Yummy Holiday Pictures

Last year I didn't send a picture with my Christmas card. In the end, this was even more pathetic than sending a Christmas card with a picture of just me. Plus, when you don't send a picture there is all this pressure to write a big note in every single card and suddenly you find yourself on a plane ride back from San Francisco on December 21st spilling diet coke all over your holiday wishes.

This year I am the fattest I've ever been in my life, so why not send a picture out to every person I know to celebrate?? Enter in the wonderful Jodi from A Yummy Life Photography. We all love Jodi and we were very excited when she told us about her studio space in Downtown Salt Lake. I was even MORE excited when she said that there was this PhotoShop filter called "liquify" that could help shave off a few pounds. Bye bye Christmas Card Picture Diet!

If I look back at my life, there are just a handful of pictures of myself that I really truly like. And this year, at my fattest self, Jodi delivered one to me. Thank you Jodi.

Jodi is having mini sessions on December 4th, just in time for Christmas! www.ayummylife.com


I've noticed lately that a lot of people have been asking me what my favorite app is for my iPhone. While Flashlight is cool, my favorite App always has been and always will be Shazam! Here are some of my latest new music discoveries:

Song: Whatever You Like (yes, this is a cover of T.I.'s Whatever You Like)
Artist: Anya Marina
Shazamed At: My living room. This song was played in an episode of Gossip Girl. Although Gossip Girl sucks in general this season, the earrings and music are still worth watching for.
Love This Song For: Chilling Out.

I See You
Artist: Mika
Shazamed At: See above.
Love This Song For: Daydreaming.

Song: Moth's Wings
Artist: Passion Pit
Shazamed At: See above.
Love This Song For: Remembering the love of your life, and how your heart skips a beat whenever they walk into the room.

Song: I'm In Love With Your Rock and Roll
Artist: Kish Mauve
Shazamed At: See above. This was played as Serena walked in to play in a ridiculous high-stakes poker game. Has she worn a skirt longer than 18 inches this season??
Love This Song For: Perfect background music for a party.

Keep the Streets Empty for Me
Artist: Fever Ray
Shazamed At: CSI Miami. Yes, I got tricked into watching CSI Miami (the WORST of the CSI's by far) when they had their CSI Miami/CSI New York/CSI Vegas 3-part series a couple of weeks ago. Hey, at least I got this song out of it.
Love This Song For: Background music at work.

Song: Dice
Artist: Finley Quaye
Shazamed At: Ross. Yes. Ross.
Love This Song For: Unwinding as you drive home from work.

Song: 1901
Artist: Phoenix
Shazamed At: This was in a Cadillac commercial. Yeah. I watch a lot of TV.
Love This Song For: Gearing up as you drive into work. And if you drive a Cadillac, all the better.

Women's/Girls Stocking Stuffer Idea #2

We simply love headbands. It might have started with "Blair Waldorf's"character on Gossip Girl. Even though Gossip Girl has become a lame show this year. But more about that later.

This beautiful headband was featured on The Pioneer Woman recently and it reminded me about all the headbands I've been buying up for either stocking stuffers or gifts. You can pay a pretty penny for headbands and I think they are worth it, but it's very nice to find them at our favorite Cheaping Girls spot - you guessed it - Ross. They usually run about $2.99. Now at that price you can buy one or two for everyone on your list!

We have this one in black, grey and white.

Kid's Stocking Stuffer Idea #2

I picked up these cute Melissa & Doug wood toys for my baby grand daughter's Christmas stocking this week at Tuesday Morning for $3.99 and $4.99 each! I know she won't remember Christmas this year - but I don't care! So check our your local Tuesday Morning to see if they are available or go to Amazon.com.
$6.99 - Peek-a-boo Bear at Amazon.com
$7.00 - Friendly Fish Rattle at Amazon.com

Women's Stocking Stuffer Idea #1

After Nie Nie's appearance on Oprah she blogged about how Oprah drank from her silver straw while she had only a plastic one. Well, we were inspired by Oprah and wanted a silver straw of our own.

We searched and found a stainless steel straw on cheftools.com. They are a little pricey at $9.49 plus shipping for a set of four, but we will split them up and have one for each Cheaping Girl. We can clean them in the dishwasher - now that's being "green".

Words to Live By

Has everyone read these "Time Tested Beauty Tips" by Sam Levenson? He wrote them for his grandchild, and it became one of Audrey Hepburn's favorite poems. She read it to her children often. I think it has such a lovely message I look forward to reading it my little girl.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Kid's Stocking Stuffer Idea #1

I love the clever line of books "Fancy Nancy" written by Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. The first book was published in 2005 and was a little bit hard to find. Now the ever growing line of Fancy Nancy products seem to be everywhere.

I found these playing cards at The Walmarts yesterday and decided they would be a perfect stocking stuffer for my granddaughter. She definitely likes Fancy Nancy, but I think I'm the bigger fan. I only wish I would have thought of the idea and wrote the book! (P.S. These are also available on Target.com for only $5.74! Whoop!)

Confessions from Fans of The Pioneer Woman

The Cheaping Girls and The Pioneer Woman. I don't like to smile with my teeth anymore. Maybe it's just a phase, I don't know. Also, could I be sticking my butt out any further in this picture???

Have we ever talked about Mom's recipe addiction? She spends lots of time each week perusing the web and magazines and talking to people about new yummy recipes to try. Every Sunday Mom whips up an insanely good meal and most Sunday's you'll find a ream of paper sitting on her countertop with stacks and stacks of recipes that she's printed out that week. Most Sunday's you'll also find us sitting around, groaning, bellies aching because we've had altogether too much to eat. Mom has officially moved into multiple 5" 3-ring binders for her recipes. Oh, and we have little patience for people that won't share their recipes (unless you are making money off of those recipes, of course). But really, why are some people so stingy about that? Food is love and we love love love to share our favorite recipes with our friends.

All of us (MWM included) love The Pioneer Woman. The Pioneer Woman was a city girl that ended up married to a Cattle rancher in Oklahoma (Exciting News! She is writing a book about their love story. But I digress...). We love her hilarious slice-of-life-on-the-ranch stories, her beautiful photographs and most of all her RECIPES.

The MWM secretly wishes Mom would wake up one day and run off with him to a big cattle ranch and leave all of her Ross's behind. Mom isn't going to do that, but she does keep all of our bellies happy with The Pioneer Woman's amazing and delicious food. We were all excited that The Pioneer Woman wrote a cookbook and even MORE excited when she announced a book tour with a stop at our very own King's English book store.

We arrived EARLY (this is a feat, especially for me), queued up and got tickets to have our cookbooks signed by the one and only Pioneer Woman. Here are some highlights from our evening:

- The King's English is next door to Mazza (Go eat there. Go right now.) So we had Mazza's incredible French Fries and tart and tangy lime-ades while we waited in line. Yum!

- The Pioneer woman is LOVELY. Great hair. Great skin. Very tall. Very funny. She has a nice warm happy glow all around her. She is friendly. She is funny, did I mention that? She does a mean Ethel Merman impression.

- The Pioneer woman had her sister in law and mother in law with her. They were both lovely too. All three of them had on great boots. The MWM would be proud. Her sister in law was wearing a very cool bracelet, which she had picked up at the Banana Republic at the Gateway. Note to self: Get to a Banana Republic ASAFP.

- We waited in line for a couple of hours to have our book signed, so I of course picked up a few impulse buys. I fell in love with this book called Wag! by Patrick McDonnell:

It made me smile and I wanted to give my dog Lucy a big belly rub and a treat and a long walk.

It was a really fun evening and I'm excited to read my cookbook. Yes, READ it. The Pioneer Woman has added in some great color commentary and stories along with her recipes and each recipe features her step by step photographs and mouth watering descriptions, which is great for "aspirational" cooks like me.

If you haven't tried any of her recipes, here are some that CANNOT be missed:

Spicy Shrimp - I can't even tell you how many times we've had this as a kick-off to dinner. SO UNBELIEVABLY GOOD.

Apple Dumplings - Yes, have that 2nd one. You know you want it. But the 3rd one is over the top. Trust me, I've made this mistake again and again.

Marlboro Man's Second Favorite Sandwich - Not the most simple sandwich, but definitely the most delicious. Eat this one slowly. SAVOR.

Olive Cheese Bread - Garlic. Cheese. Olives. Bread. What more is there to say?

Cheese Muffins - I could seriously eat 10 or 20 of these in a single sitting.

Bon Appetit!!!

Why are all the REALLY Old People Women?

I've always known that there are more "little old ladies" than "little old men". But I was not sure of the reason. I have been known to say I think women are the superior species and that's why we live longer. But recently I read in the September 28, 2009 issue of Newsweek the top five reasons women live longer - even to 110 years of age. I hope to live a long healthy life but I'm not so sure about that long!

Sixty-eight of the 72 known "supercentenarians" (people 110 and older) are female, even though there are more boys than girls born each year. Here's why.

The danger years
The difference between male and female death rates peaks between ages 20 and 24—during which men are six times as likely to be murdered and five times as likely to die of a non-automobile accident.

Toxic testosterone
The hormone increases levels of bad cholesterol (known as LDL) and decreases levels of good cholesterol (HDL), while estrogen does just the opposite.

Whether it's homicide, suicide, or by accident, men are five times more likely to die by firearms than women.

Drop-dead diseases
Fatal conditions like cancer and heart disease are common among men, while women are more likely to suffer from chronic nonfatal conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disorders.

Overwhelming emotions
The tendency to ignore signs of depression and emotional distress may account for the fact that, between the ages of 75 and 79, men are nine times more likely to commit suicide.

© 2009 Newsweek

Image from here

Fantastic Halloween Party

I really wish I was invited to this party.

A Brooklyn Limestone - threw the most fantastic Halloween party I've ever seen. Her house decorations were pretty amazing too. I am bookmarking this for the future when I have a bigger house and can throw a great Halloween party.