deux filles

The Adventures and Musings of 2 BFFs Separated by a Continent

Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes 25 November 2010

My mom’s friend used to make these when we were little, and now they’ve turned into what I bring to Thanksgiving dinner every year. (Otherwise I get turkey and corn. That’s it. So I thought I should make something I actually like!) They are quite delicious and easy enough to make.

Start by boiling four pounds of potatoes for 20 minutes. (I leave the skin on because I’m too lazy to peel the potatoes, and it practically falls off after they’re boiled, anyway. And aren’t all the vitamins in the skin? ;-))

Pull the skin off and cut the potatoes into smaller pieces…

… making it easier to mash!

Then add eight ounces of cream cheese and one cup of sour cream. I mix these up first to make sure they melt and spread evenly throughout before adding the spices.

For spices, you need two teaspoons of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/4 cup of chopped chives. (I don’t have anything that measures 1/8 tsp so I just use a quarter. Just don’t tell my dad because he doesn’t like garlic. ;-))

Mix it all up, put it in a 13×9 glass dish, and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate, then bake again before dinner at 350 for 45 minutes. (This is nice because you can make it the day before and just heat it up before dinner!)

It smells wonderful!!!

Here’s the recipe:

Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes
4 pounds potatoes
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped chives

Boil potatoes for 20 minutes; mash.

Add cream cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Stir in chopped chives.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. The next day, bake for 45 minutes only.

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€


Can you groom a cat? 3 April 2010

Filed under: Denise,Friends & Family — deniselouise13 @ 8:27 pm
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OMG I am a horrible, horrible pet owner.

Two years ago I bought an electric haircutting razor to trim Lily‘s hair in the spring and summer. At first she hated it, but each time it’s better.

Today she did really good. I even got to get at her “bib” which is the longest hair in her body. I did this like four hours ago but just noticed that I CUT HER WHISKERS.

At first I was mortified because I read that is supposed to hurt. I was like, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry!” She seems okay.

And then I started laughing hysterically. I hope you can see how silly the whiskers look in this picture!

I’m sorry, Lily!


Am I Being Stingy? 28 November 2009

Filed under: Denise,Friends & Family,Shop Til You Drop — deniselouise13 @ 3:48 pm
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Last year I decided I was no longer buying presents for my cousins’ children. I hardly ever see them (except for holidays or their birthdays), and their parents – my cousins – can’t be bothered to send me a card/email/FB wall post for my birthday. Now, I’m the oldest cousin, and all through college, I sent them birthday cards, Halloween cards, Christmas cards, Valentine’s Day cards, Easter cards, just-for-fun cards, and ten-page letters. I got letters back and Christmas cards. Eventually (ten years later, and after we all had email but still didn’t write) I stopped.

Then they had kids. At first I sent cards and gifts, but I never got a thank you note, or even an email letting me know the gift arrived. (I started using Delivery Confirmation.) Now that those girls are old enough to write, still they don’t send thank yous. (My mom still sends gifts; I don’t know why. Probably because she doesn’t have her own grandchildren, but that’s her own fault and another story for another day. You reap what you sow.) Two more cousins have had babies in the past two years, and at first I bought them presents, but combined with the other, last year I realized, “Why?”

So today I am not spending five hours in a car driving to and from BFE for a first birthday party. Am I being stingy, or am I justified?

They say “you get what you give” (you reap what you sow?), but what about when you give money and time for years and years and get nothing in return? That’s why I’m now giving what they gave me: Nothing.


Daycare Dilemma 4 August 2009

Filed under: Friends & Family,Kids,Sunshine — azfille22 @ 3:42 pm

I’ve been trying to post to this blog since it was created, which seems like ages ago. So, I’m going to make my first blog about the drama that has been going on at my daughter’s (we’ll call her Paper Clip, PC for short) preschool. Back in March, my husband (we’ll call him Fishin’ Freak, FF for short) and I decided to enroll PC in a preschool just a few miles from our home. The initial few weeks were chock full of all the typical reactions one might expect from a two year old who is accustomed to being at home with her mom all day. Once we got through the first month of kicking and screaming during our morning drop-offs, PC adjusted quite well to the routine the school offered and began to flourish in her new surroundings.

Flash forward to the end of May. PC gets bumped to one of the two year old rooms because…Ta Da!…she has her second birthday. The preschool Director told me to expect some of the behaviors I witnessed when we first began bringing her to the school because of this transition to a new room, new teacher, and new kids. Honestly, my little Paper Clip is a wiry little thing, and after the intial shock of the change, she bounced right back. She came to love her teacher and began making friends. She even got over crying when I dropped her off in the morning.

Just as I was beginning to release the anxiety I felt about sending her off with total strangers for the half the day, it happened. The two year olds were split into two classrooms. The first class (which my little PC was assigned to) consisted of kids who were closer to the age of two; the kids in the second class were closer to three and potty trained, or darn close to it. Can you guess what else changed? That’s right! Miss PC had a new teacher, all ofย a sudden. She had a new teacher who she couldn’t stand to go to in the morning when I dropped her off. A new teacher who didn’t even acknowledge PC when I brought her into the room in the mornings; and when she did acknowledge her, everything about the interaction was forced and stressed. Soon, PC began showing signs of anxiety, like chewing on her hands, sticking out her bottom lip when we approached the school, and screaming bloody murder when I took her to the classroom. She would cling to me, scream, break out in a sweat, and not want to stay.

For two months, I ignored my gut feeling, which was that this teacher didn’t like my child, or any other child for that matter. The more I sensed she didn’t want to “deal with” PC, the more PC became erratic and upset when going to the school. The other school employees told me that PC would cry during the day…never a problem before. Her hand and fingers were shut in a door TWICE in TWO months.

Well, last Friday, we got a reprieve. Miss Sourpuss wasn’t there when I took PC into her classroom. So, I spoke with two of the other teachers, only to find out that Miss Sourpuss might not being coming back. And, one of the other teachers (PC’s favorite) had told the Director that if Miss Sourpuss were still there when it was time for her son to transition to the two year old room, she would remove him and enroll him at a different school. Apparently, other parents had complained, as well.

I couldn’t believe it….I knew I should have followed my instincts and said something sooner! I was so elated. Not only was I elated, but PC was elated, too. Instead of the normal crying, freaking out I used to experience when dropping her off at school, PC actually stretched her arms out to go to the teacher (her original teacher, by the way). No tears were shed, and I was told later that day when I picked her up that she had a *great* day. We found the same joy when we arrived at school yesterday, too.

The happiness ended when we returned to the school this morning. When we walked into PC’s classroom, her favorite teacher was there to receive her, but all of a sudden we heard and all too familiar voice say, “Hi, PC!”. Immediately, I could feel PC’s entire body stiffen in my arms. Her gaze locked upon Miss Sourpuss, who was sitting on the floor with some of the other kids. In a matter of mere seconds, PC’s entire physiology had changed, and markedly. I shot a quick glance at the good teacher and she mouthed, “I have no idea…talk to the Assistant Director.” PC was so intent and upset by the presence of Miss Sourpuss that when I called her name (three times) to say goodbye, she wouldn’t even look at me. Her eyes were fixated on the teacher seated on the floor. I wanted to cry and I contemplated yanking her right out of that place.

On my way out, I spoke with the Assistant Director. I explained the marked changes in PC with the different teachers. I told her that I couldn’t have PC in a classroom alone with Miss Sourpuss any longer. I asked if I could switch PC to the other teacher’s class. The Assistant Director told me that for now, due to the small number of two year olds enrolled at the school, the two classrooms were going to be combined. She said that next week when the older kids go back to school, the other classrooms will be restructured and that if it’s in the best interest of the child, they can switch them to another classroom. I went on to explain how PC became anxious and depressed whenever she came to school and had to be in Miss Sourpuss’s class, but that she nearly cried on the car ride home yesterday because she wanted to go back to see her favorite teacher. PC is even calling the other teacher by her name now. She can’t even calm herself down enough to know Miss Sourpuss’s name.

I don’t know if they were giving me the runaround, but mark my words, if I go back to that school this afternoon to pickup PC and I find out she’s been alone with Miss Sourpuss, heads will roll! I’m not going to pay exorbitant amounts of money for my child to be turned into a bundle of anxiety because they won’t switch her classroom, or maybe GET RID OF someone who has had other complaints, especially from a coworker!

I’ll let y’all know how it turns out.


My Summer Purse 28 May 2009

Filed under: Denise,Friends & Family,Shop Til You Drop — deniselouise13 @ 9:31 pm
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Hey Sunshine, tell your mom I’m stealing her idea about using lots of little bags to keep her purse organized. ๐Ÿ™‚

L.L. Bean Summer Garden Boat and Tote

L.L. Bean Summer Garden Boat and Tote

I bought a new tote @L.L.Bean, and I decided to use it as my summer purse. (It’s beautimous – fuchsia bag with navy straps and a navy print of tulips.) But, it has no pockets, and I need pockets. So I’ve got three Clinique bags in there holding stuff, and I make sure my keys go in front of everything so I know where they are.



Listography 20 May 2009

Filed under: Books,Denise,Friends & Family — deniselouise13 @ 9:02 pm
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I love to journal. It’s fun and can be therapeutic. (It’s much safer to vent there about work than at school.) My friend Lauren started me on it in 11th grade. I wrote religiously every day through the rest of high school and was pretty consistent through college. (All 8 years. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But hey, I got two degrees! ) I’ve been trying to write more as a means of getting into the habit for writing as an author, but that has mostly come through blogging.

Last year I found a new book in the journal section of Barnes and Noble. (Because even though I don’t journal regularly, and I already have half a dozen blank books, I have to check out what’s new and occasionally buy one I just can’t resist. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Listography provides a guided journal through making lists. Actually, their tagline is something like “write your autobiography in lists”. It was so clever I had to buy it (see? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and was instantly hooked. I filled in a quarter of the book in like two days.

Then I went to their website. Not only can I make cool lists, I could now put them online and share them with other compulsive list-makers! Like today I felt compelled to list what perfumes I have worn over the years. (I’m thinking about getting a new one, DKNY’s Blossom: Be Delicious, even though I still love Tommy Bahama, and I just got a new bottle of it.) I love perfume. ๐Ÿ™‚

Maud joined, too, and it’s lots of fun. Won’t you join us? ๐Ÿ™‚