot - you may not even notice much of a difference - but I will not be writing every day anymore. My life is busy and it's hard to write something interesting every day. I'd rather write slightly less frequently and have better quality. (By which I mean more Prancing Leo, of course.)

Today I have a question for you. I love taking pictures. (That's not the question.) I'm not aspiring to be a photographer per se, I just want to take more quality pictures which means I need a new camera. I take about 99.9% of my pictures with my iPhone, and it does take good pictures, but I mean, it's a phone. I do have a camera but it takes worse pictures than my phone. So I'm going to start saving up to get a decent camera.

What would you shutter-bugs recommend? What's the best camera I could get for the best deal? I'd really appreciate your tips!

Some of my phone pictures

Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Update

I had a great post written in my mind today. Then I fell asleep this evening and now it's late and it will have to wait. But I will tell you one thing: remember "The Smell" (scroll down to see original post by the same name) in my car? Well, I found out what it was. After some pretty impressive sleuthing this weekend, I found a bag of bananas wedged in the back of my hatch. They were from ONE MONTH AGO! So I use the word "bananas" loosely. They are now some kind of gross liquid type nastiness with a smell unrivaled by most bad smells.

I took them with me on my trip to Chicago in an effort to eat healthy, and they destroyed me as a payback for eating junk food instead. The good news is that they are now out of my car.

The bad news is this is all I'm going to post tonight.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Bucks

October is such an awesome month, and October weekends feel like valuable currency that you'll lose if you don't spend them by the end of the month. Nothing against November, but it's no October. October has so much to offer that just the other day, after looking at the calendar I said to someone, "I'm freaking out because I want to make sure I don't waste any of this month!"

So far this season, I have spent my October bucks on hosting a bonfire, admiring the trees, going to a pumpkin patch, eating caramel apples, watching football games, going to a cider mill, making spiced hot apple cider, watching a couple scary movies, eating almost an entire bag of candy corns, and walking along crunchy leaf-y sidewalks (the leaves are crunchy, not the sidewalk).

Today I went to Greenfield Village to see the fall colors there. As I've mentioned on here before, Greenfield Village is a historic village in Dearborn, Michigan. It's one of my favorite places to visit. My mom and I went today, and had a blast. We even rode the train, which I haven't done since I was a kid. I couldn't help but take pictures all day of course and here are some that captured some of the beautiful fall colors.

Magical, and totally worth the money. What are you spending your October bucks on?

Friday, October 7, 2011


I know I've said this before, but October is truly the prettiest month of the year (at least, in Michigan, that is). The leaves haven't all changed yet, but they've started to. Have any of you gone "leaf peeping" before? "Peeping" has such a negative connotation, like you're leering through your window curtains with binoculars staring at the leaves without them knowing it, watching them change (colors).

I've never gone on any special drives to go leaf peeping, but I like the idea and I'm kind of thinking about maybe trying it out this month! Any tips? Driving a car to do this seems like a bad idea because the driver shouldn't be distracted, and plus, you're going too fast to really enjoy the leaves (at least, the way I drive). Walking seems to slow, roller skates are out of the question and a tandem bike seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe a rickshaw?

Anyway, though I haven't done any official "peeping" this season, I've seen some pretty leaves, as pictured here. Every day I like to see which trees in the neighborhood have started changing. The bright red leaves are my favorite, but I also love the ones that are a myriad of colors - seemingly unable to land on just one. They're all pretty though, really. Do you have a favorite?

I hope you're enjoying fall as much as I am. Peeping or not.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts (by which, I mean Thursday)

My Wednesday Thoughts* are going to be brief tonight. I'm watching the Tigers/Yankees game while also baking some delicious treats for tomorrow night's bonfire so I'm a little distracted. This game is killing me! Are any of you watching it? And does it annoy anyone else how they keep walking Cabrera!?! Ugh!

Did you guys know that two of my favorite things are connected?? That's right, Magnum PI (my celebrity crush) and the Detroit Tigers!

My loves

I get so tense when I watch the Tigers. Good thing I don't get excited about too many other sports (unless the Pistons or Red Wings are doing well). I'm so tense I keep turning the channel when things get too close but then immediately turn it back - it's almost exactly like watching a scary movie through my fingers. I'm still seeing everything, but I feel safer.

But anyway, I guess I do have some other thoughts:

1. I really hope the national news gets to the bottom of "fart-gate" on Dancing with the Stars. I don't watch the show, but I heard all about it (including audio) on the radio the next morning. In case you guys don't know, Nancy Grace was being interviewed after her performance on that night's episode and someone "let one go." Everyone's accusing her of it, but I don't believe that for one minute because women don't fart. We're too dainty.

2. I can't believe I used the "f" word just now. It'll never happen again on this blog. (I'm pretty sure.)

3. I got hit on at the gas station tonight! I'm too embarrassed to tell you any details. Let's just say it was both flattering, and I was glad when it was over.

4. I'm finally getting my hair done on Saturday, so I'll be presentable again. No one look at me until then!!! (See you all tomorrow!)

*Guess what? Today isn't Wednesday. It's Thursday. I've been off on my days all week so I thought it'd be funny just to leave this up. It was a geniune mistake.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I have good news and bad news today. Which should I start with? The bad news? Yes, let's get that out of the way first. And since no one wants to hear a bunch of bad news, I'll just quickly make a word cloud with my complaints today. Then I'll move on.

More stuff is annoying me than this but this is a start.

Making me happy today:

Trololo. I hadn't heard it in a long time so I listened a couple times this week. It's so much better than I remember it. Especially the low notes!

♥ This blog: Espresso and Cream. It is the cutest blog with the most delicious recipes!

♥ Speaking of that blog, I got the most wonderful cookie recipe from it for peanut butter and white chocolate chip cookies. You guys, I'm not cookie rookie. I come from a long line of cookie bakers and I've been baking since I was two* so I know what I'm talking about.* But these cookies.... These cookies. Delicious. I'm a huge fan (and if I keep making them, will literally be a huge fan). Here's a link. Try them! They're amazing. For those of you coming to my bonfire on Friday, I will have some there.

♥ This sign is making me happy. I saw it while on a walk recently. It's so good.

♥ The weather this week. Mid-high 70's and sunshiny? What more could I ask for?

What's making you happy this week?

*An obvious fabrication. But I think I made my point.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Smell

Around the middle of last week, I noticed a strange smell in my car - it smelled like vinegar. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from! I searched under the seats and in the hatch and couldn't find the source. Google searches were inconclusive as well.

So I asked my friend Vaughn, who knows a lot about cars, and he gave me some ideas of what it could be. One of his ideas was that I could have a lot of fermenting leaves under my hood, creating a leaf brewery. On Saturday, I took my car to the spray wash and saw that that was indeed the case. So I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed until they were all gone. Over the weekend the smell lingered, but decreased in power.

However. Yesterday (Monday) morning I bought a bag of cumin from a spice store and left it in my car all day when I was at work. Throughout the day the cumin and vinegar met, fell in love, and mated. The moment I sat down in my car after work, I was assaulted with the powerful odor of their offspring. Opening the windows wasn't working fast enough, so I did the only thing I could think to do: spray the car down with the vanilla and lavender scented Febreze I keep in the back of the car.

Little did I know that was a bad idea. The three smells turned into a force not to be reckoned with.

So, yeah. Smell wise, it's been a rough week. Keeping my sunroof cracked all day has helped but I don't know how long it will take for the smell to be gone completely. Should I just sell the car?

Monday, October 3, 2011


I had to pick up a prescription tonight but didn't feel like going into the pharmacy since I was feeling a little grungy after working out. So I drove up through the drive through window and had the following conversation with the pharmacist working there:

Pharmacist (with a thick accent): "What's your name?"
Me (knowing that they usually want your last name first): "Downie"
Pharmacist: "Repeat that?"
Me: "Downie."
Pharmacist (misunderstanding): "Kevin?"
Me (out loud): "Downie," in my head though, after I had a brain-splotion, my thoughts were, "I mean, my hair is in a pony tail, but is my hair the only thing stopping me from looking like a Kevin!? Should I be wearing more makeup!? Should I shave my beard??"*

I'm traumatized.

*Upon further inspection, I don't have a beard. I don't know what that guy's problem was. And nobody call me Kevin!


Every Monday is my New Year's Day. Each Monday morning I think, "this week I'm sticking to my diet, getting to bed early, exercising one hour every evening, organizing that corner in my bedroom, and realizing my life dreams."

So far I haven't followed through with this ('cept the part about realizing my life dreams, but that was the easiest one). This morning I woke up, thought it was Sunday, got really excited and went back to bed. A little bit later I realized it was Monday, and groggily dragged myself to work. Pretty sure this is my week. I'll keep you updated.

But until then, I have a few questions for you guys today:

1. What do you think about Groupon? I was talking about this with a friend this morning, and he is skeptical about whether or not you're actually getting a good deal with it. I have only used it once - to buy passes to a haunted corn maze this year - but for me, that was a good deal since it was something I was going to buy anyway. I think it's probably not a good deal if it's not something you were going to get otherwise. Have any of you guys gotten amazing deals from it? Are you believers in Groupon?

2.  Are you all Halloween fans? I read a blog post today where the person said she doesn't like Halloween (and listed costumes, candy, and haunted houses as reasons why)! I just assume that most people love Halloween! My world has been turned upside down. You guys like it, right? I'll put a poll up to make it easier to weigh in. (This is a very important vote.)

3. Greenfield Village is one of my favorite places to visit. It's a historical village near Detroit that was set up by Henry Ford and features historical buildings, reenactors, olde timey baseball (my favorite), and a lot more. I've been looking forward to going to their Halloween celebration for awhile now, so today I went to their website to get my tickets.

On the website is a description of the event:

Step back in time to a turn-of-the-20th century Hallowe’en. Follow an endless path of hand-carved jack-o-lanterns and meet colorful characters along the way. Feel the whoosh as the headless horseman rides by, banter with a clever witch, and make stops at several treat stations spread throughout Greenfield Village. It’s frightfully fun for the whole family!

Sounds kinda cool, right? I picture it being dark, chilly, atmospheric. But then I made the mistake of watching the video they have up on their website. If it's anything like this video, I'll be way more scared than I would be if I saw the actual headless horseman. Watch at your own peril.

I'm unable to embed it here for some reason, so click here to see it. The really scary thing? I've watched it twice!! What is wrong with me??

K, time to get back to kicking Monday's boot-ay (using all my willpower not to pull this super warm fleece blanket over me and calling it a night)!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I had a dream last night that I wrote a hilarious blog post. I made special pictures that went along with it perfectly and everyone was laughing their heads off. Sadly, I remembered nothing about the content of the blog post when I woke up.

Since I can't remember the dream blog, I'm going to instead tell you about my real weekend, which was SUPER rock-n-roll!!!!! In fact, it's practically not appropriate for a family blog (which this isn't, but if it were... I'd get complaints).

1. I bought a pumpkin from a certified pumpkin patch. I felt like I was straight out of a Charlie Brown Halloween. Which I happened to watch that night, come to think of it. :)

2. I scrap booked with my dear friend who I adore. Later in the evening she hypnotized me with this game piece. It was just like when Kaa tried to hypnotize Mowgli in the Jungle Book. And equally effective.

3. I went to my 7 year old niece's birthday party. She had a Strawberry Shortcake cake. So jealous!

4. We danced to Justin Bieber, or as all kids seem to call him, "Justin Beaver."

5. A chicken approached me.

6. I watched General Conference with my family today (my new cousin, Dana, is pictured here). General Conference weekends are the best, aren't they? For those of you who are not LDS (Mormon), this a conference which is broadcast all over the world twice a year (spring and fall) in which the church leaders, including the prophet, speak. It's something we look forward to!

Not pictured:
I baked and cooked. A lot. I made some chicken chili, some tomato soup, and those chocolate peanut butter thingies! They were all divine.  
The Lions won, and are now 4-0. Can you even believe that sentence!?!?
I slept 12 hours one night. Try not to hate me for that. Now that it's fall, we're in the best, coziest sleeping weather!

This was one of my most low-key weekends in a long time and I've loved it. How was your weekend?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Now that it's October...

...Here are some of the Halloween projects I want to do from Pinterest!

Candy Corn Pudding! (Link)

Monster Cake! Someone please give me an excuse to make this!!

Candy Bar Mummies
Does it say something about me that these actually scare
me a little  bit?
I am so excited that it's October, the best month of the year! The colors, the coziness, not to mention the best holiday, Halloween! Well, I guess if I really thought about it, in my opinion, Halloween is tied with Christmas. But it's really close tie. What's your favorite holiday?