Friday, May 7, 2021

Encouraging yourself to be more active in the kitchen

Where ae my food friends? I know I'm tired after feeling like I've made breakfast lunch and dinner on a loop during the pandemic year, with the dishes that come along with it. I'm tired of all food. Can a woman get a break in the freaking kitchen. Yes, whenever, but I also don't want to eat out constantly so I'm looking for some ways to encourage myself to be a little more active in the kitchen. I need to resist constantly reaching for the takeout menu when it’s time to prepare dinner or just giving up and loading ourselves up in the car and taking off to one of the nearby restaurants with outdoor seating now that we're vaxxed and maxxed. While it is a nice treat to eat out and takeout food can be delicious, doing either or both often poses problems, chiefly making me feel gross. 

Some possible cooking motivators...

Renovate Your Kitchen 
Depending on how much time/money/muscle you're willing to put out, you might want to think about making some changes to your kitchen. You can also do smaller renovations that will give the space and you as the cook some new life. You could consider investing in some new tech. A heat induction hob could be a great choice. Heat induction hobs will adapt to heat the surface of the pan or pot that you are using rather than providing the typical heat ring. So, as well as being economical, this type of tech will also ensure that you don’t have to worry about your food not being equally heated throughout. It can save you from nasty burnt meals. You can also do something as easy as hanging new shelves for spices to make them more accessible, which we did at the shore this winter. It's crazy something so small can give you some oomph.

Try Some New Recipes
It’s possible that you’ve grown bored of your kitchen because it’s always the same meals and food every night. Is there group therapy for that? If so, I need to attend. I've been revisiting old recipes that I stopped making and exploring new recipes more than I have in years like dessert recipes I've been finding online. If you are like me in regards to cooking, you look for new recipes then add your own touches to reinvent them a little. I tend to do that more when cooking and not so much with baking. 

Make It Easier
The easier a recipe/cooking method is, the more I am likely to do it. If you don't have one, you might want to think about investing in a slow cooker. The benefit of a slow cooker is that you will be able to prepare meals throughout the day and then they’ll be ready to eat in a few minutes when you come in. If you've been around here, you know that I am not the biggest fan of the crockpot. My easy method of choice is the air fryer (affiliate link). Of course we are also entering summer, when it's super easy to just throw something on the grill and serve it with a salad. 

What are you doing to be more active in the kitchen and less reliant on take out? 

Sharing is caring - let's hear your tips and tricks and any easy recipes you've been making. 

What's new with you?

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - I was nowhere in sight when the church bells rang

Opting out of the ol' morning scroll. My alarm goes on my phone, then the only thing I use it for at least an hour after getting up on the weekdays is taking photos or the timer. My days go so much better. If you are an immediate scroller or consumer of social media or news, try switching that up and see what happens. Mug from HelloLemonZesty.

Signing up for a CSA share delivery this summer through Flocktown Farm. $2 delivery to Bucks.

Pulling over for glimpses of sunsets. Always. This is outside of my high school on the way home from my brother & Aubrey's.

Limping along with a battery deficiency this week. I drove back from the shore Tuesday night with no phone charger. Not a damn one in this Philly house. I used my car charger a little while running errands and also used my brother's yesterday. 

Playing Ghost Busters with my nephew using other toys. Imagination is awesome.

Asking if you have your sunscreen on daily. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and skin cancer is America's most common cancer. Fortunately it is also one of the most preventable. 

Picturing Winnie using portrait mode

Spending a few days of fam time with Mark, Sarah, and Harry earlier this week

Searching for curtains for tiny windows. Like 18 inches but not a valance. 

Picking new paint colors because the goddamn paint I picked does not work for fiberglass doors. 

Asking what's my age again. 

Cleaning up after dogs. This shattered lantern from our wedding was fun as it was the same color as the floor. I spared you the two...TWO poop incidents of Gus's that involved middle of the night sheet changing.

Wishing you all a Happy Mother's Day, in whatever capacity you are one

Hugging anyone who finds Mother's Day hard for any reason - because yours isn't here, or you don't have a good relationship, or you want to be a mom but aren't, or you are struggling as a Mom, or you've lost a child, or any of the big or small things that might make the day hard

Watching nothing but I'm about to get into Mare of East Town or whatever it's called. Gimme that Kate Winslet Delco accent.

Reading the newest Jennifer Weiner coming out May 11, and starting something new TBD today. I've been reading almost exclusively on my kindle due to plowing through a bunch of advanced reader copies from Netgalley, so I'm about ready to hold a book. Show Us Your Books is Tuesday!

What's new with you?

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Ride Like the Wind by Christopher Cross

Monday, May 3, 2021

TWTW - the one with Mom

Friday MFD did a big clean in the morning as there was sawdust everywhere after the doors got installed. Like, everywhere. And it keeps coming back. Mom and Rich arrived in the afternoon and then went out to do shore things while I finished work. Michelle and Amelia stopped by, and we hung upstairs with Mom & Rich when they got back. 

Saturday Mom and Rich did donuts and beach and boards walk while we got some stuff done around the house. I got a bunch of stuff listed on the local Buy Nothing group and all except one thing was picked up. I love seeing things go to use for others that still have life in them and I don't have the patience to sell most things. I also dropped a book off at the library and lots of cardboard to the recycling center. Mom and I hit Asbury to support some small businesses - I got a new frock at a new boutique occupying the same real estate as my old favorite Blue Lotus that is no longer there. I also got beach tags for the season and we had lunch out! At Hooked on Breakfast. It was good. We relaxed on the porch as MFD was on his Bass Pro Shops odyssey and Rich was on a bike ride. 
When Rich got back we went to the beach and it was lovely down there. As we were sitting there I was like is that Michelle? Her and Amelia were standing right in front of us. I texted her and we were LOLing all night. Mom got chips and shrimp from Ike's for dinner and we hung out for a while before her and Rich hit the boards and I lay down to finish my book. 

Sunday Running on about 4.5 hours of sleep due to Gus moving around a lot and a trail of turds, I took my mom up to Corson's Inlet to go shelling. Not a great selection of shells, but a wonderful dramatic performance by the sky. 
We came back and slugged around. MFD and I did some hanging and moving wall stuff around and reorganizing storage on the third floor which devolved into me screaming about the patriarchy. He went to get a haircut and look at furniture and I met Mom and Rich at the beach. It was hot AF and then cold AF when the wind changed. Regardless of weather it was so awesome to see the return of beach season, people gathering together, and a feeling that was much much lighter than any May 2020 feelings. Get vaccinated! Let's go!

We came back to the house and Mom and Rich left for home. I read and rested and had ice cream for lunch in the afternoon. Mark and Sarah and Harry arrived around 8. We tried the Wawa burgers and fries at 9 pm. The burgers are surprisingly good. 

So happy to see some sort of livable world again - science is amazing. Thanks to everyone doing something wonderful for the world and caring about the health of others by getting vaccinated.

I also met my new shore neighbors and am relieved that they are nice and laid back people. Good neighbors are always important, but when you're running a seasonal rental, it's extra for those few months. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - people need some reason to believe, I don't know about anyone but me

1. Wake us for the motherfuckin' weekend. Woof.

2. I am loving our new room in Philly. I got a new ottoman,  finally hung the new art I bought last year from a local Black woman Philly moon piece next to late light. It is calm and lovely and I love that my Mom Mom's chair is in there too. And of course the walls are painted and the floors redone.  I'm not finished with the walls but I am finished with the furniture. These rooms are small so it's packed. People did not have king beds when these houses were built and they certainly did not have the amount of clothes or shoes we have now. I added a raised bed frame for additional storage underneath and that is a game changer. We did it with the shore house beds too.

3. Out back at the Philly house is looking good too, with the final tables coming today. In other outdoor news, we are locked in an epic battle over shed space organization and utilization. I have no doubt I will emerge victorious, but until then mostly happy this week to see the old man dog enjoying himself. Ben has claimed the new ottoman like King Tut.

4. I'm not happy about the blistering sun due to the tornado taking out most of our tree and the tree behind it in our neighbor's yard that also provided shade. MFD has some sail contraption coming. I just wanted a simple umbrella. On the left is last April, right is this week. 

5. Side shoot of pandemic life: drinking less coffee. I have two mugs now and it's like better stop...but that's not even equivalent to one tall DD iced which I got every day of my work life. 

6. Someone better fill Roger commenting over on good ol' Penn Live in on how government has told more than half the population what they can and can't do with their bodies (and I have a sneaking suspicion Roger himself has probably weighed in on that and also voted based on that), and how a private company not allowing you entry if you are not vaccinated is not the same thing in the fucking slightest.

7. Related:

8. For your perusal: anyone experiencing white fatigue please take a few minutes to watch this under 3.5 minute video by Robe Imbriano - it is white fatigue that kills forward motion. Thanks to my friend Lisa for sharing on FB. Please donate and/or share the Gofundme link to get Harriett's a permanent home - over $100k has been donated in less than a week. We can get to $300k. 

9. Reminder: via dbg design

10. E-card: 

Have a good one!

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Running on Empty by Jackson Browne 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The beat goes on

All day yesterday I thought it was Wednesday. Hello, today, on True Wednesday. Coming at you live this morning, without a true point here and on only four hours of sleep due to a combination of up too late reading/almost 16 year old dog gets up at 5, so the grammar and writing will not be tight and we will be okay with it. 

It feels like we're moving back towards...a livable life? I don't want to say "normal," because I think a lot of us realized we didn't exactly flourish in what was passing as normal and you will drag me back there kicking and screaming. But then we didn't flourish in serious nail biting beginning quarantimes, either. And we struggled in the in between periods of the summer and early fall as the federal government left us hanging out to dry and most of us grappled with individual risk/reward scenarios. Now, with smart people who are able to be vaccinated getting vaccinated in the interest of public health and the economy, it feels like we've learned some shit over the past year about ourselves and the society in which we live and we are poised on the precipice of flourishing. And it is a little hard to muster up the energy to do that given the collective heaviness we've been living under. Right?

Who's with me?

In any case it makes me so fucking happy to see people together after being vaccinated. I have girls weekend with my BFFs of 30 years coming up in less than a month and I am looking forward to it in an indescribable way. 

One of the things I've been doing recently is purging, reorganizing, and redecorating. As walls get painted in Philly for the first time in many years, I'm changing up the gallery wall on the staircase. I was going through photos to put on canvas, and as I extended past March 2020, it feels like looking at a different life. 

I used to get up for the sunrise no matter what, and I'd miss most sunsets and be a tired troll by 3 pm. I truly love and prefer to do the sunrises, but the past year has taught me that what I love even more is getting the appropriate amount of sleep and navigating the day from a well rested place, which I can't do if I force myself to get up for every sunrise just because why? It's what I do? Nah. That's not a good reason at all. I still do it (photo above from this morning, an out of necessity rising), but not as often as I used to, and guess what? I haven't withered away from crushing disappointment in life or myself for missing something I love. What I have been able to do is see a lot more sunsets and find a similar solace and peace in them and still get the amount of rest I need.

The cadence of my life feels different coming out of the first year of life in the time of corona, and I imagine yours feels a little different as well. Outside of the personal and professional changes we've had to make too, there have been a lot of societal and cultural line in the sand moments in a little over a year. Circles we traveled in might feel ill fitting if you know people who denied/called it a plandemic virus when it has killed over 570,000 Americans alone in less than a year...we might also be less likely to sit with people who defended the police involved in George Floyd's murder or with people who supported a Capitol insurrection on January 6. We can't really refer to things that kill people as differences of opinion, you know?

Whenever upheaval or change happens in my life, whether it was prompted by something good or something bad, I spend some time behind the scenes tinkering until the balance is where I want it. While I'm anxious to get back to doing things I love, like girls weekends, I am committed to leaving things that no longer serve me in that other life and holding space for other joys.

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