Monday, February 28, 2011

Carnage and a dream job

The other night a friend went on a text sending spree that was filled with pictures and food for thought while she was watching a bunch of hardcore ladies take the skating rink in a major bloodbath. The team. The Trampires. The concept apart from skating around a rink is yet to be understood.

Our texting conversation was ridiculous and went like this, her texts are bold mine are italic.

These bitches are badass. In my past life I was THE roller derby queen

Are they growling?

Hell no they’re screaming! I’m going to a garage sale next week. I need skates now.

Oh no go to a skating rink and get a used pair. They’ll stink and you could get the penned name Red StankOnYa

Do you think they would let me into their chain gang? One is pretty small but she’s good.

How good? Could you take her?

I could totally take her but I’d be afraid she’ll come back and whip me

I have no idea what that means but I’m guessing she’s a mean bitch.

Really mean, do you really think I could do it?

YES stop asking me, go fill out an application that is probably on the inside of their skates.

These texts went on until I think she forgot what a telephone was and got hooked on the skating carnage. The truth behind this is that she really could be a roller derby girl. I can vouch for this, she’s got the mouth of a trucker and has zero patience for stupidity or anyone who disagrees. Which is pretty much everyone.

Whether being a Lead Jammer appeals to you as your dream job, these outrageous texts were hilarious and made me think about some of the random ‘dream jobs’ I have had throughout the years.

Professional Taste Tester

Pinkberry takes this by a landslide. My biggest fear would be tasting something that is absolutely disgusting and reminds you of poo. Gross. Best thing that could come out of this, finding gold for your palette. I have a friend who is a food scientist and tests certain acidic levels in food. How interesting would that be.

Professional Makeup Artist

Seeing as I can hardly apply makeup properly on my own face now, I am so thankful this was not the chosen profession! Plus I’d make someone look like a tranny mess.

Professional Carnival Folk

Carnies. Good GOD. I just put this one out for laughs. Seriously, clowns terrify me. I have not been to a circus since I was a wee child and will never ever take my own children to them because of this intense fear. Traveling carnival folk-yeah not so much. I’m sure they’re nice as pie with bearded ladies and crazy tents of terror but this gal is saying Nay as being a dream job.

Really and truly my dream job was to become a Primary School Educator between third and sixth grade, I started studying for it only to pull another ‘blonde moment’ and switch majors to the arts. Strangely I’m working at getting back into university so a dream really can come true in due time.

These are mine, they’re not as glamorous as a Chicken Sexer (they determine the sex of chicken eggs), Diaper Scent Sniffer (they’re clean diapers!) or a Roller Derby Diva but they just are.

Did you have a job that you dreamt about day and night that would have been perfect for you?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where's the wagon?

Its official and this is totally lame. The past couple of weeks have been horrible and I fell off of the wagon big time for the Challenge. That personal statement went through the window with the Mt Everest of personal avalanches that have plowed over every part of me and kept the sunshine away from the glittery blues.

When I should have been waking up to go to the gym, I was just flopping into bed. Fat Man Pants and I became very loyal friends. And 5 am became a restful hour.

Rather than drinking a gallon of water per day I was slinking my stress away in a bath tub filled of hot bubble-icious glory.This is debatable about being bad.

I haven’t eaten a full meal for weeks. It’s been coffee in the morning and maybe some toast in the evening. Plus there’s been champagne and wine thrown in the mix without food. Such a big NO NO.

In other words, oh holy mess girl put your happy face back on!

To get out of the slump, there are some positives here right? Yeah, I’m working on finding this bad boy out. I’m thinking it falls somewhere in between creating a spa in my washroom to creating a spa in the washroom. It’s heaven and my skin feels silky smooth.

And don’t we always find more negatives than positive? I let mind over matter take over, however when your mind is cluttered with:

-Stress of finding a job
-Dealing with your family
-Understanding why people are blaming you for being thousands of miles away
-Trying to socialize and gain friends

It’s very easy to lose sight of eating right, working out, sleeping for more than 2-3hours and so on.

Bring on the Cankles. No really don’t but thanks for cheering for cankles!

Horrible and this is no pity party, it is what happened. It’s how I’ve dealt with the situations, and being aware of this will hopefully help during the next rough spell but who knows until that happens. Hoping never ever again that’s for sure.

While the Challenge is about to wrap up, there’s still 28 days left (in the initial 12 weeks) to regain some form of control and use that control in other aspects that have been affected. I’ve made a promise to myself to get into the gym when I can. A meal plan has been restructured to get back on course and I busted out the CD with city sounds to play during the night so hopefully that will get me back on track with a regular sleeping routine. You know you’re from the city when you miss the sounds of firetrucks and drunken people roaming the streets.

Rather than feeling depleted and guilt ridden over this I’m more thankful for the awareness of the behavior that sprouted. It’s been helpful in understanding how I deal with things which changed with the absence of core support.

Life happens and throws us obstacles, it’s a serious pain in the ass and aggravates me to no end that I’m stressed out over things I have no control over but I do have control over how these things affect me and how to deal.

For this next week a plan has been set and I’m sticking to it for eating right and working out but not killing myself over lost time. It’s a thing in the past and I’m moving forward, 28 days forward.

This is the way it’s going to be from here on out. For Life. For Health. For Sanity. For Everything Wanted.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just a peek...

*All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Yikes, sorry for that bit of ugliness but seeing as this piece is currently under review it was a mayjah must.

In an earlier post (Stay Close to Your Phone and Closer to Your Email) I wrote about being contacted by a literary agency regarding representation of a manuscript that was basically collecting dust and totally fogotten about. While the word is still mum, it drives me crazy that the work sits behind locked file folders. Here is a little sneek into the manuscript, for protective purposes (sorry!)the title,plots/subplots and synopsis are not being posted but always feel free to comment, send feedback. It all helps because even editors miss something here and there.


A warm hand stroked the back of her head; that much she could feel. Her body lay motionless on top of a million shattered pieces of broken windshield beginning to stain crimson from the blood spilling from her body. It felt like a terrible dream that and she could not wake, only she was awake and could barely see her surroundings. The skin above her eyes felt heavy and the pressure began to ache, they were swollen shut. Where was she, what had happened? Had she slipped into some kind of purgatory? There was a chill so she knew hell was not near.

Attempting to turn her head and make sure she was still alive; a simmering voice through the distance called out to her. “Stay still, the ambulance is coming.”

God she was still alive, a small glimmer of hope began to spread through her veins but ceased as it reached the tightness in her chest. Strands of hair she had straightened less than a half an hour before had become saturated with blood, her own blood and it was beginning to dry at the ends causing it to stick to the littered pavement. Through the slits of her eyes she is able to see a dark figure, but the pain of keeping them open is unbearable and they quickly drift shut. The dark figure pushes a lock of her now crusted hair behind her ear.

There is a spark in the back of her eyes and she is suddenly terrified that she will die on the warming pavement in the arms of an unknown person, scared she will die alone. An odd sense of terror clouds her mind when the only sounds that penetrate her crippled ears are coming from the slowing beat of her heart and the labored breathing expelling from her rapidly filling lungs. Fearing this is the end she feels as though she has failed herself and cannot figure a way to repent for her shortcomings. For a moment she thinks of all of the regret she swore would never be present in her lifetime. She thought of the lives she had injured including her own caused by denial, there was a small part inside of her that wanted to let go of all of that anger, to move on, she wished she would have taken the call the evening before. As the sun beats down and her body cools she knows she has failed.

Her body was getting cold but the heat from the dark figure next to her kept it warm and the panic melted away as lifetimes began to pass. These streets came with no guarantees and had always offered comfort as she walked down them. A moist tear escapes the corner of one swollen eye, sliding down through the open scrapes of her face, hydrating the crisp edges of the cuts. She releases an unsteady breath. Somewhere behind her, a shrieking sound echoes as it draws near, the sound jolting her and she again felt the cold rush sweep over her body.

The dark figure that had minutes before kept her warm was gone and a different shape took its place. A scream escaped her lips as she was lifted from her precarious position on the pavement and carefully placed on some kind of stiff board. A thousand thoughts rushed to her mind, regrets she wished she could take back. Resentment she wished she could resolve. Pleading to god in her head, she asked to be spared. She wasn’t ready to die, there was too much at stake.


The morning was already starting to be a mess. She’d known from the minute the alarm went off that this was the best time to do this sort of thing, or so said the instructions that were written for the common idiot but made Anna Karenina seem like a piece of cake. Something about high concentration of hCG, was that a hormone? She should know the answer, from Health Class or was it Biology? At this point she didn’t much care. A young girl of fifteen sat on the edge of the small white corner bathtub in a very drab bathroom suited for an upscale boutique hotel rather than two absentminded teenagers who held no appreciation for fashionable living and preferred blue over pink. Both of her knobby knees touched with each leg stretched out in an awkward position, she was nervous as ever but had nowhere to hide. One of her elbows rested on a knee and dangled the other hand at her side, her eyes fixated on a single piece of plastic that sat like a ticking time bomb near the sink.

Ashley’s heart raced and she forced herself to close her eyes to ease the suspense, god this was so stupid, why did three minutes feel like an eternity? She could have taken those three minutes to go downstairs and fill a bowl with some cereal, tossed in some milk and savored the sugary texture that would rot her teeth in five or six years filling her mouth with cavities and worn down enamel. Taking a deep breath she raised her head only to have a curly lock of hair the color of maple syrup fall over her black metallic shadowed eye. The makeup was still drying and a few stray strands stuck to the lid. Since there was no clock in the bathroom and often because of it, made her late for catching the bus, she stretched over to check the time from the adjoining doorway that led into her room and squinted through the strands of hair. One more minute.

She toyed with the toilet seat covering, had she remembered to place the result window up? She desperately wanted to look over at the test but held off. What was the trouble in waiting one more minute, even if it did last a lifetime. A loud bang interrupted her thoughts, startling her from her delicate perch on the bathtub; she immediately fell backwards and reached out and clung to the lid of the toilet. Her pale face flushed, heat filling her cheeks with the scare and a roaring voice of a young boy followed the bang.

“Hurry up. You’re taking forever!”
Every ounce of frustration over someone who’d been locked out of the bathroom for longer than twenty minutes dripped from his tone. She stood up only to push down her silver top and twist the ties so that they would fall at her sides and spoke in the direction of the closed door.

“Lay off Miles; just give me a minute will you?”
The boy let out a large grunt clearly not ready to give up a fight and banged louder. The tension began to rise and her shoulders bunched. Her voice dropped dangerously low; resting her forehead against the door she said, “I swear, if you bang one more time I’ll tell Dad exactly how you snuck out of your room on Saturday. Don’t think I didn’t hear you.”
Taking the hint for fear of their father’s wrath, Miles stopped banging, speaking quickly to her before walking off.

“I didn’t go anywhere. You don’t know anything.”
“Oh really, why don’t you tell Dana Adamson to stop running her mouth then.”
“It wasn’t Dana you idiot it was Jackie, so don’t even-“He stopped talking, realizing that she hadn’t known anything at all and gotten the truth out of him. “You’re such a brat, what’s wrong with you today?”

Her mouth curled into a wicked smile, he was too easy. The relationship she had with her brother always seemed to be something of the unexpected. With one year separating the two, she being the eldest they got along impressively apart from the morning cat calls out of the bathroom that they shared. Both became accustomed to seeing each other daily at school and outside activities and even shared some of the same friends. It would not come to a surprise to her if they’d share a few classes once Miles made it to high school. But that was not for another year and she was not quite ready to leave the small space just yet regardless of his early morning yelling antics.

Ashley turned back to look at herself in the mirror avoiding the plastic piece of doom just in front of her. Wait, what how much time had passed? She twisted to the door frame and looked at the clock. Oh god, this was it. Taking a deep but shaky breath, she walked closer to the free standing sink.

The bathroom was horrid and pretentious, when her parents were going through their “rough spell” as they’d told both her and Miles a couple of years ago they decided to re-structure the house so that it would feel more like a sanctuary. Sanctuary for whom? Every time she walked into the bathroom she felt like she was transported into a post modernistic pile of garbage, with the lifted glass sink that always splashed water over the rim to the black and white tiles that were placed on the walls behind the toilet.

It was hideous and out of sorts, but then again it was a bathroom and right now it was her locked bathroom. Her temporary sanctuary. For a moment she stood and looked at herself in the mirror trying to push out a fake smile only being able to manage a half crooked look of fear instead. Looking straight into her eyes, there was an urgency to search for her soul she could not deny. Trying to be convincing she kept repeating to herself that everything was going to be alright, just because she happened to get a little cotton mouthed yesterday and had to rush to the bathroom after being passed by a greasy slab of pizza in the cafeteria gave her the urge to throw up. It could have been anything.

A thousand excuses passed through her but none of them seemed all that persuasive of swaying her doubts. She could blame food poisoning. Yes, definitely food poisoning. She should be thankful she threw up her lunch, she didn’t have to worry about feeling guilty when telling her friends she had a couple of pieces of bread even if it was rye and a candy bar that she’d found in the back of her locker that must have fallen out of one of her bags, only she had enjoyed her sandwich, savored the candy and hated ever having to defend eating whatever she wanted because she had a naturally thin body structure.

Maybe it was a flu bug; that could have been it too. No, that definitely could not have been it, she felt fine as soon as she threw up her lunch so the flu was out of the running. She stuck with food poisoning, but knew with a missed period that came like clockwork, it wasn’t. Hoping for the best, but thinking of the worst she reached for the test.

“Oh my god.” The words left her mouth in a breathless gasp. In the window of the pregnancy stick a small plus sign as bright as the pink curtains in her room appeared. Suddenly her mind was free of any thoughts of being sick, like a black hole they had been consumed by the likes of an at home pregnancy kit. Her hand lowered to her side and she dropped the test to the floor. With her quivering mouth falling open, her knees began to buckle and she did not try to force herself to stand as she sank down onto the floor. Uneasiness crept up her spine and settled onto the hairs on the back of her neck. Pulling her knees up to her chest she held them together, cradling her body from what she feared most.

What was she going to do? Her breathing quickened and sweat started to bead at the top of her forehead. This did not happen to girls like her. Girls that were raised by somewhat loving parents who fought more than they said I love you but they still loved each other. Someone who was raised in a functional household that was financially stable and the floorboards weren’t popping out, but there was in fact a tile missing in one of the bathrooms. How could this have happened?

She had known how this could have happened but that did not stop her from screaming that out loud in her mind. Questions raced through her, filled with rage and fear. She couldn’t believe it, all it took was an end of the summer party where a much older guy with magnetic eyes had made her laugh and feel pretty. After taking a couple of shots of vodka stolen from the liquor cabinet at whoever’s house they were in and feeling all too warm and fuzzy cuddled up with the him on a couch.

She found herself being whisked away in his pickup truck; they talked about some of their friends and nervously laughed when he mentioned being pushed into an unheated pool the day before. However, things got hot and heated all too quickly as soon as they parked on the edge of Ty Warner Park when she noticed the way he was looking at her. Never in her wildest dreams did she ever think she’d lose her virginity in a beat up 1996 red Ford F150 with ripped grey leather seats.

There was nothing romantic about the whole thing, her eyes darted from the interior of the car to the automatic sprinklers that seemed to have malfunctioned near the entrance and focused on the number of spurts each head made while they were parked. The seats in the cab were uncomfortably cold despite the muggy temperatures outside and her skin kept sticking to the leather. He was too fast and clumsy and it was over before it even began. Fashion magazine articles on sexual advances were no stranger to her, and she couldn’t help but think that they weren’t quite so honest nor helpful despite her alcohol induced confidence but once he finished his five minutes of glory, he gave the ignition a hard start and sped back to drop her off at the party. She felt like a whore, she was his dirty virgin whore that night and no thanks to that quick and distasteful romp she was now a bonafide knocked up teenage statistic.


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home is where the heart is...or dress

Have you ever walked into your house, took a deep breath and knew you were home? Not just because you were surrounded by all of your belongings, burned a candle earlier that day so the room is filled with the aromatic scents of sparkling vanilla but felt so calm and relaxed. So at peace because as your heart swells, you know.

This is it.

This most definitely is NOT it, but I needed to get the shameless wall off of my chest and out for all to see.

Maybe it’s a sentimental piece of artwork made by a child or friend, a family portrait filled with a keepsake moment, or a ratty dog toy (stinks to high heaven) that just couldn’t be left behind.

When I was growing up, my family had these ridiculous family portraits taken at a glamour shots type of studio. All four of us were decked out in our best clothes; my Mom in a stunning dress. My Dad wearing a suit and tie, both my sister and I wearing dresses and pearls (thanks Mom!).

The icing on the cake-all four of us wearing a fake nose and moustache pair of glasses. Glamour con uglified. There was no shame in our household that’s for sure. Those photos were tacked out to the fullest. That year our family made Christmas ornaments with the pictures and gave them out to EVERYBODY known to man, family members and non-family members. Business associates and random grocery store clerks my parents were friends with. Outrageousness.

In the front room, the picture hung on the back wall for years until finally as a family we went back and took full glamour shots sans the glasses. That picture made the house feel like it was our home, it suited our eccentric family with our joking nature.

From the past several years up until now, there isn’t a single time when I walk into my flat (locations have changed) that I am not smiling. While the space is filled with furniture and a bunch of plants that really need to be outdoors, it’s a random picture that rests on the refridge that god willing will never leave the grip of a magnet. And if it does, it’s to be bronzed or placed in a scrapbook.

Several years ago my closest friend came to visit, if anyone knows the weather of the NW during the winter it’s predictably filled with rain and high winds for the most part. I lived in a scenic part of town and she wanted pictures from a lookout so we headed out before drinks. Unfortunately the wind came with us.

We were bundled up with scarves, hats, the works. But in dresses nonetheless. While taking a photograph with the city in tow, the wind struck and our dresses went right up around our hips. So while we’re trying our hardest to keep the dresses down, this random guy taking our photograph was trigger happy and greedily snapping pictures. With our dresses revealing everything to the fine city of Seattle. Lovely no?

Those poor women know the pain.

We managed to get one good picture taken that didn’t involve our dresses high and dry but it got over-ruled by one of the flasher photos. I don’t think we could have given that guy a better show if his life depended on it! That scandalous picture has traveled far and wide and is one that goes down in this blondie’s moments.

Without that in my home, it would feel different. Sure there would be things scattered about that are personal and filled with memories but that photo alone sums everything up. It was random, it was a fluke, it was something that could only have happened right then. It completes this home that travels around from city to city trying to find permanence (which hopefully almost has) and brings it all together.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Nachos and a secret surprise

It’s Game day, Sunday cookouts, BBQs, poker nights, no main meal dinners. What's cookin' good lookin'? There are some automaatic pulls for peckish meals, but really what do you choose?



How about some tasty nachos loaded with the works. Chicken. Three Different Types of Cheese, Jalapenos. Sour Cream. Chips. And the mystery date-a bread bowl.

Out and about the other day with a friend, we got a peckish and started roaming the neighborhood for something to nibble on. The sun was out and we were both in the mood to take advantage and assume the position of beer and bar treats.

We ordered up the nachos and before you could say hey-oh a plate the size of a Toyota was dropped down on the counter and we dove in for the kill.

I am not sure how anyone else is about their nachos but having burned or cheese sticking to a chip is a major NO NO so it is best to prepare your arteries for the Velveeta (or likewise cheese) induced coma that they will soon endure. While we were devouring the monstrous pile of chips, we hit bread bottom.

There was a bread bowl in the center of the nachos. What is a bread bowl doing in a plate of nachos? At first we both stared at it and then reached for a fork to see if it was a loaf of bread or if it was actually filled with the fixins’. It was, making it a bowl of nacho. I wish I had gotten a picture of that beast.

Let’s give a big tasty yay for having the fixins’ filling this bread bowl so it doesn’t spill over the Toyota but where were the chips? The bread was soggy and doing serious injustice to the art that is a nacho platter. It was the strangest concept for nachos and I want to say this is part of the major NO NO but again I don't know, it kind of worked. And this is the hearty Mid-West.

Lots of Bread. Lots of Potatoes. Lots of Bread in Nachos.

For your Mid-Western pleasure, here’s a nacho recipe (with the bread bowl) for your very own to try out.

Super Deluxe Chicken Nachos

Loaf of sourdough bread
Tortilla chips of liking
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (such as RO*TEL®), drained
1 (1 pound) loaf processed cheese food (such as Velveeta®), cubed
2 large cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, diced
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup diced green onion
1/2 cup pico de gallo salsa
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper, or to taste (optional)
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
Queso Cheese

Place the diced tomatoes, processed cheese, chicken meat, sour cream, green onion, taco seasoning, and jalapeno pepper into a slow cooker. Cook on High, stirring occasionally until the cheese has melted and the dip is hot, 1 to 2 hours. Stir in the black beans, and cook 15 more minutes to reheat. Pour 3/4 of mixture into breadbowl, place chips around and on top and pour the remainder of cheese mixture on top. Garnish with tomatoes, avocado, shredded queso and jalepenos and green onions.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Booty Boudoir

Okay now that the fat man pants have been restored back in the dresser let’s get back into serious business.

As in pinup spectacular, exposed flesh, every man (and woman’s) fantasy in photographic form.

Bow chicka…que the porn music because it just got about 40 degrees warmer in this joint.

Don’t hide your blush, it’s alright! I was thinking the same thing otherwise why would have it been written?

My friend is getting married in less than four months and as part of her photographer’s package there was a side deal of a possible boudoir spread. How much do you love this? In my opinion, it is a must for serious relationships and gifts for a new bridegroom. Or a random treat for that special someone who never saw it coming. Hello, yup we saw that one coming.

This friend, you would never expect this of a special education school teacher. Her fiancé has no clue of what’s in store. I wouldn't even think she would actually go forward and do this but when she asked if I would come with her (with champagne and valium in tow-don’t worry) I instinctively pulled out pom poms (they’re always around) and cheered…

Give me a Y…..Give me an E….Give me an S…What does that spell…


Here is something that your closest girlfriend, sister and definitely your mom won’t say (unless your Mom is like mine. The lady is completely liberal and used to own a sex shop…we’re Cali through and through!) No matter what our crazy eyes tell us…we are sexy ladies. WE ARE.

Put yourself in a matching getup and you are golden. Put yourself in a matching set, throw on some thigh highs and stilettos and you have just sealed the deal. Niagra Falls has already sprouted a leak. Now add a photographer and steal those precious moments of feeling at your very best and then gift that out.

That is what she is doing. Her fiance’s birthday is literally days before their wedding. She is getting these sexy photos and then going to surprise him in their new home with them. Decked out in the lingerie that she will be wearing in the exact pictures.

Does that not spell hotness with a capital H? Dammit I need to find a man or a minute man.

I almost think that I am more excited for her hence the champagne and hourly rate for our prized prince valium!

I love how this addition is becoming more common for photographers especially for upcoming nuptials. One of my closest girlfriends did this for her now husband right before they got married. Yowza, the pictures were smokin’ hot. I’m saying this because I was a chief contributor to what got picked. I’m single so everyone automatically picks me as the eyes to be. What is a girl to do, and hold the phone. Where is my discount?

Think about how good you feel in slinky lingerie, how good you feel when your man (or lady-we’re pc over in this corner) buys your luscious duds. You feel amazing and always wish there was a camera around to capture that moment. Well now there is and it’s not frowned upon.

I’m not saying go out and start taking random photos because lord knows that can be a serious dilemma. Youtube is a terrible frienemy (text sexages-don’t even get me started) for mobile videos. Not fun. But I will admit that when we feel good we look good and why not capture that feeling of absolute appeal that your significant other tends to always see and you always see in them.

So I’m off. To bed first but then an early morning wakeup call that will feel like TopModel. Champagne and Prosecco ready. My friend is coming round early to spruce her hair up in the porn wall mirror (the wall of shame in my front room…lord it really is a wall of tacky reflected shame) and then is lucky to have a professional makeup artist make her rumpled and bedroom ready! God bless knowing a professional model and having her contacts.

So with that. It’s Monday are you ready for the week. More importantly get your booty set for a little sugar n' spice...and everything not so nice!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Finally the smoke starts to clear

Fat Man Pants.Check. Fluffy Robe and clean duvee. Double Check.A cupboard rummaged to the very nillies for carbolicious treats and every single coffee bean.Ugh, this week has been just that. Triple checked as one done for the year.

Fat man pants

Your loveable frienemy. They hide everything from a little bloating to that extra doughy goodness that was scarfed at the third breakfast for the day. All at the same time providing comfort in baggy style.

Robie Robe Robe

If this piece of fabric could be converted into square footage, I would gladly endorse and provide directions on how someone’s body can find a sweet new home. (PJ Salvage-is a must own. And apparently Jersey Shore approved go figure)


When do we crave bad things…when things are bad. Openly admitting that I did not indulge in the carbs this week. However, and this is a rather large however. I was given champagne and we snuck off for a weeklong getaway together.

Four little words that hide in the smallest of crevices in our mind and pop out when expected but secretly we inwardly flinch whenever they expose their dirty dispositions.

Everything is not alright. The bearer of unwanted sleepless nights, a lack of appetite, refusal of telephone calls and many other things that steal our normal thoughts and place them in a place fueled by worry. By doubt. By fear and secrecy.

I believe that we go through things even if they take us to our darkest hour for a reason. A friend made an excellent point by saying that it is when we are at our ‘lowest’ or ‘hardest’ of places do our minds open up and we can then ‘see’ what we didn’t want to before.

I am not myself and that is not alright. Over the past few months I have increasingly become distant with some that I am close with for reasons that are common and yet embarrassing to admit. I did not want anyone to know that I was nervous about where I am at in life or where things stand. That I have no clue if I made the right decisions, where do I go, do I go it alone. In their eyes, I feared they would be thinking that this was just another way for me to muck up and remain outside of their standards. And so I put up a fake front covering up this discomfort.

Why I even care about the thoughts of other people is quite foreign however my mind is playing dirty little tricks and secretly (openly in this forum) I care immensely. Because I feel that my reasons for being distant are definitely selfish but done involuntarily in a sense of trying to figure out a personal path in life that will get me to their same standards. This topic is not new, and is constantly on my mind so this is sort of a repeated bunch of nonsense.

As I was curled up on the couch in my very own fat man pants I got a phone call from my friend who asked me to come to her store for a bit, was it a sign? Did she know I was stressing out and feeling like I could talk to no one? Yes and after several hours I left her shop and the smoke screen began to lift.

This time of the unknown is a prime period. As terrifying as that sounds, it is a period that I have been stripped of known structure and given control to an undeniable force that is hopefully guiding into something that is fundamentally meant to be. For as long as I can note, I have worked desperately to get by and have been unhappy through the entire process. Over the past several months I have been lucky in more ways than one and am able to see this through the darkest hour.

I moved to a city without knowing a soul, stepped out on a fluke and was embraced immediately by a group I am fortunate to call friends. The Real Housewives…I’m a bonafide member of the crazies only sans the housewife part for now. Brushing up the wine goblets and fully onboard the dirty hot mess train! Toot toot.

The job aspect has been a royal, stress inducing pain in the neck but as I think things over there is a reason things have not worked themselves out quite yet.

Men, sweet jesus, but again there is a reason things have not worked out yet.

What it all comes down to is that life is filled with challenges. There’s never an easy route and even if you think someone has it better than you, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you continue living your life how and whichever way makes you happiest.

I lost sight of this over the course of the week, in the absence [phones, internet, etc.] time was replaced with the comfort of truthful and healthy insight.

This sort of openness to vulnerability was something I needed experience in order to understand the real depth of everything that makes me whole as a person. A woman that can get through this rough spell and remain as amazing, desirable, happy, loveable, equal, laughable, excited, emphatic and at peace as ever.

It’s a doozy and hopefully the last of these snarky deep rooted ones. To make a convoluted story short. Hard times are a serious bitch and will sneak up but they will always pass just as fast.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Texting Version 2.0

For the past month I have been going very slow with a new man and I cannot even stress how difficult this is. The track record is spotty so slow is a must. We started through emails with small banter that transitioned into exchanging telephone numbers. Just as the snowstorm hit, he started to send funny little text messages and we went back and forth with little laughs here and there. Nothing serious, nothing overly long and drawn out. I figured he was nervous about making a phone call and I certainly was not going to initiate. He sought me out.

He called and we talked for ages. He was funny, cute, we talked about everything and the conversation was comfortable for the most part. Afterward he sent a follow up text later that same evening and then again a couple of days later. I know with Valentine’s Day it is bound to make many men skittish and I added this into account as for the timing of beginning to talking on the phone.

It had been a week and nothing. No phones, no texts, no messages. Strange really because we talked daily, several times per day and to go from that to nothing caused a little unease to creep up and self doubt to take up residence yet again for a brief moment.

I tried not to be over-analytical. Kept busy by going out with friends, volunteering, but of course by the end of the night my eyes are checking out the phone. Looking to see if the red light is blinking indicating a new message or missed call.

By the end of a week of hearing nothing it made me consider my actions and I turned to my ‘consultants’ for some advice. My sister and brother in law have kept me grounded as far as men are concerned and stood by watching the wild boyfriend rollercoaster that I have been operating. They are the people that when you turn away from a disappearing act will tell you the exact moves that got you there and how to snap back into shape to avoid that business in the future.

Bless it because it’s good but it’s a real pain in the neck. Finally getting through our little video conferencing session I walked away with this.

Never put all eggs into one basket (common sense but sometimes we are blind)

Texting is lazy and this guy is probably shy. He wouldn’t have called and spoken for a length of time if he wasn’t interested and then text back later that same night. Consultant number 2 (brother in law)agreed on sending an email, not a text or a phone call after Valentine’s Day to say hi and see how he is. To quote him:“Valentine’s Day is intimidating ‘diki’ put yourself out there one more time and then wash your hands clean if he opts out.”

So this is what I did. I sent him a note and a day later received a text message that was a catch up of sorts. He had been texting but wasn't sure if I had been receiving any messages.

Positive: he responded. Interesting part and the part I don't understand. Though we are living in a very fast paced time why should it be so difficult to pick up a telephone if you don’t think messages are going through? Clearly I will answer but now I am reconsidering. I text him back something brief but said I was out with friends which was true and if he could call later. Receiving nothing back.

Whether or not our conversations were to ever lead into anything apart from what it is at now, time will only tell but this much I do know. Texting is an easy cop out. It takes more time to text message someone than it does to pick up a phone and say hello.

Yes I agree that it’s nice to see a little light flashing on my phone with a fun message but because this is so new in terms of talking to a new man I’d much rather have face to face contact that communicating through so many characters on an electronic device. Seems fair and reasonable.

Is this demanding? Does this make me a mega wattage high maintenance bitch. Absolutely not. It’s simple. Maybe this man is shy, maybe he’s taking it slower as well. For this I’ll go at his pace but am in no way shutting out the idea of meeting other new people. We're only 'talking.'

This is just a bump in the road and another check mark to be that much more aware of because I stopped that little piece of me for a week and was filled with a dip in doubt, but no more!

I’m purely a simple woman on a mission to living life with the heart on her sleeve and the happiness in her eyes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Coconut Cupcakes..mon amour

Baking is slowly but surely beginning to grow on me. Lord knows that a Duncan Hines cake mix would suffice at times but in the need for improving the baking skills I rise to the challenge. As time has passed, I’ve learned that a person either cooks or they bake. It’s that simple.

You either like the precision of baking or the open recipes and free flowing way of whipping something together out of ingredients in your refridge. I’m more of the latter but like how baking fills an entire day if you’re stuck indoors.

These baked lovelies were put together for a wine night with a bunch of friends and went over extremely well. The cake is loaded with coconut but has just a small bit of almond extract that is delicate and will turn the heads of anyone nipping into one.

So from my kitchen to yours (more like from my lady Ina’s kitchen to yours) here’s a lovely recipe that is geared up for all of the fans of coconut. Enjoy!

Coconut Cupcakes
Batter ingredios
3/4lb unsalted butter at room temperature
2c sugar
5 extra large eggs at room temperature
1 ½tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2tsp pure almond extract
3c all purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1c buttermilk
14oz sweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the ggs one at a time. Scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 oz of coconut. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely. Frost with the cream cheese icing and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Cream Cheese Icing
1lb cream cheese at room temperature
3/4lb unsalted butter at room temperature
1tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2tsp pure almond extract
1 1/2lb confectioners sugar sifted

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Or Knot

Some things take your breath away while others just bring out the smile that you have been keeping hidden under some chapstick and a warm scarf.

In a hazy day that was nothing short of Prosecco, high spending and a lot of mixing up a wardrobe; my friend displayed a brand new collection of ties that are perfect for any honey. And what perfect timing than having Valentine’s Day seriously right around the corner. Though I am not a big person in feeling obligated to over indulge with Hallmark and Victoria Secret for this particular holiday simply because it’s “Valentine’s Day.” Any other day to get a gift from Victoria Secret is a-okay by me!

However, for this one I definitely would recommend this last minute gift idea simply because it’s pretty outrageous, worthy of a good laugh and definitely welcome in any bedroom. Va-va-voom.

It's time to introduce Lee Allison, the makers of men’s high fashion. A serious gem to any man’s wardrobe. Fashion or not, it is the little innuendo hidden inside of the silky material that can make a tie worthy to fit into any tie rack.

Repeat that one: Worthy to fit into Any.Tie.Rack.

There are two messages on the inside of the tie one at the bottom: Remove before sex. And one at the top where the knot connects together: Or knot.

How delightfully naughty!

While the majority of spending time in a store is devoted to helping people, there can be some downtime and of course I noticed the ties. Simply because out of a very feminine store, right at the entrance is a classic oak dresser that screams “Mad Men…Ad Man” with ties and other manly accessories including hats and leather gloves scattered about the top. It stood out and like any other looky loo, you will stop to take a gander.

I had seen the facebook updates and knew there were little messages but honestly had no clue that they would be hidden in just the right spot for someone to pull the tie off…or knot!

How would you ever notice this little confection? Lord knows after spending one too many times wandering the men’s aisles in Macy’s trying to pick out ties for previous boyfriends and guy friends you become familiar with the silky material but still. I can honestly say that this is NOT my favorite thing to purchase because men can be picky when it comes to dressing up the frontal views.

However, after seeing Lee Allison ties it is safe to say that it would be easy to muster up enough energy to pick out a snazzy little number to line up a man’s neckline.

Which of course, this got me thinking about neck ties and how long it took to figure out how to actually get the knot down pat. Growing up my Dad managed his own ties, god forbid anyone else got the idea of helping him. What a crazy man. Boyfriends, well this was in college and afterwards.

In high school…oh this is a period for serious shame and where the education was introduced: Tying a Knot 101. How many 'school daze' parties did you go to? Me-don’t ask because I have a lapse in memory from back in the day but I walked away becoming a pro at it.

Knowing this, there are quite a few different ways in tying a knot. Who knew right. The most referred to and very classic: four in hand knot, The Windsor knot and the Half Windsor. All equally simple and end with the same result. A snazzy looking knot at a man’s neck that is easy to pull apart.

Does tying a knot still make your teeth clench or are you a master pro at it? More importantly, do you enjoy hunting in the tie racks at a department store or do you actively seek out the employees for color assistance.

A little refresher on how to pull together a tie, because as a woman(speaking from personal experience), we are the go to to do this because our man likes to see us adding a little touch to his get-up.

PS….Lee Allison is Chicago based and has retailers all over the US and Canada. You can also purchase their lovelies online because these are pretty much the badass tie your man needs to have! Hello lover.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

You are cordially invited…

This is very exciting. The sun is beginning to rise that much earlier which means that it will be staying out a few extra minutes each night too. All of this tied together means that the winter chill is thawing out and a new season is starting to stretch its hind quarters leisurely.

It’s time to dust off the cake plates, find the best deals for cheese and out of season fruit and dig out that trusty mojito recipe. It’s time to get entertaining.

Planning, preparing and serving meals is an art which develops through inspiration and thought. There is also a fine art to the “cocktail hour” and while I love nothing better than just chatting it up with a huge bunch of people while nibbling on some tasty nosh and sipping a sparkling or shaken beverage for me it is all about the planning that gets the excitement bubbling. It could be for three people or fifty people.

Every time I start planning a party (for this I’m channeling the inner hostess circa 1964) the easiest part is the food. The hardest part is trying to figure out how to cram everything together in one night without getting everyone completely drunk and stuffed to the brim. All of this in a somewhat classy way, I mean I don’t mind having red plastic cups hanging around but for the sake of being the hostesses with the mostest I am turning to the big ups. Vintage Betty Crocker, because a good laugh is due.

Taking a cue from the lady in red, here are a few fun tips that are recommended for having a successful party.

1) Say Yes to the Dress:A lady whom is entertaining is to always remain in prim form and a dress is always acceptable. Color adds element and life to the evening filled with festivities.
I'm okay with this mainly because I wear dresses all of the time but know that I would be walking around barefoot in my house!

2)Have a Pretty Centerpiece: The way your table looks is just as important as how the meal or nibbles tastes. Set a pretty table with colors and add a centerpiece.
Completely agree with this, a centerpiece makes a table occassion. Period. It can be something simple from the yard that is meaningful or over the top. It makes it.

3)Rest Up: Take 15 minutes prior to your guests arrival to sit down and take a rest so you will be refreshed when your guests begin to arrive. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking.
Fresh looking!?! I love this, who CAN take a break before their guests arrive? There's no time and by the time they do arrive-your hair is crazy and you have flour on your cheek.

6)Always Wear a Smile: Be a little jubilant and a little more interesting. Your party goers days may be in need of a little lift.
Bust out the petroleum jelly. Smiles are always present when you're having a great time with a good group of people.

7)Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
Be happy to see everyone and greet them with a warm smile and be glad to see all of those in your home.
This is one of those, yeah right moments. If there's a game on you know it's on in the background. Forget about it!

8)Prepare the drinks ahead of time: Always have a pitcher of the most common drink chilling nearby. Easy access will be appreciated.
Easy Access, indeed.

9)Red Lipstick: A splash of color to your lips will only add to the festivities in the room.
If I can remember to put on lipstick then we're in business. Remember when your guests arrive (or atleast mine) we're all over the place with flour marks on our bodies and a sauce smear on the cotton goods.

Whew, I don't know how some women did this because it all seems like such hard work! Now to go prepare the meal and get organized!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting that familiar itch

It’s starting, I can feel it. That itch to go somewhere, to see people that haven’t been seen in weeks, months, or longer. To have the conversations and belly laughs apart from our phone chats.

I started packing away a few photographs and cards in a box reserved for just that. Memories. Visual memories and took a few minutes to look through the many pictures that have been taken on various journeys, weekend getaways and life changing treks that I am most thankful for.

Between each photograph comes a smile, a fond memory of what took place. A reminder of why anyone would ever cart around a cellophane wrapped biscuit to see if it could survive a backpacking trip(truth, we did and "he" survived). The different levels of one particular building while climbing the heights of the London Eye. Front and back seat shots while being toted around by a friendly cabby named Ron. Random before and after food pictures, as if we didn’t know where it would end up!

The cards are something else entirely. Birthdays, holidays, cards just to say hello we miss you. It is in the words inside of the paper that bring warmth to my insides and brings a gratefulness that is immeasurable.

I am getting that itch. That tickling feeling that nips and tugs at you when you least expect it. It makes you begin daydreaming about places you have wanted to go to, places you ache to touch with the pads of your fingertips. Places new and old. Uh oh.

This feeling happens a couple of times per year and is increasingly getting stronger as the winter chill and frigid temperatures are making it gradually more difficult to escape anywhere other than a coffee shop on a daily basis.

So in the interim of scouring enough to make the jaunt across the pond, I'll pretend my little snowy abode is a mini Aspen and a wintery village. While I’m following up with emails, sipping coffee waiting for this season to pass I’ll dream about warm beaches and sexy accents while using a tanning bed thinking it's the sandy beaches on the South of France. All while sipping sparkling sangria!

Sparkling Sangria

1 cup brandy
1/2 cup orange liqueur
1/4 cup sugar, super fine
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 pint raspberries
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 bottles sparkling wine or cava, chilled

In a large pitcher, combine the brandy, and orange liqueur. Pour in the sugar, stir or shake the pitcher thoroughly to mix until the sugar dissolves. Add all the fruit at once. Add the cava and serve as is or on ice

On a side note, there has been a new addition to the sidebar from the very lovely busy bees at After several emails and serious consideration I have decided to get back onto the grid within certain social networks. Which means that one will automatically feed into a twitter account. Something I vowed not to do but don’t want to lose track of those who have stuck with me during this “hiatus” so to speak and have asked for a revival.

Welcome to getting back on the grid. You can find me at blip and twitter under:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Coffee and kegels….or did you mean creamer?

There is an unwritten rule about what women talk about when several are gathered together and how loud or quiet for that matter our voices travel. The women’s toilets are the prime location for getting gossip. It goes the same for men say in the locker rooms or on the basketball court. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

My friend, whom is out conquering the fashion world has asked everyone close to her for a little help with her boutique. While she’s out doing her thing, myself along with a bunch of others have been volunteering time keeping the doors open trying to channel the inner salesperson within. To sell things because that is what shops are in business for.

But in all honesty, the time basically becomes Chatty Katty time the minute a patron leaves the storefront. I love it.

Love it so much that I keep going back for seconds, thirds, fourths….

I have no Drama.

Everyone that comes in has soap opera digest worthy drama.

So to make a day that much more interesting, I’ll stick around for a few extra minutes if someone starts talking to me. Because it’s hilarious to see these people getting frustrated over something ridiculously simple. Just say no folks, it’s that simple. And stop buying the Prada(Target and NYC, we’re still having an affair don’t you worry)!

You’re in a store with a bunch of clothes.

Um, I may be blonde but I’m not stupid. Let’s introduce the word association for the day. Networking.

(Note that this is nothing on blondes either just the bland stereotype that has been branded upon us and is fully embraced)

During one of my many “shifts” if you will, I was sitting on the couch with three other women chatting it up in between customers when we got on the subject of thighs. How it got there, don’t ask because I cannot even answer this one.

Not your average change in topics from jewelry but I’ll go with it, because this is the land of crazytown and obsessive personalities and general good times.
One of the women started giving me tips on how to thin out your thighs using a yoga block, which I’d never really consider walking around my house with one in between my legs but everything deserves a shot for consideration.

While she was trying to explain holding the block in place, and while we were sipping coffee (not wine or any liquor) she said excitedly, “It’s like working your kegels!”

Come again?

Did you just say like working my kegels? Oh yes, she really did say like working the kegels.

I died right there and can only thank god that there weren’t other people in the store because I have a hearty laugh and nothing could hold it back. The other girl working didn’t even laugh, she was paying more attention to her text messages than the conversation. Clearly she has no idea about her own sexuality. What in the hell!?! One mention of anything sinful and my ears perk up. It’s horrible, you’d think I was a man!

I started laughing hysterically and while sipping the last drops of my Americano I got the full jist of losing mere inches off of the inner thighs without hours of pilates. Without inner leg lifts. Without those wretched crab kicks. But with none other than a yoga block and my damn kegel muscles.

Thanks to that conversation, instead of thinking about certain activities and fluttering muscles I’m now thinking about my damn thighs and snapping those bad boys into narrow shape.

Embarrassingly I will admit this, because this is just words of nothingness and you can't see me blushing nor I can see you busting out the checkbook to see if you can add $14 into the weekly budget.

I’m going to try it out and test her theory. I’ll walk around my house like an idiot flexing the kegels fantasizing about thinner inner thighs instead of broad shouldered men and post an update in one month. Because that is what’s up.


Per our lovely friends at Wikipedia, there are several positive forms of kegel exercises that benefit women and men. For example:

Did you know (this is TMI but who cares) kegels can help men achieve a stronger you know what when in the heat of things and gain greater control of losing the steam. Makes sense right.

For women, this is simple. It’s to gain control of our loosened pelvic muscles due to pregnancy and childbirth, obesity and aging.

Now for both, it can be great form of re-gaining control of an overactive bladder.

Can’t hold it for another five minutes to the train stop? Start flexing those muscles and building up some stamina.

So there you have it, a little laugh and a little knowledge on this fine day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Entertaining Mini Empanadas

There is almost nothing better than tapas when entertaining (There really is better but I really do love tapas!). Everything is finger sized ready and hardly anything will catch in your teeth. But always carry a mirror just in case. I am heading out for a night out this evening and am bringing several dishes including a very simple empanada recipe that has never failed once. The minis are typically gone within a few minutes.

Empanada with Roquefort and Hazelnuts

Makes 12
Prep time 20 minutes, Cook Time 20 minutes.

1 packet ready made savory-plain puff pastry dough
1 c crumbled Roquefort cheese
24 hazelnuts, crushed
Sour Cream
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unroll the pastry dough and cut out 10 circles 2.5inches in diameter with a glass or cookie cutter. Put the cheese and hazelnuts in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a fork. Add a little sour cream to thin if necessary.

Just before serving:
Put a little cheese filling on one half of each pastry circle. Dampen the edges and fold over; sealing the edges firmly. Whisk the egg yolk with a little water and brush on one side of the pastry parcels. Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment. Put the empanadas on the sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Serve hot.

You can vary the cheese and try Bleu and alternate almonds for hazelnuts.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Challenge: Week 6

Lord help a girl out, we’ve hit the halfway marker and what happens. The effing snowmageddon. Thanks Mother Nature for this buzzkill!

This week was as inconsistent as inconsistent can be. The snow alerts started getting issued on Tuesday morning with the massive snowfall that literally took over the state of Illinois and said, “we’re shutting this mother down.” I got trapped in my flat, because:

A I’m blonde and forgot to purchase a shovel
B the snow plows were in high demand and didn’t get to my development until way late. As if that mattered, you could not get anywhere. Period.

Luckily I did make it to the gym a few times this week, not the finest and certainly not the most motivated. Getting stuck in doors you find other ways to get productive: text messaging. Lovely.

So rather than doing pilates in my front room I was cleaning, baking, texting and skyping. With whom…...a lady never tells and in this case I will but give me some time first.

As soon as the roads were plowed I was in it to gym it. This next week marks the latter part of the challenge and the real marker for getting down and getting to business. SAD does not exist anymore, hopefully there will not be any more snow advisories like this past week. It’s all about making the most of the next six weeks.

For the food: I openly admit that until I get pregnant or decide AA is the way forward, I will not give up wine. I am making friends, going out to socials, nights out, dates, etc. Passing up on wine or a cocktail was getting beyond difficult. So I’m going to work this one in but work out just as hard so it’s not damaging to the challenge.

For strength: Oye, this week blew hard. I was more focused on getting in serious cardio time when I actually made it into the gym. The need to feel the sweat trickling down seemed more satisfying for some unknown reason. However there is an abdomen bar that is prime for working the core muscles. You will feel the zing of hard work for the entire week in twenty reps. Thank you!

Favorite Exercises

You read right: this bad boy made the times I made it into the gym worthwhile. Yowza the burn in my tummy feels fantastic.

Lesson Learned

Mother Nature is a serious bitch with a massive grudge. Hard work pays off, there is no need to feel guilt if you are unable to make it into the gym as much or for as long of time inside as you would like. Take pride in the times that you step back and acknowledge your health and vitality. If the clouds close down, take it as a sign that a break is okay for right now and when the skies clear up, get back into the saddle.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Day To Be Taken Advantage Of

Of all the times that you would want to get out and take a walk, to clear your mind, your sinuses, to get out and just breathe. You get stuck in a moment where you cannot leave. Physical or emotional.

A moment where you are trapped behind a bricked wall blocking your exit.

The snowstorm swept through this week and has shut everything down, streets in town are closed and filled with piled up snow that has been cleared off from the main roadway passing through. The sidewalks are crystalline, shimmering with each ray that the sun hits it with.

It is beautiful. It is something you would want to walk for hours along collecting your thoughts, walking and laughing with another person, enjoying the moment that you are in. All to experience this fluke storm and its leftovers.

One can only do so much baking in the span of a snow day and not be tempted to eat everything. I was desperate to get out, to sip freshly made coffee, to see other people equally as excited to have made it out for a break. I needed some excitement.

Something I have learned since this winter started, as much as I love snow and the cold weather getting stuck indoors for 48 hours is just insane. TV shows can only go so far, Bieber songs can only take you so far (ugh I caved and noticed one was kind of good). A girl needs to get out every once in awhile.

With Starbucks snowed in from the plows I boxed up cookies and spent the day with friends, snow or crazy roads be bygones. One of the ladies drank three week old opened wine, another munched on cookies and all I could do was think about a song that had been playing coincidentally in the car on the drive over.

"Making memories using my eyes
Filling up my heart with golden stories"Adele-Painting Pictures

All of us bored out of our heads each needed a break from the confines of something so simple. So familiar and yet we sat in someplace equally as simple and familiar. But we were together, wasting time laughing, completely free of being blocked of an exit.

As soon as I got home all I could think about was the next time this happens. What would you do in a snowed in messy situation? Cuddle up with a book? Rearrange your furniture/wardrobe? Try to break in a new pair of shoes? Here’s a compiled list that will be referred to in just this case. In no order of course!

10. Rent The Shining so you can stop feeling sorry for yourself. All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

9. Go make a snow angel but bring a snow angel buddy because you really could get lost in all of that hubble!

8. Do you have spam in your pantry? This should be a staple for this scenario. Have a spam carving contest and see what you can create. A toilet seat? A laughing head?
Ideas are endless.

7. Video Texting/Skyping. Because phones are so blasé. This makes for a funnier time with the people on the other end because you know at some point they will be rubbing it in your face that they have to hang up so that they can actually go outside.

6. Make Howard Hughes proud and clean your house from top to bottom. With the airflow moving from the heating vents dust is just as trapped inside as you are. Grab the endust and get moving!

5. If you have a puzzle and are with someone, remove a piece and start putting it together. Walk away from the project several times and at the end be just as shocked that you are missing the piece. There went an hour!

4. Alphabetize the food in your refridgerator and pantry.

3. Balance your checkbook and then get online and make a purchase of something you desperately want but wasn’t sure you could do.

2. Whiten your teeth, because this step is easily forgotten with late nights, late phone calls, absentmindedness and whatever else that makes us forget about the pearly whites.

1. Be immobile. Find temporary residence on your couch in hot/yoga pants and call it a day and get comfortable. It is technically temporary.

So with that, the sun is shining brilliantly and the roads are cleaned so I KNOW Starbucks is accessible! Have a fabulous Friday.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hand Screened

Today I don’t have anything to really clean the closet out about so I guess that’s technically a good thing. But for good reading purposes, this epic dramathon can keep anyone company during this stretch of cabin fever.

Last night the clouds closed up shop and decided it was THE night for god only knows how much snow (somewhere around 20+inches). They made a very clear declaration to the land that I now call home and said this,

“Chicago it’s time that you got hit with this thing we like to call a natural apocalypse so we’re giving you a blizzard!”

…what a bummer I was wishing for the DQ too. Dairy Queen is closed for t minus 3 more months! (THANK GOD for Red Mango, where would a girl be without a little froyo??)

Stuck indoors, what do you do?

Skype with everyone you know? Check

Do a facial mask because let’s face it…this cold weather is chappin’ it up. Double Check

Watch a commercial that probably isn’t as funny but it really is deliciously enjoyable and with naughty intent. Oooh, yes please how did you ever know!

So for viewing pleasure, and if I was anywhere close to being an Executive I’d be checking out for a little jobby placing like nobody’s business! They have the tools and guides to make us irresistable…but in what nature?

I really want to say the girl sliding across the piano and fluffing her hair is my fav but who am I kidding. The guy sliding and crawling back across the table totally takes me back to Little Miss Sunshine. Rawr!

Happy Hump Day to you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Roasted Vegetable Torte

Over the past few days amazing dishes have been getting put together with a weekly favorite: Roasted Vegetables. So from my kitchen to yours, here is a no-nonsense recipe that will turn any roasted veg into a beautiful masterpiece. Prepare it the night before and poof-perfect wedges for the next day.

Roasted Vegetable Torte

2 zucchini, cut into ¼” slices
1 red onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1tsp minced garlic
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground Pepper
2 Red Bell Peppers, halved, cored and seeded
2 Yellow Bell Peppers, halved, cored and seeded
1 egglplant, unpeeled, cut into ¼” slices (1.5lbs)
1/2c Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven t 400 degrees.

Cook the zucchini, onions, garlic and 2TBSP EVOO in a large sauté pan over medium heat for 10 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the red and yellow peppers and eggplant with olive oil, season with salt/pepper and roast on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes, until soft but not browned.
In a 6-inch round cake pan, place each vegetable in a single overlapping layer, sprinkling Parmesan Cheese and salt and pepper to taste between each of the layers of vegetables. Begin with half of the eggplant, then layer half of the zucchini and onions, then all of the red peppers, then all of the yellow peppers, then the rest of the zucchini and onions, and finally the rest of the eggplant. Cover the top of the vegetables with a 6”flat disk (another cake pan or bottom of a false-bottom tart pan) on top and weight it with a heavy jar. Place on a plate or baking sheet and chill completely. Drain the liquids, place on a platter and serve at room temperature.