De-cluttered Closet, Bubble Baths and All the Else

This week has been testing to say the least.

When I woke up on Sunday, I admit, I was feeling positive, hopeful and dare I say it, somewhat happy. I took the kids to my parents and we had a very nice Easter dinner. There was no fighting, no yelling, no traffic, a lot of good food and an overall peaceful mood through out the day.

Then Monday rolled around and I woke up in a deep depression. I was so depressed, in fact, that I can’t remember a damn thing I did. I’m sure it involved a lot of crying, but other than that, I am clueless.

On Tuesday, I tried to make the best brownies ever to ship to Dacia for winning the contest I ran oh, A MONTH AGO, but they didn’t turn out AT ALL. As they sat  in the oven, unbaking, I could see that they were boiling instead of setting. Those stupid things were in the oven for an hour an a half before I finally threw in the towel. My error? I took the “mix sparingly” a little to much to heart. The so called brownies had more lumps of flour balls in them than solid parts of brownie goodness. Disaster. Mind you, I’ve made these before and they are wonderful. Chalk it up to the fact that I have lost my mind.

By Wednesday, I was convinced that I was dying of pain, broken bones, internal bleeding and heartache but forced myself to truck on and get some things done, only because I knew it would make me feel a little more at ease. At 11:30 that night I couldn’t sleep because of the pain and forced my self to try an Epsom sat soak. It worked miracles.

Then came Thursday and I was feeling the best I have felt in three weeks. I was in the least amount of pain I had been in since this whole catastrophe, I was walking somewhat normal and it was the very first day in the past three weeks I didn’t cry. Not one tear.

Of course, today, I made for it by sobbing every other hour and feeling back to my normal stiff, achy pain filled self. All I want to do when I’m feeling like this is to curl into a ball, wail my lungs out, and drown in my tears. Obviously, I can’t do that so I just repeat to myself until I’m sensible “knock it off, he did this! You are doing the right thing.” I’m sure people think can see that I’ve lost my mind when I’m repeating this mantra to myself in public areas, but you know what, I feel like I’ve lost my mind, so let them think it.

My bosses have been very supportive with me and are helping me out in ways that I cannot even begin to tell you. It’s funny when now that I look back at the times that I thought I was so alone and sometimes even felt disliked by everyone that now I can see clearly that there are so many people that I matter to. There are so many people who care and are offering help to me and the kids. I am forever thankful to my bosses, my coworkers, my family and my friends. Someday I will show them how much they are helping me, someway, somehow. Maybe I’ll make them all cupcakes but if that goes anything like the way I’ve been trying to make Dacia’s brownies, I’m sure it will be in like ten years before they actually get them.

I am going to make her the best brownies ever by tomorrow afternoon and get them shipped tomorrow. Sorry, Dacia. I suck x’s 2., keep the faith.

Looking back over the past three weeks though I have accomplished some things on my list:

  • Reorganize the bathroom closet
  • Get rid of 4 towels and replace with 4 new (I’ve actually decided this was stupid. We have 50 or so towels. We do not need any more, in fact I got rid of 6. Off the list and pat on the back for common sense)
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Purge old beauty products

Not too many things, but some is better than none and I’m taking life one day at a time. Getting out of bed in the morning when you want to flat out give up should be on the list, but it’s not (yet) so I’m happy with the 4 I did do from the list.

Lovely Little Things

Cheery Cherry Blossoms

This is the first year, since I’ve lived in my home, that I won’t be hosting an Easter Brunch.

I had put it on my list.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have put it on the list because I have hosted it every year and it wasn’t too much of a challenge; but there were reasons why I put it there… It is my favorite holiday party to host and each year I try to make it better than the last. Continue reading

Simple Roasted Chicken and Peppers with Orzo: Ginger Style

Normally, when I prepare chicken breasts I do the following:

  • pound them down to 1/4 inch
  • coat them in flour mixed with a few dried herbs
  • give them an egg bath
  • coat them in Italian flavored panko
  • pan fry them in a bit of canola oil over medium heat
  • lay them on some paper towels to absorb the grease
  • squeeze some fresh lemon juice over and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Super yummy and extremely easy. 

This time, however, I decided to prepare them differently.

For the following recipe, I used a very scientific method for picking my flavors of the dish and it proved well.

I held each ingredient to my nose and if it smelled good with each of the other ingredients it was included.

That’s Mad Skill.

This dish certainly wasn’t the best I’ve ever produced but it did turn out well enough to share. Roasting everything together is very easy and the recipe is easily adaptable to your tastes.

It takes quite a while for the marinading and roasting but if you have laundry to do or other booooooring chores this will easily fit in to your schedule.

A big plus is that the clean up is a breeze as you only use a roasting pan, a cutting board, a pot for pasta and a bowl to toss the orzo in. If there are any leftovers just store them in the pan and bowl you’ve prepared them in. The leftovers also make for a wonderful lunch wrap by shredding the chicken and adding some lettuce or fresh spinach in a tortilla.

As I’ve said above, this recipe is very adaptable.

Don’t be scared, take a chance and switch up your spices and your veggies according to your taste buds.

I just used what I had on hand but I think some other good combos would be:

  • lemon slices, garlic and artichokes
  • tomatoes, zucchini, garlic and asparagus
  • eggplant, onions and tomatoes
  • zucchini, eggplant, garlic, peppers and tomatoes

Add as many veggies as your pan will fit with the chicken and the herbs are totally up to your imagination.

Also, for other deeee-lish recipes on chicken (and everything else your taste buds could possibly desire) please take a moment to check out my new friend, the food doctor at Chef in Disguise. I promise that if you love food and beautiful pictures you were certainly love this wonderful blog as much as I do.

If you do make this dish with your own combination please share by adding a link in the comments section; I’d love to see and share with other readers what you’ve created!

23 bags of Flour and 2 Boxes of Butter

I have been trying to get to 117 pounds for what feels like a hundred years.
Welp (yea, I said it) it’s official; I’m there!
It wasn’t even that hard. All I needed to do was have my life turned upside down and get smacked in the face with a ton of heartache and from there happened fairly easy.

I kid. I kid.

Well, sorta. I’m sure if I wasn’t so upset in the past week I’d not have lost it that easy. But hey out of the darkness must come some light 🙂

Life goes on and I’m feeling pretty okay today. I went through the bank accounts and bills and have a solid grasp on the lack of finances. Just knowing what I’m getting into has taken away a great load of that not-the-most-important-thing but really important-thing type of stress.

I will be broke but I’ll be skinny and broke 😉 I might be dressing in potato stacks by fall, but hey, I am a trendsetter!

I leave you with a fun little word thing I made online at wordle.com.

It’s fun to play with, but it’s hard to get a picture big enough to fit decently on your blog.

If you want to see my supa cool pic just click below and it will take you to a bigger version. I’ve made mine using all of the search engine terms that have been used to find my blog. The bigger words were used the most.

Some are pre.tty funny.

So, if you are bored or just like playing with silly little things that offer free and easy entertainment click the picture and have fun. You might even want to print something up to hang somewhere.

Wordle: Untitled

Self Therapy 101

Last weekend I spent some much needed tlc time at my sisters in the country. While I had the opportunity to stay away for two nights and have lunch with her (crossing both off  the list) it wasn’t for anything fun.

I had indicated a few posts back that there was some abuse going on and on Saturday the worst of my husband sent me to the hospital.  Not knowing what to do or what was going to happen I called my sister and she rushed to my side.

The police advised me that a warrent was issued for my husband and not to return to my home until he was in their custody or I had a protective order in hand.

Since returning home I am filled with a whole range of emotions, sadness being the leading lady, regret, worry, fear, doubt and anger. My whole life has been suddenly turned upside down. My husband is gone and has been ordered to not come back.

As my body is starting to heal, my heart is consumed with pain.

I haven’t been to work all week because of all of the legal steps that need to be taken on top of the physical and emotional condition I am in. I’m not sure how long this is going to drag out for and I don’t know what the outcome will be. I am scared shitless, not of him, but of what is going to happen next.

I can’t help but still love him and can only pray and wish that he would get some much needed help.

I want him to be able to be a part of the kids life, I want them not to hate him.

I want to be able to trust that he won’t hurt us ever again. I am filled with such an incredible sadness to know that it’s highly unlikely he won’t ever hurt us again.

I thought a lot about my blog when I was at my sisters, I thought that I should probably give it up, that I wouldn’t be able to be as spunky as I was last week before all of this happened. But then I thought about how much I love this blog, and how well I was doing and how the post I was given such recognition for was written a day after a separate painful incident here at home.

All of this pain I have inside of me seems to make for good writing.

I am not a quitter and I need this blog to keep me going. I need this to keep me goofy and fun and to force me to find the happiness through the most unhappiest of times.

I know this post is much more serious and super heavy compared to my normal light hearted approach to being trapped in suburbia, but  this is my real life and I just wanted to get this off of my chest; if only to explain what the previous post was about, the lack of writing in the past week and I’m hoping that maybe being honest about this will help me understand how truly healing the written word can be.

I am going to have to change some of my resolutions now as quite a few involved him and I am giving myself a little time to make the changes because of everything that is still going on. Maybe when the time is right I’ll ask for some help from my readers.

I’m allowed to do that, to change my resolutions, because it’s my blog and this is my new life and I am finally the one making the rules.

Okay, that is my sad post and I promise myself that will be the last for this blog.

Now… I think I’ll  go make a mess in the kitchen with 4 pounds of chicken, my camera and no recipe.

Winner, Winner Brownies After Dinner!

As promised, I am announcing the winner of the Tricks for a Treat contest that I ran last week to help me pull a prank on the kids.

Drum rollllllll please!! 🙂

Dacia! Please email bratcakess@gmail (me) your shipping address with “brownies” in the subject line and preference as to whether you would like your brownies with or without pecans!! Also, please provide me with a little hint so i can verify that it’s really you.

Yay, congratulations and thank you so much for participating!

I can’t wait to pull Dacias stunt on these kids and I’m hoping to get their reaction on video! So much fun! Stay tuned!!

Broken Things

On Friday, I went to CVS to pick up some allergy medicine and saw some gummy bears on sale at the counter, since it was on the list I bought the pack and condured up over a dozen creative ways to eat them.

On Saturday, I was going to do the WordPress 5 k. I had big plans for this. It was on the list, it would have been easy.  My daughter was going to do it with me; it was going to be fun.

Life got in the way.

My gummy bears are still in the plastic wrapping, keeping my lonely cat company.

I can’t walk up the stairs, let alone 3.1 miles.

My kids are safe and sound with me.

And that’s really all that counts.

Celebrating Spring Fever

My son has been working on a “30 Day Challenge” project for his Facebook. It involves him posting a different picture reflecting a random topic for each of the 30 days. The topic this past Sunday was to post a picture of his “night”. Being the clever little off-spring of yours truly (I am pretty cool when I’m not being a total dork) he decided that he would use this topic as an opportunity to make it a really fun night.

He and his sister walked to the Pathmark a few blocks away from our home and bought a bundle of fire-sparklers. You know, those  thin little sticks that you light on fire and then screech in amazement as they shoot off sparkly lights; the ones you (used to) love playing with as (a kid) an adult? He then asked me to take a picture of him and his sister playing with them once it was dark out.

After we had dinner and the sun went down, he grabbed his sister, me and my camera and we all headed out into the front yard.

It was one of the first warm spring nights of the year and we had a wonderful time playing on the front steps, giggling loudly and celebrating his night. Huz even brought Spook out onto the porch so they could be a part of the festivities.

He ended up choosing the last picture for his 30 Day challenge and I’m so glad he did because he has a seriously beautiful smile.

Minor Problem Turned Major Catastrophe

This past Saturday morning started off simple enough but quickly turned into the never ending weekend from hell.

Like most other Saturday’s, I tiptoed around quietly, being extra careful as to not wake up the maniacs kids. As I had my coffee, I played around with my camera and took some pictures of the awesome goodies I brought home from the free table the day before.

After about 30 or so shots I had what turned out to be a pretty cool picture of my junk treasures:

 

Free Table Finds: New Used Wallet & Seeds

 

Fantastic!It was going to be a great day!

I figured that with all of the luck I had been having lately, maybe, I became some super lady who was able to concur anything that I set out to do.

I surely didn’t want to waste my new found power so I decided it was high time to tackle the leaky faucet in the kitchen sink.

Hmm. Can you figure out where this might be going?

Sigh.

Anyway, I did some extensive research by googling “replacing a washer kitchen faucet” and read what seemed to be a fairly knowledgeable person’s instructions.

Sweet! I can handle this.

I grabbed a screwdriver , my camera (this could be a tutorial!) a few washers and followed the smart persons steps.

I didn’t get much further than step number 2 though because when I pulled, pried and finally cursed the handle out of the faucet I noticed that it was broken.

That wasn’t supposed to happen, it was my lucky day, remember?

No worries!

I ran downstairs to grab the alternative set of handles that the faucet came with, which the old owners of the home were kind enough to leave us.

“In case you want to switch the look,” I remembered the man saying to me at closing, me thinking he was such a nice guy.

Full of false hope, I ran back upstairs and got back to my project. I tried and tried and tried to get the stuck in there forever piece out but it wasn’t happening. I tried for a good hour before I finally abandon ship.

I stormed upstairs robbed Huz blind while muttering a lot of choice words about having to go to Lowes.

I brought the monsters with me and while Isaac climbed all over the shelves and played with a HUGE magnet to touch everything in eyesight with, Nan helped me pick out a few options for a new faucet.

I wasn’t sure which one I wanted and who the heck knew faucets could be so flipping expensive? Naturally, I wanted to make sure I was getting the best price for such a rediculously overpriced hunk of metal and Isaac was starting to get yelled at by strangers, so back home we went.

I googled again.

I looked at Home Depot and Lowes then Home Depot again and back to Lowes. I’m glad I flipped back and forth so many times cause Lowes finally gave me a pop up $10 coupon off a $50 purchase. I also took an hour to watch about 800 youtube videos on how to replace a faucet. That’s right, I learned from the previous experience (a mere two hours ago) that one article was NOT going to help me.

I made my list of supplies, printed my coupon and asked the Huz to go. He thought I wanted his opinion, really I just wanted his credit card.

(We held hands in the car on the way to the store. We don’t do that often and it was on my list so I had to throw it in there.)

Anyway, with minimal fighting in the store and me only stomping off once, we ended up picking out the most cheapest more sensible faucet of the two that I was debating on. When we got back home he resumed his spot on the couch in front of the dumb sports game and I got down to business.

It only took about an hour to replace the faucet, it wasn’t hard!

Sure, I cursed and even said to huz “Now I understand why my Dad was always cursing when he was under the sink!” Well, I didn’t actually say it, I kinda yelled it in a very deep and angry tone but I am kinda dramatic sometimes and he knows it.

Yay me! I’m happy. I’m proud. I’m feeling good and ready to concour the mountain of dirty dishes on the counter that I didn’t wash before trying to fix the leaking old faucet.

So, all is good in the world and I’m getting things done, still way proud of myself and wait, do you really think things would just be an easy fix like that?

No way, Jose’.

After I got all of the dishes clean and drained the water from the sink I felt something hitting my leg and looked down.

Mother effer. YUP. It was bad enough for the big word.

The stupid flipping drain pipe was disconnected. How did it get disconnected? I guess I did it. Who knows? The point is, now I have a faucet and clean dishes but 4 inches of dirty dish water in my cabinets that overflowing onto the floor.

This has got to be one of the worst Saturdays I’ve had in a long time.

So, now all of the stuff that I didn’t remove from the cabinet earlier was soaked and needed to be removed.

I was so disgusted.

I cleaned everything off, dried it all and lined it up neatly on the counter so I would feel somewhat better about the disaster that was my kitchen.

Huz fixed the drain pipe and I went to bed.

Not a happy girl.

I woke up feeling optimistic the next morning and left the house by 8am. I planned on getting new contact paper to put in the cabinets. I made my way over to Target and didn’t like their offering but grabbed some cat food and picture hangers for a gallery wall we are putting in Natalies room.

Still with a positive attitude, I stopped back at home to grab a coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond because surely they would have a better selection than Target. I putted around the store for a good hour before leaving empty handed.

From there I went to TJ Maxx, no contact paper but they had a great LOVE sign and a table cloth so I bought them and decided to try the Target next door. Same stuff different store.

I was now way past the point of aggravation

I stopped in Walgreens, knowing the outcome… no luck.

What the hell is going on? It’s a flipping conspiracy.

It’s like 3:30 on Sunday and all I’ve been doing is walking around in stores all day and no one has pretty blue contact paper. I went back home AGAIN and guess what I did?

Yup. I googled contact paper and found some likeable stuff at the Home Depot. I jumped back into the car.

I was so happy to finally find 2 prints that I liked that I bought enough to contact my entire house. Inside and out. I’m sure the cashier thought I was insane.

At home, I got back to work and all of the flooded out cabinets were contacted (he-he. I don’t know why that’s funny but it is) and organized. I even got some of the drawers done.

I worked on some of the other drawers tonight too but I finally had to stop because  think I’m high from the glue. And definitely sick of my kitchen.