Bean's World

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Loss of a Loved One

A friend of Mr. Bean and I just lost his "man's best friend" - Loki. Loki was a big lug of a dog who was as gentle and sweet as any dog could be. Loki loved well and was well loved. I know he will be missed.

Thinking about that loss made me realize how short time is with our furbabies. Our cat McKinley is 10 years old and Jefferson (aka J-Dog) is 9 years old. Time flies when you are having fun. And I couldn't imagine my life without them - but the reality is that will happen and who knows how long we have left with them.

So, remember, time is short, hug your furbabies every chance you get, and make their life special b/c they sure are special to your life.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I oughta be in Pictures . . .

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The Inland North
The Northeast
North Central
The South
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, December 22, 2006

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas . . . .

And make sure you have some fun!

Well, in a few short minutes, Mr. Bean and I are off to my parents' house for Christmas; and I'm very excited about it! It's the first time I get to see my niece and nephew enjoy Christmas so it should be fun.

So I hope all of my readers have a wonder holiday season as well!

Joyeux Noel!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Testing, 1-2-3; Testing 1-2-3

Yes, I blatantly stole this from Niicelady (thanks!); however, I thought some of you would like to know a little bit about me:

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?

I say eggnog, but that's b/c I don't have it all year, so I wonder if I would get sick of it if it was accessible year round?

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Wrapped of course - half the fun is unwrapping them!

3. Colored or white lights on tree/house?

I love white but we do colored b/c Christiaan likes colored best.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?


5. When do you put your decorations up?

We didn't decorate this year b/c no one is coming to see us and we are going away. I did decorate outside though; so no one else would know we are being scrooge-like on the decorations.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

As a kid, I used to hate Christmas dinner b/c it was all foods I hated: ham, german potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw. YUK! In later years, mom got the hint and made regular potato salad which I do love. This year, I begged for lasagna from my mom for Christmas Eve and she relented (Yeah- it's my fave food!) and my sis is making a turkey dinner (YUM!) for Christmas day. All I have to do is bring a cheesecake - thanks harry & david!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Dad reading "The Night Before Christmas" every christmas eve, before we went to bed, while drinking eggnog.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I think about 9 or 10, but I hid that I knew until 12.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas eve?

Never, I won't even let parents put the presents under the tree until after I go to bed, even now!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

with ornaments from around the world. Whenever we travel, I always buy an ornament -got two from Paris!

11. Snow....Love it?...or dread it?

Don't really care either way. I grew up never having snow at christmas.

12. Can you ice skate?

nope - weak ankles

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

diamond earrings and necklace from Christiaan

14. Best Christmas gift you ever gave?

this year to Christiaan - I'll tell you after the holiday

15. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

spending it with Christiaan, family and friends

16. What is your favourite Holiday dessert?

my mom's snowball cookies - YUM!

17. What is your favorite Holiday tradition?

"Night Before Christmas" story

18. Turkey or ham on Christmas?

used to be ham, this year turkey (thank god!)

19. Which do you or receiving?

Giving.... although it kills me to wait for christmas b/c I'm so excited to give the gift.

20. What is your favourite Christmas song?

"What Child is This?"

21. Candy canes...yuck or yum?

Double yuk!

22. Favorite Christmas movie or TV show?

A Christmas Story and Polar Express

23. Red or green?


24. Will you be on Santa's Naughty or Nice list?

Nice - I'm always too nice.

Alright, I want to hear from you now!

Dang I Look Good, Part II

One of the things I love about this blog is that I get to toot my own horn. In real life (or IRL for you technical geeks out there), it's not really my nature to do such things. But here, all I do is talk about myself!

So, as of August 1, 2006, I have lost a grand total of (drumroll, please)

68 POUNDS!!!!!!!!

It's pretty exciting, especially as I have not eaten one single christmas cookie, except for one bite of one that I made, and I didn't even eat the cookie dough as I was making them, which I usually love! On special occasions, I treat myself, like I did when we went to Paris and Disney World and I did on my birthday. If I didn't, then the dieting would have been just too hard. I also intend to this weekend when I'm home for Christmas. That is what is helping me, I think.

So my goal is about 40 more pounds which I hope to lose by April, 2007.

Wish me luck and Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Annual Fattening Christmas Thread

Well, yesterday was the annual Christmas Treat making day. But I spent A LOT less time this year on goodies b/c I found some yummy and pretty but easy recipes to do. I only made one hard recipe but that was b/c it's Mr. Bean's fave cookie. I thought I would share the recipes with you. The first one is the hard one.

Cherry white chocolate cookies:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup candied cherries
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.

Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

In another bowl, combine nuts, cherries, and white chocolate. Then add to batter, stirring only to blend. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake for approximately 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

7 Layer Cookie

layer the following in a baking dish (9x14):

-one stick of melted butter (I usually just put the butter in the baking dish in the oven til melted)

-graham cracker crumbs to cover bottom of dish (enough to absorb the melted butter)

-one bag of chocolate chips

-one bag of butterscotch chips

-nuts (optional)

-one small bag of coconut

-one can of condensed milk (drizzle over coconut, try to cover all)

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until coconut is toasty brown.
Let cool completely before cutting, you can refrigerate to speed up the process.

Pretzel Christmas Wreaths

hershey kisses (I used hugs)
m & m's
easy remove reynold's wrap

place on the reynold's wrap on a baking pan the pretzels. Place the hugs in the center. Put in oven at 350 degees for three minutes. Take out of the oven and place m & m's on top of the hugs and press down lightly. let dry overnight.


1 12oz pkg (=2cups) chocolate morsels
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the morsels and condensed milk in microwave dish (I use a large glass measuring cup). Microwave on high 3 minutes. Stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla and any additions. I like mine with nuts but always make half without nuts for other family members. Spread mixture evenly into a lined or greased 8X8 (9X9) pan and chill until firm. I line my square pan with wrap so I can lift the entire thing out when set up. It makes it easier to cut.

For Rocky Road fudge just add 1 C mini marshmallows and 1/2 C chopped nuts. For Black Forest Fudge add chopped red candied cherries, mini marshmallows, and chopped almonds. You can experiment with different mixtures depending on your family's favorites.

Low-Fat Fudge

1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
2 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped, (about 1 1/2 cups)(I also did this with peanut butter chips)
14 large marshmallow(s)

1. Coat an 8- x 8-inch pan with cooking spray.
2. Stir together sugar, evaporated milk and margarine. Bring to a boil in a sauce pan, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Stir in chocolate and marshmallows. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
4. Pour into pan and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 36 squares and serve. (Leave fudge in refrigerator or freezer for a firmer consistency.)


bag of large marshmallows
a container of dipping chocolate
crushed graham crackers

Crush one package of graham crackers. Heat and melt chocolate according to directions on container. Dip half of marshmallow into chocolate and immediately dip end into crushed graham cracker. Lay on wax paper or easy remove reynolds wrap. Let dry overnight.

Chocolate Pretzel Rods

Pretzel rods
container of dipping chocolate
any preferred topping

Heat and melt chocolate according to instructions on container. Dip half of the rod into chocolate. Immediately dip into a preferred topping (I used Christmas sprinkles but you could also crush up a graham cracker or a candy bar, cookie, etc.) Lay on wax paper or easy remove reynolds wrap. Let Dry overnight.

Enjoy - and try not to gain too much weight from the goodies!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

SHE'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I know I promised a Paris trip report. And yes, I know it's been 2 and a 1/2 weeks since I last posted. And yes, I know you haven't gotten that promised trip report yet.

Well, too damned bad.

But seriously, I've just been really busy. Get back from Paris trip. CHECK. Catch up on work from that trip. CHECK. Have several pre-op doctor's appointments. CHECK. Have nurse bruise up almost the entire left arm trying to poke my vein FIVE MILLIONS TIMES. CHECK. Have surgery on 12/6/06. CHECK. Sleep off surgery in a drug induced state (mmmmm, morphine, mmmm), for three days. CHECK. Yell at doctors who think I need to be out of work for two weeks because of surgery and who didn't bother to tell me this until after the surgery was done. CHECK. Convince doctors it really is okay for me to go back to work the Monday after it happened. CHECK. Go back to work on said Monday (12/11/06) and try to catch up from work from the four days of work I missed b/c of surgery. CHECK.

So, as I said, I've been busy. And I'll continue to be busy b/c I'm now trying to catch up on Christmas as I'm behind. So this weekend will be a gift wrapping, cookie making, treat preparing frenzy.

So no trip report then either.

But I do promise you a long and extensive trip report will be on this blog no later than February 1, 2007. Until then, if I post here or there and it's not about Paris, just suck it up and enjoy.

So there.