Starbucks Unicorn Drink Review

All this fuss over a fruity-looking drink with way too many calories.  If you’re going to Starbucks and ordering anything that comes with a straw inserted and whipped cream on top, you’ve already blown your “eat healthy” goal for the day.  But kudos to SB for raising that hype bar.  People won’t shut up about it.  Hilarious and sad.

Here’s my review:  Didn’t try it.  No appeal.


I haven’t written here for a while, and I know this. The last time was January of 2014. A little over a year.  After Franny got hit by that car, we ended up having to get a lawyer (something I really would have rather not done), and the defendant’s lawyer wanted to see everything, including my blog.  Kind of took the charm out of writing anything here, even if I know it’s public, and I know anyone can read it.  Although, let’s be honest, I doubt may people are shuffling through the dust bunnies here any more.

The internet has changed.  Facebook came to the blogger’s door, tested the lock, and kicked it open.  Blogging is now a “job” and some of the people who I remember blogging alongside back in the day now actually make a living off their blog.

I’m one of those people who longs for the days when things were (a bit), I guess.  I rarely visit blogs, use Facebook multiple times a day, and mean to post a million things (on here) that I never do.

That’s part of Facebook that I don’t like, I guess.  My blog is mine, I do and say as I please – to a rational point.  Facebook is different.  People have expectations and whine about them when they aren’t being lived up to (too many food posts, too many kid pics, pet pics, too many posts, too many quotes, too man WHATEVER).  As if everyone owns a piece of Facebook.

I miss my messy drawer of a blog where I shove recipes, kid stories, links, pet pics, product reviews, and basically everything else –and anything else– I want.  Blogs used to be the place to do that, but now there’s a gazillion other places.

I still write in my off-line journal.  And I want to still write here.  I don’t know if I will keep things here, or move it somewhere else.  But I enjoy looking back at old posts (I often use the recipes for a reference), and wish I had more of them.


Google Reader Goes Bye-Bye

Have you heard? Do you care? Google is retiring its reader this summer.

Bummer for me. Beyond email, the reader (via Google) is at the top of my Google “likes” list. I love being able to scroll easily through all of my foodie, fitness, coupon, and homemaking sites. To see which posts I’ve read, starred. All of this from one screen. It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s the only way I can get a nice dose of all of my favorite blogs in a reasonable time frame.

I’m not completely against change. I just wish it happened less often. Facebook introduces it’s timeline. The the ticker. It takes it away. It comes back. There’s emoticons in the update bar (yesterday). All this in the span of a few days. I like the ticker. It is kind of like the reader, I guess. It’s a semi Twitter inside Facebook. I know some people don’t like it, but I don’t like the timeline, either, so we’re even.

Every now and then I think about moving my stuff to Blogger, but as many changes as Google makes, I think maybe it’s better to keep things on my own server so I don’t have to adjust every five seconds.

As much as I love technology, I’m also getting sick of it.

Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

Bet’cha Didn’t Know

Hello. I’m revisiting something (I think) I’ve touched on before.

Here are a few of weird things (or maybe not) about me:

1.) I put double exclamation points on everything!! (See?) Ever since I’ve been pregnant with the twins, I’ve done it. Religiously, OCD-ishly, like a freak. Up until I landed my desk job and had to create publications where double exclamation points would be weird(er). Then, I’d write my double points by “cutting” one and “pasteing” it on top of the other one. Yeah. It’s like that! (Cut/Paste) My twins are 13. Run and tell that.

2.) I haven’t typed a swear word in years. Years. Maybe almost a decade? I don’t know for sure, but probably. Yes, probably. Maybe as long as the double exclamation points have been going on. Believe me, I’ve been tempted, tingling fingers. Especially in the last couple years. Frank stopped swearing for a while and it pushed me to try and curb my own words a bit. Typing was a test, my mouth is a whole new beast. I swear like a sailor. I’m not proud or ashamed, but there it is. Occasionally my kids correct me, but more often than not they… well, they have the same affliction.

3.) Bees tend to get caught in my hair. Maybe it is the curls.


OK, on that note, I lead to the photo of the hot dog, which has got to be one of my favorites. Iron skillet, cute doggie… perfection.

Daily Posting In December


For years I’ve participated in Holidailies, where you vow to blog daily from the first day of December (or whenever they start it) to the last day. Over the years they moved to a new format, and last year I simply couldn’t keep up with they way they had the group set up. No knock to Holidailies, I’m just not that hip. But I enjoy my daily December posts. So… I just made up my own little logo and my own little group (through Google, ’cause Facebook gets all the love).

If you want to blog along, go ahead. I’ll be starting tomorrow.

Crunchy Betty Honey Face Challenge

I don’t know why I’m doing this. But I am.

Crunchy Betty's Honey Challenge

I started on Tuesday… no, Monday. Started on Monday? I don’t know. I think I started yesterday. At any rate, I’m in. Just for the fun of it, why not? Generally I wash my face with plain old water. Some days I wash with honey, some I use an olive oil/salt scrub to exfoliate. But usually, just water.

I’ve used honey in my conditioner, on my hair as well. Honey is a fun thing. I like it on my face better than I like it in my tea.

One thing I would add to the directions of the honey challenge is to use a little water. If you just rub honey on your face you’re going to be pulling and stretching your delicate skin, daring it to start sagging on you prematurely (or more than it already is). So, put about 1-2tsp. of honey on your hand, turn the water on and add splash to your hands, THEN rub your hands together; massage onto face. Rinse. Pat dry. The water thins the honey making it slip. Better on the face, in my opinion. If this weren’t a honey-only challenge, you might want to get all fancy and thin your honey with some milk.

Milk and honey. Mmm. Doesn’t that sound good? Or even some cream? Divine.



Feed The Pig

Today I was listening to the radio in the car. A commercial comes on, starts talking about saving money. Sounded interesting. Feed The Pig, the website was called. I thought of texting it to myself, but figured I should be able to remember a site name like that. I did. I checked it out.

I honestly don’t care how good the site might be. Thirty seconds of that pig with the slotted head, talking in his pink leisure suit gives me the heebie jeebies. I’ll pass.

Self-inflicted Hiatus?

It’s been a while. I know. I keep thinking of things I want to write, investigate, get feedback on… and then life takes a bite, and swallows me whole and it is sink or swim. Facebook posts are quick, not posting anything is quicker yet.

But, as life busies, I feel my brain turning to mush, wondering how I ever was able to function in college, writing, studying, thinking? My goodness, I’m only 38 years old, I shouldn’t be feeling the decline of an aging mind. What I’m feeling is the stifling of a creative soul. The yearning for something different. For being busy with creativity, wellness, inspiration. Rather than the drone of a hamster-wheel, day blending into day, excitement extracted only from a crisis, a blip on the chaotic norm.

Nevermind that, we’re going on a roadtrip. Out east, as far as our over-sized van can take us. Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York… off we go. Me saving money, me mapping the finances, me planning the trip, me reserving hotels (and contemplating a night’s sleep in the van)… it is working my brains and my nerves. And we leave soon. How soon I shall not say, as I’d rather not have my home burglarized (mwahahaha). Advice would be happily taken. Free, frugal stops – adored.


Homemade Deodorant? Still using it!!! Haven’t looked back. Pits are healthy are less smelly than when I wore regular deodorant. Yay. Mine’s a version of the common one thrown out there (cornstarch, coconut oil, baking soda). Less of the baking soda, some essential oils, and voila. Good stuff.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Challenge? Verdict still out. Two batches and numerous loads later, I was not entirely unconvinced. However, once our water softener broke down, it was impossible to use. We have really (REALLY) hard water. It is a shame.

Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Puree? Fabulous. Just fabulous. And you can freeze those loaves for future snacking. They freeze just dandy. I wrapped in foil, then put in a freezer bag, brought it out a month (or two) later and the kids were all, Yay, pumpkin bread — when did you make this? and I’m all – Twahahahha, you know your momma takes care of you, hel-lo? and not feeling too guilty about defrosting pumpkin bread. I mean, I did make it. Just not recently.

I found another bread recipe that I love-love-love-love and will share that puppy soon.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Because, if I’m going to gain weight over the holidays, I’m taking you all down with me. Only addicts drink eat alone, so they say.

Pumpkin Dump Cake


  • 1- 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1- 12 ounce can evaporated milk (I did not have, so I subbed powdered buttermilk and 10oz. water — worked fine)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger*
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • —-
  • 1- 18.25 ounce yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans (didn’t use)
  • 3/4 cup or 1-1/2 sticks butter, melted (you KNOW I used this – heck yeah)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9×13 pan. Completely combine 1st set of ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with cake mix. Gently pat down with spoon. Sprinkle with nuts. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool and cut in squares.
* Or use 4 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice or Mixed Spice
I’m sharing the fact that I made this, but it is not my recipe. It is all over the internet, though and I don’t know how we’ve never met, Dump Cake and I.
I’m also sharing the fact that you can’t judge a recipe properly if you’re a pig that dives into it very quickly after removing it from the oven (my kids and I did this, yes we did). Right away I was not terribly impressed. Too sweet, pumpkiny and just not very good. I chalked it up to it being an easy recipe.
And then I tried it again the next day. Can you say entirely different opinion? Momma’s taking this badboy to Thanksgiving. If I had to tweak it at all, I’d say don’t be afraid to pack in the cake mix nice and firm. But that’s about it. OK, not really. I had another thought – chocolate cake mix. That sounds super-dee-duper good, but who knows it might just be one of those things that sounds better on paper. If you try it, lemme know. That is, if I don’t try it first. Just remember, this is a good make-ahead cake.
Doesn’t look to special out of the oven, does it? More like a potato casserole or something. Hey kids, want some potato casserole? (Snicker)

Trader Joe’s Pecan Pralines are Like Crack

A few weeks ago, a church member passed through my office. As she set her tote down, readying herself to dig in to some volunteer work, she grabbed a container of pecan pralines and placed them on my desk. I think I heard her mutter something about them being really good, or addictive, or something like that. Not sure, as it is all a blur now. But I do remember looking into the container, fishing out a fat-looking nut, and popping it into my mouth.

Butter+sugar+nuts+salt=instant addiction for me.

“Did you… did you make these?” I asked. She smiled and said they were from Trader Joe’s. Mental note to myself — never ever shop there again. Trader Joe’s was now a dealer to me. I had to avoid it at all costs.

She wandered off somewhere in the building, leaving the container with me. It was a staredown. Only shame kept me from flying under my desk, container in hand, devouring each and every salty, buttery, sugary, nutty little glob. I picked out four more nuts, closed the container and swiftly took it over to her tote. Set it down. Patted it. Walked back, sat down and enjoyed my pecans.

It took me 2, maybe 3 weeks before I made my visit to Trader Joe’s. Really I was looking for their pie crust dough. Really!!! But while I was there… I mean, a little container of pecan pralines wouldn’t hurt, right? Besides, the kids would help eat them.

I popped a few on the way home, “accidentally” left them in the car after unloading the groceries, a few more on the way to Walgreens, a couple on the way to pick up the kids from the library… a vow not to at another one until home. The ability to keep that vow until I was in the house for 3 minutes, popped a few more, peddled them to the kids (who pretty much all said “eww”) and the fear that I will devour the entire contents very soon.

By the way, they are just delicious with a glass of red wine.