Boy, Do I Feel Stupid!

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About three years ago I was walking through Neiman Marcus, when a woman at the Clair sonic counter asked if I would like a demonstration of their new product called The Opal.Photo on 4-30-13 at 7.51 AM

As I used the face brush daily, I thought, Why Not? She put a drop of Dead Sea Serum on the little white tip and proceeded to massage it into my eye area for about thirty seconds.

It did look a lot smoother than the other eye. Then she did the other eye and I was ‘sold’. So for $185, I now had my very own Opal and one ounce of the serum (plus two extra tips).

I have used it religiously every day for the past three years. I keep it on its charger right by my bathroom sink. I am now on my third bottle of the dead sea serum.

Yesterday, I accidentally bumped the side of my Opal and it made a little buzzing sound. I had turned it on.Photo on 4-30-13 at 7.51 AM #2

I did not know you had to turn it on. I thought it was like a cell phone. Charge and go. Boy, do I feel stupid! So if any of you readers have an Opal and have never turned it on, the ‘button’ is right on the side. It goes on for thirty seconds and then turns itself off. Then you do the other eye.

Gee, just think how great I would look, if I had actually turned this little wonder on for the 1000 times I have used it. At least I massaged the serum into the eye area every day.

If you check this out, Neiman Marcus has this in white and now black for men. I got the turquoise one at Nordstrom’s.

 

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Happy New Year!

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Now that I have your attention: This blog was posted one year ago today! Really tomorrow. So here is a repeat. Happy New Year.

Labels

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I have a new toy. It is the Word on my Mac computer. I can print mailing labels using whatever font, size and color I choose. It looks so professional.

I have an HP Photosmart printer, scanner, copier and other than ink, it was a real bargain.

You can use any font style. I like Marker Felt as it is easy to read and yet has a little style. I have also used Lucida Handwriting and my favorite font is Comic Sans. There are so many, it is fun to experiment.

I like to use a size 14 font size for my return address and a 24 font size for the actual address. Then if what I am putting the label on is in color, I try to compliment it.

For example, I just mailed a purple envelope and I made the type in purple. Very neat.

For boxes and large envelopes I use an even larger font size and usually black.

Best way to attach these labels is with rubber cement, and secured by strips of scotch tape or clear mailing tape over the entire label to make it ‘waterproof’.

Yes, this takes a couple of extra minutes, but just think how pleased YOU would be if you got a letter or a package in the mail and it looked like the sender had really taken some extra pains to make it special.

And so what, if you spend five minutes out of your day doing something like this. In the long run (or even the short run) that is nothing.

Think of all the five minute increments you waste each day doing something like waiting for an elevator or standing in line at the market. And that doesn’t brighten anyone’s life.

How do you eat a cupcake?

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How do you eat a cupcake? I never gave this subject much thought, but the question recently showed up on a personality test I was taking.

Most of the questions concerned feelings and beliefs such as Were you picked on as a child in school? or Is your religion important to you?

Then there were the questions concerning opinions and attitudes. Are you offended by racist jokes? and Which is worse, starving children or abused animals?

Then up popped the cupcake question. These were the choices of answers: 1. Frosting first, 2. cake first 3. don’t know how I eat a cupcake.

Then you had to rate the importance of this question: Somewhat important, very important or mandatory.

Imagine meeting the person of your dreams and getting disqualified because you were a ‘frosting first’ kind of guy. I figured #3 was a safe bet.

I may not know how I eat a cupcake, but I do know how to eat an Oreo. “Well to do it, you unscrew it. Very Fast. ‘Cause the Kid’ll eat the middle of an Oreo first, and save the chocolate cookie outside for last”.

Exercise?

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My whole life I have been advised to exercise. And I really have tried over the years. To no avail.

When I was in grade school I was always the last one chosen on teams. “You can have her, you can have her”. The captains would argue about who would have to have me on their team. (I never got to be the captain).

When I was finally chosen, I always got the worst positions. I spent my entire sports life playing right or left field in girls baseball. I was terrified of the ball. Don’t even get me started about field hockey. Those terrible sticks.

When I got to high school, I chose tennis as my sport. I could hit the ball over the fence and spend the entire period looking for it.

Then it was college. UCLA. And you had to take a physical education class. First I took bowling. This was sort of fun and we got to go to a real bowling alley and wear cute shoes.

The next semester I signed up for square dancing. I thought that would be fun to learn. Uh, oh. The ‘class’ was in the evening. That should have been my first clue.

When I walked into the gym wearing my regular sweater and skirt and white bucks, there were about twenty couples, all in square dance clothes. Also a professional caller.

Everyone broke into squares and again, nobody wanted me. I didn’t have a partner and I was dressed all wrong. Plus I didn’t know any of the steps.

This wasn’t really a class. It was a place for square dance couples to do their thing. All I knew was Do Si Do. Square dancing is very fast and the dancers get very angry at you if you screw up their square.

Since then I have tried all sorts of exercise. In the 60’s, I worked out with Jack LaLane. I had three children under four and so my days were mostly at home as a housewife. Jack had very simple exercise equipment for his methods.  A chair and a broom, as I recall.

Later I tried yoga. I especially liked the leotards. Everyone looks pretty good in a leotard and tights. The yoga was OK, but nothing to write home about. I never really ‘got’ it.

Through the years, I tried Gold’s Gym, 24 hour Fitness and even the YMCA. I really don’t like exercise at all. Usually for exercise, I shop faster.

So imagine my delight, when I got the email today that I have printed below.

HEALTH MESSAGE:   1. If walking/cycling is good for your health, the postman would be immortal. 2. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water and is fat. 3. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years. 4. A tortoise doesn’t run, does nothing, just eating…yet lives for 450 years.   AND YOU TELL ME TO EXERCISE?? Pleassseee!!

Kitchen Aid Mixer

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My very most favorite kitchen appliance would have to be my Kitchen Aid mixer. (Actually it is a toss up between that and my new Cuisinart).

Here it is right before using. I haven’t even put the beater in yet. Just had to snap a photo before I used it the first time.

This one is Martha Stewart blue. That is a soft aqua. I have the matching bowl and spatula for a real designer look while I am baking. I also have the MS apron in the same shade with red trim.

These mixers don’t only look good, they work extremely well. They are very heavy and do not move around on the counter. The bowl does not turn, just the beaters. Most batters mix in a very short time.

I have added the beater that ‘scrapes the bowl’. This does not come with the machine but it is a $30 extra. Well worth it.

The machine comes with a good beater, a wire whisk for beating egg whites and cream and a dough hook.

You can also buy attachments that fit onto the shaft. I have the meat grinder, which I love. I always grind my own ‘hamburger’ from lean cuts of beef.

I have also made turkey burgers with scraps of uncooked turkey. No comparison to store bought. Fresh and you KNOW what is in it.

This mixer comes in the most gorgeous colors. My first one was white. Then I got a red one. My last one was royal blue. And now aqua.

It also comes in pumpkin, green, silver and pink. Williams and Sonoma comes out with new colors each season. Pumpkin for the fall, red and green for the Christmas Holidays etc.

You get the picture. There is even a company that sells Kitchen Aid decals so you can make your mixer very original.

The reason I have had so many is that I have moved a lot and this mixer weighs a ton. I have usually sold my ‘used’ mixer for almost as much as a new one and I have ‘traded up’ in size as well.

Yes, it is an expensive addition to your kitchen, but you will never regret buying one. Even Costco sells these and sometimes Macy’s has a good sale on ‘last year’s color’.

Actually all the colors are very pretty. I have a fantasy in my head, where I have a very large kitchen, with an island in the middle.

On one long counter are about six of these machines in various colors. Since you have to use the KA bowl, this means you could make mashed potatoes, whipped cream, chocolate cake, cookies and bread, all without having to wash the bowl.

Of course you would then have five or six bowls and beaters to wash all at once. Of course the rest of my fantasy is that I would have a maid who would be right there to do this.

Pudding Cake, Jello and Pudding…Yum!

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This is such a cozy comforting dessert and so easy to make. Even you guys could make this as a special treat for that dinner you are preparing for your girlfriend or for Mother’s Day. Of course this is assuming you have a mixer and know what a whisk is.

Here is the recipe for lemon pudding cake, but you could do the same thing with chocolate. First of all use a Duncan Hines cake mix and two boxes of instant pudding. You will also need three eggs, water, milk, a 13 x 9 inch cake pan and an oven.

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease pan. In electric mixer put cake mix, 1 1/4 cup water and three eggs. If you are making the lemon cake, also put in one tablespoon of grated lemon peel  Mix on low for thirty seconds and then medium for two minutes. Pour into cake pan.

In bowl put two boxes of instant pudding mix and 2 3/4 cup milk. Whisk for two minutes till thick and then spoon over cake mix but don’t go too near the edges. Leave a border about half an inch all around.

Bake for 50 minutes till lightly brown and edges pull away from sides. When it is done the cake will be on top and the pudding on the bottom. Magic.  Center should jiggle a little. Cool twenty minutes. Center may sink a little. Spoon into bowls and top with whipped cream, cool whip or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I like homey food like this. Sort of reminds me of my youth. Of course they didn’t have instant pudding in the olden days. No you had to mix and stir it on the stove for five whole minutes.

I still prefer to do this, as to me, it tastes much better than instant. Sometimes it is hard to find Cook ‘n Serve pudding mix in the market. It is almost as easy to make it from scratch using, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and milk.

Actually cooking the pudding doesn’t take but two minutes longer than the ‘instant’ and it is worth it. Plus, if you are trying to get your children to eat more protein, you can stir in a couple of beaten egg yolks. Cook as usual. Beat the egg whites till stiff, add a little sugar/ and then fold whites into the pudding.

Now you have sort of an airy souffle and it makes quite a bit more. This is pretty served in crystal stem glasses such as you would use for champagne.

You can buy the four serving size and mix with two cups of milk, or the six serving size and use three cups of milk. When it is done you just pour it into little glass dishes. Or you can use those plastic drinking cups. I always put a marshmallow in the cup first. Surprise!

Another thing you can make with these tall glasses is multi colored jello. For a real thrill, fill bottom third with red, tilt glasses so jello is at an angle. Hold in place with something/dishtowel etc. When semi hard, add another color and tilt opposite way, and then do the same with a third color. Really a gorgeous dessert and people are soooo impressed.

What you have is a zig zag pattern of jello and all you have to do is prop the glasses up against something in the fridge to make sure the jello sets at about a 45 degree angle. Whip cream on top for sure.

And good to know, you can get sugar free jello now that doesn’t taste that bad. Also sugar free and fat free pudding, both of which I haven’t tried and don’t intend to. Also, buy your pudding and jello when it is on sale as it is half the price or less.

Of course if that seems like too much trouble, just pour the pudding or jello in one big bowl and scoop out as needed. Also, if you are someone who doesn’t like the ‘skin’ on top of the pudding (although that is my favorite part), you can put a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper on top of the pudding and it will cool without the ‘skin’.

And if you are really lazy, you can buy pudding and jello all made in little plastic cups in the dairy case. I like the Mousse ones.

And if you are celebrating something such as an award or a good report card, here is how you do it. Using stiff paper, such as from a cut up greeting card, draw something like ‘Congratulations, Tommy,on your great report card’. ‘Good job, Susie, on making the cheerleading squad.’ Glue paper onto a toothpick or half a chopstick and stick this in the dessert.

You can get fancy and print out a message on your computer, print it on photo paper or cut out pictures from a magazine. I did this the other day with scrambled eggs. Very impressive. If you want to get very Martha Stewart, you can dip the edges in white glue and glitter. (And adults like this just as much as kids do)

The Internet

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Oh, my God. Horror of horrors. No internet for two days. How did we ever survive all those years without it?

We are so dependent on the Internet, that when it is ‘out’, our lives are in limbo. What happened at my house is that our land line phone line had a defect.

This meant that the cable company had to make an actual house call to fix it. When they did, that solved the internet problem.

Since there was no internet, it meant that I had no reception on the TV series I had been streaming to my tablet. Also couldn’t play any of my games on my iPhone. What a bummer. I had to actually read a book and watch regular TV.

So not only was I not able to post a blog for the past couple of days, today I am reading and answering nearly one hundred messages.

 

Tomorrow I should be back to normal.

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