Aug 28, 2011

The Great American Challenge

Posted by Tonia at Sunday, August 28, 2011 3 comments
By Rachel
There are two major challenges facing Americans today: managing the federal debt and managing the school car pool drop-off. And with school starting, I’m overwhelmed with the school car pool drop-off situation.
The problem lies with parents who don’t realize that OTHER parents are ALSO dropping off their kids - and there is a 5 mile line behind them.  What friggin’ takes them so long? What is going on in those cars? Did the drivers fall asleep at the wheel? Did the kids forget where the door handle is? Are the kids just now getting dressed? Are they cooking breakfast in little car toaster ovens?
Just when I want to gently bump their cars, a door opens and I feel the exhilaration that I may be completing my drop-off. But no. The kid gets out but TURNS AROUND! He’s now gathering his school crap - which is scattered all over the car, including the front seat, the back seat, his mom’s purse and the car trunk - which means the driver must get out of the vehicle to help retrieve it.
This is when I see other drivers banging their heads. But wait. The child has gathered his school crap and is moving towards the building. Could this be the time that I can inch forward? Oh, no. NOW the parent decides to have that long needed lecture on choosing friends and trying hard academically. One frustrated parent gets so fed up she honks and yells obscenities. The other parents give her “thumbs up” sign. 
To assist with this pervasive problem and in creating world peace, I have written some guidelines for parents. Feel free to share with others:
1.    Good-byes should start as you exit your driveway and stop as soon the school building is in sight.
2.   Seat belts should be oiled and in good working order. Family contests should be held to see which child can escape the quickest.
3.   Military commands should be shouted when reaching the front of the line. “Let’s go; let’s go; let’s go!” Use a stop watch.
4.   Drivers should remain in the vehicles at all times. Duct tape yourself to the seat if you must.
5.   Finally, if kids forget something, it should be thrown out the window as you exit the line. Someone at school will make sure your kid gets it. If not, I guess you learned a lesson on the importance of labeling your kids’ stuff.

After successfully getting thru the drop off line, invite your girlfriends’ over to celebrate with this wonderful breakfast quiche. Prizes can be given for the best hurry-up tip.

Breakfast Quiche
1/3 cup melted butter
3 ½ cups shredded hash browns, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sausage (you can substitute with ham, bacon, etc)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
Frozen 9 inch pie crust

Remove excess moisture from thawed hash browns. Press hash browns into the bottom and sides of the pie crust. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
Combine the sausage and cheese; place mixture into the hash brown crust. In a small bowl, mix eggs and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the hash brown crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Aug 25, 2011

Life as We Know It

Posted by Tonia at Thursday, August 25, 2011 2 comments
Estrofests is thrilled to host another guest blogger. Beth Cohen is a humorous mommy blogger and loves to host poker parties for girlfriends. Check her out at B+ Mommy blog HERE
by Beth K. Cohen

Our family has been in a new beautiful home for three and a half years and, try as I might to keep it looking beautiful, it is showing signs of wear.  When we moved in, everything was so fresh, so clean and new; I really wanted to keep it that way.  I blame my family. Case in point…..

One day, a couple years ago, I looked up from my breakfast cereal to see my partner, Shelley, making pencil marks on the door jamb between the kitchen and mud room.  I felt a shriek rising in my throat.  “What are you doing?” I asked through clenched teeth  (I clenched them to quell the shriek).  She responded happily that she was recording our sons’ heights.  I made some feeble attempts to suggest a less conspicuous spot but she seemed satisfied with the one she’d selected.  I yielded even though it pained me to see marks on my freshly painted door jamb.

Our boys love sports, playing baseball, ice hockey, soccer, basketball, and football.  I delight in their physicality unless it takes place in my living room.  The boys have said that I’m mean and unreasonable for not allowing puck handling drills, or touch football (“It’s not tackle”) to take place in the living room.  I’ve even had the nerve to ban balloon volleyball.  Despite their assurances that they’ll be careful, there have been casualties.

When confronted, they blame the dog.  True, as a puppy, he chewed some of the wood molding and, more recently, was tried and convicted of chewing through the living room lamp cord.  However, I don’t think he hit the puck into the molding or repeatedly tackled the ottoman causing it to break.

It’s not just the living room, either. The boys walk down the halls pressing their sticky fingers against the walls like they’re searching for a hidden button.  I’ve done demonstrations, showing them how to walk with their hands at their sides.  My younger one said, ”Like when we go through the metal detector at the airport?”  I responded enthusiastically,  “Yes, just like that.”  But, before I could continue the discussion, the younger boy threw himself at the older boy and they started rolling around, kicking the molding and leaving scuff marks on the wood floors.

As I move knickknacks around the room to strategically cover scratches on end tables, I reflect on something a former neighbor used to say, “You can have a nice home or you can have kids and pets.”  I try to make peace with my choice.

This morning, I pulled the boys over to the kitchen door jamb to see if they’d grown. They had, and I made the pencil marks to reflect it.

While I went through a phase of not wanting to entertain because my house didn't look like I wanted it to, now I just dim the lights. And when I have girlfriends over to play poker I often prepare this fabulous quiche. I like it because it can be completely done ahead of time, leaving my mind free to win at cards.

Crustless Mushroom Quiche

butter or coking spray
1/4 c. Gruyere cheese, grated
1 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
6 scallions, diced (both white and green parts)
2 T. sun dried tomatoes
3 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried herbs - either thyme, oregano or herb de province

Position rack in center of oven.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Saute mushrooms and scallions in some butter or cooking spray until soft.

Grease a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie pan.  Mix the cheese with the flour and then spread on the bottom of the pie plate.  Add the cooked mushrooms and scallions.  Arrange the sun dried tomatoes on top of the other ingredients.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and herbs.  Gently pour the custard into the pie pan.

Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until set.  Let rest for 10 minutes to settle, then cut into wedges and serve.  Can be served hot, at room temperature or cold. 

Beth Cohen is a parent, clinical social worker and blogger.  She amuses herself by imagining her children voluntarily helping out more around the house. Become a follower of her blog, "B+ Mommy," at

Aug 21, 2011

WTF Are You Even Saying??

Posted by Tonia at Sunday, August 21, 2011 2 comments
By Anna

TY: Thank you
BTW: By the way
NP: No problem
IMP: In my opinion
LOL: Laughing out loud
ROTFLMAO: Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off
RTFM: Read the fucking manual
TIA: Thanks in advance
OMW: On my way
WTSDS = Where the sun don't shine
WITFITS = What in the f*** is this sh**
WEG = Wicked evil grin

This may be an old topic – like back to elementary school - but I want to talk about English. I tell ya, keeping up with the entire text/chat lingo has my head spinning/clicking – and my spelling going to shit. I’m not sure I can even keep up. It seems like a new acronym is born every two seconds by people that spend way too much time on their phone/computer.

I have an ambivalent relationship with text chat. Part of me says, If you can’t take two extra seconds to type the word then maybe you should send your message when you’re not so damn busy. And your short hand doesn’t save me any time. If I have to Google “IMHO” just to know that you stated “In my humble opinion” you just wasted my time & I already read your opinion, thank you very much…

The other part of me says, “Bring it on! I’m cool!” So here are a few acronyms that I would like to contribute:

NEJ: Not Even Joking
FWIPTC: Forgot Where I Parked the Car
HML: Hormonal
DA: Douche Alert
S5C: Stage Five Clinger (AKA Stalker/ guy that can’t take a hint)

Have a girlfriend get-together and come up with some of your own acronyms. Might even be useful – like getting your girlfriend out of an awkward situation. You could say, “Hey, did you ever drop off that PA?” Translation: “Psycho Alert!” & it’s time to get the hell out of here.

Here is our recipe for the T³ (Time Taxing Texter)

The T³ (Time Taxing Texter)
1 cup ice cubes
1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger vodka
2 fluid ounces cranberry juice
1 fluid ounce grapefruit juice

Directions: Fill a HBG with IC. Pour in the VDKA, CJ, and GFJ; stir to MX.

Oh, need a translation? Fill a highball glass with ice cubes. Pour in the vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice; stir to mix! DUH!

Aug 17, 2011

To Shave or Not to Shave: That is the Question

Posted by Tonia at Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4 comments
by Tonia

I grew up as a pseudo-hippie in the 60s and 70s. As part of my loyalty to the cause (?) I didn’t shave my legs. This was not appreciated by many of my peers - recently an old friend from high school admitted he didn’t ask me to the senior prom because he couldn’t stomach my hairy legs. (It IS true that I needed a weed-whacker rather than a simple razor.)

So where did this crazy female leg-shaving ritual come from? It seems that in the 1940s, after Betty Grable’s WWII pin-up picture for the troops, it became a patriotic duty for women to show off their legs. <eye roll> This new found “patriotism,” plus shorter skirts and sheer stockings (and I’m sure the razor industry), made American women begin to covet sleek dolphin skin instead of human skin.

Today leg hair removal involves so many damn decisions. What age to start, whether to shave or wax, whether to use soap or cream, how often to do it, how high to go, etc. (We have a Leg Shaving Decision Tree HERE for you if you're needing assistance in your decision making.) I usually come out of the bathroom looking like I’ve been leg wrestling with Edward Scissorhands. And, instead of dolphin skin, within 24 hours, I end up with cactus skin.

And don’t you just love it when you’re in the bathroom trying to get the job done and members of the family start pounding on the door demanding to know what you're doing? I’ve seriously considered telling them that I am shaving shapes on my legs –like the bushes at Disney World. Don’t disturb an artist at work.

I recently discovered that you are supposed to change razors every third use. Damn. My razor has been in the shower since Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State. Maybe that's why my razor rash looks like an STD on steroids.

And let me say a word about shaving armpits. Armpits are concave areas; razors are flat. Sometimes the best I can do is a mini Mohawk under there.

If you are looking for a game for your next wild girlfriends’ get together:

Have everyone lather up. Give each one a spatula. Then blindfold them and say, “GO!” Everyone removes their lather with their spatulas. At the end of 60 seconds call “STOP!” The one with the most lather removed wins. We have done this at several parties. Always a riot. Enjoy! (And be careful not to cut yourself!)

Aug 14, 2011

Signs to Drink

Posted by Tonia at Sunday, August 14, 2011 2 comments
We’ve seen pets for the zodiac, zodiac pick-up lines, and sex comments from the zodiac, but our guest blogger and astrologer, Cindy Boutelle, has party drinks for the zodiac! We are so excited to share her advice and hope that, if you have a zodiac party, you will include these drinks for your girlfriends!

As an astrologer, I’ve been giving guidance and answering astrological questions for years. In the spirit of Estrofests, here are the different drinking styles of the women of the zodiac.

Aries: Known for her cool, classic, and aggressive nature, Aries likes a drink that’s strong and to the point. Vodka Martini, dry... or anything else a spy might be seen drinking. If you challenge her to a drinking contest, she’ll drink the most.

Taurus: Famous for her epicurean, expensive taste, the Taurus woman is expected to have a fancy, sensuous drink (a rare meritage, a single-barrel scotch, a Godiva martini). If she’s drinking something cheap, it’s because she can’t afford her habit. Even then, she’ll be adamant about which cheap beer is best.

Gemini: The sign with the shortest attention span is Gemini. Make her a drink that’s trendy, has a story behind it, and doesn’t take long to make (Tom Collins, for example). In light of the twins, make it a double. Sip slowly, though, because this chatty two-headed beast loves to talk.

Cancer: The sign most associated with comfort and nostalgia is Cancer. It’s best to let this moody crab choose the location, but don’t be surprised if she wants you to just come over to her place. A Sea Breeze Cocktail suits her well.

Leo: Lions don’t mind the spotlight and love attention-grabbing drinks. Order her something with an umbrella or big chunk of fruit stuck on the glass. Think Jungle Juice for this Lion. Let her give you advice--better yet, let her map out an entire plan of action to tackle your issues.

Virgo: Known for her sense of order and cleanliness, Virgo can appreciate a drink that’s neat (gin and tonic) but be careful. She’s symbolized by the virgin and has lots of chaste energy bursting at the seams. She might start with something simple like a margarita or a modest glass of wine, but give her another drink or two and she’s ready for body shots and karaoke.

Libra: Party girl! Start her with a Bloody Mary to cure her hangover from the night before. She’ll drink what’s on special because it’s more about volume, not flavor for her. She’ll flirt with the bartender and make lots of trips to the bathroom, batting her [lovely] eyelashes at strangers on the way.

Scorpio: Scorpios can’t help but be sexy, secretive, and smoldering. If there was a drink with actual blood in it, Scorpio would have it. Depending on the bar you’re in, she’ll order a fitting drink. A cowboy bar? Bud Light straight from the bottle. Italian bistro? Martini or Bellini. Night club? Something related to sex. Flirtini. Sex on the Beach. Slam those drinks and it will be sex in the bathroom.

Sagittarius: This girl likes to push the limits. If she’s out drinking, she’s out to find an adventure. She isn’t picky, but drinks with herbs muddled in them (mojito) always appeal because of her attraction to nature. She also likes any drink that promises a special effect--the hallucinatory effects of wormwood in absinthe, for example.

Capricorn: This is your conservative friend. She doesn't like to spend money, but she will if it means getting a new friend - because it's who you know that matters in the end, right? Or she'll just stick to beer. 

Aquarius: You can't predict a drink for this original personality. The only thing you can count on is that it won’t be conventional. If it’s beer, it’s one no one ever orders. If it’s a margarita, it’s with Tuaca added. Aquarius often orders a drink to honor her favorite author - for example, a mojito like Ernest Hemingway or a mint julep in memory of Tennessee Williams.

Pisces: If she seems a little tipsy already, it’s probably because she was drinking by herself at the bar next door before she met up. Don’t let her drive and make sure she has condoms if she’s talking to some guy at the table next to you. If she’s a rare Pisces who has her act together, she’ll appreciate a complex drink that surprises her palette like a grapefruit pomegranate martini with a slice of cucumber floating in it.

Cindy is an UNM student, server, bartender, and astrologer. She is able to keep her astrological muscle toned with exposure to lots of different types of people. When not refining her mental astrology files, she’s at the gym (her Mars is in Aries), reading at her favorite wine bar, (her Sun sign is Pisces) or mingling with the people of Albuquerque (her rising Gemini). Check out her fun Astrotreats blog at

Aug 10, 2011

No School Blues Here

Posted by Tonia at Wednesday, August 10, 2011 0 comments
By Rachel
I’m on the countdown – only 12 days until school starts. *Doing a happy dance* I love my kids but am soooooo ready for them to go back to school. “Can we swim today?” “I’m hungry, what’s for breakfast/snack/lunch/dinner?” “I’m bored.” “Is it time to go to the movies yet?” “Mooooom, Jaren looked at me!”
All of our summer outings to the zoo/park/museums/amusement parks/mall have made me collapse into bed fully clothed every night. I can play Candyland, Connect Four, Monopoly, and Uno in my sleep. I'm having nightmares about riding the Pennsylvania Rail Line and crashing into the Candyland castle while the conductor yells, “Uno!” But I do have newly gained agility .... from playing Twister.
So, at last, we're finally getting ready for school. It’s a good thing interest rates are low; I’m going to have to remortgage the house to pay for school supplies, clothes, shoes, etc. Why do school supplies have to be new anyway? I’m sure I can dig out pencils, markers and erasers from the bottom of my purse. Hell, I probably have enough supplies at the bottom of my purse for the whole damn class!
Yes, I do shed a tear on the first day of school - not like those sappy moms’ tears of separation, though. Mine are tears of pure ecstasy.  Oh, thank God, I get my life back! In fact, I celebrate with my favorite coffee drink – Mexican Coffee. So, after your first morning drop-off, invite your girlfriends over and celebrate back-to-school with this wonderful coffee drink. And talk about all the escapades you can have now with the kids in school! Yippeeeee!
Mexican Coffee
1 oz. Kahlua
1 oz. Tequila             
Whip Cream

Pour into Kahlua, Tequila and coffee into your favorite coffee mug. Garnish with whip cream. Recipe makes 1 serving. But make more!

Aug 7, 2011

Studs or Duds: Online Dating - part 2

Posted by Tonia at Sunday, August 07, 2011 0 comments
by Anna

If dating is a mystery, online dating is a voyage into strange new worlds - boldly going where no thin-skinned person should go. All those hidden rules. For example, what does it mean when they say, “We should get together?” Does that mean I should eat beforehand? Does that mean he’s paying? Does it mean I should put on something casual or sexy? And, most importantly, should I shave?

So my second attempt at online dating (for first attempt see blog titled, Online Dating is Pure Entertainment) was with a guy who was good looking, athletic & established (so his profile read). After a few online chats we decided to meet. He said he would like to take me out to celebrate my new job. When I got to the restaurant he was acting weird and laughing nervously. He joked about having to do the dishes instead of paying. Turns out he “left his credit card at home” - but wasn't saying anything about going back to get it. He waved his 1993 checkbook case saying, “But I remembered my checkbook.” I had to ask the waiter if they even accepted checks because this guy didn’t have the balls to ask himself. Of course they didn't accept checks! So I suggested that he go home and get his credit card. I already had heartburn and I hadn’t even started eating yet. I wasn’t even sure that he would come back. So, when he went home to grab his card, I bolted. Later he messaged me, "Did you leave me?" Yup. Maybe I should just go back to meeting with him online. He was more engaging there.

The 3rd guy that I went out with happened to be a surgeon. Great, I thought. Maybe he won’t lean on me to pay. But it turned out that he was 55 (I’m 30), going through a divorce and recovering from a cocaine addiction. His second date offer was, "We could go to an AA meeting together." Um...pass. I work hard to keep my drinking under control so I DON’T have to end up at meetings. Smoke-filled rooms and gallons of coffee is no way to romance this chick.

So what am I learning from online dating?

(1) Don’t judge a book by its cover – or a guy by his photo-shopped pic.
(2) Clicking a mouse is a lot easier than clicking with a person.
(3) If he doesn’t seem to understand that you are not interested, just say it, “Dude, I’m just not that into you.” If that doesn’t work, try, “You. Me. Not good. No date. Not now. Not ever.”
(4) Always, and I repeat, ALWAYS subtract at least 2 inches from his listed height.

So, in honor of my online dating experiences, here is a drink for you to try at your next girlfriends’ get together. We are calling it the No Mate Date.

                                    No Mate Date

                                            1 part  peach schnapps
                                            1 part orange juice
                                            1 part fresh lemonade

Mix equal parts of each ingredient in a highball glass, add ice, and a lemon slice; serve and drink (duh).


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