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In which I play the role of ‘domestic goddess’

25 Jul

I don’t cook.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. I’ve just never seen the point of doing it just for me when I can have a perfectly good bowl of Kix for dinner.

Now, I live with a boy. I get home from work before him, and he gets in about an hour and a half later, all sweaty from his work out.

It is a perfect scenario for me to … like … cook dinner.

I have a few really easy go-to meals — chicken and potatoes in the oven, tacos, pizza (not the frozen kind either, but, like, homemade [coughwithapremadecrustcough]) — but last week, I saw fit to think outside the smallest box of recipes ever.

I googled “easy healthy recipes for two” and found myself a site that suggested not one, not two, but three recipes I thought sounded yummy. I promptly marched my ass to the grocery store and bought things that required a Google image search, like “scallion” (oh, a teeny tiny onion) and “chives” (oh, green onion) and “chipotle chile in adobo sauce” (huh?).

My meals turned out pretty good, but the best part was the beau’s reaction to them. He said, more than once, how great it was to come home to dinner already being made.

At first, I thought he was mocking me, as I’m as domestic as a wild turkey.

“No, I’m serious,” he said, grinning like a sexy fool. “When you call me and say, ‘When will you be home?Dinner’s ready,’ I get all, ‘Oh boy, dinner’s ready! Better hurry up!”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah,” he said, and, without a hit of sarcasm, “It makes me feel like a grown up.”

((cue heart melt))

Here are those three recipes in order of yumminess: chicken breasts with mushroom cream sauce (also on the menu for tonight), barbecue portobello quesadillas for two (yes, I looove mushrooms) and spicy cioppino (read: Italian seafood stew. I used crab in leiu of tilapia, and it was a little bland).

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It’s the little things … about moi

30 Mar

I’m linked up with the little things we do today for a fill-in-the-blank Friday. As always, pick a blank and fill it in in the comments! (Click on any of the images to be taken to that item on Etsy.)

My greatest strength is my ability to listen. I think I have a pretty good ear, and when a friend will come to me with any issues, I like to be able to help. Also, I can quack like a mother. (Or rather, like a two-bit imitation Donald.)

My greatest weakness is I’m messy. Also, the amount of empathy I have for others is too much. I think empathy is a good thing, but I honestly wish I had less.

People always compliment me on my hair. A girl in high school used to tell me I could do a Pantene Pro-V commercial. She sat behind me in chorus and always used to play with my hair.

Frankly, I always wished my hair looked like this. Redheads are hot.

If you found me procrastinating, you’d probably find me reading. Or playing on Etsy.

The most cozy place in all the world is my bed. Sometimes it’s coziest when I’m in there alone with all its queen-sizeness to my sweet self. Sometimes it’s coziest when Jeff’s in there, laughing at me because I’m always cold, and I always marvel that he’s always toastily warm. (I’ve joked that I’m vampire before it was cool to be a vampire. I swear I have less blood than I should.)

Something new that I tried recently was making my own guacamole. It was delicious. I will be making it again, with a touch more spices.

This weekend I would like to see “The Hunger Games” at The Cinema Grill. I’ve not read the book, but I imagine at some point, the characters will be hungry. I would like to have a chicken sandwich to offer them should this occur.

My first Birchbox: I dig!

29 Feb

I totally forgot to mention when I first posted this that through the money you spend and people you get to joint, you accrue points. When you hit 100 points, you get $10 to spend in the shop. So if you sign up because of me, pretty please use this link!

* * *

I first heard about Birchbox by the lovely Tara over at Fabulous But Evil. About a day later, Kate told me about it over at Suburban Sweetheart.

In case you’ve missed it, Birchbox is a beauty company that will send you a box of sample-size treats for $10 a month. You get well over $10 worth of goodies, and if something tickles your fancy, you can get back on the Birchbox website and order the full size. It’s about the best way I’ve seen to try those higher-end products you’d hate to blow $30 on and end up hating.

Birchbox has you fill out a survey about your tastes and tones and complexion to try and customize each box for each beauty.

To give you an idea, here is what my February Birchbox held for me, in the order that I tried them:

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum — I’ve had acne since I was in the second grade, and I’ve tried a lot of skin clearing treatments to various success. I’d never heard of Juice, which retails for $29 for the full-size, and was excited to try it. After four or five uses, the giant tumor on my cheek did not go down. It didn’t get larger or redder, which is important, but it did not go away, either. Juice boasts salicylic acid, which you can find much cheaper in Biore or Neutrogena. And frankly, I’ve seen my acne react much better in recent years to benzoyl peroxide.

Juicy Coture Viva La Juicy perfume — A very unusual scent, mixing sweet and musky. I kind of like it, but I’m not sure I’d splurge on the $69 to $89 full-size. The descriptor card tells me the fragrance has top notes of wild berries and mandarin, middle notes of  honeysuckle, gardenia and jasmine and base notes of amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood and praline.

Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream — This is a French skincare line that is new to the States. The descriptor tells me the product is all-natural and regulates oil levels, keeping the skin matte. I’ve used this about three times, and by the end of the day, I’ve definitely seen less shine each time. I really dig this and, at $22 for a full bottle, may make a purchase. It goes on oh-so lightly — the cream actually feels soft somehow — and the light smell is lovely.

Eye Rock Designer Liner — These are what can only be described as stickers to place at your top lash line in lieu of liner. They come in different thicknesses and designs. I have not tried them yet, as I’ve not seen it fit to wear them to work, but I’m insanely excited to give them a whirl. I love playing with makeup, and I’ve never seen anything like these before. These retail $13 for two packs of four. Might be worth it.

Chuao Chocolatier Spicy Maya ChocoPod — I’ve not tried this yet, mainly because I’ve kept my Birchbox in the bathroom and never think to eat chocolate when I’m at the sink. My guess is that it will rock, as I adore chile and cayenne peppers in my dark chocolate. (I suppose I could try it as I type this, but it’s 10:21 p.m., and I’m trying to not have anything but water after 8 p.m. For two days, I’ve done quite well.) A full-size bar of this runs $6.

As an added treat, Birchbox sent me six free tunes from Green River Ordinance, an indie rock band. Have I heard of them? No. Do I dig them? Oh yes. Listen for yourself:

Anyone else get the February Birchbox? Which treats did you like best?

Ohhhhhh, London Fog, how I love you so

28 Feb

For the past week or so, I’ve been listening to a friend at work rant and rave about her new favorite drink, a London Fog. She discovered it when her cousin was Facebook stalking a girl from elementary school and drooling over all her travels (God, who hasn’t done this at some point or another?? Awkward ….).

The world-travler mentioned she had a London Fog in England, and the cousin promptly looked it up. The drink is:

Two parts Earl Gray tea

One part steamed milk

A shot of vanilla

My friend and I went to a café in town that specializes in tea and each ordered one. I got mine with a shot of ginger instead, and let me say: It tastes so good, I’m licking the insides of my mouth just to taste more. It tastes so good, I want to tongue kiss people so they know how amazing it is, but I don’t want them to drink mine. It smells so good, I’m all but neti potting it up.

This is my way of saying: Go to your nearest specialty tea café and get one! Now!!

Note: I just took the last sip. You are no longer invited to lick the inside of my mouth. All that taste is for me now. Go get your own.

It’s OK: December edition

15 Dec

I’m linking up with A Complete Waste of Makeup for some It’s OK action. Join in, won’t you?

It’s OK to sort of like the new Justin Bieber Christmas song.

It’s OK to suspect that one aspect of hell is that this exact version of this gem is on repeat for all eternity.

It’s OK to make an entire pan of brownies just so you can eat two or three of them straight from the oven.

It’s OK to make mistakes.

It’s OK to make mistakes.

It’s OK to make mistakes. (Sorry, that one needed to be driven home a little.)

It’s OK to get defensive when someone pokes fun at someone you love.

It’s OK to wait for what you want.

It’s not OK to change what you want just because you’ve waited so long.

But it is OK to change your mind.

It’s OK to ditch the beau at home so you can have another Christmas morning with your family around the tree.

And it’s OK if you don’t even feel guilty about ditching the beau ’cause you’re too dang excited to go home.

It’s OK if you think about the amazing weekend you have planned three times every hour.

 

My sophisticated pallet: On wine and cheese

2 Dec

I can’t do red wines. I try, desperately, in part because I think it looks sophisticated. But dry wines make me want to scrape over my tongue with a rake.

I’m a fan of Rieslings, and especially of Gewürztraminer, a Riesling-esque white that isn’t quite as sweet as a Riesling.

One week from today, the beau and I are having some friends over for a wine and cheese party. I know the two flavors are supposed to compliment one another, and I’ve never tried wine-and-cheese pairings in a way that is supposed to make the flavor of either pop. So we figured we’d try. (Note: This sounds much more sophisticated than it actually is. Seriously, we’ll probably just get wine drunk and cheese fat, which I personally find to be one of the best drunks and fats to be.)

I found a pretty extensive wine/cheese pairing list I figure the beau and I will print out over the next week and use as a guide at the grocery store.

Naturally, I wanted to see what kind of cheeses go well with Riesling. What kind of fancy fair would I get to enjoy with my sweet white? Camembert? Buffalo mozzarella? Zamarano? (Confession: I have no idea what Zamarano is. I just picked it off the list ’cause it sounded cool.)

Not quite. Riesling, apparently goes quite well with the following cheeses:

  • Cheshire
  • Colby
  • Cotija
  • Edam
  • Gouda
  • Kefalotiri
  • Monterey Jack
  • Panela

Do you see the problem? Every single cheese on that list falls in one of two categories: “I’ve never heard of it” or “I’d put that on a sub sandwich.”

Très sophistiquée.

(For what it’s worth, the Gewürztraminer pairings look much more nose-in-the-air … ’cause you gotta at least PRETEND to be high class for a glass, right?)

What are your favorite wines?

Some unrelated thoughts on a Friday

30 Sep

* It was a raspberry mocha day, but I wanted to switch it up. So I got a caramel mocha. Probably not that big of a switch, but holy hell, it’s delicious.

* Dried apricots are the best thing you could put in a scone.

No, I did not make them myself, but I found this uber sweet blog post (click on the pic to go there) with a recipe for them.

* Most of my clothes come from Kohls, Penney’s, Old Navy and NY & Company. I like trendy things that are affordable. I’m not much into Express or Banana Republic or other trendy stores I deem too rick for my blood. Today, however, I’m wearing a pair of Banana pants. I found them at a local Good Will. They’re actually lined. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of lined pants. Also, they fit like a glove. I still don’t think I’d pay full price for them — they were $8 for me — but I can appreciate the quality difference.

I don't think these are the exact pant, but they look pretty much like this.

* I’m wearing an adult friendship bracelet I made. I think this bugger is sturdy enough to introduce to the shop! I’m way excited about it. It has a tiny chevron pattern and is made out of that colored thread you used to make friendship bracelets when you were in junior high. But it has a bit of chain, and a real clasp, so you don’t have to tie a knot and just wait for it to fall off.

* I’ve been wanting to start a monthly e-mail newsletter. I figure I’ll send my first one (which will very  much be a trial run) after the bracelets get posted. If you’d like to be on the list (I swear I won’t spam you), let me know! Be sure to include your e-mail address with the comment. Or is this a silly idea? Do the blog and Facebook and Twitter suffice? (Man, when I put it like that …)

* My $10 off gift certificate goes away after today! Have you gotten yours?

* I’m dying to see The Help. I think it will be a Sunday solo matinee.

* I WILL finish “A Game of Thrones” this weekend. I have a ridiculous little 1960s beach read next, because when you finish a 700+ page book, you need to follow that with dribble, even if said 700+ page book is so flippin’ amazing you want to dig through the pages until you find a Narnia-like hole that will take you to Winterfell.

Peter Dinklage plays (and won an Emmy for!!!) Tyrion Lannister. He's amazing, and one of the main reasons the TV show is ((gasp!)) better than the book. Yes, the book rocks, but the author, George R.R. Martin, also writes the show. So obviously, it's reeeeally well done.

Your turn. Tell me something unrelated.