Monday, December 29, 2008

Computer Update

Hi friends!! Just thought I'd give you a quick update. My computer is FRIED. I lost an entire month's worth of pictures and videos of the midget and all the documents I've created in the last few months. I tried two different retrievals and the last step is to send it in for Data Recovery which starts at $500 and can cost all the way up to $1600. It's crazy CIA stuff where they pull out the hard drive and replace the pins of the drive manually. Needless to say, this is completely unaffordable and not guaranteed to work anyway. Well, I guess I've learned my backing up lesson... Please learn from my mistake and back up your files regularly!!

I do have to send my computer in to see if the hard drive is malfunctioning. If that's the case, I have a service plan, so it should be covered in pretty much any circumstance. If it is software, it may be covered under the computer's warranty.

So to sum it all up, you won't be seeing much of me for a good while. My hubby's busy travelling season starts next week and he will need his computer most of the time, but I've had limited access to his computer while he's been on vacation. So I will probably be able to read your blogs from my phone (pocket pc), but I can't comment from my phone.

I am also watching a friend's 9 month old, so I'm sure I'll be too busy to wallow in too much self-pity. " ) PLUS, I surprised hubby with a Wii for Christmas, so I'm busy working on my boxing, bowling, and Guitar Hero skills so I can beat Wifey when we hang out one of these days!

Don't forget me! Hopefully, I'll be back soon! I'll leave you with this picture of the midget enjoying her Christmas gift--a toy piano.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Vote for Pedro ME!

This just in!

My Romantic Keepsake Tree was chosen as a finalist in Tip Junkie's Christmas Tree Contest!!

Go Vote for me NOW!! I command you! Don't you love it when I'm bossy? " )

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Well, I sure hope so! My computer took a giant crap on me and all my attempts to resurrect it have been unsuccessful. I guess I'll have to go to Geek Squad and see what they have to say.

I am missing an entire month's worth of pictures, videos, documents, etc. in my backup files. I thought they were backed up on the external hard drive and deleted them. I am sick to my stomach. UGH! So all of you out in bloggyland--GO BACK UP YOUR FILES! RIGHT NOW!!

If I have to pay $100 for one month of files, I'm going to scream!

So for now, I bid you all adieu and will hopefully be posting again soon.

Sympathetic niceties would be appreciated. Please tell me I'm not an idiot and that everything will be okay.

p.s. Yes, I'm a total drama queen... You know you love me anyway. " )

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Home Tour

Here's a quick tour of our Christmas Decorations! There are a million Christmas Home Tours that I'll be participating in just for fun!

Go Visit:
Boomama's Christmas Tour of Homes
Hooked on Houses Hooked on Holiday House Tours
Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas Tree Par-tay
Southern Hospitality's Deck the Halls
Tip Junkie's Virtual Tour of Homes Holiday Edition
Kimba at A Soft Place to Land is having a Holiday Open House
The Lazy Organizer is having Talk About Tuesday
Melissa at The Inspired Room is having a Let it Snow Holiday Linky

The hubby is in charge of decorating outdoors, so this is all his handiwork.

My husband made this beautiful Nativity from a pattern he bought online. I ADORE IT!! You'll see I have a thing for Nativities. I never EVER want to forget why we celebrate on December 25th--my Lord and Savior was born on this day!! It is the most important birthday we celebrate every year!

When you walk in my house, you are greeted by the Candy Cane Tree, in its new spot. A red & white candy cane striped Welcome sign hangs underneath.

The stairs are wrapped in silver garland with candy canes and evergreen garland.

The Music Room houses the Keepsake Tree this year (to keep Midget from destroying the tree and presents).

This Manger is an early memory of mine growing up. I remember playing with the porcelain baby Jesus as a little girl, which is probably why some of its fingers are broken! Now I will have to keep Midget's fingers off of it too, which is why it is sitting on top of the piano!

I can't say I love the placement of the Stockings this year. But you'll see why they aren't up on the mantle in just a few pictures!

This "present" covers up four large shelves on our built-in Entertainment Center. The hubby plans to make something to cover up the shelves so they look less messy. For now, this was SUPER easy! Hubby and I just cut a piece of cardboard to the right length and width. I wrapped one side of it and we stuck it up with Command Strips.

This is our mantle this year. I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, but it still turned out beautifully (Aubrey, next year I'll hire your hubby to make me the exact vinyl decal of what I want, but I couldn't get my "stuff" together early enough--big surprise). I bought this beautiful Nativity while I was in college. The Angel is a tree topper, but I think it works well with the set. The stars are ornaments that are tacked up with teeny tiny nails.

I hope you've enjoyed your tour of our Christmas decorations! If you're visiting from other sites, please take a look around and subscribe or follow my blog if you like what you see! I'd be glad to have you back anytime! Don't forget to leave me a comment, because I LOVE knowing who visited! I'll come by and say hi to you!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Romantic Keepsake Tree

I figured since I'm entering my Candy Cane Tree in Tip Junkie's Christmas Tree contest, I didn't want my real tree to feel left out! This is the tree I was talking about that was $300. Of course, I waited until after Christmas and sent out the hubby to buy it at 75% off.

I've had the decorations on this tree for quite some time. I'm normally a bright color person, but I fell in love with the victorian-esque look of the gold, greens, pinks, and purples. I bought these all the day after Christmas and got them for next to nothing!

If you want to make a themed tree, that is the most frugal way to do it! Buy everything AFTER CHRISTMAS! It's so much less expensive and makes having different themed trees affordable. If you have a few different themes, you won't tire of them easily. I intend to go out the day after Christmas this year and look for a new theme for next year!

I put all of our special ornaments on this tree; My first Christmas ornament my Mom saved for me, our first married Christmas ornament, the midget's first Christmas ornament, and other special ornaments.

I think it turned out especially beautiful this year! If you do, GO VOTE FOR ME starting on 12/20/08!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Candy Cane Tree

Okay folks, Tip Junkie is having a Christmas Tree contest, so I am doing a little bit of close-up on my Candy Cane (2nd floor) Christmas Tree (because I think it's cool means everyone else should, right?).

We moved to a new home last year and broke our artificial tree in the move. I didn't want to pay full price for a new tree, so I was a little unsure what to do. The only one I loved was $299! While I was walking down the aisle at Wal-Mart, I saw a 6 1/2 foot white pre-lit tree for less than $30!! I'd never considered a white tree before (actually kind of made fun of them *snicker*), but the price was right! By the way, Wal-Mart still has these trees, but they've gone up to $35. Still a bargain in my mind.

I decorated it with a red and white tree skirt, red garland, some red, white, and silver ornaments and a silver angel. I bought peppermint candy canes to hang on the branches and ta-daaaa, a Candy Cane Christmas Tree! Now I have a beautiful full-size tree to put up on our 2nd floor landing for years to come, and all for less than $50!

p.s. GO VOTE FOR ME starting on the 20th!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Because One Wasn't Enough

Here's our Christmas Tree.

And because I could be classified as criminally insane, here's the second tree that is on our upstairs landing.

And since I tend to overdo everything, I'm going to be appearing pretty sparsely the rest of the week while I get ready to host a Christmas party on Saturday. My motivation to get everything done ahead of time is a friend's party on Friday night. I need a little Christmas cheer too, ifyaknowwhatimsayin...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Santa vs. The Midget

I took the midget to see Santa Claus tonight at our local McDonald's. Why McDonald's you ask? Because there's no way in H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS I am paying $19.99 to stand in line at the mall for a teeny tiny stupid picture! So for $3.40, the midget got a hamburger Happy Meal (complete with pink My Little Pony and comb), a goodie bag, AND a picture with Santa!

There were a lot of people there (apparently I'm not the only cheap parent on the planet) and we got there late (of course), so I was a little afraid of not getting a picture, but thankfully Santa stayed long enough for me to capture this:

and this:

But then finally the McDonald's employee caught this one:

Is it bad I was laughing the entire time?

Don't miss my guest inquisit-ing today over at Sunshine & Lemonade!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Merry SITSmas!!

It's SITSmas at The Secret in the Sauce!! That means giveaways every hour, a GRAND PRIZE of a $200 gift card and featured blogger, and a neglected midget and house. Let's just say the pizza place will appreciate my business three times in one day...

I had a hard time just doing one SITSmas card, so I did a few. Most are from last years pictures. ENJOY!


Here's some of my SITStas I subscribe to! Wouldn't you like to be one? haha Sorry if I missed any of you others! I need to conserve energy for all the SITSmas fun!
A Thorn Among Roses
Angela at My Dogumentary
Nanny Goats in Panties

Leave me a comment so I can come visit you!!

For those of you blog-hopping, Everything but the Kitchen Sink is next!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stay Tuned for a Merry SITSmas Tomorrow!

I'll be posting my SITSmas card tomorrow!! You should too! Head on over and see the UNBELIEVABLE grand prize and join in the fun! $200 at Target!!! Wa-hoooo!!

The Secret is in the Sauce: THIS JUST IN:

Ummm, Okay...

I finished reading it over Thanksgiving.

And I have to say, "Ummm, okay..." At the risk of being stoned and losing subscribers, I have to admit that I'm really not sure what all the hype is about. It was good, but the absence of suspense from the book was maddening for me, up until almost the end when the tracker came into play. But then, the action was over too quickly.

I'm not the biggest fan of romance novels, so that could be my issue. I like a little romance with my action, not a little action with my romance. I guess I like the romance to be the condiment, not the entree.

So tell me people, should I keep reading? Is there a lot more action in the next three books? I know some of you are huge fans, so help a girl out!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

See You in a Bit...

I'll be back next week!
Watch for my guest post this week on

I wish you all a most sincere...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Open Letter to Mr. Clean

Dear Mr. Clean,

For a few months, you graced the upper right corner of this very page, touting the magic of an eraser. Your rippling muscles and shiny polished head never failed to draw my adoring eyes back to this blog again and again. Trust me, I never had clean thoughts about you.

But here's the thing. While I was spending time watching you flash that brilliant grin, I wasn't getting any cleaning done. The strain you have caused on my marriage has been great. And to make it even worse, I began to see you pop up on other blogs underneath a little BlogHer sign, you CHEATER! I was totally going to break the whole thing off with you.

But then, you disappeared and haven't been back since...*sob*

Go ahead, stay away, for all I care! You may return to my blog on one condition--come back and announce the Magic Bathroom Cleaner. And I'm not talking that silly Shower Cleaner those little bubbles think is so great. I'm talking toilet scrubbing, floor mopping, mirror wiping, sink washing, soap scum removing sort of "magic," m'kay?

Until then, you and those sultry white eyebrows can go dazzle some other unsuspecting blogger. Unless you really want to come back...

Dirty hugs and kisses,


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do You Sushi?

Okay, so I seriously have this "I can do anything" complex, which is frustrating for my husband. Since I always have a project going, I can always find a reason to put off cleaning! Tonight's example is no different. In fact, while talking to my sweetie earlier today, I mentioned that I was going to clean both the bathrooms tonight while the midget was taking her afternoon nap. He complained about them this weekend, but I say, what's wrong with super-grody toilets?? Instead of cleaning the bathrooms, I was rolling sushi!!

On our honeymoon, waaaaay back in 1997, my brand-spankin-new husband and I went to a sushi restaurant called Sukiyaki House in Banff, Canada. Having never eaten sushi, we had no idea what we would like. Even with the prospect of being completely corny, we ordered the Love Boat! When it came out, the entire restaurant stared at us! I tried every single kind of sushi on that ridiculously HUGE wooden boat. I made it through most of it, although not caring for any of it, but when I got to the raw squid... Well, let's just say, I can't believe I didn't ralf everywhere! When I bit down on it, it immediately turned to goo and then began to firm back up as I chewed. AAAAAACCCCKKKK!! It still gives me the iggles when I think about it eleven years later!

Anyway, I bought all my supplies about a year ago (I think I spent about $15 at the asian market) and there they sat--until this evening, when I needed yet another excuse to avoid cleaning! Actually, I started last night by cooking the sushi rice, but I got too hungry to try doing it. So look at my very first California Roll! I'm pretty impressed with myself!

By the way, the winner of the 100th post giveaway is...

Briana Almengor of Pleasant Places!! Go stop by her blog and congratulate her!!

You didn't think I'd forgotten, did you??

Back to sushi! I LOVE sushi, but only the non-raw fish kind, which I suppose classifies me as an imitation-sushi-eater. The raw fish thing doesn't gross me out at all, but I ABHOR the texture of raw fish. I have tried nearly every kind of raw fish/ocean creature out there, but still have yet to find one I like. My favorite roll is the Dragon Roll, which has barbecued eel (cooked) on it.

And now, in classic Kat fashion (who I'm going to guest inquisit for the first week in December and need some practice, and yeah, I know inquisit isn't a word), tell me, do you eat sushi? If you don't, why not? If you do, what's your favorite? Are you fluent in chopsticks?? Are you interested in seeing me do a tutorial so you can roll your own sushi?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Let it Snow!

Last day to enter the GIVEAWAY!! I KNOW you'd like $25 to spend at Target AND a Cuddly Quilt Kit!

I walked out to take out the garbage tonight and was surprised at what I saw! Wa-hoo! SNOW!!!

Lara over at The Lazy Organizer is hosting another Talk About Tuesday and I wasn't sure what to post about.

Lara talked about her smashing party dip today, so in honor of the snow and party fare, I thought I would show you my Snowman Cheese Ball Set. I got this cute little set at a white elephant party last year. Isn't it just silly and cute? The mittens and boots are the spreaders!

Snowman Cheese Ball

8 oz. softened cream cheese
5 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1 bag (14 oz) flaked coconut, divided

Mix sugar and cream cheese in a bowl. Stir in vanilla. Mix in 1/2 c of coconut.

Roll mixture into a large ball. Press remaining coconut onto ball.

Chill several hours. Serve with fresh fruit and graham crackers.

What?? You don't have one of these sets?? You can take the same recipe and make it into a snowman by rolling two balls, one smaller for the head and one for the body. Then use raisins for the eyes, an orange tic tac for the nose, and a red licorice string for the mouth.

Here are a few other links to other snowman cheese balls, complete with cute pictures, that you don't need a set for either.

Kraft Snowman Cheese Ball
Betty Crocker Snowman Cheese Ball
Taste of Home Snowman Cheese Ball

Husbands are Irritating...

First, have you entered the GIVEAWAY yet?!?! Only one more day left and it's a doozy!!

So Amy at Living Locurto has asked us to share something that our husband won't get rid of that irritates us.

Well, considering that I am quite persuasive, my husband doesn't have anything left that I didn't like! But here are some items I have made him dispose of.

First, the pickup he drove when we met in 1993. This isn't the exact pickup, but it is close. It was a brown 1984 Nissan pickup with a flatbed. The bed had rusted out, so my husband made a flatbed on the back. It had a gold cattle guard on the front and was just ugly. Seriously, this guy is lucky I still fell in love with him when he showed up with it on our first date.

Next was his embarrasingly large collection of bolo ties. I laughed and laughed and laughed when I saw them. Then they miraculously disappeared. I'm such a bi**h sometimes, it's sad...

And finally, his GI-NOCEROUS snaggletooth. In the little town he grew up in, the only dentist they could get to come in was a quack. Honestly, he was a quack! No dental license or training! I would have asked to see his diploma after he put that monstrosity in my mouth, wouldn't you?? It was almost an inch longer than his other tooth and wasn't even close to the right color.

So just to even the score, I'll show you something that really pisses my husband off about me--giant boxes of random stuff!

This first box is full of random clothes, a dog purse (carrier), some little shelves, a few books, and some other random items. If you look closely at the book, you'll see it's called, "It's All Too Much. An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff," by Peter Walsh, who Amy wrote about a few days ago. Guess I haven't read the book yet, huh?

Oooooh, look at that cute scarf! That's going upstairs with me!

Next is a box of stuff that I pulled out of my Chevy Malibu when I wrecked it in January of 2007. Ummm, yeah, that's pretty embarassing...

And this one, which is filled with small plastic bags from the bank I worked at. What could possibly be in those bags? Hmmmmm, various body sprays, pictures, and what?? Awesome! I forgot about these too!! I bought them for a special event we had at our bank, but I'll get lots of good use out them, starting right now!

This is my Ronald McDonald scary clown look.

Hello, Bride of Frankenstein!! Does your hubby have a snaggletooth?

This my Tina Turner "what's love got to do with it" look.

Scary Goth Girl. Actually that one's kinda cute...

Can you say, Redneck Mullet??

And finally...

My Cher impersonation. I know! I TOTALLY look like her!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

100th Post GIVEAWAY!


Holy Cow! I can't believe I've written 100 of these silly posts, but what I can't believe even more is the fact that you actually read them! According to my feedburner stats, there's SIXTY-THREE of you that subscribe to my blog! Now I know that's small potatoes to some people, but to me, that is UNBELIEVEABLE! Dear readers, I am humbled and honored that you take your precious time to read what I have to say! Thank you!

So as a thank you gesture for reading the drivel I so lovingly waste time writing (when I should be cleaning), I am happy to give away two gift cards to Target that total $25 and a cuddly quilt kit!

Check out this Target gift card loaded with $20. It's a little game and perhaps the coolest gift card I've ever seen! The second gift card (not pictured because it's so boring it would be a total letdown after the first one), I earned by reading Money Saving Mom. I found a Target coupon listed on Crystal's site, printed it, took it to Target, bought diapers and wipes (which were on sale and I needed anyway) and voila--$5 for FREE! I've saved so much money with tips listed there and at The "Cents"ible Sawyer, another great money-saving blog! Welcome MSM and TCS Readers! If you like what you see, please subscribe and come back to visit often!

The Cuddly Quilt Kit is oh so cute and perfect for beginning sewers (Sorry for the price tag faux pas, but I didn't feel like scraping it off). I've made two baby gifts (you can see them here and here) from these kits and they were my first quilts. The step by step instructions are easy to understand and the size is completely manageable. This is the Princess Pup Quilt Kit and features pink leopard print backing, tiara wearing poodles, hot pink satin, and raised dot minky! This is one spectacularly fantastic quilt!! If you don't have a daughter, it still is great practice for someone who wants to learn how to quilt! Plus, chances are that you will know someone who will have a baby girl at some point in time and this would make a show-stopping shower gift!

How to enter, you ask?? It's easy! Leave me a comment! Now I sure don't get 63 comments each post, so make my day and leave me one! If you don't have a blog, please leave your email address.

For all you bloggers out there, get an extra entry by grabbing my silly little apple button over to the right and then entering your blog name into Mr. Linky below and your blog URL. No need to link to a specific post, I'll just be looking for the little apple on your blog. If you already are sporting your Oikology 101 apple, just put your name and blog URL into Mr. Linky! If you have questions about how to post the button on your blog, email me at oikology101 at gmail dot com and I'll be happy to help!

Entries accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18th. Winner will be announced on Wednesday 11/19.

Thanks again, my friends, and good luck!