Sunday, 28 November 2010

Blondie Boy's First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Menu

Teriyaki Potato Skins
Baked Camembert

Pioneer Woman Thanksgiving Stuffing (including her skillet cornbread)
Donna Taylor's Famous Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Pennies From Heaven Carrot Coins
Cranberry Sauce

Chocolate Turkey Cupcakes (also used as place cards)
Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving didn't exactly turn out as we expected, but what can you do. We knew we'd be having less guests than we originally thought, but then two of our friends got snowed in* today so it just ended up being 5 of us and a LOT of food. Oh and as of last night the turkey was still frozen, but I'm not getting into how we gave the turkey a bath.

We managed to leave a bag of groceries in Glasgow so that meant no marshmallows for the sweet potato casserole and no canned pumpkin for the pumpkin pie. I was also going to make Blondie Boy a turkey onesie, but I forgot the brown felt as well. He also was going to have a cute shirt and tie, but since it was just family we had a more casual dress code.

Since there was only 5 of us we scratched the baked camembert starter and just munched on the potato skins midday. I probably would have cut out at least one other side dish, but I'd already started the stuffing on Friday and both potato dishes last night.

My Mother-in-Law set the table with a red, white and blue theme complete with an American flag. I used my tasty American Soda sponsored Turkey cupcakes as place cards. I used Texas sized silicone cupcake molds so it was more like individual cakes than cupcakes. The aerosol white icing wasn't as easy to control as I'd like, but I think the names don't look that bad.

I'd never made stuffing from scratch (or cornbread from scratch) before and I think it turned out really well. It was good it was all tasty because even after making up a big plate for both NotBlondeHusband's Mom and her partner there is a ton left. We'll be having leftovers for several days and I think I might try the Sunday Baker's Turkey Wild Rice Soup, too.
Blondie Boy even had his own wee plate of Thanksgiving dinner and really seemed to enjoy it. He had a taste of stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potato and his own plain mashed potato, carrots and turkey. He really seemed to enjoy his first Thanksgiving!

I've linked to all the recipes I've used that are online, but if you'd like any that aren't listed I'd be happy to send or post them for you!

As per the deal I have with my Christmas loving Mother-in-Law, now that Thanksgiving is over she's allowed to go nuts with Christmas stuff, so I put Blondie Boy in his Christmas pajamas after dinner as a special treat. Somehow the lucky boy got an early present, a snazzy light up and spinning drum!
The holiday season really has begun! Next up St. Andrew's Day followed shortly after by Chanukah and then Christmas, New Year's and Blondie Boy's first birthday. It's going to be a busy few weeks!

*For those who don't know we got 4+ inches of snow in Glasgow late Friday night and who knows how much more today (we are in Troon, but I've heard at least 4 more); more on the snow in a later post!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Gobble Gobble

I love baking, especially holiday baking so I was super inspired when I saw these turkey cupcakes and decided we had to have them this Thanksgiving. I used slightly different techniques than the original, but I think the result is still the same I did a test batch today and I think it came out super cute, what do you think?

You could make your own cupcakes from scratch or use a mix like I did. Here is what you need:

-Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Cake Mix

-Betty Crocker Whipped Chocolate Frosting

-Betty Crocker Cupcake Frosting White Cloud

-Candy Corn

-Black Icing Gel

1) Bake the cupcakes as directed on the box and allow to cool.
2) Roll out a large ball of frosting in your hands (it's best if it's been in the fridge for this) and place on top of the cupcake and then top with a smaller ball. These are the turkey's head and body.
3) Arrange the candy corn around the back of the large circle to create a fan like tail.
4) Cut a candy corn in half and stick in the small ball (head) as a beak
5) Carefully/slowly pie on two white frosting eyes and add two black gel pupils.
6) Gobble up your masterpiece!

I got my ingredients from which has the largest selection of American food and drink in the UK! I often struggle to find the right ingredients in the grocery store and find a lot of great recipes online that call for American ingredients that UK stores just don't carry.

I think any expat would agree with me that the selection of baking supplies abroad is tiny compared to the US and the handful of mixes the big groceries do stock just don't taste the same. Maybe I'm a baking snob, but I want the real thing! has everything I need for a taste of home in one place!

Check them out for a real taste of America in Europe!

Transatlantic Blonde was provided these ingredients to create this recipe

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

What's your sign baby?

We've been signing to Blondie Boy since he started solid foods. Whether or not to do baby signs with him was never really a question for me; I'd worked with children with special needs in the past had used sign language with children who couldn't verbalize what they wanted or reacted better to visual cues than audio cues.

We started with "more," "eat" and "finished." We've since added in more signs but those worked really well for us. Blondie Boy has gotten really good at using signs to let us know when he is hungry, thirsty, wants more of something or is finished and we are introducing him to more signs everyday.

When Misty Weaver the Chief Editor of Baby Sign Language approached me about writing a guest post on baby sign language I jumped at the chance. I hope you find what she has to say helpful and please share you signing experiences!

How To Introduce Baby Signs To Your Child- Misty Weaver

Baby signing is easy and fun – it’s the best way to start communicating with your pre-verbal child. When you first introduce Baby Signs to your child, it’s best to begin with signs you can use on a daily basis, such as Mommy, Daddy and Milk. Signs that represent something concrete and meaningful to your baby are easier for him to learn – begin with these starter signs then build up your repertoire to include other objects, ideas and emotions.

How To Introduce The Signs

You need to make the appropriate sign each time you say the relevant word to your baby. It’s important to say the word that goes with the sign as well. Say it clearly, with good eye contact, while signing, then point to the thing or person you are describing. At first, try to sign when your baby is alert and not fussing, using an object which is exciting to him, such as Milk or Mummy. Practice the signs beforehand so you feel confident and clear about what you are doing.


Repetition is key with Sign Language For Babies. Be sure to make the sign and say the word each time you do an action or use an object. Your baby will learn the signs through repetition (and so will you), and soon it will be natural for him to sign back.

Be Patient

Don’t expect too much too soon. Your baby is unlikely to be signing for his milk when he is only 4 months old and you’ve been signing with him for a week! Research by Dr. Joseph Garcia, a founder of baby sign language, says that a typical baby who starts learning signs at seven months old needs about two months of repetition and exposure to a sign before starting to use it.

The First Signs For You To Introduce To Your Child


To sign Mommy extend and spread apart your fingers. With your pinkie facing forward, tap your thumb on your chin.


To sign Daddy, extend and spread out your five fingers on your strong hand. Tap your hand on your forehead. Done right you will look like a turkey.


The sign for Milk is a lot like milking a cow, but without the vertical motion – you are just squeezing the udder. Take both hands, make them into a fist, relax, and repeat. You will notice most babies have trouble moving their fingers together this way, but any kind of repeated squeezing and relaxing of the hand is likely Milk.


To do the sign for More, flatten out your hands then bring your thumbs under to make an O shape. Then, bring your hands together and separate them repeatedly. Baby will often simplify More by clapping their fists together. As they get older and more proficient you may want to encourage the more correct sign of flattening out their hands and creating the O shape with their thumbs as a fun way to help them develop fine motor skills.

Monday, 15 November 2010

...and the winner is

We had 58 valid entries for this giveaway and I'm really excited for the winner of my first beauty giveaway!


Please be in touch within 48 hours with your contact information or another winner will be drawn. Congratulations and for those who didn't win the Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss it is available at Boots, Harvey Nichols, or Target if you are in the USA.

Keep your eyes open as I'm launching a fabulous giveaway from Ju Ju Be later this month!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Happy Birthday Mimi Linda!

Happy Birthday Mommy/Mimi Linda!

We love you & miss you; can't wait to see you in January!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

X-Factor Live Shows: Week 6

NotBlondeHusband is out watching boxing and Blondie Boy is asleep in bed so I'm back live-blogging my thoughts on the X-Factor. It's Elton John week so hopefully contestants will actually follow the theme and I'm totally expecting a few trainwrecks!

Paije Richardson

Is it bad that I think this is best Paije has been styled and he's in a Pepto-pink blazer? I still think they shouldn't ask him to move/dance because he gets so out of breath and time; he can't sing and dance at the same time. As for the song, it's not bad, but it's not good and certainly isn't holding my attention. And as an aside, Cheryl isn't familiar with "Crocodile Rock?" Who wants to bet Elton has a bitchy quote in the papers tomorrow about that! Bottom line, Paije could be in trouble because everyone knows first out is often vulnerable.

Aiden Grimshaw

He looks like he wants to be an Elvis impersonator tonight with that hair and jacket. Let me be clear- I don't like Aiden. I think Aiden thinks Aiden's shit don't stink--do you get what I mean? Everything he does is so self-indulgent; eyes closed, pulling funny faces. I don't think he's intense, I think he's up his own arse. Personally I prefer William Shatner's version of "Rocket Man" but the judges seem to like it so who knows.

Mary Byrne

Do you think every Tesco employee is voting for Mary because honestly I'm not sure who else would be. I think shouting louder to try and show you can sing only can get you so far in the competition. All she does is shouty renditions of boring ballads and I'm not feeling the love tonight. I think she could be at risk because it only just ended and I already can't remember her performance.

Katie Waissel

The only thing I like about Katie is she makes me feel better about my hair; will they please fix her roots already? I don't think her voice is strong/loud enough to pull off this song; it's really hard to hear her vocals on the chorus and it just isn't believable at all in my opinion. The production was entertaining, but she wasn't. I've heard rumours it's a double eviction tomorrow and if it is she's out, no question.

Matt Cardle

I would have bet money he was going to sing the version of "Your Song" from Moulin Rouge, so at least he's not been super predictable. However had he ever had a production with dancers? It's always just him out there with some smoke and lights. I'd like to see him put on a bit more of a show. He's a good singer, but kinda whiny. I mean I'm not saying he's whining and complaining, but he's just sorta whiny and blah. I like my male singers to be a bit rough and slightly cocky, so maybe it's just me. I'm fairly sure he's safe though.

Cher Lloyd

What the F is on her legs? Are they robot pants? Are they tights? Why is she wearing silver whatever they are on her legs with a jacket that has gold cuffs? I do not like mixing silver and gold-- not cool in my fashion book. I like that they've chilled out her make-up some and it's probably about as naturally looking as she gets. The song choice was good, especially since Mary J Blige covered it and I think she's safe.


Wagner had a lady friend with a pet lion; why does this not surprise me? What's this all about? Why are we cutting to Louis? I guess any delay to having to listen to Wagner sing is a good thing. Why does Wagner always sing, and I use the term sing loosely, two songs each week? They didn't even make any attempt to mesh/mash the songs together this week. As the number of contestants dwindle the vote for the worst campaign for Wagner should lose steam. I'm going to hope he's in the bottom this week.

One Direction

I want to ask y'all who your favorite band member is but I'm pretty sure they are all under 18, but if you were a teenager again who would your favorite be? I know little girls love them because well they're semi-attractive young boys singing, but I really do think they actually sing well together. Little girls everywhere will think they are singing that song to them, but I think they could have chosen something a bit less predictable. You can barely hear the judges talk over the wee girls screaming and cheering! They are consistent each week and are totally safe.

Rebecca Ferguson

Ooh great song choice and I'm really glad she's singing the original version, too. That dress however is horrible and looks like a sack hanging on her--where is her waist? You know she's a tiny thing, but that dress is not doing anything for her at all. The colour looks good on her but the dress needs some shimmer and needs to nip in at her waist and show off her figure. Her hair looks like when people braid a horses hair in fancy knots, do you know what I mean? She sang great though and she's safe in my book.

Friday, 12 November 2010

The Holidays are Coming

As the holidays creep closer and closer it's time to start thinking about holiday cards. We celebrate Chanukah and Christmas in our family so finding cards suitable for all our friends and family can be tough. Luckily there are places like Shutterfly that have cards you can personalize and are appropriate for everyone!

I love the ones like this that are simple and clean and suitable for all holidays:

I love this dreidel design:

Or maybe you want a more modern Christmas design:

Which one should I go with? Or should I go with something else? There are so many to choose from! Shutterfly is great for printing out digital photos and for me it's easy to order photos for my friends and family back home, too! You can also make lots of fun photo gifts and super cute photobooks.

If you want to try out Shutterfly's cards this year, bloggers can get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly! Just click here for all the info :)
Transatlantic Blonde was provided free cards for this post and you can too if you click above!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

We wish to welcome you to Munchkin Land

Have you heard of Munchkin? Not the singing people who Dorothy found at one end of the yellow brick road, but the maker of unique baby products. Munchkin has over 150 clever products that make life as a parent easier and more exciting.

We were super excited to try out the Deluxe Bottle Brush and the Mighty Grip® Flip Straw Cup. I know what you're thinking-- you're excited about a bottle brush? Well yes! Our first bottle brush we had ended up snapping in half, um not good and the second one the bristles flattened and was useless shortly after starting to use it.

The Deluxe Bottle Brush stands upright with a strong suction base. The unique textured scrubber reaches hard-to-clean areas where germs like to hide and inside the handle is a nipple brush, so it’s always close at hand. You can suction it to the bottom of the sink or counter for one-handed cleaning and germ-free drying.

The brush is just awesome. It cleans bottles quickly and effectively and shows no signs of breaking or faltering anytime soon. Anyone with a baby knows that sometimes you have to wash a bottle while holding a baby so the one-handed cleaning the suction cup allows is perfect. It is a slight annoyance to unscrew the nipple brush from the handle, but it's not difficult to do nor does it take long. I'd rather have the suction cup than the nipple brush on the other end.

The Mighty Grip® 10 oz. Flip Straw Cup has a contoured shape a lever that flips up to put the straw in perfect sipping position and to close it securely. Whatever position the straw is in, it’ll never leak or leave you to wipe up a mess.

As a Mom I think this cup is brilliant because so many sippy cups spill and leak in diaper bags which is just annoying and messy. I have lots of friends back home that swear by straw cups so I was excited to try one. Blondie Boy loved the cup, but I can't get him to grasp the idea of a straw. He happily toted it around and gnawed on the straw, but he couldn't actually drink water out of it. So while in theory I can recommend it, in practice I can't.

Does anyone have any tips for teaching a baby how to drink out of a straw?

Transatlantic Blonde was provided these products to review.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Yon Bonnie Banks

Holy cow it's only been what 10 million years (6 months in the real world) since my last Gallery post? The them this week is Seasons and I was inspired on our walk at Drumpellier Country Park. This is what November looks like walking around Lochend Loch.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Sexy Mother Pucker

I'm a lipgloss kind of girl and to be honest I'm a lipgloss (and makeup for that matter) snob. I like a product that has quality, style and to be honest I'm a sucker for a super cute name. Soap and Glory's Super Colour Sexy Mother Pucker ticked all my boxes!

Super Colour Sexy Mother™ Pucker Lip Gloss is Soap and Glory's best selling extreme plumping gloss with superfill® microspheres now in seductive colours and fabulous flavours.

The extreme formula lip plumping gloss, with scientifically-proven plumping microspheres that explode in volume up to 10x when they come in contact with water. (They’re like tiny, dehydrated little sponges that expand when you apply them onto your lips. We’ve also formulated Sexy Mother™ Pucker with a rare circulation enhancing ingredient that gives your lips a little ‘electric’ buzz, to move more blood around the area, creating a swelling effect).

I've had problems with lip plumping glosses in the past and wound up with hives and a red face trying to explain to an Italian pharmacist in Milan that I needed hydrocortisone--not fun. So I was a bit trepidatious to try Sexy Mother Pucker but my fears were unfounded. Not only did I not have an allergic reaction, but I loved the gloss.

Super Colour Sexy Mother Pucker is super glossy, super tasty and creates a super pucker. All you do is apply the gloss and press your lips together and soon you'll feel a tingling sensation which is more tickly and nice than strange.

NotBlondeHusband said he thought my lips looked nice but he wasn't sure if they were plumper. Personally I think they looked more plump than with normal lipgloss and I loved the colour and it's staying power. The gloss stayed on after going out for coffee and I only had to reapply once all day.

The lovely people at Soap and Glory are going to give you a chance to get a sexy mother pucker of your own! I have a Super Coulour Sexy Mother Pucker in Half Naked to give away to one lucky reader.

To enter:

Follow my Blog publicly (link on right sidebar) and comment on who you think has the sexiest mother pucker.

Extra Entries:

-Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway (including a link to this post and @Melaina25) and comment to let me know (1 extra entry)

-Follow Soap and Glory on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway and comment to let me know (1 extra entry)

-Blog about the giveaway and comment to let me know (1 extra entry)

Make sure to leave each entry in a separate comment.

All entries will be verified and deleted if not valid so make sure to leave the usernames you subscribe or tweet with.

I've checked out shipping prices and this giveaway is open to all readers worldwide. A winner will be drawn at random on November 15th at 12:00 GMT. Winners must contact me within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn. GOOD LUCK!COMPETITION NOW CLOSED.

Transatlantic Blonde was provided this product to review/giveaway, but postage is paid by Transatlantic Blonde.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Happy Birthday Bessala!

A very happy 88th birthday to my Grandma and Blondie Boy's GG Bess!

We love you and miss you very much!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Vote for Blondie Boy!

I never, ever do these things, but can y'all please help?

I submitted Blondie Boy's costume to the American Apparel Halloween Costume Contest.

Voting closes 11:59pm PT on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 will you please rank him a 5?

Click on the link below or here to vote and please tell your friends!


My fellow Americans please don't forget to get out and vote today!

I've only voted in an actual polling station once in 2002; every other time I've voted by absentee ballot because I was going to unversity in DC or because I was living here in Scotland.
I can remember being so excited when I turned 18 and was able to vote. I don't understand people who don't vote to be honest and if you don't vote you don't get to complain. You totally want to complain, right?