Pumpkins and other Halloween FYIs

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This past weekend, a bunch of us went to a local farm to buy pumpkins, drink hot apple cider, revel in the awesomeness that is warm apple cider donuts, and enjoy the overwhelming “fall-ness” of the day.

Now, whether you go for the perfectly round, the oval, the squat, or the awkward shaped pumpkins, the most important aspect is the carving.

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Are you a “just go for it” pumpkin carver? Do you plan out your carving beforehand with a marker? Carve the same silly jack-o-lantern face every year? Carve words? Silly or scary faces?

There are so many options for your Halloween carving. How you choose to decorate or carve your pumpkin says a lot about you.

Classical – easygoing, enjoys traditions, family oriented

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Talented and maybe a little nerdy, with way too much time on their hands

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Trashy / Frat Boy

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The list could go on and on.

A couple of things (much from Wikipedia):

1.  Pumpkins are of the squash family – hence all of the stringy goop inside

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2.  Canned “pumpkin” puree is actually made from one or more types of winter squash, like butternut, Hubbard, Boston Marrow, and Golden Delicious. These squash varieties can be less stringy and richer in sweetness and color than pumpkin.

3. Pumpkins can grow to be huge!  But are usually are only allowed to do so for competition.

4. The origin of carving pumpkins is widely unknown, since people have been carving vegetables for ages. Literally.  As gourds were the earliest plant species domesticated by humans c. 10,000 years ago.  Gourds were carved by Maori over 700 years ago.  So let’s just say, this tradition is deeply ingrained.

5. A jack-o’-lantern was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisp or jack-o’-lantern.

6. By the early 1800s, “jack-o’-lantern” had also become the more popular name for a homemade object originally known as a “turnip lantern,”  “a lantern made by scooping out the inside of a turnip, carving the shell into a rude representation of the human face, and placing a lighted candle inside it.” For Catholic children it was customary to carry turnip lanterns door-to-door to represent the souls of the dead while begging for soul cakes on Hallowmas (All Saints Day, Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2). They were also carried by parading celebrants on Guy Fawkes Day (Nov. 5).

4805643407_f10daa9b72_bThis truly fearsome turnip from Ireland shows what the earliest jack o’ lanterns were like. 

And now you know….

Things and stuff

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Happy Friday! I am sitting here, catching up on Friday Night Lights (OMG, so good) while I wait for my car to be ready at the repair shop. Wait, you say. Another car appointment? Why, yes. This time, the engine light came on. ajdsf;laksjf;aldjfa;lskfdjsa;lkdjfa;dlfja;f

Last weekend we had the child’s birthday party. It was really fun. The kid was ecstatic. We had it on a farm on a chilly but beautiful day. Next week is his actual birthday and I know EVERY parent tells you that it goes fast, but I cannot believe how fast it has gone. Six years. It is hard for me to share him with the outside world. He was mine and only mine for 40 weeks. But, it is so great to see him becoming his own person. He is silly, smart, really cute, loves music, loves dancing, loves art and is an overall really, really nice person. I couldn’t be happier with the young man he is becoming. It has been so great watching him grow up. Of course, since he is a Halloween baby, his party included costumes. He was a werewolf. It changes minute by minute from werewolf to vampire. You have to pay close attention to make sure you know to which creature you are talking.

As I mentioned above, my son’s party was a costume party. We like to encourage everyone to dress up. I have a bone to pick with costumes these days. Am I old? Is it finally happening? It could be that my mind is aging and I can’t remember what Halloween was like in college but…WHY IS EVERYTHING SO WHORISH?????????? Why does pizza have to be sexy? Why does EVERYTHING have to be sexy? It took me hours to find a costume that wouldn’t make me look like a two bit hooker at my kid’s party. Do people actually like that? A sexy Smurf? Thank you for destroying my childhood. It’s bad enough Bronies took over My Little Ponies…please stop making them so trashy. Strawberry Shortcake? LEAVE HER ALONE.

YES:

Dear GOD NO:

YES:

NO:

I mean, I get wanting to look good but where the eff are people’s standards? Buzzfeed hit the nail on the head with this one. As you all know, I have always been uber conservative (for sure…, right, EVERYONE WHO KNEW ME IN HS????) but please, have some self respect. Luckily, I was able to find a bee costume that let me show up to my kid’s party not looking whorrific. Phew.

Earlier today, I made a big mistake. I ate way too many fruit snacks. Let’s just say it wasn’t my brightest moment. And three packs. Three packs are too many.

Every day. Lol

I hope you all have a super, duper weekend and that our dear Lauren feels better and her snot storm goes away.

Grumpy cat is sad you're sick

Phlegm Attack

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When I get sick, I am pretty sure it is the most disgusting thing ever. I don’t get a little sniffle. I get a full blown phlegm attack. I go through boxes and boxes of tissue and I want to do nothing but lay.  And G gets mad because I have the tendency to make a pile of tissues next to me wherever I am.  What?  I am sick – I don’t want to get up and throw them away every 5 minutes….

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My mom has a crazy paranoia about antibiotics, and how going on them once a year or so will destroy my immune system and make me immune and that I need to power through. Can I get an actual doctor’s opinion on this? Since doctors are the ones that give me the meds….

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Because the faster I can get rid of the phlegm attack and get back to normal, the sooner I can go out, take Bella for walks, do errands, go to work, go to the gym, etc. You know, normal life.

So even though i am beginning to feel better, I figured my coworkers didn’t want to listen to me cough and blow my nose every few minutes.  Especially the girl I sit next to, who happens to be pregnant.

I am gross.

And even though I AM NOT FAKING IT, every time I am sick, I think of Ferris:

Why does my car hate me?

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Hi guys. I once had a car that I loved. His name was Harold and he was a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am. Harold was the BOMB.COM. No joke. With an egg shell gas pedal, we used to fly through the streets (just kidding, Dad). Husband, who at the time was Boyfriend, installed a killer stereo in my car. I used to pump up the jams and cruise. Comfy seats. Man, did I love that car.

Harold and I were together for 12 years. 12 solid years, in my book. Faithful. Sure, there were a few dashboard fires (just some electrical issues, no biggie) and that one time my door was almost falling off, and at the end my windows didn’t roll down. But, never any real issues. Solid as a rock. A boss machine, as my dad would say.

Then, one day, as we drove out of our neighborhood, Harold left all of his fluids behind. And it was time. Time for me to buy a new car. I’m not one of those people that factor car payments into every day bills. No sir. Buy a car. Pay it off. Drive it into the ground. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Some may say I take after my dad on this topic. Frankly, i just need to get from Point A to Point B. I will take care of my rides. I will wash them. I will love them. I will drive them fast.

So, almost ten years ago, I got a new car. I got a Saturn. And that will forever go down in history as the shittiest purchase of my life. WHYYYYYYY? Because that car is such a jerk to me. Every three months I have to take it to the dealership because something is recalled. Oh – but of course not before whatever is being recalled actually happens and I have to pay out of pocket. ladjf;lakjfa;lkfdja;lkdsjfa;lkdsfjsa;lkdjkaljf;lakjf

My AC grows mold. And stinks when it is on. My gas tank cracks and leaks gas into my car. Oh no, you say? Don’t worry. It’s a chronic problem. Apparently it will happen again and again. Great!

And, my car has ANTS. Can I get any grosser? I mean, come on. I don’t even eat in my car. There is 100% no way that this could be related to the spilling of 10,000 lattes in the front seat.

So, as I am just returning from picking my car up from the dealership today with yet another recall, I dream of my next car  – a diesel. Because you know, the only thing that makes my car 18293746475853 times worse is getting gas. I feel like my car should be like the Bionic Man by now.

But, flip side: I feel super lucky to even have a car. I’m thankful for that. I do love my ride. Sometimes. When I close my eyes and pretend I’m back in Harold. Who was a BAMF.

I’ll leave you with some funnies. Have an awesome weekend! Start picking out your Halloween costumes. I’ll be following up next week with the 6th Annual Awesome Kid Birthday/Costume Bash update. It’s going to be epic. I will try to remember to take pictures.

i just laughed really hard

Exactly!

Cake Tasting Sugar High

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Lauren here. Just got back from the beach where G and I are getting married in a few months. We enjoyed our time off work, did some wine tasting at the NJ Wine Fest, and took care of some wedding details. And by wedding details, I mean we did three wedding cake tastings.

SUGAR HIGH!!!

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Remember how I am not allowed to have caffeine? No? I am not allowed to have caffeine. It makes my heart race and do weird things. Clearly, caffeine and sugar effect me deeply. I was literally bouncing and singing and talking 100-words-per-minute. I was probably hideously obnoxious, but I was having a blast.

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The three tastings were on different days, so that helped, but there is a certain amount of sugar saturation that one day cannot work through.

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Me = Ross Gellar on Maple Candy

Wedding cake is expensive. And delicious. We tried all sorts of different cake flavors (almond cake, nom nom…. ) and fillings (nutella? OMG yes!). And settled on our favorites from the two places we are considering, so that when we pick our place, we will already have the flavors selected. Otherwise, they all blend together and who can remember which butter cream, which vanilla, which chocolate ganache.

And now, some things to help waste your time:

If this were my backyard, I would never leave home.

Does this happen to anyone else? Every time I wash my hands in the bathroom, I walk away with a soaked shirt, in a line from leaning up against the sink.

G is thinking, “Well, maybe if you didn’t make such a watery mess at the sink….” I KNOW! But no, I am talking about like every sink. Public sinks. ALWAYS WET SHIRTS!

Important Facts About Old Bay Every Baltimorean Should Know

I am used to being out-done by being who are older, wiser, more experienced…. But recently there have been a number of BAMF dancer kids who are like under 13 and who can KILL it on the dance floor. Like, they could RULE So you Think You Can Dance.  I would hurt myself.  Nay, die.

For example, this 8-yr-old…..

Also. Ebola. Be safe.

Procrastination, you win again

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Hi guys! You were SUPPOSED to be reading this on Monday. Except, I fell into a swirl of procrastination brought on by too many things to do, rainy weather and sweat pants. It has been quite a feat to dig myself out of it. Also, Gilmore Girls.

There are a few things about me that have happened over the years as I adjusted to married life. By nature I am a clean, organized, ABC ordered, dust free person.I like to get things DONE! By marriage, I have had to deal with socks shoved under the coffee table, dishes in the sink, piles of mail on the table…etc. And, this week, it got to me. The piles, the to do list, the want to do things got swept aside in favor of milling about in yoga pants, episodes of GG on in the background while I move one pile of things from one end of the table to the other. And naps. I hate feeling this way. Over the weekend, husband and I were quite productive in the front yard – winterizing and decorating for Halloween. It was super. Monday brought the backyard task but Mother Nature was so cruel and she brought on the rain. And, as I sit here looking at the stacks of mail that I don’t feel like dealing with, the rain continues.

Le sigh. So, today, as I immediately made a mistake and drank that third cup of coffee (sorry, heart), I showered (victory is mine), made my hair frizzier (thanks, humidity) and opened my mail. I also ran errands! WOOOO! Now, as soon as this rain stops I’m taking all of this stuff to Good Will.

Hope your week has been more productive than mine.

Stromboli vs Calzone

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Nom Nom Nom

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So, G decided to ghost write for today’s blog. He selected his favorite noms: bread, cheese, and sauce in the forms of strombolis and calzones.

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So today we were having a debate of which is better: a Calzone or a Stromboli.

Funny, most people don’t even know there is a difference between the two. In which case, please allow me to explain the two in detail… 

The calzone is defined as a half-moon shaped stuffed pizza that may include fillings such as meats, vegetables and cheeses. Calzones may be baked or deep-fried. It also originated in Naples.

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folded calzone

The stromboli is a specialty of Philadelphia.  Nazzareno “Nat” Romano father of Pete Romano Sr., owner of Romano’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant in Essington, Pa. was the creator of the Stromboli in 1950. He was inspired by a form of Italian “stuffed” pizza in which various fillings are sandwiched between two layers of dough and baked without sauce. From that, he got the idea of making a loaf of bread with having it stuffed instead of toped like a flat pizza. He put them out on the counter as samples. The name Stromboli is also a place, a very small volcanic island off the coast of Sicily. Pete Romano’s famous quote is “We didn’t invent bread or stuffed bread but we invented the name stromboli.”

stromboli 

rolling a stromboli

 So in conclusion a calzone is a puffy half-moon shape or football like folded pizza, while a stromboli, are long loafs of bread with pizza toppings backed in the middle, often in the shapes of rectangles or rolled like a jelly roll.

Well, whether you’re on Team Calzone or Team Stromboli (please make shirts, I’ll buy G one for Xmas), we can all agree that pizza = good. Cheese = good. Bread = good. I believe the more toppings the better.

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So, stay hungry my friends.

And now, some funny pizzas for you:

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I would feel so constrained at the toes:

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Me, every time. “Just put it directly on the oven rack” they say …

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And now, the future of obesity:

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