Rock out

You may notice that I have been experimenting with the blog again. To the left I added an MP3 player with some tunes on it that I happen to be fond of.

I know that many of you read the blog from work and so you may panic when you come here and the music starts up - getting you bloggy busted by your boss or co-workers. Worry not, you can still check out the blog without getting caught. There is a pause button on the bottom of the MP3 dial. You could also, of course, turn down the speakers on your computer. Also, there are skip forward and back buttons if you want to go to the next song or the previous one.

In the meantime, have fun rockin' out to my tunes.

Organ Donor

After watching a television commercial for organ donation, this conversation ensued:

Tarable: Just so you know, when I die, I want to be an organ donor. Remember that ok?

Steve: Yeah, ok.

Tarable: What about you? Do you want to be an organ donor?

Steve: (after some thought) Yeah... There could be some porn star out there that needs my parts.

T.I.L.T.: Things I Love Thursday

Feeling a little... bleh... So I only love two things today.

Goats Milk Soap~ This soap has such a fantastic, clean smell. It makes the bathroom even smell nice. I find it moisturizing and feels great on my skin. Not to mention it makes my skin smell great. I have only used the soap but this company also has a line of bath products that I plan on experimenting with.

New handbag ~ This super-funky handbag was handmade just for ME! It was delivered to my house earlier this week and came all the way from a very special person in Ontario. This person has always been very dear to me and has been one of my biggest advocates from the day I was born. Opening up the package that this handbag came in (wrapped in brown paper - how awesome is that?) brought me back to when I was little when she used to send me packages throughout the year for birthdays, Christmas, etc. It was always so exciting to tear into those packages to see what she had sent (always, always, always hand made). It made me feel like I was 8 again - which I also love.

It's a sickness

I can't help but do it.

I do it every time there is a holiday that costumes can be worn.

I do it and then I drive down the freeway and watch people's reactions.

And I laugh and I laugh and I laugh....

Happy Easter

T.I.L.T.: Things I Love Thursday

New Oster Blender - My "fancy" Krups blender crapped out on me a few weeks ago mid-smoothie-making and bled milk and strawberries and half blended bananas all over my counter. Being addicted to strawberry/banana smoothies, I needed to replace it ASAP. I decided to go with Oster as they seem to have been around the blender business for a lot of years and have all metal working parts - as opposed to plastic which is what the inner workings of the Krups (and most blenders these days) is made of. I love the Oster blender as it does a better job of making my smoothies than the Krups ever did. Also note that I love strawberry-banana-pineapple smoothies with a dribble of coconut extract (or Malibu rum if it happens to be after 11am). Yummy.

New Brooks Runners ~ I had to pull off the Great Shoe Heist of 2008 which was almost identical to the Great Shoe Heist of 2007 - because somebody didn't spend the time to properly fit my feet to the proper pair of shoes the first time - despite my complaints of the shoes feeling too tight and rubbing against my heels. So after bandaging up my blisters and picking the rocks out of the bottom of the pair of shoes that were so very wrong for me, and then scrubbing them with a toothbrush - I returned them to the store and got THESE gems. These shoes are PERFECT. The shoe-sales-person spent a good half hour with me to make sure I got the right pair. There is nothing better than a comfortable pair of running shoes that feel like they were constructed to fit your feet.

New Nine West Handbag ~ Those who know me well, know that I have a "problem" with purses/handbags. The problem being that I purchase them far too often. An addiction, shall we say?? However, I have been on the market for a new purse for quite some time now. I haven't had a new one in months.... no... wait... It's been over a year since I've purchased a NEW bag! I've been so deprived! My problem was that I just couldn't find one that I liked. Correction - I did see a few that I liked in the Coach store but spending $900 on a purse just seemed wrong - even to me. So I finally came across this little beauty and it is just perfect. I can carry it when I'm casual, OR when I'm fancy (although the fancy is few and far between these days).

New Phone ~ It's not an expensive one but it does replace my old phone which only lasted 10 minutes off the charger and had a tendancy to break into deafening static at any given time. This made for some very short conversations. This new phone also comes with another headset that I can plug in upstairs which prevents me from risking my life racing down the stairs to answer a call before the voicemail kicks in at 3 rings.

Unfortunately though, I can no longer use "What? Oh shit, I'm sorry - you're breaking up! I'm gonna have to let you go! Whatssat? I can't hear you. I'm hanging up now!"

This little face ~ Since this has been a bit of a materialistic T.I.L.T. and because I happened accross Stella at Nanette's Blog - I thought I would mention how much I love this little face when it is not begging for food, trying to rummage through the garbage, unplugging appliances from the wall, barking at herself in the mirror, escaping from the back yard or chewing holes in my blankets. Other than that, she's pretty cute and I adore her.

Ensuite - before and after

The excitement conintues...



Marathon read

I've finally finished reading Duma Key by Stephen King. *phew* This one was a marathon read.

I feel accomplished that I was able to finish it. I haven't read a book this long in a long time. Good thing it was fairly easy reading or I'm not sure I would have made it to the finish line. If you like Stephen King - as in Carrie, Rose Madder, Thinner.... then this is probably something you would enjoy.

And now I'm on to "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini, who is also the author of "The Kite Runner" which I loved. Immediately after reading the last page of The Kite Runner, I went online to research the author in hopes of finding other books that he had written. What I learned was that The Kite Runner was his first and only novel. So I've waited a while for A Thousand Splendid Suns - and so far, after reading about 20 pages or so, I am not dissapointed. It's going to be one of those books that I burn through because I can't put it down. I'm already finding excuses/opportunities to read - as opposed to reading when I've got spare time or just before I go to bed to make my eyes/mind tired.

So kudos to Stephen King who provided me some good, easy reading, spooky entertainment. I was pleased to find that he has gotten back to what he is good at, which is making the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It was also a refreshing change in genre that I need every once in a while.

More on A Thousand Splendid Suns at a later date.

T.I.L.T. : Things I love Thursday

* Getting a greeting card in the mail from a good friend whom I now live far away from - but with whom I spent much of my life with from the time I was about 5 up until about the time I moved away and got married. And the card was just so sweet and said some incredibly meaningful and thoughtful things which made me cry my eyes out. And then she wrote on the inside that she wishes she could go for a coffee with me but since she can't she wants me to have a coffee on her and included a $25 Starbucks gift card inside. I think that rocks. I guess when you've spent that time time with someone - maybe they sense when you need them, and I really love that.
Thanks Country Mouse.

* Dried Cranberry and Feta Salad. Coincidentally, I also love Papaya and Avocado Salad which comes from the same source which is Best of Bridge which I ALSO love. The Best of Bridge website is filled with lots of delicious (although NOT diet-friendly) recipes. I have made quite a few recipes from this website and am rarely, if ever, disappointed. I would love to own the Best of Bridge cookbooks but I do not have any at this time.

* "Slocks" - these are the fluffy, comfy items that you wear on your feet - they are a cross breed between slippers and socks. Thanks to my friend M for that one.

Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release Gelcaps. These little gems are my miracle workers. I have never had great success with any sort of pain reliever. But if anything is going to work for me - it will be these. Having been through a couple different medical situations where the only thing that was "safe" for me to take was Tylenol - these have brought me back from the abyss so many times. I'm not sure what exactly it is that makes them different from regular extra-strength Tylenol - besides the gelcap obviously disolving faster than regular Tylenol (which don't work worth a shit for me). I have a jumbo sized bottle of these at home which I picked up at Costco.

And yes, if you're wondering - they do start to work fairly rapidly.

Sushi. Oh how I LOVE sushi. It is my favorite food. But only sushi of good quality. You would never, ever catch me picking up a container of pre-made, pre-packaged sushi from the grocery store or a mall kiosk. I also would be very hesitant to eat sushi anywhere but in a coastal city. As the old saying goes, "If you can't see the ocean, don't eat the sushi." I particularly love sushi from my favorite sushi restaurant (which doesn't have a website so I can't link it here but I wouldn't want to anyways because I like to keep it my little secret).

Pretty Salad

Yes, it's a recipe post.

I'm sorry! I can't help it. Things are a little slow here in the Land of Tarable. At least I'm trying!

I made this salad on Saturday when my family came over to visit for dinner. I served it with the lasagna that my mom had made for me that I had stashed in my freezer and some deadly homemade, real-garlic bread.

I don't know if it was the remarkable salad or what - but a remarkable thing happened after dinner... my brother cleaned up the kitchen. I mean, he didn't just throw a couple of empties into an empty case and call it clean. I mean, he loaded the dishwasher, wiped down the counter and cleaned up my stove. He also asked for the broom and swept up. Anyone who knows him will know how truly remarkable this is. But if I'm going to be truly honest with myself I can't say that it was the salad that made him do it because as grown up as cleaning the kitchen is - he still doesn't eat veggies like a grown up and that means he didn't have any salad. But that's ok. All the more for me.

Pomegranate Dried Cranberry and Feta Salad

1 head Romain lettuce, washed and torn
1 bunch spinach, stems removed, torn
Seeds of 1 pomegranate 1/2 cup dried cranberries*
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

Toss lettuce and spinach together in a large salad bowl. Add pomegranate seeds dried cranberries, pine nuts and feta.Whisk dressing ingredients together and store in refrigerator. Toss with salad ingredients just before serving.

The salad is so pretty! The red and white on the green? I love it! And the taste? Delicious! I love it. Steve and were fighting over the leftovers.

*When I read this:

"break the pomegranate apart and pop the seeds out by hand. Wear an apron - the juice stains!"

I quickly realized that I would be using the suggested substitution of dried cranberries "in case pomegranates aren't available". Or... in case patience, time and an apron aren't available. Which they weren't. Or aren't. Ever.

The dried cranberries were perfect anyways.

TILT: Things I Love Thursday

Ok, let's see if I can summon up enough creativity to pull this off...

I got this idea from Comrade Gogo who took up the challenge from Gala Darling's site which to be honest, I didn't know much about until today and plan on doing more exploring there later.

Things I Love Thursday

I may or may not make this a recurring weekly thing, we'll see how I feel about it next Thursday. The idea is to compile a weekly list of the things that me happy or that I love or that I happen to be currently obsessed with.

So here goes:

* When a friend calls you at 2pm on game day saying she has two tickets to the Canucks game and asks if you want to go with her. That's the greatest. What a nice surprise and a great way to spend your Thursday evening! (Thanks Cara!)

* That Steve is somewhat "handy" and has been able to single handedly renovate our bathroom exactly the way I want it. Ok, well it's not quite finished yet, but the fact that I don't have to hire anyone is sweet. FYI - he's also put in our laminate flooring and my kitchen backsplash.

* Cadbury Thins with Almonds - on top of a Kellogs All Bran Bar - with a cup of Orange Pekoe Tea, not too hot.... Mmmmm....
I figure that since they're all kind of "diet" food, that it's ok to combine them all together for maxium enjoyment. Right?

* Body Shop's White Musk. I don't know, right now it's my thang. Not too much though, and not on my throat. I cannot have any perfume sprayed on my throat because then the smell just suffocates me and makes me feel sick.

* Beer at NHL hockey games that comes in a sippy cup. Really, they actually have lids on them now with sippy holes. Genious, I say! Because when your team scores (which is rare latey) and you get so excited that you jump into the air forgetting that you have a beer in your hand, the sippy lid prevents it from spilling down the back of the person sitting in front of you (who really should be jumping up and cheering also - which would prevent them from getting beer spilled down their back in the first place.)
This has been today's edition of T.I.L.T. Hope you enjoyed.

No One Cares What You Had For Lunch

I actually own the book, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch, 100 Ideas for Your Blog. I bought it way back when I first started my blog and was curious about interesting ideas to write about. I really didn't learn all that much from the book, but what I did learn is that nobody really does care what you had for lunch.

But in keeping with the theme of boring my readers to near death because I have nothing exciting to say and also because I had something for lunch that I was really impressed with... I'm about to tell you what I had for lunch today. And yesterday.

For the past two days I have eaten a Lean Cuisine "Grilled" Panini. And let me tell you my friends.... yum.

I had mixed feelings about buying and trying these because while I was curious about them since 'Big O' talked about them on her show, still I am not crazy about frozen meals or microwavable meals. So I was leary to actually take one out of the freezer and rely on it for being my lunch. Because I would have been pissed off if it was all I had for lunch and it turned out to be shit. Turns out it wasn't shit at all. It was really good.

I followed the package instructions and "grilled" the sandwich in the microwave on the grilling tray provided. The sandwich didn't come out exactly what I would call "grilled" but it was heated up and slightly toasty. I tried the Grilled Chicken Club and the Chicken, Spinach & Mushrooms and both of them took me to the Happy Sandwich Place. There was no shortage of filling in either sandwich, there was lots of chicken and surprisingly, there is plently of cheese. And the bread was man enough to hold the whole thing together without going soggy or floppy.

And if you care? They are only 5 or 6 WW points per sandwich (depending on which variety you choose). Unfortunately, they are also loaded with sodium so if you're sensitive to that, they might not be for you.

Now, if you try these sandwiches and expect to get a panini like something you might get at your favorite Italian deli, you are going to be very dissapointed. They're not that good. But they're pretty damn good for something you pull out of a box from your freezer.


Since I can't seem to settle on a topic to write about, I'm going to go with some small samples of the things that are going on in The Land of Tarable:

As I was shutting off lights last night and getting ready to go to bed, I looked around and realized that I had completely re-arranged the furniture in the downstairs area, overhauled the look of my blog, and the bathroom is currently in the midst of fairly major renovations. I also spent the day batting around the idea of coloring my hair back to dark brown/black.

Without even realizing it until bedtime, apparently I was/am in need of some change!

I recently watched the movie "The Brave One". Had I not spent $4.99 on pay per view to watch it, I would have shut it off after about 20 minutes. This movie was as cheesy as it gets. And while I'm all about women kicking ass and taking names, I just wasn't buying into this movie. The transition of Jodie Foster's character from an annoying, love-sick fluff to a gun shooting, crow-bar wielding vigilante was hardly believable. And that voice of hers... enough to make me want to claw my ears off.

As mentioned above, my en suite is in the throws of a major face lift. I've got my handy-man, *Dick on the job. He always surprises me with his abilities for these sorts of things. I have to admit though, I was more than a little concerned when I walked in the bedroom yesterday and found the toilet sitting at the end of my bed. He got annoyed with me when I expressed my concern. I guess this is the same as when he questions whether I should maybe turn down the stove when I'm cooking because it looks like the food is going to burn - don't question me, this is my terrain and I know what I'm doing. So I won't question him anymore, I'll just wait patiently for the toilet to return to it's original home.

And yes, before and after photos will be available once the project is complete.

I'm still reading Duma Key, by Stephen King. It's a HUGE book but still, I seem to be getting through it at a pretty good clip. It's very easy reading and I'm actually quite enjoying it. More than once the hair has stood up on my arms and the back of my neck - I expect nothing less of Stephen King. This book is exactly what I needed right now. When I'm finished reading, I will be ready again for something a little more challenging. I'm thinking maybe, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini.

That's all I have for now.

I must go now and put some finishing touches on my newly rearranged room, check in on my "contractor", and maybe settle in to read a few more pages from my book.

* "Dick" is Steve's alter-ego.

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