The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 8 Review “Start to Finish” | SPOILERS

I was not the most pleased with this episode when it ended. I’m not sure why, maybe because it left us on a cliffhanger. But I guess that actually makes it a really great mid-season finale. And now that some time has passed since I initially started this post, I’m appreciating the episode more and more.

Let’s go over some things though.

Morgan and Carol: Finally, this happened. Of course I’m on Team Carol, I think she was right to want to kill the wolf man. Their fight scene was super nerve wracking. I’m really worried about Carol with her probably now double concussion.

Denise & The Wolf. Okay, first off, it was so super frustrating that Tara headshot like twelve walkers in the last episode while hanging over a wall and then acted like she couldn’t shoot one human man in the head while standing still. Seriously, you shoot walkers in the head ALL THE TIME. They should have just shot him! Especially Tara, who is such good friends with Denise now. I was so mad when they just handed over their guns. And what’s Denise’s fate now? Probably she’s going to get pushed into the walkers by the wolf and get eaten. Tara is turning into Beth when it comes to relationships. I really don’t see how Denise is going to get out of this alive.

Carl & Ron: Another nerve wracking fight scene. But I loved how Carl played it, just taking Ron’s gun and telling him to calm the hell down.

The Cold Open & The End: I suspected Sam was going to die when the cold open was of him and then he had that Nicholas-esque moment of anxiety. Then he started talking at the end and I was positive he was a goner. And then the credits rolled. I was so mad about both the cold open (I don’t care about CGI ants!) and the end (how is it over!?). But I guess it does mean it’s going to be a badass Episode 9.

Deanna. Loved the scare of her being at Judith’s crib and I liked all the things she had to say, especially to Michonne. I also liked that she told us what she meant in the earlier episode when she told Rick ‘wrong answer’ about why he saved Spencer. I hope that this happening to Deanna will put Rick into a position where he does treat the whole town and all the Alexandrians like their his own, taking care of the others and not just his group.

Guts. I was so in a panic when Rick said ‘We need two of them’ because I knew exactly what was going to happen because of  the comic and because of spoilers. And I had read that the spoiler was actually debunked, so I expected things to go a different way. I was really surprised when it happened, them covering themselves in guts and leaving, but it also made sense because the spoiler being debunked was right, it didn’t happen in this episode after all. It will happen in the next. So much to look forward to!

What’s Going To Happen:

Go read the spoilers if you want to know about how things will go down with Rick & the gang in their gut-cloaks. I won’t talk about that. I think Daryl & the gang will give up their things to Negan’s group, but will make it back to Alexandria. Maybe they’ll meet Jesus along the way. Denise is not going to get killed, fingers crossed. We’ll hopefully see what’s going on with some of the other Alexandrians we didn’t see this episode, like Heath, Spencer and Tobin.

My Mid-Season Finale Rankings:

  1. Too Far Gone, Season 4 (Hershel!)
  2. Coda, Season 5 (I loved Beth, this one was heartbreaking to me.)
  3. Pretty Much Dead Already, Season 2 (Sophia!)
  4. Start To Finish, Season 6 (Cliffhanger! What!?)
  5. Made To Suffer, Season 3 (I barely even remember this episode.)

Okay, that’s all I have to say about this episode. Comment if you watched and have any thoughts about what went down and what we have in store.

Bonus: My live video reaction of this episode is posted below.

 

 

 

 

Videoblog | Housework Accountability Plan

In this video, I talk about my plan regarding being held accountable for doing or not doing housework.

Spawned from my post Why I Still Don’t Clean The House.

For the those of you who would rather read a blog post instead of watch a video, all dialogue from the video is below.

Hi it’s Carly from Mental Dinosaurs. This video is about cleaning the house. So yesterday Nicole and I had a long conversation about my housecleaning or lack thereof and decided that I should be held accountable for doing the housecleaning or not doing the housecleaning. So we came up with kind of a plan.

Then I’m interrupted by Nicole.

So we came up with a plan. I have specific things that I’m going to do on specific days and I think that will be really good for me, to have a list of things to cross off and to know exactly what to do on different days. I think that what I’m going to try really hard to do is to get all my chores done before noon every day. Then what’s going to happen is I’m either going to text Nicole and let her know when everything’s finished or when she gets home at the end of the day she’s going to be responsible for asking me, Hey, did you do these things, did you not do these things. If you didn’t then why. If you did, great job. So that’s kind of how I’m going to be held accountable. I’m going to have to let her know what I did or didn’t do and hopefully that will give me a little more motivation to actually get stuff done around the house.

Somebody actually commented on the blog and said that they have specific things that they do on specific days and that that really helped them so thank you so much you who commented that. I think that’s a really great idea and I’m really going to try it.

That is all I have for this video. I will keep you updated on how this goes. Thank you so much for watching if you watched til the end. Don’t forget to be awesome!

Sounds of Sunday | Carl Poppa

Today I’m sharing something a little different. It’s still music, but it’s much more hilarious than anything I’ve posted before. In honor of tonight’s mid-season finale of The Waliking Dead, today’s song is Bad Lip Reading’s Carl Poppa. If you haven’t watched any Bad Lip Reading videos before, I highly recommend them. Some of my favorites are More Walking (and Talking) Dead Part 1 and The Hunger Games.

 

Carl’s Chocolate Pudding Pie Recipe

There is a memorable scene in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 where Carl sits on a rooftop and eats a giant can of pudding. So what better addition to our Walking Deadsgiving today than a chocolate pudding pie?

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This recipe, like my pecan pie recipe, was adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Giant can of pudding not needed.

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The ingredients include sugar, milk (or half and half), corn starch, unsweetened chocolate, butter, vanilla extract and eggs, which I forgot to put in the picture. I always leave something out. And by the way, get everything measured and ready before you start so you won’t be rushing around like I was, separating eggs from their yolks and chopping up chocolate while trying to stir your filling on the stove.

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You start off just mixing together the sugar and cornstarch, which lets off lots of cornstarch dust while you’re stirring. Fun.

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Now add in the milk and get to cooking. I waited until it was starting to thicken before I added the chocolate. This step takes some patience and a lot of stirring. Be sure to stir though, otherwise it’s going to stick to the bottom and not thicken right. Then once it has thickened, you want to  reduce heat and cook another two minutes.

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Next up, the eggs. You want to beat the egg yolks a little, then pour a cup of the filling into the eggs. Mix that up and pour it back into the pot of filling. I don’t know why exactly, but I imagine it has something to do with not wanting to end up with chocolate egg drop soup.

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Bring the mixture up to a gentle boil, then like before, turn the heat down and cook another two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

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Pour the filling into your pie crust, which will hopefully be a lot prettier than mine ended up. Let it cool on the counter for about an hour, then put it in the fridge to chill. You want to make this plenty in advance of when you want to eat it because it needs to chill for at least 3 hours.

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Next up, whipped cream! Making it is super easy, you just beat together sugar, vanilla and heavy whipping cream until, well, it looks like whipped cream. Technically, that’s until stiff peaks form. Obviously, you could also just buy whipped cream. And by the way, you will have a ton more than this, pictured is actually just what I had left over because I forgot to take a photo of it earlier.

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And that’s all there is to it! Once you have the whipped cream on, chill and enjoy!

 

Carl’s Chocolate Pudding Pie

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

For the pie:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 oz. chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions:

  1. Prep your single pie crust by baking it according to recipe/directions.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in milk. Stir in chocolate.
  3. Cook and stir over medium high heat until thick and bubbly, then reduce heat. Cook and stir for two minutes more. Remove from heat.
  4. Separate egg whites from yolks. Slightly beat egg yolks. Stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into yolks. Add egg yolk mixture to filling in saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat.
  5. Cook and stir two minutes more, then remove from heat.
  6. Stir in butter and vanilla.
  7. Pour into pie crust. Set in refrigerator for 3-6 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream (see recipe below) after the pudding has set.

Whipped Cream:

  1. Combine ingredients in large bowl. Beat about 1 minute, or until stiff peaks form.

 

 

Christmas Tree Lighting

Last weekend we didn’t do any driving around like usual, so I don’t expect to have a driving through depression post this week. But I do have these photos from the Christmas tree lighting downtown at the square. It was a little less interesting than I would have liked. We got there and the tree, which looked like it was about to fall over, was already lit and there was no fanfare. They were giving carriage rides around the square, that was fun. My favorite pic of the bunch is the one of the group of people with Santa. Santa was about to get in his red SUV and this group of college-aged guys and girls stopped him and asked for a picture. I don’t remember where they said they were from, but I overheard a guy say they don’t have Christmas there. I thought it was fun that they were so excited about the tree and Santa.

Enjoy and don’t forget to be awesome.

Carly

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DIY | Depression Survival Kit

Today I’m going to show you my depression survival kit and explain how to make one yourself.

I cannot take credit for this idea. I was in support group a while back and someone said they had a suitcase full of happy and I decided to do something similar.

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Step One: The Vessel.

Find a vessel for your survival kit. This can be an old suitcase, a shoebox, a regular box, a plastic tub, a backpack. Anything really will work. Just think in advance of what you’re going to have in it and plan accordingly. One thing I do recommend though – choose something that gives you room to grow – you should be able to add to your survival kit.

 

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Step Two: The Stuff

Fill it up! Include things that make you happy and items you use as coping skills. For mine, I chose to include my drawing supplies, some books, a note from my wife, cards from my family, my mermaid plush doll (I made her myself!) and my copy of A Very Potter Musical. I’m planning on adding in my walkman and my favorite cassette tapes, but I have to find my walkman first… it’s around here somewhere!

Here are some ideas for things to include to get you going:

  • Your favorite music.
  • Toys to play with.
  • A meditation CD.
  • A stuffed animal for cuddling.
  • A puzzle.
  • A letter to yourself.
  • Coloring books and crayons.
  • A rubik’s cube (although that would just stress me out more!)
  • A DVD of your favorite movie.
  • A stress ball.
  • Bubble wrap for popping.
  • A journal.
  • Pictures, notes and cards from friends and family, as long as they aren’t triggering.
  • A list of coping skills to try.
  • Your favorite tea.
  • Bubble bath.

This list could go on forever!

Your box can be an ever changing thing too. If you aren’t sure what coping skills work for you, throw lots of things in and see what sticks. Pull out things that don’t really work for you later and add in new stuff.

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Step Three: This Thing Needs A Home.

Find a place to keep your survival kit where you will always know right where to find it. I chose to put mine out in the open so I will see it every day and remember I even have it. Obviously this is not a necessity so long as you remember where you put it. The reason is if you’re in a slump and you need it, you probably won’t have the energy to hunt it down, so make it a home and keep it there.

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Step Four: How To Keep This Cheap

You might be thinking, hang on a second. I don’t have very much stuff right now to put in my kit and this could get expensive if I buy everything I want to put in. But it definitely doesn’t have to be.

If you just don’t like spending money on yourself, take this opportunity to let yourself buy a few things. It will be good for you in the long run to have those things on hand to use when you’re feeling down.

If you just don’t have much money to spend, I have the solution for that too. Buy just one thing at a time when you have a little extra cash. Or, do like I do and go to a thrift store. They’re great for games, puzzles, books and all sorts of stuff you can put in your kit. A lot of the books I have in mine I bought for less than a dollar second hand. Same thing goes if you want to use a suitcase. You should be able to find one for less than five dollars. You could also go on a tiny shopping spree at the dollar store for fun stuff, those places are always a great time.

If you have zero dollars to spend, like me, just rummage through your house. That’s exactly what I did. Find an old backpack you don’t use anymore or just a plain old box and fill it up with what you do have. Print coping skill lists and coloring pages off the internet for free. Throw in an old notebook and a pen or just plain old printer paper. Search around and I’m sure you’ll find that you have more lying around than you think. Be creative! And if you don’t start with a lot, remember that’s okay. You can always add to it later.

 

So do any of you have a survival kit already or are you planning to make one? Leave a comment and let me know. And if you have any other ideas for what to include in the kit please share!

Thanks and don’t forget to be awesome,

Carly

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PS: This is Samson, my giant unicorn plush. He would be in my survival kit but he’s a little large, so instead he’s just close by. :)

Flashback Friday | Thanksgiving

Wednesday, January 05, 2005 (4)

This was the year I got this great picture of my brother. 2004.

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This is was the year we started our Thanksgiving tradition of having margaritas. This was the year I turned 21. 2005.

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This was the food that year. 2005.

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This was the year David got stilts this year so he had to show them off. 2006.

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This was also the year I decided Thanksgiving photos should be in black and white. 2006.

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This was the year Dave & I had an awesome brother/sister date to the mall and Chinese food. 2007.

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This was the year I went to a Rainbow Thanksgiving dinner with friends. It was really nice, a friend at the time’s family hosted it for his friends who didn’t have anywhere else to go for the holiday. 2008.

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This was the year I went to a Thanksgiving dinner with Mom & her friend. 2009.

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This was the year I basically skipped Thanksgiving to drive to Texas and see these two wonderful people get married. 2010.

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This was the year Nicole & I had our first holiday together as a couple. <3 2011.

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This was also the year I got my favorite picture of me and Mom. 2011.

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This was the year I got to spend Thanksgiving with Nicole’s family for the first time and I had my first serious casino experience. 2012.

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This was the year I didn’t take photos but I did find this funny one of our whiteboard. That’s all my handwriting, by the way. I thought I was so funny. :) 2013.

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This was the year I got to learn Nicole’s family’s top secret coconut cream pie recipe. 2014.

 

And that’s what I decided to share in the way of old Thanksgiving photos. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to be awesome!

Carly

Videoblog | Taking Better Care of Myself, A Thanksgiving Revelation

A videoblog talking about how my Thanksgiving day went and a little bit about taking better care of myself.

I’ve decided, also, to post the dialogue of the video alongside the actual video, so if you would prefer to just read it as a blog post you can below.

Hi guys, this is Carly from Mental Dinosaurs just coming to you with another videoblog letting you know how my day went today. We did go to Kansas City for Thanksgiving to visit Nicole’s family, that was really fun.

I’m kind of losing my voice, it’s a lot higher than it normally is. I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong. So hopefully I’m not getting like properly sick but I definitely am losing my voice. It started when we were driving, I was like – this doesn’t sound quite like me. What’s wrong? It’s kinda strange but I’m just kinda going with it. Nicole said I need to rest my voice. I think it was  just because it was really annoying her that I was talking so high. I’m going to do the video anyway. Hopefully it doesn’t bother anyone that my voice is oddly high right now.

So yeah, Thanksgiving dinner was really great. The food was great. The people were great. It was really good to see everybody.

When we got home, we went Black Friday shopping. All the stores opened tonight so we went to Target. No, we didn’t go to Target, why did I say that? See I just say the wrong words sometimes. A lot of times. Or I just forget what I’m trying to say. We didn’t go to Target. I would have liked to have gone to Target but we didn’t go to Target. We didn’t buy anything at Kohl’s because the line was crazy and  it was getting late and Nicole needed to get home to go bed to go to work in the morning. But we did buy stuff at Old Navy and at JC Penney. I got some new clothes. I’m wearing my new sweatpants right now that I got, I’m so excited. And it’s really nice because we never buy stuff for ourselves. We never buy clothes unless it’s from the thrift store. I buy clothes at the thrift store almost every week because they have a fifty cent sale on Sundays. But really, I never buy new things for myself. So it was really really cool to be able to do that.

I don’t take very good care of myself I think. I realized that today. Today I knew I had to go and see the family and so I did my hair (it’s not done anymore cause it was drizzly and rainy). I did my makeup. I dressed nice. And I felt really good and it just kinda got me thinking I really need to take better care of myself and look nice more often because it really does make me feel better. I know that how I look doesn’t matter all that much but I think that too often I think that how I look doesn’t matter at all and that’s definitely not the case. Because it does matter to me and it makes me feel better. So I guess that’s what I’ve come to realize is I just need to try a little bit harder. There are days I don’t even shower because I’m just depressed and I don’t feel like it so I don’t. I don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t have to do anything. So I just sit at home in my sweatpants and that’s just not who I want to be. So I think I really need to make a change. Here’s hoping that it works. Here’s hoping that everything goes well.

Thank you for watching if you watched to the end and I’ll see you next time. Don’t forget to be awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Pecan Pie Recipe

This is my secret family recipe, or at least I thought it was until Mom told me Sunday it’s from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. So all props go to them, although also to my mom for making pecan pies a Thanksgiving staple when we were growing up.

But the recipe does turn out to be super simple, especially if you cheat and use a store bought pie crust like I did.

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First off, the ingredients. You need a pie crust (duh), eggs, sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla extract (I had to use vanilla ‘flavor’… oops), butter (not pictured, another oops) and obviously pecans.

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A little word on pecans. When I grew up, we had a pecan tree in our yard, and my grandparents had a bunch of them. To me, pecans were something you just picked up out of the yard and ate as a snack. When I moved out of my house, I was very confused about where I was supposed to get pecans. It turns out you just get them at the grocery store and also, they’re not cheap. At least, not as cheap as they are when there’s a tree dropping them in your yard.

I was lucky enough to have free pecans for this pie that my dad gave me from my grandparents yard. So I had to get to cracking.

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Be sure that if you do use pecans that you’re shelling yourself, you get out all of the weird bits from the inside because they’re really bitter. And wash them well because they’ll have shell and inside dust on them.

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Now before you do anything else, it’s time to make your pie crust look beautiful.Crimp the edges and make it look nice. I just used a fork and made lines around because that’s what we used to do when I was a kid. At least that’s what I remember.

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Now, in a large bowl big enough to later house all your ingredients, lightly beat your eggs. Then add in everything else, which is 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine, 1 cup corn syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Get all that mixed well, then add in the pecans.

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Once you’ve got that stirred up, pour it into the pie crust and you’re almost done already.

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Now, to keep your exposed crust from getting ugly, you want to cover it in aluminum foil. This is not the proper way to do this, you’re supposed to make this fancy thing and cut a hole in the middle, but I just threw foil around the sides haphazardly as pictured and it worked fine.

By the way, I’m pretty sure we didn’t do this when I was growing up because I remember our crust edges being a lot darker than mine turned out. So if you’re feeling lazy, don’t worry about it.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes with the foil on, then take the foil off and bake another 25 minutes. That’s it!

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Easy Pecan Pie Recipe

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

  • 1 pie crust
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup pecan halves
  1. Crimp the edges of pie crust as desired.
  2. Mix together eggs, sugar, butter or margarine, corn syrup and vanilla.
  3. Add pecans to mixture.
  4. Pour into pie crust.
  5. Cover exposed edges of crust with foil (to prevent over-browning) and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 20-25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.