Holiday Yum: Mocktail Mania

Hubby and I toast to each of you! Thank you for another amazing year of blogging fun, friendship and family! We wish each of you health, happiness and uber success in 2013!

Hubby and I toast to each of you! Thank you for another amazing year of blogging fun, friendship and family! We wish each of you health, happiness and uber success in 2013!

Today I am pulling up the rear of our wonderful Holiday Yum blog series. Please extend a bazillion thanks to our uberlicious hostess, the ever-fabulous Kathy Owen who initiated, organized and ran a splendidly fun blog series. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it.

New Year’s Eve is around the corner and I thought what better time to do a post on some responsible holiday “hostess with the mostess” practices followed by some uberlicious mocktail suggestions.

Being a Responsible Host

Being a good host means protecting your guests, yourself and others, as well as having a good time. You wouldn’t want to wake up the next morning to find out one of your guest’s got nailed for impaired driving or worse, injured or killed someone.

If you are going to host a party and serve alcohol (or have people bring their own booze), it’s smart to think about how you can help ensure your guests don’t drive impaired.

  • Make sure you have food available.
  • Have non-alcohol and low-alcohol beverage options available (see ideas below).
  • If you are providing the alcohol, serve the drinks rather than offering a self-service bar. Self-service may encourage heavy consumption and make it more difficult for you to keep track of your guests’ drinking.
  • Don’t serve alcohol to anyone who is or may be intoxicated.
  • Don’t encourage intoxication by serving extra-strong drinks, double shots or high alcohol content beer.
  • Have numbers available for taxi companies and be prepared to have intoxicated guests spend the night.
  • Stop serving alcohol long before you expect the party to break up. It’s not smart to serve people alcohol immediately before they drive or otherwise try to get home.
  • Watch your own consumption. The more you drink, the more difficult it will be for you to anticipate problems, supervise the event and intervene to avoid potential problems.
  • Have a couple of volunteer designated drivers who are willing to chauffeur people home.

What do you do if your drunk friend/family member insists on driving?

Insist they don’t drive. Obviously you don’t want to physically tackle them but if you can calmly and reasonably take the keys from them, do so. Then call them a cab or have someone insist on driving them home.

In a worse case situation, if someone leaves your house and you know they are driving impaired, you can call 911. I can imagine that this would be a tough decision to make but remember you need to put that person’s own personal safety and the safety of those on the road first.

Mocktails

As a responsible host, one of the best things you can do for your guests is to provide some non-alcoholic beverage options. In August, I wrote about how I was a douchebag host for years offering my guests pop and water as a non-alcoholic option and…I mean…it’s better than nothing but good lord people…we can do better for our DDs!

Today there are so many amazing options out there to have FUN with. Options that will give you a hostess with the mostess reputation. Everyone will want to come to your parties and be the DD. You’ll be the talk of the town. Even the biggest boozers will want to convert just to enjoy some of your mocktail madness.

MADD Virgin Drinks

First…there’s my ultimate favorite: MADD Virgin Drinks! OMG can you say delicious?! Hubby and I had the opportunity to try a few of their mocktail options at MADD Canada’s Leadership Conference in September (and they sent us home with samples…squeee) and I can’t say enough about them. The champagne, brut, mojitos and margaritas are to DIE FOR. A.MAZ.ING! And they are 100% alcohol free.

Our MADD Virgin Drink Samples...long gone...must order more!

Our MADD Virgin Drink Samples…long gone…must order more!

Not to mention, 10% of net sales goes to MADD Canada.

Let’s see…serve your guests amazing mocktail drinks…support MADD Canada…win hostess of the year! WIN WIN WIN!

Check out their Canadian Store Locator (most Shoppers Drug Mart carry them) or their US Store Locator to find a retailer near you. You can also order online at their Canadian online store and USA online store. They offer trade and volume discounts. Love that!

Here are some other ideas of fun mocktails you can make at home yourself…

Mock Champagne

Recipe makes 24 servings

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 cups 7UP or Sprite
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Serve in champagne flutes.
  3. Add strawberries or raspberries in each glass to give it a little extra pizazz.

Tornado Twists

Recipe makes 2 servings

  • 12 fluid ounces cranberry-raspberry juice
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  1. In a pitcher, mix cranberry-raspberry juice with lemon-lime soda.
  2. Pour over ice and serve.

Alcohol-Free Pina Colada

Recipe makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  1. In an electric blender, blend ice, pineapple juice, milk, cream, and sugar.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve in glass garnished with pineapple wedge or little umbrella.

Sparkling Punch

 Recipe makes 20 servings

  • 2 lemons
  • 3 large oranges
  • 1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 liter club soda
  • 2 (750 millilitre) bottles sparkling apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 trays ice cubes
  1. Thinly slice the lemons and the oranges and place in a large punch bowl.
  2. Pour in the thawed lemonade.
  3. Gently stir in the club soda and the sparkling apple cider.
  4. Add sugar to taste.
  5. Add ice.
  6. Serve in margaritas glasses.

For other fabulous mocktail ideas, check out HGTV’s suggestions. Or Google mocktails for oodles of options.

What are some of your favorite mocktails to serve and enjoy? Be sure to include recipes for all the readers to enjoy. 

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I have been proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Cheesecake travesties

I’ve heard cheesecake can be tricky to make. Mom passed me down a recipe that for years I mastered for birthdays and special occasions. It was like my signature dish. I was soooo proud that out of all my cooking and baking fiascos, this was one I was able to rock.

Then I took a hiatus. I didn’t bake a cheesecake for years.

It must have been Thanksgiving 2003 because I was separated from my first husband and living at home with Mom, Dad and my sister Megan. Mom and Dad were planning a spectacular dinner for the whole family and Megan and I were tasked with dessert. Of course I turned to my trusted Cheesecake.

I followed Mom’s recipe to the letter.

Cheesecake

I could tell this was going to be the best cheesecake evah! The crust came out beautifully. As we poured the batter into the pan, it was silky and smooth. Megan and I were going to be the queens of the ball! We preheated the oven, we baked, we timed. Everything was going splendid.

At the 65 minute mark, I took the cheesecake out and did the toothpick test.

You know…where you stick a toothpick into baked goods and if it comes out clean, it’s baked and if it comes out with stuff on it, you got a few more minutes to go (if you are raising your eyebrows at this point…keep reading).

Megan and I looked and thought it was weird that after following the recipe to the letter, the toothpick came out with stuff on it. Who are we to question the baking Gods; back in the oven the cheesecake went.

15 minutes later and another check and…weird…a cheesecake covered toothpick…more baking.

Megan and I must have repeated this process for 3 hours. We baked that cheesecake and then we baked it some more. We thought maybe the oven was broken?!

When Mom and Dad came home, I thought they were going to die of laughter. Of course, any one who is reading this who has any baking knowledge knows, you never do the toothpick test with cheesecake…it will always come out with stuff on it. DUH?!

My cheesecake master ego was shattered.

To their credit, the entire family choked down that super dry cheesecake. It was like eating dry, super-tasty chalk. We just smothered it in loads of Strawberry sauce (I don’t have Mom’s recipe but this one looks about right). God love family!

What’s your favorite cheesecake recipe? Have any baking fiasco stories to share? Or perhaps your friends and family have tortured you with terrible desserts? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

  • December 17: Cheesecake travesties with yours truly
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy (OMG can’t WAIT)

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Krista Noack’s story

I came across Krista’s story via MADD Canada’s Facebook news feed. I watched the video and was deeply touched and moved by her story. Krista talked briefly about the added impact she felt in losing her boyfriend Jesse to an impaired driver. She had to deal with running into the impaired driver in her everyday life. Imagine having to come face to face with the person that killed your loved one at the grocery store?

In the end, I loved how Krista spoke about not letting Jesse be a statistic and how she’s found solace in getting involved with MADD Canada. I want to say a big thank you to Krista for sharing her story with the world and giving her time to MADD Canada. There is no doubt in my mind that she is saving lives in Jesse’s honor…blessings to her and Jesse’s families!

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How would you handle having to run into the impaired driver that killed your loved one at the grocery store? How do you master forgiveness while in the throes of grief? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Urban Word Wednesday: Shit or get off the pot

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

Shit or get off the pot: Hurry up and make a decision. Usually used when someone is being really indecisive or is taking way to long to do something. Commonly refers to a decision where a commitment is involved.

Examples Of Use:

Hubby and I hit Sears this week to try to find him new winter boots and enjoyed some Urban Word fun with the two sales ladies who were helping us. At this point we had 4 pairs of boots surrounding us.

Hubby: I like these ones and they fit but they feel a little tight on the sides of my feet.

Me: do you want to see if they have them in a wide option?

Hubby: I don’t think I have wide feet though….

Me: well…if they feel tight on the sides, it means they aren’t wide enough…maybe the wide version would be more comfortable?

Hubby: yeah but these ones *grabs boots number 2* fit comfortably and aren’t wide.

Me: well you know…different boots fit differently. If those are more comfortable, why not get those?

Hubby: but I like these ones *looking at boots he’s wearing* better for style.

Me: then get those…maybe they’ll stretch….

Hubby: shit…I don’t know…these ones *picks up boots #3* are nice too…what do you think?

Me: I think you need to shit or get off the pot…we are all turning to stone waiting for you to decide…

Hubby: ok honey darlin’…how many times have I gone shopping with you and watched you try on forty-five outfits humming and hawing over which ones to get…you need to sit down and be supportive…it’s my turn wife!

Metouché my love…you have a point…I’ll shut up. Let’s shop!

Ever had to tell someone to shit or get off the pot? How do you handle indecisive shoppers? Are you an indecisive shopper? Got any fabulous shopping horror stories? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies (OMG I want some…especially those Hershey filled ones)
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Be the ultimate rock star this Christmas

Air-Guitar-Rock-StarY’all know I’m a closet air guitar player. Ok…so maybe not so “in the closet“! Regardless, let me tell you, no one can rock the air guitar like me. At home, grocery store, work…I’ve been known to break into an air-strumming, arm-swinging air guitar craze. People typically stare mouth-open at my talent…it’s somethin’ to behold.

Anyway…last year, when I found the electric rock guitar shirt, I thought it was the bomb. I knew it would enable me to step up my air guitar game so I could truly become the rock star I was always meant to be.

But now, we’ve blown the electric guitar shirt out of the freaking water….with the gTar.

The gTar is a new digital guitar that allows you to maximize the power of your iPhone (soooo need to get an iPhone now). It’s like a real guitar and a Rock Band/Guitar Hero guitar hooked up for a freaky one night stand and had a baby.

The gTar has strings, frets and everything else that makes a guitar the hardcore rock instrument that it is. But the gTar has something more…something special…it has an APP!

You just dock your iPhone in the gTar, load up the gTar app, pick a song and then you can follow the song on your iPhone while little LEDs light up along the fret board. The fretboard actually illuminates to show you where to put your fingers.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

The gTar will make it so that I can start playing songs I already know instead of Twinkle Twinkle. Can you believe it? It’s that freaking simple.

Rockers have a choice of three levels of difficulty: easy, medium, and hard. At the easy level, gTar will guide you to play the open strings and with its SmartPlay Technology, if you hit a wrong string, no sound is produced. At the medium level, gTar adds fretwork to the mix allowing you to feel like the true rock star genius that you are. But there is still no danger of messing up due to the built-in SmartPlay feature…oh yeah….BAM! Now when you get the hard level, you’ll need to step up your guitar-playing game because at this level every mistake (or uber new creation) will be heard. Once you get tired of having your rock star brilliance stifled with specified notes and fretwork, you can switch to free play and really show off your mad skills.

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GlockSince it’s paired up with an iPhone, the gTar is not limited to guitar sounds. WHAT??!?! Yip, you can actually rock out to a grand piano by plucking the notes instead. I wonder if I could channel my old junior high school band days and rock the glock again?! Hmmm…

Made by Incident, a company based in Santa Clara, California, the gTar is initially being sold through a Kickstarter project. Incident asked for US$100,000 to fund the initial production run and has now raised $353,392 with 956 backers. Duh…people know a good thing when they see it. I guess the original backers paid US$350 each to get their hands on the first 200 gTars produced. Now there is a waitlist on the company’s website if you want to sign-up for one. Snifff…I was hoping to pick one up at Future Shop this week but with a possible retail price tag of US$449, I might be waiting awhile.

Regardless, I think the gTar would allow me to fully channel my inner rock star Goddess.

How do channel your rock star God/Goddess? Play any musical instruments? Did it come natural or did you learn after years and years of practice? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies (OMG I want some…especially those Hershey filled ones)
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

When are lifetime driving bans appropriate?

Drunk Driver Arrested

On July 14, 2012, 63-year-old Elizabeth Sovis and her husband of 34 years, Edmund Aunger, were biking along a road in Prince Edward Island, Canada while on a cycling vacation from Alberta. They were on their way to the bed and breakfast where they were staying. Aunger’s wife never made it to the B&B. She was struck by a 49-year-old drunk driver (who was found to have a blood alcohol level almost three times the legal limit of .08). She died in her husband’s arms by the side of the road.

This week, the driver was sentenced after pleading guilty to impaired driving causing death.

According to a news report last Friday, the Crown asked for an 8-year prison sentence along with a lifetime driving ban. The Defence however proposed a 3 to 4-year prison sentence but asked that the driver be allowed to get his license back at some point because he operates a plumbing and heating company.

*In my most sarcastic voice* Oh the hardship!!!

On Tuesday I was very happy to read here that the judge heeded the Crown’s suggestion (somewhat) and sentenced the man to six years in prison and did indeed ban the man from driving for life.

Hallelujah!

In delivering his decision, the judge talked about the man’s four previous impaired driving convictions as aggravating factors in the case given that he had his license suspended four times and that still didn’t stop him from drinking and driving the day he killed the cyclist.

YA THINK!??!

The judge did mentioned the driver’s cooperation with police and immediate guilty plea as mitigating factors (ok…I will give him that…he didn’t drag this family through a lengthy court battle) and acknowledged that the driver battles with alcoholism. That being said, the judge also remarked that although alcoholism is a disease, the driver did exercise his free will and choose to drive while drunk…period!

One of the saddest parts of the story is that in his victim impact statement, Aunger said he partially blames himself for his wife’s death because he was riding ahead of her at the time of the crash when normally he would have been riding behind her.

That is what this man is left to live with. He went on a cycling vacation with his wife of 34 years and returned home grief stricken and full of self-blame.

Who’s serving the life sentence here?

Y’all know I am for harsher prison sentences when it comes to impaired driving causing death. I believe we should have a minimum sentence of 10 years (at least). I am somewhat pleased with the six years since it’s definitely higher than the 3 year sentences we’ve been seeing.

But where I really want to commend the judge is on imposing a lifetime driving ban.

I believe this should also be part of the minimum sentences when a person is convicted of impaired driving causing death. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk and you take someone’s life, you should never be given a second chance to do it again. Not to mention, since the family has to serve a life sentence of grief, it would be fair, if not a smidge comforting, to know that the perpetrator also has to serve something of a life sentence.

For me, to often people convicted of impaired driving cause death are released from prison after serving next to no real time. And then after completing their programs and parole, they go back to life as usual. Yes, they suffer some consequences but at some point, they can put the entire experience behind them and move forward like it never happened. I mean, depending on the sentence type, they can even apply for a pardon after 3 to 10 years.

It’s not right.

It’s not fair.

It’s certainly not justice.

Driving is a privilege, not a right!

If you choose to drive drunk and you take someone’s life, I believe you should have to feel the consequences of that decisions for the rest of your life. And not just in your heart but to experience a physical hardship for the rest of your life.

My question is, why does there have to be aggravating circumstances? In this case, the lifetime driving ban was due in large part to the escalation factor of the drunk driver’s record with four prior DUIs. Why? Why must a lifetime driving ban only occur when there is a prior record?

Isn’t killing someone aggravating factor enough?

And what strikes me as even sadder still is that it was apparent that this guy was a perpetual drunk driver. And it took someone dying before we got him off the road permanently. What could have been done to ensure it didn’t get to this stage?

What do you think? When are lifetime driving bans appropriate? Are they ever? Should we impose them before a drunk driver escalates to the point of killing someone? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

Although I’ve stated my position pretty firmly, I want you to know that I am open to hearing from the other side of the coin so don’t be shy…if you disagree; you are more than welcome to voice your opinion and know you’ll be respected!

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Urban Word Wednesday (Special Holiday Yum Edition): French Lace Cookies

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

French Lace Cookies: A type of cookie. Delicate. When you hold them up to the light, you’ll see why they’re called lace cookies. The thin batter is transformed, in baking, into a crisp round with open spaces resembling lace. The rolled-up version is popular in Sweden; cooks there roll the warm cookies around a piece of broom handle.

Examples Of Use:

It’s my turn to take a kick at the Holiday Yum can and I thought what better way than to have some Urban Word Wednesday fun with it. Hubby and I went to see the movie Lincoln on the weekend and I enjoyed telling this family story much to the amusement of those around us.

Hubby: so what’s with the French Lace Cookies for the Holiday Yum blogfest? What’s the story there? I didn’t think you baked? So full of surprises…

Me: you know how I am slightly baking challenged with mishaps and “incidents”?

Hubby: that’s putting it lightly. You are more than a little challenged? You nearly qualify for disability when it comes to baking.

Me: well…it’s genetic! Growing up, Mom did a ton of baking. And especially at Christmas time. And she had some solid recipes that she’d mastered like butter tarts and meat pies. But let me tell you, we also had us a few adventures and baking mishaps that elicited a few temper tantrums. Dishes were thrown out. Swear words were spoken. It was duck and cover.

Hubby: so you do come by it honestly….

Me: oh yes…and one of those times was when Mom decided to try baking these French Lace Cookies. We’d never had them before and Shawn and I were instructed to help. We measured. We mixed. We anticipated. We knew from the photo they were supposed to come out like this:

French Lace Cookies

But they came out more like this:
hockey puck

Hubby: oh lord…your Mother must have lost her mind….

Me: actually…she wasn’t too bad but I think it was because Shawn and I ate the darn things anyway. Ya just had to suck on them for an hour or so first to soften them up. ROFL!!

Hubby: interesting…so that’s where you developed that remarkable little skill….sorry, I digress…so what happened? What went wrong? Did she try them again?French Lace Cookies - rolled

Me: yip…she realized she had used 2 cups of flour instead of one…LOL…and she did try them again and they turned out perfectly time and time again. And Shawn and I had a ton of fun rolling them up and making them into rolls, fans and whatever shape we could think of. They are a deliciously light and crunchy cookie.

Here’s Mom’s recipe taken straight out of my family heirloom (stories and recipes) book. From my family to yours; I hope you enjoy them for years to come!

French Lace Cookies - Recipe

Ever had French Lace Cookies? What baking mishaps have you had? When things go awry in the kitchen, do you blow up or stay calm, cool and collected? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Merry Hubby’s Corner XXX-mas!!!

HC Logo

Like most people, you’ve likely spent years making Xmas all about the children; making them as happy as possible for Xmas. Whether you agree this is the intension of the Xmas holiday or not – most would agree it’s the thing that makes Xmas most special.

Creating traditions, putting together toys into the wee-hours of the night, putting extra attention in the wrapping of the presents, putting together special yummy treats all the while experiencing the ultimate gift of giving….the moment their eyes bulge out of their head as they throw their arms above theirs heads and wiggle in their undies as they SQUEE with delight.

AND like a lot of other people, Natalie and I now find ourselves with a child that is grown and moved out on his own, living his own life, leaving us in the empty nest. Traditions forcibly changed, making Xmas a lot different from before.

Well I say NO MORE!!!

Hubby Claus and his ‘lil elf’ want to pass along how you can put the XXX back into Xmas this year. I say an empty nest is the perfect opportunity to have a little adult fun over the Holiday Season. Check out the following ideas for you and your spouse’s holiday excitement.

Let’s check out the buzz over at the holiday night stand at Chocolate Fantasies.

Glass-Candycane

Don Wand Glass Candy Cane Dildo

This beautiful glass dildo is shaped like a candy cane and will electrify any Xmas tryst making your holiday spirit bright!

pinkcandyCaneVibe

The Candy Cane Vibe

Whether you are looking to give yourself the ultimate gift or looking to shake things up, this bad boy is another Holiday treat that will leave you anything but minty fresh!

Now that we’ve got the buzz, let’s check out wrapping supplies:

xmas-Tuggie

The Xmas Tuggie

And if the real thing is more your style, what better way to wrap your gift than with the Xmas Tuggie (inspired by Jenny Hansen’s Undie Chronicles)

unwrap-Me

Unwrap Me Satin Bow Teddy

Your man will want to tear into this package with excitement and vigor!

SO that covers gifts and wrapping supplies…now check out these decorations:

Pornamentpornament-gingerbread-Femalpornament-gingerbread-man

s-n-M-SnowsexChristmas-Buckpornament-Breast-Ball-Brown

And instead of keeping the mistletoe PG this year – nothing gets the party started like a little XXX mistletoe:

51KbcnNu+HL__SY450_

Now that the place is decorated – how about some Holiday treats:

ginger_boy_pop ginger_girl_pop

So you see – even though the kids might be doing their own thing – thanks to Hubby’s Corner you can still spend the night…

Creating traditions, putting together toys into the wee-hours of the night, putting extra attention in the wrapping of the presents, putting together special yummy treats all the while experiencing the ultimate gift of giving….the moment their eyes bulge out of their head as they throw their arms above their heads and wiggle in their undies as they SQUEE with delight.

MERRY XXX-MAS TO ALL & TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

Hubby Claus!

How do you and your empty nesting spouse plan to celebrate the Holiday season? Any new traditions since the kids moved out? How do you spice things up at Xmas? For those with small children, how do you keep the triple xxx in your Xmas? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Losing a loved one to impaired driving

Mamma K

It’s hard sometimes to explain to people how losing a loved one to impaired driving is different from losing someone in a way that doesn’t involve a criminal act. I say that because I was one of those people who had no idea. It never dawned on me. And not because I’m not a sensitive or empathic person, I most certainly am. But until you’ve experienced it, you can’t know what you don’t know.

I lost my Dad in a car accident in 1991. An oncoming driver hit a piece of black ice, spun out of control and hit my Dad head on. He was killed instantly. And although it was devastating, our family always knew that it was an accident. We knew that the driver wasn’t negligent, he wasn’t on the phone or texting, he hadn’t been drinking, and he wasn’t on drugs. What happened just happened. No one could have predicted it or prevented it. And in that “knowing”, the family had peace and never blamed the driver of the truck that hit Dad. We grieved, we mourned, we were devastated but we were able to heal, grown, move on and rebuild.

When an impaired driver steals a loved one from your life (or injures them), it’s very different. It’s someone’s fault. Someone made a choice, a conscious decision that resulted in the death or injury of a loved one…that resulted in your pain and suffering!

When Mamma K was killed and The Dude injured on August 1, 2009, we were told almost immediately that the police suspected the driver was impaired and that a blood sample had been sent away for analysis. That was in August. We waited months (6 months in fact) after Mamma K was killed to finally get official notice that the blood sample came back from the lab and that the offender would be officially charged with impaired driving causing death.

The emotional toll of waiting MONTHS to hear this verdict was devastating. The family couldn’t move forward. Everything was suspended in time. The wound was open and festering while we wondering if salt was about to be poured on it or not. There was no healing. There was no growing. It was an opened, angered pain waiting to erupt at any moment…for months on end.

It was like watching a thriller movie where you are sitting on the edge of your seat, the terrifying music building and building as you know the “jump” scene is coming at any moment and then BAM! You leap from your seat with almost relief to have the building tension finally over. Only ours lasted for months….

When the driver was finally charged with impaired driving causing death, everything became real in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden we were stricken with a deep and profound knowing that this didn’t have to happen. That it had been preventable. Mamma K didn’t have to die and The Dude didn’t need to be injured and emotionally scarred for life.

Suddenly, we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt (court or no court) that someone knowingly and consciously made the choice to put the lives of innocent people at risk and we were the ones that lost his gamble. You have no idea how that consumes you. How it permeates through your entire being. How the pain and anger curses through your veins…every moment of every single day. There was intense and all-consuming anger, pain, hatred, revenge, blame, unfairness, and disgust that now couples in with your grief. Suddenly….someone has DONE this TO you.

How do you swallow that? How you come to terms with that? How do you accept that someone killed and injured someone you love?

Let me tell you…you don’t…ever!

And then, to make matters worse, starts the endless sea of court dates and the emotional roller coaster of that experience. Ours was 20 months and well over a dozen court visits.

  • Will he get charged?
  • What will he plead?
  • Why did he plead not guilty?
  • Will he get off?
  • Will the defense’s arguments stand?
  • Will the prosecution’s arguments stand?
  • Wait and see….
  • OMG, the defense won and that evidence is out. Devastation. The man who did this will get off.
  • But wait…there’s another possible way to get the evidence in….
  • More arguments on both sides….more waiting…
  • The decision that the other evidence is in. Elation!
  • The guilty verdict. Elation.
  • Closure? Nope.
  • More pain. Writing and reading victim impact statements. How do you put into worse the impact of losing your loved one and seeing your step-son profoundly injured? You try. But somehow you never feel like your words quite capture it.
  • Sentencing.
  • Closure? Nope.
  • Jail notification – he got day parole.
  • Jail notification – he went to Moncton for something.
  • Jail notifications keep coming – for this that and the other thing.
  • Jail notification – he’s up for parole.
  • Jail notification – do you want to submit new victim impact statements, do you want to read them aloud, do you want to attend his parole hearing, fill out forms upon forms upon forms.
  • Drive to attend parole hearing.
  • Bite your lip as you watch his mother defend him…as he defends himself…as he demonstrates no remorse or accountability.
  • Parole denied…elation.
  • More pain knowing he’ll get statutory release after serving only 2 years for killing Mamma K and injuring The Dude…devastation.

It goes on and on…

Our impaired driving case has been going on for nearly 4 years. Even though he was found guilty and sentenced to jail, it doesn’t stop there. It’s like this never-ending emotional roller coaster. How do you ever put it behind you? How do you ever find closure when it’s like a gaping wound, open and festering being poked over and over again?

After my Dad died, yes it was hard. Yes it took time. Yes it was horrific and devastating and awful but we were able to grieve…heal…and move forward with our lives. We weren’t entangled with this massive thing called the criminal justice system that seems to do anything but provide justice…that seems to re-victimize the true innocents over and over again. After Dad died, we weren’t reading the Criminal Code of Canada, talking to lawyers and prosecutors, researching other drunk driving cases and the like for days and months and years. We were able to grieve and move on. Period.

This…is so much more!

I share this with you not so you feel sorry for us. Not so you send hugs and love (although I know you do and they are gratefully appreciated). I share this with you all so that you know.

  • So when you hear of an impaired driving story where someone has died or has been injured, you can have a better appreciation for the process that family is embarking on.
  • So when you see a suspected impaired driver on the road, you won’t hesitate to call 911.
  • So when you host a party this holiday season, you will be diligent in having alcohol-free options and will insist everyone have a safe and sober plan to get home.
  • So when you hear of someone talking in passing about having driven drunk, you won’t hesitate to speak out.

Because…now you know. You know the devastation. You know the risk is way too high. You know the cost is much too high. And the more of us who are out there, who know and who spread the message, the greater the chance that one day we will win this battle and will stop impaired driving once and for all….

Losing a loved one is tragic and devastating enough on its own – knowing someone’s negligence and choices were responsible just makes it that much worse.

Please…share our story! Help save a life!

How has the lost or injury of a loved on impacted your life? How do you cope and heal? How do you plan to spread the awareness of the dangers of impaired driving this holiday season?  I’d love to hear your thoughts?

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 2: Estee Lavitt’s Latkes
  • December 5: Yours truly with French Lace Cookies
  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Urban Word Wednesday: Walk Blocker

Welcome to Urban Word Wednesday! New words, phrases, and sayings I am learning (and using in my day-to-day life) brought to you by ME, hubby…and the Urban Dictionary. You are gonna love these!

Walk Blocker: A person that suddenly stops when they are walking right in front of another.

Examples Of Use:

Although it wasn’t technically Black Friday in Canada, a lot of the stores in the mall had what I like to call fake Black Friday sales all weekend long. I call them fake because they aren’t really that fantastic a sale (saving $25 is not worth lining up for 3 hours people!!!) but they seem to elicit a shopping frenzy anyway.

Normally we’d avoid the mall this weekend but hubby signed up to do racquetball and he needed some new shorts and sneakers so it was off to the mall in the midst of the fake Black Friday insanity. You should know, hubby and I can get a little tense in large crowds…especially large crowds of morons. We were at the local sports store paying for our purchase when we enjoyed this convo.

Hubby: WTF…if one more person walk blocks me I am going to lose my shit!

Me: what is it with walk blockers anyway…like get out of the road if you need to stop for something.

Hubby: I think it’s the new digital age…people gotta stop where ever they are to see what’s on the phone.

Me: I agree…but what is it with people who just stop and conglomerate in the middle of an aisle to talk for an hour walk blocking the whole area?!?! I don’t get it…like step out of the aisle and enjoy your convo. I near rolled up on over some tweens back there who stopped to talk to their gal pals dead center of the aisle. I was going a good clip and nearly didn’t get stopped?! Like…WTF??? Oblivious!

Hubby: I am going to get a cart and get my Christmas plow on. Gonna just drive over those walk blockers. Maybe I should get sign for my cart that says “comin’ thru bitches!”

Me: and a horn…and lights…and definitely a t-shirt!!!! 

What is it with walk blockers? Ever come across them? How do you handle it? Ever been one??? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 2: Estee Lavitt’s Latkes
  • December 5: Yours truly with French Lace Cookies
  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

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