Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Life’s a Happy Song with the Muppets by Your Side to Sing Along

I wrote a blog several months ago expressing my giddy delight at the approaching of the new Muppets movie.

My growing excitement finally exploded into a burst of song, dance, and Meep’s when I saw the film this past weekend.

I was a little let-down at first when I found out that the showing we originally were going to see was sold-out (but nothing a little apple-cinnamon frozen-yogurt couldn’t fix!). Then, I saw it had been sold-out by individuals with rosy cheeks and who were less than 4 ft. tall.

No, it wasn’t a screening for Santa’s elves.

It was a whole new generation experiencing and falling in love with the Muppets for the very first time.

I was reminded of how that felt as I experienced two hours of singing, dancing, laughs and jokes (Wocka Wocka!), cameo appearances (um, Selena Gomez, do you even know who the Muppets are?), and lots of smiles and old friends. Both the audience and movie characters were reminded of how much we love the Muppets and how much we have missed them.

I am also very proud to report that I was told that I laughed harder when Beaker was on the screen than any other time.

Meeeep Meep Meep Meeeeeep!!!!

Fans of the original Muppets will not be disappointed, but will also enjoy the debut of the new “manly-Muppet” Walter, the “Muppet-of-a-man” Jason Segel, and Amy Adams who all fit-in seamlessly. New Muppet-ers will get to learn of both the Muppets past glory and their bright future.

At its core, the movie is about growing-up, overcoming your fears, and persevering, all with friends and loved-ones by your side to help and encourage you; a lesson that spans the ages.

I solemnly swear that whether you a part of the old or new Muppets-generation, or even whether you like the Muppets or not, you will come away from this movie with a smile on your face. 

And probably singing Mahna Mahna.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I have always loved Thanksgiving for many many reasons, and I love that it is the perfect time to reflect back on what has changed since the year before, and what you are thankful for in the past few year.

If someone told me at this time last year that this is where I would be, I would have thought "I really hope that that is not true". But if given the choice between how things are for me now, and how things were for me two years ago, I would not hesitate in choosing today. While things may not be ideal, and I'm not where I hoped I would be, I know that nothing ever quite works out the way we planned or hoped, but I am still incredibly grateful and thankful for all of the wonderful people and things in my life.

I am thankful for my parents helping me out and supporting me as much they do. I am thankful for even having a job in this economy. But most importantly, I am thankful for all of my wonderful family and friends who never stop encouraging me to fight for my dreams and making me smile.

Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Music Monday: Mylo Xyloto

I know that I technically already talked about this, but I can not help it, I just keep listening to Mylo Xyloto from start to finish, over and over again. I never tire of it.

When you listen to the album in its entirety, you can feel the story behind the songs. You experience the struggle of love in a time of hardship and the hope for a brighter future.

Not many bands and artists commit to the tall-order of making a concept album anymore. But Coldplay did, and they did it in such a way that is truly tremendous.

Also, I love all of the Peter Pan references. Simply another way in which these songs fly you to another world.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Scones: Recipe and Gettin' Creative in the Kitchen

I love to make scones mainly because there are so many different kinds you can make, and it’s always really fun (like kid-in-a-sandbox-fun) to experiment with my recipe and try different flavor combinations.

I don’t think I ever use the exact same recipe twice. Sometimes I’ll use brown sugar rather than granulated sugar. Sometimes cream, sometimes milk, or buttermilk, or even yogurt. A splash of vanilla extract may make an occasional appearance. If the psycho-eater-runner-brother is at home, I’ll use whole-wheat flour rather than all-purpose flour (only to be told he didn’t like the whole-wheat ones as well as the regular ones). And I am a firm believer in adding as much flour as you want to get your desired consistency. Recipes are not law.

But, the REALLY fun part is deciding the flavor of scone! To date, I have made:

  • Lemon and Blueberry (which is how my scone-sickness began)
  • Lemon and Raspberry
  • Raspberry and White Chocolate
  • Pumpkin
  • Cinnamon
  • Maple with a Honey Glaze
  • Lemon and Mini-Chocolate Chips (this one was spur of the moment when I started to make Lemon Raspberry but then realized all my raspberries were bad, but they turned out surprisingly very delicious)
  • Cinnamon and White Chocolate
  • Apple Cinnamon

I would probably have tried other different ones if my mom wasn’t so set on cinnamon and lemon-blueberry scones.

But anyways, you get the picture…have fun trying different things and experimenting!


  • 2 cups flour (plus more if desired)
  • ¼ cup sugar (granulated or light brown)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of fruit/(white) chocolate or cinnamon chips, etc. *Note: if you are using pumpkin puree, maple syrup, or other flavor component that is a wet ingredient, wait to add with cream and egg
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (only if using lemon)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup light cream/milk/buttermilk/plain yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Place pieces of butter in flour mixture and use your fingers to combine butter and flour mixture until it has the consistency of coarse meal.
  4. If using fruit, chips, or lemon, add to mixture and gently fold in (berries may break easily).
  5. In separate bowl, add cream and egg (and pumpkin, etc. if being used), and whisk together.
  6. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry mixture, and gently mix together until it forms a dough.
  7. Add more flour for desired consistency if necessary.
  8. Gently knead dough 10 times.
  9. Bake in scone pan, or on a baking sheet, forming dough into circles or triangles at desired size. Lightly brush tops with a little bit of milk or egg wash.
  10. Bake until golden brown (15-20 min.)
  11. Let cool (hardest part in our house) and enjoy!

These also freeze very nicely, so you can stock up and enjoy them throughout the week!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November: The New December

Let me just say that I love Christmas. Probably more than the average person. So I’m not being a Grinch/Scrooge/Heat Miser when I say this. 

As much as I love the holiday season, I like to keep the holiday season in what is meant to be the holiday season…or what I like to refer to as, December.

Isn’t November supposed to be about soaking up those last golden bits of Fall? And stocking up on all the turkey, pumpkin, apples, and sweet potatoes you possibly can in preparation for Thanksgiving?

So, would someone mind explaining to me why the day after Halloween, stores were completely “deck-ed the halls” out, Christmas catalogs started to arrive accompanied by Christmas commercials on television, and Starbucks switched over to holiday cups and holiday-themed specialty drinks (if they had completely taken away my pumpkin-spice latte, there would have been a few injured baristas out there)?

Not yet you silly silly people! How much caffeine are you drinking anyway?

Seriously, the holiday preparations and celebrations last from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year’s, so why the heck is it so important to start a whole other month early?

I have to confess, I already broke out my Christmas tunes a bit, but I listen to a holiday song or two throughout the entire year (a strange quirk of mine that is not well-received by others), so that doesn’t count.

And this year, I especially want to hold onto Fall for as long as possible after the Abominable-Snowman-Tober came to visit this year.

I’m glad some people get it at least.

Nordstrom Vs. Christmas
General reaction: "Good for them!" Thanks Brittany for alerting me to this!

Let’s try to keep November as November, and not December (um, except for music…that doesn’t count).