Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Other Macon Momma

Today, for the first time I attended a friend's wedding; a friend who's only two years older than me might I add.  Personally, I don't plan on getting married until I'm at least 27, but that's just me.  As soon as we walked into the church,  Mrs. Robin waved us over to sit with her.  It turns out my mom, sister and I took her husband and son's seats, but I'm glad we got to catch up with her during the 14-bridesmaids-processional.  After the I Do's, we headed to the reception where Mrs. Robin gave me the low-down on her many New York City trips.  

First off, let me tell you a little bit about the fabulous Robin Spence (now, I'm completely aware this posting is slightly creeper, but oh well).  Well, for starters I absolutely love her.  She's stuck in a house with three manly men, but she's the one who seems to make all the decisions.  In fact, her husband and son had to leave the reception early because he needed to go to the grocery store and fix her dinner before she got home.  Her only relief from all the testosterone raging through her house is her little dog Tipper.  Not only is Tipper spoiled rotten, but she also has a facebook page that's updating quite frequently.  
Mrs. Spence and All Her Men (Plus Pooch Tipper)
As I munched on wedding mints and vegetables, she described this Southern man she met during her latest extravaganza to the big city.  His name is John Davenport; he's 26, and he works at Barclays capital in the Time Square area.  Apparently, we've perfect for each other.  

Because my sister and I's move-in dates are the same this year, Mrs. Spence even volunteered to take me to my new apartment in China Town.  If things don't work out with my dad, I'm sure she'd be an excellent backup plan!  I'm just excited for our dinner date; we've decided that she's going to join the three girls from my house for a dishing and dessert discussion.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Picking Pixar

Chit Chatting Cars, Talking Toys, Monsters and Superheros...Pixar sure has brought us some great movies in the past 16 years.  And with Cars 2 premiering tomorrow, I've decided to put the films in order from my least to most favorite.  Really though, seeing as how I've loved each one, repeatedly re-watched them all when they aired on ABC Family, and own each on DVD, this little rating system is really more of a great to greatest scale.

11) A Bug's Life:   It's the tale of an oddball individualist inventor ant who hires what he things are "warrior bugs"-actually circus performers-to fight of a band of grasshoppers who have made the ant colony their servants.  While I always liked the allusion of the little guy defeating the evil giant, this film's short of the old man playing chess is my absolute favorite!

10) Cars:  The  movie takes place in a world populated by anthropomorphic motor vehicles.  After the Piston Cup's three-way tie, rookie Lightning McQueen ends up in the run-down town of Radiator Springs.  After falling for the blue porsche Sally, McQueen decides to set up his headquarters in the small town and put Route 66 back on the map.

9) Toy Story 2:  Buzz and Woody are back again, but this time the dynamic duo battles the Evil Emperor Zurg, a prospector, and the owner of Al's Toy Barn.

8) The Incredibles:  The story is set in a world just like ours where some people have superhuman abilities.  Bob's desire to save the world puts his entire family in danger.  He battles Syndrome, who intends to avenge himself against Mr. Incredible and other superheroes for shunning him as a boy.

7) Ratatouille:  The plot follows Remy, a rat who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal  by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant's garbage boy.

6) Finding Nemo:  It tells the story of the overly protective clownfish Marlin who, along with a regal tang called Dory, searches for his abducted son Nemo.  Along the way Marlin learns to take risks and to let Nemo care for himself.

5) Toy Story:  It's the movie that started it all.  In 1995,we were introduced to Woody, Buzz, and the rest of Andy's toys.  I remember my four year old self being absolutely mesmerized by the talking toys.  I just knew that as soon as I left to go to preschool, my Barbies and Becky's Mr. Potato Head would have tea parties.

4) Monster's Inc:  The story takes place in Monstropolis, a city populated entirely by monsters.  Although it's not part of the human world, it can be connected to children's bedrooms through their closet doors.  The city runs on children's screams, and one day the best scarers find a little two year old has followed them back into the monster world.

3)WALL-E:  The story follows a robot named WALL-E, who is designed to clean up a waste covered Earth far in the future.  He eventually falls in love with another robot named EVE and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of both his kind and humanity.

2) UP:  By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredrickson sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South Africa.  Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn't alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.  After landing atop a mountain, the duo find themselves in an adventure of a lifetime.

1)Toy Story 3:  The first time I saw this movie I was with six other college students; by the time the ending credits rolled we were all crying.  The plot focuses on the toys Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their friends as they deal with an uncertain future as their owner, Andy, prepares to leave for college.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Harry Potter Says Happy Birthday

This past Saturday we sang Happy Birthday six times Dad turned 49 and the five puppies turned one!  Add Father's Day in the mix, and you'd expect it to be one huge celebration.  Instead, we've spent the last two days watching all seven Harry Potter movies.    We started with The Sorcerer's Stone Friday night and ended with The Deathly Hallows Part 1 this afternoon.  I'm probably one of the biggest HP nerds ever; I've read all the books and seen all the movies more times than any one person should.  But, with the final chapter coming out on July 15, our refresher course was just what I needed.  If you find yourself questioning some of the lingo from the books/films, no worries.  As I was weekend watching, I took down some notes:

  • Wingardium Leviosa-charm that levitates objects.
  • Stupefy-spell that puts the victim in an unconscious state
  • Riddikulus-spell used when fighting a Boggart
  • Lumos-creates a narrow beam of light that shines from a wand's tip
  • Expecto Patronum-charm used when battling Dementors. 
  • Expelliarmus-charm used to disarm another witch or wizard
Craving more Potter knowledge, well I found a site strictly devoted to J.K. Rowling's world-

Also, if you're planning on hosting a Potter Party any time soon, be sure to buy some chocolate frogs from Honeydukes.  Try this simple Butterbeer recipe too.  When I went to the Wizarding World at Universal Studios, I couldn't get enough of this bewitching beverage.


  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda

1) In a small saucepan over medium, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240ºF on a candy thermometer.
2) Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
3) Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.
4) In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes.
5) To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

Well, I was in the middle of reading yet another book based in NYC, but I'll have to put my guilty pleasure read on hold.  I can't quite remember how the seventh book ends, and I'm not waiting until mid-July to find out.  As soon as this blog's posted, I'm cracking open that cover again.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Perry's Priesters

Fried Green Tomatoes, Super-Sweet Tea, Creamed Corn, and Soap Operas-can an afternoon get more Southern than that?  My sister and I drove down to Perry to have lunch with my dad.  After eating a scrumptious meal filled with deep fried dishes at the Swanson House, we drove over to Priesters Pecans.  I've driven by the store more times than I can possibly count, but before this afternoon I'd never actually stopped at exit 134 and walked it.  Well, it's pretty much the most precious store ever...think Cracker Barrel gift shop but bigger and multiply its cuteness factor by 100.

The not only have an entire wall devoted to monogrammed merchandise but also more free samples than even I could eat.  Plus, with all there Southern Belle tees and SEC goods, I'm pretty sure I've found my new favorite place to shop in Middle Georgia!  And, I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but my favorite soap-Days of Our Lives-was playing, so that made the pitstop just that much sweeter.

They also had a piece of wall art that defined my upbringing almost perfectly...A Southern Girl (a suhth-ern gurl) noun.  Someone who 1) knows macaroni and cheese is a vegetable. 2) makes being sassy a little bit cute. 3) likes her okra fried and her tea sweet. 4) can tell y'all stories for miles about her hometown. 5) replies with a polite, "yes ma'am." 6) puts wild flowers in a mason jar 7) loves her momma and thinks her daddy hung the moon.

Well, there you go.  That's Perry's Priesters.  Be sure to take a look at a few of my most favorite finds from the day.
Most Important, Check out all the Free Samples!  They even had freshly-made
Pralines.  I'll be quite honest, I went back 3 times to "taste" the sweet treats.  
Seriously, More Monogrammed Merch Than Even I Own
Why Yes, Those are Polka-Dot Hammers.  They also had
Printed Tape Measurers and Screw Drivers.  
My Dad Liked the Print But Not the $54 Price Tag 
Just One of the Many Adorable Southern Belle Tees They Had 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthdays and Books

My baby brother is 16, and he's a baby no more!  The 6'1"-140 lb-man occupying Joseph's bedroom hardly resembles the cute little boy I left last August.  He has a girlfriend, shaves his face almost every morning, and turns everything into a "that's what she said" joke.  Add in the fact that he'll be getting his drivers license this week, and there's no denying he's a full blown teenager. 

To celebrate his big birthday, I made homemade vanilla ice cream.  This past Saturday, my time was marked by huge bags of ice and the annoying churning of the ice cream maker.  The recipe I used, courtesy of Southern Sensation Paula Deen, was of course delicious.  This scrumptious dessert is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and cool you down after a trip in the sweltering sun.  The directions say the total time is 3 hr. 10 minutes, with a yield of approximately 1 gallon.  So if you find yourself without plans this upcoming weekend, grab and great book and make frozen food. 

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • milk
With an electric mixer, cream eggs and sugar.  Add evaporated milk, condensed milk, and vanilla.  Beat well. Pour into an electric ice cream churn.  Add milk to the fill line.  Insert dasher.  Pack cooler 1/3 with ice.  Add a layer of rock salt.  Repeat layering with ice and salt until full, but be careful not to spill salt into the churn.  When the machine stops, remove the dasher and drain water (from the melted ice cubes) from the cooler.  Fill with mor ice and salt.  Cover with a towel and let harden 

*For fruit ice cream (such as strawberry or peach) add 2 cups finely sliced fresh fruit with 1 cup suga before the milk.

*If you're worried about the raw eggs, pasteurized eggs are a great substitute to their traditional counterparts.  They have the same consistancy and work quite well for the mix. 
Look What I Just Finished Reading
All this interning has left little time for leisure reading, but this evening I finally finished my next book pick...Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City.  Being a twenty-something living in NYC, I of course watched the show religiously this past semester.  And, I'd always though Ms. Bradshaw's journalism career was something to aspire to.  However, only recently did I read the book that inspired the pop culture icon.  As to be expected, the book discusses the Mr. Big romance, fashion, and fabulosity; however, the HBO series and the paperback don't quite matchup with every detail of the four women's lives.  Nonetheless, I'd definitely suggest it to anyone who finds themselves daydreaming about which Sex and the City character (Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha or Miranda) they are?

My Rating:****

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Today I finished my first week as a summer intern for NewsCentral.  Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking before I began.   Broadcasting is a completely new medium for me; I'd never taken a class that didn't have a print-based focus.  So, this week has been filled with tons of surprises, like new vocabulary and a contrasting writing style then what I'm used to.  I'd watch the nightly news and think "Ok, so what?  I want to work for a magazine not a news station."  But, after just three days, I'm already questioning which side of journalism I'd like to work for after graduation.  I absolutely love the hustle and bustle.  The uncertainty of where the day will take me is such an adrenalin rush.  Reporters mask how hard their jobs truly are; they not only appear on camera and write the daily script but they also film and edit their segment.  Whew-they sure do keep busy!  Sure, my first day was a little rough (but let's be honest getting used to a new job is always different), but I can't wait until next Monday to head back to the newsroom.

On a completely unrelated note, as I was flipping through the channels, I ran across the greatest new show on TLC...My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.  The dresses are bigger; the parties are wilder, and the accents are thick.  It sure does give Say Yes to the Dress a run for its money.  The British documentary series looks at the world of gypsies and Irish travelers today.  Airing on Fridays at 10pm, the show reveals a community of contrasts.  Its members live by centuries-old religious and cultural traditions, but they embrace the flashier side of celebrity and fashion-focused times in which makes up the 21st century.
Look at these dresses!  Pretty crazy huh?  Add in the hair extensions, ridiculous bows, and flashy jewelry, and it should come as no surprise is a mega success.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Perfect Pupcakes!

Our Inspiration 
With my dad gone for the weekend on a golfing extravaganzas (he's played four rounds in three days), our dachshund number increased from three to five.  Because we just love our pooches so much, we looked through the What's New Cupcake? book my brother's girlfriend left and made the most adorable sweet treats ever! Taking a little cue from Elvis, they ain't nothin' but a...dachshund, four cupcakes long, dipped in melted frosting, with M&M eyes watching over a bone.  And those custom cookie ears, snouts, and tails leave us all shook up.  After making cupcakes using the recipe on the back of the Duncan Hine's box, here's the Hound Dog Recipe:
Completed Cupcakes and Cookies 

  • 4 chocolate cupcakes 
  • 1/2 recipe cookie dough
  • 1 can of chocolate frosting
  • 1 tube white decorating Icing 
  • 2 candy-coated chocolates (M&Ms)
  • 1 black jelly bean
  • 4 chocolate-covered almonds
  • dog bone-shaped graham cracker (Scooby-Doo Graham Cracker Sticks are a cute option)
1) Preheat the oven to 350º and spray PAM on a cookie sheet.
2) Cut out face, ears, and tail from the rolled-out cookie dough.  We used parts of our Christmas cookie cutters, but it would be simple to freehand it as well.   Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch and fragrant, takes about 8 minutes.
3) Spoon the chocolate frosting into a shallow microwavable bowl  Heat the frosting, stopping to stir frequently (every 10 seconds), until it has the texture of lightly whipped cream.
4) Holding the cupcake by its paper liner, dip it into the frosting just to the edge.  Allow the excess frosting to drip off back into the bowl.  This will give your cupcakes a glossy look.  Carefully invert the cupcake and place on a cookie sheet.  Repeat with the remaining cupcakes  If the frosting becomes too thick, microwave for several seconds and stir.
5) Arrange 4 cupcakes in a row on a serving platter.  Attach the head cookie and the ears and tail, securing them with a few dots of the decorating icing.  Pipe several dots and attach the M&Ms for the eyes and a black jelly bean for the nose.  Pipe a few lines of the icing for eyebrows.  Arrange the chocolate-covered almonds as the paws along the base of the cupcakes.  If desired, give your dog a bone.

And there you have it, perfect pupcakes.  A few suggestions-

Don't Buy in Bulk 

  • buy your M&Ms, black jelly beans, and almonds at a place like Fresh Market where you can pick out just the right number needed; that way you wont have to buy a whole bag of jellies when you only need one or two
  • you might want to attach the ears to the face before you bake the cookies, that way they'll be sure to stick
  • for piping purposes, put icing in a ziploc bag and cut the end out of one of the corners

With the Extra Cake Batter, We Made a Dachshund Cake 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Nora Roberts and Lewis Carroll

1) Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
Whenever my family takes long car trip, a pitstop at Cracker Barrel is always necessary to purchase some delicious country candy and a book on tape.  For only $3.49, the five-hour car ride is made a bit more bearable.  The only problem here was the book was nine hours long, and  my mom took it back with her when she left our vacation two days early.  So, my siblings and I each listened to the second half of Happy Ever After once we returned back to Macon.

The bestselling author invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac--the founders of Vows, one of the Connecticut's premier wedding planning companies--in the last book of the Wedding Quartet.  Parker Brown meets every bride's demands; keeps every event on schedule; and brings Emma's romantic flowers, Laurel's delicious treats, and Mac's stunning photography together in one glorious package.  Married to her work, she feels it's her sole responsibility to create a happily ever after for each of her brides.  However, Parker's plans become a little rattled after meeting mechanic Malcolm Kavanaugh.  Their minor flirtations quickly turns into some serious hookups.  His passionate kisses always catch her off guard, much like her growing feelings for him.  Although her business risks have always paid off, Parker must decide if she's willing to take a chance with her heart.

Overall, I thought the book was absolutely adorable.  I kept thinking about how fun it would be to own my own bridal boutique, and I even went to to see if I could find a dress similar to one that's described in the book.  It was like listening to some sort of modern-day fairytale (minus the evil stepsisters and fairy godmother).

My Rating:****

2) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Ever since I was a little girl and saw Disney's Alice in Wonderland, I've always thought the story to be a bit peculiar.  After chasing a white rabbit, a girl falls down his hole and is transported into a magical world where nothing is as it seems.  Well, a few months ago I was wandering around the bookstore, and I came across this book.  Marked down to only $3.95, I decided it was something worth reading.  Like both the 1951 classic and Tim Burton's rendition, a tea party with the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and Dormouse was had in Carroll's story.  The sly Cheshire Cat and feisty Queen of Hearts appeared as well, but don't think the movies simply mirror Alice's adventure book.  A quick read(only 124 pages), I would definitely suggest it to anyone who's in need of reconnecting with their childhood.  Plus, the illustrations really can't be topped.

A Scene from the Mad Tea Party 

My Rating:  ****