Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Tour of Illingworth Manor


Ya'll, I'm so happy.

Oh, you see right through me don't you? Well you're right, I'm not happy. I'm moody. For the past few weeks I've been on the verge of a hysterical meltdown or a psychotic break or a fit of maniacal rage. Does that sound dramatic? What I'm trying to say is that I cannot watch those Publix Christmas commercials anymore - it simply takes too long to reapply mascara every commercial break. I feel like a weepy contestant on the Biggest Loser...only I'm still a "before". I don't know what is up with me. Maybe it's the epidemic of divorce sweeping through my friends and family. You think?


I am so happy. Because it's Christmas! All over! I've spent my entire Christmas budget on gas just driving around looking at Christmas lights. And to all of you who live near me and have done it up big and bright - I could kiss you. The twinkles lift my spirits. And! BooMama is once again hosting the Christmas Tour of Homes! Take a look...and head on over to BooMama to share in the Christmas goodness for yourself!

And now...Christmas at Illingworth Manor.


Notice Minnie Dog lurking behind The Duck...waiting to pounce. Those crazy kids!


Behold! The White Tree! And that Ho! sweater cracks me up every time.


Remote controls for both trees. A little device that changes the season from GRRR to AHHH!!!


Addison and Santa - BFF!


Since I've made seven batches of cookies and brownies from scratch and homeade cheescakes and...and...and...Ryan got me these cute canisters! Isn't he nice?


My Christmas Crazy cannot be contained. No it cannot.


Bedroom Christmas.


The Christmas Village...


...and its Demon Child that haunts my dreams.


The Mantle of Christmas Dreams. If you look closely, you can see TOTALLY CUTE sweaters, hats and gloves that spell out Christmas.




Some of my favorite ornaments...




Behold! The Green Tree! And you should know...this photo is blurry-ish because my tree, it spins. ALL. THE. WAY. AROUND. If you love Christmas and you don't have a rotating tree, go and get one.

Right now.

Go ahead.

I'll wait.


And finally, my little Christmas Angel.....


Merry Christmas, Ya'll!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Cooking with Glam Jo

Seriously, what's better than Cupcakes?


And what's better than Cheesecake?

Cheesecake Cupcakes.

And what's better than Cheesecake Cupcakes?

Christmas Cheesecake Cupcakes.

Here we go.

First, start with your ingrediants.


3 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs (yes, FOUR!)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Kiwi and strawberries

Preheat oven to 325F.


Line 24 regular muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.



In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until very smooth.


Dig out mixer that has been in the back of a cabinet since last baking season. Notice that beaters are missing. Search HIGH AND LOW for beaters. Huff and puff. Stomp foot. Shake fist at the fact that you were not at the Oprah Favorite Things show where everyone got a fabulous new KitchenAid Mixer of Dreams. Continue looking for lost beaters. Continue being irritated. Wonder if mixer will work as is.


Think that no, it won't.

Dig out random hand mixer that always seems to disappoint. Try it on the cream cheese. Fail miserably.


Decide to mix by hand and pure gumption.


Open a Diet Root Beer as this is going to take a while.


Add the sugar and mix well. By hand since, well, you know.


Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Rub burning biceps.


While stirring, watch old episodes of Project Runway that Tivo thought you might like. Episodes that aired BCT - Before Cable and Tivo.


Look away from Heidi and Tim long enough to realize that the batter, she is mixed.


Fill the cups about half full with batter. Do not drip any batter on the pan.



Bake for about 25 minutes. Eat a Christmas cookie as all this work has made you hungry.



Make the topping: Combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla and stir well with a metal spoon or spatula. Thank Paula Dean for, at this point, not suggesting the mixer again.


Spoon about 2 teaspoons on top of each Christmas Cheesecake Cupcake and return to the oven for 5 minutes to glaze.


Remove the Christmas Cheesecake Cupcakes from teh oven. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin pan and let cool completely on wire racks. When completely cool, place them in plastic containers with lids and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, decorate with slivers of freshly cut fruit.


Hey Ryan, what do you think about the Christmas Cheesecake Cupcakes?


Oh good. Hey Minnie, what do you think about the Christmas Cheesecake Cupcakes?


I see.

This has been cooking with Glam Jo.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Meme for You

A strange meme that I stole from SecondHandGods.

What kind of soap is in your bathtub?

HaHa, and some body wash - Oil of Olay I think? It can make Ryan look younger too.

Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?

What would you change about your living room?

I would add a giant flat screen over the fireplace.

Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?
Dirty. But last night I came home and discovered that Ryan had run the dishwasher. He's full of surprises.

What is in your refrigerator?
Leftover Hamburger Helper - Ryan's choice. Butter and eggs for making cookies tonight. Apples. Tostitos Spinach Dip, which I like to call AWESOME. Diet Sunkist and Diet A&W Root Beer. Tortillas. Cheese.

White or wheat bread?

What is on top of your refrigerator?
Dust. Blue canisters that are empty. Dog treats. Stale cereal.

What color or design is on your shower curtain?
White with see-through holes. I like to know what's coming.

How many plants are in your home?
I haven't yet figured out how to keep something alive inside the house.

Is your bed made right now?

Comet or Soft Scrub?
Soft Scrub and Method cleaning stuff from Target.

Is your closet organized?

Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?

Glass. Or a can.

Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now?
No, but I do have pink lemonade.

If you have a garage, is it cluttered?
Ryan and I have a very strict rule that we should ALWAYS park our cars in the garage. That is what a garage is for. Parking cars. Not the driveway. Not the street. You should park IN the garage. And we do.

Curtains or blinds?

How many pillows do you sleep with?


Do you sleep with any lights on at night?
No, I like it dark.

How often do you vacuum?
Ideally once a week. Or, when dog hair starts floating through the air. My friend Tiffany vacuums EVERY. DAY. She even did this in college in her 6x6 dorm room. I do not vacuum every day.

Standard toothbrush or electric?

What color is your toothbrush?

Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch?
Yes, a Christmas one with three snowmen. My brother Drew was here last weekend and when he saw it he called his wife and said "take back the rug we got Jo, she already has it on her front porch."

What is in your oven right now?
The anticipation of cookies.

Is there anything under your bed?
Duck clothes.

Chore you hate doing the most?
Grocery shopping. Getting my car tags renewed.

What retro items are in your home?

If by "retro" you mean hand-me-down furniture, then, a lot.

Do you have a separate room that you use as an office?
If by "office" you mean "junk room that also has a desk in it" then yes, yes I do.

How many mirrors are in your home?
Too many. Or maybe it's not enough?

What color are your walls?
Kitchen is bright blue and I LOVE it. Bedroom is half-painted red and I will be changing it very very soon. Guest bath is green and I love it as well. Everything else is kind of a blah beige.

Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home?

Minnie Dog the Brave.

What does your home smell like right now?
The anticipation of cookies.

Favorite candle scent?
Not flowers.

What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now?
I don't like pickles.

What color is your favorite Bible?
Ok, a lot of these questions have been weird, but this one is almost stalker-ish weird.

Ever been on your roof?
Ryan won't allow it.

Do you have a stereo?
I'm a marketing director at a record company, of course I do.

How many TVs do you have?
Two, but still waiting for that flat screen. Did you hear that Santa? FLAT. SCREEN.

How many house phones?

We are a cellular family.

Do you have a housekeeper?

What style do you decorate in?
I read Domino magazine and think "hey, that's a good idea, I should do that!"....and that's about as far as it gets. But I have good intentions.

Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints?
I haven't bought any grown-up furniture yet but I think I would pick a solid.

Is there a smoke detector in your house?
Many. And they are currently POSSESSED with the Devil himself. We've had to turn the breaker off just to get them to shut up.

In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you'd grab if you could make only one trip?
Minnie Dog and photo albums.