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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

$5 Dinners

My friend Erin's new cookbook has just been released! It was featured on Good Morning America this morning. Woo-hoo!

(Click below to view the GMA segment with cutie-patootie George Stephanopoulos.)

The Best Cookbooks of 2009

You can order your own through Amazon, or go to her website where she's also doing a great giveaway of ten of her cookbooks every day for the next two weeks!

I ordered a few copies myself from Amazon. Unfortunately, they didn't get here in time for her signing party she hosted this evening. But don't worry -- I know where she lives. And as soon as they come in I'll be getting them personalized and mailed to a few lucky recipients of my own... ;)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Got Snow?

It's snowing! Seems so appropriate for the first day after the last day of school! (follow?)

And no, I'm not ready for Christmas! Thank you for asking. You?

I hope to be after Monday, though, when I hope to get some final shopping done. I guess we'll see if the road conditions stay one step ahead of the weather conditions...

I feel so sad about neglecting this blog so much lately. Like I've been neglecting an old friend. I have so many excuses, the likes of which I hope to resolve by early next year (heh-heh) so that I can get back to the business again of blogging as usual. Even just the act of writing in this blogger format feels so comfy and familiar. *sniff*

Many of you may have noticed that I've been working on a new blog. I started it in blogger, the same platform as this blog, then decided to take it up to the next level and make the switch to self-hosting on wordpress.

Oh. my. word. I had no idea what a can of worms I was opening. It's like the Pandora's Box of Blogging: Once the top is off you lose all control of what comes out; you just hope you can keep your wits about you and keep up. Widgets and plug-ins and CSS code (huh?) and feedburner and themes and open hooks? That's just a sampling. Talk about a learning curve. I'm still reeling. (And still climbing.)

I even messed around with some html code widget tag-on thingy that put some post thumbnails at the end of each post on this blog. Did you notice? Only I didn't know that it would grab posts from both of my blogs on blogger. My bad. And I was too worn out to go back and figure out how to take it off. Now I'm curious what will happen over time as I'm no longer updating the other blog through blogger, so I'm going to leave it for now. If that bothers you or confuses you, I'm sorry. Just think of it as taking one for the cause of Jolyn's Blogging Education.

I leave you, for now, with greetings from Olivia and Peter while they were playing in the snow this morning.
"We're making a snowdog, not a snowman."

Of course!

It's not the 14 or so inches that the East Coast is seeing! But the kids are enjoying our first real snowfall regardless and couldn't care less. And it's still snowing! And the forecast calls for more tomorrow, and the day after... So we shall see.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feeling the Christmas... Spirit

Every time the radio plays the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Carol of the Bells" Sean-Peter turns into some kind of marionette puppet with strings and he has no choice but to jump around and do a form of "dance" that basically consists of kicking, twisting, and punching the air. He'll tell you he's fighting the bad guys. John calls it Kabuki theater.

Who knew Christmas music could be so... inspiring.

I wish it would inspire me. I am sooo unprepared for Christmas. I think it has to do with my serious intentions of making this Christmas as non-materialistic as possible: e.g. I'm not going to pile a mountain of presents under the tree. Which is sad, really. If not buying presents is why I'm not inspired, that is. Presents should not a Christmas make.

And they don't, but when you're inundated with commercialism every where you turn around and you're determined not to succumb I wonder if I've tilted the pendulum too far in the other direction.

Either that, or I'm just getting old.

The kids are getting a good, old-fashioned Christmas, by the way, with presents and stocking stuffers and everything, don't you worry. I'm not even claiming to be spending a whole lot less this year -- I'm just determined not to get so much stuff.

Wish me luck. I think I understand why my mom needed so much coffee on Christmas morning.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow and a Show and Some Sugar

Brrrrr! Anyone else with me? We got our first snowfall here...Have I ever mentioned that it's still dark when Olivia gets on the bus? And hers isn't even the first one that comes through the neighborhood...

Speaking of Olivia, she's got her first "acting gig" under her belt (heh-heh), a little Christmas show production her dance instructor put on in her studio with a couple-handfuls of her students. Olivia has begged to take an "acting class" ever since I put her in Storybook Dramas at the local town hall theater... over a year ago.

Go ahead, take a look. It's barely a hiccup.

And seriously, how. cute. are they.

And yes, Olivia loved every minute of it. I daresay she enjoyed performing even more than what she enjoyed after the show.She looks nice and calm here, but don't be fooled: she rode the sugar loop all the way home.