Two Halloween Videos to Hold You Over.

Happy Halloween! Do you celebrate Halloween? I'm sure you do. Because people who don't like wasting money to dress up like a fool every year probably don't bother reading nonsense blogs like this.

I've taken the liberty of stealing drollgirl's blog post today and sharing les mots sombre of Henri the cat.

Henri, l'Haunting. Enjoy.

And now I leave you with a scary song. A song that I played the other day while I was home alone because I thought I was brave, but then immediately turned it off.

If you don't recognize this song, I don't even know why we're friends.

(If you're scared, just pretend you're watching a commercial for a PMS drug or some kind of feminine product. The elevator scene lends itself especially well to this notion.)

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Some Pre-Halloween Nuggets.

This past weekend was the annual Halloween costume contest. I LOVE Halloween and I always have a special place in my heart for 1. creative costumes and 2. costumes that took some homemade effort. (Speaking of creative and homemade, did you guess what the three of us are going to be? Click here to see the clues.)

Here are some shots of the costumes we saw out on display.


Marty the Zebra, from Madagascar 3

Fionna, from Adventure Time 

The Exorcist, complete with green contact lenses. 

 Dia de los Muertos

Alfalfa, from The Little Rascals 

Abraham Lincoln (Every time I see this picture, I think of THIS.)

Noteworthy conversations from this weekend...

Did I ever tell you that my mom thinks I'm the meanest thing on the planet? Every now and then she likes to remind me about it. While on a phone call with my mom, she said to me: "I'm going to sprinkle you with holy water and then step back to avoid the sizzle." 

While driving home last night, the song Ghostbusters, from Ray Parker Jr. came on. I said to Eric: "They played this song at the costume contest and I got chills. If we lived on another planet where everyone had theme music, I'd want this to be my song. You know, so every time I'd enter a room, this song would play. And I'd make sure to walk in like a Ghostbuster, too."


I entered Biscuit in a local "pet costume" contest on Facebook. I don't know what the prize is, but seeing as how I'm broke, I'll take it, whatever it is. So this is where I get all desperate and beggy. Please go HEEEEEEEEEEEEERE and vote for Biscuit's costume. And make sure to select the VOTE button (not the typical "Like" button). All of the other contestants are wearing actual "dog costumes", while Biscuit's is real people clothing. I found it at a local thrift store for $1.99 and HAD to have it. When I tweeted about it, Wombat Central was like "You should totally put that on Biscuit." And I was like "Ha. That's funny." And then I was like "Fuck. I totally SHOULD put this on Biscuit." (Thanks for the suggest, Wombat.). Anyway, it will take 3 seconds to vote and there's no sign up or anything weird required.

Also, it looks like you can vote every day. So, feel free to vote for Biscuit for the next three days!!!



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A Sneak Peak at Our Costumes: Can You Guess?

Eric and I will be taking Pearl to an annual Halloween event tomorrow. Since she'll be with her mom on Halloween night, this daytime version gives me her a chance to bask in the costumed glory of Halloween twice each year.

Here are some sneaky peakys at all three of our costumes. Can you figure out what they are? (Hint: None of the costumes have anything to do with the other.)

My character is a female. This is her hat.

Eric's character is a male. This is his symbol.

This is Pearl's character. He's an animal.

Any guesses???

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Wordless Wednesday.

In a galaxy far, far away: Chewbacca Pearl waits patiently while we shop for clothes.

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Pear, Bacon, and Bleu Cheese Pizza.

This isn't so much a "recipe" as it's more just me posting pictures of this delicious pizza we made. If you're looking for a new combination of toppings for your own homemade variations, I highly suggest these.

We used Trader Joe's Herb & Garlic pizza dough. (Originally I attempted a recipe from scratch, but it ended badly as a sticky pile of nasty.) Top with a light layer of grated Swiss and Gruyere.

Add medium-cooked bacon pieces, bleu cheese, chopped pecans, and sliced pears. Finish with another light layer of Swiss and Gruyere. Tip: Don't slice your pears until the moment you're ready to use them. Otherwise, they'll turn brown and people will be like "Ew, what's that? I hate brown stuff! Gross!!" And then you'll be like "They're just pears! They still taste fine, I swear!" And then people will never trust your cooking again and they'll hate you forever.

Admiring my masterpiece. My hair has rabies.

Cook according to the directions on the Trader Joe's dough. I think it was 20 minutes at 400 degrees, but don't quote me on that.

Eat a lot. The pears make it healthy.

On a related note, the pizza pan we use is the Cooking With Calphalon Pizza Pan (Google Affiliate Ad) from Kohl's. We've only had it for a short time, but have already used it several times. The verdict: The crust comes out perfect and crispy on the outside/ soft on the inside. Never soggy or burnt. It's nonstick, lightweight, and cost about 1/3 less than its competitor's "pizza stone" product. Great purchase.


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A Day in Ojai.

Ojai is a small town located about 80 miles north of Los Angeles. It's known for being a prime getaway spot for the rich and famous. Most of the town shops boast "all natural" and "organic" products (see: expensive).

Even though I grew up just 30 minutes away from Ojai (pronounced O-hi), I rarely went there. It's a drive through the mountains and always seemed much farther than it really is.

A few weekends ago, Eric and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and spent the afternoon there.

Our first stop was a restaurant called Feast Bistro. I'd done some internet researching and found this place to be recommended by lots of people. It fit our dining criteria (good looking food, not too pricey, located in the middle of town) and we were both eager to try it out.

The restaurant itself was small and homey. There was also a nice patio area closed in with tall shrubs and twinkly lights.

The open-concept kitchen was right across from our table and I had a prime spot for watching all the action go down. The two chefs seemed like they were buddies, cracking jokes while making meals. They even came over and asked how our food was and we had some small talk. It was a really laid back, friendly atmosphere.

Eric ordered the pulled pork sandwich and I got the burger. Both were EXCELLENNNNT.

Look at all that crispy cheese! Drool.

After lunch, we walked around the downtown section. Which is all of one block, so that didn't take much time. We also stopped into a dimly lit bar that had six other people in it, including the bartender. Two of them had limps, two walked out of a trick door/ wall, one went into the bathroom and never came out, and one was a pirate dressed in Harley-Davidson attire. The jukebox was playing a slow, solem cover of Prince' When Doves Cry. I expected Laura Palmer to come walking in at any moment.

We came across this stairwell that led up to the post office bell tower. Too bad it was no longer open for everyday people to hastily climb up and risk their lives on.

We rode the trolley all through town. It was only $1 per person and a great way to get a lay of the land. It wasn't like the usual touring trolley that shows you town highlights- it was actually Ojai's version of a city bus. So we really got to see shops and neighborhoods we would have never discovered on our own. Like the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, where the rich and famous stay.

Peace out, trolley.

We also saw a couple having their wedding photos taken at this beautiful venue, The Lavender Inn. Watching their awkward, posed stances made me cringe and I couldn't bring myself to include them in my photo.

We exited back at our original stop and grabbed some goodies before heading back home.

If you've never been to Ojai and you're in the general area, I'd definitely suggest stopping by. It has a different feel from the surrounding areas- almost like you're not in California anymore. The shops are pretty pricey, but you can easily spend a couple of hours here on the cheap.

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I'm Going to Razzle Dazzle Your Eyeballs with My New Blog Layout.

Just a quick note...

Yesterday I spent some much needed time updating my blog. Although I still love the old grey background with subtle bokeh, I felt like it needed a major overhaul. And I added Contact and About pages up at the top. Where I actually reveal our real names. (Mystery: Solved!) Because that's what *real* bloggers do.

If you have a minute, take a look around. I'd love to know what you think!

Also, there are some minor glitchy things going on, which may or may not get ironed out. If you come across any, please feel free to let me know. I tried the Pinterest button up at the top right, but since I don't have a Pinterest account, I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to do. So, if you know how to add a Pinterest button that actually works, I'd love to be in the loop.

Did I leave any important buttons/ logos/ options out that you think I should definitely have on this site?

Hopefully, I haven't lost any male readers with this new design. The actual content won't be changing. The pink border and curly headings just add a touch of class to my four-letter words and stories about poop.

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Recipe: Limeade Pie.

I've seen this recipe go by many names: Limeade Pie, Icebox Pie, Daiquiri Pie. No matter which one it goes by, it's still a super easy recipe that's great for any spring or summer get-together. (Or fall, depending on where you live and how surprisingly warm it's turned outside.) It involves just a handful of ingredients and is perfect if you have kids who like to help out in the kitchen.

If you've never tried this kind of pie before, it tastes like a cross between a key lime pie and a cheesecake. 

Adjusted from Daiquiri Pie recipe found on Cooks.com

8 oz. cream cheese
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
6 oz. frozen limeade, thawed
1/2 container whipped topping
1 graham cracker pie crust
Few drops of green food coloring
1 lime for garnishing

1. Beat cream cheese, condensed milk, and limeade until smooth. Add food coloring and mix thoroughly. 

Note: When I made this pie, I added one drop of green and one drop of yellow food coloring. I wanted the pie to have a citrusy color, but not be fake looking. Remember to add color sparingly: Over-coloring your food is a hell you can almost never return from.

2. Fold in whipped topping. You may have to mix to break up any lumps. 

3. Pour into graham cracker crust and freeze about three hours. Garnish with lime slices.

If you have a sweet tooth, this pie is for you. I've read that you can use other frozen concentrate mixes- lemonade, strawberry, pina colada- and the rest of the recipe works just the same. I'd suggest saving this  dessert for an indoor party where you can be near a freezer. Otherwise, this sweet treat will melt into limeade goo. Also, you can make this recipe completely "homemade" by making your own graham cracker crust.


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Trader Joe's Almond Croissants.

I know I've blogged about Trader's Joe's croissants before- the chocolate ones, to be exact- but these are good enough to have a second mention.

The last time we were at Trader Joe's, I picked up a box of their almond croissants. Since I'm not really a chocolate-lover, I knew these would be more up my alley.

The baking process is simple. Even easier than the chocolate version. Simply leave raw croissants out on a baking sheet for 6-7 hours (I left mine out completely overnight), then bake for 20 minutes. Once they're done, you can serve as-is or even dust lightly with powdered sugar. Since I like to go over the top with my "homemade" croissants, I went for the powdered sugar. And also served them with raspberry jam. Heh.

The outsides of the almond croissants were the same as the chocolate ones: light, buttery, crispy, and flaking apart with every bite. SO much better than buying a croissant from your local chain coffee shop.

The insides had an almond paste that was sweet and rich. Perfect with morning tea or coffee.

Try them this weekend!

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Recipe: Semi-Homemade Fish Tacos.

Yesterday was another scorcher.

After being fried to a crisp at the beach, I didn't feel like putting forth much effort in the dinner department. I found myself wandering up and down the grocery store aisles, glazed-over eyes and arms covered in sand that had stuck to my suntan oil like white on rice, with no real plan of attack. 

I stopped in the bread section and regrouped. What did I feel like eating that was easy to make and good on a hot day...?

I decided on fish tacos.

I Googled a recipe for fish taco sauce- Rubio's to be exact- and made my way through the store, gathering a few ingredients.

According to Epicurious.com

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp cayenne
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Whisk all ingredients together. Can be made up to two days in advance.

For the actual tacos, I used Gorton's Premium Tilapia. I always buy Gorton's, but this was the first time I'd tried the premium tilapia version. 

When I took them out of the oven, I could tell they had more breading on them, which was a two-thumbs up in my book. And as soon as I took my first bite, I was sold. Each stick was thick, crunchy, and flavorful. 

When assembling your taco, feel free to use either corn or flour tortillas. I prefer corn. Boyfriend likes flour. We always keep both on hand. And don't forget to heat your tortillas first. I think it gives them a better flavor and makes them easier to work with. I've heard you can warm them up in the microwave, but I always do mine on the stovetop burners.

Top with cabbage, diced tomato, and a generous serving of sauce.

Boyfriend and I were in Heaven with this meal. The crunchy fish sticks, crisp cabbage, and tangy sauce all worked together perfectly. The sauce not only turned out better than we expected, but it was exactly what I was hoping for. Just like Rubio's. And everything was super easy to make.

This meal gets 5 chins!

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