Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sweet 5 Year Old

I saw this on Sherilee's blog, Sweet Tea and Sunshine, and I had to share it.  It made me laugh and tear up at the same time.

It's a clip from the Bonnie Hunt show about a 911 call from a 5-year-old girl. My son is almost five so it hit home in a familiar way. I could just feel her vulnerability and maturity as she was talking to the dispatcher.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Other F Word

There's been a lot of talk about the issue of fatness recently.  With ABC's Nightline debate or "face off" between the fat "supporters" and the fat "haters," Kirstie Allen's appearance on Ophra to talk about her new show on her weight struggles, and Kevin Smith's too-fat-to-fly incident, just to name a few (very few as it's on almost every morning show and cable news program).

It's been frustrating listening to all the media reports on this issue.  Every story the media does is either about how fat is killing America or let's love ourselves no matter how fat we are (as evidenced by the Nightline piece).  Neither of these really address the very serious issue of health.  Everyone is scared of offending one group or another.  Is it OK to be fat?  Obviously there is no one answer to this, even if the media wants to boil it down to a yes or a no.  Like most things in life, it depends on the particular facts of the case (can you tell I'm a lawyer?).

Science is science and no matter how uncomfortable it makes some groups, it's important to look at how weight and physical condition is impacting your overall health.  Does it matter if your size is not what one group or another considers "beautiful" or "sexy" or anything else desirable?  No, not really.  Standards of beauty are so diverse - throughout the world and throughout the ages.  So I completely support the notion that you should love yourself and feel beautiful regardless of media or society's norms, whether you're bigger or smaller than what these norms dictate.  However, I reject the notion that you should do that with a blind eye towards your own health and physical well being.

Here's a picture of the Nightline debate.  The video of the debate is included in the link above.

Here's the video about Kevin Smith's ordeal.  I think his situation raises a bunch of issues of its own but my thoughts on that will have to wait for another time.  :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Dirty Underbelly of Politics

Today, John Edward's right hand man, Andrew Young and his wife, Cheri, were on Oprah talking about their involvement in the national deception that Edwards orchestrated about his affair and the child that came out of that affair.

The interview was horrendous and shocking.  I've written previously about how disgusted I've been by Edwards' decisions regarding his affair but this interview not only confirmed my feelings but if possible, elevated my disrespect for this man.

Andrew Young talked about his book and all the details of the deception that he and his wife participated in.  It was clear in the interview that Andrew and his wife were looking for sympathy for what they've been through.  But all I saw was two unethical self serving people that participated in an incredibly sad and dirty cover up and then when they realized that they were not going to be "taken care of" by Edwards, were willing to air everyone's dirty laundry for money. 

The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.  Here is the piece on Oprah's website where you can see a short video and read the interview. There was one thing that the couple said that I do agree with, Elizabeth Edwards is the biggest victim of this ugly mess.

I was going to post a picture of Andrew and his wife but honestly, I just didn't want their image on my blog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yummy On A Stick!

One word.  Yum!

Isn't this the sweetest picture ever?  These are little cupcakes on a stick from Bakerella.  Here she is on Martha explaining how to make them!  I found the picture on Mon Cheri's blog and just can't stop looking at it and smiling.  :)

An Education Indeed

I saw a great movie recently.  It's an Oscar movie to boot.  It's called An Education.  I'm not sure if a lot of people have heard of it (I hadn't) as it's not your typical Hollywood movie, but if you get a chance I would recommend it.  It's very well acted, especially by Carey Mulligan, the girl that plays the main character.

It's about a 16 year old girl in 1960s England who gets seduced by an older charismatic man.  The movie is filled with surprises, most of which for me was how the parents handle this situation.  I found myself both identifying with her as a young girl opening her eyes to the world around her and also scared for her as she takes more and more steps towards adulthood.  I don't want to give anything away in case you see it but it is definitely one of those movies that makes you think and talk about it after you leave the theatre.

If you've seen it, I'd love to know what you thought!

Here's a trailer for the movie:

The Mystery of Snookie

Can someone please tell me why the Jersey Shore show is so popular?  I just don't get it.  Do people watch just to make fun of these kids?  Do the mistakes of others make watchers feel good about their own decisions?  Is ridicule now a national pass time?  Or is it just fun?  What do you think?

Snookie, the Situation (what the hell kind of names are these?) and the rest of the gang are on the View today.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Getaway To Thomasville

I am at the airport on my way home from a lovely weekend with my husband and some friends (sans kids!).  I always look forward to our weekend getaways like a little kid looks forward to Christmas.  I dream about it while the kids are climbing all over me, I smile about it as I'm running around the kitchen making the third meal and/or snack that is being demanded by each child, and I hunger for it as I patiently listen to my children yelling my name throughout the house.

And then the day finally comes and we're off.  Ready to enjoy a few days of grown up conversation, meals without interruption, and maybe even a movie!  And at first I love it.  Reading my book on the plane in silence without anyone climbing all over me wanting my attention.  But after a day or so the joy of being free turns into an emptiness.  I just don't feel right without the kids and the three or four calls to them doesn't do anything to help with my yearning to fly right back home.  I love being alone with my husband and I have a blast when we get to see our friends but I just don't like being away from the kids.  Part of it is the worry of something happening and me not being there and the other part is simply missing their presence around me.  Being able to give them a hug or kiss and seeing their smiling face.

Having said all that, I still love getting away for a few days.  It helps me recharge and allows me to look at my life with a fresh perspective.

And it's also fun seeing new places.  Here are a few pictures from our visit to the Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville, Georgia!  It was such a lovely town.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Real People, Real Stories

To me, there is nothing as beautiful and important as a person's story.  Everyone's story is meaningful no matter who they are and to put down that story in words is magical and transformative.  I hope one day to take this journey but for now I'm happy reading about other people's journeys.

I've always loved memoirs but a few years ago I read one called The Glass Castle that just blew me away.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend picking it up, you will be moved by this woman's life.

Ever since reading her book, I've been even more drawn to memoirs.  Real stories by real people.  Incredible stories of love, joy, suffering, tragedy, redemption, pain, strength, family, and everything else you could possible imagine.  I wonder now why I would spend my few precious hours reading anything but these.  Why read made up stories when there are such beautiful words about real life.

In the last year or so, I've read a bunch of interesting memoirs including The Middle Place, Open, Eat, Love, Pray, The Mistress's Daughter and Driving With Dead People.

Now I'm reading a great one called Hope's Boy.  It's about a boy that was thrown into the foster care system, his struggles and ultimate survival and his unending love of the mother that couldn't take care of him.  As a mother, it's hard to read in parts but also beautiful and moving.  

Have you read any of the ones I mentioned above?  I would love any memoir recommendations that you have! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Time Thief

Two hours of my life that I'll never get back.  It was not well written, directed, thought through or acted.  I do not recommend this movie....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Little LOST Fun

I'm so loving Lost these days. Yes, it's frustrating being twisted around the crazy minds of the writers and having to maneuver through all mysteries and puzzles but I'm starting to see it come together and it's fun!

I really liked the last episode. One thing that kind of made me laugh was the little boy. Throughout this show whenever you think you have reached the "one" with the most power, whether it be, the Others (several iterations), Ben, Lock, Jacob, the smoke (as Lock), you suddenly find that in fact there is something (or someone) more powerful bossing around the one that you thought had the power.

So now the little boy, whom I'm assuming represents the Island, is the one that gets to tell the evil Lock what to do. And Sawyer, man, he's got some guts on him just following Locke knowing he very well might kill him at any moment.

And I loved last week when he confessed his deep love of Juliet. They were by far my favorite couple during this show...I found the way they came together and fell in love so romantic...and I loved Sawyer for finding that after being so jaded all his life.

Going back to the power struggle, we have (1) the Asian head of the Others in the Temple, (2) Jacob, while dead still able to be present; (3) the smoke in Locke, (4) the "chosen" ones which include Sawyer, Said, Jack etc.; and (5) of course, probably the most powerful one, the Island (seen in the boy?).

I'm sure I'm missing a whole bunch of things but that was my quick and dirty summary of it. Then I found this amazing Wikipedia page outlining the description and history of each character. OMG, I could easily waste many hours reading this. Yes, folks, I'm little obsessed.

And in honor of the obsession, here are a couple of videos:

OMG, so funny, all the nicknames Sawyer has used; parts 1 and 2!

A Letterman top 10 list from a million years ago...still pretty good!

And if you still haven't had enough, here's Jimmy Kimmel in Hawaii with the Lost cast and crew:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love That Karen Walker!

Anastasia is not my real name.  I chose it for my blog some time ago and have loved it every since. It's been so much fun!  I've enjoyed being able to have some privacy for myself and my family and also share my life with you and be part of this great blog world.

How did I choose that name you might ask?  Well, after some thought, I zeroed in on Anastasia Beaverhausen from the TV show, Will and Grace.  I used to love that show and that was a name that Karen would use when she was going incognito.  It made me laugh and I loved Karen's spunk and craziness so I decided that I would take it on.

Here's a few fun clips...go to 2:33 for Karen using her alias! :)

And this one is SO much fun.  It's a montage of Karen clips to the song Sex Bomb.  This made me laugh out loud!

And here's some fun Karen Walker bloopers from the show!

OMG, I could do this all day!  Love that Karen.  :)

Here's To The Girls Night Out

When it comes time to leaving the house for a girls night out I always hesitate.  I'm desperate to stay home.  Usually it's because I'm tired from a long day of kids, working, errands or simply running around and I just want to stay home and relax with my husband.  But then I think of my dear friends that are going to be trekking out (in this freezing weather) to meet me at whatever fun location we've decided to gather and I muster up all the energy I have left and head out the door.

I'm still not totally on board when I reach the restaurant but then we all get there and hug and settle in for a night of girl talk.  And within minutes I feel so lucky to have such wonderful friends in my life.  Friends to share the daily ups and downs of being a mother, a wife and a woman.  We share so much of ourselves without fear of judgement.  We laugh with each other at the silly things and encourage and support each other for the more serious moments.  We talk and talk until late in to the night and leave the place with a big smile on our faces.  

Thank goodness for girls nights out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Little Soap Box - Young Girl Peagants

While getting my occasional Golden Girls fix on the WE tv channel, I am periodically accosted by a commercial for the most horrible show called Little Miss Perfect.  It's a show about little girl beauty pageants and even though I have never seen it (nor do I have a little girl of my own), I shutter at the entire notion of this show.

The commercials show these little girls, as young as around 5 years old, being paraded around stage with tons of make up and completely inappropriate "show" cloths.  Then they show the mothers telling their  girls what they did wrong on stage and the girls breaking down in tears.  And then they show the "world-renowned pageant expert," so proud of his job, showing the girls how to strut just right on stage.  

The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach every time I see it.  Am I missing something or is this just seriously wrong!  And gross, and weird, and bad and sad.  Seriously, I just wonder how any mother could do this to their impressionable wide eyed just-learning-what-it-means-to-be-a-human being-in-the-world little girl.  Seriously!  Am I missing something?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba Conspiracy?

So I have this dear friend that has a dilemma.  Her daughter wants to have a Yo Gabba Gabba birthday party but she's completely opposed to the show.  She says that it has inappropriate overtones of should I put this on my PG blog....intimate nature.  She says the name of one of the characters is very similar to a really bad word (which I had never heard of but she promised to share with me when we were in more adult company) and also she says that the shape of one of the characters is too similar to an intimate female contraption (and apparently she's not the only one!).

I find the show annoying personally but I've watched it with the kids and I think it has nice songs and good messages for kids - be nice to your friends, share, don't be scared, don't hit, etc.

I'm curious if you have ever heard this theory among moms?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Wow, I was totally blown away by k.d. Lang's version of Hallelujah during the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics last night. It reminded me of how much I love her voice. It's beautiful and moving.  I looked all day for a video of her singing it last night but just couldn't find it.

Here's k.d. Lang singing it four years ago.  Take a look.  The very end is so sweet.  The man she approaches is Leonard Cohen the Canadian singer-songwriter that wrote the song.  Last night's performance definitely topped this one but this one is still so good.

What did you think of the opening ceremonies?

Old Lady Valentine

Even though I don't say it often (OK, practically never), this tired grumpy old married lady still really appreciates a little romance.

Thank you husband, you made my day.   :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Welcome to Vancouver! Let the games begin.

I've spent a great deal of time in Vancouver and have found it to be one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in the world. I'm thrilled that Vancouver gets to host this year's Winter Olympics. Have you ever visited?

Here is a great view of the city!

And if you haven't seen it already, take a look at the clip I posted yesterday of the Canadian Tenors with Celine Dion on Oprah!  It is so great.  I've already watched it ten times.  :-)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

LOST Question

Did you see Lost on Tuesday? If you didn't and don't want to hear what happened then please don't read further.

OK, here's my question, if Claire's body was taken over by some evil force, wouldn't she have had to die first? Wasn't she alive and well the last time we saw her in the "cabin" with Jack's father?

Just curious...

Also, they better start explaining a bunch of the new mysteries soon including how the two different realities can co-exist (what the...) because the not knowing is driving me nuts!

Beautiful Canadian Voices

In honor of the start of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver's a little Canadian Tenors love with Celine Dion on Oprah! They're really good but the best part is when Celine Dion walks out and they're all shocked but trying to keep their composure. And I love this song...they do it justice.

Check it out, I think you'll like it! :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

American Idol Guy Impresses

I haven't been watching American Idol at all but I might have to reconsider after seeing this guy.  His name is Andrew Garcia and his rendition of Paula Abdul's Straight Up is goose bump good.

Take a look, it starts around the 40 second mark with his background.

What did you think?  Are you watching AI?

A World Between Have and Want

This is what I have...

...and this is what I want.   :-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Missing The Freezing Weather

I love snow and bundling up at home with my family but this is getting ridiculous!  I haven't driven my car in four days.  I was going to attempt a trip to the grocery store yesterday but was just too scared (of both my car's abilities to get me there and back and other cars' abilities not to hit me!).

I can't believe I miss the plain old regular non-precipitation filled freezing weather.

Oscar Does Good

What a great idea!  Oscar party, open bar, great food and doing some good all at the same time.  I hope they get a big turnout.  I have seen a total of TWO oscar movies so far...I have a ways to go.

Click on the picture to see the image better. :)

Here is the registration information in case you can go!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Golden Girl Keeps The Laughs Going

This commercial from last night's Super Bowl made me laugh out loud.  You've got to love this woman.  She makes us Golden Girls groupies so proud.  :)

"You're playing like Betty White out there!"

A Family Is A Family

I saw A Family Is A Family Is A Family last night on HBO and thought it was lovely.  Mostly because of the kids in the documentary and the way they interacted with each other and talked about their families.  Some of the subjects were sensitive ones that some parents don't even discuss with their kids until later on, like adoption or in vitro fertilization so I was surprised when these little kids talked about these things with such understanding (as much their age would permit) and love.  They embraced their lives and families and felt loved, which is something I think we all hope for our kids.

I know not everyone is going to agree with the message of the documentary but I think there are pieces that every mom will find heartwarming and sweet.

Everybody Hurts - Helping Haiti

This is a heartbreaking and moving reminder that the Haitian people will need help for a long time to come.  Giving is a personal thing and everyone gives in their once way, but if you are still looking for a way to help, here are two charities that are great:  the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

I thought this was a well made video (produced by Simon Cowell and released yesterday) and lovely rendition of the R.E.M. song Everybody Hurts featuring several artists including, Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle,  Kylie Minogue, Liona Lewis and Cheryl Cole.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Where Cheetos Meet Conan!

This is so much fun to watch.  Silly, but fun nonetheless.  It's a video of a woman creating Conan with four different Cheetos flavored cheese puffs.  I love Cheetos (guilty pleasure that I don't indulge in very often), Conan O'Brien (even though he was always on too late for me to catch), and fun art so it's no surprise that I really liked this!  I wonder where Conan is going to end up?

Isn't she good?  

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowed In

Wow, the snow around here is crazy!  Close to three feet.  How is it where you are?

I'm not sure how many days it will take to get our street clear enough to actually drive on.  One of my neighbors tried to get his giant SUV out but got immediately stuck in the snow.  After one hour of several neighbors, including my husband, trying to dig his car out, his car is in the same exact place in the middle of the street.  He's given up and gone back inside.

Tomorrow's to-do list:
  • Build the "most awesome snow hill EVER," 
  • Help kids build a snowman or two, 
  • Make soup, hot chocolate and anything else the kids want after a day in the snow, and finally
  • Chit chat with the neighbors outside about the snow (how much of it we got, how beautiful it is, wonder when schools will be open, wow it's a lot of snow, etc.).
Here are two pictures from the blog AwesomeDC:


Friday, February 5, 2010

Her Morning Elegance/Oran Lavie

I had no idea why the following video was in the "Recommended For You" section of my YouTube page.  It looked kind of interesting though and over ten and half million people had watched it on YouTube so I figured I'd risk a few wasted minutes of my life and watched it.  And I'm so glad I did.  It was interesting and fun to watch, and the song was pretty good too.   It has a little entertainment, a little beauty, a little this and that.  :-)

Take a look, I think you'll like it:

Had you seen this before?  What did you think?

Snow, Snow, and More Snow!

As you might have heard, we're apparently going to be entering some kind of winter Armageddon tonight.  And since they couldn't possibly be exaggerating the snowzilla that's about to hit us, I'm making all appropriate arrangements for my survival.

But just in case I don't make it as a result of being buried under a hundred feet of snow, I wanted to say thanks for all the good times we've had.  Like the time you came over here and hung out with me or the other times when you left those really awesome comments!

I'll be thinking of you as I try and dig out of the mountain of snow that will entomb me soon.  ;)

The view from my room! 

Perfect Soup For Cold Winter Day

I just came across the best resolution list ever!  It's a food resolution list from Brown Eyed Baker, a baking blog I just found.

The first thing that caught my eye on her blog was this picture of French onion soup and the great recipe accompanying it.  I love this soup in the winter but have never tried making myself because it seemed little intimidating.  Have you ever made it?

And then as I was reading about the soup, I saw her food resolution list from 2009.  It includes the 100 different kinds of food that she was try making.  She then went back a few weeks ago and crossed off the things that she'd actually made along with a link to the recipe she used (click on the word "complete" below to go to her recipe pages).  What a great idea!  Take a look at her list:

Yeast Goodies:
1. Focaccia bread
2. Bagels ~ Completed
3. English muffins ~ Completed
4. Challah ~ Completed 
5. No-Knead bread
6. Ciabatta
7. Babka ~ Completed (Chocolate Babka)
8. Kaiser rolls
9. Panettone
10. Sour dough bread
11. Parker House Rolls
12. Olive oil bread
13. Baguettes ~ Completed
13. Croissants ~ Completed
14. Donuts
15. Yeasted Coffee Cake

Quick Breads:
Zucchini bread ~ Completed
17. Gingerbread
18. Shortbread
Irish Soda bread ~ Completed
20. Popovers
Herbed Cheese and Beer bread ~ Completed


Blondies ~ Completed with Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies
Macaroons ~ Completed with Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
Snickerdoodles ~ Completed
25. Gingerbread cookies
Rugelach ~ Completed
Seven Layer Bars ~ Completed
28. Cannoli ~ Completed

Spoon Desserts:

29. Chocolate Mousse
30. Souffle
31. Baked Alaska
Bread pudding ~ Completed
33. Creme Brulee
Danish ~ Completed (Daring Bakers May 2008)
35. Strudel
36. Nutroll
37. Baklava
Éclairs ~ Completed
Cream puffs ~ Completed
40. Turnovers
41. Gougeres
Crumb Cake ~ Completed
Coffee Cake ~ Completed
44. Pineapple Upside Down Cake ~ Completed
45. Charlotte
46. Angel food cake
47. Carrot cake
48. German chocolate cake
49. Pumpkin roll
50. Black Forest Cake
Black bottom cupcakes ~ Completed
52. New York cheesecake
53. Chocolate cheesecake
54. Bundt-style cake (rum)
55. Better Than Sex Cake
56. Flourless Chocolate cake
57. Boston Cream Pie
Tiered Cake ~ Completed for class and a wedding shower
Lattice-topped pie ~ Completed on my blueberry pie
Blueberry pie ~ Completed
61. Pumpkin pie
62. Chocolate cream pie
63. Pecan pie
64. Lasagna
65. Stuffed Shells
66. Manicotti
67. Chicken parmesan
Fettuccine Alfredo ~ Completed
Homemade noodles ~ Completed
Pigu ~ Completed
71. Tortellini
72. Deep dish pizza
Calzones ~ Completed with Italian Supreme Calzones
74. Stromboli
75. Frittata
Soups, Entrees, and Sides:
76. French onion soup ~ 
77. Minestrone
Cream of mushroom soup ~ Completed
79. Coq au Vin
80. Beef stroganoff
81. Baked ham
82. Lamb
83. Stuffed cabbage
84. Roast chicken
Beef Wellington ~ Completed!
86. Stuffing
87. Fritters
88. Baked beans
Frozen Desserts:
Homemade ice cream ~ Completed with Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
90. Sorbet
Semifreddo ~ Completed with Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo
Miscellaneous (not sure what category these go in!):
92. German Apple Pancake
93. Crepes
Quiche ~ Completed
95. Spanakopita
96. Petit Fours
97. Gingerbread House
Fudge ~ Completed
99. Pierogi ~ Completed
100. Truffles
101 and Beyond…
101. Sfogatelle
102. Braised Short Ribs
103. Butternut Squash anything
104. Kouign Amann
105. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
106. Moussaka
107. Egg Rolls
108. Potstickers/Dumplings
109. Homemade onion rings
110. Guacamole
All I have to say about this list is WOW!  I need to get myself some resolutions and fast.  Do you have a food list?