Who's Bad?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yesterday would have been Michael Jackson 51st birthday. Mike and I recently got back together after the American Idol episode where contestants sang his tunes. I downloaded a bunch of MJ’s tunes and PYT became my jam of 2009.

I know you are probably sick of seeing MJ coverage, but after he died a Facebook status update sparked this blog posting.

A co-worker of mine announced plans for a “Dress like your favorite Michael Jackson song” party. I LOVE this idea and there are so many possibilities. If you don’t want to host this party now, I would suggest making it a Halloween party theme. When you add a theme to a costume party, people feel less pressure to come up with a creative idea.

Here are some “Dress Like Your Favorite Michael Jackson Song” costume ideas.

* Thriller: Duh. This was only one of the single most popular MJ tunes. Make sure you know the dance moves.
* Billie Jean: Dress in full 80’s gear with a sticker that says “My name is Billy Jean” Or a shirt that says “Not your lover.”
* ABC: This would be an awesome pic for a school teacher friend. Buy a solid color pants/top and shorts/top combo and paste ABC’s all over your outfit.
* Black or White: Another no-brainer.
* PYT: This would be best pulled off by a guy who dresses as a teenage girl.
* Man in the Mirror: It would be great to carry around a mirror with you OR a photo of yourself in a frame that looks like a mirror.
* Dirty Diana: Like Billy Jean, you can wear a “My Name is..” sticker and appear really dirty.
* We are the World: Wrap yourself in a map.

If you start running out of ideas, the costumes related to the crazy life that was Michael’s are endless…
* Blanket
* LaToya
* Janet
* Elizabeth Taylor (my pick!)
* Characters from “The Wiz”
* Bubbles (his monkey)

Feel free to add your own ideas below! I would love to see pictures if any of you host or attend one of these parties.

(Photos: polyvore.com)
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Lemonade...5 cents

Friday, August 28, 2009

As a follow up to my last post about National Lemonade Day, I stumbled upon this genius invention from Target - a DIY lemonade stand!

This would make an awesome birthday present for a niece/nephew or little cousin. For parents, maybe a great hello-summer gift. Hey - it shows those little ones the importance of a job/business at an early age!
Oh gosh, what I would give to decorate one of these bad boys.
(Source: Target.com)
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Get Yer Lemonade

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today is National Lemonade Day. Yet another made up holiday that I can’t resist covering.

Back in May of 2008, I wrote about an adult lemonade stand. You can view that post here. I had to re-link to it because it is one of my favs.

There is a lot of buzz right now out there for Sweet Tea Lemonade with vodka. There are two ways you can make this recipe – the easy way and the hard way. Today, I’ll feature both options from Epicurious.com and Bon Appetit.

Sweet Tea with Vodka and LemonadeBon App├ętit July 2009
by Fred Thompson
2 large tea bags for iced tea
1/2 cup boiling water
8 fresh mint sprigs
4 cups lemonade made from frozen concentrate
1/2 cup vodka
Ice cubes
8 lemon slices
Place tea bags in medium bowl.
Add 1/2 cup boiling water. Let steep 4 minutes. Discard tea bags. Place mint sprigs in large pitcher; mash with muddler or handle of wooden spoon until slightly bruised.
Pour in tea, lemonade, and vodka. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Fill 8 highball glasses with ice.
Divide sweet tea among glasses. Garnish with lemon slices.

Quick Version

To streamline this recipe, you can use one cup Sweet Tea Vodka from South Carolina's Firefly Distillery in place of the tea and the vodka.

(sources: fireflydistillery.com, epicusious.com, Bon Appetite)
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Fancy Pants St. Germain

Friday, August 14, 2009

I have a theory. As people age, so do their tastes for alcohol.

By now, I think you’ve all probably gone through this. You go from anything with the word “cheap” in front of it in high school to $1 alcoholic beverages in college that probably contained Captain Morgan. Then after four or five years you graduate college and move to Cosmos to things with ‘tini at the end. Then you are standing on a ledge ready to fall into your 30’s and you now have a little more money than you did in your early 20’s so you can be a bit more selective when you pick your posion.

I recently revealed that I’m into Gin. Gosh, I feel like an 80-year-old with blue hair and a raspy voice playing bingo just saying that. But yes, I like gin. I’ve also been leaning towards cocktails with St. Germain.

But what the same heck is this fancy St. Germain liqueur?

Well after doing my research, I confirmed that this liqueur is fancy. St. Germain is the first liqueur in the world created with handpicked elderflower blossoms. They totally look like something I would be allergic to.

So apparently these fluffy white flowers are located in the Swiss Alps, so men pick them and then hop on a bicycle and carefully ride the flowers down a hill to make the St. Germain. Because of the men on bikes, St. Germain isn’t made in large quanities. That’s why you won’t find it on the menu at The Pine or Caroline’s (Jersey Shore, what, what). Below to the right, you will see the St. Germain logo with a guy on a little bike - so cute!

The taste of St. Germain is unique. It’s like an everlasting gobstopper. It’s not a peach or pear or lychee or citrus…it has a hint of all of them. It’s fruity.

Aside from a cocktail bar, you can find St. Germian where fine spirits are sold. In Pittsburgh, it’s available at the liquor store in Oxford Center downtown.

Here’s a simple recipe with St. Germain from its Web site:
2 Shots Champagne* or Dry White Wine
1 ½ Shots St-Germain
2 Shots Sparkling Water or Club Soda
Stir ingredients in a tall ice-filled Collins glass, mixing completely. Think of Paris circa 1947. Garnish with a lemon twist.
* Or Sparkling Wine, Prosecco or Cava

(Sources: stgermain.com, Images: St. Germain, thenibble.com)
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I'll YouTube It

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

As a follow up to last Tech Tuesday that featured photo sites, I wanted to share a few places where you can post videos.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…we all know about YouTube. I mean it’s now the Kleenex or Q-tip of video sites. However, there are some other places to post videos.

Vimeo: Yes, this site has a weird name. But it’s super creative. Vimeo is a twist on the words movie and video with a splash of the word me. Vimeo is more colorful and fun than YouTube. Vimeo clips are easy to post on blogs, Facebook, etc. and the site also allows users to post HD quality video!

Google Video:
Of course Google has a video hosting web site. In order to upload videos, you need to download a specific uploader, but it’s said to be easy to do. One watch out is that Google has strict legal and technical standards so it make take a while for them to “verify” your video.

MotionBox: While I haven’t used this site, it could be a front runner for my favorite because it appears to be the most private and secure. The site is designed for you to create videos and share them with your friends and family – not the world. You can also purchase DVD’s of your videos and create FlipBooks for a low cost. Two thumbs up and 4 starts for MotionBox!

(Sources: Wikipedia,
DVGuru.com, Google Video, MotionBox, Vimeo)
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S'more, S'more, S'more

Monday, August 10, 2009

I’m a sucker for wacky holidays and today it’s a good one. August 10th is National S’mores Day.

I love the ooey gooey goodness of S’mores. In fact, my Santa Claus bought me my own in-house S’mores kit for Christmas. There’s just something about the combination of graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow that I obsess.

As people throw back to classic comfort food favorites, I’ve been seeing a lot of creative S’mores recipes. Here are some of my favorites.

Family Fun suggests replacing the traditional piece of Hershey’s chocolate with a mint-flavored piece of candy (Andes Candies).

Now this is an interesting twist. Lisa Adams, the author of S’mores: Gourmet treats for Every Occasion dares fans to replace graham crackers with chocolate chip cookies. Yummmmm. The picture to the right is a recipe from Paula Deen includes bananas. There is also a version of this floating around the ‘net using Oreo cookies.

Around Easter, there is some blogger hype over Peeps S’mores. This concept is easy. Substitute a Peep for the traditional marshmallow. Something about this version saddens me.

There is always the ever delicious s’mores cupcake. Cupcakes Take the Cake has a full recipe

I also love the idea of making a s’more party favor. In a small, cellophane bag, include the traditional s’more ingredients - two graham crackers, a marshmallow and a piece of chocolate. Tie the bag with a cute ribbon and tag!

Speaking of getting crafty, I also love this idea from Martha to make your own s'mores sticks/wands.
As summer comes to an end, do you best to make yourself some s’mores or take the ingredients to a party – it’s a guaranteed hit!

(Photos: CountryLiving.com, FoodNetwork.com & Simply Divine Events)
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"True Love is Hard to Find..."

Sunday, August 09, 2009

This weekend marks the half way point of my 2009 wedding season. I’ve ate the cake, drank a barrel of wine and watched the moms bust a move to the electric slide. I’ve also listen to my share of wedding toasts. I must say, each wedding had some fab speeches – especially by the best men!

That got me thinking…what makes a good toast? Here are some good tips I found around the World Wide Web…

* Focus on the couple. Don’t dwell on how you met the bride or groom, but make sure you introduce yourself.

* Don’t find a speech on the internet and insert the bride and grooms name into the script. The best speeches come from the heart.

* Practice! Read your speech out loud and do your best to memorize it. If you keep looking down at a paper, you may lose your place and become flustered.

* Avoid inside jokes. Chances are 80 percent of the room won’t think it’s funny.

* KISS – Keep it Short Stupid. Most speeches are before dinner and chances are people are hungry. Keep your speech short.

* Be careful with your jabs towards the bride and groom. I like the quote from David Pitlik on Chow.com – “It’s a toast, not a roast.”

* Avoid negative statements. Don’t bring up past relationships, job failures, death, etc.

* Reader Amy’s tip is if you stumble on your words, fake cry – it’s a good cover up.

* Lastly, don’t forget to tell your audience what to do at the end of the toast – raise their glasses and chug!

(Sources: chow.com, wedding crashers photo)
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