Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

A little over a year later, this guy is still here at 16th & Market every day waiting for his long lost love.

Here he is on August 24, 2012

This guy is still here too, telling everyone the heat we feel is the fires of hell at our heels, even though he himself is a shyster. Yesterday when I walked by he was saying, "The thing about your sin...is that you STINK of it."  He knows I always take his picture, so when he sees me coming now he smiles pretty for the camera. Cheese, Preacher Man!



Yesterday was Gussie's seventh birthday. I gave him his own post last year. This year he just got a hat, a cheeseburger thanks to the suggestion of my friend Sister Secrets (Geege had some too, of course), and extra treats and hugs. I love my Gussie boy.


Ann Romney, you seem like a genuinely nice person. I'm sorry. You will not convince me of the humanity of your husband and his running mate and the Republican party in general when they grant businesses personhood but believe vaginas are property of the government. There is nothing about R&R that is good for me as a sovereign female body. There are enough things to worry about in this world, and I don't need to add control of my vagina to them.

Photo: nydailynews.com

Quizno's still exists? I shut them out after they did that commercial with the RAT singing "Try Quizno's subs..." 1. A RAT pushing your food? 2. I disagree with the word sub. It's a hoagie or nothing.



Hugest pet peeve that also makes me sad: litter. The ground is not your trash can. Sad sights at the North Philly station.


This is what I'm reading. It's enjoyable, if a little draggy in spots. It's set in Australia. Here's something weird: I don't often connect with books that are set in England. But Australia seems to be ok.



Ecard of the week, repinned from Sam F. This happens to me consistently, yet I don't learn to clean it up before leaving the house. I continue to go out looking like a mongrel who belongs on Hoarders or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo:


Dear tiny baby Boys of Summer listening, cutoff jort wearing, Corona drinking, hotdog eating, three day end of summer weekend loving baby Jesus, please grant me an early dismissal tomorrow to kick Labor Day off right.

AMEN.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Time to refuel

This actually is a burnt out light bulb. 
MAN. My light bulb is burnt out you guys. I'm busy at work, I have a zillion errands to run, I can't catch up on hausfrauing, my mind is going a mile a minute all the time. I'm feeling the pull from many directions, and pressure to do and be from all sides. My brain seriously felt like it might fall out of my head yesterday.

This morning I thought about the small things that made me smile over the past week and it helped me relight my fire enough to switch it into gear and finish this week out in ass kicking style.
  • Sleeping with the windows open
  • New nail polish
  • Catching Overboard on tv
  • Staying up late to finish a good book
  • Sleeping in
  • Laughing so much my cheeks and stomach hurt
  • Dreaming about soft ice cream
  • Found money
  • Seeing lots of sweet mullets in person
  • A successful new recipe
  • A coupon for a free iced coffee
  • Two vats of iced coffee in my fridge 
  • Spending time with my BFF 
  • Hearing one of my more obscure favorite songs on the radio
  • The arrival of US Magazine in the mailbox just as the weekend is starting
  • Leftovers from my neighbor =  don't need to pack my lunch
  • A cheery little pitcher
  • Drying lavender
  • Kisses from my dogs
  • Getting a video of my brother's first college soccer game from my mom since I couldn't be there
  • A funky bottle adds a little disco to dish doing 
  • Fruit in a bowl
  • Turning off the Republican National Convention and going to bed
  • A shopping trip with MFD
  • The smell of baby powder
  • Brother's Pizza
  • Getting veggies from my uncle's garden
  • Brie
  • A three day weekend looming in the not so distant future
What's getting you over the hump today?

p.s. I mentioned coffee twice in that list. That calls for another cup. Cheers. 







Monday, August 27, 2012

The last weekend in August that was

No, for real...how is it the end of August already? This summer flew by like greased lightening.
While I like all the seasons, I hate heat and humidity. 
Fall is really my jam. I'm looking forward to it. 

Friday night sky
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Errandpalooza on Friday: 
Pets Plus for dog food; Franklin Mills to pick something up and stare at the mall goers in slack jawed awe, hoo boy there were some sights there; Redner's for groceries; Wawa for gas. 
I love the smell of Wawa. 

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I picked chicken off of the rotisserie chicken I had in the fridge and threw the carcass in the crock to make chicken stock. Never throw your chicken bones out. Make stock and freeze it! 
It's so much better tasting than canned, it's not processed and you control what's in it. 


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Finally! I made Pioneer Woman's perfect iced coffee. Glory be. If you like iced coffee, this is a must. And after I figured out how to manage the sieve part, it was so easy.

The coffee pre-water; the coffee after soaking overnight - looks like a bad toilet situation, no? forget I said that. put it out of your mind.; through the sieve; slow going; I finally figured out a way to free up my hands; end product
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Roadhouse. I feel like we're always watching this.
I really love Sam Elliott. And Swazye's mullet.

Photo: thebest1000movies.blogspot.com
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Even though I rocked out on the errands on Friday, I forgot one crucial item. Balls.  
I had to go back out on Saturday morning. I hate being inefficient.

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Homemade counter spray that's safe to use on granite. I like it.


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Saturday afternoon work party, complete with a whole roasted pig. 

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Surprise 40th for Jamie, and a birthday song for Effing Warren, who turned 40 at midnight.


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A random act of kindness from Linda M.


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My hangover persuaded me to loll around in bed reading for most of the morning on Sunday.
Which is never a bad way to spend a Sunday morning. 

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A lovely afternoon at the pool with Laura, Chris and the boys. 
They brought me DD iced coffee and Brother's Pizza. Perfection.


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One of my best friends had to put her faithful dog companion to rest this weekend. He was a great dog, and they had a truly wonderful life together. I've known him for 15 years, longer than I've known a lot of people. My heart hurts so badly for her. Rest in peace Spanks. 

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It's ok, but I prefer the zucchini pie I make on the regular, recipe courtesy of my friend Amanda. 
It does call for green onions, which I tend to add to pretty much everything anyway.
I love them. We are one.


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Tomato sandwiches eaten at dusk are a perfect waning summer meal. 


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Favorite things: super sharp cheddar with jalapenos


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Magazines and relaxing with MFD and my dogs. Exhale. 


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the last weekend in August that was

This is not the last weekend of summer according to the calendar, but most of us mark it as such. Enjoy it!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

1. I applied Skippy peanut butter to a Hershey's dark chocolate mini and ate it as a mini dessert. Peanut butter and chocolate is such an enjoyable combination. As Penny from Happy Endings would say, it was amalzing. See you soon Penny.



2. Who actually likes the taste of PBR? Anyone? Bueller?

3. You know you're striking a chord when you get anonymous hate comments on your blog. It's totally a sign that you're arriving. Or that you're driving one of your enemies to the brink of insanity but they can't stop reading your shit. Either way, haters gonna hate. Nothing you can do about it except continue to be awesome so they can stay in the hating business.

Thanks Laura for finding the haters gonna hate pics. I particularly enjoy the sweet mullet. 

4. Dealing with the Philadelphia Parking Authority over a late fee that they assessed incorrectly made me consider voluntary admission to a straitjacket program earlier this week. If you've never had an inkling of how someone could go postal, deal with PPA. You'll soon feel the whispers of the wings of madness beating against your ears.


5. Twenty seven days until vacation...two days in Cocoa Beach followed by six+ days off the grid on our cruise. I can't wait to be totally out of touch. I also can't wait for the sunrises and sunsets. Seeing them over open water is just wonderful. I am that person up at the crack of dawn on vacation wanting the most out of every day.



6. Rep. John Akin asserts that women can prevent themselves from getting pregnant by shutting down their parts during a LEGITIMATE RAPE. Who are you to redefine rape, Akin? My two favorite pieces that I've read on this: an open letter to Akin from Eve Ensler on the Huffington Post and this on People I Want To Punch in the Throat.

7. I'm reflecting a lot this week.


8. I started August with the intent of taking a photo every day with my phone, not publishing them anywhere, and presenting them with a grand flourish at the end of the month. Today is August 23. I have taken four. This is so happening in September.

9. I feel like going on a shopping spree at Pier 1. A papasan chair would be on the list even though I am very far out of college.
photo: svpply.com

10. Please get on the facebook and like People of SEPTA. It is a total piss. Thanks Joe for sending it my way. If you have photos of people from SEPTA, tweet them to @peopleofsepta.

11. Cleaning tip: Use a pillowcase to clean your ceiling fans. All the gross dust falls into it. Take it outside and shake it out, then wash it. Dunzo.

12. Another summer has basically passed without me attempting the Pioneer Woman's Iced Coffee. Yet.

13. Sleepy bastards. I can't blame them. Tuesday night some jackholes down the block were having a rager. I woke up out of a dead sleep at 1:10 a.m. after hearing what sounded like two gunshots. Nope, just firecrackers. On a Tuesday night. In between houses. This went on until 3 a.m., with me yelling out the window every 15 minutes. I don't give a shit what you do or how loud you are late into the night on the weekend, but during the week I want to get out of bed, slip up to your house through backyards like a ninja in pajamas, roundhouse kick you in the face, and pack all of your extra booze into my cooler and roll it on out of there like a pirate claiming booty. SHUT UP.



14. Good morning William Penn.



15. I laughed like a maniacal loon at this ecard of the week (thanks for pinning it Cristina):



This has not been my best week in many areas of life. Thursday, old chap, be the day that turns things around.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Weekly food prep


I do a lot of cooking on the weekend, or on one designated week night.

I'm out of the house by 7:15 every morning, and I don't get home until after 6, closer to 8 when I go right to the gym. The very last thing I feel like doing when I walk in the door is putting a meal together. Cooking in bulk has allowed me to largely avoid cooking during the week. If you're not a family that likes leftovers, this is not a strategy for you.

I could eat the same thing every day for six days in a row. MFD can't. He requires variety. So I make a few dishes, and we can eat whatever we feel like during the week.

I am by no means an expert on this. There are once a month cookers out there, you can google them and they'll set you up to cook once a MONTH. Amazing. I'm not there yet. I spend one to three hours cooking for the week on a Saturday or Sunday. I'm sharing how I go about it in hopes that it saves someone else at least one night of cleanup or a half hour of time.

Breakfast
In case you haven't heard this 548 times, breakfast is important. If you don't eat it, you should. It's easy to stop and buy something on the way in to work, but I'm the type of person that thinks, "I know how much it costs to make that and you're charging me what?" That totally chaps my ass.

The easy option is cereal (I keep some at work), or Kind bars that I make in bulk. I also like to make a broccoli egg bake or zucchini pie, because I can portion both out for the week and package it up on Sunday. Done and done. Sometimes I like non-breakfast foods for breakfast, so I eat PB&J or a turkey burger.

Here's a resource for 25 make ahead back to school (or work) breakfasts. It contains clickable links. No more excuses that you don't have time for breakfast!


photo: rodale.com
Lunch
In the fall and winter, I make Sunday soup every week and that serves as lunch. I often just concoct soups, or try to recreate my Mom-Mom's. Sometimes I go loosely off of a recipe. I try to avoid anything with a cream of _______ soup component, or I make my own cream of _______ soup. In the past few years, I've been more cognizant of making my own stuff where I can.

Summer is usually a salad - I only chop and mix two days of those at a time so they don't get hinky - or a sandwich: PB&J, egg/tuna/salmon/chicken salad. When making one of those, I make enough for the week. The fallback is lunchmeat, which I try to avoid even though I love it like I love my label maker.

Are you looking for something outside of the box? Here's a kid lunch box idea list (adultify the portion sizes), lunch ideas from Easy Lunchboxes, Lunch Roundup with all real food, and Project Lunchbox - 30 days of healthy meals (there's a downloadable PDF that you can throw on your fridge).

I also try to cut up my fruit and veggies for the week on the weekend, so I know I have healthy snacks on hand and I don't reach for the delicious and not nutritious Doritos.

photo: girlmeetsfood.com
Dinner
Thar she blows. Dinner. The big one. Everyone loves a good, healthy dinner. No one wants to slave over it after a long day doing whatever.

Things you need to know - my pantry is always pretty stocked, I'm not afraid to look for a suitable substitute or omit something altogether if I don't have an ingredient, and I only buy meat on sale. I also try to take advantage of the bounty of the season.

When deciding what to make that week, I check the meat in my freezer. I check out what produce is on sale, and then I hit pinterest or allrecipes or lean on of my favorites from years gone by.

Before I start making something, I always think, "can I freeze this?" If I can and I have room in my freezer, I'll double the recipe and freeze it in those tin pans. Then I'm off. I usually make two to three sides/casseroley things. That way, they can either 1) stand alone; 2) be paired with a salad or a baked potato; 3) served with a meat.

For example, last week I made broccoli with orzo and an antipasta pasta salad that had cheese and salami in it. The pasta salad was heavier, so I ate that alone. The broccoli with orzo was lighter, so I had that with some chicken. I had both with raw veggies and some fruit.

In the summer I tend to stick to sides that incorporate pasta and fresh veggies, quinoa and veggies, or salads. In the winter, I make casseroles or potato dishes.

Meats - grill it all on Sunday or bake some chicken. If you bake the chicken without a distinctive sauce, you can turn that chicken into chicken tacos or chicken salad later in the week. Or do your meat in the crockpot on the weekend so it's just waiting to be eaten. I will also often either just pick up a rotisserie chicken, which can be used a zillion (or at least 52) ways, or I make my own roast chicken.

If I run out of food by Wednesday, I rely on one of the meals I've frozen, or I throw something in the crockpot.

Freezer Foods
Here are some other blogs and resources I use if I have time and I want to make some backup meals:
Stocking the Freezer, Freezer Friendly Meals, and tips on what you can and can't freeze.

I hope you got a good idea or two and can save yourself some time. It's time for me to take my apron off.

Now, good day. I SAID GOOD DAY!





Monday, August 20, 2012

the weekend that was

Kicked the weekend off by cleaning up dog puke. It can only go up from there.

The perp
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Checked out new furniture at Aubrey & Stephen's place, then Aubrey and I headed to the Langhorne to hang out with the Neshaminy Soccer Alumni Golf Outing revelers. I had two beers, caught up with friends, and acted as designated driver for the Northeast Philly contingent.
No booze = no hangover. Hurrah.

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I was up late, so I slept in. So did the dogs.


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I got these reusable cups for the Keurig, after a glowing review from my aunt and uncle. 
Fabulous fabulous fabulous. And no waste. Get some. 
Bacon talk...
I prefer to make it in the oven. No fuss or mess or burns from splatter.
I line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, put the bacon on it, and put it in a cold oven.
Turn the oven to 400, and take it out in 18-20 minutes.
Then we eat it like wild jackals and it's gone in 30 seconds. 


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One of my favorite things: open windows. 
I love air conditioning, because I hate being hot, 
but I really hate having the house closed up any time of the year.
Throwing the windows open makes my soul sing.

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I cleaned like a whirling dervish so we could get out and enjoy the weather. 
I spent more than six hours poolside at Mom's, hanging with Stephen and Aub and friends, reading magazines, minding dogs, and staring at the puffy clouds. It was lovely. 


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More hausfrauing at home - laundry, dishes, food prep. 
Then MFD handed me Wawa mac & cheese, and I stopped doing everything.


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Wedding: Impossible. I love Robert Irvine. 

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Sunday marked 40 years of marriage for my in-laws. Happy anniversary Mr. & Mrs.!


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Pasta salad with a little homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

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I spent the afternoon at Mom's - I was there Saturday, but she wasn't, so we caught up.
Meem and her girls stopped by on their way to a wedding in Newtown.
I painted my nails, then me, Mom, Rich and Debbie had a cocktail and shot the shit.


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Few things smell better than a cake baking. I made 7Up Cake (not from scratch).
I also made spinach and pepper jack cheese stuffed chicken breasts.
And the world rejoiced.


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Dog happiness is dinner time.


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Biloxi Blues.
Man, it's hot. It's like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot. 
Christopher Walken is awesome as always:
"Selridge, you would need three promotions to get to be an asshole." 
That's a great line. I should use it more often.


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Catching up on Chopped Grill Masters with a side of the Sunday night blues

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the weekend that was


Back on the chain gang. 



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