Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If Prom-posals Happened in the 80's. Top 10 Missed Opportunites for the Perfectly 80's Promposal

So I've been hearing and seeing the buzz all around the Internet about Prom and how to ask someone to go to Prom with you.  It's not like it used to be.  It's not just a note you pass in between classes, friends don't hint around, and there is no calling and hanging up on your potential date until you finally build up the courage to ask when someone answers. (thanks caller id and technology!)   Nope - now it's a big ordeal much like proposing marriage!  My friend Jen over at People I Want to Punch in the Throat covered this topic today on her blog and I thought I'd write a complimentary one to talk about the missed Prompportunites to ask someone out in the most clever way when I was in high school - IN. THE. 80's.

So let's countdown the Top 10 Ways that boys could've blown their dates away using a little creativity and pop culture.  How I wish we had this back in the day so someone might have made this happen for me. lol!
Enjoy!

1.  For the Star Wars fans:  The boy could dress up in a Darth Vader costume, head over to the potential prom date's house with red light saber in hand and when the girl opens the door, swing the lightsaber with a corsage attached to the tip and say, "I AM YOUR PROM DATE...."


2.  In this homage to Ferris Bueller, the boy hops on the town's Easter Parade float and hijacks the microphone singing "Danke Shoen" with a money back guarantee she'll say YES.


3.  How about if the potential suitor rents a white tux with black vest and plays Andrew McCarthy's role in Pretty in Pink while playing If You Leave in the background.  He could even present to her a handmade Pink Lace Prom Dress as a gift as he says "If you leave without saying yes, I'll be running the other way..."
4.  I feel like a great way to Prompose in the 80s would've involved Michael Jackson.  The boy could've worn the entire red leather get up and brought his boom box and some friends to her front yard and performed a fully choreographed routine to Thriller Prom Night.  How could you say no to that?
5.  The Outsiders, recreated for Promposal.  Sport as much Dippety Do as possible, wear a sleeveless greaser tshirt and some rolled up flood pants and boom - Greasers will still be Greasers and  Socs will still be Socs. You'll score your own Cherry Valance Prom Date with this one.
6.  Write a short essay on who you think you are asking so and so to Prom.  Make sure your answer, in the simplest terms is...an athlete... ...and a basket case... ...a princess... ...and a criminal... and of course, be sure to play Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds when you give her the note. When she says yes, a victorious fist to the air is a necessity for her to see.

7.  Want to sweep her off her feet when you propose?  Dress  up in  Cobra Kai gear, put your game face on and ask her to prom.  NO MERCY.

8.  I'd be in serious trouble if I didn't suggest the idea that someone wear a Lloyd Dobler trench coat and wait until the potential date goes to bed to blare Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes.  No matter how stalker-ish it seems in this day in age, we've all secretly wished to be Diane Court for five minutes.

9.  Recreating a scene of any kind from Dirty Dancing would have been a dreamy way to get a Prom Date - blaring "Do You Love Me?" while Promposing would've been brilliant.  I mean who doesn't want a date who can Mash Potato and Do the Twist?  Tell me!  Watch me now....and don't forget to promise you won't put her in a corner!
10.  The finale.  The Grand Pooba.  The Cream of the Crop.  The #1 Biggest Fantasy Promposal of the 1980s....of course....16 Candles.  Promposer leases Red Porsche 944 (no big whoop, right?), wears a button down and a vest with jeans and boots and waits outside for her to come out of church, or something similar - then says "yeah you" as potential promposee can barely breathe at the thought of her very own Jake Ryan moment.  This, my friends, would've been the single greatest Promposal in the world.


That's all for my take on these Promposals.  Until next time...
~Cheers, love and 80's quotes,
DG


PS - If you are bored at work, be sure to check out my recipe contest that I'm in...why anyone would invite an underachiever like me to a recipe contest is beyond me, but they did - so click here to check it out - the more pins I get on pinterest, the better...xoxo Thanks loves.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

7 Layers of Heaven Ice Cream Cake Recipe! #PureIngredients

7 layers of heaven - and so easy! Shhh...no one has to know you didn't spend hours on this!


Ahhh warm weather.  Finally.

It's time to put away that blasted Crock-Pot - shove the casserole pans to the back of the cupboard, uncover the grill and get back to tasty summer food.  I don't know about you but this winter just about did me in.  I hope I don't have to look at another indoor food for a very long time.  I'm ready for burgers and hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the grill and most of all....ICE CREAM!

I love having people over in the warm weather and I've learned to get my prep work done the night before so I don't have to miss any time outside with my guests.  The less I have to do as the hostess, the more fun I can have!  That includes dessert which is why I am thrilled to share with you the most DELICIOUS, sinful, amazing, SUPER EASY ice cream cake that will ensure you are the hit of any summer party you host of or get invited to!


"It'll be a piece of cake, Bren."  ~16 Candles


I was playing around with some ideas and came up with a simple 7 layer cake that is awesome because it has so many variations to suit your needs.  You just need to decide what two complimentary ice creams you want to use and find a Quadratini cookie flavor for one of your layers and your final topping and Voila! Dessert for every summer outing!  Here is what you'll need for my favorite variation which of course, involves Espresso Chip ice cream for a sultry, grown up taste with the giddiness of being a kid with an ice cream cone!  Whatever way you choose to make it - make it your own - and relax and just E N J O Y! Now..on to the recipe!



7 Layers of Heaven Ice Cream Cake
QUADRATINI-MISU version
It's Dolce-de-Licious
Perfectly imperfect, just like me! 

Ingredients: 
1 frozen pound cake slightly thawed
1 1/2 cups Edy's Espresso Chip Ice Cream, softened (not soupy!)
1 cup coarsely chopped  Loacker Quadratini Chocolate Wafer Cookies (use about 3/4 for cookie layer, save remainder for topping when it's ready to serve!) Click here for a coupon for $1 off!
1 1/2 cups Haagen Dazs  Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, softened 
Whipped Cream in a bottle such as Reddi Wip 

Directions:

Remove pound cake from aluminum pan and cut horizontally into 3 slices. (Try to make these as even as you can!) Line a glass pyrex loaf pan (9" x 5") with plastic wrap, leaving about a 6-inch overhang on both sides so you can wrap the cake up before freezing.) 

Build cake layers in pan in this order (remember, your first layer is going on the plastic wrap-lined Pyrex): 

1. bottom cake slice
2. espresso ice cream
3. middle cake slice 
4. dulce de leche ice cream
5. Quadratini crumbs
6. top cake slice

The hardest part is smoothing the ice cream layer as much as you can without it getting soupy. I used a small spatula to smooth the ice cream layers.  It's totally okay if ice cream or cookie crumbs fall off to the side because once it is all frozen, you can clean up the sides with a knife if you want it to look pretty!

Wrap in plastic and freeze overnight until ready to serve.



When ready to serve, place cake on dessert platter and decorate top layer with whipped cream and then use the leftover Quadratini crumbs to garnish the top and the plate. Prepare to be the hit of the party!

You can sprinkle the leftover crushed Quadratini cookies around your serving dish for a gorgeous finish!


Here are some fun variations to this recipe!

Try lightening it up by replacing the espresso/dulce flavor with lemon/raspberry sherbet.  For the cookie layer, try Quadratini Lemon Wafer Cookies.

Get the kids involved!  Have them choose their two favorite flavors of ice cream such as Cookies and Cream for the bottom layer and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for the top layer - try Vanilla Quadratini Wafer Cookies as the cookie layer!  Fourth of July party?  

There are so many possibilities!  All of them heavenly!  If you are loving how delicious and easy this recipe is, do me a huge favor and Share and Pin it!  It is part of a recipe contest put on by Loacker, the maker of Quadratini cookies!


E N J O Y! And as always, be sure to eat them with someone you love! 
xo
~DG

If you are kind enough to pin this with the share button below, please use #PureIngredients in your description. Thanks loves!  If I win the contest, I'll give you (what's that? The judges are shaking their heads no - that I cannot buy or award you with anything).  Poop - stupid rules!  Okay if I win, you'll have the prize of knowing you helped a fellow underachiever.  xo

Special Thank You to the very talented Brenna of Suburban Snapshots for beautifying my photos!


Friday, April 11, 2014

The Child's Guide to Mother's Day/Father's Day Gift Giving...

No ...she doesn't.



The other day I was talking with my boys at dinner about birthdays.  We are in the middle of birthday season around here as all of our birthdays fall right after the other.  After we did a round of who wants what, a thought struck my five year old.   Mom, what do  YOU want for YOUR birthday?

Good question.

My immediate thought was a weekend in Vegas playing hours of slot machines, spending the rest of my time by a pool with a fruity drink and of course a little spa time as well, HOWEVER, I did not voice that opinion.  Instead, I turned the tables on him and answered him with another question.

What would you want to get me for my birthday? What do you think I need?

As if it was just too easy of an answer, my six year old shouted, "I KNOW, I KNOW!"

"YOU NEED A FUN PAIR OF PAJAMAS!!"

I snickered.  What could be wrong with my pajamas? They are plenty fun - for me at least.  Okay so they aren't, airquotes, pajamas - they are old ratty yoga pants and tank tops topped with fleecy- soft sweatshirts. Well, if I'm really being honest they don't yell "HEY, I'M A FUN GAL..."   they yell something more like "DON'T HASSLE ME, I'M TIRED..."

So leave it to my boys to brainstorm together and come up with the idea of getting me some Star Wars Pajamas so that I, too, could have a little fun with my sleepwear.  I'm game.  I'll do anything for a laugh and to make them happy so if they want to get me those for my birthday, then I'll be a good mom and humor them.

This led me to my idea for this blog.  What if kids could pick out - no, reallllly pick out our gifts for Mother's Day and Father's Day?   I think it would be something like this...


Enjoy...
~DG

1.  Lego Slippers:  Dual Purpose - colorful, fun, comfy slippers - with the added protection for when you actually step on Legos.  Brilliant.  Stop Mom and Dad from yelling profanities with this brilliant gift.  Available in Blue AND Red.
http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/122e/

2.  If Lego slippers just aren't their type, perhaps, Hobbit feet would be more appropriate? Take warm and fuzzy to a whole new level for the Lord of the Rings fan.

Order hobbit feet now!

3.  Want your mom to be soft and cuddly after a bath?  Nothing says hug me like this Ladies' Wookie Robe!
It just shouts FUN!


4.  Is your Mom/Dad a big Dr. Who fan?  How about wrapping them in style from head to toe in this Tardis footie Union Suit!
Travel all through your dreams with these jammies!
5.  Maybe a long robe is preferred?  Try a Harry Potter house robe for either mom or dad! Perfect!
Add magic to bedtime!
6.  Are you a gamer? Want your mom to be the coolest in her robe? Try a World of Warcraft robe!
Mimic in -game designs with these glamorous robes.
7.  What mom doesn't want an R2D2 dress for summer?
Be cool, look cool, stay cool in this sundress!
8.  Girls - want to get your mom a happy gift! How about some comfy My Little Pony leggings?
Keep mom colorful and bright !
9.  Hey Newborns! Shopping doesn't have to be so hard for you babies! Try these diaper bags for the new mama and papa of yours!  Superman or Batman would give them the superpowers to survive the sleep deprivation!
Changing pad with sound effects too! What!?
No kryptonite in this diaper bag! Click to order!

10.  Game of Thrones fans? How about a cookbook - have some Buttered Beets or Applecakes while watching GoT !
Indulge here...

There are just so many great gifts out there for you kids to buy your parents!  Hope this little gift guide helps!
Oh, and if you realllly want to make your mom happy on Mother's Day - be sure to send her a copy of the book I Just Want to Be Alone.  She'll be in such a good mood from laughing so hard you can ask her for anything and she'll say yes!

Buy it here..go ahead, mommy won't mind.  

Thanks for playing along! 
xo
DG

Monday, April 7, 2014

Confessions of a Serial Plate Stacker.



I've been in the Mommy business for 14 years now.  I'm no expert.  In fact, the only thing I will state for sure is that I know almost nothing, and I'm certainly not eligible to give advice unless someone genuinely asks my opinion.

That being said, I am going to tell my side of the story of being a Waitress Whisperer.

I should state that this is merely MY opinion in an ocean of opinions.  And just as every ocean has ferocious sharks,  mild mannered minnows and every creature of every demeanor in between, my opinion just based on how I was raised, how I learned to be a lady and the values my family taught me.  Regardless of how others do things or were raised, or see things, I'm old enough at 40 years old, to be true to how I feel about certain things, and am unapologetic about them.

Back to the Waitress Whisperer.

When I had my third son, we learned early on that going out to dinner would be rare.  These infrequent trips of packing up 2 diaper bags and entertainment for my oldest as well would be cherished when they did happen.  We knew very well that having 2 under two was enough of a challenge at our own dinner table, let alone at a restaurant where people went to enjoy a night out - not to watch my kids drop macaroni/goldfish/puffs on the floor and yell 'UH-OHHHHH.'

I would get to one of a select few restaurants we'd choose in town, and immediately go into apologetic mode.  I'd greet our waitress with a sympathetic grin and a look of mutual understanding be good to us, and I promise we'll make this painless for you.  It usually worked.



Having little ones meant one in a high chair, one in a booster, and one in a regular seat.  It meant restlessness even though we'd bring toys and games to keep them occupied.  It meant spilled drinks and forks on the floor.  It almost always included multiple trips to the bathroom, embarrassing outbursts at the most inopportune times, and a trail of crackers left under our table.  But you know what, we were hardworking, loving, sleep deprived parents who earned a night out once in a while.

That's why I became a serial plate stacker.  Table wiper.  Floor cleaner.  Seat wiper. If my kids did it, I cleaned it up.  I felt like it was the right thing to do.

Not only did I make sure I picked up whatever I possibly could from the variety of things dropped on the floor, but I also cleared as much of the table as possible to make the server's job easier.  Did this make me OCD?  Did it make me an idiot?  Did it mean I'm low class?

Not to me it didn't.

Look, being a server is hard enough, let alone having to deal with babies and toddlers and the wreckage they leave behind.  They are destructive like tiny tornadoes.  But they have to learn how to be in public.  Once in a while it's okay to expose them to dining - maybe not FINE dining yet, but the art of eating in public and sharing space with others.  This comes with a learning curve - how to deal with them and teach them to be polite and gracious.  But when you're dealing with little ones, they don't 'get' the allure of dining out, sitting still, being patient, using an inside voice - and it would be abnormal to expect them to.

That's why I always felt I had to overcompensate with kindness and tidiness when we ate at a restaurant.  I over-thanked the waitress constantly, apologized for spills, asked for extra napkins and always left a little extra tip.

What little effort took me two minutes to do, saved the server probably a lot more than that.  Now that my boys are older, if they drop something - they immediately pick it up, if the server asks them a question, they answer with a please and thank you, and they always pick a few things to bring to keep them busy while we wait.  When you show them to be appreciative and gracious, they learn by example, and eventually they get it.

I know there is a time and place to stack plates, and there are other times and places not to stack plates. In fine dining, stacking plates is inappropriate - the waitstaff is trained in removing plates without disturbing you. I get that. This shouldn't be one of those debates of who's right and who's wrong.  If you aren't a plate stacker and you don't tidy up after your kids when you go out - that's okay, too.  I just know what I learned from my mom and that's what I carry with me.  I feel like I'm doing my part to ensure that serves don't hate all parents in general.

Un-Apologetically yours,
The Plate Stacker...
~DG

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Peep-Tarts

(Yup, those are bunnies, they are supposed to be chicks! Also, you can make your own pudding - but for convenience-sake, I bought the packs)


Tis the season again for Peep recipes! Remember last year, I did Peepster Sundaes!!  Those were so fun and so delicious!

My wee ones have a family night this Friday at their school called Spring Fling!  I was asked to bring some kind of dessert and what yells spring louder than PEEPS! This is so easy it will only take you a few minutes to get them done - very little clean up, too!  Yay!

Look - you either love them or hate them - but like it or not, you can't deny how adorable they make any dessert look.  I concocted this easy peasy dessert that not only looks great, but tastes great, too.
My boys added skittles to this - so don't mind the photo.  It was so fun for them to decorate their own!


Here's what you'll need...

Peep-Tarts
(makes 6 mini peeps pies)
One package Keebler Ready Crust Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts (they come in an adorable little pie tin)
One package of (4) Individual 3.25oz Vanilla Pudding Cups
One package of PEEPS (chicks are fun for this project)
CoolWhip (optional)
Colored Candy Eggs (Pastel Skittles, M&Ms, Cadbury Eggs, etc...anything goes - and these are optional too)

Pour all 4 Pudding Cups in Mixing Bowl.
Take a table spoon and fill mini pie crusts with pudding.
If you are using cool whip or whip cream, add a dollup on top of the pudding.
Stick a Peeps marshmallow on top.
Sprinkle with yellow sanding sugar, any kind of festive pastel candies, etc to finish your Peeptart!
Serve immediately or put in fridge until dessert!

Enjoy!
DG




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

That's A-Mommy (sung to That's Amore)




That's A-Mommy
 (sung to the tune of That's Amore by Dean Martin) 
In Febru'y where colds are king
Boy coughs on girl
Here's what they sing:

When the sneeze sprays your eyes
And you just want to cry, you're a mommy
When they've kept you up all night
Cause' they just don't feel right, you're a mom
When the cold makes them drool on you
like a slobbering fool that's a mommy.
Scuzza-me but you see you got boogies on me
 I'm your mommy.


Bells at the doc will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling
Ting-a-ling-a-ling and you'll say, "Can ya help us"
The nurse will say tippy-tippy-tay
Tippy-tippy-tay "You are taking a sick day!"


When the cold makes them drool on you
Just like a slobbering fool, you're a mommy

When they can't  breathe through their nose &
wipe snot on your clothes, they've got chills.

When you just want to run & scream
But you know, you're not leaving, signore
You sneezed on me, but you see
I'm not a tissue, kid, please, I'm just Mommy.


When they walk around weepy
But you know, they're just sleepy, signore

Scuzza me, but you see
You just need a lil' nappy with Mommy.



Here's to spring coming tomorrow..until then,
I'm the human tissue,
~DG
xo

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

(Don't) Return to Sender


My oldest son's birthday is this weekend.  Our home is filled with giggles and excitement as the three brothers count down the days in anticipation.  Birthdays are a big deal around here.  My husband and I do everything we can to make sure our boys have the most memorable birthday possible.  We know these years are fleeting.  We are all too aware at how precious every single day is.  Taking a little extra time to celebrate these milestones is something we love to do.

A little back story...in case you're new here.

My oldest was 9 months old when I left my first marriage.  I left because of him. I knew he deserved a loving home, and if that meant two separate homes then that was what I was going to give him.  I may have given him the gift of life - but he gave me the gift of courage - courage that I did not have before he came along. Fear of a failed marriage, worry and anxiety over how I would make it on my own, angst over what people would say or how they would look at me paralyzed me for years. Contrary to what everyone thought, I did not have the perfect marriage.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  This isn't the time to rehash all of that pain. I don't feel the need to rip scabs off of old wounds when those wounds have taken years to heal, but every once in a while, something happens that peels a tiny bit of the trauma back again.

Like today.

I went to the mailbox and immediately saw the colored envelope in a sea of junk mail.  Ooooh the birthday cards are going to start trickling in!! He is going to be SO excited!

And then, just like that, I saw it.  And just like that the pain of the old wound hurt again.  My heart sunk.  My breath escaped me in the bitter cold.

Right next to my son's name was this:

Addressee? RETURN TO SENDER?

He has a different last name than us.  Just a gentle poke to remind me of my hiccup.  My mistake. My error. My divorce.

Our prior mail carrier was with us for years.  Never before did my child see a big question mark next to his name doubting his place in our family. I went in to cover-up mode. Crisis intervention.  Fire drill exercise. I quickly wondered if I had a sticker I could use to cover the remarks and the cruel symbol on the card next to his name so he wouldn't notice....so no one would notice.

And then I got angry.

I took out a pen and paper from my purse and scratched a note to the mail carrier.

M A I L  C A R R I E R!
I noticed the large question mark next to my son's name along with your notes on the 'addressee.'  For your information, he is OUR son.  He has a different last name but he has lived here for 8 years in this home with us.  How will I explain this insulting red mark on a card that should bring him nothing but joy on his birthday???  
Please do NOT make that mistake again.
~Andrea

I stuffed it into our mailbox, shaking and holding back tears.  How dare some stranger question why something mailed to our address was sent to someone without our last name.  I rarely get upset over any of this anymore - I hardly ever get ruffled - but today, it hurt.  By the time I got back in the house, I started to cry.  I wept for all of the times people asked why he had a different last name.  I sobbed for the times I had to explain to my two youngest why he had a different last name, and why he had to go to his dad's every other weekend. I cried at the memory of my youngest telling someone his mom had two husbands.  Tears soaked my face for pain that I felt for him that maybe he never even knew he should or could feel. 

And then that made me think.

He has NEVER, EVER been sad or confused or disappointed about his name.  He has always been proud to be able to say he has two fathers that love him endlessly and without condition.  He has only ever known both of our homes.  He has only ever known his mother and his father to get along happily at every drop off and pick up.  My ex and I gave him a gift by showing him through the years how kind we are to each other, how we can laugh with each other, and how sometimes we make decisions that are hard but in the long run are for the best.  That is nothing to be sad about. 

My husband loves him like he is his own son.  He has never wavered.  He has never blinked an eye. My husband has extended his hand to my ex.  They are respectful and civil and have shown their son how to be the best young man he can be.  My two youngest love him as a whole brother - there are no steps - there are no halves.  In this home, we are complete - we are family in its entirety.  End of story.


I immediately pulled out another piece of paper and grabbed a pen and wrote furiously:

Dear Mail Carrier,

What a winter it's been! I know this is a new route for you and hope you are finding your way!  

I noticed on my son's birthday card you put a question mark and asked about the addressee.  Don't worry! There is no mistake.  Though he has a different last name, he is a part of our home, a part of our family!  He has lots of family who love him, so be prepared for tons of birthday cards this week!

Thanks so much!
Andrea

And I ran.

I ran to the end of the driveway, grabbed that piece of anger and replaced it with love.  After all, my children are a reflection of ME.  If they see me fall apart, they will wonder if they are supposed to as well.  If they see me carry resentment and regret, they will question what they should be carrying.  But if they see me overjoyed at the sight of birthday cards - they will be so excited to open it, they won't see the question mark.

Right?

I brought the mail into the kitchen where everyone could see it.  I didn't need to hide it.  I didn't need to cover it up with a sticker.  

The first thing my middle child said when he saw the question mark was...

We must have a new mailman! 

My heart flew away.

Until next time...remember there are many different recipes to make a family - all that matters is that love is the main ingredient.
xoxo,
~DG

On a lighter note..if you need a laugh, be sure to check out the new book I Just Want to Be Alone - a collection of essays by humor bloggers.  Available on Amazon.  xoxo