Happy New Year!

We rang in the New Year here at the McResidence with McDaddy’s two brothers, his sister and their families. In all, there were 19 of us sleeping in this house last night. Twelve of those people were under the age of 11.

We partied like rock-stars until well after midnight.

Or something like that.

This is my sister-in-law, Michelle and I (and the cute cowl she made for my 40th birthday!) just before midnight.

All the while, the kids were going nine kinds of crazy just behind us with blow-horns that I got at the Mart of Walls. [Have you ever had the joy of hearing TWELVE blow horns at one time? If not, you most definitely should.]

Anyway, a few days earlier, I saw a picture on Carrie Ann Innaba’s Facebook page that included a box of envelopes, along with members of her family holding cash money. (If you’ve ever been to a party at my house, you know that I am a sucker for games and prizes, so I am always on the lookout for a new game AND this one seemed fun!)

First, I bought a box of envelopes and a gift card.

Then, I searched my house over for flat items that would fit inside of the envelopes.

(And this is where I should include a picture of those items, but I got over zealous and placed the items in the envelopes before taking a picture.)

I randomly placed 20 coupons for a free frosty at Wendy’s (which I bought for Halloween treat bags and THEN FORGOT ABOUT), six gift cards for free games of bowling (which the boys received months ago when attending a birthday party at the bowling alley), three packets of Kool-Aid (we get wild and crazy up in here, folks!) two bookmarks, a ten-dollar bill and a five-dollar bill in the envelopes.

We sat in a circle (kids and adults) and passed the box of envelopes, pulling one envelope at a time until all the envelopes were pulled. It was so much fun and even the youngest child (3 years old) caught on pretty quick. The even funnier part is that the envelope box fell to the floor as it was being passed and the envelopes spilled out all over the floor. We ended up placing the envelopes in a basket to finish the game out.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you should go HERE right now and watch our nephew, Noah FINALLY picking a winning envelope after several rounds of picking an empty one. (I’m hoping the link works!)

And of course we ate. And ate. And ate some more.

It was a wonderful way to ring in the New Year and we all had a great time together.

I am looking forward to a wonderful 2014!

Trix Or Treats

I did something today that I have never done in my adult life.

I purchased a box of Trix cereal.

I have serious issues with the Trix Rabbit because years ago, “Trix Rabbit” was my nickname.

Before orthodontic intervention, my teeth were a hot mess. Because of that, a couple of boys in my Jr. High (now called Middle School) home room nicknamed me “Trix Rabbit”.  I haven’t been able to stand the sight of that stupid rabbit since then.

And even though I looked nothing like that idiotic rabbit, I have since refused to buy the cereal because it reminded me of those stupid boys calling me a stupid name.

Just to be clear, this is the way I looked back then,

It’s been 25 years, but I have never forgotten their words.

Fast forward to 2013.

I was snooping around on Pinterest and found a recipe for Trix treats. I knew immediately this was something the boys would like. The only problem is, I don’t buy Trix cereal.

But this morning?

I bought some butter, a bag of mini-marshmallows and Lord, help me, a box of Trix cereal.

Doesn’t it look like the Trix Rabbit is going after those marshmallows?

If you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you know that I have a few requirements for making a recipe.

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Fail proof  (this one *might* be a stretch because it doesn’t take much for me to mess something up in the kitchen)

Ingredients

  • 1 regular size bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1 box of Trix cereal (about 9 cups)
  • ¼ cup butter

Instructions

  • Place the marshmallows and butter in a glass bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, 30 seconds.
  • Grease a 9×13 pan
  • Stir butter and marshmallow mixture.
  • Pour mixture over Trix and stir until all cereal is well coated. (It will be tough to stir, but keep at it!)
  • Spoon (or SHOVE in this case) into a large 9×13 pan and press down with a spoon.
  • Cut and enjoy.

Aren’t they pretty?

While I will probably never be a big fan of the Trix Rabbit, I am a HUGE fan of the Trix Treats.

And you will be, too!

Happy Halloween, y’all!

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

I first started blogging to document all the crazy that happens in my life. I also hoped that I might get to eventually host reviews and giveaways of really cool products. What I didn’t count on was the friends I would make along the way. When I first made the decision to author From Inmates To Playdates back in 2008, I contacted two bloggers about blog design and hosting. Since that time, I have become FB friends with Heather and Jo Lynne and quite honestly, I consider them friends even though I have never met either of them.

Earlier this year, I received an email from a friend asking if I’d be interested in attending an Extraordinary Women conference in Roanoke, Virginia. When I found out that Third Day would be performing and Missy Robertson would be speaking, I said, “Oh yes, Sister, sign me up!”

A few days before the conference I was talking to McDaddy and mentioned something about returning on Sunday. He was confused (it doesn’t take much when you’re dealing with me) and told me he thought that we’d be back on Saturday. When I looked up the conference online I wondered what the heck was happening to my mind. Not only was McDaddy correct about me returning on Saturday, BUT ALSO that the conference was in Roanoke AND HOLY CRAP THAT’S WHERE HEATHER LIVES!

I contacted Heather on Facebook and said:

So…. I will be in Roanoke for Extraordinary Women on October 4-5. Any chance you’ll be there, too?

She replied minutes later with

I’m working it – the Spirit FM booth – Need a place to crash? I have plenty of room! But yes! We MUST get together!

So.

In a matter of minutes, a perfect stranger who I had only talked to online had invited me and three of my girlfriends to spend the night in her home. She messaged me her phone number and asked if we’d want to meet her and some friends for coffee and doughnuts after the conference and/or dinner after the conference on Saturday night.

I was going to Roanoke with three girlfriends. I texted them to ask if they’d like to go for doughnuts after the conference on Friday or dinner on Saturday with a friend of mine. I might have neglected to mention that I had never met my “friend.” While we were at the hotel getting ready, I mentioned in casual conversation that although I had been “friends” with Heather since 2008, I had never actually met her.

There was some silence.

Some bugged out eyes.

A look of ARE YOU CRAZY?

And a look of WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING?”

And it dawned on me that this whole thing probably sounded crazy.

Still, I was excited to meet her!

Once we arrived at the arena (and waited in a ridiculously LONG line to get into the conference), I texted Heather to let her know I was there. She texted back to say she’d be there to meet me as soon as she could get away. As I waited for Heather on the concourse, I felt like I was on a blind date. The crowd in the arena was crazy and it was hotter than you-know-what in there. Within minutes, I was face to face with my friend and we hugged like sisters separated at birth. After five years, I was face to face with my blog designer, Heather.

I could tell immediately that we would be fast IN REAL LIFE friends.

Because she was actually volunteering at the conference, we weren’t able to talk long. We talked long enough for me to find out that her friend Cheryl – who was also at the conference – was a fan of my blog. It took me a second to process that. After writing this blog for five years, it is easy to forget that actual living, breathing people who I DO NOT KNOW stop in here day after day to read this mess, especially given my excessive comma usage and my flair for the dramatic. Only thing I can figure out is that my crazy makes your crazy seem less crazy. I told Heather that we’d love to meet her and her friend for doughnuts and coffee after the conference and we parted ways.

And then I giggled out loud thinking about the fact that I had a fan.

The conference was jam-packed. Unfortunately, so was the friggin’ parking lot. There were cars everywhere and not a one of them was moving. After the conference we sat on that stupid parking lot for 35 minutes, which might have been enough to put me over the edge because I hate to wait – especially at a stand still – but thankfully, when four women get together almost anything can make them laugh. Especially something like this:

It still cracks me the heck up thinking about the license plate and the whole “well-behaved women” thing. In fact, it was an on-going joke the entire weekend with my girlfriends.

And just for the record, there’s a pretty good chance I might make history someday.

Because it was midnight before we moved off of the arena parking lot, we decided that it was too late to go out for coffee and doughnuts, but agreed to go to dinner after the conference on Saturday.

Y’all.

Dinner was, um, an experience.

Heather told us about a nearby Mexican joint called El Rodeo. I was a little leery because let’s face it, Mexican restaurants can be a crap shoot, and when I order my ”Chicken Fajita Chimichanga without guacamole anywhere on the plate” I have high expectations. Heather and my fan her friend Cheryl were already at the table chowing on the chips and salsa when we arrived at the restaurant. The waiter showed up at the table almost instantly, and before I knew what had hit me I was blushing and speechless because our waiter was off the hook. If you know me IRL you know that it is difficult to embarrass me and that I am rarely ever speechless.

In his defense, the six of us were more than any one man should have to handle by himself. He rose to the challenge. When my friend Jessica – while looking at the menu, mind you – asked “So, what’s good?” ol boy didn’t miss a beat when he responded with, “Me!”

Y’all.

I about fell out of my seat.

I was just like, “Well, alright! This cat is crazy as we are!” and I kinda figured the El Rodeo hadn’t seen this much excitement in a very long time. Our waiter, who I learned, was named Dennis (which cracks me up, because how many Mexicans do you know named Dennis?) was great. The chips and salsa were some of the best I have ever had  and my chicken fajita chimichanga (which I have never seen on a menu) was yummy. I would suggest you skip the “cheese sauce” though, unless you like more mayonnaise than you do cheese or sauce.

As we were diggin’ through our purses for money to pay the bill, I remembered that I had a pile of pennies in my wallet. I couldn’t resist leaving our new Mexican friend, Dennis a message (and no this was not his only tip) on the table.

Don’t ask me why I left the word H-O-T. It could be because I only had 33 pennies and couldn’t think of anything better. Or it could be because Dennis kept using the word “caliente” and it only seemed appropriate. Whatever the reason, he seemed embarrassed when he went to our table to retrieve his tip.

That’s Dennis there on the right.

He probably thinks we are a bunch of crazy lunatics.

And he is half-right.

I had so much fun this past weekend. I REALLY enjoyed Third Day, Tim Hawkins and Missy Robertson. But more than that, I LOVED meeting my friend, Heather.

And my new Mexican friend, Dennis.

Totally Random Nonsense

It is with regret that I announce that I shot my wad on the SLIMpossible diet today.

While at the hospital for most of the day, I found myself with about six minutes to scarf down some “lunch”. I made a quick trip to the hospital snack bar and settled on a bag of Doritos and a chocolate pudding parfait, which I could not pass up because, HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE? And, in a moment of weakness, I swallowed four thin mints, almost whole.

On an unrelated note, who named those suckers THIN mints anyway? I realize they are THIN, but that’s the last thing anyone who eats them is going to be. (Especially when you eat an entire sleeve. * Not that I’ve ever done that! *

In my defense though, I did come home and spend an hour with Leslie Sansone in an attempt to work that parfait and the Doritos and those four measly 160 calorie THIN mints off.

For weeks (or maybe it’s been months at this point) my kitchen counter has looked like this because the screen on that pretty pink laptop decided to quit working.

Only, I did move the monitor and keyboard over toward the wall to clear up half the counter.

But alas, I am pleased to report that tonight I am no longer sitting on that HARD bar stool. Instead, I am blogging from the comfort of my big, blue, bloggy couch with a brand spankin’ new laptop with a screen that works.

Hallelujah.

And Amen.

My tailbone thanks you, McDaddy.

And I do, too!

I heard bad news today.

I mean REALLY bad news.

I haven’t been able to think about much else since I heard the news.

Can you believe that my beloved Maksim Chremkovskiy will not be on this season of Dancing With The Stars?

That makes me nine kinds of unhappy.

But seeing these at the hospital today sure made me smile.

Yes, those are tennis shoes.

The nurse wearing them explained that they are specially designed tennis shoes (called Z-Coils) for people with a bad back. I think they are super cool and really, I MEAN REALLY wanted to ask her if I could try them on. But instead, I just snapped a picture all secret-squirrel right in the middle of the E-R.

She bought them on a Canadian website and they were $240. And before you ask, for once I wasn’t the one asking nosy questions. My dad happened to be in the E-R with me and his nose is way bigger than mine! (Hi Dad!) He was asking her all kinds of questions.

[On an unrelated note: Since receiving a tablet for Christmas, my daddy has joined the ranks with LBF’s all over the nation. And you can bet the farm it is killing him not knowing what the heck an LBF is.

I do not suffer from back, joint or foot pain (but remember I still have butt pain from sitting on that hard bar stool!), still, I really want a pair of those shoes. They are cool and from what I understand very comfortable. Not to mention I am finding, at the ripe age of 39, that comfort trumps cute every. single. time.

Oh, and on the off-chance that the fine folks from Z-Coil end up here at From Inmates To Playdates, Inc., you should know that I would LOVE an opportunity to work with you on a review/giveaway promotion. Just have your people call my people and we’ll set something up!

And just like THAT, I realize the time on my laptop is an hour off.

Danggit.

Crazy random posts work for me!

Mission SLIMpossible Update

So, we just rounded the corner into week five (of eight) and I am so happy to report I am down nine pounds.

NINE!

As in, almost ten!

I am so stinkin’ happy about that because, well, NINE POUNDS IN FOUR WEEKS AND TWO DAYS.

The nine pound loss makes all the 45-minute exercise sessions worth it.

The nine pound loss makes the 2 minute, 20 second wall-sits worth it.

The nine pound loss makes the frantic searches for foods on my Fitness Pal APP worth it.

If I’m being honest, the nine pound loss might be a twelve pound loss if I could cut the coca-cola umbilical cord for good. I allow myself one 90-calorie can per day (roughly about two swigs) and if we eat out, I usually only allow myself one glass. Still, I am so happy because y’all, I’VE LOST NINE POUNDS. You can’t imagine how excited I am that my middle number FINALLY changed!

And I might have heard harps playin’ and angels singin had I not been whooping it up and dancing around the bathroom like a crazy fool.

On top of that, for the first time in three weeks, I actually consumed half of my body weight in water over the past 24 hours.

My bladder is screaming for mercy.

But my booty is saying BRING IT THE HECK ON sister! I can tell a noticeable difference in the way my pants fit. And my thighs ache all the time, probably from the darn wall-sits.

All in all, it’s been a great week for this shrinking sunshine.

How I Lost Big This Week:

  • My normal 45 minute (6 day per week) exercise video (which is a 3-mile walk) along with the addition of crunches, donkey kicks and wall-sits.
  • In the past two weeks, I have been slacking on the water consumption. I am an all-or-nothing type of gal, and when I couldn’t do the “half my body weight in ounces thing” I just decided I wouldn’t even try to get the original 64-ounces in. I decided to kick that back up a notch this week and get the 64-ounces in. But I decided that today is the day I would. put. it. away. (Anybody remember that cheer?)
  • Stayed within my allotted calories five out of seven days.

Goals For Next Week:

  • Drink at least 64-ounces of water each day.
  • Stay within my caloric limit at least five of seven days.
  • Steer clear of sweets at least four days this week.

Unfortunately the jury is still out on the Ceylon cinnamon / raw honey gag gig. Everything I have read online about the dynamic duo suggests a person can expect to lose 3-4 pounds a week by simply taking the nastiness just before bed and first thing in the morning. And y’all, I not only added the nastiness… I am also exercising at least 45 minutes a day, drinking water like I’m being paid to drink it, not eating anything after 9pm, and counting my friggin’ calories.

*big sigh*

I’m gonna give it one more week and then I am done with the CCRH ritual.

And as always, if you have any advice, dietary, or exercise suggestions, I’d love to hear it.