Archive for May, 2011

May 30 Monday

Knock, knock…

I am not crafty by nature. But I am a smidgen (or a lot)  frugal. When I spy with my little eye something I love on Etsy, and feel I can make it myself for a portion of the price, I will usually make a valiant attempt.

And so I did.

Random related factoid: I am obsessed with my front door.

There is a long, drawn out story about this topic, go figure. It’s me.

Here it is in 44 words: A girl wants a new front door. Asks her Dad’s business to order one. Dad delays, knowing daughter wants to move. Dad moves on to heaven. Daughter buys house Dad would be proud of. Moves in. Orders new front door. It’s nearly perfect. Nearly.

So armed with a vision, I set off to peruse the aisles of the local craft store.

Seriously. You crafty people have it made. The craft store is like porno for a creative mind. You can make, do, create ANYTHING your little heart desires.

I purchased my supplies: A foam wreath, foam balls (2 different sizes, any sizes), pins and yarn.

Go ahead and skip the pins, they are useless. Instead, get yourself a good glue gun and some ammunition.

The rest is basic.

You wrap the yarn around the foam ring. You can do whatever size you want, in whatever color. This portion of the project takes some time. A lot of time. I turned up Pandora, poured myself a Skinny Girl Margarita and wrapped, wrapped, wrapped. Sipped. Wrapped, wrapped, sipped. Repeat.

Once the main ring is complete, tie it off and secure your string. Then begin wrapping the foam balls. This is not easy, go slow. You have to find your groove in going around the ball, while switching directions, while holding the yarn in place with your thumb. Practice. Soon enough you will get the hang of it. Plus, they’re balls.

When everything is wrapped to your liking, secure the balls on your wreath with your hot glue gun. After another margarita, and three stuck fingers, I threw away all pins, safety pins and my sanity. Mama got serious and found the glue gun. There is nothing like packing some heat. Literally. Be careful. I have the burns to prove it.

Finally, your wreath is ready to hang! I secured mine with 3M Command strips to the door.

Whimsy, playful, beautiful and simple.

And now my front door feels like home. I am certain Dad would agree.

Add This 12 Comments Post by Katy
May 22 Sunday

Little Dood Chicken Nuggets

Today turned out to be nothing like I had planned in my head.

It was a fantastic day, but not the productive Sunday I was hoping for. And I am happy about that.

Mid-afternoon, a storm hit. Not just any storm, the kind that leaves you running to the nearest news outlet to make sure you aren’t going to blow away and end up in the land of Oz.

There is no place like home.

So homebound I was. And before long, it was nearly dinner time and my offspring were beginning to cluck in my general direction. Chicken nuggets. Chicken nuggets.

Note to You: Our kiddos go bonkers for chicken nuggets. Gack. We’ve all seen the footage of how processed chicken nuggets are squeezed out of metal machines like pink play dough are made.

Thankfully I had some beautiful boneless skinless chicken boobies defrosted and ready to fulfill their destiny.

At this point, I kind of checked out. I was cooking dinner, making cookies, talking on the phone to my sister, filling sippy cups, measuring hail and all the while singing Stand by REM over (and over and over) in my head.

I swear to God if I had a reality TV show the title of today’s episode would have been Mrs. Multi-tasking Makes Nuggets.

All I can tell you is these little doods were finger lickin’ good. Like really good. And very messy. Which is why we have a dog. They are the perfect mix of buttery, crunchy and super duper moist. I ate mine slathered with honey mustard. The girls & SuperHub dipped theirs in BBQ sauce.

Alongside some whole grain pasta and watermelon, it was a nearly perfectly perfect meal.

You will need:

Boneless skinless chicken – cut up into bite size pieces
Panko bread crumbs
Butter – melted (just enough to lightly coat each piece of chicken)
Cooking spray

*Spices to taste:
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Chili powder
Paprika
Salt
Pepper

*I used Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning (Ingredients: Sea Salt, Mustard Seeds, Black Peppercorns, Coriander, Onion, Garlic, Paprika, Chilli Pepper.) If you want an Italian flavor, use a little basil. These little doods would totally rock smothered in Parmesan & mozzarella cheese, served on a bed of whole grain spaghetti with marinara.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Melt your butter. Mix your breadcrumbs with desired spices. Mix well. Mix again. And again. Cut up your chicken boobies. Pat the chicken dry. One piece at a time, lightly cover the chicken with butter, then roll around in the bread crumbs, liberally. Place gently on your prepared cookie sheet. Repeat.

Bake your nuggets for 20 minutes, or until done, when there is no pink left in the middle and juices run clear.

Let them stand for a few minutes before serving, if you can wait that long.

Serve them up, Buttercup.

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May 17 Tuesday

You first…

Update: So. The one day I decide to write about hairy little body parts, is the ONE day that there is a sizable email referral to my blog. Sorry to all you newbies. Welcome!

Now back the craziness already in process…

Part of being a mom, in the summer time, with kids, means having to brave the pool.

And as your kids get older, the time at the pool increases. Which means so does your social interactions with other parents. WHILE WEARING A BATHING SUIT.

Truth be told, I am not going to waste any energy on hating my body. It is what it is. Or the fact that I am so pale I actually reflect the sun.

It’s the body hair issue.

Pits, legs, personal terrain.

So this year, being that our new house has a watering hole located smack dab in the back yard, I have opted to enlist the professionals.

Last night, while discussing the inevitable opening of the pool, I mentioned that making an appointment for aforementioned hair removal was on my To Do list for the week.

While inquiring as to what style of removal I was selecting, SuperHub gave his opinion.

“Brazilian?”

I promised him that yes, I would do a Brazilian wax, RIGHT AFTER he has one.

Listen closely, you can probably still hear his laughter.

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May 15 Sunday

Simple Escapes

I am currently obsessed with a few things. It happens. Beyond parenting, domestic duties, saving the world and baking mass amounts of cupcakes, it brings me great joy to have little things to swoon over on a daily basis.

Trader Joe’s Lavender Hand & Body Lotion
$5.50 12 ounces

Little things make the difference. Like aromas. Aroma is a fancy word for smell. And to me if something is smelly, it stinks, so I am choosing to use the fanciful terminology. Are you following me? Who cares. GO BUY THIS LOTION. If I could, I would bathe in it. It’s cheery, authentic lavender fragrance instantly transforms any state of mind to the middle of a freshly bloomed lavender field. Happiness. And it makes a rather excellent foot rub lotion.

Favorite part: Perfect for foot rubs without being too oily.
Set back: It’s only available in store at your local (or notso local in my case) Trader Joe’s. Road trip and stock up.

Simply Lemonade
$3 – $5

Once upon a time, I happily drank fruit juice from concentrate. Then Simply Orange happened. It has become a regular at our house along with it’s cousin, Simply Lemonade. I am not going to lie, this sweet drink begs to be mixed with vodka on a hot summer (spring, fall or winter) day.  Plus, it makes me feel fancy to offer impromptu house guests a glass of ice cold lemonade. Or just indulge in one myself.

Favorite part: Quick, refreshing and fun to drink with pinkies up.
Set back: My entire family loves it which means if you don’t drink it promptly, you miss out.

Yes To Tomatoes
$10 – $20 ($20 for starter kit!)

Pimples happen. And if you’re in your early 30’s, have a vagina and stand up right, chances are you get the occasionally zit too. If not, go away. Something happens to women in our “fruitful” years. Our bodies kick up testosterone production and it pisses off our pores. We need good skin care.  I was first introduced by Yes To Carrots skin care line by my sister. I want to be her when I grow up which includes high-jacking all her grooming products in the shower. I fell head over heels in love with Yes To Tomatoes face wash after three days. The smell, the texture and the new glow about my face. I scored the Starter Kit (mask, headband, face wash and lotion) at Target Boutique for $19.99 and said yes myself.

Favorite part: My skin transformation. And the aroma. (Fancy!)
Set back: Spendy. I balance my beauty product budget out by supplementing Trader Joe’s face wash and moisturizer in once a day. LOVE Joe’s skin care line…In case you missed that above. Plus it has SPF 15, which is the only thing Yes to Tomatoes is lacking.

Naked Toes
Free

I have ugly toes. It’s nothing I can change so I embrace my wonky, crooked, little phalanges. And this year, I am letting them breathe a little longer. Normally I kick start flip flop season with a pedicure and a bright shade of pink. This year, I am embracing naked. My toes are treated to a daily scrub, bi-weekly trims and lots of lavender scented lotion. It’s more frugal, my nails are healthy and the upkeep is easy.

Favorite part: No chipping polish.
Set back: Not nearly as much fun. But after a $50 spa pedicure in December that left me with a close encounter with toenail fungus, I am thrilled to be resident nail technician.

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May 04 Wednesday

Das A Whole Lotta Taco Salad

Last night, my bestie Thomeister, called to chit chat about the day. Except this call was different. I was at the grocery store for a late night of gathering provisions to prepare, and serve, preschool snack in just 9 short hours.

And I was hungry.

Rule #1 of grocery shopping: Never go to the grocery store hungry.

During the conversation, she raved about this “Big bowl of already mixed up taco salad” and my ears perked up. I got goosebumps.

Clearly I am easy to please but come on, meaty, cheesy, spiciness all mixed up in a big bowl? Plus, it’s Cinco de Mayo week.

My cart seemed to steer itself to pick up the few items I hadn’t already thrown in my cart, as she told me what sorts of goodies I would need.

Sidenote: Driving a shopping cart, while on the phone is the domestic equivalent of impaired driving. It should be illegal but whatever. It isn’t yet so I stayed on course as best I could.

You will need:

Ground beef
Taco seasoning
Cheese
Salsa
*Chips
Lettuce
Ranch dressing
Green onions

Optional:
Canned black beans
Corn
Cilantro

*I bought Doritos Taco chips. PEOPLE, THEY BROUGHT THEM BACK! Upon arriving at my house today to supervise the compilation of ingredients, Thomesiter informed me that she was not a fan of said chips and highly recommends regular tortilla chips.

This recipe began at my house by preparing a pot of macaroni and cheese for my kids. Let’s be honest, there are some days we just want our kids to shut up and eat. No convincing anyone to try this or take 5 more bites.

Plus, I wanted to kick the spice meter up to Code Red. Hey oh!

Once you have the mac under control, brown your ground beef and drain well. Add taco seasoning and water as directed on packet. Throw into a big bowl. Chop up green onions, throw on top of meat. Throw in cheese and lettuce. Give a firm stir. Open the bag of chips, even if just partially and take the can of black beans to roll over the top. Roll, crush and teach those chips a lesson. We used about half the bag, it could get too salty if you use too many. Remember, you can always add more later.

Now it’s time to pour on some salsa, however much your pretty little lips can handle and then give a hardy squeeze of ranch dressing. Stir well.

If your taste buds agree, add an entire can of rinsed and drained black beans and fresh corn off the cob. Or a drained can of corn. Top with fresh chopped cilantro and meoooooow.

This would be an absolutely fantastic potluck or party food. Or football tailgate, which is how Thomeister discovered the magic that is A Whole Lotta Taco Salad.

Survey Says:

The kids gave their boxed macaroni and cheese six enthusiastic thumbs up.

SuperHub dove into his bowl of taco goodness before I was even done serving his portion. He quickly (and loudly) exclaimed “Oh yeah, that’s goooooood.”

I loved it. The complex flavor combinations were exactly what I was envisioning last night, as I heaped the ingredients into my grocery cart. The only thing missing was that pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream…Um, I mean…What just happened?

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May 03 Tuesday

The non-mathematician gets hungry

Tonight, while perusing the frozen food aisle of our local grocer, I spotted a sign that made me do a double-take.

I am no math whiz. Seriously. I failed geometry in high school. FAILED. I had to re-take it my junior year. I prefer to eat my Pi with a spoon, not as a mathematical constant.

For those of you who are communications majors, such as myself, a mathematical constant is a special number, usually a real number, that is “significantly interesting in some way”.

See what I did there? I used wikipedia to supplement my intelligence. I don’t care about Pi.

Clearly.

I like waffles.

But not at this price.

Add This 1 Comment Post by Katy