Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dinner & A Movie Jan. 19, 2013

The delightful Mamma Mia! from Universal Pictures.
Tonight's movie fare is the film adaptation of Mamma Mia! Unlike her turn as Cosette in Les Miserables, I think Amanda Seyfried was the perfect choice to play Sophie. She's young and fresh and exuberant and gave a wonderful performance. A bit of slapstick, some surprising vocals (Meryl Streep and Christine Baranski) and some winceable ones (Pierce Brosnan) and a clever plot make this one of my favorite movies. I love to listen to the soundtrack while I'm doing chores around the house. Sometimes I go crazy and dance like a wild woman.

To go along with Mamma Mia, I am making my dad's special spaghetti sauce. This recipe is absolutely yummy and tastes better if it simmers on the stove for a few hours. Three or four at the least.

Dad's Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound sweet Italian sausage (Hot can be used but it changes the entire taste of the dish)
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 15-ounce cans of Hunts Tomato Sauce + 1 28-ounce can of Hunts Tomato Sauce ( I don't know why it's broken out like this but it is and we never vary)
Ground Oregano to taste - I add 1 TBS when the meat is browing, then 1-2 TBS during the cooking
Italian Herbs to taste - same as above
Button Mushrooms (optional)
Black olives (optional)

Brown meat and sausage in pan, drain off fat. Return to pan and add onions, bell pepper, garlic, tomato sauce and seasonings. Simmer for three to four hours, adding more seasoning as needed. About 30 before you intend to serve it, add mushrooms and olives.

Serve over pasta and with warm garlic bread.

Happy reading,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Allure of Corsets

Let's talk corsets. These dandy boob lifter/tummy suckers have been around for centuries. Around the sixteenth century, French women donned corsets made of iron and velvet. Ouch. Talk about a heavy burden. The idea less about creating a tiny waist as it was about highlighting the breasts. The earlier versions flattened the breasts but pushed them up so the wearer had a "shelf" of round, perfection regardless of the true state of her girls. The trend took off and when it got to England, those smart cookies switched the iron for whalebone and a whole new generation of boobs were uplifted much more comfortably.
The Elizabethans got creative and added a light, carved wooden piece to the front of the bodice. This busk was generally used for special occasions and sometimes was given to a would-be romantic interest. I guess back then they passed the bra instead of burning it. I personally can't see handing over my bra as a token of my affection. I'd rather take it off and leave it on the floor, but I digress.
Never trust a big butt and a smile.
The 1700 and 1800's brought a new appreciation and duty for the corset. Now women wanted that tiny waist, the steel straight spine AND the jiggly boob top. The corsets of those days did all that and more. Judging by this picture, I'd say the more included a Brazilian butt lift at the least.
The Regency era saw some modifications. Women strayed from the full torso corset to the pre-cursor of the bra. A smaller but still uplifting material that wrapped around the upper back and stayed in place with more traditional bra straps we're accustomed to.
Show me the bling!
These days, corsets are thought of as sexy, flirty and accessories. Unlike their staid sisters of old, today's corsets come in a variety of colors, fabrics, feathers and blingatry.
I, personally, love wearing them. There doesn't even have to be a special occasion. I  just light being all tucked and sucked and not have to worry about a roll popping out at an inopportune moment. Come on, you know you've had that happen. Your pull up or pull down body sleeker has done the waistband roll and instead of a sexy silhouette you look like the Michelin tire man. Yep. Been there, done that.
Can you just image the fun she had getting
helped into this corset?
Image courtesy of AmbeRed Photo at
But corsets are a different breed. They're more fun when you're helped into AND out of one. The tugging of the laces to get the fit absolutely perfect is way more fun than Scarlett complained about in Gone with the Wind.
There also happens to be a ton of really great places online to buy them, regardless of your color preference, size and budget. I heartily recommend Glamorose. Those ladies have it going on.Another excellent site is Hourglass Angel. Seriously, Google corset shopping and you'll be sucked in. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Happy reading,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

21 Days

They say it takes twenty one days to make a habit stick. I don't know about that. With all that we do in our lives, how is it possible for anyone to do anything twenty one straight days except sleep, eat and check Facebook and Twitter?

What is a habit, anyway?
Merriam-Webster defines it as a behavior pattern acquired  by frequent repetition or or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.

Personally, I thought doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result was the definition of insanity but I can see some wiggle room here.
So, it's time to build some new habits for 2013. On day 15, I'd like to think I'm doing pretty well on my goals. Well, on some of them. One of them?

I've gotten very good at logging in to My Fitness Pal every day and journaling as I'm supposed to. I think this is already an ingrained habit because it's like Facebook -- sort of an addiction.I have friends on there whose progress is highly motivating and I'm eager to see what they're up to today. I'm a news junkie so I equate it to that: what's going on today? I have to log in to find out. Done.

We don't even need to discuss Facebook and Twitter. I'm an addicted user of those services.

Image courtesy of adamr at
Another of my goals is to write a slew of books in 2013. And by slew I mean thirty gazillion. Or twelve. I don't remember the exact number. Being a crazy person  (trying to form habits makes you crazy, remember?) I broke down the approximate number of words for each book  then how many I'd have to write in a month, a week, a day then an hour. Trust me, I know that was a form of procrastinating but it actually helps me. Instead of seeing the entire elephant (say 1.5 million words in one year), I see doable elephant bites ((6) 685 word sprints a day). 685 words in thirty minutes? Dude, I am all over that. Trouble is...well, doing it. Making a habit is darned hard when life intervenes and you end up with a cold that keeps you in bed and unable to focus for two days or you have a migraine or you're having computer issues. I'm usually a roll with it kind of person but some days the roller wins and after setbacks and false starts I say forget it, I'll come back tomorrow.

Does that mean I'm failing in my attempt to create a daily writing habit? Yes. Does that mean I'm going to fail at writing a slew of books this year? Nope. Not one damn bit.

I think habit is just a sly word for persistence. I'd rather be hitting my head against the brick wall of writing than doing just about anything else professionally (except sing but since I can't carry a tune, that's out.)
In my mind, it's not necessarily about doing it every single day as it is getting it done.If that means writing ten hours in one day after losing time the previous day, then fine. Technically it doesn't count as a day two in a habit forming attempt but the work is still getting done.

As you can see, it's all very convoluted.The bottom line is: do what you want to do, the way you want to do it as long as you're getting it done.Whatever it may be.

Now get out there and make some habits or something!

Happy reading,