Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy New Year, amigos!

Here’s hoping everyone had a safe and healthy Christmas and that when the ball drops tonight at midnight you are eating and drinking something fantastic with someone you truly love. Hell, you ain’t even gotta love them that much if the food is good…know what I’m saying?

Anyway, in the true spirit of the season, wanted to share Greta’s latest Evite photo adventure with you. Uncle Ryan shot this pic a couple weeks back and if you click here, you can use it as an Evite tonight! So, have at it all you last minute party planners, and remember, even if you don’t use Greta’s baby new year Evite this time, there’s always next year. Happy New Year, amigos!

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Feliz Navidad, amigos!

If you’re anything like us, today is gonna be kinda crazy. Christine will be baking till she drops, Greta and the cats will continue terrorizing our Christmas tree and I will do my best to stamp and address the mountain of unsent Christmas cards on our kitchen table. I know, I know…kinda late in coming, but they will get to you before New Years, so, I say that still totally counts!

But while our cards will be late, our warm wishes for y’all are anything but. So, in the spirit of the season, please enjoy these pics of Greta’s first visit with Santa Claus. As you can see, they really hit it off…for like, ten seconds. Ah, well…there’s always next year. Happy holidays, amigos!

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Brittany Murphy (1977-2009)

Wow…I know this is kind of old news by now, but we’re both still really, really sad about the sudden death of Brittany Murphy on Sunday at the age of 32. Like most people we fell in love with her in “Clueless”, but “Girl, Interrupted” was the movie that really showed us what that little powerhouse could do.

I mean, whoa…if you ask me, they gave the Oscar to the wrong crazy girl at the institution that year. Angelina Jolie was great and showy/crazy enough to take home the gold, but Murphy was the real time bomb in that movie. She was like, scary good…and those chickens under her bed? Yikes!

And though I loved her in the deeply-flawed “8 Mile” and some of her fluffier fare over the years — my Mom was just recently raving about a movie of hers called “The Ramen Girl” which I am now dying to see — I gotta say, my favorite Brittany Murphy “role” was her voice work as Luanne Platter on FOX’s long-running animated series, “King of the Hill”.

All of the voice actors were amazing on “Hill”, but Murphy’s Luanne was always my favorite. In lesser hands, Luanne coulda been a stereotypical dumb blonde, but Murphy imbued her with such heart and genuine emotion that you really rooted for her, no matter how far off track she went.

I know Luanne was a cartoon character, but, in Murphy’s gifted hands, she seemed so real and annoying that sometimes you just wanted to slap her silly…or kiss her, or, you know, both. I know that sounds crazy, but, Luanne was a very complicated character…so, back off.

Anyway, I’m sure the tabloids will have a field day with the finer details of Murphy’s tragically short life and untimely death, but all I know is that I’m bummed she won’t be around to make any more movies.

Hell, Christine and I liked Brittany Murphy so damn much that we even Tivo-ed (and watched!) the “Nora Roberts Collection 2009” TV movie she did on Lifetime this past summer, “Tribute”.

The movie kinda sucked, but Murphy, as always, kinda rocked. And if that’s not a sign of someone with true star wattage, then I don’t what is. Rest in peace, sweet, beautiful, Brittany Murphy…we’ll miss you.

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“Alexa Chung” gets the axe…

While catching up on our “Alexa Chung” episodes over the weekend, Christine, Greta and I were stunned to hear an emotional Chung proclaim on last Thursday’s episode that not only would that be her last episode of the year, but also, her last episode…bum, bum, bum…ever! Ahhh! Say it ain’t so, Alexa!

Alas, a quick Google search proved that it was indeed so…and that MTV had canceled our beloved “It’s On With Alexa Chung”. Urgh…so sad!!

I mean, I know the show suffered in the ratings and that ill-advised retool at the start of season two certainly didn’t help, but Chung really seemed to find her groove in the last few weeks, and the show had finally settled into what it was meant to be all along: a fun, goofy half hour chat show with music.

I’m not kidding, the last few episodes were golden, baby…A-list talent, crazy skits, cutting-edge music by bands you’ve never heard of…it was awesome. So, to have the show yanked from the schedule just when it was really starting to cook with gas is just plain cruel. Thanks, MTV, for the worst Christmas present ever!

So, as we mourn the loss of the best daytime talk show in years, I’ll leave you with some pics of our favorite Alexa Chung moments from both seasons. She might not brighten our afternoons anymore, but the memory of the lanky, hipster queen of UK chat will live forever in our hearts…

Long live Alexa Chung!

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Joe Lieberman socks!

With that old turncoat, Senator Joe Lieberman doing everything he can to derail genuine health care reform in the Senate this week, I’m starting to think that maybe Al Gore “losing” in 200o wasn’t such a bad thing. I mean, seriously, can you imagine having someone like Lieberman in the White House? Yikes…

Not only does Lieberman regularly line his campaign coffers with big insurance cash, but his own wife, Hadassah, until recently worked at Hill & Knowlton, a major DC lobby shop. True, Mrs. Lieberman never officially registered as a lobbyist, but she did serve as Senior Counselor in their health care and pharmaceuticals practice. Yep, you heard me…health care and pharmaceuticals. Hmmm…kinda makes you wonder.

But even if all that other stuff wasn’t true, Lieberman has been showboating and holding health care reform hostage in the senate for so long that it was only a matter of time before he was parodied with sock puppets by our crafty friends at MoveOn.org. And, come on, who doesn’t love a good sock puppet parody?

So, check out the video, call Congress and the White House to make yourself heard, and spread the word far and wide…Joe Lieberman socks!!

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Christine’s award-winning Gingerbread House Bundt Cake

OK, we have been waiting to blog about Christine’s award-winning bundt cake for a year. Literally! See, by the time we finished making it for Christine’s work Christmas party, it was already too late in the season to blog about it, so, we skipped it. Well, not this year!

Actually, there isn’t much to this thing…all you need is a Nordic Ware Bundt Pan, Gingerbread cake mix and all kinds of crazy candy for the outside. We bought our Bundt pan the year before at an after-Christmas sale at Sur La Table, and from what I can gather, our exact style is no longer available on most sites. But I did find a similar pan at Wal-Mart that would work just as well.

For the cake itself, we used Trader Joe’s Deep Dark Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix, which is freaking delicious on its own, but even better in tiny Christmas house form. Yum!

As you can see in the second picture above, the cake comes out of the over kind of rounded on the bottom, so, we cut that part off and promptly ate it. Then, with the bottom of our Gingerbread house flattened, we placed it in the center back of our cake plate (gotta leave room for a big, snowy front yard, yo!) and got down to decorating the outside of our house.

Aside from the little jelly candies we used in the windows — which we found in the candy aisle at our local CVS — we stuck to pretty traditional candy decor: M&M’s, Red Vines, candy canes, and marshmallows.

The most expensive “building materials” we used were probably the Williams-Sonoma chocolate covered peppermint sticks (aka North Poles) we used for the fence. They weren’t cheap, but we only needed a few of them and since we had them in the house already, we used them.

The snowy ground cover in the yard was powered sugar mixed with water and, lemme tell ya, that stuff was hard to work with! You have to wait for it to kinda half-dry before anything will stick to it and if you wait too long, it gets too hard and you’re screwed. Trust me, this is where having two people working on the house came in very handy!

After plopping down a marshmallow snow woman in the front yard, we dusted the entire house with more powdered sugar and hurried off to the party where, lo-and-behold, we actually won a prize! Hooray!

But even cooler than the shiny award certificate or the $20 Target gift card that went with it, was the fact that the people at the party positively devoured our Gingerbread house. I’m not kidding, man. I saw a dude scraping the sugar snow off the plate…crazy!

I’m not saying everything we used wasn’t edible, because it totally was, but, wow, we never thought anyone would actually eat the whole thing. Yikes…guess the pickings on the buffet table were slim.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a quick, easy-to-make Gingerbread house this holiday season, Nordic Ware has the pan for you. Happy Baking, amigos!

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“Merry Swiftmas” to all…

As you know, Christine and I are crazy Christmas music geeks with KOST 103.5 playing non-stop in the casa and XM Radio’s handful of holiday-themed channels pre-programmed in the Chenbot. And though we usually pick up a couple of new songs and CD’s here and there every year, it is very rare that a song strikes a chord like the one we just heard tonight.

Recorded by Avril Lavigne’s former musical director and lead guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld, “Merry Swiftmas” is a sweet, goofy ode to 2009’s cutie of the year, Taylor Swift. And not only is it funny as hell, but it’s also a genuinely catchy song with some great hooks. And best of all, it is now available on iTunes, so, yay!

Check out Taubenfeld’s new “Swiftmas” video below and if it doesn’t have you reaching into your pocket for 99 cents, well, maybe you just don’t love Christmas as much as you thought you did…

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