Shifting Gears To Lo, Even More Meaningful Topics

What we have here is an assortment, a medley, a HODGE PODGE of topics.

Please pardon the absence of any sort of unifying narrative thread.

1) I may have mentioned one or forty-three times that I gave up sweets for Lent this year. I actually prefer salty stuff to desserts – give me a bag of chips over banana pudding any day of the week – but oh, do I ever have a weakness where chocolate is concerned.

That weakness is because I love it and find it to be very delicious.

And this right here? BIGGEST WEAKNESS OF ALL.

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Alex got a big bag of them for Easter. I can only blame myself since I’m the one who, you know, bought them. But I promise you that they CRY OUT TO ME every time I walk by the bag. So far I’ve managed to resist, but I’m forever mindful that I’m just seconds away from a full-on chocolate breakdown at any given point in the day.

2) This afternoon my friend Tiffany posted some very exciting news on Facebook, and the news was this:


Y’ALL DON’T EVEN KNOW.

It made my whole day. I mean, I enjoy living in the land of Alabama / Auburn football as much as anybody, but I am so tickled to be able to support my Bulldogs with a car tag. David (jokingly) asked if I was going to get mine personalized with “BOODOG,” but no. No, I am not. Just a regular ole MSU tag will suit me just fine.

3) I don’t know if anybody is interested, but Cynthia Rowley has a super cute line of dog bowls and dog bowl stands (holders?) at TJ Maxx and Home Goods. There are lots of fun colors, and the prices are great. Here’s the one that I got for Hazel (except that I had my camera on some weird setting when I took the picture, so I can’t really explain why my walls look that color).

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4) All the Mother’s Day bookmarks and bookplates came in, so I’ll be doing a little signing and mailing over the next few days. I hope to have everything mailed out by the first of next week, and if for some reason I don’t make my goal, you’ll be the first to know. Sister is working on the printable, and it’s DARLIN’ PLUS.

5) The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. It’s too good, y’all.

6) This made me laugh until I cried. Make sure to turn on the sound in the upper left hand corner. (And thanks, Nicole, for posting it on Facebook and completely changing my Tuesday morning mood.)

7) When I was in Home Goods this afternoon, I noticed that there was all sorts of activity going on at our new Steinmart. I drove across the parking lot to see what was going on (in case you don’t remember, this part of Birmingham has endured a harrowing Steinmart ordeal over the last year or so). Our old store had some structural issues with the building, so the developer tore down the original building, moved the Steinmart to a vacant store front across the parking lot, and rebuilt the store on the original site. This means that we have a BRAND-SPANKIN’ NEW Steinmart, and it opens on May 1st.

Between that and the Mississippi State car tags, I may require some vapors.

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Perhaps These Crackers Will Be An Encouragement To You

I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think I have a new favorite cracker for spring.

I know. It’s a little sudden. It was only a month ago when I was raving about the Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt crackers.

But like so many good things, these crackers came along seemingly out of nowhere. I wasn’t even looking for a new favorite cracker. I picked them up on a whim, really.

I was at the grocery store, reaching for my standard box of Triscuits (I typically prefer the cracked pepper and olive oil) when a new flavor caught my eye. The combination of ingredients sounded interesting, so I put the new flavor in my cart – along with the cracked pepper and olive oil because, well, TRISCUIT INSURANCE.

It was almost a week later when I tried them, and while I don’t want to overstate it, I think it’s safe to say that I will be a repeat customer as long as Nabisco continues to make them.

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Here’s what I enjoy about them.

1. They’re very dense. They’re not as crumble-y as a regular Triscuit, so I really like the change in texture.

2. They’re a little sweet and a little salty. Apparently I am drawn to that combination like a moth to flame.

3. This year I gave up sweets for Lent, so when I first tasted the little bit of sweetness in this particular Triscuit, my first thought was, “OH, IT IS PRACTICALLY A COOKIE.” But it’s not really like a cookie. It’s just that sometimes a hint of sweetness is mighty welcome indeed.

(Especially if you’re trying to curb a white-hot craving for red velvet cheesecake.)

(And no, the sweet potato / sea salt Triscuits certainly can’t replace cheesecake.)

(But they’ll do in a moment of quiet desperation.)

And if you’ll indulge me, I have one more cracker to share.

When Melanie and I were in Chicago a few weeks ago, the Tyndale folks served these sea salt crackers.

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They’re outstanding. Here’s what I like about them.

1. They’re super crunchy.

2. They’re excellent with a slice of parmesan cheese. Some crackers can’t handle parmesan because they fall apart as soon as you bite into the parmesan, but this one was up to the task.

3. They’re rectangular. This means they’re the perfect two-bite cracker. I find that larger square or round crackers can lead to awkward snacking in front of other people because there’s no graceful way to eat them (especially if they tend to crumble), so a dense rectangular cracker is a much nicer option.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find these crackers in Birmingham. I still have to check Whole Foods, though, so I’m holding on to hope.

So there you have it. My new favorite crackers.

And yes, I realize that I’ve done a significant amount of needless over-analysis on this subject.

Let’s just all smile and pretend this is perfectly normal.

Do you have an all-time favorite cracker? Please feel free to share with the group.

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The Book That Has Stolen My Heart (And A Giveaway)

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I don't know when exactly I started reading Nester's blog. I want to say that it was five or six years ago, and when I got to meet her in person at a conference a couple of years after that, I remember thinking, Well. She is just as warm and funny … [Continue reading]

A Quick Bookmark / Bookplate Update

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Hi there, bloggy people. Y'all have pretty much blown my mind with your response to the bookmarks and bookplates. It has been so fun to read through your info on the order form and learn a little bit more about you and your families and your … [Continue reading]

A Mother’s Day Happy & A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet

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I think I've probably mentioned that I was scared out of my mind when my book came out this past June. I didn't know what to expect because, um, NEWBIE, so I sort of braced myself for mean reviews and disappointed readers and … [Continue reading]

Not Here. Over There.

Well, I am still doing my level best to cough up a major organ (SWEET MERCY, POLLEN - I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU), and I just started round two of antibiotics, a fact that grieves me to no end because I like to think that I can cure just about anything … [Continue reading]