My Little Life

Musings, Observations, Shameless Plugs, and Recipes from a reluctant Southerner.

Why Photography? June 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 11:00 pm

I wish I could remember the exact date I bought my present camera, because it could definitely be another birthday for me. It has brought a certain rebirth to me, and it has changed my life for the better.

I know it was in the first few days of September of last year. I had just gotten my first big check from my back disability payments. I paid off a loan from my parents, put a chunk in savings like a good girl, and decided I wanted a good camera with the bit I had leftover.

I could have gone anywhere to buy it, or I could have chosen one of the bazillion models online, but for some reason I was led to Target of all places.

I went up to the camera counter with a $300 budget (plus or minus a smidge). It didn’t take me long before I found it. I think it was $260. It was a Nikon, and I wanted it bad. It was perfect. The sales person took it out for me. . .and said it was sold out *cue disappointed sigh*. However, he said if it was ok with me, he would sell me the display model. Yay!

They looked all over the store for the box with all the cords, charger, instruction manual, and all of the rest of the accoutrements. . .and it was nowhere to be found *cue bigger disappointed sigh*. I had almost resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to order it online. Those that know me know that when I want something, I want it YESTERDAY, so this was almost painful.  By this time almost every sales person within the electronics section was trying to help. Then the manager showed me the next best model up from the one I was looking at- A Nikon D-40 SLR. It was perfect and lovely . . . and around $450. I politely thanked the manager, and told her that it wasn’t in my budget. Then she asked me to wait a minute and see what she could do in the way of discounts. After she had done her magic, it was a few dollars LESS than the original one I wanted. Wow! I snatched it up before they knew they were selling me such an awesome camera for such a small price. I was destined to have that camera. I was sent to Target for a reason. I’m convinced of this.

But it doesn’t really start there folks. . .

The truth is, I’ve wanted to be a photographer since I was about 17 when I had my senior pictures done at Pioneer Studio in Tony, AL. It was such a fun experience, even though I hate being on the receiving end of a camera. I was just so interested in the process.

Not too long after that, my late grandfather asked me what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I told him I was thinking about going into photography. He pretty much said “How ‘bout no. . . go study computers.” Having grown up in the depression era with next to nothing, he was definitely one who could appreciate a steady job and financial security. I put photography as a career out of my mind. I went on to Snead with the intention of studying to be a pharmacy tech; just something reliable until I found out what I wanted to do with life. Making an 18 year old decide what they want to do for the rest of their life is cruel and unusual. Sorry Paw, but when it comes to jobs, steady and reliable about 80% of the time is a giant soul suck. But I digress.

Another memory is stirring as I write this. I remember getting my first camera. It was a gift from my dad upon graduating kindergarten. I opened it, he loaded the film, and I went outside. Within 15 minutes, I had taken up a whole roll of film of pictures of Mom’s flowers, our Beagle, Dixie, and our Irish Setter, Max. Hmmm. . .basically the same stuff I take photos of now. Daddy, you created a monster.

So that little kid turned into a broke-ass teenager, and that broke-ass teenager turned into a broke-ass college student, and that broke ass college student turned into a nine to five cubicle monkey. Then Fibromyalgia happened. I lost my job due to the absences. I very happily moved back home to decide what was next. Losing my job was the best thing that ever happened to me. I want to thank the incubus and succubus that are responsible for that, because I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I was still working for them. So this blog, though you will never read it, is dedicated to you, les miserables (the miserable ones), who have no soul or conscience what so ever.

Anyway, enough of that.

So, why photography? Because other than my family and friends, and the little things like cooking and The Black Crowes, it’s what I wake up for every morning now.

Viva la vie boheme!

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Ch-ch-changes. . . May 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 1:10 am

Ok, so, for the past month or so I have totally blown my diet. I mean pathetically bad blown it. I was down seven or so pounds and I screwed that up royally. I’m really pissed at myself. First there was Easter, then working on the Cabin, then my birthday. Bad times I tell ya. So Monday, I am starting anew.

Every time I do this, I go in whole hog. I totally try to do an overhaul, and I get overwhelmed and discouraged. So last night I was thinking about ways to do better, and came up with a week by week plan, starting with one change, add another the next week, add another next . . . and so on and so forth. So far I’ve come up with five weeks worth, and will add when I think of more stuff to do.

I’m also setting NO GOALS this time as far as weight I’d like to lose. I’m just going to try my hardest to keep up with these little changes, and hope my body rewards me.

So, I’m starting Monday, just because it’s easy to remember and keep up with . . . and my first change will be water and nothing but water. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Wait that sounds bad. . .nothing but water to DRINK.  Will be eating normally, of course.

More about why and how it went on Monday!

 

Birthday Blog! May 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 8:27 pm

First off, I just want to say thank you so much to all of the people who took a second to wish me a happy birthday! By my count, 55 57 58 59 60 62 63 64 76 people had wished me a happy birthday via facebook. Yes, I counted! You guys have no idea how much it means to me. You all had a hand in making number 29 the best birthday yet. I’m serious . . . best birthday yet. This one topped 16, 18, 19, and 21 by a metric crap ton. I have to be the most blessed person alive. I truly believe that.

This is especially special because this is my last “birthday”. From now on I will be celebrating the anniversary of turning 29. I refuse to turn 30.

The best way I know how to give you the rundown of my day is to do it via food. Because celebration = food.

Since this is the case, I guess I started celebrating a couple days ago. Every year my Mom lets me pick out a cake, or whatever sweet treat I want. This year, I chose a Junior’s Cheesecake. Behold. . .

This would be one of the Reece’s variety. Let me break this down. The bottom layer is brownie. On top of the brownie is Full sized Reece’s Cups. On top of that is cheesecake with just a touch of peanut butter in it. On top of that is fluffy chocolate icing, broken up Reece’s cups, and chocolate drizzle. Wow. Just look at it.

Fantasmagorical.

So, I’ve been snacking on that for a couple days.

Then, this morning, my Mom made me the mother of all breakfasts; biscuits with sausage gravy.

Yes, that’s mustard on top. Don’t judge me, and don’t knock it till you try it.

My Maw-Maw wanted to take me out for lunch at the Chinese buffet in Hampton Cove. I thought it was just going to be me and her. . .nope. She called my aunt and uncle, who called three of my cousins and their spouses. We ended up with nine people! I couldn’t believe it. Check out this orgy of food. . .

Then, they brought out the cake, and sang. . .  “Hoppy buhsday toooo yooooooo” It was great. Seriously, it was like the “fa ra ra ra ra” part of A Christmas Story, but it was a birthday, and no one hacked the head off of a Peking duck.

I honestly could have not asked for a better day.

Time to crack down on the diet tomorrow!!!

 

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, May 12th May 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 7:14 pm

For Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, May 12th

I had a pretty important anniversary on April 25th. I wish I could say it was for my wedding or long term relationship . . . but no, it’s nothing romantic; far from it. This year on April 25th, it has been three years since I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome. I’ve had it for a lot longer than that, but that’s when they finally pinned it down.

I had actually been hearing that lovely f-word since I was about 20 I guess. I went to my family doctor with severe muscle spasms in my shoulders and upper back. I couldn’t sit in class, and I couldn’t sleep at night. She gave me a muscle relaxer for day, and one for night. When I went back to her to touch base like she asked, I told her they had helped somewhat, and she said something to the effect of “Well, I’m glad, because I was afraid you might have Fibromyalgia, but you’re SO YOUNG!” I’ve heard that so many times . . . “But you’re so young!” I assure you, I feel like I’m about 76 on the inside.

Those muscle spasms came on and off all the way through college. When they would strike, I’d just blame it on the stress of school and being in shows and have those muscle relaxers called in. In a couple weeks or so, they’d subside somewhat.

Then in September of 2006 I went through a period of INTENSE emotional stress. The pain came back full force and all over. It was unrelenting this time. After about a month of it I went to a doctor in Jacksonville. She gave me Ultram, a pain reliever (which has been my right hand man ever since) and that same muscle relaxer for night I had taken for years.  I was sent for x-rays and an MRI which of course showed nothing. They moved me to high grade pain killers (Lorcet) for a few months, nothing changed, and after a couple more doctors I got the final verdict.

The doctor I’m with now did something that no one had really ever done before. He touched me where I told him I hurt. He tested out other areas where I had sensitivity without telling me what he was doing, and made me jump out of my skin (namely my chest and inside of my knees).

This is an illustration of the 18 points of pain/sensitivity. To be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, you have to have 12. I have all 18.

I’m not saying all this to throw myself a pitty party. I’m writing this so that maybe, just maybe, someone that is suffering may stumble upon this after being told they’re crazy, depressed, or worst of all. . . lazy, and know they’re not alone. If your doctor doesn’t believe in you, you CAN find one that does. Keep looking.

I’m not that great with words, but I’ve come across this several times, and it sums things up wonderfully.

LOVE LETTER TO NORMALS

by Claudia Marek

Fibromyalgia isn’t all in my head, and it isn’t contagious. It doesn’t turn into anything serious and nobody ever died from fibromyalgia (thought they might have wished they could on really awful days!!)  If you want to read articles or books about fibromyalgia I can show you some that I think are good. If you just want to learn as we go along, that’s fine too. This is definitely going to be a process. The first step is for you to believe that there is an illness called fibromyalgia and that I have it. This may sound simple, but when you hear about my symptoms I don’t want you to think I’m making this all up as I go along.

Fibromyalgia is a high maintenance condition with lots and lots of different kinds of symptoms. There’s no way to just take a pill to make it go away, even for a little while. Sometimes a certain medication can make some of my symptoms more bearable. That’s about the best I can hope for. Other times I may take a lot of medication and still won’t feel any better. That’s just the way it goes. I can’t control how often I feel good or when I’m going to feel terrible. Lots of people have been cutting new drugs advertisements out of magazines for me and I appreciate the thought, but I’ve seen them too.  Look at the list of side effects and the few symptoms they help in return.  Even in the best studies those expensive compounds didn’t help over half the people who tried them.  No matter how happy the people in the pictures look, there’s still no miracle drug available.

There’s no cure for fibromyalgia and it won’t go away. If I am functioning normally, I am having a good day. This doesn’t mean I’m getting better — I suffer from chronic pain and fatigue for which there is no cure. I can have good days, several good weeks or even months. But a good morning can suddenly turn into a terrible afternoon. I get a feeling like someone has pulled out a plug and all my energy has just run out of my body. I might get more irritable before these flares, and suddenly get more sensitive to noise or just collapse from deadening fatigue. Weather changes can have a big effect on how I feel.  Other times there may be no warning, I may just suddenly feel awful. I can’t warn you when this is likely to happen because there isn’t any way for me to know. Sometimes this is a real spoiler and I’m sorry. The sadness I feel for what my illness does to those around me is more than I can easily describe.  You may remember me as a light-hearted fun loving person — and it hurts me that I am no longer what I was.

Fibromyalgics have a different kind of pain that is hard to treat. It is not caused by inflammation like an injury. It is not a constant ache in one place like a broken bone. It moves around my body daily and hourly and changes in severity and type. Sometimes it is dull and sometimes it is cramping or prickly. Sometimes it’s jabbing and excruciating. If Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, fibromyalgics should have a hundred words for pain. Sometimes I just hurt all over like I’ve been beaten up or run over by a truck.  Sometimes I feel too tired to lift up my arm.

Besides pain, I have muscle stiffness which is worse in the morning and evenings. Sometimes when I get up out of a chair I feel like I am ninety years old. I may have to ask you to help me up. I’m creaky and I’m klutzy. I trip over things no one can see, and I bump into the person I am walking with and I drop things and spill things because my fingers are stiff and my coordination is off. I just don’t seem to connect the way I should. Hand-eye, foot-eye coordination, it’s all off. I walk slowly up and down stairs because I’m stiff and I’m afraid I might fall. When there’s no railing to hold on to, it’s terrifying.

Because I feel bad most of the time, I am always pushing myself, and sometimes I just push myself too hard. When I do this, I pay the price. Sometimes I can summon the strength to do something special but I will usually have to rest for a few days afterwards because my body can only make so much energy. I pay a big price for overdoing it, but sometimes I have to. I know it’s hard for you to understand why I can do one thing and not another. It’s important for you to believe me, and trust me about this. My limitations, like my pain and my other symptoms are invisible, but they are real.

Another symptom I have is problems with memory and concentration which is called fibrofog. Short-term memory is the worst! I am constantly looking for things. I have no idea where I put down my purse, and I walk into rooms and have no idea why. Casualties are my keys which are always lost, my list of errands, which I write up and leave on the counter when I go out. Even if I put notes around to remind myself of important things, I’m still liable to forget them. Don’t worry, this is normal for fibromyalgics. Most of us are frightened that we are getting Alzheimer’s. New kinds of brain scans have actually documented differences in our brains.

I mentioned my sensitivities earlier and I need to talk about them again. It’s more like an intolerance to everything. Noise, especially certain noises like the television or shrill noises can make me jittery and anxious. Smells like fish or some chemicals, or fragrances or perfume can give me headaches and nausea. I also have a problem with heat and cold. It sounds like I’m never happy but that isn’t it. These things make me physically ill. They stress me out and make my pain worse and I get exhausted. Sometimes I just need to get away from something, I just don’t know how else to say it. I know sometimes this means I will have to go outside, or out to the car, or go home to sit alone and that’s really all right. I don’t want or need you to give up doing what’s important to you. That would only make me feel worse.  Sometimes when I feel lousy I just want to be by myself. When I’m like this there’s nothing you can do to make me feel better, so it’s just better to let me be.

I have problems sleeping. Sometimes I get really restless and wake up and can’t get back to sleep. Other times I fall into bed and sleep for fourteen hours and still be tired. Some nights I’ll toss and turn and not be able to sleep at all. Every little thing will keep me awake.  I’m sure that’s confusing to be around, and I know there are times when my tossing and turning and getting up and down to go to the bathroom disturbs you. We can talk about solutions to this.

All these symptoms and the chemical changes in my brain from pain and fatigue can make me depressed as you’d imagine. I get angry and frustrated and I have mood swings. Sometimes I know I’m being unreasonable but I can’t admit it. Sometimes I just want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. These emotions are all very strong and powerful. I know this is a very hard thing about being with me. Every time you put up with me when I’m in one of my moods, secretly I’m grateful. I can’t always admit it at the time, but I’m admitting it now. One thing I can tell you is it won’t help to tell me I’m irrational.  I know I am, but I can’t help it when it’s happening.

I thought that was a pretty brilliant description of what daily life is like for us. Here is a list of symptoms that go with Fibromyalgia, to shed a little more light; also for anyone that may be questioning.

1. pain

2. fatigue

3. sleep disorder

4. morning stiffness

5. cognitive or memory impairment

6. irritable bowel

7. chronic headaches

8. TMJ syndrome

9. numbness and tingling sensation

10. muscle twitching

11. skin sensitivities

12. dry eyes and mouth

13. dizziness

14. allergic symptoms

15. mitral valve prolapse

16. heel or arch pain

17. brain fatigue

18. painful periods

19. chest pains, noncardiac

20. depression

21. panic attacks

22. irritable bladder

23. multiple chemical sensitivities

24. joint hypermobility

25. suicidal

26. personality changes

27. lightheadedness

28. disequilibrium

29. severe muscle weakness

30. intolerance of bright lights

31. alteration of taste, smell, hearing

32. low frequency, sensorineural hearing loss

33. decreased painful sound threshold

34. ringing in the ears

35. exaggerated involuntary rapid eye movement

36. changes in visual acuity

37. intolerance of alcohol

38. enhancement of medication side effects

39. intolerance of previously tolerated medications

40. severe nasal and other allergies possible sinus infections

41. weight change (gain)

42. muscle and joint aches

43. night sweats

44. heart palpitations

45. muscle spasms

46. Raynaud’s-like symptoms

47. carpal tunnel syndrome

48. heartburn

49. difficulty swallowing

50. interstitial cystitis

=========================

AGGRAVATING FACTORS:

overexertion

stress

hormonal changes

premenstrual

anxiety

changes in weather

cold or drafty environment

anger

depression

alcohol

 

Plants and Plugs April 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:23 pm

Hello again dearies.

I’ve been a busy bee outside this week.  I’ve worn myself out again big time, but I do love being outside these days, which is strange.

I planted herbs.

The folks set out tomatoes.

I made a new friend in the process. She’s a sweetheart.

I also ordered some Columbine which I am excited about. (I wrote this a few days ago. . .it’s here, and it’s sickly. . .but the herbs  are flourishing.)

Anyhoo, I felt like writing about another one of my passions – cosmetics and cosmetic type things. I’ve discovered some awesome stuff.

First Up: Schwarzkopf Zero Frizz

I don’t have really frizzy hair, but I do have a little damage near the ends from body waves and colorings. Because of that, it doesn’t lay completely flat, and I lose some of the length that I have worked oh so hard to get. This stuff is amazing. Plus, it’s like five bucks. So, I decided to give it a whirl. When I got it home I squirted a bit on my hand to see what the texture was like. My first thought was “ick”. It’s like super thick hair gel.  I figured it would make my hair look all greasy and clumpy, and that’s a negative. I tried it after I washed my hair, and before I dried it. When I was working it in it felt a little thick and gloppy, and I was totally unimpressed. Then, I worked it in some more. . .  It totally proved me wrong.  I started drying my hair and brushing it with a paddle brush, and wow. Sleek, soft, not a bit greasy, and it made my hair lay perfectly and look longer, which is a way positive. So, unless your hair is stick straight and totally healthy, you have to have some of this stuff. Go get it. Mama said.

(Update: I cut about two inches off of my hair; maybe more. Yes, I did it myself, and it’s not too horrendous.  Now that I’ve cut off some of the semi-damaged part, I’m anxious to see if I still need this stuff.)

Next up to bat: Revlon Face Illuminator

I’ve always loved that glowy, dewy make-up look. I’ve never tried it before because a) I didn’t know what product to use, and b) I was afraid it would make my skin look greasy instead of glowy and dewy. Then I saw an ad for this stuff, and thought I would try it. I. Love. It. I’ve used it twice. The first time I put a little foundation on first, because the illuminator has no coverage, and I need a little coverage. Then I used the handy dandy brush attachment to apply the illuminator on top. Very nice, it didn’t feel greasy, and more importantly didn’t look greasy. It looks like you have a healthy ethereal glow.

By the way, this is the foundation I use:


I have to do a mini-plug for this stuff. It’s called Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation, and it’s perfect. I don’t think I will ever use another foundation. It covers wonderfully with just a little product use, and the best part is that it has salicylic acid in it, so it works with your skin to keep it clear instead of clogging it up and breaking you out. So, Neutrogena, if you’re reading this (yeah, right), please don’t stop making this foundation!

Anyway, back to the face illuminator.

The second time I used it, I mixed it with my foundation, and this is the method I recommend. The one thing about my foundation is that it is SUPER matte, so the illuminator really lightens it up and makes it go on very smoothly. Of course, it tones down the coverage of the foundation, but, I put concealer on underneath on trouble spots, and you couldn’t tell.

One thing about it, you have to be careful squeezing the tube. A good bit comes out, and a little dab of this stuff will do ya! A pea sized drop is plenty.

I also think this stuff would look really pretty on collarbones/shoulders when you’re wearing a sundress or tank top. Oh, and I got the pinkish tone like in the pic above. I really love it.

Lastly: MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour

Lipstick is kind of my least favorite cosmetic. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but I am more eye makeup centered in my cosmetic obsessions. More about that on a later date. I have several kinds of lipsticks in various colors of red, pink, and nude. But none of them have just been “THE lipstick”. I am in love with this one kind of Lancome gloss, but as far as actual lipstick, meh.

I went on a search for a good one that lasts a long time, and since I haven’t found that in any brand I’ve tried, I went MAC’s website to check the situation there, and I found this stuff. I figured I’d like it enough to wear, but didn’t know I’d LOVE it. I got this pinky-nude color called “for keeps” for summer, and it’s nice. It’s about a shade or two darker than my actual lip color.

When they say “longwear”, they mean business too. This lipstick withstood a wet washcloth with witch hazel on it.

The trick to it is all in the application. Use the color end, and blot if needed. Then, and this is important, let it dry for about 30 seconds to a minute. You’ll know its dry when your lips feel tacky when you press them together. Then use the gloss end; it makes it look shiny and finished and takes away the tacky feel of the lip color.

It ran $21, but, it’s totally worth it, because it’s a wonderful product for one, and you only have to put it on once.

So now I’ve completely “girled out”… I love makeup, I can’t help it. 😉

 

Easter and Food April 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 12:42 am

Hello guys and gals! Ok, mostly gals…

It’s been a while. I’ve been EXHAUSTED. Easter really ran me down, and it infuriates me that I can’t be active for only two days without being in bed for a week to pay for it. Oh well, it could be worse . . . that seems to be my motto.

Even though it kicked my butt, Easter was wonderful. There was tons of food, family, and fun.  I love holidays with my family. I think it’s because I have pretty much the most drama free family in the world. No fighting, no back-biting, no insults (not real ones anyway); just laughing, and lots of it. It was also a chance for my camera to stretch her lenses, which I always love.

Easter also killed my diet. I am only down five pounds now. This would be why. . .

Speaking of food, I made potato salad, and a kick ass yet to be named dessert. I’ve been calling them “Filo Orgasms”. . .but I’m still up for suggestions. My buddy Cheyenne asked for my potato salad recipe, so I’m just gonna do both. Mitchell family fun fact, potato salad will always be referred to as “pot salad” in my family because of my grandmother. Take that with however much salt you need.

Anyhoo, potato salad:

***MAKE THIS A DAY AHEAD OF TIME***

-Peel and cut up about five pounds of the Idaho Potatoes in the bag. I like to cut mine up in about ¾ inch cubes, or cubish-es.

-While the taters are in a big pot boiling (with a good bit of salt in the water), cut up about half of a big red onion. If you’ve only got white or yellow that’s ok, but in my culinary opinion, in fresh foods,  like salady type dishes, and red ones is the only way to go. If your onion is small, use all of it. Cut it up small. You want that onion all the way through, and not super crunchy.

-Because I don’t have an assistant, (yet, muahaha) I try to save time on chopping. Instead of chopping up pickles, I buy a small bottle of dill relish, and a small bottle of sweet relish. I use about half of that small bottle of dill relish, and about ¼ bottle of sweet. I’d say the bottles are around 8oz.

-Dump the pickles and onions in a big bowl. Add about 5 or so good dashes of plain Tobasco,  then add some black pepper, and salt. Add more Tobasco if you want more of a bite. We had several kiddos coming so I had to keep it mild. Stir all of this up and set aside.

-Time to check the taters. Get one out, and poke it with a fork. If the fork goes through fairly easily then they’re done. You still want a little resistance though. If they’re too soft you’re going to have mashed potato salad, and that’s gross.

-If the potatoes are done, drain them WELL and put them in the bowl with the pickles and onions and stuff. Give all of this a rough stir to start getting your onion well incorporated.

-To all of this add about two tablespoons of mustard. I don’t measure.

-This next part is tricky, because I eyeball it. You can certainly use all mayo, but I use half mayo, half fat free ranch like I always do. The ranch has that perfect balance of herbs, and cutting down on the mayo makes it taste lighter and overall healthier. If I had to guess, I’d say that I use about ¼ cup of each, ranch and mayo. I like mine thick and just barely coated with the mayo mixture. Try adding about that much, and if it’s still too dry add a little more of one of the other or a little of both. Or, if you like your potato salads a little mustardier, then add some more mustard. I like mine more mayo-ish.

-Stir it all up and you’re done.

-Wait, no, this totally optional, but I love it. When I get the potato salad in the container I’m carrying it in, whether it be the bowl I made it in, or something else, (I usually take it in one of those aluminum throw away baking pans)I give the top a good dusting of Paprika. It looks nice and finished, and the flavor of the Paprika brings the potatoes back to earth if you know what I mean.

Voila. Tater salad.  *See bottom left corner of above pic. Ok, left center.*

And now, the Filo Orgasm (Filorgasm?):

I came up with this recipe all by myself, and I’m super proud of it. I’m simmering more variations on this in the crockpot of my mind.

-Start off by dampening your countertop a little (trust me) and putting down a couple pieces of wax paper slicky side up.

-Melt a stick of butter. Brush the inside of a MINI muffin pan with some of the butter

-Take your filo dough out and put it on a plate with a wet paper towel over it. If you don’t keep it moist it will be like working with antique onion paper book pages, which is impossible.

-Put down two pieces of the filo, and brush it completely with butter. Put two more pieces on top of that and brush it completely with butter as well.

-With the biggest sharpest knife you have, slice the stacked up buttered filo into eighths. (One cut down the middle lengthwise, and four across.

-Take the sections you’ve just cut, and press them down into the cups, take the edges and roll and tuck and pinch until none of them are touching. Fill up the pan.

-Bake at whatever temp the package says for 10 minutes. They’ll come out looking like this:

Put them in a pan like this, or on a plate and when they’re cool cover them up.

After you’ve baked however many filo cups you need, you can start on the cream cheese filling.

-Take two eight ounce tubs of WHIPPED cream cheese, and stir in ¾ cup of confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar), and a couple or three dashes of vanilla extract. Mix it well, and stick it in the fridge. That’s all there is to that. That much fills about 30-35 filo cups.

When that’s safe in the fridge, it’s time to make the topping.

-Take a bag of whatever frozen berry you like. . .I used this mixture of smoothie ready strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry medly. It was very yummy and blended up into this pretty purpley red color. You can use whichever one, or mixture suits your fancy.

-In your blender, magic bullet, food processer or whatever you have, blend it all up very well.

-Take a large wire strainer (think big tea strainer) and over a small sauce pan, pour your berry blend through the strainer. When it’s all in there, take a tablespoon and stir in the strainer to push all the juices into the saucepan. Don’t skip the straining process. You’ll have all manner of seeds and peelings and other unsavories in there and it will ruin the creamy crunchiness.

-Put the berry sauce on the stove on really low heat.

-While it’s sitting there on low heat, take about a quarter to half cup of hot water in a coffee mug or baking dish or whatever you have that’s small and pour in a packet of Knox unflavored gelatin, stir it up good and take about two tablespoons of the goo it just produced and stir it into the berry sauce.

-Turn the heat up and bring to a boil, and let it boil for about five minutes.

-Take it off the eye, and let it cool. Now, I have these neat condiment squeezy bottles for just such a sauce occasion, but putting it in a small bowl, or cup with a lid, or anything you can shake up occasionally will be fine.

-When you’re about to leave for where ever you’re going, or ready to eat them yourself, fill up the cups with the cream cheese filling, and drizzle on the sauce.

My Dad said they were delicious, and he’s not too forthcoming with compliments so there ya go.

So, enough about food.

Actually, that’s all I have to say for now. I have another beauty related blog in the works. . .I just need to decide which products I want to plug.

 

Lil’ Tidbits March 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 3:32 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I love me a survey type thingy, and I straight up stole this one from my beautiful friend Heather over here .

Outside my window… there are plants waiting to bloom, and judging by my cat’s behavior, possibly a stray neighbor kitty.

I am thinking… that I can’t wait for spring so I won’t hurt as much. Weather is the number one pain in my ass (literally) among other places.

I am thankful for… little snippets of warm weather, and cosmetics.

I am wearing… gray yoga pants and an over-sized baby pink sweatshirt.

I am remembering… honestly not much of anything. I’ve stared at this one for five minutes.

I am creating… little hair dealies with flowers, and photography.

I am going…to Target tomorrow.

I am reading… Starting to read Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”

I am hoping… that I keep losing weight. I’m down seven pounds.

On my mind… not a whole lot actually.

From the kitchen… lean cuisine, boiled eggs, and confetti salad. A brisket is also in the works.

One of my favorite things…is too create. Anything.

Noticing that… the older I get, the less I care if I piss someone off.