Tuesday, January 29, 2013

UGH! Another Birthday!

I do not like my birthday!

I never have.

When I was a kid there was always a snowstorm, blizzard, or 20 feet of snow to stop my birthday guests from making it to my party.

Winter birthdays stink anyways because there is nothing to do except go out to eat, eat and then finish with cake, hence more eating!

All the new ailments time themselves perfectly to come out around my birthday. All my medications have to be adjusted to compensate for the aging body. My gray hair becomes more resistant to hair color.

I make the most of it though. My poor husband and son have to put up with my misery leading up to it and my indecision as to what to do on the big day. I want to make the right choice because I only have one chance in 365 to do it right! It's kinda like when I go to a restaurant and take the longest to choose my meal....I want to choose right the first time!

So why am I blogging about something I really don't like and should just put behind me till next year?

Because this year, and I admit the last few, have been pretty okay. The ironic part is my birthday celebrations usually start a little before the big day and go on for a week after. Talk about prolonging the agony of something I DO NOT LIKE!

This year it was actually sunny out! I had to go and take a picture of the canal to commemorate this rare day in January.

My celebrations started with a couples dinner out to Carrabas Italian Grill. If you haven't tried this restaurant it is a MUST visit. It is a national chain so there may be one near you! For the restaurant, I chose the right one the first time!

I made my own cake because I was craving white cake with white buttercream frosting and some dark chocolate shavings on top. There it is in front of me. It too was the right choice!

On my actual birthday I went to church (it was Sunday) and then I really wanted ice cream so we went to Yolickity Frozen Yogurt. It is the best place because you get to serve yourself any or all of the flavors of frozen yogurt plus toppings, sauces and hot fudge or caramel. We did a little thrift shopping because it is my favorite thing to do and then my daughter brought over a whole dinner plus another cake for me. She slaved all day making sausage/veggie roll, chicken wing dip, and broccoli raisin salad.

I encouraged my granddaughter Chloe to help me blow out the candle but like any child she just wanted to touch the flame! She did get a finger full of the frosting though.

The next day was lunch out with my girlfriends to Moe's Southwest Grill. This is another MUST visit restaurant where the workers all yell "WELCOME TO MOOOOOOOE'S" each time someone walks in. It too is a franchise chain so there may be one near you. I always get the Close Talker salad with tofu and tons of toppings, chips and queso on the side.

This is turning out to be a restaurant review! See what I mean about there being nothing else to do but eat?!

The end of this week my oldest daughter is taking me to lunch to The Village Bakery and Cafe in Pittsford, NY. It is a new place in an upscale town about 20 minutes from where I live.

And finally, to top off a week of birthday celebrations, my 14 year old son Michael is taking me out to Moe's again (I can eat it multiple times in a week and it is one of his favorite places too) and then to the Mona Lisa Cafe for Italian desserts and gelato.

Starting Saturday I am not eating solid food for a week. Anyone have a good liquid diet I can start?!

AnnMarie :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Is Football Over YET??!!

I never had this problem before.

Before my son turned 14, that is.

My husband was never one to sit in front of the TV all weekend watching sports. Until my son got interested in Basketball and then Football. Now he sits and watches too....I guess for that bonding thing.

It seems that when a boy turns a certain age they instantly know all the teams, players and their stats. It amazes me. My son can also name all the makes, models and year of the vehicles we are passing on the road. That amazes me also.

It started around the same time the two of them decided to trade in the Playstation 2 and the Wii and everything that went with them, games and all,  for an Xbox 360.

And then for Christmas we got my son a subscription online for League Pass, which allows him to pick the teams of his choice and watch all their games on the computer.

The Xbox is a favorite pasttime after school. Whether it is the basketball video game 2K13 football with Madden 13 or any other Xbox game, he is there playing till dinner.  He does all his homework in school, he is doing good in school and he is a good kid. So we let him.

This is what I see when I walk by my room on any given night....

He watches the game of the night with his face within inches of the computer screen sprawled across our bed. This so that I can relax in the living room watching Wheel of Fortune. And then my husband joins him.

Every Sunday we have to rush home from church to catch the afternoon and then evening football games. So today the two games that will determine who goes to the Super Bowl are on. Don't ask me who they are. All I know is that they have been planning on pizza and wings in front of the TV all week. 

I make the wings and my husband orders the pizza....cheese with anchovies. What? A new food my son tried and decides he wants on his pizza.

Can you tell this is a guy thing?

I wonder what I will do with myself for 6 hours. We have a big house and one TV. I have the computer to go on but I lose interest after awhile. I could sit with them and watch the games but I don't have a clue what is going on.

Is anyone out there sympathizing with me yet? They have graciously informed me that they are letting girls in for this party and it starts at 3:30.

I would love another girl around to keep me company. My kitty is a girl but she won't come upstairs and hang out with me. It is too warm sleeping on the heating ducts in the basement.

All I know is it all better be over with by the time Once Upon a Time comes on. Love that show!

I guess venting, I mean blogging about it is my only option.

And I just did.

What did you do all weekend?

AnnMarie :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Just Hangin' With The Girls

One of the things I love to do around the holidays is have a girlfriend brunch at my house. I love to decorate my house and the table and have all the holiday foods and cookies to share.

We usually all bring a dish and a gift to pass. Of course the first thing we do is eat and eat then we play the game where you exchange and steal each others' gifts.

It never happened this Christmas though. One of the girls had Shingles. Then another had knee surgery the day after Christmas. Then one got sick and it kept getting pushed further into the new year.

It is mid-January and we finally got together today. On a spontaneous whim sparked by Tree, we decided to forget the homemade holiday foods and the decorations and on a Tuesday just get together and have take-out pizza and brownies. We kept the gift part in though!

Let me introduce you to my girlfriends....

L to R.....Kim, Colleen, Tree, Lora

Kim is my confidant and my comrade in aging! She and I share similar ailments and so we are making our way through the aches and pains of our 50's together! She loves people and is always upbeat and fun.

Colleen is a stitch. For those that are not familiar with that saying, it means she is always making us laugh. She has the best one-liners. My face hurts from laughing after I get off the phone with her.  She is always smiling and she is seriously sweet.

Tree (Theresa) is fun-loving and spunky. She is the youngest of the group and keeps us all going. She actually got a group of us women to get our picture taken on Santa's lap at the mall....more than once! It's always a fun time with Tree there.

Lora is sweet.....her picture is next to the word in the dictionary! She would do anything for anyone. She actually brought her Kitchen Aid mixer (it is HEAVY) to an event to make and then bake the dessert she didn't have time to make at home. And she has been known to just drop by your house with one of her fabulous homemade apple pies.

So while we were waiting for the pizza to arrive, we ate dessert first!  Coffee and "you will want to eat the whole pan" Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Brownies (see recipe below). After pizza and salad we played the gift game.

With two dice on a plate and a timer on for 5 minutes, the plate gets passed around and everyone rolls for a chance at doubles. If you get doubles you pick a gift. When everyone has a gift and there is still time on the clock, you keep rolling for doubles and then you can steal someone else's gift or keep what you've got. We're talking some nice gifts here!

I got that fabulous bowl that Tree brought....
and Tree got the gift I brought....lotion from Bath and BodyWorks and a lotion
sponge thingy to put it on your back.Works great!

We fooled around taking lots of pictures and the day was complete. Another fun time with the girls....
 Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Brownies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9 x 13 pan.
In a large bowl using wire whisk ( I use my mixer), cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, then sour cream and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Batter will be stiff. Spread in pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Frost with powdered sugar or chocolate buttercream frosting.
AnnMarie :)


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year....Brave New Me!

So I finally took action and a step of faith, went out on a limb, out of my comfort zone, over the top.

I got new eyeglasses yesterday......yikes!

I look in the mirror and ask myself...."who is that?"

Still getting used to my "new" look.

Every start of a new year I get the bug to update, improve, slightly change and better MYSELF (throughout the New Testament scripture tells us to examine ourselves).  Partly how I look. Partly my attitudes, thoughts, perceptions, actions, etc......

The last part is a little harder and more time consuming.

The cosmetic outside stuff is easier and a quicker fix.

I only get insurance covered eyeglasses every two years so my choice has to be near perfect. Since I wear glasses all the time, my choice determines how I look everyday. It is me. It says who I am and what I know about style. And I am stuck with it for two years!

I have worn the full spectrum of eyewear styles over the years. This year I wanted to be different, funky, edgy. I had to fight myself to stay away from the safe choice.

I have worn this style for the past 6 years, wanting a soft, lighter look....

Here is my brave new look.....

I know....it's gonna take time to get used to!!

Hopefully in two years I won't look at this blog and say "what was I thinking!"

Okay, now to get to all that other inside stuff I have to work on......check back in two years to see how I'm doin'.....!

Have you made any significant changes since 1/1/13?

AnnMarie :)