November 27, 2011

Black Friday, never again

This past Thanksgiving I went up to see my family in PA. Jack was in California for work which was a bummer, but at least I didn't have to do Thanksgiving alone. While up in PA, talk about Black Friday shopping up. I was mildly interested, because I had never gone. Even after working at a mall for 5 years on Black Friday, I had always stayed away from it.

This year I got talked into it. And I got roped into driving. My mom & I, our destination? The Premium Outlets in Philly. I had been there before and gotten some SWEET deals.....esp from Vera Bradley. The outlets were having midnight madness, I mean how bad could a 30 minute drive to tons of shops be? ABSOLUTELY INSANE. The drive took 2 HOURS in bumper to bumper traffic once we neared the outlets. Parking was crazy. I saw people parked on the curb, and even hitting other people's cars and driving away! I saw on the news people fighting, pepper spraying each other, and hitting each other with tasers! Really people, is that necessary?

I was so annoyed by the time we got there at around 2am, that I didn't even want to shop. I was able to go into a few stores and get some deals on Christmas gifts. I didn't even want to shop in Vera Bradley because it was so overcrowded with people it made me claustrophobic. I couldn't even enjoy myself.

What I learned......wait till like 3am, the crowds are less, and you can find parking. Never get tricked into driving. Have a game plan, and figure out what stores you want to hit. And lastly, never go at midnight.

November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe. Homemade!

I love pumpkin season. I try to use it as much as I can. As much as I dislike coffee, I do sometimes LOVE the smell. Especially the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I just don't like the idea of spending $5 on one. It just smells lovely, even though it just tastes like coffee to me. I decided before work yesterday I was going to try something for jack with some left over pumpkin I had. I figure it couldn't be that hard from home to make. Or at least figure out how to spice up the coffee.

I had googled and searched for a recipe, but I did not find anythnig I really wanted to try or do, or it really just sounded to complicated to try for one cup of coffee. I decided to just take some ideas from a few recipes to make it work. And this is what I came up with! Yesterday Jack said it was good, but the coffee taste was too strong. Today I adjusted it. And his review it today "AMAZING."

We have a Keurig at home, and ours has a reuseable filter so was can use our own coffee it it as well as the little individual containers. But, you don't need a Keurig for this, just a hot cup of coffee plus some other ingredients.  I guess you can all it a latte or just a really awesome coffee. :-) Save yourself the $5. Make it home yourself!

Melissa's Pumpkin Spiced Latte/Coffee:
 1 cup of coffee
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
 Dash of vanilla
 Whipped cream, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice to garnish (optional)

Brew your favorite cup of coffee.  Strong, if you want a strong coffee flavor in your latte.  We use a single brewer Keurig since we don’t go through pots of coffee at our house.

Add pumpkin puree, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, dash of vanilla to a half cup of milk.  Stir together.

Next: microwave. Two or 3 minutes later your pumpkin milk mixture is hot and frothy and ready for the latte. Pour mixture into your hot cup of coffee. Stir it around, top with whipped cream, and garnish with pumpkin pie spice & nutmeg.

There you go! Enjoy your nice warm homemade pumpkin spiced latte! If you have an comments or ways to improve it, please let me know!

November 7, 2011

Who rescued who?

Who rescued who? This is a magnet I have on my car. I see it on other cars, and I can't help but smile. 

Guinness' Story: We rescued Guinness this past July from a Shepherd Rescue Adoption agency outside of Baltimore. He is great. I love nothing more when he comes up to me, puts his big shepherd head in my lap with his giant ears, and just stares at me with his big puppy eyes. His story is unknown, other than he was neglected, underweight, and very shy of people. Anyone who would not love this beautiful gentle dog must have been crazy.  He is now more sociable, happy, he can enjoy his puppyhood,  his separation anxiety has calmed down, and loves sleeping on his giant dog bed.

I think back to our other two pets: Gracie & Patches. They were rescues too. I rescued Gracie 4 years ago, and Patches 2 years ago when they were kittens. Ads on Craigslist!

Gracie's story:  I rescued her from a nasty disgusting house in Alexandria VA. I wish I could have saved all of those kittens from that unsanitary house. I showed up, and it was a horrible house, and all it was were kittens piled into a box. I was looking at an orange tabby kitten, when this little ball of fur started clawing at the box at me, almost in a desperate plea "save me, save me!" I decided she was the one to rescue. They even gave away the kittens too early. The average age for adoption is 8 weeks. Gracie was about 4 weeks. I took her home, and to the veterinarian the next day. She weighed 1lb, 1oz!!! 4 years later she is 13lbs, and her favorite place to sleep is in Jack's lap, bathing in the sun or the linen closet. 

Patches Story: Patches is another Craigslist rescue.  I am not sure how she came to where she was, but she was being fostered by a vet. (lucky her!). But she needed a forever home. Patches is one of the most friendly, cuddle bugs ever, and I LOVE her to all her mismatched fur pieces. She was not 100% welcomed a first by Gracie, but now they co-exist peacefully, with the occasional sister fight. Her favorite place to sleep is on top of the dryer, in a box in the closet, or the linen closet. She is a crazy little kitty who loves to play, and surprisingly likes the snow! She hasn't quite warmed up to Guinness, but I think they are soon on their way. 

After a long day of work, when Jack is traveling, or when I am feeling down or sad.....these 3 know how to reach my heart, and cheer me up. Even if it is only a lick on the hand or a cuddly purr, they know how to make me smile. Adopt you need to be rescued?

November 2, 2011

Eagles fan

I don't care if his last name is Gibson, or if he is an Irish Beer named Guinness. He is part Eagles fan!!!!