If you’re looking for the investigative report on Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker, you can find it by clicking here.






We had an awesome time in our snow, which has all escaped now except for the remains of dozens of snowmen making it look like The Great Snowy Massacre of 2010. But, in what will certainly be the first time in history, we are supposed to get TWO MORE INCHES OF SNOW TONIGHT.

Seriously bizarre.

So, the mass hysteria begins all over again….There will be NO bread and milk left anywhere in the state of Alabama after this weekend. And everyone will be watching the local news crawl again for their school and work closings.

Speaking of, Chris and I got to talking about the whole closings thing on Thursday..

What keeps someone from calling in and reporting that their business or school will be closed the next day? Surely the television stations don’t keep a list of authorized personnel that can call from each entity.

Then, the next day, when the boss calls and asks where you are, you just tell them, “Oh – I saw on NBC that our office was closed for today!!”

And also, what keeps people from calling in pranks?

And then, we saw it scroll by: “Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker will be closed on Friday.”


Obviously, we’re not the first ones to think of the prank idea.

Out of incredulous curiosity, I tried finding Uncle Joe’s in the yellow pages, white pages, and online, but can find no trace that such a place exists.

But, just in case there really is an Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker and you send your kids to day care there, let me qualify my statements by saying….you’re crazy.

Editor’s note: I later did some investigative journalism and discovered the true origin of Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker. To find the answers to all of your questions, click here.


In other news, I am completely shocked by how many people asked me for the recipe for snow cream, or asked me what in the world snow cream was – especially of my northern friends!

Apparently, snow cream is just a southern thing (ironically enough), AND a rare one at that.

(I totally had this idealistic picture that every time it snowed up north, y’all immediately went outside, collected your snow, and made yourself up a batch of snowy goodness. My worldview is forever changed by the fact that you don’t eat snow cream for breakfast every day.)

So, for those of you who asked, here’s to ever complex recipe for snow cream:

  • If you’re a germophobe, leave a metal bowl outside to collect snow. Or, if you trust the cleanliness of the snow that God sent you, simply scrape the top layer of snow off of a flat object – a table, grill, car – whatever. Just make sure you get the top, clean, non-yellow part. 
  • Add a lot of sugar and a lot of vanilla, and then add milk and stir until the consistency is still powdery but slushy.
  • Keep adding more sugar until you are positive that it will send you into a sugar coma.
  • Enjoy, and come to terms with the fact that you will become a snow cream junkie, and may in fact eat it for breakfast every morning henceforth.

Now I know that today is Valentine’s Day and I’m supposed to write an ooshy gooshy post, but since that’s not really my thing, I figured I’d just tell you about our family’s Valentine’s gifts.

It started out with me getting very aggravated with mine.

APPARENTLY, it seemed that Chris had waited until the last minute to order whatever he’d ordered me, so it was supposed to be delivered via FedEx on Friday – when he SHOULD have been coming home to escape The Frightening Blizzard.

And so, as the weather worsened and EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD was safe at home, he was still at the office, trying desperately to track down his FedEx guy.

I had told him multiple times that I would rather him be safely home than to have my Valentine’s gift on time, and might have even sent him a text telling him that my gift was losing brownie points by the second, but it was to no avail.

Finally, at 3pm, he texted me and told me that he gave up and was on his way home.

However. I knew that there was no way he’d given up – he would have sounded much angrier at himself (even in text), so I was confident that it was a fake-out.

Sure enough, that night, he “surprised” me and told me that he had, indeed, gotten my gift. I opened it, and all of a sudden everything became clearer:

IMG_7676 copy

He had ordered me a REAL King Cake. From New Orleans. Freshly baked the day before. From a King Cake Expert, located with the help of our Lousianian friend Nikki.

He’d put in his order weeks beforehand, apparently completely unaware that we would have a snowstorm of gigantic (2 inch) proportions, and so he HAD to wait on my freshly baked cake, or by Monday it would not have been, well, freshly baked.

I forgave him…kinda.

A lot of you also asked about what a King Cake was, so here was how another genuine Lousianian, Debra, explained it in the comments of my last post mentioning them:

The history of the King Cake began in 12th century France where the cake would be baked on the eve of January 6 (Epiphany) to celebrate the visit to the Christ Child by the three Kings.

It was later brought to South Louisiana by the French settlers and eventually developed into a Mardi Gras celebration. However, what would happen is if you found the baby in the cake, it would be your turn to supply the cake the next week at the next party. This would go on each week throughout the Mardi Gras season until Fat Tuesday (which precedes Ash Wednesday).

There is ton of information about the symbolism of the colors of the cake, the reason for the baby vs. the silver or gold bean, braided or unbraided, etc. As with any tradition, things evolve and change over time.

The first one I ever tried was “real” (from New Orleans), so ever since that day, as if under a Turkish Delight Curse of the White Witch from Narnia, I’ve been trying to replicate that amazing experience with locally baked ones, but to NO avail.

But this one – this one was real:IMG_7678
Ali helped me ice it and sprinkle it:IMG_7685
It was gorgeous.IMG_7687And amazingly delicious.

We ate it for dinner, after-dinner dessert, breakfast, mid-morning snack…you get the point.IMG_7689
And, fittingly so, I was the lucky baby finder!

IMG_7704 Seriously the best cake ever. Even the baby was more real….

And, if you’re wondering, I got Chris some of the magic cups that we first learned about from Ryan and Christen:IMG_7691 And yes, they are definitely magic.

And Ali. We just got her Valentine’s PEZ. Because we learned at Christmas that PEZ trumps any other gift in the world…except maybe being spared from having to go to Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker.


19 thoughts on “Random Snowiness and Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker

  1. I have also noticed that no one up here does snow ice cream. My mom always made it for me but she was born and bred in Texas. We didn't get enough snow this year to make any, maybe next year I can introduce K to snow ice cream. :).

    I must admit that King cake looks pretty tasty. The other one not so much. :)

  2. Okay, I don't understand why anyone who has the opportunity doesn't make snow cream whenever available. I just assumed the folks up north were eating it all the time. It is the first thing I think of when it snows.

    Note – I'm not actually from Louisiana. I just lived there. My dad and brother are from there, and my dad is a bona fide Cajun. I have relatives I can't even understand with nicknames that defy logic.

    Last comment – Are you seriously telling me that I gave Chris the heads up about Gambinos cakes of wondermousness, and you didn't even save me a piece?? Wrong. So wrong.

    I will choose to love you anyway.

  3. I have to say… I saw a similar listing for "Uncle Joe's" on Sunday evening as we prepared for round two of the snow, and was floored. It became my Facebook post since my wife and I are expecting and I'm sure that will be our first choice for childcare once our little one arrives!!!
    Anyway, when I Googled it, your link was about all I found, so it's fun to find others who found it as disturbing as I did!!!

  4. Pez is the bomb according to my little granddaughter, so she is a kindred spirit, tell Ali.

    I had King cake once but yours look so much better and yummier.

    Now for snow cream, never heard of it and I'm from the north and I'm pretty sure no one else in my family has heard of it either. Sorry to disappoint.

  5. looks like yall had fun in the snow too!!! it was so pretty!!

    and the tervis tumblers are amazing! i have 4 now! i want those national championship ones! i keep seeing them at Bed Bath and Beyond and havent gotten myself one yet!! I need to!!! You can also go to their website and personalize them too! i have one with my name on it! :)

  6. I have to tell you – after seeing your faux King Cake earlier, I am so happy for you that you got a real one! Aren't they a treat!?! What a thoughful guy! And since you got the baby, that means you host the next shindig so we'll all be there!! Woohoo!

    And what? I thought snowcream would be a yankee staple!! Hmmmm…

  7. Two thumbs up HILARIOUS!!! I could barely read it to hubby who also laughed out loud and now I gotta know is Uncle Joe's Tot Locker real? Somebody please speak up!!!

  8. Uncle Joe's Tot Locker…..HA!
    Can you beleive we are expecting again? Crazy!
    And King Cake-YUM! Gabino's at that!!!!!

  9. Rachel…I am CRACKING UP!! I'm in Gadsden and just went to Fox AL school closings, saw Uncle Joe's tot locker and thought it was hilarious!! So I googled it and came across your blog post…glad I'm not the only one that said, "Would you SERIOUSLY send your child to a place called Uncle Joe's Tot Locker"?! Ha! I'm going to have to post about it…I just can't resist. ;)

  10. YES!!!!!!! A Gambinos King Cake is the best-ever King Cake!! Chris should get major brownie points for this gift! He should be able to stay out of the dog house for weeks, maybe months, since he had a Gambino's fresh baked King Cake delivered to you!

    When we would go home (to Louisiana) during Mardi Gras season, we would bring fresh baked Gambino's cakes back as treats for our friends. That is how much we love them!

  11. Okay – I know I've already commented, so I'm on the verge of blog-stalking, but I had to tell you…last night as I was telling my husband about Uncle Joe's Tot Locker, it scrolled across the screen!! I thought we were going to bust a gut!!

  12. I saw Valentine's PEZ at Target and thought of you and Ali!

    We have a client in New Orleans who sends us a King cake every year and we LOVE it!

  13. The king cake looks yummy. I have never had one of those. and I also had told my husband who would send there child to a place call Uncle Joe's Tot Locker. I saw it scroll across the screen whenI was looking for our school info.

  14. First of all, apparently the whole state of Alabama is wondering about Uncle Joe's Tot Locker, because as soon as I posted this yesterday, the google searches started pouring in. I have had nearly 100 individual visits from people googling Uncle Joe's Tot Locker!

    Sounds like it's time for some investigative blog journalism… Does it or does it not exist?

    One of the people googling Uncle Joe's was the producer at NBC, and she also emailed me and provided the answer to my question as to who can call in closings. So, in case you were wondering too, here's her response:

    "to answer your question about how the stations keep up with who's credible when calling in closings – here's what we do.

    We issue passwords to school superintendents and hospitals. The passwords are updated regularly, and are required to report a closing.

    We generally don't list daycares, simply because there are too many. Most have policies to adhere to whatever their local school system is doing. Others should have some sort of internal system like a phone tree or a voicemail message for parents to check. The same goes for most businesses."

  15. Uncle Joe's Tot locker, that's hilarious! I never thought about people pranking school/business closings, that's very smart!
    My mouth was watering reading about and seeing the pictures of the authentic King Cake, I've never had a real one before, it looks amazing! I'll go in with you guys next year and get one to share with small group!
    So glad y'all are enjoying the magic Tervis tumblers!

  16. I don't know what those other Northerners have been telling you but the truth is while we don't eat snow cream, we do collect LOTS of snow and eat snow cones ;). jk. But we totally should.

    I dont' know whether or not I should hope that there is an Uncle Joe's Tot Locker because I think it would be hilarious.

    I want king cake… mmmmm… hungry.

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