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Stuttering Shell

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

today is the day!


i've been talking about it for weeks & the day is finally here...

stuttering shell is saying goodbye to blogger & hello to wordpress!

my blog is moving TODAY.
i'll tell you - yet again - if you want to keep up with my shenanigans, 
please copy and paste my blog's url into google reader or subscribe to my blog via rss.

wordpress doesn't use google friend connect.
{and, soon, blogger won't either...}

please be patient as my fabulous designer moves everything for me. 
hopefully, there won't be any glitches with my domain name.
the plan is to stay up & running while the move takes place, but you just never know...
{keep your fingers & toes crossed!}

in the meantime, make the required changes on YOUR end and get ready for stuttering shell's new look.  also, get excited because i'm hosting TWO giveaways once my "new blog" has launched. won't be able to win an oreck vacuum cleaner or a year-long subscription to birchbox if you don't change your subscription settings. remember, copy & paste stuttering shell's url into google reader or subscribe via rss. 


if you'e curious about a move from blogger to wordpress, then i suggest you check out the totally chaotic package from utterly chaotic.  i also recommend checking out this article written by mandy & jeff at dollars & roses.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

cinnamon roll cake.

first, i can't take credit for the recipe. 
i found it at rumbly in my tumbly thanks to ashley.

second, any recipe that calls for THREE sticks of butter is bound to be good.
can i get an amen, paula deen??
{i know, i know, she's got diabetes now.}

third, you will promise not to hold me responsible when...
a) you eat your first piece - covered in glaze - warm & fresh from the oven,
b) you eat your second piece minutes later, and
c) you wake up the next morning to find that the cake is gone.

 it's THAT good, y'all.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

the lucky, caffeinated winner!

as promised, i have a winner for the keurig portion pack giveaway...


congratulations! a box of donut shop cinnamon roll plus the barista prima sampler will arrive on your doorstep very soon! 

thank you to all who entered & be on the lookout for the next keurig-related giveaway. unfortunately, i won't be giving away more coffee, but i will be reviewing the cafe escapes line AND the next giveaway may or may not have something to do with a year-long subscription to birchbox. hint, hint.

psst...i used to generate the giveaway winner. 

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

guest post: mississippi mud cookies

hey y'all. i am super duper excited to have my bloggy friend, kimmie, guest posting today. she's my baking guru & hero. seriously, have you seen her blog? go now after you read this yummy post. kimmie {along with her trusty sidekick, gabby} create all kinds of delectable goodies in the kitchen. but, kimmie's favorite thing to do? bake. and, after seeing the pictures in this post, you'll want to bake, too. promise.

First of all, I am so excited to be hanging out with the amazing readers that call Stuttering Shell their friend today! I can't even tell you how long I've been stalking Shell's space on the web, but I do know that this was one of the very first blogs I added to my 'blog roll' back in the day. Besides, anyone who can also rock the short hair is a true winner in my book of awesome.

I have come across a cookie recipe of epic proportions. I'll let the following text conversation do the talking for how good these cookies really are and then I promise to share the recipe.

Mississippi Mud Cookies
You read that correctly. These cookies had to be hidden from my best friend's husband in order for them to last more than a day. By the end of that week, Meagan had made a total of three batches of cookies and I just knew I needed the recipe stat. And because I love Shell, and you're guilty of awesome by association, I'm sharing this recipe so that someone else's thighs will suffer too out of the kindness of my heart. 
Mississippi Mud Cookies
If you ask me, these are the perfect cookies to show someone you love them this Valentine's Day. They also make the perfect dough to drown your singles sorrows in, straight out of the unbaked bowl. And at the end of the day if you strategically place them around the house so that no one else can find them, I won't judge. We've all been there.
Mississippi Mud Cookies
Mississippi Mud Cookies
adapted from Southern Living Magazine
makes about 3 dozen
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (don't skimp, Ghirardelli or the likes works best)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (once again, don't skimp)
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. Microwave semisweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in thirty second intervals, stirring in between until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add vanilla and melted chocolate and mix until fully incorporated.
4. Gradually add flour, baking powder and salt to mixture and beat until a well blended, dough-like consistency is reached. Fold in the walnuts and milk chocolate chips so that they are evenly distributed.
5. Drop dough by healping teaspoon or 1/2 inch cookie scoop onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
6. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes, push three miniature marshmallows into the top of each cookie and bake for an additional 2-4 minutes until cookies are set. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Mississippi Mud Cookies

like what you see? then go check out kimmie's blog: full circle foodie. you can also follow kimmie on twitter or via her blog's facebook page. oh, and don't ever forget to check out her weekly feature called scrumptious sundays.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

you know what sucks?

my email inbox. well, that and the fact that i can't seem to stay on top of emails {read: replying to comments}. it probably doesn't help that i have four email addresses going to one email inbox either. ugh.

yesterday afternoon, i chipped away at the 800+ messages in my inbox. i'm now down to 66. some of you may have received a comment reply from me. most of you did not. i decided not to reply to comments that were already nearly a month old because, quite frankly, it seemed pointless. i know the old adage is "better late, than never" but in the case of replying to comments, well...

i simply hit delete.

i feel bad because replying to comments is one way of building a good rapport with your readers. so, i promise to stay on top of things. really. besides, when you start ignoring emails, they start adding up...quickly. i'm sure most of you know what i mean.

you know what also sucks? being stranded on the toilet with no t.p. ... and you're the only one home. remember, sit before you sh.... that.

february is a great month to order scentsy - 10% off!
for details, please check out celia's scentsy page.

tomorrow on the blog, kimmie from full circle foodie is guest posting.
i can't wait for you to check out her recipe for mississippi mud cookies!

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

on the move.

i'm not a spontaneous person, but - every now & again - i get impulsive. this is kind of surprising to some who really know me because a) i'm not a fan of surprises and b) i don't always welcome change with open arms.

where am i going with this? i'm saying goodbye to blogger.

no, i'm not giving up blogging. i'm moving stuttering shell to wordpress {didn't you see the message above??}. a move to wordpress has always been in the back of my mind, but i was never quite ready to take the leap.

until now.

why? that is the most popular question i've been asked since announcing on the twit that i was jumping ship.

well, first of all, i owe a lot to mrs. monologues for really making me consider the move. and, side note, she's moving to wordpress, too, so if you follow her blog then you need to make sure you follow the same steps listed above for her blog. second, although it's going to cost me more money in the long run {right now i only pay for my domain which is like $10 a year}, i like knowing that my blog will really be my blog. blogger has been good to me - really good to me - but i want to own my content. i also want my blog to have more security. i mean, if blogger were to ever go away, so would my blog {remember the blogger glitch a while back? yeah. not cool.}.

so, in the coming month, please be prepared for some downtime as i move my blog to my own web hosting space & transfer my domain. and, get excited because my new move also means a new blog layout courtesy of the amazing brea of utterly chaotic.

in the meantime, just remember to copy & paste my blog's url into your google reader or subscribe via rss feed. you know, so you can still keep up with me. if not, you'll miss seeing this face...

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

valentine's day à la tiny prints.

i've professed my love for tiny prints before and, here i am, professing my love for their super cute, personalized cards once again. valentine's day is fast approaching and i love being able to send my children to school with sweet notes and cards for their classmates and teachers. personally, if you ask me, i think valentine's day is overrated, but it think it's such a fun holiday for children.

ask anyone who is a fan of tiny prints and they'll tell you: the selection of cards is amazing. once again, tiny prints has outdone themselves with their section of valentine cards. tiny prints doesn't just offer valentine's day greeting cards, but you can also get photo cards and party invitations, too, each with a valentine's day theme.

it's hard to choose just one card that would be perfect for either of my children's classmates, but here are a few of the designs that we are currently in love with...

my daughter is quite the baker and is in love with cupcakes, so this would be the perfect card for her to share with her classmates this valentine's day. 

and another valentine's day card contender...another cupcake themed card! the simplicity of this design is perfect for exchanging with classmates.

this option is great for my son who isn't quite into all of the lovey-dovey valentine's day cards. i like that this card - in addition to all of the tiny prints valentine's day cards - is different from what you'll find in your nearest discount store.

and we just loved this fortune cookie valentine's day card. it's perfect for both my daughter & son to share with their classmates.  

like what you're seeing? then i urge you to check out all of the valentine's day cards that tiny prints has to offer.  in addition, you can follow tiny prints on twitter, facebook & pinterest. check them out!

disclaimer: in exchange for a blog post showcasing their valentine's day collection, tiny prints is giving me 50 free kids valentine's day cards of my choice. all opinions in this post are my own & tiny prints did not influence my opinion or the wording of this blog post.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

guest post: polka dot mani

hey y'all! i'm so excited to have my friend, andrea, from my chihuahua bites guest posting on the blog today. she's talking about something near & dear to my heart: nail polish. for as long as i can remember, i've always loved a mani that was different and what andrea has created is so fun & i cannot wait to recreate her look on my own nails. 


Hey friends! I’m so excited to be guest posting on Stuttering Shell today. I’m Andrea, a 30 something mommy addicted to Sephora, makeup brushes, reality TV, and nail polish. I found Michelle on Twitter through a friend, and I soon realized we have a ton in common - we share of a love of nail polish, k-cups, and Lis.

I haven’t always been into nail polish. Up until about a year ago, I was strictly a special occasion mani type of girl. I didn’t polish my nails at home, and on the rare occasion I did, I ran around with polish smeared all over my fingers and cuticles.

Not cute.

About 6 months ago, I picked up some Sally Hansen polish from Wal-Mart and decided to carpe diem and give myself a mani. I learned to erase my polish mistakes with q-tips and acetone, and I’ve never looked back. I don’t know what got into me that day, but I’ve had polish on my nails every day since. I’m about to enter Nail Polish Addicts, as my polish collection is starting to get quite out of control.

Today I want to share a fun (and easy!) Valentine’s Day mani with you. Polka dots are one of the easiest forms of nail art, and you can do it to your nails with stuff you already have at home.

I apologize in advance for the pictures – it is impossibly hard to take pictures of yourself with only one hand.

You’ll need the following tools:

  • Red, white, and pink nail polish
  • A dotting tool – mine came from Sally’s, but you could also use a pointed q-tip or even a toothpick.
I’ll share the exact brands/names of the polishes at the end of the post.

Start by painting the ring finger of each hand with two coats of pink polish. Paint the rest of your nails with two coats of white polish.

Let your nails fully dry; however, do not yet apply a top coat.  Drop 2 dots of each color of polish onto a paper plate. You can see I have a dot of red, white, and pink on the plate.

Using your dotting tool, q-tip, or toothpick pick up a small amount of polish on the tip of your tool. Start with pink; gently dot in a random pattern all over your white nails. Leave room for red dots!

After you’ve applied the pink polka dots, wipe off your tool (or get a new q-tip!) and start with red dots.  Apply to both the white and pink ring finger nails.

Now it’s time for the white! The white dots only go on your pink ring fingers.  Seal off your mani with a top coat, and you’re done! 

Enjoy your polka dot nails!

Base Coat: OPI Nail Envy & Seche Base Ridge Filling Base Coat
Pink: OPI Pink Friday
White: OPI Alpine Snow
Red: China Glaze Poinsettia
Top Coat: INM Out The Door 

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

my eight year old eats what?

so there is a pretty popular book circulating the parenting set about expanding your child's particular palate. i haven't read it, so please forgive me if what i'm about to say seems harsh but...

do you really need to read a book to figure out how to get your picky eater to eat?

in my opinion, no. i believe that picky parents produce picky children. why? well, if you don't like it, what makes you think your child is going to like it? i was raised by parents who believed that you ate what you were given. if you didn't like it, you either sat there until you ate it or you went hungry. and - surprise, surprise - i am raising my children the same way. 

i'm not a short order cook. my kitchen is not a restaurant. there is a menu, but there is only one thing on it: you get what you get & you don't throw a fit.

don't get me wrong, there are things my children choose not to eat. malia refuses to eat tomatoes, brussel sprouts & blueberries. aidan also doesn't care for brussel sprouts {but he'll eat them...reluctantly}. but, what my children will and do eat amazes people. i've blogged about it before, but my children are actually quite adventurous when it comes to food. i think a lot of that is due to the fact that adam & i are not picky eaters and are quite adventurous ourselves. are we foodies? i guess so. but, i do the draw the line at certain things and - more often than not - my children surprise me and show that they are more adventurous than i am when it comes to culinary deliciousness. 

case in point...

{gotta love a blurry cell phone pic}

that picture above? that's aidan eating a duck foot. yes, a duck foot. and, that particular duck foot was wrapped in a skin made from tofu. there was also taro root & steamed shrimp inside {my father & i joked that was the duck's toe jam}

i know, i know...ew, right? i don't even eat duck feet. but, aidan wasn't made to eat it. we were at our favorite dim sum spot in boston. my mom ordered them and we asked the kids, "do you want to try one?" malia said no. aidan said sure. i always tell my kids to give something a shot before they decide they don't like it, especially when it comes to food. this is what aidan did and guess what? he liked the duck foot.

so, while some of you are battling the "i only want chicken nuggets" blues, don't get frustrated. instead, get smart. hell, outsmart your child. stop catering. serve what you are eating. your child might surprise you. but, if you're picky, well, i don't know what to tell you. this mama doesn't do picky.

p.s. food allergies and other sensitivities do not count as being picky. 

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Monday, January 23, 2012

gung hay fat choy.


we're wearing red, eating noodles and celebrating the new year...again.

happy chinese new year, y'all!

psst...did you enter my giveaway?