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Throwback Thursday: Best friend

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by the letters BFF. On Tuesday, I met up with one of my friends here in DC since she was in town for a conference. I met a lot of her PA school friends and they all wanted to know how long we’d been friends. We both looked at each other, laughed, and said since the womb.

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Clearly, we aren’t twins, but we are both April babies and minus those first few months of life, we’ve been friends since before we can remember. We grew up together in pre-school, attended the same elementary, middle, and high school. And somehow through it all, when I fell away from hometown life and broke the rules by finding something bigger out in the world (and myself), we stayed friends.

She is my salsa buddy. My I’ve really fucked it up now confidant. My sass-mouth partner. My We’ll fix it friend. One of my very best friends.

I didn’t stay in touch with a lot of people from home, but she’s the kind of friend you will always be able to pick up where you left off.

So grab your BFF and jam with Brandy and her Best Friend track off her self-titled album, released in 1994.

Food: Haystacks

In honor of my upcoming trip home to NC, I decided to call on some of my fave childhood recipes for this week’s baking adventure. As I was digging through the cookbooks, I stumbled across an incredibly easy recipe (ONLY 3 ingredients) for haystacks. I couldn’t believe how much I used to love these and how, dare I say it again, easy these sweet treats are to make.

Fair warning, these are in no way healthy. But they are amazing, so eat in moderation. Or eat all you want and then get to the gym stat!

All you need to get started is:

  • 2 bags of butterscotch morsels
  • 1 can of La Choy chow mein noodles
  • 1/2 can of cashews (mine were lightly salted)
  • Wax paper

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I’m sure you can figure out how to make them based on those 3 ingredients but in case it’s not obvious, here goes:

  1. Roughly chop your cashews into pieces.
  2. Melt your butterscotch morsels in the microwave.
  3. Add your chow mein noodles.
  4. Add your cashews.
  5. Stir, stir, stir.
  6. Mix, mix, mix.
  7. Dollop your haystacks onto wax paper and allow to cool.
  8. Best stored in the fridge after they are cool.

The only trick to haystacks is getting all your goodies in before the butterscotch hardens again. If that happens, put it in the microwave for a hot (er, warm) second and then continue to stir, stir, stir. And mix, mix, mix.

After they’ve cooled – enjoy! On a day like today, I can’t wait to get home and eat at least 3 of these. No judgment, please.

Weekend review: At home

Last week on Tuesday, I made a last minute decision to travel home for my 10 year high-school reunion. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to, but I did know that I’d probably regret it if I didn’t make the journey. As it turns out, I’m really glad I did. You’d be surprised at how much people can change in 10 years. In truth, I shouldn’t have been surprised given how much I’ve changed in 10 years.

I graduated with 160 classmates, but only 30 or so showed up. It was a little disappointing, but I was glad to reconnect with those that were there.

After the reunion on Saturday, BF and I got to spend lots of time with my mom. She has fed us until our bellies can hold no more – a true Southern tradition. And my fave part of all the foodies?…homemade strawberry ice cream! OM NOM NOM

ps. I love how graceful and elegant my mom’s hand looks in this pic. Maybe in another life, she was a hand model 🙂

Toons

In my family, we’ve never been creative about naming our pets. Usually, the name is indicative of their floof or coloring and that’s why when all of Mama’s little birds left the nest, she got a pup and named him Sandi. But at some point over the years, I started calling him Rooney Toons. And lately, just Toons.

Toons is getting up there in age and he’s had a lot of pup problems, most noticeable is his skin condition due to Cushing’s disease. He’s not as shiny and floofy as he once was, but Mama has done a lot to keep him happy, out of pain/discomfort, and in a relative state of health. And no matter how stubborn he can be sometimes and even though he’s officially Mama’s dog, he’s still my Toons.

The same Toons that barks at all the deer in the front yard and would pee all over the floor just to show you he was mad. My Toons that would run down the hall to greet you in the morning, or ride in the back seat with his nose pressed against the window. And the same Toons that even after I moved away to Virginia, slept in front of my old room for at least a year.

I’ll always love Toons, but I look forward to the day (hopefully soon!) when I will have a pup of my own.

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DIY: 1953 sewing stool cushion

This past Christmas, I went home to spend some time with mama and to also spend some time cleaning out a few closets – donating goodies, throwing away trash, and packing up things I definitely wanted to keep. Note that when I say trash – I don’t mean old cookie boxes amongst a pile of used Kleenexes, I mean all those research papers or cards I thought I’d want to keep forever. Turns out, it was all indeed trash.

After I got through the bulk of things, I started going through items I had deemed collectible a few years ago, before I moved into an apartment and really understood the value of space. Among those boxes, I found a lot of classic 90’s toys, knick-knacks, photos, and pieces that had been passed down to me from my grandma.

One of my favorite discoveries was my grandma’s 1953 sewing table with a built in Singer sewing machine.

Mama had taken great care of it over the years and it was in perfect working condition. She even had the wiring updated a few years back. All that was needed was a little TLC for the wooden desk and it was in tip-top shape…except for the cushion on the stool that was dated with dirt, dust, and other things you pick-up after 59 years.

So, I decided to DIY it up since the cushion was removable (and revealed a small storage space for zippers, buttons, etc). Mama and I headed to the fabric store, picked up new vinyl (that we got on sale in the scrap pile), a heavy-duty staple gun, and a bit of foam for added cushioning. In total, it cost me about $20.

Next, I set to ridding the stool top of 59 years of gross. Using a flat head screw driver and pliers, I took out all the old staples.

It took a bit of effort, but I was finally able to separate the old vinyl and foam from the wooden base.

I wiped off the fuzzies and before I threw out the old cushion, I used it as a template to measure my new foam. I then measured out my new vinyl using my new foam cut-out, giving myself a good 3-4 extra inches on all sides…just in case. I was then ready to apply it to the board.

Of course, I tried to do this part myself but it proved too difficult to pull the vinyl tight enough and to staple effectively so I enlisted mama for a bit of help. She pulled and I stapled starting with one side and then going to the opposite side until we had all four sides set. To eliminate bulk, mama suggested I miter the corners. Being new to the sewing/quilting world she had to show me, but it’s basically like folding from both sides under towards the middle like when you make an paper airplane. That probably made no sense, so you’re better off googling it! Anyways, we mitered the corners and voila…

Since I had given myself so much wiggle room in my vinyl, I had a bit of excess. But nothing a pair of scissors couldn’t handle!

So without further ado, my DIY updated vinyl upholstered sewing stool…ta-daaaaah!

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