Weekend Start Off

The forecast is calling for more snow today and so far I’ve been proven absolutely wrong in my “there will be no snow this year” prediction. I enjoy the snow when there isn’t anything that needs to be done outside of the house. Today though, we have plans of doing some Christmas shopping, so hopefully it won’t be too messy out.Do you have any plans today that could be ruined by the weather?

I also need to do a mega-sized food shop but I think waiting til tomorrow will have to do. People act crazy when it is supposed to snow and I know the market will be packed with people. I can still remember a few years back when there was a snow storm and the news was broadcasting from the market when they said “People have cleared the shelves out buying essentials such as milk, bread, and chips.” Chips. That still makes me laugh. Personally, my go-to junk food is Entemann’s, but chips are good, too! Do you stock up for storms and is there a go-to snack you like to have on hand when you are trapped inside?

I’m almost done decorating for Christmas. The outside of our house hasn’t been done yet, but we will probably get it done this weekend. I know the lights will look pretty in the snow, so we should probably get to work on it today. I think I’m about halfway done my gift shopping, too. So, I’m feeling pretty good about the holiday. How about you, if you celebrate Christmas, are you all done your shopping? Did you decorate this year?

Snowy Day Rambling

snow storm

It looks like we are going to have another snow storm here today on the east coast. Our first snowfall was this past Sunday, and it was a lot more than just the dusting to an inch the weather people predicted. Some parts of our area ended up with 11 inches. That’s a big difference. For today they are estimating up to six inches, but because it is so cold here and because they think ice will come at the end of this storm people are taking this warning a little more seriously. The schools closed even though the snow hasn’t started to fall yet. Are they overreacting this time? Probably not, but who knows. Only time will tell how bad it really gets. I’m happy for the people who have been told not to report to work or school, but I am kind of dreading being stuck in the house with bored teens and BF who needs to get a lot of work done from home.

snow storm

I suppose I can bake cookies with Natalie and encourage Isaac to go shovel sidewalks and driveways. He usually makes out very well making money in these situations. He shoveled two houses on Sunday and made $35. We can also decorate for Christmas and watch some holiday movies. I hope they don’t bicker. BF brought home a tree on Saturday and it’s nice. It’s the kind with long soft needles, I’m sorry I don’t know the name. The only types of trees I know by name are Blue Spruce and Douglas Fir, which I don’t believe either is the type we have. It’s not a huge tree, like the one I had a few years ago, but it fits in the house perfectly. It’s about seven feet tall and maybe three feet wide at the bottom. A nice size, with nice needles, though it isn’t very fragrant.

snow storm

This past weekend I had great luck making chicken noodle soup. I have struggled with making a good batch of it for years now and while my attempts have gotten better over the years, none have been impressive. This time it was. Oh my, it is good! I referenced two recipes and then winged it. It really was good, everyone else agreed and I just hope I will remember what I did the next time I want to make it. I suppose I should write it down.

snow storm

I’m a bit upset about one thing that happened this weekend. We recently ordered six place settings of Fiesta dishes because they were on sale for $23.99 at Macy’s. Usually they are $54.99 a setting and I have been longing for these colorful dishes for years and years so BF was a sweetheart and ordered them. We received one shipment of five sets and were waiting for the last setting to come in for a week. It was the setting in my favorite color, turquoise and it was supposed to arrive on Saturday via Fed-Ex. When BF asked if the plates came I said no and that I was disappointed. He went on-line to check the status and it said that they were delivered at 6:30 pm the day before!! They weren’t delivered here, so who has my plates and why would they be such jerks to keep them?! I’m so sad. I would never keep someone else’s package! Of course I called Fed-Ex straight away but they said they would call me back yesterday or today but I haven’t heard anything yet. BF said we won’t get them, Fed-Ex will just say they were delivered and we have to take a loss. How is that okay? It just isn’t fair, but I suppose life often isn’t. At least it wasn’t the shipment of five right? Sigh. Now the dishes aren’t on sale any more either and I’m not paying $55 for something I’ve already paid $24 for.

snow storm

Elliot turned six months old yesterday and as I suspected it flew by. I never knew just how fast time moved until I had kids. Now that I know this time around I am enjoying every moment as best as I can but it still goes by too fast. I suppose I have it in my mind that he will be my last baby, even though we’ve talked about trying for one more when El is two, but nothing is certain. I had an IUD inserted a few months ago so there won’t be any accidents and I have to say it sure puts my mind at ease. Not that I don’t want another, I’m not sure how I feel about that for certain yet, but I definitely don’t want another right now! Natalie and Isaac are only 15 months apart and for the life of me I don’t know how I did it. I also feel bad that Natalie didn’t get much time to be an only child. Isaac has always hogged most of the attention and it would have been nice for her to have me all to herself for a longer amount of time. It was nice that they were so close in age and were best friends for so many years, but then they constantly bickered for many years after that. At this point they are somewhere in the middle. They don’t fight too often anymore and treat each other pretty decently, but I think that has a lot to do with the changes to our lives, more than them growing up or what have you.

snow storm

Fibromyalgia
I haven’t written about Fibromyalgia since I started blogging again and I suppose that was because I just want it to go away. If I don’t pay it much mind it doesn’t bother me as much as if it does when I focus on the pain. Ah, but the pain is sill here, every day, some days worse than others. My pregnancy was horrible. My OBGYN told me that it shouldn’t be effected either way, good or bad, and I had read about a few people who actually went into remission during pregnancy. I was so hopeful, but alas, that wasn’t the case for me. I was in a 9 month flair and because I was pregnant I stopped taking all medications, except for Tylenol when I absolutely couldn’t stand it anymore. After I had Elliot though I had about three weeks of remission. I can’t even begin to tell you what it felt like to feel normal again. I foolishly thought I was cured and cried so hard when I flared again for the first time, not so much because of pain, but more because it was back. Suck it up buttercup. It is what it is. I am grateful for the three weeks I had of absolutely no pain and it gives me hope that my future holds more times like that. I’m still not on any medications but I take a plethora of vitamins when I remember. BF did a lot of research and ordered me Omega 3,6,9, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Seaweed extract. I also take prenatals and have been given iron because I have anemia. I think if I actually took everything everyday it would be beneficial, but there is something about swallowing a whole meals worth of pills that irks me, so I avoid it unless I am really feeling horrible.

snow storm

Insomnia
My insomnia has come back and I wake up multiple times a night. This used to really bother me but now I just roll with it. When I wake up at three now I give myself an hour and if I am not able to fall back asleep I just get up. When I was pregnant I really suffered the worst. I had to stop taking my Kolonzipan immediately and it took a few months to find something that worked and was okay per my OBGYN. Believe it or not Unisom helped the best, but I can’t take it now because I’m afraid I’ll sleep through the baby waking up to nurse.

snow storm

Depression
My depression never went away and because I stopped my antidepressants when I found out I was pregnant, it was pretty rough for a while. I knew it would be a challenging time though, and I reminded myself on a daily basis that I would get through it. There was great concern about postpartum depression becoming an issue, so I worked closely with doctors and nurses regarding after care. I am still not on medication, and some days are worse than others, but overall I’m doing well. Once I am finished breastfeeding I will decide if I need to go back on medication. I think I will because it was helping a lot, but I also have been doing alright without it. I guess I’ll have to see what my therapist says. Speaking of which, I need to go back to therapy, I haven’t gone in quite some time and feel I’ll benefit from regular meetings again. The trouble is finding one that I like. The woman I used to meet with isn’t where she used to be and I didn’t feel the same way about the lady that took over for her. She was nice enough, I think I just wanted my other therapist back and couldn’t open up to someone new all over again. I suppose I’ll have to do that at some point, and hopefully it won’t be so hard this time around.

Well, it’s snowing hard and our house is hustling and bustling with activity so, I will wrap this up. There was no real point to this post, just a lot of things on my mind that I wanted to write about. I hope everyone will enjoy your day, whether it’s a snow day for you or not.

Unique Gifts for the Special People in Your Lives – Part Two

It can get confusing this time of the year deciding on who you should buy gifts for. Does the mailman really deserve a tip? How about the babysitter who not only loves your kids but also frees up your Friday nights? I’ve pulled together a few more unique gift ideas and this time we’ll talk about some of the important, but possibly overlooked, people in your lives.

Your hairstylist — You give her monthly updates of your on-going family drama and she knows your secrets like only a good friend would. She also knows how you like you hair colored, cut, and styled. Why not show her some appreciation with this one of a kind wig hat? It’s perfect for those bad hair days that no stylist should ever have. Not digging the bright orange color? Don’t worry, Uncommon Goods also offers it in black.

wig hat uncommon goods

Your postal carrier — Let’s face it, your postal carrier is Santa. He (or she) lugs around that heavy ass bag bringing you packages year round. There should be a few weeks out of the year when they get some recognition for all the hard work they do. Giving your postman this cozy and festive hat from tipsy elves will show him that you recognize his labor intensive job.. It will also help keep his face warm.

Your boss — You’re hoping for a promotion next year and have decided to get your supervisor a holiday gift to seal the deal. What do you get the man in charge who already has everything? Forget an engraved pen or fancy paper weight! This wooden bow tie from Uncommon Goods is sure to put you on his radar. Not only is it practical but it also goes with all of his shirts. He will be thinking of you each time he puts it on — from staff meetings to Sunday brunches.

wooden bowtie uncommon goods

Your babysitter — Finding someone you could trust with your precious little ones with was hard to do. Luckily, you have someone who is there in a flash to put your offspring to bed while you go out drinking with your spouse. Show a little gratitude! Let your babysitter know they truly are a super-hero with these Batman hoodie and footsie pajamas from Spencer’s. Bonus: These jammies come with a cape for the times they’re flying by the seat of their pants trying to entertain your little angels.

Your assistant — Some of the hardest workers in your office are the assistants. Show them how cool you are and encourage them to keep working hard for the money with this blinged out sweater from Target. All of their friends and family will be envious when they see how loved they are by their boss! The dozens of compliments they’ll receive while wearing this festive holiday sweater will surely make them feel special; it’s destined to become a seasonal favorite.

ugly sweater target

Your questionable neighbor — It’s hard to know for sure, but judging by the smell and sounds that come from your neighbor’s house, you suspect she may be a cat hoarder. Avoid an awkward conversation and hold off calling the SPCA by doing a little investigating first. This extra special book from Barnes and Noble offers the perfect excuse to be a nosy neighbor without being glaringly obvious. Knocking on the door to drop of this thoughtful gift will be just the kind gesture you need to find out exactly what is going on behind those walls.

Your neighborhood strays — You feel bad for the stray cats that roam the streets but don’t want to take them in. Once the cold weather comes around for the winter you know you’ll be feeling horrible if you don’t do something to help them out. Why not give them a little love and a taste of home with this toilet bowl water dish from Spencer’s? It will look great on your front porch and make you feel good for helping out the homeless little critters.

Disclaimer! Give these gifts at your own risk. I’m not held liable for horrific hair cuts, damaged packages, loss of wages, missed sexy time, shortage of staff, pissed off neighbors or fines from the HOA.

What I’ve Learned from NaBloPoMo

This is my last post for the day, I promise. I’ve had to do four posts today to meet the 30 posts for November as a part of the NaBloPoMo. Technically I should have been posting once per day but I’ve had a few days of catching up here and there. Although I wasn’t able to keep up with it daily, I still have posted 30 different things this month and for that I am proud!

It’s hard to write every day. It takes a lot of thought deciding what to write about and it takes time to actually write it out. I can’t believe there are people who accomplish writing a novel in one month, but it’s true! I say good to those people! May you sleep well tonight!

I noticed on Blogher that they run post a day groups every month and I think I will try to participate in that for December. I like the challenge and I have noticed that it has become easier to write with each time that I do it. I’ve also noticed that I have fewer spelling errors to fix in editing and have an easier time picking topics. It has been fun, that’s for sure!

Well, this is it for today. I am patting myself on the back for this month and will try harder next month to get them done once a day. Then I won’t need to cram so much into one day.

El the Elf

We used a free iphone app by Office Max called Elf Yourself to make this funny video starring El as a dancing elf. We have been making a lot of these videos over the past few days and it’s been a fun and easy way to entertain everyone for a few minutes.

If you have an iphone or an ipad, and you haven’t played with it already, check it out by clicking the link above!

Unique Gifts for the Special People in Your Lives

ryan gossling diary

Did any of you venture out into the retail world yesterday for Black Friday shopping? We did and even though we didn’t see any impressive sales, I did happen upon these impressively weird (but fun) items in a hidden isle at Target.

First up, we have this lovely fridge magnet. This straight forward and colorful magnet would be a great gift for the furry creature (or furry creature lover) on your list:

dog magnet
Every dog deserves a magnet expressing his true feelings.

For the foodie on your list, why not give the gift of pickles. In eraser form:

pickle erasers
For the foodie on your list. Or the eraserer. Or the pickle fan.

Hey Girl! Don’t forget about that feminist friend in your life! This Ryan Gosling diary is perfect for remembering all of those strong girly thoughts.. He will encourage you to just be you daily:

ryan gossling diary
Dear Ryan,
Today I decided to conquer the world.
ryan gossling diary
He’s handsome and encouraging.

For the world traveler on your gift list, think about giving this straight forward luggage tag:

luggage tag
Airport security will appreciate the honesty.

Everyone has a rebel in their life. Encourage their bad-ass side with this flashy mohawk. It’s perfect for all occasions, from birthday parties to mosh pits:

lightup mohawk
For the rebel on your list.

For the blossoming designer on your list consider these wax gnome statues. They are sure to be a unique conversation piece and come in a variety of trendy colors:

Wax gnomes (minus the wicks) in trendy colors of coral and turquoise.
Wax gnomes (minus the wicks) available in coral and turquoise.

Last, but not least (and my personal favorite) this book is sure to bring a chuckle to even the most depressed person in your life:

A great read for those on your list who enjoy feeling sorry for themselves.
A great read for those on your list who enjoy looking at life from the glass is half-empty perspective.

Did you see any wild and silly items while you were out shopping or searching the net? Stay tuned, once a week up until Christmas I’ll be highlighting more of the unique gifts available for everyone in your life!

Toast for Breakfast?

Last week my fourteen year old informed me that his school was having a breakfast party to celebrate the upcoming holiday.

“That’s great, it sounds like fun! Are you supposed to bring something in?” I asked him.

“Toast.” He replied matter of factly.

I chuckled.”Toast?”

“Yea,” he responded, “it’s easy and cheap so, I said toast.”

“Well, I could make cinnamon buns, or something if you wanted. To surprise them. Would you like that?” I asked him.

“Um, sure. That would be good but I won’t tell them,” he replied somewhat enthusiastically.

Yesterday, when we were at the market, he reminded me of the rolls I said I’d make, so I used my phone to Google some recipes for cinnamon buns. I quickly became intimidated because yeast is apparently a required ingredient.

Yeast and I don’t get along.

No worries! I’m brilliant! Instead of failing miserably making them from scratch, I decided to just buy a few containers of the refrigerated rolls. I’d just pop open the can and bake them in the morning before he left for school. Easy peasy, right?

This morning I start my coffee and open the fridge to get out the three tubes of refrigerated dough. I don’t see them anywhere. Not on the shelves. Not in the drawers. Not on the door. I begin to get anxious and imagine they were left at the store. I crossed my fingers and opened up the freezer. Yay! There they were!

I pull out my baking pans, spray them down with non-stick spray then look at the rock hard tube of dough for the temperature to set the oven.

DO NOT FREEZE UNCOOKED DOUGH.

For the next half-hour I worried over two possible explosions: my sons from disappointment or the frozen tubes of dough. Fortunately, everyone here is used to my scatterbrain, so my son was hardly concerned and thankfully the tubes haven’t exploded.

By the way — just in case you were wondering it was BF wasn’t me who put the rolls in the freezer and I don’t think there is anyone out there who really hates toast.

Good Morning!

I love the early morning hours when no one else is awake and I have a bit of time for myself. During the week I get about thirty minutes each day and spend the time doing light cleaning, drinking coffee, and making anyone who wants to eat, breakfast. On the weekends, I get more of this quiet time because no one needs to get up for school or work. These are the days when I take my time to enjoy coffee while reading or going online.

I never was a morning person. It was always hard for me to get up early and even harder to “wake” up. Despite always wishing I was cheerful in the early morning hours, being a morning person eluded me for most of my life. In the past few years though, I haven’t really need an alarm clock (I still set one just in case) and after about ten minutes of auto-pilot behavior, I am ready to face the day.

I’ve only recently started making breakfasts every day. Until recently the kids would just have cereal or a grab granola bar on their way out the door. It always made me feel like a terrible mother so over the past year I have worked to fix that. These days I am good about making pancakes, eggs, breakfast burritos, smoothies, or anything else they might want. Now that making breakfast has become a habit, it’s very easy to do. My daughter doesn’t like to eat in the morning and is usually out of the door for the bus before I’ve come downstairs, but if she wanted anything, I’d make it for her, too! I enjoy making breakfast, it’s always easy, only makes a tiny mess, and I like surprising the guys with something different here and there.

I usually don’t make breakfast on Saturdays, but all of this talk about it is making me hungry!I don’t want to wake anyone up yet though, so I’m just going to grab another cup of coffee, enjoy the quiet and work on another post I had started yesterday. Are you a morning person? If so, what do you like to do with your free “quiet” time? If you aren’t, is there another time of the day that is quiet for you? If so, how do you spend it?

Live Blogging From Our Kitchen: He Don’t Need No Stinkin Recipe!

Tonight I’ve decided to try something different.. Live blogging, from the kitchen, while BF makes a yummy dinner.

Yumy chef

He’s trying something new tonight and so far I’m loving the ingredients..

These are the babysitters while we work..

They won't change no stinkin diaper!
They won’t change no stinkin diaper!

So what BF has done so far was finely chop mint, thyme, and rosemary and added them to a small container of riccota and then stirred in a palm-full of each Romano and Asiago cheese.

And I’ve been summoned to change poop…

Be right back!

False alarm! He just wants to eat. How awkward.

Snapshot_20131119_184347

Now back to the food!!

Then he washed and rough cut carrots and snap peas — why, I don’t know yet..

While I was gone he :

  • pounded down some chicken breasts (with a rolling pin, need that meat tenderizer)
  • rolled some of the cheese mixture up into the breasts and tied with twine
  • poured some butter over each (need that pastry brush)
  • ground black pepper and fancy pink Himalayan salt (OOOh lala) over chicken

IMG_0902

And I took a few more pictures but the battery on my camera died.

So, we will just let that charge

while the chicken bakes
at 400 degrees
for about 25ish minutes.

 Okay! Camera is back! Here is the chicken before it went in the oven:

not cooked yet

And here are the mysterious snap peas and carrots:

IMG_0919

He just sauteed them with garlic, butter, salt and pepper.

Isaac is home in time to eat!

all i said was i love you that time!

It smells so good in here! Yay! Chicken is done!

Oh this smells and looks great!

This was such a great meal and a lot of fun to do!
So delicious!

Half Empty or Half Full? NaBloPoMo

When I signed up for NaBloPoMo I knew it would be a challenge. I knew that I’d probably have a hard time posting every day. I also knew there was a chance that I’d quit before I even got half way through. It is important to me to not give up (follow through is a new thing I have been working on) so, I am keeping it going.

Even though I’ve missed a couple of days writing last week I made up for them on Sunday by posting 3 times instead of once. I will do the same this weekend. I’ll consider myself to have accomplished NaBloPoMo if I can get a full 30 posts up in the month of November. Is anyone else using this approach?  Maybe. Will this be frowned upon by the NaBloPoMo Gods? I doubt it.

I will say that I haven’t been using this “group” to its full advantage. I mean, if I had my Blogher account fully set up and synced to my posts (I think) I would be getting a lot more traffic. I’d probably even be making some new blogging buddies. I haven’t been reading or doing much interacting with other NaBloPoMo’ers posts via tags or the recommended blogs WP has listed either.

I’d like to say that I’m not putting myself out there and connecting with others because I’m too busy. I am busy but I do have some reading time every night. I’m not being anti-social; I think I’m just being insecure.

Aside from the lack of networking on my part I haven’t been writing about too many real things. These random posts have served as a lot of filler this month and most likely aren’t interesting or make people want to come back to read more.

Negatives aside, there have been some positives that have come from participating:

  • I’ve learned how to set up auto-posts and see that the feature works. For some reason I believed it wouldn’t. This is a great tool for the days I am able to get in more than one post (when I’m not playing catch up.)
  • I’ve created an editorial calendar — even though I am straying from it already. That just means it isn’t a realistic schedule for me and I need to try something more suitable.
  • I’ve stopped putting so much pressure on myself to write the “perfect” post. My therapist pointed out to me the reason I probably procrastinate on everything is because I am a perfectionist. I’m still working on that and now can see (for the most part) when it is effecting what I need to do.
  • I’ve remembered that the reason I started blogging in the first place. I’ve blogged on and off for approximately 6 years. It’s always been about my love of writing and the enjoyment I get from creating a reflection of my personality.
  • I’ve realized the importance of titles. I worked really hard and had impressed myself with a recent post of mine. Because it was a part of the Kitchn Cure series I was working on it didn’t get more than a handful of views. I knew this would be the case, but I didn’t want to break up the series (remember I am working on follow thru.) It was a tough call — change the title and break the series or follow through. I followed through and feel good about that but the results were predictably disappointing.
  • I have far less spelling errors than I used to. Practice, practice, practice. I still have trouble with “passive speech” and hope to someday understand and fix that on my own, but I have far less spelling errors because I make an effort to spell correctly.

Now that I am at the half-way point in NaBloPoMo it feels good to reflect. It’s nice to realize the positives and stop myself from focusing on the negatives. I hope as the month goes on I remember to work on networking more and revising my editorial calendar so that it is realistic and manageable. Practice, practice, practice!

Are you participating in NaBloPoMo? If so, I’d love to hear how it’s been going for you so far!