Thursday, June 25, 2009

Call me Betty

I'm a tad fickle about cooking.

I really do enjoy it, but only when I am in the mood and only if it's my idea. If nothing sounds good or I'm not that inspired to try out something yummy, you can forget it. Make a PBJ and call it good. I also don't particularly care to be asked what's on the menu for tonight. Or tomorrow night. Or three weeks from Tuesday.

That's PRESSURE, people. And I can't handle it.

So, since a particular individual in my life finds it very necessary to know what and where his next meal is coming from (as said person likes to plan his entire life around food, down to what he's wearing and the route to work), I have been working on being more prepared in the cooking department.

Because I am trying to compromise.
And be a good wife.
And because a certain someone is looking hotter than usual these days with his golden tan.

So, I have been trying to plan out meals a little better and do the grocery shopping with at least 3 or 4 complete dinners in mind. This isn't as easy as it sounds when the only meats you're willing to purchase and cook are chicken breast and the leanest of ground beef, and the individual mentioned above does not like to eat chicken two days in a row.

And yes, yes, I know that the idea of planning your meals out before you grocery shop has been around a while. But number two on this little advice list is usually telling me not to shop on an empty stomach so that I won't impulse buy. This is where they lose me, since the bakery and a creme-filled donut is always my first stop upon entering SuperWalmart and also one of the highlights of my week.

But I'm listening now! That is the point here.

Better late than never, right??

This week I had the wildly fabulous idea to grill some kabobs. I've never made them before and they just sounded light and crisp and perfect for one of these scorching hot nights. Plus, I'm always trying to think of good ways to work in more fresh veggies to our diets. I always buy them with good intentions and then have to throw them out a few weeks later when the smell has become so bad our dog hugs the far wall of the kitchen on his way to the doggie door.

Have you ever seen a dog hold its breath? Quite a sight.

Back to the kabobs. Hubby's eyes didn't light up quite like I anticipated when I mentioned my little dinner plan. I think he was realizing that that he would be directly involved in the endeavor, since the grill rests solely in his domain. I guess I can't blame him... the thought of standing in front of a fiery hot object on 200 degree concrete while your clothes slowly melt onto your skin isn't appealing. And he's basically trapped out there because I won't let him come in and out of the house during the process, because hey, we're not trying to air condition the whole neighborhood.

So I came up with Plan B.

I would grill the veggies right in the comfort of our own home on my grill pan! Ha!

As for the chicken, I decided to try out another little recipe I had tucked into my mental filing cabinet. I like to throw chicken into the crockpot with cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup, along with some other spices. It's so easy! But that's really the only thing I've done with the crockpot, and since it's always a huge hit, I've seen no reason to deviate. But recently I read one of those one page magazine articles about a woman who had lost a lot of weight and what was her exercise plan and what did she eat now, blah blah. Well this chick mentioned putting chicken, cream of chicken soup and salsa in the crock.

And that's it! Sounded fantastic, so that's what I did.

Look how colorful the veggies are. YUM.

I'm manning the grill!

Doesn't this look delish??

Yes, that is only half a chicken breast on my plate. There is just no need for each of us to have our own. I can never eat it all, and he might, but is that really a good idea?

Plus, with all that other yummy food, chances are there will be leftovers which rarely get eaten by anyone other than the dog. And he's been begging for a PBJ all week.

Let me know if you have any great crockpot recipes I need to know about!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend Lowdown

Happy Monday!

This weekend we took a little foray to the lake.

We did a little sunbathing, some fishing and wake boarding. It was a rip-roaring good time, especially since I was the only girl and probably the only person within a 20 mile radius that didn't actually dip a toe into the water.

Yeah, that's right. No lake swimming for me. That's not to say I've never swam in a lake- I have, plenty of times. And I'm sure I will in the future. But if I'm allowed to sit too long by myself and ponder the disgusting wonders that any given lake might hold, the chances that I'll get in quickly diminish. Even my body was telling me no. We were out on the boat for over 6 straight hours and I consumed 3 bottles of water and one beer and didn't hear nature calling until I was safely back on dry land. Thank God!

We tried to do some fishing... Tried being the operative word. Not a single bite. In fact, the only fish I saw was this guy:

Now you see why swimming was off the table. All I need is a dead, scaly fish bumping up against me in murky waters. There are not enough showers in the world! Bleech!

Sunday marked the finish of a little project I had been working on all week: Painting my dining room! When we bought the house, the walls below our chair rail were brown with some sort of rag-type finish. Definitely not my style. I decided to paint them dark red- Bordeaux, to be exact.

Here's a pic from when I started painting the first time. Luckily I remembered to get a little "before" picture as I was taping it off!

Here it is with the red:

As you can see, decorating this room hasn't been hight on my priority list. It needs some spice! But I liked the red just fine and had been contemplating painting the top half of the room a warmer tan/beige color.

Then I threw all of that out the window and decided to go in a completely different direction.

Here is a little sneak peek:

Isn't it dreamy? Fresh and light.. I have all sorts of wild ideas for the room now!

This weekend was also Father's Day! I want to take a moment to wish my Dad a Happy Father's Day. I love you Dad! Thank you so much for teaching me (among other things) the value of a clean house and an economical shower.

I'm doo-ooonnnnnee!!! :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tops and Bottoms and Balls, Oh My!

For quite some time now, my husband and a bunch of friends have been playing in a men's softball league. Last night marked the beginning of summer ball.

** You'll have to forgive me and my lack of softball termage.. I am quite certain it's not called "summer ball" but the only other thing I could come up with was "summer session" and that sounded all kinds of wrong.

The league they're signed up with has fields that are way across town and each week they play two games and usually have an hour break in between.

Translation: a very looooong night for moi.

Since it's across town, we always drive together and will continue to do so until gas hits the $0.99/gallon price tag of my youth. So there's no waiting until the last minute and making it just in time to see the first pitch for this gal.
No sireeee. My husband clearly has not learned the virtues of "Mexican time" and we are generally the first people to show up.

Now, I enjoy supporting hubby and it is nice to get out of the house on a school night, but I keep trying to remember where exactly I signed up for this in our marriage contract. I mean, it is HOT out there. And there are bugs and rednecks and the closest facility is a port-o-john. (Also known as a port-o-potty, for those of you from the North).
No way, Jose.

Last night, however, as we made the seemingly 13 hour drive to the fields, I noticed a little something that stayed on my mind throughout the exciting ball games and the bewitching hour in between. We passed a store called Tops & Bottoms.

That's it. No messing around, no funny business, straight to the point.

Tops & Bottoms.

Now people, this is marketing at it's finest. You can have no doubt about what's offered inside this warehouse-like building. Looking for shoes? Move along. Need a belt or a hat? Nah, not gonna find it here. We sell Tops & Bottoms. Period.

It is important to note that this little gem of a part of town is a far cry from the areas we generally frequent. Oh, yes, they have their QuikTrips, but that is about the only thing other than stoplights that unite us.

Oh yeah. And a love of softball.

So on our way home, I excitedly stared out my window, hoping for another glimpse of this magical place where you can find either a top or a bottom. Or both.

I pulled out my camera and started rolling down my window when I saw it. I thrust my arm out into the dark night and tried to get it to focus on the mammoth white sign as we swerved around through questionable traffic.

*CLICK* Got one!

That's when I looked around at the other cars and passengers on the road and started to realize that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to be sticking a shiny metal object out our darkly tinted windows in what anyone in their right mind would call The Hood.

But I like to live on the edge. It's how I roll.

Shopping trip, anyone??

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's your (curtain) call

Around our house, most of the decorating falls in my lap. Since I care very much what our home looks like and the vibe it puts out, this is fine by me.

Now, that does not mean that my husband doesn’t have decorating opinions- he definitely does. Every once in a while I’ll set out a new centerpiece, pull the rug a few inches to the left or mix up the mantle d├ęcor and he’ll shoot me one of those scrunched up, sourpuss faces he usually reserves to give when he’s hungry and I suggest he eat an apple.

Hey, we could all use a little more fiber in our life, right?

Fruit aside, I have been on a home decorating kick over the past few weeks. Since my pockets aren’t lined in gold and my last surviving credit card is squirreled away in the deep freeze, this basically means I have been scouring HGTV’s Rate My Space and home decorating blogs for inspiration and clipping Hobby Lobby coupons for cheap project materials. So most of the actual updates have thus far happened in my head. And I’ve had two paint fume headaches already to prove it.

But last week I did make a new curtain for the window over my kitchen sink.

Here is the old curtain, which I made sometime last winter.

Looks fine. Not my ultimate style, but much better than the gauzy see-through number the last owners left us. This time I wanted a different shape and to bring a little more color to the kitchen, tying in some of the blue we have in the adjoining family room.

New Material:

So after lots of trial and error and an afternoon of quality time with my sewing machine, here is what I came up with:

I won’t bore you with the shocking details of my project, just suffice it to say that anyone with REAL sewing skills should stay away from the outside of our kitchen window. I may or may not have used scrap pieces of yarn to make it fold and hang just so and there may or may not be strategically placed plastic bags involved.

Anyhoo, when hubby got home to see me just finishing up, he chuckled at how “crafty” I am. Secretly, I know he loves it that I attempt to be all things domestic and that this is third on the list of why he married me- after my surefire future ability to give him tan children and my crossword capabilities.

This is also when he decided to let me know that he likes this window treatment MUCH better than the last ugly thing that was hanging there.


Okay, so not his exact words, but you get the gist.

Thinking back to when I made the first one, I know I asked him if he liked it. And he said yes.


But mama didn't marry no fool. Since I had created the darn thing with my very own hands, it's not like he could say "No, it looks like something my great-aunt Mildred would have, let's take it back." That would not have gone over well at all.

So now I'm looking around the house wondering what else around here doesn't quite make the cut.


I don't think I'm going to lose too much sleep over it, though. The way I figure it, if I can just continue to make all the window treatments myself, paint all the walls, fashion my own nicknacks, take up candle-making and ceramics and start writing my own coffee table books, he won't be able to scrunch up his face about any of it! Ha!

Guess I better get started.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Guard Dog

Happy Saturday Morning to you! 

I intended to do a full post (since I know you have been on pins and needles since Wednesday) but it's just not gonna happen.  What can I say?  With fame and fortune comes much responsibility.

Have a great weekend and don't show up around my house unannounced, lest you be assaulted by this very menacing creature and his gnarly bone.  You've been warned.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Earring Overboard

Last night, after a lovely evening with the girls, I had what most women might term a traumatic turn of events.

As soon as I walked in the door, I made a bee-line for the restroom, yelling out a greeting to my husband and dog on the way. I lifted up the toilet lid and at precisely that moment, the silver chandelier earring dangling so fetchingly in my right ear JUMPED from my lobe and did a swan dive into the center of the toilet and disappeared. Had I not been so horrified, I would have given the little sucker a perfect 10 for form and execution.

Naturally, I immediately cringed and let out a disgusted yelp of dismay. It's also entirely possible that an un-ladylike word escaped my lips.

To my husband's credit, he came running and after a quick recap, said he would handle it. My dog and I stepped behind the yellow tape to watch and I hopped around doing the potty dance as he donned a rubber dish washing glove and got to work.

Oh gag me.

I don't know if could survive in a world without the porcelain throne, but dear Lord they skeeve me out. After a few anguishing minutes and the help of a wire hanger, the wayward earring was recovered. I dumped it into a paper bowl and doused it with soap and hot water, then gave it a rigorous rub down with a Lysol disinfectant wipe. And now it sits on a paper towel in my bathroom, exactly where I left it to dry.

So now to the most important part of this story... what do I do with it??

I had a good long heart-to-heart with myself, weighing the pros and cons of the fate of this dumb little earring. I believe my first instinct was to throw it away. The problem is, I just bought these earrings last week, and last night was only the second time I had worn them. Plus, I LOVE them. They are the perfect little shape with hammered silver detailing. And they go so well with my summer tan! Sigh.

The practical side of me is thinking, wash it, wash it again, disinfect, rinse and repeat. Who will ever know? Only my hubby, who in all likelyhood, won't even remember what they look like by tomorrow.

After much self-examination, I have decided to chuck the jumper. After this post, I know there is no way I could keep it and risk running into one of you on the street and seeing you hightail it the other way, like I was George Costanza's dad and the earring was the man in the cape.

Plus, they were only $5.99 at Target, so I see buying another pair as my part in boosting the economy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Future Mother" Controversy

Okay kids, apparently there has been some confusion regarding a specific reference to myself in my very first blog.

Sheesh, off to a great start!

Let the record show that I am not pregnant. I am not with child. No bun in the oven. I am not in a family way, nor am I eating for two (okay, that one's debatable).

I only meant in the FUTURE, as I am looking forward to being a mother.

If you all are lucky, you might catch me in the height of my baby fever, which would naturally spill over to a blog about all things baby, including nursery colors, breast pumps, swaddling techniques and the best ways to coerce your husband into changing all the questionable diapers.

You lucky dogs.

So I hope this clears things up. Of course, when the stork eventually does visit our house, you all will be the first to hear! Because as you probably know by now, we're destined/doomed to have twins or triplets, and Lord help us if they're all girls... But either way, mama will need a break and you will all be on speed dial to babysit!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Numero Uno

Hello World! Welcome to my very first blog! 

After much thought and deliberation, I have finally decided to drink the Kool-Aid and join the blogging world.  Much thanks to my friend Katie, who introduced me to blogging sometime last year.  She was telling us about her blog over a business lunch and I asked her (somewhat disdainfully, I admit) what in the world people write about on these "blogs" and who on earth is going to read them??  :)  That very afternoon I looked hers up and a few of her recommended favorites and was hooked.  Thanks Katie!

SO.  Here I plan to chronicle all of the awesome and amazing happenings that make up this fantastic life I lead.  Riiiiiiiight.

My hope is to connect with family and old and new friends as I share a little bit about myself and my journey through life- as a relatively newly wed wife, future mother, part-time crafter, domestic wannabe, and whatever else tickles my fancy that particular day.    

My plan is to take the scenic route.  Want to go for a ride?   

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