Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Love Nerds

No, this is not a post a-la-Mrs. Newlywed's about loving human nerds. This is a post about my love of the tiny, crunchy little candies.
I am a member of the Regal Crown Club. I love being a member of things that give me rewards. On Monday's, members receive $1 candy. The selection is limited, but as soon as I saw Nerds on the list, I knew that would be my special reward. I love that they have a slightly tart taste, but then they have such a sweet center. Yum.... yes, I am 30 years old and I love nerds. I blame this love on my mother who would not let me eat them as a child. I also still buy sugar cereals for the same reason.

P.S. On Monday I saw Love Happens. B- (and that is being nice.) Today I saw Fame. Solid A. It had singing and dancing. What is there not to love?
P.P.S. I have a renewed love of matinees during the week. I have had the theater to myself two days in a row. $7 for a massive screen movie just for me = bargain.
P.P.P.S. No, I did not silence my cell phone. In fact I took calls and texted during the movies. After all if was a private screening just for me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Cool (and Rainy) Time in Hot-lanta

Last Thursday I ventured away from the comforts of home for a weekend getaway to Atlanta. My fabulous friend, the Ab-meister, had two tickets to a concert and she let me buy one of them from her as one of my favorite artists was the first opening act. Yes, I paid full price for a concert ticket to see the guy who played 30 minutes of a 3 1/2 hour show. Matt Nathanson. Check him out. He's good.

In an effort to not bore you with all the stores I went to, I will give you the breakdown of the fabulousness that is the food I ate while I was there. Because really, shopping is shopping but eating is required for living.

Friday lunch - Ikea. Don't laugh. If you have not eaten at Ikea you don't understand. Their Swedish meatballs, mac-n-cheese, and lingonberry sauce are amazing. Seriously. Ask anyone who has ever been there and they will confirm. In fact, my friend Anna who lives in Atlanta and loves food as much as I do, said the same thing when I told her I had hit up Ikea first on my way into town. One of these days I will make it there for breakfast.

Friday supper - Twist - A tapas style restaurant located inside Phipps mall was quite the little find. They serve bread with housemade hummus rather than butter. I had the Shrimp Dumplings with Thai Curry and a dynamite tuna sushi roll. We also did the dessert trio and had banana white chocolate cream pie, blueberry upside down cake, and a strawberry rhubarb cobbler. All very good.

Saturday breakfast - J. Christophers - Two words: Blueberry Crunchcakes. I am going to attempt these when I make breakfast one weekend. I loved the crunch the granola added to the savoriness of the blueberry pancakes. I'm even thinking of making Bakerella's pancake muffins and sprinkling granola on the top. YUM. Charleston Cafe, you know I love your pancakes. You need to try this. Love, Random Carrie.

Saturday lunch/supper - Pappadeaux - Now, normally Pappadeaux would not be my first choice for dining in Atlanta, but you have to understand 2 things: 1) it was raining like it "was it's job" (<-- Abby's new favorite quote) and 2) we had to get home to shower and change clothes so we could make it to the concert so I could see the first opening act. So we stopped here. I am actually a fan of Pappadeux because I do love me some Cajun food. So this works for me. I had the Pasta Mardi Gras which had a wonderful light tomato cream sauce (barely covered the noodles) and was served with grilled shrimp, crawfish, and andouille sausage. You really can't go wrong with that. I also had a cup of the crawfish bisque in an effort to warm my body because it was 64 degrees, raining, and the restaurant was trying to freeze the water in our glasses to save money on ice.

Sunday lunch - Chipotle - Seriously. I love you Chipotle. Why do you not want to move to Charleston? Please move to Charleston and put Q'Doba out of business. You know we all love you more than Q'Doba. Your rice is amazing, your burritos are perfect, and your chips have the little hint of lime which I love so much. In fact, if you had queso dip you'd be dern near perfect. But alas, you are not near me so I must savor you when I am traveling.

P.S. Salsarita's...I still love you. If you moved to Charleston I would love you equally as much as I would love Chipotle if he moved to Charleston. You have queso and your quesadillas are great.

I know Atlanta has many more fine restaurants to indulge in, but these are the ones I encountered while I was there for this trip. And yes, for anyone counting, this would be the first time in the history of my adult life that I remember being near a Cheesecake Factory and not indulging in the wonderfulness that is their desserts. I will be back in the Spring, at which time I will try some new places and maybe revisit some others.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

0 Calories the Healthy Way

A few weeks ago BiLo had SoBe lifewater on sale. I don't normally buy bottled water or any type of flavored water, but I felt the need to try something new. And that's when I noticed they had some flavors that were zero calories. If you don't know me well, then you may not know that I do not use any artificial sweeteners (pink packet, blue packet, or yellow packet.) I do not drink diet drinks and you will not find me sipping on a Crystal Light. Not gonna happen. But these little jewels. They are sweetened with PureVia, a Stevia product which is a natural sweetener. So, if you are looking for something a little sweet to drink without adding any calories or unhealthy sweeteners to your day, then I suggest trying one of these. A few of them are even too sweet for me so I dilute them with water. My verdict: 2 Thumbs Up!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dawn's Predule

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Dawn's Prelude

(Bethany House - October 2009)


Tracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 70 novels. She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Ephesians 1:18 has become a cornerstone verse for a new non-fiction book she's been working on -- its also become a cornerstone in her life. The verse reads, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints."

Tracie and her family live in Belgrade, Montana.


Newly widowed Lydia Sellers discovers that through an unforeseen fluke, she is the sole recipient of her husband's fortune. But instead of granting her security, it only causes strife as her adult stepchildren battle to regain the inheritance for themselves.

Lydia, longing to put the memories of her painful marriage behind her, determines to travel to Alaska to join her aunt. Lydia's arrival in Sitka, however, brings two things she didn't expect.

One is the acquaintance of Kjell Bjorklund, the handsome owner of the sawmill. Second is the discovery that she is pregnant with her dead husband's child. What will this mean for her budding relationship with Kjell? And what lengths will her stepchildren go to reclaim their father's fortune? Lydia soon finds her life--and that of her child's--on the line.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dawn's Prelude, go HERE

To purchase the book click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Pumpkin is back!

Seriously, the only orange I really love in this whole, wide world is pumpkin. I love pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheescake, and pumpkin spiced lattes. And it's all in season now! It all started yesterday when a co-worker wanted to go to the Olive Garden for lunch. I agreed because seriously, who doesn't love some cheese covered pasta. When we walked in I saw it. The special chalkboard said "Pumpkin Cheesecake." At that point I was a goner. It doesn't matter that I didn't need the cheescake I had to have it. (Yes, I know this is glutony.) Thankfully I have a few friends on facebook who share my love of the pumpkin so my status updates have not been in vain. So, here's to the pumpkin and the wonderful season we call Fall.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summer of 2009 - Soundtrack

So, last summer my really good friend (whom I don't name on the blog) and I sat down and created a Summer of 2008 mixed CD. Again, all music was legally purchased from iTunes or Amazong or Target. Well, this summer she is gone but I love that CD so much I wanted to create one for this Summer. However, there is just one problem. I have listened to very little new music this year. I am a creature of habit and fell in love with a couple of CDs last year plus our amazing Summer of 2008 mix and so I am stuck. This, folks, is what I have to contribute to a Summer's worth of listening:

1. Party in the U.S.A. - Miley Cyrus
2. Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
3. Battlefield - Jordin Sparks
4. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
5. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
6. I Do Not Hook Up - Kelly Clarkson
7. If It Kills Me - Jason Mraz

Seriously. Now if this were for just me, I'd probably throw in some Zac Brown Band or Sugarland, but I plan on this being what she and I would have made had she been here. And she was the one who listened to the music. So without her, I don't listen to new music. In all fairness, I drive 10 minutes to work (it would take only 5 but there are stinking red lights ever .2 miles) so I listen to talk to work (because they never play music.) Then when I am at work I listen to my trusty Pandora stations (and if you aren't using Pandora shame on you!) So, it will be a sad little soundtrack for this Summer. Maybe I'll try harder next year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

There's a Party in the USA

Ok, I'll admit, "The Climb" got on my last nerve. Her voice just did not work for me on that song. Plus I felt that song should have been given to the next winner of American Idol, not because I watch that show (because I don't for the most part) but last season's song was so horrile they need some redemption.

However, I love Miley's new song "Party in the USA." It is so cute and catchy. Love it. It is definitely going on my "Summer Soundtrack - 2009" mixed CD that I will be putting together hopefully tonight (with all music being purchased legally from iTunes or Amazon, of course.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blah Blah, Blah Blah, Blah Blah

Yeah, that's how I feel. Life has just been crazy. Work is insane, I have not had a vacation (more than 2 days off with NO work email or work phone in 15 months, and I am about to snap. Thankfully I do have some time off coming up. Praise the Lord!


Julie & Julia --- if you have not seen this movie yet, shame on you. Seriously it is so good I considered seeing it twice at the theater. But I can't bring myself to part with another $9.50 of my hard earned money. However, the day it is available on DVD I will be buying it. I had heard the book used loads of foul language (the author even admits this in interviews) but the movie was delightful. Probably because it is a combination of two books (blog book and Julia Child's memoirs of living in Paris) rather than just the book based on the blog.


Matt Nathanson --- currently the love of my musical life. I will be incorporating this love into my upcoming vacation. If I remember my camera, there will be pictures.


I went camping Labor Day weekend. I took zero pictures. This is why I am not married nor have kids. I could not keep them properly documented. However, it was delightful to spend time with my family, both immediate and extended.


I have a new obsession with homemade ice cream. I made some double chocolate last night that would rival any chocolate you could get at Marble Slab or Cold Stone. Delish. And oh-so-very rich. However, I still love Rita's Italian Ice. That is an obsession I shall not get over quickly.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Blue Enchantress

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Blue Enchantress

Barbour Books (August 1, 2009)




Betrayed by the man she longed to marry, Hope Westcott is about to be auctioned off as a slave to the highest bidder on an island in the Caribbean . After enduring a difficult childhood in an unloving home, Hope?s search for love and self-worth have led her down a very dangerous path. All she ever wanted was to find true love and open an orphanage where she could raise children with all the love she never experienced as a child.? But how can a woman with a sordid past ever hope to run an orphanage, let alone attract the love of an honorable man?

Determined to overcome the shame of his mother?s past, Nathaniel Mason worked for many years to build his own fleet of merchant ships in an effort to finally acquire the respect of Charles Towne society. Ignoring the call of God on his life to become a preacher, he forges ahead with his plans for success at a distant port in the Caribbean , when he sees a young lady he knows from Charles Towne being sold as a slave. In an effort to save Hope, he is forced to sell one of his two ships, only to discover that her predicament was caused by her own bad behavior. Angry and determined to rid himself of her as soon as possible, Nathaniel embarks on a journey that will change the course of his life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Blue Enchantress, go HERE

If you would like to purchase the second book in the Charles Towne Belles series, please click here.