Paula Deen Halloween Recipe

Okay all you ghouls, ghosts, and goblins, this one's for you! It's to DIE for, hahahahaha!!!

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Cake ingredients:
1 (18 1/4 ounces) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling ingredients:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
8 tbsp. butter, melted
1 16 oz. package confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cake mix, egg and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Put the mixture in the bottom of a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch cake pan.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin in a large bowl until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Add the confectioners' sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Spread the pumpkin mixture over the cake batter and bake for 40-50 minuted. Make sure not to over bake it, as the center should be a little gooey.


Tips & tricks

Lately I have discovered some tips & tricks for instant weight loss BEFORE getting on the scale every morning. I think it's my duty to share these so that others may benefit from my expertise. It's crucial to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before eating anything. You should also aim to weigh yourself at the same time each day. But I bet you didn't realize all the other ways to lose those pesky extra ounces:

1.) Remove ALL clothing.
2.) Remove any hair accessories, i.e. ponytail holders, bobby pins, and clips.
3.) Pluck your eyebrows. Vigorously.
4.) Shave your legs. All the way, not halfway.
5.) Pee and poop.
6.) Trim your fingernails down to the quick and remove your nail polish.
7.) Get a Brazilian bikini wax.
8.) Take off any and all jewelry, including rings, necklaces, nipple ring, etc.
9.) Poop again, if you can.
10.) Blow your nose. Hard. Use your neti pot.
11.) If you have showered, make sure your hair is thoroughly dry and retains no water.
12.) Brush your teeth and gargle with Listerine to kill those nasty bacteria.
13.) Consider a hair cut. Or at least a trim.
14.) Do not put on any products until after you've weighed in. This includes, but is not limited to the following: moisturizer, makeup, deodorant, lotion, or hair products/spray.
15.) Expel all of the air from your lungs prior to stepping on your scale. Do not inhale until your weight has registered.

Can you help me think of any more?


I remember

Until Bird by Bird arrives, I'm using a Leslea Newman book on writing to get me started. One of her first suggestions is to start with the phrase, "I remember." Just write out whatever comes to mind, and start over with "I remember" again after the first memory floats away. So I thought I might share some of that here.

I remember sitting in the Millsaps computer lab in 1994 being very confused about how to send an email to someone NOT on campus. Several failed attempts later, I finally got it. My how times have changed!

I remember eating lots of cold cereal and turkey sandwiches during my college years. The food in the caf was less than appetizing. Of course there was also the occasional late night Domino's Pizza...

I remember eating fried pickles at the Cherokee Inn with my sorority sisters. It was like a rite of passage. Fried pickles and beer. Oh, and MAPS Fest at the Reservoir: Men Are Pond Scum.

I remember being very upset on Bid Day morning when I woke up a Phi Mu. I was so sure I was destined to be a KD. But things have a way of working out for the best. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I remember wearing my Gap overalls a lot in college. I LOVED them. I thought they were so cute. Obviously that's no longer the case, but I was addicted back then. I also remember loving my Doc Martens. My friend, Emily, showed me how to rip my jeans at the bottom to look cool.

I remember becoming news co-editor of the campus newspaper and being so excited. That excitement waned as the semester wore on and I was writing most of the articles myself plus juggling classes, sorority, and other extra-curricular activities.

I remember working in the Millsaps Writing Center in the John Stone House. It was such a neat old place. Kind of creaky, quiet, and drafty. I took a Women's Studies class that was held upstairs there, and we all sat around on the floor on old pillows talking about Mary Wollstonecraft.

I remember going to synagogue with all of my favorite professors in Jackson. We barely had a minyan half the time. It was always lovely and I even got to carry the Torah scrolls a few times.

I remember meeting Dan while I was in graduate school and thinking early on that he was the man I'd marry. On our first date in October of 1999, we dined at Vincent's in NOLA and I didn't really eat. I was too nervous. I left my leftovers in his car by accident when he dropped me off. When he drove away, I left him a message on his answering machine at home telling him I enjoyed our date and thanking him for dinner. When he got home and heard the message he called his mom and played it for her. He thought it was cute.

I remember wanting to be a mom even when I was very young. I always knew it was something I wanted to do. I never dreamed it would be so difficult. People should realize that conceiving a child is akin to all the planets aligning; it's that complicated. Some people are just lucky, I guess. I wasn't one of them.

I remember lugging around my dog-eared copy of "Taking Charge of Your Fertility," along with charts of my cycles. I remember the doctor saying, "Honey, you're not having cycles. Honey, you're not even ovulating." I remember filling my Clomid prescription and starting it several months before we moved to KC. I remember getting my hopes up. I remember deluding myself and imagining what it would be like to get a positive pregnancy test.

I remember all the tests. I remember crying. I remember the phone call from the nurse that fall afternoon. She said, "The IUI failed. We need to move on to in vitro (IVF)." I remember being so caught off guard I couldn't really speak. I never thought I'd need IVF.

I remember filling about 12 prescriptions at the pharmacy. My new red sharps box. Needles--both large ones and small ones. A bottle of progesterone in oil. Pills, pills, and more pills. A schedule written out. I remember driving back and forth to that office every other day for months. Ultrasounds. Blood work. Procedures.

I remember the first mock embryo transfer, which was like practice for the IVF. My cervix wasn't cooperating and the doctor couldn't pass the catheter through, so she had to use a tenaculum to clamp it. I screamed and cried. And she yelled at me, "Get a hold of yourself! You're a grown woman!" That cut me to the core. If I hadn't wanted a baby so badly, I might have left right then and there.

I remember the first IVF failing. I was broken. But I wanted to get right back on the horse and do it again. I was determined.

I remember starting all over again. Not long after the shots began, I told Dan, "I can't go through this again. If this one fails, I want to talk about adoption." He nodded silently.

I remember on the day of the embryo transfer the doctor said both looked so good she was concerned we'd end up with twins. I cried tears of joy.

I remember 7 days later, I started bleeding. I called Dan at work to tell him. He could hardly speak. I remember I called the nurse and started crying so hard on the phone. She told me to come in the next morning for my blood test, even though it was still too early. I begged her because I needed to know it was over. I needed to have closure and begin to move on.

I remember it was an eternity until I went for that blood test. I remember waiting by the phone. I remember getting the call an hour after I got home. I remember Brandi saying, "Erin, you're pregnant!"

I remember extra shots of progesterone to stop the bleeding. I remember being scared it wouldn't stick.

I remember morning sickness setting in. My fear began to wane.

I remember going in for my 6-week ultrasound. I remember as soon as something was on the screen the nurse grinned from ear to ear and held up two fingers. "It's twins!" she yelled.

I remember Friday, December 9, 2005 like it was yesterday. The best day of my life. The day my daughters were born.


Interview with....Izzy M.

What is your favorite color? pink

What is your favorite food: red beans and rice

What is your favorite movie? The Little Mermaid

What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios with hearts (Kashi Heart to Heart)
What is your favorite dessert? cereal bars (Kashi)

What is your favorite restaurant? Winstead's

Who is your best friend? Kaylie

What is your favorite holiday? Halloween

What is your favorite animal? goat

What is your favorite thing to do? kick the soccer ball or play with bouncy balls

What is your favorite story/book? Goodnight NOLA

What do you want for your birthday? a Sleeping Beauty cake

What do you want to be when you grow up? a fairy

** I interviewed both girls at the same time, which may have worked against me, for some of the answers mirrored each other. Some answers, on the other hand, appear to be pulled out of thin air. But I still really wanted to do this and thought it was a cute idea. May have to add more questions later.

Interview with....Abby M.

What is your favorite color? blue

What is your favorite food? chicken nuggets with ketchup

What is your favorite movie? Sleeping Beauty

What is your favorite cereal? Rice Chex

What is your favorite dessert? pumpkin pie and sunflower seed cookies (unable to choose just one, apparently)

What is your favorite restaurant? Winstead's

Who is your best friend: Jenna

What is your favorite holiday? Halloween

What is your favorite animal? pig

What is your favorite thing to do? play outside

What is your favorite book/story? Fancy Nancy

What do you want for your birthday? a Belle cake (Belle as in Beauty and the Beast)

What do you want to be when you grow up? A toy fairy (something we instated courtesy of Parents Magazine. The toy fairy visits our home nightly and takes any toys that haven't been cleaned up. She then holds them until further notice or brings them to some other kids in need)

Around the house on a lovely Wednesday morning...

It's a lovely morning here. I was in the kitchen scrambling some eggs with the windows and screen doors to the porch open. Cool fall breezes are wafting in and I can hear the scrunchy sound of the first fall leaves as they come together in haphazard piles on the sidewalk. This morning is a tease---it will warm up later, but with temperatures in the 50s at breakfast, it's just enough of an excuse for me to put on my new purple sweater from Ann Taylor Loft and get all cozy.

Toast is in the oven, the cinnamon sugar melting slowly into the butter. Cold milk in the girls' plastic cups with blue and green monsters all over them. I've sliced some perfect red strawberries and can't stop shoveling their sweetness into my mouth as I go. I'm in a fantastic mood because I adore fall. It's my favorite season (well, except for having to clean up said leaves---you will be seeing more posts about this soon enough). I love turtlenecks and sweaters and corduroy pants, boots and scarves and hats, and bundling up under lots of woolly layers. I do miss Miss New Orleans, but one of my issues with her is that she really only has one season---hot. I always had a hard time getting into the holiday spirit when we lived there. Here, not so!

The Halloween countdown continues--I put up my little skeleton guy the other day, and perhaps later this afternoon the cobwebs might come out. Fall, I love you!



"What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open."

--Muriel Rukeyser


I am so UNworthy

I was just visiting Lee's blog (check her out, she ROCKS & I can totally relate to her posts about kids, life, hormones, husbands etc., plus she is Jewish like me!) and was so flattered, surprised, and honored to learn that she's bestowed this prestigious "Superior Scribbler" Award upon me. Go follow her NOW & tell all your bloggy friends about her!! Like Lee says in her post, you just never know who's reading your blog, what they think about it, if they even care, or if they're laughing about you behind your back. So it's nice to know there are people out there who really do like me!!! (Brings to mind that Sally Field speech from back in the 80s, was it when she got an Oscar for Steel Magnolias or something?) At any rate, here are the rules:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must turn and pass on this award to 5 of the most deserving blogs.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the blog and name the author from which he/she received the award on his/her blog. Click on Lee's blog to see her original post.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his or her blog, and link to this post.

4. Each blogger who was awarded Superior Scribbler must visit this post and add their name to the Mr. Linky list. That way we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honor.

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post the rules to their blog.

Now...I pass this little gem on to:



Stir-Fry Awesomeness

The Redhead Riter


These ladies are amazing and I really love reading their blogs daily. Sissi is brand new to me, but I'm already enjoying what she has to say. Please read, FOLLOW, and pass it on!!


Sunday Stealing Meme, Part 1 (also stolen from Stir-Fry Awesomeness)

To see Stir-Fry's Blog (from whence I stole this), go here: http://stirfryawesomeness.blogspot.com/2009/09/sunday-stealing.html

1. The phone rings. Who will it to be? Mostly telemarketers or someone soliciting some sort of donation, etc...a lot of times it's also the hospital looking for Hubs.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Yep. I ALSO BRING MY OWN BAGS (& not just to the grocery store, either!)

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? I think I'm mostly a listener?

4. Do you take compliments well? no

5. Do you play Sudoku? Would love to learn!

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? No. I cannot survive without running water/plumbing and I wouldn't be able to find my own food. I'd be the one eating the poisonous berries.

7. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? never to sleep away camp, but I did do art & drama classes over some summers. And I later worked as a camp counselor myself.

8. What was your favorite game as a kid? I loved Hungry Hippos, and later Monopoly and Scattergories

9. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he was married, would you? I would never date a married man.

10. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you? I dated a few guys who weren't Jewish, but I knew I wanted to marry a Jew. It's that important to me.

11. Do you like to pursue or be pursued? Who doesn't like to be pursued?

12. Use three words to describe yourself? a dreamer, introspective, loyal

13. Do any songs make you cry? "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole

14. Are you continuing your education? Not currently, although I do think I'd make a kick-ass professional student.

15. Do you know how to shoot a gun? Heck no!

16. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? When I was a teenager

17. How often do you read books? Often, but not necessarily daily.

18. Do you think more about the past, present or future? the past. I dwell too much on it.

19. What is your favorite children’s book? I can't choose just one. I love the Olivia books, the Madeline books, Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, and any Dr. Seuss. Oh and Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree.

20.What color are your eyes? brown

21. How tall are you? 5 ft 8 in

22. Where is your dream house located? I think probably on the southern coast of France, St. Tropez, maybe?

23. If your house was on fire, what are the first things you grab? My family, dog, and photo albums

24. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? years ago during college, when we'd try to see how many baskets of free bread sticks we could score....

25. Where was the furthest place you traveled today? the day is only 1/2 over, but so far just the grocery store.

26. Do you like mustard? Yes, but really only plain yellow. Not a fan of Dijon.

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