Oh, the places I’ve been..

For some reason, I have always prided myself on the fact that I can tell you ANYTHING about the great city of Kansas City (and really.. neighboring cities).. I am not kidding – where to eat, where to shop, where to stay, where to happy hour, where to poop.. well.. maybe not that one.  But still. I am a vast resource of pretty useless knowledge.. and I kind of love it. It’s one of those quirks that I am pretty sure The Hubs loves and hates about me all at the same time. The look on his face when people talk about a restaurant that, ” I JUST LOVE,” especially if he’s never been there.. always kind of amuses me. I’d like to think he’s in awe of my useless information, but I think more times than not.. it kind of annoys him… especially when I can’t tell him important dates or amounts of checks..

Just one of those things that keeps our marriage so spicy!

I’d really like to pull my resources together, and do something with my knowledge… and it doesn’t stop at the Kansas City metro area (although that’s what I know best and love the mostest) .. Any place I’ve been and love (and hate), I have made a mental note – and can tell someone, no, WANT to tell you about my experiences. I’m not sure where to start, or how to get started. Do I start a blog, write some articles, start a tour company (boo.)? I’m just not sure. This currently haunts my dreams at night, a desire to be more creative in my day and do something that I love, not just like, or am fine with. Something that fulfills a need and desire that is not currently being met. I am creative person, I design, I write (or try to write), I take pictures, I cook. I love doing things with the Captain that will spark excitement and creativity within him.

Is it fear, again, that is holding me back? I am just not sure.

Don’t forget that this week is KC Restaurant week! This is such a great way to try out restaurants you have always wanted to try, or go back and visit a favorite. $15 lunches and $30 dinners – most are 2, 3 or 4 course meals – and samples the restaurants best dishes. This week, I’d like to try just a couple, I think I did something like 4 lunches and 2 dinners last year – which got pretty pricey!

Do you have funny quirks that you love about yourself? Favorite restaurants or any you want to try? Let us know!

xoxo,

m

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December came and went.. where was I?

Probably on the couch watching the series finale of Gossip Girl (Dan? What the..)

Noo.. well.. yes, but no. Our month was so crazy – I am afraid I haven’t gotten all my Christmas cards out! I def didn’t write on my blog, I’m pretty sure that I forgot to get someone something annnnd then it was Christmas! I mean holy cow! We had birthday parties, and dinners out with friends, we had a family funeral for a wonderful lady who lived 101 years and who was loved by literally hundreds if not thousands of people in Kansas City, St. Joseph and Plattsburg and then Christmas and New Years. WHOA. I am wiped!

I have had some time to reflect on my year. I feel like I got into a habit of making declarations; I WILL LOSE WEIGHT, I WILL EAT HEALTHIER, I WILL BE ORGANIZED… and then, although not always realizing it, followed that up with… tomorrow. How lazy is that??  It’s all about fear. I fear I will fail or disappoint, and so instead I drink soda (yum), and sit around, and watch TV. I don’t want to be sad and frustrated with my self, my weight or my laziness anymore! I want to be happy and thankful and moving.

So, TODAY needs to be my word for 2013! I need to stop dwelling on the rough patches from the past, and look forward. We all need to do that. Everyone I know has something in there past that they are caught up on – something that keeps them from fully moving forward. Do you know what yours is?

This year, I would like to start a food blog. A blog about restaurants, near and far.. and food I love or don’t, cooking, cookbooks – anything food. And do you know why I haven’t started it.. Because I can’t come up with a name.. how ridiculous is that?

Fear again!
Are you seeing a pattern, I sure am!

I would also like to get back into photography. I miss taking my camera EVERYWHERE! I miss the process of shooting and processing. Although I would love to get a new camera, I have a nice Nikon 35mm that I think I will make an effort to play with more. Ideally I could find a photographer in the area that needs some help at shoots or in the studio – just so I can be around it. I would absolutely love that.

As I type this I realize that my hope is that 2013 will be a transformation year. I’d really like to take that budget bull by the proverbial horns and get it under control, I have to lose weight and clearly my creative side is screaming at me to do something.

I hope you come along for the ride, I can’t promise that I will complete everything on my want list – but I will do my best – and promise, if nothing else, as an outsider – you will be amused!

Happy New Years! Love you all for reading.

xoxo

m

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving

Hello Friends. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We hosted as we have done 4 times in the last 5 years. The Hubs and I love to host, and love to cook. We baked a bird and smoked a ham. Everything was delish! I hope yours was too.

We tried taking the Cap to see Batman Live! on Saturday. What a production – the music and lighting was very dramatic, and in all a really top notch production.. but maybe not for a 2.5 almost 3 year old. It totally freaked him out and he kept saying I don’t want this movie, and I go home.. it was sad. We left at intermission.

I am working, working, working, on lots of Christmas cards, Holiday invitations and some stationary.. plus I am getting ready to launch a new project. Please stay tuned as I hope to announce a launch this week!

There is still time to get holiday orders in, shoot me an email or make a comment and I will contact you.

Happy Holiday Season.. it’s upon us, whether we want it here or not.. it’s here. Hope it’s stress free for you!

xoxo –

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar…

But what can you clean more with.. Vinegar! Why am I just now discovering the many wonderful uses of vinegar. It amazes me. I am buying this stuff in bulk lately, honestly. The other day, I added a cup of vinegar to a cup of water in a glass measuring cup, and microwaved it.. MY MICROWAVE HAS NEVER BEEN CLEANER! I swear. So this prompted me to make a list of all the wonderful things you can do with Vinegar.. this is what I have come up with..

  1. Adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water when poaching eggs helps the whites stay formed. Add a few tablespoons to the water when boiling eggs, and if any shells crack, the whites won’t leak out.
  2. If your leafy veggies are wilted, soaking them in cold water with a little vinegar can perk them right up.
  3. After chopping an onion, you can eliminate the odor from your hands by rubbing them with a bit of white vinegar.
  4. When cooking any vegetables from the cabbage family (like broccoli or cauliflower), adding a little vinegar to the water will perk up the taste and reduce the gassiness.
  5. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal by mixing equal parts vinegar and baking soda and putting it down the drain. After letting this fizzing mixture sit for a few minutes, flush out the drain with warm water for a clean and stink-free sink.
  6. One of my favorite vinegar remedies and my personal weapon against fruit flies is to set out a small dish of white vinegar and some smashed fruit, covered with plastic wrap with some holes in it–the flies crawl into the trap, but can’t get out.
  7. If your stemware is cloudy from the dishwasher, wrap the glasses in paper towels soaked in vinegar, let them sit, and the cloudy deposits will rinse right off.
  8. There’s no need to use bleach on tile grouting when you can let vinegar soak on it and then scrub with a toothbrush.
  9. Bring lightly scuffed or dirty DVDs back to life by wiping them down with some vinegar on a soft cloth
  10. If you have water condensation marks on your wood, just rub the piece of furniture with equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil to remove them. Make sure to rub with the grain, and then invest in a set of coasters.
  11. If a child has an “accident” on a mattress, clean it with a solution of vinegar and water. Afterwards, pour some baking soda onto the mattress, and brush or vacuum the residue once it’s dry.
  12. Spraying vinegar onto deodorant-stained shirts before the wash can remove the discoloration. It’s also great for fighting mustard, tomato sauce, or ketchup stains.
  13. Adding a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine can freshen up bright colors and give you cleaner laundry. Acetic acid won’t harm fabrics, but it dissolves the soap residue that can dull dark clothing. It also acts as a fabric softener, a static reducer, and a mildew-inhibitor.Vinegar will also loosen chewing gum stuck to car upholstery, rugs, and carpeting

The list can LITERALLY go on and on.. It’s an amazing substance. Recently I mixed it with a little Dawn dish soap and some warm water and cleaned the Captains crib.. it cleaned it, deodorized it and didn’t leave a film behind. AWESOME!

When I googled sayings about vinegar – the first one that came up was Full of piss and vinegar.. and although it made me laugh out loud, I didn’t find it terribly appropriate for the title of my post. However, when I went back to see what it exactly meant – I thought it sounded a bit like me: Rowdy, boisterous, full of youthful energy. And because I am a big ol nerd.. here’s the history of the term, Full of piss and vinegar:

Origin

The earliest citation I’ve found is from 1938 in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath:

Grampa walked up and slapped Tom on the chest, and his eyes grinned with affection and pride. “How are ya, Tommy?”
“O.K.,” said Tom. “How ya keepin’ yaself?”
“Full a piss an’ vinegar,” said Grampa.

There are other similar phrases that came before that which may be the source.

In 1922 Joyce has this in Ulysses – “All wind and piss like a tanyard cat.”

As far back as 1602, in Return from Parnassas – “They are pestilent fellowes, they speake nothing but bodkins, and pisse vinegar.”

Those earlier citations appear to indicate a more negative meaning to the phrase. ‘Wind and piss’, or as it is more often given ‘piss and wind’ is usually taken to mean empty talk, full of bombast. Vinegar is associated with sourness and acidity in many other citations. Peter B. Kyne’s 1922 novel They Also Serve includes what seems to be a straightforward polite alternative to ‘piss and vinegar’:

“He’s full of pep and vinegar and wild for exercise.”

Vinegar has been in the language as the name of the familiar liquid since the 12th century. During the 1920s vinegar was used to mean vitality and energy and that’s the meaning in ‘piss and vinegar’ and ‘pep and vinegar’. At that time many phrases indicating a general perkiness and vitality entered the language, often for no other reason than linguistic exuberance. It’s most likely that the phrase originated around then, possibly as an adaptation of the existing ‘vig and vigour’, which means much the same.

man, I am a nerd.

xoxox

It’s Big Boy Bed Day!!

oh me oh my.. it’s big boy bed day!

I have been stressing about this for months. Since the day that the Captain crawled out of his crib, TWICE! And although he has not done it again, it stresses me out every night. I will admit that I realize that there are a whole lot of new stresses that will come with this new bed – but I think in the long run it will be best (oh I hope!!).

So the bed will be delivered today at 4 and when we get home, mommy will make the bed, and make a HUGE deal about sleeping in the big boy bed. There are a couple of books that I came across and wondered if I should buy them.. maybe I will put one on the nook – and start there. I so badly want this transition to go smoothly and him be excited about it. I’m pretty excited about it, although I am not totally sure why!

The Captain is at such a fun age right now. He remembers everything, repeats EVERYTHING, and loves his doggie (he’s sweet, Cole sweet), and outside. It’s so fun to watch him explore. His favorite toy you ask?? A stick. He likes to beat the tree with it. Just one tree. The one on the left – doesn’t pay attention to the other identical trees a foot away to his right..

In other fun news. Some changes are a brewin’.. and I am starting to get real excited. I will fill you in when everything is official. And no.. I am not pregnant!

Also, I am going to start exploring some DIY items featured on Pinterest. I am really interested in the cost comparison and length of time it takes to make some of this stuff. The thing I am having trouble doing is determining how much my time is worth. Meaning I will need to take into account – how much time it takes me to go to the store to purchase the laundry detergent vs. how much time it takes me to make it, plus the cost of everything. Any ideas?

I am going to start with some fun stuff. I really want to try one of the Lemoncello recipes, and the laundry detergent recipes. Is there anything you would like to see me try? I will review everything in detail, and if you suggest one – I will send you a sample!

I am feeling crafty again… more to come!

xoxo

Recipes..

I love to cook. LOVE TO COOK! I love to be creative in the kitchen, and try new recipes.. Pinterest is great for this! I have tried so many many things from pins on Pinterest. What I need to do – is start doing more crafts from Pinterest – and expanding my wardrobe based on items I love from Pinterest.

Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest!!

Ok, so here are a few of my favorite new recipes.

From Food Network:

Pizza Snacks
Directions

Serves: 8
Version 1: Vegetable

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 375F. Place English muffins on a baking sheet lines with aluminum foil. Top with marinara sauce, bell pepper, olives and basil. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Information per pizza: Calories: 130; Total fat: 4.5g Saturated fat: 2g; Carbohydrate: 16g; Protein: 7g; Sodium: 390mg


From Chocolate-Covered Kate
Cookie Dough Dip

Inspired by this awesome recipe.

  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, you can sub oil.)
  • up to 1/4 cup milk of choice (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
  • Sweetener (see note below, for amount)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips or Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips
  • 2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal) (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor (not blender), and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

I made this recipe for the Super Bowl – and it was a big hit! We all seemed to really love it!
From Deep South Dish

Recipe: Three Envelope Picante Roast

Prep time: 5 min |Inactive time: 8 hours | Yield: About 6 serving

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 pound beef chuck roast (or other braising roast)
  • 1 cup of water
  • One envelope of dry onion soup mix
  • One envelope of dry Italian dressing mix
  • One envelope of dry brown gravy mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar of Pace Original Mild Picante Sauce

Instructions
Whisk together the water with ingredients from all 3 of the envelopes. Pour about 1/4 cup of the liquid on the bottom of the crockpot, place the roast on top. Don’t be tempted to season the roast. There is plenty of salt and other seasonings in these envelopes.

Pour the remaining liquid mixture all over the top and all around the roast. Pour the jar of picante sauce on top of the roast, cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high 4 to 5 hours.

To thicken gravy, remove the roast and tent with foil to keep warm. Carefully transfer the contents of the crockpot to a saucepan and stir in a slurry of one tablespoon of cornstarch with just enough water to loosen. Stir into the sauce, bring up to a boil, reduce and simmer until thickened.

I also love to be as creative as possible when I cook for myself. When the hubs is traveling, I tend to try ingredients I wouldn’t normally try when I am feeding him.. and I love to open my freezer and throw stuff together! I have had a goal lately in cleaning out my freezer – but using the items inside, and not throwing them away.. I am really sick on Lean Cuisine meals right now because of this! But ultimately I want to put together crock pot freezer meals – you can find these on Pinterest (betcha knew I would say that..!!). So – it keeping with trying to do low-carb – I made this dinner..
  • Turkey Burger
  • Raspberry Balsamic Wilted Spinach with Panceta, Almonds, and Citrus Olive Oil
  • Cottage Cheese
  • 12 grapes

It was delicious!! The best meal I have made in months!
Trader Joes has really amazingly good Turkey Burgers.

That’s all I’ve got for now! I have tons to tell you – but have had so little time to share lately! Hopefully life will lighten up a bit soon and I can get back to doing what I love – telling you things!!
mindy.