Thursday, January 31, 2013


Trying to ignore Husband in way old Gap jacket, Gap scarf, Anthro top & pants, Born boots 

I know I usually save the outfit posts for Mondays and Wednesdays, but this one cracks me up {silly husband} and I had to get it out there.  First of all, those sunglasses.  I saw them in my Oprah magazine and knew I needed to have them.  They are made by the Australian Quay Eyewear company and I ordered them online from Nordstrom for $38 bucks.  Since then, I have been into Nordstrom and these sunglasses {in all shades of fabulous colors and patterns} are displayed absolutely everywhere.  So, no worries, you can look as awesome as me!  Hip hip!  These shades are so totally fun and retro and since I'm bringing my retro 90's jean jacket out of mothballs today, the sunglasses just make me look that much more rad.  Or that much more stuck in the past.  :)

And second, that husband.  He might act like he's camera shy sometimes, but secretly I think he wants to be plastered all over the internets.  I'm on to you, darling.

sesame noodle + marinated sirloin.

Once again, she cooks!  This Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook has been so fun to follow and my family has never handed out so many compliments to the cook {me!!!}.  According to Jackson {who is the pickiest eater on the planet}, each dinner has gotten increasingly better each night.  He thought tonight's steak was the best thing ever.  This means serious business.

The steak I am referring to is from Ree Drummond's recipe for Simple Sesame Noodles with Sesame Beef.  What I loved is that the marinade mixture for the steak is the same exact mixture for the noodles, so I just doubled the recipe, pouring half over the beef and half into the cooked angel hair pasta noodles.  Another cool thing about this recipe is that it can be served hot {that's how we enjoyed it} or it can be served cold {as a salad} by tossing in some cilantro leaves {if you like cilantro leaves.  cuz I don't.  ick!}.

The marinade would probably have been even better had I allowed it to marinate all day long, but I gave it about two hours and it was still able to absorb plenty of flavor.  Some of us like our meat grilled to well-done {I like mine pink but majority rules}, so that's that.  I grilled the heck out of it and then tried my darndest to slice against the grain, but I'm still learning that culinary skill.  Against the grain???  Why is this so hard?

♥ Just in case you're new-ish here,  I've been working my way through The Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook.  I'm no professional in the kitchen, but I'm trying to strengthen my foody skills a wee bit.  I love this cookbook so much and we have been enjoying quite a few new meals around here {thanks to my newest obsession}.

Here are some of the other recipes we've tried:

>> Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
>> Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta & Meatballs
>> Au Gratin Potatoes & Corn Casserole & Rosemary Rolls
>> Chicken Enchiladas & Mexican Rice
>> Glazed Doughnuts
>> Salsa
>> Ranch-Style Chicken & Roasted Cauliflower

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

home ec. is where it's at.

Jackson is learning to use the sewing machine at school and was having a bit of a tough time of it - the filling of the spool, the threading up+in+out+down+through the microscopic needle hole, the pressing of the pedal, the fabric placement, and the actual sewing - it's a lot to take in!  What he needed was some one-on-one with Mom and a lot of encouragement, which is what last night turned into.  And after a quick lesson {I didn't want to overwhelm the poor dude}, he was working that machine and experimenting on his own.  He's going to rock this part of Home Ec now!  No problem!

Little sister was on hand to observe and encourage her big brother.  She's already mastered that machine and loves to sew and create her own stuff.  I think she was also there to offer a little friendly competition too.   If his little sister can do it, Jackson can do it too.  Sibling rivalry can be a very big {sometimes annoying} motivator in this family!

Honestly, I didn't learn to use the sewing machine until just a few years ago.  I didn't have the patience for patterns.  But Husband knew how to sew.  And that was sexy.  So, I'm doing Jackson's future wife a favor here!
But let's not think about that right now.  I'm not quite ready for my kids to be all grown up.

my husband makes me smile.

{screen shot of Husband's email to me} 

For Christmas, I bought these J. Crew skeleton socks for Husband, thinking he'd love them but never wear them because, well, because they are kind of fun for work and he's kind of more serious for work.  But it turns out I was happily wrong about that guy.  He loves them.  I guess, teamed up with a very professional suit and tie, a little peek of "bad ass" sock catches most people off guard, and that's Husband's favorite pastime.

Happy Travels, Mister!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


enjoying 66 degrees in JCrew top, Target skirt, Born boots 

On this day:

>> The fog cleared and the sun shone it's glorious self!
>> I lunched with Husband.  Turkey Club.  Is there anything better than bacon in a sandwich?
>> I made sloppy joe's from scratch.  You should totally smell my house right now.
>> I am learning how to enjoy the post-workout hair I have been experiencing.  Ick.
>> I am wearing a skirt.  A SKIRT, PEOPLE!  Take that, January.

P.S. I saw the above skirt at Target, only two left not in my size.  Talk about sad.  It hurt me deeply, but I left the display rack and moved onto the workout clothing.  I'm pretty strong like that.  I started looking at a rack of yoga pants and GUESS WHAT???  Hidden in the back of the pants... was THE SKIRT.  ALL ALONE.  IN MY SIZE.  I think someone was hiding it for me.  So I snatched it right up, with a big smile on my face, of course.  I think I was being rewarded for working hard at the gym and looking at workout gear.  That's sometimes how random my justifications can be.  Don't even try to judge me here, because I KNOW you tell yourself the same kind of weird stuff so you feel good about spending money.  :)  Did I say weird?  I think I meant creative.

pleated poppy

my face.

Dear Onions,

You have no power over me.  



It turns out that the rumors I heard were true.  If you place an onion in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing + dicing it, no more tears.  Isn't that amazing?  You know what else is amazing?  Me, actually remembering to put the onion in the freezer before cutting into it.  Sometimes it takes me a while, but I eventually catch on.

P.S. I made sure to include my face in today's post, to make up for my lack of one yesterday.  
P.S.S. Please note that yesterday's post title has been edited, as not to be offensive.  Husband and I had a good hard laugh after my headless video and that title had come up and made us laugh really hard.  But after seeing that I really did use "$h!t" in my post title, Husband couldn't believe I decided to really use that, as it looked so much like the real word.  He thought something like "$%*&" would have been more appropriate, but I disagree, as that gives the reader control of what word goes there and I like to be in control of those things.  Anyway, I am more of a private cursor than public so the title now uses the word "stuff" and I am pleased and quite more comfortable with that.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

real life stuff. oh and juicing questions answered.

You asked about juicing and I'm answering!  I've been at it for 8 whole days now, so that makes me some kind of expert right?  I decided the easiest way to show you the process is to actually show you the process by vlog.  Who doesn't love a vlog?  And so, I set up my kitchen props, sliced the fruits and vegetables, and got the camera all pointed in the right direction {or so I thought}.  It turns out I'm not as short as I thought.  So, my video lacks a little thing that is usually kind of important.  Like, my face.  Only human, right?  I considered redoing the video, but once you grind green stuff into liquid form, there is really no going back on that and starting over.  And well, this is how real life goes sometimes {especially mine}.  Sometimes I just go for things without figuring out all of the details.  Sometimes it works... and sometimes I end up the The Headless Juicer.

Oh goodness, go see for yourself already!  And have a good chuckle, because that's why I'm here.

Alternate Vlog Titles that almost made the cut:

Getting A Head of Myself
The Girls Make Juice
I Be Headed to Better Health
Off with Her Head

You're wittier than I am?  Can you think of a good one?

This next little part has to do with the results I am seeing from one week of drinking a delicious juice for breakfast and for lunch everyday.  So, if you're not into that stuff, you've been warned.
This week I have lost four pounds.  What the???  I know!  Four pounds and I'm not even starving myself.  I have zero headaches and I don't suffer from that 3:00pm lag anymore.  I am energized and feeling great!  I have also continued to workout and watch my calories.  Again, not starving myself.  And I continue to cook yummy dinner recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks and actually enjoy eating them.  I just have a balance and am getting good vitamins in my diet, rather than empty sugar calories.  I feel darn good.

If you are interested in hearing more about my road to health and progress, please feel free to click the Health tab on the top of the blog.  I am happy to answer any of your questions.  Of course, I'm no pro, but I'll do what I can to answer you.  :)

if you give a mom a cookie.

If you give this mom a cookie, chances are she will blog about it.  And if you, dear reader, are not yet at the wonderful years of teenager-raising, I am here to put your mind at ease {hopefully just a little bit}.  You see, I was once fearful of what it would be like when my children reached that ever-awkward stage of hormonal imbalance + struggling independence.  I pictured yelling and slamming doors and eye rolls and disciplinary actions like the grounding of the phone.  But it's not at all like that, at least in this family.  Independence is a good, encouraged thing here.  And hormonal imbalance, well I'm just as guilty of that too.  :)  Sure, in this house we are not perfect, and we have our stresses like anyone else.  We enjoy our share of miscommunications and uncertainties of how to best deal.  We are simply trying our best and giving our love and crossing our fingers.  It's true that teenagers {especially college students} start to disappear more, as they head to class, join sports & clubs, dabble in a job, and try to squeeze in social time with friends.  Elyssa is super busy out there in her world, doing all sorts of good things and it was a little bit of an emotional thing, to watch her be gone so much.  But isn't that the goal?  So, I watch her come and go and I make myself present for the small moments when she is home and she is hanging out in the hallway, talking to me while I fold laundry or do dishes.  I love those moments (even though I try not to act like it too much, because you know how teenagers can get :).  Last friday she had a day off from class and I found her in the kitchen making cookies.  By herself.  Just for fun.  After a discovery that we were out of chocolate chips, McKenna, Jackson, and I found ourselves on a scavenger hunt for chocolate hidden around the house {you'd be surprised at how much chocolate you can find in this place}.  It was a good time, as it usually is when someone is making cookies for you to eat.



January is just about over!!!  Thank goodness.  Below is an example of what our weekday mornings have looked like for the last two weeks, with two-hour school delays.  Lazy.  Last week was snow and this morning was a healthy bout of freezing rain.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but I'm praying from some miracle sunshine, high in the 80's.  Not holding my breath.


pony-tailing in J Crew top + necklace, Target pants, American Eagle Outfitter booties, Target watch

On this day:
>> I finished one full first week of Juicer breakfasts and lunches!  Hip hip!
>> I was unprepared for the sadness that was Downton Abbey.  Was not expecting that.
>> I wrapped up a weekend of total basketball.  Five games, people.  Five exciting games.
>> I ate a bowl of Lucky Charms for dinner.  
>> I played around with the blog design.  Obviously.  I get bored easily.

pleated poppy

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ranch-style chicken + roasted cauliflower + mozzy sticks = yum!

Is it just me, or have I been beginning each Pioneer Woman Cooks recipe with lemon lately?  Tonight I tried the Ranch-Style Chicken and it was so so so so so so so so good.  Chicken and cheese and bacon?  I seriously think you can't go wrong with this one.

Next up, Roasted Cauliflower.  I'm sure it was wonderful, but you'll have to take that from Husband.  This girl doesn't do cauliflower {unless is blended into juice-form}.

And then the Fried Mozzarella!  Oh Boy, oh boy!  It baffles me how easy this was to make.  How have I never made these before?  We always have extra string cheese and yet I end up buying frozen mozzarella sticks.  Not any more.  So yum!

Just in case you're new-ish here,  I've been working my way through The Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook.  I'm no professional in the kitchen, but I'm trying to strengthen my foody skills a wee bit.  I love this cookbook so much and we have been enjoying quite a few new meals around here {thanks to my newest obsession}.

Here are some of the other recipes we've tried:

>> Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
>> Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta & Meatballs
>> Au Gratin Potatoes & Corn Casserole & Rosemary Rolls
>> Chicken Enchiladas & Mexican Rice
>> Glazed Doughnuts
>> Salsa


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