Food, Marriage

I Tasted Another Man’s Peppers

Chipmunks, when I dream, I dream big bad.

And by dream I mean scheme.

I set my sights on things like embarrassing my friends. Or my in-laws. Or my web design classmates.

It almost never backfires. (Except for when it always backfires.)

Up until last week, I was still dissatisfied, though. A nagging, long-time dream eluded me:

Making my Current Husband, Peppermeister, jealous.

You see,  he’s always been incredibly secure, and, well, it’s maddening. Like, who is he to steal all the confidence in the world and leave nothing for the rest of us? Am I right?

What’s more, in order to keep the relationship balanced, I assumed the surplus jealousy he was unwilling to feel. Exhausting.

I yearned to put this pepper-lover in his place.

I tried talking about other men, crafting elaborate schemes to secure a second husband, flaunting my assets… Nothing. Nary a raised eyebrow or passive-aggressive-taking-of-the-last-Hot-Pocket.

Argh!

The closest I ever came? Justin Timberlake hosting Saturday Night Live:

“You know he’s not as funny as you think he is,” Peppermeister commented, watching me howl as J.T. brought it on down to Omelet-ville.

My heart fluttered. Could this be it? Was it not perfect teeth, rock hard abs, unfathomable wealth and a melodious voice, but another man’s comedic talent that would rile him?

“Are you jealous?” I asked.

“No. I’m funnier,” Peppermeister calmly replied.

Double argh!

Is it time to finally give up and accept his constant praise and unconditional support? I wondered.

Then, as if the chipmunk gods had spoken, last week Peppermeister caught sight of something resting on the kitchen counter:

“What the hell is this?” he asked, eyes as fiery as his homemade sriracha sauce.

Bingo.

“Oh that?” I batted my eyelashes. “This guy at work gave it to me. He said he has more peppers than he knows what to do with.”

I paused.

“And you don’t grow that kind.”

“This isn’t organic,” he spat.

“He said they were,” I replied innocently.

“Get this out of my kitchen.”

“He sits right next to me,” I sighed. “I just love the regular bell peppers.”

He stormed out of the kitchen, and I laughed and laughed and laughed.

At last.

At long last.

So. What keeps your relationship spicy? (PG-rated, please, Chipmunks.)

***BLOGGY NOTE(S): The deadline for my “Hold Onto Your Hats” Halloween Contest is Oct 27th! The prize is amazing: A jack-o-lantern designed and carved just for you by yours truly…and Sun-Staches mustache glasses!

Also? I’m sorry I’ve been pretty M.I.A. lately; lots of fun things to share with you soon. In the meantime, please know that you and blogging are an important part of my life. I really mean that. I hope it makes you as uncomfortable as my coworker [with the bell peppers] would be if he read this post.***

Food, I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now, Lists, Mind Your Manners

On Blogging & Bacon

It must be Monday.

I love blogging, and I love bacon. For some reason, I rarely talk about either.

Until today!

One thing I love about both is their ability to bring people together. Run a contest on your blog, or put out a plate of bacon-wrapped appetizers, and the result is the same. Better yet, run a contest with a bacon-chocolate bar prize.

Not that I’d know anything about that.

I love when other bloggers talk about blogging and/or bacon. Like Peg and JM. Yet I feel self-conscious doing so, like eating bacon and not having a napkin. You guys don’t mind if I make a mess though, right?

When I started this blog in February 2011, I had no idea what lurked behind the blogging curtain. I thought it might be scary. And not in the hey-girl-you’re-almost-out-of-bacon way, but more in the I-like-to-make-pictures-out-of-toenail-clippings way. I didn’t fully appreciate the prevalence of blogs; I never thought about the fact that some websites I frequented, like Perez Hilton, were really blogs.

My favorite bloggers inspire me to step up my game and invite me to participate in their dialogue. As a writer, this is such a gift. And it’s free! So, you know, you can still bring home the bacon.

To pay tribute to all of those who inspire me (and if you’re wondering who that is, my Blogroll page is a good start!), and to those who are new to this wacky and wonderful world of bloggy deliciousness, I thought I’d offer a few wise words.

Dang, Chipmunks. This is exciting.

Here are the 3 most important things I’ve learned from almost a year and a half of blogging. You may or may not be surprised to find the same principles apply in every day life.

1.) Sincerity – “enough about my bacon, let’s talk about yours”

There is no faster way to shoot yourself in the foot drop your bacon on the host’s white carpeting than to leave a comment that proves you didn’t read the post, or to leave comments plugging your own blog. Typically, if commenting on another blog, you should try to keep the focus on that blogger and their content.

I had no idea when I started a blog that it was a community, and a community that wants to TALK! I didn’t ask questions of my readers (not that I had many!), and I didn’t even realize I should respond to comments. Now I crave that dialogue, and try to answer every single comment I get. Often that’s far more rewarding than the writing itself.

2.) Generosity – Share those Tips Strips (of bacon)

One surefire way to increase readership is to read other blogs. Be generous with your time and support, and you’ll reap the rewards.

When I started blogging, I only read 2 or 3 other blogs. Now I follow almost 100. It’s not realistic to keep up with everyone, of course, but I genuinely enjoy all of the blogs I follow, and typically devote over an hour a day just to reading them. I also almost always comment. Leaving thoughtful comments is one of the only ways to get noticed in a world jam-packed with people vying for the same bacon.

 If you’re intimidated by big name bloggers, like Kristen Lamb or The Bloggess, don’t be. Remember they feel the same as you do about getting comments. And probably bacon.

3.) Perserverance – Makin’ Bacon

We all experience writer’s block, have personal obligations that take our focus away from writing, or simply just don’t ‘feel like it.’ Even if you miss a week, or a month, don’t give up. Blogging can truly open doors.

When I started this blog, I had very few followers. My mom. My husband. I tried to post 2-4 times a week, but even after 6 months, I had posts that didn’t get a single comment. I kept at it, increased my engagement, and as of this year, I’ve had almost 100,000 hits on this blog. I’ve also gotten several paid writing jobs and opportunities to write for highly trafficked websites. I say this not to be a Braggy McBaconBoaster, but just to encourage you and let you know: You don’t have to be serious to take your blog seriously.

…Is anyone else hungry?

What are some lessons you’ve learned about blogging? Or a question to fellow bloggers? To non-bloggers: What keeps you coming back to your favorite blogs?

Food, Marriage, Uncategorized

Why I’m a Terrible Wife

Yesterday at 8am I found myself driving to the closest drug store. Giggling.

Peppermeister had a bout of…well, he had an upset stomach, and it was all my fault.

Back in our uber blonde days, I only laughed at him when he fell during band performances.

The previous night, I’d convinced us both that getting food from Sonic, a fast-food chain where you park and order old-school style, was a really good idea. Never mind that we’d recently eaten at a post-baptism party*, and that normally trans fat is about as appealing to me as watching 30-year-old men play video games in their parents’ basement.

On Saturday, Sonic cheese tots seemed absolutely necessary. It might have been the after effects of the heroin cough suppressants talking. (If you’re doubting my commitment to the guilty pleasure-ful life, know that I indulge in bacon and butter in a way that would make the Two Fat Ladies proud. It’s all-natural fat… Okay. *sigh* Sometimes White Castle just RULES.)

We perused the unfamiliar menu on our lap tops. Peppermeister fixated on the Sonic Blast shake, which was vanilla ice cream mixed with candy bar bits. He wanted Snickers.

What I’m trying to say is it was big.

When he returned home with the “food,” I couldn’t see him behind the cup in his hand. Picture the Duggar family lined up side by side, and all their cousins stacked on top.

“It’s got to be a whole gallon of ice cream,” I marveled in the way people marvel at puppeteers and Charlie Sheen.

“I know!” Peppermeister replied gleefully as he dug in. Between his only two options, medium and large, he was confident he’d made the right shake-size decision.

My own super-sized cheese tots were less than satisfying, despite the promising heat-saving foil sleeve they came wrapped in. Melted American cheese slices covered the tots, as opposed to the globs of glow-in-the-dark Cheez product I was looking forward to.

We passed out watching the only unseen episode of Modern Family we had left (you chipmunks were right. That show is the shiz!).

I woke up several times during the night to down large glasses of water. The amount of salt in my meal rivaled the Dead Sea. My lips are still wrinkled.

Peppermeister faced a far worse fate. I witnessed a true guilty pleasure overdose.

“C’mon, Uncle Jesse!” I called to the dog in the morning, loudly enough for Peppermeister to hear. “We’ve got to go get daddy some more ice cream!”

Giggling during the ride to Rite Aid, I immediately realized I was a terrible wife. But I couldn’t stop picturing that giant cup and his utter delight as he devoured the shake, and maybe you just never get too old for potty humor.

If you’re expecting that I learned some kind of lesson as a result of this ‘terrible wife’ revelation, you should probably know that while Peppermeister moaned beneath the heating pad, I suppressed laughter and wrote this post.

What regret looks like. (That’s a full-size bottle of water! …Okay. It’s not. But still. Don’t even think about trying to tackle this shake without a well-stocked medicine cabinet.)

Have you ever laughed when you shouldn’t have?

*filed under: Things I’m Not Allowed to Blog About.

Photo Credit (Duggar Family) – tlc.com

Chipmunks Forever, Food

GoGuiltyPleasures Gift Basket Giveaway!

In an effort to distract myself from the impending doom of turning 30 this month

Because I suffer from a severe shopping addiction

Everyone knows buying friends is better than making them based on genuine merit

There are giveaways, and then there are giveaways. I’ll let you guess which kind this is.

Reactions to the guilty pleasure gift basket for my brother made it clear I needed to recreate this wonder for one lucky Chipmunk. Only make it BETTER. Way better. I’ve been working on this bad boy for a while. That’s right. It’s time for the…

GoGuiltyPleasures Gift Basket Giveaway!

What? No, those are NOT tears in my eyes...

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Vosges Mo’s MILK Chocolate Bacon Bar

Tasting is believing.

Pop-Up Book of Celebrity Meltdowns

Who says God doesn't exist?

GoGuiltyPleasures Slap Bracelets (4)

They're fashionable AND practical.

Pop Tarts and Barnum’s Animal Crackers

You might win these...IF they last that long.

Cutting Edge on DVD

My second favorite movie of all-time. TOE PICK!!!

Wine Monkey Wine Caddy

You didn't know you needed this, did you?

AN Autograped Picture of My Dog, Uncle Jesse

He doesn't do this for just anyone, you know.

“CHIPMUNKS ROCK” Sticker

Sometimes it's important to state the obvious.

Nutella and Peanut Butter and Company’s Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter

Who needs jelly?

TALKING Mustache KEY CHAIN

I don't know how you've managed to live without this, either.

Approximate value: Priceless.

“How the fudge do I get my paws on that?” I’m sure you’re wondering. It’s easy!

How to Win the Ultimate GoGuiltyPleasures Gift Basket

1.) Link to this blog post on your blog and/or Facebook and/or Twitter account(s). (I’m @Julie_Davidoski on Twitter, and GoGuiltyPleasures on Facebook – links over on my side bar —>).

2.) Get a tattoo of my likeness (minus 30 lbs.) on a part of your body that is regularly visible, and send me a picture of your family members and coworkers admiring it.

Kidding.

The real 2.) Tell me a true story involving you and a guilty pleasure. Leave it in the comments section below, or send it to me via email. No word count restrictions, but please do remember this is a family-friendly blog.

The winner will receive all of the items above. Two runners-up will also get some guilty pleasure lovin’ – 4 GoGuiltyPleasures slap bracelets and a Vosges Mo’s milk chocolate bacon bar!

For two runners-up. Booya!

Entries will be judged by yours truly on creativity, style and my mood at the time of judging humor. Winning entries will be posted here for all to enjoy!

Deadline: Sunday, April 29, 2012 12pm EST. (So sorry, but due to shipping costs, the 1st place prize can be awarded to U.S. and Canada residents only.)

The winner will be announced on MY BIRTHDAY!!! Monday, April 30, 2012.

Who’s in?

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WINNERS!

Food, Just For Fun, Uncategorized

Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

"It had to be you..."

For a supposed guilty pleasure blogger, I don’t think I talk nearly enough about one of the most mind-frenchingly awesome pairings the world has ever known. No no, not Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow Angelina Jolie Jennifer Aniston. I’m talking:

Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

The master of this holy union, the mother of this ship, the queen bee to this hive, is, of course, none other than the:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

Let us have a moment of silence to pay our respects to dairy farmer H.B. Reese (who invented this wonder in 1923), shall we?

Finders keepers, bee-atch. Photo credit: forumsextreme.com

…Much obliged. So, if you’re like me, you probably can’t recall the first time you tasted a Reese’s peanut butter cup, but they’ve always been your Numero Uno. Remember Halloween? What would it take to trade one of your Reese’s cups? That’s right. It would take nothing. Because ain’t nobody laying a finger on your Butterfinger Reese’s.

There’s a noticeable passion associated with Reese’s peanut butter cups. We don’t just like them. We love them. We don’t just nibble on a mini one and call it a day. Even those so-called ‘gourmet’ peanut butter cups never seem to stack up to the original.

When bigger is better. So, so, so much better.

Reese’s peanut butter cups are an intrinsic part of American culture. They’ve come up with plenty of variations over the last 20 years, and there’s a cup for what seems like every holiday. (Whether or not you just celebrated Easter, I hope you picked up some Reese’s eggs – it’s the perfect chocolate to peanut butter ratio.) There are t-shirts, magnets, even peanut butter cup-flavored lip balm stamped with the iconic Reese’s logo.

An internet search on Reese’s peanut butter cups brings up the corporate

A little slice of heaven. No. Seriously. This is my heaven. Photo credit: http://blogchef.net.

website, and then hundreds of recipes. To me this is a simple sign that peanut butter and chocolate are welcome in any home, for any occasion. If that Reese’s pie didn’t win over your girlfriend’s parents? Heck, you didn’t want to be a part of that family anyway.

The evolution of the Reese’s peanut butter cup slogan is also indicative of their influence – and I can’t argue with any of them:

1970s-1980s: Two great tastes that taste great together.

1990s: There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.

2000s: Perfect.

Photo credit: pittnews.com

This year Reese’s peanut butter cups were the sponsor of NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament. They’ve already been an official sponsor of the NCAA for 4 years running. You couldn’t get me to watch 2 minutes of the college basketball that was on a continuous loop in my house last month, but even I noticed the giant Reese’s logo on the court floor (and subsequently started salivating). I wondered how the players kept focus. Or maybe it was the perfect motivator.

Outta my way, fool! Photo Credit (before extremely necessary annotation): http://cdn.gunaxin.com

Do you have a favorite Reese’s memory? A favorite kind of cup? Do you not like Reese’s peanut butter cups? (If not, what’s wrong with you why not?)

P.S. – When I did a Google image search for “reese’s chipmunk” (you never know! That squirrel got its paws on one!), a picture of me under the “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” marquee was the first picture to come up! That has to mean something. Something very, very good.

***TODAY’S SPECIAL***

On this historic day, otherwise known as Wednesday, 19 of your favorite humor bloggers are staging a WordPress coup. We have banded together to address the important topic, Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Yes, you read that right. Your eyes are fine. Well, they may not be fine – I really don’t know. But it does say “19 of your favorite humor bloggers” (or who SHOULD be your favorite bloggers). We are all presenting the same topic, each from his or her particularly unique perspective.

Why this topic? Why now?

Why not?

Click on the bloggers’ links below to gobble up the entire, yummy bag of 19 posts.

Bon Appetite!

The Big Sheep Blog

Childhood Relived

Go Guilty Pleasures

Fifty Four and A Half

Fix It Or Deal

k8edid

Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly

Life In The Boomer Lane

Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

Play 101

Refrigerator Magnate

Running From Hell With El

She’s A Maineiac

The Byronic Man

The Good Greatsby

The Monster In Your Closet

The Ramblings

Thoughts Appear’s Blog

Unlikely Explanations

Food, Uncategorized

Misfortune Cookies

I’m sure I can’t be the only one this has happened to. Have you ever, belly full of MSG sesame chicken, dumplings and egg rolls, gone to open that waxy looking folded cookie, and then seen…

Avoid compulsively making things worse.

I took that as a clear sign to put the leftovers away before I had to loosen my belt and unzip my pants.

The next fortune lulled me into a false sense of security with its normal, zen-like reassurance:

You are the controller of your destiny.

…Does this mean Second Husbands are a go?

But then this fortune happened:

Silence is a virtual. Especially Dinner time, from telemarketers.

Well, I guess the cookie has a point – silence is virtual (virtually unheard of) when it comes to telemarketers.

I don’t even eat the cookies (you are not a cookie, fortune cookie! For the love of Samoas, go talk to some Girl Scouts!), but at this point I had to keep going. And then it came. The fortune that’s making me lose sleep at night:

You can’t possibly live long enough to make all of them yourself.

All of what?! What am I supposed to be making? Oh god. This has something to do with turning 30 later this month, doesn’t it? I’m supposed to be making something, something only people in their 30s know about. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. What’s going to happen? Will I be allowed to live long enough to try?

Someone help me. Please.

So. Who’s out to get you?

Food, Just For Fun, Uncategorized

For My Brother: Turning Guiltless Pleasures Into Guilty Ones

He may or may not be enjoying the goodie bags I provided to attendees of my...27th birthday party...at Medieval Times.

Today is my brother’s birthday. I don’t think he reads this blog, but I guess I love him anyway. (He did comment once! Back in July, to let me know he was uncomfortable learning we both want to make-out with Emma Watson.)

My brother’s IQ hovers roughly above the 1.5 billion mark, or more accurately, around the place where he posts pictures like this on his Facebook wall just to confuse me:

Right now he’s wrapping up the last semester of law school, where he’s on a free ride thanks to his disgusting ability to earn perfect scores on all standardized tests, including the LSATs. Though it sounds like we don’t have much in common, whenever I think back on my comedic influences, my brother is there.

Four years my senior, he introduced me to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and DuckTales, which morphed into an Animaniacs obsession. After that, it was repeat viewings of Spaceballs and The Princess Bride (which he could recite in its entirety, with the voices, by the way). We spent countless hours watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, Whose Line is it Anyway? and Amazing Johnathan (who later helped execute my marriage proposal – as part of his show!).

When my brother sent an email to the family saying he wanted “chimichangas and sh*t” for his birthday dinner, my chipmunk heart rejoiced. But just when I thought we were kindred spirits, he sent another email asking us to make donations in his name to WNYC, in lieu of birthday presents.

Because I’d already started gathering gifts Because this guiltless -though typical of him- gesture threw my birthday-loving world off-kilter, I decided to make the donation and then get to work.

In order to make a good balance-restoring gift basket of Guilty Pleasure Wonder for a selfless sibling, you will need:

  • Peanut Butter & Company Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • Nutella
  • Candy, e.g., caramel coffee-flavored Werther’s
  • Chocolate-covered potato chips

In order to make a magical balance-restoring gift basket of Guilty Pleasure Wonder for a selfless sibling, you must add:

  • Shamelessness

…and…

  • Chocolate-Covered Bacon!!!

Yes, this is a real thing, and yes, it is worth every penny of its somewhat alarming price tag. Vosges makes Mo’s Bacon Bar, which many learned about a few years ago thanks to the all-knowing Oprah. My wise, caring husband bought me a couple of bars a while back, and my life has never been the same. There are tiny bits of crunchy, salty, melt-in-your-mouth bacony goodness ensconced in some of the creamiest, most delicious milk chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It’s euphoric. Go buy some. Now. I’ll wait. (And if Vosges would like to send me any free chocolate for this endorsement, I guess that would be okay with me.)

My brother claims he’s married to Chocolate-Covered Bacon on Facebook (though lately “it’s complicated”). Chocolate-Covered Bacon even has its own Facebook page:

It seemed only fitting that I present him with a tangible representation of his beloved this birthday season:

I do. Oh-hoh yes, I so do.

And just to be sure the guilty pleasure stars were realigned, I made a guilt-ridden family favorite for dessert (double the cream cheese frosting, thank you very much). Guess what kind of cake it is?

Happy birthday, Bryan! May you accept this post as a staggering donation to the Awesomest Sisters of The Universe Foundation.

What’s the coolest birthday present you’ve ever given/gotten?