BeeKay's Blog

crafts, food, makeup, clothes, shoes, books, cats, life

It’s That Time of Year (Again)!

Holiday (and birthday) season is in full effect chez BeeKay, and I’m trying to keep things low key and serene. The spousal unit and I used to send out holiday newsletters, with the last being in 2008 (I thought it was 2009 but in retrospect we were too busy to send Christmas cards that year, what with being new small business owners at the time). We decided to renew that tradition this year, and I uploaded the first draft to Staples.com to print in color for review. Won’t be able to get it until tomorrow at 7:00 pm, unless I want to pay a rush fee (no, thank you).

newsletter

First draft, needs minor tweaks

Order. Cancelled. The spousal-unit will print it at work tomorrow.

Last night, we stopped by Target and bought a box of Christmas cards, just in case we didn’t have enough to accommodate our mailing list. While in the basement pulling together everything I’ll need to decorate the evergreen swag for our front door, I found two nearly full boxes of Papyrus Christmas cards—I love Papyrus greeting cards—in addition to last year’s left over cards. I think we are all set for this holiday mailing, once the newsletter is finalized. We’ll just need to get stamps.

Holiday Swag

I hope I can find a swag that doesn’t look this ratty.

This week, I have to clean the living room from stem to stern so I can put out all of my holiday tchotchkes, and so we can put the tree up over the weekend. I have a new tree skirt halfway finished (photo to follow) in case I don’t want to put out my tried-and-true holiday cats tree skirt (ditto).

We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving with cousins Terry and Troy at their new home in Maryland. Their holiday spirit was in full effect, with at least five (five!!) festively decorated trees throughout the house, an amazing array of delicious food, and a house full of family and close friends. Needless to say, no one left hungry—Martha Stewart has nothing on those two!

I do have some gifts ready to be wrapped, and have a few more to buy, but I am stumped as to what to get my brother. I know cash or gift cards are always welcome but I find them unimaginative. I have no idea what size he wears, and don’t want to ask because he’s gained a lot of weight since he quit smoking. Perhaps some gourmet foodstuffs, as he is a foodie (which also accounts for his weight gain) and yes, a gift card (groan). Perhaps I will gift him a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated as a gag gift; he thinks it’s pretentious. “Do I really need to know what the dude was thinking while he harvested his home-grown turnips at their peak freshness? Do I look like I care? Get away from me with that crap.”

Lately, however, this place has been my go-to for inexpensive quality gifts.

As for birthdays, mine is the 15th, my brother’s is the 20th, and the spousal-unit’s is January 2. I hope to have the family birthday dinner at the Peanut Bar and couple’s night at Lang Restaurant (formerly Hong Thanh at Sixth and Court Streets in Reading). So glad tasty Vietnamese food is closer to home!

And further regarding birthdays, an Eagles win would be an incredible early birthday gift! Let’s go 11-1, Birds!

eagles

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Get(ting) Back

So I have finally gotten my new(est) BlackBerry—no smartassery, please, I just can’t with a touchscreen—and got it up to speed. AND I have WordPress up and running on it! Yay me!

At any rate, four of the six prototype bowls have gone out, with two so far receiving rave reviews. I also received a 20% off total purchase coupon from JoAnn Fabrics, so you all know what that means, right?

It means yours truly is off to the bowl-creating races! I have so many creative ideas in mind, and can’t wait to bring them to fruition.

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Unfortunately, I neglected to buy a replacement pattern for the bowl; the original has clearly seen better days and has taken quite the beating.

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A friend of mine at That Place suggested I make miniature versions of the bowls for party favors. First draft is still in play.

I also have to take the time to clear out/straighten up the room over the garage so it can (finally) become the amazing craft room/spare office/spare bedroom/kitty haven I’m envisioning it to be. I just need someone (someones?) to help make an old recliner disappear. Older brother-in-law (OBIL) wonders how I work in organized chaos, given that the spousal-unit is a neat freak.

Also, last night I decided to try out a new macaroni and cheese recipe that included cremini mushrooms and liquid smoke. It did not end well. I will not bother you with it, dear reader, as it was not that great. I will stick with my tried-and-true mac and cheese concoction going forward, #thankyouverymuch.

As always… WATCH THIS SPACE!

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TCB (Takin’ Care of Business)

As promised, here is the recipe for the crab and andouille jambalaya I made on Friday. It turned out perfectly the first time I made it, but this time the rice was a little bit softer than I normally like it. It still tasted great, and the SU and I gorged ourselves on it.

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Chesapeake Bay meets the Big Easy

I managed to avoid slicing any body parts doing prep work this time.

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(yes, I know it’s a SANTOKU knife, for some reason my brain wants me to say SUDOKU)

Today I am going to make Greek pasta salad, although it will not be gluten-free and I will not be making enough to feed an army.

Also today, I need to make a list of priorities for the week; there are a few things that I Absolutely Must Get Done TODAY as they are woefully overdue. Once the little grey cells start hitting on all eight after two Hugh Jass cups of hazelnut coffee, it’ll be off to the races!

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Casualties of Cuisine

The intention was to make ho-made homemade lasagna. As usual, another mile on the Highway to Hades got paved with my good intentions.

It is not the normal-formal everyday mozzarella-ricotta-lots of red sauce lasagna; I call it my sexy MF lasagna. Yes, you read that right. It is an amazing recipe.

Full disclosure: OK, it’s really a recipe I borrowed from Martha Stewart. I tweaked it as it was a bit too fancy for me—I’m too lazy to make ho-made homemade noodles (not to mention cheap as I don’t have a pasta machine and don’t intend to buy one as I have enough stuff already thankyouverymuch). Plus the spousal-unit doesn’t care for nutmeg.

My recipe (OK, MARTHA’S, I give credit where and when credit is due) calls for chopped celery, onion, carrot, and garlic. All very well and good until one considers that last week I sliced the crap out of my left index finger chopping celery for marinara sauce (OK, Giada’s marinara sauce) for rigatoni and meatballs, which is one of the the spousal-unit’s favorite meals. I waited too long to get stitches or Dermabond; had to settle for sterile strips and bandages. No antibiotics, as the knife was brand new, but I did have to get a tetanus shot.

There was a laugh to be had from this; I was explaining to someone what had happened (brand new santoku knife, chopping up celery, blah blah blah) and a guy friend chimed in “but what she didn’t tell you is, her husband’s name is Celery.”

Understandably I was apprehensive about doing anything that involved knives or cloth (blood stains are the devil to get rid of, you know, but this stuff works). As of this morning, the wound seems to be healing nicely, so I hope to get back on track cooking and creating.

Wish me luck and watch this space!

PS the phrase that pays was “I cut myself with a sudoku knife.” Damn that math game! And how’s that for a malapropism?

 

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