Sunday, August 31, 2008

#5 Lauren's Big Mix-Up

The Sleepover Friends are headed to the city for the weekend, to visit Stephanie's grandma, Nana. I'm still convinced the city is New York City, but I'm surprised that four 5th grade girls are allowed to roam around the city by themselves. I was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago, and I wasn't allowed to go into the city with my friends by ourselves until I was in high school!

Anyway, the girls take a bus into the city and Nana meets them at the bus stop. They get their luggage and Nana hails a cab. Stephanie acts like a know it all, even though she only lived in the city until the summer before 4th grade. Kate is not impressed, and I wouldn't be either. Patti acts a little scared, even though she lived in the city when she was in 1st grade. The girls are supposed to meet up with Stephanie's old best friend from the city, Tiffany, but she decided to stay late at dance class and will come over later.

After the girls arrive at Nana's apartment and settle in, it's time to eat. Nana says she didn't know what to get so she "got a little of everything at the delicatessen." She wasn't kidding. There was a 3 foot long hero sandwich with salami, cheese, ham, tomatoes, and lettuce; a plate of stuffed eggs decorated with pimiento; a big bowl of potato salad; bags of barbecue and sour cream and onion potato chips; cheese dip; and fruit salad. Plus, sodas and chocolate fudge cake. As the girls are about to eat, Tiffany shows up. She acts really snotty and criticizes Stephanie's haircut and her sweater. She brags that she is going to be a "real" actress--one who is trained on the stage and can act, dance and sing. She won't eat any of the food because it is too fatty and greasy, and bad for her skin.

Nana asks the girls if they would like to rent some movies. She belongs to a video club that delivers. They've got to be in NYC. You can get anything delivered in NYC! I'm sure you can probably get things delivered in Chicago as well, but here in the suburbs, about the only thing you can get delivered is pizza. And Jimmy John's. The girls look at the list of movies. Kate is excited that there's two whole pages of foreign films. She chooses a Swedish movie called Raspberries in the Fall. What 5th grade girl wants to watch foreign films?! It's not much better than Lauren's pick though--Mare's Nest, an old 1930s comedy. Tiffany chooses Aardvarks, which is a play that was filmed. I don't remember what movies I watched in 5th grade, but there is no way I would have watched any of those movies! I realize this takes place long before High School Musical or Camp Rock, but there's got to be good movies for kids back in 1988. Anyway, the girls grab some Dr Peppers (club soda for Tiffany), Cheese Doodles (celery sticks for Tiffany) and fudge cake (nothing for Tiffany) and sit down to watch the movies. They watch Aardvarks first, and it's about three people sitting on stools on an empty stage talking about death. Again, WHY would 5th grade girls want to watch this movie?? I like independent and foreign films now, but I certainly didn't when I was in 5th grade.

They decide to watch Kate's movie next, but it's in Swedish with subtitles, and Tiffany gets bored. She starts talking to Stephanie about kids they knew, and Kate gets mad. She takes movies very seriously and doesn't like when people talk during movies (I don't either). Tiffany starts gossiping about some girl named Myra Dillard who thinks she is so cool because she lost weight, permed her hair and sings in a rock group. Tiffany won't shut up, so Kate says to her "Are all the kids from the city as rude as you are? Or did we just get lucky?" Tiffany storms out. Nana makes sure the doorman calls her a cab. Stephanie is all pissed off at Kate. The girls get ready for bed. Lauren decides she wants to write in her journal. All four girls are keeping journals as part of a class assignment. The girls all have matching journals. As Lauren reaches into her suitcase for her journal, she realizes--it's not her suitcase! There's men's hiking boots, a blue sweater with a red stripe and reindeer on the front, and an old-fashioned tape reel. Here's what Lauren actually packed:

Besides my best blue sweater, I'd packed my turquoise-and-black top, my black stretch pants, two pairs of leg warmers, and my silver Reeboks. All of my favorite stuff had gone off with somebody else!

Is that the same turquoise and black top she purchased in #4 Patti's New Look, when Patti bought that crazy outfit? Also, silver Reeboks? Awesome.

It's too late to do anything about the suitcase, so the girls go to bed. The next morning, Nana makes the girls blueberry waffles and offers to ask her friends if they have some kind of tape recorder they can use to play the tape. The name C Harkness is on the tape, so they get out the telephone book and call all the Harknesses in the book. They don't get anywhere, so they decide to try again later. Nana lets them go shopping in the city by themselves and plans to meet up with them at 1pm for lunch at Scrumptious. Since Lauren has no clothes, Patti lets her borrow some green stretch pants and Nana loans her a gray wool sweater with flowers and dark green leaves on it. Stephanie invites Tiffany to hang out with them, but she turns them down. She agrees to meet up with everyone for dinner and ice skating that evening.

As the girls head to the bus stop (I avoid taking the city buses whenever possible, I can't imagine taking the bus when I was in 5th grade!) they see a sign on a lamppost for a lost dog. They take the bus for awhile and then get off to do some shopping. They go to Rumpelstiltskin, a toy store, and a fancy dress shop called Nell's. Then they go to a pet shop where Patti buys a lizard for her brother and Lauren buys a toy for her cat. Then it's time to meet Nana for lunch. That was it? What was so great about those stores? Stephanie kept talking about how great the shopping was in the city, but they could have just gone to the mall in Riverhurst.

At Scrumptious, Lauren orders a grilled cheese sandwich and a strawberry ice-cream soda called "Berry Best." I have to admit, that sounds like a great lunch to me! They are about to eat their dessert, a chocolate mousse for four, when Lauren says she wishes she had her journal to keep track of their adventures. Stephanie offers to tear out a few sheets from hers. As she reads the journal, she realizes it's not hers. It's Kate's, and it says some not-so-nice things about Stephanie and Tiffany. Stephanie storms out. Nana pays for their lunch and then goes with Stephanie, leaving the 3 girls alone. She gives the girls $20 for cab fare and they tell her they'll go to the Historical Society Museum. Unfortunately, the museum is closed for renovations. The girls decide to look up the other Harknesses they got from the phone book, to try to find Lauren's missing suitcase. Are they crazy?! You don't just go knocking on strangers' doors in the city! Luckily nothing bad happens. They end up by Patti & Stephanie's old elementary school, so they decide to check it out. While they are there, they run into Myra Dillard, who Patti and Stephanie knew back in 1st grade, and who Tiffany had gossiped about the night before. Myra turns out to be really nice and friendly, and the girls make plans to hang out with her the next day. Then they decide to take the bus back to Nana's.

Patti gets on the bus first, but Lauren and Kate are distracted by a mime performing nearby, and the bus (and Patti!) leaves without them. As they try to decide what to do, they find a small dog under a car. Lauren crawls under the car to get the dog and they decide to take it back to Nana's. Kate hails a cab (just like a city person!). The cab driver isn't thrilled about the dog but agrees to take them anyway. As they are riding in the cab, they see Patti jogging along the sidewalk and ask the driver to stop and pick up Patti. He's even less thrilled about this, but agrees to it anyway. Patti thinks the dog they found is the missing dog from the sign on the lamppost. When they get to Nana's, they call the number on the sign and it is the missing dog! What are the chances of that?! The woman, Elizabeth, comes over to get the dog. She offers the girls a reward, but they won't accept it. Elizabeth does the lighting for a play and asks if the girls would like to watch from backstage that night. Of course Nana has no problem letting the girls go off with a stranger in the city, so they agree to it. They invite Stephanie, but she has plans with Tiffany.

Meanwhile, Stephanie had played the tape Lauren found in the suitcase and it's very strange. There's nothing on it until the end, when they hear a man and woman arguing and a loud bang. The girls are a bit freaked out, but there isn't much they can do. They eat tuna sandwiches on toast and then Elizabeth comes to pick them up for the play. As they are watching the play from backstage, they recognize a conversation that sounds just like the one on the tape. They tell Elizabeth about it afterwards, and it turns out C Harkness is Charlie Harkness, the man who wrote the play! What a coincidence! Then, Elizabeth takes them to her place where they eat brownies and drink hot apple cider. When the girls get back to Nana's, they find out Stephanie got stood up. Tiffany forgot about going to dinner and skating with her, and went out with her other friends. Stephanie decides Tiffany isn't really that great after all, and is a crummy friend.

The girls call up Myra Dillard and go over to her house for lunch. Myra shows them where the band practices, and plays and sings some songs for them. Turns out, Tiffany wanted to be in the band but was turned down because she can't sing. For lunch, the girls eat ham and cheese croissants, macaroni salad and lime ice cream with little blueberry tarts for dessert. Lauren says that "just listing the food we ate during the weekend was going to take up two or three pages of my journal." ha.

At school on Monday, Lauren is up at the board working on a math problem, when she is called to the principal's office. Turns out C Harkness is on the phone--he saw "Riverhurst" and "Lauren" on the cover of the journal, then looked inside and found "Patti," "Kate" and "Stephanie" inside. He called the school and asked if they could help. They said yes, of course: Everybody knows the Sleepover Friends! He and Lauren agree to put the suitcases on buses so they can pick them up later. So this old guy looked through Lauren's stuff? And are the girls really known as the Sleepover Friends at school?? I thought that was just what they called themselves. At least Lauren is getting her stretch pants and silver Reeboks back!

Up next: I am going to make a Dr Pepper ice cream float, and look for #6 Kate's Camp-Out later this week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Patti's Alaska Dip

Lauren isn't the only Sleepover Friend with her own special dip! Patti has one too - Patti's Alaska Dip. I think it sounds disgusting, but of course these girls can't get enough of it! In #9 No More Sleepovers, Patti?, Patti almost moves to Alaska when her parents are offered teaching jobs there. I don't have this book and I don't really remember much about it, but I guess Patti learns to make this dip while they are visiting Alaska. Luckily for the Sleepover Friends, Patti and her family do not end up moving to Alaska.

Patti's Alaska Dip

1 can chunk, white tuna (7 oz.)
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.), left out to get soft
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 scallion
1 teaspoon chili sauce

Make sure that you leave the cream cheese out of the refrigerator for about an hour before you start. Drain all the water or oil from the tuna. Clean the scallion and cut into four or five pieces. Put all the ingredients into a food processor or a blender. Blend until well mixed together.

Patti says she likes to serve the dip with vegetables, nacho chips, or plain old potato chips.

Monday, August 25, 2008

#35 The New Stephanie

This book is one of the last few books in the series. As far as I can tell, the last book is #38 Patti's City Adventure. I had stopped reading the books by then, so this one was new to me. Stephanie is the narrator of this book instead of Lauren, who narrated most of the books.

Lauren, Kate, Stephanie and Patti are hanging out in Stephanie's "apartment" at their usual Friday night sleepover. For some reason, Lauren is on a health kick, and is eating sugar-free, whole wheat cookies. Stephanie says they taste like dog biscuits, and I have to agree with her. The other girls still eat their usual sleepover junk food, including Dr Pepper floats. I have never had a Dr Pepper float, and now I would like to try one! That will be my next post.

The girls decide to take another one of those magazine quizzes. This one is called "Are You Nice? Or Not?" There are questions about friends, gossip, community service, etc. Patti receives a perfect score. Of course, since she is the nicest person they know. Lauren and Kate fall somewhere in the middle. Stephanie fails! The quiz results say "What's putting a hold on your niceness? You must have a lot of empty spaces on your calendar. Someone as self-centered, insensitive and snobby as you couldn't possibly have any fun. Who would want to be friends with you anyway?" Wow, these quizzes are harsh! The other girls think it's all a big joke, but Stephanie gets really upset about it. As she is trying to fall asleep that night, she thinks of ways she can improve her niceness quotient and become a better friend.

The next morning, Stephanie turns down a trip to the mall with her friends in order to go to the library and get some books on how to be a nicer person. In one of the books, there is a list of things to do to be a nicer person:

Do: Spend quality time with your friends.
Do: Speak only if you have something nice to say.
Do: Give service - to your community, your friends, your parents, and to all those in need. Find a way to help.
Do: Say "yes" more than "no."
Do: Think of others first. Making others happy is nice.
Do: Follow through on your commitments.
Do: Smile - a lot.

Stephanie takes this all to heart and decides she is going to follow the list. As she is checking out her books, she asks the librarian about community service opportunities and she's in luck - the library needs volunteers to collect contributions and used books for the annual library drive. Stephanie signs up. She is given some leaflets to pass out and sets out the next day to start collecting. She gets off to a good start and is happy that her new niceness plan is working so well.

On Monday morning, the girls all meet up to ride their bikes to school like they do every morning. Stephanie got up early to make sure she had time to look her best. When she meets up with the other girls, she compliments them on their outfits, because that is what a nice person does. She also offers to help Kate carry her books, and comments on what a beautiful day it is. Patti notices this and asks if she is feeling ok, because she's not acting like her usual self. Stephanie is a little offended by this, since she is just trying to be nice. She decides to keep her niceness plan to herself, and assures the girls she is feeling fine.

In class that day, they get back their results from an achievement test. Jenny Carlin (their enemy) brags that she is so smart she will get moved to 6th grade. Stephanie is finding it hard to be nice all the time when people like Jenny Carlin make rude comments towards her and her friends. But she refuses to back down and tries to find something nice to say.

The Sleepover Friends have a new friend! Her name is Hope Lenski. She is quiet, wears strange clothes and is a vegetarian. Apparently she has even been to a few sleepovers! At lunch that day, she mentions that she volunteers at a recycling center. Stephanie thinks this is a great idea and decides to go, too. Kate and Lauren agree to come along, but Patti has a parent teacher conference to attend.

Volunteering at the recycling center is hard work, but Stephanie feels good about it and offers to go back again to help some more. That night after dinner, she offers to help her mother clean out the kitchen cabinets. Then she goes through the family's books to find some to donate to the library. By the time she is done, it's late and she hasn't even started her homework. She ends up staying up late to finish and is tired the next morning.

At school the next day, Patti announces that it's not Jenny Carlin who is being asked to skip to 6th grade - it's her. She is upset about this and doesn't want to go, but it seems like her parents, the teacher and the principal have already made up their minds. They even make Patti go to the 6th grade classroom in the afternoons. The girls say they'll help Patti figure out a way out of this.

Meanwhile, Stephanie continues to be nice to people (including Karla Stamos who the girls describe as being "a grind"), volunteer and help her mother around the house. This leaves little time for homework and it starts to catch up to her. She is worn out, but she is so determined to be a nicer person that she won't cut back. She even takes on another project.

At the recycling center, Stephanie finds out that one of their favorite restaurants, the Pizza Palace, doesn't recycle. The girls are determined to do something about this. They talk to the manager, but he says it costs too much to recycle and he doesn't have time. The girls are disappointed, but they aren't ready to give up.

They have a sleepover at Kate's house, where they decorate giant cookies. That is something new! Then they play some Truth or Dare. Stephanie is still being overly nice and the girls point it out. She gets upset because she is just trying to be nice!

The next day, the girls want to go to the mall, but Stephanie turns them down. She wants to go volunteer for the Sea Mammal League. While she is there, she wishes she was hanging out with her friends at the mall instead. Then she feels bad because volunteering isn't supposed to be fun - it is supposed to be nice.

While this is all going on, the girls are still trying to figure out a way for Patti to stay in 5th grade. They decide to try to find information at the library. Stephanie can't go because she is too busy volunteering. Her friends start to get mad that they never see her anymore. She doesn't even have time to do her homework anymore & she is always tired, and her teacher notices. One day after school, she decides to go to the library so she can get her homework done. She finds a quiet corner, finishes everything and then falls asleep. She wakes up later that night when her parents, the librarian and 2 police officers find her! She didn't tell anyone where she was and her parents freaked out when she didn't come home. She had double booked herself--going to the recycling place with Hope AND going to the mall with her mom, and didn't show up for either.

Stephanie's parents finally realize something is up. She admits that she has been too busy lately with all her volunteering and stuff. Her parents make her stop volunteering during the school year so she can focus on her homework, and tell her she doesn't have to keep doing extra chores around the house.

The good news is, the girls brought around a petition for people to sign, encouraging the Pizza Palace to recycle, and it's a success. They even offer to help the manager get started on a recycling program.

At their Friday night sleepover at Patti's house, Kate shows Stephanie the magazine with the quiz in it. Stephanie had made notes in it about how to be a nicer person and Kate found it. They figured out what she was up to, and they tell her they like the old Stephanie. Stephanie admits she is relieved she doesn't have to volunteer anymore, but they all agree to continue their work at the Pizza Palace.

For their sleepover snack, Hope makes them shakes made of raspberry sherbet and crushed fresh fruit. What happened to the junk food?

The girls also have a surprise for Patti--they got all the 5th graders to sign a petition to let Patti stay in 5th grade. The next morning, Patti shows her parents the petition and explains that she would prefer to stay in 5th grade. Her parents agree to let her make her own decision, and she picks 5th grade. The Sleepover Friends are so excited that they'll still be together!

The book ends with the girls shouting "Sleepover Friends forever!" In case you are wondering where I got the name for this blog--that is it. Quite a few of the books end this way.

Up next: the recipe for Patti's Alaska dip (which sounds disgusting) and a recap of #5 Lauren's Big Mix-Up.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I made Lauren's special dip!

I made Lauren's special dip today! I didn't add olives because I hate olives. But I did get bbq potato chips and Dr Pepper. I thought it was pretty good, but not the best dip I've ever had in my life. I think it would taste better with plain potato chips. I definitely don't like it enough to eat it every Friday night. It was fun to try something new, though!

Next up: I was planning to do the recaps in order so I was going to do #5 Lauren's Big Mix-Up. However, I got a few new books over the weekend that I bought off ebay. One of them is #35 The New Stephanie, and I am going to do that one instead. The Sleepover Friends take another one of those magazine quizzes and this time it's Stephanie who is upset about her score and tries to change who she is. Also, Lauren is NOT the narrator! And they have a new friend named Hope! Look for a recap Monday night.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

#4 Patti's New Look

Lauren, Kate, Stephanie and Patti are at Stephanie's house for their Friday night sleepover. They are reading a teen magazine, talking about their favorite celebrities and learning how to kiss by using pillows and their arms. Of course, Lauren is more concerned about food. They eat some peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookies and caramel popcorn. Then they decide to take a quiz in the magazine called "Are You Cautious or Carefree?"

I used to love taking those quizzes in teen magazines! The answers were always a little too obvious though. Here's a few of the questions. Try to figure out if you are cautious or carefree!

You'll be spending Saturday with a new friend from school. When she asks what you'd like to do, you reply:
a. I think it would be fun to just play it by ear
b. I've made a list of things we could choose from
c. Let's go to a movie

While you're shopping with your friends, you try on an outfit that looks great on you, but is different from anything you've ever worn. Would you:
a. ask your friends and other people in the store what they think before you make up your mind
b. buy the outfit and feel great every time you put it on
c. hang it back up, because you know you'd never have the nerve to wear it

When you go to dinner at a new restaurant and discover there's nothing on the menu that you recognize, do you:
a. look on it as an adventure and pick something yourself
b. ask the waiter to bring the closest thing he's got to a hamburger
c. decide you're not hungry and couldn't possibly eat a thing

A friend calls on Thursday to invite you on an exciting trip that weekend with her and her parents. You:
a. start cramming stuff into a suitcase - you can hardly wait!
b. tell her you can't - you'd need a lot more time to get ready
c. think about it for awhile, then call her back and say yes

Stephanie gets 25 points which means she is daring and carefree. Kate and Lauren score in the middle. Patti ends up with so few points that the article says "Are you still breathing? You'd better loosen up, fast!" Patti is upset and says she doesn't know how they can stand her, because she's too boring to live!

The next morning, the girls go shopping at Dandelion, which sells "really great kids' clothes." They are looking for outfits to wear to a skating party the next weekend. Stephanie finds a sweater that has red and white squiggles on it, that will be perfect with her black stretch pants. (I would have loved this outfit when I was their age!) Kate picks out a sweater with yellow and green zigzags and some dark green leg warmers. Lauren gets a turquoise and black top, and Patti grabs a long, hooded navy blue sweater dotted with white snowflakes. As they are walking to the fitting rooms, Patti looks at her sweater and is disgusted by how boring she is. She finds some new clothes to try on: an electric blue stretch jumpsuit, bright orange tights, a black western shirt with rhinestones all over the back, a belt made from a bike chain, and shiny yellow suspenders. (I would not have liked any of those clothes!)

However, here's the outfit Patti decides on (shown on the cover): a pink polka dot sweater, a poison-green mini skirt, and striped pink leggings.

After shopping, the girls go to Charlie's Soda Fountain. They always sit in the last booth and order the same things: Kate gets a float with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, Stephanie orders a chocolate milk shake, Lauren gets a banana smoothie and Patti has a lime freeze. However, this time, Patti decides she needs to try something new and she orders the Secret Weapon. Supposedly it's a combination of everything in the place. It comes in a tall frosted glass with exploding fireworks stamped on it. It's thick and dark, kind of a brownish-purple color, with ice cubes floating in it. Patti drinks the entire thing, describing it as very sweet, and kinda coats your throat like cough medicine. Yum! Who wouldn't want to try that? I'd much rather have Kate's float. Since Patti finished the whole thing, she gets another one for free. She takes a few sips and then has to stop because she doesn't feel too good.

At school on Monday, the girls are talking about their friend Jane's upcoming skating party. Patti has some bad news--she can't go. Her old friend Karen is going to be staying with her for the week. Karen and Patti's parents taught at the same university years ago, but they have since moved to California. They'll be in town because Karen's sister is going to look at colleges. Kate asks if Patti's friend can go to the party too, and Jane says yes. Patti said the last time she saw Karen, she was short, thin, really quiet and always reading.

The girls all go to Jane's house for the party. Jane's parents went all out: platters of sandwiches, barbecue potato chips, Cheese Doodles, dip, vegetable sticks, potato salad, brownies, Dr Pepper and Cherry Coke. After eating, it's time to head to the skating rink. But first, the girls all pile into the bathroom to comb their hair. (I totally remember doing this when I was younger! I HAD to comb my hair before I went anywhere!)

The girls and some of their guy friends are all having fun at the rink when Patti and her friend Karen finally show up. Patti is wearing her crazy new outfit she bought the other day. But her friend Karen has outdone her. She's wearing a rubber mini skirt!

Comfortable or not, the mini looked great. It was a deep red. Karen Lawson had on white leg warmers, and her sweater was red sprinkled with black lines and white circles and crosses, like a tic-tac-toe game. One of her arms was loaded with sparkling bangle bracelets that clinked as she moved, and a gold feather earring dangled from one ear... and she didn't even look tacky! Her hair was honey-colored, shoulder-length, and a mass of tight little waves.

The boys go crazy over Karen. The Sleepover Friends are not as impressed.

After skating, they head back to Jane's house and eat more food: caramel popcorn, tiny pepperoni pizzas, shrimp dip, and a big cheddar cheese ball with olives and pimientos in it. Karen impresses all the girls with stories of what it's like living in California--going to Malibu, seeing celebrities, windsurfing and sleeping in the nude. She brags that she knows all about astrology because she studied with an astrologer named Zoltan, and tells all their girls their horoscopes. The Sleepover Friends are not impressed, and Kate thinks something is up.

The next morning, the Sleepover Friends are ready to go. Being sleepover experts, they are over this one. That afternoon they hang out with Karen for awhile but Lauren and Kate bail early when Karen invites Lauren's crush to go to the movies with them. Lauren and Kate go to the library and find an old copy of a teen magazine. Turns out all the stories Karen told about living in California were taken from the magazine! They decide to confront Patti at the next sleepover.

The sleepover is at Patti's house and the girls are dismayed to find out how much Patti has changed because of hanging out with Karen. She got rid of all her stuffed animals, got a new bedspread instead of her old quilt, and changed her cat's old-fashioned name (Adelaide) to the trendy name Tanya. Patti confides in Lauren that she doesn't like all the changes Karen has insisted on. It's just not her. Kate is trying to get Karen to confess to making up everything, when all of a sudden, Karen's sister bursts through the door - and she is angry!

Before we find out why, let's see what Karen's sister is wearing: a black and white sweater, a black rubber mini, black tights, and long, dangly earrings.

Turns out, Karen stole all of her sister's clothes, in order to be cooler. She took the same quiz as the other girls took, and her score was as low as Patti's! So she stole her sister's clothes and figured the trip would be her chance to reinvent herself. Once everything is all settled, it's time to eat! Karen had made Patti's parents take her buy sushi, but of course the girls are not about to eat it! What 5th graders would eat sushi? I didn't try it until I was like 23 years old! So they decide to order a pizza. Then they play some Mad Libs and everyone is laughing and having fun.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lauren's special dip

I bought the Super Sleepover Guide specifically for the recipe for Lauren's special dip. I did own an original copy of this book back in the day, but it's gone now. Thank goodness for ebay! If you make this dip, let me know! I plan to make it soon. I won't put olives in it though, since I hate olives. Of course I will eat the dip with bbq potato chips (even though I think that is a weird combination) and I will drink lots of Dr Pepper!

Lauren's Onion Soup-Olives-Bacon Bits-and-Sour Cream Dip

1 envelope onion soup mix
1 small can pitted black olives
1/8 cup prepared bacon bits OR 3 strips bacon, fried crisp
2 cups sour cream

To prepare bacon: If you are using bacon strips, fry them in a skillet over a medium heat until they are crisp. Turn off the heat, remove the strips, and drain on a paper towel. Crumble the cooked bacon.

Slice 10 to 12 olives into small pieces.

Mix everything together, and try not to eat it all before your guests arrive! The Sleepover Friends like this dip best with barbecue potato chips, but also try corn chips or chopped veggies.

Up next: I don't have a copy of #3 Kate's Surprise, so I will be doing #4 Patti's New Look. It's a good one--lots of great outfits!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#2 Starring Stephanie

The book begins with the four girls - Lauren, Kate, Stephanie and Patti - having a sleepover at Kate's house. Lauren is the narrator of the books, and she tells us the story of how the Sleepover Friends came to be. Kate and Lauren live 2 houses down from each other on Pine Street and have been friends since they were babies. They've had sleepovers since kindergarten. Then, the summer before fourth grade, Stephanie moved to their town, Riverhurst, from the city. I always thought the city was New York, but they never said. Anyway, Lauren invited Stephanie to join their sleepovers, and even though she & Kate didn't hit it off at first, she became part of the group. Then Patti ended up in their class and joined them as well. Patti also lived in the city, but she's quiet and shy, while Stephanie is outgoing and trendy.

One of the things these girls do best is eat. While watching a movie (Kate loves movies and wants to be a director someday) they decide to go downstairs for some snacks. This is after they already ate fudge, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Lauren's special dip, and taco chips. They find some fancy mousse in the fridge that Kate's mom made for a dinner party and they each take a little taste. They grab some lemonade and make popcorn, and then head back upstairs. However, during the night, the girls each sneak back down and eat more mousse, and before long it's almost gone. They decide to make some more and end up melting Hershey's Kisses because they run out of chocolate. Apparently the mousse turns out ok, but Kate's mom doesn't seem too thrilled.

A new band called Boodles has decided to film their new music video in Riverhurst. They hold a contest to see if anyone can guess the location where they are shooting the video. The winner gets to appear in the video.

The fifth grade is putting on a play. Stephanie decides that this is how she will get the guy she has a crush on to notice her. She convinces Patti to audition with her, even though Patti is really shy and has no interest.

It's time for another sleepover already. This time it's at Patti's house. When the girls arrive, they find out Patti's troublemaker cousin is visiting for the weekend. He & Patti's brother play pranks on the girls all night. When they go out for dinner, the boys put pepper on their pizza and olive oil in their drinks. Later on, the girls go up to the attic to practice for the play. Patti sucks. She's too quiet and misses her lines. On the other hand, Stephanie is great. When the girls decide to take a break and get some food, they find out Patti's cousin and brother locked them in. Patti ends up crawling out the window and climbing down a tree, but when she crawls through the kitchen window to get back inside, she sets off the burglar alarm and the police show up. After all the excitement is over, it's time for some more food. Patti's mom got them a carton of fudge ripple ice cream and a bag of chocolate chunk cookies. They polish it all off.

Auditions for the play are held the next week at school. Stephanie thinks she is a shoo-in for the lead role, but she chokes at the audition when she gets paired up with her crush. Patti ends up doing a great job, and lands the lead role! Stephanie gets all upset about it, even though Patti didn't even want to try out and only did it because Stephanie pressured her to. The play is never mentioned again in the book, so I guess it doesn't even matter.

It's sleepover time again! That's 3 in just one book. This time it's at Lauren's house. Stephanie doesn't go, because she's still too mad. The girls eat Chinese food for dinner, but that's it. They are too bummed out to eat any more. The girls are sitting around feeling bored and sad, when they hear a strange noise. They decide to go check it out. They notice a light coming from the old creepy abandoned house and head over to investigate. It's the Boodles! The band's secret video location is the old abandoned house, and the loud noise they heard was the guitarist. Since they found out the secret location, they get to be in the video! They call Stephanie to tell her the news, and all is well.

The video is shot in a black & white polka dot room. Here's the stylish outfits the girls wore to the video shoot:

Kate was wearing black jeans and a red-and-white sweatshirt, Patti had on a red-and-black T-shirt with white sweatpants, and [Lauren] was wearing red sweatpants and a black-and-white sweatshirt. Stephanie was wearing her black-and-white jumpsuit and dangly red earrings.

Sweatpants and sweatshirts for a music video?! Actually, the girls wear sweatpants and sweatshirts pretty often. Well, they are in 5th grade, after all. I never really liked the outfits in the Baby-Sitters Club books. I thought they were either too wild & out there (Claudia) or too boring (Mary Anne and Kristy). I loved the outfits the Sleepover Friends wore, though (except for the sweatpants). Stephanie always wore black, white and red, which was her trademark. However, she never seemed to wear black, white and red on the covers of the books, which always kinda annoyed me. The girls often go shopping at Just Juniors, their favorite store in the mall, and I will be sure to always include outfit descriptions in my recaps!

Anyway, the girls make it through the video (the song is called "I've Gone Dotty Over You") and get autographed pictures from the band. Even though the girls think the band's music isn't all that great, Stephanie decides she's over her crush and has moved on to the lead singer of Boodles.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Inspired by blogs such as The Dairi Burger, Like Pike, BSC Revisited and Fear Street, I have decided to recap one of my favorite series from when I was younger-- Sleepover Friends.

Sleepover Friends was about a group of 4 friends in 5th grade - Lauren, Kate, Stephanie and Patti - who had sleepovers every Friday night. I used to love sleepovers when I was younger, and these girls got to have one every weekend! They eat lots of junk food, play Truth or Dare, watch music videos and get in all kinds of trouble. I thought these books were so cool when I was younger.

I won a set of about 15 Sleepover Friends on ebay. However, when I received the box, there were no books inside--I got 2 bottles of liquid supplements and a bottle of conditioner! After talking to the seller & the post office, it appears that since the box was sent media mail, it was inspected at the post office and the contents were switched with another box. I was so disappointed! Luckily I won another set on ebay. Now with this blog, I can justify completing my collection!

I don't know how many books there were total in the series. The last book I can find is #38, Patti's City Adventure.

I don't have the first book (yet) but I plan to do them in order as much as I can. Look for a recap of #2, Starring Stephanie, coming soon!