Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolutions, anyone? Not me! Lint (a Methodist thing) is my resolution. You give up something for 35 or 36 days ( I forget how many days it really is!). Last year it was chocolate, the year before that it was sweets all together, and two years ago it was soda. I still don't drink soda. I definitely recommend everyone watch Supersized. It is a movie about American fast food. You can not look at a McDonald's or Burger King without throwing up, let alone eat there.
If you do have that fast food craving, try making some of the cloned restaurant recipes for Todd Wilbur's cookbooks. He clones well-known restaurant food with household ingredients. I make Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches on Friday nights, and we love it!

So, this has been a quite mixed up post, but I just felt like I should at least post something for this holiday!

Meri V

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can't keep the kids (or yourself) in bed on Christmas Eve?

Every year when I was a kid, I didn't even sleep on Christmas Eve.
When we came home from our Christmas Eve party with our family, we opened one gift each. My brother, John David, and I, made apple cider with our grandmother while my parents set out the cookies and milk. We'd play with the gifts we opened and do last minute preparations. Around 10:30 on Christmas Eve, my grandmother and grandfather would go to sleep in our guest room and I would sleep on the futon in my room. I had a bed, but I thought it was so cool to sleep on the futon!

I could never sleep! I would lay awake and play on my iPod Touch. I would get up around 1:00, run downstairs, and look at all my gifts! Then I would crash on the couch or chaise lounge until my brother or parents got up.

I just read these a few days ago, and decided to make it into a game/relay race to play with my family before we go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

The winner of the game/relay race will win 'snowman poop' and 'coal' a.k.a marshmallow and Hershey's kisses.

Christmas Funny: Last year, my dad got my husband coal and switches! He got him a REAL bag of coal! His friend from college's son-in-law's friend's son (Got that?)  is a miner! And my mom's co-worker's son owns the town's main electric company, and he gave us a bag of light switches. It was the funniest thing ever!

Meri V

My Wonderfully Messed Up Blog.

OK, I put my question on the Google Blogger Help Forum thingy. And they never replied!

So, I'm putting all my trust in my wonderful readers!

How do I read a message that you have sent me? It doesn't show up in my email and it's not a comment!?

Please comment or send me an email at

Meri V

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Leslie Sansone!

Remember her? I didn't.
I was going through my mom's craft closet; looking for some ribbon to put on a gift. Right in front of the ribbon was one yellow DVD case. "Why does she have this exercise DVD?", I thought. "Burn 600 calories per workout?!? Goodness!" I took it into her living room, slid it into the DVD player, and grabbed the workout belt thingy that I found under the case. I was two miles into the workout when my mom walked in. "Honey, what are you doing?",she asked with her sweet little voice. "Working out! I found this in your closet!", I replied while doing kickbacks and sweating like crazy (I was wearing sweats and a long-sleeve t-shirt with the heat on).
My mom joined in on the workout.

When we finished, we went to her kitchen and grabbed some water. We decided to see how much weight we lost. I started out at 106, and I was 102.6! My goal is to get down to 100, so I don't have to worry about how much I eat at Christmas.

Holiday Eating Tip: Do double your workout the day before Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, wake up early or stay up late and do a workout. On Christmas, instead of napping in the afternoon, go run or do a workout.
Holiday Eating Tip 2: You can eat that good chocolate cake and turkey, just watch portion size. Instead of eating a whole slice of cake, split it with someone. Instead of sweet potatoes with marshmallows, just get sweet potatoes.

Hope this helps you when you need it most!
Meri V

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cute as a Button Cupcakes

I hate to post 3 posts in one day, but ya'll need to check this out.
It is a fundraiser/business!
Order soon for your New Year's Party or birthday! (Sorry, won't be ready in time for Christmas!)

Braided Hippie Headbands

My niece told me this great idea! I love it! Just for teens and younger, though. Please no forty year olds wearing these, or I will take a picture and post it on Facebook!

So easy! Take 2 thin or thin/medium width ribbons. I used 2 polyester ribbons form Michael's. Tie at the top. Cross them over each other like you are braiding hair. You might want to use a piece of tape or tack to hold down the top while you braid.

If your ribbon isn't long enough to tie around your head, use an extra string or elastic and tie to the ends of the braid.
They are so cute! They reminded me and Marsha Rose, my niece, of hippies!

Here is my beautiful model, Marshall Roseann Berry.

Her sister, Fieldsann, is very mad that no pictures were posted of her. Her pictures are the Pop-Art (colored) ones. Yes, they are twins. No, they did not plan to wear the same shirt.

Meri V

Baked Penne Pasta with Garlic Bread and Salad

Yes, I can cook. Believe it or not!

photo by: Romulo Yanes)
Every Sunday after church, I have my family over to my house for Sunday lunch and sometimes supper.Yesterday was special because a few people from church came over. I kept on debating about what to make because I usually make a carmel/pecan chicken (It sounds nasty, but it is the best thing you will ever put in your mouth) and grilled asparagus. Because it is winter time, I had to buy frozen asparagus. Unfortunately, one of our guests is allergic to nuts and the other refuses to eat anything green.

Last Saturday, I was picking up some gifts for Christmas from my mom's house, and I saw a cookbook that looked like all of the Harry Potter books combined. I flipped it open, and it landed on a beautiful picture of, yes you guessed it, baked penne pasta. I remembered that I had a package of homemade garlic bread that a lady at church sold, and I could make a great salad with spinach, mandarin oranges, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and a homemade vinaigrette.
Photo by: SunnyByrd

My mother lives in a quite subdivision near the university, and I live on the outskirts of town in a huge subdivision with oversized houses and a lake. I hated it at first because I felt like a soccer mom in my 20's, but I've grown used to it. Luckily, on the drive back from her house, there is a Kroger. I dashed into Kroger (it was 9 P.M.), grabbed all of the necessary ingredients. Dashed home, threw together the pasta, and put it in the fridge. Everything was ready for our afternoon meal. Cole, my husband, could put it on right when we got home as I tossed the salad. GREAT!

Here's the recipe (I edited it because the real recipe insisted you make your own pasta!):

Preheat the oven to 425.

Bring water to a boil, and pour in your penne pasta.*Think about how many people you are serving. I used two boxes because of the large amount of people. If you are just serving one, used two cups. I'd say two cups of pasta per person. Only boil your pasta about 3/4 of the way through. You'll know it's ready to bake when you taste it and it still has just a little toughness to it.

Use a big bowl for this next step. Combine all of your favorite cheeses, also based on how many people you are serving. It doesn't matter what cheeses you use, just make sure you have 1 cup of milk per 3 people you are serving, 1 package of cream cheese (unless you are serving one, then just half a package), and 1 stick of butter.

This is a great way to clear out your fridge!

Next, pour your pasta into a casserole pan for less people, but a "brownie-making" pan for more people. A brownie-making pan is a pan in which you would make brownies. Bake in the oven at 425 for 12 minutes, if you want it "browner" or "well-done", you can cook it longer.

The Grove Salad recipe: Toss the pasta ingredients listed above together in a bowl, and use your favorite fruit-flavored (like raspberry vinaigrette) salad dressing.

Serve to your family!
Kaye Dacus


Love, Meri V