Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The old lady dissed me on girls' day.

She wasn't feeling the estrogen-love, I suppose.

Amy, Annaleigh, and I had another girls' day this past Sunday because Amy is being lame, and not at all making me jealous--nope, and leaving Army life. Her husband's contract is officially dunzo. So, before she leaves us, and never again gets to dazzle me with her ballet-inspired moves during zumba, we had to give her a proper sending-off.

Girls' day commenced with Buffalo Wild Wings. Obviously, amiright?!

Coincidentally, there were also a lot of bro dates goin' on. Ya know, a couple bromances.

But, that's neither here nor there.

After leaving BWW short a few hundred wings, we went over to the mall to see the The Help. (Ummm, bom dot com movie! Does everyone else adore Emma Stone in the same fashion as myself? She's a spunky ginger and I enjoy her. Apparently so does Jim Carrey? Anywho, LOVE!). Did it matter that we left a restaurant and I instantly considered getting popcorn? No. Don't judge. I just know a good thing when I see it.

The theater was only mildly packed. No sardine status that day. But, get this: These three old ladies came to sit next to us (not to sound rude, but, once you hit a certain age, do you have to, like, use a certain lotion or perfume or something?!), myself being on the end. The first of the grandma-trio heads to the seat right next to me, looks at me, and switches with one of the other ladies.

Samantha: Bringing people together since 1985.

And, I double appreciate Amy and Annaleigh finding such humor in getting punked by a grandma. Just outstanding.

I picked my ego up off the floor and continued great talks about how boobs get you out of tickets.

This really has been a PSA.


Amy, it's been great getting to know you over the last few months! You're faboosh! Plus, we totally laugh at the same things. So, you, clearly, have amazing taste. You will be missed! Best wishes!!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

That time the Army made me want to dropkick a kitten.

PCSing isn't exactly a dream. It, kind of, sucks big, hairy toe and I wish it would just quit. But, it won't, so I'll write about it. Here comes a crap-ton of cathartic writing, peeps...

I have been, and always will be, the anti-procrastinator. I don't have things on my plate that get left there. I don't ignore the cleaning, or the dishwasher, or the laundry, or the errand-running (as much as I'd like to sometimes). I get my shit done so I never have to think about it again. I don't like that cloud that looms over you when you lay your head down at night thinking of the stuff you put off today that needs to be fit into tomorrow. Ain't my thang.

And, not because I'm better or worse than anyone (I definitely don't have a fat-head about myself), it's because I've always expected much of myself. I hesitate to use the term perfectionist because that brings with it a context of stress that I don't think applies. I just want to knock stuff out in such a way that it doesn't need to be baggage I strap to my ankle (see what I did there? Totally gave you a ball and chain written-illustration. Hello, bucket list.). I prefer to avoid stress at all costs. Ironically, that probably sounds stressful, but I'm sure someone out there in my e-world gets it!

Everyone that we've had to work with for this PCSing deal does two things that are just the bees' knees: (1) They give directions in such a way [read: like we're PCSing extraordinaires] that is so devoid of detail I swear to Lady Gaga that they make a game out of how little they can say to their victims (2) They speak in code. It's like, "hey, you need form 9870KG taken to building 83bravo. Stand on your right leg, recite the alphabet backwards, and that's how many miles it'll take you to get to Colorado."

Great.

My to-do list can be a mile and a half long, I don't mind that; what I mind is NOT KNOWING what is on my to-do list. And, people? We're moving in less than a month. To a place that is 18 hours away. Where the only way we can get out of this Bermuda Triangle of an Army post is to complete things, which need to be done in succession, that don't really have a starting point right now. Oh yes...it's the dream.

BUTTTTT.

We got some answers the other day that, unbelievably, improved my day. Ya see, kids, all I want are answers. To-do list? Load it up. Just tell me what needs to be on it and I'll rock your face off with my super-human anti-procrastinating powers.

Fo' sho.

So, even though the Army almost gave me a stroke at the ripe ol' age of 26 maybe it's not so bad? I wrote a post not long ago that my problems entailed capturing pictures of Jake instead of staring at his awesomeness, whether or not to get dressed that day, whether or not we should eat out, etc. I call these my "problems" because, to me, problems are not having a roof over your head, having an incurable disease, not knowing from where your next meal would come. These are all things (except for maybe the disease thing...) for which the Army provides rectification. So, it presents a real quandary when this biatch [the Army's a chick in this scenario for all intents and purposes] is confusing the life right outta me, yet enables me to stay home with my boy, pick up ingredients for pretty tasty dinners, and gives me a place to rest the noggin at night.

But, ya know what? This is my cathartic post so I'm allowed to say that the Army is still a biatch sometimes.

And, for now, the kitten is safe.

But, we will overcome.

Because?

WE. ARE. LAMAYS.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Triple Eff!

Happy Triple Eff, friendlies!

Gary's finally done with the lot of Army schools he's able to complete before we're onto The Great Move (referring to our Colorado move; I think that gives it a biblical feel, because the Army really does try to make things of biblical proportions. Word.) So, we've actually been able to go out as the wee family that we are! Hence the fact that I actually have dressed pictures of myself to spread out over Triple Effs!

:::finger guns:::

Let's light this candle...

First, [wow, a digression even before I really start. But you'll totally understand why] ya know what I'd love more than any amount of puppies and unicorn farts? Tory Burch boots. Specifically, the selma Riding Boot, in almond. They're tall and amazing and they're just aching to be featured on Triple Eff. Sooo.....let's make this happen, someone. Seriously. Anyone.


I picked up this little Hi-I'm-meant-for-summer halter on the girls' day I recently had with the amigas. It was under $10; JCP for the win! It's so loose, and flowy...doesn't make you too aromatic in sweltering Southern humidity. Plus, it comes in uber handy when, I don't know, you spent the day before you wore it eating your child's weight in popcorn and may desire a bit extra room. But, that's just a possible reason for wearing this cute shirt. Ya know, just spit-ballin'....

Hello, full-body shot! FINALLY! I do, indeed, have a lower half. My little nugget was entertained with Baby Einstein and I snapped this pic about .008 seconds before he walk in front of me so that he could look in the mirror to talk to me. Toddler science.

Pee Ess, I LOVE that the skirt has pockets. Nope, not for keeping my gum or baseball cards. Completely gratuitous pockets. And, I love them.

New neck bling, HOLLA!! Listen, this necklace is super cute, and makes me laugh, and is totally fun for an outfit that is mildly boring. This day I was wearing [obv] a pink tank, and just a short, tan skirt, and said to myself, "Self, that necklace is going to bring the zest to this ensemble". So, I wore it and it was fabulous.

The fact that my owl has bedazzled hooters is just... ::: dies :::


Food!

The first dish is chicken with mushrooms. Gary said it was absolutely amazing (YAY!!), but I had never worked with mushrooms before and those little shadoobies gross me out. Anywho...,

And, one more thing: I used to be terrified to cook chicken. I was always worried I wouldn't cook it thoroughly and bad things would happen. But, now I'm all, "I own you, poultry. Suck it."

Slice 'em, roughly, and line the bottom of the dish

Four pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts dipped in eggs and tossed in some breadcrumbs.

More mushrooms, to layer on top, and sliced mozzarella.

Browning the chicken on both sides.

Heading into the oven.

Finished product! Sooo juicy!

It was served with mashed potatoes and broccoli, but I was at zumba when they made their plates so no pics of the entire meal!

MONKEY. BREAD.

You've seen it on the blog before, but ya know what? It's comin' back atcha!

Dough ready to be morphed into biscuits, and counter prepped with flour so my dough doesn't stick.

Fun Fact: I love using biscuit cutters.

Tossed with cinnamon and sugar.

This was so good I literally burned my mouth not once, but about 13 times because I refused to be adult and wait 'til it cooled; that's really asking too much.

I can't remember what this dish was called, but when I asked Gary and Jake if it should become part of the rotation all I heard was the sound of forks wooshing to their mouths.

GAH! This one was so good. You, almost literally, toss ingredients in your crock pot and throw up some deuces.

It's Cream of Chicken soup mixed with instant rice, tossed in the crock pot. Next, layer your chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt and pepper to your liking. Throw some veggies on top. It called for celery, but I had carrots, so that's what I used.

A few hours later you get this beauty:


Jake was PUMPED about this meal. Could not get enough! Gary was all silent, too. I've learned silence during meals means I'm great and awesome ;-) Haha....I just find really great recipes!

Word to the wise: I got the allrecipes.com dinner spinner app for my phone and it has been supa fab'; ya know how you can get into a routine of what you make for dinner? Well, check this app out and it'll totally change that. Happy Hunting!

Until next Friday, I'll remain clothed AND cooking.

:::running man:::

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The cloth diaper dance.

Okay, friends, here's the haps....

This video is loaded with cute. In obscene quantities. But, what happens when your kid is being 37 different kinds of adorable? Your voice does things it shouldn't. Toward the end I go all pre-pubescent boy on you. Unintentional, but just do me a solid and don't have your volume up too loud :-)

Oh, and if there's a way to flip a video from its side to an upright and locked position haven't a clue how to do it!

Enjoy, dolls!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Triple Eff.

Happy Friday, Friends! Time for some Triple Eff!

I'm not as big of a fan of alliteration as those opening sentences may have portrayed.

Anywho!

I know I mentioned that it's nice to get out of the house when Gary's doing this schooling million-hours-a-day crap, but want to know what else is nice? Wearing my glasses rather than contacts--and realizing that maybe I don't look as bad in my glasses as I always think I do!, not wearing make-up and watching how happy my skin is about that, giving my hair a break from its usual torture, and not living by the clock. Oh man, I gotta clarify what I said...I reallllly hope I didn't give the impression I'm a frumpy-heap of a wife that Gary is subject to seeing! I still pull myself together, but in different, and glorious, ways. Either way, Gary's the sweetest husband on the planet; always, from the bottom of his heart, reminding me he thinks I'm beautiful...even when I don't bust out the MAC :-) He's amazing <3

That whole shpeel was supposed to get at the fact that I don't have many pictures of myself dressed in real clothes. We're all more interested in the food anyway, right?!


I guess I just can't step away from the Grecian theme I had for the ball. Well, people told me this top reminds them of the Greeks, anyway! I love it either way!

At least it's not blue!

Shit---->

Not a freakin' clue why I look lopsided in this picture. But, hey, it's still a maxi dress and, most importantly, can we take a moment to note that I do indeed have clean mirrors most of the time?! Respect!

Just an FYI: I've been taking pics from about halfway up because the boy is almost always in our room with me while I'm getting dressed, talking to himself in our full-length mirror (aka being adorable) so it'd be pointless to try to get a full-body shot because the boy the won't be moving from his spot! Eh, I'd rather watch him do his thing anyway <3

Food!

Personally, I think this pic of my completely-from-scratch sweet potato pie looks like a crap salad. Doesn't appeal to me at all. From this picture, that is. I tasted that bad boy and it was all kinds of supa-fabulous. And, not that I'm tooting my own horn...I just think I find amazeball recipes!

See that crust ring in the back? You use that to ensure your crusts won't burn! It's from Pampered Chef and it's fantastic. Plus, when you make the pie shell from scratch, a little bit of your soul dies if it burns because your oven suddenly turns into a supernova.


Light, flaky biscuits that'll change your life.


Blueberry scones
There will probably always be at least one dish on Triple Eff with blueberries. Guys, they're, like, a super fruit.



Vermicelli pasta with zucchini and smoked sausage. It's the easiest thing EVAH and it tastes complicated. WIN! The recipe called for a Dutch oven, but, since I don't have one, I just used my tall Rachael Ray pot.


This concoction is about to be Chili and Potato Casserole. Not really sure why it's called Chili anything since there's no chili in it. But, I don't care, it tasted good!

That's onion, sausage, and chili powder.

After spending some time together in a skillet....

Final product!
I imagine it'll taste even better when we're freezing our faces off in Colorado!


Have a great weekend, Triple Eff'ers!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My kid's the next Picasso.

Yesterday, for some reason, it popped into my head that Jake should fingerpaint. And, since my hair is in dire need of a doing and I'm sick of wearing hats, I took to the trusty internet for some fingerpaint recipes.

Found one!

It took longer for the initial ingredients to gel than the recipe said it would, so Jake would be napping before getting a chance to go crazy with some paints. Of course, he was none the wiser, but I was put off! I wanted to see my kid fingerpaint! ;-)

Anyway, so I finish the making the paints, and it was soo easy!







As soon as post-nap snack was over, I went all Black Eyed Peas and got it started in here. I showed Jake what was in the bowls, and told him we were going to fingerpaint! YAY!

I put his hand into the bowl and he lit up. He liked feeling the paint between his tiny fingers. Then, I took his hand and showed him how he made the art on his paper. I was annoyingly enthusiastic. He looks at me, smiles, and sprints off in the other direction.

I managed to catch him before he got too far, thinking he just wasn't sure what the heck was going on, and went for round two; stuck his hand in the paint, art'ed it up on the blank sheet of paper, and then he looked at me, smiled, then looked at his hand like "What the deuce?!?".

We took a Baby Einstein break and, ever the determined mama, tried again with one of my paint brushes. He liked it, but kind of just kept giggling like he couldn't believe how wild his mama was!

I waved the white flag.

Not to give the wrong impression, it WAS fun and he did enjoy himself, I'd just hoped he was going to like it as much as I did! But, he'll like it when he's ready :-)

Here's his first masterpiece:


All you parents out there KNOW this, and everything he ever brings home, is definitely a masterpiece! :-)

You might have noticed we painted inside. I'm not insane in the membrane! Dish soap is part of the recipe, so it just wipes right up! Best recipe ever!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Girls' Day on a Sunday; I think that's how God would've wanted it.

Since Gary has been doing another one of the Army schools, I haven't been able to get to the gym because he's been working crazy hours, and we've been prepping for our move (in just over a month!), so we designated that God AND myself rest on the seventh day.

Sundays are G-unit's only day off, so we make sure that I get out of the house a few hours to keep my head from imploding, and subsequent cabin fever from sinking in, and to give my dudes a few hours to be just them since they're not seeing a whole lot of each other these days. I love Jake to tiny, ittybitty pieces, but I just want to relax for, like, a sec (&, my fav' part is still getting time with husband!!). The boy is so much fun, but how would I describe going somewhere without having to deal with the car seat?

Orgasmic. That's how.

So, me and my girls, Amy and Annaleigh, headed out to make it a joint-girls'-day. And, it was a blast!!

The major topics of conversation?

-vaginas
-waxing
-boobs
-movie popcorn---mostly me inciting that conversation. What a girl to do? Seriously. WHO DOESN'T LIKE MOVIE POPCORN? I yell that question at you because it's absurd for someone to not enjoy movie popcorn. Absurd.

Popcorn-related digression: So, we buy our tickets for the movie and immediately head to concessions. I order a popcorn and a soda and the concession girl asks, "Butter?". Umm, doiy. So, we get our seats and are happily enjoying the movie when I realize anything under the first layer of popcorn is lacking buttery-goodness. I cursed the concession Nazi.

Our movie of choice was The Change Up. Freakin' hilarious!! We were all rolling the entire time! Of course, that could've partially been to the fact that we were all just sitting at a movie. Sitting being the operative word. Jake's been to four movies in his young life and, obviously, does fine or else we wouldn't keep taking him, but when I heard the couple-in-the-front-row's baby aching for some sort of adjustment, I relaxed that much more. I kind of feel bad for saying this, and I know my lady-pals would agree, but clocking out for a little bit felt uber nice. There are 5 kids between the 3 of us. Point made? ;-)

We walked the mall, shopped, laughed at our own jokes (we're obviously hysterical), and felt a little antsy when not a one of us was holding a wee one, or pushing one in a stroller, or refilling a sippy. But, holding shopping bags wasn't too terrible of a way to calm those eager hands of ours!

But, these ladies kicked such epic amounts of ace I hope we can date on the regular! I mean, when you have ladies with whom you can speak of vaginas, you've got some keepers there.

True story.

Hope you had a great weekend, too!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I-can't-ever-make-it-Wordless Wednesday

I had been dying to make Nutella if but for no other reason than I wanted to see if I was able to replicate the best taste in the known universe.

So, I pulled up a few different recipes from the internet, picked my favorite, and set off to do some work.

Here are the recipes I have bookmarked in my "recipes" folder, in case you were wondering:

The one I used
The next one I plan on trying
A back-up, that I'm not as enthusiastic about.

The differences between the first and second links are minimal, but I wasn't sure how finicky Nutella was, so I wasn't sure just how much an impact those small differences would make.

Anyway, the recipe I used was soo easy! And, that much easier because of my new love down below!---->

Isn't is so purty?!?

I think I'll call her Bessy.

I have a few recipes where a food processor would have made things infinitely easier, but if I can do things that are a little more work yet saves some money, that's what I'll do. BUT, I had a horrible day last week and said "EFF IT! Mama's getting something to make life a little easier!"

I could not be happier I did! This Black and Decker food processor (from Kmart for $50) is a machine! And, not in the sense that it has working parts...in the sense that this bad boy liquified hazelnuts like it was cutting through marshmallows! Amazeballs!

First, toast the hazelnuts...


Toss 'em in the processor until they're a liquid....



Add some sugar and good stuff and VOILA! Nutella!


It's soo good! There's the slightest (I mean SLIGHT. Like, have-to-search-for-it slight) hint of a different taste to it, but, nonetheless, that crap is a chocolate spread you can take a spoon to! I was going to make more, but was making the intense decision of how to use the rest of my hazelnuts! Hazelnut butter? More Nutella (the obvious choice)? Some recipe I've yet to come across?

I'll probably decide while I'm double-fisting homemade Nutella into my gullet.

It's good. The proof is written all over his face.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I could've survived on the prairie.

...except for the whole loving electricity, shopping, and not contracting malaria, or whatever disease playing the Oregon Trail in elementary school taught me about, thing.

Well, since that title is only true in the sense that I really dig being self-reliant, I'll get to the pictures :-)


Apple butter!

I don't think I'll ever stop making this heavenly nectar. Gary and Jake uber love it! We use it with peanut butter on sandwiches, a little on waffles, on biscuits...it's quite the chameleon! I always end up giving some of it away, but, even so, I can it (LOVE CANNING!) and we still have it around for about 2 months! Needless to say, we don't buy jelly, or preserves or any of that stuff!

$15 bread maker!!!

I was perusing campbellyardsales.com, just because, and came across this gem. For $15, I got an automatic breadmaker and a recipe book! Hello, deal! Not to mention, the woman I was buying it from is a widow and trying to downsize her belongings so she can work on moving on. Anything to help a worthy cause. I've never made bread, but if I'm making all kinds of other crap from scratch, why not?! :-)


The arsenal

While looking at Pinterest, just because it makes me laugh!, I came across a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. It had crossed my mind to make my own dishwasher and laundry detergents, so this picture gave me the kick in the captain's quarters I needed! Remember, I'm a little on the crunchy side because, to me, it just makes sense!



Doesn't look like much; I only made the exact amount the respective recipes called for. I want to make sure I like the results before I make a big, fat batch! Not to mention, I think this is a gold mine----> I may not have made much but when you only need to use 1-2 tblsp's per load, that's a huge savings, it'll last forever!!

Oh, and it was all double-whammy up in here because I had to grate some Ivory soap for the laundry detergent and it made my hands soooo soft! Wait...triple-whammy? Saving oodles + self-reliance + soft hands. HOLLA!





A small sampling of our cloth diapers and cloth wipes. That bottle is full of cloth wipe solution, so that Jake's hiney still gets clean without the use of wipes. It was AH-MAY-ZING during deployment to never have to run out and get diapers, or wipes. Such a relief! Plus, that cute fluff is almost too much to bear! The only problem with cloth diapering is that you always want more because they're so cute! We have plenty of diapers to last through him, and our future nugget(s), so we don't need any more, but it's hard to resist!


I probably seem like some sort of hippie-chickie, but, I swear, I don't bend to knees and offer any chants Mother Earth! I just really enjoy being self sufficient/not needing to run out and grab something I can remedy myself. I can't even describe the savings, either!

Plus, I feel like I go through dishwasher detergent like I go through Diet Coke, so it's time to start making that biatch myself...


Monday, August 8, 2011

Just one.

A couple weeks ago, I finished (& I'll say again...) one of the most heroic stories I've ever come across, Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. My brother recommended it and, once I picked up a copy, I couldn't put it down.

I found myself reading 100 pages in one sitting. I couldn't stop myself. This nonfiction work about men with such heroism and valor is nothing short of awe inspiring. Not only the years of training and physical torment they put themselves through, even though those facts alone are completely incredible. What sits with me the most is their unwavering patriotism, their mental stamina. The fact that, when faced with any adversity, giving up is nowhere near an option for these heroes.

They willingly swore to protect you, me, and the ideals of our nation. And, unfortunately, as depicted by the title, not all of them live to tell their tale.

I kept telling Gary, who just started reading this book---which is why I won't say the book's details, this book lit a fire within me, but I wasn't sure what to do with it. I felt this overwhelming pride that America produces men like those I read about; I felt I owed it to them to pass their story to anyone who'd listen. Their story needs to be known. People don't understand the extreme danger that is overseas and I don't think the masses truly understand the mental capacity one must have to navigate such, what can be, dire situations. These men? Certainly not a dime a dozen.

My fire was nowhere near extinguished with the tragic loss last week of those 31 U.S. troops.

Do people understand? I'm honestly curious because Army Wives is as close as the majority of the U.S. gets to military involvement, which is fine; I'm not pointing that out as a fault. But, I think, in the mass media, and their heavily skewed reporting of what goes on in the military, the individuals that make up the military are forgotten. Instead, these fighting men and women are lumped together. These are not how the friends and family of each of those lost last week feel. To them? They lost a son, a daughter, a husband, a wife, a best friend, a parent....

Do people understand that a knock at the door of a soldier's house can change everything? Every family back home fears that knock every single day their soldier is off our soil. That knock where you're informed the last time you saw you soldier was the very last.

The loss of those American lives will change the course of their families' lives forever. Their member of the military will not grace their bedside, or sit down to a family dinner. Their hero will never enjoy another holiday with loved ones. Their hero made the ultimate sacrifice.

So, when Amy Winehouse dies and everyone is up in arms about it, I wish there was something I could do to help people prioritize. When the audacious group known as the Westboro Baptists goes on another tirade against a fallen service member, I wish there was some way I could make them understand that it was the soldier, Marine, seamen, airman, and SEAL that gave them the rights to run their atrocious mouths.

I was told once that I wasn't allowed to "complain" about my husband being overseas, that I wasn't allowed to be sad he was gone. The person telling me this said my husband chose this job, so I just have to deal with it. I wonder, how many of you readers are at your current job because there was a gun pointed at your head to fill out an application? I'm guessing zero, yet you still have days where work wasn't the greatest and you might want to vent about it. I knew what we were getting into when we decided to have a baby yet I have days where I wonder just what the devil is up with Jake. I chose it, but it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to have a bad day. Same for the military. They may have chosen a job where deploying to a land where people hate you is a possibility, but it definitely doesn't mean you have to like it.

I feel like my hands are tied; I feel like there is so much in my heart for the servicemember still with us, for the servicemember no longer with us. I wish I could do something. I wish there was some way I was able to convey just how much I appreciate what they do for us. But, nothing seems good enough, nothing seems grand enough.

Maybe this post will touch someone? Just one person to remember that the individual they see in uniform, looking like a thousand others, is still an individual. They've fought, and trained, and sacrificed time from their loved ones to protect a great nation. That, in this era of having to be respectful of everyone's way of life, maybe we can be respectful of those who gave us the ability to choose our way of life, rather than having it chosen for us?

Because these men and women deserve that much.

Gone but never forgotten.


"
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived"-- George S. Patton.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Food & Fashion Friday

Happy Friday, peeps!

I've been trying to remember to take pictures of crap I'm doing, ie wearing clothes and feeding the fam', so that I can continue to do these little posts (because they're just oodles of kick-off-yer-shoes fun!). Mmkay, that might have been a note of sarcasm, but I still like doing them! Plus, it gives me incentive to a) continue wearing clothes b) continue feeding the fam'.

In taking pictures over the past couple weeks, I've learned a few things:

1) I am obsessed with blue. Possibly obsessed and change it to fetish?
2) I spend much of the day cooking. Every day.
3) I have GOT to stop taking pictures before I clean the mirror. ::: V8 forehead smack :::

But, it's true. 9 times out of 10, I'm snapping a quick picture of myself, because G-unit's at work, right before we head out the door, thinking "Gah! That's so embarrassing; my lovingloyalfantastic readers are going to think I'm a hoarder, or something, with how dirty that mirror looks."

I swear, I keep a tidy house.

Onward and upward.

Wave hello to thee necklace, friends! This thing is faboosh. Undeniably. I love a tank in a bright, happy color such as this; it makes running errands with 327% humidity doable. Ok, never mind, nothing makes it doable. Is it hot as Hades where you are?!

I super, puffy heart the ruffles on this dress.
Also? NECKLACE!

This time, we wave hello to the boy in my elbow pit because, well, he's supa cute and 2) the necklace took a day off. But, love this dress! I saw it, quite a few months ago, and refused to live without it. Love me a maxi dress.

It should be noted, Gary was off on Monday, so I ran over, sans child, to Victoria's Secret to use my soon-to-be-expiring coupons. Not only did I get a shexshay new bra (my apologies to my brothas, and any church elders, who may be reading this blog) and a new pair of undies for $38 (!!!!!!!), but the cashier was telling me how cute my dress was. Learn something from some personable customer service, Whole Foods.

Onto what everyone is, understandably, most interested in: FOOD!

These are from-scratch blueberry waffles. Here's the recipe I use. I had blueberries on my hands that I was fearing would soon try to jump ship so I made sure to use 'em up! I double the recipe, quarter the waffles, store them in the fridge in a pyrex (FAVE!) container, then just grab however many I want in the morning! It's especially convenient on days I don't feel like making breakfast. Jake gets his covered in homemade pear-sauce (applesauce, minus the apples, plus the pears. science).


Cheeseburger and fries casserole. Normally, I don't make meals like this. I don't prefer cooking with frozen foods, and this house never sees a french fry as part of my menu, but this one was too fun to pass up!



Jake was very excited about it :-)

Cheesy pork and potatoes. Lemme say up front, I have an issue with taking pictures of anything when it's finished, apparently. I'm all jazz-hands about getting pictures during the cooking/baking process then completely forget to follow-through once the food is being divvied up. Sincere apologies, lovahs.

Oh, right, the pic is of lightly sauteed, in butter and veggie oil, sliced potatoes and onion.

Covered with the cheese "sauce"

Topped with pork patties. The boys gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Blueberry breakfast cake.
We deal in blueberries, guys. Totes.

Blueberries are such an amazing fruit for a growing wee lad like J-Bone so I try to keep them in the house pretty consistently.

Covered in it's cinnamon topping. It was soo good! And, reasonably healthy, too! Not too much sugar, or butter. Holla!

For future reference, I do believe I'm going to start referring to this type of post as Triple F.

Guy Fieri, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, anyone?

Bueller? :-)