Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Great Outdoors

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The Great Outdoors is one of the funniest movies ever. Especially when Dan Akroyd is driving the boat and John Candy is being pulled along yelling "You bastard!" The people on the boat are saying, "What? We can't hear him. I think he's saying GO FASTER." hahaha

The REAL great outdoors..I miss them. I'm ready to shake this winter off and get outside. I love to sit out back on warm spring and nice summer days under the huge tree in my yard, my dogs by my side, a book in my lap, a glass of iced tea on the table next to me, staring at the sky and sighing with contentment. I like the day stretching before me with nothing to do except enjoy the still laziness that sets in around 2:00 on an early summer afternoon.

Our yard needs some serious work. It's on our list of things to do. In the meantime, I'll be dreaming of these things, which are not attainable at this point in my life or at this house:

Sources for all can be found on In My Dream Life, I Have This. I dream of a lovely pool, circular and plentiful seating, a fireplace under a covered porch, a hammock in a magic grove of pre-lit trees, a full wraparound porch...

I should do SOMETHING to jazz things up...like a bright pink gate. MFD would stamp his feet, shit twice and die if he came home to this.
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What do you want from your outdoor space that you're currently lacking?


post signature p.s. Spring, I need you.
p.p.s. Attention bloggers! Check out Blog Connect, set up by the lovely Helene. Let's do some positive networking!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Trash, skinny things, kindness, mummery, and nurse stuff served up for Haphazard Wednesday


Something's new, bitches! Look up. I added pages: About Me, a collection of best of posts, as well as a books tab. That's meant to let you know what I'm reading now along with my recent reads. I have a few more in the works. I'm doing a recipe page fo' sho', and I Don't Get It and Train Tales pages if I can fit them.

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I continue to be bowled over by the kindness of the people reaching out to both me and MFD after his accident this weekend that leaves him laid up for 8 weeks, offering food, rides, cleaning, keeping him company, or anything at all. Whenever the universe shows me how fortunate I am, I feel so humbled and I tear up at inopportune places and times. This could have been so much worse. I am so thankful it wasn't, and I know some people are probably like STFU it's not a big deal I'm sick of hearing about it...however it has certainly impacted us; turned our lives and how we operate, live, and work upside down. We've been thrown for a little loop but won't be down for long. I won't allow it, because bitches get shit done! I'm a strong person and I will get him through this and hopefully we will not kill each other. As long as the invalid listens up and follows directions...If you know my husband, you know that he doesn't sit still well. Or at all. When the instructions for the first few weeks are to elevate the leg for 23 hours a day, a person such as MFD who is like a spinning top has issues with that.
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I never mentioned any of the good parts of our weekend, only the insanity.This past weekend we were in Atlantic Shitty for the Stringband Show of Shows. For those of you unfamiliar with Stringbands, here's the Joseph A. Ferko Stringband (MFD's band) in the pit before their actual performance. Listen, I am not a video taking maven. I just wanted you to get the idea.



And here's Fralinger going down the aisle playing I've Had the Time of My Life. Hello it's Dirty Dancing, you know I had to whip my phone out and get it.


Here's a photo dump of some of the good parts of our weekend spent with great friends:
Friday
Clockwise from the top: Jill and me at The Chelsea Pub, Frank/Jill/MFD/Maggie at Chelsea, Amanda/Christa/Frank at Chelsea, Me/Jill/Amanda/Christa at Chelsea, Me/Fake 50 Cent at Bally's Mountain Bar; Jill with the fake raapper, Drunks, Me and Amanda, Put your makeup on/fix your hair up pretty/and meet me tonight in Atlantic City, Me and MFD in the middle at a late night meal

Saturday
Clockwise from top left: Seeing Frank roll by in this taxi made my entire day, Bike on the boards, Me in MFD's hat, hangover = iced coffee, Mummers = confetti, My nails match the cup, Lady friends over at Uptown, Mummer backpiece, strollers are good for holding Jill's beers, Center: tuning up

Last night I made chicken parm a la SkinnyTaste. Not bad. I said, "It's the skinny version." MFD said, "I can tell." I said, "You can't get off of your ass for 8 weeks. Welcome to skinny everything." BOOM.
It was quite good for a skinny version.

Best part of my day yesterday: Evan and Griffin stopped by to see MFD and Evan took out the trash. Taking out the trash is my number one most hated house chore. I never do it. I will purposely not make trash if MFD is away just so I don't have to take the bag out. Sunday I actually sat in the hospital thinking, "Jiminy fuck. I have to take the trash out for eight weeks." It really is the little things. Thank you Evan.

I managed to remember to bring lunch today, but I'm 0 for 2 on remembering breakfast. Balls. I need some rest to reboot my brain. I can't wait for the weekend.

Ecard of the week:


Forgive any weak blogs over the next week in advance. I've added in-home Nurse Ratchet to my resume and I am very busy doling out medication, delivering food on trays, refilling water glasses, trading out ice packs, picking up cast off drinking glasses, running up and down two flights of stairs a 4756 times, telling patients to sit down and elevate body parts, etc., when I get home from work. I'm still finding my rhythm in my new position. Blogging gets the backseat some days.

p.s. seriously though...nurses, I salute you. After what I've seen through this experience, I could never be a nurse. Your job is not for the weak.











Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Quotations, Reflections, Potato Chips.

These little ditties reflect my attitudes and philosophies of life. Enjoy! Let's discuss. To find sources, visit my Amen board on Pinterest.

Please pass the chips. I'm sorry if the title didn't make it clear that you were supposed to bring them.




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Linking up with Northern Belle Diaries for Just Because Tuesday.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The weekend that went bad

I will have to recap the good things and funny shit from this weekend later this week. My computer is at home, we're stuck at the hospital an hour and a half away, and MFD had a bad incident with slippery wet concrete.

You haven't lived until you've had the image of your husband's foot hanging limply 90 degrees in an inappropriate direction burned into your retinas or experienced the Atlantic City emergency room at 11 something on a Saturday night. There's some good material there that I'd share if I was still feeling witty after being awake for 40 plus hours.

The doctors and nurses at AtlantiCare have been great to us especially given that we look and smell like hobos due to lack of sleep and showers. MFD is in a lot of pain and will have a hard road of recovery ahead, but tonight I am thankful he is demanding his iPhone so he can hold it with his eyes closed and try to send texts while on pain killers (if you get a coherent text it's from me. If not it's from a combination of morphine, dilauded, percoset, and a multivitamin) and not laying in bed with a broken neck. It could have been a lot worse. I am avoiding the what ifs and focusing on him being here and moving most of his body.

Throughout everything, I have been looking around for the adults who will come in and handle this. Then I realize we are the adults. We will be handling this.

I know we have a great network of people around us all the time, but to feel the force of that when everyone reaches out in stressful times is truly overwhelming and amazing. The calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messages of support and offers to help are all so appreciated. If my voice has sounded funny or clipped or if I haven't answered, it's not because i don't want to talk. It's because I am so grateful you called that I can't really get the words out, it's because you said call if you need anything and you meant it, it's because I don't want to start crying on the phone with you. Your kindness brings me to tears.

I should stop the word vomit before I tell you my secret recipes. Wait, I always do that.

Thanks for reading something that was not edited and may or may not have made sense, had no pictures or tips or funk.

The main points: we've had some dark hours, the sun will come out tomorrow, we smell like hobos, always pack an extra set of clothes in case you need to spend time in a hospital, and our friends, neighbors, family, and Mummer family are diamonds. Oh, and that we're through with this town. If I was using my fancy dancer software there would be a big red NOT in front of the to.





Friday, February 22, 2013

It's Friday, in case you've been living under a bridge and didn't know.


1. What treat time looks like at our house.
2. I do my own nails weekly, and every three months or so I go and get them cleaned up. Essie Silken Cord and Essie Penny Talk. The nail ladies were giddy over my request for a different color on my ring fingers. I'm still tied to my own polish when I go to a nail place - I bring my own so I can do my own touch ups if they chip.
3. Scarf knitted by Lori.
4. The Precious. Happiness/psychosis is switching to a new planner system two months into the year. It was 50% off and it's metallic purple. Here comes the boom.
5. The best thing about spare rooms is using them to pack for the weekend. Since all of my favorite clothes are dirty, I threw a bunch of shit into a suitcase and called it a night. If you see me this weekend and I don't match, look away. Thanks to my inlaws for staying with the boys while we're gone!

Weekend, come hither.

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Linking up with The Sowell Life for The Friday Five and From My Grey Desk Blog for H54F.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm the kind of girl who...

  • Always wears sunglasses, even when it's overcast 
  • Would rather be at home than out
  • Is on time
  • Believes that inner strength will see you through everything 
  • Functions best within a routine
  • Tells it like it is
  • Celebrates my birthday for the entire month (March. Get ready)
  • Doesn't care for unnecessary drama (and it's all unnecessary)
  • Is bossy
  • Knows my weaknesses and isn't ashamed to admit them
  • Would eat a steak every day
  • Will get up at the crack of dawn on vacation to see the sun rise
  • Doesn't get people who don't like Dirty Dancing (the movie, not actual dancing dirty)
  • Always carries a book (not an e-reader)
  • Goes to the library every week
  • Needs coffee daily (unless I'm hungover, then I need a fountain soda)
  • Thinks grammar is important
  • Treats my dogs like my babies
  • Never wants to talk on the phone
  • Has to force myself to exercise
  • Laughs raucously and from my gut
  • Tries to be inclusive of others
  • Loves organizing anything
  • Takes a lot of pictures
  • Lets the F word fly
  • Needs to plan ahead and has issues with being spontaneous
  • Wears flats and not heels
  • Loves flip flops and sneakers
  • Believes in the grandness, benevolence, and karmic nature of the universe
  • Is not religious
  • Wears minimal daily makeup 
  • Can be mean as a snake when provoked
  • Goes into the ocean in my wedding dress
  • Refuses to use a blow dryer or an iron
  • Likes to have a foot sticking out from under the covers
  • Is addicted to having a list for everything
  • Is often mesmerized by the sky
  • Would rather wear yoga pants than any other kind of pants
  • Has never cared if people like me - they do or they don't, me caring about it isn't going to change it either way
  • Has a weakness for nail polish and lip products
  • Is a feminist and a liberal
  • Doesn't have a glass or wine, beer, or any booze daily
  • Likes day drinking
  • Tries to be kind to the environment - no paper towels or paper napkins in my kitchen
  • Is reliable
  • Can't go to the zoo because animals in captivity make me sad
  • Feels like my very best self on the beach, right next to the ocean
  • Will cut people out of my life who only bring me down and not think twice about it
  • Would do anything for a friend 
  • Thinks fart noises are always funny
  • Wakes up grouchy from a nap
  • Can't sit down and relax until everything is crossed off my list
  • Cooks confidently
  • Gets shit done
I've been meaning to make an About Me page for this blog, and I think this post is it.

TGIAF, yo.










Linking up with Running in Stilettos for

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Things. Haphazard Wednesday

Downton Source, Kardashian Source
TV Things
1. Downton Abbey, how could you? TOO SOON! Another one SO SOON after the most recent one. Sorry for the cryptic talk, I know a lot of friends are watching seasons behind and I don't want to be a spoiler. Email me at lifeaccordingtosteph@gmail.com and let's wail about it together.
2. Is Rob Kardashian the whiniest mofo in the land? Sheesh. Stop being such a bitch, Rob.
3. Why do Snooki and Jionni and the baby live in the basement of his parents' house? She made money on Jersey Shore and she has her own line of makeup and accessories and shit. Get your own place!
4. Welcome back Southland and Body of Proof.
5. I kicked Revenge to the curb. But I still want to be Emily. She kicks ass.

Blah Things
1. I've been thinking A LOT about my dogs dying. Just the thought makes me tear up. A friend of ours lost his dog yesterday, and my canine friends Spanky and Ed also went to the other side in the past year. My boys will be eight and nine. They're getting up there. I want to get a puppy because I want my next dog to know these dogs.
2. I don't feel like doing anything productive this week - working, exercising, cleaning, running errands. None of it. I feel like reading, watching TV, eating Swedish Fish and getting my nails done. It's just one of those weeks.
Ecard: somecards.com
World Wide Web Things
1. This past weekend I learned what the Harlem Shake was. I don't really know what to think of it, but I keep watching videos of it so I must think something.
2. I tweet my blog right from the share feature on this page, then it's like I forget Twitter exists until there's a political event or awards show going on. Or until I get an email about it. I've been trying to use it more. My mother is a twitter fiend. If she can be in the mix, surely I can be in the mix too.It's like I need a daily reminder in the middle of the day, like the one I created with the explicit intent to photograph.  #lame

Harlem Shake Source
Hated Things
1. Lying liars who lie
2. Elbow holes. Yesterday was the FOURTH time I've found a hole in my elbow at work over the past yeaer. The second one in just a little over a MONTH. WTF.

E-card Things
1. Repinned from Lauren G. I'd like to show this to a lot of people.



Those are my Wednesday things. Use them in good health.











Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Dirty Book of Shame - Spending Freeze Diary Violations and Realizations

This year, I'm trying to be more conscious of what I'm buying and why I'm buying it. I need to practice delaying gratification as well: not buying something immediately in a snap decision, but sitting on it for a week and then going back for it if I still really want it (except at Marshalls...Marshalls Law states it will not be there so you'd better buy it now). I'd  like to simplify and not have so much stuff. I'm also trying to use cash for everything, or if I use a credit card, to pay it off immediately.

To kick this new spending thinking off, I embarked on a spending freeze from January 1 - February 15. During La Freeze, I could only purchase true necessities. This is all according to my truth. If I had run out of mascara, I'd call that a necessity. Starving people in Africa would not.

I budget for entertainment expenditures such as movies, dinner, and nights out, so they only appear on here if I went over that budget. Or if I bought lunch when I was supposed to bring it,and so on.

M Y    V I O L A T I O N S

Date of infraction: January 11
Purchased: Large hazelnut coffee with skim milk from DD
Amount: $2.15
With: Cash.
Note: While coffee is a necessity, purchasing it from DD is not. Fail. SINNER!



Date of infraction: January 11
Purchased: MAC pressed powder
Amount: $25.92
With: Credit, paid off on January 15.
Note: My other pressed powder made me look like a vampire. Since I am very bad about applying makeup, I need something on the go. I broke the freeze to look human and professional at work.


Date of infraction: January 16
Purchased: Large DD iced tea
Amount: $.99. ON SALE MOFOS
With: Cash.
Note: I forgot to pack my iced tea. Laziness costs, sinners.


Date of infraction: January 21
Purchased: Buffalo bleu salad from Salad Works
Amount: $10.45. What a fucking rip.
With: Debit.
Note: Our office is being remodeled. I brought my lunch, but could not locate the microwave. I consider this a forced expense.


Date of infraction: January 22
Purchased: Coffee from McD's
Amount: $1.08
With: Debit.
Note: I was too lazy to walk to my office, ride the elevator 17 floors, find out there might not be coffee due to the renovations, and have to brave the 15 degree temperatures again. McD's coffee isn't that bad.



Breakthrough: Sunday, January 27, I had the overwhelming desire to go to Target to buy peachy flats, heart dish towels, and any number of other items I don't need. I resisted the urge and cured my boredom (reason for shopping) by exercising instead. YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME, TARGET. STEP OFF, YOU ALLURING SEDUCTRESS.
Date of infraction: January 29
Purchased: Three shirts from Le Gap
Amount: $.72. YOU HEARD! I had a $25 gift card, $10 in rewards, and a 35% off code. BOOM, muthafajas! A gift card is a get out of jail free card for people on spending freezes.
With: Debit.
Note: Why did I buy what I bought?  First: At the end of the summer I threw out all of my white t-shirts due to yellow pits. Given that my daily uniform is a cardigan with a shirt underneath, being without a white v-neck T would not do. Second: I don't own anything with stripes. I'm branching out, betches! Third: I love lovely minty greens.


Breakthrough: Wednesday, January 30, I had to do it. I had to go to Target. I didn't buy anything pretty or glittery or unnecessary.I stuck to the things on my list, and the things on my grocery list. I played The Price is Right and decided I could pick the grocery items up at Target instead of making a second stop at the grocery store. I BEAT YOU TARGET! I ignored your sparkly clearance baubles, your patterned ankle socks, your simple and lovely stationary, your $1 bins at the front. I emerged victorious from your doors without violating my spending freeze. Suck it.

The Gain, suede protector (the Kiwi on the receipt), soap, shaving cream, toothpaste, and gift cards were on my original list. The paper towels (I only use them in the bathrooms but was out), dog treats, and Cottonelle wipes were things I discovered were needed after I made the initial list. The rest was on the grocery store list.

I paid for it on my Target card for the measley cash back and paid it off on 1/31.


Date of infraction: January 31
Purchased: Large iced coffee from DD
Amount: $3.23. Mother effing robbery. And I have iced coffee in my downstairs fridge at home.
With: Cash.
Note: I got very little sleep, slept wrong and woke up with a crick in my neck and a headache, the wind/rain/dogs kept me up, wah wah effing wah excuses excuses the coffee was a want not a need. I could've brought it from home or waited until I crossed that street you see and mainlined some at the office.


Date of infraction: January 31
Purchased: Satchel purse and two wallets from Target.com on clearance
Amount: $21.
With: Target card - but returned one wallet and satchel purse upon receipt
Note: I cracked. I freaking CRACKED. I cannot believe I walked in and out of Target without cracking, and I fall for this. I returned a pair of shoes to Target on 1/31 and got a gift card so I could purchase the pair I was exchanging them for as an even exchange. This is allowed under the spending freeze rules. The stupid Target I went to didn't have the shoes, so when I logged onto the website to pay off my 1/30 purchase, I thought oh, I'll order them online. I fell for suggestive advertising in the sidebar. I got paid today. The sales were good. I can never find wallets I like. I was possessed by the deal - a bag and two wallets for $21? Steal!  EXCUSES. BOOM $21 down the drain. I feel guilty and weak. I also felt a small thrill, like I did something I wasn't supposed to and got away with it. Even though I immediately logged on to my blog and told on my own self. A FOOL and her $20 are soon parted. Then reunited when her guilt makes her keep a $4.48 wallet and return the rest.

That momentary online madness snapped me back into place. I didn't have another infraction for the remaining 15 days of my freeze period.

My triggers are obviously coffee, online shopping, and Target. I am aware of them and have to learn how to deal with them.

It ended on February 15. I was out shopping on February 16 and 17 - buying things that were on my list. New throw pillows, bed pillows, a baking sheet, dish washing gloves. The only thing I bought that wasn't on my list was a pair of sunglasses. I didn't just grab things in stores without thinking about what I was buying. It was refreshing. I picked a lot of other things up, and some even made it to my cart. Then I paused and thought hard - how will I use this? Is this integral to my life? Will I look back in a month and be kicking myself for not buying this? In all cases, the answers were unsatisfactory, and whatever it was went back on the shelf or rack.

My next freeze starts on March 18. Until then, I'll be busy making up a list of birthday gifts I'm buying myself. Don't mind me. Nothing to see here. Nothing at all.










Linking up with Northern Belle Diaries.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

TWTW


Friday night - grocery shopping, leftovers, lounge attire, hausfrauing, laundry, TV with MFD, and my book. The End.

OH. Except I did a craft. My artistic skills (and vision) are on par with a pre-K child, so keep that in mind. I decorated a coffee cup. Picture me saying that as if I was saying "I carried a watermelon." I used sharpies, then baked it at 350 for 30 minutes. One run through the dishwasher and it came out in tact. I used it for my Saturday morning coffee which I didn't have until 11:30. I was an angry elf.


Saturday morning errands: a 9:15 bokwa class at the gym, Aldi, the vet for food for my dentally challenged dogs, Marshalls for bed pillows (and sunglasses), and the dreaded Walfart for throw pillows. Sorry the middle picture is dark, the daylight was a beeotch. My spending freeze was lifted on Friday. Check back here on Tuesday for My Dirty Diary of successes and failures.


I descaled the Keurig using this method.


Stephen, Aubrey, and Debbie came over for dinner and to watch the Fly guys lose. Hiss.


I served PDub's sherried tomato soup, my own version of Mac & cheese, and these delicious Reese's peanut butter bars with pineapple for dessert. Napkin styling by Aubrey.

My mac & cheese: boil 1 pound of pasta. Melt three tablespoons of butter. Add five tablespoons of flour and cook 1 minute. Add three cups of milk (I used 2.5 cups of vitamin D milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. You can use 2% milk, evaporated milk, half and half, a combination of any of them...just avoid skim milk). Bring almost to a boil, stirring frequently, until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add 1-2 TBS dijon mustard, salt to taste, and 3 cups of cheese (I used a cheddar gruyere from Trader Joe's, I typically use extra sharp cheddar). Top with breadcrumbs (mix them with some melted butter) and parmesan cheese if you wish, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. I added ham because I had some.

More Saturday scenes:


When everyone left, MFD and I watched Wedding Crashers and were sleeping on opposite couches by 11 p.m. zzzzzzzzzz.

Sunday morning: coffee and eggs, loving the sun inside the house and out, and snuggling with Gussie.


I headed out to Homegoods and AC Moore before meeting my BFF Laura and Chris for lunch at my favorite Brother's Pizza. It was an awesome unplanned event.


Homegoods haul: new drinking glasses to replace those that have broken over the past few months, a baker's half sheet, gingham cupcake papers, and glamorous new dishwashing gloves with a spare. At AC Moore I got frames to continue the gallery wall up the stairs and another project I'm going to do next week. I did NOT buy the $31 80s special Sharpie pack. I love them, but $31 is ridiculous.


I finished The Autobiography of Us and started Divergent.


Other than that, Sunday consisted of lounging around with my dogs, reading blogs and my book, and catching up on some TV: Nashville, The Office, The Following, Snooki & JWoww, and Barefoot Contessa. I didn't have it in me to put in the two hours from 9 - 11 for Downton Abbey. Until tomorrow, Crawleys.

I do not have off today. Cue the tiny violins.

Since it has to be a Monday, make it a good one.








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