Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

As always, thanks to Chelsea at Roots and Rings for hosting!  This week's questions are written by Lauren from Texas.

1.  What are your pantry staples?
Bagel thins (love those for breakfast, or after school with some pimento cheese), spaghetti and pasta sauce (my go to meal when I don't have anything else planned), cereal of some variety (I most often buy Frosted Mini-Wheats or Cinnamon Life), and some kind of granola bars (lately I've been loving the Nature Valley squares with peanut butter.)

2.  What are your refrigerator staples?
Frank's Red Hot, milk, eggs, yogurt, butter, and wine.  There always has to be one bottle - I mean, it keeps it colder than the wine fridge does.

3.  You already look like Heidi Klum (or your favorite supermodel).  Now, what are the three non-physical things you would change about yourself?
I would be more organized.  Seriously, I am the absolute most disorganized person you know.  Shove it in a drawer, accidentally throw it out, throw it over your shoulder and into the backseat are all VERY much my MO.  Other than that, I'd be more crafty so I could make more Pinterest wonders, and I'd be less of a procrastinator.  Captain Last Minute, at your service!

4.  What's holding you back from your dream job?  (If you already have your dream job, how did you get there?)
Man, it feels good to answer this question.  I was walking into work this morning, despite the fact that it was 7:30 in the morning, thinking how lucky I am to have my job.  Basically, I was really blessed to find a way into my field with absolutely zero experience or training.  Some days, I still feel like I have NO earthly idea what I'm doing, which is a little frustrating, but it gets better all the time.  I think my ultimate dream job is still my original plan - to get a doctorate and move into school administration.  We'll see.  Life and having a job and house and weenie dogs to feed is sort of a hindrance for all that, but maybe one of these days.  Until then, I'm perfectly happy where I am.

5.  You have $500, but it has to be spent on one item only.  Go.  
A little storage building for our yard to house the lawnmower and all PB's tools and junk.  WOW, this officially means I am really old and boring.

6.  What is something you are embarrassed to admit you buy on a regular basis?
I buy a lottery ticket for just about every drawing.  I'm not ALL that embarrassed though - I always say, you can't win if you don't play.  And I wanna be on that "The Lottery Changed My Life" show.

7.  What's in/on your bed every night?
Peggy Sue, Brenda Lee, PB, my big body pillow, and two regular pillows.  It's amazing we all fit.

8.  What is a non-necessity item that, no matter how expensive it gets or how tight your budget is, you will always find room for it?
Diet Sundrop.  I can't quit it.  I've tried.  I can't replace it with anything else.  It has to be part of my life or I am not a happy camper.

9.  What is the weirdest sandwich you've ever made?
Perhaps what's weirder is that I really don't like sandwiches.  Like I don't even buy bread or lunch meat unless PB specifically requests it because I won't eat it.

10.  Would you rather: be banned from Pinterest forever, but gain a million captive Twitter followers; or, never get on Facebook again but gain five thousand blog readers?
This is hard.  I just adore Pinterest, but I also love Facebook.  I guess I'll pick between the positive alternatives.  I don't care at all about Twitter followers - in fact, half the time I forget to tweet.  So I'd definitely take the blog followers, especially because then I know I'd be doing a ton of cool giveaways and whatnot, and it would be awesome.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Meet the newest critter...

I realized today that I have committed a great travesty.  You haven't met Brenda Lee.  Brenda Lee is a little blue and tan weenie dog that we got the week before our wedding.  I had been after PB about getting a friend for Peg, and lo and behold, we start driving the weekend before the wedding, and he takes me to look at weenie dogs.  And then of course I had to take her home right then.  She is a MESS. 

See how innocent she looks there?  

Well, don't be fooled so easily.  I was in the shower for ten minutes, and I get out to find this.  "No mama, we didn't eat a huge hole in the bathroom rug.  No, that's not fuzzies on Peggy Sue's head.  What fuzzies?  In my mouth?  I don't know what you're talking about."

And this is what happens if you grab a beach towel out of the closet as an impromptu weenie bed, and then you fail to completely close the closet.  Also, that closet happens to be where you keep the extra toilet paper.  Whoops.

So that's Brenda Lee.  Really though, she is a sweet thing and she actually listens better than Peggy Sue as a general rule.  It's just that when they're together, they're like little criminal masterminds.  

In other news of bad behavior, this is what I saw in the hallway by my classroom the other day:

Does this not solidify my argument that we should be teaching kids phonics?  I mean come on, shouldn't all middle schoolers have mastered the correct spelling of curse words by now?

But for the children who are not poorly spelling curse words on lockers, we had a little celebratory skating trip yesterday!  There's a skating rink within walking distance of the school, even if it's a little bit of a sketchy walk.  The kids were SO excited, it was precious.  

I even dug out my own rollerblades that I think I probably got I was in the sixth grade myself.  See?

It was really a lot of fun, and I think skating's a lot like riding a bike - you just don't forget.  I didn't even fall until the very end, when a kid asked me to help her skate and I should have said no, or at least told her she'd have to try without holding onto me.  She was taller than me and girl had a DEATH grip on my arm - so when her feet started shooting out from under her about halfway around the loop, she jerked me backwards so hard that I slammed onto the concrete.  Owwwww.  My back is still recovering. All in all though, it was a super duper fun day.  I could go skating every week!

I'm glad for a day off to recover today though.  One thing I did was start getting out a few Christmas decorations!  I haven't gotten the tree down yet, but that's imminent if I can talk PB into doing it tonight.  We'll see about that though, because the Carrier Classic is on tonight.  Oh you haven't heard?  UNC is playing on an aircraft carrier!  I'm pretty excited too.  Go Heels, go America.

But anywho, I saw this on Pinterest and decided it was simple enough for me to execute:

See?  A nifty way to display Christmas cards!  I just bought some shimmery red ribbon at Walmart and stapled it to the inside of my cabinet door and attached the card with a clothespin.  I'm so excited about it because honestly, I usually just end up stacking cards in a pile and throwing them out in January because I don't ever know what to do with them.  Winning!

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

As always, Ten on Tuesday (as well as this week's questions) are brought to you by Chelsea at Roots and Rings.  

1. What’s your favorite television show  for each day of the week?
Sunday – Pan Am
Monday – Mike & Molly
Tuesday – Parenthood
Wednesday – Modern Family
Thursday – The Big Bang Theory
Friday – Well, it used to be Friday Night Lights...still sad about that.  Now, I have no idea.  Maybe 20/20 if we even watch anything?
Saturday – If PB is home, it's pretty much Discovery Channel alllllll the time.
2. How many times do you wear your jeans before you watch them?
Hmm, depends on what I do in them.  Obviously, anything involving sweating or painting or going to a Japanese steakhouse that gives them a distinctive odor or any of that merits an immediate wash.  Ran a few errands in them?  Ehh, I'll wear them at least twice, maybe three times if I didn't wear them long and they didn't stretch out too much.
3. What is your favorite pasta shape?
I pretty much eat pasta like 4 times a week because I love love love it.  I guess my most frequently bought shape would be thin spaghetti, but seriously, I love it all.
4. Do you read newspapers?
5. Do you sleep in socks?
Absolutely not...that would make me insane.  I tried it once when it was winter and my skin was all dry and someone suggested sleeping in lots of lotion and socks.  I hated it.  Ripped those suckers off.
6. Favorite genre of movies?
Hmm.  You know, I am not a big movie person.  I just don't have the attention span.  But generally, those that I do like are kind of quirky movies.  And I do love a good comedy.
7. How do you feel about wrestling?
Um, there's a lot of sweating.  And our high school wrestling room always stank a LOT.  And I don't like boys in leotards.  So I don't feel great about it.
8. Should men pluck their eyebrows?
PB has totally gotten those things waxed a few times for special occasions (like our wedding).  I don't agree with plucking/waxing them into girly things, but if they are three inches wide or grow all the way across your face, no one is going to take your man card for grooming them, I promise.
9. Do you have dimples?
Uh, are we talking about the fat dimples adjacent to my muffin tops on my back?  No?  Oh, you meant the cute cheek ones?  Then no.  Definitely not.
10. Do you like to camp?
I like to look at pictures of people camping and look up campfire recipes.  I like the idea of camping.  I've never actually been because PB feels that I will like the actual reality of camping a lot less and refuses to take me.  This is probably a good plan.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Menu Sunday

I say "Menu Sunday" like it's something I do every Sunday.  Or something I've done any Sunday.  But hey, other folks do menu days of the week, so I figure Sunday is as good a day as any.  And I have actually been cooking some things recently, rather than just growling at PB that I need Chinese takeout, which was my MO when I was so busy trying to catch up after the wedding.

Here's what we've been eating lately:

The in-laws gave me a ton of corn to freeze, so I've been serving a lot of corn on the cob.  Delicious.  The ribs were on sale when I was poking around at Food Lion, and they turned out to be absolute perfection.  I didn't change a thing about the pork recipe and it was amazing.  Definitely brown the ribs before you cook them - don't skip that part!

Oh, and PB did all the plating and fixed "dessert" - sliced apples.  Cute.

Fondue night!

Or "Cook Your Own Damn Food Night" as PB calls it.  My friend Lia introduced me to this idea and it's a lot of fun.  Normally, I get more into this with a spice rub, a bunch of different kinds of meat, and maybe even chocolate fondue for dessert.  But this time, since it was just me and PB, I grabbed a pack of spicy Italian Johnsonville brats on sale at the grocery store, some mushrooms, and chopped up some potatoes I had.  

I fired up a little cooking material in the fondue part, which is just half red wine and half vegetable broth, or thereabouts.  I add a little garlic, salt, and pepper and BAM, fondue.  Fair warning though - the boiling wine sauce in your house is going to make it STANK.  It's worth it, but get ready for a night of your house being a little smelly.

Creamy Tortellini Soup

I liked this recipe a lot, but PB was not a fan.  Basically, anything that doesn't include meat isn't a winner in PB's book.  After we finished, the little meanie goes, "Okay, so what are we eating for dinner?"

So maybe it's a little girly.  But I'd recommend it.

I made some banana nut muffins to keep around this week.  Because you know, what I need is muffins to add my already-off-the-chain muffin tops.  But they're yummy and weren't hard to make.  

Chili, which is sort of my own creation.  I've played with about a million different recipes and finally figured out what works for us.

1 package McCormick slow cooker chili seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon garlic

32 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can Ro-Tel, undrained
1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef

Brown ground beef and onion in skillet.  Drain well.  Mix in slow cooker with remaining ingredients.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

And there you have it - what we've been eating this week!

What's been cooking in your kitchen lately?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I love you because...

So far, the only thing from my Pinterest wish list I've achieved is the "I <3 you because:" board.  And I didn't even make that. I found it at a reasonable price on Etsy and decided I'd probably spend more money and do a poorer job if I tried it myself.  This, I have found, holds true for most all arts and crafts projects I decide that I need to tackle.

It turned out great, and PB hung it up in our bedroom and was even excited about it.  It's been really fun to write sweet messages to each other, and PB is actually doing it.  He wrote me a sweet note about how I cook for us most nights, and I wrote him a note about taking the weenie dogs out this morning so I could sleep in.

Of course, it's not all mushy-ushy-gushy.  Sometimes, things like this appear on the board:

Ummm.....okay then.  That goober.

In other news, I just now got over the terrible temptation of fall party cakes, and I go to Food Lion to get dinner supplies....lo and behold, that little temptress Little Debbie has put out her Christmas Tree Cakes.  And let me tell you, those are the BEST party cakes that come out all year.  Those little green sugar sprinkles?  Amazing.  Hellooooooo, holidays.  Is it acceptable for me to gain all of my holiday polar bear weight on November 2?  


If nothing else will drive you to the Little Debbies this week, sitting at my desk sure would.  I have been begging and begging for a printer.  Well, ask and ye shall receive.  We got a printer and a student computer, but there's just the one strip for internet plug-ins.  So yeah, I'm doing double Dutch until somebody can develop some kind of solution.  That doesn't involve me spending $500 for superlong interwebs cords.  Though I have to say, once the printer and my computer decide to get acquainted, play nice, and communicate, having a printer will be AMAZING.  Seriously.  

Things are exciting here, huh?  Okay, back to wine, Little Debbies, and Duggar watching.  Because I deserve it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloweenie!

Happy November!  I can't believe how fast fall is FLYING by.  Seriously, Halloween snuck up on me and I was totally unprepared, and it's going to be Christmas in about five seconds.

How unprepared for My Most Favorite Holiday of the Year was I, you ask?

Well, you know my parents always have a huge crowd of trick-or-treaters, basically a whole mob of people.  The landscaping folk rope off all the yards on the street.  And we decided about 3 hours before trick-or-treat time that we were in fact going to hand out candy.  So I was sitting on the porch with my measly little bucket of candy, waiting for my mom to get back with a more appropriate amount of candy, and this is the scene I faced.

Which prompted me to be on the phone with Mom, yelling, "I NEED BACKUP."  Ohmygoodness.

It turned out to be a fun, if tiring, little evening though.  

Our neighbors really did a great job of decorating, as usual, a department that I completely slacked in this year.  They were outside with a chainsaw (chain removed), chasing children, and basically scaring the living bejeezus out of everyone.

They do have a really stinkin' cute grandkid:

And these little guys were my favorites of the whole night:


Too precious.

Here's hoping you had a fantastical, wonderful, amazing Halloween!