28 August 2012

Skinny Milk Chocolate Caramel Frozen Pies {2 points+ and Kernel Seasons}

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If there is one thing my husband and I love to do, it's go to movies. B.K. (before kid) we went every to see a movie every weekend. Sometimes two.

I still remember the last B.K. movie we saw, In Good Company. I seem to remember it was a cute movie. What I do remember is having to pee, like, three times during it, as I was a gazillion months pregnant at the time.

Since Jordan was born we've been to no more than 10 movies. In over seven years. By the time you pay for a sitter, who can afford a movie?

Back in our movie-going heyday, we lived in Chandler, Arizona, home of the mega-movie theaters. I have fond memories of those theaters, probably because being able to go to a movie without worrying that your phone is off for an hour and a half and someone might drown or get sick or need you was quite nice.

The other fond memory I have of those theaters was that they offered a popcorn seasoning bar. You could get your ginormous tub of popcorn and then add flavor. Like movie theater popcorn, only better.

Alas, movie theaters here  in Sacramento (at least the ones by me) don't have this option.

Something I never thought to do was buy my own. I mean, I stuff my purse with everything else at the movies, why not bring my own seasoning?

So, when the folks at Kernel Season's contacted me about trying their popcorn seasonings, I was so on board. Like, faster than you can say "popcorn seasoning!" I asked, of course, that they send me sweet flavors (although, their savory ones sound super awesome, heeellloooo parmesan and garlic!) because, well, this is a sweet blog. And boy, did they deliver! I got four fabulous seasonings to try: Milk Chocolate Caramel, Kettle Corn, Apple Cinnamon, and Chocolate Marshmallow.

Of course, I couldn't just put them on popcorn, now could I?

{Although I did do that too. And it was gooooood.}

Instead, I made a sweet pie. A frozen sweet pie, flavored with the Milk Chocolate Caramel flavor.

{You could totally use any and all of the flavors. I just used that one. Afterwards I kinda kicked myself for not making a few flavors. Don't make the same mistake as I did.}

Aaaandd...because I went to Old Navy last week to try on clearance clothes and somehow their sizing is all messed up and I'm not the size I used to be, I made these skinny. My husband does weight watchers online, so I input the recipe into his builder using the low/fat-free ingredients I've noted in the recipe, and it told me that these babies are only 2 points+. And they're gooood. Which means I can eat two.


That's another thing that is awesome about the Kernel Season's flavorings. They are all really low-cal and you don't need a lot to flavor your popcorn, cereal, coffee, oatmeal, or whatever your mind can imagine. So it's a great low-cal way to add sweet flavor without adding pant sizes.

I have soooo many ideas on how to use these. Especially one with the Chocolate Marshmallow. And the Apple Cinnamon. Stay tuned!

I can pretend that the caramel sauce for garnish is skinny too, right?

Good, because, um, I *may* have licked my plate.

Skinny Milk Chocolate Caramel Frozen Pies
by Crazy for Crust

    For the Crust
    • 6 graham cracker sheets (reduced fat is fine)
    • 3 tablespoons butter spread, melted
    For the Filling
    • 1 cup Cool Whip (I used fat-free)
    • 1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 4 teaspoons Milk Chocolate Caramel Kernel Seasons (or any flavor you like)
    1. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Finely grind graham crackers in a food processor. Add to melted butter spread and stir until combined. Equally divide between each muffin liner. Press to compact (I use the bottom of a shot glass for this step).
    2. Stir Cool Whip, yogurt, vanilla, and Kernel Season's powder in a medium bowl. Equally divide it among the muffin cups. Freeze until solid, at least 3 hours.
    3. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Top with caramel or chocolate sauce if desired.
    **Using the fat-free/low-fat equivalents I’ve listed, this recipe works out to be 2 WW Points+ per pie. (Adding caramel sauce will add more points.)**
    Powered by Recipage

    Kernel Season's provided me with four bottles of their flavorings to try and review. All opinions are my own. Kernel Season's can be found at major grocery stores as well as Target and Walmart or online.

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    27 August 2012

    Crazy Sweet Tuesday

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    Hey, hey! Welcome to Crazy Sweet Tuesday, where it's always sweets o'clock.

    Within the next week I hope to make the move to the self-hosted wordpress site I have been working on. I apologize if you stop by and something weird is happening! I am hoping downtime will be at a minimum, but I appreciate your patience!

    If you follow me through Google Friend Connect...please make sure you also follow via Facebook and Twitter. (Or...just use my RSS feed instead!) I am hoping all my GFC friends can come with me to my new digs...but there is a chance the feed transfer will have problems. I don't want you to miss a minute of sugar! Thanks so much for following along!

    Second order of business this week...the winner of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software.

    Congratulations Judy! I hope you enjoy your software. Thanks for entering the giveaway!

    Bummed you didn't win the software? No worries! Remember that Crazy for Crust readers can get $10 off the software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories store, a $20 value! Be sure to use the code STMMMS18039 at checkout to receive this offer.

    I have a few freebies for you this week! And the best part is you can use the freebies in any program, because they are .jpg and .png files.

    The freebies come with digital papers, embellishments, and quick pages. You can use them with any software, but they are fully customizable using the My Memories Suite.

    You can get the free downloads here, here, and here.

    For the fabulous features this week...I think I was drawn in by rainbows. Maybe because if it rained it would cool the frick off around here!

    M&M Sugar Cookies by Family, Food, & Fun.
    Lightened Up Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fro Yo by The Domestic Rebel

    Cake Batter Sugar Cookies by Sally's Baking Addiction.
    Rainbow Heart Cakes by Wine and Glue.

    Paint Pallet Sugar Cookie Tutorial by One Creative Mommy.
    Carrot Cake Cookies by Inside BruCrew Life.

    And the most clicked sweet treat was...

    Berry Cheesecake Muffins by Pink Recipe Box.

    Thank you all for linking last week! Again, it warms my heart to know you come visit me. I'm still shocked so many do!


    Now onto the party...


    26 August 2012

    Cake Ball Chocolate Chip Cookies

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    There are lots of things that I do well.

    Making baked goods.

    Eating baked goods.



    Being a wife and mom (well, I think I do that well).

    Eating baked goods.

    Watching Real Housewives, and my new fav, Beverly Hills Nannies.

    Having the discipline to exercise (notice I said discipline to do, not actually doing).

    Eating baked goods.

    Of course, there are lots of things I don't do well.

    Like trying new foods. (Thanks to Dr. Google, I'm pretty sure I have food neophobia.)

    Discipline (really, I suck).

    Cleaning (I hate it).

    And, among other things, I am really not good at rolling cake balls.

    Seriously, I see cake balls all over the internets. Perfect ones. Gorgeously round, plump, and smooth. And that's before dipping!

    And it's not just cake balls. Truffles. Cookie dough balls. Anything round that requires rolling. Other people seem to be able to roll perfectly round spheres of goodness.

    Mine? Look like deformed brains.

    I have never, ever, not even once rolled a perfect round ball-of-anything.

    They always look oddly misshapen, like they been sent through a wormhole to another dimension and back.

    Probably why I don't make cake balls and truffles very often.

    That, and dipping in chocolate makes me want to poke a sharp stick in my eye.

    Now, I love cake balls as much as the next person. I've been known to throw back a few dozen or so in a sitting.

    I also love cookies. And it seems fashionable as of late to stuff cookies with things.

    So why not marry the two? Stuff a cake ball in a cookie?

    But, then came my dilemma. Cake balls require rolling, thus causing misshapen, deformed little brains and lots of frustration.

    And then I remember something that the Desperate Chefwife did awhile back. She made her own Nutella chunks by spreading it out in a thin layer and freezing, then cutting chunks of Nutella goodness to add to her cookies.

    Would it work with cake ball mixture?

    Yup, it totally does.

    {Although you should cut them smaller than in that photo. Those were a little big. They'll break up a little bit in the mixing process.}

    Added to my chocolate chip recipe, the cake ball chunks added a marbled texture of goodness. No deformed brains here!

    Like I said. I'm good at baking.

    And eating....sigh.

    ~Read More~

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    24 August 2012

    Whatever Friday

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    Sooooo....it's Friiiiiiiday. Which has a whole new meaning now that school is in session, BTW.

    Did ya'll do anything fun this week?

    I did lots.

    1. Jordan started school this week. She loved it the first day, came home all excited and happy and bubbling over with thoughts about what she did, who she played with, how nice her teacher is...and then day two happened. I guess in all her excitement about school she forgot she was...at school.

    If only there was a degree in Social, Jordan would be golden.

    2. I'm giving away digital scrapbooking software from My Memories. If you think you don't need it...well you're wrong. Don't scrapbook? No problem! If you like to make cute tags, frames, invitations, and general craft thingamabobs, you need this software. Good think you have another day to enter to win it!

    3. I happy to be a part of a birthday celebration this week! Dawn, at Addicted to Recipes, is celebrating her birthday week with a ton of fun giveaways. I'm giving away ad space, go here to enter!

    Birthday Giveaway 2012, Button for Birthday Giveaway 2012

    4. And...I made you more dessert this week. Hey, what can I say. We bloggers don't do #rfr5k for nothing.

    I made Dump Cake with feet peaches. And, surprisingly, it didn't taste like feet.

    I let peanut butter be the star, instead of being in the shadow of her BFF chocolate.

    Aaaaand...the popcorn I told Jordan I'd share with her but didn't. Liar liar pants on fire...

    5. Little word of advice...back up your blog. Often. Especially if you're going to change any code at all. Even if you think you know what you're doing. Thank God the little voice in my head made me save the other day. Or...well, let's just say I would have gone through a lot of wine that night. And some cuss words.

    6. It was so nice to have guilt-free time to blog while Jordan was at school. In fact, yesterday I made three new recipes in less than an hour and a half. I think I could get used to this.

    7. I often wonder how many people, upon reading #5, will think that I need a "real" job.

    8. It's still August, but lots of Fall-themed recipes are showing up in blogland. I dusted of my Fall Pinboard and added some new things to it this week. All of a sudden I have anxiety. Because it's only August but tomorrow it will be Halloween and by Monday it will be Christmas.

    9. I ran 3.6 miles (outside, waaaaay different than 4 miles on the treadmill I discovered) Monday, then walked 7.8 miles on Tuesday. I tried to run again on Thursday....and couldn't. Hopefully my body will have recovered by next week. #itsucksgettingold

    10. I wish I could use hashtags in real life. I like how it sums up a feeling in less than a sentence.  Related to that, how many of you have tried to like a picture in Facebook by tapping it twice? #itdoesntwork

    11. I'm off to don a hazmat suit and clean Jordan's bathroom. Who said girls weren't gross?

    Have a great weekend! I hope you all do something way funner than cleaning. Whatcha up to?



    22 August 2012

    Blueberry & Peach Dump Cake

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    Can I tell you a secret you probably won't be surprised to hear?

    I don't like peaches.

    I know, shocking, right? That the second pickiest person on the planet (my kid being the first) doesn't like a stone fruit?

    A crust loving baker who wouldn't touch a peach pie with a 10-foot pole?

    What will shock you is that Jordan actually likes peaches.

    It's like a paradox or something like that. I often wonder if we are disturbing the natural order of things and interrupting the space-time continuum.

    The only thing peachy I do like is a Bellini. I guess if you add enough alcohol to something, it'll taste good.

    But pie? Cake? Cookies? Smoothie? Cut-up on a plate?

    No sirree. No thanks. Tastes like feet to me.

    Not that I know what feet taste like. I've never tasted mine.

    I could probably ask Jordan. She can put her toes in her mouth. Does so on a regular basis.

    That's a whole other conversation, however.

    Right now we're on my weird eating habits.

    Stay with me, mmmkay?

    So a few weeks back we had a party. I made brownies and brownies. A couple of heavy treats. I wanted to make something lighter, fruity. You know, for the girls who watch their weight.

    During my whole ADD-what-do-I-make process, Robin posted a Dump Cake recipe and I found a can of peach pie filling in my cabinet. Perfect! I could get rid of the peach pie filling at a party, where it would get eaten by people who don't think peaches taste like feet.

    And yes, canned fruit is still fruit. At one point it hung on a tree. Thus, fruit.

    This is the easiest cake you ever made. One dish and that includes the pan.

    It's called a "dump" cake for a reason. You dump everything in the pan. Fruit, cake mix, butter. What's not to love?

    {Pardon the pictures. Some doofus tried to photograph stuff and then realized only afterwards that the camera was in the wrong mode.}

    It smelled heavenly. But no way was I gonna like it. It was deadly peach, after all.

    There was half left after the party. I picked at the top and man, was that good. Figured I better try a bite, with the fruit. Worst case scenario, I go wash my tongue with bleach.

    And guess what?

    ~Read More~

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    21 August 2012

    Peanut Butter Brownies

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    Today was Jordan's first day of second grade. I got a little sad. And then I realized something.

    She's gone! At school all day! I kinda felt like that lady in the empty-nester commercial, the one who redecorated her kid's room as soon as he left for college?

    It's amazing the difference that happens to a kid between kindergarten and second grade. Ginormous difference between then and now. And I know she's only going to grow up even more in the next few months.

    She'll probably think she's ready for her driver's license by the time she ends second grade.

    And she's still super excited still about her braces. She made sure to seek out her old teachers, her principal, and parents of several friends to show them her NEW BRACES! and NEW EARRINGS!

    {Shy my child is not.}

    So, what did I do to celebrate today?

    Remember last year? How a bunch of us moms started walking after drop off? We kicked it off again today.

    My friend told me it was "about an hour walk."

    We did over seven miles. SEVEN.

    So I'm not sure if my friend is a friend or if she's out to kill me? The jury is still out on that one.

    After I walked SEVEN miles this morning I think I deserve a treat.

    And luckily, unlike most of the treats I share with you, I still have some of these babies in my freezer.

    I was going to take them to school this week.

    They might not make it.

    Remember those Very Vanilla Bars I made you a few months ago? You know, the ones for that unmentionable party? Well, they were actually called Very Vanilla Brownies...a fact I realized I messed up on only after photo editing. Anyway, they were made with white chocolate chips.

    As I stood at the stove making them, my mind wandered and I began to wonder if I could make them with other kinds of chips. Like peanut butter chips.

    You know, make Peanut Butter Brownies.

    Sometimes I astound even myself.

    Because these are amazing.

    Of course, I had to do more than make brownies with frosting. I added a crust.

    Because I'm me.

    Pretzel crust. Peanut Butter Brownies. And Peanut Butter Frosting (which totally makes them; do not skimp on the frosting!)

    You could add chocolate. I almost did. But this way the peanut butter is the total star. She doesn't have to share the limelight with her pesky BFF, chocolate, throwing her perfect hair around or strutting her stuff in her milk chocolate stilettos.

    Nope, peanut butter is the star here.

    ~Read More~

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    20 August 2012

    Crazy Sweet Tuesday & My Memories Giveaway

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    Welcome to Crazy Sweet Tuesday, where desserts rule the day!

    Thank you for coming to Crazy Sweet Tuesday! I have one more giveaway for you, and I'm super excited about it.

    I used to scrapbook - a lot. I did it the old fashioned way for a long time; lugging out the cutters and paper and boxes of photos. Then, a few years back, I discovered digital scrapbooking. And it was like the sky opened and angels sang. No mess to clean up! No dangerous tools to keep away from little hands!

    While I do create photo books and 12x12 page prints occasionally, hands down my favorite thing to do with digital scrapbooking software is to create printables: invitations, cupcake decorations, tags, and signs. Once you start creating, the options are endless.

    When My Memories contacted me and asked if I'd like to be an affiliate, I jumped at the chance. I recently got a new computer, a mac, so the old software I used was not compatible. I was super excited to get my hot little hands started!

    What's really cool about this digital scrapbooking software is it comes with tons of papers and embellishments already installed. You don't have to buy anything extra if you don't want too. And the My Memories site has tons of freebies.

    If you've been reading some of my posts lately, you've already seen some of my creations in action.

    I made the "Smart Cookie" tags and the "Popping By" tags with the My Memories Suite. All with papers, frames, and embellishments that came free with the software!

    Today is Jordan's first day of school, and as the head of the Hospitality Committee, I am in charge of organizing snacks in the teachers' lounge this week. I don't just like to drop the snacks and run - I like to leave a little something pretty for the staff to look at. I made this subway art to place on the table. (And, yup, I made it with My Memories!)

    {Want it for yourself? Click here for the printable.}

    Okay, so now for the fun part. My Memories is offering Crazy for Crust readers a super deal! Want the software? Of course you do!

    Buy the My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software and enter the code STMMMS18039 at checkout and you will receive $10 off your purchase AND a $10 coupon for the My Memories store! That's a $20 value. Just be sure to enter that code.

    But wait. Before you run screaming to the My Memories site...you should enter to WIN your own copy of the software! Because My Memories is giving away one free software package to a lucky Crazy for Crust reader!

    The software works on PC or Mac. It's downloaded so no shipping needed...so it's open to anyone!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Good luck!

    Okay. Whew. That was a lot of pre-party fun!

    Let's start with the features from last week:

    Salted Hot Fudge Brownies by Kristin's kNook.
    Mocha Cupcakes by Shugary Sweets
    S'mores Cake by A Sweet Baker
    S'mores Truffles by Mommy's Sweet Confessions.

    And the most clicked sweet was another tie! Obviously you all have a thing for marshmallow treats (which I totally understand!)

    Malibu Rum Fruit Loop Treats by Averie Cooks.
    Cinnabon Roll Rice Krispie Treats by The Spiffy Cookie.

    Than you all for linking up last week. Can you believe that this party is almost a year old? That's right...next week is CST's first birthday! WOW! And thank you!

    Let's start the par-tay!

    Thanks for linking!

    This giveaway is sponsored by My Memories. I recieved a free copy of the software to use and review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.


    19 August 2012

    Butter Pecan Cake Kettle Corn {Sundays with Joy}

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    Last week I spent an entire day at a local water park, complete with water slides, wave pool, and general chaos.

    If you remember how I feel about such things, you'll understand  why I had hesitation in going.

    Jordan had been dying to go all summer and this was a girl scout event; a reward for all those cookies I she sold last spring.

    As a reward for all my her hard work, we got to spend a day at the least most fun place in the area.

    I don't like heights, putting my head under water, crowds, claustrophobic round tubes, and swimming pools in general, so you can understand my hesitation in going.

    The last time I went to a water park I was 12. It was for the birthday party of a friend, and I had tubes in my ears (for the second time). I had to wear ear plugs and, because of the force of the water coming off the slides and the eventuality that I would lose an ear plug thus rendering my head an aching mess, I had to also wear a bathing cap.

    Did I mention I was 12 years old? Gawky, just a smidgen overweight next to my waif girlfriends in bikinis and I had to wear a bathing cap the entire day.

    Now the gawkiness is gone, the smidgen is more a ton, and the tubes are gone but the problems that caused them remain. But, really, I can deal with all the water, the heights, the incredible chaos that is an amusement park filled with water. ("Okay, Jordan is over there. [Blink] Where the f*&# did she go?")

    What I cannot deal with in a place like that?

    Walking barefoot.

    Seriously people. A few times in line for the one slide I was nice enough to brave I had to keep my gag reflex in check just thinking about my bare tootsies on the wet ground.

    I am the girl in the gym bathroom that showers with flip flops. When washing my feet in the shower, I do yoga to wash one, then the other. (I'm reeealllly good at tree pose.) I will not let my feet (nor any other part of my bare body) touch any part of the floor.

    How, dare I ask, is the water park any different than a gym bathroom floor?

    {Hint: it's only different because it's worse.}

    Turns out I am very skilled at walking up stairs on the tiniest portion of foot that gravity allows.

    My calves reminded me of this the next morning.

    And people seem to have no problem walking around barefoot all day. I wore flip flops and/or water shoes (yes, I brought both) as much as possible. But you're not allowed to wear them on the slides.


    Needless to say, there was a lot of foot scrubbing at my house that night.

    And comfort eating.

    This popcorn is perfect comfort food.

    In her book, the Joy the Baker Cookbook, Joy wrote about how her kettle corn had gotten her through many a hard day.

    Of course, I couldn't just make kettle corn. Although it was good by itself, that's not quite how I roll.

    So I added Butter Pecan Cake Batter (the ultimate comfort food in my book) and toasted pecans. And white chocolate.

    Total comfort food. Perfect for when you survive a day of barefoot trauma at the water park.

    {Oh, and do you need a last minute teacher gift idea? Then this is it! Popcorn is great for giving...especially when you're "popping by" to say hello. See? I even made cute tags.}


    Butter Pecan Cake Kettle Corn
    by Crazy for Crust (Adapted from Sundays with Joy by Joy Wilson)

    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 4 sections (8 ounces) white candy melts
    • 1/2 cup butter pecan cake mix
    • 1 cup toasted pecans (toast in a frying pan over low heat, stirring often, just until you smell them)
    1. Melt oil and butter together over medium heat in a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add popcorn and sprinkle sugar evenly over kernels. Place the lid on the pot and turn heat to medium-high. When popcorn begins to pop, using potholders, shake pot every 20 seconds to reduce risk of burning the sugar. Once popping slows, remove from heat and remove lid carefully. Sprinkle with salt and add to a large bowl.
    2. Melt candy melts. Stir in cake mix. Pour over popcorn. Add toasted pecans and stir until all the candy is incorporated. Turn out onto a baking sheet covered with wax paper and chill until candy hardens. Store in a sealed container.
    Powered by Recipage

    Read more about the Joy the Baker Cookbook here. I'm not affiliated with Joy, but I love her recipes. Do you have her book and want to cook your way through? Join us here.

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    17 August 2012

    Whatever Friday

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    It's the last Friday before school starts. I'm happy (more than you can imagine), but it's bittersweet too. It's been a fun summer. But we're all so ready for it to be Fall!

    Did you do anything fun this week? Our week was super busy.

    1. Jordan got her braces. It's kind of emotional for me, to see her with all that metal, because it's my genes that gave her that mouth. Way back before we started the process, I thought she would get a palate expander and be done. She wasn't so lucky. She had to have four baby teeth pulled. She got a palate expander. And we were scheduled for partial braces, just on the top.

    When she came out of the exam room on Tuesday she had full braces. The doctor made the decision she needed them.  Because her mouth is that bad.

    It's so bad that, when we first saw the doctor he said "don't worry, I've fixed something this severe before."

    It was either this (and she'll have them again at 12) or surgery to fix her palate.

    So yeah, I feel really guilty. And sad. And hopeful that her self-confidence can weather this metal storm.

    {Cheery sidenote: when we left with her new bling she said she thought she was even prettier than before.}

    2. I made you some treats this week too. What else would I do?

    I freaked you all out with green dessert again.

    I made my new favorite lunch.

    And remade an old favorite.

    3. I'm giving away a doughnut pan that makes ginormous doughnuts. Want it?

    4. I haven't done Flashback Friday in awhile...oops.

    This weeks installment: last years' teacher treat: Apple Oreos.

    5. A few things I did this week:

    I went rock climbing again. Jordan came too and took pictures. Oh-so-flattering!

    The child is part monkey.

    I took one for the team and spent a day here. More on that next week.

    6. It's the last weekend of summer vacation so we're doing a stay-cation. I'm hoping that means I don't have to cook.

    What are you doing this weekend? Have your kids started school yet?

    Have a good one, peeps. See ya' on the flip side.