The Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest New Orleans Style!

Our crew brought down the Haus Saturday night kicking off Oktoberfest season. A great time was had by all (and from what I heard Sunday morning, more fun was had by some than others!) Here is a sampling of photos from the event. For those in the New Orleans area, visit The Deutsches Haus website for more info and stop by any Friday or Saturday night in Oktober.

Bratwurst, and Sauerkraut, and Cabbage Rolls, OH MY!No one gets out without at least one round of The Chicken Dance Our CrewThe Big Monkey and MeWorms and MargheritaStinks and SparklesWorms and his Boar Bristle hat
(Hey, Worms, was that hat made in Spain?)


I did it! I did it! I did it!

I am so excited!!! I figured out how to do the three column layout with this tutorial (modified). Alright, lay it on me and be honest... do you think it is too crowded now? Also, does it seem to be loading more slowly? I am going to work on the spacing tomorrow, but it is getting late and I'm pooped.

Check out my new Favicon!

How cool am I?! You see the purple little fleur de lis next to the URL for my site? Yep, I'm cool! I made that all by myself using this tutorial. I'm becoming quite the HTML'er. Still trying to figure out the three column tutorial, but that is what the weekend is for.


How to Make a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake on the cheap

Who doesn't love a good cookie cake? Uh, nobody doesn't love a good cookie cake so, you know this is a winner anywhere you need to bring desert. The problem is if you go to those cookie cake places in the mall, you are going to spend at least $25 AND I think the cookie cakes they sell have a weird "fake" taste to them.

My BFF, ClumsyGirl, taught me this trick on a recent vacation to Florida. I have now executed it flawlessly three times and it has been a hit! Last night, I broke out the secret recipe again for the September Birthday cake for my office. I am delighted to now share the age old secret with you.
You start with any size pan (could be round, square, rectangle, heart, kidney, you name it). Spray that sucker real good with Pam (I use generic). This is important because it can not stick or you have big problems!
Open the package of prepacked, precut chocolate chip cookie dough. Place them strategically around the pan. You may need two packages depending upon the size of the pan you chose.
Smush away to your heart's content. Take out your frustration on your boss, lover, child, mailman, cable guy, whatever. The dough will rise, but make sure you at least cover the bottom of the pan.Put it in the oven on 325 degrees per package instructions. I check it after 12 minutes because my oven sucks and burns everything. If you have a good oven, then just follow the package instructions.When it starts smelling too good to resist, it is probably done. Take it out and let it cool. This is super important! You can't be too impatient. If you are, it will fall apart when you turn it over to get it out of the pan. Get a super cute plate to put it on so you look fancy! When it is cool, flip it over onto the plate. Flip again so you see the pretty side.
Best investment ever... $9.99 cake decorating kit from Walmart. Read the instructions and practice and then express yourself on your newly created palate.
Voila... my submission to one of my favorite blogs, Cake Wrecks!

I know this seems like it would be common sense, but I never thought of it before, so I thought you might not have either.

Cookie dough= $3.00
Icing= $3.00
Knowing you saved $19 on your friend's bday cake= Priceless!


I am on a winning streak! Thanks Thrifty Momma

I have told you guys about Entrecard before. It is sort of an ad swapping network among bloggers. You buy your ads with points and I just won 2000 points from Bonnie at Thrifty Momma Ramlings!!! That is like winning the lottery. Can you believe it? Now if I could only win the actual lottery!

I also won a peanut butter mixer a couple of weeks ago and an awesome sesame street CD from NOLA Mommy just recently. The Little Monkey is very keen on Elmo right now.


Need Blog formatting help!

Has anyone successfully made their blogger minima template into a three column blog instead of the default two column? I found an article on it by one of the "blogging tips" website, but when I tried to edit the HTML, it didn't follow with what was in the text. Any ideas or experience in this?


Little Monkey loves to vacuum~ Just like Daddy!

Today it was discovered that the Little Monkey is obsessed with the vacuum cleaner as demonstrated in this video. Another Monkey worshiping the Dyson!


Running of the Weiners! aka Dachshunds go wild

Today was the second annual Running of the Weiners at the Cincinnati Oktoberfest. As you may know, I am quite partial to the weiner (dog that is, take your mind out of the gutter, girls!). We have two dachshunds, Willy and Nelson. In honor of Weiner Race Day, Willy and Nelson donned their own race day attire and, instead of racing, took a nap in bed!


The Box- What goes in must come out!

When we returned from our Gustav hurrication, the house was a wreck. So, I instituted what I thought at the time was an ingenious and revolutionary idea- The Box! Everything that was lying around that did not belong was to go into the box to be reviewed and put away at a later date. This included mail, random papers, light bulbs, candles, pencils, computer microchips, and even, for some reason, a full size drill. When the box was full, the house looked great. All surfaces were clear and when you walked in the door, it looked like the "adult" house I am always striving for.

The box sat and sat and sat some more until finally Big Monkey decided to go through it this week. What that means is everything had to come out of the box. And, somehow, it has all made its way back to where it was before it went into the box. The tools didn't make it to the garage, the bills now sit on the dining room buffet, the light bulbs still haven't been replaced, and the computer chips are not any closer to being in the computers.

Thus goes the story of the box...


I must be getting old. I am waking up at 5am.

I have started getting up at 4:50am on Tuesday and Thursdays to meet two friends to exercise in the park. I think that is a little crazy but I am enjoying it and definitely feeling the burn. But, in my world, only old people and garbage men should be up that early!

Doling out the awards- Day 2

For today, I would like to pass on the "I heart (love) your blog award". This award was bestowed upon me by my good friends at From A Yellow House In England, Rambling Stuff, and The Natural State Hawg. Thank you for "hearting" me and I "heart" you too!

I would like recognize two blogs by passing this award on to them:

Sock1220- This is my cousin's blog and she does a good job of keeping the Louisiana SPCA in the spotlight. Keep it up cuz!

GMG Sisters- Always has some interesting content. It is supposed to be three sisters blogging, but it seems that Mabel carries most of the load.

Now, if you "heart" my blog too, please subscribe by email, RSS feed, or you can join my "fan club". If you look on the side bar, Blogger has a new feature where you can become a "follower". I am not sure if this is only for people using blogger, but I don't think so. Does anyone know?


Is that an award for me on your blog, or are you just happy to see me?

Really, folks, you don't have to bribe me with awards to read your blog... I, of course, would read your blogs anyway, 'cause they are awesome! But, seriously, I have been lucky enough to be given a slew of blogging awards recently and need to disperse them. Since it is fairly time consuming to give them out, I am going to do one a day for the next couple of days. I am going to try to give them to blogs that I have not given awards to before to share the love, so please don't take it personally if I skip you this once. I still care!

Little did you know, but you are now looking at one Kick Ass Blogger. Yep, that's what the award says and three folks are in agreement. I was awarded the Kick Ass Blogger Award by Gin at E-Pamilya, Elle at Maxwell the Tatooed Boy, and Hawg at The Natural State Hawg.
Ok, here are the rules of this particular award:

* Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"
* Let 'em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they've received an award
* Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to Mammadawg, the inventor of this award.
* Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!

Ok, here are my recipients in no particular order:

Groovy Kind of Life
That Nora Girl
It is Nap Time
Life With My Flowers
The Starnes Family

Congrats to these five and more awards to come...


Today's highlights!

The Little Monkey and I met up with the Triplets this morning at the Louisiana Children's Museum. Triplet W took LM for a spin around the Museum in this wooden car. LM complained that W had quite the lead foot!
Thanks to RZ for bringing me back this blogtastic t-shirt from her trip to L.A. It says "You looked hotter online". So funny and yet, sadly, often very true. Sorry for the blurry photo. I haven't quite gotten the self-portrait down yet.


Sending good wishes to Texas

I am really hoping for the best for those in the Houston and Galveston area. We have been through this and these people are going to have a rough time ahead. I used to be an archaeologist in Port Lavaca, TX in my younger days and spent many a weekend in Galveston. I really hope the town pulls through. There are a lot of nice people there. Even though in New Orleans we always hope a storm turns another direction, I hate to see anything of this size threaten others. I am hoping that the storm passes quickly and those effected can return to normalcy with minimal damage.


Shutterfly PhotoBooks

Shutterfly.com - 120x60 static

Since the Little Monkey was born, I have used Shutterfly to print all of his photos. I have also made several photobooks for him and made an awesome calendar for all the grandparents around the holidays. I really like Shutterfly because they keep your photos til the end of time as opposed to other sites that delete them after a certain period.

I thought I would post a photo of some of the books I have made to give you some ideas for your little ones. I made one book that has all of his 4D ultrasound pics in it and I added funny captions to them. The second book I made was a Little Monkey friends and family poem book. I made a short poem for each person and took a photo. It turned out great. I also made an ABC book. I took a photo of all kinds of different items.. one for each letter and again wrote a little poem for each thing. Shutterfly has a template for this particular book and you just drag the pics and put in the words.

Right now, if you click on the link above, they are having a deal where you get free shipping when you spend $25. I am going to start ordering my stuff for the holidays with this deal.

If you have questions on how I did my books or need some creativity help, let me know.


I made a blueberry pie!

Several months ago, my aunt went blueberry picking and gave us a couple pounds to freeze. When we got back from our Gustav-imposed Baton Rouge "hurrication", of course our freezer was rapidly defrosting. Fortunately, most things were cold enough to salvage if cooked soon. Tonight I pondered what to do with those blueberries and the extra pie crust I had from some quiche I had made.

I've never made a fruit pie, and didn't have a crust for the top, but googled a recipe and found this one, where you make a struedel instead of using another crust. Amazingly, I had most of the ingredients on hand and went to work. The only thing I left out was the corn starch because I didn't have it and I used lime juice instead of lemon juice. I also used splenda instead of sugar as the recipe suggests and was a bit worried about that, but I can't tell the difference. It turned out delish and I had two pieces!

On another note, several visitors and bloggy friends have given me blog awards lately and I am honored and appreciative. Please don't think I have ignored you. I am just trying to get some time to really think who I want to bestow them to. Thanks again!


Elevator Etiquette... Learn It, Live it!

Everyone who works in a high rise office building knows, there is nothing worse than lack of elevator etiquette. If you are clueless, let me give you a few lessons to start you on your way to a better you...

1) Hey , you, lady who just had a smoke break! You stink! And you are standing in a very small space, very close to my nasal passages. Get yourself a nicotine patch or take the stairs!

2) Hey, you, fat lady! Please take a look in the elevator before backing yourself in butt first and sticking your nasty rear end in my stomach. It is rude and bizarre, and uncalled for. Walk in facing forward and then turn around a safe and comfortable distance away from me.

3) Hey, you, lawyer in a big hurry! Please don't stick your briefcase into the doors of a completely full elevator right as they are closing, and then squeeze yourself in. Yes, I know this is hard to believe, but we also have places to go, and after the third lawyer doing this on the same elevator, it gets old. There are eight other elevators which will be coming any minute. Wait your damn turn!

4) Hey, you, with your nose pressed against the elevator doors, waiting for them to open! I am in the elevator and need to get off of it. That is very hard to do with you standing in the center of the doors and stepping into the elevator. Do you think the ten people who rode down with me are just joyriding? Yes, we actually would like to get off on the ground floor, and only then should you get on.

5) Hey, you, on your cellphone, in the elevator! I don't care! I don't care that you have to take the car in, I don't care that your boss said that to you, I don't care where you are going out for lunch. Get off your phone! Can't it wait until you get to your desk? Save your minutes, for God's sake!

Ughh! People drive me batty! Please feel free to add your own...


The Little Monkey has fun with the other animals!

Little Monkey has had a grand old time hanging with some of his buddies lately. He had three recent playdates... One when we were in Baton Rouge to visit Mike the Tiger, LSU's mascot, and two dates this weekend visiting the ducks in Audubon Park. The Little Monkey is becoming quite the Ladies Man as all three of his "dates" were with girlfriends!
Yes, he is going full on Louisiana style in a diaper only in this picture. During the power outage, it was discovered The Little Monkey is quite the sweater (i.e. one who sweats profusely) and it was adament he be as naked as possible.


To all ENTRECARD Droppers....

I want to thank you for continuing to visit and comment this week even though I have been without internet since Tuesday morning and have not been able to reciprocate. I really appreciate it. We got internet back today so I'm back in the blogging world again. If you don't know what Entrecard is, and are a blogger, it is a great way to get traffic to your site and meet some cool people. If you are not a blogger, but enjoy my blog, you should check out the "blog of the day" on my sidebar.


We're home...

We came home yesterday to find our home perfectly fine but without electricity. Sorry I haven't posted but at 10am Tuesday morning all the phone lines in the neighborhood went dead and that was the end of internet access. We still don't have it at home and I am posting from work (after hours) so I'm not sure if I will be able to post this weekend.

My whole body aches! My arms and back are killing me from dragging huge tree limbs from my Dad's back yard and then, to top off the week of fun, I GOT BIT BY A DOG IN THE ASS!! Yesterday, right when we got home, I was outside chatting with a neighbor when our other neighbor let his two huge dogs out sans leash. The things charged at us with vengeance in their eyes and this 80 pound husky came charging right for my backside. It hurt like hell and scared the crap out of me (not literally). I immediate went inside and cried from fear and shock. I would post a pic, but it's not that kind of blog :) I think I'll be fine, but what a way to finish off the Gustav experience!

Big Monkey just called and we do have electricty now at the shop and home, so back to normal, but with an eye on the ever-approaching Ike.

My friend at work noticed that right now we have the Musical Hurricane Trio in the Atlantic right now- Hannah (Montana), Ike (Turner), and Josephine (Baker). Hope they don't make too much noise!


Gustav hammers Baton Rouge

Well, we probably would have been better to stay in New Orleans on this one, although you never know, but it hit Baton Rouge and how! This is probably one of the worst hurricanes Baton Rouge has seen.

We lost power about 12 noon. The winds really started picking up about 2pm around 90 miles a hour gusts.

I am including a video. It starts with a very large tree in my dad's backyard which shortly after fell onto the boat you see. The action starts at the 24 second mark when our across the street neighbor actually caught video of the tree falling. A little later we hopped in the car and went to check out a neighbor's house who had a tree fall on their car. There were fallen trees all across the roads.

We are just so lucky that tree didn't fall on the house. Seems like the worst is over, but most likely no electricity for a few days. We will most likely head back to NOLA when they allow it with generator in tow. Thank God for generators!

Thanks again for all your prayers and well wishes. What a Labor Day weekend!