Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Newest Addition to the Family

We've added a beautiful little boy Papillon to our household.  After much discussion we decided we would name him after a scientist/inventor.  Once we ran through our list and kicking some name out due to pronounciation issues (such as Ferdinand Verbiest), we chose a new name for him, Nikola Tesla.

Isabella at first was not overjoyed to say the least.  She's a spoiled rotten diva who did not want to share her toys, treats, laps, snuggles or anything.  Not to mention she is a creature of routine.  Like the giant she is not a morning person, while Tesla is raring to go at the first sign of wakefulness.  However, they've worked it all out and play together and bark together.  It's a joy to watch two Papillons slapping at each other.  I'm going to start video recording it. 
Nikola Tesla on the desk

Nikola Tesla hard at work on his bone
Yesterday was Tesla's big day at the vet's.  Due to scheduling conflicts and the time of his appointment, he had to go to work with me.  My plan was for him to spend a few hours in his kennel under my desk until it was time to leave.  That didn't work out as planned.  So I tried sitting him in my lap while I worked.  He didn't want to do that either.  He decided he wanted to be on my desk and under my arm.  It was hours of entertainment trying to keep him from typing on the keyboard or eating my computer mouse.  Not to mention that he throughly licked my computer monitor and desk.  Joy. 

He had a good vet apointment and handled his shots like a trooper.  He weighs in at 6.2 lbs and that's exactly one pound more than Isabella...and he's still growing.  The vet said he can't wait to see him once all his ear fringe comes in. 
Nikola Tesla all worn out after a hard day at work
Even though the potty training and good manners training is exhausting, I can't help but think we made an excellent decision to bring him into our home.  He's a definite love bug and even Isabella (when she isn't trying to sleep) agrees.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Third Annual Dog-Gone Tiki Bar

Two Crafty Women will be joining forces with Frannie's Grannies to run a booth at the Third Annual Dog-Gone Tiki Bar Family Pet Day in Solomons Island, MD on Sunday, Ocotober 16 from 12pm to 5pm.

As well as other vendors selling their wares, there will be ton of activities available to aprticipate in.  Just a few include:
The band No Green Jelly Beenz will be playing throughout the day. 

"Ask the Vet" session will be held between 1pm-2pm. 

A $25 microchipping will be offered between 2pm-4pm.

An auction to benefit The Well Pet Clinic of Calvert County will be held at 2:30pm.

A Pet and Owner look alike contest will be held at 3pm. 

Best tricks contest will be held at 3:20pm

Happies Dog (most wags per minute) contest will be held at 3:40pm

Best pet costume contest will be held at 4pm. 

We hope to see you there.  I plan to bring Isabella and the newest addition to our household, Tesla. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wil Wheaton

Yep, I've not blogged in forever and I have an overwhelming desire to blog about Wil Wheaton.  Go figure.

If you do not know who Wil Wheaton is, you can go ahead and stop reading. 

I've always hated Wil Wheaton.  It's the nerd in me.  Either you are pro-Wil Wheaton or not in my little nerd world. I was anti-Wil.  Years later, he pops up on my newest favorite show, Big Bang Theory and once again, he is so easy to hate.  He gets the major dislike button. 

So now, imagine my surprise, and my angst, that I discover that Wil Wheaton is not a bad guy.  He's genuinely nice.  He's really smart.  He's amazingly insightful.  He sticks up for what he believes in.  He is a great writer.  He is an animal lover.  He brews his own beer.  :o/

Could I possibly have been wrong all this time about Wil Wheaton?  The answer is yes (and no).  I hate all the characters he takes on.  However, that's the point isn't it?  He's a great actor if I hate his characters and then discover he, as a person, is an all around pretty good guy.  So I've changed my mind Wil.  I like you and find you quite impressive.  This time, I admit, I was wrong.  My apologies for loving to hate you. 

If you want to know more about Wil, read his blog, start following him on twitter, or check out his book, Just a Geek.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Magazine Overload

I love magazines...their glossy pages, beautiful photographs, articles on how to entertain and how to build a gadget, yummy recipes, and oh so much more...but recently I've discovered / realized, I really don't read my magazines.  As a matter of fact, I am exactly one year behind...I confirmed this last night when I recieved an August issue and noticed I still have the September 2010 issue waiting to be read.  So I have a new goal in life.  I will get  caught up on all my magazines and will not renew some of my subscriptions.  Okay, maybe that is two goals. 

Let's start off with National Geographic.  I've been in love with this magazine since I was a small child.  Actually I've had my very own subscription since I was a teen.  The travels to foreign lands...the introduction of fascinating cultures...the history...the space exploration...the world...but now everytime I read a National Geographic, it's full of articles pointing out how I am directly responsible for the demise of plants and animals.  That I am a bad human being polluting the world.  That I don't recycle enough and that children in China are doing dangerous work recycling my waste.  That I'm fat and worthless and probably should die and be recycled.  It's frankly depressing.  I no longer love National Geographic.  And since it has convinced me that I should not be wasteful and need to recycle, I've canceled my subscription (so as not to create any unneccessary waste, nor kill any more trees) and I've caught up on all my National Geographic magazines and recycled the lot at the local transfer station.  However, Dearest NatGeo, if you ever do return to that bygone era of exploring the world and it's history and cultures, and stop preaching at me, then I'll be back on your subscription list.  I feel the loss of what you once were.  Your glory days are gone.

And because of my disappointment in National Geographic, I no longer subscribe to Traveler nor read Adventure.  After all, my idea of a good time is not backpacking through the wilderness while saving the rain forest and worring about eco-tourism.  If I want clean sheets in my hotel room, I darn well better get them. 

Next up is my various cooking magazines.  I have been weaning myself off them over the last few years anyway.  Though I admit, I find myself missing Martha Stewart's Everyday Food.  (If you do want a cooking magazine, I highly recommend this one).  As a matter of fact, I have all my old issues squirreled away and pull them out at random for an idea, much to my husband's gastro-delight.  The last cooking magazine to go will be Cook's Country.  I'm going to miss Mr. Kimball's folksy tales, and all the recipes tested over and over by those folks in America's Test Kitchen.  But honestly, I have enough recipes right now to last me the rest of my life.  And besides, there is the internet available, with food galore and food blogs, and whole websites devoted to recipes. 

Next up on my  "Do Not Renew" list is Better Homes and Gardens.  It was a mistake when I paid for my subscription.  Some clever marketer somewhere sent me a bill and in my over-complusion, I paid it.  Next thing I know it's glossy pages were coming to my home and assuring me I had good taste, that my flower arrangements would look that classy, my dinner table would be perfectly set for the dinner party I never have, that I could have white furniture...and that is why this magazine must go.  It's a horrible influence on me, and I find that after flipping through those glossy perfect pictures, and then look around my living room, with piles of junk and dog hair and a tv on a stack of 2x4's my husband calls a table, I am horribly morose and sad and dejected.  I will never have white furniture.  

I'll also be letting go of my gardening magazines.  All I have actually learned from them is that I am doing everything wrong.  Since my gardens are overflowing with flowers and  I don't baby my roses and they still manage to bloom, I think I can stop worrying about what my gardens should look like, and maybe start actually weeding. 

In the "maybe/maybe not" column is Smithsonian magazine.  It's my mental substitute for the old National Geographic.  Sometimes I enjoy it.  Sometimes I don't.  Of course I have about 6 months worth of this magazine sitting in my pile to be read.  I think I'll finish catching up and then make my decision as to whether or not I will renew.  Though I love the Smithsonian and their gift shops and I'm a sucker for history. 

I will be keeping Popular Science and Southern Living.  I've tried dropping Popular Science before and wound up going through withdrawal symptoms.  It was bad.  So when they finally sent that "won't you reconsider subscribing" I had a check in the mail to them that day.  I guess I'll always enjoy geeking out and being nerdy and find new gadgets and ideas fascinating.  So Popular Science has to stay.  I will also keep Southern Living.  In its' glossy pages I see glimpses of places I know and miss, and smiling faces, and recipes for things like grits and fried green tomatoes and mint juleps.  I'm reminded how good sweet tea on a porch actually is and that it doesn't matter that I'll never have white furniture. 

I guess I will still pick up a random crochet magazine (it's an addiction and admitting you need help is the first step).  I will also still receive a random dog related magazine because Isabella's some kind of fancy dog with a pedigree and I get random dog magazines because of it.  But otherwise, I have culled my magazine list.  Both mentally and fiscally.  I know I'll stick with this goal, because my husband gets my blog on his android phone.  :o)

If you have an addiction like mine, consider culling your subscriptions as well.  Also, as National Geographic would tell you, don't forget to recycle your old magazines.  They are also great to donate to senior centers and libraries.  Kids love to cut out pictures for arts and crafts, so check with your local schools and daycares as well. 
Happy reading everybody, and remember, you don't need white furniture to be happy!   

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day!

That's right, 3-14 is Pi day, because pi is 3.14 (rounded up that is). 

So in honor of Pi, I plan on making guessed it...PIE!!!

Today's pie is a true classic.  It may be different that what you would expect.  I bet you have all the ingredients on hand, so a special trip to the store won't be necessary.  However, I suggest you don't let the name fool you...this is one tasty pie. 


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 9" pie shell
Melt the stick of butter.  Mix together sugar, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and melted butter.  Pour into pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick/knife comes out clean.  Let cool and slice and enjoy with a big glass of milk or cup of coffee.

Ahhh yummy.  Trust me and give this classic pie a try.  You'll be amazed.   

Thursday, March 10, 2011

SMAWL 7th Annual Animal Fair - Mark Your Calendars

Two Crafty Women will once again join forces with Frannie's Grannies to participate in a local event, the 7th Annual Animal Fair presented by SMAWL.  It will be held at the St. Mary's county fairgrounds on May 7th.  We will have handmade afghans, pet harnesses, and various beaded items available for purchase.  Bring your furry friend and participate in all that the Animal Fair has to offer. 

Isabella is hoping to make an appearance as well! 

You can find out more about SMAWL here.

You can check out Two Crafty Women's website here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chocolate Soup

Do you like Chocolate Pudding?  Chocolate Mousse?  Chocolate Pie?  Chocolate Cake?  Well then, how about the newest sensation that is sweeping the fancy schmancy restaurants' dessert menus??  That's right, Chocolate Soup!!!

You can make your own variations to this basic recipe:

Chocolate Soup

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate(or bittersweet chocolate), finely chopped
  • 2 ounces baking chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Frangelico or Godiva chocolate liqueur


  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the cream, sugar, and vanilla. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Stir in the chopped chocolate until well blended.  Remove from heat and whisk in the liqueur.
Whip the cream until frothy, then add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Continue to whip until the cream holds soft peaks. Fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate.  Place a large scoop of the whipped cream in the center of each serving bowl and pour the warm chocolate soup around the whipped cream.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

For the Readers

I love to read.  I always have, for as long as I can remember.  I was in pre-K and already reading.  I remember my father getting called to the school being chastised for teaching me to read, after all that was a teacher's job.  He said he didn't.  I don't know how I learned to read, or when, but I've always been a reader. 

I used to win all the library reading challenges in school.  It wasn't difficult for me.  I thought it was great to get rewarded for something I did naturally. 

However, being a voracious reader has it's disadvantages.

Over the course of the years, I've spent a lot of money on books.  I've also been fantatical about no matter where I lived or what I was doing, the first thing, the most important thing, was to get a library card. 

Authors, with the possible exception of James Patterson, just don't put out books quick enough for me. 

I also run the frequent chance of picking up a book to read that I've read before.  I can't remember by title alone if I have read the book, until I'm halfway through the first chapter.  Sometimes I don't mind re-reading the book, it's like discovering an old friend.  But other times, my mind is impatient and wants to devour some new material. 

I've read the gambit, romance, action, thrillers, cookbooks, non-fiction, history, political...heck I even read the role call roster sheets from the Civil War once. 

I'm explaining all this to you, to introduce my favorite bits of technology that has made this reader's life a very happy place to be. 

My newest love is a Nook.  My darling husband bought me one prior to us traveling to the Dominican Republic last year.  His motives were probably selfish, as he had more luggage space that way.  However, my husband is a technology fiend.  I know he did his research and there are tons of e-readers out on the market, but he chose the nook.  It was a wise choice.  His reasoning was that he can pop the cover off, change the battery himself, upgrade memory and a million other tech like things without paying to send it back to the factory to be short, it's technical.  But the other reason he chose it, was because after investigating all the e-readers on the market he said I would never have a problem reading any format, whereas some e-readers are limited.  He was right.  I can read any format, and can download audio books as well.  I can check out e-books from my local library and purchase books from anywhere, and the free books available online are unlimited!!  I've noticed at times the library will have two versions of an e-book.  One format will have a ton of people on a wait list, while I can zip through to check-out with the other format.  Oh, the best thing about an e-book library - I can visit from the comfort of my home in my pajamas!  Happy Happy Day.  I could rave on and on about my nook, but honestly, it has more features than I need, and I would be wasting your time.  If you've been on the fence about getting an e-reader, procrastinate no longer. 

My next great embrace of technology comes in the form of a website, Good Reads.  Even if you do not have an e-reader, this website is a reader's dream come true.  You can chat with your favorite authors, find out when new books are coming out, chat with other reader's in a forum atmosphere, get book recommendations, swap books with others, enter contests for advanced reading copies of new releases, search for any book that has ever been published, and more...One of the most important features to me is my virtual library.  There I can track the books I've read and the books I want to read.  I'll never pick up a book again that I've already read.  It also helps me keep up with which series I'm reading and where I was.  I can make notes to myself, and even give reviews.  A book nerd can get lost on this website.  It's also seemlessly compatible with your facebook account.  Another great feature is a section for e-books.  A quick search for a book will let you know if a book is available in e-format.  If it's free, you can download it right then and there without searching the rest of the internet.  If it's not free, it will provide you with a list of venues where you can purchase the e-book and how much it costs with each vendor. 

I do want to share one more thing about Good Reads...I recently entered a contest for an advanced reading copy of a book, and I won!  I'm eagerly awaiting this new book via parcel post and will review it for Good Reads and you as well.  The book is "Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue" by Kathyrn Atwood.   

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Droid Test

As I was driving into work this morning, I snapped this picture. It proves that the days are getting longer and that Spring is around the corner!

A Rambling Blog

I realized today I'm horrible at blogging.  I have good intentions.  I mean to post something, but then I think "oh I have nothing to say" or "I don't have any pictures to share" or "I don't have enough time". 

Since blogging was one of my New Year's resolutions, I really need to get on top of my game.  So I read up on blogging and how to blog successfully, and well after a ton of articles it all boils down to "be yourself".  So I'll be me and just ramble on about the trival details that interest me.  There are a myraid of topics to cover and perhaps I'm painting myself into a corner by trying to focus on my crafty nature.  Well no more.  From this point forward, be forewarned that there is no telling what direction my wandering mind will take us.   

I also realized that I don't have to take a picture to share a picture.  There are billions of graphics and pictures out here on the internet that I can use to pretty up my posts.  I like this one today:
It just screams adorable and snuggles and love.  And I am giving all of you readers an internet ((HUG)). 

I also had a good/bad thing happen to me recently.  My wonderful droid phone kind of crashed and had to be restored to its' factory settings.  Though it was a PITA, in the process I updated and uploaded some new things or newer versions, and guess what...Blogger is much friendlier now on my droid.  I no longer have the excuse for not having the time to type out some thoughts to share...I can share anywhere that my droid is.  How very exciting.  I think, though I'm not positive, that I can upload pictures from my phone.  This is indeed a miracle if it works.  Look for a "test" of this feature soon. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Borscht Soup and Salad Nicoise

Yummy food can be simple food.  I've been wanting borscht ever since I opened my Christmas presents to discover I had an immersion blender.  Every time we eat at one of our favorite local restaurants, Chef's American Bistro, and I see his heavy duty immersion blender in his kitchen, I always look at my husband and say "I want one of those".  LOL

So I started off with Red Borscht, knowing I had all the ingredients on hand.  And then after spending a few hours watching the Cooking Channel on tv, I decided I had to make a salad with green beans...don't ask me why, it was just I'm easily influenced and everybody who is a celebrity chef was making a salad with beans!

Here's the recipes in case you want to follow along at home:

Red Borscht:
  • 1 package of pork sausage

  • 1 container of jarred beets (I had some I had canned)

  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 small head red cabbage, cored and shredded

  • 1 (8 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for topping

  • Directions:
    Crumble the sausage into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until no longer pink. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    Fill a large pot halfway with water(about 2 quarts), and bring to a boil. Add the sausage (drained of grease), and return to a boil. Add the beets, and cook until they have lost their color. Add the carrots and potatoes, and cook until tender. Add the cabbage, and the can of diced tomatoes.
    In the grease from the pork sausage, cook the onion and garlic until tender, then add to the pot.  Cover and cook until all vegetables are tender.  Turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
    This is where the immersion blender comes in.  Call your husband into the kitchen to manhandle the heavy pot around and begin blending.  Drop spoonfuls of the tomato paste into the soup and make sure it's well blended and the texture is creamy and smooth. 
    Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream.  
    This borscht can be served cold or warm.  I also froze half the batch to serve another day. 

    Salad Nicoise

    • Romaine lettuce (use what you have on hand, I just like romaine and it tends to be in my fridge)
    • 6 hard boiled eggs, halved
    • 2 cans tuna fish, drained
    • 1 tomato, chopped
    • 1/2 pound of green beans, steamed or blanched (I used the steam bag in the microwave and then rinsed them with cold water)
    • 2-3 potatoes cubed and boiled (cook these the same time and in the same pot as your eggs, be sure to rinse to cool them off) 
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Dijon mustard
    • Olive Oil
    • Lemon juice
    • Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
    In a bowl, mix the dijon mustard, juice from half a lemon, salt and pepper together, slowly blend in the olive oil using a whisk to make a dressing.  Add the chopped olives and sit aside.
    Layer your salad, starting with the lettuce.  Top with the dressing.

    All in all a yummy dish and my husband didn't complain about eating a salad!  He says it was a manly salad with all the potatoes and green beans and tuna fish.  :o)