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I am utterly addicted to buying glasses.  And coffee cups.  Really coffee cups are the main problem with no more room on the shelf until I let some go.  Whenever we go into Starbucks  together, my husband steers me away from the new ones on display.

The glass buying addiction is really limited to wine glasses.  I stopped buying them because how many different varieties of wine glasses are there really?  The husband has an addiction to buying martini glasses.  He had been collecting them for years before we married, and now he has so many any new ones he finds look like one he has already, so he's stopped buying those.

The new glass obsession just may be these from Sempli.  These are the Sempli Cupa-Rocks designed to serve whisky or brandy.  The design makes the glass swirl when you set it down aerating the whisky enhancing the flavor as you drink.  They also make a vino glass which makes swirling as you drink even easier.  I do have to admit that the first time I used it it was rather off-putting; I kept thinking the drink was going to spill.  Since I'm not a big drinker of whisky or brandy, I used the glass for a sip of Amaretto.  I'm not sure if it enhanced the favor, but the Sempli glasses are fun, unique and definitely a conversation starter.


My Kind of Lasagna

Most of my childhood, my parents were self-employed small business owners.  I have such a profound respect for that having spent my entire life working for others.  My parents ran their business, kept a roof over our heads with plenty of food and all the childhood luxuries we asked for.  On top of that, my mom who is an amazing cook, served us a home-cooked dinner almost every night. I remember sometimes begging for a TV dinner, and my mom usually saying no.  TV dinners and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch didn't fit into her definition of appropriate food choices.

Ironically, she did serve us two things from the freezer on rushed days, and both were from Stouffer's: lasagna and macaroni and cheese.  I loved and still love their macaroni and cheese.  It's creamy and has a good cheddar flavor.  The lasagna, though, I could have lived without.  I'm very picky about lasagna; my overarching complaint is that most have too much ricotta for my likes and heaven forbid someone uses cottage cheese instead.  To me, the Stouffer's always had these weird curds of cheese, and the sauce was way too sweet.

Since I'm so picky about it, I very rarely order it in a restaurant choosing to make my own instead.  I don't follow a recipe, and I tend to throw in something different every time.  The last time I made it, I really changed it up using a mixture of ricotta and goat cheese, Alfredo and pesto sauces and mushrooms in the filling.

The final irony is that youngest child is a lasagna addict.  She will choose lasagna or ravioli over most other things.  Last week wen we were in the grocery store, she said, "Mom, I love going to Grandma's.  She'll make me Stouffer's lasagna whenever I want.  It's the best."  No words.


Film Annex

I'm guest blogging over on the Film Annex, and today I posted about how film influences fashion and how important a single piece of wardrobe can be to a film.  Please hop over the take a look around and tell me what you think.


Disney Trips

We've had annual passes to Disneyland for 10 years now.  Since we live in Southern California, and had young children, we've always viewed it as an economical alternative for family entertainment.  Over the years, the passes have gone up in price significantly, but Disney made it more affordable by allowing you to make monthly payments.  Also over the years, we've watched California Adventure change.  When it first opened, it was a much less-crowded alternative to which to take a three year-old on rides with much shorter lines, but also made us wonder if it would last since there was never anyone there.  We should never have doubted Disney though because they've been continually making changes to turn the park into what it is today.

As passholders, we enjoyed an early entrance day when Cars Land opened.  We had watched the exterior going up for a year, and it's pretty amazing to see yourself standing inside the landscape of an animated film.

The other reason we enjoy the park is the dining options.  We enjoying hanging out in the lounge of Ariel's Grotto during the summer.

( I love the big, burly guy with the tattoos and mouse ears in the background of this picture.)

Another great place to people watch is the upstairs wine bar.  Perfect for a cold glass of wine on a hot summer day.

Also new this summer was the Carthay Circle restaurant where I discovered my new-to-me favorite drink, a Rye Manhattan in the downstairs bar.

Don't even get me started on the roasted pork from the upstairs dining room, a room in which I would like to live.


Gift Tag

Sometimes I see pictures of the most beautifully wrapped gifts, and I think that they are so perfect, I wouldn't even want to unwrap them.  I am in awe of people who are such artists with paper and ribbon, but I keep practicing trying to make mine look a little prettier.

My little great-niece turned three on Christmas Day, and my niece had her party the week before Christmas. Monsters Inc is my favorite Disney Pixar movie, and Madison looks like a little Boo, so this talking doll seemed perfect.

I keep a drawer full of small toys for times when little ones come and visit since we don't have a lot of things in the house anymore to keep them entertained.  When it came time for the name tag for the gift, I found this Snow White mirror in the drawer.  Ariana pulled out a silver Sharpie and instant name tag.

When it came time to unwrap the gift, the name tag was just as popular as the doll, but I've seen a few Instagram photos that prove that Boo is a bedtime favorite.