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RECIPE: Benne’s Bundt Cake (So Easy Even I Didn’t Screw It Up)

My Mom always made special birthday cakes for my sister and I when we were young. Lesley got a heart-shaped strawberry cake each year while I got a layered chocolate cake that is STILL the stuff of my dreams. Somehow I grew up and did NOT become that mother. I would rather spend a pile of cash to have someone else make my kids’ cakes than risk something dry and depressing. I have tried my hand at baking several times and THAT’S how it always ends up. Here’s a shot of my last attempt at a cake Martha Stewart called “The Easiest Cake Ever.” You’re not seeing things. That 2-layer cake was about an inch tall and tasted oddly of beef stew.
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BLOG: Tales from My SECRET Facebook Page

I belong to a secret Facebook group. I’ve talked about these people before (see My Secret Shame Part 1 and Part 2) and love them all dearly, even though I’ve only met one of them in person. They allowed me into their faction because I possess a similarly filthy mind and will openly discuss matters that should really only be shared with a therapist, if even then. These secret online conversations get especially raucous on Friday nights, when we are all exhausted from a full week of working/parenting/faking it and break into the alcohol. Feeds fill up with pictures of cocktails and dicussions about people we’d like to murder, have sex with or both. One woman snaps secret photos of her father-in-law’s feet and posts them, so we can all discuss exactly what the hell is going on there.

Is he turning into a werewolf? Or maybe a centaur?
Is he turning into a werewolf? Or maybe a centaur?
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RAVES: “Aftershock London” at The Galleria Mall

I was on Good Morning Texas Friday for an “Out & About” segment and I’ve gotten loads of feedback about it. NOT because of how awesome I was, because that apparently wasn’t the case. No, everyone has been asking me about the dress I was wearing, which came from Aftershock London. I was introduced this store when they generously offered to outfit me for some big events this month. I went to Aftershock London to try on dresses and seriously felt like Cinderella hanging with her Fairy Godmother, but without the tragic backstory. Continue reading →


BLOG: It’s Time to Stop Mom Bashing

It’s Back-to-School time and all the Mom-Bloggers out there (me included) have been busily voicing our complaints (I personally can’t decide which I hate more: magazine sales or SignUp Genius). I’ve noticed an unsettling trend though, of Moms bashing Moms and even worse, other Moms joyfully joining in.

Look, we don’t need to beat each other up. Believe me, the WORLD loves bagging on us as it is. Haven’t you noticed that? Look around and you’ll see that “Moms” in the media are lumped into 2 categories: The Alpha-Mom Who Overdoes It and Annoys Everyone and The Cool Mom Who Essentially HATES Motherhood. It’s funny because I don’t know ANY Moms who are like this. Most of us just drift back and forth between the two cateogries, feeling various degrees of JOY and LOATHING along the way.

I’m annoyed by the way we’re depicted but I also don’t really care because being a Mom is a day-to-day thing. You don’t really GET it until you’re DOING it. Well, I do remember one time when I DID care. I was listening to a female DJ who said she could no longer like a certain band because “the soccer Moms had started loving them.” I just stared at my radio and screamed, “F**k YOU, Jenny Eliscu!” Otherwise, I didn’t care about mom bashing, until I started to see it in Mom Blogs. Continue reading →


BLOG: ELPO’s “Clear the Shelter Month” Comes to a Close

I wrote a blog at the beginning of August about the East Lake Pet Orphanage and how they’d be waving adoption fees all month long. You can find the story HERE if you missed it the first time. Clear the Shelters DAY happened nationwide August 15th and helped over 6,000 animals find homes in North Texas alone. In fact, by the end of that day 11 local shelters were completely EMPTY! The East Lake Pet Orphanage is by no means empty now, but some of my favorite animals did find homes that day (congrats to Ozzie, Lefty and Tinkerbell! I miss you!). The month is almost over but the East Lake Pet Orphanage will keep waiving adoption fees (there is a $25 charge for microchipping) through this Monday and some really great animals still need homes. I made a few videos with my friend Roderick the other day, so everyone could see how wonderful these little guys are. I work with the kitties in the Cat Care Center but there are still plenty of sweet doggies (and a bunny!) who need homes too. Check out these videos and share them with anyone who might be in the market for a little buddy. Continue reading →


MOVIE REVIEW: “Digging For Fire” & Why It Pissed Me Off

Married couple Tim (Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemaire DeWitt) are staying at a friend’s mountain home when they discover a gun and what might be human remains buried nearby. Tim is intrigued and wants to dig further while Lee wants to put the gun back and forget they found anything. She leaves with their child for the weekend and Tim invites friends over to continue searching. Digging for Fire on the surface is about these mysterious bones, but underneath lies a serious study of marriage, aging and the ever present spectre of mortality.

Digging for Fire was directed by Joe Swanberg and co-written by he and Jake Johnson. The script was essentially a 3-page long outline so actors were required to improvise most of their dialogue. Swanberg is known for this style of movie-making but when it comes to a film like this, I think it works against him. This is a very personal story about spouses who have hit an unpleasant plateau. That said, they never register as people who’ve EVER been in love. Tim and Lee barely connect with each other and seem so focused on their own dissatisfaction that they never stop to think about the other. Instead, they barrel forward, making horrible and potentially marriage-killing choices. Continue reading →


BLOG: Discounted Jeans & Goodie Bags from “Madewell”

I’ve made no secret about loving the clothes at Madewell. In fact, I usually feel like a dork when I shop there because odds are, I’m already wearing something FROM there. Anyhow, I dropped by yesterday because they were having a preview of their Fall Line. I had several questions for them anyhow, like A) will all the flannel I bought last year still work this year and B) are they still taking old jeans for discounted new ones? I got a resounding YES for both questions so you can start digging out those old jeans now. I wrote a blog about this back in January (find it HERE) and people have been hitting that post every day SINCE. Here’s the jist: Donate an OLD pair of jeans to Madewell and they will have it turned into housing-insulation for the needy. Madewell will give also you $20 off a new, regular-priced pair of jeans in exchange. I wasn’t sure how long they’d be offering this deal back in January but I found out yesterday it will continue through the end of the year.
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ON YOUR RADAR: “Bridge of Spies” & “Scream Queens”

It’s kind of depressing to be on THIS side of Summer Movie Season, isn’t it? All the movies we were SO PUMPED to see have come and gone. What do we do now? Well, we should start getting jazzed about the NEW stuff headed our way, like Bridge of Spies. This movie is directed by Steven Spieldberg, stars Tom Hanks and was co-written by the Coen Brothers. There’s so much good stuff going on here that I kind of want to hate it. It reminds me of the really hot jock in high school that everyone was in love with. YOU wanted to hate him because everyone thought he was so perfect, then he smiled at you in the hallway and you swooned. Well, THAT’S how I feel about Bridge of Spies. It’s based on the true story an American lawyer who is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War. He must help rescue a pilot detained by the Soviet Union and YES, it will probably get Oscar nominations. Bridge of Spies opens October 16th. Continue reading →


ON YOUR RADAR: “Sicario” & “Master of None”

So many new TV shows and movies are coming down the pipe, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. I’ve been digging through the press releases and picking out the ones that I personally am most pumped about. Take, for instance, Sicario from Director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Sheridan plays Deputy Chief David Hale on the FX series Sons of Anarchy. He’s apparently a writer in his spare time and a pretty damn good one, as well.

Sicario is about an anti-drug-cartel task force and stars Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Emily Blunt is at the heart of it all, playing an FBI Agent who is drafted into the group. When I saw Blunt’s name attached to Sicario, my first thought was, “What is SHE doing here?” I asked the same question about her role in Edge of Tomorrow though, and Blunt absolutely killed it in that movie. There’s already Oscar buzz around this one, specifically for Blunt’s performance so let’s keep our fingers crossed for her. Sicario will open in theaters September 18th. Continue reading →


ON YOUR RADAR: “The Walk” & “Blindspot”

We’ve officially reached the end of “Summer Movie Season,” and most of the current offerings look about as sad and lifeless as the grass on my lawn. This would be the perfect time to catch up on those blockbusters you MEANT to see (like Straight Outta Compton and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) AND familiarize yourself with all the new TV shows and movies heading our way. I’ve been lucky enough to see some sneak peeks of upcoming attractions and wanted to share what I’m MOST excited about. First and foremost is The Walk, from Director Robert Zemeckis. You simply HAVE to watch this trailer:

Your heartrate is up, isn’t it? Continue reading →