Mary Elisabeth

on Fridays I burn my fears…

What were your favorite toys as a child?

Someone I love recently subscribed me to StoryWorth, which prompts a weekly question for me to answer. The first question was “What were your favorite toys as a child?” To which I responded:

To help you understand my favorite toys as a child I’ll first say that I loved animals! As soon as I could talk I asked my mom to horseback ride & my family always had dogs. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the fake animals just as much as the real ones:

Puppy in my pocket. If you ever wonder why I can name almost any dog breed from just seeing a dog on the street it’s because of these small plastic dogs. Each dog came with a card, sharing the breed and the dog’s name. I’m pretty sure they are still in a shoe box (a Hush Puppies brand shoe box of course) in my parents’ basement. Check out the attached photo for a glimpse of what these puppies looked like.

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Breyer horses. These model horses were a higher priced toy item and it was always a special treat to get a new one. I had Black Beauty, Man of War, Secretariat, Ruffian (photo attached), all the “famous” horses, and then others that were just as special. I gave them all names and played with them with my friend Lauren. We’d create our own equine sitcoms (or often times soap operas) with the characters we created and plots we developed. Horses had stallionfriend drama, friend fights, gossip, successes and failures, just as we experience. I also had smaller plastic horses, more similar in form to the puppy in my pockets. However, they did not intermingle with the Breyers.

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Stuffed animals. Let’s just say I could fill a bedroom with just stuffed animals. I collected them over the years because family knew me to love animals and gifting a fake plush one was a suitable substitute (and more favorable from my parents who were not excited when I brought home a live gerbil from a friend at school in the third grade). These plush friends brought much of the characteristics as a real friend…comfort, hugs, a shoulder to cry on, and a great listener (they never talked back and always agreed with me!)

Beanie babies. I struggle to include these small bean filled animals as toys, as they were more of an investment. They were supposed to pay for my college education when their $5 cost became $5,000 in value. Heck, that could’ve also paid for retirement considering all the Beanie Babies I owned. Even if they did appreciate in value ours probably would have still been worthless, since they made great amo for my siblings and my “beanie baby wars” during which we’d throw them at each other from across the basement floor. Once the tag was removed, the value was stripped.

With my imagination, all of these toy creatures had names, lives, personalities. They were my storyboard for creation in addition to childhood toys and entertainment. They were friendly compliments to the sports’ toys – basketballs, soccers, skates, or other recreational games. A basketball wasn’t something to cry on or talk to about my day at school. My husky stuffed animal was always there with a warm hug and listening ears, even if they weren’t real.

Am I missing anything, mom?

<3 mel

Happy National Bittersweet Chocolate Day!

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Some people celebrate birthdays, religious celebrations, engagements, anniversaries, and other holidays.

Sure I celebrate those occasions, but I also love me a food holiday.  Because who doesn’t want an excuse to eat chocolate, fruit, or other fun food creations?!  Foodimentary is my go-to source for national food holidays.  I like that they share some historical facts about the food celebration as well as some information about the food itself.

Today we are lucky to celebrate National Bittersweet Chocolate Day.

How did I celebrate you may wonder?  I made a bittersweet chocolate molten lava cake.

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I used PaleoGrubs’ recipe for inspiration, but made it even more bittersweet, in that I used 100% cocoa and added no sweetener.  That’s right…no sugar.  All chocolate.

I included the recipe at the bottom, in case you dare to celebrate the holiday like I did.  Of course you can add some sweetener or top with berries if you’d like to sweeten it up a bit.

Warning:  If you do make it like I did, beware of a caffeine overdose.  I was wired and then crashed from all the chocolate.  Plus, it’s super rich and filling!

Enjoy!

mel

Recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Ingredients
4 oz. dark chocolate
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
Pinch of salt (note: I used vanilla sea salt)
1 tbsp almond flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare four ramekins with coconut oil. Dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a large bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix for a few minutes, until frothy. Gently stir in the melted chocolate. Sift the almond flour and cocoa powder over the top and fold all of the ingredients together.
  4. Divide the batter equally among your ramekins. Put into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set. Take out of the oven and eat straight from the ramekin or place on a plate for a beautiful presentation.  Eat warm immediately!
Ramekin with coconut oil & dusted cocoa powder to keep the cake from sticking & making it easy to remove to display on a plate.

Ramekin with coconut oil & dusted cocoa powder to keep the cake from sticking & making it easy to remove to display on a plate.

Plated lava cake, dusted with cocoa powder.

Plated lava cake, dusted with cocoa powder.

Cake sliced open, gooey and warm on the inside.

Cake sliced open, gooey and warm on the inside.

 

“50 Shades of Grey” Soundtrack

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**I wrote this article over two years ago and kept it in my “drafts” folder.  I only recently rediscovered it and it seems even more relevant now considering the upcoming film**
Dear person choosing the music for the upcoming feature film, “50 Shades of Grey”,
I will make your life easier.  Here are the musical numbers to include in the movie.  For some of them I even included which scene to play the song during.  Otherwise, be creative!
  • “I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift
  • “Treacherous” – Taylor Swift
  • “I Won’t Give Up” – Jason Mraz
  • “Unstoppable” – The Calling
  • “Crash into Me” – Dave Matthews Band
  • “Stay Awhile” – Ryan Star
  • “We Found Love” – Rihanna
  • “Kiss Me” – Sixpence None the Richer
  • “Your Body is a Wonderland” – John Mayer
  • “Whistle” – Flo Rida
  • “Wanted” – Hunter Hayes
  • “Hello” – Karmin
  • “Hurt Me Tomorrow” – KNAAN
  • “Amazed” – Lonestar
  • “Break Me Shake Me” – Savage Garden
  • “Universe” – Savage Garden
  • “Love the One You’re With” – Stephen Stills
  • “Can’t FIght This Feeling” – REO Speedwagon
  • “I Like It” – Enrique Iglesias
  • “Scream” – Usher
  • “In the Dark” – Dev
  • “ET” – Katy Perry ft Kanye West
  • “Girl” – OTown
  • “Every 6 Seconds” – OTown
  • “Liquid Dreams” – OTown
  • “Bring Me Under” – OTown
  • “Wild Ones” – Flo Rida ft. Sia
  • “Moves Like Jagger” – Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera
  • “Everybody Talks” – Neon Trees
  • “It’s Time” – Imagine Dragons
  • “Billionaire” – Travie McCoy ft. Bruno Mars
  • “Jump Into the Fog” – The Wombats
  • “Don’t Wake Me Up” – Chris Brown
  • “What Makes You Beautiful” – One Direction
  • “Feel So Close” – Calvin Harris
  • “Paralyzer” – Finger Eleven
  • “Blog Me” – Pink
  • “Long Time” – Cake
  • “Kandi” – One Eskimo
  • “Fix You” – Coldplay (when Ana knows about Christian’s baggage & realizes she is fixing him)
  • “Save Your Scissors” – City and Colour
  • “Imma Be” – The Black Eyed Peas
  • “Dark Side” – Kelly Clarkston
  • “Lost in You” – Three Days Grace
  • “One More Night” – Maroon 5
  • “Stolen” – Dashboard Confessional (when Christian sees Ana dressed up for his parents’ ball)
  • “I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
  • “Just the Way You Are” – Bruno Mars
  • “Feel Again” – One Republic
  • “Bad for Me” – Megan & Liz
  • “Finally Found You” – Enrique Iglesias
  • “Closer to Love” – Mat Kearney
  • “Possession” – Sarah McLaughlin
  • “Let Me Love You” – Ne-Yo
  • “I’ll Be” – Edwin McCain
  • “Crazy For This Girl” – Evan and Jaron
  • “Breathless” – The Corrs (during the gliding or sailing)
  • “Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars

<3 mel

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