Monday, October 10, 2011

Free isn't always a good thing

For example TG called me the other day and it went like this(and yes TG I blame you for will pay)

TG: Hey are you still looking for a sofa set for the basement?
SB: Umm yes I guess, not actively searching but if it's there maybe. Why?
TG: My neighbors are moving into an apartment and they are getting rid of a beige leather sofa/loveseat set.
SB: Really? Ok well is it in good shape, do they have pets?
TG: No I don't think they have pets, it's pretty nice there is a little tear on the back of the sofa but that's it.
SB: Ok great let me grab the truck and I will come take a look at it.

Let me break in to say that we are in the progress of finishing up some rooms in our basement and I was planning on having kind of a man/media room. (mostly I want a place for the beau to play army games while I watch my Mad Men and Pan-am in peace)

We are in desperate need of living room furniture, seriously our current living room set is 24 years old and from my parents first house. We are of the buy good the first time and use it until it falls apart mentality and we are almost at the collapsing point. The beau is 6 ft 3 and over 200 lbs so one good sit down and this stuff is just going to give up the ghost. My plan was to put this newish set in the basement then just worry about getting living room furniture.

So the lil sis and I run a few neighborhoods over to TG's house and take a look and sniff at the furniture. It looks good enough for a mostly man cave so we load it up (you can imagine how much fun it was for two gals less then 5'3 loading it into the suv) and make two trips hauling it home and into the garage. Where it sits for about three days.

Let me add that the previous owner asked us if we wanted help loading it, we said no since we were appreciative of them giving it to us and didn't want to put them out. This should have been a hint. People just aren't that nice anymore.

Next week: the beau goes into the garage for groceries and comes back in and says "it smells like cat tinkle out there"(no he didn't really say tinkle..use your imagination) Now since I asked about the pets and did an initial sniff of the furniture I'm assuming it's some of the paint mixed with the garbage can that's causing the smell so we don't even think of the furniture. The next day lil sis and I grab the steam cleaner and the Murphy Oil to detail the furniture before we move it in.

I cannot begin to describe the smell that happened when the steam hit the fabric beneath the cushions. I have smelled community dumps that weren't that bad. They could bottle this stuff and use it instead of mace because I'm sure it'd be just as effective.

At this point I called TG and said umm exsqueeze me I thought they had no pets. This is the classic and unforgettable reply.

TG: Well they just had cats not dogs, they only peed on it maybe a few times.

It makes it ok because they only tinkled on it a few times??? Come again you crazy person? Is this really coming from the person that won't stay in less then a 5 Diamond hotel because she's so high maintenance?

Then I flash back to the previous owners offer to load it up for us. Oh the laugh they must have had when we left. And to think we rushed over there to get it before someone else could. I never thought I would see the time when free was bad. Now I'm afraid to put it out to the curb. I don't want someone else to take it and find out the awful truth when they get home. I'm thinking I'm going to have to put a sign on it. "do not take...smells like cat pee when heated"

Oh TG I see many 2 diamond hotels in your future you stinker!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ambrosia Recipe that you won't be able to stop eating!

I do believe I'm feeling quite chatty this morning so this will more then likely be a whopper post. But there is a D-Vine recipe for Ambrosia down below so it will all be worth it. No worries!

If you keep up to date with my oh so interesting posts(ha ha right)then you know that I have basically made The Ebay my job. I mean really it's the next best thing to being a personal shopper only you get to take advantage of the merchandise first since it's usually pre-loved and then if you have your smart shopping down you make a profit off it. Perhaps it's just me but that sounds like a heck of a deal. This handbag below was one of my recent purchases and it's what we call "borderline" since I may have a bit more invested then what it needs to be *Minky*(our code word for a good money maker)

Now I really think this handbag is super cute but(there is always a but)it's....faux leather or the horror the horror PLEATHER! I have a thing about my handbags and ok honestly pretty much everything else. I am a staunch believer in *if you can't get the good stuff then just leave it be and walk away*(keeping in mind that since I also refuse to pay retail that it takes a good bit of looking for me to find the good stuff at a price I can swallow).

However it's a fairly decent designer and the price was nice and I think it's a great style with feminine details. The kicker is that is it's also NWOT or new with out tags. So I can't really test drive it with out decreasing the value by a good chunk. Opinions anyone...super cute or give it the boot?
As of yesterday I have started my newest and hopefully best diet. Now myself and just about every gal in my family has some kind of unhealthy eating *situation*. As do most of Americas women I would imagine. My mama will eat popcorn, pumpkin seeds, diet Pepsi and iced tea mon-fri to splurge on sat and sun. My gran is a fan of the no fat cottage cheese and tomato diet with the occasional citrus fruit thrown in and lots of coffee(wonder where I got that habit). I on the other hand just remove all carbs, cheese and get every thing low fat/ no fat that I can. I can say that my diet works great but I am the crankiest person ever when on it. As you can guess I tend toward the *prissy, difficult and demanding* way with out the hunger so it turns me into a monster. Being a monster is not bombshell fabulous it's hideous. This has brought about my new diet. Instead of cutting out everything on the planet that I enjoy I'm just going to cut out the processed stuff. Also canned veggies, fresh or frozen from now on. Whole grain breads and all that also.

Anyways this leads me to my last meal featured above. I call it my *spoiled girl lunch*. It's something my mama and I used to have when I was a bit younger and my daddy would be out of town. A nice piece of steak and some lobster with lemon and butter. It is possibly one of my very favorite foods, and hey not processed! I also feel the need to mention that that is so a salad plate not a dinner plate. Just saying.

This was also kind of a last meal treat but the others got to it right after I made it and I only got a measly small half a container of it hehe.

The D-Vine Ambrosia Salad aka the Mana from heaven
This stuff right here is what we are going to start with. I'm a big fan of the generics on most stuff. I figure corn syrup and red dye number 98237498374 is all pretty much the same.

1 1/2 c Whipped topping
1 c Sour Cream(full fat please)
1 c Mini Marshmallows(white or it looks like..........well lets not say what exactly but colors just don't mix well with the cherries and pineapples).
1/2 c Shredded coconut sweetened
Around 3/4 tsp of salt
1 c Canned mandarin oranges (you could segment clementines and it might be a bit better but who has the time)
1/2 c Maraschino Cherries feel free to add more but the more cherries the pinker your ambrosia.
1 c Pineapple chunks

First mix the sour cream and whipped cream until well blended
Add all the white stuff. Coconut, salt, and mini marshmallows then mix well.
Add all of your WELL DRAINED fruit. If it's liquidy then your ambrosia won't ever set just right.
Give it a good stir and see what you've got. For the most part the above measurements are a suggestion. If you like pineapples more then mandarin oranges then add more of one and less of the other. It should have a pretty thick layer of the whip/sour cream mix because this will set up and thicken a good bit while in the fridge. If it looks a bit dry then just add some more white stuff. Sour cream makes it tangier and the whip makes it more light and fluffy.

After it's all done throw it in the pyrex and chill it for at least an hour. After just sit back and enjoy.

I have heard tales about *others* doing crazy things like toasting their coconut and adding chopped walnuts and some even substitue canned fruit cocktail for the self mixed ingredients. The first two are pretty yummy I must admit but I draw the line at mushy fruit cocktail in heavy syrup. Yuck. Good luck and happy ambrosia eating!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I heart trip advisor!

I just wanted to say that I have found my new online home. Trip Advisor is the place for me. I just go and type in the restaurant, hotel, or what not and offer my very strong opinions. Then they send me an appreciative e-mail for reviewing. Which is something that I love to do anyway. guys should go and try it. It's a real power trip hehe

Oh for the love of the Hotel Gods....who took away the continental breakfast?

With TGs husbands recent deployment(God keep him safe)she has decided to come back to the Hoosier state for the duration. Since she's coming here from...where?...oh that's right Hawaii I only feel slightly sorry for her ladies and gents because it's a whopping 43 degrees here right now and my recently Floridian self is about to curl into my mink and hibernate for the winter while her Hawaiian self is coming here on purpose.

Any who we decided to have a few ladies weekends out in true southern bombshell style. I'm talkin 5 Diamond rated hotels and football games girls! The only things that really matter....I'm just kidding...really....about the hotels that is.

So here is my thing about hotels. I'm a picky picky priss when it comes to staying in a bed other then my own(my own is perfect dontcha know). TG is in a realm far far beyond picky. Since she is the ultimate online bidder on those travel sites she can afford to be that way. She saved something crazy like 68% on our hotel stays while we were there. A real southern bombshell knows how to get the Caddy for the price of the Pinto if you know what I mean and TG has made an art of the bargain! Me being the granddaughter of the crazy southern gran has stayed in her share of Super Hell's and Motel 666's during the long treks between Indiana and Alabama so while I love those fancy places I can make the best of the dive(easily snuck into pools for example). Also being a budgeting kind of gal I expect a lot for my hard earned(or gifted) cash. I still want the Louis Vuitton but I'm going to buy it pre-loved and save a fortune plus the added benefit of not looking like nouveau riche otherwise known as the neeavah reeech...until now that is. So back to hotels as far as they go I am just dying to know why the majority of the very fancy and very pricy hotels we stayed at offered no Continental breakfast. Call me cheap if you must but at $300+ per night I think we have payed for some reconstituted eggs and do it yourself Belgian waffles with the occasional mushy banana thrown in. I mean really if the Holiday Inn Express/Hampton/Baymont clan can throw it in why can't the others?

Now the following Inn was the exception. If you ever go to Charleston you MUST stay at the Vendue Inn. Bid on it, sell your first born if you have too then relish every second of your stay because it is A-mazing. If you are into the super modern, sharp angled kinda place you might overlook the provincial appearance of this genteel establishment but if you are a southern gal...this is the next best thing to the plantation. I am talking about first rate service where they say "miss/madam" and don't do the tres tacky calling of the guest by their first name thing. Daily turn down service(Charleston Chew on your pillow anyone), wine and Hors d'oeuvre cocktail hour, and cookies and milk before bed. Not to mention the icing on the cake *complementary* made to order hot breakfast. Prices range from $175-$355, with the master bidder we paid around $190 a night for the $325 suite. They have cute little bellboys in cute little outfits. They park your car and bring it around for you when you need it. When you bring back that 32 inch pizza from Giovanni's at 3am they will wrap it and put it in the fridge for you. The single not so fun thing was the lack of a pool and seeing as you are only 20 min from the ocean I quickly got over this fact. Also there was a rooftop bar...I'm just saying us gals love our cocktails. This is also a historic building and they give you a very nice and perfectly short(unlike this post) tour and history of the building when you check in. I am a bad phone photo operator so this is just a taste please go see their website for real adult photos.

Oh yes those are the magical 70% down 30% feather pillows,and my oh my yes that is a real antique four poster canopy bed. The only reproductions were the dressers.
The bathroom was nothing to sneeze at either. Real oil painting on the wall, modern fixtures(rain head shower) and luxury toiletries. Fantastic robes if you forget yours.

We stopped and ate at the required slider hot spot White's not Krystal's or Powers if your from the Fort Wayne area but it's still dang good.
Next it was time to check in at the Omni Severin in Indianapolis. This was a very nice hotel. We stayed at it for the close proximity to the stadium but honestly for $350 a night I would have rather stayed at the Hilton or the Ramada, walked an extra block and enjoyed the extra amenities because unfortunately the Omni offers very few. It's $27+ to park your car there per day(and no there is not other's parking garages only downtown) No breakfast....or candies....but they do have apples in the lobby...I'm not sure if they are available to be eaten but seeing as how the snickers in the room was $6 I'm sure they "will be billed to your room upon checkout". The in room coffee was Wolfgang Pucks...or Wolfgang Yucks as I will now call it. Give me Starbucks or Folgers or Cafe du Monde anything but this acidic sludge. The old, not quaint, old pool closes at 10pm or earlier if they feel like locking the door.

Pretty room though. Nice bedding, decent toiletries(surprisingly refreshed daily) and fantastic view from our room. My favorite thing about this hotel was the staff. All smiley and happy and helpful. No attitudes here and even the maids were friendly and great.
This was another of my favorite features of this hotel, what a beautiful chandelier...I just adore a good chandelier and nice drapes.

So if you keep up with Yankee teams then you know the Colts lost by a smidge to those wily steelers. It was heartbreaking with the season they have been having but I'm betting they are going to whip Tampa hind end next week. They had the National Guard and volunteers unroll this field sized flag during the national anthem when the girl sang "Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave" they made it wave. I was close to tears.

On the way back we did the necessary big chicken thing.'s mandatory, if you drive back from Indy you simply must pull over and take a picture with the big chicken. If you don't do it your car will pull itself over to it like some kind of strange magnetic field.

Umm I'm wondering why my jeans look acid washed because I'm pretty sure I have never owned acid washed anything(excluding my throat after that Wolfgang yucky)