Friday, September 23, 2011

Bon Voyage, Triple Eff

Hey, party people!

It's my last one of these posts for a while; I won't be able to cook for soooo long.

::: roundhouse kicks Moving in the jugular :::

Our house? Full to the brim with boxes. Everything is off the walls, everything that can be packed is packed, and we're all systems go. But, ummm, that also means kitchen stuff. Lame, right? Doiy. Of course it is.

We have food, obviously. And, I *do* cook, but, people?? It's causing me physical pain to not be able to use my dinnerspinner app, or breakout my heavy artillery (which common folk may refer to as kitchenware. Whatever.). Meals, albeit tasty, consist of inventive ways of cleaning out our fridge and cabinets. I like putting more thought into the meals. But, I have to make intelligent decisions, which means using up food rather than throwing it out because we can't take it with us.

I mean, it's like Picasso without his brush.

hahahaha!!!

:::finger guns and creepy winking:::


Anywho, I'll survive. You'll see why down below, but I definitely earned enough points with the males in our casa to last until I get to my new kitchen!


Can we just talk about this shirt? Definitely not for me; it's for J-Bone. I got it about 32 years ago on the first girls' day because it was from Target and it was, like, $4.50. WIN.

Anyway, you guys have seen how I dress. The only way I'd dress any girlier is if glitter exploded on me. I say this because we were at the commissary a couple weeks ago and a lady referred to Jake as "she". OK, I get that people are ra-tards once in a while, and his needing-a-haircut 'do may have thrown this lady off. Fine. I can deal. But, LOOK AT ME. The boy was in his LA shirt (Doyers, baby!) and tan cargo shorts. Can we just use our deductive reasoning skills and come to the conclusion that I'd dress any daughter o' mine more femininely, until she says she wants otherwise? Can we all just agree on that? I mean, I'd never be the mama that dresses her in pink from head to toe, but more girly than....cargo. shorts.

Anyway, that's my whole spheel on the boy. That picture up above is an indicator of rad little stuff I prefer him to wear. So, yeah, he's very much a 'he'.

As for moi, JCPenney is, more or less (except actually 'less'), sponsoring this post. The top down below makes me feel fab'. And, I didn't get a picture of the back because, per the uje, we were getting out the door and I didn't have time. But, this was for Angie's cookout, so I was happy to do so! Anyway, the back crisscrosses, at the top, and I heart that. I love little accents such as those.

Oh, and the top-----> $4.80.


JCP supplied this for $7.80 and OH. MY. GAWD. I love it. It's so retro to me and super comfy. This may have made me extra excited because I wore it to our Trader Joe's extravaganza.

Love by association.

Are you guys aware of the all the knowledge I drop? Promise...go watch how people push their shopping carts. IT IS how they drive. Science.

I should totally be a mobile shout-out on Cash Cab.

Ha!



And, 100% because of Pinterest, I tried out the waterfall braid for the first time! I think it went pretty well! Fine tune a few things and I'll sport this bad boy until my deathbed. Just kidding.

I'm a big fan.

Food!

For the first time in my 26 years, I made corned beef.



I was making it for corned beef hash. Gary and I both remember having it when we were kids. We only had it when we went camping, or else I may not have made it the whole 26 years, but I always remembered liking that very distinct taste.


My potato status as of now: I hope to never see one ever again.


Finished!

It was so, so good. Not something I intend to make any time soon, but very good! A hearty meal with a capital HEART.

Competely homemade apple pie.

I'll wait while you sop up that salivation.

All the time Every once in a while, I will get an itch to make something like this. It'll just spring up on me while watching Spongebob, I'll make my declaration, and we'll keep moving on with our day.

They're used to me by now ;-)


I mean, HOMEMADE apple pie. I made the filling with apples that were peeled and cored by my, you guessed it, apple corer and peeler!

I also made the crust.

Usually I'll get the boxed mix to make a crust, but I realized I've got all the same stuff the box does and my stuff is FREEEEEE.

Plus, any crust recipe that calls for the food processor is a Weiner! in my book. For those of you who have cut-in butter, I'm totally looking at you.

I tore apart the apples and "seasoned" them with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. I added more of the mixture because the apples seemed a little more tart to me so I had to tones those biatches down.

Hi, I'm Samantha and I have a crust problem.

They're good, really good. They're light, and flaky, and DE-LISH. But, they fall apart sooo easily. I always have to be very gentle and use my daily quota of swear words to get it done. So, if you have any suggestions on how to keep the taste, but make them a bit more sturdy, I'd love ya!

But, to be honest, who cares what it looks like when your husband, literally, uses the phrase "life-changing" to describe your pie.

And, that is NOT what she said.


Jake liked it, but wasn't in love with it. As many of you know, Jake doesn't have the biggest sweet tooth in town. He'd rather have real food. Whether it be fresh fruits and veggies, or goldfish, or actual meals, he skips the bad-for-you snacks and goes for closer-to-natural tasting stuff.

Proud mama right here!

::: raise the roof :::

Alright, loves, this is it! I won't be cooking for so long. At least it's not cold turkey, I s'pose.

But, you guys....COLORADO. NEXT. WEEK.

So, until then, I'll be playing Tetris. I mean, packing.
xo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Multitasking

Yesterday, I had a to-do list to tackle. So, I got after it. But, once I looked around our kitchen and playroom, I saw that I was accomplishing so many things at once. And, ever the diligent blogger, I thought I should document the festivities.


Had to bake the chicken, which was thawing in the fridge, for chicken salad.

...while making apple butter to be canned...


...and getting dinner into the crock pot...

...all the while feeding Jake snacks of organic crackers with parmesan artichoke dip.

Let's be real. With everything I was doing, h-e double hockey sticks to the YES I was going to feed him cracker bites as opposed to leaving him to his own devices. I was already making a mess, no need for two!


And, the boy? In between bites, he deemed it unnecessary to play with stuff I considered keeping for myself...



He'd rather play with the wheels of our desk chair.


Obviously.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Makin' some memories.

I swear on Toby Keith, someone up in here best know who Tim Riggins is.

This past weekend was all kinds of awesomesauce.

As it should be; it's one of our two last weekends here!

I know.

We kicked off the weekend with a cookout with a family I am creepily-wild about, the Richardsons. I mentioned one of my favorite people, Angie, a post or two ago and she belongs to said family. Her and I, and our shorts ones, had hungout a handful of times, but it was never a family extravaganza. Gary and I left their house Saturday night wishing we had been spending oodles of time with them, bordering on wearing-out-our-welcome amounts of time. They're just good people.

And, ya know how if you're going to a party, of some sort, you may sometimes be a little iffy since you won't know the rest of your hosts' friends (mostly because not everyone will talk to just about anyone like we will. Sorry, strangers)? We never felt that, and it was never necessary. There were two other families at this cookout and they were just as amazing as our hosts. It felt like we'd all known each other forevah.

Plusalso
? Any group of people who can quote Family Guy are at the top of my list.

I think it's a testament to the time we had that I don't have one picture of Jaden, Angie's two year old, and Jake playing together, or the mouth-watering brisket we inhaled, or Jake crawling right into Angie's lap while we ate.

That, or I'm just lazy as f*ck.

Whichev.


But, we did have a stupendous (<---right?!?) time. It's hard to have anything but a 'Dear Diary..' time when your toddler instantly acts like he's at home in someone else's home.

OK, enough about my stalker-like tendencies.

Sunday was something for which my dear heart beat. Sunday was marked as 'Trader Joe's!!!!! <3' on the calendar. Mama don't play.

First, as is always a rule by which to abide, we ate at Red Robin because you NEVER get groceries, no matter how small the trip, while you're hungry! Fo' shizzle.





Ceiling fans: Jake's kryptonite.

In the same shopping center lives a Books-A-Million. I'm, kind of, a die-hard Borders fan; mostly because they're going out of business and I'm saving serious cash money feeding my reading addiction. However, a book store's a book store. Almost-totes. Plus, it gives me the warm-fuzzies since Jake loves to read. The first thing he does in the morning, after I lift him out of his crib, is grab the book he was read off his toy box the night before, at bedtime, and read while I get his breakfast ready. So, yeah, us + books = <3

We got him a book, as part of his birthday present!!, and me a couple books (which will soon become Gary's couple books):

The same Bro Montana that recommended I read Lone Survivor (by Marcus Luttrell---in case there's any way I haven't burned that into your subconscious---> run and go buy it. DO IT) also recommended Seal of Honor, which is about one of the four extraordinarily heroic men in/of the previously mentioned Lone Survivor. As SOON as I hit 'save now' on this post, I'm picking up that book and getting it on. And, then watching Mad Men. Guys, I just started this show and...whoa doggie, LOVE!

And, just like Christmas morning...

Umm, hai. I'm Trader Joe's and I'm DA BOMB.

Jake was practically asleep in the cart the entire trip. I, on the other hand, was skipping merrily throughout my kryptonite in manner very reminiscent of Mary Poppins.

Gahhh, what if that were true?!

Organic cracker assortment, Parmesan & Artichoke spread---the boy loves it!, organic butter, mini-Trader-Joe's-version Reese's (doiy), Organic Concorde Grape Juice, a protein drink, avocados (no grocery trip is complete with them).


OK, friends, I'm off to read about a courageous man and watch 1960s infidelity.

Deuces!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Triple Eff!

Waddup, loverfaces?!

Happy Friday!

I'm only going to be able to ONE more of these posts before we move!!! Umm, hai, cooking withdrawals! Not to mention---> DRESSING WITHDRAWALS! Peeps, I'm going to be wearing less than spectacular clothing on our 18 hour drive to Colorado, which is....le duh. But, what's really putting the stick in my spokes? We'll be living out of a suit case for forever while waiting for our housing assignment at our new post so I'll have a very limited range of things to wear. Unexcited? Yes. However, I doubt I'll be attending any dinner parties during our travels so we should be good.....

While I can still break out the cute stuff!:

I have mad love for this vest! The only thing that sucks is that I had to snap this pic of moi because G-unit was at work and the entire vest went up with my arms! Holy Tragedy. Anywho, even if the picture isn't perfect, I freakin' adore this vest.

So, it became surprisingly chilly a week or two ago and this little crop-cardigan was about the extent outside my summer clothes I was willing to go. Hey, it had sleeves!

Isn't this necklace to die?! Well, not everyone may think so, but I think it's super cute without being too much. My kind of ratio.


Besides the color blue and totes adorbs necklaces, I harbor a major affinity for racerbacks.

I can't believe it hadn't dawned on me until, like, yesterday to get a picture of me in my zumba shirt! I only do zumba 5 days a week! [well, now I replaced two of those days with yoga, but you get the point...] Does anyone else feel very Joe Dirt about this picture?!

Moving on, children.

The food! The last time I did this post the food was lacking. This time? I'm pretty sure I've covered the food spectrum!

First up: Creamy Shrimp in Rice.

That's right, shrimp.

We're fancy-schmancy up in here.

Well, this'll probably be the only time I cook it, but whatevs.


Sauteing red pepper, onion, and garlic


Toss in some peas. You're supposed to use sugar snap peas, but I used regular peas because I'm gangsta.
It's actually all I had and I doubt my boys give a shadoobie what type of peas are in their meals!

Toss in the shrimp. The shrimp was, pretty much, perfection. At $8/lb, it better taste life-changing.


Mixed with some garlic Phili cooking creme and serve over rice.

You're welcome ;-)

*Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole---->

except it tasted nothing like Chicken Cordon Bleu. It's got the same stuff in it--chicken, ham, cheese...ya know, all the food groups. Tastes completely different, but still a really good dish!


Chicken, cooking creme, asparagus spears (cut), ham, and crushed Ritz crackers.


Layered in a greased pan and covered with swiss cheese.

So, you're supposed to serve it over rice. Woops.

*Mexican Taco Quiche
Ole!


I made this for dinner, even though it's intended for breakfast/brunch, because I don't play by anyone's rules. Not even my own. Family Guy with my food and fashion? Um, yes please!

This is a bowl full of eggs, salsa, milk, bell pepper, and Mexican-style cheese blend


....which would be poured atop this ground beef seasoned with taco mix


Isn't that the most beautiful crust you've ever seen in your life?! Crusts used to be my nemesis. Now, they're my biatch.


Gary couldn't get enough of this! Jake didn't feel real great the night I made it, so he didn't eat much. That wasn't a giant kick to my ego or anything ;-) But, glad one of my boys ate it up!

*Creamy Chicken with Broccoli

So, I got all these recipes off my allrecipes.com dinner spinner app and I'd like to lodge a formal complaint. How about we come up with a title that doesn't just list the ingredients! I need something inventive! I'll turn to Pinterest....


Broccoli, red pepper, garlic and chicken.


All tossed in a pot with pasta and cooking creme. Jake ate it like his mouth was going on sabbatical.

OK, dolls, did I make up for the last one of these I did?! Next week, I need to pull out the big guns, with it being my last of these posts for a while. I'm making more apple butter, but I doubt you guys want to see 27 jars full of the heavenly nectar again. I am, however, making an apple pie completely from scratch. That's right, no from-the-can filling. No store-bought crust. Holla!

I'll try my best to rock your faces clean off.
xo

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Gym Chronicles: Perv Edition

I go to the gym to workout.

Shocking, I know
.

But, I also go to laugh with my friends. Because we're hilarious. But, I won't get into that.

Digression stopped in its tracks! :::high fives self:::

Going to a gym on an Army post isn't unlike going to a civilian gym; there are some guys there who are so impressed with themselves they stare at their own magnificence in the mirror their entire workout; there are women who go just to say, literally, they went to the gym that day---workout, maybe not so much; and there are some people who go to impress perfect strangers.

Ya know, just a day in the life of the gym.

Before we get started on the wrong foot, there are no intentional implications that I think I'm the only one who actually gets a workout in, or that the majority of people don't go there to work on their fitness.

But, these people are boring to talk about.


There's this one guy I swear is always there when I'm there. Ladies, you've totally encountered this guy. He's the one who stares so hard, with no regard for the awkward meter, you swear you have a booger hanging out your nose. I'm pretty sure if he spoke, rather than just burned me with his retinas, he'd have a Russian accent. Maybe, ladies, you don't know that guy, but you get the gist.

Whenever I walk by this guy, my mind goes back and forth between how to get him to stop. The options I've come up with? Picking my ass, or picking my nose. Either way, something's gettin' picked.

Hey, he dishes out the awkward, I'd like to give it right back.


Of course, by the time I've finished making my mental pros-cons list for which route would be best he's outside my personal space and, let's face it, picking my ass for no reason would just be uncalled for.

Until we meet again, Russian gym perv.

Or, how about the guy who, as he does curls or pull-ups or something else bicep-related, looks down at his arms, looks back at you, and then back at his arms as if to say, "Look how impressive I am. These arms? Their mine!"

I've decided the look that guy should receive is the look of confusion I'd have if someone asked me to divide 8761 by 241.

Of course, none of these things need to be done by me; ladies, join in! Throw the awkward right back at 'em!

One day, I was at the gym with Annaleigh and Amy and some guy walks by, stares at Amy's butt so blatantly he didn't even care when everyone was looking at him, totally surprised by his lack of grace. Look, gym perv, I know Amy's butt is bongo-worthy, but, for serious?? Exercise some sort of stealth, puhlease!

So, Pervy Perversons, I think that's all we ladies ask. I know, I know. God put us here simply to be ogled by you, a stranger, but can you be less painfully obvious? Because the answer to your question is 'No".

Seriously, no thanks.

Really.

No.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Great Move.

Have you heard? We're moving.

And, it's coming up faster than you can say TraderJoe's.

It's hitting me an entirely different way now; just a couple weeks ago it felt like chaos for a 2-3 day stretch, which felt like 2-3 months. Now that the eternity of those 2-3 days is over, I'm realizing all the things I'm going to miss.

Please don't take offense to this, anyone. This is in no particular order.

*TRADER JOE'S

We've already made plans to go there ONE. LAST. TIME. Umm, does anything make you love something more like having it taken away?! When we go, I'll have to take pictures to chronicle our last trip there. Ya know, action shots of picking up organic products and freakin' tasty food. I'll blog those. Man, wouldn't that be the edge-of-your-seat post? HAYOOOO!!

*The friendlies!

As of now we're in the process of making final dates with those who make up our village. I'm thinking about my friend Angie, whom we're supposed to hang out with this weekend!, who I met at a birthday party and instantly loved her face right off. Or, my dear friend, Christian. This girl is the cat's pajamas and I've always considered her a good friend, even though we've hardly seen each other since we graduated college. Christian, I know you're reading this because you love me back--we can't let our upcoming date slip through the cracks! And, my Whitney. This girl is full of fabulousness. Totes. Stop going on vacays long enough for me to date you! ;-)


Not to leave out anyone else, it's just that you realize just how important the people you don't see as often are when you're about to move away from them! We love our huge lot of friends and are gonna miss the stuffing right outta ya! xo

*The zumba instructors!!!!

Gah! I have to leave them?!? This probably sounds all kinds of creeepystalkerish. But, this is how much I care: not. at. all. Their classes are so fun and the lights are off and there's strobes and stuff...

I doubt their level of awesome carries throughout the U.S.. No, I am not biased ;-)

*The atmosphere.

If it weren't for humidity that rivaled our Jamaican vacation, or bugs the size of small children, we'd totally set up shop in the good, ol' South. I like that you get a ton for your money out here; I like that I'm "honey" or "baby" or "sweetie"; I like that, more often than not, people are polite and courteous. I know, coming from California, people definitely had thoughts about us, but I think we really mesh well here.

*My stylist

Cristal, one of my favorite people on the planet, has done my hair for over 4.5 years! She's been a great friend, a great therapist, and someone who can bring me back from the dead when I was 7 weeks postpartum and my roots were hanging out by my ear lobes. She's hilarious and knows me and our souls just kind of go.

*Nashville, Bebeh!

Nashville houses the Grand Ole Opry, the unforgettable Opryland Hotel, The Parthenon, Red Robin (hallo!), Trader Joe's, MAC, Gigi's Cupcakes...... All of which we've visited multiple times and would have kissed Nashville right on the mouth for showing us such a good time. Perhaps we can squeeze in one more visit to Opryland?! As if things weren't getting busy enough with moving. C'mon, Samantha, get in the game.

But, we're also stoked about what Colorado has in store for us. Aspen, Rockies & Broncos games, wondering what kind of house we'll get (Fort Carson's on-post housing is sa-weeeet!), the new friends, etc etc etc....

Oh, and most importantly, creating more wee bebehs!!!! You guys, *I* have been the reason it got so hot in various parts of the U.S.; my baby fever is so off the charts my uterus is glowing. True Story.

Colorado: Just another place for to grow and conquer, amiright??




Friday, September 9, 2011

Haterade.

Now, to begin...I don't like when my world isn't just all copasetic and tied up with a bow. We're laid-back people and just, kind of, handle things as they come, but, I swear, sometimes do you ever just feel like you walked through a douche parade?

Gary and I have been talking about this topic of opinions a little more often lately because we frequently come in contact with someone who seems to have nothing but negative things to say to us.

Not to imply everyone should dig us; not everyone is everyone else's cup o' tea. No biggie. But, what I mean are the people who seem to go out of their way to get their jab in on you.

For this specific person, it would, initially, really get to me. I'd feel hurt, or put off; wondering how in tarnation they got their panties in such a twist.

Then, I realized I'm awesome and they are not ;-)


The more we've gotten to know this person, the answer seems to lie in their dissatisfaction with themselves; their dissatisfaction with their choices. So, what happens? They bring out the douchery in droves and catapult it our way.

But, in our true give-people-a-chance fashion, we decided to give it a bit more thought before we finally reached the point of I'm-about-to-dish-it-back-to-get-you-to-back-off-where-I'll-make-you-cry-using-only-my-words.

[Not that we, necessarily, want to make anyone cry. It's just that everyone has their limit. Totes.]

Our conclusion? If people want to think of you as stupid, or fat, or ugly, or insensitive, or a douche, or...the list goes on....they'll find a way. So often, people who work really hard to think of another person in a given light are so upset about something within themselves that they project it onto their unsuspecting victim. They see something within you they wish they could call their own. If you think about it, it's actually kinda flattering, no?

Idle hands, people, idle hands...

The little jabs, the little passive-aggressive comments (wait....HOLY REDUNDANCY) are annoying as shit, but I really, reallllly try to rise above it, turn the other cheek because it honestly has nothing to do with us, really. But, isn't that the hardest thing in all the land? How do you get past it? We are human after all.

Personally, I hope for the papercut.

Just kidding.

Mostly.

These people must be uber-stressed. I can only imagine it's pretty difficult to spend so much time thinking about other people, as those people go on and live their lives.

So, we came to a pretty outstanding conclusion about our conclusion: If we don't have respect for the person, as in they're a passerby in Target or just a douche canoe in general, your opinion holds a big, ol' goose egg as far as we're concerned. That sounds simple, right? But, can we be honest that it's not always the easiest to live by that? Everyone cares, on some level, about what others think of them. But, when you realize no one worth their salt would incessantly try to knock you down from the peg upon which they assume you perch, that "stress" of having to prove who you are dissipates wicked fast.

Again, this all probably sounds pretty elementary, but it's not; it's something that definitely comes with time. We're no old geezers, but getting a little bit older really helps to just be ok with you. So, if someone thinks I'm unintelligent because I don't have a job that pays, that's fine. If someone thinks Gary's heartless because he's a soldier, have at it. If someone thinks I'm a spazzoid about the cleanliness of my house because I don't let it get all Hoarders in here, get on with your bad self. It's no skin off my nose. We still gotta go about our bitness regardless of what anyone else thinks, ya feel me? You just can't control what people think.

I totally just flashed on Pinky and the Brain, ya know....tryin' to rule the universe. 'Member that show?

I write how I think, people.

And, for fun, because you've endured a therapy session with me in blog form, you've earned this: