Meg’s Favorite Things!

What, you were expecting an Oprah extravaganza? No, Meg is just going to give you a few ideas for help jump start your Christmas shopping!

Now, I know none of my readers were out there in a store on Black Friday. That’s insane, we are way too bloated from Thanksgiving to be standing in line! Plus, we all know the only store you should be in is the one to replenish your bar supplies that ran perilously low.

Best to wait for Cyber Monday and go online in the safety of your own home and hit the stores that way. At Thanksgiving, little Matt asked for bunk beds so his sleepovers would be more fun for his friends. Way to be practical Matt, I love a kid that asks for furniture! We’ll see if Santa manages to get that on his sleigh, but in the meantime, Auntie Meg scored this at Lands End:

Kids love blankets and being cozy, and the monogramming will guarantee no one steals Matt’s blanket!

Speaking of being toasty; I got this for my niece who just bought her first house:

Pottery Barn had these throws on sale plus free shipping. I’m all about free shipping when it comes to ordering on line.

Looking for fragrances and want to splurge? Meg highly recommends these lovely cologne’s:

Jo Malone has fresh herbal and floral fragrances that are uniquely blended and smell subtle and delicate, not overpowering. They are pricey, but I personally had a large bottle that lasted several years of daily use, so it was well worth the price.

Does someone you know like to cook? Meg found this little place on line and bought some Rosemary Salt, which she just roasted some potatoes with – yum! She is going to make this chocolate bark recipe and sprinkle the Espresso Salt she purchased all over the top, for a more grownup version of this candy.

Who wouldn’t want to jump into these at the end of a long day?

How about some fluffy Frankie and Johnny pajamas? Meg has a pair with wine glasses. I know, you aren’t surprised by that.

Hate dark cold nights? Meg thinks candles always cheer people up:

And better yet, they are named after THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Meg’s all time favorite movie! She got a preview of these at BlogHer11, so she highly recommends getting the Blue Satin Sashes or Bright Copper Kettles!

Meg hopes she’s given you a few tips to help with your shopping, she is all about going online and kicking back with her laptop. Happy shopping, people!

Where I Introduce Bourbon To The Lounge!

Meg is busy making apple pie and homemade ice cream today! It’s a dull and dreary day here in the Northeast, but it’s sunny in Meg’s kitchen for several reasons:

Pies are baking in the oven, candles are lit, ice cream is spinning itself on the counter; and a bottle of bourbon keeping it’s eye on me for later on today. First, here’s the recipe for frozen yumminess:

Salted Caramel Ice Cream
(courtesy of the Well Read Hostess)

1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber. – this is sort of intimidating to read – but it’s not bad. And totally worth it. Really, really worth it.
Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature or thereabouts, unless you’re in a hurry and then just pretend you did this by sticking it in the refrigerator for a half hour.
Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.

Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel. Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours.

Do the ice cream maker thing. (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up. Use the BIG spoon. Try to share.

Meg recently discovered she likes bourbon, particularly Makers Mark. She’s sampled several apple martini type concoctions she thoroughly enjoyed, so she bought herself a bottle and went online to find some easy drinks to make. May she offer this up for your Thanksgiving pleasure?

Meg wishes all of her bloggy friends a Happy Thanksgiving, she knows you all are going to use your calories wisely, i.e., you aren’t even going to give a flying sh** and you’ll eat what you want. You go kids!

Monday Potpourri

Let’s start the week with a little Potpourri, shall we?

Check out this ad in Meg’s local newspaper:

I know you are all dying to make your kids dreams come true with a home of their own! Just think of all the free time you parents are going to have while your kids are busy cooking meals and doing laundry in their very own home! I told you I don’t make this stuff up.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told a crowd at Harvard’s Kennedy School on Friday, that the solution to income inequality is to fire school janitors, and replace them with children. He suggests that these nine to fourteen year olds replace “union janitors” in poor neighborhoods, and that the kids work under a single “master janitor.”

You know, nothing says holiday like Dickens Oliver Twist, and playing the role of Fagin, ladies and gentlemen, is Newt Gingrich. Kids of America, you are all the collective Oliver Twist.

Please Newt, may we have some more porridge?

Meg thinks the Macy’s Snoopy balloon kicks Sponge Bob’s ass:

She’ll be watching him float down Fifth Ave Thursday morning while she relaxes with some coffee. She’ll also be queing up her Peanuts Christmas CD in the car as she heads over to Ain’t Misbeehaven’s house to eat herself silly!

What’s everyone got planned for this week? Travel, grandkids being born, dealing with wacky in-laws? Spill it!

I Can’t Help Myself Friday. How I Can Help the Secret Service!

Meg has been pondering the field of GOP candidates and scratching her head. One week the crazy lady is leading the polls, then it’s the pizza guy, and now it’s seems the serial cheater is soaring to the top of the leader board.

Meg isn’t concerned about their policies, which are all a bunch of bullsh**. They just say what they think Joe Six Pack wants to hear (because you know people think that’s a *REAL* person) and pretend like they want to have a beer with regular people, when you know there is no FREAKING way any of those candidates want to mingle with riff raff like moi.

What Meg is more concerned about are the Secret Service handles the candidates will receive. She’d like the name to be a real reflection of the candidate; sporting the true colors of their beliefs and personalities. Shall we go over the suggestions she has?

Herman Cain:

Well, clearly he should be Delivery Man with the pizza thing and all. But don’t tip him, he brings cold food and colder ideas.

Mitt Romney:

You see, Mitt was the governor here in Massachusetts, where he actually put a program into place that is identical to the program that the GOP savages as Obamacare. Except more people than ever are covered and have access to health care. But what makes Mitt really stand out is after he left office, he had all of his aides pull the hard drives from the computers, thus destroying all the email that existed.

Newt Gingrich:

Poppin’ Fresh, The Pillsbury Dough Boy! I rest my case.

Rick Perry:

Let’s call him Britney, as in Spears. Because OOPS he did it again!

Michele Bachmann:

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Because she SO seems like she’s on LSD.

Rick Santorum:

His candidacy is negligible, but I am enamored of the urban legend that says Santorum means Asshole in Latin. So A-HOLE it is.

Let’s end with a man that should have the handle “Fake Husband”.

In the meantime, Meg decided to give herself a Secret Service name. At first she thought Grey Goose, in honor of her favorite vodka, but that’s hardly flattering. Perhaps she should be something more glam like Brandy or Bailey’s? What would your handle be, peeps?

What Does Your Fortune Say?

25 years ago next week, Meg was asked by her dashing husband to join him in holy matrimony. Or holy something or other…

Seriously, he did a darn good job fooling Meg with the whole proposal thing. Today, Mama Kat asked us to share exactly how our proposals went down. Go ahead, sit on the edge of your seats kids, and read on:

Young Meg and her then boyfriend had dated for two years, when they found themselves on the way to an early winter wedding of some college friends. The dashing one was supposed to be picking up young Meg on a Friday evening at her parents house, and then head down to their hotel in Connecticut. Keep in mind this was before the invention of the cell phone. If someone was late, which someone was, the only recourse you had was to sit tapping your foot and get all annoyed, because you had no clue where that person might be.

Anyway, there was young Meg tapping away when the phone rang, with the dashing one saying he was going to be late. Why? It seems he had forgotten the wedding gift (another throwback thing, bringing a gift to a wedding) and had to return to the condo to retrieve it.

Me: What were you thinking? Is your head on straight today?

Dashing: I’m just a little frazzled tonight, I promise I’ll be there soon.

So Dashing gets caught in Friday night traffic, and arrives even later than expected. He quickly averts disaster by suggesting some Chinese food and a Mai Tai at their favorite Chinese restaurant before hitting the road, and Meg happily agrees to this, adjusting her attitude accordingly.

They ordered their favorite Szechuan beef and drinks, and Mr. Dashing started toasting Meg. She thought this is nice, and she sat back and relaxed, and was the recipient of more toasts, like” here’s to us and a great weekend”!

As we wrapped up the meal with the requisite dessert course, Meg opened her fortune cookie and read some lame saying, like:

Laugh and love lightly. You may need to lose weight.

When Mr. Dashing opened his cookie, he said this:

Meg was all like, “no really, what does it say“? Mr. Dashing then whipped out a black velvet box, with a very sparkly solitaire diamond, and repeated his question.

Meg was rather stunned, but in a good way. As people dining next to their table applauded, Meg tried on her engagement ring and smiled, thinking she’d never get another fortune cookie that topped this.

Blogger Badges

Meg was reading the other day that the Girl Scouts (of which she was a proud one!) have updated all of their badges to reflect their modern interests.

Meg remembers back in the day when earning a merit badge was pretty exciting. She recalled getting her reading badge, delivering several book reports to her troop leader on what she had read; showing off her plot and character knowledge. How exactly did Nancy Drew find that hidden staircase? The Secret in the Old Clock? Do kids even read Nancy Drew anymore?

She also remembers a cooking badge, in which her friend Debbie’s mom volunteered her kitchen for a few cooking sessions with some giggly girls. There they made vast quantities of Rice Krispy treats; they felt like they were in a commercial. Hey, it might not have been a molten chocolate lava cake, at least they learned the measurements and the cooking times, OK?

For some ungodly reason, she also learned Morse Code, , because you never know when you need to flash an SOS with a mirror at Girl scout camp. Meg can only imagine what the Girl Scout 2.0 version of Morse Code would be now. I mean they give out web design badges now – are they starting the Brownies out with their own little blogs, too?

And baking cookies have apparently gone by the boards as well. Now, you earn a locavore badge:

Imagine kids interested in locally produced and sustainable produce? Better yet, imagine you kids going all Suze Orman and earning one the these badges:

Well, Meg has decided bloggers need merit badges, too. and she has found some she things you might be interested in earning. Shall we?

Obviously, Meg has racked up enough points and expertise to have earned her red wine badge!

The hot tub badge is a no brainer. Just sit and soak and show off the red wine badge:

Meg likes to secure the tanning one every summer:

And of course, she would consider herself expert on this subject:

If you had to earn a badge in today’s world, what would it be? Meg thinks she has a never ending list; she envisions some handbag and boot badges in her future.