This Page

has been moved to new address

Stuttering Shell

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Stuttering Shell: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

the simple things - 1st edition.

i'm following my favorite workaholic momma's lead & linking up with jesslyn amber to share with you all some of the things that i'm appreciative for this week.  sometimes in life, we need to slow down & realize that it's the simple things in life that really matter the most.

this week i'm appreciative for...
  • a quiet, semi-clean home. that will all change this weekend...
  • phone calls from my kids oozing with excitement about standing on the hurricane deck at niagara falls during the cave of the winds tour.
  • my awesome parents who have not only kept my children for the last two weeks, but have also traveled with them to boston & toronto.
  • walks on the beach with this guy & these two pups:

  • meeting new friends & having the opportunity to spend time with a good friend.
  • hearing color me badd on the radio {really, i did!}
  • catching up on three weeks worth of laundry {never mind that some of it needs to be put away}.
  • the bounty of cucumbers from our garden & the satisfaction that comes from NOT having to wash layers of wax or chemicals off of them before we eat them.
  • knowing that our patio is alllllllllmost finished:
{there's efflorescence in the brick - they were factory seconds - and my bricklayer husband doesn't mind it.}
  • snuggles with the pups.
  • gloomy, rainy mornings...
  • having the television set to a channel other than nickelodeon or disney.
  • running into my former {now retired} boss from my first big girl job after college {he was behind me in the checkout line at target}.
  • free froyo for two thanks to a coupon & menchie's money.
  • this guy...even though he ate a pair of my shoes last week {my lily mckim's} & completely destroyed our okra plants yesterday:

what simple things are you appreciative for?
link up with jesslyn amber.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{semi} wordless wednesday: name that bug.

since i posted about a dragonfly last wednesday, it only seems fitting that i continue with my wednesday bug theme...

adam & i were in the backyard on sunday when we noticed this crazy looking bug flying around our butterfly bush.

is it a bird? no. {interestingly enough, not long after spotting the bug in question a hummingbird flew in for a brief moment.}

is it a bee? no. but it's color does remind me of a bumblebee.

is it a shrimp? ha ha ha. no. but, adam thought that the bug's body was shaped like a shrimp.

we're not sure what the heck it is. we watched it for a good 15 minutes as it flew from flower to flower on our butterfly bush. 

my guess is that it's a moth of some kind.

for now, we are referring to this guy as a humming-bumble-shrimp. you know, until an entomologist can set us straight or i find out what it is on google...whichever happens first.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the flourless, six ingredient cookie.

first of all, i would like to preface this post by saying something that anyone & everyone who tweets already knows -- twitter is probably the worst enabler in all of social media. if you don't tweet, you should. but, don't blame me for your shopping purchases or your expanding waistline.

case in point? these cookies.

i was tweeting yesterday, minding my business {ha ha ha!} when i saw that a sweet twitter friend & blogging pal had posted a recipe for chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. even better when she said the cookies were made with only five ingredients. say what?! {technically, the cookie has six ingredients, but whatever...}

you know me, i had to check out the recipe. i'm so glad i did. i'm also very thankful that i had all of the ingredients {well, sort of}.

y'all, this cookie is flour-free, oil-free & butter-free. does it taste good? hell yea it does! was it easy to make? yes. even though i didn't have exactly what the recipe called for, i guarantee you probably have all of the ingredients sitting in your fridge & pantry right now.

here's the recipe {from epicurious}:
flourless peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies
1 cup super chunky peanut butter*
1 cup golden brown sugar, packed**
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. mix first five ingredients in a medium bowl. mix in chocolate chips. using moistened hands***, form generous one tablespoon of dough for each cookie into a ball. arrange on two ungreased baking sheets, spacing cookies two inches apart. bake cookies until puffed, golden brown on bottom & still soft to the touch in the center -- about 12 minutes. cool on baking sheets for about five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

now go...make these gluten-free cookies! your taste buds will thank you for them!

*i used creamy peanut butter.  if you have a peanut allergy, i'm going to assume that you could sub the peanut butter for "soy nut" butter or sunflower seed butter. let me know how it turns out!
**all i had was light brown sugar. it worked.
***i used a pampered chef cookie scoop that was, i think, bigger than a tablespoon. it made for some nice sized cookies. yum!

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 27, 2011


thanks to my sweet friends becky & mrs. monologues, my blog is getting a new look.  while i love, love, LOVE my current design, i'm absolutely excited to see what j at diamond doll design has come up for me.

so, please excuse the mess over the next couple of days, but definitely be prepared for something wonderful to feast your eyes on.


Friday, June 24, 2011


that's me. your very unfaithful blogging friend. i'll spare you the details because people hate reading excuses about why they haven't been blogging {or at least that's what i read last night on twitter}.

yesterday, i was laid off from a temporary job {that i can't really say much about} three weeks before the project was scheduled to end.  apparently we were a little TOO good at bubbling in scantron forms.  it is what it is, i guess.  so, i applied for what seems like a bazillion & one jobs for my city's school system.  all of my fingers & toes are crossed for something to come my way.

are you on crowdtap?  if not, you should be.  why?  well, you interact with brands which earns you points which you can then convert to gift cards for  in addition, you also earn money for a charity of your choice.  still not convinced?  well, how about the fact that i've already participated in two sample shares. the most recent one being for old navy.  yes, old navy.  i received a pair of shorts, a top and an accessory all for free...and so did three of my friends.  pretty sweet, huh?  be prepared for a blog post.

i also hopped on board the shakeology train.  interested in a sample?  let me know.  the shakes are amazing.  

you wanna know where else i've been hanging out?  yes, ladies & gentlemen {because, surely, there are guys reading my blog, too, right??} i drank the kool-aid that is known as pinterest.


i was warned that pinning stuff is equivalent to a hard-core drug addiction.  um, let's just say that i haven't been to bed before midnight the past three nights because i'm too busy pinning & repinning random stuff.  

school ended a week ago for my kids.  guess where they are?  not here!  happy summer vacation to me!  seriously, though, they're traveling with my parents.  hooray for rockin' grandparents!!

i said goodbye to a friend.  i'm going to miss her a lot.  but, i'm so excited for her new adventures & i cannot wait to visit her {and ikea}.

these guys are pretty excited that they no longer have to spend 8+ hours in their crate monday through friday:

frisco loves his kiddie pool.  buxton...not so much.  at one point even aidan got into the pool. yep, that's how we roll around these parts.

oh, you need to go here.  go.  now.  really.  if you don't, i'll kick your butt. or, mrs. monologues will. besides, she blogged about me & five other FABULOUS bloggers.

i have so much to do & not enough time to do it all.  i do have some post ideas brewing in that dark, cavernous space also known as my mind.  but, for now, a dirty house & unfolded laundry are call my name.  lame.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

paparazzi. bugarazzi.

a couple weekends ago - while in the backyard - malia came inside & told me that i needed to come outside...with my camera.  she was tending to the garden with adam when this guy decided to take a rest on one of our tomato cages:

i had a lot of fun taking pictures of him...or her.  {like i know how to tell the sex of a dragonfly...}  

i'm not very good at using my camera, but i wanted to get some good pictures.  {it's not a fancy, schmancy big girl camera.  it's stuck in between a point & shoot and a dslr.}  anyways, i was totally expecting mista dragonfly to fly off while i was in mid focus, but NOPE, he stuck around!

i had fun taking pictures of this dragonfly. he moved around to different parts of the tomato cage, but he didn't fly off.  in fact, he always flew back to the same spot {hence the reason for so many similar shots}.  i think i had a good ten minute photo session with the lil' bugger {pun intended...ha!}.  and, did he enjoy being the subject of my camera's lens?  you tell me...

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

birthday boy.

this crazy guy turns eight today...

e i g h t

i want him to be two again.
i miss his blonde hair.
i miss his curls.
i miss that cheesy grin.

now he's halfway through elementary school.
he's dancing to justin bieber & singing zac brown band.
he eats just about anything.
his hair is no longer blonde.
but, he still has that cheesy grin {trust me}.

happy birthday, aidan!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

bizarre food? yes. good eats? hell no.

last month we took a trip out to california {i know i owe y'all a recap plus day, i promise}.  my cousin was getting married.  

so, what does any chinese family do when they get together for any type of 
celebration or for just no reason at all?  
they eat.  

and eat is what we did.  the welcome/rehearsal dinner the night before my cousin's big day was nothing short of amazing {never mind the fact that it was served just a few hours after the crazy, fabulous buffet-style welcome lunch}.  the dinner was ten courses {or was it twelve??} of quintessential chinese cuisine including this:

the dish we ate looked very similar to the one pictured above except the veg served with ours was a 
different type of chinese green.

that, my friends, is abalone with...wait for it...sea cucumber.  can you guess which is what?  the abalone is the stuff along the outside of the plate.  the sea cucumber is the slimy looking black crap in the middle of the dish.    

yes, you read right.  i said sea cucumber.  i also call it slimy looking black crap.  some may love it.  i sure as hell don't.  have you seen what a sea cucumber looks like? {think diseased sex organ...yeah, i went there}

coincidentally, the article i took this pic from was about two people dying from sea cucumber 
poisoning. oh, my. 

so, if you're still wondering, YES, i ate it.  well, not all of it, but a piece of it.  my sister & i decided to man up together and try a piece.  i've seen my mother eat it before & we've been to quite a few family functions where it was served but we have never, and i repeat NEVER, wanted to try it.  until last month. what in the eff were we thinking?  don't get me wrong, we've eaten some crazy stuff, but chowing on sea cucumber is not our thing.  andrew zimmern, we're not.


fast forward to the day after the wedding.  we find ourselves in san francisco at fisherman's wharf. after walking around snapping up pictures of the sea lions & alcatraz, the kids asked to go to the aquarium.  i'm pretty sure my parents & my sister wanted a break from us*, so adam & i took them. aquarium of the bay is a neat little aquarium tucked into one side of fisherman's wharf.  i saw it the last time i was in san francisco, but i never thought to check it out.  i'm glad we did this time.  the kids had a blast.  

of course, no family vacay is ever complete until one child calls you out on someone. 
preferably a complete stranger.

while riding in the elevator in the aquarium, the tour guide was telling the kids about the touch tanks.  she said there were stingrays, a leopard shark, starfish, anemones, and even a couple of sea cucumbers.  cue my seven year old son, aidan...

"um, so we went to a wedding this weekend & we ate 
chinese food.  
did you know that my mom and dad ATE sea cucumber the other day?  
they did.  it was gross."

{sorry for the crummy pic quality...i was using my not so fancy point & shoot.}

the people in the elevator with us were mortified.  the tour guide looked at me.  she looked at adam.  then, she politely asked us to remember to touch, and not eat, the sea cucumbers in the touch tank.   

um, no problem, lady.  trust me.  there is a reason the sea cucumber looks the way it does because i honestly don't know what in the eff would possess someone or something to want to eat it.  unless you're at a fancy chinese dinner**.  i'm just sayin'...

* how did i know they wanted a break from us?  my dad was at the ticket counter with cash in hand buying the tickets for us before we even got up there.  yep.
** i can say that because i'm chinese.  well, only half chinese, but still.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

wordless wednesday: mista crab.

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

knee deep.

gonna put the world away for a minute
pretend i don't live in it
sunshine gonna wash my blues away
had sweet love but i lost it
she got too close so i fought it
now i'm lost in the world tryin' to find me a better way

wishin' i was 
knee deep in the water somewhere
got the blue sky, breeze and it don't seem fair
the only worry in the world 
is the tide gonna reach my chair
sunrise, there's a fire in the sky
never been so happy 
never felt so high
and i think i might have found me my own kind of paradise

wrote a note, said 'be back in a minute'
bought a boat and i sailed off in it
don't think anybody's gonna miss me anyway
mind on a permanent vacation
the ocean is my only medication
wishin' my condition ain't ever gonna go away

 cause now i'm knee deep in the water somewhere
got the blue sky breeze blowin' wind through my hair
only worry in the world 
is the tide gonna reach my chair
sunrise, there's a fire in the sky
never been so happy 
never felt so high
and i think i might have found me my own kind of paradise

this champagne shore watchin' over me
it's a sweet, sweet life livin' by the salty sea
one day you can be as lost as me
change your geography and maybe you might be

knee deep in the water somewhere
got the blue sky breeze blowin' wind through my hair
only worry in the world 
is the tide gonna reach my chair
sunrise, there's a fire in the sky
never been so happy
never felt so high
and i think i might have found me my own kind of paradise

come on in 
the water's nice
find yourself a little slice
grab a backpack 
otherwise you'll never know until you try
when you lose yourself
you find the key to paradise

zac brown band featuring jimmy buffett

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

winner, winner, chicken dinner!

ok, not really.  

but the winner WILL be the hottest sand-free gal leaving the beach this summer!

thank you to all who entered.  i'm pleased to announce the winner of the sand-off giveaway...

heidi from fighting with food!!
{check out her blog...for reals. it's full of yummy goodness & she is so inspiring!} 

congratulations!  email me your address & i'll get your sand-off mitt out to you.

psst...i used to choose the winner.  out of the twenty-five entries, picked entry number ten.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

it's the first {dump} of the month...

i thought i had something clever to post until my internet straight up disappeared on me {shakes fist at cox!!}.  now, here i am with internet access once again and - no offense - i don't feel like talking typing.*

perhaps a lil' brain dump is in order?

first of all...
don't forget to take advantage of 15% off AND free shipping at green mountain coffee.  the code is in my sidebar & it's good until june 10th.

second of all...
enter my giveaway for a sand-off mitt.  and, while you're at it, tell your friends to enter, too.  please.  i'm picking the winner on saturday, june 4th.  odds of winning are pretty good right now.

okay, back to the original biznass at hand...

i had a great holiday weekend. did you?  

it rained a bit on saturday. okay, poured.  but once the gray clouds parted, i parked myself here:

{let's not talk about the funky tan line on my left leg/foot...that happened the weekend before.}

friends of ours were camping at first landing state park {nothing like a staycation!}, so we joined them on the beach last saturday.  as much as adam wanted to camp right along with them, i'm glad we didn't.  


1.  the mosquitoes were huge.  i've seen big skeeters before, but apparently they grow extra, extra large on the north end of my city.  seriously, those blood suckin' mamas {'cause you know it's just the females that bite, right??} got through my gap jeans.  gap jeans that were covered in about four layers of deep woods off.
2.  there were ticks.  or so we were told.  we did a tick check on friday night because we hung out by the fire for a few hours but, fortunately, we were all tick-free.
3.  we found out on saturday that there was a copperhead removed from the site right next to our friend's site.  you know, the snake...the poisonous kind of snake.

yuck, yuck & yuck.

on sunday, we went to a pool party.  i consumed many banana daiquiris.  now, whenever i see that my bananas are browning i will no longer want to make bread.  nope.  i'm going to want to whirl them in the blender with some ice & a healthy splash of rum.    

sadly, our blender bit the bullet on monday.  adam killed it.  it's his fault.  granted, it was almost ten years old, but still.  now i either need to have it serviced at an "official" kitchen aid repair place or just replace it. 

just a side note:  i also consumed many, many, many bud lights this weekend. 

i'm in the third week of my temporary job.  same gig as last month, just scoring a different {state} test.  and, that's all i can say about that.  i should be busy until mid-july.  extra money is good.

i'm not taking summer classes as originally planned.  long story {most of you know it}.  it's whatever.  i'm actually kind of glad to have the summer off from grad school even though it does push my graduation date back a little. 

the kids have 12ish days of school left.  i'll be glad when school is out so i won't have to deal with the "bully situation" my daughter has found herself in.  that's a long story, too, but the bottom line is this:  my ten year old daughter is not a bully.  i have my opinions about the situation & no i'm not playing the "it can't be my child" card.  trust me, i'm not in denial of the situation.  in fact, i'm very well aware of the situation.  and, truth be told, it really isn't my child who is at fault.

my mom is here.  so far we've either gone out or brought home froyo or ice cream every night.  tonight i had a flavor from handel's called 'spouse like a house.' if i keep up my once a night froyo/ice cream habit then i will be a spouse like a house.

i really need to color my hair & paint my nails.  my favorite beachbum bought me this & i have yet to use it: 

i also have the urge to chop all of my hair off, but it's long enough for me to wear it in a ponytail now.  y'all, i haven't had hair this long since i was, um, a sophomore in high school {and that was like 18 years ago}.

my lilies are blooming.  and, yes, i'm going to show you pictures because a) i like taking pictures of stuff in my yard and b) i don't think you're sick of looking at my "photog wannabe" pictures...yet.

trust me, there will be more pictures in the days to come.  i promise.

one day i'll post pics from our california trip.  one day.  

my son will be eight in less than two weeks.  i told myself that i would bake him a cake that is shaped like a globe.  i also told myself that i was effin' crazy.

there's more, but i suppose i should save it for another dump.  nah.  honestly?  i forgot what else i wanted to write about.

*oh yeah, i straight up lied about that whole not feeling like typing a whole bunch crap at the beginning of this post because - hot damn - this was long!

Labels: , , , ,