Friday, October 30, 2020

What I'm Reading This Week #44

Happy Halloween weekend, you ghouls.  Another month swirled down the toilet.  That whole fast and slow nature of a month and this month in particular means New Years Eve is what, the day after tomorrow?  Even with no one to visit for the holidays this year, there's still lots to get done, prepare for and gifts to wrap and box up.  

Definitely not trusting USPS this year with any gifts because I've gone through delay after delay the past two months, it's only going to get worse and so  (I'm still waiting on an international package that was in my hometown two weeks ago then they shipped it to another state and it hasn't been scanned for 10 days.  I'm beyond ticked over that one.)  My Christmas cards are about all I trust them with this year and since I send mine out Thanksgiving Eve, even if they get bounced around like everything else, people might still get them a week before Christmas. 

Here's a peek at our eats this week.

Monday the Mr had a presentation he'd been nervous about so I wanted us to make a dinner we both loved together which was Chicken Pot Pie.

Tuesday, I decided it was time to get the Impossible Burgers we bought to try out of the way.

I think the Mr was kind of indifferent but I didn't like them.  They just tasted like chewy air to me because I purposely didn't season them.  I can see why they do well in restaurants because if you heavily spice them, I'm sure they'll taste like whatever you put on them.  We'll take Beyond Burgers on occasion, thanks.

Wednesday was General Tso's Shrimp over Cauliflower Rice.

Thursday was Lemon Ricotta Ravioli with roasted broccoli.

Let's slide into...

Chronic Piriformis and Hip Pain - Here's How You Fix It  (I got a tai chi ball just from watching this because I'm SO out of alignment right now.   I call it the Legion of Doom ball.  The little stand should help with the adductors.  It's gonna hurt but mama needs relief and I'm not going to the chiro anytime soon.)

Thigh Stretches That Focus on Groin Flexibility  (Always good to have a flexible groin.)

Get in the Holiday Spirit With This Free Christmas Stocking Pattern  (This is the pattern I used for my mom's stocking.)

Best-Selling Classic Snacks You Forgot All About  (Courtesy of my bestie.  I love Hot Tamales, Laffy Taffy has a tropical version that comes out once a year to scratch that pineapple taffy itch.  For my mom's 50th bday, I did tables of old fashioned candy and wax lips that people absolutely LOVED)

23 Vintage Halloween Decorations That Show How Much The Times Have Changed  (I've got vintage Biestle paper Halloween cutouts on the door.)

A pretty chill Halloweekend is on tap for us.  We'll have our little annual trick or treat bags and probably watch an 80's horror movie or two.  Oh yeah...and football.  😒  Then Sunday I might start making and freezing Christmas cookie doughs if I don't talk myself into waiting until next week.

You guys expecting any goblins that you can chuck candy to across the street or put down the gutter from the 2nd floor?

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

A Gift for Future Me

This week I have been quite the domestic goddess.  Given that we don't know when people's hoarding for the holidays gene is going to kick in, I decided to get started on some holiday food so I wouldn't have to worry about being stuck in the kitchen all day on the day.  

I made the mistake of relying on the grocery store to pick out my very specific cut of roast that had a picture of what it should look like and everything.  Instead, I got what looked like the world's thickest steak which is not a roast in these parts.  I did not have it in me that day to head back to the grocery store so I would try to make something out of this $17 faux pas.  I seared it with some spices and threw it in the crock pot with some garlic, liquid smoke and onions and hoped for the best.

I've always heard searing your roast first gives a 'depth of flavor' even if you're going to slow cook it so I thought I'd do it.  It was quite clear by the way it smelled, this was not going to be our Christmas roast.  It did give a depth of flavor but not the kind I associate with the holidays.  I saved back the broth in case it would be able to be used for Grandma's noodles so I could skim the fat off and check the next day.

If only my own fat disc could be broken off and discarded so easily!

I found some Yukon gold potatoes and made a big batch of mashed potatoes to split between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  In my best infomercial voice-  Thanks to my Food Saver, I never have to worry about doing them the same day.  I can't count how many Thanksgiving days we spent cutting potatoes, boiling them, burning myself (I still have a scar on my stomach where water kicked back from the sink when I was draining them) and then going into the holiday exhausted and resentful especially since I also make homemade stuffing and two desserts!  My family has been eating 2 month old mashed potatoes every holiday for 10 years whether they know it or not thanks to the Food Saver so it's the best investment I've ever made!  But y'all know this already.

In a moment of insanity a few years ago, I bought this food mill so that my family would have silky smooth mashed potatoes without the skins they griped about in years past.  (What can I say, I make 'em with skins...always have.)  It was a big pain in the butt for this type A.  As I started running ours through them the other day, I said "what the hell are you doing?"

I promptly scraped the potatoes out of the contraption and threw it in the trash and whipped them with the mixer as I've done for decades.  I don't make my mashed potatoes that way and good on anyone who has the patience to do it.   I have always made them with the skins.  I used to make the mistake of using russets and would get wrinkled noses.  Then I wizened up and started using Yukon golds and you can barely tell the skins are there.  Matter of fact, they always say something about how "the poor Mr probably spent all morning peeling potatoes."  I don't know if they're being passive aggressive or if they're serious so I'm choosing to take it as I'm getting away with something and we look at each other and laugh.  My motto is if you don't like the way I make them, ask someone else.  I am literally the only grandkid out of five (the youngest being 29) that makes anything to bring much less half the holiday dinner.  (Two years, I actually brought the turkey too!)   Ask me if I have a medium sized burr up my butt over that stat and I'm sorry but having a penis is no excuse to get out of bringing something.  

I digress.

I had fun mixing them up with my add in's so they freeze properly (butter and 1/3 fat cream cheese) and this year I added an ounce of Boursin too.  I spooned them into their bowls and chucked 'em in the freezer.

(To clarify, it's just the Mr and I for the holidays which means PJ's all day yo!)

The next day I threw in a new roast we got at Target that smelled like the holidays as God and Grandma intended and I sniffed out the broth from the previous roast.  Thanks to a suggestion from my bestie, I made veggie beef soup with half of the wrong roast.

I divvied those into two containers and they're in the freezer for when soup and salad sounds better than firing up the oven.  It tasted quite good too.  I food saved the mashed potatoes, and the rest of the "wrong roast" for beef sammies for another lazy night dinner.  The Christmas roast is in the freezer and I'll food save it today with 4 oz of broth so it'll be moist when I reheat it.  

It's nice to have two of the biggest pain dishes for Christmas done.  I need to grab a turkey as soon as I see them this year and not worry about getting the best deal so I can pre-cook and food save it as well.  I'll probably do stuffing the night before and heat it for dinner.  The only other thing we'll need is our brown and serve rolls of our youth and hoping to find out if our local paper will have the Black Friday ads at the newsstand.  One of our traditions since forever was looking through Black Friday ads, even if no one was shopping it.  We'd pass the ads around from person to person and it was just a fun, communal thing we did.  

"Hey, you done with that Target ad?"  

"Yeah, I'll swap you for Michael's and Joann's."  

"Throw that Best Buy my way when you're done, please!"

Last year, no one brought them and we all just kind of stared at each other after dessert until the uncomfortable silence prompted about 6 of us to all get up and leave at the same time.  


I'm not counting on Barnes and Noble or the grocery having it and I'm certainly not getting a subscription because the print version is wicked expensive now.  But finding a copy with all of the ads would be a nice way to feel a little more normal in an abnormal year.

Have you given your future self any gifts lately?

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Final October Hump Day Poll

I know this is a weird question to be asking at the end of October but I've heard too many people talking about it to ignore.

Are you decorating for Christmas/holidays early this year?

I've already seen two places with hints of Christmas lights up, several people have mentioned they're decorating the second Halloween is over and some have already started.  It's already been shown that decorating early makes you happier but it seems many of us need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet.  (By the way, I was today years old when I found out a spinet was a harpsichord!)  

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Monday, October 26, 2020

Our Weekend in Pics

Cockadoodle doo, mofos--it's time for another Monday!    It was a weekend.  

Friday we roamed the Mr's old haunts while I nursed a migraine.  We made a stop at an open air antique warehouse with only one other couple in it.  I wasn't overly impressed with it but there was this cool door that took the Mr back to his childhood.

I forgot to post last week that I got crafty and made my mom her stocking out of a tea towel and burlap trim.  It'll do.

Sadly, our Wayfair shag rug experiment went belly up because it just matted where our feet sat so we got a new rug from World Market.  Snagged this last one via curbside pick up.

I've always wanted a natural fiber rug but the Mr doesn't like scratchy rugs so I was afraid I'd never be able to get one.  It's still not as nice feeling under the feet as the shag but it's not as horrible as the no pile Turkish rug we had before it so we're both happy with it.

Friday, the last of my vintage books came for the top shelf of the armoire.

It's needed something to fill in that void up there that I can never seem to do anything with so it'll help tremendously filling in gaps.

Saturday I stress cleaned and actually got a lot of crap accomplished, none of which I took pics of.  

Sunday we got out and did our duty.

Grandma needed the flag changed on her grave so we walked the cemetery as our exercise to enjoy the fall colors.

We had a few grocery pick ups and dinner was apple butter BBQ pork chop over thai lime rice with mixed veggies.

Last week of October, I hope everyone enjoys it!

Oh Dawn, the recipe on the General Tso's for two is a bag of riced cauliflower mixed with either another bag of mixed veggies or a bag of riced veggies.  I add ground ginger and garlic powder.  Cook and cut up 12 oz chicken breast.  Toss the chicken in Iron Chef's General Tso's sauce.  (I had to stock up on it from Vitacost because it's notoriously hard to find but the best sauce.)  I put a little drizzle of it over the 'rice' too and top with sesame seeds.

What were you up to this weekend?

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Friday, October 23, 2020

What I'm Reading This Week #43

Heidi ho y'all!  We've made it to the end of another week so that's something to celebrate.  (Unless you have to work, then, sorry.)    

I remembered to take a few pics this week of the dinners even though they weren't super fancy.

Monday we made Scallop Scampi over lentil pasta with roasted broccoli:

Tuesday we smelled Chinese food in the distance on our walk around the hood so I changed dinner and we had General Tso's Chicken over cauliflower rice:

Wednesday was a low key night so we had pepperoni and veggie Caulipower pizza

Last night was Passion Fruit glazed Orange Roughy with Sweet Potato Gnocchi (which I've been craving like mad) and garlic peas.

Let's see what scintillating topics I've been peeping aka:

22 Ways to Stop Feeling Guilty All the Time  (Pack yer bags, we're going on a guilt trip!)

10 Small Habits That Have A Huge Return On Life  (There's one I think is a crock but thinking about the rest of 'em.)

What Can You Do with Leftover Pumpkin Puree?  (I add it to oatmeal with some coconut sugar and chia seeds.  Yum!)

12 DIY Holders That'll Make You Actually Want To Display Your Holiday Cards  (Yes, it's time for holiday DIY's so you can actually enjoy them!  I do #4 with a birch branch.)

10 Pine Cone Ornaments Your Christmas Tree Didn't Know It Was Missing  (Um, I think I'm doing slide 8 and finishing with slide one.  So pretty!)

You Should Be Cutting Your Jack-o'-Lantern Lids From the Bottom, Not the Top  (Makes sense!)

Say goodbye to ALL Peanuts specials  (Lucy was right, it IS run by a syndicate.  We are beyond ticked because we refuse to use any crapple products.  The multi-pack DVD's have sold out upon the announcement (and prices for available ones TRIPLED.  You can still get the separate DVD's for now.  It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown , Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and of course A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Even buying all three of those separately would be $36 and that's still $14 less than you would have spent for the box set before they jacked up the prices.)


The Mr is taking a hooky day today and we're going to his hometown.  There's a place that has our coveted MI Northern Spy apples ("spies are for pies!") and my apple pie has been requested for drop off for Thanksgiving.  So we're thinking of getting there when they open before nutball crowds we've been encountering on drive by's kick in for the day.  

Any tomfoolery planned for the weekend?

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Thursday Check In

Hey y'all!  

There's been like actual stuff going on this week so I figured I'd pop in.  Monday evening we were #blessed with a water main break.  You don't realize how much you use water until you need it.  Thankfully, Whole Foods delivered the wrong item at the beginning of this poop show and we had a ton of water bottles that we used for 24 hours between brushing our teeth, boiling water for tea, etc.  I was just glad to finally be able to flush!  Since we're going to have construction in our hood for the foreseeable future, I suppose we should always keep 2 gallons on tap for such emergencies like dropping the kids off at the pool.

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My IG Euro farmhouse lady got me all whipped into a froth over these bells she got online.  I didn't want to take the time to redo the rope like she did so I looked for something similar because we have this spot between two doors that has been bare for 24 years.  I've always wanted to put something there because for some reason the drywall is wonky from patching.  I found these bells similar to hers but cheaper and bigger for a little more of what I was looking for. They fit perfectly in that spot.

We never know what to call that area so we've decided on taint.  It's the taint of the house.  As the Mr said "the bells were hung on the taint with care."  Have I said the word taint enough?  


I wrapped the rest of mom's Christmas gifts including a potential winter hoarding pack.

It was cooler earlier this week and it was nice and misty too.  I was happy to see the pansies I planted for Grandma were still poppin' up.

We were also glad to see there was a bit of color left on some of the trees.

The Mr has been enjoying Fall for the first time thanks to his Enchroma sunglasses so it's been nice to know he sees what I see.  I think he finally gets why Fall is so awesome.

The other day I was throwing a mental hissy fit over the fact we don't have a kitchen big enough to do anything ever for me to do this DIY on Hallmark channel.  So I decided to see if there was a smaller tree I could put in the corner on top of the fridge and I found this one.

I know.   It looks like it went through a dehydrator.  I purposely wanted something small, sparse and nature-y looking.  Like a step up from a Charlie Brown tree but not much.  I doubt I'll decorate it but like having the option.  I've actually got a small red colander so I might use it like the DIY video but more than likely I'll keep the burlap base as is.  If I have any red ticking ribbon left after I hang my wreaths, I might use it as garland on this but otherwise keeping it super simple.  Okay, maybe a string of fairy lights with a remote if I'm in the mood.  Can you hear the Mr shaking his head?

How's your week been?

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Dreaded Question: Hump Day Poll

So I know no one wants to think about it but here's today's hump day poll:

Have you started holiday shopping yet?  Are you shopping earlier than usual due to anticipated delays or are you about on schedule?

I am 90% done and 75% wrapped.  I need to figure out what size box to get for one to be shipped and then that'll about do me in.  I'm usually done and wrapped by November 1st.  I'll check in one more time with grandpa's wife to see if she has any ideas and if not, she's getting a gift card.

(And you've heard me say it before, but I'll shout it out again, if you're not using Rakuten (formerly Ebates) to get cashback, you are missing out!  In 7 years I've gotten $1200 of my own money back to me.  We bought our chandelier and dining room table from West Elm with the cashback I hoarded all of that time!  (No, they don't sell your info either.)  This time of year on, the deals for double and even triple cash back start to become plentiful.  While this isn't a sponsored post, if you decide to finally sign up for it, consider using my referral link.  When you spend $30, you'll get $30 and so will I apparently.  If not, no biggie but I always like to remind people this time of year so they can save even more!)

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Monday, October 19, 2020

15 Minutes of Normal Weekend Recap

How do, all?  Did you do fun stuff this weekend or was it a share a blood supply with the couch kind of weekend?  

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Friday I was pretty screwed leg wise between pretty intense workouts the past few weeks and then forgetting that I got new workout shoes and insoles to correct a rolling gait.  I got this wicked little bastard that came Sunday to help with leg adhesions.

I'll report back about how that is going this week.

We are beyond irritated with our dining choices lately.  Nothing ever sounds good, I have no suggestions to give (that are anywhere around here) and then get mad when I agree to something that either doesn't sound good or ends up tasting like crap.  We went to a burger place who does the actual burgers well but they give you basically pieces of fries.  I'm paying for full fries.  Plus even despite having them in the Hot Logic, they weren't even lukewarm which means 1) you brought them to us ice cold and/or 2) we're eating last night's fries because it's less than 30 minutes after you've opened for the day.  We may have plans this weekend and I might know what I want the weekend after for Halloween but starting in November, I'm going to have to start to prepare what we might want for the next day.  Like I'm craving Chi Chi's chicken el paso but no way do I want to spend 45 minutes on my Saturday making it.  So if I marinate the chicken in spices the night before, make the bbq sauce (Weber brown sugar and orange juice), do a dry roll of the cheese and onion enchiladas, then all I should have to do on a Saturday is sear/ bake the chicken, pop the enchiladas in and dump a can of refried beans.  Welcome to me talking my way through restaurant burnout and how to save time on a Saturday.

We drove by this antique store and I wanted to take a peek since it only had two other couples in there.  

It started off fine but when we saw this one couple that looked like they were going to explore one section, we headed upstairs to give them time to look so we weren't in the same spot.  What do they do?  Mosey on up into the tiny space we're in.  The Mr and I both said at the same time "you've got to be shitting me." You have this WHOLE STORE and you have to be where we are when we were trying to be considerate of you?!?!  In my head, I was virtually clotheslining them over the rail like Hulk Hogan but reality was I grabbed the three spice tins I liked and we blazed past them with nary a dollar needed for clotheslining bail money.  Here's my little haul for the kitchen.  

For now I've put the scale on the shelf behind the fridge until I find it a permanent home.

It was nice to feel normal for 15 minutes but I suppose we'll have to wait two weeks to make sure there's no price to pay for it.  Then it was a meh dinner and that was about it for Saturday.

Sunday I scratched the Mr's pancake itch with brunch.

TJ's pumpkin pancakes, a sharp cheddar omelet and bacon to keep us going all day.  It turned out to be quite rainy and cold.  We did a grocery pickup and they screwed the pooch a bit so we had to go out later that night to pick up crap we still needed.  We caught up on the DVR a bit and that wrapped up the weekend.  

Speaking of DVR, I hope y'all own It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown because everything I've looked up thusfar has shown that ABC does not have it on the schedule this year!!!  SERIOUSLY!?!?!  Hasn't 2020 taken enough from us!?  As my friend would say...jagoffs.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, October 16, 2020

What I'm Reading This Week #42

Happy Friday!  This week actually went kind of fast for once on a short one but it was boring so I didn't bother posting yesterday.  I was horrible about taking pics of dinners, my head was just not fully with it.  Whoops!  Short week syndrome.  I've at least got two for ya.

Homemade General Tso's with Cauliflower Rice.

Lemon Lobster Ravioli with Zucchini and Curried Cauliflower.

There was also grilled cheese and tomato soup and on the Mr's birthday we had meatloaf, mashed sweet potatoes and mixed veggies.

Let's jump into...

Why You Should Be Rolling Out Your Feet For Overall Well-Being  (Definitely should do it after a workout or before bed.)

5 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health, Other Than Eating Yogurt   (For the love of God, no more yogurt.)

CBD Oil and Birth Control  (If you're on hormonal BC pills and taking CBD oil, you might want to rethink that or talk to your doctor.)

6 Negative Mindsets That Increase Your Anxiety  (I can vouch for most of these.)

What’s Happening to Halloween?  (What are they doing in your neck of the woods?)

Dexter Revival Coming to Showtime as Limited Series  (Surprise mother f**kers!  Anything is better than that awful original ending!  Reboot it and start it after the Trinity killer as the good Lord intended)

No real plans this weekend that I know of.  I suppose cleaning should be in there somewhere but whose gonna see it?

Anything percolating in your future?

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Furry (or Feathered) Friends Hump Day Poll

No doubt animals are part of the family.  Because we can't directly communicate, we may often wonder what the heck they're thinking or what that look they gave us meant.  That brings us to today's hump day poll.

If you could ask your pet (current or past) three questions, what would they be?

(Mine would've been 1) why would you let Mommy do the punchy thing with your paws but not Daddy?  2) What are your favorite things we do to show you how much we love you?  3)  Do you really swear as much as Mommy portrays when she "voices" you?)

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Birthday Weekend Round Up

Good Monday to you.  I hope you had a good weekend and rarin' for a new week.  

Friday night I made a nice lemon salmon for dinner to kick off the weekend.

After the Mr went to bed, I stayed up and decorated the first floor so he'd have at least a little festive atmosphere.

Nothing major and no balloons but it was my attempt at a party for two.  The Mr likes marble cake but can never decide between wanting chocolate or vanilla frosting so last year he requested one with both icings.  When the place dropped the ball on my cake this year, we decided to try one more place and  they came through.

He wanted to go to a restaurant about 90 minutes away so we got going early Saturday.  It's one of my favorite places too but we're obviously not risking going inside and even in non-pandemic times this place is known to attract people with incessant coughs and sick folk.  We ate outside at a small park that was basically empty and I got my usual turkey dinner.

They don't do take out well and honestly, it was very emotional for me to be there and not be able to do the things we usually do.  I'm glad he enjoyed his meal and that's all that matters but I definitely won't be going back until this crap show is over.  It's not worth the torture to my heart.  (We also need to check to make sure festivals aren't going on at the same time.)  

When we got back, he opened presents and had his cake.  We finished watching Sleepwalkers that we started in the morning and then we napped for 90 minutes on the couches.  Later we had pizza for dinner and watched some boob tube before heading to bed.

Sunday morning we had brunch and I have to give a big thumbs down to TJ's pumpkin waffles.  God those were gross.  Thankfully, we had eggs and chicken apple sausage to offset them.  We caught up on SNL and saw the big Bill Burr bruhaha he created with his monologue.  That's Bill.  Probably won't be asked back, I'm sure.  Other than that, it was more lame sketches they don't know how to end as usual.  Sigh.

Then I flipped on some Christmas music and got to rappin'


I meant wrappin'

We went on a walk around the hood and ran into a neighbor we haven't seen in about 6 weeks so we stopped and had a socially distant chat with her to catch up with her and her pups.  You know, for like 45 minutes.  We only worked in 2 laps over three but whatcha gonna do?  

Then it was time for dinner of beyond burger and fries.  (Forgot to take a pic and honestly, does anyone care about the dinner pics?)  Then we watched Nightmare on Elm Street 2 before winding down for the night.

Today is the Mr's birthday so we'll see what the birthday boy wants to get into.

How was your weekend?

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