Things I Want to Eat

The first 10-ish weeks of this pregnancy haven’t been all that much craving induced (unlike the last pregnancy, where I ate nothing but cheeseburgers for 3 months).  But in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been wanting nothing but deviled eggs and pastry.

As for the pastries, I’ll take any variety, please!  Doughnuts, croissants, fritters, danishes – if it’s sweet and buttery/fried I will eat it.  Yesterday I bought four danishes for Rob and I – two each.  There’s one left… who wants to guess who gets to eat it?  Yeah, that won’t be me (Yes, I ate two danishes yesterday.  I am gross.). 

But mostly, I want deviled eggs.  ALL THE TIME.  This means that I’ve been boiling a lot of eggs lately, and impatiently waiting through the chill/”meld” time that you’re *supposed* to wait after you’ve put the filling back in the eggs. 

I’ve found that it’s not actually a lot of work.  I don’t get all fancy, piping the yolk mixture back into the whites.  I just slap it in with a spoon.  Baby doesn’t care if it’s fancy, and I can’t be bothered to wash an icing bag every couple of days.  I’ve also found that if you use a little bit of forethought and turn your eggs on their sides in the carton the day before you’re going to make some deviled eggs, the yolk is much more centered in the white, which makes it easier to get the yolks out (and you’re less likely to break the side of the white where it may or may not be really thin). 

I’ve only tried this recipe so far, but I really want to try some of the others, like her horseradish one, or the “little bit devlish” one.  If you’ve never made them before (which I hadn’t, before I started craving them), there’s even a nifty “how to” guide, which takes you step by step throught the process (with pictures!).  So it’s great to find out how to get nice yellow (not grey) yolks, and has the tip about turning the eggs sideways in their cartons. 

For my personal comsumption, I only make 3 eggs at a time (I usually boil six, so I can make some more a day or two later… or that night, if the mood strikes), so I end up halving the yolk mixture.  It makes somethings a bit tricky (you have to scoop a 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar, not pour it), but I usually won’t eat 6 deviled eggs (or 12 halves) in one sitting, and I don’t love to store them. 

Well, my cooling time is almost up, so now instead of just talking about eggs, I’m going to go eat some.  Yum!

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The Geek in Me…

…wants to make sure that you know about The Guild, and their new music video (Date my Avatar).

The Guild is a web-based show (short episodes, about 5 minutes each) about a group of people that play a guild on an MMO (uh… think World of Warcraft).  Those of you in the know (so, Rob and maybe Hanna?) also know about my mad girl-crush on Felicia Day, the mastermind behind the show, who plays the main character on the show (she’s the redhead, you can’t miss her).  You can view The Guild on Youtube, and might I suggest you do, starting with Season 1 (there are two available right now – season 3 is in production).

ANYWAY.  They’ve recently done a music video, and it’s most excellent.  It makes me laugh.  A lot.  And maybe not everyone will think it’s super hilarious, but I love it. 

Date My Avatar (doooo it!  Watch it!)

Diaper Friday

[cross-posted at www.clothdiapermamas.com

A week or so ago, I had a bunch of money to buy new diapers for Kitten.  She had grown out of a half dozen, and the rest of what we had was not cutting it… she needed more diapers.  I really hummed and hawed over what to get.  I could get more bumGenius like I had been, or I could try something new.  I ended up getting one bumgenius 3.0 in Clementine (orangy yellow), plus a few new diapers.  Today I want to tell you about Bare Bottoms Boutique.

I met Jenn, the owner/operator of BBB at Cloth Diaper Nation, a cloth diaper forum.  She’s a WAHM (Work At Home Mom), who makes diapers to earn extra money.  I purchased a large All-In-One, with a flannel cotton interior.  It took her less than a full 24 hours to make my diaper, and only a few days after that for her to tell me that it was on it’s way (it’s possible that it was already mostly made, as I ordered her Valentine’s Day Special, so she might have just had to put the velcro on and send it off).  I had a very short wait until it got here… I suppose that’s no great feat of hers, but the postal system.  Regardless, I was super excited (just ask Rob – he walked in with a package and I jumped up and down and demanded the parcel RIGHT AWAY!!!).

Let me tell you, Jenn went above and beyond.  First, it comes in a plastic bag inside a poly mailer.  This is great, because even if the poly mailer gets ripped some how, the diaper is still protected from mud/rain/water/snow.  Then, she wrapped it in tissue paper, and the diaper itself had a pink ribbon around it with a tag attached to it!  I felt like I had bought something super pricy at a fancy boutique (when it cost me $20 with shipping!), which is a WONDERFUL feeling to have.  I could tell right away that the diaper was really good quality.  The PUL (which is the waterproof part) felt really nice and sturdy, and there were no loose threads hanging around.  I would have never been able to label with diaper as “home made”. 

The interior of the diaper is super soft cotton flannel.  This is especially great for kids who can’t handle fleece or microsuede against their skin, and for moms who prefer to use more “natural” fabrics (I don’t believe she offers an organic inner, but if you approached her about making some, I’m sure she would be open to the conversation).  The nice thing about them is that the soaker portion of the diaper is constructed in a way that water and air and get between the soaker and the PUL.  This means that when you wash and dry the diaper, it’s getting cleaner, and it will dry faster.  I don’t know how long it takes to dry, as I just put it in the dryer for the first time a couple of minutes ago (on the other hand, it looked GREAT coming out of the washer – the tabs stayed securely done up).  Another great thing is that the top layer of the soaker pad (this lays against baby’s skin) has no stitching on the top of it, so your little one won’t be annoyed by any seams.  The soaker panel also has elastics along the sides, which is especially great for explosive newborn poo. 

The only thing that I don’t love about the diaper is that flannel is not a stay-dry fabric.  This means that once Kitten is wet, she will feel it.  I suppose that we are getting to an age where potty training is in our future, so it’s probably not a bad thing, however, this means that our BBB diaper won’t be a night-time choice for us, nor one that I reach for when I know that we’re going to be going out for a while.  However, I do know that if I end up loving it to bits and bits and bits, I can put in a microfleece liner to help Kitten feel dry longer.  The other thing that I’m not crazy about is that Kitten is an odd size.  She has a very narrow waist/hip area, but she has chunky thighs and a long rise (the measurement from the top of her bum at the back, between her legs and around to her belly button in the front – essentially, if you layed the diaper on a flat surface, and measured the length from one end to the other).  So the large that we purchased is very big around the belly, but fits just fine every where else.  This means I have to cinch up the diaper far tighter than I might like to.  I have talked to Jenn about this, and she’s willing to work with me on creating a custom sized diaper next time.  I’m very excited, as it’s a very economical diaper that looks like it’s going to work very well. 

There is one problem, though.  There’s a new law starting in the States that prevents people from selling things for children that haven’t been thoroughly tested for lead and other potentially harmful substances.  I think that testing is a great idea, however it means that many WAHM’s are going to either be out of business, or the price of hand made diapers is going to go through the roof.  Most women who are running these business are only making dollars on the diapers they make.  This means that they would end up going in to debt just to get the testing done on the fabrics they are using!  Sadly, this means that Jenn at BBB will be taking a bit of a break by February 10, 2009.  She’s going to see how things shake out in regards to this law (whether they decide to remove small businesses from it, or remove clothing), and hopefully she’ll be back in business.  Otherwise, if you’re looking to to try a new, wonderful WAHM diaper, I would really recommend Jenn at Bare Bottoms Boutique!   She doesn’t just carry diapers, but really cool trainers for potty training, wet bags for diaper or just for swimming suits, nursing covers, cloth wipes, and really cool onsies that are made to fit over the fluffy bums that we all enjoy!  Be sure to go and check her stuff out while you still have the chance.

Soooo pretty!

Kitten

New Diaper

Walking away

CSFF Blog Tour – Shade by John Olson

I can’t believe this blog tour is here already.  I got this book a week or three ago (seriously, time is NOT my friend right now… the days blend together) and it lived in my kitchen for a while.  I wasn’t really inspired to read it, but that was because I had forgotten what it was about when I ordered it.  So it sat while I read sub-par chick-lit and regrettable fantasy.  I’m kind of bummed out that I let it sit for so long!  It’s a really great story.  I’m only on page 208, so that means I’m not done yet (and thus won’t give a full review), but I am really enjoying it.

I know that it’s supposed to be a frightening book, and I do find it suspenseful, but I don’t find it as scary as some others might be finding it.  I’m not sure if it’s because vampires fit firmly in the “do not exist, therefore am not afraid” category for me, or if it’s because I’m not finished the book.  It could also be that after reading The Infernal by Kim Wilkins, no other book will ever frighten me again (the book is seriously awesome, although graphic, and made me sleep with the light on).  I don’t know.  But regardless of my personal scare-factor, I wouldn’t recommend this book to those of you who don’t enjoy darker, slightly more suspenseful, almost a “horror” type story (I’m look at you, Hanna).

Anyway, I would like to get back to reading the book, rather than just talking about it, so please read more about the book here, and the author (John Olson) here.  Please also visit the rest of the tour participants, as they are often more eloquent and verbose than I am. 

Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Jason Joyner
Magma
Margaret
Rachel Marks
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Mirtika or Mir’s Here
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

GRPR Blog Tour: Blood Brothers by Rick Acker

Blood Brothers by Rick Acker

Important Info:

ISBN – 10: 0825420075

Format: Trade Paperback

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Premise:

Neurostim is a brand new drug that dramatically increases productivity and creativity.  Developed from the seeds of a long-extinct Norwegian tree, Neurostim dramatically improves response time by allowing subjects to think and process information more quickly. The implications are staggering. It could help people in all walks of life, but could easily become a lifesaver for policemen, fireman, doctors and other first responders. But initial tests reveal a hiccup—some of the monkeys tested exhibited maniacal, homicidal behaviors. As the lead lab tech was approaching company authorities with the evidence, however, she was killed in a mysterious one-car accident.

Without any reported side-effects, the FDA authorizes human trials of Neurostim and the trials appear to go smoothly. Brothers Karl Bjornsen and Gunnar Bjornsen, however, are deeply embroiled in a bitter legal battle for control of the company—and Neurostim.  Gunnar developed Neurostim while working as President of Bjornsen Pharmaceuticals and he’s the only one who knows the secret formula. When Karl ousted Gunnar as President, Gunnar took the formula with him. 

What begins as a simple trade secrets case, however, quickly escalates and becomes more complex as Gunnar’s lawyer, Ben Corbin, discovers embezzlement and bribery with Karl as the prime suspect. When Ben and his team travel to Norway to investigate the accounting discrepancies with the company’s Norwegian branch, Bjornsen Norge, their very lives become endangered.

Is Karl Bjornsen behind the Norwegian attacks that endanger Ben and his team? Is Neurostim safe? Can the FDA stop the clinical trials on Neurostim before it’s too late?

Stuff I Liked: 

It was a great, fast paced plot with lots of twists and turns.  There is an underlaying romantic theme going on, as well as a lot of other issues.  There also was very little preachiness – I didn’t feel like the author wanted to teach me a lesson, just share a great fiction story about Christians. 

Stuff I Didn’t Like: 

Honestly?  I’m not a huge fan of legal thrillers, so this one didn’t do a lot for me.  Any fan of that genre will LOVE this book.  In fact, I recommend that you go out and pick up both Blood Brothers, and Dead Man’s Rule (the first in the series) right now.  I have an advanced readers copy, and there are a few typos, and that always irritates me (I have to remember that an ARC isn’t finished – those will get cleaned up before the book goes to final print). 

I give this book a total 5 out of 5.  It was very interesting, and I really enjoyed reading it.  Don’t forget to check out Rick’s website!

GRPR Blog Tour: The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo

Important Info:

  • ISBN – 10: 1400073944
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Published By: WaterBrook Press

Premise:

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society has been meeting, knitting and reading together peaceably for a very long time.  Eugenie, a strict library who’s assumed to be the leader, brings in Hannah, who’s a neglected 13-year-old found ripping pages out of library books.  Instead of punishing Hanna, Eugenie decides that it would do her a world of good to meet with the group and learn to knit.  How will the other members react to the newest recruit?

Merry has her own problems.  Her marriage has been drifting slowly apart.  Neither party seems to be able to hold their three busy children together, but can they work through an unplanned pregnancy and other problems?

Ruthie has a secret from her sister Esther.  What will happen when the secret comes to light, and can they both live peaceably in the town after it all comes to light?

Camille attends the Knit Lit Society on behalf of her aging mother.  Looking for a way out of town, she becomes involved with the wrong man at the wrong time.  Can Camille escape unscathed?

What I Liked:

This was a well written book that I really enjoyed.  There was some head-hopping between characters, but it is required to bring everything to light.  I found all the characters likable, even thought I identified the most with Merry.  I think it was just that she’s a mom, and even though I’m not a mother of teenagers, I think I can still relate somewhat. 

What I didn’t Like: 

There were some parts of the book that were a bit too religious bent for me.  There weren’t all that many, nor did they last long, but it is a book about Christians.  So you have to expect that.  I didn’t understand all the knitting references, but I don’t really think that took away from the book so much.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book.  There have been very few blog tour books that I have thought that if there was a sequel, that I would pick it up – if there was one for this book (and I don’t believe there should be), I would totally pick it up.  I suppose that maybe I should take a look at Pattello’s other books, Heavens to Betsy and Earth to Betsy.  The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society is readable by all ages, but I think that adults would appreciate it more than young teens would.  They will be able to identify with Hannah in some regard, but I’m not sure that a young teen would be all that interested in the other people’s lives.  Plus the book does deal with infidelity, sexual abuse (or near case), and other adult themes (Pattillo doesn’t really address them directly – you never read about someone in bed with someone else, but it is implied). 

Please visit Beth Pattillo’s website, and have a look around.  You can read more about this book, her Betsy series, as well as drop her a line or read her Q&A section.

I really need to apologize – I believed that the tour dates on this book were in July, but it was at the end of June, and I missed it by a long shot.  I am truly sorry to Glass Roads Public Relations, and to Beth Pattillo for not fulfilling my commitment by participating in the tour on the dates specified!  Please forgive me! 

Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

Important Info:

  • ISBN – 10: 0552128481
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Corgi

Premise:

Discworld is on a crash course with the malevolent red star, and people are going mad.  Ricewind, the unlikely savior, Twoflower (his unlikely sidekick with a penchant for taking pictures) and Twoflower’s Luggage need to rescue the Discworld before it’s blown to smitherines!  Meeting many unlikely friends and foes along the way, Light Fantastic is an adventure that you’re unlikely to forget.

Stuff I Liked:

Light Fantastic seemed a lot more funny than The Colour of Magic for some reason.  I’m not sure why, but it was.  I really enjoyed all the puns, and the humour in it.  I think that Pratchett is a genius, being able to make a story funny without losing part of the storytelling.  I enjoyed Luggage’s role in the story, and Twoflower’s camera.  I found the added viewpoints of the other wizards interesting and comical as well.

Stuff I Didn’t Like:

It had been a while since I had read The Colour of Magic, so I kind of forgot what had happened.  So I had to do a bit of guessing.  Pratchett is pretty good at catching you back up, but I still didn’t have the details of what had happened before.  It’s not really important to the story, but I would recommend not leaving months between the two books (at least not without a quick refresher).

I enjoyed Light Fantastic immensely.  I give it five out of five, and would recommend it to just about anyone.  Well, anyone with a sense of humour, that is!!