Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chocolate Chips...

...and I'm not talking about Toll house here, people!

I can't remember where I saw these, but I think a co-worker had told me that her mom makes them for Christmas. Ever since then, they have been in the back of my mind...taunting me.
Ladies and gentleman...Chocolate covered potato chips. In this case, Pringles, because that's the brand that was recommended to me to stand up the best in the dipping process!

Let me start by telling you that there was a traumatic melted chocolate experience on Christmas Eve that involved all three of us Briner girls gathered around a small, homemade double broiler full of chocolate chips (yes, the Toll house kind) trying to get the damn things to melt evenly.We ended up making a horrendous mess, and only having enough chocolate to dip about 24 orange slices, for our family Christmas Day gathering of 18. Epic fail. But they WERE delicious!

I have made melty chocolate goodies before, and used a small crocpot, or an electric fondue pot, and it works like a charm. I told Erin and Hannah that I would try and find one at an after Christmas sale for us!

The next day was Christmas and we were all at our Daddad's house. I went down into the basement to put my corn pudding into the extra oven down there, and low and behold, a tiny crocpot, still wrapped in plastic, never used! I took it back upstairs and asked Daddad if he ever used it, and he said "No, why? Do you want it?" Of course I said YES!! To which he enthusiastically told me to get it outta the house before he threw it out. I think my Ma was looking out for me :)

ANYWAY...another option to the fondue/little crocpot is a pre-packaged little cup of chocolate melts that you can buy at most grocery stores. That's what I used for the first time I made the Pringles! You just peel the lid off, pop it in the microwave, and you are good to go. This is not the brand I used, Wal Mart had a different one, but you get the idea. It is found in the baking aisle, near the chocolate chips and things like that
I had intended to do this for NYE but never got around to it. I was watching Jax and had a few friends over and between his feedings, and watching Amish Mafia, it just didn't happen ;)

One day last week, Gioia called me at work in a panic because she was with Matt's dad at UVA, his surgery had gone on longer than expected, and Matt was in Arlington at work. For those of you non-Virginians...those are both locations FAR apart from each other, and over an hour from where we live. 

The time when the bus comes to drop the boys off from school was quickly approaching and she was afraid that neither one of them was going to make it! No worries, that's what Em-Way is for ;) I finished up my day about an hour-and-a-half early and drove over to their house to meet the bus.

I had the boys finish their homework and told them we would make a special snack when they were done. Jason is a chip FANATIC! He loves ANY kind of chips! Potato, tortilla, Doritos, Cheetos, you name I knew this would be a hit!

Jason was screwing around with his reading homework, so Aron and I did most of the dipping, and then threw them in the fridge to cool and harden while we waited for Jason. we dipped about half of each chip into the chocolate, and left the other half plain. 
You could just as easily dip the whole thing in, if that's what you want :) 

Also, the boys came up with the idea of adding sprinkles! How cute would red and pink sprinkled chips be for Valentines Day??

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The best is yet to come...

2013...The Resolutions

I'm not a huge fan of New Years Resolutions, because they usually just get broken come February 1st...however, 2010-2012 were pretty rough for me in hindsight, so I decided that 2013 is going to be the year of Emily.
The year that I start doing what is right for me.
The year that I start moving in the right direction.
The year that NO ONE controls how I feel, what I do, who I am.
So...while I'm going to call these resolutions, they are more like goals and/or inspirations.

In NO particular order, except the first one...its #1 for sure!!

-Finalize my DIVORCE!!!
-Get new tags, title on my Escape
-Sell my engagement ring
-Get finances in order
-Go back to the firehouse in some way, unsure yet on how, when, etc.
-More time with my family and Oscar
-Walk Oscar at least 3-4x/week
-Loose a few pounds and be able to be comfortable in a dress and cowboy boots at Daniel and Amy's wedding in June
-Have a minimum of 4 Initials Inc parties/month.
-Push hard to sell $12,000 worth of Initials Inc product in one year, which would pay off my car
-Go to Initials Inc conference in July in Atlanta
-Go on some other trip, maybe to see one of my Aunt's in Alaska or Seattle...something just to get away for a few days
-Work on relationships with the people who matter
-De-clutter and organize
-Grab these migraines by the horns
-Sleep more, Laptop less
-Cut down to 1 soda per day
-Go back to school, even if its just one class at a time
-Get my tattoo finished
-Do not be afraid of what is unknown
-No more fireman, motorcycles, unemployed, etc.
-No girl scout cookies
-Do laundry on a regular basis, do not wait until it is out of control
-Take the stairs
-Shop less, save more

I'll probably keep adding to the list, but that's all I've got for 2:30 am, I've got to be up in 4 hours :) Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2012 The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

Traditionally I have written a "Top 10" post to round out the year. A list with pictures of my family's best moments, vacations, etc to show you all just what we have been up to (2010 and 2011)

Well...I'm going to be perfectly honest. 2012 was rough. And that's an understatement.

I was very reluctant to link up the 2010 and 2011 posts from my old blog...because as I look back on them my "best of" moments were actually not very good at all. Things were very hard for me in Chicago, and I played it all off like life was good and we were a happy little family with our 2 pups and life was just swell.
 The Ugly:
If you have been following me, you know that it was not. My VERY BEST moment of 2012...

Leaving Chicago. This was the single most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. It was the easiest decision I have ever made, but it was not easy to do. Does that even make sense? My marriage was over LONG before I left, but I was scared...terrified even, to leave. It is something that I cannot even begin to describe to you. Maybe one day.
All I know is that I am stronger, smarter, happier and have never felt more alive than I do now. Being HOME with the people who love and care about me has never felt so good.

Aside from leaving my husband and loosing my home, I also left behind and AMAZING job in Chicago. I could not have been any happier than I was in that position. My boss taught me everything I know about Cardiology and gave me the skills that made it possible for me to take the position that I am in now. He and his wife also were so generous to me during my struggle after leaving, and I can never thank them enough for that.

The Bad:
In the midst of picking up the pieces of my life, I lost one of the most influential and important people in it. My Ma. I'm 28 and until August 6th had all four of my grandparents living. I have lost a few friends, but never someone extremely close.

She has been slowly slipping away from us, body and mind, for the last 5-7 years, but that never makes it any easier. I still called her every Sunday and answered her as she repeated the same questions and reminded her of day-to-day details that were sometimes fuzzy to her.

She was the epitome of a Southern lady. Always dressed to the nines. She loved all animals, the Redskins, and her family...especially her grandchildren.

She died on a Tuesday morning at quarter to six. I cried all the way to work, and still do some days. I miss her like crazy. Her funeral was beautiful, just as she would have wanted it.

My Daddad is doing OK. At 85 he really has no physical or mental restrictions and is enjoying things that he has not been able to do for years because so lovingly has been caring for Ma. I've called him and found him to be out metal detecting, gardening, fishing, on skype with his brother or reading a book She died 2 months before their 63rd wedding anniversary. I can only hope to find love like that.

The Good:
Finally...enough of this depressing crap!!
Despite my emotional train wreck, some good things DID happen in 2012! Being in Chicago for the last 4 years, it KILLED me to be away from friends and family. Coming back home meant just that...being HOME.
Two of the very first people I rushed to go see (aside from Mom, Dad, Erin and Hannah!) were of course, Aron and dudes, my stinkers, my main men.
Aron and Jason have been through a lot this year as well. Their dad is one of my very best friends, and I'm happy to say that 2012 brought him:
1. A final divorce from their mother (sounds bad, but is a very good thing)
2. A marriage to Gioia (yay!)
3. A beautiful new home
4. The birth of the boy's brother!!

Meet Jackson...he melts me <3

 Just after my grandmother died, I got some new cousin (well...2nd cousin, once removed) Brian did it. Through some genealogy research, Brian found us on facebook and had been communicating with my aunts, dad, myself etc. He is an accomplished tattoo artist and I am VERY lucky to call him my cousin. He is still working on it, so I do not have a picture...but stay turned for the end result as well as before and after shots, as this is a cover up job!

Oscar has THRIVED since we moved back home. I was initially very worried about him being away from Lyla, since they had been pretty much joined at their cute little doxie hips since they were 6 months old.
Separating them was not ideal, but that is what had to happen, and there was no way in hell that Kurt was going to keep Oscar up there, so that is the compromise that I made.
Since coming to Virginia, he has:
1. Lost a pound (That's a lot for a little dog! And ideal weight  for him!)
2. Learned to safely navigate up and down stairs (He NEVER did stairs before, had to be carried)
3. Continued to ring his jingle bell on the back door to go outside, and even "taught" some of the other dogs to do the same
4. Gotten to sleep in bed with Momma (Never could before, because Lyla could not be trusted

I signed on to be an Independent Creative Partner with Initials Inc. in November. I've already earned some extra money and free product. I like that I have the freedom to work as much or as little as I want to, and hope to continue to do well with this. With a little slice of luck, I can do well enough with this to cut down on my hours at work and be able to go back to school!

That was a hella long post, but its been a hella long year.
Happy New Year!!

Missing crocpot...

Reward offered for it's safe return!!!

There was an incident at work where everyone had the same little I put this extra vinyl sticker that I had made with my cricut on mine for quick identification and a few laughs =)

Well...apparently someone else liked it too...because now the damn thing is missing!! This is my FAVORITE crocpot! Its the 2.5 quart one, the one for dips and small things. I use it ALL the time! The nephews and I had been using it to melt chocolate chips and make Chocolate covered pringles and pretzels for Christmas!

So anyway, if you see this Zombie crocpot at your next potluck, you know who to call! I'd be happy to make someone another sticker!! Just ask!

Flea Market Fabulous...

Sometimes, I'm just too dumb to take a "before" pic....
THIS, my friends...may be the single best thing I have ever found at a flea market!

This owl lamp was was brown, orange and 18 shades of ugly straight out of 1972.

Katie spotted it from the parking lot though. The girl has an eye for wildlife, what can I say?

When the lady told her $5, there was no hesitation, or question in my mind that this monstrosity was coming home with us!!

It took her a little bit, but my best wildlife lovin' friend picked out this perfect shade of gray this weekend and turned her formerly hideous friend into an amazing piece!

Totally jealous, and in love with this lamp!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy Birthday to my favorite Twilight fan...

Happy Birthday, Erin! (Belated...I'm a day late!)

My "little" sister, the only "friend" I've had for as long as I can remember. Since I was 20 months old.

We have fought, loved, smiled, cried, hugged, hated, supported, let down, encouraged and laughed at each other over the last 27 years...and I can't thank you enough for all of those memories.

My little sister suffers more in a day, than most people do in a lifetime. She has severe chronic myofascial pain, Asperger's syndrome and depression. I cannot even imagine a day in her shoes. I admire her for keeping up her constant battle.

Part of the Asperger's thing is being mildly OCD about certain things. She tends to "latch on" to some thing, whether it be a book, movie, etc and obsess about it for a long time. For a while it was The Lord of the Rings, and then Sci Fi romance novels, or witches and the show "Charmed," and then  Harry Potter.

Well, these days (and for quite some time!) it has been the Twilight series. I think obsession is honestly putting it lightly. She has read all the books and seen all of the movies several times. she reads about the cast and characters online, reads all of these "alternate endings," online, etc.

She is very much "Team Jacob," (Hannah and I are Team Edward, just for funsies! lol) and has been into Werewolf things, and Native Americans as Jacob is from a Native American Werewolf tribe. Sooo...when I stumbled across this wolf hat/scarf/mittens combo...I just HAD to have it for her!!!

So perfect! Happy Birthday, E!


Friday, January 4, 2013



This time of year is always a little nuts for me. I work for an already busy cardiologist, but when people decide that they want to make and follow through with New Year's Resolutions, they usually involve taking care of one's self and for a lot of people that involves:

1. Working out, which may require cardiac clearance if they have a previous cardiac problem

2. Working out, which they can't handle, so they end up causing a NEW cardiac problem

3. Going to the doctor for a "check up," which they haven't had since last January, so now their cholesterol is out of control, none of their medications are up to date, and they need all of their annual testing...and they want it all done. Now.

4. They got new insurance as of 1/1, or they are now 65 and so they can now go to the doctor, and come in and be pushy and demanding about needing testing, lab work, prescriptions, etc all done. Now.

I love my job, and love my patients even more...but these obnoxious, once a year people get on my damn nerves!! They are like the people who only go to Church on Christmas and call themselves Christians, or the ones that donate $25 to the SPCA or another charity once every five years and want a big pat on the back. UGH.

Anyway, what are your resolutions? Stay tuned for Oscar and I's goals and resolutions for 2013, and our best and worst moments of 2012!

Happy Bloggy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to my blog! I've officially been blogging for 2 years now! Hard to believe how many things have changed in that 2 years, I can't even imagine what my life was like then anymore.

I'm not feeling all that great today, so I'm planning on catching up later in the weekend, but until then...stay safe and enjoy the first weekend of 2013 =)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, Ya'll!

I'm going to write the obligatory post about resolutions, the past year, etc etc just as I've done
here on the old blog...
But for now, while my head is killing me from a bit too much celebration and staying up too late last night,

 Happy 2013 from the baby Jax, his Em-way's midnight kiss ;) (stayed up until 8, up at 11, up at 1, up at 6 and just went back down...I was happy to stay here with him for NYE but didn't know that he would be reverting back to his newborn schedule!)