Friday, December 2, 2011

Turn That Frown Upside Down!

My holiday cheer has been at an all time high, so it's only natural that something came along to totally bum me out! (But thanks to a delicious grilled cheese I just made, the bumming only lasted a few hours, so cheer levels are now back to normal.)

Any of you watch 'Up All Night', the new show on NBC? You should watch it, you'd love it. It's HI-LAAARIOUS! There's a character named Missy and from day one I thought, "That just might be Audrey Griswold from European Vacation." I finally got around to looking this up and after seeing pictures, they do look similar, but that is defs not Audrey. See below!
I ended up reading a bit on Audrey Griswold's life and it turns out, that's not Audrey Griswold in the show because Audrey Griswold is no longer with us.
As in dead!
Say what?
I can't believe it!
She had diabetes, which first stunted her growth and then caused her to slip into a diabetic coma in 1996. Not long after, she suffered a stroke and ended up dying a month or so after that. Good thing the Vacation empire likes to change Audrey's for each movie! Goodbye Audrey, I hope you got a proper memorial at the 1997 Academy Awards or I'll have some BEEF!

On a separate note, European Vacation was my first look into the world of all things Europe and as it turns out, Europe is exactly like the movie. We are ALL exactly like the Griswolds and Europe hates us!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Very Scrooge-less Christmas!

Do I love Christmas or do I love Christmas?!

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I love Christmas music (preferably Celine Dion, Amy Grant, NSync, and The Carpenters), decorations, cookies, shopping, crazy people, parties, movies and the REAL meaning of Christmas. And I almost forgot, I love gifts! Of course I love getting gifts, but I truly love giving more than receiving. That may have something to do with the fact that the gifts I give to Derek are usually beneficial to both of us, therefore I am giving and receiving all at the same time. Smart girl here! (I'll share my big gift with you after the 25th!)

So on the note of giving is better than receiving..... What better time of the year to give to those in need! Whether you're buying a dead rose from "Doug," the Indian guy downtown (who I'm pretty sure is not named Doug) and paying an extra dollar or two, or just dropping in some extra change at the Salvation Army stand, now is not the time to be stingy! Not many people read this blog (I know, right?! What's wrong with this world?), but what kind of lousy person would I be if I didn't use it for good once in awhile? So today, and from here on out, I'd like to share with you some organizations, that aren't super well known, but would GREATLY appreciate and benefit from your help.

First up is not an organization, but a family that I've talked about on here before. Brad and Tara Mowen adopted their first ADORABLE baby boy from Ethiopia last spring and just found out a few weeks ago that they will be going back to Ethiopia right before Christmas to bring home their two new sons. Awesome news! That's the short version, but you can read about everything here. Sounds easy, but there's a ton of paperwork and money that go along with it and they could use all the help they can get! On their website, you can purchase either t-shirts or bead necklaces made by African women for $15 each, which will help with adoption costs. Now I know you may wonder why you should be helping these people you don't know, but you should change your way of thinking and realize you're actually giving two little boys a family! There will be two less orphans in Africa shortly and what I love more than anything is that they are actual brothers. Heartwarming!

Second up is another organization I have mentioned before. The actual organization is Amazima Ministries and was started by Katie Davis from Kisses From Katie. Amazima "feeds, educates, and encourages orphaned and vulnerable children and the poor in the country of Uganda."

This is an amazing organization to help with and while any amount of money is gladly accepted, you could (and should!) sponsor a child for just $300 a year. That's $25 a month. Your phone bill is probably triple that! This will include
education at a Christian school, school supplies, school uniform, three meals a day, medical care, Christian discipleship, and spiritual growth activities for their families and/or guardian. I understand if $300 isn't readily available however, so they also offer handmade, beaded necklaces for $19.95. What. A Steal. These necklaces are made by the Ugandan women through Amazima's vocational program and I'm just waiting for the red one to be back in stock. These women better pick up the pace a bit! (I kid, I kid.) You should seriously check out their website to read everything, they say it much better than I ever could. Back to Katie..... She has a new book out, cleverly titled, 'Kisses From Katie.' Heeeyyooo! Honestly, I can't put into words what an amazing girl she is. Read her book, read her blog, you'll love her!

I'll think I'll call it a day with charities in this post, but I've already got quite a few others in mind and I'm actually really excited to share them with you! GOODNIGHT!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Patented & Copyrighted.

You know those sayings that are making their way around the internet that usually start out with "That moment when...." and then go on to describe some random moment that happens to everyone? Well I've come up with my own original 'moments' and I thank you, ladies and gents, for allowing me to share them with you. Here you are:

"That moment when you're in the shower and you look down and think you're being murdered, but you really just knicked yourself shaving."
"That moment when you're in the shower and you look down and think you're being murdered, but you really just forgot to put a tampon in."
"That moment when you're in the shower and you look down and think you're being murdered because you're actually being murdered."
(That 'moment' doesn't end well.)
Any of these could work and are interchangeable.

"That moment when you're in the shower using your homemade coffee scrub that is supposedly curing your cellulite and you look down and think you've accidentally gone to the bathroom. Specifically, number two."

"That moment when your peaceful dog jumps up and bites a skipping girl's long braid."
(Let's get something straight. Diego is perfect, that girl shouldn't have been skipping!)

Here are some real 'moments' taken from That Moment When on Tumblr and they are not very good moments at all! I don't think these people understand the assignment.

"That moment when you want to walk around the house in a sports bra, but then you realize you have too many love handles to do so.. So you just slip on an XXL shirt and call it a night."
-Ummmm, what? This girl should stop talking.

"That moment when I love the bad guys more than the good guys in an anime. I MISS AIZEN SOUSUKE~"
-Uuuuhhh, nerd.

"That moment where you tell your friends that you are going to bed but you are still browsing the internet after 10 minutes."
-Good one. Not.

This is in honor of Thanksgiving and Marianne!
"That moment when you wanna punch your mom in the face."
-Happens most holidays!
(No it doesn't.)
(Yes it does.)

And finally someone recognizes themselves for who they and most of us really are!
"That moment when you realize you are probably the most boring person ever."
-Spot on!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Love, Your Favorite Granddaughter

As I was walking through town today, once again stuck behind old people walking SO slow (bad hips, bad ankles, underdeveloped calves, fluid in the knees, vertigo), I realized I don't necessarily love old people. Rough, I know. But seriously, old people are the worst! They're slow at all things, they do not/cannot/will not learn technology or anything new for that matter, and quite honestly, they can be kind of gross. You know what, you need to stop hating on me right this second! I'm allowed to feel this way! Besides, there are several old people I enjoy very much, one being Doyne (aka Grandma).

I adore Doyne with all my heart, but she really isn't making a good name for her peeps. Through her, I was able to get a glimpse into the life of the older generation and it is not pretty. I realize you're 85 years old and I just showed up at your house unannounced, but you're a hot mess! Lets class it up a bit Grandma, put your teeth in! Treat yourself and wear your teeth all day, even when company is not expected! I also understand you enjoy the taste of cottage cheese, but it doesn't need to be eaten for every meal. Despite what you say, I know it can't possibly taste good swirled around with all the other food on your plate. Nice try! **For the record, Doyne is actually very not gross and I thought she had things pretty well figured out.....until this happened.

I stopped by her house one day (when my Grandpa was still alive) and they were SO relieved to see me. It was the reaction I'd been waiting for my whole life, and then they told me they needed help. My uncle had bought them a "record player" (cd player) to listen to their music, but they couldn't get the "record" (cd) to work.
"We've tried everything. We've hit all the buttons, but we still can't hear any music."
I finally had a reason for living and was going to save the day, but then I couldn't get the "record player" (cd player) to work either. Embarrassing! I was ready to give up when I became curious as to exactly what kind of music my grandparents might be buying (I assumed something Lawrence Welk related), so I opened up the cd thing, and they had not bought any music at all. They had gotten a "free cd" in the mail, an AOL internet startup cd to be exact! They had literally been trying to get music to play for HOURS which totally boggles my mind.

So yeah, old people......
(This isn't Doyne, but these ladies probably pull the same shenanigans.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I read this book awhile back,
and I fell in love.

I was a bit hesitant to begin this book because I'm not usually a fiction type of gal, but it had me hooked at chapter one. Naturally, when I heard this was being made into a movie, my first reaction was JOY. Pure joy! My second reaction was a bit of the ole queasies in my tummy. Could they possibly make the movie as outstanding as the book? I'm not into Harry Potter, Twilight, or Lord of the Rings, so I really need The Hunger Games to be good. Like, really good.

The day I heard Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss was a sad, sad day. Winter's Bone was more like Winter's Bore and I refused to believe that she could be Katniss. That is, I refused to believe she could be Katniss until my one good eye caught sight of this baby: It's my perfect, perfect Katniss. Yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Next came these pictures:
Then there's the perfect Effie. Exactly how I imagined her.
And then the most perfect of all. Cinna. EXACTLY how I pictured him. I was the opposite of a Lenny Kravitz fan, but that may all change very soon.
These pictures made me realize that this will be the best movie series OF ALL TIME!
And then I saw the trailor. I don't know, I just don't know what to think. It's so strange to see it come to life. It's basically what I imagined it to be except the arena training. You know what though, I'm keeping hope alive and I know this film will be AH-MAH-ZING!

The movie is being released March 23 and I'll still be in Italy. For the next four months I vow to search for a theater where I can see this in English. I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL IT IS FOUND!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mi Casa Es Su Casa.....

......unless you want an oven in su casa! We've finally moved into our real apartment and I truly can't complain. It's nice, it's fairly modern, there's a flat screen tv that we can plug our computer into to watch real television, the shower feels excellent on my head, buuuut there's no oven. This was suppose to be "The Year of the Oven," and now that has been renamed to "The Year of the No Bake Cookie!" Yuuummm.....when I was 12! Do they think Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies bake on a two-burner stove? I don't think so! This is a true tragedy!

Thoughts of having no oven have completely consumed me, but luckily, I am an even tempered, level headed, mature 29 year old woman. HEAR ME ROAR! Maturity means I don't yell at Derek for having no oven because it's obviously not his fault, I don't bring up the no oven 'sitch' in every conversation I have and to everyone I meet, and I haven't cried over it. That would be SO crazy if somebody cried over not having an oven! I am once again starting to become very upset, so I think it's best we move on.

Here are those pictures of our new hood I promised you weeks ago! Bolzano is an awesome city and I may not have originally thought it was a happening tourist spot UNTIL I ran into a Rick Steve's tour downtown! Rick Steves! First question asked, "Is Rick Steves with you?" He wasn't, but there was NO WAY I was passing up the chance to meet this traveling nerd. Anyways, hope you like the place as much as I do! **Note** I did not edit these photos. On most days, I would rather come down with full blown AIDS than deal with Photoshop!
(Only my favorite place in all of Bolzano!)These next three photos are from just outside of Bolzano, where we actually live.**Another Note** When we bought the DSLR camera, I thought mad photography skills would flow from my fingertips, but as we can all see, that's not the case. Don't think mean things to yourself about my less than stellar photography, okay? Thanks!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Can't Stop Thinking About This.

There have been many HIGH-LARIOUS moments in my internet life, but I can now unplug the wifi because finally, FINALLY, after 13 or so years of searching, I have found the funniest thing ever. NAILED IT!

Funny bone, tickled!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Anybody else crushing on these two older gentlemen?
Because I am! Despite today's rumors that LA Reid is going to sabotage Simon's girls and give them bad advice, I'm sticking with his nice guy act. So dreamy, these two.

I had decided long ago to avoid 'X-Factor' after they fired my true love, Cheryl Cole.
I tried to go without this show, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And it wanted X-Factor, badly. With the live shows starting tomorrow, I just wanted to put it out there that my money is on Drew. This 14 year old angel is more mature than I could ever hope to be and her voice causes me to seizure. Seriously, she's amazing. And she's got Beiber Fever! I am assuming Beiber is going to make an appearance at some point and they'll sing a duet, as I silently cry, pretending there is something in my eye. Mom--I'm going to need you to stop slacking around because you're "retired" and vote for her since I can't do it here. I know you're getting older, but do not get confused and vote for these little hussies.
Tiah and Simone CANNOT win X-Factor! I'll have lost all faith in humanity should one of these girls win. Tiah is beyond pitchy and Simone is SO full of herself. Do not like.

May the best (wo)man win (Drew)!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Treat. For You. It's Better Than Candy.

Suuup?! As suggested by the title, I have quite the treat for you. It's a look into something very personal to me, a place few dare to go. My purse!

I can't remember which magazine does this, maybe US Weekly, but you know how they take a look into what celebrities carry in their purses? We're also going to do that here! My purse is WAY better than a celebrity's though! If I remember correctly, one of the blogs to the right here did this awhile back, but she carried around a journal and nice things. Not here, you will not find that here! If at some point during this blog you have gotten the impression that I have my life pulled together, my apologies. I'm a hot mess.

Example I. My makeup bag.
(Even the table looks disgusting. Hold your judgement, that was a plastic patio table at the hotel we had been living in.)
This bacteria laden bag and brush are probably the reason my face is so busted and suffering from adult acne. You can't really see, but I only use the finest makeups such as, Cover Girl concealer, blush, and bronzer, Maybelline eye shadow and mascara, and Rimmel eye liner. Nothing but the best for me! This combination of makeup gives the perfect "caked on, face is more tan than your neck" look and I highly recommend it. I've rocked that look for years.

Example II. Welcome to my purse.
This is the crap I have hanging from my shoulder day in and day out, and is now beginning to give me shoulder pain. It's totally worth it though. Who knows when I may need an empty bottle of Ibuprofin? What if not one, but two toothbrushes fail me? Well, I've got three just in case. What if Diego gets bored and he wants his favorite tiny blue plastic toy you see laying there. Well, I've got it! Dog owner of the year, I win.

Let's end on a very happy note and thank Derek for the first new and hole-free underwear I've had in two years! He's so good to me! I promise to keep them out of the dogs reach, washed on gentle, and hung dry so that they are wearable for at least four years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Love Feta Cheese, It's My Best Thing

"I love Florence. It's my best thing."
-Deena Cortese, The Jersey Shore

I can't stop grubbing on feta cheese! This stuff is so delicious, it has taken top spot in my cheese repertoire, knocking goat cheese down to a measly number two. This specific brand comes straight to my mouth from Greece and won a cheese award in London, in 2005. All for $3 (euro). That is top notch cheese people!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


It's official. I'm in love. My heart now belongs to Bolzano.

We've been here for 3 1/2 weeks now and I guess I'm starting to get the hang of it again. If you call eating bruschetta and two scoops of gelato every day, "getting the hang of it." We've been living in a hotel this whole time and it really hasn't been that bad, other than the lack of the world wide web. And they translated 16 & Pregnant into Italian, rather than leaving it in English and having Italian subtitles. *Side note: I didn't even know a girl was pregnant with twins the other day, that's how much I don't understand Italian! While not horrible, this hotel situation has kind of messed everything up. We're living out of our bags still and don't really feel at home, so I'm psyched to get moving into our real apartment. Once there, I'm just positive Derek will ask me to make our new house feel like a home. "Decorate, please. Here is my money, don't be shy," he'll say.

Bolzano is beautiful and looks like your quintessential European town! The downtown is the perfect little walking area with cobblestone streets and tons of cafes/bars with sidewalk seating. Pictures to come! There are some awesome grocery stores here, a really nice pet store, and even Mexican food! Although, I think they took the Mexican menu from Chili's. There are ribs and hamburgers with onion rings on top.......

We live amongst vineyards and apple orchards, which are currently all being harvested. The lady next door picks me dead flowers from random gardens. The neighbor man likes to put on his knee brace and climb onto his roof to pick berries and nuts, which he collects in his blue apron and then carries inside. When Derek and I go for coffee at 10:00 in the morning, the "more elderly" have already moved onto wine. When a German man has had a bit too much to drink and needs to go number one, he heads under the grape vines for a little privacy. If my server needs a smoke break, he takes a smoke break. Right next to my table. There are roosters and chickens walking amongst the vineyards and random cats everywhere. This is the life, you can have Chicago!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Second Home Sweet Home....

Tis the eve of our return to Italy and it couldn't have come at a better time. It seems like it was just yesterday that I weighed five pounds less and was packing to come back to Chicago. Without fail, the United States equals weight gain and sadly this morning, I found myself doing the ole yank and squat to get my jeans on. This didn't end so well. My jeans split. Very, very sad. Nothing says lose weight like torn pants!

Ciao America! Ciao Ranch! Ciao Fried Stuff! Ciao Rootbeer! Ciao Turtle Sundae at Culvers!

Helloooooo Bolzano! Hello Tomatoes! Hello Really Small Portions! Hello Very Cheap Heart Healthy Extra Virgin Olive Oil!

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's My Mom's Birthday, And She'll Cry If She Wants To, Cry If She Wants To, You Would Cry To If It Happened To You

My poor mother has been telling anybody that would listen her "retirement countdown" for the past three years and it was suppose to be TODAY! It's about the most annoying thing I've ever had to hear and I personally couldn't wait for August 5, 2011 to arrive. Short story short, things got a little messed up at work and Marianne doesn't get to retire today. She has to wait until September 1. Sadly for me and probably every other person she comes in contact with for the the next month, we have to continue on listening to a "retirement countdown." However, this doesn't mean it's not still her birthday and she can't partaaaaaaaayyy!

Happy Birthday Marianne "No Middle Name" Carter!!!!

Oh Happy Day, Sister Act 2 Style

Oh Happy Day, my little lovers! It's been awhile, but I'm back. I thought since I was on vacation I would be back to my ole blogging self, but alas, that was not how it played out. Vacation went a little something like this......
  • 7:00 is wake up time. I like mornings and I like coffee, plus I just don't like to sleep in anymore. What a waste of life!
  • 7:15 rolls around and I think, "Gosh, I have the entire day to do whatever I want. The world is mine! What should I do? Let's make this a good one, Stacy."
  • 9:00 Wouldn't want to miss Regis and Kelly.
  • 10:00 Wouldn't want to miss The View.
  • 11:00 Shower. The days not totally wasted.
  • 12:30 I'm ready to leave and do things, but it's so sunny outside, I'm afraid my life is wasting away if I spend the day running errands or doing anything that's not getting a tan.
  • 2:00 I haven't left the house yet because I can't make up my mind whether I should lay our or not.
  • 4:00 I haven't left the house to do errands and I haven't laid out. But I am watching Weeds OnDemand and thinking, "This season seems dirtier."
  • 4:28 Weeds is over and I think I may give it up. Not only is it dirtier, the storyline is whack and HIGHLY unbelievable.
  • 4:30 I think, "But if I give up Weeds, I won't get to see Silas anymore."
  • 7:00 The sun is slowly setting and my hair is getting greasy. Guess I can't go anywhere now.
  • 9:15 I make a root beer float. Preferably with Diet A&W.
  • 10:00 Tucked in and ready for Chelsea Lately.
All in all, I'm an idiot and really let myself down the past two weeks.

I bet you can guess what else I failed at! Farmers' Market Week! (Remember that? No? You've never read my blog before and don't plan on coming back?) Well, I wasn't a complete failure, but I sure wasn't a success. I started off strong with a deep dish cherry pie! I've never made cherry pie and to be totally honest, I don't usually enjoy the texture of a cherry. But this baby was apparently baked in heaven and turned out perfect (other than being a bit runny). The crust was probably the best part. The directions have you fold it so that it is similar to a very large crostada. The second and last item prepared in honor of Farmers' Market Week was an also never attempted, blueberry pie! This pie was quite tasty despite being runny. (I am living with my in laws this summer and I'm beginning to think that Tina, my roommate/mother in law is sabotaging me with bad cornstarch! What else could the problem be?) Soooo, yeah, in my two weeks of baking, I made two pies.

Turning that frown upside down!

I started an Etsy shop! Remember how I "think" I take "cool" pictures at the markets? Well, I did some editing and had those suckers printed! You can now purchase up to 20 different 5x7 fruit and vegetable photos from Farmers' Market Delight! Please buy! I'll never live this down if nobody buys anything! Talk to you later!