Dec 29, 2009

My bum resembles an Italian pizza chef....

So I've skipped Christmas in terms of blogging and moved right on to my vacation. It wasn't that I hibernated on Christmas day but I forgot my camera and was too stressed out from being up at 5am to deliver pressies anyway...I'll just add that this year I escaped making Christmas dinner and went to Emeril Lagasse's Tchoup Chop in Orlando instead... I loved turkey to be seen!
Where are you now Clare? well my family (hubbie, Gary & I and my parents) are in Longboat Key near Sarasota in Florida.  It's very sunny, but as with most of the country, not very warm...only 62 today...brrrrr. However we are not here for sun bathing, we are here for exercise! (cough) We are staying at Cedars Tennis Resort, subjecting ourselves to two hours of tennis a day, cycling and walks with the dog. The upside is my jeans are already too loose and I have a saggy ass look going on...the downside is I get compared to dodgy statues of Italian chefs...confused..? I'll explain.

Last night we decided to ditch the car and take a walk out for dinner. About 1/2 mile down the road Mom and dad had seen a cute Italian bistro and decided that we should go for pizza. We wrapped up walm and set out, confident that on a Monday evening it would be quiet, ...wrong! We would have to wait...and as it was about 100F inside I decided to sit outside and twiddle my thumbs. Whilst waiting my husband quipped that my saggy jeans made my bum look like the dodgy Italian waiter statue at the front of the bistro. I hadn't even noticed the stange Italian effigy, but went to investigate...

This jolly chap was stood at the front of Ciao Italia.. I'm not sure how exactly I managed to miss him when I came in... you can just make out my naughty husband in the what does Pepe's bottom look like?

You can see why hubbie got a swift backhander before we went in to eat ;-)

Well even though they had a dodgy taste in ornanment the food was great. Our family style calamari was served with some fantastic fresh home made marinara sauce...and the pizza'a were delicious. Add in a large carafe of Cab Sauv and we were all happy and sated when we left the restaurant. It's small and homely inside, I think probably a family operation, and we'd recommend if you are down in the Long Boat Key area. My parents loved it! Tomorrow more tennis and dog walking, I'll need new jeans by end of the holiday! 

Dec 28, 2009

If only I was single...?

I was just about to close my laptop down this evening when I saw something rather amusing on the BBC website.
Apparently if I was a Japanese single I could purchase a 'Boyfriend' pillow to keep me warm and safe at night!
Japan's single women are being offered the ultimate sleeping partner - a comfort to cuddle up to, but one which does not snore or make demands.

The Boyfriend's Arm Pillow, shaped like a man's torso with one sturdy arm, has been on sale since December and has so far been snapped up by 1,000 singles. Manufacturer Kameo said the pillow's shape also keeps the body balanced. One woman, Junko Suzuki, told AP: "It makes me relaxed... I can hold the arm and feel something warm at my side".
The pillow is only available in Japan, where it costs about 8,500 Yen (£40, $80), and is available in blue, pink or green.
Ms Suzuki, who is separated from her husband, says the pillow has other advantages. "It keeps holding me all the way through. I think this is great because this does not betray me," she told AP. let sum this up...for $80 I can have a subsitute boyfriend / husand, who will never cheat on me, does not snore, sleeps with his arm around me all night instead of for half an hour until his arm goes dead, keeps me warm and does not ask me to get up and get him water (tissues, remote controls etc)...sounds like the best $80 ever spent...I'm surprised they've only sold 1000!

Dec 27, 2009

This Christmas I’m channeling Martha Stewart…

There is a tradition in my husband’s family of giving gift bags aswell as presents at Christmas. When I first arrived in the family 7 years ago these used to be simple bags of little cute and cheap gifts and candy. I don’t know how they have somehow morphed into something that can end up costing more than the actual presents. This year, as with most of America, we were supposed to be cutting back on what we spent over Christmas, but I didn’t want to drop the gift bag tradition completely. Hmmmm, wracks brains (ouch) for something meaningful and reasonable…. My talents do not lie in arts and crafts, but I am a pretty good cook, so surely I could knock up some tasty treats for everyone?

Ok…so first, I had to decide what to make. I’ve never made jam, however my Mom always tells me how easy it is (and her strawberry is to die for), so jams it would be (and chutney, and marmalade!). I also made some chocolate dipped pretzels and fortune cookies…but these were the easy bit!

Ok…so what flavors..? Well I had to do some strawberry and as it happened strawberries were on sale this Christmas …next time though I’ll employ some small children to hull and chop the strawberries for me!

See my feet as I spend and evening hulling strawberries (yawn!!)

Next on the list would be some lemon and ginger marmalade. I had a glut of lemons in the fridge and a quick scan of the internet gave me a great easy recipe… that was two…what else? Ok some chutneys (actually an American friend of mine asked what a chutney was, Wiki describes it as an Anglo-Indian loan word for a class of spicy preparations used as an accompaniment for a main dish. Chutneys usually contain an idiosyncratic but complementary spice and vegetable mix. They usually are wet, having a coarse to fine texture. The Anglo-Indian loan word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened – so now you know!!

I found an amazing recipe for mango & jalapeno – note to Gary, do not eat bit of jalapeno that mummy drops on the floor!!!...upset stomach ensued! And checking my fridge I had an abundance of onions and apples because the bags were two for one, so that was sorted then…apple & onion chutney (the internet is a wonderful thing!).

Well channeling my Martha Stewart I managed to produce 24 jars of jam, marmalade and chutney. There were some late nights, but do you know that I was a natural (even if I say so myself !) My favorites were the mango chutney (although next time I think that I’ll use frozen rather than fresh mango, they are seriously time consuming to peel and pit) and the lemon & ginger marmalade ..I’m very proud of myself!

I enjoyed making them so much I’m going to look for some other cool recipes to make, and I can guarantee that next year people will be getting some more of my creations!

Dec 21, 2009

Feels like Christmas at our house.....

Although I'm on my own at the moment I had all the Christmas lights on last night and felt very Christmasy....Husband won't be back at the house until Wednesday (I've left him to cope on his own in Jacksonville), so I'm here decorating, present wrapping, cleaning and getting things ready for my parents arriving on Wednesday evening... I don't go overboard in the house preferring some simple decor, candles and lights....would you like to see?

Outside I stick to white lights. Our house is tame to some of our neighbours who have completely overboard! I wonder how expensive their electric bill is during December!?

You can see we have a snowman too!
I made my own wreath last year and I have re-used this year (I'm not making another one my hands still bear the scars!!)

Inside we have this body really knows why we have a column but Christmas is the only time I reall appreciate it! LOL

I decorate the bookcase with candles and all the fake (yes they are fake!) orchids with 'Christmasy' bits! I know this looks more like a temple to 'Gary' but what's wrong with that? LOL

The television unit gets it's own gold lit tree thing and a snowman I like to call 'Anne' really you call it a snow woman I suppose ..why do you call it Anne I hear you call...well they have the same pale palor ..(love you really Anne!). You can see I was watching the game last night whilst taking piccies...actually I was having a break from hulling strawberries, but more of that later in the week....

And then there is my beautiful Douglas Fir tree. This year the tree is in gold and red and the presents in a silver blue colour it a bit anal to colour scheme your tree and presents?

View from door when you walk into our living room...and you can see the start of the present pile...I thought we were supposed to be cutting down this year?

The big long one is for Hubbie, but I can't tell you what it is in case he reads the blog!
Now you are probably wondering if Gary has any presents? Well don't worry, Gary has his own stocking and its rammed full of toys, chews and other goodies

Ok so now you've seen the decorations I know have to go and continue cleaning and readying the house for Mom & Dad
I'm making jams, chutneys and sweeties for everyone too....I thought this was supposed to be a holiday?
Need someone to mow the lawn, can pay you in cocktails in hot tub?

Dec 16, 2009

What the hell is wrong with people.....

In the spirit of Christmas the BBC website reported on this cheery story today. 50 2" needles have been found in a 2 year olds body whilst he was being X-rayed. Doctors, in Brazil, say they could not all have been ingested = someone has inserted 50 needles into a little boy... as he is from the countryside somewhere we'll probably find that this was some sort of voodoo.... did he scream when you pushed them in? Sickos are everwhere...if you have a happy, normal life you should count your lucky stars...enjoy your Christmas and spare a thought for those less fortunate than yourself this holiday time.

Fifty needles found in Brazilian boy

A Brazilian toddler has up to 50 sewing needles inside him, which doctors suspect were deliberately inserted. The two-year-old boy was taken to hospital by his mother. X-rays revealed the needles, including one in his lung. His mother said she did not know how the needles, some 2in (5cm) long, got inside him. Police are investigating. A doctor said it was unlikely the boy had swallowed them. Most of them will be removed, but not the ones inside organs as that could cause more damage.

Dr Luiz Cesar Soltoski told Associated Press news agency: "We think it could have only been by penetration because we found needles in the lung, the left leg and in different parts of the thorax.

"It couldn't have been by ingestion."

The boy was taken to a hospital in the small north-eastern city of Ibotirama, before being transferred to a larger hospital in Barreiras, in the state of Bahia. He is in intensive care. There were no signs of wounds on the boy, doctors said.

Update ...

A Brazilian toddler has been found with some 40 needles inside him, which police say his stepfather inserted during a possible "black magic" ritual. Police said Roberto Carlos Magalhaes has confessed to sticking the sewing needles into the two-year-old boy, who is in intensive care at a hospital.

As I said earlier , some sort of voodoo black magic....tragic

Dec 14, 2009

My secret crush...Anderson Cooper!

Ok, so this is a tad embarrassing but I have a secret crush on Anderson Cooper. For my English readers, he is a lead anchor for CNN over here and totally foxy (even if he bats for the other side).

His nickname is the 'Silver Fox' - never a name was so aptly deserved

I flicked on the TV this morning to see him standing in for Regis on Regis & Kelly and normally I'd switch off that immediately, but I sat there mesmerised (trying not to drool!)

He fills in for Regis quite frequently, and now I'll be tuning in whenever I can...he totally kept Kelly Ripa on her toes... Here he is in action, with Kelly again, talking about the time he was confused for John McEnroe!
Enjoy !

Dec 13, 2009

My take on Tiger.....

Those of you who know me know that I've always been a huge fan of Tiger Woods...more for his golfing ability than anything else, but I always thought that he was someone that kids could look up to as an example that hard work combined with exceptional skill really does pay off... however (and you know what is coming right?) these last two weeks have 'sort' of tarnished my opinions.

Do I still look up to him as a golfer?...of course, will he probably go down in history as the man who changed the face of golf?.. definitely, does he possess one ounce of common sense? ...nope!

It hasn't really surprised me that Tiger has been having affairs. As much as he is away from his family and as much as women were prepared to throw themselves at and under him he was probably going to break as some point, however I have been totally shocked at his lack of tact, secrecy and taste!

My first observation would be that someone claiming to be a New York City party girl (or any of the 'high class' night club waitresses) that were flown in to meet Tiger Woods on tour for sexual encounters is in reality a paid 'staffer', and in which case should have been made to sign a contract stopping them from approaching the press...

This is Cori of the aforementioned 'staffers'

Secondly, Perkins restaurants are for pancakes and muffins, not hook-ups. This girl (Mindy Lawton) was smart though..she quick hopped it over to the British tabloids where she would be guaranteed some big bucks and gave an interview to the Mirror.. Tiger..she sounds like such a winner, what were thinking here exactly?
1. Mindy Lawton, 34, is a $5-an-hour waitress.
2. She claims to have had a one-year affair with Woods while his wife Elin was pregnant with their first child.
3. It is claimed their “relationship” was covered up two years ago as part of a deal between Tiger and the US magazine Men's Fitness.
4. Unlike the other women linked to Woods who were based in Las Vegas and New York, Mindy is from Orlando, Florida near Tiger's family home.

Tiger surely you can do better.....
5. She claimed she had sex with Woods at his mansion while the golfer's wife was pregnant.
6. Mindy also said they had had sex in numerous places – including a car park, a garage and in the shower.
7. The brunette waitress has said that Woods allegedly enjoys rough sex. She said: “Sometimes I looked like a rag doll after we'd made love. He wanted to spank me and loved pulling my hair as we had sex."
8. Mindy has called Tiger a “selfish, heartless man” who didn’t buy her anything – even a meal.
9. She claims Woods stopped calling after his wife gave birth to their first child, who is now two.
10. Mindy claims Tiger is "very well endowed" and “knows his way around the bedroom”.

Sounds like such a winner huh?

Next false move was dating a 'reality' TV star... Tiger that was never going to remain secret...these people are media whores.. and she has shown as much by keeping your text messages etc because one day she knew they would be worth something...this is 'having an affair' 101. Jaimee Grubbs, a reality show wannabe, came out as a Tiger Woods mistress after apparent jealous of the attention Rachel Uchitel was getting from the press...Doh!...
According to Grubbs, the two met in Las Vegas in 2007, and Woods, 33, flew to see her in San Diego every few months thereafter. She says she still has text messages and voicemails to prove the relationship – including one in which he asks her to take her name off her cell-phone ID because Nordegren (his wife) was starting to become suspicious.
Jaimee, who hails from Los Angeles, recently appeared on VH1’s “Tool Academy” with her then-boyfriend Shawn. She left after a couple of eps when it was revealed that her man had been seeing his ex-girlfriend behind her back during their relationship. If her allegations are true then this would mean that she was secretly gettin’ with Tiger while also being played on TV... heeeheee..these people!

Lastly, a porn star?...Tiger can I say ewwwwwwwwwwwww? were you keeping it covered (highly unlikely) how many men were you following exactly?...oh and then went home to Elin and got her pregnant...nice.

Holly Sampson - reputedly Tiger's porn star mistress

I don't condone extra marital affairs, I took my vows with the intent on keeping them, but if he had to do it why not keep it secret and safe. With his money and power there was no need for this to have become the maelstrom that it has. Now his wife and children have been dragged into the sordid affair and the marriage will probably never recover. Quite frankly if I was Elin I'd have no problem divorcing him and taking the cash, he's completely embarrased her and her family. Silly Tiger, you had it all but it was not you may lose everything.

Dec 10, 2009

A trip to Walmart.....

I've been a little busy the past few days, but felt I had to share these wonderful Walmart images with you that my brother sent me this morning....they certainly made me smile.
If you have just eaten then pleae wait until later before viewing. I take no responsibility whatsoever for any amount of queasiness that viewing these images brings on. I also apologise if whilst viewing you recognise any of your family...probably best not to own up to that!

It appears that Walmart is allowing women with nests on their heads into the stores....I think this is a cunning new way of shop lifting..very sneaky!

Lady GaGa has been missing this week...we've found her in Walmart stocking up on baking supplies

Don't show your boobs off in they front boobs....

or back boobs....

When choosing clothes to go shopping in always try to see if you butt is fully covered...

please don't lean forward any more....eeek!

Scarily this looks my Uncle Dave...these boots are made for walking (or pushing a trolley)

And lastly this family is really getting in the Christmas spirit...if anyone can tell me where I can get one of these jackets please let me know as there is a certain someone in Oxford who'd probably love one ;-)

Dec 6, 2009

It's all about Gary's weekend.....

Sometimes instead of jabbering on about my boring goings on, it's only fair that the subject of the blog should take the title role.

This weekend it's all been about Gary. Hubby was working really long hours, and I decided not to bother going home until Thursday, so needed to fill our weekend with fun stuff, which could only mean one thing, Dog Wood Park. My friend Anne would be horrified to learn that I've spent $30 on going to the dog park and bathing Gary this weekend...

Anyway Saturday bought cold temperatures and heavy rain in the morning wasn't looking too good for the dog park, but you still need to walk your furry friends, so umbrella in hand we ventured out for our normal circumvention of our apartment complex (about 2 miles). Of course by the time we got back Gary and I were soaked and it had stopped raining...typical... I watched as the sun started to appear from behind the clouds....get your lead Gary you've pulled you're going to the dog park!
It's only a 5 minute drive and Gary knows as soon as we turn into the drive where he is and starts getting overly animated in the front seat... I think if I had his window open he'd jump straight out..

Our $11 paid, Gary's lead was off and we made a beeline for the water.. our dog is Jack Russell and German Wirehaird Pointer cross, and retrieving a dead bird  tennis ball from the water is instinctive, he's a great swimmer...Soon I throwing a wet tennis ball in and out of the lake.

The other thing that Gary loves is playing chase with another willing dog. Yesterday it was a Labrador / Pitbull cross called Bubba... and unlike Gary, Bubba did not corner on rails...Gary sped past me and Bubba knocked me on my derriere... Bubba's owner was worried (this is the land of the lawsuit), but I was just laughing...and Gary came up and licked my face for good measure so now I was covered in mud and slobber nice!!! 
We carried on through the woods with Bubba and his owner, Gary had a new friend..they were exhausting themselves out...which is always a good thing for me, and by the time we got back to the car he was run ragged and ready to sleep on his towel..but not before a quick look around the car park to see if there were any of his friends that he recognised....

Sunday bought more cool weather ( I actually had a scarf on (no coat though!)) and Gary and I went off for our constitutional about 8am as per usual (there is no lie-ins with dogs!) Being a GWP and JR Gary has a love of squirrels..and my right arm is considerably stronger since we've lived here as I have to stop him murderering them everyday. The complex is over-run with them and we normally see about 10-15 on the walk around...can you imagine how hard this must be for a dog on a lead? Anyway this morning was no different and Gary was trying to hunt the squirrels down. 

Squirrel Hunter
I think if I let him off the lead he'd get one, but I'm not that cruel (and I'm worried he'd get run over!) but he it wont stop him trying again tomorrow so I don't feel too bad for him.
We'd have to wait until lunchtime for the park to open, so I went back to bed to read and snooze for a bit)
Lunchtime was soon upon us and I shouted for Gary to get his soon as he saw me pick my car keys up he knew we were doing something exciting and that he was coming too!
We arrived at the dog park...Gary looked like he was having some sort of epileptic fit he was so excited, and we were soon up by the pool...

Today he was more interested in sticks than balls, that and getting extremely could only mean one thing, a bath...
Dog Wood Park has some great 'bath your own dog' facilities, and at $7.50 its loads cheaper than paying someone...they provide all the shampoo and conditioner (good stuff too!) and brushes and towels etc, even an apron for me (didn't help much as I was soaked!)

Gary doesn't like it much, but was a good boy and sat still for most of it, the best bit is being rubbed with the towel at the end !

He's now fast asleep on the bed...the best bit about the dog park.. he's had a great weekend, and I enjoyed it too!
I'll leave you with a couple of images form the park..they have these little sayings up through park and never a truer word was written...

see wet dog disappearing left....

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