Tag Archive: how-to


I made something in the kitchen today other than a small fire.

I know, you’re proud. I can hear your applause right now.

Now, this is something we usually only make in the fall, but, dude, I got home from work tonight and was like I NEED PUMKIN CAKE RIGHT NOW ASAP so I just fuckin’ did it. And let me tell you, it’s as good as I remember from November.

I didn’t think to take pictures while I was in the process of actually making it, but when I went to eat it, I decided it was too good to just hoard and not share with you.  So, here, my friends, is a delicious recipe for a lovely fall dessert.

(It just isn’t seasonally appropriate anymore, but whatevs, I still dig it.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg*
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 can Pumpkin (13 oz)
  • 1 pkg Yellow Cake Mix
  • ½ cup butter (softened/melted)
  • 1 carton Cool Whip (or other whipped topping)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix evaporated milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and pumpkin in a bowl.  Pour mixture into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Mix cake mix with ½ cup melted butter.
  4. Crumble cake/butter mixture on top of pumpkin mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Serve with Cool Whip (or other whipped topping).
  8. ZOMG Yum!

Oh, heavens to Betsy, No! You MUST add the Cool Whip! It’s just not the same without it!!

Oh, yes, yes, yes!! That’s the ticket!!

Excuse me while I go enjoy my pumpkin cake!!

*”Oh, Meg, my little flower, my little bird, my little Nut Meg!”

Name that movie!!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!

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Here is what I have learned about success:

It’s all about managing expectations.

For example, I try to go first whenever I can when giving presentations in class.  That way, no matter how ill-prepared I may be or how often I fumble over my words or even how lame my powerpoint presentation really is, there is no one to compare it to yet.  Going first allows the presenter to set the expectations for the rest of the presentations and is the one that the rest are measured against.

If I can help it, I never, ever go last.  Going last is simply not an option.  I’m not that much of a douche bag that I will email my professor ahead of time and insist on going first, but I definitely try to be that person that is like, “Oh, yeah, no big deal, I’ll go first if no one else wants to.” You know, all nonchalant.  And when someone else is like “Oh, I want to go first!” (because that always happens- there are always other freaks like me who want to set the bar low) I’m always like *Hulk’d up* NO I’M GOING FIRST, YOU IDIOT FUCK!

Just kidding, I don’t turn green, grow three times my regular size, or bust out of my white (??) shirt and purple pants.  I don’t even shout at my classmates. I simply keep it real and let everyone know what’s up: I must go first.

In life, I finally learned to be that kid at a birthday party to have her gift opened first.  There were far too many times I tried to be that girl whose present was so good it had to be saved for last. You know, that whole save the best for last bullshit.  But what parents don’t tell you and what you learn after birthday party after birthday party is that it sucks when someone else gives the same gift as you- or worse, someone gives a better present than yours.  That is a situation that takes you on a bullet train to Sucktown.

The best time to give your gift is first.  That way, you have the best gift of the day, even if it’s just for a moment.  That’s a moment you can’t get back. And, that way, if there is a duplicate gift situation, you don’t look like a dickhole and you don’t have to sit in the corner and cry because someone gave the same gift you did.  You can know that you have won. (Because winning is really all that matters- ask Charlie Sheen.)

At work, you have to manage expectations too. If you do something really impressive one day that is something that is expected to be repeated, you better believe that you have just set a precedent.  You will be held to that standard from now on.  That is totally fine if you don’t mind working your butt off to constantly exceed expectations and/or consistently perform at a high level.  But if you’re lazy as fuck and it was done on a fluke, then you’re pretty much up Chocolate Creek without a popsicle stick. If you’re lazy as fuck at work and really just want to do the least amount of work as possible, then you should never do anything more than what is expected of you. Because that is the kiss of death for you, and you can no longer be lazy as fuck.

I have finally realized that even dealing with some family drama, it all comes down to managing expectations.  Drew and I have tried (and failed at) the being-sneaky approach- that just ends in tears (including my own). We can’t just lie about our plans and spring them on a certain person at the last minute- a shitstorm of drama explodes out of seemingly nowhere.  We have also tried the let’s-be-really-vague-about-our-plans approach and that just ended in bitterness, shouting, resentment, anger, and, yes, you guessed it, tears (including my own).  Being vague has usually just resulted in having to lie (which we all know I am not good at) and/or just really awful family moments.

So, this time, we are trying the honesty-is-the-best-policy approach.  This approach includes telling both parties exactly what’s up and setting clear expectations for everyone involved. That way, when the time comes to leave, no one is surprised or upset.  I’m psyched about this.

Here’s hoping.

So, my friends, go forth and embrace this managing expectations lifestyle I have adopted.  Share with me your success stories. Or just stories about your childhood birthday parties. I would enjoy that as well.

Today, my friends, at Adventures from Grandma’s Attic, I am gonna show you how to make a homemade card.

We’re doing this because

  1. It’s my blog.
  2. What I say goes
  3. I had to make a card for work
  4. I didn’t know what else to blog about, so I took the opportunity while I had it

So, the Powers That Be at my place of employment decided that tomorrow, Friday, April 1, should be a Support Our Troops kind of day. Community day for the Armed Forces, the memo said. And, since I tend to:

a.)    be the co-chair of goodwill and all things creative and artsy (despite my lack of actual talent) OR

b.)    the ambassador of coloring during work hours/for actual work purposes

the honor of creating the actual card to send out to the troops was bestowed upon me.

Not that I’m complaining.

So, without further ado, here we go….!

First, this is all the stuff I used:

I want to note that I made all of my cut outs by using my Cricut.  I didn’t include a picture of me using my cricut because it’s a huge ordeal, and because I did all of my cutting last night and didn’t think to take pictures. Basically, I love my cricut and it really improved the quality of my scrapbooking pages (and has come in handy for other craft projects). I can’t imagine going back to the days of not being able to use one.  It’s an amazing tool.

Next, I loaded up my letters and stuck them in my sticker maker.  I have the 2.5 inch sticker maker by XYRON. The 5 inch and the 1.5 inch sticker makers are really nice, too, though and would work just as well. I load all of my letters on at one time to save time and not waste any adhesive.

This is what the front of the card looked like after I put all my letter stickers on.  It still looked a little sparse, so I did this next:

I gathered my star and firework cutouts.

I loaded them into the sticker maker.

This is what spits out after they’ve become stickers.

After I placed my star cut-outs on the front of the card, this is what happened:

Look how cute that is!!

Note: I kind of stole this from the internet.  I was trying to think of something cute and nice to put on said card, so I googled something like “support our troops homemade card ideas” and found something similar to this. This is the link to the website I found, and it had a lot of cute cards.

It was time to work on the inside once the front was complete.

I used my roll-on adhesive to line one side of my cut-out.  This red border was going to outline my text.

I stuck it down in the middle of the card.

If I wanted to get really fancy, I could have cut out more letters or found some fancy font to copy but I just used my own handwriting to write the message on the inside.  I thought it looked a little jank without a little pizzazz, so I added my leftover stars to spruce it up a bit.

Then I called it good.

The girls at work and I will sign it tomorrow and send it off to bring a little cheer to our troops, wherever they may be.

🙂

So, I went out on the town with a couple girlfriends last weekend. It was the first time I did something social on the weekend in a month. I’m not kidding.

Oh, except for the weekend before, when the two other legs of the tripod came to my house and we stayed in and watched movies in our jammies.

Anyway.

For this night out, I made jello shots. It was the first time since junior year of college that I had anything to do with jello shots. I think a few years apart did some good. I wasn’t as irresponsible this time as I was when I was 20 years old. Well, irresponsible in the sense that I didn’t black out and throw up for two days.  There was no blacking out nor was there vomit this time. Just other… less-than-wise decisions were made.

I’m putting last Saturday night in the win column.

It seems that the only things I can successfully create in the kitchen are alcohol-related.

Without further ado…

ZOMG Yum!

  • 6 ounces of Jello (the big box!)
  • 16 ounces boiling water
  • 6 ounces cold water
  • 10 ounces alcohol

I used Bacardi Razz, obviously, to go with my raspberry jello but you can use whatever flavor jello and kind of alcohol you like!

The first thing I did was boil some water. I didn’t watch the pot the whole time, though, because we all know a watched pot never boils. (hahaha)

Then I poured the boiling water into a big measuring cup.

Next, I dissolved the jello dust into the boiling water.

Once the jello was completely dissolved, I poured in the cold water and my alcohol of choice.

PRETTY!!!

While the water was boiling, I set up the little cups the mixture was going to be going into.

I used the smallest little Dixie cups I could find. I put them in a cake pan type thingy to keep them all in one place and to cut down on the mess I was inevitably going to make.

I filled each cup a little less than half-full.

Told you I’m a mess-maker.

It was after this that I realized that using a ladle would be way easier.

This proved to be much easier. And less messy.

Once all of this alcoholic liquid was poured (or ladled) into the tiny cups, I was done! It was time to refrigerate those little babies.

pretty!!!!

I didn’t remember to get (attractive) pictures of them when we were consuming them. I did, however, manage to snipe a pic of Chiefy for you. He has a weird thing happening with his eyes, so we can pretend that it’s because he’s drunk/hungover even though it was mostly that I woke him up from a little catnap because he looked too cute for words all curled up on his blankie.

how cute is he!?!? Crazy eyes and all!

I was going to try my hand at a domestic skill today.

Actually, I did try my hand at a domestic skill today. It wasn’t just an intention; I actually did it.

I planned on taking pictures of this foray into “cooking” and provide a little how-to for all of you to be able to try out the easiest little snack ever.

And when I say planned, I actually mean that I did take pictures.  But then… well, then I stopped taking pictures.

Please note that I did just say that this was the “easiest little snack ever.”

Well, let’s just get into this. And you’ll see what happened.

Here’s what you need:

Easiest. Snack. Ever.

Chocolate kisses, pretzels and M&Ms. That’s seriously it.

So, here’s a very important step. You must unwrap the chocolate kisses.

Next, you must place the pretzels onto a cookie sheet. Any size cookie sheet will do. And you don’t have to be as anal as I was about the placement of the pretzels but they should not overlap.

Once you’ve placed your pretzels on your cookie sheet, top each pretzel with a Kiss.

Okay, here’s where I stopped taking pictures.

I thought I was doing everything right. I had the oven set to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and I let the pretzel/kiss combo hang out for a couple minutes.

What is supposed to happen is that the Kiss will soften just enough that it is easy to push an M&M onto the top of it and it’ll smush down just the tiniest bit. Then you let them hang out to cool down and harden into one pretzel/kiss/M&M creation. Then you eat and enjoy.

But, uhm, that didn’t happen for me.

When I went to push an M&M onto one of the kisses, it didn’t work. There was no smush. The kiss was still hard. I thought I hadn’t waited long enough. Maybe a minute isn’t long enough.  So I put it back in the oven. And when I tried again, it still wasn’t soft enough. So then I turned the temperature of the oven up.  Like, way up. (I don’t know why I thought that was the best idea! Domestic skills clearly are not an instinct I possess!!) A minute later, I went to check on them and push an M&M into a kiss and ohhhhh no.

The chocolate had totally burned. And everything looked… not right.

I think it was just moments short of catching fire, to be honest.

So I looked at it and felt disappointed in myself. Then I threw it away and gave up.

For Halloween weekend, Seneca and I did something special.

We made Skittle Vodka.

It was a couple weeks ago that I read one of Barefoot Foodie‘s posts and immediately knew that it was something I needed to do.

It was something I had never heard of and I was a little embarrassed that I didn’t think of it myself. Regardless, when I saw it, I knew I needed to enlist someone to do this with me. Seneca was just the girl.

While I was going by the instructions I had found and making vodka with the regular version of skittles, Seneca opted to make her batch of skittle vodka out of the tropical kind.

I posted a preliminary picture of this activity on my facebook page the day I started this project.

Ohhhh, yes!!

What I Used:

  • 2 big bags of skittles
  • (just over) a fifth of vodka (any kind will do!)
  • four plastic bottles
  • measuring cup
  • 4 glasses
  • lots and lots of coffee filters

I sorted each of the colors into cutesy plastic cups we had in the basement. One of the “recipes” we found said that only 60 skittles were necessary per 6 ounces of vodka but I just used 2 whole bags.  I started out by counting but decided it was a waste of time since I didn’t intend on wasting the leftover skittles.

Once they were all sorted, I sniped a pic because I like when things are organized. The purple ones are in a different cup because they were being rejected. I hate grape flavored things.

I should mention that I poured about 7 ounces of vodka into each of the plastic containers. Once all the skittles were sorted by color, I dumped the skittles into the vodka. Right away, the color started dissolving off of the skittles. Every time I walked by them, I gave each of the plastic bottles a good shake to help the candy dissolve.  It takes a while for the skittles to dissolve all the way. I let mine sit overnight.  Actually, they probably sat for a little over 24 hours.

Once all the candy was dissolved I began the long, long project of straining the skittle vodka mixture. You can see in my picture that I used hair ties to secure the coffee filters around the glasses and poured a little bit of the vodka in each glass. If you plan on making skittle vodka, I suggest you make sure you have plenty of time to strain your vodka. It took a long time and it’s a messy job. (Or I’m a child and always end up making a mess. Or, I’m a shit show and no matter what I do, I always end up sticky and covered in vodka. Either one.)

I don’t know if you’re supposed to strain it more than once, but I only strained mine once. I didn’t have any more patience by the time it was done with the first round. The most important thing is just to make sure it’s not lumpy and that you don’t have any white stuff floating around. (That sounds disgusting.)

Oh, I also changed coffee filters often.

I don’t have any more pictures of the skittle vodka process but once everything was strained and the original plastic containers were cleaned, I put the newly strained skittle-infused vodka back into the plastic containers. After that, I put the vodka in the freezer. Where it belongs.

It remained in the freezer until we were ready to drink.

There are lots of different ways to enjoy this fun little treat but we drank ours in the form of shots. Because we’re out of our minds. We did chase it with sprite, though, and that was delish.

If you drink responsibly, you could probably mix it and use actual ice cubes or something. And sip it rather than chugging it. I don’t know.

Anyway, it was awesome and I would totally do it again. Only next time I would think about laying down newspaper on the counter or something and covering myself in plastic and wearing gloves so I didn’t end up covered in it like I did this time.