Cabin Fever.. not the horror film 1 or 2

This years cabin fever has been especially hard for this mom. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that the Captain is getting older, and has more energy than the sun – but it might just kill me. I have started looking into places we can go to burn some energy at night – and other than the mall “playground,” where I am sure the flu bug sits in hiding waiting to pounce, or a fast food restaurant play area (equally as gross), I am a total loss.

I looked in to gymnastic classes, but they are super full at the places I have looked – and they are not cheap – somewhere along the lines of $60/month – which is more than a gym membership. He seems to be too young to do karate and indoor soccer has started already.

While searching, I headed over to the KC Parent website, and found a list of activities you could do with your child to help keep them occupied. Some I will try, some I will not based on age or attention span. But it’s a solid list from making paper airplanes and racing them to making volcanoes and window painting. Here’s the list.

What kind of things do you do with your littles to help burn energy?

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

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

Girly stuff..

So this weekend while the hubs has been working out of town, I have spent some time watching girly movies, and doing girly things that I wouldn’t normally do when he’s around. So last night I was over the moon happy when I found The Holiday on the tube! Do you know the movie?? It’s the one with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet with Jack Black and Jude Law. I love this flick — it so cute and moves rather quickly — and I love all the actors.. it’s just good.

Tonight! Alex and I started the night off watching Beauty and the Beast – although he tired of it fairly quickly – I loved it. Then after he went to bed I watched You’ve Got Mail 1.5 times – it started again, but I turned to It’s Complicated – and am now watching that.

So, You’ve Got Mail.. I love this movie. By far one of my favorites, I love Kathleen Kelly’s style, and the language in the movie. However, it’s one of those movies that I wish was like 15 minutes longer. You know she had to have so many questions — I don’t doubt they lived happily ever after – as Meg Ryan and Tom Hank’s character always do – and should always.. I don’t know – I’ve watched this movie a thousand times.. but I am always left with wanting more.

Know what I mean?

xoxo,

Look what I made on my lunch break!

We had craft time today on our lunch break! I made this wreath in under an hour (barely, but still under) – and if I do say so myself.. I think it turned out AWESOME!

So, giving credit where credit is due.. I need to mention Mrs. Priss and her Felt Pom Pom thingamabobs.. If you don’t read her – you should. She’s so fun and creative. Also, her tutorial on the Wreath is here.

I have also been playing around with different recipes again, on Friday, I made Peanut Butter Bread.. it was sooo good. I purchased Honey Butter from Shatto and spread some jelly on it – OMG! It was delicious! I added in some Flaxseed (about 1 TSP) and some honey to improve the nutritional content.. also to sweeten it a little, and I am so glad I did! Here are some photos and the recipe!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/peanut-butter-bread/
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – I used Whole Wheat baking flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter – I used creamy
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the peanut butter until crumbly. Combine the egg, milk and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Transfer to a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in.loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

All for now.
xo.xo
mindy.

Friends

This morning I have been thinking a lot about my good friend Taco. I have called her that (although not exclusively – she has many nicknames) since high school, and I don’t think she’s every really loved it. But it makes me smile – it takes me back to a time before kids and husbands, before real responsibility, to that time when we were all figuring out who we were and where we were going – although – it was usually in Taco’s car listening to John Cougar Mellancamp or Bob Marley..

Taco is one of the smartest and most beautiful (inside and out) people in my life. She’s amazing, seriously! She sews, and gardens; she’s an amazing mother – and a brilliant accountant. She’s successful in most everything she touches, and is one of the nicest and sweetest people I know. She has 2 beautiful daughters and a wonderful hubby.  (not to mention – she can pull off just about any look! She’s a little fashionista!! Although she’d never admit that!)

We had a nice talk last night. She trying to figure out if they are ready to make an awesome move, and is scared and excited all at the same time. It makes me feel good that she comes to me and wants my take on things – although ultimately I know she will do what she will do, I feel privileged to be someone she confides in and such apart of her life. If January comes and new adventures start – I hope to look back on the next 5 months and see lots of Friday coffee dates and wine Mondays (or Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and/or Sundays). I think that if a new adventure is started – January seems like the most perfect time!

All to often we let friendships pass with time, drifting apart when lives get busy. The true friends, the ones you hold in and trust with your heart – those people will never drift and never fade no matter with time or distance.

I feel truly blessed to have a few people in my life that I hold so close. I love wholly and completely, which means – I sometimes hurt wholly and completely. That’s life. – and I understand and accept that. I hope Captain A loves like that. Holds people and experiences close and feels a sense of pride that others hold him that way.

m