Do Pandas have eyelids?

Can you win a Kung Fu staring contest against Kung Fu panda Jet Black?

The release date is May 26, 2011, and the girls are so excited!  We really enjoyed this movie, and can’t wait to see how round 2 plays out!

Cherpumple – It’s What’s For Dessert This Thanksgiving

You’ve been there with me – in the bakery, trying to decide what to pick up for your Thanksgiving dessert.  Someone wants pumpkin pie.  Someone else prefers apple pie.  Another someone asked for a nice layer cake.  If you’re like me, you want to make everyone happy, so you buy one of everything.

Your table looks outrageous, and what usually happens is that everyone takes a small sliver of everything, and you’re left with a half eaten pumpkin pie, apple pie, and layer cake.  And that, my good readers, is how my arse got to be the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon!

Let me save your Thanksgiving – and you hind end (well, maybe not so much).  I want to introduce you to the ultimate in holiday desserts.

The Cherpumple.

In this one incredible dessert, you have all of your holiday favorites.  The Cherpumple is a cherry pie, a pumpkin pie, and an apple pie all baked into a layer cake, then topped with cream cheese frosting!  Oh My Goodness!

The bottom layer of the cake is a spice cake, into which you bake an apple pie.  The middle layer is a yellow cake, and you’ll find a pumpkin pie surprise baked right in there.  Top the whole thing with a white cake filled with cherry pie, and you have a Cherpumple!

I’m pretty sure this would save me from Thanksgiving over dessert eating.  I could never get through a whole slice of this cake, and if there was any left, I don’t know that I’d have much trouble tossing it.  But I’d love to try it.

If you want to make your very own Cherpumple this holiday season, watch this informative video by the creator of this monster dessert.

Bed bugs – The Things You Need to Know Before You Go

That, my traveling friends, is a hotel mattress suffering from a bed bug infestation.  And it is the absolute FIRST thing you need to know before you enter your hotel room while you are on vacation.  It doesn’t matter if you are staying at a four star luxury hotel in downtown Manhattan, or a roadside motel in small town, USA – bed bugs do not discriminate!  Everyone needs to be concerned.

The biggest impact, both physically and financially, of bed bugs can be completely avoided if you know how to spot the problem before it affects you and your vacation.  When you check in at the front desk of your hotel, you are probably ready to retire to your room, get yourself situated, unpack your things, and relax.

Stop.

Once you are given your key, head to your room.  Bring your bags in only as far as you can to close your door, but don’t bring them all the way into your room.

Pull the covers back off of the mattress, and paying special attention to the corners of the bed and the seams, look for the obvious signs above – the bugs themselves – or the fecal trail that the bugs have left behind.

If you find any telltale evidence of a bed bug infestation, immediately return to the front desk and ask them to assign you to a different room.

Even if there are no immediate signs of bedbugs in your mattress, you will want to still keep your luggage elevated off of the floor.  Use the luggage stand most hotel rooms provide, or place luggage on top of the dresser.

Check inside the dresser and the nightstand for bugs or remnants of bugs (which may be the exoskeleten shed by bugs as they grow).  Don’t put anything inside the dresser or nightstands if you suspect that an infestation exists.

Beware of areas where the wallpaper is peeling away.  The bugs can get behind the wallpaper and become a problem if you place your clothing or luggage near these areas.

Bed bug bites are itchy and extremely uncomfortable, so if you’ve managed to ignore the warning, hop right into bed, and wait until the morning to check out your surroundings, don’t worry about contracting any bug borne illnesses or diseases.  You will know in relatively short order if you’ve encountered an infestation by the raised red bumps that appear on your skin and the itching you suffer.

The best treatment is just a topical cream, such as a triple antibiotic cream (Neosporin).  However, constant scratching can open up the bites, exposing them to secondary infections.  If this happens, you might want to check in with your doctor to seek treatment with medication that can’t be obtained over the counter.

Getting rid of bed bugs once you have them can be a chore, and if you’ve found out your hotel room was infested after you’ve unpacked – or worse, after you’ve gone home – it can be an expensive hassle to get rid of them.  The first thing to address is your laundry.  Everything must be washed at a temperature of at least 120 degrees (oh, the shrinkage of those delcates!!).  If you have items that can’t be washed at that high of a temperature, you can freeze the items (temperature below 32 degrees), but they must remain in freezing temperatures for a minimum of two weeks before you can use them.  There are heaters that will kill the bugs, and may be useful for non-washable garments, but they can be quite expensive to purchase.

An exterminator is a must, and not only your bedroom furniture, but all the furniture in your home must be treated.  Anything that can’t be treated – either by extermination, hot washing, heating, or freezing, should be disposed of.  Vacuum all areas of your home that can be vacuumed, and immediately dispose of the bag.

Your best course of action is to prevent infestation, so be prepared when you travel.  Refuse any room that shows signs of infestation, and check to see if your hotel has been listed at www.bedbugregistry.com so you know to be especially diligent in checking hotels that have already had a problem reported.

Don’t let this put a damper on your vacation.  Just be cautious so it doesn’t end up ruining your trip.

Goodnight, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

I love my sister, Megan.  She’s fun, she’s funny, and she’s a wealth of hypochondriacal (is that even a word) information.

So it should come as no surprise that Megan, who is planning a trip to Orlando, found a website called www.bedbugregistry.com .  If anyone was going to find this website, it would be my sister.

She went and checked on her hotel for her upcoming trip, and thank goodness – both for her sake and the hotel’s – they have not had any reports on bedbug problems.

“What hotel are you staying at?” she wants to know.  Saratoga Springs, I tell her.  And of course, being a Disney World resort hotel, loaded with magic and filled with pixie dust, there aren’t any bedbugs there.  “You’d better check it out anyway.”  And I do.

Ummm, oh. my. gosh.

While there are no reports at www.bedbugregistry.com regarding my specific resort, there are 23 reports relating to Walt Disney World resort hotels!  23!!!  They include everywhere from Disney’s Value resorts (Pop Century and the All Stars), some of the moderates (Port Orleans is mentioned), deluxe resorts (the Polynesian), and even Disney Vacation Club properties (Kidani Village).

When I finished scratching myself from head to toe, I realized that this is a big problem – not just for Walt Disney World – but for hotels all over the United States.  There are very few chains not affected, and it doesn’t look like any state in the country has been spared the resurgence.

I’m coming up with a list of things you can do to make sure you don’t end up suffering the consequences of bedbugs.  While you go figure out a way to stop scratching, I’ll be right back with that list so we don’t all end up looking like this guy