Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 10

Sorry I haven't updated about my life in a while - I promise I will very soon!

When G & I were talking about last night's show, I asked him if he knew what the theme was. He said, hopefully not "Boring" LOL! Here they are from the best to the worst (in my opinion, of course!)

1. Lee - Treat Her Like a Lady - Lee was awesome last night & totally rocked the house! Great vibe for him & I LOVED it! What a confidence builder for him
2. Crystal - Midnight Train - neat to see her doing something different & I agree with Simon for her to be true to who she is. I'm glad to see she can be versatile! That's talent!
3. Casey - Hold On, I'm Coming - besides the fact that he looked like he was hopped up on something, I really liked this performance. It seemed a little safe, but I loved seeing him rock out on the guitar & I did like that he had more energy than in weeks past.
4. Mike - Ready for Love - although I'm tired of him doing sappy love songs & really hoped to see him embrace his inner soul, I thought he picked a good song for his voice. He had a great, clean pitch/tone, but it seemed a little bit boring.
5. Katie - Chain of Fools - First of all, what was with her outfit? Her hair and earrings (BIG!) were cute, but her outfit was horrible. I agreed with Simon that it did seem somewhat robotic & put her back into the "old" vibe...she should've done a Christina or Alicia Keys song, IMO. Definitely not as pitchy as past weeks.
6. Andrew - Forever - so much better than weeks past, but I didn't think it was as super-wonderful as the judges said. I think they just liked that he went for the acoustic vibe again since that seems to work for him.
7. Aaron - Aint No Sunshine - perfect vibe for him - I felt like he should've built more throughout the song but overall another solid (albeit predictable) performance for Aaron. I still think he's adorable.
8. Siobhan - Through the Fire - Pitchier than I've ever heard her be. Not the best song choice, IMO & I've had enough with the screaming, really. I was very "bleh" about this performance.
9. Tim - Sweet Love - It seemed like Tim had some mic issues at the beginning of this song. He looked kind of uncomfortable (maybe because of the "connect" advice that Usher gave him - he was almost looking creepily at the camera). Even so, it was one of his better performances.
10. Didi - What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - I thought this was an interesting song choice & came across as very show-tunesy. It was very disjointed throughout & I just didn't get it. And what makes me sad about that is that she has such a neat voice but she chooses terrible songs to showcase that. If she makes it through far enough, I think her saving grace would be when the judges choose the songs for them!

Bottom 3: Tim, Didi, Katie/Andrew (can't decide - if I had to choose, I would say Katie)
Going home: Tim

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 11

It seems we're back to the old, torturous idol of past weeks now....I wasn't really a HUGE fan of too many performances last night. In order from best to worst...

1. Crystal - Bobby McGee - I was sitting at my computer last night while watching idol & for a few moments, I forgot that I was even listening to an Idol contestant. She's just so much more consistent than EVERYONE else on the show & while I may not always love her song choice (she's sort of in a rut, IMO), she knows who she is & stays true to that each week. I predict her to win this season.

2. Casey - The Power of Love - I have to say that it's a pretty sad night when we couldn't find anything better than a good rendition of Huey Lewis to come in at #2...I love the rasp of his voice (perfect for that song) & how he's showing more versatility each week.

3. Siobhan - Superstition - Dear Siobhan, just because you can shriek every week doesn't mean you should. That last note did not make my ears happy. Sincerely, Me

4. Lee - The Letter - I liked the bluesy, big-band vibe of the song. I felt like he got into it more than in past weeks but it was a bit safe. I'm still a Lee fan and I would've put him above Siobhan if I hadn't let the judges persuade me by their comments about the two contestants.

5. Didi - You're No Good - I LOVE Didi's voice & I do think that she was better than the judges gave her credit for (just KIND OF pitchy), but I do agree that the slowed tempo of the song made it very dramatic & theatrical almost.

6. Aaron - I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing - great song choice for Aaron again, but he's becoming predictable in that he always chooses the ballads. I'd like to see more personality from him by rocking it out or something. I think he's so adorable :)

7. Mike - When a Man Loves a Woman - I loved the sincerity and power in Mike's voice, however I do feel as though he's plateaued somewhat. I would love to see him really knock it out of the park next week.

8. Katie - Big Girls Don't Cry - I have no idea what the judges were hearing last night but that performance was a hot mess - does anyone agree with me? She was just pitchy and all over the place. I've been expecting so much more from her based on what we'd seen in the past.

9. Andrew - Heard it Through the Grapevine - I thought the performance overall was kind of safe and didn't really have any big elements to show off what he could do. I do think it's good that Miley got him to ditch the guitar because I have a hard time seeing how it would have really fit with the vibe of the song. There was nothing particularly outstanding about his performance & it lacked energy.

10. Tim - Crazy Little Thing Called Love - I agree with the judges that it was kind of corny, but I sort of missed Kara's point about how he's strutting around & sliding around up there like he's an established star & he's not - isn't the point to ENTERTAIN? It was an OK vocal, but not winner material. This song is always the kiss of death (David Radford - cutie crooner several seasons back performed it and got cut that week!) **VFTW candidate still

11. Paige - Against All Odds - not much to say about this one. She totally butchered that song - it was pitchy and all over the place throughout. There really were no positive elements other than she looked really cute.

Bottom 3: Paige, Tim & Andrew.
Going Home: Paige

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 12

DH & I agreed that last night was BY FAR the best (finally!) Idol episode so far this season...I wasn't bored to tears, despite the fact that I'm not too well-versed on Stones songs, so I only knew about 5 of them. I didn't completely agree with the judges on some (so you'll notice that my favorite was not their favorite)...I think it's that whole thing where it sounds so much different at home & they'll see that when they watch it back. I just didn't get a couple of the performances like they did! Share your thoughts & comments! DISCUSS! smile(Remember! These are just my/our opinions!!)

Here they are from my favorite to least favorite!

1. Didi - Play with Fire - what a come-back! I didn't know her song but I loved the intensity & passion in her voice. Defintely her best performance since Hollywood!
2. Crystal - You Can't Always Get What You Want - She's a great performer and she performs like a true star who knows herself and her strengths/limitations. She chose a great song, but I felt it was a bit safe. She's my clear pick to win the comp, but I think she's in danger of all of her songs sounding the same over and over. I think next week she might need to ditch the guitar and really rock it out or do a ballad to surprise everyone.
3. Aaron - Angie - what a doll & from (sort-of) central PA, so I love that, too! I thought the song was a PERFECT choice for him...right before Simon said that he sounded like a Justin Timberlake or something, I told G that he sounded like Jesse McCartney or Nick Carter...
4. Michael - Miss You - loved to see him rock it out and go soulful/bluesy after his serious song last week. The falsetto was pretty good & I love his confidence. I didn't think Simon should be preaching to a brotha' about his corny dancing!! :)
5. Siobhan - Paint it Black - I was excited to hear that she was doing this song because it's my favorite Stones song (like I said, I don't know many) & I thought it was a great match in that the song is pretty dark & she's so mysterious & different. I was kind of disappointed & didn't really get why the judges were going so crazy over it. I know that musically, she changed the intro by switching up the time signature & I didn't like it at all, which I guess they did (this is the only reason I put her ahead of Lee, because her musical talent is evident). I wanted to see her really rock out & I didn't think that she really did.
6. Lee - Beast of Burden - I loved the John Mayer/Dave Matthews vibe that he has. I did feel like he was holding back a bit, but I did love how his version of the song let the lyrics & vocals shine without all the bells & whistles. I think it suits him perfectly!
****I think these 6 could be the top 6!****
7. Katie - Wild Horses - I thought she did better than the past few weeks, as she was finally strong throughout. We loved how she held back at the beginning and really let it build throughout the song. She's got such a pure, trained tone to her voice that we like, but she's inconsistent.
8. Paige - Honky Tonk Woman - good song choice for her (maybe a little corny, surprisingly Simon didn't say that) & amazing that she had laryngitis. She is definitely the diva of the show, but like Katie, she's inconsistent, especially with song choice.
9. Casey - It's All Over Now - G & I had big hopes for Casey but we thought that his song fell flat - his was one of the the ones that we just didn't "get" like the judges did. We loved the bluesy, almost country/southern rock version of the song, but we weren't impressed with his performance & almost felt like he got lost in the song or behind the beat at times throughout. (As Randy would say, I'm still a fan, dawg!)
10. Andrew - Gimme Shelter - I wasn't familiar w/ his song & he really felt like he was holding back. The song needed more intensity, but much better than his past 2 weeks.
11. Lacey - Ruby Tuesday - I'm afraid this might be the end for poor Lacey. She's one of those ones that just hasn't seem to have gotten her stride yet. The song was a good choice for her, but I felt like it almost had an old-timey vibe to it that made it kind of forgettable, especially as early in the show as she performed. It got better through the 2nd chorus & I agreed w/ Ellen about the whole sitting/standing thing!
12. Tim - Under My Thumb - Oh Tim...dear Tim. What can I say? You're cute but you single-handedly turned off every Rolling Stones star with the beach rendition of that song. VFTW or not, I'm afraid his days are numbered.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (Sunday)!

Here we go with another week's menu! We haven't gotten the details all worked out yet, but here's what it's shaping up like so far...

Sunday - Meatloaf,* peas & garlic mashed potatoes
Monday - quick leftovers from Sunday's dinner before set construction crew @ G's school
Tuesday - chicken fajitas
Wednesday - family night w/ G's family?
Thursday - G's doing dinner! Sloppy joes maybe?
Friday - heading up to my parents' house, so we'll have a late meal of lenten fish dinners when we get there! I am so excited!
Saturday - extended family spaghetti dinner! I'm making Paula Deen's Toffee Gooey Butter Cake for dessert! Yum!

*Mom's Tried & True Meatloaf Recipe

2lb. ground beef
1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2tsp salt
1 cup bread crumbs/cracker crumbs/oatmeal combination
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
big squirt of ketchup (1T) plus some for the topping
1 small onion, chopped

1. Heat oven to 350
2. Mix all ingredients & shape into a loaf, smear ketchup over the top
3. Bake 1.5 hr on a wire drip pan, inside a baking dish
4. Remove from oven & let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Idol Chat: Top 16

Before I start posting about the lowdown of this week's Idol shows, I have to throw a question at you...for those of you hanging in there with me, does it bother you that I haven't blogged about IF? For those of you who are IF, would you like to see more posts or does it provide some strange comfort that I'm IF and NOT blogging about it, exclusively? Please give me your feedback...I know this is an IF blog, after all, but I also know that there's life outside of & apart from infertility & I want to know where you stand! Thanks!

Now for the idol week, I'll start up w/ the more in depth coverage of the individual performances, but for now, I'll just do my overall rankings!

The girls were once again very boring in my opinion...:
Crystal (the line there shows how head & shoulders Crystal is over the other my opinion, while they are all very talented, the other girls just pale in comparison to her (and I never thought I'd say that!)
Paige* (VFTW candidate)

I think Crystal, Lily & Siobhan are the only 3 truly safe ones tonight!

The guys (from the best listed first):
Big Mike
Tim (never thought I'd see him up here!)(VFTW candidate)

I think that it was a very mixed up & backwards night for the guys...some of the better ones in my opinion are down at the bottom (Casey, Lee, Andrew) while some of the weaker ones really excelled (Alex, Todrick, Tim - although Alex still does look like a deer in headlights). I don't think Alex or Todrick are completely safe tonight either, though, simply based on prior performances.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Menu Plan Monday!

I'm so excited to be back to menu planning - I don't know why, but it always seems that when my life is busier, I menu plan less...which is ridiculous since it makes my life SO much easier during the week. If I get a full-time job next year, the one thing I must be better at is meal-planning so that I can continue to make fresh meals each night (meaning cooked, not from a box/package).

Here's what this week looks like:
Sunday - Multi-grain angel hair w/ homemade meatballs, steamed snow peas
Monday - Creamy White Bean Chicken Chili (omitting the green chili peppers this first time)
Tuesday - Skillet Chili Macaroni
Wednesday - Pretzel Crusted Chicken for MIL's birthday
Thursday - leftovers?
Friday - on my own since DH will be in NYC chaperoning a trip to see Wicked (**jealous**)

Friday, March 05, 2010

More savings and a recipe!

Ok, I can take it...raise your hand if you're sick of hearing (reading?) me blog about my Rite-Aid savings and nothing else...anyone?? No? Ok, great, then I'll continue to tell you about them. I do promise to throw in a few posts about other goings-on in the upcoming weeks, though, ok? And I plan to be better about MPMs (menu-plan Mondays), too!

Today, I made a quick pit-stop at Rite-Aid to take advantage of a couple of great sales they were having. When all was said and done, I walked out of the store with $32 worth of merchandise for $8.20 - that's a 75% savings!!! I'll insert a pic later when G comes home and lets me use his camera phone or camera (the camera part of my phone went kerplooey!)
As always seems to happen, I go in to Rite-Aid, coupons in hand, in hopes of getting just a few specific things, which my store just never seems to carry (certain sizes of certain brands...Scott Extra Soft TP in the larger multi-pack sizes, for example). Today was no exception, but I made the best of it anyway. Here's the breakdown of what I got....

  • Charmin Basic 12-pack - reg. $8.49 - $1 coupon = $7.49
  • 2 - 20 pack Kotex liners - reg $1.49 each - on sale for $.99 each - $2/2 coupon = $.02 overage!
  • Excedrin 24ct. - reg. $4.99 - free product coupon = free!
  • Finish Quantum Dishwasher Tabs - reg $6.49 - clearance 50% off - $1 VideoValues coupon = $2.24
  • 2 - Kashi Heart to Heart cereals - reg $4.99 each - on sale BOGO - $1.50 printable coupon = $1.74 each!
  • I also had a $5/$20 Video Values coupon!
And I'll leave you with our dinner plans for tonight...even though G & I are now Methodist & therefore no longer need to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent, we were both raised with meat-free Fridays, so we continue the tradition in our home as much as possible. G is ecstatic because tonight for dinner we're having Pioneer Woman's French Onion Soup! It takes a while to make (mostly in the oven) but the results are well worth it - this soup is amazing!