Looks, Personality, and She's Great In the Kitchen!

OK, that's a lie. I'm lousy in the kitchen.

It's no secret that I'm not much of a cook. I don't enjoy planning meals and if it were up to me we'd probably eat macaroni and cheese or peanut butter sandwiches every night. Luckily, the hubby is a good cook and prepares most of our meals. Every now and then I'll make dinner, or I'll chip in if we're cooking a large family meal, but those occasions are rare.

If I do wander into the kitchen, I like to bake. I think I get it from my mom. She can make magic in the kitchen but she's famous for her sweets, particularly her cheesecakes.

When I chose to make a cheesecake for Thanksgiving I knew I had some mighty big shoes oven mitts to fill. I kept it simple and stuck to a plain New York cheesecake, using Mom's recipe. But then I decided that wasn't Thanksgiving-y enough, so I improvised a fresh cranberry topping. Having sampled Mom's baking through the years, I'm kind of an expert on cheesecake, and I thought mine tasted as good as hers.

I would share the recipe with you, but I'm pretty sure my mom would kill me. Seriously. She gave me strict instructions not to give the recipe to anyone, and I think it's safe to assume that includes the internet.

What did you make for Thanksgiving?

Random Tip For You

It's fall, which means this is the time of year when I wear the same thing every Saturday, eat food in parking lots and yell obscenities at strangers. No, I don't go crazy every fall - it's FOOTBALL SEASON!

For those of you who don't follow college Football:
A) What's wrong with you?
B) Stay put, this tip applies to other sporting events.

Once a season, the stadium passes out little towels to everyone - my fellow Wolfpackers know them as Howl Towels - so that fans can wave them whenever something exciting happens.

pictured: Howl Towel and Collegiate Smugness

Lots of people throw them out or leave them behind after the game, but they shouldn't do that. Why is that? I'm glad you asked. There are so many ways to re-use them:

-house - they're great for dusting and cleaning counter tops

-shop/garage/gym - keep one handy when you're working to wipe the sweat from your (wo)manly brow

-car - de-fog your windshield, wipe drive-thru grease off your hands or dust a CD

-diaper bag - babies like to make messes, so it's nice to have something on hand to absorb stuff that you can pretend never existed throw away toss in the wash, guilt free

-tail-gate kit - they never seem to give out the Howl Towels the day it rains, so keep it in your bag to wipe your seats on a rainy day - it beats grabbing dozens of paper towels from the ladies' room

See, I told you they were useful. Seriously - I haven't paid for a household rag since I started going to football games. I challenge you sports fans - save some dough and keep those towels out of the landfill!

You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Post Is About You

According to the baby books, a possible side effect of pregnancy is extra hair growth. Yes, your hair can look full and lustrous, but it won't last because all that extra hair will just fall out after the baby is born.

I never had the boost in hair growth, but do you know what? My hair fell out anyway. I am losing hair like it's MY JOB. That doesn't sound so bad until you realize it's mostly falling out in the front. SEE:

You think that's embarrassing? I have another bald spot just like it on the other side. Most people probably wouldn't even notice it, but I don't care. I made an appointment with my hairdresser and got some bangs to hide my receding hairline.

Here's to hoping it grows back. If not, I'm getting a buzz-cut and a wig.

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

A few days ago I was reading one of those Shop Your Closet, Wardrobe Re-Mix articles in a fashion mag. You know, they show you all the outfits you can make by combining all the clothing basics you already own.

One that caught my eye was skinny jeans (cuffed) + fun top + ankle boots. I thought it looked cute, and I do have all of those items, but I was afraid the outfit was too rock-n-roll for me to pull off.

Then fate intervened. The next night I saw Liz Lemon, self-proclaimed schlump, wearing ankle boots with cuffed skinnies on 3o Rock. I thought, if Lemon can do it so can I.


So here I am. Cuffed skinnies, ankle boots and a sequined top. I threw on my cotton blazer for structure and warmth, then added a chunky black ring for some extra bad-assery.

booties and skinnies

subtle sparkle - it doesn't scream rock-n-roll, but it might whisper it a little

So, that's the closest I'll ever come to looking like a rock star. Let's call it bad-ass lite. Is it the most figure-flattering ensemble I've ever worn? Probably not. But I'm proud of myself for trying something new.

Jeans - Old Navy, Sweetheart Skinny
Boots - Candies, via Kohl's
Top - BJ's, yes, BJ's
Blazer - Target

The New "Mom" Jean

I have found my new "Mom" jeans. Don't worry - there isn't a pleat in sight.

I was at Old Navy the other day (see, I told you my birthday money was burning a hole in my pocket) and I fell in love with the Sweetheart Skinny.

Most skinny jeans have a low rise. For all you childless gals, that look couldn't be cuter. But I'm a mom now and my firm baby bump has turned (back) into belly flab. That means low-rise jeans only lead to one place: Muffin-Top City.

Just because I push a stroller and drive a sensible sedan doesn't mean I'm willing to give up trendy pants. This is why the Sweetheart is so perfect. They're skinny jeans WITH A MEDIUM RISE! Pardon my enthusiasm, but did you just read that? I can wear skinny jeans without turning my midsection into a pastry!

I bought 2 pairs, but I left enough behind for you. What are you waiting for? Go shopping!

How Was Your Halloween?

My Halloween was fantastic, thanks for asking!

I was really excited about carving a pumpkin this year. The hubby and I were leaning towards a simple ghost design, but then our not-so-inner nerds spoke up and we were inspired to carve a ghost... being chased by Pac-Man.

I apologize for the crappy picture. Photographing candlelight does funny things to my camera.

It has been at least 10 years since I've had a jack-o-lantern and I was really anxious to get started. Perhaps too anxious. Notice how the ghost's left eye is smaller than his right one? That's because we carved the pumpkins a week early, not remembering how quickly they start to mold and wilt. Eh, live and learn.

Another notch for the bummer column - we ran out of candy by 7:30. Not wanting to disappoint the trick-or-treaters, I raided the pantry. But since I'm back on Weight Watchers, this is all I had:

Sorry kids, I hope you like fruit snacks and diet cookies.

However, nothing could truly bum me out because I got to play with this little munchkin all day:

Really, Luke, could you get any cuter?

I'll see your Halloween jumpsuit, and raise you one lobster pot.

Touche, Lobster Luke, touche.

Best picture of the night:

No! Not the melted butter!

We didn't take him trick-or-treating (3 month olds don't eat candy) but we had fun dressing him up and seeing all the neighborhood kids in their costumes. Steven and I dressed up as chefs but we didn't get any family pictures because Luke tapped out for a nap before we could get that coordinated. Maybe we'll try again one night this week.

Tell me readers, what was your costume?

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